Wisdom Teeth: Answers to Common Questions and Concerns

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Perhaps the most dreaded dental procedure is the removal of the wisdom teeth. Generally, teens and young adults hear horror stories about recoveries or watch funny videos of people who are recovering after surgery.

However, wisdom teeth can be misunderstood, and most of the time, the procedure itself does not have to be traumatic. If you are concerned about wisdom teeth growth and removal, learn more about common questions and concerns that patients might have about the teeth, the removal process, and the recovery.

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth (so named because they grow in during adolescence or early adulthood) don’t always have to be removed. They can grow into your mouth straight and cause few, if any, long-term dental problems. However, the majority of people need some or all of these four large molars removed because:

  • They can crowd other teeth. Teens who have had braces can be dismayed to discover that their wisdom teeth are pushing their nicely-straightened smile out of alignment. Crowding also causes cleaning issues which increases the risk of dental decay.
  • They can grow crooked or even sideways. A common problem is that a person’s mouth can actually be too small for wisdom teeth to emerge properly. The teeth push into the roots of other teeth. This problem is known as impaction, and it causes pain and can damage other teeth that are otherwise healthy.
  • They can aggravate other conditions. Patients who have headaches, jaw problems, or migraines may find that wisdom teeth make these problems worse.

Wisdom teeth are slow growing, and problems might not appear right away. For example, cysts or open pockets can form around these teeth, causing pain in the jaw or creating places for bacteria to collect. You might have tender or swollen gums or even risk developing an abscess.

Dental Problems Caused by Oral Piercings

Written by Apollo Dental Center on . Posted in Blog

Gone are the days when oral piercings were a sign of social deviance. Oral piercings, like tongue rings, have become more popular than ever among the young and trendy. If you have thought about getting a piercing in your tongue, lip, or mouth, know that the piercing can negatively affect your dental health. Read on to find out more about piercings and how to keep your smile sparkling.

Know the Many Types of Oral Piercings

If you are considering getting an oral piercing, you have many options. Here are the some of the oral piercing options:

  • Web piercing: A piercing is placed on the fold of mucus membrane, called the frenum. This piercing stretches between the top lip, over the top teeth, or under the tongue.
  • Uvula piercing: A piercing is placed through the connective tissue at the back of the throat, called the uvula. This is an uncommon piercing location.
  • Lip piercing: A piercing can be placed on the top or bottom lip. Some popular places include the corners of the bottom lip and underneath the center of the bottom lip.
  • Dorsoventral tongue piercing: This type of tongue piercing was most common in the early 2000s. A piercing is placed from the dorsal (top) to the ventral (bottom) of the tongue. The top of the piercing can be seen when the wearer sticks their tongue out.
  • Dorsolateral tongue piercing: While a dorsoventral tongue piercing is inserted from top to bottom, a dorsolateral piercing is inserted from left to right, through the widest part of the tongue.
  • Cheek piercing: A piercing is placed through the cheeks and held in place by studs.

No matter what type of oral piercing you decide to get, it’s important to know how to properly care for your mouth and teeth afterward so you can avoid any harmful effects.

Protect Your Child’s Teeth This Easter

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Easter is a fun time for kids, but not for their teeth. As a parent, you can protect your child’s teeth by following these easy tips and by instituting a few basic Easter-candy rules. Limiting the type of candy your child eats, giving toys instead of chocolate, and giving your child candies that are not as bad for the teeth can all help your child avoid cavities and keep their teeth healthy.

Limit Sticky Candies

Sticky candies like caramel and taffy are bad for your child’s teeth because they’re sugary and they stick to enamel easily. Limiting the type of sugary candies that you give to your child can prevent cavities and tooth decay. If you do give your child sticky caramel, toffee, gummy bears, or taffy, make your child spend extra time brushing and flossing afterward to ensure that all the candy bits have been washed away.

Give Stuffed Rabbits Instead of Chocolate Rabbits

Chocolate rabbits certainly are tasty, but they’re also not good for your child’s teeth. To avoid problems, give your child stuffed toy rabbits instead of chocolate rabbits. If your child insists on having a chocolate rabbit in their Easter basket, give your child a dark chocolate rabbit made of around 70 percent cocoa. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that are good for the teeth. The higher cocoa content, the better.

Protect Your Teen’s Dental Health With These 3 Tips

Written by Apollo Dental Center on . Posted in Blog

Girl during her dental checkupWhen your children are small, you make almost all of the decisions about things that affect their health, including their dental health. You decide what they’ll eat, what they’ll wear, when they’ll visit the dentist, and what procedures they need or don’t need.

But by the time your child becomes a teenager, they’re making more and more of those decisions on their own, and some of those decisions can have serious impacts on their dental health. Take a look at some tips for guiding and encouraging your teen to make smart decisions about their dental health.

3 Dental Problems That Seniors Need to Watch out For

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mature couple

Better dental technology, greater access to dental care and more information about dental hygiene have made tooth loss during your golden years less likely than it used to be. While losing your teeth as you get older may have once been almost inevitable, these days you can expect to keep your teeth for life if you care for them correctly.

