How Cotton Candy Was Popularized By… A Dentist

Cotton candy’s earliest origins date back to 15th century Italy. Here, in specialty bakeries off cobblestoned streets, sugar syrup would be boiled in a pan and “flicked out” with forks to create decorative, wispy strands. Due to the laborious process and the high price of its only ingredient, this “spun sugar” was only produced in small quantities, exclusively for the uber-wealthy.

For 300 years, the confection stayed in fashion—but only among elite circles. Ornately-spun Easter eggs and “webs of gold and silver” were rare delicacies for high society Europeans. Italians were particularly skilled at sugar spinning; as one historian describes, Venetians “moulded it into a fantastic tableaux of animals, mythic figures, buildings, birds, and pastoral scenes.” When Henri III of France visited Venice in the late 1500s, he was treated to a fanciful banquet at which 1,286 items —including the tablecloth —were spun of sugar. For the average citizen though, the treat remained widely inaccessible.

Centuries later, in 1897, a 37-year-old dentist from Tennessee decided the sugary goods should be enjoyed by everyone.

Born in Nashville in 1860, James Morrison’s passions were strangely conflicting. He excelled in dentistry school (by 1894, he was named President of the Tennessee State Dental Association), but was also a confection enthusiast with a penchant for culinary advancement. By the mid-1890s, he patented several devices — one which extracted oils from cottonseed and converted them to lard, and another which chemically purified Nashville’s drinking water.

But Morrison’s biggest breakthrough came in 1897, when he paired with John C. Wharton, an old pal and fellow confectioner. Together, the two designed and co-patented what they called the “electric candy machine.” Utilizing centrifugal force, the device rapidly spun and melted sugar through through small holes until it was fluffy and nearly 70% air. They called the new treat “fairy floss,” formed the “Electric Candy Company,” and spent several years perfecting the process before debuting it to the public.

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Teeth Whitening

As we age, our teeth naturally lose whiteness as the underlying dentin in our teeth yellows. Add to that the stains acquired from lifestyle issues, like drinking coffee or tea and smoking tobacco products, and your pearly whites may not be so white any more. Tooth bleaching using a peroxide-based agent is one of the most common treatments for cosmetic dentistry and we offer an in-the-office One-Hour Teeth Whitening or an in-the-home Two-Week Teeth Bleaching option.
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Therapy Dogs a Growing Trend in Dentistry

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Whether it’s the sound of the drill or the thought of an extraction, a lot of people fear going to the dentist, but now there’s a growing trend allowing appointments to be more of a warm and fuzzy experience.

Buster! Hi, baby! How are you doing today?” says Jody Miller as she enters James River Family Dentistry. Buster is the resident therapy dog at the Bon Air dental practice.

“The holistic happy pill that he is,” Dr. Marci Guthrie describes her French Bulldog who has been on the job a little over six years. She says he has been the best medicine for nervous children and adults who come in for routine visits and more.

“Fillings and cavities getting drilled out and then cleaning,” patient Nichole Hurst lists all of the treatments she has actually enjoyed since meeting Buster. “He’s always so nice. He’s really chill.”

“Buster is a natural at just reducing anxieties and putting smiles on patients’ faces and helping to reduce their fears of just walking in the door which is half the battle,” says Dr. Guthrie. One study found as many as 20% of Americans do not go to the dentist because of a fear of the unknown, the equipment or another phobia.

Jody Miller understands all too well. “My first anxiety attack ever was in a dental chair, and I have not had one since I’ve been here.”

“The calm comes over their body, the smiles on their faces,” says Sarah Babcock, a therapy dog evaluator with the Richmond SPCA Paws for Health program. She is not surprised that dental practices are catching on to this valuable therapy widely used in other areas of medicine. “They’ve done a lot of research that suggests blood pressure goes down and there’s lots of good physical things that happen to them, people when they’re visiting with therapy dogs, but it’s very obvious when you’re watching the joy that they bring.”

“He’s just so sweet and loving,” Sandra Jones says, holding Buster in her lap in the James River Family Practice waiting room, where he immediately soothes patient fears. Years ago Jones passed out when she saw a Novocaine needle at another practice, but now she calls Buster her tranquilizer. “You walk in here, maybe you’re anxious and Buster comes over and greets you and just calms you down.”

