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

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

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)

dry mouth treatment Lafayette

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

Lafayette best family dentist

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

Boulder County cosmetic dental veneers

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