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Smoking Puts Your Oral Health At Risk

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DID YOU KNOW that smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States? It’s well known that smoking can lead to a number of lung-related diseases but in reality, the negative effects of smoking can be seen in almost every part of the body, especially the mouth.


Smoking Compromises Your Oral Health

Among other cancers, smoking puts you at a much higher risk of developing oral cancer. In fact, approximately eight out of 10 patients with oral cancer are smokers. Smoking remains the biggest controllable risk factor for this deadly disease.

Tobacco use is also related to severe gum disease. Because smoking weakens your body’s ability to fight infection, bacteria build up more easily in your mouth in the form of plaque and tartar. Bacteria in plaque irritate the gums and cause them to pull away from your teeth, resulting in bleeding and sensitivity. This can ultimately lead to tooth and bone loss. Those who smoke are two times more likely to develop gum disease than a nonsmoker.

Other dental problems that can be caused by smoking include:

  • Bad breath
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Coated or black hairy tongue
  • Tooth decay
  • Dulled sense of taste and smell
  • Dry mouth
  • Slowed healing after tooth extraction or other surgery
  • Lower success rate of cosmetic dental procedures

Watch the video below to see how smoking affected Brett’s smile:


A Note About Electronic Cigarettes

Within the past couple of years, electronic cigarettes have gained popularity, especially as a “safer” alternative to smoking. Since e-cigarettes are relatively new, not much research has yet been published about their long-term health effects. What we do know is that while e-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco, most contain nicotine, which is known to cause damage to the mouth.

Because nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, it reduces the amount of blood that can flow to your gums. This means that the gums don’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need, causing gum recession and tooth sensitivity as well as putting you at a higher risk of cavities. The reduced blood flow to the gums caused by nicotine use can also mask the signs of gum disease, making it harder to detect and diagnose. This delays treatment and allows the disease to progress.

Until further research is done, we can’t really know how safe e-cigarettes are. As health care professionals, we advise you to avoid them until their long-term effects are known.

Count Us As A Part Of Your Support System

Our patients are more than just patients–they are friends. We care about your health and well-being and want you to count us as a part of your support system to help you quit smoking. If you aren’t quite ready to quit, continue to see us regularly as recommended so we can help you maintain your oral health as best as possible. Talk to us about quitting today and how we can help you!

Thank you for continuing to be a part of our Divine Family!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.




Take Care Of Your Tooth Enamel

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TOOTH ENAMEL IS THE hardest substance in the human body. But don’t let that fool you–it’s far from invincible. In fact, there are things you may be doing on a regular basis that weaken your enamel, which could lead to more frequent cavities, tooth discoloration and sensitivity.

Tooth Enamel Acts As A Protective Barrier

The enamel makes up the tooth’s protective outer layer and is the first line of defense against harmful acids and bacteria. Unlike other parts of the body, tooth enamel cannot regenerate or heal. This means that once damage is done to the enamel, it cannot be repaired. That is why we want to give you some tips on how to best take care of your teeth and keep your tooth enamel in tiptop shape!

Keep Your Tooth Enamel Healthy And Strong

There are a number of things you can do to care for your enamel and protect it from erosion.

Watch what you eat and drink

Sugary, starchy and acidic foods and beverages are the top offenders when it comes to weakening and ultimately eroding tooth enamel. Calcium-rich foods and drinks, however, help to neutralize acids in the mouth and strengthen tooth enamel. You can find calcium in dairy products, dark leafy greens such as kale, soybeans, and sardines.

Our simple recommendation is to try to eat healthier and cut back on sugary snacks and drinks, soda in particular. Soda is especially damaging to tooth enamel due to its high sugar content and acidity. If you must drink something acidic or sugary, even fruit juice, use a straw!

Drink plenty of water

Drink water throughout the day to avoid dry mouth. Rinse your mouth out with water after meals to get rid of food debris as well as stimulate saliva flow. Not only does our saliva contain antimicrobial agents that protect teeth and defend against bacteria, it also consists of calcium and phosphate that remineralize and build up tooth enamel.

Brush and floss properly and regularly

When bacteria in the form of plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth for long periods of time, they produce acids that eat away at tooth enamel. Regular brushing and flossing rid the mouth of plaque and food debris. Be sure not to brush too aggressively as this habit will weaken enamel over time.

See your dentist

Regular checkups and cleanings are vital to maintaining a healthy mouth. When you come in for your biannual appointments we look for signs of tooth enamel wear, such as tooth grinding and cavities, and can help you get them under control early.

Do Your Teeth A Favor

Your tooth enamel works around the clock to defend your teeth. By following the above guidelines, you can return the favor by protecting your enamel from wear and erosion. Do you have any questions about tooth enamel? Give us a call to schedule appointment (256) 837-1200!

