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How to Choose a Toothbrush

How to Choose a Toothbrush

Toothbrushes are everyday objects that we often do not spend much time thinking about. You may even think every toothbrush is equal in cleaning your teeth effectively. This is false. The toothbrush you use and how you use it can make or break your oral health journey, and it is essential to choose the right one. If you have no idea where to start, do not worry! We are here to share some tips and tricks for choosing the right toothbrush and using it effectively.

Toothbrushes first became mainstream in the 1930s, but there were not many options. Almost everyone was stuck with a toothbrush that had nylon bristles. Today, it is a different story. In the United States, we are lucky enough to have many toothbrushes at our fingertips at local grocery stores and drugstores. You may think the only two types of toothbrushes out there are manual and electric, but think again!

Five things to keep in mind when choosing a toothbrush:

  1. Safety. Safety may not be something that comes to mind when you think about brushing your teeth. However, it is imperative to choose a safe toothbrush for your unique oral health and your brushing tendencies. For example, if you generally brush aggressively, an electric toothbrush may be a better choice for you as it will make it easier to be gentle while still cleaning your mouth.
  2. Professional recommendations. When looking for a new toothbrush, it is best to get the opinion of your dentist. They will have suggestions that are tailored to your personal oral health needs. When buying one, it is also essential to make sure that you pick one with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.
  3. Variety of bristles. You may notice that some toothbrushes have uniform bristles across the whole head while others have a mixture of soft to stiff bristles and even some rubber components. Choosing which type is right for you should be based on your oral health. For example, if you have gum problems, it is best to stick with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  4. What should my child use? It is crucial to pick out a toothbrush for your child that can easily fit into their hand and has soft bristles. If your child is old enough to comprehend, have them pick out their toothbrush. Getting children involved in this process early will make oral hygiene more fun for them.
  5. Manual vs. Electric. Many people falsely assume that electric toothbrushes are leaps and bounds more effective than manual toothbrushes. This is false. It is more vital that you effectively know how to use your toothbrush correctly, and the manual versus electric debate comes down to personal preference.

Believe it or not, this is just the tip of the iceberg for picking out a toothbrush. Cost, likability, and size are important factors in choosing the right toothbrush. The more you consider these things, the easier it will be for you to find a toothbrush that is the perfect fit for your oral hygiene journey! Give Flower Mound Dental a call today at (972) 691-8337 if you have any questions about choosing a toothbrush or would like to schedule an appointment. Click here to learn about proper gum care.

Gum Care

Gum Care

When you think about taking care of your smile, brushing and flossing your teeth are probably the first things that come to mind. However, there is much more that goes into keeping your mouth in order! Your gums play an integral role in your overall oral health and can be in bad shape even if you have the whitest, brightest smile around. 

Have you ever heard of gum disease? If you have never had to deal with it, consider yourself lucky! Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup along and underneath your gum line. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and will cause your gums to become swollen and tender and sometimes even bleed. Luckily, this type of gum disease is easily treatable since it does not directly impact the bone connected to your teeth. 

If you let gingivitis progress untreated, it can become periodontitis, which is a more severe form of gum disease. Periodontitis does impact the bone and tissue connected to your teeth, and if left untreated, can slowly destroy your teeth. Some signs you may have periodontal disease include but are not limited to a bad taste in your mouth, loose permanent teeth, swollen gums, tender, or bloody, and a receding gum line. Luckily, gum disease is easily preventable, and we are excited to share five simple ways in which you can keep your gums healthy!

