Prior Lake, MN Dentist
16670 Franklin Trail SE
Prior Lake, MN 55372
(952) 447-4611
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Posts for: November, 2013

By Babcock & Morgan Family Dental
November 22, 2013
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Children   Prior Lake  
Prior Lake MN Childrens DentistWhen your baby first smiles, you will see an endearing toothless grin.  Within a few months you will notice a glimmer of something white, or you may hear a clunk when the feeding spoon touches the first tooth.  By taking a few steps early in your baby’s life, you can establish a pattern that will ensure your baby continues to have a healthy smile.  Dr. Michael Babcock and Dr. Tom Morgan, our children’s dentists in Prior Lake, are available to help you establish a proper oral health care plan for your child.
 

Help your Children’s Teeth and Gums Last a Lifetime

 
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that parents take action early to ensure the health of their children’s teeth and gums into adulthood.  With help from our Prior Lake, MN dentists, here are some ways that you can help your children maintain strong, healthy smiles that last a lifetime:
 
  • Visit the dentist early. Good dental health habits should begin with an introductory visit to a pediatric dentist around a child’s first birthday.
  • Brush teeth at least twice a day. Regular brushing removes plaque from teeth to help avoid unwanted cavities.
  • Floss daily. Flossing removes food debris from in between the teeth and along the gum line.
  • Healthy diet. Encourage a well-balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks, which promote decay.
  • Wear a mouthguard. To protect and reduce injuries to the mouth and teeth during various activities and sports.
 

Start Visiting One of Our Dentists in Prior Lake during Infancy

 
Dr. Babcock and Dr. Morgan recommend a dental visit for your child at age 3.  We also encourage you to schedule a “happy visit” for your child.  This visit is used so that your child can watch a parent or a sibling have their teeth cleaned.  We feel building a trusting relationship early lasts a lifetime.
 
At your child’s first dental visit, our Prior Lake children’s dentist will:
 
  • Check your child’s teeth for decay and signs of early developmental problems
  • Explain how to care for your child’s teeth
  • Answer any questions or concerns you might have
 
Cleaning a child’s teeth should begin when the first tooth is visible, because teeth are susceptible to decay as soon as they appear in the mouth.  Wipe your baby’s teeth and gums clean after every feeding with a soft, damp washcloth or gauze pad. 
 
A leading cause of tooth decay among young children is known as “baby bottle syndrome,” which is when an infant is allowed to drink from a nursing bottle containing milk, formula or fruit juice during nap time or at night and the baby falls asleep with the bottle in his or her mouth.  Prolonged exposure to the sugars and acids in these liquids, that pool around the teeth, can cause discoloration and decay.
 
Caring for your child’s teeth begins early and often.  By doing so, you are setting your child up for a lifetime of healthy permanent teeth and overall dental health.  Begin proper dental care for your child immediately and with the initial onset of your child’s first tooth, visit us, your Prior Lake, MN dentists, for assessment.  You can pave the way for a lifetime of proper dental health for your child.

By Babcock & Morgan Family Dental
November 21, 2013
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   Braces  
KristiYamaguchisBracesHelpedGiveHeraWinningSmile

If Kristi Yamaguchi's kids inherit her figure skating ability, they might just be headed for the Olympics — after all, their mom won the gold medal for figure skating in the 1992 games. When it comes to teeth, however, she wouldn't mind if they inherited her spouse's instead. “My husband [fellow Olympian turned pro hockey player Bret Hedican] never had braces,” she recently told an interviewer. “I'm hoping they get his teeth.”

When you look at the elegant skating star's pearly smile, you'd never suspect she had dental problems. In fact, Kristi had four permanent teeth extracted to relieve the crowding in her mouth. She also wore braces to correct irregularities in both upper and lower teeth. Could orthodontics work the same “magic” for your kids — or yourself?

It just might. The first step toward finding out is having an orthodontic evaluation. For kids, the right time for an initial evaluation is no later than age 7. By then, the first molars are usually present and your child's bite pattern is establishing. Even though treatment may not begin for several more years, it's helpful to know what problems may arise in your child's individual situation — and to start treating them at just the right time.

Orthodontics has progressed a great deal in the two decades since Yamaguchi's braces came off. Today, small devices called palatal expanders are often used to create more space in the mouth, as an alternative to tooth extraction. There are also many new options for orthodontic appliances, in addition to standard metal braces. These include unobtrusive tooth-colored braces and lingual braces, which are applied to the tongue side of the teeth and can't be seen. In some cases, clear plastic aligners can be used instead of braces, for a look that's almost invisible.

Adolescence is often the preferred time to do orthodontic treatment. By then, the permanent teeth have mostly come in, but there's still some growing left to do. But age isn't a factor that should stop you from getting the smile you've always wanted. About one in five orthodontic patients today is an adult — and those less-visible appliances can fit in well with the more “professional” image of an older person.

Orthodontics can't help make someone an Olympic athlete — only lots of talent and practice can do that. But it can make a big difference in a person's appearance. “Once my braces came off, it was like — Wow! That looks so much nicer,” Yamaguchi recollected. And today, the mother of two, author, and philanthropist sports the same appealing smile she had on the podium at the Albertville Olympic Games.

If you would like more information on how orthodontics could help you get the smile you've dreamed about, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Early Orthodontic Evaluation” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”


By Babcock & Morgan Family Dental
November 05, 2013
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   gluten  
YourBodysIntolerancetoGlutencanCauseDentalProblems

If you have noticed white spots or enamel pitting on your teeth, something in your diet may be the cause. If accompanied by other general symptoms, these dental problems may stem from a possible intolerance to gluten.

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley or oats. Some people (an estimated one in 130 Americans) have a condition called Celiac Disease (CD) in which their immune system mistakenly treats gluten as a threat and initiates an attack of antibodies (individual proteins made by the immune system to target and kill specific foreign substances) against it. Tiny hair-like structures in the small intestine called cilia that aid in nutrient absorption may be destroyed in the process. As a result, the body can't properly absorb nutrients.

CD can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms resemble other conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Typically, though, CD causes digestive issues like diarrhea, bloating and stomach aches, as well as fatigue, growth abnormalities and vitamin deficiencies. In the mouth, the most common symptoms are enamel defects like spotting and pitting. Patients may also lose a portion of their enamel in the grooves of the central incisors where the enamel may appear chalky or opaque rather than shiny, evidence of a condition called decalcification. CD may also cause canker sores.

Determining if you have CD is a two-step process. You must first undergo a blood test to see if antibodies are present for gluten. If the test returns positive confirming you have CD, the next step is a biopsy in which a small amount of intestinal tissue is removed and analyzed. This measures the degree of damage to the stomach lining, which will indicate whether or not you should remove foods containing gluten from your diet.

While research is ongoing to develop counteracting medications, removing gluten from your diet remains the most effective treatment for CD. Enamel defects caused by CD can also be treated with fluoride toothpastes and other aids to foster re-mineralization (restoring calcium and other mineral content to the enamel), and with cosmetic techniques to reduce any discoloration effect. CD patients should continue with normal oral hygiene efforts, with one exception: hygiene products (including polishing pastes and fluoride gels used in professional cleanings) should be gluten-free.

If you would like more information on how gluten may affect your oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Gluten & Dental Problems.”