3/21/2019 7:35:52 PM
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From our perspective, the answer to that question is “No.” Since baby teeth play a large part in the guiding and development of the adult teeth, our recommendation is to begin caring for those tiny pearly whites as early as possible. As adult role models, we have an opportunity to instill healthy habits that will last a lifetime. What exactly does that entail?
From infancy, parents can use special tooth and gum wipes that can establish a nighttime routine. Gently cleaning the gums, this will get babies used to the sensation of having something in their mouth.
For toddlers, caregivers can put a small bit of flavored toothpaste in the child’s mouth letting them chew on it a little, perhaps scrubbing it around to simulate brushing.
Once that pattern is established, purchase a child-sized toothbrush in favorite colors or featuring cartoon characters. You will also need the accompanying child-centric toothpaste with fluoride. A parent or caregiver can do the actual brushing, letting the toddler have a turn moving the toothbrush around in his or her mouth.
Feel free to incorporate songs and videos about brushing teeth – there are a lot of options! The point is to keep it all light and fun so that your child will want to embrace healthy habits as early as possible. These habits are increasingly important, especially because decay grows rapidly in baby teeth. Resulting early tooth loss can lead to malocclusion and other oral problems in adolescence and adulthood.
At Mitchell Dentistry, we recommend age three and a half to start with regular dental visits. Here is an excerpt from our past blog post about that milestone age of three and a half:
“Our patients who are new parents often ask, ‘I think our child has great teeth, so at what age should we start bringing our child to the dentist?’ I don’t hesitate for a second – three and a half. Why three and a half you might ask? Why not three? Or four? After practicing dentistry for about three and a half decades, I can assure you – three and a half is the perfect age to start a child’s lifelong relationship with dentistry in a fun and positive way. That is the magic age when the child understands what’s happening at the dentist’s office. Just tell your child that we are going to visit our friend the dentist and a simple explanation of why they are here and what they can expect.
As you can see, it’s never too early for good oral hygiene!
As always, please call us with any questions or concerns about caring for the beautiful smiles of your children and grandchildren.
All the best from our family to yours,
2/27/2019 8:26:18 PM
As our patients know, we enjoy sharing our love of nature in our practice. The color themes and artwork in our office reflect local wildlife and the hues of the sea. Our website (www.MitchellDentist.com) also displays a beach theme. So when it came time to plan the staff photo shoot, what could be a more natural setting for us than our local beaches?
The overall goal is to update our website with the new photos featuring our highly talented hygiene team, amazing assistants, and fabulous front desk staff. Instead of traditional, in-front-of-a-screen headshots, we decided on a more natural approach. When it came down to the details, everyone contributed their suggestions – from what to wear, to the backdrops, to the water side location.
The day of the Friday photo shoot finally arrived, and all 16 of us set out to the Outrigger Resort on Fort Myers Beach. The sun was shining, the water shone azure blue – you could not have asked for a better day. After a little touch up on hair and makeup, everyone was ready to go, and our talented photographer, Ilene Safron of Mainsail Productions started shooting individual and group shots of our entire staff.
As the sun rose higher in the sky, we took a fun and festive lunch break at the resort’s outdoor restaurant. The staff was friendly and accommodating, adding another enjoyable element to the day.
We closed the day with some fun shots at the water’s edge before everyone went home for the weekend.
All in all, it was a productive and fun day. Not only will we have some great shots for the website and other marketing materials, we also had the opportunity to enjoy a beach outing with our Mitchell Dentistry “family.”
Watch our website for an updated new look coming soon!
All the best,
1/22/2019 7:35:31 PM
The Christmas lights are down and the decorations are put away as we settle into 2019 at Mitchell Dentistry. We have had a few weeks to reflect on our goals for the year ahead, which include both in-office and out-of-office endeavors.
For us, new aspirations begin “at home,” and we have already begun to lighten and brighten our surroundings. Newly installed LED lighting is adding a fresh view of our work spaces and parking lot – with the added benefit of being good for our environment. We have also recently refreshed our sterilization and lab areas – remodeling with new countertops that update the look and feel of our space. Throughout the office, the refresh has given us a sense of renewal and recharged energy.
