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Shine Bright for the New Year!

Shine Bright for the New Year!

Who is excited for the New Year? At Mill Creek Dental, we view 2022 as the perfect time to leave bad oral health habits in the past. If you don’t have any goals or resolutions for 2022 yet, we are here to give you some easy ones. We want to help benefit your oral and overall health in every way we can, so here are ten sustainable goals to help you keep your teeth in top shape this year:

  1. Drink water that is infused with fluoride. Fluoride is excellent at helping prevent the onset of cavities by giving your teeth a stronger resistance to acids.
  2. If you like to chew gum, make sure it is sugarless. In addition to this, chewing sugarless gum after big meals can help prevent tooth decay!
  3. Use mouthwash. Mouthwash is great for fighting bacteria, especially on your tongue and gums. You will see the best benefits of mouthwash if you use it for 30 seconds twice per day as a part of your brushing routine.
  4. Brush your teeth gently. If you use too much pressure when you brush your teeth, you can damage your gums over time.
  5. Schedule your first hygiene visit of the year. We recommend seeing your dental hygienist every six months. If you haven’t come in for hygiene since June, it is time to schedule! Keeping up with your hygiene appointments has many benefits, the greatest of which is keeping any plaque and tartar that has developed on your teeth under control.
  6. Keep up a healthy, balanced diet. Everyone knows staying away from sugar is essential for the health of your teeth, but did you know having a generally balanced diet is too? Fiber-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables and dairy products are beneficial to the overall health of your teeth and enamel.
  7. Drink more water. Water is vital for all areas of your health, including oral health! When you drink water, especially with a meal, it will wash away plaque-causing substances such as sugars and starches.
  8. Commit to replacing your toothbrush every three months. If you use the same toothbrush for too long, the bristles will become worn out and less effective at cleaning your teeth. This may mean more visits to the dentist and more money spent in the long run. Prevent this from happening, and start your year by treating yourself to a new toothbrush today!
  9. Start brushing twice per day for two minutes each time. We hope all of you are already brushing twice per day, but increasing your brush time to two minutes will ensure a healthier smile and a lower likelihood of developing cavities.
  10. Keep up with your flossing. If you have been to see us recently, you know how much we emphasize flossing. When you floss, you can clean surfaces of your teeth that a toothbrush cannot reach. Floss twice a day with your brushing!

We promise you won’t regret adopting these practices. The long-term health of your smile will thank you later!. If you have any questions about oral hygiene or simple ways to take care of your teeth, give us a call at (903) 567-2207. We would love to answer any of your dental questions and get your first hygiene appointment of 2022 on the calendar!

How to Choose a Toothbrush

How to Choose a Toothbrush

We use our toothbrushes multiple times daily and do not spend much time thinking about them. You most likely believe that all toothbrushes have an equal ability to keep your teeth in good shape. This is untrue. The toothbrush you use and how you use it significantly impact your overall oral health. Therefore, it is essential to choose the right toothbrush for you. Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start! We are excited to give you some of our favorite tips and tricks for selecting the right toothbrush and using it well.

When toothbrushes began to be commonly used in the 1930s, there wasn’t a wide selection. Most people were using toothbrushes that had nylon bristles. These days, we have much more variety. In the United States, we are lucky enough to have many toothbrushes at our fingertips at local grocery stores and drugstores. You may believe the only two types of toothbrushes out there are electric and manual, but there is much more to it than that!

Five things to consider when selecting a toothbrush:

