Spooktacular Halloween Tips for a Healthy Smile in Our Enchanting Neighborhood

October 10, 2023

As the leaves begin to change and a crispness fills the air, we know that Halloween is just around the corner. In our lovely neighborhood, where the children fill the streets on Halloween and they walk past houses adorned with jack-o’-lanterns and eerie decorations, Halloween is truly a sight to behold. As a dentist who’s been part of this community and has celebrated 6 Halloweens, I’ve not only marveled at the beauty of our festive celebrations but also been concerned about the impact of sweet treats on our dental health. Let’s explore some spooktacular Halloween tips and take a stroll down memory lane to remember the TV-like magic that our neighborhood brings to this holiday.

Halloween: A Neighborhood Delight

Our community has always embraced Halloween with open arms, transforming our streets into a scene that seems straight out of a television show. From elaborately decorated front yards to intricately carved pumpkins, every detail is meticulously planned to create an enchanting atmosphere that captures the essence of the holiday. Walking through our neighborhood on Halloween night feels like stepping into a TV-screen, where nostalgia and creativity combine to create unforgettable memories

Ghoulishly Good Oral Health Tips

While we all indulge in the sweet treats that Halloween brings, it’s important to remember that too much sugar can be a real scare for our teeth. Here are some tips to keep your smile healthy and bright during this candy-filled season:

  1. Moderation is Key: Enjoy your favorite Halloween treats in moderation. Instead of gobbling down an entire bag of candy, choose a few favorites and savor them over time.
  2. Timing Matters: Consume sugary treats during mealtime rather than as a standalone snack. This helps to minimize the time your teeth are exposed to sugar and acid.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Drinking water can help wash away sugar and neutralize acids that can harm your teeth.
  4. Don’t Forget to Brush and Floss: Keep up with your oral hygiene routine. Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, and don’t forget to floss to remove food particles from between your teeth. Halloween night is a great time for parents to step in and assist their children with homecare. I recommend parents help their children up to the age of 10 at least once a week.
  5. Choose Candy Wisely: Opt for candies that dissolve quickly, like chocolate, instead of sticky or hard candies that can cling to your teeth. And for the parents are also the cause of crowns coming out. Stay away from the sticky candy.
  6. Plan Dental Checkups: After the festivities, consider scheduling a dental checkup to ensure your teeth are in tip-top shape.

A Neighborhood United by Magic

As I reminisce about the Halloweens past, it’s evident that our neighborhood’s unity and spirit are the real magic behind our celebrations. Families come together to create hauntingly beautiful displays, and children laugh and play as they traverse our streets dressed as their favorite characters. It’s a time when the community truly shines, fostering a sense of togetherness that warms the heart.

So, as the moon rises and the costumed kids take to the streets once again, let’s cherish the traditions that make our neighborhood an exceptional place to call home. By following these simple oral health tips, we can ensure that the enchantment of Halloween doesn’t cast a spell on our smiles. Here’s to another spellbinding Halloween in our picture-perfect neighborhood!

Brushing up on Back to School Dental Tips

October 10, 2023

As the new school year approaches and we gear up to send our kids back to college, it’s important to prioritize oral health and equip them with the right tools. In this special edition of Bristles Back to School, we’ll share informative tips on maintaining a healthy mouth and suggest key items to add to your shopping list.

School-Age Kids:

This is the perfect time to establish good oral hygiene habits with our children, ensuring that they value their health and hygiene even when away from home. As parents, we play a crucial role in modeling these behaviors. Have your kids grown up watching you diligently brush and floss every night?

For children aged 10 and under, we recommend parents assist with brushing their teeth. This can be a weekly activity to ensure they’re not missing any spots, and it serves as a valuable opportunity to reinforce good techniques.

Designate a day to shop for hygiene products. We made it a fun Target run and I gave my kids lots of options on choosing their own toothbrush and toothpaste. We also chose new body wash, loofahs and lotion for our bodies. They will value what we deem important.


Preparing for college involves more than just packing clothes and books. Make sure your college-bound student is well-prepared for maintaining their oral health throughout the school year. Here’s a handy checklist:

Electric Toothbrush: Invest in an electric toothbrush with four brush heads for their first year. This will ensure they have the right tools for effective cleaning.

Ample Floss Supply: Stock up on enough floss to last the entire school year. With a surplus of floss, they’ll never have an excuse for skipping this vital step.

Portable Waterpik: Consider purchasing a portable waterpik for kids who haven’t yet embraced flossing. This handy device can provide an alternative and effective way to clean between teeth.

