• 25 MAY 16
    • 0

    5 Tips for a Healthy Mouth and a Beautiful Smile

    Do You Think a Beautiful Smile Happens Naturally? It Doesn’t.

    Close up of blond woman with curly hair flipping them in the air in yellow singlet in green nature. Sunny summer.

    Brushing, flossing and rinsing are the ABCs of oral health, but they’re only the beginning. A marvelous mouth takes more than squeezing paste out of a tube – think about improving your tooth brushing technique, ditching the daily soda habit, and saying good-bye to cigarettes. Here are five ways to a fantastic smile from the team at Personal Care Dentistry.

    Brush Twice a Day for two to three minutes with fluoridated toothpaste. Practice proper technique. Although you probably know you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, if you’re like most people, you don’t give much thought to how to do it. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, pointed toward the gum line, and use gentle, short, circular motions. Brush each tooth 10 to 15 times, but don’t overdo it. Overly aggressive brushing can damage teeth and erode your gum line.

    Floss Daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. It’s simple: Flossing fosters healthier teeth and gums. But like brushing, there’s a right and wrong way because flaws in your flossing can cause friction and damage the gum line. Wrap about a foot of floss around your index fingers, keeping about two inches between your fingers to work with. Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth, and keep the floss tight against the tooth to break up plaque while leaving your gums in good shape.

    Eat a Healthy Diet to provide the nutrients necessary to prevent gum disease. The best way to maintain a healthy mouth is by eating a healthy diet. Be sure to include nutritious foods that offer vitamins A through E for healthy gums. In addition, eat crunchy fruits and vegetables to help clean your teeth. Even eating pineapple can lessen stains on teeth. Cut back on sugar which is a major culprit in tooth decay. It fuels bacteria and acidity in your mouth, causing plaque to form and eat away at your enamel and gums. Your pearly whites are hit with up to 20 minutes of acid production for every sugar fest you indulge in, from sweetened coffee in the morning to ice cream at night. To avoid being among the 20% of people in the United States who face tooth decay every time they look in the mirror, try to cut down on sugary treats.

    Avoid Tobacco Use, which may contribute to gum disease and oral cancer. You’ve heard it before: Quit smoking. But this time, it’s your dentist talking. The nicotine and tar in cigarettes not only turn your teeth an unsightly shade of yellow, they eat away at your gums. Smoking creates a ripe environment for bacteria and plaque on your teeth and along the gum line. That harms tissue, degrades the bone that supports teeth, and, eventually, increases your risk of tooth loss. Even worse, tobacco chemicals can lead to oral cancer.

    Regular Dental Checkups are the surest way to detect early signs of periodontal disease. If you’re prone to ditching the dentist, you’re among the roughly 50% of adults in the United States who don’t see a dentist yearly because of dental phobia, finances, or just plain neglect. But spend some quality time with your dentist (twice a year, the American Dental Association advises), and you’ll catch problems at an early stage when they’re treatable, not to mention more affordable to take care of. Seeing a dentist regularly helps to keep your mouth in top shape and allows your dentist to watch for developments that may point to other health issues. A dental exam can also detect poor nutrition and hygiene, growth and development problems and improper jaw alignment. Provide your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry with a complete medical history and inform him or her of any recent health developments, even if they seem unrelated to your oral health.

    Sources: Delta Dental, WebMD

    • 18 MAY 16
    • 0

    Are Your Wisdom Teeth Impacted?

    See Your Dentist If You Experience Any of These Problems

    Closeup portrait of young man in red hoodie with tooth ache crown problem about to cry from pain touching outside mouth with hand, isolated white background. Negative emotion facial expression feeling

    When your wisdom teeth start to emerge it can definitely be painful, but it can be even worse if your wisdom teeth become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth are trying to erupt but are unable to do so because there is not sufficient room for them to emerge. This usually means that your wisdom teeth are painfully lodged in your jawbone.

    Not everyone decides to take the immediate removal route, so knowing the potential of dangerously impacted wisdom teeth is important; they could damage adjacent teeth, lead to gum disease or tooth decay and even cause cysts to develop. While there are not always noticeable signs of impacted wisdom teeth, these are a few of the warning symptoms that could indicate the need for dental intervention:

    Jaw Pain

    While there are many different dental issues that can cause jaw pain, the discomfort from impacted wisdom teeth can lead to pain through the jaw and into the skull, often resulting in terrible headaches. The pain could be more intense while chewing, especially if the pain shoots to the back of the mouth or into nearby teeth. The jaw pain could also lead to swelling of the entire jaw area. This can indicate an especially dangerous impaction, as the tooth may be causing infection or damage to the nerves around it. A visibly swollen jaw line is a definitive way to tell that something is wrong with the tooth.

    Sore or Bleeding Gums

    Impacted wisdom teeth can be a very serious affliction, and a person’s overall dental health may begin to deteriorate. Because jaw and tooth pain often extends throughout the entire area, the gums can also be affected. Sore or bleeding gums, especially when the bleeding occurs with very little provocation, is a definite sign that something is going wrong with the teeth. Tenderness and swollen gums in the back of the mouth generally indicate that the problem is in the wisdom teeth area.

    Bad Tastes and Smells

    When wisdom teeth are impacted, bacteria often becomes trapped in the soft folds of the teeth and gums. This bacteria grows rapidly in dark, damp areas, such as the back of the mouth, and infections may begin. These infections can fester, potentially leading to cysts and decay. A person experiencing tooth decay or excessive bacteria will notice a bad taste in his or her mouth, even while chewing other food. In addition, it can lead to exceptionally bad breath that may be noticed by other people.

    Other possible but less common signs of impacted wisdom teeth may include:

    Shooting pain in the back of the mouth
    Swollen glands
    Difficulty opening the mouth
    Ongoing earaches

    Because impacted wisdom teeth can cause many complications, including irreversibly damaged nerves and necessary orthodontia, it is important that these warning signs be taken very seriously. Allowing the damage to continue without dental intervention can be very dangerous to overall health, so an appointment should be scheduled as soon as any of these potential symptoms are observed.

    Source: DentalInsurance.com, WebMD

    • 11 MAY 16
    • 0

    The Role Fluoride Plays in Preventing Cavities

    Fluoride Slows Breakdown of Enamel and Speeds Remineralization

    Fluoride is a great way to prevent cavities in children and adults.

    Tooth decay (cavities) is the single most prevalent childhood disease. Tooth decay affects nearly 60% of children and causes problems that often last long into adulthood – affecting health, education, employment opportunities and well-being. Untreated tooth decay can cause pain and infection that can lead to problems with nutrition, growth, school readiness and speech problems. Children in the United States miss hundreds of thousands of school days each year due to toothaches or dental problems. In addition to brushing, flossing and regular checkups, avoiding snacks that contain sugars and starches can help teeth and gums stay healthy. Instead of soda or other sugary drinks, drink fluoridated water.


    How Does Fluoride Protect Our Teeth?