Thank you for continuing to be a part of our Divine Family!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


Diabetes and Your Oral Health

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DIABETES IS ONE OF THE MOST prevalent chronic diseases today. In fact, 29.1 million people in the U.S. have diabetes and millions more living with the condition don’t even know they have it.

You may know that diabetes can result in other health complications such as vision loss, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. But many are surprised to learn of the impact diabetes can have on your mouth.

Diabetes Is Linked To Oral Infection And Disease

Periodontal, or gum, disease affects 22 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes. What’s more, one in five cases of total tooth loss is linked to diabetes. These statistics can be distressing, but a proper understanding of the association between these two diseases is the first step in preventing complications.

So, first and foremost, why does diabetes affect oral health?

We have billions of bacteria living in our mouths. If that bacteria is allowed to build up, it can lead to gum disease–swollen, bleeding gums as well as bone and tooth loss. Because people with diabetes have a decreased ability to fight off harmful bacteria, they are more susceptible to gum disease. Poor blood glucose control also increases the likelihood of gum problems.

The relationship between diabetes and gum disease, however, is two-way. Because infected gums are an easy access point for bacteria to enter the bloodstream, bacteria from the mouth can cause blood sugar spike and fluctuate, making diabetes harder to manage.

Beyond gum disease, there are other oral infections and problems associated with diabetes including thrush, dry mouth, cavities and ulcers.

Keep Your Dentist Involved

Keeping us involved is the most important thing you can do to prevent gum disease and other oral complications linked to diabetes. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or if there are changes in your condition, let us know. Keep us informed of your medications and your doctor’s recommended treatment plan. Come in to see us regularly–every six months or more if deemed necessary.

Other things you can do to manage your oral health and diabetes include:

  • Develop good oral hygiene habits
  • Quit smoking
  • Control your blood sugar

Your Health Matters To Us

Every aspect of your health is important to us, not just your the health of your mouth. If you have questions about how your dentist can help you manage your diabetes, contact us. We are your partners in ensuring both your oral and overall health.

Thank you for continuing to be a part of our Divine Family!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


Are You Prepared for a Dental Emergency?

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ACCIDENTS ALWAYS SEEM to happen when we least expect them. When those accidents involve tooth damage, it’s important to know what steps to take. Being prepared before a dental emergency occurs can save a damaged or knocked out tooth, prevent infection and decrease the need for extensive treatment.

Step One: Find Your Dental Home

The most important step to being well-prepared for a dental emergency is establishing a dental home. This means finding a dental practice that is right for you and sticking with it. When the worst happens unexpectedly, it can be a great help to have a dentist and practice you trust by your side.

If you have found your dental home, you will likely be more familiar with their hours and know if and when your dentist provides emergency services. With an already established relationship, you know your preferred practice will be able to provide high-quality care, advice and support.

Step Two: Be Prepared

We all know accidents happen. Being “prepared” simply means knowing what to do in certain situations before a mishap actually occurs. In a dental emergency, time is of the essence–it could mean the difference between saving or losing a tooth.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), here’s how you should handle these dental emergencies:

When a baby tooth is knocked out…

If this happens to your child, contact their dentist as soon as possible. The tooth will most likely not be replanted because of potential damage to the developing permanent tooth.

When a tooth is fractured or chipped…

Contact your dentist immediately as prompt treatment is required. Rinse out your mouth with water and find any broken tooth fragments. Place the fragments in cold milk or water and bring it with you to the dentist.

When a permanent tooth is knocked out…

Again, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention from your dentist. Most knocked-out teeth can be saved if a dentist is seen within 30 minutes to an hour of the accident. In the meantime, find the tooth and rinse it gently in cool water (no soap), without scrubbing or cleaning it. Replace the tooth back in the socket, if possible, and hold it there with clean gauze or a washcloth. If you cannot put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a container with cold milk, saliva or water.

We’re Here For You

If you have a dental emergency, call us immediately (256) 837-1200. We make it our priority to be here for you, rain or shine!

Thank you for continuing to be a part of our Divine Family!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.




The Spooky Truth About Sugar

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MONSTERS AND GHOSTS AND SUGAR, OH MY! Wait… sugar? That’s right. The scariest thing you’ll encounter this Halloween may just be sweets.

Here are some hair-raising statistics about Halloween candy consumption:

• Americans purchase around 600 million pounds–or 2 billion dollars worth–of candy each year for Halloween.
• Kids consume up to 7,000 calories on Halloween and the average trick-or-treater intakes about three cups of sugar.
• The average child would need to trick-or-treat for over 100 miles to burn off what they eat during Halloween.

These statistics may be a bit shocking but what is perhaps even more frightening is how much sugar the average American consumes on a daily basis, not just around October 31st.

