How to End Bad Breath

Posted by on Aug 14, 2019 in Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on How to End Bad Breath

More than half of Americans today suffer from bad breath, according to the American Dental Association. Even if you don’t regularly eat garlic and onions (the most common offenders), you may still suffer from bad breath. Luckily, simple techniques can help you eliminate it.

Keep up Your Dental Hygiene

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day helps keep bad breath away. Brushing your teeth eliminates the food debris in and around your teeth that eventually turns into enamel-eating bacteria. We also recommend that you try flossing at the end of each day. This helps eliminate the debris that sits between your teeth that brushing doesn’t reach. Any food left behind creates a breeding ground for bacteria and causes bad breath.

Use a Germ-Killing Mouth Wash

A minty mouth seems like the answer to fresh breath, but it’s only a Band-Aid over the issue. Choose a mouthwash with antiseptic properties that kills the germs causing the bad breath. Otherwise, you simply mask the odor and may even make it worse.

Stop Smoking

Everyone knows smoking damages your lungs, but it also damages your oral health. Smoking dries out your mouth and leaves behind toxins in the mouth, throat, and lungs, which contribute, to bad breath. Because the toxins go beyond the mouth, smoker’s breath can even remain after brushing your teeth. Quitting the habit is the only way to eliminate smoker’s breath.

Avoid a Dry Mouth

Staying hydrated does more than help your physical health; it helps your oral health too. Water helps wash down any food particles or bacteria that reside in your mouth, reducing the risk of bad breath. Some patients suffer from a dry mouth as a side effect of the medication they take, no matter how much they drink. We encourage you to talk to your doctor about other medication options if this happens to you.

Increase Your Saliva Flow

Eating helps your saliva production. If you fast between meals, you may find that you have bad breath when you are hungry. Sidestep this issue by chewing on crunchy, healthy snacks in between meals, such as carrots, celery, or apples. The increased saliva production can help wash away the bacteria in your mouth, reducing the risk of bad breath.

Most importantly, keep your regular dental checkups and cleanings. Professional removal of the bacteria, plaque, and tartar in your mouth can help reduce the risk of chronic bad breath. Call River Valley Smile Center at 479-646-0706 for your appointment and let us help you put an end to your bad breath.

Grinding Your Teeth at Night?

Posted by on Aug 8, 2019 in Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on Grinding Your Teeth at Night?

You may grind your teeth at night and not even know it. Unless your partner complains of the noise you make, you may not know until you come in for a dental exam. At River Valley Smile Center, we want you to be able to recognize the signs of teeth grinding so you can get help right away.

If you notice any of the signs below, it’s important to get in for an appointment right away as teeth grinding can be detrimental to your oral health.

Painful and Tired Jaws

If you wake up often with sore or tired jaws, you may grind your teeth. Grinding your teeth causes your jaw muscles to tire quickly. If you do it often enough or hard enough, it could also cause tenderness in your jaw muscles that you feel long after you get out of bed. You may find that the pain increases as the day goes on too.

Headaches or Earaches

If you aren’t the type of person that gets headaches often, but find yourself with one upon waking, it could be a sign of teeth grinding. The pressure of grinding your teeth can cause a headache in your temples. It can also cause ear pain or soreness that you feel upon waking.

Damaged Teeth

It may be hard for you to tell if your teeth change subtly, but the damage that teeth grinding causes isn’t subtle. Look closely at your front teeth. Do they look more worn down than your other teeth? They’ll have a shorter appearance than you remember. Also look at your back teeth – do they look flat or have ‘pot holes’ in them? You could be grinding the enamel away.

Tooth Sensitivity

If some of your teeth suddenly feel sensitive, it could be a sign of teeth grinding. The sensitivity may feel like pain when you eat hot or cold foods or when cold air hits your mouth. The sensitivity occurs from the lack of enamel protecting your tooth’s nerves, allowing the sensitivity to occur.

If you grind your teeth, the professionals at River Valley Smile Center can help. After a thorough exam, we can put together a plan to help alleviate the stress that grinding your teeth puts your oral health through. Call us at 479-646-0706 to make your appointment today and let’s help you get a better night’s sleep right away! 

Top 5 Reasons You Need Fluoride Treatment

Posted by on Jul 24, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on Top 5 Reasons You Need Fluoride Treatment

You can get fluoride in your drinking water, toothpaste, and mouth rinse, but nothing compares to the professional fluoride treatment offered in our dental office. This quick treatment provides many oral health benefits.

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay.

Topical fluoride helps strengthen your tooth’s enamel, reducing the risk of cavities. As bacteria combine with carbohydrates in your mouth, it eats away at the tooth’s enamel. Topical fluoride helps strengthen your enamel, avoiding enamel breakdown from the combination of bacteria and carbohydrates in your mouth.

Fluoride encourages remineralization of your teeth.

Your saliva naturally helps your enamel remineralize. Sometimes the calcium and phosphorus in your saliva aren’t enough to strengthen your enamel, though. Fluoride adds the necessary calcium and phosphorous, naturally strengthening your enamel. In some cases, fluoride can even reverse minor cavities, if you receive the fluoride treatment early enough.

Fluoride helps adults avoid major restorative dental work.

We encourage adults to get fluoride treatments too. Fluoride’s ability to restore the tooth’s enamel can reduce the need for restorative work, such as crowns and dental bonding.

