Why general dental checkups are necessary

Dental checkups are one way for patients to take a proactive approach to maintaining their oral hygiene and wellness. Many patients don’t realize how important these general visits every six months are to the health of their teeth and gums. The American Dental Association recommends that everyone visit the dentist every six months to undergo an evaluation, x-rays, and a dental cleaning. But why is this so important? 

Why are dental check-ups necessary? 

The primary goal of dental check-ups is to provide preventative care. Preventative treatments can help eliminate the risk of certain conditions that can negatively affect the smile, including periodontal disease and tooth decay. Many of these problems, if they develop, can be caught early and treated before they become a more serious concern for individuals. Routine dental evaluations also allow the dentist to monitor the smile for specific issues that may develop with time, and intervene at a point where treatment can be successful. If patients experience problems such as gum disease, early diagnosis and treatment is critical to protecting the smile from irreversible damage. In some cases, periodontal disease can become extremely serious and damaging and cause the loss of bone, gum tissue, and even teeth. This can be incredibly expensive to repair and restore, making routine visits to the dentist the much more affordable alternative. 

What to expect during dental check-ups 

  • Evaluation. An evaluation is done with both a physical examination and may also include x-rays to see within the teeth and below the gums to look for any concerns.
  • Cleaning. The dental hygienist will clean the teeth and gums thoroughly, while also looking for signs of decay or disease that may need to be brought to the dentist’s attention.
  • Education. Patients are educated with the proper ways of brushing and flossing. They may also be prescribed prescription toothpastes or mouthwashes, and may be advised of possible treatments they may need in the future.

Connect with a dentist today 

Speaking to a dentist about your oral health needs is the first step in learning about the importance of routine dental care. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM are dedicated to providing the best care for new and established patients at the office, located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C. Call (505) 881-1159 to work with a dental provider with over three decades of experience, available at Comprehensive Dental Care.

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Tips for conquering bad breath

From time to time, most people experience temporary bad breath. It may be from a food they ate or due to being dehydrated and dealing with dry mouth. However, chronic bad breath, or halitosis, may be a sign of poor oral hygiene. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM is a general dentist who can educate patients on ways to reduce their risk of bad breath and avoid embarrassing situations. Additionally, he encourages patients who struggle with halitosis to be open and honest about their concerns so he can help them find the cause and seek a solution that works. This is especially true in situations where patients experience daily bad breath and are unsure of the cause. 

Tips for conquering bad breath 

Nobody likes bad breath, so read on to find out how to address it! 

  • Brush often. Brushing the teeth removes food particles and sugars that can contribute to bad breath. Be sure to also brush the tongue, which is known to harbor bacteria as well that can cause halitosis.
  • Floss. At least once a day, floss your teeth to ensure there is no food buildup that potentially may cause bad breath.
  • Utilize a mouthwash. Using a mouthwash after brushing and flossing is an extra step towards better smelling breath!
  • Stay hydrated. Not only is staying hydrated important for your overall health and wellness, drinking water throughout the day can help wash away leftover food from the surfaces of the teeth and keep bad breath at bay.
  • Chewing sugar-free gum. A fast way to freshen breath is with sugar-free gum, which can also stimulate saliva flow that can cause dry mouth—another reason some patient may experience chronic bad breath.
  • Talk to your dentist. Chronic bad breath may be caused by another problem that requires medical attention, so be honest with your dentist about your struggles to find the cause and a reliable and effective solution.

Call Dr. Steven E. Holbrook today 

At Comprehensive Dental Care in Albuquerque, NM, Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team provide a wide range of services, including preventive dentistry. If you struggle with halitosis and want to start taking control of your bad breath, schedule an evaluation with our team to find out more. We are located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C and can be reached to schedule an appointment at (505) 881-1159.

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How to best recover from oral surgery procedures

There are many situations in which a patient may need to have oral surgery performed. Oral surgery may be a procedure performed on the jaw, gums, or teeth. Regardless, it is important that patients ask their dentist about the recovery needed from these procedures to ensure proper healing and recovery. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM can help patients fully understand what to do after their oral surgery. 

