Important Warning Signs to Look for with a Child’s Gums

Avoid Gum Disease

Gum disease can set in at almost any age, and there are always exceptions to the rule, even when it comes to the least common instances of child development issues. To protect your child from gum disease and make sure their teeth and gums develop properly, it is essential to use preventive knowledge and tactics to identify gum related problems in time.

 

Chronic gingivitis is more common in children than you might expect. The disease can cause gums to swell up and become red and painful. Also, bleeding can occur, and your children can also complain of discomfort when they chew on tougher pieces of food.

 

Another common issue that will alert you that something might be wrong has to do with receding gums. When your child starts developing gingivitis, the affected gums may recede and expose the roots of their teeth.

 

Finally, bad breath that doesn’t clear up once your kids brush their teeth is the final and probably the easiest to spot sign that your child might be experiencing a case of chronic gingivitis, and could require the help of a sedation dentistry Highlands Ranch professional.

 

You will need to act swiftly in order to take proper care of the problem. Preventive measures should include establishing good dental hygiene habits and serving as a dental hygiene role model for your children. When it comes to dealing with an already progressing case of gum disease, schedule an appointment with your family dentist, and follow their instructions to the letter.

How Many Times Should Your Child Go to the Dentist?

How Often To Take Trips To The Dentist

How often should you consider taking your child to see the dentist in Highlands Ranch community? Although this is a problem that many parents struggle with, there isn’t a sure way to find a definite answer to it. Dentistry doesn’t work the same for each person, since we each have different tooth structures and different dental problems we are coping with.

 

However, dentists can still provide you with a general guideline as to the frequency of taking your child for a checkup, as long as you take them a few times per year during the beginning stages of their development.

 

The AAPD recommends that you start taking your child to a certified pediatric dentist as soon as they develop their first tooth. Once that happens, your dentist will likely ask you to return at least once every six months, depending on your child’s developmental issues, and whether they need any kind of special care.

 

In the event that your child has certain complications, such as increased tooth decay, fluoride deficiency, gum disease or the need to realign their teeth with products like Invisalign, then there will be a need that they pay more frequent visits to the family dentist, or even to an expert pediatric dentist.

 

However, even before you find out about these types of issues, you’ll find it necessary to take your child to the dentist at least 1-2 times per year. Some dentists will recommend even more frequent checkups, if your child has weaker teeth or developmental problems.

The Warning Signs of Gum Disease

Gum Diseases

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is among the most common issues of oral health, a problem that can affect anyone, young and old alike. The disease usually appears as the result of the inflammation caused by the infection of the tissues around the teeth and can vary in terms of severity from mild cases, when the patient notices only gum bleeding to very severe cases that can even result in lost teeth.

In most cases, gum disease does not appear all of a sudden – the following warning signs indicate that you might be at risk:

  • Gum bleeding – many of us experience occasional, mild gum bleeding when we brush our teeth too hard or when we hurt our gum with dental floss, but the bleeding caused by gum disease is persistent and extensive, affecting not only one or two teeth, but often the entire gum;
  • Gum inflammation recession – if your gums become red and swollen or you notice that your teeth have become longer, it is a sign that the gum that surrounds them is inflamed or it is receding;
  • Tooth sensitivity – infected, frequently bleeding gums tend to withdraw from the teeth, exposing the teeth and causing dental sensitivity;
  • Bad breath – gum infections are caused by bacteria that accumulate on the surface of the gum and start festering, making the patient’s breath foul smelling. Find a cosmetic dentistry Highlands Ranch area to help you take care of your gums and teeth, for overall good hygiene.

What to Consider When Getting Dentures

Dental Technician Working on Dentures

What to Consider When Getting Dentures

If you are currently considering getting dentures, here are a few things that you need to know.

What Are Dentures?

Dentures are artificial teeth complete with artificial gums made based on a mold taken of your mouth by the dentist and created in order to replace natural teeth. Dentures can replace your complete set of natural teeth or only a part of them, they can be used only at for the top row of teeth or only for the bottom and they are designed to resemble your natural teeth.

