The Twelve Suggestions

OK, I am not Moses, and this message is not Commandments from Mt. Sinai, but I am invested in a towering mountain of current knowledge that has converted my understanding of dentistry. I aspire to be a disciple of truth but must admit that truth is often the needle in the haystack, yet to be discovered, and other times we trip over it obviously in front of us. Fortunately for all of us, a few good men and women are digging and sifting the evidence of how the human being should work as the Lord intended. Remember there is a snake in the garden who would love to mess us up. So, I am a learning student who wants to pass it forward.

First, admit we have a health problem in every village, town, city, and state. Statistics tell us our health is worse than it was in 1950 when most of our population was not even born and is declining at an alarming rate. I was born before WW2 and have never missed a day of school or missed a day of work in 53 years. I can say the same for my wife, Carolyn, we just don’t get sick.  What is going on here and Why?  Can we ever get back to an earlier healthier time or are we headed for the second Plagues of Pharaoh?

Since Y2K (2000 AD), the health benefits of sound sleep have aroused my curiosity as the most important health remedy, surpassing nutrition and exercise as the “silver bullet”, but others have influenced and convinced me to recognize that how our body works during the time we are awake determines how we sleep at night, an “AHA” moment! Obvious and simple to understand. We don’t have a sleep problem as much as an awake problem that affects our sleep at night. So, what are we doing all day? Breathing correctly or incorrectly. You breathe right and you live right. It is a fundamental of health we have overlooked and don’t understand. Medical intelligence has kept us ignorant causing me to wonder if they even have a clue. To Dentistry’s credit, our expertise with the influences on the development of the anatomy of the face has proven irrefutably that breathing problems cause distortions and disruptions in overall health and physical development. The scary part is that it starts at or before birth and we all need to be aware of the harbinger of” almost sick “before really sick.

What are the 12 signs of symptoms discovered by science that should be a wake-up call?

       “Thou shall not”

  1. Mouth breathe.
  2. Snore or audibly breathe.
  3. Have enlarged tonsils or adenoids.
  4. Be irritable and have mood swings.
  5. Clench or grind your teeth.
  6. Have a high narrow palate.
  7. Have a tongue tie or low tongue posture.
  8. Have a retruded lower jaw.
  9. Have daytime fatigue.
  10. Be hard to wake up.
  11. Gasp for air during sleep.
  12. Have a runny nose, ear infections or persistent allergies.

If this applies to you or your children please seek informed advice! Make a courtesy appointment with my office. Phone (727) 822-3156. Pass this information to your friends and children. You may be the best doctor they have ever had.


John B. Harrison DDS,MSc

Gnashing of Teeth

Harrison Gnashing of Teeth 640Interestingly, the Bible has quite a lot to say about the teeth. Song of Solomon expresses their beauty as a flock of cleanly washed sheep bearing twins which is correct anatomy and poetic allegory. Other passages both Old and New Testaments have a fearful connotation of life out of control marked by weeping and gnashing of teeth- even children with their teeth “set on edge”. This has a lot of meaning when the same thing (teeth) is portrayed as the beauty on one hand and the beast on the other. Does that apply today in a dental office? Oh, does it ever! I am astonished at the damage people are doing to their teeth with gnashing otherwise known as bruxism (grinding) or clenching (on edge). We need to look into the matter and attempt to answer the why and offer a solution.
The first consideration is that for most of a 24-hour day, teeth should be apart with lips comfortably closed – no strain. Keeping teeth together is a strain since facial muscles must contract to keep teeth in contact. Total contact time is less than 5 minutes/day – it is a brief touch when swallowing, even with chewing- food keeps teeth apart. Tooth enamel is a precious commodity, there is no getting it back once it is worn away. For good reason, this natural position is called the rest position and this is where teeth need to spend most of their life. You can’t get into trouble with your teeth apart so dentist fashion all kinds of plastic devices to keep teeth from gnashing into each other, trouble is most of them add to the problem by giving the teeth something else to bite against and keep the muscle strain level elevated violating Rule #1 – no contact.
Grinding or clenching teeth during the night interferes with sleep which should be a relaxed and restful state not on red alert arousing muscles into hyperactivity grinding down our beautiful “flock of sheep” into cripples. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why can’t we learn to relax and chill out at night and keep our teeth apart? Everybody with sleep problems has this habit, but not everybody who clenches or grind have sleep problems- yet. I believe it is a matter of time before other harmful effects are demonstrated. You can not overwork a part of the body and get away without side effects.
What counsel can be offered? There are far too many reasons that cause-related problems; allergies, insomnia, inflammation, poor nutrition, acid reflux, malocclusion of teeth, habits, headaches ulcers, heart attack, stroke and the list goes on. Identifying a causative agent for hyperactivity is extremely difficult and there is no magic bullet to stop the habit, but I believe we help you understand what is happening and offer as good of training as there is for eliminating this useless harmful habit. Plus, we offer the best type of tooth guard to lessen the force on the jaw joints and teeth. Call us for an appointment if this is your problem and you want to protect that beautiful flock of sheep.

