Something that may surprise you about me is I spent my early years hating the dental office. It wasn't an atmosphere that welcomed me and my family. Oh i enjoyed the treasure box don't get me wrong, but that little box also meant the end was within my grasp. I would soon be back in mom's car heading back home...usually with the dreaded news of a return visit.
This all changed when I met Mary my first dental hygienist. She made my appointment like no other, I left feeling cared for and for the first time ever I had a positive experience in the dental chair. I had encountered someone who changed my perception of the dental office to being a place of comfort.
This encounter occurred during a very pivotal time in my life, a time of decision making for life beyond high school. Dental hygiene had become my goal and I would now take the steps necessary to become not only a dental hygienist but a dental hygienist that cares about those in my chair not just about their teeth.
So here I am: I help people take steps to improve their oral health everyday.
Wait what I REALLY do is: Use my passion for comforting people by looking for ways to make them as comfortable as possible while in my care. These comfort strategies have continued to develop over my 20 + year career and have been very successful in treating not only fearful clients but those feeling embarrassed about lack of professional care in the past.
I take the time needed to explain things in as much or as little detail as my clients want. Appointments are scheduled with each clients needs respected, so that they will never feel rushed or misunderstood. Instead my clients feel cared for and in complete control, they don't need to be told that they matter to me, they will experience that each and every visit.
So I invite you to seek out an alternative choice for your dental hygiene care, the choice that eliminates wait times, loud noises, and instead turns the focus on what I can do for you.
As I have been doing every morning for the last week or so I woke up early and posted a beautiful picture of a smile with a smile quote on my business Facebook account and Instagram feed. When I realized I had a slightly later start at the office I took advantage of my extra time and scanned my Facebook feed to catch up on friends and family and came across a post advising me that today is World Mental Health Day. As someone who posts to social media for my business I scanned the web searching for something to post to bring attention to this important day, but that still small voice within me told me what I needed to do. So in order to be my authentic self and listen to that voice, I will honour it by telling my story.
Yesterday was a struggle for me, that’s a hard thing to put into print. I usually know my limits pretty well and work within them, but I am also a people pleaser and that can get me into trouble. So when my part time job requested some extra days and extended hours from me, I made it work with my office and said yes. Yesterday was the final day of a 2 week stretch of the extended hours I had committed to. I had been feeling the pressure of it since Monday, every day was a little bit harder than the previous. The good thing is I recognized it and had been vocal with my boss and coworkers who were very supportive in making my day as stress free as they could. You see they know my not so secret, I've always been very open with people in my life with it because once I knew what it was, I was finally ok talking about it.
I have been diagnosed with depression since 2003, how long I was suffering before that I don't know. I just know that tears can come easily for me (that’s the embarrassing part), I feel things happy and sad what feels like 80 % more than others. I am sure that's not true but happy and sad things bring me to tears. Being with people brings me so much joy but as an introvert, I need to manage this with down time in solitude. The last two weeks were just far too stimulating for me and what resulted was a day filled with struggle.
Tuesday afternoon I could sense it coming I considered calling in sick, but quickly decided I couldn't do that as I had committed to my boss, coworkers and clients that I would be there. In hindsight if I were supporting myself and as committed to my health, (yes mental health is part of my health) I should have let them know Tuesday night that I just couldn't do it.
So when my alarm when off on Wednesday morning I gave myself permission to sleep in and give up my 5 am power hour and was quite proud of myself for doing so. You go Kim listen to what you need! I say that tongue in cheek because that was the one thing that may have gotten me through the day, you see I spend part of my mornings in meditation, affirmations and visualization and the other half in study or business mode. The key here is I do it alone in solitude the thing I was requiring the most. The first 3 things I listed are also essential for my mental health. (Along with prescribed medication that I take daily) My clients still got the best of me, but inside there was so much negative talk and feelings of I just can't make it till the end of the day, it made it unbearable. At lunch I took my lunch to my car and sat in solitude and listened to a guided meditation and this helped immensely, even my co-worker saw a difference in me. However one hour in my afternoon and I was back to the struggle. At long last my day at the office was finished I went to Harvey's and filled my face with foods that don't help my mental clarity in the long run but give me a quick high in the short term and headed home. At home I went to bed with a night time meditation and woke up feeling clear and ready to take today on, feeling blessed my depressed state had lifted.
