What to do when your child loses a tooth


As a parent it’s bound to happen – your child runs up to you and says they have lost a tooth.  If it’s a baby tooth, there is no need to worry.  If it’s a permanent tooth, check out our blog post about what to do when you unexpectedly lose a tooth due to trauma or decay.

Here’s what you need to know about baby teeth:

Your child has 20 baby teeth, and these typically come out in the same order they came in.  This means your kids will most likely lose their lower center teeth first.  Children will lose their first teeth around the age of 6, but baby teeth can start coming out anywhere between the ages of 4 to 7.  The earlier your child had their first teeth come in the earlier they will start coming out. 

Your kiddo will likely be excited about losing their first tooth – especially if you have discussed the tooth fairy with them already!  Be sure to talk with your children about their baby teeth coming out – it shouldn’t hurt and they won’t feel hardly any pain. 

Encourage your children to wiggle loose teeth but not too much so teeth don’t come out prematurely.  Have your little one gargle with some warm water if there's bleeding.  You can also try having them bite on a clean towel, a piece of gauze or some paper towel.  And not to worry, the majority of bleeding should stop within an hour.

Let your child know not to brush too hard on the spot where a tooth recently came out.  It will likely be tender for a little while and may start bleeding again with harsh brushing.    

Adult teeth will start to come in within a few weeks of a baby tooth coming out.  You will notice they look a bit bigger, don’t look as white and have more pronounced ridges. 

Remember to teach your children good brushing and flossing habits throughout this process. After all, they will have these new adult teeth for the rest of their lives and it’s important to take good care of them.  

Call Rogue River Family Dental to schedule your next cleaning for your little one at 616-866-7720. 

Six best foods for your teeth  


You have all heard about the many foods that are bad for your teeth – soda, energy drinks, candy and sweets. But what about the many foods that are good for your teeth and overall oral health? 

Check out the list below that Dr. Jensen has compiled of foods that are good for you and your mouth!  

Yogurt is high in calcium and protein – it’s not just good for your overall digestive health, but good for your teeth too.  The probiotics in yogurt benefit your gums by pushing out bacteria that can cause cavities.  Dr. Jensen’s favorite yogurt is a plain Greek yogurt with some fruit or nuts added in. 

Milk and Cheese
Like yogurt, both milk and cheeses are high in calcium and protein too.  Eating cheese can raise the pH in your mouth and lower the risk for tooth decay.  The amount of chewing needed to digest cheese increases saliva in your mouth which is good too.   Dr. Jensen drinks a glass of milk every night with his dinner.   

Everyone has heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.  There might just be some truth to that when it comes to your oral health! Fruits such as apples can be a good alternative to eating sweets and can cure cravings too.  They are packed with fiber and water and also produce saliva in your mouth that rinses away bacteria and food particles.  Eating an apple isn’t as effective as brushing your teeth, but it can tide you over until you have a chance to brush!

Celery and Carrots 
Like an apple, celery and carrots can act somewhat like a toothbrush!  The fibrous texture can scrape away food particles and bacteria.  Both are a great source of vitamin A and C and antioxidants that are good for your gums too.  Dr. Jensen packs bags of carrots and celery slices as snacks when he’s on the go.    

Almonds are an excellent source of protein and calcium and are low in sugar too.  Try a small serving of almonds as a snack, or mix them in your favorite salad or stir fry.  Dr. Jensen snacks on almonds quite regularly – they are a great snack when paired with a glass of wine!  

If you’re looking for something to drink that won’t harm your teeth, Dr. Jensen always recommends sticking to water or unsweetened tea.  Both are the best options for your teeth with the exception of a glass of milk.  

Give us a call at 616-866-7720 to schedule your next cleaning! 

A Holiday Message from Dr. Jensen

Happy Holidays from Rogue River Family Dental! 

The holiday season is upon us and I hope that you and your family are enjoying some time together. I hope you’re brushing and flossing regularly too!  

I wanted to reach out to each and every one of you to share thanks for your continued patronage and for allowing us to look after your oral health.  This past year has been a whirlwind for me and for Rogue River Family Dental.  I celebrated my first year with the practice in October, got married to my wife Heather in November, and added a new puppy, Blue, to our family too (you might see him around the office from time to time).  

I am thankful for all of your positive feedback and referrals to friends and family this past year.  It means the world to me and my team.   

New technology and office updates
As most of you have already noticed, there have been some enhancements around the office including new paint and flooring in most rooms with hopes of making your visit as comfortable as possible.  

But what I am most excited about is the recent addition of digital x-ray and camera equipment! 

