Is Summer a Good Time to Schedule a Dental Cleaning?

Curly haired woman in a yellow shirt smiles while sitting in the dental chair at the dentist in Tampa, FL

As a family-oriented dental office, we understand firsthand just how difficult it can be to get your entire family in for a dental cleaning and exam twice a year. Especially this year with COVID-19, which has prompted social distancing and more time at home. As things pick up in the fall with back-to-school and the approaching holidays, your schedule may become more hectic. And with more things on your schedule, dental visits can get forgotten.

With summer in full swing, now is a great time to call Henson Family Dental to schedule cleanings and exams for your family. You’ll be relieved to get those appointments on the calendar, thereby decreasing your mental load. Read on to learn about a few reasons to schedule at Henson Family Dental in Temple Terrace, FL!

Patients of All Ages Are Welcome

Our team is prepared to treat every member of your family, including infants, children, teenagers, adults, and grandparents. We offer comprehensive dental services and family-friendly amenities to help each patient feel calm and relaxed throughout their visit with us.

New Patient Gift

If you’re new to our dental practice, we want to thank you for joining our dental family with a new patient gift!

Affordable Payment Options

Henson Family Dental does all we can to keep the cost of our oral healthcare services affordable. One way we do this is by accepting a variety of payment options. We accept cash, checks, debit and most major credit cards; are insurance-friendly; and offer financing through CareCredit®.

Schedule Appointments for Your Entire Family!

If you or your loved ones are overdue for your dental exam and cleaning, contact Henson Family Dental today. Our team is ready and equipped to take care of your smiles. We offer family block scheduling so that we can get everyone in on the same day.

Henson Family Dental strives to provide high-quality, gentle care that helps your family enjoy being at the dentist. Please contact our team with any questions about our services, payment options, amenities, or scheduling.

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What Are Periodontal Disease Treatment Options?

woman covering her mouth to hide periodontal disease

Periodontal disease – also known as gum disease – is very common. If left untreated, the consequences can become serious. We always want to catch it as soon as we can. What is this disease? And what treatment options are there?

Periodontal Disease Defined

Periodontal disease always starts as gingivitis. In its very early stages, you might not experience that many symptoms. If you keep up with regular dentist appointments, we’ll catch the disease in this stage. It’s easily reversed by improving your at-home brushing and flossing. However, if it isn’t addressed, gingivitis becomes periodontitis.

Symptoms include bleeding gums, swollen and tender gums, pain, receding gums, and looser teeth. If periodontal disease progresses, it can lead to tooth and jawbone loss. Gum disease is most often caused by poor oral hygiene. Other risk factors include the use of tobacco products, genetics, diabetes, certain medications, and age.

Periodontal Disease Treatment Options

If the gum disease is caught early, you can treat it by taking better care of your oral health. With improved brushing, flossing, and regular trips to our office, gingivitis will go away! If the disease has progressed further, Dr. Kristanya Henson will need to create a custom treatment plan. Treatment usually involves scaling, which is the removal of plaque and tartar in periodontal pockets below the gum line. Root planing, which is done after scaling, smoothes out your tooth roots. This helps them reattach to your teeth.

Concerned You Might Have Gum Disease?

If you’re experiencing symptoms of gum disease or it’s been a while since your last appointment, it’s time to visit our Temple Terrace office! Addressing gum disease will improve your health and prevent more serious health issues down the road. If you have any questions or want to book an appointment, contact us today.

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We Offer Emergency Dentistry in Temple Terrace, FL

young woman holds her jaw in pain with a dental emergency

Dental emergencies can’t wait—that’s what makes them an emergency! We know that given the current global situation, you may feel unsure about whether or not you can, or even should, see the dentist for certain concerns. While our Temple Terrace dental practice may not be providing our regular office hours and routine procedures at the moment, we’re still there for you if you have an urgent dental problem. Just call us at 850-445-7603 so we can get to seeing you ASAP!

What Counts as a Dental Emergency?

The first question you might have is, “What’s actually considered a dental emergency?” If you’re not a dental professional, it’s understandably not always the easiest to determine this on your own. Here’s a list of some of the most common dental emergencies:

  • Broken tooth
  • Knocked-out tooth
  • Loose permanent tooth
  • Severely cracked tooth (crack goes down to the nerve)
  • Severe dental abscess/infection

If any of those situations applies to you, please seek professional medical attention, like Dr. Henson and our team, as soon as possible. The faster you get emergency dental care, the better off your health and your smile will be.

Still not quite sure if what’s going on with your tooth or teeth calls for urgent dental care? Your best bet is to give us a call so we can provide an assessment over the phone and steer you in the right direction.