The process of creating dentures usually starts with the treatment of the patient’s existing teeth – unsalvageable teeth need to be extracted, salvageable ones need to be restored before the mold for the denture can be safely taken.

What Materials Are Dentures Made From?

There are many different materials that dentures can be made from. Porcelain and plastic are the most traditional and the most affordable denture materials, while hard resin is a more modern, but more expensive choice. The support structure for the artificial teeth, the part that resembles the gums and the palate is also made from resin similar to the material of the teeth.

How Much Does It Cost?

The more complex the denture, the higher the price and the amount you will have to pay also varies based on the material you choose. More expensive materials are more durable and more suitable for creating natural-looking dentures.

 

Find out more about the different denture options to have a beautiful smile at http://www.willowcreekdds.com/.

How Does Thumb-Sucking Affect My Child’s Teeth?

Help Your Child's Teeth

Thumb-sucking is a normal habit in a child’s life – all babies suck their fingers or like to suck on the pacifier, but most of them grow out of the habit by the age of 3.

Finger-sucking starts affecting the child’s denture if the habit persists after the age of 3. The sucking itself affects the direction in which the teeth grow, while the pressure of the thumb or of the finger on the lower denture can also deform the teeth, preventing them from erupting properly, pushing them forward, causing them to grow unevenly or to overlap. Finger sucking can negatively affect the development of the jaws as well, leading to an open bite, which means that the upper and lower teeth don’t meet correctly when the child bites.

Thumb-sucking being harmful if it goes on after the age by which most temporary teeth have erupted, parents need to discourage the habit by means of gentle persuasion. The best way to get your child to stop is by explaining to the kid about the harm that is being done to his or her teeth and rewarding the kid with an activity he or she likes. You can also try to creatively distract the child in situations that would normally prompt thumb-sucking.  Talk with a Lone Tree family dentistry office for other ideas to keep your child’s teeth healthy.

What Happens During a Root Canal?

Root Canal Systems

Root canal treatment becomes necessary in the case of a severely infected tooth that is still salvageable, provided that the infection is eliminated. The principle goal of the procedure is to remove infected and dead tissues from inside the tooth, followed by the closing of the cavity – here are the steps involved:

  • The dentist administers injectable local anaesthesia and waits until the patient’s jaw becomes completely numb;
  • The dentist uses tiny drills and other tools to create an opening on the surface of the tooth and to go into the teeth deeper to reach the infected area;
  • The doctor uses small files to remove all the infected or dead tissue from inside the tooth, then irrigates the area to make sure the tooth is clean and infection-free;
  • The last step of the process is the filling – when the chamber created inside the tooth is clean and dry, the doctor will fill it in with special materials, then a temporary filling is applied to the surface to teeth;
  • The temporary filling stays on until the interior parts of the tooth heal completely, after which the tooth receives a permanent filling or, if it is too mall or too weak, it gets a crown. The Lone Tree dental staff are some of the best, when it comes to root canal procedures.

All You Need to Know About Invisalign

Invisalign

Invisalign is one of the most advanced solutions for dental realignment that has restored the self-confidence of numerous patients already, young and adult as well. The method straightens the teeth without unsightly and uncomfortable wires, offering a solution customized with the state-of-the-art scanning and manufacturing technologies.  Many of the Lone Tree dentists offer Invisalign, as well as other dentists in your area.

Most dental misalignment issues can be efficiently corrected with the help of Invisalign, but very severe spacing problems or extreme crookedness might benefit more from conventional braces, so the process of creating your Invisalign aligners starts with a detailed inspection of the denture to determine whether the solution is suitable. The next step is the scanning and the production of the aligners – the patient’s jaw is scanned with a special, 3D device that also creates a simulation of how the denture will move during the treatment.

The set of clear, almost invisible aligners are custom-created based on the images, then the first aligner is applied on the patient’s teeth. Each aligner stays on the teeth for about two weeks – when the current aligner has done its job, it is replaced with the next one in the set until the desired results are achieved. The first results are usually seen after a few weeks, but it might take about a year or longer to complete the realignment process.