Our investment in this new technology will allow my team to provide you with better dental care in hopes of keeping a closer eye on any changes in your oral health.  This new digital x-ray equipment makes images available immediately – meaning quicker dental appointments and faster access to results and next steps.  Digital x-rays also use 70 percent less radiation than conventional, so it’s a much safer and more effective method for your entire family.
The gift that keeps on giving
If you’re looking for a last minute holiday gift for a friend or family member, we are selling Sonicare electric toothbrushes for $35 (It’s free if you successfully refer a new patient!).  Stop by the office or grab one at your next appointment – this is the same toothbrush I use every day.

And if you have an HSA insurance plan, this is a great time of year to use your remaining 2017 dental benefits. We can help you use those funds to purchase a toothbrush, schedule a cleaning or whitening treatment, and more.  

I look forward to seeing you and your family very soon for your upcoming cleanings.  If you have any questions, feel free to call us anytime at 616-866-7720 or visit online at rogueriverdentistry.com.
From my family to yours, I sincerely hope that you have a wonderful holiday season! 

Chas Jensen DDS

Flossing 101


What is the Right Way to Floss?

Flossing removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach — under the gum line and between your teeth. Because plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, Dr. Jensen recommends flossing every day!

Try the following techniques:

  • Start with about 18 inches, wind most of the floss around each middle finger and leave an inch or two of floss to work with
  • Hold the floss tight between your thumbs and index fingers and slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth
  • Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gum line. Never snap or force the floss, as this may cut or bruise your gums!
  • Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth
  • To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth

What type of floss to use:

Any floss is better than no floss!  But there really are only two types of floss:

  • Nylon floss
  • Single filament floss

Nylon floss is available waxed and un-waxed, and comes a variety of flavors. Because this type of floss is composed of many strands of nylon, it may sometimes tear or shred, especially between teeth with tight contact points.

Single filament floss is a little more expensive, but slides easily between teeth, even those with tight spaces and is virtually shred-resistant.

Both are great choices, and now-a-days there are many different products, flavors and flossing tools available in your local grocery or pharmacy.

Keep floss handy, visible, and ready to use in order to make using it on a regular basis harder to pass up. 

Dr. Jensen likes to keep some in his car, in the office and at home.  You never know when you’ll get something stuck between your teeth – and there’s nothing more annoying that not being able to get it out!

We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment, and we’ll send you home with a new toothbrush AND some floss.  Give us a call at 616-866-7720 to schedule your next cleaning!

Dr. Jensen on FOX-17 talking summer sports, protecting your teeth

Dr. Jensen on FOX-17

Dr. Jensen was back on FOX-17 this morning talking with health reporter Erica Francis about mouth guards and how to protect your kid's teeth during summer play.  She visited the office and was even fit for her own mouth guard.  

Check out the story on FOX-17's website

Looking for a new dentist in Rockford Michigan?  Give us a call and schedule your next appointment for your family -- 616-866-7720.  

How to handle a cracked or broken tooth

Your child may have been riding his bike or playing baseball with friends and in he walks holding a tooth in his hand with a bloody lip.  As a parent you’ll likely immediately think the worst and begin to panic.  

Or you are munching on a bucket of popcorn and bite down too hard on a popcorn kernel and immediately know you have broken or chipped your tooth…we’ve all been there.   

Not to worry – Dr. Jensen and his team have got you covered!    

For children and adults alike, the treatment for a broken or cracked tooth is similar.  The most important thing to remember is not to panic.  When a tooth breaks or chips, it may not hurt right away, but your tongue will quickly find the new sharp area in your mouth.  If you’re missing a large portion of your tooth, or it has broken off entirely, you may feel some pain.

First steps:

  • Rinse your mouth well
  • Apply pressure with a tissue or gauze to stop any bleeding.  If that doesn’t work, try a tea bag with pressure until bleeding stops.  
  • Apply some ice or a cold pack to any bruised cheek or lips
  • Try an over the counter pain reliever to reduce pain and swelling
  • Call Dr. Jensen’s office at 616-866-7720

Toddlers and children
One consideration with a baby tooth that is bumped, broken or damaged is the possibility of damage to the underlying adult teeth.  The most common treatment for a missing baby tooth is to let the adult tooth grow in – no implant or further treatment needed.  However when the impact has been severe and your child has cuts or lacerations on the gums or lips, it may be a good idea to visit Dr. Jensen for an antibiotic or your pediatrician for a tetanus booster.  

Teens and adults
The most common insult to permanent teeth is the result of sporting injuries or accidents.  The best preventative measure is a mouth guard made by your dentist for use during sports. Treating a damaged adult tooth depends on the severity of the break and the age of the patient.  Sometimes a simple filling will fix the problem when others may need a root canal or even an extraction.  

If an adult tooth has completely come out (avulsed tooth), the best thing to do is to pick up the tooth by the crown, gently rinse it and soak in milk on your way to the dentist.  An avulsed tooth has the best chance of survival if it can be addressed and re-implanted within an hour, so call Dr. Jensen right away!   

