Tooth Cavities: Separating Fact From Fiction

Family Dentist in Alabama

As one of the most common oral health concerns, there is great confusion surrounding the topic of tooth cavities. What causes cavities? Are some people just more prone to this problem than others? The answers to these questions may surprise you! 

So, what is a cavity? A cavity is a form of tooth decay. The bacteria that is found in the mouth is highly acidic and interacts with plaque to eat away at your tooth’s enamel. Over time, this results in a hole in your tooth that will continue to grow deeper if you don’t receive professional care.

While cavities in their early stages are invisible to the untrained eye, they will begin to cause a toothache or pain once reaching the inside of the tooth. Fortunately, cavities are easily treatable through a process called a dental filling. Now that we know more about what a cavity really is, let’s take a look at some of the most common myths about tooth cavities.

Myth: Only Kids Get Cavities

A cavity is often the first type of oral health problem a child experiences. Because of this, many people are under the impression that only kids get cavities. However, this is simply a myth! 

Patients of every age are susceptible to tooth cavities. In fact, due to advancements in dentistry over the past 20 years, children are now at a lower risk for developing cavities than their older family members. 

Myth: Sugar is The Only Thing That Causes Cavities

This is where things get tricky. While this is mostly a myth, there is some truth behind it! The primary culprit in causing cavities is bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria is responsible for the production of the destructive acid that begins to eat through the enamel of your teeth. 

Where does this bacteria come from? The primary food groups that cause cavities are carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are naturally occurring sugars and are exist in a variety of foods including bread, rice, potatoes, and more.

So while that sugary treat certainly doesn’t do your teeth any favors, it is not the only thing that increases your chances of developing a cavity.

Myth: There is No True Way to Prevent Cavities

Unfortunately, some people are more prone to cavities than others. Some individuals are more prone to developing cavity-causing bacteria than others. Others simply have gaps in their smiles that provide more opportunities for decay. However, even for individuals with these pre-existing conditions, there are always ways to prevent cavities! 

Patients of every age can take steps towards preventing cavities by brushing their teeth thoroughly twice each day and flossing daily. However, the most effective way to prevent cavities is to visit your dentist for bi-annual dental cleanings and exams.

As we discussed previously, cavities are caused when the bacteria interacts with the plaque that accumulates on the surface of your teeth. While daily oral hygiene tasks keep this plaque at bay, the only true way to achieve a clean smile is through a professional dental cleaning!

5 Popular Drinks And How They Affect Your Teeth

Family Dentist in Alabama

Just like certain types of foods can impact our oral health for better or worse, so can the types of drinks we choose to consume. Unfortunately, many of the most popular drinks can harm your oral health if you do not limit your intake. In this post, we will discuss how five of the most popular drinks can affect your oral health, as well as some practical tips for avoiding unnecessary damage to your teeth.

Soda

Soda, pop, coke – call it what you want, it all affects your teeth in the same way! While it remains one of the most popular beverages, especially in the United States, soda contains ridiculously high amounts of sugar! The bacteria that reside in your mouth feed off this sugar, eventually leading to the formation of cavities.

However, sugar isn’t the only harmful component of soda. Soda is also highly acidic, something that can exacerbate damage to your teeth. Next time you choose to enjoy a bubbly beverage, use a straw to bypass your teeth, and be sure to rinse your mouth with water once you finish!

Energy Drinks

Although they may seem like a better alternative to soda, energy and sports drinks contain just as much, if not more, sugar! Many energy drinks are also highly acidic, causing even more damage to the enamel of your tooth. Once the enamel becomes compromised, you are likely to experience an increase in tooth sensitivity and discomfort. 

While there is certainly a time and place to enjoy an occasional energy drink, they should be seen as a treat and not as a part of your daily routine. Remember to drink plenty of water following your energy or sports drink to rid your mouth of lingering sugars. Alternatively, opt for green tea for a boost of energy to get you through the day.

Lemonade

Lemonade is good for you, right? This tasty drink falls somewhere in the middle of the list when it comes to drinks that affect your teeth one way or the other. While lemonade does not have the carbonation that can increase damage to the tooth’s enamel, it is highly acidic and often contains high amounts of sugar! 

