Tag Archives: dental appointment

Mask Mouth and Oral Health: In the Shadow of COVID -19

“Mask Mouth” Sparks Dental Concerns

It’s been almost a full year since COVID-19 first appeared in the United States, and in that time life behind a mask has become the “new normal” for the vast majority of people both in the United States and abroad. While many of us wait to receive our vaccination, it is still important to maintain proper social distancing and continue to wear in any and all public spaces. However, there are other things that need to be assessed in the meantime, and unfortunately one issue has become very apparent to both the American Dental Association and us, here at Overland Park Dentistry.

As reported in various media outlets, in addition to the heath complications related to the COVID-19 outbreak, many dentists both in the U.S. and U.K. have begun reporting a startling rise in the number of oral health issues among their patients. Obviously, it’s no coincidence that this steady increase was first noticed when a nationwide mask mandate was first requested during the past year, and its certainly no coincidence that this number is continuing to increase to this day! The practice of wearing a mask in public may help contain the spread of the virus, but alas these same masks are indeed the cause of this dilemma now known as “Mask Mouth.” In the following sections, we will elaborate on what causes face masks to affect your oral health, what signs and symptoms to watch out for, and finally what you can do to prevent mask mouth from become a problem for you!

Mask Mouth: Causes

Sure, a term like “Mask Mouth” might sound a bit little silly at first, but the affects of mask mouth are certainly nothing to snicker at! Obviously tooth decay and periodontal disease are two of the most potentially serious oral health issues that can affect a person, and if left untreated, mask mouth can lead to such conditions. Surprisingly, the key triggers for causing mask mouth are relatively mundane and seeming easy to avoid. Keep in mind however, sometimes it’s the most basic things that are easiest to overlook!

Learn more about How Oral Bacteria Can Impact Your Pretty Smile

Dry Mouth:  

Dry mouth or Xerostomia, is perhaps the most basic trigger for mask mouth. Xerostomia occurs when your salivary glands fail to produce necessary amount of saliva to keep your mouth moist and might be indicative of or result in dehydration. Because saliva helps protect teeth from harmful bacteria, the lack of saliva will create a much more fertile breading ground for bacteria, thus causing the gums to become infected and the teeth to decay.

Rapid Breathing:

When a person breathes naturally, they are generally taking slow controlled breaths using their diaphragm. However, recent studies have shown that when wearing a facemask, many people tend to take accelerated shallow breaths, thereby reducing the saliva in their mouth.

Poor Air Quality:

When you have a mask constricting your breathing zone, the concentrated carbon dioxide forces you to reuse and recycle the air that you breathe. While the recycled carbon dioxide is not particularly harmful, it will heighten the level of acidic buildup within your body, ultimately putting you at a much greater risk of developing tooth decay and other health issues.

Mask Mouth: Signs and Symptoms

Foul Breath:

Perhaps one of the most common complaints with regards to wearing a mask, is the fact that many people find themselves bothered by smell of their own breath. Indeed halitosis (or bad breath) is a frustrating problem; however, this also might be a sign that your mask is affecting your oral health. In this situation we would highly encourage you to reevaluate your both your oral hygiene and dietary habits. Remember, wearing a facemask can exasperate all kinds of inner-oral issues, no matter how small!

Related Article: How to Stop Bad Breath: It’s a Stinky Situation

Chronic Dry Mouth:

As mentioned in the previous section, dry mouth is a telltale sign that your facemask could be having an adverse effect on your oral health. If you find your mouth is feeling dry on a consistent basis, you ARE in greater jeopardy of developing additional problems and therefore should address this issue right away!

Gum Inflammation:

As a progressive infection within the gumline, gum disease typically begins with inflammation. If your gums are dark pink, tender, or have a tendency to bleed, then you have likely developed gingivitis. Stemming the excess bacteria, plaque will slowly begin to build up in your mouth until it reaches the gum tissue. Once the gum tissue has become infected you will experience swollen and bleeding gums, which are hallmark signs of gingivitis. If the condition is left untreated however, the infection will eventually progress into full blown gum disease.  

