A Clean Toothbrush Will Prevent Bad Checkups | Walnut Creek Dentist

We wouldn’t clean our house with dirty equipment because we know that it isn’t going to do a very good job cleaning our house and our dental hygiene should follow suit. Why clean your teeth with dirty equipment? When you reach for your toothbrush, do you know how clean it is? This may be a surprise to you, but the average toothbrush can contain up to 10 million bacteria, including E. coli and staph. Your toothbrush is basically a magnet for bacteria, so it is important to keep in mind how you handle your toothbrush in order to keep it as clean as possible.

If your toothbrush is stored on a bathroom counter, think about where it is placed – is it near your sink or toilet? Germs can be transmitted from both and end up on the surfaces of your toothbrush, inevitably ending up in your mouth. Here are a few ways to go about keeping your toothbrush as bacteria-free as possible:

Keep it fresh. Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or once the bristles become spread out and frayed. Replacing your toothbrush insures that you’re using an effective toothbrush.

Do not share. Sharing toothbrushes can result in exchanging bodily fluids and microorganisms between users, which increases risk for infection. You may be in a pinch or think it’s adorable to share a toothbrush with a significant other, but it can transfer more than just saliva.

Rinse toothbrush thoroughly. Once you brush your teeth, make sure to thoroughly clean your toothbrush with tap water to remove any remaining debris or toothpaste.

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

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

Some Bonds Are Hard to Break | Walnut Creek Dentist

We all want a fantastic looking smile – it’s one of the first signs we use to present ourselves to anyone we meet. But things happen in life that are out of our control, and sometimes it causes our smile to become chipped or cracked. Is there any hope left? Can your smile ever be repaired to its original state? The answer is yes; and dental bonding is your solution.

There are two main types of cosmetic dental bonding procedures: direct composite bonding and adhesive bonding. Direct composite bonding involves the precise placement of restorative material while in the adhesive bonding process. A restoration is then attached using adhesive and a high-intensity curing light.

Regardless of which cosmetic dental bonding procedure is used, a rubber dam will be used to isolate the teeth to prevent any interference from moisture that could potentially harm the bonding process. A gentle phosphoric acid solution is then applied to the surface of the tooth to strengthen the bond of the composite and the adhesive. After about 15 seconds that acid can be removed, and the liquid agent can finally be applied to finish the bonding process.

If you happen to have a dental emergency, it is important to have it looked after as soon as possible for the best possible outcome. Your dental professional will be able to examine your particular case and establish a treatment plan. A quick fast solution to repair a chipped or cracked tooth, bonding is the ideal option to bring your smile back.

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

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

Celebrate April in a Dentist Chair | Walnut Creek Dentist

One of the things we celebrate during the month of April is oral cancer awareness. Did you know that approximately 42,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone? It’s a shocking statistic if you aren’t aware of oral cancer in general. And since your dentist is often the first line of defense against oral cancer, it’s a good idea to have a screening done next time you’re in the dental chair.

Ready for another shocking statistic? 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 (approximately 57%). 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. Although smoking and tobacco use is still a major risk factor for oral cancer, the fastest growing segment for oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals with the HPV virus.

Worldwide the problem is much greater, with over 640,000 new cases being found each year. Oral cancers are part of a group of cancers frequently referred to as head and neck cancers, and of all head and neck cancers they comprise about 85% of that category.

The best defense against oral cancer is knowledge and prevention, so make an appointment to visit the dentist. Catching it as early as possible is the best way to keep ourselves healthy.

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

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

Keep Those Pearly Whites as Long as Possible | Walnut Creek Dentist

teeth whiteningMost of us will equate having a great smile to have white teeth. And while most of us strive to achieve it, it isn’t always the easiest to maintain. Many of our lifestyle choices, like smoking or drinking coffee, keep up from keeping up our bright smiles. The change isn’t immediate – we brush on the daily and buy teeth-whitening products on the market – but over time, these habits catch up to our teeth and they begin to tinge. This is about the time we decide to call our favorite Walnut Creek dentists.

