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Unfriendly foods for those with braces

Having a mouth full of wire, springs and rubber is no fun for anyone but often necessary to iron out any problematic teeth. Other appliances inside your mouth can attract plaque and food so proper care of your teeth by flossing and brushing several times a day is more important than ever before. Our dental experts can show you how to best care for your teeth while they are being repositioned. In the meantime, there are some things you can do to avoid build up. Most food can still be eaten if you cut them into small enough pieces allowing for easier chewing. Some foods can break or loosen your braces and these should be avoided:
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Eating breakfast to prevent cavities

It’s no joke that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, not just for your waist line but for your family’s dental health as well. Kids between the age of two and five who skip breakfast are nearly four times as likely to suffer with cavities one study has found. Kids who don’t eat the government recommended five servings of vegetables a day are also at risk threefold. The study found that even though breakfast for most children means sugary cereal, they will pour vitamin-rich milk over it. By eating something in the morning, they will also eat less sugary snacks throughout the day. [Read more…]

Developmental milestones: your kids teeth

Below is an idea of when you should see what teeth in your children, but don’t forget, every child is different and eruption times vary from child to child. The two, central bottom teeth are usually the first to erupt – the central incisors – around six months old. Next, the top four front teeth will emerge. Following that, other teeth begin to fill in, often in pairs until all 20 teeth (10 upper and 10 lower) are out. The full set is usually in place between two and a half and three years of age, but could take up to age six or seven. Between ages six and 12, children will begin losing their teeth to make way for their adult teeth. Girls generally precede boys in tooth eruption and a good rule of thumb is that for every six months of life, four teeth will erupt. Lower teeth usually appear first, and these first teeth – or primary teeth – are often smaller and whiter than the teeth that will follow. Taking care of these primary teeth sets a precedent for your child’s oral hygiene for the rest of their lives, and infection and cavities early on can cause damage further down the road. Summit is home to Houston’s leading pediatric dentists, so visit one of our offices today no matter how many teeth your child has. [Read more…]

Dental tools explained

It’s no secret that we often avoid the dentist’s chair due to the instruments and noises they make when we are there. That shrill drilling noise can often make any anxiety we’re having worse. Here’s a list of some of the common tools used during an examination and why there’s really nothing to worry about.  Let us introduce these dental tools to you:
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Pacemakers and your teeth

Be sure to let our dentists know if you have an implantable cardiac device, like a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator. As part of your regularly schedule visit, our dentists may use advanced technology such as scalers or instrument cleaning systems that might interfere with how these implants operate. Implantable devices use electric impulses to help the heart maintain its proper rhythm. Ultrasonic devices might create an electromagnetic interference which could cause the pacemaker or defibrillator to malfunction, resulting in an irregular heartbeat. Keeping our dentists informed of any life-changing events and any general health issues you might be going through will help ensure that you get the best care possible from all of your health care providers. [Read more…]

Are bad teeth hereditary?

If you have crooked, misaligned, missing, or oddly shaped teeth, you can likely thank your family for that. But bad breath, cavities and bleeding gums are simply a result of poor habits. Achieving a winning smile means daily flossing and brushing what you have. But in some cases, people are born without certain teeth  – called hypodontia or oligodontia  – and others have congenitally missing teeth such as wisdom teeth.  Genetic mutations can cause both of these conditions. However, discolored teeth, bad breath or gum disease is usually caused by environmental factors such as smoking and bad oral hygiene. We are Houston’s leading experts on fixing these problems, whether they be genetic or a result of bad choices. Not only can we do fillings but we are also experts in prosthetics too, offering complete dentures, crowns and other implants. [Read more…]

Clean teeth, healthy gums…what about your tongue?

Cleaning your tongue can be just as important in the fight against bad breath and good oral hygiene but using the correct tools is equally important. It can be uncomfortable though and some people complain about the “gag” reflex. Extend your tongue as far as it will go out of your mouth before brushing.  While bristles on a toothbrush will remove bacteria stuck to the surface of the teeth and the top layer of bacteria on the tongue, it won’t get everything. Since your tongue is soft and the surface uneven, it may not reach all the way into those indentations, and could actually cause more harm. The tongue should be cleaned regularly as part of your oral hygiene routine along with flossing, but should not replace good teeth brushing. Brushing or scraping your tongue will also keep you healthy, by preventing bacteria from entering the body or going out of the body in the form of sneezing or coughing. [Read more…]

Keeping dental care affordable

At Summit, we are committed to making sure your family can afford the dental care you need. In 2008, 4.6 million kids didn’t see a dentist because their family couldn’t afford the visit. We have a variety of payment options and accept most major insurance plans as well as government assisted programs.  Still, you may be wondering why good dental health can cost so much. To begin with, the cost of running a modern dental practice is huge. Office space, payroll, supplies, not to mention the technology and equipment needed all add to the bottom line. Additionally, labs that make crowns for instance, differ in the quality of the products they use, and so most dentists chose to go with a higher-quality lab to avoid re-dos. Some even invest in the technology to do the crowns themselves, also adding to the overall cost of running a practice. Our dentists are some Houston’s best, but affordability remains one of guarantees. By visiting us twice a year for check ups, we can catch any problems early and fix them quickly and for less. Find your local Summit office today. [Read more…]

Sure fire ways to ruin your teeth

Using them as tools: chomping ice or hard candy or using your teeth to break open bags or bottles can crack or break your teeth. Scissors would do a much better job and potentially less damage. Grinding your teeth: this also includes clenching your teeth together when under stress or lifting something heavy, but most do it unknowingly in their sleep. Grinding your teeth wares away at the enamel, which can lead to decay. Drinking too much red wine, juice or sports drinks: too much sugar and acid can wear away at the enamel. Aside from cutting back, use a straw to minimize the damage. Whitening too often: chronic whitening and not following instructions correctly can lead to gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. [Read more…]

Dental health during cancer treatment

Sadly, 107,000 Texans will be diagnosed with cancer this year. The Summit Dental team should be a key component of treatment as it can often have side effects which affect all parts of the body, including the mouth and teeth. Just like with any other life-changing event let us know if you have been diagnosed with cancer as we may be able to help. Beginning treatment with a healthy mouth can limit such side effects, according to the American Dental Association. During treatment, the immune system is often weaker which is why having a check up and all necessary work before the treatment begins is so important. Painful sores may develop as a result of cancer treatment which can interfere with eating and speaking. Dry mouth is another common symptom reported by cancer patients which can lead to more cavities and your dentist may prescribe artificial saliva. Fluoride trays could be prescribed as fluoride helps strengthen and protect the teeth. [Read more…]