Taking this burst of energy to the next step, the Mitchells will continue to pursue professional and educational opportunities that offer our patients the most advanced care in the industry. In that spirit, Dr. Yolanda, Dr. Joe and I are eagerly anticipating the 107th annual Hinman meeting taking place in March in Atlanta. “The Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting is an annual tradition, providing dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, laboratory technicians and dental office staff with the latest and most comprehensive continuing education in dentistry today. The meeting is known for its Southern Hospitality, extraordinary educational programs, impressive roster of speakers, unsurpassed social events and all-inclusive technical exhibition. The Meeting is sponsored by the Hinman Dental Society, a non-profit organization, and all excess revenue is invested and then gifted in the form of scholarships to individuals and institutions that foster dental education. The society has provided nearly $8,600,000 in total giving to date.”
As a group, we love learning and continuing to grow as professionals to be the best we can be for our patients. A bonus this year is that Dr. Yolanda will have the opportunity to attend her milestone dental school reunion, taking place during the same week as the Hinman meeting!
We hope that your New Year is off to a bright, positive start, and that you will accomplish the goals you have set out for 2019.
Feel free to share your thoughts or comments below – we always welcome your feedback!
12/10/2018 9:30:08 PM
At Mitchell Dentistry, most of our patients who visit our office around the holiday season are familiar with our Holiday Toy Drive to benefit the Dr. Piper Center for Social Services, a 100+ year old Southwest Florida organization that helps our region’s children and elderly. Year after year, you may have seen our playpen overflowing with gifts donated so generously by our patients and staff, you may have even donated yourself, and you may have seen signs in our office encouraging patients to donate.
We often hear the question, “Who is Dr. Piper?” At that point, we usually direct patients to the website DrPiperCenter.org, or we give a brief explanation of what we know. This year, we thought it might be more helpful to provide her official bio provided by the Dr. Piper Center. It is a most interesting story about an extraordinary person set in the fascinating history of the City of Fort Myers during extraordinary times.
For Mitchell Dentistry, with our families and practice rooted here in Fort Myers for many decades, our affinity for this organization is closely related to our broad and deep connection to our community. We appreciate the hundreds of volunteers who help our local children and elderly, and make our community a better place to live, work and play.
Meet Dr. Ella Mae Piper
Dr. Ella Mae Piper was born in Brunswick; Georgia (near the Florida line) March 8, 1884; the only daughter of Ned Bailer and Sarah Williams. Mrs. Piper died on June 13, 1954. She was a well-known civic worker and businesswoman, who established the first beauty parlor and chiropody office in Fort Myers 69 years ago. She attended Spellman College in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated from Rohrer’s world-famous Institute of Beauty Culture located in New York City. She graduated August 25, 1915. Her name then was Ella M. Jones. She majored in body massage and Swedish movements and was a well-known Chiropodist (foot doctor).
She arrived in Fort Myers in 1915 where she opened her first beauty shop located on Jackson Street across from Englehart’s Mortuary. Later the beauty shop was moved to Hendry Street where she also began the practice of Chiropody. In 1916, Dr. Piper moved her business to 1819 Evans Avenue near her home. She also owned the Big 4 Bottling Company located on Mango and Evans. The community enjoyed Big 4 soft drinks for five cents a bottle.
March 8, 1884 – June 13, 1954
Dr. Ella Piper held annual Christmas tree parties for children of Dunbar Heights. Her mother, Sarah Williams, started this event in 1915 while employed in the H. E. Heitman home. Thus began an institute over the years that grew from an original gathering of 15 little girls to some 600 boys and girls who romped over her lawn at 1771 Evans Avenue every December 25th.
When Dr. Piper’s mother died in 1926, Ella carried on the Annual Christmas Party with the assistance of many churches, businesses, and many community friends who assisted with contributions and gifts for the youngsters. The annual Christmas Tree Party has continued uninterrupted since Dr. Piper’s death through the faithful efforts of local citizens.
