Mark Burhenne DDS

Practical + Science-based Dental Health Advice

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The Mission

To empower our readers with evidence-based, easy-to-understand dental health advice.

We’re committed to giving you evidence-based recommendations whenever possible.

Our dentists and other experts sift through the complex science on dental and oral health. Then, we make it easy to understand.

Balanced, actionable dental information can help you improve your oral and overall health. After all, health begins in the mouth.

Here’s what makes us a source you can trust:

We’re big on unbiased information.

It may sound great to give you only one solution to treat your problem or answer your question, but that’s not how things work in real life. Our recommendations for procedures, products, and general advice are based on what allows you to make an informed decision.

We know that science can be complex and isn’t always simple to decipher.

We take complex topics, break down the research, and give you easy-to-understand information…no science degree required.

We make recommendations based on the available evidence.

We cite only primary research sources that are well-designed, well-conducted, and peer-reviewed. Just because Joe Schmoe said that you can cure boils with tinfoil doesn’t make it true—we want to see the scientific evidence behind it.

You can expect to see links and full citations for peer-reviewed research from trustworthy sources, like PubMed. We’ll also be open about what kind of study you’re looking at and what its limitations might be.

Our articles are written and/or edited by credentialed experts.

Articles on scientific topics are either written or medically reviewed by a member of our advisory board. See an article on a strictly dental health topic? It’s been reviewed by a qualified, licensed dentist or oral health practitioner. Articles on nutrition are edited by a registered dietician, and so forth.

We appreciate that being afraid of the dentist is a real thing…And we write with that in mind.

Dental phobia is the most common phobia on the books, and dental anxiety is in the top 3 reasons people feel nervous.

While your dental health is super important (and impacts the rest of your all-body health!), we know it can be a scary topic. We do our best to help you feel safe and confident by avoiding graphic images and startling language and by giving you as many suggested options for treatment as we can reasonably provide.

We don’t do shame.

Ever read an article on the internet that made you feel bad for your health-related decisions? Us, too. And it sucks, especially when you’ve been doing your best.

Everyone is walking a path in life, and it’s not our job to shame any kind of medical decision. Our intention is to provide information that anyone can utilize and implement. Dental health is a broad topic and we want you to walk away empowered, not ashamed.

We suggest products that we’ve actually tested.

One of the major reasons people visit Ask the Dentist is to find the best product for their dental health needs. We take that very seriously—when we post about a product, you can trust that we’ve bought it, held it in our hands, and thoroughly tested its effectiveness.

We’re open about how our website operates and makes a profit.

Ask the Dentist is supported by readers via website ads and the purchase of affiliate products. This allows us to provide the information we write at no direct cost to you.

Rest assured—buying an affiliate product will never cost you a penny more. If you’d rather not buy through an affiliate link, we encourage you to Google the name of the item you’d like and purchase it that way.

See an ad you don’t like? Please use the “report” link at the bottom of each ad. If you’d rather not see ads on our site, you can install an adblocker plugin on your browser. All of our content will remain totally public and free, even with an adblocker installed.

We also produce thorough downloadable guides on a variety of topics, for a small price, available on our store page.

We’re easy to reach.

It can be hard to accept advice from a faceless source. That’s why we make it easy to reach us via email and social media to clarify any questions you may have or ask a question we haven’t answered yet. Check out our Contact page for how you can connect with a real person.

*Please keep in mind that we are not able to provide medical or dental advice for an individual problem. We do our best to give educational information as requested, but we are unable to diagnose or prescribe treatment online.

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The Founders

From Dr. Burhenne and Catharine:

When we started Ask the Dentist in 2010, our greatest hope was that people would find a place where they felt safe with a dentist. With Dr. B answering reader questions as Catharine scrambled to type them out, we could only dream that our work at that kitchen table would turn into millions of readers every year.

Today, our goal is to empower every single reader at Ask the Dentist to make the best decision for themselves and their family. Whether it’s which toothbrush to buy next or how to prepare for a root canal (and everything in between), we want people to walk away with everything they need to make informed decisions.

And we know how challenging that can be.

Cat: When a health condition stopped me from breastfeeding as long as I wanted, I was devastated that I wasn’t doing the best for my daughter. It was so painful to imagine giving her anything less than “the best.” After all, we were helping people understand issues exactly like why they should breastfeed for the dental and oral health of their babies.

Dr. B: But at that same kitchen table, I reminded Cat that she was giving her Quinn the best. Feeding, loving, and cherishing her baby girl was exactly what she did every single day. There was no reason to feel ashamed or in pain over a situation she wasn’t able to control.

