Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fall Cheers And Flu Blues

With fall here and winter on the way, there’s excitement in the air for sweater weather, scarves, color changing leaves, everything pumpkin, snow sports, and holiday cheer.

But beware!

Along with these great things comes the dreaded flu season: drippy noses, tissues everywhere, sneezing, sniffling, coughing, fevers, etc. If you do not protect yourself, the flu can stop you in your tracks, causing you to miss out on the wonders of fall and winter.


The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that is caused by the influenza virus. The severity of the illness can range from mild to severe, depending on the infected individual. Young children, older people, and people with other illnesses are at greatest risk because they have weaker immune systems. The best way to prevent it is by getting vaccinated every year.



The flu shot is a vaccine available every year that lowers your chances of getting the seasonal flu. Even if you received a flu shot in previous years, it is important to get the current shot because it is made to provide protection against the most common flu viruses for that year.


The flu shot is a vaccine available every year that lowers your chances of getting the seasonal flu. Even if you received a flu shot in previous years, it is important to get the current shot because it is made to provide protection against the most common flu viruses for that year.

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You can use the Flu Vaccine Finder to find a place near you that is offering the vaccine.

To learn more about the flu and the vaccine, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "What You Should Know for the 2014-2015 Influenza Season."Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 Oct. 2014. Web. 14 Oct. 2014.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Being Cavity Free

For all our best intentions to brush and floss consistently, it seems that we can’t always avoid the cavity diagnosis. While brushing and flossing daily is good for your teeth and important for battling gum disease there are other things that we can do to prevent cavities from forming. 

  • Use a mouthwash after brushing help clear out remaining cavity-forming bacteria.

  • Avoid snacking between meals, especially on sugary or chewy foods can accelerate the forming of cavities. But chewing vegetable fiber, like celery, after meals can help stimulate saliva, cleansing the fissures and pits where cavities typically form.

  • For those with braces, water picks can be used to do replace flossing which is impossible with most braces. 

  • Chewing sugar free gum between meals, particularly sweetened by natural xylitol, can help prevent cavities by helping neutralize the PH balance in your mouth and suppressing bacteria growth.

  • Visit our office regularly to ensure the application of fluoride, which strengthens enamel thereby preventing tooth decay.  Also, if you are prone to cavities, it’s a good idea to have ongoing checkups to catch cavities early while they are small before they can become larger problems.
Proper dental care goes beyond just brushing and flossing. Protecting our smiles isn’t always convenient, but it is rewarding.

Have a great day!

Drs. Carpentier & Hume

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March, 2014 - Dental Vocabulary

Creating beautiful smiles....
March, 2014

Thank you for showing your confidence in us through the referral of your friends!

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Basic Dental Knowledge

Ever hear all those dental words being thrown around and feel out of the loop? Here is a guide to common dental terms that you may need to know.

Cuspid: Your teeth that come to a point (right next to your front teeth) are called cuspids. Sometimes they are called canines as well. Teeth that come to two points are called bicuspids.

Molar: Your back teeth behind your bicuspids.

Crown: The part of your tooth above the gum. (The visible part of your tooth.)

Root: The part of your tooth in your gums.

Enamel: The hard surface of your teeth that protects the root of your tooth.

Gingivae: Another name for your gums.

Pulp: the soft inner structure of your tooth housing nerves and blood vessels.

Antiseptic: A chemical that can be applied to your mouth to destroy germs.

Aspirator: A straw like vacuum the dentist uses to suck all the saliva from your mouth.

Caries: Another name for a cavity.

Fluoride: A chemical that hardens your teeth and prevents tooth decay.

Labial and Lingual: Anything having to do with your lips or tongue respectively.

Mandible: Your lower jaw

Tartar: Bacteria on your teeth than can lead to periodontal disease.

Plaque: A sticky film that can form on the surface of your teeth that can turn into tartar.

Have a great day!

Drs. Michael Carpentier & Grace-Mary Hume

ph: 925-944-5151 - website: http://www.healthysmileswalnutcreek.com

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February is also National Children's Dental Health Month


Hello Patients!

February is National Children's Dental Health Month (NCDHM)

The American Dental Association (ADA) encourages children to practice good oral health habits.
Dr. Carpentier & Dr. Hume recommend that parents schedule their child's first dental visit between the ages of 2 and 3 years old.

 Don't Just Take It From Us!

