Introducing Solid Foods

When it comes to introducing solid foods, Dr. Mindy recommends BLW.

What is BLW?

BLW is baby-led weaning

Baby-led weaning means that your baby feeds his or her self.  In BLW (baby-led weaning), these foods complement the baby’s diet of breast milk and/or formula.  BLW is supposed to be fun for the baby, as well as the parents. It creates a positive, interactive experience.  The term weaning does not mean that the baby gives up formula or breastmilk.  Food is to be given in addition to the breast milk or formula.

BLW creates a playful way to explore foods and practice new oral motor patterns.  They eventually develop the oral motor patterns for chewing and swallowing.  BLW allows the baby to be in charge of the food entirely.  They will be in charge of when, how and what food goes into their mouth.

Baby-led weaning allows the baby to set the pace for their own meal. It can be a very messy and exciting experience! 🙂  The baby learns by watching and imitating their parents creating a positive family eating experience.

At the start of the process, the baby is allowed to reject food. The rejected food may be offered again at a later date. While practicing BLW, the baby decides when he/she is done eating.  You do not need to try to spoon feed the baby more food to “fill them up”.  The baby is to eat at his/her own pace with no rush.  Water is sipped on during each meal. Soft fruits can be given as is, but harder foods are to be cooked to soften them.  Foods should be soft enough to chew on with bare gums.  Foods such as yogurt can be offered with a spoon. You should still avoid the classic “choking hazard” foods such as peanuts, popcorn, chips, etc.

Dr. Mindy recently posted an article on her own personal Facebook page in support of BLW. In her post she states “Research definitely supports no food until after 6 months. Look into baby led weaning (BLW) when you do introduce foods. BLW is best for your baby and the development of the face, teeth and jaws.”

Dr. Mindy describes how BLW promotes good oral and facial development. Click to view Dr. Mindy’s article on baby-led weaning.  (Baby Led Weaning (1))

Written by Alyssa Foltz

Water your way to a healthy mouth!

Pictured from left to right: Mellysa (Dental Hygienist) and Dr. Melinda Hochgesang

Water is essential in helping prevent a dry mouth.  Dry mouth causes the gums and tissues to become inflamed. A dry mouth is more likely to develop rapid tooth decay.  Drinking plenty of water is an important preventative measure.

Easy enough.. just grab a bottled water and chug, right?

It is important to know whether the water you’re drinking is acidic or basic.  Many bottled waters are acidic. When the mouth is at a pH of below 5.5, bacteria that cause cavities are able to thrive and grow. So, drinking anything more acidic puts you at risk for cavities.

Get this —

If you take 1 sip of a more acidic water, it takes 20 minutes for your saliva to bring your mouth back to a neutral pH (7).  How frequently you sip on an acidic drink increases the length of exposure to the acid.  Soda, Gatorade, energy drinks and some brands of bottled water negatively affect your oral and overall health.

We decided to test the pH of
– Various brands of Bottled Water
– Morrison, Illinois tap water
– Rock Falls, Illinois tap water
– Private (well) water near Bettendorf, Iowa


We determined that Fiji and Ice Mountain had the highest pH of bottled water.  We also determined that both tap waters and the private well water were more basic than the each of the bottled waters.

It is important to put down these drinks with a lower pH
Go out, grab an Ice Mountain and tackle your oral health! 🙂

Writer and Videographer – Alyssa Foltz
Editor – Dr. Mindy Hochgesang

Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

Changing Smiles, Changing Lives.

This is how we see ourselves at Cornerstone Family Dentistry

We have been working to create an exceptionally different dental experience for our patients for just over a year and a half in Morrison and just over a year in Davenport. We have done our best to make a positive impact on the local communities by donating dental services, sponsoring events and educating people.
When we started on this journey 1.5 years ago, we knew that we set out to positively change lives. Amazing things have happened to us along the way.
As we attempted to spread joy, we received joy. As we spread love, we were sent more love. As we gave generously, others also gave. The people whose lives we set out to impact have actually profoundly impacted all of us.
Every member of our team has seen patience, acceptance, joy, hope and love in those we serve. We love our team, our mission, our purpose and we also love our patients.
All of you have taken this small business that we call Cornerstone Family Dentistry and you have trusted us with your friends, families and anyone who needed us. For this, we are so thankful. You have been a part of such a critical time in the beginning of our journey and we hope that you know how much we appreciate that.

