About James Sampson

Dr. James Sampson is a native Alabamian and has been practicing dentistry in Birmingham since 2008. He is a Samford graduate and received his dental doctorate at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, where upon graduation he received the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain Award for excellence. His love for relationships, health, and artistry has fueled a passion for service through dentistry.

Protecting Your Child’s Teeth With Mouthguards – Hoover AL Dentist

January 30, 2023  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Protecting Your Children's Teeth During Sports With Mouthguards

One of the most common sports injuries in Hoover Alabama, and the one with the biggest bill, is damaged teeth. Protecting your child’s teeth with mouthguards during sports is one of the best investments a parent in Hoover AL could make.

Protecting Your Child’s Teeth With Mouthguards – Hoover AL Dentist

Mouthguards are a thick plastic protective devices shaped like a dental tray, that form to the shape of your child’s mouth.

A mouthguard creates a barrier between the upper and lower teeth to prevent them from crashing together during impact, as well as protecting the teeth from impact.

Your local Hoover Alabama dental clinic will recommend a mouthguard be worn during high impact sports. With the possibility of costly dental bills, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Mouthguards are specifically for playing sports, ranging in price, comfort level, and level of protection.

Custom-fit mouthguards (professionally made in your local Hoover, AL dental office)

Custom-fitted mouthguards are the best option for optimal comfort, protection, and durability. Your local Hoover Alabama dentist will professionally custom-fit a mouthguard for your child.

If you are considering a custom-fit mouthguard for your child, take into consideration their age. Mouthguards are not long-term investments. Your child may grow to quickly and require a replacement within a year or two.

So with the balance between safety and affordability on your mind, you might be hesitant to get one at all. And additionally, if your child is prone to, or has had concussions, a custom made mouthguard is vital to provide extra protection which may help to prevent further concussions.

In  conclusion, there are many factors to consider when choosing a mouthguard for your child.  These are; level of impact involved in the sport your child plays, the expense, comfort and best suited material for your child.

It is always best to have a conversation with your local Hoover Alabama dentist about your options.  Sampson Dentistry can provide advice in regards to protective mouthguards tailored to you and your child’s specific needs.

Are Diet Drinks Bad for Your Teeth?

December 23, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  Blog, News
Are Diet Drinks Bad for Your Teeth?

First, let’s answer this question: What causes cavities? The answer in the simplest terms is acids. Growing up in Hoover Alabama and more importantly in the Southern part of the United States, people tend to drink more diet sodas than in other parts of the country.

Bacteria adhere to your teeth (plaque). The bacteria then use the sugar you consume and create acids. Are Diet Drinks Bad for Your Teeth?  The acids eat away at your teeth and form holes. The cycle continues as the bacteria bore their way deeper and deeper into the teeth.

What is the main thing the bacteria need to thrive? Sugar.

Are diet drinks also bad for teeth?

Most diet drinks do not contain sugar. They use some form or another of artificial sweetener. The good news is that cavity-causing bacteria cannot metabolize these sweeteners to form acids. The bad news is, just like their “regular” counterparts, diet drinks are extremely acidic in themselves. Again, what causes cavities? Acids! And so, even though the typical path of cavity formation (bacteria eats sugar, releases acids, forms holes in teeth) is not followed as much, these drinks can just bypass the bacteria step and eat away at your teeth on their own. Pathologically speaking, it is a different type of cavity with different attributes than that of a bacteria caused one. However, in the big picture, it doesn’t really matter. In both situations, tooth structure is eaten away and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Drink more water. There is nothing better!
Limit soft drinks, including diet soft drinks, to meal times.
At the very least, swish around with some water after consuming to remove some of it off your teeth.

Choosing A Pediatric Dentist In Hoover AL

December 21, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Choosing A Pediatric Dentist In Birmingham AL

Nothing is more important than your children’s dental care. Choosing a pediatric dentist in Hoover, AL to provide quality dental care is a big decision. You can rest assure that our staff will earn your trust when it comes to taking care of your child’s teeth with a caring and nurturing dentist. At Sampson Dentistry we try to make a visit more enjoyable for kids. We will provide tremendous dental care while calming your child. Our dental staff strives to eliminate the negative stigma of a trip to the dentist office.

