It’s April. Visit the Dentist | Walnut Creek Dentist

April is known as National Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s a scary statistic, but approximately 42,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone. And believe it or not, your dentist is not only the expert in this diagnosis, but often the first line of defense against oral cancer, through the process of early detection and discovery.

These are frightening facts, but oral cancer will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 42,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about on a regular basis such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma). Although smoking and tobacco use is still the main cause of oral cancer, especially with the development of vapes, the fastest growing segment are actually young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus.

Because oral cancer is such a major risk factor for everyone, it is important to make sure to regularly visit the dentist in order to get oral cancer screenings. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Not only will you ensure you haven’t developed oral cancer, but you will also maintain healthy dental practices with a thorough professional cleaning and examination. Proactive measures taken is not only going to keep your smile healthy, but also nice and clean.

For more information about oral cancer, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

Is It Time for Dentures? | Walnut Creek Dentist

When something traumatizes your teeth, there is a good chance tooth loss has taken place. And while there is no reason to fret, there are options to repair your grin. One of these options is dentures. Unfortunately, the only one who can really tell if it’s time for you to get dentures is your dentist, so if something happens to your smile, it’s time to make a dental appointment for a quick checkup. Your dental professional will have the expert knowledge and expertise to suggest dentures after a thorough examination of your teeth and mouth. If dentures are suggested, there are several denture options available and she will help you decide which is best for you. The following are some signs that you are a good candidate for dentures:

Severe tooth decay. if the teeth are decayed beyond repair, then they will need to be pulled. If it’s only a few teeth, a bridge can be used. If a majority of the teeth are decayed or missing, a full denture would be needed.

Physical injury. People with sports injuries or accidents which lead to tooth loss.

Periodontal disease. If teeth and gums are left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. Keep your dental health up by practicing proper dental hygiene.

Thanks to the modern advancements in technology, dentures are not what they used to be. There are several options available from different shapes, sizes, colors and the new implant supported dentures. They are custom fitted to give you the smile you have always wanted, and no one will have to know you are wearing dentures.

For more information about dentures, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

Strawberries: A Sweet Alternative to Whitening | Corona, CA

Man with white teeth eating strawberryWe can all admit that we can feel pretty lucky to be able to live here in the great state of California. The weather is lovely year ‘round, there are plenty of things to do on any given day and we have the most beautiful scenery anywhere you look. But more than that, we have some of the most delicious foods around in our great state. One of the biggest of these prides is the California strawberry.

Yes, the strawberry seems to flourish in our lovely climate and have become an important part of our coastal landscape. So much so, that March 21st is known as National California Strawberry Day. And in honor of this special occasion, let’s take a look at the benefits these magical little berries bring our happy smiles, not only by flavoring some of our favorite dishes, but by brightening its shade.

Now, I know the first instinct is to think about picking strawberry seeds out of our teeth, but strawberries have citric and malic acid, which are great for breaking down staining that is occurring from things like smoking or drinking too many dark beverages. And the formula is fairly simple – take a bit of baking soda (yes, like your current toothpaste), crush up some strawberries to create a type of paste and apply it to your teeth for five minutes. After the five minutes, gently scrub your teeth like you would typically. Do this once a week and you will notice that your teeth aren’t staining as quickly as they used to. As for the seeds that may have gotten stuck – sounds like an ideal time to practice flossing technique.

For more information about strawberries, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

Smile Makeovers Can Improve Your Life | Walnut Creek Dentist

If you’re one of the many people that needs more than one dental procedure to improve your smile, a smile makeover may be the perfect choice for you. A smile makeover is the process of improving the overall appearance of the smile of a single person through a series of cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as dental veneers, dental implants, teeth whitening, tooth colored fillings, etc. Not only are you improving the look of your smile, but a smile makeover will also have additional benefits:

Self-esteem and confidence. Increasing self-esteem and confidence are one of the main reasons that people are opting for smile makeovers in the first place. There is no shame in spending money to improve your smile, especially when it includes a boost to your self-esteem and self-confidence.

Corrected bites. There are many cases, especially in orthodontics, braces and invisible braces like Invisalign aren’t just used for aesthetic reasons. Many times smile makeovers are done to correct a bite, which can also help improve or fix the function of a patient’s teeth and help prevent gum disease.