As we have seen with the drinks we have already discussed, acids and sugars and not your mouth’s best friends. While it is important to not drink lemonade in excess, it is a tasty treat that you should continue to enjoy! Choose a lemonade with lower sugar content and be sure to drink plenty of water following your tasty treat.  

Coffee

Most adults run on a morning (and oftentimes, afternoon) cup of coffee! While coffee is also acidic, the dark color of coffee is more likely to harm your smile. Don’t panic: you don’t have to give up coffee forever! Opt for coffee drinks with lower sugar content, be sure to drink plenty of water, and consider using a whitening toothpaste to counteract the staining you may experience.

Sparkling Water

We know that water is one of the best things we can drink to promote both oral and overall health. But is sparkling water any different? While it is still important to drink plenty of regular water, the carbonation added to sparkling water will not harm your oral health. Additionally, this can be a great alternative to soda or carbonated energy drinks!

How to Stop Being Afraid of the Dentist | Childersburg, AL Dentist

Family Dentist in Alabama

For a lot of people, even the thought of visiting the dentist causes fear and anxiety.

This can be due to past trauma, a fear of the unknown, lack of communication, or simply from embarrassment. You don’t have to suffer in pain. We have 4 helpful tips to help you overcome your fear of the dentist.

 

Be Prepared

Research the dental office you’ll be visiting and learn more about the office and people. For extra peace of mind, find out if they are specialized in your procedure.

Read online reviews. See what others have to say about their experiences. Many people leave reviews on their entire appointment, from start to finish. Seek those reviews out to get a good understanding of how you can expect your visit to go.

For children, explain their dental procedure in terms that they can understand and will help ease their anxiety. Let them know that the dentist isn’t a scary place!

 

Ask Questions

Research the dental procedure you’re going to have. Make a list of any questions you want to have answered before you schedule your appointment.

Once you’re there, ask the dental assistant and dentist to keep you informed of what they are doing, as they do it.

Don’t be afraid to make pre or post-procedure calls regarding aftercare, concerns, or any questions you have.

 

Distract and Relax

Have someone you trust to go along with you. This can be a parent, spouse, sibling, or friend. They can encourage and talk to you while you wait to help keep your anxiety down.

For children, bring along their favorite stuffed animal or blanket. These familiar objects can help calm their nerves.

Focus on your breathing. If you truly concentrate only on steady breathing, you might be surprised how hard it is to think about anything else!

Listen to music or a podcast with your earphones. For children, listening to their favorite songs or storybooks is a great way to help keep their minds busy.

Ask about sedation. Sedation dentistry uses medication to help you relax for a better dental care experience. You will still be able to ask questions, but you will be calmer throughout treatment.

 

Talk It Out

Sometimes the fear can be overwhelming. You can seek counseling to get the root cause of your dental fear. Professional assistance may help you succeed in overcoming it. Your dental health is worth it!

If you have any questions or want to learn how we can help you put your best smile forward, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

Childersburg Dentist | How Long Should You Brush Your Teeth? 

Family Dentist in Alabama

Brushing your teeth is an important part of a proper dental care routine. Many of us have successfully integrated toothbrushing into our daily routine. However, we often fall short when it comes to spending enough time on this crucial task. As we get older, we tend to rush through this part of our routine without any further thought on the matter.

So, how long should you brush your teeth each day? Dental experts agree that it is important to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day (typically in the morning and the evening). Spending two minutes on this task each time you brush provides you with ample time to thoroughly clean all the surfaces of each tooth including the inner surface, the outer surface, and the chewing surface.

Taking proper care of your teeth and gums requires attention to detail. These fine details are often overlooked or forgotten completely! Unfortunately, this can lead to poor oral health.

Toothbrush Techniques

Timing is one of the most important factors in a proper brushing routine. Rushing through this part of your day can cause cavities, gum disease, or other dental problems. There are a few ways to ensure you are spending the appropriate amount of time cleaning your teeth each day.

Use a Toothbrush Timer

It may shock you to learn how little time you spend brushing your teeth. Whether you spend a lot of time or not much at all, it’s always wise to get an idea of areas in which you can improve your oral health. Next time you brush your teeth, grab a timer!

Many people find it helpful to set a timer each time they brush their teeth, at least until they establish a routine.

