Teeth Staining 101: What You Need to Know

Family Dentist in Alabama

Regardless of your age, we all wish for a bright white smile! Unfortunately, most (if not all) of us struggle with tooth discoloration and staining to some extent. Thankfully, tooth discoloration is relatively easy to prevent if you are aware of the many culprits! 

 

There are two main types of tooth staining: intrinsic and extrinsic. Most of us struggle with extrinsic stains that are caused by external influences such as dietary and lifestyle habits. There are many ways to treat extrinsic stains including both natural and professional solutions. 

 

The second type of tooth staining is intrinsic staining. Intrinsic stains form within the tooth and are often caused by medications, health conditions, or even excessive fluoride use. Intrinsic staining is a bit more challenging to address. However, there are great alternatives available thanks to modern dentistry.

 

In this post, we will take a closer look at some of the most common causes of tooth staining and how you can achieve the bright white smile of your dreams!

Common Causes of Teeth Staining

Tooth staining can be caused by a wide variety of factors. Dietary choices are perhaps the most common cause of tooth staining. Dark colored foods or beverages such as coffee, wine, soda, and even some fruits and vegetables can leave behind unfortunate stains!

 

Lifestyle habits such as tobacco use or poor dental hygiene are also contributing factors to a dull, discolored smile. Fortunately, if you are suffering from tooth staining caused by one of these external factors, there are many remedies available!

 

In some cases, however, tooth discoloration is caused by a factor that is outside of your control. For example, many medications can cause staining as well as excess fluoride that may be found in your water source. And for some patients, the cause of tooth staining is previous dental trauma or even genetics. In these situations, more extreme measures will be required to address the discoloration. 

At-Home Solutions for Teeth Staining

The majority of patients struggle with extrinsic tooth staining that is caused by factors that are within their control. For these individuals, there are several at-home solutions available! Simply recommitting to a thorough oral hygiene routine including twice-daily brushing and daily flossing can go a long way in eliminating staining. 

 

Bi-annual dental exams and cleanings will ensure that the plaque is eliminated, reducing the appearance of tooth staining. If you choose to enjoy a food or beverage that is known to stain teeth, simply rinse your mouth thoroughly with water once you have finished! This will minimize the potential for staining.

Professional Solutions to Teeth Staining

If your tooth staining is more advanced or is intrinsic in nature, you may need to resort to a professional solution. Fortunately, thanks to modern dentistry, there are many options available to you! Our dental team offers a variety of solutions including both professional tooth whitening, porcelain veneers to address pesky tooth discoloration. 

 

You deserve a smile that you are proud to show off! Be sure to ask your dentist about the best way to whiten your smile during your next visit.

Owens Cross Roads 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:
Owens Cross Roads AL Dentist | 4 Ways to Make Brushing Fun for Kids
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.

Owens Cross Roads 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.
Owens Cross Roads 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.

Owens Cross Roads AL Dentist | ​Oral Cancer Screening Can Save Your Life

Family Dentist in Alabama

Our expert dentist wants to remind patients that our office offers thorough oral cancer screening as part of our comprehensive dental health services. Like with every form of cancer, early diagnosis can have a profound impact on the success of your treatment. Regular screenings are your first line of defense against oral cancer and our doctor is here to help.

Owens Cross Roads AL Dentist | ​Oral Cancer Screening Can Save Your Life

In your screening, our doctor will check your lips, tongue, gums, mouth, and throat for any abnormalities that could be or become cancerous. We will give careful consideration to any symptoms you may be experiencing. If you have experienced any oral cancer symptoms for more than a week without improvement, schedule an appointment and tell your dentist immediately. Symptoms that could indicate oral cancer include:

Ear pain

Unexplained mouth bleeding

Mouth sores that don’t heal

White or red patches in your mouth

Dramatic weight loss

Lumps or swellings in or around your mouth

Sore throat without other sinus symptoms

Sensation of something caught in the back of your throat

Pain or difficulty in swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue

One adult American dies of oral cancer every hour. Though anyone can develop oral cancer, some factors can increase your risks. Some of the most common risk factors include: genetic predisposition, prolonged sun exposure, unhealthy diet, and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. Oral cancer is more common in men than women. Patients with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) are at increased risk. Users of tobacco in any form are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-users.

