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3/18/2018 3:00:03 PM

Lindsay RDH

Lindsay Olsen, RDH

Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)

  • Xerostomia (dry mouth) is a common side effect of many of the medications that are commonly prescribed to nursing home patients.
  • Saliva has antimicrobial properties as well as minerals that help defend tooth enamel against acid attacks from food, drinks, and decay-causing bacteria (US HHS, 2000).
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment are also contributors to xerostomia.
  • According to the Surgeon General report, LTCF residents are prescribed and average of eight drugs (US HHS, 2000).

Signs and Symptoms of Dry Mouth:

  • Dry, cracked lips
  • Thick or ropey saliva
  • Fissured tongue, burning feeling of tongue
  • No saliva pooling on the floor of the mouth
  • Examination gloves stick to the tongue or oral mucosa
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, speaking
  • Increased need to drink water, especially at night
  • Bad breath
  • Denture pain
  • Bacterial infections
  • Dental decay
  • Increased plaque

Relieving Dry Mouth:

  • Sip on water or sugarless drinks, or suck on ice chips
  • Avoid irritants, such as alcohol, tobacco and caffeine
  • Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy
  • Avoid salty or spicy foods
  • Use humidifier at night
  • Consider using saliva substitutes (Biotene, ACT fluoride rinse for dry mouth)


Want to learn more? Visit us at


US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Dental and

Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health. (2000). Oral health in 

America: A Report of the Surgeon General. Retrieved from


US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Dental and

Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health. (2000). Oral health in 

America: A Report of the Surgeon General. Retrieved from


3/13/2018 12:15:58 AM

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Lora Cook, RDH

Is using hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse safe?

Many commercial mouth washes and whitening strips have hydrogen peroxide as one of the key active ingredients. However many are using straight hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash to kill germs. Is this a safe and effect practice?

Hydrogen peroxide is compose of water and oxygen that works to kills germs and bacteria, and helps to whiten teeth.  It comes in either 1% or 3% concentrations. You can even see it in action! When it foams in your mouth you know that it is working at killing bacteria.  It also can be used to clean your night guard, retainers, or even soak your tooth brush in. Best of all it is inexpensive.

However this is not the magic cure all, there are some strong precautions that I would like to share with you.  While there are many benefits it can be harmful on gum tissue if used in too strong a solution or too long. It is very drying to the tissues. This will also work to kill good bacteria in the mouth.  This will leave opportunity for yeast infections of the mouth to flourish, also called thrush. Candidiasis is a fungal or yeast infection of the mouth or throat. Candida yeast that normally live in the mucosa membrane will flourish causing a over growth of candida, commonly called yeast infections.

This can be a relatively safe practice by following a few guidelines; dilute peroxide with 50% water, and do use every day.  If you are one of the many people who suffer from dry mouth stick with a over the counter rinse formulated for dry mouth sufferers.


Want to learn more? Visit us at


3/4/2018 3:00:27 PM


Amanda Orvis, RDH


Announcing the kick-off of our annual Smiles for Hope Whitening Campaign.

Once again, our office has partnered with Hope Arising Charity Foundation. Hope Arising is a non-profit organization that benefits children and families in Dera Ethiopia. Through our partnership with this amazing organization we are able to help provide dental and medical services, as well as education opportunities for hundreds of children and families in Dera every year.

March 1st through June 30th all whitening procedures done in our office will be provided at a discounted rate, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Hope Arising Charity Foundation. All donations are tax-deductible.


Donation Levels:

Level 1: In-office whitening and take-home whitening gel with custom fit trays

Level 2: In-office whitening

Level 3: Take-home whitening gel and custom fit trays

Level 4: Flat donation of your choice


Hope Arising has two ways you can donate: via credit card through PayPal, or by check

You do not have to be a patient of record at our office to participate in this campaign. All we require is a quick exam to make sure the whitening participant is safe to whiten.

Your bright white smile can make a lasting impression on Dera through your donations and support. So, call us today to schedule your whitening appointment!

