Dentist | Benchmark Dental | Windsor, Greeley & Loveland, CO | Ask Dr. Josh

Our responsibility as parents is to instill a good dental hygiene routine in our little ones from an early age. Our family dentist in Northern Colorado wants to help you and your little ones get started on the road to a successful and healthy routine.

“Oral health is an important part of a child’s overall health and well-being – but it is sometimes overlooked in the early years.”
 – Dr. Edward H. Moody (AAPD president and practicing pediatric dentist)

When brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are a part of a child’s normal routine with mommy or daddy, fits and tantrums are prevented from becoming a regular morning or bedtime hassle. You’re welcome, parents!

Also, proper care of baby teeth will prevent cavities that could spread to other teeth, causing early decay, speech defects, premature tooth loss, and crooked or weak adult teeth. All of these factors lead to an unattractive and unhealthy smile that could rob your children of self-confidence and cause serious health complications in their youth and adult life.

We’d never want to let our children head down that path! That’s why we’ve compiled a list of six easy tips for all you busy parents and educators reading our blog.

How-to Tips for Busy Parents

When Your Child is Teething:
1. Gently wipe the gum and tooth surface with a damp cloth to remove bacteria at least twice a day after nursing.
2. Gently massage surrounding gum area with a clean finger.
3. Use chilled (not frozen) teething toys to soothe anxiety.

When Brushing & Flossing:
1. Set the example early. Brush with your baby in arms, or have them sit and watch you brush and floss.
2. Set the routine. When his or her first teeth come out, have your child brush and floss with you in the morning and at bedtime.
3. Sing songs together! Sing along with these two videos to make brushing and flossing an activity that your little ones look forward to in the morning and at bedtime:

Start right now!

1. Call Benchmark Dental Care to create a dental “home away from home” where your child will be comfortable and given special attention. We’ll give the care needed to ensure your little one keeps his or her smile healthy, joyful, and full of life!

2. Cultivate in your child healthy oral habits by applying the suggestions above. It’s never too early to start!

Remember, cultivating a good dental hygiene at an early age will give your child a healthy smile and the self-esteem to secure his or her proper development throughout all aspects of life.

The food you eat definitely impacts your overall health but did you know it can also impact the health of your teeth?  Your Northern Colorado dental team is here to share the foods that could help you ace your next dental check-up!

The Best Foods For Your Teeth

Spinach and Leafy Greens
It’s probably not a surprise that leafy green veggies are good for you! These power-packed ingredients are beneficial for your whole body, including your mouth. In addition to being high in vitamins and minerals, fibrous leafy greens essentially “scrub” your teeth as you chew them!

Snacking on strawberries could not only keep your smile healthy but possibly even whiter and brighter! These delicious summer berries contain malic acid, which is a natural enamel whitener. Try them in a summer salad or a morning smoothie.

Foods rich in calcium, like cheese, milk, and yogurt, can help strengthen and protect your teeth and can even help replace minerals if acids wear down your enamel. Cheese is particularly beneficial, containing casein, an enamel-strengthening protein.

Apples and Pears
Crunchy fruits that contain plenty of water are great for your teeth since they stimulate the production of saliva, which helps wash away excess bacteria. Two great choices are apples and pears. Chewing crunchy apple slices scrubs away plaque and can freshen breath. Raw pears can neutralize acids.

Loaded with fibrous strands, celery could be called “nature’s floss,” stimulating saliva production and dislodging food particles from between your teeth.

It might seems obvious, but drinking plenty of water helps flush sugar and acid off of your teeth. It also contains fluoride, which protects against erosion.

Foods to Avoid

This post wouldn’t be complete without a list of foods to avoid for the health of your mouth. Exercise caution and moderation, and always rinse your mouth with plenty of water after consuming them:

• Coffee
• Wine (red AND white)
• Soda (diet AND regular)
• Hard and chewy candies
• Citrus fruits and juices

Remember, enjoying fresh and nutritious food is beneficial for your overall health, including the health of your teeth and gums! A balanced diet containing these foods can help keep bacteria at bay, reducing cavities, bad breath, and potentially harmful dental conditions.

