Cleaning and Prevention

Digital X-Rays    Routine Dental Cleanings   Children’s Dentistry
Why Flouride?   Sealants   Xylitol Gum   Electric Toothbrushes

Digital X-rays

Radiographs are necessary for diagnosing dental problems that are undetectable by simply looking in the mouth. Small cavities can form between the teeth, and the only way to know they are there is by taking an x-ray. At Pecan Park Family Dentistry, we use digital radiography technology. A sensor is placed in the mouth, and once taken, the image is immediately loaded onto a computer. Patient routinely say the sensor is more comfortable than traditional x-ray film. For your convenience, we also have the ability to email digital x-rays directly to specialists. As an added bonus, the amount of radiation exposure to the patient is 70 to 80 percent less (sometimes more) than traditional x-rays!

Because patient education is our #1 goal, we have monitors above every chair, allowing Dr. Craft to show every patient their own radiographs. How cool! She explains exactly what is going on and answers all questions.

Routine Dental Cleanings

At Pecan Park Family Dentistry, dental checkups are all about PREVENTION and EDUCATION! Dr. Craft believes that you cannot prevent a cavity or gum disease if you do not know how it got there in the first place. There’s a lot more to it than just sugar! We strive to teach every patient how cavities and gum problems develop and ways to make sure they stay unwelcome in your mouth.

Calculus, or buildup, forms on the teeth even if you take excellent care of them. Yep, even dentists get it! Most people notice it the most between their lower front teeth. Flossing and brushing will not remove calculus, which makes regular dental cleanings very important. Accumulation of buildup over time can lead to gum disease, or periodontal disease. Do not forget to come see us every six months so we can help you prevent dental problems!

In these videos, Dr. Craft explains how cavities form and why flossing is so important.
How To Prevent Cavities
Does Flossing Really Matter?

Children’s Dentistry

Kids are welcome at Pecan Park Family Dentistry! We strive to make your child’s experience here 100% positive. We make their visit to the dentist fun! Regular visits are very important for children because cavities progress quickly in their very thin enamel. Dr. Craft enjoys helping the kids to develop better habits at home and talking to parents about ways to keep the little ones’ teeth healthy.

A typical first visit would start by showing the child all of the unique things that are found in a dental office (overhead light, dental chair, x-ray unit, etc.). If the child is old enough, we attempt to take x-rays. If we are unable to take good x-rays, we try again at the next appointment! No biggie! Next, we clean the child’s teeth and floss. Dr. Craft does a thorough exam, “counts the teeth”, and talks to mom or dad about any findings. Lastly, we apply a fluoride varnish to the teeth that helps to repair any cavities that are forming but too tiny to detect. Of course, we complete the appointment with a new toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and a prize!

Check out Dr. Craft’s video on YouTube for “Tips to Keep Kids’ Teeth Healthy”

Please call us at (512) 250-2424 if you have any questions about your child’s teeth.

Why Fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Every day, minerals are constantly added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer through two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost (demineralization) from a tooth’s enamel when acids – formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth – attack the enamel. To compensate, minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer from the foods and waters consumed. Toothpaste is also an excellent source of enamel-boosting fluoride. Too much demineralzation without enough remineralization to repair the enamel leads to tooth decay. The great thing about fluoride is it reverses small cavities so that they never need a filling! Listen to Dr. Craft explain this process in more detail. (Add video link for How To Prevent Cavities)

Ways to increase directly fluoride exposure of teeth:
– Fluoride varnish treatment in the dental office
– Prescription strength fluoride toothpaste
– Over-the-counter fluoride rinse such as ACT or Listerine TotalCare


Dentists often recommend sealants for teeth with deep grooves. A sealant is a coating that sticks to the biting surface of a tooth and makes the surface flatter and thus easier to brush. When the grooves are deep and narrow, the toothbrush bristles are unable to completely clean the grooves leaving the tooth sometimes destined to develop decay.

The process of applying a sealant is easy! First, the tooth is cleaned really well with the dental toothbrush. Next, a blue gel is applied and rinsed. This gel cleans the tooth even further. Lastly, the sealant, which is a thin liquid, is expressed into the grooves. We shine a bright blue light on the tooth, which instantly hardens the sealant onto the tooth. Done!

Sealants are great for kids during those years when they are not the best brushers! Kids are notorious for only brushing once a day (even though they are asked to do it twice) and for not reaching the toothbrush all the way to the back molars.

Check out the video “What Is A Sealant?” for more information.

Xylitol Gum

What is it? Xylitol is a naturally occurring carbohydrate found in fibrous fruits and vegetables. It looks and tastes like sugar, thus it’s commonly used as a sugar substitute.

How does it help teeth? Xylitol reduces plaque formation and the amount of bacteria that adhere to teeth. It also inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause cavities.

Where to buy? Natural grocery stores such as Whole Foods.

Xylitol is also available in the form of mints, chewable tablets, lozenges, toothpaste, and mouthwash.

Electric Toothbrushes

We hear this question a lot: “Are electric toothbrushes really better?”. The short answer is “Yes.”. Here’s the deal: Certainly there is nothing wrong with using a manual toothbrush with soft bristles – they work! However, there are plenty of well-documented studies showing that electric toothbrushes remove plaque better than manual toothbrushes. At Pecan Park, we prefer to use real-life research: our patients. Everyone agrees that their mouths feel cleaner and stay clean longer with an electric brush. That’s proof enough for us! As for the brand, Sonicare and Oral-B both work great. Don’t forget to brush for two minutes!

Ask Barb for more information about special pricing on the Sonicare toothbrush sold at our office. You will be glad you made the switch!

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