Steve Carstensen DDS Bellevue Dental Sleep Medicine

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Smile! June is National Smile Month!

June 6th, 2012

Can you believe it’s already June? Today, our team thought we’d tell you June is National Smile Month, and a good time to remind all our patients to practice good oral hygiene between your visits to our office!

Below are a few simple steps you can take to improve your oral health so that you may celebrate National Smile Month for many, many years to come:

* Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

* Floss everyday to clean between your teeth.

* Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks

* Visit us regularly!

If you have questions about any of these tips, we encourage you to give us a call, ask our team during your next visit or ask us on Facebook!

May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month!

May 4th, 2012


At our office, we know image can be everything. At an age when image is so important, the thought of having braces may intensify the already-delicate confidence of today's teens. Well, May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month, and during this time, parents are encouraged to act as positive role models, help stop negative self-images, and improve confidence and security among teenagers.

One of the great ways to improve your confidence is to improve your smile. And that begins with a consultation at our office. After all, what better time to avoid having crooked teeth in your adulthood than coming in for a consultation?

We invite you to give us a call to schedule a consultation or ask us on Facebook!

Meet Heidi, Dr. Carstensen's Dental Hygienist!

April 4th, 2012

Have you had a chance to meet Heidi at Dr. Carstensen's office? She began working in the dental field in 1996, and joined Dr. Carstensen and our team as a Dental Hygienist in 2011. We're pleased to share that Heidi has gone through extensive periodontal training, including full mouth deep scaling along with routine recall cleanings. She is licensed to administer anesthetic and Nitrous Oxide. If you've met Heidi, she has most likely evaluated your oral health and spoken with you about the importance of good oral hygiene. She also works behind the scenes to perform all of the necessary records that Dr. Carstensen needs to diagnose you properly.

When asked about what she most enjoys about her job, Heidi says, "I receive great satisfaction in educating patients on the importance of good oral hygiene." She also finds that it is very rewarding to see the improvement in patients' oral health that results from good home care and treatment done in our office. She also says that she loves working with Dr. Carstensen because she "admires that he is always striving to further his education so he can give his patients the best care possible. He motivates his employees strive to do their best at all times."

Heidi was born in Vancouver, Washington. She is married to her husband, Nat, and they have a 4 yr. old son, named Austin. When Heidi isn't a the office, she enjoy spending time with family and friends. She also stays active through running, yoga, cycling AND retail therapy!

Bad Breath is No Good

March 29th, 2012

Bad breath, also called halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits. You may not even be aware of your own bad breath, so if you’re concerned you may be suffering from it, talk to our team. We can help identify the cause and, if it’s due to an oral condition, develop a treatment plan to treat it.

There are many reasons for bad breath:
• What you eat can also affect the way your breath smells. Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, can have a very strong and lasting odor.
• If you don't brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath, not to mention tooth decay and gingivitis.
• Bad breath can be caused by dry mouth (xerostomia), which occurs when the flow of saliva decreases. Saliva is necessary to cleanse the mouth and remove particles that may cause odor.
• Tobacco products cause bad breath. If you use tobacco, ask us for tips on kicking the habit.
• Bad breath may be the sign of a medical disorder, such as a local infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment. If this is the case, you may be referred to your family doctor or a specialist to determine the cause.

The good news is there are many ways to help eliminate bad breath from your life. Maintaining good oral health is essential to reducing bad breath, so schedule regular dental visits with our office for a professional cleaning and checkup. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque, and don’t forget to brush your tongue, too!

The Scoop on Dental X-rays

March 21st, 2012

Dental X-rays are an essential and invaluable tool to help assist us in evaluating your oral health. With X-rays, we can see what’s happening beneath the surface of your teeth and gums and identify oral health issues otherwise hidden during a visual exam, including:

• small areas of decay between the teeth or below existing restorations (fillings)
• infections in the bone
• periodontal (gum) disease
• abscesses or cysts
• developmental abnormalities
• types of tumors

If left untreated, these problems can lead to expensive, time-consuming, and painful conditions, so it’s important to find and treat them early.
Dental X-rays are extremely safe, and our team is certified in the proper use of our digital X-ray equipment. The amount of radiation that you are exposed to from dental X-rays is very small compared to your daily exposure from things like atmospheric radiation and naturally-occurring radioactive elements, as well as medical X-rays you may have gotten at your doctor’s office or hospital. In fact our digital system dramatically decreases the already minimal amount of exposure even further. We try to be as conservative as possible when prescribing x-rays but do need them to see what is going on where our eyes can't see.

March is National Nutrition Month!

March 6th, 2012

March has arrived, and that can only mean one thing: it’s National Nutrition Month. Every March, Dr. Steve Carstensen and thousands of dentists and hygienists celebrate this occasion, and this year is no different. This March, we want you to think about diabetes, obesity and periodontal disease, and how healthful eating and physical activity may improve periodontal health.

Small changes really can make a big difference, and the American Dietetic Association (ADA) has some advice on ways to start improving your diet this March:

• Focus on fruits and vegetables: Add a serving each day to one meal and increase it every few weeks. Adding more of these foods into your diet is important whether you buy frozen, fresh or organic.

• Think fresh, think local: From farmer’s markets to community-supported agriculture, you have many options to find new, fresh foods in our city.

