Category: Preventive Dentistry

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!


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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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!

How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?

Closeup of a woman getting a dental checkup by a blue gloved hand holding a dental mirror

Dental sealants are a preventive treatment that can help reduce the chances of cavities developing. Sealants smooth out the uneven pits and grooves that can frequently trap food particles. Applying these thin, protective coatings on the chewing surface of your back teeth is a quick, painless procedure.

Whether you already have sealants or are considering getting them, you may be wondering how long they last. The short answer is that, when properly cared for, dental sealants can last for up to ten years!

How to Get the Most Out of Your Dental Sealants

While sealants are most effective in the first two years after they are placed, they can protect your teeth for long after that if you take the right steps.

The best way to increase the lifespan of your sealants is to practice proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing every day. It’s also important to come in for routine checkups twice a year, during which our team will make sure that your sealants are still in good condition.

When sealants wear down, it’s possible for bacteria to lodge underneath the protective coating, resulting in cavities. Therefore, you’ll want to avoid any activity that may weaken your sealants, such as chewing on ice or hard candy.

If you clench your jaw or grind your teeth, the sealants on your molars could wear down more quickly. We recommend wearing a custom nightguard to prevent tooth erosion and to allow your sealants to last longer.

Dental Sealants in Travelers Rest, SC

Our friendly team at Paris Mountain Dental offers comprehensive oral healthcare, including sealants and other preventive dental care. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment! Our office is open Mondays by appointment, and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 8 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 5 PM.

How to Floss Your Teeth

Closeup of a woman flossing her teeth with string floss against a blue wall

When you visit our office, you will likely be reminded to brush and floss your teeth every day to help prevent cavities and gum disease. If you’re not sure how to floss your teeth properly, these tips can help!

Tips to Floss Properly

1) Break off about 18 inches of floss. Wrap a majority of your floss in one of your middle fingers and the rest around the same finger on the opposite hand.

2) Hold the floss between the thumbs and pointer fingers. This hold is how you will guide the floss.

3) Gently guide the floss between each tooth. Some teeth may require more force than others.

4) When the floss is inserted between teeth, curve it into a C shape and slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth on each side.

5) Gently guide the floss up and down. Repeat for every tooth surface with a new section of the string of floss.

Why Is It Important to Floss Properly?

Daily brushing and flossing will not be painful or cause bleeding for healthy teeth and gums. However, infrequent or improper flossing can cause bleeding gums. Flossing too hard can damage the tissue between your teeth. Being inconsistent or too gentle will not effectively get food particles and bacteria out, thus increasing your risk of bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.

What to Use to Floss Your Teeth

You’ll likely notice many different dental products available in the oral care aisle at the store. These products may include several types of floss, such as traditional string floss, dental picks, and water flossers. Using a combination of these products will likely yield the best results! Choosing a product with the ADA Seal of Acceptance indicates it will be safe and effective. You can also consult with our team for personalized recommendations.

Preventive Care in Travelers Rest, SC

Brushing and flossing are vital parts of good at-home preventive care. Additionally, you should schedule routine cleanings and exams at our office. We offer comprehensive oral healthcare services. Please contact us today to schedule a visit!

The Best Tools to Fight Gingivitis

Photo of a water flosser and electric toothbrush to help fight gingivitis.

Gingivitis, or early stage gum disease, affects millions of Americans every year. When caught in the early stages, this progressive ailment can be reversible if you invest in the right tools to fight it. Here are some of our favorite gingivitis-fighting tools at Paris Mountain Dental.

Signs of Gingivitis

Some of the common signs and symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • Swollen, red, or bleeding gums
  • Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
  • Receding gums

If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with Paris Mountain Dental as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis and to potentially catch your gum disease in the earliest stages possible.

Antibacterial Mouthwash

Rinsing your mouth is a gentle, effective way at curbing bacteria growth under the gumline. Your dentist can recommend the right antibacterial mouthwash for your smile as well as specific instructions on how often you should use it.

Dental Floss

Dental floss is one of the most powerful ways to address and prevent gum disease. After all, dental floss is the most effective way to dislodge plaque and bacteria from under the gum line, which is how gum disease starts in the first place. You must floss your teeth and gums twice a day to keep them healthy. If you experience bleeding or swelling when you floss, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.

Water Flosser

In addition to dental floss (which you should use twice a day!), a water flosser is a great way to break up plaque and bacteria under your gum line. Using pressurized streams of water, this tool delivers a gentle yet powerful clean, making it ideal for patients who might have difficulties maneuvering regular floss.

Electric Toothbrush

A soft-bristled toothbrush is a great tool to use to prevent gum disease, but an electric toothbrush delivers a more accurate, powerful cleaning experience, making it a great tool to use to fight gingivitis. Many electric toothbrushes come with different settings, including ones that are tailored for gum care.