According to a study done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, sugar makes up 16 percent of the average American child’s daily caloric intake. The American Dental Association recommends that added sugar should make up no more than 10 percent of total energy intake and ideally less than five percent.

More Sugar, More Cavities

It’s no secret that sugar in excess can be harmful to your health. High sugar consumption has been linked to obesity, diabetes and poor heart health. We also know it can be especially damaging to teeth and gums.

When we eat foods that contain sugar, we are not the only ones enjoying the meal–so are the harmful bacteria in our mouths. As a result, these bacteria produce acids that eat away at our teeth and cause tooth decay, or in other words, cavities.

Watch Out for Added Sugars And Try To Cut Back

Almost all foods have some type of sugar in them. Naturally occurring sugars–like those found in milk, and fresh fruit and vegetables–are less worrisome, since these choices are healthy overall. What you want to keep an eye out for are added sugars.

Here’s how we recommend you lower your daily sugar intake:

Read food labels.

Many times we don’t realize just how much sugar we are consuming. You may think you’re making a healthy choice for your child with dried or canned fruit, granola bars, or even yogurt. But many of these food items have a surprisingly high amount of sugar.

Think about your drink.

Did you know that one can of soda is equivalent to three times the daily recommended sugar intake for a child? Even seemingly healthy beverages such as fruit juices contain far too much sugar. The best options for beverages are water and milk.

Cook at home.

By cooking at home you can know exactly what is going into your child’s meals and snacks. You’d be surprised by how much hidden sugar there is in fast food!

Trick or Treat?

Don’t let Halloween trick you into thinking it’s the only time of year you need to think about your treats! The amount of sugar we consume in October is scary, but our daily sugar intake needs our attention too. Let this Halloween mark the start of your family’s journey to cut back on sugar!

Happy Halloween!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.



What Parents Need to Know About Thumb Sucking


THUMB SUCKING IS NORMAL for infants, but many parents wonder about its effect on their child’s future dental health. As a parent, you may have questions such as, “When should I be worried about thumb sucking?” or, “What will happen if my child continues to suck their thumb?”

Because thumb sucking is so widespread–it’s estimated that about 75 to 95 percent of infants suck their thumb or fingers at some point–we want to help parents understand why it happens and how you can help your child break the habit if necessary.

Thumb Sucking Is Normal–Up to A Certain Point

If your infant develops a thumb sucking habit, remember, it is completely normal. Some children even begin sucking their thumb in the womb! It’s a natural reflex for babies and provides them with a sense of security and comfort.

In most cases, as baby grows and begins to explore the world around them, thumb sucking will gradually decrease and disappear on its own, usually between the ages of two and four. Past age four, however, thumb sucking should be discouraged.


The reason for this is that prolonged sucking can negatively impact your child’s developing teeth. Depending on the frequency and intensity of sucking, teeth and the upper and lower jaws can be pushed out of alignment and the formation of the roof of the mouth can be changed. It can even affect speech development.

What to Do If the Habit Persists

If your child’s thumb sucking habit persists, recognize when it occurs. Is it an absentminded habit or do they suck when they are anxious, stressed or nervous? The method you use to help break your child’s sucking habit may depend on the reason behind it. For some children, a discussion and goal setting is enough. For more difficult cases, you may need to enlist the help of your dentist.

Here are some general tips to help your child break the habit:

  • Explain. If your child is old enough, help them understand the consequences of thumb sucking and why they need to stop.
  • Make your child an active participant. Help your child come up with their own goals and prevention strategies. They will be more likely to keep their own goals.
  • Take note. Observe times they are more prone to sucking, if any, and try to create diversions.
  • Use positive reinforcement. Offer encouragement and support instead of punishments.
  • Make a progress chart. Help your child see their progress and reward them with a prize at the end of each week and/or month. Have your child be the one to place stickers on the chart and choose the prize.

Involve Your Dentist

Whatever the methods you choose to help your child break their thumb sucking habit, we are here for you! We can provide advice, support, and if necessary, further treatment options to help your child stop sucking their thumb or finger.

Talk to us about thumb sucking today–we’d love to address your concerns, answer questions and help come up with the best solution for your child.

Thank you for continuing to be a part of our Divine Family!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


Helping Your Kids Learn and Love To Brush Their Teeth

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ANY PARENT KNOWS that getting your child to do certain things like eat their veggies, clean their room and even brush their teeth can be difficult. But the reality is that tooth decay is the number one disease affecting young children today.

To combat this, kids need to learn and love to brush their teeth early on in their lives. Our goal is to help your children maintain bright, healthy smiles and help them learn early the importance of good oral hygiene.

