5 Facts About Pediatric Oral Health All Parents Should Know

As a parent or caregiver to a child, there is probably nothing you wouldn’t do to protect your child. However, dental care is one of those aspects of care that tends to be disregarded as not as important as everything else. To better understand just how important pediatric dental care is, here is a look at some of the must-know facts.

1. How many kids get cavities?

About 42 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 11 will develop spots of decay (cavities) in at least one of their baby teeth. Being vigilant about dental appointments and good oral hygiene routines is critical during these ages to help thwart the risks of cavity development. Even older children can be at risk of developing dental caries in their permanent teeth when they get older.

2. How many kids need braces?

About 45 million Americans have braces, and 80 percent of those individuals are children or adolescents. Even though braces are primarily to help with the aesthetics of a smile, straightening the bite can have benefits for speech, bite, and overall oral health.

3. How many children do not get the dental care they need?

According to the CDC, about 1 in 5 children do not get the necessary level of dental care they need. In some cases, parents do not have access to dental insurance coverage for the child, but the lack of care can also come from the assumption that dental care is not as important. Unfortunately, lacking dental treatment in early childhood can have negative repercussions on the child’s overall health and well-being for the rest of their life. Many schools have gotten involved to help combat these numbers by providing free or low-cost dental checkups or requiring dental checkups as a part of being enrolled.

Let Us Help You with Pediatric Dental Care in Woodbury, MN

With all the facts, it is easy to see just why pediatric dental care is so important. If you are looking for a good pediatric dentist to help you keep your child’s precious smile healthy, reach out to us at Woodlane Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Woodbury, MN to schedule an appointment.

What is a Tooth Abscess?

Tooth problems have become common in the daily life of individuals. It begins with a little pain when chewing, bad breath, or sometimes yellowing of teeth. It can stay for months unnoticed, but when it blows up, your dental health becomes an issue. One of the most severe tooth problems that should be avoided at all costs are a tooth abscess. A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus that is frequently caused by a bacterial infection. It occurs in different parts of a tooth. There are two common types of tooth abscess; periodontal abscess, which occurs at the gums, and periapical abscess, which appears on the tip of a tooth.

 

Causes of a Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess, especially, periapical abscess, is caused by an untreated dental cavity or sometimes injuries as a result of dental work. It occurs when bacteria invade the delicate dental pulp and affect nerves, connecting tissues and blood vessels. The entry of the bacteria is mostly through a crack on the tooth or a dental cavity. It then moves downwards of the root, which consequently causes inflammation and swelling at the tip of the tooth.

A dentist treats this condition by draining the tooth and removing the infection. Sometimes draining becomes difficult, but they can still apply the root canal treatment. When the condition worsens, it can call for the total removal of the tooth.

 

Signs and Symptoms

Common symptoms of a tooth abscess include:

  • The sensitivity of your tooth during chewing or biting.
  • Severe throbbing toothache that can cause pain on the jawbone, ear, and neck
  • Swelling in your cheeks and the face
  • Difficulties in swallowing and breathing
  • Fever
  • High sensitivity to temperature
  • Swollen lymph nodes on the neck or under the jaw

 

Factors that Increase Chances of Developing Tooth Abscess

  • Poor dental hygiene – this occurs when you do not take proper care measures to your teeth e.g., not brushing your teeth twice a day.
  • Dry mouth – dry mouth can result in tooth decay.
  • Sugary foods – frequent consumption of sugary foods can increase the chances of developing dental cavities.

If you are experiencing severe dental pain or you have any of the above-mentioned common symptoms of a tooth abscess, please contact your dentist today to book an appointment.

 

5 Signs of Gingivitis

Gingivitis—also called gum inflammation or periodontal disease—is a chronic inflammatory disease triggered by bacterial growth in the mouth. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to complications like gum damage and tooth and bone loss. Incredibly, this common oral health condition affects nearly half of all American adults!

At Woodlane Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, it’s our mission to educate our patients about this common issue, especially since many people don’t even realize they have it or are at risk for it. Keep reading to learn about the top five warning signs and symptoms to look out for.

5 Warning Signs of Gingivitis

Many of the signs and symptoms of gingivitis can be caused by other oral health conditions, too. In the early stages of gingivitis, you may not even have any noticeable signs and symptoms—even though gum and tooth damage can still be happening. So, the only way to know for sure what’s causing your symptoms is to consult with a dentist.

