Here at Antoine Dental Center, our dentists and staff come to work every day with a common goal: to provide you with a beautiful smile that lasts. A beautiful smile is often a healthy smile, so we’re proud to focus on dental care that can give you both.
Have you heard of the phrase “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” This can apply to many areas of life, including your oral health. Prevention is one of the best ways to keep your mouth healthy, so today we want to take a look at a few areas that can help you prevent tooth decay and oral disease. You might be surprised at a few things you can do to keep your smile healthy and disease at bay!
Did you know that both kids and adults get cavities? Almost all adults have had at least one cavity, and many of these were acquired during their childhood. Kids typically don’t brush their teeth as well as adults, so that can help contribute to their tooth decay. They also snack more throughout the day, and a lot of those snacks are sugary foods like fruit snacks and sugary drinks, like fruit drinks, lemonade, and soda.
Of course, you may eat some of these foods now. We aren’t asking that you give them up, but limiting them and being sure to brush afterwards will help keep decay from making its home in your mouth. As you age, decay can become a problem in old fillings that are failing. This leaves openings for bacteria to fester.
Gum disease is also a big concern for adults – about half of adults will have it to some degree. And most won’t know. Sugary foods and beverages can create the plaque buildup that leads to gum disease.
Start small by replacing one sugary snack with a healthy, tooth-friendly snack like cheese or yogurt. These provide you with calcium, which actually restores the minerals your teeth need to stay strong. Consider replacing your soda with milk, which also strengthens your teeth, or fluoride-containing water, which prevents oral health problems and physically removes food debris.
Are you drinking 6 8-oz. glasses of water a day to prevent decay? Water that contains fluoride has been proven to prevent cavities, so this is a simple, inexpensive way to stay healthy! Some cities add this natural mineral to their water, while others have it naturally occurring in lower levels. If you aren’t getting enough in your tap water, look for bottled water that contains fluoride.
Your toothpaste is another good source of fluoride. Toothpaste contains ingredients that physically remove plaque from your teeth, like baking soda. But toothpaste with fluoride provides even greater cavity protection. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is key to a beautiful smile that lasts.
If we notice at your cleaning that your teeth are prone to cavities, we may recommend a fluoride rinse for you to use at home. We may also give you a concentrated fluoride treatment here in the office.
Keeping your teeth brushed with fluoride is important, but so is flossing. This often ignored oral habit gets in hard-to-reach places that your toothbrush can’t, like your back teeth or in between crowded teeth.
Even with the best, most thorough flossing and brushing you could possibly do, you should still come in to your Houston preventative dental office for professional cleanings. Dr. Nazari, one of our other skilled dentists, and our hygienists have special tools and equipment that can get hardened plaque, or tartar, off your teeth. We can also check your mouth for problems that you won’t notice.
Our Antoine Dental Center dentists care so much about making sure you get preventative cleanings that we offer special discounts for them. Our preferred customer dental plan gives you special prices on your regular preventative cleanings, exams, and much, much more!
Do you have questions about how you can get a beautiful smile that lasts? Contact us today at 713-497-1499 or use our online form for questions or to request an appointment. We will be happy to hear from you.
If you’re afraid it’s too late for you to get a smile that lasts, we can still help! Ask us about restorations that can transform your smile back to its natural beauty.
It’s time again for some healthful and helpful information from the office of Antoine Dental Center. We enjoy reaching out to the good people of Houston and providing you with ideas and information that will help you maintain your oral health. Nothing is more valuable in the fight against tooth decay and gum disease than knowledge, and that is what this blog is all about.
Having knowledge about how your teeth work and how they are built will help you to protect them better. Understanding how your body works, the individual systems, as well as the whole, is a vital aspect of healthy living. That is why this blog is going to focus on the functions and parts of your teeth.
The Anatomy of a Tooth
Each tooth is comprised of two main parts: the crown, which is the top of the tooth visible above the gumline, and the root, which anchors your tooth into your jaw below the gumline.
