Sunday Funday

Yay for Sunday Funday, also known as Football Sunday during the Fall/Winter months in our house! What has my Sunday looked like this far, you ask? (ok, no one asked, but I’m going to tell you anyway). I got up early with Bear (our crazy 1.5 yr old golden retriever) and we went for our morning walk around the block. I then made some yummy tea and watched some ‘Duck Dynasty’ on demand…that’s right, I love that show! Zach (hubby) got up, I made him coffee & he made me breakfast (good trade-off, right!). We proceeded to have a lazy day by plopping ourselves on our futon, watching some of ‘The Cable Guy’ (blah), Zach took Mr. Bear for a walk to the park, we caught up on ‘Timeless’ (so good!) and now we are watching ‘Pacific Rim’ (& blogging…me, not Zach) until Football comes on! We are really gearing up for the PATRIOTS game later on…sorry not sorry (that’s the line…right!?). We both had busy days yesterday (I made bread from scratch…that’s right…I got my Sara Lee on!) so this lazy day is much needed!

Well any who, since it’s Sunday Funday, I thought I’d keep it light and share some of my favorite dental humor pictures:

Basic Math:39b90dbbe683d1a2b4dba8f9fd2648c2

Wisdom Teeth: not always that wise…6d6a502fab2bd5d8f890e5dbf4388adf

This just makes me chuckle:images

Love this song…love when my patients floss more!images-1


Here’s to hoping that Monday morning will be like the 1st picture and not the 2nd!


Hope you all have a great Sunday Funday/Football Sunday! If your teams are in either playoff game today…good luck! If not….next year!

The ‘PERFECT’ Smile

The ‘PERFECT’ smile…the one many people want. We view it as a beautifully white one with straight teeth. People get braces and buy whitening products to try to achieve this look (myself included)! Yes, the picture above is of an absolutely BEAUTIFUL smile and I’m guessing this person has had braces (if not…then what the heck!), uses whitening products, restrains from drinking coffee or red wine to obtain the whiteness (if not…again, what the heck!), and wears this red lipstick to make those pearly whites appear that much whiter (yes, red lipstick does that)!

Braces are recommended in many cases because they help to fix  issues such as crooked, overlapping, overcrowded teeth or malocclusion (a difference in size of the upper jaw and lower jaw). Having straight teeth not only improves the aesthetics of ones smile, but can make it easier to chew as well as easier to keep the teeth clean! Not everyone can afford to get braces and for minor issues, not everyone chooses to. In my line of work, I clean not only plaque and calculus (crystallized plaque) from the teeth, but also remove stain to give my patients their cleanest smile. I offer options such as orthodontic referrals and whitening procedures. These are options that many people seek, but if someone does not want them, that’s fine! Some people want that ‘perfect’ smile and others are simply happy in the beauty of their ‘imperfect’ smile. I’ve had patients who have had the slightest rotated tooth (and I mean slightest) ask if a orthodontist can fix it, as well as patients who hadn’t had their teeth cleaned in 10+ years and came in because they really wanted advice in achieving whiter teeth.  I have also seen a patient who did not like the space (called a diastema) between her top two central teeth (the central incisors, #8 and #9 to be exact). She was debating whether she wanted to have composite (white) material put on the teeth to close the space. The dentist used a white wax (as the patient was so hesitant) to show her what the teeth would look like. In the end the patient decided not to get the fillings as she said without the space it just didn’t look like her!

We see many Hollywood stars with these beautiful, dazzling white smiles and we think our teeth need to look like that! Here are some celebrities that are known for their beauty and guess what…they do not have ‘perfect’ teeth!

Julia Roberts: they are not toilet bowl white and look she has amalgam (silver) fillings!

Georgia May Jagger, Anna Paquin & Jessica Pare: they make those diastema’s look good!

Jewel, Keira Knightley & Kristen Dunstcrooked and uneven teeth and still gorgeous!

Channing Tatum & Tom Cruise: I’m guessing you didn’t notice Channing’s teeth while staring at his six-pack in Magic Mike! These leading men have it going on, uneven teeth and all!


I fully think that imperfection can be just as beautiful! I love when someone has something about their smile that isn’t conventionally viewed as perfect, but to them it is! They are comfortable to smile from ear to ear, and laugh…they are comfortable in their own skin and THAT my friends is beautiful!

With that said…if you do not LOVE your imperfect smile, ask me or your hygienist what you can do because a happy smile is the most beautiful/confident/sexy thing you can wear!

Activated charcoal tooth whitening?

I guess the newest tooth whitening trend is by using activated charcoal. I was asked about this method recently and wasn’t sure what to advise since it was my first time hearing about this. I immediately started doing some research…

First, I went onto Amazon and ordered some Activated Charcoal. I went with the brand VivaDoria- Healthy Living. It is a virgin carbon, hardwood derived, grounded charcoal that is 100% natural and vegan. The back label of this product reads: “Activated Charcoal is a fine black odorless and tasteless powder made from hardwood that have been exposed to very high temperatures in an airless environment. It is pure carbon specially processed to make it highly adsorbent of particles and gases in the body’s digestive system.” — ok, ok….all natural, great! The Directions are as followed: “Mix 1/2 teaspoon of activated charcoal powder with a glass of water and drink it to detoxify your body from toxic substances. For best results, take it once a day.” –The company clearly hadn’t planned for a tooth whitening movement!

