Winter Park Dentist Blog

We’ll miss you, Joyce!

We'll miss you Joyce!

After 10 years working for Dr. Alan Price and now Dr. Drew Byrnes in our office, our receptionist Joyce has decided to retire. She will be greatly missed around the office but we are happy that she will be spending more time with her grandchildren. Whether it was by greeting people walking through our doors or answering the phones in her own cheery manor, Joyce always had a special way of making our patients feel welcome and comforted in our office. She has assured us that even though she is retiring, she will not be disappearing. She is going to remain a patient so that means that we will get to see her AT LEAST every six months. That’s not as good as every day but, hey, we’ll take what we can get! Congratulations Joyce! You will be missed!

Voted Best Dentist in Winter Park and Maitland for 2016

Voted Best Dentist in Winter Park and Maitland in 2016

For the second year in a row, we were voted the best dentist in Winter Park and Maitland. We really love what we do and I think that shows to our patients and the community who voted for us. Whether it’s easing a child into their first visit to the dentist or restoring someone’s confidence in their smile through a smile makeover, we love what we do. I truly hope that our passion for what we do shows to every person that comes through our office. I am so grateful for every person that has put their trust in me to be their dentist. I love that every day that I come in to work, I get to help someone. I don’t know if any of these reasons contributed to why so many people voted for us, but…

Thank you for voting for us!

If you haven’t been into our office in a while, or you are looking for a dentist, I would like to invite you to come join our family. We have recently completed a number of improvements intended to enhance the patient experience. We completely renovated our reception area and the restrooms. Our interior designer (my wife) took our vision of a welcoming, “homey” space and made something really beautiful.

winter park dentist office remodel

We now have iPads available for our patients to use to stream music or watch movies during appointments. We are constantly improving our dental materials and techniques to ensure that the dentistry that we perform lasts a lifetime. Most importantly, I feel that the “culture” in our office is becoming more enjoyable everyday. We like to have fun at work and that helps our patients feel more comfortable in our office.

If you’ve been away from the dentist for a while, now is the time to come back. It’s never been easier to be a patient at our office. Our hygienists are friendly with a gentle touch and I hear that our dentist is also top notch. If you do decide to become a patient at our office, we promise to treat you like you are family.

Floss Like a Boss℠


Floss Like a Boss

Is your floss game weak? Think you’re ready to take it to the next level? This road is not for everyone. Narrow and waxy is the path that leads to perfect hygiene, but wide and sugary is the path that leads to cavities. If you think that you have what it take to Floss Like a Boss, get ready, because I’m about to tell you the secret.

Before I tell you, first ask yourself, how often do you floss? And I don’t mean like when the hygienist asks you how often do you floss and you say, “Everyday” but what you really mean to say is, “You should know. You did it six months ago.”

How often do you really floss? If your answer to that question is every six months, or every so often or anything other than everyday, then I need you to stop reading and go home. When you get there, open up that drawer in your bathroom that you don’t open too often. You’ll likely see several small rectangular boxes. Open one of them. Do you see that white thread inside? That’s called floss. Use it.

If you’re one of the rare people that claims that they floss everyday and is not lying through the plaque between their teeth, well, congratulations! You Floss Like a Boss!

However, if you are in that first group of flakey flossers, I have some tips for you.



Ever heard of nunchucks? Well how about GumChucks? Floss your gums ninja fast with these bad boys. It’ll be a full on plaque attack.




For those of you who need the occasional quick floss but want something a little less lethal, consider using flosspicks. Quick. Simple. Effective.



Dr. Drew Byrnes - Floss Like a Boss℠


Want to remove the string all together? The next two products are for you. AirFloss is a product by Sonicare that claims to be able to replace actual floss. I tried it. In my opinion, it is not as good as actually flossing, but it is better than doing nothing.

Philips Sonicare Airfloss


Water Flosser

My final suggestion has been around for a while but it is a fairly decent flossing alternative. It’s called a Water Flosser. They even make a version that attached to your shower head so that you can use it in the shower. Nice.


Keep in mind that nothing will replace the good ole’ fashion string between the teeth, but pick one of these and try it. It just might be the thing that you need to start flossing. With a little hard work, you too can Floss Like a Boss.