Safety Measures at Henson Family Dental

If it’s determined that you have a dental emergency on your hands and you need to come into our office, we want to assure you that we’re upholding the highest standards when it comes to health and safety. Henson Family Dental has always closely followed the requirements in place by our professional organizations, like the American Dental Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as well as rules set in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With hygiene on everyone’s mind, you can rest easy knowing that we are being even more mindful of your well-being and taking extra steps to ensure that when you visit us, you’ll be kept safe.

Call Henson Family Dental for Emergency Dentistry

At Henson Family Dental, we take pride in being the dental practice you can count on in good times and in bad. Instead of suffering with a dental problem that’s causing you stress or pain, call us at 850-445-7603 for emergency dentistry!

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Emergency Dentist During COVID-19

covid-19 closure notice

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, our Temple Terrace, Florida, dental office is operating under limited hours for emergencies only. The safety and health of our patients, our employees, and our community are our top priorities. We will let you know when we are once again able to provide our patients with the quality care and the safe environment that is a hallmark of our practice.

Henson Family Dental adheres to the strict safety standards recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We have always been extremely mindful of our patients’ health and safety and will be even more vigilant in the future. Rest assured when we do welcome you back that our office and equipment will be thoroughly disinfected.

Protect Yourself & Your Loved Ones

We encourage all of our patients to protect themselves and their families by following the recommendations from the CDC. For example:

  • Practice social distancing. Stay home as much as possible.
  • When it is necessary to go out, keep at least six feet away from others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Always wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth unless you have just washed your hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then dispose of it.
  • Disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Do not share dishes or utensils.
  • Get adequate rest and eat a healthy diet.
  • Take extra precautions if you are sick to reduce the spread of the disease.
  • Even if you feel healthy, be mindful of the health of others. Some people are asymptomatic when they have the disease and can unknowingly spread it to others.

Keep Brushing & Flossing!

We recognize that many of you are experiencing unprecedented upheavals and challenges in your daily lives and routines. Please take good care of your mental health as well as your physical health and your oral health. We encourage everyone to take some time for positive, uplifting activities to help relieve stress.

Henson Family Dental thanks you for your loyal patronage and regrets the inconvenience our temporary closure will cause to those with scheduled appointments and plans for smile improvements. Our team looks forward to welcoming you again to our office as soon as this crisis has passed.

Emergency Dentist in Temple Terrace, Florida

If you experience a dental emergency, call us at 850-445-7603 for an appointment!

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How to Prevent Cavities

young woman brushing her teeth in front of the bathroom mirror

You can keep your natural teeth your whole life, but they need care. If your teeth aren’t cared for properly, decay – known as cavities – can develop. When decay spreads, it leads to issues like infection and even bone loss. How do you prevent cavities in the first place? There are five things you can do:

1. Brush at Least Twice a Day

Brushing your teeth is one of the simplest and most effective ways to avoid cavities. You want to brush after meals, so bacteria doesn’t have a chance to eat the food debris and create plaque. A soft-bristled brush is the best choice. Brush for two minutes and don’t forget your tongue! Lots of cavity-causing bacteria can live on your tongue’s surface.

2. Floss Once a Day

Many people are good about brushing, but flossing isn’t always a habit. Cavities can start in the spaces between your teeth and go unnoticed for a while. This is why flossing is necessary. You want to use a clean piece of floss for each space. If you haven’t flossed in a while, it’s normal for there to be some bleeding and swelling, but your gums adjust. If the discomfort persists, please let us know and we can take a closer look.

3. Get Sealants & Fluoride Treatments

Dental sealants are important for children’s teeth. The back molars have crevices perfect for trapping food debris and plaque, but sealants protect the teeth. Adults can benefit, too. The same goes for fluoride, a natural mineral shown to reduce tooth decay. ADA-approved toothpaste contains fluoride, but at our office, our fluoride treatments are stronger. They’re a good choice if you are at high risk for cavities.

4. Don’t Smoke or Use Tobacco

Studies show a connection between smoking and tooth decay. Gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss, is also common among tobacco users. If you smoke or chew tobacco, quitting is one of the best ways to prevent cavities and other dental problems.

5. Visit the Dentist Twice a Year

Only a professional can identify cavities! Most of the time, you won’t notice tooth decay in its early stages. That’s why visiting a dentist like Henson Family Dental is so important. Dr. Henson and the team perform routine cleanings and exams and treat cavities before they become serious. We recommend coming in at least twice a year. If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment at our Temple Terrace office, please contact us!

