Your Dental Emergency

No one considers the odds of having a dental emergency. Yet, it’s important to know what is considered a true emergency and what’s not. We recommend having your dentist’s contact information on hand at all times. After all, most dental practices have emergency protocols, and can assist patients when they are in need. In turn, dental professionals understand that treating a dental emergency as soon as possible could mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.

As a rule, any dental problem that needs emergency assistance to save a tooth, stop excessive bleeding or alleviate pain is classified as a dental emergency. With this in mind, consider the following scenarios in which emergency dental care is needed:

  • A Knocked-Out Tooth: Time is of the essence when a tooth is knocked out. Thus, it’s important to contact the dentist immediately. Meanwhile, make sure to retrieve the tooth if possible, wash it gently, and place it in a container of milk.
  • A Loose Tooth: If a tooth has become jarred loose or is misaligned, it is imperative to contact the dentist. In the meantime, it is okay to gently move the tooth back into its correct position to stabilize it.
  • A Cracked or Fractured Tooth: If a tooth has become cracked or fractured, the individual may or may not experience pain. Yet, it’s important to contact a dentist, because the crack or fracture usually indicates damage to the inside of the tooth.
  • Facial Injury or Pain: A multitude of injuries can occur inside the mouth, including puncture wounds and tears, as well as lacerations of the cheek, tongue or lips. All of these should be taken seriously as a dental emergency.

When it comes to dental emergencies, it’s always a good idea to call the dentist, even if you are not sure that you have a true emergency. It’s simply better to be safe than sorry.

We Offer Same Day Appointments When You Have A Dental Emergency

At Smile Avenue Family Dentistry, we understand how important it is to be available to our patients when they have a dental emergency. That’s why we offer full service dentistry with the latest advancements to repair and restore the health of your teeth and your smile. If you or a family member experiences a dental emergency, Dr. Vuong and the team at Smile Avenue Family Dentistry welcome your call today!

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Veneers: A Versatile Restoration

Falling into the category of cosmetic dentistry, veneers are a layer of porcelain or composite that covers the front surfaces of teeth. Whether veneers are referred to as porcelain, dental or cosmetic veneers, they serve the same purpose—to address various concerns with teeth such as chips, cracks, spacing, misalignment or discoloration. Given the versatility of veneers, it’s easy to understand why they’ve become a reliable and appealing solution for many patients.

The Best Candidates For Veneers

While many patients are attracted to the idea (and the appearance) of veneers, they are not the perfect restoration for everyone. Because a small portion of natural tooth enamel must be permanently removed, dental professionals exercise caution when jumping to the idea of veneers first. Consider the case of a patient with natural teeth that function well and have an adequate appearance. Your Dentistry Guide suggests that a dentist might explore a more minimally invasive option for this patient before considering veneers. On the other hand, suppose a patient has severely discolored or misshaped teeth. In this case, a dentist might suggest veneers as a reliable way to enhance the appearance of the patient’s smile, with the added benefit of a longer-lasting restoration.

If you are wondering about your candidacy for veneers, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I committed to regular dental visits?
  • Do I practice consistent oral care at home?
  • Are my teeth free from decay?
  • Do I have gum disease?
  • Do I suffer from bruxism (grinding or clenching the teeth)?
  • Do I have concerns with my bite?
  • Do I have enough healthy tooth enamel to support veneers?

Long-Term Success

Providing individuals and families with a unique dental experience in Cypress, Dr. Patrick Vuong leads Smile Avenue Family Dentistry with a commitment to preventative oral health education, superior dental care and long-term success. Thus, if you or a loved one is interested in the tremendous benefits of veneers, Dr. Vuong and the team welcome your call today!

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10 Ways To Amp Up Your Oral Health Routine

While you may spend a few minutes at the sink every morning and night brushing your teeth, a visit to the dentist might reveal that it’s not enough. Thus, if your mouth is not getting the attention it needs, Colgate lists ten ways to help amp up your oral health routine.

Use The Right Technique

Perhaps the greatest misconception regarding brushing is that it should resemble a “sawing motion” or “scrubbing” action. On the contrary, gentle strokes using a soft-bristled toothbrush are best at removing food particles without harming sensitive gum tissues. Begin by holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, and use short brushing strokes, beginning at the top of the gum line as your brush down.

