Specializing in Dental Health in Houston TX
Your family’s dental health is too important to put off. That’s because dental health isn’t just about oral health as it also affects the whole body health. Medical research has confirmed that your oral health can also impact the following:
- The risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including stroke
- The risk of developing endocarditis (heart inflammation)
- The severity of diabetic symptoms
- The risk of illness due to infection, including respiratory infection
Why does oral health have an outsized effect on overall health? The oral cavity is a common point of entry for bacteria, so good dental health provides a sturdy first line of defense for overall health.
For many families, though, it’s tough to find time for dental health. That’s where our team can lend support. Meyerland Family Dentistry’s staff includes cosmetic, pediatric, orthodontic and prosthodontic experts, so we are well-equipped to support your family’s dental health.
A child’s first visit to the dentist doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, you may be surprised how many children are curious, in a positive way, about their first trip. If there are some nerves beforehand, relating your own positive dental experiences, reading books about dentists, or visiting the dentist’s office before the appointment can help calm them.
During your child’s first appointment, our team will make every effort to ensure your child is comfortable. If necessary, we may ask the parent to hold their child during examination. Once they are old enough, we recommend the child accompany the dentist to the examination room alone, in order to build confidence at the dentist’s office.
Your child’s first visit will include an examination of any baby teeth, the gums, jaw and bite pattern. The dentist will assess their development and recommend fluoride, if needed. If the child is old enough, the dentist will demonstrate how to properly brush and floss, so they can start taking proper care of their teeth. The dentist may provide a gentle cleaning, as well.
Dental x-rays are not recommended during a child’s first visit unless there is an obvious need for it, like the presence of a jammed baby tooth or significant tooth decay.
Regular Dental Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleanings) Help Minimize Plaque Buildup, Tooth Decay and Periodontitis
Teeth cleanings, also called dental prophylaxis, are an important part of every dental health regimen. The American Dental Association recommends at least one examination and cleaning every year, even if you practice proper dental hygiene.
That’s because everyone misses a spot or two during brushing and flossing. The plaque that’s left behind soon hardens into calculus, or tartar. Once it does, it cannot be removed through normal brushing alone. The only way to get rid of it is to scrape it off with dental tools. During a cleaning, the dentist will also polish the teeth and smooth their surfaces. This makes it more difficult for bacteria to adhere to the tooth and multiply.
Routine teeth cleanings also allow the dentist to closely examine the condition of your teeth. During your cleaning, the dentist will check for cracks and chips, and note any potential areas where plaque may be likely to build up. It’s also common for dentists to check for signs of oral cancer during cleanings. Many oral cancers are treatable if caught early, so regular cleanings provide valuable check-up time.
Periodontitis is the medical term for gum disease – a condition marked by red, swollen and painful gums. It can also cause bad breath and, if left unchecked, eventually result in tooth loss. Among those aged 35 and older, more people lose teeth to gum disease than cavities.
Fortunately, periodontitis is largely preventable with good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist. Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day is enough to minimize the risk of periodontitis, but even with perfect oral hygiene, some people are more prone to gum disease.
As soon as any symptoms of periodontitis emerge, schedule a dentist appointment. Periodontitis can be reversed if it is managed early.
We Can Also Utilize Antibiotics To Treat Periodontitis
Periodontitis is caused by a bacterial infection that lies below the gum line, and eliminating the bacteria is key to reversing gum disease. Meyerland Family Dentistry utilizes the antibiotic Arestin (minocycline hydrochloride) to enhance periodontitis treatment and speed up the bacteria-killing process.
Arestin is applied immediately after scaling and root planing, procedures designed to agitate stubborn bacteria hiding inside infected gum pockets. This maximizes Arestin’s bacteria-destroying potential, which is considerable. Research shows that adding Arestin to scaling and root planing is more effective than scaling and root planing alone.
Many oral health problems, including periodontitis and cavities, can be prevented with consistent oral hygiene. Most of us know that brushing twice a day is important, but it’s also important how you brush. We recommend using light pressure and brushing with circular motions. Brush the front of your teeth this way and then use the same technique to brush the back surfaces of the teeth. To get between your teeth, flip the brush and use it vertically in a back and forth motion. While brushing, don’t forget the gums.
Flossing is also important to get right. To do it right, hold the floss between the thumb and forefinger in each hand. Insert the floss between the teeth and curve it into a C shape while pressing it against the side of one tooth. Move the floss up and down to clean out any plaque and do the same with the other tooth. Repeat this process between each tooth.
We Focus On Your Family’s Dental Health
Good oral health is an important part of whole-body health. Strong oral health supports your immune system, reduces cardiovascular risks, and can reduce the severity of chronic conditions like diabetes. There’s also an aesthetic quality to good dental health that people value as well.
There are plenty of reasons to invest in your oral health, and Meyerland Family Dentistry is ready to guide you on your path to dental health excellence.