All posts by Dr. Brad Dykstra

Children’s Dental Health Month


Did you know that it is Children’s Dental Health Month?

Would you like to win a $50 gift card to Craig’s Cruisers?

To celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month we are running a Facebook contest for the month of February! We want you to show us your kids being silly while brushing their teeth. The winner of the contest will receive $50 to Craig’s Cruisers. 

Here’s how it works:

1. Like our page! 
2. Post a picture of your kid(s)being silly while brushing their teeth on our Facebook page 
3. Tag us!                                                   
4. Hashtag
5. Share this post. 
Here is the post to share!                                                                                                                                                                  

Once you have completed those steps you will be entered to win! Our awesome staff will vote on who is the silliest, so make sure to do something fun! The winner will be announced February 29th.                                            


Would you like to share a smile with a soldier this Christmas?

Did you know that there are many United States Marines that never receive a care package from their family? Being a Marine, and accepting the job of protecting our nation, takes courage and strength. Here at Hudsonville Dental, we want to make sure that all Marines have something to look forward to this Holiday season. For this reason, we are sending 15 care packages to our Marines overseas, who would normally be empty handed on Christmas day.

In order to do this, we need your help! Any care package donation is a great way to give back to a soldier in need this Holiday season.

Items that are needed include:

Food and Goodies:
Hard candy, instant coffee, sunflower seeds, beef jerky, dried fruit and nuts, gum, pop tarts, drink packets, and other non-perishable snacks.

Baby wipes, body wash, durable razors, hand sanitizer, loofahs, lip balm, sun screen, and shaving cream.

Magazines, books, playing cards, rolling dice, dominoes, travel board games, water balloons, and stationary.

We greatly appreciate any donations. Remember, these commonly used items are a luxury for Marines. Any donation helps make a difference in their lives.  

To donate, you may drop off any items at:
Hudsonville Dental
3250 Central Blvd.
Hudsonville, MI 49426
Mon/Wed 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., Tues/Thurs 8 a.m.- 7 p.m., Fri 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.
If you have any questions regarding donations feel free to call us at:

Each year at Hudsonville Dental and Contemporary Family Dental we host a Halloween Candy Buy Back for the community.
2015 marks our 7th annual event!
The event is scheduled for Monday, November 2 from 3:00-6:00 p.m.
How it works: Kids can bring in any extra, unwanted Halloween Candy and we will buy it back from them for $1.00 per lb of candy (up to 5 pounds).
We then ship all the candy to an organization called Operation Gratitude, who then ships it to our troops overseas.
Kids are always welcome to write notes or draw pictures for our troops, which we send along with the candy.
Hudsonville Dental Associates
3250 Central Blvd.
Hudsonville, MI 49426                                                         

Contemporary Family Dental
2005 Breton Rd SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546 


Giving Smiles, Creating Hope winner #2!

Giving Smiles Creating Hope:
Meet Sandie, the winner of the next Giving Smiles, Creating Hope nomination!

We received multiple nominations to help her smile.  Here’s an excerpt from one of them:
“I don’t know anyone more deserving to get their smile back than Sandie DeHamer.  I have known Sandie for over 40 years.  She is always the cheerleader for anyone needing encouragement, always the first to volunteer to help any way she can for someone in need.  Now it is her time of need.
I am not sure how it happened since Sandie rarely talks about herself and never complains.  But I notice she has been covering her mouth when she smiles and it looks like she has a broken tooth.  I imagine she meant to get it fixed before her world started to turn upside down.
Being a Realtor the last several years has been difficult.  I know.  But for Sandie, the last few years has been one heartbreaking event after another.  She lovingly cared for both her dad then her mom when they fell ill and one after another passed away within a few months.  Shortly after, her husband was hospitalized with pneumonia and is now facing some major life health challenges himself.  Sandie never complains.  She is like an angel.  The only way you knew what she was going thru was because she would ask for prayers for her loved ones facing the major life challenges.  She has a faith so strong and love for God so deep, it is truly an inspiration. 
Please help our angel get her smile back!  She will take that smile and share it with the world, bringing hope to so many with that gift.  It is just who she is.
All the best,
Jan Norton Fairchild”
Another nomination Sandie received:

