Dental Associates of Walpole Blog

Why Are You Taking My Blood Pressure?

A few months ago a patient left me a voicemail. The message was an interesting one for a dental practice to receive. She said, “I wanted to call you and thank you. Your offices policy just saved my life.” When I called her back she explained her message. She had recently begun coming to our office after many years at a different practice. When she had her first preventive care appointment with one of our hygienists, they took her blood pressure at the start of the appointment. The patient told me that she didn’t really want to have it taken, Continue Reading


BRUSH AWAY TODDLER DECAY – A DENTAL SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR PARENTS

As a mom you try your best to instill the best habits, behaviors, values, and communication skills with your child, but let’s face it, it’s not easy trying to get a toddler to listen or be attentive for long periods of time especially when it comes to “brushing teeth” and maintaining a good at home preventative care regimen. Working in Pediatrics, I have acquired many tips, tricks, and overall diet “yays” and “nays” that may be beneficial to all parents. Hello all, my name is Sabrina! I am a mother of a three-year-old who is your typical three-year-old (spirited, curious, Continue Reading


Causes and Management of TMJ Pain

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) are conditions affecting jaw joints and the surrounding muscles and ligaments. TMD can be caused by many different types of problems such as arthritis, trauma, an improper bite and even stress. Stress can play a big role in temporomandibular joint dysfunction as people are more likely to clench their jaw and grind their teeth when they are stressed. Below is a description of temporomandibular joint disorder including common and how these types of disorders can be treated and managed. Symptoms of TMD include jaw pain, headaches, pain in the neck/shoulder area and can even lead to Continue Reading


What happens during your child’s first dental visit?

Hi everyone! My name is Vanessa and I am one of the pediatric dental hygienists working here at Dental Associates of Walpole. Here’s a little background about myself: I have been practicing hygiene since 2015. I used to come here for all my dentistry needs throughout my childhood. I have a 3-year-old boy at home named Colton I have a 4-year-old Frug (French bulldog/Pug) at home named Raven Pediatric dentistry has always been my DREAM job. When I was young, I remember always being anxious about going to get my teeth cleaned. My mom would prepare me a week before Continue Reading


THE ORAL INDICATORS OF DISORDERED EATING

As dental professionals, our job is to care for our patient’s teeth and manage their overall oral health. In doing so, however, sometimes we can uncover aspects of a patient’s systemic health that leave clues within the mouth, which otherwise may go undetected. Moreover, as orthodontists we have a unique opportunity to see a patient population composed largely of adolescents and young people, who generally are at a higher risk for one particularly detrimental condition, disordered eating. Disordered eating encompasses a wide range of irregular eating behaviors that may or may not fit the diagnosis of a particular eating disorder. Continue Reading


The Prize Inside

Ever had a single event, even a seemingly innocuous event, change your perspective until you see things with an enlightened view? I have. I’ll tell you all about it. On December 1, the DAW Winter Wonderland monthly festival of contests, food, fun and prizes began. (Management created this month of fun in lieu of a holiday party due to the state of the world.)The first contest put forth by the committee was an office-wide decorating contest, pitting the departments against each other. We had two weeks and a $50 stipend to spend on materials. Our Adult Department chose Candy Land Continue Reading


The Story of a Tooth Ache

Tooth pain can sometimes be very debilitating, especially if there is an infection associated with it. There are several types of tooth pain, ranging from a dull, pulsating sensation to a sharp, jolt-like agony that makes you jump out of your chair. The causes of tooth pain can vary greatly and can sometimes be difficult to locate and diagnose. Below is a description of the most common problem that causes a tooth ache and how it is diagnosed and treated. Each tooth is composed of an outer hard enamel layer, an internal softer dentin layer, and a central pulp chamber Continue Reading


The Birth of “Burn it all Art”

During COVID lockdown I found myself in search of something to occupy my free time, so I went back to my love of woodworking, crafting and creating. I searched for ideas to burn into wood and was having so much fun seeing where these thoughts would take me and what my next project would be. My sister, husband and niece tried to convince me to sell my wood art on Etsy and finally I gave in saying, “I will put one piece up and if it sells, I will open up a shop.” That piece sold within thirty minutes of Continue Reading


A Maxy Story

Ok, So picture this… My husband surprises me with (what he thought was) a kitten for Christmas. Here is his story of how he “rescued” our fur baby Maxy. SECURE THE KITTEN Ok. So precisely 8 days before Christmas, my husband starts looking for a kitten. After much research on his part, he realizes “You can’t just buy a kitten from a store like a bag of chips…” So, after a lack of luck on his search, he does more “extensive research,” and narrows down the search to finding a “kitten” ON CRAIGSLIST. (We are now 4 days closer to Continue Reading


If I can, uke can!