Dental Picks

If you have tight spaces between your teeth, it might make it harder to floss. Dental picks are a great tool to help you squeeze into tough-to-reach spots and keep them free from plaque and bacteria.

Affordable Comprehensive Dentistry in Travelers Rest, SC

Twice-yearly dental appointments are extremely important, especially for those who might have gum disease. At Paris Mountain Dental, we offer comprehensive preventive dental care along with cosmetic and restorative procedures to give our patients healthy and gorgeous smiles. We also make our services affordable with flexible financing and an in-house dental savers plan. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Stop gingivitis from becoming gum disease with early treatment!


Are You Overdue for a Dental Cleaning?

Did you know that your smile needs regular dental cleanings to stay in tip-top shape? In addition to cleaning your teeth at home, professional cleanings are a necessity for a healthy smile. Keep reading to learn more about dental cleanings!

How Do I Know When I Need a Dental Cleaning?

The American Dental Association states that adults and kids should get a professional dental cleaning twice a year. Even if you follow a strict at-home oral hygiene regimen, it’s not uncommon to miss the hard-to-reach areas in your mouth. Professional cleanings give your dentist and hygienist a chance to thoroughly clean every inch of your teeth and gums. It also allows them to check for any dental issues and catch them while they’re still small.

What Is a Professional Dental Cleaning?

Dental cleanings are professional-grade cleanings performed by trained dental hygienists. They are a more thorough cleaning treatment that is geared towards removing plaque and tartar buildup. Hygienists utilize special dental tools to scrape off hardened tartar without damaging the teeth. Then, they use a gritty paste and an electric brush to perform a deep cleaning. This is followed by water flossing to remove any trapped particles and debris. After the teeth and gums are completely clean, hygienists will use a polishing paste to make the teeth shine. If needed, fluoride treatments are applied at the end of a dental cleaning. Fluoride helps remineralize weakened enamel to strengthen teeth. Fluoride treatments can be applied by biting into a foam tray or painting the fluoride varnish directly onto the teeth.

Overdue For Your Dental Cleaning?

Have you put off your next dental cleaning? Don’t wait any longer! At Paris Mountain Dental in Travelers Rest, SC, we have extensive experience performing thorough deep cleanings. We’re dedicated to helping our community achieve and maintain a lifetime of great oral health. Please contact our office to schedule your cleaning!

Dental cleanings provide great preventive dental care!


What To Do After a Sports-Related Dental Injury

Sports Related Emergencies

Sports injuries happen so fast, and it can be difficult to determine the next best steps to take. If you or your child have serious, non-dental related injuries that need to be taken care of first, it’s better to visit an emergency room before coming to our office. However, if the emergency is mostly tooth, gum, or mouth-related, visiting Paris Mountain Dental Care for emergency dental care should be the top priority. Please call our office as soon as you can so we can clear our schedule and prepare for your arrival.

Knocked-Out Permanent Tooth

One of the most common sports-related dental injuries is knocking out one or more adult teeth. When this happens, it’s important not to panic, but still get to your nearest emergency dentist as soon as possible. Locate the tooth and pick it up by the crown. If it has broken into pieces, gather them together if possible. We may be able to repair the tooth and reattach it. Rinse the tooth off, and place it back in the socket if it’s not too painful. Gently bite down on a clean piece of cloth to hold the tooth in place. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, put it into a cup of milk or saliva. This will help keep it alive while you are in the process of getting to our office.

Cracked Tooth

If one or more teeth were not knocked out but were still cracked, broken, or otherwise damaged, we will want to see you for an emergency dental appointment right away. If your gums are bleeding profusely, hold a piece of gauze or cloth over the area and resist the urge to check if the bleeding has stopped for at least 15 minutes. Ibuprofen is a good over-the-counter pain medication to take if there is a lot of swelling. However, Tylenol is a better choice if there is any dental bleeding, since it is not a blood thinner.

Preventing Sports-Related Dental Injuries in Travelers Rest

At Paris Mountain Dental, we always prefer to help our patients avoid needing restorative dental care in the first place. That’s why we recommend that patients who are involved in aggressive contact sports have custom athletic mouthguards created for them. Custom mouthguards are comfortable to wear, even during long practices and games. They are also very durable and can be used to protect a patient’s smile for many years before they need to be replaced. Getting a sports mouthguard can be a great investment for patients who want to protect their beautiful smiles and avoid emergency dental treatments.

Restorative Treatments at Paris Mountain Dental

Once a dental injury has occurred, restorative dental work will likely be necessary. We hope that doesn’t happen, but if you have a dental injury you can count on our team to help you find the best restorative treatment to get your smile back to a healthy state. Contact us today to schedule an athletic mouthguard or consult about our other comprehensive dental services.

Sports mouthguards can prevent serious dental sports injuries!