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Care for your Smile During the Holidays

Care for your Smile During the Holidays

The holidays are finally upon us! November and December are two of the most festive months of the year, and the Mill Creek Dental team wants to ensure you enjoy them and have peace of mind regarding the health of your smile. It is commonly known that many staple holiday foods can stain the enamel if consumed carelessly. However, there are ways to enjoy these foods and maintain your oral health. We are here to share which foods and drinks to watch out for and tips for maximizing your time celebrating while keeping your smile shining.

Many Thanksgiving food and beverage items can stain your teeth, including coffee, red wine, cranberry sauce, and fruit pies. Many Thanksgiving food and beverage items can stain your teeth, including coffee, red wine, cranberry sauce, and fruit pies. While delicious, the dark colors of these foods and drinks bring with them the chance of staining your teeth. There are a few simple ways you can indulge while still preserving your smile:

  1. Brush your teeth, or, if not possible, rinse your mouth soon after eating or drinking one of these items. This will wash any residue off your teeth and lessen the chances of yellowing or spotting. If this becomes a habit, your teeth will be grateful!
  2. Swap out your favorite fruit pies for equally-festive alternatives. While everyone loves a tasty cherry or blueberry pie, the fruit’s acidity can damage tooth enamel and leave stains. Opt for a pumpkin or chocolate pie. While still sugary, these pies will not have the same effect on your enamel.
  3. Drink dark-colored beverages over a short time instead of prolonged sipping. This will minimize the time your teeth are exposed to the drink. Also, sipping water with one of these beverages will aid in keeping your teeth clean.

Preventing yellowing and staining is one thing, but reversing it is entirely another. Did you know Mill Creek Dental offers take-home teeth whitening kits? If you want to prepare your smile for holiday photos and gatherings, now is the perfect time to treat yourself! Our take-home teeth whitening kit consists of whitening strips that you will apply to your teeth once daily for five days. You must thoroughly brush your teeth before and after using the whitening strips. While there are many variations of whitening strips available at your local drugstore, ours will maximize the whitening process and give you long-lasting results. Many patients have concerns about sensitivity and the impact on the gums caused by teeth whitening treatments. These whitening options will leave little to no effect on the gums, and the process used will minimize any sensitivity.

Teeth whitening is the quickest, most effective way to rid your smile of stains and make it shades brighter. Are you interested in learning more or preparing your smile for the holidays with one of our whitening options? Call Mill Creek Dental today at (903) 567-2207.

Learn about Use it or Lose it Benefits here.

It’s Time to Use it or Lose it!

It’s Time to Use it or Lose it!

The last few months of 2022 are here! At Mill Creek Dental, we want to ensure you know the perks of using all your insurance dollars by year’s end. While this is a busy time of year, and the health of your smile may be the last thing on your mind, it is still integral to note many dental insurance companies will not roll unused benefits over into the following calendar year. This means they are lost! Our office can provide many cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry services that will allow you to use your benefits before you lose them!

Have you been considering a major dental procedure? Getting started with an extensive procedure like dental implants can be nerve-wracking. We are here to make the process comfortable for our patients! Extensive procedures will begin with a consultation, where you will meet with one of our dentists to discuss the treatment you are considering, any hesitations you may have, and devise a treatment plan. From there, you will be able to move forward with peace of mind knowing that you are working with a team that cares and has your best interests at heart. It is the perfect opportunity to use those benefits before you lose them!

Have you checked to see if you have any incomplete treatment? This could be anything from a deep cleaning to a filling to a root canal! Getting your treatment scheduled and completed before the year ends will benefit your oral health and put your mind at ease. Some of the most widely-offered treatments we give patients revolve around fixing cavities. If you have a small cavity, you may need nothing more than a filling! If you have put off your cavity treatment for a while, the cavity may grow and become infected. This may necessitate a root canal, in which your dentist will remove the infected pulp from your tooth root and fill it so it will look and function naturally. Getting cavities treated as soon as they are diagnosed is very important, as it will ensure less intensive treatment is needed later on.

Have you had your teeth cleaned recently? A cleaning twice yearly is vital for maintaining oral health. Your dental hygienist will remove any plaque buildup, which aids in cavity prevention. More serious dental treatment may need to be considered when cavities are left unattended for too long. Keeping up with your hygiene appointments will ensure this does not happen. In addition to this, your smile will be fresh and sparkling just in time for the most joyous three months of the year! 

The Mill Creek Dental team is excited about the holidays! We want you to feel confident in your smile. It is a wonderful time to book an appointment, whether it be your regular six-month cleaning and checkup, restorative treatment, or cosmetic procedures! Trust us, taking advantage of your dental insurance benefits will aid in peace of mind and a beautiful smile!

Do you have any questions about your coverage, or would you like to schedule an appointment before the end of the year? Call us at (903) 938-8315. We look forward to seeing you!

Read more about overcoming dental anxiety.

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Identifying Common Problems

Identifying Common Problems

Your bi-yearly visits to Mill Creek Dental are terrific and necessary, but how do you know if you need to schedule an additional appointment? While keeping up with your hygiene and exams will do wonders for the health of your smile, there is still a possibility oral health issues may arise. We want to aid you in identifying these problems. Catching them early will ensure they can be treated promptly and will not become more severe. Helping our patients improve their smiles while saving money on treatment and time spent at our office is a priority!

Everyone wants shining, healthy teeth. A beautiful smile increases confidence and will lead to better health in other areas of your life. There are many dental anomalies that, if not dealt with, can hinder your overall well-being and confidence. They are more widespread than you think, and knowing how to spot them will decrease your chances of permanent damage to one or multiple teeth. 

So what are some of the most frequent dental complications?

  1. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be very distressing to patients. It is commonly the result of dry mouth, poor oral hygiene, an infection, or several other factors. If you have bad breath, your dentist will assess the situation to determine its cause and what treatment is needed.
  2. Tooth sensitivity can be an extremely uncomfortable sensation. When your enamel is worn away, hot and cold foods and drinks will cause pain. This is due to the dentin being exposed, which contains tubes leading to the nerve attached to your tooth.
  3. Tooth decay is the most widespread problem we see in patients. It occurs when bacteria form plaque on the surface of your teeth, which can permanently damage the enamel. This damage is characterized by toothaches, pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods, dark spots on your teeth, and even occasional cracks or pits.
  4. A dental abscess is caused by the buildup of bacteria in a tooth’s root. If you have a persistent, severe toothache, there is a good chance you may have an infected root.
  5. Gum disease has many different stages and starts as a bacterial infection caused by plaque buildup. Left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis: the most severe form. Tobacco use, irregular oral hygiene, and diabetes are all risk factors. 

One of the best ways to avoid these concerns in the first place is by coming in to see us regularly! During your dental exam, your dentist will check your mouth for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and infection. If you are experiencing sensitivity in one or more of your teeth or struggle with bad breath, these visits are a perfect opportunity to get started with treatment and address your concerns. To book an appointment, call us at (903) 567-2207. Click here to learn about overcoming dental anxiety.

Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Overcoming Dental Anxiety

The Mill Creek Dental team enjoys starting our days with the intention of giving our patients a stellar dental experience. We understand that every patient has unique circumstances and take them all into consideration, including dental anxiety. There are many routes we can take to help you combat dental anxiety while pursuing your smile goals, and we are here to share them!

We will begin by discussing why keeping up with oral healthcare is essential. Visiting our office every six months will include a dental hygienist thoroughly cleaning your teeth. Hard-to-reach plaque and tartar will be removed, which generally builds up in areas that are more difficult to reach during your at-home hygiene routine. Your hygienist and dentist will also be able to catch any early signs of oral cancer, cavities, and other issues. When dealt with ahead of time, you will spend less time and money at our office in the long run, and your smile will thank you for it!

Many people avoid going to the dentist or only make an appointment when absolutely necessary. While you may think that dental anxiety comes from wanting to avoid pain, it is usually due to feeling a lack of control. At Mill Creek Dental, we tend to each patient with kindness and patience, desiring to provide comfort. Some of the ways in which we build trust with patients include:

  • Checking in with patients during the appointment. We constantly check in with our patients throughout their appointments, especially if it involves an in-depth dental procedure.
  • Getting to know each patient. Building relationships with everyone who walks through our doors is in our DNA. We want you to feel like you are visiting with old friends. We care deeply about the health of your teeth but also your life!
  • Making sure patients know they can be assertive with their needs. Our team will provide a thorough exam for all patients; however, it is an essential part of the visit for patients to let us know if there is an issue. We will ensure to inform all patients ahead of time they can express their needs and comfort level at any time during their visit goes a long way.
  • Making sure patients are aware they can take a break if they are uncomfortable. We believe it is best to play it safe and take it as slowly as possible if a patient feels anxious. If you need to step out and get some air, you are welcome to let us know!
  • Explaining what patients will feel and for how long. As we said, lack of control is the main reason people have dental anxiety. This anxiety can be alleviated by being given as much knowledge as possible about what to expect and when to expect it. We will provide information at multiple points throughout the appointment.

