Why General Dental Care is Important For Your Overall Health

General dental care refers to the regular preventative care and maintenance of your oral health. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is essential, as they are integral to your overall health and well-being. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help prevent dental problems before they become more serious, saving you time and money in the long run.

The professional team at Athens Smiles Dental of Athens, TX, is proud to serve the local community with premium dental services, providing holistic oral care for you and your loved ones.

What is General Dental Care?

General dental care includes services designed to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy. This includes regular check-ups, cleanings, and x-rays to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. It also includes treatments for cavities, fillings, and other therapeutic procedures, as well as cosmetic services to improve the appearance of your teeth, such as teeth whitening and veneers.

The Benefits of Regular Dental Care

Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can provide several benefits, including:

  1. Prevention of Tooth Decay and Gum Disease: Regular check-ups and cleanings can help identify dental problems early on, preventing tooth decay and gum disease. This can save you from more extensive and costly treatments later on.
  2. Early Detection of Oral Cancer: During regular dental check-ups, your dentist will examine your mouth for signs of oral cancer. Early detection is crucial for effective treatment.
  3. Maintaining Overall Health: Good oral health is vital for your overall health and well-being. Poor oral health has been linked to several health problems, including heart disease and diabetes.

Your Local Quality Dental Care Expert

General dental care is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, preventing dental problems, and promoting overall health and well-being. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can provide several benefits, including preventing tooth decay and gum disease, early detection of oral cancer, maintaining overall health, improving appearance, and cost-effectiveness. During your next appointment with the skilled team at Athens Smiles Dental of Athens, TX, you can be sure you receive the proper care and guidance you and your family deserve.

The Worst Foods For Your Teeth  

The ideal diet includes a wider range of whole, nutrient-dense foods that are free from chemicals and additives. Unfortunately, many people struggle to consistently eat an ideal diet. Here and there, processed, sugary foods make their way into the mouths of millions of Americans. As your Athens, TX, dentist can tell you, some foods are worse than others. The following is a collection of the worst foods for your teeth.

Heavily Processed Breads

It would be a mistake to try to eliminate every single kind of bread from your diet. But avoiding heavily processed breads like white bread is a good idea. These kinds of breads quickly break down into sugar, feeding bad bacteria in the mouth and helping it to proliferate. Also, soft breads tend to get stuck in between teeth, making it harder to do a thorough cleaning job with brushing and flossing.

Hard Candies

Hard candies not only have a tendency to get bits and pieces stuck in the molars; they also have more of a chance to break or crack your teeth. If you absolutely must have hard candies, consider only sucking on them and not biting into them. And afterwards, be sure to brush and rinse to help clear away lingering sugar.

Dried Fruit

Many people enjoy dried fruit as a snack or a power lunch on the go when it’s included in things like trail mix. But all sugar—even fructose—is harmful to teeth. Dried fruit is worse because it’s sticky and tends to stick to the crevices in the molars. Consider skipping this food altogether. But if you do indulge, make sure you brush and rinse thoroughly afterward.

Your Athens, TX, dentist understands that it’s unreasonable for people to give up every single bad food. But being aware of the dangers and taking extra precautions against dental decay are worth it. Contact us today to book your next dentist appointment.

 

Bad Breath and Food: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly  

Got bad breath? Halitosis can be a frustrating issue that sometimes doesn’t seem to have any rhyme or reason. You may wake up with horrible breath, deal with offensive breath after a meal, or simply have a bad taste in your mouth. In any case, food may be to blame. In fact, there is good, bad, and ugly when it comes to food and your breath. Check out some pointers from an Athens general dentist below.

Foods for Good Breath

Several foods are actually good to eat if you are concerned about bad breath. Some foods encourage saliva production, while others are good about sloughing away odor-causing bacteria. Crunchy, raw fruits and vegetables like apples, celery, and carrots are all good examples. Probiotic yogurt is also good for your breath as it balances out the levels of healthy bacteria in your mouth.

Foods that Cause Bad Breath

Quite a few foods can cause bad breath simply because they are naturally pungent. Garlic, horseradish, onions, and foods that contain these ingredients are notorious for causing lingering odors in the mouth. Canned tuna and pungent cheeses are also likely to cause bad breath.

Foods that Create Ugly, Ongoing Bad Breath

Ongoing problems with bad breath tend to come from either gum disease or excess buildup of plaque around the gums. While eating sugar won’t immediately cause bad breath, long-term sugar consumption can definitely lead to a more chronic problem with bad breath. This is especially true without good oral hygiene.

Discuss Halitosis with an Athens, TX Dentist

When you’re dealing with bad breath, there can be oral health issues to blame. Therefore, talking to an Athens, TX dentist about the problem is recommended. Reach out to us at Athens Smiles Family Dental to schedule an appointment.

 

Think Your Child Might Have a Cavity? What to Know

Do you think your child might have a cavity? Children are especially prone to cavities because they tend to eat sugary foods, and may not have the manual dexterity to brush their teeth properly. Knowing the signs that your child may have a cavity can help you get them care. For starters, it’s important to see the dentist in Athens TX. Your child’s dentist can help you determine for sure whether your child has a cavity, and if your child does, they can recommend treatment.