“Dear Dr. Dykstra and Staff,
I am writing on behalf of the letter I received in the mail, 2013 Giving Smiles, Creating Hope.  What a wonderful idea!
I am writing on behalf o my precious wife Sandie.
I can not think of anyone who is more deserving and in need of getting her smile back.
She came to your office last year for a teeth cleaning.  It was the first time in over 2 years that she had been to the dentist.  I brought her in, along with her mom for “moral” support since she has a fear of dental offices.
Her last 12 months have been full of taking care of her dad and mom, myself, my brother and her mom’s brother, who she has Power of Attorney for.
She received a phone call last year from her dad stating he and mom were in St. Mary’s Hosplital.  Her mom had just had a massive stroke.  It was touch and go for awhile, but her mom was stabilized and transferred a week later to Mary Free Bed for a long course of rehabilitation.  She had lost the ability to walk and talk.  Sandie’s family has a very strong faith.  They were in this for the long haul.  Sandie was a nurse for 22 years, so we the family relied on her heavily to advocate for her mom’s medical care and needs.
A week later while Sandie, myself and her dad were visiting her mom at Mary Free Bed, her dad started coughing  and had a severe shortness of breath episode… he could hardly walk.  Sandie ran to get a wheel chair for him.  Being a former nurse, her first thought went to pneumonia since it was cold and flu season, and her dad had a history of getting pneumonia in the winter months.  Against her dad’s objections, Sandie wheeled him over to St. Mary’s Emergency room from Mary Free Bed leaving a very worried mom behind who could not voice her fear.  Long story short, he was admitted to the hospital that night with what they thought was a very bad case of pneumonia.  Sandie asked for a secondary specialist she knew to come in and take a look at her dad.  After reviewing the x-rays, a biopsy was suggested.  The biopsy came back as Stage IV lung cancer with maybe 3-6 months for her dad to live.  Devastating news!  Her mom in Mary Free Bed with at least a year of rehab and her dad with terminal lung cancer.
Two weeks after that diagnosis, I got very sick and ended up being admitted to St. Mary’s for pneumonia.  Now she had 3 loved ones in the hospital.  1 month after that my brother Pete was hospitalized for pneumonia… now she had 4 of us.
The rest of her year was equally as bad.  Her dad ended up going home to Heaven March 16th.  His one year anniversary is this Saturday.  Her mom came to live with us for 8 weeks after being discharged from the hospital.  She had another massive stroke and God called her home May 18th.  I have been in the hospital 3 more times since last year for pneumonia and the flu virus.
She gave up working as a full time Realtor last January when her dad and mom were admitted to the hospital.  We decided it was more important for her parents to have their daughter with them.  She was in the hospital a total of 112 days last year with all of her loved ones, staying the night, going home long enough to get a change of clothes and shower.  She was her mom’s BEST cheerleader at all of her therapy sessions, cheering her on for everyone else to hear.  She even became other patient’s cheerleaders when they had no one there to encourage them.  It was a blessed year for both her parents and her, since precious time was spent together before God took them Home.
The long and short of this letter is to nominate her for the Giving Smiles and Creating Hope.
Sandie has no health insurance or dental insurance being a Realtor.  We do not have the funds for her to have either.  She is a diabetic so I worry about that the most, but she takes good care of herself and checks her sugars daily.
She cracked her tooth last year and has not had the money to have it repaired.  She did have one tooth pulled about 3 months ago because the pain was so bad.  The office you referred us to was full of grace and mercy and charged her the minimum fee.
I want her to be able to smile again without being self conscious and covering her mouth.  She has such a beautiful smile with her dimples.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and consider my wife for this incredible gift that you are giving.
Warmest Regards,

Roy DeHamer”

Sandie will be receiving over $5000 in free dental work to give her back her smile!

Halloween Candy Buy Back 2013

The 5th Annual Halloween Candy Buy Back is almost here!

