Your Source for Six Month Braces and Porcelain Veneers

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Cold and Flu Season: 5 Ways to Care for Your Mouth When You’re Sick

Below is an excerpt from an article found on
When he’s feeling under the weather, ADA dentist Dr. Gene Romo says one thing always helps him feel a little more like himself. “Brushing my teeth when I’m sick actually makes me feel better,” he says. “My mouth feels clean, and in a way, I feel like my health is starting to improve.”

When you have a cold or the flu, taking care of your body is your top priority-and that includes your mouth. “It’s important to take care of your dental health all year round, but especially when you’re sick,” Dr. Romo says.

Here are some simple ways to care for your dental health when you’re not feeling well: 

Practice Good Hygiene
When you’re sick, you know to cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. Don’t forget to keep up your dental and toothbrush hygiene as well.
According to the CDC, the flu virus can live on moist surfaces for 72 hours. “The number one rule is not to share your toothbrush anytime, but especially when you are sick,” Dr. Romo says.
You also probably don’t need to replace your toothbrush after you’ve been sick. Unless your immune system is severely compromised, the chances of reinfecting yourself are very low. “But if you’re still in doubt, throw it out,” says Dr. Romo. “Especially if you’ve had your toothbrush for 3-4 months, when it’s time to replace it anyway.”

Choose Sugar-Free Cough Drops
Read the label before you pick up a bag at the drug store with an eye to avoid ingredients like fructose or corn syrup. “Many cough drops contain sugar, and it is like sucking on candy,” says Dr. Romo. “Sugar is a culprit when it comes to cavities.” The longer you keep a sugary cough drop in your mouth, the more time cavity-causing bacteria has to feast on that sugar, which produces the acid that can leave holes in your teeth.

To read the entire article visit

The remainder of the article details the following:
  • Swish and Spit After Vomiting
  • Stay Hydrated to Avoid Dry Mouth
  • Choose the Right Fluids
Palm Beach Smiles
Michael Barr, DDS
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1 -Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Who Is Running the Show at This Dental Office?

Michael Barr, DDS
Palm Beach Smiles, is owned and operated by Michael Barr, DDS.  That's me.  I'm the "chief cook and bottle washer," since 1994, at the same location in Boynton Beach, Florida.  As it stands, it is Florida law for dental practices to be owned by a dentist.  Why is this important or relevant?  Read on.

What is "Corporate Dentistry?"

But, that's apparently not always the case these days.  How so?  Maybe you've noticed a number of dental practices with multiple locations and a brand names that rhyme with Masspin, DownCare, or Page Dental.  There are others.  You have likely seen their TV ads.  These are large corporations that have dental clinics all over the state and even nationwide.

I call it "bus station dentistry."

These are massive corporations that manage to get around the state regulations by hiring dentists to pose as owners.  But, they aren't running the show.  Usually, these "owner dentists" are not working as dentists in those offices.

Rather, they hire associate dentists (often new dentists) to see patients.  LOTS of patients.  They have production quotas for the associate dentists.  The dentists are often directed by the office manager (not a dentist) on treatment planning.  There is reportedly a lot of pressure to produce.  I've known dentists in these clinics that are seeing as many as five patients simultaneously. 

What happened to the dentist I saw last time?

Not surprisingly, these offices have a high turnover of dentists and staff.  There is a very good chance you won't see the same people six months later. 

Over the many years I've been in practice, I've seen many patients who have left these corporate dental practices disappointed by the lack of personalized service and questionable treatment plans. 

Jo-Ann - Office Manager
My purpose is not to claim superiority or cast aspersions.  It is simply to point out some differences between "corporate dentistry" and private care dentistry.  Patients should know who owns the practice.  Ask questions.   

  • Who is the owner?  
  • Where is the owner?  
  • Does he or she see patients?  
  • Is he / she here today? 
  • Is there a corporation that owns or "manages" the office?  
  • Where is the headquarters located?

If the office staff cannot answer the question, you may reconsider being a patient there, in my opinion.  If the owner is an absentee figurehead, the same applies.

I admit to being a bit dismayed at what I see going on "out there."  PBS did a special report about the detrimental aspects of corporate dentistry, which you can see here:  "Dollars & Dentists." 

Kim - Registered Dental Hygienist

Where everyone knows your name...

Palm Beach Smiles is a private care practice, in Boynton Beach, owned by me, Dr. Michael Barr.  There are no outside corporate interests telling me what to do.   My only guide, day to day, is my professional training and experience.  What would I do if the patient was my family?  What is best for the patient?  I strongly believe that is the best and ONLY path.  I love what I do.  Dentistry is my passion.  I want to keep it that way.  I could never take orders from "upper management" when it comes to treating my patients.  I love providing the best care possible for my patients.  It is important that my patients understand their condition and treatment options.

I like to think we provide the latest, proven dental care with "old school" service.  That means attention to detail.  It means seeing one patient at a time.  It means getting to know our patients.  It means spending TIME with out patients, making sure they understand what is happening and how best to prevent further issues.  It means "being there" for our patients.  You won't find our reception area full of people waiting to be seen (like a bus station).  There is no "sign in" sheet.  We are expecting you.  Jo-Ann will greet you when you walk in.

Sandy - chairside assistant
I have been at this location in Boynton Beach since 1994.  My office manager, Jo-Ann has been here for 15 years.  Sandy, my assistant, has been working by my side for 18 years.  Kim, our hygienist, is our newest team member with 2 years at Palm Beach Smiles (but has 12 years of experience).  It's just the four of us!  Every time you visit us, it will be the same familiar faces.

If you'd prefer "old school" one-patient-at-a-time service where "everyone knows your name," please visit our website or give us a call.  You can visit our recently updated website at:  You can even book an appointment right on our website!  Or you can give us a call at 561-736-2377.   We'd love to meet you!