Blue heart painted on blank background with thick strokes

We Love Dental Hygiene

Every year for National Dental Hygiene Month, dentists around the country remind their patients to floss and post a bunch of boring tips on social media. Rather than contributing to the noise, we decided to focus on our dental hygienists. After all, they’re the dental hygiene experts!

We asked our hygienists to share something about themselves that makes them unique. And a few people surprised us with their responses! We have a part-time psychic, a dog hygienist, a few world travelers and even someone who races motorbikes!

Read all about our hygienists below. And if you’d like to meet any of them, give us a call to make an appointment today!

 

Heather #WeLoveDentalHygiene

Heather

I have been a dental hygienist for 16 years. Aside from dentistry and caring for my patients’ oral health, my other passions include traveling the world and learning about therapeutic massage. This photo was from a trip to Thailand where I had the opportunity to not only experience a very beautiful part of the world, but also study Thai massage.

 

Amanda #WeLoveDentalHygiene

Amanda

I’ve been practicing dental hygiene for 12 years. I also have a passion for raising awareness for premature birth and the health risk for pregnant women with periodontal disease. Our family loves to support the March of Dimes Kentuckiana to give back for all the support they showed us on our 10-week journey in the NICU.

 

Andrea #WeLoveDentalHygiene

Andrea

Hi, my name’s Andrea and dental hygiene is just one of my passions. I’m a member of Toastmasters International – a group that promotes leadership, communication, and community involvement. Through Toastmasters, I’ve been able to promote oral health in non traditional ways and meet many great people.

 

Whitney #WeLoveDentalHygiene

Whitney

I’m a new hygiene graduate from the University of Louisville. My husband introduced me to a new hobby called MotoTrials. When I’m not practicing hygiene, I’m competing and spending time with my 5-year-old daughter. We travel a lot with this sport and even had the opportunity to go to Spain this year!

 

Jessica #WeLoveDentalHygiene

Jessica

Jessica is not just a Dental Hygienist at our New Albany office – she’s also an actress and psychic medium! Jessica has acted at Kentucky Center for the Arts and recently starred in Sordid Lives by Pandora Productions.

 

LaTosha #WeLoveDentalHygiene

LaTosha

I have been a dental hygienist for 12 years! I am a kid at heart and a thrill seeker. I stay physically active by going to the gym and playing softball. I like roller coasters, zip lining and other adventurous activities. But most importantly I love sharing those experiences with my family and friends.

Lynnetta #WeLoveDentalHygiene

Lynnetta

Hi, my name’s Lynnetta and I’ve been practicing dental hygiene for 36 years, 30 of those with Dr. Robert Fuchs. A passion of mine is baking and decorating cakes. I love bringing treats to my Audubon family. The best part of being a hygienist are the relationships I develop with my patients, some whom are 3rd generation. It also allows me time to travel to NYC to see my grandson, Jonah, and his soon to be little sister!

 

Kristie #WeLoveDentalHygiene

Kristie

My name is Kristie and I’ve been a practicing dental hygienist for 13 years. I play music and sing, and I have a huge soft spot for animals. I’m a health and fitness enthusiast, but traveling the world with my husband is currently my biggest passion. I guess you could say I’m all over the map.

Dana #WeLoveDentalHygieneDana

I have been a dental hygienist for 44 years. I love dogs and in 1996 I taught myself how to clean teeth without sedation. In 2011 I moved to Asheville and got a job at the Animal Hospital of North Asheville doing their non-anesthetic dentals.

 

Nicki #WeLoveDentalHygiene

Nicki

My passion for helping people extends well beyond their teeth. I’ve co-founded a non-profit called David’s Hope that supports people and their families that have been affected by addiction and PTSD. This work has led me to pursue a degree in nursing so that I can continue working daily with those in recovery. This is one of my favorite photos of my brother, my mom, and myself about a year before he lost his battle with addiction.

 

Amber #WeLoveDentalHygiene

Amber

I have been practicing dental hygiene for four years. Dental hygiene has been my dream career since I was 12 years old! When I’m not on the clock, I enjoy anything that involves coffee, spending time with my pug and trying new things.

 

Rachel #WeLoveDentalHygiene

Rachel

I’ve been a hygienist since 2014. Like most little girls, I’ve LOVED horses for as long as I can remember and started riding when I was 8 years old. I competed as a teenager and young adult in Hunter Jumper, paying my way by working at the stables I rode at. Today I enjoy simple trail rides with my trusty girl Chloe. And I’m also lucky enough to share my passion with my daughter, who loves to ride with me on her pony Lacey. This picture was taken at a benefit ride for children battling cancer.

