Katy Dental Experts

How Important Are Baby Teeth?

How Important Are Baby Teeth?

How Important Are Baby Teeth?

Although “baby teeth” are temporary, they are actually extremely important for early development and the future of your child’s oral health. Unfortunately, there are many parents that believe there is no point in taking care of their child’s baby teeth due to the fact they will just “lose them anyway.” But did you know that your child’s baby teeth will help them nourish themselves, speak correctly and even determine how permanent teeth erupt?

Typically, baby teeth erupt around the same time that your child’s dietary needs start to develop. Around six months of age, breastfeeding is no longer adequate as your child’s only meal, and solid food needs to be introduced. As you introduce different foods, their ability to chew will become better. Baby teeth are needed in order to properly chew and consume foods so that your baby will have a balanced and healthy diet.

Importance of Baby Teeth Care

Although baby teeth will eventually fall out to make way for permanent teeth, they are still a very important part of development. Not only do baby teeth help our children eat properly and obtain nutrition needed, but they also help with learning to speak correctly. Recent studies have also shown that damaged or missing baby teeth can result in permanent teeth coming in crooked (resulting in orthodontic treatment being necessary down the road).

Caring for Your Baby’s Teeth

Now that we have explained the importance of caring for your baby’s teeth, here are some tips for ensuring you care for them properly:

      • Do not put them down to sleep with a bottle.
      • Begin “brushing” (the gums) even before teeth start to erupt!
      • Begin flossing once two teeth have erupted.
      • Visit our Katy pediatric dental office before they turn 1.

Have additional questions regarding your child’ dental health? Don’t hesitate to contact Katy Dental Experts today! We’d be happy to answer any pediatric dentistry questions you may have.

3 Tips to Ease Pain from Braces

3 Tips to Ease Pain from Braces

3 Tips to Ease Pain from Braces

To get the straight teeth required for our dream smile, braces are often a necessity. While incredibly important, they can sometimes require time to get accustomed to them. The brackets and methods of cleaning can take a bit to learn. Sometimes there is also unavoidable pain that can result from adjustments or your mouth getting used to the braces. Since your teeth are technically being slowly moved into a new position, it is understandable that there may be some pain when the orthodontist has is tightening the braces, but that does not mean that you have to suffer. There are many ways to ease the discomfort of braces.

Use a Salt Water Mouth Rinse

The tightening of the braces can sometimes cause small sores on the gums or inner cheek. Swishing around warm saltwater in your mouth helps to alleviate the irritation or inflammation and lessen the chances of the sores getting larger.

Over-the-Counter Pain Relief

Pain threshold is different for all people. The pain associated with braces can be dull and barely noticeable for some but cause more pain for others that can limit their ability to eat or talk easily. An over-the-counter pain medication, taken according to the directions or advisement of your orthodontist, is a successful way to ease the pain.

Use an Ice Pack

The first day of getting your braces or after your first adjustment can be extremely irritating. The shock to the gums can cause inflammation and irritation. Using an ice pack applied to the outside of the mouth can help ease the pain and lower the swelling. For more direct relief, try sucking on a piece of ice.
By following the aforementioned methods of easing the pain, many small issues should be alleviated. However, if pain continues or seems to be increasing, it is always best to call your orthodontist or dentist and let them know.

Foods that Benefit Oral Health

Foods that Benefit Oral Health

Foods that Benefit Oral Health

At Katy Dental Experts, we believe prevention is essential to achieving optimal oral health and that your diet should include preventative measures. Have you ever heard “you are what you eat”? This is especially true when it comes to your dental health. So what foods should you be incorporating or avoiding to benefit your oral health?

Kiwi – Vitamin C is vital to your gum health, without it the collagen in our gums will begin to break down, become tender and be more susceptible to bacteria. Kiwis contain the highest amount of Vitamin C of any fruit.

Cheese – Cheese can be helpful in neutralizing acid in the mouth, preserving tooth enamel, killing bacteria and even preventing decay and periodontal diseases.

Celery – Chewing celery can help massage gums, clean between teeth and even produce saliva which can help neutralize bacteria in the mouth.

Sesame Seeds – Sesame seeds are high in calcium, helping preserve bone in the mouth. While chewing sesame seeds, they can also help remove plaque from teeth and help build tooth enamel.

Onions – Onions are known to have powerful antibacterial properties, helping eliminate bacteria in the mouth, reducing the risk for cavities and periodontal diseases.

