The Tea(th) – 16th Ed: The Freshman or COVID 15…?

What is ‘The Tea(th)’ you ask? It’s our way of bringing some dental news, current events, and clinical pearls to the palm of your hand. With a little added humor and satirical stanzas, of course! We know your life is busy and no one has time to read a newspaper nowadays, so we aim to make this brief yet informative, and above all piping HOT!

In this week’s edition: The Freshman or COVID 15…?, Sugar is...BAD...for babies…? Fascinating, Let’s Talk Student Loan Repayments, That's Why They Say Never Treat Friends or Family, Sodium Hypo-WATER?, and more!
Caterpillar feeling butterfly

Recent News

The Freshman or COVID 15…?

Caterpillar feeling butterfly

So, like we all knew COVID quarantining hit us hard when it came to eating healthy and working out, joking about how we’d gain the “COVID 15lbs.” But then researchers had to go and actually prove it. Thanks…this is a study we probably could have done without. According to the Journal of Adolescent Health almost half of 1,820 college-age students had one or more unhealthy eating behaviors during the pandemic. Such as eating high-fat, sugary foods, or more food than usual to deal with negative feelings, social isolationism, and boredom as coping mechanisms. Look, I’d like to believe that I was helping to stabilize the economy by purchasing all that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, so don’t come at me for it science!

Sugar is...BAD...for babies…? Fascinating.

The USDA and HHS have released the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend that infants consume only breast milk without added sugar for the first 6mo of life and toddlers over age 2yo consume a diet with less than 10% of their daily calories in sugarsMedical Dialogues reports. Sorry mom and dad, but that means you should not allow your infant-age children to guzzle sports drinks and fruit juices like they’re going out of style. Also, keep the cookies and candies to a minimum too. Because it’s hard to ‘blame genetics’ for your 3yo child’s rampant caries when they stroll into my office sucking on JollyRanchers.

Willy Wonka fascinated


While your undergrad friends who majored in business and now work in FiDi are out making ‘adult moves’ with real jobs while you slave away in dental school, it’s easy to forget you’re an adult too. Even if you don’t have the income of your peers, you should still take steps to set yourself up well financially. Follow this column for tips and insights to help you get ahead, now.

Let’s Talk Student Loan Repayments

Too many of us see student loans as an afterthought during dental school. Not worrying or even thinking about how much debt they are in until the diploma is in-hand. That is the exact opposite of what you should do though. It is important to understand how much you are borrowing, create a budget, research repayment options for your individual situation, and have a game plan–while being realistic about how much you will make when you start working. #BallinOnABudget.
A good place to start is making an excel document of your current loans and projected final debt when you graduate. Then create a monthly budget to know where your money will go. Apps, like Mint and Personal Capital, are free and make this part supppper easy for you.


Once this is done, research a realistic income you will make when you graduate. >Aka, ask Dr. Google.< Then visit or to understand different repayment options. Research refinancing options for private lenders too! As a general rule (there are exceptions) you want to refinance if your Debt-to-Income Ratio is 1.75 or lower. If it is 1.75 or higher you may want to consider income based repayment plans.


As President-elect Biden and the new Democratic-controlled Congress take effect in T-minus 8 days, pay particular attention to Bills they pass in the coming months regarding student loan reform and income-based repayment programs. Next week we’ll discuss what might be on the horizon. In the meantime, do yourself a favor, pull out that Ti-83 Plus Graphing you haven’t used since CalcB in college, figure out your student loan burden, and look into what we mentioned!
I am not recovering from this



Real patients, real stories, fake names.

Last Friday Jean, who in this case happens to be my girlfriend, told me she needed a cleaning. Naturally, I said, “Babe, come to the school – they accept every insurance, and I can do it!” She found my logic sound…which might have been our first mistake.
Her appointment arrives and we’re off to a rocky start. Turns out her insurance is literally the only one the school doesn’t accept, and she has to pay $40…when she could have had it for free at a private dentist. She chokes up the cash and I call her back to my chair to start. Well apparently she’s a dentaphobe…and dating a dentistI KNOW! Flailing at every touch of the scaler, and she could not STOP TALKING. It took me over an hour to finish the prophy, and as a D4 this ain’t exactly my first rodeo when it comes to prophies. Next she tells me she wants whitening trays, so I obliged to take alginates. *Just don’t mess this up man, she’ll hate you forever.*
Out of fear of an over-exaggerated response, I reassure her I’m the best impression taker there is and my patients are always fine. (Yes, I just broke every cardinal rule of dentistry with that one statement, I know.) Turns out, I was scraping the bottom of my alginate container and didn’t pack it tight, making a deceivingly liquid-gooopy mix. I blackout and unwisely decide to go for it. #StillGonnaSendItBro. Sure enough, I capture her uvula and possibly half the esophagus, I’m unsure because I was still coming to as I took the tray out of her mouth.
So now, after what *should have been an easy appointment* all that’s resulted is she has told all our friends and family how bad she thinks I am at impressions, and is my worst advocate for new patients. And that’s why they say never treat friends or family.
This is a huge mistake


Sodium Hypo-WATER?

Have you ever assumed other dentists do a procedure the same way as you only to realize you were VERY wrong? Same. Picture this: Mid-NSRCT Tooth #12, I ask my assistant for the ‘Sodium Hypochlorite’..she looks at me very confused. She asks, “What is that?” I say, “The irrigant to clean the canals…*mouthing* B-L-E-A-C-H.” She shoots back a horrified look and I realize she has no idea what I’m talking about. So I step aside and ask her, “What did the other dentist use to flush the canals?” “Oh, just water,” she says. “Just WATER?!” I screech. Yep, you read that right. Not only did the other dentist do things different from me, but wasn’t even following clinically acceptable guidelines. So, long story short, NEVER assume everyone follows the same SOPsALWAYS tell your assistants exactly what you need and your protocol before a procedure! Because we all know what happens when we assume…!

That's not how it works

meme of the week

Flossing Football Player


Have any interesting or crazy patient stories? Want to share helpful clinical, business, or study-related pearls? Or just have some updates on how you’re surviving dental school, residency, or life in the real world (yikes)? Well, we want to hear all about it! Submit your Tea(th) anonymously below or tell us your name so we can credit you. We promise to NEVER mention your name unless you tell us otherwise and give us explicit permission.

spill the tea gif


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