1626 Olympic Hwy N Shelton, WA 98584

Why you need a cleaning?

Do you ever notice yellow film on your teeth? How about hard, rough areas between your teeth? These are plaque and tartar buildups.

What is plaque?

Plaque is a sticky film that is caused by certain foods that’s left on our teeth. Overtime, bacteria in our mouth consume the sugars from our daily diet. The waste products secreted by these bacteria will form a film, which is called plaque. This will allow bacteria to grow and populate your mouth. Some foods we eat allow bacteria to produce acids which is harmful to our teeth. This is what can cause cavities to form. The foods that increase risk for cavities are starchy sugary foods.

How does plaque harm my mouth?

When plaque is not cleaned out, they will harden into tartar (or calculus). These calcified substances are very tenacious. Regular brushing will not remove the tartar. Over time, tartar will lead to gingivitis (inflammations of the gums) and possibly worsen to periodontitis (gingivitis plus bone loss).

Dental Hygienist at work

What can I do to lessen plaque?

It is important to brush your teeth daily. Twice a day with two minutes each time is the rule. Toothbrush can not reach the interproximal areas of our teeth. This is why it is important to floss daily also.

Besides daily home care, it is important to see your dentist. At the dental office, our professional hygienists and doctors can help you remove plaque/tartar. We, at Shelton Dental Excellence, will be happy to help with your dental hygiene needs!

Posted on Wednesday May 4, 2022 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

Our commitment to your safety

Greetings from Shelton Dental Excellence

Dear Patient:

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. 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. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s 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 American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.

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

• Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.

• 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. 

• Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re 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 360-426-4712 or visit our website at www.sheltondental.com.  

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


Shelton Dental Excellence

Posted on Wednesday May 13, 2020 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

Does sparkling water cause cavities?

When you walk down the grocery isles, it is not surprising to see many choices of beverages. It is important to keep yourself hydrated. But you may be wondering if sparkling water cause any cavities?

Sparkling water is carbonated. Anything with carbonation has an increased acidity. Acidity can erode the enamel which is the layer that protects your tooth. If enamel is weakened, the tooth is more prone to cavity.

The good news is that if there is no sugar present then cavity risk decreases. According to some research, carbonation by itself is not harmful to the teeth*. Even though sparkling water is slightly more acidic than regular water, it is ok to drink.

Here are some ways to keep your mouth health:

Decrease sugary drinks. If you do drink beverages with sugar, make sure you can rinse out with water or brush your teeth if possible.

Be mindful about drinking sparkling water with citrus flavor. The more acidic the beverages, the more likely your enamel will be damaged.

If you need to drink sparkling citrus water or sugary drinks, it is best to drink it with a meal in one sitting. Sipping for prolonged period of time will increase your cavities risks.

If you are a regular sparkling/sugary beverage drinker, it is best to get a dental checkup regularly. We at Shelton Dental Excellence would love to help you keep your teeth longer! Give us a call today at 360-426-4712.

*source: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/the-truth-about-sparkling-water-and-your-teeth?utm_source=morninghuddle&utm_medium=email&utm_content=fromtheada

Posted on Thursday January 13, 2022 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

Happy Holidays to our patients. Thank you for letting us take care of your dental needs this year!

Posted on Thursday December 23, 2021 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

What is Osteonecrosis?

Some of you may have heard of medications such as Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel? Although these medications are beneficial for your medical conditions, they also come with risks to the mouth.

These medications fall under the name of Bisphosphonates. Some people take them for osteoporosis. Some take them for cancer treatments. It is important to note that this type of medication can increase one’s risk for medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ).

MRONJ is rare. However it can cause serious complications. The risk arises when dental extraction is performed. The second situation is when one under goes severe gum disease treatments. Osteonecrosis of the jaw is very difficult to treat and healing after the procedures is difficult. It can cause loss of bone, pain, infection, loose teeth, and exposed bone.

The best prevention is knowing. Have a conversation with your medical doctor. Prior to starting the medication, it is recommended to have a thorough dental checkup. This can help prevent extractions or gum disease treatments while one is on the medication.

