Bleeding Gums

Why Your Gums Might be Bleeding

There are many potential reasons why your gums may start bleeding – some of which are harmless, and some of which should be cause for concern. In this article, we are going to walk through some of the possible causes of bleeding gums, and what to do when your gums start bleeding.

Flossing & Brushing

In many cases, bleeding gums is no cause for alarm, but it is almost always a sign of the bodies inflammatory response to bacteria. If you haven’t flossed in a while and have just started a new flossing routine – your gums will likely bleed a little as the adjust. This bleeding will typically go away on its own in a week or so if using proper home car. If it doesn’t – contact your dentist. Flossing regularly is the best way to prevent this from happening. Brushing your teeth too rigorously, or with a toothbrush that isn’t soft enough can also cause bleeding gums.


Pregnant women also often experience bleeding gums as a result of “pregnancy gingivitis” – an inflammation of the gums that can arise during pregnancy. When pregnant the immune response to the plaque and bacteria on the teeth is more responsive resulting in the bleeding. Many times if the brushing and flossing is improved the bleeding will go away.


Bleeding gums may also be a sign of gingivitis – which is an early stage of gum disease. Brushing and flossing regularly is the best way to guard against gingivitis. The condition is also reversible if caught early enough. Your dentist can help you through the treatment process.

Smiles for Life in Minnesota

If you are experiencing problems with bleeding gums, schedule an appointment with a dentist today. Dr. Tim Brooks and the rest of the team at Smiles for Life make it a point to treat each patient with the respect and compassion that they deserve. At Smiles for Life we offer family and cosmetic dentistry services to patients in Bloomington, and the surrounding areas of the Twin Cities. Contact us today to set up your appointment with Dr. Brooks at one of our Smiles for Life dental clinics.

Toothbrush Travel

3 Dental Health Travel Tips

Vacation travel allows you to forget about your everyday problems and relax. But don’t forget about your dental health while you’re on vacation. In this dental health education article, we offer tips to keep your teeth healthy while you’re away from home.

Pack What You Need

Preparation is the key to any successful trip. You must pack everything you need. When you’re packing up, don’t forget your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and any other items you use to clean your teeth. If you forget to pack something – don’t fret! Toothbrushes and toothpaste are readily available in most places around the world. Just remember to buy a toothbrush, toothpaste, or whatever you need and use them while you’re traveling.

Toothbrush Transport

Got your toothbrush packed? Great! You’re already ahead of the curve. But you also need to consider how you’re transporting your toothbrush. At home, allowing your toothbrush to air dry after use is essential to avoid bacterial growth. When traveling, try to air dry your toothbrush whenever possible after use. It also may be best to use a disposable plastic bag for transporting your toothbrush rather than a toiletry case that has been used countless times.


If you’re experiencing tooth pain or another dental health issue while abroad, but you’re not sure if it’s an emergency, call your dentist and see what they recommend. They will be able to tell you whether you should wait until you return home or seek immediate dental care.

Minnesota Dental Clinic

Smiles for Life offers cosmetic and family dental care to patients throughout the Twin Cities area. Dr. Tim Brooks has been treating patients for years and has the skills needed to address your dental health issue. We make it a point to treat every patient that walks through our doors with the respect and care they deserve.

So whether you need to schedule a routine appointment, or you’re experiencing a dental health issue, we’ve got you covered at Smiles for Life. Contact our team to set up your appointment with Dr. Brooks today.

Dental Issues Eating Tips

Eating Tips When you Have Dental Issues

What you eat has a direct impact on your health. But the reverse is often true as well if you’re dealing with a dental issue. In other words, your dental health can have a direct impact on what you eat and how you eat it. In this article, we’re going to discuss what to eat and how to eat when you’re experiencing a dental issue.


