Dental Blog

Oral Hygiene: The Basics

Laura Heckart - Wednesday, September 05, 2018


Good oral health saves you pain and money at a dentist in The Woodlands, TX office. It's also good for your body, your mental health, and your appearance. So how do you keep your teeth in tip-top condition? Here's how to practice oral hygiene in less than 10 minutes per day.


Brush Regularly


The biggest cause of cavities is poor brushing habits. When you eat or drink anything containing sugar, the sugar molecules stick to your teeth. Within 20 minutes, bacteria are enjoying a sweet snack and munching away on your enamel. Once they eat away that protective coating, you'll start feeling pain and seeing discoloration.


This means you should brush your teeth within twenty minutes of eating. Many patients brush regularly after breakfast and dinner but not after drinking soda, sucking on hard candy, or enjoying a mid-afternoon snack. If you don't want to carry around a complete oral hygiene kit, consider brushing with just water. The abrasion will break up sugar molecules and protect your teeth. In an emergency, rinsing your mouth with water is better than nothing.


Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks


Brushing too often can wear down your teeth almost as quickly as letting bacteria eat away at them. If you're drinking multiple sodas a day, you don't want to brush after each one. Instead, try drinking water or sugar-free sodas. Other sugary treats like candies and baked goods can also accelerate tooth decay. The best time to eat or drink high-sugar items is during or right after a meal when you're already planning to clean your teeth.


Floss Daily


You already know you need to floss more, but do you know why? Your teeth have gaps between them, especially if you had poor oral health as a child. When you chew food, small particles get trapped between your teeth. Bacteria feast on these tidbits and on your pearly whites. Trapped food can also cause bad breath. Dentists recommend flossing at least once a day. If you have a large gap, you can floss it after every meal to keep it clean. Your dentist or dental hygienist can give you tips on how to floss without pain or bleeding.


Skip Fancy Products


You don't need a high-cost electric toothbrush, specially formulated mouthwash, or $10 tube of toothpaste to practice good oral hygiene. A basic toothbrush, your preferred pain-free flossing tool, and a dentist-recommended toothbrush are all you need. Don't let worries over cost keep you from the beautiful smile you deserve.


It's never too late to start taking good care of your teeth. Focusing on oral hygiene today means fewer cavities in the future. Take a few minutes every day to brush and floss, and you'll be rewarded with years of oral health.


Should I Get Dental Implants?

Laura Heckart - Monday, May 14, 2018


Should I Get Dental Implants?


Dental implants provide a million dollar smile that is easy to care for and feels like natural teeth. Getting dental implants can change your whole look, and can make your life a lot easier if your teeth are not restorable; however, it’s an involved process, and can be a serious investment. You may have questions about them; what they are, who can get them, what the process is, and how much they cost. Here is a basic rundown.



What Are Dental Implants?


Essentially, dental implants are prosthetic teeth, which are used to replace natural teeth that are not restorable. With root form implants, which are the gold standard, your dentist will insert a biocompatible titanium screw into your jawbone. Once this has healed in place, a post called an abutment is installed, and a crown, bridge, or other prosthesis is attached to that.


Dental implants give a great cosmetic result, and are a vast improvement over caring for a mouth full of bad teeth. However, implantation is a serious decision, and you need a dentist with experience in this specialty.


Am I A Good Candidate for Dental Implants?


There are some factors that make you a better candidate for dental implants. The ideal candidate has general good oral health; good gums, good bone density, good oral care habits, and does not smoke. Yet another great reason to quit!


Factors like a history of mouth cancers or diseases that affect healing, like diabetes, are also a consideration.


Also, because waiting for the implants to fully heal into the bone can be time consuming, a good candidate needs patience.


How Long Do Dental Implants Take?


Depending on how fast your bone heals, it can take a year of out-patient procedures until you can see your new smile. It’s very important that the bone around your implant is strong enough to take the enormous pressures of chewing, so a reputable dentist won’t rush.


  • -First, your dentist will remove the damaged tooth and probably do a bone graft to create a stable platform for implantation. This will take four to six months to heal.
  • -Next, your dentist will insert the implant, and that may take as long as six months to heal.
  • -Once the implant heals, the abutment can be installed. The soft tissue will heal in one or two weeks.
  • -Then your dentist will make impressions of your mouth and teeth in order to make the new tooth or teeth.
  • -Finally, your new teeth are placed.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost, and Will My Insurance Cover It?


