6 Simple Ways To Keep Your Teeth Where They Belong – In Your Mouth!

15023 Social Blog ImageRemember dental checkups when you were younger? The only thing that mattered was finding out “Do I have any cavities?”  As we get older, life gets more complicated. We stop thinking about cavities and start thinking about everything else.

Even though we have other things to think about, cavity prevention is still vital to a healthy mouth, which translates to a healthier body overall.

A cavity isn’t just a cosmetic issue. Bacteria in your mouth produce acids that literally eat away at the tooth, causing tooth decay. If left untreated, it can lead to infection and tooth loss.

You already know brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and keeping up with regular dental checkups is standard cavity prevention.

In addition to brushing, flossing and seeing Dr. Lee here in our San Antonio dental office at least twice a year, here are six simple things you can do to help lower your risk for tooth decay:

  • Rinse between meals: Even if you can’t brush, rinse your mouth with water after eating.
  • Use a straw: Carbonated drinks weaken enamel (the hard, protective outer layer of your tooth). Using a straw helps keep the drink away from your teeth.
  • Avoid sticky foods: That candy bar might taste delicious, but the gooey goodness sticks to your teeth longer, increasing your risk for tooth decay.
  • Avoid acidic foods: Acids in foods and drinks weaken tooth enamel for up to an hour after you eat them.
  • Chew sugar-free gum: Chewing gum (especially if it contains xylitol) increases saliva, which helps prevent tooth decay.
  • Drink more water: Water promotes saliva production and helps remove food particles.

These tips are universal, but if you have specific concerns, Dr, Lee can provide personal tips and information to help you avoid tooth decay and cavities. If it’s time for a checkup, call us at 210-681-5555 to schedule your appointment in our San Antonio dental office.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why Dental Checkups Could Save Your Life

15022 Social Blog ImageYou’ve been putting off your dental checkup. Your schedule is crazy and it keeps slipping your mind. Your teeth look fine, so it’s not a big deal, right?

Actually, putting off those dental checkups could be putting you at risk for gum disease even if you don’t see any obvious signs of the disease.

What’s the big deal about gum disease?

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the risk factor for heart disease could be twice as high for people with periodontal (gum) disease. In just the U.S., heart disease kills over 550,000 people – every year.*

With advanced gum disease, bacteria in the gums can travel through the bloodstream, which is the link scientists believe can directly increase a patient’s risk for a heart attack.

Gum disease is a serious medical condition that some people don’t even realize they have.  Advanced periodontal disease causes obvious symptoms like:

• Inflamed gums

• Loose teeth

• Persistent bad breath

• Receding gums

• Pus pockets

While advanced periodontal disease might be easy to spot, symptoms of early stages of gum disease are more subtle; so much so you may have it and not even realize it. This is why daily brushing and flossing and a minimum of twice yearly checkups with your San Antonio dentist Dr. Lee are so important. Call us at 210-681-5555 today to schedule your appointment. Your heart will thank you!

*Source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/heart-disease.htm

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Baby Teeth – They Fall Out, So Why Are They So Important?

Dr. Lee is San Antonio’s favorite family dentist! To celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month, here are a few key facts about baby teeth.

When your child is born, all 20 baby teeth are already there, just waiting for their big day. Those baby teeth will begin to emerge starting at about 6-8 months (sometimes sooner) through the first 3 years.

Baby Teeth Chart15021 Social Blog Graphic - Baby Teeth Chart

Here’s a chart to show the approximate timeline for your child’s teeth to emerge.

Starting at 4-6 years, these baby teeth will begin to fall out, making way for the permanent teeth. Even though your child’s baby teeth will eventually fall out, they play a very important part in the lifelong dental health of your son or daughter. It’s up to you to make sure they stay healthy and cavity-free!

Baby teeth are very important because they:

• Act as placeholders for adult teeth.

• Help with chewing.

• Help with proper speech development.

• Give your child the opportunity to learn a lifetime of good oral hygiene.

When should I schedule my child’s first dental visit with [DR NAME]?

You can schedule your baby’s first appointment with your dentist in San Antonio as soon as the first tooth emerges. We suggest you schedule this first dental appointment by the time your child is a year old.

My child is a year old and still doesn’t have his or her first tooth. Should I be concerned?

While most children start to have teeth emerge before they are 12 months old, it’s not uncommon for baby teeth to take longer. You are welcome to schedule time with Dr. Lee to be certain there is no underlying medical issue, but there’s no harm in waiting a few months before taking this step. Chances are, that first tooth will show up soon!

My baby only has a few teeth. How should I care for them?

