The Importance of Routine Checkups

Visiting your dentist for routine dental checkups and cleanings, every six months, is important for several reasons, including reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease. You shouldn’t see your dentist just when you have a problem that needs to be addressed. Prevention is key to your oral health. Your dentist can identify potential problems during your routine visits, such as the onset of gum disease, dental decay, and oral cancer.

We want to keep your teeth and gums healthy, so during your visit, a physical exam is done of your entire mouth. All facets of your dental health are examined, including your teeth, gums, and roots. X-rays are taken. Plaque and tartar buildup are removed around the gum line as well as in between your teeth. If you have a lot of tartar buildup, this is a sign that you will need to brush and floss more often.

After the physical exam is done, and plaque and tartar buildup has been removed, your teeth will be professionally cleaned and flossed.

Routine exams are not just for adults. Children need them, too. Your child should see the dentist for the first time within 6 months of the eruption of their first tooth, and then return to the dentist every six months, starting at the age of three. Children will go through a thorough oral exam and cleaning, just like adults.

Routine dental checkups and cleanings are an important part of good overall health. To schedule an appointment for yourself or a family member, please call our office at 817.251.9333. We proudly serve patients in the Southlake, TX, and surrounding areas.

Chronic Headaches & TMJ Dysfunction

There are many reasons why someone could experience chronic headaches, but did you know that headaches are also a sign that you could be suffering from TMJ dysfunction?  

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts like a hinge and connects your jawbone to your skull. There is one joint on each side of your jaw. If you have TMJ dysfunction, you could be experiencing pain in your jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement. Headaches, joint locking, and muscle spasms are also common symptoms. If left untreated, TMJ dysfunction can lead to bruxism, which is the medical term for teeth grinding. Teeth grinding can exacerbate TMJ dysfunction due to the pressure that teeth grinding places on the jaw joints.

Genetics, arthritis, or a jaw injury can lead to TMJ dysfunction. The most common way of treating TMJ dysfunction is through an oral appliance such as a bite guard or mouthguard.  

It is important to see your dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. If you or someone you know is suffering from any of the symptoms above and believe it could be TMJ dysfunction, please call and schedule an appointment with us. We gladly serve patients in the Southlake, TX, and surrounding areas.

Keeping a Bright Smile After Teeth Whitening

We recently blogged about professional teeth whitening to boost your smile. You may be wondering about ways to keep your smile bright after your teeth whitening procedure. There are a few things you can do to extend the benefit of the procedure.

Try to not let drinks that can cause stains come in direct contact with your teeth. If you drink diet colas or fruit juices for instance, use a straw rather than drinking out of the can or a glass. If you drink coffee, tea, or red wine, drink water after consuming these drinks. Water is naturally very good for the body and will wash away any residue left from the drinks. Water is also a natural way to defend against plaque buildup as well, so it helps fight against the formation of cavities and gum disease.

It is also important to keep up with your routine dental checkups. This is a time for the dentist to remove any plaque build up that can cause a smile to be less than dazzling.

With some added care such as drinking through a straw whenever possible, drinking water after consuming stain-causing liquids, and seeing your dentist routinely all help to extend your teeth whitening procedure.

As always, we are here to answer any questoins you may have. We are proud to serve patients in the Southlake, TX and surrounding areas.

How to Prevent Cavities

If you’ve had a cavity, you know the discomfort that comes with them. The best way to prevent this discomfort is to do your best to prevent cavities in the first place. If you want healthy teeth and gums, these two preventative steps below help tremendously!

Brush and Floss Daily

Brushing and flossing daily is the best way to keep cavities at bay. The rule for brushing is 2 x 2. Brush for no less than two minutes and brush twice daily. Most adults do great about brushing, but flossing may not be a preventative tool used as regularly as it should. Flossing removes food particles and bacteria that brushing alone leaves behind. It is best to floss after each meal, but at the very least, floss once a day before bed so those particles are not left in your mouth all night.

Drink Water

A simple way to prevent cavities is to drink water throughout the day and drink enough of it. Not only does drinking 8 glasses of water daily help your overall health, but it also aids in preventing cavities. Water is a natural way to protect against the buildup of plaque. Avoid or greatly limit sugary drinks and reach for water instead, the healthy alternative!   

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort from a cavity, be sure to contact us at DaVinci Dentistry. We are happy to see patients in the Southlake, TX and surrounding areas.

  

Treating Jaw Pain caused by TMD

A common cause of jaw pain can be attributed to Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction or TMD. The temporomandibular joint acts like a hinge and connects your jawbone to your skull. There are two joints, one on each side of your jaw. The joints allow your lower jaw to open and close. Dysfunction of these joints can cause pain and discomfort. In addition to pain and discomfort, you can experience difficulty chewing, and you may hear clicking and locking of the jaw joint(s).

Causes of TMD can be a misalignment of the jaw, trauma to the teeth or jaw, teeth grinding, poor posture, and excessive gum chewing.