A recent rough estimate runs about $850 to $3500 per tooth. It’s definitely worth it to get your dentist to do an individual assessment, as costs vary widely from patient to patient based on the amount of work necessary for each tooth. If your bone density is good, less grafting will be necessary.


Very few insurance companies cover implants, unless you need them because of a covered accident. Some medical insurance will cover bone graft surgery, but most dental coverage is designed for basic care and tops out pretty quickly. Ask your dentist’s office for the names of covering insurers.


Dental implants give you a fantastic, healthy smile; just be aware that they are a major investment in time and money. If your natural teeth can be restored, you may decide it isn’t worth it. However, implants are usually less expensive in the long run than bridgework, which has to be replaced. They also don’t shift, and require only brushing and flossing. Best of all, they look fantastic! Do your research, find a dental implant specialist, like Dr. Ouellette, with a great track record, and have the discussion.


​Defeating Dental Anxiety - How to Overcome a Fear of the Dentist's Chair

Laura Heckart - Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Defeating Dental Anxiety - How to Overcome a Fear of the Dentist's Chair



No one actively enjoys a session in the dentist's chair, but for some people, this natural apprehension and nervousness can reach another level entirely. Sufferers of dental anxiety, also called odontophobia, find the idea of visiting a dentist truly terrifying, often to the point of experiencing panic attacks when they try. Naturally, this will have serious effects on dental health as the years go by.


However, it doesn't have to be this way. With a little help, most people can get their dental phobia under control, and while treatment will never be a joy, it'll become just as bearable as it is for most people.


What Causes Dental Phobia?


Although dental phobia goes well beyond normal feelings of apprehension, it usually has its roots in feelings or experiences that most people will recognize.


- Worries about pain or discomfort during treatment.

- Memories of bad experiences in the dental surgery, usually from childhood.

- Anxiety over loss of control and feeling helpless.

- Embarrassment if you've not visited for a long time.

- Nervousness caused by scenes of painful dentistry in films and books, or even in tall tales told by friends.


While these worries are all common - and very real - they become a phobia when they take on exaggerated importance and spiral out of control. Thankfully, there are several ways to combat this fear, mostly by working together with your dentist before and during treatment.


Tell Your Dentist First


It's important to let your dentist know just how anxious you're feeling. Don't try and put a brave face on it, as trying to suppress your negative feelings will just inflame them even further. You won't be your dentist's first patient with dental phobia, but if they don't realize how worried you are, they can't help.


Decide on Communication


Once your dentist knows there's a problem, you need to agree on how much information you'll be given about your treatment. Some people prefer to have every step explained in advance so that they can prepare themselves and aren't startled by unexpected noises or sensations. Others prefer to know as little as possible so they can try and ignore what's going on. Whichever approach is right for you, agree it first with your dentist.


Agree on an Emergency Signal


Before any treatment begins, you should agree on a clear signal you can give when your anxiety is rising to an uncomfortable level. This could be simply raising your arm a few inches off the armrest, but when you give this signal the dentist should stop work as soon as possible to give you a moment to collect yourself. Crucially, knowing that you have this option in reserve actually reduces nervousness, as it restores a feeling of control over your situation.


Friendly Support


You can feel extremely lonely and exposed lying on the dentist's chair, with your mouth open and the light shining in your eyes. Try taking a friend to sit by your side, offering moral support and words of encouragement. Also, a good friend may spot the signs of rising anxiety before your dentist does, and can suggest a break.


Relaxing Music


The whirring of drills and the hum of machinery can really dial up your anxiety levels, so try playing some gentle music during treatment. This will help cover up the disturbing sounds, as well as giving you something external else to focus on.


Relaxation Techniques


Staying as calm as possible during treatment is vital, and relaxation techniques from simple deep breathing to meditation can really help. Try consciously tensing and relaxing each muscle in your body in turn, starting from your toes and working upward. Alternatively, concentrate your mind on a happy memory, trying to recall every detail as precisely and vividly as you can. Practice these techniques before your appointment, so that you can put them into action when you feel anxiety getting the better of you.




