Aurora Dental, Southlands Dental Blog | Summit Smiles

Brush Up On Brushing Techniques

Many of our patients feel like they have a pretty good grasp on teeth brushing. Most of us begin brushing our own teeth between the ages of 3-5, so we’d like to think we know what we’re doing. However, there’s a good chance most of us haven’t reevaluated our teeth brushing habits until the day we learned to do it ourselves!

At different ages and stages of our lives, our teeth require different kinds of care. Because brushing our teeth is perhaps the most important part of any oral hygiene routine, it’s essential that you know how to update these habits to accommodate the needs of your teeth.

Below we’ve put together a few of the basics to help you brush up on your brushing basics:

  • Check Your Brush – First things first – assess your equipment! Your toothbrush should be medium or soft-bristled, so as not to do any damage to your gums. Your toothbrush should be approved by the American Dental Association, which means it’s undergone rigorous testing to make sure it will clean your teeth properly. Lastly, your toothbrush shouldn’t be older than 6 months, as the bristles will begin to fray and bacteria will start to build up. If your toothbrush doesn’t fit all of these requirements, toss it out and grab a new one! If you prefer a mechanical toothbrush, make sure to buy one with replaceable heads so you don’t have to purchase a whole new brush every 6 months.
  • Twice A Day – The American Dental Association has recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day – in the morning when you wake up and in the evening before bed. However, choosing to brush your teeth after lunch is a good idea as well, just to prevent any food debris from staying in your mouth for too long.
  • Two Minutes Each Time – If you’re spending less than two minutes brushing your teeth, there’s a good chance you aren’t thoroughly cleaning each tooth. If it helps, you can use a timer on your phone, hum the length of a song, or brush through an entire commercial break when watching TV. As long as you’re brushing for at least two minutes a time, use whatever trick will work for you!
  • Be Gentle – To avoid damage to your gums or even gum recession, please be gentle when you brush your teeth. A good way to make sure you’re not being too rough is to hold the brush with only 2 or 3 fingers, like holding a pencil. This will help you get in the habit of being gentle.

For more great tips on caring for your teeth, or to make an appointment, please contact Summit Smiles Dental, located in Aurora, CO!

Posted in Dental News

Everyday Habits That Could Be Damaging Your Teeth

Many of us live our daily lives and go about our daily business without ever considering the effect on our teeth. However, there are so many foods, drinks, and activities that can cause damage to your smile. A staggering 25% of U.S. adults over the age of 60 are missing all of their teeth! Read below for a few ways to make sure you don’t become one of these 25%!

Sugary Food

Sugar is the worst thing you can do for your teeth. This is because the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar. These bacteria then produce harmful acids that eat away at your tooth enamel, causing cavities and tooth decay. This is especially true of sticky sugar such as jellybeans and taffy. The longer the sugar is stuck to your teeth, the more damaging the effects will be.

Harmful Beverages

We all know how harmful soda is for our teeth. This is true even for sugar-free sodas. This is because soda is so acidic, and so are fruit juices with added sugar. We’d suggest steering clear of both. In addition, alcoholic beverages are also highly acidic and can cause dry mouth. Because saliva helps wash away the harmful acids, this is a double whammy to your teeth! If you do choose to drink these beverages, make sure to rinse your mouth with water afterwards to wash away the damaging substances.

Dangerous Activities

Many common activities can be very damaging to your teeth. This includes using your teeth as tools to open packages or bottle caps. It also includes smoking, and chewing tobacco, which will not only damage your teeth but your overall health as well. Some prescription medications can cause dry mouth, which will increase your risk of cavities, so be sure to check the side effects. Lastly, it’s important to wear a mouth guard during contact sports or other physical activities and a night guard if you suffer from bruxism (nighttime grinding and clenching).

As always, the best way to properly care for your teeth is with good oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing every day and coming to our office for regular appointments. Checkups include thorough cleanings and exams. To make an appointment, please contact Summit Smiles Dental, located in Aurora, CO!