As plaque builds up in the mouth, it can eat away at the tooth’s enamel, causing weaker enamel and damaged teeth. Since you only get one chance at your adult teeth, dentists must restore the teeth with dental crowns or bonding to keep your natural teeth intact. Using professional fluoride treatments can strengthen the enamel, therefore saving your natural teeth and avoiding restorative work.

Fluoride in water isn’t enough.

Many communities add fluoride to the drinking water, which can help with calcium and phosphorus levels, but it’s often not enough. Topical fluoride treatments go directly to the tooth’s enamel, strengthening it quickly. While systematic use of fluoride may help increase your enamel’s ability to remineralize, it’s often not enough for true results.

Fluoride treatment is safe and non-invasive.

Fluoride treatment doesn’t hurt. We apply the fluoride directly to the teeth, leaving it in place for a few minutes. You don’t need anesthetic, as fluoride doesn’t require the use of any invasive dental tools. The fluoride simply sits on your teeth, strengthening your enamel while you sit comfortably in the dental chair.

Are you ready to learn more about fluoride treatment and its benefits? Call River Valley Smile Center at 479-646-0706 today and our staff will happily answer your questions or set you up with your appointment for your exam, cleaning, and fluoride treatment.

Caring For Dental Veneers

Posted by on Jul 24, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry | Comments Off on Caring For Dental Veneers


Dental veneers help patients fall in love with their smile once again. Knowing the proper care they require can help you get the longest life out of your veneers. Many of our patients have the same veneers for as long as 10 years. Keep reading for the top five ways to preserve your smile for the long-term.

Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools

Stop using your teeth to bite anything but food. In other words, don’t bite your nails, open jars, or nervously bite on your pencils. Porcelain veneers are like thin sheets of glass. While they are sturdy, they aren’t sturdy enough for non-food objects.

Wear a Mouth Guard if you Grind Your Teeth

Bad habits can start at any time in your life. If you start grinding your teeth after getting veneers, come see us. Just like biting on your nails or pencils can chip the veneers, grinding your teeth can cause the same damage. A mouth guard worn at night can protect the veneers as well as your natural tooth enamel.

Exercise Proper Oral Hygiene

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once is even more important when you have dental veneers. Brushing and flossing help prevent tooth decay, but even more important, it helps prevent gum disease. Gum disease can cause gum recession, which could cause exposure of the top of the veneers.

Avoid staining food and drink

Certain food and drink, such as tea, soda, coffee, berries, and red wine stain enamel and veneers. Unlike enamel, though, you can’t whiten veneers. Dark, unsightly stains can cause embarrassment or make it obvious that you have veneers. If you do consume any of the offending food or drink, rinse your mouth with water right away.

Keep your regular dental appointments

Come see us at least once every six months for optimal oral health. At your exams, our staff will assess the health of your enamel as well as the veneers. We can spot any issues early on, avoiding any major issues, such as chipped or stained veneers down the road. Our professional cleaning can also help keep your veneers looking bright and shiny.

Dental veneers need proper care, just like your own tooth enamel. Call the experts at River Valley Smile Center at 479-646-0706 to get answers to your questions about veneers or to see if you are a good candidate for this dental restoration procedure.

Straws and Your Dental Health

Posted by on Jul 18, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on Straws and Your Dental Health

Drinking your beverages through a straw may help prevent certain oral health issues, but don’t fall for the assumption that they are the answer to consuming unhealthy drinks. Using a straw the right way can be great for your oral health, but incorrect use can cause even more damage than drinking without a straw.

The Benefits of Using a Straw

If you consume acidic drinks, using a straw may help decrease some of the damage caused to your anterior teeth. The liquid bypasses your front teeth, limiting the stains that soda, tea, and certain juices may cause.

Positioning the straw perfectly in your mouth may even help avoid damage to your posterior teeth. Positioning the straw so that the liquid doesn’t touch any teeth and goes right to your throat can help eliminate the risk of excessive sugar and acids eating away at your enamel.

If you drink water with a straw, you not only hydrate your body, but protect your teeth at the same time. The concentrated flow of water over your teeth and tongue may help wash away debris and bacteria that would otherwise turn into plaque and eat away at your enamel.

The Disadvantages of Using a Straw

Just as positioning the straw perfectly can help your teeth, not positioning it correctly could put certain anterior teeth in danger of excessive decay. If the positioning of the straw allows acidic and sugary drinks to pool on a few anterior teeth, those teeth may decay faster.

Some patients assume if they use a straw that they can consume acidic and sugary drinks more often. Instead of water, they choose soda, tea, and juice. Not only do the sugary/acidic drinks cause damage to your teeth, but they cause damage to your physical health when excessively consumed.

The concentration of the sugary drinks that hit your tongue still affects your teeth, no matter where you position the straw. Any liquid that you consume has to pass over your tongue and your tongue gets in constant contact with your teeth, putting your teeth at risk again.

Choose your drinks wisely, with or without a straw. Choosing water over soda, tea, and juice helps eliminate the risk of excessive decay and keeps your saliva production high. If you do consume the occasional soda, juice, or tea, use a straw and position it so that the sugar and acid don’t hit your teeth.

Call the staff at River Valley Smile Center at 479-646-0706 if you have any more questions straws and your oral health. We’d be happy to answer your questions today.