Lastly, sometimes none of the above will be enough, especially if you're about to undergo your first major treatment in several years. In these cases, sedation dentistry is an option for general dentistry & cosmetic dentistry. This can range from the mild influence of gas and air to a deeper form of partial anesthesia. These aren't options to be taken lightly - not only are there risks in taking any drug, but there'll be an extra cost involved and you may have to travel to a specialist clinic. Nonetheless, it's worth discussing the option if you truly can't face treatment unaided.


Up to three-quarters of adults suffer at least some nervousness before visiting their dentist, but dental phobia can make even light treatment all but impossible. If you're a sufferer, then discuss these options with your dentist, ask for their advice, and you'll have every chance of overcoming your fears enough to successfully get through your next appointment.


​Give Yourself the Gift of a Smile Makeover This Christmas

Laura Heckart - Monday, October 30, 2017

Give Yourself the Gift of a Smile Makeover This Christmas


The term 'smile makeover' means that you voluntarily undergo one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures to enhance your smile. Some of the most popular smile makeover services include: veneers, teeth whitening, bonding and dental implants. When working with you to plan your smile makeover, your dentist considers the color and shape of your teeth, facial appearance, skin tone, shape of your lips, and several other factors unique to you. This allows him or her to recommend the most appropriate services.



Considerations for Your Smile Makeover


You should spend some time thinking about what you dislike most about the appearance of your smile. While the answer to that will be different for everyone, the following are some of the most common issues that patients want to have corrected:


Color of teeth: Along with normal aging, lifestyle habits, such as smoking and drinking coffee can leave your teeth looking brown or yellow instead of a bright white color. Professional teeth whitening removes the staining while making your teeth up to 10 times brighter at the same time. Completing this procedure in your dentist's office offers the fastest and most impressive results. You can typically request at-home whitening trays as an alternative to in-office treatment. People tend to choose the second option when they're on a tight budget.


Missing teeth: Having even one missing tooth can make you feel less confident in your smile and appearance. It is also detrimental to your overall oral health because it can cause problems with bite and alignment. Regardless if you are only missing a single tooth or no longer have any of your natural teeth, speak to your dentist about options to replace them. Popular choices include dental implants, removable dentures, and dental bridges.


Spacing and alignment of teeth: Dental veneers are an ideal option for improving the appearance of teeth that have a wide gap between them. If you're concerned about crooked or overlapping teeth, speak to your dentist about various orthodontic options.


Balanced appearance: Bonding is often the treatment of choice for people with cracked or chipped teeth or who have one tooth with a significantly different shape than other teeth. Perhaps you feel like your smile shows too much of your gums and not enough of your teeth. In this case, your dentist can perform re-contouring to give it the balance you desire.


With so many cosmetic dentistry procedures available, you don't have to live with issues that cause you to feel less than satisfied with your smile. Many dentists offer a free smile makeover session so patients can learn more about each of the services described above. You should also have the opportunity to view before and after photos of previous patients as well as a computerized image of what you can expect to look like after treatment. These visual effects make it much easier to decide which cosmetic dentistry option to pursue.


Sleep Apnea: Affects Over 20 Million Americans

Laura Heckart - Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sleep Apnea Plagues Millions of Americans

It is estimated that over 22 million people suffer from sleep apnea in The United States today. The number keeps growing, and more and more people are having their daily lives affected by the inconvenience. There are a large variety of symptoms associated with sleep apnea, and depending on the severity of the case, some symptoms may be more prominent than others (American Sleep Apnea Association, 2017).

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:

  • -Dry Mouth
  • -Snoring
  • -Morning Headaches
  • -Restless Sleep
  • -Irritability
  • -Depression
  • -Difficulty with Concentration
  • -Night Sweats
  • -Gasping for Air
  • -Forgetfulness
  • -Sore Mouth
  • -Sleep Deprivation
  • -Exhaustion or Daytime Sleepiness

Any of the symptoms listed above can be directly related to sleep apnea. Those of you that have a live-in spouse and/or are married, it is common for partners of someone with sleep apnea to complain about fear of their spouse not breathing during sleep. It is very common for a spouse to become terrified that their spouse’s heart has stopped or their breath has stopped (Dream Sleep, 2017).



How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Your Life?

Just the lack of concentration alone can wreak havoc on a person’s personal or professional life. When a person does not rest well, side effects can cause a number of challenges in life and even create turmoil in relationships and work.



How Can a Dentist Help?

