All posts by Dr. Albers

Should You Brush Your Teeth? Yes, But….

Should you brush your teeth?

As a practicing dentist of 30 years, the answer from me is a definite yes. But, that comes with some qualifications in terms of scientific data, brushing that is actually harmful to your teeth, and other things besides brushing that can help you maintain healthy teeth.

I receive regular emails from the American Dental Association (ADA), including one that “compiles news stories from a wide range of sources” to keep dentists up-to-date on what seems to be of interest to the general public. Today’s email included a link to a Reader’s Digest article with this interesting title: “This is the Most Efficient Way to Keep Your Teeth Clean – Without Brushing Them.”

Reader’s Digest Article

I would encourage you to read the article because it contains interesting information about good dental care for you and your family. It is not a surprise that this article claims the best way to keep your teeth healthy is to avoid eating sugar. It explains why this is the case, but also goes further and gives information about foods that can promote healthy teeth.

Good foods include those that are alkaline instead of acidic, which help keep the pH levels in your mouth at a higher level, which is healthier for your teeth. On the flip side, foods that are too acidic can cause lower pH levels, which doesn’t promote good oral health. You can click on the link in the Reader’s Digest article to see a list of “teeth healthy” foods and explanations as to why they are good for your teeth. The list of good foods in this article includes apples, herbal teas or unsweetened fruit juice, tofu, sweet potatoes, cheese, cucumbers, stevia, and carrots.

How To Brush Your Teeth

The other important point of this article touches on proper brushing technique, or how to brush your teeth. Some patients think the harder they brush or floss, the better. What they don’t know, though, is that flossing that is done too vigorously can harm your gums. They also don’t understand that brushing too hard can actually harm tooth enamel, especially when used with some toothpastes. Almost all toothpaste includes some type of abrasive material to help with the cleaning process. Teeth whitening toothpastes tend to include a lot of this material. If you use them (we typically don’t recommend) and brush too hard, it can really cause damage to both tooth enamel and gums.

In our practice, we can also tell that some patients don’t brush their teeth long enough. We encourage our patients to invest in electric tooth brushes as they are timed for the right amount of brushing and they also help avoid problems from brushing too hard because they alert you if too much pressure is being used. There are several good brands on the market, and different staff members use different ones, but we do sell one brand in our office, at our cost, for patients of record. The better your home care, the less likely you will need to see us for fillings or other restorative services. Prevention is key!

Magnification Glasses Support Quality Dentistry

Hygienists-Jane-and-LeeAnn-model-magnification-glasses

Dental Hygienists Jane and Lee Ann model magnification glasses

Magnification Glasses and Illumination

Several weeks ago on our Facebook page, we posted this picture of Jane and Lee Ann having a little fun at the office.  On a serious note, the picture also shows them wearing something that helps us to provide quality dental care for our patients, namely, magnification glasses.

As you know if you’ve visited our office, Lee Ann, Jane, Judy (our three hygienists) and I wear magnification glasses when working with patients.  These glasses are custom made for each of us and include the attached light you see in the picture.

In the Beginning

I started using magnification glasses in the early 1990’s.  When I first began using them, it was truly an eye opener (pardon the pun…).  I started with 2.5x magnification and quickly moved up to 4.5x magnification.  Why is magnification important?  Because magnification glasses allow me to better visualize the tooth or quadrant of teeth I am working on.  This ultimately results in, for example, a better filling or a better fitting crown.

Evolution of Magnification Glasses and Illumination

An important evolution in magnification glasses was the addition of an integrated headlamp (illumination).  Long time patients might remember when this started as a bulky incandescent light on a cable, strapped to my head.  This led to nice crease marks in my forehead and hairline by the end of the day!  With technological advancements, however, current glasses have small battery powered LED lights mounted right on the frame of the glasses.  These lights brighten the whole field of operation and are extremely beneficial to me and to our hygienists as it allows us to see in detail every part of the tooth/teeth we are working on.

Of the many technological advances occurring since I started practicing dentistry, and that have impacted and improved the quality of care I am able to provide, I would have to put light and magnification close to the top of the list.