    The relationship between fluoride and tooth decay is complex and probably not yet fully understood. However, it is known that fluoride interferes with the process of tooth decay in at least four ways:

    1. If children ingest sufficient fluoride during the period of enamel development (up to 7 years of age) the fluoride alters the structure of the developing enamel making it more resistant to acid attack. This was originally thought to be the most important mechanism of fluoride; however, with advances in knowledge this is now understood to be the least important mechanism.


    1. When teeth are subjected to alternating demineralization and remineralization as described above, the presence of low levels of fluoride in the plaque and saliva both encourages remineralization and ensures that the enamel crystals that are laid down are of improved quality. In other words, low levels of fluoride in the mouth gradually improve the strength of the tooth enamel and its ability to resist acid attack.


    1. The third way in which fluoride works is by reducing the ability of the plaque bacteria to produce acid. This is a major factor in the prevention of tooth decay.


    1. A fourth, and probably minor effect of fluoride is that, if sufficient fluoride is ingested during childhood when the teeth are developing, it affects the depth of the fissures (grooves) on the biting surfaces of the teeth. In children who grow up in areas where the drinking water is fluoridated these grooves in the teeth tend to be shallower, thus reducing the ability of plaque to remain undisturbed.


    How Can I Prevent Cavities Using Fluoride?

    Common fluoride sources are fluoridated drinking water, toothpaste and some mouth rinses. Inform your dentist if your drinking water is not fluoridated. He or she may recommend that you use high-concentration fluoride treatments.


    Drinking Water

    • Adding fluoride to your drinking water is one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods of protecting children and adults from tooth decay.
    • Not certain about the fluoride levels in your water system? Ask your dentist.
    • If your water does not contain fluoride, your dentist may recommend prescribing fluoride tablets or drops for you and your family to help protect your teeth from cavities.
    • Fluoridated water is a great substitution for soft drinks as it helps protect your teeth while minimizing the damage done to them through sugar intake at the same time.
    • Bottled water may not include fluoride so while it may seem like the safe thing to do now, think about the fluoride you will be missing from your tap water.



    • Toothpastes containing fluoride help prevent cavities in both children and adults.
    • You should always supervise your children when they’re brushing their teeth.
    • Children under the age of 6 should only use a “pea size” dab of toothpaste when it contains fluoride.



    • Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash that contains fluoride is another way to help protect you and your family from cavities.
    • There are many brands of mouthwash available that now contain fluoride.


    Professional Topical Fluoride Treatment

    Your dentist can apply fluoride to the teeth as a gel, foam, or varnish. These treatments contain a much higher level of fluoride than the amount found in toothpastes and mouth rinses. For those in need of an extra fluoride boost, fluoride supplements are available as liquids and tablets, and must be prescribed by your dentist, pediatrician, or family doctor.

    When teeth are developing in infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years, we’re very used to our dentist talking about getting enough fluoride. But adults benefit from fluoride, too. New research shows that topical fluoride – from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments – are as important in fighting tooth decay as in strengthening developing teeth.

    Sources: OralB.com, British Fluoridation Society

    • 04 MAY 16
    • 0

    Decisions, Decisions: Dentures, Bridges or Dental Implants?

    Each Option has Pros and Cons Depending on the Health of Your Teeth and Your Budget

    Nearly 70% of adults aged 35 to 44 years in the United States have at least one missing tooth due to an accident, tooth decay, gum disease, or dental fractures, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. But there’s no need to go through life with missing teeth. These days, many good alternatives are available from the team at Personal Care Dentistry. Your missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants, bridges or dentures.

    iStock_000016108107_Medium - older couple in profileDentures

    Dentures, partial or complete, replace either the bottom arch or the top arch of your mouth. Dentures are false teeth, and although their quality has improved, they’re not ideal for everyone. If not secured with denture adhesive, dentures might slip out of place while eating or speaking, which is embarrassing, and partial dentures might promote infection and decay in other teeth if they aren’t fitted properly, which may increase the risk that you would need a tooth filling on the abutment (adjoining) tooth. That said, dentures may be the best choice for people whose gums and jaw are weak or unhealthy.


    A bridge is a dental restoration that spans an area that has no teeth and is connected to natural teeth at each end. A typical bridge consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two surrounding abutments or crowns. After completion, this bridge structure is then bonded into the mouth.

    Dental Implants

    Dental implants feel and function just like your natural teeth. They are permanent fixtures of titanium posts, which are anchored to the jawbone and topped with individual replacement teeth or a bridge that screws or cements into the posts.

    With good oral hygiene, dental implants can last for 20 years or more without the need for replacement. Dental implants are often a popular choice for people who have only one or two teeth missing, but they can be an alternative to dentures if you have several missing teeth. As long as your gums and jaw are healthy, two or more implants can serve as a base of support for several replacement teeth.

    Some Questions to Ask:

    1. How healthy is my mouth?

    Your oral health is the primary factor that determines which treatments are even possible. While dentures are a viable solution for virtually everyone, dental implants are only recommended for individuals with a strong jaw and healthy gums due to the invasive surgery required for the procedure.

    1. What does my budget allow?

    Because surgery is involved, dental implants are more expensive than dentures, but are a more permanent solution. A complete set of dentures will be much more affordable, but usually requires reshaping or replacement over time. If only one or two teeth are missing, partial dentures could be an alternative, and this is even less expensive.

    1. Am I willing to undergo surgery?

    Neither procedure happens overnight, but dental implants do require surgery and a longer treatment period. While dentures can take up to several weeks from point of examination to impressions, molding and fitting, dental implants require drilling into the jaw and healing time for the implant to fuse with the bone. It can also take up to several months before the prosthetic is fixed onto the implant.

    Initial discomfort is not uncommon for both procedures, as your mouth gets acclimated to its new teeth.

    1. How much does maintenance matter?

    Dental implants require minimal care aside from regular brushing and flossing, which is a big advantage of this treatment. Dentures, however, can cause infection and decay in other teeth if improperly fitted and/or if proper hygiene is not followed. Regular rinsing, brushing and soaking dentures overnight are additional steps you will need to add to your daily routine. Other issues that often challenge patients with dentures are damaged clasps, cracks, as well as looseness due to gradual bone loss.

    1. Are the cosmetic differences that come with implants worth it for me?

    While everyone has a different experience with dentures, common complaints include clicking noises, constant shifting or slipping (which can impair chewing and speech), a difference in taste, and bad breath.

    Dental implants, on the other hand, restore the ability to chew and speak as efficiently as one would with natural teeth, without the bulky feeling commonly reported by patients with dentures. For those who want to get closer to real teeth in terms of form, function and comfort, this more than justifies the investment required for dental implants.

    Regardless of which treatment you choose, replacing missing teeth boosts your oral health, improves your smile, and can help increase your confidence. Get further guidance and details on each procedure during your next check-up, or consider scheduling a separate appointment altogether for an in-depth consultation.

    Sources: Perio.org, WebMD.com, OralB.com


    • 27 APR 16
    • 0

    Ditch Discolored Fillings for Natural Looking Options

    New Fillings From Personal Care Dentistry Can Benefit More Than Your Looks

    iStock_000072339571_Medium - smiling womanThe cosmetic reasons for replacing amalgam (often referred to as “silver”) fillings may be obvious — your smile looks better without the telltale dark spots and any associated feeling of self-consciousness goes away.

    People don’t realize is that if your metal dental fillings are defective or show decay, it’s important to replace them. While it can be easy to forget about cavities once they’re filled, the truth is that oral health threats can re-emerge as fillings weaken over time. Constant grinding and chewing will wear down any filling, and it often only takes one particularly hard or sticky food to dislodge or crack it.

    Why Replace Silver Fillings?

    Untreated decay may eventually lead to an infection (abscess). In some cases, replacing a metal dental filling may benefit the long-term health of your tooth.

    Once the protective barrier to a cavity has been lost or broken, harmful bacteria can easily seep in and continue to eat away at the tooth. In many cases — especially those where the seal has been damaged but has not completely fallen out — tooth decay under or around the filling may easily escape notice until it reaches the point where a root canal or an extraction is necessary. Being diligent about dental visits and proactive about replacing fillings can help you avoid the unnecessary pain and expense of a tooth infection.

    Silver Fillings Hide Decay

    Because silver fillings are opaque to X-Rays, it’s difficult to see a cavity under the filling until they are quite extensive. Research has shown that when you’re examining a patient with silver fillings, if you don’t use any X-Rays you can see 50% of what is going on and with a full set of X-Rays you will still only see about 80 – 85% of what’s going on. So there is 15% – 20% of cavities that we won’t be able to see because the metal blocks out this damage. In some cases, this can mean the difference between getting another filling or having to have a root canal treatment.

    Colored Fillings Prevent Cracked Teeth

    We know from the research that silver fillings do not strengthen teeth at all. So a silver filling in a tooth, essentially acts like a wedge, and when you bite down on the filling the forces are transmitted to the remaining tooth structure.

    Because the silver filling material was usually just packed in, there is no adhesion of the silver filling to the tooth, which we get with the tooth-colored materials. This adhesion means that the chewing forces are distributed over a greater amount of tooth, making the tooth about 15 – 20% stronger with the tooth colored compared to silver filling

    The force of biting down with the chewing is also distributed across the whole tooth structure more evenly than it is with silver filling, meaning less likelihood of tooth cracking.

    Replacement Options

    The good news about getting rid of old fillings is that amalgam is no longer your only choice. As hardy and durable as this traditional mixture of silver, mercury and other metal alloys is, it has become virtually obsolete due to more discrete options such as:

    • Composite Fillings: tooth-colored bondings primarily used for the front teeth
    • Veneers: thin, porcelain, non-staining shells affixed to the front surface of teeth
    • Crowns: complete covering for damaged teeth that a filling alone cannot repair
    • Inlays or Onlays: custom composite used to replace larger fillings in molars


    Strategies for Replacing Fillings

    Some people will want to do everything at once and then sleep tight knowing that it’s all sorted out. Others will pick the part of their mouth that is worst and together with their dentist to break it up into sections: do the top right this year, the bottom left next year, and so on.

    Your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry may recommend one particular treatment or a varied approach, depending on the number and type of fillings needed. Rest assured, however, that the choices at your disposal lend themselves to a more natural look than that of an amalgam filling.

    Caring for Teeth with Fillings

    Regardless of which replacement option you choose, a little extra care and attention can go a long way in protecting your investment. To extend the life of a newly restored tooth, consider making these changes to your everyday routine:

    Brush and floss regularly to keep the tooth’s surface clear of tough buildup

    Use a mouth guard at night to avoid unnecessary pressure if tooth grinding is a habit

    Steer clear of overly hard or sticky foods that can damage the restored tooth

    See a dentist if you notice a bad taste or dull pain that can indicate a defect or decay

    Regular dentist visits to Personal Care Dentistry can further minimize the risk of damaged filings — and help prevent the need for new ones. For questions about replacing and/or maintaining fillings, schedule an appointment with your dentist.

    Sources: Mayo Clinic, TodaysDentistry.com


    • 20 APR 16
    • 0

    How to Keep Your Smile Healthy

    Receding Gums Can Wreck Your Oral Health

    Closeup of a smiling young girl looking at camera

    Receding gums, as the name itself suggests, occurs when the gum tissue around your teeth wear away and the gums seem to recede backwards making a larger area of the surface of tooth more visible. If you do not contain receding gums, even the root of teeth may become exposed which can then cause pain making your teeth extremely sensitive. Not only this, due to the damage caused to the supporting tissue and bone structures of your teeth, you may eventually lose teeth.


    Symptoms of Receding Gums

    Although gum recession is a very general dental problem, most of the people suffering from it don’t seem to notice it happening because the process is very slow and it occurs gradually. The symptoms of receding gums are as follows:

    1. Tooth sensitivity
    2. Tooth appearing larger than usual
    3. Pain or tooth ache


    Causes of Receding Gums

    Receding gums often indicate some gum disease. However, there are many more other causes of receding gums as listed here:

    1. Gum diseases, specifically speaking periodontal diseases meaning bacterial infections that occur in your gums.
    2. Poor oral hygiene. If you do not brush or floss properly, you may end up building plaque on your teeth.
    3. Brushing teeth aggressively. Yes, this is contrary to the previous cause which says if you don’t brush properly, you may get receding gums. In fact, if you brush your teeth aggressively, then \ you may also get receding gums.
    4. Heredity is also a cause sometimes. If your genes are the cause of your receding gums, there is very little you can do to prevent it.
    5. Hormonal changes, especially in women, may also sometimes cause receding gums.
    6. Smoking not only causes various diseases including cancer and lung diseases but also receding gums.
    7. Misuse of teeth in the form of grinding and clenching teeth put pressure on the teeth which leads the gums to recede. Similar force when put on teeth, for example during taking bites while eating, may lead to receding gums. This happens when you have crooked teeth and when they do not come together evenly while eating.
    8. Piercing of your lips or tongue can also cause gum recession. This is because the jewelry that you wear after piercing may get rubbed against the gums.


    How Is Gum Recession Treated?

    Mild gum recession may be able to be treated by your dentist by deep cleaning the affected area. During the deep cleaning – also called tooth scaling and root planing – plaque and tartar that has built up on the teeth and root surfaces below the gum line is carefully removed and the exposed root area is smoothed to make it more difficult for bacteria to attach itself.

    If your gum recession cannot be treated with deep cleaning because of excess loss of bone and pockets that are too deep, gum surgery may be required to repair the damage caused by gum recession.


    What Type of Surgery Is Used to Treat Gum Recession?

    The following surgical procedures are used to treat gum recession:

    Pocket depth reduction: During this procedure, the dentist folds back the affected gum tissue, removes the harmful bacteria from the pockets, and then snugly secures the gum tissue in place over the tooth root, thus eliminating the pockets or reducing their size.

