St. Peter, MN Preventive Dentistry Protects Healthy Teeth
Maintaining a strong, beautiful smile is truly a lifelong job, and Dr. Jennifer Miller and the rest of our team would love to support you every step of the way. Our preventive services are designed to stop dental problems before they ever start by protecting your teeth and gums from common threats and helping you approach each day with confidence. Contact Valley View Dental in St. Peter, MN today if you have any questions or concerns or you are ready to schedule your first appointment. We love to see the whole family.
Checkups & Cleanings
Patients of all ages should be attending routine dental checkups and cleanings every six months. These visits are important because they allow our team to fully understand your unique smile and any potential problems that could be lingering under the surface. Dr. Miller will carefully inspect your teeth, gums, bite, jaw, existing restorations, and more with the help of digital X-rays. Once we have identified any concerns, we start creating the perfect treatment plan for you!
Additionally, our great hygiene department provides thorough cleanings that remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums, leaving your oral health refreshed and your smile nicely polished. Periodontal maintenance with PerioProtect is available as well for patients in need of specialized services.
Maybe you have experienced a sudden, scary injury to your mouth, or pain has been building and building in a certain tooth – whatever the situation is, dental emergencies are never fun. If you or a family member is in need of help, do not hesitate to contact our St. Peter, MN location right away. Dr. Jenny Miller and her team will do what they can to see you as soon as possible, and we can also help over the phone with first-aid tips and recommendations for whether to pursue emergency room attention or not.
While many dental emergencies cannot be avoided, there are tips you and your loved ones can keep in mind to decrease your risks. Make sure to attend routine checkups and cleanings with a trusted dentist like Dr. Miller, and be careful when eating foods that are overly sticky or tough. Do not chew on ice or use your teeth to open tricky packaging, and always wear a sportsguard when participating in your favorite athletic event!
Oral Cancer Screenings
Did you know that one person dies from oral cancer every hour on average? This health condition should be taken seriously, and what’s worse is that nearly 25% of patients who are diagnosed with it do not even participate in any known risk factors. At Valley View Dental, we provide oral cancer screenings as a vital part of your routine appointments in St. Peter. The earlier oral cancer is identified in its development, the greater chance the patient has of making a safe and successful recovery. Dr. Miller will thoroughly scan your mouth for indications of abnormal/ or potentially cancerous soft tissue including the following symptoms:
- Red/white patches of skin.
- Lumps/crusts/thickened areas.
- Oral sores that bleed easily or do not heal after an appropriate amount of time has passed.
- A constant sore feeling in the throat.
- Pain or numbness in the tongue and/or lips.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in several food items and water sources. Studies have shown that patients who consume it regularly tend to have stronger, healthier teeth that are less likely to develop cavities over time. Our in-office fluoride treatment is a varnish placed on the teeth, strengthening the enamel and reducing sensitivity. Your dental team will work together to evaluate if a fluoride treatment will be beneficial to your oral health.
Dental sealants are a great way to fight tooth decay, and while our team typically recommends them for younger patients who are still learning how to brush and floss, they can help adults as well. The sealant itself is a safe, plastic material that’s designed to cover a tooth’s chewing surface creating a protective barrier for the areas that are most likely to attract trapped food and bacteria. The application process is fast and comfortable, and the sealant is designed to last several years with proper maintenance.
Nightguards for TMJ/Teeth Grinding Therapy
If you are regularly suffering from nighttime teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) or a misaligned bite caused by TMJ disorder, a customized oral appliance from Dr. Miller may be able to provide needed support and protection. Your new nightguard will be worn while you rest, and the comfortable barrier helps to protect teeth and soft tissue from the harmful effects of teeth clenching and grinding. Patients are able to wake up well-rested, their painful symptoms greatly reduced or alleviated altogether.
Dental injuries are common in sports that involve potential physical contact with other players or hard projectiles/surfaces, so don’t let your vulnerable smile go unprotected. Our team can provide you with a customized sportsguard that fits comfortably and securely in you or your child’s mouth while still allowing for easy speaking and jaw movement. This is a big improvement over the awkward, one-size-fits-all options you’d find at the athletics store!
Children’s Dental Care
Helping children keep their smiles whole and healthy for life starts earlier than many of our patients know. We recommend patients bring children for an initial exam following the eruption of their first tooth or before their first birthday. During these stress and pain free exams, the dentist carefully examines children’s smiles looking for any signs of concern, answering your questions, and offering guidance on at-home hygiene. Many patients consider primary teeth to be unnecessary and don’t take time to teach children to care for them. However, the best way to ensure children develop healthy adult teeth is to care for their primary teeth. We recommend the following oral hygiene routine:
- Before baby teeth ever erupt, wipe gums using a clean, damp cloth following feedings and do not allow babies to fall asleep with bottles in their mouths
- As soon as the first tooth erupts, parents should begin brushing teeth with a baby safe toothbrush and toothpaste two times a day
- As soon as children develop two teeth that touch, parents should begin flossing between teeth at least once a day
- Around the age of two or three, depending on children’s specific skill level, parents should work with children to begin brushing and flossing their own teeth
- From the eruption of the first tooth, kids should visit our office two times each year to maintain their optimal level of oral health