Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, oral health, Prevention.

woman with the fluEvery year millions of Americans get knocked down by the flu and suffer the miserable sniffles, annoying coughs, and unbearable body aches. Flu season usually runs from about October through February, but this year, your dentist in Asheboro is here to provide you with some things you can do to help prevent the flu from affecting you and your family. 

Please, Wash Your Hands

Even though you should be doing this regularly anyway, washing your hands multiple times a day becomes even more important throughout the flu season. Your Asheboro dentist recommends lathering up with warm, soapy water after using the restroom, eating meals or snacks, or touching people or public spaces. It can work wonders in keeping germs off of your hands and out of your body. If soap and water aren’t readily available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer. 

Don’t Touch Your Face

Even if you wash your hands religiously, there’s no way you can keep them germ-free every second of the day. Germs are easily transferred from your hands to your face, and sometimes that’s all it takes to get sick. In fact, the CDC states that one of the most common ways germs are spread is by touching a contaminated surface, then touching your nose, mouth, or eyes. These body parts have mucus that can easily transport germs into the body and make you sick. 

Clean Well, Clean Often

Germs can live on surfaces for longer than we may think. They can then be easily transferred to your hands and body. To help reduce this risk, make sure you’re cleaning your home and work area often. Pay attention to things that are touched a lot, such as doorknobs, faucets, toilet handles, keyboards, and even remote controls. 

Drink Water — A Lot of Water

Water is an important part of what helps our bodies function optimally, and a well-hydrated body can better fight off germs to keep you healthy. At a minimum, drink the recommended eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. 

Pay Attention to Your Toothbrush

Your toothbrush can be home to a lot of germs and bacteria. But properly caring for it can remove these germs and keep your teeth and body healthy. Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after every use and store it upright with the bristles at the top. Allow your toothbrush to air dry and avoid capping the bristles. When a toothbrush is covered while wet, it creates an ideal environment for bacteria to flourish. Don’t allow family members’ toothbrushes to touch and never share toothbrushes. 

While there’s no guaranteed way to fully avoid getting the flu, these tips can help reduce the risk. However, if you do happen to get sick, our Asheboro dental office encourages you to use sugar-free medicines to help alleviate your symptoms and protect your teeth. Lastly, if you do get sick, make sure to replace your toothbrush once your symptoms settle.  

Posted by & filed under Dental Hygiene, General Dental Articles, oral health, Prevention.

hygienist in foregroundThere’s a lot to be thankful for as we move into this part of 2019, but October is also a time when the entire nation comes together to observe National Dental Hygiene Month. This is a special part of the year when you, along with your dentist is Asheboro, can take some time out to talk about all of the wonderful things dental hygienists bring to dentistry. 

Without further ado, let’s give dental hygienists everywhere the respect they deserve for a job well done in dental offices across America. Let’s learn a little more about what they do and how you can even help make their life a little easier when you come in for your regular cleanings.

A Little Hygiene History

According to Registered Dental Hygienist Magazine, a new type of dental “nurse” began to help with teeth cleanings to prevent decay and disease dating all the way back to the 1880s. Dr. Albert C. Fones trained his assistant Irene Newman to act as an apprentice. Her early duties mainly involved scaling and polishing teeth, much like modern hygienists. Fones could not wrap his head around the term “dental nurse,” so he started calling his students dental hygienists instead. A whole new, exciting, and vital part of the dental field was born. (What would we do without them?)

National Dental Hygiene Month first started being recognized in October back in 2009 courtesy of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and Wrigley gum. Together, both organizations saw the need for more Americans to put a heavier emphasis on keeping their teeth healthy.

This year, there’s even more to celebrate as the ADHA is partnering with Walgreens and LISTERINE® to promote further the benefits of good oral health and the incredible, life-changing work done by dental hygienists across the nation. There’s even a new, #DoTheSwish campaign happening at participating stores where you can snap a selfie with specially-marked LISTERINE® mouthwash displays for a chance to win some sweet prizes!

How Can I Observe National Dental Hygiene Month?

The best way to show your dental hygienist some love is to come into our Asheboro dental office for a cleaning. While you’re there, be sure to share how much you appreciate the kind of care your hygienist provides for your smile. 

