When you think of a healthy smile, you envision a mouth full of bright, white teeth free of cavities and gum disease. All the teeth are straight and smooth. You want teeth like that. If you did, you would know that your mouth has optimum health. Are all the signs of your dental health visible?
There are both visible and invisible signs that your teeth and gums are healthy.
The Visible Signs of a Healthy Smile
- White teeth, free of excessive staining.Teeth naturally turn a yellow color with age. Teeth that are excessively yellow or have yellow or dark portions can indicate tooth decay.
- Teeth that are straight and do not appear excessively long.Crooked teeth are harder to take care of and are more likely to have tooth decay. Against the common myth, teeth don’t “get longer” as one ages. Teeth will appear “longer” when the gums are receding. Gum recess is a sign of gum disease.
- Gums that are firm and a pale pink color.Gums that are white, dark pink or red indicate the presence of inflammation and possible gum disease.
- Gums that aren’t recessed too low.The gums should recede no more than 3 millimeters from the bottom of the teeth.
- A smooth, pink tongue.The tongue has thousands of papillae on the surface which allows the tongue to detect taste and temperature of food. In and around these sensors are places where germs and bacteria accumulate. Proper tongue cleaning will remove the white film that decayed food particles leave behind. Canker sores or red patches on the tongue can indicate a potentially serious health condition such as diabetes or cancer.
- An aligned bite.The teeth on the top jaw and bottom jaw are to align so that the wear and pressure of biting and chewing will be evenly distributed. A misaligned bite is not only a sign of an unhealthy mouth, but it can also cause other problems like ear aches and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
Invisible Signs of a Healthy Mouth
- The absence of tooth sensitivity. One of the hallmark symptoms of tooth disease is tooth sensitivity. If your teeth are pain-free and free of sensitivity, chances are they are healthy and don’t have cavities.
- Fresh breath.It can be hard to have fresh breath all the time. In the mornings everyone’s breath is less than pleasant. Persistent bad breath even after brushing, flossing and using mouth wash can indicate disease and decay. If your breath is fresh, it means there is nothing decaying in your mouth.
- A mouth free of pain and discomfort.Pain is the body’s way of letting you know something isn’t right. A mouth that is pain-free is one that is in proper working condition.
- A mouth that is moist.A healthy mouth will be naturally moist with saliva. This is the body’s built-in mouth wash. A dry mouth provides a more hospitable environment for germs, bacteria and eventually plaque to grow and accumulate.
A healthy mouth goes beyond just “skin deep.” There are both visible and invisible signs of a healthy mouth. However, even if you have all the signs of a healthy mouth, there could possibly be some underlying oral health concerns that only a trained eye of a dental professional will be able to recognize.
This is why it is important to see us at LeDowns Dentistry every six months for a professional teeth cleaning and oral examination. At-home oral hygiene isn’t enough to achieve or maintain a healthy mouth. You also need the regular check-up by a dental professional.
A healthy mouth is a beautiful mouth. If it has been more than six months since your last dental office visit, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
It’s a brand-new year, and a great time to look back and see what we’ve accomplished and look forward to set new goals for all the great things we want to do in the next 12 months.
New Year’s Resolutions, though, are notoriously difficult to keep. We go into them with the very best of intentions, but tend to lose interest and motivation all too quickly.
However, if there’s one resolution we can unreservedly recommend it’s this: to get and maintain a great smile.
Why is this such an important resolution?
Let’s just consider some of the benefits of a simple smile.
First, there are physical benefits. A smile can help you look younger (actually proven in studies) and feel better. People who smile a lot seem to have lower stress-hormone levels, which leads to a number of other health benefits.
There are also a number of psychological benefits. A smile can help improve your mood. For that matter, it can help boost others’ moods.
For you, a smile tells your brain that there is a reason to be happy, so it will accommodate you by releasing some natural “feel good” chemicals. But it’s also important to note that a smile is literally contagious. The more you smile the more others will want to smile back.
