Stop drooling, Monopoly. Face facts: Cheek retractor games acquire prime real estate.


Watch Ya’ Mouth. Speak Out!speakout-large_trans_nvbqzqnjv4bqopwlct4cfczrqrbbf9zazcku-nb9emmzlsitsj8ofcq

So say some of the most sought after interactive games of the season, according to51812560 and The Telegraph.

The challenge: A player states nonsensical phrases while wearing a cheek retractor, and his or her teammates attempt to interpret.

shutterstock_238278919Is it any surprise that a competition featuring spit, drool and slobber soared past the tuxedo-clad real estate mogul of Monopoly?  (Flashback to the last flavor of the month, Pie Face.)

In 2016, cheek retractor games by any name made leaps in popularity over other games, selling out in retail stores and online, after being touted on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier in the year, reported  in her story for the Australian news source.

However, months before Ellen, nighttime talk show host James Corden spotlighted similar hijinx on CBS Late Late Show, and early adopters in the dental community were hot on his heels:

Finding it impossible to finesse one of the famous maker versions? Fear not.  Create a lineup of s- and p-laden phrases, place an online order for  Extraoral Cheek Retractors and hilarity ensues.

Dentists as new millennium entertainment trendsetters?
Did you expect anything less from the profession that invented laughing gas in the early 19th century?


How a Dental Circus shaped today’s dentistry.


While you’re coordinating your calendar for 2017 and planning your April 27 visit to the The Lucy Hobbs Project 5th Annual Celebration in Philadelphia, clear an extra day or two to enjoy a city of firsts.

One historical stop: the Kornberg School of Dentistry’s Historical Dental Museum Collection at Temple University.

According to the museum site, it’s possible to  “trace the beginnings of dentistry in America through three generations of dentists from Josiah Flagg’s Revolutionary War-era practice to his grandson J. Foster Flagg, who in 1863 was one of the founders and a member of the faculty of the Philadelphia Dental College, the second oldest dental college in the country, which merged with Temple in 1907.”

Alongside the recreation of a nineteenth-century Victorian dental office,  dental equipment displays, and the personal possessions of former dental school students, faculty, and alumni, you’ll find evidence of one dental, ahem, showstopper: Painless Parker and his Dental Circus.

Grisly artifacts of this early 1900s charlatan include a tooth necklace and advertisements he used to generate business. aptly describe Parker (who legally changed his name from Edgar Randolph to “Painless” in 1915):

“Donning a top hat, coattails and a necklace he made out of teeth (supposedly the 357 teeth he pulled in one day), he partnered with William Beebe, a former employee of P.T. Barnum, to create a traveling dental circus in 1913. ”

Read more:

The college’s current dean, Dr. Amid Ismail, told that Parker “was a terrible student and only graduated because he pleaded with his dean to pass him.”

If there’s wisdom to be gained from past foibles, Parker’s practices seem a great place to begin:

1. ETHICS: “Parker’s most indisputable legacy to the field of dentistry is his contribution, through his bad acts, charlatanism and relentless pursuit of profits, to the development of professional ethics in dentistry,” Temple University Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry Dr. Amid Ismail told

2. SCIENCE: “Scientific evidence must remain the foundation of clinical care in any health field. Otherwise we will be victims to modern charlatans,” said Dr. Ismail.

3. MARKETING:  Though his messaging was less than truthful, Parker became the first dentist to openly advertise a dental practice. His success later allowed him to open a chain of clinics.

Read the history of this huckster and his “traveling caravan” at:

Plan your walk through history at the Kornberg School of Dentistry’s Historical Dental Museum Collection at Temple University:

Save the Date for The Lucy Hobbs Project 5th Annual Celebration in Philadelphia:


Candy canes as decorations vs. snacks.


Sugar-free peppermint gum might be a safer bet if you’re longing to savor the holiday flavor, but want to avoid chipped or broken teeth.

Recently, The Daily Meal’s Michael Serrur queried dental professionals across the country (nine, to be exact) as to which holiday foods and beverages they will not partake.

Among the experts, Bill Crutchfield, D.D.S. from OBC in Chantilly, Virginia, who weighed in on candy canes.

“These iconic holiday treats are better left as a Christmas tree decoration. Candy canes and other hard candies are notoriously bad for teeth because they are packed with sugar and can also cause chipped or broken teeth, Dr. Bill Crutchfield warns.”

Want to avoid the holiday “triple threat” among other tooth tormentors? Read the full story at :

What do Ferris Bueller and Larry Cohen have in common?

They both want you to take stock of the situation.
For Ferris it’s life in general, for Larry, the dental renaissance.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”  – Ferris Bueller, June 11, 1986

“So, what I would like to do is take five minutes to talk about innovation in the dental distribution business … my hope is that you will learn a few things…”Larry Cohen, Dec. 1, 2016

screenshot-2016-12-16-15-59-09Earlier today, the nation’s largest privately owned dental distributor  — Benco Dental –shared on social media a video interview with its Chairman and Chief Customer Advocate Larry Cohen. The pioneer of dental distribution waxes poetic on the constant progression within the industry, and within the ranks of the company founded in 1930 by his father Benjamin Cohen.

Per Benco Dental’s Facebook page:



“If you’ve ever thought of dentistry as the epicenter of innovation, Benco Dental Chairman and Customer Service Advocate is here to tell you you’re right on the money.

Dental industry veterans: You will appreciate this trip down memory lane regarding innovation in the dental distribution industry, and Benco Dental’s role, in particular.

Industry newcomers: An educational opportunity awaits.

Either way, any Friday with afternoon spent with Larry is one you’ll never forget!”

Before you wrap up your week, take a moment to reflect.

In the words of Larry Cohen: “Onward!”


Give the gift of fresh breath to yourself and those around you.


Smelling your own breath, described by as “anatomically challenging” might become a little less difficult if you add Mint to your holiday wish list.

The FDA-approved class I medical device ($99, from Breathometer) not only claims to alert you to your potentially malodorous mouth fumes, it also  “works with your smartphone to help you understand and improve your oral health,” according to the Mint website.