Questions to Ask At Your Next Dentist Appointment

When you go see the dentist, it’s the perfect opportunity to ask your dentist questions that you have about oral hygiene. Making a list of questions can help you prepare for your next tooth cleaning in Brookeland TX. With your list of questions ready, you’ll be set to learn how to take care of your teeth.

Is My Oral Hygiene Routine Adequate?

The way you take care of your teeth has a big impact on how healthy they are. If your oral hygiene routine needs improvement, your dentist in Brookeland TX will be able to tell you the ways in which your oral hygiene habits can be improved.

Maybe you’re missing your back teeth when you brush, or maybe you’re not flossing properly. Your dentist will be able to tell! In fact, your dentist will even be able to give you a lesson in tooth brushing. Just find out from the dentist what is best.

Am I at Risk For Any Dental Conditions?

Knowing what dental conditions you’re at risk for can help you take care of your teeth. If your teeth are showing the early stages of gum recession, for example, your dentist can help you adjust your tooth brushing habits to prevent further gum recession. Asking this question starts a conversation that will help you learn more about how you can care for your teeth!

What Can I Do to Keep My Teeth White?

There are many things that people can do to keep their teeth white. If your dentist offers tooth whitening services, this can help restore your pearly whites to their original beauty. Your dentist can also tell you about various things you can do to prevent your teeth from staining at home.

When Should I Return For My Next Dentist Appointment?

One of the last things you should do before leaving the dental chair is to find out when you should come back! Most people return to the dentist every 6 months for a cleaning. If your dentist has a different timeline in mind for you, they’ll let you know.

Is it time for a tooth cleaning? Call us today to make an appointment for a cleaning. If you have questions for the dentist, let us know when you call! We’ll do what we can to get you the answers you need.

Why do Dentists Check Tooth Pockets?

When you hear the term “tooth pocket,” you probably have no idea what this means. Actually, it’s an opening that occurs in the space between your gums and teeth. However, the bad news is that no pocket is supposed to be there. Instead, your gums should be close and firmly against your teeth. Should tooth pockets form, this signals trouble inside your mouth. Now that you’re wondering why your dentist in Brookeland, TX checks tooth pockets, here are some common reasons and how the problem gets resolved.

Indication of Gum Disease

When your dentist finds tooth pockets, these are clear indicators that gum disease is present and has gone unchecked for quite awhile. When a pocket forms, this means gum disease has progressed from gingivitis to periodontitis, meaning the base of your teeth and the gum tissue are being affected.

How Tooth Pockets Form

As gum tissue gets infected with bacteria, the gums and tooth enamel begin to break down. The bacteria then goes to work hollowing out a space between your gums and teeth, resulting in the infamous tooth pocket.

Why Pockets are a Problem

When you have a tooth pocket, you’ve got a serious problem that requires dental expertise as soon as possible. Since the root or base of your tooth is no longer protected by gum tissue, an infection can target the root of your tooth. In many cases, this will lead to the tooth being destroyed and either falling out on its own or being extracted by your dentist.

Severe Cases

When you visit your dentist for a regular checkup, they will check for tooth pockets that could look like trouble. Actually, most everyone has tooth pockets, but they are generally very small and rarely develop into major problems. But in severe cases, your dentist may need to clean your teeth, scrape away plaque, and remove infected gum tissue. If it’s too bad, periodontal surgery will be needed to work on the base or root of your tooth, which will be followed by treatment with antibiotics while your gums heal.

Needless to say, gum disease needs to be taken seriously from the early stages. To ensure any tooth pockets you may have don’t get out of control, make sure you have regular checkups with your Brookeland, TX dentist.

How to Protect Your Little One’s Teeth This Halloween

Halloween is coming! At this time of year, it’s important to pay extra attention to your little one’s teeth and oral hygiene. Sugary candies can do serious damage to tooth enamel, but you can protect your child’s teeth by adopting these good habits around the Halloween holiday and by taking your child to see the dentist in Brookeland TX. Here’s what you need to know.

Brush Extra

Children need their teeth brushed by their parents until they’re about seven or eight, because they don’t have the manual dexterity to properly clean their teeth on their own. If you still brush your child’s teeth, take the time to brush your child’s teeth extra well on Halloween night.

If your child is brushing their teeth on their own, ask them to brush their teeth for twice as long as usual. If they’re only just learning to brush their own teeth, consider supervising their work on Halloween night.

Switch Out Sticky and Hard Candies

Sticky and hard candies are especially bad for tooth enamel. Candies like caramel, taffy and suckers can easily stick to your child’s teeth, causing a buildup of bacteria that can lead to cavities and other problems.