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How Often Should Kids Go to the Dentist?

young boy in the dentist's chair getting a checkup

Professional dental associations and pediatric experts recommend that children visit the dentist every six months. When your child doesn’t even have six teeth, that might sound like a lot, but regular visits to our office in Temple Terrace, Florida can protect your child from more serious dental problems as they mature.

When Should Kids Start Seeing the Dentist?

This might also surprise you, but the American Dental Association along with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry have recommended that your child visit the dentist either when they get their first tooth or have their first birthday. Why so soon? Because research has shown that children who visit the dentist by age one have 40 percent lower dental costs for the next five years than those children who do not see the dentist by their first birthday. Besides having better oral health, children who visit the dentist when they are young are also less susceptible to dental anxiety because they are familiar with the dentist and the experience. If your child is already past their first birthday then start now with their dental visits!

Regular Dental Visits

Visits to Henson Family Dental every six months can help protect your child from serious dental issues because of prevention and early detection. Besides dental cleanings and exams, we offer digital X-rays, dental sealants and fluoride treatments. For our athletic patients, we suggest custom athletic mouthguards to help protect their smiles from accidental trauma. Poor oral health can have far-reaching consequences. Did you know that children with more cavities commonly have less than the recommended body weight for their age and also miss more school? And cavities in baby teeth shouldn’t be ignored either.

Dental Care for the Whole Family!

Your family’s oral health is important to us at Henson Family Dental. It’s important to us that you know what is going on with your family’s oral health, so we offer consultation and education tailored to each individual patient. Our kid-friendly amenities are designed so that your children will look forward to their dental visits as much as we sure look forward to seeing them in our office. Scheduling an appointment is easy! Click on the link below or give us a call today.

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What Are the Best Teeth Whitening Methods?

two blond women hug and smile after professional teeth whitening treatments

When you see your smile in pictures, do you wish your teeth were whiter? What are the best teeth whitening methods? DIY methods like baking soda and lemon juice are too abrasive and risky. Here are the safest, most effective ways to lighten your tooth color:

Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste has ingredients that polish your teeth and break down surface stains. Over time, your teeth can appear lighter. You want a brand with a seal from the ADA. While easy and affordable, whitening toothpaste doesn’t change your teeth’s natural color. If the stain is too deep, the toothpaste can’t remove it.

Whitening Strips & Trays

Whitening strips work by using peroxide to bleach your teeth. Always read the instructions beforehand. You’ll learn how many daily applications you should perform and how long the strips stay on. They’ll also let you know when you can expect to see results.

Many strips recommend that you don’t brush your teeth beforehand, so the strips stick better. If you don’t want to mess with strips, there are also over-the-counter trays that mold to your teeth. While each whitening session with trays is longer than with strips, you don’t need as many sessions.

Custom Take-Home Trays

At Henson Family Dental, we offer you the option of professional teeth whitening at home. We’ll make custom take-home trays that are like trays at the store, but more effective. Be sure to always wear the trays for the intended length of time per day for 7-10 days to see results.

In-Office Professional Whitening

For fast and more effective results, in-office professional whitening is one of the best teeth whitening methods. We use Zoom®, so the whitening session lasts only 90 minutes. Professional methods typically work better than store-bought treatments. This is because we use gels with higher concentrations and consider your specific needs.

Want Whiter Teeth?

If you’re not 100 percent happy with your smile right now, contact us to set up a consultation at our Temple Terrace office. Our team can recommend the best whitening option for you based on your goals and budget!

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Do Root Canals Hurt?

patient in the dentist's chair undergoing root canal therapy

There are a whole slew of pesky myths surrounding root canals–chief among them that root canals hurt. Not only is this untrue, but root canal is actually a completely routine and straightforward procedure, and one of the most common!

The Myth of Root Canal Pain

So if they don’t hurt, why do people so often claim that they do? Root canals and other dental procedures are often associated with pain and unpleasantness because there was a time when dentistry was just that–painful and unpleasant. In the past few decades, modern dentistry has seen groundbreaking advancements in technology that has served to eliminate pain, streamline procedures, and so much more. Today’s root canal procedures are performed with novocaine or, if needed, sedation, and, from the patients perspective, won’t differ greatly from having a cavity filled.

A Closer Look

Now that you know that your root canal won’t be painful, here’s what else you can expect from the procedure. During a root canal, the dentist will drill into the tooth to the root canal, which exists between the layers of enamel and dentin above. Infected material–tissue, blood vessels, and nerves–are removed, and the tooth is filled or capped with a crown to finish off the procedure.

The End Result

Root canals are performed to address a variety of different issues, and always to save the natural tooth from having to be extracted and replaced. Common reasons for needing a root canal include severe decay; a chip, break, or other damage; and repeated previous dental work to a tooth.

