Monday, June 18, 2018

What's in Your Toothpaste?

The Truth about Toothpaste
Go to any supermarket or big box discount store across Denver, and you'll be presented with shelves full of toothpaste options. 

Some even have entire aisles dedicated to oral hygiene. 

How do you decide on which toothpaste is right for you and your family? 

Today, Bertagnolli Dental in Westminster is here to tell you the truth about toothpaste, its ingredients, and the adverse effects you should know.

Which toothpaste is right for me?

Toothpaste is separated into subcategories. In most stores, you’ll find whitening toothpaste, tartar control toothpaste, fluoride-free toothpaste, kids toothpaste and toothpaste for sensitive teeth. 

Some people will base their toothpaste choice on their individual needs. This can mean buying a different toothpaste for each member of the family. Others will choose their toothpaste based on the flavor and even price.

Does it pay to be loyal to one brand of toothpaste, or should you just buy whatever happens to be on special that day? 

The harsh reality is that toothpaste is mainly a cosmetic product. Despite the boasts in toothpaste commercials, the truth about toothpaste is that it does not contribute significantly to oral hygiene.

What toothpaste does is create foam and gives your mouth a fresh feeling. We associate a lather or foamy sensation with soap and cleanliness. The strong minty flavor incorporated into most toothpaste gives the whole mouth a crisp, clean, and fresh taste, temporarily at least. 

While toothpaste certainly has a pleasing psychological effect, it does not necessarily impact how clean your teeth are after using it.

In a clinical study to measure the properties of whitening toothpaste, researchers at the University of Bristol Dental School found that there was no difference between the whitening toothpaste, generic toothpaste and plain water at inhibiting stains

The whitening toothpaste produced slightly better results than generic toothpaste and plain water at removing stains, however, it was not deemed capable enough to be clinically relevant.

What is in toothpaste?

Your typical toothpaste will typically contain the following ingredients:


Detergents - These create the foamy lather we mentioned earlier. This does not technically help to remove plaque from your teeth, but it does create a pleasing sensation.

Abrasives - Calcium carbonate and dehydrated silica gel help to physically scrub the surface of the teeth and remove food particles. Brushing too hard and fast without using the correct technique can wear down your teeth and remove some of the enamel.

Fluoride - This remineralizes the enamel of your teeth, making them stronger and more resistant to decay. This is one of the most important ingredients of toothpaste, and sometimes the only true active ingredient. Some people are wary of fluoride's effects and try to avoid it, even though it is effective in preventing cavities.

Flavorings - Usually menthol based flavors and sweeteners such as saccharin are used to make toothpaste palatable. Toothpaste does not usually contain sugar, even though you can find sweet bubblegum and fruit-flavored tubes of toothpaste marketed towards children.

Specially formulated tartar control toothpaste is designed to prevent the buildup of hardened mineral plaques or 'tartar' sometimes found on the inner surfaces of the teeth. 

They usually contain ingredients called pyrophosphates – tetrasodium or tetrapotassium pyrophosphates are the compounds added to toothpaste to fight the formation of tartar or calculus plaques.

Unfortunately, according to the Houston Health Science Center Dental Branch, this type of toothpaste can cause irritation in some users. Pyrophosphates create higher than usual levels of alkalinity in the mouth, to which some people can be sensitive. 

Toothpaste for sensitive teeth also contains an added ingredient, potassium nitrate. This compound desensitizes teeth and reduces the feeling of discomfort caused by hot and cold temperatures or sugary foods. Unfortunately, by using this additive, you may be just masking the pain of a cavity or serious issue requiring proper dental care and treatments.


So, what's best for my teeth?

While this information does not give you the green light to skip daily brushings, we also recommend a flossing regimen and seeing our dentists here at Bertagnolli Dental regularly.

Get in touch today, and let us take fantastic care of your teeth. 


Monday, June 4, 2018

The Do's and Don'ts of Baby Dental Health

Do's and Don'ts of Baby Dental Health
Give your little one the best advantage by starting their dental care early.

