Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Santa's Milk & Cookies: The Dental Connection!

Although many people will leave out cookies and milk in anticipation of Santa's yearly visit tonight, few individuals know that there is also a dental connection!  Recent research has shown that regular consumption of dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, can actually lower your chances of contracting gum disease!  Adults who consume at least 55 grams of lactic acid per day are at a reduced risk.

Not only does cheese provide large amounts of much-needed calcium, cheese is also considered to be a cavity fighter!  Cheddar, Swiss, Mozzarella and Monterey Jack stimulate the body's salivary glands to clear the mouth of debris and protect teeth from the acids that weaken them. That means that cheese disrupts the development of cavities, especially when eaten as a snack or at the end of a meal.

The next time you reach for a quick snack, choose some cheese or a glass of milk and remember that with each bite, and every sip, you are preserving your teeth for a lifetime of smiles and good oral health!  If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, feel free to call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Break 2013!

With today marking the start of the first week of Christmas Break for many of our area schools, what comes to mind when asked, "What do you think is the best way to spend this Holiday Season?"  Whether its an exciting family vacation, hanging out around town, catching up on sleep, spending time with with your friends, or celebrating some special Christmas family tradition, we'd like to know!

Feel free to share your experiences and memories with us here or on our Facebook page!  No matter what your plans may be or where your plans may take you, we would like to wish all of our valued patients and their families a very safe and fun holiday season!

God Bless,

Friday, December 20, 2013

Nail Biting: The Dental Connection!

The Holidays can increase onchophagia! This medical condition is the name given for the habit of nail biting, which is a nervous habit that is triggered by stress, excitement or boredom.  Approximately half of all kids between the ages of ten to 18 have been nail biters at one time or another.  Many people are unaware of the impact of nail biting on their dental health.  Check out the following list related to the health effects of onchophagia to learn more.

  • It's Unsanitary: Your nails harbor bacteria that are twice as dirty as fingers.
  • Digestive Problems: Swallowing dirty nails can cause stomach problems.
  • Worn Teeth: Gnawing on nails thins the enamel and can lead to crooked teeth.
  • Orthodontic Treatment: Nail biting can delay treatment and weaken roots.
  • Increase Costs: Nail biters have an increase of $4000 in extra dental bills over a lifetime.

Don't let the stress of the holidays lead to nail biting! If you have any questions or concerns, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, December 13, 2013

Holiday Stress: The Dental Connection

With the the Christmas Holiday only a few more days away, many people feel a rise in the level of their stress.  Although excess stress can contribute to headaches, stomach aches, or even the feeling of being "on edge," many people don't know that too much stress can also have a very negative impact on your dental health as well!

With so many changes occurring in our country over these past few years, there has been an increase in the opportunity to feel more stress and anxiety.  Our entire team cares about your dental health and wanted you to be aware of the many possible dental side effects related to stress.  They include:

  • Mouth Sores
  • Clenching
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Unhealthy eating routines
  • Gum disease

If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123. Don't fall prey to the stresses that can be associated with the holidays, but remember to focus in on the true meaning and spirit of the Christmas season!

God Bless,

Friday, December 6, 2013

Keeping On Track During The Holidays: The Dental Connection!

When it comes to keeping your smile looking its best during this hectic Holiday Season, good oral health is a must!  Although many patients feel that good oral health habits are the most important during the childhood "cavity prone years," these good habits should start early and continue throughout your lifetime.  Even though the Holidays can be a very busy time and many people put their dental health on the "back burner," check out the following habits that are worth maintaining this Holiday Season to keep your teeth healthy.

  • BRUSH AND FLOSS REGULARLY.  Brush at least two minutes twice daily, paying special attention to the gum line to rid your mouth of food and bacteria that may lurk in between your teeth. Floss at least once daily.  Replace your tooth brush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
  • REGULARLY VISIT OUR OFFICE.  Regular checkups at least twice yearly will help diagnose any dental problems early on when they can be more easily treated. Remember, prevention is the key!
  • STOP SMOKING.  Smokers are four times as likely as non-smokers to develop gum disease.  Not only does tobacco contain cavity inducing sugar, tobacco, whether in the form of cigarettes, pipes, cigars, or chewing tobacco, increases oral and throat cancer risks, and raises the risk for oral fungal infections.
  • LIMIT YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE.  Heavy drinking dramatically increases the risk of developing mouth and throat cancers.
  • EAT HEALTHY.  With so many wonderful holiday treats around, avoid snacking on foods that contain high levels of sugar and starch.  Although it may be hard to resist the "yummiest" part of the Holidays, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will help to stimulate the flow of saliva to re-mineratize tooth surfaces and neutralize cavity-causing bacteria.
To learn more about the habits that can help you have a healthy, Holiday smile, or if you are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fresh Breath For The Holidays: The Dental Connection!

Not only during the Holidays, but everyday of the year, many people are concerned about bad breath.  Today's BLOG focuses in on what to do to keep your pearly whites clean and your breath minty fresh!

Naturally, good oral hygiene is the first step.  With proper brushing and flossing, you can keep bad breath in check. Remember, that even if you are brushing two minutes twice daily and flossing, many people forget to brush their tongue, which can harbor odor-producing bacteria as well!

Other common causes include:

  • Tobacco
  • A Dry Mouth
  • Sinus Issues
  • Certain Medications
  • Certain Foods
  • Gum Disease

Remember that visiting our office twice a year for cleanings and exams can keep your breath in tip top shape! If you are in need of an appointment, call us at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our entire team at Thomas Family Dentistry want to extend each and everyone of our patients a note of thanks for being a part of our dental family! May this holiday be filled with friends, family and great food!

