March 19, 2018
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National Children’s Dental Health Month – Preventing Tooth DecayThe American Dental Association (ADA) first coined the month of February as National Children’s Dental Health Month in 1949. However, eight years earlier this observance started as a one-day event. 

Dentists back then understood the importance of children adopting a healthy oral hygiene routine at an early age to promote beautiful and healthy smiles throughout their lives, just as dentists of the present believe now. Bluff Creek Dental shares this desire to promote children’s dental health, so we work hard to educate our patients about the benefits of pediatric dentistry and ways to prevent tooth decay. 

Tooth Decay is one of the most common conditions we see in young patients at our Chanhassen family dentistry. According to research, in 2015 tooth decay in American children was the most chronic disease. Additionally, 42% of children ages 2 - 11 suffer with tooth decay, and 23% of them have not been treated.


Healthy Choices to Prevent Tooth Decay 


It's no secret that children love sugary drinks, snacks, and foods. Sugar mixed with already present bacteria in the mouth can activate acid that then attacks the teeth causing tooth decay. Regularly brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash can help prevent the presence of bacteria in your children’s mouths. 

Along with minimizing your children’s intake of sugar, make sure they are receiving the proper nutrients by preparing foods that represent all five major food groups

  • Vegetables 
  • Grain 
  • Dairy 
  • Protein ruit

Having a balanced diet full of these healthy foods will help build up your children’s immune systems and attack infections such as periodontal disease, which is a major contributing factor for teeth loss in adults. 


Schedule A Children’s Dentistry Appointment at Bluff Creek Dental Today!


Our friendly children’s dentists and dental team have years of experience working with children and families to develop healthy, beautiful smiles. Feel free to give us a call at (402) 486-1200 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!


If you're ready to put the "pizzazz" back into your smile, your dentist may be able to help. It's possible your dull, dingy smile could be transformed with teeth whitening.

Teeth whitening or bleaching is a technique that applies a solution with a bleaching agent (usually up to 35% hydrogen peroxide in an office setting) to the teeth to whiten them. Although there are Do-It-Yourself home whitening kits you can use, there are a few good reasons why you should first consider a whitening procedure in a dental office setting.

To begin with, you should first have your teeth examined by a dentist to determine why they're discolored. Certain foods and beverages we consume or tobacco habits are the usual culprits causing stains on the enamel, the outermost tooth layer. These are the kinds of stains targeted by most whitening solutions.

But the interior of a tooth can also become discolored for reasons like trauma, past dental work or tetracycline use at an early age. If your staining is internal (intrinsic) rather than external (extrinsic) reducing that discoloration will require an invasive procedure only a dentist can perform—a home kit won't be able to do the job.

Another reason for having your teeth whitened by your dentist (even extrinsic staining) involves your time and the degree of brightness you'd like. Because dentists use stronger bleaching solutions (home kits usually use a weaker solution of 10% carbamide peroxide) it takes fewer sessions than home kits to achieve results—and they may last longer. In addition, dentists have more control over the level of brightness to match your expectations of a more subdued, natural look or a dazzling "Hollywood" smile.

A dentist can also help you navigate special circumstances like matching and managing natural teeth whiteness with dental restorations (which don't bleach) or special whitening situations like a single discolored tooth.

Even if you eventually decide to go the home kit route, consulting with a dentist first can still prove helpful. You'll get expert advice on products, tips on how to apply them and how to prolong the whitening effect. Whichever way you go, home kit or dentist, you can gain a brighter, more confident smile with teeth whitening.

If you would like more information on teeth whitening, 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 “Important Teeth Whitening Questions…Answered!


What does it take to win a gold medal in figure skating at the Winter Olympics? Years and years of practice…a great routine…and a fantastic smile. When Tara Lipinski won the women’s figure skating competition at the 1998 games in Nagano, Japan, she became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event in Winter Olympics history—and the whole world saw her winning smile.

“I love to smile, and I think it’s important—especially when you’re on-air,” she recently told Dear Doctor magazine. “I am that person who’s always smiling.”

Tara’s still skating, but these days you’re more likely to see her smile on TV: as a commentator for the 2018 Winter Olympics, for example. And like many other athletes and celebrities in the public eye—and countless regular folks too—Tara felt that, at a certain point, her smile needed a little brightening to look its best.

“A few years ago, I decided to have teeth whitening. I just thought, why not have a brighter smile? I went in-office and it was totally easy,” she said.