Related Article: Dental Health Awareness: Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Mask Mouth: Solutions                      

Washing or Replacing Masks:

To put it simply, a dirty mask makes a dirty mouth. By repeatedly using the same mask over and over, you are giving bacteria a place to survive and thrive! We recommend washing and rotating several cloth masks at a time, or simply throwing away disposable masks after each use.

Keeping Hydrated:

Sure, it can be easy to forget sometimes, but we cannot stress enough how necessary it is to drink plenty of water while using a mask for a prolonged period. Obviously, water does the body good in more ways than one, so don’t deprive yourself!

Proper Oral Hygiene:

With facemasks continuing to be required for daily use, proper oral hygiene is now more important than ever. So please take the time to reassess your daily hygiene habits. While taking a few extra minutes twice a day to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth might not seem like it makes much of a difference, believe us … IT REALLY DOES! Also keep in mind that by brushing between meals, you are really doing your teeth a huge favor. Much like taking a refreshing shower after work, a mid-day brushing really helps rejuvenate your smile AND freshen your breath.

Related Article: Oral Health and Hygiene: Keep Your Immune System Strong


This might be more of a suggestion, rather than an actual solution, if dry mouth and bad breath are really proving to be a problem for you then perhaps you should consider altering your diet. While it doesn’t have to be permanent, temporary dietary changes could be a key factor in reducing these issues. Commonly used substances such as caffeine or alcohol for instance, both expedite the rate of dehydration, thus worsening the affects of mask mouth. By limiting your consumption of sugary, alcoholic, acetic, caffeinated, or tobacco-based products, you can diminish such concerns in a major way.

Routine Dental Exams:

In a world where masks are mandatory, it’s imperative for the health and future of your smile that you continue to receive dental exams every 6 months. By giving Dr. Kimes and the staff at Overland Park Dentistry the chance to assess your current oral health and make note of any changes or concerns.

Related Article: Dental Safety: Is it Safe to Visit the Dentist?

Let’s Flatten the Curve!

Obviously, wearing a mask can be a hassle, and we realize that the issues caused by mask mouth are an inconvenience; however, right now we’renot advocating that you stop wearing a mask (when mandated)!

As we have been told, wearing a face mask isimportant for the health and safety of both you and the public.

While mask mouth is legitimate health concern, and we considered it our obligation to make you aware of this issue, please remember that by attending routine dental checkups and adhering to solutions and guidelines mentioned above, mask mouth can be successfully prevented. If you have any concerns about mask mouth or are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, please contact our offices.

From all of us here at Overland Dentistry stay safe and Keep smiling!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Dental Insurance Benefits Expire: Use It OR Lose It

As most of us would probably agree, 2020 has been a year rife with unexpected twists and turns and while the year might be winding down, it’s important to remember we still have a couple months left to go! With so many things going on these days, indeed it is easy to forget or simply overlook something as seemingly insignificant as a dental appointment. However, this is an ill-advised misstep as any dental insurance benefits expire that have been left unused will ultimately be lost! As unfair as it may seem, the simple fact is that the vast majority of insurance providers will almost always automatically reset their insurance benefits to their defaults at the beginning of each new year, regardless of whether these benefits have been fully utilized or not. By allowing these unused insurance benefits to expire, you are not only missing out on a great opportunity to save money, but you may be inadvertently putting yourself at risk as well!

Routine Exams: More That They Appear!

As mentioned previously, while it may be easy to dismiss the insurance benefits of such a seeming minor procedure such as a basic dental exam, but the truth is that routine checkups are perhaps one of the most beneficial procedures not only your oral health, but your overall health too.

What many media outlets fail to adequately publicize is that while receiving a standard dental checkup, a patient is also simultaneously undergoing a simple but highly important dental procedure, in which we discussed at length in previous blogs. Check out this article about Oral Cancer Screenings: Oral Cancer Screenings are the Dental Industry’s Best Kept Secret. As you may surmise oral cancer is perhaps one of the most devastating progressive illnesses known to modern medicine, and while much progress has been made in light of the illness becoming a national epidemic, oral cancer is still responsible for approximately 7,500 deaths in the U.S. annually.

Related Articles:

How Can Oral Bacteria Impact Your Pretty Smile?

