Minnesotaorthodontist's Blog


Twin Cities Orthodontist Discusses Tips on Dealing with Jaw Pain

Coon Rapids Orthodontist Discusses TMJ Pain and Dysfunction

Many people, either with or without braces, may experience some degree of pain or clicking in their temporomandibular joints (also known as jaw joints, or TMJs).  Often, painful symptoms can be exacerbated by clenching or grinding, or overuse of the jaw joints (such as excessive gum chewing), or by traumatic injury.

Many mild cases of tempormandibular dysfunction (TMD) can be helped with home care instructions.  Below is a list of things a person could do that may relieve jaw pain.  Please note, this information is not a substitute for a comprehensive exam or treatment by a healthcare professional:

  1. Stay on a pain-free diet.  This means that you may eat whatever you normally would eat, but stay away from foods that cause jaw pain.
  2. Take Ibuprofen if needed to relieve pain and inflammation.  You may take a normal headache dose, or up to 600mg (3 tablets) every six hours if needed.
  3. Apply a moist heat or cold compress to the painful areas of your jaw, whichever feels better.
  4. Limit painful movement (ie: yawning with a wide open mouth).
  5. Avoid gum and caffeine.
  6. Avoid nail biting, chewing on pens, or any other activity that causes unnecessary jaw movements.
  7. Avoid resting your chin in your hands or sleeping on your stomach, or any other activity that causes unnecessary strain on your jaw.
  8. Practice the “Tongue up, teeth apart” rest position (similar to saying the letter “N”).
  9. Monitor symptoms for improvement or worsening.

If symptoms persist or worsen, please contact your orthodontist or another dental professional.  In acute or chronic cases of TMD, a referral to a TMJ specialist may be indicated.  In the event of traumatic injury to the jaw, contact a medical professional to be certain that more serious injuries are not present.

Thank you to Dr. Patricia Fernandes for her help with this blog.

For More Information

Please call (763) 784-0420 or visit www.ZapfelOrthodontics.com for more information or to schedule a complimentary initial examination and x-ray.  Zapfel Orthodontics is located at 1130 NE County Road 10 in Spring Lake Park, MN 55432 and serves the Minneapolis/St. Paul Twin Cities including Coon Rapids, Blaine, Fridley, Roseville, Anoka, Brooklyn Park, Columbia Heights, and Mounds View, Minnesota.



Blaine Orthodontic Office Keeps Your Mouth Happy

Braces-Friendly Recipe from Blaine Orthodontic Office!

The cool weather is rolling in, and we here at Zapfel Orthodontics want to make sure our patients stay warm and well-fed!  We asked Pat, our scheduling coordinator, what her favorite cold weather recipe is.  Below is one of her favorite braces-friendly recipes: Speedy Spinach Lasagna.  Do you have a favorite braces-friendly recipe to share?  Let us know!

Speedy Spinach Lasagna

1 package spaghetti sauce mix

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 3/4 cups cold water

2 eggs

1 15-ounce container ricotta or 1 pound creamed cottage cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 pound sliced mozzarella cheese

1/2 pound uncooked lasagna noodles, broken in half

Dash of oregano

Empty spaghetti sauce mix into saucepan; add tomato paste, tomato sauce and water.  Heat, stirring, until well blended.  Remove from heat.  Beat eggs in a large bowl and add Ricotta or cottage cheese, spinach, salt and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.  Lightly grease the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish; cover with a little sauce.  Layer noodles, half of the cheese-spinach mixture, half the mozzarella cheese and half the tomato sauce.  Repeat layers.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and a dash of oregano.  Cover dish with a lightly greased sheet of aluminum foil and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 60 minutes or until noodles are tender.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting in squares and serving.  Serves 8.

For More Information

Please call (763) 784-0420 or visit www.ZapfelOrthodontics.com for more information or to schedule a complimentary initial examination and x-ray.  Zapfel Orthodontics is located at 1130 NE County Road 10 in Spring Lake Park, MN 55432 and serves the Minneapolis/St. Paul Twin Cities including Coon Rapids, Blaine, Fridley, Roseville, Anoka, Brooklyn Park, Columbia Heights, and Mounds View, Minnesota.



Spring Lake Park Orthodontist Celebrates National Orthodontic Health Month

October is National Orthodontic Health Month

Did you know that October is National Orthodontic Health Month?  In honor of this month, your friendly Twin Cities orthodontists at Zapfel Orthodontics wanted to briefly review a few of the reasons why orthodontic treatment is important for many people.

  • Overall Oral Health:  When teeth are crooked or crowded, it can be more difficult to keep them clean.  If oral hygiene is not properly maintained, it is possible to develop cavities or gum disease.  Orthodontic treatment can straighten teeth, which can make it easier to maintain proper oral hygiene.

  • Confidence Boost:  Having a beautiful smile can increase confidence.  Good confidence is an important part of being a happy and successful individual.  It is amazing how many people feel better about themselves with straighter teeth!

  • Best Function:  Straight teeth that fit together well generally function much better than teeth that do not fit together well.  If you have a malocclusion, or bad bite, your orthodontist can help you achieve your most functional bite.

  • Esthetics:  A nice side effect of orthodontic treatment to obtain the best function is that the teeth will line up, so the result is a functional AND beautiful smile!

There are many other reasons why people seek orthodontic treatment.  If you would like to learn how you can benefit from braces or Invisalign, please visit Zapfel Orthodontics for a complimentary exam.  We can discuss whether or not you will benefit from orthodontic treatment, and which options would best suit your teeth and overall lifestyle!

For More Information

Please call (763) 784-0420 or visit www.ZapfelOrthodontics.com for more information or to schedule a complimentary initial examination and x-ray.  Zapfel Orthodontics is located at 1130 NE County Road 10 in Spring Lake Park, MN 55432 and serves the Minneapolis/St. Paul Twin Cities including Coon Rapids, Blaine, Fridley, Roseville, Anoka, Brooklyn Park, Columbia Heights, and Mounds View, Minnesota.