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


Halitosis And Xerostomia (Bad Breath And Dry Mouth)

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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.

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 7334

Dental Care For ICU Patients Lowers Infection Risk

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This blog post from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO focuses on an article that appeared recently on ScienceDaily.com.

The article describes a study of Brazilian ICU patients that compared infection rates of those who received enhanced oral care instead of routine oral care. The patients who received the more intensive dental care were 56 percent less likely to develop a respiratory infection during their hospital stay.

“Enhanced dental care included teeth brushing, tongue scraping, removal of calculus, atraumatic restorative treatment of caries, tooth extraction and topical application of chlorhexidine corresponding to each patients’ needs four to five times a week. Comparatively, regular treatment consisted of mechanical cleansing using gauze followed by topical application of chlorhexidine three times a day.”1

“Bacteria causing healthcare-associated infections often start in the oral cavity,” said Fernando Bellissimo-Rodrigues, MD, lead author of the study. “This study suggests that having a dentist provide weekly care as part the ICU team may improve outcomes for vulnerable patients in this setting.”1

If a member of your family has serious health concerns, you may want to talk to their doctor about the oral health implications of their condition.

Though this study pertains to ICU patients, it is also a reminder to all of us. Receiving consistent quality dental care and practicing proper daily oral hygiene is essential for everyone. Some patients have an inaccurate view of oral health – they seem to have the notion that it exists autonomously. It is actually interdependent with general physical health.

At Boulder County Smiles, we see ourselves as key members of your healthcare team and are dedicated to your physical, mental, and emotional health. Our services include general and family dentistry, and specialties like dental implants. Schedule an appointment today.

1Wanessa T. Bellissimo-Rodrigues, Mayra G. Menegueti, Gilberto G. Gaspar, Edson A. Nicolini, Maria Auxiliadora-Martins, Anibal Basile-Filho, Roberto Martinez, Fernando Bellissimo-Rodrigues. Effectiveness of a Dental Care Intervention in the Prevention of Lower Respiratory Tract Nosocomial Infections among Intensive Care Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 2014; 35 (11): 1342 DOI: 10.1086/678427

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 6828

Hiccups In Your Dental Routine

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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:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 6829

Flossing: The Detail Work

Whenever you’re in our Boulder County Smiles office in Lafayette CO, the dentist reminds you to brush and floss every day. (You’ve notice?) In general, we say brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once. Too many patients heed that first bit of advice, but unfortunately ignore the second.

Flossing between your teeth is every bit as important to your dental health as brushing is, but it has a different role. Where brushing removes plaque from the surface of the teeth and along the gum line, flossing gets into the tight spaces between your teeth. It loosens the debris that always gets wedged in, and any plaque building up.

In short, it gets those places that your toothbrush can’t.

Should you floss before brushing, or after? The jury is out on that one. Some research suggests that flossing first can make brushing more effective. The idea is that after flossing, there is less gunk between your teeth. The fluoride in your toothpaste is able to get in there better.

Before or after? Do whichever you prefer. Just don’t forget to floss!

We think of flossing as the detail work. Brushing gets most of the work done, but it takes floss to get into those tight places, and leave your mouth as clean as it can be.

That’s why, for the best of dental health, Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO urges you to brush AND floss. Our services include general and family dentistry, and dental implants. We also treat conditions like sleep apnea. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026


5 Critical Things To Know About Periodontal Disease

gum disease exam Lafayette

Periodontal disease is inflammation or infection of the gums. For the most part it is preventable. Also known as gum disease, this condition is so common in the United States that it has been called a health crisis. At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we provide effective gum disease treatment.

Here are five important things to know about gum disease.

  1. If left untreated, it can cause irreversible damage such as tooth loss.
  2. Practicing proper oral hygiene and having 6-month dental exams are the best way to prevent periodontal disease.
  3. Periodontal disease can occur without the presence of tooth decay.
  4. Almost half of all 30+ adults in the US have periodontal disease.
  5. In some cases, periodontal disease produces no noticeable symptoms.

Risk factors for gum disease include tobacco use, poor oral hygiene (especially failing to floss), genetics, teeth grinding, inflammatory conditions, and poor nutrition.

