Join us for Houston Resturant Week and Give Back

Dine out for a great cause as part of the Houston Restaurant Weeks fundraiser, running from August 1- September 2. The event was established in 2003 and benefits the Houston Food Bank. A number of fine dining establishments in the Greater Houston area are involved in the event.

Houston Restaurant Weeks is the largest dining charity event in Houston. It was founded by current chair Cleverley Stone. Volunteers plan the entire event to ensure that 100% of the funds raised are donated to the Houston Food Bank. The amount of each restaurant’s donation is decided by the number of brunches, lunches and dinners they sell during the month-long event.

The Houston Good Bank has three Partner Distribution Organizations (PDOs):

Brazos Valley Food Bank

Galveston County Food Bank

Montgomery County Food Bank

These smaller PDOs receive food from the Houston Food Bank so that they can distribute it to hunger relief charities within Houston Food Bank’s service area. The Houston Food Bank certifies that all of their PDOs meet Feeding America Standards.

Additionally, 100 percent of the proceeds raised by Galveston and Montgomery area restaurants are given directly to the Galveston County Food Bank and Montgomery County Food Bank respectively.

While diners are not asked for any donations while dining during Houston Restaurant Weeks, they are welcome to make a donation as part of the Text 2 Give option. Text HGB to 20222 and your donation of $10 will automatically go directly to the Houston Food Bank.

Search for participating restaurants at the event website.

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Cut Down on Cavities: The Steps for Proper Toothbrushing

Brushing your teeth is essential for good dental health. Cleaning your teeth ensures that all food and debris are removed so that plaque doesn’t form. When plaque builds up and isn’t brushed away it can turn into tartar which is much more difficult to remove. In fact, tartar needs to removed by a dental hygienist during your twice a year dental cleaning.

Even though people begin brushing their teeth when they are very young, many adults don’t know the specific steps involved in proper brushing. Let’s take a look at how you can be sure you are brushing well.

Gathering the Right Dental Tools

You can find information about Choosing the Best Toothbrush and Toothpaste here [link to former blog]. The most important thing to remember is to purchase a toothbrush you are comfortable using and a toothpaste with fluoride, as recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). Don’t forget to buy floss too. There are a variety of flosses available at drugstores and supermarkets. Pick one that you think you will prefer as it’s important to floss each day.

The Brushing Process

1. Floss carefully in order to loosen and remove food particles and bacteria that can in between your teeth.

2. Wet the toothbrush and apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to the bristles.

3. Starting with your back molars, brush one section at a time moving clockwise, ending with your lower molars. Tilt the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle. Clean the front, back, and top of each tooth using short strokes in a circular motion.

  • Biting surfaces-  Place the bristles face down on the tooth and move the toothbrush back and forth.
  • Upper front teeth- Hold the toothbrush face up, perpendicular to your mouth with the bristle side closest to your mouth. Open your mouth as if you are going to bite the bristles. Brush downwards against the surface.
  • Bottom front teeth- Turn the toothbrush so that bristles are facing down. Then follow the same steps as for upper front teeth.
  • Tongue- Brush front to back in a sweeping motion. Be sure to brush your cheeks too.
  • Rinse, swish, and spit.

Being conscious of the way you brush your teeth will help you keep them healthy. Brushing regularly and visiting your dentist for a cleaning and check-up twice a year are the two best things you can do to make sure you have a beautiful smile.

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Why You Need to See the Dentist Every 6 Months

According to, it is essential that patients see their dentist at least twice a year in order to maintain their dental health. Have you ever wondered why it is necessary to visit your dentist every six months? The most important reason is overall prevention. Your dentist’s job is to stop problems in their tracks before they escalate. Here are some of the things your dentist looks for during your exam.

Early Signs of Infection or Gum Disease

Early detection is the key to keeping your mouth healthy. Your dentist checks your gums to look for loose teeth which can be a sign of gum disease. Receding gums, inflammation and bone jaw loss are other signs of gum disease. Your dentist will also explore your mouth for signs of oral cancer, vitamin deficiencies, and diabetes. The earlier these problems are picked up the greater your chance of a successful treatment.

Damaged Teeth and Fractures

Part of a dental exam is checking for damaged or fractured teeth so that you can get proper restorative treatments. Your dentist will also check the status of older fillings and restorations in case they need repairs. For example, if your dentist notices a loose crown then it can be re-cemented so that it doesn’t fall out.

