Your patients’ top fluoride questions — explained!

Need answers to your patients’ common fluoride questions? Dentists recently asked an ADA expert their questions about nature’s cavity fighter, based on what they hear from their patients, during a Facebook Live event the ADA hosted April 18.

The event featured explanations from Dr. Kevin Donly, a member of the expert panel the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs convened in 2013 to create the ADA’s most recent topical fluoride guideline. Dr. Melissa Lee Davis, former vice president of the Chicago Dental Society, Northwest Suburban Branch, interviewed him.

Dr. Donly answered several questions on fluoride, such as:

  • Why is fluoride important? Is it really necessary?

If there is one thing dentists know, it’s that fluoride is great. Fluoride is a natural mineral in our environment and back in the 1930s, it was noticed that parts of the country that were naturally fluoridated at higher levels had fewer cavities in the population, so for the next 20 years, a lot of research was done. We came up with water fluoridation in the 1940s and then we went on to professionally apply topical fluorides today, which has probably been the greatest thing to reduce the caries level in our population.

  • What would you tell parents or patients who are concerned about the risks of fluoride?

The first thing I tell them is that fluoride is safe. Then, I refer them to the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry because the best reference materials patients will ever find on fluoride are available there. I also remind patients that small levels of fluoride are certainly safe. We have years and years of evidence to support this. The American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, The United States Public Health Service, the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization recommend fluoride, so there’s a lot of data that shows it’s safe and effective.

  • Should adults get fluoride treatment?
    Fluoride treatments can be effective for adults when we extrapolate from studies on children. For instance, research shows that fluoride rinses can help adults who have lost part of the bone on their teeth and have exposed roots.

For more ADA-approved fluoride explanations, watch the full video of Dr. Donly’s interview from April 18 on the ADA’s official Facebook page and read responses to more than a dozen fluoride questions in the video’s comments section.

Values: Our Promise To The Community

Choosing health care providers for your children is a decision that you take very seriously. You want to choose providers whose values align with your own. You also want a pediatric dentist who can build a trusting relationship and instill good healthy habits for your child for years to come.

Our mission at Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry is to serve our local community by providing an unrivaled standard of quality care within pediatric dentistry. Our teams promote a fun, safe, and nurturing dental home for infants, children, adolescents, and individuals with special needs by promoting optimal oral health through education and long-term impactful relationships with our patients.

To us, a mission statement is much more than a standard paragraph of promises. We hold ourselves to this standard every day, with every patient, and with every community interaction.

Our core values are what make us who we are – a dedicated practice with the best interest of our patients at heart.

Charlotte pediatric dentistry is caring, compassionate, and community focused.

QUALITY Dental Care

We take pride in being dental care leaders for the children in our community. Each patient receives individualized care without breaking the bank. We believe that quality care should be accessible and understandable, so we take extra care to make our processes transparent and easy for the patient and the parent.


“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

This quote embodies the perfect example of why we believe that oral health education is so important – for both children and adults. Children feel more comfortable at the dentist when they are involved with their dental care. We strive to keep them as involved as they are comfortable with, as well as ensure that parents are always in the know with their children’s dental care.

Because we take education seriously, we are always learning, too!

Dr. Hwang and Dr. Wilson of Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry


We often start seeing children at the recommended age of two years old, so we establish relationships with our patients early! We love to watch our patients grow with each appointment! Our patients become like family after they trust us with their care for many years. Helping each child start with good dental habits and healthy smiles prepares them for the future, and that’s what we do every day.

triplets on their visit at the dentist


Our community treats us so well that we give back as often as we can and in as many different ways as possible. From sponsorships to 5Ks, we find a way to give back and offer our gratitude for your continued years of support. Some of our most recent sponsorships included Girls on the Run and the Gastonia Grizzlies. We could not be the growing practice we are today if it wasn’t for all of you!

the charlotte pediatric dentistry team

POSITIVE Team-Oriented Work Environment

We’re a family at Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry. We work together to make sure each patient has a pleasant experience each time they step foot into our practice. Dr. Moore is very selective in his hiring process. He only selects the most teamwork-oriented individuals who have a passion for helping children. From the front desk to the dentist, each one of our team members contributes a very important role to our practice. We employ talented individuals who come together as one dedicated team!

We invite you to experience the CPD difference for yourself and for your family. You will quickly see why parents and children actually look forward to coming to the dentist! We would love the opportunity to be your children’s dental practice for success.

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Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

Going to the dentist can be an anxiety inducing experience, especially when you’re not sure what your dentist will actually be doing inside your mouth or what all of those intimidating looking tools are for.

We want to help you understand exactly what happens when you sit down in your dentist’s chair by demystifying some of the most common tools of the trade.

There are two main types of dental tools: handheld and rotary.


Handheld Tools

Handheld tool are exactly what they sound like: much like scissors for a barber, a dentist’s handheld tools require no external power and can be used anytime, anywhere.

Some of the most common handheld tools include mouth mirrors, probes, tweezers, scalers, excavators, chisels, hatchets and hoes.


