Chew on This: Foods for Healthy Teeth | Dentist in Vestavia

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No time to brush or floss your teeth? When brushing or flossing isn’t convenient, you can still keep your mouth feeling fresh by eating certain foods. When you’re on the go or in a hurry, try grabbing one of these foods to munch on to help fight plaque and keep your teeth healthy.  

Cheese provides several benefits for your teeth, such as preserves and rebuilds tooth enamel, prevents plaque and balances your mouth’s acidity level. It also helps to produce saliva, which kills the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. 

Tea contains polyphenols, which slows the growth of bacteria associated with tooth decay and gum disease. It prevents the bacteria in your mouth from turning sugar into plaque. Tea also fights the bacteria that cause bad breath. 

Crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots and celery, require extra chewing which produces saliva. Saliva helps to neutralize bacteria that cause tooth decay. Also, chewing on naturally abrasive foods removes stuck food particles, massages gums and cleans between teeth. 

Vitamin-rich foods containing calcium and phosphorus can help keep tooth enamel strong and healthy. Acidic foods may cause tiny lesions on tooth enamel. Calcium and phosphate help redeposit minerals back into these lesions. 

Sugarless gum contains xylitol that helps to prevent plaque and aids in producing saliva. Chewing sugarless gum also keeps your breath smelling fresh. 

Raisins contain phytochemicals, which fights bacteria that causes tooth decay. Some compounds in raisins also affect the growth of bacteria that is associated with gum disease. 

Water is the best way to stimulate saliva, which is your body’s greatest defense against bacteria that cause plaque and cavities. If you can’t brush after eating, rinse your mouth with water to assist in preventing tooth decay. 

It is important to have a balanced diet for your oral and overall health. While these foods help to combat plaque buildup and tooth decay, no food can take the place of daily brushing and flossing. It is vital to continue your daily oral hygiene regimen and keep up with regular scheduled appointments with our dentist.

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

Unexpected Ways to Use Toothpaste | Vestavia AL Family Dentist

Toothpaste does a great job of cleaning teeth, but there are many other uses for toothpaste that you might not expect. The same ingredients that help polish our teeth can also soothe some common ailments, make items sparkle, and get rid of stains and pungent smells. Read these tricks on how toothpaste can do much more than leave your smile looking bright. 

Relieve irritation from bee stings and insect bites. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the sting/bite to stop the itching and decrease any swelling. The toothpaste dries up the wound and helps it heal faster. 

Remove crayon and other marks from painted walls. Rub a damp cloth with toothpaste gently on the marked-up wall and watch the marks disappear. The best part is that it won’t remove the paint off the walls. 

Prevent mirrors from fogging. Rub toothpaste on the mirrors and wipe it off before your next shower. This will help you save time during your morning routine by not waiting for the mirror to clear up. 

Remove scuffs from dirty shoes. Apply toothpaste directly to the dirty or scuffed area, then scrub with a brush and wipe clean. Stubborn stains may require additional toothpaste or multiple applications to remove completely. 

Make silver jewelry and diamonds sparkle. Rub toothpaste onto jewelry and leave overnight. Wipe clean with a soft cloth in the morning. You can also shine diamonds by gently scrubbing them using a toothbrush, toothpaste and water. 

Remove scratches on DVDs and CDs. This technique works well on only shallow scratches and smudges. Apply a thin coating of toothpaste to the disc, rub gently and rinse clean. Repeat the process if there are many scratches. 

Decrease the size of a pimple. Apply toothpaste to the affected area at night before bed and wash it off in the morning. Toothpaste will dry out the area and speed up the healing process. 

Deodorize hands. Pungent foods, cleaning products and fragrances can linger on your hands no matter how many times you wash them. Try washing your hands using a small dab of toothpaste in addition to soap and water. 

Fill in small nail holes in walls. Squeeze toothpaste into the hole and use a putty knife to remove excess toothpaste. Let the toothpaste dry and your wall will look good as new. If needed, you can also touch up the paint. 

At your next dental appointment, be sure to tell our dentist how you decided to use toothpaste other than for your teeth! 

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

Root Canals Without Fear | Best Dentist Vestavia AL

According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), there are popular misconceptions people may have regarding root canal therapy. Unfortunately, these patients may make decisions about their health care based on this incomplete or inaccurate information. Below are some common myths that you may have heard about root canal treatment.

Myth 1: Root canal treatment is painful.

  In reality, the only pain that is generally associated with root canal therapy is caused by the underlying reason for the treatment – tooth decay or infected or diseased tissue. The root canal treatment removes this damaged tissue from the tooth, relieving the pain in the process.

Myth 2: Root canal treatment can spread infection.

