Are You Taking Good Care of Your Teeth? | Walnut Creek Dentist

cleaning your teeth dentist walnut creekWe all know the basics of daily dental hygiene; it is ingrained in us when we cut our first tooth. Brush, floss, dental visits – it’s all very textbook. Or is it? It is very likely that you may be doing something incorrectly, and that may cause you issues in the future. So instead of keeping our old habits, let’s make sure that we are doing it right, so we pass our dental visits with flying colors. The following are the most common mistakes we make when taking care of our smiles – how many do you do?

What you use to brush. You may not think what you use to brush your teeth is important, but it really is. And it isn’t a brand issue. Many think that using a hard-bristled toothbrush is cleaning better than a soft-bristled version, but those hard bristles can harm your teeth and gums over time.

How you brush. Because it is more likely that you will develop dental issues along the gum line, it is wise to keep your brush at a 45-degree angle. If you are brushing in a horizontal motion, you can actually dull out your teeth, so instead of brushing back and forth over your teeth, try moving in a circular motion.

The number of times you brush. If you only brush once a day, you are allowing bacteria to grow and plaque to develop in your mouth. Conversely, brushing too often can wear down enamel and irritate gums. At the most, three times a day is good, the minimum being after breakfast and before bed.

For more information about proper dental 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.

Is Your Diet Giving You Bad Breath? | Walnut Creek Dentist

When it comes to getting in shape, we all have a tough time finding the right combination of foods and exercise to keep us on pace. But what if your diet is giving you side effects? Seems counter-productive, right? Well, if your diet consists of bacon, cheese, and avocados you may be cutting down on those nasty carbs, but maybe bringing on something unexpected.

By eliminating all sugar and most carbs, and eating foods high in fat and protein, your body becomes a fat-burning machine. However, by getting your energy from fat and protein rather than carbs, one of the common byproducts is intolerable breath. But why?

Atkins, the ketogenic diet, and most other low-carb eating plans all rely on getting your daily calories mostly from fat and protein, and very little from carbohydrates. If you keep your carb intake to less than 30 grams per day, your body eventually enters a metabolic state of ketosis. Instead of breaking down carbohydrates to create glucose for energy, your body instead breaks down stored fat, which release ketones in the body. They are also released in your breath, creating a distinct odor that some keto enthusiasts describe as rotten fruit, or even metallic.

Unfortunately, that also means ketosis breath can’t be extinguished with the typical handful of mints and swig of mouthwash. Natural remedies to try are drinking extra water, or chewing on fresh mint leaves, cloves, or fennel seeds, or grab a sugar-free gum made with xylitol.

For more information about bad breath solutions, 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.

Am I the Cause of My TMJ Disorder? | Walnut Creek Dentist

Do you find that you are experiencing jaw pain lately? Do you wake up wondering why your jaw feels so tense or why you have a headache? When your teeth are misaligned it causes the jaw muscles to apply extra pressure to compensate for the poor alignment of your teeth, or a “bad bite.” This extra pressure increases stress on the surface of the teeth and will eventually lead to cracks, chips and jaw pain. Jaw pain results from a muscle strain placed where the upper and lower jaw meet, called the temporomandibular joint. When pain occurs, it is called TMJ disorder.

TMJ disorders are problems with the muscles or joints in your jaw. When left untreated, TMJ can lead to headaches, ear pain, bite problems, jaw pain and much more. There are several conditions that can end up causing TMJ, and you may be surprised that some are bad habits you picked up.

  • Bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching. Sufferers of bruxism often wake up with jaw or ear pain due to wear on the jaw’s cartilage lining.
  • Gum chewing or nail biting
  • Malocclusion, or the misalignment of teeth. Some find it hard to chew on a certain side, so they habitually chew on the other side causing excess stress.
  • Previous jaw fractures or injury

If you feel that you have developed any of these symptoms, contact a dental professional for an examination. They will evaluate your symptoms and help provide treatment to alleviate your pain.

Oh No…Do I Need Dentures? | Walnut Creek Dentist

When you think of the word dentures, chances are you are thinking about an older individual that may or may not have grandchildren. And yes, there is a large demographic of elderly folks that do use dentures. But interestingly enough, dentures have become more prevalent in a much younger crowd. More than 20 million people wear some form of dentures (partial or full) and 15% of those individuals have dentures made each year.

