120 Office Park Drive, Mountain Brook, AL 35223, (205) 423-9140

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Mountain Brook, AL Gentle Dentist
Mountain Brook Smiles
120 Office Park Drive
Mountain Brook, AL 35223
(205) 423-9140
Mountain Brook Gentle Dentist
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Posts for: April, 2018

By Mountain Brook Smiles
April 21, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   braces  
DwightHowardABrightNBAStarWithaSmiletoMatch

Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.

“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:

  • Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
  • Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
  • Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.

Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”


By Mountain Brook Smiles
April 12, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   veneers  

Veneers can do so much for your smile. They can completely transform it by concealing a variety of cosmetic imperfections, such as veneerscracks, chips, stains, discolorations, or gaps between teeth. Veneers can give you the smile you have always wanted. At Mountain Brook Smiles, Dr. Wes Samford is your cosmetic dentist for veneers and other types of cosmetic dentistry procedures in Mountain Brook, AL.

What are Veneers?

Veneers are thin covers applied to teeth to conceal a variety of flaws. Veneers can improve the appearance of teeth with stains, discolorations, cracks, chips, or uneven surfaces, as well as teeth that are oddly shaped. Veneers can also be used to close gaps between teeth. Veneers are made of porcelain, which looks like natural tooth enamel and can be color matched to your existing teeth so the veneers readily blend in after installation.

Veneers are custom made from a mold of your teeth for a perfect fit. The size, shape, and color of the veneers are all customized to you for the most natural look possible. Once your custom veneers are ready, placement is as simple as removing a bit of enamel from the front of each tooth to be covered, then cementing the veneers in place. Once placed, veneers will remain securely in place even when eating or speaking.

Benefits of Veneers

The benefits of veneers are numerous. The can hide a variety of problems. Teeth that are cracked, chipped, stained, discolored, gapped, or misshaped can all be corrected with veneers. In addition to the benefit of concealing cosmetic flaws, veneers also have the benefit of looking and functioning like natural teeth. Further, they are custom made to perfectly fit in place and placement is permanent so they will not fall off. Veneers can be placed by a dentist who practices cosmetic dentistry in Mountain Brook.

Veneers can completely transform your smile by dramatically improving the appearance of teeth with cosmetic imperfections. Veneers are a simple way to achieve the smile you desire. To learn more about what veneers can do for your smile, schedule an appointment with Dr. Samford by calling Mountain Brook Smiles, your cosmetic dentistry office, at (205) 423-9140.


By Mountain Brook Smiles
April 11, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  
DifficultorNotPlaqueRemovalisNecessaryforStoppingGumDisease

When we refer to periodontal (gum) disease, we’re actually talking about a family of progressive, infectious diseases that attack the gums and other tissues attached to the teeth. Caused primarily by bacterial plaque left on tooth surfaces from inefficient oral hygiene, gum disease can ultimately lead to tooth loss.

There’s only one way to stop the infection and restore health to diseased tissues — remove all of the offending plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) possible from tooth and gum surfaces, including below the gum line at the roots. The basic tools for this task are specialized hand instruments called scalers or ultrasonic equipment that vibrates plaque loose. A series of cleaning sessions using these tools could stop the infection and promote healing if followed with a consistent, efficient daily hygiene habit.

There are times, however, when the infection has progressed so deeply below the gum line or into the tissues that it requires other procedures to remove the plaque and infected tissue. One such situation is the formation of an abscess within the gum tissues, a pus-filled sac that has developed in response to infection. After administering local anesthesia, the abscess must be treated to remove the cause and allow the infectious fluid to drain. The area is then thoroughly flushed with saline or an antibacterial solution.

The gum tissues are not completely attached to the tooth surface for a small distance creating a space. These spaces are called periodontal pockets when they are inflamed and continue to deepen as the disease progresses. These inflamed and sometimes pus-filled pockets form when tissues damaged by the infection detach from the teeth. If the pockets are located near the gum line, it may be possible to clean out the infectious material using scaling techniques. If, however, they’re located four or more millimeters below the gum line a technique known as root planing may be needed, where plaque and calculus are shaved or “planed” from the root surface. As the disease progresses and the pockets deepen, it may also be necessary for surgical intervention to gain access to the tooth roots.

To stop gum disease and promote soft tissue healing, we should use any or all treatment tools at our disposal to reach even the most difficult places for removing plaque and calculus. The end result — a saved tooth — is well worth the effort.

If you would like more information on treating periodontal disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treating Difficult Areas of Periodontal Disease.”