Great Smiles - August 2022




If you’ve had an appointment with me in the last few weeks, you may have noticed that I have an extra-deep tan. It’s because I just got back from a June trip to Scottsdale, Arizona! The biggest reason I trekked out to the desert was to help teach a class for other dentists at Spear Education, a postgraduate dental education center. I’ve been a visiting clinical faculty member at Spear for a while now, but I still get excited every time I think about it. Spear is a world-renowned institution, and I was so lucky to be invited! This summer, I contributed to a course called Airway Prosthodontics taught by one of the foremost authorities in prosthodontics for adults and kids. (For the non-dentists who are reading this, prosthodontics is all about making prosthetic dental appliances, which are kind of like prosthetic limbs — but for broken or missing teeth!) I was amazed when I looked out over my class to see a room full of older dentists staring back at me. A lot of the people I taught at Spear have been practicing dentistry for longer than I have. They know what they’re doing! But they have a few blind spots when it comes to comprehensive dentistry that integrates the entire body, which happens to be my specialty. It’s both weird and wonderful when my “students” come up to me after class and say, “Wow, Dr. Weddle, I learned something new today. You really know your stuff!” I absolutely love explaining to other dentists how important it is for us to go beyond just fixing a chipped tooth to find the real cause of an oral Win Tickets for the Whole Family to SEA LIFE Aquarium — Just for Sending an Email! Did you have a great experience with Dr. Weddle in our clinic this summer or do something amazing with your family? We’d love to hear about it! Email your summer highlights to us at and we’ll enter your name in a raffle to win tickets for your whole family to SEA LIFE Aquarium! We’re drawing a winner on Friday, Sept. 16, so get your email in before it’s too late!

health problem. If we just tackle the surface issue, we’ll have to deal with more problems later. But if we fix the underlying cause, we can save our patients pain, time, and money — and really improve their lives. That’s why I’ve recently made integrative health screenings part of every routine checkup in my office. After I finished teaching at Spear, my family stayed on in Scottsdale for a much-needed vacation. It was our first getaway since 2019! We really went all-out: swimming, exploring, and even riding in a hot air balloon.

Dr. Weddle and her family head off for a balloon ride.

My parents were too afraid of heights to join in, but nine of us squeezed into the basket of the Rainbow Ryders balloon. I couldn’t believe how big it was! We soared over the desert and got an amazing view of jack rabbits wandering through the sand. I was a little bit nervous about the landing, but thanks to our guide, we touched down smoothly after an hour in the air. (We even have a video — let me know if you want to see it!) The vacation and teaching opportunity in Scottsdale were both amazing, but now it’s time to buckle down for the fall and send the kids back to school. Life can’t be all hot air balloon rides forever. If you’re getting back to the grind,


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Choosing Joy Every Day 3 Ways to Foster a Positive Attitude

In today’s society, we are faced with

be searching for a silver lining. You can find a positive in any situation, but you’ll have to put in the effort to flip your perspective.

tragic stories and upsetting information, no matter where we turn. This can quickly lead us to a negative mindset where we believe things can’t be fixed and will only get worse, so it’s even more important now to establish a positive mindset. Though it might be easier to bury your head in the sand,

Keep a gratitude journal. When we think about gratitude and thankfulness, our minds usually think about Thanksgiving. But we don’t need to wait for a special day to show gratitude. Things happen to us every day that we should be grateful for. If you’re struggling to acknowledge your blessings, keep a gratitude journal and write a few things you are thankful for each day. Over time, that thought process will seep into your daily life. Surround yourself with positive people. The people we associate with play a huge role in our mental well-being. If you’re constantly around people who put you down or tell you that you can’t accomplish certain things, you will feel worse about yourself — or even believe them. You need to block the negative people from your life and surround yourself with those who think optimistically.

fostering positivity in your life will provide you with many benefits.

But doing so is easier said than done. If you’re unsure where to begin, try out some of these methods to help you get started.

Focus on the silver lining. When something bad or unfortunate happens, we are quick to think about the negatives and how they will impact us in the future. Instead, we should

Establishing a positive mindset in today’s world may be difficult, but it is not impossible if you develop a strategy and follow through with it.


