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Cypress, TX 77433

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Food Friends and Foes for Your Teeth

Cypress dentalMaintaining good dental health throughout your lifetime takes diligence … brushing and flossing every day coupled with visiting your dentist every six months for cleaning and exam are two very important aspects for keeping teeth and gums in great shape. What you eat and drink also play a very large role in dental health.

Food Friends 

A healthy daily diet should be comprised of vegetables, fruits, dairy, protein, and healthy grains. These food categories allow you to eat a huge variety of foods … fresh fruits and vegetables are available in most areas year round. But if you can’t get fresh during the off season, frozen foods offer a healthy, tasty, and convenient alternative.

Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese (to name a few) are ideal; just be sure to read food labels for sugar content as some brands are very high in sugar.

Protein from meat, fish, and nuts are primary sources. But consider beans and lentils, which are important to anyone on a meatless diet. Of course, vegetables and dairy also contain protein. It is important to consume protein packed foods to maintain energy and for immune support.

Healthy grains like whole wheat, brown rice, and quinoa provide a great base. And for snacking, popcorn (homemade – not microwave or prepackaged) is a great source.

The healthiest beverage you can and should drink is water. Infuse it with fruit for variety or you can add a sugar free flavoring.

Food Foes 

The occasional sugary snack should be consumed on a very limited basis. Treats like cookies, candy, cake, ice cream, doughnuts … the list is endless … should be saved for special occasions and are not intended to be eaten on a daily basis.

Beverages like soda (both regular and diet) can eat away at the protective enamel on your teeth. If you are going to drink soda, consume it with a meal; do not sip on soda throughout the day; and use a straw to allow much of the beverage to bypass teeth.

Sugar laden beverages take up a whole aisle at the grocery store; and none of these drinks can do for you what water can.

Teeth help us speak, chew, and smile with confidence. A proper diet can help you keep teeth and gums healthy. For additional tips or if it’s time to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning, contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan today.

3 Reasons People Miss Dental Appointments and Why You Shouldn’t

Cypress TX dentalThe standard protocol for seeing the dentist is to visit every six months (or as recommended) for a dental cleaning and exam. On average, each appointment is about an hour. Two hours out of an entire year is a small commitment to help ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy. However, unless experiencing a dental problem, many patients will put off that twice yearly appointment because:

1. I’m Too Busy

Work, school, taking care of family … the demands in life can feel overwhelming at times. Putting off what you perceive as inconsequential can lead to problems that may have been avoided if you found the time to keep twice yearly dental visits.

2. I’m Afraid of the Dentist

Fear and apprehension affect many people; for some the anxiety of a dental visit is so severe they just can’t make themselves keep an appointment for even a cleaning. However, there are aids your dentist can offer to help with that fear and anxiety. Nitrous oxide can give you a feeling of mild euphoria that takes the edge off your nervousness. More severe cases may be treated with oral sedation.

3. I Brush and Floss Every Day

Some people believe that a great daily oral hygiene regimen is sufficient. However, plaque that is allowed to form and grow on teeth leads to the potential for dental decay or the onset of gum disease. Plaque forms when bacteria already present on teeth attract more germs from the food and beverages we consume. Once plaque hardens on teeth, only your dentist can remove it.

Missed dental appointments can result in problems that consume more time and money than keeping regularly scheduled dental visits.

Patients suffering from anxiety or that may be faced with the inability to sit or recline for extended periods may benefit from oral sedation. Oral sedation involves taking a mild sedative at home about an hour before your appointment. Transportation to and from your dental visit is required. Your dentist will administer additional sedation, if needed, upon arrival for your appointment. The patient is monitored for their safety and comfort; once treatment is completed the patient is advised to return home to rest for the remainder of the day.

Maintaining great oral health supports overall health; brush and floss daily, don’t smoke, and visit the office of Dr. Lori Logan for teeth cleaning and exam as recommended.

 

 

 

4 Fun Teeth Facts

Cypress TX dentalOral anatomy, like many other parts of the body, is quite fascinating. Every tooth is unique and no two are the same. Historically, people have tried to care for their dental health for thousands of years. Fortunately, modern oral healthcare is effective and widely accessible. Our dentist provides comprehensive general and restorative care to people in our community.

Baby Teeth Form In-Utero

Did you know that when a child is born, his or her deciduous teeth are already underneath the gums? It’s true. The crowns of baby teeth form while a child is in the womb. As a baby grows, their teeth will slowly come through the gums one at a time.