Posted in Dental News

Bunny Approved Candy Alternatives For Your Child’s Easter Basket

The Easter Bunny is on his way and your kids are likely anxiously awaiting his arrival! Decorating and hunting Easter eggs can be the highlight of spring! However, those brightly colored Easter baskets don’t always need to be filled with chocolate and marshmallows and other super-sugary treats. These treats are yummy, but can cause cavities and tooth decay in the sensitive teeth of your little ones.

Alternatives to Easter Candy

This year, we’ve provided a list of candy alternatives with which to fill your child’s basket, while still keeping their teeth healthy:

  • A stuffed bunny instead of a chocolate one – Stuffed animals are everywhere during Easter, including bunnies, chicks, and other cuddly friends!
  • Treats for their teeth – Toothbrushes don’t have to be boring! Slip a new superhero or princess toothbrush into your child’s basket to add a little more fun to brushing. You can also find fun new flavors of toothpastes to include as well!
  • Snuggly blankets – Even though Easter is the beginning of spring, there may still be some chilly days. A soft, cuddly blanket is a great Easter basket filler!
  • Games – You can add some board games, card games, and puzzles to your child’s basket, providing fun that everyone can participate in together!
  • Outdoor activities – Now that it’s getting a bit warmer, you can include fun outdoor games to Easter baskets as well. This can include sidewalk chalk, water guns, frisbees, or a new slip n’ slide!
  • Books or movies – A new movie or a basket full of storybooks will provide fun for the whole family! Many of these can be Easter themed, but don’t necessarily need to be.

Here at Summit Smiles Dental, we want you to have the happiest, healthiest Easter! To schedule a cleaning and exam for the whole family, please contact our Aurora, CO office today!

Posted in Dental News

3 Cases of Strange Teeth

We all know about the common tooth problems – Cavities, gum disease, tooth decay, ect. But occasionally, dentists come across cases so bizarre that it’s hard to believe! We’ve tracked down 3 of these strange stories to make you feel a little bit better about your own tooth ailments!

Most teeth found in the human mouth

A 17-year-old boy named Ashiq Gavai was found to have 232 teeth in his mouth! Ashiq, who lives in a village in the Buldhana district of the Amravati region, began to notice swelling in his lower jaw.

Doctors at Mumbai’s J J Hospital diagnosed Ashiq with a condition called “composite odontoma,” which is described as a benign tumor of the tooth. The condition isn’t life threatening, but can cause extreme facial swelling, as well as trouble with chewing and talking. In the past, these tumors have been found to have up to 25 teeth embedded inside of them, but, in Ashiq’s case, this number was an incredible 232. Ashiq now has a normal set of 28 teeth, and is expected to make a full recovery!

Man found with tooth in his nose

A 22-year-old man from Saudi Arabia could not get his nosebleeds under control! Fearing that there was a larger problem, he visited a doctor, who made a very bizarre discovery – a shiny, white, bony mass, about a half an inch long, embedded in the man’s nose.

The doctor, who had a hunch, then consulted with a few dentists, who finally concluded that the mass was actually a tooth that had begun to grow inside the man’s nose! The man, who had an otherwise healthy set of teeth, had the tooth removed and made a full recovery.

Baby born with full set of teeth

Martha Muthoni, from Kenya, gave birth to a baby boy in 2010. He was healthy and normal in every way except one – the boy was born with a set of 28 teeth! Martha gave birth to her son, James, at home and then brought the baby to the hospital after discovering his teeth.

James is now a healthy five-year-old and lucky in the sense that he never had to experience the pain of teething!

Your dental history may not be as interesting as the above stories, but we still want to make sure you’re coming in for regular cleanings and exams! Please contact Summit Smiles Dental, located in Aurora, CO, to set up an appointment!

Posted in Dental News

Women May Be More Susceptible To Dry Mouth

Many medications on the market, many of them made primarily for women, warn of dry mouth as one of the side effects. These medications include some blood pressure medications, antidepressants, birth control pills, and cancer treatments. If you take any of these medications, it would be a good idea for you to check out the common side effects and see if dry mouth is one of them.

Dry mouth, or a lack of saliva production, can actually lead to dental problems. These problems can range from periodontal disease (also called gum disease) to a higher rate of tooth decay. Women who start some of these medications can go from having no cavities at all to suddenly finding themselves plagued with all sorts of dental issues.