At Bertagnolli Dental, we know that instilling healthy habits from the outset can make all the difference for your child's teeth.

By following these do's and don'ts of baby dental health, they will be well on their way to a lifetime of fewer visits to our office.

1. Don't put off their first visit to the dentist
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that every child should see a dentist by the time they are a one-year-old.

It is proven that early intervention by a professional will lower your child's risk of developing issues. Your dentist can demonstrate correct oral hygiene practices and analyze the potential for tooth decay.

2. Do avoid bottles at bedtime
Putting a baby down to sleep with a bottle of milk may save you some time and hassle, but this is a dangerous habit to form.

The sugars in milk will fuel bacteria in your babies mouth all night long, facilitating tooth decay. Clean your baby's teeth before bedtime, and then if necessary to sooth them, you can give a bottle with warm water.

3. Don't get too dependent on a sippy cup
Sippy cups or 'no-spill cups' are used by toddlers in the transition between bottles and drinking cups. The design of sippy cups means that the liquid is often ingested slowly and has ample time to sit within the mouth.

For milk and juice, this means a high exposure to sugar and an increased risk of tooth rot.

Try to give your child the sippy cup at mealtimes only and avoid them using it continuously throughout the day.

4. Do be aware of high sugar content in medicines
Medications designed for babies and children can have extremely high sugar levels. This is intended to make them more palatable for children and easier to take.

This is not usually a cause for concern, however, if your infant has to take a daily oral medication with high sugar content, you should ask your dentist for specific advice.

5. Don't reach for the juice
After milk, fruit juice is often the go-to beverage of choice for young children. What many parents don't realize is that fruit juice naturally contains sugar and may even include added sugar, making them as harmful as soda to a child's developing teeth.

An even better idea is to accustom your child to drinking water throughout the day. This is a great habit to form early so that they can enjoy a lifetime of benefits from being an avid water drinker.

6. Absolutely do ditch the pacifier
This is an important one when it comes to the do's and don'ts of baby dental health.

Children over the age of 2 and 3 should not be using a pacifier. 

Prolonged pacifier use can affect the growth of your child's milk teeth, permanently altering their arrangement and the shape of their mouth. Help your child to become independent of pacifiers at a young age and avoid the risk of dental malformation.

7. Do cultivate healthy dental hygiene habits
Taking the time to practice good oral hygiene with your baby from the very beginning will set them up for a healthy future.

You can start by cleaning their gums with a soft cloth and water twice a day. Once their milk teeth start to appear, use a soft bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste to clean all surfaces gently.

Contact Bertagnolli Dental today for help with the do's and don'ts of baby dental health. Now is a great time to make the changes that will positively impact the way your children grow and following these simple guidelines will make your life easier too!

We are always available to help make your dental visits and home dental care a better experience at Bertagnolli Dental. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Basics of Dental Insurance

Today, Bertagnolli Dental in Westminster has the basics of dental insurance. We get a lot of questions from our clients about how their dental insurance works. So, we have laid out some helpful points to guide you through the process of using your dental insurance with Bertagnolli Dental.

Deductibles
Your dental insurance plan is going to have a deductible. This means that you will first pay out of pocket for dental procedures, such as a crown or filling, before the insurance coverage and co-pays come into play. Fortunately, insurance rarely applies a deductible to appointments for cleanings or exams.

Annual Maximum Benefit
Based on the calendar year, your Annual Maximum Benefit is generally around $1,000-$1,500, which is how much total dental work your insurance will pay. Once you’ve reached this amount in services, you must wait until the next calendar year to receive additional coverage, unless you pay out of pocket.

Your annual maximum benefit is “spent” on different levels of procedures and typically by a certain percentage. Here’s a quick example:

·         Type 1 Services, Preventative Dental Care: Insurance provides 100% coverage for x-rays, exams, cleanings, fluoride treatments, and sealants.

