Author: Paris Mountain Dental

Proper Flossing Techniques: A Step-by-Step Guide

young man smiles while flossing his teeth

Along with brushing, flossing is a key part of a daily oral hygiene routine. Floss removes plaque between teeth and at the gum line, where decay or gum disease can easily form. At Paris Mountain Dental, we emphasize the importance of flossing during every visit. However, we wrote this step-by-step guide so you can easily reference proper flossing techniques wherever you go!

Choose the Right Floss

Begin your flossing journey by selecting the right tool for the job. Dental floss comes in various types, including waxed, unwaxed, tape and flavored options. Choose the floss that suits your preferences and effectively navigates between your teeth.

Cut the Right Floss Length

Cut a piece of floss around 18 inches long. This length allows you to use a fresh section of floss between each tooth, ensuring thorough cleaning without redepositing plaque.

Proper Holding Technique

Wrap the floss around your middle fingers, leaving a few inches in between for maneuverability. Use your index fingers and thumbs to guide the floss gently between your teeth. Avoid snapping the floss, as this can harm your gums.

Gentle Glide Between Teeth

Slide the floss up and down along the sides of each tooth, forming a C-shape around the tooth and gently moving it below the gumline. Ensure you cover both sides of each tooth, effectively removing plaque and debris.

Utilize a Clean Section for Each Tooth

As you move from one tooth to the next, unwind a fresh section of floss. This prevents the transfer of bacteria and ensures an optimal cleaning experience.

If you find traditional floss challenging, consider interdental brushes or floss picks. These tools can be effective alternatives, offering convenience while maintaining thorough cleaning between teeth.

Schedule a Dental Appointment in Travelers Rest, SC

Mastering proper flossing techniques is a fundamental step in achieving optimal oral health. At Paris Mountain Dental, we always encourage patients, even children, to brush and floss between routine dental visits. Have a question about flossing? Due for a routine dental visit? Call us today!


Understanding & Preventing Dry Socket After Tooth Extraction

Extracted tooth sitting next to a small mirrir

Sometimes, the path to your ideal smile involves tooth extraction. While the procedure itself is usually simple and relatively tolerated in most patients, appropriate aftercare is paramount in preventing complications like dry socket. Here are our tips on preventing dry socket following a tooth extraction.

What Is Dry Socket?

Dry socket, or alveolar osteitis, occurs when the blood clot that typically forms after a tooth extraction is dislodged or dissolves prematurely, exposing the underlying bone and nerves to air, food particles, and bacteria.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Gently clean your mouth and teeth, being careful around the extraction site. If you wish to use an anti-bacterial mouthwash or saline solution, tilt your head and soak the area instead of swishing.

Avoid Tobacco, Alcohol & Hard Foods

Smoking increases the risk of dry socket. Nicotine and other harmful chemicals in tobacco can increase your risk of infection and prolong your healing time. Alcohol can affect your blood’s ability to clot and your hydration levels. Further, hard foods can dislodge the blood clot or cause trauma to the area, aiding the potential for infection.

Tooth Extraction in Traveler’s Rest, South Carolina!

Recovering from a tooth extraction can seem daunting, but following these tips can help ease that burden. If you have further questions or need to schedule an appointment, give the team at Paris Mountain Dental a call today!


The Impact of Genetics on Dental Health: What You Inherit

granddaughter and grandmother share a hug and a smile

When you visit the doctor, you discuss your overall health and lifestyle habits. Your doctor also asks about your family history and diseases that may be genetic or recurring in your family’s lives. It’s probably obvious why this information is valuable to your physician, but did you know this also provides valuable insight for your dentist?

Your genetics play an important role in your oral health in some ways you may suspect, and in others, you may not. We’re here to help you understand these connections.

Alignment & Fit

Your genetics play a role in the size, shape, and alignment of your teeth. A smaller jaw or large teeth could cause crowding in the oral cavity. This crowding makes teeth more difficult to clean and more vulnerable to gum disease, plaque and tartar build-up, infection, and halitosis.

Teeth & Gums

The enamel is your tooth’s first line of defense against invasive bacteria and gives your tooth its tough, durable nature. The strength of your enamel is genetic, so if you’re born with naturally weaker or thinner enamel, you may need to take extra precautions to protect your teeth.

Your gums’ susceptibility to disease and sensitivity are genetic, as are certain periodontal cancers. Since your saliva is responsible for neutralizing acids and helping wash away bacteria, your genetics play a role in the efficacy of your saliva to help protect your teeth and gums.