Be Sure You’re Brushing Long Enough

For some, brushing teeth is simply another activity to check off of a to-do list, and this causes them to rush through brushing. Thus, dental professionals recommend listening to a short song or video (at least two minutes) to ensure that you’re brushing long enough to thoroughly clean your teeth.

Use The Right Toothbrush

A toothbrush is not a one-size-fits-all. Be sure that you are picking a brush that is small enough to reach into the back sections of your mouth comfortably. For most adults, the average size is a small to medium head toothbrush.

The ADA Seal Is Important

Like toothbrushes, toothpastes are not created equally. Therefore, it’s important to look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal when choosing your toothpaste.

Floss The Right Way

Many experience frustration when they floss. Yet, if you haven’t perfected your flossing technique, here are other tools available to make sure that you’re cleaning between your teeth the right way. Look for flossers, floss picks and orthopicks for easy cleaning between teeth.

Use Mouthwash

Even with the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and good brushing and flossing habits, mouthwash rinses away tiny debris and particles left behind, while freshening breath.

Clean Your Toothbrush

Every time you brush your teeth, bacteria and other particles adhere to the bristles of your brush. Thus, it’s important to clean your toothbrush after every use. This is simple, and only requires a good rinse.

Change Out Your Toothbrush

It’s a good idea to change out your toothbrush for a new one every 3-4 months to ensure that your teeth are getting a thorough cleaning.

Use A Tongue Cleaner

Perhaps there’s a rigid or bumpy surface on the back of your toothbrush. This is called a tongue scraper, and it’s a valuable tool to scrape bacteria off of the tongue.

Be Careful When/How Your Snack

Are you a late-night snacker? It’s important to brush your teeth before bed, even if you are not eating a sugary snack. Food particles left on teeth and gums cause bacteria to multiply!

At Smile Avenue Family Dentistry in Cypress, Dr. Patrick Vuong helps patients achieve long-term success with a focus on preventative dentistry and optimal oral health. Call today to schedule your appointment!

Posted on Behalf of Smile Avenue Family Dentistry

What’s TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction)?

Though it remains widely misunderstood, Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, or TMD affects millions of individuals each year. Sometimes referred to as TMJ, with a greater emphasis on the jaw joint, TMD has a number of suspected causes, including injury to the jaw or neck muscles, grinding teeth, arthritis, stress, or a combination of all of these. Symptoms of TMD vary just the same, with jaw pain being the primary complaint. Even so, to better understand TMD as well as potential remedies and treatment options, continue reading below.

To begin, the onset of TMD may be sudden or it may be a chronic condition that lingers for years. Similarly, it may affect one side of the face or both. Furthermore, it affects more women than men. Yet, to better understand the symptoms of TMD on a global scale, consider the following common complaints associated with TMD, as reported by WebMD:

  • Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw, neck, or shoulders, as well as the ear area, with increasing pain when one speaks, chews, or opens the mouth.
  • Jaws that seemingly become stuck or locked when in the open or closed-mouth position.
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when chewing, opening, or closing the mouth.
  • Feeling that the teeth are not fitting together properly when one bites down.
  • Feeling of tiredness in the face or jaw area.
  • Swelling of one or both sides of the face.
  • Aching in teeth, head, or ears
  • Upper shoulder pain
  • Dizziness

Because a number of the above-mentioned symptoms point to other conditions, diagnosing TMD is tricky. Thus, it is necessary to consider a patient’s overall health history, as well as a thorough analysis of the structure of the patient’s face, including muscles, tendons, and joints. It’s also wise to take into account any recent changes in the patient’s lifestyle or circumstances that may be causing stress or strain.

Treatment for TMD is guided, in part, by the suspected cause of an individual’s symptoms. For instance, if an x-ray reveals that the TMJ disc is misplaced in the joint, an oral surgeon may be consulted to determine if therapy or surgery is needed. Yet, if TMD is from bruxism, which is grinding or clenching the jaw, a mouth guard might be the solution. In other cases, if stress is causing muscles to tighten, warm compresses and/or massage therapy may relieve symptoms.