Shiitake Mushrooms – Shiitake mushrooms are known to contain lentinan which is a naturally occurring sugar known to prevent plaque from forming in the mouth.

Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes contain high amounts of Vitamin A, which is essential for gum tissue health and the formation of tooth enamel.

Water – Although not technically a food, water is extremely important for oral health. It can help keep your mouth and gums hydrated, defending against bacteria and can also help remove particles, debris, and bacteria from the teeth, gums, and mouth.

Along with proper diet, professional dental care can be an important part of achieving and maintaining optimal oral health. Contact our Katy dental office today to schedule your preventive dental visit. We look forward to helping you achieve the smile of your dreams!

5 Foods to Fortify Your Teeth

5 Foods to Fortify Your Teeth

5 Foods to Fortify Your Teeth

Teeth are first to interact with the foods we eat. Therefore, we must consider our oral health when choosing the best diet.
Some options are better for teeth and gums than others. Different foods provide teeth-strengthening minerals, while others increase saliva production that helps remove food particles stuck on or in-between teeth as you chew.

Foods that Strengthen Teeth

      • Water: Many communities provide fluoridated water to residents in the local area for added protection against dental caries. Drinking treated tap water can also strengthen teeth and wash away leftover food particles and bacteria between teeth.
      • Citrus Fruits: Eating fruits rich in vitamin C like oranges, tangerines, and grapefruits will help strengthen gums. In the days of yore, crews on sailing ships would ingest foods with high concentrations of vitamin C to ward off scurvy. Two main symptoms of the health condition are gum disease and tooth loss.
      • Sugar-Free Gum: Chewing sugarless gum encourages saliva production and helps remove plaque buildup from teeth enamel.
      • Dairy Products: Milk, plain yogurt, and cheese are packed with calcium and other minerals that help promote strong teeth.
      • Black and Green Tea: Both teas contain powerful polyphenols, that may lower the risk of cavities by keeping oral bacteria from sticking to teeth.

When you consider the best foods with teeth strengthening benefits, don’t forget that many other choices are bad for oral health. Some items like junk foods, sugary or sticky treats, and highly-acidic foods can cause damage to teeth in a variety of ways, primarily by fueling decay-causing bacteria and mouth acids.

Discuss any concerns or questions about diet, nutrition and or how it all relates to your oral health, with Katy Dental Experts. Contact us today!

Wisdom Teeth: Why Do We Have Them?

Wisdom Teeth: Why Do We Have Them?

Wisdom Teeth: Why Do We Have Them?

Many people get them removed because wisdom teeth are going to cause dental problems down the road. We so often hear about people getting their wisdom teeth removed that you can’t help but wonder why we even have them at all?

Many people agree that wisdom teeth have ancient roots that stretch back to our ancestors. Since their diet consisted of harder to chew foods like roots, rough plants, and raw meat, these additional molars were necessary. Our ancestors also had wider jaws to accommodate these larger teeth.

Through the years, human diets changed to include softer foods and our jaws have gotten smaller, meaning the third molar is not always necessary and doesn’t always fit well. When there is not enough space for the wisdom teeth to emerge, many dental issues can arise. For some, wisdom teeth can start erupting at 45-degree angles and, in very bad situations, horizontally.

Wisdom Tooth Removal

So when is the removal of the right decision? It is different for each person depending on many different factors. We treat each wisdom teeth case individually by analyzing all the factors. Wisdom teeth are actually the only teeth that do not form during fetal development, so it is not until late adolescence and the early teen years that a decision can be made about what their impact can be.
Wisdom teeth removal is a likely recommendation for the following issues:

      • Wisdom teeth emerging at bad angles
      • Wisdom teeth crowding other teeth
      • Wisdom teeth impacted below the gums
      • Wisdom teeth cause unsafe oral hygiene conditions

It is best to get your wisdom teeth treated before larger issues occur, so it is important to share any pain or discomfort you experience with your dentists. While it sounds like a difficult process, wisdom teeth removal has become a very common and standard procedure… that also gives you an excuse to eat lots of ice cream!

How Often Are Follow-Up Appointments for Dental Implants?

How Often Are Follow-Up Appointments for Dental Implants?

How Often Are Follow-Up Appointments for Dental Implants?

Dental implants are the most popular and most advanced option for tooth replacement. The implant should be checked by your dentist on a regular basis since there are many different elements to check on, such as whether the implant is grafting to the jawbone properly or if there is inflammation in the gums.

