Diet Dental Health

Preventing Dental Problems with the Right Diet

Your diet has a direct impact on your overall health, as well as your dental health. Making small adjustments to your diet can help prevent dental problems and  lead to huge improvements in your oral health. In this article, we’re going to offer a few tips for preventing dental problems with the right diet.

Avoid Excess Sugar

Excessive sugar intake is one of the quickest ways to the dentist’s chair. Sugar can turn to plaque and eat away at your teeth enamel – eventually leading to cavities. Try to avoid or cut down on your intake of sugary beverages, candy, and other junk food. Your teeth will thank you for it!

Get Plenty of Calcium & Vitamin D

Calcium and vitamin D are essential elements of building strong teeth and keeping them strong. This is especially important for children, whose teeth are still developing.

Cut Down on Your Alcohol Consumption

Reducing your alcohol intake is good for your dental health as well as your overall health. Drinking excessive amounts alcohol (particularly red wine) can stain and yellow your teeth at an unnatural rate. Most alcoholic beverages also contain a lot of sugar, which can be damaging to the teeth.

Find a Dentist in Farmington, MN

If you are suffering from tooth pain or another dental issue, contact Smiles for Life at one of our Minnesota dental clinics. Dr. Tim Brooks and his team of highly skilled hygienists are well equipped to provide you with the best possible dental care. With decades of experience, Dr. Brooks has the knowledge and expertise to provide you with excellent oral health care. With clinics in Farmington and Bloomington, we are conveniently located to serve clients throughout the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. Contact us today to set up your appointment with Dr. Brooks and start smiling wider!

Toothbrushing Kid

3 Toothbrushing Tips for Kids

Teaching kids the importance of dental health care early in their development is important in setting good habits that will last a lifetime. In this article, we’re going to offer several tips for toothbrushing specifically geared at children.

Choose the Right Toothbrush

An important first step, before you even begin brushing, is finding the right toothbrush. This is something that adults don’t often think too much about. Most people just grab the toothbrush with the best price. However, finding the right toothbrush is much more important for children because their teeth are much more sensitive than an adult’s teeth. Make sure you get a toothbrush with soft bristles.

Teach Proper Brushing Technique

Brushing technique is also an important factor. Make sure they brush all three sides of the teeth (front, back, and top), and brush with a gentle circular motion. A good teaching method is to place your hand over the child’s as they hold the brush and guide them through the proper brushing motions.

Get the Child Engaged in the Brushing

For many kids (and many adults) brushing is thought of as a chore. Try to get the child more engaged in brushing by using a song, counting game, or timer to encourage them to brush for two minutes.

Dentist Office in Bloomington, MN

With decades of experience and a strong reputation, Dr. Tim Brooks is equipped to handle all of your family or cosmetic dentistry needs. At Smiles for Life, we make it a point to provide top-notch, compassionate care to every patient who walks through our doors. Whether you’re seeing us for the first time, or you’ve been coming to Smiles for Life for years, we’ll always greet you with a wide smile. Make an appointment with us at our Bloomington or Farmington dental offices and brighten up your smile today!

Teeth Grinding

Night Grinding – How to Identify & Treat

Grinding your teeth at night can cause a whole host of oral health problems – from jaw pain to crooked teeth. In this article, we are going to talk about some effective methods for reducing night-time teeth grinding.

How to Know if You’re a Night Grinder

It can be difficult to determine whether or not you grind your teeth at night. But waking up with a sore jaw or teeth is a tell-tale sign of night grinding. If you’re still not sure whether or not you’re a night grinder, your dentist should be able to tell by taking a quick look at your teeth. Over time grinding can cause the teeth the shift and even be filed down. Your dentist will be able to recognize any grinding patterns and offer solutions.

Grinding Solutions

There are several solutions that can help patients decrease their grinding patterns or at least decrease the impact of the grinding. Here are some grinding prevention options:

  • Mouthguard. Wearing a mouthguard when you sleep won’t necessarily help prevent you from grinding, but it will help decrease the wear and tear on your teeth. Your dentist can fit a mouthguard to your teeth so it’s as comfortable as possible.
  • Decrease Stress. Grinding is often caused by high levels of stress. Taking steps to decrease stress in your daily life can help stop night grinding.

Twin Cities Dental Clinic

Keeping up with your oral health is important and the best way to keep your teeth clean is with regular dental cleanings. At Smiles for Life, we make everything as easy as possible for you – from scheduling, to dental work, to insurance. We have two Minnesota dental clinics at which we see patients, one in Bloomington and one in Farmington. If you are looking for a dentist in either of those areas, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today to set up your appointment with Dr. Brooks and the team at Smiles for Life!

Coffee Teeth Stains

4 Foods & Liquids that Can Stain Your Teeth

Over time your teeth will inevitably become discolored due to the food and drink you consume. But some foods and liquids are worse than others. In this article, we are going to talk about four common foods and drinks that can stain your teeth – and what you can do to fix yellowing teeth.

Coffee & Tea

Many people drink coffee or tea every morning when they wake up. While you won’t notice any discoloration after one cup or even a pot of coffee, years of drinking coffee and tea can cause some serious discoloration.

