Do Cavities Hurt

November 20, 2017  |  by James Sampson  |  Blog
General Dentistry In Birmingham, AL

Do Cavities Hurt? Yes, no, sometimes, always, never…it just depends. They are different for everyone. In my experiences (both as a dentist and as a patient) a majority of cavities do not present with any symptoms until they are quite large.

In fact, I have seen many teeth with cavities so large that they were abscessed and yet there was never any pain or sensitivity present. Of course there are those on the complete other side of the spectrum as well.

My wife is a great example. She told me she had a cavity about a year before I could detect anything (and we use magnified vision and the most modern equipment to detect cavities). Some people are just like that though. One of the biggest complaints I have as a dentist is when I get the response, “it doesn’t hurt.”

I can detect a cavity and even show pictures, x-rays, etc to the patient, so they can see the cavity for themselves and then the response I get is: “it doesn’t hurt.” And this is used in the context of, “it doesn’t hurt, therefore it doesn’t exist.” This is very poor reasoning.

Do Cavities Hurt

I believe it doesn’t hurt…it may never hurt, but there is a problem that needs addressed while it still can. There are so many factors involved that determine whether or not there will be pain associated with a cavity. So the presence (or absence) of pain should never be the deciding factor.

Are Diet Drinks Bad for Your Teeth?

November 17, 2017  |  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. The longer explanation is this. 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 Birmingham AL

November 13, 2017  |  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 Birmingham 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 Birmingham AL

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

 

Halloween Safety Tips From Birmingham Dental

October 31, 2017  |  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 from Birmingham Dental.

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 From Birmingham Dental

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!

Healthy Eating Is Good For Your Dental Hygiene

October 17, 2017  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Healthy Eating Is Good For Your Dental Hygiene

Providing a nutritious lunch for your kids during the Hoover Alabama school year is essential.  Healthy eating is good for your Dental Hygiene. Fruits, Vegetables, and Protein are a good starting point.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are always best.  Apples, snap peas, celery, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, and asian pears are great for the health of your teeth.

Hard and crunchy fruits and vegetables help to clean in the crevices of teeth when chewed. They contain lots of water which helps to wash away oral bacteria. Including fruits and vegetables will provide additional vitamins and minerals not found in carbohydrates and proteins.

Healthy Eating Is Good For Your Dental Hygiene

Healthy Eating Is Good For Your Dental Hygiene

Adding additional protein through dairy products help to curb hunger. Some options may be yogurt, cheese, or yogurt based dips such as tzatziki which they can dip vegetables into.

The calcium typically associated with dairy is abundant in other things like beans, green veggies, almonds, and seeds.  As far as non-dairy beverages go, alternatives such as soy milk boxes, edamame beans, or tofu are great sources of calcium and protein.

Keeping Hydrated

What your child drinks throughout the day is extremely important as it will ideally keep them hydrated which will help them to stay focused and alert. Remember that if your child’s drinks contain sugars, these will stay in their mouths until they are removed and can cause teeth and gum decay over time.

Large influxes of sugar will also give your child a rapid burst of energy followed by a drop that can make them tired and less focused for long periods. Sugars that absorb more slowly over time will help to avoid that problem, and will limit the potential hazards surrounding sugar highs.

The best beverage for your child to have throughout the day is water. You’ll never get tired of water.

The sooner you start, the easier it will become routine.

Protecting Your Children’s Teeth During Sports With Mouthguards

October 10, 2017  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Protecting Your Children's Teeth During Sports With Mouthguards

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

Protecting Your Children’s Teeth During Sports With Mouthguards

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 All Toothpastes Good

September 28, 2017  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Are All Toothpaste Good

You want to take care of your teeth, just like anyone. So, are all toothpaste good? One of the basic decisions you’ll face in safeguarding your teeth is which toothpaste to use.

Each day, the toothpaste you pick will clean your teeth and will have ramifications for years to come. Here’s a guide on what toothpaste you should use.

 

 

The Importance of Fluoride

Any good toothpaste will include other components to make it more effective. Fluoride is the most important one. In fact, it’s the primary reason tooth decay and cavities have declined dramatically over the past 50 years.