What Can You Do?

The best way to protect your smile is by scheduling regular appointments with your dentist to review personal and genetic concerns you may have. Your dentist will work with you to ensure you have everything you need to protect your smile!

Mindful, Compassionate Dentistry in Travelers Rest, SC!

Take control of your health and gain the knowledge you need to protect yourself from dental disasters with a visit to Paris Mountain Dental. Call today or click today to schedule your appointment with our caring staff!


Can Sinus Issues Cause Tooth Pain?

Man tiredly holds his cheek in his hand due to tooth pain from sinusitis

The sinuses are several pairs of air-filled sacs in your skull behind your forehead, eyes, cheeks, and nasal bones connected by narrow passages. Mucus is able to drain out of healthy sinuses, allowing air to flow freely. Sinusitis occurs when these air-filled sacs become blocked and filled with fluid due to inflammation, swelling, and buildup from allergens, viruses, bacteria, fungus, or abnormal anatomy like a facial bone spur.

Most patients will experience some sort of sinus discomfort in their lifetime due to allergies, a cold, a change in altitude, and/or a deviated nasal septum. Symptoms can include a headache, nasal congestion and discharge, sore throat and postnasal drip, fever, a cough that is worse at night, fatigue and malaise, bad breath, loss of smell, facial tenderness, and pressure-like pain behind the eyes and in the teeth.

Are My Sinuses Causing My Tooth Pain?

It is possible for sinusitis to contribute to tooth pain. Therefore, your tooth pain could be due to a problem with your sinuses, particularly if your pain is in the upper back molars and/or accompanied by other symptoms. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for tooth pain caused by sinusitis to change. Bending over, for example, can intensify your pain and cause it to be felt simultaneously in multiple teeth.

The best way to know what’s causing your tooth pain is to visit your dentist so they can give the painful tooth a thorough examination. If they suspect the pain isn’t coming from an oral problem, they will likely suggest you visit your primary care provider for additional insight.

Schedule an Appointment at Paris Mountain Dental!

Our experienced team in Travelers Rest, SC, can help you determine the root cause of your tooth pain so you can get the treatment you need. Contact us today to schedule your visit!


Pros & Cons of Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

Illustration of a yellow tube of toothpaste with blue toothpaste

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found in water sources and certain foods. It has been widely recognized for its ability to strengthen tooth enamel and help prevent cavities by remineralizing weakened areas of the teeth. Most popular toothpaste brands include fluoride as a key ingredient to improve dental health. There is also fluoride-free toothpaste available.

Pros of Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

One of the primary reasons patients opt for fluoride-free toothpaste is to avoid excessive fluoride intake. Some individuals may be exposed to fluoride through multiple sources, such as fluoridated water, dental treatments, and toothpaste. Reducing fluoride exposure can be beneficial for young children whose teeth are still growing.

In other cases, many fluoride-free toothpaste brands claim to use natural and organic ingredients, which can be appealing to those who prefer a more holistic approach to oral care.

Cons of Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

The most significant drawback of fluoride-free toothpaste is that it lacks the cavity-fighting benefits of fluoride. Without regular exposure to sufficient fluoride, your teeth can be more susceptible to decay, especially if you have a diet high in sugar and acids.

Most dental professionals recommend using fluoride toothpaste to maintain good oral health and prevent cavities! This recommendation is backed up by an abundance of scientific evidence.

Who Should Use Fluoride-Free Toothpaste?

Fluoride-free toothpaste may be suitable for individuals who have concerns about fluoride exposure, such as those with existing health conditions or allergies to fluoride. It can also be an option for young children who cannot yet spit out toothpaste effectively. Before making the switch, however, you should consult with a dentist, like Paris Mountain Dental, to ensure your oral healthcare needs will still be met.

Consult with Our Team at Paris Mountain Dental!

While fluoride-free toothpaste may have some benefits, it’s crucial to weigh these against the potential risk of experiencing increased tooth decay. To learn more about fluoride or other preventive dentistry measures, get in touch with our team!


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Surprising Ways Oral Health Can Affect Sleep

Young Asian girl sleeps with an eye mask on

A good night’s sleep is vital for feeling refreshed the next day. Aside from a comfortable pillow and mattress, cozy blanket, and a quiet environment, there’s one aspect of being able to get quality sleep that might not immediately come to mind: your oral health.