Halloween Candy Buy Back:
Each year at Hudsonville Dental we host a Halloween Candy Buy Back for the community.
2013 marks our 5th annual event!
The event is scheduled for Friday, November 1 from 3:00-6:00 p.m.
How it works: Kids can bring in any extra, unwanted Halloween Candy and we will buy it back from them for $1.00 per lb of candy.
We then ship all the candy to an organization called Operation Gratitude, who then ships it to our troops overseas.
Kids are always welcome to write notes or draw pictures for our troops, which we send along with the candy.
Hudsonville Dental Associates
3250 Central Blvd.
Hudsonville, MI 49426

Giving Smiles, Creating Hope

Giving Smiles, Creating Hope Update
Meet Courtney!  

Courtney is the winning patient of our first round of Giving Smiles, Creating Hope!  Here’s the nomination we received from her aunt:
“My name is Susan and I am one of your current patients. I would like to nominate my niece Courtney for dental care who cannot afford it! Courtney is a young 26-year-old single widow whose husband passed away just over a year ago. Courtney is the mother of three children.  Courtney has no home and is currently living with her parents, working on getting disability to this point, but no income, lost her medical insurance coverage, and went over a year ago to see a dentist who told her she has several cavities, but she had no way to pay for the dental repair to her teeth. Courtney has shared with me her teeth hurt really badly at times, but without any money, she cannot afford to have any dental work performed. Life has been so hard on my niece, she really deserves a break! Please have mercy on my niece, and seriously consider her for helping her and take some pain away from her life. Thanks for taking the time to read this note; Courtney could really use your help.”
Courtney has been in our office a couple of times now and we’ve started on her treatment!  She will be receiving over $6000 in dental care to get her mouth back into fantastic shape.  We’ll keep you posted as her treatment continues!

Giving Smiles, Creating Hope

If you haven’t heard about our Giving Smiles, Creating Hope program, we encourage you to read about it below!  You can also watch the YouTube video Dr. Dykstra made talking about it.

We have received tons of nominations already but are still accepting more!

Giving Smiles, Creating Hope
You HAVE to read this story!  (But get a tissue first, because you just might cry!)
A few weeks ago, in mid-December, one of our wheelchair-bound patients came in to make a payment on his long-overdue bill.  While he was about to pay, another patient of ours was waiting for her sons to finish their dental appointments.  From the conversation between him and the receptionist, it was evident that he had had a few rough months between his car breaking down and other things that came up.  She stepped up and paid his entire $151 bill!  They didn’t know each other, and he first refused her help, but she simply said “Merry Christmas, I’ve got this.”

He shared this with us on our Facebook page later that day: “First time I almost cried at the dentist ….in a long time…and you know me…”the mayor of jibber jabber” first time I was speechless… your office is not only staffed and run by the nicest / understanding people in Gods wonderful world… you also have the kindest clients ever…ever…ever… if you can find it in your heart to put up with have a loyal client for life.”
Needless to say, all of us became a bit teary-eyed when we were told about this wonderfully generous event that took place right in our office.

2013 Giving Smiles, Creating Hope

This also gives us a great way to introduce to you our 2013 Giving Smiles, Creating Hope mission.  Starting in January, we are going to select a deserving patient to provide with free dental work!  The goal will be to get one patient back to a healthy condition and then select another so we always have one ongoing.

BUT – In order to do this, WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We are asking you to nominate someone in need of dental care who simply cannot afford it for one reason or another and really deserves a break.  This person could just need a cleaning, a filling, or a whole new smile!  We ask you to share their story either by email, Facebook, or written letter.  The best story will be selected and that patient will receive dental care by our office. 

Feel free to share this opportunity with your friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc.  All nominations will be accepted!  You do not need to be a current patient to send in a nomination, or be a patient to be nominated!

The first round of nominations is due January 31, so send in your nomination immediately!
Please call us with any questions! 616-669-6600

How to Nominate Someone:

·         Your nomination can be either written or on video.
·         Send an email to:
·         Share on our Facebook page:
·         Send a letter to:         Hudsonville Dental Associates
Attn: Giving Smiles, Creating Hope
3250 Central Blvd. 
Hudsonville, MI 49426

Top 10 Teeth Tips for Back to School

It’s August, and that means just a few weeks before school starts up again!  Here are a few tips for this school year!