Why Is Dry Mouth So Harmful?

Healthy saliva production is actually a very important part of maintaining your oral health. Saliva helps to wash away harmful bacteria and cleans out your mouth. When saliva production is decreased, these bacteria can accumulate and grow in your mouth, which can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Many different types of medication can reduce the saliva production and you may not even notice it. In addition to dry mouth, many birth control medications may also make you extra susceptible to gum disease as well.

There are ways to substitute your saliva production to help manage your dry mouth. One of these options is home fluoride treatment. You can get extra fluoride from prescription strength toothpaste, over-the-counter fluoride rinses, or specially made fluoride trays.

Obviously the benefits of the medications you may be taking will outweigh the risks associated with dry mouth. But, if you find that you’re taking a medication with dry mouth as a side effect, the very best way to maintain your dental health while taking this medication is to come in for regular dental cleanings and exams.

To make an appointment with Dr. Eric Wolfe, please contact Summit Smiles Dental, located in beautiful Aurora, CO.

Posted in Dental News

4 Harmful Dental Myths

There are so many myths floating around regarding your dental health. Many people buy into these myths as a way of avoiding regular dental checkups, but in the process you could actually be doing some real harm to your teeth, mouth and gums. We believe that a well-informed patient is a healthier patient, so we’re going to discuss these false myths in an effort to educate you about your oral health!

Below is a list of common dental myths. Once you realize these myths are false, you’ll be better equipped to take care of your beautiful smile.

  1. The whiter your teeth, the healthier they are
    In face, the natural color of teeth will vary from person to person. It’s possible for a person with sparkling white teeth to have very poor oral health and for a person with naturally darker teeth to have perfect oral hygiene. The color of your teeth has very little to do with how healthy they are.
  2. Flossing isn’t as important as brushing
    So many people skip the floss under the misconception that it’s not as important as brushing. But by not flossing, you’re actually neglecting up to 33% of the surfaces of your teeth that can’t be reached by your toothbrush. This can lead to gum disease, decay, and lots of unnecessary pain. Make sure you’re brushing at least once a day!
  3. More sugar means more cavities
    In the end, no matter what your diet consists of, it all comes down to your oral hygiene habits. A person who has higher sugar consumption but brushes and flosses diligently can actually have a healthier mouth that someone with a healthy diet but who neglects their oral hygiene.
  4. You shouldn’t brush bleeding gums
    Plaque can build up on your gums in the same way it can build up on your teeth, and can cause gum disease. This is why it’s just as important to be brushing your gums while you brush your teeth. If you have sensitive gums, you can brush your gums at an angle in order to avoid bleeding or irritation, but you should definitely still be brushing them.

In the end, the very best thing you can do for your oral health is to brush and floss daily, and to bring your family in for check up and a cleaning every 6-12 months!

To set up an appointment with Dr. Eric Wolfe, please contact Summit Smiles Dental, located in Aurora, CO.

Posted in Dental News

Setting Healthy Oral Hygiene Resolutions

It’s not surprising that studies have found that only 8% of people stick to their New Years resolutions. Many people have actually never been able to successfully keep their resolutions. Our problem may be the way we think about resolutions and the way we approach trying to make changes for the better. Here at Summit Smiles Dental, we suggest putting together a list of things you’d like to accomplish before 2016 is over, and we’d recommend adding some dental health related items to that list!

We’ve compiled a few suggestions of resolutions that, with time and effort, will be easy to keep and very beneficial to your overall health:

  • Brush and floss daily:Set a goal to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes. There are many mobile apps that can help you accomplish this goal, but simply setting a timer works just as well. You should also commit to floss at least once a day. If you never floss, start with flossing once or twice a work and then work your way up to once a day.
  • Quit smoking: Use of tobacco products is the main cause of severe periodontal (gum) disease in the United States. Not only will kicking this nasty habit benefit your oral health, but it will improve your overall health as well.
  • Go easy on the sweets:Try to set limits on your sugar consumption. When the enamel of your teeth is exposed to excessive sugar, the longer harmful acids have to attack the teeth and cause cavities and decay.