Ministry through Dentistry: My Dental Mission Trip to Guatemala

Winter Park Dentist Mision Trip

Last week, I traveled with the Christian Dental Society of the University of Florida to Palin, Guatemala. By the grace of God, we saw more patients on this trip than any of the 6 other dental mission trips that I have been able to go on. With 7 dentists and 30 dental students we were able to treat almost 1000 patients in just four days. We provided services to these patients including fillings, cleanings, fluoride treatments and tooth extractions.

Every time I go on a trip like this, I find myself humbled and surprised by the gratitude of the people that I meet. You might think that waiting outside all day in a long line just to get a tooth pulled might make some people unhappy. This was not the case in Guatemala. Every patient that I met was eager to greet me with a handshake and thank me with a hug.

Winter Park dentist treats patients on mission tripWith no suction, poor lighting and only two dental chairs, you could say that the conditions were less than ideal. Still, we managed to provide a high level of care to people who would otherwise not be able to afford it. We were only able to see by using flashlights that attached to our heads. In an ideal scenario, we would be able to lay every patient back in a dental chair, but all we had were plastic patio chairs. To make patients more comfortable, we would often allow them to rest their head on our leg or hip while we worked. You could say that the whole experience was somewhat like pulling teeth.

In the end, seeing the gratitude in our patients’ eyes washed away any aches and pains from poor posture and improper lighting. The week culminated with a large church service where many of the patients showed up to say thank you and to pray for us.

Orlando Dentist Mission Trip

Dr. Byrnes teaching kids how to brush and floss their teeth.

This week was about much more than dentistry to us. This was about sharing God’s love with every person that we met. We made this our priority by praying with our patients before treating them. We found that they were extremely grateful that we took the time to pray for them. It also gave most patients a deep sense of peace before beginning their treatment.

It is this element of the trip that I enjoy the most and the part that will keep me going back for years to come. Even though I do not speak Spanish, I find that God’s love is universal and can be communicated without words. I would like to say thank you to everyone who said a prayer for our trip and our safe travels.

God bless! Or as they say in Guatemala, “¡Dios te bendiga!”

Orlando Dental Group Mission Trip

Dr. Drew Byrnes Recently Featured in Best of Orlando Edition of Orlando Magazine

Orlando Magazine Best of Orlando Edition

Our practice was recently featured in the Best of Orlando edition of the Orlando Magazine. I wanted to share it with the readers of our blog. I was asked the answer the following questions for the magazine:

Q. Is there such a thing as painless dentistry?
A. My number one goal is to never hurt a patient. Some simple procedures can be performed painlessly without an injection. However, when it is necessary to get numb, there are several techniques that can be used to make it as painless as possible.

Q. What is Invisalign and can I use it to straighten my teeth?
A. Invisalign is a system that uses clear trays to move teeth. Most people tend to prefer Invisalign over metal braces because they look better and feel better. However, Invisalign does not work for every person so it is important to have your dentist look at your teeth to see if you qualify. If your dentist is not certified to do Invisalign, we offer a free consultation.

Q. I’m new to the area. What is the best way to find a dentist?
A. A good place to start is to ask a friend or coworker if they like their dentist. From there, you can look up the dentist online and see if they have good reviews online. It can also be helpful to ask your local or state dental organizations.

Dr. Drew Byrnes in Orlando Magazine

You can see our feature (pictured above) in this month’s special “Best of Orlando” edition of Orlando Magazine.

Illustration by Brian Nutt/Orlando Magazine

The Lion Killing Dentist

The Lion Killing Dentist

If by some chance you haven’t already heard, earlier this week, Dr. Walter James Palmer, an american dentist from Minnesota, hunted and killed Cecil the lion. Cecil was the most famous lion in one of Zimbabwe’s national parks. The dentist has now apparently gone into hiding. There has been coverage of the story all over the news and social media.

The media seems to love the fact that this guy is a dentist. In all of the articles that I have read, Walter Palmer is identified as an “American dentist.” I question why that is a relevant detail. If Walter Palmer was a teacher or an engineer, would we be reading that in the headlines? Maybe.

Maybe I just notice it more because I am a dentist, but it seems to me like dentist are often portrayed in poplar media as something to be feared. This view can leave someone so afraid of dentists that they refuse to get regular dental check ups. This is bad because we know that oral health is linked to systemic health and having an infection in your mouth can affect the rest of your body.

