At Dr. Carol E. Follette's Dental Practice in Santa Monica, we pride ourselves on being a family dentist that you can trust. Sometimes some members of your family are less than happy to have to visit the dentist though. Dental health is important and keeping your teeth in top shape is a lifelong commitment. That's why it's so important to get your kids excited about dental hygiene. It's not always easy, but here are a few ways that you can do just that.

Brush and Floss Together

Kids love to copy their parents. By brushing and flossing together, you can make caring about proper dental hygiene a fun family activity. Show them the proper brushing and flossing techniques and help them when needed. Younger kids also frequently want to copy older kids, so their older siblings could be of assistance here as well.

A Fun Toothbrush

Sometimes getting children excited about dental health is as easy as buying a toothbrush that features one of their favorite characters. If getting your kids to brush their teeth can be a battle, maybe a brush that reminds them of their favorite movie or cartoon character can help.

More Kid-Friendly Toothpaste

Some children don't like the minty taste offered by most toothpastes. Fortunately, there are a few kid-friendly options available. Your kids may be more excited about brushing their teeth if you opt for a toothpaste that tastes like bubblegum, watermelon, or another fun flavor. They might even be more inclined to care about their dental health if you let them pick out their toothpaste and toothbrush at the store.

Make Brushing Teeth Into A Dance Party

If fun toothbrushes and toothpastes don't do the trick, you might need to make brushing your teeth more fun. Take a portable speaker or your smartphone into the bathroom and turn brushing into a dance party. Blast a song that your kids love and dance while you brush. Your kids will enjoy themselves and eventually see oral care as a fun activity as opposed to a boring chore.

Offer Rewards

One great way to get children interested in their dental hygiene is by making proper oral care into a fun game. Keep track of how often your child brushes and reward them when they've brushed twice per day all week long. Whether it's a trip to the park or another fun activity with the family, teaching your kids that focusing on good brushing habits can lead to good things can keep them excited about their dental hygiene.

Make Dentist Appointments Fun

Here at Dr. Carol E. Follette's Dental Practice, we try to make every dental appointment for children as enjoyable and stress-free as we can. We always make sure that going to the dentist doesn't have to be a scary experience for them, and there are more steps that you can take to make going to the dentist even more fun. After an appointment is a great time to catch a movie or find another fun activity to do together. When your child associates good times with going to the dentist, they'll be more likely to want to come back and care about their dental health.


It won’t be long before we are all thinking about the holidays again! Are you considering improving your smile so you look your best in all those family photos? This is a perfect time to start thinking about a smile makeover!

Fortunately, the Santa Monica, CA cosmetic dentist offers a variety of cosmetic dental treatments to choose from. It’s great to have all these choices, but how do you know which is right for you?

Today, we would like to talk about the benefits of porcelain veneers vs. those of dental composite bonding. Both procedures can be used to build up and change the shape of a tooth, but which is right for you in the long-term?

Choosing Porcelain Veneers

A porcelain veneer is a thin layer of dental material, usually porcelain, that replaces enamel and is bonded onto the underlying natural tooth.

Porcelain veneers are among the most aesthetic means of creating a more pleasing and beautiful smile. Your cosmetic dentist can place them on just one tooth or several teeth to alter their shape, size, and color. Veneers require a minimal amount of tooth preparation and are a more conservative restoration than crowns, which require significant removal of healthy tooth structure.

In general, porcelain veneers provide a better look than composite bonding. Composite bonding generally stains over time, while porcelain veneers can't. Veneers are a better long-term option because, if made beautifully and natural-looking, they will retain their look for up to 20 years. Bonding has a shorter lifespan – up to 10 years at the most.

Advantages of Dental Composite Bonding

If you are thinking of a more conservative option to veneers, you should consider cosmetic bonding, also referred to as direct veneers. The three advantages of composite bonding are:

  • Less tooth structure needs to be altered
  • One or several teeth can be treated in only one visit
  • Since less time is involved and the material used, bonding costs less than veneers 

Dental bonding is a good choice if you are younger. Whether you choose bonding or veneers, you will need to have them replaced at some point in your lifetime. So it’s a good idea to go with the less expensive option to start. You can always opt for veneers in the future.

Choosing the Right Solution for You

When choosing the right treatment for you, it’s important to communicate your wants and needs to your Santa Monica, CA cosmetic dentist. We will take all the time necessary to make sure we have a clear understanding of the results you are looking for. You are investing time and money, so you should be thrilled with the results, no matter which treatment you choose.

If you would like more information about dental bonding and veneers, please give us a call to schedule a consultation!


Many people are unaware of the risks and dangers associated with oral cancer.

While oral cancer makes up only a small portion of annual cancer cases, it is still a serious problem. Oral cancer cases that are diagnosed in the early stages of development have a significantly improved survival rate — up to 80% after five years.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

The following risk factors can’t be changed, but the Santa Monica, CA general dentist knows that awareness raises your vigilance so potential problems can be addressed early when treatment options and positive outcomes are greatest.

  • Heredity
  • Aging - More than 90% of all oral cancers occur in individuals over 40. However, the incidence among younger people has been on the uptick recently, perhaps related to lifestyle behaviors.
  • Race - African Americans have a higher incidence of oral cancer than Caucasians.

The following are risk factors that can and should be addressed:

  • Smoking and chewing tobacco - Smokers are at five to nine times greater risk of developing oral cancer
  • Alcohol - Moderate to heavy drinkers are at three to nine times greater risk; the higher the alcohol content, the greater the risk
  • Diet - A high intake of fruits/vegetables, which are high in antioxidants, has been found to have a protective effect against a variety of cancers, including oral.
  • Chronic sun exposure - Often connected with lip cancers.

We want to do everything possible to keep your oral health and your general health on track. Please contact our Santa Monica, CA general dentist to arrange your next exam, including an oral cancer screening.