Keeping Your Toothbrush (and Mouth) Free from Harmful Bacteria

teeth cleaning CypressYour mouth is naturally full of bacteria; by following a thorough regimen designed to protect your teeth and gums, you should be able to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Brushing and flossing as directed are the best methods of teeth cleaning coupled with visits to your dentist every six months.

The correct tools are a great place to start. An electronic toothbrush allows the patient to clean their teeth using the appropriate amount of pressure; a timer signals when the patient has brushed for the recommended two minutes. If a manual toothbrush is employed, a soft bristle variety is the best choice.

A fluoridated toothpaste or gel should be used. Depending on the oral health of the patient, additional help in the form of fluoridated or anti-bacterial rinses may be recommended by your dentist.

The patient should brush at least twice daily (morning and night). Flossing once daily to remove food debris your toothbrush missed should also be part of your daily oral maintenance program.

Failure to provide the care needed to limit harmful bacteria can lead to both short term problems like decay to long term issues like gum disease. Once a patient has been diagnosed with periodontal disease, even though the disease may not be active, you may still be prone to recurrence.

Since your toothbrush is an integral tool in your oral health, you and your family should be aware of the things that can promote bacterial growth. A wet toothbrush should never be stored in an enclosed case; contact between other family member toothbrushes should never be allowed.

Since most people brush in the bathroom, are you aware that every time the toilet is flushed water and waste particles are released in the area nearby? Keep that in mind when storing your toothbrush.

Replacing your toothbrush on a regular basis is important – while everyone’s needs are different, a new brush every three months is a good place to start. If illness has occurred, you need to either replace or disinfect your toothbrush.

Links between oral and overall health provide another reason to be diligent about taking care of your teeth, gums, and mouth. Be mindful of daily care by brushing and flossing using clean and up to date tools; and make sure you see your dentist every six months for cleaning and exam.

If it’s time to schedule your next visit, contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan today.

Invisalign Orthodontic Treatment for Comfort and Convenience

orthodontics Cypress TXHaving straight teeth is more than just an aesthetic advantage. Everyone would love a beautiful smile, but did you know your dental health is at risk if you have crooked teeth? Orthodontic treatment will improve your smile, but will also eliminate areas where plaque buildup can lead to dental decay and/or gum disease.

Young children make great candidates for traditional metal braces; however, teens and adults who wish to have their teeth straightened should see their dentist to see if they qualify for Invisalign clear aligners.

The advantages with Invisalign over other methods of orthodontics are numerous:

They are clear – Patients who wish to straighten their teeth without the stigma of metal braces enjoy the transparency of Invisalign aligners.

They are comfortable – Aligners are made from a material that gently shifts teeth to their correct placement without bands, brackets, or wires to abrade soft oral tissues.

They are convenient – Invisalign aligners are replaced every two weeks with the next in the series of aligners. This means the straightening process continues without regular dental visits to have wires adjusted.

They are removable – Of all the advantages of Invisalign clear aligners, the fact that they are removable is possibly the most helpful aspect you can enjoy while having your teeth straightened.

You can remove your aligners to eat snacks and meals – unlike other methods of teeth alignment, your food choices are limitless. Simply remove, eat, and replace.

You can take care of your daily oral maintenance of brushing and flossing without any encumbrance. Take aligners out, brush and floss, and replace. Your dental provider will be able to thoroughly clean your teeth every six months without having to clean around braces.

Invisalign orthodontics can align an overbite, underbite, or crossbite using a series of aligners that are fabricated with the use of photographs, dental x-rays, and impressions … digital 3D technology is employed to provide the aligners the patient will use to gradually shift their teeth to the correct occlusion.

With each new aligner, the patient is correcting their bite and straightening their teeth with the convenience of clear and comfortable braces. Invisalign offers a unique approach to teeth straightening that is a welcome improvement from the traditional methods that have been used for years.

To find out if you are a candidate for Invisalign, contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan at 281-609-7377 today.

Since having my braces removed, my teeth have shifted. Can Invisalign help?

orthodontics Cypress TXThere are several reasons your teeth could have shifted. If orthodontics was completed before all permanent teeth erupted, those new teeth (like third molars) could have resulted in overcrowding pushing teeth to make room to come in.

Or perhaps the retainer was not worn long enough for teeth to develop a solid memory of their new location, which can allow teeth to start to drift back to their former placement.