  • Use therapeutic mouthwash. Almost any drugstore or pharmacy will carry it over-the-counter. This type of mouthwash can help reduce the speed tartar develops, reduce plaque, and even reduce gingivitis. Make sure you are also looking for the American Dental Association seal on any therapeutic mouthwash. 
  • Make sure to floss! Flossing once or twice per day will help remove any tricky plaque buildup that your toothbrush is unable to get rid of. Since plaque is the main cause of gum disease, flossing is a must! 
  • Use fluoride toothpaste. Almost every toothpaste brand will claim to reduce the risk of gingivitis. So how do you know which ones are the best? When you pick out your toothpaste, ensure it contains fluoride and has the American Dental Association seal of acceptance! 
  • Brush twice a day. Brushing after breakfast and dinner is the easiest thing you can do on your own to keep your smile healthy! Brushing will help remove plaque and bacteria, and flossing will do the rest! Also, make sure to brush your tongue, as it can carry bacteria as well. Electric toothbrushes are the best option to remove plaque more effectively than manual toothbrushes. Make sure you change out your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three months.
  • Get your teeth cleaned regularly. Your dental hygienist can remove any tricky plaque and tartar formed on your teeth. Doing this every six months will keep your teeth much healthier than trying to take oral hygiene into your own hands only! In addition to this, your dentist can detect the early signs of gum disease and start a treatment plan before it turns into gingivitis or even periodontitis. If you already have gingivitis, regular hygiene appointments can help reverse its effects. 

This may seem like a lot of information to take in, but we promise taking these simple steps will help prevent gum disease. If you’re not flossing daily or using mouthwash, now is the time to start! If you haven’t come in for your bi-yearly hygiene appointment in over six months, it is time to schedule. Call us today at (972) 691-8337 to make an appointment. Let’s work together to keep your gums healthy! Read about our reasons as to why you should schedule your 6-month checkup.

Make Your Smile Sparkle for the Holidays!

Make Your Smile Sparkle for the Holidays!

Few things will make you feel more confident than having a sparkling white smile, especially during the holiday season! Teeth whitening has been a popular cosmetic procedure over the years. It has become so popular that you can easily find at-home teeth whitening tips online. However, not all these tips are accurate or effective, and it is essential to distinguish which tips are which. We are here to help you! In this blog, we debunk common teeth whitening myths and provide you with ways to make your whitening experience as effective as possible. Let’s get your smile sparkling for the holidays!

Having a diverse mix of opinions is generally a positive thing. However, this is not always the case for factual information, such as how to most effectively whiten your teeth. There are many common misconceptions about teeth whitening, and here are just a few of the most prevalent: 

  • Whitening toothpaste works well. Many household name companies sell toothpaste that is advertised as a whitening product. There are two main reasons why you should not use whitening toothpaste as your primary brightening technique. The first is that the chemicals that whiten your teeth need to be in contact with them for an extended period to work, not just the couple minutes it takes you to brush your teeth. The second reason is self-explanatory: whitening toothpaste costs more than regular toothpaste!
  • At-Home Teeth whitening will remove all of your stains. Depending on what types of stains are on your teeth, this may not be true. Certain people are more prone to long-lasting stains on their teeth, such as smokers and coffee drinkers. In addition to this, our teeth tend to yellow as we get older, which will, in turn, make them more difficult to whiten.
  • Baking soda is an effective DIY whitening method. An extremely common way people try to whiten their teeth at home is by brushing them with baking soda. Many people don’t know that baking soda can mess with the balance of bacteria in your mouth. This can eventually lead to oral health issues.
  • Over-the-counter whitening options work just as well. While these options can make your teeth look a little brighter, they will not give you the same results as whitening with a professional will. Professional whitening is safe, effective, and worth the time and money!

You may now be remembering a time or two when you brushed with baking soda or used Crest Whitestrips and didn’t get the results you wanted. That is okay! We have all been there, and luckily there are safe, effective ways to get your smile to shine bright. While it may seem as if there aren’t any good alternatives to the debunked myths above, we have some encouraging ones to share with you!

  • You can whiten your teeth at home! Most dental offices, including ours, offer take-home whitening kits. These kits are much more effective than drugstore whitening options and just as easy to use!
  • Professional whitening will last longer than over-the-counter options. This is one of the many reasons professional or dentist-approved take-home whitening treatments are the best options. You will get more for your money and your teeth will dazzle for even longer! 
  • You cannot whiten an implant or crown. There are many ways around this! If you consider having your teeth whitened but are about to get an implant, try whitening them before the implant is put in. 
  • Good oral hygiene will prolong the effects of my whitening treatment. Your results will last longer if you stay on top of your oral hygiene! This includes brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and going to your dentist every six months for a routine cleaning! 

