White Bear Smiles

White Bear Smiles

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

At White Bear Smiles, we strongly believe in education, both for ourselves and for our patients. We've found that patients who take charge of their dental care and ask questions about their health, our practice, and dentistry in general tend to have better overall outcomes. 

So go ahead! Ask us your questions! We're happy to take the time to give you the information you need to make decisions about your care. 

We've collected some of our most commonly heard questions here, but if you need more information or you don't see your question, don't hesitate to give us a call. We're here to help.

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Gum Disease in Women

There are certain times in a woman's life when she may be more susceptible to gum disease. The changes a woman goes through, puberty and menopause among them, pregnancy and menstrual cycles also, cause hormonal changes in the body. Those changes may require a woman to adjust her diet and exercise patterns.

For instance, as we all know, pregnant women tend to snack a lot. It's important for them to avoid sugary, sticky snacks.

The changes can affect many of the tissues in the body, including the gums. The gums can become unusually sensitive and can react strongly to hormonal fluctuations. All this can leave a woman vulnerable to gum disease. Studies have also shown that pregnant women with gum disease are far more likely to deliver pre-term, low birth weight babies.

 

Talk to Your Dentist About Your Risk of Gum Disease

If you are a woman, talk to your dentist about any special steps you should take to maintain good oral health while going through the different periods of your life. At White Bear Smiles, we specialize in treating gum disease in patients of all ages and genders. Contact our comfortable dental office in White Bear Lake, MN to learn more about gum disease. 

Adult and Geriatric Oral Health

Unfortunately, the possibility of having dental problems doesn't necessarily diminish as we age. Although the baby boomer generation has benefited from water fluoridation programs and fluoride toothpaste, problems can still crop up in the adult's mouth.

 

The Problem of Gum Disease

Gum disease, for instance, remains a problem for adults. Some 14 percent of adults aged 45 to 54 have severe gum disease.

Signs and symptoms from soft-tissue diseases like cold sores are common in adults. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, about 19 percent of adults aged 25 to 44 are affected by such soft-tissue ailments.

Other Dental Problems

Every year more than 400,000 cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy are afflicted with oral problems like painful mouth ulcers, loss of taste and dry mouth as a result of malfunctioning salivary glands.

The CDC reports that employed adults lose more than 164 million hours of work each year because or oral health problems. So the message is keep brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly. Don't sit back and relax.

You May Be At Risk of Losing Tooth Enamel Permanently

Bulimia and anorexia nervosa are two serious eating disorders. Each can cause problems in your mouth. Anorexia nervosa is an unnatural fear of gaining weight. Bulimia is a condition in which a person compulsively overeats and then induces vomiting to get rid of the food. Some anorectics also induce vomiting. The danger to teeth comes from the fact that the stomach acid generated by vomiting can severely erode tooth enamel. Adolescent and twenty- to thirty-year-old females are most at risk for developing an eating disorder, although males can be affected, too.

Many Symptoms Accompany an Eating Disorder

When the dentist notices unusual enamel erosion on the teeth of a person who appears to be otherwise healthy, he might be able to raise the issue of an eating disorder. Depression often accompanies an eating disorder and a person, whether bulimic or anorexic will often get lax about oral hygiene. Problems like gum disease can develop. While the dentist can treat the appearance of the teeth with cosmetic dentistry, he can't cure the underlying issue. Regular trips to the dentist should be part of your overall plan for maintaining your health.

elderly woman with female caretaker | Dental Care for Caregivers | Geriatric Dentistry in White Bear Lake

Dental Care for Caregivers

Providing dental care as a caregiver requires patience most of all. But whether it's an elderly person or one with developmental disabilities, your charge needs to practice good oral hygiene with your help.

 

How to Brush Someone Else's Teeth

First, wash your hands and put on sanitary, disposable gloves. Stand or sit where you have a good view of all the teeth and make sure you have good light. Apply only a small amount of toothpaste to the toothbrush. Brush all surfaces of each tooth and angle the toothbrush to brush gently at the gum line. Gently brush the tongue after you've finished the teeth. Help the person rinse with plain water. Think about whether a power toothbrush might make the job easier, but give your charge time to get used to one.

Also, the bathroom is not the only place where teeth can be brushed. The important thing is to get the job done. So if some other room is more comfortable for the person you're helping, that's fine. Naturally, make sure you get the person you're helping to the dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and professional cleaning.

glass of water | Does bottled water give me a sufficient amount of fluoride? | White Bear Smiles

The popularity of bottled water has surged in recent years. In 2000, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, annual per capita consumption of bottled water in the United States was 18.3 gallons. This year, they expect that figure to reach roughly 25 gallons per person.

Fluoride in Bottled Water

The American Dental Association has determined, however, that most bottled waters do not contain optimal levels of fluoride. Optimal levels range from 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million. The ADA has for decades supported fluoridation programs for water supplies. Fluoride at optimal levels helps prevent tooth decay. All ground and surface water in the United States contains some naturally occurring fluoride. And the ADA has supported efforts to add fluoride to drinking supplies when necessary to raise the parts-per-million number to at least 0.7 ppm.

If you are a bottled water drinker, examine the label on your favorite product and talk to your local White Bear Lake dentist about whether you are getting enough fluoride and how you may be able to supplement your diet if you're not.

ADA Recommendations for Your Child's Dental Health

The ADA recommends that the first visit happens between the ages of 1 and 2. Hopefully by this point conversations with both your family's doctor and dentist have been occurring before, during, and after the pregnancy to help ensure good home care and nutrition. 

Even though these first teeth will eventually be lost, they still play an important role. Baby teeth are important for chewing, speaking, socialization, and holding space for the adult teeth. Your participation as a parent is especially important for your child's first seven years or so. 

Consult Before Your First Appointment

We recommend talking to our office prior to the first visit. We'll go over what we would like to accomplish and help set the stage for the first visit. Above all else, we want this visit to go well and be a positive and educational experience. Special "first visit" books, puppets, videos, and child-sized chairs are utilized as necessary to help develop trust and comfort for your child.

We do as much diagnostically as we can while keeping it upbeat for both you and your child. We'll discuss any concerns, make any needed recommendations, and set up the next visit. Most importantly, we want your little one to leave with a big smile! After the appointment, kids pick a toy from the toy basket to take home!

Contact Us

If your little one is ready for their first visit, call our office to schedule your consultation with our doctors! 

Additional Resources

Trust and Communication are Vital

As in any relationship, there are responsibilities on each side. The two of you need to share trust and communication. If, for instance, you are confused or want more information after your dentist has recommended a path of treatment, you should feel free to ask for more information. For example, you might ask which of the steps the dentist mentioned are optional and which are necessary. Your dentist should be able to outline a course of treatment that sets priorities and gives you some options.

Obtain A Second Opinion

If you are still uncertain about what to do, you might opt for a second opinion. Your local dental society should be able to refer you to another dentist. And your dentist should be comfortable discussing costs, payment methods and a schedule for payment. If you're new in town and choosing a dentist, feel free to shop around.

For your part, be a good patient and practice good oral hygiene at home, visit the dentist regularly and pay your bills promptly. Talk with your dentist about ways to keep the relationship healthy.

Food Stays With You After You Eat

The food that you chew and eat leaves a residue in your mouth and nothing could make the bacteria that live in your mouth happier. Bacteria love the sugars and starch found in many foods. If you don't clean your teeth thoroughly after eating, bacteria will use the sugars and starch to produce acids that can eat through the enamel on your teeth. After a while, tooth decay begins. The more often you eat and the longer food residue stays in your mouth, the greater the potential for damage.

Some Foods Are Better for Your Teeth 

You may be surprised to learn that some foods that are otherwise very good for you are also high in sugars and starch. Just some examples are fruit, milk, bread, cereal and even vegetables. You don't have to stay away from these foods. In fact, they're part of a balanced diet. But keep in mind that foods eaten as part of a meal – as opposed to a snack – cause less harm because you produce more saliva during a meal. That helps wash food residue from the mouth and lessens the impact of acids.

Finally, limit your snacks. Each time you eat food with sugar or starch, acids attack your teeth for 20 minutes or more.

Food and Tooth Decay

The food that you chew and eat leaves a residue in your mouth, and nothing could make the bacteria that live in your mouth happier. Bacteria love the sugars and starch found in many foods. If you don't clean your teeth thoroughly after eating, bacteria will use the sugars and starch to produce acids that can eat through the enamel on your teeth. After a while, tooth decay begins. The more often you eat and the longer food residue stays in your mouth, the greater the potential for damage.

