Dental Myths Debunked

1. Dental health has nothing to do with overall health

Dental health relates directly to overall health. Brushing and flossing twice daily is an important component, but you still need to schedule routine check-ups with your dental team. While it may seem like you are perfectly healthy, your mouth can help detect larger problems in other parts of your body. Your mouth can shine a light on diseases and disorders like cancer, be part of the reason for various sleep disorders, etc. Monitoring your dental habits is important for your entire body to function properly.

 

2. Bleaching teeth will harm teeth

Bleaching your teeth does not weaken or harm your teeth. It simply changes tooth color. Sensitivity may occur for a brief period after bleaching occurs, but once again your teeth will not be harmed.

 

3. The more teeth are brushed, the healthier they will be

Brushing your teeth too often can wear them down faster. The toothbrush is abrasive and that coupled with toothpaste amplifies the effect on your teeth and gums. Too much brushing can lead to dental problems down the line. Rinsing your teeth after eating or drinking can help reduce plaque build-up. Stick with the recommended twice a day rule and you should be just fine!

 

4. There’s no need to take your baby to the dentist, their teeth will fall out in a few years

While babies do lose their baby teeth as the grow, they still require regular care. Neglecting your child’s baby teeth while they are young can lead to problems with the development of their adult teeth. When your baby’s teeth first grow, make sure to brush them right away (fingertip toothbrushes can be extremely helpful) and take them to the dentist. The first trip to the dentist should occur around the age of one.

 

5. If your gums are bleeding, you should not floss or brush them

The complete opposite is true; please brush and floss your teeth. If your gums are bleeding it may be caused by infrequent brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing more consistently removes more plaque from the teeth and mouth. Bleeding gums can be a sign of things like gingivitis or can even be a side effect of pregnancy. If the bleeding persists it is best to get a dental check-up or professional cleaning.

Why X-rays Are Important

Just like the rest of your body, your mouth also needs an x-ray every now and then. A smart dental plan will always include x-rays for diagnostic and preventative care reasons.

An x-ray is a type of energy that passes through soft tissues and is absorbed by dense tissue.

The dental x-ray can take place intra-orally or extra-orally. Intra-orally means from inside the mouth, while extra-orally takes place outside the mouth. Because teeth and bone are dense, they are more readily able to absorb x-rays to be viewed.

The main things that your dental team are looking at in the radiograph are the teeth, bones, and supporting tissues of the mouth. These x-rays allow dentists to:

  • Discover cavities
  • Look at the root of the tooth
  • See how healthy the bones of the teeth are
  • Determine your level of oral health
  • Keep an eye on developing teeth

X-rays have also come a long way since they were first used in dental care. The dose of radiation is extremely limited, faster film has been developed, digital radiography is being used to limit radiation exposure, safety inspections are required do to state and federal laws, lead shields/aprons exist, and they are only done when necessary.

With all of this in mind, x-rays are here to monitor the safety of all dental patients. We at Nicollet Station Dental, want you to know you’re receiving the best care from the moment you step into the office. Schedule a routine check-up with us today!

Top 5 Health Benefits to Smiling More

A smile matters more than you think in terms of physical and mental health. Here are 5 benefits to smiling more.

  1. Lower heart rate. When you laugh and smile studies have shown that your muscles can be more relaxed, causing a decrease in heart rate.
  2. A Better mood. Smiling can cause a boost to your mood and an increase in the positive thoughts you experience. Even if you don’t start in the best of spirits, a fake smile can turn into a real one causing those around you to reap the benefits as well.
  3. Increase productivity. There is a surge of dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin that takes place when smiling. This surge can help you get your work load done in a more upbeat and motivated way.
  4. Ease pain. Again, the release of dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin all play into this factor. These three neurotransmitters are known to be natural pain killers.
  5. Live longer. One study even suggests that those who smile more often can live nearly seven years longer.

Remember, you’re never fully dressed without a smile, so spread the joy and smile whenever you get the chance!

Dental Sealant Procedure Explained

Why might a sealant be the answer to your plaque build-up problems?

Brushing and flossing regularly are great habits that do help get most of the bacteria and particles left in the mouth out after eating and/or drinking.  While these habits get most everything out, they can’t get it all. Sometimes sealants are placed over the grooves on the outer layer of teeth to make it harder for plaque to develop. A dental sealant is basically a plastic cover that adds an extra layer protection in the heavily grooved or pitted areas of teeth.

What might a dental sealant procedure look like?

  1. Your dental hygienist will completely polish the surface of your teeth. Once they are sure everything is off they will dry and etch the surface. The etching material is then rinsed off and you are ready to have the sealant placed.
  2. The dental sealant material will be placed on the tooth and a special light will be used as a bonding agent. This takes about 30-60 seconds in total.
  3. Your dental hygienist and dentist will both check to make sure the proper contact between the tooth and sealant. The plastic will harden and you are free to use your tooth normally again.

4 Quick Tips for Adults with Braces

There are many reasons people decide to get braces when they are older rather than younger. Braces help align your teeth and jaw so that you have the best smile and oral comfort possible. It will also become easier to keep your teeth clean after you get them taken off. Here are some quick tips for the adults that are considering getting braces.

  1. You should be brushing your teeth every time you eat, not only twice a day. You never know what might get stuck in between the wires and it’s important that any food or drink particles are out of your mouth after eating. You must pay extra attention in order to protect yourself from decay, staining, and gum disease when you have braces.

 

  1. A mouthwash with fluoride can help prevent white spots and cavities from developing on your teeth.

 

  1. Watch the foods you eat. Hard foods like carrots can get stuck in between brackets or teeth, sticky drinks like soda can stick to the surfaces of teeth, and sugary foods like gum and candy can lead to tooth decay. All of these types of food and drinks should be minimized whenever possible.

