Energy Drinks and Your Teeth

As many health enthusiasts will tell you, water is the best fluid to drink. But some people who pump iron, run, cycle, or include other rigorous activities in their daily lifestyle fuel their activities with ample amounts of energy drinks. Over the past 20 years, these colorful beverages have gained tremendous popularity with athletes and people who need a midday pick-me-up.

The good news for teens and adults who drink products like Monster, Red Bull, Rockstar, and others is there are plenty of options. The bad news is they are unhealthy for you and your teeth.

Why Energy Drinks Are Unhealthy

The components that put the oomph in these beverages are various stimulants, including high amounts of caffeine, leading to increased alertness and attentiveness.

Unfortunately, these stimulants also jack up your heart rate and increase your blood pressure. There have been instances where young teens have essentially overdosed on energy drinks, bringing on a cardiac event.

In addition, energy drinks disrupt healthy sleep patterns, which may make people struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep all night after drinking these beverages day after day.

Energy Drinks, Enamel Damage, Tooth Decay

The acidic pH in energy drinks is so stout it can increasingly erode tooth enamel, the protective layer that keeps your teeth shielded from dangerous bacteria. This problem may cause dental issues like tooth sensitivity or root damage.

Energy drinks may also contribute to tooth decay and cavities. The consequences can be severe because it’s impossible to replace lost enamel.

Sports Drinks, Energy Drinks, and Oral Health

Sports and energy drinks are similar to sodas in affecting your teeth. Both beverage types have a high sugar content and extremely acidic pH.

Sugar attracts bacteria, which go into overdrive when introduced to your mouth. And the byproduct of sugar is acid. When this acid contacts tooth enamel for extended periods, it weakens teeth.

All energy drinks, even those with limited sugar content, have an extremely low pH. Their high acidity can increase your risk of tooth decay and cavities with regular consumption.

Why Are Natural Energy Drinks a Better Alternative?

If you enjoy consuming energy drinks, you should consider healthier alternatives to protect your oral health.

Green Smoothies and Juices

Make green juices using kale, parsley, and spinach. They are natural sources of vitamin B that aid your body’s performance.

Green Tea

Green tea naturally contains trace amounts of caffeine. Green tea also has health benefits and can help lower your risk of cancer and heart disease, while improving your performance and mental clarity.


Water is the most effective energy drink. However, your metabolic reactions slow down when you’re dehydrated, resulting in lower energy levels. Spice up your glass of water by adding lemon, lime, cucumber, strawberries, or blueberries.

Caring for Your Oral Health in Austin

Addressing your dental concerns before they become significant problems is the top priority at Hill Country Oral Surgery. To learn more about oral health and brilliant white teeth, schedule a dental assessment by calling us at (512) 327-7233 or contact us online.

Do You Need a Referral to See an Oral Surgeon?

Are you looking for an oral surgeon in Austin? Do you wonder if you can schedule a consultation directly with the specialist? Well, the answer depends on the type of dental treatment you need, the practice policies, and the insurance regulations.

Do I Need to See an Oral Surgeon?

Oral surgeons are dentists who are specialized in the field of oral surgery, which can be defined as any surgical procedure performed in the area of the jaws and oral cavity. Technically known as OMS (Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons), they can carry out multiple treatments that can be too complex for a general or family dentist.

You might need to see an oral surgeon for any of the following procedures:

Will We Ask You for a Referral?

This will depend pretty much on the type of procedure you need. If you are coming to the office referred by another professional, our front-desk team will ask you for the referral form and any other complementary information you might have from the previous practice, including x-rays, scans, or any other test.

If you are coming to our practice following a recommendation of family or friends, or you just found our service online, we advise you to contact our office. We will evaluate your case and determine which steps you need to follow to get the best dental attention at Austin Oral Surgery.

Does My Dental Insurance Require a Referral for Oral Surgery?

While we might not ask you for a referral to consult one of our specialists, many insurance companies don’t allow patients to book an appointment with an oral surgeon without visiting a general dentist first.

So, if you want your insurance to cover the cost of the consultation and the posterior treatment, you need to check their policy and make sure you follow their instructions.

Our receptionist can offer you some guidance regarding insurance policies, but you can also contact your provider to find out what you need to do to schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon.

We advise all patients to follow these steps if they want to be seen by one of our specialists:

  • Review your insurance policy to check if a referral is needed.
  • Get in contact with the insurance provider if you have any doubts.
  • Contact our office with any questions and ask if a referral is required in your particular case.
  • If you need a referral, contact your general dentist or physician to obtain it.
  • Schedule the consultation/first visit.

