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

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

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

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

5 Ways to Soothe Root Canal Discomfort | Walnut Creek Dentist

There is little we dread more than a painful dental visit. This is one of the reasons we try to dodge our dental visits any chance we get. Unfortunately, ignoring issues like tooth decay will only lead to them worsening. So, you make your appointment and bite the proverbial bullet and soon you and your mouth have been treated and you are on your road to recovery. But you were right – it wasn’t a painless experience.

There’s no doubt that a root canal procedure can cause some of the worst temporary oral pain you could experience. But all is not lost; there are lots of ways you can temporarily ease some of the pain. If you’ve just had a root canal or are planning on getting one done soon, keep this handful of remedies in mind to help ease and sooth the pain after your procedure is finished:

  • Make sure to take the antibiotics prescribed by your dentist
  • Relieve pain with anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen
  • Avoid eating hard, crunchy or tough foods for the first few days
  • An ice pack applied to the affected area can help to relieve pain
  • Use a numbing gel such as Oragel once the anesthesia wears off

We all want healthy mouths. We need to take the time to maintain proper dental hygiene in order for this to happen. Otherwise, we may be stuck to have a major dental procedure done to repair any damage done. Aren’t you glad there are ways to soothe any pain you may experience afterwards?

For more information about root canal aftercare, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit

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

Rinse Away Those Dental Issues | Walnut Creek Dentist

If we know anything about germs, we know that they thrive off of dark, moist places so our mouths are a constant breeding ground for bacteria. And unfortunately, this bacteria can lead to gum disease. This is why it is important to give our mouths the proper attention each and every day. Because if we don’t, it can lead to serious dental issues.

Believe it or not, antimicrobial mouthwash is one of your greatest allies against developing gum disease. It not only helps cure up the gingivitis, but it can also prevent bleeding gums and inflammation by eliminating the bacteria in your mouth causing the irritation. As long as they have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, you can rest assured it will have all the ingredients it needs to go in attacking the bacteria in your mouth causing the issues.

There are times when periodontal disease has been neglected for too long and has become more of an issue. If this is the case, your dentist may prescribe you a prescription-strength mouthwash. Its main ingredient is chlorhexidine gluconate, which not only kills all the bacteria that promotes irritated gums, but also prevents plaque formation.

When it comes to periodontal disease, the best thing you can do is stay on top of your oral health. Make sure you brush for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily, change your toothbrush every few months, and see your dentist regularly, especially when you start to feel pain in your mouth. Taking care of your teeth doesn’t take a lot of work, just some conscious effort in your daily routines.

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

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

These Aren’t Your Grandparents’ Dentures | Walnut Creek Dentist

denturesHaving the need to wear dentures isn’t necessary for everyone but they are necessary for some. Unfortunately, when we think about having dentures, we think about having a set of teeth in a glass on our nightstand. But what if there was a way for you to wear dentures without anyone knowing you are? Would you be more willing to give them a shot? Fortunately, there is – implant-supported dentures.

Implant-supported dentures are a more permanent solution to regular dentures that can slip, are painful and make it hard to eat. They are custom made to fit your mouth and needs, making them an ideal option for most because you can carry on with life as you once did. If you are a patient that doesn’t necessarily need full dentures, you can get partials in this same fashion. In fact, there are several different types of implant supported dentures available. Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at some of the basics to familiarize yourself with your new smile.

Traditional dentures are created to be removable; implant-supported dentures are placed with snaps. The denture is then anchored to the implant snaps, creating a more stable and comfortable fit. If needed, two or more implants snaps can be used. The more implant snaps used, the more stable the dentures become. Not only will this ensure any embarrassing accidents from happening but will give you a sense of security wearing them. More advantages:

  • No adhesives
  • Easier to chew
  • More comfortable than traditional dentures
  • Improved speech
  • Visual appearance
  • Reduced bone loss common with traditional dentures

Say goodbye to your grandparents’ dentures and hello to your brand-new smile!

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

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

What to Expect from Dental Implant Surgery | Walnut Creek Dentist

When the time comes to replace missing teeth, you will be presented with a number of options, one of those being dental implants. They have numerous advantages that outweigh other dental procedures and are quite natural-looking. But first comes the healing process and a few weeks of side effects. They will begin to take effect over the first two days but there should be no cause for concern – side effects are common following any oral surgery. Here are the three most common:

Swelling. Swelling of your jaw, gums and cheeks is common following dental implant surgery and will typically last up to a week. You can help reduce the swelling by applying an ice pack or bag of frozen peas to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time, with 20-minute breaks in between.

