• 26 JUN 18
    • 0

    Is An Electric Toothbrush The Right Investment For Your Oral Health?

    Have you thought about getting rid of your manual toothbrush and switching to an electric toothbrush? Often a barrier is the cost, but if an electric toothbrush can enhance your oral health and help you avoid costly dental visits, it might be worth considering. Plus, an analysis of 56 published studies by the international evidence-based research organization Cochrane found that electric models have an edge in maintaining oral health.

    So how does an electric toothbrush work to clean your teeth? It makes rapid automatic bristle motions, either back-and-forth oscillation or rotation-oscillation, in order to clean teeth. Motions at sonic speeds or below are made by a motor. In the case of ultrasonic toothbrushes, ultrasonic motions are produced by a piezoelectric crystal. A modern electric toothbrush is usually powered by a rechargeable battery charged through inductive charging when the brush sits in the charging base between uses.

    What are the main benefits of an electric toothbrush?

    Provides deeper and more thorough cleaning

    Electric toothbrushes have the features and functionalities required to maintain the overall health of not just the teeth but also the gums and the tongue. Using a rotating head with angled bristles, they can remove the accumulated tartar and plaque in those hard-to-reach areas between your teeth.

    By preventing tartar and plaque build up, they become an effective tool in fighting gingivitis, tooth decay, and gum disease. And the bonus? Your breath is so much fresher for it.

    Maintains health in the entire oral cavity

    Most electric toothbrushes have preset timers that encourage users to pay equal attention to the four quadrants or sections of the mouth. Most have the standard four modes of brushing methods programmed into the units: Daily Clean, Sensitive, Deep Clean, and Massage. Plus, the timer makes is easier to know when you have completed two minutes of brushing.

    This holistic approach to brushing helps address all important aspects involved in keeping the oral cavity healthy, not to mention that it gives you that refreshing, clean feeling we always strive for in every brushing session.

    Benefits those with health issues

    For people who suffer carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis or other conditions that are painful or restrict movement, an electric toothbrush can be a life-saver for their oral health. It eliminates much of the stress that manually brushing places on your wrist.

    A couple of notes of caution if you decide to shop for a new electric toothbrush. First, dentists recommend that you purchase a quality product. If you decide to “go cheap,” you may not be doing any better than your current manual brushing. Second, be sure to replace the removable toothbrush head on your electric toothbrush every three to four months. Third, be sure to look for an electric toothbrush with the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Approval. It has been tested for safety by an independent lab.

    If you have decided to purchase an electric toothbrush to improve your oral health, which one should you buy? Check out this article from Health Best Reviews. You can find their rating of 10 electric toothbrushes here.

    Sources: Delta Dental, Denticheck.com, Health Best Reviews

    • 22 JUN 18
    • 0

    “We Truly Care About the Patients We Treat”

    Brandy Fulton is the Treatment Plan and Financial Coordinator at Personal Care Dentistry and if that sounds like a big job, that’s because it is. Her primary role is to keep Personal Care Dentistry’s schedule full, but she is also intensely driven to get patients the care and treatment they need.

    Brandy brings a trove of experience to the practice that is matched by her desire to help people achieve the highest level of oral healthcare. Her love of dentistry started when she was growing up outside of Pittsburgh in Irwin, Pennsylvania. “In high school I attended a career day field trip and was fascinated by dental practice. My passion is in the medical-dental profession,” she says. “I’ve been in the dental field since graduating from dental assisting school and have enjoyed many roles in the profession.” Brandy also served eight years in active duty with the Air Force and has been stationed in Colorado, Germany, New Mexico and Minneapolis. After active duty, she spent another 12 years serving our country in the Air Force reserves.

    She also worked at a large dental center for 18 years before coming to PCD in 2010. Her role in the office is varied from designing treatment plans and quoting services to coordinating payment plans. Brandy manages accounts receivable, collections, insurance statements and works diligently to resolve billing issues, but her favorite part of the job is working directly with patients. “I love my position here and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” states Brandy adding, “The best part of my job is working one-on-one with people. I want patients to have a positive experience with the dental care they receive and with financial options. I am an advocate for our patients and I want them to know that no treatment is too big or too small for payment options.”

