Author: turce1985

5 Sweet Ways to Ward Off Halloween Sugar Bugs

Halloween festivities are right around the corner! Costume contests (because your little one has THE best costume ever this year), school parties, pumpkin carving, and sugary goodness are in your child’s near future.

But, there’s something scarier than Halloween ghouls lurking right around the corner – cavities! We have a few suggestions to keep sugar bugs at bay and keep your child’s smile healthy this Halloween and throughout the holiday season.

halloween: kids excited to trick or treat

Go trick-or-treating on a full stomach

Make sure your child has a complete and nutritious meal before going trick-or-treating. You’ll be busy picking them up from school and getting their costumes ready, so we know that dinner can be a challenging feat when paired with holiday hustle and bustle. With some careful planning it can be done!

Everything in moderation

It’s tempting to fill your adorably festive candy dishes around the house with Halloween candy, but skip it this year. Moderate your child’s candy consumption time and amount in order to stave off cavities.

Time of day is important

Part of staying cavity-free is keeping the teeth free of decay-causing materials, such as excess sugar. If your child is snacking on candy in the middle of the day without access to a toothbrush, the sugar has a longer opportunity to make its way into the tooth enamel and start the decaying process.

The best time to offer candy is after dinner or any other time that allows your child to brush shortly after. If they don’t have a toothbrush nearby when they are having candy, make sure they have fresh water to wash it away with. (Note: flushing with water does not replace proper brushing.)

Stick to Chocolate

You read that right – choose chocolate! We know there aren’t many times where it’s acceptable to choose chocolate over any other food group, but there is always an exception to the rule! In this case, we suggest chocolate over sticky, sugary candies (in moderation, of course). Hard candies tend to stick to the teeth and aren’t washed away as easily.

Get Crafty

Repurpose Halloween candy into Thanksgiving crafts! There are endless ideas on Pinterest to get creative with your leftover candy. Bonus: if your child is satisfied with the end result of their project, they can give it as a gift later in the season!

Proper dental hygiene is not solely a seasonal practice. If your child is to remain cavity free, they must practice good brushing and flossing habits year-round. Contact us here or give the office nearest you a call to make an appointment.

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New Dentist Conference kicks off with speaker encouraging ‘Five Second Rule’

Tech savvy: Dr. Dan Auprix, left, shows Dr. Alex Roelens something on his phone Thursday while sharing breakfast before the New Dentist Conference began.

Tech savvy: Dr. Dan Auprix, left, shows Dr. Alex Roelens something on his phone Thursday while sharing breakfast before the New Dentist Conference began.

Wearing sparkly high tops and a lavalier microphone as she traversed the meeting room, Mel Robbins had the full attention of the audience during her keynote address Thursday at the New Dentist Conference.

But then laughter and conversation erupted in the room when she demanded that all attendees get up and sit next to someone they didn’t know.

“Why would I do something so irritating?” she joked with the crowd.

The exercise helped prove the point of her talk, The Five Second Rule, about breaking habits and taking control of one’s own thoughts, and, as Ms. Robbins explains it, being able to change one’s life for the better.

The New Dentist Conference, a customized experience created for dentists fewer than 10 years out of school, is being held in conjunction with the ADA annual meeting. Attendees convened in the Georgia World Congress Center to meet up with former classmates, new colleagues and learn from each other.

After pointing out that many at the conference signed up in order to network with peers, most sheepishly raised their hands when asked if they were already sitting by someone they knew.

“I’m pushing you to do something you don’t want to do,” she said.

Ms. Robbins laid out the scientific and her own anecdotal evidence for the power of her five-second rule — counting down from five as a way to gear oneself up for upcoming mental obstacles, be it anxiety or procrastination.

Training your brain: Keynote speaker Mel Robbins talks to new dentists about her five-second rule approach to life Thursday. Photos by EZ Event Photography

Training your brain: Keynote speaker Mel Robbins talks to new dentists about her five-second rule approach to life Thursday. Photos by EZ Event Photography

Often funny and self-deprecating, Ms. Robbins acknowledged that the simplistic approach may sound “like the stupidest thing you’ve ever in your entire life.”

She shared her family’s story of coming into debt after a failed business venture. She became depressed, and her family and professional lives were crumbling.

