An Attitude of Gratitude

November 27, 2011
by Lory Laughter

It is the season for proclaiming gratitude and in the spirit of being a team player, here is my dental gratitude list.

In the category of technology, nothing beats NuCalm®. Oriniginally, my excitedment about this natural relaxation therapy was for anxious patients, but it does so much more. If your office markets based on Spa Dentistry, NuCalm® is a must offer. After using this relaxation technology, clients leave feeling as they do after a spa visit. Muscles are relaxed, the mind is clear and the body is recharged and ready for action.

Patients actually call ahead of time to make sure NuCalm® will be available for their appointment - and not just the anxious ones. Some people just enjoy the relaxation so much they request it be used. I use the unit off label for insomnia with amazing results. Sleeplessness has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, at least since the age of 7. By using NuCalm® a couple of days a week after work, sleep comes easier and a higher quality of rest is experienced. Check out the science at and then call your dental office to request it for your next visit. If, by chance, the office is unaware of this newer technology feel free to pass on this blog. :)

Another in the "can't be without it column" is the Sonicare DiamondClean from Philips Oral Healthcare. Who would have guessed Sonicare could improve their powered toothbrush, but it happened. The DiamondClean removed four times more plaque than a manual brush - something we expect rom Sonicare. Yet, this brush removes 45% more than the FlexCare+ with the ProResults head. Improvement on near perfection in my humble opinion.

I, personally, like how the DiamondClean head feels on my gums. As an overagressive srubber, I find myself less inclined to push against my gums with the DiamondClean. The sensation from this brush feels like the work is being done for me and extra exertion on my part is unnecessary. you can find the Sonicare DiamondClean where you buy other Sonicare products, but I strongly suggest you check it out first at to be sure you make the right purchase. Be weary of imposters.

Be sure to read my previous blog on the Sonicare AirFloss and discover if it is also right for you. For the sake of space, I won't repeat is all here.

In the category of products, Soft-Picks top my list again this year. These little plastic and rubber picks are easy to use and proven to remove as much plaque between the teeth as traditional floss ( The best part is they feel good on the gums of patient compliance is very high. Nothing beats giving a recommendation that actually has a chance of being followed. You can't find Soft-picks in the dental section of most stores or go to to check them out for yourself. Most Dental Hygienists I speak with use and/or recommend Soft-Picks to their non-flosser patients.

Get yourself a tongue scraper. This single product will make a huge difference in how your breath smells, how much bacteria is left behind in your oral cavity and a general 'clean' feeling to your mouth. There are several varieties, and when used correctly most will accomplish the task. My favorite is from the BreathRX line by Philips Oral Healthcare and can be found in most pharmacies and big box stores.

MI Paste™ and MI Paster Plus™ will always be on this list of products for which I am grateful. ReCaldent™ has been proven to strengthen tooth enamel, reduce sensitiviy and buffer plaque acid. All vital steps in helping to reduce to eliminate tooth decay. I have seen patients change from having at least a cavity yearly to no cavities in over 3 years when adding MI Paste™ or MI Paste Plus™ to their homecare routine. It is part of my daily routine and has led to such a great reduction in sensitivity that I do not leave home without it. See for yourself at

There are many useful and beneficial products to assist with your oral health. I do not mean for this to be complete in any way. Ask your Dental Hygienist or Dentist which products might benefit you best. Specifically ask about those that interest you.

Perhaps most importantly, there are mentors to be thankful for in my dental life. These people not only help me with career decisions, but also inspire my life in general. I have had many mentors along my Dental Hygiene career path and there is not space to mention all of them here. My goal for 2012 is to be more forthcoming with my appreciation for those who have had such a profound impact on why I stay in dentistry.

I've considered a career change more than once in the last 20 years and for one reason or another have stayed the path. I've grown to not only appreciate what this career has brought to me but also enjoy what I can share with others. During the last 10 years or so, there has been voice of reason, a sounding board and a staunch supporter all rolled into one when I need her most. Therefore, I am starting my year of appreciation a bit early by giving a sincere and deeply felt THANK YOU to Kristy Menage Bernie, RDH, BS, RYT.

When I am confused, Kristy is no more than a phone call away to help me clear the fog and rediscover my path. She has the ability to suggest, recommend and guide without ever telling me what I should or should not do with my career or life. Kristy supports me in my decisions rather she agrees or not and does not judge my value system when it doesn't match up with the 'norm.' She has stepped up to help me with achievements and always has the right words when I need them most. While many have influenced my professional life, it would not be where it is today without the guidance and support of my mentor, friend and teacher names Kristy.