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

 


Ask Us About Denture-Stabilization Implants

Boulder County tooth implants

The condition of your teeth has a big impact on your quality of life. Denture wearers understand this all too well. The path from a healthy mouth to a toothless mouth is downhill. Denture implants from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO can make an enormous difference.

The Drawbacks of Dentures

While dentures are better than having no teeth at all, they certainly come with drawbacks. They can irritate gums and make breathing, eating, tasting food, talking, and laughing difficult. And they’re not a once-and-your-done solution for missing teeth. As the jaw shrinks, they call for relines.

Stop The Progression

But there is reason for hope! Dental implant technology can improve the quality of life for people who have been wearing traditional dentures. To a certain extent, implants stop the downhill progression of declining oral health due to tooth loss.

Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth, to anchor overdentures. Mini dental implants (also called denture-stabilization implants) allow us to securely an appliance that won’t slip or irritate gums. Small titanium posts (the actual implants) are inserted into the jawbone, and in time fuse with the surrounding bone, creating a secure base for an overdenture.

Restore Chewing Ability

Did you know that some denture patients retain only ten percent of their chewing capacity? Denture implants can curb bone recession and restore near-normal chewing ability. Improved chewing function with implants can result in better nutrition and overall physical health and well-being.

Denture implants are among the services available at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO. We provide general and family dentistry, and have sedation options. Call to 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

 

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Is Your Smile Holding You Back?

Broomfield cosmetic smile makeover

A question from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO: have you ever taken an unanticipated trip to the grocery store looking completely unkempt? You know: one of those in-a-rush trips for an emergency item – say cough medicine or a must-have poster board for your child’s school assignment?

On such an occasion you will inevitably bump into someone you know. How do you feel in your sloppy sweatpants and stained T-shirt? Or worse yet, pajamas.

Our outward appearance influences the way we feel inside. In professional situations, don’t you feel more self-confident when you are wearing flattering, pulled-together business clothes? Aren’t you more likely to vocalize your opinion when you are comfortable in your own skin?

When encountering someone for the first time, don’t you feel better when you are having a good hair day or have cleared up a recent bout of acne? Blind dates are brutal when you don’t feel at the top of your game.

Attractive clothing, well-groomed hair, and a fit body boost self-esteem for most folks. But do you know what people notice before any of these characteristics? Your face. Specifically, your smile and eyes. Multiple studies have shown that dazzling teeth and eyes immediately capture attention. Now, it’s difficult to change your eyes unless you get colored contacts. But stunning smiles are within reach because at Boulder County Smiles, we can work miracles with cosmetic dentistry.

With specialized training, finely honed skills, modern equipment, and quality lab services, we can turn unattractive smiles into stunning first-impressions using a variety of state-of-the-art cosmetic dental procedures. Boulder County Smiles patients who have received cosmetic dental smile makeovers report feeling more confident, more attractive, more effective at work, and happier in their relationships. Some even say that they take more risks and observe more success.

If you are not satisfied with your smile, you are probably not aware of the influence it has had on your confidence and self-image. Don’t hide behind an unattractive smile any longer. Call Boulder County Smiles. We offer cosmetic dentistry, procedures like dental implants, and many other services. Call today to schedule an appointment.

Contact Boulder County Smiles:

720-862-3630

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
Lafayette, Colorado
80026

 

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Do Veneers Make Teeth Look Bigger?

Boulder County cosmetic dental and tooth implants

A well-designed veneer from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO does not make your tooth look larger – unless you want it to. A veneer can correct many cosmetic dental problems and is a minimally invasive restoration. During the placement of some porcelain veneers, an extremely thin layer of enamel is removed from the tooth.

If you have teeth with damage, discoloration, an irregular shape or minimal to moderate misalignment, you have several dental remedies to choose from. Don’t worry if you feel that veneers seem to have more cons than pros for you. You have alternative options. We can analyze your smile, your needs, and your goals to develop a perfect plan.

Boulder County Smiles offers the highest standard of dental care and the full spectrum of vital services including:

dental crowns
teeth whitening
sedation dentistry
Invisalign clear braces
prepless veneers

Porcelain veneers are just one of the cosmetic dentistry services from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO. 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

 

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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


Gritting Your Teeth: Stress And Your Smile

Lafayette how stress hurts your teeth

Doctors have been telling us for years that stress can increase the risk of everything from high blood pressure to depression. But how often do we think about how stress affects our smile? In this post from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, here are some dental problems linked to stress.

