How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

pink and white toothbrush in front of a black background surrounded by bubbles

Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

Have you ever looked at your toothbrush and wondered when was the last time that you bought a new one? Here we’ll give you some information about replacing your toothbrush.

How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you change your toothbrush about every three to four months. If you are a more aggressive brusher, you should change your toothbrush sooner if you notice that the bristles are frayed. This is because frayed and worn bristles won’t brush your teeth as thoroughly. Kids often need to replace their toothbrush more often due to more aggressive brushing. Additionally, if you’ve been sick recently, it’s important to replace your toothbrush once you are healthy again. This is because the bristles on your toothbrush don’t kill bacteria in your mouth or protect you from getting sick again.

How Can I Maintain My Toothbrush?

You want to make your toothbrush last as long as possible so you don’t have to constantly be replacing it. The ADA suggests rinsing your toothbrush under tap water after you’ve brushed your teeth in order to wash away any saliva or toothpaste that is left on the bristles. You should also store your toothbrush in a vertical position so that the bristles are positioned well to air dry completely. Be sure not to store your toothbrush near the toilet because that can invite bad bacteria and germs to live on the bristles. Additionally, do not store the toothbrush in a closed container because that can cause bacteria to build up.

What Kind of Toothbrush Should I Use?

If it’s time to replace your toothbrush, you may be wondering if you should get a new kind of toothbrush. There are two types of toothbrushes: manual and electric. There are pros and cons for each choice. For example, manual toothbrushes are easily portable and inexpensive and you are able to have complete control over the pressure and motion of your brushing. One disadvantage is that it can be harder to thoroughly brush those harder to reach places with a manual toothbrush. With electric toothbrushes, you can get a very thorough cleaning without doing much of the work yourself. However, electric toothbrushes are more cumbersome and can be expensive. At the end of the day, you should use whatever toothbrush you feel most comfortable with.

If you have any other questions about replacing your toothbrush or anything else related to your oral health, please give us a call.

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Foods to Avoid with Braces

Smiling teenage boy with short curly black hair and braces is wearing a dark green jacket and standing in front of a horizontal paneled fence

Alright, we get it. Braces aren’t exactly fun. They take a lot of work, over a lot of time. But here’s the great thing, when you finally get those brackets off, your smile will be show-stopping. So while you might be dreaming about your favorite forbidden snack, please be patient. Don’t jeopardize the beautiful results you’ve been working so hard to achieve.

Foods to Avoid with Braces

There are a number of foods that are totally off limits if you’re sporting traditional metal braces. Please stay away from sticky and/or chewy foods like gum, candy, and bagels. Crunchy snacks like nuts, popcorn, and pretzels should also be avoided. You should never chew on ice since it could chip a tooth, but especially not with braces. And avoid biting directly into fruits and veggies like apples and carrots–cut them up into small, bite-sized pieces before enjoying.

Know the Consequences

Not convinced? Keep reading! You have to know what you’re getting yourself into if you break the rules. Remember, not only are you investing a lot of time and energy into wearing your braces, they are a financial investment too. Some foods should be avoided because they are hard to clean up after, but if you chew on hard, tough foods, you risk damaging the braces. For example, you could break a wire or need to replace a bracket. Setbacks like these can prolong the process, and even alter the effectiveness of the procedure, providing results that differ from those desired.

What Can I Eat?

We know, it’s tough to swear off treats like pretzels and popcorn, but with braces you can actually eat most foods. Stick with soft foods. Foods that are cooked, blended, or pureed are typically safe bets. Granted, some things are a little messier with braces. You’ll want to immediately clean your teeth after eating so chunks of that juicy hamburger with onion, tomato and lettuce aren’t a part of your smile!

Orthodontics at Paris Mountain Dental

We’re here to tell you that the result you’ll get from treatment with braces will be worth the small temporary sacrifices you’ll have to make. If you think you’re ready for a straighter smile, give us a call to schedule a free orthodontic consultation.

If you want more advice about which foods to avoid with braces or how to care for your teeth while wearing braces, contact us at Paris Mountain Dental. We’d love to hear from you.

