It is well known that dental visit expectation can be very stressful for many patients. While in the dental waiting room the mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can be practiced to reduce the visit apprehension.

One of the MBCT practices is a "breathing break". Our breath is a window into knowing and regulating our mind-body. When we breathe in, our heart rate goes up. When we exhale, our heart rate goes down. By having a longer exhalation than inhalation, we can slow our heart rate more, and we can also stimulate the vagus nerve. Breathing into our lower belly ( abdominal breathing) stimulates the sensory pathways of the vagus nerve that go directly to our brain, which has an even more calming effect.

Focus narrowly on the breath, and then expand awareness out to your full surrounding. 

Here is one of the versions of the breathing break:


1) Becoming aware: Sit upright and close your eyes. Connect with your breathing for long inhalation and exhalation. With this awareness, ask yourself, " What is my experience right now? What are my thoughts? Feelings? Bodily sensations?" Wait for responses. Acknowledge your experience and label your feelings, even if they are unwanted. Notice any pushing space for all that comes up in your awareness.


2) Gathering your attention: Gently direct your full attention to your breathing. Notice each inhalation and each long exhalation. Follow each breath, one after another. Tune in to a state of stillness, it will allow you to come from a place of being.


3) Expanding your awareness: Sense your field of awareness expanding around you. Notice your posture, your hands, your toes, your facial muscles. Soften any tension. Befriend all of your sensations, greet them with kindness. With this expanded awareness connect with your whole being, encompassing all that is you in the present moment.


Source: “The Telomere Effect” by Nobel Prize Winner Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel

We now offer an in office dental plan through QDP. No maximums, no exclusions, no waiting periods, and affordable monthly payments. The plan includes preventative care and Xrays, with discounts on all treatment. Call us at (425) 355-2330 for more information and to get signed up.

X-rays help dentist to detect problems that would be missed by just looking in your mouth, such as:

 Xray Chin

1) cavities between teeth or under fillings

2) trouble with teeth and jaw development in children and teens

3) bone loss from gum disease

4) jaw bone tumors


Sometimes x-rays are needed as part of your dental treatment for diagnosis if you have tooth ache or in case of tooth fracture. 


Types of Dental X-rays


Common x-rays used in the dental office include bite-wing, periapical, and panoramic x-rays. Bite-wing x-rays help dentist check for tooth decay between the back teeth or under dental fillings. Periapical x-rays help dentist observe conditions below the gum line, showing the roots of the teeth and surrounding bone. Panoramic x-rays use a machine that rotates around the head. It produces a long film that shows the entire jaw and all of the teeth in one image.

Cone-beam computed technology is used to create a 3-dimensional image from a series of images. Because it relies on multiple images, the radiation exposure is higher than that of commonly used x-rays and is used for surgical treatments. 


Are Dental X-rays Safe?


Because dental x-rays expose us to radiation, patients sometimes wonder if they are safe. Routinely we are exposed to radiation from a number of sources, even sunshine, air and soil around us. 

To help limit the amount of radiation exposure to your thyroid gland when taking x-rays, your dentist may cover your throat with a special collar. 


Source: The Journal of the American Dental Association (2019; 150: 636)

In this message I will provide useful advice on children's teeth care based on recommendations from the American Dental Association.





You can start brushing your child's teeth twice a day when the first tooth comes in. For children younger than 3 years, use no more than a smear of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. Children 3 years and older can use a drop of toothpaste about the size of a pea. You will need to brush younger children's teeth for them. For older children, watch that they use the right amount of toothpaste and spit out as much as possible.

Teeth are covered with a thin, sticky film of bacteria, which produces acid when exposed to sugar. This is what causes cavities. Limiting sugary drinks and snacks is important too. 

Drinks are the largest source of sugar in the American diet. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests avoiding juice for the first year. Also, The AAP warns that children should not sip on juice throughout the day or go to bed with juice. 

Take your baby to see the dentist after their first tooth comes in but before his or her first birthday.

What Are Dental Sealants?


Dental sealants are a protective coating that your dentist can place over chewing surfaces of the back teeth. These areas are at high risk of developing tooth decay because they are smooth, and have deep grooves. A toothbrush cannot get into these areas to keep them clean. Sealants form a barrier over the curved surfaces. Sealants go on as a gel-like liquid and then harden into a thin but strong protective coating. 

Dental sealants usually last for years, but they can become worn. Your dentist can check them during your dental visits to see if they need to be redone or replaced.


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