 

Olivia #WeLoveDentalHygiene

Olivia

I have been a practicing dental hygienist since 2012 with a large passion for cycling. Endurance mountain bike racing is my passion outside of the mouth. I love the sweat, the mental challenge, and the skill that comes along with this sport.

 

Renee #WeLoveDentalHygiene

Renee

I’m Renee Hamilton and I’ve been a hygienist for over 13 years. It’s a passion of mine to help others have a healthy smile by educating them to the best of my ability. Another passion I have is skincare and I’ve been a Nerium brand partner about 4 years. My husband I have 3 beautiful children, Trace (8), Dayne (5) and Mollie (1), and they are my “WHY” for every single thing I do.

 

Diane #WeLoveDentalHygiene

Diane

Hi, my name’s Diane and I’m a dental hygienist in Maineville, Ohio. I have three sons and four grandsons. Yep, that equals seven boys! Travel has always been another remarkable part of my life. Over the years, my travels have taken me to forty-nine American States and over ten foreign countries.

 

Amanda #WeLoveDentalHygiene

Amanda

I’ve practiced dental hygiene for 16 years and been in dentistry for 21. When I’m not in the dental office, my passion is traveling! I love seeing new countries and experiencing new cultures. This is a pic of me in Edinburgh a few weeks ago – my second time there!!

Tyiana Thompson - Mrs. Kentucky

Who does Mrs. Kentucky trust to take care of her winning smile? Mortenson Family Dental!

When Henderson native Tyiana Thompson was crowned Mrs. Kentucky 2017, she took home even more than the top title. She also won Mrs. Photogenic, Best Interview, the Career Achievement Award and Contestants’ Choice. Her chosen platform is education, specifically accessibility and diversity in education. And she is excited about the opportunity to positively impact lives and be a role model.

 

The state competition is a qualifier for the national competition for Mrs. America, and Mortenson Family Dental is proud to be her sponsor. Tyiana has been a patient since 2013 and we recently talked with her about Mortenson and her winning smile.

 

Why did you choose Mortenson Family Dental?

 

When I moved to Louisville from the Cincinnati area, I found a dentist in my neighborhood. My first visit was more like a terrible car buying experience. I actually left in tears. A co-worker told me about Mortenson so I made an appointment there for my next cleaning. It was the best experience!

 

I have the world’s worst teeth and constantly have issues with them. The staff at Mortenson makes you feel welcome from the moment you walk in the door. They are so friendly and helpful. They really want you to have a good experience. It can be embarrassing to have a cavity or be to the point that you need a root canal. But Dr. Dick and his team always make me feel at ease.

 

Why do you stay with Mortenson?

 

I love how the people who work there are so positive and caring. You truly feel cared for and like you are part of a family. Many people are fearful of the dentist because they have had bad experiences in the past. I don’t think anyone could have a bad experience at Mortenson!

 

I also love how they educate you on how to care for your teeth. They explain everything they do and review your plan with you so you understand their recommendations and treatment options.

 

As Mrs. Kentucky, how important is a healthy smile?

 

In this role, I am often in the spotlight doing events and appearances. It is very important for me to represent the state and myself professionally. I think having a healthy smile and good oral health overall is very important when you want to make a good impression.

 

How does Mortenson help you keep your winning smile?

 

Every time I am in the office, the staff educates me on how to properly care for my teeth. I have been told that I may need to cut back on the coffee and red wine, but I think the honesty from the dentists and hygienists is a good thing. Their main priority is my health.

 

What extra steps, if any, do you take to make your smile bright?

 

I do teeth whitening every few months.

 

Do you have any advice for girls on how to have a winning smile?

 

Your smile is the first thing people notice and is extremely important in making a great first impression. Therefore, you want to make sure you are at least doing the basics at an early age – brushing after meals, restricting sugar-laden food and drinks, and FLOSSING. Honestly, I struggled with flossing regularly when I was younger, and I have paid the price. Now, I floss! Also, make sure you go to the dentist regularly. Don’t put it off. Bad oral health can lead to issues with your overall health.

 

Is there anything you’d like to add?

 

Mortenson Family Dental takes the family in their name seriously. The dentists and hygienists are patient and kind with every interaction you have with them. They will work with you on payment options and treatment plans because their top priority is your health, not financial gain.

 

It is extremely refreshing to walk into a doctor’s office and have them know you by name, and remember what is going on in your life. I think that is less common in our society today. I truly appreciate all of the Dupont team. They are an amazing group of professionals!

 

 

We think Tyiana is pretty amazing herself. We wish her the best in her future endeavors!

Child afraid of the dentist

Kids Dental Health is Getting Worse in Kentucky

Despite having more families with dental insurance than 15 years ago, kids dental health is getting worse in Kentucky. The 2016 study of 2,109 Kentucky families determined that Kentucky meets only half of eight benchmarks addressing children’s dental health needs. This is a huge problem because tooth decay or dental pain can lead to trouble with concentration in school and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and cancer later in life.

Although Kentucky ranks first in the country in the percentage of people served by fluoridated water systems, the Bluegrass state is struggling to improve the dental health of its youngest inhabitants. Here are the key findings.

The percentage of students who need dental care is increasing.

The percentage of 3rd & 6th graders in Kentucky in need of early or urgent dental care was 32% in 2001. That number has now ballooned to 49%, meaning almost half of students in Kentucky are living with toothaches, tooth decay, infections or cavities. Eastern Kentucky is seeing the least improvement of any region.

Two out of five students have untreated cavities.

Tooth decay remains the most prevalent chronic disease in children, and impacts too many Kentucky children. And when students have poor dental health, it can affect their schoolwork. “We know in a very pragmatic way that a person with a toothache is probably not paying attention to their multiplication tables at school, so oral health is a significant issue for children in Kentucky,” Executive Director of Kentucky Youth Advocates Dr. Terry Brooks said.

Over half of students do not have sealants.

There was a 14% increase in the number of children observed with dental sealants on at least one permanent molar. However, even with that gain, more than half of the children did not have any sealants, which are clear plastic coatings that protect the chewing surface of a tooth. Sealants are usually one-third the cost of filling a cavity.

Socioeconomic status is a significant factor in students’ oral health. 

What’s most troubling is that 88% of these students have dental insurance that pays for some or all of their dental care, parents report, but only 5% reported there was a time when their child needed dental care but couldn’t access it. So if access is not preventing parents from seeing a dentist for their children, is it education? According to the Kentucky Department of Education, more than 70% of public school students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. And unsurprisingly students on free or reduced lunch are more likely to have recently experienced a toothache, have visited a dentist more than a year ago, have untreated decay or be in need of urgent dental care.

“What leaps out in the report are two big issues,” said Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates. “One is the paradox that more kids have coverage and yet outcomes are worse and the second is that we have factors that kids can’t control — where they live, the color of their skin, how much money their parents make — and those are real determinants on the state of kids mouths. None of those are easily solved, but they are challenges that we have to tackle.”

In 2001, only 871 of 2,169 licensed dentists in Kentucky reported seeing Medicaid patients – and low imbursement rates, which have not changed in years, were among reasons cited.

We proudly accept Medicaid patients of all ages. 

Many of our offices accept Medicaid and Medicaid type plans. If you would like to find a pediatric dentist near you that accepts your plan or talk about general kids dental health with a professional, please give any of our Kentucky locations a call. We’ll be happy to guide you in the right direction and ensure your children have access to the dental care they need.


Digital Map of Kentucky with Percentages for regions shown - meaning percentage of 3rd and 6th grades with untreated tooth decay

Show your support. Share this image on Instagram for Children’s Dental Health Month and help raise awareness for kids dental health in Kentucky.

Portrait of a young girl showing thumbs up while in the dentist chair

Keeping Your Family Safer with Dentapure

For over 35 years, Mortenson Family Dental’s priority has been the health of you and your family. So as soon as we heard reports of children getting sick from the water at dental offices, we began working on a solution. As of today, we are proud to announce that the Dental Unit Waterlines at every Mortenson Family Dental office in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio are being treated with DentaPure® Cartridges.

Why treat waterlines with DentaPure®?

Last year in Georgia, nine children were hospitalized with Mycobacterium abscessus infections after undergoing pulpotomies (root canals) at a common clinic. An investigation found that the outbreak was caused by contaminated water that introduced the bacterium during irrigation and drilling. We decided that it was in the best interest of our patients’ health to not only revisit our waterline cleaning procedures, but also seek a long-term solution. DentaPure is a safe, reliable and effective EPA-approved cartridge that attaches to dental waterlines to prevent biofilm buildup in Dental Unit Waterlines (DUWL’s). When untreated, or improperly maintained, the water flowing through these contaminated DUWL’s and out through the air/water syringe or high-speed handpieces can carry pieces of biofilm that have broken off the waterline wall — potentially harming your patients, your staff and your practice’s reputation. Learn more by watching the video below.