How to Curb Your Fear of the Dentist

A Friendly Dental Office

The fear of the dentist is a powerful emotion that prevents many people from visiting a really good Highlands Ranch dental office regularly – those who are scared of sitting into the dentist’s chair because they are worried that they might experience pain or embarrassment tend to neglect their duty to get their teeth inspected regularly, which can lead to more severe dental problems over time. If you are afraid of making a dental appointment, too, here are a few tips that can help you overcome your phobia:

  • Find the right dentist – a really good dentist will not judge you by the condition of your teeth and will also understand your fears and worries. Find a compassionate dentist and ask him or her to do only an inspection during the first visit to allow you to get accustomed to the situation.
  • Consult your dentist about sedation dentistry – many dentists nowadays agree to perform treatments under mild anesthesia that will make you only slightly dizzy, not completely sedated, the state of mind allowing you to let go of your fears.
  • The importance of relaxation – practicing relaxation techniques and meditation are known to be very efficient in the process of overcoming the fear of dentists and distractions, such as listening to music can also help a lt.

How to Take Care of Your Teeth When Suffering from the Flu

Getting Rid Of Bacteria In Your Mouth

Being taken down with the flu does not mean that you can stop taking care of your oral hygiene – quite on the contrary, if you suffer from the flu, you need to pay even more attention to dental hygiene, here is why and how:

  • Brush more often – when you cough or sneeze, you cover your mouth to prevent viruses and bacteria to get out, but you should not keep them in your mouth either, that’s why it is very important to pay even more attention to oral hygiene when you are ill.
  • Avoid sugar – sugar and carbs promote the proliferation of bacteria in the oral cavity and you need to prevent that if you already have the flu. If you have a cough and you take cough drops or a cough syrup, buy sugar-free varieties.
  • Drink plenty of water, unsweetened tea or freshly squeezed fruit juice – dry mouth promotes the appearance of cavities and becoming dehydrated can make your flu symptoms worse as well, so make sure you consume as much unsweetened liquid as possible. Chamomile and mint tea are the best, but if you don’t like them, you can have orange juice, apple juice or plain water as well. Seek the advice of a professional dentist Lone Tree area, that can help you determine a daily regiment to have a healthy vibrant smile.

5 Things You Never Knew about Teeth

Family Brushing Teeth

Cleaning our teeth by brushing them, flossing them and using a rinse are activities that we do every day without thinking too much about our teeth. However, consciously taking care of our teeth is essential not only for the beautiful smile we all want, but for our general health as well – here are five things that are important to know about teeth, but are not common knowledge:

  • The enamel on your teeth is the hardest substance in your entire body.
  • Wisdom teeth are disappearing – our jaws are becoming shorter with evolution, so much so that many children nowadays are born without having space for wisdom teeth in their mouths.
  • Frequent snacking can hurt your teeth – whenever you reach out for your favorite snack, your teeth come into contact with acid, so the more frequently you snack, the more your teeth are affected.
  • You should spit out toothpaste, but you should not rinse it – most toothpastes contain fluoride that play an important role in protecting your teeth against cavities. The longer the fluoride stays in your mouth, the more efficient the protection it provides.
  • Gum disease is linked to other conditions as well – gum problems are usually caused by infections that can be associated with other health problems, including diabetes and heart problems, so be sure you visit a dentist in Highlands Ranch as often as needed.
sticking out tonge

Bad Breath That Won’t Go Away? The Culprit Just Might Be Your Tongue?

The majority of people living in the Denver Metro area may brush and floss twice a day and even sneak in an extra tooth brushing after lunch, but even doing this, they still might have bad breath. What’s the culprit causing this you ask? Your tongue. Until you start cleaning your tongue on a daily basis, you may not be able to get rid of lingering halitosis (aka bad breath). Each time you grab your toothbrush, toothpaste and floss to take care of your teeth, let’s not forget to take of your tongue too. These simple oral health habits will make a difference.Willow Creek Dental recommends using a Tongue Scrapper to reduce your bad breath

Best Tongue Brushing Techniques

After you have spent 2 minutes brushing your teeth, it’s time to focus on your tongue. It’s important to focus on your tongue, each and every time you brush your teeth, because the tongue harbors bacteria and food particles trapped under a thin layer of mucus.

It can be as simple as using the bristles of your toothbrush to clean your tongue. To remove this odor-causing buildup, put a small dab of toothpaste on your toothbrush and carefully brush the top of the tongue. Start by reaching to the back of the tongue, and then work forward toward the opening of the mouth. Brush the entire top surface of the tongue using gentle pressure, and finish by rinsing with water. (Source: Colgate Oral Care Center)

Tips on how Best to Use a Tongue Scraper

If you want to up your game in the fight against bad breath, use a tongue scraper. This tool is usually made of soft, flexible plastic and gently peels the thin mucus-based layer of debris from the tongue. Rinse the scraper under warm water after each swipe of the tongue.

If your tongue feels sore or begins to bleed, you most likely are using the tongue scraper with too much force. Work slowly and with light pressure. Concentrate on the center of the tongue where the bulk of odor-causing bacteria lies.

How Often Should YOU Clean Your Tongue?

Our dentists and team of amazing hygienists at Willow Creek Dental recommend that you either brush your tongue or use a tongue scrapper each time after you brush and floss your teeth. A mouthwash rinse after cleaning your tongue will moisturize the mouth and kill any additional bacteria.

For good oral health and maintaining fresh breath it will take more than routine tooth brushing. Start today and get into the habit of focusing on your tongue every time you brush your teeth. Adding this ritual into your daily oral care regime will help you keep your breath neutral and fresh. If your bad breath continues even after weeks of cleaning your tongue every time you brush your teeth, call us 303-779-2797 to schedule an appointment for a dental exam and cleaning.

Tips for Health Teeth

5 things you can do to keep your teeth healthy

Brushing and flossing twice a day will keep your teeth clean, but there are a few other things you can do to keep your teeth healthy.

Check out these 5 simple things the team at Willow Creek Dental recommends that you start today to make a positive difference with your smile.

  1. Take Care of Your Toothbrush
    For healthy teeth, your toothbrush is very important. After you brush your teeth it’s necessary to take care of your toothbrush. Rinse it well after brushing. Then, in an upright position, make sure to store it out in the open, away from your toilet, to allow for plenty of air flow around the bristles to keep your brush dry as microorganisms that can grow on your toothbrush tend to thrive in a moist environment. If the bristles on your toothbrush begin to fray or look worn, change it. Even if they don’t look worn, Willow Creek Dental and the American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three months, sooner after an illness like a cold or flu.
  2. Think before you Drink
    What you drink can affect the health of your teeth. Beverages such as soft drinks and sugary juices have been targeted as culprits of tooth decay. Drinking less soda and more water, milk and fresh juices can help protect your teeth.
  3. Brush your Tongue
    When you’re brushing your teeth, don’t forget to brush your tongue to help fight the bacteria in your mouth. Tongue brushing is not only essential for keeping your teeth healthy, it also helps to stop bad breath. We recommend using a toothbrush with a cheek and tongue cleaner so you can easily remove bacteria from your mouth every time you brush.
  4. Avoid Tobacco
    Do you and your teeth a big favor and avoid tobacco. By eliminating tobacco, it will save you from a higher risk of oral cancer and periodontal complications.

  5. Visit Your Dentist
    If you haven’t been to a dentist in the last 6-months, that is okay, we won’t judge. Today is the day to change this trend and call us at (303) 779-2797 to set up a cleaning or for a free consultation on any of your dental issues, fears, or concerns. It’s important to visit your dentist at least twice a year to have a full hygiene treatment performed. During your visit, we will include a comprehensive exam with x-rays to help detect and prevent future dental treatments from occurring
Brush or Floss First, That is the Question

Ask Willow Creek Dental: Brush or Floss First?