  1. What should my child use? Your child should use a toothbrush with soft bristles and one that can easily fit into their hand. Have your child pick out the toothbrush if they are old enough to understand. Getting children involved in this process early will help them cooperate with oral hygiene and make it more fun.
  2. Variety of bristles. Some toothbrushes have uniform hairs across the whole head, while others have a mixture of soft to stiff bristles and even some rubber components. Choosing which type is right for you should be based on your oral health. If you have gum problems, it is best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  3. Professional recommendations. It is best to get the opinion of your dentist when looking to choose a new toothbrush. They will know your oral health needs better than anyone and, therefore, will be able to help you select a toothbrush that is tailored to your needs. When buying one, you should make sure that you pick one with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.
  4. Manual vs. Electric. Many people think that electric toothbrushes are significantly more effective than manual toothbrushes. This is false. It is more vital that you know how to use your toothbrush correctly, and the manual versus electric debate mainly comes down to your preferences.
  5. Safety. Safety may not be something that you think of regarding brushing your teeth. Choosing a safe toothbrush for your unique oral health and your brushing tendencies is imperative. For example, if you generally brush aggressively, an electric toothbrush may be a better choice for you as it will make it easier to be gentle while still cleaning your mouth.

Believe it or not, this is just the beginning when choosing the right toothbrush. Size, cost, and likability are essential factors in your selection. The more you consider these things, the easier it will be for you to find a toothbrush that is the right fit for your unique oral health! Give Mill Creek Dental a call today at (903) 567-2207 if you have any questions about selecting a toothbrush or would like to book an appointment. Read about how to have a healthy wisdom teeth recovery.

Gum Care

Gum Care

Brushing and flossing are most likely the first things that come to mind when you think about taking care of your smile. Surprisingly, there are many more things that go into keeping your mouth in order! Your gums have a central role in your oral health and can be in poor shape no matter how white and shiny your teeth are. 

What do you know about gum disease? You should consider yourself lucky if you have never had to contend with it firsthand! Plaque buildup along and underneath your gum line is what causes gum disease. Gingivitis, the first phase of gum disease, makes your gums sore, swollen, and occasionally bloody. Gingivitis is luckily very easy to treat since it does not have any impact on the bone that is attached to your teeth. 

Ignoring gingivitis can result in periodontitis, which is the most dangerous form gum disease can take. The tissue and bone connected to your teeth may be severely impacted by untreated periodontitis. It can slowly destroy your teeth. If you have a constant bad taste in your mouth, swollen gums, loose permanent teeth, a receding gum line, or sore and bloody gums, you may have developed gum disease. Don’t worry too much, because gum disease is very easy to prevent, and we are here to share five of our favorite ways to keep your gums in prime shape!

  • Use fluoride toothpaste. Almost every toothpaste brand will claim to reduce the risk of gingivitis. So how do you know which ones are the best? When you pick out your toothpaste, ensure it contains fluoride and has the American Dental Association seal of acceptance!
  • Make sure to floss! Flossing once or twice per day will help remove any tricky plaque buildup that your toothbrush is unable to get rid of. Since plaque is the main cause of gum disease, flossing is a must! 
  • Brush twice a day. Brushing after breakfast and dinner is the easiest thing you can do on your own to keep your smile healthy! Brushing will help remove plaque and bacteria, and flossing will do the rest! Also, make sure to brush your tongue, as it can carry bacteria as well. Electric toothbrushes are the best option to remove plaque more effectively than manual toothbrushes. Make sure you change out your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three months.
  • Get your teeth cleaned regularly. Your dental hygienist can remove any tricky plaque and tartar formed on your teeth. Doing this every six months will keep your teeth much healthier than trying to take oral hygiene into your own hands only! In addition to this, your dentist can detect the early signs of gum disease and start a treatment plan before it turns into gingivitis or even periodontitis. If you already have gingivitis, regular hygiene appointments can help reverse its effects. 
  • Use therapeutic mouthwash. Almost any drugstore or pharmacy will carry it over-the-counter. This type of mouthwash can help reduce the speed tartar develops, reduce plaque, and even reduce gingivitis. Make sure you are also looking for the American Dental Association seal on any therapeutic mouthwash. 

 These steps may seem like a lot, but we promise they will be beneficial in preventing the onset and progression of gum disease. If you haven’t been visiting us for your bi-yearly appointment, it is time to get scheduled! If you don’t use floss or mouthwash daily, you should definitely start! Call us today at (903) 567-2207 to schedule an appointment. Let’s keep your gums healthy together! Enjoy a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery by reading these tips and tricks.