Eat to Minimize Tooth Decay

You may be surprised to learn that some foods that are otherwise very good for you are also high in sugars and starch. Just some examples are fruit, milk, bread, cereal and even vegetables. You don't have to stay away from these foods. In fact, they're part of a balanced diet. But keep in mind that foods eaten as part of a meal – as opposed to a snack – cause less harm because you produce more saliva during a meal. That helps wash food residue from the mouth and lessens the impact of acids.

Finally, limit your snacks. Each time you eat food with sugar or starch, acids attack your teeth for 20 minutes or more.

 

When in Doubt, Ask a Dentist

If you have further questions about how your eating habits contribute to tooth decay, contact our White Bear Lake office to schedule an oral health consultation today?

laughing group of elderly people | Geriatric Dentistry in White Bear Lake | Protecting Teeth as You Age

If you follow some relatively simple guidelines, you should expect to not lose any. It used to be that people would expect to lose teeth, but with constantly improving dental care techniques, that's really no longer true.

 

How to Protect Your Teeth as You Age

Stay away from sugar. The average American consumes almost 100 pounds of sugar a year. Plaque, the clear, sticky substance that accumulates on your teeth every day and can cause cavities and gum disease, loves sugar.

Stop smoking. Smoking is one of the leading risk factors in the development of gum disease. Smokeless tobacco is bad, too. Its use significantly increases the risk of developing oral cancer. Speaking of plaque – be sure to remove it every day. Try to brush your teeth after every meal. The longer food residue stays in your mouth, the more contact it has with teeth.

Brush with an American Dental Association-approved fluoride toothpaste. And floss every day. Remember to rinse after flossing to wash away dislodged food particles. Follow these guidelines and you should keep a healthy smile all your life.

The more your dentist knows about your overall health, the better he will be able to treat you. As the American population ages, dentists are seeing an increasing number of patients with problems like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, AIDS and hypertension. It's important that your dentist know of any health condition you have so that the treatment he administers doesn't compromise any existing condition.

Dentists, of course, are trained to treat patients with other medical conditions. In some cases they will consult with a patient's general physician to devise the proper course of treatment. Generally they will get the information they need by asking questions of their patients.

Dentists also often detect conditions unknown to the patient. For instance, while some 16 million people have diabetes, only about half of them have been diagnosed. It is often during the course of an oral exam that a dentist may notice a symptom that ultimately leads to a diagnosis. So share your complete medical history with your dentist.

The answer depends on your individual condition and needs. If you are a new patient, a dentist may very well recommend a complete x-ray, or radiograph, examination of your mouth and jaws to determine your current status and make sure there are no undetected problems developing. A set of x-rays also gives the dentist a baseline against which to compare future oral health developments.

The schedule for x-rays will likely not be the same for any two patients. Your schedule will vary according to your age, your risk of disease and any signs or symptoms of a problem that you display. Children need x-rays more frequently than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing and because their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than those of adults. X-rays are particularly useful in detecting the start of new cavities and in determining the extent of gum disease, which may not be visible to the naked eye.

Talk to your dentist about any concerns or questions you have about x-rays.

There is help for people troubled by grinding or clenching of teeth. A removable appliance, called a bite splint can be specially molded to fit over the upper or lower teeth, depending on the patient's particular requirements. It's made from plastic, is comfortable to wear, and does not affect facial attractiveness.

The bite splint is used when relief is sought from a wide range of uncomfortable syndromes. These include headaches, neck aches, dizziness, jaw clicking or cracking, and pain behind the eyes, among others. Bite splints most commonly are worn at night: others use them for daytime stress, and a few require them 24 hours a day.

If untreated, grinding/clenching of teeth may eventually cause teeth to shift position, produce gum recession and bring about a general deterioration of oral health.

More than 15 percent of adults live with some form of chronic facial pain, according to the American Dental Association. Discomfort around or in the ears is one of the more common symptoms. Others include tenderness of the jaw, clicking or popping noises that accompany opening the mouth, headaches and neck aches.

If you experience any of this discomfort, see your dentist. With a thorough exam that might include X-rays, your dentist will likely be able to pinpoint the source of the problem and recommend a corrective course of action. If the pain is near the ears, the problem may be in the temporomandibular joint of the jaw, which is in front of the ears.

The source of the pain may be something easily recognizable, like a sinus infection, a decayed tooth or the beginning stage of gum disease. Your dentist will know the best way to attack the problem. The treatment may be something as simple as stress-reducing exercises or a prescription for muscle relaxants. Give your dentist the opportunity to help.

There is help for people troubled by grinding or clenching of teeth. A removable appliance, called a bite splint can be specially molded to fit over the upper or lower teeth, depending on the patient's particular requirements. It's made from plastic, is comfortable to wear, and does not affect facial attractiveness.

The bite splint is used when relief is sought from a wide range of uncomfortable syndromes. These include headaches, neck aches, dizziness, jaw clocking or cracking, and pain behind the eyes, among others. Bite splints most commonly are worn at night: others use them for daytime stress, and a few require them 24 hours a day.

If untreated, grinding/clenching of teeth may eventually cause teeth to shift position, produce gum recession and bring about a general deterioration of oral health.

person with braces brushing teeth | Is it possible to brush my teeth too hard? | Dentist in White Bear Lake

Yes. Many people damage their teeth by brushing too hard! It doesn't take much pressure to remove bacteria, food, and plaque from your teeth. But many people apply three to four times the pressure necessary for effective cleaning. They are at risk for receding gums, sensitive teeth, notched teeth, and root cavities.

Better Brushing

It takes 2-3 minutes to adequately brush your teeth. Brushing your teeth for a longer time is far more effective than brushing harder. Most people spend only 30 seconds brushing.

Brushing longer, not harder is the key to removing bacteria. Check with your dentist for more tips on good brushing technique. The caring team at your local White Bear Lake dentist is happy to answer any questions about proper brushing habits for patients of all ages. 

Yes! There is now a method for doing this called CAD/CAM CEREC dentistry, and it can be used in many different situations. Long-term studies have shown that this technique results in restorations of excellent esthetics and durability. 

The CEREC treatment procedure means: 

  • No conventional impressions – The CEREC 3-D measuring camera scans the prepared tooth in just a few seconds. This eliminates the need for unpleasant silicone impressions.
  • No temporaries – CEREC restorations are milled out of a solid ceramic block in just a few minutes. They are ready to be placed immediately. This takes away the need for temporary fillings and crowns.
  • No long waiting periods – Because CEREC restorations can be placed immediately, you need only one appointment. This means less time off of work, less travel, and no need for more injections. 

There will always be situations needing conventional dentistry, but fortunately, CEREC dentistry will provide many benefits to many grateful patients.

Contact Us

If you're in need of crowns or porcelain restorations, or if you're interested in CEREC, give our office a call to schedule your consultation. 

Smokeless Tobacco Has Many Side Effects

The answer is a resounding “yes.” Smokeless tobacco can harm your oral health as well as your general health. The effects of using smokeless tobacco can range from the merely unsavory, like bad breath and discolored teeth, to the deadly, like cancer. Using smokeless tobacco can also increase the risk of tooth decay because of the sugar that is added to smokeless tobacco. Nicotine blood levels in users of smokeless tobacco are similar to those found in cigarette smokers. Use of smokeless tobacco can result in diminished senses of taste and smell, which in turn can lead to unhealthy eating habits. It also irritates the soft tissue inside the mouth and can lead to gum problems.

Danger Signs to Watch For

Here are some danger signs to watch out for: a sore in the mouth that does not heal, difficulty chewing, a sore throat that doesn't go away, any sort of restriction in the movement of the tongue or jaw, a lump or white patch in the mouth, or a feeling that something is in your throat. Everyone should see a dentist regularly and that includes anyone who uses any sort of tobacco product.

Some things, they say, are as easy as brushing your teeth. There may be no wrong way to brush your teeth, but as with any activity, there is a right way to brush.

Section Your Mouth for Proper Cleaning

Think of your mouth as having four equal sections – two on top and two on the bottom – each having an inside and outside surface. Brush each of these eight sections, inside and outside, one at a time. The back teeth are the hardest to clean thoroughly, so always start with them. To get at the outside surfaces of the back teeth, open your mouth only slightly. Opening it wide stretches the cheeks taut against the teeth.

Proper Brush Technique

Be sure in each of the sections to tilt the brush to a 45-degree angle and brush where the tooth and the gum meet. You want to make sure the brush's bristles work into the groove, also called the sulcus, where the tooth and gum meet. Keep the brush horizontal as you brush your teeth and keep the strokes very short, a quarter inch, or so. Move to the next of the sections and repeat.

After brushing, rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water.

Start With Fluoride

The first thing to know is to buy toothpaste that displays the ADA seal of acceptance. This means the American Dental Association has cleared the product both for safety and effectiveness. You want to make sure the toothpaste has fluoride, which remains the number one anti-cavity ingredient for both children and adults. Approved toothpaste will also contain a mild abrasive to help remove plaque.