Dental Health: Poor Oral Health is Risky Business

Fortunately, in an effort to combat this crisis, dentists everywhere have received specific training to recognize and identify any sighs of early onset oral cancer, in order to address the condition before it is able to progress. To properly assess oral cancer or any of the other oral health associated illnesses, dental practitioners generally recommend minimum of two routine check-ups per year with an approximant six-month gap between each appointment.

As such, the majority of insurance providers have plans to provide coverage for exactly this, (two yearly appointments) and at Overland Park Dentistry we accept the coverage plans of many of the most well-known and commonly used providers. Aetna, Cigna, Delta, Guardian, Humana, MetLife, and United Healthcare are all among our accepted providers, and we can provide all necessary forms and paperwork for you upon your next scheduled visit!

Restorative Treatment

Unlike basic exams and preventative oral cancer screenings, restoration-based treatment are the more advanced procedures that result from sustaining kind of damage or decay to your teeth. Treatments such as crowns, bondings, and implants all fall under the umbrella of restorative dentistry, and while they will typically be covered by insurance providers to a varying degree, keep in mind that the more advanced dental procedures can require an extensive bit of work on the part of your dentist and sometimes require multiple appointments to properly assess.

Learn more about Restorative Dentistry Treatments HERE.

While certainly Dr. Kimes and his staff would be willing to help you come up with an arrangement that best allows you to maximize your insurance benefits while receiving the treatment needed, this window of opportunity will only stay open for a bit longer. Keep in mind, while it might be easy to put dental care on the back burner due to its slow progressing nature, oral health issues can be a slippery slope that CAN become very serious if neglected.

Don’t Delay!

As 2020 finally winds to a close, it’s clear that a new day is on the horizon, and while we may be anxious to ring in the new year, it’s important not to forget about the unused dental insurance benefits expire on December 31st. At Overland Park Dentistry, we want you to get the most bang for your buck! Therefore, if you (like most people) rely on your dental insurance to help cover the cost your dental care, we highly encourage you take this opportunity to maximize your insurance now benefits now before they are gone forever!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Dental Safety: Is it SAFE to Visit the Dentist?

In The Shadow of COVID-19

Although it’s been a couple months since the quarantine over both Kansas and Missouri has been lifted, there are many people who remain in self-isolation, as the threat posed by COVID-19 remains a major public health concern. Indeed, by following the standard protocol in public places (wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance from others, making frequent use of hand sanitizer, ect) you ARE taking a crucial step in protecting yourself and others. However, despite these precautions there are many people who still feel at risk when in public, thus begging the question;

“Is it safe to visit my dentist?”

While some skeptics may scoff at such a question, if you have underlying health issues or have elderly/potentially compromised individuals in your family, this is likely a source of concern for you. Therefore, in the sections below, we would like to address the concern of dental safety by highlighting all the precautions that the dental profession has taken, both in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and the years prior to ensure the safety of both patients and practitioners alike.

Related Article: Dr. Kimes Welcomes Back Patients for Routine Dental Appointments

Dental Safety: HIV/AIDS

While the COVID-19 pandemic might be the first disease outbreak to significantly impact our society in quite a while, it is certainly not the first disease outbreak to affect the modern era. In 1981, the first cases of HIV/AIDs were reported within the United States. Throughout the remainder of the 1980’s the number of cases would increase rapidly, thus resulting in many changes in protocol within all major fields of the medical industry including professional dentistry.

Due to HIV/AIDS being a bloodborne pathogen, (meaning it’s primarily transmitted through blood) therefore the standard personal protection equipment (PPE) used by dentists everywhere was vastly improved upon. Such improvements included the utilization of medical masks, surgical gloves, and protective eye wear, which became requirements to wear at all times to increase dental safety for the dental team and the patient.

Additionally, sterilization became a central focus to prevent any dental safety risk of cross-contamination. This required each chair/operational space to thoroughly cleaned between patients, and any instruments used to be sanitized or disposed of properly. These new protective measures were extraordinarily successful, and quickly became required practice among dentists across the globe, thus setting a new standard.

However, in 2020 the world would again be taken by surprise, as the arrival of COVID-19 would once again require further changes to be made.

Dental Safety: COVID-19

Although not nearly as fatal as the before mentioned HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 is much more contagious. As you probably already know, COVID-19 is an airborne pathogenic disease, that can be transmitted from one infected person to another by simply sneezing, coughing, and or close personal contact. Therefore, we at Overland Park Dentistry, as well as other dental practices around the country have implemented new preventive measures to increase dental safety, to protect our patients and staff from contacting the virus.

