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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 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! 
  • 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. 

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: 

  • 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!
  • 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-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.
  • 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!

At Stone 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 (940) 891-0389

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! 

Wisdom Teeth Recovery

Wisdom Teeth Recovery

Have you had your wisdom teeth removed? If you aren’t aware, “wisdom teeth” is another name for the molars that are the furthest back in your mouth. They will usually come in during your teenage years. The majority of the population doesn’t have enough room in their mouths to fit their wisdom teeth. Because of the lack of space, teenagers and young adults usually end up getting their wisdom teeth removed by way of surgery. Whether or not you still need to get your wisdom teeth taken out, we are here to give you a few of our favorite tips and tricks to having the most successful recovery process possible.

  • 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. 
  • 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! 
  • 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!

It may be a common surgery, but wisdom teeth removal needs to be taken seriously. Managing your pain carefully, being careful about what you are eating, and keeping the surgery wounds clean are three straightforward ways to make sure your recovery period is as quick and easy as possible! You should also listen to and heed any advice your dentist gives you regarding wisdom teeth recovery. If you or someone you know has questions about wisdom teeth removal and recovery, feel free to call us today at (940) 891-0389.

Use it or Lose it

Use it or Lose it

The school year is in full swing, the holidays are quickly approaching, and 2021 will be coming to a close before we know it! Oral health is often put on the back burner during the last three months of the year due to all the excitement and celebration surrounding the holidays. We understand that dental care might not be on your mind right now, but you only have a few months left to use your benefits before they expire! Most plans do not allow benefits to roll over into the following calendar year, so using them while you can is important. We have decided to share three straightforward ways that 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. 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!
  3. 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!

Whether you want to treat yourself to a smile upgrade, have some pesky unscheduled treatment, or need to schedule a hygiene visit, now is the perfect time to do it! We would love for you to come to visit us at Stone Creek Dental. Call us today at (940) 891-0389 to schedule with us before your benefits run out. The clock is ticking, which means it’s time to use it or lose it! 
Book Appointment

Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment

Are you thinking about whether you want to sign up for dental insurance through an employer or switch from your current plan? Open enrollment season is officially here, and we want to help you find the right dental benefits plan for you and your family. We offer a Membership Plan is simple and comprehensive. It is subscription-based and covers all your preventative care while giving you discounts on other procedures. Unlike dental insurance, there are no waiting periods, approval processes, deductibles, annual maximums, or other insurance hassles. Best of all, you can sign up in as little as 5 minutes, and your benefits start immediately!

 

At Stone Creek Dental, your oral health is our top priority. We understand that dental work can be expensive and insurance companies are frustrating to deal with. That is why we offer our Membership Plan! Our plan is straightforward, affordable, and offered directly through our office. 

 

We offer three different plans: Child Complete, Adult Complete, and Perio. By signing up for one of these plans, you will be able to save up to $309.21 per year on dental work! Our plans include:

 

Child Complete ($18/mo. or $216/yr.):

– 2 professional cleanings

– 2 regular exams

– 1 fluoride treatment

– Routine x-rays

– 1 emergency exam

 

Adult Complete ($22/mo. or $264/yr.):

– 2 professional cleanings

– 2 regular exams

– 2 oral screenings

– Routine x-rays

– 1 emergency exam

 

Perio ($39/mo. or $468/yr.):

– 3 perio maintenance procedures & checkups

– 2 regular exams

– 2 oral screenings

– Routine x-rays

– 1 emergency exam

 

In addition to this, all three of our plans include up to 20% off all other procedures completed at our practice and a 5% subscription discount for additional family members.

 

Now is the perfect time to sign up. If you are interested or would like to receive more information, you can visit this link or call us at (940) 891-0389.

 

Not only do we offer a Membership Plan to our individual patients, but we also offer a plan for local businesses! If you are a business owner or an employee of a business looking to offer dental insurance benefits to your employees, our Employer Plan is a great option!

 

We are a local business and care deeply about other local businesses. We can help to ensure your business attracts and retains the employees to make it even more successful than it already is. Surveys of US workers report that 88% of job seekers indicate that dental benefits are a key factor in their job choice. Furthermore, 2 out of 3 employees consider dental benefits to be a very or extremely important part of their compensation package. It is safe to say that the better benefits your company offers, the better employees it will attract.

 

We are excited to tell you about our Employer Membership Plan, a dental benefits package revolutionizing what it means to offer dental benefits. Our Employer Plan is unique because:

 

  1. It is affordable
  2. No deductibles
  3. No waiting periods
  4. No annual maximums
  5. No pre-approvals
  6. No paperwork
  7. Simple online sign-up and management

 

This may sound too good to be true, but we promise it’s not. Our Employer Plan is a much better option than traditional insurance because it is provided directly to your company, eliminating the unnecessary costs, hassles, and limitations of 3rd party insurance. As an employer, you can contribute whatever you would like, from $0 to the full subscription price per employee. Company enrollment is fast and simple and plan management is easily accessible through the employer portal. If you’re looking to adopt a straightforward dental coverage plan for your company, look no further. Our Employer Plan is the one for you. If you are interested or would like to learn more, you can reach us at  (940) 891-0389.

 

Now is the perfect time of year to sign up for new dental benefits or start a new plan for your company. We promise our plans won’t disappoint and want to do everything we can to provide you with the best, most affordable dental care on the market. 

