Welcome to the blog of Tumwater Dentist, Dr. Merchant

4 Reasons Why Your Teeth Hate You

Posted by on Oct 12, 2017 in Blog, Dental Tips | 0 comments

sensitive teethOur teeth are responsible for allowing us to chew properly, speak clearly, and smile beautifully. But these miniature bones are often neglected, only to be thought about during bi-annual dental appointments. 

However, your teeth could secretly be resenting you. Sensitive teeth have the ability to ruin your whole day, and any good dentist will tell you that tooth sensitivity is extremely preventable. So keep an eye out for the following signs your teeth need some tender loving care.

Tooth grinding
The biggest problem with tooth grinding is that you may not know you are even doing it! Usually, teeth grinding happens when you’re asleep, and it’s common to wake up with jaw pain or a headache if you are grinding. However, whether it happens at night or during stressful times of the day, teeth grinding can lead to significant tooth damage. Left unchecked, teeth grinding can literally cause your teeth to break! If you don’t take the proper steps to address the problem, emergency dental care could be in your near future. If you are feeling any of these teeth grinding symptoms, visit your family dentist right away.

Strong mouthwash
Some over-the-over-the-counter mouthwashes can be chock full of chemicals and alcohol that can quickly wear down your enamel. And when your enamel is worn down, your teeth become much more sensitive than normal. Stick to alcohol-free mouthwash instead, or ask your dentist for a recommendation.

Brushing too hard
Yes, it’s important to brush your teeth twice a day. But you also want to be gentle! Rubbing too hard can actually wear down the enamel on your teeth and cause small tears on your gums. Pay attention to how you are brushing as well; instead of going back and forth horizontally, make sure you are brushing in small circles on each tooth.

Acidic food and beverages
There may be high levels of acidity in your favorite foods without you even knowing it. Even healthy foods can contain high levels of acid. Juice, coffee, and fruit are all culprits of enamel-eroding acid, so if you’re going to enjoy these foods and beverages, just make sure to brush afterwards. 

At least one-fifth of Americans have one or more untreated cavities right now. So treat your teeth right, and don’t do any of these things. Alongside visiting the dental office twice a year for a regular checkup, follow this advice and your sensitive teeth will thank you!

Have any questions about proper dental care? Call our Olympia, WA dental office today to book your next cleaning.

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Invisalign For Teeth Straightening

Posted by on Sep 27, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

invisalign pros and consAccording to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 32% of people are “concerned with the look of their teeth.” No matter what the survey says, it’s obvious that dentistry is important to many Americans, who value a good dentist and want a healthy and attractive smile. Whether this comes from teeth whitening services or through more intensive dental correction devices, they want their teeth to be absolutely perfect.

One of the best ways that you can improve your smile is with Invisalign braces. Unlike the usual metal braces you’d get in middle school, Invisalign braces are virtually invisible. That means that they are easier to hide while they work to correct your smile. However, there are some drawbacks to Invisalign that you should be aware of. Here are some Invisalign pros and cons for you to consider:

Invisalign Pros

  1. Virtually Invisible
    Touched on briefly above, this is the number one reason patients choose Invisalign over traditional braces. Some patients are adults that never had the opportunity, or desire, to have metal braces while growing up. This may make them feel self-conscious about having traditional metal braces as an adult. Invisalign is a great way to avoid these feelings while getting the same positive results.
  2. Removeable
    Traditional braces stay on until your family dentist removes them after they’ve done their job. Unfortunately, many individuals will tell you that traditional braces are magnets for food. They make the teeth cleaning process much, much harder, not to mention painful. With Invisalign, you can easily remove the aligners before, during, and after eating as needed to allow for easier cleaning.
  3. Comfortable
    Metal braces are notoriously uncomfortable, as anyone who has had them will tell you. They can sometimes cause irritation, discomfort, and even pain as the metal rubs against the sides of your mouth. In contrast, Invisalign is made of a smooth plastic surface that offers no discomfort to the mouth.

Invisalign Cons

  1. Need to Remove Aligners Before Meals
    As mentioned above, the Invisalign aligners can be removed. In fact, they must be removed before eating or drinking anything but water. This can be a nuisance to many patients. However, many have also found that weight loss becomes easier as they do not snack as often.
  2. Frequent Teeth Cleaning
    Invisalign requires a lot of attention to oral hygiene. You need to thoroughly brush and floss after eating or drinking anything but water. This can, however, lead to better oral health and teeth whitening during treatments.