After Receiving Dental Implants

Soon after you have your implant surgery, proper care is important to ensure their long-term success. Following the aftercare directions your dentist provides is vital. An important part of recovering is called osseointegration, which is when the titanium post bonds with the jawbone. The roots can help support jawbone regeneration over time and can ensure the teeth remain stationary.

Monitoring Your Dental Implants

After the initial checkups, your dentist may need to check the healing process more often. There is a slightly higher risk of gum disease from dental implants, and gum disease can, unfortunately, lead to implant failure. Monitoring the gums for any slight indication of gum disease can help your dentist address it before it becomes a larger issue.

Caring for Your Dental Implants

Oral hygiene is the key to long-term success. A huge benefit of dental implants over dentures is the ease with which you can clean it. Brushing your implant is just like brushing your teeth and should be done at the same time. Implants are not susceptible to decay, but bacteria can build up on the surface which can lead to gum disease or cause decay in other teeth. Flossing is also important to ensure the cleanliness of the area surrounding the gum line.

Once you are completely healed and have successfully adapted your oral hygiene regiment, most implants can be checked every six months with your bi-annual cleaning and check up. Of course, if any issues or concerns arise, contact your dentist to get advice on the best course of action.

Tips for Choosing a Toothbrush

Tips for Choosing a Toothbrush

Tips for Choosing a Toothbrush

Taking a trip to your local corner store, you may have noticed that there could be seemingly hundreds of different toothbrushes, large, small, soft, and hard. You might wonder if it really matters. Should you just get the cheapest one because they are all the same, or should you get the fanciest, most expensive one because it will clean your teeth better?

It can be hard to choose the best toothbrush for your oral hygiene care. One that balances value and effectiveness can be hard to find. Do you want an electric or a manual toothbrush? Do you want a red or a blue one (most people choose blue)? We are going to outline some tips for you to choose the right toothbrush.

      • Always choose a soft bristle toothbrush. Soft bristle toothbrushes clean your teeth effectively as well as treat your gums gently. Brushes with hard bristles can pull back the gums from the teeth which can cause problems for you in the long run.
      • Choose the right size for your teeth. Your toothbrush should be able to clean one to two teeth at a time. Any larger and it might be too big for your mouth, causing you to miss important crevices.
      • It doesn’t matter if you use an electric toothbrush or a manual one; what matters is that you feel motivated to brush your teeth. If you need an electric toothbrush to feel that motivation, then you know what to do. However, both brushes can be used effectively to properly clean your teeth.
      • Consider buying toothbrushes in packs of multiple. This will encourage you to change your toothbrush out every 3-4 months as recommended. You should be changing your toothbrush about that often so that the bristles remain intact and bacteria doesn’t get a chance to dangerously colonize your brush.

You should always brush and floss your teeth regularly. However difficult it may seem to choose the right toothbrush, don’t get confused by fancy packaging or strangely shaped handles or brush heads. What is important is that you use your brush regularly to maintain your oral hygiene.

How Much Do You Know About Your Teeth?

How Much Do You Know About Your Teeth?

How Much Do You Know About Your Teeth?

Understanding Tooth Anatomy

Most people know it is important to brush and floss every day, and that routine teeth care includes regular dentist visits, but how much do you really know about your teeth?

Types of Teeth

Your mouth houses four types of teeth: incisors, molars, premolars, and canines.

      • Incisors: Your eight front teeth are the incisors, four upper teeth and four on the bottom. Incisors come in different shapes and sizes, but all are thinner than the surrounding teeth in every person’s mouth. This set of choppers is used primarily for biting food.
      • Canines: The four sharp teeth on either side of the incisors are the canines. This quartet tears through food and are used for gripping.
      • Premolars: The eight flatter and larger set of teeth also used for tearing and crushing food are the premolars. Four teeth are located on the upper jaw and four on the bottom, closer to the rear.
      • Molars: The largest and flattest teeth of all are the molars. Found towards the very back of the mouth, most adults have 12 for chewing and grinding food. That number includes the third molars, or the wisdom teeth, which often need to be extracted due to infection, overcrowding or impaction.

Parts of Each Tooth

While there are four types of teeth, with a varying purpose, each tooth is constructed in the same way. In addition, each part has an important function.

