• 25 NOV 14
    • 0

    19 Habits That Wreck Your Teeth

    Find Out How to Stop Damaging Your Smile

    The decisions you make can seriously impact your oral health and damage your teeth. Some of the items on our list are pretty obvious – most of us have learned that chewing ice can chip or crack our teeth – but others are rather surprising.

    Chewing On Ice

    It’s natural and sugar free, so you might think ice is harmless. But munching on hard, frozen cubes can chip or even crack your teeth. And if your mindless chomping irritates the soft tissue inside a tooth, regular toothaches may follow. Hot foods and cold foods may trigger quick, sharp jabs of pain or a lingering toothache. Next time you get the urge for ice, chew some sugarless gum instead.

    Playing Sports With No Mouth Guard

    Whether you play football, hockey, or any other contact sport, don’t get in the game without a mouth guard. This is a piece of molded plastic that protects the upper row of teeth. Without it, your teeth could get chipped or even knocked out when the action gets rough. Self-fitting mouth guards may be purchased at a store, or you can have one custom made by your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry.

    getty_rf_photo_of_baby_with_bottleBedtime Bottles

    It’s never too early to protect teeth. Giving a baby a bedtime bottle of juice, milk, or formula, can put new teeth on a path to decay. The baby may become used to falling asleep with the bottle in his or her mouth, bathing the teeth in sugars overnight. It’s best to keep bottles out of the crib.

    Tongue Piercings

    Tongue piercings may be trendy, but biting down on the metal stud can crack a tooth. Lip piercings pose a similar risk. And when metal rubs against the gums, it can cause gum damage that may lead to tooth loss. The mouth is also a haven for bacteria, so piercings raise the risk of infections and sores. Bottom line, discuss the health risks with your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry first.

    Grinding Teeth

    Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can wear teeth down over time. It is most often caused by stress and sleeping habits. This makes it hard to control. Avoiding hard foods during the day can reduce pain and damage from this habit. Wearing a mouth guard at night can prevent the damage caused by grinding while sleeping.

    Cough Drops

    Just because cough drops are sold in the medicine aisle doesn’t mean they’re healthy. Most are loaded with sugar. So after soothing your throat with a lozenge, be sure to brush well. Whether the sugar comes from a cough drop or a hard candy, it reacts with the sticky plaque that coats your teeth. Then bacteria in the plaque convert the sugar into an acid that eats away at tooth enamel. Hello, cavities.

    gummy candyGummy Candy

    All sugary treats promote tooth decay, but some candies are harder to bear. Gummies stick in the teeth, keeping the sugar and resulting acids in contact with your enamel for hours. If your day just isn’t the same without a gummy critter, pop a couple during a meal instead of as a separate snack. More saliva is produced during meals, which helps rinse away candy bits and acids.


    Candy isn’t the only culprit when it comes to added sugar. Sodas can have up to 11 teaspoons of sugar per serving. To add insult to injury, sodas also contain phosphoric and citric acids, which eat away at tooth enamel. Diet soft drinks let you skip the sugar, but they may have even more acid in the form of the artificial sweeteners.

    Opening Stuff with Your Teeth

    Opening bottle caps or plastic packaging with your teeth may be convenient, but this is one habit that makes dentists cringe. Using your teeth as tools can cause them to crack or chip. Instead, keep scissors and bottle openers handy. Bottom line, your teeth should only be used for eating.

    Sports Drinks

    There’s no doubt a cold sports drink is refreshing after a good workout. But these drinks are usually high in sugar. Like soda or candy, sugary sports drinks create an acid attack on the enamel of your teeth. Drinking them frequently can lead to decay. A better way to stay hydrated at the gym is to chug sugar-free, calorie-free water.

    Potato Chips

    The bacteria in plaque will also break down starchy foods into acid. This acid can attack the teeth for the next 20 minutes — even longer if the food is stuck between the teeth or you snack often. You might want to floss after eating potato chips or other starchy foods that tend to get stuck in the teeth.

    fruit-juice-concentratesFruit Juice

    Fruit juice is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, but unfortunately most juices are also loaded with sugar. Some juices can have as much sugar per serving as soda. For example, there are only 10 more grams of sugar in orange soda than in orange juice. Fruits are naturally sweet, so look for juice that has no added sugar. You can also reduce the sugar content by diluting juice with some water.

    Constant Snacking

    Snacking produces less saliva than a meal, leaving food bits in your teeth for hours longer. Avoid snacking too frequently, and stick to snacks that are low in sugar and starch — for example, carrot sticks.

    Chewing on Pencils

    Do you ever chew on your pencil when concentrating on work or studies? Like crunching on ice, this habit can cause teeth to chip or crack. Sugarless gum is a better option when you feel the need to chew. It will trigger the flow of saliva, which can make teeth stronger and protect against enamel-eating acids.

    coffee-cup-and-beansDrinking Coffee

    Coffee’s dark color and acidity can cause yellowing of the teeth over time. Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest stains to treat with various whitening methods. Talk to your dentist if you’re concerned about discoloration of your teeth.


    Cigarettes, as well as other tobacco products, can stain teeth and cause them to fall out as a result of gum disease. Tobacco can also cause cancer of the mouth, lips, and tongue. If you were looking for one more reason to quit, think of your smile.

    Drinking Red Wine

    The acids in wine eat away at tooth enamel, creating rough spots that make teeth more vulnerable to staining. Red wine also contains a deep pigment called chromogen and tannins, which help the color stick to the teeth. This combination makes it easy for the wine’s red color to stay with you long after your glass is empty.

