What causes tooth decay?  Sugar doesn't cause tooth decay.  You can put a tooth in a bowl of sugar or breast milk for years and the tooth will not decay.  Acid need to be present in order for tooth decay to occur along with sugar.  The acid is produced when the sugars in foods or drinks react with bacteria present on the tooth surface.  The acid production leads to the loss of calcium from the enamel causing deminralization which is the begining process of tooth decay.  Keeping your mouth clean by brushing twice and flossing once daily your risks of tooth decay will go down significantly.   

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Frequent snacking can contribute to your child's tooth decay.  Avoid snacking throughout the day.  Try to encourage your child to have 3 meals and 2 snacks per day.  Pick healthy tooth-friendly snacks like cheese, blueberries, whole wheat cereal, vegtables, almounds, or yogurt.  It is ok to have sweets sometimes, just not every day.   

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At Dakota Children's Dentistry we have state of the art equipment to makes dental treatment as gentle as possible.  When Dr. Glenn numbs a tooth before placing a filling, we use "the Wand" that delivers the lidocaine so slowly and precisely that your child doesn't realize they are getting an injection.  Patient comfort is one of our top priorities and we are always striving to achive great for kids. 

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At Dakota Children's Dentistry our gentle approach is effective for children that are frightened or have dental axiety.  We allow parents to come back with their child so they feel more secure and comfortable. 
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We take time to explain how the procedure will go, we refer to this as "tell, show, do."   This helps reassure the child that nothing bad is going to happen.  It is our goal to help make everything as easy and fun as possible.   
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We feel it is important to give choices.  We let children pick their toothpaste and fluoride flavors. This helps engage the child with our procedures.  Our goal is to provide you and your children with comfort to reassure a positive dental experience and to treat each patient with respect for their individual concerns and needs. 


Most children start using a fluoride toothpaste around 4-5 years old.  Fluoride is an important preventative measure that helps make our teeth less dissolvable in acid, which ultimately means less decay.  It is important for your child to use fluoride free toothpaste until they can fully spit it out.  If fluoride toothpaste is swallowed frequently, your child could develop dental fluorosis.  Dental Fluorosis can permanently discolor the adult teeth, but is strictly cosmetic.  

thumbsuck
Children typically start sucking their thumb when they are a baby, sometimes before they are born.  As your child gets older they suck their thumb when they are bored, tired, or anxious.  Many children stop sucking their thumb on their own between 2-4 year old. 
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When a child continues to suck their thumb after the age of 4-5 year old, they may start to develope an open bite.  An open bite is when the child is unable to bite their front teeth together.  At this time we recommend wearing a sock on the child's hand at night as a reminder not to suck their thumb.  Sometimes the sock doesn't work.  If your child is ready to quit, we would recommend a thumb appliance.  Also, help your child understand that sucking their thumb is moving their teeth into the wrong place and it is important to stop.
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If your child starts to develop an open bite we may recommend a thumb appliance.  A thumb appliance simply reminds the child not to suck their thumb and make it less satisfying because they can't get the same suction with the extra plastic piece attached.   



At every dental check up Dr. Glenn or Dr. Carmen records your child's bite and we measure the amount of crowding.  Dr. Glenn or Dr. Carmen will discuss any orthodontic concerns at that time and refer to an orthodontist when needed.  Some children that look severely crowded may just need time to grow, however other children may need early orthodontic intervention.

If you are concerned about the appearance of your child's teeth, it's a good idea to get an orthodontic evaluation by 7 years old. An orthodontist is a dentist with additional training, who specializes in aligning and straightening teeth. The best time for your child to get dental braces depends on the severity and the cause of the misalignment of your child's teeth.

Traditionally, treatment with dental braces begins when a child has lost most of his or her baby (primary) teeth, and a majority of his or her adult (permanent) teeth have grown in — usually between the ages of 9 and 14.

Some orthodontists recommend what's called an interceptive approach, which involves the use of dental appliances — not always dental braces — at an earlier age, while a child still has most of his or her baby teeth. Then, when a child has most of his or her adult teeth, a second phase of treatment is started — usually with dental braces. This second phase is thought by some to be shorter than a traditional course of braces if an early treatment has been performed.

Orthodontists who favor the traditional approach say that a two-phase approach to treatment actually increases the total time — and sometimes the expense — of orthodontic treatment with generally similar results. However, other orthodontists believe guidance of growth using dental appliances before the second phase of treatment makes correction easier.

The best choice for you and your child will largely depend on the severity of your child's dental problems. Talk with your child's dentist or orthodontist about the best course of action.

  

Sipping on things like soda, juice, and sports drinks will cause decalcification and decay.  Tooth decalcification is a process in which the teeth lose calcium.  This is caused by poor oral hyiene, not brushing two times daily or flossing.  Decalcification can also be caused by sipping on sweet liquids that contain sugar and acid.

The sugar and acid contained in these drinks are very harmful to our teeth.  It will cause cavities and tooth decalcification.   If you are going to drink these beverages, the most important thing to remember is consumption time.  The longer the sugar and acid is on your teeth, the more likely damage will be done.  So just remember don't sip all day and get decay.  Keep your smile healthy and happy this summer. 
  

We are very excited to introduce Dr. Carmen to Dakota children's Denitstry!
Dr. Carmen Lammeier
Enjoying children’s sense of humor and excitement for life is why I love working with kids.  My greatest rewards are the healthy, genuine smiles I see on patients’ faces after showing them that a visit to the dentist is a positive, inspiring experience, especially if in doing so I have alleviated previous fears.  I believe my role as pediatric dentist is part of a team that includes our patients, their parents, and our staff, all working together to support healthy, lifelong smiles.

Through participation in various community and dental outreach programs, I witnessed the positive impact that a pediatric dentist has on a child.  In preparation for this, I graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering.  I then completed my dental education at the University of Connecticut, where I received my Doctor of Dental Medicine.  I obtained additional training in a hospital-based general practice residency at the University of Colorado. 

Completing my specialty training in pediatric dentistry at the University of Minnesota has given me the knowledge and practice required to provide specialized treatment for children and adolescents with common dental needs as well as complex medical conditions.  I am dedicated to providing the best possible experience for my patients.  To ensure this level of care, I have extensive training in preventive and restorative dentistry, including dental treatment under general anesthesia.  While receiving my advanced training in pediatrics, I was recognized by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry for my involvement in research and development for new methods of caries detection.  

In order to maintain the highest level of specialty knowledge, I attend meetings and seminars throughout the year, providing me access to the most advanced techniques and equipment in pediatric dentistry.  I am a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, Minnesota Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and Minnesota Dental Association.  I am a Diplomate of the American Board Pediatric Dentistry. 

I live in Minneapolis with my husband.  Together, we enjoy bicycling, cheering for the Minnesota Wild, and spending time with family and friends.  I am thrilled to have joined the talented team at Dakota Children’s Dentistry! 

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Usually the two lower front teeth (central incisors) erupt at about six months of age, followed shortly by the two upper central incisors. During the next 18 to 24 months, the rest of the baby teeth appear, although not in orderly sequence from front to back. All of these 20 primary teeth should be present at two to three years of age. 

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