Fortunately, DaVinci Dentistry can help. After a thorough examination to rule out other reasons for jaw pain, such as a toothache, your dentist can determine if your pain is coming from TMD. If so, there are options for correcting the joints and alleviating your pain, including a custom dental splint which looks like a mouthguard. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

If you or someone you know suffers from jaw pain, please contact us so we can discuss your options and alleviate your pain. We gladly welcome patients from Southlake, TX, and the surrounding area.

A Guide to Flossing

When it comes to good oral health, flossing is very important. Flossing removes plaque and helps to prevent its buildup. Flossing removes excess food particles and keeps your teeth healthy and looking bright.

When choosing the type of floss to use, it really is up to you. You can choose floss with a flavor, floss that is waxed or unwaxed, or disposable flossers. Unwaxed floss fits into tight spaces if your teeth are spaced together closely, but it is prone to breaking. Waxed floss is less likely to break, but the wax coating may make it more difficult to get into tight spaces. Disposable flossers use the same basic technique as the strands of nylon floss. You move the handle of the disposable flosser so the floss curves around the tooth in the shape of “C”. Work the floss under the gum line and gently floss up to the top of the tooth, repeating several times.

Coupled with daily brushing, routine dental checkups, and a diet low in sugar, flossing is necessary tool to keep your teeth healthy and happy.

We are always happy to answer questions about your oral health. Please contact DaVinci Dentistry at 817.251.9333 if you have any questions. We gladly welcome patients from Southlake, TX and the surrounding area.

Preventative Dental Care Makes a Big Difference

Three of the most important steps you can take in caring for your oral health is brushing, flossing, and regular checkups. The goal of these steps is to not only care for your oral health but to identify and fix problems before they become bigger.

Gum disease is one of the biggest concerns of your overall oral health. It is often painless and shows no warning signs. Brushing and flossing will keep the disease at bay, but gum disease can only be identified by a dentist, so the preventative care of semi-annual trips to the dentist are crucial.

Semi-annual dental visits will also ensure your fillings are regularly evaluated for weakness. Metal fillings has been the standard for dentists to address cavities, but filings can wear out and become damaged. Regular trips to the dentist will address any issues before they become a problem.

Semi-annual dental visits can also detect oral cancer. Early detection is the key to minimizing risk. A cancer screening is conducted each time you visit your dentist for a checkup. Be sure to tell your dentist if you have any problems with swallowing, chewing, speaking, or moving your tongue or jaw.

We are always here to help. Please contact DaVinci Dentistry at 817.251.9333 if you have any questions about your oral health. We gladly welcome patients from Southlake, TX and the surrounding area.

Ouch, my tooth!

Experiencing pain or discomfort from a sensitive tooth is a common problem. This pain or discomfort can be felt when your teeth are exposed to cold water, hot or cold drinks, or very cold foods such as ice cream or other frozen foods. Tooth sensitivity can be treated, so it is important to see your dentist if you experience any tooth sensitivity.

You can reduce your risk of experiencing tooth sensitivity by exercising good oral hygiene. It is important to brush twice a day, morning and night, for at least two minutes each time, and floss regularly, preferably after each meal. It is also best to try to limit foods that are acidic such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes because the acid in these foods causes enamel to wear away, making your teeth more sensitive. Don’t ignore a sensitive tooth because doing so can lead to more serious issues, especially if the tooth sensitivity causes you to brush less frequently or brush for less time.

Some common treatments for sensitive teeth include the use of a desensitizing toothpaste which your dentist may recommend. A fluoride treatment is another option which involves applying fluoride to the sensitive tooth or teeth to help reduce the pain associated with the sensitivity and strengthen the enamel. Other treatment options that are available will be discussed at the time of your dental visit.

If you are suffering from the pain and discomfort of sensitive teeth, we can help. Call DaVinci Dentistry’s Southlake, TX office at 817.251.9333. We treat patients in the Southlake, TX and surrounding areas.  We look forward to seeing you!

Pregnancy and Dental Visits

Preparing to have a baby is a busy time in any mother’s life. There are visits to your doctor, shopping for the baby’s needs, and setting up the baby’s room that all take time. During this busy time, make sure that you are still seeing your dentist for regular checkups. Dental checkups are safe and important for your oral health, especially when you are expecting a child. They are important so your dentist can identify and correct any pregnancy-related symptoms that may occur.  If your pregnancy is not showing yet, be sure to tell your dentist you are pregnant and how many weeks along you are. Advise your dentist of any medications you’re taking, both prescribed and over the counter, and any supplements you take as well. Be sure to disclose any medical conditions you may have so your dentist can work with your doctor.

During pregnancy, some women may experience gingivitis caused by hormonal changes. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that causes inflammation of your gums, and if left untreated, can lead to periodontitis, a much more serious gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. When you suffer from gingivitis, you can experience swollen and inflamed gums or gums that bleed when you brush. Your gums can also be tender. When pregnant, you are also at risk of increased tooth decay resulting in cavities. These issues can all be addressed by your dentist.

In addition to seeing your dentist regularly while pregnant, be sure to keep up your good oral routine. It is important to brush twice a day, morning and night, for at least two minutes each time, and floss regularly, preferably after each meal.

