Dentist Blog

Posts for category: Preventative Care

By Dr. JoAnne Carr
January 23, 2017
Category: Preventative Care
Tags: Dental trivia   dental facts  

Happy New Year!

 Listed below are three random facts that are relevant to mouths and dentistry, procured from my inbox:

1.   Drinking water after eating reduces the acid in your mouth by 61 percent.

2.   The tooth is the only part of the human body that cannot heal itself.

3.   Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.

Hooray for the oral cavity and its uniqueness! 

Here’s to another year of dental health and great smiles.

By Dr JoAnne Carr
October 05, 2016
Category: Preventative Care

Question:  Is the water in the South Bay fluoridated?

Answer:  It’s complicated.

First, some background info.  What’s the big deal about fluoride?

Fluoride has been shown to be a player in the fight against tooth decay (i.e., cavities).  Fluoride gives teeth resistance to acid attack from the bacteria in plaque.  It also reverses early decay by remineralizing the enamel of your teeth.

Fluoride comes in two forms:  topical and ingested.  The topicals are toothpastes, mouth rinses and in-office varnish we paint on your teeth.  Ingested fluorides are swallowed, like supplements and fluoridated water. 

20-40% = the decrease in tooth decay when fluoride is added to a community water supply.

So…….fluoride in your water IS a big deal because it helps you, and everyone else in town, not get cavities.  It really works!

Is it safe?  Yes.  “After 60 years of research and practical experience, the preponderance of scientific evidence indicates…..(fluoride is) both safe and effective”, says the American Dental Association website:

Fun fact:  The CDC has proclaimed community water fluoridation as one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.

Not-so-fun fact:  San Jose is the largest city in the US without fluoridated water.

But that is about to change!  Stay tuned. 

By Dr. JoAnne Carr
March 18, 2016
Category: Preventative Care
Tags: Happiness   smiles  








Happiness is……

After a slight “blog-cation”, may we begin again with this astounding statement:

Our office is in the business of making you happy.

Did you know:

  • Smiling has a profound impact on our emotions. We smile not only because we are happy, but we are happier as a result of smiling.
  • When we see others smile, our own feeling of happiness increase. You can say that smiling is instantaneously contagious!
  • Even when we “fake” smile, it has been shown that positive feelings will follow.
  • Smiling helps lessen pain and makes us healthier.
  • Bottom line: Smiling is powerful, positive, and important to do often.
  • In our office, we create and maintain smiles. This is what we do all day long. So come see us. It’ll make you happy.


For more information, see


By Dr. JoAnne Carr
June 16, 2014
Category: Preventative Care

Earlier this month The Mercury News declared in bold print:  “Coconut Power…devotees proclaim its health benefits are legion.”   Oil pulling, the practice of pulling, pushing, and sucking coconut oil through your teeth, has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity.  (Its origins date back to Ayurvedic medicine, some 3,000 years ago.)  Benefits of oil pulling include reducing gingivitis, preventing cavities, decreasing gum and tooth sensitivity, helping get rid of bad breath, and even whitening teeth.  These results are almost too good to be true, which begs the question:  are they true?

First, though, the technique: One tablespoon of refined coconut oil is swished continually through the mouth for 20 minutes.  When the oil turns a milky white, it is time to spit it out (not in the sink or it will clog your pipes), and rinse with water.  This pulling is done daily.  It is not a substitute for brushing and flossing; it is done in addition to your regular oral hygiene regimen.

The theory behind the technique:  Certain oils, especially coconut oil, contain lauric acid, which has antibacterial and antiviral properties.  The oil acts as a magnet to bacteria, whose outer fatty layer wants to stick to the oil itself.  Pulling the oil around the mouth literally pulls the bacteria off the teeth and gums and reduces the number of bugs in the mouth, resulting in a cleaner space.  A secondary effect would be systemic:  fewer bacteria entering the bloodstream would result in less chance for infection in other parts of the body. 

Next time:  So does it work?

January 06, 2014
Category: Preventative Care
Tags: Cleaning   hygiene   ultrasonic   plaque   tartar  

We were enjoying a meal with friends on Christmas Eve, when one of the 20-something men related the story of his last dental cleaning in the military.  He gave a detailed, and hilarious, description of a painful go-around with the ultrasonic by an unsympathetic hygienist.  He felt it was a torturous experience that was nothing like his previous cleanings in his civilian office. 

We all laughed and commiserated with him over his difficult time, but I got to thinking about it later.   Here’s the question: how does a person in a dental chair distinguish between a thorough, complete cleaning, and an unnecessarily aggressive one?  Is it possible to tell the difference?  Perhaps the previous cleaning wasn’t thorough or complete and tartar and plaque were left.  That would make the better job seem harsh in comparison, wouldn’t it?

There is certainly an issue of trust going on here, too.  If a client isn’t sure his best interests are a priority for the dental professional, he will not be accepting of the treatment performed.

All of this reminds me how important it is to take the time to be attentive to the person in my chair – to check in on their comfort, and to make sure that they understand the reason for the treatment given.  The proper thorough treatment must be rendered, but only in a way that is well received by our precious patients.

Here’s to a happy, healthy 2014!