Interested in learning more? Contact Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin, TX today!

How to Avoid Coffee and Tea Stains on Your Teeth

Are you tired of seeing those dark stains in your front teeth every time you look in the mirror? Well, you’re not the only one. Most people that drink tea and coffee very often have the same problem. Besides being absolutely necessary for your daily routine, these beverages have the downside of producing those brown stains on your teeth.

Luckily, some tips can help you prevent this inconvenience. Read this blog to find out what you can do about tooth stains!

Why Do Teeth Get Stained When Drinking Tea and Coffee?

It is essential to understand how they are produced to prevent these stains. While tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body, enduring biting and chewing pressures, it does have microscopic pores. When you drink tea or coffee, the tannins (a dark pigment present in the brew) seep into those pores, leaving dark stains behind. In addition, these drinks—and coffee in particular—are acidic, which means that they can also wear the enamel away, leading to more staining over time.

How Can I Prevent Coffee and Tea Stains?

Below, we list a few tips and recommendations to avoid these annoying dark stains:

  • Use a straw: drinking through a straw reduces the exposure of your “social six” (the six front teeth) to the tannins that cause the staining, as the tea and coffee go straight down your throat. It might be a bit awkward at first, but you will keep your smile bright for a long time if you get used to it.
  • Drink loads of water: as mentioned before, the enamel is porous, and tannins can get stuck inside those microscopic pores. Drinking water washes away any remaining staining agents that might have been trapped inside the enamel.
  • Mix beverages with milk or cream: mixing tea and coffee with dairies has two advantages. In the first place, it lightens the color of the beverages. Secondly, the proteins present in the dairies attaches to the tannins, avoiding their interaction with teeth enamel.
  • Brush teeth shortly after tea or coffee: ideally, patients should brush their teeth 30 minutes after drinking any of these beverages. It’s not recommended to do it immediately after, as the drinks are acidic and can affect the enamel. Still, it’s advisable to do it soon enough to remove the tannins adhered to the teeth surface when it is still possible.
  • Keep good oral hygiene: tannins are more likely to stick to teeth with dental plaque or tartar, so having a conscious brushing and flossing routine is vital to protect your pearly whites.
  • Use whitening toothpaste: whitening toothpaste doesn’t do miracles, but it can help you avoid or at least control tooth staining. This kind of product is sold over the counter, so you can easily incorporate it into your daily routine for a reasonable price.

Still Worried About Tooth Stains?

Contact our oral surgery office in Austin, TX, and schedule a consultation with one of our dentists at Hill Country Oral Surgery. They will answer all your questions and offer you different treatment alternatives to get rid of those stains!

Types of Dental Implants: How to Choose the Best One for You










Men and women with missing teeth face multiple problems, including low confidence, insecurity, refraining from smiling, and a failure to interact with others. And losing teeth can cause difficulty with chewing, proper eating habits, and proper digestion of the foods you eat.

If you have one or more teeth missing, chances are high your dentist or oral surgeon will suggest some form of dental implants. Here is some information about dental implants to familiarize yourself with the topic before your dental assessment.

Understanding a Dental Implant

Before choosing the right implant, you need to have a working knowledge of the different types. A dental implant replaces broken or lost teeth, serving as an artificial tooth to help give you a full complement of teeth and support your gums and jawbone. If you’ve been missing vital teeth for chewing or speaking clearly, you probably need a dental implant.

Modern advancements allow replacing a single tooth or multiple teeth for the restoration process. And the best news about these devices is that they’ll last a lifetime when properly cared for.

Different Dental Implant Types

There are primarily two types of dental implants to choose from to replace single and multiple teeth:

Titanium Dental Implant

Titanium dental implants are the most common type of dental currently used.  They have a long track history of success.  Currently, they are the most versatile solution for restoring teeth as well.  Their metal substructures and components allow for restoration of many challenging cases.

Zirconia Dental Implants

Zirconia dental implants are a younger technology, but have been recently approved by the FDA for use in the US.  Zirconia is a ceramometal, and so does have some of the unfortunate characteristics of ceramics such as brittleness.  This characteristic limits the situations for which these implants can be used.  In general, straightforward single tooth restorations can be treated with Zirconia implants.  The proponents of zirconia state that they are more inert structures, and thus are less likely to elicit an allergic or inflammatory reaction.  Zirconia implants to have the benefit of being white like teeth as well.

How to Choose the Best Dental Implant Procedure for Yourself

1. For a Single Tooth

A single tooth replacement requires one post and one crown. First, your oral surgeon installs the post into your jawbone. The entire process is painless, but may take up to four months to hold the crown. Then, your dentist will connect the crown to restore your tooth structure.