    Regeneration: If the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed as a result of gum recession, a procedure to regenerate lost bone and tissue may be recommended. As in pocket depth reduction, your dentist will fold back the gum tissue and remove the bacteria. A regenerative material, such as a membrane, graft tissue, or tissue-stimulating protein, will then be applied to encourage your body to naturally regenerate bone and tissue in that area. After the regenerative material is put in place, the gum tissue is secured over the root of the tooth or teeth.

    Soft tissue graft: The dentist is able to graft gum from near the tooth or remove tissue from the roof of the mouth. This is called a pedicle graft.

    Your dentist can determine the best type of procedure to use on you based on your individual needs.


    How can Receding Gums Grow Back?

    Gums are nothing else but soft tissues that cover the bones supporting your teeth so that they may remain in place. Proper dental hygiene, diet and certain home remedies like oil pulling can help your receding gums grow back.


    Treating Receding Gums at Home

    Certain home remedies that use simple kitchen ingredients and sometimes herbs and spices etc. can help treat and grow back your receding gums. Green tea, Aloe Vera gel and oils like sesame, coconut, eucalyptus and clove can all be effective for regenerating gum tissue.


    Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene to Prevent Gum Recession

    You should take proper care of your mouth to not only prevent gum recession but also to prevent any other kind of oral disease.

    • Never brush aggressively.
    • Whenever brushing, do it with gentle strokes and in circular motion.
    • Never push your gums upwards while brushing. Brush them along your gum lines.
    • Don’t use too large a toothbrush. A brush having a small head and soft bristle is ideal for your mouth.
    • Don’t forget to floss as it is essential for removing plaque.
    • The ideal condition is to brush and floss after every meal. If, however, it is not possible every time, at least rinse your mouth properly with water after meals.
    • Schedule regular dental appointments. Your dentist and hygienist will be able to detect receding gums early and treat as needed.


    Sources: WebMD, Colgate, RapidHomeRemedies.com

    • 13 APR 16
    • 0

    Dental Checkups Are A Key to Fighting Oral Cancer

    April Is Oral Cancer Awareness Month – Be Sure to Get a Regular Screening at Personal Care Dentistry

    Closeup of dentist examining young woman's teeth

    Approximately 48,250 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year. While alcohol, smoking and tobacco use are still major risk factors, the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients is young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus. This virus is the same one which is responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women. A small percentage of people (under 7 %) do get oral cancers from no currently identified cause. It is currently believed that these are likely related to some genetic predisposition.

    Screening is the best hope of reducing the death rate from this disease.

    Oral cancer is the largest group of those cancers which fall into the head and neck cancer category. Common names for it include such things as mouth cancer, tongue cancer, tonsil cancer, and throat cancer. For more than a decade there has been an increase in the rate of occurrence of oral and oropharyngeal cancers.

    When found at early stages of development, oral cancers have an 80% to 90 \% survival rate. Unfortunately, at this time the majority are found as late stage cancers, and this accounts for the very high death rate of about 43% at five years from diagnosis (for all stages and types combined at time of diagnosis). Late-stage diagnosis is not occurring because most of these cancers are hard to discover (though some like HPV origin disease have unique discovery issues). Rather, it is because of a lack of public awareness coupled with the lack of a national program for screenings which would yield early discovery by medical and dental professionals. Worldwide the problem is far greater, with new cases annually exceeding 640,000.

    Signs of Oral Cancer

    Mouth cancer can appear in different forms and can affect all parts of the mouth, tongue and lips.

    Mouth cancer can appear as a painless mouth ulcer that does not heal normally. A white or red patch in the mouth can also develop into a cancer. It is important to visit your dentist if these areas do not heal within three weeks.

    How to Detect Oral Cancer Early

    Mouth cancer can often be spotted in its early stages by your dentist during a thorough mouth examination. If mouth cancer is recognized early, then the chances of a cure are good.  Many people with mouth cancer go to their dentist or doctor too late.

    The dentist examines the inside of your mouth and your tongue with the help of a small mirror. Remember, your dentist is able to see parts of your mouth that you cannot see easily yourself.

    If your dentist finds something unusual they will refer you to a consultant at the local hospital, who will carry out a thorough examination of your mouth and throat. A small sample of the cells may be gathered from the area (a biopsy), and these cells will be examined under the microscope to see what is wrong.

    If the cells are cancerous, more tests will be carried out. These may include overall health checks, blood tests, x-rays or scans. These tests will decide what course of treatment is needed.

    If mouth cancer is spotted early, the chances of a complete cure are good, and the smaller the area or ulcer the better the chance of a cure.

    However, too many people come forward too late, because they do not visit their dentist for regular examinations.

    How to Keep a Healthy Mouth

    It is important to visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend, even if you wear dentures. This is especially important if you smoke and drink alcohol.

    • When brushing your teeth, look out for any changes in your mouth, and report any red or white patches, or ulcers, that have not cleared up within three weeks.
    • When exposed to the sun, be sure to use a good protective sun screen, and put the correct type of barrier cream on your lips.
    • A good diet, rich in vitamins A, C and E, provides protection against the development of mouth cancer.  Plenty of fruit and vegetables help the body to protect itself, in general, from most cancers.
    • Cut down on your smoking and drinking.


    Sources: OralCancer.org, MouthCancer.org

    • 06 APR 16
    • 0

    Homemade Mouthwash Alternatives

    9 Natural Mouthwashes You’ll Feel Good About Using While Saving Some Bucks

    Natural and antibacterial homemade mouthwash

    Believe it or not, mouthwashes have been around for a long, long time. In fact, the very first references that we have are from books in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine that list ingredients for a mouth rinse for the treatment of gingivitis from about 2700 B.C.!

    There are other examples as well. Hippocrates recommended making a combination of vinegar, alum, and salt to stop bad breath. Native Americans often used plants, such as three leaf golden thread, soaked in water as a mouth rinse to stop infections. The Romans, and Greek upper class people, typically used a mouth rinse after “brushing” their teeth with sticks or reeds.

    In 1970, there were only about 15 brands and types of mouthwash in the United States. Today, there are more than 112! Rinsing out the mouth with a mouthwash is considered to be important for good oral hygiene, but store-bought chemical mouthwash is filled with potentially harmful ingredients like thymol, which is known to be dangerous to the environment as well as to aquatic organisms, and hexetidine, considered to be carcinogenic.

    In addition to avoiding possible toxins, you might also save some of your hard-earned cash and even see better results by making your own mouthwash. Here are some great home recipes for mouthwash.


    1. Super Citrus Oil Mouthwash


    • 2 cups of filtered water
    • 2 teaspoons of calcium carbonate powder
    • 1 teaspoon of xylitol crystals
    • 10 drops of trace mineral liquid
    • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
    • 5 drops of lemon essential oil
    • 3 drops of wild orange essential oil


    In a mason jar, or other similar container with a lid, stir together the xylitol crystals and the calcium powder. Add the essential oils and liquid minerals. Stir again to be sure everything is well combined. Add your water and stir. Close the lid and shake for 1 minute. That’s it! How easy was that?! You can find all these ingredients in your local natural or health food store or online. Store this in the refrigerator (it keeps for 2 to 3 weeks) and shake well before each use.