• Make each and every calorie count: When you are choosing between options, focus instead on the one with more of the vitamins and nutrients that you need. Sometimes, foods with fewer calories aren’t always the healthiest options.
• It’s tempting, but…: If you have a sweet tooth, have fruit and yogurt for dessert. If you crave a snack in the afternoon, enjoy some trail mix or nuts.

• Expand your horizons: Try a fish you’ve never eaten before or find a new vegetable recipe. By testing yourself, you might find new healthy favorites to add to your regular grocery list.

If you have additional questions about periodontal disease or keeping yourself and your mouth healthy, please give us a call!

Link: http://www.eatright.org/nnm/

President’s Day Fun Facts!

February 20th, 2012

Monday, Feb. 20 marks Presidents’ Day, a day known for celebrating of both George Washington’s and Abraham Lincoln’s combined Birthdays. Presidents’ Day was created in 1971, when President Richard Nixon combined the birthdays of two of our most well-known presidents into one single federal holiday. Presidents' Day also marks a hard-earned day off from work and school for a lot of patients of Dr. Steve Carstensen.
Here are a few fun facts about our nation’s presidents:

*Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, carried letters, bills and notes in his tall stovepipe hat.

*George Washington is the first president to be featured on a postage stamp.

*Ronald Reagan, our 40th president, broke the so-called "20-year curse," in which every president elected in a year ending in zero died in office.

*Abraham Lincoln was the tallest of the U.S. presidents, measuring 6’ 4” tall.

*Virginia is the birthplace of more United States presidents than any other state, followed by Ohio and Massachusetts.

*Harry S. Truman was the first president to have his Inauguration and speeches televised.

Thank you for supporting Toys for Tots with Dr. Carstensen!

February 17th, 2012

Dr. Steve Carstensen and his team were proud to support the Toys for Tots drive this holiday season and especially proud of the participation and support from our patient community.

We recently received a wonderful comment and wanted to share it with you:

Steve, this is such a great report to your patients. Thank you for doing this, not only for the amazing food, toys and gifts, but for what this kind of effort does to boost awareness of the serious issues of hunger and poverty that surprisingly pervade the Eastside.

Thank you to everyone who supported this worthy cause and helped to provide a message of hope to those in need!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!

February 9th, 2012

For the past 62 Februaries, the American Dental Association, or ADA, has sponsored National Children's Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. National Children's Dental Health Month began as a one-day event in 1941 in a Cleveland clinic. In 1981, however, the program was extended to a month-long celebration known today as National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Each February thousands of dental professionals focus on the preventive oral care of America's children. Dr. Steve Carstensen and our staff want you to remember developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Has your child visited Dr. Carstensen in the past six months? If not, it’s time to give us a call and schedule an appointment!

February is American Heart Month!

February 1st, 2012

Did you know February is American Heart Month? It’s a great time to take notice of the health of your heart, says Dr. Steve Carstensen. Cardiovascular disease remains American's number one killer, according to the American Heart Association. Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, underscoring the importance of good oral health care.

Visiting our office on a regular basis can help prevent gum disease or at least catch it in its early stages. And because people with dental insurance are more likely to visit their dentist when they should, a healthy mouth begins with a visit with Dr. Steve Carstensen. In observance of Heart Month, it’s also important to know your numbers: blood pressure (less than 120/80), cholesterol (less than 200) and BMI (less than 25). If you have any questions about heart health, or about your treatment, please give us a call today.

Dr. Carstensen's Diamond Sonicare Winner - Toys for Tots Foundation

January 17th, 2012

Thanks so much to everyone who joined us in supporting the Toys for Tots Foundation this winter! We were overwhelmed by all of the donations that our office received from patients and friends. If you haven't already, be sure to check out this short video from Dr. Carstensen and our lucky Diamond Sonicare contest winner.

What, exactly, is a root canal?

January 12th, 2012

Dr. Steve Carstensen knows one thing no patient likes hearing when visiting our office is “root canal.” But what, exactly, is a root canal, and when might you need one? A root canal is a treatment Dr. Carstensen uses to repair and save a tooth that is infected or badly decayed to the point where the nerve is involved. In the past, if a patient had a tooth with a diseased nerve, dentists in most cases would recommend an extraction. Today, however, with a procedure called root canal therapy, available at our office, you may save that tooth—and your beautiful smile—after all!

Here are some symptoms that indicate a decayed or infected tooth, courtesy of WebMD:
• Severe toothache pain upon chewing, biting or application of pressure
• One tooth consistently more sensitive to hot or cold than other teeth
• Pain that hurts without any stimulus, keeps you awake or wakes you up at night
• A tooth that feels loose
• Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth
• Pain that persists weeks following a filling or replacement of a filling
• Chronic pain and/or pressure that may extend to the ear, eye or neck

If any of these symptoms apply to you, we recommend you schedule an appointment with Dr. Carstensen.

The best way to avoid a root canal is to practice good oral hygiene at home, and that includes brushing at least twice a day and flossing to reduce plaque and bacteria. For more tips on how to avoid root canal therapy or for general questions about your dental treatment, we invite you to ask us during your next visit at our convenient Bellevue office! We also invite you to ask us on Facebook!

Your Last Chance to Enter Our iPad 2 Sweepstakes!

January 5th, 2012

Didn't get that iPad 2 you wanted over the Holidays? Well, it isn't too late! There's still time left to enter our iPad 2 Sweepstakes! To participate, simply visit our Facebook page and select the SWEEPSTAKES tab from the left side of our wall. We will be accepting contest entries through Sunday night, and the contest winner will be announced this Monday, Jan. 9th!

