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Inver Grove Heights Dentists Help Movie Buff

A movie theatre worker absolutely loved her job. As many times as she could she would use her discount to watch the latest movies with her favorite snacks. The fact that the theater she worked at had the most comfortable theater seats in the area encouraged her even more. It didn’t take long after she was hired for her to realize that all of the sweet and salty (along with the soda) were not treating her teeth very well. Thankfully, she heard about convenient dentists in Inver Grove Heights, and went to River Heights Dental Care for a checkup.

The movie lover and theater worker showed up at the River Heights Dental Care and was impressed with the friendly staff. Dr. Christopherson looked over her teeth and provided her with a full checkup. It turns out that her teeth would not be too damaged if she avoided eating certain foods and brushed and flossed often. She was glad to hear that her teeth were in good shape, but she knew she needed to lay off the sugary and salty sweets. If she did indulge in them she would be sure to floss and brush her teeth thoroughly. She is glad that she went to see the dentist Inver Grove Heights residents can trust, because she will still enjoy watching the movies, and even indulge occasionally with her favorite snacks. She has a dentist that she can truly trust and depend on at the River Heights Dental Care.

Dad Finally Finds SSP Family Dentist

A single father of two children in South St. Paul was looking for the friendliest family dentist SSP could have available for his two daughters and himself. He had been looking for a reliable and regular cosmetic dentist to go to for a while. He needed a family dentist that had patience, because his daughters were absolutely terrified of the dentist. He had tried everything in the past, and every dentist he took his daughters to did not have patience and compassion of their fears, so the father always ended up without having a dentist that he could trust. He called River Heights Dental Care and the friendly staff assured him they would do everything to make the girls feel at comfortable and at ease. He was glad to hear this, but it was only a start.

The father and his two daughters arrived Friday afternoon, and the staff at River Heights Dental Care welcomed them. The staff went out of their way to make the girls feel safe and at ease. They showed the girls how everything in the office operated, and that anything that the dentist would do would not hurt them at all. After the Dr. Christopherson examined the girls, and did a complete checkup they were still in great spirits. The girls weren’t afraid or upset, and said they wanted to come back real soon. The father was so relieved that he found a full service family dentist in South St. Paul, and that his daughters would be taken care of without being scared.

Family Gets Recommended the Best General Dentist in South St. Paul

A family living in South St. Paul needed a general dentist in the area to perform annual checkups for the kids. The family didn’t want to travel out of the city, and wanted someone conveniently located to accommodate their busy schedules. The mother asked coworkers if they knew of a great general dentist in South St. Paul that could do annual checkups, and any other dental work that their kids may need, and many of the coworkers suggested River Heights Dental Care.

The mom contacted River Heights Dental Care and scheduled an appointment for her kids. The dental office was able to schedule the appointments back to back, so the mother wouldn’t have to come back to the office for each office visit. During the appointments they found Dr. Ben Christopherson at River Heights Dental Care to be pleasant, congenial, experienced, and professional. The entire family of five very much liked spending time together at the dentist in South St. Paul, and the kids are all looking forward to their next dental visit. The parents were thrilled that River Heights Dental Care was able to work around the scheduling for the entire family, because of the busy schedules that the parents had, and the entire dental staff had patience to deal with a family of hyperactive kids. The family of five plan on returning to River Heights Dental Care for all their dental needs, and they don’t have to travel out of South St. Paul, which is a bonus.

Heathy Gums

It is that time of year again to salute the Red, White and Blue.  July 4th , Independence Day, commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence , declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, festivals, family time, picnics, concerts, baseball games, and various other events celebrating the history of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.  In celebration of this day and summer we will explore the Red, White and Blues of dentistry.


Red is a color associated with many things in our oral environment, including lips, tongue, cheeks, oral mucosa, and gums.  Lets take a closer look at red gums.  The color of our gums is generally described as pink, due to vascular (blood) supply, degree of keratinization of the epithelium, and lack or presence of pigment containing cells. The gums, commonly referred to gingiva, can become inflamed, swollen, and red.

The red color can be associated with increased vascularization, bleeding, mouth breathing and gingivitis (gum disease).  In cases of chronic inflammation, the gums often become swollen and red.  Reddened gums may not always bleed. However, if you have red gums, especially shiny red gums, this may be a sign of gum disease and you should have your oral mucosa evaluated.


White gums, as well, can be an indication of gum disease.  Besides gum disease, whiteness can be caused by infection and tobacco usage.  Often whiteness can be seen in fungal infections of the gums.  Candida albicans is a form of yeast that lives in the mouth and normally does not affect humans.   Often in immune compromised patients, the yeast multiples and the affected person will usually notice white lesions on the inner cheek, palate, and tongue. White gums can also be noticed in people using tobacco.   Leukoplakia, or white patch, has the ability to become cancerous. Many different treatments are available depending on the causative agent of the white gums.  If any white patches are noted in a person’s mouth, they should seek the care of a dental professional.


Not to be left out, blue gums can also be a cause of concern.  Healthy gums are usually described as pink, but when the gum disease is present it can lead to a change in color.  Blue gums can be a sign of bleeding, but most likely cyanosis. Cyanosis is the blue appearance of the gums due to low oxygen levels.  This is a distinct sign of gum disease and possible other health complications. 

