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In December, we had three groups of team members join Hope Blooms in putting together flower arrangements for those in our community. Hope Blooms is a non-profit whose focus is “inspiring hope, happiness & emotional healing through repurposed flowers.” They have delivered these flowers to schools, assisted living facilities, and hospice.

We don’t need to reiterate how difficult this past year has been with the pandemic. “It’s really important to lift one another up during these difficult times and as a community, I feel like we do this very well,” Scheduling Coordinator Kaelin said.

Dental Assistant Jacque chooses to volunteer in our community because of how much she cherishes her family. “I want my kids to grow up in a community where people help each other,” she said.

Our team loves to volunteer throughout the year and Saving Smiles encourages the team to give back to the community when they can. “Volunteering is a great way to get to know your community and the people that live there,” Dental Hygienist Kim said. “There is always a need somewhere and donating my time helps to give me a sense of purpose by serving those around me.”

Dental Assistant Lisa agrees that volunteering is important. “There are a lot of health benefits found with those who volunteer and give back,” she said. “I hope the act of kindness becomes contagious.”

Our team chose Hope Blooms because two of our values align with their mission: compassion and community. “I love that Hope Blooms repurposes flowers to show gratitude and beauty to members of our community,” Dental Assistant Kelly said. “It minimizes waste and brightens someone’s day. Win-win!”

Dental Hygienist Allie enjoyed giving back and being able to let her artistic side shine. “I appreciate the concept [of Hope Blooms]….It was fun to be able to be creative in a way I am usually not,” she said. “It is a great way to help brighten people’s day and spread joy.”

The team members who were able to volunteer with Hope Blooms enjoyed bringing beauty and kindness to the community. “It makes me happy when I can help others and brighten their day,” Dental Hygienist Bailee said. “One small act of kindness can make someone’s day, especially if they are feeling down.”

If you have interest in giving back in a safe and fun way, learn more about Hope Blooms here: https://www.hopeblooms.org/.

November is the perfect time to think about all the things we are grateful for, especially after how challenging this year has been. Our team is thankful for the support we get to spend time giving back to our community. The best way for us to show our gratitude is by helping make the world a better place.

Saving Smiles Dentistry became a Marquee Sponsor for the Historic Fargo Theatre this fall. By making a donation, we were able to have our name on the Fargo Theatre Marquee. Our team wanted to help support the survival of this 94-year-old non-profit because we appreciate how they have been able to connect people in our community through film, history and performing arts.

Our assistants recently volunteered with Toothbrush Ministries’ Brush ‘N Learn event. This organization focuses on helping others have basic self-care items. Our team members were able to go into Head-Start programs (fully masked) to help educate youth on oral health. It was important for our team because we know that if these children are educated on dental hygiene when they are young, these habits will follow them into adulthood.

One of our hygienists recently joined the Heart and Soul Community Café in preparing 500 sack lunches to members of our community with food insecurities. Heart and Soul Community Café is a non-profit that serves locally-grown fresh food. This is important to our team because we know how important diet is for oral health.

We also partnered with the United Way in their Live United, Give United campaign last week. We were a match sponsor for their online and drive-thru event. United Way focuses on reducing hunger and homelessness, preparing children to succeed, helping people be independent and lifting people out of poverty.

With Thanksgiving on the horizon and knowing that it will look different from previous years’ holidays, we have continued to remind ourselves just how thankful we are for so many things; especially being a part of our community.

   

The health and safety of our patients and team has always been a top priority. We are closely following the CDC and ADA safety recommendations, as we know how important it is to keep up with your routine dental care.

We recommend that you do not delay your regular dental visits as they provide an essential role in evaluating, diagnosing, preventing and treating oral diseases which can affect your systemic health. Teeth are unable to heal themselves, so if you have a dental problem and it is left untreated, it will become more painful and require more extensive procedures. Your dental hygienist is considered a prevention expert as they will educate you on ways to improve your oral health.

We understand that you may feel anxious about visiting your dental hygienist. We hope to ease your mind as we are taking some additional precautions:

1. We are asking patients and staff members to stay home if they are sick.

2. We are asking patients to check-in from their vehicles to help limit the number of people you may come into contact with while you are here.

3. We are doing temperature checks and have a sanitation station at the door.

4. We are requiring all staff to wear proper PPE and our patients to wear masks.

Please feel free to call our office 701.237.4297 if you have additional questions regarding our safety precautions or visit our website at https://www.savingsmilesdentistry.com/covid-19-response/.

When you think of going to see your dental hygienist, what comes to mind?

Most people think of a teeth cleaning. One of the most important responsibilities of your hygienist is that they are checking the overall health of your mouth.

They do a thorough evaluation of teeth, gums, tongue and bone. Hygienists also take x-rays so they can check for any problems in places that are not easily visible, such as between teeth and under fillings and crowns. They educate about good nutrition and ways to keep your mouth healthy. The cleaning itself involves removing plaque and calculus above and below your gum line, followed by thoroughly polishing and flossing your teeth.

We recommend visiting your hygienist 2-4 times a year. They can help maintain your health and catch any issues before they become bothersome. In turn, this could help you save time and money.

October is National Dental Hygiene Month and our team wanted to share with you a few ways that you can help observe this special month with them:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Change out your toothbrush every 3 months (more often if it is worn or after you have been sick)
  • Use mouthwash once per day

One of our fabulous hygienists, Kim, brought in some fabulous Pumpkin Brownie Muffins and we wanted to share the healthy fall recipe with you!

Pumpkin Brownie Muffins

Nutrition Information:

76 calories, 10 g carbs, 1 g protein, 4 g fat, 1 g fiber, 9 g sugar

Ingredients:

1 box (approximately 18 oz.) chocolate cake mix
1 can 15 oz. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Mix chocolate cake mix, pumpkin puree and ¾ cup of chocolate chips
  3. Line 12 muffin tins
  4. Fill muffin liners with mix
  5. Sprinkle each with chocolate chips (the remaining ¼ cup)
  6. Bake 12-20 minutes
  7. Keep for 2 days or freeze

Take advantage of your dental benefits before they expire!

We know that 2020 has been especially busy and chaotic with the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our patients and their families have had to make adjustments as they have navigated working and learning from home. With all the changes that have occurred, we want to remind you that most dental benefits expire December 31 of each year. Along with your insurance benefits, most FSA accounts are a “use-it-or-lose it” benefit and also expire at the end of the year.

Many patients realize this last minute and our November and December appointment times fill up very quickly. Please call us today to schedule a dental appointment for your next cleaning or any dental treatment that got put on hold with the crazy year!

We’d be happy to help you understand your dental benefits and answer any questions you may have to get your dental needs taken care of before the end of the year!

Let’s face it: cavities are not something any of us want.  They are especially unpleasant for young children who haven’t yet learned to communicate their needs. Many infants end up with what is referred to as “baby bottle decay.”

This condition is commonly found with children who take a bottle to bed with them. If a child sips on juice or milk throughout the night, the sugars from these beverages are broken down by the bacteria in the mouth and produce acids that can destroy the teeth. These bacteria can stay active for up to an hour, which means that if a child takes periodic sips throughout the night, the bacteria are active for an hour after each individual sip.

If caught in the very early stages, cavities can often be treated. However, since the early stages are difficult to see, most childhood decay isn’t realized until later, more serious stages. If left unchecked, these teeth will deteriorate all the way down to the gum line and become infected. Severely decayed teeth would require extraction. If this occurs, children may develop poor eating habits, speech problems and damaged adult teeth.

The best and easiest solution to this problem is to adjust their nighttime beverage to water as it does not contain the sugars that cause the bacteria to be active. It is also recommended to check your child’s mouth regularly and to make a dental appointment if you notice anything unusual.

A denture is an appliance used for replacement of missing teeth. There are different types of dentures that patients can get, different quality levels of dentures and different ways to keep dentures in a person’s mouth.

Before we make a set of removable dentures for a patient, we have a conversation discussing how dentures are different than a person’s natural/original teeth. Most people who get dentures have an adjustment period of a year as removable dentures do not chew like natural teeth and many people must retrain themselves how to eat.

Below we will discuss the two most common ways to replace teeth with dentures:

Traditional Dentures

Traditional dentures are typically the preferred way to make someone a new set of teeth. Traditional dentures tend to provide a better fit with less adjustments and patients like being able to see what the teeth look like prior to finishing the denture.