We’re Here To Help

At Smile Avenue Family Dentistry, Dr. Patrick Vuong is passionate about providing patients with a unique dental experience—one that puts them at ease concerning their oral health. When patients suffer from the effects of TMD, he understands that this can put a damper on everyday activities, affecting one’s ability to eat, speak, and even sleep. Thus, if you are suffering with any of the symptoms listed above, and would like to meet with Dr. Vuong, please call @ (832) 648-1756 or Visit – Smile Avenue Family Dentistry – Dentist Cypress TX today. We’re here to help!

Posted on Behalf of Smile Avenue Family Dentistry

The Importance of Pediatric Dental Care

As the most chronic childhood problem (up to age 17), tooth decay and cavities are five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever, as reported by the Consumer Guide To Dentistry. Given the severity of oral health ailments, every parent needs to understand the importance of pediatric dental care, as it is the foundation to good oral health for the future.

Perhaps it’s best to discuss the pediatric dental needs of children at the onset of the first tooth, which typically erupts between 6-24 months of age. Early care begins at home with an awareness of teething symptoms and how to help your child by massaging their gums, allowing them to chew on a teething ring, a chilled washcloth, or by rubbing an ADA approved dental teething ointment. Once the first tooth makes its appearance, it must be cleaned, especially following a bottle-feeding or meal. Once babies have a few teeth, parents may use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to gently brush teeth. Keep in mind—pediatric dentists recommend that children visit a dentist by their first birthday, even if they do not have their first tooth.

As children develop coordination and interest in oral care, they may begin to brush their own teeth. While this is good practice, it’s important for parents to supervise brushing. During this time, dentists might suggest placing sealants on the child’s teeth to protect them from decay. When used in accordance with regular fluoride treatments, dental sealants protect baby teeth from developing cavities. Contrary to what some believe, the health of baby teeth is critical to the health of permanent teeth.

From ages 6-12, it’s likely that children will have both baby teeth and permanent teeth in their mouth. In turn, as the jaw and facial bone structures develop, dentists may suggest consulting with an orthodontist to determine if early intervention is necessary to correct or avoid malocclusion (bite concerns).

As an esteemed dentist in Cypress, Dr. Patrick Vuong is committed to providing a unique dental experience for all patients, especially children. With an emphasis on preventative dentistry, Dr. Vuong values early pediatric care as the cornerstone to developing good oral care habits for life. Need special accommodations for your child? The team at Smile Avenue Family Dentistry is ready to assist you. Call today!

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Valplast Dentures: Strength, Flexibility, and Comfort?

For many years, the word denture and the word comfort would never be associated together in a positive way. Yet, more and more dentists are prescribing the innovative Valplast Flexible Partial Dentures because their unique design demonstrates strength, flexibility, and comfort—yes, comfort! Surprising to some, Valplast is not a new material. Rather, it is the result of numerous experiments of the late 1940’s by two brothers seeking a partial denture polymer that would fulfill the primary requirements of retention, stability, and support, while providing some aesthetic benefit. Today, Valplast Flexible Partials are a highly regarded method for replacing missing teeth, and are well suited for a variety of conditions.

While the future continues to move in the direction of metal-free restorations, patients report that Valplast feels natural, when compared to fixed dentures. Thus, it is comfortable to wear, and the flexible material allows for natural functioning, movement, eating and speaking. In turn, it provides support for the entire ridge of the upper mouth, instead of fixed points. This has resulted in less need for denture relines and repairs. Lastly, the flexibility of Valplast Partials allows for adjustability, so that each patient can ensure a perfect fit.

Aside from the comfort and flexibility of Valplast, it is fabricated in 5 natural shades, and has become an effective biocompatible replacement for acrylic partials when patients experience irritation. Yet, the versatility of Valplast continues as it is used for cosmetic gum veneers, dental appliances, implant retained overdentures, and full dentures for patients with complex cases.

For patients with allergies to acrylic materials or with a mouth shape that does not comply with a rigid denture restoration, the thermoplastic nylon material of Valplast Partials is an exciting and naturally appealing option.

The Confidence And Assurance You Need To Smile Again

Perhaps you think that your teeth are too small or too short, or maybe you are looking for a natural and flexible solution to replace your missing teeth. At Smile Avenue Family Dentistry, we believe that Valplast Partial Dentures can give you the confidence and assurance you need to smile again. To set up your consultation, call today!