One of our most noticeable changes is the fact that we now require patients to call our front desk prior to entering the waiting room, to limit our waiting room to one patient at a time. Once you have entered the waiting room, a member of our staff will administer a brief questionnaire to assess any recent travels or changes in medical history, as well as giving you a temperature screening to ensure that you are within normal range. Additionally, we require that you wear a cloth mask at all times during your visit, until a staff member informs you to remove it. While this may seem a bit excessive to some, please remember that these preventative measures are mandated by State Law in both Kansas and Missouri and would be required at any dental practice during this time.

Your Safety Is Our Priority!

At Overland Park Dentistry, the care and dental safety of our patients has always been our number one priority, and although these past several months have been difficult for everyone, your friends at Overland Park Dentistry will always be here when you need us. So, if you’re due for a checkup, but are worried about coming in, remember at Overland Park Dentistry you WILL be in safe hands!

Until next time stay safe and keep smiling!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

How can Oral Bacteria impact your Pretty Smile?

Healthy teeth are about more than just a pretty smile. Your oral health has a major effect on the overall health of your body, not just in your mouth. By maintaining healthy teeth and gums, you can make your body healthier from head to toe.

Oral Bacteria and Health

Bacteria in the mouth cause tooth decay – by feeding on the sugars in the foods and drinks we consume – they leave behind the waste, in the form of a biofilm known as dental plaque.

Our mouths have lots of bacteria that is usually harmless. (Did you know that the bacteria in our body aids with digestion and other biological tasks?) However, if you do not brush or floss regularly, bacteria can reach dangerously high levels. When this happens, tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections can be the nasty result.

Related Article: Tooth Decay Dangers: Can It Kill You?

Health Risks Throughout the Body

There is evidence that the oral bacteria and high level of inflammation associated with the serious gum disease known as periodontitis can play a role in diseases in other parts of the body.

The following health issues and diseases are linked with poor gum health:

  • Infections from Abscesses: In some rare instances, severe tooth decay can lead to an abscess. The infection can travel to the heart, brain, or lungs, causing severe illness or even death.
  • Cardiovascular Diseases: There are researchers who suggest that heart disease, stroke and clogged arteries are linked to the inflammation and infections caused by too much oral bacteria.
  • Pregnancy and Birth Complications: Severe gum infection has been linked to premature births and low birth weight.
  • Endocarditis: This is an infection of the inner lining of the heart. This can occur when bacteria from other parts of your body, such as your mouth, move through your bloodstream and become attached to damaged areas in the heart.

The Impact of Gum Disease

Did you know that 85% of Americans suffer from gum disease, yet only 60% of those infected know they have gum disease? Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bone that support your teeth and is the leading cause of tooth loss. However, the impact can extend beyond your mouth.

Also known as periodontitis, gum disease can significantly affect your general health.

Research shows that there is a connection between gum disease and other serious conditions such as:

  • osteoporosis
  • oral and pancreatic cancer
  • brain stroke
  • heart disease
  • gum disease may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia from oral bacteria that spread through the blood stream
  • gum disease also impacts those with diabetes by making it difficult to regulate blood glucose levels

If you have one of these systemic conditions, it is important to talk to your dentist about your risk for gum disease and the best treatment options.

Related Article: Dental Health Awareness: Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Gum Disease Causes:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Sugar and acid
  • Tooth abnormalities
  • Poor dental work
  • Wisdom teeth
  • Tooth grinding

Gum Disease Symptoms Can Range from:

  • chronic bad breath
  • red, swollen gums
  • bleeding when you brush
  • painful chewing
  • loose or sensitive teeth
  • sensitive or receding gums

Sometimes there are no signs of gum disease, which is why it’s essential to visit your dentist every six months for a checkup.

Related Article: How to Stop Bad Breath: A Stinky Situation

Gum Disease is Treatable

The three goals of treatment involve:

  1. reducing inflammation
  2. decreasing pocket depth (the space between your tooth and gum)
  3. stopping bone loss

Initial treatment options can include Laser Pocket Disinfection or scaling and root planning (also known as deep cleaning). There are surgery options for advanced gum disease.