Believe it or not, the state of your teeth and gums can significantly impact your sleep quality. Here are five surprising ways your oral health can be connected to your sleep:

Pain & Discomfort

Oral issues such as toothaches, gum infections, or misalignment can cause significant pain and discomfort. This discomfort can make it challenging to find a comfortable sleeping position, leading to frequent wake-ups and disrupted sleep.


Chronic teeth grinding or clenching, known as bruxism, can occur unconsciously during sleep. This habit not only wears down your teeth but can also result in jaw pain and headaches, making it harder to fall and stay asleep.

Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where the airway becomes partially or completely blocked during sleep. While it’s a complex issue, oral health plays a role as well. Poor oral health, including gum disease, can exacerbate sleep apnea symptoms, making it even harder to get a restful night’s sleep.

Mouth Breathing

Certain oral health issues can contribute to chronic mouth breathing, which can dry the oral tissues and throat. This can lead to snoring and disrupted sleep, as well as an increased risk of bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.


Gum disease is characterized by inflammation in the gums. Chronic inflammation in the body has been linked to various health problems, including sleep disorders. By addressing gum disease, you may also improve your sleep quality.

Sleep Better with Improved Oral Health!

Maintaining a balanced diet, daily brushing and flossing, visiting the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups, and wearing an oral appliance for bruxism or sleep apnea can go a long way in promoting better sleep. Addressing any existing oral health issues can also help prevent them from interfering with your sleep quality. So if you’re experiencing sleep problems and suspect your oral health might be a contributing factor, don’t hesitate to consult with our team at Paris Mountain Dental!

Yummy Foods for a Healthy Smile

a cluster of strawberries on a white background

Many foods, like sugary drinks and starchy snacks, are poor for your teeth and gums. We recommend prioritizing dietary choices that will benefit your dental health! For example, the following yummy foods help promote a healthy smile:


These bright berries are sweet, juicy, and rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. Vitamin C promotes healthy gums and strengthens blood vessels, reducing the risk of gum disease. The natural astringent properties of strawberries can also help remove surface stains from your teeth, enhancing your smile’s brightness.

Grilled Vegetables

Grilling is a popular cooking method, but it’s not only for meats! Try grilling an assortment of vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant. These vegetables are rich in fiber, which promotes saliva production and helps scrub away plaque from your teeth while you chew.

Dairy Products

Calcium-rich dairy products like low-sugar yogurt, whole-milk cheese, and milk support strong teeth and bones. Dairy products also contain a protein called casein that forms a protective layer on the tooth enamel, shielding it from acid erosion.


While calcium is great for the teeth, it won’t matter how much you eat if your body doesn’t have enough vitamin D. Vitamin D is helpful in processing and absorbing calcium. Salmon is one of the best foods for getting vitamin D. The healthy fats from salmon also help prevent oral disease.


Similar to vegetables like celery, pears are fibrous and can easily stimulate saliva production. Pears also have acid-neutralizing effects in your mouth. Add sliced pears to a salad or eat them on the go!

Schedule a Dental Appointment in Travelers Rest, SC

While what you eat is important, how you care for your smile is even more important! Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and floss daily to remove plaque and food particles. And don’t forget to schedule routine dental appointments for you and the whole family at Paris Mountain Dental!

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Debunking Myths about Fluoride

Illustration of a man pulling a dial from MYTHS to FACTS

Fluoride is highly recommended due to its protective and strengthening action on the teeth. Fluoride, a natural mineral, helps prevent dental cavities. Though effective in preventing decay, there are several misconceptions surrounding fluoride. Below, we debunk 3 myths about fluoride to help you learn about its benefits!

Myth 1 – Fluoride Is Harmful to Health

It is likely that you have heard fluoride is harmful to health. However, like everything else, excess use is the key to the equation. The American Dental Association and many other organizations endorse the use of fluoride in oral healthcare.

The recommended amount of fluoride in toothpaste and drinking water is carefully regulated in the United States to ensure its benefits while avoiding any potential risks. At our dental office, we carefully monitor and measure fluoride treatments.

Myth 2 – Fluoride is Only Beneficial for Children

Another common myth is that fluoride is only necessary for children. While it is true that fluoride strengthens kids’ developing teeth, it continues to offer benefits for teens and adults too.