Enamel – The hard outer layer that covers the crown of your tooth in the enamel, and it is the strongest substance in your whole body. However, if you do not practice preventive care with strong oral hygiene routines, your enamel will suffer. As hard as it is, your enamel can be eroded by acid. The bacteria known as dental caries turns sugar into acid, and many of the foods and beverages you consume contain acid. So if you are not making wise eating choices, tooth decay may damage your enamel, making its way through the rest of your tooth.
Dentin – Not quite as hard as enamel, but harder than bone, dentin is the next layer of your tooth. Even though it is hard, it is also porous, which means if the dentin becomes exposed, as the result of injury or tooth decay, air and liquid can get to the nerves at the center of your tooth, causing pain and discomfort.
Pulp – At the center of your tooth is the soft, fleshy material known as pulp. This part of your tooth contains tiny nerves and blood vessels, so if decay makes it all the way to the pulp, it will be painful and could cost you the tooth. It is almost certain that you will require a root canal in such a situation.
Cementum – The root of your tooth is not protected by enamel or dentin. Instead, it is covered by a thin layer of yellow material similar to bone. This material is called cementum, and rather than protect your tooth from outside threats, it is designed to hold your tooth in place. Your cementum is covered with a layer of gum tissues, which further secures your tooth in place.
The Types of Teeth and Their Function
Incisor – These eight teeth are your front teeth, top and bottom. They are most prominent when you talk or smile. Their function is to bite and cut your food, but they they are also very important to speech.
Cuspid – Also known as canines, these four teeth hold your food in place as you bite. They are also fairly visible when you talk and and smile, so they also serve a valuable cosmetic function.
Premolar – These eight teeth are your transition from front teeth to back teeth. They are sometime visible when smiling, so they are important cosmetically, but their main function is to grind and smash food when you chew.
Molar – These are your back teeth. They are also used for grinding and smashing food, and they are seldom visible, so they are not generally a part of your beautiful smile.
Tooth Replacement in Houston, TX
Each tooth has a specific function, and if the tooth is lost to decay, then that function is compromised. Not only will missing teeth affect your smile, they will also make chewing more difficult and weaken your oral health.
At Antoine Dental Center we provide a variety of tooth replacement solutions. Replacing missing teeth will restore your smile, strengthen your chewing power, and help protect your remaining teeth from further decay.
Let Us Help
Don’t let missing teeth threaten our health and lifestyle. Part of enjoying life is having the freedom to eat your favorite foods and to show off a beautiful smile. Antoine Dental Center can help you do just that.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Welcome, Houston! Antoine Dental Center is back again with a blog entry to help you keep your mouth and body healthy. Tooth decay and gum disease are a threat to your overall health, not just your oral health. And the best way to treat any health problem is to prevent it from ever happening. That’s why we are going to focus on the power of preventive care and the importance of fluoride.
Fluoride has been proven to be a valuable ally in the struggle against tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth decay can only happen when your tooth enamel loses important minerals.
Fluoride aids your body in using calcium and phosphate to replace those minerals in a process called “remineralization”. Fluoride is so fundamental to this process that people who are lacking fluoride commonly suffer from tooth decay.
In one of our earlier blogs, we wrote about the current rise in tooth decay as a result of bottled water that does not contain fluoride. Americans more or less depend on the fluoride from public water sources to keep combat cavities, and without it you are much more likely to suffer the ravages of tooth decay. If you would rather not get fluoride from your water source, for whatever reason, then you need to make sure you are getting it elsewhere.
The Power of Fluoride
There is a bacteria called dental caries that resides in your mouth, and when you eat sugar, this bacteria converts it into acid. This acid will eat away at your enamel, demineralizing it, thus causing tooth decay. Luckily, fluoride is particularly good at stopping, or at least significantly slowing this process.
Fluoride will form a thin barrier over your teeth that will slow the dental caries ability to convert sugar to acid. This will give your mouth enough time to produce saliva, which will neutralize the acid and then wash away the sugar and any food debris that would continue to feed the dental caries.
Not only will fluoride stop decay from occurring, it will also help repair your enamel. The process of remineralization, which we mentioned above, repairs the damage your enamel sustains from dental caries and acid. Fluoride helps your body to process calcium, so it can be used to fortify and strengthen your enamel, effectively stopping, and in some cases reversing, the effects of tooth decay.