Encourage your child not to eat these candies – and consider switching out these candies for other sweets like chocolate. Chocolate melts in the mouth and is easily washed away with water.

Drink Lots of Water

It’s important to encourage children to drink plenty of water when they’re eating Halloween candy. Drinking water helps wash away foods and keep the inside of the mouth clean. Drinking water is no substitute for brushing teeth, but it can help keep your child’s teeth cleaner between tooth brushings, so that extra sugar is less of a problem overall.

Manage Candy Consumption

One of the reasons that Halloween candy causes such problems is because children have uncontrolled access to their candy throughout the day and night. Consider keeping your child’s Halloween candy up and out of your child’s reach. Give them a piece of candy or two after meals, when their saliva production is up. Managing candy consumption can prevent the candy from becoming a big problem.

Take care of your child’s teeth this Halloween – make an appointment for a pediatric tooth cleaning in Brookeland TX.

How Dental Restoration Can Improve Your Quality of Life

Your smile is important. It’s one of the first things people notice about you and influences everything from relationships to career opportunities. If your smile isn’t where you would like it to be, dental restoration in Brookeland, Texas, may be the solution. Dental restoration restores and repairs areas of opportunity such as stained or missing teeth, unsightly gaps, and misaligned bites. As a result, you’re left with the dazzling smile you were always meant to have. Restorative procedures aren’t merely aesthetic either. They also often alleviate pain and prevent bone loss. Learn more about dental restoration in Brookeland.

What is Dental Restoration?

Your dentist in Brookland, TX, uses restorative dentistry to fix problems that have developed over time. Many things may cause your teeth to deteriorate, including:

  • Neglect
  • Injury
  • Trauma
  • Disease

As a result, you may feel self-conscious about your smile. But through restorative services, such as dental implants, veneers, and more, your teeth can look new again. Best of all, no one will ever know you had dental work done unless you tell them. Dental restoration seeks to look natural, so everyone will think you’re still sporting the perfect teeth you were born with.

Who Needs Restorative Services?

Anyone may benefit from dental restoration. Restoration encompasses a wide range of services aimed at making teeth and gums look and function better. It may ease toothache, prevent infection, deter bone loss, and eliminate the need for tooth extraction. Dental restoration may include:

  • Dental implants
  • Dentures
  • Inlays and onlays
  • Braces or aligners
  • Veneers
  • Teeth whitening
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Fillings

Generally, any dental procedure that improves the appearance of your smile and the functionality of your teeth fits into the category of restoration.

Call Rayburn General Dentistry Today

In Brookeland, Texas, Rayburn General Dentistry provides an excellent level of dental restoration. If your smile needs a boost, we’re the ones to call. Contact us today to book an initial consultation to discuss your goals. Our experienced dental professionals are happy to sit down with you and discuss your options for smile restoration.

Rayburn General Dentistry is your go-to choice for dental restoration in Brookeland. Schedule an appointment today to take that first step toward a more beautiful smile.

Dry Socket 101 – FAQs for Concerned Patients

While having a tooth pulled is rarely the most desirable option, sometimes, an ailing tooth must be removed to protect your oral health or prevent pain. After you have undergone a tooth extraction in Brookeland, TX, you do have to do what you can to take care of the extraction site. A dry socket is one problem that can come up for some people.

What is a dry socket?

When a tooth has been pulled from its socket, a small hole is left behind that exposes the nerves and bone left behind. Part of the healing process involves a blood clot forming to conceal the sensitive opening. A dry socket occurs when the blood clot either does not develop or develops and then comes out of place.

How do you know if you have a dry socket?

A dry socket is usually relatively easy to point out. You may notice:

  • Intense pain that settles in a day or two after the tooth is pulled
  • You can see inside the extraction site; you may see bone
  • Foul breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  • Pain that seems to radiate from the extraction site and into your face

Can the dentist help with a dry socket?

The dentist can help with the dry socket, and they should be contacted as soon as you suspect you have this issue. In most cases, the dentist will clean the socket, give you medication to help with the pain, and may possibly pack the area with special medication to conceal the area.

Tips for Avoiding a Dry Socket

  • Don’t use a straw for about a week after the extraction
  • Stick with soft foods for the first day or two after the extraction
  • Check with the dentist about medications you are taking that may prevent blood clotting
  • Keep your mouth clean with gentle rinsing
  • Avoid smoking or vaping

Work with a Brookeland Dentist for Your Smile’s Health

Any time you have a tooth extracted, be sure to follow the guidelines set forth by your dentist to avoid the risks of developing a dry socket. If you have a tooth that is giving you problems and may need to be extracted, talked to a Brookeland dentist like us at Rayburn General Dentistry to schedule an appointment.