    Brandy’s affable nature and caring disposition endear her to the people she works with. “I love what I do and I think that really comes out. I try to find a commonality with individuals and I enjoy getting to know new faces and catching up with our existing patients,” she says. “We truly care about the people we work with and the patients we treat. It’s not just lip service.”

    Knowledge is the key work attribute for Brandy and continuous learning is just part of her job. “The more I know, the more valuable I am to my employer, coworkers and patients. I am always learning. It’s empowering and humbling at the same time,” notes Brandy. “I figure if I’ve learned something new today, I’ve earned my paycheck.”

    As part of her growing knowledge base Brandy is helping to coordinate cross-training within the office as she continues to work closely with the front desk. “Cross-training becomes very important if one area gets overwhelmed another staff member can pick up the ball and run with it. And there is no ‘How do I do this or that’ if someone is out of the office.”

    When asked about future goals Brandy says, “I want to continue learning, becoming more valuable and doing a great job. Ongoing training is important and I hope to elevate that within the practice. I want to exceed expectations and drive Dr. Hunt’s vision.”

    Outside of the office Brandy enjoys cooking, reading and gardening. “I also work out at the YMCA every day and I love golfing in my woman’s league.” Brandy and her husband enjoy traveling with their adult son and teenage daughter as well. “We’re a very close family and vacation together. My husband talks about retirement, but I’ve got a few more good years left in me here at PCD,” she jokes

    • 12 JUN 18
    • 0

    Are Dental Implants the Right Solution for You?

    Did you know that simply smiling improves your attitude – even if you are by yourself? That’s just one of the many ways that having a mouth free of decay or missing teeth can have an impact on your health – both mental and physical. It’s also hard to eat a balanced diet if you have ongoing tooth issues since many of the healthy foods you need are hard to chew. Plus if you’re missing teeth, you’ll probably have a tell-tale “hollow-cheek” look.

    If you are missing teeth or have teeth that are so decayed they need to be removed, you’re best option is often a dental implant. Other solutions, depending on your condition, are a crown (on the original tooth), dentures (which you remove regularly and put back in), or a bridge (anchored to an existing tooth). All three tend to need replacement or adjustments periodically, and can have problems with usage or aesthetics.

    Although dental implants are the most expensive solution, they are a much more effective permanent solution that restores your smile and upgrades your overall health. And because they feel and look just like your natural teeth – and work the same way – you’ll notice a definite improvement in your quality of life.

    Implants will prevent bone loss because they replace the tooth from its root. Other options don’t do that, which means the bone in that area may start to break down due to a resorption process which can lead to further oral health complications. You also want to make sure you don’t wait too long after losing a tooth to start the implant process. Waiting too long can mean you will need bone grafts.

    Dental implants can also be used as the “anchor” for a dental arch if you have lost all of your upper or lower teeth. Called an “All-on-4” denture, this process involves four implants strategically placed in your upper or lower jaw and then an arch or bridge is screwed onto the implants, restoring all of your teeth.

    You will also find with dental implants that you can eat any type of foods – you’ll have no restrictions! Crispy vegetables, chewy steak, sticky caramel-covered apples – you can eat them all. You’ll also be able to chew properly, which means your digestion will be improved.

    Dental implants involve a titanium “rod” being inserted into the root of your tooth or bone, so you don’t have to worry about slippage or movement of the artificial tooth that is attached to the implant. Sneeze, cough, laugh, chew vigorously – none of those usual things will impact your dental implant!

    To restore your mouth to its original state, dental implants are your best option. The natural state of an original tooth is reproduced, so it’s like having real teeth again that don’t move or slip or require high maintenance (like a denture).

    You’ll also be able to taste food normally again with dental implants if you’re switching from using upper dentures. With dentures, your plate is sealed, which means you can’t taste the full flavor of your food. Dental implants, however, don’t cover your palate and you can enjoy the maximum flavors of food.

    When you are ready to take a look at your oral restoration options, consider dental implants. We recommend that you meet with a dentist from Personal Care Dentistry for a complimentary exam to determine if implants are your preferred option. You can also find out what your treatment plan would be, how much it would cost, and learn about financing options.

    Source: Worldental.org, American Dental Plan


    • 07 JUN 18
    • 0

    Are You Using the Right Toothpaste?

    If you value your smile (and overall oral health), then you should know that the type of toothpaste that you use can have an impact on your pearly whites. Because there are literally hundreds of options available when you shop for toothpaste, it can be daunting to figure out which toothpaste best fits your needs. We hope this guide will make that decision-making process a little less stressful and more productive.

    So why is toothpaste necessary? There are four key reasons why toothpaste is critical to your oral health, even if you use the most basic type:

    It improves abrasion, which means it is more efficient and thorough in removing plaque than just water on your toothbrush.

    It generally contains fluoride, proven by research to fight cavities and reverse tooth decay.

    It can prevent tooth discoloration.

    It can discourage excess snacking by refreshing your palate.

    When you are purchasing toothpaste, you will often find shelf after shelf of different types of toothpaste from the same manufacturer (Colgate and Crest being the two largest toothpaste manufacturers). If you have some basic facts, it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it might appear. Toothpastes generally fall into these categories:

    Anti-cavity toothpaste: All toothpastes are anti-cavity, but the ones with more fluoride as super cavity fighters. They remineralize teeth and prevent decay. This is the best toothpaste if you’re looking for general maintenance or to prevent further tooth decay because of extensive past oral health issues. Always be sure it has the ADA (American Dental Association) seal on the packaging.

    Sensitive teeth toothpaste: If hot or cold foods bring discomfort to your teeth, you may be able to find relief with this type of toothpaste. They use blocking compounds like strontium chloride and potassium nitrate to reduce your sensitivity and protect and strengthen your tooth enamel. Don’t forget that it usually takes several weeks for you to see a reduction in your tooth sensitivity. If you want to shorten that time span, don’t rinse your mouth out after you brush with this type of toothpaste. Just spit it out – which will leave your teeth coated with the sensitivity-reducing toothpaste.

    Tartar-control toothpaste: This type of toothpaste is especially helpful for folks who have gum disease. The tartar-control properties reduce excess plaque buildup (which leads to cavities). Rather than one bacteria-fighting agent, you’ll find that tartar control toothpastes may use multiple ingredients to battle the problem. These may include triclosan, pyrophosphates, and/or zinc citrate. However, if you already have a large amount of tartar (hardened plaque), you will need to have your dental hygienist remove the tartar.

    Whitening toothpaste: A whitening toothpaste can visibly brighten teeth that are stained or yellow. These types of toothpastes achieve their results because they have more abrasive substances combined with compounds that specialize in stain-fighting. If you are dealing with tooth sensitivity, this may not be the best solution for you. And don’t forget that a whitening toothpaste won’t produce the same whiteness as a whitening gel that you can get in your dental office.

    Be sure to check with your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry if you have additional questions or for a recommendation based on your oral health and specific needs.




    • 30 MAY 18
    • 0

    What Are the Top 10 Foods for Healthy Teeth?

    What you eat can be just as important to your teeth as brushing and flossing daily. In fact, certain foods and beverages will both keep your teeth in shape and provide them with the nutrition they need. You can’t get your original teeth back once you lose them, and imagine a life of eating and drinking minus your teeth.

    So the next time you are looking for something to eat or drink, pick a food or beverage that will make your teeth smile! Here’s list of 10 smile-producing foods to benefit your dental health.

    Fruit that is raw is a winner for your teeth because it reduces plaque and gives your gums a healthy massage. Fruits high in Vitamin C are the best because they keep our body cells together. If you are lacking Vitamin C, your gums will become tender and more easily develop gum disease.

    Sesame seeds dissolve plaque and help you build tooth enamel. They are also high in calcium, which keeps your teeth healthy along with your jawbone. It’s best to consume sesame seeds on bread or rolls.

    Vegetables are a wonderful “foundation builder” for oral health.  Sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots and broccoli are bursting with Vitamin A, which helps to form tooth enamel. Plus if you eat them raw you get a double dose of goodness, since raw vegetables will clean your teeth and massage your gums.