Jaw atrophy prevention. Patients with missing teeth are candidates for dental implants, which are great for preventing jaw atrophy, also known as jawbone deterioration. Dental implants also maintain a youthful and beautiful smile.

Tooth decay and cavity prevention. When a patient’s teeth are chipped or broken, have excessive gaps in between teeth, or cavities, it can all eventually lead to worsening dental problems. While cavity fillings are not a cosmetic dentistry procedure, having a tooth-colored fillings or porcelain crowns seamlessly blend with your natural teeth, which means patients no longer have to sacrifice aesthetics over function when it comes to preventing further dental complications.

For more information about smile makeovers, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

Keeping Your Cavities at Bay | Walnut Creek Dentist

Oral HealthNo matter the age, no one wants to hear they have a cavity. Not only do you need to go to the dentist, but you now know you aren’t doing a great job taking care of your teeth. Fortunately, cavities can be avoided. In fact, there are many things you can do to get rid of cavities before they even appear. Here are the top five things on how to prevent cavities:

Brush daily. It may seem to be the obvious way to prevent cavities but by brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice daily, your chances of getting a cavity drops significantly. Also, be sure to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride for the best results.

Floss. Most often food debris gets caught in between teeth while eating and flossing will get rid of the trapped debris before it turns into a cavity.

Use mouthwash. Rinsing with a mouthwash that has been clinically proven to reduce plaque can help get rid of bacteria that causes cavities quickly and effectively.

Eat healthy. Proper nutrition plays an essential role in good dental health. Eating and drinking nutritious snacks instead of those that aren’t good for us will help to prevent plaque from forming on the teeth.

Regular check-ups. Dental x-rays, check-ups and cleanings with your dentist are all vitally important to good oral hygiene and ensures that you get rid of cavities quickly and effectively. Visit your dentist twice a year for your checkup.

Cavity prevention is really easy – it just takes a little extra attention to your oral health. Work these five steps into your dental hygiene practices and your teeth will stay healthy and cavity-free.

For more information about cavities, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

When It’s Time to Get Dentures | Walnut Creek Dentist

People can lose their natural teeth for a myriad of reasons, but none of those times are a pleasant experience. It could be due to injury, tooth decay or a number of different oral health problems. And if this is the case, you have probably been approached about getting dentures, or removable artificial replacements for missing teeth. Although dentures may take some getting used to and won’t ever feel exactly like your natural teeth, they have become more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable than ever before. Because there are three main types of dentures, which you need will depend on your situation:

Full dentures. Full dentures are used to replace a patient’s full set of missing teeth, the upper arch, lower arch or both. A set of artificial teeth a permanently a gum-colored base and are either kept in place by suction or by an adhesive.

Partial dentures. Partial dentures are used in cases where a patient’s missing multiple teeth are not located in a single arch. Partial dentures are attached to metal clasps and the artificial teeth present your remaining natural teeth from shifting and becoming misaligned.

Implant dentures. Implant supported dentures are secured in place by dental implants, instead of just resting on your gums like traditional ones. Dental implants are surgically placed in your jawbone and your dentures snap onto them, preventing them from shifting around while you talk and eat. Unfortunately, for dental implants to be successful, a patient must have adequate jaw bone structure, so these aren’t always available to everyone.

For more information about dentures, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Implants | Walnut Creek

dental implantsWhen searching for the perfect smile, it may be necessary to restore it through the use of dental implants. Dental implant restorations are artificial tooth roots that are placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge, making them perfect for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, injury, etc. Not only are they natural-looking, with diligent patient maintenance, implants can last a lifetime.

Dental implants are useful to:

  • Replace one or more teeth
  • Support a bridge and reduce the need for a partial denture.
  • Provide support for a denture, making it more secure and comfortable.

There are two types of dental implants available – endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal (in the bone) are the most commonly used type of implant. Screws, cylinders or blades are surgically placed into the jawbone. Subperiosteal (on the bone) are placed on top of the jaw with the metal framework.