Whatever the cause, the success of treatment depends on the size, type, and stage of the cancer. Early detection can play a critical role in your successful recovery. When found in early stages, oral cancers have an 80 – 90% survival rate. The primary reason for this is that early detection leads to earlier treatment. Oral cancers that are found in early or precancerous stages can often be removed and require less invasive procedures to treat. Later stages of cancer are likely to be larger and more complex and often have spread far beyond your mouth.

We are accepting new patients. If you would like more information about oral cancer and oral cancer screening, contact our office for a consultation.

​Owens Cross Roads AL Dentist | Providing Relief from Periodontal Disease

Family Dentist in Alabama

Over 45% of U.S. adults have moderate to severe periodontal disease. Periodontal disease ranges from a mild inflammation of the gum tissues to periodontitis, a major oral disease that can result in soft tissue and bone damage and even tooth loss. Our experienced dentist is providing periodontal treatments to both new and existing patients who are suffering from any form of periodontal (gum) disease.

​Owens Cross Roads AL Dentist | Providing Relief from Periodontal Disease

One of the major causes of gum disease is practicing poor oral hygiene habits. Daily brushing and flossing and regular professional exams and cleanings are essential to maintaining optimal oral health. When these practices are not followed, plaque can form on the teeth and along the gumline. If this plaque is not properly removed, it may harden over time and become tartar. Once that occurs, only a dental professional can remove tartar from teeth.

If gum disease is not treated in a timely manner, tartar may continue to build. When this occurs, the gum disease may advance. Gums redden, swell, and become prone to bleeding from normal activities, such as brushing or eating. At this point, professional periodontal treatment is needed to prevent the disease from advancing further.

When periodontal disease is not treated in a timely manner, it may become periodontitis. Periodontitis is the most advanced form of periodontal disease. With periodontitis, gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating small “pockets” along the gumline. These spaces are highly difficult to clean without professional intervention and can lead to rapid worsening in overall oral health. Without prompt and thorough treatment, bone, gums, and soft tissues may be destroyed by periodontitis. One of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults is periodontal disease.

Some of the most common factors that contribute to periodontal disease developing include poor oral hygiene habits, diabetes, smoking, and female hormonal changes. Some medications can cause gum tissue to develop abnormal tissues, which can increase difficulty in proper cleaning of the teeth. People who are receiving treatment for AIDS are also at increased risk of developing periodontal disease.

Our doctor has the training and experience to diagnose and treat every stage of periodontal disease. If you have symptoms of periodontal disease, contact our office to schedule a consultation. Some symptoms include: chronic halitosis (bad breath), sensitive teeth, red or swollen gums, sensitive or bleeding gums, and difficulty or pain with chewing. Our dentist provides excellent periodontal care for our patients, and welcomes new patient consultations. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact our office.

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

Family Dentist in Alabama

Family Dentist in Hampton CoveEvery 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.  

 

Cosmetic Dentist in Alabama | Healthy is the New Beautiful

Family Dentist in Alabama

Cosmetic dentistry has been around for ages. We’ve noticed that now, more than ever, people are concerned with overall wellness in addition to a beautiful smile. In past years, we had many patients come to us seeking whitening and seeming unconcerned with ridding their smile of infection and decay.

More recently, however, mainstream news has joined our efforts to educate the public on the oral & overall health connection. This has led to patients seeking care that will contribute to overall wellness. We’ve experienced a surge in questions such as:

  • Does periodontal disease really increase my odds of heart disease?
  • Does untreated decay lead to root canal therapy and risk eventual loss of the tooth?
  • Do oral lesions signify potential oral cancer? How is that screened and treated?

This increase in “Dental IQ” is leading to more comprehensive care for our community. It’s allowing us to provide dentistry which we know is in the best interest of our patients. Dentistry is not only about the aesthetic appeal of your smile. As many of our patients have been learning, valuable overall health benefits go hand-in-hand with preventive and restorative dental care.

If you’re seeking a dentist that contributes to your overall health and wellness, contact us today.

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Dental Office

Hampton Cove Family Dentist

Hampton Cove Dentist

Hampton Cove Location

6838 US Highway 431 South Unit B
Owens Cross Roads, AL

(256) 536-8120

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