Adult Teeth Form Before Baby Teeth Fall Out

Did you know that adult teeth begin to form while baby teeth are still intact? They begin to form beneath the gums and will eventually push out baby teeth. Permanent teeth are precious and when cared for properly with proper oral hygiene and regular visits to a dentist, they can last for a lifetime.

Teeth Have Stem Cells

If you watch the news, you have probably heard about stem cells and their potential for regenerating damaged and diseased tissue throughout the body. While the full medical benefits of stem cells are unknown, it is interesting to note that teeth have stem cells, too. In fact, some people choose to harvest and store their dental stem cells for future use. There exist companies who cryogenically preserve harvested stem cells.

Oral Hygiene Was an Ancient Practice

Did you know that people have used various methods to clean their teeth for thousands of years? While their teeth-cleaning methods weren’t nearly as effective as today’s oral hygiene practices, ancient people understood the need to try to clean their teeth. Common ancient oral hygiene methods included using twigs with frayed edges as rudimentary brushes and cleansing pastes made from crushed bone or seashells.

If it’s time for a checkup or cleaning, give our practice a call today to reserve an appointment.

Can dry mouth lead to cavities?

Cypress TX dental

When you fail to produce sufficient saliva, you are suffering from xerostomia (dry mouth). We need saliva to act as a natural rinse to wash away food particles, assist in digestion, allow us to taste foods, speak clearly, and very importantly to help prevent decay by neutralizing the acids from bacteria that grows on teeth from the foods and beverages we consume.

Since dry mouth can lead to cavities as well as other uncomfortable and problematic conditions, it is important to discover what you can do to relieve dry mouth. Of course, the solution may be dictated by whatever is causing the problem.

If you are taking a decongestant for sinus or allergy symptoms, one of the side effects can be dryness. Unless these drugs are needed frequently, you may find relief by chewing sugar free gum or sucking on sugar free candy to increase saliva production.

Illness and treatments that affect the salivary glands are often permanent; a saliva substitute might provide relief. Medications needed for the long term that result in a dry mouth may be able to be changed to an alternative product that doesn’t produce this particular side effect.

Dehydration from a fever, exercise, or spending time in a hot climate can lead to dryness … drinking lots of fluids is usually the best solution (water is ideal).

Identifying whether or not your dry mouth is temporary or chronic may require some trial and error by making changes to your lifestyle or medications. For example, smokers with a dry mouth may find that eliminating tobacco may relieve mouth dryness.

To maintain your oral health it is important to brush twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste, floss every day, use a fluoridated oral rinse if recommended by your dental provider and see your dentist every six months for cleaning, polishing, and a dental exam.

Contact our office today to get more information!

The Effects of Tobacco and Nicotine On Your Dental Health

Cypress TX dentalWe all know that tobacco use is bad for our health. However, many people forget that smoking cigarettes and cigars or chewing tobacco is destructive to our dental health as well. Tobacco and nicotine affect the entire oral health system, by  increasing risks for infections like gum disease and potentially deadly conditions such as oral cancer. Abstaining from tobacco use is advantageous to your overall wellbeing and dental health. If you do use tobacco or nicotine of any kind, bring this up with our dentist at your next appointment. This way, we can consider your lifestyle habits when we perform oral checkups and dental cleanings.

Tobacco and Your Gums

Tobacco products contain very inflammatory and irritating ingredients. For instance, cigarettes have hundreds of chemicals and carcinogens mixed in their formulas. The irritating nature of smoke and byproducts from smokeless tobacco can negatively affect soft oral tissues—especially the gums. Tobacco products contribute to gum disease by inflaming the gingiva. Inflamed gingiva is more prone to becoming diseased. Moreover, gums recede from teeth when inflamed. Gum recession exposes the roots of teeth to debris and bacteria that contribute to dental caries.

Gum Disease and Your Dental Health

Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the most common and severe threats to oral health. Those who smoke or chew tobacco have an increased risk for developing periodontal disease. Gum disease is the most common culprit behind tooth loss. This is because this condition destroys the gums and bone, and both of these structures support teeth. Lastly, periodontal disease involves a serious oral infection that can enter the bloodstream. Recent studies have shown that gum disease might contribute to cardiovascular problems, stroke, and impaired immunity.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is serious health condition. Since tobacco products contain carcinogens, those who use tobacco increase their risks for developing malignancies in the oral cavity. Since early detection is important for protecting one’s health, we recommend that patients have annual oral cancer screenings.

Call us today to schedule an appointment with our dentist!

5 Reasons You Can’t Afford to Neglect Your Oral Health

Cypress TX dentalGreat oral health requires vigilant care: daily brushing with a fluoridated tooth paste, flossing to remove debris your toothbrush did not reach and visits with the dentist every six months for cleaning and a dental exam. Skip any of these steps and you are putting healthy teeth and gums at risk.

