Don’t Have A Nervous Breakdown!

– Rebecca K. Horton, RDA

If your job involves talking on the phone, then you already know how annoying it is to have a noisy environment. Your stress goes way up. You then pass your stress on to the person on the other end of your conversation (and everyone else you meet) and you ratchet up your stress with every second you have to continue that conversation when surrounding noises are distracting you from your task.

Exhaustion ensues. Effectiveness plummets. You run the risk of making people dislike you. Then you need a psychiatrist. And need meds. Your life is ruined! Or at least your day.

Very few of us have the privilege of a private office and even if we do, printers, fans, and outside noises will infringe.

If you’re like me, I work in an open dental office setting, subject to all the noise of the drills, suction, conversations, children playing (crying), doorbells ringing and miscellaneous machines such as vacuum former, vacuum cleaner, etc. My job demands that I be polite and charming.

I do not want to offend anyone. My nerves need to be real good.

So, I’m getting THE ONE for dental office personnel so that I can save my precious energy TODAY and save my precious hearing for my tomorrows.

Here are the hearing loss types:

  • Auditory Processing Disorders
  • Conductive
  • Sensorineural (Permanent loss from everyday noise)
  • Mixed

THE ONE manages the noise in the dentist office.

Dental Filtered Hearing Premium Hearing Protection



Rebecca K. Horton, RDA

Ignorance of the law is no excuse.


Why not be ahead of the curve and investigate hearing protection for yourself and your staff immediately?

Just because you don’t have an apparent hearing loss issues at the moment does not mean that all is well. Protection with custom fitted ear plugs or THE ONE, specifically designed for dentists is recommended heartily. Such a simple solution to a big problem.


In the dental profession we are accustomed to scientific terms, so this time I’m going to give it to you in scientific terms:

  • This main organ of hearing is the cochlea and is part of your inner ear. Cochlear Damage means that all or part of your inner ear has been hurt. Damage to the cochlea typically causes permanent hearing loss. This is called sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL).
  • A Mixed Hearing Loss occurs when SHL and Conductive Hearing Loss are present. 
  • Most dentists will practice about 35 years, with an average of 4 days per week, 50 weeks a year.  56,000 hours of exposure to dB above the OSHA limit of 86 dB is enough to make a dentist (and his staff) suffer serious hearing loss.  Why wait til we’re mandated?
  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss causes the fine hairs that line the canal to go away.  Baldness of the ear canal, if you will. Once human hair cells have died, they cannot be regenerated. NOT REVERSIBLE. The cochlea is a snail-shaped, fluid-filled structure in the inner ear. Inside the cochlea is another structure called the organ of Corti. Hair cells are located on the basilar membrane of the cochlea. The cilia (the hair) of the hair cells make contact with another membrane called the tectorial membrane.
  • Intermittent and continuous noise from high speed evacuation systems, drills, compressed air, amalgamators (yes, some of us still use amalgam), ultrasonic cleaners, model trimmers, vacuum pumps, handpiece oiling systems, autoclave release, phones, radio, tv, kids, parents, staff, air conditioning units, and toilet flushes contribute to Sensorineural Hearing Loss issues. A loss that occurs when these types of sound cause damage to the cochlea or the nerve pathways from the inner ear.  Every day. If you add in the Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, chemicals, medications and Auditory Neuropathy you have a prescription for heartbreaking hearing loss issues.


Why not be ahead of the curve and investigate hearing protection for yourself and your staff immediately? 

Contact and let the experts with years of experience help you before it’s too late. 

OSHA will catch up to us soon enough. 

A word to the wise should be sufficient.

Integration of Dentistry and the One, a Guarantee to Tinnitus and Hearing Loss Prevention

Over the course of the years, dentists have been on the receiving end of  Tinnitus and hearing loss consequences emanating from their own practice. Apart from minor hand injuries and torn muscles operating on teeth, they experience continuous exposure to noise pollution. The sources of the noise they experience originate from the tools they use and from the natural environment. Some of the tools they use such as the handpieces generate too much noise which when the ear is exposed to for a long time, the dentist risks hearing loss. From the natural environment, the ear picks noise from the cries by the clients or from the people in the room during surgery. Without dentists, some of our toothache problems may lack an amicable solution, tooth alignment may stall and tooth removal cease. If the dentists are such a blessing to us, why do they go down the victims of tinnitus and hearing loss?

The One dental earplug

The One is a customized earplug specifically designed for the dentists. These earplugs prevent exposure of the ear to excessive noise from both the machines and the natural environment during operations. The One functions with two filters. There is the primary filter on the outside and the secondary filter in the inside. The primary filter filters general noise from the environment and machines. The secondary filter filters the unwanted noise before it reaches the eardrum.

