John Olsen, DDS, MAGD, DICOI
Franklin Dental
9725 W Saint Martins Rd
Franklin, WI 53132

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By Franklin Dental
June 22, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   shingles  

If you had chicken pox as a child, you're at higher risk for a painful viral infection later in life called shingles. Besides a painful skin rash and other symptoms that can develop, shingles could also affect your dental care.

About 90% of children contract chicken pox, a disease caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), which usually clears up on its own. But later in life, usually after age 50, about a quarter to a third of chicken pox patients will develop shingles.

The onset of shingles usually produces an itching or burning sensation on the skin that's either numb or overly sensitive to the touch. A red rash may ensue with crusty lesions, accompanied sometimes by pain, fever and fatigue. The rash often forms a belt-like or striped pattern along one side of the face or body.

For most patients this painful rash is the extent of their symptoms. But women who are pregnant, patients undergoing cancer treatment or people with compromised immune systems are at risk for more serious complications if they contract the disease. It's important for these at-risk patients to obtain a vaccination, as well as avoid contact with anyone with shingles.

Which brings us to your dental care: in its early stages shingles can be contagious, the virus passing to others through skin contact or by airborne respiratory secretions. That's why it's important if you're currently experiencing a shingles episode that you let us know before undergoing any kind of dental work.  Even a routine teeth cleaning with an ultrasonic device could disrupt the virus and increase the chances of it spreading to someone else. We may need to postpone dental work until the virus is under control.

Antiviral drugs like acyclovir or famciclovir are highly effective in bringing the disease under control, especially if treatment starts within three days of the onset of symptoms. And don't forget the shingles vaccination: the U.S. Center for Disease Control recommends it for anyone 60 or older regardless of a past history with chicken pox.

See your physician as soon as possible if you begin to notice symptoms. Don't let shingles interfere with your life — or your dental care.

If you would like more information on the impact of shingles and similar viruses on dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Franklin Dental
June 15, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Tooth Sensitivity  

Is tooth sensitivity keeping you from enjoying your favorite foods and drinks?tooth sensitivity

You would love to drink that refreshing iced coffee to get you going in the morning but your teeth are already protesting with the first sip. You may be wondering what is going on with your teeth and what you can do to quell their anguish (after all, you really want to enjoy your iced coffee). Our Franklin, WI, dentist, Dr. John Olsen, is here to provide a little insight into tooth sensitivity and what you can do to reduce your discomfort.

Why are my teeth sensitive?

Your teeth are comprised of different layers. Under the outer layer of your teeth, known as enamel, you have the dentin layer. The dentin layer covers the nerve of the tooth. So, if enamel begins to erode or if gums start to recede, the dentin will be exposed and lead to tooth sensitivity.

Why is my tooth sensitivity?

It isn’t always possible to figure out on your own why you are experiencing dental sensitivity. This is best left to our Franklin dental professional to figure out for you. We will examine your smile and possibly run certain tests to help us thoroughly determine what is to blame. You may have gum disease or a cavity, both of which can easily be treated, or you may have tooth erosion, which we can provide you with ways to prevent this issue from getting worse or offer up cosmetic restorations that can also cover the tooth to protect it.

How is tooth sensitivity treated?

If your sensitivity is because of a cavity, we will remove the decay and place a dental filling. If gum disease is to blame, we will determine if root scaling and planing is the best way to thoroughly deep clean your teeth, gums and tooth roots to remove plaque and tartar buildup and improve the health of your gums.

If the dentin is exposed due to wear and tear, there are simple measures such as applying dental bonding resin over these areas to provide additional protection. We may also recommend special toothpaste, which can help reduce sensitivity with regular use.

If you find that you aren’t able to tackle tooth sensitivity on your own, then it’s time you turned to Franklin, WI, dental professionals that you can trust to provide you with the very best in care. Call Franklin Dental today and let them know that you need help tackling your tooth sensitivity.


Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.

“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into cavities. How did this happen?

Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.

While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.  Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.

This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”

Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:

  • Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
  • Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
  • Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.

Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.

“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”

If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”

By Franklin Dental
May 23, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: fluoride  

We've known for a long time that fluoride strengthens tooth enamel against decay. We've also learned that fluoride consumption early in life pays later dividends with healthier teeth.

