7/23/2017 9:27:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

Your mouth is absolutely astounding when you think about – and we aren’t being biased just because we love teeth! Think about it! It is the gateway to getting nutrients into the body. Your teeth have to break down food with chewing while your salivary glands release enzymes to help start breaking those carb molecules down. Plus, our taste buds on the tongue let us enjoy so many different things! Seriously, your mouth is an amazing place. But did you know it’s more like a rainforest? We know, utterly unbelievable, but hear us out.
Why a rainforest? Well, your body is home to trillions of microorganisms and where they are located in your body dictates the type of microbe they are. Your mouth has its own particular microbiome. Like a rainforest, it is a highly diverse and very sensitive to change. The microorganisms found there are less likely to be found elsewhere on or on the body. But what does this mean?
When we talk about your mouth being a window to your overall health, it’s absolutely true. We know based on the types of oral health issues you’re having, that you may have systemic (affecting the entire body) health issues as well. A well-known example of this is periodontal disease. You can have a predominance of a certain type of bacteria in your mouth.
We see a mother and daughter at our practice. The mother has to come every 3 months because of the plaque that builds up on her teeth. Her daughter on the other hand comes every 6 months and is prone to cavities. What’s the difference between them? Their oral microbiome is dominated by different types of bacteria. The mother has an overabundance of the types of microbes (specifically P. gingivalis) that cause periodontal disease. The daughter has an overabundance of Streptococcus mutans which ferment the sugar that we eat. Their acidic waste products break down the tooth’s surface and cause cavities.
As you can see, based on the type of bacteria in your mouth, you can have different issues. But this goes a step further. Research has shown that when you have periodontal disease, your risk of heart disease is higher – 2 times more likely! There is also new research linking periodontal disease with diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
This is why we say that your mouth is the window to your health. If we see heavy plaque buildup, bleeding gums, loose teeth, inflamed gums, or in worse cases – tooth loss and abscesses, we know these are signs of periodontal disease. We will work with you to clear your infection (because that’s what it actually is!) so that you don’t suffer from even worse complications down the road. It takes a lot of work to clear up the infection and to stave periodontal disease off.
Your mouth is an amazing place that is home to millions and millions of microorganisms. Your overall health is linked to those tiny little microbes. An overabundance of particular microbe can lead to more serious disease. Of those, a predominance of P. gingivalis can indicate deeper issues. Periodontal disease is a serious infection and if left untreated can lead to a whole host of problems. If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, please call us right away to book an appointment.

6/26/2017 7:28:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

Summer seems to be the time when kids come in packs to the dentist. We know it’s easier getting everyone together when you’re on the same schedule – which in summer, means no schedule! If you have younger children whose back molars have completely emerged, you’ve probably had the dentist recommend sealants for them. We’re pretty sure you’re probably wondering what they are, why they’re recommended, and how are they applied.

What are sealants?
Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings made specifically for the teeth. They stick to the chewing surface of the molar and blocks food debris, acid, and bacteria from settling and building up in the nooks and crannies of the molar. They are not a substitute for brushing and flossing, but they do help deter cavities. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a study in October of last year showing that kids (6-11) who do not have dental sealants have 3 times the cavities than kids who do have them.[1]The CDC has found that almost 50 percent of kids 2 through 11 have had or do have cavities in their baby teeth. It is actually considered an epidemic and can even lead to death.[2]Sealants ae just part of the dental arsenal to help keep your child’s teeth healthy.

How are they applied?
Luckily, this is one of the easiest dental procedures your child will ever have to go through. After your child’s teeth have been cleaned properly, the dentist will dry them. He then places an acidic gel on the surface of the teeth to help “roughen up” the surface to help the sealant crate a strong bond with the tooth. After a few seconds, the dentist rinses the gel off, dries the tooth again, and then applies the sealant into the grooves of the tooth. He then uses a special light to harden the sealant.
If you choose to have this procedure done, your child will receive another application onto the second molars when they break through around age 12.

How long do they last?
Sealants last for several years before they need a touch up or reapplication. At each check-up, the dentist will check their condition and let you know if they need to be reapplied or not.

Are they covered by dental plans?
Some plans do, some plans don’t. Contact your dental insurance company to find out more about your plan and the coverage you have.

Sealants are important and warrant serious consideration to help keep your child’s teeth and overall health in great condition. Ask your dentist more about them and if they recommend them for your child(ren).

[2]Bacteria from an abscessed tooth killed a 12 year-old from Maryland in 2007.

5/29/2017 6:33:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

With summer comes a time for letting go of the school year rushing about and settling into relaxation – well, until the kids are bored after three weeks and you’ve given up trying to make sure the summer slide doesn’t happen. One of the biggest summer slides is usually dental hygiene. With later bedtimes and lax food guidelines, many kids find themselves skipping their typical nightly dental routine and turning to junk food for quick refueling. With the uptick in outside play, we also see more injuries to the mouth. Here are a few tip to avoid the summer dental slide and make sure that our mouths remain healthy and safe!

Drink Water

We know how simple it sounds, but how difficult it is to get your kids to drink plain old water. Now, when playing sports in the scorching Texas heat, electrolyte replacing liquids are necessary to avoid heat stroke, hyponatremia (not enough sodium in the blood), and to keep our kids still active. But at other times, sports drinks are not needed. Plain water is great for hydrating the mouth and washing plaque- and cavity-causing bacteria away from the teeth and gums.

Straws Aren’t Just for Kids

Sometimes, water just doesn’t cut it – you just have to have a soda or juice. Try using a straw to help bypass your teeth. The acid in juices and carbonated drinks can actually erode the enamel on your teeth. You’ve seen the video hack of a certain carbonated beverage being used to clean a toilet, right? The phosphoric and citric acids in the beverage may contribute to enamel erosion and other corrosive effects in the body. All-in-all, stay away from the sodas, but if you just haveto have one, use a straw, wait about 30 minutes or so, and then brush your teeth.

Go British

Tea is pretty awesome! Coffee is our national drink, for sure, but there is something special about tea. There are constant studies being released on how great tea is for our bodies. Tea has different substances that help deter bacteria, slow tooth decay, and fight against gum disease. Though coffee is our dark mistress, tea is definitely something we should think about drinking more of – just remember to skip the sugar!