Use a soft-bristled, infant toothbrush with a tiny amount of non-fluoride toothpaste once a day at bedtime. This helps eliminate bacteria from the teeth. Bacteria is the culprit that can cause tooth decay. This will also get your child used to the idea of brushing. Wait until your son or daughter is at least three years old and knows not to swallow toothpaste before using a fluoride paste.

If you have questions about caring for those all of those important baby teeth, please call your dentist in San Antonio, Dr. Lee at 210-681-5555. After all, that’s why we are here – we’re happy to serve you and your family!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Tooth Fairy Didn’t Show Up – and 10 Other Reasons to Consider Dental Implants

Social Infographic 15014 - ImplantsAs a kid, remember how excited you were for your new “grown up” teeth to arrive? If you’ve lost teeth or are at risk of losing teeth, you can experience that excitement again! Dental implants are the closest thing to your natural teeth, and most patients with one to several missing teeth are good candidates for dental implants.

If you are missing one or multiple teeth, are healthy enough to undergo a routine oral surgery, have healthy gums and enough bone to support the implant, you could be a candidate for dental implants. There are some health issues – such as uncontrolled chronic health conditions or a history of radiation to the head and neck – which may change your treatment plan. At Lee Dental Centers in San Antonio, TX, we complete a personal consultation to address your specific situation in detail.

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. As an alternative treatment to removable appliances, dental implants have many key benefits, including:

1. With proper care, dental implants will last your lifetime!
2. Dental implants look and function like natural teeth. No one will know you have an implant but you and your dentist.
3. Dental implants become a permanent part of you, with the surrounding bone growing around the base over time. They are as close to natural teeth as possible.
4. Regular brushing and flossing is all that’s needed to care for implants – no need for embarrassing denture cups and fizzy cleaner sitting on your bathroom counter.
5. Implants don’t wiggle or slip like removable dentures can, so activities like eating and talking won’t be negatively affected.
6. Missing teeth cause wear and damage to the surrounding healthy ones. Alternatively, implants keep your natural teeth and bone structure healthy.
7. Implants allow you to regain your beautiful smile and confidence.
8. Removable dentures and bridges can often be uncomfortable, especially over time. With implants, you’ll be comfortable and pain-free.
9. Implants have been around for nearly 50 years. They have a long history of improvements in that time and, as a result, are 95% successful.
10. You still need to brush and floss for gum health, but your implant will never get a cavity!

Dental implants are an excellent way to invest in your long term oral health. At Lee Dental Centers, we are happy to discuss your specific case, answer questions, and show you just how quickly you can have your smile back. If you live or work near San Antonio, call us to schedule your free consultation at 210-681-5555. We look forward to helping you regain your smile with dental implants!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tender, Swollen, Bleeding Gums? What You Need to Know Before It’s Too Late!

Social Blog Graphic 15013As children, missing a few teeth was considered cute. The prospect of money under your pillow from the tooth fairy even made losing a tooth exciting.

It’s safe to say, as an adult, losing teeth is not something anyone looks forward to. If you knew you were putting yourself at risk of a toothless smile in the future, you’d want to do everything you could to prevent it, right?

“I brush and floss (almost) every day, isn’t that enough to keep my teeth from falling out?”

Brushing and flossing are very important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Very few people floss as often as needed to prevent bacteria from growing. It’s important to realize gingivitis can develop in as few as 24 hours! While excellent home care is the most important step to preventing gum disease, there are many risk factors.

In addition to age, these factors can increase your risk for gum disease:

• Poor nutrition or eating habits

• Being overweight

• Smoking or tobacco use

• Excessive alcohol consumption

• Skipping dental cleanings

• Medications

• Family history

• Stress

• Hormone fluctuations

• Grinding or clenching teeth

• Diabetes

• Cardiovascular disease

• Rheumatoid arthritis

• Osteoporosis or osteopenia

“Wouldn’t it be obvious if I had gum disease?”

The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) estimates approximately three out of four Americans suffer from some form of gum disease and only a very small percentage seek treatment. You can have gum disease with very few – sometimes no symptoms or pain at all – until it’s progressed to very advanced stages!

Symptoms of advanced gum disease include:

• Bad breath that won’t go away

• Red or swollen gums

• Tender or bleeding gums

• Painful chewing

• Loose teeth

• Sensitive teeth

• Receding gums

The only sure way to know if you have gum disease, what stage the disease may be, and to develop a plan of action to stop the progression and attempt to repair any damage that’s already been done is to have a comprehensive periodontal evaluation by a licensed dental professional.

