My Blog

Posts for: July, 2018

By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
July 24, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
BaseballsFranciscoLindorShinesasMrSmile

At the first-ever Players Weekend in August 2017, Major League Baseball players wore jerseys with their nicknames on the back. One player — Cleveland Indians shortstop, Francisco Lindor — picked the perfect moniker to express his cheerful, fun-loving nature: “Mr. Smile.” And Lindor gave fans plenty to smile about when he belted a 2-run homer into the stands while wearing his new jersey!

Lindor has explained that he believes smiling is an important part of connecting with fans and teammates alike: “I’ve never been a fan of the guy that makes a great play and then acts like he’s done it 10,000 times — smile, man! We’ve got to enjoy the game.”

We think Lindor is right: Smiling is a great way to generate good will. And it feels great too… as long as you have a smile that’s healthy, and that looks as good as you want it to. But what if you don’t? Here are some things we can do at the dental office to help you enjoy smiling again:

Routine Professional Cleanings & Exams. This is a great place to start on the road toward a healthy, beautiful smile. Even if you are conscientious about brushing and flossing at home, you won’t be able to remove all of the disease-causing dental plaque that can hide beneath the gum line, especially if it has hardened into tartar, but we can do it easily in the office. Then, after a thorough dental exam, we can identify any problems that may be affecting your ability to smile freely, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or cosmetic dental issues.

Cosmetic Dental Treatments. If your oral health is good but your smile is not as bright as you’d like it to be, we can discuss a number of cosmetic dental treatments that can help. These range from conservative procedures such as professional teeth whitening and bonding to more dramatic procedures like porcelain veneers or crowns.

Tooth Replacement. Many people hide their smiles because they are embarrassed by a gap from a missing tooth. That’s a shame, because there are several excellent tooth-replacement options in a variety of price ranges. These include partial and full dentures, bridgework, and dental implants. So don’t let a missing tooth stop you from being Mr. (or Ms.) Smile!

If you’d like more information about oral health or cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”


By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
July 14, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   nutrition  
ThinkWaterFirstforSummerThirst

It’s easy to work up a thirst in the summer. You might be shooting hoops in the park, riding on a trail or playing volleyball on the beach. No matter what your favorite summertime activity is, outdoor fun can leave you dry—and then it’s time to reach for a cold one. But when your body craves hydration, what’s the best thing to drink?

The answer’s simple: water!

Sure, we’ve all seen those ads for so-called “energy” and “sports” drinks. But do you know what’s really in them? Sports drinks (all of those different “…ades”) are mostly water with some sugars, salts and acids. “Energy” drinks (often promoted as “dietary supplements” to avoid labeling requirements) also contain plenty of acids and sugars—and sometimes extremely high levels of caffeine!

Studies have shown the acid in both sports and energy drinks has the potential to erode the hard enamel coating of your teeth, making them more susceptible to decay and damage. And the sugar they contain feeds the harmful oral bacteria that cause tooth decay. So you could say that the ingredients in these beverages are a one-two punch aimed right at your smile.

It’s a similar story for sodas and other soft drinks, which often have high levels of sugar. In fact, some popular iced teas have 23 grams (almost 6 teaspoons) of sugar per 8-ounce serving—and a single 24-ounce can holds 3 servings! Many diet sodas (and some fruit juices) are acidic, and may damage your tooth enamel.

Water, on the other hand, has no acid and no sugar. It has no calories and no caffeine. Simple and refreshing, water gives your body the hydration it craves, with no unnecessary ingredients that can harm it. In fact, if you fill a reusable bottle from your own tap, you may not only benefit from cavity-fighting fluoride that’s added to most municipal tap water…you’ll also be helping the environment by cutting down on unnecessary packaging.

It’s best to drink water all of the time—but if you don’t, here are a few tips: If you want to enjoy the occasional soda or soft drink, try to limit it to around mealtimes so your mouth isn’t constantly bathed in sugar and acid. Swish some water around your mouth afterward to help neutralize the acidity of the drinks. And wait at least an hour before brushing your teeth; otherwise you might remove tooth enamel that has been softened by acids.

What you drink can have a big effect on your oral health—and your overall health. So when thirst strikes, reach for a cold glass of water. It can help keep you healthy this summer…and all year long.

