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Children’s Fluoride Therapy Guidelines

The use of fluoride is an important component in preventive dental health for children and adults, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends that parents and dental practitioners make the best use of fluoride treatment to help children develop and keep healthy teeth.  Using fluoride to prevent and control cavities is well studied and is safe and effective.  Fluoride helps enamel on the teeth to re-mineralize and to prevent bacteria in the mouth from living.  Fluoride is so effective and helpful that public health professionals advocate for cities like Houston to add fluoride to the water supply because it is inexpensive and effective in promoting dental health of the general public.  However, this only helps your children if they drink plenty of fluorinated water on a daily basis.  Toothpaste is another source of fluoride for your child, and you should supervise to make sure your child brushes his/her teeth at least twice per day.  In addition to fluorinated water and toothpaste there are products available in the grocery store that serve as rinses to help protect your child’s teeth.  The good news is that by having Summit Dental Center as your main dentist and dental home, we can tell you how much fluoride treatment your child needs for the best protection. [Read more…]

What is a Main Dentist, and Why Do I Care?

If you have not already received a letter in the mail regarding your children’s Medicaid dental services, be on the lookout because one is coming.  The State of Texas is changing the way your child receives his/her dental care.  Instead of simply picking a dental office at random, Texas has set up a dental managed care, and you must select one dental provider.  There are three providers:  Delta Dental, Dental Quest, and MCNA.  You must select one of the three managed care dental plans, but don’t worry.  You and your child will still receive the quality care you’ve come to expect from Summit Dental Center’s seven Houston locations.  Summit Dental Center is a provider for all three managed care organizations, so you will always have access to your favorite Summit Dental Center dentist.  Choosing a “Main Dentist” means that your family will have access to dental healthcare that is family oriented, comprehensive, and with continuity.  Having a “Main Dentist” enhances Summit Dental Center’s ability to help Medicaid children and their families in the goal for getting the best oral health care from an early age.  Your “Main Dentist” such as Summit Dental Center will also be able to provide preventive care, carefully monitor your dental health and make referrals to a well trained specialist when a pediatric or general dentist cannot address your or your child’s dental health issues.  Should you have any questions about the letter you receive or how to fill out the required forms, then please contact Summit Dental Center today and our team will be happy to help you. [Read more…]

Your Child’s Diet and Oral Health

Having a healthy diet is important for many reasons, but in terms of oral health there are two big reasons.  First, healthy food contributes to our overall health in our bones and tissues.  Second, eating unhealthy food contributes to developing dental caries (i.e., cavities).  Encouraging your child to eat foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D help to create strong bones and teeth.  Vitamin C is important for healthy gum tissue.  People who eat diets that are high in simple carbohydrates and sugar risk developing more cavities because when these foods break down they create acid that causes tooth decay.  After eating a sugary snack, parents should either help the child brush his/her teeth or insist that the child brush his/her teeth.  If it is not convenient to brush because you are away from the house, then at least encourage your child to drink water and rinse with water.  Your Summit Dental Center hygienist and dentist can answer your questions and help educate your child about the importance of a healthy diet. [Read more…]

Chronic Dental Disease and Houston Children

If you think about chronic childhood illnesses – that is illnesses that are permanent – you would think that the most common would be asthma, chronic ear infections, or allergies.  Surprisingly, the most common childhood disease is cavities (i.e. dental caries).  This fact is both good news and bad news.  The good news is that most cavities are preventable in baby teeth and permanent teeth.  The bad news is parents are not taking their children to the dentist on a regular basis to prevent and treat cavities.  Untreated dental caries can lead to a serious infection in your child that can cause a great deal of pain and other problems that make treatment after the fact harder.  There are dentists in Houston who are happy to accept Medicaid and CHIP, and Summit Dental Center and their seven locations are one of them.  We treat our patients like family members because they are a part of the Summit Dental Center Dental Home. [Read more…]

Dental Health, Your Baby and CHIP

Though programs such as Medicaid and CHIP provide children who are infants through age 21 with basic dental coverage, there are many families in the Houston area who do not take their children to the dentist for either routine cleanings or preventive dental care.  Parents should take their child to the dentist within at least six months of the time when the child’s first tooth comes in.  However, a national study shows that 66% of children between the ages of two and four years of age from families with annual income less than $10,000 did not visit their dentist in the previous year.  That is alarming not only because children are missing out on the opportunity to prevent oral diseases, but also because the government provides care for such children.  Summit Dental Center not only specializes in pediatric dentistry, but also welcomes Medicaid and CHIP patients with open arms.  Summit Dental Center’s dentists and hygienists are passionate about providing care that promotes not only dental health, but also one’s overall health.  More and more, medical research proves that having a healthy mouth, teeth and gums is linked to having good overall health.  Contact us today to set an appointment at one of seven Houston locations and to establish a relationship to create your dental home. [Read more…]

Medicaid, Dentistry and Children in Houston

The authority for dental services for people eligible for Medicaid is found in the Title 29 of the Social Security Act.  Though dental services are optional for adults on Medicaid, children (i.e., those under the age of 21) are required to have Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT).  The State of Texas Medicaid program is required to provide dental services to children according to the professional standard of dental care in order to diagnose and prevent dental problems.  Despite what many people may feel, dental services are not a luxury, but are required to promote good health and development.  At Summit Dental Center, we welcome Medicaid and CHIP patients encouraging them to come in for their routine dental exam, cleaning, and treatment where necessary.  Summit Dental Center specializes in both general dentistry and pediatric dentistry.  Your child deserves all the advantages that come with good dental health.  Contact us today to set an appointment at one of our seven Houston area locations. [Read more…]

Dental Health and Diabetes Awareness in Houston

In Houston and across the nation, the number of people with diabetes is growing at a huge rate – especially people who are developing Type 2 diabetes.  If either you or your child have diabetes and treat it with oral medication or insulin, you need care beyond checking your sugars, diet, exercise and medicine.  People with diabetes also have additional challenges with their dental health, and especially those with poorly controlled diabetes.  In diabetes, the person’s pancreas either cannot produce the cells necessary to process glucose or the pancreas is insulin resistant.  Either way, the blood sugar may be high, and that can cause problems with the health of the gums and teeth.  The good news is you can protect your gums and teeth from the effects of diabetes by going to have regular check-ups and cleanings.  Most people should have at least two dental appointments per year, but diabetics may require an additional visit to make sure their dental health remains in top notch condition.  Your Summit Dental Center experts can tell you how often you need to come in.  Many people who have diabetes do not know they have the disease, and this can be very serious.  However, there are numerous warning signs, including:  sudden weight loss; intense thirst; frequent urination; and tiredness.  November is Diabetes Awareness Month in Houston and across the nation, so do your best to control your blood sugar and take care of your teeth. [Read more…]

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