Make Your Smile Sparkle for the Holidays!

Make Your Smile Sparkle for the Holidays!

Having a fresh, white smile is known to boost confidence, especially during the holiday season when your social life ramps up! For as long as dentistry has been mainstream, teeth whitening has been a popular cosmetic procedure. It has gotten to the point where people are easily able to find whitening tips on the internet or over-the-counter whitening treatments. Some of these tips are neither accurate nor effective, and it is important to differentiate which tips are which. We want to help! In this blog, we debunk common teeth whitening myths and give you ways to make your whitening experience as effective as possible. Let’s get your smile sparkling for the holidays!

You may remember a time or two when you used Crest Whitestrips or brushed with baking soda and didn’t get the whitening results you expected. We have all been there! Luckily, there are effective ways to get your smile as white as possible. We have some encouraging tips to share with you!

  • You cannot whiten an implant or crown. There are many ways around this! If you consider having your teeth whitened but are about to get an implant, try whitening them before the implant is put in. 
  • You can whiten your teeth at home! Most dental offices, including ours, offer take-home whitening kits. These kits are much more effective than drugstore whitening options and just as easy to use! 
  • Professional whitening will last longer than over-the-counter options. This is one of the many reasons professional or dentist-approved take-home whitening treatments are the best options. You will get more for your money and your teeth will dazzle for even longer! 
  • Good oral hygiene will prolong the effects of my whitening treatment. Your results will last longer if you stay on top of your oral hygiene! This includes brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and going to your dentist every six months for a routine cleaning! 

It is always good to hear different viewpoints, including on teeth whitening. However, certain tips you will find online are pure myths. Here are a few of the most common misconceptions regarding teeth whitening: 

  • Over-the-counter whitening options work just as well. While these options can make your teeth look a little brighter, they will not give you the same results as whitening with a professional will. Professional whitening is safe, effective, and worth the time and money!
  • Whitening toothpaste works well. Many household name companies sell toothpaste that is advertised as a whitening product. There are two main reasons why you should not use whitening toothpaste as your primary brightening technique. The first is that the chemicals that whiten your teeth need to be in contact with them for an extended period to work, not just the couple minutes it takes you to brush your teeth. The second reason is self-explanatory: whitening toothpaste costs more than regular toothpaste!
  • At-Home Teeth whitening will remove all of your stains. Depending on what types of stains are on your teeth, this may not be true. Certain people are more prone to long-lasting stains on their teeth, such as smokers and coffee drinkers. In addition to this, our teeth tend to yellow as we get older, which will, in turn, make them more difficult to whiten.
  • Baking soda is an effective DIY whitening method. An extremely common way people try to whiten their teeth at home is by brushing them with baking soda. Many people don’t know that baking soda can mess with the balance of bacteria in your mouth. This can eventually lead to oral health issues.

At Mill Creek Dental, we want to help you make the most informed oral health decisions possible. We hope our tips on teeth whitening are able to do just that! If you’re interested in getting your teeth whitened, we offer both in-office and take-home whitening. You can call us today at (903) 567-2207

if you would like to schedule an appointment or have any questions on teeth whitening. We want to help your smile shine for the holidays! Enjoy a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery by reading these tips and tricks.

Wisdom Teeth Recovery

Wisdom Teeth Recovery

What do you know about wisdom teeth surgery recovery? Your wisdom teeth are the molars furthest back in your mouth, and they will usually come in during your teenage years. Most people’s mouths do not have enough room to fit their wisdom teeth. Because of the lack of space, teenagers and young adults usually end up getting their wisdom teeth surgically removed. Whether or not you still need to get your wisdom teeth taken out, we are here to give you a few of our simplest, most straightforward tips on having the best recovery process.