Setting an appointment for a dental cleaning and exam should be at the top of any healthy checklist. Before you begin your year of healthy dental habits, it’s important to start with a healthy, clean foundation. To set up your cleaning and exam, please contact Summit Smiles Dental located in Aurora, CO.

Posted in Dental News

Summer advice For Your Teeth

Summer is here, which for many people means vacations, sports, and fun in the sun! The summer months oftentimes bring a rise in athletic activities, and usually we see a small rise in oral related issues as well from these sports and activities. Here are some summer tips to keep you in the sun and out of the dental chair.

How can I protect against chipped and broken teeth?

All activities come with some risk of tooth damage. The easiest way to protect your teeth is to get a simple mouth guard from the sports store. Seems like a simple first step right? This is usually the one that is over looked. Get a mouth guard to protect that smile.

Broken teeth can be mended almost ‘good as new’ these days, sometimes with simple fillings, sometimes with beautiful porcelain created to match your smile. Lost teeth can be replaced almost invisibly. Call us if you experience this. We are always here to help.

What if a tooth is knocked out?

If you have a tooth knocked out, carefully place it in liquid – milk is the very best – or, if it’s clean, back in your mouth by your cheek and call right away. If we get the tooth back in place in 30 minutes or so, it may do just fine. If this happens you next call should be to us so we can get you in and take care of your tooth.

Are sports drinks bad for my teeth?
Let’s not even give the sports drinks a try. They are packed with sugar and for most of us we do not need the minerals they claim they provide. What is and always will be the best drink for your teeth and to quench your thirst. If you must have a sports drink, gulp it down and rinse your mouth with fresh cool water afterwards. Don’t sip on your sports drinks or pops for long periods of time. The acid build up will destroy your teeth and gums.

For any other questions about Oral Health please call Dr. Eric Wolfe at (303) 223-9897 or stop on by Summit Smiles and say hello at 6240 S Main St #260, Aurora, CO 80016

Posted in Dental News

3 Great Reasons To See Your Dentist During Orthodontic Treatment

  1. Plaque and tartar removal
    Braces are great for collecting all that extra food you want to hold to for later. Eventually, plaque and tartar can form around your brackets, bands or other appliances we place on your teeth. Professional cleanings and checkups with your dentist will help keep plaque and tartar at bay.
  2. Decalcification
    This is a serious condition where your teeth lose calcium. It is caused when bacteria buildup on your tooth enamel, it looks like white spots. It is irreversible and if left untreated, it will lead to cavities.
  3. Cavities
    Cavities can lengthen orthodontic treatment and that costs more time and more money. To accomplish your treatment on time it is vital for you to maintain regular dental checkups while we’re treating braces. Your dentist can provide fluoride treatments that strengthen your teeth and protect them from cavities. Some orthodontic patients who get a cavity during treatment may have their treatment completion delayed. In order to fill the cavity we may have to take off your braces to let the dentist go to work. This costs more time and money too and could mean you are in braces longer.

For any other questions about Oral Health please call Dr. Eric Wolfe at (303) 223-9897 or stop on by Summit Smiles and say hello at 6240 S Main St #260, Aurora, CO 80016

Posted in Dental News

What Are The Effects Of Chewing On Ice And Oral Health

Soon the warm months of summer will be upon us. We all reach for ice to cool off. Did you ever consider what the effects on oral health chewing on ice may have?

Due to the heavy forces that are applied while chewing, ice can chip tooth enamel and leave your teeth exposed. This causes tooth sensitivity and by lowering your mouths temperature it can make your teeth more susceptible to cracks. Who knew!

What about the effects on your gums? Obviously chewing ice may damage your teeth but what about my gums? Well, ice can sometimes have sharp edges that may cut the gums and would therefore lead to bleeding and swelling. Both of which are never good to see in your mouth. Worst of all you may cause gum recession and expose the root. That could lead to more problems.

So while the summer heat turns up reach for an ice cold glass of water. It’s great for your summer smile and will cool you to the core.

For any other questions about Oral Health please call Dr. Eric Wolfe at (303) 223-9897 or stop on by Summit Smiles and say hello at 6240 S Main St #260, Aurora, CO 80016

Posted in Dental News