How to Convince College Students to Listen to Dentists and Not Self-diagnose

Have you ever felt any discomfort with your teeth and gums or experienced any symptom of an oral health problem and just looked it up on the Internet without going to the dentist? If yes, stop! You might be putting your oral health at risk.

Now that information can be easily obtained anywhere, many people, including college students, rely on Google and self-diagnose instead of going to the dentist and seeking dental advice regarding their oral health. Looking it up online seems like a much simpler while in the midst of classes and assignments. College and university students who are living away from home may be difficult to persuade to listen to their dentists, but parents need to emphasize the risks of self-diagnosis.


What are the risks?

Self-diagnosis can pose a number of risks to one’s oral health and overall health. Some of the dangers of self-diagnosis include the following:

  1. Misdiagnosis

It’s very easy for students to misdiagnose their symptoms. Remember that laymen don’t have the proper education and training to diagnose an oral problem that dentists have. As such, they can easily mistake a symptom for another oral problem.

For example, one may think a toothache is a result of tooth decay, but in reality, it could be anything from tooth fracture to bruxism, periodontal disease, or a damaged filling. Only a dental expert knows and can identify the nuances that separate one oral problem from another even though they share the same symptoms.

  1. Wrong medication

Misdiagnosis can push one to make a wrong decision such as buying a medicine that will not treat the problem or taking one which can cause dangerous reactions in the body. Taking a wrong medication can result in harmful side-effects which may affect your overall health. That’s why it’s better to visit your dentist to ensure that you only get safe and effective treatments and procedures that can directly address your oral problems.

  1. Wrong focus

Self-diagnosis especially in cosmetic dentistry can cause a person to shift his focus to one aspect of the problem only. For example, a person may be fixated on his imperfect smile, without even bothering about other areas which need immediate attention. He may be too focused on the appearance of his smile without even realizing that the health of his mouth, teeth and gums is what greatly affects his smile in the first place. But if you visit your dentist, he’ll be able to point out the underlying problem and focus his treatment on this problem. This can save not only a lot of money, but also a lot of time and effort.

Don’t make the wrong decision of self-diagnosing and jeopardizing your entire health. If you’re experiencing any oral problems, visit Above Dental today and have Dr. Devin Brice, DMD, or Dr. Jae Lee, DDS, conduct a dental examination to determine the root cause of your dental problem. Above Dental’s team of dental care professionals will give a proper diagnosis of your oral health problems. Call us today at (541) 756-7568 to book your appointment!

How to Serve Oregon Cherries this Summer

Summer in Oregon isn’t complete without the delicious family buffet meals. Whether for main courses or dessert recipes, cherries are excellent additions to the summer menu, especially because this fruit is in its peak season. We at Above Dental care about our patients’ diets because we know that food has a huge effect on overall oral health.

Cherries this SummerImage courtesy of digitalart at

This summer, should Oregon cherries be part of your menu? What effect does this fruit have on teeth?

The Best Cherries in Oregon

Oregon is one of the best places to grow cherries, and many varieties can be found around the state. Some of the most popular cherries include:

  1. Red tart cherries. This kind of cherry has a tangy flavor which blends perfectly with sweet desserts such as cherry pies, ice cream sundaes, and cobblers. It can also be used in cooking, especially in sauces.
  2. Royal Anne cherries. This variety is becoming more and more popular because of its fleshy texture. It has a mild golden-pink color with a perfect mix of sweetness and tartness.
  3. Dark sweet cherries. These cherries are great snacks as is, but they also blend well with desserts and savory recipes because they add sweetness to the dish.

Nutritional Value of Oregon Cherries

The most popular variant, red tart cherries are commonly used in dishes and desserts. Every half-cup serving of this cherry has only 60 calories, and is packed with sodium, potassium, fiber, vitamins A and C, iron, and some traces of calcium. It’s often packed in cans to preserve the freshness, although freshly picked cherries are also available in farmer’s markets.