We love staying connected with our patient family through Facebook and are interested in your Thanksgiving Day stories, traditions, photos or recipes! Have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving!

God Bless,

Friday, November 22, 2013

November & Diabetes Awareness: The Dental Connection!

Diabetes is a chronic disease that increases the risk for many serious health problems, including severe gum disease. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and it is a great time to remind all of our patients that the way that you take care of your teeth at home doesn't just affect your oral health, but keeping your mouth healthy is vital to your overall health too.

In the past decade, researchers have found links between gum disease and diabetes.  Not only are people with diabetes more vulnerable to gum disease, but gum disease may also have the potential to affect blood glucose control, as well as contribute to the advancement of diabetes.

Nearly 26 million Americans currently live with the disease, with an additional 79 million in the pre-diabetes stage.  There is some good new, however!  You can protect your gums and teeth from the effects of diabetes by visiting our office for regular exams and cleanings.  Patients who are living with diabetes may require more frequent visits to ensure that their dental health remains in tip-top shape.

If you are in need of an appointment or are in need of more information about the diabetes-dental connection, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, November 15, 2013

Weight Loss Plans: The Dental Connection!

Seems like many Americans are constantly fighting weight gain.  Studies have shown that many "FAD Diets" or gimmicks don't work, and, in the long run, may even be more harmful than good for your health!  However, did you know that following a sensible diet of simply replacing those unhealthy sugar-laden snacks with healthier alternatives can have some unconsidered dental risks!

Many diets choose to substitute unhealthy carbs like breads with an increased consumption of fresh fruits.  But did you know, that certain fruits are very acidic and can weaken the enamel coating of your teeth.  The most acidic fruits are grapes, grapefruits and strawberries. Even apples are considered to top the list!

Next, salads are usually a mainstay for most healthy diet plans.  But consider what you put in those salads.  Salad dressings are filled with vinegar and sweeteners.  These make a salad very acidic and can change the pH of your mouth from alkaline to acidic, which can put your smile at risk.

Finally, diet soda consumption seems to be considered a safe diet choice over sugared soda. However, all forms of diet soda have citric acid, which has been shown to dissolve tooth enamel. Calories may not be the only thing that Diet soda is reducing!

Eliminating healthy whole foods from your diet is not the goal, but to simply make you more informed and aware of the dental connection to the common food choices associated with dieting. Altering what you do after eating these foods, like rinsing your mouth with water to dilute the acid build-up, can help decrease the number on the scales while avoiding an increase in the number of cavities!

If you have any question or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pregnancy: The Dental Connection!

Pregnancy is an exciting time as everyone anticipates the arrival of your new little one.  We at Thomas Family Dentistry wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with some important information that pertains to your oral health during pregnancy.  Just as the rest of your body changes, the amount of bacteria in your mouth also changes. Scientists don't fully understand all of the reasons why, but during pregnancy, your mouth is more susceptible to bacterial complications that could result in an increased risk for gingivitis or periodontal disease.  What researchers do know is that the change in hormones creates a more favorable environment for gum infections and diseases while you are pregnant.

Common Symptoms:
  • Increase in gingivitis
  • Increased bleeding gums during routine daily oral hygiene care
  • Painful and tender gums

  • Increase the frequency of daily brushing
  • Floss consistently
  • Use Mouthwash or Warm Salt Water Rinses
  • Use a Waterpik

Finally, the bacteria found in the mouth can circulate throughout your entire body. These harmful bacteria can compromise the immune system.  Remember that nutrients as well as pathogens are shared with your baby.  If you have any questions about your pregnancy and oral health, call our office at 918-455-0123.  We are here to help you navigate through this very special time.

God Bless,

Friday, November 1, 2013

Your Dental Experience Is Important To Us!

At Thomas Family Dentistry, we have been creating beautiful smiles for over 25 years! Whether you have visited our office for a week or for your entire life, your experience is important to us!  In fact, we encourage you to leave a few words for us. We look forward to reading your feedback!

God Bless,

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween: The Adult Dental Connection!

Halloween is fast approaching and we always see an increase of patients after Halloween, but not for the reason that you might expect!  Cavities don't form overnight; it's the parents that we see with broken molars from biting down on hard candy, claiming that they are saving their kids from the threat in the Halloween bag!

The problem with Halloween isn't the $1000 per tooth it costs to rebuild these adult teeth with crowns.  It's that these adults grew up with a tradition that perpetuates an unhealthy relationship with food and continue that tradition right to the door of the dentist.  $2 to $4 million dollars are spend on Halloween candy every year. Amassing that insane amount of candy on a single day can promote a very confusing message to a child, all in the name of tradition!

To break the stereotypical day of "candy worship" seen in children on Halloween, only allow your children to consume the candy on the holiday.  Then, encourage them to exchange the remainder of their treats with you for a far greater reward like a book, a CD, movie tickets, a new electronic game, some athletic equipment or even a bike!  And remember, to minimize the temptation that can lead to a future dental hazard, although it may be difficult, send the rest of the candy to your curb to be picked up by the "Great Pumpkin."

Moderation is the key.  If your children eat candy, make sure it's under a controlled environment. Have drinking water available to buffer the huge hit of acids that ensue within minutes of candy consumption. And, of course, make sure that they brush within 20 minutes after consuming any candy. For adults, the stickier and harder the treat, the worst the dental "trick" on your teeth!   If you do experience a "scary" Halloween dental trick this year, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, October 25, 2013

Mouth Healthy: Your New Connection For Dental Health!