Hope Arising Banner

Want to learn more? Visit us at


2/25/2018 10:54:05 PM

Lacee Hogle, RDH

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Infants are not born with the bacteria that causes decay. The bacteria is passed from the primary caregiver to the baby typically within the first few months of the baby’s life. This bacteria is known as Streptococcus Mutans. Once the baby has been exposed to this bacteria, the baby is at high risk for cavities. Streptococcus Mutans are able to produce acid with the help of sugar. Unfortunately both breast milk and baby formula contain sugar. After the mouth is exposed to sugar, acid is produced and demineralization of the teeth start to occur. But don’t lose hope, decay can be prevented by following these simple steps.

1. Never allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle containing milk, formula, juice or other sweetened liquids.

2. Brush and floss your baby’s teeth as soon as teeth start to erupt. Do not use fluoridated toothpaste until the child is able to spit, which typically doesn’t occur till the age of three. Many cities have fluoridated water so tap water is a good way to expose your child’s teeth to fluoride. Also, have your dentist or dental hygienist apply a fluoride varnish to your child’s teeth.

3. Do not dip your child’s pacifier in sugar or syrup.

4. Have your child see a dentist sometime between the age of six and twelve months.

5. Encourage your child to drink from a cup by his/her first birthday.

6. Try not to share saliva with the baby through common use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers.

Although baby teeth are temporary, they are very important. Baby teeth are necessary for chewing, speaking and smiling. They also serve as placeholders for the adult teeth. If teeth are lost prematurely due to baby bottle tooth decay, the child may develop poor eating habits, speech problems, crooked teeth and damaged adult teeth. As you can see, baby teeth are vital to a child’s development. Fortunately, baby bottle tooth decay can easily be prevented just by following those simple steps that are listed above.


2/11/2018 7:53:40 PM









Ruth Jones, RDH

Experiencing Teeth Sensitivity?

Teeth sensitivity also known as dentin hypersensitivity is not uncommon in the American Adult population. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat tooth sensitivity to relieve the discomfort. There are also ways to help prevent sensitivity occurring.


Causes and Prevention of Sensitivity

The outside layer of teeth, called enamel is the protection layer. When this layer becomes thin or experiences wear, sensitivity can occur. Enamel can become thin due to acidic foods or drinks. Avoiding these types of foods and drinks is an option but can sometimes feel limiting. If you plan to keep eating and drinking these foods, rinsing with water or a mouth wash directly after will help and be sure to brush your teeth twice a day.

Clenching and grinding can cause enamel loss. This often occurs at night and you may be unaware you are doing it. If this is the cause of sensitivity, a night guard (sometimes called an occlusal guard) can be worn to prevent further wear and damage of the teeth.

Gum recession exposes the root of the teeth because enamel only covers the “crown” of the tooth or the top portion of the tooth. Without the protective layer of enamel, the root is a common area of sensitivity. Brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with “medium” or “hard” bristles can cause recession; always use a toothbrush with soft or extra-soft bristles. Receding gums can also be caused by clenching and grinding which was mentioned above. Gum recession can be caused by periodontal disease in which case, speaking with a dental profession will be best to discuss treatment options.

Whitening or bleaching is a cosmetic dental procedure that can cause sensitivity due to dehydration of the teeth. By being proactive, you can prevent sensitivity after whitening by using a sensitive tooth paste or other options discussed below.


Treatment Options

Over the counter toothpastes such as Sensodyne, or Colgate Sensitive can be used on a daily basis in place of other toothpastes to relieve discomfort from sensitivity. Look for the active ingredient potassium nitrate.

Fluoride is well known for it’s anti-cavity benefits, but it also has a desensitizing component as well. A fluoride varnish can be applied at dental visits to help relieve sensitivity. There are also prescription strength toothpastes that contain fluoride that can be used on a daily basis that will continue to provide protection and desensitizing for teeth.

MI Paste is a relatively new product that has several beneficial effects. One of them being a sensitivity relief. MI Paste is meant to be applied after brushing and left on for at least 30 minutes. It can be used in dental trays and left in over night as well.

