Feature

Top Dentists 2013

For the sixth year running, 5280 partnered with topDentists to find the 645 very best dentists in Denver and beyond. Turn the page to find a dentist who’s right for you—and tips for keeping your smile healthy at any age.

June 2013

Tykes (Birth to school age)

Family Affair

Good oral hygiene will keep your kids happy and healthy and help them do better in school. As a parent, you are your child’s best role model. Here, four tips* to help make brushing and flossing a habit at an early age.
Before your child’s teeth even come in, wrap your
finger in a washcloth and wipe his or her gums. It gets kids comfortable with the brushing process.
Make an appointment with the dentist as soon as your child’s first tooth arrives (age two at the latest). Forty percent of children get their first cavity before age four.
Introduce flossing as early as possible. Floss daily in front of your children and then help them until they get the hang of it on their own.
Buy a fun toothbrush (with soft bristles) and flavored kids’ toothpaste to make the routine more exciting. Adult toothpastes can be too harsh on children’s sensitive mouths.
*Sources: Dr. Jeff Hurst and Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation

Learn more about keeping your kid’s teeth healthy—and Delta Dental’s Brush With Me campaign—at 5280.com/brushwithme.

Young Adults

Tarnished

So you’re finally living on your own. No parents to ask what time you’re coming home (or to do your laundry). You’re officially an adult. Of course, that also means you have a lot more responsibilities—including looking after your oral health. Keep those pearly whites healthy (and white) by limiting intake of these decay-causing and teeth-staining foods.
Alcohol (especially red wine)
Coffee
Tea
Grapefruit
Sticky Candy
Potato Chips
Carbonated Soft Drinks
Dried Fruit

Older Adults (Age 50+)

Side Effect

People are living longer and keeping their real teeth well into their 80s and 90s. That should be good news, right? Yes and no. The amount of saliva in our mouths, which helps dilute acids and remove debris from our teeth, remains steady as we age. But when we get older, we tend to take more medications—and many of those (for high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc.) can dry out our mouths. “That changes the entire field of play,” says Lakewood-based general dentist Dr. Jeff Hurst. “Aggressive acid and bacteria can destroy teeth in just eight to 12 weeks.” So what can you do? Follow Hurst’s guidelines
to maintain optimal tooth health.

Read the side effects of your medication carefully, and tell your dentist what meds you’re on. Your general practitioner may be able to switch your prescription to something less likely to cause decay.

Use daily rinses such as Sensodyne Oasis or Biotène to counteract the drying effect.

Stimulate the flow of saliva with sugarless gums containing xylitol (a natural sweetener derived from berries). Hurst recommends Epic Xylitol gum and mints or Spry gum.

After meals and before bed, swish water around your mouth to remove debris.

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