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November 7, 2018

10 Fun Dental Facts You Probably Didn’t Know!

THE TRUTH IS, our teeth are amazing! Without them we wouldn’t be able to speak, eat, sing, or smile properly. We’d like to celebrate our teeth by sharing some interesting dental facts you may not have known!

Here Are 10 Fun Dental Facts
1. If you've been using floss daily, by the end of the year the total length will be the perimeter of a baseball diamond! Is your floss going to make it to home plate?
Because birds lack teeth, many swallow stones or grits to aid in breaking up hard foods.

2. On average, women smile 62 times a day and men only eight times a day. Step it up, guys!

3. The average American spends 38.5 total days brushing their teeth in their lifetime.

4. Only 40 percent of young people age six to 19 have had cavities in their life. That’s down from 50 percent a decade ago!

5. In the middle ages, people thought that a dog’s tooth boiled in wine made an excellent mouth rinse to prevent tooth decay. Tasty!

6. The Egyptian plover, also known as the crocodile bird, is famous for flying into crocodile mouths and cleaning their teeth.

7. Prior to the 1850s, ‘toothpastes’ were usually powders and contained soap and chalk.

8. An obscure law in Vermont states that it is illegal for women to wear false teeth without the written permission of their husband. Crazy!

9. Different animals have different amounts of teeth; armadillos have 104, pigs have 44, and humans have 32.

And last #10 the narwhal's tusk Is actually a tooth!


How Many Of These Facts Have You Heard Before?

It’s always fun to learn about the obscure facts and crazy history that make up our tooth trivia! Do you know any other cool dental facts? Comment below or on our Facebook page! And remember, take care of your teeth. They do so much for you!

Granite Dental Team


October 25, 2018

Social Media Helps Us All Smile


IT MIGHT NOT SEEM SO AT FIRST, but a dental practice is all about relationships—relationships between our team members and our relationships with YOU, our valued patients and friends. When we stop to think about the things we do each day, these things make it all worth it.

We Love Seeing Your Smile!

We love social media because it allows us to continue to nurture these important relationships long after you’ve gone back home after visiting our practice. We enjoy hearing about your concerns, your plans, your vacations, your victories... And we get to see your smiles often! We love that!

Seeing Smiles Everywhere

We also like social media because it’s fun. For example, here’s a post that we found online of everyday objects that look like they’re smiling!

Here's another fun video of smiles found all over:


Smiles Are Visible From 300 Feet Away

We can’t help it. Humans are hardwired to see faces everywhere. It just goes to show the importance of our smiles! Did you know that people can perceive a smile from 300 feet away? That makes it the most recognizable human expression.

Smiles are a foundational part of how we interact with each other. Whether it’s for family photos, travel selfies, a job interview, or a date, our smiles are such an important part of how we show ourselves to the world.

Keep your smile bright and healthy by giving it the care it deserves. Let us know if you ever have any questions or concerns about your dental health.

Share Your Smile!

Like we said, we love to see YOUR smiles. Follow us on Facebook, and post a pic of yourself on our page. We are also on twitter and instagram-@granitedental.  Knowing that you’re proud of your smile is one of the things that makes our jobs so satisfying.

Thanks for being part of our practice family!

Dr. Keller & The Granite Dental Team


Image by Flickr user Kevin Dinkel used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.



October 10, 2018

AUTUMN IS SUCH A cozy, relaxing, inviting, and spooky time of year. It’s a time of changing colors, great seasonal treats, corn mazes, and great holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. That’s why we thought it would be fun to get together and share with you a few of our favorite things about fall!

The Best Thing About Fall Is…
Colorful leaves, crisp weather, fun fall foods and cozy evenings by the fire.  

Our Favorite Fall Activities
Need some ideas for things you and your family can do this fall? We’ve asked some members of our team about their favorite fall activities, and here’s what they said:

Rachel's favorite thing about fall is spending cozy evenings with her family and baking fun fall treats with apples and pears, she loves to make applesauce for her family to enjoy throughout the year.  

Rita's favorite thing about fall is wearing sweaters and the colorful fall leaves.  

Erin's favorite thing about fall are all the pumpkins.  The warty ones and the white ones, she loves them all.  

If it’s Halloween ideas you’re looking for, check out this video:


Don’t Forget Your Checkup!
While we’re all busy having fun doing the things we love, it can be easy to forget things like scheduling a regular checkup! We love all the fall activities going on, but we love to see our patients more! Schedule your next checkup now, especially with the holidays coming, so you won’t have to worry about it later!

We hope you’re as excited for fall as we are!