Maintaining good dental health starts in infancy. Of course, you must rely on your caregivers in the early years. As you age, you will learn how neglecting your oral health impacts more than just your smile (although that is important for self-confidence and emotional well-being).

Things that can contribute to poor overall health include: tobacco use in any form, overuse of sugary snacks and beverages, neglect, illicit drugs and excessive alcohol consumption, dehydration, sleep/rest deprivation and lack of sufficient body movement.

Possible negative results to poor oral health include:

Cavities – Decay prevention is possible. Your dentist can offer dental sealants to teeth unaffected by decay that can protect the chewing surfaces where decay often begins. Fluoride treatments are available to strengthen dental enamel.

Gingivitis – This is the early stage of gum disease. Symptoms include bleeding or swollen gum tissue, chronic bad breath, one or more teeth feeling loose, or teeth appearing to separate from the gums. If not treated, this condition can progress to periodontitis with the possible result of tooth loss. Early intervention is important.

Lost teeth – An accident or traumatic event can mean losing one or more teeth. But if that should occur, replacing those teeth with some type of dental prosthesis is important. Tooth loss should never be considered a natural part of the aging process. Speech patterns, appearance, and the ability to eat the foods you love are jeopardized when teeth are missing.

Crooked teeth – We aren’t all blessed with straight teeth, but crooked teeth affect more than appearance.  Failure to correct a malocclusion can leave many areas susceptible to decay and/or gum disease due to the inability to keep plaque build-up controlled.

Overall good health – Scientific research continues to point out the correlations between heart health/diseases of the immune system and the condition of our oral health. Neglect and lifestyle play a huge role here.

Great oral health requires regular daily care but the rewards are certainly worth it. Contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan today to get more tips!

My gums bleed when I brush: Should I be concerned?

Cypress TX dentalOne of the symptoms of the onset of gum disease is bleeding gum tissue. But if gums bleed only when provoked, it might be time to evaluate your brushing habits and the tools you are using. A visit with your dentist will determine if you need to make some brushing changes or if you are dealing with a more serious problem.

Many patients believe they need to scrub teeth to keep them as plaque free as possible. While intentions are good, scrubbing teeth with a heavy hand and hard bristle tooth brush can result in severe damage. Some of the negative results that can occur involve premature gum erosion and thinning dental enamel.

Keeping teeth clean can be done just as easily with twice daily brushing using a soft bristle brush … an even better choice would be an electronic tooth brush. They basically do all the work as you guide them around your mouth to reach all teeth. Another plus is that most come with a built-in timer that signals you when you have brushed the recommended two minutes.

If you have made changes to your daily oral hygiene regimen by lightening your touch and switching to a soft bristle brush but gums continue to bleed, it is time to consider other factors. If gum disease is present other symptoms to look for include red, swollen gums; chronic bad breath; receding gum tissue; teeth feel loose or appear to be pulling away from gums; or discomfort.

Not all teeth need to be affected to be classified as gingivitis. As few as one or two teeth can signify you require periodontal treatment. Seeing your dentist right away might prevent the onset of periodontitis, the more serious classification of gum disease.

Treatment often involves a deep cleaning where the dentist reaches well below the gum level to remove plaque that has formed. If infection is present, an antibiotic medication may be utilized. An anti-bacterial rinse may also be recommended for future use.

Going forward, the optimum treatment will involve brushing at least twice every day with a fluoridated tooth paste, flossing daily (this is important for healthy gum tissue), and seeing your dental professional at least twice yearly for cleaning and exam. Patients with a history of periodontal disease may require more frequent yearly dental visits.

If you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease, contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan. Call 281-609-7377 today to schedule a visit.

3 Long-Term Effects of Plaque Buildup

Cypress TX dentalAn appealing smile may be white, bright, and aligned, but preventing plaque buildup is essential for having a healthy smile and good overall dental health. While surprising to hear, brushing alone will not prevent the buildup of plaque on your teeth and gums. It is important to visit your dentist for professional exams and cleanings as directed to prevent plaque buildup. Using this guide on the long-term effects of plaque, you will understand the need for ongoing, professional care for your mouth, teeth, and gums.

Tooth Discoloration

The presence of bacteria inside your mouth is normal, but it can feed on leftover food in your mouth, resulting in the buildup of plaque. Over time, plaque hardens, turning in to tartar. Unfortunately, tartar is difficult to remove and very unappealing. In most cases, this heavy buildup of plaque and tartar hardens as a thick, brown residue on the surface of your teeth.