Why Choose Sampson Dentistry To Provide Dental Treatment To Your Child?

Sampson Dentistry has over 2 decades in treating children for dental work.  Our staff will handle basic dental care for children from infancy until they’re adults. We consider ourselves as experts in teaching parents about how to help kids break bad habits like thumb-sucking and pacifier dependency.

Basic tasks include teeth cleanings and fluoride treatments. At Sampson Dentistry, we provide recommendations about diet and nutrition, pointing out foods that are likeliest to strip the enamel off of teeth. That’s a dangerous practice that impairs the long-term development of permanent teeth.

Choosing A Pediatric Dentist In Hoover, AL

Choose Sampson Dentistry in Hoover Alabama when it comes to providing quality dental work for your children.

 

Why Children Need Cavities Filled

December 15, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Why Children Need Cavities Filled?

Oral hygiene is important as soon as a baby’s teeth begin to come in, and teaching oral hygiene should begin at a young age. This is why children need cavities filled in Hoover Alabama.

Why Children Need Cavities Filled?

Though children are using a set of teeth they will eventually lose, that set of teeth needs to survive until the adult teeth guide them out of the gums, which helps ensure the adult teeth grow in correctly and with enough room.  

Baby Teeth Get Fillings

To preserve your child’s oral health, your dentist will choose to drill out the cavities in baby teeth.

The primary teeth help the adult teeth to come in properly, so losing primary teeth before they’re ready to come out isn’t good for your child’s permanent teeth.

Filling for Tooth Decay

As with adult teeth, baby teeth fillings are made out of either white composite or metal. The other filling and crown materials, like gold and ceramic, are rarely as fillings for children.

Metal fillings are a popular choice because they take less time to put in. Also, because they’re less expensive than composite fillings.

Why Children Need Cavities Filled in Hoover Alabama

Though your kid might not like the look of a metal filling, choosing a cost-effective option for a tooth that will eventually fall out is usually the smart move. Your dental insurance may also dictate what kind of fillings your child can get.

Your dentist will drill the tooth decay from your child’s baby teeth as necessary. Depending on how much damage the cavity has caused, the dentist will then fill the tooth or create a crown.

Kids should continue using good oral hygiene when caring for fillings or crowns.

Good Dental Hygiene For Kids In Hoover Alabama

December 8, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Tips to Help Your Kids Practice Good Dental Hygiene

Sampson Dentistry believe strongly in providing good dental hygiene for kids in Hoover Alabama. We believe strongly in providing good dental hygiene for kids in Hoover Alabama striving to be sure that kids in Hoover have healthy smiles.

Good Dental Hygiene For Kids In Hoover Alabama

We need help from parents and caregivers to continue the good habits our dentists recommend. Here are a few good dental hygiene tips for kids and easy ways you can help us help them:

Watch Those Drinks

While fruit juices and sports drinks can be a healthy alternative to soda and other artificial drinks, drinking too much can end up doing more harm than good in the long run.

The sugar in these drinks can quickly eat away the enamel on your child’s teeth, especially if he or she is consuming them all day long from a sippy cup or a refillable bottle. These drinks taste good and might be one of the only sources of sugar your kids have so weeding them out will not be easy, but it’s the best thing for their teeth in the long run.

Begin the balancing process by moving toward a 50/50 juice or sports drink to water ratio. The water will help wash out some of the sugar left over from the other drinks and help move your child’s palate away from sweet tastes. And, drinking more water is a great thing for all of us!

Lead by Example

When it comes to brushing and caring for your teeth, your children take more cues from you than you might think. This is one area where you really do need to practice what you preach.

Make brushing and flossing a family activity each morning and evening, or maybe only in the evening if your mornings are hectic. Either way, this will allow you to make sure that your child isn’t cutting corners and allow him or her to see that you are doing the same thing.

