As we dive into 2020, most of us are starting to think about our New Year’s Resolutions. A good number of us are focusing our goals this year on trying to be happier and healthier. Have you considered your oral health to be an important part of that goal?

Floss and Brush for 2 Minutes, Twice Daily

Brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing once a day is instrumental in keeping yourself healthy. This protects your teeth from decay and gum disease. Only flossing can remove the plaque that builds between teeth and below the gum line. Diseases of the mouth can affect the rest of your body; i.e. gum disease can be linked to diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even premature births.

Drink More Water

We have all heard that we should drink 8 8-ounce glasses of water each day. It is common knowledge that it aids in weight loss, helps prevent kidney damage and delivers oxygen throughout the body. People tend to forget that it has benefits for your oral health as well. Drinking water, especially with fluoride, is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to prevent cavities as it washes away left over food and residue that cause decay. It also dilutes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth that wears away enamel which can lead to decay.

Conquer Your Dental Anxiety

Seventy-five percent of adults in the United States are estimated to suffer from some form of dental anxiety. In some cases, this means that people are not visiting their dental office twice a year as recommended. We suggest twice a year because it allows the dentist to monitor oral health, which can help prevent any dental health problems before they cause discomfort or require more comprehensive or expensive treatment. Take the first step and make an appointment for a cleaning. This will be a great introduction to the team at our office and we are excited to help you achieve better oral health!


Smiling at another person releases endorphins in your brain. Endorphins are chemicals produced by the body to relieve stress and pain. This can lead to an increase in your own self-esteem as well as helping others feel better about themselves. By smiling at others, you will ignite a positive environment. Which in turn, will make you want to take better care of yourself and will help you to focus on your smile. By focusing on your smile, it will be easier to follow each and every one of these steps to achieve greater oral health in 2020!

If you had an appointment in November or December, we want to thank you for your patience with our construction zone, especially while in the waiting room! We were able to modify our existing layout to create an additional operatory that allows Dr. Johnson and Dr. Kenny to treat more of our patients each day.

A big shout out to Olaf Anderson, our Henry Schein Dental team, Jessica Watcher Art for the beautiful piece of art and of course Dan Francis Photography for the photos! We hope to see you soon and that you get to experience our new space!

Dr. Johnson has always shared his love for Star Wars with others. That is why he again reserved an entire theater for the premiere night of the latest Star Wars movie, The Rise of Skywalker. He invited the team, his friends, family, patients, colleagues, those involved in the Big Brother Big Sister program and other ticket winners to enjoy the first showing of the movie on the Ultra Screen. His son James was finally old enough to attend this year!

Some attendees dressed as Star Wars characters and Dr. Johnson even rocked his R2D2 suit jacket. Dr. Johnson said that this was definitely his favorite of the latest movies, so he was very glad to be one of the first to see it! Until the next Star Wars event – May the Force be with you!

Our Christmas party was so much fun this year! 🎄 We had a photo booth, ate, played games (including spit on your neighbor and heads or tails) and had a white elephant exchange. So many laughs and such a great time!

Topping the list of white elephant gifts included a screaming goat, a stocking wine purse, a creepy doll, a bad floral arrangement and a toilet paper gun! We can’t wait until next year to see what white elephant gifts make it back to the party!

Kudos to the Crooked Pint for their hospitality! 😀

We are so excited to have Nancy join the Saving Smiles team!

Nancy has been a Registered Dental Assistant for 35 years. She graduated from NDSCS in Wahpeton, but has lived most of her life in the Valley City area. She is excited to be living in Fargo closer to her grown daughters and their families.

Nancy enjoys trying new recipes, going to the gym, taking her dog for walks and spending time outside when the weather is warm. Her favorite parts of being a Registered Dental Assistant are getting to know patients of all ages, being a part of a dental team and continually learning new advancements in the dental field.

We had SO much fun helping The Great North Pole make the holidays a time of laughter and love for the nearly 900 families they will be serving this year! 😀💙🎄 Liz and Danielle “shopped” 🎁 for families, Danielle, Jacque and Allie spent time helping dispatch deliveries to families and Dr. Johnson and his family got to “play” Santa and actually deliver goods to families! 🎅

The Great North Pole is a 100% volunteer run organization serving Cass and Clay counties. During the 2019 “Week of Giving”, they had over 1750 volunteer opportunities! Learn more about The Great North Pole and how you can get involved with the amazing things they are doing for our community by checking out their website: https://www.thegreatnorthpole.org.



Earlier this summer we explained what a crown is and why it might needed. For Dr. Johnson and Dr. Kenny to create a great fitting crown, extra steps are required. Here is what to expect when you come in for those appointments:

First, the assistant will take a mold of your tooth before any work is done. This mold will allow your temporary crown to be made. If the tooth is broken, don’t worry! We have pre-made crowns on hand, but our assistants can really work some magic to create a great temporary crown even if the tooth is broken. The assistant will also take this time to review your medical history, the treatment plan and take a blood pressure reading before the doctor comes in. The doctor will get that tooth numb, just like they do for fillings.

Next, the doctor will trim down the top and sides of the tooth to allow enough space for the lab to fabricate a crown to fit properly over your existing tooth. Depending on why your tooth needs the crown, the doctor may need to do what is called a build-up. This means material is being added back to the tooth to have enough solid structure for the crown to be cemented on. After the doctor is happy with the shape of the tooth, he will place some special cord just under the gum line. You may feel some pressure while the cord is being placed, but this insures a great impression for the lab and will be removed after the impression is completed.

The impression is up next. This is what the lab needs to make the crown custom-fit to your mouth. Thankfully we can utilize our scanner to take these impressions digitally and send the scans directly to the lab. At this point the doctor is done! The assistant will take over and make your temporary crown and go over any necessary after-care instructions.

When you return for the permanent crown, it is typically a much shorter appointment. Best of all, rarely does the doctor need to numb up the tooth! The assistant will remove the temporary crown and try in the permanent crown. The doctor will check it over making sure the fit is perfect before cementing it into place. We recommend nothing to eat or drink for 1 hour after your appointment, but then you’re good to use it like a regular tooth!

With the holidays just around the corner we can’t help but think of all the delicious foods that go along with these fun gatherings. Many of the traditional dishes are high in sugar but this Cauliflower Stuffing recipe from www.foodfaithfitness.com is a great alternative to lighten up the meal:


1 ½ tbsp olive oil

1 c. diced onion (about half a large onion)

1 c. chopped celery

1 ½ tbsp mince garlic

6 c. cauliflower, cut into small, bite-sized florets

2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced, plus additional for garnish

1 tsp poultry seasoning

½ tsp ground sage

½ tsp sea salt, plus more to taste

½ tsp black pepper, to taste

½ c. low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth


1) Heat olive oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add in the onion, celery and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is golden brown and tender, about 8 minutes.

2) Reduce heat to medium and stir in cauliflower. Cook until the cauliflower just begins to soften and brown, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.

3) Add in the parsley, poultry seasoning, sage, salt and pepper and cook one minute.

4) Stir in the broth, cover and cook until the cauliflower is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

5) Season with salt if needed, garnish with additional parsley and enjoy!

Find the full recipe here: https://www.foodfaithfitness.com/cauliflower-low-carb-paleo-vegan-stuffing/


This year we went all out in preparation for Halloween!

Our Patient Care Coordinator, Nicki, used her mad crafting skills and made custom pumpkins to greet our patients in the waiting room!

“Fangs” for Your Visit, Trick or Teeth and Will Clean Teeth for Candy were our favorites! 👍

We also created a “Super Tooth Fairy” for the Cook Endodontics pumpkin contest! 🎃


And…..we had a costume contest for our team! There were so many great costumes, but Allie, one of our Hygienists, won (by Facebook vote) with her “Operation” costume (bottom right picture)!

Did you know that babies are at risk of getting cavities while they’re still using a bottle? Unfortunately, there is a type of cavity commonly seen in dental offices called “baby bottle decay” and occurs when the teeth are exposed to frequent sugary liquids. As a parent you want to do what’s best for your child and may not realize that milk, formula and juices are all hidden sources of sugar that can cause damage to those brand new teeth.

It is recommended to never put a young child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup with anything other than plain water. While asleep, the body produces less saliva so when exposed to liquids with right before bed or after they’ve laid down for a nap or for the night offers the perfect time for cavities to begin forming on teeth.

Get your infant used to their mouth getting cleaned by wiping the gums with a warm washcloth. As soon as teeth erupt introduce brushing with a kid-size toothbrush and small circular motions on the teeth. Before the child is old enough to spit you can use a fluoride-free toothpaste but make the switch to fluoride toothpaste as soon as you trust they won’t swallow the extra toothpaste.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s teeth please don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Johnson, Dr. Kenny or the Saving Smiles Dentistry team.

Call Us Now