-Granite Dental Team


Relationship Building at the Dentist 

October 3, 2018

I watched with concern this recent airing on the very popular Dr. Oz show.  I wanted to respond, at least to my patients, friends, and family, in a productive way to help clarify some of the points brought up in the show.
All doctor/patient relationships are first and foremost relationships.  Like any relationship, honesty and the trust it engenders is foundational to the long-term success of the relationship.  This sort of “investigation” both lacks scientific rigor and ironically seeks for greater transparency through duplicity and deception.  While the expressed purpose of the “investigation” was to expose, perhaps it has simply made things more confusing for everyone.

Let me do my best to address in a less contentious way some of the major points brought up by the video clip.

The primary point, I believe, that was being made is that patients struggle to understand their dental health and dentists struggle to communicate and educate in ways that bridge and close the gap instead of making it bigger and deeper.  Gratefully, this divide actually is quite easy to reduce: as was suggested in the program, communication and relationship building is the solution.
As in all relationships, dentists and patients need to value the relationship above the transaction.  That means dentists need to take the time to close the knowledge gap, helping patients understand both the objective findings and subjective opinions on what might be done with those findings.  Patients need to clearly communicate their wants, needs, and goals with their providers, including honest and open financial discussions as they apply.  Once all of that is on the table, as a team doctors and patients can create a plan to meet the wants, needs, and goals of the patient.

Additionally, it is prudent to consider the value of a dental home, as discussed on the show.  A dentist with whom you’ve spent years building a relationship will likely be better able to understand your unique health, and can generally treat some of your health concerns more conservatively than a revolving door of dentists could.

Unfortunately, a major error made in the show, one that can be confusing to patients, is the idea that healthcare is a commodity, like a pair of pants or an automobile, when in fact, it is a service.  Many patients wonder why a filling, a crown, or any other service provided at one office might cost more or less if provided by a different dentist or the same dentist but in a different location.  While too complicated to fully address here, the short answer is that when you make a dental service purchase, you aren’t just buying the porcelain coating for your tooth.  You are buying the skill with which it is placed, designed, and fabricated.  You are purchasing the environment and convenience with which it is placed, the convenience of hiring someone to bill your dental insurance for you.  You are purchasing the reputation of the dentist in question and his/her willingness to stand behind his/her work should something go wrong.  You are purchasing the friendliness and consideration of his/her staff, and the feelings of safety and relaxation you feel in the office.  All of this and so very much more together comprises a tremendous service to patients, one with value reflected in the price charged for the service.

The premise is established that using social media review sites such as Yelp is helpful to patients in understanding who is and who is not reputable, as well as in helping patients avoid scams or dentists who charge too high.  I personally advise patients to exercise caution when they use social media as the sole determinant in selecting a doctor.  Social media in general, and Yelp specifically, has come under intense scrutiny recently, as indicated both in Yelp Reviews: Can You Trust Them? | BU Today | Boston University and the peer-reviewed article upon which it was based, Fake It Till You Make It: Reputation, Competition, and Yelp Review Fraud by Michael Luca, Georgios Zervas :: SSRN.  Patients need to understand that social media in general does not have a mechanism that deals well with false, fraudulent, or deceptive postings.  Nor is there standardization in context.  So, for example, if a patient posts a 1-star review, “Never go to Dr. Payne-he is extremely unethical and over charges”, this really doesn’t help discerning patients other than to fairly or unfairly paint the doctor in a negative light.
A more effective use of social media would be to ask trusted friends to refer to their providers, allowing the established relationships of those friends to vet a potential new provider instead of the rants and raves of strangers who may be completely dissimilar to the patient in important ways.

Without being redundant, I cannot emphasize enough how important the relationship is.  Please take the time to ask questions, to understand and be understood.  In doing so, you will experience far better health, better service, and you are much more likely to have your wants, needs, and expectations met.  And if you’re provider cannot provide the relationship you need, it may be a bad match and an opportunity to apply some of what is discussed in this article.
At Granite Dental, we focus on relationship building as a way we want to be different from anywhere else you might choose to receive your dental care.  If you’re looking for a home, please give us a call  360.693.2577.  -Dr. Keller









Side-Effects: Medications And Oral Health

September 26, 2018

MEDICAL PROBLEMS ARE things none of us ask for but many of us have, and with medical problems come medications. Unfortunately, along with medications come side-effects, and these often have a negative impact on oral health.
The Delicate Balance Of Our Mouths
Our oral health does best when our mouths can stay close to a neutral pH — neither acidic nor basic. The food and drink we consume tends to temporarily disrupt this pH balance, and so does medicine. When children eat chewable vitamins or drink syrupy medicine that contains sugar, it feeds their oral bacteria, which excrete acid onto their teeth. This acid wears away at their tooth enamel.