The One Premium Series, With all the bells and whistles. Included are 4 sets of filters, one set of filter blocks, one tactical piece, and the filtered earplugs. to prevent tinnitus and hearing loss

The One Premium Series, With all the bells and whistles. Included are 4 sets of filters, one set of filter blocks, one tactical piece, and the filtered earplugs.

Importance of using the One dental earplug

The major difference between the big Ears’ the One dental earplug is that it allows for a certain limit of noise exposure. The two filters work simultaneously thereby controlling the type of noise that ends up in the inner ear. From the outside of the ear, the primary filter regulates the amount of noise entering the earplug from both the natural environment and the dental surgery equipment. Unlike other earplugs with a single filter, the One dental earplug has two to filters which collectively work together to regulate the amount of noise entering the inner ear.

On the second filter, the One dental earplug has the secondary filter installed. The secondary filter ensures only the natural voices access the inner ear. Additionally, it only allows up to 85dB. This implies that only the allowed noise pressure can penetrate the earplug. As for the One dental earplug, the allowed noise include natural sounds such as of the patient and the surgery crew. This earplug bars other types of noises from reaching the inner ear.

In addition, the dental earplug regulates the intensity of the noise that penetrates to the inner ear. This standardized feature does not discriminate the source of the noise. Therefore, even if the noise comes from the natural source, the secondary filter will filter it out. For instance, the earplug cancels the noise from a patient that screams exposing the eardrum of the dentist to a noise pressure exceeding 85dB. On the other hand, the earplug allows any other natural sound with pressure below 85dB into the eardrum.

Big Ear custom Earplugs make my life bearable from tinnitus and hearing loss

The ringing in your ears stays with you 24/7. It’s like having a toothache forever.

Tinnitus and hearing loss, a risk associated with loud noise exposure

According to the study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 5 out of 10 retired dentist experience tinnitus. In the same study, they discovered that a third of the people suffering from tinnitus seek medical assistance which proves quite expensive. Two out of five people suffering from tinnitus successfully recover using this medication whilst the rest remain in the irreversible state. In cases of tinnitus irreversibility, the dentist risks permanent ear loss.

Tinnitus refers to the perception of a type of a ringing sound by a person whereas the sound is non-existent. Over the course of the years, scientists have tried explaining what really causes tinnitus and what the potential treatment may be. In as much as they cannot precisely deduct the cure for tinnitus, they relate treatment by studying the causes. They relate tinnitus and hearing loss to the related illnesses and understanding the symptoms to help ease, manage or block out the ringing-in-the-ear sensation.

How tinnitus develop

There are several factors preempted to cause tinnitus. However, the major cause is prolonged exposure to of the ear to intensive noise. This exposure leads to the inner ear cell damage. Exposing an ear to high-intensity sound causes the inner delicate hairs to move in the direction of the sound waves. This triggers the ear cells to produce an electrical signal through the auditory nerve to the brain. The signals sent to the brain translates into sound. In cases where the inner hairs in the inner ear break or bend, a random electrical signal sent to the brain cause tinnitus and hearing loss.

Tinnitus symptoms

The main symptom of tinnitus is the ability to hear imaginary sounds when there is no actual sound in the environment. Some of the phantom noises from the ear associated with tinnitus include the following:

  1. A ringing sound, which may become louder or lighter with time.
  2. A frequent buzzing sound
  3. A roaring sound.
  4. A hissing sound

These sounds may occur in one or both ears. In some cases, the noise may become so loud that it interferes with a person’s concentration. The sound may be irritating hindering a person from hearing the actual sounds in the environment.

Causes of tinnitus

  1. Exposure to loud noise

This is the major cause of tinnitus. Continuous exposure to loud noise increases chances of the inner hair of the ear-bending or breaking. When the hair breaks, it triggers the auditory nerve to send irregular electrical signals to the brain triggering tinnitus. The dentists while performing their tooth surgeries, they use noisy equipment such as the handpieces. Such equipment produces a large volume of noise to the ear. Continuous use of the same equipment by the same dentist without an earplug exposes them to greater danger of developing tinnitus and hearing loss.

Other causes

  1. Age-related causes

As a person ages, they become vulnerable to presbycusis. Such a condition occurs when a person approaches the 60th age. The person tends to wear out in terms of their hearing capability. The more a person experiences ear loss, the higher the chances of developing tinnitus.

  1. Earwax blockage

Earwax protects the ear canal by trapping the dirt and preventing bacterial development in the ear. However, when the earwax over accumulates in the ear canal, it may cause ear loss or irritation in the ear canal which may cause tinnitus and hearing loss.