Special training gives dentists the ability to screen patients for sleep apnea, or OSA, Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Studies show that one out of 5 people suffer from some sort of obstructive sleep apnea. A dentist in The Woodlands, TX at The Woodlands Dental Group can screen you today!

Home Sleep Tests in Texas, New Jersey, and Georgia are ordered by dentists that are certified for DreamSleep. The dentist collaborates with a physician to determine the results of the screening and conclude whether or not Oral Appliance Therapy is the route to take with each patient screened (Dream Sleep, 2017).



Get Screened and Identify

Training for dentists is hand-on and in-depth training to treat sleep disorders with oral appliances. Screening is made simple, traditionally, at-home sleep testing can save a patient the trip to an overnight lab for study. It is easy to schedule a screening with your dentist just as you would schedule a normal dental visit. Once you have been screened, your dentist can identify if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. The screening test can determine if an oral sleep appliance can treat your form of OSA, and if you are a candidate, your dentist will make a custom oral appliance to treat you(Dream Sleep, 2017).



Get Custom Fit Sleep Appliance

Part of sleep apnea treatment, is having a customized sleep appliance made. Many people have difficulty sleeping with a mask on that comes with traditional sleep machines. Sleep machines are noisy and take up space. Machines require maintenance from time to time, and make traveling with it an inconvenience. Having an oral appliance that treats sleep apnea or OSA can change the course of someone’s well-being. Oral Appliance Therapy is a way to take back control over your life and your relationships. Lack of restful sleep puts a strain on relationships, and the relief of a good night’s rest, can alter you day to day interactions with others. Feel better, live better, work better, and rest better (Dream Sleep, 2017).



Rest Better

By relieving the sleep apnea by way of an oral appliance, you can rest assure, knowing, that when you are behind the wheel, you are more alert, and safer. Fatigue causes a ripple effect of challenges and issues. Other health problems that are commonly associated with different forms of sleep apnea are, but not limited to:

  • -Stroke
  • -Obesity
  • -Hypertension
  • -Diabetes
  • -Depression
  • -Alzheimer’s
  • -Heart Failure

Not sleeping well has a domino effect on your health, and it does not just effect the person with sleep apnea. Fatigue or disruptive sleep affects those around you, in addition to your overall health. The longer it goes on untreated, the more people it can affect, as well as the more of an impact it has on your life (Dream Sleep, 2017).





Dream Sleep. (2017). Dream Sleep. Retrieved from

American Sleep Apnea Association. (2017). Retrieved from

Root Canals: Relieve the Pain & Save Your Natural Teeth 

Laura Heckart - Tuesday, April 18, 2017


      • What are the symptoms or signs that you need a Root Canal? 


      There are a variety of signs your body gives you to let you know something is not right. Often times, we tend to ignore them, or blow them off until they become more severe. This act alone, can cause more harm. Putting things off that involve your health until they become painful can have irreversible effects. In many cases, we often times can avoid major procedures or incidences if we just address problems as they arise. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Ugh…not the case! While it may be out of your thoughts, what is lurking below the surface can be damaging your health. It is not any different when it comes to your oral health. Your oral health can directly affect your general health, as your body is its own ecosystem. When you disrupt one part of that ecosystem, your oral health in this case, you throw the entire ecosystem off.


      So, what signs should you be looking for that may indicate you’re in need of a root canal?


      • -Fever is always a sure sign of infection somewhere in the body. While it may not guarantee infection with your oral health, a fever is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong, and it is trying to fight it off. Consistent fever, definitely requires a trip to the doctor.

        • -Pain or sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures on your tooth for prolonged periods of time is a clear sign that something is not right. This especially rings true, if your sensitivity continues after the hot or cold temperature items have been removed. Dentists in The Woodlands, at The Woodlands Dental Group state that if you notice pain or sensitivity to hot and cold temperature, that you monitor your sensitivity and if it persists, schedule an appointment.
        • -Discoloration of your tooth can mean you have damaged the pulp of your tooth and are in need of a root canal. The discoloration is generally a darkening color change versus a yellowing.
        -Pimples- Another sign you may need a root canal is recurring pimples on your gums. It may not seem like a pimple at first, but, it will have all the general characteristics of a traditional non-oral pimple. You may also notice swelling in the gums around the infected tooth ("WebMD", 2017).

      What is the cause of Root Canals?