Symptoms of TMJ

You have a small joint in front of your ear where your skull and lower jaw meet called a temporomandibular joint. Arthritis, injury and even stress can cause a disorder called TMJ. If you have TMJ you may hear a clicking sound when you open and close your mouth or feel discomfort. Your dentist will check your lower jaw for symptoms of a TMJ disorder. There are various treatments available including anti-inflammatory drugs, splint therapy, and stress relief techniques.

Plaque and Tartar Build Up

The dental hygienist will clean your teeth, taking special care to remove all plaque and tartar. Tartar is hardened plaque that may require special instruments to be removed. Sometimes the hygienist will need to do a scaling and root planing to eliminate all of the tartar. Once the procedure is completed root pockets in your gums will begin to shrink as their health is restored. When periodontal disease is diagnosed early then there is a very good chance it can be full reversed.

Depending on what the dentist finds during your exam, you may have to visit the dentist for cleaning visits more often. Your dentist may also suggest medicated rinses and recommend that you buy an electric toothbrush. You will also receive instructions for brushing and flossing properly. In the end, your dentist and treatment team share the same goal for you- a healthy mouth and beautiful smile.

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Dental Restorations: Understanding the Basics

Dentists have seen a reduction in tooth decay as people have become educated about the importance of good dental health. However, teeth can still become damaged and decayed. There are many reasons why patients might investigate restorative dentistry including preventing tooth loss, repairing teeth and relieving discomfort. Sometimes restorative dentist is necessary to replace older dental treatments. For people who have lost teeth it can make it possible to eat and chew again without difficulty.

There have been huge advancements made in the field of restorative dentistry, especially in the past decade. The result has been a number of treatment options for patients. Here are a few of the restorative treatments available to dental patients:

Amalgam Fillings/Composite Fillings

Damaged teeth need to be repaired. Your dentist can use silver amalgam or tooth-colored composite fillings as part of the treatment. Many people prefer composite fillings, especially in the front teeth, because they blend in well. Either way the dentist must always remove the damaged part of your tooth first. Composite fillings work well to strengthen worn teeth, repair chipped teeth, and close gaps.


A crown (or caps) covers a tooth completely, protecting it and returning it to its original size and shape. Your dentist will often apply a crown when you have a very large cavity that cannot be filled. Crowns are also used after a root canal. The dentist sends a mold of your tooth to the lab along with the desired shade to blend well with your other teeth. Crowns can last a very long time with proper oral hygiene.


Crowns are also used in dental bridges which can replace missing teeth. The bridge is made of two crowns connected by a small piece of metal holding an artificial tooth in the middle. The crowns are placed on the two teeth on either side of the missing tooth to anchor the bridge.


Dentures are removable appliances designed to replace missing teeth. People who have lost all of their teeth are given complete dentures while people with only some missing teeth are given partial dentures. Partial dentures are used to keep other teeth from shifting. They are designed to match your remaining natural teeth. Dentures are affixed with a special adhesive.


Implants are a permanent alternative to removable dentures. They are artificial roots attached to the jawbone with teeth surgically attached that look very natural. Getting dental implants installed takes several months because your mouth must heal in between treatments. The post is usually attached to the implant when it is surgically placed into the bone. Then the patient is fitted for artificial teeth to be attached to the posts. Implants can replace missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth and also prevent teeth from shifting.

These are some of the restorative treatments available for people with damaged or missing teeth. Your dentist can help you decide the best treatment for your particular issue. The end goal is always the same- to restore your beautiful smile.

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Bring your family to the Bugs Bunny Symphony II

Bring your family to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on July 16th for Bugs Bunny Symphony II. The event, created and conducted by George Daugherty, is a new edition of Looney Tunes accompanied by a live orchestra.

See Duck Amuck, Pepe Le Pew and Tom and Jerry in the Hollywood Bowl will all appear on the big screen. You can also check out two new 3D theatrical shorts and plenty of old favorites, all with orchestra accompaniment live at the Pavilon.

Orchestra seats are $15. There is also free mezzanine and lawn seating sponsored by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.

Arrive early at 7pm for pre-concert activities.

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Easing Dental Anxiety

Visiting the dentist causes anxiety for some people. Unfortunately when people are afraid of the dentist they tend to postpone their regular visits. Then small issues become large and require more visits. By seeing your dentist every six months potential problems can be prevented before they occur. Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be a scary experience. Here are some things you may not be aware of.

