Just as there are an abundance of online dating sites these days…..we also have “plenty of Floss” choices. While choosing the wrong dating site might lead you to dating Plenty of Freaks, You can never go wrong with Daily flossing. Whether you choose waxed, unwaxed, woven, satin tape, fluoride, or an AirFlosser….you want to pick something that works for you. What’s most important in daily flossing is the technique that you use. Be sure that the floss goes underneath your gums in a “C” shape wrapping around the tooth. Too often people just slide the floss up and down between each tooth and this is not effective in removing the debris and plaque that is there. Flossing is also an effective way to remove the bad bacteria that is in your mouth. This bacteria is the same bacteria that is found in someone’s arteries when they have a heart attack.


Flossing is just as important as brushing. So if you want to avoid “Tinder” gums and a “bleeding heart”, make sure you are “In-Harmony” with the daily routine of flossing!!!



                                                                      flossing pic


Pregnancy and the Dentist

Two common myths about pregnancy are that calcium is lost from a mother’s teeth and “one tooth is lost with every pregnancy.” However, some women may experience some changes in their oral health during pregnancy. The primary changes are due to a surge in hormones.  During pregnancy, the level of progesterone in your body can be 10 times higher than normal. This may enhance growth of certain bacteria that cause gingivitis.  During pregnancy you may get what is referred to “pregnancy gingivitis”. This happens when the plaque isn’t removed which causes the gums to get red, swollen, and tender and are more likely to bleed. It is most common in the front of the mouth. If it is not treated, it can lead to periodontal disease. 

Pregnant women are particularly prone to periodontal (gum) disease due to the hormonal changes. Research has found that women with periodontal disease may be at higher risk for delivering pre-term, low birth weight (PLBW) infants. Dental plaque, a sticky colorless film that constantly forms on the teeth, contains bacteria and toxins that cause gum disease (periodontal disease). Gum disease affects the gums as well as the supporting structures of the teeth. The bleeding and swelling are sometimes only visible to your dentist. Being diligent in your home regimen of oral care—brushing, flossing, using an antibacterial rinse—plus regular visits to your dentist can help prevent gum disease.

Nausea and vomiting are common with pregnancy.  It is important to reduce the amount of acid in your mouth that can damage your teeth.  Frequent vomiting can erode the enamel on the back of the front teeth.  It is recommended that you eat small amounts of nutritious snacks during the day.  If you do vomit, mix  1 teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water and use this to rinse with.  Be sure to spit after rinsing.  Do not brush right after vomiting; this can damage the surface of the teeth.

Dry mouth is a common complaint among pregnant woman.  A few ways  you can combat dry mouth is by drinking plenty of water and using sugarless hard candies or gum containing xylitol (which reduces the harmful bacteria that cause cavities) to stimulate saliva secretion and keep your mouth moist.   Less commonly, pregnant women feel they have too much saliva in their mouths.  This condition occurs very early in a pregnancy.  It disappears by the end of the first trimester.  

Receiving dental care during pregnancy is safe and recommended after approval from your OBGYN.  By getting your own active decay taken care before the birth of your baby, there will be less bacteria to be transmitted to your baby.

 Keeping up with your oral health is especially important at this time.  Not only are you taking care of your mouth and health but helping the baby as well.


Placing A Dental Implant:

The next part of my implant training involved understanding “Root form surgery in division A bone.” What this refers to is that the shape of the implant used mimics that of a natural tooth. In the past, many different shapes of implants have been used. In ancient Chinese civilizations 4000 years ago, bamboo pegs were carved and driven into the bone. Fortunately, the trials of all these different types of implants has resulted in the ability to predictably achieved success in implant surgery.
A major consideration in placing a dental implant is the bone density. Obviously, bone needs to exist to stabilize a dental implant, but an understanding of the bone density will significantly change the placement technique, the implant used, and even the final restoration. It’s important to realize that the bone varies greatly in different parts of the mouth. For example, the lower anterior area is typically very dense (D1) bone. This bone is comparable to oak or maple wood. In contrast, the upper posterior area is much less dense (D4) bone. This bone can feel as if one is cutting through styrofoam.
If there is not enough bone in the location for the implant, then we need to build it by bone grafting. In my next post I will write about bone grafting and how it benefits the success of dental implants. implant pic

