Sharing Your Toothbrush: What You Should Know

Did you know that brushing and flossing can help you avoid problems like gum disease? Of course, there are a few other problems that could ultimately lead to gum disease. For instance, would you be surprised to hear that sharing your toothbrush could actually leave you more vulnerable to this problem? In fact, sharing your toothbrush can lead to a number of problems.​

You see, if you share a toothbrush, you could also be sharing bacteria that cause gum disease. Sadly, your toothbrush can harbor bad bacteria, especially if the bristles are frayed. Incidentally, we recommend replacing your toothbrush every few months.​

Similarly, please note that a toothbrush can also harbor blood because some people bleed when they clean their teeth. As you may have guessed, this can actually leave you vulnerable to a number of problems, such as blood-borne diseases. Sadly, these diseases include herpes and hepatitis.​

Finally, if you find yourself somewhere without a brush, there are several things you can do instead of borrowing a toothbrush. In fact, using your finger is a better alternative than borrowing a brush. If you’re worried about your breath, try using a mint or mouthwash. Eating an apple can also improve your breath.​

To learn more about how you can avoid the risks of sharing your toothbrush in Pell City, Alabama, please don’t hesitate to contact Pell City Dental Center PC by calling 205-473-0044. Our dentist, Dr. Scott Barnett, and our team will be happy to help you keep your teeth strong and to address any concerns you have. We look forward to meeting with you.


Your New Dentures Need Daily Oral Hygiene Care

The custom set of dentures fitted for you by Dr. Scott Barnett have been designed to replace your missing or compromised teeth. This set of “false teeth” are set into a pink base that mimics the appearance of natural gum tissue. It also matches the shape of your gum structure for a firm, natural fit.

Even with this custom connection, denture wearers like to secure their dentures in place with a little denture adhesive. This helps hold the unit firmly in place.​

If you have food particles come between your dentures and the base of your gums, you should thoroughly rinse them and any residual adhesive away. You can then reapply more denture adhesive to the clean surface.​

Every night when you take your dentures out, you should thoroughly rinse the base to free any residual denture adhesive and plaque. You should then brush the surfaces and contours of the dentures with a soft-bristled toothbrush and denture polish. You should then soak the dentures overnight in water and keep them in a safe place.​

While you still have the brush in your hand, you might want to also consider brushing your tongue. Along with a vigorous rinse of antiseptic mouthwash, it will help remove bacteria and plaque to improve oral hygiene and prevent chronic bad breath problems.​

If you have questions about how to best clean and maintain your new set of dentures in Pell City, Alabama, you can always call Pell City Dental Center PC at 205-473-0044 to seek further advice from Dr. Scott Barnett.


How Dental Veneers Can Help Your Smile

Do you ever wish there was something you could do to improve the color of your smile? Are you unhappy with small cracks or chips in your pearly whites? Yet, there are a number of solutions you may be able to consider, such as dental veneers.​

In fact, veneers are thin shells that are designed to look and blend with your other teeth. This means that dental veneers can be used to match the color and shape of your other teeth and to cover these little imperfections. Moreover, even though veneers are extremely thin, they are actually fairly durable because they’re fused to your natural teeth. In fact, you may be able to enjoy these long lasting veneers for up to 15 years.​

Yet, there are a number of things you may be able to try if you’re interested in extending the life of your new veneers. For instance, please don’t try to pop things open with your teeth. You should also try to avoid chewing on anything that’s metal. Biting ice can also damage your teeth as well as your veneers. You should also try to brush your pearly whites twice every day for two minutes at a time. It’s also very important that you floss your teeth daily and schedule regular appointments with our team. During these appointments, we’ll be happy to offer you specific dental advice.​

If you’d like to hear more about the benefits of dental veneers in Pell City, Alabama, please feel free to contact Pell City Dental Center PC at 205-473-0044. We’ll gladly examine your teeth and gums and your veneers for any signs of trouble and offer you personalized advice. Our dentist, Dr. Scott Barnett, and our team are excited to receive your call soon!


The Tricks to Maintaining a Clean and Pristine Toothbrush

If you take good care of your toothbrush, then there is a good chance you’ll achieve your smile and oral health goals. This is because oral hygiene is vital, and if you have the proper tools to clean your teeth and gums, you’ll be on the right track toward the strong and successful smile and oral health you deserve.​

So, to help you keep your toothbrush clean and pristine in Pell City, Alabama, our Pell City Dental Center PC dental team encourages you to do the following things:

No. 1: Clean your hands

Unfortunately, your hands usually have high amounts of germs on them. This is why it’s important to wash your hands before you reach for your toothbrush. If you do so, the germs from your hands won’t transfer onto your toothbrush.