Let’s Catch Up On Some Of The Basics

Your child’s first dental visit should be when their first tooth appears, or around their first birthday. Once teeth emerge, you can start brushing them. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a child-sized toothbrush and only a smear of toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice). When two teeth begin to touch, it is time to start flossing!

From the ages of three to six, you can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Remind children not to swallow the toothpaste. Continue to help your child brush their teeth until you feel that they can correctly do so on their own.

Our Top Tips On Teaching Your Kids Good Oral Hygiene

It may not be easy, but it will definitely be worth it to teach your kids the value of taking care of their teeth. Here are some things you can do to help them understand just how important a task it is, and even how fun it can be!

Teach Them Why

When kids understand the reason behind something, they are more inclined to do it. You can even make it more interesting by spinning it into a fun story and giving the bacteria in their mouths a name, like the plaque monsters or tooth bugs!

Let Them Participate

Allowing your child to pick out their toothbrush, toothpaste and floss is a great way for them to participate. If you use a timer to help them brush their teeth for the full two minutes, let them press the button. Find ways to get them involved!

Use Positive Reinforcement

Parents know better than anyone what kids will do for prizes. One idea is to use a sticker chart. Every time they brush their teeth well, without complaining, they get to put a sticker on the chart. When the chart is full, they get a prize!

Make It Fun

Whether you turn on their favorite two-minute song or have them brush their stuffed animal’s teeth first, making it fun is key to helping your child love brushing time. There are also many smartphone apps out there dedicated to making oral hygiene more fun!

You can even show them this fun video to help encourage them to brush their teeth!

We Are Proud Partners Of Parents

Although getting your child to love brushing and flossing their teeth is difficult at times, remember that we are your allies in helping ensure their lifelong oral and overall health. If your child is still struggling with brushing and flossing, let us know, we are here to help. Call to schedule appointment today (256) 837-1200!

Thank you for continuing to be a part of our Divine Family!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.




Does Your Child Grind Their Teeth?

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MANY PARENTS HAVE heard their children (loudly) grinding their teeth while they sleep at night, or even during waking hours. You may worry about the health of your child’s teeth or what their tooth grinding habit means and what has caused it. We hope this blog post answers your questions!

Why Does Teeth Grinding Occur?

Most commonly, bruxism–or teeth grinding–occurs at night. The causes of bruxism are not entirely understood and every child is different. Teeth grinding can occur due to teething in infants, or even when children get their permanent teeth. Others may do it in response to pain, frustration or stress. Some may grind or clench due to improperly aligned teeth. Certain medical conditions as well as genetics may also make people more prone to brux.

Is Bruxism Worrisome?

Bruxism is fairly common among children. In fact, between twenty and thirty percent of children grind or clench their teeth at one point during their childhood. The good news is, most outgrow it and do not incur any lasting damage to their teeth during a teeth grinding phase.



If you suspect your child is grinding their teeth, it’s important to take them to your dental care provider. Some symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Grinding noises while your child is asleep
  • Pain when chewing
  • Unusual tooth sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Sore jaw or face, especially in the morning upon waking

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms or you suspect that they grind or clench their teeth frequently, pay a visit to your dentist. Fortunately, most cases of bruxism in children do not require treatment, as it usually goes away over time. However, depending on the cause of your child’s bruxism, your dentist may recommend various treatment options. For example, if your child grinds their teeth in response to stress, perhaps a more calming bedtime routine would help.

During your visit, your dentist will examine your child’s teeth for tooth enamel wear and damage. If there is damage, or your child grinds their teeth very frequently, your dentist may recommend a custom-made night guard to protect teeth and hopefully prevent grinding.

We’re Here To Help

Whatever the reason for your child’s teeth grinding habit, we would love to help! If you have any questions about Bruxism , let us know by calling and making an appointment today! (256) 837-1200. We love to answer any questions you might have about your family’s oral health care needs.

Thank you for continuing to be a part of our Divine Family!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.





Snacking Tips to Keep Your Child’s Smile Healthy

GOOD NUTRITION IS ESSENTIAL for a child’s healthy growth and development. It’s also important for their dental health! A good diet can help your child build strong, healthy teeth, while poor eating habits puts your child at a higher risk of tooth decay.

You may understand how important nutritious meals are, but one thing some parents struggle with is snack time. Here are our best tips on how to make sure your child’s snack time is tooth-friendly!

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Not All Snacks Are Created Equal

Stay away from starchy, sticky or sugary foods during snack time, like dried fruit, crackers, chips and cookies. These types of snacks can stick to the teeth for long periods of time, potentially causing cavities. For snack time it’s best to opt for fruits, vegetables, nuts, yogurt and cheese.