Posted on Behalf of Smile Avenue Family Dentistry

Why Is Teeth Whitening So Popular?

While brushing, flossing, and a commitment to regular dental checkups is essential for maintaining a great smile, many patients continue to feel as though their smile is lacking a bit of sparkle. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, when asked about the one thing that they’d like to change concerning their smile, the majority of individuals said that they wanted whiter teeth. This is further supported by the fact that nearly 90% of patients requested teeth whitening over other cosmetic services, as reported by the American Association of Orthodontics. Even so, why is teeth whitening so popular?

  • Without question, whiter teeth helps individuals smile with confidence, and this is perhaps the number one reason why it continues to gain popularity.
  • Teeth Whitening is quick and painless. This is of great appeal for those that desire an immediate result, as well as individuals that have dental anxiety. In fact, many dental practices offer special amenities for those receiving teeth whitening such as watching television or listening to music.
  • When compared to countless other cosmetic treatments, teeth whitening is inexpensive, with long-term results.

How Do Teeth Become Dull And Stained?

It’s easy to see why teeth whitening continue to gain momentum for those desiring a whiter, brighter smile. Yet, how do teeth become dull and stained in the first place?

Consider the outer layer of the tooth called the enamel. Did you know? The color of natural teeth is generated by the reflection of light off of the tooth’s enamel, coupled with the color of the underlying dentin of the tooth. Because the thickness of an individual’s enamel is determined genetically, thin enamel shows more of the color of the dentin beneath. In turn, the texture of a patient’s enamel also plays a role in how white teeth appear.

In addition to genetic factors, pores in the tooth’s enamel absorb colors from foods and beverages that come in contact with teeth each day. Thus, darker colors are held in the pores, resulting in staining of the tooth. Specifically, tea, coffee, sodas, and red wine contribute to stains on teeth. Other factors include tobacco use (including smoking), inconsistent oral care, and aging.

Advanced Teeth Whitening in Cypress

Are you ready to smile with confidence? Dr. Vuong and the team at Smile Avenue Family Dentistry are happy to offer the advanced teeth whitening system called ZOOM! to patients in Cypress. Call us today!

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The Promises of Sedation Dentistry

If you are one of the many individuals across the United States that experience anxiety about visiting the dentist, you are not alone. Whether you have a low pain threshold, sensitive teeth, or if previous examinations have left a bad taste in your mouth, it’s important to consider the many advancements in dentistry that are paving the way for you to receive simple and straightforward dental care. Perhaps the greatest of these is Sedation Dentistry. Sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” sedation dentistry is safe and effective for all ages, and uses medication to help patients relax. For patients that need dental care, but are afraid to visit the dentist, sedation dentistry promises an easy, smooth, and positive dental visit.

To better understand how sedation dentistry can streamline dental treatment, it’s wise to learn about the types of sedation dentistry available.

Levels of Sedation Dentistry

While “sedation dentistry” and “sleep dentistry” are used interchangeably, patients are not asleep during most levels of sedation. For instance, for those with mild anxiety, dentists often administer nitrous oxide through a mask placed over the patient’s nose. This minimal level of sedation is sometimes called “laughing gas,” because it is known to cause individuals to giggle as they relax. This type of sedation wears off quickly after treatment, and patients may drive themselves home.

The next level of sedation is similar to the effects of Valium, and is given to patients orally, in pill form. Thus, patients are responsible for taking the medication one hour prior to their visit. Dentists may prescribe a larger dose depending on the patient’s level of apprehension and the dental treatment provided. It’s important to understand that oral sedation can cause drowsiness, and patients are wise to arrange for a family member or friend to drive them home.

For patients with extreme dental phobia or those receiving longer, more invasive dental treatments, IV sedation dentistry is a form of “conscious sedation” that is administered through an IV and monitored throughout the procedure. Though patients remain awake and can respond to instructions during treatment, they often find that they have no memory of the procedure.

Helping Patients Achieve Better Oral Health

Without question, sedation dentistry has helped patients achieve better oral health with the promise of a stress-free visit. This is why Dr. Patrick Vuong of Smile Avenue Family Dentistry makes it his priority to provide patients in Cypress with the advancements of sedation dentistry, so that they can receive the dental care that they deserve.