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5 Common Foods That Can Crack Teeth

There you are, just sitting and enjoying your snack or meal, when all of a sudden you hear a crack and your tooth doesn’t feel so good. We sincerely hope this never happens to you, but it is possible for people to crack their teeth while eating some everyday foods. Here are five of the most common foods that lead to cracked teeth:

1. Hard Candy

There’s no shortage of candies out there and lots of them fall into the hard candy category. Lollipops, jawbreakers, and Jolly Ranchers are just a couple, and we bet you can think of a few more too. When you indulge in one of these sweets, resist the temptation to chew and bite them since they can take a serious toll on your teeth.

2. Popcorn

We’re not talking about savory, buttery, fluffy popcorn. We’re talking about those tiny, hard unpopped kernels. Next time you grab a handful of popcorn, make sure you’re not accidentally about to bite down on one of those little guys because they are hard on your teeth.

Bowl of popcorn next to pile of unpopped kernels

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

3. Shelled Nuts & Seeds

While your teeth are designed to help you break down the food you eat, you shouldn’t be using them as a tool to open things—even if those things are healthy nuts and seeds. The hard outer shell of pistachios, sunflower seeds, and the like could hurt the outer surface of your teeth.

4. Olives

It’s tempting to dig into a bowl of olives and pop one after another in your mouth. Instead, slow down a bit so that you don’t unintentionally chomp down into their hard pits and crack a tooth. That’s a surprise you don’t want!

5. Ice

Plenty of people enjoy chewing on ice to cool down, or simply because there’s some in their cold drink. But chunky ice is no friend to your teeth, so avoid biting down on it and just suck on the cubes instead.

If you want more advice about which foods are good for your teeth and which you should be wary of, contact us at Paris Mountain Dental. We’d love to hear from you.

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Tips To Protect Your Teeth & Smile As You Age

It’s a fact of life that as you get older, you have to take care of your body a little differently than you used to. Your teeth are no exception to that rule! As the years go on, you can become more at risk of certain oral conditions so it’s important to take the necessary steps to keep your smile in its best condition. Here are some tips to help you protect your teeth as get older!

Avoid Dry Mouth

For many people, getting older means taking more medication. Some medications have dry mouth as a side effect. When your mouth is dry, it can cause chronic bad breath as well as an increased risk of tooth decay since there isn’t enough saliva to clean your teeth. To alleviate dry mouth, drink plenty of water throughout the day. You can also chew sugar-free gum to increase saliva flow.

Minimize Wear & Tear

With daily chewing and biting it’s unavoidable that your teeth will undergo some wear and tear over the years. To make sure your teeth last as long as possible, try not to chew on hard things like ice or your pen. If you notice that you’re grinding your teeth at night, get a night-guard made so you can prevent further damage.

Try an Electric Toothbrush

Using a manual toothbrush can become more difficult if you develop a condition like arthritis. To ensure that your teeth are still getting properly cleaned, consider switching to an electric toothbrush. You’ll be able to more easily grip the brush without sacrificing the quality of brushing. Plus, if you have one that signals when you should move to the next section of your mouth or when your recommended two minutes of brushing time are up, it’ll be easy to remember exactly how long you’ve been brushing.

Want more tips for keeping your smile healthy? Contact the Paris Mountain Dental team! We also provide restorative dentistry in case you need some extra help getting your teeth back to a healthy condition.

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What Happens If You Don’t Brush Your Tongue?

Four yellow emoji faces with tongue sticking outFour yellow emoji faces with tongue sticking outFour yellow emoji faces with tongue sticking outFour yellow emoji faces with tongue sticking out

You learned years ago how to brush and floss your teeth but what about your tongue? Plenty of people don’t realize that brushing their tongue should be part of their at-home dental routine. Your tongue is home for lots of different bacteria, and letting the bad bacteria stay there can cause you trouble in the long run. Here’s what can happen if you forget to brush your tongue:

Bad Breath

There are a few different things that can cause someone to have bad breath, but bacteria settled on your tongue is a major one. When you brush the surface of your tongue, you clean away that bacteria and end up with a fresher smelling mouth. Remember to brush as far back on your tongue as you comfortably can since lots of bacteria live back there!

Duller Taste Buds

Since your taste buds are on your tongue, not brushing your tongue can actually affect how things taste. Bacteria and other debris can build up on your tongue’s surface to leave something called a biofilm over your taste buds. That biofilm gets in the way of you tasting things fully. Brush your tongue and don’t miss out on experiencing the real flavors out there!

Periodontal Disease

When there’s bad bacteria on your tongue, it doesn’t just mind its business and stay there. It can spread to other areas of your mouth, which means it can cause bigger problems. One example is periodontal disease, or gum disease, because the bacteria can inflame and infect your gums.