Protecting Your Oral Health

By protecting the health of your teeth and gums, you can keep yourself healthier too. Practice good oral hygiene daily to prevent overgrowth of bacteria.

This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice per day
  • Floss daily to remove plaque between teeth
  • Avoid tobacco use, as this can cause irritation in your gums
  • Limit sugary snacks, which can feed bacteria and increase their growth
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months

Related Articles:

Poor Oral Health is Risky Business

Sugar Hurts Teeth: Do You Sip and Snack All Day?

You should also have regular dental checkups and cleanings. If you notice a problem with your teeth or gums, call for an appointment right away. The sooner these are handled, the sooner you will be back to full health. Charles R. Kimes, DDS provides general and family dentistry in the Overland Park, Kansas area to keep his patients healthy – including healthy teeth, healthy gums, and a healthy body. Time for your checkup? Call to schedule today.

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Dr. Kimes Welcomes Back Patients for Routine Dental Appointments

May 11, 2020

Dear Overland Park Dentistry Family,

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines, including routine dental appointments.

While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice, and you may have seen this during your visits to our office for dental appointments. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable.

We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our
practice to keep patients and staff safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the:

We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up to date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next routine dental appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff.

For example:

  • Our office will communicate with you before your dental appointments to ask some screening questions. You will be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
  • We ask that you call us from our parking lot, once you’ve arrived at our office for your appointment, so we can check you in. We will let you know when we’re ready for you and look forward to greeting you at the door, as this will help us with social distancing.
  • We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
  • You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
  • Dental appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you are offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
  • We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.

To make an appointment, please call our office at 913-647-8700 or visit our website.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.


Charles R. Kimes, DDS

The Daily Dentist: Oral Hygiene is a Big Deal

The Little Things

As busy people and productive members of society, most of us have a daily routine that we follow to keep our lives on track. While we often do these things without thinking, its important to do them correctly and not completely overlook them as so called “little things”. Sometimes they’re much more important then they seem.

Like many people, it’s probably somewhere between a morning shower and hustling off to work that you took the time to brush your teeth, or did you? Much like other seemingly small aspects of our daily routine, we may find ourselves brushing our teeth without giving it much consideration; however, its it important to remember oral hygiene is much more important than it may appear.

Oral Hygiene: More Important than it Appears

So maybe you were running late and forgot to brush your teeth, or maybe you did remember to brush but you didn’t take the time to make sure you were getting all your teeth.

Oral Hygiene is No Big Deal… Right?!?!


Oral hygiene is very important, and while your smile may be able to withstand a minor oversight or two, it’s a slippery slope. As it can be extremely easy to get into the habit of providing your teeth with inadequate care and setting yourself up for inevitable oral health issues.

Sadly, this has been the case for many people in the past, as progressive diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease typically manifest slowly over several years, and rarely display any obvious symptoms until their latter stages.

Unfortunately, if such conditions have progressed to an advanced stage, the damage at that point may be irreversible and could in fact, stir up a hornet’s nest of additional health problems as well! Whether it be gum disease, tooth decay, or other related complications, the consequences of improper or inadequate oral hygiene are never pretty!

Poor Dental Hygiene: The Consequences

Tooth Decay

As you may already know, tooth decay is a condition in which harmful acidic particles build up in a person’s mouth over a prolonged period, slowly eroding the tooth’s protective outer layer and rendering it vulnerable to outside agents. Unprotected, bacteria descend upon the tooth causing it to rapidly decay. Once a tooth has fallen into a state of decay, you are likely to experience increased tooth sensitivity, as well as the appearance of cavities and eventual breakage.

Related Article: Tooth Decay: A Sticky, Sweet Dilemma

Gum Disease

Although gum disease is a relatively familiar term to many people, the condition is often misunderstood and simply written off as little more than a minor nuisance. However, the truth is that gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue caused by excess plaque/bacteria build up around the teeth and gumline. When the gum tissue has become infected, inflammation of tissue surrounding the teeth will occur. Your gums may bleed while eating or brushing, this is often a tell-tale sign of gingivitis, or an early stage of gum disease.

