From Baby to Big Kid, Brushing Is for Life

Family dentist in Garland, TX

All the cool kids are cavity-free

Compared to potty training, teaching your child how to brush and floss is virtually painless—less messy, too. Dr. Vi Mai, your Garland, TX family dentist, reminds parents that a little diligence goes a long way over the course of your child’s lifetime. Your child cannot have a truly healthy childhood unless his teeth and gums are at their healthiest.

The Early Makings of a Brilliant Brusher

Even though baby teeth will eventually fall out and be replaced, you cannot neglect their care. When your child’s first tooth erupts, it must be cleaned. We usually recommend cleansing the teeth and gums with a dampened wash cloth or a soft-bristled infant’s toothbrush. The first dental visit should take place no later than his first birthday. These appointments are essential because they educate you and your child on the special dental needs of little mouths, and they help your child become more comfortable in our office.

Link Brushing to “Big Kid” Behavior

As children grow, they relish the opportunity to demonstrate just how much they’ve matured. Encourage them to take an active role in their hygiene, and do so in a way that makes brushing fun. For example, you might let them choose their new toothbrush. We’ve seen toothbrushes that light up, play music, and feature popular cartoon characters. Remember, brushing isn’t enough. Your child may still need help brushing the right way, so it’s best to supervise brushing sessions.

Nutrition Is Important, Too

A nutritious, balanced diet benefits the entire body, not just the teeth and gums. Limit sugar intake, which promotes tooth decay. It’s nearly impossible to prevent your child from consuming any form of sugar, so use your best judgment. If you allow your child to eat a sweet treat, be sure that he brushes his teeth and rinses his mouth immediately after. Dr. Mai cautions that you should also watch what your child drinks. For example, many parents don’t hesitate to give their child fruit juice. However, even real fruit juice is loaded with sugar. If you offer juice in a sippy cup, understand that his teeth will be bathed in sugar each time he takes a sip. Bacteria living in the mouth use sugar as fuel, and they excrete acids that attack tooth enamel. Water is always the best choice. You may offer juice with meals, but only in a regular cup.

Children’s Medications May Affect Their Teeth

Many commonly prescribed and over-the-counter medications contains large amounts of sugar to mask an unpleasant taste. If your child has asthma, the mouthpiece of the inhaler may harbor bacteria. Always clean the mouthpiece after each use. Also, be aware that inhalers may cause dry mouth, which increases the risk of tooth decay. Unless otherwise directed by your child’s doctor, your child should rinse his mouth with water for 30 seconds after each dose of medication.

Questions about caring for children’s teeth? To learn more about family dentistry in Garland, TX, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vi Mai, contact our office at (972) 530-0552. We are pleased to serve families living in Allen, Murphy, Wylie, Richardson, Dallas, and the surrounding cities.

Three Tips for Busting Bad Breath in Garland, TX

General dentist in Garland, TXUnpleasant breath happens to the best of us every now and then, but what about those who battle halitosis, or chronic bad breath. Dr. Vi Mai, your Garland, TX general dentist, shares advice for maintaining a healthy mouth and fresh breath.

Brush Up on Basic Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of a sour taste and unpleasant odor. The recommended dental care regimen for the average adult entails brushing your teeth for a full two minutes, twice daily, and flossing at least once daily. A significant amount of bacteria make their home on the surface of your tongue, especially near the back of your mouth. Using a tongue scraper to remove these bacteria could cut down on foul odors. Dr. Mai advises most patients to schedule twice-yearly dental checkups for professional cleaning and screening for oral cancer and gum disease.

Why does it work? In most cases, bad breath stems from a buildup of sticky plaque, a mixture of leftover food and bacteria. These bacteria, which accumulate on and between teeth, emit smelly sulfur compounds after they become trapped in the mouth.

Steer Clear of Breath-Befouling Foods

Two of the worst offenders, garlic and onions, don’t respond to vigorous brushing. Indeed, all of the breath mints in the world won’t quash that bad smell. Once these substances end up in your bloodstream, they travel on toward your lungs. You exhale, and guess what everyone smells? So powerful are these odors that the only way to avoid bad breath is to avoid eating them altogether.

Other foods, though not as offensive as onions and garlic, may still linger on your breath. Dr. Mai advises you to brush your teeth as soon as possible after eating. If you cannot brush, at least rinse your mouth with plain water for 30 seconds. You can also chew sugar-free gum.

Why it works: Rinsing flushes away leftover bits of food before they can mix with bacteria to form plaque. Plaque, which clings to the surface of your teeth,

Kick Your Cigarette Habit

Of all the health risks posed by tobacco, bad breath is the least of your worries. Even a few months of smoking cigarettes can leave your teeth yellowed, your tongue stained, and your risk of lung, throat, and oral cancer significantly higher than before. The same applies to cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco.

Why it works: Tobacco use dries out the tissues in your mouth and gums. As a result, you become more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease, both of which cause unpleasant mouth odors.

Concerned about bad breath? To schedule an appointment with Dr. Vi Mai, contact us at (972) 530-0552. We provide restorative, preventive, and family dentistry to patients living in Richardson, Murphy, Allen, Garland, and nearby cities across the Dallas area.

Relax, It’s Just a Dental Filling!

Dental fillings in Garland, TXCavity. It’s one of the most feared words in all of dentistry, capable of making even the most diligent brusher question the effectiveness of his or her oral hygiene regimen. When you visit Dr. Vi Mai for dental fillings in Garland, TX, you can feel confident knowing that this common procedure is simpler and more effective than you may have previously believed.

An Attractive Alternative to Metal Fillings

A decade or so ago, a patient who had a cavity had very limited options for filling materials, and most dentists used metal or silver amalgam to fill minor cavities. Although metal is extremely durable and lasts for many years, it’s not the most subtle means of filling teeth. As a result, patients often felt self-conscious when eating or speaking with others, believing they would be judged for their conspicuous fillings. Today, this is no longer the case. At Mai Dentistry, we prefer to use composite resin, which offers several advantages over gold, silver, and amalgam:

  • Dr. Mai will customize the shade of your composite filling so that it closely matches the natural shade of the surrounding teeth. When you speak or open your mouth, the filling will appear very similar to the rest of your teeth.
  • The resin is hypoallergenic, making it ideal for patients who have metal allergies or concerns about mercury.
  • Placing a composite filling requires Dr. Mai to remove less of your natural tooth structure. Metal fillings, on the other hand, often require larger parts of healthy teeth to accommodate the material.

Composite Resin Is Surprisingly Versatile

Although we often use composite resin to create dental fillings, it has many purposes in restorative and cosmetic dentistry. For example, did you know that we use composite resin for dental bonding? The tooth-colored resin, which can be easily sculpted and shaped, is a natural match for bonding, which fills gaps between teeth, masks cracks and chips, and improves the appearance of slightly uneven or crooked teeth. Dr. Mai begins by preparing the surface of the tooth, then painting on liquid resin. After carefully shaping it to suit your tooth, she allows the composite to cure and harden. The results? An attractive, long-lasting smile that requires very little prep time and suits all budgets.

Ready to experience composite fillings? To learn more about preventive and restorative dentistry at your Garland, TX dentist office, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vi Mai and her team, contact us at (972) 530-0552. Fluent in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, we provide compassionate, timely treatment for families living in Murphy, Allen, Wylie, Richardson, and throughout the Dallas area. You can also follow us on Facebook, where we share the latest news from our office.

Dental Crowns at Mai Dentistry

 

Dental crowns in Garland, TXIn the past, patients with broken or decayed teeth had few treatment options. Most of the time, dentist would perform extractions, leaving a noticeable gap in the patient’s grin. Fortunately, a lot has changed since those days. Today, Dr. Vi Truong-Mai, who offers dental crowns in Garland, TX, assures you that extraction is no longer the go-to method of dealing with damaged teeth. You will appreciate that placing crowns now requires less of your time, and that the results are more precise and discrete.

