Johns Family Dentistry

Successful Start to Fall

Our practice just wrapped up our annual “Fill the Canoe” Drive. We partner with Puyallup-Communitees in Schools and Red Canoe Credit Union, collecting school supplies for the month of August that are donated back to Puyallup School District children in need. This year our office collected a total of 56 pounds of supplies, which is matched by Red Canoe Credit Union. This is always a fun and satisfying event! Thank you to our wonderful patients who participated!

With the school year upon us, we like to encourage great dental habits for kids!
When creating a back-to-school list, we hope that you will think of a dental checklist as well! Here are some suggestions for maintaining healthy teeth during the school year.

1. Schedule dental checkup appointments:
We recommend that your child should visit the dentist twice a year. Professional dental assessments are important to ensure your child’s healthy teeth. Dentists can also advise your child on correct oral hygiene habits and encourage them to keep up the good work. Call Johns Family Dentistry today to schedule your child’s next appointment.

2. Establish healthy oral hygiene routines:
Are your children brushing twice a day and flossing once a day? It’s easy to skip brushing your teeth in the early morning rush to school, but a consistent, healthy routine that you start from the summer can prevent this from happening. Do you have trouble convincing your child to brush their teeth every day? Make it fun!  Set a timer, award them a sticker.

3. Prepare healthy snacks and lunches:
Brainstorming healthy lunch ideas may already be on your to-do list, but have you thought of creating lunches that also are good for your child’s teeth? Snacks that are kind to teeth include fruit, string cheese, vegetables, and unsweetened applesauce. Try to avoid sticky snacks such as fruit roll-ups and granola bars that can stick to your child’s teeth surfaces and in-between teeth. Instead of packing sugary soda, think about water or other non-sugared drinks.

4. Guard against injuries:
If your child has sports practices, think about purchasing a mouth guard that could prevent dental injuries from happening. One of the most common ways that you can injure your teeth is by playing sports, and we want your child’s teeth to be healthy! Contact sports, such as basketball and soccer, are where your children are most at risk for injuries. Our office can make custom guards to protect their precious mouths.

5. Replace toothbrushes:
The American Dental Association recommends that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or when the bristles are frayed. A new school year is a great time to check on your children’s toothbrushes!

Schedule your next appointment with Johns Family Dentistry today! We guarantee a fun and friendly atmosphere for your children and offer excellent pediatric dental care.

Fill the Canoe School Supply Drive 2019


For the past 7 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 Foreigner at the Washington State Fair on September 18, 2019.

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!

What Your Tongue Can Tell You About Your Health

Healthy Tongue

For clues about problems in your mouth, stick out your tongue and look in the mirror. A healthy tongue should be pink and covered with small nodules (papillae). Any deviation from your tongue’s normal appearance, or any pain, may be cause for concern.


If your tongue has a white coating or white spots

A white tongue, or white spots on your tongue, could be an indication of:

Oral thrush: a yeast infection that develops inside the mouth. It appears as white patches that are often the consistency of cottage cheese.  Oral thrush is most commonly seen in infants and the elderly, especially denture wearers, or in people with weakened immune systems.  People with diabetes and those who are taking inhaled steroids for asthma or lung disease can also get it.  Oral thrush is more likely to occur after you’ve taken antibiotics.

Leukoplakia: a condition in which the cells in the mouth grow excessively, which leads to white patches on the tongue and inside the mouth. Leukoplakia can develop when the tongue has been irritated.  It’s often seen in people who use tobacco products.  Leukoplakia can be a precursor to cancer, but isn’t inherently dangerous by itself.  If you see what you think could be leukoplakia, Dr. Johns would be happy to see you for an evaluation.

Oral lichen planus: a network of raised white lines on your tongue that look similar to lace.  We don’t always know what causes this condition, but it usually resolves on its own.

If your tongue is red

A red tongue could be a sign of:

Vitamin deficiency:  Folic acid and vitamin B-12 deficiencies may cause your tongue to take on a reddish appearance.

Geographic tongue: This condition causes a map-like pattern of reddish spots to develop on the surface of your tongue.  These patches can have a white border around them, and their location on your tongue may shift over time.  Geographic tongue is usually harmless.

Scarlet fever: an infection that causes the tongue to have a strawberry-like (red and bumpy) appearance.  If you have a high fever and a red tongue, you need to see your primary care doctor.  Antibiotics are necessary to treat scarlet fever.

Kawasaki disease: a condition that can also cause the tongue to have a strawberry-like appearance. It is seen in children under the age of 5 and is accompanied by a high fever.  Kawasaki syndrome is a serious condition that demands immediate medical evaluation and you should be seen by your primary care physician.

If your tongue is black and hairy

Much like hair, the papillae on your tongue grow throughout your lifetime. In some people, they become excessively long, which makes them more likely to harbor bacteria.