 

Common Oral Health Concerns for Seniors

Just like other health aspects, the mouth changes as you age. As a senior, you may be more prone to certain issues that can affect your smile. Therefore, having a good dentist in Brookeland to help you keep tabs on your oral health is important. While every individual is different, many seniors commonly face certain issues with their teeth, gums, and oral health as they get older. Take a look at some of the most common issues and how your dentist can help you avoid problems.

Bone Loss

Bone loss refers to the natural breakdown of bone density. As you age, the mineral content in the bones can change, which allows some of the bones to lose their height. Bone loss can be especially prominent among patients who have lost some of their teeth. If you are concerned about bone loss and how it could affect your smile, talk to your dentist about what you can do to support a healthy bone structure as a senior.

Gum Disease

Gum disease can be the result of a number of changes within the mouth. Changes in blood circulation, a drop in salivation, and other issues can occur in your mouth as you get older. While these natural changes don’t necessarily always lead to gum disease, they can mean you are more at risk as you get older. One of the best strategies to protect yourself against age-related gum disease is to stay vigilant about your oral health care routine, including having your teeth cleaned at the dentist every year.

Decay

Older adults can grow more prone to problems with decay, but the causes can be different than for someone younger. The teeth can lose some of their density as you age, which can mean the exterior can break down easier with exposure to sugars and acids in what you consume. Your dentist can help you monitor your teeth for obvious weakening and tend to any issues with decay quickly.

Find the General Dental Care in Brookeland You Need to Maintain Your Smile

No written rule says you have to stop taking care of your smile at a certain age. In fact, with a good care plan and a healthy lifestyle, you can retain your original smile for the years to come. If you would like to schedule an appointment for a checkup as a senior, reach out to us at Rayburn General Dentistry.

diabetic dental care

Type 2 Diabetes and Your Smile – What to Know as a Patient

About 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. has diabetes, and as many as 95 percent of those individuals have type 2 diabetes. This condition affects how your body processes sugar, but it can have so many other repercussions on your health. Being especially vigilant about your oral health with type 2 diabetes is important. Here are a few things to know about your smile, type 2 diabetes, and the unique risks you face.

High glucose levels can mean you have heightened risks of tooth decay.

If you have higher than usual blood glucose levels, the body tries to expel it in any way that it can, including through your saliva. The higher concentration of glucose in your saliva is really hard on your teeth. In fact, you can be extremely prone to problems with decay if you have type 2 diabetes and uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

You really have to pay close attention to gum health.

Gum disease is extremely common among people who have type 2 diabetes. The combination of high glucose in the saliva, a dryer mouth, and changes in blood circulation to the mouth can make your soft tissues in your mouth much more prone to inflammation and deterioration. Be sure to keep your sugar levels in check, take your medications, drink plenty of water, and monitor your gums for signs of problems.

Infections of the mouth can be more common as a diabetic.

Infection caused by either fungus or bacteria in the mouth is more common among people who have diabetes. If you have a decaying tooth, this means you can be a bit more at risk of developing an abscess. Therefore, any small lesion, injury, or point of decay should be immediately dressed by a dentist. Infections in the mouth can heighten your risks of needing to have certain teeth extracted.

Get Help Taking Care of Your Smile from a Brookeland Dentist

When you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, being vigilant about your oral health is so important. Reach out to us at Rayburn General Dentistry if you need help taking care of your smile as someone with diabetes.

Is My Tooth Too Decayed to Fix?

Tooth decay and cavities are common among adults, and sometimes, it is easy to prolong a dental visit to get an issue fixed. Cavities can spread and cause a lot of problems, so they should be tended to as quickly as possible. However, there are situations when a tooth is decayed to fix. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you have a severely decayed tooth.

Basic demineralization and enamel decay are the easiest to repair.

The outermost layers of a tooth are made up of hard minerals. When the enamel initially starts to deteriorate, you may notice changes in the color of your tooth at a certain point or feel a change in the texture of your teeth. At this stage, decay is easiest to repair; the inner parts of the tooth have not been affected. Therefore, it is best to get to a dentist right away for attention.

Enamel decay leads to holes, which require full fillings.

If basic surface deterioration is allowed to progress, you will end up with enamel decay. You may see a hole in your tooth that appears dark in color. Over time, the hole will grow larger, and the enamel around the hole may grow weak or brittle. This is the most common point when people will seek a dentist to get a filling.

Dentin damage can be signaled by pain and the decay may be harder to fix.