Always, Always, Always Wear a Mouthguard

Oral injuries are no joke. Though professionally made mouthguards by dentists are the absolute best, over-the-counter ones will provide the stability your teeth need in a blow to the jaw happens. We cannot stress enough how important it is to protect those pearly whites!

Moderation is Key

Summer is awesome! There is swimming, playing, sports, fireworks, picnics, and tons of family time. It is also when food choices lean a little toward convenience and junk. We get it! Nothing is better than popsicles or ice cream on a blistering Texas summer day. Just remember to think about enjoying those things less often and turn towards healthy fruits and cut up veggies. Fast, healthy, and yummy!

Summer is about fun, but remember to make sure your kids still floss and brush morning and night – even when those schedules are later than usual. And don’t forget to make sure you schedule your biannual cleaning and check-up! 

4/3/2017 6:01:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

As an immigrant, it amazes me how people can spew such bitterness and contempt upon a subject they do not really know too much about. It is unfortunate that today’s political climate is such that I feel both frightened for future and my children’s’ futures, but also for the country as a whole.

We have seemed to have forgotten that this country was built by immigrants. Unless you are Native American, you are a child of an immigrant. And you know what, there is nothing wrong with that. However, when this fact has escaped you and you feel like you own this land that your own ancestors decided to move onto, then you are part of the problem.

Right now, immigrants are painted as rapists, murderers, terrorists, but I am none of those. Like me, 99 percent of us are upstanding citizens that came to this country for the promise of freedom and living the American Dream. Are there some bad apples, of course, but doesn’t America have some bad eggs too?

What I am trying to say is this – I love this country, I love the ideals and freedoms I enjoy, I love helping the people of this country, and I loved defending those freedoms. I am proud to be an American Immigrant. And you should be proud to have us as this beautiful melting pot of a country is unique. There is nowhere else in the world like America and that is because of her people. 

3/20/2017 5:54:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

How many times do we hear from the dentist that we need to floss and brush twice a day? Every six months, right? And sure, we’re good at following that advice for a nanosecond and then we’re back to infrequent flossing or even skipping entirely. But why does the dentist tell us to floss – and not once, but twice a day?

So the last time you saw Dr. Marquis, did he or Melissa give you a lecture about your poor/nonexistent flossing? Like Every. Single. Visit. Right? Well, Doc is right to do so. Flossing does a super job – about 40% of the work – removing plaque, bacteria, and other gunk from between your teeth…a place that a toothbrush cannot get to.[1]To understand how floss works, you have to look at your tooth as having five different surfaces to clean. The top and the four sides, but two of those sides neighbor other teeth. Since your toothbrush cannot get into those spots, you end up leaving a ton of nasty bacteria that have a 24/7 party wrecking your teeth and giving you a horrible case of gingivitis.

So, you are now onboard for flossing! Hooray! You head to the store to buy some because you cannot remember where you threw the little bag Doc gave you with a new toothbrush and some sample floss. Of course, you are at the store and you did not realize that there were so many different types of floss! Which one do you get? That all depends on your teeth. If you have larger spaces between your teeth, you might want to get dental tape – it is flat and wide and helps with people who receding gums too. If you have teeth close together, thin floss that is shred resistant is a godsend. Follow the directions on the back of the floss package or pay attention when Melissa tells you how to do it!

Now, you are completely equipped to begin your twice daily flossing habit. Keep it up and Doc will be awestruck by your awesomeness and lack of plaque!

2/20/2017 6:13:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

February is heart health month and we thought we’d give you a reminder about why you seriously need to get your oral health under control. Now, we know we have told you plenty of times that your teeth are a window to your health. Your mouth plays an important part of your overall health.

Researchers have yet to find the exact link between your teeth and your heart, but they do know that you are more than twice as likely to have heart disease. Researchers think the key is the bacteria. When the gingivitis-causing bacteria in your mouth enter the blood stream through your gums, they start to stick to the fatty plaque deposits, these then trigger the body’s inflammatory response. The blood vessels swell causing blood flow reduction and clots. These can lead to strokes and heart attacks.

So, if you notice signs of periodontal disease, such as
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Bleeding when you brush, eat, and/or floss
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Pain in the mouth
  • Sores in the mouth

If you notice these signs, you need to talk to your dentist right away. The most important thing is to stop the infection, close the gum pockets, and repair the damage caused by the bacterial infection. You dentists can prescribe different products like mouthwashes that are stronger than what you can get over the counter.

Your best option is to practice good dental hygiene and take care of your teeth and gums. With the help of your dentist, you can make sure that the nasty gingivitis bacteria never gets a foothold in your mouth or your heart. 

1/2/2017 11:28:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

For the month of January, we’d like to talk about the negative effects of sugar on your health. Seeing as this is the month of trying to work towards better health and getting it under control, we thought we’d provide extra incentive in cutting back on the sweet treats.

Americans eat at least 22 teaspoons of sugar a day.[i] 22! That’s about half a cup of sugar. And the thing is, most people don’t know how they can be eating that much. But the infographic below can tell you where you’re getting a good portion of your sugar intake from. 

fructose overload infographic
Sourced from 
All this sugar is leading to many serious health complications such as liver disease, periodontal disease, dental caries, Alzheimer’s/dementia, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and obesity. High blood sugar levels are also associated with aiding cancer cells to spread faster. [ii]Excessive sugar is just bad news all around.

Limiting your sugar intake has been shown to help decrease your risk for many of the above diseases. Now, we’re not saying you can never have it, but try eating only a few teaspoons instead of half a cup! Cutting out sodas, limiting alcohol, and getting rid of the baked goods are some of the easiest (unless you have a serious sweet tooth) things to eliminate. By drinking water instead of soda, you are properly hydrating your body without the added side effects of sugar and calcium-leaching phosphoric acid. Limiting the “white” food group – bread, pasta, starchy bake goods - has been correlated with better health, skin, and mental/emotional well-being.

Mostly, just learn to enjoy sugar in moderation. Apply the 80/20 rule – eat as healthy as possible 80 percent of the time so that on those 20 percent occasions, you have wiggle room to enjoy the tasty stuff.