Fluoride counters this problem in two ways. It strengthens tooth enamel, the protective layer on the outside of your teeth, and that added strength makes your teeth less susceptible to chipping and cracking.

Other Toothpaste Components

Many toothpastes will also include artificial sweeteners. The minty taste that you associate with toothpaste isn’t a natural flavor. Manufacturers add saccharin and other ingredients to make the taste of toothpaste better.

Without it, the process of brushing your teeth wouldn’t feel as pleasant. If brushing your teeth left you with a bad taste in your mouth, it might reduce your desire to brush regularly. Toothpaste now comes in flavors as diverse as lemon, grape, and bubblegum to make them more appealing – not just for adults, but for children too.

 

Are All Toothpaste Good

Are All Toothpaste Good?

Now that you know the key components of toothpaste, you can pick the brand that’s right for you. If you’re a smoker or coffee drinker, you should choose a product with the highest amount of fluoride. Without a prescription, you’re looking for a brand that’s at least 1,000 parts per million (PPM). A product with the CDA Seal has received independent review and validation of its product claims.

If you’re someone with yellow teeth, you’ll want a brand with a higher number of silicates. A product that includes whitening will gradually alter the shade from yellow back to white. If cavities are a big issue, you want a product with special cavity-fighting power.

If you have a plaque problem, you can prevent tartar buildup with toothpastes that are specifically formulated to fight tartar. Finally, if you have sensitive gums and/or teeth, the best product is one that treats the underlying problem of sensitivity.

As you can see, toothpaste includes a lot of components specifically designed to protect and improve your teeth.

No matter the problem, simply consider your needs and choose the correct toothpaste.

Why Children Need Cavities Filled

September 23, 2017  |  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.

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

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.

What is Laser Dentistry

September 15, 2017  |  by James Sampson  |  News
What is Laser Dentistry?

Especially relevant, what is laser dentistry? Most noteworthy, laser dentistry is a minimally invasive option when you’re facing gum surgery, cavity treatment, or other oral issues. As a result, discuss your laser surgery options with one Sampson Dentistry today.

What is Laser Dentistry? Overview

Furthermore, Dentists use lasers in a variety of procedures involving the inside of the mouth, to remove overgrown tissue, reshape the gums, or to whiten teeth.

What is Laser Dentistry?

What Laser Dentistry Can Treat

Almost all issues laser dentistry treats are related to the gums. Including:

  • Canker sore and cold sore treatments.
  • Root canal infections.
  • Gum disease.
  • Removing gum inflammation.
  • Gum reshaping.
  • Biopsies.
  • Exposing wisdom teeth.
  • Removing throat tissue that causes sleep apnea.
  • Regenerating damaged nerves.
  • Removing benign oral tumours.

Benefits of Laser Dentistry

In addition, laser dentistry helps with reducing discomfort and expediting healing time for patients. Furthermore, dentists choose laser dentistry because of distinct benefits that make the procedures go more smoothly.  Furthermore, you typically will not experience pain and discomfort associated with scalpel surgery because your post-op irritation is likely to be minor.

Most noteworthy, laser dentistry is a convenient solution to many oral and dental problems, whether serious in nature or simply cosmetic.

Dental Cavities

September 7, 2017  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Dental Cavities

Dental Cavities fillings

Your dental insurance may also dictate what kind of Dental Cavities fillings you can get.  Teeth fillings are made out of either white composite or metal.  Metal fillings are a popular choice because they take less time to put in.  Metal fillings are also less expensive than composite fillings.

Your dentist will remove the tooth decay from your mouth as necessary. Depending on how much damage the cavity has caused, the dentist will then fill the tooth or create a crown.

Dental Cavities

Can Decay Recur With A Filling?

Teeth with cavities between them, even with decay removal and fillings, have a better chance of cavity recurrence than teeth with cavities on exposed surfaces. When decay comes back, the dentist will need to replace the filling to take care of the new decay and re-fill the tooth.

Trauma and Other Issues Also Require Fillings and Crowns

If trauma has happened to the tooth to cause a crack, a filling is necessary as well.  Dentists often opt for crowns on both front and back teeth instead of fillings in these instances, as the crown can provide more complete correction to the damaged or misshapen tooth than a filling could.