Hawkinson Dental | Hawkinson Family Dental | Dentist Near Me

Building Healthy Smiles: Infant Oral Care Tips from Hawkinson Dental, Your Dentist Anchorage | Dentist in Anchorage

Posted on

At Hawkinson Dental, we believe that laying the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles begins in infancy. As your trusted our dentist in Anchorage, we’re dedicated to guiding parents through essential oral care practices to ensure optimal oral health for their infants. Let’s explore some key steps you can take to maintain your infant’s oral health from the very beginning.

  1. Gentle Gum Care: Even before your little one’s teeth make their debut, it’s crucial to keep their gums clean. Using a clean, damp cloth, gently wipe your infant’s gum tissue after feedings. This helps remove any residue from milk or formula, reducing the risk of gum disease. Make it a habit to clean your child’s gums at least twice a day to instill good oral hygiene practices early on.
  2. Introducing Toothpaste: As your infant grows accustomed to oral care routines, consider introducing fluoride-free toothpaste to familiarize them with its taste and texture. However, always consult our team before using any toothpaste on your child’s gums. A minimal amount can be gently rubbed onto the gums, preparing them for the transition to toothbrushing later on. Remember to use only a tiny amount to avoid overwhelming your child.
  3. Embrace Toothbrushing: Once those adorable first teeth emerge, it’s time to introduce toothbrushing into your infant’s routine. Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush specifically designed for infants and apply a pea-sized amount of child-friendly toothpaste. Delicately brush their teeth and gums, ensuring thorough yet gentle cleaning to prevent plaque buildup and maintain oral hygiene.
  4. Schedule Their First Dental Visit: As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, it’s time to schedule their inaugural dental visit with our team. The first dental examination should ideally occur within six months of the first tooth eruption. Regular dental check-ups recommended every six months, are essential for monitoring your child’s oral health and addressing any concerns early on.

Empowering Parents for Lifelong Oral Health

As a parent, you play a pivotal role in shaping your child’s oral health habits. By prioritizing early oral care practices and regular dental check-ups, you set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Don’t wait until your child’s teeth erupt to start thinking about their oral health. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your infant’s oral health, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Hawkinson Dental.

Conclusion

At Hawkinson Dental, we’re committed to partnering with parents to ensure the optimal oral health of their infants. With our expert guidance and personalized care, you can rest assured that your child’s smile is in good hands from the very beginning. Give us a call today to schedule your child’s first dental visit and embark on their journey to a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Hawkinson Dental of Anchorage
Phone: (907) 562-3323
6200 Lake Otis Pkwy, Suite #101
Anchorage, AK 99507

Protect Your Child’s Oral Health: The Impact of Musical Instruments According to Hawkinson Dental | Dentist Anchorage

Posted on

Is your child’s musical passion putting their oral health at risk? At Hawkinson Dental, we understand the importance of safeguarding your child’s smile, especially when it comes to their beloved musical pursuits. Whether they’re mastering the flute, saxophone, or clarinet, certain instruments can harbor unseen dangers for oral hygiene. Let’s explore how musical instruments can affect your child’s oral health and what steps you can take to ensure their well-being.

Understanding the Risks

It’s not just about blowing into the mouthpiece. When children participate in school band programs or practice instruments at home, they may inadvertently expose themselves to harmful bacteria and fungi. Instruments passed from student to student without proper sanitation can become breeding grounds for germs. Woodwind and brass instruments are particularly vulnerable. Ensuring thorough sanitation practices is essential to mitigating these risks.

The Dangers Lurking in Instruments

Research conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry sheds light on the concerning presence of bacteria in school instruments. A study revealed that after just one week of use, over 442 different types of bacteria were detected on thirteen instruments from a high school band. This microbial cocktail isn’t just harmless; it can lead to serious health issues such as staph infections, asthma, and skin infections. With antibiotic-resistant bacteria on the rise, the need for stringent cleaning protocols is more critical than ever.