When you’re at home, you can do these things to help maintain all of the hard work dental hygienists and dentists do to keep your teeth healthy.

1) Brush Twice a Day

Remember, the golden rule to brushing is doing it twice a day for two minutes. Make sure you’re using a soft brush where the bristles are free from wear and tear. Regular brushing is going to keep bad breath away, help keep teeth free from decay, and make your dental hygienist’s day the next time your due for a cleaning. 

2) Floss Once a Day

As funny as it seems, flossing made headlines a while back when there was a debate about whether or not it’s necessary. Your Asheboro dentist (and dental hygienist) will tell you that it’s OK to floss every day. Flossing can reach up to 30 percent more of your tooth surfaces where brushing can’t reach. You’ll be able to get rid of nasty food particles that can lead to decay and disease down the road.

3) Rinse Your Mouth

Mouthwash is a great way to seal the deal on your at-home oral health routine so that you know your teeth are protected and healthy. It also helps to keep your breath fresh. Aim to make rinsing with mouthwash something you do each day after you finish flossing and brushing. An excellent antimicrobial rinse can work wonders for your mouth and breath!

We hope you learned a little something about dental hygienists and what they do. We also hope you reach out to us either by phone or online to learn more about taking care of your smile. If you’re scheduled to see your dental hygienist this month for a cleaning, share a big smile and thank you with them for all that they do for you!

Posted by & filed under Dental Hygiene, General Dental Articles, oral health, Prevention.

young woman in dental chairNothing gives some people more dread in their stomach than knowing they need to see their dentist in Asheboro soon. It doesn’t matter if it’s a regular visit and cleaning or a first-time appointment to establish care, there’s a good chance you or someone you know feels anxiety no matter what the reason is for the appointment.

You should know that if you or someone in your family struggles with a fear of seeing the dentist, you’re not alone. The Cleveland Clinic estimates between 9 and 15 percent of Americans avoid going to the dentist out of fear or anxiety. 

There’s a solution for everything, including your apprehension about seeing the dentist. Here are a few ways to get you started with having a healthier smile. We promise that following these simple steps will help you feel more relaxed and at ease about dental treatment.

Step #1: Just Talk to Us

All you have to do is give our Asheboro dental office a call. Let us know what you’re feeling and what you’d like to do about your smile. It’s just that easy. If you’re not ready to talk just yet, why not send us an email or message online? All we want to do is start a conversation with you, at your own pace and always without pressure or obligation. 

By communicating with us, your stress levels should lower because you’re learning more about what to expect during your appointment, and we get to know you and your needs. Trust us when we say we see patients every day who are not too excited about having to sit in the dental chair, even for as something as routine as a cleaning. We have the right tools and training to make sure you’re always feeling comfortable and at ease.

Remember, starting with the first phone call if you’re a new patient, share your questions and concerns with our dental team. We can adapt to fit your needs and your schedule, to make seeing the dentist an experience that’s stress-free (and maybe even a little fun).

Step #2 – Learn to Breathe Easy

We know the last thing you want to hear when you’re experiencing high anxiety is to “just breathe.” But focusing on your breathing is very effective at lowering your stress levels and blood pressure, helping you to feel more at ease.

There’s even a handy little trick you can use to help you remember to focus on your breath and relax, instead of dreading your time with the dentist. It’s known as the 4-7-8 breathing technique or “relaxing breath.” Try breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. Some people say doing this deep, rhythmic breathing can even help them fall asleep in as little as one minute.

Step #3 – Keep Coming Back to Avoid Us

Now that you know how to get comfortable before seeing the dentist, you can prepare for any visit. And remember this: it may seem a bit strange, but the best way to avoid the dentist is to see your dentist regularly. If you can overcome your anxiety and get through regular, routine checkups and cleanings, then there’s a good chance you’ll be able to avoid more extensive, time-consuming procedures in the future.

We hope this blog helps you feel better about reaching out to our dental office in Asheboro. Our team is gentle, caring, and understanding of what it feels like to worry about seeing the dentist. We’ve got you covered to ensure you’re free from dental anxiety so you can enjoy the healthy smile you deserve!

