The Techno-Toothbrush

Are electric toothbrushes any better at cleaning your teeth than manual toothbrushes? The answer depends on who you ask, because both have their advocates. In this article from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette, we aren’t going to recommend one over the other. We’re just going to take a look at the world of the electric toothbrush.

Electric toothbrushes have been commercially available in the United States since the 1960s. But they first appeared in Switzerland, where they were invented. They caught on quickly, and have evolved considerably since then. When it comes to electric toothbrushes, there is a lot of choose from.

Those earliest electric toothbrushes did not have rechargeable batteries; you had to plug them in. That wasn’t really much of an issue, unless you like to walk away from the sink while you brush.

Rechargeable batteries are standard in most modern electric toothbrushes. In fact, they have features that those 1960s inventors probably never dreamed of. Some models have:

  • Timers, so you can make sure you brush at least two minutes
  • Digital alerts, to remind you it’s time for a new brush head
  • Pressure sensors that tell you if you’re brushing too hard
  • Multiple brush head capability, so different types fit
  • Variable brushing features like pulsing and oscillating capability

Sonic

And then there’s the sonic toothbrush. Sonic toothbrushes take electric brushes to a whole new level. Toothbrush manufacturers consider them a subset of electric brushes, but they are in a class by themselves.

Sonic toothbrushes can deliver up to 40,000 strokes per minute. Compare that to an ordinary electric toothbrush, which deliver between 2,500 and 7,000 strokes per minute. That’s quite a difference. For some people, that’s over the top. But advocates say that sonic toothbrushes out-perform any other type of toothbrush you can find.

When all is said and done, it depends on the person doing the brushing. A manual toothbrush used properly does a fine job cleaning your teeth. But you can always take it to the next level with a standard electric, or even a sonic, toothbrush.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette, what we really want is for each of our patients to brush and floss their teeth twice a day. It’s the best way to ensure good dental health. Our services include general and family dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026


Regular Cleanings And Heart Health

Lafayette Dental News Regular Cleanings And Heart Health

Twice-a-year visits to the dentist at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette is the best way to stay on top of your dental health, and may benefit you in ways you never anticipated.

A recent study showed that people who had their teeth professionally cleaned at least once every two years were 24 percent less likely to have a heart attack, compared to those who had cleanings less often.

While the study could simply reflect that people who religiously schedule regular dental cleanings also observe healthy habits like exercising and eating right, there is evidence of a relationship between oral health and heart health.

Common oral ailments like inflammation stemming from gum disease are connected to hardening of the arteries and other tissue inflammations which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Former American Heart Association President Ralph Sacco, MD, (who did not participate in the study cited above) said: “Something as simple as having good dental hygiene – brushing, flossing, and having regular cleanings – may be good for your heart and brain health.”

While the study found that patients who schedule cleanings yearly receive the most health benefits, we recommend coming in for checkups and cleanings every six months. That way, we’ll catch potential troubles early. Regular dental cleanings also brighten and whiten teeth, making your smile look its best.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we are committed to excellence in general and family dentistry. We also offer a wide range of cosmetic dentistry services. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 3698

Take Care Of Your Toothbrush!

Boulder Dental Patients Take Care Of Your Toothbrush!

The common household toothbrush. Every home has at least one, and at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we hope all our patients brush after each meal.

Daily brushing is still the most important thing you can do for your oral health. There is no better way to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

It has been said that each toothbrush can contain millions of bacteria. But don’t worry, those bacteria come from our mouths, which harbor equal amounts of bacteria. For a person with a healthy immune system, these bacteria pose no threat.

However, a few common sense tips might keep any unnecessary germs from affecting your toothbrush.

First, be sure to store yours as far away from the toilet as possible, and close the toilet lid before flushing. Each flush of the toilet releases a spray of bacteria into the air, so it’s best to just eliminate the spray.

Next, since bacteria like a moist environment, store your toothbrush upright and without a travel case so that it can dry completely between uses.

The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. We agree. After three or four months, the bristles on any toothbrush are showing signs of wear, and you won’t do as effective a job brushing.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we want each one of our patients to enjoy excellent dental health. Our services include general and family dentistry, and specialties like dental implants. Schedule an appointnent with us today.

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 4058

What’s The Difference Between An Inlay And An Onlay?

tooth colored fillings Lafayette

This post from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO is about inlays and onlays.

If you have tooth sensitivity or pain when you chew with your back teeth, the surfaces may be damaged. One option for restoration is the use of an inlay or onlay made of metal, composite resin, or porcelain.

Inlays are very strong and shaped to precisely fit a hole in a damaged tooth. The choice of an inlay or onlay depends on how much decay and tooth loss has transpired.

An inlay resembles a filling and fills a small part of the tooth, while an onlay covers one or more of the cusps on the top of the tooth. In other words, an inlay fills a hole without changing the shape of the tooth, while an onlay builds up the tooth surface to restore its previous dimension.

The procedure begins with a extensive evaluation, oral x-ray, and an impression. The damaged area will be removed and then the inlay or onlay will be formed to accurately fit your tooth and bite. While it is being made, your tooth will have a temporary restoration piece to cover and safeguard the vulnerable area.

Finally, the inlay or onlay will be placed and permanently bonded to the tooth. Since the procedure requires removal of damaged tooth material, restoration fabrication at the lab, and the placement on the tooth, it will take a few appointments to carry out the process.

Inlays and onlays guard the tooth from further damage, provide natural function, and are durable and inconspicuous.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we have restored countless smiles with inlays and onlays. Our services include dental implants, and general and family dentistry. Scheduler an appointment with us today.

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 7075

We Solve Problems To Restore Smiles

solve tough dental problems Lafayette

Even if you think your smile is beyond repair,  it may not be true. At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO we perform dental miracles every day. Here are some tough dental problems we routinely solve:

Tough Problem 1: Insufficient Bone for Dental Implant
Solution: Bone Grafting

As a replacement for a missing tooth, a dental implant has many merits as compared to a dental bridge. However, there must be sufficient bone to support the titanium post (screw) that is surgically implanted.

Many implant patients need some level of bone grafting and the procedure has a high success rate. Disinfected, processed donor bone is placed at the implant location where the bone needs structural strengthening. The grafting material is in granular form that can be packed into the contours. It generates growth, and eventually the patient’s newly-produced bone replaces the donor bone material.

If you have had another dentist tell you that you don’t have enough bone to place an implant post, talk to Dr. West. The team at Boulder County Smiles has carried out many bone grafting procedures for dental implant placement.

Tough Problem 2: Severe Tooth Loss
Solution: Full Mouth Restoration

If it feels like your dental troubles are beyond repair because you have few or no teeth left, take heart. Regardless of the cause—chemotherapy, recreational drug use, eating disorder, extreme mouth injury, disability, inadequate oral hygiene, or simply poor overall health—there is hope.

Full mouth reconstruction can restore your previously healthy, beautiful smile or give you the remarkable smile you never had. Patients who receive full mouth restoration regain their confidence to smile, eat, and speak normally.

Full mouth restoration is comprised of a combination of dental procedures as necessary according to the patient’s particular situation. These can include dental implants, implant-supported bridges, orthodontia, crowns, inlays/onlays, dental bonding, gum contouring, soft tissue grafts, and teeth whitening.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we are committed to the dental health of each patient. Services include dental implants and sleep apnea treatment. Schedule an appointment today.

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 7516

Small Dental Annoyance Or Serious Problem?

mouth sores Boulder County

In this post from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we are going to talk about stomatitis. Stomatitis is the formal word for something very common: non-specific irritations found in the mouth.

Stomatitis is commonly caused by cold sores, gum disease, or even from biting the inside of the mouth (ouch!). Any time the membranes in the mouth become inflamed, they are referred to as stomatitis.

Most people have probably suffered from stomatitis and don’t think it’s a big deal. The good news is that it usually isn’t, because most of these irritations clear up on their own in less than two weeks. While they might  speaking and eat difficult, they are often just a temporary inconvenience.

However, there are cases where a bacterial or a viral infection can occur in these areas of inflammation.

Because of this possibility, we should be aware of these issues. Even if you are fortunate and there is no infection present, we can always help you treat the symptoms of stomatitis.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we treat stomatitis frequently. Our services include general and family dentistry. We also offer sedation dentistry to those patients who need it, and can treat issues like sleep apnea. Schedule an appointment today.

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 6639

Periodontal Disease Is Linked To Systemic Diseases

gum disease treatment Lafayette

Every year, millions of Americans are diagnosed with gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. It is serious, but treatable at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO.

What do your gums do?

The soft tissue in your mouth, like skin, has a vital job. It protects the roots of your teeth. It also provides a barrier for the connective tissues and ligaments that hold your teeth in their sockets. Plus the alveolar bone in which your teeth are anchored.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease starts with inflammation. Gums become swollen and tender. In its early stages, gum disease is called gingivitis. As the disease progresses, the gums pull away from the teeth, creating pockets. This is called periodontitis or periodontal disease.

What causes periodontal disease?

Bacteria are always present in the oral cavity. When it is left on the teeth and gums, it turns into plaque. Plaque is a thick coating of bacteria on your gums and teeth. Plaque accumulates if it is not removed by rinsing, brushing, and flossing. If plaque accumulates in the gumline pockets, the gums can start receding. When plaque hardens, it is called tartar or calculus. You can’t brush away tartar with your toothbrush. You need to have a professional dental cleaning.