1. You’re not alone. 

Dental fear is normal and your dentist and the treatment team members have plenty of experience making people feel comfortable. For example, you may want to bring in a portable music player so that you can relax. It can drown out any noises that may make you nervous.

2. You are in control.

If you are worried that the dentist won’t recognize if you are feeling physical discomfort during your treatment then discuss it together. You can come up with a sign that signals your dentist to stop.  For example, you may want to raise your hand or tap the armrest. At that point the dentist can check in with you.

3. You don’t have to do it all at once.

When the idea of sitting in the chair for a long period of time makes you nervous, let your dentist know. Sometimes longer treatments can be broken up into several smaller visits. Having that option may make you more comfortable. Your dentist will have the best answer.

4. Your imagination can get carried away.

There are so many incredible technological advances in dentistry that many treatments have become shorter and less invasive. Often these treatments cause no discomfort. That’s why it’s important to share your concerns. Yours dentist can put you at ease by explaining what will happen.

5. You can check things out ahead of time.

Knowledge can be a very good thing when it comes to dental anxiety. It’s perfectly okay to schedule a visit to meet with your dentist prior to your treatment just to talk. Your dentist can educate you about the treatment and even show you some of the most commonly used instruments.

6. Sedation is always an option.

You may find your anxiety greatly reduced by the possibility of microsurgery. Your dentist can sometimes use lasers to prepare your teeth for a filling or to remove stains. Some patients  prefer sedation. There are a variety of save effective methods available.

The easiest way to alleviate your concerns is to speak with the dentist or a member of the treatment team ahead of time. They can suggest the best strategy for ensuring your complete peace of mind while in the dentist chair.

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Cosmetic Dentistry 101: Understanding the Basics

Your teeth take a lot of wear and tear. Sometimes they can become damaged. Missing teeth and teeth with chips and cracks can be embarrassing. Fortunately there are a number of treatments your cosmetic dentist can perform to restore your smile. There’s surgery not just for the teeth but also for other parts of the body as well. If you are worried about those flabs of fat, then learn the benefits of sculpsure over i-Lipo and take up the right kind of surgery.

Composite Fillings

Some fillings are made of silver amalgam. While silver amalgam is a good way to protect a tooth from further damage, composite fillings are another option. The advantage of composite fillings is that they are tooth-colored. Your dentist can match the natural color of your teeth for aesthetically pleasing results. Composite fillings chemically bond to the tooth’s structure and can be used to repair tooth chips and cracks. Like all fillings, composite fillings may one day need to be replaced but they are considered a permanent restoration.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are another great option for people with discolored, chipped and cracked teeth. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain made to fit on top of your natural teeth to give you a bright uniform smile. The veneers adhere to each individual tooth for a complete transformation. It takes two appointments to complete the process. During the first appointment your dentist prepares your teeth for the veneers and works with you to find the correct shade. The veneers are applied during the second visit after which your teeth are polished and your bite checked. Your dentist will also give you instructions for taking care of your teeth and maintaining your new smile.

Porcelain Crowns

Your dentist can cover your tooth with a crown (or cap) when there is structural damage such as a fracture or decay. Crowns can also be used to cover a tooth when a filling is too large or right after a root canal. Porcelain crowns are usually preferred by dentists because they can be matched to your existing teeth. Your dentist will need to take a mold of your tooth and send it off to the lab, so you will be given a provisional crown in the interim. You will be asked to return in three to four weeks when your crown is ready to be applied.

Porcelain Fixed Bridges

A missing tooth can cause your other teeth to shift. It can also affect the shape of your face. Porcelain fixed bridges are used to replace missing teeth, making it easier for you to chew and speak. Permanent porcelain fixed bridges can also replace partial dentures. The teeth on either side of the space are covered with crowns attached by a metal piece. An artificial tooth sits between the two crowns. It takes multiple visits to complete the process because molds need to be taken and sent to the lab to make the restoration. You can wear a temporary bridge during that time. When the bridge is ready you will be asked to come back to have it cemented.

These are some of the treatments possible with cosmetic dentistry. No matter which treatment your cosmetic dentist performs, the overall goal is always to give you the beautiful smile you deserve.

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Spend the 4th at Freedom Over Texas

It’s time for Houston’s official July 4th celebration- Freedom Over Texas. It takes place in Eleanor Tinsley Park from 4pm to 10pm. The annual extravaganza is hosted by Mayor Annise D. Parker and features live music, family activities and an incredible fireworks display.