At Flower Mound Dental, we want to provide you with all the information to help you make your oral health decisions as easy as possible. We hope this myth-busting session was able to do just that! If you’re interested in getting your teeth whitened, you’re in luck! We offer both in-office and take-home whitening options. You can call us today at (972) 691-8337 if you have any questions about our whitening options or would like to schedule an appointment. We want to give you a smile that will impress for the holiday season! Read about our reasons as to why you should schedule your 6-month checkup.

Wisdom Teeth Recovery

Wisdom Teeth Recovery

Have you ever gotten your wisdom teeth removed? Your “wisdom teeth” are the molars that are the furthest back in your mouth. For most people, they are ready for removal sometime during their teenage years. This is because many people do not have enough room in their mouths to accommodate these teeth once they grow in. Because of this, most young adults end up getting their wisdom teeth surgically removed. Whether you still need to get your wisdom teeth taken out or have someone close to you who is planning on it, we are excited to share a few tips on how to have a smooth recovery process.

  • Think about what you are eating. Finding the right foods to aid your recovery can help immensely. You may not have a considerable appetite directly after surgery, and your mouth will most likely be sore. The best foods to consume while recovering are those that won’t require much chewing and will be safe for your stitches. Apple sauce, smoothies, pudding, soup, mashed potatoes, and cottage cheese are all equally tasty and safe! You should also avoid foods that are too hot or could potentially get stuck in the surgery site. It is essential to avoid drinking from a straw, as slurping too aggressively may compromise your stitches or the blood clot that protects the surgery wound. The more careful you are with what you eat after your surgery, the sooner you’ll be able to re-introduce your usual favorite foods into your diet! 
  • Take your recovery seriously when you get home. It is essential to take precautions when you get home from your surgery to avoid infections and other issues. Rinsing with salt water to keep the wounds clean and free of bacteria is one of the most simple and effective things you can regularly be doing. Make sure you don’t forcefully spit the saltwater when finished, but let it gently fall from your mouth. Your mouth will have some blood in it right after the surgery, so make sure to gently clean the wounds with gauze or a cotton ball after rinsing. It is also integral to avoid dislodging your stitches. This can disrupt the healing process and lead to dry sockets, which are painful and can cause a prolonged recovery process. 
  • Manage the pain carefully. There is a high chance that you will have some pain and swelling in the days directly following your surgery. One of the best ways to manage this pain is by using an ice pack. Make sure to ask your dentist about how often you should be using one. It is also important to not directly place ice on your face, as this can lead to an ice burn. Pain medication is another way to help your recovery along. Your dentist will be able to guide you in whether you need to be taking over-the-counter or prescription medications. You may also be advised to take antibiotics. Antibiotics will help protect your mouth from infection as the wounds heal.

Wisdom teeth removal recovery should be taken seriously just like recovery from any other surgery. Thinking about what you are eating, keeping the surgery wounds clean, and proactively managing your pain are three easy ways to keep your recovery short and sweet! Make sure you listen to your dentist’s tips regarding recovery as well. If you or someone you know has questions about the wisdom teeth surgery process, call us today at (972) 691-8337. Read about our reasons as to why you should schedule your 6-month checkup.

Use it or Lose it

Use it or Lose it

School is in full swing, the holidays are approaching, and the year will be coming to a close before we know it! Our oral health is often forgotten about during this time of year because of all the excitement of the holidays. Going to the dentist may not be at the top of your mind, but you only have a few months left to use your dental benefits before they expire! Because many plans do not let you roll your benefits over into the following calendar year, it is important to use them while you can. To make things more simple for you, we have decided to share three easy ways to use your remaining benefits! Use it or lose it season is upon us!

