What You Should Know About Your Teen’s Wisdom Teeth

If you’re the parent of a teenager, you should know what to expect when it’s time for their wisdom teeth to make an appearance. Your family dentist in Beaumont, TX can answer all your questions regarding your child’s wisdom teeth.

When Should I Begin to Worry About My Teen’s Wisdom Teeth?

First, there’s no need to worry. If your teen has regular dental checkups, your family dentist will alert you when it’s time to address wisdom teeth. Usually, this happens during the middle teenage years, around 16 or 17. Most dentists will find wisdom teeth before they begin to cause problems because they’re very apparent on your teen’s X-rays.

Do Wisdom Teeth Always Cause Problems?

Not at all. Many wisdom teeth erupt without causing any problems at all. If they’re well aligned and if your teen has good oral hygiene practices and regular trips to the dentist, they may not need removal. However, if the wisdom teeth are angled beneath the gums in such a way that they place pressure on existing teeth, your dentist will probably recommend removal.

What Happens If My Teen’s Wisdom Teeth Must Come Out?

Usually, your dentist in Beaumont, TX will refer your teen to an oral surgeon if they need to have wisdom teeth removed. The surgeon will meet with you and your child for an initial consultation before scheduling surgery. They’ll explain the procedure and may ask whether your teen prefers to be sedated during the procedure. Other options may include the use of local or general anesthesia.

Will My Teen Experience A Lot of Pain After Having Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Your teen’s oral surgeon will prescribe pain medication for post-operative discomfort. Generally, the pain associated with wisdom tooth removal is mild to moderate and easily controlled through medication. As long as your teen follows the surgeon’s recommendations for aftercare and follows up when advised, healing should be routine.

If your teen is the right age to begin experiencing problems with their wisdom teeth, schedule an appointment with Southern Oaks Dental Care in Beaumont, TX, today. The sooner we see your child, the sooner we can resolve any issues. And it’s always better to take care of wisdom teeth before they become painful and cause swelling and discomfort. Call today to schedule a convenient time to see one of our friendly dental professionals.

Why Chewing Sugar-Free Gum is a Great Idea

Sugar-free gum comes in many amazing flavors these days, ranging from basic mint to apple pie. And while it might feel like a sweet treat, it’s actually an excellent dental care tool. Just pop a piece in your mouth and chew for about 20 minutes after every meal to enjoy all the following benefits.

Increase Saliva Production

As you chew each piece of gum, the delicious flavors make you salivate as does the movement of your jaw. The increased flow of saliva then helps wash away food debris before cavity-causing bacteria can chow down. The saliva also helps neutralize acid from the bacteria and can even strengthen enamel by providing a boost of calcium and phosphate.

Reduce Formation of Cavities

When adorned by the ADA Seal, sugar-free gum only features tooth-friendly sweeteners, like xylitol, sorbitol, and aspartame. So, as you chew, the bacteria on your teeth go without their extra dose of sugar, keeping them from growing and thriving.

Then, as saliva production increases while you chew, your risk of cavities decreases considerably. When paired with regular brushing and flossing, chewing sugar-free gum can help reduce your visits to the dentist in Beaumont, Texas, to cleaning appointments only.

Skip the Sugary Snacks

With so many fun flavors of sugar-free gum available, like chocolate mint ice cream, lemon squares, and golden apple, you can always satisfy your cravings in an instant. Then, you can skip the sugar in favor of something a little healthier for your teeth without feeling deprived. Your reward is stronger, healthier teeth – and a confidence-boosting smile – plus all the great flavors in each piece of gum.

Without excess sugar causing cavities on the regular, you can stick to scheduling your routine tooth cleanings in Beaumont, Texas. You’ll likely just need to come in every six months or so to have your teeth checked out and cleaned up to maintain your gorgeous smile.

If you’re ready to make your appointment, give our team at Southern Oaks Dental Care a call today. We’re always available at 409-835-6257 to help you find a convenient time to come into our clinic.

 

5 Tooth Brushing Tips for Your Little One

Very young children don’t know how to brush their teeth and must be taught how. As a parent, it’s your job to help your child with this task. There are many things you can do to help your child learn to brush and take care of their teeth. Here’s what we suggest for parents of toddlers and early grade school ages.

1. Teach Them to Brush

When children are just toddlers, they are not capable of brushing their teeth well on their own. They don’t have hand-eye coordination, nor do they understand how important it is to reach all their teeth. At this point, you should be doing most of the brushing.

When your child gets older, around five or six years old, you should be teaching them to brush by modeling good brushing, and then letting them do it on their own.