If you would like more information about nutrition and oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Think Before You Drink” and “Nutrition & Oral Health.”


By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
July 13, 2018
Category: Dental Appliances
Tags: dental implants  

Dental ImplantsIs a smile gap harmful or just unsightly? Actually, it's both. Missing teeth affect your self-confidence, degrade your gum tissue and jaw bone and weaken teeth adjacent to the empty space. Fix your smile gaps once and for all with innovative dental implants from Dr. Brenna Hamrick-Stotts in Redlands, CA. An expert in a wide range of restorative and cosmetic dental treatments, Dr. Hamrick-Stotts fixes damaged smiles, improving oral health and smile aesthetics.

What is a dental implant?

It's a complete prosthetic tooth, replacing the missing root and entire tooth structure above the gum line. The artificial root is composed of biocompatible titanium, a natural metal which human bone adheres to with amazing tenacity and strength. This bonding process is called osseointegration, and it forms a solid foundation for the rest of the implant: a metal alloy post and custom-made porcelain crown.

Can everyone receive dental implants?

Most people can, but Dr. Hamrick-Stotts will determine your candidacy through complete examination, X-rays, and a CT scan. If you have good oral health and sufficient bone in your jaw, you likely can receive dental implants. Even individuals who have significant tooth loss--are missing an entire arch of teeth, for instance--can undergo dental implant treatment. Also, if a patient has insufficient bone density, the dentist can augment it with specialized procedures which create a solid foundation for the implants.

The implant process

Osseointegration does take time. So, you'll receive your dental implant in stages:

  1. Insertion of the titanium screw into the jaw (this is an in-office procedure needing just local anesthetic)
  2. Healing time which encompasses many weeks or even months
  3. Bonding on a metal extension post and porcelain crown

To ensure a dental implant site stays healthy, Dr. Hamrick-Stotts asks her patients to carefully brush and floss twice a day and to see her every six months for a check-up and cleaning. Also, implant recipients who smoke should see their physicians about a supervised tobacco cessation program.

Implant longevity

The research about how long dental implants last may surprise you. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) states that if an implant is properly inserted, heals well and is kept free of plaque and tartar, it should last indefinitely--even the rest of your life. Also, the AAID maintains that this reliable tooth replacement steadily grows in popularity in the US--by about half a million implants annually.

Learn more in Redlands

Dr. Hamrick-Stotts and her dedicated team will be happy to show you if dental implants could close your gaps and give you an amazing and long-lasting smile. For a personal consultation at her Redlands, CA, office, please call (909) 793-9711.


By Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc.
July 04, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  
TipstoBrightenYourSummerSmile

In summer, there is no shortage of occasions to show off your smile. Whether attending a wedding, graduation celebration, family reunion or neighborhood barbecue, you’ll want to look your best. But if your smile doesn’t shine as brightly as you’d like, a trip to the dental office may just be the confidence-booster you’re looking for. Here are some popular techniques to enhance your smile:

Teeth cleaning. A professional cleaning can make your mouth feel fresh and add sparkle to your smile. The dental hygienist uses special tools to get rid of plaque and tartar that you cannot remove during your oral hygiene routine at home. In addition, hygienists use a tooth-polishing tool that removes surface stains.

Professional whitening. Professional teeth whitening can achieve excellent results in one short office visit. But if you have several weeks before the big event on your calendar, you can also get winning results at home using custom-made whitening trays from the dental office. Either way, your smile can sparkle at summer celebrations.

Cosmetic bonding. If your teeth have small chips or cracks, cosmetic bonding may be a good option for you. In bonding, tooth-colored material is shaped to the tooth and hardened with a curing light. The procedure—generally done in one office visit without anesthesia—is relatively inexpensive, and the result is very natural-looking.

Porcelain veneers. If you are unhappy with the color, shape, size or spacing of your teeth, long-lasting dental veneers can give your smile a whole new look. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain shells that are bonded to the tooth’s surface. Because they may be crafted in a dental lab, they may require two to three visits to the dental office over a few-week period.

With so many options, it’s easy to put your best smile forward at all your summer gatherings. We can help. If you have any questions about brightening your smile, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening” and “Porcelain Veneers.”