Follow a Brushing Plan

If the two minutes you spend brushing your teeth seems never-ending, it is likely because you are overlooking one (or several) important areas. Following a plan and brushing your teeth in the same way each time will help you avoid this problem! 

The best way to brush your teeth thoroughly is to work from one side of your mouth to the other. First brushing the inner surface, moving on to the outer surface, and finally cleaning the chewing surface of the tooth. Repeat this pattern until you have successfully worked your way to the other side.

Make Brushing Your Teeth a Priority

One of the primary reasons many people rush through their toothbrushing is because they leave it until the last minute. Clean, healthy teeth impact more than just your smile! Oral health has been linked to many types of health concerns, some of which are rather serious.

The best way to make sure you successfully spend two minutes brushing your teeth twice each day is to make it a priority. The way this is done will vary depending on the person. However, by dedicating time to this crucial task, you will ensure that your oral health is the best that it can be.

For more information on brush tips and techniques, or to schedule your next appointment, contact us here.

Childersburg Dentist | 10 Signs It’s Time To Visit A Dentist

Family Dentist in Alabama

Visits to the dentist are crucial in both treating and preventing many issues including tooth decay and gum disease. However, in our busy schedules, we often overlook the warning signs that our body is sending to us.

Waiting too long to visit the dentist can lead to expensive and time-consuming dental procedures that could have been easily avoided. In today’s post, we are sharing 10 of the signs that it’s time to visit a dentist.

1. Tooth Pain

Tooth pain is the most common reason behind a visit to the dentist. However, many adults simply ignore or cover up the pain they are experiencing. Tooth pain can be caused by a cavity, tooth decay, or other problems that can be easily remedied.

2. Swollen or Red Gums

Swollen or red gums can indicate the presence of gum disease. It is important to address this problem in its early stages for the best results.

3. Sores, Bumps, or Lesions

Any kind of sore, bump, lump, or lesion should be looked at by a dentist. Although they are usually nothing serious, they can indicate various diseases.

4. Missing or Damaged Tooth

A missing or damaged tooth is a reason to visit the dentist. By failing to address these issues in a timely manner, you can cause further damage or pain.

5. Popping Jaw

Although a popping jaw may just seem like an annoyance, it can be a sign of something more serious like TMJ, or jaw dislocation.

6. Bad Breath

If you have chronic bad breath, a visit to the dentist is a wise idea. Bad breath can be a sign of poor dental hygiene but can also be an early warning of other health concerns.

7. Sensitive Teeth

Changes in the sensitivity of your teeth should be discussed with a dentist. Whether your teeth are sensitive to heat or cold, a visit to the dentist could help discover the cause of this discomfort.

8. Bleeding During Brushing

If your gums bleed lightly after not flossing for several days, it is not likely a cause for concern. However, if your gums are bleeding excessively, or every time you brush your teeth, you should make an appointment with your dentist. Bleeding gums can be a warning sign of gum disease or even something as simple as a poor brushing technique.

9. Headaches

Headaches can be caused by many things. However, if you are having a hard time discovering the culprit of your headaches, it’s time to visit your dentist. Problems with your teeth, gums, or jaw can cause headaches.

10. Bi-Annual Checkups

Even if you are not experiencing one of the signs mentioned above, it may be time to visit a dentist. Bi-annual dental checkups are the best way to prevent serious dental concerns. In addition to this, a routine cleaning keeps your smile bright and healthy! Making time for this appointment can save you both time and money down the road.

If you have noticed one of these signs, or if it’s simply been a while since your last visit, it’s time to schedule an appointment. Contact our office here for more information!

Childersburg AL Dentist | 4 Ways to Make Brushing Fun for Kids

Family Dentist in Alabama

As a parent, the best way to help ensure your child has a lifetime of healthy teeth is to help them establish great dental hygiene habits as they grow.

Here are some useful tips for keeping your child engaged by making dental hygiene fun:

Pick out a special toothbrush.

One great way to keep your child excited about brushing is to allow him or her to choose their own toothbrush in a favorite color or branded with a favorite cartoon character. Child-size soft-bristled brushes come in a wide variety of options designed to make your child like their toothbrush.

Choose children’s toothpaste.