I share this today because there is still stigma around mental health issues with many. Sometimes it’s from the very people who have it. As a health care provider I see people going off their medication without consulting their doctors or not being forthcoming with the diagnosis when I update medical histories. Even while booking my doctor’s appointment my nurse whispered to me what my appointment was for and I confirmed in my regular voice yes just a follow up to discuss my depression. To be honest I think the whisper is for privacy reasons, but I choose to be very open about it. I love that we see more open dialog about mental health every year and special days like today are the reason behind that. So today I openly say I’m Kim Murray and I have depression. I chose to not suffer alone, on bad days I share my struggle with my family, friends and coworkers if needed and I encourage all others to do the same.
So even if I post pictures of smiling people I know they are difficult to produce on some days and that’s OK.
Take care my friends, reach out when needed it is not a sign of weakness.
You've received the list from your medical professional on the do's and don'ts of a healthy pregnancy and you keep up to date on what's to expect when you are expecting, but are you missing any other vital information?
A common misconception during and after pregnancy is the baby took away all of my calcium on my teeth. This is a myth tooth decay that comes about after pregnancy is from lack of preventive care or insufficient healthy habits that will reduce the decay causing bacteria from damaging your enamel.
A very real concern during pregnancy is that the changes in hormones in your body now make your gums more susceptible to disease. The same amount of bacteria in your mouth prior to pregnancy now can cause your gums to be puffy and bleed. In the early years of my practice as a dental hygienist when I found out my client was expecting I would simply prepare them for the inevitable and advise meticulous home care practices. We now know so much more about the importance of a healthy mouth and the effects of poor oral health on our entire body as well as the growth of your unborn child.
We now follow higher standards of practice when addressing the health of all our clients a little bit of bleeding in the gums is not OK, and we strive to keep bleeding to a minimum and ideally nil. In a perfect scenario women would seek out their dental hygienist before trying to conceive to confirm all oral health issues have been addressed. In preparation of pending conception you would be placed on a healthy cleaning schedule of every 3 months.
What the 3 month preventive cycle will do is reduce the bacteria load on your body and ultimately help keep your gums as healthy as possible. Research has shown that women with unstable moderate to advanced periodontal disease (gum disease) are at higher risk of having babies with low birth weights.
Steps to a healthy mouth during pregnancy include:
1. have a full assessment with your dental hygienist prior to pregnancy
2. see your dental hygienist every 3 months to reduce bacteria load on your body
3. practice healthy home care habits such as brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, choosing a power or manual toothbrush with a small head, cleaning between your teeth with floss, toothpicks, inter-dental brushes or a water pick.
4. eat a healthy well balanced diet low in sugar
First I want to address that as dental professionals we know without a doubt you can't help this reflex any more than you could keep your leg from kicking if we hit your knee in just the right spot. So don't feel like you need to apologize for it, we understand it is not a comfortable thing to experence.
These are five strategies I have used and been taught over my 20 + years working as a dental hygienist, so I encourage you to try them out and see what works for you. Please if you have success with any of them I would love to know about it.
1. Book your dental appointment later in the day, most gag reflexes are worse first thing in the morning.
2. Try rinsing with a strong mouth wash such as Listerine prior to your cleaning this can somewhat numb the senses in the mouth.
3. Using laughing gas (not offered at Hanover Dental Hygiene Care) can often help but can drastically increase the cost of treatment.
4. Desensitizing your mouth over time by brushing your tongue and soft palate (roof of mouth) so that you get them used to being stimulated.