Restorative Dentistry & More at Henson Family Dental

If you’ve been putting off a root canal–or any other procedure for that matter–there’s no need! At our practice, our skilled staff are pros at keeping patients relaxed and comfortable during any procedure. Visit our website to learn how to schedule an appointment today.

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How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Repair Your Smile

woman pointing to her white teeth with both forefingers after cosmetic dentistry

Everyone wants a beautiful smile, but very few people have naturally perfect teeth. If you aren’t happy with your smile, cosmetic dentistry can help. Damaged, chipped, and discolored teeth can be repaired with certain treatments such as whitening, porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers, and fixed bridges.

Teeth Whitening

If you want a brighter, whiter smile, getting a custom take-home kit from Henson Family Dental is one of the most simple ways to get there. Our kits are much more effective than what you’ll find in a store and much safer than risky DIY treatments.

Porcelain Veneers

For teeth that are chipped, have gaps, or are too discolored for whitening treatments, porcelain veneers can be used. Porcelain is a great material because it looks very natural. Veneers are thin casings bonded to the front side of your teeth for a brighter, whiter look. Teeth with porcelain veneers should be cared for just like your natural teeth.

Porcelain Crowns

If your tooth is damaged or worn, a porcelain crown can fix it. We shape the cap and adhere it in the right spot, so your tooth’s shape, strength, size, and appearance are restored. The crown takes the place of your natural enamel, protecting your tooth. In addition to restoring a broken or worn tooth, crowns can support teeth with large fillings, hold a dental bridge in place, cover a dental implant, and modify a misshapen tooth.

A Fixed Bridge

If you’re missing a tooth or multiple teeth, a fixed bridge can restore your smile. When replacing a missing tooth with an artificial one, a fixed bridge is needed to hold it in place. The bridge consists of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of your new fake tooth.

Want to Repair Your Smile? Visit Us at Henson Family Dental!

If you’re interested in any of the cosmetic dentistry treatments we offer, please let us know! Dr. Henson and the team can give you all the information and recommendations you need to get the smile of your dreams.

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What Are Healthy Halloween Treat Options?

group of kids dressed up for halloween trick or treat

Halloween is just around the corner, and that means trick-or-treating and Halloween candy. But be careful with that candy! Instead of chomping on sticky, gummy, and hard candies, why not try these healthy Halloween treat options.

Chocolate

This is a treat that you may be able to find in your kid’s trick-or-treating bag. Chocolate is probably the best kind of candy out there for your teeth. This is because it is soft and unlike those hard candies, it melts in your mouth so that you aren’t putting your teeth at risk for a chip or break. Additionally, chocolate actually washes away after you’ve eaten a lot better than other candies so food particles won’t stick in between your teeth. Instead of getting stuck in the crevices of your teeth, chocolate can easily get washed away with a glass of water.

Pumpkin Treats

Yes, pumpkin may be something you more easily associate with Thanksgiving, but pumpkin is also classically associated with Halloween so why not indulge in pumpkin treats this Halloween. Pumpkin is very high in fiber and vitamin A and therefore helps to strengthen your teeth’s enamel and to keep your gums healthy. There are many pumpkin treat recipes out there that ditch the sugar to make the treats much healthier. The lower the sugar, the better the treat will be for your teeth.

Dark Chocolate-Covered Apples

When you think of apple treats during the fall you probably think of caramel or candy-coated apples. Dark chocolate-covered apples is a healthy take on this classic Halloween treat, but makes it much much healthier for your teeth. As mentioned above, chocolate is a much better alternative to caramel or candy which are both very high in sugar. Dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants and its soft texture allows the chocolate to be easily washed away after you’ve eaten the treat. Meanwhile, apples are considered nature’s toothbrushes because the fibrous texture of the fruit will stimulate your gums and stimulate saliva production, which helps to remineralize your tooth enamel.

Spider Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches

This Halloween take on a classic sandwich that is super fun for kids. Using whole wheat bread, take round cookie cutters to cut the whole wheat bread into an even number of rounds. Then, spread natural peanut butter and low sugar jelly on each round. Next, take eight pretzel sticks and place four on each side of half of the rounds so that they look like spider legs. Then, put the other half of the rounds on top of those with the pretzel sticks on them so that they look like the bodies of spiders. Finally, put a tiny bit of peanut butter on raisins and stick two on each of the spider bodies so that you give the spiders eyes. What’s great about these is that they are super fun for kids to make and may even make them forget they’re not eating candy!

Happy Halloween From Henson Family Dental!

We hope you have a fun and safe Halloween holiday. If you have any other questions about healthy Halloween treat options, give us a call! We look forward to hearing from you.

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