Johns Family Dentistry

Dental Care during Pregnancy

Why is dental care in pregnancy important?
During pregnancy, you are more likely to have problems with your teeth or gums. If you have an infection in your teeth or gums, the chance of your baby being premature (born early) or having low birth weight may be slightly higher than if your teeth and gums are healthy.

What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection in the mouth caused by bacteria. The bacteria use the sugar you eat to make acid. That acid can destroy the enamel (protective) coating on your teeth, which can cause tooth decay (cavities) or even tooth loss. Periodontal disease can begin with gum swelling and bleeding, called gingivitis. If it is not treated, gingivitis can spread from the gums to the bones that support the teeth and to other parts of the mouth. However, Dr. Johns and your hygienist can treat periodontal disease even when you are pregnant.

Why are pregnant women more at risk for periodontal disease?

There are 2 major reasons women can have dental problems during pregnancy:
Pregnancy gingivitis—During pregnancy, changes in hormone levels allow bacteria to grow in the mouth and gums more easily. This makes periodontal disease more common when you are pregnant.
Nausea and vomiting—Pregnant women may have nausea and vomiting or “morning sickness,” especially in the first trimester. The stomach acids from vomiting can also break down the enamel coating of the teeth.

Is it safe to visit your dentist in pregnancy?
Dental care is safe during pregnancy and important for the health of you and your baby. Your dentist can help you improve the health of your mouth during pregnancy. Your Dr. Johns can also find and treat problems with your teeth and gums.

What should you know before you see the dentist?
Make sure Johns Family Dentistry knows that you are pregnant.  If medications for infection or for pain are needed, Dr. Johns can prescribe ones that are safe for you and your baby.
Tell your hygienist about any changes you have noticed since you became pregnant and about any medications or supplements you are taking.
Dental work can be done safely at any point in pregnancy. If possible, it is best to delay treatments and procedures until after the first trimester.

Tips for Improving Your Dental Health

Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush.  Floss once a day.  Use toothpaste and mouth rinse that contains fluoride.  Chew sugarless or xylitol-containing gum 2-3 times per day.  Rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in a cup of water if you vomit or have morning sickness.  If possible, try to wait one hour after vomiting before brushing your teeth.  Limit how much sugar you eat.  Choose nutritious snacks like raw fruits, vegetable, yogurt or cheese.  Drink water or low-fat milk.  Avoid beverages that are carbonated or contain a lot of sugar, like soda or juice.

More Questions

Feel free to contact the office.  Nicole, one of our restorative hygienists is currently pregnant with her second child and has her share of experience and tips as well.


I need a crown? And not the kind to wear on my head….

Since crowns are one of the more common restorations that people need on their teeth, most dentist are regularly asked the question, “Do I really need a crown.” It is a completely fair question because even with insurance, crowns may cost you hundreds of dollars at a time.

The reason they are recommended frequently is that a dental crown is often the best option to extend the life of a tooth for years to come. However, there are options in treating a tooth which may delay the need for a crown.

At Johns Family Dentistry, we evaluate all options and review them with you before recommending a crown. We consider you our partner in maintaining your dental health and we will take the time to fully explain our treatment plan recommendations. If you have been told by another dentist that you need a crown, please come see us for a free second opinion.

Five Things You Should Ask Your Dentist Before Getting A Crown

1. Show me and tell me why a crown is needed.
If it hurts when you bite down, it is possible that your tooth is cracked. If a tooth is cracked, it is a serious condition and does usually require a crown. Unlike a broken bone, the fracture in a cracked tooth will not heal.

Vertical cracks that travel to the gumline may require a full-coverage crown. If the crack goes below the gumline, the tooth may require a root canal, with crown lengthening or possibly even extraction.

However, make sure that the tooth is cracked and not just “crazed.” Craze lines are very common and not harmful. Most every adult back tooth has craze lines. These are just simple stress lines that do not necessarily indicate a crown.

Since craze lines do not effect the structural integrity of your tooth, you can choose from a number of different options to fix them. The least invasive of these is whitening, which can bleach the stains from the crack to significantly reduce its visibility.

However, craze lines that exhibit deep stains or are very long could suggest a developing crack. Ask your dentist for either an inter-oral photograph or a hand held mirror to show you the crack.

2. What are my options?
In some cases, while a crown is one option, there can be others. You might opt for a filling instead. Keep in mind, however, that a filling does not prevent you from needing a crown later on. Also, if a substantial portion of your tooth needs filling, a better solution is usually the crown because fillings do not give you the same kind of protection as crowns do. Also, if the filling is extremely large, it can cause the tooth to break, making it irreparable.

3. What are the implications of waiting?

Nothing will happen.
The tooth could chip – simple repair. Or it could crack and would need a crown.
In some cases waiting could cause a root canal to be needed.
The tooth could split, which could require crown lengthening or extraction.
These are things that your dentist should be prepared to talk over with you.

4. Is a Root Canal needed?
Most crowns do not need root canals. If a tooth is not infected or acutely inflamed, it will not need a root canal.

