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Northstar Family Dental

The Facts on Fluoride

If you’re a Northstar Family Dental patient, you have probably been offered a fluoride treatment during one of your routine visits. We’re often asked about the benefits, restrictions after treatment and the myths about negative effects of fluoride. So we thought we would answer the questions that we hear the most all right here!

Fact 1: Fluoride is a mineral from the crust of the earth that occurs naturally in all water sources. Research has shown that fluoride not only reduces cavities in children and adults, but it also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay, even before the decay is visible. When it reaches your teeth, fluoride is absorbed into the enamel. It helps to repair the enamel by replenishing the lost calcium and phosphorous to keep your teeth hard. In other words, fluoride is GOOD!

Fact 2: Although fluoride is found in natural sources such as drinking water, it is often not in a high enough quantity to prevent dental decay. Which is why the ADA and our team suggest supplementing.

Fact 3: Topical versus Systemic Fluorides. Topical fluorides are applied directly to the tooth enamel. Some examples include fluoride toothpastes and mouthrinses, as well as fluoride treatment that we perform in our office. However, the fluoride treatment that we use in the office is a much stronger concentration than that in toothpastes or fluoride mouthrinses that may be available in a store or at a pharmacy. Systemic fluorides are those that are swallowed. Examples include fluoridated water and dietary fluoride supplements. The maximum reduction in cavities is achieved when fluoride is available both topically and systemically.

Fact 4: Your fluoride treatments will take only a matter of minutes, can be completed during your routine cleaning appointment and is painless. After the treatment, we ask that you not eat or drink anything hot or cold for 30 minutes or brush/floss for six hours. Other than that, there is no downtime or side effects.

Fact 5: Depending on your oral health status, we may recommend treatments every three, six or 12 months. If you are at moderate or high risk of developing cavities, we may discuss additional preventative care solutions.

The next time you’re in our office, we urge you to consider a fluoride treatment to further protect you and your loved one’s overall oral health. The best part…most months, we donate $2 for every fluoride treatment administered to a non-profit charitable organization.

Ask your hygienist for details!

Ms. Liza Green, Dental Hygienist of Northstar Family Dental Westernville OH

Liza Green, RDH, Contributing Editor



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Halloween Doesn’t Have to be a Nightmare for Your Kids’ Teeth

It’s that time of year again and we’re here to reassure you that Halloween treats – in moderation – are nothing to worry about.


In fact this fun holiday can even present an opportunity to teach your children about good oral health habits.


Our top tips for a successful Halloween season:

  • Moderation. Once your child arrives home from trick-or-treating or Halloween parties with their collected goodies, help them go through their treats and have them pick an allotted amount of their favorites. The rest should be out of sight, out of mind. We’ve had great success donating left over candy to local food banks, the fire station or police department as a gesture to our community service men and women.
  • Choosing the right TYPE of treat. If possible, try to steer kids away from the super sticky treats that have a tendency to really stick down in the grooves of teeth. Think: taffy, gummies and caramels. The length of time that sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay…which leads us to our next tip…
  • Brush as soon as possible. We know you won’t always have access to brush immediately after enjoying candy. To help in the meantime, encourage your kiddos to drink water during or right after eating their can dy, which will help wash away some of the excess sugar. And then of course, brush with extra care as soon as the opportunity is available.
  • Parents helping other parents. You can be an active part in helping keep little mouths healthy this Halloween. Be selective when choosing the treats that YOU will pass out during trick-or-treat or parties. Your best bet is to choose chocolate over sticky, gummy, hard or sour options. Dark chocolate in particular has less sugar than milk chocolate. And this is good news since chocolate is usually a crowd favorite!

From all of us at Northstar Family Dental, we wish you a happy, safe, and fun Halloween season! Don’t forget to schedule your little ghosts and goblins’ checkup before the end of the year – not only is it smart to get checked out during the holiday season with its excess in sugary consumption – but your 2017 benefits will be expiring soon! Now that’s scary!

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Why Your Child’s First Dental Visit is So Important

“Amazing experience with my anxious 7 year old son. Friendly and accommodating staff and a superbly clean office. Awesome list of “comfort” items helped ease my sons fears (he thinks watching TV while getting dental work done is the best thing ever!) This is the third dentist we have been to with him, and as the saying goes, third time’s the charm.” – Kelly H. (GOOGLE)


Believe it or not, your child’s first experience with a dental office can shape their feelings about dental visits for a lifetime. With the number one reason cited for not seeing a dentist regularly being “a bad previous experience,” a good first impression is critical.

Even the most advanced techniques and skilled dental professionals will have a hard time erasing a bad memory, which is why it is so important to start with a positive experience.


At Northstar Family Dental, our team recognizes the implications of a child’s first few visits. Which is why we take a thoughtful and purposeful approach to ensure your little one associates the dentist office with a safe, happy and friendly environment. 

Each child is greeted by one of our friendly team members and shown around the office – giving them time to relax and ask questions. Their tour includes a visit to the prize box which they will be able to return to pick a prize after they’ve completed their checkup.

Once in the room, they get their choice of kid-favorite television channel to watch during their checkup and cleaning. Our hygienists have perfected the art of the kid-friendly cleaning through the use of vivid communication that children can understand and relate to. We use “magical paint” (toothpaste), of their flavor choice, to get rid of the “sugar bugs.” The kids are also encouraged to help count their teeth and check to make sure they are healthy and clean.

Keeping the kids involved and letting them help make decisions, prevents them from feeling out of control of the situation leading to nervousness and anxiety, while also keeping them distracted from the fact that they’re getting a checkup!

And good oral health care habits are not to go unrewarded. In addition to picking from the prize box – when a child is cavity free, they join our No Cavity Club – which enters them into a drawing for exciting prizes like Columbus Clippers tickets, Columbus Zoo memberships, Toys R Us gift cards and more!


However, even more important than all the fun offered during a Northstar Family Dental visit; if a child is still feeling unsure and resists the checkup – we will never force any treatment. Pressuring a child could leave them feeling even more anxious and stimulate negative feelings toward future appointments. If the only thing we do during an initial visit is a quick visual exam and pep talk about at-home care – that is okay! Even a nervous child will warm up to the idea of an exam as long as they are treated in a manner that builds trust.



Tips on Caring for Your Child’s Teeth at Home


  1. Be mindful of snack choices. Try to avoid foods that are going to stick to your child’s teeth. (Think gummy snacks, candy, jelly and jams)
  2.  Make sure the kiddos are drinking plenty of water. When possible, try to avoid juices, soda and sports drinks which are high in sugar and acidity.
  3. Get your greens! It’s probably no surprise to see foods like broccoli and leafy greens included on a list of what your child should be consuming. They’re full of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. They are also high in calcium, which helps in building your child’s enamel.
  4. Try crunchy, high fiber foods like apples, celery and carrots. While many fruits get a bad wrap because of their sugar content, apples are relatively low in sugar, but high in fiber and help scrub away plaque.


  1. Parents should be helping their kids brush until they are able to do it themselves well. Most parents are surprised to learn that it is not until age nine or 10 that a child knows how to properly and effectively brush by themselves! It is essential to check their brushing to ensure everything is getting cleaned to prevent decay. 
  2. Get them excited about oral health! In addition to informative children’s books, there are several digital resources available to parents. One of our favorite websites is 2MIN2X, which features fun videos, brushing games, printable checklists, etc. Check it out at the link below!

We would love to see your little one in our office for their first visit. We promise to provide a memorible experience that will be sure to get them excited about oral health and future visits to the dentists! Call today! 614-682-6213.

Cassie Wise, RDH, Contributing Editor

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Is Botox, Juvederm or Radiesse right for you?


Are you unhappy with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles?

Consider BOTOX® Cosmetic, the only FDA approved treatment to temporarily improve both moderate to severe frown lines between the brows and fine lines around the eyes (commonly referred to as “crows feet”) in adults. This simple, yet effective, treatment typically takes only about 10 minutes to complete in the comfort and privacy of our office – and has been proven to last up to four months. 

Do you suffer from chronic migraines or teeth grinding?

BOTOX® is the first and only FDA-approved preventive treatment for chronic migraines. Unlike acute treatments, which are used to treat a headache or migraine once it’s already begun, BOTOX® prevents headaches and migraines before they even start. 

What is JUVÉDERM®?

JUVÉDERM®  is a non-surgical treatment to lift and contour the cheek area, smooth wrinkles and lines, and even enhance your lips. Over time, the cheeks flatten and lips lose fullness. This is caused by a natural loss of volume. JUVÉDERM® combats these signs of aging by adding subtle and smooth volume beneath the skin’s surface to lift and contour cheeks and lips.  Results are not only instantaneous – the outcome looks natural and is long lasting. In fact, JUVÉDERM® is the only filler proven to last up to two years in the cheek area. 

Our newest product, JUVÉDERM® Volbella XC is the first and only FDA approved filler proven to increase lip fullness and soften the appearance of vertical lip lines for up to one year.

JUVÉDERM® also contains lidocaine to help reduce discomfort during the treatment. With the amazing benefits, it is no surprise that JUVÉDERM® is the #1 selling collection of filler in the U.S.

What is RADIESSE®?

RADIESSE® is a dermal filler that is used for smoothing moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds (the creases that extend from the corner of your nose to the corner of your mouth) and for correcting volume loss in the back of the hands.  The filler works immediately to add instant volume under the skin. Over time, the benefits of RADIESSE® continue by stimulating your body’s own natural collagen. Results have been shown to last a year or longer in many patients; making the treatment results both immediate and long lasting.

What will I look like with BOTOX®,  JUVÉDERM® or RADIESSE® treatment?

Still not convinced? Download the Treatment Visualizer to see how amazing the results could look on YOU!

We always offer complimentary consultations to ensure that you confidently choose the best treatment option for your individual needs. Let the experts at Northstar Family Dental help you discover the results that everyone will notice, but no one will know.

Call for your consultation today! 614-682-6213.

Jessica Bowersock, Certified Dental Assistant, Certified Advanced Esthetician

Contributing Editor

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Why the need for Dental Implants?

Despite continuous advancements in dental technology and improvements in oral health, millions of Americans still struggle with tooth loss. This is typically the result of tooth decay, periodontal disease, or injury. For many years, bridges and dentures were the only treatment options for people suffering from tooth loss. Not anymore.

Today, oral surgeons can offer a different solution in the form of Dental Implants. Implants look, feel, and function like your natural teeth, allowing you to eat, smile and communicate as confidently as you would with your natural teeth.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth “roots” that are placed into the jaw to help hold the replacement teeth in place. The implants themselves are small titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The posts act as anchors and provide a strong foundation for the replacement teeth, which are made to match your natural teeth.

What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?

Improved appearance. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.

Improved speech. Often, a patient with dentures will experience gradual movement and poor fit of the replacement teeth over time causing disrupted or difficulty with speech. Because Dental Implants are permanently placed, they allow you to speak without the worry that the teeth might slip.

Improved comfort and convenience. Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures which don’t always fit identically to your jawline. They eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.

Easier eating. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.

Improved self-esteem. If you’ve struggled with tooth loss, you can imagine how having a full set of natural looking and feeling teeth can improve your quality of life. Dental Implants can restore your smile and renew your self-confidence in personal, work and social environments.

Improved oral health. Dental implants don’t require removal of tooth structure to adjacent teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, making it easy to maintain optimal oral hygiene.

Durability. Implants are very durable and with regular dental hygiene maintenance, many implants last a lifetime with no needs to repair or replace.

Who is a Good Candidate for Implants?

In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant.

Northstar Family Dental’s Certified Oral Surgeon, Dr. Julie Park, will meet with you individually to understand your personal needs and confirm that implants are an ideal solution for you.

Dr. Park will work closely with you and your Northstar Family Dental general dentist to develop an individualized treatment plan. This team approach; partnering you with professionals who are specially trained and experienced in oral surgery and restorative dentistry will ensure a comfortable and streamlined experience, guaranteeing the best possible outcome.

Are Dental Implants Painful?

The majority of dental implant patients report that there is very little discomfort involved in the procedure. If necessary, oral and  IV sedation are available for added comfort and reduced anxiety. However, most patients describe the amount of pain experienced to be less than that of a tooth extraction.

What Type of Success Can Be Expected from a Dental Implant?

As with any surgical procedure results may vary from patient to patient. However, in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime.

If you are considering implants…

Call our office at 614.891.4242 for more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Park or Dr. Kulesa.

Dr. Julie Park, DMD

Contributing editor

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Why is My Tooth Sensitive?

Tooth sensitivity, tooth pain, biting pain, gum pain — they are all uncomfortable, annoying, and scary occurrences…  A sensation in your tooth can be cause by a multitude of things, ranging from gum recession and root exposure, to sinus pressure, to tooth decay and infection.

tooth sens

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity:

1. “Idiopathic Hypersensitivity”

A tooth may be sensitive for a short time with no cause, no treatment, and it will go away!  Good news!

2. Sinus Pressure

May cause teeth to feel uncomfortable and achy/painful.  The sensation may become more apparent when walking up stairs, running, or with exercise.  If this is the suspected cause, we may refer you to you Primary Care Physician for a confirmed diagnosis and treatment.

3. Gum Recession

Caused (usually) by brushing too hard or using a medium/hard bristled toothbrush, gum recession can also be intensified by tooth grinding and/or clenching.  Many treatments are available, depending on the severity of this condition.

4. Tooth Grinding (Bruxism), Tooth Clenching Habit

In addition to causing damage to the structure of your teeth, tooth grinding and clenching make teeth hypersensitive due to the forces and pressures exerted.  This habit can also cause loss of
enamel near the gumline of teeth.  Treatment usually includes an occlusal (night) guard, and possibly treatment to cover areas of enamel loss.

sens teeth cartoon5. Missing/Loose Fillings

The inner surface of your tooth is exposed and we must cover it!

6. Cavities

7. Cracked Teeth

Cracked teeth can lead to temperature sensitivity, or sensitivity when chewing.  However, recent research shows that 70% of cracked teeth cause no symptoms!  Cracked teeth need treated ASAP before the crack progresses.

8. Abscess/Infected Tooth

Usually causes spontaneous pain, sometimes swelling, and/or pain that comes and goes over time.  Come see us immediately!

9. Gum Disease

This can cause root exposure, but also active infection of your gums can make both your gums and teeth painful.

Whatever the cause of your sensitive teeth, we can help.  We are expertly trained in the diagnosis and management of tooth sensitivity (in addition to a lot of other things!), and we would love to alleviate your annoying tooth discomfort! 🙂

Dr. B

Thinking About Having a Baby, or Recently Pregnant?

When you’re planning a family, visiting the dentist may not be at the top of your priority list.  However, if you’re thinking about having a baby or are recently pregnant, a dental cleaning and check-up is best done sooner rather than later.

Good oral health is a component of good overall health, both for you and for your baby…

And the good news is, dental care is safe and essential during pregnancy.

Below are answers to common questions about dental treatment and pregnancy, as well as oral care tips for pregnant women.

Don’t forget to come see us during this crazy, chaotic time!

Regular Visits to Monitor Pregnancy Gingivitis

     Increase in hormones during pregnancy increases blood flow to the gums, which can cause swelling and tenderness.  It can also cause “pregnancy gingivitis,” Read the rest of this entry »

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Our Philosophy

Our philosophy at Northstar Family Dental is simple:  We strive to provide high quality, comfortable, comprehensive care with a strong focus on prevention and education.  Overall, we treat each patient as an individual, keeping their own goals, concerns and personal philosophies in mind.  I want to break down each part of our philosophy, in order to describe in greater depth what we are all about.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Sleep Apnea Affecting Your Quality of Life?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) affects millions of adults in the U.S. — an estimated 1 in 5 Americans — yet studies show that up to 80% of these cases are undetected.

OSA is caused by obstruction of the airway that occurs when the jaw falls back during sleep, collapsing the airway.  As a reaction, the brain is triggered, causing one to come out of deep sleep to regain control of the jaw muscles to re-open the airway to allow for breathing to resume.  This can occur 5-70 times per hour — dramatically effecting quality of sleep. Read the rest of this entry »

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