Dentin is the inner layer of tooth material between the enamel and the pulp. Dentin is soft, so it can deteriorate relatively quickly once it is exposed. While decay that leads into dentin can be repaired with a filling, the process can be harder and the structure of the tooth may be weakened.

Decay leading into the pulp may require extensive measures.

Once decay beaks down the enamel and dentin, the innermost pulp may be affected. The pulp is where the majority of blood vessels and nerves reside, which means by this point, you may have a pretty major toothache and a lot of sensitivity. Pulp damage requires a root canal, but a root canal alone may not always be enough to save the tooth as the entire structure can be weakened.

Any time you have a cavity, it is a good idea to reach out to a dentist as quickly as possible. The faster you get in for an assessment and treatment, the less likely it will be that your tooth has to be extracted. Reach out to us at Rayburn General Dentistry in Brookeland for an appointment.

 

Avoiding Bone Loss After a Tooth Extraction

If you have a tooth extracted and have no plan for replacing it, bone loss will occur over time. Bone loss happens when the bone recedes, or remodels, after an extraction. Dental implants can help you avoid bone loss and should be performed as soon after the extraction as possible.

What Is Bone Loss?

The chewing motion and pressure caused by teeth as they break apart food “exercises” the jawbone. It keeps the bone beneath your tooth healthy, active, and well-formed. Once a permanent tooth is extracted, however, there’s no longer anything holding the bone in place. this area of bone will then begin to recede over time. We call this bone loss, and the longer it’s left untreated, the more damage it may cause.

How to Prevent Bone Loss?

The best way to prevent bone loss is to take good care of your teeth and gums. If you never need to have a tooth extracted, you won’t have to think about how to keep the bone beneath it from receding. In the event you do end up needing to have a tooth pulled, either due to cavities or trauma, you’ll need a plan to replace it with something such as a dental implant to keep the bone healthy.

What Are the Dangers of Untreated Bone Loss

The dangers of ignoring bone loss after tooth extraction are relatively serious. Left untreated, this type of bone loss can cause changes to the structure of your face, making you appear much older than you are. Also, the longer the bone loss is left to deteriorate, the more difficult it will be for your dental professional to fix the problem. If you lose too much bone, dental implants won’t be possible. Instead, you may need a bone graft to correct the problem. Bone grafts are typically an expensive fix that is more invasive than a simple implant procedure.

If you’re struggling with bone loss following tooth extraction in the Brookeland, TX area, contact Rayburn General Dentistry. We have solutions to correct bone loss. Call today to schedule an initial consultation to discuss the options available.

 

Be Happy and Cavity-Free – Getting Children Serious About Tooth Decay

Children are more prone to decay than adults, and several reasons are behind this fact. More than 42 percent of kids between 2 and 11 have problems with decay in their teeth. As a parent, it is your job to help lower those numbers and keep your child happy and cavity-free. Here are a few ways you can encourage your child to be more vigilant about their oral health.

Invest in Child-Friendly Oral Hygiene Products

Getting kids to brush and floss at home is a huge part of helping them thwart problems with decay. Luckily, you have access to a long list of child-friendly products that can make the routine something kids can get excited about, such as:

  • Fun flossers outfitted with colorful characters or color-changing abilities
  • Musical toothbrushes that play a song until it is time to stop brushing
  • Yummy flavored toothpaste and mouthwash
  • Mouthwash that highlights spots on the teeth that need to be brushed the most

Make Oral Health a Big Deal for Everyone in the Household

Try treating your oral health and dental hygiene habits as something the family can do together. Maybe brushing your teeth together at night can become something fun, and almost like family time together. Perhaps trips to the dentist for a checkup can be a full-on outing with a special treat for everyone afterward.

Treat Formal Dental Care as Something Special

It may be true that no one necessarily likes going to see the dentist. However, children are little sponges that absorb the energies around them and reflect similar attitudes. Even if you are not too keen on going to the dentist, do your best to treat this form of care as something special. Keep a chipper attitude about your own treatments and the treatments your child may need. For example, if you normally dread getting your teeth cleaned, only say positive things about the trip when your kids are around. Maybe you could say you’re going to visit the dentist to get your smile to sparkle. When it is time for your child to have their teeth cleaned, they can reflect that same attitude about the experience.

Keep Kids Smiling with the Help of a Good Brookeland Dentist

So much of who we are and what we look like is wrapped up in our smiles, and our children make us smile a lot. Be sure to keep them smiling as well with the proper dental care. Reach out to us at Rayburn Family Dentistry in Brookeland, TX to schedule an appointment.