Cahill Dental Care

Gum Disease in Children


Healthy gums are important for a healthy mouth and body, so we want you to pay a lot of attention to them! While we all know that children are resilient (and they get two sets of teeth), their teeth (baby and permanent) still need the same care and attention that is required by adult teeth.

Plaque and Gums
It’s important to keep plaque under control, because if left untreated it can make your child’s gums swollen, and they can bleed when touched. This can be the start of gingivitis–otherwise known as gum disease. It is common and can be improved with frequent brushing, flossing and regular cleanings in our office.

Gingivitis in Children
Unfortunately, gingivitis does happen to children–it is characterized by swollen, red gum tissue that bleeds easily. Gingivitis is preventable and treatable with a regular routine of brushing, flossing and professional dental care. However–if left untreated, it can advance to more serious forms of periodontal disease, even in children and teens.

Aggressive Periodontitis
Aggressive periodontitis can affect young people and children who are otherwise healthy. Localized aggressive periodontitis is found mostly in teenagers and young adults–usually found around the first molars and incisors. Generalized aggressive periodontitis may begin at puberty and involves the entire mouth. It’s identified by inflammation of the gum and heavy accumulation of plaque and calculus.

Signs of gingivitis to watch for:

Bleeding gums during tooth brushing, flossing or any other time.

Swollen, bright-red gums.

Gums that are receding from the teeth, sometimes exposing the roots (this is actually a sign of more serious periodontal disease).

Bad Breath
Consistent bad breath that does not clear up with brushing and flossing.

Early diagnosis is important for successful treatment of gum problems in children. The most important preventative step against periodontal disease is to establish good oral health habits with your child.

Establish Good Oral Hygiene
For newborns, wipe their gums with a wet cloth. Once teeth start to erupt, parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste and a soft brush to clean children’s teeth for them (make sure they spit, not swallow)! Start flossing when gaps form as teeth grow in.

Be A Good Role Model
Practice good oral hygiene habits yourself!

Schedule Regular Dental Check-Ups
Family check-ups, periodontal evaluations and cleanings are all important.

Check Your Child’s Mouth
Keep a close eye out for bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, and bad breath.

Here at Cahill Dental Care we want to make sure we are with you every step of the way as your child grows. Call us at Cahill Avenue Dental Office Phone Number 651-451-9101 to schedule your child’s dental appointment today!

Myths About Whitening


Everyone wants to have a whiter smile but making the decision to pursue whitening treatment can be tough. Myths and stereotypes can lead to negative connotations, inhibiting you from moving forward with treatment. Below are three misconceptions about teeth whitening:

1. Teeth whitening treatments at my doctor’s office are no more effective than those purchased at drugstores.
On the contrary, the maximum strength bleach that our dentists provide delivers the best and fastest teeth whitening results. Another factor that makes dentist-provided whitening kits most effective is the fact that the trays are customized to fit each individual patient perfectly which keeps the gel in closer, more precise contact with your teeth. Don’t waste your time at the drugstore when you can get a brighter, whiter smile from us in record time!

2. Tooth whitening harms enamel.
Despite this negative misconception, teeth whitening does not actually harm the enamel of a tooth. Bleaching works by opening the pores of a tooth. This allows for the peroxide to enter the inner structure of the tooth and remove stains. The pores will close again over time, leaving the enamel unharmed.

3. You can never drink coffee or wine again after whitening.
While patients are told to stay away from heavy staining and acidic foods, such as red wine and coffee, it’s not forever! Dentists recommend this just for the first few days after treatment because the pores in your teeth remain open and the chemical reaction takes place over the course of a few days.

Whitening treatments can be intimidating, especially if you are not properly informed. It’s important to know the facts when making decisions about your teeth! We want you to have a smile that will make you feel confident. If you have any questions about teeth whitening, contact our office today. We are always here to help!

3 Tips for Teaching Kids About Cavities


Talking to your kids about cavities is very important. But, as with anything else with children, it’s also important to keep it fun. When you make it fun for your kids, they will be more likely to brush and floss without the usual battle. Are you wondering how you can talk to your kids about cavities and good oral hygiene without losing their interest?

We are here to help with some tips for breaking it down so that your kids can better understand the importance of oral hygiene.

1. Use the right words.
Try using words like “sugar bugs” and “mouth monsters” to describe the bacterial villains that cause tooth decay. Pretend it’s a game and tell them that it’s time to battle the monsters. This is especially useful for getting kids to floss–tell them that the only way to win against the sugar bugs is to floss in between the teeth!