No. 2: Give your brush space

Try to give your toothbrush the space it needs by keeping it away from other toothbrushes. This is important because if your toothbrush bristles touch another toothbrush’s bristles, then the germs from one brush can move on over to the other.​

No. 3: Let your brush dry

Make sure your toothbrush bristles are dry before you use the brush again. Also, if you have a toothbrush cover, make sure the bristles are dry before you put it on. This is because the moist environment can promote bacteria growth.​

No. 4: Don’t share

Keep your toothbrush to yourself. Please don’t share it with other people—not even your family members. Sharing a toothbrush can easily transfer germs from one person to the other and it can even promote tooth decay.​

To learn more about how to take good care of your toothbrush or just about oral hygiene in general, please don’t hesitate to give our office a call. If you call 205-473-0044 at your earliest convenience, Dr. Scott Barnett and our dental team will be happy to help you. We look forward to hearing from you!


Here Are Your Options for Fixing a Cracked Tooth

Cracked teeth are a common occurrence that we deal with in life. The right amount of pressure while chewing on solids such as popcorn kernels or ice can lead to a crack in your teeth. Bad habits such as teeth grinding or clenching your jaw can also start the process of cracking your teeth. If this happens to you, there are several remedies available.​

Teeth with minor cracks can typically be repaired by having filling material placed inside the crack or a dental veneer. Having a filling is an affordable and easy treatment that can be applied to the tooth in one visit to your dentist. A dental veneer costs more, but it also offers more stability to a cracked tooth. A follow-up visit is necessary to apply a dental veneer.​

A dental crown is the most used treatment in cases of larger cracks. A dental crown will replace the structure and strength the tooth lost due to the crack. If the pulp of the tooth has been damaged, a root canal will be necessary. The pulp contains the soft material of the tooth, including nerve endings and blood vessels. A root canal is necessary to prevent the pulp from becoming infected.​

If the crack is severe, it may require the tooth to be extracted and replaced. The replacement can be done with either a dental bridge or implant.​

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call us at Pell City Dental Center PC in Pell City, Alabama today.


Folklore Surrounding Baby Teeth

Do you remember when you believed in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny? Think back on the excitement the prospect of losing a baby tooth brought. Knowing that the Tooth Fairy was going to come to take the tooth and leave money, whether it was a dime, quarter, or dollar, is a highlight of childhood. Bringing the wonder of the Tooth Fairy to life with your own children is a whole new, exciting experience.​

As the Tooth Fairy once again becomes a prominent part of your life, you may wonder how the Tooth Fairy came to be. There are many traditions relating to the loss of baby teeth going back thousands of years. When a child lost a baby tooth, they would do one or more of the following:​

– Throw it into the sun
– Throw it into the fire
– Throw it between their legs
– Throw it onto or over the roof of a dwelling
– Place it in a mouse hole
– Bury it in the ground
– Hide it out of sight of animals
– Put it inside a tree or on the wall
– Swallow it, or have their mother or pet swallow it​

There are many versions of the tooth deity. In some countries, a mouse would enter children’s rooms and remove baby teeth. The mouse is the tooth deity in many cultures because rodents continue to grow their teeth throughout their lives. In other cultures, the tooth deity varies to include beavers, dogs, cats, and squirrels. The tooth deity would take the lost baby tooth that was “buried” under a pillow and replace it with gifts like money.​

Our beloved Tooth Fairy was inspired by the legend of the mouse combined with legends from Europe of a good fairy that originated in fairy tales. In about 1927, a book made our current idea of the Tooth Fairy popular in America.​

We invite you to call Pell City Dental Center PC today to learn more and to schedule your next visit with our dentist in Pell City, Alabama. Dr. Scott Barnett and our team are dedicated to serving you and your family.


Chronic Dry Mouth Can Increase Your Chances of Developing Tooth Decay

The saliva in your mouth plays several important roles. Not the least of which is to help wash away food particles after you’re done eating. At the same time, chronic dry mouth also promotes the natural bacteria living in your mouth, increasing your chances of developing tooth decay. There are several potential causes of dry mouth and there are different methods to mitigate them.​

Some prescription medications result in decreased saliva production. While you will need to continue taking the medication per your doctor’s orders, there are still ways to maintain adequate moisture in your mouth. This could be as simple as sipping on water periodically through the day. In some extreme cases, there are prescription saliva substitutes that might also help.​

Dry mouth can also be the result of chronic dehydration issues. This is even more likely to be the case if you abuse alcohol on a frequent basis. At the same time, frequent tobacco use can also impair the function of saliva glands in your mouth.​

There are certain medical conditions that affect the kidneys, liver or blood that can also cause reduced saliva production. This can also be the result of oral or pharyngeal cancer.​

If you have been struggling with dry mouth issues in Pell City, Alabama, and you need help identifying the source, you can always call 205-473-0044 to set up a consultation with your dentist, Dr. Scott Barnett, at Pell City Dental Center PC.


