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The trouble with bottled water

September 2nd, 2011

Our team at the Dental Comfort Center knows that as more families turn to bottled water and away from the traditional tap, they may be missing out on one important ingredient that most brands of bottled water fail to include: fluoride!

For more than 60 years, water fluoridation has proved to be a safe and cost-effective way to reduce dental caries. Today, water fluoridation is estimated to reduce tooth decay by 20- to 40 percent in children who have access to fluoridated toothpaste.

Bottled water, however, which remains one of the more popular drinks in the world, may not contain any fluoride, which is known to help prevent and even reverse the early stages of tooth decay. The majority of bottled waters on the market do not contain optimal levels (0.7-1.2 ppm) of fluoride, according to our friends at the American Dental Association, or ADA. Many dental health specialists suspect bottled water’s increased popularity as the culprit behind rising rates of cavities.

Because fluoride helps strengthen teeth, it is an important component of maintaining good oral health. So if bottled water is your water of choice, be sure to check the label to make sure that your brand contains fluoride. As of a 2006 decision, the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, allows bottled water containing .6 to 1.0 milligrams per liter (parts per million) of fluoride to carry a label stating that fluoridated water may reduce the risk of dental cavities or tooth decay. The ADA has backed this decision.

Of course, simply drinking fluoridated water is not a magic ticket to perfect teeth. To keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape, it’s important to brush and floss daily and avoid sugary sweets, in addition to maintaining your fluoride intake and visiting Dr. Dennis Graber, Dr. Aaron Aadland, Dr. Cody Henriksen and our team at the Dental Comfort Center regularly.

Five Delicious and Nutritious Snacks for Kids

August 26th, 2011

At the Dental Comfort Center, we know getting kids and teens to eat healthy isn’t always an easy task, especially when they’re busy with school and other school- and social-related activities. At the school cafeteria, it's just too easy for kids to nosh on French fries, chicken nuggets and other fried foods and unhealthy snacks, so Dr. Dennis Graber, Dr. Aaron Aadland, and Dr. Cody Henriksen and our team thought we’d pass along five delicious and nutritious snacks we know your child will love.

1. Cheese – Cheese is one of the healthiest snacks for your child's teeth. In addition to providing large amounts of much-needed calcium, cheese also does its part to fight cavities. Cheese stimulates the body's salivary glands to clear the mouth of debris and protect them from acids that weaken them, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. This means cheese disrupts the development of cavities, especially when eaten as a snack or at the end of a meal. Calcium and phosphorous found in cheese reduce or prevent decreases in the plaque's ph level and work to re-mineralize the enamel of your child's teeth.

2. Blueberries - These tiny nutritional powerhouses are loaded with Vitamin C, as well as folic acid, minerals, fiber and disease-fighting phytochemicals, which have shown to help prevent cancer and diabetes. Kids love them sprinkled with a bit of sugar, topped with whipped cream, added to muffins and pancakes.

3. Whole wheat bread or cereal – With bread, kids get their iron, vitamins, magnesium, and zinc. With vitamins, calcium, and fiber, a bowl of enriched whole grain cereal with milk—and even fruit—is a power-packed snack or healthy start to the day.

4. Almonds - They’re rich in disease-fighting phytochemicals and Vitamin E, and also have good amounts of fiber, iron, and calcium. Let your kids eat them raw. (Note: Whole nuts are a choking hazard for children under 3 years old.)

5. Yogurt - Eating dairy is not just healthy for building strong bones, but is essential for maintaining a strong, healthy mouth. Low-fat yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, especially when whipped up in a parfait with berries and granola. Homemade fruity yogurt pop sure beats sugary store-bought frozen treats!

We encourage you to check out the other 15 healthy snacks your child can enjoy at any time of the day! For more information about which dairy foods are best for keeping your teeth healthy, please post your question here on our blog, give us a call or ask us on Facebook!

What’s the deal with coffee and tea?

August 19th, 2011

At the Dental Comfort Center, we know most folks enjoy a hot-brewed coffee or tea in the morning, followed by a cola (or more coffee) in the afternoon. But what many don’t know is that both coffee and tea are especially tough on your teeth, because tannic acid (the substance that makes the dark color) etches into the pits and grooves of tooth enamel, and can stain your pearly whites brown.

So, if you can't give up that morning cup o’joe, what can you do? Here are some tips for minimizing the effects on your teeth:

Drs. Dennis Graber, Aaron Aadland, Cody Henriksen and team suggest rinsing with a glass of water after every cup. If you enjoy iced coffee or tea, drink your beverage with a straw so that tannins don’t make contact with your front upper and lower teeth. Even if you’re not a big coffee drinker, our doctors encourage you to swish and swallow some water at the end of each meal. Water, after all, helps neutralize acids left in your mouth after eating and also reduces cavity-causing bacteria.

Our team at the Dental Comfort Center also invite you to visit our convenient Sioux Falls office for whitening options. To learn more about whitening options at our office, please visit our website, ask us on Facebook or give us a call!

Meet Dr. Cody Henriksen

August 8th, 2011

We wanted to take a moment and introduce you to the latest addition to the Dental Comfort Center team. His name is Dr. Cody Henriksen and he grew up in Arlington, South Dakota, where he graduated in 2002. He then attended Augustana College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in biology and philosophy in 2007. While in college, he was a 3-time All American in wrestling. He also received an NCAA Postgraduate scholarship and was selected as a member of the ESPN Academic All-America Team. In the summers, he worked with Augustana faculty members conducting research and was involved with a project that was later published.

From there, Dr. Henriksen attended the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. During his years at dental school, he volunteered at Gospel Union Mission providing dental care to the underserved and was active in Give Kids a Smile day. He is a member of the American Dental Association, South Dakota and Minnesota Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. His favorite thing about practicing dentistry is getting to know his patients and providing care in a relaxed environment.

During his free time, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, hunting, fishing, golfing, and working out. He is active in the community and is happy to be back in the Sioux Falls area serving patients. He is the youngest of three brothers, and gives them credit for making him tough and wise. His oldest brother is Dr. Brent Henriksen, who practices oral surgery at River Ridge right in Sioux Falls. His other brother resides in their hometown of Arlington.

During your next visit to the Dental Comfort Center, make sure to stop by and say hello to Dr. Henriksen.

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