Tea Bags and Tooth Extractions: What You Need to Know

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After a tooth extraction, dentists will give patients gauze to bite down on immediately. The extraction site may continue to bleed a bit and then ooze for a day or so afterward. This is normal, but it’s not something that people want to deal with. A solution that is often more efficient than stuffing gauze in your mouth is to use a tea bag.

Tannins and Bleeding

Green and black tea contain tannins. These are compounds that contribute to the bitter taste of tea that’s been left to steep for too long. They also promote your body’s ability to create clots, which is exactly what you need to have happen after an extraction.

When you take a wet tea bag that has cooled — never use a hot tea bag, of course — and bite down on it, the tea that seeps from the bag delivers those tannins to the extraction site. A 2014 study found that green tea extract placed on gauze may help as well, but for many people, simply steep a regular bag of tea leaves.

Caring for Teeth as You Age: A Guide for Older Adults

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As you get older, you experience many changes to your body, and your teeth are no exception to the rule. Teeth have amazing longevity — when other parts of your body fail, they remain constant, especially if they are properly cared for. But seniors need to have proper dental care in order to maintain good oral health.
If you want to protect your teeth as you get older, consider the following guidelines for optimal senior dental care.

Talk to Your Dentist About Changes to Your Physical Health

Every part of your body affects the other parts. Your dentist needs to know about any medications and health concerns because they can affect your teeth.

Patient’s Guide to Dental Filling Materials

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Dental fillings are often the treatment of choice for patients who have teeth that are decayed from cavities or other damage. When you choose to manage your cavities with fillings, your dentist will ask you what type of filling you prefer for your tooth. This short guide explains the types of materials available for dental patients today.

4 Dental Management Tips for Children With Special Needs

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Dental care can be a challenge for parents of kids with special needs. Children with cerebral palsy, autism, and Down syndrome are also at a higher risk of having issues with tooth decay, dental pain, and dental misalignment.

If you’re the parent or caregiver of a child with special needs, make dental hygiene an everyday, familiar part of your child’s life. The following four tips will set you and your child on the path to good oral health.

  1. Establish Positive Oral Hygiene Habits in Infancy

Children look to adults for validation of what’s normal and what’s not. When you establish oral care routines starting on the day your baby comes home from the hospital, your child becomes accustomed to the routine of having the mouth cleaned twice a day.

You don’t need a toothbrush to start a baby off on a lifetime of responsible dental hygiene. A clean, soft washcloth is all you need. Don’t use washcloths tumbled dry with dryer sheets or laundered with scented detergents, as the perfume-tainted cloth may make your baby gag.

3 Interesting Ways to Prevent Periodontal Disease

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Woman not worrying about periodontal diseaseIf you brush and floss your teeth like you should, you might be wondering what else you can feasibly do at home to ward off the onset of periodontal disease. However, since the health of your mouth is tied to the health of your body, making a few changes can help you to avoid this serious oral disease. Here are three interesting ways to prevent periodontal disease.

  1. Hit the Gym

When you exercise, you increase circulation throughout your entire body, rushing nutrients and protective white blood cells where they need to go. As a result, all kinds of health threats are reduced when you exercise, including gingivitis and periodontal disease.

In fact, one study showed that non-smokers had a 55% lower risk of developing periodontal disease if they exercised at least 3 times a week over the course of 10 years.

While the mechanisms of this reduced risk level are still being studied, researchers suspect that part of the benefit may stem from healthier lifestyle habits, since daily exercise is commonly considered a keystone habit that paves the way for other healthy life choices, such as visiting your dentist regularly and avoiding cigarettes.

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.

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.

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

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