5 Signs Your Teen is Ready for Invisalign

It is common for teens to ask about Invisalign as an alternative to traditional metal braces when their dentist suggests braces. Teens generally don’t like the look of metal braces and fear that they will get teased by having them. Invisalign can be an excellent solution for many teenagers who need braces. However, not all teens are candidates for Invisalign treatment. Here are five signs that your teen is ready for Invisalign.

Invisalign Braces at Creekview Dental in Woodbury, MN.

1. Has Enough Free Time

Getting started with Invisalign takes a few appointments but after that your teen only needs to return to our office every 4 – 8 weeks. We will give your teen multiple sets of Invisalign aligners so that they can change them on their own approximately every week. If your teen has many extracurricular activities that would prevent them from being able to go to regular appointments, it might be difficult for them to undergo Invisalign treatment. However they would have the same challenges with metal braces at an orthodontist office. The average Invisalign case takes 9 – 12 months so you can’t simply schedule Invisalign treatment only for the summer.

2. Permanent Teeth

One challenge of teen orthodontics is the emergence of permanent teeth. If your young teen still has some of her baby teeth, there is a good chance that we will want to wait until all of your teen’s permanent teeth come in. Depending on your teen’s specific case and the severity of the misalignment, we could recommend proceeding with treatment even if there is still one or two teeth that need to come in.

3. Responsible

Teens need to be responsible enough to participate in Invisalign treatment. They will need to wear their aligners 20 to 22 hours a day and not lose track of aligners. They also need to have a high level of commitment to dental hygiene. Over the course of Invisalign treatment, they will need to take extra special care of their dental health. This includes brushing their teeth after eating and drinking anything besides water, before they put the Invisalign aligners back in.

4. Self-Conscious

While Invisalign is an extremely popular treatment that has many benefits, many people become interested in Invisalign because of the clear aligners that are difficult to see. There won’t be a set of shiny metal braces in school photos or in class every day. This makes Invisalign a top choice for teens that are self-conscious about their appearance and who fear that they might be bullied or otherwise uncomfortable with traditional braces.

Committed to Straight Teeth

If your teen is committed to having straighter teeth, they’re much more likely to have success with Invisalign. They will be more likely to remember to wear their aligners and to prioritize going to appointments without a fuss. As long as your teen is committed to the process and Dr Haag agrees they are an Invisalign candidate, there is no reason to think that they won’t be able to choose Invisalign over metal braces.

How Much Does Invisalign Cost?

Invisalign cost is determined by how long the treatment will take. In many cases, Invisalign treatment at our office costs less than metal braces at an Orthodontist. If you have Orthodontic coverage on your dental insurance plan, it will help with the cost to the same extent it would help for metal braces. No matter the final cost, Invisalign treatment is an investment in your teen’s long-term dental health and appearance. Oftentimes straightening your teen’s teeth now can avoid periodontal and other dental issues in the future. It is important that your teen is ready to make the most of it.

Invisalign is a very popular option for teens and adults alike. For many teens who are mature enough to follow the required wear times and to maintain optimal oral hygiene, Invisalign can be one of the best decisions available. Be sure to check with us to see if it is a good fit for your teen.

Ready to Make Your Dental Appointment?

If you’re ready to get started with Invisalign for your teen, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appointment.

Watch Out For These Signs of Gum Disease

Roughly 80% of all adults in the United States have some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Many who have it don’t know it, as early stage symptoms can be extremely subtle. However, it is important to keep an eye out, as treating gum disease is manageable through regular routine cleanings and dental checkups. Catching gum disease in the early stages is critical as it can increasingly become more difficult as it progresses.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease starts with a plaque, a sticky mix of food debris and bacteria that coats the teeth. It can harden into tartar, or calculus, which is quite difficult to remove. Tartar irritates the gums, creating tiny openings that bacteria can enter. When bacteria get into the gums, the chronic infection known as gum disease is the result.

The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, the bacteria will start to attack the soft tissues and bones that support the teeth, leading to periodontitis. This stage carries a high risk for severe tooth decay and even tooth loss, and the infection can wreak havoc on your overall health.

If you notice any of the warning signs below, tell your dentist as soon as possible

Bad Breath

Halitosis, or bad breath, can be caused by many factors, but most cases can be alleviated with careful oral hygiene. If you notice bad breath and an odd taste in your mouth that do not go away with brushing and flossing, you may have early stage gum disease.

Changes in the Gums

Healthy gums are smooth and even across the teeth, and are pink or coral in color. They feel firm to the touch, and there are no sore spots. If your gums are tender, red, or swollen, or if you experience pain with brushing, you may have gingivitis.

As gum disease worsens, the gums start to recede from the teeth. Gums that do not look even or teeth that appear longer than they once did may indicate the gingivitis is worsening to periodontitis.

Bleeding or Pus

Since gum disease causes inflammation and irritation, bleeding gums are a natural result. If you experience bleeding during brushing and flossing, or when eating crunchy foods, call your dentist.

