Children’s Dental Health Month

 

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! Smith Dental Care in Tyler would like to take this important awareness month to help promote the benefits of good oral health and hygiene to children, their parents, caregivers, and teachers. In addition, this year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of water fluoridation. Decades worth of scientific studies show that having an optimal amount of fluoride in tap water can decrease cavities and tooth decay by 25%.

Tooth decay is the single most chronic disease among children, even more so than asthma, early childhood obesity, and diabetes. This is why it is so important to instill good dental habits at a young age. Smith Dental Care wants to make your child’s dental visit a positive and educational experience by teaching your child how to brush and floss their teeth properly and to talk about the importance of oral hygiene.

For babies, a good dental routine includes wiping the gums two times each day with a soft clean cloth in the morning and before bed. This helps to wipe away any bacteria or sugars that may potentially contribute to decay. Once the teeth come in, brush them twice a day with a small soft-bristles toothbrush with water only. It is recommended to visit the dentist by the time of your baby’s first birthday to spot any problem signs early on. Finally, for children under the age of six, watch them brush their teeth to ensure they only use a pea size amount of toothpaste and that they do not swallow it.

Often times children fear the dentist or have dental anxiety about their visit, but it doesn’t have to be that way! In addition to focusing on a positive and fun experience, Smith Dental Care offers nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to help create a calmer experience for your child. And for children 15 or older with severe dental anxiety, we also offer sedation dentistry in both oral and intravenous forms.

If you have questions about your child’s teeth, or to learn more about children’s dentistry, please call Smith Dental Care at 903-730-6354 or click here.


Bleeding Gums & How to Treat Them

Do your teeth bleed while brushing or flossing?

When there is a lot of plaque buildup along the gum line, it causes your gums to become inflamed and bleed. Plaque contains harmful bacteria that can spread causing tooth decay or gum disease. However bleeding gums can happen for a variety of reasons besides plaque.

Most common circumstance that cause your gums to bleed:

  • Flossing: Generally flossing shouldn’t cause your gums to bleed, so it may be caused by an underlying problem with your teeth or gums.
  • Medical:Medications such as blood thinners may cause your gums to be more prone to bleeding. It is important o inform your Smith Dental Care dentist of all medications and/or supplements you may be taking.
  • Tobacco: Smoking or chewing tobacco can cause your gums to bleed, as well as increasing your risk of periodontal disease and oral cancer.
  • Gingivitis: This is the firs stage of periodontal disease, which causes your gums to bleed, making them tender and swollen. Your Smith Dental dentist can use aggressive treatments like scaling or periodontal therapy to slow down its development.

As long as you maintain good oral hygiene, bleeding gums will never be an issue. If you feel as though you have significant plaque buildup, scheduled an appointment today so Smith Dental Care can get you in for a professional cleaning.


To Eat and Not to Eat for Healthy Teeth

Are you worried about having a cavity but are nervous about going in and getting a filling? Well did you know that changing your diet can help reverse your cavities at home so you can avoid the drill! Many patients suffer dental anxiety and it’s often related to cavities, so you are not alone. Unfortunately your dentist’s first line of defense against cavities and tooth decay is a filling, however there is a way to reverse smaller cavities on your own by eating the correct foods. Smith Dental Care is here to tell you which foods to eat and to avoid, helping reduce your risk for cavities.

Foods to eat to keep your teeth healthy:

  • Calcium Foods:
    • raw, grass-fed milk
    • Salmon
    • Broccoli
  • Vitamin D Foods:
    • Mushrooms
    • egg yolks
    • sardines
  • Vitamin K2 Foods:
    • cod liver oil
    • chicken liver
    • grass-fed beef
  • Magnesium Foods:
    • cacao
    • blackstrap molasses
    • avocado
  • Phosphorous Foods:
    • Grass-fed meat, dairy, and eggs

Foods to AVOID, to keep your teeth healthy:

  • Simple Starches:
    • bread
    • pasta
    • crackers
  • Dried Fruit:
    • raisins
  • Phytic Acid Foods:
    • wheat
    • beans
    • rice
  • Sugary Foods and Drinks
    • cookies
    • fruit juice
    • candy
  • Acidic foods and Drinks
    • soda coffee
    • alcohol

When eating these acidic and/or sugary foods, you should try rinsing your mouth out afterwards and minimizing your intake of these foods. Our team here at Smith Dental can help relieve the fears of dental anxiety, cavity or not with Sedation Dentistry.