Brushing should last for at least two minutes and cover all surfaces of the teeth and tongue. Flossing should include every tooth every time, no matter how tempting it is to cut corners.

Remember that if your child is under age 2, then you should be brushing and flossing for them.

Again, this is an opportunity for you to establish a routine that your child will continue when it’s time for them to brush and floss on their own.

You can even make a game out of brushing and flossing each day. Create a chart to track progress and reward good behavior along the way. Eventually, the habits will become so routine that the rewards are no longer needed as an incentive.

Don’t Skip Dentist Visits

If you have anxiety about going to the dentist, you may be passing down those fears to your children without realizing it. Starting dental appointments as soon as the first teeth appear (around age 1) will help establish going to the dentist as a positive experience, rather than one that’s plagued with fear about cavities or other problems.

The more your child sees a dentist, the more we’ll be able to help reinforce the dental hygiene maintenance you are doing at home. We can catch problem areas before they become serious and create a plan for addressing them.

Establishing a partnership between parents and your local dentists ensures healthy teeth for kids. Visiting a dentist provides an opportunity to check in on that partnership.

Sampson Dentistry offers a wide range of pediatric dental services. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation for your child.

Headaches and Teeth

December 1, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Headaches and Teeth | Birmigham Alabama Dentist

Headaches and Teeth! Did you know that many headaches are actually linked to your teeth? Bruxism is a term to describe the clenching and grinding of teeth. When a person clenches or grinds their teeth together, muscles that control the movement of the jaws become sore and painful.

The muscles (in particular the temporalis and masseter muscles) become very sore and cause painful tension-type headaches. Facial pain is also frequent symptom with bruxism.

Bruxism is sparked by stress, anxiety and bite abnormalities.

Headaches can be linked to your Teeth

Treatment can significantly reduce the frequency or severity of the headaches and/or facial pain. The most common form of treatment is a dental appliance that can control your bite and jaw position. This will help protect the teeth and distribute the forces of bruxism. Furthermore, it will ease the tension off of the muscles, and in some cases stop the bruxism habit all together.

Dental devices can really help the symptoms. Moreover, stress management and/or therapy can be very beneficial to get to the source of the problem. Also, check if the source is a bite abnormality.

Make dental visits a part of your lifestyle. We recommend to Maintain normal dental visits early on in life. Continuing dental visits throughout the early part of your life is a great way to start a good oral hygiene.

Hoover Alabama Dental Consultations

November 30, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Hoover Alabama Dental Clinic

Hoover Alabama dental consultations are a non-invasive visit with your dental care provider where you can discuss your issues, concerns, and treatment options. Many of our dentists offer free consultations, though others do ask for a small consultation fee to cover their time. If you’re considering any major dental procedure, a consultation is a good idea, and can be important for several reasons. Read on to learn more.

Understanding the Procedure

Some dental procedures are quite complex. Before you settle into the chair for the complete treatment, it’s important to know what’s ahead. Your consultation is the perfect time to ask all your questions and a get a detailed explanation of what will take place while you’re in the chair. In many cases, our dentists can offer a helpful visual, using tooth models and product samples to help you better understand each step of the procedure. If you’re nervous, this may also help to ease some of your tension or fear.

Exploring Payment Options

Some dental procedures come with a high price tag. At your consultation, our dentists will be happy to discuss payment options and our administrative staff will be happy to contact your insurance provider, if you have one, to determine what portion of the bill you’re responsible for. Most of our offices will typically provide one, but if not, you should request a written estimate for the procedure. If you don’t feel that you can pay the sum in one visit, ask about payment plans. Many of our offices will separate the bill into several smaller payments to ease the strain on your budget.

Hoover Alabama Dental Consultations

Hoover Alabama Dental Consultations

A dental consultation gives you a better idea of what’s ahead and how to proceed. You can consult with several dentists to get a well-rounded view of the issue and available treatments, or move forward and schedule your procedure if you feel confident after the first meeting. But either way, a consultation visit should give you all the information you need.