The biggest downside is they take a little longer to make. Traditional dentures require the patient to be without teeth for 6-8 weeks to allow for adequate healing and bone remodeling post extractions. People who are having their second or third set of dentures made will have their new dentures fabricated this way.

Immediate Dentures

Most people who prefer immediate dentures are transitioning to having dentures for the first time. With this option, the patient will never go without teeth, as the day the natural teeth are removed the immediate dentures are placed.

The immediate dentures depend on the dentist and the lab speculating on how the bone is going to heal after the extraction of the original teeth.  Since the patient is unable to try-in the dentures to ensure proper fit prior to the completion of them, this can cause the dentures to have a poor fit. Normally the lab will have to reline the dentures 9-12 months after having the teeth removed to ensure proper fit.

Even with having dentures, we recommend patients be seen at least every 2 years to check the fit of the dentures and to monitor their gum tissues.

We’re so excited to announce that Dr. Kenny has been selected to be a part of the 2020-21 Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class! 😃 On this blog post, our team interviews Dr. Kenny about why he wanted to be a part of the leadership class.

Saving Smiles Team: Why did you apply for the Chamber Leadership program?

Dr. Kenny: I have always believed being involved in the local community is of the utmost importance. My family has been involved in the Chamber of Commerce back in Sioux City, Iowa (where I am originally from), so I explored the local chamber here in Fargo. I saw the Fargo/Moorhead/West Fargo leadership group online, did some more research on the group and thought the leadership group is exactly what I am looking to be a part of. It seemed like the perfect fit for someone new to the community, like me, to get to know some like-minded local business leaders and to learn about different organizations in the area.

Saving Smiles Team: What are you most excited about for the Chamber Leadership group?

Dr. Kenny: I am the most excited for the opportunity to get to know more people in the greater Fargo area, and hopefully make some new friends. I am also eager to learn about the city of Fargo on a more thorough level. I know locations of the big businesses in town and also the same few restaurants I seem to frequent, but I think with this group I will learn about the smaller organizations/restaurants off the beaten path that really give Fargo its character.

Saving Smiles Team: How do you think the program will benefit you and our team?

Dr. Kenny: I believe the leadership program will benefit me by getting me outside my everyday routine. It will hopefully expand my outlook on the community and increase my knowledge. Along with the increased knowledge and understanding of Fargo/Moorhead/West Fargo, I plan to share this knowledge with our team.

Saving Smiles Team: You have been in Fargo a full year now, what are some things that makes the Fargo area special?

Dr. Kenny: One of the most memorable pieces that Fargo and North Dakota are special for is this never-ending wind and cold winters. Being from the Midwest, I thought I understood wind and cold. However, Fargo comes into a person’s life and you realize that North Dakota is in a different game. Winter in Iowa is like the amateur baseball leagues and North Dakota is the MLB professionals.

The aspect that makes Fargo/Moorhead/West Fargo one of the best places to live are definitely the people. The patients and friends I have met here are some of the best people, they are the most optimistic, well rounded people I have met. After being around these superb people, I proudly tell others that I live in Fargo.

Over the years we have seen teeth broken and lost due to sports injuries. Even traditional non-contact sports such as basketball, baseball, and soccer have caused serious dental injuries to children.  Something as simple as slipping and falling can result in dental injuries. A traumatic dental injury can be life-changing to a child.

As a parent, encouraging your children to wear a mouth guard could save you a lot of money and pain helping your child through an unpleasant experience. Recent studies show that custom-made mouth guards with bilaminate material (2 thin plates), offer the best protection against broken and knocked out teeth, soft tissue lacerations and concussions.  Almost every sport offers some level of risk to the mouth that a mouth guard can help protect against.

Our mouth guards provide a more comfortable, less bulky fit and better protection when compared to generic “boil and bite” options available in sporting stores, as they are made with the bilaminate material. Not only will your kids protect their teeth but they will be able to choose from a selection of colors!

For your convenience, the custom-fitted mouth guards are made right at our office and only cost $40. These guards only require a quick 10-minute appointment for our team to take your child’s impression and are usually ready for pick-up in just a couple of days. Please call us today to get your child’s 10-minute appointment scheduled!

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