If You Indulge, Do It During Mealtime

Don’t worry; we don’t expect you or your child to never eat sweets or starches. There is a better time to eat them than at snack time, however, and that is during meals! That’s because it’s not just important what you eat, but when you eat. At mealtime, there is an increased amount of saliva in the mouth that can help wash away those starches or sugary treats, counteract acid-producing bacteria and remineralize teeth.

Watch Out For Added Sugars


Almost all foods have some type of sugar in them. Naturally occurring sugars–like those found in milk and vegetables–are less worrisome, since these choices are healthy overall. What you want to keep an eye out for when choosing snacks are added sugars.

According to the American Dental Association, added sugar consumption should be limited to less than 10 percent of total energy intake, ideally less than five percent. To put things in perspective, one can of soda is equivalent to three times the daily recommended sugar intake of a child!

Choose Beverages Wisely

On that note, we’d like to advise parents to choose their children’s beverages wisely. Soda and juice may be your child’s preferred drinks, but milk and water are much healthier choices. Good sources of calcium, like milk, aid in building strong teeth and bones and water helps to wash away food particles that may be clinging to teeth, thus protecting against decay.

Sip All Day, Get Decay

Whether your child is drinking milk, juice or soda, don’t let them sip it throughout the day. Constant consumption of either food or drink is harmful for teeth, because not only are you feeding yourself, you’re also feeding the cavity-causing bacteria that reside in your mouth. Limit snacking to once or twice a day and have your child sip on water. If they drink anything that contains sugar, have them drink it during mealtimes or all at once.

Your Family’s Health Is Our Priority

If you have any tips or healthy snack ideas that your kids love, leave it in the comments below! At Divine Expressions, we care about the health of your whole family. Proper nutrition, especially at snack time, will ensure healthy smiles for you and your children for a lifetime!

Thank you for being part of Divine Family!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.



The Professionals vs. The Headlines: What’s up with Flossing?

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YOU’VE BEEN HEARING a lot about flossing in the news these days. Recent articles stating that flossing doesn’t do any good for your oral health have left many feeling shocked and confused. As your trusted dental professionals, we’re here to set the record straight!

It all started with an article by the Associated Press stating that the benefits of flossing have been unproven. Unfortunately, haters of flossing were quick to take up their torches and pitchforks against the practice. In response to the Associated Press article, the American Dental Association released a statement saying that flossing is “an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.” And we’re going to tell you why.

Here’s Why You Should Continue Flossing

  • Prevent Decay
  • Prevent gum disease
  • Fresher breath
  • Whiter smile (less stain)
  • Younger smile (less gum recession)
  • Less dental expense
  • Less dental pain
  • Less time away from work or family life
  • Healthier Heart (bacteria from gum disease has been linked to certain types of heart disease).
  • Maintains health/condition of dental restorations

  • Having a healthy mouth allows you the opportunity to maintain a nutritious diet thereby increasing your chance for vitality and longevity!

    We Care About Our Patients

    We only recommend flossing because we care about your oral and overall health! Through our years of experience, we’ve seen the difference that flossing can make. So, ignore the headlines and take it from the professionals: flossing works! Keep up the good flossing habits and we promise you’ll feel the difference.

    If you have any questions about Flossing, let us know by calling and making an appointment today! (256) 837-1200. We love to answer any questions you might have about your family’s oral health care needs.

    Thank you for continuing to be a part of our Divine Family!

    The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.



    Teething? Here’s what to do!

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    TEETHING IS NO FUN for babies or parents. Some babies’ teeth erupt with no problems at all but for others, it could be a long and painful process.

    Besides giving your child plenty of tender loving care, here are some things you can do to care for your child’s mouth during the teething phase.

    Be Aware Of Teething Signs And Symptoms

    When your little one finally starts teething, it’s normal for them to be fussy and irritable. Common symptoms are difficulty sleeping, decrease in appetite and increased drooling. It’s also normal for their temperature to increase slightly when they’re teething, however, high-grade fevers are not normal. If your child seems overly cranky or has a high fever, call your physician.

    When teething begins is different for each child. While the average time teeth begin to appear is around 4 to 6 months, teething can begin anywhere between three and 12 months.

    You Can Keep Your Child Comfortable With These Tips

    Your baby may seem inconsolable while teething but here are some things you can do to soothe and ease their pain:

    • Massage their gums. The counter pressure of your finger helps ease teething pain.
    • Use teething rings or toys. Even a simple chilled washcloth will work. Chewing soothes the baby as counter pressure relieves pain. When chilling toys or rings, remember to refrigerate instead of freeze. .
    • Relieve pain. Talk to your child’s doctor about pain relief if your little one seems to be having a more difficult time. Appropriate dosage of acetaminophen may be beneficial during especially painful teething episodes. Avoid teething medications that contain the pain reliever benzocaine. teething pain.