John B. Harrison DDS, MSc

The New Normal

If anythHarrison Peaceful Soul 600ing, history is about dealing with the problems and conditions at that time. However grateful we are for our air-conditioned, sanitized lives and physical improvements, we are still a long way off from reclaiming the Garden of Eden and the long life promised if we behaved ourselves. The “wars and rumors of wars” continue unabated and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse still gallop across modern geography bringing their historic plagues upon us. Apparently, the “Blessings and Curses” are the normal and life stays unfair to many. So, is there a new normal possibility that is optimistic and encouraging rather than the fatalism that things won’t get any better? Have the religions of the world gotten any better over the centuries? Have world leaders and governments gotten any better since Pax Romana? Has our health gotten any better since the hunter/gatherer foragers searched for food?

With the knowledge that others have crammed into my head concerning the mouth, I can testify that my profession, Dentistry, specifically Orthodontics has improved significantly over my lifetime. In fact, there is a new normal All four of my grandparents had “false teeth”, dentures by age 60 and none lived to see four score years. We have a new subset of Centennials with a full natural dentition. Hope you see the connection: healthy mouth = long life. Keep bad boy mouth bacteria out of your bloodstream which transports them to your heart, lungs, liver, and brain, and guess what? – health improves dramatically. Amazing how your body will treat you depending on the choices you make.

Ironically, there is a 180-degree “anti” normal enticingly marketed with beautiful people enjoying life’s pleasures, smiling with full mouth titanium implants supporting glistening white CAD/CAM zirconia crowns; the “new normal” for artificial teeth. Yes, pricey, but marvelous technology and technique, however, the untold story is the comparison of natural teeth vs the best implant restoration. We have advanced in both directions forward and backward with differing new normals.Harrison Tooth Paste 600

Orthodontic treatment will never make you live longer or give you better health unless you really buy into oral health, nutrition and improving your sleep, which we stress above all else. Orthodontics enhances facial esthetics which most people desire and why not?  My real concern is the negative intrusion from the commercialization and commoditization to cheapen and disregard the individual, characteristics of each face and the long-term relationship with experienced specialists to ensure long-term enhancement. A new normal that lowers any standard, especially proper diagnostic protocol and long-term follow up is advancing backward into harm’s way.

Gender confusion, vulgar bullying on social media, indecent entertainment, trashing our American Constitutional and National Anthem as well as school shootings are harmful deviations and regrettable pendulum swings that beg for diagnosing most of today’s malignancy as a spiritual problem. We have mental messes because God’s guidance has been intentionally removed from homes, schools, universities, and government. Kids that should be happy and well-adjusted suffer from anxiety depression and suicidal thoughts. “As a man thinketh, so is he”! (Prov.23:7)

The most beautiful outward smiles come from an inward smiling soul; even if teeth aren’t natural or perfectly straight.  A worthy new normal!

John B. Harrison DDS,MSc

Question Authority. Question Everything.

Question Authority.

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Question Authority. Question Everything.

The Breath of Life

The Breath of Life

Download this excellent info sheet:

The Breath of Life.  There is nothing more important than your next breath.