Ensure your next appointment with Benchmark Dental Care is successful by enjoying a balanced, healthy diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables, and water. Book your appointment today. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Broken Tooth

Your favorite Northern Colorado family dentists at Benchmark Dental are wanting to bring you more information about your oral health and your teeth. Something important to watch out for, are foods that can potentially damage your teeth.

The following foods are extremely bad for your teeth:

  • Hard Candy: These can chip or break your teeth from chewing on them!
  • Ice: Chewing on such a hard substance can break your teeth and damage your enamel.
  • Alcohol: This can cause dehydration and chronic dry mouth. It also reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth over time, which can lead to oral infections and tooth decay. Drinking heavily could potentially increase the risk of getting mouth cancer.
  • Sports Drinks: These drinks have a high sugar content and drinking water is a better option.
  • Soda/Coke: These also have a very high sugar content and cause bacteria to build up in your mouth. They are also very acidic, which is bad for your teeth.
  • Coffee: This can stain your teeth as well as dry out your mouth. Also, be sure to watch how much sugar you add to your coffee.
  • Citrus: Fruits and juices are very acidic and can erode your enamel over time. This can make your teeth more susceptible to decay. Acid also irritates any sores in your mouth.

Benchmark Dental Care, your dental office in Northern Colorado, wants you to be in the know so that you can take care of your teeth. This will prevent dental emergencies, and keep your smile happy and healthy.

If you haven’t been to the dentist in years, it can be a little intimidating to finally schedule an appointment. When you aren’t experiencing any kind of tooth pain, it’s easy to let your semi-annual cleanings and exams fall by the wayside. If you don’t have dental insurance, you may feel that you can’t afford the out-of-pocket costs for even routine dental treatment and postpone your visit. You may also be feeling insecure about the state of your oral health and be less inclined to make an appointment as a result.

Fortunately, no matter what your reason is for not making it to the dentist for several years, dental practices have come a long way in terms of patient comfort and modern technology. At Benchmark Dental we will do all we can to ensure you have a positive experience. Here’s what to expect if it’s been a while since your last dental appointment:

Relaxing Atmosphere

You may feel stressed about walking into the dentist’s office for the first time in years, but many dental practices now take into consideration that some of their patients may feel anxiety around visiting the dentist. Many offices do their best to make you feel right at home from the second you enter the waiting area and offer comforting amenities for all patients, anxious or not. At Benchmark Dental, for example, we have TV in all treatment rooms. Dental professionals know that it can be stressful to take that first step in getting your oral health on track and you can rest assured that they will do everything to make you feel welcome.

Gentle Dentistry

Dentistry has had many improvements over the years, and many dental offices use advanced technology to provide their patients with gentle dental treatments. This includes everything from ultrasonic anesthetic devices that deliver pain-free injections to high-powered laser cavity detection that can find issues early on and minimize the need for injections and drilling. Other cosmetic dental services, such as in-office whitening treatments and can transform your smile in a fraction of the time it used to take, and restorative treatments like dental implants are permanent and natural-looking solutions that will restore your confidence as well as your oral health.

Compassionate Care

If your teeth haven’t been cleaned or examined in a long time, you may feel insecure about them, but it’s important to remember that dental hygienists and dentists aren’t there to judge you or make you feel uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter if it’s been one year or twenty since your last visit — they are happy to see you taking steps to care for your teeth and gums and will make you feel at ease. The dental hygienist will give your teeth the thorough professional cleaning and advise you on how to maintain their health with proper home care. Many dentists now use 3D digital imaging to take a close look at your teeth, gums, and bones which helps to spot any damage or early warning signs of issues. Dentists can spot all sorts of overall health issues you may not be aware of including celiac disease and osteoporosis so it’s important to make regular appointments to stay on top of your health. Preventative care is the most important way to keep your teeth healthy and regular exams are a great time to discuss treatment plans and other concerns you may have before they become more serious.

