May Your Smiles be Merry and White!

May Your Smiles be Merry and White!

‘Tis the season for Christmas music, decorations, the hopes of snow days, and holiday cheer. With the cool start to December, the holiday celebrations are in full swing! With plenty of upcoming opportunities for smiles and laughter, Dr. Drew and Crew is wishing you a very happy holiday season. We know there’s a lot of pressure to fill the stockings and place gifts under the tree, so we’re here to help with some gift ideas that help maintain those pearly whites!


Give the gift of healthy smiles

From enjoying the holidays with family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors, there’s a lot to be grateful for during this time of year. Are you grateful for your healthy smile? Having strong teeth allow you to enjoy your favorite holiday meals, continually talk to loved ones, and smile in all the upcoming family pictures! Whether your teeth are in tip-top shape, or need a little bit of love and care, giving the gift of a healthy smile (for someone else OR yourself!) can help improve overall oral care.

The holidays come with countless baked goods and sugary candy, and as much as we love them, they’re not always the best for our teeth. Below is our list of stocking stuffers that can help keep your teeth merry and white this holiday season!


Stocking Stuffers

  1. A new toothbrush
  2. Whitening toothpaste
  3. Flavored floss
  4. Mouthwash
  5. Travel toothbrush cover
  6. Sugar-free gum
  7. A little toy (instead of candy!)

From our team to you, we hope your holidays are full of happiness, love, and bright smiles all around!
520 S. 14th St.
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901

How to Get Your Kids Brushing

How to Get Your Kids Brushing

Trying to find creative ways to get your children excited about brushing their teeth can sometimes feel like… well, like pulling eye teeth. But we have some great tips to make the twice-a-day routine enjoyable for everyone.

Set a Good Example

First and foremost, helping your children develop good oral hygiene starts with you, the parent. By making a point to brush and floss – that’s right, floss – around your kids, then they’ll do what you do. This lays a strong foundation for teaching them how long to brush (two minutes!), how to brush, and how to floss.

Make Brushing a Household Event

Did you ever think that morning and evening routines can be more than just an individual task? Getting everyone together, especially with raising young tots, to brush teeth helps continue to set a good example as well as pull everyone together at the beginning and end of the day. A win-win!

Select the Toothbrush

Making brushing fun can start before you even brush. Allowing your child to choose his or her toothbrush gives them the opportunity to get excited about the routine. Music-playing brushes, Disney characters, superheroes, bright colors, lights, animals, sounds, and more: The possibilities are endless! If kids are excited about their toothbrush, they’ll be even more excited to put it to good use.

Keep a Routine

Practice makes perfect, right? Practicing the same routine morning and night can help your young ones get used to when they have to start brushing on their own. By going to bed after the same series of events, kids learn how to not only have good oral hygiene habits but also an calming nightly routine.

Need a little extra help in perfecting that brushing and flossing routine? Dr. Drew and Crew is here to help! 
520 S. 14th St.
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901


Do you want whiter teeth?

Do you want whiter teeth?

Would you like whiter, brighter teeth? Are you afraid it’s going to cost a fortune? Have you tried products from the store that flatly did not work? Never fear, Dr. Drew and Crew are here!

The success of any whitening solution is a function of concentration, duration on enamel, and proximity to the teeth. Got that? With this in mind, check out these options for whitening. We’ll start with the most expensive and work down from there. You may be surprised the most expensive option is not what we recommend.

1.  In-Office Whitening
This is a fast, but costly option. The appointment is easy – you sit with your mouth stretched out and wait for the bleach to do its work on your teeth. The results of in-office whitening are less than impressive. I do not recommend this option as the cost outweighs the lack-luster results.

*2. Custom Whitening
Custom whitening is relatively fast and quite effective. The magic is in the higher concentration of bleach available (as compared to over-the-counter products) and the close contact of the bleach to the teeth that is achieved through delivery trays custom made for your teeth. This drives the whiteners in and the stains out.

The procedure is simple. We take impressions of your upper and lower teeth in order to make clear plastic trays that fit your mouth only. We send you home with the whitening solution that you will apply into the trays. The trays with solution go into your mouth for about an hour. Do this a couple of times a day for two weeks and your upper teeth will be brilliant. The lower takes a bit longer, so continue for a total of six weeks. Keep your trays so you can touch up yearly for a day or two if needed.

3.  Over-the-Counter Whitening Strips
You can buy these at the drugstore.  They are less expensive than custom whitening but will take quite a bit longer to get the same results since the solution’s concentration is weaker and the strips are not custom to your mouth.

4. Whitening Toothpastes
Don’t use these if you’re in a hurry. The problem here is time. The whitening treatment is just not on your teeth long enough.

No whitening method can bleach crowns, fillings, or decay. Give us a call for an appointment to discuss your particular case. A whiter, brighter smile is within your reach!

Braces Stages

Braces Stages

Do braces straighten teeth in one fell swoop? No.  Braces move teeth in stages.  Here are the braces stages for the Tip-Edge technique used by Dr. Ellenwood.

