Smile-Threatening Myths About Dental Care

Your smile shows the world when you are happy and is a huge part of who you are. Plus, your oral health can have an effect on your overall health. Therefore, working with a dentist to make sure you have a good general dental care plan is ever-important. Unfortunately, many people avoid going to the dentist, and when they do, underlying myths could be to blame. Here is a look at some of the ongoing myths about general dental care that can actually be a threat to your smile and your oral health.

Myth: You don’t have to go to the dentist if there is nothing wrong.

The best dental care is more about prevention than treatment. You may not have anything wrong when you visit the dentist, but the dentist provides treatments, assessments, and advice to ensure you continue to not have any issues with your oral health. For example, simply having your teeth professionally cleaned annually can reduce the chances of decay by a substantial amount.

Myth: Dentists bring you in as much as possible to make money.

It may seem like you have to go to the dentist a lot if you have an issue being corrected, but the dentist is not doing repeat appointments to make more money. Oftentimes, treatments have to be split up over several appointments to protect you as a patient. For example, the dentist may do work on some teeth during one appointment and the rest of the teeth during another to allow proper time for healing between.

Myth: Dental care is painful and uncomfortable.

Modern-day dental care is far more comfortable than ever. Dentists have access to a number of solutions to help you stay comfortable and pain-free during treatment. You may have access to localized anesthesia, general anesthesia, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), and modern treatments that are less likely to cause discomfort.

Myth: A small cavity is really not that big of a deal.

One small cavity may seem like a minuscule issue. However, one small cavity means the enamel of the tooth has been compromised, which also means the tooth is now more vulnerable to further decay.

Protect Your Smile with the Help of Qualified Dentists in Woodbury, MN

Your oral health is ever-important to your overall health and well-being. If it has been a while since you have had a dental checkup, reach out to us at Woodlane Family & Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule an appointment.

The Top 10 Foods and Drinks That Can Stain Your Teeth

With the holidays here, you might find yourself enjoying plenty of special treats and goodies. At Woodlane Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we encourage our patients to enjoy the decadence that the holiday season has to offer, but to do so with a bit of caution.

Why?

Because many of your holiday favorites could end up staining your teeth—not exactly the kind of gift you want to get.

The Top 10 Foods and Drinks That Will Stain Your Teeth

Teeth become stained when pigments from certain foods and drinks build-up in the thin film of protein covering tooth enamel. Some foods also contain a compound called tannin which increases the risk of teeth staining. In addition, highly acidic foods can wear down tooth enamel, further increasing your chances of discolored teeth.

With this in mind, here are the ten most notorious foods and beverages that can lead to stains:

  1. Coffee
  2. Red wine
  3. Tea
  4. Pop
  5. Fruit juices
  6. Tomato-based sauces
  7. Soy sauce
  8. Curry
  9. Balsamic vinegar
  10. Starchy foods, including pasta

You might be more likely to experience teeth discoloration if you have certain risk factors, including underlying dental disease, older age, a history of oral trauma, the use of certain medications, or even a genetic predisposition.

Fortunately, there are things you can do.

3 Quick Tips for Bright, Healthy-Looking Teeth From Our Woodbury Dentist Staff

  1. Avoid stain-causing foods and beverages—meanwhile, eat plenty of nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains to support optimal oral health.
  2. If you do consume any of the stain-inducing foods, be sure to brush your teeth immediately after consuming them.
  3. Treat yourself to professional teeth whitening services. While some over-the-counter options can work, they often cause unpleasant side effects like tooth sensitivity, and their results may not be as pronounced as you’d hope. Professional teeth whitening with our Woodbury dentist staff is effective and effecient so you can feel confident in your smile.

Do you live near Woodbury, MN and are looking for a family dentist who can help you and your loved ones have white healthy teeth throughout the year? Contact Woodlane Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today at (651) 731-1560 to schedule your next appointment with our Woodbury dentist team, Dr. Erlandson and Dr. Roehrich.

Why Flossing Is More Important Than You Think

Even families who have good dental hygiene practices sometimes overlook daily flossing. And if you have young children who are just learning all there is to know about keeping healthy teeth and gums, flossing should be part of the routine. At Woodlane Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re committed to helping your whole family maintain beautiful smiles for life. Here’s why flossing several times a day can help make that happen

Dental Floss Reaches Places Your Toothbrush Can’t

Regardless of which type of toothbrush you buy or how much you pay for it, it’s simply not going to reach all the crevices between your teeth. This is especially true for teeth that fit tightly, neatly together. It’s easy to brush after every meal and still miss small particles of food that can cause plaque buildup and cavities. But when you use floss to get between teeth and into tight corners, even the tiniest debris gets flushed away. In this way, your mouth stays cleaner and you run less of a risk of tooth decay.

Flossing Helps Prevent the Onset of Gum Disease

The bacteria present in plaque are instrumental in causing gum disease. This is a condition that may cause gums to bleed and teeth to loosen. Gum disease causes other problems, too. These include:

  • Bad breath
  • Tooth loss
  • Gum infections
  • Pain and discomfort

If you have gum disease, your teeth may bleed when you brush them. This condition may also cause your gums to recede from your teeth and may even contribute to bone loss. Brushing your teeth regularly and flossing once daily goes a long way toward preventing gum disease.

Your Breath Stays Fresher With Flossing

All those little particles of food that lodge between teeth and linger cause bad odors inside your mouth. This can lead to chronic halitosis or constant bad breath. By flossing away debris before it has time to ferment or decay, you can keep the inside of your mouth smelling fresh.

Come see us today at Woodlane Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Woodbury, MN, for all your family’s dental health care needs. Offering convenient office hours and friendly staff, we’ll help keep your family in dazzling smiles for life. Call us today, or stop by to book your next appointment.

Listen to Your Tongue! It May Be Telling You About Your Oral Health

The tongue is one of the most used muscles in the body, and yet, the average person rarely gives their tongue any real attention. One thing you may not know about the tongue is it can speak volumes about your oral health. In fact, every good dentist will examine your tongue during a visit. Here is a look at a few things your tongue can tell you about your oral health.

1. Your tongue appears white.

The tongue has these finger-like formations referred too technically as papillae. If these papillae get inflamed, they can appear to take on a white appearance because bits of food and bacteria will collect between the formations. Many things can lead to the appearance of a white tongue with papillae inflammation as the root cause, such as:

  • Not drinking enough water
  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene habits

The tongue may not even be consistently white; you may also notice white patches on certain parts of the tongue.

2. Your tongue has a darker tone or may even look black.

Believe it or not, black hairy tongue is a legitimate oral health condition. If your tongue appears black and even looks like it has grown some kind of weird growth, this rare condition may be to blame. Once again, this kind of issue is normally caused by the overgrowth of papillae on the tongue. However, with a darkened tongue, it can mean the papillae have collected stains from foods you eat or bacterial growths. Thankfully, this unsightly and uncomfortable condition tends to rectify itself quickly with a good oral hygiene plan and perhaps some dentist advice.

3. Your tongue always feels dry.

The tongue should feel moist and supple pretty much all the time. Due to the fact that the tongue is used for speaking and chewing and swallowing food, a dry tongue can get in the way of normal everyday actions. If your tongue always feels dry or appears dry, there may be a health problem to blame that deserves professional attention. A dry tongue may be a sign that you are not taking in enough fluid, which is easy enough to solve. However, the condition can also mean you have elevated blood sugar levels, you are breathing with your mouth open more often than you should, or have certain autoimmune diseases.

Ready to Talk About Oral Health Care in Woodbury?

You may not always give your tongue attention, but it is deserving of some observance when it is trying to tell you something is wrong with your oral health. If you see something odd about your tongue, reach out to us at Woodlane Family & Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule an appointment.

 

Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

If your wisdom teeth do not hurt, but your dentist has suggested that you consider taking them out, you may want to know the reasons behind the suggestion, and whether the process is necessary. Here is what you need to know about wisdom teeth extraction.

 

It May Be a Preventive Measure

Your dentist may recommend removing your healthy molars as a preventive measure. If your teeth are not a source of pain, currently, it does not mean that everything is okay with them. Your wisdom teeth may get stuck or impacted, if your jaw is not big enough to accommodate them, and this means that your teeth may not break through your gums. A wisdom tooth that is impacted often crowds other teeth, creating pain in your gums. If you do not remove the teeth early enough, you could have problems after future surgery, including, fractured teeth, or severe numbness. These issues could last for a couple of days or a lifetime.

 

When Is Removal Necessary?

If your wisdom teeth cause you pain, then it may be a good idea to have them taken out. Other reasons to remove them include:

 

When They Cause Sinus Issues

If you have problems with your wisdom teeth and lead to pain or congestion of the sinus, you should consider removing them.

 

Wrong Alignment

If your wisdom teeth are impacted, you may experience crowding problems with your other teeth. It may be necessary to remove your wisdom teeth, and in some instances, undergo a treatment to have your other teeth straightened.

 

If They Cause Damage to Your Other Teeth

Your molars may push the rest of your teeth around, leading to excess pain in the mouth, which may cause pain, and lead to difficulties when biting.

 

When They Cause Jaw Damage

Cysts may form around your new molars. If left untreated, they can damage your nerves, and in some instances, they can harm your jaw.

Before deciding to remove your wisdom teeth, your dentist will examine your mouth’s shape and the teeth’ position to make an informed decision. If you are not ready to extract your molars, you may have to wait for a couple of months to see if there will be any change before removing them. However, if you experience pain or swelling, then removing them might be a good idea.

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.

Why Bi-Annual checkups are important for your family’s dental health

Some people seem to think that as long as they enjoy good dental health, there’s no real reason to schedule appointments for dental checkups twice per year. However, waiting until a problem arises before you see a dentist isn’t the best course of action because the majority of dental issues can be reversed or prevented if caught early enough. By the time toothache pain, for instance, finally drives you to seek professional help, it may be too late to save the tooth. However, it’s likely that if you’d had a recent dental checkup, your dentist would have noticed an issue with the tooth in time to save it.

Following are several of the many reasons why biannual dental checkups should be an essential component of any family’s health care strategy.

Professional Cleanings Have Superior Benefits

Those who faithfully brush and floss after each meal often don’t understand the importance of scheduling professional teeth cleaning on a regular basis. However, although good home hygiene is a key part of maintaining optimal dental health. One of the main reasons for getting a professional cleaning is that it provides the only way to remove tartar buildup — regular toothbrushes don’t do the trick.

Preventative Maintenance Keeps Costs Down

Preventative maintenance stops many problems from occurring in the first place, and when others are caught in the early stages, it’s often possible to halt their progression or even put it in reverse. Gum disease, for instance, is highly preventable and has been linked to a variety of whole-body health issues, and the more serious a condition is, the more expensive it is to treat.

Dental problems that have been allowed to progress are often painful, so along with saving you money, preventative maintenance helps cut down on needless suffering. If you’d like more information on proactive strategies for maintaining good dental health, please feel free to reach out to us at your earliest convenience.

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