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.

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 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.

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.

Teaching Our Kids About Good Oral Hygiene In Alabama

April 2, 2022  |  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.

 

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.