2. Use a Soft-Bristled Brush

Children don’t need medium or hard-bristled brushes. Use a toothbrush designed for their age group. Make sure the bristles are soft.

3. Set a Time Limit

Time your child while they’re brushing their teeth. Ideally, they’ll be brushing their teeth for two minutes, but if your child is very young, they may not be able to tolerate an activity of this nature that is two minutes long. You may be able to keep them engaged by showing them a short entertaining video on your phone.

4. Use Fluoride Toothpaste – Know How Much

Fluoride toothpaste is recommended for children of all ages, but using the correct amount of toothpaste is important. If your child is under three years old, use a small smear of toothpaste. If your child is between the ages of 3 and 6, use a pea-sized amount. Supervise your child while they brush their teeth to ensure they don’t swallow the toothpaste.

5. Consult With Your Child’s Dentist

Your child’s dentist can help your child learn how to brush their teeth. Consult with your child’s dentist during their next appointment. Your child’s dentist can show your child how to brush their teeth appropriately. To make an appointment for an examination and tooth cleaning, call Southern Oaks Dental Care.

Important Nutrients to Monitor for Your Oral Health If You Live a Vegan Lifestyle  

The shift toward plant-based diets has been a drastic one in modern society. And, there is no question that eating whole foods that are derived from plants can yield a list of health advantages. Nevertheless, when you completely eliminate animal products from your dietary lineup, certain nutrients can be a bit harder to come by. Unfortunately, not getting enough of certain key vitamins and minerals can be bad for the health of your smile. Take a look at a few key nutrients you may be missing if you eat strictly plants and how you can work them into your diet.

Calcium

Calcium is one of the most vital nutrients where the health f your teeth are concerned, and you can easily miss out on proper levels of calcium intake if you are eating only plant-based foods. To make sure you are getting enough calcium, be sure to incorporate plenty of leafy green veggies, such as kale and collard greens, but you may also want to consider adding vegan-friendly milk products that have been fortified with calcium. For example, you can find some almond and soy mils that have calcium added.

Vitamin B12

B12 is an essential vitamin that your body needs for many reasons, but it is also important to your oral health. B12 is not abundant in plants; it is usually found in meat and dairy products. However, quite a few foods are fortified with vitamin B12, such as breakfast cereals. You may also want to consider adding a B12 supplement to your everyday nutrition plan.

Amino Acids

Certain amino acids are more readily available in foods like poultry, red meat, milk, and fish. One amino acid specifically, arginine, is known to help thwart your risks of gum disease and possibly even help to break down plaque on the teeth. Even though you are eating vegan, you don’t have to go without arginine; you only have to work to incorporate certain foods into your diet. A few good sources of arginine include peanuts, lentils, pumpkin seeds, and chickpeas.

Work with Your Beaumont Dentist to Protect Your Oral Health

Eating all-vegan all the time can offer a lot of good things to your body, but be sure your teeth are still getting what they need. Reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care in Beaumont, TX to keep your oral health in check.

bleeding gums

What Causes Bleeding Gums?

Bleeding gums may be a precursor to more serious oral health complications. If you have signs of bleeding gums, you should see your Beaumont, TX dentist as soon as possible to diagnose and treat the problem.

When Do Bleeding Gums Occur?

Typically, bleeding of the gums occurs when you are conducting oral hygiene. This is because the gums are stimulated when you brush, floss, and rinse. If you notice that your gums are bleeding during any of these activities, that doesn’t mean you should stop brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Bleeding gums are harmless as far as immediate danger and you should continue your oral cleansing routines. When your gums bleed there is a distinct distaste in the mouth. You should never swallow any of the blood. Always try to spit out as much as possible. Rinse your mouth with warm water until the rinse water is clear of blood.

What Causes Bleeding Gums?

There are many possible causes of bleeding gums. Some of them can be quite serious, which is why you should always contact your Beaumont dentist when you experience bleeding of the gums. Following are some common causes of bleeding gums:

  • Too vigorous brushing – avoid exerting too much force on the delicate gum tissue
  • Too hard bristles – try switching to a medium or soft-bristled brush
  • Systemic bleeding disorder such as hemophilia– this should be managed by a physician and your dentist
  • Hormonal pregnancy changes – the situation is likely temporary
  • Incorrect flossing – ask your dentist to demonstrate the technique
  • Disease – Diseases like leukemia can cause gum bleeding
  • Vitamin deficiency – Insufficient Vitamin C or Vitamin K can lead to excess gum bleeding
  • Overuse of blood thinners – even too much aspirin can cause gums to bleed
  • Poorly fitted dentures – ask your dentist to refit dentures
  • Tooth infection – especially if the bleeding is localized around one tooth
  • Periodontal disease – this must be treated immediately to avoid tooth loss

As you can see, there is no definitive reason why your gums may be bleeding. This is why a dentist visit is imperative; to diagnose and treat your bleeding gums. If no serious cause is determined, then you’ll have assurance that your overall oral health is not in danger. If a serious cause is determined, then your Beaumont dentist will be your first line of defense to get you back to oral health!

