Preventive Dental Care

Preventive dental care is a vital part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums throughout your life.  No matter your age, you should practice good oral hygiene at home and schedule regular checkups with your dentist.

Here are a few things you can do to keep that bright and healthy smile, and prevent the build-up of plaque and the onset of cavities.

  • Brush your teeth regularly, at least twice a day, with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride to help keep the enamel strong.
  • Brush the top surface of your tongue to help remove extra plaque-causing particles – this will also help keep your breath nice and fresh.
  • Clean between your teeth with floss at least once per day.
  • Use mouthwash once a day to help dislodge any additional decay-causing food particles and bacteria from areas the brush and floss could not reach.
  • Eat a balanced diet, including plenty of raw vegetables, cheese, plain yogurt and fruit.
  • Avoid soda and sugary foods.
  • If you participate in sports – whenever possible, wear a mouth guard.
  • Visit your dentist regularly, every six months and ask about any other ways to protect and maintain your teeth – dentistry is a rapidly advancing field.

Brushing Instructions

  1. Place your toothbrush, touching your teeth, at a 45 degree angle to your gums
  2. Move the brush gently, in a circular motion.
  3. Make sure to brush the inner, outer and chewing surfaces of each individual tooth.
  4. The tip of your brush can be used to brush the inner surface of your front teeth

Flossing Instructions

  1. Wind about 18” of dental floss around your index fingers with about an inch of floss available between them.
  2. Most of the floss should be wrapped around one of the fingers with the other acting as the “pick up spool” as the floss is used to clean your teeth.
  3. Use your forefingers and thumbs to guide the floss between your teeth. Hold the floss firmly as you move the floss in a sawing pattern.
  4. Slide the floss up and down against and between each tooth.

Contact our dental office and make an appointment.  We are here to help: (802) 878-5591

Meet Your Dentists

Dr. J. Allen Feeley DDS
Dr. J. Allen Feeley DDS
“I enjoy being able to take care of people on a daily basis, whether it is getting them out of pain, improving their smile, or simply keeping them in excellent dental health. Having practiced over 30 years, I have enjoyed the relationships that I’ve developed with our family of patients.”

Full Biography

Dr. Nathan Makay DDS
Dr. Nathan Makay DDS
“My profession means everything to me. It is what drives me every day and, other than my family, it is what I enjoy the most. Having the opportunity to make people feel better about themselves and their smiles, and to work with people who enjoy it as well, is unexplainable.”

Full Biography

Dr. Michael L. Gibilisco DMD
Dr. Michael L. Gibilisco DMD
“Some children dream to grow up and become astronauts or cowboys, but I’ve always wanted to be a dentist. Now my profession is my passion and my life. Every day is an adventure and the opportunity to help others is a gift to me.”

Full Biography

Dr. Jessica Hacker DDS
Dr. Jessica Hacker DDS
“I view myself as an advocate for the patient’s health, not as some sort of Dentistry Dictator. My job is to give patients as many options as possible, explain the differences, and help them make decisions that fit their lives.”

Full Biography

What Sets Us Apart?


The professionals at Essex Family Dental are among the most skilled dental care teams in Vermont. Dr. J. Allen Feeley, Dr. Nathan Makay, Dr. Michael L. Gibilisco, and Dr. Jessica Hacker apply their expertise and consult with one another for the unique benefit of the people they treat.


Your ease at our practice is very important to us, whether that means a comfortable waiting room, painless treatment, or feeling informed about your care. Our doctors are happy to educate you about your treatment options and our staff is always gentle.


Essex Family Dental keeps the most convenient hours, offering appointments until 7pm Monday-Thursday, including morning and afternoon appointments on Friday and Saturday. We also schedule same-day treatment for patients with emergency needs.

A few words from our patients:

Four or five years ago, my son’s mother was not getting him to the dentist, and I only had him on the weekends, so I needed to find a dentist that had weekend hours. There are not many out there, and when I found EFD, I was pleasantly surprised. They have three or four dentists, but we have only ever seen Dr. Kanin. I like my other dentist as well, but the Saturday hours are what sold me on EFD. They also have a lot of evening hours available. Very convenient.
James M., YELP
Dr Feeley and staff has given great care for the past 6 years. What impresses me most is their reliance on technology…from playing Sirius for their music to taking digital X-rays, the technology is top notch. The staff is friendly and a pleasure to deal with. I have 5 kids and take three of them here and two of them elsewhere.
A dentist showing porcelain teeth to pacient
This office is wonderful! They are so nice and professional, and sensitive to those who have had past bad experiences (me) or are timid about the dentist (my daughter). I finally found a good dentist in the area!
Sara R, YELP