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February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!
 
 

Teaching your children about dental health is very important and it is something that you should try to start teaching them as young as possible. To help you with the process of teaching your children good dental health we have put together a few tips.

  • Help Them Brush & Floss: It is recommended that parents brush their children’s teeth at least to the age of 6 and floss their teeth at least to the age of 8. If your child is not cooperative when it comes time to brush try some ways to make it a fun activity. Ideas to make it fun include buying multiple toothbrushes in different colors or of their favorite cartoon characters and let them choose which one to use. You can also do the same with toothpaste. Other ways to make brushing fun include letting them brush your teeth or their favorite toys teeth.
  • Picking Out Teeth-Friendly Food: Foods such as vegetables, fruits, cheeses, and nuts are healthier options for snack time when considering your children's teeth. Avoiding cookies and other sugary snacks throughout the day can decrease the risk of cavities. It is recommended to save those sugary and starchy foods for meal times only.

  • Dentist Visits: It is recommended to begin bringing your child to the dentist as early as 6 months old even if they do not have any teeth yet. This gets them used to coming to the dentist and gets you connected with a dentist that you can ask those important questions to as they are growing up. Such as when to get them off a pacifier, sippy cups and more.

In honor of Children’s Dental Health Month, Toothtime Family Dentistry in New Braunfels, Seguin, and San Antonio will be offering free exams and cleanings for children under the age of 12. Give one of our three offices a call and get your child’s appointment for February scheduled today!

Kristy Olson
4 Ways To Stay On Top Of Your Dental Health
 
 
  1. Regular Visits To The Dentist: One of the best ways to keep an eye on the health of those pearly whites is to visit your dentist regularly. Usually, a visit every 6 months for a cleaning and exam is recommended. However, your dentist may recommend a different interval of visits based on your teeth. At these visits, a dental hygienist will clean your teeth to remove the buildup of tartar that can happen over time. Also at this appointment, you may receive x-rays which help the dentist determine the health of your teeth. The dentist will also examine your mouth to check your gums, tongue, visual evidence of tooth decay, damaged fillings, and screen for oral cancer.
     

  2. Follow Treatment Plan: After your visit, you may be given a treatment plan. A treatment plan is a breakdown of your dental needs including how many visits and the cost to complete your treatment. It is very important to follow your treatment plan because dental issues will continue to worsen as time goes by. Avoiding treatment may increase the cost of treatment and even result in tooth loss.
     

  3. Establish Daily Routine: Your daily oral care routine is vital to your dental health. Twice a day you should brush your teeth for two minutes. Each time you brush your teeth you should also rinse your mouth with a fluoride rinse. Lastly, you should floss at least once a day. The best time to floss your teeth is going to be at the end of each day.
     

  4. Reduce Sugar Exposure: Each time your teeth are exposed to sugar it changes the ph level of your mouth and it becomes acidic. When your mouth is in an acidic state it causes a breakdown of the enamel on your teeth. The breakdown of enamel, commonly known as tooth decay is what cavities result from.  Each time you have sugar it takes your mouth about 30 minutes to reach its normal ph level again. If you expose your mouth to sugar often throughout the day then your mouth is in a continual state of acidity which can lead to cavities. That is why it is important to reduce the number of times you expose your mouth to sugar.  

Kristy Olson
Tips To Keep Your Teeth Healthy Over The Holidays
 
 

The holidays are filled with fun, food, and sweets! With so many temptations around, it’s easy to indulge a little more than you should. To help you keep your teeth in tip-top shape over the holidays here are some tips!

  1. Drink Water: During the holidays it’s more likely that you will be snacking on sweeter food throughout the day. The increase in sugar exposure can lead to tooth decay. To help minimize your sugar intake drink water throughout the day instead of juices, sodas, and other sugary drinks.
     
  2. Use a Nutcracker: Pecans and other nuts are a popular snack during the holiday season. Using your teeth as a nutcracker can cause serious tooth and gum damage. Shell your nuts with a nutcracker before sitting down to snack on them!
     
  3. Don’t use your teeth as a tool: We know that at times you may be tempted to open packages or bottles with your teeth! However, your teeth are not the right tool for the task. Reach for scissors or bottle opener to get the job done and save your teeth the trouble.
     
  4. Avoid Grazing: With all kinds of food and sweets around during the holidays, it's easy to graze on all the yummy treats all throughout the day. Grazing leads to more frequent sugar exposures. Each time your mouth is exposed to sugar the level of acidity changes. For your mouth to reach normal levels it takes about 30 minutes. If you keep exposing yourself to sugar than your mouth will remain in high acidity levels. This prolonged exposure can put you at a greater risk for cavities. So, instead of grazing throughout the day stash the food away and only set it out during mealtime.
     
