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Why Is Saliva Important for Oral Health?

Closeup of a white baby's pink mouth with saliva dripping down his chin

What comes to mind when you think of spit, or saliva? Do you think about the last time you were sprayed during a conversation or got sick after sharing a drink with someone? Or perhaps you have many happy memories involving baby drool or slobbery dog kisses. However you feel about saliva, it plays a critical role in your oral health every day!

What Is Saliva?

Saliva is made mainly of water so be sure to drink enough water every day so your salivary glands can produce a healthy spit level! Besides water, saliva contains mucus, proteins, minerals, enzymes, antibacterial components, and more. This powerful substance helps maintain the health of hard and soft tissues within the mouth.

Why Is Saliva Important?

Saliva keeps the mouth’s pH at a healthy balance by neutralizing acids in the mouth that would otherwise break down tooth enamel and irritate the gums. This neutralization helps prevent decay and gum disease. Additionally, saliva naturally cleans away food particles and bacteria from teeth and the tongue, helps prevent bad breath and dryness, provides a thirst cue, improves the taste of food, and aids in swallowing and digestion.

Caring for Your Oral Health

Even though saliva helps promote strong teeth and healthy gums, you still need proper oral healthcare at home and at the dentist. No matter what you eat or drink, you should floss daily and brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. You should also consume a balanced diet, avoid tobacco products, and visit Vero Dental for routine checkups and cleanings.

Family-Friendly Dental Care in Denver, CO

Are you looking for a family dentist in Denver? Our friendly team loves to work with patients of all ages, especially children! We offer comprehensive dentistry and strive to educate our patients on how to best care for their oral health at home to encourage long-lasting healthy smiles. Contact us today to schedule your next visit!

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Give Your Smile a Spring Cleaning!

A field of springtime flowers of pink, yellow, and green against a blue sky

It is finally springtime! The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and chances are you’re ready to get out and enjoy the longer days and beautiful weather.

If you haven’t scheduled one of your twice-yearly routine cleanings yet or even if you haven’t seen the dentist in many years, now is a fantastic time to give your smile a boost with a preventive cleaning and checkup at Vero Dental. Our team would be delighted to help you have a healthy smile!

Preventive Cleanings & Checkups

Your oral health can change rapidly. It doesn’t take long to develop a cavity, especially if you have an inconsistent oral healthcare routine or a poor diet. Preventive cleanings help give your teeth and gums a reset every six months so your chances of developing decay or gum disease are significantly reduced.

At Vero Dental, we carefully floss, polish, and remove tartar from your teeth and below the gum line before we conduct a professional examination to make sure your oral health is in good shape. Depending on the outcome of your examination, you’ll also have time to speak with our friendly team about any specialized treatments you might need or be interested in.

Spruce Up Your Smile This Spring!

Vero Dental also offers specialized restorative and cosmetic dental treatments, including crowns, veneers, professional teeth whitening, dental implants, and full-mouth reconstruction. No matter your needs and budget, we can build a treatment plan that is right for you.

Affordable Dental Care in Denver, CO

Don’t let your smile hibernate for any longer! We’d love to help you reach your smile goals, beginning with a professional dental cleaning and examination at our modern office in Denver, CO. Contact us today to schedule your appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!

Before your visit, check out our new patient resources!

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How Often Should I Clean My Retainers?

Drawing of a mouth with smiling teeth under retainers after Invisalign clear aligner therapy

Anyone who has had their teeth straightened with braces or clear aligner therapy will need to wear retainers to keep their new smile perfectly in place. This is because your teeth will gradually migrate back to their previous, more “natural” positions. If you have removable retainers, it’s incredibly important that you wear them as often as directed so that your teeth do not shift. If your retainers are not worn for an extended period of time, your teeth will shift and additional orthodontic treatment may be required to straighten them back up.

In addition to wearing your retainers regularly, patients should also commit to keeping them clean. Every morning when you take your retainers out, you should rinse them thoroughly with cold water to remove bacteria and debris. We recommend giving your retainers a deep clean at least once a week. If you get sick, it’s a good idea to deep clean your retainers as soon as you are better again, even if you just recently cleaned them.

How Should I Clean My Retainers?

By wearing and cleaning your retainers as often as recommended, you can maintain both a healthy and beautiful smile! Follow these care tips:

  • While toothpaste is generally too abrasive to use on retainers, you should daily clean them with a soft-bristled toothbrush, a mild dish soap, and cool or lukewarm water.
  • Regularly soaking your retainers for at least 20 minutes will prevent buildup and discoloration. You can use white vinegar diluted in water (about a 1:1 ratio), denture cleanser, or Retainer Brite tablets.
  • After brushing and soaking your retainers, be sure to thoroughly rinse them before putting them back in your mouth.
  • Never boil your retainers, put them in the dishwasher, or soak them in dangerous chemicals like bleach.