“Airodontics” Air Way Centered Health

For far too long medical and dental were separate disciplines of learning about the function/dysfunction of the human body, mind, and spirit. A theological viewpoint would give thought to what God had in mind when He made the decision to introduce two gardeners to tend His farm while He was working on other things. We have some obvious clues found in His Diary. The first mistake “doctors” made was to separate the mouth (dentistry) from the body (medical) and the second, although well intentioned was to specialize in each part of the body to discover its vital role in life, further isolating all the parts from the whole. We had Humpty Dumpty broken down into a million well-studied pieces, but the right hand wouldn’t know the left hand until the medical doctors and dental doctors put the entire head back on the body and began to realize that everything works together either helping or harming “dem bones to walk around” because “the toe bone connected to ……… the head bone”.(Ezekiel 37: Dry bones spiritual hymn)

Now flash back to our two gardeners; they learned a fundamental truth- they were alive because they breathed, ate and drank. They might make it 40 days without food, maybe a week without water, but wow! only two minutes without air. This is ancient history and” the facts of life” have never changed but recently seem to have been rediscovered in a “NewAgeAwakening”. Look in God’s diary and you will read where God formed man from the dust of the ground,(much like you would find the cremated remains in the funeral urn) and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being. Notice the word nostrils are for breathing not mouth.Doctors of all kinds have been letting the only animal on earth that breathes through its mouth get away with it. Watch every newborn sleep, all breathing through their nose, in fact, they couldn’t nurse (remember food and drink) if they did not breathe through their nose. Try eating, drinking swallowing and breathing through your mouth all at the same time and see how you do.

Harrison Breathe #122914 shutterstock_216062674Unfortunately, in our “civilized” world, inflammation on the body begins early, even baby foods are suspect for contamination.  Mouth breathing making everything worse by causing inflammation and obstruction in the nostrils making it more difficult to breathe correctly which means that lower levels of oxygen are being transferred to the hungry, thirsty brain cells struggling to get nourishment as well as every other cell in the body. Mouth breathing causes Oxygen deprivation will cause a host of problems that begin showing up early in life and late in life. Your child or elderly parent may not be thriving mentally and physically because he/she is not breathing properly.The entire delicate chemical balance of the body (pH) is adversely affected bringing on a cascade of unintended consequences to health.

What you don’t know can hurt you! This information is what you need to learn if you care about your health and that of your loved ones. There is plenty of breathing information on YouTube, good books to read, lectures to attend and knowledgeable doctors that will help you better understand why healthy living depends on nasal breathing.

Breathing disorders are a main contributing factor for malocclusion and orthodontic evaluations have always been a key screening tool that can change the course of breathing malfunction that begins with the two structures responsible for health – the nose and mouth. Call us for a courtesy evaluation and education on quality of life.

John B. Harrison DDS, MSc     (727) 822-3156


“It ain’t over til its over” Yogi Berra


In the late afternoon of my career, 52+ years since its sunrise, I see beautiful reflections of life’s colors from early morning to the early evening that put a parenthesis around a career I hope will never end until the hearse driver arrives at the office to gently take the plier and wire out of my hand.

The main response to folks who think it is time to retire is that “retirement”, to me,  is a word of entitlement which would rob me of purpose and meaning. It is an artificial economic adjustment foisted on workers from labor unions and big corporations which ignores the contributions of experience, judgment and wisdom. Why would an artist quit painting, a musician quit playing, an author quit writing? Bless Willy Nelson, he is still going strong at 85!

Now, my heroes are older gentlemen, many who finished their journey well beyond their eighties so finishing well is a strong motivation. I have amassed a treasure chest of experience and my staff of Suzanne and Christi are beyond exceptional, they are “gold medalists”. We work for you and with you in a comfortable unrushed family setting. There are no high volume multi-tasking business pressures to interfere with conscientious personal attention.  I enjoy a slow pace and being precise, accurate, and accountable so that your experience with us is enjoyable with excellence as added value.

It is no rumor that my office building is for sale, not me or my practice which will need to relocate to a convenient place when appropriate.  Now is the time to capture whatever value a new developer envisions for the property. Unfortunately, a small professional building in downtown St. Pete no longer makes economic sense.

You can rest assured that when the inevitable time comes when I need to pass the torch, I have the best back up orthodontist anyone could ever want. We have a special professional bond that has strengthened over the last few years and the final analysis is a win-win-win for all.

I look forward to what lies ahead until the sun sets and “ it’s over”.

John B. Harrison DDS, MSc

Huffin’ and Puffin’ (I might blow my house down)

The days between Thanksgiving and Christmas are a great diagnostic test for most of us to prove once and for all time that we are too prone to stressful living and our body (with hands on hips) is scolding us. If it just weren’t for the crowds, traffic snarls, unreasonable delays and dumb mistakes, we would be just fine! Right?

Harrison CO2 shutterstock_737815474So, what does all that Holiday clamor do to our biology? The tale tell metric we all wear on our wrist and our ears will give us all the information we need to know.  We over breathe and throw our body chemistry out of whack. The fine-tuned machine we are supposed to become a clunker. If someone near you can hear you breathe, you sigh frequently, you need to breathe through your mouth or you are breathing more than 15 times a minute – you’ve got trouble brewing in the wind- more so if you snore.

We have to train ourselves to be cool, calm and collected. It does not come naturally, in fact, it is about as unnatural as holding a golf club properly and it is all counter-intuitive because when stressed we think we need more air to breathe not less, but as you have heard before “less is more”.  We have to overcome the sympathetic nervous systems “flight or flight” reaction to harassment and irritation which is to dump lots of stimulants into the bloodstream that increase blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. This ruins our “rest and digest” parasympathetic nervous system doing its best to keep us on hydromatic autopilot with slow light breathing pumping way more oxygen into our brain cells for intelligent thinking and behavior rather than the sympathetic system preparing our muscles for war.

Over breathing is the culprit (not the big bad wolf), that is blowing our house apart and the reason is that we are reducing the reservoir of carbon dioxide pressure necessary for offloading oxygen in the blood into trillions of cells. All CPR rescue courses now emphasize compressions over ventilation, because too much ventilation defeats the effort to get oxygen to the brain. Over breathing the unconscious patient did more damage than good, oxygen is not the problem, there is plenty of that in the blood-  the key is carbon dioxide which has to be made in our body because there is not enough in the air we breathe.

How much better to control our body with proper breathing techniques than prescription pills. I can go as far as saying that if young children were taught to breathe right (through the nose) and keep their tongue incorrect posture, then their facial development and dental alignment would naturally improve. I don’t want to put myself out of business, but I do want to see America great because she is healthy.

Slow down your breathing and enjoy the new life that Christmas promises!

Merry Christmas,

John B, Harrison DDS,MSc


Underwater Health

Harrison-HelathCare-shutterstock_461418955-400Have you ever considered the fact that the “weather” changes in our bodies just as it does outside our body?  We have just witnessed a natural weather calamity that will strain the economy to the limit, but, thankfully, few lives were lost. We can replace and restore lost stuff, but all lives matter. Whether the weather misbehavior is worse because of human activity or a necessity of nature to adjust cosmic energy is beyond my pay scale, but I do know that we are the cause of a growing health crisis in America that could bankrupt the health care system. America cannot be great if it is not healthy and we are making a poor showing as a developed nation. So, let’s make America healthy again and it’s not about your parents or genetic excuses, it is about the quantity and quality of fuel you put into your tank (stomach) to run the machinery 100 years (not many die after 100). Many chronic inflammatory diseases are reversible and certainly avoidable if we have the willpower to avoid our addictions.

We consume more calories (4,000), many of which are non-nutritional and inflammatory than any other country in the world and we have the obesity, diabetes, heart disease, COPD, intestinal disease and dementia to prove it. Why make a choice to shorten your life and miss out on your grandchildren’s activities? Why live with a storm within your own body that is wrecking the real house you live in? The storm warnings about poor nutrition have been flying for decades., yet they are ignored just like those who chose to ride out the evacuation orders, refusing rescue advice.