Resolving to Have Your Healthiest Smile Yet

Many of us are seeking to put our best foot forward for positive change in the new year. If you are making resolutions, don’t forget your smile! A healthy smile boosts your self-image and benefits your general health along the way. In fact, we would like to share the ADA’s (American Dental Association) suggestions for a healthy start to the new year with the following oral habits:​

Brush: To ensure healthy teeth and gums along with better breath, brush your pearly whites twice a day for two minutes each time, using a soft-bristled toothbrush.​

Floss: To remove harmful plaque from teeth and along the gumline where your toothbrush bristles can’t reach, be sure to floss at least once a day.​

Sugarless Gum: Chewing sugarless gum can help keep tooth decay at bay as it washes away harmful bacteria and bathes teeth and gums with saliva and its protective enzymes.​

Nutrition: A balanced diet with plenty of tooth-scrubbing vegetables, tooth-building protein, and fresh fruit can build a strong body and strong teeth and bones.​

Water: Hydration serves two purposes, one, hydration which supplies the proper fluid levels for healthy saliva production which prevents dry mouth and keeps your oral environment healthy, and two, drinking fluoridated tap water will help protect your teeth from the harmful effects of acid on tooth enamel.​

Dental Cleanings: Twice a year professional dental cleanings and checkups will prevent tooth decay and gum disease which results in healthy smile longevity.​

Restorative Dentistry: If you have been putting off getting cavities filled or restoring your smile with crowns or implants, now is the time to cross them off your list with the satisfaction of a healthy, new smile.​

Smile Alignment: A straighter smile is actually a healthier smile; not only will you be able to chew your food properly, but straighter teeth are easier to clean, and correcting malocclusion means your pearly whites won’t suffer the effects of stress on your jaw joints. This will prevent TMJ along with wear and tear on your teeth.​

Tobacco Use: If you have been considering giving up your tobacco habit, starting the new year is a good time to do it. You can find support through family and friends, smoking cessation groups, and online apps that can track your progress. Not only will your smile thank you, but your body too!​

If you are looking to make 2017 the healthiest yet, remember to include your smile by implementing these oral care habits. If you would like to schedule your next dental checkup and exam, please call 205-473-0044 today. At our practice in Pell City, Alabama, Dr. Scott Barnett and our team wish you and yours a healthy, happy 2017!


The Depth of the Stains in Your Tooth Enamel Will Determine the Best Way to Whiten Your Smile

If you look at your tooth enamel under a powerful microscope, you would see a series of tiny pores and textures on the surface. When particles from dark foods and beverages become trapped in these areas, they can slowly penetrate your teeth, leading to significant stains. The depth of the stains in your smile will directly influence the method needed to fully whiten your smile.​

Adding a whitening toothpaste to your daily oral hygiene routine is a convenient way to brighten minor surface stains. Just keep in mind that the concentration of whitening agents in whitening toothpaste aren’t potent enough to brighten moderate to deeply stained teeth.​

Whitening strips can be applied to your smile to whiten your teeth as you go about your day. The clear plastic makes it hard for the casual observer to even notice you’re wearing the strip. Just like whitening toothpaste, the topical hydrogen peroxide will only be strong enough to whiten minor surface stains.​

Dental bleaching gel uses stronger concentrations of whitening agents than whitening toothpaste and strips. To use them, you will pour a small amount of the whitening gel into the provided tray and will hold it in your mouth for a set amount of time.​

Having your dentist, Dr. Scott Barnett, administer a professional dental bleaching treatment will safely eradicate the stains from deep within your tooth enamel. Then you can easily maintain your smile by using whitening toothpaste or whitening strips.​

If you are struggling with a stained smile, you should call Pell City Dental Center PC at 205-473-0044 to understand your whitening options in Pell City, Alabama.


Oral and Systemic Health – The Link

If you were told that the health of your mouth was an indicator for the health of the rest of your body, you’d likely be pretty surprised – right? After all, how can your mouth give away the health of the rest of your body?

Well, the truth is that if your mouth isn’t healthy, the rest of you likely isn’t either. So let’s look at how that connection is made and why it’s important to keep your oral health in as good shape as possible.​

Gum disease

The most common oral health problem is gum disease. Whether it’s mild gingivitis or full-blown periodontitis, when you have any form of gum disease it means there’s a significant amount of bacteria present in your mouth.

That bacteria can easily cause other health problems. Gum disease, left untreated, has been linked to causing oral cancer, heart disease, and tooth loss. Obviously those aren’t health problem you ever want to have to deal with.​

Bad breath

If you have chronic bad breath, it’s likely a sign that your mouth either isn’t making enough saliva, you’re not brushing correctly, or you’re not ridding your mouth of as much bacteria as you possible could when brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash.​

Chronic bad breath can be a sign of an underlying condition, and again the bacteria that cause it can cause other problems for your overall health as well.​

Your oral health will always be an indicator for your systemic health, which is why it’s so important to ensure you keep your mouth in tip-top shape. For tips on how to accomplish that, call us today at 205-473-0044.