Your Dental Cleaning is More Than Just a Cleaning

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

When you schedule a recare visit at Eggert Family Dentistry, you may think that all we will do is remove any plaque we see and polish your teeth. While these services are important, they are just the tip of the iceberg. When you come into our office for a cleaning, we perform a full evaluation and keep an eye out for early signs of more serious problems. 

We check for signs of tooth decay 

Soft spots and pitting are signs that bacteria are breaking down enamel and causing tooth decay. This is most commonly caused by infrequent or poor brushing, frequent snacking and sugary foods and beverages. Acids also contribute significantly to tooth decay. If Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff spot signs of tooth decay, they will recommend scheduling a follow-up appointment to clean out the decay and protect the tooth with a filling or crown, depending on the situation. 

We evaluate the health of your gums

When bacteria hang out along the gum line, they can wreak havoc on gum health. When gum disease is left untreated, it can result in shifting or drifting of teeth and eventual tooth loss. It can also lead to systemic issues such as heart disease, diabetes, lung infections, osteoporosis, hypertension and cancer! When you come in for a cleaning, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff, as well as our amazing hygiene team, will look for signs of gum irritation including swelling, redness, pocketing or bleeding. Once plaque and tartar are removed, if they observe any of these signs of gum disease, they will recommend next steps to help your gum tissues heal. Oftentimes, in addition to spectacular home dental care habits, this will include a deep cleaning procedure in our office.  

We examine your jaw, facial muscles and lymph nodes

When you come into our office, Dr. Elizbeth or Dr. Jeff make sure your jaw is properly aligned and they look for any issues with your temporomandibular joints. They look for any swelling in the jaw and facial muscles as well, which can be an early sign of an abscessed tooth or infection. They also make sure your lymph nodes are not inflamed. If they find anything unusual, they will recommend next steps to correct the issue. Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will also inspect your mouth for any signs of oral cancer and if they have any concerns, they will refer you to an oral surgeon or sometimes, a medical doctor. 

We assess the integrity of any existing fillings or other restorations

Fillings are effective at filling in holes in teeth and preventing bacteria from building up and causing cavities but they don’t last forever. Over time, fillings break down and need repair. When fillings crack or become loose, they expose divots in the teeth that can trap bacteria and, left unattended, cause cavities to redevelop. Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will check the integrity of your fillings and schedule a separate visit if any of them need to be repaired or replaced. 

We take x-rays

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we recommend at least once-a-year x-rays of your teeth. This allows us to look at the roots of your teeth and make sure they’re healthy and strong. We can also look between your teeth and under your gum line in order to spot early signs of infection and decay.

Just because you’re not experiencing teeth or jaw discomfort doesn’t mean problems aren’t brewing. If you haven’t been in to see us for a while, schedule a recare visit by giving us a call at 651.482.8412. We will perform a thorough cleaning and evaluation to protect and preserve your smile for a lifetime! 

Meet Your Hygiene Team

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

In case you didn’t know, October is National Dental Hygiene Month! We want to observe the month by taking some time to introduce ourselves and tell you a little about the history of Eggert Family Dentistry and what we’re all about.

In 2005, Dr. Elizabeth acquired an existing dental practice in North Oaks, a northern St. Paul suburb, and we’ve been operating out of this same building for the past 15 years, just moving down the hall in 2015 to a larger location. We are a family-friendly practice, offering services for patients of all ages. Our services run the gamut from general dentistry to cosmetic work and from orthodontics to full-mouth reconstructions. Our motto is “Dentistry for a Lifetime of Smiles,” and we work hard to that end, partnering with each of our patients to help them achieve a healthy and beautiful smile that will truly last a lifetime. 

Here we highlight our Hygiene Team and thank them for all the wonderful service they provide our patients!

Joanna

“I enjoy working at Eggert Family Dentistry because we have a fun working atmosphere. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff care for their patients and provide the best dental care for them.”

When she’s not at the office, Joanna enjoys being outside and spending time with family and friends. She resides in Blaine with her husband, Jeffrey, and their four children – Kyle, Kylie, Rylie and Bentley. 