Preventing gum disease is just another reason to see us every six months at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO. We provide a full range of services, including dental implants and sedation dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 7464

Three Great Reasons to Floss Your Teeth

Three Great Reasons to Floss Your Teeth by 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.

2. Cavities

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:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 7780

What is Patient-Centered Dental Care?

cosmetic dentistry Lafayette

What is your perception of the patient-dentist relationship? Would you characterize it as one-sided? In other words, the dentist examines the patient’s teeth, decides on the course of treatment, and performs the procedure-while the patient is an unimportant participant. That is not the approach, at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO.

It Starts With The Atmosphere

At Boulder County Smiles, you will recognize the difference when you first walk in our doors. You will discover a pleasant, inviting atmosphere. We don’t push patients through as if they were on an assembly line.

We see you as a whole person, not just an disembodied mouth full of teeth. When we meet with you, you will be able to talk about more than just your oral health. You will discuss your lifestyle, your past dental experiences, your goals, and your concerns. We want to create a long-term relationship with you—it benefits you and helps us do our jobs well.

We Listen

When we examine a patient and find a problem that needs treatment, there is rarely only one solution proposed. We take as much time as necessary explain the options and answer your questions.

By listening carefully, communicating clearly, and asking the right questions, we can fully assess the many vital factors that influence your present and future oral health.

Does This Sound Good to You?

Does patient-focused dental care make sense to you? If so, we invite you to become one of our valued patients. At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, available services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 7499

Super Smiles Have Strong Enamel

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Did you know that enamel is the hardest substance in the body? It’s true! This substance, found on the outer surface of your teeth, is meant to last a lifetime. But Boulder County  Smiles in Lafayette CO reminds you that just because it’s super durable doesn’t mean you don’t have to work to take care of it.

Here are some helpful tips for keeping enamel healthy.

1. Pick the right foods for enamel health. It’s no secret that soft drinks impair your teeth, and don’t think that diet sodas are harmless – the artificial sweeteners can also erode enamel over time. There are also other culinary culprits that can do a lot of harm. Sticky, chewy candies should be avoided. Chewing ice is a no-no. And don’t use your teeth as tools. Take a minute to grab some scissors before you rip open that package with your incisors.

On the flip side, foods with calcium can neutralize acid in your mouth and safeguard your enamel. So, enjoy your dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt!

2. Avoid vigorous brushing and use a soft brush. Also, it’s best to brush about an hour after eating, because foods, especially acidic ones, can soften the enamel, thus making it more prone to weakening from brushing. If your teeth are discolored or yellowish, you may feel you need to brush harder. Instead, examine teeth whitening and speak with your dentist.

3. Keep stomach acids in check. If you have a problem with severe heartburn, the stomach acid could be traveling up your esophagus and into your mouth. This acid can erode enamel, so it is essential to talk to your Lafayette doctor about treatment.

4. Talk to us about dry mouth and teeth grinding. Lack of saliva is a major trouble for tooth enamel, and it’s no surprise that teeth grinding can also wear it down. Make sure your dentist is aware if you experience either of these issues.

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO we want our patients to have the best dental health possible, and enamel health is a critical component. Our services include restorative and cosmetic dentistry. Make an appointment with us today.

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

ArticleID 7132

It’s Not About Vanity

Broomfield cosmetic dental and tooth implants

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we provide confidence and dignity to our patients through cosmetic dentistry.

Many people seem to have it all together with bright eyes and great smiles. We want you to be on the same footing as your friends, colleagues and customers. Wanting to look your best and feel your best is not about vanity, it’s about reality in the professional community. An unforgettable smile creates a favorable first impression and demonstrates polish and attention to detail. These are advantages for people in every field of work.

Popular ways to achieve such a worthy goal might be found in the services we offer at Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Lafayette. We offer prepless veneers, teeth whitening, and dental crowns as ways to improve your confidence and security.

No matter your age, 25 to 75 – no matter your location from Boulder County to Louisville to Broomfield – we invite you to see our state-of-the-art dental care in a comfortable environment staff and take the step toward that impressive smile you deserve.

Cosmetic dentistry from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO can transform your personal and professional life. We also offer valuable services like sedation dentistry, and sleep apnea treatment. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026