In Dunbar Heights, she was a Grand Lodge Officer and Executive Board member for 26 years of the Elks Lodge. She also served as a state officer. She was the founder of the Tranquillo Temple and organized the Triple City Council and served as Deputy of the District. She was a member of Mt. Olive Church and the Pioneer’s Club. She assisted in building the Old Dunbar School in 1926.
Dr. Ella Piper was known as a philanthropist. She was instrumental in helping young people in obtaining scholarships to attend Tuskegee College, using her personal money to help some of these students. Dr. Ella Piper was well-known throughout the community and often aided elderly persons, particularly the underprivileged and handicapped. It was this interest, along with the interest of children that led her to leave her property to the City of Fort Myers for the benefit of young children and senior citizens.
You can watch a video about Dr. Ella Piper, and learn more about the organization by visiting their site:
11/20/2018 1:19:29 PM
At Mitchell Dentistry, we know our patients are brushing, and most are flossing. But how many are using a Waterpik? This product has been around for more than 50 years, but the new and improved version is something we believe you should not overlook when it comes to overall oral healthcare.
It is rare for us to endorse a specific brand, but we feel pretty strongly about the Waterpik Water Flosser with the reservoir. Why? From the scientific standpoint, keep in mind that plaque is a super sticky substance, the byproduct of bacterial activity in the mouth. Brushing and flossing may get some of the plaque off, but there can be damaging residue left behind. Behold the Waterpik which washes the residue right out of there.
With the Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association, the Waterpik® Water Flosser has been shown to:
This means when used daily, as directed, the Waterpik® Water Flosser is an ideal choice for improving and/or maintaining good oral health especially in people who struggle with dental floss.
With our own patients, we have seen market improvement among our patients who use the Waterpik daily.
So how do you use the Waterpik? You fill the reservoir with warm water. At the beginning, use the light setting until you get used to it. Place the flosser in your mouth before you turn it on. Then turn it on and let the water shoot between your teeth, all the way around until the reservoir runs dry.
I personally, like to add a capful of Listerine to the warm water before I start. We checked in with the Waterpik site and here’s what they say about that:
“We recommend using warm water. Water alone is proven highly effective in numerous clinical studies. However, patients can use certain agents with the Water Flosser:
Any time an agent other than water is used in the Water Flosser, flush the unit by running plain water through it afterwards.
We do not recommend bleach dilution; it shortens the life of the unit. We do not recommend pure essential oils such as tea tree oil; it destroys the product. (Formulated products that are commonly available, such as Listerine, contain essential oils in small amounts and won’t harm the product).”
We hope you will consider adding a Waterpik to your dental routine – we know you will be happy with the results.
As always, please ask us for more information or recommendations on this, or any other topic related to your oral health. Plus, we love your feedback, so feel free to send your comments our way.
10/30/2018 2:58:37 PM
A new study released this week (Oct. 22, 2018) indicates that gum disease may interfere with high blood pressure, or hypertension, control. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-dental-hypertension/gum-disease-linked-to-higher-blood-pressure-idUSKCN1MZ2L3)
Lead author Dr. Davide Pietropaoli, doctor of dental surgery at the University of L’Aquila in Italy, reported that researchers reviewed medical and dental records of more than 3,600 people diagnosed with high blood pressure. In comparison to people with good oral health, those with gum disease were less likely to respond to high blood pressure medications and 20 percent less likely to achieve healthy blood pressure targets.
At Mitchell Dentistry, we take these reports very seriously and will be even more vigilant when caring for our patients who are receiving treatment for hypertension. We urge our patients who have loved ones with high blood pressure to make sure they are also receiving good oral healthcare.
And on behalf of our Mitchell Dentistry dentists and hygiene team, we will continue to reinforce our daily routine recommendation to help prevent gum disease:
We recommend brushing with an electric toothbrush at least two minutes in the morning, two minutes at night. The best regimen also includes flossing every night, and the optional water pick which will rinse everything out.