Black Hairy Tongue

No, this isn’t something from a horror film. Black hairy tongue is an actual condition that’s just what it sounds like: a tongue that looks dark and furry. Don’t worry, your tongue doesn’t actually start growing hair. It’s just that the papillae on it get bigger and darker, giving off a ‘hairy’ look. This condition is caused by too much bacteria in your mouth, and while it may be harmless, it definitely doesn’t look nice. To prevent or get rid of black hairy tongue, take the time to brush away that bacteria.

If you need help improving your oral health, contact Paris Mountain Dental. Our Travelers Rest team is here to look after your smile!

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How Long Do Veneers Last?

If your smile leaves something to be desired, it’s time to fix that. Veneers can be a great option if you’re looking to improve the look and feel of your smile.


woman's smile from dental porcelain veneers

Veneers 101

Veneers are tooth-shaped shells custom made out of porcelain to fit over the teeth. They are used to fix up the smile, solving a variety of common issues including yellow or crooked teeth. When installing veneers, your dentist will remove some enamel, making room and creating a rough surface for the veneers to adhere to. Veneers are attached to the existing teeth using a dental resin. The result will be an incredibly natural smile—a durable set of teeth that won’t stain.

Are They Forever?

Veneers are built to last. Porcelain is strong and durable, much like enamel. But again, like tooth enamel, porcelain can crack. Barring any sort of accidental break, veneers will typically last somewhere in the range of 10 to 15 years. Once that time frame has come and gone, your veneers will either need repair or replacement, depending on the shape they’re in.

It’s All About Care

With great care, you can ensure that your veneers will last as long as possible. Since the veneers are simply covering the natural teeth, oral care should remain a top priority. That means brushing, flossing, and seeing a dentist twice a year, in addition to maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle habits. In addition to care, if you’re careful you can minimize the risk of wear and damage. Do not bite your nails, never use your teeth to open packaging or rip off a tag, and if you have a teeth clenching or grinding habit, address it before, or soon after, getting veneers.

Top Quality Care At Paris Mountain Dental

Whether you want veneers, already have veneers, or are fine without them, you have the power to control the look and feel of your smile by paying attention to your oral health, and we’re here to help. Feel free to call our office with questions about your care, or to set up an upcoming visit!

To ask our team any questions about veneers or to schedule your visit to our office, contact us today!

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Why Are Baby Teeth So Important?

Young boy with baby teeth and brown wavy hair smiling in the dental chair

Have you ever been called a diphyodont [dif-ee-uh-dont]? Don’t take offense because it’s true! A diphyodont has two successive sets of teeth: primary teeth (baby teeth) and deciduous (permanent) teeth. You may believe that baby teeth don’t really matter since they are ultimately replaced by permanent teeth. Nothing could be further from the truth!

What’s the Big Deal About Baby Teeth?

Your child’s baby teeth are incredibly important when it comes to major developmental milestones like eating solid foods and learning to talk. They also set the stage for permanent teeth and help your child learn healthy oral hygiene habits. We want to share some tips for caring for your child’s teeth from the get go to ensure they grow up with a healthy smile that will last a lifetime.

Develop Healthy Habits Early On

Your child should have their first visit to our office around the time they get their first tooth, or near their first birthday. This helps your child feel comfortable with the dentist, staff and office environment. It allows you to ask questions about what you can expect as your child’s mouth starts to fill up with new teeth.

Teach Your Child the Importance of Oral Hygiene

For the first few years of your child’s life, help them brush and floss their teeth. When children get older and take responsibility for their own oral hygiene, continue to monitor them. Some children go to great lengths to convince parents they have brushed when they really haven’t!

Healthy Baby Teeth = Healthy Big Kid Smile

Neglected baby teeth can create problems as permanent teeth develop. For example, permanent teeth may come in out of alignment if a baby tooth is lost too early as a result of bad oral hygiene. This can create a cascade of problems down the line. Teach good oral hygiene habits from the start to ensure that your child grows up with a healthy smile.

Call us today to ask our team any questions on caring for your child’s teeth or to schedule your next appointment!

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How Do Root Cavities Occur in Teeth?

Smiling older couple wearing hats and riding a blue scooter

We know that cavities can occur on the surface of our teeth. But did you know that they can also appear at the root of the teeth below the gumline? To help you avoid root decay, we want to share this information on root cavities.

