Whether it’s your first time taking your child to the dentist or it’s been many years since you last stepped foot in a dental office, it can be stressful. You likely have many questions about your dental health and that of your family.
What questions should you ask? Below are some of the more common questions patients ask their dentists and a brief answer to them.
Many times, knowing some information about dental care before you visit your dentist will help curb some of the stress, anxiety, fear and embarrassment you may have. This will help result in a more pleasant dental office experience.
- What do I do in a dental emergency?
Dental emergencies are when a tooth is knocked out, there is bleeding in the mouth, there is a tooth abscess or the patient experiences severe pain in the mouth, jaw, face or head. As emergencies can happen at any time, it is possible that the dentist office is closed. If it is open, go see your dentist immediately. If the office is closed, some dentists have emergency numbers patients can call. If the emergency requires immediate treatment and care, visit the closest hospital emergency room.
- What age do I bring my child in for the first time?
Children should be introduced to the dentist and the dental office by their first birthday. A brief exam may be done at this appointment. Children should have their first teeth cleaning at the age of two.
- What kind of toothpaste and mouthwash should I use?
Toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval and toothpaste with fluoride are the kinds of toothpastes dentists recommend to their patients. For mouthwash, also look for ones that have been approved by the ADA and which don’t contain alcohol.
- What if I have a fear of the dentist?
The fear of the dentist is common for both children and adults. Most dental offices offer mild sedation to relax and calm anxious patients and make their visits quick, efficient and as smooth as possible.
- Are x-rays safe?
X-rays used in dental offices today are safe for all patients. Some offices now have high-tech, 3 D imaging technology that substitutes or works in conjunction with x-rays. Even with the safe and proper use of x-ray machines, dental assistants and hygienists are highly trained in x-ray precautions.
- Why do my gums bleed?
Bleeding gums just after flossing for the first couple times is normal as your sensitive gum tissue reacts to the harsh floss. If your gums regularly bleed or are swollen and red, it may indicate the onslaught of gum disease and you should schedule an appointment with your dentist.
- Why are my teeth sensitive?
Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods and liquids can be a sign of a potentially major dental issue, though that is not always the case. Tooth sensitivity is the result of the breakdown of the tooth dentin, the hard, protective outer layer of the tooth. When this layer gets worn down either by improper brushing, cavities, or receding gums due to periodontitis, the tooth roots and/or pulp, which contains nerves get exposed. Tooth sensitivity can also indicate the need to replace a filling or crown.
- How often should I see the dentist?
At LeDowns Dentistry, we encourage our patients (both children and adults) to come in every six months for a dental cleaning and exam.
- What’s the best at-home dental care routine?
To best protect your mouth from plaque, tartar and germs, it is recommended that patients brush their teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. Flossing and using mouthwash at least once a day is also recommended. Replacing toothbrushes every 3 months, using fluoride toothpaste and alcohol-free mouthwash, eating a healthy, balanced diet, limiting snacks and sugar intake and avoiding tobacco are other habits patients can practice at home to ensure a healthy mouth.
- How do I prevent tooth decay and gingivitis?
The best, most effective way to give your mouth a fighting chance against tooth decay and gum disease is to practice a good at-home dental hygiene routine like the one listed above, combines with regular visits to the dentist and taking care of the health of the rest of your body.
Brush and rinse after meals, avoid excessive sugar and foods that are hard, crunchy and sticky. Floss daily, eat a nutritious diet and exercise.
Being armed with some oral health know-how can give you the confidence to make your dental experience less intimidating and scary. Being familiar with the answers of basic dental questions will provide more motivation to help you and your family make visiting the dentist every six months a part of your dental hygiene routine.
At LeDowns Dentistry, our dentists and staff are happy to answer any questions you may have concerning your dental health. We also strive to provide a welcoming and comfortable environment that puts patients at ease.
No matter what questions you may have, contact us today to schedule an appointment and we’d be glad to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.
We are grateful to be featured in the 5280 Mile High City annual list of Denver’s dentists for 2017. 2017 has been an amazing year. We opened a new office, and have continued to provide the same excellent service to our hundreds of patients. We love seeing people walk out of our offices with a smile on their faces.
Check out our profile on 5280 HERE
Check out the article HERE
You can find the the latest distribution of 5280 Mile High City on news stands today! Don’t forget to call us to schedule your appointment!
When it comes to kids, there’s nothing more important than starting to take care of their health early. Since the moment a child is born, we are constantly monitoring their health and providing them a comprehensive health plan that extends years into their future. Unfortunately, the same is often not true of a child’s oral health. Many people put off their children’s first dental visits until their adult teeth start to come in, which is actually a serious mistake. Just like it’s important to get an early start on taking care of your child’s overall health, it’s critically important to get an early start on early oral health practice, as well.