  5. Keep Up Your Routine: The holidays can change up your normal schedule, However, it is important to not miss a brushing! Make sure to brush your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day, floss, and use a fluoride rinse during the holiday season and every day.

Feel free to reach out to any of our offices with any questions you may have about keeping your teeth or your kiddos teeth healthy over the holidays. We hope these tips will help you keep your teeth in tip-top shape. If you need to schedule an appointment during a day our office is closed you can conveniently do so right here on our website!

 

Kristy Olson
We Accept CareCredit
 
 

At Toothtime Family Dentistry we understand that sometimes dental treatment is put on the backburner due to lack of finances. However, delaying needed dental treatment could lead to more invasive and more expensive treatments and in some cases become harmful to your overall health. This is why delaying dental treatment is never a recommended. To help our patients with financing their treatments we accept CareCredit. CareCredit is similar to a credit card that allows you to finance medical related expenses. CareCredit is also accepted in a wide range of medical offices. Therefore, you may be able to not only use it here at Toothtime Family Dentistry but also your primary care physician and other doctor offices. Some of the payment plans provided through CareCredit even include interest-free options. Procedures and treatments specific to dentistry that you can use CareCredit for include, but are not limited to:

Preventative Dentistry

  • 6-month check-ups
  • Endodontics
  • Periodontics
  • Periodontal scaling
  • Periodontal disease prevention
  • Gingivitis prevention
  • Fluoride treatment
  • Ceramic Fillings
  • Sealants
  • Teeth cleaning
  • Mouth guard for sports

Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry

  • Dental implants
  • Ceramic Crowns
  • Root canals
  • Braces or retainers
  • ClearCorrect teeth straightening
  • Veneers
  • Headgear
  • Tooth repair
  • Teeth cleaning

Are you interested in learning more about CareCredit and how to apply?

Don’t hesitate and give us a call! Your dental treatment is very important to your overall health and putting it off can be harmful to you. That is why we are here to help you with the process of applying for CareCredit. Our staff is knowledgeable in the process and are able to walk you through the steps of applying. Give us a call or come visit us today to talk about how CareCredit can help finance your dental expenses.

 

Kristy OlsonFinancing, CareCredit
ClearCorrect: Getting Your First Set Of Aligner Trays
 
ClearCorrect.png
 

ClearCorrect is a series of clear, custom-made, removable aligners that gradually straighten your teeth as you wear them, each aligner moving your teeth just a little bit at a time. ClearCorrect is a great solution for patients who want straight teeth, but do not want to deal with the wires and brackets that come along with traditional braces. A very exciting day for our ClearCorrect patients is when they come in for their first set of invisible aligners. To share some of that excitement with you we have outlined the process of getting your aligners and even have included a video for you to watch.

When you arrive at your appointment you will be handed a tooth brush. You will then head to the bathroom to brush your teeth. Once your teeth are clean you will be brought back to the Orthodontic room to receive your aligners. It is important to always clean your teeth before putting on your aligners.

We will unpackage your first set of aligners and explain how to put them on.. Once both the top and bottom aligners are in place on your teeth we will provide you with a chewie. A chewie is an aligner tray seater that you will chew on to completely seat the trays in place. You will chew on it all around your teeth along the aligners. Your chewie will be something that you use every day for 5-10 minutes.

Once your aligners are in we will ask you questions about the feel of them and make sure they are seating in place right. In some cases, some small adjustments can be made in office to provide the correct fit. We will then go over with you how to remove your aligners and show you the tool provided by ClearCorrect that can aid you in the removal of the aligners.

Next, we provide you with all your ClearCorrect goodies that you are going to need. Including a case for your aligners, additional chewies, and more. We will go over how long you must wear them, when to take them out, and when to change to your next set of aligners. Your next set of aligners will be provided at this appointment.

Lastly, you have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have about your ClearCorrect Aligner trays. Before you leave we will schedule your appointment to come in for your 3rd and 4th set of aligner trays. If it is called for on your treatment plan this is also the appointment where engagers or inter proximal reduction (IPR) will be performed. Engagers are small temporary composite bumps that are bonded to the teeth. The aligner trays grip the engagers to gain leverage to move the teeth. An interproximal reduction is a procedure where small amounts of enamel are removed from the edges of crowded teeth.

Are you interested in finding out if ClearCorrect is right for you? Give us a call today and schedule your FREE ClearCorrect consultation.