Additionally, utilizing teledentistry visits between exams can help lower overall dental costs. If you start to notice dental pain or a problem with your teeth, you can schedule a virtual exam to quickly get answers or advice. This can help prevent or minimize issues for patients without them ever having to step foot inside the office. One of the biggest mistakes people make with teledentistry is expecting these appointments to replace normal dental visits. A dentist needs to look into your mouth to make a proper diagnosis, and sometimes camera views don’t provide a clear enough picture. Plus, teeth cleanings and certain treatments can’t be performed virtually.

The world of teledentistry is growing as new technology is introduced every day. From mouthguards that scan your smile to attachments for your camera that give dentists a better view, the teledentistry industry could drastically change over the next few years. Until then, you’ll still need to stop by our office for some of your dental needs.

When the pandemic first hit, dental offices across the country shut their doors for an extended period of time. Staff could see patients during emergencies, but scheduled cleanings, exams, and treatments got canceled. This led many offices to seek ways to serve patients remotely. Teledentistry has been around since the ‘90s but is now available in more offices than ever because of the pandemic. When done in addition to regular dental exams, teledentistry can be incredibly beneficial for patients and dentists alike. One of the greatest benefits of teledentistry is convenience, since it’s not always easy to find time to visit the office. With teledentistry, dentists can monitor the progress of treatments and also answer any urgent questions a patient may have.


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Zucchini Corn Fritters

Inspired by


• 4 cups shredded zucchini • 1/2 cup corn kernels • 6 green onions, chopped • 3 garlic cloves, minced • 1 1/4 cups chickpea flour

• 1 tsp dried thyme • 1 tsp each salt and pepper • 1 tbsp olive oil • Vegan nacho cheese, black beans, salsa, and avocado for toppings

In today’s day and age, we could all use a little bit more money in our pockets, but it can be difficult to know where and when to cut back to increase savings. Oftentimes, we spend our money on smaller things throughout each week and then wonder where our paycheck went. If you want to start saving more, you must make some lifestyle changes. Below, you will find three easy-to-implement ways to keep more money in your wallet. Adjust your diet. How many times a week do you eat at a restaurant or get coffee from your local coffee shop? While it might not seem like much when you’re spending $3–$7 at a time, it can add up quickly. Cook more meals at home and prepare your coffee before you leave the house so you aren’t tempted to stop and get some on your way to work. You can also meal prep to remove your temptation to eat lunch at a restaurant. Utilize the 30-day rule. When you want to make a purchase that costs more than $100, do you buy it right then or wait so you have time to really decide if you need the product? If you act immediately, chances are that you’ve bought some things in the past that you never even used. Take some time to think about your purchasing decisions when buying an expensive item. If you still believe you want or need the item after 30 days, then there’s a good chance this is something you’ll use. Stick to your budget. If you feel like you’re always short on money, you should take some time to figure out exactly where your money is going. You’ll then need to create a budget so you aren’t spending money on unnecessary purchases. The most important part of managing your budget is sticking to it. Make a list whenever you go to the store — and don’t stray from it. Keep More Money in Your Wallet WITH THESE MONEY-SAVING TRICKS

• 2 tsp ground cumin • 1 tsp dried oregano


1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except oil and toppings. Stir until well combined and let rest for 5 minutes until a batter forms. 2. In a large skillet, warm the oil over medium heat. Scoop 1/4 cup of zucchini mixture into the skillet. Cook for 3–5 minutes, then flip. Cook for another 3–5 minutes until fritter is golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter. 3. Serve topped with nacho cheese, black beans, salsa, and avocado.


too, put a visit to the dentist on your to-do list. With our integrative health screenings, my team and I can spot problems (and solutions) in your kids’ mouths that go way beyond their teeth.

To your great smiles and better health,

P. S. Do you remember the story about listening that I shared in last month’s newsletter? Well, I’m still banned from the kitchen — but I want to do even more listening to you. I’d love to know if there was a time when you visited our clinic and felt heard by me or my team. I really want to hear these stories, so I’m actually offering a prize! If you email yours to before Friday, Sept. 16 , I’ll put your name in our raffle to win tickets for your whole family to SEA LIFE Aquarium. Yes, really! All you have to do is send one email, and you’ll have a shot at the tickets. I hope I’ll hear from you soon — I’ll be watching my inbox right until the last minute.