GOOD LUCK!

-Dr. Carstensen and team

Happy New Year from Dr. Steve Carstensen and team!

December 30th, 2011

The year is almost over, so we wanted to ask what was memorable about 2011 for you, and what are you looking forward to in 2012? Do you have a new year's resolution, or any exciting plans for the coming year?

Have a safe and happy New Year, from Dr. Steve Carstensen and team!

Season's Greetings from Dr. Carstensen and team

December 23rd, 2011

In this season given to tidings of comfort and joy, and as our team at Steve Carstensen, DDS
reflect on the year that was, we’d like to ask you, our wonderful patients: What do you love
about the holidays this year? Being with your loved ones? A clean slate for 2012? Opening
presents by the fireplace? All the delicious food? Also, what gift are you most looking forward to
getting this year?

We’d love if you shared with us all the things you love about the holidays. Stay warm,
and don’t forget to stay away from those sweets! Also, if you have a dental emergency while our team is out of the office, please give us a call and follow the emergency prompts to contact Dr. Carstensen. You can also leave us a message. Our team will do our best to get back to everyone as soon as possible when we return to the office.

Happy Holidays!

--The team at Dr. Carstensen's office

LIKE us on Facebook and you could WIN an iPad 2!

December 14th, 2011

When you visit Steve Carstensen DDS, we truly enjoy being able to catch up with you and hear about the things going on in your life. It’s also a great time to let you know about all the exciting things happening at our office. Did you know that you can also connect with us outside of the office on Facebook? That’s right! Also, from now until January 8th you have the opportunity to enter our sweepstakes to WIN an iPad 2!

Here’s how to enter: LIKE the Steve Carstensen DDS Facebook page and complete the entry form located in the Sweepstakes Tab on the left hand side of our Facebook page.

We look forward to connecting with you on Facebook!

Dr. Carstensen and team, supporting Toys for Tots

December 6th, 2011

This December, Dr. Carstensen and our team invite you to join us in giving back to our Bellevue community. We are collecting canned foods and new toys to benefit the Toys for Tots Foundation. The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a shiny new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to needy youngsters that will motivate them to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders.

In addition to supporting this nonprofit organization, Dr. Carstensen will be giving away a spiffy travel toothbrush to one lucky patient who participates in our toy and canned food drive. Drop your donations off at our Bellevue dental office anytime before December 19th for your chance to win Sonicare’s new Diamond brush (valued at over $200)!

Please don't hesitate to give our office a call if you have any questions. Happy Holidays!

Ask Dr. Steve Carstensen: What is a root canal?

December 2nd, 2011

Dr. Steve Carstensen knows one thing no patient likes hearing when visiting our office is “root canal.” But what, exactly, is a root canal, and when might you need one? A root canal is a treatment Dr. Steve Carstensen uses to repair and save a tooth that is infected or badly decayed to the point where the nerve is involved. In the past, if a patient had a tooth with a diseased nerve, dentists in most cases would recommend an extraction. Today, however, with a procedure called root canal therapy, available at our office, you may save that tooth—and your beautiful smile—after all!

Here are some symptoms that indicate a decayed or infected tooth, courtesy of WebMD:
• Severe toothache pain upon chewing, biting or application of pressure
• One tooth consistently more sensitive to hot or cold than other teeth
• Pain that hurts without any stimulus, keeps you awake or wakes you up at night
• A tooth that feels loose
• Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth
• Pain that persists weeks following a filling or replacement of a filling
• Chronic pain and/or pressure that may extend to the ear, eye or neck

If any of these symptoms apply to you, we recommend you schedule an appointment with Dr. Steve Carstensen.

The best way to avoid a root canal is to practice good oral hygiene at home, and that includes brushing at least twice a day and flossing to reduce plaque and bacteria. For more tips on how to avoid root canal therapy or for general questions about your dental treatment, we invite you to ask Dr. Steve Carstensen during your next visit at our convenient Bellevue office! We also invite you to ask us on Facebook!

Happy Thanksgiving from Dr. Steve Cartensen!

November 21st, 2011

Dr. Steve Cartensen and team would like to wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. It's a big food holiday, so be careful what you eat!

If you have any stories or pictures to share with us, we'd encourage you to post them to our Facebook page or call our office and ask how.

Gobble Gobble!

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month!

November 18th, 2011

Dr. Steve Carstensen our team knows the way you care for your teeth at home doesn’t just affect your oral health – it can impact your overall health as well. In recent years, researchers have found clear links between the mouth and other parts of the body, and the evidence is especially impactful for people with diabetes.

November marks Diabetes Awareness Month, and a great time to learn about how keeping your mouth healthy is vital to your overall health, too. If you are one of the nearly 26 million Americans currently living with diabetes, there is some good news: you can protect your gums and teeth from the effects of diabetes by visiting our Bellevue dental office for regular check-ups and cleanings. Most people should have at least two dental appointments per year, but those folks living with diabetes may require additional visits to make sure their dental health remains in top shape. Many insurance plans provide expanded benefits for diabetic patients. Dr. Carstensen and our experts can tell you how often you need to come in for your dental visits.

For more information on how we can help, please give us a call or ask us on Facebook!

It's good for you, it's good for them!

November 11th, 2011

As the holiday season approaches, Dr. Steve Cartensen and his team are asking for your help in supporting our Bellevue communities by donating to our food drive.