 

Kristy Olson
Options for Replacing Missing Teeth
 
 

If you have a missing tooth that you want to replace you have landed on the right page! Here at Tooth Time Family Dentistry, we offer a variety of options for replacing a missing tooth. We understand how frustrating having a missing tooth can be and how important replacing it is to you. Below we have listing three options for replacing missing teeth. However, depending on your teeth the replacement options that will work for you may differ.

  1. Bridge: A bridge is a fixed dental restoration option that will literally bridge a gap from one or more missing teeth. A bridge is used to replace a missing tooth (or several teeth) by joining an artificial tooth permanently to adjacent teeth. The bridge offers the benefit of being a fixed restoration which means it will stay in place and is not removable. A bridge will look good aesthetically and will restore your smile. However, a disadvantage of a bridge is that they could potentially compromise the adjacent teeth that it depends on.

  2. Partial: A partial also referred to as a partial denture is a removable appliance that can replace one or more missing teeth. The partial offers the benefit of not compromising any of the surrounding teeth. It will also restore your smile and ease the stress of your jaw. However, because it is a removable appliance you will have to take it out and clean it regularly. It is also possible that food can sometimes get under them causing discomfort.

  3. Implant: A dental implant, which is one of the best long term options to replace missing teeth, is a permanent implant into your jaw. Dental implants provide the benefit of looking, feeling, and functioning just like your natural teeth. You will be able to brush, floss, and eat like normal.

If you have a missing tooth or teeth and are ready to replace them we would be happy to help find the best replacement options for you. Give us a call or book your an appointment today with any one of our three locations.

Kristy Olson
Cavity Treatments
 
 

Once you have been diagnosed with a cavity your dentist will provide you with a treatment plan. Depending on the size of your cavity there are 3 different treatments you can expect the dentist to recommend for you. These treatments may include filling, root canal, or extraction.

  1. Filling: Smaller cavities are typically treated with a filling. When you come in for a filling you can expect the dentist to numb the tooth and surrounding areas. Once you are numb they will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill it with composite resin. The composite resin bonds to the tooth and fills in the portion that was removed giving it a natural look and feel.
  2. Root Canal: Larger cavities may need to be treated with a root canal in addition to a final restoration. When you come in for your root canal treatment you can expect your dentist to numb your tooth and the surrounding areas. They will then remove the nerve that is located within the root. The area where the nerve once was will then be filled. After your root canal is completed your tooth will also need a filling, crown, or another restorative measure to fully treat the cavity.
  3. Extraction: In the most severe cases the tooth will have to be extracted. This is where the tooth is removed completely. After you have a tooth extracted you have several options from a bridge to an implant to replace the missing tooth. Learn more about your post-extraction options on next week’s blog.

If you think you have a cavity or have already been told you have a cavity don’t hesitate to give us a call and schedule your treatment. Treating cavities early and preventing further tooth decay will not only save your tooth, but it can also save you money! You can schedule your appointment with any of our three offices online or give us a call today.

Kristy Olson
Cavity Prevention Tips
 
 

According to the CDC, tooth decay is “the most common chronic disease of children aged 6 to 11 years and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years. Tooth decay is four times more common than asthma among adolescents aged 14 to 17 years. Tooth decay also affects adults, with 9 out of 10 over the age of 20 having some degree of tooth-root decay” However, tooth decay is completely preventable. To help you prevent cavities we have put together a list of tips to keep you cavity free!

  1. Brush Your Teeth: It is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes. For optimum cavity protection,  we recommend you brush them in the morning, after lunch, and before bed. Brushing your teeth removes food, bacteria, and plaque from your teeth. If your teeth go unbrushed all of the substances left on your teeth will begin to cause tooth decay and cavities.
     
  2. Floss: It’s also recommended to floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing helps remove food, bacteria, and plaque from in between your teeth where your toothbrush will not reach. For optimum cavity prevention floss once in the morning and once at night.
     
  3. Use a Fluoride Rinse: Rinsing out your mouth with a fluoride rinse after you have brushed and flossed will help remove any remaining food and bacteria. The fluoride in the rinse will help remineralize your teeth from any early signs of decay and keep them strong! We recommend that you use a fluoride rinse once a day. Also, remember not to rinse your mouth with water after using your fluoride rinse. The water will wash away the fluoride from your teeth.
     
  4. Regular Dental Visits: Visiting your dentist on a regular basis is a very important step for cavity prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. It is recommended to visit your dentist every 6 months. However, some people's needs may dictate more frequent visits. Regular dentist visits commonly consist of x-rays, exam, and cleaning. For more information on your regular dental appointment read our blog post about it. 

We hope these tips help you with your oral health regimen and prevention of cavities! If you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment give one of our offices a call today.