Tinnitus causes for dentists

Several scientists have hypothesized different possible causes of tinnitus. Some relate tinnitus to head injuries, acoustic neuroma, blood vessel disorders and other medications such as antibiotics and aspirin. In all their arguments, they appreciate that the major and legit cause of tinnitus in the dentist is exposure to noise.

Following the nature of the working environment the dentists, they cannot resist exposure to noise. Over the course of their carrier, they continuously expose their ears to excessive noise from both the materials, which they use and the patients themselves. The materials in their laboratories produce a high volume of noise, which may trigger tinnitus and hearing loss when exposed for long. Other sources of noise in the office are the natural cause. Natural causes include the noise from the surgery personnel and the patients.

Complications that come with tinnitus

Tinnitus affects a person wholesomely. The quality of life of the person deteriorates differently. According to a research by the department of health and human service, one may experience the following complications alongside tinnitus and hearing loss.

a. Fatigue

People with tinnitus and hearing loss experience frequent fatigue without a proper course. Others may feel lazy in handling even the slightest of house chores.

b. Stress, which develops due to continuous worries of the condition one, is in. Continued stress develops into depression.

c. Sleeping problems

d. Concentration issues

e. Irritability especially in the inner ear.

f. Depression arises with excessive worrying of the situation one is in.

General tinnitus preventive measures

  • Turn down the machine volume. Long-term exposure to loud music through headphones increases chances of developing tinnitus. For music listeners, reducing the music volume may help reduce chances of tinnitus infection. However, this preventive measure fails to apply to dentists. They cannot turn down the volume of noise produced by their machines.
  • Take care of cardiovascular health as a routine. Prevention of tinnitus and hearing loss linked to blood disorders is achievable through right diets, regular exercise and taking steps aimed at ensuring one attains a clean blood vessel. This preventive measure is applicable to the dentist. However, the tinnitus in dentists is not blood-linked.

Tinnitus and Hearing loss preventive measure for dentists

Using the Big Ear’s the One dental earplugs. As stated earlier, the One dental earplug is the one stop shop for a customized earplug for dentists. At Big Ear Earplug Company, thorough research on earplugs enhances production of the right kind of earplug any dentists would desire. The company ensures a dentist is comfortable in their earplugs, they provide after-purchase services where they trace the client’s progress. Finally, the earplug has two filters, the primary and the secondary filter. The primary filter prevents noise penetration from the environment whilst the secondary ensures only the natural noise such as of the patient penetrates to the inner ear of the dentist. Using the One dental earplug is the only safe way that guarantees a person total protection from tinnitus and hearing loss.

Tinnitus – Please Don’t Go Insane

Rebecca K. Horton, RDA


Tinnitus.  Tin-nie- tis. Tin nit us.

Say it any way you like but what a demon in your ear! 

Would you believe that people have actually committed suicide over tinnitus the new plague?  It’s true!  Most people don’t suffer that badly with it, but if you do please seek immediate help with an ear, nose and throat physician and tell them the truth about how it’s making you think really bad thoughts about hurting yourself.

There is no known cure for Tinnitus but some help may be available.  I personally find relief from it when I’m at my favorite spot on the Redneck Rivera down in the Gulf of Mexico.  The ocean has the right sound to cancel out the high pitch, electrical whine/squeal that I have in my left ear all the time.  Whenever I’m ill,  of course, it’s much worse and all I can tell you is that at this point in my life I would do ANYTHING to keep it from progressing.

 I am having custom ear plugs made so that the damaging noises that I’ve tolerated for years can be quieted and offer me some relief. Big Ear offers a product known as THE ONE that offers noise cancellation properties while allowing me to hear the necessary sounds of my job in a dental office. I’m hopeful that it will help with the Tinnitus as well.

I remember the medicine-related times that have helped create my Tinnitus:   One, a high dose of aspirin at age 18 and two, a high dose of Iodine later in life.  The Iodine also caused some dry, burning mouth issues that I thought would NEVER go away. (I’m much better thank you!)

Like most everyone else, I LOVE music and rock and roll is best served up in a bone-jarring dB.  I can remember having temporary hearing issues after nights out dancing.  That was kind of scary!

And the sickest I have ever been in my life was a series of illnesses inner ear infections.  I lost my balance, experienced crushing pain, and endured barbaric treatment that consisted of a copper wire being stuck in my ear and having to take the world’s nastiest antibiotics – SULPHA.  After I had my wisdom teeth out, I never had an inner ear infection again.  I really thought I was losing my mind and my hearing during that!  WHEW. Back to the subject.