We are here to help if you are feeling nervous. Some relaxation techniques that will ease anxiety in the moment are such as progressive muscle relaxation, breathing deeply, or listening to calming music. In addition, we offer oral sedation and nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. These treatments are beneficial for anxiety over extensive procedures, and we take them very seriously. If you think they may be helpful for you during your visit, we will consult with you prior and figure out if it makes sense to include one of them in your oral health journey.

If you have questions about dealing with dental anxiety for yourself or a loved one, there is always more to learn! We want to come alongside you at our office and make everything as simple as possible. Feel free to call us at (903) 567-2207 with any questions. Meet those people that make our practice stress free here.

Oral Hygiene For Summer Travel

Oral Hygiene For Summer Travel

Summer is everyone’s favorite! Our team wants to give you all the tools possible to keep the health of your smile in check during any trips you may be taking.

Ways To Practice Good Oral Hygiene This Summer

While oral health probably isn’t the first thing on your mind while traveling, it is surprising how easy it can be to take care of it with these simple tips in mind.

First, make sure to keep your consumption of sugary foods in check

Vacation is a perfect opportunity to treat yourself, and everyone deserves this! However, we want to make sure you avoid any potential dental issues that could form due to high sugar intake. You might want to try swapping out carbonated soda for an equally delicious and healthier beverage, such as green tea. While avoiding your favorite treats may not be possible, adding in foods such as vegetables high in fiber will aid in keeping your teeth clean. It is all about balance.

Second, it is always a good idea to have sugar-free gum on hand 

Whether flying, driving, or taking a bus, you may go longer than usual without brushing your teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum after eating is a wonderful way to keep your mouth as clean as possible. Not to mention, there are many delicious flavors out there!

Third, stay hydrated for good oral hygiene for summer

Hydration is essential for many reasons, including when it comes to the health of your smile. If you are enjoying a vacation adventure during the day and aren’t able to brush your teeth until later, drinking water while you eat will help dilute any plaque-forming acids and protect your teeth while you are having fun. Hydration is also key in guarding against dry mouth. Saliva is 99% water, so the more you drink, the more saliva you produce!

Fourth, let’s discuss your toothbrush’s ideal environment!

Can you guess one of the most important things to pay attention to on vacation? Minimizing potential bacteria growth on your toothbrush. Yes, you read that right! There are two main ways to ventilate your toothbrush and prevent bacteria growth. When looking for a travel toothbrush case, try to find one with small holes or room for air to circulate. A case without holes will keep the moisture locked in, which is not ideal. Also, keep your toothbrush free from its travel case when possible. Leaving it out to dry will aid in prevention.

Lastly, try your hardest to stick to your regular morning and evening oral hygiene routines

If you brush your teeth first thing in the morning, keep doing that. If you regularly brush your teeth throughout the day, travel toothbrushes were made for you. This will keep a healthy habit going, and it will also aid in preventing tooth decay and plaque. To make it even easier on yourself, pack an extra toothbrush and toothpaste just in case you misplace yours!

If you’d like to learn more about the prevention and treatment of cavities, read about it on our blog.

The Mill Creek Dental team wants to ensure you have the best summer with your loved ones! If you haven’t had your first appointment of the year with us yet, give us a call at (903) 567-2207 to make one before your first Summer trip. This way, you will be able to enjoy your vacation without any stress or pain. You deserve it!

Prevention and Treatment of Cavities

Prevention and Treatment of Cavities

Cavities are one of the most commonly known dental issues and something everyone dreads. When you go to the dentist, you may wonder, “Do I have a cavity?” in the back of your mind. We have all experienced this fear! Luckily, treatment for and prevention of cavities are simple and more accessible than ever, especially at Mill Creek Dental.

A cavity is formed when your enamel becomes damaged and can eventually develop into a small hole in your tooth. There are many common causes of cavities, such as not keeping your teeth clean, overindulging in sugary snacks and drinks, and bacteria. Cavities can become highly problematic if ignored for too long. If left untreated, a cavity can grow and affect deeper parts of your tooth. Eventually, this can cause infection or even the loss of your tooth. So, what are some of the best ways to prevent cavities?

Prevention And Treatment Of Cavities

Regular dental cleanings and checkups

Staying on top of hygiene appointments and oral exams will prevent cavities from forming and catch any that have already begun in their early stages before they progress and cause more harm!