Here are five common gingivitis signs to be aware of:

  1. Receding gums (teeth may start to appear longer)
  2. Frequent bad breath (halitosis)
  3. Tender and soft gums
  4. Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  5. Gums that are bright red or purple

How Our Woodbury Dentist Team Diagnoses and Treats Gingivitis

Our Woodbury dentist team has the technology and techniques needed to detect gingivitis in its earliest stages—even when you don’t have any noticeable symptoms. We may use dental exam tools and tests like X-rays to help us diagnose your condition. Treatment will then depend on things like the severity of your gum disease and your overall health needs, but may include:

  • Professional cleaning or “scaling” (scraping away bacteria-loaded plaque and tartar from the teeth)
  • Lifestyle changes to promote better oral health (e.g., adoption of a healthier diet, smoking cessation)
  • In advanced cases, procedures to remove infected or damaged teeth and bone may be required

Of course, as with most things in health and wellness, prevention is easier and less costly than treatment! That’s why regular dental visits and professional cleanings are so crucial, as well as excellent oral hygiene habits in-between visits.

If you’re concerned about gingivitis, contact our Woodbury dentist team today at (651) 731-1560 to schedule a dental examination and cleaning.

Tips for Preventing Gum Disease

Gum disease, which is also referred to as periodontal disease, is the medical term used for a bacterial infection that causes the gingival tissue (gums) surrounding the teeth to swell. If left untreated, gum disease can quickly become more severe and start to deteriorate the gingival tissue and bone structure, eventually causing the teeth to fall out. Fortunately, gum disease is preventable. Use the tips below to ensure your gums remain healthy.

5 Tips to Help Prevent Gum Disease

1. Brush Daily

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth twice a day. Be sure to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Each brushing session should last for two minutes.

2. Remember to Floss

Flossing at least once a day is vital to maintaining healthy gums because dental floss can reach places between the teeth that a toothbrush cannot.

3. Biannual Cleanings and Checkups are Vital

Visiting the dentist regularly for a checkup and to have your teeth professionally cleaned is essential to maintaining healthy gums. Dental hygienists use special tools to remove the tartar (calculus) that accumulates on the teeth.

In addition, if gum disease is present, the dentist can take preventative measures to ensure the disease does not continue to progress.

4. Know the Factors that Increase Your Risk of Developing Gum Disease

Various factors can increase an individual’s risk of developing gum disease. Some of these factors include: smoking, vaping, hormonal changes in females (typically during puberty and pregnancy), menopause, dry mouth, diabetes, pre-existing genetic factors as well as certain illnesses and their required care.

5. Eat Healthy

Eating healthy is key to preventing gum disease. Frequently consuming foods that contain large amounts of sugar or starch increases plaque formation. Eating a nutrient-rich diet will provide the supplements your teeth and gums need to stay healthy, thus, preventing gum disease.

Addressing Issues that Make Proper Dental Care Challenging

The experienced dentists at Woodlane Family and Cosmetic Dentistry can correct any problem that makes caring for your teeth difficult.

Some of the most common problems that make caring for the teeth properly a challenge include:

  • Overcrowded teeth.
  • Defective fillings.
  • Previous dental work that needs to be replaced or repaired.

If you need a dental exam and a cleaning, or you are interested in learning about the cosmetic treatments that are available, please contact Woodlane Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today at (651) 731-1560 to schedule an appointment, or, if you prefer, you can use the online contact form by clicking here.

At Woodlane’s state-of-the-art dental office, patients receive exceptional care from dentists and hygienists who have experience performing the most innovative dental procedures and techniques available.

Woodlane Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is located at 2185 Woodlane Drive in Woodbury, Minnesota.

How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Dental Visit

If you’re like most people, you associate your visits to the dentist as a child with significant feelings of dread. You may have even been quite frightened before your very first visit. Older siblings and friends often enjoy teasing younger children about going to the dentist and making it seem worse than it really is. It’s also highly likely that your parents influenced your anxiety as well even if they never outright said anything negative about the dentist — children don’t need words to pick up on the emotions of their parents. If your child is due for that first dental visit, you may find yourself reliving those early emotions, but it’s important not to transfer them to your child. Here’s what you can do to make your child’s first dental visit go as seamlessly as possible.

Make the Appointment for the Morning

Most young children become cranky during the afternoon hours, particularly with anything that upsets their routine or interferes with their nap. Make the appointment for the morning, and make sure they get plenty of rest the night before.

Have Your Paperwork in Order

You’ll need to provide a complete medical history of your child for the dentist as well as insurance and incidental information, so do this online prior to the visit that you’ll be able to focus your attention on your child once you arrive at the dentist’s office.

Arrive Slightly Ahead of Schedule

Getting their slightly ahead of time gives you and your child the chance to relax in the waiting room. Ideally, the dentist will have a child-friendly waiting area designed to calm young nerves, equipped with books, toys, and games. First impressions matter a lot, and if your child’s first few moments at the dentist’s office have pleasant associations, your child is less likely to feel anxiety going forward.