·         Type 2 Services, Basic Restorative Dental Care: Insurance pays 80% of the cost for fillings, root canals, periodontal scaling, root planning (deep cleanings), and extractions.

·         Type 3 Services, Major Restorative Dental Care: Insurance pays 50% of the cost for bridge work, dentures, crowns, posts, and buildups.

What About Exceptions?
Exceptions are one of the unavoidable basics of dental insurance, so read through you policy to better understand your dental care coverage. You can also call your insurance carrier for clarifications.

Waiting Period
If you are just getting new insurance, you may have to wait six months for coverage to begin on Type 2 Services. This is an industry standard, so set your calendars for any basic restorative dental care services including fillings, root canals, periodontal scaling, root planning (deep cleanings), or extractions.

Missing Tooth Clause
If you are looking to get a bridge or implant, hopefully, you still have the tooth or teeth needing help. If the tooth was already missing as you started your new dental insurance coverage, then your insurance will typically not cover the work.

Frequency
Your dental care group plan only allows services at certain intervals. This includes cleanings only every 6 months. If you schedule a cleaning before the 6 month period is up, your insurance will not cover it. At Bertagnolli Dental, we can advise and set up appointments so you’ll never have to worry!

Be sure that your dentist is contracted with your insurer to ensure coverage. You can also ask for a pre-treatment estimate to be sent over to your insurer. That way, you will see just what they will cover of your dental treatments, so there are no surprises in the bill.


At Bertagnolli Dental, we always work with our clients to get the absolute best benefits coverage and service. We appreciate our patients and want your experience with us to be a pleasant one. Now that you have the basics of dental insurance down, you are ready to schedule your visit with us.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

When to Worry About a Toothache

Know when to worry about a toothache with these tips from Bertagnolli Dental in Westminster. Toothache pain does not come from only one cause or symptom. There is a myriad of reasons you are experiencing it. Read on to get the facts on when to worry about a toothache and seek treatment.

If you’re experiencing a ton of pain with your toothache, it’s best to make an appointment immediately with your dentist. Remember, that you may have to wait a few days for a time to open up, so the sooner you call, the better.

In the meantime, take a written account of the pain you are experiencing. You can also take a painkiller, apply numbing gel, and a cold compress. Most importantly, keep your teeth clean. This will do the most good in this situation until you can meet with your dentist.

Schedule with your dentist immediately if:
·         Your toothache is causing you severe pain
·         Your toothache is lasting longer than 1-2 days
·         You have pain by simply opening your mouth
·         You have an earache as well

Additional Causes/Symptoms of a Toothache:
·         Chest pain
·         Jaw pain
·         Excessive pain
·         Dull or sharp pain around the tooth
·         Difficulty chewing or swallowing
·         Bleeding gums
·         Facial rash

Allergy and Sinus Problems
Believe it or not, you may have a sinus toothache. If you have recently gotten sick or have an infection, your mucus lining may swell up. This will lead to blockage of the nasal passages, clogging up your sinuses and trapping bacteria inside, leading to a toothache.

Trauma
Have you done any recent activities, such as playing sports, where you got hit in the face? You may be experiencing the effects of unintended trauma to your teeth. Your dentist can diagnose you and provide appropriate treatment.

Wisdom Teeth
The pain you are experiencing may also be from your wisdom teeth coming in. Make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible for an accurate assessment. 

Abscessed Tooth
If you have had any issues with your mouth for a while and did not get treatment, you may have an abscessed tooth. The sooner that you can get to the dentist, the better. An abscess qualifies as when to worry about a toothache.

Tooth Decay and Cavities
If your cavity has gotten extreme, it will begin to expose nerve endings and start to hurt. Get to your dentist quickly to resolve the issue.

Cracked Tooth
Cracked teeth can happen for a number of reasons including less than perfect oral hygiene, a misaligned bite, or trauma to the mouth. Get to the dentist quickly if you have a cracked tooth.