In fact, root canal therapy has been proven to have a much lower incidence of bacteria entering the blood stream than tooth extraction and causes much less discomfort for the patient. Recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has also found that patients who have had multiple endodontic treatments have a 45% lower risk of cancer than patients who have not.

Myth 3: It’s better to just extract problem teeth.

By saving the natural tooth whenever possible, doctors and patients avoid the need for further, more costly treatment. Root canal treatment has a very high success rate and can often allow the natural tooth to last a lifetime.

If you still experience anxiety about the prospect of root canal treatment, there is another option you may consider. Cosgrove Dental Care is pleased to offer sedation dentistry. Whether you have sensitive teeth that make treatment difficult, prohibitive anxiety that keeps you out of the dental chair, or multiple treatments that need to be done in one sitting, sedation dentistry can remove the worry from dental care.

Don’t let dental anxiety prevent you from receiving the quality care you deserve. Our qualified team is fully certified to offer sedation dentistry. Turn a potentially stressful trip to the dentist into a relaxing experience while receiving the care you need. To learn more about our sedation offerings, contact our dental team today!

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

An Important Reminder About Your Next Dental Appointment | Best Dentist Near Me

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At times, life can seem to move quickly. Between work, school, sports, and social events, it can seem there is little time left for you and your health. It’s imperative for a healthy mouth and body to always have your next dental appointment scheduled and to prioritize this care. Our Vestavia Dentist team will work with you to find the most convenient day and time for you. If you need to reschedule, we will do our best to accommodate you. Advanced notice of a change is greatly appreciated, whenever possible. Missed appointments without notice are harmful to our 35243 Dentist practice, as we’ve reserved your appointment time exclusively for you.

Missed dental appointments can lead to worsened oral and overall health. Whether receiving preventive or restorative care, if left without professional treatment, plaque and decay will progress and the state of your oral health will likely decline. Some of our patients are predisposed to more frequent oral health issues. Many times, these guests prefer more frequent office visits. Please know this is an option for you as well. Investing in one extra cleaning each year can often prevent more costly concerns.

We know it can be tempting to skip your dental appointment. Perhaps you’d rather be relaxing at home or you’ve had a last-minute obligation arise. Please make every effort to prioritize your healthy smile, as it significantly contributes to your overall health.

Please know we’re here for you. If you have any questions about our care or practice philosophy, don’t hesitate to contact our Dentist in Vestavia, AL office.

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
Url: https://dentistvestaviahills.com/
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

Preventing Enamel Erosion | Vestavia AL Dentist

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Do you have white spots on your teeth? Are your teeth quite sensitive? Do your teeth have cracks, chips, or indentations? If yes, then you may be experiencing enamel erosion and should schedule an appointment with our dentist in 35243.

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. It is the clear coating that protects your teeth. However, being the strongest substance in the body does not mean it should be neglected. Enamel can erode. Without the protection of enamel, you not only risk developing decay, but also abscesses, tooth pain, and even tooth loss.

What Causes Tooth Enamel Erosion?

There are several factors that cause tooth enamel to erode, some of which are the result of everyday actions. Sugars and acids can wear down enamel. If you regularly drink soft drinks or sugary fruit drinks, you may be damaging your teeth. To protect your teeth, limit your consumption of such drinks. Alcohol can also erode enamel, as well as a diet that is high in sugary or starchy foods. The bacteria in the mouth can transform starches and sugars in foods such as bread into damaging acid. 

Other factors include acid reflux, recurrent vomiting, gastrointestinal problems, genetically inherited conditions, grinding your teeth, even brushing too hard or not flossing properly. All of these impact the health of your enamel, and, ultimately, your teeth. Once the enamel is worn or chipped away, it cannot be replaced.

Keep the sweets from becoming everyday treats, replace white breads with whole grains, and try eating more cheese and yogurt to bolster the calcium in your saliva to keep the acids in check.

How Can Enamel Erosion Be Prevented?

In addition to exercising moderation with soft drinks, alcohol, sugars and starches, and, of course, taking extra care with regard to medical conditions and your tooth care regimen, there are a few extra things you can do to protect your smile. Saliva can neutralize harmful acids in your mouth. By drinking water and chewing sugar-free gum, you can boost saliva production. 

Keep the sweets from becoming everyday treats and replace white breads with whole grains. Add more cheese and yogurt to your diet. Not only are both foods high in calcium, but they also help neutralize harmful acids in your mouth.

Tooth enamel is essential for maintaining a healthy smile. Be mindful of what you eat and drink. Enamel erosion may also be the consequence of other complications such as excessive teeth grinding or acid reflux. Regular visits to our office allow our team to provide a full examination and dental cleaning. If we detect that your enamel is eroding, we will discuss potential causes and solutions. 