5. Pressure points on your hands can be stimulated during the appointment and have been helpful to many. See photos bellow.
Dear Sugar Lover
It may be time we need to break up. (insert sad face) We have had a difficult past, you have tried to break up with me before but I hide in places you likely aren’t even aware of and this makes you crave me even more. You know I’m bad for you, I make you happy one minute and next thing you know I bring you crashing down. I’ve seen you reading articles about how I cause type 2 diabetes, obesity, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, it ruins your smile (insert toothless emoji), it loosens the elasticity of your skin causing you to age faster (insert horror face), and heart disease to name a few.
You will gain many health benefits from the break up but I know this will be hard for you so I will give you some help. Cold turkey is often best, find a sugar detox plan that works for you. Did you know after one week you can almost always kick your sugar cravings? It will not all be rainbows and unicorns during this week it is often accompanied by headaches and mood swings, but you can do anything for one week you are so strong. When you find a detox you would like to try ask your Dr. if it is a sound plan. I have been kicked to the curb before and I might suggest looking up www.cleanfoodcrush.com I’m told it’s filled with loads of yummy recipes and they have a paid program that includes a week detox that has changed lives.
Looking to wean yourself off me, you might try eliminating your worst offender for one month. Let’s say you love pop, simply commit to taking the next 30 days to give pop the heave hoe. After your successful month pick your next offender and continue this process over the coming months.
You are stronger than you know, you have the will to work through your cravings and not slip up. Do you believe deep down in your heart this is true? Then simply go to www.cleanfoodcrush.com and just eat the nutritious easy recipes seen there free of charge. Simply pick your meals and snacks from the loads of recipes and you will be finally free from your cravings and heading towards a healthier you.
YOU’VE GOT THIS!
Your old pal,
Greetings Kim here
Back in January I was feeling dizzy during the day and just not feeling like I had much energy. My diet was getting worse and worse and I never wanted to eat healthy food, I only craved high fat, sugary things. I found the website noted above and joined a month challenge group to help get me back on track. The results were fantastic, finally I was gaining back my energy and I no longer felt dizzy. I have the occasional treat meal but I mostly eat a very clean healthy diet. When I allow myself a small treat about once a month I don't revert back to my cravings. However when I go on a few days of crazy eating I'm right back where I was and need to detox for a week to get back on track.
I have really found freedom with these changes and because of the added oral benefits of cutting out sugar, I felt compelled to share this with you.
Wishing you a happy healthy fall,
Fear = False evidence appearing real. Yeah that doesn’t help me either, my oral health journey began with tears, sleepless nights and being dragged from the car into the office by my mom. I am very thankful that ended when I was a teenager and met “Mary”. Mary changed how I viewed sitting in that large chair. From this time forward I wanted to be a dental hygienist but not just any dental hygienist, I wanted to be that compassion filled welcoming face for fearful clients.
My very first job lead me to the perfect position for me at the time, I joined a small practice that’s primary goal was making the fearful client as comfortable and as welcome as we could. My own little piece of Heaven, as the office grew my commitment didn’t waver. With each new dentist joining the practice an afternoon dedicated to providing pain free needles was held every year. This is where you would find me sitting in the dental chair volunteering my mouth to be frozen so that I could ensure my clients that they were in good hands.
My passion for providing a safe, caring, judgement free environment for clients with fears or embarrassment due to staying away from dental care for years has only grown. Many of my new clients have found me via current clients that have found comfort in the time I take to ensure their comfort.
So I welcome you to call me and allow me to work alongside of you at your pace to improve and maintain a healthy mouth. Once you are comfortable in my chair we can then discuss finding you a dentist with the qualities you need to feel safe and well cared for.