    Drinking White Wine

    You might think sticking to white wine would spare your teeth. But the acids still weaken the enamel, leaving the teeth porous and vulnerable to staining from other beverages, such as coffee. Swishing with water after drinking or using toothpaste with a mild whitening agent can fight the staining effects of red and white wines.

    Binge Eating

    Binge eating often involves excessive amounts of sweets, which can lead to tooth decay. Binging and purging (bulimia nervosa) can do even more damage to dental health. The strong acids found in vomit can erode teeth, making them brittle and weak. These acids also cause bad breath. Bulimia can lead to a variety of serious health problems, so be sure to talk to your doctor if you have been purging.



    • 12 NOV 14
    • 0

    Are Veneers A Good Option for Your Smile?

    Find Out The Facts About What Veneers Can – And Cant’ Do – For Your Smile

    Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length.

    Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. Resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement. You will need to discuss the best choice of veneer material for you with your dentist.

    man_wife_smilingWhat Types of Problems Do Dental Veneers Fix?

    Veneers are routinely used to fix:

    Teeth that are discolored — either because of root canal treatment; stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes; or the presence of large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth
    Teeth that are worn down
    Teeth that are chipped or broken
    Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them)
    Teeth with gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)

    What’s the Procedure for Getting a Dental Veneer?

    Getting a dental veneer usually requires three trips to the dentist – one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process described below.

    Diagnosis and treatment planning. This first step involves your active participation. Explain to your dentist the result that you are trying to achieve. During this appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate for you and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations. He or she also may take X-rays and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth.

    To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. Before trimming off the enamel, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, your dentist will make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which in turn constructs your veneer. It usually takes 1-2 weeks for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the laboratory. For very unsightly teeth, temporary dental veneers can be placed for an additional cost.

    Bonding. Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to examine its fit and color. He or she will repeatedly remove and trim the veneer as needed to achieve the proper fit; the veneer color can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used. Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched — which roughens the tooth to allow for a strong bonding process. A special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is then placed on your tooth. Once properly positioned on the tooth, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the dental veneer, which activates chemicals in the cement, causing it to harden or cure very quickly. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the veneer as necessary. Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check how your gums are responding to the presence of your veneer and to once again examine the veneer’s placement.

    What Are the Advantages of Dental Veneers?

    Veneers offer the following advantages:

    They provide a natural tooth appearance.
    Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well.
    Porcelain veneers are stain resistant.
    The color of a porcelain veneer can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter.
    Veneers offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color and shape; veneers generally don’t require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative.

    What Are the Disadvantages of Dental Veneers?

    The downside to dental veneers include:

    The process is not reversible.
    Veneers are more costly than composite resin bonding.
    Veneers are usually not repairable should they chip or crack.
    Because enamel has been removed, your tooth may become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages.
    Veneers may not exactly match the color of your other teeth. Also, the veneer’s color cannot be altered once in place. If you plan on whitening your teeth, you need to do so before getting veneers.
    Teeth with veneers can still experience decay, possibly necessitating full coverage of the tooth with a crown.
    Veneers are not a good choice for individuals with unhealthy teeth (for example, those with decay or active gum disease), weakened teeth (as a result of decay, fracture, large dental fillings), or for those who have an inadequate amount of existing enamel on the tooth surface.
    Individuals who clench and grind their teeth are poor candidates for porcelain veneers, as these activities can cause the veneers to crack or chip.

    How Long Do Dental Veneers Last?

    Veneers generally last between 5 and 10 years. After this time, the veneers would need to be replaced.

    Do Dental Veneers Require Special Care?

    Dental veneers do not require any special care. Continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing as you normally would. Even though porcelain veneers resist stains, your dentist may recommend that you avoid stain-causing foods and beverages (for example, coffee, tea, or red wine).

    Are There Alternatives to Dental Veneers?

    Yes, alternatives to veneers include bondings and crowns. Veneers offer a nice intermediate option. Veneers may be best suited for individuals who want to change the shape of their teeth more than just a little bit — as is done with bonding — but not enough to require a crown.

    The Next Step

    Give us a call to come in for a complimentary consultation about whether or not veneers are a good option for you. Because veneers are not always the right choice for every situation, the care team at Personal Care Dentistry will give you options that are best for your personal oral health needs and review the cost based on your individual treatment plan.




    • 06 NOV 14
    • 0

    10 Foods That Naturally Whiten and Brighten Your Smile

    What You Consume Directly Influences Your Oral Health

    As the saying goes, “you are what you eat.”  But when it comes to healthy teeth, “you are what you chew.”  According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) certain foods naturally cleanse, brighten, and defend against bacteria that can harm your teeth and gums.

    Because your teeth and gums mirror what’s going on in the rest of your body, what you consume influences the health of your smile.  In contrast, some foods and lifestyle habits such as drinking coffee and tea as well as smoking can cause discoloration or the yellowing of your teeth.

    PineappleLet’s face it, most people are very interested about having a healthy, bright smile.  According to an AACD survey, virtually all adults (99.7%) surveyed believe a healthy smile is socially important, and nearly three-quarters (74%) of adults feel an unattractive smile can hurt their career success.

    To deliciously achieve a healthier, whiter smile, try these 10 foods suggestions from the AACD:

    Pineapples can help whiten teeth.  Research shows that the enzyme bromelain in pineapples acts as a natural stain remover.  Bromelain also helps break up plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that accumulates on your teeth.  The bacteria in plaque produce acids that can erode the enamel of your teeth and lead to dental caries.

    Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory to support healthy mouth tissue.  Since periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that causes the loss of bone and supportive connective tissue in your mouth, ginger can spice up your foods while also acting as an anti-inflammatory.

    carrotsCarrots contain vitamin A, which is needed for healthy tooth enamel.  Eating them raw stimulates saliva, your mouth’s natural cleanser.  In fact, chewing any crunchy vegetable will naturally cleanse your teeth.

    Basil is a natural antibiotic that reduces bacteria in the mouth.  Basil’s essential oils, rosmarinic acid, linalool, and oleanolic acid inhibit the growth of bacteria in the mouth.

    Cheese is rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorus, all of which can help buffer the acids in your mouth.  Calcium and phosphorus also assist in the remineralization or repairing of your teeth.  Enjoy reduced fat cheese to minimize heart-unhealthy saturated fat in your diet.

    Sesame seeds help “scrub” away the plaque on your teeth.  Chewing nuts can also provide this coarse, scrubbing action.  Sesame seeds also contain bone and teeth-strengthening calcium.

    Shitaki mushrooms contain a compound called lentinan, which inhibits bacteria from growing in your mouth.

    Onions contain the sulfur compounds, thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates, which reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay.  Eating them raw is a must as cooking will destroy these tooth-friendly compounds.  Don’t like onions?  Garlic also contains these sulfur compounds.

    Salmon not only provides calcium but also vitamin D, another nutrient needed for healthy bones and teeth.

    super-broccoliBroccoli contains iron which helps form an acid-resistant film or barrier that can protect the enamel of your teeth.

    SOURCE: Boston.com

    • 29 OCT 14
    • 0

    10 Tips for a MouthHealthy Halloween

    Bags of Halloween Sweets Don’t Have to Mean a Mouth Full of Cavities

    Halloween is around the corner, which for most children means bags of free candy and a chance to build a stockpile of sweets for the winter. No surprise, Halloween can also present parents with a variety of health and safety challenges.

    bowl of Halloween candyHere are 10 ways you can help your children stay mouth healthy during Halloween and year-round:

    Eat Halloween candy and other sugary foods with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals and helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles.

    Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Besides how often you snack, the length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, candies that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.

    Avoid sticky candies that cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.

    Drink more water. Drinking optimally fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, look for kinds that are fluoridated.

    Maintain a healthy diet. Your body is like a complex machine. The foods you choose as fuel and how often you “fill up” affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums.

    Avoid beverages with added sugar such as soda, sports drinks or flavored waters. When teeth come in frequent contact with beverages that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased.

    Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by dental plaque bacteria.

    Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.

    Clean between teeth daily with floss. Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.

    Regular visits to your dentist can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early, when they are easy to “treat.”

    SOURCE: American Dental Association

    • 24 OCT 14
    • 0

    Twin Cities Has Halloween Fun for All Ages

    Activities Abound, From Tricks and Treats to Thrills and Chills

    halloweenIt’s amazing how many Halloween-themed activities are available in the Twin Cities during the week leading up to Halloween Night. Sure, there’s the usual haunted houses and spooky trails of terror, plus safe trick-or-treat opportunities. But lots of organizations in the Twin Cities are thinking “outside the box” and offering unique and unusual events. Whether you’re 6 or 60, there’s probably something for you. Below are several good websites providing an overview of Halloween-related events in the next week. Plus, we list 20 traditional and not-so-traditional activities that sounded interesting. So put on that costume and have some fun!


    Minnesota Public Radio




    Pioneer Press


    Minneapolis Parks and Recreation


    Minnesota Haunted Houses




     ZooBoo at Como Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul

    ZooBoo is a non-scary Halloween fundraising festival for families and young children. For this unique fall fundraiser, the grounds of Como Zoo transform into a world of fairytales and fun! Over 200 live costumed characters interact and entertain children. This magical event offers families a safe trick-or-treating alternative plus many Halloween surprises. Como Zoo will close at 3 pm to prepare for ZooBoo. Tickets can be purchased in advance – see event website.

    Oct. 24-26, 2014, 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm

    Admission fee/ticket price: $6 Advance / $7 at the gate/ Free for children under 2

    Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

    1225 Estabrook Drive

    Saint Paul, MN 55103



    Wheel Fun Pumpkin Patch!

    Find great values on beautiful farm grown pumpkins. Enjoy numerous festivities including bounce houses, hay rides, mini golf, mini golf scavenger hunts, an inflatable obstacle course, ghoulish games for kids, spectacular displays, contests and prizes, and a whole host of family activities geared for the occasion And if you get hungry, a full menu of great malts, cones, espresso, and hot dogs, as well as seasonal fare such as hot apple cider and candied apples will be available to satisfy your every craving.

    10:00 am – 7:00 pm

    Price: $2.00 to $10.00

    Veteran’s Memorial Park

    6335 Portland Avenue South

    Richfield, MN 55423



    halloween 2Anoka, Halloween Capital of the World

    Come to the self-proclaimed Halloween mecca of the world for a slew of spooky events — from a 5k run (and 1-mile fitness walk) to its 94th annual Grand Day Parade, Halloween Bingo and a 21+ Monster Mash costume and dance contest.

