Water Fluoridation | What Parents Can Do

A viewer asked me what he can do for his kids regarding fluoride because their community does not have fluoride in their water. I applaud parents who understand the importance of prevention and how fluoride can prevent tooth decay.
For any parent who may read this; I’ve got 5 options for you to consider regarding your kid’s teeth & dental care. 
1) Check into your state to see if you have water fluoridation. It will then lead you to a list of counties. Click your county to discover water fluoridation. 
2) Schedule your child’s dental visit. ADA recommends by their first birthday. I’ve personally seen children in my career by age 2. This is important to establish their risk for tooth decay ranging from low to high. We are also able to provide your child with a fluoride varnish that will contribute to strengthening tooth enamel. 
3) What toothpaste or mouth rinse is your child using. If under age 6, it should be fluoride – free. Young children must be monitored because they can swallow toothpaste and mouth rinses much easier than spitting them out. 
4) Fluoride can be in supplements dispensed by your pediatrician. Your child may also receive a fluoride varnish treatment at your pediatrician’s office. The awesome thing about fluoride varnish is that kids can’t swallow it! Yay! 
5) Be aware of what you eat. Fluoride can be in pesticides, mechanically de-boned meat and some bottled water or teas. 
For the enthusiast reader … Click here for American Dental Association’s 71 page guide on water fluoridation 
Tooth decay is an epidemic for our children in the USA. It hurts my heart to witness young kids in pain, be made fun of because their teeth are rotting or breath is bad from decay, know that they miss millions of hours of school every year because of tooth pain, lose focus in school, get lower grades and in some extreme cases it is life threatening. 
Tooth decay IS preventable. This chronic, active bacterial infection can be prevented! Parents must be pro-active and choose to guide their child onto the pathway to health. 
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#AskAnastasia #AmericasDentalHygienist #TheHighwayToHealth
Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It

Why Your Pharmacist May Be Wrong!

Ever feel overwhelmed with ALL of the options you have to choose from for over the counter dental care? How do you know which product will be your best fit for your current state of dental health?

This week Pharmacy Times had an exclusive segment on the Today Show to reveal their 2016 OTC Guide! Basically, it is the top products that pharmacists recommend.

It was a great segment! Here are TWO  things you should know to make an informed decision.
I explain more in this week’s vlog.  First, the mouthwash recommended has 21.6% alcohol in it! YIKES!!

Can we say … dry mouth? When you go to a pharmacist, you are getting a prescription medication. Many of those have an oral health side effect … you guessed it … dry mouth.
Dry mouth is a very serious and painful condition.

 This week’s vlog shares how many ways dry mouth will impact your life. Please Share & Subscribe!

Ask your pharmacist for an alcohol free mouthwash. Even better, visit your dental hygienist for your wellness visit and ask what your current state of oral health is. Review your medication list and whether you are taking any over the counter medications that contribute to dry mouth.

Till next time,

Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It!


3 Branding Lessons From The Reign Of Prince

“Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people ~ Prince”

The Purple Reign of Prince

Brand association.  It speaks to us through a name, a symbol and even a color. No one knew that better than Prince…well and maybe Warner Bros in 1993. And as his music and memory will live on, so will these three brand lessons I learned from his purple reign.

    1. Your Brand Is A Relationship Not Ownership

Prince was his brand. He breathed it. He knew his brand would thrive on relationships built by him, not for him. He  emotionally reached his audience with an encouraging sense of freedom not force. He built trust, nurtured loyalty and, as a result, experienced massive profitability. 

The only ship your brand should set sail on is the relationship. 

Ownership dictates who you are to others. In my industry, I’ve witnessed the HUGE decision our future leaders in dentistry must make following graduation: 
(1) group or corporate dental practices that have pre-determined brands and messaging or (2) private practices that nurture their own message and cultivate their brand of who you are … celebrate your core values. 

2. You’re An Influencer 

Prince knew his niche and grew within it. He networked and empowered his followers and fellow influencers. 

Harnessing the power of influence in your niche demands you to be relentless in creating content and strategizing when and where your content will be seen. You’ll need to actively connect with your audience on social platforms and take calculated risks you believe are in alignment with your reputation. 