Cat: That’s when it clicked. Giving people “the best dental health information” means understanding that every life is different. We’re all walking a hard road, no matter how many times we manage to eat kale in a month. Let’s give people the most thorough info we can, then let them decide what’s actually best and possible for themselves and their families.

Our hope is that every single reader feels just like they’re sitting across the table from Dr. Burhenne when they read an article on Ask the Dentist.

Dr. Burhenne and Catherine signature

Want to get in touch with Dr. B and Cat? You can email them at: mark [at] askthedentist.com and catharine [at] askthedentist.com.

The Team

Rebekah

Rebekah Edwards, BA

Managing Editor

After graduating from Trevecca Nazarene University in 2012, Rebekah jumped into the marketing world at full steam. A full-fledged Enneagram 7, she’s tried her hand at many things, like wedding photography, website development, podcasting, and event planning, but found in writing and editing for health websites an unmatched career path.

Rebekah joined the team as a contributing freelance writer in February 2018 and later transitioned into Ask the Dentist’s full-time managing editor that November. She currently spends beautiful days with her husband, Josh, and Great Dane, Molly, in Nashville, TN.

Obligatory fun stuff: Rebekah is obsessed with neon lime green, loves to belt Whitney Houston songs on karaoke night, and has a passionate relationship with sushi.

Angela

Angela Grgic’

Communications Coordinator

Angela grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, born into a family of musicians.  They traveled in a tour bus around the country and spent their days meeting new people that inevitably turned into friends. Her parents used to say, “She learned to walk at 65 miles an hour.”

While her childhood is certainly unconventional, it has instilled in her a deep passion for creating relationships. She has used those talents working for dentists, a naturopathic doctor, and now as the Communications Coordinator at Ask the Dentist.

Today, Angela manages all reader communications, including email and social media. In addition, she manages and plans social media content for Ask the Dentist. She is eager to cultivate the connection between AsktheDentist.com and every reader she can.

In her free time, Angela documents her adventures of redoing a century-old farmhouse she and her husband own in Columbia, Tennessee. Her Maltese, Frannie, is a big fan of the place and has told her owners they can’t ever leave!

Sarah

Sarah Chouman, DDS Candidate

Contributing Writer

Sarah Chouman is a born-and-raised New Yorker. Like most true New Yorkers, she’s picky about her pizza and her bagels. During her adolescence, she noticed the popular culture of smoking (anything) and its impact on dental health, which led her to pursue dentistry.

She assists at a dental clinic while pursuing her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at NYU. Currently, she is the Community Outreach Representative for her class. Sarah also worked for a year at the BlueStone Center for Clinical Research at NYU on the effects of head and neck cancer on the teeth and gums.

She hopes to use her platform at Ask the Dentist to educate and inform the public on the many habits and issues related to oral health as well as overall health.

Andrew Pautler

Andrew Pautler, BFA

Web Design & Developer

Andrew graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in graphic design. After working for a local design firm for a few years, he started Pautler Design, a full-service creative and web design firm.

His specialty is working to create fresh, sharp brand identity for clients in need of a website refresh. Andrew has worked for clients such as the Kresser Institute, Robb Wolf, Anji Mountain, Joyce Meyer Ministries, Give.org, and Spend with Pennies.

He also recently launched a personal website that’s about everything coffee. You can check out Pull & Pour here.

When he’s not designing, Andrew loves training for triathlons, listening to podcasts, roasting his own coffee, cooking, and spending time with his beautiful wife and three children.

Donna

Donna Haynes

Content Creator + Research Assistant

Donna Haynes has been happily married for 33 years to her pastor husband. Residing in Upstate South Carolina for the past 13 years, Donna is the Corporate AP Supervisor for a private manufacturing company.

As a writer, Donna is excited about taking complexities and making them simple and easy to understand. Her hope is that her work with Ask the Dentist will help people take control of their dental health without fear or confusion.

When they aren’t writing, serving at church, or visiting Tennessee for family trips, Donna and her husband, Tim, love going to movies and playing with their fluffy Great Pyrenees, Mr. Basil.

Ayla

Ayla Sadler, BA

Content Creator + Research Assistant

Ayla is a writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist who has worked with many of the leading companies in the health and wellness industry. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and son.

When she’s not writing, in the kitchen, or behind the camera, you can probably find her toting around the city with her little boy or working on her passion project, MamaTried.co, a website for mothers.You can find more of her work here.

Become a VIP (for free!)

What you’ll get:
  • VIP newsletter with special deals & bonuses
  • Insider Secrets Guide: 10 things your dentist isn’t telling you