Knowledge is Power
Our goal is to help spread awareness about healthy teeth and gums throughout the year, and we always appreciate an extra opportunity to pass on helpful information to our patients.
As always, please call us with any questions or concerns. We love your feedback, so feel free to send your comments our way.
10/4/2018 3:33:09 PM
Have you ever wondered what all those numbers mean when we are conducting your periodontal exam at Mitchell Dentistry?
You’ll hear us saying, “1…2…1…3…2, etc.” with a little frown if we get to “4.” What we are doing is measuring the collar that borders the tooth and the gum, testing the depth. A 1, 2, or 3 is fine, but if a case of gingivitis turns a 3 into a 4, we are concerned that this could lead to bone deterioration and ultimately tooth loss.
Such is the stuff that’s been on our minds all September – National Gum Care Month, and into October and beyond. The good news? Better home care can definitely have positive results.
Here’s what we recommend:
All of us at Mitchell Dentistry agree that when there’s a choice between electric and manual brushing, there’s no contest – electric is the way to go for a thorough cleaning. We prefer Sonic Care with Oral B as a close second, and find that the battery versions are just not strong enough. The Sonic Care and Oral B have timers with intermittent pauses to let you know when to change quadrants.
We recommend two minutes in the morning, two minutes at night. The best regimen also includes flossing every night, and the optional water pick which will rinse everything out. Try this, and you will see those gum measurement numbers go down. Plus , you’ll get a gold star from your hygienist.
I was speaking with one of our patients about the importance of brushing with an electric toothbrush, and he responded that has already has it covered. In fact, he added, to accommodate his busy schedule, he brushes with his Sonic Care while he is in the shower. How’s that for multi-tasking? For those of our patients who remember the Seinfeld sitcom, it reminded me of the one where Kramer makes a salad while taking a shower – see the clip here!
P.S. Both Sonic Care and Oral B say their devices are safe to use in the shower, just not immersed in water.
8/16/2018 8:47:54 PM
As proponents of oral healthcare, we do our best to stay current on cultural trends that may or may not affect the health of our patients. Over the past decade or so, the use of smokeless and non-combustible tobacco has gotten more popular, especially among those who believe that this habit is less dangerous than smoking real tobacco. With this practice on the rise, even among teens and children, the healthcare community has found that it’s time to develop strategies to address this important issue. In October, a Summit will take place in California with a good part of the agenda specifically devoted to the effects of smokeless tobacco on oral health.
At Mitchell Dentistry, we are concerned about the marketing and the use of “dissolvable tobacco” products – appealing to both smokers and children. Little is known about the long-term health implications of these products already introduced to the public. Furthermore – research, knowledge and public awareness of the health implications of smokeless and non-combustible tobacco use lags, while the known dangers of these products continue to increase.
We will pay close attention to the discussions at The Summit to see how the experts plan to face the unique challenges brought forth by smokeless and non-combustible tobacco use. It will serve as a motivating force for community action on this important, contemporary public health challenge.
Chewing, Vaping and Smoking…oh, no
In our own practice, we have seen patients who have been negatively affected by chewing tobacco – they tend to place it in the same area between cheek and gum, increasing their risk of oral cancer in that spot. In addition, the fiberglass in these products can abrade the gums, making it easier for toxic chemicals to be absorbed.
And what about e-cigarettes? We all know the negative effect of smoking cigarettes on oral health – and on all other aspects of your health. Now we have the rising popularity of vaping, (the action of inhaling the vapors produced by e-cigarettes). While there isn’t much research yet on vaping’s actual effect on oral health, the evidence that’s out there should make us skeptical.
While more research is definitely needed, our counsel to our patients is to abstain from all forms of tobacco use to maintain good oral health, and overall wellbeing.
As always, please ask us for further education on this topic, or bring us any of your concerns on your oral healthcare – our goal is to keep you healthy and safe!