Kristy Olson
The Importance of Regular Dentist Visits
 
 

To keep your oral health on track most people should visit the dentist at least every six months for an exam and cleaning. However, some people's needs may dictate more frequent visits.

During your exam, the doctor will likely have the dental assistant take x-rays of your teeth. After the dentist has examined the x-rays they will come in and do a visual inspection of your teeth. During the exam, the dentist is looking at a variety of things. This includes but is not limited to gums, checking for loose teeth, tissues inside your mouth, your tongue, checking your bite, visual evidence of tooth decay, damaged fillings, broken teeth and screening for oral cancer.

For the cleaning portion of your appointment, a dental hygienist will come in and check the cleanliness of your teeth and gums. Every day whether or not you eat or drink anything your mouth produces bacteria. The bacteria in your mouth is what creates a film on your teeth known as plaque. Plaque can be removed by brushing, rinsing, and flossing every day. However, over time plaque can become acidic which means it will begin to demineralize and break down your teeth. Plaque can also harden into tartar which can not be removed by regular brushing, rinsing, and flossing. During your cleaning, the dental hygienist will remove any plaque and tartar that is on your teeth.

Lastly to end your appointment they will go over with you any treatment plans that you may need for cavities, damaged fillings, or anything else the dentist may have seen during your exam.

Without visiting the dentist every 6 months you are not only putting your oral health in jeopardy but also your overall health! Your mouth often serves as a place to detect signs and symptoms of diseases that can affect your entire body. Furthermore, poor oral hygiene can lead to tooth loss, gum diseases, and more. Whether it’s been years or 6 months since your last dental visit it's never too late to get on the right track to good oral health. Give us a call today and schedule your cleaning exam appointment!

Kristy Olson
Baby’s First Dentist Appointment
 
 

To set your child up for dental health success it is important to have them start seeing the dentist early! Your baby’s first dentist appointment should be at 6 months old. It is typical at this age for babies to have very few teeth or none at all. However, even if your baby does not have teeth yet you should still bring them in for their first dental appointment. Getting your baby used to the process of coming to the dentist early will help them fill at ease for future dental appointments. It will also help to promote the importance of healthy teeth for years to come!

A baby’s first dental appointment is a very simple process. The appointment will begin with the child sitting in your lap and you will hold them for the duration of the appointment. You will lay the baby on its back in your lap while cradling them. The dentist will then come to inspect the baby’s gums and any teeth that may have already appeared. It is typically for some baby’s to cry, but not to worry they are not in any pain during the appointment. Once the dentist is done inspecting the baby’s gums to ensure they are healthy a dental hygienist will brush the baby’s teeth and gums. Lastly, they will put a fluoride varnish on any teeth the baby may have. This fluoride varnish is to help mineralize their teeth and protect against bacteria and sugars in the mouth.

Also at baby’s first dentist appointment, you will have the opportunity to chat with the Dentist and hygienist about any questions you may have about how to brush their teeth and gums, teething, bottle habits, sugar intake, and more. If it is time to schedule your baby’s first dentist appointment give us a call today!

Kristy Olson
Treat Snoring at Tooth Time Family Dentistry

Getting a restful night of sleep can be a challenge when you or someone in your household snores. According to the National Sleep Foundation, snoring “affects approximately 90 million American adults”. Snoring can negatively affect not only the person who snores but their spouse and children as well. One of the most common negative effects is a disrupted sleep cycle for you and your partner. Other negative effects include but are not limited to soaring blood pressure and increased risk for stroke.

What Causes Snoring?

When you are asleep the muscles and soft tissues in your mouth and throat relax. This shrinks the airway and causes the soft tissues to vibrate while you are breathing. These vibrations result in that familiar sound of snoring. In severe cases, the soft tissues and the tongue can create a complete blockage of the airway. This can cause asphyxiation, which is when you are receiving limited amounts of oxygen. If you experiencing asphyxiation for 10 seconds or longer it is an indication of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
 

How To Prevent Snoring

Tooth Time Family Dentistry’s offers Dentist-Prescribed Oral Appliance called Silent Nite. Silent Nite is a dental device that positions the lower jaw forward using its Side-Link connectors. The forward position of the lower jaw opens the airway and makes breathing easier. The device is custom to each individual for a comfortable fit made with a soft inner layer and hard outer layer that is not only durable but, BPA-free as well. Silent Nite has been proven to help eliminate snoring in 8 out of 10 patients and can help you receive more restful nights.

Are you ready to say goodbye to snoring? Give your local Tooth Time office a call today and ask them about Silent Nite!

Kristy Olson