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Lone Oak Dental

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Preventive Care

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Our patients ask us lots of questions, and we think it's great! Questions show that you care about your dental needs and are looking to improve your health. The staff at Lone Oak Dental is very knowledgeable about insurance, preventing dental problems, and numerous other issues. We want to put you at ease by answering the questions that you may have. Remember, there are no dumb questions, so ask away!

Preventive Care

Cavities form when there are too many bacteria eating too much sugar.  If you are able to reduce the bacteria and almost eliminate the sugar, the number of cavities you get should be minimal.  


Reducing the bacteria can be accomplished by brushing thoroughly for two minutes, twice daily and flossing.  Oh no, they said it, flossing.  40% of your tooth is touching another tooth and the only way to get it clean is with that white stringy stuff.  


We all know that soda and candy cause cavities, but what about other foods?  Foods like crackers and juice seem innocent but in reality have lots of sugar.  Other foods and drinks to avoid in high amounts include raisins, honey, syrup, applesauce and sports drinks like Gatorade.


Medications used to treat conditions such as blood pressure, depression, anxiety or diabetes reduce the amount of saliva your body makes.  Having enough saliva is essential to prevent cavities as it naturally contains antibodies and helps remineralize the tooth with calcium and fluoride after eating and drinking.  If you have a dry mouth, talk to Dr. Jordan about Biotene products and prescription fluoride toothpaste which should greatly help prevent multiple visits to fix cavities.  


Cavities are the most common reason for sensitivity.  If you are sure that you are cavity free because you have had a recent dental check-up and still have sensitivity, there is hope!  The second most common reason for sensitive teeth is exposed dentin.  Dentin is the middle layer of teeth and also covers the root surface of teeth.  A simple solution that works for many people is switching to a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitivity such as Sensodyne or Crest Sensitivity.  These toothpastes should be used twice per day and not rinsed off after use.  

Preventing further exposure of dentin is crucial to controlling the pain.  Have Dr. Jordan and his staff review brushing technique to ensure that you are not brushing too hard or incorrectly.  Avoid acidic foods and drinks (lemons, limes, pineapple, sports drinks, etc) which further erode tooth structure.  We also carry prescription strength toothpaste which is very helpful in treating sensitivity.

Absolutely our dental office is taking new patients!  If you are having a dental problem or need a cleaning and check-up, we are excited to meet you.  Our team will work with your schedule to get you in as soon as possible.  Please call or email our office to schedule!  To speed up the process, please fill out the "New Patient Registration Forms" under the Forms tab on our website.  

Our office agrees with the American Dental Association’s recommendation that all children should be seen by age one. This allows the child and family to establish a dental home for the child where he or she can be seen for routine dental care as they grow. If the first visits that a child has to the dentist are pleasant and positive, the child is much more likely to cooperate when dental fillings are needed and have less anxiety.

Visits during early childhood also help establish good dental hygiene and education regarding thumb sucking, crossbites, and diet. Significant problems such as crossbites, when caught early, can be quickly treated and reduce the amount of time needed for orthodontics.

A common problem seen in infants is “baby bottle decay.” Infants and toddlers can develop these cavities from drinking juice, soda, and sports drinks, especially if they are put to sleep with these drinks in their bottles. These sugary beverages sit on the child’s teeth and allow the cavities to grow quickly. Baby bottle decay usually involves the upper front teeth, but when advanced, involves almost all the teeth. When children visit Dr. Jordan, he is able to look for decay and review the child’s diet with parents.

Preventing cavities in your child begins when the first teeth start to come through the gum tissue.  These first teeth should be brushed gently twice per day with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste.  The amount of toothpaste used should be minimal as the child cannot spit out the excess.  When the child needs to put down for naps or at night, only water should be given in a bottle or sippy cup.  Putting milk, soda or juice can result in a mouth full of decay.  All of these drinks have sugar in them and if the sugar sits for long periods of time, can rot teeth.  

As the child enters the toddler years, flossing should begin when the back molars erupt.  Flossing should be done once per day, however, flossing several times per week is a great start!  Avoid giving your children foods with high amounts of sugar such as fruit snacks, candy and even crackers.  

The American Dental Association recommends that children see a dentist at age 1.  This is so that the child can be examined for "baby bottle decay" and we can review diet and good oral hygiene habits.  Children, like most adults should be seen every 6 months for cleanings and to be examined.  

