Going to the Dentist while Pregnant

First time mothers, and even those women who will have their second or third child already, are very cautious before engaging into different medical procedures because of fear that it might affect the unborn baby in a negative way. One of the things taken into careful consideration is the appointment and visits to the dentist. Some say that having dental work while pregnant will result to a premature birth of the baby. Well the truth is; that is one of the fallacies pregnant women blindly follow. In fact it is highly recommended to take trips to the dentist to avoid abnormal buildup of plaque in the oral cavity.

Study shows that when women are pregnant, there is an excessive production of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are present abundantly because they strengthen the baby’s hold to the mother. They make sure that the baby is well-kept and intact in the uterus for the entire duration of the pregnancy. But these same hormones, which circulate the body via the blood, may cause some complication to the mother.

What happens if I don’t go the dentist?

When these hormones’ level is high, there are more risks that the pregnant women face because of not going to the dentist, than actually going to the dentist. They may suffer from:

(1)Pregnancy gingivitis. This is a less serious form gum disease that the pregnant women may acquire from plaque buildup. Symptoms include swelling, redness, and bleeding of gums.


a.    In rare cases, pregnant women may also develop so-called pregnancy tumors which not actual tumors but rather nodules that form on the surface of the gums. These outgrowths are so sensitive they can cause gum bleeding even in slightest contact with solid objects.  (Symptoms same with gingivitis)


(2)The development of a more serious gum disease (periodontitis) is also likely. If left untreated, this will cause the surrounding gum tissues and bones to which the teeth are anchored to slowly detach from the infected teeth. This leads the teeth to loosen and eventually fall off.


How will I avoid gum diseases?

(1)Follow recommended diet (more on the organic, less of the synthetic) and if possible cut back on the sweets especially if your gums became extra sensitive with your pregnancy.

(2)Be more stringent with your oral hygiene. Brush and floss every after meal.

(3)See your dentist regularly for cleaning, at least twice during your pregnancy (preferably during second trimester). But if you notice something unusual with your oral health, frequent the visits.

What else can I do while at the dentist?


Well aside from the cleaning; if your dentist finds a cavity it will likely be suggested for you address it. It will be best to close off the cavity before it can cause other complications. But anything else that will require anesthesia and exposure to xray shall be postponed after giving birth. So are other major dental works such as tooth extraction.

Oral Hygiene and Your Overall Health

Oral hygiene you may ask? Yes it is indeed important for to you and to everyone else. As a matter of fact, your oral hygiene is also connected to your overall health. Take note, experts would agree to this.

Remember, your mouth including your teeth and gums are teeming with lots of bacteria. Your saliva when seen under a microscope, there are lots of bacteria that are wandering. Some are good bacteria and some can cause certain disease.

Well, if you are not brushing and flossing, you may have a high risk of having periodontal disease. Other teeth and gum disease may also happen. This is the reason why you need to brush on a daily basis and if possible, every after meals.

Also, if you are not brushing your teeth, you may also acquire tonsillitis. Take note, this happens especially to kids who are not brushing their teeth. Because of the bad bacterium that multiplies, it may “cling” into your tonsil and thus tonsillitis occurs.

Studies show that you can also have a rheumatic heart disease if in case your tonsillitis occurs very often. The bad bacteria may travel into your heart and thus causing rheumatic heart disease.  The connection to your oral hygiene – brush every day to assure that your mouth is clean and to avoid tonsillitis and rheumatic heart disease.

If in the case you also have diabetes, it will surely aggravate periodontal disease. The reason to this is because your body can’t process excess sugar in your body and that’s why you may have this kind of oral problem as well. Again, it is important that you brush your teeth everyday to promote oral hygiene.

Now to assure oral hygiene and to avoid further onset of certain diseases, you may want to avoid such bad habits like smoking. If you are smoking cigarette or cigars, better stop it now before anything bad happens to your overall health. Remember, smoking can be bad to your teeth and to your breath. Obviously it can cause bad breath and coloration of the teeth and even tooth decay. Further problems of smoking would also cause lung diseases like emphysema and lung cancer.

Drinking alcohol is also a no-no. Again, it will cause tooth decay because of the too much sugar in alcohol beverages. Also, the acid in such beverages may also cause problems in your oral health.

Certain medications can also aggravate some problems in your oral cavities. For instance, in consuming medicines such as tetracycline, it can cause drying of the mouth and therefore, absence of saliva to flush away the bad bacteria in your mouth.

Take into account, there are so many factors that may cause problems in your oral hygiene and even in your overall health. That’s why it is very important that you take care of your teeth and gums at all times.