The American Dental Association has launched a new website called MouthHealthy!  This new interactive website from the ADA is dedicated to helping all of our patients take better care of their oral health, with most content also available in Spanish.

MouthHealthy is a consumer based website that allows you to:

  • Visit your life stage and find healthy habits, top concerns, nutrition and fact or fiction.
  • Explore ADA Seal of Acceptance Products to help you decide which dental products are right for you and your family.
  • Search A-Z topics to learn about different dental issues and discover how you can prevent and/or treat these issues.
  • FOR KIDS! has activities and games to help kids learn the importance of good oral health care--all while having fun!

So check out MouthHealthy for valuable dental information to help you take better care of your mouth today so that it will take care of you for life!

God Bless,

Friday, October 18, 2013

Year-End Insurance Reminder!

Before long, 2013 will be racing to a close! As the Holiday season is quickly approaching and everyone's attention will shift to the festive nature of the year, our entire team at Thomas Family Dentistry would like to give all of our valued patients with flex spend, health savings, or insurance benefits, a friendly end of the year reminder that it's time to consider scheduling your dental visits so that you can optimize your benefits!

Now is the time to reserve your appointment with us. Space is limited and we tend to get busy during the holidays! If you are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, October 11, 2013

October & Dental Hygiene: The Dental Connection!

Adults are no strangers to feeling like there is never enough time in the day to get everything done.  The alarm clock rings and within minutes you bounce around trying to get school lunches ready for the day, answer your cell phone, remove the dog hair from your clothes, and make sure that your child has completed the science fair project!  With all of the busyness of life's everyday routine, brushing your teeth can easily fall to the wayside.  That is why our office promotes a simple, daily oral health regimen that you can easily incorporate into you hectic lifestyle,

The American Dental Hygienists' Association, in partnership with the Wrigley Jr. Company, is celebrating National Dental Hygiene Month during October.  The ADHA encourage patients to "Brush, Floss, Rinse, Chew...Keep It Clean, Keep It Healthy!" and offers some other tips for a quick and effective oral health routine:

Home Oral Health Routine

  • Brushing
    • Two Minutes Twice Daily.
  • Flossing
    • Once Daily to remove bacteria between teeth and below the gums.
  • Rinsing
    • Use a non-alcohol based, antibacterial mouthwash that kills plaque and gingivitis germs.
  • Chewing
    • Unless you have jaw related problems, sugar-free gum helps promote saliva, which battles cavities.

It's easy to put the toothbrush down in order to take care of matters that you feel are more urgent, but remember, a good oral health care routine at home is the best way to prevent periodontal disease.  During your regular visits at our office every six months or as scheduled, we can remove tartar and plaque, detect gum disease early, and help you learn more about proper care for your teeth and gums.  If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, October 4, 2013

Autumn & Your Best Smile: The Dental Connection!

With a major weather change bringing much cooler weather here to Tulsa over the weekend,  it won't be long until the leaves start to fall.  Why not "Fall" into a healthier and more beautiful smile with us here at Thomas Family Dentistry!  With cooler weather comes an increase in coffee consumption to take the edge off the chill and more sugary candies associated with the seasonal holidays, which increases the risks for cavities!  We offer a wide range of whitening solutions for all budgets and time constraints! We also provide filling and restorations that are conservative and many can be completed in one visit.  Before long, the year will be ending, so now is the time to jump on your remaining dental insurance benefits, as well as your flexible spending accounts! Remember, if you don't use it, you lose it!  Call our office at 918-455-0123 for an appointment and come see what makes Thomas Family Dentistry different!

God Bless,

Friday, September 27, 2013

Dental Insurance: A Quick Look!

Unless you work for a dental insurance company, understanding the terms and conditions of your plan can be quite confusing.  To help you navigate the complex world of insurance, here are some commonly used dental insurance terms and their meanings.

A Basic Glossary

  • Annual Maximum:  The maximum amount your policy will pay per year for dental care at Thomas Family Dentistry.  It is usually divided into costs per individual or per family if you are on a family plan.
  • Co-payment:  An amount the patient pays at the time of service before receiving care. This amount is a required payment by the patient prior to the insurance paying for any portion of care.
  • Covered Services:  A list of all treatments, services, and procedures that the insurance policy will cover under your contract.
  • Deductible:  The dollar amount that you must pay out of pocket each year before the insurance company will pay for any treatments or procedures.
  • Diagnostic/Preventive Services:  A category of treatments or procedures that most insurances will cover before the deductible payment is required.  These services may include regular checkups, cleanings, x-rays, fluoride treatments and evaluations at our office.
  • In-Network & Out-Of-Network:  The "network" is a list of providers that are a part of your insurance company's group of doctors that have agreed to accept your insurance company's set fees for treatment and therefore usually requires you to have lower out of pocket cost.  Any provider that is not in the network will require you to usually pay a higher co-payment.
  • Lifetime Maximum:  The maximum amount that your plan will allow to paid for a lifetime.  An example may be a lifetime amount that will be paid for braces. 
  • Limitations/Exclusions:  A list of procedures that your insurance will NOT cover.
  • Member/Insured/Covered Person/Beneficiary/Enrollee:  Someone who is eligible to receive benefits under the dental insurance plan.
  • Provider:  Dr. Thomas or other oral health specialist who provides treatment.
  • Waiting Period:  A specified amount of time that the patient must be enrolled with your plan before it will pay for certain procedures.