Braces StagesStage I

The first stage of braces is concerned with straightening the front teeth and opening the bite for more effective movement of teeth. Stage I lasts from four to eight months.  Adjustment appointments arrive every six weeks and are 30 minutes in length.  All adjustments of all stages are included in the Orthodontic Fee.

Pre 2

Just before Stage II, the premolars, or side teeth, are brought into alignment. This takes about one to three months depending on the severity of crowding in this area.  Adjustment appointments in Pre-2 are about every six weeks, 30 minutes in length.  If there is no Stage II, this stage is Pre 3 by default.

Stage II

The second stage concentrates on closing any spaces behind the front teeth left after Stage I. In cases without extractions, this stage is usually not necessary.  Stage II is about three to six months with adjustments every six weeks.

Stage III

Stage III focuses on moving the roots of the teeth to their final positions for better stability and finished appearance. Until the third stage, the tops of the teeth have been tipping through the air; during Stage III, the roots must be moved through bone. This obviously requires more time, usually making Stage III as long to get out of as it was to get to, approximately six to twelve months. Adjustment appointments are around every eight weeks and about ten minutes long.


When braces are removed, retainers are worn nightly for at least one year actively and one night a week thereafter to prevent relapse. The initial set of retainers is included in the Orthodontic Fee.  Don’t lose them or let the dog eat them.  Replacement retainers can be expensive.

Your beautiful smile is a few stages away!

Orthodontics: Within Your Reach

Orthodontics: Within Your Reach

Orthodontics is the art and science of straightening teeth.
Why straight teeth?

For better function and easier cleaning? Yes.

For a more appealing smile and appearance? Definitely yes!

OrthodonticsWhether you are considering orthodontics for your child or yourself, an improved smile is easily within your reach. Orthodontics can upright tilted teeth, bring together spaced teeth, pull in protruding teeth, and align crowded teeth. We would be happy to discuss your particular desires and concerns with you and determine if we can help you or if you would need the attentions of a specialist.

Adults, having discovered braces are not limited to children, are using orthodontic treatment get that smile they’ve always wanted. Don’t hesitate to ask us about what could be done for you!

And we’ve made it so easy to ask. Contact us to schedule a complimentary Orthodontic Opinion and explore the options and potentials for enhancing your smile with orthodontics.

Here are three appointments to get started toward your new smile:

The Orthodontic Opinion

At this appointment, Dr. Ellenwood will provide a general overview of possibilities. The Orthodontic Opinion is at no charge.

The Orthodontic Work-Up

The Orthodontic Work-Up includes an orthodontic examination, two x-rays (Panorex and Cephalometric), orthodontic photos, and impressions of both upper and lower teeth. The Panorex is an x-ray around the head; the Cephalometric is from the side of the head. These x-rays show the relation of the jaws to each other, to the teeth, and to the skull. The Work-Up will provide enough information to correctly diagnose and treatment plan your particular orthodontic problem.

The Orthodontic Consult

The Orthodontic Consult is two weeks after the Orthodontic Work-Up. At this appointment, Dr. Ellenwood will inform you of the results of analyzing your case, recommended treatment, and treatment objectives. If you are a teenager, your parent or guardian will need to attend, also.

This is a great time for answering any specific questions and exploring what in particular will be needed for your teeth. Our staff will review an Informed Consent to discuss any limitations or risks to treatment. The front office staff will help you with payment arrangements for your future braces. The Orthodontic Consult is included in the charge for the Work-Up.

Your beautiful smile is within reach!

What’s the Big Deal about Fluoride?

What’s the Big Deal about Fluoride?

Okay, here’s a dental statement to hang your hat on:

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that when used correctly is both safe and effective in preventing tooth decay.


Yes, fluoride is safe when used correctly.

So is water.  But too much water is called drowning.

Too much fluoride can make you sick.  This is based on your weight and concentration of fluoride.  But it has to be an awful lot of fluoride before this happens.  This is why we don’t want toddlers swallowing their toothpaste or eating it directly from the tube.

So much for the short term.  What about the long term?

Let me say it again:  Fluoride is safe.  It does not cause a list of diseases or even an item of disease.

It help prevents disease, and the disease it prevents is dental decay, the most prevalent disease among mankind.


Does fluoride really work to prevent decay?


For children, the optimal amount of fluoride – whether in fluoridated water or from a prescribed fluoride vitamin – can greatly lower the risk of tooth decay.  Fluoride-developed teeth are strong and hard.  Ask me your child’s optimum dose.

For teens and adults, a fluoridated toothpaste used regularly can beef up the tooth’s defenses against decay-causing germs.  For those people particularly susceptible to decay, we have a special prescription toothpaste that really helps.

How do I know these things?

One:  Scientific studies.

Two:  More than 25 years of dental experience.

Believe me:  Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that when used correctly is both safe and effective in preventing tooth decay.