As you enjoy your summer and celebrate the red, white and blue, we ask you to keep in mind your oral and systemic health.  If you have noticed any discoloration in your gums do not hesitate to contact us here at River Heights Dental Care to ensure your optimum oral health

Back to School Dental Appointment

As the season changes and summer turns to fall we slowly transition back to the school routine. What does this mean for your oral health? Believe it or not there is a direct correlation between oral health and performance in school. According to studies, students with preventable, untreated oral health problems may have trouble concentrating and learning, have frequent absences from school, or develop permanent disabilities that affect their ability to learn and grow.1 Additionally, children who take an exam while they have a toothache are unlikely to score as well as children who are undistracted by pain.2
Have you had you or your child’s semi annual oral health exam? During this exam we assess tooth development, diet consultation, sugar intake, perform a caries risk assessment, oral cancer screening, proper oral hygiene instructions and determine the presence of tooth decay. It has been proven that kids with dental decay have difficulty concentrating, leading to reduced self-esteem, and frequent school absence. It has been shown that students ages 5 to 17 years missed 1,611,000 school days due to acute dental problems, or an average of 3.1 days per 100 students.3 Establishing a dental “home” reinforces the benefits of oral hygiene and most importantly ensures a lifetime of healthy teeth. Get your child off to their best school year ever and visit River Heights Dental Care for your oral health examination. Visit us at or like us at

1 McCart L, Stief E. 1996. Creating Collaborative Frameworks for School Readiness. Washington, DC: National Governors’ Association.
2 Rothstein, R. March 7, 2001. Lessons: Seeing Achievement Gains By An Attack on Poverty. New York, NY: New York Times.
3 National Center for Health Statistics. 1996. Current estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 1996 (Vital and Health Statistics: Series 10, Data from the National Health Survey; no. 200). Hyattsville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics.

Tooth Sensitivity to the Cold

Winter Cold?

As the thermometer begins to drop, our body becomes more exposed to extreme temperatures. With these dropping temperatures our face and specifically teeth become more sensitive to the temperatures. Have you ever taken a step out side and been forced back in due to the pain of a breath of cold air? More commonly, ever eat an ice cream cone and not go back for a second bite? What causes this sensitivity and how can we alleviate it, to enjoy a banana split or this winter wonderland?


Eat too much ice cream or candy and you may cause some sensitivity. Deep tooth decay can cause sensitivity to cold and sweets. As the sugars sit on your teeth and penetrate through the outer dense enamel surface, they encounter the semi porous dentin layer. Tooth decay, or dental caries, spreads rapidly once it encounters the dentin layer and can lead to cold sensitivity.

Another possible cause for cold related pain can be gum recession. In the healthy teeth, gums are usually at the level where the cementum, or root, and enamel(white part) meet. As gum recession occurs more of the cementum becomes exposed leading to a shorter route of cold stimulus to the nerve of the tooth. The cold is more sensitive due to the fact the exposed cementum provides less thermal insulation than a normal gingival, gum architecture.

We, your dentist, can also cause cold sensitivity. Sometimes dental restorations, or fillings can cause teeth to become more sensitive to cold. As the decay is removed deep within the tooth, sometimes the filling can agitate the nerve of the tooth causing sensitivity. Additionally, composite (ie: white) filings shrink when placed, pulling the tooth and causing potential cold sensitivity.


Now that we understand some of the many potential cause of cold sensitivity, what can we do to alleviate these symptoms. In cases of deep decay, we can place a dental restoration. In placing these restorations we can place a medicine/thermal barrier at the depth of the cavity to provide protection against sensitivity.

When gum recession is involved the fix can be somewhat more complicated. Often surgery is required to properly reduce the recession. In this type of surgery a piece of tissue is harvested from one location in your mouth and placed over the area of recession.

Medicinal or therapeutic agents can also help the symptoms of sensitive teeth. Fluoride found in mouth rinses, toothpastes or varnish, can strengthen enamel and create a barrier to cold, helping with sensitivity. Other agents such as Potassium Nitrate, as found in Sensodyne toothpaste, can block the transmission of stimulus through channels of the tooth decreasing cold sensitivity.

Cold sensitivity can be painful and more importantly can be a deterrent from eating certain foods including ice cream. Other causes for tooth sensitivity may include a cracked tooth and bruxism, or grinding of teeth. If you are experiencing sensitivity with your teeth, visit your dentist or find us at (651) 455 – 1247, and let us help stop that cold sensitivity.

Dr. Ben visits Kids Dental Health Month

Each February, the American Dental Association sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health.
Dental caries, a preventable disease, is the most common chronic disease affecting children in the United States. It is 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever.* Children’s Dental Health Month stresses the importance of early prevention and exposure to oral health care. The consequences of untreated dental caries on children’s overall health and well-being are substantial. Dental problems result in an estimated 51 million hours lost from school, costly emergency department visits, and hospital-based medical and surgical treatments. Poor oral health has been related to decreased school performance, poor social relationships, and less success later in life. Left untreated, the pain and infection caused by tooth decay can lead to problems in eating, speaking, and learning.
First dental visits are mostly educational. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends that every child visit the dentist by the child’s first birthday. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend a child visit the dentist by age one as well. This “well baby check” for the teeth can establish a dental home and helps ensure that parents learn the tools they’ll need to help their children remaincavity-free. The first visit will consist of education and determining a caries risk profile for your child. The risk profile takes into account many factors, including hygiene routines, Fluoride sources, sugar intake, and even the oral status of the primary care giver. With this risk profile determination the dental health provider will be better able to construct a plan to maintain your child’s optimum oral health.
As a general rule, personal oral hygiene for kids should mirror that of adult, with brushing twice a day. Fluoride toothpaste is recommende fo those children old enough to spit. Flossing doesn’t become important until the teeth become more closely spaced, but it is always a good idea to start the routine early. As a rule once, a child is able to tie their own shoes they have the manual dexterity to brush effectively.
Most importantly caries is a preventable disease. With education and a good daily home care routine you can prevent caries and provide your child a long life of great oral health. If you don’t currently have a “dental home” for your child, please visit Dr. Christopherson and set your child on the right path to optimum oral health.

* US Department of Health and Human Services. Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health; 2000.