We all want the best for our children, which explains why we work so hard to be sure they’re in good schools, or why we spend so many weeknights and weekends driving them to various sports practices and dance recitals, and chess tournaments. However, knowing how important healthy dental habits also are, parents should be devoting plenty of energy to ensuring their children develop healthy brushing and flossing habits, as well as everything else they do for their kids.

As your Santa Monica family dentist, Dr. Carol E. Follette has a few suggestions for how best to go about doing this.

Six Tips for Establishing Good Dental Habits in Children

1. Start as Infants

If brushing is something a child has always done, they will have no choice but for it to feel like a routine. Babies can develop tooth decay if their teeth aren’t brushed properly, so make sure you’re getting them used to the feeling of a toothbrush in their mouth, even when they’re infants.

2. Teach Proper Technique

There is, of course, a correct way to brush a child’s teeth, and most small children aren’t going to understand this without a great deal of help. Starting at age two or three, parents can begin showing their children how to brush with the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums while moving the brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes. Show them how to get every surface, even if they’re bad at it, and don’t forget the gums and tongue!

3. Don’t Stop Helping Too Early

By the age of four or five, many children will seem to have the hang of it, but the recommendation is to continue helping children brush until they are six or seven years old to make sure they’re not missing anything. They often do miss spots, so don’t abandon helping too early.

4. Make it Routine

Children should be brushing twice a day, so try to set times with them when it becomes routine. We suggest doing this after breakfast before heading to school, and then again at night before bed. This gets them in the habit of knowing when to brush.

5. Limit Sugar Consumption

Kids love sugar, but sugar does not love teeth. That means it’s the parents’ jobs to limit how much sugar their kids are taking in. Giving them a healthy diet is beneficial for many reasons, but starting them early on not craving sugar will have positive long-term impacts on the health of their teeth.

6. Normalize Routine Dental Appointments

Make sure that you get your child in to see Dr. Follette, your Santa Monica mercury-free dentist, the recommended two times per year. The earlier in their lives they go, the more normal it will feel to visit the dentist. This limits their anxiety about the experience and also makes sure they get the twice-annual professional cleanings they need to maintain proper dental health.

If you’re able to manage each of these things, you’ll raise a child that not only values dental health but also understands how to maintain that dental health on their own once they're old enough to do so. We all want the best for our children, after all, and dental health is certainly an important part of that.




Everybody has at some point been forced into closed conversation with someone whose breath wasn’t quite as rosy as we would’ve liked, and if you can think back to the discomfort you felt while smelling someone else’s bad breath, you may wonder whether you are creating that same discomfort in other people.

Nobody wants to deal with bad breath, but if you’ve been struggling with this issue and have been searching for a solution, Santa Monica non-surgical periodontal dentistry here at the offices of Dr. Carol E. Follette could be what you’ve long needed.

What Causes Bad Breath?

There are many factors that can cause bad breath, but some of the most common of these include:

  • Bad general oral health
  • Eating certain foods (garlic, onions, etc.)
  • Drinking coffee or alcohol
  • High-sugar diets
  • High-protein/low-carb diets
  • Smoking
  • Digestive problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Certain prescription medications

Negative Effects of Bad Breath

First and foremost, having bad breath can make it difficult for people to want to operate in close contact with you, both personally and professionally. It can be hurtful to watch people you love and respect create distance between you and them or cover their noses when they’re close enough to smell your breath.

Beyond that, however, is that bad breath is often a symptom of some underlying health issue. From dry mouth (xerostomia) to yeast infections to respiratory infections, bad breath can be a sign of some other problem that’s going on.

From the perspective of your Santa Monica dental office, bad breath is most associated with gum (periodontal) disease. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss, gum damage, and even jawbone damage.

How Dentistry Can Help Bad Breath

Since bad breath is so often tied to gum disease and poor oral health, often the best way to start eliminating bad breath is to correct those two issues. Dr. Follette can help this in a few specific ways, including:

Laser Periodontics

If the issue is related to gum disease, Dr. Follette offers innovative, non-surgical solutions to periodontal disease like laser treatment. Using state-of-the-art equipment, our laser team can eliminate harmful bacteria while also strengthening and regenerating gum tissue. It’s a perfectly comfortable procedure and requires very little recovery time.

Mouth Rinses and Toothpaste

If the bad breath is due to bacteria buildup, Dr. Follette may recommend a special toothpaste or mouthwash that would help kill bacteria and reduce plaque buildup.

Fault Tooth Restoration Replacement

Sometimes, bad breath can be caused by faulty tooth restorations, which frankly can be a breeding ground for bacteria. By re-doing the bad restoration, we can close gaps and give customers an easy way to eliminate the bacteria causing the bad breath.

Eliminating Your Bad Breath With Dr. Carole E. Follette

If you are struggling with bad breath and are ready to start exploring solutions, please contact the offices of Dr. Carole E. Follette soon so she and her team can help you have fresher, cleaner breath. Not only will people want to spend more time with you, but you’ll lower the potential for other health issues down the road. There is nothing but benefits ahead for those that seek them.




Over 75% of all adults experience some form of dental anxiety or fear, but here at Dr. Carol E. Follette’s Santa Monica dental office, we think it’s worth asking whether those fears are justified. Sure, if patients were traveling back in time 200 years to have a sore tooth extracted, we’d understand the fear of pain, but in the 21st Century, our profession has changed so much that pain is hardly the concern it was centuries or even decades ago.


Still, we know that simply saying that pain management and prevention have improved won’t be enough to persuade many people who are feeling anxious about visiting the dentist. Knowing this, we’ve put together this list of pre-dentist activities that can help ease dental fears ahead of an appointment.


We want you to be calm and comfortable before, during, and after your visit to Dr. Follette’s office, and the following are few things you can do to help ensure that happens:


#1 Talk About It (With Your Dentist)


The best way to get through your fears and anxieties is to talk them through with your dentist. Chances are, you’ve built up something to be much worse in your head, and your dentist can help you understand the truth of a procedure. Knowing what’s coming and preparing for it creates much less anxiety than imagining something much worse than it is. Talk through your fears, and it can help you get past them!


#2 Distract Yourself


There are ways to distract yourself during a procedure, such as wearing earbuds to listen to music. For some people, it’s the sound of dental instruments that are stressful, so blocking them out can help you get past what may be the toughest part of any noisy procedure.


#3 Use Mindful Relaxation Techniques


It may sound cheesy, but meditating before a dental appointment or procedure, including relaxation and deep breathing techniques, can do wonders for your physical and mental state. During the procedure, keep taking deep breaths and try to stay calm.


#4 Don’t Skip Appointments


It may sound counterintuitive to visit the dentist more often to avoid dealing with dental anxiety, but visiting the dentist regularly lowers your risk of needing any major dental work done in the first place. If you can just visit Dr. Follette’s office for regular cleanings, you’ll have fewer cavities, less gum disease, and a lower risk for major dental problems. If the major procedures are what scare you, seeing your dentist every six months is the best way to make sure those major procedures aren’t necessary in the first place.


Choosing the Right Dentist for Dental Anxiety Concerns


Of course, choosing the right Santa Monica mercury-free dentist can go a long way toward nipping those anxieties in the bud, too. Dr. Follette wants to make sure you’re comfortable and calm during your doctor appointments, and she and her staff will do everything they can to be sure that’s the case. If you have any questions about anything, never hesitate to call the office and talk through your concerns.


And please trust us that dentistry is not what it was in the old days! It is a much smoother, much more comfortable experience than it once was. Dr. Follette and her staff have made sure of that.