Dental Health

What Does Your Arlington Dentist Need To Know?

Posted on Apr 28, 2017 in Dental Health

cosmetic dentistry Grand Prairie

For optimal dental health, all Arlington, residents should be visiting their dentist twice a year for consistent cleanings and exams. This is a good time to make sure that you are brushing and flossing properly. It is also important that you discuss issues related to dental health.

Make sure to tell your dentist about any medications that you are taking. If you are using any tobacco products, you should also communicate with your dentist about the practice. Your dentist might be able to offer you a program that can help you stop.

Furthermore, let your dentist know if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. If you have any type of eating disorder, you should also discuss this with your dentist. Ditto if you have a special health issue such as a heart condition. Oral health is an integral part of your overall physical health and cannot be isolated.

Your regular check-up is also the perfect opportunity to inquire about cosmetic dentistry procedures. Many dentists in the Grand Prairie area combine multiple procedures to give you a total cosmetic dental smile makeover. If you have ever wondered what a new smile could do for you, now is the time to find out!

Hello. I’m Dr. Stephen Ratcliff of Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. At my Arlington dental practice, we offer comprehensive general and cosmetic dental procedures including; dental implants, dentures, and porcelain veneers.

Thank you for visiting our dental blog. Please contact us today for all your dental needs!

Your Arlington & Fort Worth Cosmetic and Family Dentist

 

Contact Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry:

817-200-7323

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

909 W Mitchell St
Arlington, Texas
76013

 

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When It’s Better Not To Brush

Posted on Apr 14, 2017 in Dental Health

enamel erosion Grand Prairie

Though thin and partially translucent, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body and has the important job of protecting teeth from constant use and the continual assault of chemicals in food and drink. Enamel also protects tooth nerves from hot and cold food and beverages. That’s why enamel loss often causes tooth sensitivity.

Cuts heal. Bruises fade. Broken bones mend. The body’s ability to heal itself is truly amazing. But tooth enamel is different. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

The team at Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry encourages our patients to preserve their tooth enamel for a lifetime of dental health.

This may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes it is better NOT to brush immediately after eating. Specifically, after eating acidic items. The acid weakens the enamel which can be further weakened by brushing. Waiting 60 minutes will allow the acid to dilute. Rinsing immediately after eating acidic foods is beneficial, however, because it washes away some food particles and speeds up the dilution of the acid.

Some people don’t realize that dry mouth can cause or exacerbate enamel erosion. The calcium and phosphate in saliva safeguards your enamel. When there is little saliva, the enamel is left vulnerable. Chewing stimulates saliva production but constant snacking is not the solution for dry mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum and sipping water periodically can stimulate saliva production between meals without increasing the risk of or upping your calorie intake.

Furthermore, tooth grinding wears enamel away. If you are one of the many Arlington residents who grinds their teeth at night, it’s critical to get a mouthguard right away. People who grind their teeth are at a high risk for enamel erosion and the dental caries that can follow. Athletes should also guard their teeth on the playing field with a mouthguard. For more information, speak with Dr. Stephen Ratcliff at Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry about custom mouthguards.

If you sip soda, tea, or coffee all day, we suggest you switch to water to halt any enamel erosion that has already occurred. It may be a hard change to make – but if you are successful – your teeth will thank you for it.

Using teeth as tools can hurt enamel, as well. Take a moment to fetch scissors before tearing a package or ripping duct tape with your teeth. Do you really want to take a chance on chipping a tooth just to open a package of lunchmeat?

Chewing ice and hard candy can also hurt enamel. If you simply must have sugar, soft candy is best as long as it is not left to sit on teeth for long period of time. If your molars are packed with gummy candy, it can lead to cavities which erode enamel just as surely as chipping it with hard candy. Many of the old-school hard candies we enjoyed as kids now come in soft versions. Enjoy them sparingly because constant sugar is bad for teeth. Period.

If you have already experienced enamel erosion or other dental troubles, Dr. Stephen Ratcliff can help you preserve what is left. To schedule an intensive examination, contact Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Arlington at 817-200-7323!

 

Contact Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry:

817-200-7323

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

909 W Mitchell St
Arlington, Texas
76013

 

Learn More

Periodontal Disease in Texas

Posted on Apr 7, 2017 in Dental Health

Periodontal Disease in Texas Periodontal disease in Texas is more common than you might think, and can be cured with varying degrees of treatment depending on the severity.

What is periodontal disease? According to this article on Wikipedia, periodontal disease is ‘the name of a collection of inflammatory diseases affecting the tissues that surround and support the teeth.’

Periodontal disease, more commonly called ‘gum disease’, is an inflammation or infection of the gums. Periodontal disease can be very painful in some extreme conditions, and can limit your ability to eat normally. In some cases, periodontal disease can affect your smile, and can create cosmetic concerns.

If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause irreversible damage. When caught early and treated, periodontal disease can be little more than an inconvenience. However the best policy is to practice good dental hygiene to keep periodontal disease at bay.

One of the best ways to avoid periodontal disease is to get a regular dental check up at your local Arlington dentist.

Give us a call at 817-200-7323 to schedule your next dental checkup; we look forward to seeing you.

— Stephen Ratcliff

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Hiccups In Your Dental Routine

Posted on Mar 31, 2017 in Dental Health

Arlington dental

The most common times people stop to brush their teeth are morning and night – either before or after breakfast, after dinner, or at bedtime. Common concerns that come with this routine involve hiccups in the schedule, from family life, shift work or exhaustion.

Sometimes after dinner isn’t super cut and dried. Many Grand Prairie families face irregular weeknight routines. As the school year progresses, some have games to attend, band concerts, play practice, youth groups or other weeknight commitments. An irregular schedule often disrupts regular dental maintenance.

Many Grand Prairie workers have daily commutes or shift work to battle with. Due to the changing landscape of Arlington’s job market and the greater variety in shift schedules we see patients who are adjusting to irregularities in sleep patterns. This leads to exhaustion and often sleep takes priority over consistent brushing – either morning or night.

The most important time to be sure to brush is after eating sugar or carb-intensive foods. These foods kickstart bacteria growth on the teeth without vigilant attention.

Highly acidic foods weaken the enamel, so it is best to swish with water immediately after consuming acidic foods to reduce the acid. Then brush about 30 minutes later when the mouth is less acidic. The fluoride in toothpaste helps remineralize the enamel.

Dr. Stephen Ratcliff’s hygiene staff at Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry has been assisting Texas families since 1990 to prevent hiccups in their dental routines. See how we demonstrate professional and educated instruction at http://www.myarlingtoncosmeticdentist.com/.

Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry provides more than just family dentistry or restorative dentistry. In addition to porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, dental implants, and Invisalign clear braces there is hygiene education, teeth whitening and cleanings to be discussed. Sure, the cost of cosmetic dentistry, dental veneers, invisalign braces and dental bridges can all seem confusing. The key is to stay on top of the essential habits that you can control. We can help you make sense of the other stuff.

Regular checkups are important for catching decay, infection or other troubles early so let us make an appointment for your next preventative visit and keep those hiccups from causing permanent damage. Call us at 817-200-7323  to schedule!

 

Contact Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry:

817-200-7323

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

909 W Mitchell St
Arlington, Texas
76013

 

Learn More

Replace Old Silver Fillings

Posted on Mar 24, 2017 in Dental Health

white fillings Arlington

Our teeth are unlike other parts of the body in the fact that they can’t be regenerated. Superficial cuts in the skin subside without a trace, infections are wiped out with antibiotics, broken bones mend, and inflamed tissues recede.

Unfortunately, cavities can’t be healed. Decay can be halted in its progress, but scientists are still years away from actual enamel regeneration. That’s why the team at Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry strongly emphasizes preventative dentistry.

The healthiest mouths have all teeth intact and free of current or former tooth decay. But how many smiles can boast such an admirable record? Very few.

The stark reality is that most men and women get one or more cavities over the course of their lifetime.

In fact, most men and women in Texas probably don’t even know someone who has never had a cavity. Tooth decay is second only to the common cold as the most common health issue in childhood. When we reach middle age, many of us have even had a root canal or two.

Depending on the size of the cavity, after cleaning and preparing the tooth, Dr. Ratcliff can fill it, place a crown, or perform a root canal (usually followed by a crown).

Restorations Have Come a Long Way
Modern restorations have many advantages over those in years past. There are stronger and more natural-looking materials. Many of our patients at Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry who have not had a filling for a while, are not aware that white fillings are available. You can even replace old amalgam fillings with white fillings and give your mouth a makeover!

As we said before, when a tooth is by injury or decay, it is never exactly the way it was before. But now, with modern fillings and crowns, it can regain durability and beauty.

Contact our office for more information on smile makeovers, teeth whitening, dental implants and more!

Contact Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry:

817-200-7323

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

909 W Mitchell St
Arlington, Texas
76013

 

Learn More

Find A Few Minutes To Floss

Posted on Mar 10, 2017 in Dental Health

Arlington family dentistry

One common excuse often given by people who don’t floss is that the practice is difficult to fit into their daily schedule. If you’ve found this to be true, and feel like you are too busy to floss, here are some suggestions for when to fit this vital dental health habit into your day.

  • The most common time is right before bed, but make sure you aren’t too tired to do a good job.
  • Right when you wake up is also an option, but if food is left between teeth all night, it can result in plaque.
  • Try just after lunch, before you go back to work.
  • Floss while you are in the car sitting in traffic. It’s easier one-handed with the pre-strung floss pics. (You might get some curious looks from other drivers, but it’s worth it.)
  • Keep some floss in your gym bag so you can floss after you exercise.
  • While you’re watching the nightly news.

I hope this gives you some useful ideas to help you make flossing part of your daily routine. Flossing is important for anyone in Arlington who wants to have a healthy smile.

If you want to brighten your smile, look into cosmetic dentistry procedures such as porcelain veneers, invisible braces, teeth whitening, or dental implants.

My name is Dr. Stephen Ratcliff. Helping my dental patients establish good habits is important to me, as well as helping them attain the smile they want with cosmetic dentistry procedures such as veneers, teeth whitening, and complete cosmetic dental smile makeovers.

We are currently accepting new patients, so give us a call at 817-200-7323 to make an appointment!

Your Arlington & Fort Worth Cosmetic and Family Dentist

 

Contact Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry:

817-200-7323

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

909 W Mitchell St
Arlington, Texas
76013

 

Learn More