There are several risk factors to this medication. According to an article in the Journal of the American Dental Association, researchers estimate that “10 of 100 people with cancer who have taken these medications develop MRONJ. For those taking these medications for osteoporosis this number drops to 1 in 10,1000.”

There are other risk factors which can include those 65 years and older, smoking, poor fitting dentures, diabetes, and people with periodontitis.

What are the symptoms of MRONJ? Symptoms can be one or more of the following. One can experience pain, swelling, infection of the jaw/teeth, loose teeth, numbness in the jaw, or gums or extraction sites that don’t heal.

Being diagnosed with cancer is life changing. A dental check up may be the last thing on your list. However, it is important to have a complete dental exam to help prevent further problems down the road.

If you or someone you know may be starting this medication, please consult with the physician first. Then schedule a time to take care of your oral health. If you need help, please give us a call at 360-426-4712.

We at Shelton Dental Excellence are here to help!

Posted on Tuesday September 14, 2021 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

Taking the big bite!

Do you find yourself eating in a hurry? Are you biting more than you can chew? In our busy lives, we do not often have time to sit down and enjoy a meal. Sometimes fast food restaurants advertise giant burgers and sandwiches. These are their selling points. However our mouth may not be made for these super-size meals.

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, taking big bites may increase risk of joint pain. People experiencing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) may already have a limited range of opening. If you are eating in a hurry and taking big bites then it can put further stresses on your joint.. “People with TMD need to avoid opening their mouths too wide,” says AGD spokesperson Barbara A. Rich, DDS, FAGD. “Taking large bites of food can aggravate their condition.”

Another caution regarding biting includes hard candies and ice cubes. It is very important to be cautious and mindful about eating hard foods as this can aggravate your TMD more.

Hard foods such as popcorn kernels, nuts, ice can be harmful to not only the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) but also to the teeth. Teeth will be more prone to chipping and breakage. This can sometimes lead to sensitivity, pain, infection, and possibly loss of a tooth.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is important to contact your dentist. At Shelton Dental Excellence, we are here to help you with any tooth or TMD related issues. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 360-426-4712.

Posted on Thursday July 22, 2021 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

Don’t let a cavity ruin your summer vacation!

There’s nothing worse than getting a toothache on vacation. Don’t miss out on enjoying the local cuisine, exploring the city, and enjoying your time off.

Regular dental checkups are important. During these visits, the dentist can examine your teeth and existing restorations. The beginning stage of a cavity starts on the surface of the enamel. This stage mostly does not cause any symptoms. Without symptoms, you most likely will not be aware of the cavities in your mouth. However, once the cavity progresses, you will experience sensitivity on eating foods that’s sweet. If left untreated, the decay will enter the pulp, causing more pain . On some occasions, if the decay is big enough, it will break your tooth.

So don’t let a cavity ruin your summer. Enjoy your summer break with a good oral health.

We at Shelton Dental Excellence are here to help you! Give us a call at 360-426-4712 or check us out at www.sheltondental.com.

Posted on Monday June 21, 2021 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

Baby Pacifiers:  To Use or Not To Use

As a parent, you may wonder if a pacifier is ok for your baby to use.  Once your child takes up a pacifier, parents often find it a struggle to break this habit. 

Just like most things in life, pacifiers do have it’s pros and cons. According to some experts, pacifiers may help reduce incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).   Babies sleeping with a pacifier may not sleep as deeply as those without.  Deep sleep could “result in the stopping of breathing,” according to Jane Soxman, DDS, author of the study and Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. 

So what’s the negative effects of pacifier?  

Using a pacifier has been associated with acute middle ear infections.   

“Continuous sucking on a pacifier can cause the auditory tubes to become abnormally open, which allows secretions from the throat to seep into the middle ear,” explains AGD spokesperson Maria Smith, DDS. “Transmission of bacteria in secretions would lead to middle ear infections.”

How does it affect oral health?