  • Follow surgeon’s instructions. The key to a full, fast recovery following an oral surgery procedure is to closely follow the dentist’s post-operative care instructions. These instructions are given to patients to help them avoid complications that might occur following dental procedures and promote faster healing. Listen to these instruction, follow them closely, and reap the rewards with a healthier smile!
  • Rest as recommended. Getting plenty of rest is always a good idea anyway, but it can be an important part of the recovery process following certain oral procedures. The dentist will let you know when you can return to work and resume normal daily activities after surgery.
  • Take medication as directed. It is important to Dr. Steven E. Holbrook that you take your medication as directed to stay on top of pain and discomfort. Sometimes, patients will be provided antibiotics that are used to control infection. This  medication is important to, and should be taken as the dentist suggests.
  • Maintain oral health. Keeping the mouth clean is critical after surgical procedure, so continue to practice good oral hygiene habits as you always do. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook may ask that you avoid brushing or rinsing the mouth for a while after surgery, but provides alternatives to keeping the smile clean during this hiatus.
  • Eat softer foods. Discomfort is common, so be sure to have softer foods on hand for the recovery period. Some commonly enjoyed foods may include protein shakes, soups, yogurt, applesauce, oatmeal, or refried beans.

Are you in need of oral surgery? 

Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM can assist. If you need oral surgery, or are preparing for upcoming procedures, call the office at (505) 881-1159 to request an appointment. The office is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C and accepts new and established patients.  

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What treatments might be included in a smile makeover plan?

Patients of the Albuquerque, NM area who are interested in improving the appeal of their smiles will want to ask their dentist about a smile makeover. Smile makeovers, or full mouth restoration, is a custom-tailored treatment plan developed by the dentist and patient to enhance the smile. This is done for cosmetic purposes, and can boost a patient’s self-esteem and confidence dramatically. Each treatment is different, but in general, most smile makeovers may include any of the following services provided by Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team: 

  • Composite bonding – addressing cracked or spaced teeth can be achieved with the use of composite resin bonding, or dental bonding, that provides same-day repair of a patient’s smile.
  • Tooth-colored fillings – areas of decay should always be treated with tooth-colored fillings to ensure seamless repair and an aesthetic appearance. We offer composite fillings that blend in with the patient’s natural tooth enamel.
  • Gum contouring – for patients who have too much gum tissue, their teeth may appear small and they may deal with a “gummy” smile. Contouring the gumline is an easy way to restore balance and harmony with the teeth and gums.
  • Porcelain veneers – covering imperfections is another way to address small problem areas near the front of the smile. Veneers are a great choice, providing coverage for broken, misshapen, permanently stained, or gapped teeth.
  • Dental crowns – crowns are often used to repair a broken or problematic tooth, and cover all visible areas of the tooth. These are made of ceramic to match the patient’s existing smile.
  • Professional teeth whitening – often, all patients need to boost the appearance of their smiles is professional teeth whitening treatments. Many of these treatments can whiten the smile up to eight shades whiter in one treatment!

Are you ready for a smile makeover? 

Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM provide a wide range of aesthetic and restorative services that can be integrated into a smile makeover dental plan. If you are curious to find out more about this and other procedures available at his state-of-the-art facility, contact his office by calling (505) 881-1159. His facility is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C and accepts new patients.  

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Prevent the development and growth of oral cancer

While oral cancer is not as recognizable or discussed nearly as often as other types of cancer, that doesn’t mean that it’s any less concerning. Oral cancer is a condition that can be just as deadly as other types of cancer. However, it can also be one of the easiest to spot and treat in the earliest stages as long as patients are prudent about visiting the dentist on a regular basis for screenings.

Understanding oral cancer

Oral cancer is a condition that is often caused by lifestyle choices. This means that by making better daily decisions and avoiding certain bad habits, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing oral cancer in the first place. What you put in your body matters, and some of the more common lifestyle factors that can increase the chances of developing cancer includes the use of tobacco products, alcohol, and an improper diet. Patients who are currently smoking, drinking, or eating a diet low in fruits and vegetables (which often contain many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can reduce cancer risks) may be more vulnerable.