Schedule Dental Visits: Encourage your college student to schedule their semi-annual dental visits during Thanksgiving or winter break and again in the summer. This way, they can prioritize their oral health without compromising their study schedule.

Wisdom Teeth Removal: If wisdom teeth removal is on the horizon, plan and schedule the procedure in advance. Holidays and summer breaks are popular times for such surgeries, ensuring ample recovery time before returning to campus.

Additionally, there are a few crucial topics to discuss with your adult children:

The Rise of Vaping: Inform them about the correlation between vaping and worsened gingivitis, often accompanied by increased bleeding. Awareness can help them make informed choices about their overall health.

Oral Cancer Risks: Highlight the risks associated with alcohol and smoking, including an increased likelihood of oral cancer. Both habits also contribute to dry mouth, which in turn raises the risk of cavities. Encourage them to make wise choices for their long-term oral health.

By following these dental tips and making informed choices, your family can enjoy a healthy smile all year round. Remember, prioritizing oral health is a lifelong journey, and starting early with good habits sets the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Smile Transformation Case Blog Post:   How Modern Dentistry Can Work Wonders

A confident smile has the power to transform not only one’s appearance but also their self-esteem and overall well-being. In recent years, the field of dentistry has witnessed incredible advancements, enabling individuals to achieve stunning smile makeovers that go beyond aesthetics. One such case involves a patient who embarked on a journey of smile transformation, utilizing clear aligner orthodontics, gingivectomy crown lengthening procedure, and professional whitening. This blog post explores how this patient’s experience exemplifies the incredible potential of modern dentistry to reshape facial structure and boost self-confidence. Our patient began his journey with Dr. Shirley Parikh as his general and cosmetic dentist. The general dentist acts as the quarterback in a multidisciplinary case. Diagnosing and referring to the right specialists for a smooth process.

The journey to a radiant smile can often begin with orthodontic treatment. In this case, the patient opted for clear aligner orthodontics, a discreet and comfortable alternative to traditional braces. Working closely with an experienced orthodontist, the patient’s misaligned teeth were gradually shifted into their optimal positions. Clear aligners not only helped enhance the alignment of the teeth but also contributed to improving the overall facial symmetry and improved his airway.


Gingivectomy Procedures with a Periodontist: While aligned teeth play a crucial role, the health and appearance of the gums are equally important. In some cases, excessive gum tissue can create an uneven gumline, making teeth appear smaller and less attractive. To address this, the patient underwent gingivectomy procedures performed by a skilled periodontist. Gingivectomy involves the precise removal of excess gum tissue, resulting in a harmonious and balanced gumline. This step not only improved the aesthetics but also provided the foundation for the final stunning result.  Professional Whitening for the Perfect Finish With properly aligned teeth and a balanced gumline, the patient’s smile transformation was nearing completion. To add the finishing touch, the patient opted for professional teeth whitening. Years of stains and discoloration were gently lifted, revealing a dazzling, radiant smile. The contrast between the bright teeth and healthy gums showcased the full potential of the smile makeover. The Impact: More Than Just Aesthetic The transformation went beyond aesthetics, positively impacting the patient’s overall facial structure and self-confidence. With the teeth aligned and gums balanced, the patient’s facial features appeared more symmetrical and proportional. The newfound confidence radiated from within, enhancing not only their smile but also their interactions and quality of life.

The case of this patient’s smile transformation is a testament to the remarkable possibilities that modern dentistry offers. Clear aligner orthodontics, gingivectomy procedures, and professional whitening, when orchestrated by skilled professionals, can result in a life-changing makeover. This journey highlights the profound impact that a radiant smile can have on an individual’s self-esteem, facial aesthetics, and overall well-being. As we continue to witness the evolution of dental techniques and technologies, it’s inspiring to envision the countless lives that will be transformed through the art and science of dentistry.

Clear aligners courtesy of Dr. Yesenia Garcia, Houston, Texas and Gummy smile/Crown lengthening courtesy of Dr. Sharon Warren, Houston, Texas.

Lets talk about dental bruxism: What is it and what does it mean for me?

One of the most common questions I get in my dental practice is “ My child grinds their teeth at night and can they get a guard” and  “What can I do to stop teeth grinding?”

Most patients are unaware of their nocturnal bruxism and don’t realize that their jaw soreness, neck and shoulder pain are related to their bruxing.