 

  1. There are many types of braces out there to fit everyone’s individual lifestyle, wants, and needs. Traditional braces, ceramic braces, damon braces, clear and removable aligners, forsus appliances, and palatial expanders are just some of the choices out there.

Your dental team is here to help with any questions or concerns you have at all times. Talk to us today to see if adult braces could be the right option for you!

Our Office is Your Office

A visit to the dentist should be as pleasant as possible. At our office, we want you to feel relaxed and comfortable, but most of all safe during the entirety of your stay. We offer a variety of beverages in our reception area, televisions on the ceilings in our treatment rooms, pillows, blankets, and hot towels for after your treatment has commenced.

We also have some of the most innovative technology in the industry as well as added amenities to help your time in our office fly by.

  • Our digital X-rays actually reduce radiation and give instantaneous, diagnostic radiographs. This means quicker results for our dental team to review and a quicker time in and out of the office for you.
  • Our intra-oral cameras give you a direct view of what the dentist sees right as your appointment is happening. The overhead monitor is placed above you so that you have a clear and concise view of everything that is happening.
  • We use our diagnodent laser instruments to detect decay that often goes unnoticed with more of the traditional procedures, tools, and checkups. We want to prevent and/or treat whenever we notice something.
  • We also offer the ability to use nitrous oxide gas during various dental procedures to ensure relaxation and peace-of-mind.
  • If you want to listen to music or just not hear your procedure during your time in the office, we also have complimentary headphones to use at the time of your visit.

 

We want you to have the best experience while visiting Nicollet Station Dental and we would love to hear any comments about how we can make your time with us better. From our team to you, thanks for being Nicollet Station Dental patient!

Should I Whiten My Teeth?

With so many options on how to whiten your teeth, it is important to know your options. We’ve broken down the top four methods that can help you achieve brighter and whiter teeth.

In-office treatment:

In our office, we have the ability to administer whitening products directly to your teeth and/or give you at home whitening trays. Our in-office treatment uses a highly-concentrated gel that requires more protection of the gums so it has to be done in-office. In a short time, we can give your teeth a quick whitening boost. We tend to pair this treatment with trays to extend the results longer.

Whitening strips:

Whitening strips aim to either bleach the surface of the tooth completely using low percentage containing peroxides or use chemical reactions to help remove surface stains only. When looking for the right product for you it is important to look into which option

 Toothpastes and Mouthwashes:

You can usually purchase toothpastes and mouthwashes that contain whitening agents in their chemical make-up from most larger retail stores. It is important to look at different factors like the active ingredients, price, and reviews so that you can get the best results for you.

 Limit foods that can stain your teeth:

Many of the foods and drinks we love can stain our teeth over time.  Limiting the amounts of coffee, colas, tea, wines, tomato juices, berries, high-sugared candies, foods with dye in their ingredients, etc. If it’s too hard to limit these, try adding a straw to your routine. You still get to enjoy your favorite drinks this way. Try incorporating more fibrous fruits like apples or pears, malic acid containing strawberries, high iron broccoli, and carrots which have an abrasive surface to naturally scrub residues off your teeth too.

 Whitening sensitivity problems: While some are able to take these options at full force, tooth sensitivity can be a limiting factor. If you have ever tried any of these previously discussed options and experienced discomfort we’ve included some tips for you too! They are:

  • Wear the trays or strips for shorter amounts of time
  • Brush with a sensitive teeth toothpaste that contains a potassium nitrate
  • Take longer breaks between whitening

 Now that you know some of the best ways to achieve a brighter smile, we hope you have more background information the next time you consider whitening your teeth.

Fluoride Treatment Information

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that develops near bodies of water. Fluoride can actually be found in some everyday things like water, foods, mouth rinses, and toothpaste too.

What does it do?

Fluoride helps make your teeth stronger and more apt to defend themselves against things like cavities ad plaque build-up. It can help repair the early stages of tooth decay and can help harden enamel as well.

Why does it work?

Fluoride is applied to the surfaces of the teeth and then absorbed through the enamel. This process allows for calcium and phosphorous that may have been lost to be replenished.

 Fluoride is helpful for contributing to a healthy set of teeth and can be useful to anyone at risk to tooth decay. Ask your dentist if fluoride treatment may be an option for you at your next dental check-up.

What You Eat Can Affect Your Oral Health

What you eat plays a role in your oral health. Eating well ensures that you are getting all the proper nutrients into your body and building up your body’s immunity to things like tooth decay and infections.

Many processed foods contained high amounts of sugars, carbohydrates, and starches. Foods with high amounts of these things can contribute to the creation of plaque acids. Once developed these acids can eventually attack tooth enamel, ultimately leading to the formation of cavities. Some good news is that your saliva is actually able to wash away some of the plaque acids that develop as you eat. Your saliva can only do so much for your oral health and dependent on how much of these not-so-great foods that you put in your body it may not be enough to protect your teeth.

This is not to say that all foods that contain sugars, carbohydrates, and starches are bad. This is to say that you should try to lessen the amounts of foods that have been known to contain less of the nutrients you need and more of the things you don’t, like added sugars. Items like dairy products and vegetables contain higher amounts of sugars than you might expect. Things like cheese, fruit, almonds, and raw veggies are super nutritious and help get your body the vitamins and nutrients that are good for you into your system. Try to read nutrition labels and limit sugary snacks like pop or juices whenever you can. Remember, it’s all about moderation.

Your diet really does contribute to how your mouth looks and feels on a day-to-day basis. To look and feel good remember to be conscious of the foods you put into your body.