All teeth are made up of a crown and a root. The crown is the visible white surface, and the root is the anchor below the gum line. There are also four tissue types contained in each tooth:

      • Enamel: The hard, outer coating that covers the crown and protects the inner tooth layers. This tough shell is harder than bone, but it is not impenetrable. It can be chipped, cracked, damaged or broken down by mouth acids, poor oral hygiene, trauma and aggressive tooth brushing.
      • Dentin: Just beneath the enamel is a yellowy substance that makes up most of the tooth structure. The dentin is the calcified layer underneath the enamel and outside of the pulp. It appears very similar to bone but is not as strong. This inner layer is less dense than enamel and more susceptible to decay if the outer cover gets damages.
      • Cementum: Softer than tooth dentin and enamel, cementum hugs the root and helps secure it to the jawbone. To protect this soft, vulnerable tissue from decay and disease, you need to take care of your gums. Poor oral hygiene and inadequate dental care may result in shrunken gums that expose cementum to disease-causing bacteria and plaque.
      • Pulp: Located in the core of each tooth the pulp houses blood vessels, nerves, and other soft tissues that deliver important signals and nutrients to your teeth.

Healthy teeth are important, so don’t take your dental health for granted. Brush your teeth a minimum of two times a day and floss once a day, eat a healthy, balanced diet, avoid smoking, and continue to see your dentist regularly for routine exams and professional cleanings.

How Do I Know if Dental Implants Are Right for Me?

How Do I Know if Dental Implants Are Right for Me?

How Do I Know if Dental Implants Are Right for Me?

Your smile affects you in more than one way. It not only affects your appearance, but also the functionality. If you lose one or more tooth, or your teeth are damaged beyond the point of repair, you may need to get them removed explains the dentist in Katy. Without teeth, your smile neither has aesthetic appeal nor function. It also hampers your self- confidence and your ability to bite or chew the food properly.

However, dental implants can help in solving the issue as they are one of the most natural-looking tooth replacement options, which are sturdy and durable. They can help in restoring your smile so that you can regain your confidence. You may have to first find out if you are an ideal candidate for dental implants.

Dental Implants Could Be Right for You If:

      • You wish to restore your ability to chew so that you can eat without any food restrictions.
      • You want a tooth replacement that looks very natural and mimics your natural teeth.
      • You are missing one or more teeth or going to get them extracted.
      • You are not happy with how dentures feel in your mouth.
      • You have good oral health.

What is the Process Like?

If the dentist finds out that you are the right candidate for dental implants, the procedure will be performed in various stages on the basis of the condition of your mouth. The oral surgeon will determine how many stages would be required as well as the healing time. Once the healing is done, you will visit the dentist for the final stage, i.e. getting the crown above your implants, so that your look is complete. The process may take a few months and it might appear to be a long process, but the results are worth the wait.

Read to know how often you need to have your implants checked

If you are missing a tooth or have chipped and broken teeth, which can’t be repaired, the dental implants are a perfect replacement. It will restore the look and function of your natural teeth and bring your confidence back.

Also read Everything you need to know about dental implants

5 Common Myths About Root Canal Treatment

5 Common Myths About Root Canal Treatment

5 Common Myths About Root Canal Treatment

Has the dentist in Katy recommended you to go for a root canal treatment? Are you sceptical about getting it? Mere mention of a root canal treatment can make people anxious because of the several myths associated with root canal.

Root canal is in fact helpful in getting rid of the pain caused by the tooth decay. When the pulp inside the tooth gets infected, the root canal procedure is used for removing it and restoring the health of the tooth. If left untreated, the infection can spread and you may also lose the tooth.

Here’s a Look at Some Common Myths about Root Canal Treatment:

Root canal treatment is painful.

If you are thinking of how painful is a root canal, then rest assure as root canal is pain free. In fact, it relieves the pain because the decayed pulp is removed from the tooth which is the source of pain. Root canals are not how they used to be few years ago as the advanced equipment’s and technology along with sedation have made the root canal treatment almost painless.

Root canal procedure requires several visits to the dental clinic.

How long does a root canal take? Well some people believe that tooth extraction is better as it’s quicker but extraction needs to be followed by the placement of an implant which makes the treatment time consuming and costly. Root canal treatment usually needs 1 to 3 visits which depend on the condition of the tooth.

A root canal “kills” the tooth.

A root canal cleans and disinfects the inside of the tooth and allows it to heal. It does not kill the tooth.

Root canal procedure is not very successful.

Root canal procedures have almost 95% success rate when treated by an experienced endodontist. If the tooth and surrounding gums are kept healthy, the natural tooth can last a life time without further therapy.

Root canal treatment causes illness

This is an absolute and poorly designed research which took place almost a century ago. There is no valid evidence supporting the research. The root canal is done for removing bad bacteria from infected part of mouth and prevents re-infection.

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