Another common problem with children’s medication comes from asthma inhalers, which can lead to the development of oral thrush (white fungus patches in the mouth). The easiest way to avoid any of these issues is to encourage our children to rinse with water after eating vitamins, using their inhalers, or drinking cough syrup.

Oral Side-Effects Of Medications
Even if the medication doesn’t do any damage while you’re ingesting it, it can still be harmful to your mouth over time, so let’s look at some of the side-effects that might show up after starting a new medication.

Dry Mouth. This is the most common oral side-effect of over-the-counter and prescribed medications. Our saliva is our first line of defense against bad oral bacteria, and when it dries up, it leaves us vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease.
Abnormal bleeding. Some medications contain blood thinning components, and this makes it easier for us to bleed. If you start noticing more bleeding from your gums after brushing, it could be because of the medication.
Inflamed gums. Gingival overgrowth (or excessive growth of gum tissue) is a side-effect of several medications, and it increases the risk of gum disease.
Change in taste. Heart medications, nervous system stimulants, and anti-inflammatory drugs can leave a bitter or metallic taste in your mouth or interfere with your sense of taste in general. While unpleasant, this side-effect isn’t necessarily serious.
Bone loss. In rare cases, drugs used to treat osteoporosis can cause a loss of bone tissue in the jaw, putting patients at risk of tooth loss and gum recession.

Dr. Keller Can Help!
No matter what medication you take on a regular basis, whether prescription or over-the-counter, it’s critical that your dentist knows about them. Sometimes, the oral health side-effects can be minimized or stopped, but only if the dentist knows! So if you’re taking medications, especially if you’ve noticed any of the above problems, make sure to mention them during your next dental appointment!

Remember to speak up about your medications!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.





September 21, 2018

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth The Healthy Way

EVERYONE LOVES a good sweet snack once in a while, but unfortunately, that includes the bacteria in our mouths. Those little germs’ favorite food in the world is sugary treats, and the more sugar they get, the more they put our teeth at risk of tooth decay. So how can you satisfy your sweet tooth without giving your harmful oral bacteria a treat? By snacking healthy!
A Few Healthy Treats To Enjoy
Sometimes it seems like the healthy snacks are the ones that take longer to make or cost more, but that isn’t always true! So before you reach for that jelly-filled doughnut or bowl of ice cream, take a look at some of these quick, affordable, tasty options that are better for your teeth:

Coconut whipped cream with strawberries. Coconuts are exceptional bacteria killers and they can also reduce the amount of plaque build up, and strawberries are great for scrubbing away plaque too! Coconut whipped cream is a great substitute for dairy whipped cream because it’s low in sugar and high in healthy fats.

Frozen dark chocolate bananas. This treat is great because bananas are full of important nutrients that help keep teeth and gums strong, and dark chocolate is good for your teeth too. (You could also switch things up and put the coconut whipped cream on the bananas and the dark chocolate on the strawberries!)

Fruit smoothies with yogurt and applesauce. Toss your favorite fruits in a blender, but instead of adding sugar or ice cream, use unsweetened applesauce and frozen yogurt for a refreshing smoothie that is low in sugar!

Yogurt and granola. Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics. Crowd out that harmful bacteria in your mouth with the good bacteria in yogurt. Yogurt is also a great source of calcium for building strong teeth.

Fruit Bowls. You can never go wrong by throwing together a bowl of berries and sliced fruit. While fruit does contain natural sugar, eating it whole is much healthier than drinking fruit juice (which isn’t much better for your teeth than soda). The fiber in the whole fruit makes it harder for the sugar to reach your teeth (or your digestive system!), and you get all the great vitamins too!

Want More Healthy Snack Ideas?
If you like these healthy treats and want more, we can help you find them! From sugar substitutes in baking to easy on-the-go snacks, we have you covered! And don’t forget to keep up your other good oral health habits, such as brushing twice daily for two minutes, flossing, and scheduling those regular dental appointments!

And don’t worry, we have sweet teeth too!

-Dr. Keller & the whole Granite Dental Team


February 27, 2018

The below article is a big concern to me!  But there are some things about this study that are a little misleading.  

First, brushing 1x/day isn't the end of the world, certainly not as harmful as skipping 2+ days entirely.  Where you might run into trouble is combining brushing 1x/day with poor technique or not taking enough time (2+min) to completely and properly brush your teeth.  That's why we advocate electric toothbrushes:  they can compensate for both improper technique and they ahve a 2 min timer!  