Some of the known causes of Tinnitus are:

Contributing to Tinnitus and also becoming a problem of Tinnitus worsening include:

  • Smoking
  • Fatigue, stress, depression, anxiety, irritability, memory, sleeping
  • Concentration can become an issue
  • More exposure to high dB – wind noise, occupational noise, lawn mowing, barking dogs, etc.

The only good news is, mostly Tinnitus, in and of itself, is not a sign of a more severe health issue.  Maybe we should consider it a strong warning.

Prevention is the key to tinnitus the new plague, one such way is Custom ear plugs by Big Ear and other products by Big Ear could help by teaching you about these hazards and providing the proper protection to help you avoid further deterioration.

There’s a great free app called Tinnitus Describer so that you can identify your Tinnitus.  Wherever you are on the scale, don’t allow it to get worse!


Big Ear's The One M.E.T Select Series For Marching Band

(The One®) Select Series is the second tier selection in our M.E.T series. Furthering the idea of the standard set we wanted to give you as more choices to protect yourself.


University Of South Carolina





USC Marching Band Students

Big Ear will be back for the 4th year at USC.

We will be able to make impressions for your Custom Marching Band Hearing protection.

Payment will be taken at this time as well.

Monday, August 12: 9am-Noon
Wednesday, August 14: 4pm-5: 30 pm
Thursday, August 15: Noon-1pm


Why Do I Need Hearing protection?

Musicians around the world are suffering from hearing loss more than ever before as they have spent a lifetime without wearing any form of marching band hearing protection.

Surveys of universities reveal that more than 60% of band members suffer from tinnitus, or ringing in their ears, and more than 50% suffer from Noise-induced hearing loss. According to the World Health Organization, loss of hearing has escalated over the past 20 years and shows no sign of slowing down.

Band members have an increased risk for hearing loss as they have spent a majority of their young lives playing loud instruments near each other and during this time they have been exposed to horribly dangerous and irresponsible decibel levels without being warned about the lifelong pain and discomfort that they may potentially face due to playing in the band. Most musical instruments used in marching bands produce sound levels ranging from 92 – 126 dB as shown below will if unregulated or protected against cause irreparable hearing loss and may have already caused you tinnitus (Ringing in the ears). 

Here are actual sound level meter readings from the practice field and at a football game.

Marching Band Sound level meter readingsMarching Band Sound level reading

USC Marching Band At a gameListening is everything


The Problem

Hearing protection companies have done a very poor job creating products that allow musicians to still hear their Balance, intonation, and note accuracy when playing a piece of music as a generic earplug or generic musician earplug creates an uncomfortable muffling effect. In order for any form of hearing protection to work, the players must understand when they should be wearing the protection and then wear it. Students should be cultivating the mindset that hearing protection is the most important piece of equipment (other than their instrument) they have. And unfortunately, because companies have opted for the quick cash grab, they have in turn muddied the waters and established a sub-par standard for hearing protection rather than providing a product that actually works.

The Solution

We were angered by the lack of foresight and the overall laziness on the part of hearing protection companies who at the time felt that mediocre filtered hearing protection left it up to the musician to adjust to their third-party product. In response to this, we spent five years traveling from place to place meeting and discussing hearing conservation with musicians and band Directors. We concluded that there was no form of marching band hearing protection that existed that could allow the musician to be comfortable with the earplug in their ears and not degrade the way that they hear the environment around them. The challenge was set.

Our team worked for months alongside Dr. Weiss, Director of Band, Dr.Thomas Bough and hundreds of musicians from the University of South Carolina, MSU and NIU, to come up with a solution.

We looked at what every individual musician needed from the piccolo to the drum line and developed a patented solution to give musicians total situational awareness while focusing on comfort and hearing protection.

The result was our Musician Earplug Trainer, a two-part non-linear and linear filtered earplug that allows the musician to be protected from decibels over 85 decibels while never being taken out of their immediate surroundings due to the plugged up feeling that earplugs give a performing artist. After releasing the product into the world, the feedback was outstanding and we refined the product to what it is now, little did we know we were in for a rude awakening.

Months passed and we decided to hit the road just like musical artists to promote our new product to bands across the country. However, what we found upon arrival at most of the universities that we visited was heartbreaking. Musicians were understandably wary of filtered earplugs as they had already been bitten once by bad filtered earplugs and most of the students that we saw had no hearing protection in their ears, many cited that our products were too expensive (which upon reflection, they are pricey but not completely unaffordable) while others claimed that they were not feeling any ill effects from the band and are happy not protecting their hearing.