2. Make the bathroom visually fun and friendly.
Use brightly colored brushes, walls, towels and a reward system to make hygiene time more appealing and kid friendly. Let them pick out their toothbrush and toothpaste so they are excited to use them. You can even allow them to put the toothpaste on the brush themselves once they are old enough to spit reliably. And, for extra fun, play some music while they brush–find a favorite song that is 2 minutes long (the recommended time for brushing) and brush away.

3. Use charts to show information.
Create charts, posters and homemade pictures in the bathroom that teach them good oral hygiene from early on. Have them decorate the chart by drawing sugar bugs and personalizing it with their own touch.

These are just a few of the many ideas we have to teach your kids the important of proper oral hygiene and how to fight cavities. For more information, please contact our office at Cahill Avenue Dental Office Phone Number 651-451-9101.

Can You Whiten Teeth Naturally?

From powders to pastes, there are many ways people try to whiten their teeth. However, not every recipe we see online truly whitens correctly. It may be tempting to think ingredients in our own kitchens could hold the key to a brighter smile, but just because a method is natural doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, DIY whitening may do more harm than good to your teeth.

With Fruits, like acid packed lemons and apple cider vinegar, you put your pearly whites at risk with prolonged contact. Using baking soda and lemons, for example, to scrub your teeth can wear away your enamel. Enamel is the thin outer coating of your teeth that protects you from tooth sensitivity and cavities. This enamel cannot be grown back, so it is very important to keep it in tip top shape.

With Scrubs like activated charcoal and baking soda mixes you may be using materials that are too abrasive on your teeth! This can end up actually making them look more yellow. Enamel is what you’re looking to whiten, but if you’re using a scrub that is too rough, you can wear it away. When that happens, the next layer of your tooth can become exposed – a softer, yellow tissue that’s called Dentin.

With Spices and Oils, like coconut oil and turmeric, there is really no evidence that these are helpful. Over using coconut oil has potential to be poor for your body, so using these strictly when cooking could be more beneficial than using them to whiten your teeth.

To best ways to whiten your teeth naturally is to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
• Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes
• Use a whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance
• Cleaning between your teeth once a day
• Limiting foods that stain your teeth, like coffee, tea and red wine
• Not smoking or using tobacco
• Regular visits to your dentist for checkups and cleanings

With these steps you should be well on your way to achieving that sparkling smile you are looking for, naturally! Call us today for more info, and to schedule an annual teeth cleaning Cahill Avenue Dental Office Phone Number 651-451-9101

Thumbsucking 101

Got a thumb sucker in your house? Don’t worry – you are far from alone. An average of 3 out of 4 children suck their thumbs or other fingers. This number is high, but not surprising – the act of sucking digits is, in fact, a natural reflex that your baby has been practicing since they were in the womb! There are a lot of misconceptions out there about the dental problems thumb sucking can cause – let’s put those to rest.

Like pacifiers, thumb sucking is a habit used by children to calm and sooth themselves. Children may “self-pacify” for a number of different reasons; anxiety, fear, hunger, and even fatigue. Most often, children are not even aware that they’re doing it. However, not all thumb sucking is created equal.
Should we worry about the effects of thumb sucking on our children’s teeth and oral development?
Of course, there is no simple answer, so of course we have to say yes and no. Thumb sucking can cause problems that range from chapped skin, calluses, nail infection, and speech problems to more serious issues such as problems with the growth and development of the mouth, roof of the mouth, and misalignment of teeth (malocclusion). In other words, there may be restorative dentistry or braces in your child’s future.

Age and intensity are the two biggest factors in determining whether or not to do something about your child’s habit. According to The American Dental Association (ADA), sucking is not generally an issue until after permanent teeth begin to come in, and most children will stop naturally between the ages of two and four.

The intensity of sucking can however overrule the age factor. If your child is aggressively sucking, problems may even occur with their baby teeth. Should you discover calluses on the fingers they suck, this may indicate that they are sucking too intensely. On the flipside, if your child is merely resting their thumb gently in their mouth, you probably don’t need to worry.

When & how to curb the habit:
If your child is not vigorously and intensely sucking and is at preschool age or younger, the best thing to do is ignore the habit. However, if your child continues to suck their thumb beyond the age of four, then it’s recommended that you begin working with your child to curb the habit. Most children often feel embarrassed and actually want to stop once they’ve begun interacting and socializing with peers.

When to start kicking the habit:
If your child…
• Shows embarrassment or asks for help
• Vigorously sucks – if this is the case, it’s recommended to curb the habit earlier
• Develops calluses, chapped/raw skin, or infections
• Begins to develop speech problems (such as lisping, having trouble pronouncing T’s and D’s, or thrusts their tongue when they talk)
• Begins to show developmental issues in the growth of their mouth
• Has teeth that are erupting and are clearly misaligned

It’s very important to keep in mind why children suck their thumbs; for comfort and security. Punishment, shaming, and constant pressure to break the habit can actually do more harmful than helpful. No one knows your child better than you do – have you noticed that they only suck their thumb in certain situations or when they’re feeling a certain way? Before you begin, try to identify and pinpoint a pattern in their thumb sucking behavior and come up with a plan to swap out one habit for another.