Thank you for your trust. Thank you for sending others. Thank you for growing our business so we can continue to love and serve.

Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!
Written by Dr. Mindy

Cold Sore Solutions That Actually Work


Whether you call them cold sores or fever blisters, if you’re among the more than 40% of Americans who regularly experience this inflammatory viral nuisance, you know they’re anything but a joy to deal with. You’ve also probably heard of countless ways to deal with them, from over-the-counter remedies to treatment options that span generations. So what really works?

Well, quite honestly what “works” when it comes to cold-sores, is management.  And, specifically, preventing, treating and eliminating the transmission of this most annoying of viruses. Here is how you do it:

Cold Sore Prevention

The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is certainly true when it comes to cold sores, so knowing what causes them to surface is key. The number one and number two reasons are a weakened immune system, and exposure to rapidly changing weather. To tackle the weather, always keep your preferred brand of lip moisturizer  with sunscreen on hand to protect your lips from weather’s effect on your lips. And, to boost your immune system, be sure to get enough sleep and find ways to combat stress in your life. Also, as with most things in life, what’s good for our waistlines is good for our immune system. Here are some good dietary suggestions for cold sore sufferers:

  1. Eat Raw, Alkalizing Foods: Fruits and vegetables are super-good for you. Eat as many of them as you enjoy.
  2. Beef-up On Cruciferous Vegetables: Clinical studies are beginning to suggest that veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and kale are of great benefit to cold-sore sufferers.
  3. Avoid Arginine: Cold-sores need the amino acid arginine to grow, so if you can limit the excess intake of this amino acid, you may be able to keep frequent outbreaks at bay. Nuts, chocolate, oats, and some protein shakes are high in arginine, and can be major cold-sore triggers.

By merely eating well and getting regular rest, you can help yourself avoid several outbreaks a year.

Cold Sore Treatment and Remedies

Preventing a cold sore from appearing is indeed your best medicine, and if you pay attention to what your body tells you, it is possible to dramatically reduce outbreaks. When a cold-sore does gift you with its presence, though, here are a few things you can do to minimize its pain, size and duration.

  1. Ice It! At the first sign of tingling, get thee to an ice cube, wrap it in a paper-towel, and place it on your lip where you feel the cold-sore coming on. Often two back-to-back applications of an ice cube until it melts can dramatically reduce the pain and swelling that accompanies the sore.
  2. Slather It? Not Now, But Later. Cold sores love warm, moist environments, and this is precisely the environment you present to a cold-sore when you slather it in cream for days on end.  You’re best to let it dry out to the point where it is no longer painful, and then begin applying cream or lip balm to minimize splitting. As the cold sore resolves itself, it’s best to keep your lips moist to prevent bleeding, which also aids in the healing at this stage.

Eliminate Transmission of Cold Sores

Avoid sharing food, utensils, towels, toothbrushes, or any other item that could come in contact with your mouth. Also, be sure to avoid touching the cold sore and then later touching your eyes or genital area.  In fact, your best course of action is to avoid touching your mouth at all during an outbreak, and not again until after the scab has dropped off completely, AND healed over. This can take some weeks, as you know. Kissing, and other aspects of intimacy that involve your mouth should be avoided entirely. Wash your hands often – this cannot be stressed enough to avoid spreading the virus.

Having a cold sore is not the end of the world. Nine out of ten of all people get at least one cold sore in their life, so there is no need to hide in the closet. Understand your triggers, find a solution that works, don’t spread the virus, and stay healthy!

