Here at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we approach all your oral care needs from two separate angles—what we can do in our office and what you can do at home.
For example, teeth whitening can be treated in our office or at home. Here in the office there are safe and effective methods for whitening yellowed or stained tooth enamel. At-home whitening techniques are also safe and effective and sometimes more affordable.
Additionally, we guide you about food and drink choices that can affect your whitened smile. Be aware of staining substances such as coffee, tea, tobacco and soda. We understand that abstaining from these items altogether is not an easy lifestyle change. Nor do we expect it.
Awareness and precaution can make a big difference. Rinsing your mouth out with water after drinking a dark or sugary liquid can cut down on the contact your teeth have with it and help neutralize the acids. Prolonged exposure to sugar can lead to buildup of plaque and tartar and prolonged exposure to staining substances can negate the results of teeth whitening.
At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO we offer general and family dentistry, and special services like dental implants. Call to schedule an appointment with us today.
Most people visit the dentist about once each year. As many as forty percent of Americans see their dentist less often. Some go as long as five years between visits. At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we recommend a checkup every six months.
Here are six great reasons to visit us more frequently.
1. Oral Cancer Detection
That’s right: cancer detection. Not many people think about the risk of getting cancer in their mouth or throat. Patients with oral cancer have a far better prognosis when it’s detected early. Note that tobacco users have a substantially higher risk of developing oral cancer.
2. Cavity Damage
Unfortunately, almost everyone gets cavities. If cavities are caught when they are small, they aren’t difficult (or pricey) to fix.
The problem comes when they aren’t discovered early and the damage requires a serious fix. Cavities are one of the reasons many people avoid the dentist. Getting a tooth filled used to be painful. Not anymore.
3. Gum Disease, Gingivitis, or Periodontitis
Gum health is a part of an overall dental health. We will check your gums and treat gum disease, if need be.
4. Bad Habits
Bad habits can have a negative influence on your oral health. Smoking, poor diet, biting nails and clenching teeth are among the more common. It helps to have an experienced professional to help you deal with habits so they don’t become destructive.
5. Deeper Problems
X-ray technology allows us to detect potential problems before they become visible. Many issues can be fixed before damage occurs.
6. More Than Just Teeth
We are concerned about more than your teeth. We care about your overall physical health, and are trained in the anatomy around your mouth, including your neck, throat, lymph nodes and head. We always check for signs of trouble.
But we never lose sight of your dental health; at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, that’s what it’s all about. We offer general and family dentistry, and a full range of restorative procedures. Schedule your next checkup with us today!
Have you replaced your toothbrush lately? You don’t have to answer that. At Boulder county Smiles in Lafayette CO, we recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months. Too many people wait too long to get a new toothbrush, which can be bad for their dental health. It’s one of the reasons why most dentists hand out free ones at every checkup.
Of course, you don’t need to mark your calendar or set up a reminder on your smartphone. How often you replace your toothbrush depends on how often you use it. We recommend, strongly, that you brush at least twice a day. If you’re brushing twice a day, picking up a new toothbrush at the store every three months is recommended.
Why Replace It So Often?
A toothbrush can become familiar, like a comfy pair of shoes. Sometimes the idea of tossing out the old one and replacing it isn’t very appealing. But after three months, the bristles are going to be bent and frayed. There may be some gunk – dried toothpaste foam – starting to build up, too. So toss that old brush, and get a fresh one!
What kind of brush should you be using? There are so many choices. The most important thing is to choose a brush with soft bristles. They are gentle on the gums, but still effective in brushing away plaque.
Manual or Electric?
Should you use a manual toothbrush, or go electric? This boils down to personal preference. Provided you use them correctly, both do a good job cleaning your teeth. A manual toothbrush may take a little longer, and requires you to be sure to brush up and down and in little circles. But they’re a lot cheaper! At the end of the day, though, the choice is yours.
Electric toothbrushes are a tremendous benefit to those with issues like arthritis. There are two basic types: a regular electric toothbrush, and a sonic toothbrush. A sonic toothbrush is essentially a super-charged electric brush. They can give you up to thirty thousand brush strokes per minute!
To recap: for good dental health, the important thing is to change your toothbrush every three months. At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette, we offer a full complement of general and family dentistry, as well as restorative dentistry and many other services. Schedule your next checkup with us today!
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.
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.
This post from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO looks at two conditions that afflict some of our patients: bad breath, and dry mouth.
While poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of bad breath (halitosis), many factors can contribute to or exacerbate the condition. One of these is the lack of saliva, or xerostomia.
Saliva and Oral Health
Saliva moistens the teeth and gums and eliminates odiferous dead cells. Saliva also neutralizes the ever-present acids on the tongue, gums, and cheeks and the minerals in saliva help to maintain enamel durability. Immunoproteins in saliva inhibit the overgrowth of microbes in the mouth, thereby safeguarding the gums from gingivitis. Saliva also functions as a disinfectant by cleansing the mouth of leftover food, bacteria, and fungi. This guards against dental caries and infections.
Many individuals are plagued with dry mouth sporadically; perhaps when they are feeling anxiety or stress. Limiting caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum, using OTC saliva substitutes, and using a humidifier can add moisture to the mouth.
If you have occasional periods of dry mouth, there is probably nothing to worry about. Constant dry mouth, however, can cause additional oral and physical health troubles.
At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we want the best in dental health for each of our patients. We offer general and family dentistry, including dental implants. Schedule an appointment with us today.
The most common times people stop to brush their teeth are morning and night – either before or after breakfast, after dinner, or at bedtime. Common concerns that come with this routine involve hiccups in the schedule, from family life, shift work or exhaustion.