It should be noted that if tooth sensitivity is localized to one area or tooth this may be an indication of tooth decay, a cavity, or infection. By talking with a dentist, the best treatment option can be discussed.


Want to learn more? Visit us at



2/4/2018 10:52:58 PM

Morgan Johnson, RDH

How Do I Care For My Dental Implant?

Caring for implants is similar to the way natural teeth are cared for, but they do require a little more attention. Further down we will discuss a few things to keep in mind when choosing home care products, and review certain techniques to include in your everyday home care routine. Following these guidelines can help to ensure the success and longevity of your implant!


There are many tools that can be used to help with removing plaque from an implant. As for toothbrushes, a soft bristled electric or manual brush is okay to use, as long as it is used properly. The toothbrush should be angled at a 45 degree angle toward the gumline, in order to reach the plaque under the gums. Brushing for a full two minutes, twice a day, and reaching all surfaces of the tooth is vital. As for toothpaste, it is important to choose one that is non-abrasive, so it does not scratch the surface of the implant. Stay away from toothpastes that contain the following products: stannous fluoride, sodium fluoride (APF >3.0), baking soda, stain removers, and smoker’s toothpaste.


When it comes to flossing an implant, choose one that is unwaxed, or implant specific. ‘X-floss’ is a fluffy implant specific floss that works great because it is able to clean more surface area, compared to the typical thinner floss. When flossing, insert the floss in contacts on both sides of the implant. Wrap in a circle and crisscross in front, switch hands, and move in a shoe-shine motion. The implant has horizontal threads underneath the gums, so it is important to floss horizontally to remove plaque and biofilm, at least once a day!

Other Devices?

The Waterpik Water Flosser is another great tool to help keep an implant clean. After flossing with traditional string floss, the waterpik can and should be used to flush the debris out from under the pockets of the implant.  Antimicrobial rinses can also be added to the water reservoir of the Waterpik to prevent inflammation and help remove biofilm.

Other devices that help clean in between the teeth include proxabrushes, soft piks, end tuft brushes, or any other interdental brush. Just be sure they are nylon coated so as to not scratch the implant.

We hope this was helpful for all of you that have an implant of your own! As always, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about the above information.

Want to learn more? Visit us at


1/29/2018 5:00:27 AM


Cortney Davis, RDH

Are Dental X-rays Really Necessary?

A lot of patients are concerned about taking dental x-rays. Many patients are worried about incurring any unnecessary radiation, having addition costs, or they don’t have any teeth that hurt so they don’t think they are necessary. As an office that offers full-service dentistry, we want to make sure we take every measure to make sure our patients are getting the proper care they need and deserve. Without x-rays we can’t provide a proper and accurate diagnoses for our patients. There could also be underlying problems going on that we could be missing without x-rays.

Dental x-rays show many beneficial things that help the dentist and hygienist give a patient the proper care they need. They can be used to show areas of decay that may not be visible with just an oral exam, reveal bone loss that accompanies gum disease, determine if primary teeth are being lost quickly enough for permanent teeth to come in properly, check the development of wisdom teeth and how they are growing in, identify recurring decay around existing work, reveal an abscessed tooth, and assist in tooth preparations for dental procedures.

Many dental problems don’t often have symptoms until the disease has progressed to a point where a tooth may need major work or worse, to a point where it is non-restorable. As a hygienist, I have seen many cavities and abscesses that didn’t hurt (yet) and would have been unnoticed if dental x-rays weren’t done.

So how often should you get x-rays? The frequency of getting x-rays of your teeth often depends on your dental and medical history. Some patients with a history of dental decay or gum disease may need x-rays as often as every 6 months, others who visit the dentist regularly and don’t have history of gum disease or any teeth problems may only need x-rays annually. If you are a new patient, our office takes a full mouth series of x-rays as part of the initial exam. Full mouth series of x-rays helps us do a comprehensive exam on a patient and helps establish a base record from which to compare changes that may occur over time.