Choosing Your Toothpaste

Some toothpaste is labeled for tartar control, which can help prevent tartar from forming above the gum line. Look on the label for triclosan, which can help combat gingivitis, which is the early stage of gum disease. If your gums have already receded a bit, you might look for toothpaste that contains a desensitizing ingredient, namely potassium nitrate, that will reduce any pain you might feel when your teeth are exposed to hot or cold food or liquid.

Approved toothpaste might also include a whitening agent.

Talk to your dentist about choosing the toothpaste that is right for your needs.

During childhood, tonsils and adenoids work as part of the body's immune system. They filter out germs that try to get into the body and they help develop antibodies to germs. The tonsils are two masses of tissue on the back of the throat. The adenoids are high in the throat behind the nose and roof of the mouth. Adenoids are not visible without the use of special instruments.

 

What happens when tonsils and adenoids are removed?

Tonsils and adenoids are less useful as a person grows older. People who have them removed as children suffer no loss in their resistance to disease when they get older. The most common problem with the tonsils and the adenoids is recurring infection and significant enlargement that can cause difficulty with swallowing or breathing. In turn, that difficulty can cause snoring and restless sleep. Some orthodontists believe that chronic mouth breathing caused by enlarged tonsils and or adenoids can cause malformation of the face and improper alignment of teeth.

Since the tonsils are visible at the back of the throat, your dentist may be the first person to notice any irregularity in their appearance. Contact our comfortable dental office in White Bear Lake, MN to schedule a dental check up. 

We Want You to Have a Comfortable Experience

If you've never had a dental exam or if it's been a while since you had one, be assured that there's nothing to fear. The dentist will look at three main areas: your teeth, of course, but also your gums and the skin in your mouth.

Our Dental Exam Process

For the teeth exam, the dentist will use a small mirror and a probe to look for the general soundness of the teeth, for the accumulation of plaque and for any decay. The dentist will also check your bite.

The dentist will examine your gums to see if they are firm and pink. He may also use a periodontal probe to check the depth of the depression where the tooth meets the gum. If those depressions are too deep they could indicate gum disease.

The dentist also will examine the inside of your cheeks, your lips and your tongue for any discoloration or sores that could require not only dental but also medical attention.

We're Here for You - Contact Us Today

Your dentist is concerned not only with your smile and the state of your teeth, but she or he could be the first to detect a problem like oral cancer. Don't put off a visit -- schedule your next appointment today!

Digital radiography is in effect a high-tech replacement for traditional dental X-rays and has several advantages over the latter.

  • Less Radiation – The equipment used in digital radiography significantly reduces radiation exposure to the patient by another 40 to 80 percent. This is a great benefit and service to our patients.
  • Shorter Appointments – With traditional X-rays, patients had to wait while the dentist develops the film. With today's digital radiography, the X-ray image captured by the sensor is processed and projected onto the display screen almost instantly.
  • Better Diagnostics – Where traditional X-rays were a standard size that can make viewing difficult, digital X-rays can be magnified for a better visual of the tooth's structure. Levels of brightness, contrast, and color can be adjusted dynamically, allowing your dentist to see pathology more clearly and in less time. Dentists are also able to electronically send images to specialists.
  • Increased Patient Education – Dentists are able to share an X-ray with the patient on a 19-inch screen, allowing you to better understand problems and options.
  • Environmentally Friendly – Just as with digital cameras, this technology allows us to do away with film and messy chemicals.

We can enthusiastically say that digital radiography has improved our practice and our service to our patients.

Apnea is an interruption or cessation of breathing. For the 2 to 4 percent of middle-aged adults affected by sleep apnea, it is not uncommon for them to stop breathing up to 70 times in an hour. These episodes can last from 10 to 30 seconds. Breathing resumes with a loud snort or gasp. Episodes of sleep apnea deprive a person of oxygen and thorough rest and can cause extreme daytime drowsiness.

Most people who suffer from sleep apnea also snore. Snoring actually is the sound of the vibration of the soft palate and the adjoining structures of the throat. It is caused by narrowing and thickening of the upper airway tissues. And when a person sleeps, the soft tissue at the back of the throat, the muscles in the airway and the tongue all relax, letting the tongue fall back into the airway.

Your dentist, in consultation with your doctor, may be able to custom-fit an oral appliance that helps keep the airway open. If you have a problem with snoring or restless sleep, talk with your dentist about solutions.

Keeping Your Mouth Moist

Saliva is the substance that keeps the inside of your mouth moist. You have three pairs of major salivary glands and numerous minor glands in your cheeks and lips. Your saliva glands generally secrete a small but steady amount of saliva, which is a mixture of water, mucus and other substances.

But food – and sometimes just the thought of it – can trigger a heavy flow of saliva. That's where the notion comes from of your mouth “watering” when you see a delectable morsel. Among the functions of saliva is to moisten and bing together the food that you chew so that you can swallow it.

Saliva Helps Us Taste

Saliva also helps us taste. Taste buds do not react to dry food. Saliva helps fight tooth decay. Working with your tongue, it helps wash away food particles left in the mouth. It also contains calcium and phosphorous which strengthen teeth's enamel.

The three major salivary glands are the parotid, which is back near the base of your ear; the sublingual, which is under your tongue; and the submandibular, which is under your jawbone.

tooth nerve hygiene | dentist in white bear lake mn

The Pulp of a Tooth

Pulp is the technical name for the nerves, tiny blood vessels and connective tissue that make up the center of a tooth. People generally refer to the pulp as “the nerve” of the tooth because of its sensitivity when it's exposed. Through tiny openings in the tips of the roots of the teeth, the vessels and nerves in the pulp connect with the arteries, veins and nerves of the jaw, and on to the circulatory and nervous systems of the body.

The pulp is essential to a healthy tooth: it provides the nutrients that contribute to the ongoing formation of dentin, the highly calcified material that accounts for some 75 percent of the bulk of a tooth. As a person ages, the pulp decreases in size. If the pulp becomes infected and dies, the dentin does not get the nutrition it needs. Gradually it will dry up and the tooth will become brittle. If the dead pulp is not removed through root canal therapy, the tooth may turn yellow, gray or black. One of the goals of a good oral hygiene program is to prevent decay of the enamel and dentin that protect the tooth's pulp.

 

Learn More

First of all, TMJ is an acronym for your temporomandibular joint, which is where the mandible, or lower jaw, meets the skull, the temporal bone. The most common cause of facial pain, after toothache, is TMJ syndrome, sometimes called temporomandibular disorder (TMD).

One symptom is pain that results from chewing and can radiate into the head. Along with the pain, the condition also sometimes causes a clicking or popping sound when the joint moves. A patient may also suffer from limited jaw opening and episodes of the jaw locking in either an open or closed position. The condition can also cause severe headaches, dizziness and pain or stiffness in the neck and shoulders.

Treatment for the condition usually requires a team approach, including a patient's primary care physician and dentist. Treatment can include patient education, medication, the use of an appliance to prevent tooth grinding, also called bruxism, and in some cases, surgery.

If you suffer from any of the above-mentioned symptoms, talk to your dentist about courses of action.

A toothache is not normal. It's a sign that something is wrong. You can address the pain of a toothache with an anti-inflammatory drug like aspirin or ibuprofen, but you should call your dentist immediately to set up an appointment. One word regarding aspirin: never apply aspirin directly to a sore gum. The acid in aspirin can burn and severely irritate gum tissue.

In some cases a toothache could be caused by nothing more serious than a particle of food stuck between teeth. Try flossing and rinsing your mouth with warm salt water. If that doesn't succeed in dislodging the particle, don't try to force the particle out yourself. Call your dentist.

When a tooth starts to ache – and that throbbing pain can get pretty intense – it's more likely that decay and infection has reached the tooth's pulp, the sensitive, soft tissue inside the tooth. So the tooth is going to need the attention of a dentist. The best way to avoid a toothache, of course, is to brush, floss and visit your dentist regularly.

Assuming you've already picked up some recommendations from your prior dentist or co-workers or from the American Dental Association website – www.ada.org – here are some points to consider in making your selection:

Go talk to the dentist. Does the dentist's schedule fit yours? Is the office convenient for you to visit? When you visited the office, was it clean and orderly? Does the dentist seem willing to talk to you about steps you can take to prevent problems? What arrangements does the dentist make for handling emergencies that fall outside regular hours? Is the dentist forthcoming about fees and amenable to payment plans for work? Importantly, is the dentist a member of the ADA? This is important because ADA members voluntarily agree to work by the high ethical standards set forth in the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct.

Don't be bashful about asking any other questions that come to mind. You and your dentist should be in a comfortable partnership to preserve your oral health.

