Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year.   We at Family Values Dental in LaVale are still enjoying the Christmas decorations that Dr. Wratchford and his wife, Paige so lovingly placed in the office; but we're ready to get back to work and hope to see all of you in 2014.

My name is Teresa Johnson and I'm the hygienist at Dr. Wratchford's office.  If you have any general dental questions that I or Dr. Wratchford can answer we'd be glad to address them at your regular appointment or feel free to email us.

A question I am asked almost daily is "What kind of toothpaste should I use?" It's a really good question. When I go to the store to purchase toothpaste the selection can be overwhelming so I can understand why most people are a little confused by all the different choices.

To help narrow down the selection process let's look at why we use toothpaste.  The average paste is nothing more than a detergent, which helps to remove light stain.  Most pastes have a fluoride added to help strengthen the enamel. That's it! We could clean our teeth with a dry toothbrush to remove the bacterial film of plaque if we weren't concerned with stain or strengthening our teeth.  So for most of us any toothpaste will work well.. I always tell my patients that when they find a toothpaste that works well at removing their stain and they like the taste just stick with it.  The major name brands: Crest; Colgate; Arm & Hammer and Aquafresh give you the choice of paste or gel.  As far as cleaning ability there is no difference between the paste or gel; it's just personal preference.

If you have sensitive teeth the specialty pastes really work well for most people.  We've all heard of Sensodyne; it was one of the first desensitizing toothpastes..  Sensodyne toothpaste has potassium nitrate as the desensitizing agent along with sodium fluoride.  Sensodyne Pronamel also has these same ingredients, nothing more. So there is nothing special about using Pronamel; they just have a wonderful marketing department that has made the general public believe the toothpaste is better for protecting your teeth.  Colgate and Arm & Hammer also have a desensitizing paste that uses potassium nitrate (same as Sensodyne) as the desensitizing agent. Crest uses stannous fluoride as their desensitizing agent.  So if you've tried Colgate, Sensodyne or Arm & Hammer for sensitive teeth and they haven't worked as well as you'd like give Crest Sensitive Shield a try; the different ingredient just might do the trick. Just remember none of the desensitizing pastes work quickly; give them several weeks (approximately 4 to 8 weeks) before you pass judgement on their effectiveness.

If your teeth aren't as white as you'd like you can try a whitening toothpaste.  They are safe to use and will help to remove coffee and tea stain.  Actually, if you are a tea drinker you will probably need to use a whitening toothpaste several times a day.  Tea stain is a very fine stain that becomes incorporated into the surface of the enamel and yellows the tooth; coffee stain is a heavier stain and is brushed off the tooth much more easily.  But to dramatically whiten your teeth you may need to bleach them.

I hope this overview on toothpaste has helped.  The next time you're at the store don't become overwhelmed in the toothpaste aisle -save that for the cereal aisle!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spring has arrived in Allegany County

Dental Office in Cumberland MD
Family Values Dental Care

After such a cold, snowy, drawn-out winter, it finally feels like spring.  The whole region is filled with brightly blooming trees, fragrant flowers, warm breezes, and sunny skies.  Sounds of birds chirping, wind blowing, raindrops tapping, and yes...lawnmowers mowing, can be heard throughout the hills.  The leaves of all the trees popped out just this past weekend and filled the valleys and surrounding mountains with deep green foliage.  This is truly one of our favorite times of the entire year.

Ryan Wratchford DDS

We have beautiful flowers and scenery displays on our numerous wide-screen displays throughout the building.  That's just one of the many ways our dental patients feel at home and relaxed during their dental visits.  Ceiling TV's give you something nice to look at during your dental procedure.  Dental implants, fillings, cleanings, dentures, crowns, bridges, whitening... no matter what you're here for, you'll have some splendid scenery to enjoy while it's going on.

Here are some pictures we have taken of springtime foliage and decorations at our dental office. 
Have a wonderful spring season!  Feel free to stop in and pay us a visit.