If you are now faced with a malocclusion, your Invisalign dentist will consult with you to present options. Invisalign offers many advantages not available with other forms of teeth straightening. Invisalign aligners are:

  • Clear – the patient can undergo teeth straightening that is virtually invisible. This is a major factor for teens and young adults.
  • Comfortable – there are no wires and no metal to abrade or poke into soft oral tissue.
  • Convenient – trips to the orthodontist to have wires tightened to keep teeth moving are eliminated. The patient merely replaces their aligners every two weeks with the next in the series. Each aligner is designed to keep teeth moving to their correct placement.
  • Removable – With Invisalign aligners, the patient can continue to eat all the foods they love – nothing is off limits. That is because these “braces” are taken out for snacks and meals. Simply replace the aligners when done. In addition, your daily oral care of brushing and flossing can be completed without obstruction.

The Invisalign program is simple. Your dentist will take impressions, x-rays, and photos to be sent to the Invisalign lab. These tools will be used to fabricate a series of aligners using 3-D digital technology. Each aligner is designed to alter your bite until teeth have been moved to their correct occlusion.

Straight teeth are important for more than a great smile. When teeth are crooked or overlap, there are areas where plaque is more likely to build. Plaque formation can lead to dental decay and/or gum disease.

At treatment conclusion, another retainer will be provided. You will receive instructions for when and how long to wear it. This is a critical component to the teeth straightening process. If not worn as instructed, teeth may begin to shift back again.

Don’t waste your investment … follow instructions and you should be able to enjoy your new smile for your lifetime. Contact our team today to discuss your own options!

Protect and Strengthen Teeth with Dental Crowns

dental crowns Cypress TXDental crowns have proven to be an effective tool for treating many dental maladies. They can save a broken tooth from extraction, treat a tooth with extensive decay, seal the access point following root canal therapy, and serve as the final restoration for a fixed prosthesis and/or dental implants.

When a tooth is fractured or impacted with decay, it loses stability. A dental crown covers the base of the tooth protecting it and offering strength to prevent losing that tooth.

When your diagnosis involves endodontic therapy, your dentist must drill an access point in your tooth to remove the contents of the tooth’s roots. Upon completion, that access point must be sealed; and for many teeth, a dental crown will be used.

If tooth loss should occur, you have multiple options for replacement. Whenever that option involves a fixed prosthesis, crowns are placed on abutment teeth to affix the partial.

If the patient is looking for a permanent solution to tooth loss that is most like biological teeth, dental implants provide the ideal solution. The titanium post is surgically placed in gum tissue where tooth loss has occurred. Once healed, the implant is permanently covered with a crown as the final restoration.

Whenever a crown is proposed for treatment, the patient has a choice. With a standard porcelain crown, the tooth will be prepped and a temporary will be placed for a two week waiting period while the dental lab fabricates the crown.

However, if you visit a CEREC dentist, your crown is ready the same day you need it; no more temporaries to deal with and no two week wait.

CEREC is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. Your CEREC dentist can diagnose, prep, manufacture, and place your finished crown in one day. Implementing CAD/CAM technology (computer aided design/computer aided manufacturing) your dental crown can be milled on the spot.

An intraoral camera takes a digital impression and sends the information to the CEREC unit. A block of porcelain has already been selected that will most closely match surrounding teeth. The crown is constructed in a matter of minutes. Your dentist can try it in, and add the finishing touches before final cementation.

Your tooth is then protected with a strong, stain resistant porcelain crown providing added stability with a natural, polished appearance.

If you’re looking to strengthen your smile with a dental crown, contact us at the office of Dr. Lori Logan today!

The Effects of Tobacco and Nicotine On Your Dental Health

Cypress TX dentalWe all know that tobacco use is bad for our health. However, many people forget that smoking cigarettes and cigars or chewing tobacco is destructive to our dental health as well. Tobacco and nicotine affect the entire oral health system, by  increasing risks for infections like gum disease and potentially deadly conditions such as oral cancer. Abstaining from tobacco use is advantageous to your overall wellbeing and dental health. If you do use tobacco or nicotine of any kind, bring this up with our dentist at your next appointment. This way, we can consider your lifestyle habits when we perform oral checkups and dental cleanings.

Tobacco and Your Gums

Tobacco products contain very inflammatory and irritating ingredients. For instance, cigarettes have hundreds of chemicals and carcinogens mixed in their formulas. The irritating nature of smoke and byproducts from smokeless tobacco can negatively affect soft oral tissues—especially the gums. Tobacco products contribute to gum disease by inflaming the gingiva. Inflamed gingiva is more prone to becoming diseased. Moreover, gums recede from teeth when inflamed. Gum recession exposes the roots of teeth to debris and bacteria that contribute to dental caries.