Are dental x-rays safe? Radiation exposure is very important and something we take seriously. Advances in dentistry over the years have led to a number of measures that will minimize the risks associated with x- ray exposures. In terms of radiation from dental x-rays, they are actually lower than the background dose of radiation received by an average person on an average day or even riding on a plane.

If you have any questions or concerns about x-rays be sure to talk to your dentist about how often x-rays are needed for you and why they are being taken.


1/21/2018 3:00:58 PM

Sharma RDH

Sharma Mulqueen, RDH

Do you have Gluten Free Products?

Do you or a family member have a gluten intolerance? This is a questions that has become more frequently asked in the dental office.  The good news is that nearly every toothpaste manufacturer gives gluten information on their website. Most manufacturers will say that they don’t officially test for gluten, but that their products do not have any gluten added. Best advice? Check the website of your favorite toothpaste brand to verify that their product is indeed free of gluten ingredients.

You might also worry about gluten in the products your dentist uses on you. The great news is that we offer gluten free prophy paste and Fluoride. Kolorz Prophy Paste by DMG America is a fluoride, xylitol, splatter-free disposable prophy paste. Containing no gluten, aspartame or saccharin. The Kolorz Prophy Paste comes in Fine, Medium, Coarse and X-Coarse. Available in several flavors such as Triple Mint, Cherry Burst , Cotton Candy and Blue Raspberry. Please note that we do not carry all the same flavors at the same time but we will have some yummy flavors for you.

We recommend checking with your dentist at least a week before your scheduled cleaning to ask if they have verified that the products they will use are free of gluten and are in stock. When coming into the Dental office you can sit back and relax! Looking forward to seeing you in one of our offices.


1/14/2018 5:54:12 PM


Arianna Marsden, RDH

New Year’s Resolutions and Goals

It’s a shiny new year, and during this time people are making resolutions and setting goals for the year, so what better time to review proper techniques for dental hygiene!  Most people are familiar with brushing and flossing, and make efforts to do at least one or the other regularly.  Let’s talk about some of the “life hack” techniques that make your efforts more effective.

When brushing, make sure you’re using a toothbrush that has bristles which are soft or extra-soft.  Using a toothbrush with medium, or hard bristles can cause unintended damage to the gums and teeth, specifically trauma-induced recession, and abrasion of the root surface.  Some people find that when they switch to a softer toothbrush, their teeth don’t feel as clean.  In these scenarios, using a powered toothbrush, such as an OralB Braun, or Philips Sonicare may be a good solution.  

Powered toothbrushes with a rechargeable base have been shown to be more effective in reducing inflammation in the gums than a manual toothbrush, which can leave the teeth feeling more clean after brushing, but be careful not to use too much pressure, or you could damage the teeth and gums similarly to using a medium or hard bristle brush.  Part of the reason powered toothbrushes may be more efficient, is that they often come with a timer built in!  This makes it easier to remember to brush for the full two minutes twice daily.  If you prefer to use a manual toothbrush, you can try setting a timer on your phone, or listening to a song that is two minutes long while you brush.

The other half of oral hygiene has to do with cleaning in between your teeth.  The most common way to accomplish this, is by using string floss, and “flossing” once daily.  To use string floss effectively, its important to wrap the floss around the tooth in the shape of the letter ‘C’.  This allows you to clean underneath the gums, and not just in between the teeth.  Most people find this traditional method of flossing challenging, or ineffective for a variety of reasons.  If this applies to you, there are lots of other alternatives for cleaning between your teeth.  You can try using “floss on a stick,” like the Plackers brand, for easier manipulation of the floss.  You could also try Softpicks, which are like a toothpick with a soft rubber end.  The Softpicks are used by squeezing them between the teeth to remove plaque.  Water flossers, like the Waterpik, are another great alternative for cleaning between your teeth by using a controlled stream of water to remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth.

No matter which method you’re using for cleaning between your teeth, its ideal to do so at least once per day.  If that is not an attainable or reasonable goal for you, cleaning between the teeth even a couple times a week is a great start!

