Archive for the ‘Dental Bites’ Category

Orthodontics and Adult Patients: Is it too late?

It is never too late to make a positive change to your smile!  More and more adults are looking to orthodontic care as a possible solution to their smile woes,  and it’s not just for esthetic reasons.  Misaligned teeth can effect how you are able to eat and digest your food properly; it can cause difficulties in maintaining proper oral hygiene which can lead to decay; it can also be the cause of facial or profile imbalance.

Orthodontic therapy has progressed a long way over the past few decades.  You are no longer limited to the traditional metal braces.  There are more options available depending on your particular needs and what the orthodontist deems appropriate for treatment.

Traditional Metal Braces:

Traditional Metal Braces

Clear Braces:


Clear Aligners:


Lingual Braces:

lingual braces

There are many options for you and your orthodontist to explore as you discuss which treatment plan is best for your lifestyle.  Modern orthodontic therapy can minimally impede your lifestyle, while majorly changing your smile!


Trick or Treating, Candy Corn and…Floss??

candy corn & teethThat’s right, floss!  Flossing is a very important component to your oral hygiene routine.  And while you should be doing it once a day, it’s especially important to remember during the holiday season.  While you are surrounded by candy corn and chocolate in October, pumpkin pies and caramels in November, and gingerbread houses and candy canes in December, it is important to remember to floss!

Isn’t Brushing Good Enough?

No, it isn’t.  Brushing your teeth is the best way to clean the tops and sides of your teeth, but the brush bristles are unable to get between teeth to remove plaque from the interproximal (between teeth) spaces.  Proper flossing methods allow you to clean between teeth removing food bits, plaque and bacteria.

What are the Best Flossing Practices?

There are two methods that work best for flossing: the spool and the loop method.

To use the spool method, you take a length of floss and wrap most of it around your middle finger.  Then wrap the rest of it around the middle finger of your other hand;  as you use the floss, wind the dirty floss onto this finger.

The loop method has you taking a length of floss and tying it into a circle withloop method several knots.  Using all of your fingers (except your thumb) inside the loop, use your index finger to guide the floss through the lower teeth.  You can then use your thumbs to guide the floss for the upper teeth!

What about a Waterpick?

Waterpicks are not good substitutes for flossing.  It is able to remove food particles from hard to reach places, but it can not remove plaque!

While it does not matter what method you use to floss, or what kind of floss that you use,  it’s just very important that you DO floss.

Your Child’s First Visit: What to expect

After reading tons of books about going to the dentist with “Critter”, and watching several videos your child is almost ready to open wide and let your dentist and hygienist take a look at those pearly whites!  It is so very important to reassure your child so that they understand that the dentist office is not a scary place at all!

The First Visit:

Your child’s first visit is an introduction: this is their first opportunity to sit in the chair, take in their surroundings, meet their hygienist and the dentist and have a very simple oral exam and cleaning.  It is a good idea to schedule your child’s appointment early in the day, avoiding their typical nap-time.  Depending on your child’s anxiety level, you may need to sit in the dental chair with your child on your lap to help them relax.  It also helps that their first appointment may last only 15 to 30 minutes.

While they are in the chair, they will experience a gentle evaluation of their teeth, jaw, bite, gums and oral tissues.  This will allow your dental team to observe your child’s oral development and look for potential problem areas.  Your hygienist will take x-rays of their teeth so that underlying decay can be spotted.

Your child will then have a very gentle cleaning.  This includes removal of any plaque, tartar, and stains followed by polishing the teeth.  Your hygienist will show you and your child the proper way to brush and floss your teeth and share nutritional information about what kinds of food can harmful to growing healthy mouths.  It is often recommended that young children protect their teeth with the use of fluoride treatments.  Your hygienist and dentist will be able to asses your child’s needs and make an appropriate recommendation.

Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?

When Can You Come Back:

It is typically recommended that children see their dentist every six months, just like adults.  If your child is very young, it might be recommended that they see the dentist every three months.  The frequency of the visit is dependent on your child’s oral needs.

Now that you and your child are ready for their first visit, feel free to give our office a call!  We would gladly answer any questions you have about your child’s oral health.

Your Child’s First Visit: It’s Easy as 1, 2, READ!

As parents, there are all sorts of doctors and appointments that your child must endure as they grow:  yearly check-ups, booster shots, optometrist appointments, etc.  And because no one likes getting a booster shot, doctor appointments can be an anxiety causing event in their lives regardless of what type of doctor they are seeing.  The good news is that dentist appointments don’t have to be scary for children as long as you do your homework!