The ADA offers free downloadable oral health information to provide fun tools to promote the benefits of good oral health. The NCDHM program guide includes easy-to-do classroom activities and program planning timetable tips.
During NCDHM, it is particularly important to raise awareness of the plight of children from low income families, many of whom have difficulty eating, sleeping, paying attention in school and smiling due to rampant dental disease.

Did You Know?

The highest compliment our patients can give us is to recommend us to a friend. We appreciate your referrals! If you have a friend or loved one who is in need of a dentist, please call the office and ask about our 'New Patient Promotions.'


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February: National Heart Month

It's February and while some of you are reminded of that special day that involves roses, heart-shaped candies and chocolates... We want to remind you that February is also National Heart Month!

As your dental health care providers, periodontal disease is something that concerns us. Studies have shown that it is linked to heart disease. Find out more by visiting this link:

You may be at risk of gum disease if you answer yes to any of the following questions:

  • Do your gums ever bleed?
  • Are your teeth loose?
  • Have your gums receded, or do your teeth look longer?
  • Do you smoke or use tobacco products?
  • Have you had any adult teeth extracted?
  • Has it been more than 2 years since seeing a dentist?
  • Have any of your family members had gum disease?

In the mildest form of the disease, gingivitis, the gums redden, swell and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.

Request an appointment or call (925) 944-5151 our office to schedule a free periodontal consultation during your next visit.

Dr. Michael Carpentier & Dr.  Grace-Mary Hume

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Treating Gum Disease with Laser Technology


As part of our prevention and treatment for periodontal disease, we have an effective treatment called Laser Bacterial Reduction or LBR that helps us control the infection in your mouth.  We also offer laser bacterial reduction to our patients who are showing early signs of periodontal disease (red, swollen or tender gums, bleeding while brushing and/or flossing).
Laser is used to significantly reduce the depth of the inflamed tissue and infected pockets and prevent the progression of the disease. The Laser decontamination process is painless and normally takes 5-10 minutes. We recommend that all of our patients have their teeth and surrounding tissues decontaminated during their periodontal maintenance appointments for three main reasons.
  1. Kill periodontal disease bacteria and stop their infections. In the past, hygienists have been limited to removing hard and soft deposits within the periodontal pocket only. We now know that bacteria migrate into the underlying tissues and cannot be reached with traditional cleaning only. The laser light is able to penetrate these tissues and thermally dehydrate the biofilms. Dehydration is lethal to bacteria, thus greatly reducing the potential for infection and loss of attachment of the gums to the teeth.
  2. Prevent cross contamination of infections in one area of your mouth to other areas. Decontamination minimizes the chance that we may inadvertently pick up bacterial infection in one area of your mouth and move it to others.
  3. Reduce or eliminate bacteremias. During the normal cleaning process most patients will have some areas that bleed. This allows bacteria that are present in all our mouths to flood into the bloodstream (bacteremia). Latest research shows that oral pathogens have now been linked to a number of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, low weight babies, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, etc. Anything we can do to reduce or eliminate these bacteremias is a positive treatment for our patients. 
Laser Bacterial Reduction is an important part of the overall periodontal therapy program that we have designed for you to restore health to your gums.  For our patients who are showing early signs of periodontal disease, we highly recomend LBR (LBR assisted prophylaxis fee is $40.00 and most insurances consider this a patient expense).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

End Of The Year Update

Happy Fall!

We hope that you are finding our new e-mail and text ability helpful. We appreciate your patience while we try to implement this new system. The purpose of this note is to point out a way in which you may be able to more fully utilize your benefits and to inform you of our office closure during the holidays.

Many of our patients have dental insurance, and we take pride in doing everything possible to help you make the most out of your insurance benefits. Insurance policies allow a certain dollar amount of coverage to be provided each year. If you do not use your coverage during the year, you lose those benefits (unused coverage does not "carry over" into the next year).

If you have outstanding dental treatment that you have not scheduled, it could be to your advantage to call us and schedule to have this treatment done before the end of the year, in order to utilize any outstanding benefits that you may have. If you need extensive dental treatment you may be able to complete your treatment in the New Year, to utilize back to back insurance benefits for 2012 and 2013.

We also want to let you know that we will be closed for the holidays from November 21-25, 2012 and December 21, 2012 through January 1, 2013. We will have emergency contact instructions avalable for the week of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve. 

If you have any questions about this, or would like to schedule an appointment please give us a call at (925) 944-5151.

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