This question, “Is it better to brush or floss first?” is asked a lot by new patients and followers on our Facebook and Twitter pages. There are many different theories on this subject matter, so we went straight to the source, Dr. Mary Blakeley. Her response, “If you are asking the question if you should floss or brush first means you are more than likely doing both, and that’s really all that matters. It isn’t the order in which you brush or floss, it’s more that you do both to keep your teeth healthy.”

Other questions we have received from our social pages, include:

Why should I brush my teeth after each meal? We recommend that you brush your teeth at least two times a day. While it is ideal to brush your teeth after each meal it is not always an option. In those instances, rinse with water or an antibacterial mouthwash to remove loose food particles.

Why is it recommended that you brush your teeth for 2 minutes each time you brush?  To keep up with good oral hygiene, we recommend that you brush your teeth for two minutes. This allows you to focus 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth to remove food particles and help prevent future tooth decay and gum disease.

Why do I have bad breath?  I brush and floss my teeth daily? Bad breath, or halitosis, is caused by bacteria in the mouth emitting sulfur-like smells. Certain foods you are eating can affect the production of bacteria in the mouth. Beverages like coffee and foods like garlic, fish, and spicy foods can trigger bad breath due to the residue that sticks to the gums, teeth and mouth lining.

Do you have a dental question you’d like a member of our Willow Creek Dental team to answer? Post your comment below, send us a Facebook message, or contact us on our website. We’re here to answer your questions.

Straight Teeth with Invisalign

Benefits of Straight Teeth

It might be surprising to know that the benefits of having properly aligned teeth extend far beyond a confident smile. Teeth that are crowded or crooked can impact the health of your gums as it can be more difficult to brush and floss properly in those areas. Straightening your teeth can significantly affect your overall dental health because it reduces your risk for tooth decay and gum disease.

If your teeth are crooked or misaligned and you’re worried about the impact to your oral heath, here are five reasons you should consider Invisalign® treatment.

  1. Invisalign® aligner trays are easy to remove at meal times. Simply remove before eating, then floss (which is very easy to do compared to dealing with metal braces) and put them back in.
  2. Invisalign ® aligners are clear and nothing like obvious metal braces. Most people won’t even know you’re wearing them, because they are virtually invisible!
  3. Metal braces can puncture and scratch the insides of your mouth and gums. Invisalign® trays do not have sharp edges, they are smooth and comfortable.
  4. Treatment time with Invisalign® can be less than with traditional metal braces. Invisalign® can take from 1 to 2 years on average to straighten your teeth.
  5. The technology behind Invisalign® is state-of-the-art. Dental patients undergo treatment plans that have been fully computerized. Our Dentists know exactly what to expect with each aligner tray so they can forecast when you will be done with your treatments.

To learn more about Invisalign® and if it is right for you, contact Willow Creek Dental at (303) 779-2797 to set up your FREE, no-risk consultation. To learn more about our full range of cosmetic dentistry services.

Ollie 3

How Umi became Ollie – A Guest Blog from Freedom Service Dogs

Willow Creek Dental is proud to support Freedom Service Dogs of America this month and below is a guest blog. For more information about FSD, visit their website at www.freedomservicedogs.org.

 

With the last name Collie, it’s almost a given you have to have a dog.  So it should have come as no surprise when my husband approached me and said, “it’s time for us to get a dog, let’s go find one.”

 

Ollie 1Since we had never had a dog together, I thought dog fostering may be good way to ease us into this.  I did wonder if I would fall in love with every dog who came in our home, but it was my husband, Brian, who fell in love with every dog we fostered.  Our fostering adventure started simple enough.  I was watching 9News one morning and saw a story about Freedom Service Dogs of America (FSD).  Their mission is amazing and I knew this was the organization for us.  FSD truly gives dogs and their “people” a new lease on life.  FSD rescues shelter dogs (breaking them out of jail) and then trains them for returning service members with PTSD, a physical disability or other individuals with service dog needs.  Dogs are trained to open doors, pick up items, pull wheelchairs, go for help, turn on lights and more than 50 other commands.  The stories of how these dogs become life changers is just incredible.

