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Posts for: May, 2017

By Healthwest Dental Associates
May 28, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

When the multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter and TV personality Jason Derulo was recently asked about his ideal woman, his answer covered a remarkably broad spectrum. "There’s no specific thing," he said, "so I think it’s unfair to say what my ‘type’ is." But it turns out that there is one thing the So You Think You Can Dance judge considers essential: A beautiful smile.

"I’m not into messy teeth," Derulo said. "If the grill has spaces and different colors, it’s not my vibe."

As it turns out, he may be on to something: A number of surveys have indicated that a bright, healthy smile is often the first thing people notice when meeting someone new. Yet many are reluctant to open up that big grin because they aren’t satisfied with the way their teeth look. If you’re one of them, consider this: Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of ways to improve your smile — and it may be easier and more affordable than you think.

For example, if your smile isn’t as bright as you would like it to be, teeth whitening is an effective and economical way to lighten it up. If you opt for in-office treatments, you can expect a lightening effect of up to 10 shades in a single one-hour treatment! Or, you can achieve the same effect in a week or two with a take-home kit we can custom-make for you. Either way, you’ll be safe and comfortable being treated under the supervision of a dental professional — and the results can be expected to last for up to two years, or perhaps more.

If your teeth have minor spacing irregularities, small chips or cracks, it may be possible to repair them in a single office visit via cosmetic bonding. In this process, a liquid composite resin is applied to the teeth and cured (hardened) with a special light. This high-tech material, which comes in colors to match your teeth, can be built up in layers and shaped with dental instruments to create a pleasing, natural effect.

If your smile needs more than just a touch-up, dental veneers may be the answer. These wafer-thin coverings, placed right on top of your natural teeth, can be made in a variety of shapes and colors — from a natural pearly luster to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Custom-made veneers typically involve the removal of a few millimeters of tooth enamel, making them a permanent — and irreversible — treatment. However, by making teeth look more even, closing up spaces and providing dazzling whiteness, veneers just might give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

If you would like more information about cosmetic dental treatments, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry — A Time for Change.”

By Healthwest Dental Associates
May 17, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Understanding the different types of dental services your dentist provides may seem overwhelming. However, learning about some of restorative dentistrythe most common dental procedures can help you work with your dentist to find the best treatment for you. Among these common procedures are porcelain dental restorations, an important facet of modern dentistry. Find out more about porcelain dental restorations and what they can do for you with Dr. Paul Hufham and Dr. Bayne Heersink at Healthwest Dental Associates in Dothan, AL.

Dental Services You May Need in Dothan

Dental Implants
Dental implants are a powerful, permanent procedure and replace your missing teeth. In use for many years, the technology behind dental implants has made great strides in the last several years, becoming less invasive and more widely available and popular than ever. The implant itself is a biocompatible, titanium post which resembles a screw. Your dentist places the implant below the gum line, directly into the jawbone in which your tooth used to sit. This process replaces the tooth’s root, while a dental prosthetic made from porcelain fits over the implant to replace the tooth itself. Implants require that patients be in good dental and general health.

Dental Veneers 
Dental veneers are a super-thin covering which fits onto the surface of your tooth or teeth. Veneers can drastically change your smile’s appearance of subtly transform only a few teeth. Made in a dental laboratory, dental veneers are customized to your mouth tooth by tooth. This ensures a secure bond between the veneer and your tooth and a natural look. Veneers repair many issues, such as chips, cracks, uneven teeth, discolored or yellowed teeth, and even small misalignments, overcrowded areas, and gaps.

Dental Crowns 
Dental crowns are an important porcelain dental restoration which achieves many goals within the dental world. Crowns fit over a tooth and surround it completely above the gum line. Often, dentists use dental crowns after root canal therapy to stabilize the tooth against future damage. However, crowns can also hold a dental bridge in place, support a tooth after a large filling, cover a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, or improve the appearance of a misshapen or discolored tooth.

For more information on these procedures and more, please contact Dr. Paul Hufham and Dr. Bayne Heersink at Healthwest Dental Associates in Dothan, AL. Call (334) 702-1101 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!

By Healthwest Dental Associates
May 13, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   nutrition  

Good nutrition is essential for your child's developing teeth and gums as well as the rest of their body. You do what you can to provide them not just nutritious meals but also healthy snacks for other times of the day.

But once they begin school, you can't watch out for them all the time. They could be away several hours where they might be tempted to make unhealthy snack choices.

What can you do to lessen their chances of unhealthy snacking at school?

Engage with the school and their snack offerings. A set of U.S. Department of Agriculture regulatory guidelines called Smart Snacks in Schools sets minimum nutritional standards for snacks offered on school grounds. These guidelines promote whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and limit calories, fat, salt and, of particular importance to dental health, sugar. The guidelines, though, are only a minimum, so join with other parents to encourage your school to exceed those snack nutrition minimums whenever possible.

Educate your child about nutrition. Good nutrition starts at home: it's important not only to offer wholesome foods but to also teach your child why some foods are better for their body (and their teeth) than others. By encouraging a lifestyle of healthy eating both in practice and knowledge, you'll find it easier to set limits on their snack choices away from home.

Send snacks with them to school. If you're unsure your child will make the right choices, especially if they're young, than send snacks with them to school. Be sure, though, what you're sending is as appealing as the school choices. Try a little creativity: popcorn with a zing of cinnamon or cheese; decorative snacks; or easy to eat bite-sized fruit or vegetables. The more they like what you're sending, the less likely they'll choose something else.

In some ways snacking could be the Achilles' heel in providing your child the right foods for good dental health. By following the tips above, though, you can help raise the chances they'll eat the best snacks for strong teeth and gums.

If you would like more information on nutrition and dental health, 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 “Snacking at School.”