Are You a Candidate for Dental Crowns?

We most frequently use dental crows to reinforce and protect teeth that have sustained severe structural damage. Compared to extraction, this approach preserves more of your tooth and offers greater protection. Crowns are versatile, making them an ideal solution for:

  • Teeth that have sustained significant damage due to decay
  • Teeth that have broken, cracked, or chipped
  • Teeth damaged by serious injuries to the mouth
  • A tooth damaged by traumatic injury
  • Teeth that have fallen out, as part of a dental implant

Modern Materials for Crowns

We create dental crowns using durable, long-lasting materials that can hold up to eating, biting, and the daily grind. If you desire a natural appearance or must treat a tooth near the front of your mouth, you will appreciate ceramic crowns. Artfully crafted and custom-tinted, porcelain crowns blend in with your existing teeth for a seamless, discrete solution. Dr. Mai also offers porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and metal crowns, which are better suited to withstand the pressure on your molars. When you visit our Garland dentist office, you will discuss your concerns and preferences about which material to use.

Do you need a dental crown in Garland, TX? If so, or if you are unsure, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vi Mai by contacting us at 972-530-0552. We serve patients living in Garland, Dallas, Plano, Allen, and the surrounding areas. You can also follow us on Facebook for the latest updates and insights from our office.

Going to the Dentist? Three Must-Read Books for Kids

Children's dentist in Garland, TXYour child’s first visit to our multilingual Garland, TX children’s dentist office marks one of the most important milestones in his life. As adults, we sometimes view dental visits as routine. For our children, however, the first visit may trigger feelings of anxiety. Studies show that children who understand the purpose for dental visits and the basics of oral hygiene will experience less apprehension, and will be less likely to resist when it’s time to sit in the dental chair. Dr. Vi Truong-Mai and the team at Mai Dentistry love a good book, and we have a feeling that your children will love these “friendly dentist” selections.

Smile Wide, Look Inside by Judith Dember-Paige

Smile Wide, Look Inside tells the story of Nicole, a bubbly young girl on her first dental visit. The book, written by a registered dental hygienist, is available in English and Spanish. Parents and children will appreciate the colorful images and simple explanations about the importance of oral hygiene.

Sahir Goes to the Dentist by Chris Petty

Petty’s multilingual tale focuses on Sahir, a young boy who has just lost his very first tooth. Yasmin, his friend, must also visit the dentist to repair a hole in her tooth. We like that Sahir Goes to the Dentist is available in more than a dozen languages, including English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese.

Show Me Your Smile! A Visit to the Dentist by Christine Ricci

For children who can’t get enough of Dora the Explorer, we recommend this fun, bilingual book. While Dora accompanies her mother to the dentist for an exam, she teaches readers about dental x-rays, dental equipment, and what happens if your child need a filling. Show Me Your Smile features English and Spanish terms throughout.

Why Children Love Visiting With Dr. Mai

We know a thing or two about catering to children, so it’s no surprise that we’ve added kid-friendly touches to our office and waiting area. Our clean, colorful play area features toys, games, and educational coloring books. Cuddly pillows and blankets keep your child warm and snug. Our gentle approach puts children to ease, and of course the stickers and post-visit grab bags don’t hurt, either!

Searching for a compassionate children’s dentist in Garland, TX? To schedule an appointment with Dr. Vi Truong-Mai, contact our Garland dentist office at 972-530-0552. We offer dentistry for the whole family, including patients living in Garland, Dallas, Murphy, Wylie, and surrounding cities, and we speak fluent English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. For the latest dental news and healthy living tips, follow Mai Dentistry on Facebook.

