Valleydale Dental

Coconut Oil Shown to Fight Cavity-Causing Bacteria

coconut oil healthCoconut oil has taken the health world by storm over the past few years. But recent research from Ireland has revealed that coconut oil could do more than just moisturize the skin: it could also prevent cavities.

Researchers from Ireland’s Athlone Institute of Technology discovered that enzyme-treated coconut oil prevented the growth of cavity causing bacteria. The coconut oil was treated with enzymes to replicate the effects that occur once the oil enters the stomach.

Here’s how the study worked:

-Researchers conducted their study on untreated coconut oil and enzyme-treated coconut oil

-Both oils were pitted against Streptococcus bacteria, including a unique strain of Streptococcus bacteria which has been linked to tooth decay

-Researchers found that enzyme-treated coconut oil stopped the growth of both strains of Streptococcus bacteria

New Coconut Oil Dental Products Could Be Just Around the Corner

This discovery could lead to a new surge in coconut oil-based dental products. Dental product manufacturers may start to see enzyme-modified coconut oil as an attractive alternative to chemicals and synthetic additives.

One of the major advantages of coconut oil is that it appears to work in relatively low concentrations.

Another advantage is that the human body is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, which has sent researchers scrambling to find new ways to fight microbial infections throughout the body – including the teeth and gums.

More Than Just Dental Health

Coconut oil is prized for more than just its dental benefits. Coconut oil consists of a unique blend of fatty acids that have been linked to powerful medicinal properties. It’s been shown to reduce bacteria throughout the entire body – not just the teeth – for example.

It’s also been shown to reduce hunger cravings, improve blood cholesterol levels, lower your risk of heart disease, and moisturize the hair and skin against damage.

In one study, coconut oil was even shown to boost brain functionality in Alzheimer’s patients.

Clearly, the medical community is only beginning to scratch the surface when it comes to the medical benefits of coconut oil.

Looking for a family dentist in Birmingham? Valleydale Dental is currently offering a $75 new patient special. Call 205-991-7797 to book an appointment with Dr. Gentry Gonzalez and his friendly staff today!

3 Ways to Fix Crooked Teeth as an Adult

photodune-7599670-invisible-braces--xsWhen you’re young, fixing crooked teeth is easy: you get braces.

But not everybody had braces when they were young. Some people didn’t need them. Others didn’t develop crooked teeth until they were older, and for many families, braces were simply too expensive.

Fortunately, there are plenty of good ways to fix your crooked teeth as an adult. Here are the top 3 easiest and most popular options for today’s adults:

[Read more…]

New Dental Profession Gathering More Notice in U.S.

Dental therapists are soon becoming a thing. How do they differ from your regular dentist?

Well, first, here’s a bit of background as to why dental therapists are even a matter of consideration at this time. Journey back into time to the year of 2009 when 830,000 emergency room visits were reported that could have been prevented if patients had seen a dentist earlier.

Two years later in 2011, more than half of children on Medicaid went without dental care. A seventh-grader in Maryland died in 2007 from a preventable infection in his mouth when it spread to his brain. This raised major concerns regarding the health of the mouth and guaranteeing greater oral health for all Americans.

So, now discussion has sparked concerning “dental therapists” and the role they could play in the oral health landscape of the U.S.

[Read more…]

Teeth Whitening: What You Need to Know

Sparking, pearly whites—we all know people who have a brilliantly white smile. Maybe you’re one of those people; maybe not. If you’re not, you may be wondering how white teeth are achieved. Could it be whitening toothpastes, strips, or treatments?

When it comes to teeth whitening, several strategies exist and everyone takes a different approach. So, what approaches can you take?

[Read more…]

5 Mistakes People Make When Brushing Teeth

Ever since toddler years parents have stressed the need to brush teeth. “Go brush your teeth and go to bed,” parents command in the evening.

It’s a morning and evening ritual for all of us now, but each ritual varies from person to person, especially technique. Did you know there is a proper way to brush your teeth? You probably did. But you might be making a few mistakes when you go to the sink to grab your toothbrush and toothpaste.

Here are five of the most common mistakes we’ve all made and continue to make:

#1 – Not brushing long enough 

How long do you brush? If you’re like most, you probably don’t know the exact amount of time. Dentists agree that between two and three minutes of brushing is best. Divide your mouth into quadrants and spend 30 seconds brushing each quadrant with great technique.