Ingesting fluoride helps to develop strong enamel when your teeth are coming in that is why it is important for children to get plenty of fluoride. Having stronger more effective enamel will make them less likely to get tooth decay later in life.
Fluoride and Preventive Care
Aside from fluoridated water, which has been standard practice in this country since the 1950s, there are several ways to get the fluoride you need to protect your teeth.
Toothpaste and Mouthwash – The only value these dental care products add to your preventive care routine, aside from fresh smelling breath, is their fluoride content. Brushing your teeth and using mouthwash are probably your most common oral hygiene activities, so it is incredibly import that you make sure your dental care materials contain fluoride. Otherwise, they aren’t doing much to help you prevent tooth decay.
Fluoride treatments – One way to make sure your enamel is getting enough exposure to fluoride to get a fluoride treatment from Antoine Dental Center the next time you come in for a cleaning. A fluorides treatment will put concentrated fluoride directly on your teeth, strengthening your teeth, so you will be far less likely to experience tooth decay.
Visit Our Office in Houston, TX
Preventive care, like fluoride treatments and professional cleanings, is something we like to focus on at Antoine Dental Center. If you can stop problems before they arise, your oral health will be a boon rather than a burden. Be sure to make regular visits to our office for checkups that will keep your teeth healthy and strong.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
When orthodontic work is required but major bite corrections are not, patients may want to consider short-term orthodontics. These types of braces offer permanent improvements to the positions of teeth that are only slightly misaligned rather than severely crooked. Here are some of the most popular options in this category.
Invisalign Express uses the same types of aligners that Invisalign Full and Invisalign Teen use. The aligners are clear, plastic, and comfortable, as well as nearly invisible when worn. However, unlike its full-term counterparts, Express uses only a small number of aligners to make minor bite corrections in a few months. Depending on the patient, Express typically takes three to six months, but can last up to nine months if extensions are necessary.
Six-Month Smiles are metal braces that take just a half-year to improve the bite. Like other metal braces, this treatment uses brackets bonded to the teeth and wires that are threaded through those brackets. Because this treatment is designed to adjust the positions of front teeth, it is often recommended for patients who are focused on a better-looking smile. When patients need more extensive bite correction or need rear teeth moved, our dentist may recommend another type of braces.
Orthodontic treatment is available for patients with all levels of bite irregularities, including minimal needs. Short-term braces can offer a major savings of time and money in these cases. At a consultation with our orthodontist, patients can learn more about short-term braces at our office.
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We often hear about how important at home and professional dental care can be to achieve and maintain optimal oral health, but what about what we consume? Here are various foods you can consume daily to clean your teeth and improve your dental health naturally.
When it comes to eating celery, most people tend to complain about the pesky “strings” found in it. But did you know those strings can act as a natural dental floss? The crunchiness of the celery is also good for naturally scraping away leftover particles and bacteria in the mouth. Can’t brush your teeth after lunch at work? Pack a few pieces of celery!
Almonds are another naturally abrasive and crunchy food that can be great for cleaning debris and bacteria from your teeth. Almonds are also a great source of calcium and protein which are essential for optimal oral health. Looking for a healthy snack? Pack ¼ cup of almonds to bring along with you!
We’ve all heard how an apple a day can keep the doctor away, but did you know they can also naturally clean your teeth? The fibrous texture of apples helps remove debris, particles, and bacteria from the mouth and can also product saliva to wash it away. Pack a few slices in everyone’s lunches for a natural way to scrub their teeth after lunch.
Much like celery and apples, carrots are crunchy and extremely fibrous making them an excellent snack to naturally clean teeth. Eating carrots can also increase saliva production in the mouth, assisting in washing down particles and bacteria and reducing your risk of cavity formation.
Yogurt has been back in the spotlight quite a bit lately due to its numerous “health benefits” courtesy of probiotics (a beneficial kind of bacteria), calcium and protein. Protein and calcium are essential for optimal health, and the probiotics found in yogurt can actually reduce the “bad” cavity-forming bacteria in your mouth. We recommend selecting a no sugar added option to ensure it is as healthy as it can be.
While water is not a “food,” it is necessary for our oral and overall health. Water is a sugar-free, calorie-free option that can help remove debris, particles, and bacteria from the mouth. We recommend drinking a glass after each meal (including snacks) to reduce your risk of decay and naturally clean your smile.
Just hearing the words “root canal” can cause pain. Typically, the root canal is thought to be the absolute worst dental procedure you can ever hope to avoid. But what happens when your root canal fails? And what does that even mean?
Believe it or not, however rare, root canals can fail. When this happens, it’s time for endodontic retreatment.
What Causes a Root Canal to Fail?
A root canal can fail anywhere from months to years after the original procedure is done. Here are some of the common causes of a root canal failure:
- Too much saliva in the procedure area
- Possibly some of the infection was missed
- There was a long delay in placing the dental crown
- A crack in the crown or tooth allows a new infection to enter the tooth
When it comes down to it, the root canal fails in one of three ways: the dentist made a mistake during the procedure and failed to remove all of the infection, something prevented the tooth from healing properly, or the tooth has become infected again because something caused it to become unprotected.
What is Endodontic Retreatment?
Endodontic retreatment is your only hope to save the tooth if retreatment is an option at all. You can recognize a failed root canal by new pain or a visible crack in the tooth or crown.
The endodontic retreatment goes like this:
1. The tooth is reopened and cleaned
2. Your dentist will carefully look for roots in the tooth that are infected again or were overlooked the first time
3. The infection will be removed
4. A temporary filling is placed in your tooth
5. A new crown is fitted over your tooth to protect it
For anyone who is missing a tooth or even missing multiple teeth, dental implant surgery is a great alternative to outdated dentures or bridgework. Dental implants offer a long-lasting alternative that can drastically improve your smile as well as improve daily activities like chewing.
Some patients don’t consider dental implants because they incorrectly view it as a complex and painful procedure, but it is relatively straightforward and has many benefits. A dental implant is the next best thing to a natural tooth and can help to prevent bone damage that dentures or bridgework may cause. Dental implants are the closest thing you can get to real teeth and mimic the natural relationship of a tooth to the jawbone through a titanium post fused to the jawbone.
Prime candidates usually have damaged or missing teeth but still maintain good oral health. An implant is not a cure for all ailments and requires proper oral care. Through x-rays and physical examinations, your dentist will be able to plan the location of the implant.
After the patient is sedated and under anesthesia, an incision is made in the gum in order to expose the jawbone underneath. A small pilot hole is made in the jaw, and once the position is verified, the hole is made larger little by little until the titanium post of the implant is inserted into the jawbone. The incision is closed, and a process called osseointegration is allowed to occur over the next several months. During that healing time, the implant will fuse to the jawbone and mimic the natural relationship between a tooth and the jawbone.
Caring for implants is similar to caring for your other teeth. Be sure to brush and floss consistently, and your dental implants should last at least 10 years.
Some things that we will be discussing may be very loosely defined as “emergencies.” However, some of these things really are an emergency and must be addressed right away, or serious troubles can be developed.
Cut, or Bitten Lip, Tongue, or Cheek
This is one of those things that maybe our children will think is a serious emergency, but when it comes to their overall health, is something that can be dealt with quickly and will heal very soon. However, at the moment, it may very well feel like an emergency to everyone involved.
If you or your child have a cut lip, tongue, or cheek and it is bleeding, it can become serious depending on the severity. Apply pressure with a clean cloth or gauze. You should also apply ice to any bruised area. If the bleeding cannot be controlled within about 20 minutes using simple pressure, then the case may very well be serious, and you should seek medical attention promptly.
Knocked out, or Broken Permanent Tooth
This situation is not life-threatening, but when it comes to the future of your smile, it is indeed an emergency, and prompt action must be taken. You may wash the tooth, but do not handle it unnecessarily and do not handle it by the root portion. Try to put the tooth back into place and hold it there using a clean cloth or gauze. If it is not possible to put the tooth back into place, then you can carry it in a jar of milk or water. You must see the dentist right away; a tooth can still be saved if you rush to the dentist sooner rather than later.