Clear Aligners at Vero Dental

Vero Dental offers Invisalign® clear aligners in Denver, CO. This orthodontic treatment can address mild to moderate misalignment. Please contact us to schedule a consultation with our team to see if clear aligner therapy is right for you!

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Image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Can You Get Teeth Whitening If You Have Gum Disease?

Drawing of a woman with gum disease wondering if she can get teeth whitening in Denver, CO

Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. However, there is some good news: gum disease is treatable and may even be reversible – if detected early! It may be hard to feel confident about your smile while you’re fighting gum disease. Once you’ve treated your gum disease, a professional tooth whitening treatment may be just the boost you need to restore your confidence in your smile.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a common condition but generally preventable. Usually caused by poor oral hygiene, its symptoms include swollen, red, and tender gums. Our team can implement a variety of different techniques to treat gum disease, depending on its severity.

Can I Get My Teeth Professionally Whitened If I Have Gum Disease?

If you currently have gum disease, treatment should be your priority. Don’t prioritize whitening your teeth if your gums aren’t healthy, as your gums are what keep your teeth in place! During your consultation for professional teeth whitening, our team will examine your oral health, including your gums. We never want to risk our patients’ health, so we only proceed with teeth whitening when we know our patients’ gums are healthy enough to handle it.

What Are My Professional Whitening Options?

At Vero Dental, we offer two teeth whitening options for those without existing periodontal disease. For a quick transformation, our in-office professional whitening can lighten your teeth up to 16 shades in just one hour. Our take-home whitening kits come in either a custom-made or one-size variety.

If you’re not sure which whitening option is right for you, don’t worry – you’ll discuss it all during your consultation! And if you currently have gum disease, we’ll design a treatment plan to improve your gum health. This will reduce your risk of sensitivity, bad breath, and tooth loss, as well as heart disease.

To ask our team any questions about gum disease or teeth whitening, contact our office today.

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How Dental Sedation Can Ease Dental Anxiety

4 wooden blocks turn from PANIC to CALM because of dental sedation to ease anxiety

Does the thought of visiting a dentist overwhelm your nerves? Patients of any age can experience dental anxiety, whether it be from a prior traumatic experience to a general dislike of the sights and sounds of a medical office. Fortunately, there are many ways you can ease dental anxiety! In this blog post, we discuss one option: dental sedation.

What Is Dental Sedation?

Sedation dentistry can help you relax in the dental chair so you can get the care you need to have a healthy smile. There are several forms of sedation dentistry. At Vero Dental, we offer nitrous oxide and oral sedation.

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is inhaled through a comfortable nose mask. This gas is safe for nearly all ages when administered by our expert team and it wears off immediately once the mask is removed.

For patients that need something a little stronger, oral sedation by a pill taken an hour before your dental appointment. This medication will help you feel drowsy and relaxed. It takes several hours to wear off, so you’ll need a ride to and from your appointment. You should also plan to take the rest of the day to rest and regain your alertness.

Benefits of Dental Sedation

While the most significant benefit of dental sedation is that it calms a patient’s nerves before and during dental treatments, sedation can also: reduce a patient’s general discomfort at the dentist; help them have positive dental experiences so they can gradually overcome their dental anxiety; allow a patient to get the oral healthcare they need to prevent additional issues and visits; and make an appointment more efficient for children and patients with special needs.

Sedation Dentistry in Denver, CO

Putting off dental visits because you experience dental anxiety can place your oral health at risk. If you struggle with dental anxiety, our team at Vero Dental would be happy to give you more about our sedation options to see if you would benefit from sedation dentistry during your next dental appointment. Please get in touch with our office today!

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How to Avoid a Holiday Dental Emergency

Holiday lights in the shape of a tree against a night sky at Christmas

The holidays can be full of surprises, but we hope a dental emergency is not one of them for you this season! If you’re taking time off or traveling during the holidays, the last thing you want to worry about is having to make an unexpected trip to the dentist’s office. Here are some tips to avoid a holiday dental emergency.

  1. Avoid Hard Foods
  2. Many dental emergencies involve broken restorations or a knocked-out permanent tooth. If you have sensitive teeth or restorations like crowns, implants, dentures, or veneers, you should steer clear of biting down on hard and chewy candy, crusty bread, and ice.

