Posts for: July, 2015

By Michael J Morris, DDS
July 30, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Healthy Food  

Find out which foods might just give you a cavity-free visit to your Spring, TX dentist.

When we think of summer we often think about treats like ice cream and popsicles, which aren’t so kind to our smiles. However, not all Foodssummer treats cause issues for your smile. Find out which foods to incorporate into your smile-friendly diet if you want your Spring, TX dentist Dr. Michael K. Morris to confirm a healthy smile at your next visit.

Cheese

Once summer rolls around people can’t help put pull out the cheese plates for cookouts and outdoor soirees. Luckily, this is great news for your smile. Cheese contains a healthy dose of calcium, which helps to fortify both teeth and bones. Furthermore, the casein in cheese is the same protein found in milk and helps to strengthen tooth enamel. Just remember to enjoy in moderation, as cheese also contains a high amount of fat.

Pears

It’s not really summer unless you get to enjoy fresh fruits. If you are looking for a fruit that will boost your oral health then it’s time to stock up on some fresh pears. Just like raw veggies like celery and carrots, pears are fibrous and help stimulate the production of saliva. Furthermore, they also have the added benefit of being able to neutralize acids on the surface of your teeth better than other types of fruits. So whether you grill some pears into your entrees or enjoy pears and fresh yogurt for breakfast, your smile will thank you.

Raw Onions

This might sound a bit surprising, especially since eating raw onions can be rough on your breath. But rest assured, the benefits far outweigh the cons! Onions are great at effectively getting rid of the bacteria responsible for causing cavities and gum disease. So load up those onions for your next cookout and reap the smile benefits.

Is it time for your six-month dental cleaning and exam? It’s never too early to schedule your upcoming appointment with your Spring, TX dentist, Dr. Michael Morris. Call our office today to get a dazzling, deep-cleaned smile to last you the summer.


By Michael J Morris, DDS
July 16, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: canker sore  
EasingthePainandDiscomfortofCankerSores

If you occasionally experience small sores in the softer tissues of your mouth, you may have aphthous ulcers or better known as canker sores. While rarely a health concern, they can be painful and annoying particularly when you’re eating and drinking.

These breaks in the skin or mucosa (the lining membranes of the mouth) usually occur in the thinner tissues found in the cheeks, lips, under the tongue or in the back of the throat. They tend to be most painful (especially while eating acidic foods like citrus or tomato sauce) between the first few hours of appearing and for a couple of days afterward, and will often occur during periods of anxiety, stress or after a minor injury. The sores will normally heal and fade within a couple of weeks.

Although occasional outbreaks of canker sores are quite common with most people, 20-25% of people (more often women) have a recurring form of painful outbreak known as recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS). Another variation called herpetiform aphthae, similar in appearance to herpes simplex virus sores, is characterized by smaller clusters of ulcers. While the specific causes for canker sores are still unclear, there’s some correlation between them and abnormalities with a person’s immune system, as well as with other systemic conditions like gastrointestinal disorders or vitamin deficiencies.

The basic treatment for canker sores is to first soothe the pain and promote quicker healing. Many over-the-counter medications are available for mild cases that numb the area temporarily and provide a protective covering while the sore heals. For more severe cases, there are also prescription medications (like steroids) that can be applied topically or through injection.

While canker sores are not contagious and usually benign, there are some situations that call for a dental examination: sores that haven’t healed within 2 weeks; increasing occurrences and severity of the sores; and never being completely free of a sore in the mouth. These may indicate some other condition, or be an occurrence of cancer or a pre-cancerous condition.

If you have any concerns, be sure to schedule a visit. We’ll be glad to evaluate any occurrence of the sores and recommend the best course of treatment to ease the pain and annoyance.

If you would like more information on canker sores or other types of mouth ulcers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Mouth Sores.”


By Michael J Morris, DDS
July 10, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Sensitive Teeth  

Find out the repercussions that eating certain summery snacks could have on your smile.

It’s summer time. Time to enjoy beach vacations, backyard cookouts and delicious treats. While some summer foods are safe for your smile there are some that can wreak havoc on healthy teeth. If you don’t want to be visiting your Spring, TX dentist Dr. Michael Morris Sensitive Teeththis summer to have a cavity filled, then you may want to stay away from some of those sugary popsicles!