Choosing the right dentist is also important. The dentist and their staff should have the ability to make children comfortable and to take the time to answer any questions little minds may have. Please feel free to contact our office in Woodbury, MN, to schedule an appointment or for more information on making your child’s first dental visit go as smoothly as possible.

 

woman smiling white teeth

Dental Bonding: Common FAQs About the Procedure

Overall, how happy are you with your smile? Your smile is a big part of who you are and your personality, so being satisfied with it is important. Dental bonding can be a simple and straightforward way to make cosmetic changes to the teeth. Take a look at some common questions about dental bonding for cosmetic purposes and the answers you should know as a patient.

Does dental bonding hurt?

Dental bonding is not a painful procedure. The dentist will use a local anesthetic to make sure the soft tissues of the mouth and your teeth are numb before they get started. Some people feel a little mild tenderness when the procedure is done and the anesthetic wears off. However, this discomfort should not be concerning as it should pass rather quickly.

What kinds of issues can be fixed with dental bonding?

One of the great things about dental bondings is just how versatile the procedure can be. Therefore, it can be used to mend or change a wide array of small imperfections that can make an individual self-conscious about their smile. A few examples of how bonding material can be used to repair imperfections include:

  • Closing gaps between teeth
  • Mending small cracks or chips in teeth
  • Creating a smoother shape to a tooth with a serrated edge
  • Filling in teeth that are too small to make them larger
  • Covering small areas of discoloration

How long will the dental bonding process take?

The dental bonding process is usually done within one appointment in just a few hours. The dentist will use the composite bonding material to make the necessary changes to the tooth’s shape, and then they will use a special UV light to cure the material. The material will then be shaped and formed further to make it smooth like the rest of your teeth.

Reach Out to Our Woodbury, MN Office for More Information

In the end, a simple dental bonding procedure can really change how you feel about your smile. If you would like to schedule a consultation to determine if bonding could work for a smile problem you have, contact us at Woodlane Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for information.

 

3 Mistakes People Make While Flossing

Flossing should be an everyday part of your oral care routine. Even though the American Dental Association recommends flossing daily to thwart issues with plaque, decay, and gingivitis, many people neglect to floss or even when they do it, they neglect to do it right. Take a look at some mistakes you may be making when you floss your teeth.

Mistake: Not flossing on both sides of every tooth.

It’s easy to skip a few spots when you are flossing in a hurry and trying to get finished. However, you should never stop flossing until you have gotten both sides of every tooth. Not getting both sides of every tooth leaves food particles and debris stuck in between the space and it can encourage tooth decay.

Mistake: Assuming you should stop flossing if you see blood.

It is actually far more normal than most people realize to see a little blood when you floss your teeth. As the floss rubs against the soft tissue of the gums, it can cause a bit of blood, and that is perfectly OK. It is never safe to assume that you should stop flossing altogether because your floss is getting tinged pink with bloody saliva. If the bleeding is severe, make sure you speak to a dentist about the issue, but do not stop flossing.

Mistake: Flossing so fast that you miss food particles.

Flossing your teeth should take you about two minutes once you get in the habit of doing so. With the availability of flossing picks, the time can even be reduced. However, make sure you are allowing a sufficient amount of time with every tooth as you floss. If you are simply running the floss between your teeth rapidly just to get through, you may not be getting all the debris or food particles.

Reach Out to Woodlane Family and Cosmetic Dentistry for Oral Hygiene Needs

Flossing is an important part of your everyday oral health routine, and it makes a huge difference between professional dental hygiene appointments. If you need to learn how to floss properly or would like to make an appointment for teeth cleaning, reach out to us at Woodlane Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Woodbury, MN for help.

3 Best Ways to Prevent Cavities

Cavities aren’t fun for anyone, yet they seem to be very common. If you think that cavities are a necessary part of life, though, you’re mistaken. Some people have never had a cavity in their lives. Others get cavities very often. Why is it that some people never experience cavities while others can’t seem to be rid of them? The answer is that some people practice certain dental hygiene tips that prevent cavities. Here are the best ways you can use to prevent cavities, too.

1. Floss After Each Meal

You already know you should brush after each meal, but did you know you should floss after each meal, too? Flossing gets rid of food debris that gets stuck in between teeth. If you don’t floss after each meal, that leftover food debris could lead to the development of cavities.

2. Avoid Sugar

Bacteria feed on sugar. When you eat sugar-laden foods, bacteria in your mouth have plenty of sugar to eat, and then the bacteria count grows in number. When you have more bacteria, that means they will end up eating into your teeth, which means you will likely develop cavities. Avoiding sugar means much more than not opening up a sugar packet. You should start reading the labels on the foods you eat to check for added sugars. Unfortunately today, many processed foods do contain added sugars. To be on the safe side, just eat whole foods as much as possible and cook your own foods from home.

