Cosmetic Dentistry – A Beautiful Smile is a Powerful Thing

There is a law of nature that “function follows form.” It’s a saying that means that how something looks actually determines how it works.

For example, you may own many screwdrivers of different sizes and shapes (form) to loosen all different kinds of screws (function). Think of a watering can with a long spout that’s perfect for pouring water right where you want it, versus one with a broad spout to cover large areas more quickly.

This principle can also apply to your smile! A mouth missing teeth is not nearly as functional as a mouth with a full set of chompers. Enter: cosmetic dentistry. The word cosmetic makes these treatments sound optional, but many times they are truly needed to improve physical function or mental and emotional wellbeing. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Services, Patient Care, Services, Teeth Whitening

Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Nicknamed for the fact that they come into your mouth (and your life) by the time you are finally mature and supposedly “wise” wisdom teeth are simply molars in the far back of your mouth. Whether or not these molars cause you problems is anyone’s guess, but if you’re experiencing some specific pain in your gums and jaw, you may be wondering if you have impacted wisdom teeth.

Dr. Hawkins takes care of wisdom teeth from all around Midlothian! Let us tell you more about impacted wisdom teeth and what to do if you have them.

What are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

Your wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars you’ll get. They usually come in when you are between 17 and 21 years old, though some people’s wisdom teeth won’t come until much later, if at all. (Does that mean they never become wise? Hard to say.)

As with all teeth, wisdom teeth are expected to break through the gums and become totally visible when they emerge. However, in some situations, wisdom teeth stay deep in the jawbone or never break through your gums. In this case, the wisdom teeth are impacted.

Have you ever tried to shove one last book onto an already-full bookshelf? When your last set of teeth comes into an already-full mouth, it’s a similar situation. There simply may not be enough room for them and they may stay impacted under the gums. Read more ›

Posted in Dental News, Dental Services, Oral Hygiene, Patient Care, Services, Uncategorized

Adult Dentistry: It’s Never Too Late

Good News for Grown Ups

“Adulting” can be hard. Between rent, bills, kids, a career, and other responsibilities, it can be hard to make time for yourself. But independence, parenting, fulfilling work, and the wisdom that comes with age can be pretty fantastic, too. So how does your oral healthcare fit into a grown up lifestyle?

  • Priorities: You manage a lot on any given day. Brushing your teeth and making a dental appointment may not feel like the most pressing of matters, but you know they are important in the long run—so you do it.
  • Family Life: Many people are more motivated to take care of their self when the habits easily fit in with family life and when you know someone is looking to you to set a good example. Whether you are caring for children or aging parents, preventative oral healthcare is more fun (and more likely to happen) together as a family.
  • Benefits: If you have a job that provides dental coverage, there’s really no reason not to see the dentist. You should even be able to use paid time off for the appointment. Can anyone say “me time”?
  • Holistic Dentistry: As we get older, we tend to know ourselves better. Holistic medicine is getting more popular as people consider all the ways one part of their health affects another. Keep solid notes on how your whole body and mouth are doing and share the notes with both your doctor and your dentist.

Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental Services, Patient Care, Services, Teeth Whitening

Gum Disease & Birth Defects

What is Gum Disease?

The short answer: Gum disease is a common gum infection that can become very problematic, but you can prevent it!

The long answer: All over your body, tissues have a self-defense mechanism called “inflammation.” When bacteria build up in your mouth, your gum tissue will inflame to try and kill it. Inflammation of your gums is called gingivitis. Gingivitis looks like red, soft, and sore gum tissue.

Over time, gingivitis can lead to more troublesome gum disease (called periodontitis) that can grow even deeper and start to harm the bones of your teeth and jaw. Severe gum disease can wreak havoc in your mouth. Pregnant women need to be especially careful because gum disease is linked with pre-term births and babies with low birth weight.

Every mom and mom-to-be wants the best start for their little one, and their journey into parenthood. Read on from Dr. Hawkins at Hawkins Family Dentistry to learn more about gum disease and pregnancy.

Gum Disease, Pregnancy, and Birth Defects

Here are the facts: Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health Care, Dental News, Dental Services, Oral Hygiene, Patient Care, Services

Senior Dentistry: Embrace Healthy Aging

Someone once said, “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” How true!

It can be disorienting and frustrating to watch your health change with age, but you don’t have to accept poor oral health and tooth loss as just a part of the game. On the contrary, your oral health is just as important now as ever, and it’s linked closely with your overall health and wellness.

Embrace healthy, preventative dental hygiene and reap the benefits of improved wellness and vitality during a season of life with so much to look forward to.