Extracted Teeth Could Be the Most Accessible Source of Stem Cells

Glowing CellFor decades now, stem cells have been a hot topic among medical experts and ethicists. There is little doubt that stem cells have enormous, even life-changing benefits. They can be used to generate new tissues, and scientists look to these cells to provide answers about genetic disorders, heart disease, and even cancer. However, stem cell research has also brought up serious ethical questions. Many oppose the use of embryonic stem cells, yet adult stem cells can be difficult to acquire. Recently, however, scientists have discovered that teeth hold a rich store of stem cells inside the dental pulp. It may be that the key to ongoing genetic research lies in tooth extraction. In this post your Garland, TX dentist explores this growing new technology and the exciting possibilities it could have for future scientific research. (more…)

Why Do Our Patients Love All-on-Four Dental Implants?

Dental implants in Garland, TXAll-on-four implants are quickly becoming one of our most popular offerings in Dr. Vi Truong-Mai’s Garland TX dentist office. These permanent replacement teeth exude a natural look and feel, so our patients feel that they can speak, eat, and smile without many of the drawbacks that come with traditional dental implants. For example, you will not need to remove your implants to clean them, and you will have no need for messy adhesives. The implants do not apply uncomfortable pressure to your gums, so you will be less likely to develop sores in your mouth. Dr. Mai points out several benefits of this innovative alternative:

  • The implants will arrest deterioration in your jawbone, and you will not experience facial collapse.
  • You will have fewer dietary restrictions, as the implants restore the amount of force in your bite by as much as 70 percent.
  • You will find that your favorite hot and cold foods and beverages are no longer off-limits, and you will not experience changes in your ability to taste.

Are All-on-Four Implants the Same as Traditional Dental Implants?

Absolutely not, says Dr. Mai. With this approach, you will require only four implants for each arch. Traditional implants typically require between six and eight implants, if not more. Dr. Mai will angle the implants during placement, as this allows you to take full advantage of the supporting bone structure. In most cases, there is no need for bone grafting prior to the procedure. On average, the investment of time and money for traditional implants exceeds that of all-on-four implants.

Am I a Candidate for All-on-Four Implants?

Dr. Mai may recommend all-on-four dental implants if you currently wear dentures, or if you will need to very soon. Health, not age, will be one of the most important determinants of your fitness for this option. She evaluates the gums, bone, and existing teeth to determine whether to place the implants on your upper arch, your lower arch, or both. Addressing both arches at the same time will save time and money, but should be done only if Dr. Mai feels that you will almost certainly require both in the near future. You must be willing and able to care for your implants according to Dr. Mai’s instructions, as this will preserve the comfort, appearance, and durability of your implants. The standard regimen typically involves flossing and brushing your teeth daily, and you should plan to schedule regular dental cleanings in our office.

Questions about All-on-Four dental implants? To request more information, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vi Mai, please contact our Garland office at 972-530-0552. We serve patients living in Dallas, Plano, Frisco, McKinney, The Colony, and surrounding communities.

You Won’t Believe These Jaw-Dropping World Records!

Dental fillings in Garland TXWhen we discuss dental fillings with our patients, most automatically assume that we’re talking about cavities. Actually, fillings serve many purposes. In addition to treating cavities, composite resin fillings also provide support for teeth that have been worn down or chipped. Unlike metal, composite resin creates a subtle, natural tooth structure and is safe for patients who have metal allergies. If anyone in your family requires dental fillings in Garland TX, Dr. Vi Mai can help. In the meantime, chew on these astounding entries from the Guinness Book of World Records.