2. Implant-Supported Bridge for Multiple Teeth

For multiple lost teeth, an implant-supported bridge is the best option. Here, a bridge of crowns will connect in a series of dental implants.

But if your mouth has more significant gaps between stable teeth, you may need the next option.

3. Implant-Retained Denture for All Teeth

If you want fixed, permanent dentures, this is your best option.

Modern oral surgery has made it possible for customized dentures to fit the unique shape of your jaw and gums, and these dentures can be connected to the jaw with many different types of dental implant options.   The tailored design will fit your precise aesthetics. If you wear removable dentures, this is a permanent solution.

Do You Need Dental Implants?

If missing teeth are affecting your quality of life, schedule a consultation for your dental implant today to determine your best choices for tooth replacement. During a consultation, patients meet with their Hill Country Oral Surgeon to discuss options in more detail. In addition, patients can ask questions about cosmetic goals and view before-and-after photos of similar procedures.

Should I Use Mouthwash?

For many people, a good oral hygiene routine usually includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash.  However, mouthwashes have been the subject of quite a bit of controversy, and the jury may still be out on whether they should be part of your morning routine. So, what do dentists and oral surgeons have to say about it? Let’s find out.

Do Oral Surgeons Recommend Mouthwash?

The answer is not that simple, and it turns out that it depends on factors including age, the reason for mouthwash, and what type you use. Let’s look at each of these individually.


Children under the age of six should not use mouthwash, ever. Especially if the mouthwash contains alcohol. They are more likely to swallow the rinse or mouthwash, which could prove harmful to their overall health.

Type of Mouthwash

There are five different kinds of mouthwashes:

  • Desensitizing wash
  • Cosmetic wash
  • Anti-plaque wash
  • Fluoride rinse
  • Teeth whitening wash

These different types of rinses are designed to solve specific dental concerns. Your oral surgeon or dentist at Hill Country Oral Surgery may recommend one of these products or offer other options for a better solution. For example, if you wish to whiten your teeth, teeth whitening rinses can reduce some dental stains over time. However, in-office dental bleaching is much faster and more effective.

Suppose you experience bad breath and want a cosmetic wash. In that case, a dental professional may recommend treating the root of the problem. Also, your dentist may advise a homemade saltwater rinse to treat the problem of canker sores or mouth ulcers.

Your Needs

If you have cavities or a high risk of gum diseases, your dental professional may recommend an antibacterial mouth rinse. Fluoride rinses help ward off tooth decay. Dentists advise pregnant women to employ an antibacterial or anti-plaque rinse to reduce the risk of early labor.

Never confuse oral rinses with proper dental care. Although a cosmetic rinse may have your mouth feeling fresh and clean, it does not fight bacteria which causes bad breath. Always ask your dentist or oral surgeon which mouthwash is best suited for you.

When Should You Use Mouthwash?

Using mouthwash does not always have a large impact on your oral health. But here are some critical reasons your oral surgeon may recommend one:

  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Cavities
  • Bacterial decay
  • Periodontitis


Nobody knows your teeth better than your oral surgeon or dentist at Hill Country Oral Surgery. If you want to start using mouthwash, it is better to ask them first. Oral hygiene is most affected by brushing, flossing, and periodic cleanings and checkups.

Need More Information?

Call our Austin oral surgery office at 512-327-7233 to request a consultation.

Dental Implants or Dentures?

You may think tooth decay or missing teeth are only a cosmetic problem. But ignoring dental issues can lead to several health concerns, too. Around 120 million American citizens have lost one tooth or more.

Losing a tooth does not affect your oral functions alone. It influences the jawbone, the foundation for your teeth. Your teeth support the jaw and keep it together. But after tooth loss, the jawbone begins to weaken, deteriorate, and atrophy. Yes, even one missing tooth can affect the jawbone as it reabsorbs and makes your cheeks look hollow.

So, if you have suffered tooth loss, you may be wondering: Do I replace them with dental implants or dentures? Keep reading to learn more information about tooth replacement and which option is better for you.


These dental prosthetics will protect the soft and firm parts of your gums. There are two kinds of dentures: partial and complete.

Complete dentures are more appropriate if you have several teeth missing. Partial dentures or traditional dental implants are better when several of your natural teeth are still in place. You can remove dentures at night or for cleaning. Implants remain in place permanently.

