McKinney Dentist Blog

Posts for: September, 2015

By Stonebridge Ranch Smiles
September 21, 2015
Category: Oral Health

When Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell set out to teach her young daughter Ashby how to brush her teeth, she knew the surest path to success would be to make it fun for the toddler.

“The best thing with kids is you have to make everything a game,” Nancy recently said in an interview with Dear Doctor TV. She bought Ashby a timer in the shape of a tooth that ticks for two minutes — the recommended amount of time that should be spent on brushing — and the little girl loved it. “She thought that was super fun, that she would turn the timer on and she would brush her teeth for that long,” Nancy said.

Ashby was also treated to a shopping trip for oral-hygiene supplies with Mom. “She got to go with me and choose the toothpaste that she wanted,” Nancy recalled. “They had some SpongeBob toothpaste that she really liked, so we made it into a fun activity.”

Seems like this savvy mom is on to something! Just because good oral hygiene is a must for your child’s health and dental development, that doesn’t mean it has to feel like a chore. Equally important to making oral-hygiene instruction fun is that it start as early as possible. It’s best to begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they start to appear in infancy. Use a small, soft-bristled, child-sized brush or a clean, damp washcloth and just a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.

Once your child is old enough to hold the toothbrush and understand what the goal is, you can let him or her have a turn at brushing; but make sure you also take your turn, so that every tooth gets brushed — front, back and all chewing surfaces. After your child turns 3 and is capable of spitting out the toothpaste, you can increase the toothpaste amount to the size of a pea. Kids can usually take over the task of brushing by themselves around age 6, but may still need help with flossing.

Another great way to teach your children the best oral-hygiene practices is to model them yourself. If you brush and floss every day, and have regular cleanings and exams at the dental office, your child will come to understand what a normal, healthy and important routine this is. Ashby will certainly get this message from her mom.

“I’m very adamant about seeing the dentist regularly,” Nancy O’Dell said in her Dear Doctor interview. “I make sure that I go when I’m supposed to go.”

It’s no wonder that Nancy has such a beautiful, healthy-looking smile. And from the looks of things, her daughter is on track to have one, too. We would like to see every child get off to an equally good start!

If you have questions about your child’s oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Taking the Stress Out of Dentistry for Kids” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”

By Stonebridge Ranch Smiles
September 13, 2015
Category: Oral Health

We’ve all experienced eating or drinking something hot enough to scald the inside of our mouths. But what if you regularly have a burning sensation but haven’t consumed anything hot to cause it? You may have a condition called burning mouth syndrome, or BMS.

In addition to the sensation of feeling scalded or burnt, BMS can also cause dryness, tingling and numbness, as well as a change or reduction in your sense of taste. You can feel these sensations generally in the mouth or from just a few areas: the lips, tongue, inside of the cheeks, gums, throat or the roof of the mouth.

The root cause of BMS isn’t always easy to pinpoint, but it seems related to systemic conditions like diabetes, nutrition or vitamin deficiencies and acid reflux; it’s also been known to accompany the use of irradiation or chemotherapy for cancer treatment or psychological problems. It seems to occur most often in women around the age of menopause and may be linked to hormonal changes.

To determine the best treatment course, we must first eliminate the possibility that another condition besides BMS may be causing your symptoms. Some medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) cause mouth dryness, which can irritate the inner linings of the mouth or contribute to yeast infection, either of which could result in similar symptoms to BMS. Allergic reactions to dental materials in dentures or toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, whiteners or cinnamon flavor can cause irritation and skin peeling within the mouth.

If we’ve determined you have BMS, there are a number of strategies we can try to bring relief, like stopping or cutting back on habits that worsen dry mouth like smoking, alcohol or coffee consumption, or frequently eating hot or spicy foods. You should also drink water more frequently to keep your mouth moist, or use biotene or products containing the sweetener xylitol to promote saliva production. If mouth dryness is related to medication, you should speak with your physician or our office about alternatives.

In some cases, BMS resolves over time. In the mean time, though, promoting good saliva flow and reducing stress will go a long way toward diminishing this irritating condition.

If you would like more information on the causes and treatment of burning mouth syndrome, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Burning Mouth Syndrome.”

By Stonebridge Ranch Smiles
September 11, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

Find out if dental veneers could give you your most ideal smile.


Are you suffering from severe dental stains that can’t just be easily erased with professional teeth whitening? If you have internal stains then you know all too well how challenging it is to get rid of them. Find out how your McKinney, TX dentist Dr. Kenneth Sharp could give you that brighter smile with dental veneers.

What are dental veneers?

Veneers are thin shells that are adhered to the front of your teeth to change the shape, color or look of your smile. They are only applied to teeth found in the aesthetic zone, or teeth that you see when a person smiles. Typically made of porcelain, veneers offer a translucency that mimics that of natural teeth, so no one will be able to tell that you have them!

What issues do dental veneers address?

Dental veneers are truly a great option for many patients looking to alter their smile and hide certain dental flaws. Your McKinney, TX dentist will often recommend veneers if you have any of these problems:

  • Internal stains and discolorations
  • Chips and cracks
  • Crooked or misshapen teeth
  • Small gaps between teeth
  • Minor overlapping

Since teeth whitening won’t work on your internal, or intrinsic, stains, the best way to hide them is with veneers. As veneers cover the entire front surface of the tooth, all others will see is a brighter, whiter smile.

Veneers can also be used to elongate certain teeth and hide gummy smiles, as well as give you a straighter smile, fixing minimal crookedness without braces.

What should I expect when I get dental veneers from my McKinney dentist?

After we’ve deemed you an appropriate candidate for veneers, the first step involves some tooth preparation. This simply means that we will shave a small amount of enamel off of your teeth—about ½ millimeter—so the veneers don’t look bulky when placed on your teeth. This process doesn’t hurt, and won’t require anesthesia or pain medications to complete.

Next, we will decide on the proper veneer shade for your teeth and take impressions of your smile. This information will be sent to a lab, where they will custom-make your veneers specific to your smile. In the meantime, you will be fitted with temporary veneers.

Once your veneers are complete, you will come back for your second visit. We will adhere your veneers to the front of your teeth with a special resin, and then harden it with a special dental light. In two visits, you can have a smile that is stain-free and vibrant.

Interested in getting dental veneers? The next step is to schedule a consultation with your McKinney family dentist at Stonebridge Ranch Smiles to make sure you are right for this procedure. Call us today!