In-office teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures. In just one visit, it’s possible to lighten teeth by up to ten shades, for a difference you can see right away. Here in our office, we can safely apply concentrated bleaching solutions for quick results. These solutions aren’t appropriate for home use. Before your teeth are whitened, we will perform a complete examination to make sure underlying dental problems aren’t dimming your smile.

It’s also possible to do teeth whitening at home—it just takes a bit longer. We can provide custom-made trays that fit over your teeth, and give you whitening solutions that are safe to use at home. The difference is that the same amount of whitening may take weeks instead of hours, but the results should also make you smile. Some people start with treatments in the dental office for a dramatic improvement, and then move to take-home trays to keep their smiles looking bright.

That’s exactly what Tara did after her in-office treatments. She said the at-home kits are “a good way to—every couple of months—get a little bit of a whiter smile.”

So if your smile isn’t as bright as you’d like, contact our office or schedule a consultation to find out more about teeth whitening.  You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Tooth Whitening Safety Tips.”

By Bluff Creek Dental
February 18, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

There are many new and exciting ways now to transform an unattractive smile into one you'll be confident to display. But not all “smile makeover” techniques are new — one in particular has been around for generations: using braces to correct crooked teeth.

Braces have improved the smiles (and also dental health) for millions of people. But as commonplace this orthodontic treatment is, it wouldn't work at all if a natural mechanism for moving teeth didn't already exist. Braces “partner” with this mechanism to move teeth to better positions.

The jawbone doesn't actually hold teeth in place — that's the job of an elastic gum tissue between the teeth and bone called the periodontal ligament. Tiny fibers extending from the ligament attach to the teeth on one side and to the bone on the other. In addition to securing them, the dynamic, moldable nature of the ligament allows teeth to move incrementally in response to forces applied against them.

To us, the teeth feel quite stationary (if they don't, that's a problem!). That's because there's sufficient length of the tooth roots that are surrounded by bone, periodontal ligament and gum tissue. But when pressure is applied against the teeth, the periodontal ligament forms both osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) and osteoclasts (bone-resorbing cells) causing the bone to remodel. This allows the teeth to move to a new position.

Braces take advantage of this in a controlled manner. The orthodontist bonds brackets to the outside face of the teeth through which they pass a thin metal wire. They attach the ends of the wire to the brackets (braces), usually on the back teeth. By using the tension placed in the wire, the orthodontist can control the gradual movement of teeth to achieve proper function and aesthetics. The orthodontist continues to monitor the treatment progress, while making periodic adjustments to the tension.

It takes time, but through this marvelous interplay between nature and dental science you'll gain a more healthy and beautiful smile.

If you would like more information on improving your smile with orthodontics, 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 “Moving Teeth with Orthodontics.”

February 09, 2018
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What Foods Should I Avoid with BracesA bright, confident smile can do wonders for your self-esteem. Braces (or one of Bluff Creek Dental’s other orthodontic treatments like Invisalign) can help you achieve that beautiful smile, but to get the best results in as fast a timeframe as possible, it is important that you take care of your orthodontic treatment along the way. Part of that means avoiding certain foods that could be harmful to your orthodontic appliances.

Hard, Sticky, & Sugary

There are different types of foods that can negatively impact your braces, including sticky foods, hard foods, and sugary foods. Hard foods can potentially break your braces’ brackets and wires while sticky foods can get caught in between them. Additionally, because it is more difficult to clean your mouth and maintain proper oral hygiene while wearing braces, sugary foods should be avoided. If sugary particles are missed during your brushing and flossing routine then you could develop tooth decay and other health problems.

Common Sense

In most situations, common sense will help you determine what foods could potentially be bad for your braces. That being said, our Bluff Creek Dental team has compiled a list of foods you should avoid if you want to maintain the health of your teeth, progress of your orthodontic treatment, and well-being of your braces.

The List

Avoid Sticky Foods Such As:

  • Gum (sugar-free or regular)
  • Licorice
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Toffee
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Caramels
  • Starbursts

Say “No” to These Hard Foods:

  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Hard taco shells
  • French bread crust/rolls (unless broken into smaller pieces)
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples & carrots (unless cut into smaller pieces)
  • Bagels
  • Chips & popcorn
  • Jolly Ranchers or other hard candies

Abstain From Sugary Foods Like:

  • Cake
  • Ice cream
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Candy

Only Once a Day:

  • Soda
  • Sweetened tea
  • Gatorade
  • Kool-Aid
  • Drinks with sugar

Visit Bluff Creek Dental Today

Patients of Bluff Creek Dentist trust our doctors with the development and care of their smiles. To make an appointment in our Chanhassen office, contact us today. We look forward to helping you smile brighter! 

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