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.

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.

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.

Hoover Dental X-Rays

August 22, 2019  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Why are dental x-rays important

Hoover Dental X-rays are a crucial part of diagnosis and treatment in oral health.  Dental x-rays allow a dentist to view structures that are not visible to the naked eye.  This could be, because they are between teeth, under soft tissue, or within the bone.  Having  x-rays taking, some conditions can be detected or diagnosed.

Hoover Dental x-rays help check for:

What about the radiation?

In addition, with advancements in technology, especially digital systems, x-rays require very low dose radiation.  A typical dental x-raytaken digitally exposes a patient to less than 0.5 mrem.

Finally, to put things in perspective, an average resident of the U.S. receives over 360 mrem every year from background sources. This comes from all over the place: outer space, radioactive materials in the earth, small amounts of radioactive material in foods and products that we use, even over people. Variances in lifestyle likewise cause variances in each individual’s total exposure. For example: an individual who flies often is exposed to more background radiation than someone who does not.

Why are dental x-rays important

You should always limit x-ray radiation exposure, when possible. Dental x-rays are very low dose and are crucial for proper diagnosis. By being proactive, x-rays can detect much of the oral cavity in your mouth.

Porcelain Veneers Hoover AL

July 28, 2019  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Porcelain Veneers Hoover AL

Porcelain Veneers Hoover AL

In recent years, Hoover Alabama residents have had two options to choose from in regards to today’s porcelain veneers in Hoover AL.  Hoover residents can choose from traditional veneers and no-preparation veneers.

traditional veneers

With traditional veneers, your dentist will remove a very small amount of enamel from the tooth or teeth that will be receiving the veneer. Then, your Hoover Alabama dentist takes an impression of your slightly shaved tooth, so a veneer can be crafted for it. It’ll take between two and four weeks to receive the veneer. In the meantime, you can get temporary veneers during the interim.

No-preparation veneers

Take in consideration that with no-preparation veneers, there is no removal or shaving your natural teeth required.  Veneers fit over your existing natural teeth.

Before placing veneers permanently, your dentist checks the final veneer’s fit and appearance in your mouth. If the veneer doesn’t fit perfectly, the dentist can trim it down. After cleaning, polishing, and etching your tooth, your dentist will bond the veneer to your tooth.

Your local Hoover dentist can make a bite and fit adjustment after the veneer has been placed and cemented. Today’s veneers last for between 10 and 30 years, which is a huge improvement over the old style that barely stayed in place.

Porcelain veneers have been around since the late 1920s, and it should be no surprise that they began in Hollywood. A local dentist came up with a way to enhance the smiles of his Hollywood star patients. The stars would wear the caps during movie scenes, then remove them. Though this is a long way from the porcelain permanent veneers we think of today, it’s the beginning of using veneers to perfect someone’s smile.

Cavities Hoover Dental Patients

July 23, 2019  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Cavities Hoover Dental Patients

Do Cavities Hurt? Yes, no, sometimes, always, never…it just depends. They are different for everyone. Cavities in Hoover AL dental patients 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.

Cavities Hoover Dental Patients

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.

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

March 26, 2019  |  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.

Teaching Our Kids About Good Oral Hygiene In Alabama

March 25, 2019  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Teaching our Kids About Good Oral Hygiene

As parents, we are constantly teaching our children. We teach our children their colors and numbers.  Oftentimes as parents we tend to forget how important it is, with teaching our kids about good oral hygiene in Alabama.

Good healthy dental hygiene habits are about more than not having bad breath.  Good oral hygiene helps keep our children healthy and feeling more confident with their smiles.

Below are a few suggestions that you can teach your children about good oral hygiene.

  1. Make dental visits at your local dentist a part of your child’s lifestyle. Starting dental visits for your child at the earliest age recommended and continuing through out their formative years is a great way to start teaching your child about the importance of good oral hygiene. Regular dental visits starting from around the age of one start to become a habit, a natural part of a child’s life.  This continues once they reach adulthood.
  2. Make Brushing Your Child’s Teeth A Habit Before The First Tooth. You can begin making brushing your child’s teeth a habit even before they have teeth. Wiping their gums with a soft washcloth will help to remove milk build up.
  3. By serving your children raw vegetables and fresh fruits while they are young, you will be teaching them to enjoy these teeth healthy foods. You should also teach them to brush their teeth after meals and to brush their teeth after drinking sugared drinks and eating sugary foods.
  4. Teaching your child to floss at a young age is important to their oral hygiene.

Teaching Our Kids About Good Oral Hygiene In Alabama

Like everything in life, our children learn best by example. By practicing good oral habits, you will be sending the message to your children that good oral hygiene is important. If you put both your own oral hygiene and your child’s at the top of your priority list, your child will grow up understanding how important caring for their teeth and gums is and will be more likely to give oral hygiene the time and attention it needs.