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Parents You Would Be Surprised Where Sugar Is Found

Parents today are very diligent to monitor their children’s intake of sugar, too often though dentists are telling parents that their children are showing signs of Tooth Decay.

The main causes of Tooth decay is exposure to foods containing carbohydrates (starches and sugars). The obvious ones are soda pop, candy, ice cream, milk, cakes and even fruits, vegetables and juices. Unfortunately sugar are in places you normally wouldn’t expect. There are sugars that appear naturally in many foods- even milk! For this reason we recommend parents don’t put their babies to sleep with a bottle of milk. Natural bacteria live in the mouth, and as the milk pools, the sugars mix with the bacteria to make a mild acid. This acid damages tooth enamel over time by dissolving, or demineralizing, the mineral structure of teeth, producing tooth decay and weakening the teeth.

Here are some tips to prevent teeth from the harmful effects of sugar:

  • Read food labels carefully to identify sugars, which also come in the form of corn syrup, molasses, dextrose, fructose, glucose, sucrose and honey. 
  • Read medicine labels carefully too, as even medicine isn’t sugar free…remember Mary Poppins singing “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down? The pharmaceutical companies seem to have taken that to heart. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the ingredients of liquid cough syrup and other medications – sometimes they can recommend sugar free alternatives. 
  • When satisfying your candy cravings keep in mind that sticky sweets like toffee or hard candy that linger in your mouth compound the effects of sugar by offering a sustained food source for bacteria. Remember that it’s not necessarily the amount of sugar that can cause decay, but how long the candy stays in the mouth, which is why hard candies like suckers or sticky treats such as caramels and jujubes are poor choices from a dental perspective. 
  • If you’re trying to rationalize a chocolate craving, remember that popping a piece of solid chocolate in your mouth is better than choosing one filled with a gooey center, as the candy filling may stick to the teeth and provide a longer lasting food source for the natural bacteria to feed from in the mouth.

Excess sugar can wreak havoc not just on your teeth, but elsewhere in the body too, so the wise thing for both your dental and general health is to make a habit of reading all the ingredients in all packaged foods before you buy them, being aware of low-sugar or sugar free alternatives in your daily diet and making healthy choices.
If possible, rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth thoroughly after exposure to sugars. If you can’t do that right away, keep a supply of sugar free gum with xylitol on hand to help cleanse your mouth.

Pediatric Tooth Decay Rises


Kids and cavities have always been a subject for parents with dentists. That discussion has increased because of the rise in tooth decay in children recently and many have begun to point to bottled water as the cause. Bottled water is typically taken from local water supplies and then filtered again and this filtering process is removing the fluoride from it.

Parents in recent years have been working to get kids to drink sugar free drinks which are a wise decision but natural sugars in all foods and acids can contribute to tooth decay. Even with regular brushing children can be less through and since the water they are drinking contains little to no fluoride tooth decay can thrive.

Tooth decay is affecting children of all income classes too, with decay showing in over half the children in lower income levels and by a third of the children in higher income levels.

No true studies have been done showing that bottle water is the cause for the rise in tooth decay, Pediatric Dentists say that much of the evidence is pointing to reduced fluoride in the water our children drink. It is essential now more than ever that children get Regular Dental Checkups in Houston and with 9 convenient dental locations there is no reason to make an appointment today.  
Southern even has extended hours and weekend dental appointments.

Toothache Treatment in Houston


Toothache pain can be overwhelming so getting immediate care when you begin to have initial pain is important. Calling a Dentist in Houston at Southern Dental can help prevent the pain from getting worse. If left untreated a Toothache will eventually disrupt your daily life, it may start out mild but if left untreated it will get progressively worse. Southern offers weekend and extended hour appointments but if you must wait there are several treatments like Nurofen for tooth pain

So what can cause a toothache?

Tooth decay is a major cause for tooth pain. Demineralization is the loss of essential minerals in tooth enamel causes your teeth to decay. Acidic substances, such as the substances that develop when bits of food or sugar stuck between your teeth start to rot, cause demineralization. Tooth decay often leads to the development of cavities. You will start feeling pain when the cavity starts penetrating your tooth's dental tubules, where its nerves are.

Periodontitis are diseases of the gums. Gum disease can cause your teeth to loosen or even fall out completely without proper support from your alveolar bone. There are seven different categories for these diseases based on their severity. People suffering from periodontitis often take tooth pain relief medication, such as Nurofen, to alleviate pain caused by periodontal infections or inflammations.

- Pulpitis - This is a condition involving the swelling of dental pulp. Dental pulp is the inner part of your teeth, composed of living tissue and cells. The pain caused by pulpitis is distinct because it's prolonged and throbbing. Pulpitis may be a result of tooth or gum disease, physical trauma to the jaw, or tooth decay.

Tooth Pain Relief Methods
When you feel tooth pain, the best thing to do is to schedule an appointment with your dentist to see what's wrong. Sometimes, though, tooth pain may strike while you're away from home, or have no time to visit the dentist at all.

- Pain medication -This is the quickest and easiest way to relieve tooth pain. Nurofen and other pain medicines are often available at drug stores, clinics, or convenience stores. You can choose from general pain relievers that work for a variety of aches and pains (headaches, toothaches, muscle pain, abdominal pain, and so on), or specially formulated dental pain relievers.