Fluoride found in tap water, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and fluoride treatments at the dentist strengthens tooth enamel and helps to reverse the early stages of tooth decay. It does this through a process called remineralization, through which minerals repair the damage to teeth caused by acids.

Myth 3 – All Water Sources Contain Sufficient Fluoride

Some people believe that fluoride is naturally present in all water sources, eliminating the need for additional fluoride treatments or products. However, this is not always the case. While some communities have naturally-occurring fluoride in their water supply, many do not. If your local water supply does not contain naturally-occurring fluoride or added fluoride, then fluoride treatments at the dentist can be highly beneficial.

Preventive Dental Treatments in Travelers Rest, SC

The addition of fluoride to dental products, water, and dental treatments is highly beneficial. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can prevent dental disease and maintain a healthy smile, please contact Paris Mountain Dental in Travelers Rest, SC!

Healthy Oral Habits to Teach Your Kids

A dad smiles as he brushes his teeth next to his son as they look in the bathroom mirror

Here are several oral health habits you should help your child establish when they are young!

Brush Teeth Twice a Day & Floss Daily

One of the most beneficial habits for a child to learn early on is to brush their teeth twice a day, once in the morning when they wake up and again at night before bed. Encourage them to brush in gentle, circular strokes across all surfaces of their teeth for two minutes. Babies, toddlers, and young children will need their parents to brush their teeth for them. Depending on their level of maturity, physical development, and any special needs, your child may be ready to brush their own teeth with supervision around age 5-7. As soon as they have 2 teeth touching, your child will benefit from daily flossing.

Maintain a Balanced Diet

Guide your child to develop a positive relationship with food. Allow them to learn how to consume sweets in moderation. Expose them to a balanced variety of foods. Some of our favorite healthy snack options for kids include:

  • Celery and apple slices with nut butter
  • Cheese sticks
  • Whole fresh fruits, like oranges, apples, berries, and kiwi
  • Whole-grain toast with avocado
  • Egg quesadillas
  • Unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon
  • Trail mix
  • Fresh vegetables with hummus or plant-based ranch
  • Yogurt parfaits
  • Smoothies
  • Drink Plenty of Water

    Encourage your child to drink plenty of water every day, especially instead of soda or soda. Water helps give the body energy, reduces cravings, and prevents dry mouth.

    Regularly Visit the Dentist

    We understand that dental visits can feel scary and intimidating for kids. However, becoming accustomed to routine dental visits early on means they will be more likely to continue these visits, which will contribute to good oral health through adulthood. Finding a compassionate dentist who can accommodate your child’s unique needs and appreciate their personality will show your child that going to the dentist can be a positive experience!

    At Paris Mountain Dental, we provide comprehensive dental services and accept patients of all ages. We also offer family block scheduling so we can schedule family members at the same appointment time or back-to-back for your convenience. Please contact us to schedule an appointment for your child!

    How to Be Prepared for a Dental Emergency

    A white tooth floats next to a red and white first aid kit to indicate a dental emergency

    Dental emergencies can happen when you least expect them. A dental emergency could involve a variety of issues, such as accidentally chipping or breaking a tooth, losing a filling or dental crown, breaking your dentures, experiencing sudden tooth pain, or getting a permanent tooth knocked out. Being prepared for a dental emergency can help you remain calm and resolve the problem as quickly as possible. Follow these tips so you’ll know what to do the next time you require urgent dental care.

    Stock an At-Home Emergency Kit

    Have a kit of dental emergency supplies in your home in case you experience an oral injury. Helpful items include gauze, disposable gloves, and over-the-counter pain medication, as well as a small container with a lid in which you can keep a knocked-out tooth safe and clean. Additionally, keep an ice pack or cold compress in the freezer to use if you’re experiencing swelling of the mouth or jaw.

    Keep Your Dentist’s Contact Information Handy

    You’ll want to call your dentist at the first sign of an emergency. Time is of the essence during an emergency, especially if you knock out a permanent tooth. Be sure you have your dentist’s phone number saved in your phone contacts or posted on your refrigerator.

    At Paris Mountain Dental, we understand that dental emergencies can be painful and alarming. Our team will be able to assess your situation and provide guidance over the phone until you can get to our office for a proper exam. We make every effort to get you in for treatment as soon as possible by leaving room in our schedule to accommodate same-day emergency appointments.

    We hope you choose our Travelers Rest office as your oral healthcare provider for both general dental care and emergency care. Please contact us today with any questions or to schedule an appointment!