    Month of October




    Camden Haunted House

    The biggest Haunted House hosted by the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board – we’ve expanded our square footage and added new illusions and haunting scenes to scare you! The community center we all know and love is transformed into a scary haunted house for your terror and amusement. If you haven’t gone through Camden’s Haunted House yet, this is the year! Photo opportunity and concessions are available.

    Oct. 27, Oct. 29 and Oct. 31, 2014

    6:30 pm – 9 pm

    Admission is $4 per person

    Folwell Recreation Center

    1615 Dowling Ave. North

    Minneapolis, MN



    Nightmare on Zoo Boulevard

    Join us for a night of fright and fun at the Minnesota Zoo. This new 21 + Halloween party will include music by “DJ Youngstar”, a strolling magician, creepy animal encounters and more! Dress to impress for the (optional) costume contest, hosted by AZUL – the Zoo’s young supporter’s community – for a chance to win exclusive prizes. Cash bar and treats.

    Tickets: $25 per person with advance reservations $30 per person at the door. Online reservations are now open. Chatting about Nightmare on Zoo Boulevard on social media? Use #NightmareMNZoo and tag us @mnzoo!

    Oct. 30, 2014

    7:00 pm

    Minnesota Zoo

    13000 Zoo Boulevard

    Apple Valley, MN



    Halloween: Minnehaha Falls of Fun

    This family fun event offers an afternoon full of outdoor activities for the entire clan. Enjoy a hayide and the large inflatable moonwalks in the crisp fall air. Roast marshmallows over an open fire and collect treats along the Treat Trail as you visit with costumed characters and check out the activities at the treat stops. Dance inside the pavilion to music with entertainment provided by Kids Dance and watch the jugglers for a moment. Plenty of activities for all and photo opportunities galore at the Falls. Wear your costumes! It’s a celebration! Admission includes all activities. Children under the age of 1 are admitted free. There will be food and refreshments available onsite for an additional fee.

    Oct. 25, 2014

    1 pm to 4 pm

    Price: $3.00

    Minnehaha Park – Main Pavilion

    4825 Minnehaha Ave

    Minneapolis, MN, US 55417



    Ghost Trolley

    Elementary school-age and up will have a scary (but not too scary) time aboard the Ghost Trolley. The 20-minute ride is in the dark of night with some fun Halloween thrills and chills. There are no reservations taken for this popular annual event. Plan on possibly waiting in line for a bit to board the trolley.

    Oct. 25, 2014

    6 pm – 9 pm

    Tickets to ride are $4 per passenger.

    Como-Harriet Streetcar Line

    4200 Queen Ave. S.

    Minneapolis, MN 55410



    Trail of Tricks & Treats

    Enjoy face painting, trick or treating and other activities from 4 pm – 6 pm; a performance by the Teddy Bear Band at 5 p.m.; carved pumpkin walk, bonfire and s’mores from 6 pm -8 pm

    Get in the Halloween spirit by joining us the weekend before for this family-friendly spooky

    Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

    Oct. 25, 2014

    4 pm – 8 p.m.

    Members: Ages 3 & up: $5; Ages 2 & under: Free

    Non-Members: Ages 13 & up: $17 includes gate admission; Ages 3-12: $5; Ages 2 & under: Free

    Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

    3675 Arboretum Drive

    Chanhassen, MN



    Three Rivers Parks

    Have some Halloween fun! Three Rivers is hosting a series of family-friendly celebrations with games and treats. Trick-or-treat along candlelit paths, see a Halloween puppet show, meet live animals, hone your pumpkin carving skills, make a pumpkin boat, and more.




    Learn about science with Halloween-themed hands-on activities, such as meeting the Kitchen Pantry Scientist, who will be conducting spooky experiments with items you can find in your kitchen.

    Oct. 25, 2014

    Noon – 4 pm

    $10 for ages 4-12 and $13 for adults

    Science Museum of Minnesot

    120 W Kellogg Blvd.

    St Paul, MN



    Haunted Forest Festival

    Watch out for shocking ghosts and goblins in the spooktacular haunted forest. A puppet show, face painting, hay rides and more are planned. Nonperishable food items accepted.

    Oct. 25, 2014

    5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

    $3 per person, $10 per carload;

    Steve Michaud Park

    17100 Ipava Ave.

    Lakeville, MN


    Scream Town 2014

    Beware of hazardous fumes, toxic waste and horrifying side effects at this nuclear power plant.

    Oct. 25-26 and Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2014

    6:30 pm -11 pm

    Tickets are $20-$25

    Scream Town

    7410 U.S. 212

    Chaska, MN 55318



    Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza

    The Puppet Extravaganza features extreme outdoor puppetry, stilting, aerial stunts and music presented by a cast of more than 100 people and a 20-piece orchestra.

    Oct. 25-26, and Oct.30-31, Nov. 1, 2014

    7 pm

    $5-$20 suggested donation

    Hidden Falls Regional Park

    1305 S. Mississippi River Blvd.

    St. Paul, MN



    Blackout 2014: Glow Crazy

    Nickelodeon Universe is turning off the lights for its “blackout” celebration. Brave rides illuminated with black lights, wear a costume, enjoy the DJ and make a black light T-shirt.

    Oct. 25 and Oct. 31, 2014

    5 pm – 10 pm

    $21.99 plus tax

    Mall of America, Bloomington



    Halloween Lights on York Ave/ Schultz Family Lights

    Come admire the work of five neighbors who strung 15,000 twinkling Halloween-themed lights, blowups and wire frames displayed on both sides of their street.

    Month of October

    Dusk to 10 p.m.

    Free admission, accepting donations for the Merrick Food Shelf

    1526 York Ave.

    St. Paul, MN



    This October, the Zoo is celebrating a month of ‘fall babies’ and things that go bump in the night. Enjoy the fall colors and experience up-close encounters with both cute and creepy critters. From bats and tarantulas to baby moose and lynx kittens, HowlZooWeen offers something for kids of ALL ages. Participate in hands-on education programs and watch the animals enjoy Halloween-themed treats throughout the Zoo.  Weekends feature even more fun and games – face painting, live musicians, and more.

    Month of October

    Minnesota Zoo

    9 am to 4 pm

    13000 Zoo Blvd.

    Apple Valley, MN



    Victorian Ghost Stories

    In the dimly lit parlor of the former home of a local railroad magnate, the Historical Society is putting together readings by costumed actors of 19th-century spooky-themed stories, as well as “true” ghost stories. Then visitors will tour the Hill House.

    Oct. 25-26, 2014

    6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

    Admission is $12

    James J. Hill House

    240 Summit Ave.

    St Paul, MN


    Minnesota Historical Center Day of the Dead

    The Historical Center’s Day of the Dead celebration includes a puppet show by Teatro del Pueblo, community-made ofrendas, Mexican folk song and dance and an exhibit featuring Mexican printmaking.

    Oct. 26, 2014

    Noon- 4 p.m.

    Admission is $11 adults; $9 college and senior; $6 children; free for children five and under.

    Minnesota Historical Center

    345 W Kellogg Blvd.

    St Paul, MN



    Halloween Haunt at ValleySCARE

    Halloween Haunt at ValleySCARE is a veritable playground of terror featuring more than 300 vile creatures lurking in the shadows searching for souls, 11 highly-intense and spine-chilling haunted attractions, blood curdling live shows, and the most hair-raising rides in the area like Wild Thing, Power Tower, and Renegade. Enter if you dare, survive if you can.

    Oct. 25-26, 2014 7:00 pm – 11:59 pm

    Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2014 7:00 pm – 11:59 pm

    Price: $30.99

    Halloween Haunt at ValleySCARE

    1 Valleyfair Drive

    Shakopee, MN



    Trail of Terror

    From the producers of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, Trail of Terror is Minnesota’s largest Halloween Event, with over 2.5 miles of Scares and over 15 attractions! Back this year: Zombie Paintball & Running Dead 5K! Don’t miss the Howling Pines Woods Walk, Hotel 666 Crystal Caverns, Zombie Pub Crawl, Lockdown and more!

    Oct. 25-26, 2014 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

    Oct. 31 – Nov. 1, 2014 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

    Price: $16.95 to $19.95

    Trail of Terror

    3525 145th Street West

    Shakopee, MN


    • 22 OCT 14
    • 0

    6 Fast-Acting Tips to Fix Bad Breath and Not Use Mouthwash

    These Simple Ideas Can Make a World of Difference in Your Daily Life

    Do people recoil when you’re talking to them and cover their noses? Do people offer to call you on the phone when you request a face to face meeting? Get a clue – you’ve probably got really bad breath! For a lot of people, the answer to bad breath is mouthwash. But what if the taste of mouthwash is a complete turn-off for you? Then try these six fast-acting tips:

    flossbrushBrush & Floss Regularly

    Your mouth is a playground for a vast array of different bacteria. Some are harmless while others perform useful functions – in a healthy mouth. If you’re a smoker though, or you don’t brush and floss regularly, then you’re asking for trouble. Food gets trapped in the teeth and it starts to rot and with that comes that oh-so-unpleasant odor.

    It’s important to brush and floss at least twice a day. Most of the damage to teeth is done at night. Bacteria that break down food particles produce acids that eventually break down the dentin and enamel on the surface of the tooth, leading to tooth decay and bad breath.

    If you’ve done everything you can to try to maintain a clean mouth but still have halitosis, then it’s probably time for a trip to the dentist. Often your teeth will just require a good cleaning to remove the layer of plaque that builds up and can harbor unfriendly, stink-producing bacteria.

    Also pay attention to your tongue – the tongue can hide a lot of secrets, especially harmful bacteria. After flossing and cleaning your teeth thoroughly, you can either use a specially-designed tongue scraper for removing some of the thousands of bacteria living on your tongue or give it a quick scrub with your toothbrush

    Stay Hydrated

    When a mouth becomes devoid of saliva, odor-causing bacteria can thrive. Saliva contains oxygen that deters the growth of oral bacteria. The solution is to always drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, to keep bacteria at bay.

    Avoid Pungent Foods

    One of the most disgusting smells is garlic breath. Onions and other strongly-flavored foods can also be culprits. Not only do you end up with bits of these foods caught between your teeth but when they’re digested they make their way into the bloodstream and can be exuded by the lungs, making your breath doubly-stinky. If you’re prone to bad breath, especially in the afternoons and even if you do brush after eating lunch, try cutting out these odorous little ingredients.

    Drink Water after Your Coffee

    coffee-cup-and-beansCoffee and sodas may taste good, but they also lower the pH balance in the mouth, allowing bacteria to thrive. By drinking a glass of water after your coffee or a soda you can restore that pH level back to normal. Better still, avoid the sugary sodas altogether and just drink the water! The coffee, well, that’s probably too much to ask.

    Gums & Mints

    There’s a wide selection of gums and mints available that may help you keep your breath smelling sweet temporarily. If it’s impossible for you to brush your teeth or use a mouthwash throughout the day, find a gum that may do the trick.

    The sugar-free kinds are a good choice, but mints and gums are only a temporary fix – all they do is mask the problem for a few minutes. They leave even more residue for bacteria to feed on, long after they’ve been consumed.

    The solution is to look for a gum that contains Xylitol – which we explain below.

    Use Xylitol Products to Combat Bad Breath

    Woman chewing gumXylitol is a natural product that’s found in many kinds of fruit, berries, corn husks, oats and vegetables. It looks and tastes exactly like sugar but without all the side-effects – one of which is bad breath.

    By using Xylitol as a sweetener or breath-freshening gum, oral bacteria have nothing they can feed on, unlike sugar. The chemical composition of Xylitol eliminates the problem. Xylitol does not upset the pH balance in the mouth. Oral bacteria are simply not able to use it as a food source, or break it down to produce harmful acids. It’s also perfectly safe for diabetics as it has a much lower glycemic index than sugar.

    To combat bad breath look for a gum that contains Xylitol and carry a pack around with you. Chew a piece after every snack or meal and you may be able to kiss your bad breath goodbye.

    SOURCE: IdealBite.com

    • 15 OCT 14
    • 0

    Can Gum Be Good For Your Teeth?

    Chewing Sugarless Gum Can Actually Help Prevent Tooth Decay

    You can’t go past a cash register in a convenience store, pharmacy or grocery store these days without running into a display rack of chewing gum. It’s a perennial American favorite. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American consumes 1.8 pounds of it, on average, each year.

    Woman chewing gumYou might think that, like most candy, chewing gum can only do damage to your teeth, but the surprising truth is that there is such a thing as gum that is good for your teeth. In fact, recent clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay.

    The chewing of sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva, which washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth. Increased saliva flow also carries with it more calcium and phosphate to help strengthen tooth enamel.

    Sugarless gums are sweetened by non-cavity causing sweeteners such as aspartame, xylitol, sorbitol or mannitol. Because these sweeteners, unlike sugar, are unsuitable as fuel for cavity-causing bacteria, the number of bacteria decreases, leaving your mouth a safer place for your teeth.

    Some gum manufacturers are also beginning to add a substance called Recaldent, which is said to remineralize and harden tooth enamel, making your teeth stronger and less likely to suffer from tooth decay.

    However, don’t let chewing sugarless gum replace brushing and flossing. It’s not a substitute. The dentists at Personal Care Dentistry still recommend brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning plaque from between your teeth once a day with dental floss or other interdental cleaners.

    With all these options waiting at the checkout candy rack, it is easier than ever to satisfy your sweet tooth and protect it from cavities at the same time. The next time you are in the mood for a sweet treat, why not bite into a piece of sugar free, cavity-fighting, or enamel-strengthening gum that is good for your teeth instead of a sugar-filled candy?

    Your teeth will thank you.

    SOURCES: American Dental Association and Colgate

    • 13 OCT 14
    • 0

    Delicious Recipes for Fall Gatherings

    Personal Care Dentistry Team Provides Some of Their Favorite Fall Recipes Guaranteed to Warm You Up


    venison-chili-ck-780398-lWild Bill’s World-Famous Indiana Red “Chili with an Attitude”

    From Nancy L., Dental Assistant

    ¼ cup canola oil

    2 ½ pounds coarse-ground chuck

    1 ¼ pounds round steak, cut into ½ inch thick dice

    ¼ cup hot chili powder

    1 ½ tablespoons ground cumin

    ½ tablespoon paprika

    ¾ tablespoon garlic powder

    ¾ tablespoon black pepper

    1 ½ tablespoon salt

    ½ tablespoon sugar

    ¾ cup beer

    ¾ cup water

    3 cups tomato sauce

    6 cups diced tomatoes

    6 cups cooked dark red kidney beans with broth

    1 ¼ cups diced onions

    3/8 cup diced green bell pepper

    In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat and brown the meat. Mix the spices, salt, sugar, beer, and water together, and then add to the pot with the meat and oil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, beans and broth, onions, and bell peppers. Simmer for 4 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

    Place the chili pot into an ice bath to cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

    Before serving, remove the film of oil floating on top of the chili and discard. Reheat the chili and serve. Serves 12.


    IMG_4241Nessa’s Chicken Noodle Soup

    From Jaynessa C., Dental Assistant

    4 carrots peeled and diced

    4 celery stalks diced

    I medium onion

    2 tbls. butter

    1 rotisserie chicken pulled apart

    12 cups of water

    12 bouillon cubes

    Pepper to taste

    1 – 2 tbls. of basil

    1 – 2 tbls. of oregano

    3 bay leaves

    ½ package of wide egg noodles

    In a large pot add butter to sauté carrots, celery, and onion for about 5 – 10 minutes until tender.

    Add the rest of the ingredients except the noodles – let it simmer for 30 – 45 minutes.

    Cook noodles in a separate pot according to the package directions. Once noodles are done, cold shock them with cold water. Let cool for 5 – 10 minutes, then add to chicken pot. Let simmer for another 10 minutes and serve.

    Salt and pepper to taste.




    • 10 OCT 14
    • 0

    Mouth Guards Can Prevent a Lifetime of Difficulties for Athletes

    full1_0_26Athletes Are 60 Times More Likely to Suffer Harm to Their Teeth without a Mouth Guard

    Imagine what it would be like if you suddenly lost one or two of your front teeth. Smiling, talking, eating—everything would suddenly be affected.