    And when your baby is in the thick of teething, just remember what an important milestone it is. Teething, like crawling, walking, and talking, shows that your child is on the right track developmentally.

    Once Teeth Appear, Take Proper Care Of Them

    The American Dental Association recommends taking your child to the dentist as soon as the first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday. Once the teeth appear you can also begin brushing. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, start brushing your child’s teeth twice a day. Since very young children have not yet learned not to swallow toothpaste, use only a smear of fluoridated toothpaste or the size of a grain of rice.

    We’re Here To Help From The Very Beginning

    Good oral care starts from the beginning of your child’s life. We’re here to help you every step of the way! If you have any questions concerning infant oral health care or teething, call your Divine Team and make an appointment with us today. 256-837-1200

    Baby teeth may be small but they’re important!

    We can’t wait to see your little one’s bright smile!

    The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


    How Dental Sealants Can Protect Your Child’s Teeth

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    DID YOU KNOW, on average, a child smiles around 400 times per day? That’s up to ten times more than the average adult! No matter how many times your little one smiles, we want to help them make sure theirs remains healthy throughout their childhood.

    One way to protect your child’s pearly whites is by applying dental sealants.

    Did you also know that you can get sealants as an adult? Sure you can. Cavity bugs affect all teeth so why not seal them all?

    Dental Sealants Protect Teeth From Tooth Decay

    A dental sealant—also known as a pit and fissure sealant—is a protective barrier placed on the chewing surfaces of teeth in order to seal out food and bacteria which result in cavities. These sealants are often made of a plastic-like material and applied in a thin layer to fill hard-to-clean recesses in teeth known as fissures in the premolars and molars, and cingulum pits found in canines and incisors.

    Application Of Dental Sealants Is Quick And Easy!

    • The application of sealants is a quick and comfortable process, and usually only takes one visit!
    • First, the surface of your teeth are polished and cleaned of any plaque or food debris.
    • Next, each tooth receiving sealants will be isolated and dried.
    • The teeth are then etched to allow the sealant to adhere more securely and then rinsed and dried to prepare for the sealant application.
    • The sealant is then applied to each tooth and cured by a special light to bond the sealant to the teeth.
    • Finally the new sealants will be evaluated and once hardened, will be safe to chew on!

    When Should Your Child Get Sealants?

    Children should get dental sealants as soon as possible after their permanent teeth erupt. This happens at a different time in each child’s life, but most children have all of their permanent teeth around the age of 6.

    Children often develop dental caries (cavities) in the pits and fissures of these new permanent teeth because they can be very difficult to clean, even if they are brushing and flossing properly. If sealants are applied soon after permanent teeth erupt, food and bacteria don’t have the chance to settle in these crevices and your child can reduce their chance of cavities by 80 percent. Studies show that sealants can remain effective for many years if properly cared for.

    IF you missed getting sealants when you were a child, NO PROBLEM. We place sealants in our adult patients all the time to help prevent those teeth from getting cavities.

    We Can Help Protect Your Smile

    Each and every smile is precious, and we are committed to ensuring your child’s remains happy and healthy as they continue to grow. We are also committed to making sure your teeth remain healthy as an adult. If you have any questions about dental sealants, let us know by calling and making an appointment today! 256-837-1200. We’d love to answer any questions you might have about your family’s oral health care needs.

    Thank you for continuing to be part of our Divine family!

    The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


    We’re Ready To Soak Up Some Summer Sun!

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    AHH… SWEET SUMMERTIME. We couldn’t be more excited that summer has finally arrived and with it, summer activities! We’re looking forward to backyard barbecues, family trips, and lots of fun in the sun. Our team has got a lot planned for this summer!

    Our Team’s Favorite Summer Activities And Traditions

    Dr. Barnett loves spending time and traveling with his family and friends. While he doesn’t like snakes he enjoys being outside, at the lake and enjoying nature!

    Ashleigh, our insurance guru, loves her some Crimson Tide Football, she also plays on the Huntsville Tennis and kickball leagues. She enjoys traveling and seeing different places around the world.

    Kim, one of our lovely assistants, loves spending time with her son and family. Her hobbies include going swimming, fishing, walking, and reading books.

    Rita, one of our many hygienist, hobbies are reading, bowling, spending time with her sons and dog "Coby", and playing volleyball.

    Janine, another one of our hygienist, enjoys riding motorcycles with her husband, fishing, and spending time with her family and cooking out on her smoker. Dr. Barnett loves when she brings food to the office.

    Shay, our hygienist, receptionist, and assistant…she does it all, enjoys going fishing by the lake, traveling and also going swimming with her two sons.

    Kanavis, Dr. Barnett’s executive assistant, loves to DJ during the summer and go to the beach in Gulf Shores.