Gum Disease
A toothache can also stem from gingivitis. If your gums appear inflamed or bleed easily, it just might be showing up as a toothache. Seek help from your dentist immediately so that they can assist.


Now you have the facts on when to worry about a toothache, get help with your toothache today from Bertagnolli Dental. We are service-oriented, providing excellent dentistry to our clients. Don’t delay; call or schedule online today to get your toothache under control.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Baby's First Dental Visit

baby's first dental visit at Bertagnolli Dental in WestminsterThis week at Bertagnolli Dental in Westminster, we want to focus on your baby's first dental visit. As a practice specializing in family dentistry, we are well-equipped to help you with any queries related to dental care for your little ones. And of course, our entire team is gentle and friendly, to ensure all goes well when you come see us. Now, one of the most frequent questions we’re asked is, when should I bring my baby for their first dental check-up?  Let’s talk about what you need to know.

Scheduling the First Appointment
Your baby's first few teeth will probably appear when they are between six months and one year old. Schedule their first visit to a dentist once teeth start appearing and certainly by their first birthday. While some parents may be surprised at the advice to take their child to a dentist at such a young age, it's never too early. If you notice anything unusual about your baby's gums or mouth before the six-month mark, you can schedule an appointment with a dentist or pediatrician to have them checked.

Baby's first dental visit is crucial to a lifetime of dental care. Even with just a few teeth present, your dentist will be able to analyze their risk for cavities. The number of babies with tooth decay before they are two years old is rapidly increasing. By age four, at least one in four children in here in the United States will already have a cavity.

Baby teeth or milk teeth eventually fall out. It is, however, critical to take care of them for the five to seven years they are present. Not only does it set up a good routine for caring for the future adult teeth, but it also helps your child in this crucial stage of development. Healthy baby teeth are necessary for them to process food and receive the correct nutrition, as well as develop their speech skills.

How to Find a Pediatric Dentist
Finding a dentist that will cater to your child's needs and ensure they are comfortable is the top priority. While many dental practices will cater to children, not all of them are experienced and capable with infants. To get an idea of whether a practice is a good fit for your baby's first dental visit, call them up and ask what age they recommend for a first visit. If they respond by saying when the first tooth arrives or before their first birthday, you can be confident that they see babies on a regular basis.

Preparing for the First Appointment
Before taking your baby to their appointment, it's a good idea to think about any worries or concerns you have and write them down. This first visit aims to:

  • Start building a relationship with the dentist that will be taking care of your child's dental health
  • Have the dentist evaluate your child’s oral health
  • Receive advice on oral hygiene
  • Get answers to any specific questions or concerns

On the day of baby's first dental visit, it is a good idea to bring an extra diaper, snack, and toy for your child. This will hopefully keep them happy in the waiting room.

If possible, bring their other parent or an adult with whom your baby is comfortable with to the visit. They can hold the baby and keep them amused while you focus on talking to the dentist. Try to avoid bringing other children along so that you can give your undivided attention to the consultation. This appointment is a valuable opportunity to address your specific concerns with your dentist, so make the most of it.

At the Dental Office
Baby's first dental visit will begin with the dentist going over your child’s medical history. The dentist will probably ask about things related to their overall development, teething, diet, and sucking habits. They may ask about the dental health of any siblings and whether the siblings have cavities. This will give them an overall idea of your baby's health before they carry out the exam.

The dentist will then ask you to help them position the baby so that they can look at the teeth and gums. Usually, the parent will sit the child on their lap, and the dentist will sit opposite the parent. The parent can lay the baby back so that his or her head rests on the knees of the dentist and both can see clearly into their mouth. This is usually the most comfortable position, as they can still see the parent's face and don't have to be on the unfamiliar surface of a dentist's chair or table.

The dentist will examine the inside of your child’s mouth, checking each tooth. They will demonstrate how to clean the teeth and gums correctly. At this stage, they should let you practice the suggested technique for cleaning and correct any mistakes. They will also tell you what to expect in the following months as your child continues to develop.