Esthetically dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often happen with bridgework and dentures. Neighboring teeth are not changed to support the implant as with a bridge. More of your own teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health. Dental implants are secure. You don’t have to worry when speaking or eating. No messy pastes and glue. You will go about your daily routine with confidence and comfort. And lastly, the success rate of dental implants is highly predictable, making them an excellent option for tooth replacement.

For more information about dental implants, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

How Often Do I Change My Toothbrush? | Walnut Creek Dentist

Bacteria is typically never synonymous with anything good. When it comes to our mouth, we have lots to worry about with bacteria. We have tons of it in our mouths, both good and bad. We really have no way to discern which is good and bad while we are doing our daily oral cleaning routines. But what if the one tool we use to keep our mouths clean and healthy is actually making the situation worse?

The American Dental Association, or ADA, recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. But there are a few telltale signs you need a replacement, in case you forget when you got the toothbrush in the first place. If the bristles become frayed, or just looks worn out, replace it. If you’re sick, or you have a weak immune system, throw it out even more often. If you don’t use a regular toothbrush and decided to go with an electric toothbrush, throw out the head as often as you’d discard a disposable toothbrush. If you feel like your toothbrush isn’t as clean as it should be, soak it overnight in some baking soda and warm water. When you wake up, it’ll be clean as a whistle.

Make sure you’re brushing and flossing as often as possible to eliminate some of those bacteria. Rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash before or after brushing can also help reduce plaque-causing bacteria that can lead to gingivitis, an early, mild form of gum disease. Being proactive with your dental routine will make your checkups easier in the end.

For more information about your toothbrush, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

What to Expect from Dentures | Walnut Creek Dentist

When it’s time to get dentures, it is important to know that there will be some changes to your everyday lifestyle. The way you speak, your diet, even your dental hygiene routines will likely change. But many of these changes aren’t extreme and will dissipate once you become used to your new smile.

Adjustment period. There is going to be a new object in your mouth, so an adjustment period is a given. You may find that they don’t fit properly, or that your gag reflex is affected more than you thought. This is natural. Your tongue will need to get used to the feeling of pressing against the denture and not your palate.

Talking. When you talk, most of the sound of your voice reaches your ears through vibrations in the bones of your jaw and skull. Believe it or not, dentures can change the sound and make it seem louder, though it isn’t to others. If your dentures make a clicking sound when you speak, speak slower – with time and practice you will overcome this difficulty.

Eating. Don’t get disturbed by the fact that it may seem like food has lost its taste and are unable to tell the temperature of food. This happens because the signals your brain is receiving about your dentures may overpower those from your taste buds.

Saliva production. You may find that you are producing more saliva as you get used to your dentures. Try sucking on a mint or hard candy to encourage swallowing more. It’ll take some time for your mouth to heal and adjust.

For more information about dentures, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

If You Experience Jaw Pain, Read This | Walnut Creek Dentist

Do you find yourself getting a headache on a regular basis? Does your jaw hurt lately? If you find that you have begun to experience headaches or jaw pain on a more frequent basis, you ought to make yourself a dental appointment because it is possible that you have begun to develop a TMJ disorder. And if left untreated, it could lead to further issues down the road.

Your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the joint that attaches your jawbone to your skull. When your jaw is misaligned, your teeth are misaligned. The pain you are experiencing is your jaw muscles applying extra pressure to compensate for the poor alignment of your teeth. This is what’s called a “bad bite”. Not only is this misalignment causing you pain, but the extra pressure increases stress on the surface of the teeth, leading to cracks or chips in your teeth.

Because the jaw pain is caused from strain placed where the upper and lower jaw meet, the condition is classified as a TMJ disorder. Not sure if the pain you have is a TMJ issue? Sufferers of TMJ disorder will experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain in multiple teeth or the jaw joint
  • Limited jaw movement
  • Cracked, chipped or broken dental restorations
  • Headache—especially when opening and closing your jaw
  • Ear pain—in front of or below the ear, with no other signs of ear infection
  • Noises “in your head” — grinding, crunching, or popping sounds

If you have noticed any of these symptoms, it is time to consult your dental professional about treatment options to diminish your tooth, jaw, and headaches.

For more information about TMJ disorder, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.