Top 9 Foods That Damage Your Teeth

You Would Be Surprised What’s On the Bad Food List

What you eat can seriously impact your oral health and damage your teeth. Some of the foods on our list are pretty obvious – most of us have learned that chewing ice can chip or crack our teeth – but others are rather surprising.

Hard candies are hard on teeth

MH_hardcandyWhile these hard candies seem harmless, eat too many and the constant exposure to sugar can be harmful to your teeth. Hard candies also put your teeth at risk because in addition to being full of sugar, they can also trigger a dental emergency such as a broken or chipped tooth. Better alternative? Chew sugarless gum.


Ice is for chilling, not chewing

MH_ice_480x360You’d be surprised at how many people think ice is good for their teeth. It’s made of water, after all, and doesn’t contain any sugar or other additives. But chewing on hard substances can leave your teeth vulnerable to a dental emergency and damage enamel. Advice: Break the habit and enjoy water in its liquid form.


Watch your citrus intake

MH_citrusfruitThe truth is that frequent exposures to acidic foods can erode enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay over time. So even though a squeeze of lemon or lime can turn a simple glass of water into a fun beverage, it’s not always the best choice for your mouth. Citric fruits and juices can also irritate mouth sores. Make sure to drink plenty of plain water.

Not all coffee is good for you

MH_coffeeIn their natural form, coffee and tea can be healthy beverage choices. Unfortunately too many people can’t resist adding sugar. Caffeinated coffee and tea can also dry out your mouth. Frequent drinks of coffee and tea may also stain your teeth. If you do consume, make sure to drink plenty of water and try to keep the add-ons to a minimum.

Sticky foods are your mouth’s worst nightmare

MH_StickyFoodsWhen it comes to picking healthy snacks, many people put dried fruit at the top of the list. But many dried fruits are sticky. Sticky foods can damage your teeth since they tend to stay on the teeth longer than other types of food. If you find yourself eating dried fruits or trail mix often, make sure to rinse with water after and to brush and floss carefully.

Beware of things that go “crunch”


Who doesn’t love the nice, satisfying crunch of a potato chip? Unfortunately potato chips are filled with starch, which tends to get trapped in your teeth. If you choose to indulge in snacks like these, take extra care when you floss that day to remove all the food particles that can lead to plaque build-up.


Swap out soda with water

MH_sodaWhen you eat sugary foods or sip sugary drinks for long periods of time, plaque bacteria use that sugar to produce acids that attack your enamel, the hard surface of your tooth. Most carbonated soft drinks, including diet soda, are acidic and therefore, bad for your teeth. Caffeinated beverages, such as colas can also dry out your mouth. If you do consume soft drinks, try to drink alongside a cup of water

 Limit alcohol consumption

MH_alcoholAlcohol causes dehydration and dry mouth. People who drink excessively may find their saliva flow is reduced over time, which can lead to tooth decay and other oral infections such as gum disease. Heavy alcohol use also increases your risk for mouth cancer.


Watch out for sports drinks

MH_sports-drink_480x360They sound healthy, don’t they? But for many sports and energy drinks, sugar is a top ingredient. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, while sports drinks can be helpful for young athletes engaged in prolonged, vigorous physical activities, in most cases they are unnecessary. Before your next sip, check the label to make sure your drink of choice is low in sugar. Not sure? Drink water instead!

SOURCE: American Dental Association

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Easter Egg Hunts and Kids’ Activities in the Twin Cities

We’ve Discovered Lots of Fun April Activities for Kids

If you’re looking for fun and inexpensive (or free) activities during April for your kids in the Twin Cities, check out this list of dozens of Easter egg hunts, kids’ petting zoos, photos with the Easter Bunny, and fun craft projects at events from Woodbury to Shakopee, from White Bear Lake to Rosemount. We thought our readers might appreciate a central resource this Easter egg easter eggshunting season, so we did a little research. We’ve even included links to the event websites if you need additional information. Enjoy. And by the way, add a comment with an Easter-related photo on our Facebook page post about Easter Egg Hunts and you could win a $25 gift card to Toys ‘R Us. We’re randomly giving away four of the gift cards to people who post Easter photos on our Facebook page. So start taking those pictures and posting!