What are signs of gum disease?

  • Sore gums
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • A change in the color of gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Teeth that appear longer
  • Growing spaces between teeth
  • Changes in your bite

How does periodontal disease threaten your health?

Gum disease increases your risk of:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attacks
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Asthma
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Low infant birth weight

Can gum disease be prevented?

Yes. Your first (and best) line of defnese is flossing and brushing your teeth twice a day. Seeing us for a cleaning and checkup every six months is essential, too. At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO we can treat gum disease. We also treat sleep apnea, and offer specialties like dental implants. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 8101

3 Dental Dangers For Toddlers

Broomfield family dentist

Keeping babies and toddlers safe and healthy requires nonstop effort. You snap them tightly in their car seats, lock your medicine cabinet, and guard the stairway with a gate. You take them to the doctor for check-ups. Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO wants to remind you about another critical component of child wellness: oral health.

Sadly, we see too many cases of tooth decay in children. You have probably received the following critical advice, but it bears repeating:

  • Don’t put babies to bed with a bottle!
  • Don’t allow children to drink juice continually during the day!
  • Prevent frequent snacking on sugary foods!

Oral health is intrinsically connected to overall physical health and normal development. If your oral hygiene is not up to par, now is the time to shape up and help your child develop a good oral health routine that will serve them well throughout their life.

Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO recommends twice-yearly dental visits, starting around age one or when the first tooth appears. Our services include general and family dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry. Specialties include dental implants. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 5245

Are Toothpicks Good For Cleaning Teeth?

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we always remind our patients how important it is to clean their teeth on a regular basis. Not just the front surfaces, but between the teeth, too. This is essential for cavity prevention.

What’s the best way to go about getting those narrow spaces between teeth? That’s an easy one: dental floss. Our rule of thumb is to brush your teeth twice a day, and floss at least once – ideally, just before bedtime.

What about during the day, though? You’ve just had lunch, or a mid-afternoon snack, and you can feel the gunk that’s stuck between your teeth. It isn’t always easy to pull out dental floss in the middle of the day, especially if you’re in a meeting or some other appointment.

How about a good old-fashioned toothpick? They’re easy to carry around and have pointy tips that are good for digging into tight spaces.

Our quick answer? No. In fact, we frown on using toothpicks to clean between your teeth. For one thing, they don’t do a very good a job compared to other options. For another, it is not unheard of for people to get splinters in their gums when a piece of the toothpick breaks off. You might also poke into your gums by accident.

But most important is that they don’t clean off plaque. Which brings us back to those other options: when you’re out and about during the day, we recommend using an interdental cleaner. There are several types available at any grocery store: they’re usually made from a soft plastic with bristles on the end. They’re slender and compact, so you can slide them easily between your teeth to dislodge and remove food particles.

We know that chewing on a toothpick looks pretty cool. But they are not recommended for cleaning teeth. Use an interdental cleaner like those made by DenTek, or GUM. Floss picks are also good.

Above all, see us at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO for a professional cleaning and checkup every six months. Our services include general and family dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 


Between-Meal Cleaning

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we constantly remind our patients to brush and floss their teeth after every meal. And most of our patients take that advice to heart. But what are you supposed to do in the middle of the day? You’re out and about, and your usual stuff – that favorite toothpaste, the container of dental floss – is at home in the bathroom.

What’s the best way to keep your teeth clean between meals?

One of the best things you can do is rinse your mouth with water after you eat. That alone will give your whole mouth a quick cleansing.

A quick brushing is good, too. An excellent trick is what we call dry brushing. That means brushing your teeth without toothpaste. Yes, it sounds a bit strange – but it’s effective, especially if you can use a little water, too. (We know of other dentists who do it themselves.) It isn’t the way you would brush at home, of course, but it’s going to clean the surfaces of your teeth – and that’s half the battle.

The other half of the battle is the stuff that gets between your teeth. A good solution here is using floss picks. They’re no substitute for regular dental floss, but because they have a little handle, you can do it one-handed and without the aid of a mirror. (Just be sure you use regular floss later on, before bed.)

Another effective trick is chewing sugarless gum. It only takes about five minutes of chewing to get the benefits. The gum will remove a lot of the surface debris from your teeth. It also gets your saliva going, which in turn promotes re-mineralization. That’s the process of replacing minerals in your teeth.

Still another good idea is to eat healthy snacks. Raw vegetables and nuts are always a better choice than a cookie or candy bar, or some other sugary treat. Not only that, these rough-textured foods help to scrub your teeth as you chew.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we want each of our patients to keep their teeth clean during the day, and hope these suggestions help. We would also like to see you in the office every six months. Our services include general and family dentistry and dental implants. Call today to schedule your next checkup.

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026