 

Ollie 2FSD service dogs in training are in “school” Monday-Friday.  Every day they are in training, learning basic commands and the various specialty tasks they will need to complete for their person.  One the weekend they go home with foster families.  It’s time to kick back and chill.  Since these are all shelter dogs, it’s important for the dogs to be socialized in a home setting since a home will be their eventual environment.  Some families foster the same dog every weekend until the dog graduates and is placed with their person.  Other foster families are substitutes; if the regular family is out of town or just needs a break.  We were in the substitute category, which was perfect for us; we could have a different dog every weekend.  We never really knew who we were getting until pick up day.  During our fostering adventure we had Durango, Yardley who became Yards, Pivot who become Divot and Baraboo who become Bear.  Whenever my husband decided he wanted to keep a dog he changed their name.  He was like a little kid, “Mom, PLEASE, I want to keep him!!”  Every Sunday evening that was that the conversation in our house even though we knew each dog was being trained for a greater purpose.

 

Ollie 3Though, not every dog makes the cut.  Some fail because they don’t have the temperament to be a service dog, may be a little timid or any number of reasons.  Others are calm and trainable but they just can’t break a nasty habit of chasing squirrels.  This is where Umi comes into the picture.  Umi was Ollie’s FSD name.  We don’t know much about Ollie’s background other than FSD rescued him from a shelter in Albuquerque, New Mexico and brought him to Denver for evaluation and training.  He had been with FSD for three months and doing great, passing every test in front of him except for those darn Wash Park squirrels.  When you’re a service dog, you can’t really be darting after a squirrel if your person has stability issues.  Not good.  We had Umi for about two weekends and falling in puppy love when we were told that Umi had failed his final test.  What happens to the drop-outs?  They get to find a forever family.

 

Ollie 4I brought Umi home that weekend and Brian tried to convince me all weekend to keep him.  He used every reason one could come up with, but I just wasn’t biting.  I don’t have a good reason.  Umi was great, loved to snuggle, knew his manners and loved to play.  I just wasn’t ready.  So Monday morning, I dropped off Umi thinking about keeping him and even told FSD we were thinking about keeping, I just needed the week to think it over.  FSD has web page of just their adoptable dogs and given their temperate and training, they are highly sought after so if you have interest you have to act fast and my husband did just that.

 

After dropping off Umi, I headed to the airport for a business trip.  During the course of that four-day business trip, my husband adopted Umi (pushed me right over the cliff), renamed him Ollie and got him settled.  He made the decision for our family and I don’t regret the decision one bit.  I have to thank Momma Collie for coming up with the name Ollie.  If she hadn’t said he looked like an Ollie Collie, Umi may have been Oozie.  I would have liked to have been a part of the name change conversation, but I probably couldn’t have come up with a better name anyway, well may be one better than Oozie, so Ollie has stuck.
Ollie 5So many people stop us to ask where we got Ollie.  No can believe we have such a calm, well behaved dog when he’s at a brewery or restaurant.  I love telling the story.  From the mission of FSD, to the volunteer opportunities they provide and those pesky squirrels, they all combined to bring us our Ollie.  He’s only been with us for four months, but I can’t imagine our home without him.  He’s the first to greet me when I get home from work in the evening and the first to remind me it’s 5AM (walk time).  He knows the word “bark park” (goes nuts when we say it out loud), loves his car rides and morning snuggles and of course loves his bacon!  Its amazing we live in such a dog friendly environment so we take him just about everywhere and every weekend includes a new bacon adventure.

 

Knowing his story, I feel Ollie has gotten three chances at a great life and sometimes I think he knows it too.  I feel in my heart Ollie picked us, we were meant to be his family.  Both Durango and Pivot were adoptable, but they didn’t have the same pull as Umi/Ollie.  No, he picked us and now he’s our Ollie Collie and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

 

Once we get Ollie settled we will start fostering again.  FSD has become an important organization to both Brian and I.  We believe in the mission, the work they do and forever grateful for bringing us Ollie.  We can’t wait to see where this next adventure takes us and see how many dogs have a name change when they come in our home.  I’ll never say never, but I hope I never go on another business trip and have my husband adopt a dog while I’m gone.