The greatest health care system in the universe is your own body’s ability to heal itself if given a chance, yet we waste millions of dollars treating symptoms rather than economically eliminating causes. Yes, we have a right to health care, a God-given right to treat our own body in a Godly fashion and not desecrate it for years and then demand to be “fixed” with the most outrageously expensive treatment possible. Burning your own house down is not a right nor a freedom we get to claim; however, our human responsibility is to preserve and save a life no matter the pre-existing conditions we brought on ourselves. Obviously, critical intensive care for those, through no fault of their own, suffer genetic or accidental mishaps deserve all the attention high tech medicine can offer. Their trials and tribulations motivate compassion and a greater understanding of the human body.

It all starts with what we put into our mouth, the gateway to success or failure. The mouth is connected to the vascular system, the respiratory system, the digestion system and the emotional system. It has been said that “we are what we eat” and “our medicine is our food”, but there is a big difference in “eating to live” or “living to eat”.Unfortunately, we are hard-wired for “junk food” and the Food Industry knows this all too well as they keep refining and processing taste good morsels damaging to us and our children’s health.

Developing a taste for health takes motivation, education, discipline, effort and sometimes a rescue from someone throwing a lifeline to keep our head above water. Hope you catch this toss.

John B.  Harrison DDS,MSc


Tired Blood

Harrison-Breathe-In-shutterstock_590261936-400In the early days of TV, watching the Lawrence Welk show I remember one of those catchy commercials for the elixir of life and fountain of youth: the cure for” tired blood”, Geritol tonic. Taken 4 X day would give your blood a sure enough high since it was about 50 proof white lightening colored rusty with iron. It went over big in Southern dry counties as a substitute for Southern Comfort. Soon the FDA caught up with the reckless, false and misleading advertising and heavy fines were imposed on the discredited “Snake Oil” that had alcohol listed as a preservative – no doubt about that! Dead Lord Nelson was brought back to England in a barrel of Rum perfectly preserved after a 2 month summertime sail from the battle of Trafalgar in Spain.

The truth is there is such a thing as tired blood and it affects a large number of young and old putting us at risk for a shortened lifetime of poor health. No tonic or elixir or supplement is needed to have your blood energized in the most natural of all remedies. Just breathe properly through your nose with your diaphragm to make sure your blood has enough CO2 (carbon dioxide) pressure to offload oxygen into our 50 trillion cells, mainly brain cells!  Just as it is the CO2 in the Coke that gives it zest and fizz so it is with CO2 in the blood. A tired Coke has lost its CO2, its fizz and zest, so it is with tired blood.

The body has a very narrow limit of acid base balance called pH; 7 being neutral. Our body must maintain a narrow window pH of 7.35 – 7.45 or things quickly get dangerous. Cells die at acid levels of 6 or alkali levels of 8, so there is not much wiggle room. The marvelous buffering system is all due to CO2’s balance at a lung pressure of 40 mm Hg.  Improper breathing (mouth breathing) lowers CO2 levels reducing oxygen uptake. How much brain damage will you tolerate each day? How many more problems is improper breathing causing? Plenty I assure you. Proper breathing opens pipes, improper breathing restricts pipes. The human body is nothing but pipes and a breathing pipe is no different than a digestion pipe or a blood pipe. They should not be restricted by lack of CO2 pressure.

Oxygen is in plentiful supply in our blood and in the air we breathe, but carbon dioxide has to be made through metabolism and stored in the lungs at sufficient pressure. Ground air has 0.03% CO2 and our body needs 6.5% to function properly. Are we not overlooking a simple natural solution for improving the greatest health system in the world – our own body’s ability to heal itself?

Dysfunctional breathing is the root cause of many of our modern day inflammatory curses andHarrison-Woman-breathing-shutterstock_615065561-400 the human face, jaws, tongue and teeth cannot develop normally with overarching restrictions. We can teach and train you or your child to breathe right and give you good advice. There are good videos on You Tube that will help you understand the importance of this overlooked key to wellbeing.

We do everything possible in orthodontics to increase the airway of every patient and we have the knowledge and means to do a proper airway evaluation but many times it takes a team of referring specialists collaborating in the treatment of dysfunctional breathing to be successful in the cure.

Pay more attention to your breathing, for blood sake!

Get more facts gain knowledge, download The Breath of Life or call us to learn more: (727) 822-3156

John B. Harrison DDS, MSc