Archive for February, 2012

Home Remedies For The Cold Season

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

This time of year, Doctor’s offices are filled with cold and flu patients.  Here at the offices of Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates, we get calls daily from patients who need to change appointments due to illness.  As the temperatures bounce from winter cold to spring time warmth, our immune systems tend to weaken and can not handle the start of cold and flu season adequately.  To ward off sickness, many people use home remedies.  Though home remedies are generally inexpensive and safe when used appropriately, it is important to be careful.  Something as simple as taking the wrong dosage of a certain vitamin can lead to harmful interactions.  It is the best course of action to have a discussion with your doctor to ensure that your efforts will benefit and not hurt your health.

That being said, here are a few of the more popular home remedies that really seem to help!

shower with steamSTEAM  –  A steam shower can be effective in calming coughs.  The moist heat from the shower can provide relief to muscles strained from coughing.  The steam provides warm moisture to the respiratory system, helping to break up mucous and remove it from your system.





HOT SOUP  –  A warm bowl of soup, particularly chicken noodle or onion soup, can help with decongestion, providing moisture to the chest and sinuses while the warmth of the soup sooths the throat.  Soup provides a tasty means of staying hydrated, and ingredients like onion and garlic have antiseptic qualities, potentially helping the body repair itself faster.  At the same time, the sodium found in carrots and celery can help the body metabolize and absorb nutrients.




HOT TEA  –  Drinking hot green tea can also provide some similar benefits as soup.  The heat of the tea soothes the throat, and it is full of antioxidants which helps to strengthen the immune system.






ORANGE JUICE AND VITAMIN C  –  Orange juice is known for boosting the immune system.  A daily dose of Vitamin C as a preventive measure is important because the body does not naturally produce Vitamin C.  A 1000 milligrams dose of vitamin C  is recommended daily as a good preventive measure.





SALINE RINSES  –  Saline rinses are an effective way to reduce congestion symptoms.  Neti pots and saline mists physically remove debris and help you breathe better.  The body’s natural defense  is to flush it out any impurities.  This is why it creates mucus.  Rinsing out mucus and debris can help alleviate allergy and cold symptoms.





HONEY  –  Ingesting local honey every day to reduce allergies is a great help as long as you are not diabetic!  As bees gather nectar from plants to make honey, they are creating a homeopathic remedy for allergies.  This  provides a small doses of the allergen to the patient and builds up their resistance.  Mixing honey into hot tea, however, actually breaks down the enzymes.  It is recommended to eat honey directly from the spoon.

What a Great Case! Jessica Vipperman

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
Jessica Before

Jessica's before smile

Wow!  What a great Case, and what a great young lady.  Jessica Vipperman began her Orthodontic case at our office with Dr. Freeman on August 18th, 2010, and less than a

Jessica After

Jessica's after smile

year and a half later, we  finished up  her case with excellent results.   How did we finish in such a short period of time ?  Because of the cooperation and help of such a wonderful patient.  Jessica did everything she was told right from the start.  From wearing her appliances to being aggressive with her Home Care/Oral Hygiene, Jessica was the key partner in her orthodontic treatment.  Just take a look at her before and after photos and you can see the results.

Jessica’s original issues stemmed from slightly crowded arches and a deep bite.  Jessica’s arches were too narrow to support the width of her adult teeth.  This lack of space caused crowding and rotations of her anterior (front) teeth.  When Jessica would bite down, her upper anterior (front) teeth almost covered her lower anterior teeth completely.  This is called a Deep Bite, and Jessica’s upper front teeth covered 90% of her lower front teeth.  Deep bites are the root cause of many issues as people get older including cracking of the lower front teeth and the need for multiple restoration in this area.  In extreme cases, the lower teeth can cause tissue damage to the roof of the mouth just behind the larger front teeth.

We began Jessica’s treatment by using a fixed series 2000 appliance to expand her arches.  Patients and parents tend to love these appliances because they have an internal spring system to create a slight even pressure.  As her arches expanded, orthodontic brackets and bio-efficient wire were place on the teeth to guide them to a more proper position while the need space was being created.  Once the expansion was complete, it was time to deal with the deep bite.

An appliance called a Rick-N-Nator was placed on Jessica’s upper arch.  This appliance holds an acrylic block behind the upper front teeth.  When the patient bites down, the lower teeth are stopped by the acrylic block in a more proper bite position.  As the patient wears the appliance, the posterior teeth erupt in further until they touch again.  Once the posterior teeth have established a new bite, the appliance can be removed.  On average, this treatment takes five months.

Once we had met all of our goals and Jessica and her parents were happy, all brackets were removed and Jessica was placed into a retainer system.  Jessica took our office oath to be loyal to her retainer because she knows that the retainer will “hold her teeth in positions” and the longer she wears her retainers, the longer lasting her results will be.  We were so very proud of Jessica, and when she smiles, we can see that she is very proud of her teeth.  Who makes us smile?  Great patients like Jessica.  That’s who.

Jessica Lower before

Jessica's lower teeth before



Jessica lower after

Jessica's lower teeth after











jessica smile before

Jessica's smile before



Jessica's smile after

Jessica's smile after

We Celebrate 15 Years with Susan Seward

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

We are delighted to celebrate another special anniversary.  On January 29, 1997, we welcomed Susan Seward to our Dental Team.   15 years later, Susan laughs, “I don’t plan on going anywhere.”  She recalls the offices in Radford, Chesapeake and Richmond where she spent the early years of her career as a Hygienist.  Those positions were jobs, but Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates is her home.

As her husband’s career progressed from Horticulture student to Landscaper to Adjunct Professor at J. Sargent Reynolds,  Susan worked  3-4 years stints in a variety of offices across Virginia.  It was during this time that her skills grew and her experiences with patients deepened.  Still, she never felt like she had found the right office to work with.  Then she interviewed with Dr. Freeman, and she realized very quickly that this was the family atmosphere she had been looking for.

Impressed with the skill of the Dentists and  the commitment of the other staff members, she found herself doing something she had not done before – – – bringing her family to the office where she was working for their Dental care.  “We even brought my daughter’s boyfriend at one point,” she chuckles.  Susan has worked a two or three day week during her 15 years with us.  Currently, she is happy with a schedule that has her in the office Monday and Wednesday and “on call”  to fill in for others as needed.

So how have things changed across the three decades of her career?  “Patients today are better informed,” she observes.  Information is available from TV, the Internet, magazines and newspapers.  She has seen her patients become more aware of the connection between dental care and their overall health, which makes it easier to encourage good home care.  Susan loves to provide this motivation. This increase in awareness makes it easier to explain concepts and treatment to her patients.  It can also be challenging.

“Sometimes,” she says, “we have to answer lots of questions about issues that are in the media.  A famous Doctor will mention something on a show and everyone will get concerned. ”  She welcomes the conversations and takes care to be sure that her patients have the most accurate information.   Today’s patients, who are interested, informed and engaged, make great partners in their own care.

Some other things have changed as well.  Susan remembers the time before masks and gloves, before suction replaced cuspidors and spit bowls.  “So many of the tools of care have improved.”  Technology has improved as well, but, she emphasizes, the fundamentals of good care remain the same.  She is committed to providing great care, fostering communication and maintaining her patient’s comfort.  Of all the things a Dental practice can provide, she says that quality care tops the list of importance.

One of Susan’s skills that we value the most is her responsiveness to her patients–her ability to assess her patient’s needs, to gauge what they need to know, to listen and to communicate.

We are so grateful for the time, talent, care and concern for her patients that Susan has invested with our office.  As we move into the new year, we look forward to a great 2012 with great friends and team members like Susan.



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