What to Expect at Your Child's First Dental Appointment

What to Expect at Your Child's First Dental Appointment

What to expect at your child's first dental visit?

Dr. Penz will examine your child's teeth, gums, and mouth. His goal is to help maintain good oral health and to prevent problems from becoming serious, by identifying and treating them as soon as possible.

When should I bring my child for the first dental visit?

The American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry say that the first dental visit should occur within six months after the baby's first tooth appears, but no later than the child's first birthday.

Sometimes children are nervous or don't want to open like Sophie in this picture. That's okay and perfectly normal. We say a lot of "ahhhh" during those appointments! ;)

Join the Team!

Join the Team!

Penz Dental Care is Hiring 

Penz Dental Care is recruiting energetic, outgoing, and detail-oriented people. Join Dr. Matt Penz to create an environment that focuses on quality patient care, top-notch service, building relationships with our patients and community, and of course fun!

OPENINGS INCLUDE:

DENTAL ASSISTANT (part-time)

Seeking energetic, hard-working, detail-oriented dental assistant to join our general dental office. Candidates must be professional, organized, positive, and possess extraordinary interpersonal skills. Must be a team player with a willingness to jump in and help wherever needed.  

Penz Dental Care offers a positive work environment with modern technology, equipment, and decor in a convenient 2nd Street SW location. We have digital x-rays and charting with Open Dental software. Patient comfort is a top priority--patients can enjoy our massaging dental chairs and under-knee pillows while receiving a variety of dental services. 

Position includes competitive wages, dental benefits, and paid holidays. Approximately 25 hours per week with option to add hours in the future.

TO APPLY

To be a part of our growing practice, please send your resume and cover letter describing why you are interested to kate@penzdentalcare.com by Wednesday, June 7. Please note that all inquiries are confidential. Thanks!

Homegrown Penz Dental Care Places Relationships and Trust at Center of Business Plan

Homegrown Penz Dental Care Places Relationships and Trust at Center of Business Plan

Youthful, patient-focused dentist Dr. Matt Penz has come home to Rochester to make his mark on the community. Penz and his wife, Kate, are sticking to their identity and core values and working to build their new practice, Penz Dental Care, patient by patient.

Every aspect of Penz Dental Care hinges around relationships and building trust in the community. It starts with the office itself. “I wanted people to feel like they were coming into a comfortable, homey, friendly environment,” Penz explained.

When walking into the Penz Dental Care office along 2nd Street SW, visitors are greeted with a cheery, bright blue and white waiting room with refurbished wood paneling and the Penz modern, tooth-like logo emblazoned on the wall. Plump couches, coffee, and HGTV help to mitigate any dental anxiety patients may be experiencing. Kate Penz herself mans the front desk and is the first point of contact. There are even massaging dental chairs to set the practice apart and help put patients’ minds at ease.

Penz says that dentistry is a very personal craft. He and his wife strive to make real human connections with their patients. “I didn’t want patients to feel like a number,” he explained.

 

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Want a Straighter Smile?

Want a Straighter Smile?

Penz Dental Care offers Invisalign--a series of clear retainers that help straighten teeth to improve their appearance and function. Invisalign is a great option for patients who want to enhance their smile but are not interested in traditional fixed braces with brackets and wires.

Popularity of adult orthodontic patients has increased in recent years. The American Academy of Orthodontists found a 14 percent increase in the number of adult orthodontic patients from 2010 to 2012. More adults appear to be seeking ways to improve their smile and function of their teeth than ever before. 

A big reason for the increase is technology advancements that allow for more esthetic alternatives to traditional metal braces. In addition to Invisalign, less noticeable orthodontic options include clear braces and braces placed on the back side of the teeth. 

Want to straighten your smile? Ask us about it today!

 

Dealing with Dental Anxiety

Dealing with Dental Anxiety

By Dr. Matt Penz

“Nothing personal Doc, but I HATE coming to the dentist!” 

I hear this phrase almost every day, and I understand the reasoning. It’s not everyone’s favorite place to be. That’s why I make a point to get to know my patients on a personal level. The goal is to build a trusting relationship with them as their dental care provider. If there’s trust, patients will feel less anxious while sitting in the dental chair. 

A comfortable environment helps ease anxiety, too. Patient comfort is top-of-mind at Penz Dental Care—we have a friendly staff, our waiting room feels more like a living room than a dental office, and patients always enjoy our massaging dental chairs!

 

Oral Health Impacts Your Overall Health

Oral Health Impacts Your Overall Health

Did you know: Oral health is important to your overall health! 

Your mouth is full of bacteria, which must be removed with proper brushing, flossing, and rinsing. If it’s not, it can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, inflammation, and infection. 

Poor oral health can affect the rest of your body—it’s linked to cardiovascular disease, pre-term birth, and low birth weights. The reverse is also true. Medical conditions such as diabetes, HIV, and osteoporosis can affect the health of the mouth and supporting structures of the teeth. 

For your oral health and your overall health, it’s important to visit a dentist two times per year!

 

How to Care for Your Children's Dental Health

How to Care for Your Children's Dental Health

February is Children’s Dental Health Month

The health of your child’s baby teeth is important to us at Penz Dental Care! Baby teeth help your child eat healthy foods, maintain space for the permanent teeth, and help them talk and smile. 

Tips for caring for your child's smile:

  1. Never put baby to bed with a bottle. Prolonged exposure to sugars, especially at night when saliva flow is decreased, creates an environment for cavities to develop.
     
  2. Be careful of foods that appear healthy but are really sticky and high in sugar. Examples include raisins, dried fruit, whole grain crackers, and granola bars. A balanced diet from a variety of food groups and limit snacking between mealtimes can help protect their teeth from decay.
     
  3. Bring your child to the dentist before his or her first birthday. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children to be seen by a dentist once their first tooth comes in and no later than their first birthday. During this visit, we check for cavities and development, as well as discuss how to care for your child's teeth. It should be a fun, positive experience and a great way for your child to get comfortable seeing the dentist!
     
  4. Help your children brush their teeth two times per day. For older children who like to brush themselves, make sure you check for completeness. Fluoride toothpaste should be used as soon as the first tooth comes in. A smear or “grain of rice” amount of toothpaste is appropriate until the age of three, then use a pea size amount from ages 3-6 years old.

Follow these tips and your child will be on track for lifelong dental health!

Dig your Teeth into Dental Health: Decreasing Fears for Children and Adults

Dig your Teeth into Dental Health: Decreasing Fears for Children and Adults

By Renee Berg
Originally printed in Rochester Women Magazine, January/February 2017 issue
Reprinted with permission

As we head into National Children’s Dental Health Month in February, it comes time to set the record straight about dental health. Katie Post, DDS, of Northwest Dental Group says only 60 percent of the population goes to a dentist on a regular basis. With the remaining 40 percent uninformed, there are some dental health myths to correct.

Those teeth-whitening toothpastes? Not the answer, Post says. Duration of brushing your teeth, two times per day? Two minutes each session. Gatorade? Worse for your teeth than Mountain Dew. As for when kids should start brushing, Post says the earlier the better so children get accustomed to “you being in their mouth.” Once older, there’s no great time to introduce teeth brushing. “As soon as they can run from you, they will,” Post remarks.

HITTING THE STREETS (OR SCHOOLS)

Post promotes Children’s Dental Health Month by going to several elementary schools and daycares to talk to kids. She tells them how to properly brush their teeth, talks about the “mean” sugar bug that causes cavities, and allows kids to play with dental instruments and tools. She also discusses what path kids should follow if they’re interested in the dentistry field.

These visits decrease fear among kids, Post says. “Kids get to know me, and then I think they feel safer coming to see me. They feel comfortable and safe knowing I can help them.”

One major shift in children’s dentistry came in the last year, with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation to use fluoridated toothpaste. With the rise in popularity of bottled water, the population has experienced a decrease in exposure to fluoride. Part of Post’s call-outs to kids is to fill their water bottles at their school water fountain rather than drink bottled water.

As for how much toothpaste to use, Post recommends a rice grain-size of toothpaste for kids up to age 2 and a pea-size amount of toothpaste, with fluoride, for kids 2-8 years old. She also says for parents to sing the “ABCs” while they brush kids’ teeth—that way they’ll know they’re brushing for the recommended duration.

NO SWEETS BEFORE BEDTIME

“Don’t be fooled by foods that appear healthy but are sticky and high in sugar,” says Dr. Matt Penz, dentist at Penz Dental Care. He says prime examples are raisins, dried fruit, whole grain crackers and granola bars. And that pre-bedtime juice or even milk for younger kids? Post and Penz both say that this common bedtime ritual is an enormous no-no. The liquid sits on kids’ teeth all night and can rot them.

Penz says, “Never put your baby to bed with a bottle or fill the bottle with juice. Prolonged exposure to sugars, especially at night when saliva flow is decreased, creates an environment for cavities to develop.”

DON’T DELAY GOING TO THE DENTIST

Kids should enter the dentist chair by age 1. “The reason I recommend that is that when they get to know the dentist, they feel safe with the dentist. If their first experience is us pulling an abscessed tooth, they will never get over their fear of the dentist. They never will,” Post says.

Penz says a common mistake is waiting for that first dentist visit. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children be seen by a dentist once their first tooth comes in and no later than their first birthday. “During this visit, we check for cavities and development, as well as discuss how to care for your child’s teeth. It should be a fun, positive experience and a great way for your child to get comfortable seeing the dentist.”

EASING ADULT ANXIETY TOO

Kids aren’t the only ones battling a fear of the dentist. Adults have anxiety too. Some might have a fear of needles. Others are challenged with overall fright.

Dentists have lots of tricks for reducing the fear factor, Post says, so it’s important for patients to be honest with their dentist about what their fears are. Headphones can reduce the pain of hearing a drill. Needles can be incredibly small. Cable TV is available for distraction.

“Nothing personal, Doc, but I hate coming to the dentist!” Penz says he hears this remark nearly daily. “It’s not everyone’s favorite place to be,” he says. “At Penz Dental Care, our mission is building relationships with our patients and community through quality dentistry. I want to get to know my patients on a personal level and build a trusting relationship with them as their dental care provider. I believe that if you can build trust, this will lead to decreased patient anxiety.”

Penz says the dentist office also plays a role in increasing or decreasing patient anxiety. A comfortable waiting room, with a living room feel, helps people relax. The massaging dental chairs at Penz Dental are popular, too, Penz says.

Adults, like kids, should use a plain toothpaste with nothing added—no whitening, no Scope. Post likes Colgate Sensitive. “It’s an awesome toothpaste, good flavor, good texture and good cleaning score,” she says, noting that regardless of what toothpaste you select, you should choose one that’s approved by the American Dental Association. Look for their seal on the box. As for mouthwash, use Listerine, she says.

Penz recommends flossing once daily, using a mouth rinse at night to help reduce plaque and gingivitis and eating a healthy, balanced diet with limited snacking between meals. He says limiting pop and sports drinks is a rule that holds true for adults too. “They are high in sugar and quite acidic,” he says. “It’s best to stick with water and milk.”

INVISALIGN® SURGES IN POPULARITY

Invisalign—a series of clear retainers that help straighten teeth—is a great option for patients who are looking for a way to enhance their smile but aren’t interested in traditional braces.

Post says her office can handle 70 percent of the cases that come in and refers the remaining 30 to expert, local orthodontists. Invisalign has become immensely popular in recent years. “Over 20 percent of patients over the age of 50 have Invisalign done,” she says.

Patients seek out Invisalign because they never had their problematic bite corrected, which causes teeth to crack more easily, so they end up spending a thousand dollars on a crown. By aligning their bite, dentists protect the patient’s teeth, Post says.

“It’s become more affordable than doing veneers or crowns,” Post says of Invisalign. “You’re not doing anything permanent to the tooth structure, either. I think it looks really nice, and more importantly, people value their teeth and don’t want to see them chipping and breaking.”

Penz says the popularity of Invisalign is on the rise. The American Association of Orthodontists saw a 14 percent increase in the number of adult orthodontic patients from 2010 to 2012. “More adults appear to be seeking ways to improve their smile and function of their teeth than ever before,” Penz says. “I believe a big reason for this is advances in technology.”

Renee Berg is a Rochester freelance writer.

New Phone Number for PDC

New Phone Number for PDC

We recently updated our phone number after learning a small number of callers had problems using our previous number. The old number will remain active, but we'll be sharing our new number moving forward: (507) 258-3300.

We sincerely apologize if you had trouble contacting us in the past. Thank you for your patience and understanding! 

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Hours for the Week of 12/12

We have abbreviated hours for the week of 12/12/16 as Dr. Penz and his wife welcome a new baby girl! Phone calls will be answered during the following times:

Mon. 12/12: 7:30 am-4:30 pm
Tues. 12/13-Thur. 12/15: 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Fri. 12/16: 7:30 am-12:30 pm

If you have a dental emergency outside of those hours, please call (507) 258-3300 to leave a message. We will return your call as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding!

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We're Thankful for You!

Penz Family Thank You

This year, we enter Thanksgiving with especially grateful hearts. Our first two months of welcoming patients surpassed our expectations, and that's completely because of the support we have received from the Rochester community.

To our patients, thank you for placing your trust in Penz Dental Care!

Gratefully,
Dr. Matt Penz, Kate, and Sophie
and Penz Dental Care staff

Grand Opening a Success

Grand Opening a Success

We--Dr. Matt Penz, his family, and staff--would like to thank everyone who attended our ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration on Wednesday, October 19. We are overwhelmed by the support we received from the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, the Rochester dental community, and our patients.

Around 150 people came to help us celebrate the beginning of Penz Dental Care. We truly appreciate the support from those in attendance and those who wished us well from afar. THANK YOU!

To view pictures from the event, visit our Facebook page