Causes of Bad Breath

Don't worry. Most people, at some point, are going to have a problem with bad breath. And the problem stems from bacteria. We all have bacteria in our mouths. The bacteria produce sulfur compounds, which have a pungent odor. While most people's systems keep the bacteria in balance, some people simply produce more bacteria than others. Some 25 percent of the population has a chronic problem with an overabundance of bacteria.

 

How to Prevent Bad Breath

The American Dental Association recommends that you drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. This helps produce the saliva that washes away excess bacteria.

Another place where bacteria can collect is on your tongue, especially on the back of it. This is considered to be the main source of bad breath. What we recommend is that everyone use a good tongue scraper every morning. After a thorough scraping, then brush your teeth and tongue with an ADA approved toothpaste. This will also help with gingivitis and gum disease, the second most common reason for bad breath.

 

If bad breath is a periodic or constant problem for you, talk with your dentist about ways to address it. Call our office in White Bear Lake, MN for an expert consultation. 

 

Many factors work to destroy the naturally white smile we are born with. Tobacco, certain foods we eat, and certain drinks actually stain teeth. These substances continually work on our teeth causing our white smile to gradually fade.

Foods That Could Darken Teeth

Hot coffee and tea are especially hazardous to your smile because they change the temperature of your teeth. This temperature change – hot and cold cycling – causes the teeth to expand and contract allowing stains to penetrate the teeth. Just cutting down on coffee and tea can go a long way to creating a great smile.

Foods that are slightly acidic are also dangerous to your white smile. These foods open up the pores of the tooth enamel allowing stains to move more easily into the tooth.

Teeth Whitening in White Bear Lake, MN

Your dentist can help you with more tips on keeping a white smile. If you are interested in professional teeth whitening to remove stains, contact White Bear Smiles!

Don't feel bad. Sour breath in the morning is not an uncommon complaint. Remember, saliva is a natural mouthwash. It not only enables us to chew and swallow dry food, it washes away particles of food in our mouths as well as bacteria.

 

What Causes Bad Breath?

Bacteria found on teeth, in the crevices and on the taste buds of the tongue break down food particles and produce foul-smelling sulfur compounds. The problem is that when we sleep, our saliva flow decreases significantly. Through the night, the bacteria are doing their work. The result is unpleasant morning breath.

How to Prevent Bad Breath

What can you do? Floss, brush and rinse thoroughly before going to bed. Also, sleep with a pillow under your head. That will keep saliva flowing to your stomach while you sleep, and prevent the possibility of reverse stomach acid flow, which also can contribute to morning breath. Use a tongue scraper every morning before brushing. And here are some general tips on keeping the saliva flowing: Drink plenty of water. Quit smoking. Smoking dries the membranes of your mouth and interferes with a healthy saliva flow.

Contact your local White Bear Lake dentist about other ways to keep your breath fresh – even in the morning.

The usual reason for getting orthodontic treatment, or braces, is to improve the appearance of teeth. These days, adults as well as youngsters are flashing smiles that show the bands and wires that are the handiwork of the orthodontist – a dentist who specializes in the use of appliances, like braces, to straighten teeth, whether it be for cosmetic or health reasons.

Straightening teeth can also improve a person's bite. When teeth don't come together properly that's called malocclusion. Malocclusion is not in and of itself a disease. Although teeth that are misaligned may require a little more diligence in brushing and flossing, people with malocclusion don't necessarily have more decay or gum problems than people with straight teeth.

But crooked teeth can cause some problems, like the bottom front teeth constantly hitting the palate instead of the inside of the upper front teeth. Correcting this type of malocclusion can prevent further trauma to the tissue of the palate.

Talk to your dentist about whether orthodontic treatment is right for you.

Children's Dentistry

At White Bear Smiles, your dentist in 55110 treats patients of all ages, including children. We also take the time to answer your questions and provide tips to help you make the most of your child’s dental care at home.

Topics we typically address when we see young children include:

  • Bottle, cup, and pacifier use
  • Thumb or finger sucking
  • Proper brushing and flossing
  • Nutrition goals
  • Fluoride
  • Tooth development

Family Dentistry At White Bear Smiles

Our family dentistry in White Bear Lake is designed to treat your toddler as he or she ages through childhood and into adulthood. Your dentist in 55110 introduces age-appropriate services as we go along. The goal is to provide excellent dentistry that leads to healthy teeth and gums.

We have also designed our children’s dentistry in White Bear Lake to help your child feel at ease and at home in a dental setting.

Your dentist in 55110 is great with children, and our entire team works hard to make children’s dentistry in White Bear Lake fun and anxiety-free.

Call Our White Bear Lake, MN Dental Office

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment for your child, or teeth cleanings for your entire family, contact a member of our team today. We look forward to introducing you and your loved ones to family dentistry in White Bear Lake.

Protect Your Teeth Against Decay

A sealant is a liquid plastic applied to a tooth to protect it against decay. The precaution is often used on molars, the back teeth that bear the brunt of the work of chewing. The sealant is applied to the occlusal, or chewing surface, of the tooth. Pits and grooves can develop on these teeth, as they can in all teeth, and that's where cavities can begin. Generally, though, if a person has made it into his or her early 20's without cavities having developed in those pits and grooves, they're not likely to develop cavities after that point.

The Procedure for Applying Sealants

The procedure for applying a sealant is simple, safe and painless, calling for no drills or needles. The dentist dries the tooth and then etches the surface to be sealed with a mild acid that puts microscopic ridges on the tooth. The dentist then puts the liquid plastic over the area and it seeps into the etched surface. Some sealants harden by themselves in less than a minute. The sealant effectively blocks bacteria from entering the tooth.

Talk with your dentist about whether sealants are right for you or your family.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Make A Great First Impression

A smile is one of the first things people notice about you. It does not have to be perfect or "Hollywood," but everyone wants theirs to be nice and to feel confident when using it without feeling ashamed of it. 

A smile can light up a room and draw others in. Often, just a few small improvements can lead to an overall greatly enhanced smile.

There Are Options for Obtaining Your Dream Smile

  • A professional whitening
  • A few strategically placed cosmetic fillings
  • Contouring
  • Veneers
  • Short term braces

The key is that whatever you choose to be appropriate for you, your mouth, and your budget and not be some cookie-cutter approach. 

Contact Our Office

Please feel free to contact us for a complimentary smile evaluation. It could be the start of a better future that will have you smiling!

A smile is one of the first things people notice about you. It does not have to be perfect, or "Hollywood", but everybody wants theirs to be nice and to be confident in using it, and to not be ashamed of it. A smile can light up a room, and draw others in.

Often, a few small improvements can lead to an overall greatly enhanced smile. Options abound, from a professional whitening, a few strategically placed cosmetic fillings, contouring, veneers, and even shorter term braces. The key is that it should be appropriate for you and your mouth and your budget, and not some cookie-cutter approach.

Please feel free to contact us for a complimentary smile evaluation. It could be the start of a better future that will have you smiling!

Now, more than ever, there is hope and there are good options. Lost teeth often result in changes of the bite over time, loss of function and nutrition, leading to more decay, bone loss, and breakdown -- and of course there's the esthetic issue of missing teeth.

These adverse effects can happen slowly, so that you don't really notice them until they are quite advanced. The more we can maintain and improve our dental health now, the better we can deal with the problems of dental aging.

Modern dentistry can more simply and easily correct and improve these situations with implants that look and feel like teeth, life-like bridges, thin and flexible partials, and even better dentures! Several options usually will work, and the patient and their dentist can determine which one is most appropriate for their situation and budget.

Ask your dentist what options may be right for you, or feel free to call us for a complimentary consultation.

Dental Emergencies

Any number of actions can result in a broken tooth.

  • Chewing on a hard object, like a candy or a bone, can break a tooth.
  • A fall or a fight can also lead to a broken tooth.
  • Sometimes a filling can act as a wedge and break a tooth and sometimes a tooth will break for no apparent reason.

The first thing is to remember to stay calm. Control any bleeding. The long-term remedy for a broken tooth is an inlay, onlay or crown. Until you can get to the dentist, though, you can cover the broken tooth with dental wax, which you can get from your dentist and should keep at home as part of your dental emergency kit.

Don't apply either heat or cold to the area. Until you can get the tooth repaired, switch to a diet of soft food. Generally it's not possible to reattach the broken part of the tooth. Save it, though, and bring it to the dentist, and let the dentist make the final determination. Tooth-colored restorations, like a porcelain filling, generally can be repaired.