Finally, there are many social benefits to sharing your smile. People often report improved work situations, more confidence, and better relationships when they more readily smile at others. Smiles can reduce conflict and help others feel more comfortable around you. That means people are more open to honest conversations and new ideas.
As you go into the new year, just imagine how such a thing can improve your relationships, re-energize your body, and open you up to a whole bunch of new opportunities.
How to Get a Great Smile
Don’t let self-conscious feelings keep you from experiencing these great benefits. It’s easier than ever to deal with a wide range of cosmetic dental concerns and get the smile you’ve always wanted. Whether it’s stained or discolored teeth, chips or cracks, or even completely missing teeth, we can help you take care of it.
Just a few of the potential treatments that can help you get a great smile include:
- Teeth Whitening – One of the most common cosmetic procedures that can produce immediate results.
- Implants – Replace missing teeth with strong and durable titanium implant and custom crown.
- Tooth-Colored Fillings – Replace those old metal fillingswith a material that mimics your natural teeth.
- Veneers – Cover up damage and discolorationwhile reshaping and reinforcing your teeth.
- Dental Crowns – Misshapen, broken, or worn-out teeth can be treated with these custom caps.
- Teeth Straightening – Invisalign is an effective way to reposition your teeth and improve your bite.
More than Just Looks
A great smile is actually about more than just looks. While we already mentioned the physical feel-good benefits of smiling, these services actually go beyond that.
Things like missing teeth, cracked or crooked teeth, and a misaligned bite can have an unwanted impact on your overall dental health. You can protect yourself from infections and cavities by taking advantage of these treatments.
A New Smile for a New Year
If you are going to make a new resolution this year, let us recommend one that involves a healthy new smile.
A smile may seem like a small and simple thing, but it may be a lot more important than you think.
Contact us today to see how we can help you keep this resolution.
LeDowns Dentistry was happy to join the Green Valley Ranch community in their annual Trunk or Treat event this year.
This is a fun and safe way for kids to go trick-or-treating, and we love handing out “treats” that are good for your teeth! (Would you expect anything less from your favorite Green Valley Ranch Dentist?)
We had the “tooth fairy” there for the kids to meet, and nearly 400 children came to the event. This is something that we enjoy doing every year and are already looking forward to next year’s event.
When you go to the dentist, you likely fear being told that you have a cavity or two. You don’t think about the possibility of having gum disease.
Gum disease, while it is common, can become a serious oral health issue if it isn’t promptly diagnosed and properly treated.
When you go visit the dentist for a routine exam and cleaning, we’ll check for gum disease. Some of the procedures you may expect include: using a probe to measure the “pockets” of your gums, take X-rays of your mouth and ask about your medical history to identify risk factors.
If your dentist discovers that you have gum disease, it is probably gingivitis. This common, low-level for of gum disease can be easily treated and the damage can be reversed with simple methods such as improving one’s at-home oral hygiene routine.
If you ignore your gingivitis, it can progress into the serious periodontitis. This high-level form of gum disease can have significant, negative impacts on one’s oral health and the damage is irreversible. It is not easily treated like gingivitis is. Periodontal disease can result in lost teeth and/or a weakening and damaging of the jaw bone.
However, you can get an idea of whether or not you have gum disease before visiting the dentist. Here are some telltale signs to look out for:
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Bright red, swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums that bleed very easily
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums that look like they are pulling away from the teeth or teeth that appear long
- White spots on the gums
- Pus between gums or teeth
- Change in the way the teeth fit together in the mouth or spaces opening between teeth
- Change in the way partial dentures fit
This list isn’t a comprehensive list, but lists the most common symptoms. Patients can have gum disease without experiencing any symptoms, making it important to make regular appointments with our dental office.
Gum Disease Treatment
If you and our dentist find that you do indeed have gum disease, quick treatment is necessary to keep it from getting worse. There are numerous treatment options available that aim at controlling the progress of gum disease.
The best course of treatment we’ll recommend will be determined on how severe your gum disease is. Sometimes treatment can be something such as quitting smoking or bettering your at-home oral hygiene routine. If you have periodontitis, the treatment is more involved and custom to each patient.