So how do you tell if you need them? Many individuals do not know the warning signs that indicate a need for dentures. Dentures are removable plates that replace missing teeth and gum tissue. The following is a list of important signals that you should note as to whether or not you need dentures:

  • Not regularly visiting and consulting with your dentist.
  • Gums appear swollen or are frequently bleeding.
  • Your teeth beginning to move or shift.
  • You experience an intense amount of pain from your teeth.
  • A significant amount of your teeth are missing.
  • You’re unable to properly chew hard foods.
  • You’re are not confident in your smile.

The only one who can really tell if it’s time for you to get dentures or partials is your dentist. They 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. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please consult your dental professional for more information about dentures and whether or not you qualify.

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.

Keeping Up with Your Dental Bonding | Walnut Creek Dentist

There is little more embarrassing than walking around with a chipped tooth. You go to the dentist and it looks like dental bonding is your best bet to return your tooth to its natural look. Your tooth will be conditioned, molded, and smoothed to the desired shape before an ultraviolet light hardens the material. All in all, a typical dental bonding takes about 30-60 minutes per tooth.

If you have just had a dental bonding procedure to enhance your smile, you should take the necessary precautions and avoid foods that can damage the bonding. Avoid the following after going through a dental bonding procedure:

  • Avoid any dark drinks such as coffee, wine, or tea because individuals risk staining the composite resin.
  • Avoid using your front teeth when chewing hard foods such as apples because this could loosen and damage the bonding.
  • Avoid any chewy food such as caramel, gum, fruit snacks, and jerky because the stickiness may dislodge the bonding material.
  • Avoid foods that have a high acidity such as vinegar, tomatoes, or pineapples.
  • Avoid any bad habits such as grinding your teeth or chewing your nails.

Don’t allow certain foods or habits to keep you from having your ideal smile. Because your teeth are prone to damage after a bonding procedure, it is essential that you take proper care of your teeth and avoid all items on the list. For a cosmetic dentist in the city of Walnut Creek, trust Drs. Barmby and Frick and call today.

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.

Do You Grind Your Teeth When You Sleep? | Walnut Creek Dentist

tmj disorder walnut creekHave you noticed that your jaw is sore when you wake up? Does your significant other notice that you are grinding your teeth? It is estimated that 30-40 million Americans are affected by what is known as bruxism. Clenching causes pressure on the muscles, tissues, and other surrounding structures of the jaw, which can cause jaw joint disorders, headaches, neck pain, jaw pain, ear pain, tense muscles, and excessive wear on the teeth. The cause of bruxism is not completely known, but many agree that stress and anxiety play a major role. Bruxism can cause damage to the temporomandibular joint (the hinge that connects the lower jaw to the upper jaw) if not properly treated.

So, what is the treatment? Stress reduction and anxiety management are methods used to treat bruxism and reduce the symptoms, but a dental night guard is the most commonly used treatment method. A night guard is a horseshoe-shaped, retainer-like, plastic appliance with shallow borders that can be worn on either the top or the bottom teeth. It is intended to protect the teeth from the pressure of clenching and grinding by having a protective cushion between the upper and lower teeth. A nightguard is a simple and affordable decision for protecting your teeth and jaws from the damaging effects of bruxism. When properly made by your dentist, it can help reduce clenching, grinding, and TMJ problems by helping to relax the muscles in the jaw.

For more information about bruxism, 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.

Simple Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay | Walnut Creek Dentist

Oral HealthIf you don’t already know, keeping up your dental hygiene helps prevent unhappy dental visits in the future. Your teeth are very susceptible to decay if you do not take proper care of them and practice good oral hygiene regularly. In order to help ensure you are taking care of your teeth properly, here are some tips we recommend to help you prevent tooth decay:

Talk to your dental professional. They are there to make sure your mouth, teeth, and gums are healthy before beginning a whitening program. If you have questions, now is the time to ask. This is also when they will recommend a supervised whitening option for your safety and maximum results.

Stick with your maintenance schedule. You are ultimately in charge of keeping your smile bright. Remember, no whitening is permanent and regular professional cleaning is essential to remove stains and the tartar that can cause gum disease.

Keep certain foods and drinks to a minimum. We all know sweets are bad for our smiles. Acidic food and drinks can be just as harmful to your teeth as sugar. The acid erodes tooth enamel and can make your teeth sensitive, more vulnerable to cavities, and lose its luster. When you do partake, brush and/or rinse thoroughly afterwards. The consumption of those products over extended time periods heightens the risk of decay.

Remember, you can maintain your teeth for a long time if you properly take care of them. Between your daily routine and regular dental cleanings, your teeth are sure to stay glistening and healthy.

For more information about dental cleanings, 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.