Call DaVinci Dentistry at 817.251.9333 to schedule your next checkup. We gladly welcome patients from the Southlake, TX and surrounding areas.

You Have Options When It Comes to Dental Fillings

When you have a cavity, talk with your dentist on what type of dental filling is best for you and your situation. According to the ADA, some common filling options include composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings; amalgam, which is the silver-colored fillings used by dentists for decades; or gold amalgam fillings which are also durable and long-lasting but are more expensive and do not look as natural as composite resin. A nice thing about composite resin fillings is that it can be matched to the natural color of your tooth, making it far less noticeable that you had a cavity filled.

The best choice of dental filling for your needs depends on the situation, and this should be discussed with your dentist. Metal amalgam (silver or gold) should not be disregarded as a filling, even though it looks less natural because it has its own benefits. Amalgam does not wear out as quickly as composite resin. Also, if the filling has to cover a larger surface area, composite resin may not be the best choice in this case. Amalgam can withstand the biting forces exerted on it better than composite resin for larger cavities. Amalgam generally costs less as well. 

If you have a cavity that needs a filling, or if you have old metal fillings that you would like replaced with the more natural-looking composite resin filling, call your Southlake, TX DaVinci Dentistry office at 817.251.9333. We proudly treat patients from Southlake, TX and the surrounding areas.

Gingivitis, What Exactly is It?

Gingivitis comes from the Latin word “gingiva” which means “gums.” Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that causes inflammation of your gums, and if left untreated, can lead to periodontitis, a much more serious gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. When you suffer from gingivitis, you can experience swollen and inflamed gums or gums that bleed when you brush. Your gums can also be tender.

The culprit that causes gingivitis is plaque. Plaque is full of bacteria and forms when the food you eat comes into contact with bacteria normally found in your mouth. The plaque can harden causing tartar which requires professional dental cleaning to remove. If not removed, the plaque and tartar start to irritate and inflame the gumline resulting in gingivitis and the swelling and gum bleeding associated with the disease.

This blog speaks often of good oral hygiene, and we can’t say it enough. Good oral hygiene prevents gingivitis and the more serious periodontitis. It is crucial to brush twice a day, morning and night, for at least two minutes each time, floss regularly, preferably after each meal, and see your dentist once every six months for checkups.

If you have gingivitis, it can be reversed or at the least, its progression can be stopped. If you think you might suffer from gingivitis or the more serious periodontal disease, please reach out to DaVinci Dentistry at 817.251.9333 to schedule an appointment where we will assess the situation and come up with a treatment plan for you. We gladly welcome patients at DaVinci Dentistry from Southlake, TX and the surrounding areas.

In the Event of a Loose Tooth

As an adult, if you have a loose tooth, it is natural to be concerned. A tooth can become loose from several factors including an injury to the tooth, gum disease, or bruxism, which is the medical term for when one grinds their teeth. If you experience a loose tooth, it is important to see your dentist right away so they can determine why the tooth has become loose and then decide on the best course of treatment. It is crucial not to try to pull the tooth out though. This will leave an open socket where the tooth once was and could lead to bleeding and/or infection. It is best to leave the tooth alone and see your dentist as soon as you can.

Prevention is key to any dental issue, so practice good oral hygiene to prevent gum disease. Brush twice daily, morning and night, for at least two minutes each time. Be sure to use dental floss, preferably after each meal. Eat a healthy diet and drink eight glasses of water daily. If you don’t like to drink water, try adding fruit slices, which has helped others increase their water consumption. See your dentist twice a year for routine cleanings and checkups. If you play sports, wear a mouthguard, and lastly, talk to your dentist about devices that will help with teeth grinding at night.

If you experience a loose tooth, schedule an appointment to come see us DaVinci Dentistry by calling 817.251.9333. We happily treat patients in the Southlake, TX and surrounding areas. We look forward to seeing you!

How to Achieve Optimal Oral Health

As we kick off the month of May and National Dental Care Month, here are some ways to achieve optimal oral health:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day. Brush in the morning and at night, for 2 minutes each time.
  • Use proper dental equipment. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably.
  • Utilize good brushing technique. Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle focusing on the areas where your tooth meets your gum. Gently brush with short back-and-forth motions.
  • Keep your toothbrush clean. Always rinse your toothbrush with water after brushing. Store your toothbrush in an upright position so it can air dry. You can store a toothbrush in a closed container for travel, but don’t do this routinely so as not to encourage the growth of bacteria.
  • Replace your toothbrush periodically. Invest in a new toothbrush every three to four months. Toothbrushes are provided at your bi-annual dental cleaning as well.  
  • Floss for good oral health – Since a toothbrush can’t reach the tight spaces between your teeth, it is important to floss daily, one tooth at a time.
  • Be sure to visit your dentist once every six months.

If you haven’t scheduled your bi-annual dental exam and cleaning as yet, May is a great month to do that! Call DaVinci Dentistry to make an appointment at 817.251.9333. We happily treat patients in the Southlake, TX and surrounding areas. We look forward to seeing you!

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