A month or so ago I was on Facebook and came across someone looking for a recommendation for a dentist for her family. Reading through the comments was rather eye opening, one person would recommend a dentist while the next person it discussing a bad experience with the same dentist. The dentists being discussed were all great dentists that I admire, but I know from experience we all have different needs. Even in my own family I have one of my children seeing one dentist while my other 2 see someone else. Both are dentists that I have unlimited respect for but my children have bonded with them for different reasons.
This is a very common occurrence when it comes to dentistry, one size does not fit all. You may have needs that a particular office can’t help with, as an example you may need laughing gas and this is a service that isn’t offered at all offices. Over the past two years I have had very good luck matching my clients with local dental offices that meet their needs and wants.
Who better to make a recommendation than someone who has seen multiple dentists work. Many of my clients come to me because they are seeking consistency in their care, in this case I am likely to choose an office for them where the dentist owns the practice or a dentist who is a long time resident of our area,
Others have sought out my services because of my unending patience and compassion for those with fears around dental services, in this case I will be making suggestions of dentists I know have similar values.
Other needs include good with children, pain free needles, payment plans, hospital privileges the list is endless. Who better to assist you in this matter than an independent dental hygienist who has worked and lived in this area for over 20 years.
Moving from dental office to dental office can have costly consequences, let me help set you up with an dentist that will exceed your expectations.
Maybe you don’t need to find a new dentist, maybe you have a dentist out of town and have a strong relationship with them, why not join me for your preventative services and see your dentist to have your teeth examined once a year.
Many of us have been passed down inaccurate information from family members and friends for many years, or perhaps you have come up with your own theories from what you believe has always been. I am here to tell you BLEEDING GUMS ARE NOT HEALTHY. It is a hard truth to tell people sometimes, I don’t want to offend you and your belief system but I am passionate about helping everyone achieve optimal oral health.
If your gums are bleeding it is no different than if you had an open wound on your hand. Of course you would want to control the bleeding and have the wound clear up on your hand, you would never just let it go for weeks and not heal. When your dental professional tells you your gums are bleeding please know it isn’t because we are judging you and how we think you aren’t taking care of yourself, trust me we all have areas in our lives we could use someone to stand beside us and help us improve. Your bleeding gums can be from many different things. If you are going through a very stressful time in your life the smallest amount of bacterial can be the tipping point with your body’s natural ability to keep everything in check and the disease process will begin. This is when your dental hygienist can help support you and help prevent further breakdown of the gums and bone supporting your teeth. This is done by determining an interval that will allow your dental hygienist to breakdown the biofilm before it gets to levels your body can no longer fight.
One of my favourite tools for reducing bleeding gums when combined with professional therapeutic cleanings is a small tool called Soft-picks. Soft-picks provide gum stimulation along with plaque removal/disturbance between your teeth. Following this blog I have set a link to watch a short video that demonstrates how they are used.
I encourage you to follow along with the week-long challenge recommended in the link. If you haven’t had a professional cleaning within the last year I strongly encourage you begin the challenge by having a professional cleaning. From here you are set to start the challenge and take a significant step to good oral health.
January is here and with it we often think of new beginnings. What a great time to add a new habit into your oral health routine. There are many things you could consider adding to your routine that can not only improve your oral health by decreasing your risk of decay, gum disease and halitosis but it can also reduce the amount of inflammation in your body. When your gums bleed it is usually due to gingivitis or periodontitis an inflammatory response to the toxins being produced from plaque not being fully removed.
Low grade inflammation in our bodies is being linked to many diseases. A great video to watch sometime on YOU TUBE is one by Dr. OZ on Inflammation where he explains what happens in our bodies when it has chronic low grade inflammation. Click here to view
Cleaning Between Your Teeth
This is a great addition to decrease the amount of bacteria in your mouth and freshen your breath.
Regular Dental Hygiene Visits
If you currently are not being seen by a dental hygienist I highly recommend booking yourself in for a new client exam and cleaning. Regular cleanings are different for everyone, some need to ideally be seen every 6 months to a year and others need to be seen as much as every 3 months to prevent disease.