Back to School With the Crew

Back to School With the Crew

For some, going back to school is a refreshing sense of structure. For others, gathering materials, supplies, meeting teachers and classmates can bring an entire sense of newness to the once-regulated routine. Either way, there’s one thing you won’t have to worry about this back-to-school season: Knowing your dental team! Just as you meet and get to know your teachers every school year, here’s a warm welcome to your dental staff!

 

Dr. Ellenwood, DDS, Doctor of Dental Surgery

Dr. Drew Samuel Ellenwood, DDS, was born and raised in Oklahoma City, OK and graduated from the University of Oklahoma, College of Dentistry in 1986. In 1987, he moved to Fort Smith to practice dentistry. Dr. Ellenwood enjoys a wide variety of hobbies including biking, gardening, reading, movies, and music. He is also quite the writer and has written three yet-to-be-published novels! Click here to visit his author website.

 

Amanda Taylor, RDH, Hygienist

Growing up in Searcy, Arkansas, Amanda graduated from Harding University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics. She was Dr. Ellenwood’s dental assistant in 2000 and then graduated with her Associate of Dental Hygiene from the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith in 2005. After graduating, she returned to Dr. Ellenwood’s practice as his full-time hygienist. Amanda is known for her contagious humor, laughter, and love for her husband, daughter, and three dogs!

 

Jennifer Ables, RDA, Dental Assistant

A lifelong resident of Van Buren, Arkansas, Jennifer is the dental assistant that’ll take care of you start to finish while translating all of Dr. Ellenwood’s dental lingo into English. She became a Registered Dental Assistant in 2004 and has been on the Crew since 2003. Whether it’s vacationing on the beach or camping on the lake, Jennifer will gladly vacation anywhere with a large body of water!

 

Michelle Palmer, RDA, Patient Care Manager

From scheduling your appointment, consulting your suggested treatment, or making financial arrangements, Michelle is dedicated to helping each person! She’s been working with Dr. Ellenwood since 1994 and has been a Registered Dental Assistant since 1993. Born and raised in Fort Smith, Michelle now lives in Greenwood, Arkansas, and is known for her dedicated Black Friday shopping and ability to personalizing any item on a restaurant menu.

 

Debbie Eden, CNA, Patient Resources Coordinator

Debbie’s bright personality sure does match her sunny Southern California roots! She joined Dr. Ellenwood in 2014 after moving to Arkansas in 2010 and continues to be a balanced force of kindness and professionalism when it comes to working with patients and insurance companies. If you have any questions regarding your account or insurance, she is your go-to person. Be sure to ask Debbie about the chase of a three-legged dog; you’ll be sure to get a laugh!

 

To learn more about Dr. Drew and Crew, be sure to visit the about Dr. Drew and the crew page!

https://drdrewandcrew.com/contact/
520 S. 14th St.
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901
479-242-3739

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!

https://drdrewandcrew.com/contact/ 
520 S. 14th St.
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901
479-242-3739

                                               

Perfecting your Ideal Smile with Dental Veneers

Perfecting your Ideal Smile with Dental Veneers

Making their first debut among Hollywood actors in the late 1920s, dental veneers were created to give actors and actresses the perfect smile. Around the 1980s, veneers expanded to local dental offices and are now one of the most popular smile beautification options around.

 

What are Veneers?

A veneer is a thin piece of porcelain or composite used to recreate the natural look of teeth. Contrary to the ultra-white, overly-perfect, big veneers seen in the mid-1900s, veneers have adopted a more natural look. Using high-quality porcelain and other veneer materials, Dr. Drew and Crew can create perfect fit over your teeth for a more flawless look. The treatment is a great option for individuals who are wanting:

      • A brighter and whiter smile
      • Closing gaps between teeth
      • Covering irregularly-shaped teeth
      • Leveling teeth length for a more uniform smile

 

Options to Veneers

For your smile, other options may be available, such as, orthodontics or whitening. See these in our other blogs:

Orthodontics

Whitening

 

Post-Placement Care

Taking care of your teeth after receiving veneers hardly looks any different than your current oral hygiene routine. To increase the longevity and health of the veneers, we recommend a continuation of proper brushing and flossing. Veneers require care on incising such as avoiding apples, hard carrots, sticky candy, and ice. Staying up to date with your routine dentist visits to Dr. Drew and Crew will also ensure professional assessment of how your veneers and the teeth holding them are doing.