To schedule your next visit to our Vestavia, AL dental office, please contact our team today.

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

How Chocolate Affects the Health of Your Teeth | Cosmetic Dentist in Vestavia

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Did you know that chocolate might not be as bad for your teeth as people may have thought? Our dentist in 35243 says that you can now eat your favorite treat without feeling guilty. Studies have shown that there are benefits to eating chocolate, however, not all chocolate is created equal. It is important to note that these benefits apply to dark chocolate, not milk chocolate or white chocolate. Dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and a few other minerals.

A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains:

  • 11 grams of fiber
  • 67% Iron
  • 58% Magnesium
  • 89% Copper
  • 98% Manganese
  • It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium

Here are more advantages to eating dark chocolate and how to maintain good oral health while doing so.

Chocolate and Your Teeth

Chocolate is a candy that dissolves quickly in your mouth, resulting in less time on your teeth. It does less damage than a chewy or sticky candy because the sugar doesn’t cling to your teeth as long. 

Chocolate and Your Health 

Cocoa and dark chocolate are also a powerful source of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Many experts believe this damage is a factor in the development of blood vessel disease, cancer, and other conditions. The bioactive compounds in cocoa can improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.

Chocolate Benefits 

Eating chocolate can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. A study also showed that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage.

Remember to eat responsibly as too much sugary food can be harmful, regardless of the benefits. Eating dark chocolate and brushing your teeth after will reduce the negative effects of chocolate. 

While you can indulge on your favorite chocolate treat occasionally, be sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. Brush at least twice each day for two minutes, and floss regularly. To schedule your next visit to our dental office in Vestavia, AL, please contact our team.

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

How Probiotics Improve Oral Health | Vestavia Hills Dentist

Dentist in 35243

Probiotics are typically advertised as being helpful for digestion. However, studies have shown that they can also improve oral health. Our dentist in 35243 agrees that probiotics are beneficial for fighting infections that lead to oral disease. 

Reducing Gingivitis

A study published in Contemporary Clinical Dentistry has found that probiotics can reduce gum bleeding in patients with moderate to severe gingivitis. In the trial, children were given either a placebo or two different combinations of probiotics. At the three-week mark, it was discovered that children who took probiotics had significant improvements in their gingival status.

Combating Periodontitis

Periodontitis is another oral disease that probiotics have been shown to fight. Periodontitis is caused by harmful bacteria that separate teeth from the gums creating pockets that can become infected. Probiotics can fight harmful bacteria and lessen the inflammation to help heal the mouth.

Fighting Cavities

Another finding from the trial of the Contemporary Clinical Dentistry showed that children who took probiotics also saw a significant decrease in plaque. The reduction of plaque leads to less decay. Probiotics fight the plaque and occupy the spaces on the teeth where bad bacteria thrive. 

Minimizing Bad Breath

Another benefit of probiotics is the effect they have on bad breath. Bad breath is usually caused by volatile sulfur compound bacteria releasing odor-causing gases. Because probiotics are healthy bacteria, it is believed that they can eliminate the bad bacteria and maintain a healthy bacteria balance in your mouth. 

The benefits of probiotics are not just limited to the digestive health. Researchers continue to conduct studies to discover new ways probiotics contribute to a healthy mouth and body. 

Contact our team for more information on oral health or to schedule a visit to our dental office in Vestavia, AL today.

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

Health Alert: Preventing Osteoporosis | Dentist in 35243

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Osteoporosis is a disease that affects roughly 10 million Americans, according to statistics from the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Additionally, another 44 million people are at an increased risk of developing the disease due to of low bone density. Symptoms appear in more than one-third of women over the age of 65. Fractures, pain, and mobility limitations can occur from osteoporosis. Understanding the signs and symptoms, as well as prevention methods, can decrease your chance of developing osteoporosis.  

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease that decreases bone density and weakens bones. Many people are unaware that they have this disease, and only catch it after an injury. Bone fractures can greatly diminish your quality of life through persistent discomfort and limited mobility.

Oral Health Linked to Osteoporosis

If you suffer from osteoporosis, your oral health is also at risk. Your jawbone may begin to weaken, leading to significant oral health complications. A routine visit to our dental office can allow us to detect early signs of osteoporosis. Tooth loss and gum disease are potential indicators of an underlying health issue. Our team will take X-rays of your jawbone and surrounding teeth. If we detect diminished bone density, or signs of bone loss, we will discuss the best course of action with you. 