    Onions may have some smelly side effects, but they are loaded with bacteria-killing sulphur compounds. Don’t forget, it’s bacteria that does so much harm to your gums and teeth. If you like onions (and aren’t planning on going to a party), then eat them raw for maximum effect.

    Celery eaten raw is like nature’s toothbrush. It will clean your teeth and massage your gums. It also prompts your mouth to produce more saliva, which will neutralize the bacteria that creates cavities.

    Dairy products like yogurt and milk are a good choice to quench your thirst or have a healthy snack because they are low in acidity and sugar (and both of those lead to tooth erosion and tooth decay). Plus milk is full of calcium, which fortifies your teeth and bones.

    Cheese also has important benefits for your teeth and gums. Cheese is packed with calcium and phosphate – which promotes healthy teeth – and helps to balance the pH level in your mouth (which is a good outcome). It also helps you produce more saliva, rebuild important tooth enamel and kill bacteria that create cavities and lead to gum disease.

    Green Tea has earned a reputation for providing many benefits for your oral health. A major benefit of green tea is that is provides you with natural antioxidant compounds, which prevent plaque from accumulating. Plaque leads to cavities and bad breath. Plus some green teas have fluoride, which also helps reduce tooth decay.

    Proteins such as chicken, beef, turkey and eggs contain a ton of phosphorus. That’s a good thing since phosphorus combines with calcium and Vitamin D to create our bones and teeth.

    Water provides an array of good things. It hydrates your whole body (gums included), which is essential. But for your oral health, it helps clean your mouth so your saliva can nourish your teeth. When you rinse with water, it cleans your mouth so that your saliva can nourish your teeth, and it washes away food particles that can lead to cavities.

    Source: Dental.Net Print        


    • 24 MAY 18
    • 0

    All Whitening Programs Are Not Created Equal

    If you feel like your smile isn’t as “picture-perfect” as you would like it to be there are several options to enhance the whiteness of your teeth. Brushing and flossing daily are the easiest ways, and routine cleanings and check-ups are also important. But to keep one’s smile white you must be careful of what you eat and drink. And if all that brushing and flossing can’t eliminate all those stubborn stains and yellowing on your teeth, then whitening is a definite route to a great smile.

    Personal Care Dentistry offers an effective and affordable whitening program that includes custom-made and fitted bleach trays and clinical strength gel bleach that you cannot get over the counter.

    Whitening programs available from your dentist are superior to the over-the-counter ones available in many retail stores. While the over-the-counter kits may be cheaper, they are not as effective and can also be harmful to your gum line (from the bleach), aggravate existing dental problems (again from the bleach), produce spotted or weak results and damage your tooth enamel.

    So once you decide to have your teeth whitened at a dental office, what happens? During the first visit, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth after making sure your teeth are free of plaque and tarter. From this impression a custom mouth tray is made specifically for your mouth to fit like a glove. This ensures that each surface of the tooth gets bleached properly. On your second visit your dentist will show you how to apply the gel to the bleaching trays and place it into your mouth.

    The amount of time you must wear your bleaching trays depends on how badly your teeth are stained, as well as the concentration of the bleaching gel used. You will also need to decide if you want to use both trays – one for your top teeth, the other one for your bottom set of teeth – to whiten your smile. This process can vary from a few minutes to a few hours. It is recommended that you whiten two weeks for 30 minutes a day for optimal results. Tooth sensitivity may occur but Personal Care Dentistry provides patients with alternative bleach for those with sensitivity issues.

    The whitening program offered by Personal Care Dentistry can last anywhere from a few months to a few years and the degree of whitening changes from one person to another. This in part depends on the original condition of your teeth, specifically how stained they were, as well as the strength of the bleaching gel used. Also, in large part it depends on your eating, drinking and smoking habits, as no teeth whitening solution will result in a permanent color change of your teeth and it won’t prevent future staining.

    Contact Personal Care Dentistry today and ask how you can get started. Whitening your smile can take years off your teeth and make you look and feel younger. Bleaching your teeth is an easy and affordable way to boost your confidence and start smiling again!

    In the meantime follow these simple steps to avoid stains:

    Use a whitening toothpaste

    Brush and floss daily

    Avoid drinking coffee, red wine, tea and sports drinks

    Avoid eating berries, sweets and deep colored sauces

    Don’t smoke

    Use a straw with cold beverages

    Swallow promptly when consuming stain-causing foods and beverages

    If you do consume food and drink that may stain your teeth, keep a glass of plain water handy and take a drink between sips or bites of the stain-producing food or beverage you are consuming


    • 23 MAY 18
    • 0

    “Patients Say Everyone Is So Nice Here and They Feel Comforted and Truly Cared For”

    When Krista Dirksen walked into Personal Care Dentistry in 2014 for a job interview for a part-time dental hygienist position, she knew pretty quickly that this was “the” dental clinic for her. “I was interviewing for a part-time job to take over for a hygienist who was on maternity leave, but I felt really at home almost immediately. After a second stint as a fill-in for someone else on maternity leave, they couldn’t get rid of me! Now I’m here five days a week and I love it!”

    Krista is the Hygiene Assistant Team Leader at Personal Care Dentistry, working with Team Lead Kari Olson in her role. She first learned about Personal Care Dentistry through a classmate from dental hygiene school – Jenna Lind who had previously joined the practice.  They both went to Argosy University, where Krista earned an AAS degree. “I originally went to Normandale Community College to get my general education credits completed before transferring to a four-year school and getting a nursing degree or a psychology degree so I could work with kids. But in the back of my mind was also the idea of becoming a dental hygienist. I had been involved in a bad car accident in high school and I had to have a lot of dental work done. The dentist who did a lot of reconstructive work on my mouth asked me what I wanted to do for a career and I said I was thinking of becoming a nurse. He said I should become a dental hygienist because the hours were better and it was a lot less stressful.”

    Krista grew up in Burnsville and worked a variety of retail jobs when she was in high school and college. “It was a pretty diverse retail career – I worked in a prom dress store at the Mall of America for awhile before working at Home Depot in the flooring department. Plus I worked in an office job for an insurance company. I got to meet all kinds of people from all walks of life and that gave me a good foundation for being a dental hygienist – I can feel at ease with any patient no matter what their situation or background. That really helps with new patients when they have their first appointment here.”

    Dr. Walter Hunt’s Golden Rule of Dentistry resonated with Krista when she first started working at Personal Care Dentistry. “I was so impressed at how Dr. Hunt placed so much importance on the doctor-patient relationship and how we needed to treat every patient with the highest level of respect.”

    What impressed Kari even more was that the conversations she had with patients mirrored what she had heard from Dr. Hunt, who founded the practice in 1977. “Patients say everyone is so nice here and they feel comforted and truly cared for. Lots of patients have told me that they don’t like going to the dentist but they like coming here.”

    Krista has found a very supportive team environment at Personal Care Dentistry. “The first week I was here, Kari (Hygiene Team Leader) told me that you can ask anyone for help and they will be there for you. I found that to be very true. It’s the most cohesive office I have ever worked in.”

    Krista lives in Apple Valley with her husband Andy and their two dogs Ralphie (a terrier) and Veronica (a pug) who she describes as “a couple of real characters”. She and Andy enjoy softball, watching movies, and traveling when they have the time (and funds). She volunteers with the Big Brother program and at a free public clinic in Burnsville.

    “It’s a long drive from Apple Valley to Roseville every day, but it is worth the drive because of the work I get to do with our patients and the people I get to worth with.”


    • 17 MAY 18
    • 0

    Does Brushing Cause Your Gums to Bleed?

    If your gums bleed regularly when you brush, you may have the early stages of periodontal disease. If you do, you’ll be joining tens of millions of Americans who have some form of periodontal disease. And it’s a disease you don’t want in your mouth because it can eventually lead to major damage to soft tissue and bone or tooth loss.

    In it’s most mild form, periodontal disease produces inflammation in the gum tissue. This is called gingivitis. Look for red and swollen gums that may bleed easily. It especially likes mouths that only see a toothbrush or floss once in awhile. Additional factors include diabetes, use of certain medications, hormonal changes in women, other illnesses, and genetic susceptibility. At this stage, gingivitis is not resulting in bone or tissue loss.

    However, if you leave gingivitis untreated, then the odds are good that you will be headed toward periodontitis. At this point, the inflammation has moved from just being in your gums to being around your teeth. As gum tissue retracts from around the teeth, pockets are formed and infection moves into them. This can lead to the destruction of gums, teeth and bone.

    But you can prevent it from progressing to bone or tooth loss by following a set of simple tips. Remember, good oral health is more than fighting bad breath and having clean teeth. It is a reflection of your self esteem and how you take care of the rest of your body. Get a jumpstart on prevention and keep yourself looking and feeling young and healthy!

    Prevent periodontal disease by implementing the following habits:

    Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste

    Floss regularly to remove plaque from between the teeth

    Visit your dentist regularly for your routine check-up and cleaning

    Don’t smoke

    If you follow those simple tips, the odds are good that you will have healthy gums, happy teeth and a winning smile. And periodontal disease won’t be a problem for you and your mouth.

    Source: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

    • 17 MAY 18
    • 0

    “I Really Enjoy Getting to Know Our New Patients”

    Becky Carver | New Patient Advocate

    Becky Carver’s opportunity to learn and grow in her work career was a big motivator when she took a Patient Coordinator position at Personal Care Dentistry in August 2014. She was looking for a health care setting where she could make a difference and work with people that she liked and respected. Little did she know that all of those areas of her job would be realized within just a couple of years.

    “I had worked as a veterinary technician for more than a decade, and I loved it before I had kids but I got burned out after all those years. I love dogs and cats, but I loved the medical science part of the job as much. Eventually, I decided that I needed to find a new career in health care – but this time with people. I answered an ad for a Patient Coordinator at Personal Care Dentistry and when I interviewed with Brandy (Personal Care Dentistry’s Financial and Treatment Plan Coordinator) at the clinic I remember thinking ‘this is a place where I feel like I could grow and I really like that it is a private practice’.”

    Becky got the job, and she worked as the Patient Coordinator with a lot of patient insurance coverage and spent a lot of time on the phone with insurance companies. She also worked extensively with patient treatment plans.

    In April 2018, Becky was named Personal Care Dentistry’s New Patient Advocate. She is the face and voice of Personal Care Dentistry when new patients walk in the door for their first appointment. She provides each new patient with an extensive tour of the clinic’s 8,000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities, then sits down with each patient to initially assess what are their oral health care needs. Once they have been guided to either the hygiene team or the dental group for a chairside evaluation and/or treatment, she visits again with the patient to review their proposed treatment plan and insurance coverage. She also follows up with the patient after their first visit to find out how they are doing.

    “I really enjoy getting to know our new patients and helping them not be nervous about their dental care. I get it when they are nervous because I’ve had a lot of dental work over the years. Plus I love to explain their insurance and see that ‘light bulb” go off when they understand their insurance.”

    One of the main guiding principles of Personal Care Dentistry is that all patients should be treated the same way that the dental care team would want to be treated if they were patients – with compassion, dignity, and excellence. “I really believe in that approach and I think patients should expect it. We really do follow the Golden Rule here, and everyone on our team truly cares about our patients as people.”

    Becky notes that Personal Care Dentistry is a busy office that provides plenty of challenges every day. “But it’s also extremely rewarding and a really fun place to work. We have an amazing staff here.”

    Becky and her husband Bob live in Maplewood, which is where she grew up in the Twin Cities. They have three kids and are “busy, busy, busy” with their kids’ activities. Her husband is a mechanic who owns his own shop, and her son has also become a mechanic. The family loves to go camping up north when they have the time.

    • 09 MAY 18
    • 0

    3 Simple Tips to Minimize the Impact of Teeth-Staining Foods

    If you value keeping your smile bright and white, then it’s critical to understand how to minimize the teeth-staining impact of seven key foods and beverages. In this blog, we’ve got a set of simple tips you can use to fight for your smile.

    What food are most likely to stain your teeth? It’s pretty simple, really. If the food or beverage is intensely colored (i.e. reds and blacks and purples) then your bright whites will be challenged to not become stained.

    There are three main reasons why these types of foods and beverages are so tough on white teeth. Chromogens are the first culprit – they are intensely pigmented molecules that likes to stick to dental enamel. The second culprit is acid, which erodes the dental enamel and promotes staining. It’s contained in a lot of the top 7 teeth-staining foods and beverages. The final culprit is tannins, a family of food compounds that boost chromogens’ enamel-attaching ability.

    The Terrible 7 (For Your Teeth)

    Wines – especially red. Red wine, an acidic beverage that contains chromogens and tannins, is notorious for staining teeth. But white wine, too, promotes staining. In fact, a research study found that teeth exposed to tea were stained more severely if they previously had been exposed to white wine.

    Black teas. The ordinary black tea most people drink is rich in stain-promoting tannins. It’s actually a bigger stainer than coffee, which is chromogen-rich but low in tannins. Herbal, green, and white teas are less likely to stain than black tea.

    Sodas. Acidic and chromogen-rich, dark sodas like cola can cause significant staining. But even light-colored soft drinks are sufficiently acidic to promote staining of teeth by other foods and beverages. According to leading experts, carbonated beverages have similar acidity to battery acid.

    Sports drinks. Research has found that highly acidic sports drinks can soften tooth enamel — setting the stage for staining.

    Dark sauces. Soy sauce, tomato sauce, curry sauce, and other deeply colored sauces are believed to have significant staining potential.

    Most berries. Blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, cherries, grapes, pomegranates, and other intensely colored fruits (and juices, pies, and other foods and beverages made from them) can cause stains.

    Candy and sweets. Hard candies, chewing gum, popsicles, and other sweets often contain teeth-staining coloring agents. If your tongue turns a funny color, there’s a good chance that your teeth will be affected, too.

    The Terrific Three

    Following the Terrific Three tips will allow you to reduce the impact the Terrible 7 have on your teeth without having to give up these items if you enjoy them. Plus, many of the foods and beverages that stain teeth are loaded with antioxidants, which, of course, have key health benefits. So if you’re worried about stained teeth, you might want to cut back on these foods and beverages rather than cut them out entirely. Here are several suggestions:

    Use a straw. Sipping beverages through a straw is believed to help keep teeth-staining beverages away from the teeth — the front teeth, in particular. No, you’re probably not eager to use a straw for coffee or wine. But it shouldn’t be too much trouble to use a straw for cola, juices, and iced tea.

    Swallow promptly. Swallowing stain-causing foods and beverages quickly is also believed to help protect teeth from stains. Obviously, don’t gulp and be sure to chew your food and savor flavors — but not for too long.

    Swish with water. It’s not always convenient to brush your teeth after having something to eat or drink. Even when it is, it might be better not to: dental enamel is highly vulnerable to abrasion from tooth brushing for up to 30 minutes after the consumption of an acidic food or beverage. So it’s safer simply to swish with water — and brush later, once the enamel has had a chance to re-harden.

    And don’t forget the importance of brushing and flossing daily and be sure to see a dentist periodically — and to avoid smoking or chewing tobacco. These long-term strategies, combined with the simple tips we’ve mentioned, should keep you smiling for years to come.

    Source: WebMD and Personal Care Dentistry

    • 02 MAY 18
    • 0

    “Patients Understand That We Actually Value Them”

    For Dionne Zaspel, the path to becoming a dental assistant was long and winding. But once she got there, she realized how much she enjoyed her new career. And when she was hired in March 2015 at Personal Care Dentistry, she felt blessed that she had found such a great care team to join. The clinic felt that same way, as she is now the Assistant Dental Assisting Team Leader.

     “I worked full time as a bar tender for many years, and I really enjoyed the people I met and the hours, but at a certain point I decided that I really needed something else as a career,” says Dionne. “I initially thought about becoming a nurse and working in a hospital, and I did get a job at St. Joseph’s in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), but I pretty quickly realized that I wasn’t cut out for that field. I considered radiology after that, but eventually settled on becoming a dental assistant because I felt like I could make patients feel happier and more comfortable as a dental assistant. I was so happy I chose that path.”

    Dionne initially worked part-time at several dental clinics in the White Bear Lake area, but didn’t feel like their approach was a real match for her goals as a dental assistant. She answered an ad for a dental assistant at Personal Care Dentistry and when she came in for the interview she was struck by how beautiful the office was and how comfortable it felt. “It didn’t feel sterile like a lot of dental offices, and when I interviewed with Tiffanie (Apple, the Dental Assisting Team Leader), I thought ‘This must be a great place to work’ because she was so happy and upbeat.”

    Tiffanie was right, says Dionne. “This is a really busy office, but it is exactly like I thought it would be when I interviewed here. Everyone is always nice and helpful and I feel like the team I work with – dental assistants, dentists, hygienists and the front office staff – are all really sincere about caring for their patients. I work with people who are smart, kind and helpful. It is really fun to be here!”

    Dionne’s top goal with patients is to educate them and inform them about their care. “I really try to help the patient to understand their treatment plan and what we are doing and why. Patients understand that we actually value them.”

    Dionne lives with her husband Mike and their two dogs and a cat. In her spare time, she loves to cook for her husband Mike and their friends in. “I love to feed people, especially Italian food. I can my own tomatoes and make meatballs from scratch and just serve a lot of love in my kitchen.” When she isn’t cooking, Dionne loves to fish (“I would fish every day if I could retire tomorrow”), refinish furniture, and can beets and pickles, make jellies, and put together gift baskets.

    • 24 APR 18
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    What To Do in a Dental Emergency

    If you’ve ever had a tooth knocked loose or knocked out you know what a terrifying and helpless feeling it can be. Will you permanently lose the tooth? Can it be fixed? Will you have to have oral surgery? Those are all questions that will probably be bouncing around in your head. But instead of panicking, follow the steps detailed below in a dental emergency and your chances of a good outcome (saving vs. losing your tooth) will be improved.


    If You Have a Tooth Knocked Loose

    If you’ve had an accident and you’re holding your tooth after it’s been knocked out, then it’s a dental emergency that needs action right away! Follow these five steps and the odds of your dentist being able to actually reinsert and preserve your tooth are increased immensely.

    Pick up the tooth from its top (which is the crown) and be sure not to touch the root of the tooth (which is at the bottom).

    Very gently rinse the tooth off with warm water to ensure that it is clean. Do not scrub the tooth or remove any tissue attached to the tooth. Be sure to close the drain in your sink so you don’t accidentally lose your tooth down the drain.

    If possible, place the tooth (gently) back into the socket where it came from. Bite down while gently holding the tooth once you get it back in the socket.

    If you are unable to put your tooth back in the socket, then place the tooth in a small container of milk. Be sure not to use water.

    Give your dentist a call immediately to make an appointment to be seen as soon as possible. This will improve your chances of saving your tooth (if you have also followed the steps above). The longer you wait, the less chance of the tooth remaining viable to be re-implanted in the socket.

    If You Have a Tooth That Is Loose

    If you’ve had a tooth knocked loose or out of alignment, call your dentist immediately to get in for an appointment. Try to put the tooth back in its original position using your finger with minimal pressure (don’t try and force it). Bite down to keep the tooth from moving. Once you get in for your appointment, your dentist may want to splint the tooth to the adjacent teeth (the teeth on each side) to keep it stabilized.

    Your Dental Emergency Preparedness Kit

    You can never predict when you’re going to experience a dental emergency. You can, however, be prepared in case you do have to deal with one. If you are prepared (and avoid panicking) then the chance of saving your tooth goes up immensely. Here’s some recommended things to keep in a small dental first-aid kit. Keep one in your house in an easy-to-find location and one in your car or truck.

    Each kit should contain the following:

    Small container with a lid
    Name and phone number of your dentist
    Acetaminophen – not aspirin or ibuprofen because they can act as a blood thinner and cause excessive bleeding during a dental emergency

    Follow these tips and your odds of saving that lost or loose tooth will be much better. And you won’t have to worry about getting an expensive implant eventually to replace the tooth!

    Sources: MouthHealthy.org (ADA), YourDentistryGuide.com