 

Schedule a Consultation Today

Interested in learning more if veneers are the best option for you? Dr. Drew and Crew would love to meet with you. Visit our contact page today to help your ideal smile dreams come true!

 

https://drdrewandcrew.com/contact/
520 S. 14th St.
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901
479-242-3739

3 Teeth-Harming Habits You Might Not Be Aware Of

3 Teeth-Harming Habits You Might Not Be Aware Of

You’ve heard of habits that are bad for your health. What about harmful habits that destroy your dental health? Sugary candy and drinks, chewing on hard foods or things that aren’t food at all. These are no-no’s among dentists. But there are other habits that cause more harm than good when it comes to your teeth.

 

Using your teeth like tools

You’ve done it before: Using your teeth to cut open a plastic package or crack open a nutshell or, worse yet, open a bottle. Gah! When you use your teeth to do things that scissors or pliers are meant to do, you run the risk of cracking or chipping a tooth.

Next time your arms are full or you’re tempted to bite off a price tag on your new shirt, take the extra minute to find scissors. It just might save you an emergency trip to the dentist.

And next time you’re in our office, ask for one of our jar grippers to take home. It has imprinted on it what to do: Use this instead of your teeth.

 

Brushing too hard

What? Brushing too hard can actually cause harm? Yep. With brushing, harder is not better, whether a hard bristle brush or sawing away at your teeth. Rough brushing damages teeth and irritates gums. This can result in receding gums and notched roots.

Continue brushing two minutes twice a day, but remember to ‘massage’ your teeth rather than ‘scrub’ them. Check out our blog: How to Brush Your Teeth in 6 Steps. Easy going. Easy to do.

 

Nail biting

Not only does biting your nails negatively impact your nails and cuticles, but it can also chip teeth and negatively impact your jaw. A jaw in a protruded position for extended amounts of time can lead to joint problems and achy muscle aches. Keep your teeth health for food, not for pieces of yourself.

There are many habits that can pose a threat to your dental health, but addressing these three sneaky threats can help ensure healthy, strong teeth. Whether you need to instill new habits or break old, Dr. Drew & Crew are happy to help you get your smile to its best place!

 

https://drdrewandcrew.com/contact/
520 S. 14th St.
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901
479-242-3739

Your Dental X-Ray Questions Answered

Your Dental X-Ray Questions Answered

What? X-Rays?! Again?

Getting dental x-rays is a confusing process full of questions such as, “Is this radiation safe for my teeth?”, “Why do I need so many x-rays from so many different angles?”, and “What are you really looking for?” Rest assured, getting routine x-rays are a safe and helpful way to uncover deep-rooted dental problems that might be hidden to the naked eye.

 

Is the radiation safe for my teeth?

Yes! Dental x-rays are one of the lowest radiation dose exams in comparison to other imaging procedures. Along with leaded covering protection, minimal radiation exposure occurs throughout the duration of multiple x-rays. At our office, we use scanning digital x-rays which lowers the exposure to radiation even more.

 

Why do I need so many x-rays from so many different angles?

When you break a bone, you don’t want just a single x-ray from one perspective to guide the doctors on how the fix your arm. So as a dentist, I need more perspectives to decide on your care. By taking multiple x-rays, I am able to see a holistic picture of your teeth on, below, and underneath the gum surface. The three most common x-rays used in a dental office are bitewing, periapical and panoramic radiographs.