This confounded us and we had an a-ha moment, maybe it’s not only the products themselves but the education around hearing conservation that is extremely lacking. From that point on we have made the education of proper hearing conservation our guiding light and with each school that we visit our goal is to not just sell a piece of equipment but to educate young and old performers on proper hearing conservation and increase the probability that you will be able to play your music comfortably for as long as you choose. 

What We Do

The process is straightforward. We visit your school and discuss the goals of hearing conservation that you have for your band. After, we take that information and create a custom-tailored installment plan for your specific needs. We have the ability to finance products and we make our products as easily as accessible as possible.

As music lovers, we want to do whatever is possible to protect band members and preserve music as a safe and honored tradition. We welcome you to assist us in that goal.

As we know all too well, there will still be a great majority of players who will choose to go without hearing protection when you play or a greater portion of you who will choose to suffer through generic poor fitting earplugs. While we here wish that we could make a set of our earplugs for every player we visit, that is just not a reality. What I can offer is a few tips on how to conserve your hearing starting right now.

  1. If you feel any sensation in your ears, speak up. Your section leaders and band directors are across the board caring people with a healthy appreciation for music and those who make it, so don’t ever feel like you are being bothersome if you talk to them about pain in your ears.
  2. Notice the times of your rehearsal when the music peaks and prepare yourself by having a cheap pair of foam earplugs to stick in for that overwhelmingly loud duration.
  3. Distance yourself from an unruly player. If there is a member of your band who is known to let off an extra loud trumpet, piccolo, alto sax, or drum solo after you finish a song, try to distance yourself from the blast zone and be aware of your surroundings.
  4. Hand in hand with tip number 3, talk to that person about their habit and politely ask them to be mindful of their fellow musicians around them.
  5. If you are taking any medication, talk to your doctor or school nurse about the interaction of the specific medications with decibel levels as there are hundreds of medications that can damage your inner ear hair cells and cause you permanent hearing damage.
  6. In the same light If you hear the word ototoxic followed by the name of a medication you are taking speak to your doctor and band director immediately
  7. If you hear for any reason at all ringing in your ears, address the sensation immediately with your section leader or band director.

Now that we have prepared you for life without our product, below this picture is a list of reasons why we believe you would benefit greatly from wearing what we provide.

Big Ear's The One M.E.T Select Series For Marching Band

(The One®) Select Series is the second tier selection in our M.E.T series. Furthering the idea of the standard set we wanted to give you multiple decibel reduction choices.


A list of the reasons why The One is right for you

1. It’s clear and not very visible which will reduce the comments of your peers.
2. Unlike cheap foamies and generic musician earplugs, the one does not hurt when you wear them all day as they are custom made to your ears.
3. By wearing them all day, you will reduce the chances of getting dosed if someone decides to blast their instrument during downtime in a rehearsal session.
4. Because of the dual filter system, you can hear everyone and everything around you clearly and not miss anything.
5. When you are playing, you can hear the color of the music and stay in beat and in tune with your fellow players.
6. When the full band is playing, you can hear your own instrument and your section while being protected from the massive decibels that you produce.
7. You will be protecting your most important investment, and that is your hearing. As you get better at your craft, you can be assured that you will have your hearing for the rest of your life.

We will be attending the opening camp day August 15 from 9am-6pm to make this hearing protection available for the students.

During this time we will make custom Impressions. The clear earplug is lab generated and takes 21 business day to build and ship. If you order the filtered earplugs you will receive our main specialized filter (a 20-decibel blue filter as seen in the picture below) that you can use in a generic earplug until your custom plugs arrive in the mail.

We take all form of payment and on the 15th we will be able to finance our hearing protection with a $50.00 down payment.

Recently we have developed a three-tiered product option kit for musicians that allows the player to have more flexibility in how they wish to protect their hearing.

The first is our Custom Musician Earplug Standard Series that comes with  One set of filters, a lanyard, a Big Ear-cup, and case. (Click the link to see the product on our website)

How the One works.



The One Standard series

Custom Musician EarPlugs

Filtered Earplugs For Musicians. Allows the musician to hear their music and others around them while eliminating the plugged up feeling of earplugs while playing.










The second tier is the select series that includes an extra filter set so you can adjust the decibel levels that you reduce. The orange set in the picture below is a 25-decibel reduction, we also have a green 15 dB reduction and a purple 9-decibel reduction.


Marching Band Hearing Protection “Select series”

Big Ear's The One M.E.T Select Series For Marching Band

(The One®) Select Series is the second tier selection in our M.E.T series. Furthering the idea of the standard set we wanted to give you as more choices to protect yourself.










The Third Choice is our marching band hearing protection premium set with all 4 sets of filters for all your needs. (9 dB, 15 dB, 20 dB and 25 dB) Filters, one pop chord two filter plugs and a tactical piece with a rugged case.