5. Does an old, really large silver filling mean I need a crown?
If a silver filling is 2/3 the width of the tooth or more, it could require a crown. The small amount of tooth that is left in an old filling like this can get compromised. It is up to your approach. If you want to be proactive and prevent it from cracking, go with a crown. If you are more conservative, you can take the approach if its not broke, don’t fix it.

At Johns Family Dentistry Our Philosophy is Prevention.
We strive to keep your teeth and gums disease-free and we believe it is important to treat issues early, when they are less serious. We offer the a complete range of restorative and cosmetic services, including tooth colored fillings, porcelain veneers, and crowns. 

We are comprehensive in our approach, but committed to never over treating our patients.

Our Voucher Program
If you are in need of a crown and don’t have dental insurance, we have an option for you. Our JFD Voucher’s, offer you a considerable savings on a crown.

Common Dental Emergencies

Most people know what to do when an emergency arises. However, many patients don’t know what to do when they’re eating their favorite food and a tooth breaks. Most people don’t know how to handle a cracked, fractured, or even knocked-out tooth. For this reason, Johns Family Dentistry wants to help patients stay prepared in case an emergency happens.

Additionally, Dr. Johns will do everything he can to see you the same day, so the first steps should always be to schedule an emergency appointment. Until you arrive, here’s what you should do.


An avulsed tooth is always considered a dental emergency. In order to save the tooth and increase the chance of a successful implantation, it’s essential that you get to the dentist as soon as possible. Until then, take note of the following steps:  First, find the tooth. Once found, only pick it up by the top, known as the crown. Touching the root will reduce the tooth’s ability to be reimplanted.  Then, rinse any dirt or debris off the tooth, making sure to leave any tissue still attached to the root.  Finally, attempt to place the tooth back into the socket the same way it was facing. This will help preserve the tooth until you get to your dentist. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, place the tooth into a container of milk, saline solution, saltwater, or saliva if none of these liquids are available.


If you only chip your tooth cosmetically and there’s no pain, chances are you can wait until Johns Family Dentistry is open during normal business hours. However, a large crack or a crack that extends below the gumline needs to be addressed by a dentist right away. If you have pain, take an over-the-counter painkiller to alleviate it until your dentist visit.  Avoid applying pressure to the affected tooth.


If you wake up to tooth pain with no explanation, it could be a sign of significant tooth decay, an infection or abscess, or damage that resulted from teeth grinding. Besides taking Advil or Motrin, you’ll need to visit your dentist so he can determine the cause.  If the pain is lingering or not consistent, take note of when the pain occurs to help your dentist create a more accurate diagnosis.

Regardless of the emergency you’re experiencing, you don’t have to wait until tomorrow to address it.  Johns Family Dentistry in Puyallup is more than likely able to see you the same day to treat your case.  The sooner you get your case treated, the better your outcome will be.  Schedule an appointment with Dr. Johns today to get treated!

Stress in the Workplace

Everyone who ever held a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelming – and harmful both physical and emotional health.

Stress is a common cause of health problems and your oral health is no exception. Stress may contribute to teeth grinding, gum disease, dry mouth and canker sores and may also impact your oral health routine and diet – increasing your risk of tooth decay.

Most of us are not in a situation where we can switch jobs. So here are some things to consider for your stressful position: develop healthy responses, establish boundaries, take time to recharge, learn how to relax, talk to your supervisor, get some support.

For oral health, invest in an occlusal guard. Dr. Johns can have a custom made guard made especially for you to take the load off your teeth and jaw from grinding/bruxism. Avoid stressful habits such as smoking, consuming alcohol and eating high sugar foods.

Best advice? Even in a stressful environment where you are may experience pressure to meet a deadline or to fulfill a challenging obligation, find support. Sometimes we find the best support in our co-workers, those fellow employees that are in the trenches day-to-day with you.

Christmas…a time of giving.

Christmas is one of the happiest holidays. During this season, people often are more generous. Families gather to help neighbors; donations are made to people in need. The practice of giving is not a recent innovation – it began on the first Christmas when Jesus was born. Everyone in the story had something to give.

With an overwhelming response from our patients during our November “Turkey Drive,” Johns Family Dentistry is proudly involved in giving back to our community during this season.

For the month of December, our office adorns beautiful Christmas decor. In our lobby, you can find our Christmas tree, decorated with tree tags that indicate an age and gift suggestion. This year, Johns Family Dentistry is working with the Puyallup School District in providing a Merry Christmas to children in the community whose families are having difficulties making ends meet.  

Feel free to stop in the practice, select a tag and return the unwrapped, new gift by December 11th.

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all!

Annual Turkey Donation Drive

The meaning of the word Puyallup, is generous people. We are lucky to practice dentistry and live in a community of such generous people, as the people of Puyallup.

This year we celebrate our 10th annual “Turkey Drop!” For a decade, the amazing patients of Johns Family Dentistry have graciously donated turkeys to help families in need.