There is a link between a lack of dental care and Diabetes, Heart Disease, Osteoporosis and other conditions. Now for some patients, dogs like Buster are the gateway to better health.

“It is a wonderful experience to see these patients’ faces light up simply at the sight of him,” says Dr. Guthrie. “Some even come by to visit, just to say hi to him when they don’t even have appointments.”

Dr. Guthrie says she has seen all patients benefit, including those with special needs. Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, Autism and Down Syndrome are just a few of her patients’ conditions. Buster also recently went to the Mission of Mercy dental clinic for the Special Olympics to help ease patients.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

Source: ABC News 8

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Got a toothache and can’t get to the dentist right away?

Gently chewing on a clove can ease tooth pain and gum inflammation for up to two hours, say UCLA researchers. Experts point to a natural compound in cloves called eugenol, a powerful, natural anesthetic.


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Check Out This Awesome New Review

Reviewed on Google

I have been a patient at Burgess Center for many years and have never considered changing because they have friendly office receptionists (everyone is very professional and kind), state of the art digital equipment, one visit caps (made in-house) and for relaxing, built-in t.v. & headphones! Less important, but adding to the relaxed ambience, is the beautiful reception area. Dr. Burgess also offers a full range of dental cosmetic services.”

-Pam G.


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Caring For Your Children’s Teeth

Most children do not have the coordination to effectively brush and floss their own teeth until they are about 6 or 7 years old. When you feel they are old enough to do it on their own, close supervision is still recommended to ensure thorough cleaning and good brushing habits.  Also, let your kids watch you brush, you are their #1 role model.


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Laser Dentistry

Have you ever heard of the Waterlase laser? This specific laser can offer you pain-free dental procedures without using any anesthesia. Coupled with an air/water spray, the Waterlase HydroKinetic YSGG dental laser is able to replace that dreaded ‘SHOT.’
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Why Falling Asleep Without Brushing Your Teeth Is Actually Pretty Darn Gross

The question: Just how gross is it really if I forget to brush my teeth before bed every once in a while?

The answer: Bad news: It’s pretty gross. You probably already know that the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing those pearly whites twice a day. You also probably know that brushing your teeth is one of the easiest ways to avoid scaring off your date.

But brushing is important for reasons beyond fresh breath. Skip a session, and you’re on your way to encouraging the growth of bacterial buildup in the form of plaque, which can lead to cavities and gum disease.

“In the middle of the day, [run your tongue] across your teeth right around the gum line. You’ll find something sticky or fuzzy,” Deepinder “Ruchi” Sahota, DDS, a dentist in Fremont, California, and a spokesperson for the ADA, tells The Huffington Post. “That’s plaque.”

Brushing, thankfully, “disrupt[s] that bacteria so it doesn’t stay in place,” she says, because if left in place, it starts to attack your teeth. Plus, the longer that plaque sits in one place, the more likely it is to become tartar, “that hard, yellow, rough material you sometimes feel in between your teeth” that can cause inflammation and bleeding in the gums, she says. Leave that untreated for too long, and you could risk losing teeth.

While there’s not exactly a precise timeline of when plaque becomes risky, “you can start the process of a cavity by not brushing once, absolutely,” says Sahota, especially if your occasional forgetfulness is more frequent than you’d like to admit. (We won’t tell.)

However, doing a so-so job brushing can be just as bad, Sahota warns. That twice-a-day routine is no joke, preferably with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. Each brushing session should last about two minutes and cover all surfaces of the teeth, not just the parts we see when we smile, she says. The ADA also recommends flossing once a day and seeing a dentist regularly to take care of the rest (like that tartar, which only a dentist can truly clean, she says).

Also, no cheating: Gum, mints and mouthwash are no brushing replacements. All three can give your mouth a fresher feel, says Sahota, but “brushing and flossing are the only ways to effectively, physically remove the plaque.”


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Let us help you keep those pearly whites clean!

Dental conditions gone untreated can contribute to a multitude of other, more serious medical conditions. Plaque buildup and periodontal disease, are linked to heart disease, diabetes and high blood sugar.


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We Are Different

We work hard to be unlike any other dentist in the area. Visit our ‘We Are Different’ page to find out what makes us so unique!

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