#2 – Poor Technique 

We’re all guilty of plopping the toothbrush in our mouth and brushing with harsh horizontal strokes. It’s time to stop that. Angle your brush at a 45-degree angle and brush with short strokes up and down your teeth. Strokes should be vertical or circular in motion. No more horizontal strokes.


#3 – Starting in the same place

We’re creatures of habit. You may not notice but you probably place your toothbrush in the same position to start every time. By the time you reach the end of your ritual you’re tired of brushing and the last portion of your teeth suffer from lazy technique.

Mix it up. Start in different places to avoid ending poorly in the same place each time.

#4 – Skipping inner tooth surfaces

The exterior and tops of your teeth look great, but what about the inner side that your tongue touches? Yes, this area is often overlooked. Make sure you spend equal time on the exterior, inner and tops of your teeth each time you brush.

#5 – Rinse your brush after

If you forget to rinse your brush after, it’s time to change your habit. Not rinsing will leave bacteria on your brush and the next time you brush, you’ll put old bacteria back in your mouth. Yuck.

Once you’re done brushing, flip the water on, give your brush a quick rinse and leave it to dry till next use. You’ll keep the bacteria away.

Worried about your oral health or just want a quick checkup? No problem at all. Here at Valleydale Dental we offer everything dental in Birmingham, AL: regular teeth cleaning, cavity fillings, root canal therapy, whitening, crowns and so much more.

Read what others are saying about our Birmingham dental office on Google. Call our office for any questions you have: 205.991.7797.

We look forward to taking care of you!

3 Ways to Avoid Cavities

“You have a cavity.” If you’re like everyone else, you sigh and shake your head a little when your dentist tells you the news. Cavities ruin any day. But it’s not our dentist’s fault, it’s our eating, drinking and dental care habits that have led to a cavity. The worst is when we’ve been working hard to keep cavities away and then one is discovered.

If it’s about habit and discipline, then what can we all do to minimize the formation of cavities? How can we change what our dentist says from, “you have a cavity” to “everything looks great”?


It comes down to choice and a few simple daily habits to keep cavities away:

1.  Fill Your Cup with Water 

No, water isn’t the most exciting beverage on the planet. It doesn’t attract because of the taste. But water is the ultimate way to keep your mouth clean and healthy. If you’re reaching for sugary beverages like soda, juice and sports drinks throughout the day, you can expect the liquid to leave sugar deposits on your teeth.

With water, there’s no sugar to deposit, which means there are no cavities to form. Also, water is a natural cleanser and liquid to wash away food debris in the mouth. Swish a little around in your mouth after you eat and remove particles between your teeth.

If you can discipline yourself to choose water, you won’t hear your dentist mention cavities as often.

2. Cheese, Are You Serious?

Yes, indeed some researchers and dentists recommend eating cheese because of the nutritional benefits for teeth. Cheese is rich in calcium and casein, a protein that acts as protection for teeth, building stronger teeth.

Since teeth are partly made of calcium, adding calcium to your diet through dairy products like cheese is a great way to strengthen your teeth and keep them healthy. Just be careful with dairy products loaded with sugar—yogurt and ice cream. Cheese is great because of its low sugar content (depending on the kind you consume).

So, next time you make a run to the grocery store, think about grabbing some cheese.

3. Chew Sugar-Free Gum on Occasion

Gum is great for not only ridding yourself of awful breath. Gum causes your mouth to produce saliva, which is great for the health of your teeth. Saliva is a natural tooth cleanser, keeping decay and deposits from adversely affecting your teeth.

This doesn’t mean you need to binge on chewing gum. Instead, keep a pack around so you can chew a piece after a meal or in the afternoon when you’re struggling to stay awake.

And remember to select sugar-free gum; otherwise you’re inviting cavities to set up residence in your teeth if you chew gum with sugar.

So, what are you going to do to take control of your dental woes? Are you going to keep getting cavity fillings or is it time to adjust your habits to keep your teeth cavity-free?

We’re here to help if you have questions or need some guidance about keeping cavities away. Our Birmingham, AL dentist office is your one stop location for everything dental.

Call us today if you have questions—205.991.7797—or submit information through our contact form.