      Now that you have identified the symptoms, let’s talk about the causes of root canals. First you need to understand the anatomy of the tooth. Pulp is inside the center of the tooth. IT contains tissue and the nerve, in addition to blood vessels. The nerve endings run along the root, or sometimes called, legs, of the tooth. Once a tooth has matured, the tooth’s nerve does not serve a purpose other than sensory purposes: detecting hot or cold temperatures. The functionality of the tooth can still be in tact if the nerve is removed. Do to trauma, the pulp can become infected with bacteria. And, what happens when bacteria are not addressed? They spread. Thus, you need a root canal to remove the infection, clean it out, and desensitize the tooth. What can cause this infection?

      • -Trauma to the tooth- Accidents happen, and a chipped tooth, or damaged tooth can suffer a crack.
      • -Deep Tooth Decay- Untreated tooth decay can cause severe damage to the tooth and its roots, in addition to the pulp of the tooth.
      • -Large Fillings, and repeated dental procedures performed on the same tooth over and again, can cause the need for a root canal ("WebMD", 2017).

      What exactly is a Root Canal?


      Once the pulp becomes infected with bacteria and decay, it has to be removed. Your dentist will go into the tooth and remove all the infected pulp, and clean out the inside of the tooth. The tooth, is then sealed. All of the pulp must be removed, because once the pulp is infected, the bacteria will multiply and the infection will continue. We discussed that removing the nerve will not affect the functionality of the tooth itself, so the pulp is not needed. Having a root canal can save your natural tooth, and spare you the need of a dental implant or bridge ("WebMD", 2017).


      Is it Painful, and how long does it take?


      Ironically, the procedure itself is not very painful at all. The stigma that has plagued root canals for many years is not valid. The pain people think of, is the pain and discomfort they experience leading up to the root canal procedure. The length of the procedure is highly dependent upon the individual. That said, it is a one-day procedure, and can be done in-office, so no need for an overnight stay in a facility. You can certainly eat after your procedure once the numbness from the procedure has worn off. Take note, that you will not have sensory skills for that tooth, so be aware of the hot and cold temperatures of food ("WebMD", 2017).




      WebMD. (2017). Retrieved from


What it Means to Be Voted Business of the Year and Best Dentist by Woodlands Online

Laura Heckart - Thursday, March 09, 2017


It’s not an accident that The Woodlands Dental Group has been voted Dentists of the Year for 6 consecutive years. And what better way to honor them, by awarding them the 2017 Business of the Year? If you are looking for a dentist in The Woodlands, TX, look no further. The people have spoken, and the best dentists are here, under one roof; providing you, the patient convenience combined with excellence. At The Woodlands Dental Group, you can find the solution to all of your oral health needs. Offering patients everything from the very beginning, pediatric dentistry, general and cosmetic dentistry, and orthodontics, The Woodlands Dental Group has surpassed others in this field, and has been the leader in this industry for The Woodlands, Texas six years running.


With the responsibility of serving patients’ needs, the doctors at The Woodlands Dental Group each hold high principles in their business practice, yet work collectively to achieve a patient’s goal. With collaborative efforts, their combined expertise and experience is just a part of why so many patients feel at ease entrusting in their capabilities.


So, who exactly makes up this this award-winning business of the year? Well let’s introduce the team to you!

Dr. Calvin L. Jochetz – Practicing General and Cosmetic Dentistry in his own private practice for sixteen years prior, Dr. Jochetz joined six other dentists and founded The Woodlands Dental Group. Dr. Jochetz served in the U.S. Airforce prior to starting his dental practice, and is an active member in the community as well as a member of the Barbershop Quartet Society.


Dr. Judith Ragsdale- Practicing Pediatric Dentistry since 1986, Dr. Ragsdale has had special training in child psychology, with highlighted curriculum on dentistry for special needs children and pediatric trauma.


Dr. Alisa Reed- Practicing General and Cosmetic Dentistry in The Woodlands for over twenty years, Dr. Reed graduated with her Doctorate of Dental Surgery from Louisiana State University, where she also completed her residency of Advanced Education in General Dentistry.


Dr. Wade Williams- Dr. Wade Williams heads up the Orthodontics division of The Woodlands Dental Group, specializing in Dentofacial orthopedics. As an orthodontist to both children and adults, Dr. Wade Williams sees a variety of patients and can meet the special needs of patients of all ages.


