The Facts about Amalgam Fillings

dentist-stock-1024x683What is Amalgam?  Dental amalgam has been used by dentists for more than 100 years because it lasts a long time and is less expensive than other cavity-filling materials. Amalgam (silver) fillings are made from a combination of metals that include mercury, silver, tin, and copper. It’s important to know that when combined with the other metals, it forms a safe, stable material.

Is Amalgam Safe?                                                                                                    Scientific studies affirm the safety of dental amalgam for the filling of cavities. The American Dental Association, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U. S. Food and Drug Administrationand World Health Organization all agree that based on extensive scientific evidence, dental amalgam is a safe and effective cavity-filling material. The Alzheimer’s Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Autism Society of America and National Multiple Sclerosis Society—all science-based organizations like the ADA—also say that amalgam poses no health risk.

At Smith & Jackson Family Dental your health and safety is our highest priority. Dr Stevenson and Dr Jessica offer both composite and amalgam fillings for patients and will personally help you decide which type is right for you.

Call to make an appointment today!

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How Safe are Dental X-rays?

dental-x-rayThe Reason for X-rays                         X-rays allow your dentist to see  bones, tissue, and hidden surfaces of  your teeth that he or she can’t see with  the naked eye. Although X-rays  expose you to a small amount of  radiation the benefits greatly  outweigh the risk . Here at Smith &  Jackson Family Dental we believe  in keeping radiation down with the  ALARA principle (As Low as Reasonably Achievable).

How Much Radiation am I Getting?
While these are small amounts of exposure, radiation is cumulative over your lifetime, and should be minimized wherever possible. Four bitewing X-rays, which is what many people get in a routine exam, give about .005 millisieverts of radiation, according to the American College of Radiology. That’s about the same amount of radiation you get in a normal day from the sun.

How Often Should You Get Dental X-rays?
For patients who aren’t having problems, the need is less frequent. The guidelines according to the American Dental Association recommend children who are not at a high risk for cavities should get X-rays once every one to two years; teens who are not at high risk should get them every year and a half to three years; and adults who aren’t at high risk should get them every two to three years.


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4 Ways to Make Brushing Fun for Kids

4-Ways-to-Make-Brushing-Fun-for-Kids-300x199As a parent, the best way to help ensure your child has a lifetime of healthy teeth is to help them establish great dental hygiene habits as they grow.

Here are some useful tips for keeping your child engaged by making dental hygiene fun:

Pick out a special toothbrush.
One great way to keep your child excited about brushing is to allow him or her to choose their own toothbrush in a favorite color or branded with a favorite cartoon character. Child-size soft-bristled brushes come in a wide variety of options designed to make your child like their toothbrush.

Choose children’s toothpaste.
Another great option is to use a toothpaste that is designed for kids. While adults generally prefer the fresh mouth taste of a minty toothpaste, many children find mint to be too powerful a flavor. This can make brushing unpleasant or even painful to sensitive taste buds. Instead, let your child choose a children’s toothpaste. There are many options available in a variety of soft mint, fruity, and bubble gum flavors. It is much easier to keep your child brushing for a full two minutes when their toothpaste tastes good.

Use a timer.
Two minutes can seem like a long time to a child. It can be very difficult for your child to try to estimate or count how long to brush without some kind of visual aid. You can help your child stay more engaged and ensure a full two minutes of brushing by using a timer. Choices range from a small sand timer your child can flip over, to a manual stopwatch with buttons to press, or even an app on a phone or tablet to time digitally (if your child is old enough). By letting your child take control of the timer, they can be more confident and more engaged in their brushing.

Brush together.
A parent is the first and strongest role model for their child. Brushing together can help your child model your great brushing technique, which will improve their own. Additionally, brushing together emphasizes to your child that brushing is important. When your child sees that you take dental hygiene seriously, they are likely to follow suit.

For more tips on making dental hygiene fun for your child, contact our office.