Regardless of the treatment our dentist recommends, proper, at-home oral hygiene is essential in keeping one’s gum disease manageable.
Regular deep cleaning done at the dentist office, combined with proper at-home oral hygiene is often the best way to stem gum disease.
If, however, one’s gum disease develops into periodontal disease, more extreme treatment may be necessary. Deep scaling and root planing are common periodontal disease treatment procedures. Other more, extensive treatment options include “flap surgery,” pocket reduction surgery, tissue grafts and laser therapy and localized antibiotics.
While cavities are bad for your oral health, gum disease can be as equally devastating and should be taken seriously. You may have gum disease and not know it, making it important to see us at least every six months.
The longer you ignore your gum disease, the worse it gets and the harder and more expensive it gets to treat.
If it has been more than six months since your last dental exam and cleaning contact LêDowns Dentistry, your Denver CO dentist, today to schedule an appointment. You can now book your new patient exam or cleaning appointment online at ledownsdentistry.com. We look forward to hearing from you and to help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.
Spring means a fresh start.
You may have cleaned up your home, you’ve likely been cleaning out your closet getting ready for a new wardrobe and you may even be going to gym and eating healthy meals to get swimsuit-ready.
While you’re in the process of making over your home, body and style, why not freshen and renew your smile?
Maybe you’ve been neglecting the enhancement of your smile out of busyness or maybe you’ve let years of poor oral hygiene and bad dietary choices get out of hand and you feel like it’s too late to improve your smile.
If you fall into one of these categories, schedule an appointment with us right away so we can clean your teeth and gums and examine them for possible issues. We’ll also suggest treatment.
If you routinely visit the dentist, and you’ve been following a strong at-home oral hygiene routine, a smile makeover can be as simple as getting veneers or having your teeth professionally whitened.
Do you have any teeth that are cracked, chipped, rough or misshapen?
If so, veneers are what you may need to enhance your smile for spring.
Veneers are thin layers of porcelain placed over the surface of teeth. They improve the look of your smile as well as correct any slight misalignment of your bite. They are also strong and durable enough to last many years if you maintain good dental hygiene.
Getting veneers is a comparatively quick, easy and routine procedure done by your cosmetic dentist in Denver, taking only one dental office visit and as little as a few minutes depending on how many veneers are needed.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Maybe you don’t have any noticeable dental malformities or abnormalities. Your smile is decent, but it’s sparkling white vibrancy has been muted by the inevitable yellow tinge that comes from use and everyday life.
Did you know that a teeth whitening procedure can greatly improve one’s smile in just a single treatment?
Sure, you can try the at-home teeth whitening kits and products and hope for the best, but these products take longer to yield noticeable results, and they aren’t as significant as they could be or last nearly as long as a professional treatment.
At LêDowns Dentistry, we use one of the most effective bleaching systems available to give you the whitest, brightest smile possible. The professional teeth whitening system we use is called the Kor Whitening System, which was developed by a renowned teeth-bleaching expert and dentist, Dr. Rod Kurthy.
The Kor teeth whitening system gives a thorough and deep whitening of every tooth, including the hard-to-reach ones.
Our professional teeth whitening in Denver CO is a fast and routine procedure with often little or no pain and discomfort. Your teeth will be noticeably whiter when you walk out of the office after your appointment.
Our cosmetic dental specialists will carefully apply the right amount of bleaching agent to give you a bright, yet natural looking teeth.
This spring, as you’re getting rid of the old and putting on the new, don’t forget your smile. Simple, quick, routine cosmetic dental procedures such as veneers and professional teeth whitening can be all you need to transform, freshen and brighten your smile for this new season.
If you’re looking to transform your smile this spring, contact us today at LeDowns Dentistry and schedule an appointment.
This was a great opportunity, and we were thrilled to work with the magazine to tell this story.