Her five-second rule, which she said was inspired after seeing a rocket launch on a TV commercial, helped pull her out of the funk.

“I was changing my decisions five seconds at a time,” she said.

Soon after, she delivered a TEDx Talk in which she mentioned the approach, and it caught on. A video of the talk, How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over, soon garnered millions of views, and she began hearing from others about how well the rule worked for them.

She broke down the science behind the approach: by counting down, you’re awakening the prefrontal cortex in the brain, helping you feel immediate control over your thoughts and actions rather than on autopilot, which engages a different part of the brain.

“You’re shifting which part of the brain you’re actually using” when you use the five-second rule, she said, adding that the shift in thought can change your actions — and help a person reach his or her goals.

Attendees laughed and engaged with Ms. Robbins during her hour-long keynote address, which was preceded by opening remarks from New Dentist Committee Chair Dr. Emily Ishkanian.

Dr. Kyle Ratliff, a dentist from Indiana, a first-time New Dentist Conference attendee, said he found Ms. Robbins’ talk “awesome.”

He said he looks forward to networking with other new dentists this week — and learning from them.

“The messages, the presentations, they’re all beneficial,” he said. “I’m excited.”

Dr. Mauricio DosSantos of California, said this is the fifth year he’s attended the New Dentist Conference, which he credits in part for his recent successes in practice ownership.

“I come to these to see what everyone else is doing, so I can help my own chapter and the way I practice,” he said, adding that some of the takeaways from previous conferences have helped him purchase his first two dental offices.

“It has been very inspirational. I’ve learned what mistakes to avoid, what other dentists are doing,” he said. “I always get something out of it.”

To see the lineup for the New Dentist Conference, visit ADA.org/NDC.

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Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry Celebrates in Waverly

One of our core practice values is community service, and we thoroughly enjoy taking the time to get to know our patients outside of the office. It takes a village to make all of Charlotte’s communities a great place for our children to thrive.

Each and every team member at Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry shares our passion for giving back and showing patient appreciation in creative ways. We often participate in community events and sponsor local sporting teams and running groups. Our patient families support us every day by trusting their children’s pediatric dental health to us, so this is our way of saying thank you.

One of the great areas we serve is the community of Waverly in South Charlotte. As many of you know, Dr. David Moore opened a Waverly location at the end of 2016, and we have had the privilege of watching the development thrive as we grow alongside the community. We are already establishing valuable relationships with our little patients and their parents at our Waverly location! We’re always so thankful when a parent shares a great CPD experience with us.

Patient review for Waverly office

Patient review of Waverly office

Waverly Charlotte recently had their grand opening to showcase all that the community has to offer – fabulous restaurants, shopping, upscale living, doctors and dentists, and much more. Residents were able to meet merchants, enjoy family-friendly activities, listen to great music, and participate in contests. The event benefited the Isabella Santos Foundation – a foundation that raises funding and awareness for Neuroblastoma research.

The Charlotte Pediatric team at Waverly grand opening.
Contest rules
Grand prize for contest at Waverly grand opening
Welcome table at Waverly grand opening
Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry water bottles

Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry participated with a fun #WallscapeAtWaverly contest, where we encouraged participants to take selfies with our outdoor wallscapes and submit them to us to win prizes. We had a great time meeting so many new faces, and of course seeing some familiar ones, too. Here’s a recap of the winning photos!

Kids at Waverly grand opening
Happy mom and kid at Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry in Waverly
Family smiling at Waverly

Come get to know all that this area of South Charlotte has to offer and get to know our wonderful Waverly team, too! Discover why Charlotte parents trust their children’s smiles to us. We’ll see you there!

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Negotiating your salary: Writing a counter offer

Congratulations on the job offer! Should you accept or try to negotiate? If you’re reading this, according to the Center for Professional Success, the first thing you should know about providing a counter offer is that you should have already received a job offer.

Screen Shot 2016-11-23 at 9.39.55 AMIf you have been put in the position of being asked “What are your salary and other consideration requests?” either be prepared with an answer that is somewhat above your actual expectations, or explain that you are not ready to state that until you know more about the office, its patient load, its financial outlook and your expected role in the position. You should know these things in order to provide a reasonable salary range or to fully consider the offer the employer is putting forward.