If you live or work in or around San Antonio, your dentist Dr. Lee can help. Even if it’s been years since you’ve had a dental exam, we can develop a plan to save or preserve your smile, before it’s too late. Your future self will thank you!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

7 Reasons Your Teeth Might Hate You – and What You Can Do About It

Social Blog Graphic 15011You take a sip of your latte, only to be reminded of the sharp pain you’ve been experiencing in your teeth. Hot drinks, cold drinks, even the biting winter air in San Antonio, TX seems to set it off. What’s causing this pain and what can you do to prevent it?

Tooth pain and sensitivity are quite common, affecting millions of people. These occur when the enamel in a tooth is worn away and the gum line recedes. This leaves the unprotected surface beneath (called dentin) exposed. When the dentin is exposed, this allows the trigger to shoot straight to the nerve, causing that unbearable pain you feel.

Tooth sensitivity may feel like sharp pain in one or two teeth or constant discomfort in your whole mouth. The good news is, you can do something about it!

What can cause tooth sensitivity?

Brushing Too Hard

Although you should brush thoroughly several times a day, go easy – brushing too hard can contribute to enamel erosion. Using a new, soft-bristled toothbrush along with proper brushing techniques can make a huge difference in maintaining your oral hygiene without potentially harming the enamel or exposing the dentin around the gum line.

Tooth Grinding (Bruxism)

Tooth grinding, either when awake or asleep, can damage enamel. It’s sometimes hard to know if you are grinding your teeth at night, however, a dull headache or sore jaw upon waking are tell-tale signs. In addition to causing sensitivity, bruxism can cause severe tooth damage, tooth loss, and other serious medical issues. If you think you might be grinding your teeth, speak to Dr.Lee about using a dental mouth guard.

Harsh Mouthwash

It might be hard to believe, but certain over-the-counter mouthwashes actually contain acids and chemicals that can increase your sensitivity, especially when your gums have begun to recede. Don’t risk making your tooth pain worse! Use neutral fluoride solution instead.

Potential Tooth Decay or a Crack

It’s possible a decaying or damaged tooth is to blame for your sensitivity. A sudden onset of pain may be a sign that one or two teeth in particular are in severe need of attention and repair. Regular visits to San Antonio dentist Dr. Lee are vital to keep up with proper oral health.

Plaque Build-Up

Plaque is a colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth. It can build up when proper flossing and brushing are neglected. A little plaque on the teeth is normal, but when it starts to build up, it could result in tooth sensitivity. Removing plaque that’s built up over time can be very difficult, so preventative measures should be a priority. Schedule a dental cleaning to remove plaque and avoid causing more damage to your teeth.

Acidic Foods and Beverages

You may notice certain foods or drinks may trigger your tooth pain. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, avoid drinking too much coffee, tea, wine, soda, juice, or other acidic beverages. Even certain foods with high acid content can contribute to discomfort. Sometimes changing what you eat and drink is enough to reduce your sensitivity, but it’s important to see Dr. Lee to evaluate the underlying cause.

A Recent Dental Visit

It is entirely normal to feel some tooth sensitivity when leaving the dentist after a check-up or procedure. Teeth cleaning, crown placement, or tooth restoration can all cause discomfort, but this tends to disappear within a matter of days or weeks. If you’ve recently had a root canal or a tooth removed, this too will likely cause considerable sensitivity for several weeks.

Understanding these common causes of tooth sensitivity will help you manageand control your symptoms. With the help and guidance of your San Antonio dentist Dr. Lee, your teeth and gums can remain healthy and pain free. Call us for an appointment at 210-681-5555 and find relief for your tooth sensitivity today!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Exercise Your Way to a Healthy Smile

A new study reveals that there’s yet another reason to smile about your healthy-heart habits—your oral health.

Regular moderate intensity physical activity such as walking, cycling, or participating in sports offer significant benefits to your overall health. Such exercise can help reduce the risks of developing diabetes, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, depression, as well as specific cancers.

What about the link between your healthy habits and your oral health?

Weight, Exercise, and a High Quality Diet

San Antonio Dentist

A study published by the Journal of Periodontology focused on the relationships between weight, exercise and a high-quality diet with dental disease among American citizens.

The study involving data from over 12,000 people was set to determine if the same factors that can lower the risks of developing diabetes and heart disease also influenced the condition of oral health.

Survey Says…

The study revealed some compelling reasons as to why your smile wants you to maintain healthy habits when it comes to food choices, exercise, and preventing excessive weight gain.