12/12/2016 3:41:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

Christmas is the best time of the year
Packed stores, gifts galore, and tons of Christmas cheer!
Children can’t wait to meet Santa
Or try to espy his tiny eight reindeer.

But what do dentists wish at Christmas?
A puppy? A kitten? What about a hippopotamus?
Probably to be greeted with a smile
And not another grimace. 

Maybe they want something practical like floss
Your dental insurance to pay cost
How about happy patients
Or a visit from Santa Claus?

How about giving you a bright smile?
Wishing you’d floss more than once in a while
Brushing for at least two minutes
And giving you a confident profile.

Do you wonder what’s on their wish list?
A good staff, cutting edge equipment, quality dental hygienists
A vacation or two in the sun
And to send to all of you a very Merry Christmas!

11/8/2016 6:22:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

Thanksgiving is an incredible time of family, feasting, Black Friday, and football. It’s also the month we all thought the temps would drop, but it is Texas and obviously, high 80s/low 90s are the norm! November is usually a month we think about the things we are grateful or thankful for. We are all super thankful that Doc Marquis is our dentist! But on a more serious note, we are thankful for the many things we take for granted in life – basic needs – food, clean water, and a roof over our heads. Poverty today is so widespread and to the point that the system is too overburdened to help. Many organizations out there rely on donations and volunteers to help pick up the slack.
What leads to homelessness

Our local schools, grocery stores, TV and radio stations, and churches do massive drives during this month to collect food and other donations for the hungry and poverty stricken in our city. Not all of us can afford to make monetary donations, but there are other ways to help. The following is a list of things we all can do to help:
·         Donate new or gently used items
o   Winter clothing
o   Sheets, towels, pillow cases
o   First aid items
o   Hygiene items
o   Bus passes (to help with transportation to job interviews)
o   Professional clothing
·         Food
o   Non-perishable items
§  Canned goods
§  Fresh fruits and vegetables (directly to soup kitchens)
·         Volunteer
o   At local soup kitchen
o   Shelter
o   Homelessness organization
o   Habitat for Humanity
o   Veteran’s Administration Hospital

In Houston and its surrounding cities and counties, the Coalition for the Homeless is a great organization to help you get started in helping our local residents. Though homelessness is a major issue, by everyone donating a little of the time and/or money, it’s a problem that we can tackle and eradicate.  Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” So for November, let’s all come together and do great things. 

10/24/2016 6:03:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

We all think this, but actually, Halloween – or All Hallows Eve – has its roots in a long ago ancient tradition that celebrated one’s ancestors and the belief that on October 31st, their spirits would rise and walk their ancestral streets again. The peoples of that time would put food and drink (treats) out for the spirits to enjoy. They also dressed up and disguised themselves as the dead to ward off vengeful spirits and honor them. And it wasn’t just dressing up either! They also decorated turnips as lamps to scare off demons and ghouls!
Today, Halloween, is celebrated in many countries around the world. However, trick-or-treating is a very American tradition and it has spread to other countries like, France, Canada, Australia, Germany, England, and more. The French didn’t start celebrating Halloween (like we do here) until the 90s…the 1990s! And they don’t go house to house – they go store-to-store.
Here in the US, Halloween is a great time for people to dress up and have fun. You can head out with your kids and meet your neighbors. Also, you can sneak some candy from their treat bags because you’re not the only one!

Happy Halloween from all of us at Marquis Family Dentistry! 

10/10/2016 4:31:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

Ladies, it’s October and you know what that means. That means it is time to discuss your favorite October activity – MAMMOGRAMS! We’re sure that you know at a certain age or because of genetics you need to get one, but as a woman, these things to slide by as you are busy working, mothering, or both! But these check-ups are so important…why? Well, look at this infographic:

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. If it’s advanced stage when they diagnose it, only 27% will survive. That’s it. The other 73% won’t. That’s a pretty large percentage. So, why the big emphasis on those monthly breast self-exams and early detection? Because when a woman is able to detect the cancer early, she is more likely to survive. A 98% survival rate is incredible!

What can you do to lower your risks? First, do those monthly breast self-exams (BSE). Hands down, one of the most important because noticing any changes in your breasts is the key to early detection. If you are not doing these, then you need to start. If you don’t know how to do a BSE correctly, the National Breast Cancer Foundation has a wonderful tutorial on how to do these.

Now, not all lumps can be detected through a BSE. This is why mammograms our so important. Some lumps are deep where they cannot be felt. If you have very dense breast tissue, this may also make it more difficult for you to detect them during a BSE.

Another good way to lower your risk is to quit smoking, if you’re a smoker. If you like a glass of wine, go ahead, but just not a whole bottle. Eat healthy and stay active! These things are often cited in lowering your risk for just about everything, but it is the truth. You got to live a healthy lifestyle to be healthy.

Sometimes, you can live a very healthy life, but your genetics may play a larger role than your lifestyle. If you have a close family member who has had cancer or died from it, you will want to start checking early and often. Let your healthcare professional know about your family history as breast cancer is a disease that passes onto to subsequent generations. This applies to the men in your life as well! If their sister, mother, aunt, or grandmother has/had breast cancer, they need to get checked out too! Men are more likely to die from breast cancer because they don’t realize the lump they feel could be breast cancer. It’s a deadly mistake to think only women get it.

Lumps are not the only sign of something abnormal. There are some other signs and changes that may be suspicious and require a professional exam. These changes include:
  • Nipple tenderness
  • Skin changes – the skin of the breast takes on an orange peel-like texture
  • Nipple discharge
  • Swelling of the breast (usually only one)
  • Inverted nipple(s)
  • Sudden asymmetry of the breasts
  • Dimpling of the breast, nipple, or areola

If you notice any of these changes, please contact your healthcare professional immediately and get a clinical exam performed.

October is a great month to schedule your annual mammogram. With the amount of breast cancer awareness coverage, you’ll never forget to have it done! They are free under your insurance plan. They have to (by law) be part of your benefits at no cost to you. These preventive screenings save lives, so if you have insurance, you have no excuse as to why you shouldn’t get one.

If you do not have insurance, there are nonprofits that provide screening at a discount or for free. In Houston, on such place is The Rose. Early detection is the key to beating this disease until we have a cure. Check those breasts monthly, have your annual mammogram done, and remember to GO PINK for October! 

