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Dentist holding a medical history chart while speaking with a patient

Should You Replace Your Metal Fillings with Composite?

Metal fillings, also known as silver or amalgam fillings, have long remained the gold-star standard in dentistry. They have been around since 1895 and boast unparalleled longevity. However, thanks to a new contender on the scene, many people are considering replacing their metal fillings with resin composite fillings. Here is why:

Aesthetics. Though metal fillings are long-lasting, they do not match the natural color of your teeth. Resin composite, on the other hand, can be adjusted to match your smile, making them much more natural options.

Adhesion. Resin composite fillings tend to bond more securely to the surface of the tooth, leaving no room for infection or debris to enter. This can be a significant benefit for people that are prone to gum infections and cavities.

However, metal fillings still offer some perks that composite fillings do not. For example:

Longevity. Metal fillings last much longer — usually between 10 and 15 years — than composite. With composite fillings, you may have to go under the drill more often.

Affordable. Metal fillings are generally less expensive than composite and more likely to be covered by your dental insurance. However, this depends on the dentist.

If you are unsure whether metal or composite is right for you, it is a good idea to talk to your dentist in Broomfield, CO. A professional can provide more detailed advice based on your personal dental history.

Multi-colored toothbrushes in a cup

How to Properly Care for Your Toothbrush

Think about your kitchen sink sponge. It is easy to assume it is clean because it sees plenty of soap, but the truth is that the sponges we use to wash dishes contain more bacteria than the average toilet!

Regular soap is not enough to kill off these bacteria–and the same is true of your toothbrush and toothpaste. The good news is that there are steps you can take to keep your brush clean and in good condition. Here are just a few:

Toss your toothbrush cover. Many people think that the best way to protect a toothbrush from germs is by covering it with a plastic cap. Unfortunately, the opposite is true: closed environments are hotspots for bacteria. Let your brush dry in the open air, instead.

Do not store toothbrushes together. If you keep your toothbrushes in a communal cup or holder, it may be time to break up the party. Storing brushes too close together is a great way to inadvertently swap mouth germs with random family members or overnight guests.

Invest in a sanitizer. Thanks to modern advances in dental technology, concerned parties can now invest in toothbrush sanitizers that use heat or UV light to kill bacteria. Ask your dentist in Broomfield, CO, which is better suited for your needs.

Ensure your teeth stay strong and healthy by visiting your dentist in Broomfield, CO, regularly. In the meantime, be sure to take care of your toothbrush!

Young pregnant woman caressing her belly

Coping with Sensitive Teeth During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, many women have to contend with new health challenges. If you are a new mom, some of these challenges may surprise you. That is because many moms do not expect the tooth and gum pain that frequently accompanies pregnancy. However, the truth is that sensitive teeth are natural side effects of your body’s hormonal changes.

The reason your teeth and gums hurt while pregnant primarily has to do with your body’s defenses against bacteria. Pregnancy changes the way you respond to bacteria attacks, so your chances for periodontal infections are increased. Not only that, because you are experiencing increased blood flow, your gums can easily become swollen and painful.

The best way to combat these challenges is by upping your oral hygiene game. If you have been putting off your routine checkups, now is the time to pay a visit to your center for family dentistry in Broomfield, CO, and ask what you can do to protect your teeth and gums.

Aside from keeping up with your scheduled exams, it is a good idea to pay close attention to the foods that trigger the worst of the pain. Hot and cold foods are common culprits, as are sweets. Keep a list of potential triggers, so you know to avoid them while you are pregnant.

Pregnancy has many challenges, including dental ones. Prevent tooth pain with help from a dentist that specializes in family dentistry in Broomfield, CO. Contact Total Dental Health Solutions today to schedule an appointment.

Three Ways to Prevent Plaque and Tartar

Female dentist with an African patientPlaque, the soft, sticky substance that is continuously collecting on your teeth, can cause cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Over time, plaque will harden into a layer called tartar, which can only be removed by your dentist in Broomfield, CO. When looking to prevent these substances from forming on your teeth, the following tips may prove useful.

