Excellent oral hygiene and regular dental appointments are the foundation of healthy, stunning smiles. Houston, TX dentist Dr. Crouse places an emphasis on preventive care and offers services like diagnostic X-rays, cavity risk assessment, cavity control, regular professional cleanings, gum care, oral cancer screening, and anti-cavity sealants and fluoride. If you are already taking great care of your teeth and gums, we can help improve your oral hygiene routine and keep gum disease at bay.
When our patients come in, new patients and our active patients that are coming in to have their teeth cleaned or to have their regular examinations, we’re consistently discussing with them their oral hygiene routine. Because one of the things that is very important to me, and very important to my team, is that anything that we do for our patients we want to make sure that it is going to last for a long, long time. And we can’t expect things to last if we don’t teach our patients how they’re supposed to take care of them.
Part of that is educating them on what is the best toothbrush that they can use, what is the right toothpaste for them, how are they supposed to be flossing. There are, believe it or not, more than a hundred different kinds of flosses, probably more than a hundred different kinds of toothpastes, and not all brushes are made the same. I know that a lot of times patients come in and say, what’s really the difference, is this really going to make a change? And we say, yes absolutely. We use these products ourselves at home. Our families use these products. We wouldn’t be recommending them to you if we weren’t using them ourselves and recommending them to our family. Oral hygiene, although it sounds like something very routine and mundane, it is actually the core of what keeps our patients healthy. Because if they’re not able to keep up with their hygiene at home, then anything that we do to them is eventually going to fall apart and that’s not what we are about.
As dentists we talk about caries control or cavity control and this is a topic that is very interesting to me because of the fact that despite the modern technology that we have today, despite living in a very modern country, we still have an epidemic of decay. We have children and adults who have multiple areas in their mouth with decay.
What it boils down to is a lack of understanding of how cavities develop and how they can be controlled. One of the things that we do when patients come into our office for the first time, is we evaluate what we call their caries risk or their cavities risk. What are the factors in their life that lead them to develop all these places of decay in their mouth. A lot of that is something that is out of what we consider to be dentistry – it’s diet related. There is a correlation between what patients eat and how rapidly they develop decay. We have to analyze a patient’s diet, we have to ask them questions. What are you eating, how often are you eating this, what kind of beverages are you drinking, what are your hygiene habits, do you drink chlorinated water or are you only drinking bottled water. There are all kinds of things that patients do.
Nowadays there a lot of people who are into fitness, so they’re drinking a lot of sport drinks. So, things like Gatorade and these sports drinks and even the pre workout drinks have a significant amount of sugar in them, and ironically, the patient who is thinking that they are doing something to be healthy and fit, is actually now putting a lot of sugar on their teeth and in their body.
These are things that we constantly are looking at and evaluating so that we have the information to give to our patients and identify what is happening because again, we are really about fixing something and helping it stay fixed. We don’t want it to fall about. And if we don’t address how it got there in the first place, we’re really just patching things up and we’re really not making a change in the patient’s life. We’re really not making a change in their long term oral health. So until we are able to really analyze why it happened initially, we’re not really going to be helping that patient. So, caries control is a big portion of it. Part of what caries control involves in some cases is, certain types of toothpastes with fluoride or with other products that are coming out that help disrupt the bacteria’s ability to create a cavity. Without getting too technical, because that’s my job to read all the technical stuff, there is a lot of great science out there nowadays and it just involves having the right team to tell you, hey this is what you need to be using, so that you’re not going to have a lot of things falling apart so that you can keep your teeth healthy.
We use low-radiation digital X-rays for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment planning. We also offer cavity control and oral cancer screening to detect abnormal changes in the mouth. Controlling cavities may involve a comprehensive cavity risk analysis and a treatment plan tailored to your level of risk. If you have a high risk of developing cavities, Dr. Crouse may recommend sealants, fluoride and more frequent cleanings.
Professional teeth cleaning or dental prophylaxis is a procedure that removes plaque and tartar above and below the gum line. Our hygienist uses special instruments tiny enough to slip between teeth and beneath the gums. Professional cleaning ensures that your teeth are free of cavity-causing bacteria in between appointments.
Healthy gums prevent your teeth from becoming loose and falling out. Dr. Crouse will examine your gums thoroughly and come up with a treatment regimen to prevent or treat gum problems. Whether you have bad breath, gingivitis, advanced gum disease or cavity-prone teeth, we can restore your mouth to excellent health.
After a comprehensive evaluation, you and Dr. Crouse will discuss what you want to achieve with your smile. Dr. Crouse will treat problems that need immediate attention, like tooth decay, chipped teeth or gum disease. Depending on your goals, she may also recommend cosmetic treatments.