3. Rejection & Relevance

Do you know how many times Purple Rain was turned down by Hollywood?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard no. Rejection only stings. It isn’t poisonous. It’s a detour. Shift gears and evaluate your value added verses value perceived services. Become even more resourceful in your network. Engage in groups on social platforms. Encourage feedback and apply it. Enhance your relevance with your audience. 

Detours drive us to explore possibilities whose destination is the highway of yes.  

View Guest Blog by Jill Schiefelbein here

Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It



Why Dental Patients Have A Cleaning Mindset & What We Can Learn From Starbucks

How Starbucks Language Changes Mindsets 

In 2007, I decided to write a book on how assisted hygiene would work in a dental practice, titled “Just a Cleaning? Breakthrough Methods to Maximize Patient Care and the Bottom Line”. My hope was to begin a movement in our profession by extinguishing those first 3 words.
Fast forward to 2016, where I witnessed a local commercial encouraging viewers to call the practice for their “cleaning”. Yes, the struggle for all that legally encompasses your dental hygiene visit is very real.
There are 3 reasons your patients and consumers continue to have this mindset:

1. You Are Responsible For What You Teach Your Patients

Why do your patients believe it is just a cleaning? Do they know all that is encompassed in the dental hygiene visit? Could they list what is accomplished other than x-rays, scraping, and polishing teeth?
You and your team are responsible for what you teach your patients. When it comes to the valuable services you are providing them with, it’s up to you to educate them.

Think of it this way: do you remember your first time in Starbucks? They taught you their language when it came to the size of your drink. And if you said small, medium, or large, the barista confirmed your choice with their language – tall, grande, or venti. They taught us their culture.

Years later, what do we say when we order either at Starbucks or another coffee shop?  You can do the same thing in your practice by communicating clearly with your patients on what you are doing, why you are doing it, and what the benefit will be for them.

      2. Your Message Must Be Clear 

What words or actions reflect the service your dental hygiene team provides your patients? Consider health, wellness and prevention.
Even if you are not taking blood pressure, consider discussing additional health conditions that are not on the health history template such as:

1) Potential dangers of e-cigs/vaping and hookah sessions
2) HPV vaccine AND discussing HPV as a risk factor for oral cancer
3) Note medications for heart disease, diabetes AND discussing that link to gum disease, a chronic infection without a cure
4) Ask about food allergies and discuss gluten free oral hygiene products
5) Share nutrition choices from sugar in juice boxes to food/beverages that increase caries risk for infants, children to adults for additional concerns being enamel erosion.
6) Make recommendations for an oral hygiene fitness program by dispensing oral hygiene products you believe in from toothpaste, toothbrushes to mouth rinses that target bad breath. 

When your message is clear, you dissolve their fear for joining you on the the highway to health!

 3. You are treating it as “just a cleaning”

What is accomplished in the 60 minute hygiene appointment? Do your patients feel like a number? Have you asked them? If the hygiene visit is a quick assembly line it is a drive thru service whose message is to actively choose to ignore the existence of chronic diseases, side effects of lifestyle choices or health conditions and more. 
Be relentless in your communication to emphasize the added value you provide them, infuse current news from your publications or CE programs. All patients deserve to know.

          Personally, I believe the word for a dental hygiene visit is wellness. Think I’m crazy?

I challenge you to go to Twitter and hash tag two words. #teethcleaning and #wellness.It won’t take you long to realize which word unleashes the value of health or abundance of areas oral health is linked.

This exercise may be the first step to share with your team and your patients in understanding why the meaning of a dental hygiene visit spans far beyond a “cleaning”. 

Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It!

Original blog posted Safco Dental Supply

5 Things To Know About YOUR Oral Cancer Screening

Understand that conversations about the risk factors for oral cancer may feel uncomfortable for both patients and their dental hygienists.

Avoiding uncomfortable conversations about risk factors doesn’t save lives. Click To Tweet! 

It isn’t just cigarette smoking. Dig deeper and ask about e-cigs, hookah, cigar smoking lifestyle choices. 
HPV is a sexually transmitted disease. It is a lifestyle risk factor. Your patients deserve to know this AND what symptoms to notice in their mouth. 
Now that the initial conversation has begun, the next 3 actions are where training proves the most valuable.

