Kids & Toothpaste

Posted by on Jan 16, 2019 in Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on Kids & Toothpaste

How Much Toothpaste Do Kids Really Need?

Every parent has gone through the battle of trying to get their child to brush their teeth properly. Some days the kids want to brush, while other days, they want to spit their toothpaste out and run the other direction. Thankfully, those phases typically pass quickly, and most kids really get into brushing their teeth in a short time. Making sure that you are brushing with children the right way can go a long way towards them accepting the process and it becoming something they do instead of something they dread.

How to Properly Brush a Child’s Teeth

First, you must understand the right amount of toothpaste when you want to brush your child’s teeth. The point of brushing is to try and brush for two minutes, without spitting out all of the toothpaste. If your child can go the full two minutes without spitting, that is a great feat! In order to minimize their need to spit, you need to use the right amount of toothpaste on their brush. For a child up to one year of age, you should go with water or just a touch of the toothpaste to the brush you use. If you can see tiny flecks of toothpaste, that is enough. Just make sure it is toothpaste appropriate for their age.

From age one to age three, the total amount of toothpaste is about the equivalent of a single grain of rice. That’s right, you want just that bit of toothpaste on there. Again, your goal is to minimize spitting so the toothpaste has time to work on their teeth. From three to age six, you should go with a large grain of rice, which basically means just a tiny bit more. After age six, you want to go with toothpaste that is the average size of a pea. That is plenty, and will get their teeth clean so long as they brush well.

Here at River Valley Smile Center, We Can Help Kids Get Healthy Smiles

If you want help getting your children to brush properly, then give our office a call. We love helping inspire kids to love taking care of their mouths. It is a great part of what we do. We will show them how to brush, how much toothpaste to use, and how often they need to care for their teeth. Give us a call today!

Baking Soda Toothpaste

Posted by on Jan 10, 2019 in Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on Baking Soda Toothpaste

Choosing the right toothpaste can be difficult these days. One option that has become popular over the past few years is toothpaste containing baking soda. Some people prefer a healthier natural alternative to toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride toothpaste has been linked to strengthening enamel, but some people prefer to use toothpaste without it. There are toothpastes that contain baking soda and fluoride that can give you the whitening power as well as enamel protection.

The Benefits of Baking Soda Toothpaste

Although baking soda is thought to be too abrasive to some people, it has actually been used to clean teeth for 150 years. The FDA regulations require a toothpaste to be tested for its relative dentin abrasivity. This test requires the testing of a toothpaste in a machine that brushes a tooth for 1500 strokes. The results showed that the proper use of baking soda toothpaste is actually no more abrasive than the brands without it.

Baking soda toothpaste also creates a better pH level in the mouth than the traditional alternative. It also will dislodge plaque that has built up on your teeth. Baking soda is mildly alkaline by nature. When it is dissolved in water, it releases free radicals that interact with the stain molecules on the enamel of your teeth. This breaks down the stains on your teeth leaving them white and shiny.

The alkaline also neutralizes acidic bacteria that causes bad breath. Baking soda toothpaste has many great benefits, but it also comes with a few precautions as well. It is not recommended to use toothpaste with baking soda if you wear braces. It can loosen the orthodontic glue attached to your teeth. Although baking soda is a wonderful ingredient in toothpaste, it is not recommended to use just baking soda instead of toothpaste.

Results May Vary

There are many positive effects from using baking soda toothpaste, but it may not be the right toothpaste for everyone. Always follow the directions on the packaging when trying a new toothpaste. If you have sensitive gums, the baking soda may irritate your mouth.  If you have any adverse reactions, discontinue use. We are always glad to answer any questions you may have about which toothpaste to choose so feel free to ask at your next visit!

Care Credit

Posted by on Jan 2, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry | Comments Off on Care Credit

We know that dental care can be expensive. Often, the cost of dental care is unexpected and a patient needs time to pay for services received over time. That’s why we have partnered with Care Credit.