[Counter Letter example]

There are three options available to you once an offer is extended: accept the offer as is, decline the offer, or submit a counter offer. Submitting a counter offer can be the most stressful option.

The window for negotiating a counter offer is small, but it can have a large impact on your final pay. Here are some steps to take before submitting your counter offer.

Research the position. Know the salary range you should expect. Make sure to factor in the location of the practice and, if possible, try to find historical information on the employer’s salary range. Ask questions about patient load, salary calculation, the practice finances and the like (see The Associateship Interview: Come Prepared With Smart Questions). Use this information, along with your own needs and wants, to establish your own best alternative to a negotiated agreement (often called BATNA). This is the goal toward which you are aiming when you start to negotiate, and you’ll do better if you have it foremost in your mind.

When the offer is extended, first thank the interviewer and be sure to express interest and excitement in the job. Let them know that this is a major decision that will require careful thought and ask them how long you have to consider the offer.

Maintain gratitude in negotiations. The conversation should be cordial not a battle. If not handled with tact, presenting a counter offer could cause the employer to change their opinion of you and to rescind the offer.

Consider asking for a salary or terms that are slightly better than you will accept. How does that saying go? “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll be among the stars.” Justify your salary expectations by playing to your attributes. Remind them of your experience, education, your willingness to grow the practice, the revenue you will bring in, and solutions you can provide.

Be prepared for a refusal to negotiate or an offer lower than your ask. The offer may be firm. If the offer is below your minimum, be open to walking away from the offer. This is where having your BANTA in mind helps. You won’t get caught up in the negotiation and be tempted by slight concessions that still don’t raise the offer to the level of your basic needs.

After an agreement is reached, get the offer in writing. Also important, don’t ask for anything more after the negotiations are over, it may sour the relationship or lose you the job offer.

ADA member, Dr. Colleen Greene, has generously shared a counter offer letter template to use in your salary negotiations. Good luck!

Disclaimer. This document is not intended to provide either legal or professional advice, and cannot address every federal, state, and local law that could affect a dentist or dental practice. We make no representations or warranties of any kind about the completeness, accuracy, or any other quality of the information in the above piece. Nothing here represents advice or opinion as to any particular situation you may be facing; for that, it is necessary to consult directly with a properly qualified professional or with an attorney admitted to practice in your jurisdiction for appropriate legal or professional advice. To the extent the above includes links to any web sites, the ADA intends no endorsement of their content and implies no affiliation with the organizations that provide their content. Nor does the ADA make any representations or warranties about the information provided on those sites, which we do not control in any way.

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Starting its own diversity committee, Greater Houston Dental Society shares lessons learned

Diversity: From left, Drs. Akbar Ebrahimian, Gargi Mukherji, Victor Rodriguez, Michelle Aguilos Thompson and Maryam Tabrizi pose for photo during a Greater Houston Dental Society Diversity Committee event held May 25 in Houston. The Diversity Committee Fiesta event was one of the first social gatherings organized by the Diversity Committee, which Dr. Rodriguez, as GHDS president in 2016, helped create with the assistance of Dr. Thompson, a graduate of the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership.

Diversity: From left, Drs. Akbar Ebrahimian, Gargi Mukherji, Victor Rodriguez, Michelle Aguilos Thompson and Maryam Tabrizi pose for photo during a Greater Houston Dental Society Diversity Committee event held May 25 in Houston. The Diversity Committee Fiesta event was one of the first social gatherings organized by the Diversity Committee, which Dr. Rodriguez, as GHDS president in 2016, helped create with the assistance of Dr. Thompson, a graduate of the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership.

Houston — Considering that Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the country, it caught Dr. Victor Rodriguez by surprise to learn that the Greater Houston Dental Society did not have its own diversity committee.

The local dental society has about 1,600 members, with about 35 percent of whom belong to a minority group.

“It was surprising to me that we didn’t have [a diversity committee],” he said. “But after we looked around the country, we realized there weren’t very many diversity committees at the state and local levels.”

When Dr. Rodriguez became president in 2016, he sought to change that.

In September, the Greater Houston Dental Society Diversity Committee celebrated its one-year anniversary.