  • Bleeding - After an extraction, a moist gauze pack is placed over the extraction site to prevent excessive bleeding and to promote the healing blood clot. Keep pressure on it for 30 minutes and replace if bleeding continues. Slight bleeding may occur up to 2 days. Avoid activities that could apply a suction action to the blood clot such as smoking or sucking through a straw.
  • Rinsing - Do not rinse your mouth today. Tomorrow you can rinse your mouth gently with a glass of warm water mixed with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. You can do this 3-4 times a day, especially after meals.
  • Swelling - Following an extraction, some swelling and skin bruising may occur. A cold moist cloth or an ice bag applied to the cheek will keep it to a minimum. Place on affected area for about 15-20 minutes of every hour for the next 6 hours.
  • Medications - If non-aspirin pain medication doesn't relieve the discomfort you may experience a stronger medication can be prescribed. Be sure to use all medication as directed.
  • Food - A soft diet with plenty of fluids is recommended the first day. Avoid carbonated or hot beverages. Chewing should be done away from the extraction site.
  • Oral Hygiene - Continue brushing and flossing being extra gentle near the extraction site.
  • Chips - During healing you may notice small bony fragments working their way through the gums. We can easily remove them if they are too annoying.
  • If any unusual symptoms occur, please call our office.

It used to be that when a tooth's pulp – the soft tissue inside the tooth that holds blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue – was damaged or infected, the tooth would have to be removed. Root canal therapy is a method your dentist can use to correct the problem and save your tooth.

Root Canal Therapy Works Like This:

First, your dentist makes an opening in the crown, or top, of the tooth to expose the pulp chamber. Then the dentist removes the infected or damaged pulp and cleans out the root canal or canals. The dentist may put medication into the tooth to clean out any infection. Root canal therapy can require one to three visits to the dentist. The dentist may put a temporary filling in the crown to protect the tooth between visits, or he might leave the tooth open for a period to allow drainage. Next, the dentist will remove the temporary filling, clean out the pulp chamber and root canal and fill those areas. The last step is usually affixing a gold or porcelain crown. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in root canal work.

Cavities, even very large ones, do not automatically make a tooth ache. The pain won't begin until the decay reaches the tooth's nerve. As with any infection, your body's defenses go into action. The body increases blood supply to the infected area. But since the nerve and the pulp are encased in an enamel tooth, the pressure of the increased blood flow causes the swelling and pain that accompanies a toothache. Pulpitis, the name for the acute stage of pulp infection, causes not only toothache but also pain when the teeth come together. That's because at this stage the infection has spread to the peridontal ligament, the membrane that holds the tooth's root in its socket. When the bacteria eventually kills the pulp, it may result in an abscess at the apex of the tooth's root.

Sometimes the tooth can be saved through a root canal. If it has been weakened beyond saving, you might need an artificial tooth. The best way to avoid this situation is to practice good oral hygiene at home and visit your dentist for periodic checkups.

Dental Implant Restoration

Dental implants are definitely a practical option. They are not, however, suitable for everyone. Healthy gums and bone are necessary to support implants, which are metal posts that are surgically placed in the bone under your gums. Also, because the placement of implants is a surgical procedure, a candidate must be in good overall health. Since good periodontal health is key to the success of an implant, smokers and diabetics may not be candidates for implants.

After a period of healing, during which the bone grows around the post, a replacement tooth, or crown, is attached to the post. Implants also can be used to secure a bridge or dentures when more than one tooth is missing.

Placing implants is not a dental specialty. So a team of dentists may be involved in placing an implant. One dentist, for instance, may do the surgery to put the implant in the bone and another may place the crown on the post.

Talk to your dentist about whether you are a candidate for dental implants. Also check with your dental insurance plan to see if the procedure is fully or partially covered.

Now, more than ever, there is hope and there are good options. Lost teeth often result in changes of the bite over time, loss of function and nutrition, leading to more decay, bone loss, and breakdown -- and of course there's the esthetic issue of missing teeth.

These adverse effects can happen slowly, so that you don't really notice them until they are quite advanced. The more we can maintain and improve our dental health now, the better we can deal with the problems of dental aging.

Modern dentistry can more simply and easily correct and improve these situations with implants that look and feel like teeth, life-like bridges, thin and flexible partials, and even better dentures! Several options usually will work, and the patient and their dentist can determine which one is most appropriate for their situation and budget.

Ask your dentist what options may be right for you, or feel free to call us for a complimentary consultation.

Yes! For many situations there is now a method for doing this, called CADCAM CEREC dentistry. Long-term studies have shown that this technique results in restorations of excellent esthetics and durability. The CEREC treatment procedure means:

  • No Conventional Impressions The CEREC 3D measuring camera scans the prepared tooth in just a few seconds. This eliminates the need for unpleasant silicone impressions.
  • No Temporaries CEREC restorations are milled out of a high-quality ceramic material in just a few minutes. They are ready to be placed immediately. This takes away the need for temporary fillings and crowns.
  • No Long Waiting Periods Because CEREC restorations can be placed immediately, you need only one appointment. This means less time off work, less travel, and no need for more injections!

There will always be situations needing conventional dentistry but fortunately CEREC dentistry will provide much benefit to many grateful patients.

To find out if CEREC dentistry is an option for you, give us a call at (651) 346-0711 -- We will be happy to answer your questions on this new technology.

Now, more than ever, there is hope and there are good options. Lost teeth often result in changes of the bite over time, loss of function and nutrition, leading to more decay, bone loss, and breakdown -- and of course there's the esthetic issue of missing teeth.

These adverse effects can happen slowly, so that you don't really notice them until they are quite advanced. The more we can maintain and improve our dental health now, the better we can deal with the problems of dental aging.

Modern dentistry can more simply and easily correct and improve these situations with implants that look and feel like teeth, life-like bridges, thin and flexible partials, and even better dentures! Several options usually will work, and the patient and their dentist can determine which one is most appropriate for their situation and budget.

Ask your dentist what options may be right for you, or feel free to call us for a complimentary consultation.

While more and more Americans are keeping all their teeth, tooth loss still happens and there are consequences – none of which are good.

First of all, teeth support each other, like good neighbors. When one tooth is lost, the teeth next to the vacated spot begin to shift. This can lead to problems with chewing and cleaning. Once remaining teeth begin to tilt, food can get trapped in gaps between the teeth and the gum. This can contribute to both tooth decay and periodontal, or gum, disease.

When teeth are lost, the pressure of chewing is thrown off and can make eating difficult. Teeth bearing an inordinate amount of pressure in the new chewing pattern may shift and eventually loosen.

You may also notice a change in the sound of words you speak.

If you do lose a tooth, your dentist can advise you on whether a bridge – an artificial tooth fastened to neighboring teeth – or an implant may be right for you. The best advice, though, is to keep your natural teeth through a regimen of good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist.

While more and more Americans are keeping all their teeth, tooth loss still happens and there are consequences – none of which are good.

First of all, teeth support each other, like good neighbors. When one tooth is lost, the teeth next to the vacated spot begin to shift. This can lead to problems with chewing and cleaning. Once remaining teeth begin to tilt, food can get trapped in gaps between the teeth and the gum. This can contribute to both tooth decay and periodontal, or gum, disease.

When teeth are lost, the pressure of chewing is thrown off and can make eating difficult. Teeth bearing an inordinate amount of pressure in the new chewing pattern may shift and eventually loosen.

You may also notice a change in the sound of words you speak.

If you do lose a tooth, your dentist can advise you on whether a bridge – an artificial tooth fastened to neighboring teeth – or an implant may be right for you. The best advice, though, is to keep your natural teeth through a regimen of good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist.

Dentures

Geriatric Dental Care

The good news is that more and more people are keeping their teeth as they grow older. The most important thing is to keep visiting your dentist at the interval that they recommend for your particular situation. If your health or medication situation changes, advise your dentist right away. It could have an impact on how your dental treatment proceeds.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Dental decay remains a problem for the mature adult. Be sure to brush twice a day, especially after meals, and pay particular attention to the gum line. Flossing, of course, remains vital. As we age, dry mouth can become a problem. Talk to your dentist about ways to stimulate the flow of saliva. In addition to your fluoride toothpaste, your dentist may be able to recommend special toothpaste for sensitive areas in your mouth.

Caring for Your Dentures

If you wear dentures, be sure to clean them and your mouth thoroughly each day. Talk with your dentist about how frequently you need to have an oral check-up and to have your dentures checked.

Now, more than ever, there is hope and there are good options. Lost teeth often result in changes of the bite over time, loss of function and nutrition, leading to more decay, bone loss, and breakdown -- and of course there's the esthetic issue of missing teeth.

These adverse effects can happen slowly, so that you don't really notice them until they are quite advanced. The more we can maintain and improve our dental health now, the better we can deal with the problems of dental aging.