CareCredit is a healthcare credit card designed for your health, and wellness needs. It’s a way to pay for the costs of many treatments and procedures and allows you to make convenient monthly payments.[1]

Care Credit offers a credit program for the payment of both preventative dentistry as well as restorative and cosmetic dentistry. Virtually, any service you receive in our office is payable through this credit program.

Care credit is not a typical credit card. Here is some information you may not know about the Care Credit Program:

-It can be used to pay for any out-of-pocket expenses not covered by medical insurance

-Once you have established an account at Care Credit, it can be used at any enrolled Care Credit provider nationwide.

-Care Credit offers special reduced or no-interest financing options not offered by typical credit cards. How it works:

-The no-interest financing options with Care Credit range from 6, 12, 18, or 24 months. And for any purchase of $200 or more, as long as you make the minimum monthly payments, no interest is charged.

-The reduced APR special financing options of 24, 36, 48 and 60 months are for larger purchase amounts ($1,000 or more for our 24, 36 and 48 month options with a 14.9% APR, and $2,500 or more for our 60 month plan with a 16.9% APR), letting you make monthly payments with a reduced, interest rate over the duration of your promotional period.

-The application process for Care Credit can be completed online or over the phone.

Here’s a link to the Care Credit site where you can obtain immediate financing approval.

River Valley Smile Center is your family’s partner for long-term dental health and is here to help you and your family maintain optimal oral health for a lifetime. We know that dental care is an investment, and we will help partner with you to come up with the best and most affordable treatment options for you and your family. To schedule an appointment, call our friendly office staff at 479.646.0706 or, for your convenience, fill out an appointment request here:



Mouth Breathing & Oral Health

Posted by on Dec 26, 2018 in Cosmetic Dentistry | Comments Off on Mouth Breathing & Oral Health

Mouth breathing at night while you sleep may not seem like a big area of concern, but when considering one’s oral health, especially when it comes to children and their healthy facial and other development, mouth breathing can be a significant issue.

Mouth breathing is most commonly due to a condition called chronic nasal obstruction. This happens when the body is unable to get enough oxygen by breathing through the nose. When this happens, the body is forced to get the oxygen it needs through the mouth.

Mouth breathing leads to a host of oral health problems, including dry mouth and decreased saliva production. As saliva is essential for neutralizing acid and removal of bacteria within the mouth and on the teeth, the likelihood of tooth decay is increased. Dry mouth also causes gum disease that not only affects your oral health, but also leads to serious health issues that include stroke and heart disease.

Especially in children, mouth breathing leads to poor sleep, improper facial development, and lower oxygen concentration in the blood. The poor posturing that is developed by chronic mouth breathing can also alter airway anatomy in developing children and lead to a host of health and developmental issues down the road.

It can be hard to diagnose whether you are a mouth breather or not. If you are unsure of whether you mouth breathe when sleeping, here are a few common signs and symptoms of chronic mouth breathers:

-Dry Lips

-Chronic Bad Breath

-Common ear or sinus infections, or regular head colds

-Crowded teeth

-Snoring/open mouth while sleeping

If you experience one or more of these symptoms, it is likely that you are a mouth breather.

If you suspect that you or your child is a mouth breather, it is best to discuss this concern with our office as early as possible so we can help identify the root issue and identify the best course of treatment. There are a number of options for treating mouth breathers, depending on the root issue, but early recognition and treatment can prevent a lifetime of complications.

River Valley Smile Center is your family’s partner for long-term dental health and is here to help you and your family maintain optimal oral health for a lifetime. To schedule an appointment, call our friendly office staff at 479.646.0706 or, for your convenience, fill out an appointment request here:




Common Causes of Tooth Pain

Posted by on Dec 19, 2018 in Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on Common Causes of Tooth Pain

The good news is that dental pain can happen for a variety of reasons and most are easily resolved when treated promptly and effectively. See here for a list of the most common causes of tooth pain and what should be done to resolve it.