  • Participants were 40 percent less likely to develop periodontitis (serious gum disease) if they adopted all three healthy habits—regularly exercising, eating a well balanced diet, and maintaining a normal, acceptable weight.
  • Subjects who practised only two of the three healthy habits exhibited a 29 percent reductionin the prevalence of periodontitis.
  • A considerably lower 16 percent reduction in periodontitis was noted among those who had only been carrying out one of the three recommended steps.

Take Preventative Action

This study highlights yet another reason to develop and maintain heart-healthy habits—the condition and health of your teeth and gums.

Of course, there are other vital steps that should not be overlooked in keeping your smile at the top of its game. These include brushing your teeth regularly, cleaning between your teeth daily, and visiting your dentist every six months or so for a professional cleaning and thorough examination.

We want to be your partner in health. Contact your San Antonio dentist today and exercise your right to enjoy a sparkling, healthy looking smile.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sedation Dentistry: Attain Your Dream Smile While You Sleep

How awesome would it be if you could take a nap, wake up, and your procrastinated “to-do” list—painting the fence, tackling taxes, cleaning the garage, losing those last few stubborn pounds—was completed! If life were that easy, you’d be relaxing with a whole lot more siestas! Your caring San Antonio Dentists from Lee Dental are able to show you how to do just that!

Achieving Your Dream Smile

While this idea may seem nothing short of a genie-in-a-bottle fantasy, it can become an actual reality when it comes to attaining your dream-smile. How? By means of a safe, convenient procedure called sedation dentistry.

Oral conscious sedation is that simple: you arrive at our dental office, receive one of our offered forms of sedation, and BAM! Say goodbye to undue stress, anxiety, and that overwhelming sensation you have spent an eternity at the dentist!While you nap, our professional team will fulfill needed dental work in what will seem like a brief moment of time for you. Upon waking, you’ll be thrilled to discover that the smile you’ve only dared dream about has become a reality you’ll enjoy each and every day.

San Antonio Dentists

Is Sedation Dentistry for Me?

Sedation dentistry is an excellent solution for patients who:

  • Put off getting necessary dental work done because of an overwhelming fear of going to the dentist.
  • Are anxious about the possible pain and discomfort involved with an extensive dental procedure.
  • Require multiple dental procedures performed (multiple fillings/root canals, implants, etc).
  • Have a sensitive gag reflex and have difficulties keeping their mouth open for extended periods of time.
  • Dread needles, or the sounds and smells associated with dental procedures.

Whether you require a basic teeth cleaning or multiple procedures involving extensive dental work, sedation dentistry is an effective option that helps patients stay relaxed and comfortable. Don’t let dental fears hinder your health and smile potential a moment longer! Contact us today to learn more and achieve that dream smile you’ve always wanted. Just sit back, relax, and take a nap while we take care of the rest.

Contact Us:

Posted in Dental News, Sedation Dentistry | Tagged | Leave a comment

The 3-Step Formula for Curing Your Dental Phobia

Phobia: (noun) A marked and persistent fear of a clearly defined object or situation.

In this case, fear of dentistry and of receiving dental care. People may go through great lengths to avoid being confronted by their fears or phobias. It may be similar to post-traumatic stress caused by previous traumatic dental experiences.

Sedation dentistry is a perfect start for facing your fears!

• It RELAXES you
• It helps you OVERCOME anxiety
• It makes dental procedures SAFER
• It FACILITATES effective dental treatment
• It COMBINES multiple procedures into fewer visits
• No LECTURES!

 

Find out what you need to know about your dental fears and phobias in our infographic below.

Dentists Leon Springs

As humans and as the top Dentists in Leon Springs we understand how it feels to be afraid.

We have the best sedation dentistry methods and every comfort available for you to conquer your fears and enjoy a better lifestyle:

• Cold towels
• Neck pillows
• Movies
• Relaxing music

Take action. Never let your fears control you again. Talk to us about your fears and we’ll create an experience where you can make all that go away once and for all.

Posted in Dental News, Family Dentistry, Patient Resources, Sedation Dentistry | Tagged | Leave a comment

5 Secrets of the Summer Super-Mom

Summer is a often a wonderful season spent enjoying the company of friends and family in the sun. Of course, those of us with kids know how busy it can be as well, especially now that it’s winding down and the back-to-school season is here. To help those mothers and parents out there stay on their game and keep their families healthy, we asked the Super-Mom for some help.

Here are 5 Secrets of the Summer Super-Mom, courtesy of your favorite San Antonio Dentists at Lee Dental Centers.

San Antonio Dentists

 

Did you find these helpful? Feel free to share your own summer tips on our Facebook page too!

Posted in Family Dentistry | Tagged | Leave a comment