  1. Brush Your Teeth

Though this may seem like an obvious statement, thoroughly brushing your teeth is the primary way to prevent plaque and tartar buildup. You should be brushing for two minutes at least twice per day for the best results.

  1. Floss Daily

Many people skip flossing, but it is an essential element to keeping your teeth clean. Whether you never got into the habit, or have stopped due to braces or retainers, work to incorporate daily flossing back into your routine.

  1. Visit the Dentist

You should be visiting your dentist twice per year for cleanings and examinations. This will ensure any plaque and tartar buildup is effectively removed. They will also help you quickly identify any dental issues you may be experiencing.

If you are experiencing a buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth, contact our dentist in Broomfield, CO, today. Reach out to Total Dental Health Solutions by calling (303) 635-0100.

How Tobacco is a Threat to Your Oral Health

Man smoking with lung x-ray in the backgroundSmoking is one of the greatest threats to your overall health and can wreak havoc on your mouth. When you smoke, your risk of oral cancer skyrockets and you are left with a variety of other issues as well. Rotted teeth, bad breath, and receding gums are just some of the oral nightmares you will experience.

The American Cancer Society reports that nearly 90% of people with mouth or certain types of throat cancer have used tobacco in their lifetime. The longer the person uses, the greater the risk of developing these diseases become. Not only that, but regular smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than nonsmokers are.

If they have not quit before, it is recommended that smokers stop after a cancer diagnosis. Around 37% of those who continue to smoke after diagnosis develop additional cancers of the mouth, throat, or larynx. That is compared to only 6% of people who quit and then develop secondary cancers.

Those who chew are also not off the hook. Smokeless tobacco can cause cancers of the cheek, gums, and inner lips. Not only that, chewing increases the risk of developing these cancers fifty times. If you are serious about your oral health, you will drop all forms of tobacco as soon as possible.

If you are a smoker or former smoker concerned about your oral health, schedule an appointment with our dentist in Broomfield, CO. Call Total Dental Health Solutions today at (303) 635-0100 to get started.

Young smiling couple with nice teeth

The Benefits of Alcohol-Free Mouthwash

Including mouthwash in your oral hygiene routine is a great and quick way to improve your oral health. The American Dental Association claims that many types of mouthwash can be beneficial when used with regular brushing and flossing. Though most mouthwashes on the market contain alcohol, some brands offer alcohol-free varieties.

Though the benefit of alcohol-free mouthwash depends on the individual, there are many instances where the exclusion of this ingredient can be preferred. The alcohol used in mouthwashes – ethanol – has a burning sensation that can be unpleasant and cause excess dryness in the mouth. If you already suffer from a dry mouth, alcohol-free is the way to go.

The alcohol in many mouthwash brands can also irritate any infections, bumps, or inflammation you are experiencing in your mouth. Alcohol-free products are also easier on your teeth and can benefit the gloss, color, hardness, and wear of any tooth restorations.

If you are unsure on if alcohol-free mouthwash is the right choice for you, consult with your dentist in Broomfield, CO. At Total Dental Health Solutions, our team can help you determine the best mouthwash options for your needs so you can have a happy mouth all day long. Give us a call today at (303) 635-0100 to schedule an appointment.

How to Plan for a Tooth Removal

Healthy tooth in forceps reflected in dental mirror with dental steel tools on a wooden tableTooth removal is a surgical procedure, which means you will experience some mild discomfort once it is done. If you have a tooth extraction scheduled, it is essential to talk to your Broomfield dentist about aftercare and what you can do to help alleviate any pain. Below are some tips for planning your tooth removal.

How to Minimize Discomfort

If you do not have any in your home, go out and purchase some ice packs to keep in the freezer. These will come in handy to reduce any swelling that occurs on your face. You want to leave them on for 20 minutes at a time, and remove the ice for another 20 minutes in between. You also want to ensure you have soft and cold foods in the house that will be satisfactory for a few days. Hard or hot foods will only irritate the area and cause additional discomfort.

It would help if you also kept the area clean with a gentle, warm salt-water rinse. Use half a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of water. Complete healing takes at least two weeks, so keep up with the rinses until you know you are in the clear. You should not smoke, use a straw, or spit after the surgery, as it can pull the blood clot out of the hole.