7/23/2018 3:54:22 PM
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When you pack for your summer vacation, we’re pretty sure you’ll remember your bathing suit, flip flops and sunscreen – but how about your electric toothbrush? The handy case that comes with it makes it perfectly portable, and we hope you’ll take note. At Mitchell Dentistry, we want your smile to stay beautiful all year round, and with a few helpful tips you can stay in your dental hygiene routine without sacrificing any vacation time.
Here are the top 7 vacation tips from Mitchell Dentistry’s hygiene team:
Show Your Toothbrush a Little Love
Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com
Use a clean, ventilated toothbrush container for your toothbrush. Choosing a holder with ventilation helps dry the toothbrush and reduce the growth of bacteria. Once you arrive at your destination, if you’re staying in one spot, leave the toothbrush out on the counter to give it ample drying time.
Pack a Dental Kit
Stock your kit with must-haves like floss or floss picks, toothpaste, and mouthwash. If you’re flying with just a carry-on bag, then you can buy travel-size versions of your favorite supplies. Or, you can fill other small, reusable containers that contain no more than three ounces. Be sure to ask for on our toothpaste samples which are just the right size for the airport security.
Limit Your Sugar Intake
Although vacation is the perfect time to indulge, try to balance sugary treats with healthy options, especially if you know you won’t be able to brush soon after. On a long airplane flight, for example, skip the soda on the beverage cart, and opt for bottled water when you can.
Stick to Your Routine
No matter where you go and how busy your schedule is, make sure you keep up with your regular dental routine. If you take a vacation from good oral care habits, then it might be harder to pick them back up after returning home.
Skip the Gum
While many suggest that “4 out of 5” dentists recommend sugarless gum, we seem to be the rare ones who do not recommend this habit. Gum chewing is tough on the mandible (jaw joints), and can exacerbate TMJ. That said, a once-in-awhile chew is acceptable.
Whether you’re “roughing it” or experiencing luxury stay in a far off land, pay attention to the water quality and research whether it’s safe to drink. If it’s not, stick to bottled water – even when brushing. On a side note, remember to close your mouth in the shower too!
Emergency Calls Accepted
While we hope you don’t need us while you’re away, please note that we are available for a phone call if you are
Most important, have a wonderful, happy, and safe vacation!
6/15/2018 7:51:47 PM
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We are always delighted when our patients share their good news – especially when there’s a new baby on the way. Lidiana, one of our fantastic hygienists, just went out on maternity leave, bringing us a real life reminder about the importance of dental care during pregnancy.
While some might lean towards postponing routine dental care until after giving birth, the right course is really quite the opposite – in fact, oral care is extremely important for your healthy teeth and your overall wellbeing.
Here are some suggestions I have gathered from Dr. Yolanda, Dr. Joe, and our assistants:
Let us know if you are pregnant. We can offer you a great deal of education about extra attentive home care, as well as what procedures we would recommend taking care of or postponing until post childbirth.
Before coming in for your appointment, check in with your obstetrician to see if he/she has any special instructions for you or for us.
Fill us in our what medications or prenatal vitamins your ob/gyn has prescribed. We may alter any treatment based on this information.
You may be surprised to know that routine dental x-rays can be done during pregnancy. Rest assured that you will be well shielded, and advances in x-ray technology have made them much safer than in the past. And of course, if they’re not absolutely necessary, we can hold off if you prefer.
Please keep your regular dental checkup appointment. Now more than ever, regular periodontal (gum) exams are so important because pregnancy causes hormonal changes that put you at increased risk for periodontal disease and tender gums that may bleed easily – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis.
If you notice any changes in your gum or teeth, for example tenderness, bleeding or gum swelling, please let us know.
Finally, continue to be vigilant about your oral hygiene routine to prevent or reduce oral health issues during your pregnancy.
Oh, one more thing – please keep us in the loop when your baby is born! As a member of our extended Mitchell Dentistry family, we love to hear your good news and to see your photos.
And as always, please contact us with any questions about caring for your teeth, mouth, and gums during your pregnancy or any other time.
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