Make it a daily habit to brush and do a dental floss to eliminate tar-tar and any bad bacteria in your mouth. Always have a healthy lifestyle to protect your oral health and your overall health as well.


Today, devices have been invented to address so-called human imperfections. This may range from having bad skin, unruly hair, not proportioned body parts, crooked teeth and so on and so forth. The list is surely long but on a positive note, one could now get rid of disorderly teeth by choosing to install braces. Contact us today to schedule an orthodontics consultation.

Can people like me (who over the age of 18) still get braces?

It is for a fact that the human teeth are more malleable during the younger years. (1) Then how about adults who only decided at to have braces on at their age because they could not afford it when they were younger or maybe realized that having the perfect smile will up the game during job hunting? (2) Will that be an issue? (3) Are they still qualified to get braces even as adults already? The answers are:

(1)Nobody is too old to get their teeth fixed

(2)It is not and will not be an issue as long as you are following orders from your dentist

(3) Yes, Yes, Yes!

The only downside to this is that it will take longer to get the desired results, but nonetheless you will reach that point eventually.

Why will I need braces as an adult?

Over the years, the teeth arrangement of an average person can go from very good to horribly bad. This is a result of lifestyle and the natural growth of the teeth. Thus, it will be necessary to address the shifting of the teeth to avoid complications such as: jaw pain, crowded teeth, chewing problems and headaches. Although it will require some adjustments in your lifestyle such as diet and hygienic practice it will be worth it. And aesthetically, adults face the pressure of maintaining a pleasant look. This includes a megawatt smile to go with your lovely face.

What are the options I have if I decided to get braces?

The dental practice involving braces has evolved significantly. You can now opt not to have the usual bulky metallic braces that give you, well, a geeky vibe. Listed below are other procedures you can choose from. However please note that it is still your dentist’s discretion on how to correlate your option and your condition.

(1)Metal braces - the typical high-grade stainless steel that is attached to the front of teeth.

(2)Clear ceramic braces – also attached to the front of the teeth but unlike metal braces, they are inconspicuous since it blends with the color of the teeth.

(3)Lingual braces  the brackets are concealed because that attach to the back of teeth.


(4)Invisible braces – are clear and removable devices called aligners which are customized according to your teeth’s condition. 

Water is life – this is a cliché description of water. It is believed that drinking enough water – at least 8 glasses a day – promotes good health and vitality. Thus, drinking a lot of water is always promoted. There are a lot of known advantages of drinking water – increases energy & relieves fatigue; promotes weight loss; 3. Flushes out toxins; improves skin complexion; maintains regularity; boosts immune system; natural headache remedy; prevents cramps & sprains; and puts you in a good mood – When the body is functioning at its best, you will feel great and be happy thus, with the technology today, innovations involving water rose. Right now, from well and tap waters came the mineral water, alkaline water, and even kangen water. These kinds of water are more likely processed and are packaged in bottles.

Moreover, a lot of people are embracing a healthy lifestyle and believing that bottled water should be a part of their diet. Drinking a good amount of bottled water is often encouraged by doctors and dieticians alike, since staying hydrated is an important component of being healthy. Furthermore, bottled water is often marketed as being better for you as it seems like a healthier choice in beverages when compared to other sugary drinks, but it may be doing your teeth a disservice. Your bottled water could be missing some elements that promote oral health.  In addition, most bottled water does not contain fluoride. Yet, drinking from a bottle instead of the tap is becoming more popular since it’s healthier to drink bottled water instead of sodas. Hence, the use of bottled water has doubled in the past decade.

As more consumers sip bottled water, fewer of them ingest enough fluoride to prevent cavities. If bottled water is your main source of drinking water, you could be missing the decay-preventive benefits of fluoride; a big reason why dentists are finding more cavities in younger children. Fluoride in water helps prevent tooth decay by 20 to 40 percent. Water without fluoride has the biggest impact on children under the age of eight. These are the ages in which their teeth are still growing. After your teeth have grown, dentists say it is fine to drink bottled water. Just be sure to get fluoride in your system with fluoride toothpastes or rinses.

To help, the following are tips to get fluoride.

● Consume commercially prepared foods and beverages that are fluoride-fortified. You may check the label of the item you are  buying.

● Fluoridated toothpaste and/or professionally-applied gels or varnishes. These products can help strengthen teeth by hardening the outer enamel surface. This helps the teeth generate and replenish the lost enamel of the teeth.