But while fluoride has generally proven safe, too much ingested by young children could cause enamel fluorosis. This condition produces a mottled or streaked appearance in teeth ranging from faint white patches to darker, pitted staining. Fluorosis doesn't harm teeth, but it does make them less attractive.

To prevent this, it may be necessary with your dentist's help to monitor your infant's or young child's fluoride intake and keep it in check. That will depend in large part on where you live, as well as your child's hygiene and eating habits.

Like three-quarters of public water systems, your local utility may be adding fluoride to your drinking water. The amount is governed by federal guidelines, which currently recommend fluoride amounts of no more than 0.70 parts per million of water. The fluoride levels in your water could have an impact on your child's total fluoride intake. You can find out for sure how much fluoride is present in your water by contacting your water utility company.

Another major fluoride source is toothpaste and other hygiene products. You can control your child's fluoride exposure by limiting the amount of toothpaste on their brush. Children under two only need a “smear,” while those between two and six need only a pea-sized amount.

Processed foods can contain fluoride if fluoridated water was used in their production. In this case, replace as much of the processed food items in your family's diet as you can with fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods.

Along this line, if you have an infant you want to pay particular attention to feeding formula, especially the powdered form you mix with water. If you're concerned about the amount of fluoride in your water consider other infant feeding options. Besides breast-feeding in lieu of formula, you can also use ready-to-feed pre-mixed with water (usually lower in fluoride) or mix powdered formula with bottled water specifically labeled “de-ionized,” “purified,” “demineralized,” or “distilled.”

This can be a lot to keep up with but your dentist can advise you. Fluoride is still a potent weapon against tooth decay and a safeguard on your child's current and future dental health.

If you would like more information on the relationship between fluoride and your child's dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Development and Infant Formula.”

By Franklin Dental
May 08, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Do you only floss occasionally? If so, you're doing a better job than the 20 percent of Americans who never pick up a container of floss, flossingaccording to the American Dental Association. Flossing is an important way to reduce tooth decay, but it's most effective if it's done daily. Franklin, WI, dentist Dr. John Olsen of Franklin Dental explains why flossing is important and shares a few flossing tips.

Plaque lurks in crevices

Plaque doesn't just coat the surface of your teeth, but also forms on the sides of your teeth. Although you can't reach those areas with your toothbrush, you can get rid of the plaque with floss. Floss manually removes plaque before it can lead to tooth decay. If you don't make flossing a regular habit, you just might discover that a cavity has formed on the side of a tooth or between two teeth. Failure to floss can also raise your gum disease risk. When you don't remove plaque, it turns into hard tartar, a substance that can force your gums away from your teeth, creating pockets that offer the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

Flossing is easy

When you're busy, it can be hard enough to find time to brush your teeth, let alone floss, but flossing only takes a minute or two. Flossing can be accomplished in these four simple steps:

  • Unravel about two feet of floss and wrap it around your middle or index fingers, leaving about four inches free between your hands.
  • Insert the floss between two teeth and move it up and down gently several times.
  • Bend the floss into a semi-circular shape to clear plaque from the space between the bottoms of your teeth and your gums.
  • Repeat until you've flossed all of your teeth.

Although you'll need access to a sink when you brush your teeth, flossing can be done almost anywhere. Keep a container of floss by your bed. If you realize that you forgot to floss, you can indulge in a quick flossing session before you fall asleep. Stash the small packages of floss you receive when you visit Dr. Olsen's Franklin office throughout your house to ensure that you don't have an excuse not to floss.

Keep your smile healthy with daily flossing and regular dental visits. Is it time to schedule your next dental appointment? Call Franklin, WI, dentist Dr. John Olsen of Franklin Dental at (414) 425-7050 to arrange your visit.

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Dr. John Olsen

For over 24 years, Dr. John has been successfully restoring the smiles and improving the lives of people in the Milwaukee area with his expert knowledge and attention to detail.

Dr. John strives for excellence and holds a number of impressive titles including:

  • Diplomat in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI)

  • Mastership in Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) & Regional Director

  • Induction into the International College of Dentists

  • Certified with American Academy of Facial Esthetics (AAFE)


He frequently is invited to speak and teach workshops around the country to help spread his expert knowledge in the dental fields. Additionally, he regularly attends trainings and workshops to continue his own education.


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