family dentist in richmond

Dental Emergency If Teeth Got Broken
Can Healthy Teeth Still Chip & Break?
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Chipping a tooth can be distressing. Whether it happens while you’re chewing your favorite food or during a karate class, anyone can chip a tooth. But there are certain factors that make some more prone to Teeth Break.

Why Teeth Break & Chip

Teeth are built to last a lifetime and are durable and strong. But even the most well cared for teeth can chip if they are injured. Biting down on hard foods, receiving a hit to the face, or grinding teeth at night can all lead to chipped teeth. It’s true that those who have good dental hygiene are less prone to chipping teeth. This is because dental habits like brushing daily, using fluoride toothpaste, flossing and avoiding gum disease, can all strengthen teeth and help keep them healthy. Those who have weaker teeth, due to gum disease, enamel erosion, or constant grinding are more in danger of breaking teeth.

How You Can Prevent a Chipped Tooth

Dental hygiene is imperative for keeping teeth strong. To help reduce your risks of chipping teeth, brush every day twice for two minutes each time using a toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride helps teeth remineralize and stay strong. If you grind your teeth at night, consider using a mouth guard to protect wearing away and further damage. If you play any contact sports where you might get hit in the mouth, be sure to wear a protective mouthguard each time. Finally, use caution when eating hard foods like ice, hard candy, or popcorn kernels. These foods are notorious for breaking teeth. Never use your teeth to break, cut, or open anything.

What to Do If You Break a Tooth

If you break a tooth and it’s painful, call us right away. We will schedule an appointment to repair the tooth as soon as possible. If you’ve chipped a tooth but there is no pain, it’s less urgent, though we will want to see you to fix it and prevent further chipping and tooth loss.

Contact us today if you have a chipped tooth or questions about how to keep teeth strong. We are here to help!


Cavities and exercise
What Do Cavities And Exercise Have In Common?
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You wouldn’t think tooth decay is related to exercise, but they do have a common link! Exercising may not have a direct effect on your cavities, but a chemical called lactic acid plays a role in both. Why is this worth mentioning? Well, many of my patients have often expressed the idea that develops teeth cavities by coming in contact with sugar. While sugar can eventually lead to decay, it does not do it through direct exposure. So how do teeth form cavities? From bacteria!

Lactic Acid

Bacteria exist everywhere. We have bacteria on our skin, in our intestines, and even in our mouth. Some bacteria, like Streptococcus Mutans, break down sugars and fermentable carbohydrates from the foods we eat and make lactic acid as a byproduct. The same lactic acid that our muscles produce when we workout. The bacteria then excrete this lactic acid onto the surface of our teeth, slowly breaking down the enamel into soft, decayed tissue.
When working out, the lactate produced can be repurposed into glucose and used as fuel for the entire body including the muscles, heart, and brain. Lactate is also metabolized in the mitochondria and used as powerful fuel for muscle contractions during workouts. It’s interesting to think that the same chemical that helps our bodies when we’re working out, can cause so much trouble in our mouths!

Preventing Cavities

By brushing and flossing regularly, you remove food debris from your mouth and deprive bacteria like S. Mutans of their food source. It’s not the act of limiting sugar contact with teeth, but proper hygiene that really helps prevent tooth decay. Brushing and flossing every day might seem like a tiresome chore, but doing this a few minutes a day—along with regular visits to the dentist—will ensure that you keep your teeth healthy for a long, long time.
If you’re not completely sure how to brush or floss properly, come on down to Highline Dental. Our skilled dentist, Dr. Kim, would be more than happy to show you the proper way to keep your teeth looking their best!

Dental Procedure
Can I Claim Dental Procedures On My Tax Return?
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It’s that time of year again; it’s time to file your taxes. The process is dreaded by many Americans because it can be complicated and confusing. We can help, at least a little. In this post, we’ll tell you what you need to know about claiming dental services on your tax return.

Can I Claim Them?

The short answer: yes! Dental care is expensive. Especially when it comes to surgery and orthodontic work, it can set you back thousands of dollars. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does consider many of these costs to be medical expenses, which means there’s a chance that you can count them as a deduction, but this is not true for all expenses.

Which Expenses Are Deductible, And Which Ones Aren’t?

The following dental expenses can be claimed on your tax return:

  • Dental surgery
  • Extractions
  • Artificial teeth
  • Braces
  • Hospital stays and any related x-rays or medications
  • Many routine and preventative services like time with a dental hygienist and sealants

Cosmetic procedures and non-prescription drugs cannot be claimed, in addition to services that were covered by your health insurance. When it comes to unqualified expenses if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) you may be able to use that to cover the fee. Talk to your employer or provider to learn more about your specific benefits.

Don’t Delay! Come See Us At Highline Dental in Richmond

Just like you don’t want to wait until April 14 to file your taxes, don’t put off your bi-annual visit to the dentist! Make sure to come to see us in the first half of 2019 for a check-up. Here at Highline Dental, we offer a whole variety of preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry, including implants, veneers, whitening, and much more. Contact us today to set up an appointment for yourself and everyone in your family.