How Does Fluoride Work and How Can You Make Sure You Get Enough of It?

Have A Conversation About Flouride

When it comes to fluoride, dentistry experts and researchers agree that it can greatly enhance and fortify your teeth. But how do you get a greater fluoride intake, and how can you make sure you have enough? To answer that, it’s important to first take a look at how fluoride works.


Fluoride is a substance used to strengthen the enamel, which is the outer layer of the crown of your teeth. To do this, it acts on the process of remineralization by increasing and accelerating it. Remineralization and demineralization are two processes that are essential to teeth health, and their proper balance ensures that the teeth are strong enough. Since demineralization is accelerated by the introduction of bacterial agents from food particles, the process of remineralization has to be strengthened with the help of fluoride.  Visiting one of the Highlands Ranch dentists for teeth cleaning is a great way to get fluoride treatments.


You can get more fluoride from a number of sources that top it off both from the inside and from the outside:


  • Drink more water.
  • Get a fluoride treatment at your dentist’s office.
  • Brush your teeth as often as your dentist has specified the need for it.
  • Eat fluoride-rich foods such as meat, eggs and tea.


In some cases, it also makes sense to take a fluoride supplement in order to make sure you get the optimum amount. However, it is essential to talk to your dentist before doing so.

Can the Use of Pacifiers Really Harm the Teeth of a Child?

Can Pacifiers Harm Teeth

Pacifiers are typically used to soothe a crying baby, help him/her fall asleep or provide temporary teething relief. However, a trained dentist Highlands Ranch residence attend will tell you that the excessive use of a pacifier can lead to problematic habits, such as the infant growing up sucking on their thumb or fingers. And that’s just the best case scenario.


In the long run, the use of a pacifier can also lead to the following problems:


  • Infants are sensitive to the differences between breastfeeding and sucking on a pacifier. As a result, the constant use of pacifiers can often interfere with breastfeeding activities.
  • In most babies, pacifiers can lead to the development of unwanted habits and even distortions of the tooth and jaw structure.
  • Pacifier use can also lead to the development of infections, including middle ear infections.
  • Some babies can easily become dependent on their pacifiers, and you might find it very difficult to train them out of it.


Although pacifiers don’t pose any immediate danger – in fact, they can effectively soothe your child – there’s a lot to be said about having too much of a good thing. So it’s very important to train your child from a very young age to not rely too much on them.

How to Choose the Best Toothbrush for Your Needs

Styles of Toothbrushes Have Changed Over Time

Toothbrushes are nowadays available in so many different styles and sizes that choosing the one that works best for you can be really confusing. Here are some of the most important features to look for:

  • Bristle hardness – toothbrushes come in soft, medium and hard varieties. Most dentists recommend brushes that have soft bristles because they are the best for removing plaque, food residues and other impurities from the oral cavity without hurting the gum, the palate or the tongue.
  • Size – small-headed brushes are more efficient than larger ones because they can be moved around in the mouse more easily and they can clean the space between the teeth more efficiently as well.
  • Handle type – whether you choose a brush with a non-slip grip and with flexible necks is entirely a matter of preference, they have been introduced to serve the comfort of the brushing more than efficiency.
  • Additional features – many brushes nowadays come with special, rubberized bristles to clean the gums and the palate, while others come with heads that have brushes on both sides, one for brushing the teeth and another one for simultaneously scraping the tongue to make sure that the entire oral cavity is cleaned during the brushing. Choosing the right tools, can keep you from having to visit a cosmetic dentistry Highlands Ranch area dentist in the future.

Why You Might Be Grinding Your Teeth?

Protect Your Teeth From Grinding Them At Night

Are you experiencing discomfort in your jaws or jaw pain that is worse in the morning? Do you frequently feel an uncomfortable stiffness in your facial muscles? Are your teeth worn-down, cracked, chipped or sensitive? The symptoms indicate that you might be grinding your teeth. If you cannot recall any jaw clenching and teeth grinding, you probably do it in your sleep.

While medical science is still in the dark about the exact causes that make people grind their teeth, here are a few things that lead to teeth grinding:

  • Stress and anxiety – stress does not go away when you go to sleep in the evening. The muscles in the body are supposed to relax in sleep, but stress might cause some muscles, including the muscles of the face and the jaws to contract, leading to teeth grinding.
  • Sleep apnea – this condition is a sleep disorder in which the breathing stops and starts again several times during sleep. The process is associated with the partial blockage of the airways that the body tries to eliminate, restarting the breathing by prompting the jaw muscles to clench and the dentures to engage into a grinding movement.
  • Mechanical problems, such as misaligned dentures, broken or missing teeth.

Be sure to visit for any dental needs you have.