From now until December 19th, bring in canned foods or a new toy and we will get you a spiffy travel toothbrush and enter your name in a drawing for Sonicare’s new Diamond brush, valued at over $200!

Toys for Tots and the food bank get a boost for our neighbors in need!

If you have questions, call us or find us on Facebook. Thanks for helping!

A few Halloween tips from the American Dental Association

October 28th, 2011

It’s almost that spooky time of year again! Whether you are going door-to-door trick or treating, attending a party dressed in a clever, silly or scary costume, or simply getting together with friends and family to watch scary movies, Dr. Steve Cartensen and our team want you to keep in mind the following tips from our friends at the American Dental Association to help reduce tooth-decay.

•Eat treats with meals. Saliva production increases during meals washing out food particles and helping to neutralize cavity causing plaque acid.

•Consider chewing ADA-accepted sugarless gum after meals. Certain sugarless gums have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance for scientifically proving that chewing the gum for 20 minutes after meals helped prevent tooth decay.

•Follow the 1-2-3s of good daily oral hygiene: Floss once a day, brush twice a day and eat three balanced meals a day.

•Visit Dr. Steve Cartensen for regular checkups.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from your friends at Dr. Steve Cartensen's office

The trouble with bottled water

October 21st, 2011

Dr. Steve Cartensen and his team know that as more families turn to bottled water and away from the traditional tap, they may be missing out on one important ingredient that most brands of bottled water fail to include: fluoride!

For more than 60 years, water fluoridation has proved to be a safe and cost-effective way to reduce dental caries. Today, water fluoridation is estimated to reduce tooth decay by 20- to 40 percent in children who have access to fluoridated toothpaste.

Bottled water, however, which remains one of the more popular drinks in the world, may not contain any fluoride, which is known to help prevent and even reverse the early stages of tooth decay. The majority of bottled waters on the market do not contain optimal levels (0.7-1.2 ppm) of fluoride, according to our friends at the American Dental Association, or ADA. Many dental health specialists suspect bottled water’s increased popularity as the culprit behind rising rates of cavities.

Because fluoride helps strengthen teeth, it is an important component of maintaining good oral health. So if bottled water is your water of choice, be sure to check the label to make sure that your brand contains fluoride. As of a 2006 decision, the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, allows bottled water containing .6 to 1.0 milligrams per liter (parts per million) of fluoride to carry a label stating that fluoridated water may reduce the risk of dental cavities or tooth decay. The ADA has backed this decision.

Of course, simply drinking fluoridated water is not a magic ticket to perfect teeth. To keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape, it’s important to brush and floss daily and avoid sugary sweets, in addition to maintaining your fluoride intake and visiting Dr. Cartensen and our team regularly.

Cold season is here, from Steve Carstensen DDS

October 14th, 2011

Cold and flu season is here - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a common cold usually includes sneezing, runny nose, sore throat and coughing. Symptoms can last for up to two weeks.

To promote a healthy and clean environment, Dr. Steve Carstensen and our entire staff give a great deal of attention to sanitation and sterilization in our Bellevue office at all times, as well as following all requirements for sterilizing instruments and work surfaces. For the protection of other patients and our staff at Steve Carstensen DDS, we always ask that patients reschedule their appointments if they have any type of cold or illness that can infect others.

And remember to constantly wash your hands and avoid contact with those who are ill! Stay Healthy!

October Marks National Dental Hygiene Month

October 6th, 2011

Did you know that October is National Dental Hygiene Month? For our staff at Steve Carstensen, DDS, that means only one thing: Reminding you that your teeth are an important part of your body, and keeping them clean helps keep your mouth and your body healthy. By taking care of your teeth, eating a balanced diet and visiting our convenient Bellevue office on a regular basis, you can have healthy teeth and an attractive smile throughout your entire life.

We encourage you to check out the American Dental Association website as well, which provides pointers on keeping your mouth clean and healthy. Lastly, has it been six months since your last visit to Steve Carstensen, DDS? If the answer is yes, we encourage you to give us a call to set up an appointment with Dr. Carstensen!

Manual vs. Electric Toothbrushes: What’s the Difference?

September 26th, 2011

Everybody is jumping on the electric toothbrush bandwagon in recent years, with many experts in the dental field claiming electric toothbrushes provide superior dental care. It’s true that electric toothbrushes are recommended for those who can’t do a good job brushing manually or who have arthritis or other conditions. But manual toothbrushes do have some advantages, according to an article we recently found including:

• Cost. While electric toothbrushes may be expensive for many people, manual toothbrushes are both inexpensive and accessible.

• Less pressure on your teeth & gums. While we can feel the amount of pressure we’re using as we grasp our manual toothbrush, we can’t feel the pressure nearly as well with an electric toothbrush. Placing too much pressure on our teeth can wear away at the tooth enamel, which causes pain, sensitivity, as well as an increased risk of tooth decay.

• Simple to pack. Manual toothbrushes are easy to carry around for those business or family trips. People are less likely to let their good dental care habits lapse on vacation with a toothbrush that they can easily bring along!

• Better for kids. Learning at a young age how to properly use a manual toothbrush helps children get a feel for how to properly take care of their oral hygiene.

Electric toothbrushes, on the other hand, are more effective in removing plaque and are considered a better alternative to maintaining gum health. Remember, whether you choose a manual or an electric toothbrush, Dr. Carstensen and our team encourage you to choose one with soft bristles and be sure to change the bristles on the electric brush when they become worn down. We also encourage you to replace your toothbrush every three months, when the bristles are no longer straight and firm or after you recover from a cold.

Give us a call at Steve Carstensen DDS if you have any questions or ask us on Facebook!
Happy brushing!

Who’s afraid of the dentist?

September 19th, 2011

Does the sound of a drill make you flinch or cringe? Do you worry about your twice-yearly dental checkup? Trust Dr. Carstensen and our team when we say you’re not alone! In fact, the Journal of the American Dental Association has estimated that 30 to 40 million people have a fear of visiting the dentist.

To eliminate some of that fear, we’ve put together six steps to help you or your child overcome your dental anxiety before visiting Dr. Carstensen’s office.

1. What are you most afraid of? Is it the sound of the drill? Do you have needle phobia? Have you been traumatized by previous dental visits? Write down your fears, one by one.

2. Don’t wait. The more frequently you visit our office, the less work needs to be done at any one visit. Simply having your teeth cleaned professionally by Dr. Carstensen twice a year—or as recommended—prevents many, if not most, problems.

3. Bring a distraction to your appointment. Bringing along an iPod is a great idea. Just plug in those earphones, close your eyes, and get lost in the music. Listening to music can also be a pain killer.

4. Relax. Inhale slowly, and count of five. Hold your breath for 10 seconds, then exhale slowly to the count of eight. Repeat. It's easier if you're not totally focused on the work going on inside your mouth.

5. Ask. Before any procedure, ask Dr. Carstensen or one of our assistants why we’re using the tools we’re using. Ask us what we're doing, what the tool is used for, and how it will benefit you during the appointment. Also, please ask about anti-anxiety medications that we may prescribe to help you relax during your appointment.

6. We are here to help you. Remember, we are health care professionals who want to improve your oral health, and will never judge you or the state of your mouth. Dr. Carstensen and team will do all we can to ensure a trauma-free and pain-free experience!

We hope this helps! For more on dental anxieties, we encourage you to visit this helpful article, ask us during your next visit to our convenient Bellevue office! Or, ask us on Facebook!

Five great snacks for kids

September 13th, 2011

At Steve Carstensen, DDS, we know getting kids and teens to eat healthy isn’t always an easy task, especially when they’re busy with school and other school- and social-related activities. At the school cafeteria, it's just too easy for kids to nosh on french fries, chicken nuggets and other fried foods and unhealthy snacks, so Dr. Carstensen and our team thought we’d pass along five delicious and nutritious snacks we know your child will love.

1. Cheese – Cheese is one of the healthiest snacks for your child's teeth. In addition to providing large amounts of much-needed calcium, cheese also does its part to fight cavities. Cheese stimulates the body's salivary glands to clear the mouth of debris and protect them from acids that weaken them, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. This means cheese disrupts the development of cavities, especially when eaten as a snack or at the end of a meal. Calcium and phosphorous found in cheese reduce or prevent decreases in the plaque's ph level and work to re-mineralize the enamel of your child's teeth.

2. Blueberries These tiny nutritional powerhouses are loaded with Vitamin C, as well as folic acid, minerals, fiber and disease-fighting phytochemicals, which have shown to help prevent cancer and diabetes. Kids love them sprinkled with a bit of sugar, topped with whipped cream, added to muffins and pancakes.

3. Whole wheat bread or cereal With bread, kids get their iron, vitamins, magnesium, and zinc. With vitamins, calcium, and fiber, a bowl of enriched whole grain cereal with milk—and even fruit—is a power-packed snack or healthy start to the day.

4. Almonds They’re rich in disease-fighting phytochemicals and Vitamin E, and also have good amounts of fiber, iron, and calcium. Let your kids eat them raw. (Note: Whole nuts are a choking hazard for children under 3 years old.)

5. Yogurt Eating dairy is not just healthy for building strong bones, but is essential for maintaining a strong, healthy mouth. Low-fat yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, especially when whipped up in a parfait with berries and granola. Homemade fruity yogurt pop sure beats sugary store-bought frozen treats!

We encourage you to check out the other 15 healthy snacks your child can enjoy at any time of the day! For more information about which foods are best for keeping your teeth healthy, please post your question here on our blog, give us a call or ask us on Facebook!

Friday fun facts, from Dr. Carstensen

August 26th, 2011

Everyone loves fun facts and dental tips. Fun, fun, fun! Dr. Carstensen and our team at Steve Carstensen, DDS came across these dental fun facts recently and thought you might enjoy!

• The second most common disease in the United States is cavities. The first is the common cold.
• There are almost 9,000 accidental pockings and piercings with toothpicks per year.
• X-rays may be an effective tool in preventing strokes.
• A child will have 20 baby teeth by the time he or she is 2 years old. Through childhood, kids gradually lose baby teeth and grow 32 permanent teeth, including wisdom teeth.
• According to consumer reports, dentists are among the 5 most trusted professionals in the United States.
• Approximately $2 billion a year is spent on dental products like toothpastes, mouthwashes and dental floss.
• The average American spends about 38 days brushing teeth over his or her lifetime.
• Kids in North America spend half a billion dollars per year on chewing gum.
• Approximately 94 percent of Americans say they brush nightly while only 81 percent say they brush first thing in the morning.
• Grand Rapids, MI was the first American city to fluoridate its water.
• Earliest record of a toothbrush was found in Chinese literature about 1600 AD
• The natural bristles of early toothbrushes were taken from the necks and shoulders of swine, especially pigs living in colder climates like Siberia and China.