Another great option is to use a toothpaste that is designed for kids. While adults generally prefer the fresh mouth taste of a minty toothpaste, many children find mint to be too powerful a flavor. This can make brushing unpleasant or even painful to sensitive taste buds. Instead, let your child choose a children’s toothpaste. There are many options available in a variety of soft mint, fruity, and bubble gum flavors. It is much easier to keep your child brushing for a full two minutes when their toothpaste tastes good.

Use a timer.

Two minutes can seem like a long time to a child. It can be very difficult for your child to try to estimate or count how long to brush without some kind of visual aid. You can help your child stay more engaged and ensure a full two minutes of brushing by using a timer. Choices range from a small sand timer your child can flip over, to a manual stopwatch with buttons to press, or even an app on a phone or tablet to time digitally (if your child is old enough). By letting your child take control of the timer, they can be more confident and more engaged in their brushing.

Brush together.

A parent is the first and strongest role model for their child. Brushing together can help your child model your great brushing technique, which will improve their own. Additionally, brushing together emphasizes to your child that brushing is important. When your child sees that you take dental hygiene seriously, they are likely to follow suit.

For more tips on making dental hygiene fun for your child, contact our office.

 

Childersburg AL Dentist | To Floss or Not to Floss?

Family Dentist in Alabama

By now, you have likely seen news reports questioning whether flossing is necessary for your oral health.

Childersburg AL Dentist | To Floss or Not to Floss?

We want to answer your question right away with an absolute YES. Cleaning between your teeth is an essential part of caring for your teeth and gums.

 

Whether you use traditional string dental floss, a water flosser, an interdental (between teeth) brush, or other form of interdental cleaning, it is important that you clean between your teeth correctly and on a daily basis.

 

Unfortunately, in the quest for catchy headlines, many news agencies have been providing a great deal of incomplete and inaccurate information.

 

Here’s the truth: Plaque and bacteria can be prevented from building up between teeth when flossing is done correctly on a daily basis.

 

Why does that matter? Build-up of plaque and bacteria between teeth is one of the leading causes of periodontal disease, a condition which not only affects your mouth, teeth, and gums, but has been linked to complications with diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other systemic health issues.

 

The next time you visit our office, ask your hygienist to show you the most effective way to clean between your teeth. For more information on flossing and interdental cleaning or to schedule an appointment, please contact us.

Childersburg AL Dentist | ​Oral Cancer Screening Can Save Your Life 

Family Dentist in Alabama

 

Childersburg AL Dentist | ​Oral Cancer Screening Can Save Your Life 

 

 

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​Childersburg AL Dentist | Providing Relief from Periodontal Disease 

Family Dentist in Alabama

 

Childersburg AL Dentist | Providing Relief from Periodontal Disease 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Dentist in Childersburg | Only Floss The Teeth You Want To Keep

Family Dentist in Alabama

Family Dentist in ChildersburgEvery time you stop in to visit your dentist, you are asked, “Do you floss regularly?” This is because flossing is instrumental in maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile. It helps to remove the plaque that brushing alone can’t reach. While we all know brushing is critical to your oral health, it is important to understand the benefits of flossing daily.

Flossing is a great way to protect your gums. When you floss, your dentist recommends also working between your gums and teeth in order to remove plaque within between your gums. This will prevent the accumulation of plaque that eventually hardens into tartar. Tartar buildup can cause gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss. While you can remove plaque from your teeth and gums, tartar is much stronger, meaning that it requires a trip to your dentist in order to remove it. Simple, preventative care such as flossing regularly can help to ward off tartar and to keep all of your teeth.

Flossing can also provide financial benefits. This preventative care can reduce more severe problems down the road. Regular visits to the dentist for a cleaning is a lot more cost effective than needing emergency care due to a lack of flossing. Flossing is a great way to stop the problems before they even start.

Flossing is also beneficial to your overall health. By maintaining great oral health, you are able to prevent other systemic problems such as heart disease and respiratory disease.

Contact our office today to schedule your next appointment and stay on top of your oral health.

 

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Tooth Cavities: Separating Fact From Fiction

January 19, 2021

As one of the most common oral health concerns, there is great confusion surrounding the topic of tooth cavities. What […]

More >>
Childersburg Dentist

5 Popular Drinks And How They Affect Your Teeth

December 14, 2020

Just like certain types of foods can impact our oral health for better or worse, so can the types of […]

More >>