    Xylitol is a natural sweetener proven to have a positive effect on tooth and gum health.  It is recommended by many dentists and is now a popular ingredient in natural toothpaste, gum and mouthwash.  It will also improve the taste and even the effectiveness of your mouthwash.


    1. Super Simple Mouthwash


    • 1 cup of filtered water
    • 4 teaspoons of baking soda
    • 4 drops of tea tree essential oil
    • 4 drops of peppermint essential oil


    Add all ingredients to a mason jar or similar container with a lid. Shake very well. Use about 2 tablespoons of this mixture each day, the same way you would use mouthwash for super white teeth and fresh breath. The baking soda will usually settle to the bottom of the container after a few hours, but don’t worry, this is normal. Simply shake well before each use.


    1. Cinnamon and Honey Mouthwash


    • 2 organic lemons, juiced
    • ½ tablespoon of cinnamon powder
    • 1 teaspoon of baking soda (not baking powder!)
    • 5 teaspoons of raw, organic honey
    • 1 cup of warm water


    Using a mason jar or similar type of container with a tight fitting lid, add all ingredients in the order given. Be sure the water is very warm as it needs to melt the honey. Close the lid and shake for one minute. Store in the fridge and use two tablespoons as a mouth rinse.


    1. Three-Ingredient Mouthwash


    • 1 cup of filtered water
    • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
    • 3 drops of peppermint essential oil


    Add all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake very well. This can be kept in the bathroom and does not require refrigeration. Shake well before each use.


    1. Grandma’s Disinfecting Mouthwash


    • 1 cup of filtered water
    • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar


    Mix the ingredients together in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well before each use. This will keep forever right on your bathroom countertop.


    1. Herb-Infused Mouthwash


    • 2 cups of filtered water
    • ½ ounce of whole cloves
    • 1 ounce of Oregon grape root
    • 1 ounce of rosemary sprigs


    Boil the water and then add all remaining ingredients to the water. Boil for one minute, then turn off the fire and cover the pot. Allow herbs to steep in the water overnight. Strain out the herbs with a piece of cheesecloth in the morning and store in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well before each use and store in the refrigerator. This will keep 7 to 14 days in the fridge.


    1. Simple Hydrogen Peroxide Whitening Mouthwash


    • 1-part hydrogen peroxide
    • 1-part filtered water


    Don’t make a large batch of this solution. Try one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and one tablespoon of water, for example. Mix in a ceramic or glass container (such as a glass or coffee cup) and use immediately. Swish in the mouth for 30 seconds and then spit it out. Do not swallow, and do not save any extra solution.


    1. Sweet-Smelling Essential Oil Mouthwash


    • 1 cup of filtered water
    • 20 drops of the essential oil of your choice. Best choices are cinnamon, clove, wintergreen, peppermint, or tea tree oil


    In a glass container with a tight fitting lid, combine all ingredients and shake well. Always shake well before each use. This mixture will keep on the kitchen counter or bathroom counter forever.


    1. Oral Cancer Fighting Turmeric Solution


    • 10 mg of turmeric extract
    • ½ cup of water


    Use 10 mg of turmeric extract dissolved in a little less than a ½ cup of water. A drop or two of peppermint oil can be added for flavoring; alternatively, you can just stir a little turmeric powder into warm water. Either will result in an outstanding mouthwash for treating inflamed gums and even relieving a toothache.

    Since ancient times, turmeric has been used for remedying oral ailments, among other therapeutic applications too numerous to count. Studies have shown that using turmeric as part of a mouth cleansing solution can be more effective than a chemical mouthwash. The curcumin in turmeric acts to disrupt the cycle of dental plaque formation. Research has found that turmeric extract and turmeric oil may reverse precancerous changes in oral submucous fibrosis in humans and even kill oral cancer cells.

    As with any mouthwash, be sure not to swallow during use. Happy gargling!


    Sources: TheAlternativeDaily.com, DIYnatural.com, GreenMedInfo.com


    • 30 MAR 16
    • 0

    11 Tips to Help Protect Your Tooth Enamel

    Tooth Enamel Erosion: Causes and How to Prevent It

    Tooth enamel is a semi-clear, hard, outer layer that protects your teeth from daily wear and tear. It also keeps you from feeling temperature extremes from the hot and cold things you eat and drink. Acids and chemicals that can damage your teeth are also fended off by it.

    Woman smiling with perfect smile and white teeth in a park and looking at camera

    Every time you eat or drink anything acidic, the enamel on your teeth becomes softer for a short while, and loses some of its mineral content. Your saliva will slowly cancel out this acidity in your mouth and get it back to its natural balance. However, if this acid attack happens too often, your mouth does not have a chance to repair itself and tiny bits of enamel can be brushed away. Over time, you start to lose the surface of your teeth.

    When this shell erodes, your teeth are more likely to get cavities and decay. You may notice you react more to hot or cold foods, drinks, and sweets, since they can get through holes in your enamel to the nerves inside.

    A few easy habits can help you protect your pearly whites. But first you need to know what to watch out for.


    What Causes Enamel Erosion?

    Damage to your teeth’s outer layer can come from:

    • Too many sweets. Bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugar, and they make acids that can eat away at enamel. It gets worse if you don’t clean your teeth regularly.
    • Sour foods or candies. They have a lot of acid.
    • Dry mouth. Saliva helps prevent tooth decay by washing away bacteria acids and leftover food in your mouth. It also brings acids to an acceptable level.
    • Acid reflux disease, GERD, or heartburn. These bring stomach acids up to the mouth, where they can damage enamel.
    • Bulimia, alcoholism, or binge drinking. People with these conditions vomit often, which is hard on teeth.
    • Drugs or supplements that have a lot of acid. Think aspirin or vitamin C.
    • Brushing too hard. A soft brush and a gentle touch are best.
    • Grinding your teeth. Your dentist may call this bruxism. Too much of it can do damage.


    What Are the Symptoms?

    Erosion usually shows up as hollows in the teeth and a general wearing away of the tooth surface and biting edges. This can expose the dentine underneath, which is a darker, yellower color than the enamel. If your teeth start losing their outer shell, you might notice:

    • Pain when eating hot, cold, or sweet foods or drinks
    • Rough or uneven edges on the teeth, which can crack or chip when they lose their enamel
    • Smooth, shiny surfaces on the teeth, a sign of mineral loss
    • Yellow teeth
    • Cupping, or dents, that show up where you bite and chew


    How Can I Protect My Enamel?

    Because it can’t be replaced, your best option is to do what you can to prevent tooth enamel loss.

    • Good dental care is the best way to keep your mouth healthy.
    • Cut down on acidic drinks and foods, like sodas, citrus fruits, and juices. When you do have something with acid, have it at meal times to make it easier on your enamel. You can also switch to things like low-acid orange juice.
    • Rinse your mouth with water right after you eat or drink something acidic.
    • Use a straw for sodas and fruit juices so they bypass the teeth. Don’t swish them around in your mouth.
    • Finish a meal with a glass of milk or a piece of cheese. This will cancel out acids.
    • Chew sugar-free gum. This lowers the amount of acid in your mouth. Gum also helps you make more saliva, which strengthens your teeth with key minerals.
    • Drink more water during the day if you have dry mouth.
    • Use a soft toothbrush. And try not to brush too hard.
    • Wait at least an hour to brush after you’ve had acidic foods or drinks. They soften the enamel and make it more prone to damage from your toothbrush.
    • Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. Your dentist can tell you which products can protect your teeth and make them less sensitive.
    • Get treatment for conditions like bulimia, alcoholism, or GERD.


    Work with Your Dentist

    Ultimately, one of the best ways to protect your teeth’s enamel is to work with your dentist. He or she can detect any erosion and offer tips on ways to reduce it. As well as using a fluoride toothpaste, your dental team may suggest you use a fluoride-containing mouthwash and have a fluoride varnish applied at least every six months. They may also prescribe a toothpaste with more fluoride in it.

    If a tooth does need treatment, it is important to protect the enamel and the dentine underneath to prevent sensitivity. Usually, simply bonding a filling onto the tooth will be enough to repair it. However, in more severe cases the dentist may need to fit a veneer. If it’s been a while since you’ve been in a dentist’s chair, book an appointment today.

    Sources: WebMD, DentalHealth.org


    • 23 MAR 16
    • 0

    Mystery Solved: The Story on Canker Sores

    Information About these Sometimes Painful Oral Nuisances and How to Prevent Them

    Canker sores, also called aphthous ulcers, are small, shallow lesions that develop on the soft tissues in your mouth or at the base of your gums. They can be painful and can make eating and talking difficult.

    Young woman having toothache

    Although anyone can develop canker sores, they occur more often in teens and young adults, and they’re more common in females. Often people with recurrent canker sores have a family history of the disorder. This may be due to heredity or to a shared factor in the environment, such as certain foods or allergens.


    What are the Symptoms of Canker Sores?

    Most canker sores are round or oval with a white or yellow center and a red border. They form inside your mouth — on or under your tongue, inside your cheeks or lips, at the base of your gums, or on your soft palate. You might notice a tingling or burning sensation a day or two before the sores actually appear.

    There are several types of canker sores, including minor, major and herpetiform sores.

    Minor Canker Sores

    Minor canker sores are the most common and:

    • Are usually small.
    • Are oval shaped with a red edge.
    • Heal without scarring in one to two weeks.


    Major Canker Sores

    Major canker sores are less common and:

    • Are larger and deeper than minor canker sores.
    • Are usually round with defined borders, but may have irregular edges when very large.
    • Can be extremely painful.
    • May take up to six weeks to heal and can leave extensive scarring.


    Herpetiform Canker Sores

    Herpetiform canker sores are uncommon and usually develop later in life, but they’re not caused by herpes virus infection. These canker sores:

    • Are pinpoint size.
    • Often occur in clusters of 10 to 100 sores, but may merge into one large ulcer.
    • Have irregular edges.
    • Heal without scarring in one to two weeks.


    What Causes Canker Sores?

    The precise cause of canker sores remains unclear, though researchers suspect that a combination of factors contributes to outbreaks, even in the same person.

    Possible triggers for canker sores include:

    • A minor injury to your mouth from dental work, overzealous brushing, sports mishaps or an accidental cheek bite.
    • Toothpastes and mouth rinses containing sodium lauryl sulfate.
    • Food sensitivities, particularly to chocolate, coffee, strawberries, eggs, nuts, cheese, and spicy or acidic foods.
    • A diet lacking in vitamin B-12, zinc, folate (folic acid) or iron.
    • An allergic response to certain bacteria in your mouth.
    • Helicobacter pylori, the same bacteria that cause peptic ulcers.
    • Hormonal shifts during menstruation.
    • Emotional stress.
    • A sharp tooth surface or dental appliance, such as braces or ill-fitting dentures, might also trigger canker sores.


    Canker sores may also occur because of certain conditions and diseases, such as:

    • Celiac disease, a serious intestinal disorder caused by a sensitivity to gluten, a protein found in most grains.
    • Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
    • Behcet’s disease, a rare disorder that causes inflammation throughout the body, including the mouth.
    • A faulty immune system that attacks healthy cells in your mouth instead of pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria.
    • HIV/AIDS, which suppresses the immune system.


    Are Cold Sores and Canker Sores the Same Thing?

    No. Although cold sores and canker sores are often confused with each other they are not the same. Canker sores don’t occur on the surface of your lips and they aren’t contagious like cold sores. Unlike cold sores, canker sores are not associated with herpes virus infections. Cold sores, also called fever blisters or herpes simplex type 1, are groups of painful, fluid-filled blisters. Also, cold sores typically appear outside the mouth- usually under the nose, around the lips, or under the chin – while canker sores occur inside the mouth.


    How Are Canker Sores Treated?

    Pain from a canker sore generally lessens in a few days, and the sores usually heal without treatment in about a week or two.

    If sores are large, painful, or persistent, your dentist may prescribe an antimicrobial mouth rinse, a corticosteroid ointment, or a prescription or over-the-counter solution to reduce the pain and irritation.

    You should call your dentist about canker sores if you have:

    • Unusually large sores.
    • Sores that are spreading.
    • Sores that last 3 weeks or longer.
    • Intolerable pain despite avoiding trigger foods and taking over-the-counter pain medication.
    • Difficulty drinking enough fluids.
    • A high fever with the appearance of the canker sores.


    Can Canker Sores Be Prevented?

    Although there is no cure for canker sores, and they often recur, you may be able to reduce their frequency by:

    1. Avoiding foods that irritate your mouth, including citrus fruits, acidic vegetables, and spicy foods.
    2. Avoid foods that cause the symptoms of an allergy, such as an itchy mouth, a swollen tongue, or hives.
    3. Avoiding irritation from gum chewing.
    4. Brushing with a soft-bristled brush after meals and flossing daily, which will keep your mouth free of foods that might trigger a sore.
    5. If your canker sores pop up due to stress, you can use stress reduction methods and calming techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation.


    Talk with your doctor to determine if you have any specific vitamin or mineral deficiencies. They can help design a suitable diet plan and prescribe individual supplements if you need them.

    Sources: Mayo Clinic, WebMD, Healthline.com

    • 17 MAR 16
    • 0

    Easter Family Fun Around the Twin Cities

    If The Easter Bunny and Egg Hunts Are Family Favorites, Then We Have Some Great Ideas for You

    Easter is right around the corner and if you are looking for fun things to do with the kids to celebrate the holiday that involve eggs and the Easter Bunny, we have some ideas for you. From egg hunts and festivals at area parks to kid-friendly brunches at area restaurants, we’ve got you covered.