There are many different insurance options and it is very important for you to find out exactly what your insurance policy covers.  If you have any questions, you are encouraged to review your plan with your company's qualified insurance specialist, which can be provided to you by the employee's HR department. Don't be afraid to ask your employer or your insurance company's representative questions about your policy so that you can understand your coverage and be confident that you know everything  that your policy covers the next time that you come in for treatment at our office.

God Bless,

Friday, September 20, 2013

Our Office: A Caring Place For You!

From your very first visit to our office, we strive to provide excellent dental care in a pleasant, friendly atmosphere. We are always updating our office with the most advanced and up-to-date dental technologies in order to provide a caring place for each one of our valued patients to receive their dental treatment!

Because you are important to us, we also strive to develop a personal relationship with each one of our patient family! In order to improve our dental relationship with you, your feedback is very important to us!  Whether you've just come in for one appointment or your family has been visiting our office for years, your comments matter! Feel free to leave a few words here or on our Facebook page about your dental experience!

If you are in need of an appointment, call us at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Monday, September 16, 2013

Watch Your Mouth!

The phrase "Watch Your Mouth!" has many connotations, but did you know that taking a seat in the dentist's chair goes far beyond maintaining a healthy smile?   Our mouths are the gateways to our bodies and can tell us more about our health than we may think.  Not caring for our teeth can lead to periodontal (gum) disease, which has become all too common in our country, with one in every two Americans suffering from some form of gum disease.  The inflammation caused by gum disease can be linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pancreatic cancer and preterm birth.  Research also suggests that oral bacteria may be linked to heart disease, arterial blockages and stroke!

To learn more, or if you are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, September 13, 2013

Over 25 Years Of Creating Smiles!

Did you know that our office has been creating smiles for over 25 years! Whether you are new to our office or have been our valued patient for your entire life, your thoughts about your dental experience is very importance to us! We strive to provide excellent dental care with your health and comfort as our highest priority! Please take the time to leave a few words about your visit with us. We also encourage you to leave any thoughts that you might have that could improve your dental visits!

We look forward to reading your feedback!

God Bless,

Monday, September 9, 2013

Summer: Your Favorite Part?

With Summer fading and Fall just around the corner, the temperatures will start to cool down, the leaves will start to change, and everyone will start to focus on the Tulsa State Fair, Fall Festivals and Thanksgiving plans! But before we all shift gears into our Fall routines, our team here at Thomas Family Dentistry want to know about your favorite parts of this past Summer!  Did you go on a wonderful family trip?  Did you pick up a new hobby? Or, did you try to spend as much time outside and in the sun as possible?

Share your favorite memories, stories, or photos with us by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page!

God Bless,

Friday, September 6, 2013

No Gold Grills Here: Just A Beautiful Smile!

These days, many Hollywood celebrities like Katy Perry are "enhancing" their smiles with gold grills.  Although they can make a very bold statement, here at Thomas Family Dentistry, we are not interested in the business of making grills, but we are focused on cleaning teeth, restoring broken and worn teeth, and removing cavities with painless techniques!  Teeth whitening and cosmetic Lumineers instead of grills...That will do!

If you are in need of a dental appointment to improve your "grill," call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, August 30, 2013

Labor Day!

With the Labor Day weekend upon us, summer is "unofficially" ending! As school kids enjoy their "first day" out of school for the new academic year and thoughts of cooler Fall temperatures are right around the corner, many Oklahomans take the chance to throw one more barbecue or head off to the lake.

Did you know...

  • Every year, more than 30 million Americans travel over the Labor Day weekend
  • Canada was the first country to celebrate Labor Day
  • President Cleveland made Labor Day an official US holiday in 1894
  • Labor Day marks the fashionable end of wearing "white pants" for the year
  • Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and NCAA sports seasons for fans

As the college football games kick-off this Saturday and the area teams gear-up for another exciting season, our staff would like to wish each member of our highly valued patient family a safe and happy weekend!

God Bless,

Friday, August 23, 2013

Four Common Causes Of Toothaches

If you have ever suffered from a toothache, you know how excruciating the pain can be. Although there are other potential sources of pain, tooth pain is usually caused by irritation to the nerves in the roots of the teeth. Fortunately, there are ways to both prevent and resolve a toothache, regardless of its cause.

Common Causes Of Tooth Pain

  • Tooth Decay
  • Gum Disease
  • Injury
  • Tooth Impaction

Pain Resolution
  • Tooth Decay: Treatment may range from a simple filling, a root canal, or a possible extraction.
  • Gum Disease: Treatment may range from a routine cleaning, deeper cleaning with anesthetic or a possible referral to periodontist (gum specialist).
  • Injury: Treatment may range from a simple filling, crown, or a possible extraction.
  • Tooth Impaction: Commonly related to wisdom teeth.  Treatment usually involves an extraction.

  • Although there are many ways of treating a toothache, the best way to treat it is by preventing it altogether.  Some causes of tooth pain are not preventable, such as an impacted tooth or some traumatic injuries.  However, tooth decay and gum disease, which account for the majority of tooth pain and sensitivity, are easily prevented by using good hygienic practices at home and visiting your dentist for routine examinations and cleanings.  By brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing, as well as wearing protective mouthguards when participating in high impact activities, you can significantly decrease your chances of developing tooth pain in the future.

If you have any questions concerning tooth pain or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123.

God Bless,

Tooth Whitening Does Not Equal Brushing!