Since I did not want to drink this powder to detoxify my system, I googled the tooth whitening procedure, which told me to:

  • Wet your toothbrush well.
  • Place toothbrush on top of a napkin, piece of toilet paper, or paper towel.
  • Gently twist open you activated charcoal capsule (or container).
  • Carefully empty activated charcoal powder onto toothbrush.
  • Gently brush for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Rinse well with water.
  • Recommend doing once daily, 3 days in a row. For more deeply stained teeth, brush 5 days in a row. Then don’t do again for a few months.

I tried this process….wet the toothbrush-check; placed toothbrush on a napkin-check; gently twisted open my container of powder-check; carefully emptied powder onto toothbrush-wowzers, powder everywhere (I used a spoon the 2nd and 3rd day); gently brushed for 3-5 minutes-paused to take in how crazy my mouth looked; rinsed well with water-rinsed really really well and then rinsed again!

I then looked in the mirror and only saw the slightest difference. I also had charcoal underneath my gums in many areas, so I went through with floss and brushed again with my regular toothpaste. The activated charcoal did have a slight unpleasant taste and was gritty on my teeth. After removing the remaining charcoal my gums were sensitive to brushing and red/tender. But for research sake, I gave it a go and repeated the steps for the 2nd and 3rd day! Here are the results:

You can see the difference as it evened out the color of my teeth and removed the regular ‘blotches’ I have, but any method of bleaching does this! The 2nd picture is pointing to the area of my gums that got really irritated in the process and shows the remaining charcoal particles between my teeth and underneath the gums before I flossed and brushed again with regular toothpaste.

Here are my final thoughts about this way to whiten teeth:

The grittiness of this method makes me nervous as it is abrasive to the enamel. Enamel does not grow back, so if you are continuing to use something abrasive on it, it will wear away which can make teeth very sensitive as well as susceptible to cavities and other issues! The American Dental Association (ADA) monitors different dental products and verifies there safety. This method of tooth whitening is not ADA approved for the very points that I have mentioned. The activated charcoal method uses abrasion to remove surface staining on the enamel whereas approved whitening products actually seep through the enamel into the dentin, which is the inner layer of the tooth. Dentin is what influences the color of the teeth so by whitening the dentin, the enamel appears whiter.

I recommend sticking to an ADA approved whitening method to ensure that you are getting that beautiful white smile safely and leaving the activated charcoal to detoxify your body!

My journey to dental hygiene…

So, I was that weird girl who would watch marathons of this show called “A Baby Story” that was on TLC. I LOVED it and so I hatched this plan to become a nurse and then eventually continue on to become a midwife. As I grew up the whole midwife plan dimmed, but I still thought nursing was for me! It took me my first semester of college in the nursing program to realize…”nope, not for me”. Now mind you, this was while I was only in my prerequisite classes and if 18 year old me had just stuck in there, it very well may have been! However, this was not the case and that freedom of being away from home (as well as the freedom to go out and drink…oh college) sent me down a different path! During the rest of my time at this particular college I was a psychology major as well as an early childhood education major before I decided to come on home and try something else! What next….well, I got the brilliant idea to take marketing and management classes at the local community college…that didn’t seem right either. (Making the decision of what you want to do with the rest of your life at that age is hard…am I right!?).

Dental came into my life because my brother was attending a technical school and I came across a pamphlet showing a 9 month dental assisting program…sure! While I was in this program, I knew that dental was for me. I worked for a few years as a dental assistant and then decided I wanted to keep on going. I started taking the prerequisites for dental hygiene at night after my full time job until I made it into the program! The program was going great (ok, ok, not great…it was stressful, oh so very stressful…but in the grand scheme of things, great!). It was my last semester and I was doing well in my classes, but had cancellation after cancellation after no show during my clinical time. Now in clinic, you need a certain amount of patients done with a certain amount of different requirements done as well to pass. This was not the case for me. I was told that I had enough to earn an incomplete, which meant that I luckily did not have to do the whole semester over (which would be ALL of the patient number needed and ALL of those requirements along the way…yuck!). Not the ideal situation, as I wanted to be skipping out of the halls and starting my journey, but ok, I can go back for a month to finish those leftover requirements! I was even allowed to walk at the graduation with my class…so yay! My advisor, who was often tough on me, knowing that the hand skills hadn’t come as naturally to me as some of my other classmates, gave me the goat card you see above at our pinning (I LOL’ed so hard when I read this card!)

I had a relaxing summer, my last one before entering the real world again at peace with the situation and I returned in the Fall. I finished those remaining requirements before my deadline and felt oh so relieved! I then received a message to come in to school to discuss something….that’s never good! I was told that with those requirements added in I failed and that I never should have been allowed to come back for the incomplete, but should have been advised that I needed to do the whole spring clinical semester over. Ummmmm…no! (The people who I had seen in the Fall semester as well as those requirements associated all got calculated into my average as 0’s therefore bringing the average down…This my friends, is not an incomplete system!). My amazing fiance (hubby now!) and I put lots of research together, gathered all the emails of my ‘incomplete’ status and the advisement’s given to me and we set out to fight this thing! Luckily the dean of health sciences and the new head of the dental hygiene program (not the one who gave me the horrible advisement/passed me off) agreed with me.

During the time taken to rectify this, I missed the testing date for the clinical exam and the next one was 5 months away.  I slowly took my other 3 exams in the meantime and finished with the clinical exam. Seeing the word “Pass” on those 4 exams and going and picking up my college degree was unbelievably bittersweet. I knew there would be no more phone calls to ‘come in to discuss something’, no more tears over how I just wanted to be done with school and no more cloudy future. This was it, I was ready to send in my licensing information and finally BEGIN as a dental hygienist! The goat finally made it up the mountain!