Modern dentistry can more simply and easily correct and improve these situations with implants that look and feel like teeth, life-like bridges, thin and flexible partials, and even better dentures! Several options usually will work, and the patient and their dentist can determine which one is most appropriate for their situation and budget.

Ask your dentist what options may be right for you, or feel free to call us for a complimentary consultation.

  • Steady pressure on the denture will promote clotting and will decrease the initial flow of blood. Slight bleeding can last 2-3 days though.
  • Use an ice compress on affected side for 20 on and 20 minutes off for the first 36 hours, as able.
  • Limit your diet to soft nurturing foods and plenty of fluids for the first week.
  • Don't take the dentures out today, but rinse your mouth with warm salt water before going to bed. (1 tsp. salt in 1 cup of water)
  • Starting tomorrow, carefully remove the denture twice a day and clean with a toothbrush and a low abrasive toothpaste or denture cleaner. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water.
  • Sleep with the denture in your mouth for one week unless otherwise instructed. Then you should take it out when sleeping in order to relax the gum tissues, and let them breathe.
  • Due to the gum shrinkage that occurs within the first 6 months, you may go through periods of a loose fitting denture. A temporary liner will be inserted as needed. Denture adhesives can be used during the period also.
  • Following the gum shrinkage period (approximately 6-12 months) a more permanent reline will be placed, or a new denture made.
  • You may experience sore spots caused by the denture being too long or from uneven pressure being applied to the healing gum tissue. We will adjust the denture as these problems occur. Please call our office as soon as you notice any sore spots.

How Long Do Dentures Last?

With proper care, a set of dentures should last a long time. However, it's likely that over time dentures will need to be relined, remade or rebased, not because of problems with the apparatus, but because of the natural changes aging causes in your mouth. Bone and gum ridges can shrink or recede, making jaws line up differently. Shrinking ridges can make dentures fit less securely.

Loose dentures can lead to health problems like sores and infections. A loose denture also can make chewing difficult and uncomfortable and can change your facial features. To make a rebased denture, the dentist uses the existing denture teeth and makes a new denture base.

 

Caring For Your Dentures

These are some of the reasons why it's important to remain vigilant about your oral health and make regular trips to the dentist even after you begin wearing dentures. Every morning, for instance, you should brush your gums, tongue and palate with a soft-bristled brush before you put in your dentures. The brushing removes plaque and stimulates blood circulation in your gums. A balanced diet that provides proper nutrition is also important for denture wearers.

Ask your dentist for advice on making your dentures last. At White Bear Smiles, we specialize in geriatric dentistry and dentures. Contact us to schedule a dentures consultation!

 

Family Dentistry

At White Bear Smiles, we take a comprehensive approach to your dental care. This means we offer preventive services to help you avoid dental health issues and general dentistry to treat problems when they do arise.

Additionally, we treat patients of all ages.

Preventive dentistry is proactive, and it includes:

  • Dental exams—x-rays as needed, oral cancer screenings, monitoring oral health changes between visits.
  • Teeth cleanings—to get rid of the stubborn plaque and bacteria that lead to decay and disease
  • Fluoride treatments and sealants—to strengthen teeth and help prevent cavities

Typically, the American Dental Association and your general dentist in White Bear Lake recommend twice-yearly preventive dentistry visits for best results. This varies if you have an underlying condition like periodontal disease.

General dentistry restores your oral health, and it includes:

  • Treating cavities with tooth-colored fillings
  • Performing root canal therapies to restore tooth health
  • Restoring missing teeth when a tooth is lost
  • Extractions
  • Periodontal treatment

Your dentist and hygienist are always on the lookout for oral health changes or the early signs of periodontal disease, which is reversible in the earliest stage—gingivitis.

If you’re looking for quality general dentistry in White Bear Lake, or if you have questions, we would love to talk to you today.

Gentle, Comfortable Dentistry

You're Not The Only One Facing Dental Anxiety

People are afraid to go to the dentist for a number of reasons. They might be embarrassed about their teeth. They might even think that their teeth have gotten so bad that having a smile they like is completely impossible. Or maybe they've had a really bad experience in the past and are now fearful of the dentist. It could also be that finding a new dentist for their family is a nuisance and they're afraid of making the wrong choice. 

We Want to Help You

If any of these situations resonate with you, please give us a call and let us know. 

We have helped many people who are just like you, who felt they would never be able to get through a dental appointment. Instead, they found new hope at White Bear Smiles. Just because you haven't succeeded in the past doesn't mean you can't in the future. Our friendly team will show you empathy and compassion, and Dr. Anderson has a gentle touch that our patients appreciate. Your safety and comfort are our top priorities, and we'll discuss your concerns and your options to create a plan that's just right for you. 

Call us. We can help.

A toothache is not normal. It's a sign that something is wrong. You can address the pain of a toothache with an anti-inflammatory drug like aspirin or ibuprofen, but you should call your dentist immediately to set up an appointment. One word regarding aspirin: never apply aspirin directly to a sore gum. The acid in aspirin can burn and severely irritate gum tissue.

In some cases a toothache could be caused by nothing more serious than a particle of food stuck between teeth. Try flossing and rinsing your mouth with warm salt water. If that doesn't succeed in dislodging the particle, don't try to force the particle out yourself. Call your dentist.

When a tooth starts to ache – and that throbbing pain can get pretty intense – it's more likely that decay and infection has reached the tooth's pulp, the sensitive, soft tissue inside the tooth. So the tooth is going to need the attention of a dentist. The best way to avoid a toothache, of course, is to brush, floss and visit your dentist regularly.

Preventative Dental Care is Vital

This is a question dentists hear frequently. The answer is that by visiting a dentist periodically, you'll keep visits short and you'll drastically reduce the likelihood of developing a problem.

Gum disease, for instance, is responsible for 60 percent of tooth loss in the country. And gum disease can get underway long before you would be aware of it. The same is true for decay. Only your dentist will be able to see the beginning of a cavity. Having a small decayed area repaired is much easier – and cheaper – to accomplish than the repair of a large cavity, which may require some elaborate steps like a root canal and a crown.

Our Recommendation for Great Dental Health

The general recommendation is that you visit your dentist twice a year. Even if there's no dental problem, it's good to at least have your teeth cleaned. That is simply the removal of any plaque that may be collecting on your teeth. Cleanings are important for the prevention both of decay and gum disease. The process will also leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean. Talk to your dentist about a checkup schedule that's right for you.

Geriatric Dentistry

elderly woman with female caretaker | Dental Care for Caregivers | Geriatric Dentistry in White Bear Lake

Dental Care for Caregivers

Providing dental care as a caregiver requires patience most of all. But whether it's an elderly person or one with developmental disabilities, your charge needs to practice good oral hygiene with your help.

 

How to Brush Someone Else's Teeth

First, wash your hands and put on sanitary, disposable gloves. Stand or sit where you have a good view of all the teeth and make sure you have good light. Apply only a small amount of toothpaste to the toothbrush. Brush all surfaces of each tooth and angle the toothbrush to brush gently at the gum line. Gently brush the tongue after you've finished the teeth. Help the person rinse with plain water. Think about whether a power toothbrush might make the job easier, but give your charge time to get used to one.

Also, the bathroom is not the only place where teeth can be brushed. The important thing is to get the job done. So if some other room is more comfortable for the person you're helping, that's fine. Naturally, make sure you get the person you're helping to the dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and professional cleaning.

laughing group of elderly people | Geriatric Dentistry in White Bear Lake | Protecting Teeth as You Age

If you follow some relatively simple guidelines, you should expect to not lose any. It used to be that people would expect to lose teeth, but with constantly improving dental care techniques, that's really no longer true.

 

How to Protect Your Teeth as You Age

Stay away from sugar. The average American consumes almost 100 pounds of sugar a year. Plaque, the clear, sticky substance that accumulates on your teeth every day and can cause cavities and gum disease, loves sugar.

Stop smoking. Smoking is one of the leading risk factors in the development of gum disease. Smokeless tobacco is bad, too. Its use significantly increases the risk of developing oral cancer. Speaking of plaque – be sure to remove it every day. Try to brush your teeth after every meal. The longer food residue stays in your mouth, the more contact it has with teeth.

Brush with an American Dental Association-approved fluoride toothpaste. And floss every day. Remember to rinse after flossing to wash away dislodged food particles. Follow these guidelines and you should keep a healthy smile all your life.

You're Not Alone

More and more often, this is becoming a major concern, and it's one that Dr. Anderson has gone through himself. Seniors often feel that they need less care as they get older, but now more than ever, great emphasis needs to be given to prevention and regular visits

As We Age, Our Dental Health Changes

Dentists all too often see advanced breakdown and dysfunction, leading to more complex treatment needs and expense. As we all get older, our saliva's consistency, flow, and chemical make-up often change. Combined with syndromes, disease, and medications, we can see some extensive damage to the teeth and gums. Dexterity, diet, and dementia can also play a large role in a person's ability to practice good oral hygiene at home. 