Alison w pt2

Preparation is easy as 1, 2, READ!

There are so many wonderful tools available in bookstores and on the internet that can help you prepare your child for their first visit to the dentist.  The Little Critter series by Mercer Mayer has several books available on first visits to the hospital, the doctor and the dentist.  “Just Going to the Dentist”  shows your little one that there is nothing to be afraid of with a childhood favorite character.  You can also find “What to Expect When You Go to the Dentist” by Heidi Murkoff as part of a “What to Expect” educational series for children.  Pat Thomas offers several preparatory books for children with “Do I Have to Go to the Dentist?” in the selection.

If you would prefer a more AV approach to preparing your child for their first visit, you can go onto YouTube and explore the videos available there.  There is a video version of Mercer Mayer’s book available for your child’s viewing convenience (however it might not be an official “Little Critter” production)!

No matter what method you use, it is important to discuss with your child what their first visit will be like at the dentist.  Knowledge of what is to come can be very reassuring for your child which will minimize their anxiety in the chair.

Check back next time to read “Your Child’s First Visit: In the Big Chair”.

Mary Ansley Chitwood’s Graduation Speech

Mary Ansley recently graduated from Siegel High School as Valedictorian. We wanted to share her speech with you because it will be sure to bring you a chuckle and a smile!

undeSERVEd Part Deux!

Team all geared up to serve the Memphis community

Here is Dr. Chitwood’s service team, they are all geared up to start hitting the streets and helping the needy.  They can’t contain their excitement!

They're so excited, they just can't hide it!

They're so excited, they just can't hide it!

To prepare their hearts and minds for the task of serving in various parks, hospitals, non-profits, churches and retirement homes, the young adults spent time each morning in devotionals meditating on how God’s Word can impact their lives so that they can impact other people’s lives.

Studying and then applying God's Word in their hearts and minds

Studying and then applying God's Word in their hearts and minds

Dr. Chitwood’s team had the opportunity to serve at the non-profit organization, Bibles for China.  They were able to assist the organization with cleanup of the facilities.  This was a large blessing to the organization because so much of their focus is placed on their mission of sending Bibles in Mandarin/Cantonese to China, a country notorious for being opposed to their citizens  embrace of Christianity and religion in general.

Another area that this team served was in a local retirement home.  Here the youth were able to entertain the residents with sing-a-longs and exercise routines.  This allowed the staff to catch up on paperwork and other overdue projects.  The residents seemed to really enjoy the blast from the past with some of their favorite old songs!

Getting the residents hyped up for their sing-fest

The boys lead a group of singers down memory lane

The residents get sporty with a game of bags

The residents get sporty with a game of bags

And of course… there is ALWAYS dentistry to be done!

Who needs an office anyway!

Dr. Chitwood & son, Walt, use a flashlight to see what's going on!

At the end of the week, the youth were exhausted (and so were the adults!) but they were so blessed to have been given this opportunity to reach out to the areas of need in the Memphis community.  Many people felt the love of God through the service of His Church as they answered the call to serve!

Belle Aire’s Youth undeSERVEd Serves Memphis

Mission undeSERVEd kicks off

Last week, Dr. Chitwood, his family and several of our patients traveled to Memphis, TN, as part of Belle Aire Church’s youth outreach to the area.  There were quite a few opportunities for the youth to serve the Memphis community:  Park clean-up, delivery of coloring books to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, service in area retirement homes just to name a few!  As these young adults followed Christ’s call to serve, they saw lives changed around them and God’s love shown through them.

Dr. Chitwood's service group

Dr. Chitwood, Carleigh and Walt get ready to serve with the rest of their service group

The young people were divided up into service groups with leaders and co-leaders.   They stayed with these groups for devotionals, service projects, and for fun!

Mrs. Chitwood & Mary Ansley's service group

Mrs. Chitwood & Mary Ansley's serivce group

It was a fantastic experience for these young people to serve as Jesus Christ’s hands and feet in the area.  Not only were the people in the community ministered to on this mission trip, but the young adults who took part were also touched as they stepped out in faith to serve the needs of the people around them!

Stay tuned for the second installment of the events from the “undeSERVEd” outreach!

Check out a few more photos from the trip:

More silly times

Silly times

Silly times

More silly times