Dr. Leslie Blackburn- Practicing Pediatric Dentistry for The Woodlands Dental Group, Dr. Blackburn always knew she wanted to work with children. Graduating with a B.A. in Psychology in 2003, Dr. Blackburn completed her Doctorate of Dental Surgery at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in New York. In addition to her doctorate, she earned a Master’s of Science and Dental Education. She didn’t stop there, she went on to complete her education in Pediatric Dentistry at Yale University.


Dr. Robert G. Dernick- Practicing General and Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Dernick graduated from University of Texas’ Dental Branch of Houston back in 1979. As one of the first dental practices of The Woodlands, Dr. Dernick opened his first practice in 1980. He has a long running reputation with his loyal patients for being personable and caring with his patients.


Dr. David B. Epstein- Practicing General and Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Epstein is rooted here. Born in Conroe, Texas, and raised in The Woodlands, Dr. Epstein graduated from John Cooper School, where he attended from kindergarten through his senior year. He graduated dental school from State University of New York at Buffalo, and has been practicing here since.


Dr. Mike Freeman- Dr. Mike Freeman practices General and Cosmetic Dentistry, and has for over thirty years. Starting with a degree from Lamar University, he went on to the University of Texas at Houston for his dental education, as well as attended the Pankey Institute, and the Dawson Center for Comprehensive Dental Studies. He acquired further education and studies at the Misch Implant Institute.


Each of The Woodlands Dental Group’s members collaborate to meet the needs of their patients. You can find more in depth insight to each doctor via their biography on our home site. You can also access each doctor’s hours of operation within those biographies. The Woodlands Dental Group received this award of excellence as Business of the Year by practicing and maintaining business ethics and principles of high standards. The bottom line, is that you voted; the patients, the people of The Woodlands voted. The Woodlands Dental Group is proud to serve the people of The Woodlands and to give them their best. We want to Thank You, people of The Woodlands.


Pediatric Dentistry: What Age Should My Child Start Visiting The Dentist?

Laura Heckart - Thursday, February 09, 2017



Being a new mother can be scary, especially when you think about all the medical things you have to remember. Most things will come naturally as a new mom, and thank goodness for that! However, you may recall that list given to you when you were in the hospital, probably in one of your newborn packages. That endless list of your baby’s suggested doctors’ visits, and the age to make sure you take them. Ring any bells? Well often overlooked, by new parents, is your baby’s dental visits. It seems like all the other appointments are more important, and they are very important, but so are your child’s dental visits.


You can always take your child in for a wellness visit before the suggested age, but chances are, you’re already quite busy being a new mommy. Because infants have their baby teeth erupt between the ages of 6 months to a year old, you have a minute to breath before your first pediatric dental visit. Pediatric dentist in The Woodlands, TX, Dr. Judith Ragsdale brings information to the forefront for new mothers and fathers. With vast experience, her expertise take the relationship between your child and his or her dentist to a different level. The Woodlands Dental Group brings you exemplary pediatric dental practices from Yale University with their own Dr. Leslie Blackburn. With both of these Pediatric Dentists, all your concerns will be sure to be addressed, you will feel confident in your child’s care, and in policy practices.


As your child’s first teeth start coming in, you should schedule your first wellness dental visit. All children are different; however, it is essential that you bring your baby in no later than their first birthday (American Dental Association, 2017).

During this first visit, your pediatric dentist will assess the gums, checking out the health of the growth of teeth, good oral hygiene, and address any questions or concerns you may be having. There are a few things to consider when preparing for this first visit. Traditionally, you wouldn’t want to schedule any doctor’s visits at a time your child would typically lay down for a nap. This would make for a cranky baby, and possibly hinder the doctor’s ability to examine your child (American Dental Association, 2017).

Remember, if you are past your child’s first birthday, and you have not scheduled your first dental visit yet, not to worry, but you should try to get an appointment sooner rather than later. Your child’s oral health condition for decades to come starts with their early years of good oral health. You definitely do not want to feed your child a large meal right before your dentist appointment. Your dentist will have her hands in the baby’s mouth, and sometimes a baby will gag. If they have a full belly, this could make for a messy visit. So best to only serve a light meal beforehand (American Dental Association, 2017).