    Grace, one of our newest front desk members, loves to go swimming, hiking, and having BBQ’s with the family.

    Christy, the newest member to our assisting department, loves to read, go water skiing and take photography pictures.

    Need a few fun ideas for the kids this summer? Check these out!

    Point Mallardhttp://www.pointmallardpark.com/

    U.S. Space and Rocket Center - http://rocketcenter.com/

    Tennessee Aquarium - http://www.tnaqua.org/

    The Birmingham Zoo - https://www.birminghamzoo.com/

    What’s On Your Summer Bucket List?

    Have you been getting that special summertime feeling? Let us know what you’re going to be up to in the coming summer months in the comments section below or on our Facebook page! We’d love to get some fun summer activity ideas from our awesome patients.

    We love summer, but we love our patients even more!


    We Love Our Pets

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    WE LOVE, getting to know our patients! Each time you come into our office, we’re grateful for the opportunity we have to learn more about you and what makes you smile.

    This week, we want to help you get to know us a little bit better too by introducing you to something we love: our pets

    Get to Know Our Pets!

    Man’s best friend comes in all shapes and sizes!

    This is Rita’s dog “Coby”.

    A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself. Josh Billings

    Dr. Barnett is unfortunately allergic to most dogs so he only has salt water fish to welcome him when he gets home! His aquarium is adorned with souvenirs from his snorkeling adventures throughout the world however.

    We Want to Hear About Your Fuzzy Friends!

    Whether you’re a cat person, a dog person, or anything in between, we’d love to hear about your pets too! Tell us why you love your pets in the comments below or share a photo with us on Facebook!

    Thank you for being our valued patients and friends!

    The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.




    Learn the Benefits of Dental Implants

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    IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED TOOTH LOSS, you are not alone. In fact, more than 35 million Americans are missing all of their teeth, while 178 million are missing at least one tooth. Here’s the good news: there are solutions for you.

    Dental Implants Function Much Like Natural Teeth

    While there are other tooth replacement options, dental implants have many advantages over other treatments. They are called “implants” because an artificial tooth root is placed, or implanted, in your jawbone. It is then covered by a natural-looking tooth replacement. Implants are the only tooth replacement option that incorporate an artificial root, allowing them to function much like natural teeth.

    There Are Many Benefits to Choosing Implants

    Here are five major benefits to consider when deciding between dental implants and other tooth restoration options:

    #1: Dental implants are convenient and long-lasting.

    Unlike dentures, you don’t need to take them out to eat or clean and there’s no need to reapply them with adhesive. Implants also provide a permanent solution to tooth loss–they are built to last a lifetime if they are well taken care of.

    #2: Get the look, feel and function of your natural teeth.

    Dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth so you can look and feel your best. They also function like real teeth, meaning you can bite naturally and eat the foods you love without hesitation. Implants also don’t interfere with speech like some other replacement options.

    #3: Oral hygiene isn’t complicated by implants.

    You can take care of your teeth as usual, flossing once a day and brushing twice daily. With implants, it’s easy to maintain that bright, beautiful smile!

    #4: Implants prevent bone deterioration and loss.

    When you lose teeth the jawbone deteriorates, causing your face to appear sunken over time. Implants act as an artificial tooth root, stimulating the jawbone and promoting bone growth. This helps maintain the natural shape of your face and jaw.

    #5: Leave your natural teeth unaltered.

    Some treatment options, like a dental bridge, require grinding down other healthy teeth to support the bridge. Implants replace lost teeth but do not require any alteration of your existing healthy teeth.

    Here's a look into how Implants are made!

    Don’t Let Tooth Loss Keep You From Smiling

    You should never let tooth loss keep you from a healthy, beautiful smile. If you have experienced tooth loss, come and talk with us today. We will consult about what tooth restoration options will be best for you, your lifestyle and health.

    Our patients' smiles make it all worthwhile!

    *The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

    *Image by Flickr user Vanessa Porter used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.



    Saliva...What is it good for??????

    EVER THINK ABOUT HOW GREAT your saliva is? Probably not. We'd love to enlighten you! Saliva has an all-important role in your oral and digestive health.

    Saliva Has Many Important Functions

    Our bodies make two to four pints of saliva a day. That means that over a lifetime, a person will create enough saliva to fill two swimming pools! So, why is saliva important? Well, there's more than one answer to that. Besides allowing us to give wet willies or make spit wads when we were kids, our saliva has many important functions.

    First, saliva aids in digestion. It begins the process of breaking down food and helps us chew, taste and swallow. In fact, without our spit, we wouldn't be able to taste at all!

    Additionally, saliva is essential to maintaining our oral health. Our spit contains antimicrobial agents that protect teeth and defend against bacteria. It also contains minerals such as calcium and phosphate that remineralize our teeth, strengthening the enamel.

