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Scared of the Dentist? A Therapy Dog Can Help

Are you scared of the dentist? You’re definitely not alone. Millions of Americans avoid getting preventive dental care because of severe dental anxiety.

Dentophobia is a problem in need of a solution, and dental therapy dogs might just be able to provide one. Therapy dogs are well-trained, well mannered, and are able to provide comfort in a situation where someone is anxious, scared or depressed.

4 Tips for Using Books to Help your Kids Love to Brush

A common myth surrounding early oral health is that baby teeth are not as important as permanent adult teeth. However, oral health is the gateway to long-term health. Helping your kids love to brush their teeth as soon as their first tooth emerges will set them up for a lifetime of good oral health habits.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, books are a great way to promote early oral health. While you and your child read together, you are teaching them about brushing, good habits, and literacy. It’s a great combination!

It’s a great idea, right? But how do you make it a habit? And how can you help your kids love to brush by using books? Here are our 4 tips to get you started!

  • Find the perfect books! There are many great children’s books available. One favorite is Brush Your Teeth, Please (2013) by Leslie McGuire. This pop-up book presents different animals brushing their teeth. Kids use tooth brushes inside to practice on the animals while you read together. Ready Set Brush (2008) by Sesame Street is another great pop-up book option. Kids recognize Elmo and other characters they already trust. If Elmo brushes his teeth, clearly your kids should brush their teeth, too!


  • Make reading and brushing a routine! Children thrive on routines, so make reading and brushing part of that bedtime and morning ritual. First, brush your teeth together. Then, let them pick their favorite book to read before either shutting off the lights and going to bed or going about the rest of your morning. It’s important that you do this together, as that is what supports the importance of both brushing and reading.


  • Have a special toothbrush for their stuffed animal! Does your child have a bear, doll, or other stuffed animal they carry everywhere? If so, use that to your advantage. Have your child brush their “teeth” as part of play and routines. Doing so will help them practice the proper motions while also having fun.


  • Bring books to your dentist’s office! Since early oral health care is important, helping your child grow accustomed to visiting the dentist’s office should start early. Bring your child’s favorite brushing book along on your visit and read it in the waiting room. Doing so will help them understand their upcoming appointment and create normalcy around the visit.


Are you ready to get started? Head to your local library or bookstore as a family to find your perfect brushing book today. There is no better time to support your child’s early oral health than right now.


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Having Straight Teeth is About More Than Just Your Smile

Having straight teeth is often viewed as a luxury or something you desire but can’t have. This is especially the case if you are an adult who didn’t benefit from braces as a kid. While many people think having straight teeth only affects their smile, the alignment of your teeth is a big factor in your dental health as well.

What is a Family Dentist?

If you are searching for a dentist, you might have come across many different kinds of practices. You may wonder, “What is a family dentist?”, and what makes them different? Let’s first take a look at some of various types of dentists.

  • Pediatric Dentist: a pediatric dentist is one who specializes in teeth from birth through adolescence, with at least two years of specialized training in that field.
  • Orthodontist: these dentists specialize in alignment issues of the teeth, also with two years of specialized training.
  • Endodontist: this is a dentist that specializes in treating issues that involve the dental pulp and surrounding tissues.
  • Oral Surgeon: an oral surgeon is a dentist with at least three years of specialized training in dealing with injuries to the mouth and surrounding area, and also have specialized training in anesthesia.

Most of these dentists specialize in a certain areas of oral health, and you may need a referral to one at some point in your life. A family dentist, however, can provide you and your entire family with most of the regular dental services you need. Sometimes a family dental practice will also have an Orthodontist or an Oral Surgeon on site, so that you can take advantage of their specialized skills without having to go to another practice.

What is a family dentist?

Family dentists are able to treat you and your whole family, having a depth of knowledge about dental health for young children, adolescents and adults, and later stages of life. They are often times located centrally in your own neighborhood or city, so traveling to them is convenient. Sometimes it can be nice having one dental practice that can treat your whole family.

Some of their services include:

  • Regular cleanings and deep cleanings
  • Fluoride treatments
  • X-rays
  • Fillings
  • General checkups
  • Simple extractions

Seeing a family dentist regularly can significantly lower the probability that you will ever need a specialized dental procedure. Not only do their regularly scheduled cleanings and checkups keep the teeth in top shape, they can show you the best methods to use at home so that your mouth stays healthy all through your life.

On the other hand, a family dentist is also able to spot real trouble – such as the need for a root canal or extraction of wisdom teeth – long before they start to cause real trouble or pain. They can then help you take the appropriate steps to treat the problem, before it becomes a bigger and more costly issue.


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