Some more tips:
• Do they most often suck their thumb when they’re fatigued? Try increasing the duration of their nap or putting them to bed earlier.
• When they’re hungry? Try carrying a bag of snacks with you and let them munch on something instead of sucking their thumb.
• Boredom or fidgety? Try giving them a squishy stress ball to play with to keep their hands busy.
• Anxious? Try creating a quiet space where they can feel safe and comfortable talking about their anxieties.
• Unless your child is developing skin irritations, infections, or calluses, gloves and band aids to deter sucking can be perceived as a punishment and is not recommended.
• Stick to positive reinforcement – draw attention to and praise them when they’re not sucking.
• Turn it into a game – create a fun atmosphere around kicking the habit. You and your child can craft a fun calendar together that keeps track of how many days they can go without sucking. For each day they don’t, put a gold star on the calendar. Set small attainable goals and celebrate when your child has reached them!

As with any health concern, if the habit becomes a persistent problem or is interfering with daily life, it is highly recommended that you speak with your trusted health care professional. Oral health is of the upmost importance. If you’re concerned about your child’s thumb sucking habit and its effects on their teeth, give Cahill Dental Care a call! You can reach us at Cahill Avenue Dental Office Phone Number 651-451-9101.

Flossing: Absolutely Necessary!

Yes, You Still Have to Floss. No, the dance move “flossing” does not count. The AP recently released an article making the claim that “there’s little proof that flossing works”. Their review cited a series of studies that found flossing does little or nothing to improve oral health. Here’s the problem: the studies were flawed. The AP concluded that floss does little for oral health, but it’s important to note that the evidence they cited was very weak at best. In fact, they said so themselves.

As acknowledged by the AP, many of these studies were extremely short. “Some lasted only two weeks, far too brief for a cavity or dental disease to develop” (Associated Press). They also say that “One tested 25 people after only a single use of floss” (Associated Press).

Of course, the evidence is unreliable. You don’t simply develop gum disease because you forgot to floss yesterday. Cavities and gum disease do not happen overnight. Gum disease is preventable by maintain great oral health habits for a long period of time. Lets put it this way: If a study claims drinking milk does nothing for bone health, but draws conclusions after only three glasses of milk, is it a reliable study?

The fact of the matter is floss removes gunk from teeth. You can see it. Gunk feeds bacteria which leads to plaque, cavities, poor gum health, and eventually gum disease. Floss has the ability to reach the food particles that your brush can’t get to. Using a sawing motion instead of moving up and around the teeth to clean the cracks. Positive results come from correct use and it’s critical that people learn to use a tool properly before discarding it as useless.

That’s just what floss is: a tool. Just like your toothbrush, it is designed to keep your mouth clean, and therefore keep your body safe from infection. Both your toothbrush and floss are designed to do what the other can’t, and both successfully remove bacteria from your mouth. Just like proper brushing technique, it is important that you know how to use floss properly, so that you can reap the long-term health benefits of good oral hygiene.

Oral hygiene is a long-term process and requires long term observations to make worthwhile conclusions. In the meantime, it’s obvious that you should continue to do everything you can to protect your well-being, and floss is one of many tools that can help you do that. If you would like a refresher on the best, most efficient techniques for floss use feel free to call our office today

Your child’s first dental visit

When should your child visit the dentist?

It is recommended that your child’s first dental visit take place around the first birthday.  You might ask why, or assume that your child is too young to visit us. But don’t worry, we are very experienced in treating children of all ages.

What happens at the first dental visit?

We will discuss how to properly care for your baby/toddler’s mouth and what oral habits to watch out for (thumb/finger sucking). We will go over teething milestones and the link between oral health and a proper diet.

What should I expect at the first dental visit?

The visit will be short but sweet. Your child may be nervous (and that is OK, we are ready for it). Our goal is to keep this visit a positive experience. We will complete an exam. We will go over basic oral care. We may or may not actually complete a cleaning. This is a “happy visit” and if you child expresses fear, that’s fine. We will try again next time. We want your child to enjoy the overall experience, laying a good foundation for future visits.

How are we going to accomplish this?

We might have your child in the dental chair if he or she is comfortable.  If the child feels better on your lap, then we will do that instead.  Our main goal is that your child has a positive experience and wants to come back to see us.  Any questions, don’t hesitate to call us. We love children at Cahill Dental and we look forward to seeing you and your little one at their first dental appointment.


What the Fluoride




Fluoride is often called nature’s cavity fighter, and for good reason! Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral, helps prevent cavities by making your enamel more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay.

Before teeth are fully grown, the fluoride taken in from foods and beverages help make tooth enamel stronger. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit. After teeth are grown, fluoride helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. This provides what is called a “topical” benefit.

In addition, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel.

How Do You Get Fluoride?

#1 Drink Water with Fluoride
Fluoride is naturally found in most water sources. For the past 70 years, fluoride has been added to public water supplies to bring fluoride levels up to the amount necessary to help prevent tooth decay. Studies show that water fluoridation continues to help prevent tooth decay by at least 25% in children and adults, even with fluoride available from other sources, such as toothpaste.

#2 Use Toothpaste and Mouthwash with Fluoride
Toothpaste with fluoride has been responsible for a significant drop in cavities since 1960. Make sure to look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to make sure it contains fluoride! Be sure to brush twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by your dentist and physician.
Mouthwash with fluoride can help make your teeth more resistant to decay, by bathing your teeth and creating a topical benefit.

#3 Visit Your Dentist for a Professional Application
If you have a good chance of getting cavities, your dentist can apply fluoride directly to your teeth during your dental visit with a gel, foam or rinse.

These three steps in getting fluoride can help significantly fight against cavities and help keep your teeth strong and long lasting! If you have any more questions about the benefits of fluoride, give us a call today at Cahill Avenue Dental Office Phone Number 651-451-9101 !

All There is to Know About Veneers


Everything about Veneers


If you are looking for a way to freshen up your smile, veneers might the perfect choice for you.! Veneers are usually made from composite resin or porcelain and bonded to your natural. Below are some frequently asked questions veneers and how they can change the look of your smile.

Why do people get veneers?

There are many reasons as to why someone chooses to have veneers. Often people choose to have veneers due to being unhappy with their current smile. Worn, chipped, stained, or cracked teeth are all candidates for veneers.

How long do veneers last?

If you take good care of your veneers, they can last well over a decade. However, depending on the type of wear that you have on your veneers, they may need to be replaced sooner.

It’s important to practice excellent oral care in order to ensure veneers last longer. Also protect your teeth when you can by brushing, flossing, and avoiding excessive teeth grinding. All of these steps will allow your veneers to last longer.

If the veneers become worn or chipped, the veneer will need repaired or replaced.

Will you be able to tell that I have veneers?

Your dentist will take special care to ensure that your veneers match your existing teeth. They will be color matched to your surrounding teeth, making them look as natural as possible.

How much do veneers cost?

Depending on the type of veneer and how many veneers you would like, the price will differ. Contact our office to learn more about veneers pricing and payment plans.

If you are ready to take your smile to the next step or have any additional questions, contact our office to schedule a cosmetic dental consultation. Cahill Avenue Dental Office Phone Number 651-451-9101

Back to School Tips on Keeping Your Teeth Happy and Healthy




Going back to school means the kids are out of the house, but that doesn’t mean dental hygiene has to be put on hold! Here are some great tips to maintain dental hygiene going back to school:

Stay on a routine
No matter how eventful the end of summer is, supervise that children are brushing twice a day for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Simple things like brushing calendars can help everyone stay on track for the coming school year. It is important for families to consistently brush and floss, which keeps kids on track for healthy back-to-school dental visits!

Say no to sugary drinks / snacks
Be sure to watch your family’s intake of lemonade, juice and soda in the warmer months leading up to school. Consider sugary drinks treats to enjoy once in a while, and not very often. Don’t let the summertime relaxation damage your child’s smile. If you find yourself spending more time at home, use this time to snack wisely! Fruit snacks and other gummy foods are high in sugar, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Replace them with healthier options like fresh fruit and vegetables.

What to eat
Some great options to incorporate into your children’s diet that will kick start them for school are options like grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Whole grains like oatmeal, wheat bread, and brown rice are high in fiber and help keep your energy up all day! Lean proteins like poultry and fish have less calories and still pack in the needed vitamins and healthy fats for a balanced diet. You may even think about also incorporating eggs and beans as well! Fruits and veggies are always a great idea! Eating blueberries, broccoli, and even oranges help boost brain function. Eat these throughout the summer and into the school year to set your child up for success.

Water, water, water
You may not know this, but water cleans your mouth with every single sip! It washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria are looking for. It also dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. You’ll still need to brush twice a day for two minutes and clean between your teeth, but drinking water through the day will go a long way toward keeping your smile cavity-free.

With these tips, we know you will shine in the coming school year. You can also set up an appointment with us for any questions you may have! Call us today at Cahill Avenue Dental Office Phone Number 651-451-9101, we would love to hear from you!