Once gingivitis has been detected, we highly recommend that you visit your dentist (if you haven’t already) and begin taking a proactive role in treating the condition before it can spread any further. If the infection is allowed to progress further, it will continue to spread throughout the mouth, eventually affecting the teeth and jawbone. This is what’s known as periodontitis or periodontal disease, which is a later stage of gum disease, and unquestionably when the disease is at its worst.

Periodontal disease causes irreversible damage to the mouth and may destroy the entire jaw of its host if severe enough. Perhaps most troubling of all is periodontal disease’s uncanny tendency to spread to other regions of the body or interact with other preexisting conditions, which could pose serious problems!

Related Article: Dental Health Awareness: Gum Disease and Heart Disease


While tooth decay and gum disease may not sound all that scary at first, the complications of either condition can truly be a nightmare! As alluded to earlier, if the bacteria produced by either condition enters the bloodstream it may likely travel to other areas of the body, spreading and worsening the infection.

If the infectious bacteria reach the heart of its host, it will inflame the heart’s vessels, resulting in the formation of numerous blood clots. These blood clots will slowly begin to cut off the flow of blood, thereby choking the heart and forcing it to pump faster while producing less and less efficiently.

As a result of this, individuals suffering from severe tooth decay or periodontal disease, (or both) have a three times higher likelihood of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular-based complications. Additionally, tooth decay and more particularly gum disease, can also lead to the worsening of other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, or various types of cancer, which is likely to have serious if not fatal results.

Prevention: The Daily Dentist

When it comes to issues such as tooth decay and gum disease, prevention is always the best route, therefore Dr. Kimes and his staff at Overland Park Dentistry are more than happy to provide you with the best guidance and treatment to address all your oral hygienic concerns or needs.

However, despite the various quality services that are available, it’s important to remember that the determining factor between good oral health and poor oral health always comes back basic oral hygiene. By taking the time to make sure you are correctly brushing, flossing, and caring for your teeth on a daily basis you are taking a crucial step in preventing such oral health issues before they occur.

Remember consistency is key! By taking a few extra minutes each day to ensure you’re practicing proper oral hygiene and incorporating this into your daily routine until it becomes a habit, in sense you are acting as your own daily dentist! However, while daily hygienic consistency is in your hands, you should still make a point to schedule a routine dental checkup twice a year to make sure that your hygiene efforts are paying off and your teeth are strong and healthy.

Related Article: Schedule Your Summer Dental Appointment

Remember, although taking a few minutes each day to correctly care for your teeth may just seem like a little thing, sometimes the little things can make a very big difference!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Schedule Your Summer Dental Appointment


Schools Out for the Summer!

Summer is here, and we know what that means! Long sunny days, warm summer nights, poolside lounging, bar-b-que dinners, and of course kids, kids, and more kids! Yes, the summertime is that time that all kids love, and while this season of warmth and nostalgia is a welcome time for most, it can also be a time to get caught up on things too!  With a well-deserved break in the hectic school schedule, much can be accomplished, and few are as important as scheduling a routine dental appointment for yourself or your kiddo.

Dental Appointment: The Six-Month Rule

Like any routine service, annual dental checkups are a mandatory requirement in maintaining proper dental hygiene and health. To achieve this, Dr. Kimes and other professional dentists generally believe in following what is known as the “six-month rule”.  This of course, calls for two appointments per year, with a six-month period between each dental appointment.  While this may seem a bit excessive to some, it is highly recommended that patients of all ages adhere to this rule as prevention is always the key to good oral health.

Dental Appointment: Benefits Of Summer Appointments

As certainly many parents can attest to, the school year can be very hectic at times, especially for parents who must balance this with a full-time work schedule. Therefore, the benefits of scheduling a summertime dental appointment are staggering to say the least.

  1. Prevention:

    As mentioned earlier, preventative dental treatment is paramount to maintain long term oral health. This is particularly true with busy students during the school semester. Nothing can disrupt someone’s daily activities like a nagging toothache! By receiving the recommended summertime dental appointment, you might be sparing your kids from any future tooth problems or potential distractions.

  2. Less Scheduling Conflict:

    Interruptions in your work schedule and your children’s school schedules are sometimes unavoidable; however, there’s certainly no reason for anymore inconvenience than necessary.