    Close Up Of Many Colorful Easter Eggs On Sunny Green Gras For Easter Or Seasons Greetings Eggs Pink And Orange

    There are Easter festivities all over Minnesota in 2016. Most allow children from babies through elementary school to participate in the actual hunt, but many also have many other activities, music, food and entertainment for adults and older children.

    Macy’s Bunny Brunch: Multiple times, dates and locations:  The Easter Bunny, a face painter, balloon artist and a fabulous brunch. This annual event is a favorite of so many in the area – your kids will love it!  Multiple dates and times at the Southdale, Ridgedale and Downtown locations.

    Mall of America- Pictures with the Easter Bunny: Times vary. The Easter Bunny has arrived. The fun will last through Sunday, April 5!  So head on out to Mall of America to share in this wonderful Easter tradition! Parents can make the memory last by purchasing a special souvenir photo of their child with the Easter Bunny. Children will also receive a special treat from Peeps & Company!  The Easter Bunny needs lunch sometimes, so break times will vary and will be no longer than 15 minutes in length.

    March 18: Spring Egg Hunt (Blaine): 6:30 p.m. Head over to Airport Park for a super spectacular spring egg hunt, followed by a prize raffle. Plastic eggs filled with candy are hidden on three different softball fields depending on your child’s age. FREE! Ages 10 and under. Registration is not required.

    March 18: Woodbury Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt: 8 p.m. Grab a flashlight and bucket and join us for a nighttime egg hunt at Bielenberg Sports Center on White fields 10, 11, 12 and 13 with an adult. Find the special eggs with the hidden message and claim you prize. It’s not how many eggs you find; it’s finding the right one. Recommended for ages 6-13 with an adult. $4 pre-registered, $6 at the event.

    March 19-20: Dave & Busters: Breakfast with the Easter Bunny: Maple Grove – Saturday, March 19, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.; Edina – Sunday, March 20, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. The Breakfast with the Easter Bunny event will be hosted in one of Dave & Buster’s event spaces where food, beverages, and activities will be. As a guest of the event, you will have access to this space, as well as our Million Dollar Midway which is packed to the rafters with hundreds of games and simulators! Breakfast with the Easter Bunny Package includes: Breakfast Buffet, $10 Power Card, Activities, Picture with the Easter Bunny. $19.99 per person before tax and suggested gratuity.

    March 19: Breakfast with the Bunnies (Farmington): 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Hop into the weekend with breakfast and a visit from a special guest at Rambling River Center. Listen to a funny bunny story, interact with rabbits, make a craft, and learn the bunny hop! Photo opportunities available, so bring your camera. Breakfast will include rolls, fruit, juice, and coffee. A great family activity, but each person must be registered.

     March 19: Easter Egg Hunt at the James J. Hill House: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Celebrate spring at the James J. Hill House with an outdoor egg hunt for children ages 2-7 on the lawn. Participants can win prizes, enjoy a snack, hear stories and look around the first floor of the elegant Gilded Age home. $6 per person.

    March 19: Shoreview Egg Hunt: 10 a.m. Join the Bunny in an old-fashioned “eggciting” hunt for prized-filled eggs! Each participant will be given an Easter bag for the hunt. Space is limited. Register by March 18 please. The Shoreview Egg Hunt is held outdoors at the Shoreview Community Center Pavilion, so be sure to dress for the weather.

    March 19: Bunny Brunch (McRae Park, Minneapolis): 10 a.m.- noon. This year’s annual brunch will be better than ever. McRae’s jazz band will provide entertainment, there will be a craft for the kids to make and take, and of course, the Bunny will be on hand for pictures! Don’t forget to bring your baskets and join in on the egg hunt!

    March 19: The Six.th Annual Easter Eggstravaganza (Burnsville): 10 a.m. Join the fun at Good Shepard Lutheran Church and School. Outdoor egg hunts, art activities, craft center, bounce house and games, photos with Bunny and more!

    March 19: Egg Hunt (St. Anthony): 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Participate in an art-inspired egg hunt and afternoon of activities for all ages at Silverwood Park. Take photos with the bunny, enjoy musical entertainment, and participate in a variety of “egg-cellent” art activities. Kids of all ages have a chance to collect spring treats.

    March 19: Mystery Egg Hunt (Oakdale): 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Join us at the Discovery Center for an egg hunt, face painting, games, crafts, petting zoo, Bounce castle and more!

    March 19: Vadnais Heights Egg Hunt: 10:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m. The Easter Bunny will visit while you hunt for eggs at the Annual Easter Egg Hunt. Join us at Community Park (651 E County Road F). Staggered start times are as follows: 2 years and under – 10:30 a.m., 3-4 year olds – 10:40 a.m., 5-6 year olds – 10:50 a.m., 7-9 year olds – 11 a.m., 10-12 year olds – 11:10 a.m. Call 651-204-6000 for details.

    March 20: Egg Hunt (Armatage Park, Minneapolis): 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Egg hunt, caricature, arts and crafts, and continental breakfast. Egg Hunt will begin at 11 a.m.

    March 25: Easter Egg Hunt (Osseo): 10 a.m. Grab your basket and join the Easter Bunny at Andres Park to gather some eggs! The Easter Bunny will have more than 12,000 eggs outside at Andrews Park for children to “hunt” up. This FREE family activity is for Children 9 & under, registration is not required. Dress for the weather as this is an outdoor event. Be sure to bring a pail or basket to put eggs in.

    March 25: Flashlight Egg Hunt (Creekview Park, Minneapolis): 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Come on down to Creekview for our fun egg hunt. Bring your flashlight and we’ll start the egg hunt once it is dark. You must be in the center at the start of the event so they can hide the eggs outside. They will divide the eggs up for the different age groups.

    March 25: Spring Eggstravaganza Rock Hunt (Victoria): 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Celebrate spring at Lowry Nature Center! Bring your baskets and hunt for colored rocks (ages 2-8) or secret messages (ages 8-adult) hidden along the trails. Trade the rocks or decoded message for a bag of goodies! Bring a camera for photos with a bunny character. Make bunny ears, get your face painted to look like a bunny, and decorate a wooden egg to bring home. Visit a zoo featuring a goat, bunny, chicks, turtles, snakes, toads and a raptor.

    March 26: Lake Elmo Jaycees Egg Hunt: Noon. The Lake Elmo Jaycees are hosting the Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Egg Coloring Event at Lions Park. This is a free event open to the community, everyone welcome!

    March 26: Victorian Easter Egg Roll (Shakopee): Noon – 3 p.m. Celebrate with the family! Make a miniature basket and decorate a wooden egg. Participate in an egg and spoon race, bunny hop relay, and authentic egg roll. Play with old-fashioned toys and games, and explore the banks of the Minnesota River Valley at The Landing. Refreshments served in the Town Hall.

