Is Your New Year’s Resolution Dieting? Keep an Eye on Your Teeth!

At Mai Dentistry, we share your optimism for creating a fresh start for your family in 2014. Fitness and weight loss top the list of popular New Year’s resolutions, yet few people commit to taking better care of their teeth. If your family’s New Year’s resolution involves shedding excess pounds, you should understand the relationship between your diet and oral health. In addition to scheduling regular dental cleanings with your Garland TX family dentist, Dr. Mai, follow these pointers for a healthy, happy 2014, full of smiles.

mai-dental

Dodging the Diet Soda Trap

If you think substituting diet sodas for regular colas is a healthy improvement, think again. All carbonated beverages, whether full-calorie, clear, or caffeine-free, are highly acidic and can compromise your tooth enamel. Dark or colored diet sodas also cause unsightly yellow and brown teeth stains. If you or your children consume soda, sip through a straw to minimize contact between your teeth and the beverage. Always rinse your mouth after drinking soda. For healthy teeth and weight loss alike, water will always be your best bet for health.

Don’t Do Away With Dairy

Many dieters’ weight loss plans eliminate all dairy products from their diet. Dr. Vi Truong-Mai warns that this approach to dieting can actually cause harm to your teeth in the long run. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are rich in calcium, which keeps teeth strong and healthy. Calcium is especially important for growing children. Dairy products also neutralize acids in your mouth, which deters tooth decay and surface damage to enamel. Instead of avoiding all dairy items, opt for products made with skim or 2 percent milk.

Rinse After Eating Fruits

Eating fruit supports weight loss by creating a feeling of fullness, adding fiber to your diet, and providing key vitamins and nutrients. Fresh and dried fruits are healthier than chocolate and candy, but all of these foods contain large amounts of sugar. As with sodas, fruit smoothies and acidic juices are best sipped through a straw. After you consume fruits, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water. If you eat seeded fruits, such as strawberries, you should floss to remove seeds from between teeth and near the gum line.

 Say No to Sports Drinks

Exercise is a key component of many weight loss plans, and sports drinks seem like the natural choice for workouts. Not so, cautions Dr. Mai. One eight-ounce serving of Gatorade contains only 50 calories, but it also contains a shocking 14 grams of sugar. Sports beverages were originally developed for athletes to replace electrolytes and carbohydrates lost during marathon training sessions and competitions. For the average person, however, sports drinks offer no advantages over plain water. Only choose Gatorade and similar drinks if your intensive workout exceeds one hour. Again, drink through a straw to avoid bathing teeth in sugar and acids, and rinse your mouth with water afterward.

Dr. Vi Truong-Mai encourages your family to start 2014 with a commitment to a healthy body, mind, and mouth. Mai Dentistry offers services to make your teeth straighter, whiter, and brighter. Call us at 972-530-0552 today to set up an appointment for cosmetic dental procedures, family dentistry, or preventive maintenance. We serve Garland, Wylie, Plano, Richardson, and surrounding areas.

Defining TMJ Disorder for Patients with Chronic Pain

businesswoman with a headachePoor dental health can cause a wide variety of symptoms, from an aching tooth to severe, recurring headaches. The problem with dental-related aches and pains is that they don’t resolve themselves if given time. In fact, some patients can endure chronic discomfort for years without finding relief until learning that a dental issue, like TMJ disorder, is to blame. For instance, Garland dentist, Dr. Vi Mai, has helped many patients find relief from persistent pain by restoring their smiles’ health and function through innovative TMJ treatment. As the joints that move your jaw, TMJs are subject to damage from excessive stress. When in the grips of TMJ disorder, the joints can hinder your mouth’s operation and cause a significant amount of discomfort.

How Your Jaw’s Joints Can Suffer

Your two temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are located just in front of each ear, and connect your lower jaw, or mandible, to your skull’s temporal bones. The TMJs work in tandem as your mouth opens, closes, and moves around to chew your food. So long as your teeth and jaws are evenly balanced, your TMJs can continue to work smoothly. When your bite is imbalanced, however, the joints can suffer from excessive stress, becoming damaged and inflamed, and possibly forced out of alignment. Crooked teeth, a congenitally asymmetrical jawbone, constant teeth grinding (bruxism), and a host of other issues can place extreme pressure on your jaw joints, leading to the complications of TMJ disorder.

The Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

Aside from a sore jaw, TMJ disorder is associated with a number of varying symptoms that can confuse a proper diagnosis. Your jaw’s nerve is a small part of the trigeminal nerve—the largest of your 12 cranial nerve groups. The three-branch nerve innervates the majority of your head, neck, and face. When TMJ disorder disturbs it, the pain can be transferred throughout your cranial structures and manifest as;

  • Chronic, severe headaches, including migraines
  • Earaches, along with ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Sore, fatigued facial and jaw muscles
  • Destructive teeth-grinding

If you experience any of these symptoms, or if you believe you may be suffering from TMJ disorder, then visit Dr. Mai as soon as possible for a professional assessment and TMJ treatment, if necessary.

About Dr. Vi Mai:

Dr. Vi Mai and the caring staff at Mai Dentistry are dedicated to ensuring that our patients are proud of their beautiful, healthy smiles. With years of experience in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, we can expertly diagnose and treat early dental trouble to preserve your natural tooth structure. If it’s about time for your next teeth cleaning appointment, then call us today at (972) 530-0552.