    Mouth guards, also called mouth protectors, help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Knowing how to prevent injuries like these is especially important if you participate in organized sports or other recreational activities.

    When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouth guard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age. In fact, studies show that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth if they’re not wearing a mouth guard. While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, are higher-risk sports for the mouth, you can experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics and skating.

    There are three types of mouth guards: 

    Custom-fitted. These are made by your dentist for you personally. They are more expensive than the other versions, but because they are customized, they usually offer the best fit.

    Stock. These are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.

    Boil and bite. These mouth protectors can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They are first softened in water (boiled), then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth.

    The best mouth guard is one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist. However, if you can’t afford a custom-fitted mouth guard, you should still wear a stock mouth guard or a boil-and-bite mouth guard from the drugstore. If you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw, your dentist may suggest a mouth protector for these teeth as well.

    A properly-fitted mouth guard may be especially important for people who wear braces or have fixed bridge work. A blow to the face could damage the brackets or other fixed orthodontic appliances. A mouth guard also provides a barrier between the braces and your cheek or lips, limiting the risk of soft tissue injuries.

    Talk to your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry about selecting a mouth guard that will provide the best protection. Although mouth guards typically only cover the upper teeth, your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry may suggest that you use a mouth guard on the lower teeth if you have braces on these teeth too.

    If you have a retainer or other removable appliance, do not wear it during any contact sports.

    Some tips for caring for your mouth guard:

    rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste;

    occasionally clean the mouth guard in cool, soapy water and rinse thoroughly;

    transport the mouth guard in a sturdy container that has vents;

    never leave the mouth guard in the sun or in hot water;

    check for wear and tear to see if it needs replacing.

    SOURCE: American Dental Association


    • 01 OCT 14
    • 0

    Fun Tools to Help Your Kids Keep Their Teeth Healthy

    Teach Your Kids How to Brush and Floss Properly and Have Them Take This Fun Interactive Quiz!

    Teaching your child good oral hygiene habits early can lead to a lifelong healthy smile. Healthy kids grow into healthy adults, so make brushing and flossing and oral hygiene fun for your child.  Below you will find illustrations of proper brushing and proper flossing. Print them out and post them where your child brushes their teeth to remind them of the proper way to brush or floss.

    And to get them excited about keeping their teeth healthy, have them take an interactive quiz created by the American Dental Association titled “To Tell the Tooth.” Al Smiles, the game host, presents questions related to healthy teeth. Kids can choose the correct answer from the four choices. Get it right and make Al smile!

    How to brush How to floss 2


    • 26 SEP 14
    • 0

    Minnesota Apple Orchards Offer Great Family Fun

    Take a Look at These 15 Apple Orchards in the Twin Cities Area

    If you’ve never taken your family for a half-day or day trip to an apple orchard in Minnesota, then you’re really missing out on some wonderful family fun. There are more than 100 apple orchards in Minnesota, and many of them are in the Twin Cities area. Apple picking season goes until late October.

    apples“Apple orchards provide many ways to engage families and children of all ages,” notes Minnesota Grown Spokesman Paul Hugunin.” It’s a wonderful way to introduce kids to how delicious fresh picked produce can taste! Many orchards also offer fresh apple cider, pumpkins, fall raspberries and fun fall activities like hay rides, crop mazes and petting zoos.”

    Most growers report apple varieties are ripening slightly later than typical, due to the late spring. According to Charlie Johnson, President of the Minnesota Apple Growers Association, the 2014 crop will be good for growers and consumers, despite the especially harsh winter. “Many varieties will be as big, or bigger, than last year. The harsh winter weather has affected some varieties, in some orchards, but most producers have come through the winter with an excellent crop!”

    Minnesota is known for flavorful apple varieties specifically bred to thrive in our climate. This includes University of Minnesota cultivars such as the Zestar!, Honeycrisp, SweeTango, Haralson and Sweet Sixteen.

    We’ve compiled a list of 15 of the best apple orchards for family fun in the Twin Cities area. Also below are links to three websites that feature lists and maps for just about every apple orchard in Minnesota.

    Enjoy the fall and we hope to see you taking part in a Minnesota tradition!

    Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Minnesota Grown offers a free statewide guide to more than 100 apple orchards.


    Orange Pippin is a comprehensive resource for apples and orchards.


    The Apple Journal has an extensive list of orchards.


    Aamodt’s Apple Farm, Stillwater

    Bagged and pick-your-own apples, cider, bakery with pies and more, bratwurst, tractor-pulled wagon and kiddie train rides, hay bale maze, goat pen, and pedal tractors and trikes for little kids. Plus an added bonus is St. Croix Vineyard has a tasting room a few steps from the apple barn at Aamodt’s.

    Phone: 651-439-3127


    Afton Apple Orchards, Afton

    Bagged and pick-your-own apples, fall raspberries, pumpkins, wagon rides, 15-acre corn maze, straw bale maze, straw mountain, tire hill, petting farm, “train” rides and bakery stocked with pies, pastries and jams. Phone: 651-436-8385


    Apple Jack Orchards, Delano

    A cheerful, family-run orchard, with lots of varieties of apples, including the latest University of Minnesota apple, SweeTango. There’s lots of things to do for children, like a play area, petting zoo, and wagon rides all week, and entertainment and live music are added at the weekend.