We always make sure our patients feel relaxed, comfortable and taken care of while visiting out Tyler, Texas office, so call us today to schedule you next cleaning!


Main Causes of Tooth Grinding

Current statistics show that 50-96% of adults grind their teeth at some point in their life, being most common in adults 25 to 44, yet there isn’t a clear reason as to why this occurs. Excessive tooth grinding, gnashing, and/or jaw clenching is known as “Bruxism” which is a condition when you unconsciously clench your teeth when you’re awake or clench/grind them during sleep. Many different factors can cause someone to start grinding their teeth, and we have listed the some of the most common causes below:

  1. Sleep Disorders
    1. This is one of the leading causes of tooth grinding, which is another reason why we see most teeth grinding occurring during the night. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most severe of sleep disorders and almost often causes bruxism.
  2. Lifestyle
    1. Your habits and a variety of lifestyle factors can contribute to tooth grinding, including excessive drinking, smoking, and chewing gum. Even caffeine from tea, coffee, soda, and chocolate can cause tensions that could ultimately lead you to grinding your teeth.
  3. Medications and Illnesses
    1. Some antidepressants and psychotropic medications can create conditions leading to bruxism because of their side affects.
    2. Parkinson’s Disease and Huntington’s Disease are known to be associated with tooth grinding.
  1. Abnormal Bite
    1. Misaligned and/or missing teeth can greatly contribute to tooth grinding.

If you fall into one of these categories please speak to your dentist at Smith Dental Care to ask about purchasing a mouth guard. Wearing a mouth guard at night can provide relief if you find yourself grinding your teeth at night.

Are YOU grinding your teeth at night?

Headaches, physical discomfort of the jaw, or face muscle pain are a few common indicators of someone who grinds their teeth. Tooth grinders are three times more likely to experience headaches and stress is a common trigger that creates tension in the jaw.

Stop living in discomfort and call Smith Dental Care today!  


Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month and Smith Dental wants to help you keep an eye out for the early signs of oral cancer. Oral Cancer has a high rate of death associated with it because this cancer is usually discovered late in its development. This is why scheduling annual dental exams are so important for both you and your family, because it could save your life. During your appointment, your Smith Dental dentist will screen for oral cancer along with your teeth cleaning, greatly reducing your risk.

Potential Symptoms of oral cancer:

  • Sore, or soreness or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • Red or white patches, or pain, tenderness, or numbness in mouth or lips
  • Lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue

It is possible to suffer long-term problems, such as facial disfigurement or have difficulty eating or speaking, if oral cancer is left untreated.  Luckily, your mouth is a great indicator if something is wrong, but if you notice that these symptoms are not clearing up after two to three weeks, please call our office in Tyler, TX immediately. If you are a heavy drinker, a smoker older than 50, or a young adult with HPV16, you may be at more of a risk.

Oral cancer is preventable if caught early on, so it is important to maintain your yearly oral screenings. For those who have never received an oral cancer examination, there is no better time than during Oral Cancer Awareness Month, so contact us today to schedule an appointment.


Want Teeth Whiter than Snow?

December is the time of year that families and friends get together before the start of the New Year, so what better reason to make sure you’re prepared for those dreaded holiday pictures? Teeth whitening may not have been the first option you considered adding to your Christmas list, but everyone could benefit from a brighter smile. Having a whiter smile is a confidence booster and makes the patient more comfortable with his or her smile, especially when a smile is worth a thousand words. You don’t want to look back on your holiday photos wishing you had whiter teeth, so allow Smith Dental to help you look your best for the New Year.

