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.

Helping Kids Enjoy Healthy Dental Habits

September 13, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  Blog
Helping Kids Enjoy Healthy Dental Habits

One of the most common phrases we hear our dental patients say is “I wish I would have taken better care of my teeth.” Helping kids enjoy healthier dental habits early on, will increase their chances of having a healthier smile.

Many instances we tell kids “brush and floss and don’t eat candy or you’re going to get cavities.”  Sometimes, it’s hard to help children, who understandably see the world with a “here and now” vision.

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Helping Kids Enjoy Healthy Dental Habits

As an effort to motivate children to take care of their teeth, you have to show through your own actions.  If you realize the importance of preventative care today, the long term positive effects will be evident later on.

So while it is very important to teach our children about prevention and the consequences of not doing so, it can be equally as important to supplement that with positive reinforcement to help them learn to enjoy the preventative dental measures themselves.

If we can teach our children to actually enjoy healthy habits at a young age, instead of just using scare tactics to avoid unhealthy habits, they will certainly have a more solid foundation for a lifetime of choosing a healthy path.

Helping Kids Enjoy Healthy Dental Habit tips:

  • Have an assortment of healthy and natural “treats” (carrot sticks, fruit pieces, etc) available.
  • Allow the child to be part of the decision making process.
  • Be a good role model in what your choices and habits are.
  • Use fun dental hygiene products! Tooth Tunes toothbrushes are an excellent example. It plays music when the brush touches the teeth. Having fun while brushing positively reinforces the habit, whether they understand the concept of prevention or not.

Energy, Health, Smiles, & White Peach Tea

March 15, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  Blog
Hoover Alabama Dental Clinic

Energy, Health, Smiles, & White Peach Tea.  Sodas, energy drinks, and coffee are being consumed in record-breaking numbers. Our society absolutely craves energy boosts to get us through our “lives on the go”. Let’s face it…most of us are addicted to caffeine and will consume it in one way or another at some point every day!

So here’s the question: Is there a way to obtain your caffeine fix that’s actually good for you?

Actually….Yes. Ever thought about a good cup ah’ tea?

Energy, Health, Smiles, & White Peach Tea

Tea typically contains more caffeine than a coke, but less than a brew of coffee. It is also sugar-free, unless you choose to add some. Tea has long been known to have many systemic health benefits including: decreasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and boosting your immune system. More recently though, tea has been linked to GREATER ORAL HEALTH.

White tea is the least processed form of tea. Basically, the leaves are picked, dried, and that’s it. Because of this, it is the most antioxidant-rich tea there is, even more antioxidants than green tea. Recent research has found that consuming white tea can help prevent cavities and periodontal disease by suppressing the growth of cavity causing microbes and interfering with the bacteria’s ability to stick to teeth. People who drank a cup of tea or two between meals were found to have lower bacterial counts and less plaque than those who did not. A caffeine fix that promotes oral health….a dentist’s dream! The other great news is that white tea is not going to cause erosion of the teeth and unlike coffee and darker teas, white tea will cause minimal to no staining of those pearly whites.

There are many options for obtaining that small boost throughout your day. Consider replacing some of your other options with a nice cup of white tea. Not only will it give you a dose of caffeine, it will promote overall systemic and oral health.

Halloween Safety Tips Hoover AL

October 29, 2021  |  by James Sampson  |  Blog
Halloween Safety Tips From Birmingham Dental

Halloween night is full of fun frights, but you absolutely do not want any scares where your child’s safety is concerned. Below are some halloween safety tips Hoover AL.

Halloween night sees twice as many accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles than any other night of the year.

Unfortunately, only one out of three parents have a talk with their kids about being safe during Halloween, despite being concerned about their child’s safety. Whether your child will be accompanied by an adult or they will be joining their friends to trick or treat, we want you and your family to have a fun-filled and safe Halloween.

Halloween Safety Tips Hoover AL

Talk about safety with your children before you head out for an fun evening of tricks and treats.

Can your Child See Properly?

Masks are a major safety concern for both children and adults as they greatly restrict the ability to see everything. Full coverage masks restrict how much you can hear. This makes it difficult to see obstacles and uneven walking surfaces in front of you.

Instead of using masks in costumes, consider using face paint or makeup to complete yours or your child’s costume.

Flashlights are also important to bring during your Halloween walk. Areas that are not well lit, flashlights make it easier to see.

Can They be Seen by Others?

Wearing dark colours at night while walking near traffic and roadways is an obvious danger that many overlook.

The best way to ensure that you and your family can be seen while walking around on Halloween night is to choose brightly coloured costumes and trick or treating bags, as well as using reflective tape. Reflective tape can be bought from most hardware stores for around $5 a roll and can make all the difference in making your family as visible as possible.

Putting a strip along your shoulders on your back and across your hips, chest, or down your legs, will ensure that you can be seen both coming and going.

Glow sticks and flashlights are another great way to make your family seen at night, and the variations in types of glow sticks and glow jewelry can make them a fun thing to wear.

 

Do They Have a Walking Buddy?

The general consensus is that children 12 years of age and younger should always be accompanied by an adult when out on Halloween night. Those who are older and choose not to be accompanied by an adult should have at least one walking budding with whom they go out on Halloween night and stick with for the entire evening.

Safety comes in groups since the little goblins and witches are easier to see, and less likely to be overlooked, compared to a single person. In general, groups of three to six are ideal.

 

Do They Know the Route?

If your child is going out on Halloween, have a conversation with them about the route they plan on walking. Planning out where they are going ensures that they don’t get lost.

Be sure that you discuss how to cross streets, and that they know to use pedestrian crosswalks (“look both ways!”), making sure that the drivers are stopped before trying to cross.

Can They Get in Contact With You?

Know who your children are going out on Halloween with.   Doesn’t matter if its with another adult or with their friends.  Be sure your children know how to get in contact with you.

Will They be Enjoying Treats?

Tell your children to only eating candy that is completely sealed.  Inform them only to eat the candy, while they are home.

Two main reasons: First, if your child has any allergies you can monitor what exactly they are eating.  Second, you can check for any hazards that can pose a potential threat to your child’s health.

Happy Halloween!