Making that first dental appointment after a hiatus doesn’t need to be stressful. We are passionate about providing high-quality, gentle care in a relaxing and warm environment. We at Benchmark Dental care deeply about the oral health of all of our patients, and we look forward to making your next visit a great one. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!

When you think about myths, chances are your first reaction is to think about the classics—Greek myths with monsters and gods, classic American myths like Paul Bunyan or Rip Van Winkle, or maybe even urban legends. Historically, myths helped our ancestors make sense of the world and explain why they thought and acted the way they did.

But not all myths are ancient. We still create myths today, and they serve the same purpose that ancient myths did. We use them to understand complex topics and to justify our choices—at times for good, and at times not so good reasons.

There are myths about almost any topic if you bother to look—and that includes dentistry. Let’s look at five dental myths, unpack where they come from, and determine if we’d be better off telling these stories to our children or doing away with them altogether.

George Washington had wooden teeth

Right there along with leading the Revolutionary Army, being the first president of the USA, and the cherry tree (false!), elementary school students learn about George Washington and his wooden dentures.

It’s true that dental problems plagued Washington. He had his first tooth extracted when he was 24, and by the time he became president in 1789, he only had one tooth left. He wore many dental prostheses during his life—but they were the most advanced dental technology of his time, and were made of ivory, gold, metal, and even human teeth. The “wooden” myth may have arisen because ivory dentures become stained over time.

Verdict: False… but truth can be more disturbing than fiction.

Brush your teeth right after every meal

Let’s look at some basic assumptions about oral hygiene that are true. First, food particles on your teeth can lead to cavities. Second, brushing your teeth removes food particles. The logical conclusion, of course, is that getting the food off your teeth faster must be better.

Well, Mr. Spock, you may be logical—but you’re wrong! Your mouth is already working to protect your teeth—with tooth enamel (the hardest substance in your body) and saliva. The acids in saliva work to break down food—but they also temporarily soften your tooth enamel. Brushing too soon after meals can actually damage your tooth enamel. Give yourself a little break, and wait 30 minutes after meals before you brush.

Verdict: False… but with the best motivation.

Whitening your teeth weakens them

Hmm… bathing your teeth in chemicals, even relatively benign ones, doesn’t sound like a good idea. I mean everyone’s heard the one about the tooth dissolving in a cup of Coca-Cola, right? (Don’t worry, we’re getting to that one next.) Therefore whitening—with trays or even strips—must weaken them, right?

Technically, no. Whitening strips or trays use hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to remove stains on the teeth through the process of oxidization.

When overused, they can remove 1-2 nanometers of enamel from your teeth, which isn’t great—but then again, a hair is about 80 to 100 thousand nanometers thick, so we’re splitting hairs. Into about 40,000 parts.

Verdict: False… because we think it’s ok to round 0.000025% down to zero.

Leave a tooth in Coke and it’ll dissolve overnight

We can’t do a better job in 100 words than the myth-debunkers extraordinaire at can do in 700, but let’s give it a try. Coke is acidic—but not acidic enough to dissolve a tooth overnight. The acids in Coke could eventually dissolve a tooth, but so could the acids in a glass of orange juice. The implication—that we shouldn’t drink Coke because it’s bad for our teeth—is based on a false premise. We drink Coke, not hold it in our mouth for several days at a time. You could argue that most people can do without the hundred plus calories in a serving of soda, but that’s not a myth. It’s a fact.

Verdict: False… but that doesn’t mean it’s not bad for you.

The Tooth Fairy

The idea that a fairy wants to collect children’s teeth so badly it’s willing to pay for them is, on the surface, ridiculous. With more than 7 billion people on the planet… how many teeth can a single fairy—or even a society of tooth fairies—want? But then again, who would believe that a single fat man could traverse the globe in one night, in a sleigh powered by reindeer, delivering gifts to children by climbing down their chimneys? Science can explain most things, perhaps even the lengths people go to please their children, but do we really want to?

Verdict: True… for the children.

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