A good tip for keeping yourself motivated towards your New Year’s resolutions and goals, is keeping track of your progress and rewarding yourself!  You could try keeping a checklist on your calendar, or in your phone for the days you remember to do your brushing and interdental cleaning.  Research has shown that if you can do a new practice for about two months, it becomes a habit, and something you won’t have to concentrate so hard on accomplishing.  Don’t forget to reward yourself when you meet your goals for oral health!  Happy 2018!


1/14/2018 5:41:36 PM


Ann Clark, RDH

Dentist Definitions

There are a lot of dental options out there from General to specialists.  The following is a break down of all your caped crusaders.
     This is your primary care provider. They provide regular cleanings and check ups.  This dentist can diagnose, treat and manage your overall dental needs,  including gum care, fillings, root canals, implants, extractions, crowns, veneers, bridges and preventative education.  These dentists have either a DDS, Doctor of Dental Surgery, or DMD, Doctor of Dental Medicine.  There is no difference between the two degrees or the ciriculum requirements.  It’s strictly how the schools award the degree.  Dentists study 3 years or more of undergraduate school plus 4 additional years of dental school. Additional post-graduate training is needed to specialize.
     This dentist is a specialist concerned with causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease and injury of the dental pulp  (the nerve of the tooth).  This  specialist can perform all types of root canal treatments and other surgical root procedures.
     This specialist focuses on taking and interpreting all X-ray images and data used to diagnose and manage  disease, disorder and conditions to the oral and maxillofacial area.  These dentist are usually associated with the schools.
     This specialist studies the cause of diseases that alter or affect the oral structures ( jaw, teeth, tissues) and  the face and neck.  They examine and diagnose biopsy, tissue or lesions referred to them from other providers.
     The doctors perform many types of surgical procedures on and in the entire face, including the jaw. They treat accident victims who suffer from injury and reconstruct and offer implant surgery. They also treat tumors and cysts in the jaw.  They preform simple tooth extractions, complex extractions, impacted teeth (wisdom teeth), soft tissue biopsies, removal of tumors in the mouth, implant positioning, jaw realignment surgeries, involving facial or bite discrepancies, fractured cheek or jaw bone repair and soft tissue (cleft lip/palate- bone repair) surgeries.  These specialists receive anywhere from 4-8 years of additional training after dental school.
     This specialist focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, interception, and  treatment of malocclusions or “bad bites” of the teeth and surrounding structures.  Poor bites can result from crowding, missing or extra teeth or jaws that are out of alignment.  They can straighten teeth by moving them through bone by use of braces, band, wires and other fixed or removable  corrective appliances or retainer (invisalign).
     This dentist specializes in the care of children from the age of 1 to early adulthood.  They detect, treat, and diagnose problems with decay, missing or extra, and crowding.  This dentist has at least 2 additional years of training after dental school.  This training focuses on the management and treatment of a child’s developing teeth, child behavior, physical growth and development, and the special needs of children’s dentistry.
     a Periodontist is the oral health care specialist who diagnoses, treats, and prevents disease of the soft tissues of the mouth and supporting structures (bone) of the teeth,including implants (gum doctor). They treat gingivitis (inflammation) and periodontal disease ( gum and bone).  These doctors perform simple and deep pocket cleanings, crown lengthening, soft tissue and or bone grafting, gingival or flap surgeries, soft tissue recontouring or removal, hard tissue recontouring (osteoplasty), and implant placements.
     These specialist provide services for the repair of natural teeth and/or replacement of missing teeth on a grander scale then a general dentist.  They deal with artificial teeth (dentures), crowns to replace missing or extracted teeth.  They are also involved in the replacement of teeth using implants.  Specially trained prosthodontists work with patients with head and neck deformities, replacing missing areas of the facee and jaw with artificial substitutes.
American Dental Association: “Dental Specialties”
Michigan Dental Association: What Are the Dental Specialties?”

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