I strive to be a dentist who focuses on education, prevention and early intervention in a warm, caring, friendly atmosphere where you and your choices matter.
This has been my personal philosophy and mission in treating my patients since I graduated from dental school. It means everything to me in my daily practice, and in every interaction with every patient. They are not just words on a website or brochure to market my practice. I genuinely want all my patients to experience better health and a higher quality of life through improved oral health and positive interactions and experiences in my office. Dare I say...you even may enjoy coming to see us, laugh and have a little fun while you're here! I hope you do! I love my job, I love to take care of you and I love to laugh with you! I want you to understand your teeth, how they work (or don't work), how your oral health is essential to your quality of life and your overall health. I want you to be invested in your own oral care and to really feel that I am invested as well. I want us to have a level of trust that allows us to create the best treatment plan that meet your goals and make you feel confident in knowing that you are getting exceptional dental care from start to finish and for years down the road.
Let me get this out of the way so we can talk about what I really want you to know in this particular set of messages....if you do experience dental disease - cavities, broken teeth, lost teeth, gum disease, crooked teeth, stained and discolored teeth, bad breath, pain, poor bite, temporomandibular disorder, oral cancer, cold sores, canker sores, dental fear, dental anxiety and many other oral ailments, pathologies and concerns - don't worry....we've got this. As your dentist, I take great pride in providing you with options for treatment followed with exceptional care to repair what is broken, fix what doesn't work, make your smile look amazing and restore confidence in your smile. I spend a lot of time making sure I know the best materials and techniques, and I also really care that I do my best work to restore you to a healthy mouth that you feel great about. I will continue to do that for as long as I get to be your dentist.
However, back to the point of this blog post....one of the most important jobs I have is to teach you about your oral health and give you the knowledge, skills and tools to take care of yourself and prevent or minimize disease, pain and problems before they even start. Let's face it....everyone wants to come in for their cleaning and check-up and hear me say those magic words at the end, "Everything looks great today - no cavities and your teeth and gums look fabulous!" In order to have that happen at every check up, you obviously have to do your part at home to take care of your mouth. You've heard it a million times, "brush twice a day for two minutes each, floss once a day, come to see your dentist routinely for cleanings and check ups." But, do you ever wonder what else you can be doing to take care of your mouth? You probably don't. But I do!! I DO wonder that all the time! I want to know how everthing works in the human body...not just your mouth. I am a life long learner of many subjects, but human health and wellness fascinates me more than finance, economy, politics, weather, geology, wildlife, ecology, fashion, art, sports or any other thing that you might have a passion for. (Don't get me wrong...I am not a total dental nerd...I love and enjoy plenty of other stuff besides health and dentistry...but you get the point!)
Are you so bored of hearing dentists and hygienists tell you to brush and floss if you want healthy teeth and gums?? Do you want to know other ways that you can take care of your mouth and how that relates to your overall health and wellness? I think a lot of people must be interested because there is endless stuff on Pinterest and on the worldwide interwebs about how to heal your cavities with with holistic and natural approaches. Guess what? There is some decent advice but there is also a lot of whacky stuff out there. Let's wade through some of that information. Let's talk about your diet. Let's talk about epigenetics. Let's talk about microbiome. Let's talk about gut health. Let's talk about cardiovascular and brain health. Let's talk about how your oral health relates and influences all of these things. There is a LOT of complicated information about all this. But I am going to do my best to shed some light and peak your interest in some cool, new stuff.
In a series of upcoming blog entries, I want to give you good, reliable information backed in current science about your oral health and the connection with your systemic health and how you can be more proactive and preventative in your approach to taking care of yourself. The best way to solve a problem is never to have the problem in the first place. And also...yah...its saves you money to NOT need fillings and crowns!
So, stay tuned. And if you have questions or comments or information to share with me, I really hope you reach out via comment, email, phone call or social media. Please be interactive and let's learn some fun new things together about how to be more healthy and happy and have bigger, brighter smiles, healthy hearts and stronger bones that last a lifetime!
My first baby LOVED his pacifier! My husband drove with a back-up in his car in case there was a situation. His pediatrician encouraged him using it for the first year...but then came his 2-year check-up. The nurse finished up with her part of the visit and turned back as she was leaving to get the doctor with a warning. "Don't let Dr. B see the binky! He will take it out his mouth and throw it away!" WHAT? No way! I took it away, which caused crying and my frustration to rise. Why take away something that is a comfort to him...especially at a doctor's visit? We got through the visit, but I was wondering, when do I really need to buckle down and ween him from the binky?
Thumbsucking or sucking on a pacifier is a natural reflex for babies. It makes them feel secure in a big big world! It can also soothe them and help them fall asleep. However, as time goes on, sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. It can also change the shape of the roof of the mouth.
Dr. Jones encourages parents to start weening the binky or thumb-sucking around age 2 and no later than age 3. The longer this habit continues, the more likely to form an "open bite" where the palate and upper front teeth are not in an optimal position and will require orthodontics to correct. Kids will often have difficulties with speech when the front teeth are not in the correct positions and may require speech therapy. Finally, if the palate (roof of the mouth) and the first part of the airway don't form correctly due to long term pacifier use or thumb sucking, it could result in problems with proper breathing/snoring/apnea related issues. The oral cavity has a very specific anatomy that is ideal for biting, chewing, swallowing, speaking and breathing. If the mouth and teeth aren't set up for success early on, it can result in a lifetime of health and wellness issues.
But HOW does one get their child to stop?! Here are our tips to stop thumb-sucking/pacifier use:
We did buckle-down and got him away from the binky at the end of the year. He was almost two and a half years old. How did we do it? Well, we told our son that Santa asked us to leave binkies for him to pick up so he could deliver them to the new babies. We also limited the use to only night-time or when he was especially needing some comfort. He asked for it less and less and eventually stopped altogether on his own!
Here he is showing off his new smile after pulling out his tooth at school!
If you are worried about your child's thumb-sucking/pacifier use, and need additional support, please be sure to give us a call, or let us know at your next dental visit!
Dr. Jones received her Quip electric toothbrush a few weeks ago. Hear her thoughts on this mail subscription toothbrush and company below!
Ali Jones, D.D.S. - Dentist