 

National Children’s Dental Health Month

What better way to celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month than ensuring the health and safety of your children? If you have any additional questions about DentaPure or improving your child’s dental health, feel free to ask any of our team members at your next visit! For more children’s dental health tips and tricks, check out our #NCDHM blog post here.

The tooth fiary stands behind a table surrounded with school-age children and the candy they collected to donate

De Paul students overcome fire, help homeless

If you follow Mortenson Family Dental on Facebook or keep up with our blog, you already know that we love giving back to the communities we serve. In addition to the Mortenson Charitable Foundation, we love organizing events and promotions for good causes. One of our favorites is our Swap Your Sweets promotion, which collects candy for Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages to troops abroad.

This last week, one of our team leaders sent out a heartwarming story about the 4th grade class at DePaul Elementary school — who not only overcame a school fire to swap their sweets, but pooled their resources to help Louisville’s homeless population and teach us all a lesson in compassion, kindness and the spirit of the holiday season. Her story is reprinted below, with names removed to preserve their privacy.

One of our young patients is a student at DePaul Elementary School around the corner from the Highlands office. She found out about our Swap Your Sweets program and told her teachers and class about it. It turns out that this 4th grade team selected a project this year to “Help Those Who Protect Us.” Our program fit right in. The entire class brought in and bagged their candy. They even recruited other kids in the school to do the same and parents brought in brand new bags of candy to share with the troops. I had organized with their teacher to come in and speak to the class with the assistance of one of our EDDAs who was graciously willing to play the part of “tooth fairy.”

The day before we were supposed to come in, the teacher called and said there was a fire at the school and we would have to postpone. Everyone was safe. The school was fine. But the candy did not survive and the kids were staying home from school for a couple days while classrooms were repaired.

Upon the kids’ return to school, they scurried to gather more candy. They really wanted to participate in our program. Parents and students of the school rallied and came up with another bounty of candy and homemade cards for our troops. We went to their classroom yesterday to deliver the gift cards and some dental goodies, talk to them about service in the community and, of course, dental health. It was simply delightful. The kids were confident, inquisitive and completely aware of how our project brings a smile to “Those Who Protect Us.” It doesn’t stop there. They have plans to take lunch to the fire fighters who helped save their school. AND they are gathering items for the homeless. During our presentation, it came up that they could combine their $5 gift cards from the Swap Your Sweets program and purchase items for the shelter. I was almost moved to tears.

One of our young patients brought us and her elementary school together and we were able to give them small means to contribute to a local shelter (don’t forget that lunch for the firefighters, too!). If this isn’t an example of community coming together to take care of each other, I don’t know what is.

We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves. Thank you, DePaul Elementary school students, for helping us all remember what it means to serve the community. We are so proud of you, and thankful for the kindness you showed.

SWAP YOUR SWEETS! written in candy corn letters

Swap Your Sweets 2016

Halloween is right around the corner! No, we’re not going to tell you or your kiddos not to enjoy any candy, BUT we do want to let you know about a fun way to enjoy some of your candy and send the rest to our troops overseas!

Now through November 15th you are invited to Swap Your Sweets! You can bring in your extra or unwanted Halloween candy to any Mortenson Family Dental, BracesBracesBraces or Kid’s Dentistree location (in Kentucky or Indiana) during that office’s regular hours to get a $5 gift card!

Here are the rules and details:

Each person may swap one bag of candy.

You must have at least one full, sandwich-size bag of candy.

No chocolate! (It melts in the mail when shipped overseas.)

All of the candy that we collect will go to Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit organization that annually sends 150,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation, to New Recruits, Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas.

Have a safe and fun Halloween and remember, you have until November 15th to swap!

Three people stand next to a Ronald McDonald statue sitting on a bench with boxes at his feet

Build-A-Bears for Ronald McDonald House

A woman holds a small sweater for a build-a-bear

A few weeks ago, our leadership team committed to coming together to learn together and do good together. The event was called the Inspire Leadership Academy, hosted by our Learning and Development team. What a great experience it was! Not only did we learn how to be better leaders for teams, but we got the chance to do a community service project as well. The local Build-A-Bear Workshop joined us at Creative Spaces, and we built teddy bears together, filled them with warm wishes, love and dressed them in t-shirts we decorated for the bears. Our intent was for these bears to find a home where they could bring fun, joy and encouragement to their new owner. After giving it a lot of thought, we decided the best home for our bears was the Ronald McDonald Houseof Kentuckiana. The Ronald McDonald House provides a nice place to stay for families who have traveled from outside the Louisville area with children who are being treated at the hospitals. The bears will find a new home with a family and child experiencing a serious illness. It is our sincere hope that these bears can bring a little light to the lives of these families. Thank you, Ronald McDonald House, for letting us partner with you!

