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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!

Last week we were able to take an afternoon before the long 4th of July weekend and gather as a team to celebrate the long hours and extra procedures it has taken to keep our team and patients safe over the last two months!

We decorated cookies from Indulgence Baking Co., tested out many tie dye techniques and were able to just take a breath and relax!

The fun event along with a 4-day holiday weekend has us rested and ready to finish out the summer while still navigating the additional safety procedures to protect our team and patients from COVID-19!

 

Did you know that brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing once a day is instrumental in keeping yourself healthy?

While many things in your schedule probably look different than they did a couple of months ago, not everything has to. Keeping up with your oral hygiene is very important! Brushing and flossing regularly help prevent your teeth from decaying and you from developing gum disease. Flossing helps in addition to brushing by removing the plaque that builds between teeth and below the gum line. Diseases of the mouth can affect the rest of your body and your overall health; i.e. gum disease can be linked to diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even premature births.

Please don’t forget to take the 2️⃣ minutes, twice daily to BRUSH and FLOSS!

Thanks to Jenna from Memories By Meyers for creating this tracker for us! Please feel free to print and share the tracker with anyone that might need a little boost in remembering to brush and floss. You could even have a little fun competition for everyone in your house to see who can finish the tracker first!

 

 

We have now been open for over a month after our COVID-19 related closure! We are so excited to be back helping our patients with their dental care!

For those with upcoming appointments, we wanted to give an idea of what to expect at your next visit:

PATIENTS

  • We will be contacting every patient prior to their scheduled appointment to confirm their appointment and to complete a COVID-19 screening. We will be rescheduling those patients with concerning symptoms, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
  • We ask that patients do not bring anyone else with them to their appointments, unless absolutely necessary.
  • Once patients arrive for their appointment, they will wait in their vehicle and call or text us to let us know they have arrived.
  • A team member will come out to the patient’s vehicle to take their temperature with an infrared thermometer. Patients with a temperature of 100.4 or above will be asked to reschedule their appointment. Patients with a temperature below 100.4 will be given a COVID-19 screening form to complete similar to the pre-screening questions they were previously asked over the phone.
  • Once we are ready for the patient, we will contact them to come in.
  • We encourage patients to wear masks as they are escorted in and out of our office.
  • Patients will use hand sanitizer upon entry and exit of the facility.

 

PROVIDERS & TEAM MEMBERS

  • All hygienists, assistants and doctors will have additional protective gear for certain procedures including N95 masks, eye wear, face shields, etc. and non-clinical team members will have masks.
  • All team members will both be asked the same screening questions as patients and have their temperatures taken daily as they arrive to work.
  • Additional surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected between patient visits.

 

If you have any questions about our additional protocols and processes, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

📱 701.237.4297 (call or text)
📧 info@savingsmilesdentistry.com

 

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