If the tooth is chipped or broken, rinse any dirt off of the broken fragments and apply a cold compress to the injured area. Time is of the essence in this situation as well. Hurrying to the dentist can mean saving your tooth.
Everyone wants the best-looking smile. One of the things that contribute to a great smile is the color of your teeth. Most people strive for the whitest shade possible. There are many products available today that promise to whiten and brighten your teeth. Which one should you choose?
Teeth Whitening Strips
Teeth whitening strips are also a good alternative if you do not want to go to a dentist or do not have a dental provider. You can find strips at most grocery or convenience stores. These strips come in different shades of white and different processing times. These strips can be a one-time use or used several times.
Toothpaste & Powders
Toothpaste or powders that promise many shades after one-time use are false. It is a process that takes time to progress to the shade you want. Most people are promised great results with these simple products are very disappointed. It is important to whiten teeth in sessions or slowly to prevent sensitivities or breakdown of enamel.
For dramatic results, baking soda whitening does not work. Baking soda does a great job of cleaning surfaces and breaking down build-up on teeth. This may give the illusion of whiter teeth, however, does not actually work as great for people with very stained teeth or those looking for a dramatic difference.
Peroxide washes are similar to baking soda whitening. They are helpful, but they do not give most people the desired dramatic results you would hope for. The uncomfortable taste is not helpful or worth the whitening that one expects.
The fastest way to whiten your teeth is by going to a professional dentist and getting your teeth whitened using their technology. Going to a dentist can guarantee that you can communicate the level of teeth whitening you want. This method is recommended and is trusted by many, as there are people trained to perform this procedure.
Getting a dental crown can help restore the aesthetic beauty, strength, and functionality of an impaired tooth. Crowns have been around for decades in various forms such as wood or gold, but the ones that are placed today are made of durable porcelain or composite resin, so they better resemble natural teeth.
Getting a Dental Crown
Dental crowns, or a tooth cap, can repair your smile both cosmetically and restoratively. For restoration, a crown will bring back strength to a tooth weakened by decay, damage or root canal therapy. A severely cracked or broken tooth cannot be repaired with a traditional filling. There is often not enough healthy enamel left to place a filling, and the material is not as strong as a crown. In this situation, a dental crown can be crafted to fill in the missing structure and add strength.
Lost Tooth or Teeth
Tooth extraction is always the last resort. A healthy jaw requires teeth for stability and structure. A lost tooth or teeth leave space in the mouth and a gap in the jaw bone where roots are missing. The empty bone eventually deteriorates when it is not supporting a tooth root. A dental crown will usually cover the root or cap a tooth that has been treated with root canal therapy, to encourage the bone to thrive.
Tooth crowns are also placed over dental implant posts. The crown is the visible prosthetic that serves as a replacement tooth. Here, a dental crown supports both the bone and surrounding teeth.
Caps for Cosmetic Repair
In cosmetic dentistry, tooth caps are used to restore beautiful smiles, Broken, misshapen, badly discolored, cracked, or chipped teeth can be enhanced with dental crowns. Cosmetic crowns are most commonly used for the following purposes:
- Repairing a damaged tooth
- Covering enamel loss resulting from bruxism
- Masking tooth discoloration that cannot be corrected with teeth bleaching
- Reinforcing a weakened tooth after root canal treatment
- Protecting and strengthening a severely decayed tooth repaired with a large filling
- Halting the further spread of decay
- Fixing a tooth that cannot withstand composite bonding
Dental Crown Procedure
The application procedure is completed in two in-house visits. During the initial stage, the tooth is prepared for placement of the crown. The affected tooth is cleaned and reshaped under local anesthesia. A 3-D image is created of the tooth using CEREC equipment. This is how the final crown is made. Once the milling process is finished, the cap is fixed in place and polished.
At Antoine Dental Center, tooth crowns are not reserved only for royalty. All of our patients can receive tooth repair fit for a king, using state-of-the-art CEREC technology. In one visit we can create durable and attractive dental crowns that restore the strength, health, and stability of imperfect teeth.