We see increased cavities, gum disease, infection, and lost teeth in this age group, and this results in less function, less enjoyment while eating, and diminished overall health. This is why, when we are younger and still pretty healthy, dentists tend to stress good oral hygiene techniques, a good diet that avoids both acid and sugar, and regular visits for cleanings and exams. Think of it as building up good habits and health now so that you can cash them in when you get older! 

Be Proactive About Elderly Dental Health

For seniors who live in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and other long-term care situations, it is very important to have talks about dental health with all the caregivers involved as well as with their primary care providers. Regular preventive care is a great continuing investment for your present and your future health. 

Contact Us

If you or a senior you know are in need of dental care, contact our office today to schedule your consultation, Here at White Bear Smiles, we take special pride in our ability to serve seniors well! 

 

More and more, this is a major concern, one that I'm going through myself. Seniors often feel they need less care as they get older, but now more than ever, greater emphasis needs to be given on prevention and regular visits. Dentists all too often see advanced breakdown and dysfunction, leading to more complex treatment needs and expense. As we all get older, our saliva's consistency, flow and chemical make-up often changes adversely, and combined with syndromes, disease and medications, can greatly damage the teeth and gums. Dexterity, diet and dementia also play a large role in a person's personal oral hygiene abilities.

We see increased cavities, gum disease, infection and lost teeth in this age group, resulting in less function, less enjoyment of eating, and lessened overall health because of it.

This is why, when we are still fairly healthy, dentists stress great oral hygiene techniques, a good diet avoiding acid and sugar, and regular visits. For seniors in assisted living and nursing home, etc., it is very important to have talks about dental health with all the caregivers involved, and their M.D.'s.

Regular preventive care is a great continuing investment for your present and future health. Here at White Bear Smiles, we take special pride in our ability to serve Seniors well!

Visit Your Dentist

The good news is that more and more people are keeping their teeth as they grow older. The most important thing is to keep visiting your dentist at the interval he recommends for your particular situation. If your health or medication situation changes, advise your dentist right away. It could have an impact on how your dental treatment proceeds.

Dental Decay as You Age

Dental decay remains a problem for the mature adult. Be sure to brush twice a day, especially after meals, and pay particular attention to the gum line. Flossing, of course, remains vital. As we age, dry mouth can become a problem. Talk to your dentist about ways to stimulate the flow of saliva. In addition to your fluoride toothpaste, your dentist may be able to recommend special toothpaste for sensitive areas in your mouth.

If you wear dentures, be sure to clean them and your mouth thoroughly each day. Talk with your dentist about how frequently you need to have an oral check-up and to have your dentures checked.

Geriatric Dental Care

The good news is that more and more people are keeping their teeth as they grow older. The most important thing is to keep visiting your dentist at the interval that they recommend for your particular situation. If your health or medication situation changes, advise your dentist right away. It could have an impact on how your dental treatment proceeds.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Dental decay remains a problem for the mature adult. Be sure to brush twice a day, especially after meals, and pay particular attention to the gum line. Flossing, of course, remains vital. As we age, dry mouth can become a problem. Talk to your dentist about ways to stimulate the flow of saliva. In addition to your fluoride toothpaste, your dentist may be able to recommend special toothpaste for sensitive areas in your mouth.

Caring for Your Dentures

If you wear dentures, be sure to clean them and your mouth thoroughly each day. Talk with your dentist about how frequently you need to have an oral check-up and to have your dentures checked.

Different Ages Mean Different Problems

Different ages present different types of potential problems. Adolescents face problems considerably different from those faced by seniors. For example, adolescent gingivitis or gum inflammation is common. Some researchers think that this may be a result of hormonal changes at puberty; others think inadequate diet and oral hygiene are the culprits. Elderly dental patients in white bear lake mn

Receding Gums

Older people confront such changes as receding gums which usually happens on the outer side of the teeth, leaving the cementum that covers each tooth's root exposed. Once exposed, the area is vulnerable to decay and to abrasion from brushing.

Dry Mouth

Older people also will deal with wrinkling of the skin, the result of the skin not holding as much water or fat as it used to. If missing teeth, or worn-down teeth, reduce dimensions of the face, deep wrinkles may develop at the outer corners of the mouth.

So people of different ages have different concerns. Your dentist is trained to deal with all of these problems.

Apnea is an interruption or cessation of breathing. For the 2 to 4 percent of middle-aged adults affected by sleep apnea, it is not uncommon for them to stop breathing up to 70 times in an hour. These episodes can last from 10 to 30 seconds. Breathing resumes with a loud snort or gasp. Episodes of sleep apnea deprive a person of oxygen and thorough rest and can cause extreme daytime drowsiness.

Most people who suffer from sleep apnea also snore. Snoring actually is the sound of the vibration of the soft palate and the adjoining structures of the throat. It is caused by narrowing and thickening of the upper airway tissues. And when a person sleeps, the soft tissue at the back of the throat, the muscles in the airway and the tongue all relax, letting the tongue fall back into the airway.

Your dentist, in consultation with your doctor, may be able to custom-fit an oral appliance that helps keep the airway open. If you have a problem with snoring or restless sleep, talk with your dentist about solutions.

Gum Disease

Gum Disease in Women

There are certain times in a woman's life when she may be more susceptible to gum disease. The changes a woman goes through, puberty and menopause among them, pregnancy and menstrual cycles also, cause hormonal changes in the body. Those changes may require a woman to adjust her diet and exercise patterns.

For instance, as we all know, pregnant women tend to snack a lot. It's important for them to avoid sugary, sticky snacks.

The changes can affect many of the tissues in the body, including the gums. The gums can become unusually sensitive and can react strongly to hormonal fluctuations. All this can leave a woman vulnerable to gum disease. Studies have also shown that pregnant women with gum disease are far more likely to deliver pre-term, low birth weight babies.

 

Talk to Your Dentist About Your Risk of Gum Disease

If you are a woman, talk to your dentist about any special steps you should take to maintain good oral health while going through the different periods of your life. At White Bear Smiles, we specialize in treating gum disease in patients of all ages and genders. Contact our comfortable dental office in White Bear Lake, MN to learn more about gum disease. 

Adult and Geriatric Oral Health

Unfortunately, the possibility of having dental problems doesn't necessarily diminish as we age. Although the baby boomer generation has benefited from water fluoridation programs and fluoride toothpaste, problems can still crop up in the adult's mouth.

 

The Problem of Gum Disease

Gum disease, for instance, remains a problem for adults. Some 14 percent of adults aged 45 to 54 have severe gum disease.

Signs and symptoms from soft-tissue diseases like cold sores are common in adults. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, about 19 percent of adults aged 25 to 44 are affected by such soft-tissue ailments.

Other Dental Problems

Every year more than 400,000 cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy are afflicted with oral problems like painful mouth ulcers, loss of taste and dry mouth as a result of malfunctioning salivary glands.

The CDC reports that employed adults lose more than 164 million hours of work each year because or oral health problems. So the message is keep brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly. Don't sit back and relax.

Hard-to-Reach Spots Can Lead to Cavities

Regardless of how carefully you tend to your teeth, they should be cleaned professionally every six months. You simply can't reach every spot at home. It's on those hard-to-reach spots that plaque will accumulate and turn into cavity-causing compounds called tartar and calculus. Bacteria live in plaque and calculus and converts foods to acids that attack tooth structure. Either your dentist or hygienist will do the cleaning, which consists mainly of scraping off the accumulated hardened deposits of plaque.

The Dental Cleaning Process

Generally, the cleaning will involve hand scraping of the accumulation with a small sickle-shaped instrument called a scaler or with use of an ultrasonic machine that generates high-frequency sound waves. Those waves are generated through a tip that actually vibrates plaque deposits loose. The plaque particles are then flushed off with water. Because part of the reason for cleaning your teeth is to avoid gum disease or periodontal disease, it is necessary to clean the sides of the roots as well as the crowns. Once the teeth are thoroughly cleaned, the dentist will polish them with a mild abrasive, leaving you with clean teeth and a glistening smile.

Contact Us

If you're due for a dental cleaning, contact our office to schedule your appointment. We want to ensure you have a beautiful and healthy smile for a lifetime! 

While more and more Americans are keeping all their teeth, tooth loss still happens and there are consequences – none of which are good.

First of all, teeth support each other, like good neighbors. When one tooth is lost, the teeth next to the vacated spot begin to shift. This can lead to problems with chewing and cleaning. Once remaining teeth begin to tilt, food can get trapped in gaps between the teeth and the gum. This can contribute to both tooth decay and periodontal, or gum, disease.