  3. Health Requirements:

    While this is not always the case, certain school districts may require students to receive a standard oral exam prior to enrollment, or by a selected date within the fall semester. Although this is likely to vary somewhat depending on the specific school, its always better to play it safe and get the standard check ups out of the way before the semester starts.

Dental Appointment: Don’t Procrastinate! 

With time to spare and schedules open, the time to make those mandatory appointments is now! Remember although summer appointments are always a great idea, with the busy fall semester on the horizon, remaining dental appointment spots won’t last for very long!

So save yourself and your kids the hassle, and make your family’s dental appointment today!

Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment or consultation with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Oral Cancer Screening: Schedule Your Dental Appointment Today


The Numbers Don’t Lie!

In 2015, the global burden of disease study determined through various case studies, that an estimated 90.5 people worldwide suffered from cancer, thereby putting the estimated global spending on cancer research and treatment at approximately 1.16 trillion dollars annually! What does an oral cancer screening have to do with this? Please continue …

While such statistics are certainly staggering, they do allow us to put into perspective what a threat cancer truly poses on an international scale, and thus leaving little doubt as to why cancer is among the deadliest and most feared diseases in the world today. As you probably know, cancer can come in numerous forms and variations such as:  breast cancer, melanoma, lung cancer, leukemia, and many others. However, one particularly hazardous but somewhat lesser know type of cancer has emerged as perhaps one of the more dangerous and particularly deceptive forms of the illness. It claims the lives of as many as 7,500 U.S. citizens per year. This type of cancer as you may guess, is none other than oral cancer.

Oral Cancer: A Deceptive Foe

With sinister trickery and life-threatening consequences, oral cancer is certainly not an illness to take lightly! However, despite its nasty reputation, oral cancer may seem relatively harmless at first. Initially you may notice a slight hoarseness or gravelly tone to your voice, and perhaps the appearance of ulcers or swelling around the mouth and neck region.

While such minor nuisances may not exactly seem as a serious cause for alarm, they can in fact be more than they appear. As mentioned previously, deception is a key factor in oral cancer’s modus operandi. When a patient first begins developing oral cancer, the symptoms are typically minor and thereby left unchecked or dismissed. However, the patient may actually be in the early stages of developing oral cancer, without being aware of it!

Unfortunately (like so many before them) the patient, unaware of their affliction does not seek treatment right away, thus allowing the cancer to continue to progress. It may only be when the persistent symptoms start to worsen, that the patient finally seeks out the necessary medical care. Tragically this required treatment may only come when the disease has already progressed into its latter stages, in which the cancer has proceeded to ravage the patient’s overall health, causing irreversible and often fatal damage.

This scenario, (grim as it may be) is an important one to hear and learn from, as it illustrates the trap that many oral cancer patients have fallen victim to in the past. However, with the advent of oral cancer awareness month, (which goes from November 1st through the 31st) and the continued advancements in dental technology, the time to rise and fight back against oral cancer has never been better!

Related Article: What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer Screening: Fighting the Good Fight!

With so many lives lost and so many still in jeopardy, dentists everywhere have taken on the enormous task of going toe to toe with oral cancer, with the high hopes of putting the vial illness down for the count! While oral cancer is clearly not an enemy that will go quietly, professional dentistry may have found the Achilles heel of this vicious disease.

So how exactly might the dental industry hope to tackle such a titanic-sized international issue like oral cancer? To put it simply, by stopping it before it starts! Although oral cancer can be quite debilitating if left untreated until its later stages, if detected within its early stages oral cancer can in fact be quite responsive to treatment, thereby increasing the chances of sending the disease into remission or eradicating it completely.

To achieve this type of prevention, dentists are required to provide an oral cancer screening on all their patients, on a regular basis.

While the term oral cancer screening might sound relatively new, but in reality, oral cancer screenings have been stopping the illness in its tracks for a number of years now, and continues to become increasingly more effective and accurate as the years go by. While this might come as a something of a surprise, what may likely surprise you even more is the fact that you yourself have more than likely received an oral cancer screenings without even knowing it and probably multiple screenings!