Let’s talk skin cancer

A reason to see the dentist regularly


Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. If caught early, it’s also among the most preventable and curable.

What is melanoma?

Melanoma is a serious type of skin cancer. The causes of skin cancer are unknown. Studies have shown that repeated exposure to the sun is considered to be a high risk factor. Biologically speaking, melanoma can manifest anywhere melanocytes exist. This can be our skin, mouth, heart or other tissues. Do you know what that means?! This means that sun screen doesn’t always protect you against melanoma! Maintaining regular visits to the dentists is important to catch cancer early.

What are the symptoms?

Early detection is the key with any cancer.  Some symptoms that should cause for concern if you experience them are:

– a frequent sore throat
– difficulty chewing and swallowing
– red or whitish patches within your mouth
– changes in the shape, size or color of skin
– any new pigmentation on your face, head or neck

A dentist is able to see more areas of your mouth at a closer view than you are able to. Oral cancer screenings allow an early diagnoses of cancer.

How often do I get an oral cancer screening?

During your routine cleaning and exam, the dentist reviews your mouth and neck to look for any tissues abnormalities and changes. This exam usually takes place without you even being aware of it. If you would like, your dentist would be happy to to walk you through the exam during your next appointment. This oral cancer screening allows dentists to be able to detect cancerous lesions early.  Some dentists have additional equipment such as a  special medical screening device. This device illuminates the tissue within your mouth with a special light. If your doctor doesn’t have this device, he/she may be able to refer  you to a physician who does.


Your health is worth protecting. It is important to visit your dentist regularly for an oral health screening. Your dentist plays a critical role in the early detection and treatment of oral cancer concerns. Get that checkup!

Thanks for being a valued patient and friend! ❤ 🙂

Written by Alyssa Foltz
Video of Oral Cancer Screening – Dr. Oz –

Could it be a tie?

Does your baby have difficulty nursing and failure to gain weight? Your baby may have a lip or tongue tie.


During the embryologic development, this tongue is initially attached to the floor of the mouth.  This attachment usually partially disappears and, in most cases, reduces naturally from the tip toward the base of the tongue. When this piece of tissue fails to reduce its attachment, it may restrict the ability of the tongue to have adequate mobility. Problems which can be associated with ankyloglossia, tongue tie, may include difficulties that exist from birth and throughout a lifetime.

This may be responsible for allowing many of the following concerns to develop.


  • Poor latch
  • Colic and excessive gassiness
  • Reflux
  • Inadequate milk intake
  • Poor weight gain
  • Falling asleep on the breast
  • Extended nursing episodes
  • Unable to sustain a latch or deep enough latch
  • Unable to hold a pacifier
  • Early weaning from the breast



  • Difficulty or inability to breastfeed
  • Painful compression of nipples
  • Mastitis, engorgement, thrush
  • Vasospasm
  • Anxiety, stress and fatigue
  • Postpartum depression
  • Slow weight loss from pregnancy
  • Early cessation of lactation
  • Bleeding, cracked and flattened nipples
  • Low milk supply
  • Feelings of guilt





These attachments can potentially cause many problems.  Infants suffer with the ability to sustain a proper latch.  Large gaps between front teeth and other orthodontic problems can develop.  While nursing, the infant may experience pain or develop decay on the upper front teeth.   Esthetic problems and speech problems are common problems with lip and tongue ties.  Adults with ties may experience poor oral hygiene, esthetic problems and even periodontal disease.


A tight upper lip frenum attachment may compromise full lip flanging and appear as a tight, tense upper lip during nursing.  This can result in a shallow latch during breastfeeding.  Additionally, the tight upper lip may trap milk, resulting in constant contact of the milk to the front teeth.  This can result in decalcification and dental decay can develop when the milk is not cleaned off of these areas.  This same issue can occur with bottle-feeding.  If the frenum is attached close to the ridge or into the palate, a future diastema (gap between the teeth) can also occur.




