Our Blog

Olympia Family Dentist

  • 6/8/2015

     "Good humor is a tonic for mind and body.  It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression.  It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends.  It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment."

-Grenville Kleiser

  • 6/5/2015


"Those old adages-you attract more with honey; do unto others - are true. You can get attention by being acerbic or mean or making a bizarre comment. But by being nice, being empathetic, building relationships and listening, people begin to recognize that you're thoughtful and respectful of their position."

~Shelly Moore Capito
  • 6/5/2015

Continue to look for the positives, life is always teaching us something :


"I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; and for that I am grateful"

Any parents struggle brushing their child's teeth? I think every parent has probably said yes to this question at some point! There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to get that toothbrush in your kids mouth and wash out all those nasty little "sugar bugs'! My son started out allowing me to brush his teeth every night at about the age of one...then TWO hit!! What turned into a fun night of brushing our teeth, turned into one of our biggest struggles! Night after night I continued to attempt to brush his teeth...little by little he would allow me to brush more...but not enough to know he was going to bed with clean teeth.

Time and time again, I continue to hear Dr Kim tell children's parents, "At night time, let your child brush your teeth,  while you brush theirs." Don't ask my why I didn't take this little piece of advice home with me the first time I heard it, but boy do I wish I had! Brushing our teeth at night has finally turned into a success and looked at as a fun activity before bed time now. My son feels so proud and accomplished when he brushes 'mommy's' teeth, and I feel relieved and happy knowing he's got clean teeth too!

Any of you out there who have kids, bring them in! We would love to help and offer any advice to make your life easier!!

Tawni D.
Dental Assistant

We have the most amazing patients! Just added a few new patients in our office and it is so rewarding to connect with new people.
I had this older married couple come in this morning. It has been a long time since they were into the dentist and you could tell they were both a little nervous. The husband went back first for his cleaning and I could just tell that his wife was struggling with being here. She was also concerned with the cost.
I noticed on her paperwork that she brought in that we had our physician in common so I decided to tell her I go to the same doctor and how wonderful I thought  they were. Turns out she has been with them for 15 years. I could feel her fear melting away as I took the time to listen to a few of her stories and engage in conversation with her. She went from looking uncomfortable to relaxed and by the time she went back for her cleaning she was actually smiling.
She did have to have a deep cleaning and some bridge work . She accepted the deep cleaning today and even though she was given an option for a partial as a cheaper alternative she elected to have the bridge done.
I heard her tell her husband that we have the same doctor in common. When they left they told me how happy they were with our office.
Stories like these just make me so happy to be in the dental field.

Shelley Crocker
Olympia Family Dental

We had a patient at the front desk say to me that if she really knew what dentures would be like she never would have gotten them.  I felt really bad for her, however she was told the issues ahead of time, and had her mind made up that this is what she wanted. 
Dentures can be useful but they create a whole new set of issues that people may not be aware of. There was a time when people chose this method of treatment to replace lost teeth because there were really no other options. Now there are quite a few alternatives that our patients should consider first.
The initial cost of implants or bridges may seem high but you cannot put a price on the ability to chew food, or to keep your facial structure. We have had so many patients tell us that if they would have known what it would be like to have dentures they never would have done it. That they didn't realise there would be so many issues with them.
Bridges and  Implants are as close as you can get to having your own teeth, if dentures are the only alternative there are implant supported dentures.
I think that the key is to really make sure that we educate our patients on the pros and cons of dentures so that they are fully aware when they choose that route. Also to let them know that there are potentially a lot of challenges they may have to face.
Dentures can be a great solution for some, but if you were to ask most people that have them most of them would have thought twice before they got them.

Shelley C
Front Office

  • 5/15/2015
  • Painless shots!!
If you have a chance to look at our reviews, either online or on our website, you will see a lot of comments about painless injections given in our office! I have learned over the course of 15 years that injections can be completely painless at best and only mildly discomforting at worst if given correctly.  So what do we do to try and minimize the pain when giving an injection.  We use distraction!  That is what pick pocketers use when they steal someone's wallet.  They bump into you, you feel a bump and never realize that they reached into your wallet and stole from you.  In the same way, a good distraction can "distract" the patient or their nerves, while the dentist stealthfully sneaks in and delivers anesthesia.  Have you ever been to an acupuncturist.  I have many times and usually you will not feel it when they poke you with their needles.  Now granted, their needles are a lot smaller in diameter.  But they also use a tap distraction that helps to dissipate the pain!  Have you ever run through a field and later realized that you had a cut on your leg from something sharp, but because you were so distracted with running, perhaps because you were in a game, that you never felt the pain or realized that you were cut.  One more example of this concept.  Have you ever given a shot to your dog or cat.  In my home, when we have to give a shot to our cat or dog.  My wife will hold the pet and scratch him/her vigorously.  I will do the same around the neck of my animal and then quickly give a shot.  Most of the times, the animal is so distracted, they don't feel the shot.  So in our office, this is what we do when we give an injection (shot).  We will place topical anesthetic.  This is a numbing gel so that the tissue in your mouth gets numb before the shot.  This actually numbs up the exterior of the tissue quite well but it can only penetrate so much.  This is more of a superficial numbing.   Then I distract the tissue by shaking the gums w/ my thumb or forefinger.  Then slip the needle into the tissue and only allow a few drops initially to get the tissue to numb up.  Our patients tell us all the time how painless this technique is.  The palate is made up of hard tissue and getting an injection in this area can be very painful.  The topical anesthetic (numbing gel) doesn't work very well here either because the tissue is so thick.  In this area, I like to apply pressure w/ the back end of my mouth mirror or with the end of a q-tip.  I bounce up and down w/ the stick and ask patient if they feel the pressure on their hard palate.  They will reply that they do. I am trying to get the patient to focus on the pressure that they are feeling.  Then when I am applying pressure again, I insert the needle gently.  The pressure of the stick will mask the pain from the needle.  This is a very effective way for delivering anesthetic!  I could go much more regarding these and other techniques, but this may suffice for those wondering what we do to try and make each visit as comfortable as possible!

I often receive calls from people who do not like going to the dentist because of many reasons. Some are afraid they may experience pain. For some it is just an inconvenience. I truly don't think people have been educated that dentistry isn't just about the smile, that it is also about the health of their smile.

I think it is really important to educate our patients on the benefits of taking care of their oral health.  If we let our patients know that we offer many services for all ages and educate them on the importance of a healthy smile it promotes regular visits.
Dr. Kim educates all of our patients and speaks to them in terms they can understand. It truly makes a difference.
 When patients want to put off fillings because they just had an expensive crown or root canal. We let them know that it is important to take care of the fillings as soon as possible because if left too long they can also turn into more of an expense.
I  notice more patients scheduling recalls and making those appointments after an exam with Dr. Kim. I believe it has a lot to do with education on healthy oral health.

Shelley C
Front Office
  • 5/13/2015

My favorite thing about dentistry is the smiles we get from happy patients.  Whether it is being able to chew where they couldn't before because they now have an implant, or because we made their front teeth beautiful with crowns or composite ( tooth colored) fillings, or even adjusting a denture so that it's comfortable.  I love making a positive difference in people's lives. I LOVE coming to work every day and being with the kindest  Doctors and co-workers in the world. I appreciate Dr Kim's patience with people and his determination to get a happy result even with difficult situations.  

Sherry Clark EFDA
  • 5/13/2015

Why I enjoy dentistry so much!

I am always encouraging young people to consider a career in dentistry whenever I can.  Often times people ask, "how can you look into a person's mouth all day".  To be honest, it doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I could do a dental exam and eat my lunch at the same time if I had to:)  I believe a good career choice has to do with personality fit.  I am the type that likes to get things done and I do not procrastinate.  In dentistry, we are faced with problems (ie-tooth problems/pain) and our job is to fix it right away.  This is very rewarding for me.  There is instant gratification and satisfaction.  We are also constantly creating and for someone who enjoys art, this is also very gratifying.  Previous to being a dentist, in almost every job that I have had, I would always be watching the clock.  I can honestly say that dentistry is the only job that I don't watch the clock incessantly.  Each procedure is a project and we are focused on completing the project to the best of our abilities.  This makes the time literally fly by!  As a dentist, we are meeting people "all day long"!  For a social butterfly like myself, this makes my job very exciting versus having a sedentary job such as a book keeper or someone who works in a lab by themselves.   As a dentist, one must also be a business person.  I have to run a business, hire employees, keep track of accounting, marketing/advertising, etc.  This allows me to be an entrepreneur which I find to be very fulfilling.  Best of all, we are able to help people who are in need.  Have you ever had a toothache?  Well if you have, then you know how nice it is to see a dentist who can quickly take you out of the pain.  So if you are looking for a rewarding career, feel free to contact me at anytime and I'd be glad to share with you more about what a career in dentistry has to offer!

  • 5/12/2015

Hi everyone,

My name is Tawni and I've been assisting with Dr Kim for almost a year and a half now. When I first began, I felt nervous and excited all at the same time. Not only did I walk into an office with a great Dr to help motivate and coach me through dental assisting, I was also blessed with amazing staff members! Everyone is truly, so welcoming and helpful. I have learned and grown so much from each and every person here.

I'd have to say my favorite procedure is a crown prep. I used to work in a dental lab, as a lab technician, where I worked on crown and bridge. I enjoyed that job, but was missing the personal aspect of getting to know and converse with others. Working today in a dental office where I get to put my skills as a lab tech, together with the joy of meeting our patients and getting to know them and listen to their stories, has been incredible. I am happy to continue to meet new patients and hopefully brighten their day, as they brighten mine.

Tawni, Dental Assistant

I have been working for Olympia Family Dental for almost a year and it sure has gone fast. "Time flies when you're having fun".
When an office delivers this type of care it grows so fast. People are attracted to an office like this and they refer friends and family. It is truly amazing to witness.Shelley C
Front Office Staff

It is an amazing feeling to love going to work every day. Our team works together to create an atmosphere that our patients can feel is compassionate, caring, and delivers the highest standard of care.

This is the most amazing team that I have had the opportunity to work for. There is no drama in our office. All of the staff come to work with great attitudes and there is no job in the office that any of us would not take on. Everyone here is a team player and if we don't know how to do something there is always someone that will patiently teach you how. Our patients often compliment me on the "vibe" in our office and tell me they can feel it right away. 

  • 5/8/2015

The key to a successful dental practice!
After having practiced dentistry for over 15 years, I've learned a thing or two about how to run a great dental practice.  This has come through trial and error. Many will define success in different ways, however for me, success is defined by my overall satisfaction w/ how the office is doing.  This can be quantified by how productive we are, how happy the patients are, how happy the office staff are, how low is our business overhead, etc.  The number one key IMO in achieving any kind of success begins with having an amazing team that I love to work with and that enjoys working together.  Without an amazing team, it is difficult to achieve any of the other goals effectively.  It begins with the hiring process.  The key is to hire slowly and to fire quickly if needed.  When I hire, there is only one question that I need to ask all of the references on the resume.  I ask the previous employer this one valuable question!  "Would you hire them again"!  If every employer answers- YES! to this question, I know that I have found a winner.  They tend to be hard working w/ a great "can do" attitude.  They tend to be team players and they leave their drama at home.  They do not gossip and they want to preserve a fun and healthy work environment. 
This kind of a dental team actually makes me want to come to work! Patients can sense the unity and camaraderie in an office that enjoys working together.  I attended a workshop put on by one of the directors of the Ritz Carlton.  They are known for exceptional service.  What I learned from them was that, they don't take average people and try to change them or to train them to be a certain way.  They make sure to hire correctly in the first place.  That means, hiring happy people w/ the right attitude. What I have just shared can be utilized by any business owner or leader for putting together a winning team.

  • 5/8/2015

To the readers of the Olympia Family Dentist blog:
This is a test to check if our blog is connecting.  We have been having technical difficulties:

I have had the pleasure of working in the dental field for 17+ years. To me it is such a rewarding career in so ways. There are many aspects of the dental office. The diversity makes for a great career because you can choose so many different jobs in this field.You could become a dentist, hygienist, dental assistant, sterilization assistant, office manager, scheduling coordinator, lab tech. Some people in the the dental field often go on to be teachers or lecture at dental conventions in their areas of expertise. After graduating from the assisting program I assisted for a few years and decided that I really loved the interactions of the front office .I have seen so many changes in peoples lives through dentistry. I have met people who have not been into the dentist in 20 years start coming in on a regular basis because of the work they have had done changes the way they feel about themselves.Shelley 

 Front office for Dr. Calvin Kim and Dr. John Cho

 I find that the relationships with the patients at the front desk is one of my favorite parts of being in dentistry. The fact that you can bond with them from the first phone call is rewarding in itself. To be able to put people at ease about their visit to our office if they are having high anxiety is one of my favorites. Just to know that you can make a difference in someone's life even in a small way is a wonderful feeling. 

When I was in high school one of my best friends father was a dentist and offered me a job sterilizing after school. I tried a few other jobs after high school but dentistry was always in the back of my mind. I just knew that was where I wanted to be. I decided to go through the dental assisting program at our local community college and have been in the field ever since. 

Cosmetic dentistry is the field of dentistry that generally refers to the appearance and sometimes overall health of teeth. There are several procedures that fall under cosmetic dentistry such as straightening, bleaching, crowns, veneers, implants. Some of the benefits of cosmetic dentistry can be life changing for people.
Social benefits are (in my opinion)  one of the most rewarding to witness. Often times people that are ashamed or embarrassed by their smile have no social life at all is. This can lead to social anxiety to the point that someone would not want to advance in a career or even have a career.  It is amazing to watch someone leave your dental office smiling after completion of a cosmetic procedure.  Just by changing someones smile you  can boost their confidence level to the point of having relationships with people again.
There are also health benefits related to cosmetic dentistry. Dental hygiene usually becomes very important to someone who has invested in their smile. Some headaches, earaches, and jaw pain can also be resolved by changing bite relations and straightening teeth. Some cosmetic procedures could also lead to nutritional health if a patient has had a limited diet due to tooth pain, and chewing abilities.

-Shelley,  Front office for Dr. kim & Dr. Cho

Oral health in toddlers and children is more important than some people think. Good oral hygiene of primary (or baby) teeth effects the outcome of adult teeth and creates good habits at an early age. Some people seem to think that sugary or acidic juices and milk at bed time are okay because they are just dealing with "baby" teeth. Primary or "baby" teeth are important because they help guide the permanent teeth into place. Decay can also be transferred from tooth to tooth if they are touching each other. Which means that decay can be transferred from primary tooth to permanent tooth during the eruption process. Untreated decay can also lead to an abscessed tooth on primary teeth just like adults can get! Your child can have servere dental pain and need to have a procedure done called a pulpotomy, a pulpotomy is like a baby root canal! A good rule of thumb is to give your child juice or milk (milk even contains sugar!) with meals but limit them to water throughout the rest of the day and always brush your childs teeth after their last sugary drink for the day!

We all know the brushing rules such as small amounts of flouridated toothpaste if your child is under the age of three and trying to prevent them from swallowing any flouridated toothpastes, but did you know that you should also use small circular motions with a toothbrush on your children just like you do to your own teeth? Letting them brush themselves and using a back and forth scrubbing motion could be detremintal to their gums. It's always a good idea to help them brush until they perfect their own fine motor skills. A good suggestion that I've heard is to let your child brush his or her own teeth followed by a thorough cleaning from Mom or Dad afterwards until your child is old enough to write in cursive (food for thought). We also suggest that you start seeing your dentist for regular check ups when your child is around age 2!! See you soon! :)

-Angie, Dental Assistant for Dr. Kim and Dr. Cho at Chehalis Family Dental


Hello,      I am Shelley and I work in the front office for Dr. Kim. I would just like to take this opportunity to explain to you my goals for our high fear dental patients. I can not tell you how rewarding it is when  you can transform someone from being in fear of the dentist to loving the experience.     

My goal for our patients is that they would look forward to coming in to our office. I know that I get excited to have my teeth cleaned as much as I do say a pedicure or hair appointment. It would be my wish that our patients could enjoy the dental experience as much as I do.     When someone has a bad dental experience it can put a deep rooted fear into you that may be hard to overcome. It could actually be as simple as your parents telling you their own fears. No matter what the cause of your fear is, it can be traumatizing. The key is to finding the right dentist and office that fits your needs.       Just getting the patient with dental fears into the office is a major accomplishment, but once they are there it is time to treat them with the kindness and patience that they may have been lacking elsewhere. Once this relationship is established, then it should turn into a lifelong relationship. I usually can't wait to hear what the staff has been up to in the last 6 months. 

I know that when I took that step into looking for a dentist I wanted to make sure that I was treated with kindness and respect from the first phone call. That is why it is important when I speak with someone on the phone I try to make sure they know what they are saying is important. Its powerful for them to  know that I am listening to their needs and trying to help them choose the right treatment path for them. It could mean they just need to come in for a consultation. When I found that office that listened to my concerns and fears I knew that was where I wanted to go.

Believe it or not there was a time when I did not feel this way. 

  • 7/29/2014


My name is Tawni. I am a Dental Assistant here at Olympia Family Dental, working for both Dr. Kim and Dr. Cho. Being able to wake up each and every morning, sincerely grateful for the people I am surrounded by here, knowing we are helping others, and putting smiles on our patients faces, is truly a rewarding feeling. I work with such amazing people. Everyone is our office is so giving, caring and genuinely understanding. I couldn't be happier with where I am! I am excited to see each and every one of you too, should you choose to come visit us!

  • 7/25/2014

Most important person on the dental team!

One of the things that I enjoy most about my job as a dentist is the great staff that I get to work with.  Over the course of 14 years, I've realized that staff can make me or break me!  Some staff make me look forward to coming to work and some make me want to stay in my office.  Currently, I have the best staff that I have ever had throughout my career.  I believe a great dental visit requires an exceptional team from the front desk all the way to the dental assistant working chairside in the back office.  Often times, people may think that the dentist is the most important person in the dental team and this could not be further from the truth.  The most important person in any dental team is the front desk receptionist who answers the calls and is the first person a patient will meet.  This front desk person makes the first impression for the office and can make the difference between whether a patient decides to come in for a visit or go somewhere else.  Without a great front desk, the dentist may not even be able to meet the patient, and for this reason they are the most important member of the team.  However, a truly exceptional dental office doesn't have just a great front desk, but from front to back, the patient has a truly exceptional experience.  That includes a fantastic hygienist who can guage the situation and depending on the patient, give them the treatment best suited for their needs.  Assertive and kind dental assistants are just as important as they will be spending the most amount of time with the patients and getting to know them.   I try and teach my dental associates, that when a patient sees me as their dentist.  My goal is not that the patients will say "yeah, I like my dentist, he's nice".  I want my patients to say, "WOW, he is amazing"!  We want to give each of our patients the "WOW" experience.  If your familiar with the online shoe company Zappos, then you know how they grew so quickly.  Their goal was to deliver the "wow" experience to each of their customers.  Because I value my staff and appreciate what each of them has to offer, I have opened up our office blog site to my staff for them to share their thoughts and perspectives about their experiences or working in the dental field.   Hope you enjoy what they have to share!  Wishing you a great weekend!!

  • 1/15/2014

How to find a new dentist?

Often times over the years, I have had patients that have had to move out of town and would be needing to find a new dentist.  So I thought that I would share about what I consider to be a good method for finding a new dentist.  Often times, people will ask their friends and family and that is how they find their local dentist.  However, one may be new in town and not have much of a network of new friends.  Now before I tell you what I consider to be a good method of finding a new dentist.  I will tell you what I would be looking for in a new dentist for my children.  I would want a dentist that has at least a few years of experience.  I would want one that is gentle with his hands (ie- painless shots) and has good chairside manners.  I would want a dentist that practices with the utmost integrity and doesn't come across as a pushy salesperson.

So how would I find this dentist, I would call the local orthodontist.  The local orthodontist sees patients coming in from many of the local dental offices.  The local orthodontist will usually personally know all of the local dentists, they will have the opportunity to see the work of the local dentists when they look in the patients mouths.  They will often hear feedback from the patients about their dentist.  Personally, I've never met an orthodontist that I didn't like and I find them all to be very kind and helpful. So if you called with this request, I'm sure they would be glad to help you!

 I recall a good friend of mine who is an anesthesiologist tell me one time, that if you are needing surgery and you want to know who a good surgeon is, then you should ask the anesthesiologist.  Afterall the
anesthesiologist interacts with all the different surgeons as well as observes their work as they are monitoring the patient.  I think the same would apply in this situation of finding a great local dentist.  By the way, I will tell my patients, don't stop until you find a dentist that you like, because their are plenty of great dentists out there.  Sometimes it can just be chemistry, and sometimes it can just be a preference for a certain type of personality that works, however- because there are plenty of great dentists out there that do great dentistry, most everybody should be able to find a dentist that they love!

  • 12/16/2013

Flossing blog!

I had written an article in a local community magazine about how important it is to floss.  The excerpt below is taken from that article:)

I will share with you the spiel about flossing that I like to present to my patients! (I also let the patients know, that I usually only give this spiel once, as I wouldn't want any patient to feel like they would get a lecture everytime they came to the office for a visit)!

The mouth is full of bacteria (we tell the kids, the mouth is full of sugar bugs) and the bacteria love to eat what we like to eat- SUGAR! When we put sugar in our mouth, and this doesn't have to be candy or ice cream, even orange juice has sugar in it.   The bacteria will eat the sugar, digest it, and convert it to acid and toxins.  The bacteria will secrete these acids/toxins in your mouth (we tell the kids that the sugar bugs are pooping).  When the acid sits on your tooth for a long time without being removed, the acid will eat away at your tooth, and that is how you get a tooth decay.  A lot of people think that
bacteria eat our teeth, but this is not the case.  Would bacteria prefer to eat teeth or sugar?  Bacteria eat sugar, however its the acid from the bacteria that eats away at our teeth. 

Most people brush their teeth, so the front, top (chewing surface) and tongue side of the tooth may be protected from the bacterial acid. However, if one doesn't floss, it is in between the teeth where the bacteria are able to reside and are protected from the attacks of the toothbrush.  For as long as a patient doesn't floss, this bacterial buildup can reside and continue to produce acids that create cavities.  Imagine the bacteria eating sugar and creating acid, and I often like to show my patients an x-ray of what this bone loss looks like, as the bone loss is readily visible and helps patients to see what can happen after prolonged neglect of flossing.  When the patientare quite obvious.

Like yourself, I very much dislike having my teeth drilled on.  My goal is to reduce the amount of work needed to be done on my teeth.  Secondly, I like my teeth and I'd like to avoid wearing dentures if at all possible.  Last of all, I'd prefer to spend my money on things other than dental work.  If you can relate to any of these sentiments, then daily flossing once a day is the best thing that you can do for yourself!

One other thing to note is that many people floss but they are wasting their time as they are flossing incorrectly, I highly recommend that you ask your dental provider what the techniques are in flossing thoroughly so that you receive the maximum benefit of flossing.  I also recommend flossing in the evening after the last meal of the day so that your teeth stay clean all during the night while you are sleeping.  I also recommend to floss and then brush your teeth.  This way, you remove the "gunk" out from in between your teeth, then you can brush/rinse and wash it all away!

As a kid, I had quite a few cavities.  Since I've been flossing regularly, I hardly get cavities any more and neither do my gums bleed
like they used to.  You may have heard the adage, "Floss only the teeth you want to keep" and this couldn't be more true!

I tell my patients that its like getting an oil change in your car. Regular oil changes are inexpensive, but if you don't do them and the engine blows up, it can be quite costly.  This applies to your teeth. Flossing daily and getting regular check ups are simple and inexpensive.  But if a tooth
is neglected and by the time a tooth begins to ache, it is analogous to a car engine that has blown up.  As they say- "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", this could not be more true when it comes to your teeth. 

I cannot tell you how many dentures and partial dentures I make for patients who never knew about gum disease and lived for years without flossing.  I tell patients that I am on a crusade to stop people from having to wear dentures.  There are very few reason this day in age for any young person to ever have to wear dentures when they get older with the dental care and education that is available. 

People will often tell me that they don't floss because their gums bleed or that their gums hurt.  They don't realize that their gums bleed and hurt because they have all this acid and toxins underneath their gums.  Here is the example that I like to give.  Imagine that you have a fresh cut on your arm.  If you clean the area and keep if free from debris, the bleeding will stop and by the next day, a scab  will begin to form.  On the other other hand, imagine if you have a cut on your arm, and every hour, you take a bottle of acid and spraythe wound with acid every hour.  What would the area look like?  By the next day, it would be so irritated, it would be swollen, red, inflammed, painful to touch, and probably begin to bleed.  It is the same thing with gums.  Bleeding and painful gums is one of the best indicators that a patient is not flossing and has an accumulation of bacterial acids and toxins under the gums.  How do you stop the bleeding and pain.  If a patient begins flossing regularly, immediately following a thorough cleaning, the bleeding will usually stop with a day or two. 

This quick patient education seems to work very effectively in my office to motivate many patients to begin flossing!  

sees the x-ray of the destroyed bone, the devastating effects of not flossing

secreting this acid in between your teeth and it just sits there causing harmful damage.  This can go on for as long as an individual chooses not to floss.

The teeth are held in place by bone, and this bacterial acid will alsobegin to eat away at the bone as well.  Often times I see new patients who have not flossed for years come in, and their teeth are mobile and moving side to side.  The supporting bone has been destroyed by the bacterial acid and often times, the only option is to extract the teeth.  This is called periodontal disease (gum/bone disease). 

  • 12/16/2013

Blog clarification-

I have my blogs automatically going to both of my dental websites, I want to clarify that I have two dental offices, one in Olympia, WA (Olympia Family Dental) and one in Chehalis, WA (Chehalis Family Dental), I make this clarification because I call my blog site by the Olympia Family Dental name and I didn't want to confuse any of my patients who may get on the Chehalis website and become confused by the name!

Yours truly,

Calvin Kim D.D.S.
  • 12/1/2013

I have decided to start blogging about the work that I love to do, please stay tuned about current topics in dentistry.

  • 12/1/2013


Confessions of an Olympia Dentist

So I have decided to begin blogging and for my first blog decided upon a topic near and dear to my own personal experience.  To be honest, until I went to dental school, I hardly flossed my teeth.  I recall flossing and brushing rigorously at times on the day of a dental checkup hoping that my dentist wouldn't notice how poor my oral hygiene habits were.  One time, around my early 20's, I had just had my teeth scaled and cleaned by a male hygienist and my gums were bleeding profusely.  I was upset with the hygienists as I was convinced that he had torn up my gums with his sharp dental instruments, not realizing that this was due to the severe gingivitis (gum inflammation) I had.

My dentist would tell me that I need to floss and brush my teeth, and I probably did a few times after the visit, then I would go right back to my usual routine of brushing twice a day.  Now that I've been practicing dentistry for the last 13 years, I find this to be all to common with the majority of the population.  When I ask a new patient if they floss, I'd say that the most common response is a brief pause and then a sheepish "not as often as I should".

All of this changed for me once I began to learn in dental school how much damage I was allowing to happen in my mouth by my neglect of flossing.  Now I can honestly say that it's very rare that a day goes by when I don't floss before going to sleep.  In the same way, I have discovered that when my patients understand why flossing is so critical to great dental health, that I am more effective at motivating my patients to begin flossing.

It's amazing how many full dentures (for patients w/ no existing teeth left) and partial dentures (for patients who have some teeth left and areas of missing teeth) I make each month and I can say that I'm on a crusade to keep people from having to wear dentures.  This ideally begins with proper patient education when the patient is young and still has all of their teeth  On my next blog, I will share the approach that I try w/ as many of my patients as I can to help educate them in a way that I find to be very effective, to get my patients to start flossing so that they don't end up w/ slow, long term gum disease that leads to tooth loss and eventual need for dentures.  As they say,  "Floss only the ones you want to keep"!

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