For those of you who aren’t subscribers to this particular periodical, this is the story of how Dr. Lê herself experienced a full arch reconstruction, and how that affected her interactions with patients over the years.
This, she says in the article, is something that many dentists forget – especially when it comes to the bigger dental procedures: Things are a little different on the other side of the drill.
A lot of patients, too, never realize that their dentist may have also experienced the exact same things they’re going through. After all, these are dental care specialists. They obviously know how to take care of their own teeth and never have any problems.
In fact, Dr. Lê explains throughout the article that it was never quite that simple.
Dr. Lê went through two years of braces and had her premolars extracted, but still didn’t get the results she wanted. So, she opted for another round of braces, hoping to finally close the gaps in her teeth.
After nine months into this second round, they finally came off and the doctor told her that this was “as good as it gets” and that she’d just have to live with the remaining gaps.
This experience really affected her, and shaped her philosophy on helping patients understand their needs and providing true comprehensive dentistry.
Years went by and Dr. Lê’s career and personal life continued to advance. She was still looking for an opportunity to correct the gaps in her teeth.
The right time finally came when, in 2013, Dr. Downs was scheduled to teach a full arch reconstruction course at a dental laboratory out in Utah.
As part of this course, Dr. Downs preps and places a full arch or full mouth reconstruction on a volunteer patient.
So, Dr. Lê decided to volunteer.
The results were exactly what she had wanted for years.
More than that, though, she learned a lot of things about herself and how patients experience things from the other side of the drill.
Now, she works hard to prepare her patients for what they expect, and she even encourages other doctors to get restorative treatments if they need it.
One of the largest benefits (aside from developing a little more empathy for the patient) is that she gets to be a living example of what they, themselves, can have.
Every dental website has testimonials and before-and-after pictures.
Not every dentist can show their patients in person exactly what a restored smile looks like.
LêDowns Dentistry was thrilled to have this chance to be featured in Aesthetic Dentistry, and hopes you get a chance to check out the entire article.
In recent years, the dental health world has exploded with new technologies and techniques that have vastly
improved the lives and smiles of people all over the world. However, since these techniques and materials are still relatively new, there are many remnants of the old way of doing things hanging around. As an example, many people alive today still have their old silver fillings. Many dentists are starting to avoid filling cavities with silver fillings, but are OK with their patients keeping those silver fillings.
If you have silver fillings, you might be wondering if they’re still safe to have in your mouth. These types of fillings have a long, controversial past that’s worth examining.
The History of Silver Fillings
Silver fillings, also known as amalgam fillings, were first invented in 1819 by an English chemist. These fillings were made up of a variety of different materials, including mercury, silver and tin. Almost from the moment the first amalgam filling was used, there was controversy, centered mostly around the mercury content found in the fillings. Many people, including dentists, were concerned that the mercury in the fillings would cause major health problems in patients.
Are Silver Fillings Safe?
Because of the controversy surrounding silver fillings, there have been a huge number of studies performed examining the overall safety of using them in the human mouth. For the most part, the studies have ended with the consensus that silver fillings are still safe to use. However, there are still vocal counterparts that argue against the efficacy and health concerns related to amalgam fillings.
When They Need to be Replaced
Replacing your old silver fillings can be a touchy subject. Many dentists want to replace them as soon as they see them in their patients, and other dentists advice waiting until they become a problem. Both opinions hold their own merits. If you have silver fillings, its best to consult with your dentist and see what they say.
The typical reasons to remove silver fillings include:
- Age – All fillings age over time and this aging process can weaken the fillings’ overall effectiveness at keeping the decay away. If your filling is loose, you can experience cavities in teeth that have already been filled.
- Fractures – Amalgam fillings can lead to fractures and cracks in your teeth because of the amount of tooth removed during the filling process. If your dentist notices these fractures, they’ll likely want to replace the filling.
- Cosmetic – There’s no way around it. Silver fillings just don’t look as good as the composite fillings. If you want fillings that match the color of your tooth, it’s time to get the old ones replaced.