    Your saliva plays an especially important role after eating and drinking. It washes away that extra food and debris left in your mouth that contributes to decay. It also helps neutralize the acids created by bacteria that break down enamel and cause cavities. Thank you, saliva!

    Some People Do Not Create Enough Saliva

    Some people have a condition called dry mouth, where they aren't producing enough saliva. Certain illnesses and medications can cause dry mouth, and those who have it are more prone to tooth decay and gum disease as a result. For those with and without dry mouth, here are some tips to increase saliva production and protect your teeth:

    • Chew sugar-free gum, especially after meals
    • Suck on sugarless candy
    • Drink plenty of water

    Saliva Works Around the Clock to Protect Our Smiles

    Saliva may just be the unsung hero of our oral health. It is constantly strengthening and defending our teeth against bacteria, decay and dental disease. At the end of the day, all we can say is that our bodies are amazing and our spit is awesome!

    Thank you to our wonderful patients and friends!


    "Don't Rush Your Brush!"

    ARE YOU READY TO ACCEPT THE BRUSHING CHALLENGE? We all know it's important to brush our teeth, but brushing for 30 seconds on your way out the door in the morning just isn't enough!

    This month we're telling our patients, "Don't Rush Your Brush!" We're running a fun campaign encouraging our patients to brush twice a day for two full minutes.


    Here's Some Helpful Tips To Help You Not Rush Your Brush:

    • Set a reminder alarm. You can set an alarm on your smartphone to remember to brush every morning and every night before bed!
    • Use a stopwatch. Using a stopwatch can be a great way for you to see just how much time you're spending cleaning your teeth. Remember to use at least two full minutes!
    • Listen to your favorite song. Listening to music can be a great way to pass the time while you're brushing your teeth! Pick a point in the song at least two minutes in so you know when to stop.

    Dr. Barnett tells our young patients to hum the happy birthday song twice and when you are done you have brushed for about two minutes. Adults can try it too and it puts you in a good mood if you dance a little while humming!!!

    During your next visit, take our brushing challenge by promising to brush for two full minutes, twice a day for 30 days and post a photo on social media to raise awareness. By doing this you will be entered to win a prize!

    Participating Is Easy!

    • Step 1: Come by our office and take a picture with our sign, take the "brushing challenge.
    • Step 2: Post the photo to Facebook as a public post and tag the location of our practice.
    • Step 3: Receive a raffle entry to win the prize!

    The winner of the drawing will receive an apple watch courtesy of Dr. Barnett!

    "Don't Rush Your Brush" For An Apple Watch!

    Contest ends May 28 Dr. Barnett's Birthday.

    Visit our Facebook page for more information and updates!



    Freshen Up Your Smile For Spring!

    WITH WHITE CLOTHES, SOMETIMES IT TAKES a little bleach and a little sunlight to bring them back to their beautiful brightness! The same goes for your smile!

    Your teeth may not feel the same as a cotton t-shirt, but they ARE porous, and they absorb the food colors that you eat each day.

    Daily Living Can Dull Your Smile

    Drinks like coffee, red wine, and dark fruit juices tint your smile. Berries, brightly colored candy, even soy sauce and curries will stain teeth too. Pigmentation from things we consume every day gradually build up and cause us to have dull, stained teeth.

    Is It Time To Freshen Up Your Smile?

    The problem with these set-in stains is that they need more than elbow grease. Brushing and cleaning your teeth, however thorough a job you do, won't bring back that beautiful white you used to have. And while over-the-counter tooth whiteners can help, the best way to get a dazzling, bright smile in a safe and healthy way is to come see a dentist.

    Here at Divine Expressions Family Dentistry we offer an array of whitening options from in office to take home trays. We are sure to find a solution to whiten your teeth that fits your budget!

    Your Gorgeous White Smile Also Helps Children In Need

    Your timing is perfect, because we're doing our Smiles For Life Campaign! When you get your smile whitened you also help children locally and around the world.

    Here's How It Works:


    Help More Kids By Helping Us Spread The Word!

    Whether you choose to have your own smile whitened or not, you can make a HUGE difference for seriously ill and underserved children around the world by simply sharing this opportunity on your trusted social networks such as Facebook!

    Thanks for helping us make a difference in children's lives!

    Contact Us

    Send Us An Email Today! We'll Provide You With That Winning Smile!

    Hours Of Operation

    We look forward to hearing from you.

    Monday:

    9:00 AM-5:00 PM

    Tuesday:

    7:00 AM-4:00 PM

    Wednesday:

    7:00 AM-3:00 PM

    Thursday:

    11:00 AM-7:00 PM

    Friday:

    Once A Month

    Saturday:

    Closed

    Sunday:

    Closed