Soreness. Immediately after dental implant surgery, you will experience jaw and gum soreness due to the tissues that had to be damaged to accommodate your dental implants. You’ll be able to control the pain with over-the-counter prescription pain killers, and eventually switch to something like Tylenol or ibuprofen.

Bruising. Bruising can start to appear on your jaws, gums and neck which is a result of the dental implant surgery. Discoloration will more noticeable once the swelling goes down. The bruising should be less noticeable or gone by the end of the first week following the surgery.

Your face will begin to feel and look significantly better after a couple of weeks, and you should be able to return to your regular daily activities without any further issue. But if any persist, call your dentist immediately.

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

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

Give Your Smile the Royal Treatment | Walnut Creek Dentist

We all need to take care of our smiles if we want to have the best smiles throughout our lives. So, this means brushing, flossing and rinsing with a mouthwash daily. It also means visiting the dentist on a regular basis in order to ensure your efforts are keeping your mouth healthy. Unfortunately, there are life events that can happen that cause our smiles to become flawed. When this happens, you may need to have some type of dental procedure done in order to repair your grin. This may be done with a dental crown.

Dental crowns are one of the most common restorations that an individual can undergo in order to give your smile the ideal makeover. The procedure, though quite simple, may bring up questions. Discuss any questions or concerns you may have prior to the procedure being done. Here are just a few basics:

  • Crowns are used to fix cracked teeth. A cracked tooth may be evident when it hurts to bite down.
  • There are other options to getting a crown, like a filling. However, if the crack is large enough, it may require a crown in the future.
  • If you wait with a chipped tooth, it may lead to a root canal treatment rather than a crown.
  • Root canals are not necessary in order to undergo a crown treatment.
  • If your filling covers about 2/3 or the tooth, you will probably need a crown to rest on top of it to ensure a full recovery of the tooth.

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

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

I Need to Fix My Smile. What Are My Options? | Walnut Creek Dentist

When we have a flawed smile, it is tough for us to find a reason to smile. It becomes an issue with self-esteem and encounters within social circles. We would do anything for a Hollywood smile. Thankfully, there are lots of ways your smile can be made over to rival any actor. All you need is a dental appointment.

With cosmetic and restorative dentistry, you and your dental professional will develop a dental treatment program that will fix your dental issues to give you the smile you are looking for. Learning your personal history, your present condition of oral health and wellness and your future expectations helps to establish which type of treatment options are right for you; whether it is preventative care, aesthetic treatments or restorative dentistry.

But what exactly entails cosmetic dentistry? It is a wide array of procedures focused on not only improving the appearance of your smile, but also preventing issues from developing down the road. Whether you have a cracked or missing tooth, or some issues with gum disease that will result in tooth loss, there is a dental procedure that will address your issue. The following is just an example of some of the treatment options available:

  • Crowns and bridges
  • Bonding
  • Root canal therapy
  • Gum disease therapy
  • Restorative fillings
  • Dental implants
  • Dentures and partials

Dr. Barmby and Dr. Frick are committed to ensuring your optimal oral health and well-being.  Schedule an appointment today for a comprehensive exam and start on the road to a healthier, beautiful smile you will be proud to show off to the world.

For more information about cosmetic dentistry, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit

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

Are Painless Dental Appointments Possible? | Walnut Creek Dentist

If you ask 85% of Americans to name their biggest fears regarding their health, they will say, “I hate the dentist”. If you ask why that is, it will be one of two things: the needles or that numbness that seems to last long after the procedure is complete. Unfortunately, there are a lot of needles used in your typical dentist office, and in order to help relieve your anxiety, some type of sedation is administered during the visit. And for many, this makes something as simple as a dental check-up a dreaded fact of life.

Thankfully, there have been a lot of advancements in the world of dental procedures. Now we utilize the digital age by working with technologies like lasers, digital radiology & impressions, and even social media. But the biggest, and most incredible, example of these developments is laser technology. In 2012, Convergent Dental introduced an isotopic CO₂ dental laser that can perform more than 95% of restorative treatment WITHOUT the use of needles. No need for needles, no need for anesthesia.

But what if you are one of those patients that will forever have a problem relaxing with a dentist? We know you’re nervous, but now we can offer you an oral sedative to settle those nerves enough for you to get through your visit, without IV sedatives or general anesthesia. We make it our business to provide you with the smile of your dreams, while making you feel comfortable at each visit by utilizing every type of dental technology available. So, don’t be afraid. We aren’t your grandparents’ dentist anymore…

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

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