9/26/2016 4:47:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

As fall is finally here – though the temps and weather aren’t in agreement, at least here in southeast Texas – we wanted to discuss an epidemic that sweeps the country at this time of year. You’re probably thinking the flu? Or maybe the cold virus? No, it is much more serious than that. It is the “Pumpkin Everything” epidemic.
Hyperbole and a Half
Seriously, now. What happened to apples and cinnamon and cloves? Pumpkin just came out of nowhere and seemed to take over and now rules the autumnal season like Cersei grabbing the Iron Throne. How did we let this happen? Was it our love of coffee that led us down this orange colored road? And it is no longer just pumpkin spice lattes…no, no. Now everything is pumpkin flavored or pumpkin scented. From liquor to donuts to even Oreos. People, this has gotten out of hand and we need to stop pumpkin flavoring everything in sight!

You know this isn't right...
Here’s the thing, Folks, the stuff you’re eating that says it is pumpkin flavored, most assuredly does not have pumpkin in it. So, please. Put down the Pumpkin Spice Latte and back away slowly. Stop the madness from spreading!
Please! Please stop the the madness! 

9/12/2016 5:00:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

Childhood cancer is utterly devastating. You can’t beat around the bush with that. It’s the number one killer disease of children. And the sad thing is that worldwide – 700 kids are diagnosed each day. 700. Each. Day. The most staggering fact is that 250 children die each day from cancer. Putting this in perspective that means almost a third of the kids diagnosed will lose their battles. And sadly, we are no closer to understanding why kids get cancer. It’s not their environments, it’s certainly not their lifestyles. It’s a mystery that leaves so many lives shattered and broken.

Lasting Effects
For the many kids that do eventually beat this horrible disease, the side effects from the treatment have long-lasting ramifications throughout their lives. Chemotherapy messes with their growth and development. Radiation often gives rise to other cancers. Some drugs affect the heart and lungs and others reproductive organs. This means that some of these children when they reach adulthood may not be able to have children (if they so wish) because of the decreased fertility caused by these drugs.  And we cannot forget the mental and emotional toll these remedies cause. Depression, anxiety, resentment, and more will also be factors children will have to deal with as they grow.

The thing with treatment is that most of the drugs used were developed for adults and the dosages scaled back for use in children. We need more research into why cancer occurs in kids and how to either prevent it or combat it without causing the irreparable damage child patients face now. The problem with childhood cancer is that there are many subtypes. This means different cancers require different treatment protocols. All of this research is not free though and is funded mainly through grants and donations.

How You Can Help!
There are some great organizations out there raising money to fund research for a cure, support for families, and the heartbreaking joy of giving kids amazing wishes for their last days. Please consider donating to them! If you need help, here is a small list to get you started:

Another way to help raise awareness is by going gold the month of September. Twibbon has a great overlay you can add to your Twitter and Facebook profile pictures. Another way is to participate in fundraising runs and walks. If children want to get involved, there are tons of fundraising ideas they can do at school that helps them feel involved and raises awareness. Many of the organizations listed above can help you get started.

Childhood cancer devastating, but if each one of us bands together and helps raise awareness and money, we will find a cure for this horrible disease. And please, Go Gold for the month of September

8/22/2016 5:00:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

People have a lot of expectations as to how their insurance works, but in reality, these are myths that seem to make the insurance waters even muddier. The following are the four biggest myths about dental insurance.

Dental Insurance Pays for Everything
Most patients look at dental insurance as they would their medical insurance. You meet a deductible (if you have one) and then after that, everything is taken care of. Uh-uh. That is the opposite of how dental insurance works. What we can tell you is that most dental insurance companies pay for two cleanings a year as part of their preventative care. Why? Well, if you are preventing issues, they don’t have to pay for them down the road. Smart business tactic! So, instead of a deductible, dental insurance has something called an annual maximum. This means that once you’ve used up all the money that’s been set aside, you have to pay for any other procedures out of your pocket.

FUN FACT: Dental Insurance coverage and maximums have not increased since the 1970’s!

Dental Insurance Covers Every Procedure
Some procedures, like teeth whitening, will not be covered. Dental plans are meant to help with dental expenses and that may mean only partially covering some procedures or not covering them at all. Some have limitations on how many visits to the dentist you can have in a benefits year or even limits on age! Some insurance plans limit the amount of x-rays you can get!  We recommend carefully reading the fine print when choosing a dental insurance plan.

Dentists Recommend What’s Best For the Insurance Company
Insurance companies want you to believe they have your best interests at heart, but they use a lot of legalese to avoid paying for treatments or downgrading treatments. For example, you go to the dentist and he finds you have a cavity. The dentist will tell you that he needs to fill the cavity so you can keep your tooth. The dentist will fill it with a composite filling. Now, your insurance company tells you it will cover your filling 100 percent. What they don’t tell you is that they cover silver fillings 100 percent. The composite resin one the dentist will fill your cavity with? Well, you’ll have to pay the difference. The dentist uses the composite resin because of its strength and aesthetics. One of the best examples is when a crown is needed. The insurance company will cover the metal but not the porcelain. It’s these little “downgrades” that help the insurance company make a profit while denying you better treatments and services.

The Dentist Determines What’s Covered
This is quite possibly the biggest misconception out there. Your dentist has nothing to do with what your dental plan will cover. The dentist has absolutely no controlover what the insurance company pays. The insurance company and your employer’s HR department control what exactly – in very explicit legal jargon – what services they will cover and how much they’ll pay. I’m sure you’re thinking this means your employer is going to bat for you and keeping costs down, but what they are actually doing is making sure you are getting the most basic care and coverage.

Don’t let dental insurance companies fool you, they are a multinational multimillion dollar business. It’s about their profit. Call your employer’s human resources department and demand they offer you better coverage!  Be familiar with your plan.  

8/8/2016 6:42:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

Can you believe it’s already August? Neither can we! But we do know that it’s time for you parents out there to start thinking about getting the kids ready to head back to school. A lot of you probably took advantage of tax-free weekend and picked up new clothes, shoes, backpacks, lunchboxes, and other school supplies on your “Back-to-School” checklists. However, most parents don’t have dental check-up on their lists. We know adding one more item can seem overwhelming, but here are a few tips to make your child’s dental visit a great experience.