This year, we ask that you drop off donated turkeys to our office on Monday, November 19-Tuesday, November 20, 2018 through 12:00 pm noon. Our staff will excitedly deliver the turkeys to the local food bank on the afternoon of the 20th, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Thank you for always making this such a successful event!

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

October is National Dental Hygiene Month, an effort to celebrate the work dental hygienists do and to help raise awareness on the importance of good oral health. Easily, we all know that our hygiene team hear at he practice – Nicole, Megan, Heidi and Jillian are four of the best around!

This year, the awareness is focusing on four routines that can help people maintain healthy smiles: brush, floss, rinse and chew. According to, the ADA’s consumer website, the ADA recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes, with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of the brush should fit the mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily.

The proper brushing technique is to:

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up and down strokes.
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

Although recent news reports have questioned its benefits of cleaning between your teeth, it is still an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums, according to The ADA recommends cleaning between your teeth once a day to remove plaque that is not removed by brushing. Plaque can eventually harden into calculus or tartar.

Because teeth alone account for less than half of the mouth, rinsing can help eliminate biofilm and bacteria that brushing and flossing cannot. Rinsing often, along with brushing and flossing, may help reduce the chance of dental decay and infection. However, avoid rinses that have alcohol in them, according to

Lastly, clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay. The chewing of sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva, which washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth, according to

As always, feel free to ask any of the Johns Family Dentistry hygiene team for tips!

Fall into a Routine

September is here and with the arrival of the cooler crisp air and changing colors we are adjusting to getting back into the comfort of familiar routines. Bedtimes, back to school schedules, sports, all make our personal time minimal. When will you get a chance to go to the fair? It is important to take the time to stop and breathe, slow your mind down and ask yourself, “What is important now?” By doing this you will be able to establish your priorities and in return you will dine it easier to organize your responsibilities. If you take time to set yourself up for success, everything else tends to fall right into place.

Take Five              

Perform the following each morning upon rising and again in the evening before you lay your head down:

  • Take two minutes to reflect and set your priorities and goals for the day.
  • Take two minutes to schedule it – in you outlook, planner, or whatever you used to track your daily appointments. The most important step is writing it down and scheduling.
  • Take one minute to affirm it by stating your priorities and goals out loud.

Fall is a perfect time to start your healthy routine. Exercising, flossing, simply making the time for your health.

Success comes down to working towards your own best. You must remember your definition of success is up to you.

Fill the Canoe School Supply Drive 2018

For the past 6 years, Johns Family Dentistry have proudly partnered with Red Canoe Credit Union and Puyallup – Communities In Schools, to collect school supplies for all 32 schools in the Puyallup School District.  For every pound that is donated, Red Canoe Credit Union will match on the dollar!  

We believe that every child deserves the chance to start the school year with the right tools to succeed.   With the generous donations provided by our patients, together we can make this philanthropic event successful.

Please drop off your new school supplies to our office now until Thursday, August 23.  As an added bonus you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win tickets (2) to see Toby Keith at the Washington State Fair on September 15, 2018.

The supplies that are considered high needs are the following:

  • 2-3 inch binders
  • Dividers
  • Highlighters
  • Sharpies
  • 3 Ring Pencil Pouches
  • Colored Pencils

All of us here at JFD appreciate your giving hearts and support.  Thank you!

Great Dental Ideas for a Happy 4th of July


Holidays are often the stressful times for our health and especially our teeth. We tend to feel free to temporarily forget the careful health guidelines and routines we’ve set up for our families. And why not? It’s OK to relax and take a break once in a while, especially on holidays like July 4th when we are already celebrating our freedom!

But you don’t have to totally abandon care for your teeth in order to have a good time. Here are three great ideas to keep you smiling this July 4th weekend.

Eat this not that.

While it can be tempting to go for chips or candy to snack on, try choosing options that are both fun and healthy. The patriotic parfait pictured is made with plain Greek yogurt which is a dental super food. And the berries provide just the right amount of sweetness to tame the celebration sweet tooth. Getting kids involved in making these treats is a sure-fire way to get them excited about eating healthy and can be a great activity to keep little hands busy.

Don’t forget the water (for more reasons than you think).

July 4th often means plenty of time spent outside, whether that’s watching fireworks or enjoying a family kickball game. Choose water as your number one cooler choice. It’s better for teeth than sodas and sports drinks and it helps keep you hydrated. Even more, when you’re out on a picnic and a toothbrush isn’t available, a quick rinse with water after meals can be the next best thing. Water helps rinse away food particles trapped in teeth and limits the growth of bacteria.

Travelling? Give everyone their own “tooth-care bag”.

Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean that you have to neglect your family’s brushing routine. Be sure to pack everyone’s toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. A great way to get small kids excited about brushing while on vacation is to create their very own “tooth-care bag”. Purchase a fun new toothbrush along with travel-sized toothpaste and floss and use a zippered pencil pouch for each child. Children also enjoy using craft supplies to decorate their own tooth kit. You may be surprised when you find them excited and looking forward to brushing time.