Category: Oral Health

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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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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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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How Can I Fix Calcium Spots on My Teeth?

As you age, you may notice white spots on your teeth. If these white spots are causing you to hide your smile, it’s time to take action.  Our team at Paris Mountain Dental can help treat these white spots and restore your smile. Today, we want to talk about some of the causes for white spots on teeth along with treatment options.

blond woman looking up at question marks pondering.

What Causes White Spots?

There are two common culprits for white spots on teeth: dental fluorosis and calcium deposits. Dental fluorosis occurs when people ingest too much fluoride as children. This condition is usually harmless and develops before teeth break through the gums. Calcium deposits, on the other hand, develop in adulthood.

Calcium Deposits

Calcium deposits occur when the calcium phosphate in your saliva sticks to plaque on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky biofilm composed of bacteria in your mouth that feed on sugar and starches. Without proper care, calcium phosphate can harden into tartar. Not only does tartar attract even more bacteria and plaque, tartar is an irritant that can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues.

How Do We Treat Calcium Spots?

Unlike plaque, tartar cannot be removed by brushing.  The only way to remove tartar is through a professional cleaning at our office. Our team will use special tools to remove tartar both above and below your gum line. If the tartar buildup is more severe, we many recommend root planing and scaling, a deep cleaning treatment that involves cleaning the root surfaces of your teeth and removing all tartar.

Restoring the Appearance of Your Teeth

Once white spots on your teeth are a thing of the past, you may want to take advantage of our professional whitening services to get that bright, white smile you’ve always wanted. To ask our team any questions about white spots on your teeth or to schedule your next appointment, contact our office today!

Get a whiter smile at Paris Mountain Dental!

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The History of Dentistry

Dentistry is one of the oldest medical professions, but like other medical professions, it was very primitive until relatively recently. In this article, we offer a brief summary of dentistry’s history, which we hope you’ll find both educational and entertaining.

cartoon cave family concerned about dental hygiene

Primitive Dentistry

Archaeological evidence suggests that humans have been trying to fix bad teeth since at least 7000 B.C. Unfortunately, their contributions to dentistry were largely worthless. The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle, for example, believed that women had fewer teeth than men. Although he was married twice, he apparently never bothered to count the teeth of his wives, because he would have quickly learned that he was wrong. And the ancient Sumerians theorized that tooth decay was caused by tooth worms. Although their theory was totally wrong, it was generally accepted as fact until the 1700s.

The Birth of Modern Dentistry

The French surgeon Pierre Fauchard almost single-handedly invented the modern dentistry profession in 1723 when he published his book “The Surgeon Dentist,” which defined a comprehensive system for caring for and treating teeth.

Fauchard is also credited with being the first person to figure out that tooth decay is caused by acids from sugar instead of worms. He also pioneered the use of dental fillings, and was the first dentist to keep dentures in place by anchoring them to molars—a technique that provided the foundation for modern braces.

Dentistry in the USA

The Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, established in 1840, was the first dental college in the United States. Harvard University Dental School, founded in 1867, was the first university-affiliated dental institution. The dental profession’s first official organization, the American Dental Association, was formed in 1859.

In the marketplace, Colgate introduced the first commercial toothpaste in the 1870s, and mass-produced toothbrushes appeared soon thereafter. The first fluoride toothpaste appeared in 1955, when Procter & Gamble introduced its Crest brand, and fluoridated toothpaste has been the industry standard ever since.

And of course Paris Mountain Dental contributes to the history of dentistry by providing the highest quality of treatment and personalized care. If you have any dental issues, or if you’re just overdue for a checkup, be sure to contact us and set up an appointment today!

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Save Your Existing Teeth with Our Root Canal Services

Let us take a guess: When you hear the phrase “root canal,” your first thoughts are probably something to do with pain, right? At least, that seems to be the case for many people. The problem is, that doesn’t actually reflect root canal treatment! A common belief is that a root canal is the worst thing you could possibly get done at the dentist when in reality it’s a routine, effective way to save you from tooth pain—and from losing the tooth itself.

girl holding her jaw in pain needs root canal treatment

Root Canal Treatment vs. the Alternative

When you avoid necessary root canal treatment, you’re only setting yourself up for more pain and hassle in the future. A root canal is necessary when the inside of your tooth known as the pulp becomes infected. If you don’t get that infection cleaned out, it can spread further and further down your tooth and into your jaw. That means your likelihood of experiencing an abscess, swelling, pain, and sensitivity all increase. All of which we don’t think you want to deal with!

If you wait too long to address the infection, then there comes a point where your tooth can’t be saved anymore, which means you need to have it removed. Keeping your natural tooth is always a preferable choice since you won’t have to deal with a gap in your smile or pursue further (and more costly) dental work to get a replacement tooth. Don’t let your tooth deteriorate past the point of repair when you can save your beautiful, natural smile!

Stress-Free Sedation Options

You may be convinced that root canal treatment is right for you but still remain a little worried about how it’ll feel. Let us ease your concern! Modern root canal services involve using local anesthesia and dental sedation options so that patients don’t have to experience discomfort during the treatment.

Paris Mountain Dental, for example, has nitrous oxide available to help nervous and anxious patients feel completely calm during their procedure. We also have topical anesthesia and DentalVibe®, which significantly minimizes pain during injections.

If you need a root canal, or need help deciding if one is necessary for you, we welcome you at our Travelers Rest dental office. We perform gentle root canal therapy to help you get back on track with your oral health. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Do you need root canal therapy or have questions about how much a dental procedure will cost?

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How to Teach Kids About Good Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene habits should begin before adult teeth come in, and even before children start to lose their baby teeth. As your one-stop dental practice for the whole family, all of us at Paris Mountain Dental are excited to share the importance of teaching kids good oral hygiene habits.

baby boy practiving good oral hygiene brushing his teeth

Why You Should Teach Your Kids About Oral Hygiene

We tell our kids to eat their fruits and veggies because these foods include important vitamins and minerals to help them grow up to be healthy and strong. In that same sense, that is also why we should all strive to teach our children about good oral hygiene, so that their smiles grow up healthy, strong, and bright too!

Why Are Baby Teeth Important If They Fall Out Eventually?

Baby teeth serve an important role in children’s growth and overall well-being. Without baby teeth, children wouldn’t be able to smile, chew, properly bite down. Baby teeth also play an important role in how the adult teeth will erupt. If a child loses baby teeth too early, the adult teeth might erupt too soon, making it difficult for the surrounding teeth to find space to come in, which can lead to crooked and/or crowded teeth.

3 Tips to Make Good Oral Hygiene Fun for Kids

1. Brush Your Teeth Together

You know what they say—monkey see, monkey do! Showing your children that you make a habit of brushing your teeth carefully and regularly helps show them how important it is.

2. Make It Special With a Unique Toothbrush

You can help keep children interested in brushing their teeth by using a fun, colorful toothbrush or one that features their favorite cartoon character!

3. Make the Time Count

Duration is extremely important when brushing teeth, so it’s a good idea to get kids used to brushing for a full two minutes. There are lots of tooth brushing songs on YouTube. The ADA even made a curated list of several songs with some familiar characters.

Just as parents need to visit our team at Paris Mountain Dental twice a year, so do children. Our office is equipped with a kids’ play area to help children stay comfortable during their visits and our friendly team knows how important it is to be fun and friendly. We never want our young patients to fear the dentist so we do everything we can to make their dental checkups fun!

Have your children been to visit us at Paris Mountain Dental in the last six months? If it’s been a little longer, don’t wait.

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