Cahill Dental Care

Advantages of Invisalign

woman smilingMany of us think that invisible braces, such as Invisalign, are only used to enhance the aesthetic value of a person’s smile. To a certain extent, that is true. Typically the goal of having braces is to straighten one’s teeth and improve his or her smile. However, did you know that there are actually health benefits to having a straighter smile as well?

Below are just a few of the ways in which invisible braces can benefit your health:

  • Overall Health: Since oral infections are thought to be related to other health issues in the body such as an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, or diabetes, keeping your teeth straightened and properly spaced apart is an important and crucial step to having better overall health.
  • Diverse Diet: With traditional metal braces, there are many foods you are unable to eat which can severely hinder diversity in your diet. Since invisible braces are removable, they allow you to eat a wider variety of foods, helping to ensure that you get all of the vitamins and minerals that are necessary for a healthy body.
  • Periodontal Health: Overcrowded teeth can lead to red, swollen, and irritated gums. These symptoms are typically signs of periodontal disease. Getting braces can allow your teeth to not only straighten, but also make more space between your teeth, allowing your gums more room.
  • Better Cleaning Access: Traditional braces take up a large amount of surface area on your tooth. therefor there is a good amount of tooth you’re missing every time you brush. With invisible braces, however, you are able to remove them in order to clean the entire surface of your teeth and maintain that impeccable flossing and brushing routine!

If you’re looking for a straighter smile, as well as better overall and oral health, give us a call at 651-451-9101

How to Take Care of Your Dental Implant

'man flossing teeth'Cleaning and taking care of your implant is just as important as cleaning your natural teeth. Here are some things you should know about caring for your implant.

Your implant and your natural teeth are similar because they both rely on healthy tissue for support and both can build up plaque. It’s important to remove that plaque because it can develop into an infection. If the infection isn’t properly treated, it can result in a loss of bone around the implant which could progress to the loss of the implant itself.

It’s important to get your teeth cleaned on a regular basis so your dental hygienist can get that biofilm off your teeth and keep your teeth infection-free. As always, you should be brushing your teeth and flossing twice a day. Never use your teeth, especially your implant as “scissors” to open anything.

Dental implants are the closest thing you can get to real and natural teeth. They don’t require any special products or treatment. Just a simple brush and floss will do the job. They are also long lasting. If they are properly cared for, they can last a lifetime, avoiding any further dental work down the road.

With a dental implant, you can still enjoy all your favorite foods. It will not loosen or fall out if you are chewing something hard.

Overall, dental implants are meant to make life better and easier, not to add issues or interrupt your life. You don’t have to go out of your way to take care of them – a simple brush and floss will ensure that they improve your overall quality of life for many years to come.

If you think a dental implant may be right for you, call Cahill Dental Care at 651-451-9101 to schedule a consultation with us.

Dental Implants – The Recovery

'dental implant recovery'The recovery time following dental implant surgery tends to vary, but is usually based on the amount of teeth being implanted, whether or not a bone graft was needed and the individual and how well they manage their recovery. Luckily, the science and technology behind dental implants has improved drastically over the last few years, improving post-surgery pain and comfort for patients.

The patient requiring the least amount of recovery time would be one who had a standard, single dental implant placed with no bone grafting. With a simple procedure like this one, there is very little discomfort or pain after the surgery. Mild bruising and soreness can occur, but is typically manageable with over the counter pain relievers. In more severe implant cases, such as those where multiple teeth are implanted or severe bone grafting needed in order to accomplish the implant, the recovery time tends to be longer and the discomfort can be more intense.

In any cases, it is important to keep your mouth clean after surgery, which can be done by rinsing your mouth gently with salt water beginning the day after surgery. You may begin brushing your teeth the night after the surgery, but make sure to keep it light around the surgery area as to not disrupt the healing in that area. It is also important to remember that in the week following your surgery, there should be no smoking and no sucking through a straw, as this can seriously inhibit your healing process. It is important to stick to a diet primarily consisting of soft foods for the first 7-10 days following your surgery before beginning to return to your normal diet.

As you can see, the recovery process after receiving a dental implant is fairly predictable and comfortable. It is important to follow the instructions that we give you at Cahill Dental Care, and to always remember that if you have any questions or concerns regarding a procedure or following your surgery, you can always give us a call at Inver Grove Heights Office Phone Number 651-451-9101.

5 Reasons Why Your Teeth Are Changing Colors

'woman brushing teeth'Brushing and flossing your teeth every day can keep your smile bright and white. However, you might have noticed that even though you take great care of your teeth, they look a little yellow and have lost their sparkle. This is completely normal. Here are 5 reasons why this could be happening to you.

  1. Food and Drinks: Coffee, tea and red wine play a major role in staining your teeth. They all have Chromogens, which are intense color pigments that attach to the white outer part of your tooth known as enamel.
    Tip: Drink with a straw, keeping those stain-causing dyes in the drink away from your teeth
  2. Tobacco Use: The two chemicals found in tobacco, tar and nicotine, create a tough stain. Tar is naturally dark. Nicotine is colorless, but when it’s mixed with oxygen, it creates a yellowish color. Both together create the stain.
  3. Age: Below the white shell of enamel on our teeth is a softer area called Dentin. Over the years, our outer enamel gets thinner from brushing and the yellowish dentin shows through.
  4. Trauma: If you have experienced an injury to the mouth, your tooth may change color. This is because your tooth reacts to the trauma by putting down more dentin, which is darker than the outer enamel on your teeth.
  5. Medications: Many different kind of medications come with the side effect of darkening your teeth. Also, children who are exposed to medication when their teeth are forming, either in the womb or as a baby, can experience discoloration of their adult teeth later in life.

Some of these reasons are preventable and some of these happen over the course of life. Try to avoid some of these things and continue to brush and floss your teeth every day. If you would like to discuss your teeth whitening options with us, please call our office at 651-451-9101 to schedule an appointment.

How to Make Your Own Ice Cream

'ice cream'As you may or may not know, July is officially National Ice Cream Month! While it is fun to go and grab ice cream from your local shop down the street, it can be more fun and rewarding to make your own ice cream for you and your family to enjoy. Ice cream is also a great treat to enjoy after different types of oral surgery. You don’t need an ice cream maker in order to make delicious, creamy ice cream. Just follow our instructions below!

Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

– 2 cups of milk
– 3 tablespoons of sugar
– 2 teaspoons of vanilla

Materials:

– 3-4 cups of ice
– 2/3 cup salt
– 1 quart sized Ziploc bag
– 1 gallon sized Ziploc freezer bag

Instructions:

– Combine milk, vanilla and sugar in quart sized bag
– Press any air out of bag and seal tightly
– Mix ice and salt in gallon sized bag
– Place quart sized bag into gallon sized bag and seal tightly
– Shake the bag vigorously for about 5 minutes
– It will be very cold, be careful!
– Liquid inside smaller bag should start to harden
– Let bags sit for a few minutes with ice in large bag surrounding small bag
– Open bags up and scoop ice cream out
– Enjoy!!

As you can see, it isn’t hard to shake up some ice cream that the whole family can enjoy, using fairly standard household ingredients. Use chocolate/strawberry milk instead of regular milk to change the flavor, or use half and half for a creamier product. This year, celebrate National Ice Cream month by making your own ice cream at home!

Teeth Bleaching Vs. Teeth Whitening

'regular and whitened teeth'You’ve probably seen someone with pearly white teeth before and wondered, “How have they managed to keep their teeth so bright all these years?” The truth is, many people these days are opting to whiten their teeth with artificial methods to achieve that picture-perfect smile.

Bleaching vs. Whitening

When teeth are whitened beyond their natural color, the process is referred to as “tooth bleaching”. This type of whitening usually involves using some form of “bleaching” agent such as hydrogen-or-carbamide peroxide.

Another method of restoring teeth to their original, whiter state of being is known as “teeth whitening”. This process is different from bleaching in that it involves cleaning the surface of teeth to remove stains, dirt, and other brightness inhibitors to restore the teeth to their original color. Sometimes this process also involves the use of bleaching agents.

Nowadays, these terms are used almost interchangeably – (their distinction is one mostly used by the FDA).

When you get your teeth whitened in our office, we utilize a highly-potent peroxide bleaching gel that can be better activated with a laser. We will also apply a gel to your gums to protect from chemical exposure.

Store-bought whitening kits contain a lower-potency whitening gel, but implement a similar process. These kits can be a significantly cheaper solution, but are usually not as effective and can even be damaging if not applied correctly.

And many people these days are even trying DIY methods to enhance their smile. Whatever method you choose, its always best to contact us first at Inver Grove Heights Office Phone Number 651-451-9101 so that you can make sure you are choosing the safest teeth whitening option for you.

Invisalign – Working For Men

'man with straight smile'Guys: More and more of your colleagues, coworkers and neighbors are having their teeth smoothed, whitened and aligned to gain that competitive edge in the business world.

So, we have to ask: How is your smile looking today?

Let’s face it, in today’s world, men and women will likely work for more employers over the course of their career than at any other time in history. Long gone are the days where people work for the same employer, climbing the ladder toward retirement. The modern worker knows that he must constantly adapt his skills, and possibly even his personal appearance, to stay in the game. Often, that work starts in the orthodontist office.

More and more men these days are choosing Invisalign® clear aligner orthodontic treatment to get their smile in tiptop shape. After all, first impressions in the business world are, indeed, everything.

Invisalign®: What Men Love

  • Discreet Meetings: By far one the most appealing aspects of Invisalign® is the fact that it provides orthodontic treatment that goes nearly undetectable while in progress. This means that you can go to those meetings and no one will know from across even a small board-room table that you are in the process of aligning your smile.
  • Safety in Numbers: Even if someone does notice, you can rest assured that you are in good company. With so many adults, including men, choosing clear braces to fix decades-old smile issues, you will still “fit in”.
  • Convenience: Invisalign® can be removed for eating and brushing.
  • Length of Treatment: Most cases require just 12-18 months of treatment.
  • Compatible with Your Personal Life: Because it is removable, Invisalign® encourages you to continue on with your personal life as planned and without restrictions.
  • Confidence: A great smile projects your worth, both in the professional and social realms. You may just land that promotion or dream job when you flash a bright, handsome smile that exudes confidence.

If you’d like to find out about the cost of Invisalign® and whether you are a good candidate, please give us a call at Inver Grove Heights Office Phone Number 651-451-9101!

Tooth Extraction – Managing Pain

'man kicking away pain'The Procedure Itself

Thanks to a wide variety of anesthesia choices available to us these days, you should feel no pain during your extraction.

After the Surgery

  • Over-the-Counter Medicines: Generally speaking, over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen are all that you will need following your surgery.
  • Staying On Top of Pain: It is very important to stay on a strict schedule of medication the first few days following your surgery. Getting behind on medication will result in more pain and may even make it difficult to catch up with pain control again.
  • Ice for Swelling: We want you to ice your cheeks for the first 24 hours following surgery, twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off alternating. Managing swelling can help greatly with pain management, and the act of icing may even feel good on its own.
  • Rest: Your body was expertly designed with high-tech systems in place to heal – but you have to give it the space and conditions to do so. Rest is one of the most important things you can do to help your body heal faster.
  • Salt Rinse the DAY AFTER Surgery: The day after surgery, you should rinse your mouth very gently with a mixture of one cup of warm water and ½ teaspoon of salt. You may do so up to 4 times a day. Designed to gently clean the wound site (but NOT dislodge the blood clot), some patients also feel that the warm water helps with pain relief.
  • Prescriptions: Most often, our patients do not require prescription pain medication post-op. However, in the case that we feel your case calls for such, please keep the following in mind:
    • Antibiotics – If we have ordered antibiotics for you, you must take them on schedule and for as long as we prescribe – Never stop antibiotic treatment prematurely without our specific orders.
    • Pain-Killers – In the event that you require prescription pain killers, please note that we are required to prescribe these sparingly and in accordance with certain laws, due to rising rates of substance abuse. You can help keep these drugs off the street by taking only what you need, and taking unused pills to a pharmacy for safe disposal – never “keep them around” in your cabinet for future use.

For more information, please visit our surgical instructions page and feel free to call us at Inver Grove Heights Office Phone Number 651-451-9101

Straight Teeth for Lifelong Benefits

'family smiling'Many people think that keeping your teeth straight is just about maintaining a great smile. However, straight teeth bring health benefits, too – both inside and outside your mouth. Read on for more information on how a straighter smile can help you be a healthier person!

Easy Maintenance

Simply put: straight teeth are easier to clean. With crooked and crowded teeth, flossing and brushing is not as effective because it’s hard to get in between them. This allows bacteria to find pockets in which to hide, building up and causing decay.

Avoiding Inflammation and Infection

When teeth aren’t straight they can cause gums to become inflamed. Inflamed gums can be a characteristic of periodontal disease, which can be serious. We can help you avoid this by aligning your teeth with traditional or invisible braces.

The Mouth-Body Connection

In addition to the damage caused to gums, periodontal disease is also linked to other diseases in the body including heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria builds up and begins to wear away your gums, teeth and bones. Straight teeth, as mentioned above, are easier to clean and thus come with a reduced risk of periodontal disease and may help you reduce your risk of heart and diabetes conditions.

Straight Teeth are Safe Teeth

Teeth that are straight are less likely to be chipped or damaged. When everything is all lined up, there are less surfaces sticking out that can be damaged.

Your Smile and Your Happiness

A healthy set of teeth leads to a more confident smile. Beautifully aligned smiles are associated with increased self-confidence and lowered stress. And when stress is lowered, your whole body functions and performs better.

Start reaping the benefits of a healthy, straight smile! Schedule an appointment by calling us at Inver Grove Heights Office Phone Number 651-451-9101. We look forward to helping you get started.

Guarding Your Athlete’s Smile

'child protecting teeth with mouth guard'

Let’s face it: kids are going to be kids. They’re going to fall down and play rough, and most of the time there’s just not much you can do about it.

When it comes to sports though, it is imperative that you make sure your child has the proper equipment to keep them safe in the game. In fact, children are most vulnerable to mouth injuries while playing sports from seven to eleven years of age.

Your mini-athlete will be 60x less likely (yes sixty, that’s not a typo), to experience oral injuries if they choose to wear a mouth guard! This is why the Academy for Sports Dentistry, or ASD, recommends wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sport with a high-risk for collision.

Common sports requiring mouth guards include football, hockey, and martial arts. Other sports such as soccer, basketball, and gymnastics are also prone to these types of injuries but do not usually require participants to use the same protection.

Store-bought mouth guards come in most colors and some even have fun designs on them like wolf teeth, encouraging kids to feel confident about wearing them.

The most common type of mouth guard is the “boil-and-bite” kind, allowing you to mold and shape them to fit your teeth using only water and heat. These can be found at most sporting goods stores, and some even come with a protection guarantee!

Whenever possible, stay away from stock or preformed mouth guards. They don’t allow a tight enough fit to properly protect your teeth and while you might save on the up-front cost a bit, your dental bill will quickly offset those savings.

The best way to keep your child’s teeth safe is always to talk to us about your options and, whichever you choose, just remember that preventative action is always the best solution to save your child the pain of a dental emergency, and yourself the pricey consequence that comes with waiting until its too late.

Want to learn more about protecting your little one’s smile? Give Cahill Dental Care a call at 651-451-9101 to schedule an appointment today!