What You Can Do

The risk factors associated with osteoporosis include genetics, calcium deficiency, smoking, menopause, excessive caffeine or alcohol, and an inactive lifestyle. Simple changes such as increasing your daily calcium and vitamin D intake, exercising, quitting smoking, decreasing consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and visiting our Vestavia dentist regularly can help lower your risk.

Osteoporosis affects the lives of millions of people. It can significantly diminish your quality of life. Through regular oral health examinations, our team may be able to identify early signs of bone loss. 

Schedule your visit to our dental office in Vestavia, AL today.

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

You Need to Know About Oral Thrush: Here’s Why | Vestavia Hills AL Dentist

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Even a healthy mouth is lined with bacteria. Normally, your daily oral hygiene routine helps prevent oral health complications. However, it is possible to develop an excess of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to additional problems. Here’s what our dentist in 35243 thinks you should know about oral thrush and what you can do to prevent it.

What is it?

Oral thrush is caused by a collection of the fungus Candida in your mouth. Bacteria and fungi occur naturally in your mouth, but it is important that they are not permitted to build up. Thrush can appear as white, thick scrapes on your tongue or inner cheek. It may also look like patchy, white sores.

Who does it affect?

Young children, infants, and the elderly are at a higher risk of developing oral thrush. If you have a weakened immune system or diabetes, it is even more important that you stay active to keep your mouth healthy and prevent issues like oral thrush. Smokers also tend to develop oral thrush more than other patients.

What can it do?

Oral thrush can lead to trouble swallowing and tasting. As it develops, it can become painful. Oral thrush can make affected areas feel like they are burning, and slight bleeding can occur if you are scraping your tongue or cheeks. Some describe the feeling as having cotton in their mouth.

Thrush can spread. If you have a weakened immune system, it is possible that thrush moves into your lungs, digestive tract, and even your heart.

How can I prevent It?

Our best recommendation for preventing oral thrush is a vigilant daily oral hygiene routine that includes a thorough brushing and flossing of your teeth, and includes your tongue. We sometimes recommend a patient use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue. Just like brushing your teeth, your tongue depends on daily cleaning to stay healthy and free of germs and bacteria.

The American Dental Association recommends that for some patients it might be helpful to consider an antimicrobial toothpaste or mouthwash. Check with our doctor to see which solutions might be best for you.

We cannot overstate the importance of regularly scheduled dental exams and dental cleanings. If you are a diabetic, it is even more important that you schedule regular visits to our office. By having your mouth checked by our staff, we can work with you to prevent oral health issues like thrush.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact our dental office in Vestavia, AL.

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

What to Know About E-Cigarettes and Your Oral Health | 35243 Dentist

dentist in 35243

The hazards surrounding vaping are not entirely clear. More research is needed in this area, but a recent study indicates that e-cigarette vapors could be damaging to your mouth. Here’s what our dentist in 35243 needs you to know.

The Vapor Ingredients

Electronic cigarettes are not regulated in the same way tobacco cigarettes are, meaning that their contents can be inaccurately labeled without any oversight. Contents that e-juice usually contains include nicotine, glycerin, chemical flavoring, and propylene glycol. Some of these substances are safe in food, such as chemical flavors, but the effects of inhaling them is not well researched. Heating these chemicals can form dangerous carcinogens such as formaldehyde. E-cigarettes might also include tiny metals and particles that you inhale while smoking.

What This Means for Your Oral Health

A recent study from UCLA found that vapors from an e-cigarette can kill the cells in your oral cavity, or the area of your mouth beyond your teeth and gums. The study placed oral cells in an environment where electronic cigarette smoke was produced for 24 hours, in a machine simulating how a person would smoke. During the test, 85% of the cells died. According to the lead author of the study, they plan to move forward to test the impacts in humans.

These cells are your mouth’s defense by helping to release antioxidants. As the cells die off or become less effective, your mouth becomes more vulnerable to oral diseases.

Another study by the University of Rochester Medical Center concluded e-cigarettes are just as bad for your gums as tobacco cigarettes are. Nicotine, which both types of cigarettes contain, is a known factor in contributing to gum disease.

Steps You Can Take

Since the e-juice industry is largely unregulated, it is best to avoid smoking electronic cigarettes. The carcinogenic contents pose serious risks to your health, especially to your mouth. Your mouth relies on the functions of these important cells to defend itself against dangerous bacteria and other substances. Without your mouth’s natural defense system, you open yourself up to oral disease.

Make sure you are regularly visiting our office, especially if you are a smoker of either tobacco cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes. Our experienced dental team will perform a complete oral examination during your visit to check for signs of oral disease. Being proactive is your best defense against combating oral disease.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact our dental office in Vestavia, AL.

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243