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.

 

The Importance of Having a Good Family Dentist

Many people muddle through life without seeing a dentist on a regular basis until they experience oral health issues that they can no longer ignore. They are then often surprised and discouraged at the cost of treating these issues as well as the pain and discomfort these conditions often cause. However, a significant amount of dental issues can be circumvented or at least slowed down in their progression if they’re caught early enough. Most people are advised to see their dentist every six months for a thorough examination and cleaning, which provides the dentist with the opportunity to check for developing issues and to implement a treatment program.

Following are just three more of the many reasons why having a good family dentist makes good sense.

Regular Dental Cleanings Help Prevent Tooth Decay

Although practicing good oral hygiene is an essential component of preventing tooth decay, it can’t completely stop the buildup of plaque and tartar that can damage tooth enamel to the extent it starts to decay. A good professional cleaning every six months removes plaque and tartar buildup that brushing and flossing don’t get.

You Can Usually Get Multiple Appointments on the Same Day

Having a family dentist who provides care for everyone in your household means that you can usually get multiple appointments on the same day when it’s time for routine checkups. This cuts down on ferrying people around to various appointment locations on different days as well as keeping track of different appointment times.

A Family Dentist Provides Personalized Care

A good family dentist provides the kind of good personalized care you’ll won’t find by just piecing together your family’s dental needs as you go along. For instance, your dentist will have first-hand knowledge of your family’s dental history and be familiar with other medical conditions that may impact treatment options for your dental issues. For instance, if you have Type II diabetes, your family dentist will be able to recommend a course of preventive treatment designed to minimize your chances of developing gum disease.

Our dental practice is designed for patients in all stages of life. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more about why you should make us your family dentist.

Girl after teeth whitening

Ways to Retain Your Professional Teeth Whitening Results

After having your teeth professionally whitened, you are tasked with keeping them sparkling white and healthy through proper daily care. Your efforts can go a long way in retaining your results, ensuring you can enjoy your dazzling smile for years to come.

As you provide excellent care to your teeth, you won’t just protect their amazing appearance either — their health will improve as well. Here’s how to give your teeth all the love they deserve and retain your professional teeth whitening results.

Always Use a Straw

To keep your teeth bright and white, you should skip the coffee and soda altogether. Since that is much easier said than done, there is a workaround: Straws.

By drinking all beverages through a straw, you can keep the pigments from staining your teeth. With straws, you also protect your tooth enamel from contact with acidic compounds that can cause damage over time.

The exception to this rule is water. You should drink water without a straw to wash away debris and cleanse your teeth throughout the day.

Increase Your Water Intake

By bumping up your water intake, you can wash your teeth clean throughout the day, minimizing the impact of deeply-pigmented food and beverages. Increasing your water intake also boosts the production of saliva, which also continually cleanses the surface of your teeth.

So, boost your water intake to 64 ounces or more a day to actively retain your professional teeth whitening results. If you live in an area with fluoridated water, remember to fill up at the tap for the greatest benefits. You can also buy bottled water treated with fluoride to help keep your teeth beautiful, healthy, and strong.

Properly Care for Your Teeth

All the water in the world cannot make up for improper tooth care. You must commit to brushing and flossing for at least two minutes a day, twice a day. Consider using a strong mouthwash after each brushing session to clear away the remaining food particles and help keep your teeth white. You should also always remember to schedule your twice-yearly professional teeth cleaning appointments at your trusted dentist’s office.

When you take the time to care for your teeth and ensure they are protected from stains, you can retain your professional teeth whitening results for longer than you ever expected. You can also schedule follow-up whitening appointments if your teeth develop any stains. To do so, just give our team at Woodlane Family & Cosmetic Dentistry a call at 651-731-1560 to find a convenient time to visit.

Important Benefits of Fluoride

Tooth decay is among the most common types of dental problems that affect children and adults. While brushing and flossing help protect teeth from decay, they’re not always enough. Fluoride offers added protection from cavities and decay. Find out more about this compound.

How Fluoride Works

Your teeth have a covering on them called enamel, which helps keep bacteria from causing damage. Poor dental hygiene and other problems can cause tooth enamel to erode or wear away over time. When this happens, your teeth don’t have as much protection from bacteria and decay. Fluoride binds to tooth enamel and helps make it stronger, which reduces your risk of decay.

Fluoride Benefits

Fluoride’s main benefit is that it helps rebuild tooth enamel for added protection from bacteria and acids that damage teeth. Having strong tooth enamel is among the most effective ways to guard against cavities and tooth decay that can lead to severe damage. Fluoride also helps ensure that children have healthy baby teeth that are more resistant to decay. This paves the way for healthy permanent teeth to grow in, later on, resulting in a lower risk of cavities.

smiling family

How to Get Fluoride

Making sure that you and your children have enough fluoride is easy. In some areas, local water sources are treated with fluoride, which means you can get this compound by drinking tap water from your sink. If you don’t have fluoridated water in your home, you can use dental care products made with fluorides, such as toothpaste or mouthwash. Keep in mind that children under six shouldn’t use fluoridated mouthwash since they could accidentally swallow it. If you use fluoridated toothpaste, only give children a very small amount each time they brush. Your dentist can give you and your kid’s fluoride treatments during cleanings. This involves applying fluoride to your teeth in a gel form or another form. These treatments are an essential part of ensuring that you and your family are protected from tooth decay.

If you or your kids need fluoride treatment, please contact Woodlane Family and Cosmetic Dentistry for an appointment.