As gum disease progresses, small pockets of pus can form between the teeth and the gums. They feel swollen to the touch, and may be hard or soft. If you accidentally pop one while brushing or eating, you will notice a very bad taste in your mouth. If these remain untreated, they can develop into large, highly swollen, extremely painful abscesses.

Changes in Your Bite

The way your teeth come together is known as your bite. In later stages of gum disease, bacteria invade the bones and support structures of the teeth. This can cause your bite to change. If you have a partial denture that no longer seats properly in your mouth, or if your teeth no longer fit together evenly, tell your dentist immediately.

Lose or Shifting Teeth

In late-stage gum disease, the teeth can become loose and start to shift within the mouth. This is a serious symptom that indicates imminent tooth loss. To save your teeth, make an appointment with your dentist right away.

Ready to Make Your Dental Appointment?

If you’re ready to get started with a progressive yet conservative approach to your dental health, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appointment.

Can You Overcome Periodontal Disease?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of Americans over age 30 have advanced periodontal disease, known as periodontitis. Left untreated, the condition can lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, though, it is possible to overcome even advanced periodontal disease with prompt and thorough dental treatment. Here is what you should know.

Can You Overcome Periodontal Disease?

Gingivitis

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, begins as gingivitis, in which bacteria begin to invade your gum tissue. Signs include redness or swelling in the gums, along with bleeding when brushing or flossing. At this point, it is easy to reverse. Step up your brushing and flossing routine and see your dentist as soon as possible for a professional cleaning.

Periodontitis

Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. At this point, bacteria start to advance into the ligaments and bones that support your teeth. Painful abscesses, receding gums, and shifting teeth are common signs of periodontitis. At this point, you are at serious risk for tooth loss if you don’t seek treatment. See your dentist immediately.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is the first line of treatment for periodontitis. After numbing your mouth with a local anesthetic, we will use a variety of tools to remove built-up plaque and tartar from below your gum line, removing the bacteria and infection. We will then gently reshape the tooth roots to encourage healthy reattachment of the gums to the teeth. We may prescribe a mouth rinse for you to use during healing.

In most cases, scaling and root planing takes care of the problem, and the pockets around your teeth will return to a healthy, normal size. You will remain at higher risk of recurrence, so we may recommend more frequent professional cleanings than average, such as four times per year instead of two. You will not need another scaling and root planing procedure unless your periodontitis recurs.

Surgical Options for Periodontal Disease

Occasionally, scaling and root planing is not enough to restore your teeth and gums to health. In this case, we may recommend surgical treatment. Surgical options for periodontal disease include:

Pocket Reduction:

If the pockets around your teeth do not reduce to normal levels, you may need a pocket reduction. After numbing the area, we will fold back the gum tissue to access the damaged bone. Smoothing the bone and removing any remaining bacteria typically encourages the gum tissue to reattach.

Gum Graft:

If your gums have receded to the point that the roots are exposed, we can take tissue from your palate and graft it onto your gums to cover the roots. This helps protect the roots from decay and sensitivity, while halting gum recession and bone loss.

Bone Graft:

If periodontal disease has destroyed some of your jawbone, we can rebuild it with bone graft made of powdered synthetic bone and tissue-stimulating proteins.

Periodontal disease can be quite serious, and once you have had it you are at an elevated risk for recurrence. Fortunately, even advanced periodontitis can be managed with modern periodontics techniques.

Ready to Make Your Appointment?

If you’re ready to get started with a progressive yet conservative approach to your dental health, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appointment.

Whitening Your Teeth Naturally: What You Should Know


“Natural” is the latest trend, from organic skincare to whole foods. Teeth whitening is no exception, as a quick Google search will demonstrate. Natural doesn’t always mean healthy, though. Even if you notice whitening, you could be damaging your teeth. Here is what you should know.

girl checking her teeth whitener

Acidic Fruits

The theory states that natural citric acid from lemons, oranges, or similar fruits, will remove stains from the teeth, leaving them whiter. Some people choose fruits with digestive enzymes, such as mango or pineapple, and some mix the fruit with baking soda or another abrasive.

The truth is that consuming acidic fruits as part of your diet can help reduce tooth staining. Scrubbing your teeth with them, though, is not the best idea. Prolonged contact with acids or enzymes will wear down your tooth enamel. This not only increases your risk for cavities and tooth decay, but it will actually turn your teeth yellow—the natural color of the dentin beneath the tooth enamel.

Natural Scrubs

Natural tooth scrubs typically consist of pastes made from either baking soda and hydrogen peroxide or activated charcoal and water. Allegedly, these pastes remove staining and yellowing, making your smile shine.

In reality, like acidic fruits, natural tooth scrubs can cause damage to the tooth enamel. There is no definite proof that they whiten the teeth, and they are likely to reveal the yellow dentin beneath the tooth enamel.