  • Manage the pain carefully. There is a high chance that you will have some pain and swelling in the days immediately following your surgery. One of the best ways to manage this is by using an ice pack. Make sure to ask your dentist about how often you should be using it. It is also important to not directly place ice on your face, as it can result in an ice burn. Pain medication is another way to help your recovery along. Your dentist will be able to guide you in whether you need to be taking over-the-counter or prescription medications. You may also be advised to take antibiotics. Antibiotics will help protect your mouth from infection as the wounds heal.
  • Take your recovery seriously when you get home. It is essential to take precautions when you get home from your surgery to avoid infections and other painful problems. Rinsing with salt water to keep the surgery wounds clean and free of bacteria is one of the most simple and effective things you can be doing. Make sure you don’t forcefully spit the saltwater when finished, but let it gently fall from your mouth. Your mouth will have some blood in it right after the surgery, so make sure to gently clean the wounds with gauze or a cotton ball after rinsing. It is also integral to avoid dislodging your stitches. This can disrupt the healing process and lead to dry sockets, which are painful and can lead to a prolonged recovery process. Make sure to be gentle with yourself! 
  • Think about what you are eating. Making sure you are eating foods that will aid your recovery is essential. Your mouth will most likely be sore after surgery, and you probably won’t have a huge appetite. The best foods to consume while recovering are those that won’t require much chewing and will be safe for your stitches. Soup, mashed potatoes, soft smoothies, pudding, cottage cheese, and apple sauce are all equally yummy and safe foods for recovery! You should also avoid foods that are too hot or could potentially get stuck in the surgery site. It is important to avoid drinking from a straw, as slurping too aggressively may compromise your stitches or the blood clot that protects the wound. The more careful you are with what you eat after surgery, the sooner you will be able to re-introduce your usual favorite foods into your daily diet!

Wisdom teeth removal recovery needs to be taken seriously, even though it is a common surgery. Proactively managing your pain, keeping the surgery wounds clean, and thinking about what you are eating are three simple ways to make sure your recovery period is as quick and easy as it can be! You should also listen to and heed any advice your dentist gives you regarding your recovery. If you or someone you know has questions about wisdom teeth removal and recovery, feel free to call us today at (903) 567-2207.

Use it or Lose it

Use it or Lose it

How are we already almost to the holidays? This year is coming to a close fast! Our oral health is often put on the back burner during the last three months of the year due to holiday festivities. We understand that dental care might not be the first thing you want to do, but you only have a few months left to use your benefits before they expire! Using up your benefits is important because most plans do not allow benefits to roll over into the following calendar year. We have decided to share three straightforward tips for how you can use your leftover benefits. It’s time to use it or lose it!

  1. Big procedures. Are you the type of person who has always wanted a smile makeover but hasn’t known how to get started? Now is the perfect time to look into Invisalign or even give yourself a complete smile upgrade with dental implants! Do you want to know what the best part of this is? You will be able to use any of your leftover dental benefits to cover the costs. Now is the best time to take the leap you’ve always wanted to take and bring your smile to the next level. It’s never too late, and you will be able to use your benefits before you lose them!
  2. Hygiene. It is very important to see your dental hygienist every six months. If it’s been more time, you are due for a visit as soon as possible! Getting your teeth cleaned twice per year is integral to keeping them healthy. Your hygienist will remove any buildup of plaque or tartar that can lead to dental problems in the future if not taken care of in a timely manner. Your smile will feel fresh and bright! If you have remaining dental benefits and haven’t been in for a cleaning in six months or more, now is the time to come in! You can schedule with us today and use those benefits before you lose them!
  3. Unscheduled treatment. Do you still need to schedule that pesky treatment you have been putting off for a while? We know that treatment can be nerve-wracking, especially if you have never had a big dental procedure done before. We promise getting it done is a great decision! Whether it be a tooth extraction, getting a cavity fixed, crowns, or any other number of treatments or procedures, we stand by the fact that getting it scheduled before the end of the year will benefit you. Not only will any discomfort you have be solved more quickly, but you will also save money in the long run. If you continue to put off treatment, you may need even more of it in the future. I think you know what this means. Get your treatment on the calendar today so you can use your benefits before you lose them!