Sometimes after dinner isn’t super cut and dried. Many Boulder families face irregular weeknight routines. As the school year progresses, some have games to attend, band concerts, play practice, youth groups or other weeknight commitments. An irregular schedule commonly disrupts regular dental maintenance.
Many people have daily commutes or shift work to battle with. Due to the changing landscape of the job market and the greater variety in shift schedules, we see patients who are adjusting to irregularities in sleep patterns. This leads to exhaustion and often sleep takes priority over consistent brushing – either morning or night.
The most important time to be sure to brush is after eating sugar or carb-intensive foods. These foods kickstart bacteria growth on the teeth without vigilant attention.
Highly acidic foods weaken the enamel, so it is best to swish with water immediately after consuming acidic foods to diminish the acid. Then brush about 30 minutes later when the mouth is less acidic. The fluoride in toothpaste helps remineralize the enamel.
At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we help you maintain your dental health. In addition to general and family dentistry, our services include dental implants and treating serious conditions like sleep apnea. Schedule an appointment with us today.
Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:
Flossing is a bit of a chore. It comes after “brushing your teeth” in things a lot of us intentionally forget to do. It takes a little extra time, and if you haven’t flossed in a while, it can even be painful. But the team at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO is constantly reminding patients to brush and floss … brush and floss!
Flossing is important, You’ll never hear one of us say “don’t worry about the flossing.” It just isn’t going to happen, and for three really good reasons. Here they are:
1. Bad Breath
Bad breath is something we all worry about. It’s part of our appearance, and we are all aware of how that can affect our relationships.
When we meet new people, speak with others in close quarters, or greet a partner, bad breath is on our mind. We worry about how bad breath affects first impressions.
It makes sense, then, that bad breath would be one of the things you might worry about.
Flossing is a great way to help you avoid bad breath.
Flossing your teeth helps reduce plaque buildup between your teeth. It also helps flush out pockets of bacteria. Together, plaque and bacteria can create bad breath.
To reduce your chances of being caught with bad breath, floss every day.
When bacteria is allowed to concentrate on your teeth, cavities can occur. Plaque buildup is a concentration of bacteria. When plaque is allowed to remain between your teeth it gives bacteria a chance to destroy enamel and damage your teeth. Cavities are damage to your teeth caused by bacteria.
Flossing gets between your teeth where your brush can’t get and helps remove plaque buildup. It also loosens pockets of bacteria that can be removed with a quick rinse.
Flossing will help you keep plaque and bacteria from developing between your teeth. You will have fewer cavities and your visits to Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry will be more productive.
3. Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is the softening of your tooth enamel by acids. Acids are created by bacteria when they feast on leftover carbohydrates in your teeth.
Flossing can help you in two ways. First, you will remove leftover food particles so bacteria have less to work with. By the way, the food particles we are concerned about aren’t always visible. Food between your teeth can be microscopic, and that’s why it isn’t good enough to do a quick tongue slide to check your teeth. The particles are too small to see or feel.
Second, flossing will help remove the bacteria from between your teeth, so there aren’t enough left to create destructive acids.
Avoid tooth decay with a regular flossing. How often, you ask?…
At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we recommend you floss your teeth every time you brush. Our services include general and family dentistry, sedation dentistry, and dental implants. Make an appointment with us today.
Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Benjamin Franklin coined that phrase in the 1730s as advice for fire safety. But like all timeless quotes, it applies to many more features of modern life, particularly dental health, one of our principal concerns at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO.
Keeping your smile beautiful and healthy is done most effectively with preventative measures. Some important guidelines are highlighted here.
Make a habit of brushing your teeth. Do it twice a day for 2 minutes. Be sure to use an ADA approved toothpaste and toothbrush.
Don’t forget the floss! Flossing between your teeth daily will do wonders for your teeth and keep your gums healthy too.
Wear a protective mouthguard when participating in an activity where your mouth could possibly be damaged.
Don’t smoke. As if you needed yet another reason not to!
Avoid piercing your lips, tongue, cheek, or any other part of your mouth that someone decided you should shove a metal bar through. Piercings put you at greater risk for chipped teeth, infection and nerve damage. It’s a dicey fashion that you’ll want to avoid.
Stay away from snacks that have a lot of sugar or starch.
Schedule regular dental visits, of course!
At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, helping our patients establish good habits is important. Our services include general and family dentistry, and specialties like dental implants and sleep apnea treatment. Schedule an appointment with us today.
Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:
At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we enjoy sharing information about dentistry and teeth. Some of it is useful, and some of it is just fun to know.
Children’s teeth are soft until about age 10.
A tooth with a crown can still get a cavity.
Your gum tissue is as vital as your teeth.
Some prescription painkillers can increase your risk of dental caries.
Some home faucet water filters remove fluoride.
19 percent of little ones between the ages of 2 and 19 have untreated dental caries.
Heartburn can damage teeth.
Allergies can cause tooth grinding.
Dried fruit is just as bad for teeth as sticky candy.
Tooth enamel cannot repair itself, though dentin and cementum (the substance that surrounds the tooth root) are capable of partial regeneration.
A Harvard-led team used low-powered lasers to activate stem cells and stimulate the growth of teeth in rats and human dental tissue in a lab.
There are about 300 types of bacteria in your mouth.
Chewing sugarless gum after meals can help remove food particles on your teeth. You still need to brush, but if you can’t brush immediately after meals, sugarless gum can help keep your teeth clean.
Cavities often don’t cause pain until they have reached the root and nerve of the tooth. Visit your dentist regularly to prevent cavities or at least to detect them when they are small.
Bone recession can cause tooth loss even if no decay is present.
We hope you have found this post interesting, and perhaps even learned something new about teeth. At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we provide general and family dentistry, and a range of cosmetic dentistry services. Make an appointment today.
Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry: