Monday, 11 December 2017

The Biggest, Brightest Smile

There are a lot of new “norms” these days that still feel like something of the future. If you weren’t already aware, for example, the youngest generations thrive off of the “photo or it didn’t happen” mentality—which, interestingly enough, has people thinking more about their pearly whites this holiday season. Read: Photo evidence of a not-so-bright-smile. 

 Snow-bright teeth this winter

But if you’re here, there was a reason behind your curiosity. Happily, we here at Dr. Marchbanks’ office in Arlington, TX strive to ensure that when you open that beautiful mouth, your picture-perfect smile it is exactly that: bright and beautiful.  


There are only so many techniques to achieve said “bright” smile in accordance to your teeth, and we’re here to talk about your options. Overall, hydrogen peroxide is going to be the key agent in breaking down stains on your teeth and polishing your smile.  


Read on to understand the processes and options of tooth-whitening that will best suit your case. And, of course, be sure to meet with us for a consultation to ensure you receive the very best care! 


Who’s a candidate? 


Overall, teeth-whitening is a very low-risk procedure, which means it can suit a lot of different needs. Generally, the best candidates have mild to moderate discoloration. The following factors may rule out a patient from treatment: 


  1. Patients with porcelain veneers, dental crowns, or dental bonding. These circumstances don’t always allow for the most uniform teeth-whitening, and physical replacements sometimes have to be done to achieve the level or white or bright you want consistently around your mouth.


  1. Intrinsic Stains are stains that can show as white spots, gray discolorations, or a “dead tooth” where an underlying layer in the tooth (underneath the enamel) has become discolored. Standard teeth whitening only works on extrinsic stains, so patients with intrinsic stains will have to seek other options. The good news is, there might still be hope with other treatments, so your consultation isn’t over yet!


  1. Extreme tooth sensitivity or worn enamel: Unfortunately, these conditions are sometimes exacerbated if teeth-whitening is performed.


  1. Bruxism or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD): Again, whitening may worsen these conditions, so consulting your dentist and doing an in-office whitening is often the best option.


Types of whitening treatments 


For candidates who are a good fit, the following options are all procedures a patient can use to whiten, dependent upon their budget: 


  1. Over-the-counter (OTC) – The cheapest from of tooth whitening can be convenient, but this also means it will be the least effective. Some of the over-the-counter options to brighten your smile include: toothpastes, gels, rinses, strips and pre-made whitening trays.


  1. Take-home treatment– The cost of take-home trays will be dependent upon the cost of the materials, including the gel and how many treatments the dentist recommends, but will be much more effective than OTC options.


  1. In-office– The cost will depend on the total number of sessions, and if you need advanced treatment, which can include laser. The greater investment does ultimately mean the strongest treatment your dentist is able to offer, and will reveal much more dramatic results using a combination of whitening gel and specially-formatted lights to achieve optimal results. Dr. Marchbanks may also send you home with the trays so you can perform treatments at home as well.


At the end of the day, everyone’s results will be different depending on the severity of the stains, the layer of the tooth the stains are on, plus lifestyle and dietary habits, oral care habits, the type of teeth-whitening system used, the number of treatments and consistent follow-up care. 


We urge you to inquire here at our Arlington, Texas office about the best option for your case. When it comes to take that family holiday photo, you won’t have to be the one looking awkward or bashful, but instead boastful and beautiful!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

North Texas Holiday Lights—2017!

Driving around to see houses lit up in holiday lights is a time-honored tradition in many families. The twinkle of hundreds of thousands of tiny lights brings out the child in all of us. 


If you’re looking for more than just your average neighborhood light display this year, then you’ve come to the right place. We have scoured the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex for the most awe-inducing spectacles in 2017! Grab your coat and gloves, or if it is a typical North Texas Christmas, a light fleece, and venture out to these family-friendly exhibits! 

 Holiday lights in 2017

Historic Grapevine Light Displays 


There’s a reason Grapevine is considered the “Christmas Capital of Texas.” With three different nights dedicated to decking the halls, there’s no reason to miss out on the excitement. While the Christmas tree at City Hall is lit just after Thanksgiving, there’s still time to catch the Parade of Lights and the Twinkle Light Boat Parade. 


The Parade of Lights in is the largest lighted Christmas parade in North Texas, and will feature more than 100 lighted floats and marching bands. If that isn’t enough, head to Lake Grapevine to watch boats decked out in holiday d├ęcor, and a lights parade from the Twin Coves Marina to Silver Lake Marina. Each event is free and open to the public.  


Sparkling Nights in Addison 


Walk off those extra holiday pounds by wandering around the Vitruvian Park’s holiday spectacle in Addison. Twelve acres of the park have been decorated with twinkling lights that are just begging to be explored. Weekends in December will also feature food trucks, live music, and holiday shopping villages. Bring the kids for free pictures with Santa, and to visit with the local police and fire department, too! 


Gift of Lights in Fort Worth  


Ever dream of hitting the Texas Motor Speedway? Well, here’s your opportunity! Cruise around the raceway through the Gift of Lights, and experience over 150 new light displays this year. At the end of the tour, explore Santa’s Village for family-friendly activities, including photos with Santa. Admission is $25 per car; however, if you bring an unwrapped gift for Toys for Tots, you receive a $5 discount. The event benefits multiple local charities, and is open daily from 6pm-10pm. 


Christmas in the Square – Frisco 


Head to Frisco Square to experience the largest choreographed holiday lights and music display in North Texas. Running daily from 6pm-10pm, visitors can bask in the glow of over 175,000 lights on display. To put this number in perspective, it takes over 11.5 miles of wiring and 8 miles of extension cords to pull off this show. If you’re longing for a white Christmas, you can even experience “snow flurries” every fifteen minutes in the Square on Fridays and Saturdays. And, finally, test your skating skills on the outdoor rink! 


Prairie Lights – Grand Prairie 


Drive through more than four MILLION lights sets along a two-mile path at the Lynn Creek Park on Joe Pool Lake in Grand Prairie. Halfway through the drive, hop out of the car to wander around the Holiday Village that features food, gifts, a snow maze and lighted forest. 


After enjoying the stopover, you get back in the car to experience the grand finale of the display, including an animated light tunnel. Bring the kids to snap a photo with Santa as well. Purchase tickets online to save $5 off admission per vehicle. 


The North Texas region is full of holiday cheer this year! No matter where you live in the metroplex, there is a holiday light spectacular nearby. Didn’t see one of your favorites on our list? Leave us a comment and tell us where else we should check out!

Monday, 4 December 2017

Why You Should Be Sure To Cash In On Your 2017 Dental Benefits—NOW

Think you’ll be on the dental “naught” or “nice” list this year? Have you been taking care of your smile? Or, maybe, have you been skipping out on…say, flossing for a while? Have you forgotten to buy the mouthwash? Or, have you been eating too many sweets, and not brushing before bed?  




Have you heard someone mention that using all of your dental benefits would be wise to do before the year is up? But, what odes that really mean?  

 How to get more out of your benefits before Dec. 31

Whether your new to the dental benefits game, or well versed in it, we’re here to shed a little light on the topic, especially for younger generations.  


And, for the sake of staying within our dental realm, we’ll be talking about benefits when it comes to dental coverage—separate from medical benefits, or eye coverage benefits, etc. Luckily, your mouth is a pretty straightforward topic. Though, we might be biased. 


So, how’s it work? 


Both you and your employer pay up-front costs to buy a dental plan, typically on the first of the year (or whenever you begin a plan). If you don’t use all of the perks you pay for throughout the year. then you basically waste the money. 


That’s right, your benefits are prorated throughout the year. So even if you don’t see money coming out of your pocket come the end of the month, money that you’ve already spent will have been spent for naught. If you haven’t gotten your last cleaning in for the year, or if you have ANY aches or pains (or changes in dry mouth, breath, etc.) that you haven’t gotten checked out, this is your last chance to make an appointment and get in this year! 


This is why we want to stress understanding your dental insurance policies. 


Most dental insurance providers offer different levels of plans: preventive, basic and major. From those coverage options, you pick the one you can afford, or the one that’s best suited to your needs.  


  1. Most preventative plans have a zero-dollar deductible and care,including semi-annual teeth cleanings or x-rays—or even sealants to keep your teeth protected! Check your policy to see what options you have.


  1. Most basic plans see patients paying between 2 and 30% of procedures,including things like extractions, fillings, root canals and treatment for gum disease.


  1. A major plan would mean the patient pays more out-of-pocket expenses for coverage on crowns, bridges, inlays and dentures. It’s important to look at your policy, as each company has specific offerings, not to mention different plans and perks.



Capitalize on your allotted perks like check-ups, cleanings, and other procedures you might need. You’ve been paying for it throughout the year, so don’t be left with nothing to show! 


You just have to call our office and make the appointment.  


Our reception desk here at Dr. Marchbanks’s office knows this stuff backwards and forwards, and will be happy to help you better understand your plan and how to get your smile sparkling, whether in your regular preventative or reparatory appointments.  


So, if you want to make the “nice” list this year, and give shining smiles this holiday season, make sure to play smart and book any last minute 2017 benefits appointments now! 

Monday, 27 November 2017

Caring For Your Smile When You’re Expecting

There’s a lot of information being fed to you when you find out you’re pregnant. The goal is not to lose sight of some of the most foundational aspects of what keeps you healthy, and what keeps the baby healthy. And, just like when you’re not pregnant, having a healthy mouth during pregnancy means more than just the health of your smile. Particularly when you’re pregnant, hormones can throw quite the wrench in some of the things that normally work for your body—and then all of a sudden, you’re dealing with sensitive gums and teeth that feel like they might fall out! 

 You can’t forget about that smile

Here at Dr. Marchbank’s office, we wanted to compile a few informative bits and facts that can help you understand the implications of your preventative dental health care when you’re expecting.  


We’d like to first point out the obvious: be sure to continue caring for your teeth as did before you found out about the baby! Brush twice a day, floss at least once a day, use fluoride toothpaste, use mouthwash, see your dentist regularly—and most definitely when you become pregnant. Pay special attention to your gum line, where the accumulation of bacteria and plaque can lead to gum problems and disease. Lastly, talk with your dentist about when to schedule a checkup during your pregnancy; the best time is usually during your second trimester. 


Perhaps surprisingly, 1 in 5 premature births in the U.S. can be linked to (and predicted by) gum disease. Crazy, right? The best you can do to prevent this is to keep your routine consistent, even after a late-night craving is satisfied! 


What’s more, even after birth, children are most susceptible to bacteria that can cause dental decay or gum disease from the age of 18-36 months, when moms tend to share cups or “clean” pacifiers and bottles with their own mouth. In general, it’s best to air on the safe side with sharing, as infections can occur at any time. Your baby’s teeth that develop in the womb include the roots and foundation of the teeth that will be with them for the rest of their life.  


Be sure to maintain a balanced diet. Foods that are processed or sugary will increase your chances of developing gum disease and cavities—and you don’t want to have to undergo treatment while you’re busy getting ready for the baby. We all know, and absolutely understand, that snacking while pregnant will be part of the deal, so when you do have unusual food cravings, be sure to stay mindful to brush afterword…especially when snacking late at night and then going back to bed.  


Outside of what’s taking place with your own teeth, you’ll want to consider the type of nutrients you are taking in for your child’s early-developing teeth. Your baby’s teeth begin to develop in the womb at 3-6 months, so sufficient quantities of vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium, folic acid and phosphorous help set your child up to have a healthy mouth for life. Without writing a whole other article on the topic, we suggest eating a variety of healthy foods, foods low in sugar and drinking a lot of water and milk as great ways to ensure a healthy baby and minimal calcium loss for your and baby’s teeth.  


Morning sickness can be a very real experience for some women. And with that experience comes the unpleasant reality of vomiting. If this happens, be sure to only swish your mouth with water immediately after to rinse the acid out that enters your mouth, which can erode the enamel of your teeth and lead to tooth decay. Try to wait a good 20-30 minutes to brush with toothpaste, as rinsing and spitting with water can help neutralize acidity and brushing can actually press acid into your tooth enamel. Lastly, if the mere smell of your toothpaste is unthinkable, try a milder or different flavor, and if worse comes to worse use baking soda, water and a toothbrush until the sickness dissipates.  


The first and third trimester are not always the best times to be seen by your dentist. The first trimester your baby is beginning to develop, and you don’t want to introduce any unneeded stress that could cause you trouble. The third trimester you are approaching giving birth, and you wouldn’t want to introduce stress that could cause you to go into premature labor. So, if you need to have any X-rays or (emergency only) dental work done, you’ll want to do it in your second trimester if possible. 


The ADA (American Dental Association) and the ACOG (American College of Radiology) both agree that no single diagnostic x-ray has a radiation dose significant enough to cause adverse effects in a developing embryo or fetus, with appropriate shielding.1  


Nothing is more miraculous or precious than waiting for your baby to come. And, for some, nothing could be scarier. Ensuring you are healthy during your pregnancy is the surest way to ensure your baby can be born healthy. And just as we here at Dr. Marchbank’s office say that the crux of your health begins in your mouth, we believe that the health of your baby begins with the health of your own mouth during pregnancy.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Things We’re Thankful For In Arlington, Texas

Here at the office of Dr. Mark Marchbanks, we are Arlington proud and wanted to compile a list of things we love about this city in light of this week of thanks. 


With a population of 392,772 and an average age of 33, there are plenty of reasons why this city is succeeding, and why we plan to keep healthy roots here. (Get it?) Read on to see what we’ll be saying over our Thanksgiving feasts that we’re grateful for! 

 Why we’re thankful to be in Arlington, TX

  1. Awe-inspiring sports arena, world-class athletes and theme parks

With a stadium that can fit more than a quarter of the Arlington population in its seats, the home turf of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium—and our beloved Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park, along with the other 10 plus stadiums and arenas in town—are something we’re hugely grateful for. And we can’t forget Six Flags Over Texas! We are thankful to have such stellar sports stars and amenities in our town. 


  1. The outdoors


We love our parks! Arlington boasts over 90 award-winning public parks, including a Frisbee golf course, TWO dog parks, THREE skateboard parks (with four more on the way!), FOUR golf courses, SIX pools, and SEVEN recreation centers. We also have 10 miles of mountain bike trails, 26 tennis courts and another 56 paved trails! With an average of 235 sunny days a year, and our tolerable “humid subtropical” climate, we are grateful to have so many beautiful options to keep us in shape, healthy, and happy.


  1. Food


Not only have 5 restaurants in our city been featured on Diners, Dives and Drive Ins (Jamaican Gates, Prince Lebanese Grill, Chop House Burgers, Taste of Europe & Twisted Root), but Arlington at large is an international and local food epicenter. There are over 200 locally-owned restaurants, dozens of international markets, plus Mexican, Vietnamese, Chinese, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian, Traditional American, Italian cuisine and more. This makes our bellies and taste buds very thankful!


  1. Affordable


Arlington was ranked one of America’s best places to live last year. And yet, for all this luxury and entertainment, Arlington can still be entirely affordable. According to Zillow, the average cost of a purchased home is $182,400, lower than the DFW metro average, making it possible for first-time homebuyers or retirees to settle here in Arlington. 


  1. Opportunities 


What would the good life in Arlington be without the employment opportunities for everyone to live comfortably? Not only is the job market in Arlington stable, but the ability to get anywhere within the city by car in 30 minutes makes that work-life balance a real life possibility, and gives hope to those Texas residents with that good ol’ American Dream.  


  1. Quality neighbors


200 family-friendly neighborhoods in Arlington participated in the 4th largest U.S. turnout of the “National Night Out of #meetoneneighbor” on October 6, 2015. If that’s not proof of neighbors that care, then we don’t know what is! We’re just grateful to have such warm and loving people surrounding us and our families. 


  1. Great schools


The Arlington Independent School District boasts 10 high schools, 11 junior high schools and 55 elementary schools, along with private and charter school options. And let’s not forget our three higher-education institutions: UT Arlington (known for it’s research, training and development), Arlington Baptist College, and Tarrant County College Southeast Campus.