Gum Disease and Your Dental Health

Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the most common and severe threats to oral health. Those who smoke or chew tobacco have an increased risk for developing periodontal disease. Gum disease is the most common culprit behind tooth loss. This is because this condition destroys the gums and bone, and both of these structures support teeth. Lastly, periodontal disease involves a serious oral infection that can enter the bloodstream. Recent studies have shown that gum disease might contribute to cardiovascular problems, stroke, and impaired immunity.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is serious health condition. Since tobacco products contain carcinogens, those who use tobacco increase their risks for developing malignancies in the oral cavity. Since early detection is important for protecting one’s health, we recommend that patients have annual oral cancer screenings.

Call us today to schedule an appointment with our dentist!

Sleep Apnea: Looking for a CPAP alternative?

sleep apnea Cypress TXHave you been diagnosed with sleep apnea? Are you wondering what your treatment options are? Some patients with sleep apnea are hesitant to seek treatment because they do not want to use bulky or loud machinery like CPAP devices. While CPAP is sometimes an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), it is not always ideal. Fortunately, there are alternatives to CPAP. One method that our dentist prescribes for OSA treatment is oral appliance therapy.

What is oral appliance therapy?

Oral appliance therapy is a treatment option for sleep apnea that does not involve the use of medical-grade machinery. Instead, patients wear a custom-made appliance that fits inside the mouth like a mouthguard. The way an oral appliance works is by positioning the lower jaw forward. By positioning the jaw forward, the diameter of the airway is widened. This can help prevent tissues from blocking the airway while a patient with apnea is sleeping.

What is CPAP, exactly?

CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure”. What this means is that a device streams air into the oral cavity through a small face mask to keep the airway open. CPAP has been used to treat sleep apnea for quite some time and for many people, it can be effective at improving one’s breathing during sleep.

Which treatment is better for sleep apnea?

CPAP and oral appliance therapy present different benefits. Moreover, not all treatment protocols work the same for all people. Regarding oral appliance therapy, however, patients enjoy this treatment option because they do not have to worry about the noise emitted by machinery or its portability when they are not at home. CPAP machines and their pieces require more intensive cleaning that an oral appliance as well.

If you are trying to determine the right treatment for sleep apnea, we recommend consulting with our dentist. Our team can help you decide if oral appliance therapy meets your needs.

Call us today to reserve a sleep apnea consultation.

Smile Confidently with Lumineers

Lumineers Cypress TXVeneers can improve a variety of defects in a patient’s smile: from chips, stains and cracks to mild misalignments and undersized teeth. However, because some types of veneers require the removal of healthy enamel to make room for them, patients may have been reluctant to consider this treatment option. However, a type of veneers called Lumineers® are thin enough (about the same thickness as a contact lens) that they can be placed atop an existing tooth without making extensive alterations to that tooth.

A cosmetic dentist who uses Lumineers in her practice can upgrade a patient’s smile without injections or extensive drilling. Furthermore, Lumineers are totally reversible if the patient decides that they are no longer needed or wanted, which is not the case with conventional porcelain veneers.

Like other veneers, Lumineers are made from a form of porcelain, which shares many optical qualities with biological teeth. Therefore, your Lumineers will appear quite lifelike after they are bonded to your teeth. Your cosmetic dentist can also adjust the shade of the Lumineers to get the closest match possible to the color of your biological teeth, which also helps to make this treatment more aesthetically pleasing.

As with all veneers, Lumineers can last for many years if you take good care of them. In fact, Lumineers may actually be more resistant to chips and breaks although they are thinner than conventional veneers. It is important for patients to maintain good oral hygiene habits and receive adequate professional dental care in order to get the maximum benefits and lifespan from their Lumineers, though. Be sure that you are following your dentist’s instructions in caring for your Lumineers.

If you want a long-lasting, reliable veneer without making major structural changes to your natural teeth in the process, consider Lumineers as a possible treatment option.

Call us at the office of Dr. Lori Logan today and schedule a consultation to learn more about Lumineers and get started down the path to a more beautiful, confident smile.

How often should I replace my toothbrush?

Cypress TX dentistYou may think that you’re taking good care of your smile by brushing and flossing daily between visits to your dentist, but if you’re using the wrong tools – like an old, worn toothbrush – you may not be getting all of the benefits from your oral hygiene routine that you need. Patients should rotate to a new toothbrush about every three to four months.

Keep in mind that this is just a general recommendation, and if you notice that the bristles on your toothbrush appear visibly worn sooner than that, it may be time for a change then rather than waiting until three months have passed.

Additionally, if you have been ill with a bacterial infection or virus, it’s best to switch to a new brush as to avoid re-exposing yourself to those germs. Also, children who are learning to master the technique of brushing their teeth may go through their brushes faster than their parents or older siblings do.

It’s important to remember that this guideline doesn’t apply to only manual toothbrushes. Electronic toothbrush heads suffer from wear and tear as well, so you should swap those out quarterly for new ones, as well.

If your dentist has pointed out that you’ve accumulated a fair amount of plaque despite keeping a robust oral hygiene routine, your toothbrush may not be in ultimate condition for cleaning your teeth. A worn toothbrush is much less effective at removing plaque from your teeth.

When making the decision to buy a new toothbrush, it may also be worth checking in with your dentist to make sure that your brush meets the standards necessary for an effective oral hygiene routine. Generally, a brush that has earned a seal of approval from the American Dental Association is a good choice, but you may want to consult with a professional to see if there are any special design features you should consider in your case.

Have you been using your current toothbrush for more than six months? It may be time for a change. Feel free to call our office if you have any questions or if it’s time to schedule your next dental exam.

CEREC: Custom Crowns in Just One Appointment

same day crowns CypressA broken tooth or excessive decay is often treated through the use of a dental crown. A standard crown takes multiple dental appointments over a couple of weeks from start to finish. But same day crowns are available if your dentist offers CEREC.

CEREC is an acronym that means chairside economical restoration of esthetic ceramics. Your CEREC dentist has invested in a system that allows him to fabricate a porcelain crown using an impression taken on the same day your crown will be ready.

The CEREC crown starts out with a ceramic block. The crown is milled out of that block using the impression taken and computer technology (your dentist is not in the back room with a little hammer and chisel making your crown!).

You might hear about CAD/CAM which is the technology that allows same day crowns to be made. It means computer assisted design/computer assisted manufacture. This is the science that allows the advantages of same day crowns that include:

Time savings – only one dental appointment is needed from start to finish.

No temporary crown to deal with – once the tooth has been prepped for a crown, it must be protected until the crown is delivered. With standard crowns, the patient must endure wearing a temporary for weeks. If it is dislodged, it means another trip to the dentist to have it replaced.

A strong restoration made with stain resistant porcelain.

Less of your natural tooth is removed with CEREC crowns – the more of your own tooth that stays intact means a stronger structure.

Since your trusted dentist is making your crown in his (or her) own office, there is no question that your crown is being made in the United States. Many dental labs are located in foreign countries, so you have no idea where your crown is made with standard crowns.

Crowns have been around a long time and serve many purposes. A broken tooth can be saved; a tooth suffering from multiple cavities can be salvaged rather than having to extract it; and a crown is often used to seal a tooth following root canal therapy.

To learn more about CEREC same day crowns, call the office of Dr. Lori Logan today! 

Will sleep apnea go away with time?

sleep apnea CypressSleep apnea is a condition where a sleeping individual literally stops breathing for several seconds or longer. This can occur repeatedly throughout the night, and results in more than a restless period of sleep. Unfortunately, sleep apnea won’t just go away without corrections like surgery. The good news is that there are options available that will help bring relief.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common condition that affects patients. Soft tissues in the mouth and/or throat relax during sleep and cause the breathing airway to be blocked. Some of the actions to be taken to reduce its impact include losing weight, limiting alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, and while it seems contrary do not take a sedative to try to get better rest. Sedatives and alcohol simply cause those muscles in the tongue and throat to relax even more making the problem worse.

A visit to our dentist is a great place to start to seek a solution. While a definitive diagnosis requires a sleep study, if you are dealing with the symptoms of sleep apnea, a specially fabricated mouth guard might be the answer.

The oral appliance our dentist can make for you will place your jaw forward helping to prevent airway blockage. There is also a splint available that restrains the tongue from blocking the airway.

Both of these solutions require a professionally made device. Attempts to modify a generic mouth guard may do more harm than good. Your dentist is uniquely qualified to help treat sleep apnea by fitting you with the mouth guard that will be as comfortable as possible.

Patients who leave their disrupted sleep patterns untreated risk more than just daytime sleepiness. Over time sleep apnea can contribute to conditions like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even death. Anyone who must be alert to perform their job (truck driver, airline pilot, or surgeon to name a few) puts themselves and those who rely on them at risk if they are deprived of sleep that allows them to function normally.

Symptoms might be hard to define. Excessive snoring and daily fatigue are two, but many patients are not aware they are dealing with this condition … nighttime restlessness is often attributed to daytime stressors.

If you feel you might suffer from sleep apnea, contact our office to see how we can help return you to restful sleep.