Children’s Teeth vs Adult Teeth

Posted by on Oct 17, 2019 in Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on Children’s Teeth vs Adult Teeth

Dental hygiene for all ages is very important. Proper dental hygiene can prevent a lot of problems. The most common problem stemming from poor dental hygiene is tooth decay and gum disease. These are caused by the bacteria in the mouth that grow naturally and feed on the food you eat. Over time the bacteria will begin wearing away at your teeth if not cleaned away. So, does proper dental hygiene change from age to age? At the basis, no. Good dental hygiene never changes, but there are notable steps and precautions to take for children of certain ages.

Baby Dental Care

It may seem strange to clean what is not there, but it is still important to clean a baby’s mouth who has no teeth at all. The bacteria that can eat away at our teeth can also irritate the gums, which is why it is still important to take care of a baby’s mouth. Not to mention that poor oral health can also lead to other nasty sicknesses. When you are cleaning your baby’s mouth, you are looking to clean their gums. To do this, you can purchase a special baby toothbrush which is extremely soft compared to normal toothbrushes and very gently clean your baby’s gums twice a day. There is no need to use toothpaste as your baby can choke on it.

From First Teeth to Six

Once your child gets their first teeth, it is necessary to demonstrate good dental care. Because of this, it is important to help your child brush their teeth and answer any questions they have about proper brushing technique. During this stage, you should slowly give your child more responsibility for brushing until they can control a toothbrush properly on their own. We also recommend taking your child with you to our office when you come in so they can become acquainted with a dentist’s office and know what to expect on their first visit.

From Six Onward

At the age of six, your child should be able to brush their teeth on their own. Phew, that was a lot of work! However, the work isn’t quite finished yet. During this stage it is important to reinforce good brushing habits, so your child can practice good dental hygiene throughout their lives. By starting early and making sure your child brushes their teeth twice a day, you can begin to form good habits that will last a lifetime. Finally, it is important to make regular visits once every six months in our office for teeth cleanings. If your child is due for a teeth cleaning, drop in or give us a call at 479-646-0706 to schedule an appointment.

Do Crowns Need Special Care?

Posted by on Oct 9, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry | Comments Off on Do Crowns Need Special Care?

Dental crowns are typically used for making repairs to teeth which have been damaged through decay or physical damage. They are often implemented when a filling cannot provide a strong enough fix. Crowns can be made from several different materials like alloys, porcelain, ceramic, and even porcelain fused to an alloy. The material that a crown is made of can be preferential, but in some cases, the material may depend on the damage to the tooth. Crowns may also be used as part of a larger dental procedure to make sure they can safely support other devices like bridges.

What Is the Purpose of Dental Crowns?

Crowns not only repair teeth, but also help to maintain a healthy smile. When teeth suffer damage, they can become susceptible to ongoing problems caused by decay. By restoring a tooth to its natural state, it stops decay from occurring. Crowns stop decay in two ways. First, a crown helps make the surface of the tooth more even which will make it easier to brush it properly. When a tooth is damaged badly enough to receive a crown, the irregular surface of the tooth makes it easier for bacteria to go untouched by a toothbrush. The second way crowns can promote a healthy smile is by eliminating the pain experienced from a damaged tooth. Often, teeth become more difficult to clean due to the pain of a damaged tooth. After a crown is installed sensitivity and pain in the teeth should reside, making it easier to brush normally once again.

Watch What You Eat

The foods you eat can be really important to not only your body’s health, but also your crown’s health. There are some foods that have the potential to damage your crown if not careful. Hard foods should be avoided or eaten with moderation as they can cause your crown to crack. Some of these foods include hard candies and nuts.

Dental Care Tips

Dental crowns don’t generally require special dental care compared to natural teeth, but it is important to maintain proper dental hygiene whenever possible. Good dental hygiene consists of flossing and brushing your teeth twice a day with regular visits for teeth cleanings. We recommend that you come and see us at River Valley Smile Center at least once every six months. We can provide you routine teeth cleanings, check the condition of your crowns, and additional tips for making sure your crowns last a long time. Gives us a call at 749-646-0706 to make an appointment today.

Types of Mouth Guards

Posted by on Oct 3, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry | Comments Off on Types of Mouth Guards


Mouth guards are items made of various materials which help protect your teeth from physical damage. Most mouth guards are made with a soft rubber-like material that is comfortable to wear while still allowing the teeth to be protected from minor injury. Mouth guards come in three main variants and which type is best for you can depend on personal preferences or desired level of protection. The three main types of mouth guards are stock, boil and bite, and custom-fitted.

Stock Mouth Guards

Stock mouth guards can typically be bought at your local grocery store or sporting goods stores and come ready to wear out of the box. Because of their cheap cost and disposability, they are a popular option for athletes who would like to protect their teeth from damage. Their cheap cost can be seen as a positive, however, most of these mouth guards come in a one-size-fits-all size and can leave a lot to be desired when it comes to protection. Another downfall of these stock protectors is that they can obstruct breathing, which can be irritating or even dangerous.

Boil and Bite Mouth Guards

Like stock mouth guards, boil and bite guards can be bought over the counter at your local sporting goods store or grocer. Boil and bite mouth guards get their name from how they are fitted to your teeth. From the box, these guards will look similar to stock guards, but these guards will need to be brought up to a specific temperature at home and then molded to your teeth. Boil and bite mouth guards solve a lot of the problems that stock mouth guards come with. Because they are fitted to your teeth individually, they are typically more comfortable, allow for better breathing, and give slightly better protection against damage.

