- from Stacy B. (Dental Assistant)
Although many of us know that it is important to help infants and toddlers with their oral hygiene, it is also important to monitor it as they get older. As a parent myself, I often feel that it is sufficient to ask my older children if they brushed and flossed that day. If they reply yes, I assume that they are doing a good job. In my experience, however, they were NOT doing an adequate job...resulting in cavities! One helpful tool would be to give them a timer to make sure they are spending at least 2 minutes at a time brushing their teeth. Flossing aides can also be very helpful. Make sure that if they are old enough to spit out the toothpaste, that it contains fluoride. And of course, schedule routine dental visits with fluoride treatments and sealants. Call us at 507-345-7786 if you would like to get those appointments on the calendar!
- from Stacy B. (Dental Assistant)
Is it necessary to have your wisdom teeth removed?
No, not all people need their wisdom teeth removed. However, wisdom teeth are positioned in the upper & lower furthest back part of your mouth, making it difficult to reach and keep clean. When proper oral hygiene is not continually maintained in these areas it can cause debris and tartar build-up, leading to possible tooth decay, inflammation, discomfort, gum disease, infection or bad odors. Also, if wisdom teeth do not position correctly in the mouth it can lead to malocclusion (alignment issues), which can lead to headaches, discomfort, difficult chewing, tooth decay, mouth breathing, speech problems (lisp development), biting of cheeks or tongue, and in some cases wisdom teeth can push other teeth, causing crowding issues. These potential issues are why most dental professionals may recommend removal of wisdom teeth.
- from Lisa G. (Business Team)
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, those days of soda and pretzels and beer!
If you remember this song and still have all your teeth, you are doing well. Summer vacations can throw us out of our good oral hygiene routine. Nothing can replace brushing and flossing, but here are some things you can do in a pinch:
1. Drink plenty of water: it can lower the acid level in your mouth immediately. Water is a MUST in summer.
2. Chew sugar free gum or have a mint with xylitol. Xylitol prevents the bacteria in plaque from metabolizing sugar that creates the acids which cause tooth decay.
3. Eat raw fruits and vegetables that taste so good in season. The fibrous nature of foods (especially pears and celery) requires chewing and produces an abundance of saliva and physically removes plaque.
4. Choose snacks like cheese and yogurt that contain casein, a protein found in milk that is useful for fortifying the tooth surface.
It's summer, so kick back in your hammock and Floss like a Boss!
- from Jill S. (Dental Hygienist)
Now that spring is FINALLY here, there's a few things to add to your cleaning checklist to include oral hygiene in the plan:
1. Replace your old toothbrush - get in the habit of changing your toothbrush every 3 months. The ability for a toothbrush to reach small crevices decreases as the bristles wear down. Bacterial and viral infections are another reason to switch your toothbrush for a new one. Infectious agents can live throughout the bristles with the potential to reinfect you, so make sure to toss your toothbrush after every cold!
2. Check the expiration date on your mouthwash - using mouthwash past the expiration date can affect the taste and the effectiveness, so make sure yours is still good.
3. Add floss - with a daily flossing schedule, it can add up to roughly 45 feet of floss per month! Stock up to avoid running out.
4. Schedule an appointment - with cleanings recommended every 6 months, regular visits should already be a part of your schedule. Seeing your dentist regularly is a good way to spot and stop any problems before they become bigger, pricier, and painful.
Reminder - in order to benefit our patients we are open until 7 on Monday and Tuesday during the fall/winter months. Now that spring is here, these days we will be open until 5 starting May 1. Our lunch hour is between 1:00 and 2:00. Summer schedules are booking up quickly, so make an appointment today! Call us at 507-345-7786 and we would be happy to help you find a convenient time.
- from Jamie R. (Dental Assistant)
I’m excited that my grandson is coming into the office to have an athletic mouth guard made. Currently he is using a boil-and-bite mouth guard, which gives minimal protection. At the dental office they will take impression of the upper teeth, which is accurate and will have a snug fit and be less likely for him to chew on, like many do with the boil-and-bite. Many of our patients who are in a contact sport have had a mouth guard made and continue to do that. We'd be happy to answer your questions about these great products!
- from Rachel B. (Business Team)
We understand that the appearance and shade of your teeth are important. Any time a tooth-colored filling or tooth-colored crown is done, we will shade match. We work with talented dental labs and are able to take and send pictures as well as do custom shading. Your satisfaction is our goal!
- from Kirsten C. (Dental Assistant)
Regarding insurance, our office is in-network with Delta Dental Premier and Delta Dental State of Minnesota PPO. If your company is out of network, we are happy to file claims and work with you to get the most from your insurance benefits. Many times the difference between in and out of network is very minimal. Ask us, we are happy to help!
- from Deb B. (Business Team)
Keeping your gums healthy between dental cleanings can be challenging and sometimes using a special toothpaste like Parodontax can be helpful. Gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease) can be progressive, possibly leading to more severe periodontal disease.
People often ignore symptoms because they believe bleeding gums are:
1. A sign of efficient cleaning and assume blood is the result of brushing or flossing too hard.
2. A temporary problem and blame symptoms on underlying factors such as stress, genetics, age, etc.
3. A normal part of daily life and fail to understand that bleeding gums may be associated with gingivitis.
4. Untreatable and avoid the problem because they fear the long-term damage cannot be resolved.
Leave bleeding gums behind with Parodontax toothpaste. I have had several patients that have had good results using this toothpaste. If you are seeing your dental hygienist on the recommended 3 - 6 month cleanings, brushing and flossing twice daily and still having bleeding issues, why not give Parodontax a try?
- from Julie C. (Dental Hygienist)
Did you know that each of your teeth are identified by letters and numbers? Primary (baby) teeth are identified by letters and permanent teeth by numbers. Take a look at the picture below and see if you can identify your teeth. Make it fun with children by asking them to locate a tooth.
- from Sharon M. (Business Team)
Commerce Drive Dental team members all contribute to this blog, including our dentists, assistants, hygienists, and business team personnel.