Tooth Decay

Plaque contains many acidic properties, which can eat away at your tooth enamel. This not only increases your risk of cavities, but it can also lead to dental sensitivity. If left untreated, the plaque buildup can cause your teeth to decay.

Tooth decay creates many issues for your overall oral health. Not only will you experience tooth sensitivity, but teeth may eventually become lose or tooth loss can occur. Tooth loss from decay can affect your smile’s overall look, self-esteem, ability to chew, speech, and jaw alignment.

Gum Disease

Excessive buildup of plaque can also affect the health of your gums. Damage and recession of the gum tissue can occur due to the acidic nature of plaque. This reduction in gum tissue exposes your root and nerves to air, food, and bacteria, resulting in sensitivity, discomfort, light bleeding, and infections. Also, the gums can become inflamed, leading to a form of gum disease.

Regular cleanings and dental visits are great options for preventing and removing plaque on your teeth and gums. To diagnose and treat your specific case, contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan at 281-256-6866 today.

Foods to Choose for Healthy Teeth

Cypress dentalA healthy, nutritious diet can help to support your other efforts to protect your oral health, like daily brushing and flossing and routine appointments with your dentist. Similarly, a diet heavy on sweet treats and other junk foods can damage your smile. If you want to maintain a beautiful smile, you should know which foods are best to eat and which ones are better left on the shelf.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables promotes your dental health in addition to your overall well-being. They are full of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for your teeth and gums. Calcium-rich dairy foods, like yogurt, low-fat milk and cottage cheese are also good snack options, as they contain calcium, which is important in fortifying tooth enamel.

Too much added sugar can have negative consequences for your dental health, especially when you consume candies, cakes and other similar snacks between meals. Simple carbohydrates, like sugars, provide a readily available nutritional source for the bacteria that wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. It’s important to enjoy such treats only on rare occasion.

If you do want to enjoy a dessert or sweetened beverage, do so with a meal. The increased saliva production at meal time can help to clear away bacteria. Foods with a lot of fiber can also counteract the sugars. [pullquote]A diet rich in fruits and vegetables promotes your dental health in addition to your overall well-being.[/pullquote]

Patients may also want to limit their consumption of acidic foods, especially if they have already endured a lot of wear and tear on the teeth. Foods and beverages like citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes and soda are very acidic and may contribute to tooth decay.

Be sure that you are drinking enough water each day, too. Dehydration can correspond with reduced saliva production, so getting enough H2O is essential to your oral health.

The foods you eat can have a significant impact on your oral health. If you have any concerns about foods you should or shouldn’t be eating, ask your dentist for some guidance by calling 281-256-6866 today.

Maintaining Healthy Teeth and Gums Through the Retirement Years

Cypress dental Sleeping in, not going to work every day, gardening, shopping, golfing, relaxing … these are some of the things to look forward to upon retirement. These activities will be more enjoyable if we have maintained good dental health in pre-retirement years. There are many basic things we can do to get us to those golden years with our biological teeth in place; and continuing to observe these basics will carry us through retirement with healthy teeth and gums:

Brushing: Using a soft bristle tooth brush and fluoridated tooth paste or gel, brush teeth at least twice per day (more often, if possible). Using the correct tools and proper technique is important. Brushing with a heavy hand can lead to premature gum erosion. An electronic tooth brush is a great tool in that all that is required is guidance for the brush and most come with a built-in timer that encourages the patient to brush the prescribed two minutes each time they brush.

Flossing: Dental floss comes in different applications and types … flavored, waxed, built into picks, etc. It doesn’t matter which type you use as long as you floss at least once per day. This helps control plaque build-up that contributes to dental decay and gum disease.

Dental Visits: Seeing your dentist every six months starting in early childhood is probably the most important thing we can do to maintain oral health. During these visits, teeth are thoroughly cleaned, polished and monitored for potential problems.

Following these basic rules is needed as we enter and proceed through the retirement years. In addition to actions pertaining specifically to teeth, other life habits to adopt include:

Limit sugary snacks and beverages – Sugar allowed to sit on teeth turns into plaque. Starting out as a very sticky substance, plaque turns hard in a short amount of time and then can only be removed via your dental professional. This plaque can permeate dental enamel resulting in decay.

Overall good health can be impacted by oral condition with connections being made between heart disease and various other life impacting illnesses … sufficient rest, nutritious diet, daily exercise, fluid intake … these are crucial to oral health as well as overall physical well-being.

Following these actions will provide your best chance for keeping your natural teeth healthy and looking best for your lifetime. Call 281-256-6866 to schedule an appointment with our experienced dental team today.