January 12, 2010
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Whether you are an existing patient or searching for a dentist in the Lewiston area, we're excited you are here. With the dental industry advancing, we recognize the importance of keeping our patients and visitors up to date with all of the new and exciting things taking place in our practice AND up to date on personalized newsletter articles and stories that Dr. Johnson puts together on occassion.


Most new patients have come to find our quarterly newsletters both informative and entertaining, so we will do our best to interject a great deal of this office fun into our BLOG.

In addition,we hope to promote dental awareness as a vital part of your healthy lifestyle. Here you will find a variety of articles and topics including dental news, advancements in dental technology and treatment, practical dental health advice and updates from Dr. Johnson and his team.

We hope you find our blog to be helpful, engaging and informational to ensure your best dental health.

As always, feel free to contact us with any dental questions or concerns.

December 18th, 2010

Page 1 Article for Dr. Johnsons Newsletter, "Your Valley Smile." The article is entitled: At Least You Can Recycle the Can

If imitation is the ultimate form of flattery, then the Missouri Dental Association should love this article. Debby and Lainey stumbled across this really cool brochure a few weeks back which I just couldn't avoid plagiarizing...well just a little bit. We should have a few of these brochures in the office soon, so if you need further clarification on the subject, let us know and we will gladly get you one.
First and foremost, let me tell you right off, that this article is about tooth decay. Surprise!! I know that you have become accustomed to the front page "glam," but give me just a couple of minutes to enlighten you.
As we have discussed in the past, our mouths are a pretty violent place, and it is the teeth that take the brunt of the abuse. Day in and day out, our diets are loaded with sugars, which once digested by the bacteria in our mouths, form an acid which attacks the tooth. Left alone, this acid can de-mineralize the hard enamel and dentin and cause a cavity. Luckily for us, a healthy mouth has a neutral pH (acidity level) and the minerals in our saliva can often help re-mineralize enamel. It is kind of a push-pull relationship, and if the de-mineralization overpowers the re-mineralization, then you get a cavity. Otherwise, the teeth stay pretty much intact.
On top of the sugar in our diets, many Americans subject their mouths and their teeth to highly acidic drinks almost daily. This in itself can cause problems, since it is reported that de-mineralization of tooth structure starts when the pH in our mouths approaches 5.5. Keep in mind that pure water has a pH of 7, and is therefore considered neutral. Check out the table to the left, but take into consideration that the list is not all-inclusive, and just because you're a "Mountain Dew Guy," you are not necessarily off the hook.
So what we have going on is a real battle. Sugar and acid promote decay, and other than stopping soda and similar drinks all together, maybe it is simply a matter of keeping things in moderation all together. For example:
Since each acid attack can last up to 20 minutes, keep in mind that with each "sip," you are resetting the clock. As such, DO NOT sip on soda all day long. This prolonged exposure can be brutal on your teeth.
Drink in moderation. Back in the 1950's, the average bottle of soda was only 6.5 ounces. Today, the standard serving comes in a 12 oz can, unless you want to super size it to a 20 ouncer!! So, if you do drink soda, sports drinks, or fruit juices, limit your daily consumption to one 12 ounce serving...preferably all at once, and with a meal.
After consumption of a soft drink, brush your teeth. If you can't brush, swish with water to dilute the sugar and neutralize the acid. Xylitol containing chewing gums are gaining promise as decay fighters, and the mere presence of gum stimulates salivary flow, which will help with the re-mineralization process.
Concerned parents have recently been pushing schools to limit the sale of soft drinks on campus' all across the country. In addition to the problems that such drinks can cause to the human dentition, they also contribute to a multitude of potential health issues which often don't materialize for years. For example, as the MDA brochure notes, it is not so much what is in the beverages, but what they push out of the diet...namely minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Since less than 50% of all adolescent girls do not consume enough calcium daily, the additive effect of the soda can lead to osteoporotic effects in the future. Moreover, kidney stones, weight issues, and type 2 diabetes can ultimately come into play for both teens & adults.
So, the next time you crack a can of soda or open a sports drink, look at the nutritional facts on the back of the can. Do you see sugars listed? How about high fructose corn syrup, or sucrose, or phosphoric or cirtic acid? Yep...I thought so too.