Advantages of Dentures


  • Customized for your jaw
  • Natural-looking
  • High-quality material
  • Allow you to chew and speak normally

Dental Implants

An excellent alternative to dentures is dental implants. In the past few decades, they have become the gold standard of tooth replacement. Unlike dentures, dental implants are surgically implants. They secure your jaw in the same way as natural teeth. It will take time for the area to heal. Your options include:

  • Permanent denture (partial or complete)
  • Bridge (helps with multiple teeth)
  • Dental crowns

Dental implants look natural. Nobody will guess you had lost any teeth.

Advantages of Dental Implants


  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Look natural and beautiful
  • Help you eat and speak normally
  • Restore the jawbone
  • Promote gum health
  • They consist of a safe, biocompatible titanium compound

Dentures vs. Implants

Before making this decision, consult your oral surgeon or dentist. However, there may be instances when your dental health professional has no preference, and the decision is entirely yours to make. Here are some things to consider before making your choice.

Choose Dentures If:


  • You’re on a budget
  • You need a quick solution
  • Your jaw and gums won’t support implants

Dentures will need daily cleaning, just like your teeth. If you fail to give them attention, it may weaken your jaw further. Your oral surgeon or dentist can counsel you on this.

Dentures take time to adjust to. You may need to learn how to talk and eat while wearing them, and they may need replacing in a few years.

Choose Dental Implants If:


  • You are looking for a lasting solution
  • You don’t want to replace every few years
  • You prefer your replacement to look more like your natural teeth

Dental implants are more expensive than dentures for an initial investment. But over time, without replacement and maintenance costs, they eventually pay for themselves. Dental implants may take longer to fill your gap, anywhere from three to nine months.

If you would like more information about dentures or dental implants, call our Austin oral surgery office at 512-327-7233 to request a consultation.

Does Drinking More Water Protect Your Teeth?

Dental health is essential to us all because it not only affects the quality of our smile but, in many ways, it influences our quality of life. Besides the ability to offer a brilliant smile, a healthy mouth allows us to eat correctly, breathe without obstruction, speak with expression, and get into close encounters with fresh breath.

If you follow our blog posts, you understand there are many steps to protect your teeth, like brushing, flossing, and regular checkups. Below, you will learn why drinking water can be added to that list.

Strengthens Teeth

Drinking water, including water enhanced with fluoride, is recommended to strengthen teeth. Fluoride is a component proved scientifically to make teeth healthy and reduce cavities. It supports tooth structure and promotes remineralization. Consuming water with fluoride is an easy way to care for your dental health.

Cleans Your Mouth

Drinking water, along with consistent brushing and flossing, will keep your teeth clean. It rinses off acid and residue left by some foods as well as sugars and bacteria. If these harmful residues are left on the tooth surface and between the teeth, cavities will fill with bacteria. Another benefit of drinking water instead of colas, teas, and coffee is that it doesn’t stain your teeth.

Reduces Dry Mouth

The problem of dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva, which prevents tooth decay. A dry mouth is also uncomfortable and an indication of dehydration. Drinking sufficient amounts of water daily resolves dry mouth and supports saliva production, hence few cavities.

Reduces Bad Breath

If you experience halitosis regularly, you understand the embarrassment that comes with it. Poor dental health, built-up bacteria, dry mouth, and dirty teeth all play a role in bad breath. It’s no wonder the mouthwash and products designed to eliminate mouth odor are a billion-dollar industry. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day cleans your mouth and rinses away odor-causing bacteria.

Hydrates Your Gums

Dental health is not only about your teeth. It includes your gums. When your gums are in poor health, it could lead to gingivitis and tooth loss. Drinking water promotes saliva production essential for healthy gums. Proper hydration with water consumption will keep your gums hydrated and plump to protect the root of your teeth.


Drinking water is critical for several health benefits, and your dental health is no exception. If you don’t drink at least 60 ounces daily, start making steps to work your way up to eight glasses a day. Keep filtered cold water in your refrigerator and make it your go-to drink instead of Pepsi, tea, or Coke. These steps will increase your water intake and improve your dental health in no time.

If you have any questions on how drinking plenty of water can improve your dental health, we are here to help.

Call our Austin oral surgery office at 512-327-7233 to request a consultation.

5 Reasons For Dental Implants

Dental implants are a replacement for missing teeth that resemble natural teeth and are designed to not be rejected by the body. Implants are beneficial in many ways: they help keep the other teeth healthy, will last a lifetime and improve the appearance of your smile. Check out 5 reasons below that you should consider getting dental implants if you have missing teeth!

  • The integrity of your facial structure will be preserved or restored.
  • Your teeth will remain healthy.
  • Dental implants can last a lifetime.
  • You will get a self-confidence boost.
  • Dental care is simple and easy.