When to Start
So, when should you start worrying about your child’s oral health? Many people ask themselves this question because your child’s first teeth are temporary and will eventually be replaced by adult teeth. This often results in parents thinking that they don’t need to take too much care of their children’s baby teeth. You may be surprised to learn that what happens to your kids’ baby teeth often directly affects the health and integrity of their adult teeth, as well. As such, it’s incredibly important to start taking care of your kids’ oral health as soon as you start seeing the first tooth poke through their gums.
The Steps to Take
Taking care of your children’s teeth is very similar to taking care of their bodily health. You’ll want to start as early as possible with appointments and checkups. As soon as that first tooth breaks through the gums, set up a dental appointment. At these appointments, your dentist will be able to check up on the overall progress of your child’s teeth and identify any early structural or other problems with your child’s mouth. You’ll also receive a personalized oral care plan for your child that you and your child can follow together. As you start to follow this oral care plan, you also begin to encourage your child to follow good dental practices by creating oral hygiene habits and teaching them about the importance of dental care.
Set Up an Appointment Today
If you’re looking for a dentist in Denver to help lay the foundation for the future of your kids’ oral health, look no further than LeDowns Dentistry. Set up an appointment with our office today and we can start your children’s journey toward a positive and healthy relationship with their oral health.
Seeing a dentist early can help your child get used to the idea of going to see the dentist, instead of fearing it, like many children do. We can create positive interactions with your child to encourage long-lasting trust in dentists as a whole. In the end, this trust and foundation will lead to healthier teeth and gums for your child. This, in turn, leads to the prevention of more serious complications from happening, which saves you more time and money overall.
Cavities are, unfortunately, a very common problem. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, at least nine out of 10 American adults have cavities (filled or otherwise), and nearly a quarter of the adult population in this country have untreated tooth decay.
It’s safe to say that everyone knows that the answer to a cavity is a filling. They know this this involves drilling and the use of a metal or composite material. But maybe the reason why there are so many untreated cavities out there is because they don’t know exactly how we treat cavities.
So, let’s take a closer look.
Here’s the Procedure for Treating Cavities
As soon as we determine that prevention alone is not going to stop the advancing decay, we start to consider the restorative procedures.
First, we have to determine how far the cavity has progressed. As long as it hasn’t reached the pulp, you’re still a candidate for a filling. If it has reached the pulp, then we’re looking at a slightly more involved procedure (root canals).
Next, we will numb the area around the tooth to minimize any discomfort.
After that, we can start to clean away the decayed enamel with the appropriate tool. This is most commonly a high-speed rotary drill. However, we understand that this is one of the instruments that really put people off and keep them from getting the treatments they need, but there are other tools available these days, and they might be an option in your case.
We may also find it necessary to use a slower drill to remove some of the damaged dentin.
Once we’ve removed all of the decayed portion of the tooth, we can start making a hole in your tooth that has a specific shape to hold the filling material more securely. This will provide more durability and strength once you start chewing on that tooth again.
If the cavity is large enough, we may need to use a lining material, as well. This is to prevent tooth sensitivity and seal it against any leakage. It can also help the filling material adhere to the tooth better.
Since we use tooth-colored composite fillings, we will need to etch the interior of the prepared tooth to create an even more adhesive surface for the material.
Of course, all of this assumes that most of the tooth structure is still intact. If it has lost too much of its structure, then we go beyond fillings and consider using crowns to strengthen and reshape your teeth.
Different Methods for Different Cavities
Depending on the exact location of the cavity, we may approach it differently.
Surface cavities that occur on the flat exterior of the tooth, for example, are easier to treat and may not even require a filling. As long as they haven’t broken through to the dentin, special fluoride treatments may be all you need.
Cavities may also appear on the roots of your teeth, if they’ve been exposed because of receding gums. In this case, we need to act fast, because the root doesn’t have a protective enamel layer, so it will be much easier for the decay to reach the pulp.
The most common cavities, pit and fissure cavities, occur on the chewing surfaces of your teeth where it’s easy for food to get stuck and plaque to build up.
A Note on Fillings for Children
Baby teeth are not permanent, so many parents wonder if it’s really worth it to get fillings if they’re just going to lose the teeth anyway.
Aside from the pain this could cause the child, there are some important reasons to take care of cavities in children. The most important being that the primary teeth are meant to help the permanent teeth come in properly, so it’s really important that your child’s teeth survive until they can do their job.