Most common treatments

  • Minor cracks: Surface cracks rarely need treatment, but sometimes a light polish of the area will smooth out any rough spots.
  • Cracked tooth: Cracks can sometimes be repaired with a filling, but often require a crown to prevent further cracking in the future. If the nerve is damaged, you may need a root canal.  
  • Chipped tooth: Minor chips can often be polished and don’t always need treatment.  Dr. Jensen will sometimes recommend a filling to keep the tooth from getting worse.
  • Broken cusp: A break that affects the chewing surface of the tooth can be repaired but sometimes require an onlay or a crown.   
  • Serious broken tooth: When the nerve is exposed causing pain and bleeding – you will likely need a root canal to remove exposed nerve and get you back to chewing and eating normally.  
  • Decay-induced broken tooth: Your tooth has broken due to a cavity or old filling – in some cases the tooth may need to be removed, but can likely be treated with a crown or onlay.     

If you have any questions about any of the outlined conditions above, please don't hesitate to call Dr. Jensen and his team - 616-866-2270.  

Sugary drinks and your teeth

Having a glass of your favorite soda or pop with a meal or drinking one several times a day is routine for many Americans.  The truth is, however, sugary beverages are not good for you or your oral health.   

How it works
We all have bacteria in our mouths that eat the sugars we consume. These same bacteria (sugar bugs as I call them) gain energy from sugar and produce acid. The acid they produce damages your teeth and causes cavities.    

Skip the juice
And I have more news for you – If you think you’re safe with juice, think again! A glass of apple juice can often contain the same amount of sugar as a glass of soda.

Slow down on the sugar
According to the USDA, sugar should make up no more than 10 percent of your daily caloric intake. For women, that is 10-15 tsp. per day. For men, it’s 12.5-18.75 tsp.  One glass of apple juice or one can of soda will easily put you at (or near) your daily sugar limit.

I encourage patients to try and eliminate sugary beverages from their diets, but understand that can often be a tall order for a busy adult.  Simply reducing the number of sugary beverages you consume and substituting healthier options that contain less sugar is a step in the right direction.

Here are a few popular choices and some better options to consider:

A few more tips

  • Drink, don’t sip. Sipping gives the sugar bugs more time to eat the sugar and create cavities. Drink quickly to give your body time to wash away the bad stuff. Try to drink sweetened coffees, teas or sodas in one sitting instead of sipping on them over a longer amount of time. If you give your child juice, have them drink it with meals only, and put only water in a sippy cup they might carry around during the day.
  • Fluoride is your friend. If your community’s water is fluoridated, drink tap water to improve your dental health. Fluoride protects teeth and continues to reduce cavities.
  • Brush and floss regularly. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and clean between your teeth once a day (floss!).  And help your children to brush and floss well too.  Leading by example or making a team activity out of it can be a way to make sure it’s getting done

Don’t forget to schedule your next cleaning with Dr. Jensen at Rogue River Family Dental – give us a call at 616-866-7720.

Your child's first dentist appointment: What to expect

Your child’s baby teeth are just as important as permanent (adult) teeth, and tooth decay can occur as soon as your child’s first tooth comes in. 

As a parent you may wonder if you need to worry about decay in baby teeth since they will be eventually replaced by permanent teeth.  Dr. Jensen will tell you the answer is yes.  Decay in baby teeth can bring on a higher risk of decay in your child’s permanent teeth later in life.  And if the decay is severe, it can harm the child’s overall oral health. 

So what do you need to know about your child’s first dentist appointment?  And when is the best time to make this appointment?

The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both say that the first dental visit should occur within six months after your child’s firth tooth appears, and no later than the child’s first birthday.   It’s a great idea to introduce your child to the idea of the dentist before problems arise – getting them used to the idea of regular visits and not always needing a filling when visiting Dr. Jensen.

At Rogue River Family Dental, the first visit is usually short and involves little treatment.  It is an opportunity for your child to meet Dr. Jensen and get them used to sitting in the dental chair.  During the initial exam, Dr. Jensen will check all of your child’s existing teeth for decay, will examine his/her bite and will look at gums, jaw and other oral tissues.  If needed, the hygienist may clean any teeth and assess the need for fluoride treatment.  Dr. Jensen will also discuss oral health basics for children and discuss any developmental dental issues and answer your questions as a parent.   

Some topics Dr. Jensen might discuss include:

  1. Fluoride needs
  2. Good oral hygiene practices and cavity prevention for your kiddo  
  3. Oral habits (thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, lip sucking, etc.)
  4. Developmental milestones
  5. Teething
  6. Schedule for future dental checkups

You will be asked to complete medical and health information forms during your first visit, so come prepared with the necessary information.

Dr. Jensen loves working with children and looks forward to building a relationship with your entire family! To schedule a visit for your little one with Dr. Jensen, call Rogue River Family Dental at 616-866-7720.