Marching Band Hearing Protection Premium Series


Filtered Ear Plugs, Custom, Musician earplugs, Tactical Pieces, Rugged Case

The magnum opus of our Met Series, with all four filters, one pop chord, one tactical piece two filter plugs and a rugged carrying case this is the best money can buy










We wish you the best this season and if you have any questions you can contact us at any time via the website or the phone number 719-271-9081 or email us at If you wish to have a different selection of filters with your filtered set simply specify which one you would like when you have your impressions made.


Trumpet Player Testimonial



Alto Sax Testimonial



A second Trumpet testimonial



Serenity Now

Rebecca K. Horton, RDA


Yesterday I was so tired I didn’t think I could even go to dinner with my husband.

Why?  Well, the noisy old day and all the stress had just about worn me out.


I decided to do an experiment.  I recently was fitted for custom ear plugs while at the BMW Motorcycles of America Rally. It was held at the Des Moines Iowa Fairgrounds so it was a large meeting, with lots of vendors and attendees.  I stopped by the Big Ear Incorporated booth and a very nice young many by the name of Stone Hood took my impressions and made custom plugs while I waited.


The convention hall was so noisy you had to shout to be heard.  The moment he placed the impression material in my ear the noise stopped! I felt immediate relief and had one of those “aha!” Yet  “ahhhh“ moments.   I could hear him talking to me and another person who was asking questions, but no noise!  It was like a little vacation!


So yesterday when I was terribly exhausted, I went outside and sat on the steps, put my custom ear plugs in and took a five-minute SERENITY NOW break.  Just breathing in the fresh air and relaxing a bit.


In a few minutes, my energy returned and I was able to enjoy my evening.


Custom ear plugs by Big Ear Incorporated can do a lot more than just keep the wind quiet when you’re riding your motorcycle. Vacuuming the floors is easier, lawn mowing, weed eating, etc. Why suffer when you can relax and listen to your own thoughts? Ahhhhhhh……..  : )

Custom Ear plug serenity

Noisy Like A School Lunchroom Crossed With a Subway Station

Rebecca K. Horton, RDA


I saw an ad for a class coming up today with the subject line: CHANGING HOW WE FEEL BY CHANGING HOW WE THINK.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve had plenty of positive thinking classes in my time, and I’ve read dozens of books on the subject, even recorded an audiobook called “100 Tips for Everyday Anger Management”, available on I-Tunes.  It made me stop and think. Hmmmm.  Maybe CHANGING HOW WE THINK BY CHANGING THE WAY WE FEEL is what we really need.

No hearing protection, on my last nerve


I had a frank talk with our staff today about their perception of noise in the dental office.  Apparently, I DO NOT KNOW EVERYTHING. Yet.

Sara said “Sometimes I go to the bathroom and hold my hands over my ears and pray to MAKE IT STOP, LORD! when everyone is talking with their patients all at once, the television is on in every room, the radio is on, kids are on their cell phones, equipment is buzzing, the phone is ringing, the doorbell, the lab, the crying…”

Lisa said “Sometimes the suction bothers me so much that I get into my car at the end of the day and I cannot stand to have the radio on – I drive home in silence.  I am so relieved to have the quiet.”

Dr. said “I lose my train of thought when the office is too noisy and I find myself getting impatient with everyone, myself included.  I lose my place and sometimes my temper, sad to say.  That really wears me out.”

Rhonda said “How am I supposed to talk on the phone with a patient with all that racket? It’s so hard to hear what the patient is saying.  How can I be effective with all that? I can’t remember who I’m even talking to sometimes!”

The truth is, we come into work because we love what we do.  We just don’t like what the work does to us. We get ground down every day and no amount of POSITIVE THINKING can save you when you—PERSONALLY—are thrashed. And just because we start EVERY DAY DOWN IN THE MOUTH…lol… doesn’t mean we have to (figuratively) STAY there!

So, how about this, if we become what we think about all day long, what is it we become when we can’t hear ourselves think?  Not gonna be your Super Bowl Performance is it?  If you don’t care if you lose your hearing, well, alrighty then.

But why lose another day to a bad mood due to noise pollution?

Finally, Dental hearing protection that does not act like Ear Plugs.

The Best Dentist Custom Earplugs (The One®) Select

The Best Dentist Custom Earplugs (The One®) Select

Hearing Loss and Prevention in the Dental Office Setting


Rebecca K. Horton

According to NIOSH, National Institution for Occupational Safety and Health, the most common occupational injury of all is noise-induced hearing loss, not only in dental offices but everywhere.  Today, we’re going to discuss dental offices and NIHL, Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. Most dentists, hygienists, and assistants dedicate years to their careers in this important healthcare field. However, they’re at significant risk from an often undetected threat.  Just as the dental community discovered that losing teeth wasn’t a normal part of aging, neither is most hearing loss!