 

Freedom Service Dogs of America

Willow Creek Dental is Going to the Dogs…and that is a Very Good Thing.

DogIn 2017 our team at Willow Creek Dental is focused on giving back to our local communities by working alongside various non-profit organizations who do amazing work. Our first program partnership is with Freedom Service Dogs based in Centennial, Colorado.

We selected Freedom Service Dogs because they are a nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by rescuing dogs and custom training them for individual client needs. Their clients include children, veterans and active duty military, and other adults with disabilities including autism, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The program is simple. During the month of April, we will donate $10 to Freedom Service Dogs of America for every new patient who schedules an appointment with our office. Appointments can be for any of our services, including teeth cleanings, teeth whitening and other cosmetic dentistry services, dental implants, Invisalign®, or any other dental procedure you’ve been putting off.

  • The program is for new patients only.
  • Your appointment must be made in April – however the date of your appointment to come to our office can be set for a time that works for you.
  • When setting your appointment PLEASE mention that you want to support Freedom Service Dogs when you call (303) 779-2797 or when you schedule your appointment online at willowcreekdds.com/contact

The Willow Creek Dental team will also be volunteering at Freedom Service Dogs soon. We will be sharing our volunteer day on our Facebook page (so keep watch)! If you or a group or business that you belong to would like to volunteer or donate to Freedom Service Dogs, we know they would appreciate your support.

We hope you will consider supporting our cause. If you’re already a patient at Willow Creek Dental, thank you. If you know someone who would love a healthy smile and support a great cause, let them know and have them call us at (303) 779-2797 today!

Dr. Mary Blakeley

Get to Know Dr. Mary Blakeley


Mary Close Up New 9.26.16Dr. Mary Blakeley
 founded Willow Creek Dental back in 1998. It was located in a small office at the corner of Quebec & County Line in the Willow Creek Shopping Center, hence how we got our name. She has since moved the office twice, most notably to our current location in Lone Tree. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry and also has advanced training in dental implantology, neuromuscular dentistry, sleep apnea treatment and TMJ disorder therapy. 

You grew up in a big family in Wyoming and went to undergrad in Nebraska. What brought you to Colorado? 

I knew I wanted to practice in a larger city but still wanted to be close to home. Denver fit the bill. It’s a great place to live, has lots to do, and is a great place to raise a family.

Have you always wanted to be a dentist? What got you interested in dentistry? 

I was a dental assistant for the local dentist in Pine Bluffs in high school so that gave me exposure into what the dental industry was like. When I started college, I was undecided. I always loved my science classes and knew that some sort of medicine is what my heart desired. When I attended a health-career fair my junior year in college and spoke with the admissions director from the UNMC College of Dentistry, I immediately knew that dentistry was what I wanted to do.

You started Willow Creek Dental in 1998 after working as an Associate in a practice for one year. What made you decide to start your own practice? 

I have always been an independent person who wanted to be in control of my own destiny so it made sense to start my own practice. I also wanted to be able to control how my patients were cared for without the constraints of being “managed”.

Are there any specific areas of dentistry that you particularly enjoy? 

I get a lot of joy from helping someone whose teeth are failing them get a new, healthy smile that restores their confidence and are proud to show off.

If you weren’t a dentist, what career would you pursue? 

I probably would have pursued a career in medicine, although I can’t imagine not being a dentist! Dentistry has allowed me to still have a life outside of the office and have time with my family.

You were a student-athlete in college. What sport did you play? Do you still play today?

I played volleyball at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Even through dental school and after I moved to Denver, I still played club volleyball. I used to coach my daughter’s club team and I try to play on occasion. However, a busy family life prevents me from playing as much as I would like to.

Speaking of a busy life, you and your husband have a blended family with six children—all teenagers! When not busy with your kids and their events, what do you like to do for fun? 