Drink Green Tea to Protect Your Smile

Woman smiling and drinking green teaHome remedies are an enjoyable and thrifty way to treat a wide range of minor aches and maladies. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of many of these home treatments lack peer-reviewed scientific research to back up their claims. One notable exception to the rule is green tea. According to a recent Japanese study, this refreshing beverage can help you enjoy a healthy smile free from gum disease. Garland, TX dentist, Dr. Vi Mai discusses the findings of this groundbreaking study and offers some practical tips for incorporating green tea into your healthy lifestyle. (more…)

Garland, TX Family Dentist Provides Care for Entire Family

Generations of SmilesIs it possible to receive all your dental care needs from one dentist?  Yes, your Garland, TX family dentist, Dr. Vi Truong-Mai, and our team provide care for the entire family.  At Mai Dentistry, our friendly front desk staff wants to ensure you feel at home, welcome, and comfortable.  We take pride in courteous, customer service, as well as a fun, nurturing, and educational environment for youngsters, by providing stickers, movies, a play area with toys, and coloring books that teach proper oral care.  From braces to dentures, preventive care to cosmetic dentistry, the services our team provides help patients of all ages forge and maintain healthy smiles.   (more…)

FAQs About Professional Teeth Whitening

teethwhitening

Do you want brighter teeth? Well, you’re not alone. In the United States alone, people spend over 1.4 billion dollars on over-the-counter teeth whitening systems each year. In order to remove stains and enhance the appearance of your smile, we offer professional teeth whitening services. Your Garland TX dentist, Dr. Vi Mai, provides both at-home and in-office teeth whitening techniques.

(more…)

Learn About Bonding and Contouring with Today’s Quiz

smile

What happens when you chip or crack a tooth? What should you do if your tooth has jagged edges or surface pits? In order to return a tooth to full function and beauty, Mai Dental Care offers the latest in dental bonding and contouring. Your Garland dentist, Dr. Vi Mai, can repair and restore smiles with these innovative dental procedures.

(more…)

Learn What Modern Dental Crowns Can Do

guy with a healthy smileDental crowns are among the most frequently recognized dental procedures today. The practice of placing a protective cap over a severely damaged tooth is not a new concept, but with the materials and techniques available today, the procedure can be done in less time, with more precision, and with more cosmetically pleasing results than previously possible. With equal focus on aesthetics and function, today’s dental crowns offer a discrete fix to severely affected tooth, restoring a smile’s beauty as it protects what’s left of healthy tooth structure. Garland dentist, Dr. Vi Mai, often utilizes dental crowns to help restore or improve patients’ smiles in a variety of situations.

Patients Who Need Dental Crowns

Typically, dental crowns serve to protect a tooth whose structure has been significantly compromised and can no longer support and protect itself. Dr. Mai advises that preserving as much healthy tooth structure as possible is always preferable, so rather than extract a compromised tooth, she may recommend protecting it from further damage. Common cases that require a man-made dental crown include (but are not limited to);

  • Cracked, fractured, or broken teeth
  • A tooth damaged by traumatic injury
  • A tooth that has been mostly compromised by decay (removing excessive decay can leave your tooth structurally unsound in some cases)
  • Replace a missing tooth, when attached to a dental implant

Today’s Dental Crowns

Since protection is one of the main purposes of a dental crown, yours must be able to withstand the pressures of daily chewing, biting, and speaking. Otherwise, it would be basically useless. For optimal function and beauty, we offer a variety of durable, lifelike materials to custom-craft patients’ dental crowns. Dental porcelain, or ceramic, is among the most popular dental crown materials, and can be specially layered and tinted to mimic the color and light-reflective properties of natural teeth. For teeth that might bear the most pressure, such as back molars, we also provide metal and porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, depending on the patient’s specific needs and preferences.

About Dr. Vi Mai:

Dr. Vi Mai and the caring staff at Mai Dentistry are dedicated to ensuring that our patients are proud of their beautiful, healthy smiles. With years of experience in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, we can expertly diagnose and treat early dental trouble to preserve your natural tooth structure. If it’s about time for your next teeth cleaning appointment, then call us today at (972) 530-0552.

What Happens at a Teeth Cleaning Appointment?

girl with clean teethMost patients are aware of the tenets of excellent dental hygiene; namely, brushing teeth twice a day, flossing at least once, and attending a dental cleaning and exam every six months, or more often if recommended. While brushing and flossing are relatively simple and easy to accomplish, visiting the dentist on a regular basis isn’t always on the forefront of a patient’s mind. If you’re diligent about hygiene at home, you may not believe every appointment is necessary. Unfortunately, skipping professional maintenance is a common reason why dental diseases develop, even when patients strictly adhere to good hygiene at their bathroom sinks. When it comes to your oral health, prevention is always preferable to damage control, and by sticking to a schedule of professional teeth cleaning with your Garland dentist, Dr. Vi Mai, your chances of successful prevention can be significantly improved. (more…)

Are Dental Implants a Good Choice for You?

Attractive older couple smilingIf you have lost one or more permanent teeth to tooth decay, gum disease, or injury, or if you may need to have a compromised, infected, or painful tooth extracted in the near future, you will need to research your options for replacing that missing tooth. The loss of even a single adult tooth can trigger a series of events that can result in further tooth loss, TMJ related headaches, and an increased risk for gum disease and dental caries (tooth decay). Any type of tooth replacement will help maintain proper spacing along the dental arch but only a dental implant retained replacement tooth will help you maintain good bone health as well. If you’re in need of a reliable, long-lasting, true-to-life replacement tooth, scheduling a dental implant consultation with your Garland TX dentist, Dr. Vi Mai, would be in your best interest. (more…)