August Featured Patient Review

August 17th, 2011

Steve Carstensen DDS, serving Bellevue, Washington and surrounding areas, has been receiving some great patient reviews lately! Check out what one of our patients had to say about Dr. Carstensen and team!

"Most AMAZING dental experiences of my life! I have feared dental visits since having bad experience as a child. Dr. Carstensen and his staff have shown me that there is nothing to fear. I'm absolutely astonished at their abilities. They were not only able to put me at ease before a major a dental visit, but the procedure went flawlessly. I have never experienced any pain or discomfort while undergoing dental work at this office. Also, every member of the staff goes above and beyond to make sure your every need is met. Thank you so much for forever changing how I view dental work!"

$1.50 for a Cavity

August 12th, 2011

Vending machines are a quick way to satisfy hunger. You put in $1.50 and you get back a candy bar, bag of chips or even a soda…but that’s not all! Dr. Carstensen to remind you that vending machines not only dispense sweet treats and caffeine bursts, but they also dispense cavities!

Every time you chow down on that chocolate bar the bacteria in your mouth have a party feasting on the sugar. The sugar quickly turns into acid; that’s right, ACID!!! The acid sits on your teeth and eats away at the tooth’s natural enamel (the stuff that protects your tooth from decay). When this enamel is eaten away by the acid on your tooth, you get a cavity! Brushing your teeth after eating a sugary treat can help prevent cavities; but before you indulge, remind yourself: “can’t brush? Hold the sugar!”

When choosing a snack, consider these nutritional options that will not only satisfy your hunger and that “sweet tooth,” but won’t cause acid build up resulting in cavities:

• Fresh Fruits (berries, oranges, melon, pears, etc)
• Raw Vegetables (broccoli, celery, carrots, etc)
• Bread
• Pretzels (low salt)
• Milk (low or non-fat)
• Cheese (low or non-fat)
• Nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc)
• Sliced meat

If you would like more advice about how you can prevent cavities, give Steve Carstensen, DDS a call or ask Dr. Carstensen during your next appointment.

Why do you choose Dr. Steve Carstensen and team?

August 5th, 2011

Dr. Steve Carstensen, serving Bellevue, WA and surrounding areas, strives to provide exceptional treatment in an informative and friendly environment. Have you had a great experience at our office?

Share your story with the world!

Just select the "Write a Review" button above to write a review on our Google Place Page. We look forward to receiving your feedback!

Thank you,

The team at Dr. Steve Carstensen's office

Summer hours at Steve Carstensen DDS

July 27th, 2011

Summer is here! Our team at Steve Carstensen DDS wanted to remind patients that our office will be closed for the week of August 1, 2011. We will reopen the following week. Whether you’re headed to a barbecue, camping trip, or just enjoying the Bellevue sunshine, we hope that you have a fabulous week. Don't forget- you can always call our office line if you have a dental emergency. We will be updating our office voice mail to include an emergency phone number for patients.

Flossing with Dr. Carstensen

July 21st, 2011

We hope you are not a part of the 51 percent of Americans who don’t floss every day. And we definitely hope you're not part of the 10 percent who never floss at all. Dr. Carstensen and our staff at Steve Carstensen DDS will always tell you that proper flossing is just as important for your dental health as brushing regularly. Flossing, you see, cleans food and plaque that builds up between teeth and below the gumline, key areas that brushing simply cannot reach.

Flossing 3-to-5 minutes each day is recommended, but even 60 seconds of flossing has a great benefit over not flossing at all. Also, make sure to always brush your teeth after you floss, and to rinse with water or mouthwash. When you begin flossing you may experience gum pain or bleeding, but with daily flossing and brushing this should stop within a week or so.

Lastly, has it been at least six months since your last checkup with Dr. Carstensen? If the answer is yes, we encourage you to schedule an appointment!

Congratulations Rebecca!

July 8th, 2011

Rebecca Starks, your dental assistant at the office of Dr. Steve Carstensen, has been a runner for just 2 years now. She did her first half marathon last year on June 26, 2010, which was the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. Exactly one year later, on June 26, 2011, Rebecca ran her 2nd half marathon in Vancouver BC, the ScotiaBank Half Marathon!

She has done various runs in Seattle; anywhere from 5k’s to 10k’s. Last year she ran in the Northwest Passage Ragnar Relay and this year she will be running for her second time on July 22-23 with the same team. She also plans on running another half marathon in Bellingham at the end of September.

Great job Rebecca! We can't wait to hear stories about where you are running next! If you see Rebecca in the office, feel free to ask her about her running adventures!

What are your 4th of July plans?

July 1st, 2011

This coming Monday, July 4th, is Independence Day and the United States of America will be turning 235 years old! It’s a day to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and also a time for every American to pay homage to our soldiers, past and present, who have placed themselves in harm’s way so that we may continue to enjoy our freedom.

Dr. Carstensen and team will be celebrating this Monday and we would like to know, what are your plans for the 4th of July? Will you be out in the sun? Have you stocked up on fireworks? Are you going to grill up your favorite summer foods? Are you staying in town or heading somewhere else? If you have a 4th of July tradition, we would love to hear about it.