However, there are dental problems that seniors need to be especially aware of. Aging affects your whole body, including your mouth, and you may be at risk of certain dental conditions now that you weren’t at risk for 20 years ago. This post lists three of the most serious dental problems that seniors experience.

3 FAQs about Baby and Toddler Dental Health

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Baby drinking from a bottleEvery parent wants what’s best for their baby’s health, but it’s surprisingly easy to overlook potential dental health issues. Because your baby doesn’t have teeth at first and will lose their baby teeth, you may assume that decisions you make now won’t affect your child’s overall dental health.

The truth is, you’re going to make some important decisions during this time in your child’s life that can affect their oral health, both immediately and in the future. Take a look at the answers to some important questions about baby and toddler dental health.

Teeth And Trauma: What To Do When You Damage Your Teeth

Written by Apollo Dental Center on . Posted in Blog

damage to your teethLike every other part of your body, teeth are susceptible to accidental injury. Chips, cracks, full tooth loss or intrusion (where the tooth is pushed back up into the gum) can all cause long-term dental health problems, especially if they are not addressed right away.

Tooth injuries can occur in everyday activities. Slips and falls, sports injuries or even biting into ice can cause trauma to a tooth. Here’s what you need to know about tooth injuries and how you should respond when they occur.

Types of Injuries

The severity of the type of tooth injury you receive can dictate what care you should give.

The Dos and Don’ts of Dental Health Care During Your Pregnancy

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The Dos and Don’ts of Dental Health Care During Your PregnancyMany moms-to-be meticulously plan their meals for optimal nutrition, take daily vitamins and never miss a doctor’s appointment. Unfortunately, those same women may feel too busy to consider keeping regular dental appointments during the nine months of pregnancy. However, ignoring dental care during this time of life can place both mother and child in jeopardy.

Being proactive about your dental health during your pregnancy is extremely important. It can make all the difference between a blissful, event-free pregnancy and one that is marred by complications. Both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology have stated the importance of regular dental care during pregnancy.

Consider the following dos and don’ts of maintaining or improving your dental health while you’re pregnant. You are likely to find that more of your overall oral health care is in your hands than you imagined, and you’ll feel better on every level when you treat your teeth and gums well.

Childhood Tooth Discoloration: Why Is Your Child’s Tooth Changing Color?

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Children normally have light-colored teeth ranging in shade from bright white to a creamy ivory. Parents can start to feel a little alarmed if they begin to notice one or more teeth beginning to turn yellow, brown, or gray instead of remaining white.

Why Is Your Child's Tooth Changing Color

There are a few reasons for discolored teeth; some of them are actually not concerning, and others indicate a more serious problem. Here’s what parents should know about causes of discoloration and what they can do about it.

Antibiotics

Children often need antibiotics in order to fight normal childhood diseases. Strep throat, ear infections, and bacterial pneumonia are common childhood illnesses, and they can be treated with basic antibiotics. The most common medicines prescribed are penicillin based, with names like amoxicillin and phenoxymethylpenicillin.

Fortunately, while these medicines may cause graying while your child is taking them, the staining is usually superficial, and with careful brushing during and after the course of the medication’s administration, your child’s teeth should return to their regular color.

In some rare cases, children may have permanent staining due to the use of tetracycline. Doctors will almost never prescribe this medication for children under 10 years old because it can have a permanent negative effect on the enamel, along with gray, orange, or yellow stains that cannot be removed with normal bleaching.

Staining can occur even when pregnant women use tetracycline or doxycycline. Babies may be born with stained teeth that are brittle and unable to stand up to decay. Your dentist will need to take extensive protective measures, including the use of caps, sealants, and crowns, to restore the teeth.

Family Fun In The Sun: Tips To Keep Your Teeth Healthy During The Summer

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Tips To Keep Your Teeth Healthy During The Summer

Summer is full of awesome activities, including swimming, days at the lake or the zoo, camping trips, vacations, and long lazy days of reading. Given the nice weather and busy schedule of activities in the summer, it’s pretty easy for you or your kids to let dental habits slip.

No matter what your summer plans are, brush up on these dental care tips to make sure every member of the family ends the summer with healthy, beautiful teeth.

Adapt to Loss of Routine

The first and most basic threat to your dental health, your children’s especially, is the loss of routine. When kids are in school, it’s easy to remember to brush right before bed and right after breakfast because these things happen at the same time every day.

During the summer, routine can sometimes go out the window, and brushing may get skipped with late night barbecues and visits to Grandma’s and late wake-ups. Try to adapt to routine loss by planning a new summer routine so kids still at least wake up at the same time.

To remind yourself to brush your teeth, keep an alarm on your phone that goes off mid-morning and in the evening. This alarm could also help you remember to ask your kids whether they’ve brushed their teeth. Keep new extra brushes in your car just in case you forget brushes for a camping trip or a visit to family.

Apollo Dental Center

3000 43rd Street NW
Rochester, MN 55901

Office Hours

Monday - 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tuesday - Thursday - 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday - 7:00 am - 2:00 pm
Telephone Numbers: (507) 287-8320
Toll Free: (866) 915-8320
General Dentistry: (507) 287-8320
Pediatrics: (507) 424-6161
Accounting Office: (507) 424-6164
Fax: (507) 281-8757