Spices and Oils

Numerous spices and oils, such as turmeric and coconut oil, are alleged to whiten teeth. They are unlikely to cause damage, but they are also unlikely to work. Instead, return your oils and spices to the kitchen cabinet and pick up an ADA (American Dental Association) approved whitening toothpaste instead.

Better Ways to Whiten

There are several steps you can take to whiten your teeth using methods that are proven both safe and effective:

·         Brush your teeth twice per day for 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth

·         Use a whitening toothpaste with an ADA seal of approval

·         Floss once per day

·         Limit the consumption of dark berries, coffee, red wine, and other tooth-staining foods and beverages

·         Rinse your mouth with plain water after every meal, snack, or sugary beverage

·         Don’t smoke or use tobacco

·         Visit your dentist for a professional cleaning twice per year

·         Talk to your dentist about specific whitening products and services that are approved by the ADA

·         Have your teeth professionally bleached once per year or as suggested by your hygienist

Many people want a whiter smile, but not all internet-recommended methods are smart choices. Choose whitening methods that are proven to be safe and effective rather than raiding your pantry in a quest to follow the latest fads.

Ready to Make Your Appointment?If you’re ready to get started with a progressive yet conservative approach to your dental health, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appo

How Your Dental Health Predicts Your Overall Health

Your dental health can serve as a strong predictor to your current overall health, as well as what future health conditions you might be at risk for. Your dentist will monitor your teeth and gums to see what to further address. Here are some of the ways that your dental health can predict your overall dental health.

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

If you have advanced gum disease, such as periodontal disease, you have an increased risk of heart disease. This is because bacteria in your gums can travel through your cardiovascular system into your heart. If you have gum disease and a family history of heart disease, your dentist will pay extra attention to your gum health to reduce your risk.

Early Signs of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease where your bones become brittle and less dense over the progression of the disease. Many people think of osteoporosis as a condition that only impacts seniors, but this isn’t the case. Without other reasons to suspect osteoporosis, some patients aren’t aware that they have it. However, your dentist might be able to see the signs of osteoporosis by seeing receding gumlines or loose teeth. This could help to prevent further loss of bone density.

Diabetes Risk

Your dental health strongly correlates your diabetes risk. If you have inflamed gums, oral infections, and poor dental health, you’re at an increased risk for diabetes. Gum inflammation interferes with how fat and sugar are metabolized, which negatively impacts insulin secretions from your pancreas. Additionally, cytokines can build up by inflamed tissue and can also enter the bloodstream and interfere with the body. Taking excellent care of your teeth and gums can be a good defense against your personal diabetes risk.

Possible Premature Birth

Pregnant women with poor dental health are at an increased risk for premature birth. This means that your unborn baby and the welfare of the mom could be at risk because of poor dental health, which could impact the duo for a lifetime. This is due to signals from the inflamed gums that make their way into the placenta. This makes the body think that it is time to expel the baby out of its mother’s body early to prevent further damage.

Ready to Make Your Appointment?

If you’re ready to get started with a progressive yet conservative approach to your dental health, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appointment.

Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration

The best way to keep your teeth sparkling white is to practice scrupulous oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing and twice-annual professional cleanings. You can also have your teeth professionally whitened either in our office or with our take-home bleaching system. To maintain your beautiful white smile, though, you should also pay attention to what you eat and drink. Here are some of the most common causes of tooth discoloration. (more…)

Sports Mouth Guards: What You Should Know

Sports are an excellent way for kids as well as adults to stay active, boost their overall health, learn new skills, and build lifelong friendships. Yet like anything else, sports carry certain risks. It is impossible to prevent all injuries, but protective gear is a key component in keeping athletes safe. A mouth guard can help to protect against damage to the teeth and oral structures, but not all mouth guards are the same. Here is what you should know about sports mouth guards.

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Baby Pacifiers: Myths vs Reality

Baby pacifiers tend to inspire strong feelings among parents on both sides of the debate. Some claim that any pacifier use at all is dangerous for the developing teeth, while others argue that pacifiers are a harmless and highly useful tool. The reality is that pacifiers are neither all bad nor all good. Here is a look at the reality of baby pacifiers.

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Brushing, Flossing, and Seeing the Dentist

A clean mouth is a healthy mouth. If you keep your mouth meticulously clean, you are significantly less likely to develop tooth decay, tooth loss  or gum disease. There are many systemic illnesses associated with chronic oral issues. Many people are not sure exactly how to plan their oral hygiene schedule. Here is a guide to scheduling your brushing, flossing, and dentist visits.

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Conserving Water When Brushing Your Teeth

The Earth is covered with water, but only around one percent of the Earth’s water is clean enough for humans to consume. Therefore, even a small reduction in home water use can make a real difference in the global effort to conserve water. It can also save significant money on your water bill over time. Here are some easy tips for conserving water when brushing your teeth. (more…)