  1. Unscheduled treatment. Do you need to complete a treatment you have been putting off for a while? We understand that certain types of treatment can be intimidating, especially if you have never had serious dental work done. We promise you won’t regret it! Whether it is getting crowns, a tooth extraction, fixing a cavity, or any other type of treatment, we stand by the fact that getting it on your schedule before 2021 ends is a good idea. You will be rid of any discomfort you have been having more quickly, and you will also save money in the long run. If you continue to put off the treatment you need, you may have to get more treatment in the future. You know what this means; schedule your treatment so you can use your benefits before you lose them!
  2. Big procedures. Have you always wanted a smile makeover but not known where to start? Now is the perfect time to begin! Schedule an Invisalign consultation or even give yourself a full smile restoration with dental implants before the year comes to a close. You will be able to use your leftover dental benefits to cover the costs which is the best part. It’s time to take the leap you’ve always wanted to and get your smile upgrade scheduled. It’s never too late to feel confident in your smile. This is a great way to use your benefits before you lose them!
  3. Hygiene. Have you gotten your teeth cleaned in the last six months? If it’s been since the spring of 2021 or earlier, you are due for a cleaning. Seeing your hygienist twice per year is one of the most important parts of keeping your teeth in top shape. Your hygienist will remove any plaque or tartar buildup that can cause more severe health problems in the future if not addressed early on. In addition to this, your smile will feel bright and beautiful. If you have remaining dental benefits and haven’t been in for a cleaning recently, schedule with us and use your benefits before you lose them!

Whether you want to treat yourself to a smile makeover, have pending treatment, or need to schedule a hygiene visit, now is the time to do it! Plus, we would love to see you at Flower Mound Dental before the year is over. Give us a call at (972) 691-8337 to get scheduled! The clock is ticking, which means it’s time to use it or lose it! Read about our reasons as to why you should schedule your 6-month checkup.
Book Appointment

Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment

Are you thinking about whether you want to sign up for dental insurance through an employer or switch from your current plan? Open enrollment season is officially here, and we want to help you find the right dental benefits plan for you and your family. We offer a Membership Plan that is simple and comprehensive. It is subscription-based and covers all your preventative care while giving you discounts on other procedures. Unlike dental insurance, there are no waiting periods, approval processes, deductibles, annual maximums, or other insurance hassles. Best of all, you can sign up in as little as 5 minutes, and your benefits start immediately!

 

At Flower Mound Dental, your oral health is our top priority. We understand that dental work can be expensive and insurance companies are frustrating to deal with. That is why we offer our Membership Plan! Our plan is straightforward, affordable, and offered directly through our office. 

 

We offer three different plans: Child Complete, Adult Complete, and Perio. By signing up for one of these plans, you will be able to save up to $360 per year on dental work! Our plans include:

 

Child Complete ($21/mo. or $252/yr.):

– 2 professional cleanings

– 2 regular exams

– 1 fluoride treatment

– Routine x-rays

– 1 emergency exam

 

Adult Complete ($25/mo. or $300/yr.):

– 2 professional cleanings

– 2 regular exams

– 2 oral screenings

– Routine x-rays

– 1 emergency exam

 

Perio ($39/mo. or $468/yr.):

– 3 perio maintenance procedures & checkups

– 2 regular exams

– 2 oral screenings

– Routine x-rays

– 1 emergency exam

 

In addition to this, all three of our plans include up to 20% off all other procedures completed at our practice and a 5% subscription discount for additional family members.

 

Now is the perfect time to sign up. If you are interested or would like to recieve more information, you can visit this link or call us at (972) 691-8337.

 

Not only do we offer a Membership Plan to our individual patients, but we also offer a plan for local businesses! If you are a business owner or an employee of a business looking to offer dental insurance benefits to your employees, our Employer Plan is a great option!

 

We are a local business and care deeply about other local businesses. We can help to ensure your business attracts and retains the employees to make it even more successful than it already is. Surveys of US workers report that 88% of job seekers indicate that dental benefits are a key factor in their job choice. Furthermore, 2 out of 3 employees consider dental benefits to be a very or extremely important part of their compensation package. It is safe to say that the better benefits your company offers, the better employees it will attract.

 

We are excited to tell you about our Employer Membership Plan, a dental benefits package revolutionizing what it means to offer dental benefits. Our Employer Plan is unique because:

 

  1. It is affordable
  2. No deductibles
  3. No waiting periods
  4. No annual maximums
  5. No pre-approvals
  6. No paperwork
  7. Simple online sign-up and management

 

This may sound too good to be true, but we promise it’s not. Our Employer Plan is a much better option than traditional insurance because it is provided directly to your company, eliminating the unnecessary costs, hassles, and limitations of 3rd party insurance. As an employer, you can contribute whatever you would like, from $0 to the full subscription price per employee. Company enrollment is fast and simple and plan management is easily accessible through the employer portal. If you’re looking to adopt a straightforward dental coverage plan for your company, look no further. Our Employer Plan is the one for you. If you are interested or would like to learn more, you can reach us at (972) 691-8337.