Second, not coming to the dentist regularly is the best way to end up needing treatment with the dentist. Because most dental disease is preventable, regular care is far less expensive and invasive...

Finally, technology is changing. We are constantly upgrading and improving our equipment. The sounds and smells of the past may not be part of your current dental experience, especially when your source of information is the stories told by your parents or grandparents. It's much faster, less threatening, and more pleasant to see the dentist and receive care than it's ever been before.

If you sill have concerns, please, share them with your dentist-we want to make your experience as quick and pleasant as possible. If you need a dental home where you can have a consistently pleasant experience, please give us a call Granite Dental 360-693-2577!!  -Dr. Dave

For some millennials, morning breath may last for more than just the morning. That’s because, according to new research, many young Americans are failing to regularly clean their teeth. A new study…


February 6, 2018

February is National Children's Dental Health Month.  Since 1941 the American Dental Association has observed events all over the country to raise awareness of the importance of Children's Dental Health.  This has helped reach children and their families all across the country.  The theme this year is, "Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile."  Posters and fun activities can be found at the ADA's website dedicated to healthy mouths-mouthhealthy.org.  

At Granite Dental we know how important it is for kids to have a great first dental visit.  Dr. Keller has 6 children of his own so he know how to ease their anxieties and help them learn how to take care of their teeth in a fun way.  Come visit us today.  














February 1, 2018

Did you know that January 26th is Dental Drill Appreciation Day.   Most people would not think that appreciating the dental drill is a great idea.  We wanted to share with you some fun facts about this very valuable, and very dreaded tool. 


The very first “drill” called a bow drill appears to have been used by an ancient civilization 9000 years ago.

As recently as the 20th century dental drills needed to be turned by a foot pedal. 

The high speed dental drill rotates at 250,000 RPM’s that means it spins 4000 times per second!

Drill bits are made from Tungsten Carbide-some have blades and others have a more sandpaper like appearance. 

Many dental researchers have made it their life’s work to improve dental drills-or get rid of them.  Lasers, Air jets and other products are used in some procedures.  This makes us wonder, do those researchers hate the drill too? 


 Dental drills are multipurpose tools used to protect teeth.

A drill must be used to remove existing decay in order to prepare teeth for fillings.  This ensures that the filling will be successful and last for a long time

Drills are used to remove old crowns and fillings for replacement.  Teeth that need crowns or other restorations need the teeth to be shaped so that the crown fits well and doesn’t come off. 

We know the sound of the dental drill can make even the most fear-adverse patient cringe.  Researchers have worked hard to make them quieter and quieter. 


A regular routine of brushing, flossing and Regular Dental Checkups can help you avoid the dreaded dental drill.  Call us today and we can help.  360-693-2577



January 17, 2017

This article is one that I feel is pretty informative and non-biased. It doesn't really address the elephant in the room: costs, but it helps people remember how preventative dentistry is and how easy it is with regular care to reduce cost and discomfort while promoting health and happiness.
Granite Dental we have begun a Wellness plan to help our patients on fixed incomes, those without insurance, and those whose insurance isn't fantastic afford the regular prevention they need. If you, a friend, or a family member is interested in learning more or signing up, give us a call @ 360.693-2577 or www.granitedental.com/wellness-plan -Dr. Keller

To protect your teeth in your 70s and beyond, start now.


January 5, 2017

t is not only fascinating but instructive: when the major world health organizations are asked, "what regular/annual care should every living person have?", they focus on obesity, cancer, sleep, and dentistry. Why is that? It's because these are four categories of PREVENTABLE diseases! We want to help you have the best year of your life! Schedule that exam and cleaning you've been putting off! 360.693.2577

Make the most of your checkups and get the preventive tests you need.


December 28, 2016

When making your New Year's Resolutions this year, here are 5 that we at Granite Dental think are definitely worth keeping.

1. Commit To Flossing-To take the best care of your teeth brushing twice a day just isn't enough. Adding flossing to your daily routine is exercise for your gums.

 2. Kick The Habit-Smoking increases your risk for gum disease and is linked to a host of other health issues. Make a commitment to quit for good.

 3. Cut The Sugar-This can decrease your risk of tooth decay dramatically. Something to smile about.

 4. Eat Mouth Health Foods-Dairy products are high in calcium which strengthens your teeth, and foods high in fiber help scrub away the plaque.