Pick the Right Time
Kids are creatures of habit, especially younger kids that still nap. Make sure to schedule their appointment at the right time of day. If your child naps at ten in the morning, that wouldn’t be the right time. If your child is older and enjoying summer day camps, then try to schedule it a couple of hours after camp ends, so they have time to unwind and fuel up after a busy day of activity.

Feed the Wee Beasties
Hungry kids are hangry kids. They’re grumpy, mean, and genuinely not the best patient at that time. Making sure the kids have eaten at least 45-60 minutes before their appointment is a good idea. Feeding them in the waiting room? Not. A nice tip is to make sure the kids have brushed before they come in. The dentist will thank you! 

Be Cool
If you have dental anxiety, your kids will pick up on that. Be positive in all your interactions and conversations with the dentist and about the dentist. Encourage your child to ask the dentist about procedures and have them explain it. This way, you are not passing on your own anxiety.

If your child is not cooperating, step back and let the dentist and his assistants handle the situation. Swooping in and taking the child out of the dental chair will cause a lot of repercussions as they get older as they will always have problems with check-ups. Let the dentist help your child through whatever is going on and turn the experience into a positive one.

Remember that dental health is a good indicator of overall health. Keeping your child’s teeth and mouth healthy and in great working order will help them be happier and healthier adults.  Call your dentist now to book that back-to-school check-up. 

7/25/2016 5:00:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

Did you know that the health of your teeth dictate the type of dental cleaning you receive? Yuppers. It starts like this…

You notice one day while doing your daily flossing (Daily? Insert laughter here) that you have some bleeding and maybe a one or two teeth are a little loose. You’re somewhat concerned because you are a grown adult who lost the baby teeth many moons ago. You head to the dentist for your biannual check-up and cleaning. They tell you that you have periodontitis. You insist this is impossible because you floss. Every. Single. Day. What your dentist knows is this…

Here’s the real issue — that periodontitis you have is completely and utterly preventable with proper dental hygiene. And when we say proper dental hygiene, it needs to be on point. Razor sharp point. And yes, completely preventable if you floss and brush daily.

Because your mouth is now hosting the party to end all parties for millions of bacterial colonies, the hygienist cannot do the deep cleaning your teeth would normally get. If he/she did, they would loosen the colonies which would find their way into your bloodstream causing even more harm. Periodontitis affects more than just your mouth, it affects your entire body. It has been linked to heart disease, COPD, diabetes, and inflammatory diseases. It also gives you some horrible bad breath!

If you have periodontitis, there is a regimen you have to follow to get the infection under control before any deep cleaning can take place. And you will be amazed how much better you feel when you get rid of those bacterial colonies out of your mouth. Most people are astounded by the changes in their overall health. As we have mentioned before, your mouth is more than just a gateway for nutrition (or the imbibing of the magical coffee bean), its health is an indicator of what’s going on in your whole body. If you have dental insurance, use it for your covered biannual cleanings to keep both your mouth and health in peak condition. 

7/11/2016 6:23:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

With the heat of summer already here and many of us spending time outdoors, a lot of people turn to sports drinks as a way to keep hydrated and refreshed while enjoying outdoor activities. However, those sports drinks are not as healthy as many people believe, especially when it comes to your teeth and gums.
Sports drinks have their place, but a large percentage of people use them as a replacement for soda thinking they are healthier. But that misguided belief is putting them at a higher risk for cavities, tooth decay, and irreversible damage. Why? Two big reasons: the first one, they are loaded with sugar. Like a ton! One popular brand contains 21 grams of sugar per twelve ounce serving. That’s just over five teaspoons. And the thing is, no one drinks just twelve ounces, they drink anywhere from 32 to 64 or even more! The average American easily consumes over 30 teaspoons of sugar a day. This is worrying not just for your dental health, but overall health in general. Consumption of added sugars in foods and drinks, like sports beverages, are leading to many hidden periodontal dangers.
The second reason sports drinks are problematic is the acidity. The acids in these beverages will over time wear down the enamel causing them to discolor, become overly sensitive, and prone to being easily invaded by bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. The eroded enamel is also weakened structurally leading to cracks, unevenness, splitting, and even loss. This damage is permanent. You cannot restore enamel. If enamel is damaged so severely, treatment options can include crowns or bonding. The better choice is to practice a few preventative measures.
Some things you can do if you consume any sort of sweetened beverage:
  • Use a straw or consume the entire beverage in one sitting.
  • Alternate sports drink with water to help neutralize the sugar and acid.
  • Rinse your mouth out with water after consumption
  • Chew sugar-free gum after drinking
  • And if possible, wait 30 minutes and then brush your teeth. Don’t brush immediately after drinking because you can cause even more damage to the dentin beneath the enamel.

These tips are good practice for consumption of any beverage other than water and can be taught to young children as well. As usual, if you notice any changes in your mouth or teeth, contact your dentist immediately. Dental issues are usually easy to prevent, but costly to repair. 

6/27/2016 6:12:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

Back in the dark ages of dentistry and dental practices, wisdom teeth, or our third molars, were viewed as strange leftovers of our ancestral past that serve no function or purpose that we know of – much like an appendix or the arrector pili muscles in the skin. Well, they are still viewed that way, but their treatment protocols have changed significantly over the past couple of decades.
Believe it or not, some people never develop wisdom teeth, but of the other 65% that do develop them, about 75-85% of them could face extraction because of misalignment or impacting (blocked).[i] If the teeth only partially erupt, food and microbes can become trapped in the surrounding gum tissue and lead to serious infection. Because of this, in eras gone by, dentists would remove wisdom teeth in the belief of “better to be safe than sorry.”
Many oral surgeons will refer to studies citing that if third molars are left in, cysts and tumors, as well as inflammation, infection, and even periodontal disease will develop. However, the possibility of these risks are only a 2.7% chance. The ideology of prophylactic wisdom teeth extraction has changed vastly now. Britain’s own National Health Service stopped paying for this routine procedure back in the 90s, saying there was no solid evidence to support the practice. And today, dentists in the US even argue against this once standard practice. Some are arguing that keeping the teeth may provide extra backup teeth in case you need a replacement. So, how can you know when you need your wisdom teeth removed?
Well, if the teeth are healthy and there are no other periodontal issues, cysts, tumors, pain, or infection, then your dentist will recommend keeping an eye on them and making sure your oral hygiene is 100% on point. If you are experiencing multiple issues associated with your wisdom teeth, you may need to look at treatment options and possible extraction. The best advice is to talk things out with your dentist and find out what your options are. Remember, you and your dentist are team and by spearheading issues early, your teeth will lead a healthy, happy, and productive existence.