Many people want a whiter, brighter smile and turn to tooth bleaching!  However, did you know that bleaching strips do NOT clean your teeth?  Check out the following video from the American Dental Association to learn more!

If you have any questions about bleaching options for a brighter smile, or are in need of an appointment, call Thomas Family Dentistry at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Importance Of Straight Teeth!

The number one goal of orthodontic treatment is to give you or your child a good bite, which means straight teeth that function well with the teeth in the opposite jaw.  A good bite makes it easier to eat, chew, and speak.  It can enhance your dental health and your overall health, as well as improving your self-esteem.  As part of your comprehensive dental health care plan, braces can help you retain your teeth-and your smile-for a lifetime!

Let your smile express yourself!  Nothing shows the world how happy you are like a beautiful smile.  With orthodontics, you can be confident to flash your smile, knowing that your smile truly represents your positive attitude.

Make your mouth healthy!  Straight teeth aren't just pretty, they're healthy as well.  Straight teeth are easier to clean, which reduces the amount of plaque build up and risk for gingivitis.

Feel free to live your life!  Braces are easier today than ever before, with many different treatment options that fit your lifestyle and schedule.  From clear braces to removable aligners and totally invisible lingual (behind the teeth) braces, your treatment can be personalized to meet all of your needs!

Dr. Thomas and our entire staff at Thomas Family Dentistry are here to help!  If you have any questions concerning which option is the best one for you to achieve your "Hollywood Smile," call us at 918-455-0123.

Keep Smiling,
God Bless,

Friday, August 16, 2013

Back To School Checklist: Dental Check-Ups!

For many, school is back in session, we at Thomas Family Dentistry would like to remind all of our valued patients about the importance of scheduling regular check-ups in advance.  With school, clubs, sports and family duties to consider, it can be very challenging to find time this Fall.

Here are some tips to consider as the new school year progresses:

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes twice daily.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Limit sugary snacks that can lead to tooth decay

In order to accommodate all of out patients' busy schedules, it is important to plan ahead for your dental appointments so that we are able to find a time that is convenient for you.  If it's time for a check-up, call us today at 918-455-0123 for an appointment.

God Bless,

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tooth Discoloration: Common Causes!

Reminiscing? Many patients find themselves looking back at childhood photos and realize that their teeth are not quite as bright and white as they once were.  A common adult struggle is tooth discoloration.  Below is a list of causes and treatment options to restore your teeth to their original brilliance.

Discoloration Causes

  • Genetics
  • Medications
  • Medical Conditions
  • Poor Dental Hygiene
  • Foods And Tobacco

Treatment Options
  • Avoid foods and liquids that stain like coffee, tea, red wine and dark sodas
  • Avoid tobacco
  • Crest white strips
  • Professional Whitening 

If you are concerned about your teeth becoming yellow or brown, think carefully about your diet and medication use.  Call our office at 918-455-0123 to keep your smile looking its best!

God Bless,

Friday, August 9, 2013

Chronic Bleeding Gums: The Hidden Danger!

Lately, there has been an increasing amount of information related to a connection between chronically inflamed gum tissue and systemic health!  The concern is that the inflamed gum tissue produces a byproduct called C-reactive protein, which increases the tissue response in areas such as the heart and arteries.   It has been linked to heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  More recent studies have now made a connection between gum disease and increased levels of PSA, which can dramatically elevate the risk of prostate cancer.

If you experience chronic bleeding from you gums that lasts for more than ten days while you are brushing, flossing or eating, it should be checked out by a dentist.  Even though there is usually little to no pain associated with bleeding gums, being proactive and treating the underlying cause may prevent some more dangerous health challenges in the future!

If you have any questions concerning bleeding gums and your overall health, or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cavities Can Occur At Any Age!

Although most people think that they "outgrow" cavities after they make it through the cavity prone years, in reality, cavities can occur at any time of a person's life!  Cavities, also known as tooth decay, occur as a result of the destruction of tooth structure, which can affect both the enamel (the outer coating of the tooth) and the dentin (the inner layer of the tooth).  While it is very important to brush and floss every day to remove food debris and plaque, regular cleanings and checkups with Dr. Thomas at Thomas Family Dentistry is the best way to help prevent cavities.

Don't wait for a toothache!  If you think that you may have a cavity, call our Broken Arrow office at 918-455-0123 for an appointment.

God Bless,

Friday, August 2, 2013

Heart Disease And Your Dental Health

Brushing your teeth every day keeps them cleaner, improves your breath and reduces plaque buildup.  But did you know that there may be a connection between your overall dental health and chronic illness?  Recent scientific evidence suggests that poor dental health may be linked to heart disease! Yet another good reason to brush your teeth twice per day, floss daily and visit Thomas Family Dentistry for regular check-ups.

Did you know...

  • 2400 people die from heart disease every day.
  • Gum disease affects 75% of the U.S. population.
  • Gum disease may cause systemic inflammation, which may affect your circulatory system.

Scientists have known for years that gum disease and heart disease share several common risk factors.  Increasing age, cigarette smoking and type 2 diabetes increase your risk of developing both gum disease and heart disease.  Although there has been no conclusive evidence that one condition directly causes the other, eliminating gum disease is very important to improving your health and decreasing inflammatory risk factors associated with heart disease.

If you have any questions about gum disease or are in need of an appointment with our office, call us at 918-455-0123.

God Bless,

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mouth & Body: The Dental Connection!

Taking good care of your teeth and gums isn't just about preventing cavities or bad breath. The mouth is a window into the overall health of the body!  Diseases that affect the entire body, like diabetes, may first be noticed because of mouth sores or other oral problems.