HPV connection

Another leading cause of oral cancer development is the presence of HPV, or the human papilloma virus. The risk of contracting HPV is lower when patients have a vaccine, but it only works if the patient currently does not have HPV. The primary age for administering this vaccine is in preteen and adolescent boys and girls.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

Some signs to monitor for include: 

  • Sores inside of the mouth
  • Patches of red or white on the soft tissues
  • Pain or numbness in the mouth or throat
  • Rough spots on the soft tissues
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing

Early detection of oral cancer is key

To prevent oral cancer, or catch it early enough for successful intervention, you need to see your dentist on a regular basis. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook recommends a screening for oral cancer at each dental appointment, including a physical examination and dental cleaning. Contact his Albuquerque, NM area practice today by calling (505) 881-1159 and requesting a consultation visit at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C.

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Five mistakes you might be making while brushing your teeth

Brush, floss, and see the dentist. These are the top three priorities when it comes to your oral health and wellness. However, there are many things that patients do wrong that might be impacting their oral health and well. It is vital that patients keep their teeth and gums clean to avoid bad breath, periodontal disease, and cavities. But there are other mistakes that patients make that should be corrected to keep the smile both beautiful and healthy.

Here are some common mistakes patients make when it comes to caring for their oral health:

  • Using an old toothbrush. It is recommended in the dental community that patients replace their toothbrush at least every six months or after they have had an illness (to avoid reinfecting themselves). It is also important to replace a toothbrush if it is frayed. Frayed toothbrush bristles do not clean as well and can work against your efforts.
  • Forgetting to brush the tongue. The tongue can be the landing ground for all types of bacteria that thrive in the mouth, and can be the reason for chronic bad breath. Be sure to brush the tongue, or even utilize a tongue scraper in your oral healthcare routine.
  • Brushing aggressively. Brushing harder doesn’t mean you’re brushing faster or better. Instead, it just causes redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums. At the same time, it can cause the bristles of your toothbrush to fray, making it less effective. Use a gentle pressure when brushing the teeth and gums to avoid discomfort.
  • Sharing a toothbrush. The mouth has both good bacteria and bad, and this bacteria can remain on a toothbrush long after its been used. Do not share a toothbrush with another individual, as it can transfer bacteria from one person to another.
  • Not brushing long enough. Patients should take the time to brush properly. The American Dental Association recommends brushing teeth approximately two minutes or more. When you don’t brush long enough, you are likely to miss areas of the mouth that can become problematic later on.

Interested in learning more about how to properly care for your smile?

Connect with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM to discuss your needs. His facility is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C and accepts new patients who call (505) 881-1159 to make an appointment.

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The best teeth straightening options available with Dr. Holbrook

Are you looking for an option to quickly straighten your teeth to achieve your dream smile? Misalignment of the teeth and the bite can impact both appearance and health of the smile, but many patients avoid asking their dentist about realignment options for fear of needing traditional metal wire and bracket braces. Fortunately, there are many other teeth straightening options available for patients to consider when dealing with mild to moderate misalignment. At the practice of Dr. Steven E. Holbrook, patients can achieve the results they want with some of the best treatments available in the Albuquerque, NM area.

  • Invisalign orthodontics – We are excited to offer solutions known as “clear orthodontics” for patients who need to address mild misalignment and malocclusion. Invisalign orthodontics is a popular choice for both teenagers and adults because it uses clear aligner trays that are discreet. Patients straighten the teeth with these inconspicuous appliances, working through a series of trays until they achieve the final results. Patients can remove the trays to eat, drink, brush, and floss, and many of our patients will get their new smile in approximately one year or less!
  • Porcelain veneers – Another way for patients to address misalignment is with the use of veneers. Veneers are thin ceramic shells that are bonded onto the front of a tooth to cover imperfections. This includes small gaps between teeth and misaligned teeth. Essentially, instead of realigning the tooth, the porcelain veneer is used to disguise the tooth and provide a more attractive smile. Patients can use one or more veneers in the front of their smile to achieve results quickly and affordably without extensive orthodontic work.