Whatever you plan to do, we hope you have a fun and safe holiday! Feel free to upload your 4th of July photos to our Facebook page and let us know how your Independence Day turned out this year.

Summer reading with Dr. Carstensen

June 22nd, 2011

With summer in full swing, some of us at Steve Carstensen DDS wanted to remind all our patients about the importance of reading. Sure it’s easy to keep putting off reading this time of year, but reading during the summer is a vital step in brain development and warding off the dreaded 'summer slide.' While it is rare for Dr. Carstensen to read for pleasure, he thinks that some folks will appreciate a couple of his favorite reads.

Malcolm Gladwell's What the Dog Saw is a collection of his essays from The New Yorker that is fascinating from first to last. He writes information in a comfortable, readable style that leaves the reader entertained as well as informed about subjects you’ve probably not thought too deeply about!

Simon Sinek wrote one of Dr. Carstensen's recent favorite books, Start with Why. Aimed at leaders, it’s premise is that taking action without knowing the reasons behind it will be far less rewarding than if you or your team begins with understanding the ‘why.’  Building on Maslow, it illuminates a pattern for success that the reader will recognize in their own lives, as well as when they observe positive teamwork in their workplace and personal relationships.

Smile! June is National Smile Month!

June 16th, 2011

According to the American Dental Association, a person's smile outranked eyes, hair and body as the most important physical feature, which is why it's important for our team and Dr. Carstensen to support National Smile Month this June.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to improve your oral health so that you may celebrate National Smile Month for many, many years to come:

* Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
* Floss every day to clean between your teeth.
* Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks during your teatment with Dr. Carstensen.
* Visit us regularly (usually every six months apart).

If you have questions about any of these tips, we encourage you to give us a call.

Understanding cavities

June 10th, 2011

One word nobody wants to hear when they visit the dentist is Cavity! That’s right, the dreaded cavity; but what exactly is a cavity and how do you get one? A cavity is a hole that develops in a tooth when the tooth begins to decay. It’s important to get a cavity filled as soon as it’s detected so that it does not grow bigger.

So, what causes a cavity? A cavity is caused by plaque, a sticky substance that forms on the tooth as a result of germ and bacteria build-up. Plaque is acidic and as it clings to your teeth the acids eat away the outside of the tooth (also called the enamel) and a hole is formed.

Yes, cavities can be repaired by Dr. Carstensen, but here are a few simple steps you can take to prevent cavities:

• Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily
• Gently brush your gums to keep them healthy (when choosing a toothbrush it is recommended to use soft bristles)
• Floss your teeth at least once a day to remove plaque and food that may be caught between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach
• Limit the amount of soda and sugary treats you eat/drink
• Be sure to visit us every six months for a teeth cleaning and check-up

A Few Oral Health Tips this Summer

June 3rd, 2011

Summer is here, which for many people means vacations, baseball season, and fun in the sun! The summer months oftentimes bring a rise in athletic activities, and with them, a rise in tooth and mouth-related injuries. We have a few tips for you this summer to keep your smile bright.

How can I protect against chipped and broken teeth?

All activities come with some risk of tooth damage. The easiest way to protect your teeth is to get a simple mouth guard from the sports store. The much more comfortable way is to ask us to make a custom guard for you. We can make some really fun colors and patterns, and it will fit you just right.

Broken teeth can be mended almost ‘good as new’ these days, sometimes with simple fillings, sometimes with beautiful porcelain created to match your smile by our lab artists. Lost teeth can be replaced almost invisibly.

What if a tooth is knocked out?

You can always call Dr. Carstensen on his cell phone, 206 947 0565. If you have a tooth knocked out, carefully place it in liquid – milk is the very best – or, if it’s clean, back in your mouth by your cheek and call right away. If we get the tooth back in place in 30 minutes or so, it may do just fine.

Are sports drinks bad for my teeth? What can I drink to stay hydrated and keep my teeth healthy?
Sports drinks are highly acidic and filled with sugar; that makes them very bad for teeth. Most of us don’t need the minerals they tell us we do – plain water is what our bodies need. If you must have a sports drink, gulp it down and rinse your mouth with fresh cool water afterwards. The worst possible thing you can do is sip on the sports drink little by little. Acid coats your teeth every sip.

If I wear Invisalign aligners, will they help protect my teeth, or do I still need to wear a mouth guard?Aligners will protect your teeth from many traumas, so good for you. High impact sports will still benefit from custom guards, however – that’s always the safest way to go.

Hope these tips help- Have a happy and safe summer!

Charity Bowling Night

May 24th, 2011

Dr. Carstensen & team are fortunate to work in such a wonderful community with so many talented dental offices serving it. This year, we are participating in a bowling event with many of these local offices for charity. On June 27th, we will gather to food, fun, and bowling! Each office will pick a charity they represent, contribute to the pot, and pick a team shirt theme. A percentage of the pot will go to each team's charity, but the competition is mostly about fun, not about who bowls best. There will be ways for each team to earn part of the remaining pot for their charity of choice.

We are excited for this fun event, and the opportunity to further contribute to our community!

Dr. Carstensen's Involvement with Continuing Education

May 20th, 2011

Dr. Carstensen has been invited to be the course director for the sleep course at the Pankey Institute, as well as the Course Director for Spear Education at Scottsdale. Both of these organizations are top educational facilities that dentists from around the world visit for continuing educational programs. It is a distinct honor to be chosen to lecture with these prestigious organizations!