Custom-Fitted Mouth Guards

Custom-fitted mouth guards can only be obtained through a dentist’s office like ours. They are more expensive than over-the-counter guards, but they offer the highest level of comfort and protection. At our office, we will take a detailed imprint of your teeth and then create a mouth guard based on the imprint. Our custom-fitted mouth guards are also created with a highly durable material that will last much longer than other types.

When Should You Consider A Mouth Guard?

Mouth guards are great for athletes, and we recommend always wearing one when you or your child are playing sports. They are specifically beneficial if the sport is high contact. Another reason to consider wearing a mouth guard is for nocturnal bruxism, or night time teeth grinding. Mouth guards can help protect your teeth while you are asleep and reduce the effects of grinding teeth. We are always here to help and would like you to call us at 479-646-0706 if you have any more questions about getting a mouth guard or how a mouth guard can help you.

Symptoms of Bruxism

Posted by on Sep 26, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on Symptoms of Bruxism

Bruxism is more commonly known as teeth grinding. Teeth grinding is most commonly caused by stress or anxiety, but it may also point to other dental health problems such as an abnormal bite, missing teeth, or damaged teeth. Teeth grinding can occur in both the day time and night time with the night time variant being called nocturnal bruxism. Nocturnal bruxism may also be a sign of sleep apnea, which is a sleep disorder where breathing starts and stops many times during the night.

Grinding your teeth may not seem like a serious problem to concern yourself with, however, it can lead to dental problems later on or be an indication for other illnesses, so it is necessary to look out for signs of it. Some typical long-term effects of bruxism include tooth damage and eventual loss by damaged teeth and jaw muscle stress, which can result in a condition known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMD. These effects are caused by constant pressure exerted on the teeth and jaw while teeth grinding is performed.

What To Look Out For

It is normal to experience continual, long-term pain from bruxism. Pain can not only be felt in the teeth, but also the jaw muscle responsible for opening and closing the mouth when dealing with both types of bruxism. Bruxism is more noticeable during the daytime as you are sentient, but nocturnal bruxism may be harder to spot. Though nocturnal bruxism is harder to spot, it is possible to look for signs of it when you are awake. Nocturnal bruxism can be identified if you notice a constant soreness below your cheek bone whenever you wake up in the morning. The soreness can persist throughout the day or subside as the day goes on, so it is important to evaluate this area upon waking.

How to Take Action

During the daytime, teeth grinding can be quite noticeable and can be easy to stop by telling yourself to release the pressure from your teeth if it is caused by stress or anxiety. When day time bruxism is caused by dental complications, it will be necessary to schedule an appointment at our office as it cannot be stopped and will continue to put strain on your jaw and teeth even with your own reinforcement to stop clenching your jaw. Nocturnal bruxism, on the other hand, can be more difficult to deal with as it is harder to detect and harder to treat as it is more difficult to stop while unconscious. The typical treatment for nocturnal bruxism is to implement a protective mouth guard while you sleep. If you are concerned about bruxism, River Valley Smile Center is equipped to diagnosis and offer solutions. Please give us a call at 479-646-0706 to schedule an appointment today!

What Makes a Good Toothpaste

Posted by on Sep 19, 2019 in Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on What Makes a Good Toothpaste

When it comes to toothpaste, there are seemingly infinite possibilities available. There are toothpastes for gum health, toothpastes for sensitive teeth, toothpastes for bad breath, and even toothpastes for whiter teeth. With all the options it may be difficult to pick the perfect toothpaste, but do not fear, we are here to help!

Dentist Tested and Approved

If you aren’t interested in a fancy toothpaste that whitens your smile or helps your sensitive teeth, there are some things that can make purchasing a great toothpaste easy. The first thing to make sure of is that your toothpaste is approved by the American Dental Association or ADA. You can always locate a seal of approval from the ADA on reputable toothpastes. This seal guarantees that the toothpaste has been tested and is safe for human use. It also guarantees that the toothpaste contains the ingredients it says on the box.

Check for Fluoride

Fluoride has been proven to help strengthen teeth and protect them from harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay. On the packaging of toothpaste, fluoride is referred to as many different names, so it’s important to keep an eye out. Some of the more common names that will appear on toothpaste boxes are sodium fluoride, monofluoride phosphate, and stannous fluoride.

Check for Abrasiveness

The way toothpastes work is by providing enough abrasive power to remove built on bacteria. This abrasive power is created by using various ingredients. Each toothpaste falls on a scale of abrasiveness, but all toothpastes that have the ADA seal of approval fall within a range. We recommend erring on the side of caution and choosing a toothpaste that is more mild than aggressive, because highly abrasive toothpastes can actually cause more damage than good with long term use.

Avoid Whitening Toothpastes if Possible

Toothpastes that claim to whiten teeth can actually damage teeth over a long period. The whitening agents found in some toothpastes have been proven to weaken enamel so it’s best to avoid them. Another reason to consider switching from whitening toothpastes is that most can only whiten your smile so much. The whitening agents in these toothpastes are weaker compared to professional whitening agents found in dentist offices like ours and may not fully whiten your teeth.

Sensitivity Toothpastes

Sensitivity toothpastes can be a great way to help dampen the sensitivity of your teeth so you can eat hot or cold foods and drinks again, but they may also cover up serious dental problems. We always recommend stopping by for a visit at our office before trying to solve sensitive teeth with a toothpaste so we can address the issue head on instead of covering it up. Give us a call at 479-646-0706 if you would like to schedule an appointment about your sensitive teeth. We can also talk about the best toothpaste for you while you’re here!