Should your dental insurer know if you brush 2 minutes, 2 times each day?


Employers and insurers already incorporate real-time information into their business models thanks to advanced technology, according to a report by

In her story for, Suzanne Barlyn disseminates the pros and cons of this data collection and usage, and offers examples of  forays in the dental and automotive insurance industries made by Beam Technologies Inc.

“Twice a day, Scott Ozawa’s Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush tells his dental insurer if he brushed for a full two minutes. In return, the 41-year-old software engineer gets free brush heads and the employer which bought his insurance gets premium discounts.

“Beam’s technology follows auto insurers using devices in cars to find out how far and how safely policyholders drive – known as telematics – and life and health insurers giving customers wearable devices such as Fitbit and Apple Watch to keep track of their activity.”

Find out what industry watchers, consumers and insurance companies have to say. Read the story in its entirety at:

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:


Where do you stand on whipped cream?


Who doesn’t enjoy a dollop of this whipped wonder on a latte or hot chocolate?

How about an anxiety-free dental appointment?

When prioritizing the importance of nitrous oxide during the current nationwide shortage of this gas, medical and dental clients rise to the top.

A recent report  offers the skinny as to why “some major manufacturers won’t be able to keep up with holiday demand” for aerosol whipped creams:

“A key ingredient in whipped cream is nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas” for its ability to relax people and ease pain when getting teeth pulled. But it also acts as a propellant to get whipped cream out of the can and a preservative to keep it from going rancid.

Just two companies, Air Liquide and Matheson Tri-Gas, produce nitrous oxide for all of the United States and Canada. Together, they operate five nitrous oxide plants, which supply the three packing facilities that can the majority of America’s whipped creams.

At each of these highly consolidated nodes, even a small disruption could impact a large number of products further down the supply chain.”

The not-so-small disruption in this instance: an August 28 explosion at the Air Liquide nitrous oxide facility in Florida that took one life and is currently under federal investigation.

What does this mean for dentists?

According to, “Air Liquide has allocated its remaining supply to medical clients first and back-burnered its clients in food manufacturing. With a limited supply of nitrous oxide, ConAgra (think Reddi-wip) and Dean Foods said they had to slash their whipped cream production.”

How does this hearken back to the Eggo waffle shortage of 2009? Read the full story to learn the parallel:

Meanwhile, fear not for your upcoming dental visit.

As for satisfying your  sweet tooth?  Stock up on  Cool Whip (a non-aerosol whipped cream product).

Better yet, start early on your new year’s resolution to trim the fat, and order that morning beverage sans whip.

On a related topic, wherin lies the fate of your Guinness pour?



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 :