Whether you approve or disapprove of this man’s actions, please do not let this unfortunate event keep you from going to the dentist. If you are afraid of dentist, we are here to help. If you haven’t been in a while, make an appointment and get your teeth checked. We won’t hurt you.

I’m not “lion.” Don’t be a scaredy cat. If you do get nervous, just tell yourself, “hakuna matata.”

And that’s all the lion puns that I have for now.

Dr. Drew Byrnes

Voted Best Dentist in Winter Park and Maitland for 2015

Voted Best Dentist in Winter Park and MaitlandEach year, the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and the Winter Park / Maitland Observer asks the community to vote for their favorite local business. This year, our dental office, Dr. Drew Byrnes Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, was voted “Best Dentist” in Winter Park and Maitland! We were recognized on January 22nd, 2015, at a special awards ceremony called the Ovation Awards.

This is a huge honor for me and our office. So, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! Thank you to everyone who voted for us and to everyone who appreciates us being apart of this wonderful community. This is a particularly meaningful acknowledgment because I have been working in our current Winter Park location for less than a year. (Prior to having my own office here, I worked in a few other locations in the Orlando area.) To be voted “Best Dentist” in that amount of time is unheard of and I think I should give credit where credit is due. I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about the long history of our office and to brag about our amazing staff.

Our dental office has been serving the Winter Park, Maitland and Orlando area for over 70 years. It was opened by Dr. Wilbur Jennings in about 1945. Dr. Jennings first started working as a dentist in the Navy. After completing his service, he opened the doors of his own dental practice in Winter Park, FL. The original office was over on New England Avenue. We still have patients in our office today who remember Dr. Jennings’ jovial personality. They say he was lighthearted and always had his patients laughing about one thing or another. Around 1970, Dr. Jennings moved his practice to our current location where he later sold the practice to a young buck named Alan Price.

Dr. Alan Price was the solo dentist in our office for about 40 years until he retired last May. As a native Floridian, Alan has been a Winter Park resident for many years. While we do still have some patients that remember Dr. Jennings (our own hygienist, Cheryl, saw Dr. Jennings when she was a child!), the majority of our practice has had Dr. Price as their family dentist. Just like Dr. Jennings, Dr. Price served several years in the Navy before practicing privately.

Now alongside any doctor is his staff, and not to brag too much, but I think I have the best staff. Our hygienist Paula has been with the practice for 31 years! Ask anyone who sees Paula regularly for their cleanings and they’ll tell you that Paula is more than just a friend, she’s family. Like I mentioned before, our other hygienist, Cheryl, even saw Dr. Jennings when she was younger so she can attest to his kindness (and great dentistry!). Both dentist became apart of the very fabric of that makes this community great and it is my dream to do the same.

When it comes down to it, this award means a lot to me. It doesn’t just showcase my work as a dentist, but honors the work that my staff puts forth and it shows how we’ve come to connect with our patients and this community. It’s a place where three generations of dentist have become much more than just a “dentist” to their patients.

So, on behalf or Dr. Jennings, Dr. Price, Paula, Cheryl, Joyce, Kimberly, Catherine and myself…

Thank you friends!

5 Tips for Healthy Teeth in 2015

It’s that time of year again! It’s the time for resolutions and the new and improved you. A lot us like to think of the New Year as a time to reflect and aim towards becoming the best version of ourselves. However, everyone is different so everyone sets different goals. But, everyone has teeth (well, most everyone) so everyone can benefit from following these tips for healthier teeth in 2015.

1. Brush your teeth (DUH!)


Okay, so this one should go without saying but we have to state the obvious anyways. It’s just something you’re going to have to deal with hearing from your dentist for the rest of your life! You might be thinking, “I already do that one.” In that case, very good! But are you brushing properly? You would be amazed by how many of our patients brush too aggressively or may be getting cavities because they aren’t brushing the right way. Let 2015 be the year that you brush up on brushing. A good tip to get you started is bringing your toothbrush to your next dental cleaning and asking your hygienist watch you brush. Ask her what you could be doing better.

2. Get Fancy


Looking to spice things up in the oral hygiene department? Maybe it’s time to buy a new fancy electric toothbrush. Patients of mine often ask me if those things really work or if they are worth the money. My response is always the same, “That depends on you.” In my opinion, if you do a good job with a manual toothbrush, you don’t need an electric toothbrush. The opposite of that is also true. If you don’t use a manual toothbrush properly then you probably won’t use an electric toothbrush properly. It just all depends on you. But one thing is certain, buying a new fancy toy, even if it is a toothbrush, has the potential to make brushing your teeth go from a “tolerable” task to “almost enjoyable.”

