Over the course of the last 20 years, my practice has continued to emphasize the importance of Sound Sleep as our #1. health priority. Nutrition close behind at #2. Exercise at #3. Poor quality sleep is the slow silent suicide that sucks the life-giving oxygen out of every function of the body especially the brain. How much nightly brain damage are you willing to accept for yourself and your loved ones? Sleep apnea, snoring, mouth breathing, grinding/clenching. TMJ problems, acid reflux, insomnia, and little blue lights from cell phones and iPad all conspire to damage your health with alarming consequences.
School performance, athletic performance, workplace performance, driving performance, mental health, and ability to cope with the stressors of life depend on the quantity and quality of sleep. We are just waking up to the fact that we are sleep deprived and have bought into the myth that to become a high achiever you need to cut back on slumber to accomplish more during the day. Quite the opposite is true, top performers sleep better than you do.
Sleep’s reparative and restorative functions depend on the duration or overall percent of total sleep time with Stage 3 (slow brain wave) and REM (rapid eye movement) being the most important, but only high-tech devices record these two parameters. Home sleep studies are an inexpensive limited test that gives helpful information for most situations but is not as accurate as an overnight sleep lab test.
Dysfunctional breathing is the root cause of most sleep disorders because airflow to the lungs is disrupted by inflammatory restrictions, anatomical restrictions, or neurological restrictions. Laminar (not turbulent) airflow must enter the nose (not mouth) and get to the lungs unimpeded. Sounds simple, but oh so complicated!
Two devices, CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) and MAD (mandibular advancing device) are effective at opening up the airway. CPAP the “gold standard” blows air down to the lungs while MAD mechanically moves the lower jaw forward to remove the soft palate/tongue obstruction thus increasing the size of the airway. Compliance with CPAP after one year is historically poor whereas oral devices are more comfortable and compatible. For some unknown unscientific reason, many sleep doctors do not recommend MADs because they take knowledge, skill, and time to adjust to the “sweet spot” and only experienced dentists have the know-how. Sleep docs know CPAP will work the first night it is worn whereas a MAD might take several weeks to properly adjust. The standard of success with either is the same.
Many patients are glad to have a MAD, they are comfortable, simple, and silent. My wife’s sleep has been improved remarkably much to the surprise of her cardiologist who never considered sleep apnea until I sent him results from our home sleep test. Then I had to convince him to let her try the MAD we had made, before his prescribing CPAP. Her sleep improvement is remarkable and she doesn’t have to hook up to an awkward machine every night.
Now you know why I am MAD glad. We can help you identify your sleep issues and get you on track to a healthier longer more enjoyable life of good sleep. SOS -save our sleep
John B. Harrison DDS, MSc

“Tongue in Cheek”

No, No, this is no joke! What you will read needs to be taken seriously, was just trying to get your attention. Of all the things that get us into trouble, number one is our tongue, usually from saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person. We’ve all been there, me the worst offender. But few realize (mostly orthodontist) that the tongue either contributes to excellent facial development and naturally aligned teeth or a malfunctioning tongue is the root cause of malocclusion, orthodontic relapse, poor facial development, dysfunctional breathing, and sleep apnea, In orthodontics, the tongue is an unruly monster with forces way beyond the threshold of tooth movement.

Let’s start from the beginning at birth. All newborns should breathe through their noses with their mouths closed. That’s all, no exceptions. If nursing is difficult, the tongue is usually the culprit. Tongue-tie prevents proper mobility and position of the tongue, so mothers, latching problems need to be addressed early because so much of oral/facial development depends on at least 6 months of nursing without bottle feeding with poorly designed nipples. Malocclusions begin at birth and premature babies begin life with a number of disadvantages.

Noisy breathing with mouth open is a sure sign of trouble ahead and no child should snore, if so, they are not breathing or sleeping properly. It will be a big deal sooner than realized since their developing brain is not getting the oxygen saturation needed. Proper sleep with functional breathing is the key to health. If the tongue is not positioned and postured in the roof of the mouth then the airway is compromised and airflow is turbulent, not laminar, and calm.

Tongue ties at the tip are easy to see how the lingual frenum limits the full range of motion, but it’s the back of the tongue that also needs to be free to lift up to the palate to the “kick Kate” position. There is a simple observed technique for evaluating the posterior tongue function. The tongue in its rightful place is the scaffolding for molding the upper jaw and floor of the nose. Most orthodontic problems result from the upper jaw is underdeveloped, the airway underdeveloped with not enough room for teeth.

With the tongue properly placed it is impossible to breathe through the mouth. Try it and you will be convinced. Mouth breathing causes low tongue posture, interrupting airflow and causing inflammation of tonsils, adenoids, and nasal mucosa, causing more airflow restriction and breathing effort and sleep interruption – a certain decline in you or your child’s health.

What I have shared with you is only the tip of the iceberg for orthodontic diagnosis and treatment, special for each individual. “Do it yourself orthodontics” (Smile Direct) is really the true meaning of tongue in cheek; a joke not to be taken seriously. It’s is just another charlatan’s scheme to make something worse and sell it cheaper to the unaware buyer. Make sure you know who is packing your parachute. No tongue in cheek!




John B. Harrison DDS, MSc


Your First and Last Breath

The first thing you did at birth was inhale and the last thing you will do at death is exhale. How many times this simple but extremely complex exertion is repeated will be the parentheses of your life span. Do it right and you live a vibrant healthy active life, but do it wrong then illness, inflammation, and inactivity will take years off your allotted time on earth. As much noise as there is about nutrition, diet, and exercise; nothing comes close to the importance of real food for the mind, body, and soul- oxygen. Unless you are breathing right, slowly and effortless through the nose where the air is purified and filtered from all noxious inflammatory irritants and combined with the perfect pressure of carbon dioxide necessary to offload oxygen from the blood into hungry, thirsty brain and muscle cells every minute of every day, your breathing is severely compromised and your body will suffer the consequences.  We all take breathing for granted never giving thought to a right or wrong way and we wonder what is the big deal.

The big deal is that your physical performance and endurance is greatly enhanced, your mental acuity and focus is sharper, voice quality (singing) and musical quality of wind instruments improves, your sleep is sound and refreshing, your health is superb without medication, you don’t get COVID because your unclogged sinuses producing nitric oxide kills all air-born viruses, bacteria, and fungi spores.

Breathing wrong is mouth breathing- throwing every chemical and facial muscle balance out of harmony, severely limiting the amount of oxygen transported into the awaiting cells needing fuel. The result is over-breathing, reducing the higher pressure of carbon dioxide so that less oxygen is delivered, breathing dirty unfiltered inflammatory air, raising your blood pressure and pulse rate, sleepless nights, snoring, clenching and grinding teeth, feeling awful, nerves in a state of stress, the face becoming unattractive and getting dumber each day. That is a big deal!

This ancient knowledge first recorded on papyrus long before the Old Testament was written by Moses, who again emphasized that God ordained the breath of life is through our nostrils. This has been practiced by Chinese and Eastern Yoga masters for centuries. Why it is not mainstream health practice is a sad commentary on ignoring the obvious proof experienced trainers, coaches, and scholars have demonstrated with the fit and unfit. Correct breathing has curative power!

Orthodontists have known for over 100 years that mouth breathing is the number one cause of malocclusion and that facial structure suffers poor development and high relapse even after correction if the breathing malfunction is not corrected. It is not a well-kept secret but has never gotten any traction until medical institutions awakened to the serious consequences of sleep apnea which traces its origin to dysfunctional breathing at night only because breathing is dysfunctional during the day.

The bottom line is that if sound sleep without snoring and dental/facial beauty and harmony have any merit to your enjoying a vibrant life then get the help and coaching for a realistic path to lengthen the time until your last exhale. Stop mouth breathing and snoring!


Orthodontists are part of the solution!  Call (727) 822-3156 for a consultation


John B. Harrison DDS, MSc


Merry Christmas

JB Harrison Christmas 2019

Artificial Intelligence (AI) “Our Golden Calf”?

 Happy Thanksgiving

We marvel at the technology, it is fascinating, intoxicating, and addictive, but If we are not careful to manage and control this astounding blossoming of creativity, Frankenstein will overtake us and master us. Like the internet, the possibilities for good are endless and the possibilities for evil are hand in hand. Who wins the battle for the mind? It is up to you. Not that I am a climate change denier, (it is changing), but let’s remember that Noah’s Flood was the greatest weather disaster in history and it wasn’t caused by burning fossil fuels.

The Bible teaches us that the clouds, stars, planets, comets, tides and seasons obey God. God warns us over and over that human behavior is responsible for the judgments that nature bestows upon us. Have you not given any thought to why the environment seems to be turning against us? We look for every excuse or explanation human reasoning can imagine except looking in the mirror and admitting that what’s wrong in the world just maybe us. We have a too exalted opinion of science and the ability of man to solve every problem in life, but our thinking is not God’s thinking, far from it!

Only God controls the weather, not CO2, so maybe we are looking in all the wrong places for how to get our spaceship planet earth back to the Garden of Eden where we were expelled for disobedience. I’m betting on the truths of God’s Word rather than the mentality of man to set our course- not “Scientology” or any other artificial Idol.

The cutting edge for this generation is not AI, but grateful hearts and praise for the many favors of Almighty God, especially for the opportunity to peacefully establishment a government for our safety and happiness. No nation on earth has enjoyed the favor of God’s providence to the extent of the USA, because our founders never ignored the hand of God in our quest to be a beacon of light on a hill with liberty and justice for all.

My inspiration for these remarks comes from the Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 3, 1789, by George Washington our nation’s first elected President. “Were God to hold his breath, we would instantly vanish from this earth”

Be Thankful Every Day

John B. Harrison DDS, MSc Orthodontist

We help you become healthy, happy and handsome

Tired of Being Tired

So, how did you feel when you woke up this morning? Ready to take on the world with energy and enthusiasm or dragging yourself out of bed begrudgingly and grumpy? How about mid-afternoon? Hard to concentrate through the mental fog? The last thing on your mind would be to exercise, just want to rest. Fatigue is a reality for far too many children and adults and it is taking a toll on future health as critical neurological sensors are being destroyed causing permanent impairment so says Dr. Christian Guilleminault, Stanford University’s eminent sleep scholar and researcher. All the best science in human health is focused on the importance of quality and quantity of sleep as the most important predictor of longevity and wellbeing with overwhelming evidence of reduction of chronic diseases that plague Americans and monetarily overwhelm our Medical System. We are headed for Medical bankruptcy if we cannot change this “climate”.
To say it’s all a breathing problem sounds so oversimplified and implausible when we breathe so automatically, but it is the basic truth between robust health and sickness. Orthodontic evaluations are an essential pathway to resolving our biggest most important health problem. The characteristics of the face and teeth reveal much information that is the concern of orthodontists and if corrective measures are not taken early, ages 3 – 7. irreversible anatomical deviations will have developed. There must be an integrated, collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to treatment, but facial development is at the core of the problem. By age four, 60% of the adult face has been built and by age eleven, 90% of the adult face is built. Puberty brings on other obstructing factors that interfere with adequate ventilation.
Breathing issues are not being addressed properly in the medical community worldwide and there are staggering numbers of undiagnosed/untreated sleep problems. Sleep is a breathing issue and health is a breathing issue and if anybody snores, chokes. wheezes, coughs, gasps, breathes through the mouth, wakes up multiple times, sighs often, sleeps less than 7 1/2 hours or more than 8, needs multiple trips to the bathroom at night, grinds or clenches their teeth or has acid reflux – you’ve got trouble brewing. Why take years off your life and feel lousy living the years left? The way you breathe is the “canary in the mine”.
There are sophisticated technologies utilized to aid the diagnosis of sleep breathing disorders, sleep apnea being only one of some 80 disturbances, but nothing is a truer test than how you feel and perform during the day. Your child’s facial and jaw development should be a concern for their future health and wellbeing. We provide the education, evaluation, connections with other knowledgeable partners and specific orthodontic treatment targeted to airway development. Yes, we love the beautiful smiles our orthodontic treatment achieves but we are totally invested in the beautiful health that quality sleep and lifestyle management insure.
Learn a better way to live,
call (727) 822-3156 for a complimentary visit.
Make sleep a priority!
John B. Harrison DDS, MSc

American Independence is Dependent

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Basic RGBDear Patients and Friends,

By now many of you know that selling the Medical Dental Arts building my father built in 1952 would become a reality at some point in my career when the timing was right. Downtown St. Pete is developing beyond what any of us old-timers could have ever imagined, and a developer wanted the property.  I had hoped the buyer would allow me to stay in place while the first phase of demolition and construction of townhouses took place, but the disruption would have been unfair to all concerned. I have been very fortunate to secure my good friend, Dr. Mike Grant’s vacated dental office at 7499 MLK Street N, just south of Gate Way shopping center and just north of Fossil Park Rec Center. We are sprucing it up a bit and have a lot of moving in to do. We will close our downtown office the last week of April for moving and will be in full operation on May 1st.

As you might imagine this has been a tough transition because of family tradition. I have really appreciated the location and convenience of the heart of St. Pete. I was 14 when the building was built and took care of the yard and planted those oak trees so there is a great deal of sentimental attachment, but change is inevitable, and we will enjoy the new location, no stairs for you to climb and individual treatment rooms but the same ole everybody can always hear everything I say.

We realize some of you will have to drive a little further north and some less so, but we will still maintain that on time all the time commitment that you deserve. We always want your appointments with us to be worth your effort to achieve something so valuable and lasting – a friendly smile.

We look forward to seeing you at the new location beginning on May 1st. Turn east on 75th avenue from MLK street and an immediate right into the parking lot. 7499 MLK Street N.



John B. Harrison DDS.MSc

Merry Christmas 800



 Christmas Gifts 2018

Although we normally think of Christmas as a time of giving to show our love and appreciation to those who are special to us, actually it is a special time of year when we should be most open to receiving the gift that God planned for us. This is no pretend Santa Clause story but a preordained historical truth. An intervention into human history documented by many eyewitnesses, including two amazed parents, shepherds, town folk, a choir of Angels sent from Heaven, Kings from the East, and if only sheep, donkeys, and camels could talk!  Not only that, Old Testament prophets foretold the exact details of the coming New Age centuries before it happened to inform and prepare the world to accept a Savior. Heaven knows, we sure do need one. History continues to prove that we do not prosper by avoiding or ignoring what the birth of Christ means for us today.

With all the turmoil and troubles that beset the world, we need to hear some good news and good music that will bring joy to our heart, hope to our yearning, love to our nature and peace to our spirit. Our allegiance to a trustworthy faith in Christ brings all these Godly qualities together. This is not wishful thinking, even our Faith is a gift of God’s Grace, it is not a self-generated decision. In God’s fairness, He allows us to choose to accept His life-changing gift of eternal security or leave this wonderful present unopened. I pray you know the difference and have a Holy Christmas Holiday.

Enable us to see, hear, and think about how Christ can change our World for the better because Jesus changes us inside out to become better than we were. We can become the good Samaritan who crosses the other side of the road to administer help and healing wherever and whenever and whatever the need. Raise up in America a new great generation that will stand its ground on the blessed core values of the better angels of our nature. And may all of us have a very Merry Christmas.


John B. Harrison DDS,MS