Smoking’s Impact on Your Oral Health

May 18, 2020  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Smoking’s Impact on Your Oral Health

By now, you’re likely aware of smoking’s impact on your oral health. However, you might not realize the serious effects smoking has on your overall dental care. Since your mouth is the starting point for all cigarette damage, you’ll deal with significant oral health issues when smoking.

Smoking’s Impact on Your Oral Health

Since the nicotine found in cigarettes immediately hit your teeth as you are smoking, this is the worst side effect. These chemicals can lead to yellow stains on your teeth that are difficult to remove. Smoking also weakens the protective enamel on your teeth.  This can leave your teeth more susceptible to bacteria that cause tooth rot and weakened enamel. Overall, leading your teeth to become more sensitive.

Additionally, this build up of bacteria can lead to gum disease, which causes your gums to recede and compromises the stability of your teeth. Finally, perhaps the most major impact smoking has on your oral health is oral cancer.

Regular Dental Visits Are Important for Smokers

You’ll find a variety of mouthwashes and toothpastes marketed to smokers with claims that they can help repair damage caused by smoking. This includes toothpastes made to remove yellow nicotine stains and products used to mask cigarette odour in your mouth.

However, no product on the market is as effective at treating oral problems brought on by smoking as actually quitting smoking. Additionally, many of these products use abrasive and harsh chemicals to attack bacteria that thrive in a smoker’s mouth. Yet these products can do nothing to restore enamel, prevent gum and tooth rot, or stop any type of oral cancer.

If you’re a smoker, it’s important you regularly visit your dentist to monitor your oral health, and visit your local Hoover Alabama dentist Sampson Dentistry.

Do I Need to Replace a Missing Tooth?

January 30, 2020  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Do I Need to Replace a Missing Tooth?

If you’ve lost a tooth, especially one that’s not visible to others when you speak or smile, you may be thinking that you can slide by without replacing it. Sure, it will feel weird for a while, but you’ll get used it — or will you? Do I Need to Replace a Missing Tooth?

Not replacing a missing tooth can have serious physical and mental consequences. The replacement process is not as difficult as you might think and will pay off in the long run.

Consequences of Not Replacing a Missing Tooth

Having a missing tooth can lead to long-term problems inside and outside your mouth.

Over time, the teeth next to the missing tooth will shift toward each other in an attempt to fill in the gap. This leads to a condition called malocclusion, which means the teeth are not aligned properly.

Malocclusion can cause serious problems like an overbite or crossbite that result in extra strain on the jaw, difficulty chewing, and even an increased risk for tooth decay. The treatment for this larger issue is braces or even surgery, which will likely end up being more expensive than a single tooth replacement would be.

The increase in tooth decay will also lead to problems with other teeth.

Missing teeth can result in not chewing your food properly (consciously or unconsciously). Not chewing your food properly can lead to digestive issues like acid reflux and malnutrition from nutrients not being absorbed properly in the digestive tract. While it may seem like a back molar hidden from view that does not need to be replaced, remember that those teeth are essential for proper chewing and digestion.

Missing teeth can also cause bone loss along the jawline, which leads to a sagging appearance around the mouth. The bone tissue no longer receives support from the tooth, so it weakens over time. Sagging faces are common among people who wear dentures. While it may be inevitable for some, you can do something about it before the sagging begins.

Restoring Your Smile

Replacing a missing tooth is no longer the ordeal it was in your parents’ generation.

The most common treatment is a dental implant. Implants consist of a titanium post covered by a crown or denture.

The dental implant process typically takes about three months from start to finish. The implant and temporary crown can be applied on the same day, allowing you to return to normal activities while the permanent crown is made.

The end result is a tooth that looks and feels just like the one you lost. Financing options are available to ensure that you can restore a broken smile without breaking the bank.

A dental implant is a smart investment of time and money. Given the serious consequences associated with not replacing a missing tooth. Consult with your local dentist!

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.