Whether you want to treat yourself to a smile makeover, need to schedule a hygiene visit, or have some pesky unscheduled treatment, the last three months of the year are the perfect time to do it! We would love for you to come to visit us at Mill Creek Dental. Call us today at (903) 567-2207 to book an appointment or schedule treatment before your benefits run out. The clock is ticking, which means it’s time to use it or lose it! Enjoy a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery by reading these tips and tricks.

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September is Teeth-safe Food Month

September is Teeth-safe Food Month

September is Teeth-safe Food Month! Food plays a critical role in our lives and is directly linked to our health. This includes our oral health! Collecting knowledge regarding which foods are helpful and which are dangerous for your teeth is an important part of keeping your smile in top shape. 

 

Cavities are often caused by what we eat and are one of the most common oral problems. Refined sugar is one of the most common causes of cavities. It is broken down by bacteria and turned into acid, which in turn dissolves the tooth enamel. The frequency of sugar consumption is actually more dangerous for your oral health than the amount of sugar you eat because of this. So what are some of the best ways to enjoy your favorite sugary treats while keeping your teeth safe?

 

  • If you want to snack, find substitutes! Many delicious snacks are much better for your teeth than candy and sweets but can still satisfy your cravings for something tasty! Try snacking on berries or yogurt – they are both sweet and good for your teeth!
  • Avoid having sugar in your mouth for an extended time. Some examples of this are soda and candies you suck on, such as lollipops. If you want to enjoy a sugary snack, a quick dessert like a piece of cake or pie is much better. When you are eating something quickly, the saliva in your mouth will be hard at work washing the debris away. 
  • Eat sweets at a time you know you will brush soon afterward. Most people will brush their teeth pretty soon after eating a meal. Therefore, this is one of the best times to consume a sweet treat. If you’re snacking on sweets at a random time during the day, you are less likely to brush until later, and the sugar will have more time to sit on your teeth and will be more likely to damage them.

 

A balanced diet will positively impact your oral health. The correct foods will keep your teeth healthy while also keeping your gums and bones strong. Finding foods you like that are rich in vitamins is essential, and is not that difficult to do! Foods containing folic acid, calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin C are some of the best options for the health of your teeth and gums. Here are some of our favorite options…

 

  • Meat. Meats such as chicken and fish are versatile and delicious. You can’t go wrong with either because there are so many ways to cook and season them! In addition to this, they contain vitamin B12, which is great for keeping your gums healthy.
  • Dark green leafy vegetables. When people think of calcium, they usually think of milk. However, certain leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and collard greens are chock full of calcium and will keep your teeth strong. 
  • Beans, seeds, and nuts. These three foods have endless uses and can enhance many meals. They also contain folic acid, which will strengthen the supporting soft tissue in your mouth.
  • Dairy. Dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt will kill two birds with one stone. They contain both calcium and vitamin B12, which are beneficial to the health of your gums and teeth!
  • Citrus. Whether you prefer fresh-squeezed orange juice or peeling and eating a clementine, citrus is delicious, rich in vitamin C, and perfect for keeping your soft mouth tissue healthy.

 

Food allergies are unfortunately quite common, especially when it comes to nuts and dairy. The foods listed above are only a few of the options for foods that are healthy for your teeth. You will never get bored with the countless options available! Making sure you eat a wide range of foods with the above vitamins and minerals will benefit your oral and general health. We can give you plenty of tips on our blog, but it’s always better to come to see us in person! Give us a call today at (903) 567-2207 to schedule an appointment! Enjoy a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery by reading these tips and tricks.

How can I help my children love brushing their teeth?

How can I help my children love brushing their teeth?

You’re not alone if you have trouble getting your children to brush their teeth. The good thing is there are ways to make your children not only brush their teeth, but enjoy it too. We are excited to share with you our three favorite ways to get your children to love taking care of their oral health!

 

  • Make it fun.