Mitigating the Risk

Protecting your child’s oral health begins with proper instrument maintenance. Encourage regular sterilization of their instrument, especially after sharing or borrowing. Emphasize thorough cleaning of the mouthpiece to eliminate bacteria buildup. Disassembling the instrument and wiping it down daily with a clean cloth can significantly reduce the risk of microbial contamination.

Empowering Healthy Habits

While learning a musical instrument can be enriching, it shouldn’t compromise your child’s oral health. Educate them about the importance of instrument hygiene and encourage proactive measures to keep their instruments clean. Additionally, prioritize regular dental check-ups to address any oral health concerns promptly. At Hawkinson Dental, we recommend biannual visits to ensure optimal oral hygiene and prevent complications.

Conclusion

At Hawkinson Dental, we’re committed to supporting your child’s oral health journey every step of the way. By staying informed about the risks associated with musical instruments and implementing effective cleaning practices, you can help your child enjoy their musical pursuits while safeguarding their smile. For personalized dental care and expert guidance, schedule an appointment with us today. Together, let’s keep your child smiling brightly!

Hawkinson Dental of Anchorage
Phone: (907) 562-3323
6200 Lake Otis Pkwy, Suite #101
Anchorage, AK 99507

Addressing White Spots on Teeth: Tips from Dentist Anchorage | 99507 Dentist

Posted on

White spots on your teeth can be a source of frustration, affecting your confidence in your smile. While they are often preventable and rarely a cause for concern, understanding their causes, prevention methods, and treatment options is essential. Here’s what you need to know about dealing with white spots on your teeth.

Causes of White Spots on Teeth

  1. Dental Fluorosis: Overexposure to fluoride during tooth development, commonly from excessive use of fluoridated toothpaste, can lead to dental fluorosis. This condition results in white spots on the teeth but is harmless.
  2. Poor Dental Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and oral care can contribute to the formation of white spots on teeth.
  3. Braces: Prolonged wear of braces can affect tooth coloration and result in the development of white spots.
  4. Acidic or Sugary Foods: Consumption of acidic or sugary foods can damage tooth enamel and lead to white spots. Rinsing your mouth after eating such foods can help mitigate their effects.

Prevention of White Spots Maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine is crucial for preventing white spots on teeth. Supervise children to ensure they use the correct amount of toothpaste and teach them to spit out rather than swallow excess toothpaste. Regular brushing and flossing, along with routine dental check-ups, are key preventive measures.

Treatment Options If you already have white spots on your teeth, various treatment options are available:

  • Whitening or bleaching to even out tooth coloration.
  • Dental veneers to restore the appearance of the teeth and conceal white spots.
  • Topical fluoride application or enamel microabrasion to address localized white spots.

Our dentist at Hawkinson Dental will assess your specific case and recommend the most suitable treatment option for your white spots. Schedule a consultation with our office to explore your options and regain confidence in your smile.

Don’t let white spots on your teeth diminish your smile. Contact us today for expert guidance and personalized treatment solutions.

Hawkinson Dental of Anchorage
Phone: (907) 562-3323
6200 Lake Otis Pkwy, Suite #101
Anchorage, AK 99507

Managing TMD Discomfort: Tips from Dentist Anchorage | Dentist Near Me

Posted on

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) can significantly impact your daily life, causing discomfort, pain, and difficulty with simple tasks like talking and eating. At Hawkinson Dental, we understand the challenges that come with TMD, and we’re here to provide relief. While we encourage you to schedule a visit for a comprehensive evaluation, here are some helpful tips for managing TMD discomfort at home.

Finding Relief at Home

  1. Cold Compress: Apply a cold compress to the swollen areas of your face for about 10 minutes to alleviate swelling and discomfort.
  2. Gentle Jaw Stretches: Perform gentle jaw stretches to improve mobility and reduce tension in the jaw muscles.
  3. Warm Compress: After the cold compress, apply a warm, moist heat pack to the same area for an additional 5 to 10 minutes to further relax the muscles.

Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers If the discomfort persists, consider taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or ibuprofen. However, if you find yourself relying on these medications daily, it’s essential to contact us for further evaluation and treatment.

The “Don’ts” of TMD

  1. Avoid Excess Pressure: Refrain from using your hand as a rest for your chin, as it can increase pressure and strain on your jaw.
  2. Phone Habits: If you frequently talk on the phone, avoid holding it on your shoulder while bending your neck, as this can exacerbate TMD symptoms.
  3. Jaw Clenching: Try to keep your teeth from touching during the day to relieve pressure on the jaw muscles and joints.

Contact Us for Relief If you’re experiencing TMD discomfort, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Hawkinson Dental. Schedule a consultation with our dentist to explore the available solutions for managing TMD. We’ll conduct a thorough examination to determine the best course of treatment tailored to your specific needs.

Relief from TMD discomfort may be closer than you think. Contact our dental team today to learn more about how we can help you find relief and improve your quality of life.

Hawkinson Dental of Anchorage
Phone: (907) 562-3323
6200 Lake Otis Pkwy, Suite #101
Anchorage, AK 99507

Should You Brush Right After Eating? | Dentist in 99507

Posted on

Enamel is the guardian of your teeth and the hardest material in the body. It’s the first defense against harmful bacteria which may lead to tooth decay. When you eat certain foods, it creates bacteria which attack your tooth enamel. Carbohydrates and sugary foods are examples of these foods. Brushing directly after eating can be harmful to your enamel. 

Why this is a problem 

When eating or drinking, the pH balance in your mouth changes. After each bite of acidic food, the pH balance moves towards a level which causes demineralization. The new acidity softens the enamel which can cause bacteria to get into the teeth. Brushing right after you eat may damage your enamel. This is important because enamel protects your teeth from damage.   

Steps you can take to protect your enamel: 

If you’ve had anything acidic, don’t brush for at least 30 minutes.  

Fruits with citric acid are one example. If you are planning ingesting acidic foods or drinks, you can brush beforehand. 

A glass of water will help remove the acid. Follow this by chewing sugarless gum. These steps help create saliva which will help bring back the necessary pH balance needed for a healthy smile. 

Try to avoid soda as prolonged phosphoric acid can cause permanent damage. 

Brushing your teeth twice a day is an important habit for optimal oral health.  

Have you ever been told you should brush your teeth right after eating? While this may sound like the right habit to adapt, this practice could be detrimental to the health of your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with water after eating may be a better option to keep enamel strong. Visit our office for an exam and we can give you for tips for healthy, strong teeth. Call our office today. 

Hawkinson Dental of Anchorage
Phone: (907) 562-3323
6200 Lake Otis Pkwy, Suite #101
Anchorage, AK 99507

Self-Care: A Woman’s Priority | Dentist Near Me

Posted on

When you travel by plane, your flight attendant will advise that in the rare case of an emergency, you must first put on your air mask before attempting to help those around you. When this is not followed, the results can be catastrophic, both for you and for those you might otherwise have been in a position to assist. While this is crucial information for all, many women particularly require this gentle reminder to prioritize their own needs above those of others.  

All too often, we meet women who work tirelessly to fulfill the needs of their families. We see working moms, both at home and in office, who prioritize the health and wellness of their children, spouse and even friends before their own.  

We get it: there’s joy and fulfillment in taking care of others. However, it may be time to “put on your oxygen mask” and consider whether you are remembering to care for yourself. Your health, both mental and physical, should be one of your top priorities. This will allow you to have the energy and strength you need to assist with the needs of those around you.  

Smile restoration can take years off your appearance, while adding years to your life by improving your health. If you’re looking for a way to jump start your new self-care inclusive way of living, contact us for a cosmetic consultation. Your friends and family will love to see you with a vibrant, beautiful, healthy smile. You deserve it. 