As the permanent teeth erupt, sealants can be placed to prevent decay in the deepest grooves.  Developing good habits early on can prevent pain, missed school and embarrassment for your child.  


Life after the coronavirus pandemic is different in many ways.  New regulations and recommendations have been put in place for most businesses including dental offices.  Here are some of the changes at Lone Oak Dental. 


One of the best ways to prevent the spread of any communicable disease is to isolate those that are sick.  We are asking screening questions to determine if you could possibly be sick or have had contact with anyone that potentially has COVID-19.  


When you enter our front door, one of our team members will take your temperature with a touchless thermometer.  In addition, you will see that we now have plastic barriers between our front office team and patients.  


If you are an adult, we ask that you do not bring children or other family members to your appointment.  If your child has an appointment, we ask that only 1 parent or guardian bring that child to the appointment.  The fewer people we have in the office, the better.  


We are regularly disinfecting surfaces such as door handles and countertops.  As much as we would like to, we have been instructed not to shake your hand.  


There are new CDC and OSHA regulations for our team when treating you.  We are wearing higher level masks such as N95 and KN95.  We are also wearing plastic face shields to prevent any splatter or droplets from touching our team.  


Thank you for your cooperation and understanding in keeping the Brookings area healthy!


Gum disease which is also referred to as periodontal disease is found in about half of American adults.  Common symptoms and signs of gum disease are bleeding after brushing and flossing, swollen gums, teeth that move slightly when touched and bad breath.  When gum disease is left untreated, the teeth are mobile, painful to chew with and look longer.


At the forefront of gum disease prevention is good oral hygiene.  Thorough brushing and flossing removes the bacteria that can lead to gum disease.  Smoking has also been shown to increase the risk of periodontal disease. Routine dental cleanings by a dental hygienist removes tartar and plaque in difficult to reach areas.  Tartar is the yellow, rock-like substance found near the gum line.


Once a patient has gum disease, one of the first treatment recommendations is scaling and root planing.  In our office, we often refer to this as gum disease therapy. This treatment is a very thorough dental cleaning that removes the tartar and plaque above and below the gum line.  


Since gum disease is a lifelong disease like heart disease, frequent monitoring is crucial.  Persons with heart disease or high blood pressure often see their physician every 3-6 months to ensure that the disease is controlled and not progressing. Similarly, most patients with gum disease require appointments every 3-4 months to remove the tartar and plaque that has formed.  


We have very gentle and thorough dental hygienists at Lone Oak Dental and know that their expertise has helped countless patients!


Gum recession can make your teeth sensitive to cold, hot and brushing.  Most of the time, the receding gums are caused by brushing too hard.  The plaque and food that accumulates on teeth is soft and therefore does not require firm pressure to be removed.  If you are having to replace your toothbrush often because the bristles are bent or rolled over, you are using too much pressure.  Recession can also be caused by bite abnormalities and gum disease.  


When treating gum recession, an important objective is to stop further recession.  In order to do so, Dr. Jordan must determine the cause.  He will take any appropriate x-rays, examine your bite and review your dental history such as if you have had gum disease therapy.  If the area is small and not sensitive, sometimes no treatment is necessary.  For minimal sensitivity and recession, toothpastes such as Sensodyne work well when used regularly.  


For larger areas where the root is exposed and sensitive, a filling can be placed to seal the tooth and reduce or eliminate the pain to cold and hot.  However, often the best long term treatment is grafting the area using a gum graft.  This procedure gives the best cosmetic result, covers the root where the sensitivity occurs and does not require removal of tooth structure.  


Please contact Lone Oak Dental in Brookings to schedule an appointment about your receding gums.

With age come the wonderful privileges in life such as grandchildren and retirement.  Unfortunately, there are the not so wonderful aspects such as wrinkles, stronger glasses and medical conditions.  


As we age, many of us develop medical conditions which are treated with medications.  The most common side effect of any medication is dry mouth. Dry mouth, known as xerostomia can lead to very aggressive dental decay.  Dry mouth is best managed with xylitol gums and lozenges, drinking tap water throughout the day and over the counter saliva substitutes.


If your loved one or parent has a difficult time brushing their teeth, consider wrapping the toothbrush handle with duct tape.  In addition, electric toothbrushes are excellent for those with dexterity problems and arthritis.


Along with oral hygiene, a balanced diet is crucial in preventing dental cavities.  Encourage your parent to avoid soda, candies and creamer in their coffee. Any food or drink high in sugar content combined with a dry mouth will lead to deep cavities quickly.  


Routine and frequent dental visits are important for the elderly as much as they are for children.  Frequent visits help Dr. Jordan and his staff detect cavities and gum disease in their early stages so they can be treated with a higher success rate.  


If you would like to make and appointment for your aging loved one or parent, please contact us today!




Sensitivity to biting can be caused by several things.  If you just had a filling placed or cap done, your bite may be high on that new restoration which will make the tooth sore and cold sensitive.  This can be remedied by adjusting your bite and relieving the pressure on that tooth.  


Another cause of soreness on chewing is a cracked tooth.  The most commonly cracked teeth are lower molars and upper premolars.  Cracked teeth may or may not have fillings in them.  The pain associated with these teeth is due to the separation of the two pieces of tooth when biting forces are applied.  Cracked teeth usually need to be be crowned but occasionally require root canal treatment.  Prompt treatment of a crack can potentially save you from a root canal, so do not delay scheduling an appointment at our dental office.   


Deep decay or cracks can eventually lead to the nerve in a tooth dying.  As the nerve in the tooth dies, bacteria begin to move out of the tooth into the bone and gum tissues.  These teeth are often very sensitive to biting and tapping but have no feeling to hot or cold.  If left untreated, these teeth will often abscess which can lead to a weekend of pain or swelling.  

Pain with chewing or biting is a warning sign that our bodies give when something is not right.  Do not delay dental treatment at our Brookings dental office as prompt treatment may save you time, money and from intense pain.  

Teeth develop from four or five lobes or parts.  These lobes fuse together to form the tooth and where these lobes come together, grooves and pits are formed.  These grooves and pits can be deep and difficult to clean. Therefore, they are a perfect place for sugar to sit and bacteria to start cavities.  


Fortunately, these grooves can be filled in before they decay with dental sealants!  Sealants are made of a white material that when applied to a tooth, flow into the deep pits and grooves.  They are hardened by a blue light and can be chewed on right away.


Permanent teeth erupt from ages 5-13 and sealants should be applied soon after the tooth is fully exposed before a cavity has had the chance to form.  If a child is not cooperative due to age or the teeth being treated cannot be kept very dry, it is best to not apply the sealant. Since sealants are a preventive treatment, dental insurance companies usually cover most or all of the cost associated with the care.    


We often hear and are told about the foods that are terrible for our teeth.  Okay, so what drinks and foods are good for your teeth?  We have some answers.

Vegetables are awesome for your teeth!  That’s right, the broccoli, carrots, green beans and peas your grandmother encouraged you to eat are great for your pearly whites.  

As expected, foods containing calcium like cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese help strengthen teeth as they form.  Once teeth are fully developed, consuming these foods regularly when combined with brushing with fluoridated toothpaste will strengthen your enamel.  

Everyone knows that soda and energy drinks are bad for your teeth due to their high sugar content and how acidic they are.  The best drinks for your teeth are tap water and milk.  We emphasize tap water because most municipal water systems add fluoride to their water.  This fluoride, when consumed regularly, replaces weak spots in enamel.  Our 4 legged pasture buddies have another drink that is great for our teeth, milk.  Yep, milk is great for your teeth for the same reasons that cheese is, low in sugar and high in calcium.

There are a few other drinks that are okay for your teeth.  Coffee, green tea and black tea won’t hurt your teeth unless you add sugar to them.  Tea and coffee will stain teeth due to the tannins that are naturally found in these drinks.  Thankfully, you can be rest assured when you need a pick-me-up that you are not hurting your teeth!


Gingivitis and gum disease both are characterized by red, tender and bleeding gums.  While gingivitis is reversible and can be resolved, gum disease is permanent and must be managed throughout life.  Gingivitis usually develops over a period of 2 to 3 weeks of not brushing and flossing well.  If good oral hygiene habits are resumed, the red and inflamed tissue heals to its normal state.  Gum disease which is also known as periodontal disease, occurs when bacteria have been sitting on the teeth and gums for an extended period of time.  Our bodies do not like bacteria and try to fight off the mild infection.  As a result, the gums and bone around the teeth pull back.  If untreated, this can lead to loose teeth, bad breath and gum abscesses.  Periodontal disease may be treated with root planing, antibiotics, and regenerative procedures.  

A soft or extra soft manual toothbrush should be used to prevent damage to the teeth and gums. An excellent option is an electric toothbrush, especially if you have arthritis or problems with your hands.

Congratulations on taking the first step in improving your oral health!  By scheduling an appointment at our dental office, you are taking the initiative on creating whole body and oral health.  When making an appointment at our office for your first visit, there are generally two types of appointments, a comprehensive exam or a problem focused exam.  


Whenever possible, we encourage our new patients to begin with a comprehensive exam.  At this visit, we will review your health history, the medications you are currently taking and any previous surgeries that you have had.  You can expedite the initial process by  filling our the "New Patient Registration Forms" under the "Forms" tab on our website.  If you are transferring into our dental clinic, we will likely request any recent x-rays from your previous clinics.  If necessary, our dental hygienist or assistant will take new radiographs (x-rays).  Our dentist, Dr. Jordan, will thoroughly evaluate the radiographs to look for problems with your jaw joint, jaw bone, gum disease and cavities.  After examining your mouth, gums and teeth, any problems will be identified.  For those that have a few minor problems, a simple treatment plan will be developed and presented to you.  If you are having multiple problems, we will likely present several ways to treat those areas.  When working with you to treat your dental problems, our goal is to develop a plan that eliminates disease, is acceptable to you, is affordable and provides long term success.


If you are having pain or have a specific concern, we will schedule you for a problem focused exam.  Like the comprehensive exam, we will review your medical history and any prescription drugs you are taking.  If required, an x-ray will be taken of the area of concern.  Dr. Jordan will thoroughly evaluate the tooth or area.  He will discuss the findings with you and the options available.  Our goal at this visit is to address and eliminate the concern.  Please contact our office today in Brookings!

Two great toothpastes are Crest Pro Health and Colgate Total. If you have sensitive teeth, we would recommend Sensodyne or a prescription toothpaste that we carry in our office.

Most children start having loose teeth around ages 5 or 6.  As children age, the roots of baby teeth should resorb as the adult tooth forms below it.  If the roots of the baby tooth do not resorb fast enough, the permanent tooth becomes displaced and continues on its path through the gums.  


Luckily, most of the time, this condition requires no treatment.  Usually, as the adult tooth erupts, the baby tooth root disappears and the child is able to remove the baby tooth on his or her own.  However, if the permanent tooth is all the way in and the baby tooth is not loose, there is a good chance that the baby tooth will have to be removed.  Once the adult tooth is in place, there is minimal to no pressure causing the root of the baby tooth to resorb.  Dr. Jordan can usually tell how much baby tooth root is remaining by taking an x-ray.  After the baby tooth is removed, the pressure from the tongue often pushes the permanent tooth into its correct position.

Children have 20 baby teeth, all of which will be replaced with permanent teeth as the child ages. Baby teeth hold space for the adult teeth and if they are lost too early, the child is much more likely to have crowded teeth. If space is lost in the dental arches, permanent teeth may become impacted or stay up in the gums or bone. When this happens, more costly surgery and orthodontics are often needed.

The enamel on baby teeth is thinner than that of adult teeth. Unfortunately, this can lead to the cavity getting into the nerve of the tooth faster. Untreated cavities in either adult or baby teeth can lead to pain, swelling, and abscesses. Abscessed teeth are painful to chew on, and, as a result, a child may not eat properly and get the nutrition needed for their growing body.  

There are times and situations when baby teeth do need to be removed. At Lone Oak Dental, when this happens, we often create a dental device that holds the space open until the adult tooth erupts. Please don’t delay if you suspect or know that your child has cavities; treating them now can avoid tears in your child’s eyes and years of orthodontic treatment.  

Breaking teeth can be painful, costly and frustrating.  When a patient comes to our office with multiple broken teeth, we examine several areas: tendency to clench and grind their teeth, size of previous fillings and how stable their bite is.  People that clench and grind their teeth can generate enormous amounts of force which can chip or crack teeth.  For those that clench or grind, we would recommend a splint to be worn at night or even during the day to reduce the amount of force put on your teeth.  Unfortunately, cavities and fillings weaken teeth.  When a dentist has to fix a cavity, the resulting tooth is more prone to breaking than if it had never had a cavity or filling.  Lastly, a stable and protected bite evens the chewing forces out among teeth.  If a tooth is taking more force than designed to, it is more likely to break.  Crossbites, missing teeth, excessive overbites and underbites increase your chances of broken teeth.  We believe that prevention is the best medicine and hoped you learned something from this FAQ!

Dental fillings are often used to replace where a cavity once was.  Fillings repair the portion of the tooth that was damaged by the decay process.  When fillings become very large, the tooth is often weakened and may break.  The most often reason for a crown being recommended in our office is when a cusp, or point breaks off of a back tooth.  In short, when a crown is recommended by Dr. Jordan, it is when he anticipates that the remaining tooth left after the decay is removed will be weakened and likely to break.  In addition, when a back tooth has had root canal treatment, a crown is recommended to prevent the tooth from breaking.  


When minor, many medical conditions do not cause pain or discomfort.  Dental decay is no different.  When a tooth starts to hurt, it usually indicates that the cavity is deep and may require root canal treatment.  It is much better to treat cavities when they are smaller because it will take us less time and we can save more of your natural tooth.  Early treatment of decay can prevent more costly procedures such as root canals and crowns.  

Since wisdom teeth (third molars) are the last teeth to erupt into the mouth, many do not completely come through the gum tissue. In addition, most of the population does not have enough room in their mouth for wisdom teeth. The age at which people get their wisdom teeth ranges from 17 to 25 years old. However, Dr. Jordan has seen erupted wisdom teeth in a 15 year old!

If the wisdom teeth never erupt through the gum tissue, they can potentially develop into a cyst or other harmful conditions such as an ameloblastoma, which is a tumor requiring radical treatment. Some impacted wisdom teeth may become infected or cause damage to the adjacent 12-year molar. Wisdom teeth that partially erupt through the gums and stay that way are extremely prone to infection and cavities and often cause gum disease on the adjacent teeth.   

The third molars that do erupt into the mouth are difficult to brush and floss since they are the farthest teeth back in the mouth. As a result, cavities can develop rapidly, resulting in a toothache or infection. Infections near lower wisdom teeth can quickly become life threatening.

Removing wisdom teeth is usually done between the ages of 15 to 20 when the roots are not completely formed. Taking these teeth out at this age usually results in less pain, better healing, a faster recovery, and can prevent cavities and gum disease on the adjacent 12-year molars.  

Vaping or e-cigarettes have become very popular with teens and young adults.  When e-cigarettes were first launched, many people believed they were a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes as they do not contain tobacco.  Time and research are telling us otherwise.  


Here are some of the harmful effects we are seeing from vaping: dental decay, recession, gum disease and oral cancer.


Chemicals such as nicotine that are added to e-cigarettes can lead to a dry mouth.  Another chemical added is propylene glycol which breaks down into acetic and lactic acid.  Both of these acids destroy enamel. The decay seen with vaping is very similar to that seen with soda, often at the gum line and around old fillings.  


Nicotine, whether from cigarettes, cigars or vaping, reduces blood flow.  This results in death of gum tissue leading to recession and potentially gum disease.


When first introduced to the market, e-cigarettes were thought to be safer than cigarettes.  Researchers are finding chemicals such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, diacetyl and lead in the vapor produced by vape devices.  These compounds and heavy metals can lead to cancer, lung disease and heart disease.  


We encourage you to seek professional assistance if you are considering quitting vaping.  Getting a professional involved will greatly increase your chance of success!

The core of medicine and dentistry is prevention.  Getting your teeth cleaned regularly removes tartar and plaque that lead to gum disease and cavities.  Tartar is a hard substance formed over time on teeth that cannot be removed by brushing and flossing.  Like many conditions, when found in the early stages, the treatment is less invasive, less painful and less costly.  The same holds true with dental disease.  Cavities, found when small, require less drilling, less time at the office and cost less.  In addition, Dr. Jordan examines patients at these appointments or oral cancer and other diseases that affect the mouth.

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