●Take in dietary fluoride supplements (tablets, drops or lozenges). Supplements are available only by prescription and are intended for children ages six months to 16 years living in areas without fluoridated water in their community.

However, how can water with fluoride work? Fluoride battles dental cavities by strengthening tooth enamel of the teeth damaged by acid. Unfortunately, the majority of bottled waters contain little or no fluoride. In fact, fluoride may even be removed from water during the filtration process. Furthermore, how can bottled water be bad for your teeth? There are no studies completed to prove whether bottled waters contribute to dental cavities, it may be too early to tell how drinking bottled water affects your teeth. But, a lot, especially dentists believe that bottled water already went through thorough filtration processes, it already lost its fluoride content thus, believed to be not helping in replenishing the lost enamel of the teeth. It is thought that people who drink a lot of water in bottle and are the ones who do not use fluoride-full toothpastes or gels will eventually have weak teeth because of the loss of fluoride intake. That is the reason as well that a lot of companies have advertised their products to be filled with fluoride.


The next time you buy a bottle of water or use a filtration system, think about your teeth, too. Fluoride helps prevent cavities, and since dental health is linked to overall health, you'll want to take the right steps to keep your mouth in great shape. Talk to your dentist about the benefits of fluoride, and include dental care in your plans for a healthy lifestyle. After all, you've worked hard for that body -- why not have a great set of teeth to go with it? 

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are artificial teeth roots that are made of synthetic material, and are anchored to your jaw by surgery in order to keep a replacement tooth or a bridge in place. Implants give the advantage of not having to depend on any of the neighboring teeth to stay in place and they are permanent. An implant is a preferred solution to replacing lost teeth because they appear and feel just like your natural teeth.

The materials used in making implants are various types of bone-like and metallic porcelain materials suitable to human body tissue. Dental implants can be done in a variety of ways. One is to position it into the jaw bone, just as a natural tooth root would occur. Another way, if  there is limited jaw structure, is to create a metal framework, custom-made, that is fitted right on the existing bone structure.

Who can use dental implants?

You should discuss with your dentist whether or not you are a good prospect for a dental implant. It is important that your health is good and that you have healthy bone structure and gums for the implant to stably take hold. Patients who cannot use dentures may additionally be great prospects, specifically for Mini Implants. If you have chronic trouble, such as clenching or grinding, or any conditions of the system, like diabetes, the rate of success for a dental implant reduces significantly. Furthermore, smoking cigarettes or consuming alcohol reduce your chances of being a good candidate for dental implants.

The dental implant procedure

The dentist does a surgical procedure, anchoring the artificial root directly into your own jaw bone. It is an in-house surgery that requires only local anesthesia. Afterwards, medications can be taken for any soreness or pain.

Length of the procedure

It can take up to nine months from start to finish to do the implant procedure. New technologies are being developed to attempt to reduce the time needed to heal from the process. Since the healing process is different for each patient, the healing times will differ. The healing process can go for as long as six months, following the surgical insertion of the screws and posts, and up to two months after that for the fitting of the replacement teeth to be completed.

Success rate of implants

The rate of success for implants is dependent upon the location of the tooth in the mouth and its purpose. The for teeth positioned in the front of the lower jaw, the rate of success is around 95%, and for teeth positioned on the upper jaw in the rear or on the sides it is about 85%.

Care of implants

Your general health does have an impact on your dental implant’s rate of success. If you have poor oral hygiene, you have more of a chance of implant failure. It's important to regularly brush and floss around the implants minimally two times per day. The dentist will provide you with guidelines on the exact care of the dental implants. Extra dental cleanings, as much as four per year, might be required to guarantee the gums stay healthy.

Cost of implants

Because implants are done as a surgical procedure and are a more involved process, the cost is higher than for normal bridge work. Some dental treatments or portions of the procedure can be included in your dental or medical insurance. You can ask your dentist if your policy covers the procedure.

Choosing a dentist trained in dental implants


Dentists that can perform dental implants go through a program of extensive training on the procedure. Your dentist may do the treatment or he may consult with specialists  to get the desired outcome needed. Be sure to ask your dentist questions regarding his/her education in dental implant procedures.

Recommended brushing techniques

There are a variety of efficient techniques for brushing your teeth. If you talk to your dentist or dental hygienist, they can help you figure out which method will be the most comfortable and effective for you, taking into account the position of your teeth and condition of the gums.

One of the easiest methods to use is to brush with the toothbrush in a circular or elliptical pattern, concentrating on a few teeth at a time, throughout the mouth.

The toothbrush should be angled at about 45-degrees to your teeth, carefully brushing teeth in a circular pattern. Make sure you cover all surfaces, brushing the teeth on the outside, inside, and along the tongue, concentrating on the chewing areas, as well as in between the teeth.  Brushing in a movement that goes back and forth, could increase the likelihood of the gums to recede, or might inflame the root area or cause the surface of the root to become exposed. The gum line could become worn down.

Choosing a soft or hard toothbrush

Typically, you should choose a brush that is little, about 1″, for to ensure it can easily access all parts of the mouth. A long handle makes it easier to hold on to. Using a soft brush with multiple length bristles will give you the most effective cleaning. The bristles should be a soft nylon, rounded at the ends. It is not recommended to use hard or even medium bristles. If you use too hard a brush, it could wear down the enamel of the teeth. When brushing, do not press down too hard on the teeth; a firm pressure, adequate to reach in between the teeth is best.

Length of brushing

Dentists usually suggest brushing for about 3-4 minutes. An excellent idea is to turn the radio on while brushing and brush along for the duration of a song. You can also use an egg timekeeper to keep track of your brushing length. Often people will think that they are brushing for a longer time than they actually are, however, most actually end up brushing for only a minute. To ensure you are doing an adequate brushing and not missing areas of the teeth, it’s recommended that you do a full brushing of 3-4 minutes, twice daily, instead of shorter, quick brushings throughout the day.

Brushing at work

Most Americans don’t brush while at work, however a report by Oral-B Laboratories and also the Academy of General Dentistry shows that if you do keep a toothbrush at the office, the possibility that you will clean your teeth during the day goes up by 65%, so dentists do suggest using a toothbrush at work is a good practice. It ensures that the snacks and sweets you eat during the day aren’t left on the teeth, switching to harmful acids. As long as you brush with fluoride toothpaste morning and at night, then you don’t need to use toothpaste at the office. It is adequate enough to use just do a quick cleanup with the toothbrush and water before going back to work. If you don’t have a brush, a quick swishing of the water assists greatly in keeping the teeth clean.

Brushing Your Teeth May Lower Dementia Risk (And 15 Other Reasons to Brush)

Dental professionals, medical professionals, and researchers all agree that brushing your teeth does more than prevent cavities.  Brushing your teeth also benefits your overall health.  The act of brushing your teeth can prevent, and in some cases reverse, many severe and chronic health conditions-including all forms of dementia (including Alzheimer’s). 

According to a recent study from the University of California, daily brushing is associated with a lower risk of developing dementia in the future.  Between 1992 and 2010, researchers followed 5,468 retirement community residents, with an average age of 81.  They found that female study participants who didn't practice daily brushing had a 65% greater chance of developing dementia than those who did. Similar results were found for the men; those who didn’t brush daily had a 22% greater chance of developing dementia than those who brushed.  Although a direct cause-and-effect relationship between brushing and dementia has not yet been established, the study did demonstrate a very strong correlational relationship between daily brushing and a lower risk for developing dementia in the future.

The link between brushing, dementia, and other serious health conditions (such as stroke, diabetes, and heart attacks) is the inflammatory process of gum disease (periodontitis). Periodontitis is caused when the bacteria in your mouth consume leftover food particles that haven’t been removed by brushing.

The act of brushing removes any leftover food, so the bacteria have nothing to consume.  If you don’t brush, the bacteria consume any leftover food or sugar remaining on your teeth.  After they consume, the bacteria excrete an inflammatory substance called “plaque”.  Plaque is a sticky, whitish film which, if not removed by brushing, irritates and inflames your gums.  Chronic inflammation destroys healthy tissue, which includes the veins and arteries that supply the blood to your brain and heart.

It’s easy to see how a diminished blood supply to your brain over several years could increase your risk for dementia.  The plaque that causes the inflammation continues to build up and can break off, partially or totally blocking a blood vessel.  If a blood vessel becomes blocked by plaque, the tissues dependent on that vessel for blood supply die, or become severely impaired.  Daily brushing has been shown to reduce your risk for (1) heart disease. Chronic inflammation from periodontitis is a contributing factor in (2) hypertension. Inflamed and narrowed blood vessels from periodontitis also increase the risk for (3) erectile dysfunction.  Plaque can break off, travel to the heart, and cause a (4) heart attack; or to the brain, causing a (5) stroke; or to the lungs, causing a (7) pulmonary embolism.

Daily brushing has also been shown to be an important factor in the management of (8) diabetes.  Periodontitis impairs the body’s ability to metabolize sugar.  Brushing has the ability to reverse a pre-diabetic condition, and to make existing diabetes easier to control.  The bacteria involved in periodontitis can be inhaled, causing (9) pneumonia and (10) bronchitis.  

Bacteria and inflammation quickly move from your gums to your jaws. When your jawbones begin to deteriorate, you will begin to lose your teeth.  This process will continue on to (11) changes in facial appearance, headaches, and, eventually, (12) total edentulism (losing all of your teeth).  A 2007 study found that individuals with less than 9 teeth had a higher risk of dementia than individuals with more than nine teeth

If you have artificial joints, like a knee or hip replacement, brushing can reduce your risk for (13) osteomyelitis (bone infection), (14) osteoporosis (brittle bones), or (15) sepsis (blood infection).

Brushing regularly is an easy and simple way to reduce your risks for many dangerous and chronic conditions.





RiverRock DDS Relaunches Website With Brand New Design To Enhance Customer Experience

RiverRock DDS has recreated their website from the ground up with a brand new design and all-new features, including the ability to book an appointment online via the website.

Dentistry is an essential for all the family, and helps people keep their teeth healthy, white and shiny so they can smile with confidence. When looking for a dentist online, so many practices will attempt to dazzle people with special offers or incentives, but little is said about their customer service or reputation within the community. RiverRock Dental Shakopee does things differently, and has just redesigned their website to reflect that. The website has all new features, as well as testimonials from community members and information on their staff to put the personal touch first.

Both new and returning patients can now book online via the website as well as filling out any and all necessary forms. The site includes a full listing of day to day opening hours to help people schedule their appointments effectively as well as information on the services they offer.

Each of the service titles can be clicked through to find out more about the service in question, as well as how it is practiced at RiverRock DDS. The site is fully flexible and responsive, capable of displaying beautifully on any size of screen.

A spokesperson for RiverRock Dental explained, “All our clients remark on the fact that we’re such a friendly practice, and we do our utmost to ensure all our patients are at their most comfortable and cared for throughout their visit. That’s why we redesigned the site to introduce our team, our services and our previous’ clients experiences. We understand this is far more valuable in the decision making process than special offers on unwanted treatments. Instead, we focus on demonstrating quality in our team, our services and our customer relationships. With new features to make it easier than ever to interact with us, we look forward to meeting new patients.”


About RiverRock DDS: RiverRock DDS focus on providing high quality dental care in a warm, welcoming environment. Dr. Christianson and Dr. Navarro enjoy all aspects of dentistry, including orthodontics, cosmetic, restorative and family dentistry. Their practice in Shakopee, Minnesota offers a warm and welcoming environment in which patients receive the best care available. For more information please visit: http://www.riverrockdds.com/

The bad news? Your children can begin getting tooth decay as soon as they have teeth. The good news? Tooth decay is preventable. The key to preventing it is by helping your child to form teeth-healthy habits while they are still young.

When they are a baby, begin cleaning their mouth with gauze or a washcloth. As soon as their teeth begin to appear, you should brush your child’s teeth with an amount of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. You want to introduce “teeth-brushing” into your child’s routine very early on. Explain the importance of brushing your teeth to your child so they understand why they must do it twice every day.

Once your child reaches age three, you can up the amount of toothpaste to more of a pea sized amount. You should still continue to help your child brush their teeth to ensure they are doing so thoroughly and to ensure they are not swallowing any toothpaste.

Once you are confident that your child can brush their own teeth, you can introduce that possibility. This will be around the same time that your child’s teeth will begin to touch and you will need to begin a flossing routine for them as well.

And of course, don’t forget the dentist checkups. Bring your child into RiverRock Dental at least once each year so either Dr. Todd Christianson or Dr. Nicholas Navarro can make sure your child’s smile is looking bright and healthy.

Developing Healthy Habits The best way to form healthy habits is to begin early. Once you become accustomed to a certain way of life, it will feel natural for you to continue on that path.

This is the approach we, at RiverRock Dental, recommend to you.

Taking care of your teeth to prevent future problems is quite simple. Brush your teeth twice daily, floss once each day, have your teeth cleaned and examined twice a year by your dentist and eat healthy to give your body and teeth the nutrients it needs to strive.

By following each of these simple steps, you can help prevent your teeth from getting cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis and enamel loss.

RiverRock Dental is open Monday through Friday and one evening a week. To schedule an appointment with either Dr. Christianson or Dr. Navarro, just give us a call or click the “Make Appointment” link on our website. We’re here to help you!