Have you ever wished that you could learn to play an instrument? It’s a common misconception that learning to play a musical instrument as an adult is too difficult, especially if you were unfortunate like myself never to have had the opportunity to pursue music lessons earlier in life. Research has shown that while it’s harder for the mature brain to learn an instrument, it's not impossible. I was the lucky recipient of a ukulele as a gift just a few years ago. My first thought was, “What am I going to do with this thing?” I did not know Continue Reading


Never Work a Day

They say if you love what you do for a living, you’ll never work a day in your life. I know firsthand that this is true. I know this because I work with Dr. Saunders. Dr. Saunders has been an endodontist for over forty years. In that time, he has amassed a wealth of dental knowledge and expertise. I’ve seen him gain access to a calcified canal that would vex a lesser endodontist. He often finds a fourth canal in a previously treated tooth which that doctor missed. He’s in this field to save teeth and he does. Daily. If Continue Reading


A NEW BEGINNING

For 31 years I have been practicing dental hygiene in a small practice setting. By small, I mean one doctor, one assistant, two hygienists, and one office manager. It was all I knew. As a shy and quiet person, a large office was out of my comfort zone. Imagine my surprise when Dr. Hirshfield announced on December 22nd that we would be merging with Dental Associates of Walpole and as of January 1st, they would be our new employers. Within hours of hearing the news, we were in our cars and headed over to Dental Associates of Walpole for a Continue Reading


Concussions from a Mom’s Perspective

I have 5 children, 4 of which grew up playing sports. From basketball to hockey to lacrosse my kids were always, and one still is, playing sports. As a mom, the hardest thing to do is see a child get injured from playing the sport they love. It is also difficult trying to manage all the protective gear necessary to play each sport. Safety equipment is necessary, and my kids never argued about wearing it all…. except when it came to the mouthguard. It did not matter which sport, none of them ever wore one without a fight. I have Continue Reading


How cavities form and how we treat them

Cavities are decay in teeth that we treat with fillings. Here is a little tooth anatomy. The crown of your tooth has an outer layer called enamel, which is very hard. The next level is called dentin, which is slightly less hard. For a cavity to form it requires bacteria. Bacteria is in your saliva and can adhere to the outer layer of your teeth. When it adheres to your teeth it creates what is called a biofilm. The biofilm helps the bacteria aggregate and remain on your teeth. The biofilm uses carbohydrates (sugar) for food and after it digests Continue Reading


BRUSHING FOR TWO – PREGNANCY ORAL HEALTH TIPS

Becoming a parent can have you so focused on making sure everything is just right for your little one that you neglect your own health. A mom-to-be makes all sorts of sacrifices while caring for herself and her unborn child and neglecting her own oral health may be one of them. It makes a difference how you take care of your teeth and gums both before and after your baby’s birth. Routine visits to your dental health provider can provide a current assessment of your dental health as well as throughout the pregnancy. Hormones that increase during pregnancy can cause Continue Reading


Brighter Days Ahead

As we sit here and think about how the past year has been in our office nothing has been more affected by the world events as our community outreach dental program known as the Smart Smiles Program. It has come to a screeching halt due to COVID and schools having to educate children remotely and with new strict safety guidelines in place. For the past 20+ years we have been going into preschools, daycares, elementary schools, libraries, recreation centers and the like with the goal of teaching children what to expect when they walk into the dentist office for the Continue Reading


SLEEP – All Snoring is Abnormal!

When someone pretends to be asleep, the first thing they do is make a snoring noise. For some reason, the snoring sound is associated with deep sleep. This could not be further from the truth! When we hear someone snoring, we all laugh and think that it’s funny – but it’s NO laughing matter! Although snoring doesn’t mean you have sleep apnea, a very serious sleep-related breathing disorder, it could be a sign of things to come and should not be overlooked. It can affect the quality of life of family and friends whose sleep is interrupted by the loud Continue Reading


I want my MTV?! Nope, just let me sleep!

If you are anything like all the other folks in modern day society, you probably crawl into bed at the end of your day and unwind while watching some television, streaming a movie on your laptop, checking emails or playing games on your tablet, or catching up on your social media apps on your cell phone. Unfortunately, while it seems peaceful enough, this bedtime routine may be doing more harm than good for your quality of sleep. You see, those screens emit a strong light that cranks up your brain’s “awake” signals and screws up your Circadian rhythm which is Continue Reading


Is it the ever-elusive Fountain of Youth?

Grandma said it, and Mom said it too. “Make sure you get your eight hours of sleep!” It’s something we all want and need, but it’s also the first thing we sacrifice in this 24/7 world we live in. Everywhere you look you see commercials for pillows that “give you the best night sleep ever” and ads for medicine that will help you sleep like a baby with peaceful butterflies fluttering around your head. We are a starved-for-sleep society! The field of sleep medicine is booming with research these days. There is abundant evidence of the effects of sleep deprivation Continue Reading


This way today. That way tomorrow.

It was always such a simple thing, going to the dentist…. Make an appointment, show up, have your treatment, pay and leave. When I would bring my kids, I sat in the operatory and chatted with the dentist or the hygienist who was seeing them. Things were loose and relaxed. Oh sure, since the early eighties dental healthcare personnel have been wearing surgical masks and gloves and done an amazing job at infection control. But those things have been around so long it was seamless and easy. You never thought about it! Then BAMM! Covid-19 hit and all bets are Continue Reading