Artificial jaw in the dentist's office

3 Good Reasons to Replace Ill-Fitting Dentures with Dental Implants

Even though more modern forms of smile restoration are available, 90 percent of the 23 million Americans with no teeth do have dentures. While dentures are a cost-effective and functional way to give you your smile back, dentures are not always the best-fitting solution for every individual. If you have dentures that don’t seem to fit so well, dental implants may be something you want to consider. While the investment in implants can be considerably more, by comparison, the outcome can be so valuable. Here is a look at good reasons to replace your ill-fitting dentures with dental implants.

1. Be more confident about your smile.

Even though well-made dentures can give you a certain degree of confidence, ill-fitting dentures can do the opposite. You may find yourself self-conscious about sharing your smile or worried about dentures shifting while you speak or eat in front of others. Dental implants give you prosthetic teeth that look more natural and stay firmly placed so you can smile, speak, and eat in public without any issues or concerns.

2. Protect the bones in your jawlines.

Did you know that once your teeth are pulled the bones in your jaws start to lose height? Over time, this can make it harder for you to be fitted with well-fitting dentures, but it can also change the shape of your face and mouth. Dental implants are anchored directly into the bones in your jaws, which helps them to retain their height and you retain the shape of your face.

3. Regain your chewing power.

Some estimates claim that dentures only give you a fraction of your usual chewing power. Dentures, especially those that don’t fit well, can shift and move in your mouth when you chew your food. You may even find there are foods you simply cannot eat. On the other hand, dental implants restore both biting and chewing power. The implants are stable, anchored into the jawline, which means they won’t move while you chew.

Talk to a Cosmetic Dentist in Beaumont About Dental Implants

Dental implants are a big decision, but you may find your life changed for the better once you take the leap. If you would like to know more about dental implants, reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care in Beaumont, TX to schedule an appointment.

4 Changes You May See in Your Mouth During Pregnancy

You’ve found out that you have a huge reason to be smiling—congratulations! At Southern Oaks Dental Care, we’re here to help you keep your healthy smile throughout your pregnancy. Here are a few changes you may see with your smile while you have a baby-in-progress.

1. You may have more issues with bleeding gums.

During pregnancy, your blood volume naturally increases to support your growing baby. However, this extra blood volume gets circulated throughout the body as well. You may actually notice that your gums bleed a little easier than usual.

2. You may have problems with dry mouth and bad breath.

Dry mouth and bad breath can be a little more common during your gestation due to fluctuating hormones, changes in blood glucose levels, and other things happening within the body during pregnancy. Stay hydrated and talk to your dentist if you are still having issues.

3. You may experience inflammation in your gums.

Changes in hormonal levels during pregnancy may mean you are more at risk of gingivitis. In fact, about 60 to 70 percent of pregnant women will experience gum disease during pregnancy according to the Centers for Disease Control ad Prevention. Pay close attention to any inflamed areas, swelling, or sore spots on your gums and alert the dentist if you spot anything out of the ordinary.

4. You may have more issues with plaque around the gumline.

Most women do change their diet to some degree when they’re pregnant. You may eat more starchy foods because you are eating for two, find yourself snacking more frequently, and even dealing with new and unusual cravings. All this is perfectly normal, but it can also mean you are a little more prone to plaque buildup on your teeth. In general, women are more prone to cavities while they are pregnant, and this excess plaque caused by dietary changes can have a part to play.

Work with a Beaumont Dentist Throughout Your Pregnancy

When your baby is born, you will no doubt be doing a lot of smiling. Taking care of your teeth during pregnancy will sure help make sure you are confident as you do. If you need to schedule an appointment for oral care during pregnancy, reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care in Beaumont, TX.

Is Soda Really Bad for Your Teeth?

Available in a multitude of flavors, soda is the go-to drink for a lot of Americans. If you are usually found with a can of soda with a meal or a bottle of soda to carry you through the day, you may sometimes wonder if soda is actually bad for your teeth. Here is a look at some of the things every soda drinker should know about how this popular drink can affect the health of your smile.

Soda is sugary and acidic, both of which can be hard on your smile.