The three factors that cause hearing loss are:


In the dental office we have:


These sounds are tolerated on a daily basis with little thought to the damage actually occurring. 

The NIHL types are:


The loss that the dental industry suffers falls into the “boiling the frog” category. In other words, you don’t know you’re “well done” until it’s too late!

Sound, of course, is measured in Decibels and 86 dB is considered over the limit.

  • HIGH-SPEED HANDPIECE – 66 dB to 100 dB
  • HIGH-SPEED EVACUATION – up to 100 dB
  • SALIVA EJECTOR – up to 60 dB
  • VACUUM FORMER – up to 90 dB
  • AIR IN LAB – over 100 dB

You can check your levels free on several phone apps.  Try DECIBEL X to check your base levels.

Ear protection is a must.  Losing your hearing isn’t a normal part of aging.  Please take steps to safeguard your hearing and the hearing of others in your practice. Don’t forget to spread the word to others so the next generation of dental professionals doesn’t have to suffer the same loss.

Custom dental earplugs are available to prevent permanent hearing loss. There’s NO CURE, only PREVENTION.  Dentists know the truth about PREVENTION more than any other group of professionals.

The Best Marching Band Custom Earplugs (The One®) Select

The Best Dentist Custom Earplugs (The One®) Select

Noise-induced Hearing loss in Dentists

Hearing Noise or Useful Listening?

Rebecca K. Horton, RDA

In the dental office, we are bombarded by noise all day long.  Did you ever stop to think how tired this makes you at the end of the day?

What if you could hear what you need to hear without all the distraction and exhaustion of that ceaseless, noisy racket?

What if instead of getting annoyed before lunch because you had a crying child patient, or kids in the reception area talking loudly, or doorbells, ringing phones, equipment in a ceaseless din, you had the serenity of speaking quietly to the patient you are working on and to the assistant you are working with?  Would that make a difference in your life?

I can remember when we installed Theta Systems’ color-coded call system so we wouldn’t be yelling at each other.  We would simply push the colored button and that person would appear.  Right?  Yes.  And then there were times when we all abused that system.  We’d lay down on that buzzer because we were already stressed out by 9:30 AM.  The day goes downhill from there.  You buzzed in an aggressive fashion, then the person responding caught your stress, then stress multiplied like Gremlins who ate after midnight


So all day long the stress breeds more stress until at the end of the day when you should be celebrating making it through the day successfully, you are so pissed off you can’t think straight. 

What do you have to lose?  What do you have to gain?  Is it possible to not be exhausted at the end of the day?  Or, if you’re tired, why can’t it be a good tired? Why would you not move mountains to gain control of this situation that repeats itself day in and day out in dental offices around the world?

The solution does not cost much.  How much does it cost to be exhausted and angry instead of peaceful and happy?

How Transducers Work in Ear Monitors

Let’s talk transducers! for those of you who know what they are your ears will perk up, but for those of you who do not know what they are  I might as well be talking about solutions to the motion of the free asymmetric top or Göbekli Tepli, but if I do my job right then both the transducer savvy and the transducer newbies can leave here with more knowledge. So, where do we begin?


What are the transducers?  Look closely they are these little metal blocks.

I believe that eating the frog and jumping into the murky details of what a transducer does and how it functions in a very simple way is a great way to dissect this topic (Pun intended). The term transducer in its base form means the conversion of an energy signal into another energy form. Simple enough right? One signal (The Input)  takes in an electrical signal and relays that message to an output such as a radio outputting sound, or a machine such as this  STANLEY right angle torque tool. In the in-ear monitor niche, the transducers job is to in the words of to, “convert the electrical signal into a sound wave that the ear can understand. Its straightforward and over the years many companies have crafted higher and higher quality devices that fulfill the needs of many different applications. And within these applications are the different versions of drivers available and they are a balanced armature, Dynamic, Planar magnetic, Electrostatic, Magnetostriction, or bone conduction transducers.

With this many choices, it is hard to go wrong with the transducer that you purchase, However, not all headphone drivers are created equal, and each specific type serves its purpose, read this article to understand which is right for your intended application. In our companies niche, we have selected balanced armature drivers as they are ideal for fitting within a custom shell and provide users on motorcycles, and users who intend using their in-ear headphones for communication in extremely loud surroundings exceptional clarity while efficiently producing sound waves which ensure that the user can have beautiful sound while listening  at  responsible volume levels. And this is an important point to be made as there are many options on the market and so many companies including ourselves that market and sell products with transducers in them. There are so many now that it can be hard to differentiate between what product you specifically need, and since I am writing this for both experienced and inexperienced transducer crowds.