I really enjoy going on an annual beach vacation with my husband, Ben. We also try to go on a vacation with the whole family once a year. I also enjoy going snowboarding, water-skiing, hiking, golfing and working out.

You are a country music fan—what has been your favorite concert? 

I like a lot of music…including country!!  My favorite concert was probably Garth Brooks. I saw him in Vegas and in Denver. Both were incredible shows!  He is such a gifted entertainer.

Tell us something about yourself that people don’t know. 

Two things. First, I grew up on a cattle ranch in Wyoming.The ranch is still owned and operated by my family and has been in operation since 1890. Second, my high school volleyball team was once featured on ESPN for having 12 state championships in a 15 year period.

Favorite Vacation Spot: 

Anywhere with water. Whether it is Grand Lake on a boating vacation or a Mexico beach vacation, as long as I am on the water, I am happy.

Favorite Movie or TV Show: 

I do not watch anything on TV regularly. I do love watching the Broncos on Sunday or the Huskers on Saturday, though. I don’t have a single favorite movie, but two of my favorites are Legends of the Fall and A Walk in the Clouds.

Favorite Local Restaurant:  

There are a lot of great restaurants in Denver, but, Carmines on Penn is one of my favorites.

Favorite Holiday Tradition:

Every other year, my entire family gets together for Christmas at my parent’s home in Wyoming. Our annual White Elephant gift exchange is a lot of fun for the kids and adults. It usually turns into a “snowball” fight that instead of snowballs, Christmas wrapping paper is wadded up into tight balls that work as ammunition. As you can imagine, in a family with mostly boys as grandchildren, it usually ends when something gets broken or someone gets hurt!!

Flossopher

To Floss or Not to Floss? We recommend you floss.

Isn’t it amazing how sometimes a small task can be so hard to do? What if we told you that doing a simple, inexpensive activity every day for 1 minute could help prevent painful dental problems in the future, potentially save you thousands of dollars in dental work, and help you look better? Would you do it?

Of course you would. Now if we tell you that means flossing every day, you may suddenly change your mind.

Is flossing really that beneficial? The answer is yes. Even if you brush your teeth twice a day, it is impossible for your toothbrush to clean in between your teeth and under your gums. So unless you have a strict diet of only water, there is bound to be sugar and acid from everything you eat and drink in those areas that ultimately doesn’t get removed by your toothbrush.

Flossing isn’t perfect, which is why you need to have your teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months, however it does disrupt bacteria and food that is trapped between your teeth and gums, helping to prevent decay. Doing it the same time every day will help you develop a habit and you will get a pat on the back from your Hygienist at your next cleaning.

It doesn’t take long, doesn’t cost much money (in fact you get floss for free at your cleanings) and you can do it anywhere. So no more excuses—get flossing!

Same-day crowns, bridges, partials and dentures to help you maintain healthy teeth and gums

Why you should get your teeth cleaned every 6 months

Some people might wonder if cleaning your teeth every 6 months is necessary, especially if you brush and floss daily. As a dental office, we certainly believe so and here is why:

  1. Having your teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months allows the Hygienist to use their special instruments to remove plaque from your teeth that your toothbrush and floss are unable to get before it eventually hardens into tartar. This preventive method can help prevent decay and gum disease, both problems that can result in future dental problems.
  2. Getting an exam twice a year allows the Dentist to check your teeth and look for any signs of decay or changes from your past visit. While you won’t need x-rays with every 6 month visit, having a dental exam can help identify and correct small dental problems before they get worse.
  3. Some people need to actually be seen more often than 6 months. If you have a fast rate of decay and tend to get cavities quickly, it is important that you not only go twice a year but possibly more frequently to help prevent dental problems. Other candidates who may require more frequent visits include smokers, diabetics, pregnant women, and those who already have been diagnosed with gum disease.
  4. Most dental insurance companies pay for two cleanings and exams a year so you might as well take advantage of a benefit you already pay for.
  5. Best of all—don’t you love how your teeth feel after they are professionally cleaned?

As always, if you are concerned with getting a cleaning twice a year, ask your dentist what they recommend.