Soft Drinks

Soft drinks are bad for your teeth in numerous ways. The sugars and acids can eat away at your enamel and cause cavities, for example. On top of that, consuming soft drinks can also stain your teeth.

Red Wine

Drinking even a glass of red wine can leave noticeable stains on your tongue. It takes a little bit longer to stain your teeth, but over time can leave lasting stains.


Even some healthy foods can stain or discolor your teeth. Blueberries, strawberries, and other berries can leave lasting discoloration over time.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening can help remove stains from your teeth and brighten your smile. While there are many over-the-counter teeth whitening products, these often only provide short-term whitening and can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Getting your teeth whitened by a dental professional is the preferred method for long-term teeth whitening. Talk to your dentist today to see if they offer professional teeth whitening services.

Dental Clinics in Bloomington, MN

If you are looking for a dentist in Bloomington, or the surrounding Minnesota area, look no further than Smiles for Life! Our outstanding team will work with you to provide the best possible treatment for your dental issue. Dr. Tim Brooks is a skilled and experienced family and cosmetic dentist who has many years of experience under his belt. Whether you need a crown, an filling, or a simple routine cleaning, we’ve got you covered! Contact us today to set up your appointment at one of our Twin Cities dental clinics.

Dental Cleaning

Why You Should See Your Dentist Every 6 Months

The standard wisdom says that you should visit your dentist once every 6 months. But many patients wonder why that is. Well, let’s talk about it! In this article, we’re going to explain why it’s a good idea to visit your dentist every 6 months.

When to Visit Your Dentist

If you’re an adolescent, teenager, or adult with generally good oral health, it’s recommended that you visit your dentist’s office every 6 months. But why? There are several reasons.

Even if you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day, some plaque build-up can only be removed at the dentist’s office. If left alone, this plaque can eventually eat away at your teeth enamel and cause cavities, gum disease, and other health concerns.

Making regular visits to your dental clinic will also act as a preventive measure to avoid cavities, or other serious oral health issues before they worsen.

When Once Every 6 Months Isn’t Enough

Some patients, such as those who are prone to cavities or have other dental health issues, may need to visit their dentist more often than every 6 months. Every patient is different and has their own dental health needs. Talk to your dentist and see what they recommend for you in terms of the frequency of your dental visits.

Smiles for Life Dental Clinic in Minnesota

At Smiles for Life, we pride ourselves on our commitment to our patients. We provide individualized, compassionate care to every patient who walks through our doors. Dr. Tim Brooks is an experienced family and cosmetic dentist who has been practicing in Minnesota for many years. Whether you need a routine checkup and cleaning, or a help with a toothache, our staff is ready and able to help. Contact us today at one of our Smiles for Life clinic (located in Bloomington MN) to schedule your next checkup!

DIY Dentistry

DIY Dentistry – Why It’s a Bad Idea

DIY (Do-It-Yourself) dentistry is a growing and dangerous trend. Taking your dental care into your own hands can cause serious, long-lasting harm. In this article, we are going to talk about DIY dentistry – what it is and the dangers associated with it.

What is DIY Dentistry?

DIY dentistry (short for Do-It-Yourself dentistry) is when patients take their dental care into their own hands. It can be anything from whitening your teeth, to pulling a tooth on your own, to trying to affix your own braces. These DIY procedures can be dangerous and cause serious damage to your teeth and/or gums.

The Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Dentistry

There’s a reason why dentists have to go through years of school before they begin practicing. Dental conditions are complex and require a strategic approach to treatment. As such, any dental issues or procedures should only be performed by a dental professional who has received the proper training.

When you try to perform a dental procedure on yourself, the chances are great that you’ll mess something up and have to go into the dentist anyway. If you had gone to see your dentist in the first place, you could have saved a lot of time, effort, and money.

Dr. Brooks is always pleased to offer complimentary consultations and 2nd opinions. He can also provide different options to treat situations or phase dentistry to be more affordable when possible.

Minnesota Dental Clinics

DIY dentistry is a dangerous practice that can lead to serious complications. If you have a dental issue, don’t try to fix it yourself. Visit an experienced dentist who can properly address the issue. At Smiles for Life, we work with each of our patients to provide unparalleled and compassionate care. Dr. Tim Brooks has decades of experience treating patients for a wide range of dental health problems. Contact us today at our Minnesota dental clinic (located in Bloomington) to set up your appointment.

Gum Disease Health

How Dental Issues Can Impact Other Areas of the Body

Most people know that neglecting your oral hygiene can lead to bad breath, cavities, and gum disease. But what many people do not realize is that failing to take care of your dental health can lead to health issues in other parts of the body. In this article, we are going to talk about how issues in your teeth and gums can impact other areas of your body.

Heart Disease & Stroke

Gum disease is bad, not only for your gums, but for your heart too. Periodontitis can increase your risk of developing heart disease, or having a stroke. Buy why is that the case? Bacteria that builds up in the gums can travel through the bloodstream to other areas of the body. Thes bacteria can build up in the arteries, causing blood clots, and leading to stroke and various heart conditions.


