Blog

march 15, 2018 – you’re my best friend… 

At Sweet Tooth Dentistry, we start each day with a morning “huddle.”  We review the day ahead with the team.  And it’s a good day, when we notice our new patient is on the schedule again, who was just here yesterday.  She told us she hadn’t seen a dentist in 7 years and I had to give her the bad news, that there were a lot of “fires” to put out, so to speak…quite a bit of treatment to catch up on.  

Jose brought her in and I reviewed what we were going to do at this appointment.  Settled her in and set her up so that she was comfortable, streamed a Netflix show that she could listen to with our Bluetooth headphones.   She had previously expressed feeling nervous about the appointment, but thought she wouldn’t need sedation to get through her appointment.  She was looking forward to watching a show today during treatment. 

I check in on her periodically:  “How are you doing?  You okay?  Everything is going great, we are more than two-thirds through!”

She gives me a thumbs up and nods while watching her show.  Then pulls of the headphones and declares:  “YOU’RE LIKE MY BEST FRIEND RIGHT NOW!”
I thought her comment was cute and didn’t think too much of it, moving on to complete her treatment.   I remember thinking,  “Okay, another good dental visit in the books.”
But  — then it occurred to me, this is not necessarily the perceived or expected norm for many people when they come in for a dental visit.  And I’m reminded why I put together the modern amenities and emphasis on patient comfort here.   We want to give patients a safe place to receive excellent care for their teeth, to get them healthy and achieve/maintain that fantastic smile.   We can’t promise every visit is a walk in the park, but we do care, and we aim to do it the most pleasant way that we can.   It never gets old when patients say afterwards — or during (!) — that, hey, it wasn’t so bad after all.  
People say the darnedest things 😉.   We endeavor to do dentistry differently and we look forward to you coming back to see us.

November 12, 2017 – ORAL CANCER AWARENESS – EVA’S STORY

Dr. Grace:  When I was in dental school 17 years ago, I had the privilege of treating a patient, Doug, who had undergone Oral Maxillofacial and plastic surgery to treat his oral cancer.   He lost part of his upper jaw and roof of his mouth as well one eye.  He wore a removable prosthesis and plastic black glasses to hide what had happened to him.  He was a wonderful patient and took pains to show me what the defects underneath and inside looked like.  He spent 45 minutes each day to carefully clean all the areas inside his mouth and head to prevent infection and maintain what he had.   That left a lasting impact.  It was obvious to see how personal cancer is — and how too often — the diagnosis is made devastatingly late. 

Nearly 50,000 people are diagnosed with orapharyngeal cancer.  50-75% of these people die within 5 years. 

Most women have learned how to screen themselves for a self-breast exam.   What if people knew how to do this for Oral Cancer, too?  

Eva Grayzel, is an oral cancer survivor.   Our team at Sweet Tooth Dentistry attended a dental conference this past weekend, where she told her story.  She did not fit the “typical profile” when she was diagnosed as a 33 year old mom with 2 young kids.  Conventionally, people considered at highest risk are white male smokers, over age 50.   For her, the “canker store” never went away and she ended up being diagnosed with Stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma…roughly 2 years later.  She is lucky to be a survivor of oral cancer and in a unique position to be able to tell her story after having a large portion of her tongue removed.    

She has written children’s books, such as, Mr. C Plays Hide and Seek(Available on Amazon) She says cancer affected the whole family and her kids particularly had a difficult time understanding what was happening.

She also advises, if you know someone experiencing cancer…instead of saying, “You look great!” say “It’s great to see you.”

This inspiring woman started an organization to raise awareness and develop a 6 Step Oral Cancer screening program

Dr. Grace and the hygienists check these areas at every visit.  You should also be familiar with what is the normal appearance for your own:

1) TONGUE 

2) CHEEK/LIPS 

3) FLOOR YOUR MOUTH/UNDER YOUR TONGUE 

4) ROOF OF YOUR MOUTH 

5) SIDES OF YOUR NECK 

6) BACK OF YOUR MOUTH/THROAT  (this is where actor Michael Douglas developed throat cancer)

 

She got all of us conference attendees (at least a few hundred of us!) to stand up, dance and rap along with her to a lyric she wrote!  Check out her youtube video: 

Oral Cancer Save-A-Life Rap CLICK HERE – Youtube Link

Lyrics

I thought it was a canker sore, just wouldn’t go away.
I hurt and my dentist had nothing to say.
I told the oral surgeon this sore won’t quit.
It even gave me an earache. I was sick of it.
I was desperate for answers. I needed a solution.
But, for nine months I was living a delusion.
You ready for the DX, the diagnosis?
Stage 4 Oral Cancer….Holy Moses!

CHORUS:
If a canker sore doesn’t go away
It could be oral cancer, catch it early, don’t delay
Hoarse voice, lump in neck, persistent cough
It could be oral cancer. Don’t shrug it off.

You’d think this disease is for those who smoke and drink.
But look at me, I’m not the type you’d think
would get this disease. But, I made it through the hoop
I’m lucky to speak, so I need to give ya’ll the scoop.
If a sore doesn’t heal within two weeks,
Go to a dentist, oral surgeon and let them take a peek.
Go to a practice that has current education
in oral cancer so they make the right evaluation.