Consult with Your Dentist
If you have silver fillings and are considering getting them replaced, it’s time to set up an appointment at our office and talk to us about your options. We’ll take a look at your old amalgam fillings and determine if there is any reason we should or shouldn’t replace them. Getting tooth colored fillings can greatly improve the look of your smile. Don’t wait to get your appointment set up today.
Have you tried simple cosmetic treatments like teeth whitening and left feeling dissatisfied with the end result? Do you have imperfections like cracks or gaps in your teeth that you want to fix without invasive surgery? IF this sounds like your situation, you may want to consider getting dental veneers.
Cosmetic dentistry has advanced to the point that you can get these imperfections fixed without advanced and painful surgical procedures. Veneers are a simple and cost-effective way of fixing the minor imperfections and flaws on the surface of your teeth. If you’re interested in veneers, read on the learn more about them and how they can help your smile shine brighter.
What are Veneers?
First, it’s helpful if you know exactly what veneers are and how they help your smile look and feel better than ever before. Veneers are simply thin layers of material placed over your teeth to cover up the flaws. They’re typically made from porcelain, but they can also be made from composite resin. Veneers are becoming a more popular choice in people looking for a simple solution to their dental woes.
Reasons to Get Veneers
There are a ton of different reasons why you might need to get veneers. Some of these reasons include the following:
- Chips and Cracks – If you have chips or cracks in your teeth, veneers can easily cover them up. The good thing about this is that veneers don’t only serve a cosmetic purpose. Veneers can also keep cracks and chips from getting worse over time.
- Discoloration – Veneers can also help cover up mild to severe discoloration. Veneers are sometimes the only option for staining that can’t be fixed with simple tooth whitening solutions. Veneers offer a good alternative to tooth whitening and can achieve a much brighter look overall.
- Gaps – If your teeth are misaligned, veneers can help with that, too. Misalignment often causes gaps in your teeth, which would typically take years to fix with orthodontics. Veneers can cover those gaps in the span of a couple hours, which is all the time it takes for your dentist to put them on.
There may also be other reasons for getting veneers based on your individual dental situation.
Consult Your Dentist
If you think veneers might be the right choice for you to improve the look of your smile, it’s worth it to look into getting a consultation from your local dentist in Denver. We can assess your individual situation and outline the pros and cons, if any, for getting veneers on your teeth. During your consultation, we’ll take a look at the shape of your teeth to determine if there is any reasons veneers won’t work for you. Then, we’ll outline the plan we should take specifically for you.
If you decide to go through with getting your veneers, we’ll schedule another appointment. During this appointment, the dentist will buff the front of your teeth to prepare them for receiving the veneers. This also serves to lower the surface of your teeth, which will then be replaced by the veneer. After that, the veneers will be placed, and you’ll be set to go!
It’s that time of year when people are running around to finish up their holiday shopping. It’s a busy—sometimes stressful—season that is punctuated by time spent with family and friends.
As you shop for gifts, you’re likely thinking about what that person loves. Unfortunately, there is one thing that many people forget around the holiday season, and that’s their oral health. It’s easy to understand and forget during this time of year, when treats abound and your schedule stays packed, but it’s critical that you don’t forget your oral health. So, why not make a gift out of oral health?
Gifting your loved ones things that help them improve their oral health can be a thoughtful and fun idea that also has health benefits. Take a look at some of these ideas and incorporate them into your holiday shopping plans.
- Toothbrush and Floss – These essential oral hygiene tools are important for everyone to have. Many people forget that they need to replace their toothbrushes on a regular basis. Toothbrushes and floss are perfect stocking stuffers and they’re incredibly affordable if you’re on a budget. You can’t go wrong with gifting a new toothbrush and floss.
- Electric Toothbrush – Electric toothbrushes are becoming more popular as people realize how convenient and effective they are at cleaning your teeth. With an electric toothbrush, your loved ones can comprehensively clean their teeth more efficiently overall. They also provide helpful features like timers that help them ensure they’re brushing for a long enough duration.