Top Dentist Designation in May/June 2017 Colorado Springs Style Magazine

Dr. Albers holding the 2017 Colorado Springs Style Magazine which lists him as a top dentist

Dr. Albers Named a Top Dentist in Colorado Springs

Every year, Colorado Springs Style Magazine compiles a list of top dentists in Colorado Springs.  The magazine partners with the Colorado Springs Dental Society and a marketing firm to survey members of the dental society.  Dr. Albers is honored to be recognized as a 2017 Top Dentist, and he appreciates being recognized by his peers for the quality of his dental work.

Providing quality dental care to patients is important to Dr. Albers.  In addition to attending conferences and seminars, he spends many hours each year participating in three different study groups (see Dr. Albers’ philosophy and commitment to excellence).  Suffice it to say that study group participation helps Dr. Albers keep up with the latest techniques in dentistry.  Furthermore, study group members often work together on patients with complex dental problems.  These experiences positively impact the quality of care Dr. Albers provides for his own patients.

How Are Top Dentist Designations Compiled?

Although we’ve touched on the process for selection above, we’ve had people ask how Colorado Springs Style Magazine compiles its list of top dentists. Therefore, we thought we’d go straight to the source regarding the selection process.  The following excerpt describes how the magazine arrives at its designations:

Who conducted the survey?

Colorado Springs Style, working in conjunction with the Colorado Springs Dental Society and an independent public relations and marketing firm, conducted the survey.

Who was surveyed?

All active and licensed Colorado Springs dentists, who are members in good-standing with the Colorado Springs Dental Society, were eligible to participate.

What instructions were they given in order to complete the survey?

Voting was held online from March 1-15, 2017. Dentists who visited the site were instructed to vote by entering up to four names under general family dentistry and one each in all remaining categories. Those nominated reflect the doctors they would refer a friend or family member to, should the need arise.

Did specialists vote solely on their own specialty, and vice-versa for general dentists?

No, all dentists could vote across the board.

See Colorado Springs Style Magazine Top Dentists 2017

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Longtime patients know that our dental professionals perform routine oral cancer screenings during cleaning appointments.  We do this because catching cancer early is very important.  Because April is Oral Cancer Awareness month, we want to take a few minutes to remind you of risk factors for this disease.

Mouth Healthy, a website maintained by the American Dental Association(ADA) has a slide show on oral cancer.  One slide notes that  “approximately 49,750 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer and cancers of the throat, tonsils and back of the tongue in 2017.”  Risk factors listed in this slide show to be aware of:

  • Oral cancer tends to strike those 55 and older
  • Men have a higher risk of contracting the disease
  • The risk of contracting oral cancer increases for people who use tobacco products, especially those who chew tobacco
  • There is an increase in oral cancer related to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  • Sun exposure can increase risks of all sorts of cancer, including oral cancer
  • Poor diets, especially those lacking in vegetables and fruits, can increase cancer risks
  • 7 out of 10 individuals diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers

Take time this month to educate yourselves on this disease.

Bon Voyage and Happy Retirement, Lisa

Lisa

Bon Voyage, Lisa

The end of an era – Lisa is retiring.  We took over the practice in 1990 following the unexpected passing of its founder, Dr. Jim Ryan.  At the time, we knew it would be important to keep the staff to provide continuity to the patients. We were fortunate that all staff members, including Lisa, decided to stay on and give the new guy a shot. With the help of that original staff, Lisa, Joyce, Jeannie, and Sharon (and, of course, Susan, who came with me), we were introduced to patients and we were able to accomplish a smooth transition into the practice.  Over 27 years and several moves of the office, Lisa has been with us, offering wonderful, compassionate, and professional care to our patients. While we wish her well as she enters this new phase, we will definitely miss her smiling face in the office and we know her patients will, too.

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Mark T. Albers, D.D.S.
2155 Hollowbrook Drive
Suite 20
Colorado Springs, CO
80918

(719) 634-8458

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(719) 634-8458

General Hours: Labor Day through Memorial Day

Monday – Thursday:
8:00a.m. – 1:00p.m., 2:00p.m. – 5:00p.m.

Summer Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day

Monday – Wednesday
7:30a.m. – 12:30p.m., 1:30p.m. – 4:30p.m.

Thursday
7:00a.m. – 2:00p.m.