While others are aware and suffering with tooth pain, broken teeth, jaw fatigue, gum recession and oral facial pain from bruxing included head, neck and shoulders.


When it comes to children, root cause is the most important factor because their head and face are still developing. Any deviations from normal development and it can negatively impact the growth of their face. In children, there is a correlation between sleep apnea and nocturnal bruxism. Bruxism usually appears alongside worn down flat teeth, restless sleeping, sweating at night, night terrors, mouth breathing, and allergies. Optimally, our children need to have a full patent airway to sleep well at night and for their face to properly develop. If the child has a tongue tie and the tongue can not rest on the roof of their mouth, their midface will not develop optimally. Children with allergies who can not breathe nasally can also end up as mouth breathers and their tongue will rest on their lower teeth (instead of the roof of their mouth) and will also not develop their midface properly and it can allow the lower jaw to grow vertically.

I recommend my pediatric patients to see an ENT for an evaluation and sleep study or a practitioner to evaluate a tongue tie.

The adult population usually presents with worn down teeth, gum recession, dental abfraction (small notches by the gumline), chips and cracks in their teeth and advanced aging in their dentition. Some patients really notice the muscle pain and strain in their necks and shoulders and jaws. 

Treatment options include a custom night guard to protect your teeth from themselves. Therapeutic botulinum toxin to reduce the intensity of the clenching muscles, neck and back muscles. Trigger point therapy to reduce oral facial pain and can include local anesthetic and/or botulinum toxin. The combination of Botulinum toxin and a night guard are a great treatment option for muscle fatigue and muscle soreness from clenching and grinding. Oral facial pain treatment can be treated by your dentist. Night guards are covered by most dental insurance plans.

Welcome to Our Dental Blog: Your Source for Oral Health and Smiles

Hello and welcome to our brand new dental blog! We’re excited to launch this platform as a space where we can connect, share, and explore all things related to oral health, dental care, and, of course, smiles that light up our lives.

At Bristles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we firmly believe that a healthy smile is a gateway to overall well-being and self-confidence. Our commitment to exceptional dental care goes beyond the clinic walls, and this blog is an extension of that commitment. Whether you’re a long-time patient, a curious reader, or someone seeking reliable oral care advice, you’ve come to the right place.

What to Expect from Our Blog:

Educational Insights: We’re here to demystify dental jargon and provide you with clear, informative articles that help you understand the importance of oral health. From brushing techniques to the latest advancements in dentistry, we’ve got you covered.

Smile Stories: Nothing warms our hearts more than witnessing the positive impact a healthy smile can have on someone’s life. Our blog will feature inspiring patient stories, showcasing the transformations that have brought confidence, happiness, and renewed self-esteem.

Expert Tips: Our team of experienced dental professionals will be sharing their expertise and insider tips to help you maintain optimal oral hygiene and tackle common dental concerns.

Trending Topics: Dentistry is a dynamic field, always evolving with new research, technologies, and trends. We’ll keep you updated on the latest happenings in the world of dentistry.

Community Engagement: We believe in fostering a sense of community among our patients and readers. Feel free to engage with us by leaving comments, asking questions, and sharing your thoughts.

Our Promise:

Through this blog, we aim to provide you with reliable information that empowers you to make informed decisions about your oral health. Your smile deserves the best care, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Thank you for joining us on this journey. We’re thrilled to have you here, and we can’t wait to embark on this exploration of smiles, health, and happiness together. If you have any topics you’d like us to cover or questions you’d like answered, feel free to reach out.

Stay tuned for regular updates and remember: Every smile tells a story, and we’re here to help you create a story that shines.

Warmest smiles,

Shirley Parikh, DDS, FAGD, Bristles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry


Dr. Parikh’s Favorite Items

These are affiliate links and I do earn commission on your purchases. These are the items I recommend day in and day out in my office.

Oral Hygiene Products

My favorite toothpaste

My favorite toothpaste

My favorite floss

My favorite waterpik

My favorite kids toothpaste

My favorite kids flosspiks

Bristles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry Office Favorites

Perfect little journals for our team

Mrs. Meyers Room & Air Freshener

Colgate Total Mouthwash Alcohol Free

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Keurig cups

Magnetic Poster Frames

Colorful Stressballs

Nespresso Vertuo Capsules

White Kraft Paper Goodie Bags

Memory Foam Neck Pillows

Favorite Office Breakfast cookies

Best Travel Goods

Must have travel neck wrap

The best packing cubes

Foot hammock for a long flight

Purse Hooks