Tooth pain is not fun. Pain in our mouth can be debilitating and can make it difficult to go about our daily lives. Although some causes of tooth pain are more serious than others, it is important to find out what is causing your discomfort so t hat you can get back to your normal life. As well, it is important to discover the cause, as most dental issues do not resolve on their own without proper care and treatment. In  fact, many dental issues will only deteriorate over time.

1 – Tooth Decay

It is no surprise that the most common cause of tooth pain is tooth decay, or cavities (holes) in your teeth caused by decay. You can have a cavity and not feel pain, however, as the cavity worsens, pain will result. If you have pain in your mouth that is isolated to one tooth or area of your mouth, it is likely due to tooth decay. The best course of treatment is to schedule an appointment with your dentist office. Be sure to let them know you are seeking treatment for tooth pain or discomfort and that you suspect a cavity.

2 – Tooth Abscess

An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms around the root of an infected tooth and are caused by bacterial infections in the mouth. Abscesses can form alongside a tooth near the gum tissue or at the root of the tooth itself. Anyone, from children to the elderly, can get one. Abscesses can present with pain, swelling, and potentially fever. The pain can often be more keenly felt when chewing or applying pressure on the tooth. As well, an abscess can form a pimple-like bump on your gum. Beyond this, you may not have any additional symptoms. The best course of action is of course to get a diagnosis and treatment by our office. Depending on the severity of the abscess, we may refer you out to an endodontist for treatment.

3 – Sinus Congestion

Often when you have sinus congestion or a sinus infection, you can experience pain and sensitivity in your mouth, especially in your upper back teeth. This is because your nasal cavities are filled with pressure, which is all connected to these areas of the mouth. Any condition that causes sinus congestion can cause this type of pain in the mouth. If you suspect this is the cause of your tooth pain, give it a couple of days to subside while you treat your cold or sinus condition. If the pain does not resolve itself with your other symptoms, you may need to research it further to see what is the true cause. However, you may find that the pain is relieved as the pressure in your sinus cavities are relieved.

4 – Thinning Tooth Enamel

Sensitivity to hot or cold liquids, or to brushing, can often be a result of thinning tooth enamel. The enamel on your teeth is designed to shield the nerves of your teeth from the impact of eating, drinking, and brushing. However, when this layer is compromised, your teeth become quite sensitive to hot and cold foods as well as acidic, sweet, and sticky foods. To prevent tooth enamel damage, be sure to use a soft bristled toothbrush and brush gently. There are also enamel repair toothpaste options on the market that can help restore this layer.

5 – Receding Gums or Gum Disease

Gum disease or gum recession is another cause of mouth or tooth pain. This occurs when gum tissue rises up or pulls away from the tooth. The pain is due to the exposure of the tooth’s root, which is not protected by enamel as is the rest of the tooth. Gum disease and receding gums can be caused by a number of factors, including accumulation of bacteria along the gum line due to poor oral hygiene, mouth trauma, overly vigorous brushing, or even genetics. If you suspect this is the cause of your pain, you will most certainly want to discuss your concerns with our dental team at your next visit so we can help you come up with a treatment plan so that further damage does not occur.

6 – Heart Disease/Heart Attack

If tooth and/or jaw pain is not explainable, it is always important to ensure you seek out proper medical/dental treatment to ensure you are not experiencing symptoms of heart disease. Heart issues can present in the form of jaw pain and can be mistaken for tooth pain, yet it can represent a more critical and serious medical issue, such as a heart attack. If you experience any of these symptoms in addition to tooth and jaw pain, please call 911 or go to an emergency room immediately:

-Shortness of breath

-Chest pain



In most cases of mouth and tooth pain, it is best to schedule a visit with our office so we can, with the use of x-rays and other diagnostic equipment, effectively diagnose your issue and help prescribe the best treatment plan for optimal results. We are here to help you have the best and most comfortable smile possible!

River Valley Smile Center is your family’s partner for long-term dental health and is here to help you and your family maintain optimal oral health for a lifetime. To schedule an appointment, call our friendly office staff at 479.646.0706 or, for your convenience, fill out an appointment request here: