Children's Dental Health Month

This month, Dr. Fletcher visited Hariette Kirschen Elementatry School in Modesto, CA for Children's Dental Health Month. This was Dr. Fletcher's 15th year at Kirschen school presenting his own personal dental health program for the students(complete with toothy dinosaurs, giant underwear and a ring of toothbrushes). He also screened a few dozen children for tooth decay and dental needs.

Yesterday, Fox News published an article by Julie Relevant from about calming your child's dental fears. You can read it by clicking on this link or by clicking on the picture.  

Afraid of the dentist? 9 tips to calm your child’s dental fears  By   Julie Revelant  -   Healthy Mama   Published February 23, 2014

Afraid of the dentist? 9 tips to calm your child’s dental fears

By Julie Revelant - Healthy Mama  Published February 23, 2014

The advice given in this article is very good and I would only add one small suggestion. I've always thought it was a good idea for parents to bring their child along for one of their dental visits. When your kids see you getting your teeth cleaned, examined or repaired, they are given a first hand look at how easy it is to visit the dentist.

For questions about your children's dental health or suggestions about taking better care of their teeth, contact our office.

Keep on smiling,

Dr. Fletcher

Heart Disease/Gum Disease - Connection?

For the last several years, I have been alerting my patients to ongoing research trying to connect periodontal disease (gum disease) with heart disease. Specifically, the research has been trying to find a direct connection and prevalence between the two. Researchers had already established that the bacteria present in a patient with periodontal disease can also be found in the arterial plaque of the cardiac vessels surrounding a patient's heart.

Last month, the American Heart Association published a conclusive first paper on this topic. Their conclusion? Although they share similar risk factors, gum disease DOES NOT CAUSE cardiovascular disease. (Follow this link to download the report HERE)

There is no convincing evidence that proves gum disease causes heart disease or stroke, or treating gum disease reduces the risk of those diseases.
Gum and heart disease share common risk factors, including smoking, age and diabetes, which is possibly why the diseases often occur in the same person.

Since we've been mentioning this in our office and talking about it with our patients, we were very glad to see the AHA issue their findings. However, this doesn't really change our advice (shared by the American Dental Association here at this link). We recommend that our patients eliminate any risk factors that are traced to behavior, like smoking and poor home care. Furthermore, we recommend that our patients consider the other risk factors and evaluate their potential of developing either periodontal and/or cardiovascular disease.

Keep Smiling,
Dr. Fletcher 

Announcement: Dr. Fletcher Teaching

We are excited to report that Dr. Fletcher has started teaching in the Dental Assisting program at Heald College in Modesto.

For the past fifteen years, our office has been involved with the education process. Dr. Fletcher has regularly invited dental assisting interns from the Modesto Junior College's Dental Assisting Program to work chairside with him. However, last year MJC chose to terminate the dental assisting program.

Looking for a new way to engage in education, Dr. Fletcher contacted Heald College last Fall and found a good match. He teaches at the college on Tuesday mornings and then returns to see patients in the office on Tuesday afternoon.

Dr. Fletcher says, "I have enjoyed the opportunity to teach, I've been teaching patients, staff and interns since I've been in practice, so this is a natural fit for me to teach in the classroom. At this point in my career, part-time teaching at a local school seems to work well."

For more information about Dr. Fletcher's schedule and what he's doing outside of the office, stay up to date with