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Smiling Woman

"It's never too early or too late to work towards being the healthiest you!"

Adults: First Dental Visit with Dr. Beth

“No dentist has ever asked me about X”

“What does Y have to do with my teeth?”

"No one has taken all of those measurements before"


I often hear from adults during their new patient exams in our office that we are asking about and discussing components of their health history, their daily behaviors, and/or their lifestyles that no dentist has ever brought up. It is disheartening because I wish it was the norm not the anomaly that patients receive comprehensive evaluations that are founded upon a “root cause”-centric philosophy of care. 

Let me start off by stating the obvious: I'm well aware that people would rather be doing pretty much anything else in the world other than sitting in a dental chair. It might even rival waiting in line at the DMV, depending on what procedure you might be scheduled to receive that day. I understand this. And we share the same objective that we would like for all of your dental visits to be as easy, comfortable, and predictable as possible. This is absolutely possible, but only if we approach your initial diagnostic work up with a comprehensive rigor that would allow us to be on the same page as far as what is going on in your mouth, how and why that is the case, and what do we need to do to restore and/or maintain optimal health. Honestly, I was very jaded about the practice of dentistry when I first graduated dental school because it seemed as if I was always waiting for things to fail; I was always having to give people bad news when a tooth or filling broke again; and I felt more like a "cobbler of the mouth" than a real healthcare provider or scientist. 

This disenchantment with the "traditional" approach to dentistry and healthcare as well as an interest in science and data drove what now has become a 10 year deep dive in continuing education to enhance my understanding of the mouth-body connection, and specifically how dental disease can be prevented in the first place; and it goes far beyond recommending a specific toothpaste brand. When I began to help patients and their families understand their health differently and empowered them with the information they needed to take control of their health outcomes, I found my practice to be much more enjoyable! And I found that my patients no longer looked at their time with me as dreadful as time spent at the DMV ;) 


As a specific example, it is not uncommon for an adult to come in for their first visit and say something along the lines of: “I have terrible teeth. I got them from my dad’s side of the family. I have new cavities every year, and I have lots of crowns and root canals even though I brush and floss and go to the dentist routinely.” Well first off, I acknowledge how stressful and frustrating that long history of chronic disease and treatment must be for that patient. But then I peel back a few layers of the onion, so to speak, and ask questions such as:


  • What is your nutrition like? Are you eating a modified diet? How often are you snacking? Do you have a lot of refined carbohydrates in your diet?

  • How do you sleep? Have you ever had your sleep analyzed? Any poor habits with your sleep health that may be compromising your immune system and your oral health?

  • How do you breathe? Are you breathing through your nose or your mouth? Do you have a history of chronic throat or ear infections or any concerns with other chronic illnesses?

  • Do you take any supplements? If so, what are you taking?

  • What is your gut health like? How might that be impacting your oral microbiome? Do you have a history of taking antibiotics often?

  • How stressed are you on a day-to-day basis? Do you have a history of clenching and grinding? Do you have a history of TMJ disorder? Any history of migraines?

  • What are the ingredients in your toothpaste and mouthwash?

  • What types of dental materials do you already have in your mouth? Metal? Mercury amalgam?

  • How are your teeth aligned? Do you have a history of orthodontics (ie. “Braces”)? Is your alignment and occlusion stable? Or have you experienced relapse with obvious crowding and suboptimal overlap of teeth?

  • What is your common environment for sleep, work, etc? Any history of mold exposure or other toxic environmental factors?

Healthcare is a place where the adage "ignorance is bliss" is NOT at all true. So you need a provider who has the knowledge and experience to understand the breadth of your health journey to help guide you along your way towards longevity. 

Maintaining your smile has obvious implications for esthetics, speech, and function; but over a lifetime, maintaining all of your teeth in a healthy, balanced state can impact your cardiovascular, neurological, and muscular health. It may seem far off now, but there is no reason why we shouldn't approach our health today with the understanding that we would like to and are fully capable of maintaining optimal health and wellness into your 80s, 90s, or more if you are fortunate to be amongst the longest living. The research and data are there; it is very clear how one can live a long and healthy life. But it requires commitment by the patient and an authentic partnership with your healthcare providers to support you on that journey to longevity. 

So long story short, if you are looking for a 15 min cleaning or a filling that is 100% covered by your insurance regardless of what material they require to be used or you just want a way to get whiter teeth without making sure your teeth are healthy first, then I am NOT your gal. But if you are wanting to feel more confident about your health and empowered to have your happiest and healthiest smile so you can get on with enjoying the most fulfilling and vibrant parts of your life, then PLEASE, book now, and I SO look forward to meeting you and helping you with your next steps. 

Purple Texture

Got questions? Feel free to email Dr. Beth directly at Otherwise, book your child's first visit below:

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