The Principle Causes of Jaw Pain

Throbbing Jaw Pain Possible Causes

Throbbing jaw pain can make your days living hell – here are the possible causes of the discomfort:

  • Teeth grinding – very often associated with stress and anxiety, teeth clenching and grinding can occur during the day, while you are awake or at night, while you are sleeping. Grinding can result in fractured teeth, it is a frequent cause behind loose teeth and it is also stressful for the muscles of the jaw which become tense and painful.
  • Osteomyelitis – if your jaw pain is accompanied by fever and facial swelling, the symptoms can be caused by an infection that affects the bones of the face. Fortunately, in most cases the condition can be cured with antibiotics.
  • Dental problems – untreated tooth decay, dental cavities, dental abscesses and gum disease can affect the bones and muscles of the jaw as well, causing pain.
  • Sinus problems – though the sinuses are located in the nasal cavities, their inflammation or clogging with mucous can cause pain that reaches down to the jaws.
  • Arthritis – a chronic illness of the joints and the bones, arthritis can affect any area of the body, including the jaws, and should be monitored see a licensed Highlands Ranch dentist asap.
  • Tension headaches – this type of headache can affect the entire head, including the face and the jaws.

When Should My Child Lose Their Baby Teeth?

Dental Checkup

Most kids start losing their baby teeth between the age of 5 and 12, but there are a number of factors that influence the process, determining it to start earlier or later – here are some of them:

  • Trauma – if a child loses a tooth much earlier than the age of 5, the cause may be not the natural growth process, but some sort of trauma to the tooth that the parents are not aware of, such as a fall or a blow to the tooth. If only one tooth is affected and it is not followed by others within a short timeframe and there is no decay visible on the surrounding teeth, there is no reason to be concerned;
  • Certain physical conditions – children suffering from Down syndrome usually start losing teeth later that other kids;
  • Gender-related differences – girls usually get their baby teeth earlier than boys and they also start losing them at an earlier age.

The first baby teeth to go are the two bottom front teeth, usually followed by the two teeth on the sides of the jaw, also on the bottom, then by the two lateral incisors on the top. The process starts with a loosening of the individual teeth, then each tooth takes its own course and falls out without any pain.  Visit a Highlands Ranch dental office for more instruction in the health of your family’s teeth.

Ways to Cope with Dental Anxiety

Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety is among the most frequent reasons for avoiding visits to the dentist. The fear is usually rooted deeply in some sort of childhood trauma, such as a painful intervention by a dentist or the adverse reaction to an analgesic. Like any fear, dental anxiety can also be overcome – here are a few tips that can help you:

  • Find a patient and understanding dentist – try to find a great dentist amongst the Highlands Ranch dentists who can calm you and can make you feel comfortable in the chair. Tell your dentist about your problem and take your time to get used to being treated – get your teeth inspected first, without getting any treatment during the first session and get your doctor to explain you every step of the treatment to allow yourself to get used to what you will have to endure;
  • Bring someone with you – the presence of a person that you trust can make you more comfortable while sitting in the waiting room and during the treatment as well;
  • Consider mild sedation – sedation dentistry has been invented for people suffering from dental anxiety. The process involves the administration of sedatives to calm the patient and to reduce the discomfort experienced during the treatment, thus making dental visits less unpleasant.

The Importance of Flossing Your Teeth and How You Should Do It Correctly

Flossing Teeth Is Important

Beside brushing at least two times a day, flossing is another dental cleaning technique that is essential for a healthy and beautiful smile as any good dentist Highlands Ranch area will tell you. While brushing is efficient for removing the bacteria and the food residues from the front and the back side of the teeth, tooth brushes are not suitable for removing all the impurities that accumulate in the small spaces between the teeth, leaving bacteria there to fester, later turning into plaque. Using a piece of dental floss of suitable length eliminates contaminants from these tight places, so it is only through a combination of brushing and flossing that you can be sure your teeth are 100% clean.

Dental flossing is a quick and easy procedure that you should repeat every couple of days. Just take a piece of floss about 15-18 inches long, wrap each of its ends around an index finger or apply the floss on a floss holder, slide the floss between the teeth, bend it to form a C shape and move the floss in every direction, up and down as well as back and forth. Be thorough, but gentle and take care not to cut into the gum, especially if you have sensitive gums or you suffer from gum disease. When you have cleaned both sides of each pair of adjacent teeth, rinse your mouth thoroughly and use a mouthwash as well to further improve your dental health.

Great smiles in a selfie

How To Properly Care For Your Smile

Having a great smile takes work. It includes the all important dentist office visit for a professional cleaning and exam, and this is paired with your own dental care at home. At Heim Dental we recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss after each meal. This personal regime will help you maintain your wonderful smile.

What is the correct way to brush my teeth?

Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. Hold your toothbrush at a 45° angle to the gums when you brush. Use gentle, back-and-forth strokes to brush the outside, inside, and chewing surface of each tooth. Make sure to brush your tongue from back to front to remove bacteria and to freshen your breath.

What is the correct way to floss?

Use a strand of floss about 18 inches long. Wrap it around a finger on each hand, leaving an inch or two between your hands to work with. Gently work the floss in between your teeth and follow the curves of your teeth. It is important that you floss beneath the gum line. Take care to avoid snapping the floss on the gums.

What is the result of good oral hygiene?

Good oral hygiene results in a healthy mouth. Your teeth should be clean and free of plaque and debris. If you take good care of your teeth, your gums should be pink and should not bleed when you brush and floss.

We invite you to contact our office at 303-791-2570 today to learn more about dental hygiene in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and to schedule your next visit with our dentist.