Hoover Alabama Parent’s Want To Know If Fluoride Is Bad For Toddlers

November 18, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Hoover Alabama Dental Clinic

Hoover Alabama parent’s want to Know if Fluoride is bad for toddlers? The question whether fluoride toothpaste is safe for young children continues to circulate among parents and dentists.

The organization said parents can begin using a “smear” of fluoride toothpaste as soon as teeth begin to show. Why would the ADA change its mind after decades of a standard policy?

What does it mean for your children?

Hoover Alabama parent’s want to Know if Fluoride is bad for toddlers?

A Little Background on Fluoride

Fluoride is an effective way to prevent and even reverse the early signs of tooth decay. It makes the tooth structure stronger, so teeth are more resistant to acid attacks.

Many of us take in fluoride naturally through the water we drink.  However, not all parts of the country require that fluoride be part of the drinking water.  In addition, more families are choosing bottled water.  Bootle water in most cases does not contain fluoride like tap water does.

Groups like ADA have long recommended brushing teeth and seeing a dentist as early as age 1.  But parents tend to be undereducated in this area or they give in to toddlers who do not like brushing their teeth.

New Research on Fluoride

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, has long suggested the use of fluoride toothpaste as soon as teeth begin to show.

The change came after research showed an increase in cavities among preschool age children.  This was noted by the Centers for Disease Control. In some cases, the problem was so bad that children needed to be placed under general anesthesia.  These children had to have cavities filled in half of their baby teeth or more.

The hope is that introducing fluoride toothpaste into the equation earlier will help reduce the number of cavities in young children. The ADA recommends that children spit out the toothpaste after it’s applied to avoid developing fluorosis. This is a condition that results in a tooth’s enamel changing color due to too much fluoride exposure. Of course, this is easier said than done with a small child. Starting early and reinforcing good habits will help put them on a path toward success.

In some cases fluoride exposure has also been linked to ADHD and other neurological conditions when too much of it is ingested. Swallowing toothpaste here and there is not a big deal, but over time it could lead to more serious problems if the habit is not corrected.

What’s Best for Your Child

As far as fluoride, the key is finding the right balance between getting your child enough of it to prevent tooth decay and using so much that it puts him or her at risk for other issues.

Hoover Alabama Parent's Want To Know If Fluoride Is Bad For ToddlersBefore deciding on whether to start using fluoride toothpaste, you should understand how much fluoride your child is already getting. Do you have it in your drinking water? If you don’t know the answer to that question, a water test or call to your local water authority can help you find it.

Diet is another factor to consider. If your child enjoys soda or other sugary snacks, a little extra fluoride may be necessary to combat the effects sugar can have on young teeth.

If you are still in doubt, be sure to ask your dentist at your next checkup. Your dentist will examine your child’s teeth and take into consideration environmental factors before making an informed decision about whether you should begin using fluoride toothpaste with your toddler.

Myths About Flossing

November 11, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Hoover Alabama Dental Clinic

Myths About Flossing: I Only Need to Floss When I Have Food Caught in My Teeth

We have included some myths about flossing. While flossing is an effective way to remove trapped food particles from between your teeth, this isn’t the only reason to floss. Floss also removes dental plaque from between your teeth. If this plaque is left to sit between your teeth, it can make your gums inflamed and lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Floss every day, not just when food gets stuck.

Myth: I Should Stop Flossing if My Gums Bleed

Seeing blood when you floss can be a little scary, but some bleeding is totally normal. It’s definitely not a reason to give up flossing!

Bleeding during flossing can alert you to some potential problems though. Some people bleed because they’re flossing too enthusiastically. If you bleed a lot, be gentler and see whether you bleed less. You may like to get some pointers about flossing techniques from your dentist or dental hygienist. People with gum disease usually bleed more than others when they floss. Take a close look at your gum line and see whether it’s inflamed. If you think you might have gum disease, schedule an appointment with your dentist.