  1. Central location


Living 30 minutes or less from wherever you need to be in Arlington, plus the city’s bike share program, mini transit system, two airports and two major interstates, Arlington comfortably sits between Fort Worth and Dallas with easy mobility for wherever you need to go. Nobody likes traffic, and we are grateful to deal with as little of it as possible! 


  1. Diversity


We here at the office of Dr. Marchbanks love a diverse and growing community, and Arlington is a prime example of that. Our very own UTA is ranked as one of the nation’s most diverse college campuses in the U.S., representing 123 countries as well as students from every state in the nation.


  1. Friendly business ecosystem 


From the low cost of business, plus the incentive packages offered, to favorable tax rates and how the locals opt to support local businesses, Arlington’s economic advantages are hard to ignore. Things like Capital Bikeshare (bicycling through the city) or using the Metro, demonstrate a desirable infrastructure of sustainable business and commercial movement that we enjoy. 


What are you giving thanks for this Thanksgiving? Comment below and share what you love about our Arlington! 

Monday, 13 November 2017

How Your Smile—Or Lack Thereof—Affects You Professionally

Have you ever been sitting in an interview and either felt like you forgot to check your teeth beforehand, or forgot to brush them, or—worse yet—felt unable to kick off a meeting with even a single smile? 


It’s a challenge for millions of Americans, and it certainly isn’t fair, but people with a “serious look” (or a specific lack of natural smiles) can struggle greatly in their professional lives, even finding themselves without a job offer they’re otherwise qualified for.  


So, what’s the psychology behind this insufferable truth that being “too serious” has a direct impact on your ability to thrive professionally?  

 A smile can leave someone without a job

Let’s review the science first… 


When you experience anything that brings about positive, uplifting vibes, neurons travel through the cortex of your brain, signaling the muscles around the mouth to show those pearly whites. A smile is our natural reaction to joy, amusement, and contentment.  


Once this reaction begins, a truly genuine smile can be observed elsewhere in the face, such as the crinkle around your eyes. Or, ever hear someone say that a person has a “sparkle” in his or her eyes? This is our way of recognizing a genuine smile over a fake one. 


Simply put, your ability to effortlessly, unabashedly and genuinely smile makes you a more likable person. And it goes without saying that being more likable can in turn help you get a job or make a career…all because of that ability to smile assuredly. 


Smiling at people makes them feel good about you – it’s one of the most fundamental human reward signals that displays friendliness, trustworthiness and honesty. 


Ways a smile can improve your professional life

Much of the time, patients steer clear of smiling when they feel they have “bad teeth.” When a person who doesn’t feel confident about their smile does face the underlying health issues, or seeks the cosmetic dental treatments, they can finally begin to move past the trauma and on to a successful and more self-assured professional life.  


So, how does that genuine smile improve your professional life? Below, we’ve listed a few ways in which it can improve certain areas of your life, including professional, and what the effects of the change would bring: 


  1. Improved Health – having strong teeth and gums allows you to consume all kinds of food, allowing you to enjoy each meal and also get all the necessary nutrients and properly digest food.
  2. Improved Attractiveness – the saying “a happy child is the prettiest/most handsome” isn’t a “thing” for no reason. Smiling makes a person radiate positivity. Being able to smile without a second-thought is invaluable to a person’s happiness—and it plays in your favor with how comfortable you make bosses and colleagues feel.
  3. Improved Self-esteem – the physical act of smiling actually improves your emotional state by sending happy signals to your brain, which releases endorphins, in turn boosting your mood.1 You also feel more confident, are perceived as confident, and help others feel more confident, too. This is routinely needed at work.
  4. Better Relationships – there might be no better way to make a person feel than by smiling at them, or reciprocating a smile. When someone is happy, and you share in the moment, it will be smiles all around…especially if that person is your boss, a colleagues or business partner.
  5. Improved Speech – tooth abnormalities can affect how you pronounce things. Being able to speak clearly will always be valuable at work—it improves your chances of being understood, so that work can get done and everyone can collaborate efficiently.  