Bacterial build-up in the gums can lead to gum inflammation – this is one of the most common symptoms of gum disease. These bacteria can cause similar reactions to tissues in other areas of the body. Inflammation has long been linked to the development of cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health.


Gum disease and bacteria can also increase a patient’s risk of developing diabetes.

Preventing These Issues

It’s essential to keep up with your oral hygiene – not just for your teeth and gums, but for the rest of your body too. Make sure you’re brushing and flossing daily, and that you visit your dentist on a regular basis.

Bloomington Dental Health

At Smiles for Life, we have the ability to handle all of your family and cosmetic dentistry needs. For decades, we have been providing top-notch dental care to patients in Bloomington, Farmington, and the surrounding Minnesota areas. If you’re having tooth pain, or you just need to schedule a routine check-up and cleaning, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Contact our dental clinic in Bloomington to set up your appointment today!

Pediatric Dental Care

The Importance of Dental Care for Children

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month – as designated by the American Dental Association. In this article, we are going to discuss the importance of dental care for children and offer a few tips for keeping your kid’s teeth as healthy as possible.

Pediatric Dental Care

Good dental healthcare is essential for patients of all ages, and it’s important to start at a young age. Teaching children about proper dental health habits like how (and how often) to brush their teeth and floss will help instill long-lasting habits. This will help ensure good oral health as the child grows into adulthood.

Dental Health Tips for Kids

Dental health tips specifically for young patients:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss once a day
  • Try to avoid sugary snacks and beverages as these can increase the likelihood of cavities
  • Visit your family dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups

It can be difficult for kids to keep up with these tips, so parents need to help. Be sure to make (and keep) regular dental appointments for your kids, teach them how to brush correctly – and make sure they do it daily.

Dentist in Bloomington, MN

Dr. Tim Brooks and the care team at Smiles for Life work hand-in-hand with every one of our patients to provide individualized care. Whether you need a routine cleaning and check-up or you’d like to schedule an appointment for a teeth whitening, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call today to set up your appointment with Dr. Brooks and the rest of the team at Smiles for Life. Our clinic is located in Bloomington, but we provide care to patients throughout the Twin Cities and surrounding area.

How Important is Flossing?

Everyone knows that it’s important to floss your teeth on a regular basis, but many patients do not have good flossing habits. In this article, we are going to discuss the importance of flossing and how often you should floss to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Teeth Surfaces

Flossing is a great way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. The act of flossing helps remove debris and plaque between the teeth, which can help prevent the formation of cavities and gum disease.

Think of it this way. Each tooth has five surfaces (or sides):

  • The top
  • The front
  • The back
  • The left side
  • The right side

When you brush your teeth, your tooth brush is able to effectively scrub only three of those five sides (the top, front, and back). That leaves the sides of your teeth relatively untouched by brushing. So how do you keep those sides clean? Flossing.

Flossing Frequency

Another common question we get from a lot of our patients is – “how often should I floss?” A good baseline for flossing is once per day. Flossing twice daily, or when you get a piece of food stuck in your teeth is also a good idea. A good way of getting into a routine is to floss right after you brush your teeth.

Make a Dental Appointment in Bloomington, MN

If you are looking to make a dental appointment in Bloomington or the surrounding area, look no further than Smiles for Life! Dr. Tim Brooks has decades of experience providing oral health care to patients throughout the state of Minnesota. Whether you need to schedule a routine cleaning, or you have a tooth ache that’s bothering you, we’ve got the skills and experience to meet your needs. Contact us today to set up your appointment at our Bloomington dental clinic.

Brush Teeth

How Often Should You Brush Your Teeth?

Brushing your teeth is one of the most effective ways of caring for your teeth and gums. But many patients aren’t sure how often they should be brushing their teeth. In this article, we are going to talk about the importance of brushing your teeth and how often you should brush.

The Importance of Brushing

Brushing your teeth is extremely important and perhaps the best thing you can do for your overall dental health. Brushing on a regular basis helps remove plaque, keep your teeth white, and lessen bad breath. More importantly, brushing is a great defense against cavities, gum disease, and other dental health issues.

Brushing Frequency

As a general rule, you should brush your teeth two times per day, every day. The easiest method is to brush once when you get up, and again before going to bed – though that’s not the only way to do it. Find a brushing schedule that works for you and stick to it. If you want to score extra points with your dentist, try to combine your brushing schedule with flossing!

It’s important to note that every patient is different. Some patients may benefit from increased brushing frequency, while others may not need to brush as often. It’s important to talk with your dentist about your situation and how often you should be brushing your teeth.

Minnesota Dental Clinics

Dr. Tim Brooks has been providing family and cosmetic dental care to patients in Minnesota for decades. Dr. Brooks and his team of dental hygienists work hand-in-hand with each and every patient to provide compassionate, individualized care. Whether you need a cavity filled, a dental crown, or a routine checkup – we have everything you need! Our clinic is located in Bloomington. Please give us a call today to set up your appointment at one of our Minnesota dental clinics!