When these bacteria grow, they may look dark or black, and the overgrown papillae can appear hair-like.  Fortunately, this condition is not common and is typically not serious.  It’s most likely to occur in people who don’t practice good dental hygiene.

People with diabetes, taking antibiotics or receiving chemotherapy may also develop a black hairy tongue.

If your tongue is sore or bumpy

Painful bumps on your tongue can be due to:

Trauma:  Accidentally biting your tongue or scalding it on something straight out of the oven can result in a sore tongue until the damage heals.  Grinding or clenching your teeth can also irritate the sides of your tongue and cause it to become painful.

Smoking: Smoking irritates your tongue, which can cause soreness.

Canker sores: mouth ulcers.  Many people develop canker sores on the tongue at one time or another.  The cause is unknown, but stress is believed to be a factor.  Canker sores normally heal without treatment within a week or two.

Oral cancer:  A lump or sore on your tongue that doesn’t go away within two weeks could be an indication of oral cancer.  Keep in mind that many oral cancers don’t hurt in the early stages, so don’t assume a lack of pain means nothing is wrong.

Watch your tongue!

Dr. Johns says everyone should check their tongue on a daily basis when they brush their teeth and tongue. “Any discoloration, lumps, sores or pain should be monitored and evaluated by a medical professional if they don’t go away within two weeks,” he says.

How to manage your teen’s dental habits?

How to Manage Your Teen’s Dental Habits?

Raising a teen comes with its own set of challenges: first crushes, mood swings, identity crises are all part of the package. The one thing that does not get sufficient attention, however, is their dental hygiene. Among the different changes that puberty marks, is the first full set of adult teeth that your child acquires. Unfortunately, the care that these require often goes unnoticed by teens and their parents. But good dental hygiene must feature prominently along with all the other positive habits you want your child to acquire during puberty. Here are different ways of managing your teen’s dental habits.

Make proper brushing a regular habit

Studies find that in the US, only around 25% of adults brush their teeth twice daily. Incidentally, exactly those number of people have decayed teeth. There is a relation between these two figures. Not brushing regularly can lead to easy tooth decay. This is especially true for young adolescents, who generally enjoy consuming a lot of sugary drinks and junk. Poor dental hygiene begins solidifying during adolescent years, where teenage rebellion may just make your children refuse to follow rules. A good way to have them follow rules is to treat them like an adult: with your dentist or over the internet, discuss with them the repercussions of not brushing daily, and tell them to make a choice. As young adults, this responsibility of choice-making will make them take it more seriously. This will ensure that they responsibly brush twice a day.

Watch out for adolescent sugar cravings

Studies find that when your child is undergoing growth spurts, they may just demand calorific junk food. This is because their bodies are growing at their fastest since they were babies, so their bodies’ energy demands are significantly high. The downside to this is that it has a direct impact on their oral hygiene. Calorific food is high in sugar, which causes tooth decay and cavities. Eating too many desserts or junk food can harm their teeth and their health. A hands-on way of dealing with this problem is to always have a healthy snack ready in the fridge. Keep fruits, healthy sandwiches and sugarless granola bars at easy-to-reach places. This means that when your teen gets hungry, he/she will eat these instead of calorific food! As a bonus, this will help them develop a healthy relationship with food.

Flossing regularly

Most children have a difficult time flossing, This means that either the parents completely skip on flossing as a dental hygiene technique, or the child grows dependant on the parents to help him or her do it. As children grow older, during adolescence, it is important that they learn how to do this vital health routine themselves. However, many parents are unaware of the proper techniques of flossing. To floss properly, one must follow a few steps. First, take a dental floss and wrap it around the middle finger of both hands, leaving quite a gap in between. Then, hold a small portion in between your forefingers and bring it between your teeth. In a slight curing motion, rub it against the edges of your tooth to remove food particles. Make sure to repeat this process throughout the mouth, with a special emphasis on the teeth at the back. Guide your young adult through this process and ensure that they floss at least once a day.

Getting Braces

A major part of dental hygiene during adolescent in braces. Most teens get braces because as their permanent teeth start growing, they can be all over the place. Getting adequate orthodontic care is an integral part of growing up: so much so that braces are a prominent feature in most films and books about adolescence! To see whether your young adult needs braces, take her to the dentist. Some children may be reluctant to visit the dentist or get braces, because of different dental anxieties floating in their mind. They may be worrying over how their social status in school may be affected by braces, how their appearance might change, or even how getting braces may be a very painful procedure. It is important that you talk them through these fears, and if needed, counsel them with a dentist. Once they have conquered their anxieties, getting dental care will become much easier. If they are to get braces, ensure that they take good care of them with regular brushing and keeping them clean. Getting regular orthodontic checkups for the maintenance and upkeep of the braces and their teeth is also vital.