However, cherries are naturally sweet and filled with sugar. Every 100 gram serving of cherries packs 8 grams of sugar. Although it has a low glycemic index and is considered good for diabetics, the fructose in cherries can still be bad for teeth because this natural sugar promotes bacterial growth and reproduction. This can trigger tooth decay and gum disease. Apart from that, the red pigments in cherries can also stain the teeth if eaten excessively.

How to Make Oregon Cherries Tooth-Friendly

Since cherries are high in sugar, you need to limit their consumption, especially if you are eating it as a dessert. Cherry pie is particularly sweet and needs to be eaten in moderation. After eating, you should also drink plenty of water to rinse away the sugars sticking to the surface of your teeth. You should also eat cherries in combination with other foods, particularly those which are tooth-friendly, such as cheese and milk to reverse the negative effects of fructose on teeth.

Dental Health after Summer

After all the celebrations and picnic lunches this summer, don’t forget to check in with Above Dental  for a dental examination. Your teeth will need professional cleaning to remove the plaque and calculus that have formed over the season. Above Dental is open to all patients, old and new. All you have to do is give us a call at (541) 756-7568 or request for an appointment through our online contact form. It would be much better to enjoy family dinners and feasts year-round when you have strong, healthy, and beautiful teeth!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month & A Healthier You!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month & A Healthier You!

You may be noticing the pink ribbons, but has it motivated any changes in your life? As part of our medical community, Dr. Brice and his Coos Bay dental team are fully supportive in advocating October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Empowering Women

You may be mothers, employers, employees…the list goes on. The point is, if you’ve got Y chromosomes you need to celebrate and protect your uniqueness!

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is all about the education and empowerment of women, to take charge of their own breast health.

Too Busy? Not Anymore!

Yes, you may feel run off your feet but love yourself enough to perform a monthly breast self-exam. Detecting and following up on any changes or abnormalities detected could honestly save your life. Can’t quite remember the technique? Click on this link to the National Breast Cancer Awareness website.

Reduce the Risk

Self-exams, Clinical breast exams, and Mammograms all play roles in monitoring your health. What about reducing the risk factors that lead to cancer in the first place? Now that would be empowering!

Cancer-Fighting Foods

Genetic factors may be involved, but whether or not those genes activate has a tremendous amount to do with how lively and nontoxic your lifestyle is.

Adopting healthy habits can feel and taste great too! Here’s a list of 10 Cancer-Fighting Foods:

  • Berries (they’re packed with antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamins & minerals)
  • Garlic (shown to inhibit cancer growth, great detoxifier & revs your immune system)
  • Avocado (rich in antioxidant glutathione that attacks free radicals)
  • Kale/Cabbage/Broccoli/Cauliflower (fiber-rich cancer preventers)
  • Spinach (decreases effects of any ingested carcinogens)
  • Quinoa/Millet/Amaranth/Buckwheat (great gluten-free combo of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and polyphenols)
  • Shitake Mushrooms (suppresses conversion of testosterone into estrogen, boosts immune system, contains lentinan that slows tumor growth)
  • Collards (detoxify, plus are anti-inflammatory)
  • Tomatoes (antioxidant strong, high in vitamins, minerals)
  • Turmeric spice (contains curcumin, a cancer prevention component)

Smile and Live Long

Your beautiful and healthy smile is always the goal of our Coos Bay dental team, but we’re equally determined to help patients enjoy productive, long lives. Let National Breast Cancer Awareness Month motivate you to pursue a healthier lifestyle!

Do you have some great recipes that incorporate the Top Ten Cancer-Fighting Foods mentioned in this article? Please, SHARE with us!

National Dental Hygiene Month – Reviewing Your Dental Routine!

National Dental Hygiene Month in North Bend

At our Coos Bay dental clinic, we think of October as a month for cozying back into comfy routines. The kids have settled into school by now; fresh seasons of favorite TV series brighten dark evening hours; National Dental Hygiene Month is in full swing…Wait. What’s this about “Dental Hygiene Month

Back-to-School with a Stylin’ Smile

Kids Smile

Parents! Sharpen those pencils! It’s time to see if you’ve tackled that back-to-school list to completion. You got the notebooks, pens, backpack, and new shoes…but did you remember to book an appointment with your family dentist in Coos Bay?

