Top 5 Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

If you’re one of the 40 million Americans with sensitive teeth, you must be familiar with the painful zing that follows a hot drink, a bite of ice cream, or just a deep breath of cold air. These and other elements can cause a sudden discomfort if you have sensitive teeth, also called dentin hypersensitivity.

Each of your teeth has an important protected layer called enamel. If your enamel gets worn down, your teeth can become more sensitive over time. Your enamel is the visible, white part of the tooth and it protects the softer, inner layers of each tooth. Receding gums can also reveal sensitive parts of the tooth that aren’t protected by enamel.

If you’re living with sensitive teeth, it’s good to know what causes the pain and how to avoid it. You should also talk with your Midlothian dentist about how to treat sensitive teeth and prevent further damage to your enamel or gums. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health

4 Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay in Children

As a parent, you only want what’s best for your little one. Whether you’re a new mom navigating the waters of caring for your first-born, or a seasoned pro ready to start your own family softball team (sorry neighbor kids, all positions are filled), preventing tooth decay in kids is never an easy feat. Because tiny hands and mouths don’t yet have the knowledge or the dexterity to properly care for their teeth, tooth decay is a common occurrence, and it’s largely up to you to help establish healthy habits and keep tooth decay at bay.

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Filling in the Gaps: Restoring Your Smile & Quality of Life

Life is full of unexpected surprises, and while we’d love for all of them to be smile-inducing, that’s not entirely realistic—and there may be many reasons you hide your smile. If you’re hiding your smile because of one or more missing teeth, we want you to know you’re not alone. In fact, 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth, and more than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth at all.

Whether the cause is tooth decay, gum disease—#1 on the list of reasons, with 50% of Americans over the age of 30 having the most severe form of periodontitis—illness, or injury, there are solutions. Midlothian dentist Dr. Alex Hawkins would like to fill you in on your options, which have expanded and improved over the years thanks to technological advancements and continuing education.

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Posted in Dental Health, Dental Services Tagged with:

Six Months to a Straighter Smile

Six Month Smiles® is a short-term orthodontic treatment that adds some updated twists to traditional braces—with average treatment times of only six months! No one loves the way metal wires and brackets look, and for teens and adults who are concerned about the appearance of their smile during orthodontic treatment, the clear brackets and tooth-colored wires of Six Month Smiles are more pleasing to the eye than a mouthful of metal.

Remember how the old metal brackets and wires of traditional braces would always seem to reflect the flash in pictures, or how distracting they could be when someone wearing braces was speaking, smiling, or laughing? Midlothian dentist Dr. Alex Hawkins is a general dentist providing orthodontic services, including Six Month Smiles—the revolutionary short-term, cosmetic approach to teeth straightening.

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A Real Nail Biter

We all have those nervous habits we turn to when we feel awkward, stressed, or just plain bored. If your choice vice is biting your nails, you need to know that it can cause a lot of distress on your oral health and overall health. Midlothian dentist Dr. Alex Hawkins shares why nail biting is so bad for you and how you can break the habit.

Downsides of Biting your Nails

It may seem harmless, but nail biting can actually:

  • Chip your teeth
  • Hurt your jaw (due to frequently jutting your teeth out to bite)
  • Increase your risk of tooth loss and tooth root loss if you have braces
  • Tear and damage your gums
  • Spread bacteria from under the fingernail into your mouth, bloodstream, and body

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Do I Have Herpes? Cold Sores 101

Cold sore. Fever blister. Herpes Simplex Virus-1. These babies go by a lot of different names, but the experience is always the same:

  • Telltale burning or itching near the lip
  • Red bump appears a day or so later
  • Bump becomes a cluster of blisters
  • Blisters dry up and scab over
  • The scab falls off
  • The whole process usually takes two weeks or less.

Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental News

Bad Breath: When Morning Breath Becomes Halitosis

It’s often said that a true friend will tell you if you have bad breath. Bad breath, formally known as halitosis, is embarrassing and can hold you back from truly enjoying your life and social situations. Like a good friend, Dr. Hawkins and Dr. Neidert in Midlothian will tell it to you straight. Read more below to determine what to do about your bad breath. Read more ›

Posted in Bad Breath, Dental Health, Dental News

Prevention vs. Treatment of Oral Health

The World Health Organization defines health as “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Sadly, in our fast-paced culture, many of us settle for less-than-healthy or even truly sick conditions every day. We allow ourselves to be tired, achy, stressed and in pain more often than not. Why? Because it’s hard to prioritize our long-term health in a world of so many immediate needs competing for our attention. But long-term health is actually the most important need of all. Without our health, we won’t truly be able to enjoy life or contribute to a greater good.

Dr. Hawkins and Dr. Neidert offer a few points on how to seek wellness and prevent oral health problems before they even start. Read more ›

Posted in Dental News, Dental Services

The Oral-Systemic Link: Risk Factors for Tooth Decay

Did you know the same plaque that decays your teeth can cause major heart problems? What if you could fight plaque and heart failure both by improving your oral health? Dr. Hawkins and Dr. Neidert in Midlothian are here to tell you more!

Someone dies from a heart attack every minute, according to the American Heart Association, and most heart attacks (and 85% of strokes) are caused by cholesterol build-up – aka plaque.

But there is good news. You can work with your Midlothian dentist and your doctor to understand and minimize your risk factors for developing plaque and tooth decay. Read more ›

Posted in Dental News, Diabetes, Healthy Heart

Bacteria: The Good, the Bad & the Neutral

Living in a land of antibacterial gels, soaps, plastics, and even fabrics, it might surprise you to hear that tons of bacteria live in your mouth every day, and they aren’t all bad! In fact, some play an important role in keeping up your overall health. Some oral bacteria, however, can cause serious problems and must be fought with good oral hygiene.

Dr. Hawkins and Dr.  Neidert from Hawkins Family Dentistry in Midlothian would like to help you understand the role bacteria play in your health and wellness. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health

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