“Children should stop using pacifiers by age 2,” says AGD spokesperson Luke Matranga, DDS, MAGD, ABGD. “Up until the age of 2, any alignment problem with the teeth or the developing bone is usually corrected within a 6-month period after pacifier use is stopped. Prolonged pacifier use and thumb sucking can cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth, alignment of the teeth and changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth.”

Habits are hard to break!  But it’s doable.   Here are some tips that a parent can try. 

Leave it out if your child does not truly need it.

Dip the pacifier in unsavory flavoring such as vinegar. 

Information from this article can be found on http://knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=c&iid=296&aid=1180.  Courtesy of AGD. 

For further info, we would love to assist you at Shelton Dental Excellence.  Give us a call at 360-426-4712.

Posted on Thursday March 4, 2021 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

Shelton Dental Excellence Team

Who wouldn’t love to give their teeth the royal treatment after a sugar-laden holiday diet?  If you choose to gift yourself or a loved one with professional dental care, we are at your service. For more information about the dental services we offer, visit the services To schedule an appointment, call 360-426-4712.

As always, we know you have many choices. Thank you for choosing us.  If you like us, then refer a friend or two.  We love to help you take care of them!

Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2021 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

Are you stressed? 

With everything that’s going on, it may not be surprising if you are stressed.  Although some stress is good, chronic stress can lead to health issues.  

But what does stress have to do with my mouth? 

When a person is experiencing stress, he or she may be prone to clenching.  This clenching response can also occur while you are sleeping.  

But I don’t think I am clenching and grinding?

Many people clench and grind, but aren’t aware of it.  This is unhealthy for your teeth.  The only time your teeth should be together during the day is when you are chewing or swallowing food.  Go ahead and swallow right now. Your teeth should touch when you swallow and then separate afterwards.  If you’ve got your teeth together during the day and you are not chewing or swallowing, then you are clenching!

Long term clenching can lead to teeth fracturing, headaches, and toothaches. For people who clench and grind, we can control daytime forces by habit modification.  At night, however, the clenching can generate 6-10 times the pressure on the teeth leading to fractures on your teeth and your existing restorations.

What do I do to protect my teeth?

A nightguard is the only way to protect them at night.  

What is a nightguard?

A nightguard is an appliance custom made by a dental laboratory.  It is a thin, hard acrylic that protects your teeth.  You will still clench and grind, but you can not get the pressure on the teeth.  If you don’t wear a night guard, you will crack and break your teeth as well as your fillings/crown/bridge, and even implants. You can also wear down the edges of your front teeth, creating an older look!

If you are clenching/grinding your teeth, the best prevention is a nightguard.  Give us a call today at 360-426-4712.  We, at Shelton Dental Excellence, will be happy to help you protect your pearls!

Posted on Wednesday September 16, 2020 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

Want whiter teeth?

Want whiter teeth?

Tired of your stained teeth? You are not alone! In this article, we will discuss the common causes of stained teeth and ways to improve.

Why did my teeth change color? Overtime, our teeth are exposed to many extrinsic factors. These are usually food, beverage, tobacco. Some other factors are intrinsic such as trauma, aging, and medications. With proper flossing and brushing and tobacco cessation, stains should be minimized. Trauma and aging can make teeth darker since dentin, which is the second yellow layer, often shows through the enamel. Some medications such as antibiotics and chemotherapy meds can cause darker teeth.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work? Teeth whitening is a simple process. Whitening products contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These bleaches break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter.

There are several ways to help with lightening your teeth color. One of them is over the counter whitening strips. These have the least amount of whitening agents. They are good for very mild whitening. The second method is custom made bleaching trays that you can apply whitening gel and wear at your convenience. The third method, which is chairside whitening, is the most effective.

Does whitening always work? No. Before you decide on which method to choose, it is important to check with your dental health provider. Sometimes staining can be due to decay or much worse. Also, sometimes you may need more than whitening, such as restorative fillings, crowns, or veneers for you to achieve the desired look.

If you are interested in having a brighter smile, please contact us at Shelton Dental Excellence (360-426-4712). We are only a phone call away!

Posted on Wednesday July 15, 2020 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.