 

Happy Teeth-safe Food Month

Happy Teeth-safe Food Month

Happy Teeth-safe Food Month! Food is a central part of our lives and affects our health in more ways than we can count. Your oral health is no exception! Gaining knowledge about which foods are healthy and which are destructive for your teeth is important if you want to keep your smile healthy and bright. 

 

Cavities are one of the most infamous dental problems and can be directly linked to what we eat. One of the most common causes of cavities is the consumption of refined sugar. Refined sugar is broken down by bacteria and turned into acid, which in turn dissolves the tooth enamel. The frequency of sugar consumption is actually more detrimental to your oral health than the amount of sugar you consume in one sitting because of this. So what are some of the best ways to still enjoy your favorite sugary treats while keeping your teeth safe?

 

  • 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.
    1. 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. 

 

Having a well-balanced diet is very important for your oral health. The right foods keep your teeth safe and also keep your gums and bones in top shape. Finding foods you enjoy that are also rich in vitamins is important and not difficult to do! Foods containing calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and folic acid are some of the best options for strong teeth and healthy gums. Here are some of our top picks…

 

  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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!
  • 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.

 

Food allergies are unfortunately quite common, especially when it comes to things like nuts and dairy. However, the food items listed above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to food that is good for your oral health. You have countless choices and will never get bored! Making sure you eat a variety of foods with the above vitamins and minerals will heighten your oral health and increase your overall well-being. 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 (940) 891-0389 to schedule an appointment!

How can I help my children love brushing their teeth?

How can I help my children love brushing their teeth?

If you are struggling to get your children to comply with oral hygiene without complaint, you’re not alone. There are effective ways to get your children to enjoy oral hygiene, and they are extremely simple. We are excited to share our three favorite ways to get your kids brushing!

 

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

Children tend to internalize the values their parents instill in them, even if they don’t understand why those values are necessary. Oral hygiene is no exception. If children see their parents consistently brushing and flossing, they will begin to want to as well. You can even try creating a specific brushing and flossing routine with your children. When they become old enough to take care of their oral hygiene independently, a particular time will already be ingrained in them. It is important to teach children the benefits of certain behaviors. Explain to them why a healthy smile will lead to a healthy, happy life! 

 

  • 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 can be as simple as adding fun stickers to a chart every time your children brush their teeth of their own accord. You could even let your children choose dinner one night of the week if they have been good with their oral hygiene. Small rewards will be very beneficial in reinforcing good oral health habits in your children!

 

  • Make it fun.

There are many ways you can make oral hygiene seem more attractive and exciting to your kids. You can make a brushing playlist of your children’s favorite songs. You could even add a couple of dental-themed songs. Whenever it is time for oral hygiene, put this playlist on and join your children in their daily brushing routine. They will be even more excited to brush if you take them shopping for new toothbrushes! Most drugstores carry a variety of children’s toothbrushes, and some even feature beloved Disney characters and bright colors. There are so many creative ways to get your children to view oral hygiene not just as necessary, but as fun! Your kids will be asking when it is time for their daily oral hygiene before you know it. 

 

Every child should learn why it is so important for them to brush their teeth. Educating your children about why brushing is essential, modeling good behavior, rewarding your children when they are doing well, and making oral care fun are all effective ways to increase good brushing behavior and overall oral hygiene. Let’s get your kids brushing!

4 Reasons to Schedule Your 6-Month Checkup

4 Reasons to Schedule Your 6-Month Checkup

4 Reasons to Schedule Your 6-Month Checkup

It is extremely important to stay on top of your oral health. We are here to share just a few of the reasons why!

What is the benefit of visiting the dentist every six months? There are far more perks of keeping up with your oral health routine than you may be aware of. After reading this, you will definitely want to get your next appointment on your calendar!

  1. Catch problems before they grow

    Dentists are trained to catch specific oral health issues early on in their development. People often believe that cavities are easy to detect because they are characterized by intense pain. This isn’t always true. Sometimes, a cavity will be painless and you won’t notice it at all. If you are going to your dentist regularly, painless cavities will be caught before they become worse and result in more expensive treatment.

  2. Overall health

    The connection between oral health and health issues in other parts of the body has been researched deeply. There have been links discovered between oral infections and heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke. How is this possible? Many of these conditions begin with or show oral expressions. During your six-month dental checkups, your dentist can help find these manifestations. Your dentist’s oral health expertise can provide a key link to finding other health issues you may not know about.

  3. Keeping bacteria at bay

    How will postponing the removal of plaque have a negative effect on your oral health? Plaque is a layer of clear, sticky bacteria on your teeth. It is almost impossible to get rid of it during your daily oral care routine. This is why your routine 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 personal brushing and flossing routine. If you let it build up, it can result in various oral infections. Without routine cleanings, plaque and tartar buildup cannot be properly managed.

  4. Don’t forget your gums

    Keeping your gums healthy is very important to your overall oral health. It can be difficult to keep up with if you have no knowledge of 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. Simple checkups like this may seem unimportant, but they will benefit your health in the long run!

We hope you all see that your routine dental exams and cleanings are critical to maintaining your health. If you choose to postpone these visits, you risk developing health problems that could cost you money and time in the future. We promise that routine dental checkups are something to be happy about!