Is it time for your dental checkup? You can feel at ease at Smile Avenue Family Dentistry. Call today.

Posted on behalf of Smile Avenue Family Dentistry

Can Dentists Detect Disease?

Believe it or not, an examination of the mouth, head, and neck contain information relating to over 120 diseases. Advancements in dentistry as well as continued research in the link between oral and overall health, supports this finding, as the mouth is believed to hold important clues about what’s going on in the body. Yet, what does this mean? Can Dentists detect disease?

When it comes to medical check-ups and dental checkups, it’s no secret that many patients place a higher priority on scheduling medical appointments. In response, dental professionals have devoted ample time to patient education in an effort to encourage patients not to skip or forego their dental examinations. This is because many medical problems manifest in and around the mouth.

Take a look at the following oral health concerns that are related to medical issues:

  • Fiery, red tongue (linked to Anemia and Diabetes)
  • Inflammation (linked to Anemia, Diabetes, Anorexia, Heart Disease, Liver Disease)
  • Dry Mouth (linked to Diabetes, Kidney or Renal Failure)
  • Mouth Sores (linked to immune deficiencies and Cancer)
  • Tooth Erosion (linked to Anorexia, Bulimia, Diabetes)
  • Tooth Sensitivity (linked to Anorexia and Bulimia)
  • Mouth Ulcers (linked to Kidney Failure, Cancer)
  • Jaw Pain (linked to Heart Disease)

Do you experience any of the above-mentioned oral concerns? With a growing awareness of these connections, it is too risky to skip dental appointments.

We’ll Help You Make Informed Decisions About Your Health

Smile Avenue Family Dentistry welcomes you and your family to our practice, where we hope to be your trusted dentist in Cypress. When it comes to connecting oral and overall health, we’ll help you gather all of the information you need to make informed decisions about your health. If it’s been some time since you’ve visited the dentist, or you have a family history of Diabetes, Heart Disease, or Cancer, please do not wait. Visit Smile Avenue Family Dentistry today.

Posted on behalf of Smile Avenue Family Dentistry

Mouth Cancer

While mouth cancer can affect anyone, it is mostly associated with age and gender. Even so, an overwhelming percentage (91%) of mouth cancers are strongly linked to lifestyle. This means that many cases can be prevented. To learn more about the risk factors connected to mouth cancer, continue reading below.

Tobacco (Smoking)

Containing thousands of chemicals in each cigarette, smoking makes individuals three times more likely to develop mouth cancers, and seven times more likely to develop throat cancer. The act of smoking essentially transforms saliva into a dangerous cocktail of bacteria that damages cells in the mouth. At the same time, the body’s ability to fight infection is impaired due to a lack of blood flow to the mouth (also a result of smoking).

Also a probable cause of mouth cancer is second hand smoke. Specifically, those who have been exposed to second hand smoke for 15 years of more are twice as likely to develop mouth cancer.

Alcohol

While alcohol, in moderation, doesn’t pose any serious threat to the onset of mouth cancer, if it is done in excess or if it is paired with smoking, it becomes dangerous. In fact, it’s reported that excessive alcohol consumption can account for up to one third of all cases of mouth cancer.

HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

While the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is relatively common and most cases go away on their own, there are persistent HPV infections that can cause severe problems including abnormal tissue growth and genital warts (both can lead to cancer). It’s important to know that safe sex practices will greatly reduce one’s risk of developing HPV.

Food

Surprisingly to some, nearly half of all cases of mouth cancer are tied to poor diet. The following foods are said to reduce one’s risk of mouth cancer: fruit, vegetables, vitamin C supplements, Calcium supplements, caffeinated coffee, and green tea.

Your Trusted Dentist In Cypress

Smile Avenue Family Dentistry welcomes you and your family to our practice, where we hope to be your trusted dentist in Cypress. When it comes to mouth cancer, we understand the importance of providing you with all of the information you need regarding your dental health, so that you can live a happy, healthy life. If it’s been awhile since you’ve visited a dentist, call us today. With comprehensive and conscientious care, you’ll feel at ease at Smile Avenue Family Dentistry.

Posted on behalf of Smile Avenue Family Dentistry