CHORUS:

I survived so that I could tell ya my story.
But, I’ll spare you all the details of my surgery so gory.
Keep pestering docs until the problem goes away
So you don’t go thru what I did – listen up – Hey!
Know the early signs when they check your tongue and more
The lips, cheeks, throat, palate, and the mouth floor.
Six-Step Screening tells you ‘what the heck is it?’
And what to expect at your next dental visit.

CHORUS:

With a reconstructed tongue and ONE neck muscle to boot,
I can still rap and even break dance, what a hoot!
Oh ya don’t believe me…Hey, guys turn up the beat.
This silver-haired woman can still turn on the heat.
(POP and BREAK dance)
Raise awareness. Shout it out.
Saving a life is what it’s all about.

Share this with someone you love.  You just might save a life!


August 20, 2017  

Did you know in dentistry, we are no longer concerned about preventing cavities and gum disease?  There is a third category that affects people, something known was “Occlusal Disease.”   Most people grind or clench their teeth, but it can go undetected for a long time because most people are unaware of it.   (The above photo shows how much of the teeth have worn away.)

It can start off as an innocent habit, over-training jaw muscles (absent-mindedly chewing gum too much), a family trait, caused by a misaligned bite, manifestation of stress, or just a perfect storm of many things!  Once the pattern is established, headaches, jaw tension or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems can arise.  For others, suprisingly, there are no obvious symptoms or even tooth pain.  

Over time, it’s a domino/snowball effect:  the bite eventually collapses and the teeth shift, get thin, wear down and fracture or fall apart.  Fortunately, it’s fixable (see the below photo, case in progress, Phase 1 complete)!  But we’d rather educate and prevent cumulative damage from setting in, in the first place.  

Here’s how art meets science in dentistry:  (from top to bottom in the below photo)   1) Smile Design concept created in wax simulation, known as the “Diagnostic Wax-up,” which is like a mock-up or blueprint to begin rebuilding a smile    2) Artistic crowns crafted and precisely fit onto a stone replica of the person’s mouth   3) New smile tried in and completed.  Plans are made when done, to protect the finished results with a specially designed nightguard.  

It takes careful evaluation, planning and execution to refresh and rebuild the smile to look natural.  Our goal is to create a smile so natural, that it just lets an individual’s personality shine so that he or she can’t help but smile more.   The best compliment is when a spouse or family member notices that “she laughs with her mouth open now” or “he doesn’t cover his mouth anymore.”   


January 23, 2017

We’re well into the New Year and all the resolutions for self-improvement.  In celebration of that…and Valentine’s Day coming up, check out our Teeth Whitening promotion when you follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Dr. Grace Hwang wrote an editorial about teeth whitening in the January issue of the SCV Magazine. “I Love Yellow Teeth” — said no one ever


NOVEMBER 19, 2016

cam-newtonwIF YOU HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING US ON FB OR INSTAGRAM, you may know that we are doing a fun campaign to promote flossing. Or, perhaps you saw us in the SCV Magazine where Dr. Grace wrote an editorial about the benefits of flossing. CLICK HERE – SCV MAG Nov  

We are giving away a $250 gift card to the Apple Store!

  • Get a jump start on your holiday shopping.  
  • This is easier than braving Black Friday crowds after Thanksgiving!

image1b

IT’S NOT TOO LATE – ONE MORE RAFFLE THIS MONTH!  

RULES ARE EASY:   If you would like a chance to win a free $250 Apple Gift card, all you have to do is post a photo to our FB page or Instagram of you flossing/taking care of your teeth #flosslikeaboss #sweettoothvalencia.  

So…

  • Have some fun,
  • Take care of your oral health
  • DON’T BE SHY
  • Extra raffle entries granted for silly/goofy/creative photos!  You could double/triple/quadruple your chances and be rewarded with extra entries for the contest.  
  • Share contest info with your friends – 3 extra raffle entries per social media share or repost
  • YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A PATIENT, all are welcome to enter this fun giveaway.  
  • We will pick a winner by November 30th!   

November 5, 2016

img_8232Our Open House was a great success!  Thanks to everyone who came out.  You can check out our Live FB feed, posted by the SCV Magazine.  CLICK HERE – OUR FB PAGE   We celebrated with sangria, sweet and savory bites, a photo booth, RAFFLES to Blo Out Lounge, Salt Creek Grill, Color Me Mine Valencia, Teeth Whitening and Sonicare Bluetooth Toothbrush (thank you to local businesses who donated generously) and other giveaways.   

img_8256dscf0031 img_8282dscf0030

We also have a Yelp video now, so even if you weren’t able to make it to the open house, CLICK HERE for a virtual tour. 

image2


October 26, 2016

You’re invited!  Come to our Open House on November 3rd from 4-6pm. There will be a savory bites, desserts, raffles, giveaways and a #flosslikeaboss photo booth onsite. 

We welcome you to visit, check us out and celebrate our Grand Opening.   Dr. Grace Hwang has been treating patients of all ages in Valencia and Santa Clarita for over 13 years.  She is celebrating the opening of her new practice location where she will provide general, family and cosmetic dentistry as well as Invisalign, Six Month Smiles – Clear Braces, Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) and Sleep Dentistry options.   The SCV Chamber of Commerce will be onsite for a Ribbon Cutting ceremony at 4:30pm.