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:

Saliva for Oral Health

Posted by on Dec 12, 2018 in Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on Saliva for Oral Health

When you think about dental health, it is not likely that you think about saliva as all that important. In fact, however, the saliva in your mouth affects your health and the health of your mouth and teeth significantly. Saliva is absolutely essential for a healthy mouth, gums, and teeth, as well as for your overall system.

Your mouth constantly produces small amounts of saliva that enter the mouth through salivary glands inside your cheeks, under your tongue, and near your jawbone. Your salivary glands increase production when you eat or even just think about or smell food. The average person produces 2-4 pints of saliva daily. So what does this saliva do for your system and why is it important for oral health?

Saliva and Oral Health

Saliva is made up primarily of water, but also contains essential substances such as electrolytes, mucus, antibacterial compounds and various enzymes. Saliva moistens the mouth for comfort, lubricates food as you chew and swallow, and neutralizes harmful acids. In addition, saliva kills germs, prevents bad breath, protects enamel, defends against tooth decay, aids in preventing gum disease, and speeds up healing of wounds within the mouth. Saliva is important and is essential for the protection and health of your mouth and teeth!

Bacteria on your teeth is the main cause of tooth decay. Saliva coats your teeth with a thin film to buffer against this bacteria, and the saliva itself contains antimicrobial agents to kill the bacteria before it even reaches your teeth. As well, saliva protects your teeth by sweeping away tiny food particles that can feed any bacteria that does find its way to your teeth.

When you eat, your food leaves behind acidic residue which breaks down tooth enamel over time. Saliva serves a helpful purpose as it neutralizes these acids and washes them away after you eat. As well, the saliva can actually repair the protective surface on your tooth through a process known as remineralization.

Saliva also aids in the digestive process. The substances within saliva help aid the digestive processes within the mouth, include moistening food and helping to prepare the food for easy swallowing and digestion. It also contains the enzyme amylase that breaks down starches into maltose and dextrin. Essentially, the digestion of food begins in the mouth and saliva is absolutely essential to that process.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a condition in which individuals do not make enough saliva. As a result of this condition, due to the essential nature of saliva, oral health declines quickly. The lack of saliva accelerates the progression of tooth decay and gum disease, not to mention discomfort and difficulty swallowing and digesting food. Halitosis, or bad breath, is also a common occurrence.

If you think you may suffer from dry mouth, it is essential that you take proactive measures to make sure that reduced saliva production does not affect your oral and overall health in the long term. Here are a few ideas on how to address this issue:

-Drink plenty of water, as saliva production is dependent upon adequate hydration.

-Sometimes dry mouth can be a side effect of certain medications. Check with your doctor to see if this is the case.

-Chewing sugar-free gum or mints can help increase saliva production.

-Minimize the consumption of salty, spicy, or highly acidic foods, as these have a tendency to irritate and dry out your mouth.

-Reduce your consumption of alcohol or caffeinated beverages, as these also have a tendency to dry out your mouth.

-Swish your mouth several times daily with a solution of 2 tsp. baking soda and 8 oz. water to reduce the Ph level in your mouth.

In addition to these measures, if you think dry mouth could be affecting your overall oral health, talk to our office to discuss your concerns. We can help you with a treatment plan to help minimize the damage of dry mouth and help protect your teeth and oral health for the long term.

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:


Improve your Dental Health

Posted by on Dec 5, 2018 in Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on Improve your Dental Health

We all know and understand that oral health is important and it takes work on our end to maintain healthy oral hygiene habits. When it comes to implementation, however, sometimes the simple basics are placed to the side due to more immediate and pressing areas of your life, or it can simply feel daunting and you may not know where to begin.

The truth is, good oral health is not complicated. You’ve heard all the right things before, but it can help to be reminded of the basics to ensure you are setting yourself up for a lifelong healthy smile. Here you will find some of the most proven tips on maintaining a healthy smile for life:

Brush Regularly and Often

Brushing is certainly the most basic and expected aspect of a healthy mouth routine. We all know that we are supposed to brush two times per day (morning and evening), but in fact it is more impactful to instead brush more often – as often as you eat a meal or enjoy a quick snack or treat. Food particles that are left remaining on the surface of the tooth after food consumption have the potential to breed bacteria that can cause enamel decay and gum disease. The easiest way and most effective way to combat this process is to simply brush your teeth every time you consume food.

If you can’t get to your toothbrush right away, another great tip is to chew a piece of sugar-free gum after eating. This will help remove the food particles left behind. Another tip is to enjoy a small piece of cheese. This will help neutralize any acids in your food that remain on your teeth.

Three tips on brushing:

-Brush regularly and often, as often as after every meal or snack.

-Be sure to position the bristles of your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle near the gum line and at the inside surfaces of your teeth.

-Use a soft bristle and lightly brush, not scrub, your teeth to ensure food particles are removed without harming the enamel.

-Don’t forget to also brush your tongue! Plaque and bacteria can also develop on the surface of your tongue. Hint: This also helps with bad breath!

Floss Your Teeth! It Really is That Important!

Some may feel that flossing is just for the superheroes in life, but the truth is that flossing is simple, requires a bit of discipline, but will make THE difference in the health of your teeth. Your toothbrush simply is not designed or able to access all of the tooth’s surface where food and bacteria accumulate on your teeth. If you want to have a healthy mouth and healthy gums, you must floss. When you floss, you disrupt the pockets of bacteria and plaque that form on your teeth, ensuring they don’t develop into major problems down the road. As well, your gums need the stimulation and cleaning that flossing provides.

Visit Your Dentist

Even when your teeth are healthy, and especially before problems emerge, stay faithful with your twice annual cleanings and dental check-up. Many people don’t bother coming if they don’t have an immediate dental need, but most of these problems can be prevented in the first place if their underlying cause is diagnosed early. Your regular checkup, cleaning, and x-rays will help ensure you don’t have costly and painful visits later.

Watch your Sugar Intake

Sugar wreaks havoc in your mouth. Sugar affects the health of your mouth as it increases the level of bacteria and acid in your mouth and on your teeth and gums. Not only that, but high consumption of sugar weakens your body’s ability to fight illness and infection. This certainly is true for dental concerns as much as it is for other illnesses in the body.

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: