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Wausau
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Kristo
Black River Falls, Bloomer, Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Menomonie, Rice Lake, Stanley, Amery, Baldwin, New Richmond
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Holmen, La Crosse, West Salem
Hovda
Merrill, Wausau
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Early Dental Care

April 25, 2017

Just because your child won’t keep his or her first set of teeth forever, doesn’t mean those tiny pearly whites don’t need conscientious care. Primary teeth (baby teeth) serve some extremely important functions. As your La Crosse, Holmen, West Salem, and Onalaska, WI orthodontics team, we believe maintaining your child’s dental health from an early age will lead to health benefits that last throughout adulthood.

The Importance of Baby Teeth

Primary teeth act as guides for the eruption of permanent teeth (adult teeth). They hold the space where new teeth will erupt as the crowns (tops) of permanent teeth push against the roots of baby teeth, causing them to resorb or melt away. As a result, the adult teeth are able to take their proper place. For about the first six years, your child will rely on primary teeth to perform important functions like biting, chewing, and speaking. Until around age 12, your child will use a mix of primary and permanent teeth to accomplish the same tasks. You will want to make sure all those teeth stay healthy and are lost naturally when the time is right.

Tooth Eruption

Teeth actually start forming before birth. As early as four months of age, these primary (baby) teeth push through the gums—starting with the lower central incisors then the upper central incisors. The remaining 20 primary teeth typically erupt by age three. Permane

Posted in Blog
March 14, 2017

We all know that a healthy, balanced diet is critical to overall health; but did you know that diet has a huge impact on teeth? You may not realize it, but certain foods can contribute to developing tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease, while others can reinforce the integrity of your teeth and help you maintain a beautiful, healthy smile. To help guide your daily nutrition decisions, here is little info about a few foods that are good for your teeth and why.

High Water, Crunchy Foods

(Celery, Apples, Carrots) Crunchy foods with high water content help your teeth in two ways. First, chewing them makes your mouth produce more saliva, which naturally cleans and strengthens teeth. Second, because they’re crunchy, these foods act as a natural abrasive agent, helping to scrape off food particles and gently scrub the surface of your teeth, getting your smile cleaner.

High Antioxidant Foods

(Nuts, Berries, Other Fruits & Vegetables) Antioxidants are virtual cure-all health elixirs, but there’s one function that makes them perfect for healthy gums: they act as anti-inflammatory agents. Inflammation is one of the major contributing factors to early-stage gum disease, so a diet high in antioxidants is great for helping keep gums healthy.

Low-Fat Cheese

Cheese contains calcium, which is great for your teeth. It also helps lower the acidity of your mouth, w

Posted in Blog
February 5, 2017

At Great River Orthodontics, we work hard to provide high-quality orthodontic care to families across the La Crosse, Holmen, West Salem, and Onalaska areas. Our orthodontists and their highly-trained staff want to make every patient feel at home in our offices. We have years of experience working with patients of all ages and with every kind of orthodontic need. Our mission is to help people develop beautiful, healthy smiles—and that means taking an active stance on tooth decay prevention.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Your mouth is a dynamically balanced ecosystem filled with living bacteria—both the good and bad kind. While many types of bacteria benefit your teeth and mouth, others break down the sugars and carbohydrates in food and turn them into acids that eat away at tooth enamel and cause decay. What dental professionals want is to keep those harmful bacteria in check, allowing the beneficial bacteria and other biological factors like saliva to strengthen and clean your teeth.

A Common, But Preventable Problem

Tooth decay is one of the most common human diseases, second only to the common cold! Today it affects more than 25% of children between the ages of two and five in the United States, as well as 50% of children between the ages of twelve and fifteen. Without effective treatment tooth decay can lead to pain, tooth loss, and sometimes even worse illn

Posted in Blog
January 11, 2017

Everybody gets dry mouth now and then. Sometimes temporary mouth dryness can be brought on by dehydration, stress, or a normal reduction in saliva flow at night. However, if your dry mouth persists long past the norm, you may have a chronic condition known as xerostomia.

What is Xerostomia?

Xerostomia is a condition that develops when your salivary glands, which normally keep your mouth moist by secreting saliva, are not working properly. A prolonged lack of saliva has significant implications. First, it causes bad breath or halitosis. Second, it can be harder to eat with a dry mouth. Tasting, chewing, and swallowing may also become difficult. As a result, your nutrition could be negatively impacted. And third, a dry mouth creates ideal conditions for tooth decay to grow. This is harmful to your dental health. Saliva plays a key role in keeping decay-causing oral bacteria in check and neutralizing the acids these bacteria produce. It is this acid that erodes tooth enamel and starts the decaying process.

Possible Causes

There are several possible causes for xerostomia, including:

  • Medications — Medications are responsible for a major amount of dry mouth cases. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there are more than 500 medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) that cause dry mouth. The medications with the highest correl

Posted in Blog
December 14, 2016

This holiday season don’t scare away people under the mistletoe with a bad case of bad breath. Learn the truth behind halitosis today, and better prepare yourself for a sweet smelling, orally healthy tomorrow.

The Basics of Bad Breath

After food has been broken down in your mouth and swallowed, eventually the particles are digested and absorbed into your bloodstream. Once done, the particles will inevitably make their way into your lungs where their odor mixes with the air that you put out each time you breathe. The odor will then stick with you until those foods have been completely passed from your body.

Less Brush Equals Worse Breath

Bad breath (medically referred to as halitosis) can often be the result of an inadequate oral hygiene routine. When you do not brush and floss your teeth thoroughly on a regular basis, food particles can remain trapped in and around your teeth and gums. These particles promote the growth of bacteria in your mouth, causing bad breath.

Dental/Oral Health Problems Resulting from Halitosis

There are many oral health issues tied to the presence of bad breath. However, one of the greatest is gum disease. If you struggle with consistent halitosis that is not taken care of it could be a sign of developing gum disease (i.e. periodontal d

Posted in Blog
November 6, 2016

At Great River Orthodontics, we understand that you’ll have to go through some lifestyle changes when first acclimating to wearing braces. That’s why when deciding on pursuing orthodontic treatment it is important to choose an orthodontist that will go out of the way to assist you. Dr. Knapp and Dr. Grimslid of Great River Orthodontics care about the health and well-being of your smile. So if you’re from La Crosse, Holmen, West Salem, or Onalaska, we hope you’ll consider us for all your orthodontic needs. To help you prepare for life with braces, our orthodontists have created guidelines on some of the key aspects to be aware of for orthodontic treatment care. These include: brushing, flossing, and watching what you eat.

Brushing

Good oral hygiene is always important. But it becomes especially significant during orthodontic treatment because you don’t want your teeth to fall victim to decay as you are trying to straighten them. That would negatively impact your final smile. As such, it is important to brush your teeth two to three times a day to avoid the accumulation of food particles in your mouth. When brushing with braces, you will want to place a small strip of fluoride toothpaste on your toothbrush bristles. When you

Posted in Blog
October 26, 2016

Halloween is fast approaching, and Drs. Steve Kristo, Bob Bronski, Doug Podoll wanted to be sure to wish our patients a happy day, no matter how you might celebrate this holiday. The Halloween that is familiar to most people today bears little resemblance to the original Halloween; back in the “old days” it wasn’t even called Halloween! Festival of the Dead Halloween started out as a Celtic festival of the dead that honored departed loved ones and signified a change in the cycle of the seasons. The Celtic people viewed Halloween, then called “Samhain,” as a very special day – almost like our New Years day in fact, as their new calendar year began on November 1st. Samhain was the last day of autumn, so it was the time to harvest the last of the season’s crops, store food away for winter, and situate livestock comfortably for the upcoming cold weather. The Celts believed that during this day, the last day of winter, the veil between this world and the spirit world is the thinnest, and that the living could communicate with departed loved ones most effectively on Samhain due to this. Modern Halloween Halloween as we know it today started because Christian missionaries were working to convert the Celtic people to Christianity. The Celts believed in religious concepts that were not supported by the Christian church, and these practices, which stem

Posted in Blog, Uncategorized
October 19, 2016

Water picks, sometimes called “oral irrigators,” make an excellent addition to your regular home care regimen of brushing and flossing. Especially helpful to those who suffer from periodontal disease and those patients of ours undergoing orthodontic treatment with full-bracketed braces, water picks use powerful tiny bursts of water to dislodge food scraps, bacteria, and other debris nestled in the crevices of your mouth. Children undergoing orthodontic treatment may find using a water pick is beneficial if their toothbrush bristles tend to get caught on their wires or brackets. When you use a water pick, you’re not only dislodging any particles or debris and bacteria you might have missed when brushing, you are also gently massaging the gums, which helps promote blood flow in the gums and keeps them healthy. While water picks are an excellent addition to your daily fight against gingivitis and other periodontal diseases, they are incapable of fully removing plaque, which is why Drs. Steve Kristo, Bob Bronski, Doug Podoll and our team at Kristo Orthodontics want to remind you to keep brushing and flossing every day. If you have sensitive teeth or gums and find it uncomfortable to floss daily, water picks are a good alternative to reduce discomfort while effectively cleaning between teeth. Diabetics sometimes prefer water picks to flossing because they don’t cause bleeding

Posted in Uncategorized
October 15, 2016

The doctors of Great River Orthodontics know that a bright, confident smile can do wonders for your self-esteem. Braces (or other orthodontic treatments like Invisalign) can help you achieve that beautiful smile, but to get the best results in as fast a timeframe as possible it is important that you take care of your orthodontic treatment along the way. Part of that means avoiding certain foods that could be harmful to your orthodontic appliances.

Hard, Sticky, & Sugary

There are different types of foods that can negatively impact your braces, including sticky foods, hard foods, and sugary foods. Hard foods can potentially break your braces’ brackets and wires while sticky foods can get caught in between them. Additionally, because it is more difficult to clean your mouth and maintain proper oral hygiene while wearing braces, sugary foods should be avoided. If sugary particles are missed during your brushing and flossing routine then you could develop tooth decay and other health problems.

Common Sense

In most situations, common sense will help you determine what foods could potentially be bad for your braces. That being said, our La Crosse, Holmen, West Salem, and Onalaska orthodontists have compiled a list of foods you should avoid if you want to maintain the health of your teeth, progress of

Posted in Blog
October 12, 2016

Also known as onchophagia, the habit of nail biting is one of the so-called “nervous habits” that can be triggered by stress, excitement, or boredom. Approximately half of all kids between the ages of ten and 18 have been nail biters at one time or another. Experts say that about 30 percent of children and 15 percent of adults are nail biters, however most people stop chewing their nails by the time they turn 30. Here are four dental and general reasons to stop biting your nails: 1. It’s unsanitary: Your nails harbor bacteria and germs, and are almost twice as dirty as fingers. What’s more, swallowing dirty nails can lead to stomach problems. 2. It wears down your teeth: Gnawing your nails can put added stress on your pearly whites, which can lead to crooked teeth. 3. It can delay your orthodontic treatment: For those of our patients wearing braces, nail biting puts additional pressure on teeth and weakens roots. 4. It can cost you, literally: It has been estimated that up to $4,000 in extra dental bills can build up over a lifetime. Drs. Steve Kristo, Bob Bronski, Doug Podoll and our team recommend the following to kick your nail biting habit:

  • Keep your nails trimmed short; you’ll have less of a nail to bite.
  • Coat your nails with a bitter-tasting nail polish.
  • Ask us about o

Posted in Uncategorized