Signs of a Cavity

There are many signs of cavities that you and your child should watch for, including:

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Holes and pits in the teeth
  • Brown or black stains on the surface of the teeth
  • Pain when biting and chewing

What Causes Cavities

Cavities are caused by bacteria left on your child’s teeth after eating. Sugar in particular is bad for your child’s teeth, because sugar and bacteria combine to create acid that can cause tooth decay.

This is why it’s so important to ensure that your child brushes their teeth: because when they eat sugary foods (and many children do), they put their teeth at risk for cavities.

What to Do About a Cavity

If your child develops a cavity, or if you think they may have a cavity, it’s vitally important to get their teeth examined by their dentist at Athens Smiles. Call to make an appointment.

How to Prevent Cavities in the Future

To prevent your child from getting cavities, make an appointment at Athens Smiles for a dental exam in Athens TX. We can help your child take care of their teeth, identify cavities in their early stages, and show you how to help your child with tooth brushing.

Why You Don’t Have to Fear a Tooth Extraction

If your dentist has recommended that you have a tooth extraction in Athens, TX, your first thought may be smiling with a big gap in your teeth. Even if the tooth extraction is from the rear of your mouth, you may worry about not being able to chew food or having a speech impediment. But tooth extractions don’t mean what they used to mean. You don’t have a dread a future filled with hiding your smile or worrying about what others will think of you. You don’t even have to worry about pain.

Pain Won’t Be an Issue

With modern day tooth extraction, pain isn’t usually an issue. You’ll likely be given a numbing agent in addition to mild sedation if you choose. In most cases, the offending tooth was causing a toothache, so the extraction will actually get rid of the pain that you may have been experiencing, not add to it.

You Don’t Have to Watch

You don’t have to watch your tooth being extracted. You can close your eyes and sit back and relax as it’s being done. If you want, you don’t have to see the tooth once it’s been extracted. Only after the entire treatment is over do you even need to open your eyes.

A Solution Can Happen at the Same Time

When a tooth needs extracted, your dentist in Athens, TX will offer you a few different solutions to choose from. This may be a dental implant, a bridge or something else. In many cases, the solution to your missing tooth can be implemented immediately after the tooth extraction. In other words, you may go home with no gap in between your teeth where the bad tooth was extracted.

With all of the treatment options available today, you don’t have to worry about tooth extractions. If you have a tooth that has gone bad or is giving you trouble, contact us today to find out your options.

3 Common Causes of Distal Cavities

Even though tooth extractions in Athens are avoided as much as possible, sometimes, a tooth decays beyond the point of repair before the dentist can intervene with treatment. While most patients recognize when they have a cavity, distal cavities are harder to see and may progress quickly. Distal cavities are located in the back of the teeth and can have some pretty common causes.

Improper Brushing Techniques

When most people brush their teeth, they pay close attention to the front of their teeth that they can see. It is easy to neglect the not-so-visible surfaces that are on the interior and closer to your tongue. Not hitting these surfaces with the brush can leave bacteria and food residue clinging to tooth enamel where cavities can start to form.

Smoking or Vaping

Smoking and vaping are common culprits behind distal cavities. When you vape or smoke, you are not just pulling heat into your mouth that raises the temperature and promotes cavities, but you are also exhaling smoke or vaping residue that can get trapped on the backside of your teeth.

Lack of Dental Hygiene Appointments

Dental hygiene appointments are done to clean all those surfaces of the teeth that are commonly missed during regular brushing. However, these visits also tackle some of the distal areas of the teeth that can be more prone to decay. Patients that do not get regular hygiene appointments with their dentist can be more prone to distal cavity development.

Protect Your Smile with the Help of an Athens Dentist

With a good preventative care plan with an Athens dentist, distal cavities are less likely to form and go unnoticed. If you believe you have a cavity that needs to be addressed, reach out to us at Athens Smiles to schedule an appointment.

How Does Sugar Affect Your Teeth?

While candy and sugary soft drinks taste good, the reality is that they are not doing your teeth any good whatsoever. In fact, the more sugar you consume, the more damage you are doing to your teeth, and the more help you’ll need from your dentist in Athens, TX. Should you be curious as to just what sugar does to your teeth, here are some facts that may leave you bewildered.

Sugar Turns into Acid

Yes, thanks to sugar-loving microbes in your mouth, all that sugar that goes into your mouth gets turned into acid. When this happens, tooth enamel breaks down, resulting in tooth decay and eventually one cavity after another.

The Onset of Gum Disease

When you consume lots of sugar and combine it with not brushing and flossing as you should each day, you are setting the stage for the onset of gum disease. If left unchecked, this will turn into periodontitis, ultimately affecting your gums as well as the bones that support your teeth. When this occurs, you may start having teeth that are loose or even fall out, which could result in you needing dental implants or other procedures.

Other Health Problems

Once sugar starts impacting your teeth by way of decay and gum disease, you can expect other health problems to develop as well. In fact, oral health is closely linked to your overall health. For example, should you let yourself develop a severe case of gum disease, this may increase your chances of developing heart disease, dementia, and other health issues.