    Phone: 763 972-6673


    Anoka County Farms, Ham Lake

    This farm has plenty of things to do, to turn apple picking into a full family day out. Hay rides, corn maze, petting zoo, food for sale, pony rides, pumpkin patch, and all the classic fall farm entertainment.

    Phone: 763-427-0000


    Applewood Orchard, Lakeville

    Bagged and pick-your-own apples, fall raspberries, 8-acre corn maze, hedge maze for kids, wagon rides, haystack and store with baked goods and jams.

    Phone: 952-985-5425


    Emma Krumbee’s Orchard and Farm, Belle Plaine

    Lots of fall attractions at this popular farm include pick-your-own apples, petting zoo, maze, restaurant, and an annual scarecrow festival. Take a tractor ride out to the apple orchards to pick your own apples. There is an admission charge for some attractions at the farm.

    Phone: 952-873-3654


    Fireside Orchard and Gardens, Northfield

    This apple orchard, about 40 minutes south of Minneapolis, also grows plenty of Halloween pumpkins, and has a collection of vintage tractors to admire.

    Phone: 507-663-1376


    Homestead Orchard, Maple Plain

    Claiming to be the oldest, and largest apple orchard in the area, with 8,000 trees. As well as Homestead Orchard’s vast apple orchard, there is also a pumpkin patch, plus a petting zoo, free hayrides, jumping castle and straw pile. Fall fun at its finest. (Note: They don’t have a website, but you can find them on Facebook and on Yelp).

    Phone: 763 479-3186


    McDougall’s Apple Junction, Hastings

    McDougalls, in a scenic St. Croix Valley location, has pre-picked apples for sale, as well as a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, a petting zoo, a children’s playground, grilled apple brats, rides and a corn maze.

    Phone: 651-480-4701


    Minnesota Harvest Apple, Jordan

    Not just apples at this orchard: this farm has a petting zoo, playground, pumpkin patch, a corn maze, horse rides, live music and seasonal entertainment plus apples galore.

    Phone: 952-492-2785


    Minnetonka Orchards, Mound

    This apple orchard is a popular destination with lots of attractions, hayrides, playground, seasonal events and entertainment. Minnetonka Orchards has an entrance charge, but only at the weekends, so the thrifty can save by visiting during the week.

    Phone: 763-479-3191


    Natura Farms, Marine-on-St. Croix

    Pick your own apples at Natura Farm, as well as other seasonal produce like red raspberries and grapes.

    Phone: 651 433-5850


    Pine Tree Apple Orchard, White Bear Lake

    Bagged apples, pumpkins, corn maze, pony rides, live music and bakery stocked with pies, caramel apples and more.

    Phone: 651-429-7202


     Pleasant Valley Orchard, Taylors Falls

    The orchard offers sweeping views of the St. Croix Valley in full fall dress. Apple shed, vintage barn, lots of apples, bakery items and gift shop, pick-your-own weekends, hayrides, farm animals, kid’s corral, nature trail, and picnic area.

    Phone: 651-257-9159


     Whistling Well Farm, Hastings

    Bagged and pick-your-own apples, mums, pumpkins, a chicken coop to explore and a shop stocked with local honey, jams, corn shocks, gourds and fall decorations.
    Phone: 651-998-0301



    SOURCES: Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Orange Pippin, Star Tribune, Apple Journal

    • 24 SEP 14
    • 0

    Are All Power Toothbrush Heads Created Equal? No!

    Research Study Finds Up to 3,000 Times the Bacterial Growth on One Type of Power Toothbrush Head

    A recent study by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Dentistry found that solid-head power toothbrushes retain less bacteria compared to hollow-head toothbrushes.

    In fact, the lead author of the study noted that microbial counts were lower in the solid-head toothbrush group than in the two hollow-head toothbrush groups in 9 out of 10 comparisons. The results of the study are published in the August issue of the Journal of Dental Hygiene.

    woman using toothbrush“Toothbrushes can transmit microorganisms that cause disease and infections,” noted Donna Warren Morris, R.D.H., M.Ed., a professor at the UTHealth School of Dentistry and the lead researcher in the study. “A solid-head design allows for less growth of bacteria and bristles should be soft and made of nylon. It is also important to disinfect and to let your toothbrush dry between uses. Some power toothbrushes now include an ultraviolet system or you can soak the head in mouthwash for 20 minutes.”

    The study was conducted over a three-week period where participants brushed twice daily with one out of three randomly assigned power toothbrushes. Participants used non-antimicrobial toothpaste and continued their flossing routine throughout the study, but refrained from using other dental products like mouthwash.

    “The packaging on most power toothbrushes won’t distinguish between a hollow-head and a solid-head design,” Morris said. “The best way to identify a solid-head design is through the connection to the body of the power toothbrush. Naturally, there will be some space to connect the two parts but a significant portion will be solid, up to the bristles or brush head.”

    During the study the brush heads were exposed to five categories of oral microorganisms: anaerobes and facultative microorganisms, yeast and mold, oral streptococci and oral enterococci anaerobes, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium species.

    The article also states that there is no present or published study that has demonstrated that bacterial growth on toothbrushes can lead to systematic health effects, but as Morris stated, several microorganisms have been associated with systemic diseases.

    “We do know and there are studies that have linked Fusobacterium to colorectal cancer. Some of these other bacteria have been linked with cardiovascular disease,” Morris said. “There is a high association with gum disease and cardiovascular disease. Researchers have been able to culture the same bacteria around the heart that causes gum disease. ”

    SOURCE: Science Daily