Seven women sit around a table with a green tablecloth and smile as they hold build-a-bears

 

 

Eagle U - Youth Success

Eagle University 2016

The fourth annual Eagle University kicks off today at UofL in Louisville, Kentucky! Eagle U is a week-long event where about 200 students stay on campus and learn from world-renowned speakers about life experiences and how to set themselves apart from their peers. At the end of the week, the students get to meet with and interview successful community members for an opportunity to learn from their success. The Mortenson Charitable Foundation is proud to sponsor this event and help the children of our team members and patients learn the skills they need to become future leaders.

What is Eagle U?

During the Eagle U program, participants get a 7 year jump-start on life. Students entering high school through college age build self-confidence, motivation, and direction. Participants will find mentors that give them inspiration, wisdom, and new ways to develop a direction in life and be successful. Participants will also learn life lessons at the hands of those who have actually proven, by their performance, the success of the principles that they teach. At Eagle U, participants will define their goals and discover the tools to reach them.

The eagle has always symbolized independence, strength and focused direction. When you emerge from Eagle U, you’ll have the opportunity to be all of these things as you follow the systems you will be given. They are common sense systems, but not commonly practiced. To be extraordinary, you don’t do ordinary things that ordinary people do.

Why We Choose Eagle U

“It is critical to success to think and to plan ahead,” says Jacque Ramsey, Mortenson Fmaily Dental’s marketing director, “It is also critical to our company culture that we provide opportunities such as Eagle U to our team members’ children and our patients. Eagle U has been an extraordinary experience for the students that have been able to attend over the last three years. We are proud to partner with Eagle U and to support it so that others in the community can benefit from it too.”

Mortenson Family Dental participates by donating to Eagle U so that our team members’ children and our patients can experience the program at a significantly reduced rate. We are committed to helping not only our team members achieve success, but their families and our patients as well. By sending our young people to Eagle U, we are helping them create pathways to success.

Stay tuned to all our social channels this week to follow the students’ activities. And if you’re posting about Eagle U on Twitter or Facebook, be sure to tag #EagleU!

Louisville Slugger Field at nighttime

Louisville Slugger Field Voted Best Triple-A Ballpark

Louisville Slugger Field — home of the Louisville Bats — has been voted the #1 Triple-A Ballpark in the country, according to BallPark Digest’s “Best of the Ballparks 2016”. The contest started with 30 stadiums going head-to-head in a tournament-style bracket, and ended with Louisville Slugger Field narrowly beating the Indianapolis Indians’ Victory Field with 51% of the vote. Over 14,000 fans voted during the contest.

In a private release, Louisville Bats’ Senior Vice President Greg Galiette said:

I’d like to thank everyone who voted for Louisville Slugger Field.  Without your support this nationwide recognition would not have been possible. I hope to see you at the Ball Park soon. And again thank you for your support of Louisville Slugger Field and the Louisville Bats it’s greatly appreciated by our entire organization.

As partners and fans of the Louisville Bats, Mortenson Family Dental would like to extend a huge congratulations to our friends. It is a well-deserved victory for one of our favorite local spots to spend an evening or weekend night with our families. Go Bats!

Bracket

Dr. Wayne Mortenson presents an over-sized check to Crusade for Children

Dr. Wayne presents $10,000 to Crusade for Children

What a great feeling it is to give back to the communities we love! After collecting donations from our patients at Mortenson Family Dental, Kid’s Dentistree and Braces Braces Braces over the past three months, we were able to raise $10,000 for the 63rd annual WHAS Crusade for Children. The Crusade is an organization that raises money for agencies, schools and hospitals to better the lives of special needs children, and has raised over $165 million since it began in 1954. WHAS11 was so impressed with the amount we raised that they invited our founder, Dr. Wayne, on the news to present the check in person.


“Over the years, we have been very involved with the community and have helped many causes. Jacque Ramsey, our director of marketing really felt like this would be a great cause – that would involve our patients and team members and so we decided that it would be a great cause to support.”

– Dr. Wayne Mortenson


The WHAS Crusade for Children is coming up the weekend of June 4 and June 5. Find out more at www.crusadeforchildren.org or donate by clicking here. And be sure to follow the Crusade for Children on social by clicking the links below:

Follow Crusade for Children on Facebook

Follow Crusade for Children on Twitter Follow Crusade for Children on YouTubeFollow Crusade for Children on Instagram

 

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