How to live a better personal life with an enhanced smile 


Some of the ways in which patients often pursue a more confident and healthier smile, thereafter reporting improvements in their social and professional lives, include:  


  1. Teeth Whitening
  2. Crowns
  3. Bonding
  4. Veneers
  5. Snap-On-Smile
  6. Enamel Shaping and Contouring
  7. Bridges
  8. Braces
  9. Clear Aligner Trays
  10. Dental Implants 


We here at Dr. Marchbanks’s office want you to feel confident and to thrive in your professional life! Call us today, and we’ll be more than happy to make your smile reflect how you really feel on the inside. 


Prevention is always better than the cure – so make sure you practice good oral hygiene. The better you take care of your teeth, the less damage control you’ll need to do later on.

Monday, 6 November 2017

The List: Stress-Free Dentist Visits

John Smith was 15 years old when he needed to have his impacted wisdom teeth extracted. Unfortunately, his dental office didn’t tell him that he couldn’t eat before coming in, which meant they could not sedate him when he arrived. 


Instead, the office used a combination of novocain and laughing gas to prep him for the extraction. However, when going in to remove John’s wisdom teeth, the dentist forgot to deliver novocain to the 4th quadrant of John’s mouth, leading to an experience that would leave John fearing every dental appointment thereafter. 


An estimated 40 million Americans seriously fear the dentist, according to a recent Columbia University College of Dental Medicine survey.1  


This statistic is compelling when we consider the consequences of avoiding the dentist, which is the natural reaction to this fear. Many patients don’t realize that the rest of the body will not remain unaffected if they ignore their oral health. Teeth and gums share tissue, nerves and blood with other parts of the body, which means that good oral hygiene is essential to good overall health. 

 Stressed by a visit to the dentist?

So, where does dental anxiety come from? And how can you get past it? 


Dental anxiety and where it comes from:  


  • Painful prior incident 
  • Fear of loss of control 
  • Fear of pain (most common) 
  • Fear of embarrassment 


Pain is as much a cognitive (thinking) experience as it is an emotional one. In order for the entire dental office experience to be pleasant, there are precautionary steps you can take to not only prepare, but also to allow the dentist and staff to understand where you are emotionally with the visit.  




  • Ask to speak to the dentist about your fears before you come in—this is part of Dr. Marchbank’s job, and you have no need to feel like you’re asking too much  
  • Be honest about your fears with a member of the staff 
  • Bring a friend or relative you trust 
  • Take advantage of a distraction—listen to a new album you downloaded, or load an episode of a show you like to your phone 
  • Try controlled breathing: take in a big breath and let it out very slowly (this will slow your heartbeat and relax your muscles, reducing the stress levels that can lead to a state of panic) 
  • Try progressive muscle relaxation: tense a group of muscles and then relax them, then do another group (toes, calves, thighs, abs, fingers, etc.) 
  • Avoid caffeine and sugar before a visit, and eat a high-protein meal beforehand  
  • Select a low-stress appointment time for your schedule, whether that’s a weekend or early morning—less pressure means less anxiety! 
  • For pediatric cases, try to condition your children at home by practicing placing fingers gently in their mouth to “examine” teeth, and brushing their teeth yourself as though you were “playing dentist” 
  • Lastly, for parents, do NOT project your personal fears about the dentist onto your children—with the leaps and bounds dentistry has made in the last couple decades, children’s experiences are largely positive 


Good Dentistry 


Reducing dental anxiety can actually increase a person’s pain threshold, and lead to greater trust of your dentist. Plus, you’ll have a healthier mouth, and a much more positive outlook on dentistry and oral health in general. 


Some of the ways that we here at Dr. Marchbank’s office help in lowering the stress of a dentist visit are:  


  • Gently explaining what the you will feel, and for about how long  
  • Frequently ask you for permission to continue 
  • Give you every opportunity to stop the procedure, using cues such as raising your hand 
  • Making time for requested breaks 


If dealing with the anxiety of getting in to see the dentist is the biggest problem you face as our patient, then we’ll be thankful knowing that your experience at Dr. Marchbank’s office will be exactly the positive reaffirmation you need!