With metal braces, it’s best to avoid sticky foods and hard foods, including:

  • Caramel and other chewy candies
  • Hard Candy
  • Popcorn
  • Gum
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Ice

These foods can get stuck in the braces and cause issues. Instead, focus on softer foods like soup, smoothies, scrambled eggs, pasta, and the like. Invisible braces can help avoid many of these food issues so ask your dentist if those are a good option for you as well.

Oral Surgery

Directly after an oral surgery procedure like a dental implant, your dentist will give you some post-op instructions that include dietary restrictions. The specific instructions will depend on your situation and the procedure performed so stick to what your dentist tells you.

Tooth Pain / Sensitivity

Sensitive teeth are often triggered by foods and liquids that are hot or cold. Avoid these when possible. More importantly, make an appointment with your dentist to get to the bottom of the tooth pain or sensitivity.

Bloomington Dentist Office

Dr. Tim Brooks has years of experience as a family and cosmetic dentist. The highly-skilled team at Smiles for Life works with every patient from start to finish to provide unparalleled care. If you’re experiencing dental health issues, or you just need to set up an appointment for a regular cleaning, you’ve found the right place. Smiles for Life Dental Clinic is located in Bloomington, but we serve patients throughout the Twin Cities area. Contact us today to set up your appointment and keep that smile shining bright!

Dental Appointment

4 Reasons to Make an Appointment with Your Dentist

For many patients, it can be difficult to determine when it’s important to make a dental appointment. In this article, we are going to talk about several reasons why you should make an appointment with your dentist.

Jaw Pain

If you have pain in your jaw when opening and closing, or if your jaw makes a popping sound, it’s time to make an appointment with your dentist. Jaw pain can indicate a variety of potential conditions, including gum disease, toothaches, arthritis, or issues with the jaw joint.

Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitive teeth can make even the most mundane act of eating or drinking painful. Don’t “just deal with” your tooth sensitivity and pain. Make an appointment with your dentist and get to the bottom of your tooth sensitivity so you can determine how to best treat it.

Eating Difficulties

If pain or a functional issue is making it difficult to eat, set up a dental appointment to determine the root cause.

You Haven’t Been in a While

Remember, most people should visit the dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. If you’re past due for a regular appointment, contact your dentist and get something on the calendar.

Twin Cities Dentists

For years, Dr. Tim Brooks has been providing cosmetic and family dental care to patients throughout the Twin Cities area. Dr. Brooks and the rest of the team at Smiles for Life are well equipped to tackle your dental health needs – whatever they may be. Reach out to us today to set up your appointment at one of our Smiles for Life dental clinic – located in Bloomington. Whether you need a dental implant or just a routine cleaning, we’ve got the skills and expertise needed to keep your smile shining bright!

Baby Teeth 101

Baby Teeth 101 – What You Need to Know

Many parents have questions about baby teeth and when to bring their children in to see a dentist. In this article, we are going to provide a primer on baby teeth – when you should expect them to come in, fall out, and how to care for your child’s teeth.

When Do Baby Teeth Come In?

Babies are born with twenty primary teeth present in the jawline. As they begin to grow, these baby teeth will start poking out. Baby teeth typically begin to appear when the child is 6 months to 1 year old, and many babies have a full set up baby teeth by age 3. The order in which baby teeth come in varies, but in general the first teeth to come in will be the front teeth at the top and bottom. All that being said, every baby is different. Some may get their teeth much faster than others.

When to Bring Your Baby in to See the Dentist

One of the most common questions we get from parents is: “when should I start bringing my child in to see the dentist?” This is a great question, that (again) varies per patient. A good general rule of thumb is to first bring your child in to the dentist after their first tooth comes in but before their first birthday. Starting dental care at a young age is a great way to instill positive oral health habits and set a path for healthy teeth as your child grows.

Bloomington Dentist’s Office

The dental health professionals at Smiles for Life provide family and cosmetic dentistry care to patients in Bloomington, Farmington, and the surrounding areas of Minnesota. Whether you’ve got a tooth ache or you just need to schedule a regular checkup and cleaning, we will provide you with unparalleled care and service. Dr. Tim Brooks has the skills and experience to address your dental health needs. Contact us today to set up your appointment at one of our Smiles for Life Dental Clinic (located in Bloomington MN).