Be sure to share a link to this great resource with friends, family, neighbors and coworkers!

Apple Valley – Minnesota Zoo

Month of April

Stop by the Minnesota Zoo’s Wells Fargo Family Farm and enjoy the sights and sounds of spring at the Farm Babies celebration. Lots of activities for kids all month and there’s nothing cuter than baby chicks, piglets, lambs, calves, goat kids, and bunnies.

Bloomington – Mall of America

Month of April

You can get a photo with the Easter Bunny or go on an egg hunt at MOA for prizes. Hop on over to West Market Square near the West entrance to Nickelodeon Universe to visit the Easter Bunny! Children will also receive a special treat from PEEPS & Company during their visit.

You can also swing by PEEPS & Company (Level 1, West) and pick up your Easter Egg Hunt activity sheet. Search throughout the Mall to find at least half of all of the eggs and you’ll receive a free pack or PEEPS! Find all of the eggs and receive a free PEEPS Storybook ($10 value). Enter your completed activity sheet for your chance to win one of several great prizes from participating retailers!

easter bunny costumesBloomington Optimists Club

April 19 – 11 a.m. (exactly). Normandale Lake Park (NW corner of 84th Street and Normandale Ave. in Bloomington)

There will be extra eggs for all who come. Fun Walk sponsored by the City of Bloomington starts at 9:30 a.m. Come see the Giant Easter Bunny, Prizes, Live Music and More. Entertainment at the bandshell.

Deephaven – Cottagewood General Store

April 19 at 10 a.m.. 20280 Cottagewood Avenue, Deephaven, MN

Kids of all ages search neighborhood yards and parks to collect their share of eggs, including the elusive Golden Eggs filled with cash and prizes. After all the eggs have been found participants gather in Children’s Park where they can compare hunt experiences, enjoy the fruits of the hunt and work off some of that sugar in a giant inflatable. The Easter Bunny will be on hand for pictures. There will be face painting, live bunnies and the chance to show off your Easter bonnet. Additional items will be available for purchase outside the Cottagewood General Store.

Eagan – Crown of Life Lutheran Church and School

April 19 at 10:30 a.m.. 4150 Pilot Knob Rd, Eagan, MN

Community Easter Egg Hunt. Ages 3-9. Includes an Easter Egg Hunt, crafts and games for the children, and bagels for all. Cost is free, but if you want to bring some canned goods for the local food shelf we will add them to our food drive.

Lake Elmo Jaycees

April 19 at noon. Lions Park Playground. 3535 Laverne Ave No, Lake Elmo, MN

Egg hunt starts at noon. Egg decorating in the Fire Hall after. Easter bunny, face painting, arts and crafts.

Maple Grove – Passion Church

April 20, starting at 8:30 a.m.. Maple Grove Senior High School: 9800 Fernbrook Lane North, Maple Grove, MN 55369

Passion Church hosts the Twin Cities’ largest and most successful Easter Egg Hunt. Our Kids Ministry will have 50,000 colorful, candy-filled plastic eggs ready for your children at the Maple Grove Senior High School. Three Egg Hunt/Worship Experience Times to choose from: 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. While kids are enjoying the Egg Hunt, all parents (& anyone over 12) will join us for our Easter Worship Experience with live music and a powerful message in the main auditorium. We offer FREE pics with a friendly Easter bunny. Multiple egg hunts are conducted with age appropriate candy and “NO PEANUTS”.

Minneapolis Parks and Recreation

April 19, multiple locations and times

Hop on down to a Minneapolis park this spring for egg hunts and bunny parties. Events are geared for all ages, so bring the family, enjoy the festivities with your neighbors and celebrate spring’s arrival. There are 10 different locations this year.