  • coffee (black) 5.00 pH
  • Diet Dr. Pepper 3.41 pH
  • Red Bull 3.10 pH
  • Propel (berry) 3.10 pH
  • Sprite 2.90 pH
  • Diet Coke 2.70 pH
  • Powerade 2.63 pH
  • Pepsi 2.43 pH
  • Battery Acid 1.0 pH

December 3rd, 2010

Page 2 Article from Dr. Johnson's Newsletter, "Your Valley Smile." The article is entitled: The Stuff of Which Tears are Made

When Gabby was about eight years old, she was already a seasoned dancer, but was performing in one of her first big girl productions...the Nutcracker, which was being done in Pullman. Ever the dedicated friend, I tossed the wife and all four kids in the car and headed for Pullman on that December day, for no other reason than to support Gabby.
As I nestled into my seat, I sat next to Gabby's dad, Pat, who was the best man at our wedding and long time friend from my days back at the University of Idaho. Many of you will recall me making mention of a band of "particularly hairy brothers from Grangeville" a few years back, but that is an entirely different story all together. None-the-less, I am sitting next to Pat, when he leans over and whispers in my ear.
"Do you really like this stuff?" he lightly asked...except he didn't say "stuff."
"Well," I replied, "Not really, but we are here to support Gabby, you know."
As Pat's torture continued, I remember the long production finally coming to an end and Pat and his son, Sam, literally running up the stairs to the door...there must have been a Notre Dame game on that afternoon, 'cuz I can't remember Pat ever moving so quickly...least not anytime over the past ten years!!
Now, buzz forward about six years to another Christmas production...this one called "The Twelve Days of Christmas," with an even more polished Gabby dancing ballet as one of the Three French Hens. Wow!! What a difference a few years makes...I mean, 'she doesn't even look like she's having a seizure on stage anymore, ' I thought to myself!!
Once the production was over, I made a quick call to Gabby's house to congratulate her, but instead got her old dad, Pat, on the phone instead.
"Hey man, I need to talk to your daughter," I said. When Pat asked me why, I said, "I just wanted her to know that we went to her dance and she looked beautiful on the stage and she danced amazingly."
ry dancing pioneer park"I know," Pat replied with a gulp, "I can't hardly watch her dance anymore without wanting to cry."
What an amazing transition, I remember thinking, as I hung up the phone...from "stuff" to tears in about five years. I certainly don't recall him ever making mention of anything like that when he talked about Sam!!
And so it is with dads and their little girls...
So, the summer of 2010 finally did catch on sometime in June, and my little girl went to a local week-long dance camp. Upon completion of the camp, a short production was held at Pioneer Park, where I found myself sitting in a lawn chair, with about twenty other dads, watching their daughters, with lumps growing in their throats...stupid Pat!!
Just a few days ago, I was visiting with my assistant Evie, who was talking about how beautiful her children are. "Excuse me sister, but everyone knows that my kids are far more beautiful," I remember thinking. "They do have an exceptionally handsome father, after all."
Which brings me to something I think we all know...that our parents simply love us and that we will always be beautiful in their biased eyes...sometimes warts and all.
So it was, on August 12th, that my wife lost her little brother, Ethan, to a tragic mining accident in Nevada. As I sat there in the wet Elko grass, dodging water from the ill timed sprinklers, I listened intently to my mother-in-law, Lorene, as she talked lovingly of her recently departed son...and all I could picture was her holding his chubby, scruffy face and staring intently into his eyes...like only a mother can do, saying "...you sure are a handsome man, you sure are a handsome man..." Then, just as I do with my "littles," I could envision her holding his face only 30 years earlier, saying, "...you sure are a good looking boy...you sure are a good looking boy."
As one of my favorite family physicians relayed to Dealiah and I a few weeks ago, the bad stuff in life, goes away, but the good always stays and will always be there...it just gets stronger and stronger. Dr. Chavez is right, but he actually said that far more eloquently than I just did.
Love 'em while they're here, 'cuz they won't stay little forever and God forbid, you might just out live them. I wish you eternal peace Ethan.