- Clove oil -Applying clove oil to the affected area in your mouth can provide relief from toothache. Clove oil is cheap, and you can find it at most health food stores. This substance has pain relieving and anti-bacterial properties, making it an ideal choice as long as you can stomach its terrible taste.

Call any of our 9 Houston Dental Offices to schedule an appointment today. There is no reason you should live with toothache pain.

Braces in Houston Not Just Kid Stuff


Is your smile a little crooked? Are you over 18? Then the Orthodonists in Houston at Southern Dental can help because we do Braces everyday. Hiding your crooked teeth is not easy to do and not feeling confident about your smile can really hurt self confidence.
The answer for many adults today is Braces in Houston at Southern Dental. 20% of our patients who get braces today are adults.

Reasons for Braces in Houston
As we grow older our teeth can shift, wisdom teeth growing in can push teeth together and permanently impact our smiles. The Houston Orthodontists at Southern Dental do Braces everyday for patients to correct this.
Braces in Houston not only improve your smile but straight teeth improve oral hygiene because you are able to brush and floss and you are able to get in between teeth easier when they are straight.

Options for Houston Braces

Todays Braces are barely noticeable, advances in materials no longer require you to have "metal mouth".

Ceramic brackets are made of composite materials. They are very strong and generally do not stain. Three popular brands are Clarity and Transcend, made by 3M Unitek; and Mystique, made by GAC. Adults like to choose ceramic because they "blend in" with the teeth and are less noticeable than metal. These are the type of braces actor Tom Cruise had.

Inspire brand brackets, manufactured by Ormco, are made of pure monocrystalline sapphire and are very translucent. They are very strong and do not stain. If your teeth are already very white, then Inspire braces will look best on you and seem to "disappear" on your teeth. If your teeth are less than white, they may tend to stand out (in this case, the Ceramic brackets would be a better choice). The pros and cons for Sapphire brackets are the same as those for Ceramic brackets.

Invisalign braces are great for people who do not have severe problems. The "braces" consist of strong plastic trays that are fabricated especially for you. They are indeed invisible. If your bite is not severely off and your teeth are not severely crooked, then Invisalign would be a good choice. You would be able to get your teeth straightened without anyone seeing that you are wearing "braces"! This appeals to many adults, especially people who wore traditional braces as children and then need more treatment later in life. However, if your bite is very bad, if you need extractions or require headgear or other appliances, then Invisalign will not work for you; you will need to wear traditional braces.

What to Expect

How long you’ll need to wear braces depends on what you have done. Most treatments range from 12 to 24 months. Once teeth are in the desired position, you are likely to need to wear a retainer. Many Houston orthodontists now recommend permanent retainers that are fitted and attached to the back of teeth.

Medicine can cause bad breath


Experiencing Bad Breath? 1 in 10 Americans suffer from this.  The Houston Dentists at Southern Dental get asked every day about this, what surprises patients is that bad breath could actually be caused by some of the medications that you might be taking.
This is known as Xerostomia which can be caused by many medications; this can cause “dry mouth”. Saliva actually helps deter the growth of bacteria and if your medication reduces this it can enable bacteria to buildup and since the enzymes from your saliva cannot combat the growing bacteria and food particles that enter your mouth the result can be bad breath. These enzymes are crucial for digestion and also for cleansing your teeth with a constant supply of calcium to protect against left over sugars which are known for causing cavities. Southern Dental wants our Houston patients to know that your bad breath could be a very symptom of your meds and you should contact us immediately if you are experiencing Xerostomia or dry mouth from them. Do not let your meds interfere with your oral health any longer!

Tooth Decay on your Nerves?


If tooth decay has become in issue for your oral health, you may have experienced extra-sensitivity, sore gums, and throbbing or aching pain within the mouth.  When issues like these become frequent, the first reaction of many individuals is to simply brush harder and pay a bit more attention to your regular teeth cleaning regimen.  But finally adopting the floss after a cavity has formed is only holding back the inevitable.

Brushing harder can actually do more damage to your gums and enamel than you had imagined.  The extra vigor can force the building bacteria or infection to spread to other areas of the mouth.  It can also damage your gum line, and exposed skin.  The abrasive grains in the paste will only grind into the teeth more, rather than polish to a buff as when properly applied with a gentle massaging motion.

Though flossing is always a good idea, especially after meals, if swelling or throbbing due to a hidden abscess occurs it might not be the thing to reach for in a quick fix.  You want to use floss as a preventative means of maintaining oral health, rather than a last resort.  Use the floss if possible with out pain, but rinsing with water and scheduling an immediate appointment are critical.  You don’t want to create more damage than has already occurred. Rinsing the bacteria away with a mild solution of warm salt water is your best alternative if severe pain persists and your appointment isn’t for another day.

Switching to liquid foods like soups and shakes in lieu of solids that might further inflame the gum.  And if extreme pain and swelling occurs, use an ice pack.  An emergency root canal may be necessary if determined by your dentist.  Stay strong and use preventive dental care.

A Bright and Healthy Smile

Southern Dental’s philosophy of care has always been to provide the best available dental treatment for our patients at an affordable cost. Just as we constantly strive to produce better and better treatment results for our patients, so we are always looking for ways to make their dental care more efficient and economical.