How Do You Know When to Change Your Toothbrush? | Walnut Creek Dentist

oral geBacteria is typically never synonymous with anything good. As children, bacteria are portrayed as creepy bugs that would basically cause issues with anything it touched. As adult, we know they aren’t animated but we don’t exactly have a different view of it. 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? Wouldn’t that be the worst possible outcome? Sadly, it’s true. But worry not. The best way to limit the bacteria on your toothbrush is to replace it on a regular basis.

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.

Every time you’re tempted to skip brushing and flossing your teeth, remember how many bacteria lurk in your mouth – and what they can do. Bacteria causes gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. 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. Because we may be able to get most of the cavity-causing bacteria out of our mouths with a proper dental routine, but if we allow it to go as far as plaque, only a dentist can remove it so it’s best to try to keep things as healthy as possible on our own.

For more information about dental cleanings, 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.

Why a Professional Dental Cleaning Will Make You Smile | Walnut Creek Dentist

teeth whitening

You brush, floss and rinse your mouth twice a day, the way you have been for as long as you can remember. Your teeth are looking good, so naturally we think everything is kosher when it comes to your oral health. Having to go to the dentist to have them cleaned is completely unnecessary, right? Wrong. You may think you’re doing a fabulous job cleaning your teeth, but you still have to get a good scrubbing done by a professional. Not because you aren’t doing a good job, but because teeth cleanings with your dentist are more thorough than the type of cleaning you do at home. They can get into smallest of crevices a normal toothbrush and floss just can’t. But more than a shiny set of pearly whites, dental cleanings also help to prevent many other health problems. If you still don’t believe it, here are just a handful of reasons you should really reconsider:

Gum disease is an infection in your gums that breaks down the bone and soft tissue in your mouth. The breakdown, if left untreated, will eventually leads to tooth loss. But it doesn’t only affect your smile. In fact, gum disease has been proved to cause heart disease, strokes and even a low birth rate. Keeping a bi-yearly dental checkup and cleaning will help to prevent all of these health issues.

When it comes to the detection of oral cancers, you can never be too proactive. They don’t necessarily present themselves with obvious symptoms. And when you get your teeth cleaned, you are screened for oral cancer. Like any health issue, early detection is extremely important and getting your teeth cleaned is an easy way to kill two birds with one dental stone. No matter how often you do it, regular dental visits helps keep your oral health on track and any problems you have had in the past, or are currently experiencing, can continue to be monitored.

When your teeth are healthy, clean and white, you have all the fixins for a beautiful smile. And with that beautiful smile, you are more confident and happy. Confidence leads to improved social life and career possibilities. It’s important that you see your dentist every six months for a routine examination and cleaning. By seeing your dentist on a regular basis, and following daily good oral hygiene practices at home, you are more likely to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

For more information about dental cleanings, 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.

Dental Crowns: The Royalty of Dental Procedures | Walnut Creek Dentist

restorative-dentistry-crownsAccidents happen. There is really no way of getting around it. That’s why we have people around to fix us. When it comes to your mouth, it’s off to the dentist you go. They give you an exam and let you know what your options are. If your teeth are damaged, a dental crown may be suggested as a fix. But what is it exactly?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a damaged tooth or implant to restore the shape, size, color and strength of the damaged or missing tooth. The tooth-shaped cap covers the entire tooth, from the chewing surface to the gum line. This helps to prevent further damage from happening. There are many benefits of dental crowns, both physically and mentally.

Porcelain and composite crowns resemble the look of your natural teeth because they imitate the light reflective properties of a natural tooth. Because dental crowns made from porcelain, they are also stain-resistant. While you will still need to continue your daily dental routine, having crowns in place will keep your smile looking great.

Then there’s the durability. Dental crowns can last anywhere from five to fifteen years, depending on well they are taken care of. That is a reassuring thought when it comes to dental replacements. Dentures are removable; they can get lost easily. Unlike dentures, crowns stay in place because they are either cemented or anchored into the mouth. And like I said before, when dental crowns are placed they cover the entire tooth, protecting the tooth from further decay.

Crowns are stable and don’t irritate the gums like partial dentures. Due to the natural tooth like features, crowns restore full function to your damaged tooth. And let’s face it, missing teeth or having to wear dentures can affect your speech and eating ability. By restoring the damaged or missing teeth, you will help with a patient’s speech and fixing their bite.

Having damaged, missing or discolored teeth can cause confidence issues. Restoring those teeth can make your smile like brand new. What a confidence booster! So, if you are missing teeth, rest assured there is a solution to not only get back your smile, but also improve yourself overall. Time to make that appointment.

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.