Posted by & filed under Dental Emergency, Mouthguards, oral health, Prevention.

kids playing lacrosseIt’s always good to get out and get some exercise. When you’re participating in any sport, your dentist in Asheboro will always remind you to protect your smile. All too often, we talk about avoiding sweets or sports drinks, food, and beverages that can damage your enamel and break down teeth. We forget about what’s happening on the field, the court, or the ice that may be putting your teeth in far greater danger than a piece of candy.

We’re going to break down the top 4 most dangerous sports for smiles. (We’re willing to bet you can’t guess what number one is… it fools a lot of folks!)

#1 – Sports That Rely on Sticks, Bats, Etc.

There’s a reason this is number one on our list. Sports involving the combination of a ball and a stick or bat are a big danger to your smile. Think about what it’s like for your teeth to be on the receiving end of a stick or a bat. Not too fun right? Some popular pastimes that fall into this category include:

– Baseball

– Hockey

– Field Hockey

– Lacrosse

– Cricket

– And More

One of the most damaging things about these sports is that athletes (we’re talking to you, hockey players) tend not to wear mouthguards. We don’t know if it’s wanting to appear tougher, etc. but it can have a significant impact on your smile and your wallet if your teeth get knocked out by a fastball or slapshot. 

(And don’t think football should be left off this list. Football players wear mouthguards for a reason, whether it’s contact or even a football to the face, there’s damage to be done on the gridiron.)

#2 – X-treme Sports

This one goes out to all of our thrill-seekers and fans of alternative-type sports. There’s certainly nothing wrong with:

– Shredding some pipe on your skateboard

– Enjoying corduroy conditions on your snowboard

– Doing some freestyle tricks on your BMX bike

You may think these sports are reserved for the pros you see killing it at the X-Games, but in all reality, they’re still pretty popular recreational activities. Sometimes you take a tumble or suffer a fall that impacts your smile. This can spell big trouble for teeth, both big and small. Your Asheboro dentist reminds dads, moms, and kids to protect your teeth with a custom sportsguard!

#3 – Boxing, MMA, Martial Arts

Sports such as martial arts, mixed martial arts, boxing, and others shouldn’t be overlooked when taking teeth. On the professional level, most of these types of sports require a participant to wear some form of mouthguard or sportsguard. But that still doesn’t mean that accidents can’t happen when you take a kick or a punch straight to the face.  

#4 – Basketball

Even though it’s number four on our list, basketball actually ranks at the top for being dangerous for your smile. This is simply because many players, whether on the court at the local gym or suiting up for the NBA, don’t wear a mouthguard or sportsguard. Despite how it might appear sometimes, basketball can get pretty physical, and it’s easy for an elbow to go flying and smack you right in the mouth. Players are often exerting a lot of force to gain position or control of the ball to get that game-changing shot. Believe it or not, basketball can be bad for your smile!

We hope you always give it your all, no matter what you do. Remember that it only takes a few seconds to do damage to your teeth, whether they’re broken or completely knocked out when you’re playing the sport you love. Your smile is yours for the rest of your life, so you want to make sure you’re taking all of the necessary steps to protect it both on and off the field, court, or ice. 

Don’t forget to take your mouth or sportsguard with you when you’re suiting up. We want you and your smile to be part of the action for years to come. Stay safe and always remember to have fun. 

If, for whatever reason, you ever find yourself in a dental emergency, please don’t hesitate to call our Asheboro dental office right away. There’s always someone ready to listen and help you get out of pain, fast. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment for you and your smile.

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

woman with clear dental alignerIt seems like every day there’s a new option for patients to straighten their smiles at home or on their own with mail-order orthodontics. But are they safe? Are they effective? Are they worth the discounted prices compared to more traditional orthodontics? Your dentist in Asheboro will be the first to tell you that if you or someone in your family needs a straighter smile, you should rely on professional help!

There are plenty of reasons why your smile care should always stay in the hands of a dedicated, educated, and caring professional. Here are three of the biggest reasons to avoid do-it-yourself orthodontics at home.

Reason #1 – There’s Damage to Be Done

Undergoing any orthodontic treatment should be taken seriously. You need someone in the driver’s seat who knows the route you want to take so that you can avoid an unnecessary accident down the road. The clear aligner treatments you see advertised on TV and online rely on a dental impression that you create at home. If there are any flaws or mistakes in that impression, your treatment could completely change your smile in a not-so-good way. You could have bite problems down the road, including chipping or breaking teeth.

Reason #2 – Aligners Might Not Work for You

Every person is different, and so are their smiles. There are so many ways to achieve a healthy, more confident smile thanks to all of the advancements in dentistry and orthodontics. Mail-order kits can only offer you clear aligner therapy. You’re taking a big chance on whether it’s going to work for your smile. When you see a trusted dental health professional like your Asheboro dentist, they can help you choose an orthodontic solution that’s right for you. Read the reviews associated with the mail-order or DIY aligners.. some people say it made their smile and bite worse!

Reason #3 – It Could Cost You More in the Long Run

So, you’re super excited about your DIY aligner therapy. You’re saving some money by doing it all on your own. You get the kit. Make your impressions. Receive your aligners. You go through the process. Unfortunately, your teeth take a turn for the worse and the next thing you know — your bite isn’t right. If you choose DIY orthodontics, there’s a chance it could harm and not improve your smile. When that happens, you could face more costly, lengthy orthodontic treatment, or maybe even surgery. We’ll have to repair the damage that’s been done and then find the right treatment to set things straight. 

Whatever the reason you’re trying to straighten your smile, everyone at our Asheboro dental office is here for you. Don’t let the ads fool you. Talk to us before doing anything to your teeth. We can find a sensible, affordable solution for patients of all ages. 

Posted by & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry.

dental veneersThanks to the internet, we can now buy basically anything we want in just a few clicks and have it delivered right to our front door. Unfortunately, this mindset of buying things online has made its way into the dental world, and patients can purchase anything from teeth whitening kits to at-home orthodontics and DIY dental veneers without ever seeing their dentist in Asheboro. Today, we want to talk about some of the problems with DIY veneers and why you should think twice before adding these temporary appliances to your shopping cart. 

What Are DIY Veneers?

DIY veneers are dental appliances that anyone can buy online. They’re often made from cheaper materials and are designed to give users a temporary new smile. DIY veneers are usually affixed to natural teeth through a dental adhesive. Some brands may require patients to take and mail-in molds of their teeth prior to creating the appliance while other brands do not. 

Disadvantages of DIY Veneers

We understand that the lower price tag can make DIY veneers attractive to someone looking to improve the appearance of their smile. However, our dental team in Asheboro encourages anyone considering DIY veneers to read these disadvantages before buying. 

  • Temporary – DIY veneers are only meant to be worn occasionally, and some patients can only tolerate them for a few hours at a time. Additionally, the materials used in many DIY veneers are of low quality. This means it’s highly likely that multiple sets will need to be purchased over time. So while the lower price tag may have had its appeal at first, the fact that patients only get short periods of an improved appearance can quickly counteract any savings. 
  • Not Custom – Unlike professional veneers from your dentist in Asheboro, DIY veneers are not truly custom — even the brands that require molds of your teeth aren’t really custom. There’s nobody to take the size of your natural teeth or mouth into consideration and nobody to monitor how the device fits in your mouth. This often results in an uncomfortable fit and an unflattering appearance.
  • Bite Problems – A bigger concern of using DIY veneers relates to how they can affect the rest of your mouth, specifically your bite. If the appliance is uncomfortable or doesn’t fit correctly, patients tend to unknowingly adjust their bite or put unnecessary strain on their teeth and jaw joints. This can cause pain and, over time, problems with the TMJ/TMD. 
  • Decay – Another problem that can occur from an ill-fitting DIY veneer appliance is decay. If there are any spaces between the appliance, the glue, and the natural teeth, it gives food particles and bacteria the perfect place to hide and cause damage. The longer the food pieces of bacteria are left to linger, the more likely a patient is to get a cavity or severe decay.  

You don’t need to rely on a cheap and concerning DIY dental appliance that you can buy online. There are many different forms of cosmetic dentistry available to fix any problem you may have. If you’re unhappy with any aspect of your smile, do yourself and favor and call your Asheboro dentist to set up a consultation. It’s the best way to make sure you get a truly custom, permanent solution that you’ll be happy with. 