  • Bitewings look for hidden decay between the back teeth. We mostly take these once a year. We can also take a preliminary look at the level of bone support to your teeth.
  • Periapicals focus on only one or two teeth at a time that looks at the length of the tooth from the crown to the root.
  • Full Mouth X-Ray Series is a combination of bitewings and periapicals of all the teeth: back, front, upper, lower. This series is invaluable to a thorough diagnosis and complete treatment plan for the new patient. The full mouth series can also reveal lurking problems for the established patient. We take a full mouth series about every 5 to 7 years on adults.
  • Panoramics show all of the teeth, both top and bottom, in one image. It also captures a broad view of the jaws. This can pick up disease processes in the jaws and impactions, such as wisdom teeth.

 

What are you really looking for?

Bottom line, X-Rays are valuable diagnostic tools that helps me look for below-the-surface and under-the-enamel issues within teeth. By identifying these foundational issues before they become visible, further complications are stopped before they start. Common issues found include impacted wisdom teeth, abscesses, the relationship between teeth and their jaw, face structure, and the roots of the teeth.

 

Contact Dr. Drew and Crew for further questions and/or to schedule a routine appointment today!

https://drdrewandcrew.com/contact/

520 S. 14th St.
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901
479-242-3739

The Tooth in 3 Acts

The Tooth in 3 Acts

Enjoying a long run with rave reviews is The Tooth.

Taken together, teeth constitute an engineering marvel. Individually, each tooth is an elegant design of function and beauty in three parts. Let’s look behind the scenes.

Cue the overture, bring up the curtain. Presenting: The Tooth.

Act I: Enamel

The spotlight is on the brilliant enamel!

The hardest tissue in the body is enamel. Enamel consist of parallel, near-translucent rods of calcium and other minerals. This crystalline structure can take on most foods. However, chomping on other crystals – such as ice or hard candy – can fracture the enamel. Let’s not cut the enamel from the show.

Enamel does not like acid. Acids eat away at the enamel structure. Acidic foods, such as lemons, over time can damage enamel. Moderate your intake of acids.

The acid most likely to beat up enamel is from bacterial plaque. The bacteria take up the sugar in your diet, break the sugars apart for the energy, and spit out the waste, which is acid. This is where cavities come from: Germ poop.

Toothbrushing mechanically takes off the bacteria and their acids. Saliva buffers the acids and has antibodies that attack the bacteria. Fluoride binds the minerals in the enamel, thus making the structure more resistant to bacterial onslaught.

But the defense you have most control over is your diet. The American diet is terribly high in sugars. Watch what you eat and drink. Read labels. Pare down sugars. It won’t kill you to skip the colas and candy. Eat some veggies and proteins.

Your enamel will applaud you.

Act II: Dentin

The plot takes a twist at the dentin.

Beneath the enamel is another hard tissue called dentin. Dentin is not as hard as enamel and contains more organic material than enamel. Due to these two facts, dentin is more susceptible to decay. A cavity slowly eats away the enamel, but once in the dentin, the cavity balloons out and feasts on your tooth. Poor dentin. See the above advice on brushing, using fluoride, and avoiding sugar.

Exposed dentin can be frightfully sensitive, especially at the root. Let us know if you’re having sensitivity issues. We, the backstage crew, can help.

A short intermission, then the finale.

Act III: Pulp

Enter the dark, mysterious setting of the pulp.

The most interior layer of the tooth is the pulp. Pulp is soft tissue, where the supporting cells of the tooth reside. The pulp is lodged in the hard casing of the dentin, so if the pulp is damaged due to decay or trauma, it’s trapped and dies. This would lead to extraction or root canal treatment.

How can you avoid these villians? For one, wear a mouthguard during contact sports.

Oh, and another, stay away from that dratted sugar! Brush and floss. These things help all three parts of your tooth.

One last encore: To head off potential problems, get your regular dental check-ups.

We’re here to help you keep the amazing performance of your teeth.