There are six areas jam-packed with shows and activities:

Bud Light Zone

Entertainment in the Bud Light Zone includes local DJs, Houston, area hip hop dancers and basketball performance squad Astrodunk. Music superstars Sheryl Crow and Martina McBride will be headlining.

KBR Liberty Park

Military artifacts will be on display along with actual military tanks and vehicles at KBR Liberty Park. The KBR Command Course Challenge! will test your strength, agility and athleticism.

Southwest Sky Stage

Check out the vintage aircraft carriers on display on the Sky Stage. Be prepared to be amazed as a B-17 Fortress, B-25 Mitchell and P-51 Mustangs fly over the festival grounds.

Walmart All-American Kids Zone

Children will enjoy the Walmart All-American Kids Zone where the Radio Disney Experience will be set up. Additional entertainment will include magicians, arts and crafts and dancing.

Family Fitness Challenge

Take part in activities sponsored by professional sports teams Houston Astros, Houston Dynamo, Houston Rockets, and Houston Texans in the Family Fitness Challenge area. You can get signed autographs by former NFL players.

Tickets are $8.00 and available at the gate or you can purchase them online in advance.

All of us at Craig S. Armstrong, DDS hope to see you there and remember to cut back on those sweets and sodas to keep your smile looking great!

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Choosing the Best Toothbrush and Toothpaste

You know how important it is to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Regular brushing removes food particles and bacteria from your teeth that can lead to tooth decay. Even though it’s not discussed as often, it’s also important to choose the right toothbrush and toothpaste.

If you haven’t checked out your options lately then you may be overwhelmed by all of the toothbrushes and toothpastes on the market. Each product claims to be the best at keeping your mouth healthy. It can be difficult to make a choice.

Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes

The first decision to make is whether to use an electric or manual toothbrush. Manual toothbrushes are cheaper, but electric toothbrushes have other benefits.

  • Rotation-oscillation toothbrushes are the type with bristles that move in circles as well as back and forth. Some studies have shown them to be more effective than manual toothbrushes.
  • Vigorous brushers may find electric toothbrushes easier for brushing because the toothbrush acts as a guide.
  • Many electric toothbrushes have timers so that you are more likely to brush for a full two minutes as recommended.

Still, choosing between an electric and manual toothbrush is a personal choice. You are more likely to brush if you like the toothbrush.

Other Factors to Consider in a Toothbrush

Once you decide whether to go with an electric or manual toothbrush, there are some other factors to consider:

  • Bristles

Bristles come in soft, medium or hard nylon. Most people choose soft toothbrushes because they feel more comfortable. That can be a good thing because you will probably brush longer.  Medium and hard bristles are not a good choice for people who brush vigorously. It is too easy to damage teeth and gums if you aren’t careful.

  • Toothbrush Head

Toothbrush heads also come in different sizes. The average person can maneuver a toothbrush head no more than one inch tall and ½ inch a wide. Remember, you need to brush hidden crevices and hard to reach spots in the back of your mouth too. A toothbrush head that is too large can make this difficult.

  • Handle

Choose a toothbrush with a handle that is most comfortable for you to hold. You may prefer a non-slip handle that is easy to hold even when it gets wet. A flexible neck allows you to reach further into your mouth and maneuver between teeth.

Choosing a Toothpaste

If you thought choosing a toothbrush was confusing, wait until you see all the options for toothpastes. There are gels, powders and pastes in addition to:

1.      Whitening toothpastes

Whitening toothpastes use abrasives to remove stains from teeth and leave them looking whiter. They don’t usually contain bleach.

2.      Toothpastes for sensitive teeth

People with sensitive teeth often prefer toothpaste made for easily irritated teeth. The main ingredient in these pastes is potassium nitrate or strontium chloride, which block pathways in the teeth where nerves attach.

3.      Tartar control toothpastes

If you find tartar build up to be a problem, then there is toothpaste for you too. Pyrophosphates and zinc citrate are chemical compounds in toothpaste that prevent tartar from building up.

The most important ingredient in toothpaste no matter which kind you prefer is fluoride. It strengthens tooth enamel to prevent decay. It also can begin to repair areas damaged by acids.  All toothpastes with a seal from the American Dental Association contain fluoride.

Choosing a toothbrush and toothpaste you are happy with is important. When you find them be sure to brush properly every day. Toothbrushes need to be replaced every three months or as soon as they start to show wear.

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