Don’t Try This at Home, Kids

  • In 2007, American Frank Simon set the record for most weight balanced on teeth. Simon balanced a 140-pound refrigerator on his teeth for a full ten seconds.
  • Most infants are born toothless, with first teeth forming five to eight months after birth. In 1990, baby Sean Keaney of the UK cinched the record for most teeth present at birth. Doctors removed all 12 teeth shortly after Sean’s birth, citing concerns about interference with feeding.
  • At a 2005 special event in San Salvador hosted by Colgate Palmolive, the concerted efforts of 13,380 attendees secured the world record for most people brushing their teeth simultaneously in a single location.
  • With help from the Indian Dental Association, Colgate Palmolive orchestrated yet another unprecedented event, securing the record for most people brushing their teeth simultaneously. In 2007, the number of participants spanned 380 separate locations with a total of 177,003 people.
  • As part of a 2012 fundraiser to promote doggie dental care, Link Management Limited set the record for greatest number of people brushing dogs’ teeth simultaneously. 268 people participated, earning generous donations for Hong Kong Dog Rescue.
  • Toothbrush enthusiast Grigori Fleicher of Russia boasts the largest collection of toothbrushes. As of 2008, he owned 1,320 toothbrushes. We can’t help but wonder whether Grigori has every had a cavity.

Protect Your Family From Cavities

Although most cavities form as a result of poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, diet, and genetic factors also increase some patients’ risk of forming cavities. We recommend minimizing your consumption of starchy, sugary foods, which are linked to plaque formation. Saliva plays a major role in preventing cavities, so use special products to treat dry mouth, or chew sugarless gum.

Do you need dental fillings in Garland TX? Dr. Vi Mai and her team provide restorative and preventive dentistry for your entire family. To schedule an appointment or request additional information, please call our office at 972-530-0552. We gladly serve patients living in Plano, Richardson, Wylie, Allen, and the Dallas area.

Your Crowning Glory: Dental Crowns Restore Smiles

Dr. Truong-Mai’s patients who need dental crowns in Garland TX have multiple options. You will receive individualized treatment during your appointment, during which we help you select the best material for your crown. We offer durable metal crowns, which work best for molars. If you require crowns on your front teeth, you may benefit from all-porcelain dental crowns. The translucent porcelain crownsDental crowns in Garland, TX closely resemble your natural teeth, making them a popular choice. If you have a metal allergy, you will appreciate this hypoallergenic option. A third type of crown, PFM crowns, fuse porcelain to metal to provide the durability of metal with the aesthetic appeal of porcelain.

What Happens When You Get a Dental Crown?

At your appointment, Dr. Vi Truong-Mai will examine your teeth to determine the extent of damage. If enough of your natural tooth remains, you may be a good candidate for a dental crown. In most cases, we install your crown in only two visits, allowing you to return to work or school as quickly as possible. During the first visit, we cap the affected tooth with a temporary crown, which protects your teeth until your second visit. At your second appointment, you receive a permanent crown. Dr. Truong-Mai ensures that the new crown does not interfere with your bite, so your freshly crowned tooth looks and feels similar to your natural teeth.

How Do Dental Crowns Affect Your Diet?

Until you receive your permanent crown, you must avoid certain foods that could cause damage. Sweet, sticky foods, such as gum or chewy candies, will dislodge your temporary crown. Hard, crunchy foods can crack the temporary crown. Do not eat nuts, hard candies, or crisp, raw vegetables during this time. Although very hot and cold foods are not likely to damage your crown, you may experience sensitivity to extreme temperatures. If you normally drink hot coffee or eat soups, for example, you should be careful the first time you enjoy them following your appointment. This sensitivity occurs more frequently with patients whose gums have receded.

After we place your permanent crown, consuming sugary foods and beverages will not damage your crown. However, understand that a dental crown does not make your teeth invincible. Poor hygiene and sugary, starchy foods still pose the same threats to your oral health. Mai Dentistry recommends regular dental cleanings and examinations. If you experience difficulties with either your temporary or permanent crown, contact our office as soon as possible. We offer emergency dentistry services and can assist you with loose or broken dental crowns.

Questions about dental crowns in Garland, TX? For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call our Garland office at 972-530-0552. We offer services to cover all aspects of your family’s oral health, including cosmetic procedures, restorative therapy, and preventive measures. Our staff proudly serves patients living in Plano, Richardson, Wylie, Allen, Dallas, and the surrounding areas.

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.

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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.