dental care

Karl Haemig, DDS

Dentistry Blog

Post: 05/28/2014

Dental Insurance

Haemig Family Dentistry in Le Sueur gets lots of questions about dental insurance. Dental treatment is expensive and insurance can help soften the ache to your pocketbook.

People acquire dental insurance in several places: through their employer; through government assistance programs (MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance); on the individual private insurance market; or from the MNSure ("Obamacare") website.

Haemig Family Dentistry accepts most private dental insurance, either individual plans or workplace-based plans. We also accept the MNSure plans, but at this time they are still a work in progress and we know few details surrounding them, such as copays, deductibles, and annual limits. We accept Medical Assistance plans for children 18 and under with special needs, also.

In addition to accepting the above coverage, we are also a preferred provider for most Delta Dental plans, including their state employee, PPO, and Premier networks. Patients with these plans have less out-of-pocket costs with preferred providers such as us.

If you have any questions about dental insurance acceptance at Haemig Family Dentistry, be sure to call us at (507) 593-0143.

Post: 03/04/2014

Can you believe Spring is just around the corner? Don’t worry, I can’t either! It’s been a long and cold winter this year that just won’t go away! While it will still be a few weeks or months before you can safely start cleaning windows and tilling up your garden plots, it is a great time to take care of some spring cleaning for your teeth and get them in tip-top shape for all those upcoming weddings, spring formals, and graduation parties!

Here are a few ideas to get you started on your dental spring cleaning!

Take Time for Toothbrush Care

Do you remember the last time you opened up a new toothbrush? If not, it’s definitely time to pick out a new one! It’s important to buy a new toothbrush and change them out on a regular basis. We suggest a new toothbrush every 3 months.

Be certain that you are buying the right type for you. It should fit comfortably in your hand and in your mouth. You should make sure to purchase soft bristles so that you avoid injuring your gum tissue. If you have questions about what kind you should buy, call our office and ask!

Start Up a New Cleaning Routine at Home

During the winter months, you probably added a few extra minutes to your routine each morning or evening to shovel off the sidewalks or warm up the car. Why not convert that time into taking care of your teeth? Start by brushing your teeth in the morning and at a night before you go to bed. Floss or floss picks are an important but often ignored tool for taking care of your teeth. These can get the plaque that builds up in areas that your tooth brush can’t reach.

Come in for a Spring Teeth Cleaning

At Haemig Family Dentistry, Dr. Karl and his team recommend coming in for a regular dental exam and teeth cleaning once every six months. These visits might be more often depending on your individual dental needs.

Even if it’s been a while, Dr. Karl offers teeth cleaning with a comprehensive oral exam. If you’re ready to get going on spring cleaning, why not start with your mouth? Call our office today at 507-593-0143 to schedule your appointment. We’re now open 8a-5p Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to serve your dental needs.

Been meaning to meet us and hear more about our clinic? We’ll be at the Super Saturday event at Park Elementary on March 8th from 10a-noon. We love to see and treat kids of all ages! We will also be at the LeSueur Retail and Business Expo on Friday March 21st from 3p-8p in Valleygreen Square Mall.

Post: 02/03/2014


February is Children’s Dental Health Month! People don’t always think about their babies when it comes to dental care. “They’re just baby teeth, right?” While it might be true that those baby teeth will fall out eventually anyways, they chew food, help you child speak, help your child smile, and hold the place for the permanent teeth that will erupt as they get older. Experts used to suggest a child first go to the dentist at age 5, and then at age 3. Now we suggest age 1, as we are seeing plenty of 2-year-olds with tooth decay!

First dental visits are mostly educational. The American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend a child visit the dentist by age one. This “well baby check” for the teeth can establish a dental home and helps ensure that parents learn the tools they'll need to help their children remain cavity-free. In addition, having a fairly simple exam appointment helps the young patient feel less scared about future dental appointments.

  • A 2006 scientific paper in Pediatric Dentistry revealed that children who waited past their first birthday and did not see a dentist until age two or three "were more likely to have subsequent preventive, restorative and emergency visits."
  • Babies can “catch” cavities from their caregivers. In 71 percent of the cases, the mother is the source. Research indicates that the cavity-causing bacteria known as Streptococcus mutans can be transmitted from parents to infants even before teeth erupt. The better the parents’ oral health, the less the chance the baby will have problems.

That’s another great reason for a lot of adults to get to the dentist, too!