However, starting the committee wasn’t always easy. It’s for this reason that Dr. Michelle Aguilos Thompson, a member of the Institute for Diversity in Leadership 2016-17 class who helped organized Greater Houston Dental Society’s diversity committee, is using the experience to help guide other local and state dental organizations in starting their own.

Setting goals

One of the first people he asked to join the committee was Dr. Thompson, who had just been accepted to the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership.

“I really didn’t know what to do,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “But I knew I needed the right people to answer the important questions: What are our goals? What is our mission?”

Fiesta: Houston-area dentists and staff from the Greater Houston Dental Society pose for a photo during the May 25 Diversity Committee Fiesta, a social event organized by the GHDS Diversity Committee. About 60 dentists attended the celebration which welcomed members from the various dental groups in Houston.

Fiesta: Houston-area dentists and staff from the Greater Houston Dental Society pose for a photo during the May 25 Diversity Committee Fiesta, a social event organized by the GHDS Diversity Committee. About 60 dentists attended the celebration which welcomed members from the various dental groups in Houston.

During the Institute’s program year, class members develop leadership skills and execute a personal leadership project that addresses an issue or challenge in his or her community, organization or the profession.

“[Dr. Rodriguez] called me and asked me to make this (forming the diversity committee) my project,” she said.

The first meeting involved five people.

“We had to lay out our plan and set our goals,” Dr. Thompson said.

The main goal for the Greater Houston Dental Society Diversity Committee is to help increase the membership with diverse members, said Dr. Rodriguez.

“We had to look at our dental society and some of the statistics were not very nice,” he said.

The dental society only had 34 percent market share of minority dentists.

“That means we have about 1,000 potential dentists who are minorities but only a third of them are members,” he said. “That to me was just not good. That was an alarming statistic.”

To engage more minority dentists, the committee has organized several meet-and-greets, inviting dentists to its general meetings that include continuing education speakers. On Oct. 27, the committee is also hosting a lunch and learn for minority dental students to share their professional experiences.

The group’s second goal is to reach out to the minority dental groups in Houston.

While Greater Houston Dental Society didn’t have a diversity committee, Houston is home to minority dental groups, including the Houston Asian American Dental Society and Houston Hispanic Dental Association.

“We want to bring some of the leaders from these other groups to our committee and have some representation,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “We want to have a dialogue and figure out a way to work together.”

The committee welcomed members from the various dental groups in Houston at social event in May. About 60 dentists attended the celebration.

The third goal of the committee is to create cultural awareness and sensitivity in the Greater Houston Dental Society. Through articles and events, the committee seeks to engage the dental society’s members and share stories and discuss issues involving diversity.

“Minority dentists face different challenges,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “We have different languages, different cultures, dialects. Some are first generation immigrants and some the first to be born in America. These are stories that are important to tell.”

Guiding others

The committee, which is currently a subcommittee of the Greater Houston Dental Society board, hopes to become a standalone committee by the end of the year or early next year. Today, the committee has about 15 members working on the three main goals first set in that initial meeting.

However, challenges in outreach and recruitment remain. It’s for this reason that Dr. Thompson modified her Institute for Diversity in Leadership project.

“In the beginning, my goal was just to form the committee,” she said. “But I knew immediately that this committee was going to be formed with or without me. I wanted another challenge.”

Dr. Thompson decided to meticulously document Greater Houston Dental Society’s efforts and actions in organizing their diversity committee, from setting the stage for diversity and including and starting conversations on the topic to taking action and sustaining the group’s work.

“I’m creating a guide so whoever is interested in creating a diversity committee can pick it up and get started,” she said.

Understanding that local and state dental groups vary in demographics and processes, Dr. Thompson said the guide can be modified and will be constantly changing. One of Dr. Thompson’s Institute classmates is already using the guide to start a diversity committee in Dallas, she said.

“The profession is becoming more diverse, especially the number of women,” Dr. Thompson said. “If we don’t have a way to attract diverse members and develop them as leaders, we’re going to face the challenge of having leaders who aren’t reflective of the general members.”

Dental societies interested in starting a diversity committee can email Dr. Thompson at michelle.aguilos@gmail.com.

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