3. Floss


This is another no brainer and we really shouldn’t have to list it here. But take a moment, look at yourself in the mirror and try saying, “I floss everyday” with a straight face. Couldn’t do it? Don’t feel bad. You’re definitely not alone, many people are part of the “occasional flossing” club. Want to make a positive change for your health this year? Forget the diet pills, forget the exercise equipment, and start flossing. It will change your life. Look at the bright side, it’s not as time consuming as working out and you won’t get as sweaty!

4. Snack Smarter

This is another very important area. Cavities come from bacteria that live in your mouth. They eat the sugar that you eat and cause cavities. This is why dentists recommend eating less sugar. Another good tip is to snack quickly. If you are going to have sugary snack or beverage, it is better to finish it all in one sitting rather than snack on it continuously. Just about the worst thing that you could do would be to take a sip of a sugary drink every ten minutes. It is much better for your teeth if you finish it all at once. Using a straw can also help avoid straining the fronts of your teeth. If you are a chocolate lover, you might want to take a look at our last blog post: Dark Chocolate May Actually Be Good For Your Teeth


But seriously, this one is a must do. If you’ve been away from the dentist for a while, make 2015 the year that you make your triumphant return. It’s about more than just having healthy teeth. In our office, we screen every patient for signs of oral cancer. More research is coming out all the time connecting poor oral health to poor general health conditions, like heart disease. Come to the dentist, your mouth and heart will thank you.

Bonus: Try whitening

White teeth do not necessarily mean healthy teeth. But someone who takes the time to whiten their teeth tends to take better care of their pearly whites. And a beautiful white smile is always the perfect accessory!

Dark Chocolate May Actually Be Good For Your Teeth

winter park dentist on dark chocolate 02Let’s be honest, if you’re a chocolate lover like so many of us, it’s easy to drag your feet when it’s time for your cleanings with our Winter Park dentist. Having your family dentist tell you that you need to cut back on chocolate probably isn’t what you want to hear. But if you’re a dark chocolate lover, we have some good news for you! We know that sugar only isn’t the culprit in producing dental cavities, and a common ingredient in dark chocolate can actually cut back the growth of dental plaque. In fact, a certain ingredient in dark chocolate might actually be GOOD for your teeth!

So how does a cavity develop? Bacteria on the tooth’s surface, known as plaque or biofilm, break down starch and metabolize sugars which form acid. This acid starts to demineralize the surface of a tooth. So this means that cavities form because the bacteria that live in your mouth break down the sugar that you eat and turn it into acid. The acid then makes a hole in your tooth. So, sugar is bad for your teeth only because of the bacteria.

winter park dentist likes dark chocolate 01Now what makes dark chocolate different than any other type of chocolate? Dark chocolate contains a higher proportion of cocoa solids than milk chocolate. Because of this, dark chocolate is better equipped to reserve more of the nutritional value found in cocoa. Research has shown that tannin, which is found in cocoa, may help in cutting down the growth of plaque. This is because there is oxalic acid in cocoa which aids in lowering acid production!

Maybe this gives a tiny peace of mind when you’re snacking on your favorite dark chocolate. We’re not too sure how to help with those extra pounds chocolate likes to sneak up on you, but at least we got your teeth covered! But also keep in mind that moderation is key!

Good oral hygiene is always important, not only in maintaining your beautiful smile but for your overall well-being and health. So continue brushing your teeth and like always… “Floss Like a Boss.” ☺

If you have any questions or are interested in setting up an appointment, you can contact us at 407-645-4645 or send us an e-mail through our contact page. Dr. Byrnes’ office is located at 199 E. Welbourne Ave., Ste #200, Winter Park, Florida 32789.

About Dr. Drew Byrnes: He is a family and cosmetic dentist in Winter Park, FL. Dr. Byrnes is a member of the American Dental Association, the Florida Dental Association, the Dental Society of Greater Orlando and the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. He always exceeds the required amount of continuing education courses for dentists because he believes in lifelong education. He stays up to date on all of the latest technology and techniques that dentistry has to offer. He is also certified in Invisalign and nitrous oxide administration.