Post: 12/24/2013

All those holiday goodies can be rough on your teeth. Here are some tips to keep you smiling over the holidays.

Don't snack all day or all evening.

The bacterial in your mouth thrive on the sugar that holiday treats provide and create acid as a by-product. Your teeth are also exposed to acid from many fruits and drinks such as wine. The acid can eat away at the enamel of your tooth which over time will make the tooth weaker and more prone to decay and gum disease. The acids that are produced each time you consume a sugary snack will linger for approximately 20 minutes.

Eat sugary foods as part of a balanced meal/snack

Other foods will help neutralize the acids and help you produce more saliva to wash away the acids before they can harm your teeth.

Limit consumption of sticky foods

These foods, such as caramels and even healthier options like dried fruits, can hold acid against teeth longer than other foods.

Drink water

Not only will water help hydrate you during those holiday parties, it will also help wash away acids and/or sticky treats.

Chew sugar-free gum

Another alternative is to chew some sugar-free gum after eating to help remove food particles and to produce more saliva to neutralize and wash away the acid.

You don’t have to avoid all the yummy treats this time of the year – just be smart about it!

Have a safe and wonderful time with your family and friends! We thank you for your patronage in our inaugural year and if you haven’t yet come in to visit Haemig Family Dentistry, we hope to see you soon!

Post: 12/06/2013

Need some unique gift ideas?

Do you have a hard-to-buy-for friend or family member on your holiday shopping list? Why not get them something that they can use to keep smiling throughout 2014! Giving a dental –themed gift shows the recipient that they are loved and that their dental health is important to you.

Here are some gift ideas for your favorite grins of all ages:

Get ready for the first lost tooth by buying a fancy tooth fairy box or pillow. Include some fun notecards so the child can leave a note for the tooth fairy too.

Buy some fluoride-free toothpaste and infant/toddler toothbrushes to encourage life-long good oral hygiene for your favorite little one.

Toothbrushes or the power brush heads should be replaced every three months. Gifting a year of replacements can be a thoughtful present. Keep in mind the size of the mouth and teeth of the people receiving the brushes. The head should be small enough to easily reach the back teeth.

A fun timer for kids to use while brushing teeth (or washing their hands!)

Buy some mini toothbrushes that come with single-use amounts of tooth paste or floss picks for the world traveler in your life.

Do you know someone who has arthritis or other health issues that affect their manual dexterity? The inexpensive rotary toothbrushes or long handled flossers might just be what they need to make brushing and flossing easier and more enjoyable!

Dental floss doesn't have to come in mint or plain or cinnamon. You can find all sorts of fun flavors like bacon or bubble gum or cranberry to put in stockings!

Sugar-free chewing gum and mints are always welcome stocking-stuffers because they are good for your teeth but still fall into the category of candy!

Gift certificates for dental care are a thoughtful gift and can serve as gentle nudge towards making that appointment. Haemig Family Dentistry would be happy to discuss this with you!

Help put a beautiful smile on a young child's face in honor of your friend or relative. Smile Network International is a Minnesota based non-profit humanitarian organization that provides life-altering surgeries to impoverished children around the world. Two local ladies, Kim Hammes and Judy Sunderman accompanied Smile Network on a mission to Lima, Peru last July and will be going to Uganda, Africa with them in October 2014. You can contact Kim or Judy with any donations or visit Donations can be made directly to Smile Network and be credited to the Le Sueur Smile Team.

Post: 11/26/2013

There is just a little over a month left before we kick off 2014! With all the baking, shopping, decorating and gathering of friends and family, the last thing you want to think about is dental insurance. However maybe you should give it some thought this week! Here’s some food for thought on dental insurance (and it’s fat-free and sugar-free, too)!

Yearly Maximum

Your insurance company likely provides a certain amount of coverage for important dental work. That amount often doesn’t rollover at the end of the year so if you don’t use it now, you lose it January 1st.


With a new year comes a new deductible. Often this needs to be paid before the insurance will cover your dental care. Have you paid your deductible already for 2013? If so, make the most of your insurance by coming in before the end of the calendar year!

Insurance Fees

A new year can bring new co-pay amounts or premiums or other changes to your plan in 2014. Why not see your dentist this year in 2013 while you know what those fees are!