A tight lower tongue frenum attachment may restrict the mobility of the tongue and appear as a cupping or heart-shaped tongue when the tongue is elevated.  This can result in inability to get the tongue under the nipple to create a suction to draw out milk.  A long-term tongue tie can result in speech problems and/or issues later with transferring food around the mouth or chewing.



If you think that your child has a tongue or lip tie, don’t hesitate to call us.  Dr. Mindy would be happy to perform an exam with you knee to knee to discuss her findings and recommendations.



Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

Photo of Shaya
Written by Alyssa Foltz

Diabetes And Dental Health


25.8 million children and adults in the United States – 8.3% of the population – have diabetes. And not too far behind those 25.8 million are the estimated 79 million Americans with prediabetes. What’s worse, the prevalence of the disease is on the rise, with an estimated 552 million to be diagnosed by 2030. Its progress has become so staggering, the International Diabetes Foundation has termed Diabetes as “The Global Burden.” Diabetes is a serious illness, and its complications are manifold. Most know of its impact on circulation, visual acuity, and heart and kidney function. Many aren’t aware, however, of its deleterious effect on gum tissue. If you’re prediabetic, have diabetes or have a loved one with the disease, you’ll want to learn more about how to ward off this commonly unknown side effect of the disease.

Diabetes is a disease with tentacles. It touches and degrades so many aspects of a person’s physical health, it becomes difficult to be mindful of all its complications without proper vigilance.  Yet, vigilance is precisely what is needed, particularly with regard to its role in a healthy mouth, because having diabetes can not only lead to oral disease, but the presence of oral disease can also aggravate diabetes. When it comes to diabetes and the mouth, it is unfortunately, as the scientific community calls it, a “two way street.”

What are some of the Oral Health complications of Diabetes?

  • Tooth Decay: Occasionally, an observant dentist who notices a high instance of cavities in an otherwise healthy mouth is the first to suggest a patient be tested for diabetes. The reason for this is that uncontrolled diabetes results in higher levels of salivary glucose. When coupled with a diabetic’s diminished salivary production, the mouth tends to bathe in an environment ripe for tooth decay, and these parallels are markers that get a dentists’ attention. If you’re already diabetic, you’ll want to keep your dentist informed of your disease and its current state so they can always be on the lookout for related problems in your mouth.
  • Gingivitis And Periodontal Disease: Because diabetes lowers the body’s ability to fight infection, people with the disease are more likely to encounter bouts with gingivitis and periodontitis. Both gingivitis and periodontitis are bacterial gum infections, with gingivitis being the less advanced version of the two. Having either condition, though, requires diligent care because of a diabetic’s inability to fight these infections properly. Diabetics have the added burden of having to contend rising sugar levels caused by the body’s reaction to stress and infection. The resulting “see-saw” effect can be quite difficult to manage, to say the least. If nothing else sways you to consider your oral health as it relates to diabetes, this single interrelated factor alone should convince you this is a battle you need to fight from an offensive, rather than a defensive position.
  • Fungal Infections: Also related to the body’s inability to fight infection, diabetics are likely to experience a greater incidence of oral fungal infections. Thrush, which can be common in infancy as a baby develops their immune system is often seen in diabetic patients as well.
  • Loss of Taste: In the far reaching realm of diabetes complications, losing your ability to taste certainly ranks among the more unpopular. Here, nerve damage is the culprit, as untreated or uncontrolled diabetes can cut off nerve transmissions to the brain from the taste buds, thus impairing or completely removing one’s ability to taste. Not good.

Diabetes is a serious illness, and thankfully, it is one that can be prevented. If you already have the disease, it can also be controlled by following the advice of your doctor and your dentist. Be sure to make all of your health care team members aware of your disease so you can best stay on top of it. There is nothing worse than the awareness that you could have saved yourself from risky complications through better self-care. And there is nothing better than knowing that you did save yourself from additional illness by doing the right thing. So be proactive, and be healthy!