These are just some of the Invisalign pros and cons that exist, but they are some of the most important. For adults interested in straightening their teeth, Invisalign is a great way to finally improve their smile. Keep this list in mind when discussing teeth straightening with your dentist.

4 Qualities the Best Dental Offices Should Have

Posted by on Sep 19, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

white teethAccording to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 99.7% of Americans surveyed think that having a healthy smile is socially important. And one of the largely accepted signs of a healthy smile is white teeth. The best way to get white teeth? Visit dental services.

However, knowing what constitutes the best dentists can be hard. A good family dentist has a number of qualities that you have to search for. To help you narrow your search, here’s a list of the qualities you should look for when considering dental clinics in your area:

They Accept Your Insurance
Insurance is an integral part of dental care, and having good insurance means having to pay less for dental services. You should be sure that your dentist takes your insurance so you can fully utilize all of those benefits. With the right dentist, insurance shouldn’t be a problem.

Payment Options For Non-insured Patients
If you’re one of the millions of individuals without dental insurance, having payment plan options available can be a lifesaver. While you may end up paying more out of pocket, it’s important that your dentist offices are willing to work with you. So even if it requires a bit more footwork on your end, going to a dentist with more payment options will ultimately benefit you.

Members of The ADA
If a dentist’s practice is part of the American Dental Association (ADA), their membership requires them to abide by the ADA’s code. The code has three main components: Principles of Ethics, Code of Professional Conduct, and Advisory Options. Each of these components serve to benefit you as a patient. If you want to make the most out of your dental health, make sure your dentist is a member of the ADA.

Quality Office Hours
Is the office convenient to your schedule, and do they offer appointments during early mornings and evenings? Consider your schedule. What office hours are you most likely to visit during? Making your regular appointments is a key part of having healthy, white teeth. If it would be easier to make an appointment during your lunch hour, make sure your dental office can accommodate you.

There are many benefits to having a good dentist in your life, including white teeth and a healthy smile. Make sure that you have access to a great one by taking these tips into consideration.

How Do You Choose the Right Cosmetic Dentist?

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Blog, Dentistry | 0 comments

Choosing the right cosmetic dentist can have a major impact on your life. How do you choose the right doctor to safeguard the most expressive, yet silent aspect of your beautiful personality – your smile?

Family dentist tumwater ebook There are many dental professionals available in each community. How do you choose the right cosmetic and family dentist in Tumwater for you? What factors should influence your decision? Should it be the one whose office is closest and so most convenient? Or the one with the largest ad in the yellow pages? Maybe the one with the biggest office?

These are some of the criteria people mention about why they chose a certain doctor.  Sadly thought, many times these same people have been disappointed when the quality of the dental work didn’t live up to the hype or their expectations.

Finding a dentist who has expert skills, is easy to talk to and has your well-being at heart depends on knowing which questions you need answered before your decide. So what should you be asking? We can help!

Download our E-Book  “The 5 Commandments for Choosing the Right Cosmetic Dentist” for clear and practical advice for making the right choice and to avoid heartbreak, short-lived restorations, expensive recovery and demoralizing embarrassment.

Contact us if you have any questions and remember to share our free E-book with your friends.



Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

We Love Our Community!

Your Dentist in Tumwater WA, Christopher D. Merchant,  loves supporting Pacific Northwest Events. There are many unique activities right here in our local area. 

Take a look at our video :

Do you have any exciting plans for this month? Look no further; we’ve compiled this list of local events so you can plan ahead!

Welcome to our personal Community Page!

We believe events like these are what make Tumwater so special. Do you know of any other upcoming events in our local area? If so, please share a comment below and we will add it to our list!

Why Online Patient Reviews Rule!

Posted by on Mar 17, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Whether you’re looking to buy a new vehicle, choosing a hotel, or deciding which dentist to trust, online reviews can influence your decisions


If you’ve visited your amazing Olympia Dentistry experts at Christopher Merchant DDS,  you’ve no doubt formed an opinion. That opinion matters to us and we would love to hear from you! Your friends, family, neighbors, and those  checking reviews online would also value your input because it helps differentiate between quality dental care and “flashy” advertising.
We’re proud of the dental services we provide and are asking you to please help us spread the word. It only takes a few minutes to write an online review about your experience with us— and your honest evaluation can help prospective patients for years to come.