Oakdale Nature Preserve

April 19, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.. Cost: $11 per person; register by April 11

easter-bunny-2The Easter Bunny has hidden eggs along the trails of the Oakdale Nature Preserve. Find an egg, turn it in, and receive a special prize! Plus there are two golden eggs hidden that if found, yield extra special suprises. After hunting for eggs, enjoy games, crafts, face painting, treats, petting zoo, door prizes and a bounce castle.{A41EA009-3944-4E2D-AACC-17D3631765D3}&DE={E6E5F6ED-C21E-47F8-920E-6DBBD1D7B879}

St. Louis Park Lion’s Club

April 19, check-in at 10 a.m., egg hunt starts promptly at 10:15 a.m.. St. Louis Park Middle School, 2025 Texas Ave. S., St. Louis Park, MN

$2 per child (no fee for supervising adult). Ages 3 – 8 (with accompanying adult)

Have a hoppin’ good time hunting for eggs and enjoying fun entertainment in the Park. Prizes will be awarded for the Egg Hunt Coloring Contest, judged by the Lions Club. Pick up your coloring sheet at The Rec Center or have one mailed by calling (952) 924-2540. Special bags will be given to each registrant to collect eggs. Bring a camera for photos with the Lions Club Lion. Different areas will be set up for different age groups during the hunt.

 Saint Paul – James J. Hill House

April 19, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.. Fee: $6 (for all ages); $2 discount for MNHS members.

Celebrate spring at the James J. Hill House with an outdoor egg hunt on the lawn. The hunt is for children ages 2-7. Participants can win prizes, enjoy a small snack, hear stories and look around the first floor of the elegant Gilded Age home.

Three Rivers Park District – Suburban Twin Cities

Mid-April, multiple locations and times

Celebrate spring with “eggciting” events throughout the metro area. Whether it’s hunting for hidden eggs along a wooded trail, meeting live animals, or enjoying a Victorian Easter Egg Roll at The Landing, Three Rivers has a spring holiday event you and your loved ones can enjoy!

White Bear Lake – First Lutheran Church

April 19 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 4000 Linden St., White Bear Lake, MN 55110

The Easter Egg Hunt is a free family event! Come celebrate Jesus with us with games, prizes, a DJ, an inflatable bouncer, fun, and lots and lots of candy-filled Easter eggs! Bags to hold your Easter Eggs will be provided to you at the door. All are welcome! Bring your friends!

Easter Egg Hunt Times:

10:20 a.m. – 12 to 24 months

10:30 a.m.  – 2 and 3 years

10:40 a.m.  – 4 and 5 years

10:50 a.m.  – Kindergarten

11:00 a.m. – 1st and 2nd Grades

11:10 a.m. – 3rd and 4th Grades

11:20 a.m. – 5th and 6th Grades


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Is Mouthwash Really Effective Battling Bad Breath?

The Answer is In The Type of Mouthwash You Use

Does mouthwash work effectively to battle bad breath? And can it do more than just make your breath sweeter smelling? In this week’s blog, Personal Care Dentistry answers many of your questions about mouthwashes.

mouthwash 2Bad breath comes from bacteria that cause dental plaque and release volatile sulfur compounds, which create a foul-smelling odor. Most mouthwashes are developed to either reduce the amount of bacteria or neutralize the compounds themselves, temporarily covering the odor until they build back up again.

But regular use of a mouthwash can also help your oral health by reducing plaque, gingivitis, tartar and cavities.

What ingredients are commonly found in mouthwash?

Basic ingredients include water, alcohol, cleansing agents, flavoring ingredients and coloring agents. Active ingredients vary depending on the type of mouthwash, but they can be placed into four general groups:

  • Antimicrobial agents act directly on oral bacteria to help reduce plaque, decrease the severity of gingivitis and control bad breath.
  • Fluoride helps reduce tiny lesions (tooth decay) on tooth enamel and make teeth more resistant to decay.
  • Astringent salts can serve as temporary deodorizers that mask bad breath.
  • Odor neutralizers act by chemically inactivating odor causing compounds.

What’s the difference between cosmetic and therapeutic mouthwashes?

Cosmetic mouthwashes may temporarily control or reduce bad breath and leave the mouth with a pleasant taste. But they don’t deal with the causes of bad breath. They don’t kill the bacteria that cause bad breath or chemically inactivate odor causing compounds. Also, none of the cosmetic mouthwashes helps reduce plaque, gingivitis or cavities.