After the examination, the dentist will discuss any irregularities found. If they have specific advice related to the diet, oral hygiene or cavity prevention, they will explain their suggestions and how to carry them out. If you have questions, feel free to ask them at this point. The dentist will then suggest a schedule for continued care.

After the Appointment
Before leaving the office, schedule your child’s next appointment at the front desk. They may give you contact information in case of a dental emergency. After the appointment, you will have a good idea of your baby's overall oral health, their stage of development and what to expect in the future. You’ll feel confident knowing how to care for your baby's teeth and identifying any problems that may appear.


If you have any questions about baby's first dental visit that haven't been answered by this post, please get in touch. The friendly team here at Bertagnolli Dental will guide you through the process. If you live here in Westminster or nearby, we would be happy to attend to the needs of your family. Give us a call.

Monday, February 12, 2018

All About Porcelain Veneers

All About Porcelain Veneers at Bertagnolli Dental Westminster
Ready to learn all about porcelain veneers? Our team at Bertagnolli Dental in Westminster, Colorado can guide you through the best options for your teeth. Getting dental veneers is typically a fast, simple, and painless procedure that can solve a range of cosmetic problems. If you are unsure whether veneers are the right option for you, keep reading. We will take you through the ins and outs of the procedure as well as the advantages and potential drawbacks of getting veneers.

What are Porcelain Veneers
Veneers are custom-made shells of a material designed to look exactly like your natural teeth. They are applied to the front surface of a tooth and are very successful in improving the tooth's appearance by changing its shape, size or color. Dental veneers are typically made of composite resin materials or porcelain. They are slightly more true to the appearance of tooth enamel, as they have similar light reflecting properties. Another reason to favor porcelain is that they are more resistant to staining than resin veneers.

Who Should Consider Porcelain Veneers?
Veneers are most often considered by people that have a cosmetic issue with one or many of their teeth. Acquired problems can include a chipped or broken tooth. If the tooth in question is still structurally sound and functional, having a porcelain veneer applied will instantly fix the aesthetic problem. Some people with overly worn down teeth, especially those at the front of the mouth, choose to get veneers to even out the size of the affected teeth.

Veneers also provide a solution for heavily stained teeth. Tooth yellowing can be a result of smoking tobacco or frequent consumption of dark-colored drinks such as coffee and red wine. Tooth discoloration can sometimes occur as a side effect of the antibiotic tetracycline or after a root canal treatment. If traditional teeth whitening methods do not produce good results, porcelain veneers allow you to choose the exact shade of white they prefer for the visible surface of their teeth.

Porcelain veneers are also great if you want to get the appearance of a straight, even smile without investing a lot of time and money into orthodontic braces. Veneers can be custom shaped to fill out the gaps between teeth, increase the size of smaller teeth, and even out the surface and borders of any oddly shaped teeth.

What Does the Procedure Involve?
The first stage of getting veneers is the consultation and diagnosis. For this, you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist to have your teeth examined and discuss your goals. Your dentist will be able to decide if you are a suitable candidate for veneers and the extent to which veneers can achieve your desired look. During this appointment, the dentist may take X-rays of your mouth or impressions of your teeth with a mold.

The next stage involves prepping the tooth or teeth. The enamel on the front of each tooth receiving a veneer has to be filed down by around half a millimeter to allow space for the veneer. You can be given a local anesthetic to numb the whole area and reduce any discomfort during this process. A mold can then be taken of the prepped tooth and sent to a dental laboratory where the veneer will be constructed over a period of two to four weeks. Constructing the dental veneer involves painted a number of layers of porcelain ceramic onto the mold of your tooth, to build it up to the desired thickness and shape.

The final step is to permanently bond the veneer to your prepped tooth. Your dentist will fit the veneer onto the tooth and make any last minute adjustment to the shape by filing it down before using a specialized cement to adhere the veneer to your tooth. Once the veneer is in position and cemented onto the tooth, a curing light is used to activate chemicals in the cement, causing it to harden quickly. Your dentist will remove any excess cement and check your bite with the veneer in place. You may be asked to return in a few weeks to check how your gums have responded to the veneer.