The oral cancer screening may in fact be the dental profession’s best kept secret, as many patients are unaware that they are receiving the screening even as it happens. An oral cancer screening is a quick and painless procedure that Dr. Charles R. Kimes at Overland Park Dentistry preforms as part of your standard dental exam. Therefore, when you come in for your routine dental checkup, you are simultaneously receiving an accurate screening for any early signs or symptoms of oral cancer.

By identifying and receiving the necessary treatment for oral cancer early on, you have struck a major blow in the battle against the disease, and may very well be on the road to recovery.

Related Article: Dental Appointment: Why Twice a Year?

Oral Cancer Screening: The Change Starts With You

While Dr. Kimes will undoubtedly be a powerful ally in the battle against oral cancer, to truly receive the best results possible, you must be willing to make some changes in yourself.

It should presumably come at little surprise that a person’s lifestyle often plays a significant role in the development and recovery process of oral cancer. While typically occurring in individuals 40 years and older, the development of oral cancer is often directly linked to heavy alcohol and tobacco consumption, as regular users of such products have an almost ten times greater chance in developing the disease, and those that continue to use them will have limited chance of recovery.

While much of the information provided above may not exactly present the bright and cheerful message that you may be accustomed to this time of year, please remember that the purpose of this article is to remind you that there’s still time to change this! Therefore, if you do have any concerns or anxiety over your chances of developing oral cancer, taking the time to schedule a routine dental checkup/oral cancer screening, is unquestionably the right decision.

Although far too many people have been dealt the cruel hand of oral cancer in the past, and have tragically had to face the consequences, YOU have the power to change this for yourself!

Please don’t become another statistic, let’s take a stand against oral cancer together!

Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment / oral cancer screening, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Back to School? Schedule a Dental Appointment for Your Kiddo!


Dental Appointment: It’s that time of year again!

As the summer draws to an end and the school season approaches, we enter this transitional and sometimes frenzied time of year.  Students from preschool through college prepare to reenter the world of academia. While unpopular among the majority of kids, these first few weeks in August can come as relief to parents. As some parents may be struggling to balance a busy work schedule along with the rigors of being a full-time parent. Despite hustle and bustle of the back to school month, this might be the opportune time to schedule that recommended dental appointment for your kiddo!

Dental Appointment: The sooner the better

In this busy time of year, certain resources and services tend to become scarce; such as stores carrying school supplies, or availability for doctor or haircut appointments. As you can imagine, dental services are certainly no exception. Before the school semester begins, we typically see a significant spike in the number of dental appointments scheduled at Overland Park Dentistry. Parents and college students scramble to book appointments during this time.

Related Article: Back to School Dental Appointments – Don’t Procrastinate!

This influx of dental appointments often continues well into the early part of the school semester, and there are several reasons why:

  1. Health care requirements: While the exact health requirements may vary slightly from one school district to another, typically many school districts recommend that the students receive a standard dental exam prior to or early within the fall semester. This is done not only to ensure the student’s overall oral health, but also to check for any underlying heath concerns that dentists are specially trained to look for.
  2. Easier for the kids: If you were to think back to your time as a student, you might remember that the academic curriculum often starts with lighter more introductory activities. Then it proceeds to cover more advanced content as the semester progresses, often leading up to midterm and final exams. This early part of the semester is sometimes called the “academic grace period” and often proves itself to be the ideal time to get those routine dental appointment checkups out of the way, before the students become enthralled in preparing for any major exams.
  3. Catching issues early: While this might seem obvious, taking the time to catch or prevent any future issues or complications is always a good idea. This is especially true with busy students during the school semester. Nothing can disrupt someone’s daily activities like a nagging toothache! By receiving the recommended early dental appointment, you might be sparing your kids from any future tooth problems or potential distractions.

Of course, it’s important to schedule bi-annual dental appointments for you and your family. Click here for the reasons why.

Related Article: Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park

Dental Appointment: Come see us

As the school year approaches and those long summer days come to an end, obviously there is much to do for students and parents. However despite this few weeks being a busy and often hectic time, you should still try to find time to schedule that coveted early dental appointment for your kids while you still can! Remember when it comes to school, it’s never good to procrastinate, so schedule your dental appointment today!

We look forward to having the opportunity to help you and your family during your bi-annual dental appointments or with any preventative, restorative or cosmetic needs you may have. To schedule a dental appointment, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.