Myth: Flossing Makes Receding Gums Worse

There’s no truth to the myth that flossing correctly exacerbates receding gums. In fact, flossing can actually prevent gums from receding, since it cleans food particles and bacteria out from below the gum line. That makes flossing crucial for people with hereditary receding gums and gingivitis. If your gums are already receding due to periodontitis, flossing daily can help prevent further damage.

Overzealous flossing can speed up gum recession though. See your dentist or dental hygienist for advice on the best flossing technique.

Myth: I Can’t Floss Because My Teeth Are Very Tight

Flossing teeth that have little space between them can be challenging, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to skip this important oral ritual. You might need to adjust your technique. Use a seesaw motion, moving the floss backward and forward to manoeuvre it between the tight spaces between your teeth.

Certain flosses are also easier to use when your teeth are right. Try waxed floss or floss made from a substance called polytetrafluoroethylene if you struggle to use regular floss on your tight teeth. These flosses have slippery surfaces that can slide between tight spaces more easily. Some dental flosses are also thinner than others, and thus better for people with teeth close together.

Myth: I Shouldn’t Floss Because I Have Braces

Braces can certainly make flossing challenging. But failing to floss for the months or years that you have braces is a bad idea. Just imagine how much food and bacteria will be stuck between your teeth by the time you get your braces off! There’s no point straightening your teeth if they’re not healthy when your braces are removed. If you find flossing with braces difficult, your dentist, dental hygienist, or orthodontist can help you perfect your technique.

Do You Have A Chipped Tooth

October 30, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  News
chipped tooth-hoover alabama dental clinic

A chipped tooth is common with individuals. It’s actually quite easy to chip a tooth despite the fact that enamel is the hardest, most mineralized tissue of the body. It’s important to know about potential problems.  Do you have a chipped tooth.

Problems From a Chipped Tooth

What Happens if You Don’t Repair a Chipped Tooth?

A little chip on a tooth may not seem like a big deal, especially if it is a molar that no one can see. Smaller chips are usually not problematic unless they are sharp, then they could possibly cut your mouth. However, if your chip is significant enough, it could lead to more serious problems such as pain, hot/cold sensitivity, bad breath, swollen glands, and even infected roots.

  • Sharp edges from your broken tooth can cut your cheek, tongue, and gums
  • Deep chips can impact the root of the tooth, leading to potential infections or tooth aches
  • Deep chips can cause tooth decay resulting in sensitivity and bad breath
  • Chips of all sizes can grow bigger and cause larger issues resulting in the need for root canals or extractions

When do you need to repair a Chipped tooth?

You should always visit the dentist when you chip a tooth. For minor chips, you typically won’t need a major repair. More often than not, your Hoover Alabama dental clinic can just file the chipped tooth or fill it with a dermal bond so it looks normal again. However, more significant cracks can require more extensive dental work.

How Does Your Hoover Alabama Dentist Fix a Damaged Tooth?

For minor chips, the dentist may only need to smooth the rough edges or fill with a dermal filling that matches your tooth. Severe chips that do not damage the root or pulp may require a cap or crown to protect the tooth from future infections. In situations where the pulp or root is damaged, you may first need a root canal before a crown or cap is placed over the tooth.

How to Prevent a Chipped Tooth?

Maintaining good oral hygiene is the first step in preventing a chipped tooth. Making sure you have no cavities or tooth decay can help keep your tooth enamel strong.

Your Hoover Alabama dentist can also help fit you for a mouthguard if you play sports. Athletes are prone to injury, especially in the face. Protective gear can help save teeth from sustaining injury.

If you have nervous habits like biting your nails or chewing on your pen cap, you may want to switch to something a little less prone to accidents, like squeezing a stress ball.

Finally, you should try to avoid hard candies and chewing ice. We understand a hard candy here and there is a nice treat. If you cannot resist the sweet tooth, avoid the temptation to bite and break the candy.

If you have a chipped tooth and need an evaluation of the damage, Sampson Dentistry will gladly evaluate your tooth and recommend treatment options.