- Water Flosser – Water flossers are like electric toothbrushes in the fact that they are powered devices that help you more efficiently clean your teeth. Rather than twist the string floss around your fingers and shove them into your mouth, you can use a water flosser to get that food out of your teeth. Water flossers make it easier for your loved ones to floss, which is one of the most commonly forgotten oral hygiene processes.
- Sugar Free Gum and Candy – If you have a sweet tooth in your life, you know just how much unhealthy and sugar-filled candy you can go through without problem. Sugar free gum and candy make perfect gifts for your sugar-addicted loved ones. They also make great stocking stuffers and are incredibly affordable.
- A Trip to the Dentist – If your loved ones haven’t seen the dentist in a while, you might want to give them the gift of a dental checkup. While this may not seem like the most desirable gift, it may be just the push your loved one needs to get back into the dental chair and on the right track again. Set up an appointment with us, your dentist in Denver, to get them going again.
Your Loved Ones’ Oral Health Matters
Taking care of your own oral health is relatively simple, but when it comes to helping others, you may run into roadblocks. If you’re worried about your loved ones’ oral health, don’t hesitate to get them gifts that can help them get healthy again.
Many life circumstances often require you to be in close quarters with other people, whether and event, meeting, interview, or conversation. If you have bad breath, it can really affect the situation and cause you a lot of embarrassment.
If you’re suffering from bad breath, you might be wondering what’s causing it and how you can fix it. Much like other dental problems, bad breath—clinically referred to as halitosis—can be caused by a wide variety of things.
Poor Dental Hygiene
One of the biggest causes of halitosis is poor oral hygiene or care. If you aren’t brushing and flossing your teeth well enough at regular intervals, the leftover food and associated plaque can start to stink.
Underlying Health Conditions
There are a umber of health issues that may also cause your breath to stink. Do you have a cold, sinus infection or pneumonia? Bad breath can also be a sign that you have diabetes, acid reflux or digestion problems.
Dry mouth can be a big factor in the way your breath smells. Your saliva is a huge deterrent to the “bad” bacteria that wants to grow in your mouth. If you don’t produce as much saliva, that bad bacteria can grow better and cause smellier conditions.
Dental Health Problems
Dental issues like gum disease, tooth abscesses, and cavities can cause halitosis. These things are often caused by the bad bacteria you want to avoid, which in turn increases the bad smell.
Smoking and Alcoholism
Smoking and alcohol abuse are common causes for bad bacteria, along with other tobacco products like chewing tobacco.
How to Treat It
If you deal with chronic bad breath, the first thing you should do is try and identify what may be causing it. Consider the causes listed above and see if there is anything there that you can easily identify and correct on your own. Things like upping your dental hygiene game and dropping the tobacco and alcohol consumption can eliminate bad breath almost immediately.
If you can’t easily identify the cause to your bad breath, it’s time to come in and see your dentist in Denver CO. Set up an appointment with your dentist wherever you are, sooner rather than later. The sooner you correct your halitosis, the quicker you can enjoy social interactions again and get your oral health back on track. Your dentist will perform a comprehensive examination of your mouth and may suggest you see a doctor if they suspect underlying medical issues.
After diagnosing a cause, your dentist or doctor will provide you a treatment plan. The way you treat your bad breath depends entirely on what’s causing it in the first place. If it’s an underlying medical condition, medication and fixing the problem can correct your halitosis. If it’s a cavity or abscess, dental procedures will help.
How to Prevent It
Preventing halitosis is just as important—if not more important—as treating it. If you never have to experience bad breath in the first place, all the better. Bad breath prevention can also come in many forms, but the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a few things:
- Preform regular dental hygiene.
- See your dentist regularly.
- Only eat sugarless gum and sugar free candy.
- Drink water regularly to stimulate saliva production so your mouth stays moist.
- Quit smoking and other tobacco-related hobbies.
- Use over-the-counter mouthwash to kill the bacteria causing your bad breath. Be aware that mouthwash won’t solve your underlying issues; it will only temporarily mask the odor.