Oral Cancer Signs

Early Signs & Symptoms of Oral Cancer

April is oral cancer awareness month and we’re going to be shedding some light on oral cancer related topics all month. With that in mind, in this article we are going to discuss a few early signs and symptoms that may indicate oral cancer.

Chronic Pain

Oral cancer often causes associated pain in the mouth, as well as in adjacent areas of the body like the face and ears. The pain may be recurring and often increases when swallowing.

Mouth Sores, Lumps, Patches

Sores, lumps, or white/red patches inside the mouth may also be cause for concern, especially if they do not heal given time.

Enlarged Lymph Nodes

Enlarged Lymph Nodes in the neck can also be a potential sign of oral cancer. Your dentist will check for any Lymph Node abnormalities during your regular checkups, so it’s important that you make and keep regular dental appointments (once every 6 months).

Dental Health Clinic in Bloomington, MN

Many potential symptoms of oral cancer overlap with much less serious conditions like toothaches. That’s why it’s important to seek help from your dentist if any of these symptoms crop up and persist without getting better. Your dentist will be able to take a closer look at the symptoms and see if they warrant further investigation.

At Smiles for Life, our goal is to provide you with top-notch dental care from the moment you set up your appointment to the moment you walk out the door. Dr. Tim Brooks has been providing family and cosmetic dental care to patients throughout Minnesota for many years. Contact us today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Brooks and the rest of the team at Smiles for Life. Our primary dental clinic is located in Bloomington, but we also serve the surrounding Minnesota areas.

Sensitive Teeth

3 Potential Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Having sensitive teeth can make everyday activities like eating or brushing your teeth painful. Before you begin to investigate treatment options for your sensitive teeth, it’s important to get to the bottom of what’s causing the sensitivity in the first place. In this article, we are going to talk about a few potential things that could be causing your tooth sensitivity.

Tooth Decay

Tooth sensitivity is often a warning sign of a cavity caused by tooth decay. Old, worn-out fillings can also cause sensitivity. In either case, the best way to reduce the sensitivity is to get the cavities filled – or the worn out fillings replaced.

Chips and Fractures in the Teeth

Chipped and fractured teeth can also cause sensitivity. Depending on the severity of the chip or fracture, treatment options may include dental veneers, crowns, or implants.

Exposed Root

An exposed tooth root can cause severe tooth sensitivity and pain. Typically the best way to treat exposed roots is with a root canal procedure.

Bloomington Tooth Sensitivity Dentist

Thankfully, there are options for treating your sensitive teeth. Again, it’s highly dependent on the cause of the sensitivity. If your teeth are sensitive because of a cavity, it will need to be filled – a special toothpaste will only delay the inevitable. That’s why it’s important to seek help from a dental health specialist for your tooth sensitivity. Dr. Tim Brooks and the rest of the team at Smiles for Life Dental Clinics offer family and cosmetic dentistry services to patients throughout Minnesota. If you’re suffering from tooth pain, or you just need to schedule a regular cleaning, look no further than Smiles for Life. Dr. Brooks is a skilled and experienced dentist who can effectively address all of your dental health needs. Contact us today to set up your appointment at our Bloomington dental clinic and brighten up your smile!

Dental Crown vs. Veneer

Veneer vs. Crown – Which is Better for a Fractured Tooth?

There are several options available to treat a fractured tooth. Two of the most common are veneers and crowns. But how do you choose between the two options? In this article, we are going to talk about veneers vs. crowns and the various benefits and drawbacks of each.

Dental Veneers

Dental Veneers are facings made of porcelain or tooth colored filling material used to improve aesthetics by changing shape, color and sometimes position of teeth. They can also be used to repair a fractured edge of a front tooth. Veneers are less invasive to the tooth, but are technique sensitive and therefore can be more costly than crowns.

Dental Crowns

Compared to veneers, crowns involve removing more tooth structure and involve complete coverage of the tooth in either porcelain or gold. Crowns, sometimes referred to as caps, are necessary when fractures are large, root canals have been performed, or large fillings exist. From a restorative perspective, it is always best to retain as much natural tooth structure  and be the least invasive to the tooth as possible. Sometimes, due to the circumstances listed above (root canal, large filling, large fracture), a crown may be the only good option.

Smiles for Life Dental Clinics

Dr Tim Brooks is a family and cosmetic dentist serving Bloomington and the surrounding areas. For years, Dr Brooks has been providing quality, compassionate care to patients with a wide range of dental needs. At Smiles for Life, we offer a wide variety of dental health services-from regular cleanings, to professional teeth whitening, to implants and bridges. Contact us today at one of our Minnesota dental clinics to set up your appointment with Dr. Brooks!

How to Find the Right Dentist

Whether you’ve just moved to a new area, or you’re unhappy with your current dentist, finding the right dentist for your situation is essential. But with so many options, it can be challenging to make the best decision. Use these tips to make finding the right dentist an easier task.

Figure Out What You Need

Before you start looking for a dentist, it’s important to determine what kind of dental care you need. Are you looking to set up a routine appointment for a cleaning? Or do you need to have a more complex procedure (like a root canal) done? Different dentists provide different dental health services, so it’s crucial to figure out what you need before you start looking.

Do Your Online Research

The first place many people go when they’re searching for a new dentist (or anything for that matter) is the Internet. Doing a Google search for dentists in your area is a great place to start. Once you’ve found a few clinics, take a look at their websites and patient reviews to more information.

Ask for a Referral

If you have family or friends who live in your area, they can be an excellent resource for finding a reputable dentist near you.

Bloomington Dental Clinics

Dr. Tim Brooks has been treating patients throughout the Twin Cities area for many years. The team at Smiles for Life makes it a point to provide unparalleled dental care to every patient that walks through our doors.

Reach out today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Brooks and the rest of the team at Smiles for Life.

When to Get Braces

When to Get Braces

One of the most common questions that arises around the subject of braces is when to get them. In this article, we are going to talk about when you can and should get braces if you need them.

Braces for children

Age is an important consideration when it comes to children who need braces. The majority of jaw growth occurs between the ages of 7 and 18 years old. The philosophy on when to treat children has changed over the last 5 to 10 years. Early treatment of crowding and spacing issues is recommended. If issues are present at the age of  7 years old, we recommend treatment using appliances such as palatal expanders or early onset braces to take advantage of  the jaw growth that is occurring. Early treatment of orthodontic issues can often times minimize orthodontic treatment needed in the mid to late teens or eliminate it completely.

Braces for Adults

There are many indications for orthodontics in adult patients, and not all of them relate to cosmetics or making a smile look more appealing. Many adults have functional issues that indicate the need for orthodontic treatment. Malpositioned teeth can lead to fracturing of teeth. Also, if function is poor, chewing efficiency decreases and can lead to digestive problems and nutritional deficiencies. Some adults have had braces, stopped wearing retainers,  and had shifting of their teeth which has led to cosmetic or functional concerns. Orthodontic treatment can be done at any age in adults. One concern many adults have is that traditional metal braces aren’t aesthetically pleasing. Thankfully, there is an alternative option for patients who want to straighten their teeth without having a mouthful of metal for months or years – Invisalign or Invisible braces.

Contact a Twin Cities Dentist

Smiles for Life is a family and cosmetic dental clinic providing a range of services, from preventive dental care to invisible braces. Dr Tim Brooks has years of experience providing dental care to patients throughout the state of Minnesota. Contact a Twin Cities dentist at Smiles for Life today to set up your appointment. Our clinic is located in Bloomington, where we provide dental care throughout the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.