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10 Shawnee Drive Watchung, NJ 07069


This Issue


Dr. Weddle Gets Sky-High in Scottsdale


Dealing With Negativity? Try These 3 Things! Is Teledentistry Beneficial? Keep More Money in Your Wallet Zucchini Corn Fritters



Comparing the WaterPik and Floss

For decades, brushing and flossing have been promoted as a vital daily dental routine. Everyone claims they floss every day to their dentist, but it’s safe to say some days you definitely forget. The traditional floss has been around for a while, but we have an alternative: the WaterPik. Not sure which one is more effective? Let’s take a look at both options. Then you decide. Traditional Floss Dental floss has always been a crucial part of dental hygiene. Floss scrapes each surface of the tooth to remove plaque and food particles from teeth and gums. You can maneuver the string between your teeth and control the pressure you use. Swiping between every tooth in this manner reduces the chance of plaque buildup and bacteria. Floss does have a few disadvantages — some areas of the mouth are difficult to reach and it can cause minor bleeding if not done regularly. Regardless, flossing is an efficient way to remove excess food from your teeth. Grocery stores or pharmacies sell it inexpensively, and it’s quick and easy to use. The WaterPik This water-flossing product uses a direct stream of pressurized water to massage the gums and push food away from the teeth. It’s great for people who Treat Your Teeth With Care FLOSS LIKE A BOSS

have braces, dental implants, or crowns because they won’t have to struggle to get around those obstacles. The WaterPik can also be an alternative for people who have arthritis or have difficulty working with regular string floss. You can get into those hard-to-reach areas and clean the tight spaces between teeth. Water flossers can be on the pricey side and need a space for storage. It’s not as versatile as floss since it requires electricity and water, so it’s difficult to use outside of the home. But overall, it’s easy and flushes away plaque and bacteria as you use it. Nothing is more flattering than a gorgeous, healthy smile, but taking care of your teeth and gums is about more than just looking good. Both water flossing and traditional flossing are great techniques to prevent gum disease and keep your pearlies looking white.


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I’m so excited about our newest dentist that I can’t stop smiling. Her name is Dr. Wilma Rho, and she has known my mom since the two of them were in dental school together in the 1990s. I grew up calling Dr. Rho “auntie” and admiring her work ethic and philosophy as a dentist. For the last few months, she has been working with my parents at their dental office, Great Smiles of Elizabeth, and now she has officially joined my team on a part-time basis! It’s fantastic to have a friend and mentor like Dr. Rho by my side. She’s a highly experienced dentist and, at one point, even ran her own dental practice in Morris Plains. I wouldn’t trust just anyone with my patients’ teeth, but I definitely trust her. After reading this Q&A I had with her recently, I think you’ll see why. MEET DR. WILMA RHO, OUR NEW DENTIST! She’s Putting Decades of Experience to Work for You

Q: What inspired you to become a dentist? A: I’ve always liked biology and I also liked art. Dentistry is a perfect combination of those things. I traveled from my home country of Brazil to the U.S. in 1985 and went to the NYU College of Dentistry because I always liked working with my hands. I enjoyed crafts and anything hands-on, like sewing, crocheting, and knitting. I’m able to work with my hands very easily, and I love it. Q: Why are you so passionate about what you do? A: I think the mouth is the most important area of the body because everyone has to eat and that affects our general health. In order to eat, you need to chew well, and to chew well, you must have your teeth intact! You need healthy gums and an even position of each tooth. If you don’t have that, your ability to chew can fall 30%–50%. When we give a patient all of the right tools — their teeth — so they can chew well, their digestion gets better and their health gets better. Q: Do you have a special area of interest in dentistry? A: I’ve taken extra courses in dental sleep medicine because I wanted to understand that part of dentistry better. Adding that area gave me the ability to help and educate my patients. I’m not only interested in general practice and the cosmetic part of dentistry, but also in the patient as a whole, and sleeping patterns are very important for that. Q: What are a few exciting advancements you’ve seen over the years? A: In the old days when I was a general practitioner, we didn’t have the cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scanner in the office. We used to refer patients to specialists for that type of imaging! I’m also excited about the one- day ceramic crowns we can make at Great Smiles of New Jersey. It’s wonderful; everything is high-tech now, and Dr. Weddle is on top of the game.

Q: Why are you excited to work at Great Smiles of New Jersey? A: Working with Dr. Weddle is like working with family. I’m very comfortable here, and we have the same philosophy as far as dentistry is concerned.

We’re thrilled to welcome Dr. Rho to the team! She would love to meet you, so the next time you come in for a dental visit, be sure to say hello.



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