Top Ten Teeth Tips for Back to School
Teaching your kids good dental hygiene habits early on will not only ensure their oral health, reducing dental bills, but also their overall health! Help them get an A+ on their next dental report card:
1.    Bring your child to the dentist at least twice per year.  Keeping the mouth healthy is very important.  Toothaches in kids can cause them to miss school, which is never a good thing!
2.    Let your child choose his or her own toothbrush as long as it’s the proper size and soft bristled, it makes for a more enthusiastic brusher! Replace a toothbrush when it’s worn, bristles splayed, or after an illness.  NEVER share a toothbrush.
3.    Kids are sensitive to strong flavors and usually dislike adult toothpaste. Finding a flavor of children’s toothpaste they like will be trial & error but worth it in the long run.
4.    Using a 2 minute tooth brushing timer will help to keep track of the time and make sure they’re brushing for the recommended two minutes three times each day.
5.    Pack a nutritious lunch & snack. Fresh fruit, vegetables, and cheese are great choices. Cheese, like aged Cheddar, Swiss, and Monterey Jack, is especially good for teeth because it neutralizes acids. Avoid fruit juices & sodas because they are very acidic and erode tooth enamel. Also avoid foods that are sticky or chewy because they will cling to the tooth surface, allowing the bacteria in plaque to produce more acid.
6.    It’s unlikely that kids can brush their teeth after lunch. But a quick trip to the water fountain to rinse their mouths is almost as good!
7.    Floss picks make flossing easier for kids and come in fun flavors. Find one they like and the battle is almost won!  If you can’t get your kids to floss twice a day, make sure they floss before going to bed.
8.    Have your child wear a mouthguard while playing sports.  Protecting teeth during contact sports is very important to avoid broken or loose teeth.
9.    If your child gets hurt on the playground or bumps or breaks his or her teeth, call your dentist right away!  Some dental emergencies should be treated immediately to avoid long-term consequences. 
10.If your kids do chew gum, choose gum with xylitol in it, which can actually help prevent cavities from forming!

For more information, visit us online at


So summer seems to be charging ahead with full force.  It’s been a hot one, and we hope you’ve been able to get out and enjoy it!

We know you’re busy with summer activities like camping, going to the beach, family vacations, etc. but we urge you to always remember your teeth too!

As we head into August, keep in mind that this is a great time for your dental exam and cleaning!  Call us before we head into fall where schedules get more hectic with school, sports, and other activities.

Here’s a photo of our sign on one of the hottest days this summer!

And remember, you can always visit us online at!

Nervous about your next dental visit?

Nitrous Oxide – Laughing Gas

If you’re a little nervous or anxious about your dental appointment, you don’t have to be!  We offer nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to any of our patients who want to try it.  There is no fee for this, we just want you to be as comfortable as possible!
What is it?  Nitrous oxide is a gas which you can breathe in and out. It is colorless, sweet smelling, and non-irritating.  The best part is that it means safer, quicker, and more comfortable dental care for you!
Nitrous oxide allows you to relax, which can greatly reduce the fear, nervousness, and tension associated with dental procedures. You do, however, remain in complete control.  You are fully conscious and can follow directions easily.  While you may not burst out laughing, you should feel very relaxed and comfortable.
It works very fast!  Nitrous oxide reaches the brain in about 20 seconds, and it only takes about 2-3 minutes to completely relax.
The amount of sedation can be changed very easily, by turning the amount of nitrous up or down.  The effects are almost instantaneous.  Other forms of sedation have more of a fixed duration of time because the effects of pills or IV sedation have a specific amount of time needed to run their course.  Nitrous can be administered only when needed and turned off as soon as the procedure is done.
When we do turn off the nitrous, we will then switch it to all oxygen.  The nitrous dissipates very quickly and you are able to go right back to your daily activities, such as work or school.