Helping Kids Enjoy Healthy Dental Habits

April 1, 2020  |  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.

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.

Healthy Eating Is Good For Your Dental Hygiene

March 28, 2020  |  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.

Top 3 Reasons To Whiten Your Teeth

January 30, 2020  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Top 3 Reasons To Whiten Your Teeth

Thousands of Birmingham Alabama residents get their teeth whitened every year. At Sampson Dentistry, here are the top 3 reasons to whiten your teeth. Teeth whitening from Sampson Dentistry can provide you with a gorgeous smile that’s up to 10 shades whiter.

Top 3 Reasons To Whiten Your Teeth

Prepare for that special event.  

Do you have a special event like an anniversary, wedding, or presentation coming up? Consider all the people you’ll see or meet, and the pictures that will be taken. You’ll want your best smile to be the focus so you can look back on the memories fondly. Get your teeth whitened, and you’re sure to be more confident during your next special event.

Make a good first impression.

First impressions are everything. And a bright smile can help you make the right one. Whether you’re dating, interviewing for a new job, or meeting important clients at work.

Feel confident about your smile!

Your smile says so much about who you are. But if you have stained or yellowed teeth, you may feel too self-conscious to express yourself to the world.

Why A Missed Local Dental Appointment Can Be Detrimental

January 29, 2020  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Hoover Alabama Dental Clinic

There are times that we all have to reschedule a dental appointment. Why a missed local dental appointment can be detrimental. Even if it’s just one appointment missed, the health of your teeth and overall condition could in fact suffer.

So, why is it important to attend all your dental appointments?

Your cavities can be spotted quickly before they cause other oral problems.

Many people believe that the worse a cavity could do is cause a bit of oral pain and sensitivity. But cavities, if left untreated for even a few months too long, can cause a lot of harm.

Leaving a tooth to decay is not only painful, but it could also lead to infection and tooth loss. Cavities don’t just sit there; they get deeper, uglier, and more painful over time.

Potential oral cancers and other diseases can be diagnosed and treated ASAP.

While oral cancers and other diseases aren’t per say common in dental patients, they still have a very real possibility of developing.

With gum disease and oral cancers, these are important to detect as soon as possible as these are not curable, at least not in the late stages.

Your dentist can get rid of your plaque before it turns into hard-to-remove tartar.

This may not seem very important to some patients, however, keep in mind that plaque is a type of dangerous oral bacteria that can cause gum disease, cavities, and other health problems.

With that being said, imagine how damaging tartar is, which is a more permanent, hardened form of plaque. Looking at the short-term effects, tartar is visible in comparison to a microscopic plaque.

 

Your body will thank you in the short and long run.

The goal of having good oral standing isn’t always about having perfectly straight, white teeth and fresh breath. It’s also about keeping your oral bacteria levels down.

The less oral bacteria you have, the healthier the rest of your body will be and the less bad bacteria that will be present in the rest of your body. In general, bad bacteria can cause a distorted digestive system and gut flora and in turn cause other body-related problems and diseases.

Good Dental Hygiene For Kids In Hoover Alabama

January 29, 2020  |  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 30, 2019  |  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.

Are Diet Drinks Bad for Your Teeth?

December 27, 2019  |  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.

Why Children Need Cavities Filled

December 26, 2019  |  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.

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

November 25, 2019  |  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.

Which Toothpaste Is Best – Hoover AL Dental

November 22, 2019  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Which Toothpaste Is Best

Which Toothpaste Is Best?

Fluoride is a key components of toothpaste. So, which toothpaste is best? Therefore, with that in mind, 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.

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.

Moreover, if you have sensitive gums and/or teeth, the best product is one that treats the underlying problem of sensitivity. Simply consider your needs and then mix and match from the options above.

 

The Importance of Fluoride

Which Toothpaste Is Best

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.

This naturally occurring mineral protects your teeth when you eat. Every food you consume leaves trace elements of sugar and starch on your teeth.

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.

When you consume items that stain your teeth such as coffee, cigarettes, wine, tea, and sugary drinks, the enamel weakens. Fluoride counters this issue, although you should still brush your teeth more often if you smoke or consume any of those products.

Fluoride also fights off previous damage by reversing the process of tooth decay. For these two reasons, when you shop for toothpaste, you should pick one with fluoride.