There are many fun things you can try! Make a brushing playlist of songs your children love or even find a couple of dental-themed songs. Whenever it is time for brushing, put this playlist on and brush your teeth with your children. You can also take your children shopping for a unique new toothbrush. Most drugstores carry toothbrushes for kids that come in a plethora of bright colors and have cartoon characters on them. Kids also tend to enjoy the excitement of using electric toothbrushes. There are so many unique and original ways to get your children to view brushing their teeth not just as necessary, but as fun! Soon your kids will be asking when it is time to brush their teeth. 

 

  • Teach your children the importance of oral health early and model good oral hygiene yourself. 

Toddlers and younger children tend to internalize the values parents instill in them, even though they may not understand these values. Taking care of your teeth is no exception. If a child sees their parents regularly brushing and flossing, they will recognize that they should adopt this practice as well. You could even try creating a specific brushing and flossing time with your children. That way, when they become old enough to take care of their own brushing, a particular time will already be ingrained in them. It is also essential to explain to children the benefits of certain behaviors. Teach them why a healthy smile will lead to a healthy life. You can even throw something in about making the Tooth Fairy happy!

 

  • Reward good brushing behavior to reinforce it for your children. 

Children are driven by rewards just as much as they are driven by fun. Rewards don’t have to be expensive or complicated. They could be as simple as adding fun stickers to a chart every time your child brushes their teeth without being told to. You could even let your children choose dinner one night of the week if they have been good about brushing their teeth the week prior. Rewards, no matter how small, will reinforce good oral health behavior and habits in your children.

 

Every child should learn the importance of brushing their teeth. Making oral care fun, educating your children about why brushing is essential, modeling good behavior, and rewarding your children when they are doing a good job are all ways to boost good brushing behavior and overall oral health. Let’s get those kids brushing! Enjoy a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery by reading these tips and tricks.

4 Reasons to Schedule Your 6-Month Checkup

4 Reasons to Schedule Your 6-Month Checkup

4 Reasons to Schedule Your 6-Month Checkup

Keeping your oral health in top shape is extremely important, and we want to share a few of the reasons why!

You may be asking what the benefit of visiting the dentist every six months is. There are far more benefits of maintaining your oral health routine than you realize – here are just a few of them. Trust us, after reading this, you will want to make sure you have your next appointment scheduled!

1. Overall health

There has been ample research done showing the association between oral health and health problems in other areas of the body. Many people are unaware that there have been connections found between oral infections and heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke. How is this viable? Well, many of these conditions can be caught through or start with oral manifestations. When you have your routine dental checkups, your dentist can help find these manifestations. While this is not their main area of expertise, your dentist’s oral health proficiency can provide a key link to the detection of other health problems you may be unaware of.

2. Catch problems before they grow

Dentists are trained to find distinct oral health problems early-on. Many people believe that cavities are partnered with intense pain and, therefore, are easy to detect. This isn’t always the case. Sometimes, you may not be able to feel your cavity at all. If you are going to your dentist regularly, painless cavities will be caught and treated before they worsen and result in more prolonged, pricy treatment.

3. Keeping bacteria at bay

What exactly is plaque, and how is avoiding its removal destructive to your oral health? Plaque is a layer of bacteria on your teeth that is clear and sticky. It is very hard to completely get rid of during your at-home brushing routine, so that is why your six-month cleanings are so important. If plaque stays on your teeth for too long, it will harden and become tartar. Tartar is impossible to remove with your home brushing and flossing routine. If you let it build up for too long, it can result in different oral infections. Without our routine cleanings, plaque and tartar buildup would be almost impossible to handle.

4. Don’t forget your gums.

The health of your gums is an essential part of your overall oral health and something that is difficult to keep up with if you have no background in dentistry. Your dentist will check the depth of the space between your teeth and gums with a unique tool. If the area is too deep, you may have gum disease. Small checkups like this may seem unimportant, but they will pay off for your long-term health!

Hopefully, you all see that your routine dental exam and cleaning are critical to keeping up with your health. If you choose to skip or postpone these appointments, you risk developing problems that could cost you money and time down the road. We promise that routine dental checkups are something to smile about! Enjoy a pain-free wisdom teeth recovery by reading these tips and tricks.