The mouth is filled with countless bacteria, some linked to tooth decay and gum disease, which may be connected with diabetes and cardiovascular disease (heart disease and strokes).

Because gum disease and other health problems may be linked, keeping your teeth and gums healthy is very important.  Check out the following list on what you can do.

  • Brush your teeth well twice daily.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups.
  • Tell your dentist about changes in your overall health.
  • If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, pay close attention to your teeth and gums.

Remember that diseases like diabetes, blood cell disorders, HIV infections and AIDS lower the body's resistance to infection, which can make gum disease more severe.  Several studies link ongoing inflammation from gum disease with heart disease, artery blockages and stroke.  If you think that you may have gum disease or are in need of a cleaning and checkup, call our office at 918-455-0123 for an appointment.

God Bless,

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer 2013!

Summer seems to be quickly passing by and soon everyone's attention will be shifting back to the start of another school year! Whether you visited a national park, traveled to an amusement park or just hung out around Tulsa, we want to know what you've been doing this summer.

As Summer marches forward, don't forget to take care of your dental health! If you are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Monday, July 22, 2013

What's The Best Children's Toothbrush?

Brushing your teeth is one of the easiest methods of cavity prevention.  But which type of toothbrush should your child use?  When choosing a toothbrush, look for round-ended (polished) bristles that clean while being gentle on the gums.  Choose one that is specifically designed for children's smaller mouths and hands.  Also, look for large handles that can help children control the toothbrush more easily.  Lastly, throw out a toothbrush after three months or sooner if the bristles are fraying.  Frayed bristles can harm your gums, and are not as effective in cleaning teeth.

As far as which toothpaste is best, it doesn't matter as long as it has fluoride in it.  However, for small children who tend to swallow toothpaste, it is best to not use a fluoridated toothpaste until the child can consistently and effectively rinse and spit.  Make sure to touch each tooth and every side of that tooth while brushing.

To learn more about choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste for your child, we encourage you to check out some related articles from Parenthood.com.  Or, give us a call at 918-455-0123 and we'll answer any questions that you may have about keeping your child's mouth as healthy as possible!

God Bless,

Friday, July 19, 2013

Asthma & Tooth Decay: The Dental Connection!

A recent university study came to the conclusion that childhood asthma can also lead to an increase in the incidence of tooth decay!  The reasoning behind this was that children with asthma are more challenged during sleep and tend to breathe more through their mouths.  Chronic mouth breathers tend to have drier teeth, which allows bacteria to stick more easily to the tooth and root surfaces.  As bacteria adhere and produce acid, tooth decay can develop.

Possible solutions to decrease this risk of tooth decay include:

  • Increase water consumption.
  • Limit or eliminate all acidic liquids like pop.
  • Chew sugar-free gum to promote more saliva.
  • Brush two minutes twice daily and floss to decrease the amount of bacteria.
  • Maintain regular dental check-ups and cleanings.

If you have any questions concerning asthma and tooth decay, or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Monday, July 15, 2013

Say Cheese...The Dental Connection!

Did you know that cheese is crucial to your oral health? Cheese is one of the healthiest snacks for your teeth.  In addition to providing large amounts of much-needed calcium, cheese also helps fight cavities. Cheese helps stimulate the body's salivary glands to clear the mouth of debris and dilute the acids that weaken the teeth.  This means that cheese disrupts the development of cavities, especially when eaten as a snack or at the end of a meal. Calcium and phosphorous found in cheese reduce or prevent decreases in the plaque's pH level and work to re-mineralize the enamel of the teeth.

If you have any questions about cheese or calcium, or are in need of an appointment, feel free to call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Smile! June & National Smile Month: The Dental Connection!

June is National Smile Month! Celebrate your "SMILE" by practicing good oral hygiene between your visits to our office!

Below are a few simple steps that you can take to improve your oral health so that you may celebrate National Smile Month for many, many years to come:

  • Brush two minutes twice daily
  • Floss every day to clean between your teeth and below the gum line
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Visit our office every six months, or as recommended

If you have any questions about any of theses tips, call us at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, June 7, 2013

Women's Medications & Dry Mouth: The Dental Connection!

Women using medications to treat a variety of medical conditions are often unaware of some of the potential side effects.  One common side effect of medications such as blood pressure medication, birth control pills, antidepressants, and cancer treatment, is dry mouth, which is called xerostomia.

Dry mouth can lead to many undesirable effects in the oral cavity including periodontal disease and a high rate of dental decay.  Many women who have not had a cavity in years, can suddenly be plagued with a multitude of cavities around existing crowns and at the gum line, or have developed active gum disease.  Many times, the only thing that the patient may have changed in the past six months is starting a new medication.

Salvia washes away bacteria and cleans your mouth.  When salivary flow is diminished, harmful bacteria can grow more rapidly in your mouth, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Many commonly prescribed medications can reduce the flow of saliva without the patient even realizing the side effect.  Birth control pills can also lead to a higher risk of inflammation and bleeding gums.  Patients undergoing cancer treatments are at a heightened risk of oral complications due to the possibility of damage to the salivary glands.

The benefits of many of the medications on the market outweigh the risks associated with xerostomia, however, with regular exams, you can manage the risks and prevent many of the oral consequences of these medications.

If you have any additional questions about dry mouth or are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, May 31, 2013

Freshen Your Breath: The Dental Connection!