Hawkinson Dental of Anchorage
Phone: (907) 562-3323
6200 Lake Otis Pkwy, Suite #101
Anchorage, AK 99507

How Candy Threatens Your Child’s Smile | 99507 Dentist

Posted on

How often does your child eat candy? According to a study conducted by the USDA Economic Research Service, children under 12 consume an average of 49 pounds of sugar in one year. While candy is not the sole source of sugar in a child’s diet, the impacts of sugary candy treats are particularly harmful to teeth. Here’s what you need to know about candy and how it might be damaging your child’s smile. 

The Impact of Sugar on Teeth 

The real culprit in candy is the high sugar content. Certain types of bacteria that are present in your mouth can feed on sugar. These destructive bacteria then create acid that wears away tooth enamel. When enamel is weakened, your risk of developing decay increases. Your mouth is effective at neutralizing acids and aiding minerals that strengthen enamel if the amount of sugars and acids is not excessive. Your mouth can only do so much, which makes it essential to limit your sugar intake and maintain a regular and thorough oral hygiene routine. 

Watch Out for Sticky, Sugary Candies 

Not all candies are made equal. For a general rule of thumb, the sticker the candy, the worse it is for your teeth. Sticky candies leave sugary residue on your teeth long after you are done eating. This gives the bacteria in your mouth more time to start demineralizing enamel. Watch out for sticky candies like gum drops and taffy.  

Suckers, lollipops, and hard sucking candies are troublesome because they are in your mouth for an extended period of time. Like sticky candies, this allows for more time for harmful bacteria to get to work by weakening your teeth. You can also chip or crack a tooth if you bite too hard. 

Other problematic candies include those that are gummy and coated in sugar. Think of gummy worms or another sour covered, chewy critter. Not only are they high in sugar content, but they also typically contain harmful acids that contribute to a loss of enamel. 

Steps for Preventing Decay 

You can help your child by limiting their candy and sugar intake. In some instances, this can be tricky and even out of your control when your child is at school or a friend’s house. What you can do is instill good oral hygiene habits in your child. Make sure they are brushing for two minutes twice each day. You can make brushing fun. Sing a song together for the two minutes, and allow them to choose a fun toothbrush and toothpaste flavor.  

Candy is a fun treat. You don’t have to take it away from your child altogether, but limit their exposure to such treats and educate them about the impacts candy can have on their teeth. When left untreated, decay can spread leading to pain and infection. Maintaining a schedule of regular visits to our office is essential. More than just a cleaning, we will provide a thorough examination to check for decay.  

If you haven’t already scheduled your child’s next appointment, please contact our office

Hawkinson Dental of Anchorage
Phone: (907) 562-3323
6200 Lake Otis Pkwy, Suite #101
Anchorage, AK 99507

Are You at Risk for Hairy Tongue? | Dentist In Anchorage AK

Posted on

You may not realize it, but you could be at risk of developing an unsightly medical condition known as hairy tongue. While it is harmless in most cases, hairy tongue is still an unpleasant ailment. The causes are not always completely known, but practicing good oral hygiene at home and visiting our dental office for cleanings can help prevent the issue. Here’s what you need to know. 

What is hairy tongue? 

With hairy tongue, your tongue may look like its covered in fuzz or hair, but this condition is actually caused by an accumulation of bacteria. The surface of your tongue is covered in small, rough papillae which gives it its rough texture. Overtime, these papillae grow, shed, and are replaced. Occasionally, the older papillae may fail to shed properly. This causes a buildup on the tongue and can cause a hair-like appearance. 

Who is at risk of hairy tongue? 

According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, as much as 13% of the population may have hairy tongue. Anyone can develop the condition, but certain risk factors such as age and tobacco use increase your chances. 

What causes hairy tongue? 