I believe there are some myths to dispell before we go any further. The first is that there is a correlation between the number of transducers and the sound quality. While this is a true statement in most cases if the unit is a well-built device that showcases quality frequency responses and linear dynamics and meets professional standards only when this is achieved will adding more transducers to the equation output a higher quality sound. But if the build of the device is subpar and done in a non-professional manner with uncertified technicians the sound reproduction is degraded quickly, and the finished product may offer more drivers at a lower cost but when compared to a well built lower transducer count, the lower count higher quality transducer will perform much better.

Here ia a perfect example for you to understand Frequency. Our transducers we use to give you a response from 20HZ to 20,000. Get a listen to what that actually is. Set your speaker system to 3/4 volume. This is not a pretty test and it may even annoy some, but when people make recording either books on tape or music this is the frequency range that is used. When we design our head Stereo earplugs we take into account first what the frequency that is present, (say wind noise on a motorcycle) and designs a headset that will compensate for the outside sound and makes us totally different than any other company out there. Their units are designed in a quiet setting with no background noise. That’s why when you hear it just in a room then try and use it in an application they ALL fall short.

Get a listen at 3/4 volume to understand what frequency is.

The next myth to dispell is that name brand headphones are the highest quality products that you can buy. In the world of sales and marketing, the biggest fish dominate the industry and while this is fair, what does suffer at times is the end consumer as they are constantly being conditioned to purchase the most name recognized brand.  The problem with doing this in the headphone industry is that it can wind up costing you a lot of money very quickly for a subpar product that has massive marketing forces pumping out ads and product placements.

Big Box

How can I find a set that is personally made for me?

This is a very small niche that the Big Box players can’t service as everything is custom and one off. They try and make it seem that using a generic ear cup or a heat and stuff will do the trick as it is the easiest to manufacture.

However for the few who decide to look past the veil of advertising, there are many articles written that compare the performance of both well known and unknown in-ear monitors and even more youtube videos than you could ever watch in a lifetime that break down every aspect of headphones, earbuds, speakers and transducers and what they can do for you. And for those who do their research and invest in the right product, you can limit the money you spend while searching for the right product while also supporting non-name brand products.

The last two myths that I would like to dispell are. First, all custom earplugs are the same and second that all custom transducer products are too expensive. These two can be dispelled by just typing in,”Are custom earbuds worth it?” Into Google. What you will find are cases where journalists take the plunge into custom earbuds to uncover how good they are. And the dynamic range of choices that each journalist or enthusiast has defeats the first myth. Dispelling the second part of the myth that custom headphones are all too expensive is why I am writing this article. The problem that I see permeated in other articles covering custom products is in many reviews; the journalists acquire the biggest baddest and most expensive products from the most established and well-known custom headphone companies. They get the ten drivers or the eight drivers and laud the performance of the device.

This in the world of cinematography is like getting ahold of a red epic or an Arri Alexa and stating that it’s amazing, its a known thing that is tried and true. However what happens is the journalist does the article on the ten thousand dollar product, and as an afterthought, they throw in that you can get an affordable product at the four hundred dollar price point and they end the article without going into any more detail. In our consumer-centric society, this is dangerous as it creates an air of false superiority around custom headsets in that they are lavish and only for the mega-wealthy or the world-class musician who has just signed a huge record deal. But that is not the case.

In our product line and most other companies, there are extremely available options that don’t cost as much as a downpayment on a home. From our Be-1c that retails at 350.00 or our Be-2 which provides pro-level sound quality at an affordable price of 550.00 or the myriad of other companies mid-tier priced products. These products are all but missed as they are not the flashy 5 or 10 driver’s that our marketplace has saturated. However, this would not be a productive post if I just stated the issues. The way that these products receive recognition and attention is like any other product or cause; it takes time and exposure to resonate with a broader audience. And hopefully, through articles like this one and the hundreds of others on the internet, customers can receive the correct information on the other options past generic earbuds.

Big Ear put a bow on it

Let’s wrap up what we learned.

I would like to wrap this up by sharing that the passion that custom companies have for creating these high-quality transducers. In most cases, you will deal with very honest and upstanding people who work hand in hand with some of the best labs in the world to create products that will provide their customers with the very best in both hearing production and sound recreation. And by doing business with these upstanding businesses you will cultivate a market that keeps everybody who sells these products on their toes and constantly innovating to create the very best products, and in turn, you create a truly fair marketplace.