Canker and Cold Sores
Cold sores are a symptom of the herpes simplex virus. Scientists don’t know exactly what causes canker sores but suspect they are related to infection, virus, or a weak immune system. If you are prone to mouth sores, you probably already know that stress seems to bring them on or lengthen healing times.

If you get these sores often, talk to us. We can counsel you on medications, diet, and stress reduction procedures.

Teeth Grinding

It’s no surprise that teeth grinding (bruxism) is dangerous to teeth. It starts with enamel wear, then loose teeth, and eventually tooth loss. During this progression, there may be other issues such as gum recession, headaches, and TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder).

If you grind your teeth, it’s vital to address this condition as soon as possible. In addition to stress, there are many factors that can cause or exacerbate bruxism. These include malocclusion (bad bite), and prescription depression and anxiety medications.

We may prescribe an appliance to guard your teeth and keep your jaw in the proper position while you are sleeping. Other treatments include cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation therapies, mandibular advancement devices, physical therapy, and medication.

Temporomandibular Disorders
There are many direct and indirect causes of TMD. For example, inability to manage stress may cause jaw clenching which, in turn, causes pain in the jaw joint. Other symptoms of TMD include tenderness, pain, or swelling in the neck, ear, face, or shoulder; popping or clicking sounds; and changes in bite alignment. Again, if you experience any of these, talk to us about it.

Gum Disease
Stress can reduce your ability to fight plaque build-up which can cause gingivitis.

Oral Hygiene
Some people overlook brushing and flossing when they are experiencing high levels of stress.

Diet
It’s not uncommon for men and women people to consume more sugar, snack more often between meals, or drink more alcoholic beverages when experiencing increased stress. All this at a time when vigilant oral hygiene is frequently not a person’s first priority!

At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we can treat TMD. We also offer dental implants and many other services. 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 7029

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

Let’s Talk About It

cosmetic dental Lafayette

Few physical improvements have such a meaningful impact on attractiveness and self-confidence as a smile makeover. Excellent oral health and a pleasing smile contribute to overall physical health and a high quality of life. If you have ever wondered how cosmetic dentistry could change your life, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, so we can talk about it.

We believe that the initial consultation is the most important part of any treatment plan. During your smile redesign consultation we will talk about the following issues:

  • Your goals for how you want your smile to look and feel after the makeover.
  • The state of your oral health.
  • The specific characteristics of your teeth and gums that you wish to correct.
  • Which specific treatments are needed.
  • A detailed explanation of each necessary treatment (e.g. porcelain veneers, dental crowns, inlays/onlays, gum contouring, crown lengthening, tooth implants, braces, or teeth whitening).
  • You can see before and after pictures of smile transformation patients.
  • Your options for how to schedule the procedures (all at once or over time).
  • Information about conscious sedation.
  • Answers to any questions or concerns.
  • Cosmetic dentistry costs and financing options.

Your sensational smile begins with an exam and consultation with Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO. Our services include cosmetic and general dentistry. Schedule an appointment 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 7290

A Great Achievement in Dentistry

Dental implants have been hailed as one of the truly great advances in the field of dentistry, and with good reason. Implants are an artificial tooth root that is surgically implanted into the jaw of a patient, to replace a missing root. The implant, in turn, can support an artificial tooth; multiple implants can anchor a set of dentures. Dental implants are available from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO.

But first, there are times when we have to take a moment and marvel at human ingenuity. The idea of dental implants actually goes back at least a thousand years. Ancient implants were a far cry from what we know today: sea shells, pieces of metal, and even bits of bone were placed in the patient’s jaw. We don’t know if any of them were any good, but the idea was there.

Implants as we know them today date back to the early 1950s. The implant is most often made from titanium. One of their great benefits is that they help to prevent bone loss, which is common in people who have lost one of their natural teeth.

In practical terms, the great thing about single implants is that they function like a natural tooth. The titanium post fuses to the patient’s jaw, and integrates with the bone so well that the body seldom recognizes them as a foreign object. Rejection is rare.

Conventional dentures may be more affordable than implant-anchored dentures. But because they are removable, most patients find that traditional dentures can be unreliably loose. They can also affect the ability to enjoy food. These are not issues with implant-supported dentures.

Dental implants from Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette are the closest thing to getting back a natural tooth. Find out more by scheduling a consultation today. We also provide general and family dentistry, and pediatric dentistry.

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


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