Therapeutic mouthwashes, on the other hand, can help fight bad breath AND help prevent or control tooth decay; reduce plaque (a thin film of bacteria that forms on teeth); prevent or reduce gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease); reduce the speed that tartar (hardened plaque) forms on the teeth; or produce a combination of these effects.

Can a mouthwash truly eliminate bad breath?

Therapeutic mouthwashes can help reduce bad breath. However, if you must constantly use a mouthwash or breath freshener to hide unpleasant mouth odor, you probably have halitosis (chronic bad breath). Halitosis is often the result of another problem like tooth decay, gum disease, dry mouth, sinus or stomach conditions, as well as medical or dental problems that affect the mouth. What should you do if you have halitosis? See your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry – they can diagnose and treat bad breath and help you keep it from returning in the future.

Should I brush, floss or rinse first?

The sequence in which you brush, floss and rinse makes no difference as long as you do a thorough job and use quality products.

Why look for mouthwash brands that display the American Dental Association Seal?

The Seal is your assurance that the product has been evaluated by an independent body of scientific experts, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, for safety and effectiveness.

SOURCES: American Dental Association and 1-800-DENTIST



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The Facts About Flouride

Fluoride is the Single Most Effective Public Health Measure to Prevent Tooth Decay

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral compound found in water and soil. It is also present in foods and beverages at varying concentrations. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the entire tooth surface more resistant to acid attacks from the bacteria that live in the plaque on your teeth. Fluoride also promotes remineralization (adding minerals such as calcium back in to your teeth), which aids in repairing early decay before a cavity (hole) forms in the tooth. There are two ways to increase fluoride protection: topical and systemic applications.

tootpaste photoWhat is topical fluoride?

Topical fluoride is applied directly to and absorbed by the surface of the teeth. It is found in personal oral hygiene products such as toothpastes and mouth rinses, which contain a safe and effective concentration of fluoride to fight tooth decay. These products are rinsed from the mouth without swallowing.

Professionally administered topical fluorides such as foams, gels or varnishes are applied by the hygienists at Personal Care Dentistry and left on for a few minutes, usually during a cleaning treatment. For patients with a high risk of cavities, the dentist may prescribe a special gel or toothpaste for daily home use.

What is systemic fluoride?

Systemic fluoride is taken into the body through consuming fluoridated water, fluoride supplements or foods and beverages. Once systemic fluoride is absorbed via the gastrointestinal tract, the blood distributes it throughout the entire body. Fluoride is then deposited into unerupted, developing teeth. Systemic fluoride is also found in saliva and it continually bathes the teeth, providing a topical application to protect teeth.

How do I know if my toothpaste contains fluoride?

Check the label on your toothpaste to see if fluoride is an ingredient. You should also check for the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Approval to ensure that your toothpaste contains the proper amount of fluoride. If it’s not fluoridated, consider switching.

What is fluoridated water?

Water fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride levels in the community water supply to the optimum level to protect oral health. By simply drinking tap water in communities with a fluoridated water supply, people can benefit from fluoride’s protection from decay. Research for the past 60 years has shown community water fluoridation to be safe and the single most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay in adults and children. Water fluoridation is endorsed by nearly every major national and international health organization including the American Dental Association, American Medical Association, World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

How do I find out if the water in my community is fluoridated?

The easiest and most accurate way to find out is to contact your local water company and ask. The CDC web site also has a page “My Water’s Fluoride” ( that allows consumers to learn the fluoridation status of their water system.

What if I drink mostly bottled water?

If most of your water comes in the form of bottled water, you are missing out on the valuable fluoride found in tap water, which helps to protect teeth from cavities. In most cases, the fluoride concentrations in bottled water (even in some that are fluoridated) fall below the U.S. government’s recommended range of 0.7-1.2 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride, the ideal range to prevent cavities. If you drink mostly bottled water, you should talk to the dentists or hygienists at Personal Care Dentistry about fluoride supplements (tablets or drops), fluoride mouth rinses and topical fluoride gels.

Are children more sensitive to fluoride?

Fluoride is absorbed easily into tooth enamel, especially in children’s developing teeth. In young children, excess fluoride intake can cause dental fluorosis, typically a harmless cosmetic discoloring or mottling of the enamel, visible as chalky white specks and lines or pitted and brown stained enamel on teeth.

Parents should monitor the use of toothpaste, mouth rinses and fluoride supplements in young children to ensure they are not ingesting too much. Check with Personal Care Dentistry on the proper amount of toothpaste to use or the proper dosage of a fluoride supplement.

If you are concerned about the fluoride levels in your drinking water, call the local public water department or your water supplier. If the source is a private well, request a fluoride content analysis from your local or county health department to ensure that the fluoride levels are within the proper range.

SOURCE: Delta Dental


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What’s The Difference Between a Dental Hygienist and a Dental Assistant?

Who Takes Chemistry and Microbiology Classes in College?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a dental hygienist and a dental assistant? Or what education they complete to be licensed in their field? Well, read on, because we have answers to those questions in today’s blog.

Dental Hygienists

PDC Proofs for Web-12Dental hygienists in Minnesota have to complete at least 90 credit hours at a community college or university to be licensed in their specialty. They take a wide range of classes during the minimum two-year programs that they enroll in, including classes in chemistry, microbiology, anatomy, physiology and nutrition. When they graduate, they are awarded an associate’s degree. Some hygienists take a three-year program at the University of Minnesota that leads to a bachelor’s degree. In both approaches, dental hygiene students gain valuable experience with extensive hours as interns working in dental settings on actual patients.

Dental hygienists are skilled in preventing diseases such as dental caries (cavities), periodontal (gum) disease and oral cancer through education and treatment. They work together with the dentists in their office to meet the oral health care needs of their patients. Areas that dental hygienists focus on are:

  • Assessing patients’ teeth and gums
  • Recording the presence of diseases or abnormalities
  • Removing calculus and plaque (hard and soft deposits) from all surfaces of the teeth
  • Teaching patients how to practice good oral hygiene
  • Taking x-rays and developing film
  • Applying cavity-preventative agents such as fluorides and pit and fissure sealants

Dental Assistants

Dental assistants play a key role in dental offices. Their training that leads to licensure as a dental assistant generally follows two routes: they take approximately 47 college credits to earn a diploma in dental assisting or more than 70 credits to earn an associate of applied science in dental assisting degree. They take a range of classes, including chairside assisting, dental materials, and dental science. They also work as interns in a dental setting for additional training.

Once they begin working in a dental practice alongside a dentist, their patient care work includes:

  • Handling instruments and operating dental equipment
  • Sterilizing instruments and equipment
  • Taking dental x-rays and processing the film
  • Removing sutures
  • Applying topical anesthetics to gums or cavity-preventive agents to teeth
  • Placing rubber dams on the teeth to isolate them for individual treatment

In addition, many dental assistants are often also involved in office-related tasks such as scheduling and confirming appointments, maintaining treatment records, handling patient payments and ordering supplies and other materials.


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Don’t Let Finances Stop Good Oral Health

You Have Payment Options at Personal Care Dentistry

With or without insurance, you can easily obtain the dental care you need today! Finances should not have to come between you and your dental health.  However, we understand that even if you have dental insurance, some treatments can result in out-of-pocket dental expenses. Dental treatment can be even more difficult for patients who lack dental insurance.

dollar signsThat is why we offer a variety of payment and financing options. As a courtesy, we file dental claims for our patients who have dental insurance, and we even have financial options for those who do not have insurance. Here are some of the options available:

Quality Dental Plan

Knowing that traditional dental insurance premiums are expensive, and that insurance benefits are extremely limited, we have partnered with Quality Dental Plan to create a comprehensive and customized membership program that will cover all of your preventive care, like cleanings, x-rays and exams, at 100% in our practice. And QDP members also receive valuable benefits on restorative care, like fillings, crowns and implants…even cosmetic dentistry! In today’s economy, we know that paying out of pocket can be prohibitively expensive, so we have forged this alliance to ensure that our patients have the kind of dental benefits they want and need.

Insurance Plans

Personal Care Dentistry accepts most plans offered by the following dental insurance providers:

  • Cigna
  • Aetna
  • GEHA
  • Health partners
  • MetLife
  • Delta Dental
  • Premier Dental Group
  • United Concordia
  • DenteMax
  • Humana
  • Guardian

NOTE: This is only a partial list.  Please call us to discuss you insurance coverage and how Personal Care Dentistry can assist you.

Easy Financing Options

We also are pleased to offer financing opportunities through the health services credit cards CareCredit and Chase Bank Healthcare Finance. CareCredit is a personal line of credit that can be used for various healthcare treatments and procedures- not just dentistry. CareCredit offers no-interest financing to qualified applicants, and payment plans with low, fixed interest rates. Call us or visit the CareCredit website to learn more. Credit applications for either of these health services credit options are quick and easy to complete. Simply fill out the application and we will call it in for you. Call us at 651-964-3711 or visit the CareCredit website for complete offer details.

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Flossing Doesn’t Have to Be Your Enemy

Flossing Teeth: No More Excuses!

Do you floss? Or, like many people, do you always seem to find a reason not to? A 2008 survey found that only 49% of Americans floss daily, and 10% never floss. That’s most unfortunate, because flossing is even more important than brushing when it comes to preventing periodontal (gum) disease and tooth loss.

The list of excuses for not flossing are varied and many. But for every excuse, there is a simple workaround that can help you consistently floss and enjoy better oral health.

flossExcuse #1: Food doesn’t get caught between my teeth, so I don’t need to floss.

Flossing isn’t so much about removing food debris as it is about removing dental plaque, the complex bacterial ecosystem that forms on tooth surfaces between cleanings. Plaque is what causes tooth decay, inflamed gums (gingivitis), periodontal disease, and eventually tooth loss. Flossing or using an interdental cleaner is the only effective way to remove plaque between teeth.

 Excuse #2: I don’t know how to floss.

Flossing isn’t easy. In fact, it’s often considered the  most difficult personal grooming activity there is. But practice makes perfect. Here’s a great primer on how to floss from the American Dental Association:

  • Start with about 18 inches of floss. Wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand, the rest around the other middle finger.
  • Grasp the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers, and use a gentle shoeshine motion to guide it between teeth.
  • When the floss reaches the gum line, form a C shape to follow the contours of the tooth.
  • Hold the floss firmly against the tooth, and move the floss gently up and down.
  • Repeat with the other tooth, and then repeat the entire process with the rest of your teeth, “unspooling” fresh sections of floss as you go along.

Don’t forget to floss the backs of your last molars. By far, most gum disease and most decay occurs in the back teeth.

Excuse #3: I’m not coordinated enough to floss.

Many tooth-cleaning options exist for people whose manual dexterity is compromised by poor coordination, hand pain, paralysis, and amputations — or simply by fingers that are too big to fit inside the mouth.

floss toolsOne option is to use floss holders. These disposable plastic Y-shaped devices (some equipped with a spool of floss) hold a span of floss between two prongs to allow one-handed use. Another option is to forgo floss and clean between teeth using disposable toothpick-like dental stimulators (Stim-U-Dents, Soft-Picks, and so on); narrow spiral brushes (interproximal brushes); or the conical rubber nubs (tip stimulators) found at the end of many toothbrushes or mounted on their own handles.

 Excuse #4: I don’t have time to floss.

Effective flossing does take a while — once a day for several minutes is recommended. But even 60 seconds of flossing is of enormous benefit. As with exercise, bathing, and other daily activities, the key is to make flossing a habit. Keep floss in plain view, alongside your toothbrush and toothpaste. If you’re too tired to floss before bed, floss in the morning or afternoon. Or keep floss on hand and use it when you find the time.

Excuse #5: It hurts when I floss.

If flossing causes gum pain or bleeding, odds are you have gingivitis or gum disease — precisely the conditions for which flossing is beneficial. Stopping flossing because of bleeding [or pain] is just the opposite of what you should be doing. The good news? With daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing, gum pain and bleeding should stop within a week or two. If either persists, see a dentist.

Excuse #6: My teeth are spaced too close together to floss.

If unwaxed floss doesn’t work for your teeth, you might try waxed floss or floss made of super-slippery polytetrafluoroethylene. If the spacing between your teeth varies (or if you have significant gum recession), yarn-like “superfloss” may be a good bet. It stretches thin for narrow spaces and fluffs out to clean between teeth that are more widely spaced.

Excuse #7: The floss keeps shredding.

In many cases, broken or fraying floss is caused by a cavity or a problem with dental work — often a broken or poorly fabricated filling or crown. Consult your dentist.

 Excuse #8: I have dental work that makes flossing impossible.

Try floss threaders. These monofilament loops make it easy to position floss around dental work.


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Cocoa Beans in Dark Chocolate Contain Loads of Beneficial Antioxidants

Dark Chocolate is Good for Your Teeth – Really

Did Valentine’s Day bring you a delectable box of chocolates that bring a smile to your face? And if some of those treats are made of dark chocolate, they can actually be good for your teeth! Yes, you read that correctly — chocolate can prevent tooth decay. However, not every kind of chocolate is dental dynamite. The cocoa bean is what houses the good stuff – not the chocolate itself – so the closer the confection is to the bean, the better.

dark chocolateCocoa beans contain tannins, polyphenols and flavonoids, each of which is a type of strong antioxidant that benefits your mouth and teeth. Tannins are what give dark chocolate it’s slightly bitter taste and are responsible for the sweet’s dark pigments. More importantly, they help prevent cavities by inhibiting bacteria from sticking to your teeth. Polyphenols limit the effects of bacteria, meaning they work to neutralize the microorganisms that cause bad breath, prevent infections in your gums and battle tooth decay. Flavonoids work to slow tooth decay, among other things.

Of the three kinds of chocolate (dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate), dark chocolate is the least processed and closest to the cocoa bean, which makes it the healthiest option of the three.

For best results, the chocolate should be around 70 percent cocoa. Hershey’s Extra Dark Chocolate contains 60 percent cocoa, so it’s a pretty good choice, but Ghirardelli’s Twilight Delight is a better option at 72 percent. Other bars are even more beneficial, such as Ghirardelli’s Midnight Reverie and Lindt’s Cocoa Supreme Dark, which contain 86 and 90 percent cocoa, respectively. You should be able to find tooth-friendly dark chocolate at your local grocery store, and many bars advertise their cocoa percentage clearly on the label. Also, in case you needed another perk, dark chocolate contains less sugar than other varieties, so it’s slightly better for your waistline, too.

So how, exactly, is dark chocolate good for your teeth? There’s a bacterium in your mouth called oral streptococci, which produces acid that eats away at your tooth enamel. The antioxidants in dark chocolate prevent the bacteria from turning into damaging acids by acting as a sort of antibacterial compound. Also, the cocoa butter coats your teeth and prevents plaque from sticking to them.

Because chocolate has tons of antioxidants (about four times that of green tea), it can not only inhibit the production of plaque but also reduce inflammation in the body and work to prevent periodontal disease, a symptom of which is swelling of the gums. The bacteria associated with periodontal disease can also enter the bloodstream and cause heart disease and other cardiovascular problems, so periodically consuming dark chocolate is beneficial to your heart health as well.

It’s important to remember, however, that munching on a piece of dark chocolate is not like downing a plateful of veggies. It has some important health benefits, but it’s far from a healthy food. Like any confection, dark chocolate should be consumed in moderation. It still contains ample amounts of sugar and fat, each of which comes with its own set of health issues. Also, like all chocolates, dark chocolate isn’t exactly low in calories. The recommended intake is 1 ounce per day, which is equal to about six Hershey Kisses (don’t worry, they’re available in a dark variety). Even this small amount, however, contains as many as 150 calories, and since it tastes so good, it’s hard not to indulge.

So get your hands (and teeth) on some dark chocolate today to enjoy what is arguably the most delicious but still beneficial food on the planet. Just remember to practice portion control so the health risks associated with an expanding waistline don’t overshadow the benefits to your pearly whites.

Source: TLC


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Personal Care Dentistry Earns Coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award



We are proud to announce that we’ve picked up the coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award for the third consecutive year!

In case you are unfamiliar, Angie’s List is a website where you can search and find thousands of unbiased reports and reviews about service companies in your area. Members share their experiences with each other so that you can choose the company that’s right for you the first time.