If you experience any major complications, it is essential to call your dentist or surgeon right away. The following symptoms warrant a call:

  • The swelling gets worse, not better
  • You experience a fever, chills, or redness
  • You have trouble swallowing
  • There is uncontrollable bleeding in the area
  • The area continues to ooze or bleed after 24 hours
  • Your tongue, chin, or lip feels numb 3-4 hours or more after the surgery
  • The extraction site becomes very painful

What Effects Does Sugar Have on the Teeth?

Young girl with sunglasses eating an ice cream coneIt is common knowledge that too much sugar will lead to cavities and tooth decay. However, not everyone knows exactly how one leads to the other. You and your children may be more conscious of the sugar put in your bodies once you understand the chain of events that occur.

There are hundreds of bacteria in the mouth; most are good, but some can feed on the sugars you eat and create enamel-destroying acids. Cavities are an infection produced by these acids as a hole develops within the tooth. Your teeth are always under attack by these various acids, but your body is also simultaneously reversing the damage.

Though your mouth’s remineralization process is helping to strengthen your teeth, if you are eating an excess of sweets every day you may be slowing it down. By limiting your sugar intake, you can ensure the good minerals in your mouth are not being overpowered by the acids sweets are creating.

There are ways you can help aid the remineralization process to prevent cavities from forming. Saliva stimulation plays a huge part, so chewing sugar-free gum is a great way to get things moving in your mouth. Foods such as cheese and yogurts help strengthen the teeth with calcium, and black and green teas help suppress harmful bacteria.

If you are concerned about cavities for yourself or your child, contact our Broomfield dentist at Total Dental Health Solutions. Our experienced team will help you determine the best course of action and provide guidance on preventing cavities in your teeth.

The Difference between Sensitive Gums and Sensitive Teeth

Woman experiencing pain from a sensitive toothIf you are experiencing pain or irritated sensations in your mouth, it may be gum or tooth sensitivity. Both can be detrimental to your oral comfort, but they can also be treated and prevented in a variety of ways. Below are the differences between sensitive gums and sensitive teeth, along with how to address them.

Sensitive Gums

Gum sensitivity forms from some irritation on or in the gums, as well as gingivitis. Some telltale signs of gum sensitivity include swollen or tender gums, gums that easily bleed, and bad breath. As gum disease progresses, receding gums is another condition to be on the lookout for. The best way to avoid sensitive gums is to practice good oral hygiene. Flossing and maintaining a healthy diet can also help improve your gum health.

Sensitive Teeth

A variety of things can cause tooth sensitivity. Cavities, tooth fractures, receding gums, worn tooth enamel, loose fillings, and grinding can all cause your teeth to be sensitive. Fortunately, sensitive teeth can be resolved by something as simple as switching your toothpaste. If the issue persists, contact Total Dental Health Solutions, home of the best dentist in Broomfield, CO.

You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Feeley by calling (303) 635-0100. Our dentist will look at your teeth and gums and help you determine the best course of action to resolve your sensitivity issues.

How Medications Can Impact Oral Health

A daily pillbox ready to be filled with various medicationsMedications can be necessary for our overall health and well-being. However, some medications may have negative impacts on your oral health. Dry mouth is when you do not have enough saliva to keep your mouth moisturized, and is one of the most common oral side effects of medications.

Below are the most common types of medications that cause dry mouth:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Painkillers
  • Diuretics
  • High blood pressure medications
  • Antidepressants

If you are taking any of the above medications and experience symptoms of dry mouth, there are ways to relieve it. Sipping on water or sugarless drinks often throughout the day can help make up for the moisture lost in your mouth. You can also chew sugarless gum to help stimulate additional saliva flow.

Though dry mouth is the most common symptom caused by medications, you can also experience abnormal bleeding during brushing and flossing, mouth burning, numbness, taste alteration, and more. If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms due to your medications, consult a Broomfield dentist at Total Dental Health Solutions immediately.

To schedule an appointment at our dental clinic, contact our office today at (303) 635-0100. We will help you determine the cause of your symptoms and work to develop a solution to keep you and your mouth happy and pain-free.