Why are popsicles bad for my teeth?

This is probably the question on everybody’s mind. After all, these popsicles can be so refreshing after a hot day spent outdoors. So, how bad are popsicles for your teeth and why should you avoid them?

Popsicles, just like some other delicious snacks we consume during the summer, are chock full of sugar. The bacteria on our teeth love sugar as much as we do. Every time we take a lick of that popsicle, the bacteria begins to break down the sugar into acid. This acid is what damages our healthy tooth enamel, destroying and demineralizing it. Over time, this can cause decay to form. Plus, you spend more time exposing your teeth to the sugar when you have a popsicle because you tend to savor it longer than bite-sized snacks. The longer you expose your teeth to sugar, the more damage it causes your smile.

Aside from the detrimental effect sugar has on your teeth, the artificial dyes in these brightly colored popsicles can also stain your teeth and make them look dull and yellow. And if the popsicle is frozen solid and you try to bite off a portion, this can damage your teeth, much as it damages them when you crunch ice.

Healthier alternatives for healthier smiles

So, what can you do if you want to enjoy these refreshing treats but don’t want to deal with an exorbitant dental bill? The best option is to avoid these snacks altogether; however, we know how difficult this can be. Therefore, a kinder route is to buy sugar-free popsicles instead. You can still enjoy cooling down with these popsicles, but you won’t have to worry that your Spring, TX dentist will find decay during your next visit.

While a diet that’s low in sugar can certainly go a long way to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, it’s still important to see your Spring, TX dentist twice a year for your biannual cleanings and exams. If it’s time for your visit, call our office today. Summer can go by in the blink of an eye, so don’t forget to schedule your upcoming appointment with us!


By Michael J Morris, DDS
July 01, 2015
Category: Oral Health
NancyODellonMakingOralHygieneFunforKids

When Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell set out to teach her young daughter Ashby how to brush her teeth, she knew the surest path to success would be to make it fun for the toddler.

“The best thing with kids is you have to make everything a game,” Nancy recently said in an interview with Dear Doctor TV. She bought Ashby a timer in the shape of a tooth that ticks for two minutes — the recommended amount of time that should be spent on brushing — and the little girl loved it. “She thought that was super fun, that she would turn the timer on and she would brush her teeth for that long,” Nancy said.

Ashby was also treated to a shopping trip for oral-hygiene supplies with Mom. “She got to go with me and choose the toothpaste that she wanted,” Nancy recalled. “They had some SpongeBob toothpaste that she really liked, so we made it into a fun activity.”

Seems like this savvy mom is on to something! Just because good oral hygiene is a must for your child’s health and dental development, that doesn’t mean it has to feel like a chore. Equally important to making oral-hygiene instruction fun is that it start as early as possible. It’s best to begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they start to appear in infancy. Use a small, soft-bristled, child-sized brush or a clean, damp washcloth and just a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.

Once your child is old enough to hold the toothbrush and understand what the goal is, you can let him or her have a turn at brushing; but make sure you also take your turn, so that every tooth gets brushed — front, back and all chewing surfaces. After your child turns 3 and is capable of spitting out the toothpaste, you can increase the toothpaste amount to the size of a pea. Kids can usually take over the task of brushing by themselves around age 6, but may still need help with flossing.

Another great way to teach your children the best oral-hygiene practices is to model them yourself. If you brush and floss every day, and have regular cleanings and exams at the dental office, your child will come to understand what a normal, healthy and important routine this is. Ashby will certainly get this message from her mom.

“I’m very adamant about seeing the dentist regularly,” Nancy O’Dell said in her Dear Doctor interview. “I make sure that I go when I’m supposed to go.”

It’s no wonder that Nancy has such a beautiful, healthy-looking smile. And from the looks of things, her daughter is on track to have one, too. We would like to see every child get off to an equally good start!

If you have questions about your child’s oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Taking the Stress Out of Dentistry for Kids” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”




Louetta and Spring, TX Family Dentist
Michael J Morris, DDS
9318 Louetta Road Suite 600
Spring, TX 77379
(281) 379-6939
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