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.

Dental Sealants 101: A Guide for Patients

While you may do all you can to prevent decay at home by brushing and flossing religiously, your teeth may still be at risk of decay simply because the surface of your teeth is textured and difficult to clean. Dental sealants in Athens, TX may be something to consider as part of your preventative dental health plan. Here is a look at some of the questions prospective patients tend to have about dental sealants.

Are dental sealants only for children?

Even though dental sealants are commonly recommended for children, the treatment can be just as effective for adults. If you are an adult that has certain tooth formation issues, such as deep ridges or areas that are hard to keep clean with regular brushing, sealants may be a viable option.

How long will the sealing treatment last?

Dental sealants can last for a really long time and offer adequate protection from decay. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the sealants will actually protect your teeth from about 80 percent of cavities for as long as two years. However, the sealant will still offer 50 percent protection for as long as four years.

Is the material used for sealants safe for the body?

Dental sealants are created out of specially formulated plastic. Depending on the type of sealant used by the dentist you are working with, the sealant may contain trace amounts of bisphenol acid (BPA). However, the trace amount is not considered a risk to the body. The benefits of having the sealants in place far outweigh any perceived risks, even for young children.

Talk to an Athens Dentist About Dental Sealants

In the end, dental sealants can be a valuable component in your preventative oral health plan with an Athens, TX dentist. If you are interested in dental sealants for yourself or your child, reach out to us at Athens Smiles Family Dental to schedule an appointment.

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.

Boy at the dentist consultation. Checking and dental treatment in a clinic.

4 Questions to Ask Your Dentist At Your Cleaning

Your visit to your dentist in Athens, TX isn’t just a chance to get your teeth cleaned – it’s also an opportunity to learn more about what you can do to take care of your teeth. At Athens Smiles, we think it’s important to focus on patient education.

The more you know about oral hygiene, the easier it will be for you to take care of your teeth! If you’ve got questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Below are some of the most common questions that we answer during routine cleanings in Athens, TX.

1. Should I do anything to change my oral hygiene routine?

If your oral hygiene routine isn’t working for you, we’ll be able to tell. It may be that we can show you a better tooth brushing technique, or recommend changes to the frequency of your cleanings. Asking this question just kicks off the conversation, and may lead to some interesting insights as to how you can care for your teeth.

2. What is causing my tooth sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a range of problems, from a cracked tooth to medication that you’re taking. Alerting us to your tooth sensitivity tells us that there might be a problem, and gives us something to look for during your cleaning. Let us know if you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity.

3. What can I do to make my teeth whiter and brighter?

We offer tooth whitening services, and we can give you advice about at-home tooth whitening treatments as well! If tooth whitening is important to you, let us know!

4. When should I come back for a cleaning or dental work?

Most patients come back every six months for a tooth cleaning, but some patients need to come in more frequently. Find out from your dentist when you should return.

Contact Athens Smiles to Make an Appointment

If it’s time to schedule an appointment, contact Athens Smiles today!

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.