Mouth Mirror

Mouth Mirror

A mouth mirror is used to examine the inside of the mouth, the teeth, and the tongue.


Dental Probes

The dental probe comes in a number of different sizes and shapes but the three most common are:

The straight probe (used to examine cavities and to check the margins of fillings or restorations), the Briault probe (used to detect the gap between the enamel and the dentine and to look for tartar hidden in the gum pockets), and the periodontal probe (less sharp than the other two and used primarily for taking measurements inside the mouth).




Scalers are used to remove tartar (the hard plaque build up) on the surface of your teeth and hidden in the gum pockets. They’re also used to clean away any other surface deposits or to remove temporary crowns.




Excavators serve two very important dental functions: they remove softened dentine and temporary fillings, and the back of the blade can also be used to insert linings in filling materials.


Chisels, hatchets, and hoes

Chisels, hatchets, and hoes are used most often during the process of filling a cavity. Their purpose is to remove any unsupported enamel that might compromise the filling process and longevity.

Some other notable hand held tools are plastic instruments (used to shape filling materials, plastic instruments do not use heavy pressure) and condensers or pluggers (used to compress and form filling materials, they do use heavy pressure).


Rotary instruments (also known as the infamous ‘dental drills’) are the ones that tend to freak patients out the most. Rotary instruments have two speeds (high/air turbine or low) and the noise produced in high speed mode is the one most of us typically associate negatively with our dental visits.

As alarming as the loud noises produced by the rotary instruments may be, they’re a vital part of maintaining your oral health! Drills can perform all kinds of necessary functions like filling cavities, smoothing the surface of the teeth, removing decay, and repairing chips.

 Now that you’ve seen all of the tools of the trade, we hope to alleviate any anxiety you might normally feel next time you’re sitting in your dentist’s chair!

ADA Foundation awards celebrate leaders

The ADA Foundation is seeking nominations for its Dr. David Whiston Leadership Awards, which recognize promising dentists who have shown the potential for leadership in efforts to improve the oral health of the public.

The nomination deadline is June 30, 2017.

Foundation-logo-300x81The ADA Foundation provides two $5,000 awards each year — The Dr. David Whiston Leadership Award and the Henry Schein Cares Dr. David Whiston Leadership Award — designed to cover the costs associated with attending a leadership training program offered by the American Management Association.

The ADA Foundation created the Dr. David Whiston Leadership Program in 2014 to honor Dr. David Whiston, who has served the oral health profession through many important leadership roles including as ADA president (1997-98) and president of the ADA Foundation Board of Directors (2010-14).

Contact Tracey Schilligo at if you have questions.

Relationships Matter above Everything Else

As we know, dentistry has entered a new economic reality — a reality that is reshaping the way in which we do business, as part of an industry whose foundation is built upon the appreciation and realization that relationships matter, above everything else. Yes, everything! Stated another way, no longer are our clinical skills the differentiator between success and failure. Rather, it is the

Working with my father

Dr. Danielle Riordan with her father

Dr. Danielle Riordan with her father, Dr. Mark Zust.

When I tell people I work with my father, they always seem to say, “Oh … how is that?” I’m always astonished by the question and the uncertainty in their voices. Partnering with my father straight out of dental school was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. In fact, it was a no brainer.

Riordan photo_2I started working in my father’s office when I was in high school and fell in love with the profession, the practice and his work ethic. He taught me how to be compassionate and strive for excellence. My father says he knew dentistry was a good fit for me from an early age, but he never pushed me to follow in his footsteps and for that I am forever grateful. He knew if I chose dentistry it would have to be because I loved it and had a commitment to the oral health of our patients, not because it was his profession.

The road wasn’t always easy, and I can remember calling him in tears while in dental school, worried that I wouldn’t be able to be the kind of practitioner that I wanted to be … but he was always there to listen and talk me through it.  He knew just what to say and has always believed in me, even when I would question what in the world I was doing.

Thankfully my father’s faith and work ethic was passed down, and I did make it through dental school and the transition into private practice.  He helped me to succeed, but in my own way, by encouraging me to travel my own unique path.

So for me, when people wonder what it is like working with my father, I tell them I am living the dream. Not only do I have an amazing family, but I am doing something I absolutely love everyday with someone I couldn’t imagine my life without. Thanks, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.

Dr. Danielle Riordan and her father, Dr. Mark Zust, operate Family Dentistry of St. Peters in the St. Louis area.

How to Prepare For Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment

There a lot of ‘firsts’ in your child’s life – first smile, first laugh, first word, first step, first tooth, and many more. Each ‘first’ serves as an important milestone! When your little one’s smile is complete, you will want to make their first pediatric dentist appointment – typically by age two.

By making an appointment with a pediatric dentist, you are taking the first important step towards a better dental future for your child! We strive to make every step of the appointment process an easy one. In order to make the appointment smooth for everyone involved, we have established some simple guidelines to ensure a great experience for your child.

Inforgraphic on how to prepare your child for their first visit to the dentist.

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