3. Get Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are a treatment that is available through your dentist’s office. It’s basically a clear coat that helps to fill in pits and cracks in your teeth that can be an entry point for bacteria to cause cavities. Dental sealants also create an added layer of protection over your teeth enamel. The dental sealant treatment is completely non-invasive and 100% painless. If you’re interested in dental sealant treatment, contact your dentist.

It’s hard to prevent cavities, but not impossible. Use the three tips mentioned above to help keep cavities from forming in your mouth.

Dental Sealants Help Prevent Cavities

Although following a daily regimen of brushing and flossing is one of the best ways to prevent the development of cavities, reaching the back teeth (molars) can be challenging. The inability to properly clean these teeth often leads to decay, cavities and costly dental procedures. While trying to clean these teeth may seem like a never-ending battle, another safety net is now available to help keep your child’s molars clean and cavity-free, the dental sealant.

Why Are Molars Susceptible to Decay?

To aid in the chewing process, molars have rough, uneven surfaces. Furthermore, there are nooks and crannies on the chewing surface of each molar, which makes cleaning them even more difficult, especially for children. Cavity-causing bacteria hide within these crevices, consuming the leftover debris, multiplying and releasing harmful acid that eats away at the protective coating of the teeth (enamel).

What Are Dental Sealants?

A dental sealant consists of plastic or some other dental material. The sealant is applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars. This sealant is not meant to replace a daily oral hygiene regimen, but, instead, to supplement it. Dental sealants can help prevent cavities by ‘filling-in’ those nooks and crannies where food debris remains, and bacteria hide.

How Does a Dental Sealant Work?

Once the dental sealant is applied, it penetrates the tooth enamel: This ensures that the sealant is firmly attached to the tooth. The grooves of the tooth fill in and the sealant hardens, creating a thin, plastic barrier.

When Should Dental Sealants Be Applied?

Ideally, dental sealants should be applied as soon as the chewing surface of the molar has completely erupted beyond the gum line. When the molars are sealed as they erupt, the likelihood of decay and cavity development is greatly reduced. Typically, the wisdom teeth do not erupt until an individual is at least 17 years of age. Since the wisdom teeth are usually removed, sealing them is not particularly beneficial to the patient.

How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

The application of dental sealants is quick and painless. Prior to applying the sealant, your child’s Woodlane Family Dentist cleans and dries the tooth/teeth being sealed. An acidic gel is placed on the tooth/teeth, which roughens up the surface of the tooth to ensure a strong bond between the tooth and the sealant. Once a couple of seconds have passed, your child’s Woodlane Family Dentist rinses off the gel, dries the tooth/teeth again and ‘paints’ the sealant onto the chewing surfaces of the molars being treated. A special blue light is used to harden the sealant. These sealants usually last for several years.

Will Dental Insurance Cover Sealants?

Most dental insurance companies do cover dental sealants for both primary and permanent teeth. We recommend that you contact your insurance provider to find out if your child is covered.

Choosing the Right Dentist for You and Your Family’s Needs

Perhaps you’ve just moved to a new community, or maybe your regular family dentist has decided to relocate or retire — whatever the reason, choosing a new family dentist can feel like a daunting task. After all, your family’s oral health is extremely important, and choosing the wrong dentist can have unpleasant consequences. Fortunately, strategies exist designed to help you make the best possible choice. The following are five of them.

Ask Your Dentist for Recommendations

The easiest way to find the right dentist is to ask your current dentist to recommend someone. If your dentist is retiring, he or she may already have a replacement lined up. If you’re moving, your dentist may be able to recommend a good dentist in your new community.

Ask Family and Friends

If your dentist isn’t able to make recommendations, ask family and friends for recommendations — especially those whose families resemble yours. For instance, if you’re married with children, you’ll probably want someone who practices general family dentistry rather than someone who specializes in geriatric dentistry. The best way to go about this is to ask as many people as possible and look for a name or names that keep popping up.

Check Out Online Reviews

Online reviews aren’t just for restaurants and hotels anymore — medical professionals of all types are being reviewed online as well. Searching for reviews on dentists in your area can point you in the right direction. Although it’s important not to let one bad review cause you to jump to conclusions, look for common themes in several reviews and take it from there.

Ask Your Family Doctor or Personal Physician

Another good source of recommendations for a family dentist is your family doctor or personal physician. Medical professionals often know one another, and they often have enough inside knowledge to be able to recommend someone who’s a good fit for your family.

Look on the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Website

You can search the ADA’s website by the community, making it easy to come up with a list of dental professionals in a specific area. Members of the ADA have all firmly pledged to provide top-quality care and to put the dental health of their patients at the very top of their list of priorities.

Please contact Woodlane Family and Cosmetic Dentistry at your convenience for more information on finding the right dentist for your family.