Sometimes, dentists may recommend using metal fillings for children because it’s cheaper and, again, they’re just going to lose those teeth anyway.
At LêDowns Dentistry, though, we haven’t used metal fillings in more than 15 years, and don’t intend to start now. We do not believe in putting something that is potentially harmful in your child’s mouth.
Cavities in children is a very common problem, despite all the warnings. So don’t put this off just because they’ll going to lose those teeth.
Nothing Beats Prevention
The moral of this story is that the best way to deal with cavities is to prevent them in the first place. The second best is to treat them before they break through the enamel and reach the dentin ( this is the best chance to treat the problem without breaking out the drill).
Make sure you’re coming in for your regular treatments so we can catch them in time and treat the cavities before they become a real problem.
This is an exciting time for LeDown’s Dentistry! We recently celebrated the grand opening of our second location in Green Valley Ranch. The celebration was a fun day for all and featured free hot dogs, face painting and balloons for kids, and a visit from the local fire department who brought their Engine 29 fire truck.
The celebration culminated in a Lion Dance performed by the Colorado Asian Cultural Heritage Center Dragon Lion Dance Association.
The day was enjoyed by both young and old and the smiles of the children were priceless.
We feel both honored and excited about this opportunity to expand our dental services by serving the Green Valley community.
LeDown’s Dentistry has been providing quality dental care and services to the Denver community for many years with the use of the latest, cutting-edge dental technology, tools and equipment.
The latest dental equipment we use produces high-quality results that our patients love and deserve. The technology has also made for a faster, more pleasant and comfortable dental office visit for our patients as well.
We hope to remain a part of both the Denver and Green Valley communities for many more years.
If you’re in either Denver or Green Valley and looking for a quality, friendly, professional family dentist, look no further than LeDown’s.
Whether you want to restore your teeth to their pearly white glory or you need to get a root canal to save your teeth and the structure of your gums, or anything in between, you’ll find it here at LeDowns.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Have the years of coffee or tea drinking finally caught up to you?
Are you concerned about the image of the person with the yellow teeth smiling back at you in the mirror?
Your once pearly white smile you were once proud to show off is now concealed and hidden from the world. You no longer feel comfortable being in pictures and you’re careful when smiling and laughing in conversations with friends.
You want to reverse the discolored damage done to your smile that your diet preferences have caused.
Besides the obvious abandonment of foods and drinks (yes, your beloved coffee) that have been known to stain teeth, what are other methods of whitening teeth?
Types of Teeth Whitening
You’ve likely seen or heard about at-home teeth whitening. These kits are sold in most grocery stores. There are two common types: trays and strips.
With at-home teeth whitening trays,
At-home teeth whitening strips contain sticky, clear, thin, plastic strips that are placed onto the outside surface of your teeth. The sticky part of the strip contains a diluted bleaching agent that lifts stains out from weakened tooth enamel.
Both these at-home teeth whitening methods are inexpensive, convenient and can be done in the privacy of your own home.
The downside to these at-home teeth whitening methods is that the results are gradual, taking months to see noticeable improvements in the color of one’s teeth.
The whitening, bleaching agent can also irritate the gums, causing slight discomfort and both methods can be messy and frustrating to be done properly if you don’t follow directions.
An alternative to the at-home teeth whitening is professional teeth whitening done at the dentist office.
A professional teeth whitening can be done on as little as 30 minutes and patients can walk out the door with noticeably whiter smiles.
When you get your teeth whitened at the dental office, the dentist uses a more highly concentrated bleaching agent that is activated by UV lighting. The immediate whitening of the bleaching agent when exposed to the UV light means your teeth will be dramatically whiter within minutes.
The expertise of the dentist ensures that neither the whitening bleach or UV light will neither damage or irritate your gums and other tissues in the mouth.
While professional teeth whitening at the dental office produces immediate, significant results, it is more expensive and you’re required to make an appointment and go into the dental office.
If you’re not in a hurry or simply want to halt further yellowing of your teeth, you can heed the advice you’ve been hearing to stop eating and drinking foods and drinks that stain teeth.
You can also buy teeth whitening toothpaste and mouthwash to use twice a day.
A white smile can make you happier, healthier and more confident.
LeDowns Dentistry has been whitening smiles and changing lives in Denver area for years. Call us today and let our expert dentists help you regain your white, beautiful smile.
If you’re like most Americans, you have a hard time flossing on a regular basis. It’s been reported that only 30 percent of the American population flosses regularly. Why is it so hard for people to floss their teeth? For some, it’s just another inconvenient thing to do right before bed. For others, it’s because it hurts to floss.