6/13/2016 7:14:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

Why You Shouldn’t Do At-Home DIY Teeth Whitening…

Bright, white teeth signal health, vitality, youth, and offer an allure to everyone. (Combine that with a razor sharp smile, and you have definitely got it going on!) Yellowed or stained teeth can certainly age you and make you self-conscious about your smile.

Tooth staining is natural over time. Coffee, tea, red wine, all lead to staining, as well as smoking. Aging naturally discolors teeth because as we age, our enamel thins letting the underlying dentin show through. This dentin is naturally a yellow color. Because of these factors, many people turn to at-home teeth whitening kits. For some, it is because they find it a cheaper option. Others like the convenience. However, what you don’t know is the damage you are causing your teeth with every use.

So, what issues are there when you use these DIY kits? It depends on the kit. Some kits use hydrogen peroxide, others use an abrasive gel with sand in it to polish the stains away. Both can cause damage to the gums. Other risks include the psychological danger of addiction as many people cannot stop using the kits. Hydrogen peroxide kits bleach the stains without actually removing the underlying particles. After a few days, the stains have returned, and you are using the kit again and further damaging your enamel and gums. Also, if you swallow any of the gel, you can seriously burn the linings in your esophagus, stomach, and intestines. If you use a more abrasive kit, you can actually wear the enamel away completely. Either way, the damage can become irreversible with excessive use.

This leads to understanding why you should always have your dentist whiten your teeth. First, professional solutions are stronger than the DIY kits you use. Secondly, they can spot any issues with tooth or gum sensitivity and can address them. You’ll still get your teeth whitened, but you won’t aggravate those areas. And lastly, your dentist (or dental hygienist – like the awesomely talented Melissa Cardenas!) will clean your teeth and remove the bacteria, food, and other particles that contribute to the staining. Professional in-office whitening means even coloring on your teeth (not the patchiness that can occur with DIY kits) and better care compared to at-home teeth whitening.

If you’re curious about this procedure, give us a call. We will assess your teeth and help you achieve that bright, white smile in no time at all! Call us at 281-656-2200 now to book your next tooth whitening procedure! 

6/1/2016 8:47:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

We would like to talk to you about something that is quite taboo, but very necessary. We are all adults here, so no giggling! If you follow our Facebook, page, we posted a couple of pieces on sexually transmitted infections, or STIs as the kids say today. Why does your dentist want to discuss this? Well, it is because it finally needs doing. Some of it is because they have to go poking around in your mouth and they deserve a heads' up if you have something. The other reason is that extra precautions need to be taken if you have one to make sure your STI is not transmitted to your dentist, the hygienist, or other staff that may have to come into contact with the infected areas. 

So, we are sure you know how STIs are spread, but we are going to focus on a big mode of transmission that are a big concern for dentists – the mouth. Some STIs do not present symptoms until something triggers it, like stress, illness, etc. Sometimes, sores develop which may be painless of not. Lesions, like cold sores and fever blisters, as well as a sore throat with painful swallowing and discharge can also be present. Many STIs can be passed through the act of oral sex, like mononucleosis, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and herpes. Sometimes, your partner may be asymptomatic (not showing symptoms, like open sores or pus), but they can still pass on disease.

Your dentist can help you with these concerns if you are honest with him or her. They can help diagnose and prescribe treatment for the affected area while also helping you prevent further transmission of the disease. One of the best things you can use is a dental dam. It’s the thing the dentist uses when they wish to isolate a tooth. In oral sex, it helps prevent contact between the mouth and genitals. They can be purchased online, in certain specialty stores, or at your local pharmacy.

Remember to always practice safe sex no matter what form it may take and always get tested regularly if you are not in a monogamous relationship. Be open about talking to your dental and healthcare providers about any issues or concerns you may have. One of the surest ways to stop a disease from infecting another person is to stop it in its tracks by not letting it infect them in the first place. Be a responsible partner and always practice excellent hygiene – from your mouth and down south. 

5/9/2016 4:30:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

A little while ago, we wroteabout how the bacteria in your mouth can affect your mental health. Researchers have found links between periodontal disease and neurodegeneration. But, your mouth can also give intricate details about your emotional state as well. Did you know a dentist can tell you are stressed out?

Your dentist is amazing! We naturally agree with this statement…but it is oh so true! They can predict other health problems just by what they see in your mouth. A dentist can tell you are stressed out by three major signs – TMJ/TMD, canker sores, and bruxism (grinding your teeth, clenching your jaw). However, stress can cause even more issues. Scientific studies are starting to find links between stress and dental cavities and periodontal disease. How can stress cause cavities? It comes down to the effects of stress on the body’s different systems, especially the immune system.

Researchers, Michele Reners and Michel Brecx, found that when stress weakened the immune system, an imbalance was created “between the host and its parasites resulting in periodontal breakdown.”[1]They also found that under stress, saliva production is decreased causing increases in dental plaque. Your saliva is one of the biomechanical ways your body rids itself of dental microorganisms. The saliva washes the microbes into the stomach where the highly acidic environment kills them and then excretes them.

The researchers also found that emotional states such as depression and anxiety can create an imbalance. For people feeling depressed and socially isolated, more aggressive forms of periodontitis was found. Of course, anxiety and depression can lead to other behaviors such as excessive alcohol consumption and smoking which can in turn lead to periodontal issues.

At Tufts University, an ongoing study is also investigating the relationship between stress and periodontal disease.[2]They have found that chronic stress leads to elevated levels of cortisol in the blood. The high levels of cortisol cause widespread inflammation. In the gums, this inflammation is the beginning stages of gum disease.

Most dentists know that stress can also lead to people lapsing on their daily dental hygiene and this can lead to progressive gum disease issues. Dentists are starting to look at more than whether you brush and floss twice daily. They are taking a more holistic approach to their patients in order to help them keep their beautiful smiles for years to come.

[1]Int J Dent Hygiene 5, 2007; 199–204 Reners M, Brecx M. Stress and periodontal disease.
[2]Sourced from

4/25/2016 11:04:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

Mother’s Day is almost upon us. In case you have forgotten, this year it is May 8th. That’s a Sunday which is now less than two weeks away! Mothers everywhere should be celebrated and the ground they walk upon worshipped. Do you know what mothers have to put up with? Recently, there was a Tumblr postabout the six types of suburban mom stereotypes you are. A YouTube video also was posted about the different types of moms you meet. These are funny! Why? Because there is a fair amount of truth in them. There is a lot that people don’t tell you about motherhood. Here are the top 7 things that every mother should know.

#1: You Will Learn to Deal with Bodily Fluids
Seriously. No one tells you how much urine, poop, vomit, and other stuff you will have to clean up. Sometimes, you might be covered in them. That is not a joke. Kids are disease vectors and you will have all of that all over you. As a new mom, you will know what the color of your baby’s poop and its degree of solidness means. If you are a mom to a boy, well, learn to cover certain areas with a diaper or you will be sprayed. When your child(ren) are sick, you will be both nurse and maid. Bodily fluids is a part of motherhood. BTW, when your children are sick, nine times out of ten your partner is sick too. Moms are superhuman because no matter how sick they may be, nothing stops them from still mothering.

#2: There Will Always be ThatMom
The biggest thing no one tells you about motherhood is that everyone has an opinion. It starts out when you’re pregnant with everyone giving you advice. That advice doesn’t stop when your kid is born. It turns into backhanded compliments and criticisms. Look, there is always that mom in your circle that breastfeeds until the kid is three, only used cloth diapers, and prepared their kid’s food homemade. They will tell you the best way to raise your kid and keep them away from pesticides, vaccinations, and whatever “cause du jour” they are crusading. So, what! Don’t feel bad if your kid’s first words were her favorite Happy Meal order. Don’t try to be this idealize image you had of what you would be like as a mom. Throw that crap out your mental window and embrace the messiness that is motherhood. This is an awesome journey and not only did you grow a human being inside you, you are now raising the next generation. Worry more that your kid is a nice person rather than if they can spell quinoa – let alone eat it!

#3: Motherhood is Messy
See #1! Toys, dirt, and food stains. These will become the backdrop to your life. Prepare to always have a messy house and life. Heck, if you can grab a shower daily, then be impressed with yourself. There are days where you can’t wait until they are all school aged and you have five minutes to yourself. Your house will never be as clean as it was pre-kids. Dinnertime will become a power struggle. Your life will be messy. You will forget things – even your kids at some point – because motherhood kills your brain cells. No lie.

#4: You Will Always Have an Audience
Those five minutes of peace in #3…those don’t come too often at first. You’re lucky if you can have five seconds in the bathroom before the horde comes in and needs something. Always realize that you will never have a moment of privacy. Getting dressed, showering…you will always be entertaining others while doing these things. Get over your modesty now. You kids will point out your weaknesses quickly. If you have especially devious ones, they will know how to use that to their advantage! What’s that saying – there are three things that never lie—alcohol, leggings, and kids. That is the truth!

#5: Don’t Be THAT Mom
Perfect Mom? She’s a myth. She doesn’t exist. You are perfect in all your glorious imperfection. Don’t be that mom that throws shade on others. Every other mom out there is struggling and floundering her way through this thing called motherhood. You know why? Because everyone is unique and their kids are unique. No two kids are alike – even identical twins have personality differences. If you see a mom having a hard time, don’t judge her and talk about her to your friends. Help her out. You don’t know what she might be going through. If you are that mom, remember that every other mom knows what you’re going through.

#6: Mom Friends are Awesome
If you have a circle of mom friends, you are one lucky person! These are the ladies that will help you at the drop of a hat. If something comes up, they’ll pick your kids up from school and watch them until you can get them – even if you call them while they’re in the pick-up line. And you know what, you will do the same. When they say it takes a village to raise a kid, they aren’t kidding. Your mommy friends will be the people who help you as your kids are getting older. You will always have friends who have older and younger kids than your own. This is because you need the wisdom of one and be the guidance for the other. Your mommy friends will also know why you need a bottle of wine after staying up all night helping Billy get his diorama ready (the one that he just told you was due tomorrow).

#7: Being Called Mom
There is no better feeling than when your child throws his arms around you and says he loves you. When she calls you mom or mommy, there is a little flutter in your heart. There is something to be said about the bond between a child and their mother. You are the person he will turn to when the world is falling apart (because little Bobby didn’t want to sit next to him at lunch). When her heart is broken for the first time, it’ll be your shoulder she cries on. You’ll be the first person he tells when he realizes he’s found that special person to spend his life with (hopefully at age 35 – says all moms of boys!) Being a mom is not something that stops when they grow up. You are a mom for life.

So for Mother’s Day, celebrate how awesome you are and make sure everyone else does too! Motherhood is hard work and this day is a nice way of saying thank you for all that you do to keep your families happy and healthy. If your family was smart, they would know that every day is Mother’s Day and you should be worshipped at all times! 

4/4/2016 7:33:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

Almost everyone has heard that your dental health is also tied to the health of you heart. But did you know that your dental health can also affect your mental health? Crazy as it may seem, but researchers are finding links between chronic periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s disease.[1]The culprit? Porphyromonas gingivalis, the prevalent microbe that causes gum disease.

It is not just people with Alzheimer’s disease that are impacted by Porphyromonas gingivalis. Researchers at NYU found that gum inflammation may contribute to inflammation of the brain which then can lead to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Dr. Kamer's study, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Douglas E. Morse, Associate Professor of Epidemiology & Health Promotion at NYU College of Dentistry, and a team of researchers in Denmark, builds upon a 2008 study by Dr. Kamer which found that subjects with Alzheimer's disease had a significantly higher level of antibodies and inflammatory molecules associated with periodontal disease in their plasma compared to healthy people.[2]

The study suggests that even people with normal cognitive health are at an increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases if the presence of periodontal inflammation is present.

Why is this a concern? Well, for starters, what if we could halt a significant portion of this disease’s sufferers by practicing good oral hygiene? Crazy sounding, yes…but several studies have proven there is a correlation between the microbe and several diseases including heart disease, kidney disorders, stroke, diabetes, and even complications in pregnancy. There are even links between Porphyromonas gingivalis and depression and anxiety disorders. For such a small organism, it sure can wreak havoc upon a person’s system.

What does this mean for you? First, seriously consider setting up an exemplary oral hygiene routine. Second, start seeing your dentist at least biannually. If you are found to have periodontal disease, you may need to see your dentist and hygienist more than twice a year (depending on severity, treatment plans can include every one, two, or three months) to treat the issue. And lastly, do not wait until the problem is so severe that your teeth are hanging by a thread. Loosing teeth presents even more issues that can impact you later in life.

[1] "Determining the presence of periodontopathic virulence factors in short-term postmortem Alzheimer’s disease brain tissue," Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2013
[2]“Link Between Gum Inflammation and Alzheimer’s Disease Supported by New Evidence from NYUCD,” Medical News Today, 2010.

3/28/2016 10:42:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

Everyone wants to save money, especially at the dentist. You have dental insurance, but it seems like it just doesn’t cover much. What can you do to keep dental costs down? The following four tips can help you save money at your next visit.

#1 – Maintenance is the name of the game
Dental insurance rewards healthy mouths. This is the truth. You need to read exactly what is covered and what is not. Usually procedures and items like cleanings and x-rays are covered, but things like crowns, dentures, extractions, etc. are not. You may pay a part of the cost or all of it. So, in light of this, your best bet is to read over the very boring documentation and don’t skip check-ups!

#2 – Know which dentist is in and which is not
Staying “in-network” is probably one of the biggest cost savings there is. Why? Well, “in-network” dentists and your insurance company have agreements in place in regards to an itemized fee schedule. Covered services can see a reduction of 10-35% off regular fees when your dentist is “in-network.”[1]

#3 – Know your maximum
Dental insurance is not like health insurance where you meet your deductible and then procedures are covered except for the co-pay. When a dental company says maximum benefits, it is the total amount they will pay out on your behalf every year. When you receive your EOB (Explanation of Benefits) after each visit, take note of how much they have paid out. If an emergency procedure comes up, you will know how much you may have to pay out of pocket.

#4 – Plan treatments out
Dental treatments are not always on shot deals. They may require several visits (like crowns, bridges, implants) to complete. Planning out treatments to where the annual maximum benefit renews itself can help save you tons on out of pocket expenses. Remember, your annual maximum benefit does not carry over, so unused portions are wasted.

Saving money at the dentist requires a little effort on your part, but the reward is worth it. And always remember to brush and floss twice a day to keep dental disasters at bay.

Dr. Jorge Marquis, the Katy Cosmetic and Sedation Dentist, is dedicated to delivering state-of -the- art dental treatment with the personal long term care and compassion his patients deserve. Through the years Dr. Marquis has built his practice into an ultra-high tech, state of the art office where he can offer his patients the best possible dental care in a very relaxing atmosphere.


3/7/2016 9:50:00 AM | Jorge Marquis

In honor of March being National Happiness Month, we wanted to write a post about why happiness is simple to achieve, yet so elusive for us all, and some tips to actually help you find what makes you happy.

Though happiness can’t be bought, we sure do try! Not in a bad way, there are things we love doing which involves purchasing items for. If you love cycling, you can’t cycle without a bike, right? You can try, but you’d probably look like something out of a Monty Python sketch! Happiness is such a business that the pharmaceutical companies are thriving from the multibillion dollar sales from their anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications. But why is happiness so hard to find? Well, it depends on how you define happiness.

What does defining happiness mean? Is happiness merely the side effect of having a great day? Is it the absence of negativity or negative people in your life? Is it buying that new special thing you’ve had your eye on for a while? What is happiness to you? The thing with happiness is that you can be happy overall, but still have a bad day, deal with a horrible co-worker or boss, or even get read-ended on your way to the store to buy that special item you’ve been saving up for.

For thousands of years, people have tried to define happiness. In ancient Greece, they thought happiness is meeting your potential. Benedictine monks think happiness is tied directly with gratitude – being thankful for you have and not reflecting on what you lack. Michael J. Fox thinks happiness is acceptance for what is. So, depending on how you view happiness can define how you go about achieving happiness.

There are some common tips floating around on the internet about how to find happiness. The top five tips are:
·         Embrace challenges
o   Don’t be negative about them. Look at every challenge as an opportunity to grow.
o   Failure happens. When you fail, you are creating opportunities to learn from your mistakes and keep from repeating them.
·         Don’t be so serious!
o   Do you have a hard time letting go? Realize that life is meant to be lived, not obsessed over.
·         Be thankful
o   Gratitude for the people in your life, for the things you currently, have, and for the characteristics that make you, You really do bring true happiness. When you let go of worrying over your flaws and your lack of possessions, you are able to let go of negative perceptions that are holding you back.
·         Live in the now, not in the past, nor in the future.
o   The past is long gone, so worrying over what has already happened. Equally obsessing over the future is not going to help your mental state either. Accepting that the only thing you can control is what you are doing at this very moment is liberating. Remember, the only constant in life is change. Celebrate that every second you live is an opportunity to be happy and to grow.
·         Choose to be healthy
o   This isn’t a diatribe about why you should start exercising, Just a reminder that getting enough sleep, laugh more, and exercise more are all ways to be healthy mentally, emotionally, and physically. Exercise releases endorphins – your happy hormones – that elevate your mood and make your day seem a little brighter not matter what is going on around you. It also helps you deal with stress better.

One thing to mention is making your Happy Bucket List. Sounds corny, but hear us out. Think about the little things you can do every day that make you happy and write these down. Then think about the big things that make you happy and write those down. Start with the little things and make them a part of your routine before moving on to big things on your list to accomplish. Happiness is a very personal endeavor, but knowing you are not the only one out there trying to achieve it makes the journey just a little bit less lonely. 


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