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

fluoride conceptWhen it comes to the oral health of you and your family, you may have heard about the importance of fluoride. You may have also heard a few arguments against it. At our dental office in Asheboro, we want to take the opportunity to talk a little bit about fluoride, what it is, why it’s crucial for our smiles, and yes, even discuss a few risks. 

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that’s found in nature, specifically in soil, water, plants, and the air we breathe. In the world of dentistry, fluoride is used to help strengthen tooth enamel and protect teeth against decay and cavities. It can also help repair early decay caused by demineralization. 

Demineralization occurs when acids from bacteria and foods linger around and actually begin to eat away at the protective layer of enamel. But enamel isn’t the only thing affected during demineralization. Our teeth can also lose minerals such as calcium, phosphate, and fluoride. These minerals are essential to keeping our teeth tough and strong to fight off decay…  so it’s important to replace them either through the foods we eat or from fluoride treatments from your Asheboro dentist

Who Should Get Fluoride?

When you think of fluoride, you may assume that it’s only important for kids. But nearly everyone’s smile can benefit from fluoride. Your dentist in Asheboro will most likely recommend that both you and your children receive a fluoride treatment at every dental appointment to help build strong teeth and protect against cavities. These treatments are typically either a varnish, foam, or gel that are applied in the dental office. 

Where to Get Fluoride?

Besides having your dental team apply a fluoride treatment, there are other ways you can help your teeth get enough fluoride. Most public water supplies have added fluoride, and it can be found in some foods you eat. There’s also fluoride in many kinds of toothpaste and mouthwash. Fluoride supplements are also available and may be recommended if you don’t have fluoridated water or if you need an extra boost of fluoride. 

Is Fluoride Safe?

Fluoride is safe for children and adults in recommended amounts, which will vary based on things such as risk, need, and age. However, fluoride can be hazardous if it’s used too much. This risk is extremely low as it’s extremely difficult to expose yourself to dangerous levels of fluoride through fluoridated water, toothpaste, and fluoride treatments from your dentist. A good rule of thumb is to remember to always follow your dentist’s recommendations, don’t swallow toothpaste or mouthwash, and monitor children’s brushing habits at home. 

If you’re unsure if fluoride is right for you or your family, or if you have questions about fluoride, we welcome you to call our Asheboro dental office and schedule a visit. We’re here to help!

Posted by & filed under Dental Hygiene, oral health, Prevention.

dental flossWhen it comes to great oral health, you’ll often hear your dentist in Asheboro talk a lot about proper brushing and the importance of doing it every day. But there’s a good chance your dental team also talks to you about why you should be flossing every day. And with good reason.  Flossing greatly lowers your risk of developing cavities or gum disease, and if you don’t floss, you miss out on cleaning about 35% of your teeth! So today, we’d like to cover some of the different types of dental floss available so you can find the one that’s best for you. 

Traditional Floss

The tried and true traditional string floss is probably the most commonly used floss out there. It’s been tested and proven time and again to effectively remove plaque buildup in-between teeth and up under the gum line, allowing for healthier mouths overall. There are many positives to using traditional floss including: 

  • It’s compact and easy to store or travel with
  • It works 
  • It’s pretty cheap

But traditional floss doesn’t come without cons. Some people find this type of floss difficult or cumbersome to use and, therefore, don’t get a very thorough cleaning. Younger children or those with limited use of their hands or fingers may have trouble effectively using traditional floss and should seek an alternative. 

Floss Picks

Individuals who may have trouble using traditional floss may choose to try floss picks. These plastic picks can be easier to use and are still convenient to store and pack in your travel bag. Floss picks use a threaded piece of floss in between two sturdy posts; this eliminates the need to wind loose floss around your fingers and work to fit them into the back of your mouth. However, many times more than one floss pick will be needed for each flossing session so you may go through your supplies faster than traditional floss. 

Water Flosser

The most high-tech flossing option is an electric water flosser. These devices are highly effective at removing plaque and bacteria safely and gently. They can even help decrease time spent flossing. The truth is, your dentist in Asheboro is probably a big fan of using a water flosser. But again, they may not be the right fit for everyone. They are electric, which does require them to be plugged in or charged regularly, and they can also be pretty big so they’re not the most convenient thing to store. Lastly, water flossers are more expensive than traditional floss or floss picks. 