What Is a Root Cavity?

Root cavities occur on the root surfaces of your teeth. This typically results from gum disease, receding gums, or aging conditions that lead to gum changes or recession. Cavities on the root of teeth are severe and aggressive. They tend to grow at a more rapid pace than typical cavities, and often go unnoticed by the patient, which causes them to worsen. These types of cavities put patients at higher risk for infection, toothaches, and nerve pain.

Who Gets Root Cavities?

Older adults are more susceptible to root cavities. The aging process takes a toll on teeth, leading to enamel degradation and gum recession. Medications can also cause dry mouth. For this reason, older adults need to be extremely diligent about caring for their teeth to prevent root cavities. This includes brushing and flossing every day, limiting carbohydrate and sugar intake, and seeing the dentist every six months to make sure no new cavities have presented. If you tend to have dry mouth, drink plenty of water to make sure the teeth are getting rinsed after every meal.

What to Do If You Have a Root Cavity?

If you notice any new pain, infection, or changes to your oral health, we want to discover the cause and treat it as soon as possible so you don’t face greater pain or problems in the future. Always take mouth pain seriously. Don’t put off existing issues since they could worsen quickly.

Please call us today if you’re experiencing any tooth pain or discomfort!

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How Does a Dead Tooth Happen?

If you’re lucky, your teeth will remain in place, alive and well in your mouth throughout your entire life. However, it’s possible for teeth to die, leaving you with a tooth that’s painful and even unsightly. Read on to learn more about what it means to have a dead tooth.

The Death of a Tooth

There are two main reasons why a tooth might die. When a tooth experiences trauma, such as a hard hit to the mouth, a fall, or aggressive tooth-grinding, the blood flow to the tooth may be lost, resulting in the death of that tooth’s pulp, which is the most vital part of the tooth. Decay can also cause a tooth to die. Infection or decay, if not properly treated, can spread to the pulp, killing the tooth.

Signs & Symptoms

So how do you know if your tooth bites the dust? When a tooth dies, it will lose its nice, pearly white color. The tooth will darken to gray and eventually can even turn black as the blood cells die. The discoloration will be permanent. In addition to the change in coloring, a dead tooth will often bring tooth pain, swelling, bad breath, and a foul taste in your mouth.

Dead Tooth Treatment

If you see or feel symptoms that lead you to believe you may have a dead tooth, you’ll want to get in touch with your dentist as soon as you can. Your dentist will determine whether or not a root canal will be able to save the tooth. Otherwise, the tooth will need to be removed.

Great Care at Paris Mountain Dental

If you think you might have a dead tooth, call Paris Mountain Dental and we’ll fit you in as soon as possible. If it’s something else that’s bothering you, we’ll be able to help—we offer a variety of services from general dentistry to cosmetic procedures to orthodontics.

Get in touch with us today!

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What Causes Dry Mouth?

When your saliva production is low, the result is an uncomfortably dry mouth. Many of us may experience occasional dry mouth when we’re nervous, like before public speaking. While occasional bouts of dry mouth are no cause for concern, chronic dry mouth can damage your teeth and negatively affect your health.

man drinking from a water bottle

Why Is Saliva Important?

Although saliva is often overlooked, it plays an incredibly important role in your oral health. Your saliva washes away food particles and debris from teeth before oral bacteria has a chance to feed on them. Saliva also contains an enzyme that not only begins breaking down food, it also breaks down the bad, cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. When your saliva production is low, you are at an increased risk for developing cavities. Adding insult to injury, dry mouth can also be responsible for bad breath.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

There are many different causes for dry mouth. Many common medications list dry mouth as one of their side effects. Smoking is also notorious for causing dry mouth. In other situations, dry mouth may simply be a sign that you are not drinking enough water throughout the day or that you have a vitamin deficiency. Rarely, dry mouth is a sign of a serious medical condition.

How Do We Treat Dry Mouth?

If you frequently experience uncomfortable dry mouth, let us know. To treat dry mouth, our team at Paris Mountain Dental will first try to determine the cause. Occasionally, the fix is simply asking your doctor for an alternative medication. Other times, we may recommend that you use a mouth spray to simulate saliva production and avoid some of the problems associated with dry mouth.

To ask our team any questions about treating dry mouth or to schedule your visit to our office, contact us today!

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