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Savvy Mom: The Post-Dentist Sugar Blast


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By Kristin Boldon

When I was a kid, my mom took my sisters and me to Friendly's after our dentist appointments. The knowledge of that post-dentist Butter Crunch cone helped me endure the appointments, and the seemingly endless fluoride treatments.

As an aside, how long do you remember those fluoride treatments were, where they put the candy-colored goo in the mouth tray, set a timer and left the room? I could have sworn they were 20 to 30 minutes long, but my current hygienist says they were only 5 minutes top and bottom, so ten minutes total. Is it childhood exaggeration, or was my childhood dental hygienist perhaps stepping outside for an extended break of the cigarette variety? Not that I'm bitter. Oh, wait, yes I am. Because when it came time to take MY kids to the dentist, the post-appointment treat was always part of the program. Is it retroactive revenge on that hygienist who left me soaking in fluoride goo for so long? Is it blatant envy that my kids' fluoride treatments only last 1 minute? I really can't say.

Since our dentist is in St. Louis Park, there are treat options aplenty. If we're there in the morning, we stop at Rustica bakery in the Calhoun Village shopping center. I have one of their artisan espresso drinks, the boys have cider or hot chocolate, and we all get a pastry. Sometimes I even get one that isn't the bittersweet chocolate cookie.

If we have appointments around lunchtime, the boys' favorite is Noodles and Company in the Calhoun Commons shopping center. The boys have the Wisconsin mac and cheese, I douse my mushroom stroganoff with Sriracha, and we all leave happy even before we walk over to Ben & Jerry's. As I wrote here recently, we Minnesotans still eat ice cream when it's below zero outside, though we may not take off our coats to do so. This week, I chose Chocolate Therapy and my son went for Scotchy Scotch Scotch, the Anchorman-inspired butterscotch flavor, which doesn't have any scotch in it.

And since another of our favorite "treats" is shopping for books, we usually visit Half Price books in the Miracle Mile shopping center, or the Barnes and Noble in Calhoun Village.

Our current favorites are only the tip of the iceberg. Nearby there's also Burger Jones, Punch Pizza, My Burger, and Yogurt Lab. Up the street are the shops at West End. So if you too like to follow up the dentist with some sugar and retail therapy, I highly recommend the Lake Calhoun area near St. Louis Park. And so do my kids. But probably not our dental hygienist. Sorry, Tanya!

Rustica Bakery
3220 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55416

Noodles & Company
3040 Excelsior Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55416

Ben & Jerry's
3070 Excelsior Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55416

Barnes & Noble
3216 West Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55416

Half Price Books
5017 Excelsior Blvd, St. Louis Park, Minnesota 55416

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