Needless to say, your dentist in Athens, TX wants you to know that sugar doesn’t do your teeth or your body much good. While you may not have to say goodbye forever to an occasional piece of candy or soft drink, keeping these as a small part of your diet will have your teeth and body being very grateful.

4 Ways to Avoid Staining Your Teeth

Over time, teeth can become stained. When we first get our teeth, they’re pearly white and beautiful. Over time, our teeth can become yellowed due to exposure to staining foods. You can prevent your teeth from becoming stained through good eating, drinking and tooth care.

1. Know Which Foods and Drinks Stain

Some foods stain worse than others. Foods that are dark red, have tannins and foods that are saucy are usually the worst for staining. The biggest offenders include:

  • Coffee and tea
  • Soda
  • Wine (red and white)
  • Berries
  • Grape and cranberry juice
  • Beets
  • Soy sauce
  • Sports drinks
  • Tomato sauce

2. Brush Or Rinse Your Mouth After Consuming Staining Foods and Drinks

If you’ve been eating foods that stain your teeth, rinse or clean your teeth after your meal. You can do this by swishing your mouth with water while drinking, or you can actually brush your teeth. Carry a toothbrush around in your purse or in a handbag to make teeth brushing easier after you’ve been out.

3. Use Straws

Straws carry liquid past your teeth and enable you to drink without coating your teeth in a staining agent. Keep a supply of non-disposable straws at your house, and get used to using them.

4. Visit the Dentist Regularly, Whiten Your Teeth

Cleaning your teeth on a regular basis helps keep them white. Visit the dentist every six months (or as often as recommended) to keep your teeth white. If your teeth have become stained, get your teeth professionally whitened. You might also use tooth whitening toothpaste, but professional whitening is more effective and faster-acting.

Teeth whitening is an effective procedure that can make all the difference. To make an appointment at Athens Smiles, call today.

How to Care For Tooth Enamel  

Although teeth look like one hard substance, they are actually comprised of different parts; enamel, dentin, pulp, crown, and root. Tooth enamel is the outermost layer of your teeth. You can’t see tooth enamel because it’s translucent. But it’s there unless you’ve eroded it for some reason or another.

Why Protect Tooth Enamel?

You need to protect your tooth enamel because it’s there to protect your tooth. Tooth enamel is considered a bodily tissue, even though it’s hard. In fact, tooth enamel is the hardest tissue that you have. But it’s not invincible. Tooth enamel can be damaged. When that happens, the tooth is exposed and vulnerable to decay and damage.

How to Care For Tooth Enamel

Certain lifestyle habits can damage enamel over time. In order to ensure that your tooth enamel doesn’t erode, care for it with these tips.

Avoid Acidic Foods

Acidic foods and ingredients can erode tooth enamel. Examples include lemons, limes, and vinegar. Of course, you don’t have to avoid these things entirely. Just make sure they don’t comprise the majority of your diet and make sure to brush and rinse thoroughly afterward.

Get Fluoride Treatments

If your town’s water doesn’t have fluoride, ask your dentist in Athens about fluoride treatments, which strengthen enamel.

Don’t Over Brush

Brushing your teeth should be done after every meal. But over-brushing can wear away tooth enamel. Over brushing is defined as brushing too often and brushing too hard. You should also make sure you don’t use a toothbrush with bristles that are too firm. For most folks, a medium-bristle toothbrush works just fine.

For more tips on caring for enamel and to have the health of your teeth looked after with a dental appointment, please contact your Athens dentist today.

 

5 Common Causes of a Cracked Tooth

Your teeth are very strong, but they aren’t invincible. Certain things can cause damage to the tooth, including cracks. Cracked teeth are bad because that creates an entryway for bacteria into the interior of the tooth. To avoid cracked teeth, consider these common causes:

1. Chewing on Ice

Lots of people chew on ice after they’ve finished a drink. But this habit often causes cracked teeth. If you have this habit, toss your ice right away so you aren’t tempted.

2. Eating Hard Candy

There are many kinds of popular hard candy that, unfortunately, can lead to a cracked tooth. They include favorites like peanut brittle and pralines. Avoid this type of candy if you want to keep teeth healthy.

3. Experiencing Mouth Trauma

Blunt force trauma to the mouth can also cause a cracked tooth. These most often occur as sports injuries, car accidents or falls. You can wear a mouth guard while playing sports to avoid injury, but the other incidents cannot be predicted.

4. Teeth Grinding

If you grind your teeth either while awake or asleep, you may be causing one or more of your teeth to crack. This is because the chronic lateral force being applied to your teeth isn’t natural. If you are a teeth grinder, talk to your dentist about wearing a teeth guard that will help you to break the habit.

5. Age

As you age, your teeth may become slightly weaker. This makes them more susceptible to cracking and other injury. More teeth cracks occur in those over aged 50 than in younger people. There’s nothing you can do to prevent this from happening, but regular dental checkups will help to ensure that any cracks are detected right away.

Your Athens dentist can help if you have a cracked tooth. There are treatments available that can restore the look and strength of your cracked tooth. Contact us today for details.