This is how easy it is to leave us a Google + Review:

Click Here and Follow the easy steps!

Olympia Dentistry

You Possess Valuable Insights
Not sure what to write? Here’s what most would love to hear regarding your experience with us:
  • Accuracy of diagnosis
  • How well did we explain the procedures?
  • How well did we listen?
  • Delivery of treatment
  • Time spent with you as patient
  • Friendliness of staff
  • Ease of scheduling
  • Office environment, wait times, & cleanliness
We truly care about every one of our patients and want to help others achieve beautiful, healthy smiles, too. Please help spread the word with your online review!
Write your review now by clicking here

7 Reasons Your Teeth Might Hate You – and What You Can Do About It

Posted by on Feb 24, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

You take a sip of your latte, only to be reminded of the sharp pain you’ve been experiencing in your teeth. Hot drinks, cold drinks, even the biting winter air in Tumwater WA seems to set it off. What’s causing this pain and what can you do to prevent it?

Tooth pain and sensitivity are quite common, affecting millions of people. These occur when the enamel in a tooth is worn away and the gum line recedes. This leaves the unprotected surface beneath (called dentin) exposed. When the dentin is exposed, this allows the trigger to shoot straight to the nerve, causing that unbearable pain you feel

Tooth sensitivity may feel like sharp pain in one or two teeth or constant discomfort in your whole mouth. The good news is, you can do something about it!

What can cause tooth sensitivity?

Tumwater WA Dentist

Brushing Too Hard

Although you should brush thoroughly several times a day, go easy – brushing too hard can contribute to enamel erosion. Using a new, soft-bristled toothbrush along with proper brushing techniques can make a huge difference in maintaining your oral hygiene without potentially harming the enamel or exposing the dentin around the gum line.

Tooth Grinding (Bruxism)

Tooth grinding, either when awake or asleep, can damage enamel. It’s sometimes hard to know if you are grinding your teeth at night, however, a dull headache or sore jaw upon waking are tell-tale signs. In addition to causing sensitivity, bruxism can cause severe tooth damage, tooth loss, and other serious medical issues. If you think you might be grinding your teeth, speak to Tumwater WA Dentist Dr. Merchant, about using a dental mouth guard.

Harsh Mouthwash

It might be hard to believe, but certain over-the-counter mouthwashes actually contain acids and chemicals that can increase your sensitivity, especially when your gums have begun to recede. Don’t risk making your tooth pain worse! Use neutral fluoride solution instead.

Potential Tooth Decay or a Crack

It’s possible a decaying or damaged tooth is to blame for your sensitivity. A sudden onset of pain may be a sign that one or two teeth in particular are in severe need of attention and repair. Regular visits to Dr. Merchant are vital to keep up with proper oral health.

Plaque Build-up

Plaque is a colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth. It can build up when proper flossing and brushing are neglected. A little plaque on the teeth is normal, but when it starts to build up, it could result in tooth sensitivity. Removing plaque that’s built up over time can be very difficult, so preventative measures should be a priority. Schedule a dental cleaning to remove plaque and avoid causing more damage to your teeth.

Acidic Foods and Beverages

You may notice certain foods or drinks may trigger your tooth pain. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, avoid drinking too much coffee, tea, wine, soda, juice, or other acidic beverages. Even certain foods with high acid content can contribute to discomfort. Sometimes changing what you eat and drink is enough to reduce your sensitivity, but it’s important to see Dr. Merchant to evaluate the underlying cause.

A Recent Dental Visit

It is entirely normal to feel some tooth sensitivity when leaving the dentist after a check-up or procedure. Teeth cleaning, crown placement, or tooth restoration can all cause discomfort, but this tends to disappear within a matter of days or weeks. If you’ve recently had a root canal or a tooth removed, this too will likely cause considerable sensitivity for several weeks.

Understanding these common causes of tooth sensitivity will help you manage

and control your symptoms. With the help and guidance of your Tumwater WA Dentist , your teeth and gums can remain healthy and pain free. Call us for an appointment at (360) 754-3446 and find relief for your tooth sensitivity today!


What’s Living In Your Mouth…and What’s It Doing To Your Heart?

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

What’s living in your mouth? Why is it there?


It’s 11:30 at night. You’ve worked another long day. The kids are finally asleep. All you want is to crawl into bed and close your eyes. Brushing and flossing your teeth seems like a daunting task. You’re sure it’ll be ok to skip it tonight as you drift off to sleep.


It may seem innocent enough, those times you skip brushing, flossing or scheduling your regular dental cleanings and check-ups. After all, life is busy and no one’s perfect, right?


The problem is, neglecting these simple habits can quickly escalate into periodontal disease! Untreated, this can lead to tooth loss and devastating effects on your heart, lungs, and overall well-being.


Bacteria live in your mouth, creating plaque. When you don’t brush, floss, and get regular dental cleanings, this bacteria and plaque can infect your gums. This causes inflammation, eventually eating away at the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth.

Olympia Dentists


What’s it doing to your overall health?


This cycle of bacteria living and thriving in your mouth and gums can lead to chronic, embarrassing bad breath (halitosis).


Even worse, researchers have discovered connections and increased risk between periodontal disease and several seemingly unrelated issues including:


  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pregnancy problems


What can you do about it?


Once you realize the devastating impact poor oral health can have on your overall health, it becomes easier to drag yourself out of that bed at night to brush and floss – no matter how tired you are!


Early stages of gum disease can be hard to detect on your own. In addition to brushing at least twice a day, flossing at least once daily, scheduling (and keeping!) regular dental cleanings and check ups are vital to your health. When was the last time you saw one of your Olympia Dentists ? Dr. Merchant will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. Give us a call at (360) 754-3446 for convenient appointment options today!


Tumwater: Washington’s First Community

Posted by on Jan 9, 2015 in Blog, News & Events | 0 comments

At Christopher D. Merchant DDS, our Tumwater dental office is proud to be a part of such an amazing and historic community. Tumwater is a growing city just minutes from the state capitol in Olympia, WA. Read about some of the great things our community has to offer.

Mount Ranier view from Tumwater dental office.Our favorite Tumwater links. Learn about the great businesses, attractions and fabulous local restaurants you can enjoy as a family or on your own in our community.

Local Tumwater news stories and the latest in national health news. There are always exciting local events to enjoy – cultural, sporting and family fun. Keep abreast of local and national health news developments and how they will affect you tomorrow.

Our favorite Tumwater treasures. Learn about area festivals, leisure and sports venues and local farmers markets to help you enjoy some of the real flavor of the Pacific Northwest.

We love living and working in this community; providing the highest quality dentistry possible by our Tumwater dental office. Please contact us to also enjoy the benefits of this historic hometown team’s years of experience.



4 Natural Ways to Brighten Your Smile for the Holidays

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Tumwater DentalLike your holiday foods?

During the holiday season, it’s easy to get carried away with the delectable treats that can put a damper on your smile. While we all love the holiday cheeriness from wine and stained foods –such as red sauces, coffee, candy, etc—these items can dull the brightness and damage your smile. Your Tumwater Dental professionals explain 4 natural ways to brighten your smile!

Never fear!

There are many delicious treats you can enjoy during the holidays that can naturally whiten your smile over time. Consider these options:


  • Drink water—It’ll offset the stains caused by colored foods and white/red wine.
  • Eat Strawberries— Inside a strawberry, there’s a substance called malic acid, which acts as a natural at-home whitener removing discoloration on your teeth surfaces.
  • Eat apples, celery, and carrots—These crunchy items are natural stain removers, increasing saliva production and washing all the debris away.
  • Eat and drink milk, cheese, and yogurt: All these dairy products have calcium, which promotes strong bones and teeth. It also fights off any harmful bacteria in your mouth.

Need a bright smile fast?

We want you to love your smile and have the confidence to show it off.

We offer teeth whitening treatments, which are safe and can effectively brighten your smile sooner than you think! Our in-office treatments can enhance your smile by 8-10 shades in as little as one hour. You could walk out of our office with a glowing new confidence.

Our teeth whitening treatments beat over-the-counter methods because those products use less quality in their agents. We care about your smile and want you to be happy and confident with it.

Brighten your smile for the holidays! Browse through our website and learn more about our teeth whitening services, and schedule your consultation with us today!

  • (360) 754-3446