Advantages of Porcelain Veneers
This option highly recommended by dentists as a long-term solution for teeth in need of aesthetic improvement. The material closely mimics the appearance, color, and texture of your natural teeth. The color of a porcelain veneer can be chosen to match the surrounding teeth and will not stain over time. Porcelain is tolerated well by surrounding gum tissue and unlikely to cause irritation. One big advantage is their ease of placement. They do not require the level of invasive shaping and molding used when placing a crown.

Disadvantages of Porcelain Veneers
The main downside to veneers is that they are not completely permanent. They usually last at least 7 to 15 years, but due to normal wear and tear they can eventually chip, crack or come loose completely. If this happens, you will need to replace the veneer with a new one, as once the tooth has been filed down and prepped for a veneer it is unwise to leave it bare. In this way, veneers are a non-reversible procedure. Another disadvantage associated with veneers is that some people will experience an increase in sensitivity to hot and cold due to the removal of some enamel from the tooth. They also cost more than composite resin veneers.


Porcelain veneers are an excellent option for anyone interested in changing the appearance of their teeth without opting for the more invasive and expensive procedure of a full crown. Once they are placed, they are low-maintenance and require no special care, apart from the usual brushing and flossing. Now that you know all about them, why not schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss your suitability for the procedure? At Bertagnolli Dental, we are fortunate to have the use of an in-house laboratory where we can create custom porcelain veneers. This means a lower overall cost and less waiting time than in other clinics where the lab work must be outsourced.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Resin and Amalgam Fillings

The experienced team at Bertagnolli Dental in Westminster can tell you everything you need to know about resin and amalgam fillings. We have been providing a full range of dental services to adults and children since 1973. Getting a cavity filled is a simple procedure, but your dentist may offer you a choice of various materials for your filling. Knowing the pros and cons of each material in advance will make your decision easier.

Amalgam Fillings
Dental amalgam is a mixture of a number of metals, including mercury, silver, copper, and tin. This compound is extremely durable and resistant to large forces, making it very suitable as a material for fillings. Many dentists prefer metal amalgam fillings to be used on the chewing surfaces of the molars, which undergo extreme wear and tear over years of grinding down food. Amalgam is also favored by dentists because it is easy to work with. There is very little waiting time between setting the filling and it being completely cured.

Amalgam fillings have come under scrutiny in recent years because of the mercury content of the filling and the health risks of exposure to high levels of mercury. Fortunately, when chemically bonded to other metals in the form of a filling, it is not possible for mercury to enter the bloodstream and cause health problems. Research by the American Dental Association has found that dental amalgam is a safe material for use in fillings.

Resin Fillings
Resin composite fillings are made from a mixture of plastic and ceramic compounds. Their main advantage is their white color which blends in with the natural color of tooth enamel. For this reason, resin composite dental fillings are the first choice for fillings near the front of the mouth that are visible when smiling. When they were first developed, resin fillings were not strong enough to be used on the back molars. Over the past 15 years, however, advances in technology have improved their durability, allowing them to be used on all teeth.

Resin fillings are generally more expensive than amalgam fillings. They are also slightly more difficult for your dentist to successfully complete, as the area of the dental cavity must be kept completely dry while the material is being applied and cured. This can be done using rubber dams and specialized tools, but it is difficult when the cavity extends below the gumline. Whereas amalgam fillings often last more than 20 years, resin fillings have not been around long enough to prove their long-term durability.


Knowing the differences between resin and amalgam fillings will help you understand the options when it comes to deciding which is right for you. At Bertagnolli Dental, we are committed to giving all of our patients the best results and the most comfortable experience. We’ll help you select the right material for your filling while taking into account all of your concerns about cosmetics, durability, health effects and cost. For more information on fillings or to schedule an appointment, please give us a call today.