  3. Pack Your Dental Supplies
  4. If you’re traveling, make sure to bring your soft-bristled toothbrush or your electric toothbrush and charger, toothpaste, floss, floss threaders and dental wax if you have braces, and other dental tools relevant to your oral care routine (such as a water flosser or a special mouthrinse). Don’t take a vacation from your daily oral hygiene! If you don’t brush and floss your teeth, you increase your risk of tooth decay and gum infection.

  5. See a Dentist Before About Any Issues
  6. Schedule an appointment with your dentist before the holiday season to take care of any tooth pain or sensitivity. Then you can relax and enjoy your holiday plans pain-free.

  7. Don’t Bite Down on Non-Food Items
  8. You might be excited to tear into your gifts, but don’t bite down on anything that isn’t food. Hard plastics, wood, and metal can all instantly damage your teeth, so be sure to use your hands or scissors to open up your gifts and packages.

  9. Drink Plenty of Water
  10. Don’t overdo it on the sugar, alcohol, and hot cocoa. Excessive consumption will increase your risk of tooth decay and infection. Drink plenty of water to help wash away sugar and bacteria from your teeth during the times you do indulge your sweet tooth.

  11. Wear a Mouthguard If You’re Playing Sports
  12. If you’re interested in playing contact sports during the holidays, like ice hockey or football, make sure you wear a mouthguard and proper headgear to protect your teeth and jaws.

Emergency Dentist in Denver, CO

While the above tips can help reduce your risk of a holiday dental emergency, sometimes the unexpected still occurs. If you do experience a dental emergency, call our team at Vero Dental for emergency dentistry. We accept a variety of payment options to help make your experience as stress-free as possible. Learn more on our financial page!

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Can a Broken Tooth Be Fixed?

A cracked tooth that needs to be repaired at the dentist in Denver, CO

It’s possible to break a tooth whether you’ve eaten something hard, sustained an injury, or have advanced decay. Having a broken tooth can be damaging to your ability to eat and talk, not to mention your confidence.

Here are some of the ways we fix broken teeth at Vero Dental in Denver:

  1. Dental Crowns
  2. A dental crown is designed to cover an injured tooth to prevent further damage and protect what is left of your tooth. This cap is custom-crafted to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your teeth.

  3. Filling
  4. A filling is a cost-effective way to fix a broken tooth if it doesn’t need to be reinforced with a crown.

  5. Veneers
  6. Veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that can be bonded to the front of a tooth to hide small chips and cracks to improve their appearance.

  7. Root Canal Therapy
  8. Breaks and cracks in a tooth can allow bacteria to infiltrate the sensitive inner layer called the pulp. This can lead to infection. A pulp that is damaged or infected will require root canal treatment. During this procedure, we will flush out bacteria from the inside of your tooth, clear away the damaged tissue, and replace it with a special dental material.

  9. Dental Implants
  10. If a compromised tooth must be removed, it can be replaced with a dental implant. Dental implants are a long-lasting and realistic-looking tooth replacement. Made of a titanium rod and a crown, these sturdy restorations can last for a lifetime if cared for well.

Comprehensive Family Dentistry in Denver, CO

There’s no need to live with a broken tooth or a lackluster smile. Vero Dental offers the above services and more to help you maintain a gorgeous, healthy smile. Our family-friendly dental office caters to patients of all ages and backgrounds so you can find a treatment for your unique needs all under one roof. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

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Does a Dental Bridge Feel Natural?

Cartoon configurations of dental bridges to replace a missing tooth in Denver, CO

Severely damaged teeth and lost teeth can occur due to dental disease or trauma. Gaps in your smile can negatively affect your life, by making it more difficult to eat, smile, and socialize with confidence. Your remaining teeth can also shift into these gaps. This can result in facial sagging and crooked teeth that are harder to clean and thus more prone to decay.

To restore your smile, there are a handful of tooth replacement options. For many patients, a dental bridge is the right choice and will feel similar to having natural teeth.

What Are Dental Bridges?

A traditional dental bridge is made from two crowns that sandwich an artificial tooth between them. The crowns fit over your natural teeth on either side of a gap left by a missing tooth, which is now filled in with a replacement tooth. Bridges can also be supported by dental implants if you’re missing several teeth in a row. A cantilever dental bridge has only one adjacent supporting tooth.

Before we place the bridge, we’ll shape the teeth that the crowns (which are called abutment teeth) will cover. We’ll take impressions of these teeth to create custom crowns that fit perfectly over them. When your permanent bridge is finished, we’ll attach it to your smile and make sure it feels comfortable and looks amazing.

What Do Dental Bridges Feel Like?

Fixed dental bridges aren’t removable. They should feel similarly to natural teeth, since crowns are designed to look as close to real teeth as possible. When you first get your bridge, you might feel mild discomfort and tenderness as your mouth adjusts. This should be temporary. Let us know if it gets worse and/or persists for more than a few days.

How to Care for a Dental Bridge

While the crowns in a dental bridge cannot decay like natural teeth, your gums and the natural teeth beneath the crowns are still susceptible to disease. Brush twice a day for two minutes each time and floss every day. An electric toothbrush and water flosser are great tools if you have a bridge. Additionally, consume a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, avoid tobacco, and visit Vero Dental for routine professional cleanings.

Restore Your Smile at Vero Dental in Denver, CO

Missing teeth can significantly affect many areas of your life. A dental bridge is a comfortable and budget-friendly option to restore your smile and self-esteem. For more information, please reach out to Vero Dental to schedule a consultation with our expert team!

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Images from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

5 Common Questions Dental Hygienists Hear

Diverse group of people hold up big red question marks as they think of questions to ask their dental hygienist

Along with your dentist, your dental hygienist is an essential part of your dental team. They help you reach optimal oral health by cleaning your teeth, checking your gums, demonstrating good oral hygiene, and answering your dental-related questions.

Not sure what you might want to ask your dental hygienist during your next visit? These are some of the most common questions dental hygienists hear and can assist with.

  1. How Can I Improve My Oral Health?
  2. This question may seem basic, but it’s an important one. By asking it, you’re taking an active role in your dental wellness. Depending on the state of your oral health, your hygienist might tell you how to improve your brushing or flossing technique, which areas of your mouth to pay particular attention to, and what dental products they recommend you using at home.

  3. Why Do My Gums Bleed?
  4. Some people who see a little bit of pink in the sink while brushing or flossing their teeth may just assume that that’s a normal part of the process. If your gums bleed often while taking care of your dental health at home, it’s a good idea to ask your hygienist why that may be the cause. Bleeding gums could be a sign of bacteria build-up and gum disease.

  5. How Can I Whiten My Teeth?
  6. A white smile looks good on everyone! Your dental hygienist will be able to give you some tips on either keeping your teeth white or boosting their brightness. Depending on the patient, this could mean a change in brushing technique, a recommendation for professional teeth whitening, a change in diet, or quitting smoking.

  7. Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?
  8. Teeth sensitivity can be caused by many things, such as tooth decay, gum recession, diet, and teeth grinding. If you routinely experience tooth sensitivity, consult with your hygienist about how you can reduce your discomfort.

  9. What Toothpaste/Toothbrush/Floss Should I Use?
  10. As experts in dental care, your hygienist can assess your current oral health and provide personalized recommendations for the dental tools you should be using at home. Not only will they know which products in the market are the most effective, but they’ll also be able to tell you why they might be the best option for your specific situation.

If you have a question that wasn’t previously covered, be sure to ask your dental hygienist at your next appointment. Consider them a trusted resource in your journey to a beautiful, healthy smile.

Whether you are a new patient or a returning patient, we’d be delighted to have you visit our Denver dental office! Please contact Vero Dental today to set up an appointment.

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Tips for Effective Denture Care

Dentures sitting in a cup getting cleaned.

If you have dentures, do you know if you’re caring for them properly? Denture care is important to ensure safe and comfortable wear. We have some tips to help our patients get the most out of their dentures.

Remove After Eating

One of the most pivotal times when care for your dentures matters most is after eating. This is because food particles and bacteria have a tendency to cling to the dentures and cause problems with your oral health. After eating, remove the dentures and rinse them off. Do be careful when you clean your dentures so that you don’t drop and break them.

Handle with Care

The key to long lasting dentures is handling them with care. When you aren’t wearing your dentures, be careful not to drop them. Lay them on a towel, or fill the sink with water when you’re cleaning them. Don’t bend the dentures or harm the clasps while cleaning.

Clean Daily

Your dentures are in your mouth for much of the time each day, so you want them to be clean and fresh. This means they need to be cleaned regularly. On a daily basis, remember to take out your dentures and soak them. Then, use a soft bristled brush along with a dental cleaner to get them good and clean.

Prioritize Dental Health

Even with dentures, it’s important that you still clean your mouth, too. After you remove your dentures, use a soft toothbrush to clean your remaining natural teeth, tongue, cheeks, and mouth. There may be some lingering dental adhesive that you’ll need to target while you clean. And, of course, keep up with those regular visits to the dentist every six months.

Dentures in Denver, CO

Here at Vero Dental, we offer several restorative dental solutions, including full and partial dentures. If you’re interested in exploring one of these solutions, let’s get you in for a consultation. Give us a call or click the contact link below.

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Photo from Authority Dental under CC 2.0