While sometimes you cannot do anything to prevent a dental emergency, you can lower the likelihood that they will occur at an inconvenient time with regular exams and cleanings. Has a tooth been bugging you lately? Maybe you should get it looked at before it becomes a bigger problem while you’re off visiting Aunt Edna 100 miles away from home. Avoid a dental emergency this holiday season by using your 2013 dental benefits to see Dr. Haemig in December!

Haemig Family Dentistry has openings Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays in December. We will also be available for any Thanksgiving weekend dental emergencies. Call us at 507-593-0143 and follow the prompt on the voicemail to reach Dr. Haemig.

Top 10 Reasons to See a Dentist

1. Maintain your teeth and jaw bones. Regular exams with your dentist can usually help catch cavities before they get so big that they require extractions. When you lose a tooth, you have a little less chewing power. Over time, the bone that used to hold the tooth shrinks back and gets smaller, so if you do lose one, it is best not to wait too long to replace the missing tooth.

2. Fight cancer. Only a dentist can do a proper oral exam and catch the signs of oral cancer early. In addition, there are many other soft tissue lesions in your mouth that are noncancerous but ought to be monitored and sometimes removed if indicated. Thousands of people a year die from oral cancer, which equates to about one American an hour.

3. Periodontal diseases can be prevented. Regular cleanings can prevent serious gum disease from starting or spreading to other sites in most people.

4. Existing periodontal diseases can be treated. Most serious periodontitis cannot be reversed, but it can be slowed down. This painless disease erodes the gums and bones that hold your teeth.

5. Periodontal disease can be turned around in its early stages. If gum disease is caught before the underlying bone is effected, it can be reversed with regular dental visits and good home care. Periodontal disease can not only cause tooth loss, it has been linked to increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and worsening of diabetic control. In pregnant women, periodontal disease has been associated with preterm birth and low birth-weight babies.

6. Your dentist can spot some other systemic conditions. Some patients don't see their physician regularly, and when they present to the dentist, sometimes the dentist sees signs of diseases like diabetes in the patient's mouth and makes referrals to the appropriate physician for evaluation.

7. Have a whiter and more attractive smile. A cleaning removes most of the extrinsic staining that you accumulate on your teeth through smoking, eating certain foods, and drinking tea, coffee, or red wine. Whitening treatments are also available for further improving your smile. Dentists can also reshape teeth to achieve a more attractive form, or recommend treatments for straightening crowded teeth.

8. To save money by detecting problems early. If decay is detected and treated early, it can prevent larger, more expensive fillings, root canals, crowns, or extractions. The difference can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars on one tooth!

9. To set good standards for your children and grandchildren. Children develop a more positive view of dentists and prevent future dental fears from forming if they start visiting the dentist at an early age and if they see their parents and grandparents valuing a healthy smile. The American Dental Association recommends children start getting examined by a dentist either 6 months after their first baby tooth erupts, or by age 1. Early decay can be detected, oral hygiene and diet can be reviewed, and the little patient can have a positive experience at the dentist.

10. Preventive dentistry can save you lost work time. Dental pain can keep you from going to work, or can demand that you take time off of work to get a painful tooth addressed. Sometimes a chronically bad tooth can drag you down so it's tougher to be productive and happy at work, too.

Karl M. Haemig, DDS

Top three reasons coming to the dentist is good for your whole body

We all know that going to the dentist regularly is a good way to prevent future tooth decay and gum disease, and prevent toothaches and other painful mouth problems. The benefits of maintaining a regular dental checkup schedule reach far beyond your mouth.

1. Cancer screening. This is especially important if you smoke. Thousands of Americans suffer or die each year from head and neck cancer, including celebrities like Michael Douglas and Roger Ebert. Most dentists (including Dr. Haemig) regularly look around your mouth for cancerous and precancerous spots and can potentially save your life if they catch them early enough.

2. A window onto your general health. An exam from your dentist can often discover vitamin and mineral deficiencies, nasal and sinus problems, or artery blockages in your head and neck. Your soft tissues in your mouth can sometimes reveal whether you may be chronically dehydrated, and your breath can sometimes reveal if you are suffering from gastric reflux or diabetes.

3. It improves your cardiovascular health and diabetes. Much research shows a connection between poor gum health and poor cardiovascular health as well as poor diabetic control. Frequent cleanings by a dentist, as well as frequent brushing and flossing by yourself can lead to better control of chronic medical conditions.

Call your dentist today for an exam- take charge of your health!