Once your teeth whitening procedure is complete and we have our pearly whites back, now we have to maintain them for as long as possible. And while we have a tough time changing our habits, here are the main foods that will ruin its gleam:

Wine. Many individuals assume that only red wine stains the teeth, however, professionals agree that white wine also contains staining agents that could ruin your white smile.

Tea. While we would think coffee stains more than tea, black teas can stain more than coffee.

Sodas and sports drinks. The sugars and high acidity of sodas and sports drink catalyze the staining process of teeth by breaking down your tooth enamel.

Berries. From blueberries to grapes to any foods and beverages made from berries, unfortunately, they all can cause stains.

Candy. Many candies have staining agents that cause your teeth and tongue to change colors.  Stay away from hard candies, chewing gum, and lollipops because of the risk of damaging your white smile.

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

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

It May Be Time for You to Get Dentures | Walnut Creek Dentist

denturesWhether we like it or not, we all have to age. And whether you have taken great care of your teeth or not, there may come a time when you would like to improve upon your smile. Sometimes that means getting a set of dentures. Now, the only one who can really tell if it’s time for you to get dentures is your dentist, and they can only tell by giving you a thorough examination of your teeth and mouth. If you feel that you may need to be fitted for some dentures, make a dental appointment for a quick check-up.

The following are some signs that you are a good candidate for dentures:

Severe tooth decay. If your 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.

If dentures are suggested, you’ll be pleased to know that there are several denture options available. 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 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

Are Dental Crowns Worth It? | Walnut Creek Dentist

When your dental professional tells you that a dental crown to restore your smile, think of these advantages before you say no to this dental procedure. A dental crown is a cap placed over a tooth to restore its strength and appearance. But besides the restorative purposes, crowns have several uses, such as protecting weak or broken teeth, cover a large filling or help support a dental bridge. But that’s not all…

Natural-looking. Porcelain and composite crowns have the look and feel of natural teeth, no one will ever know the difference.

Durable. Even with a renewed smile, dental hygiene is important. If taken care of properly, crowns can last up to fifteen years.

Stain-resistant. Your dental crowns will be composed of porcelain, so staining will not be an issue.

Cosmetic. Improve the look of broken, cracked or discolored teeth.

Non-slipping. Dental crowns are cemented or anchored in place, unlike dentures.

Protection. While you shouldn’t neglect your teeth, dental crowns protect those tooth from further decay.

Restorative. When you have missing or damaged teeth, it can affect your bite, speech and overall look. A crown can restore full function of your damaged tooth.

Comfort. Unlike wearing partial dentures, dental crowns are stable inside your mouth and will not irritate your gums.

Speech. Missing teeth and dentures can affect speech. Crowns replace the missing teeth and do not slip around, making speech sound clearer.

Confidence. Damaged, discolored or missing teeth causes confidence issues. The use of dental crowns will help make your smile beautiful again.

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

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

Keep Away Those Cavity Creeps | Walnut Creek Dentist

Oral Health

Developing a cavity isn’t tough. Just a simple thing like a lack of proper dental hygiene can turn your next dental appointment into a one you’d prefer to avoid. But to be honest, prevention is easier than you think. In fact, it can be summed up in five simple steps. Take a look:

Brush your teeth. It may seem obvious, but by brushing your teeth several times a day your chances of getting a cavity drops significantly. Two minutes per time is the recommended time to be taken.

Floss daily. Most often food debris gets caught in between teeth while eating, it’s important to floss to get rid of the debris so that it does not turn 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. Eating nutritious snacks and limiting the amount of sugary drinks will help to prevent plaque from forming on the teeth. Saliva production is the first line of defense, so munching on healthy snacks can satisfy a craving while washing away cavity-causing bacteria.

Visit your dentist. The most obvious way to get rid of cavities is by visiting your dentist. Dental x-rays, check-ups and cleanings are all vitally important, so visit your dentist twice a year.

All it takes to prevent cavities is a little extra attention to your oral health. These five steps, plus regular checkups at our office will ensure your teeth stay cavity-free and proud.