Try to avoid feeding your little one any snacks in the waiting room. Feeding them a snack will leave remanence of the food/snack all over their teeth, and it would make it more difficult for your dentist to get a good look at their teeth and gums. You want to avoid allowing them to drink anything sugary in addition; try to stick to plain water (American Dental Association, 2017).


A great way to ensure a smoother first visit to the pediatric dentist, is to fill out any paperwork before you arrive. Most dental practices provide new patient forms accessible via their website. The Woodlands Dental Group provides these forms under the tab titled Forms/Finances, just select which Pediatric Dentist you are scheduled with. This can allow you to give your baby your full attention while waiting to be called back into the room (American Dental Association, 2017). Make sure your baby is wearing comfortable clothing, this will also give less to fuss over while the dentist is examining your child.


Remember, if you have already passed your child’s first birthday, and have yet to schedule your first wellness visit, try to do so immediately. Let the front desk know when you are booking the appointment that it is your baby’s first visit, and give them the age of your child, and how many teeth they already have. That way, the doctor can be prepared for any additional pediatric dental services your child is probable to need to get them up to date. So, if you’re searching for quality pediatric dentistry, Woodlands, TX gives you some of the leaders of the industry at The Woodlands Dental Group.




American Dental Association. (2017). Baby teeth. Retrieved from

The Ideal Oral Hygiene Regimen

Laura Heckart - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

If you’re looking for a great dentist in The Woodlands, TX, look no further than The Woodlands Dental Group. What is amazing about them is that it is an all-inclusive practice right under one roof. From Pediatric Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, Orthodontics, and General Dentistry, The Woodlands Dental Group works together to give you the healthiest and most beautiful smile for you and your family. Everyone here, at The Woodlands Dental Group, contributes to giving their patients and the general public information on how to live a healthier life. These articles give insight on different dental procedures and surgeries so that patients can know what to expect beforehand and post-surgery. They inform you on different things to look out for like common ailments associated with dental issues, so why not provide you with a guide on the ideal oral hygiene regimen?


So, what is the ideal routine for the healthiest and most beautiful smile?


Most of us probably know most of these already, only because we have been hearing these phrases drilled into our brains since we were old enough to listen and process information. However, we forget some important details along the way. Especially, because as we get older, our lives become busier, and it is easy for some things to get lost in the cracks. Our routines get quicker, and we spend less time on thinking about our daily routines, and just function like robots with hygienic practices. This happens to be a main factor why many of us suffer from poor oral hygiene. How many of you actually spend a full 2 to 3 minutes brushing your teeth thoroughly? I know what you’re thinking when you read that question; you’re thinking that 2 to 3 minutes is nothing, and you’re certain you brush that long if not longer. Right? Just time yourself next time, and you will see how we tend to skimp on things, important things in our daily routines.


Daily Brushing- Ideally, you brush several times throughout the day, including but not limited to after every meal and snack. If you want to take care of your teeth well, you would brush your teeth after chewing gum, drinking any beverage other than water, and again right before bed. Did you know why your teeth feel dirty when you first wake up even though you brushed your teeth right before you fell asleep? Your mouth is full of bacteria, and when you are asleep, you are producing less saliva. This makes your mouth become drier, and in this kind of environment, your mouth kicks up this bacteria production rapidly. This bacterium causes odor—thus giving you, morning breath. So…imagine if you snore, your mouth is open when you are snoring, as well as people that are congested and breathing through their mouth versus their nasal passages. People that snore in general will most likely have stronger, more potent smelling morning breath. However, this is not the only reason your teeth feel dirty in the mornings (Everyday Health Media, LLC, 2017).

Daily Flossing- If you are not flossing, or not flossing thoroughly, you may have rotting food in between your teeth. Gross, huh? This could be causing you to have bad breath and leave your mouth feeling dirty. Any left-over food between your teeth will grow bacteria. You should be flossing every time you brush, or maybe even more.

Brushing tongue- Just as you brush your teeth and floss, so should you be brushing your tongue. Brushing your tongue removes any left-over bacteria and food remanence.

Drink lots of water- Drinking lots of water flushes out your system and keeps your mouth cleaner.

Regular Dental visits- You need to maintain a regular dental visit schedule with your dentist to address any oral hygiene issues that may begin to develop. It is also important to have your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis. This prevents the buildup of any cavity causing plaque.

Fluoride usage- Use tarter control rinses and tooth paste products with fluoride.

