Welcome to the blog of Tumwater Dentist, Dr. Merchant

3 Things to Look for When Finding a New Dentist

Posted by on Nov 28, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

childrens dental centerFor many Americans, going to the dentist may seem a bit scary, even though they know oral health is extremely important. In fact, 99.7% of adults surveyed by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry say they believe that a healthy smile is socially important.

For those people who are a little wary of the dentist, they might not even have one. However, it’s never too late to start taking great care of your teeth! There are a few things you should consider when finding a new dental office or a good dentist. Let’s take a look at a few of them.


One very important thing to note when looking for a new family dentist, or even a childrens dental center, is that the office comes equipped with the latest and most up-to-date technology. You have to consider things like x-rays, oral surgery, and even regular cleanings. Making sure that the office has the technology that will ensure your cleanings, medical procedures, and tests are done with accuracy and safety.


If you have a fear of the dentist, or if your child is scared, there is nothing more unhelpful than a grumpy staff. When you go to the dentist office or the childrens dental center, it’s important to be greeted by someone who can make you feel at ease and even smile a bit. They will be the first person you speak with or see once you enter the office, so it’s important for them to be calm, caring, and friendly.

Office Style

Picture this: You enter an office and find that it is filthy, has old and dirty chairs, and no pictures on the wall. Chances are you won’t be thinking too highly of the place. It’s important to feel comfortable in the office that you choose. Look for a place that is clean, bright, has reading materials, and maybe even a television. It’s also a nice touch to look for free coffee and tea if you’re taking your child to a childrens dental center, so you have something to sip on while you wait for your son or daughter to finish their appointment.

Finding a new dentist can be stressful, especially if you don’t like going to the office. Find a place that makes you feel comfortable and start making appointments with a dentist you can trust.

3 Common Signs You May Need Dentures In The Near Future

Posted by on Nov 16, 2017 in Blog, Dentistry | 0 comments

affordable denturesAccording to the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, up to 37.9 million Americans are estimated to need dentures in 2020. Approximately 3 million people have dental implants, but not everyone has gums healthy enough for a dental implant procedure.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent affordable dentures from being necessary in your future. By practicing good dental care and seeing your dentist regularly, you can maintain a healthy smile for years to come.

But how likely are you to require affordable dentures? Consider the following warning signs:

  1. You don’t visit your family dentist for bi-annual cleanings
    Tooth decay and gum disease are the leading causes of tooth loss. Visiting your dentist for bi-annual cleanings is necessary to help prevent tooth decay from eating away at your smile. However, only 43% of all Americans reported visiting their family dentists in the past year. Cleanings and fillings prevent cavities. However, once cavities and other periodontal problems are able to advance, dentures may become a very real scenario in your future.
  2. You have advanced gum disease
    Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults and will affect three out of four people during their life. The early stages of gum disease can be fought off with regular visits to the dentist’s office. It’s only when gum disease is left untreated that it can advance and cause bone loss, which in turn may lead to tooth loss.
  3. You’re already missing some teeth
    After losing up to three teeth, it may be in your best interest to seek out a prosthesis. This is because space can cause other teeth to shift. It also forces a greater amount of pressure on a fewer number of teeth. As a result, you may end up losing more teeth. According to a 2010 survey by the CDC, approximately 17% of Americans over the age of 65 have had all of their teeth removed.

In some cases, affordable dentures are necessary to replace your natural teeth. And the newest types of dentures are a great alternative to a toothless smile! However, with regular family dental care and bi-annual cleanings, you can prevent dentures from being a probability in your future.

Pros and Cons of Professional Teeth Whitening

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

dental officeDid you know that almost 48% of the American population is unhappy with their teeth? and on top of that, 64% of the population thinks they have discolored teeth. If you find yourself thinking the same thing, you might want to head into the dental office to find a solution to the problem. 

In order to have the teeth that people have in magazines and on television, many people visit a dental office for professional teeth whitening. The teeth whitening administered by your family dentist helps take your teeth from yellow to a shade that’s whiter than snow. 

Professional teeth whitening comes with its pros, as well as its cons. Let’s take a closer look at some of the results of having your teeth whitened. 

Pros of Professional Teeth Whitening

There are a few pros of having a professional teeth whitening procedure. First, it can make you feel more confident. You talk to people on a daily basis, which means that your teeth are constantly being seen. Having crisp, white teeth can make you feel as if you’re a better version of yourself when you’re speaking with people in public.

Another pro of having white teeth is that it’ll make you look younger. Teeth discoloration is often associated with getting older, which is due to your teeth getting stained by various foods and drinks over time. Having your teeth whitened may make you look younger, as they will look brighter. 

Cons of Professional Teeth Whitening

Along with the pros, there are also a few cons of having your teeth whitened. For one, in order to keep your teeth the ideal color, you’ll have to avoid certain foods and drinks. Acidic foods and tannin-rich treats such as wine, coffee, and blueberries must be avoided to maintain the white shade. By swearing off of these items, your teeth will stay whiter for longer. 

Another con of having your teeth professionally whitened is that your gums and teeth may feel sore. Professional teeth whitening procedures use different chemicals and treatments that may make your mouth sensitive. Some patients also develop canker sores after their procedure.

Overall, getting your teeth whitened has far more pros than cons. in the long run, that wonderful self confidence and beautiful smile will definitely outweigh having to avoid a few select foods. When considering this procedure, make sure you have all the facts.

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!


  • (360) 754-3446