My Blog

Posts for: October, 2015

By Elizabeth Dunkleberger DDS PC
October 21, 2015
Category: Oral Health

As is the case with most celebs today, Beyonce is no stranger to sharing on social media… but she really got our attention with a video she recently posted on instagram. The clip shows the superstar songstress — along with her adorable three-year old daughter Blue Ivy — flossing their teeth! In the background, a vocalist (sounding remarkably like her husband Jay-Z) repeats the phrase “flossin’…flossin’…” as mom and daughter appear to take care of their dental hygiene in time with the beat:

We’re happy that this clip highlights the importance of helping kids get an early start on good oral hygiene. And, according to authorities like the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, age 3 is about the right time for kids to begin getting involved in the care of their own teeth.

Of course, parents should start paying attention to their kids’ oral hygiene long before age three. In fact, as soon as baby’s tiny teeth make their first appearance, the teeth and gums can be cleaned with a soft brush or cloth and a smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. Around age 3, kids will develop the ability to spit out toothpaste. That’s when you can increase the amount of toothpaste a little, and start explaining to them how you clean all around the teeth on the top and bottom of the mouth. Depending on your child’s dexterity, age 3 might be a good time to let them have a try at brushing by themselves.

Ready to help your kids take the first steps to a lifetime of good dental checkups? Place a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled brush, and gently guide them as they clean in front, in back, on all surfaces of each tooth. At first, it’s a good idea to take turns brushing. That way, you can be sure they’re learning the right techniques and keeping their teeth plaque-free, while making the experience challenging and fun.

Most kids will need parental supervision and help with brushing until around age 6. As they develop better hand-eye coordination and the ability to follow through with the cleaning regimen, they can be left on their own more. But even the best may need some “brushing up” on their tooth-cleaning techniques from time to time.

What about flossing? While it’s an essential part of good oral hygiene, it does take a little more dexterity to do it properly. Flossing the gaps between teeth should be started when the teeth begin growing close to one another. Depending on how a child’s teeth are spaced, perhaps only the back ones will need to be flossed at first. Even after they learn to brush, kids may still need help flossing — but a floss holder (like the one Beyonce is using in the clip) can make the job a lot easier.

If you would like more information about maintaining your children’s oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Top 10 Oral Health Tips For Children” and “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”

By Elizabeth Dunkleberger DDS PC
October 06, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

You’ve probably heard a lot about dental implants as replacements for missing teeth. So, why are they so popular with both patients and dentists? While other restorations can mimic the color, shape and texture of natural teeth, dental implants have one clear advantage — and it’s all about the bone.

The bone in your jaws provides stability and structure for teeth — without it and the intricate system of gum tissue attachments teeth couldn’t survive the normal biting and chewing forces they encounter every day. That’s why bone health is crucial for maintaining tooth integrity.

Teeth also help bone to remain strong and healthy. The forces we generate as we chew transmit through the tooth roots to the bone, which stimulates continuing growth. If a tooth is missing, however, the bone around it doesn’t receive this stimulation and may begin to lose some of its volume and density — up to a quarter of its width in just the first year after tooth loss.

This bone loss continues even with other restorations because they’re not able to stimulate bone growth. But dental implants can. This is because the portion of the implant imbedded into the bone is constructed most often of titanium, which has a natural affinity toward bone. Bone cells are naturally attracted to titanium and will begin to grow and attach to the metal surface, a process known as osseointegration.

Through osseointegration, the implant develops a durable bond with the jawbone a few weeks after surgery that surpasses other restorations, and is a prime reason for their success rate. Although installing implants can be an expensive undertaking, their proven longevity may result in less maintenance, repair or replacement costs over time than other replacement options.

If you’re considering dental implants, remember it’s what you can’t see beneath the attractive crown that makes them special. And it’s a choice you can depend on to provide you a beautiful smile for years to come.

If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants.”

By Elizabeth Dunkleberger DDS PC
October 01, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Sedation Dentistry  

Dental fear is a serious problem for many people- as many as 75% of US residents report feeling anxious prior to dentist appointments and procedures. For some, their anxiety is so severe that they avoid seeking treatment altogether, which can have serious physical and psychological consequences. Everyone deserves healthy mouth and confident smile, and Elisabeth Dunkleburger, DDS is helping Sedation Dentistrythose in the Highland Ranch, CO area conquer their fears and achieve the dental health they desire. Dr. Dunkleberger provides sedation dentistry services, available in several treatment types, that can reduce and eliminate fear and phobias. 

Sedative Options

Oral medications are an excellent and effective option for many people. These drugs come in tablet or pill form, and are taken by mouth before the appointment to reduce fear and anticipation and during the procedure. They may have some analgesic (pain-reducing) effects as well, depending on how they affect the individual, although local anesthesia, such as Novocaine, can still be used. 

Inhaled Conscious Sedation is given in the form of Nitrous Oxide, which has been used in dentistry for almost 100 years to wonderful effect. The medication produces a feelings of euphoria and contentment, and is administered though a small ‘mask’ that fits just over the nose. Unlike many forms of anesthesia, the body’s circulatory and respiratory functions remain unaffected, so it has no “hangover” like effects, and is very safe. It is also only effective while actually being administered - as soon as the mask is removed after the procedure, the effects will dissipate quickly. 

IV Conscious Sedation is the most potent form of general anesthesia provided, and generally used for more invasive procedures. The medication is given through a peripheral vein, usually in the hand or arm, and provides a state of deep relaxation and near-total amnesia - most patients will not remember the procedure at all. Additionally, if local anesthesia is used, it can be administered after the commencement of the IV sedation for those with anxiety regarding needles or injections. This type of sedative dentistry does carry the highest degree of risk, but also the deepest sedative effects. 

Ready to Conquer your Dental Fear? 

A consultation with Dr. Elisabeth Dunkleberger will help you determine what types of sedation dentistry may be best for you, taking into account your personal history and concerns. Call (303) 470-8484 to explore how we can help you improve your dental care experience and quality of life today, or find more information at