Ask your dentist about fluoride treatments

Fluoride treatments are a great preventative measure, especially if your teeth aren’t getting enough fluoride. We can perform fluoride treatments right here in our office and your routine cleanings and checkups!

Use fluoride toothpaste

Brushing your teeth twice a day is imperative, but it is even more beneficial when using fluoride toothpaste. This will decrease your risk of tooth decay.

Enjoy sugary snacks and drinks in moderation

Certain snacks and beverages create acids that can be destructive to your enamel. If you have a sugar craving, rinse and brush your teeth soon after!

Signs of a Cavity 

Despite your most thorough preventative efforts, there is a chance that you could still develop a cavity. There are a few simple indicators you can look for when watching for cavities. If a cavity is forming in your mouth, you may notice pain or sensitivity in a tooth, pain when eating or drinking something hot or cold, black or brown staining on a tooth, or even small pits in a tooth.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call our office immediately at (903) 567-2207!

Learn more on why keeping up with treatment is so important.

Our office offers treatment options for cavities that will restore your tooth’s look and feel back to its healthy state and function. These services include fillings, root canals, and crowns. Feel free to visit the services section of our website to learn more! The Marshall Family Dental team wants to help you maintain the best dental health you can, and we hope this provides a little more insight on how to do so.

Keeping up with Treatment

Keeping up with Treatment

The Mill Creek Dental team wants to do everything to ensure that the health of your smile is in top shape. Staying up-to-date with any diagnosed treatment is a substantial part of this.

Why should patients keep up with treatment?

1. You will save time and money spent in the long run. No one likes spending money they don’t need to. If you put off your diagnosed treatment, you’ll likely pay more later. While treatment can be costly, it becomes more expensive when delayed. More complex treatments usually require more time for the procedure(s) and subsequent recovery. You will thank yourself later if you schedule as soon as you can!

2. You will be more comfortable! Whether you require restorative treatment or are looking for cosmetic treatment, getting it done will relieve pain and/or make you more comfortable with your smile. Nothing beats that!

3. Current dental issues will grow more severe if they go untreated. One of the main reasons patients develop severe oral health problems is that they do not follow up with their dentist’s recommended treatment. Not following through with diagnosed treatment will result in even more in-depth treatment.

At Mill Creek Dental, our talented dentist is proud to offer an extensive range of treatments and wants to do what is best for each individual’s dental health needs. Each patient’s treatment plan will be unique based on the urgency of addressing specific dental issues and smile goals. So what are some treatments offered by Mill Creek Dental?

Here are a some of our treatment options:

  1. Fillings & root canals – Cavities and infections can be easily treated with our filling and root canal options! They both provide simple ways to restore and maintain your natural set of teeth.
  2. Crowns – If you want to prevent a weak, broken, or cracked tooth from breaking further, a crown is the best option! It will protect your tooth while giving it a natural look.
  3. Implants – If you have had one or multiple teeth extractions, dental implants are an excellent option for replacing these missing teeth.
  4. Extractions – A chronic toothache or infection in a tooth may require an extraction. This will improve the overall health of your mouth and keep the problem from worsening.

Mill Creek Dental offers many treatments, and these are just some of them! If you want to learn more about dental procedures, read our blog. To prevent further dental issues from arising, it is best to complete your treatment as soon as possible. If you have any questions for us or would like to schedule, give us a call at (903) 567-2207.

The Main Goal of Dental Routine Procedures

The Main Goal of Dental Routine Procedures

Did you go to the dentist every six months for a hygiene appointment and checkup when you were growing up? If you want to make sure you don’t spend extra time and money at the dentist, these regular appointments will help ensure that. So how do these appointments impact your dental health and what do they consist of? We are here to share more!

Dental anxiety is a common problem. All the cleaning and exam procedures performed by your dentist and hygienist are effective, safe, and meant to keep your mouth in prime health! If going to the dentist makes you nervous, make sure to let us know. We specialize in working with patients who struggle with dental anxiety and will do everything we can to make your visit as comfortable as possible. Explaining checkups and procedures as we do them is one way we can do this, and we hope this blog helps alleviate some stress you may feel.

Why Should You Have A Dental Routine Procedure Visit?

The main goal of a hygiene visit is to get rid of any plaque and tartar that has built up on your teeth over time. Why is this important? There are some very advanced electric toothbrushes out there, but even using one every time you brush will be unable to remove the toughest plaque from your teeth. Certain areas of your teeth are harder to keep clean, even if you floss regularly. Your hygienist will be able to use special tools to thoroughly clean these areas, which will prevent dental disease and extra visits to our office!

If your mouth isn’t given regular attention by a professional, gum disease may develop. It will easily be spotted when you come in for your appointment. When it comes to declining oral health, gum disease is one of the most common results. Your hygienist will examine your gums for signs of disease and use preventative hygiene measures to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy in unison.

You will also receive an exam from the dentist, which is just as important as your cleaning! Your dentist will carefully examine your teeth and gums to determine their health and catch any early signs of dental problems or oral cancer. This is easy to treat if it is caught early on. X-rays are another aspect of routine appointments and are used by your dentist to check for any internal dental issues such as damage to the jawbone, decay between teeth, or impacted teeth.

It is important to come in for an appointment every six months as it will save you money and time in the long run. If you would like to schedule an appointment at Mill Creek Dental,  give us a call at (903) 567-2207. We will be happy to answer any of your questions and do everything we can to make your visit with us go as smoothly as possible.

Love Your Teeth: Learn How To Love Them More

Love Your Teeth: Learn How To Love Them More

Just because Valentine’s Day has passed doesn’t mean you have to stop with self-love and learning to love your teeth! At Mill Creek Dental, we want to make sure your smile gets the love and attention it deserves. Keeping your smile bright and healthy involves more than brushing and flossing daily. Taking the health of your smile to the next level can be done by working on a few simple tasks into your oral health routine. We hope these straightforward tips on keeping your smile in good health will give you something to be excited about.

How To Love Your Teeth

Here are six simple practices you can adopt at home to elevate your oral care routine:

  1. Switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush. Have you ever had trouble with sensitivity while brushing your teeth? This may be due to applying too much pressure as you brush, which can be exacerbated by the quality of the bristles on your toothbrush of choice. It is common knowledge that you should switch out your toothbrush every few months. Make sure you keep doing this but pick up a soft-bristled brush on your next trip for a switch. In addition to these brushes being better for your teeth and gums, applying less pressure when you brush will help minimize abrasiveness.
  2. Don’t brush too often. You may feel the need to brush your teeth after every meal. However, brushing more than twice per day can damage your gums and enamel. If you still feel the need to have your mouth feel clean after every meal, try rinsing with plain water. This will disrupt food particles without placing extra pressure on your teeth or gums.
  3. Eat teeth-whitening foods. Did you know that there are foods that can help whiten your teeth? Crunchy foods generally need to be chewed for longer, and therefore your mouth will generate more saliva while eating them. Saliva assists in neutralizing acids that wear down your enamel, which will help prevent yellowing. In addition to this, foods that are coarse and rich in fiber, such as apples, pears, carrots, lettuce, celery, and cucumbers, can help rid the surfaces of your teeth of accumulated plaque.
  4. Don’t spend too much time on your favorite sugary drinks. Some people finish their favorite latte or soda in a few quick gulps, while others nurse on it for hours. So why is finishing it quickly more beneficial for your teeth? Suppose your teeth are being exposed to sugar over a more extended time. In that case, bacteria in your mouth that use sugar as a food source will metabolize it into lactic acid. This acid can eventually dissolve the healthy minerals on your teeth, leading to cavities down the road.
  5. Keep your toothbrush holder clean. This may not be a step you think of taking when it comes to keeping your teeth themselves clean. If you haven’t cleaned your toothbrush holder in a while and take a close look at it, you may notice that it has accumulated grime. Your toothbrush holder holds on to many of the germs that reside in your bathroom and is known to be the third-dirtiest household item. To keep it clean, we recommend washing it in your dishwasher a couple of times per week!
  6. Start by brushing in the back of your mouth. All of us are probably guilty of skimping on paying attention to brushing our back teeth during our oral care routine. These teeth need some love! Your molars are more prone to infection and gum disease because of all the hard-to-reach spots surrounding them. Brushing your back teeth before the rest of your mouth will ensure you are not too fatigued to hit all the right places!

Keeping your smile in top shape should be something you strive towards no matter what time of year it is! Following these six simple steps will definitely improve the health of your teeth. If you’re interested in treating yourself to something extra, Mill Creek Dental offers both take-home teeth whitening kits and ZOOM in-office whitening. We promise both of these options will increase your confidence and make you even more proud of your smile! Give us a call at (903) 567-2207 if you would like to schedule an appointment or have any questions about our teeth whitening or other cosmetic options. Learn how to choose a toothbrush.

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.

Ways To Shine Bright This New Year

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!

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