Straighten your smile with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook

If you reside in the area of Albuquerque, NM and are interested in finding out more about solutions such as Invisalign and veneers to improve your smile, call (505) 881-1159 to request an appointment with our team, conveniently located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C. Our team is here to help new and established patients in the community with general, cosmetic, and restorative dental solutions that fit their needs and budgets, while not impacting quality work.

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How preventative dentistry can lower your healthcare costs

A 2017 United Concordia study revealed that regular visits to the dentist can not only help patients achieve healthy smiles and bodies, but can also reduce the overall cost of health care. The study looked at the value of routine dental check-ups with cleanings and evaluations, and found there was a direct correlation between preventative dentistry compliance and overall medical claims costs. But why is this?

How preventative dental care can help in lowering your overall healthcare costs

Taking care of the smile at home includes brushing and flossing the teeth after each meal. Dental habits at home have a dramatic impact on the health of the smile. Because conditions such as periodontal disease can cause inflammation throughout the body, it can be an indicator—or cause—of other health issues, including heart disease and increased risks of strokes. Periodontal disease is an infection caused by bacteria that impacts the gums, bone, and teeth. This bacteria can be carried through the bloodstream and increase a patient’s risk of inflammation and infection elsewhere. Periodontal disease is a condition that can be avoided with proper oral health habits, including routine dental visits, to catch signs of this condition early on and seek effective treatment before it becomes worse.

Patients who visit the dentist regularly are often more likely to maintain routine visits to their doctors for physicals and bloodwork. This may also play a role in the reduction of overall health costs associated with routine and preventive care.

Why is preventative care important?

The primary reason patients should be prudent about routine dental visits is to improve preventative care, which in turn reduces one’s risk of developing problems such as periodontal disease and tooth decay. These routine visits can help a dentist provide a definitive diagnosis and effective treatment early on, avoiding costly dental work and the increased risk of changes to one’s overall health and wellness.

Are you overdue for a routine dental visit?

If you live in the Albuquerque, NM community and are in need of a dental evaluation, it is time for you to book a consultation visit with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team to achieve a healthier smile—and healthier body! Call (505) 881-1159 to request an appointment at the practice, conveniently located in the community in Suite C at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE.

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When should I brush my teeth?

Both children and adults are well aware that brushing and flossing the teeth at home can be done between dental visits to keep the smile healthy. But some patients are unsure as to when they should brush their teeth.

How often should I brush my teeth?

For the best results, we recommend that patients brush their teeth after every meal and snack. This is the recommendations made by the American Dental Association, or ADA, that provides realistic ways for patients to keep their smile healthy. Every time you eat, food particles can become stuck on the surfaces of the teeth or between them. This is why patients should both brush and floss, allowing them to remove food particles effectively. Sticky substances such as sugars and acids can remain on teeth and help contribute to the formation of cavities. It can also contribute to an infection called periodontitis which can cause permanent, irreversible damage to the teeth over time.

How should I brush my teeth?

Patients should take great care in brushing their teeth effectively and safely to avoid further problems. For example, patients who brush too aggressively or with a harder-bristled toothbrush will often cause issues with the gum tissues, sometimes experiencing bleeding and swelling. Patients should brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste after eating or drinking to keep the smile healthy. When it comes to flossing, patients can floss once a day, preferably at night, to remove stuck food particles between teeth.

Ways to ensure better oral health

In addition to taking great care of the smile at home, patients should also visit their dentist every six months for an evaluation and cleaning, and call the dentist when problems arise between appointments.

Learn more about oral health habits to protect your smile

If you live in the area of Albuquerque, NM and want to educate yourself further on the steps you can take to protect and strengthen your smile, call Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team to discuss. The facility is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE, Suite C and patients can call (505) 881-1159 to request a consultation appointment. We accept new patients and families seeking the best in dental care within our community.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Dr. Holbrook and Staff!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Dr. Holbrook and Staff! Even though Dr. Holbrook and staff have been vaccinated in the 1A category (medical office), they all observe CDC requirements of wearing masks and socially distancing in public.

After three months of vigilance to get the entire staff vaccinated, last week was the first time we were able to not wear masks and to hug. Hurray!

 

Our office photographer and administrative assistant, Elizabeth, joined Dr. Holbrook and Judith for a family celebration.
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