We Share the Care

Not only can hearing and eyesight degrade within a school-year, but oral health too. Our dental practice wants to team up with you to ensure your child’s teeth are:

  • Coming in as they should.
  • Benefiting from the brushing style they’ve adopted at home.
  • Not exposed unnecessarily to the risk of cavities. We offer preventive measures like sealants on molars or fluoride varnish protection to help.
  • Not showing signs of health issues beyond cavities such as diabetes and vitamin deficiencies.

Every child should engage others with their best smile as they head back to school, and an A+ oral health report keep them there. Since dental disease is almost 100% preventable, what part will you play?

Tips for the Brilliant Parent

According to the American Dental Association, children miss about 51 million school hours and parents lose 25 million work hours annually because of oral diseases.

Here’s how you can avoid being a statistic:

Toothbrush Enthusiasm: Have a peek at your child’s toothbrush—are the bristles frayed? Every three months, it should be replaced…but let THEM choose ones THEY like. As long as it’s the proper size and has soft bristles, does it matter that Spiderman shapes the handle?

Toothpaste Flavor—Yum! You may like minty fresh, but most kids don’t. Choose a few ADA approved child-friendly flavors and see what goes over best. The more they like it, the better chance you have of getting them to use it.

Flossing Failure? Let’s admit it; flossing is annoying to adults, let alone children. Make it more appealing by considering floss picks. They’re easier to use and come in fun colors and flavors.

It’s Not a Race: Two minutes is about how long it takes for a proper cleaning, so purchasing a fun-looking brushing timer may well be a good investment.

What’s to Eat? Acidic beverages such as fruit juice and soda erode tooth enamel. Gummy, soft sweets stick to teeth and allow bacteria in plaque to produce more detrimental acid. Bite-sized carrots, fruits, nuts, cheese, and bottled water pass the grade, and provide great fuel for physical exertion! Also, encourage a quick rinse and spit at the water fountain—it can do wonders when a toothbrush isn’t handy.

Impact Sports—Ouch! Fall is the time for many contact sports. Be sure to have your child properly fitted for a mouthguard and avoid having their teeth join the 3 million knocked out each year!

Did You Pass?

If you saw a few areas you need to brush up on, don’t feel bad. Our dental practice loves families like you and is here to help! Start a positive tradition by scheduling a back-to-school dental appointment with Dr. Brice— your family dentist in Coos Bay. We’ll help send your child back to school with a reason to smile proudly.

Care to share? What tips can you give other parents that have made brushing more fun for your kids?

Smile with Good Reason—$49 New Client Special Promo!

Smile with Good Reason

Have you been putting off going to your dentist in Coos Bay, but recently resolved to start taking better care of your oral health? Perhaps you have just moved to our area and are trying to locate a top-notch dentist? Or maybe you’re simply less than thrilled with your current dental provider, and are looking for a premier dentist who will provide the compassionate, high quality dental care your family deserves? Whatever your reason may be, we’re thrilled that you’ve found us, and are excited to inform you that we’re currently accepting new patients just like you!
What’s even better news is that as a new member to Dr. Brice’s dental family, you also qualify for our New Client Special that includes a dental exam and X-ray at the special, low rate of only $49.

New Client Special

What condition are your teeth and gums really in? Here at Above Dental, you have every reason to come in and find out. For just $49, you will finally get the answers you need. So quit wondering about the state of your oral health, and start focusing on enjoying your smile.
If you require assistance in restoring your oral health or to take your smile to that next level, we can help make that a reality. We’re committed to patient satisfaction and are connected with the Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and are ADA (American Dental Association) Accepted.

Our Services

We offer a wide array of dental procedures to help your smile reach its top potential. These services include:

  • Specializing in Dental Emergencies and Dental Implants.
  • Teeth Whitening.
  • Dental Extractions.
  • Porcelain Veneers.
  • Dentures.
  • IV Sedation.
  • White Fillings.
  • Crowns and Bridges.

Please contact us today to qualify for your New Client Special or to learn further regarding our other available services. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you achieve a smile you can’t help but love.

