Cahill Dental Care

Tooth Extraction – Managing 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

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

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!

Why do we have wisdom teeth, anyway?

Wisdom teeth were once an extremely valuable asset to our ancestors. When a typical diet consisted of chewy plants and uncooked meat, third molars (wisdom teeth), which fit easily into our ancestors’ larger jaws, were absolutely necessary. Wisdom teeth were the evolutionary answer to the need for chewing power to combat excessive wear.

Today, our diets are not as rough as those of our ancestors. With modern marvels like forks, spoons, and knives, as well as softer food, the need for wisdom teeth is virtually nonexistent. And yet, on average, about 65% of the human population is born with wisdom teeth which usually erupt between the ages 17 and 25.

Although wisdom teeth were incredibly advantageous for our ancestors, they pose a bit of a problem for the modern mouth. Humans have evolved to have smaller jaws, and so wisdom teeth are often either too big for the jaw or the jaws themselves are just too small. Either way, third molars crowd the mouth. Because of this lack of space, molars often grow sideways, only partially emerging from the gums, or actually get trapped inside the gums and jawbone.

These impacted wisdom teeth can be chronically contaminated with bacteria associated with infection, tooth decay, inflammation, and gum disease. And because they’re so far back in the mouth or trapped underneath gums, it’s difficult and sometimes impossible to keep them clean. Even when wisdom teeth come in fully, they are so far back in the mouth that it’s just too easy for food to get trapped, leading to plaque, cavities, and gum disease.

Although wisdom teeth were very important to our ancestors, nowadays, they pose a serious problem to oral health. Call Cahill Dental Care to find out if your wisdom teeth are ready to come out!

Prepare Your Little One

prepare-your-little-oneUnfortunately, not every dental visit is remembered fondly.

Many of these experiences occur during childhood with a not-so-great trip to the dentist!

Yet, with a bit of preparation and lots of communication, you and your pediatric dentist can work together to ensure that your little one remembers their visit as pleasantly as possible.

Prepare Your Child
The most important way you can prepare your child for the dentist’s office is to start a healthy oral care routine at home. As soon as teeth start to appear in your child’s mouth, brushing and flossing (with supervision) is crucial in having healthy and happy teeth.

Before the visit, discuss with your child what dentists do, why they’re important, and what they look for.

Be Supportive and Reassuring
During your appointment, be supportive and reassuring. The new faces, sights, sounds, and machines in a dentist’s office can be daunting! Sit next to your child during their appointment, and make sure to give your doctor time to explain what the different machines do before they are put into use.

Praise and Rewards!
Afterwards, praise and compliment bravery: your little one did it! Make sure to grab a prize on your way out, encouragement and a reward go a long way. A little bit of preparation means you can ensure your child has a positive experience at the dentist that will set the stage for happy memories!

If you’re looking for a dentist that specializes in working with children, call Cahill Dental Care on 651-451-9101 today!

If You MUST Eat Candy…  

When it comes to candy, kids tend to make choices that make pediatric dentists cringe. In fact, the average trick-or-treater will consume three and a half pounds of candy on Halloween. Multiply that across 41 million trick-or-treaters, and you will understand why this can be such an important issue to tackle from a dental perspective.

Now, it might be unrealistic to tell you to keep the candy away from your kids when they’re looking up at you in those adorable homemade costumes. We get that, but you can make smarter choices that keep your child’s teeth healthy enough to make it through to your next visit to the dentist. Sorting through your child’s candy offers you the chance to weed out problem-causing candy and help them make better decisions. And don’t forget a good, solid brushing and flossing before bed, especially on Halloween!

What Candy to Avoid

Sticky and gummy candy tends to latch onto teeth making it harder to brush off, and allowing bad bacteria to feed on tif-you-must-eat-candyhe sugar. When teeth are exposed to these sugars for long periods of time, cavities are formed. In addition to that, hard and chewy candies create the perfect circumstances for dental disasters such as dislodged fillings and create a greater potential for accidental chipping and injury.

If you’re stuck on chewy candy, sugar free gum is a better alternative. Gum containing Xylitol may help to combat the effects of bad bacteria and plaque (but it is not a substitute for brushing and flossing).

Why Chocolate Rocks!

Choose chocolate instead. Why? Chocolate melts and disappears more quickly than other candies, lessening the chance for those sticky sugars to stay behind. It also has a lower acidity than most other options.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, dark chocolate is high in tannins, providing the antioxidants your mouth needs to stay healthy, while polyphenols and flavonoids found in chocolate help battle gum disease and tooth decay.

One last tip: Making sure your child eats a well-balanced meal before going door-to-door makes it harder to fill up on sweets before feeling full. Finally, make sure your children brush and floss before bedtime to keep the cavity creeps away! Oh, and set up your next teeth cleaning as soon as possible to ensure your teeth don’t suffer any casualties – call us at 651-451-9101.

Orange Juice and Toothpaste

Everybody’s day starts a little differently, but we can agree brushing your teeth should always be a part of your morning routine!

Are you a before-breakfast brusher? If so, you know the dreaded orange-juice-and-toothpaste taste that can follow! Orange juice is bitter and cereal with milk tastes strange! It’s only temporary, but it can really put you off your breakfast!

Why does food taste so bad right after you brush your teeth?

The reason for this bad taste is sodium lauryl ether sulfate, known as SLES or SLS (sodium laureth sulfate), which makes torangejuicetoothpasteoothpaste foamy and disperses it around the teeth. However, sodium laureth sulfate is not as helpful when it comes to the tongue. Although completely harmless, sodium laureth sulfate suppresses the taste bud receptors for sweetness, and amplifies the taste bud receptors for bitterness. This heightened sensitivity to bitterness and dulling of sweetness is what makes your breakfast taste so strange.

Your tongue is covered with taste-sensitive cells spotted with proteins. If a particle of food you have eaten hits one of these cells, it sends a message to your brain signaling which taste sensation it is; sweet, bitter, sour, salty or umami.

Sodium laureth sulfate is a “detergent” molecule, which disperse fat molecules. This works in soaps for your body, hair or dishes. However, SLS affects the membranes of our tongue cells, blocking our sweet taste buds and enhancing our bitter taste. This results in the unpleasant flavor you get drinking orange juice after the SLS in your toothpaste has dulled your taste buds!

It is only temporary, but if it bothers you, try purchasing a toothpaste made without sodium laureth sulfate (SLS). However, keep in mind that some of these natural toothpastes may also be made without fluoride. Fluoride is absolutely essential in strengthening tooth enamel and preventing cavities. If you have concerns about SLS or fluoride, call us on 651-451-9101 here at Cahill Dental Care!

Dental Implants 101

Whether you are missing a tooth, or at risk of losing many, dental implants may be a great solution for you. Dental implants are an increasingly popular fix for missing or dying teeth, and have many benefits.

What is a Dental Implant?

Dental Implants 101Dental implants are high tech teeth. The root of your current tooth is removed, and replaced with a screw attached to a ‘cap’ that looks identical to a natural tooth. Many people report higher confidence and comfort after receiving their new tooth.

What’s so Great About Them?

The cool thing about implants is that if taken care of, they can last for life. Usually all that needs to be replaced, if anything, is the cap. The other great thing about implants is that they can’t die like natural teeth. You still have to clean and maintain them like your other teeth, but no roots are any longer at risk of causing that tooth to fail. In addition to that, many implants can last a lifetime!

What is the Surgical Process Like?

The process is done either all at once, or in steps. This depends on the recommendations for your particular case. The first step is to remove the root of your natural tooth, and place the implant in its place. If there is not enough bone to place the implant, we may encourage you to have bone grafting first. The gum is then stitched closed and allowed to heal. This can take five to six months. The next step is to reopen the gum and place an abutment on the implant, along with a temporary crown so you can heal while the permanent crown is made for you. You then return to get your permanent crown attached in a few weeks. In other cases, all of these steps can be done in a single visit, but it depends on your specific case.

If you have any questions, please call our office for more information, we would be glad to help!

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Going Green: Dark Green Vegetables and Dental Health

Too much acid in your system can make various parts of your body inflamed. This may include your gum tissues. Gingivitis (early gum disease) and periodontitis (advanced gum disease) are conditions of infection and inflammation. Aiming to consume a balanced diet with the goal of achieving an acidic-alkaline balance (balanced pH level) has been shown to reduce symptoms of many health conditions. One of the fastest and easiest ways to saturate your body with these nutrients is by consuming green fruits and vegetables. Some great green additions to your diet are spinach and green smoothies:

Spinach & Dark Green Vegetables

Go GreenEating dark green veggies, like spinach, can have some great health benefits deeming it a “super food” among nutrition experts! The nutrients found in spinach are a powerful source of cancer-fighting properties, producing a substance that causes prostate cancer cells to self-destruct, and another compound that can prevent the formation of ovarian cancer cells. Spinach promotes cardiovascular health via properties that can lower blood pressure and prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Evidence shows that juicing dark green vegetables like spinach can improve your dental health, preventing gum disease and cavities!

Green Smoothies

Green smoothie can keep your gums, jawbone, and teeth healthier and stronger! The best part about drinking green smoothies is the taste. If you can get over the color, you will find how delicious a green smoothie can be. Spinach, cucumber, kale, lettuce, and zucchini can be blended with fruit to create a low-calorie, nutrient dense meal replacement that boosts your oral health. A great addition to your green smoothie is yogurt. Yogurt has been shown to strengthen teeth and prevent bad breath, as well as add a creamy consistency to your nutrient-dense smoothie.

If you have questions regarding your dental health, give Cahill Dental Care a call at651-451-9101 today!

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Invisalign – Your Smile in 3D

We live in a high-tech world. Technology is constantly changing and evolving, for the better! Cell phones have gone from large brick-like objects to wearable watches! We now watch movies in High Definition and 3-Dimensions, thanks to the impressive workings of computers.

“3D” derives its meaning from stereopsis, which means “solid depth” in Greek. The human eye sees everything in the world in many dimensions because objects have several angles. However, when an image is projected onto a screen, the image loses its angles and becomes “flat”. New advances in technology now mean that computers and imaging are able to imitate these planes and display an image that the human eye can see as “three dimensional.”

Invisalign3DIt is this same level of advanced technology that allows Invisalign treatment to be totally customized to your mouth. First, we take x-rays, pictures and impressions of your teeth, which are then inserted into a computer that creates a 3-D digital image of them. These images allow us to create a precise treatment plan completely tailored to your needs, including the exact movements of your teeth. Then we are able to approximate the length of treatment. We can even show you a virtual representation of how your teeth will move and look with each stage of the treatment. Once a treatment plan is in place, you will receive custom-made, clear aligners to take home.

Invisalign combines our clinical treatment plan with 3-D computer-generated software to make sets of unique custom-made aligners that move teeth in precise increments. Invisalign is innovative technology, based on biomechanical principles that achieve more precise and predictable tooth movement.

There are 2.6 million Invisalign patients, treated by 39.3 thousand doctors, with over 149 million unique liners! Now that’s a lot of customization!

Not all doctors are trained in Invisalign treatment, so know that you’re in good hands here at Cahill Dental Care because we offer Invisalign. Give us a call today!

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