In addition to his involvement with Pankey and Spear, Dr. Carstensen will be speaking at the American Dental Assocation meeting, as well as several other dental meetings worldwide. One of Dr. Carstensen's specialities is in creating oral sleep appliances for the treatment of Sleep Apnea, and is a consultant and lecturer for the leading international dental sleep medicine company.

Dr. Carstensen & Team at the Pacific NW Dental Conference

May 4th, 2011

We're excited to attend, as a team, the Pacific Northwest Dental Conference in June, as part of our continued commitment to stay on top of our profession, and offer the best and latest services to our patients. The conference spans from June 16-17th at the Washington State Convention Center, and Dr. Carstensen will be speaking at the event for the second straight year. He will be lecturing on sleep bruxism (teeth grinding) to dentists, hygienists, and assistants from across the Northwest.

The Pankey Institute and Continuing Education

April 29th, 2011

Dr. Carstensen is a member of the Pankey Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes optimal oral health care through advanced continuing education for dentists. It was the first institute of its kind and remains among the most prestigious, attracting dentists from 42 nations to its educational programs. It is estimated that nearly 20,000 dentists and specialists have attended its courses and now serve millions of patients worldwide. Dr. Carstensen was recently appointed as a course director of the Sleep Medicine Course at the Pankey Institute.

Call our office to learn more about snoring and sleep apnea treatment, and what you can do to get a better, healthier night's sleep!

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April 15th, 2011

Visiting Dr. Carstensen regularly will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. The fact is, every hour of every day in the U.S., someone dies of oral cancer, which is the sixth-most common diagnosed form of the disease. The five-year survival rate is only 50 percent, and oral cancer is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved. Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our patients about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene.

As a dentist, Dr. Carstensen is specifically trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Please let us now if you have any questions about your oral health during your next appointment. Take care of your teeth!

Get Your Smile Makeover in Bellevue, WA

April 5th, 2011

Are you self conscious about your smile? Consider a smile makeover, where Dr. Carstensen will sit down with you to discuss everything about your smile that you'd like to fix. Each patient receives a personalized and customized smile makeover based on their specific needs.

It never ceases to amaze us to see the transformation of our patients' smiles and self confidence after completing a smile makeover! It's truly wonderful! Feel free to explore our website and learn more about our practice, and when you're ready, feel free to call us to schedule your smile makeover consultation!

Dr. Steve Carstensen has been practicing comprehensive dentistry for over 26 years, and helping patients restore their smiles and overall dental health.

Regular Checkups are Important!

April 1st, 2011

If you’re brushing and flossing on a regular basis, we think that’s fantastic! But, don’t forget that it’s also important to visit Dr. Carstensen & team every six months, in addition to brushing your teeth a couple times a day. Because your dental health is important to us, we'd like to remind you that it's time for your examination.
Regular dental checkups are important for maintaining good oral health. We can:

• Check for problems that might not be seen or felt

• Detect cavities and early signs of decay

• Treat oral health problems early

During an oral exam we will usually check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue. Checkups will also include a thorough teeth cleaning and polishing. If you have not been to our office in the last six months (or as recommended), call us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you!

March is National Nutrition Month!

March 25th, 2011

Every March, Dr. Carstensen and thousands of dentists and hygienists celebrate the National Nutrition Month, and this year is no different. This March, our team want you to think diabetes, obesity and periodontal disease, and how healthful eating and physical activity may improve periodontal health.

Small changes really can make a big difference, and the American Dietetic Association (ADA) has some advice on ways to start improving your diet this March:

• Focus on fruits and vegetables: Add a serving each day to one meal and increase it every few weeks. Adding more of these foods into your diet is important whether you buy frozen, fresh or organic.

• Think fresh, think local: From farmer’s markets to community-supported agriculture, you have many options to find new, fresh foods in the greater eastside.

• Make each and every calorie count: When you are choosing between options, focus instead on the one with more of the vitamins and nutrients that you need. Sometimes, foods with fewer calories aren’t always the healthiest options.

• It’s tempting, but…: If you have a sweet tooth, have fruit and yogurt for dessert. If you crave a snack in the afternoon, enjoy some trail mix or nuts.

• Expand your horizons: Try a fish you’ve never eaten before or find a new vegetable recipe. By testing yourself, you might find new healthy favorites to add to your regular grocery list.

If you have additional questions about periodontal disease or keeping yourself and your mouth healthy, please give us a call!

The Importance of Continuing Education

March 16th, 2011

Educational opportunities are a major part of our efforts to stay current in the field of dentistry, while consistently providing the best care available to our patients. Dr. Carstensen & team spend a significant amount of time every year at these continuing education events, where we can refine our techniques, learn the new technologies, and more!

For 2011, Dr. Carstensen will be traveling to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) on five separate occasions to complete a mini-residency in Dental Sleep Medicine. This incredible educational opportunity will allow him to stay current in the topic of sleep disorders, and proficient in the treatment options available.

Dr. Carstensen is currently one of three Diplomates of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, and lectures all over the US on the topic of sleep apnea and snoring, including the American Dental Association's Annual Session.

Congratulations Marina!

March 10th, 2011

Today was the last day for Marina, one of the assistants here at our office. Marina is pregnant, and is expecting a baby boy in the near future. While we will miss Marina here around the office, all of us couldn't be happier for her!

Congratulations Marina!

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