Whether you just "rolled out of bed" or just ate something you enjoyed with garlic or onions, everyone experiences an occasional bad breath.  Thankfully you can keep your breath fresh by familiarizing yourself with the most common things that contribute to halitosis. Take a look at the following things that can affect your breath.

  • Dental Home Care. Brushing less than two minutes twice daily and infrequent flossing allow bacteria and food particles to buildup in the mouth.
  • Diet.  Foods like pastrami, onions and garlic have strong lingering breath smells.
  • Dieting.  Infrequent eating or skipping meals lowers salivary production, which allows bacteria to buildup in the mouth.
  • Dry Mouth.  Certain medications and increased mouth breathing related to seasonal allergies can dry the mouth, which causes a buildup of odor-causing particles in the mouth.
  • Tobacco.  All tobacco products contribute to decay and gum disease, which increases the amount of bacteria in the mouth.
  • Medical Conditions.  Certain medical conditions like a respiratory infection, diabetes, GI disorders, or liver and kidney issues can affect your breath.

Scheduling regular dental checkups and cleanings will help reduce the bacterial plaque buildup in the mouth, which will lead to a fresher breath!  If you have any questions or are in need a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123.

God Bless,

Friday, May 24, 2013

Memorial Day: The Official Beginning Of Summer!

Did you know that Memorial Day didn't become an official holiday until 1971, but Americans started gathering annually in the Spring to remember those who lost their lives in war during the 1860's, right after the Civil War.  Celebrated on the last Monday of May, people still decorate the grave sites of war veterans and hold memorial services, but Memorial Day has evolved into a day that signifies the "beginning of Summer."

During the Summer months, many people take road trips to visit family members.  Some head off to the airport to enjoy a long-awaited vacation far away, while others look forward to spending time with friends and family at home.

However you spend Memorial Day and the days of Summer vacation, have a great time!

God Bless,

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Key: The Dental Connection!

Although many people think that only children can develop tooth decay, all of us are at risk our whole lives!  Tooth decay is a disease that damages and breaks down teeth.  Bacteria in the mouth combine with sugars found in foods and drinks like soda pop, sports drinks, flavored waters, fruit juice and even milk to produce acid, which dissolves the tooth structure.

Prevention is the key!  Check out the following list to help prevent tooth decay.

  • Brush for two minutes, twice daily.
  • Floss once a day to remove bacteria between the teeth and from below the gums.
  • Avoid frequent sipping and snacking on sugary foods and drinks.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.

If you have any questions about your dental health, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, May 10, 2013

May & Teen Self-Esteem: The Dental Connection!

The month of May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month! During this time, parents are encouraged to act as positive role models, help stop negative self-images and improve confidence and security among teenagers.

One of the best ways to boost confidence is to improve your smile,  which can begin with a visit to our dental office.  There are many easy ways to improve your smile!  Have you or your teen visited our office in the past six months for a regular exam and cleaning?  If not, call our office at 918-455-0123 for an appointment!

God Bless,

Friday, May 3, 2013

May & Physical Fitness & Sports: The Dental Connection!

Did you know that the month of May is designated as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month?  After all, there isn't a better time to celebrate physical activity as the warmer weather and sunshine make their way back into our lives!

As the flowers are blooming and the weather warming, it's easier to get outside and go hiking, jogging, biking, or simply take a stroll in the park to enjoy the smell of the grass or take in the rays and the blue sky!  If jogging or biking isn't your cup of tea, then trying other sports activities can provide you some amazing health benefits that are often overlooked.  Team sports like baseball and soccer, and individual sports like golf or tennis, can improve your coordination and agility, as well as build determination, confidence, hard-work, leadership, and time management.

At Thomas Family Dentistry, we always encourage our patients to stay fit by exercising or participating in sports.  However, we want to remind you to always wear a mouthguard or some other form of facial protection when playing sports.  To learn more about the benefits of a custom mouthguard or if you are in need of a dental appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, April 26, 2013

Improvements: The Dental Connection!

Because looking good and feeling good are important to us all, it is wise to maintain a healthy and attractive smile throughout your entire life!  Adults of all ages can benefit from smile-improving dental options.

If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be particularly aware of their importance to your appearance and dental health.  All your teeth work together to help you chew, speak and smile.  When teeth are missing, it is difficult to do these things.  Even the loss of a back tooth may cause your mouth to shift and your face to look older.  Thankfully, missing teeth can be replaced, and it is in your best dental interest to do so.

Choosing the correct treatment option is very important.  Below are the following three options to consider when replacing teeth.

  • Implants
  • Fixed Bridges
  • Removable Bridges

Call our office at 918-455-0123 to set up a consultation to determine which option is best for you!

God Bless,

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Reducing Your Risks: The Dental Connection!

Since April is National Oral Cancer Awareness Month, our office felt that it was important to discuss some ways that each one of our valued patients can reduce their risk for oral cancer!

Nearly 40,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and more than 8,000 die every year from this disease.  While there is no way to predict exactly which individuals will get oral cancer, there are some potential causes you should know about--because in some cases, you can minimize these risk factors!

  • AGE (most patients diagnosed are over the age of 40)
  • TOBACCO USE (either from cigarettes or smokeless chewing tobacco)
  • EXCESSIVE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION (especially in combination with tobacco use)
  • DIET (especially one low in fruits and vegetables)

Although no one can change their age, genetics, or ethnicity, many of the factors listed above can be modified, which can reduce the risk of developing oral cancer!

If you have any dental questions or are in need of a dental appointment, please call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, April 12, 2013

April & Oral Cancer Awareness: The Dental Connection!