Think of it as an extra-oral + intra-oral Tour de Tissue screening for health that may save your life.

Interested in a PDF  “5 actions” check list to take to your dental professional  click here
Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It!

How Food Allergies & Your Child’s Dental Visit Are Linked

The connection between food allergies and a dental visit is not often thought about! What CAN happen is an allergic reaction and the question is … are you prepared? 

This video blog shares 5 ways parents and dental team members can prepare for when a child who is living with food allergies has a dental appointment. It is about safety and health. 

Please comment and share so that together we can … 

Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It


Why Debates Are Dog Fights Without Bite

Why Debates Are A Dog Fight Without Bite

Debates are created for constructive discussion. Expressing  your opinion in a way that connects emotionally and intellectually on topics in 2 minutes is not an easy task for most of us. 

Yes there is a strategy and yes someone is determined as a winner. 
Debates do not determine your worth as a leader. What will determine your worth as a leader will depend on the degree to which your bite is worse than your bark. 

1) Making Size Matter

Before you speak, pause. Your comment doesn’t have to be lengthy. It doesn’t have to be eloquent. It has to be relevant & thought provoking so it is memorable. 
Comments in recent Presidental debates about “small hands” are neither relevant or thought provoking regarding anyone’s worth as a leader. Is the comment memorable? Yes. Is it one that represents a leader? 
The size of your comment can define your worth. Small, well thought out bite size comments that contribute to a solution are more impressive in the minds of those you are trying to sway. 

2) A Dog Fight Without Bite 

Presidential debates seem to be one of theatrics. Tossing candidates into a ring to battle can be laborious to watch and to a degree, punishing to listen to. So much growling, snapping,pawing,and nipping until finally blood is drawn.  

How that blood is drawn is often a reflection of their integrity and always has an impact on their reputation. So what about you?

When you have a valid point to make, how do you fight? 

We’ve all heard about a dog’s bark being worse than his bite. And when no candidate sinks their teeth into an issue, all we’re left with is noise..
So…before you debate, determine what dog you have in the fight. Decide what are you willing to do to battle your point with credibility. 

A leader fights fiercely with conviction and awakens your soul. Think of barking as your intention. You intend to state your case, make a change, overcome a challenge. Your bite though, is action … with teeth. A leader’s bite at times must be worse than their bark. That action when applicable will be what determines your worth. 

Read full newsletter here … Don’t miss  Guest Blog by Michelle Joyce! 

5 Health Reasons For Chapped Lips

Climate changes contribute to dry, flaky, chapped lips! This can be so sore depending on the location! If it is around the corner of your lips, it makes opening your mouth to eat a painful experience! And what is the ONE thing most of us continue to do in effort to “feel” a sense of relief? We lick our lips! 

Saliva has digestive enzymes … which have zero impact in moisturizing our lips! I know this and yes … still do it! 

View what 5 health reasons can cause chapped lips & what lip balms to consider! 

Do you have a lip balm that you have found helpful to protect your pout? Comment and share! So we can …. Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It


Experts Who Give 2016 Strategies + What Vlogs Were Viewed Most!

This past weekend, I took time to reflect and celebrate goals that were achieved in 2015. I also celebrated goals that were not achieved! 

Why? I believe some goals, whether personal or business, deserve another strategy for success. How to decide the deserve-ability factor in keeping them is determined by how attached to them you are. This edition of Route 32: The Highway To Health has TWO guest bloggers who share how to get YOUR best 2016 strategy for success! Click here!

Who says dentistry is a dry topic? 
2015 celebrated Coffee Chats with Anastasia! 
Interviews are lively as products are discussed all while indulging in a great cup of coffee or tea! 
I am honored to capture my guests’ passion on how they or their products can make our lives easier and our patients lives healthier! 

Click here to view YOUR choices as a patient or dental professional!  

View Top 5 Video Blogs in 2015!! Comment on your favorite!  
My fave is “I Got Bills”! 

Thank you to ALL my guests! 

What topics would you like to see this year on dental care, health, or branding? 

Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It