Mouthwash- Mouthwash is that added boost to keeping a cleaner, healthier mouth. Mouthwash eliminates any bacteria that brushing and flossing alone couldn’t reach.

Healthy Diet- The right food is not only good for your teeth now, it’s good for your teeth tomorrow. Low sugar, lots of crunchy vegetables, and low acids, a healthier lifestyle and diet means less medications that can destroy your teeth and gums (Drain, 2016).




Drain, K. (2016). Medical Daily. Retrieved from

Everyday Health Media, LLC. (2017). Everyday Health. Retrieved from

Veneers: Are You a Good Candidate?

Laura Heckart - Friday, December 23, 2016


Have you ever had a celebrity crush on someone and thought to yourself, “Man, everything about them is perfect; perfect hair, perfect tan, perfect smile…”? Well, chances are, that smile is perfect because of veneers. In fact, very few people at all are lucky enough to be born with a perfect smile. You might be surprised at how many of the people you know actually have veneers. Few of them, however, will let you even know. And how would you know?


If you’re looking for a dentist in The Woodlands, TX, The Woodlands Dental Group is an all-inclusive practice that can suit all your oral health needs. Dr. Wade Williams, heads up orthodontics for The Woodlands Dental Group. Decorated with awards and certifications, Dr. Wade Williams specializes in Dentofacial Orthopedics and his founding principles of practice are to improve the oral functionality for his patients, boosting self-esteem and improving their overall quality of life. Dr. Mike Freeman, practicing dentistry for over thirty years, encompasses both general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. With numerous continuing education certifications, and a practice of comprehensive treatment programs for his patients, Dr. Freeman’s desire is to give his patients the best oral health possible with the addition of a beautiful smile to accompany that oral health. Dr. Calvin L. Jochetz, Dr. Alisa Reed, Dr. Robert G. Dernick, and Dr. David Epstein all practice both general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry at The Woodlands Dental Group. These doctors can provide you with the guidance you need to pick the right direction for your oral health and for the most effective aesthetics approach for your smile.


Veneers are a wonderful solution to problematic smiles. Veneers allow you to hide all imperfections from past oral hygiene choices and problems. Veneers allow you to create a beautiful smile from scratch! Teeth that are worn down and stained or even cracked are able to be covered up with veneers. If you have a gap or malformed tooth, veneers are ideal for you. Undergoing the process for veneers is something that can be extensive. However, with today’s technological advances, doctors are able to create a beautiful smile from veneers in less time, and more accuracy than ever before. At The Woodlands Dental Group, they stay up to date with the latest techniques and technology so that they may give their patients the best service possible. Giving an overall higher patient satisfaction rate, and boosting The Woodlands Dental Group to the number one dental practice in The Woodlands, Texas for four years running.


So, how do you know if you are a good candidate for veneers? Well, of course, you want to consult with your doctor, however, here are some basic requirements, and your doctor can let you know the degree of your oral state so that the two of you can make the best decision for you and your smile (Hardin Advanced Dentistry, 2016).


Basic Requirements:


  • * Since Veneers adhere to your natural tooth, total tooth loss prevents some patients from going the route of veneers.
  • * Decent bone structure health is important for both natural teeth and veneers
  • * Lifestyle can impact your doctor’s decision as to whether you are a good candidate for veneers. Sometimes there is a better option for you depending on your lifestyle.
  • * Post-procedure care is essential in the success of having veneers. Veneers are not a fail-safe to oral health care. Veneers can be damaged just like your natural teeth beneath. Avoid chewing on ice and hard foods. 
  •   Do not use your teeth as tools to open packaging, and practice good dental routines like brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day (Hardin Advanced Dentistry, 2016).

What Makes You a Candidate?


  • * Having chipped teeth
  • * Worn or discolored teeth
  • * Good Oral Health- Your teeth do not have decay
  • * Enamel loss, yet still have a healthy amount of enamel left to support veneers
  • * Aligned Bite

Scheduling a consult can better assist in which direction is best for you when it comes to your smile. During consultation, you can discover the process of getting veneers, undergo an evaluation to see if you are a good candidate for veneers, and find out what kind of payment program your dentist has for you. At The Woodlands Dental Group, we strive to make all your dental goals attainable for you. Call today!


  • References:

Hardin Advanced Dentistry. (2016). Hardin Advanced Dentistry. Retrieved from



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