Regular dental checkups

Going to the dentist twice a year should be a habit for life. Studies show that more than 30% of Americans do not visit the dentist regularly, which is why problems like decay, cavities, and pyorrhoea are common. This habit, of visiting the dentist regularly, will be easily developed in your child if you inculcate it in them. Take your child to the dentist regularly, so that by the time he or she is ready to move out, it is part of their personal care habits. Prevention is always better than cure, and regular checkups are a major part of prevention.

Even as teens may be difficult to get through to, a major part of parenting is finding ways around this. Inculcating good habits in them is not impossible, especially when it comes to good hygiene. Encourage your child to take good dental decisions, and they will be able to become healthier, happier adults.

Preventative Sealants

Dental sealants are a type of special plastic coating that act as a barrier, protecting cavity-prone areas. They are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth and are sometimes used to cover deep pits and grooves in other teeth. Sealing a tooth is fast and easy. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing but sometimes a reapplication is needed. Talk to your Dr. Johns about sealants. Remember: Just because you have sealants doesn’t mean you don’t have to brush and clean between your teeth every day. Sealants are added protection against decay!


If you play a sport or are active in things like skateboarding or snowboarding, it’s a good idea to wear a mouthguard. It may feel funny at first, but mouthguards are the best thing you can do to protect your teeth from getting broken or knocked out. They cushion blows that would otherwise cause injuries to the lips and face and sometimes even jaw fractures. There are different kinds of mouthguards; ask your dentist which one is right for you.

Eliminate Excuses

Don’t let a lack of supplies be an excuse! Keep the bathroom stocked with dental floss, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other oral health items so your teens can access them easily. Do what you can to teach your children good time management skills so they won’t ‘run out of time’ before school and not brush their teeth. Make a list of tasks they need to do to get ready for school and have them check it off as they go. Include things like making their bed, brushing their teeth, putting on deodorant, and similar good hygiene habits to help them establish a healthy routine of their own.

Get the Gadgets

Teens love the newest high tech gadgets, and the dental industry has obliged. Encourage your teens to manage their own oral health by using vibrating toothbrushes and other high-tech gadgets. These items make teeth brushing a fun activity and it can even help to get them engaged in their own health by showing their progress via apps and a bluetooth device.

Talk about the consequences

There are serious consequences to not having a good oral care routine. Tooth loss, tooth enamel issues, cavities, dingy teeth, gingivitis, and more can all happen if you’re not taking proper care of your teeth. A lifetime of not taking care of your teeth will result in severe tooth loss in old age. Explain these issues to your teens and make sure they know the consequences. If you struggle in this area, have your teen come by and talk to us. We have a full range of resources that can steer them in the right direction.We’d love to be the source for all things oral health for your entire family. Johns Family Dentistry will introduce you to an effective system to keep your teeth healthy, especially for kids and teens who are more prone to oral health issues because of what they eat and how they manage their oral hygiene. We can schedule regular cleaning and check-ups, but if we see more issues, we can discuss a plan on how to best deal with them. Schedule an appointment by contacting us here or give us a call at 253-848-3723.

Do you have a stubborn friend/family member that refuses to see the dentist?

Of course you do! We all do.

Working within a dental practice we hear patients on a regular basis express their concerns for a relative or a friend that simply just refuses to see the dentist. Whether it is because of fear, finances or principals it can be extremely frustrating.

What did it take to get him to the dentist?

One of our staff members has a father who suffers from two things:

1. Dental phobia due to poor experiences as a child.

2. Fear of cost and affordability.

For years, our staff member has tried to get him in. His last dental appointment was in the late 1970’s. Her father is in his mid 70’s. Finally, one day he called her and reported, “I have a toothache that I cannot shake.” This was music to her ears. She scheduled him immediately. His toothache was periodontal disease related. Dr. Johns was able to educate him, explain the procedures and our financial coordinator was able to show the patient how this could be done economically for a retired patient who does not have dental insurance. (Our practice offers a voucher program which assisted the patient greatly).

The patient was able to undergo treatment. It was affordable. He was comfortable. The health of his mouth continues to improve with each appointment. But overall, this has had a tremendous effect on his overall health. The patient, a longtime Type 2 Diabetic who admittedly struggles with his blood sugar, suddenly reported that his blood sugar had stabilized. He had also recently been diagnosed with Congested Heart Failure. His diagnosis can be treated, but his report to the Cardiologist that he has recently been seeing a dentist and having his periodontal disease maintained, triggered the Cardiologist to congratulate and encouraged him to keep on the right track.

So do you have to wait for pain to arise to get your stubborn patient seen?  Maybe!  But even scheduling a time for the patient to stop by the practice for a tour, meet some team members and go over financials and expectations can go a long way. The staff at Johns Family Dentistry excels at making that connection with a stubborn patient and converting them to a life long patient.

By the way, the dad….couldn’t be more pleased. And cannot figure out why it took so long to come back.  Dentists no longer resemble Steve Martins character from “Little Shop of Horrors.”

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!