 

Shelly

“I continue to love this profession! The quality of care I have had the privilege to provide over the years has been a direct reflection on those I have served. Meeting patients’ needs through listening, hands-on care and education has been so fulfilling. Our patients are the reason we do what we do.”

Shelly and her husband Ross, have lived in Shoreview for over 25 years. They have twin sons and a daughter, all just on the cusp of adulthood! As a family, they enjoy spending time at their Wisconsin cabin. Shelly loves to cook and enjoys fellowship with others.

Lea

“It is a pleasure to be part of the Eggert Family Dentistry team! We strive to make each visit a pleasant experience and to create a trusting relationship with each patient. I enjoy being part of a team that provides attentive care and top-notch education to help our patients maintain optimal health using the latest technology.”

Lea resides in White Bear Lake with her husband Dan and their two kids – Jonathan and Lauren. They also love their one-year-old black lab, Louie. Lea spends her free time in the garden, going to the cabin, reading and watching her kids play sports.

Cassie

“At Eggert Family Dentistry, our entire team strives to make every patient our number one priority. We provide exceptional, personalized care in a small office setting. I enjoy working with Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff and contributing to the overall patient experience.”

Cassie grew up in Ramsey and graduated from Anoka High School. She now lives in Andover with her husband Jim and their twin boys, Zack and Ryan, and their daughter, Abby. Cassie stays busy with her kids’ activities – baseball, basketball, track and competitive dance. She also enjoys tennis and fun times at the lake boating, swimming and kayaking.

If you’d like to learn more about Eggert Family Dentistry and the services we provide, give us a call at 651.482.8412. We would be happy to connect with you!

Keeping Your Teeth Healthy for a Lifetime of Smiles

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Maintaining a healthy mouth for a lifetime requires a commitment to good habits every day. While it’s best to begin forming these habits in childhood, it’s never too late to experience the benefits of proper oral care. 

The ripple effect of gum disease

Gingivitis occurs when plaque builds up in your mouth and causes gums to become tender and inflamed. If left unattended, gum disease can set in. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious gum infection that is a precursor to a host of increasingly serious health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, lung infections, osteoporosis, hypertension and cancer. Regular brushing, flossing and rinsing can keep plaque from building up in the first place and can help you ward off further problems. 

Sugar and tobacco

When you consume sugar, it increases the amount of acid in your mouth. Acid breaks down sugar but it also erodes tooth enamel.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Avoiding or limiting the consumption of sugary foods and beverages will help protect your enamel and keep your teeth strong. Consume a diet rich in whole foods and opt for water as your go-to beverage.
  • Frequent snacking increases your risk of tooth decay. Limit snacking and brush after sugary or acidic foods. 
  • Brushing and flossing will help but not negate the negative effects of a poor diet. 

Tobacco is another enemy for a healthy mouth. In fact, smokers who smoke even less than half a pack of cigarettes a day are still almost 300% more likely to contract gum disease than non-smokers. Additionally, tobacco increases your chances of needing a root canal or losing teeth by 200%. It is also linked to a variety of mouth cancers such cancer of the gums, cheeks and lips. Avoiding tobacco products is an enormous investment in your oral and overall wellness. 

The benefits of regular brushing and flossing

Brushing and flossing might sound trivial but its impact cannot be underestimated. In combination with consuming a healthy diet and avoiding tobacco, brushing and flossing will set you up with a healthy smile for life. 

Here are some pointers:

  • Brush at least twice a day for two minutes and floss at least once a day.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash after brushing. 
  • Switch out your toothbrush 3-4 times each year.
  • Always brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your gums.

Recare visits

Scheduling a minimum of two annual recare visits per year helps to ensure that we can help you catch small issues before they become larger issues. When you come in for a routine checkup and cleaning at Eggert Family Dentistry, we clean your teeth, removing stubborn plaque, and assess your mouth for signs of many conditions including cavities, gum disease, bruxism and oral cancer. Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff then make recommendations based on what they observe, partnering with you to help you achieve optimal dental health. 

If you would like to learn more about how you can take care of your teeth today and experience a lifetime of smiles, we would love to see you in our office! Give us a call at 651.482.8412 to schedule your visit.