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

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

Take Care of Your Newly Renewed Smile | Walnut Creek Dentist

dental implants make for a beautiful smileYou finally have the smile you’ve always wanted, thanks to your dental professional and a set of veneers. Nothing is going to ruin your smile now! But wait – how exactly does one take proper care of their new porcelain veneers? If you want your porcelain veneers to last, proper maintenance is essential.

Once the veneers are set in place you will receive a set of instructions about how to maintain the veneers. But, the thing is, these instructions aren’t too far from what you should be doing on a daily as it is. See? Couldn’t be easier…

Good dental hygiene. Brush and floss daily with soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-abrasive toothpaste containing fluoride. Good oral care at home helps prevent periodontitis which can cause your gums to recede. Veneers are placed right at the gum line. If your gums do start to recede the appearance of your veneers could be compromised.

Avoid excessive force. It’s a terrible habit to have in the first place, but no biting your fingernails, hairpins, ice or hard candy. These types of things can break or dislodge a veneer.

No clenching and grinding your teeth. By grinding your teeth your veneers can be chipped or broken due to the force generated by these actions. If you suffer from bruxism at night, be sure to talk to your dental professional about a night guard to protect your teeth and veneers.

Avoid stains. Although porcelain veneers are very resistant to staining, the cement used to hold them in place can stain over time. Try to avoid coffee, tea, soda, wine and tobacco.

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

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

Smile in Your Photos with Santa | Walnut Creek Dentist

Now that we are smack dab in the midst of the holidays, it is important that we don’t forget to take care of our smiles this season. With holiday parties and other events to attend, you’ll be sure to eat delicious meals, treats, even a few cocktails. While enjoying all of the delightful food and beverages the holidays have to offer, keep in mind these simple steps to maintain a healthy mouth this holiday season:

Avoid holiday stress. Holidays can be a stressful time of year. From trying to choose the perfect gifts to the cooking the perfect holiday meal, your mouth can take a hit from the excess anxiety and stress, like jaw clenching and teeth grinding.

Have your treats and eat them too. Candy canes and gingerbread men will create more bacteria from the excess sugar, which leads to cavities. Make sure to brush and floss twice as day, drink lots of water and chew sugar free gum to increase your saliva flow to wash away excess bacteria.

Red and white wine. White and red wines are extremely high in acidity, which are no good for your teeth. Acid can eat away at your tooth enamel, leaving your teeth more prone to tooth decay and cavities. If you’re enjoying wine this holiday, make sure to drink water in between glasses to rinse your teeth of any excess acid.

Natural cleaning. There are some vegetables and fruits that can naturally clean our teeth and mouths by stimulating saliva flow, which is a natural defense against cavities. So, make sure to mix it up this holiday season.

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

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Become Obsessed with Your Abscess | Walnut Creek Dentist

There is nothing more painful than a toothache. Not only does your mouth hurt, but it feels like your skull is about to explode from the throbbing pain. It’s time to call the dentist – you may have yourself an abscessed tooth.

An abscessed tooth is an infection at the root of a tooth or between gums caused by decay, trauma to the tooth, gingivitis or other gum diseases. An abscessed tooth begins when bacteria infect the pulp (the soft tissue core) of a tooth, through a cavity or cracked tooth, and progresses until pockets of pus begin to form at the root of the tooth creating an abscessed tooth.  Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold, a bitter taste in mouth, bad breath, swollen glands at the neck or jaw and painful chewing. Symptoms as well as the severity of these symptoms vary depending on the patient. Some patients feel excruciating pain right away, on the other hand, other patients do not know they have an abscessed tooth until they go in for a routine dental exam.

An abscessed tooth can become very dangerous if left untreated. An untreated abscessed tooth can spread infections to other areas of the mouth causing loss of teeth, facial disfigurement due to infection rotting facial bones, and put immune system at risk of developing other health problems. If an abscessed is allowed to grow and spread through tissue, it can cause dramatic outward facial swelling called cellulitis and in rare cases death.

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

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.