Visiting our office regularly, will not only keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy as well.  The fact is, every hour of every day in the United States, someone dies of oral cancer, which is the sixth-most common diagnosed form of the the disease.  The five-year survival rate is only 50 percent, and oral cancer is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved.  Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our valued patients about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene.

During every regular exam and cleaning at our office, we check for oral cancer!  If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Friday, April 5, 2013

April & Facial Protection: The Dental Connection!

With Spring here, many children, teens and adults will once again pick up the ball, bring the bat out of retirement, and lace up their cleats to hit the fields for the return of America's favorite pastime!  April, is National Facial Protection Month, and during this time, we urge our young athletes to play it safe when you are out on the field. If you play sports and have braces, it's important that you consult your orthodontist for special precautions, such as wearing a mouth guard.  A protective mouth guard is advised for playing sports like baseball, soccer, lacrosse and others.

If you have any questions about your dental health and Springtime sports activities, give our office a call at 918-455-0123! Batter up!

God Bless,

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sterilization: Your Protection Is Our Priority!

As you are probably aware, there is widespread news coverage involving the investigation of a Tulsa oral surgeon for allegedly poor infection control practices and delegation of dental procedures.  As a result of this story, we wanted to reassure all of our highly valued dental patients that our entire staff at Thomas Family Dentistry meet or exceed every CDC recommended infection control procedure to ensure the protection of your health during every visit at our office.

Below are just a few of the things that we do in our practice in terms of infection control:

  • All dental staff involved in patient care repeated scrub their hands and use protective barrier garb such as new disposable gloves, masks and safety glasses during each procedure.
  • A new set of gloves is used for each patient.
  • Before you enter the treatment room, all surfaces, such as the dental chair, instrument tray, dental light, drawer handles and countertops, have been cleaned and decontaminated.
  • Non-disposable dental instruments are cleaned and sterilized between patients.  In our office we sterilize instruments using an autoclave heat sterilizer, which is tested by an independent monitoring service to ensure that each instrument is properly sterilized and is in accordance with current CDC recommendations.
  • Disposable items like needles or gauze are placed in special bags or containers for special, monitored disposal.
  • Our office was one of the first dental offices in Oklahoma to employ the state of the art Stericenter, which is one of the most complete sterilization systems that was designed to help dental professionals maintain a sterile environment easily, safely, and efficiently.
Your well-being is important to me and my staff, which is why we follow stringent infection control procedures and comply with all Oklahoma state regulations for the protection of all of our patients and each one of our staff members.

If you have any questions about any of our procedures or would like to see our Stericenter, give us a call at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Your Overall Health: The Dental Connection!

Your dental health is closely connected to your overall health!  Your mouth can oftentimes be the first place to indicate signs of health issues in the body.  Check out a few of the dental symptoms that can be related to other health problems.

    • Can be signs of stress, which can cause clenching and grinding while asleep.
    • Can be signs of gastroesophageal reflux disease, which can allow stomach acid to weaken teeth.
    • Can be signs of oral cancer, which accounts for 30,000 new cases per year.
    • Can be a sign of Sjogren's syndrome or diabetes.
    • Can be a sign of Lichen Planus, which is an inflammatory skin disease.

During every regular exam and cleaning, not only do we check your teeth and gums, but we also look for any warning signs that may indicate any other health issues.  If you have any questions or are in need of an appointment, call our office at 918-455-0123!

God Bless,

Monday, March 25, 2013

Toothbrush Trivia: The Dental Connection!

Although taking care of your smile is nothing new, how much do you know about toothbrushes? People have been brushing their teeth for thousands of years.  In fact, the first "toothbrush" was created around 3000BC!  Ancient civilizations used a thin twig, with a frayed edge to rub against their teeth for cleaning.

The first toothbrush with bristles-similar to today's toothbrushes-was first invented in 1498 in China.   Brushes were made out of bone or bamboo with bristles made from the hairs on the back of a hog's neck! Go Razorbacks!

It wasn't until 1938 that the first nylon bristle toothbrush was introduced and people quickly became aware of practicing good oral hygiene.

Other interesting facts include:

  • Blue toothbrushes are the most popular color.
  • The first toothbrush was used in China and India around 500 BC.
  • Children smile an average of 400 times a day.
  • Your toothbrush should be replaced every two months.
  • The first known toothpaste was used in 1780.  
  • Colgate and Crest toothpastes were introduced in 1873 and 1955, respectively.

If you have any dental questions, call our office at 918-455-0123.

God Bless,

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mouthwash Choices:The Dental Connection!

Taking care of your health involves a daily regimen of brushing two minutes twice daily and flossing to prevent tooth decay and bacterial infections.  Although brushing and flossing are the basic tools to prevent dental health problems, many patients may need additional aids like mouthwashes to enhance their overall dental health. But like most dental products, there are many different mouthwashes, which can make choosing the right one difficult.   A review of the basics can help you make the right choice that can specifically improve your dental health.

    • Antiseptic mouth washes are designed to reduce the majority of bacteria on and near the gum line, which can help decrease gingivitis.
    • These rinses can be beneficial in preventing tooth decay.
    • Most mouthwashes can help eliminate the bacteria that contributes to bad breath.
    • The American Dental Association reviews mouth rinses for their safety and effectiveness.  A mouthwash with the ADA Seal Of Approval will meet strict criteria that has scientific evidence to produce the manufacturers claims.

If you have additional questions concerning your dental health or whether you may need to add a mouthwash to your dental routine, call our office at 918-455-0123.

God Bless,