Share with us: What factors are most important to you when choosing a dentist for you and your family?

How Often Do I Need a Dental Exam and Cleaning?

Teeth Exam

The idea of going to the dentist may rarely elicit the same enthusiastic response as going out to your favorite restaurant, or catching the premiere of a new blockbuster movie. In fact, going to the dentist often gets a bad rap—so much so that many will put off dental visits unless they absolutely have to.

Does it really matter, though, how often your smile receives a dental exam and cleaning? What are the benefits of doing so on a regular basis?

How Often Should I Go?

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends visiting your dentist for a dental exam and cleaning about every six months. This dental scheduling works well for the majority of people. However, the ADA states that the frequency of your own personal dental visits should be tailored by your dentist to accommodate for your current oral health status and health history.

In other words, if your smile is classified as low risk, it may mean you’re able to get away with only one cleaning and check-up a year. Whereas, if your smile is identified as a high risk for dental disease, you may need to visit the dentist every three or four months. Your smile may fit into that high risk category if you:

  • Are a diabetic.
  • Currently have gum disease.
  • Smoke.
  • Have a weak immune response to bacterial infections.
  • Tend to build up plaque on your teeth and get cavities.

Why Should I Visit the Dentist Regularly?

Patients are repeatedly reminded about the importance of seeing the dentist regularly, yet statistics reveal that only around half of Americans visited their dentists at least twice in the last year. If you’re among the group that’s been putting off your next six month visit, consider some of the valuable benefits a dental exam and cleaning can bring:

  • Detect any dental problems early, and have them treated before they progress further.
  • Maintain good physical health.
  • Prevent oral cancer.
  • Keep teeth whiter and brighter by keeping stains at bay.
  • Maintain good oral health by preventing gum disease, decay, and tooth loss.
  • Create and adjust your treatment plan as required.
  • Prevent bad breath.
  • Make good use of your dental insurance plan.

Share this information with those friends and family prone to postpone dental visits, plus now may be a good time to book your next cleaning and dental exam with North Bend, OR dentist, Dr. Brice. With the help of our top-of-the-line dental team you can enjoy eating out with friends and going to the movies even more—by having your gorgeous, healthy-looking smile to share along the way.

What do you think is the main factor that holds people back from going to the dentist?

What are the Signs of Wisdom Tooth Pain?

Signs of Wisdom Tooth Pain

Do you wonder if the oral discomfort you’re suffering from is caused by your wisdom teeth? What are the signs of wisdom tooth pain, and what can you do to get relief?

Wisdom Tooth 101

Wisdom teeth are also referred to as third molars: Some basic information about them include:

  • Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop.
  • They grow at the back of the mouth behind the molars.
  • There’s typically a set of wisdom teeth at the bottom and another set at the top.
  • They often emerge between the ages of 17-25 years of age.
  • Wisdom teeth often cause pain and complications with their arrival.

Wisdom tooth issues are quite common. In fact, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) states that nine out of ten people have at least one impacted tooth.

The Complications of Wisdom Teeth

As wisdom teeth appear, oftentimes there’s just not enough room for them to come in without causing negative side-effects. They can introduce a number of oral issues including:

  • Misalignment and Overcrowding of Teeth
  • Impacted Wisdom Teeth
  • Infection and Decay

Signs of Wisdom Tooth Pain

  • Some signs that you’re suffering from wisdom tooth pain include:
  • Experiencing pain in the back of your mouth, behind the molars.
  • Gums that are red, inflamed, or tender in areas where wisdom teeth have begun to poke through.
  • Jaw pain and tenderness, oftentimes while chewing.
  • Bad breath or a bad taste when you bite down on food.
  • Cysts that form around the tooth.

If you think you may be experiencing wisdom tooth pain, the best plan of action is to visit your dentist and get the much needed help your smile deserves.

Taking Preventative Action

Just because you’re not experiencing any pain doesn’t automatically mean your oral health is problem-free. Whether you have obvious symptoms or not, it’s prudent to ask your dentist to periodically evaluate the presence and positioning of your wisdom teeth, and any potential issues they could cause.