While the exact causes of hairy tongue are not known, there are a variety of factors that can put you at a higher risk of developing the condition. Poor oral hygiene and a diet of soft foods can put you at an increased risk, as a lack of stimulation on the tongue can prevent the shedding of older papillae. Excessive consumption of certain substances, including tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and tea have been shown to contribute to this condition. Dehydration and dry mouth can slow down the tongue’s natural refresh cycle of replacing papillae. 

The best defense against hairy tongue is a regular at-home oral hygiene routine that includes twice daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. Visiting our practice at least twice a year for cleanings can also give us an opportunity to regularly examine your mouth and catch any early signs of hairy tongue.  

If you’re past due for your regular cleaning or are concerned that you might be developing hairy tongue, don’t hesitate to contact our practice for an appointment today.

Hawkinson Dental of Anchorage
Phone: (907) 562-3323
6200 Lake Otis Pkwy, Suite #101
Anchorage, AK 99507

Biting Off More than You Can Chew? | Dentist In Anchorage

Posted on

It is not uncommon for many of us to grab a bite to eat in a hurry. Americans have grown accustomed to bigger food portions at restaurants, but our mouths have not. Trying to fit that oversized sandwich or apple in your mouth might be worse for you than you have ever imagined. Below are some reasons why this could be detrimental for your oral health and what you can do about it.  

Why This Is a Problem 

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), taking bites that are too big for you to chew can not only cause jaw and teeth issues, it can also cause digestive problems. Discomfort, swelling and difficulty eating may result from opening your jaw too wide. Taking large bites may also result in food not being chewed thoroughly, which can lead to weight gain and digestive issues.  

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) 

Constantly opening your jaw too wide becomes an even larger problem for people with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull bones enabling movement during chewing. People with TMD, usually have a restriction with how wide they can open their jaws. Taking large bites of food, especially hard foods like apples, can aggravate this condition making pain and jaw clicking worse.  

What You Can Do 

If you have food that is too large to chew or starts to cause jaw discomfort, try cutting your food into smaller portions. This makes food easier to eat with less hassle. Also consider eating softer foods that won’t harm your teeth or irritate your jaw.  

Tip: Avoid chewing on ice, popcorn kernels, hard candies, and opening nuts with your teeth. This can lead to a chipped tooth! 

Contact our team today to schedule an exam and cleaning.

Hawkinson Dental of Anchorage
Phone: (907) 562-3323
6200 Lake Otis Pkwy, Suite #101
Anchorage, AK 99507

Filling in the Gaps: Your Options for Missing Teeth | 99507 Dentist

Posted on

If you’re self-conscious about your smile due to missing teeth, modern dentistry offers a variety of tooth replacement options that look and feel like natural teeth. Here are three of the most common solutions to replace missing teeth:

Dentures

Dentures are ideal for those missing many or all of their teeth. Our team will take an impression of your mouth and send it to a lab to create customized dentures that fit your mouth perfectly. Regular cleaning with a non-abrasive cleanser is necessary to keep your dentures in good condition.

Bridges

Dental bridges are a partial denture solution for one or more missing teeth. They anchor to your existing teeth to prevent shifting and are designed to match the look of your natural teeth.

Dental Implants

Dental implants offer a long-lasting solution for missing teeth. They can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. Our team will evaluate your gum tissue and bone support to ensure that the implant has a strong foundation. Additional preparations, such as a bone graft, may be necessary for some patients.

Replacing missing teeth is important for preventing gum deterioration, teeth shifting, and improving speech and comfort. Our team can help you decide on the best tooth replacement solution based on your individual needs. Don’t let missing teeth hold you back from a confident smile. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Hawkinson Dental of Anchorage
Phone: (907) 562-3323
6200 Lake Otis Pkwy, Suite #101
Anchorage, AK 99507

Visit Our Anchorage Dental office

Hawkinson Dental | Dentist Anchorage | (907) 562-3323 |

6200 Lake Otis Pkwy Suite 101, Anchorage, AK 99507

Anchorage Dental News

Dentist Anchorage