    March 26: Maplewood Easter Egg Hunt: 10 a.m. The morning will start off at Edgerton Community Gym with breakfast treats, colorful crafts and a visit from the Easter Bunny – then its happy hunting! Children will be divided into two age groups and will be hunting for wrapped candy and plastic eggs, some of which may be redeemed for great prizes.

    March 26: Easter Egg Candy Hunt (Chanhassen): 9 a.m. The 33rd Annual Easter Egg Candy Hunt will be held at City Center Park at 9 a.m. More than 400 children along with their friends and families attend this annual event. The program includes prize giveaways, a coloring contest, the candy hunt, and an appearance from the Easter Bunny!

    March 26: Easter Egg Hunt – Erickson’s Petting Zoo (Osakis): 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Bring the family for one of the Petting Zoo’s most fun annual events! They put out plastic eggs all day, so no matter what time you come between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., there will be plenty of eggs to find. Baskets are provided, find and fill up the basket and take it to the party shed to see what you have found! All eggs have either candy or small prizes in them.

    March 26: Bunny Party and Egg Hunt (Windom Park, Minneapolis): Noon-2 pm Come to Windom Park for a fun morning with the Bunny! We’ll have games, a bounce house, a chance for photos with the bunny, and an egg hunt! Remember to bring your cameras and baskets!

    March 27: Maple Grove Easter Egg Hunt: Multiple times available. Event features 75,000 eggs, the Easter Bunny, kids lesson, live animals and more!  This is the sixth year for this hunt and it’s the Twin Cities’ largest and most successful (and FREE) Easter Egg Hunt. Hosted by Passion Church the event is held at Maple Grove High School. Make sure to get your free picture with the Bunny too!


    See the Family Fun Twin Cities website for even more Easter events.


    Can’t get enough Easter egg hunting? Check out the Easter Egg Hunts and Events website.






    • 16 MAR 16
    • 0

    9 Ways Medicine Can Affect Your Smile

    Many Medications Have Side Effects on Your Oral Health

    Generally speaking, medicines are designed to make you feel better. But all drugs, whether taken by mouth or injected, come with a risk of side effects, and hundreds of drugs are known to cause oral issues. Medicines used to treat cancer, high blood pressure, severe pain, depression, allergies and even the common cold can have a negative impact on your dental health.

    Some of the most common mouth-related (oral) side effects of medications are listed below.


    diferent Tablets pills capsule heap mix isolated on white background

    Dry Mouth 

    Some drugs can reduce the amount of saliva in your mouth, causing an uncomfortably dry mouth. Without enough saliva, the tissues in the mouth can become irritated and inflamed. This increases your risk for infection and gum disease. Antihistamines and other drugs can cause a decrease in saliva, leaving your mouth prone to soft tissue inflammation, pain and infection.

    Dry mouth can be a bothersome problem. However, many times, the benefits of using a medicine outweigh the risks and discomfort of dry mouth. Alleviate dry mouth by drinking more water or using sugarless lozenges or gum to stimulate the flow of saliva. Artificial saliva or, in some cases, medication may be recommended by your dentist or physician.

    More than 400 medications are known to cause dry mouth. Dry mouth is also a side effect of certain chemotherapy medicines.


    Gum Swelling

    Some medications can cause a buildup of gum tissue, a condition called “gingival overgrowth.” Gum tissue becomes so swollen that it begins to grow over the teeth. Gingival overgrowth increases your risk of periodontal disease. Swollen gum tissue creates a favorable environment for bacteria, which can damage surrounding tooth structures.

    Gum tissue overgrowth is associated with anti-seizure medications, immunosupressant drugs such as those taken by organ transplant patients, and calcium channel blockers taken by heart patients. Studies suggest that gum tissue overgrowth can be controlled if meticulous oral hygiene is started at the same time or before medication is taken. Tissue overgrowth can complicate oral hygiene. Sometimes, a gingivectomy (a procedure used to remove excess tissue) may be necessary.


    Fungal Infection

    Certain inhaler medications used for asthma may lead to a yeast infection in the mouth called oral candidiasis. Rinsing your mouth out with water after using an inhaler can help prevent this side effect.


    Inflammation of the Lining Inside of the Mouth

    Mucositis is inflammation of the moist tissue lining the mouth and digestive tract. This tissue is called the mucous membrane. Mucositis is a common side effect of chemotherapy treatment. Doctors think that certain chemotherapy drugs, including methotrexate and 5-fluorouracil, trigger a complex pattern of biological changes that damage the cells that make up the mucous membranes. Mucositis causes painful swelling of the mouth and tongue and can lead to bleeding, pain, and mouth ulcers. The condition can make it difficult to eat.


    Mouth Sores

    A mouth ulcer refers to an open (ulcerated) sore that occurs inside the mouth or on the tongue. Mouth ulcers are often compared to “craters” because they have a hole in the middle. This hole is actually a break in the moist tissue (mucous membrane) that lines the mouth. Mouth sores may also be called canker sores.


    Taste Changes, Including Metallic Taste

    Sometimes, a medication can alter your sense of taste. A change in the body’s ability to sense tastes is called dysgeusia. Some drugs can make food taste different, or they can cause a metallic, salty, or bitter taste in your mouth. Taste changes are especially common among elderly patients who take multiple medications.

    Usually the taste changes are temporary and go away when you stop taking the medicine.

    Chemotherapy drugs, including methotrexate and doxorubicin, are a common cause of taste changes.


    Abnormal Bleeding

    Reduced blood clotting is a result of aspirin and prescribed anticoagulants, like heparin or warfarin. These medications are prescribed to treat strokes or heart disease, but can cause bleeding problems during oral surgery or periodontal treatment. If you’re having dental treatment, talk to your dentist about these medications, especially if the dental procedure involves bleeding.


    Tooth Decay

    Long-term use of sweetened medications can lead to tooth decay. Sugar is an added ingredient in many types of drug products, from vitamins and cough drops to antacids and syrup-based medications. Rinse your mouth out after using such products, or ask your doctor or pharmacist if there is a sugar-free alternative.


    Tooth Discoloration

    In the 1950s, doctors discovered that the use of tetracycline antibiotics during pregnancy led to brownish-colored teeth in children. When a person takes tetracycline, some of the medicine settles into the calcium that the body uses to build teeth. When the teeth grow in, they are a yellowish-color, and they gradually turn brown when exposed to sunlight.

    Tetracycline, however, does not cause tooth discoloration if taken after all teeth are formed. It only causes a change in tooth color if you take the medicine before the primary or secondary teeth come in.

    Today, tetracycline and related antibiotics are not recommended during pregnancy or in young children (under age 8) whose teeth are still forming.

    Cosmetic dentistry techniques like veneers, crowns, bonding procedures, or, in some cases, bleaching may be used to lighten teeth with tetracycline stains.


    Talk Medications with Your Dentist

    Your dentist, not just your doctor, should always know about all the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter products, vitamins and supplements.


    Sources: American Dental Association, WebMD