Teeth whitening from our dentist office in Tyler, Texas works in a multitude of ways. Depending on the goal of the patient, you have the option to whiten the inside and/or outside of your teeth. Whitening the outside, or Extrinsic whitening, is as simple as removing unwanted stains, but whitening the inside of your teeth involves a different process. The intrinsic whitening procedure starts off letting the tooth soak up hydrogen peroxide, usually in a gel form, which helps lift the yellow discolored feature from the inside of the tooth. By using an intensified light, Smith Dental located in Tyler, Texas can whiten your teeth in our office within 1 ½ hours. If you would like to continue whitening your teeth over a longer time period, we can send you home with whitening gel and trays that will last you for up to 2 weeks.

Capture the attention of everyone in the room with a brighter smile this holiday season. It only takes one visit to Smith Dental in Tyler, Texas to achieve the smile you deserve. Allow Smith Dental Care to help you look your best for your holiday photos and welcome in the New Year with a whiter smile.

If you are interested in professional teeth whitening, or an in-home teeth-whitening kit, contact the Tyler, TX dentists at Smith Dental Care. We can schedule a consultation where our friendly cosmetic dentists will develop a custom treatment plan to get you a dazzling smile


Use It or Lose It!

The leaves are falling and the end of the year is drawing near. Here at Smith Dental, we want to remind you to use your dental insurance benefits before it’s too late! Insurance covers up to 80% of your dental appointments, leaving you with a small deducible to put towards additional dental services. However, insurance companies often do not alert their customers to how much remains on their policies, so don’t let those benefits go to waste and schedule an appointment today!

Smith Dental is your Tyler dentist and we are here to make sure that you get your visit in before your benefits expire on December 31st! Weather you need just a simple cleaning or a root canal, our job is to keep your teeth and mouth in healthy condition. Dental hygiene is extremely important to not only your mouth but also your overall health, so don’t look back on this year wishing you had made that appointment. Smith Dental is more than happy to get you scheduled for our next available date!

The holidays can cause a busy schedule for your family and we book up quickly for November and December, so don’t wait! You can save hundreds of dollars on out-of-pocket expenses by maximizing your dental benefits before December 31st, especially if your deductible has been met. Treat your teeth with care now and they will thank you for it in the long run.
If you want to use your benefits, contact our office today and start 2019 with a healthy smile!


What is Sedation Dentistry?

Have you been suffering from some form of dental anxiety over the years and trying to put as much distance between you and the dental chair? Do you avoid talking to the dentist at community gatherings or at the local store? At Smith Dental, we are very aware that dental work can make even the strongest of people fearful and not willing to make an appointment; in fact, millions of Americans actually suffer from dental anxiety. So, you’re not alone. We are your Tyler dentist when it comes to sedation dentistry.

We make it our mission to have an environment where patients can feel relaxed, comfortable and taken care of. Through the wonders of sedation dentistry this can be achieved.  And, the best part, there are multiple ways to take advantage of Sedation Dentistry depending on a patient’s needs. You can literally have decades of dental work completed in as little as one session! At Smith Dental Care, we can help relieve the fears of dental anxiety.

4 things you can do to cope with dental anxiety:

  • If you are feeling anxious of going to the dentist, bring along a family member or friend you trust that can stay with you for the duration of your appointment with us.
  • Distract yourself with music or watching TV during your procedure to drown out the unfamiliar sounds of dental tools.
  • Preforming relaxation techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing before and during your appointment, can significantly reduce your anxiety.
  • Remind yourself that you are the one in control and have good communication with your Smith Dental dentists, informing them of any concerns you might have.

Sedation dentistry is both safe and effective, becoming the most common technique in the United States to help our patients overcome dental anxiety. No needles are involved in this technique, allowing the patient to sleep undisturbed through the dental procedure and waking up feeling relaxed, knowing the procedure is over.

Call Smith Dental today to schedule your next dental appointment with help from sedation dentistry!