If wisdom teeth do need to be removed, future complications can be greatly reduced, and healing times optimized when the procedure is carried out sooner than later. Contact us today at our North Bend dental office, and let your oral health benefit from our years of dental training and experience, including the treatment of wisdom teeth.

Have all of your wisdom teeth come in? How old were you when the first one came through?

Help Your Kids Enjoy Summer Vacation With Healthy Smiles

Summer vacation is the most fun time of year for most kids. Maybe it’s all about playing video games, staying up late, and snacking on junk food—things most kids love to do. Not to be neglected, however, are some faithful friends you desperately need long after the sun-soaked days of summer are over. Who are they? Your teeth!

Kids Enjoy Summer Vacation With Healthy Smiles

Taking Time for Oral Health

Enjoying camping trips and toasting marshmallows with friends is what summer vacation is all about. But crawling into a sleeping bag without the usual teeth brushing and flossing can take its toll on your children’s teeth over time.

The new school year is like a clean slate just waiting to be filled with good memories, and opportunities for growth and adventure. That’s why we and leading dentist in North Bend, Dr. Brice want to remind you of the importance of booking your professional teeth cleaning and checkup for your children —before the rush on the new school year is upon us.

Healthy teeth do more than provide your child with an opportunity to show off their smile for their school photo. They enable your child to be more confident, allow for easier social development, and help to promote good health. That’s a much more appealing alternative than being self-conscious about their grin, coping with the discomfort of cavities, and missing days of school from pain and infection associated with tooth decay.

The good news is that tooth decay and other oral health issues experienced by children are by and large preventable. Avoid allowing the hectic routine of summer vacation to become detrimental to your oral health routine. Do your best to help your kids understand the importance of maintaining a healthy smile, and make brushing and flossing fun along the way. As always our dental practice is here to help with any advice that you need.

Embrace the summer months and upcoming school year to the full by keeping your families smiles happy and healthy. We’ve created a kid-friendly environment that helps ensure your child’s visit to our dental office is a positive one, so book that summer checkup today. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Do you have any questions about oral health for children? Please leave a comment below.

Why Your Smile Wants You to Drink Green Tea

What’s your favorite beverage of choice? If green tea doesn’t rank high on your popularity charts, a study published in the Journal of Periodontology may provide the incentive you need to give this healthy beverage a try.

Green Tea

Health Benefits

Green tea has long been popular in Asian culture and has intrigued experts with its potential benefits in combating health conditions including cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes.

Green Tea Study

Interestingly researchers have found that a routine intake of green tea may also play a role in promoting good oral health. The study analyzed the periodontal health of over 900 men between the ages of 49 and 59. The results indicated that those participants who consumed green tea on a regular basis enjoyed considerably better periodontal health than those who consumed less.

It is believed that what makes green tea so effective is the presence of the antioxidant catechin. Research has revealed that antioxidants possess the ability to decrease inflammation in the body.

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammation of the gums that can damage the jaw bone and lead to tooth loss. Therefore, the potential benefits of green tea in reducing such inflammation remain of interest.

Green Tea and Oral Health

What potential oral health benefits could you enjoy by adopting the habit of drinking green tea on a regular basis?

  • Preventing cavities
  • Keeping gums healthy
  • Fighting oral cancer
  • Eliminating bad breath
  • Decreasing tooth loss

To get the maximum health and flavor benefits of your green tea, though, make sure you prep your tea properly.

Maintaining Sound Oral Health

Simply drinking green tea does not absolve you of the other vital steps in maintaining a good routine of oral healthcare. Make sure you incorporate:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Avoiding use of all tobacco products.
  • Clean between your teeth every day with floss or another interdental cleaner.
  • Visit Dr. Brice, your partner in Bend family dentistry, every six months or so for a professional cleaning and check-up.

Make your oral health a priority. Contact us today to book your next dental appointment, and by all means take a moment afterwards to sit back and enjoy a nice cup of green tea.

Let us know: How long have you been a green tea supporter? Do you do anything special to make your cup that much more enjoyable?

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