 

Now is the perfect time of year to sign up for new dental benefits or start a new plan for your company. We promise our plans won’t disappoint and want to do everything we can to provide you with the best, most affordable dental care on the market. Read about our reasons as to why you should schedule your 6-month checkup.

Surprise…it’s Teeth-safe Food Month

Surprise…it’s Teeth-safe Food Month

Surprise…it’s Teeth-safe Food Month! Being knowledgeable regarding what foods are healthy and which are destructive for your teeth is very important in keeping your smile healthy. Food goes hand-in-hand with a healthy life and affects our well-being in countless ways, your oral health included! 

 

Cavities, one of the most common oral issues, can be caused directly by what we eat. Refined sugar is one of the most well-known causes of cavities. When we eat it, it is broken down by bacteria and turned into acid, which can dissolve the tooth enamel. The more often you consume foods that contain refined sugar, the more detrimental it can be to your oral health. So what are some of the healthiest ways to indulge in your favorite snacks while keeping your teeth healthy?

 

  • Avoid having sugar in your mouth for an extended time. Some examples of this are soda and candies you suck on, such as lollipops. If you want to enjoy a sugary snack, a quick dessert like a piece of cake or pie is much better. When you are eating something quickly, the saliva in your mouth will be hard at work washing the debris away. 
  • Eat sweets at a time you know you will brush soon afterward. Most people will brush their teeth pretty soon after eating a meal. Therefore, this is one of the best times to consume a sweet treat. If you’re snacking on sweets at a random time during the day, you are less likely to brush until later, and the sugar will have more time to sit on your teeth and will be more likely to damage them.
  • If you want to snack, find substitutes! Many delicious snacks are much better for your teeth than candy and sweets but can still satisfy your cravings for something tasty! Try snacking on berries or yogurt – they are both sweet and good for your teeth!

 

Keeping your diet well-balanced will make or break your oral health. The right foods will keep your teeth safe while also keeping your gums and bones strong. Familiarizing yourself with foods you love that are also rich in vitamins is the key, and is not that hard to do. Foods full of folic acid, vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin C are some of the best things for healthy gums and teeth. Here are some of our top choices…

 

  • Dark green leafy vegetables. When people think of calcium, they usually think of milk. However, certain leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and collard greens are chock full of calcium and will keep your teeth strong. 
  • Meat. Meats such as chicken and fish are versatile and delicious. You can’t go wrong with either because there are so many ways to cook and season them! In addition to this, they contain vitamin B12, which is great for keeping your gums healthy.
  • Citrus. Whether you prefer fresh-squeezed orange juice or peeling and eating a clementine, citrus is delicious, rich in vitamin C, and perfect for keeping your soft mouth tissue healthy.
  • Beans, seeds, and nuts. These three foods have endless uses and can enhance many meals. They also contain folic acid, which will strengthen the supporting soft tissue in your mouth.
  • Dairy. Dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt will kill two birds with one stone. They contain both calcium and vitamin B12, which are beneficial to the health of your gums and teeth!

 

Food allergies are unfortunately quite common. Luckily, the foods listed above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to food that is good for your oral health. You have many options and will never get bored! Making sure you eat a wide range of foods with the vitamins and minerals mentioned above will improve your oral health and your overall well-being. We can give you lots of healthy teeth tips on our blog, but it’s always better to come to visit us! Give us a call today at (972) 691-8337 to schedule a visit! Read about our reasons as to why you should schedule your 6-month checkup.

How can I help my children love brushing their teeth?

How can I help my children love brushing their teeth?

Many of you may be wondering how to get your children to comply with their oral hygiene without throwing a tantrum. It is common for children to want nothing to do with brushing their teeth. For all the parents who are dealing with this struggle, we have you covered. We are excited to share three of our favorite easy ways to get your children to want to brush their teeth!