When it comes to senior health and dentistry, Dr. Hawkins shares the top concerns you may have, and how to address them:

Gum Disease

A shocking 70% of adults over 65-years-old have gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among seniors. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental Health Care, Dental Services, News from Hawkins Family Dentistry, Services

Sleep Apnea in Children

You may think being exhausted simply comes with the territory of being a parent (and it does), but there may also be a serious medical condition causing your child to wake up often throughout the night – sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is most commonly found in adults, but can also, in rare cases affect children. Dr. Hawkins, dentist at Hawkins Family Dentistry in Midlothian cares about treating your little ones. Read below to learn more about how dentists can diagnose and treat sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea & Its Effects

Sleep apnea occurs when breathing becomes shallow or pauses completely while you’re asleep. It can be caused by your tongue or tonsils being too large and blocking your airway, the collapse of soft tissues in the back of the throat, or by your brain not sending the proper signals to keep breathing while you sleep.

Sleep apnea causes a lot of problems for children, the most obvious being restless sleep. Other problems can include failure to thrive, slower developmental milestones, excessive sleepiness in daytime, and attention or behavioral problems – all due to a lack of quality sleep. Sleep apnea is most common in children between 2-8 years old. Read more ›

Posted in Dental News, Dental Services, Patient Care, Services, Uncategorized

Lemon Juice – The Good, the Bad, & the Sour

In a great tale of opposites, lemon juice can be both acidic and basic, or alkaline. Read on to find out why people are talking about this, and what it means for your oral and overall health.

What is pH and why does it matter?

Drinking lemon juice (usually diluted in a glass of water or added to a cup of tea) is a beloved health tonic among fans of natural medicine. Potential benefits include lower cholesterol, lower inflammation in the body, and increased metabolism and energy. Lemon also contains high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C that boost your immune system.

On a scale from 0-14, a pH of 7 is neutral (pure water) while numbers below 7 are acidic (unhealthy), and above 7 are basic or alkaline (healthy). Believers in holistic health blame many ailments on the body’s pH being too low or too acidic. Increasing your body’s pH is called “alkalizing.” Read more ›

Posted in Dental Services, Patient Care, Services

Why Wisdom Teeth are Not So Wise

Most Midlothian folks have had some exposure to the concept of wisdom teeth. Perhaps you have had yours removed, are considering a removal, or Dr. Hawkins has just shown you an X-Ray with the infamous third molars creeping into view. It’s common to hear patients ask how they are removed, but we rarely hear people talking about the reasons for getting rid of wisdom teeth. Today, we at Hawkins Family Dentistry are going to explain what wisdom teeth are, why they don’t deserve to stay in your mouth, and how we can help! As always, feel free to call us with any questions or concerns.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of adult molars. Unlike the rest of your adult teeth, they appear many years later, typically between the ages of 17 and 25. Most people get four wisdom teeth (one in each back corner), but some get fewer, some get more, and some lucky folks never get any. Despite their name, wisdom teeth do not confer any special knowledge or enlightenment upon their owners. They just happen to show up later in life than the rest. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Services, Services

Can You Treat a Toothache at Home?

When you’re suddenly struck with a toothache, floating ideas of home remedies may quickly come to mind. Whether you heard it from your great aunt or saw it on Pinterest, at-home treatments are everywhere. Midlothian dentist, Hawkins Family Dentistry can explain more about how to care for a toothache and when to come in for a visit.

Common causes of toothaches are infections, cavities, damaged enamel, a cracked tooth or an exposed root – all good reasons to get yourself to the dentist! Home remedies for a toothache may work for immediate relief, but they’re not likely to last long, and they may not be completely safe.

If you like using household ingredients for personal care, you may go looking into your own pantry for something to relieve the pain, but do your research. And before things get too out of hand, call your dentist to prevent worse pain or problems. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental Health Care, Dental Services

Dental Bridges 101

A hole in your smile is never a good thing. It negatively affects your appearance, your eating, your speaking, and your overall sense of confidence and wellbeing. Let Hawkins Family Dentistry bridge the gap between where you are with your smile and where you want to be!

A missing tooth or teeth can also cause jaw pain and bite misalignment. Without a full set of teeth, your other teeth have a tendency to move into the empty space causing an unnatural alignment in your bite and jaw—which can be very uncomfortable and can lead to bigger headaches and TMJ/TMD problems.

Dr. Hawkins shares how each tooth plays an important role in your health and every day life, and how dental bridges can restore your smile and the function of your teeth. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health Care

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