So many of our wonderful patients have spoken so many kind words about our clinic and for that, we thank you. Next time you visit Personal Care Dentistry, we invite you to hop online and share your experience. You can do that by visiting our Facebook Page or by visiting Angie’s List.

Below, you will find the award and press release we, so humbly, received from Angie’s List.

Personal Care Dentistry Earns Esteemed 2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects businesses’ consistently high level of customer service

Personal Care Dentistry has earned the service industry’ coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting and exemplary year of service provided to members of the consumer review service in 2013.

“Only about 5 percent of the companies Personal Care Dentistry competes with in the Twin Cities are able to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a mark of consistently great customer service.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2013 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, have a fully complete profile, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2013 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on

According to Angie Hicks, Angie’s List helps consumers have happy transactions with local service professionals in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to healthcare. More than 2 million paid households use Angie’s List to gain access to local ratings, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List Magazine and the Angie’s List complaint resolution service.

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Dental Health During Pregnancy

How to Care for Your Teeth and Gums

You’ve cut down on coffee, nixed sushi, and exercise most days, but what you may not realize is that oral health is just as important when you’re pregnant.

Smiling pregnant womanDental problems during pregnancy are quite common, with approximately 40 percent of women suffering from gingivitis, cavities, and periodontitis, according to a recent report by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). And left untreated, many conditions can be harmful to you and your baby.

Here, find out why dental problems are more common during pregnancy, if you’re at risk, and what you can do about it.

Pregnancy, Gingivitis and More.

One of the most common dental conditions is pregnancy gingivitis, which can cause red, tender, and swollen gums that bleed easily. Some women may even develop a benign tumor in their mouths, which can be removed or will resolve itself after giving birth.

Pregnancy gingivitis occurs because the increase in the hormone progesterone during pregnancy causes an exaggerated response to the plaque that’s already in your mouth. “The reaction to those toxins and those poisons from the plaque build-up is increased,” says Dr. Amanda Seay, Orbit for Kids gum spokesperson.

And even if you’re diligent about brushing and flossing, pregnancy gingivitis can still be a problem. If left untreated, it can lead to periodontal disease, which studies show increases your risk for having a preterm and low birth weight baby.

Plus, if you have a history of periodontal disease, you’re more likely to have dental problems during pregnancy as well.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, here’s what you can do to prevent dental problems.

Brush and floss.

Brushing after every meal and flossing at least once a day are the best ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Go one step further with an alcohol-free rinse and a tongue scraper – both remove bacteria.

Go to the dentist.

According to the same ACOG report, between 2007 and 2009, 35 percent of women had not seen a dentist within the past year and more than half had not seen one during pregnancy either. Experts agree that if you’re trying to become pregnant or undergoing infertility treatment, getting your oral health in check beforehand is a no-brainer.

Get cleanings every 6 months or more.

Research shows there is no risk having routine dental care during pregnancy, and dental cleanings are your best line of defense. Every 6 months is ideal, but your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings especially if you have a history of gingivitis or periodontal disease.

Eat right.

It can be a challenge to eat healthy when you’re dealing with morning sickness, but trying to avoid sticky foods and eating coarse, fiber-filled fruits and vegetables, nuts, and cheese can help. If you drink soda or coffee with sugar, have a cup but don’t sip on it all day.

Chew gum and drink water.

Saliva is the greatest natural defense mechanism that we have. If it’s been hours between brushing, chewing a sugar free gum with xylitol can increase the salivary flow which washes away food debris, neutralizes plaque acids, and keeps bacteria at bay. After a meal, drinking a glass of water can help too.

Treat infections.

The risk of infection from an untreated dental problem, like an abscess, poses a greater risk to you and your baby than the dental procedure itself. In fact, a dental infection can cause pre-eclampsia, pre-term birth, developmental delays—even miscarriage.

New ACOG recommendations say dental X-rays are safe since most dentists now use digital X-rays, which have 10 to 20 percent of the previous amount of radiation. Plus, the abdominal shield and thyroid collar blocks out almost—if not all—the radiation that would even get near the developing baby.


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