Take a look at the ingredients on your favorite soda. Two things you are likely to see mentioned are sugar and citric acid, both of which can be really hard on your teeth. Not to mention, sugar can mingle with the natural bacteria in your mouth and make the environment even more acidic. Unfortunately, this combination of factors means sipping on soda all day is a surefire way to have issues with decay.

Even diet sodas can be hard on your teeth.

Diet sodas may seem perfectly harmless because they are technically sugar-free. However, these drinks still have their own sweeteners and acidic ingredients, so the same rules still apply.

Some sodas can stain your teeth.

Not only can soda be hard on your teeth and lead to decay, but it can also cause issues with stains on your teeth. Dark-colored sodas can be especially capable of causing stains on the enamel.

Make an effort to brush after drinking soda to protect your smile.

While the occasional soda may be hard to live without, it is best to not make sodas your primary beverage to sip on throughout the day. In fact, it is actually best to make an effort to brush and floss after having a soda, which can be difficult if you are reaching for these carbonated, sugary beverages every time you get thirsty.

Talk to Your Beaumont Dentist About Your Biggest Oral Health Threats

Even the things that seem so harmless that you consume every day can have a detrimental effect on your oral health. Soda can be one of the biggest threats, but there are steps you can take to protect your smile just the same. Reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care for more information.

3 Ways Smoking Is Really Bad for Your Smile

If you are part of the population that is still firing up a cigarette when you get the chance, you should know that quitting could be one of the best things you ever do for your oral health. In fact, if you value your smile, you have a really good reason to kick the habit. Take a look at just three of the ways that smoking is really bad for your smile.

Smoking increases your risks of gum disease.

People who smoke are naturally more prone to gum disease. Smoking naturally elevates the temperature of your mouth when you inhale by 0.2° C for 30 minutes afterword. The elevated temperature can contribute to bacterial growth that can encourage infections of the soft tissues in your mouth. Plus, smoking seems to negatively interfere with normal gum tissue cell regeneration.

Smoking puts you at risk of losing your teeth.

Smokers are more likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers. The issues already mentioned are often to blame for smokers losing their teeth. For example, the elevated temperature can lead to excess bacteria that can contribute to tooth decay. According to Delta Dental Insurance, men lose an average of 2.9 teeth per ten years of smoking and women lose 1.5 teeth per ten years of smoking.

Smoking causes stains on the enamel of your teeth.

Nicotine and the tar in cigarettes are known to cause stains on both your clothing and your hands. However, these components in tobacco smoke can also cause stains on the enamel of your teeth. The stains are usually a brownish-yellow color, and they are the result of the tar and yellow nicotine absorbing into microscopic pores on the tooth’s enameled surface. Many people do not understand that even though nicotine is clear, it can actually turn yellow when it is exposed to oxygen, which means even clear nicotine juice or salts used in vape cigarettes can cause stains.

Contact Us for a Dental Checkup in Beaumont, TX

If you are a smoker, it is even more important that you are vigilant about your dental health needs and get the proper checkups. Reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care for more information or to schedule an appointment.

3 Problems to Be Alert to with Your Smile as a Diabetic

In the United States alone, there are 29.1 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes. Just as diabetes can affect your overall health, it can also affect the health of your mouth and smile. Check out this short list of problems with oral health every diabetic should know about so they can keep an eye on developing issues.

Gum Disease

Uncontrolled blood sugar levels have a detrimental effect on the circulatory system, which means diabetes can lead to poor blood flow to the gums. If these soft tissues are not getting fresh, oxygenated blood, they are more prone to breaking down. Gum diseases like gingivitis are typical among diabetic patients.

Dry Mouth

The exact reason why diabetes presents problems with dry mouth is unknown. However, it is a very common problem and one that can affect your overall oral health. Lack of saliva can be the root cause for multiple oral health conditions, including tooth decay.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Halitosis can come along with uncontrolled blood sugar levels, but it is not the state of your blood sugar that actually generates foul odors. Your breath may smell bad because there is a lack of saliva or because of gum disease. Oftentimes, treating the underlying condition will help deter problems with bad breath.

Tooth Decay

The lack of saliva and reduced blood flow to the gums can lead to problems with dental decay. If the teeth are not consistently washed with natural saliva because of problems with a dry mouth, it can make it easier for bacteria to grow on the enamel of the teeth. Brushing regularly and getting regular professional cleanings are important.

As a diabetic, you should discuss all of these concerns with your dentist. Make sure you get proper professional attention and make appointments regularly for checkups and cleanings. Your diagnosis means you have to be even more attentive to your oral health than the average person if you want to protect your smile. Reach out to us at Southern Oaks Dental Care for more information about how we can help you with your smile if you have diabetes.