 5. Schedule A Visit to Granite Dental-We'd love to see you regularly and help give you something to smile about.

Call Today 360-693-2577


December 7, 2016

Of course this is a concern to me! At Granite Dental, we've started a wellness program to help with this. Basically, you sign up for a membership in our wellness program like joining a fitness club. There is a modest joining fee and low monthly payments. This provides you with two important benefits: all of your exams, xrays, and cleanings are free. And you get 15-25% off any needed procedures.
We want you to be healthy and acknowledge with the rest of the dental community that regular preventative care is less expensive and far more health promoting than waiting for things to hurt. If you or a loved one would benefit from joining our wellness plan, please give us a call so we can send you some information! 360.693.2577 -Dr. Keller


Americans are more likely to skip needed dental care because of cost than any other type of health care, researchers report.



October 16, 2016

Dr. Keller loves Crossfit. And Dr. Keller loves flossing. Did you know that Flossing is one of the things you should be doing every day (along with your fitness routine) to keep your body healthy? Check out the video from regence.com to learn more. And don't forget to call us at 693-2577 to schedule your regular cleaning. #livefearless


September 21, 2016


More alarming that many might realize, especially those who are young, healthy, and invincible, and those who are unhealthy enough to have chronic illnesses or injuries.
In the dental office, we run into this most often in the ongoing argument between orthopedic surgeons and the rest of the medical world related to taking antibiotics before dental appointments after having a joint replaced. We will always do what is best for our patients, especially providing the information each individual needs to make their best decision! If you have questions about antibiotics before dental appointments, give us a call at Granite Dental 360.693.2577!


August 3, 2016: 

Here is the response from the dentists to the press who think flossing is not necessary.

Interdental cleaners, such as floss, are an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums




August 3, 2016

No Flossing!  Finally change I can believe in!!

Since the great recession, Dentistry has been the slowest major industry to recover.  Apparently, in an effort to spur Dental economic growth, the Federal Government has announced that our patients no longer need to floss.  This is fantastic financial news for dentists:  no flossing means more cavities, more deep cleanings, more frequent cleanings, needing to replace existing crowns and fillings more frequently, implants that don't last as long as they have in the past!  What a fantastic opportunity to produce more preventable dentistry than ever before!!

Kidding aside, what’s up with such a bold statement? The short answer is that the statement is based on a misunderstanding of what is and is not currently represented in the literature. It also is heavily influenced by the extremely volatile political environment: election year and a lame duck president whose shining star healthcare reform, the ACA or “Obamacare” is failing miserably.

It’s interesting that for many decades one of the few things dentists have consistently agreed on is the benefit of regular brushing and flossing. It’s further interesting that the number one area where dentists are sued and found negligent is treating periodontal disease properly, the effects of which are significantly influenced by the adequacy of one’s flossing regimen.

My take home message:
• Dental floss-$4
• A water flosser (which I believe is better than string floss)-$65
• Dental cleaning for a health adult-$100
• Dental cleaning for an unhealthy adult-$200
• Having beautiful, health teeth and gums, not having bad breath, not losing teeth and having to wear dentures, not dying 15 years earlier from the acceleration of your diabetes because you have untreated periodontal disease-priceless

If you have questions about the government’s new recommendations, give us a call! We are committed to doing all we can to help you have the best possible health and wellness! 360.693.2577


July 19, 2016:

This is a common discussion point with my patients. Unfortunately, while ongoing research in this area seems to have moved the majority of healthcare in one direction, orthopedists largely remain resolute that antibiotics for life is indicated for "all" dental procedures. But when we question them, they will admit that they don't want their patients to take antibiotics before all dental procedures: just the ones likely to introduce bacteria into the blood stream like deep cleanings or tooth extractions. Simply procedures such as fillings and crowns have such a low risk of causing infections that virtually all healthcare providers no longer recommend antibiotics for these kinds of procedures.

Because this is a constantly changing area in healthcare, I recommend you ask questions each time you come in. I remain committed to doing all I can to help you understand your health and receive the best possible care! If you have questions, please give us a call! 360-693-2577.  -Dr. Dave

Frequent dental scaling reduces the risk of infection following knee replacement surgery, according to a new study. As oral bacteria are responsible for…



July 19, 2016: 

Of course this is a growing concern. Everyone is concerned about the rising cost of dentistry, especially me!

I think this article is fairly objective, highlighting some of the pros and the cons of dental (medical) tourism. I would love to discuss this if anyone has any questions, especially if you're considering having dental or even medical procedures done out of the US. Having lived abroad as a dentist, I have some unique insights...-Dr. Dave