 

  • Teach your children the importance of oral health early and model good oral hygiene yourself. 

Whether you know it or not, your children are listening to and watching you and taking your routine behaviors in. Oral hygiene is no exception to this. If children see their parents brushing and flossing, they will be curious and want to do it themselves. Try creating a specific time each day for brushing and flossing and join your children in it. That way, when they become old enough to take care of their own oral hygiene, this time will be ingrained in them. It is essential to teach children why certain habits are healthy. Tell them how and why a healthy smile will lead to a healthy life. 

 

  • Make it fun.

There are countless ways to make oral hygiene enjoyable for your kids. One of our personal favorite techniques is making a brushing playlist of songs your children love. There are plenty of dental-themed songs out there too! When it is time for brushing teeth,  put this playlist on and join your children. Another way to get your kids excited: let them pick out some new toothbrushes. Most drugstores have a variety of children’s toothbrushes, featuring everything from Disney princesses to animals. There are so many fun ways to get your children to view brushing their teeth to be just as enjoyable as it is needed. Before you know it, your kids will be asking when it is time for their daily oral hygiene.

 

  • Reward good brushing behavior to reinforce it for your children. 

Rewarding your children when they keep up with their brushing is an effective way to build good long-term oral hygiene habits. Rewards don’t have to take up too much time or money. They can be as simple as putting stickers or marks on a homemade chart every time your kids brush their teeth without complaint. The stickers can add up to a bigger reward at the end of the week or month as well. You can even let your children choose dinner one night of the week if they have been good about brushing the previous week. Even if a reward seems insignificant to us as adults, it will be helpful in reinforcing good oral hygiene behavior in your children.

 

It is important for children to learn why keeping up with dental care is important and how best to stay on top of it. Educating your children about why brushing is essential, modeling good behavior, making oral care fun, and rewarding your children when they are doing well are all ways to increase good brushing behavior and overall oral health. Let’s get these kids brushing! Read about our reasons as to why you should schedule your 6-month checkup.

4 Reasons to Schedule Your 6-Month Checkup

4 Reasons to Schedule Your 6-Month Checkup

4 Reasons to Schedule Your 6-Month Checkup

Staying on top of your oral health is extremely important. We are excited to share a few of the reasons why with you!

Many people wonder why they need to go to the dentist every six months. There are far more perks of keeping up with your oral health routine than you may know. After reading this, you will want to make sure you have your next appointment scheduled!

  1. Keeping bacteria at bay

    What is plaque and how is avoiding it’s removal dangerous for your oral health? Plaque is a layer of clear, sticky bacteria on your teeth. It is almost impossible to completely get rid of it during your daily brushing routine. This is why your routine cleanings are so important. If plaque stays on your teeth for too long, it will harden and become tartar. Tartar is impossible to remove with your at-home brushing and flossing routine. If you let it build up for a long period of time, it can result in various oral infections. Without routine dental cleanings, plaque and tartar buildup would be almost impossible to keep up with.

  2. Overall health

    There has been extensive research done regarding the link between oral health and other health problems. It is not well-known that there have been connections found between oral infections and heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke. Many of these conditions begin with or show signs of their presence orally. During your routine checkups, your dentist can help identify these manifestations. Your dentist’s oral health knowledge can provide a key connection to the detection of other health issues you may be unable to detect yourself.

  3. Catch problems before they grow

    Dentists are trained to catch specific oral health issues before they become dangerous. Many people believe that cavities are accompanied by intense pain and, therefore, are easy to detect. This isn’t always true. Sometimes you may not be able to feel a cavity at all. If you are going to your dentist regularly, cavities will be caught and treated before they worsen and result in more complicated treatment.

  4. Don’t forget your gums

    The health of your gums is important to your oral health and can be challenging to keep up with if you don’t have a dental background. Your dentist will check the depth of the space between your teeth and gums with a unique tool. If the space is deep, you may have gum disease. Small checkups like this may seem unimportant, but they will pay off for your health in the long run!

We hope you all see that your routine dental exam and cleaning are critical to staying on top of your health. If you choose to skip or postpone these appointments, you may develop problems that could cost you more money and time in the long run. We promise that routine dental checkups are something to smile about!