When teeth are lost, the pressure of chewing is thrown off and can make eating difficult. Teeth bearing an inordinate amount of pressure in the new chewing pattern may shift and eventually loosen.

You may also notice a change in the sound of words you speak.

If you do lose a tooth, your dentist can advise you on whether a bridge – an artificial tooth fastened to neighboring teeth – or an implant may be right for you. The best advice, though, is to keep your natural teeth through a regimen of good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist.

Causes of Bad Breath

Don't worry. Most people, at some point, are going to have a problem with bad breath. And the problem stems from bacteria. We all have bacteria in our mouths. The bacteria produce sulfur compounds, which have a pungent odor. While most people's systems keep the bacteria in balance, some people simply produce more bacteria than others. Some 25 percent of the population has a chronic problem with an overabundance of bacteria.

 

How to Prevent Bad Breath

The American Dental Association recommends that you drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. This helps produce the saliva that washes away excess bacteria.

Another place where bacteria can collect is on your tongue, especially on the back of it. This is considered to be the main source of bad breath. What we recommend is that everyone use a good tongue scraper every morning. After a thorough scraping, then brush your teeth and tongue with an ADA approved toothpaste. This will also help with gingivitis and gum disease, the second most common reason for bad breath.

 

If bad breath is a periodic or constant problem for you, talk with your dentist about ways to address it. Call our office in White Bear Lake, MN for an expert consultation. 

 

Postoperative Care

  • You can take over the counter pain medication for any discomfort you may have. Ibuprofen or Advil helps to reduce swelling.
  • Rinse with warm salt water if your gums are sore and tender (1 tsp. salt in 1 cup warm water). Or, if a medicated rinse has been prescribed, use it as directed.
  • Brush gently today even if your gums are tender to help remove the plaque that has started to reform.
  • You don't need to floss or use any home care aids today if there is too much sensitivity. But starting tomorrow, do so each day.
  • Follow all our home care instructions exactly as directed. Success of treatment depends directly on the improvement of your oral hygiene.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water today to help remove the bacteria that are present.
  • Avoid eating crunchy, spicy, or hot foods today, i.e.: taco chips, carrots, crispy fried chicken.
  • No smoking if at all possible for 4 to 6 weeks. If after a few weeks your teeth become sensitive to cold, due to less inflammation in the tissue, you may want to try a sensitive toothpaste such as Colgate or Crest Sensitive.
  • If you have any questions or if you experience unusual swelling, pain or bleeding, please call our office.
  • Do not bite together hard or eat on fresh amalgam fillings for 2 to 3 hours. Composite fillings set up hard right away.
  • Children should be observed until the anesthetic wears off. Due to the strange feeling of the anesthetic, many children may chew the inside of their lip, cheeks or tongue and cause serious damage.
  • Sensitivity, especially to cold, is common for a few days following a dental restoration. Usually, the deeper the cavity, the more sensitive the tooth will be.
  • Sensitivity is usually most noticeable the first 12 to 24 hours after the anesthetic wears off.
  • The gum tissue could have been irritated during the procedure and may be sore for a few days together with the anesthetic injection site.
  • The finished restoration may be contoured slightly different and have a texture different than the original tooth. Your tongue usually magnifies this small difference, but you should become accustomed to this in a few days. If the bite seems high or doesn't feel right please call our office.
  • Following the first appointment for a crown or bridge procedure, a temporary is placed on the tooth or teeth involved. This will protect them while the custom restoration is being made.
  • Your final restoration will be shaped and shaded to match your other teeth in both color and function.
  • The use of temporary cement is for easy removal on your next appointment. Floss carefully here until the permanent crown or bridge is placed.
  • Many crowns fit below the gumline. Therefore, you may experience some discomfort for a few days due to the irritation of that area during the procedures. Sensitivity to cold or pressure is also possible. You may want to take some Advil to relieve this discomfort.
  • After the final cementation of your fixed restoration, it may take a few days to get used to the new crown or bridge. If you feel the bite is not correctly balanced, be sure to call for an appointment for a simple adjustment.
  • Proper brushing and flossing is recommended to help you retain your final restoration. The only area that a crowned tooth can decay is at the edge of the crown at the gumline, so be sure to brush this area well. If you should have any questions please call our office.
  • Endodontic treatment can take 1, 2, or 3 appointments depending on each case. It is possible to experience any of the following symptoms after any one of these appointments: sensitivity to hot and/or cold; sensitivity to pressure; possible swelling.
  • It is difficult to predict which symptoms, if any, you may experience and to what extent. In complicated cases pain medication, and/or antibiotics may be necessary.
  • If you experience swelling, call our office; it may be necessary for Dr. Anderson to see you.
  • A temporary filling may be used to seal the tooth between visits.
  • Be gentle on the tooth while eating until the final restoration is placed.
  • During endodontic treatment the nerve, blood and nutrient supply to the tooth is removed. This may cause the tooth to become brittle and more prone to fracture. In these cases a full coverage crown restoration (cap) will be recommended to prevent this from happening. If you should have any questions or concerns, please call our office.

ZOOM! Teeth Whitening

The proliferation of toothpastes that claim to whiten teeth leads consumers to think that these whitening toothpastes are miracle cures. Truthfully, these toothpastes are not that effective at whitening the underlying tooth. They tend to remove stains so that the underlying whiteness of the tooth becomes more apparent. 

Using Whitening Toothpaste

It is important to note that while these toothpastes may be helpful in removing stains, some brands of whitening toothpastes can damage tooth enamel. These toothpastes use harsh abrasives. Repeated use over long periods can result in damage to tooth enamel.

Use of these products should be limited to a month at a time – or alternate daily between using a whitening toothpaste and a conventional toothpaste.

Teeth Whitening in White Bear Lake, MN

Always check with your dentist before trying a new dental product. If you'd like to book a professional whitening exam, contact White Bear Smiles today!

We never want our patients to hide their smiles or be nervous to laugh out loud. For these reasons, we offer ZOOM! Teeth Whitening in White Bear Lake, MN.

If you’re like many people, you have tried over-the-counter teeth whitening systems only to be disappointed with your results. Maybe you were even left with ongoing tooth sensitivity, sore gums, and enamel damage.

At White Bear Smiles, your dentist makes sure that teeth whitening will not do harm by first examining your teeth and gums to make sure it is a good option. Considerations may include the condition of your gums or the integrity of your restorations.

If teeth whitening is a good choice for you, we rely on ZOOM! because our patients have loved their results, and we think it is the best system for lifting brown tooth stains and getting rid of the yellow.

With ZOOM! Teeth Whitening, you can choose an in-office treatment or a custom take-home kit for convenience. The latter means you can whiten on your time—simply follow the directions provided by a dental team member.

Whiten Your Teeth Just in Time for a Major Life Event

We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results we can achieve with ZOOM! Teeth Whitening. Schedule your consultation today.

If you have yellow or brown tooth stains, you may be considering a tooth whitening product. If you have an event on the horizon—wedding, reunion, or a job interview—you may be weighing your options.

Of course, there are a variety of products available to help you achieve a brighter smile, but not all products are created equal.

Why choose ZOOM! Teeth Whitening

At White Bear Smiles, we use ZOOM! teeth whitening because our patients love their results, and we have found that this system whitens teeth evenly and predictably compared when with store-bought kits and gels.

It’s important to remember, too, that teeth whitening under the discretion of a dental professional means a prescription-grade product and even bleaching.

Additionally, professional teeth whitening in White Bear Lake means your dentist has examined your teeth and gums and deemed bleaching safe—this is not true with store-bought kits. And if your teeth are not in the right condition for bleaching—or the abrasive ingredients that may be part of your kit—you may end up with tooth sensitivity.

Contact Our Dental Team to Schedule Your Tooth Whitening

If you would like to discuss professional teeth whitening in White Bear Lake and learn whether you’re a candidate for ZOOM!, contact a member of our team today.

Many factors work to destroy the naturally white smile we are born with. Tobacco, certain foods we eat, and certain drinks actually stain teeth. These substances continually work on our teeth causing our white smile to gradually fade.

Foods That Could Darken Teeth

Hot coffee and tea are especially hazardous to your smile because they change the temperature of your teeth. This temperature change – hot and cold cycling – causes the teeth to expand and contract allowing stains to penetrate the teeth. Just cutting down on coffee and tea can go a long way to creating a great smile.

Foods that are slightly acidic are also dangerous to your white smile. These foods open up the pores of the tooth enamel allowing stains to move more easily into the tooth.

Teeth Whitening in White Bear Lake, MN

Your dentist can help you with more tips on keeping a white smile. If you are interested in professional teeth whitening to remove stains, contact White Bear Smiles!

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