Spring in Cumberland Maryland 21502
Decorative Entry Door
Laceleaf Japanese Maple
Laceleaf Japanese Maple
Flower Bed
Rock Garden
Pretty Flowers
Grassy Flowers
Flower Basket
Flower Beds
Euonymous Shrub
LaVale MD
Our LaVale MD dental office

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas at Family Values Dental

Frostburg MD Christmas
Christmas is always a special time of year for us in Allegany County.  We have the wonderful Western Maryland Scenic Railroad's Santa Express and North Pole Express for the kids to enjoy a real Christmas train ride.  The downtown lights of Baltimore Street are fantastic with the lighting of the Cumberland Christmas tree and the festive holiday storefront decorations.  Visiting Santa at the Country Club Mall is a special treat.  There's lots to see at the Cumberland Theatre, Tree House Toy Shop, New Embassy Theatre, & Mr. Toad's Pottery.  The Gordon-Roberts House presents crafts, tours, refreshments, and a story by the fire during "The Night Before Christmas" event for kids.  Cumberland's Midnight Madness offers downtown shopping until midnight with free trolley and carriage rides, visits from Santa and Rudolph, & holiday music.
Christmas at Family Values Dental CareWe are blessed to have the Pleasant Valley Tree Farm in nearby Stringtown, PA where we can go back in time for a Christmas tree choosing and cutting adventure.  Frostburg Storybook Holiday in early December is a day-long event spreading across the city with the Elf Olympics, storybook readings, horse drawn carriage rides, a Storybook Holiday Parade, festival of trees, and much more.  Of course, the mountains topped with a light skiff of snow are especially beautiful this time of year.  Celebrating the birth of Jesus creates a spirit of thankfulness, giving, new birth, and peace which only he can provide.

Christmas in LaVale MDWe especially love Christmas time at our dental office.  We enjoy decorating in general, but this time of year presents an opportunity to really make our office feel like home.  The whole atmosphere brightens up with joyous Christmas music, a fresh pine scent, a warm fire in the fireplace, and friendly faces around each corner.  If you've never been to Family Values Dental Care, stop by to take a look and check us out.  We hope you and your loved ones have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Cumberland MD Dentist
Lobby at Family Values Dental
Snowflakes and Christmas Snowballs
Ceiling Decor
Frostburg MD Dentist
Holiday Children's Books
Cumberland MD Nativity
Bookshelf  Nativity
LaVale MD Holiday Decorations
Festive Entryway
Singing Snowmen Couple

Thursday, May 24, 2012

History of Family Values Dental in Cumberland MD Part 2

Did you know Family Values Dental used to be a library and before that a police barracks?  Well, our building has quite a local history.

State Police Barracks in LaVale MD in 1924In 1924, the Maryland State Police set up their police barracks in LaVale MD right here at our very location.  The foundation and much of the internal structure of the building is the same now as it was back then.  The basement has a concrete-walled room which sort of reminds us of a jail cell.  I'm not sure if it was ever used as a jail, but it certainly make you wonder.  There may have been some interesting characters pass through these walls decades ago.  We think the building in the back of the property was a horse stable for the police officers.  Horseshoes were found 6 feet beneath the present macadam parking area while excavating for underground utilities in 1979.  The inside of the back building has the feel of a stable with low ceilings and wood-beamed supporting structures.

Public Library located in LaVale MD in 1956
In 1956, the LaVale Public Library (Allegany County Library branch) was located here.  Currently the library is located directly across the street...which is very convenient for families visiting out practice.  But back then, LaVale's library was right inside this building.  You can see the original library ceiling tiles with 1950's style stainless steel light fixtures beneath the current ceilings tiles.  If you turn off all our dental equipment and music, you can imagine that this place would have made a great's quite peaceful.  We've tried to maintain that peaceful library-like atmosphere by having lots of interesting coffee-table type books to leaf through in our lobby.  Some people have even commented that our lobby is so relaxing and quiet it feels like they are still in the library.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

History of Family Values Dental in Cumberland MD

Welcome to the Family Values Dental blog.  We've had our website up since opening the practice and it's about time for a real blog.  To start off, I'll just tell you a little bit about the history of our dental practice here in the Cumberland MD area.

Dr. John Dowell was the former owner of the practice.  He was a caring, gentle, skilled dentist whose #1 priority was always serving his patients well and treating them as friends or even family.  He was never pushy about "selling" unnecessary, expensive dental treatments yet at the same time, took excellent care of his patients with thorough diagnosis and quality care. 

When I was looking for a dental practice to step into and take over, that's exactly the type of place I felt at home in.  Some dental practices can seem to be more about running a highly successful business than placing patient care first.  We have adopted the same philosophy of conservative, quality dental care and hope to continue it for a long, long time.

If you'd like more information or to schedule an appointment, visit our website Family Values Dental.

Welcome to the Family Values Dental Care Blog.

Check out this site periodically for information about our Cumberland MD dentist office.