While all of these seem like valid enough reasons not to floss, you might not be aware how dangerous it is for your oral health. Brushing your teeth doesn’t get rid of all the leftover food or plaque, especially in hard-to-reach places. If you aren’t able to clean that away, your teeth have a much higher likelihood of suffering from tooth decay. Flossing can change that.
The Benefits of Flossing
Flossing helps you reach those tucked away corners and crevices in your mouth and in between your teeth where food and bacteria like to lurk. Brushing can’t touch these places, and taking the extra effort to floss can significantly increase your oral health and hygiene.
This is the most common benefit to flossing, but there is one more that you need to consider. Your gums also benefit from this oral hygiene practice and it can help prevent the occurrence of dangerous gum disease. If left alone long enough, gum disease can lead to a complete loss of your teeth.
How to Properly Floss
A good flossing habit is made up of several different factors. First, you need to start the habit and stick to it. You can’t expect to see the benefits from flossing if you don’t do it in the first place. Second, you need to choose the right floss for the job. You might think that all floss was created equal, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are tons of different types of floss out there and you’ll need to choose one that fits your teeth. If you need help choosing the right kind of floss, ask your dentist for a recommendation. Finally, you need to know how to properly floss.
In order to floss in the right way, follow these simple steps:
- Use a piece of floss between 15 and 18 inches long.
- Slide the floss inbetween your teeth.
- Wrap it around each one of your teeth, using a “C” shape.
- Polish the tooth with an up and down motion.
If you haven’t flossed in a while, you might experience some light bleeding. This is normal, and it shouldn’t be something to worry about. However, if the bleeding doesn’t stop after a few flossing sessions, you should ask your dentist if it’s something that needs to be looked at.
Ask Your Dentist
If you just can’t seem to get the hang of this whole flossing thing, don’t hesitate to ask for tips and tricks during your next dental appointment. We can show you exactly how you should be flossing and give you recommendations for the best kind of floss that provides real results.
When you think about getting a cavity, sugar and junk food might come to your mind first. From a young age, your parents likely told you not to eat too much sugar because it will cause cavities to form on your teeth. And while sugar definitely plays a role in the formation of cavities, it’s not in the way you might think. In reality, bacteria is what causes cavities to form, and sugar is the perfect food for these cavity-causing microbes. If left alone long enough, the bacteria on your teeth can form plaque.
What is Plaque?
Simply put, plaque is a sticky film made up of millions of bacteria that can build up on your teeth. This film is constantly forming on your teeth because there is always bacteria present in your mouth. Bacteria can multiply rapidly, especially when fed with the right kind of food, like sugar and other junk food. Every time you eat, you give the bacteria in your mouth more opportunity to grow and spread.
How Is It Harmful?
If plaque is always forming on your teeth, isn’t it a natural thing? While plaque is a natural occurrence in the purest sense of the word, it isn’t healthy in the slightest and should always be removed as soon as possible. If you leave your plaque to grow without treating it, you may find yourself in a predicament where your oral health is steadily declining.
Plaque can cause a whole host of problems with your teeth. The simplest of these is the formation of a cavity. If left alone, the bacteria in the plaque will consistently produce acids that cause damage to your teeth’s enamel—the outermost protective layer of your teeth. However, cavities aren’t the only bad things that can happen to your mouth because of plaque buildup. You may also experience gingivitis and periodontitis, or gum disease. Eventually, plaque can turn into tartar, which is harder to remove and better at breaking down your enamel.
How Can You Prevent Plaque?
Unfortunately, as mentioned above, plaque is always forming in your mouth, and you’ll never be able to fully prevent that process from taking place. However, there are plenty of steps you can take to prevent that plaque sticking around too long.
- Brush your teeth regularly. Everyone knows that brushing teeth prevents cavities, and that’s because you’re really removing the plaque that has begun to build up on your teeth when you brush. The act of brushing scrapes the plaque from your teeth.
- Floss regularly. Flossing takes care of the plaque in hard-to-reach places like between your teeth.
- Regulate your diet. Since plaque is formed from the bacteria in your mouth, it’s important to regulate what you eat. Eating a balanced diet will lessen the amount of plaque that forms on your teeth.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Ultimately, the best way to prevent plaque buildup is by receiving comprehensive dental care from your dentist. Regular checkups and cleanings can help you remove plaque that’s too hard for you to get on your own. If you’re late for a cleaning, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule an appointment with us today.
How much do you really know about your teeth? Unless you’re a dentist, it’s likely that you’re not staying up late every night studying dental magazines and text books. There are plenty of dental facts that you might not know about that can really help you with your overall oral health. Let’s take a look at seven dentals facts that you may have not heard before.
