Minnesotaorthodontist's Blog


Smiles by Minnesota Orthodontist

More smiles by Zapfel Orthodontics!



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.

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Twin Cities Orthodontist’s Uzbekistan Adventure

Dr. Zapfel’s Uzbekistan Adventure pictures!

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.



The Adventures of a Twin Cities Orthodontist

Minnesota Orthodontist Travels Around the World

This past May, Dr. Zapfel took an exotic trip to Uzbekistan. No, he didn’t go there to see how orthodontics is done in that part of the world… He went to visit his daughter, Kim, who is living in Tashkent. Kim is a foreign service officer who is spending two years there. Uzbekistan is a republic that was part of the Soviet Union. It plays a critical role for the U.S. government because it shares a border with Afghanistan. In many ways it is a very poor country, yet the capital, Tashkent, has a modern subway system and is becoming exposed to western culture.

Uzbekistan is part of the silk road that has been a trade route from China to Turkey for hundreds of years. To see that part of Uzbekistan, Dr. Zapfel and his daughter Kim traveled by train to Samarkand and Bukhara, two cities that are over 2000 years old that are still part of the silk trade route. Handmade silk rugs are made in small rug factories there. Typically, two women will spend 8-10 months making one average sized rug.

The architecture is a blend of traditional Islamic mosques and Soviet-inspired housing. Most homes are modest, with extended families sharing space in courtyard-style buildings. Kim lives in a very nice newer home. The state department leases homes for their officers that are quite secure.

Finding a good place to eat can be a challenge in Tashkent. Instead of supermarkets, large outdoor markets are common. Numerous vendors sell everything from spices to fermented milk balls there.

If you want know more about Central Asia or Dr. Zapfel’s trip, just ask at your next Zapfel Orthodontics appointment! Check back soon for pictures, too!!

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.



Minnesota Orthodontist Offers Tips for Keeping Your Retainers In Prime Form!

Retainer Tales

Summer is here, and for many people, this is the most active time of year. If you have retainers, be extra careful to keep track of them this busy season! Here are some of the most common reasons why people need new retainers, and some tips on how to avoid these retainer casualties:

– The dog or cat ate the retainer. Keep your retainer in its case anytime it’s not in your mouth!
– The waiter/waitress threw away a retainer that was wrapped in a napkin. Once again, keep your retainer in the case!
– The retainer doesn’t fit anymore. Make sure you wear your retainers as prescribed. Often, the reason a retainer doesn’t fit is because the retainer isn’t worn enough.
– The retainer fell out while swimming. Don’t wear your retainers in the pool or lake! It is especially difficult to find a clear retainer if it falls out in the water.

If you do happen to break or lose your retainer, be sure to call Zapfel Orthodontics right away to get a new impression made before your teeth shift around. Retainers are generally made to hold the teeth where they are, so if you experience shifting, a retainer may not be able to re-correct your bite.

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.



Minnesota Orthodontist Discusses Braces Emergencies

How To Handle Braces Emergencies

The holiday season is upon us, which means that many dental offices are closed a few extra days during the month. Jenny, one of our talented and friendly dental assistants at Zapfel Orthodontics, would like to offer some tips on how to handle orthodontic emergencies!

Wire Poke: One of the most common types of orthodontic emergencies is a wire poke. This more frequently occurs in the beginning months of orthodontic treatment when the wires are more flexible and can shift to the left or right. If you have a poking wire, first try to slide the wire back toward the center, or use wax or wet cotton to cover the area. If this doesn’t work, you may try to clip the wire with a nail clipper, or try bending the wire over with a pencil eraser. If the wire is out of the tube on a molar, you may try to place the wire end back through the tube with a tweezers.

Loose Brace: If you notice a loose brace, just call during open business hours. We can help you schedule a time to come in to have the brace repaired. If the brace is still attached to the wire but is irritating your lips or cheeks, place wax over the brace to relieve the discomfort.

Loose Band: If you notice a loose band (the metal rings around the molars), please call during business hours. We can schedule a time for you to come in to have the band re-cemented. If the band is attached to another wire, or if it is irritating your lips or cheeks, try to place wax over the band or else you may try to clip the wire and remove the band until you can get in. Please bring the band in with you to your next visit. If you were wearing elastics to the loose band, stop elastic wear for the time being.

Soft Tissue Irritation: Use wax to cover any areas of the braces that are irritating your lips or cheeks. Soft tissue irritation is very common in the first days or week of orthodontic treatment, or anytime you have something new placed in your mouth. If necessary, you may take the pain reliever you would normally take for a headache or similar discomfort.

Trauma: If you experience trauma to your mouth while wearing braces, first make sure that you are okay. Seek medical attention if necessary. Often, your lips or cheeks can be cut by the braces if you get bumped in the mouth. If this happens, keep the area clean by using warm saltwater rinses a few times a day. You can also place wax over any brace that is irritating the area. If you have significant trauma to the teeth, please call your dentist to have a thorough evaluation in order to make sure that there are no serious injuries.

Tooth Pain: When the braces or separators are first placed, and occasionally after regular adjustments, you may experience some tenderness or discomfort from your tooth or teeth. If necessary, you may take the pain reliever you would normally take for a headache or similar discomfort. If you develop severe pain that keeps you awake or is sensitive to hot or cold, it is possible that you have a dental infection. In this case, please see your dentist for a complete evaluation.

Bite Changes: As your teeth move, the feeling of your bite will also change. This is to be expected, even toward the end of treatment. If your mouth gets locked shut or open due to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues, please call your dentist or orthodontist.

If none of these tips alleviates your discomfort, please call your orthodontist for an appointment. We here at Zapfel Orthodontics always have someone available to answer our patients’ questions regarding emergency orthodontic care. Please have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!

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.