The most important thing to remember when choosing the best dental floss for you is to make sure you pick an option that you’ll use. If you need some guidance on finding the type of floss that will work best for your oral health, as well as your comfort, talk with your dentist in Asheboro

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, oral health, Prevention.

kids swimmingSwimming pools may seem like an odd thing for your dentist in Asheboro to talk about, but besides being a long-time summer favorite and a relaxing escape from the heat, swimming pools may actually pose an unwanted threat to your teeth. Now, before you forego all pools this summer (trust us, we don’t want that!), let’s take a look at just how and why pool water may be dangerous for your smile.

Pool Water & Your Oral Health

It’s worth noting that not all pool water is dangerous pool water. But it is important to talk about the pool water that can be a threat to your oral health. The problem with pool water and your oral health arises when the pH falls below an acceptable safe range (usually 7.2 and 7.8). When the pH is too low, pool water can actually become acidic. That’s where the problem lies. Acidic pool water can not only cause burning eyes and skin irritation, but it can also contribute to enamel erosion and tooth discoloration

The Importance of Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel is the incredibly tough outer layer of teeth and protects our pearly whites from decay, bacteria, and sensitivity. While tooth enamel is incredibly strong, it can become damaged over time. Often, either brushing too hard or exposing your teeth to too much acid are the main causes behind enamel erosion. This includes prolonged exposure to acidic pool water. 

What are the Signs of a Problem?

The most immediate signs that your pool water’s pH is too low are burning eyes and irritated skin. But over time you may begin to notice damage to your smile, including increased sensitivity caused by the tooth roots becoming exposed, or little brown spots known as swimmer’s calculus. If you notice any of these signs, call your dentist in Asheboro to schedule an appointment

Who’s At Risk?

Many times a casual swimmer won’t experience the damages of pool water, but the more time spent in a pool, the risk increases. In fact, according to a study of competitive swimmers conducted in the 1980’s, nearly 40% of them had some level of enamel erosion.

Protecting Your Smile

One of the best ways to protect your smile is, of course, to brush and floss properly and see your dentist in Asheboro regularly. But when it comes to protecting your smile against the potential dangers of pool water, make sure to test your water’s pH regularly and try your best to keep pool water out of your mouth as much as possible.

Posted by & filed under oral health, Prevention, Wisdom Teeth.

wisdom teethWisdom teeth can be a pesky problem, whether they need to be removed or not. While there are times when your dentist in Asheboro may suggest keeping wisdom teeth around, it’s most common to have wisdom teeth removed. In fact, over 90% of Americans have their wisdom teeth removed. So when can they stay and when do they have to go?  

Reasons Wisdom Teeth Need to be Extracted

There’s No Room For Them

The top reason wisdom teeth need to be removed is that there’s no more room in your mouth for four more teeth. If this is happening, your dental team will be able to identify it early through dental x-rays. When there’s simply not enough room for your wisdom teeth, extraction will be recommended. If treatment is not completed and the teeth start to erupt, a whole host of issues can occur including overcrowding, crookedness, and jaw pain. Your wisdom teeth may also become impacted, which is just a way to say that the teeth become stuck. Once wisdom teeth are impacted, the surgery is a bit more complicated but still fairly easy.

Proper Care Becomes Difficult

If you’re one of the rare cases where your wisdom teeth grow in straight and healthy, your Asheboro dentist may still recommend having them removed. This is to prevent additional problems such as cavities and gum disease in the future. You see, wisdom teeth are way in the back of the mouth and are very difficult to brush and floss properly. This can cause bacteria and plaque build-up, which will put you at an increased risk of decay.

When Don’t Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed?

Even though 90% of Americans need to have their wisdom teeth out, there are a few cases when wisdom teeth grow in just fine. If your wisdom teeth have enough room to fully erupt without disrupting the neighboring teeth and you’re not having trouble taking care of them, you may just be able to keep them. Remember, your dental team will continue to monitor their health to make sure they’re still ok where they are, and that your mouth and smile are staying healthy.

Seeing your dentist regularly is the best way to determine whether or not you should have your wisdom teeth removed. If you think you may need to have your wisdom teeth checked out, give our Asheboro dental office a call to schedule an appointment today.