Dental Implant Blog 1

Dental Implant Blog

I became interested in implant dentistry when I was in dental school. At that point in my
career, dental implants were more of a mystery than something that I could incorporate into my
practice. In fact, there was very little emphasis on dental implants in my dental school experience.
When I got into private practice I became aware that many of my patients were missing teeth, but did not want conventional options to replace these teeth. Instead of a removable partial denture or a fixed bridge involving other teeth, very often these patients would suffer with the loss of function.
After years of frustration, I realized that by being able to place and restore dental implants I could offer a great alternative for these patients. So I started reading what I could about dental implants and took several seminars. However, I began to feel that I needed to get more comprehensive knowledge about how to place and restore dental implants.
My journey has brought me to the Misch International Implant Institute. The surgical implant program is five three days sessions. I completed the session 1 in August.
Session 1 focused on treatment planning and an overview implants today. Also, the surgical placement of a single tooth was presented in detail.
I will be continuing my dental implant education with session 2 in October and look forward to furthering my dental implant education.

Treating canker sore with the dental laser. Painless quick easy relief!


Dr. McPherson is using a dental laser to treat a canker sore on a 9yr old female. This process is quick, easy and painless. The patient came in complaining of the canker sore being painful and after a quick 3 minutes, the canker sore no longer hurt and she did not feel a thing while using the laser. Pretty amazing!

Sensitive Teeth?



The #1 problem my patients report about their teeth is sensitivity.  There are many different reasons for sensitivity, teeth can be sensitive for a variety of different reasons, and the most common reason is due to recession of the gums.  The gums can start to recede due to gum disease; which is where the bone melts away and the gums will then follow, another reason is when the teeth are not occluding (biting) in the proper way, making the teeth flex at the gum line causing the gums to “pull back” and the dentin “root” of the tooth to be exposed.  There are three layers to the teeth, the cementum, which is in the center of the tooth, the dentin, which is the second layer of tooth, and the enamel, which is the outer layer of the tooth.  The enamel of the teeth is what protects the teeth.


Teeth have dental tubules that contain water that run from the nerve to the outer layer of the tooth, which is what causes the sensitivity.  Sensitive toothpaste and fluoride varnishes help clog up the tubules therefore not allowing the water to go back and forth.  Another great product to help with sensitivity is MI Paste, this is a paste applied to the teeth at nighttime before bed.  It contains calcium phosphate and Recaldent.  Recladent helps strengthen teeth and restore enamel.


I never recommend using a hard toothbrush, whitening or tartar toothpaste, all these things can enhance the sensitivity.  Sensitive toothpaste states on the box not to use for more than 2 weeks. There is nothing in the toothpaste that is hazardous to your health, it is just recommended to see your dentist if your teeth are still sensitive after 2 weeks to check for any cavities or other problems that can cause the sensitivity. If the recession is severe or not going away, you can always go see a gum specialist for a tissue graft to cover the area. 

Kristi RDH


10 Things to consider when choosing dental insurance:

10 Things to consider when choosing dental insurance:


  1.  Preferred dentist.  Is your preferred dentist in network with the insurance company?  Dentist can sign up to participate with the different dental insurance companies.  By choosing to see an “in-network” dentist, you have the benefit of receiving dental treatment at a reduced out of pocket expense.
  2. Deductible.  Most dental insurances have a yearly deductible that has to be met before the dental insurance will start to cover dental treatment.  This may or may not included preventative services, such as cleaning/exams/xrays.  The deductibles typically vary between $0-200.00/yr.   The insurance plan may also have a family deductible. 
  3. Yearly maximum.  Most dental insurance carriers put a limit on the amount they will pay each year towards your dental treatment.  The usual maximums vary from $1000-2000/yr.  This is the yearly maximum that insurances have had for the past forty years.  You can imagine how much the cost of treatment and your premiums have gone up, but the yearly maximum has not.
  4. Waiting periods.  Some dental plans have a waiting period that may apply to certain dental procedures.  On average they vary from 6-12 months.  This could be a concern if you have extensive dental work that needs immediate attention.
  5. TMD. If you are looking for a dental plan that covers Temporomandibular disorder, you will want to check and see if this is a covered service under the plan.  A lot of dental insurances do not cover TMD and if they do it is at a very limited amount.
  6. Coverage percentages.  Dental insurance covers a certain percentage of each procedure.  This will vary from plan to plan.  Dental benefits are divided into three main categories, which include, Preventative, Basic and Major.  Preventative services include cleaning, exams and xrays and are usually paid at 100%.  Basic services, such as fillings, are usually paid at 80%.  Major services include crown, dentures, and bridges are usually paid at 50%.  Services such as root canals, extractions and periodontics will fall into either the basic or major category depending on your plan.
  7. Pre-existing conditions.   Dental insurance plans may have what they call a “missing tooth clause”.  This states that if you have had a tooth extracted prior to the time your dental plan went into effect, that the insurance company will not pay any benefits towards replacing that missing tooth. 
  8. Double insurance.  In some cases you may have two dental insurances.  In this case, you will want to be aware of a “non-duplicating clause” that your plan may have.  If the plan has this clause, and they are the secondary insurance, they will not pay any benefits towards dental treatment that is done.  The primary insurance will pay their portion but the secondary will not cover any additional amount.  This is frustrating for the patient because they are paying their premium to have the dental insurance but they are not able to receive any benefits from the secondary insurance.  You will want to be aware of this clause if you have double insurance.
  9. Cosmetic dentistry.  It is unusual for a dental insurance carrier to provide benefits for cosmetic services such as veneers or bleaching.  A pre-determination can be sent into the insurance company to verify if that is a covered service of not.
  10. Orthodontics.  Orthodontics is a separate benefit in the dental insurance plan.  Check to see if this is a covered service and if they have an age limit restriction.Image

Flossing and your heart…

Flossing and your heart

A common misconception about going to the dentist is that the hygienist is there to lecture the patient about flossing to prevent cavities and to “pick” at their teeth and make their gums sore.  In reality we are the first defense of overall health.  The tartar in the mouth is a breeding ground for bad bacteria. The bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath and bone loss is the same bacteria found in the arteries of the heart with a heart attack.  

Flossing removes bacteria from under the gums where the toothbrush cannot reach.  Floss is the cheapest way to prevent a lot of expensive and time consuming procedure.  There are many different tools out there now to help with flossing, the traditional floss, floss picks, water piks, and the air flosser.  I am a fan of the traditional floss, but many of my patients hate putting their fingers in their mouths or find it difficult to get all the way in the back of their mouths.  I highly recommend a water pik for my patient in braces, this is the best tool out there to clean around the brackets, and let’s face it flossing braces is not fun.  For my patients who hate putting their hands in their mouth, have tight contacts, struggle to get the floss in between their teeth, and those who have a hard time getting in the back of their mouths, I recommend the air flosser.  It looks like a water pik but does not have a continuous flow of water; you place the nozzle between the teeth and push a button that will blast out air and water to clean where the floss would go.

The best advice I can give with flossing is to put it in your daily routine, brush and floss after lunch at work, you co workers will appreciate it! Image

Dental lasers.

When I graduated from dental school in 2001 I had little to no exposure to the use of lasers in dentistry.  In fact, the FDA first approved the use of lasers on gum tissue in the early 1990’s. Now there are a variety of different indications for the use of lasers in dentistry.  Lasers are now being used for contouring gum tissue, decay detection, decay removal, treatment of periodontal disease, and many other uses.

                Different wavelengths of dental lasers are used depending on the type of tissue being treated.  The diode laser produces a wavelength of approximately 810 nanometers and a power setting can be selected between 0.1 to 3.0 Watts.

                The most commonly performed dental procedure with a diode laser is soft tissue surgery. The dentist is able to remove tissue for biopsy or overgrown tissue. It is also able to treat apthous ulcers, AKA canker sores, and lessen or even eliminate symptoms and reduce the healing time. The laser is extremely precise and only the tissue targeted is removed, so there is little to no bleeding during or after the surgery. It also has the benefits of very quick healing time and very little post-operative pain.

                One of the most exciting applications is the use of a diode laser in treating periodontal disease. When bacteria invade the gum tissue surrounding a tooth, the tissue will become inflamed. This condition, commonly known as gingivitis, is the beginning of periodontal disease. As periodontal disease progresses, the gum tissue and well as the bone supporting the teeth will be destroyed. By using diode laser after cleaning the teeth the laser will kill any remaining bacteria and allow the gum tissue to heal.

                The diode laser is a versatile instrument used in cutting edge dental practices. In the coming weeks I will discuss other types of dental lasers and the treatment options they present. Image