- 75% of Americans suffer from some form of periodontal gum disease. It’s a well-known fact that our mouths are full of bacteria. However, you might not know that these bacteria can easily lead to gum disease and that most Americans suffer from that gum disease. If you don’t properly care for your teeth with regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings, you are at a much higher risk for gum disease and it’s very likely that you’ll get it.
- Unhealthy teeth may lead to an unhealthy body. Have you ever heard of the mouth-body connection? It’s the idea that an unhealthy mouth can lead to an unhealthy body. The condition of your mouth can also indicate what’s happening with the rest of your body. Pay close attention to your oral health and try to take the best care of your mouth as you possibly can. It could lead to a healthier body.
- Saliva is your mouth’s first line of defense. Most people think that toothbrushes and floss are your primary means of defense against tooth decay. However, did you know that your saliva is the mouth’s first line of defense? Saliva is the body’s natural way of fighting cavity-forming bacteria, and it’s extremely good at what it does. If you find yourself getting a dry mouth, dry to drink some water to get your saliva going again so you don’t suffer from any adverse effects.
- You shouldn’t rinse your mouth out after brushing. Everyone knows that you shouldn’t swallow your toothpaste. The fluoride in the toothpaste can be harmful for your body if swallowed in larger quantities. However, leaving that fluoride on your teeth after brushing may help more at fighting tooth decay
- Your teeth are as unique as your fingerprint. Your fingerprints are unique specifically to you, and you can actually be identified solely by your fingerprints. Did you know that your teeth can act in the same way? Your set of teeth is unique and your smile makes you different and special.
- Your teeth’s enamel is the body’s strongest tissue. Your teeth are covered by an incredibly tough and durable layer called enamel. This layer is the strongest tissue in your body, being made up of over 96% mineral content.
- Your smile is more than just your teeth. Technically, your teeth make up your smile, but there’s so much more that goes into it. The way you feel about your teeth can greatly affect your smile, and your smile can greatly affect your overall confidence. A smile makeover can be one of the best things you can do for your teeth and confidence.
Every year, tens of thousands of people are diagnosed with oral cancer. This is a very serious disease that has a high mortality rate, and yet too many people don’t know much about it.
This becomes extremely problematic because the key to treating this cancer relies on early detection. If we can catch it in the earliest stages, it’s far more likely that it can be properly treated.
According to the National Cancer Institute, though, not enough people are getting the help they need. In fact, the statistics paint this picture:
- More than 49,000 new cases of oral cancer will be diagnosed in 2017
- An estimated 9,700 people will die as a result of this condition
- The 5-year survival rate for people who have been diagnosed with oral cancer is around 64%
It’s important to understand the risks and facts about oral cancer, so let’s take a closer look.
What are the Risk Factors?
There are several factors that can increase a person’s risk for this type of cancer. The most common include:
- Tobacco use – Even smokeless tobacco can greatly increase a person’s risk for developing oral cancer.
- Alcohol use – When you combine alcohol with tobacco use, it can seriously increase your risks.
- Sun exposure – It is possible to develop cancer in the lip area if you’ve been exposed to too much UV light.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – This virus has been linked to some of the recent growth in cases of oral cancer.
- Poor oral hygiene or nutrition – There are several hygiene factors that could contribute to an increased risk of cancer.
One more statistic that we should mention here is the increased survival rate that comes from early diagnosis. If any of these factors apply to you, it’s important to get screened as soon as possible, since studies suggest that the 5-year survival rate increases from 64% to 83% if it is detected soon enough.
What Are the Symptoms?
While the best way to spot any potential symptoms is keep your regular dental appointments, there are some things you can watch for on your own. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to tell us about it immediately.
- Sores that bleed easily and don’t seem to heal
- Red or white patches on the soft tissues of the mouth
- Strange lumps or thick tissues appearing in the mouth
- Sore throats or hoarseness that doesn’t go away
- Problems chewing or swallowing
- Lumps in the neck area
How We Can Help
At LêDowns Dentistry, we are constantly updating the technology in our office to make sure that we always have the tools and techniques to properly and effectively detect the signs of oral cancer.
One of our most useful tools is the OralID system. This is a simple way to spot things that can’t be seen under normal light. It uses a fluorescence technology – a blue light that allows us to spot oral cancer, pre-cancer, and any abnormal legions while they’re still in their early stages.
It doesn’t require any rinses or dyes, so it’s convenient for us and the patient, and we can easily include this kind of screening with your regular checkups.
Oral cancer is a very serious problem, and prevention is the best way to fight it.
If you haven’t been in for a while, now’s the time to make an appointment for another checkup.