7 Fun Facts About Your Teeth – Infographic

Teeth! Most of us take them, and our oral health for granted. Teeth are one of the most neglected parts of the human body. We use them every day to speak, eat, and drink.  Yet, a lot of us still don’t take proper care of our pearly whites. We created this Infographic from Sunrise Dentistry to bring a little fun back to the topic of those chompers of yours!  Today we’re going to share 7 Fun Facts about your teeth that you probably didn’t know. Love your teeth and they will love you back. If you want to improve your teeth as well as your overall oral and whole body health Sunrise Dentistry in Durango and Mancos is here to help you decide on the best holistic approach for your needs. “We are committed to the highest quality dental care possible, while always keeping in mind the larger context, the interrelated organic systems within the body that dental care is inseparably part of.”

Continue reading “7 Fun Facts About Your Teeth – Infographic”

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Oral Health

Another year has come and gone; and as 2019 quickly approaches, it’s time to start thinking about your new year’s resolutions and what goals you would like to set for yourself in the year to come. At Sunrise Dentistry, we want to help you improve your oral and overall body health. Here are four resolutions for your list that will keep you smiling all year long.

Drink More Water

We can’t say it enough, but there’s a reason why it’s so important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Water helps to keep saliva levels normal, and saliva serves as your body’s first defense in combating tooth decay.  Drinking water also helps to wash away starches and sugars from teeth, which helps to prevent cavities. It can also aid in weight loss and prevent type 2 diabetes since water contains zero calories. Try replacing sugary soft drinks and juices with a glass of water and reap the health benefits.

Brush for Longer

It’s possible that you aren’t brushing your teeth for long enough. We recommend brushing twice a dayonce in the morning when you wake up and once before bedfor two minutes each time. Simple ways to make sure that you’re brushing for the whole two minutes is to use watch the clock, use your phone’s timer or play a song that is longer than two minutes and brush for the duration of the song. If you feel like two minutes isn’t long enough to get your teeth feeling clean, then feel free to brush for a little while longer.

Floss Better

You might be brushing regularly, but many people tend to neglect the flossing aspect of their oral routine. Flossing not only removes food particles that become stuck between teeth; it also reduces plaque buildup and stimulates gums while lowering the risk of inflammation. If you do floss regularly, make sure that you are going through the steps properly to ensure that your flossing routine is actually working. This video provides a visual as to how you should floss.

Commit to your Appointments

Regardless of how well you stick to your daily oral routine, you should still see your dentist every six months, or twice a year for checkups and cleanings. Aside from removing calculus buildup and checking for cavities, your dentist is able to provide preventative services and check for any problems that could become increasingly worse with time. It’s better to catch any potential issues right away so that your dentist can provide a solution to the problem sooner than later.

Sunrise Dentistry wants to make 2019 your best year yet. Let us help you ring in the new year with a smile! To schedule your appointment with us, visit us online today.

Keep Your Kids Happy & Healthy with Tasty Lunch Options

Healthy lunch box

It’s time for kids to head back to the classroom. And while life might start getting busier for them, this doesn’t mean that their health should be compromised. Keep your kids on track by packing these tooth-healthy options in with their lunch.

green, red, yellow, purple vegetables and fruits

Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and veggies are an excellent option to add to your child’s lunch. Fruits that contain a lot of fiber – such as apples, raspberries, bananas, oranges and strawberries – act as a natural toothbrush, cleaning teeth with every bite. Crunchy vegetables – such as carrots, celery, cucumbers and broccoli – also help to clean teeth. These veggies also contain a lot of water, which helps to rehydrate while diluting the natural sugars found in fruits and veggies.

Be conscious of the fruits you provide in your child’s lunchbox. While raw fruits are best, try to avoid dried fruits, fruit juices and fruit snacks, as they tend to have added sugars that are not good for your child’s health.


Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of protein, as well as vitamin D, calcium, fiber, folic acid and healthy fats such as Omega-3. Folic acid is beneficial in preventing periodontal disease and helps with gum health.

Try adding Brazil nuts, cashews and almond slivers to your kid’s lunch. Whole almonds can be damaging to teeth when your kid bites down, which is why we suggest slivers.



Best known as an excellent source of calcium, cheese also is high in phosphorus. Both of these minerals help to keep tooth enamel nice and strong.

Cheese also increases saliva, which in turn helps prevent cavities and gum disease.

Close up the  pouring purified fresh drink water from the bottle on table in living room


Of course, we wouldn’t leave water off the list. Providing your kid with water alongside their lunch will help them to get the recommended daily amount of water. Depending on your child’s age, this is 5 glasses for 5-8 year olds, 7 glasses for 9 to 12 year olds and 8 to 10 glasses for 13+ year olds.

Water aids with hydration, and helps create saliva. As we mentioned earlier, saliva helps keep cavities and gum disease at bay. Choosing water over fruit juices and sodas will also help fight cavities that can occur from the amount of artificial sweeteners found in these drinks.


A nice combination of these options will help keep your child’s smile nice and healthy. If you find that your child has difficulty eating fruits and veggies by themselves, try adding a healthy option such as yogurt dip or hummus. When it’s time to schedule their regular cleaning or checkup, give Sunrise Dentistry a call at 970.247.3303 (Durango) or 970.533.7204 (Mancos).

Thanksgiving Tips for Healthy Teeth – Infographic

Don’t forget about your oral health this holiday season! With an abundance of rich and sweet foods within your reach, it’s important to keep in mind the impact that these foods have on not only your teeth, but your body as a whole. This does not mean you have to completely refrain from enjoying Thanksgiving dinner. Follow these tips for a healthy and delicious meal; and of course, don’t forget to floss afterwards! If you are in need of dental services this holiday season, let Sunrise Dentistry in Durango and Mancos, CO help maintain your smile!

Metal Mouth: The harmful effects of mercury in fillings

3d rendered illustration of an amalgam filling

Dental amalgam has been used in dentistry for more than 150 years. Many dentists use amalgams to fill cavities, which have used in hundreds of millions of patients. The main concern of dental amalgams lies in the fact that it contains mercury. While the FDA currently claims that the amount of mercury used in dental amalgam is safe, they admit that health risks exist. This article will help you to better understand what dental amalgams are and the potential health risks they pose. At Sunrise Dentistry, we offer safe alternatives to dental amalgams that are always mercury free.

What is Amalgam and Why is Mercury Used?

Dental amalgam is more commonly known as a silver filling; however, silver is only a small part of what makes up dental amalgam. 43-54% of dental amalgams are mercury, while other components include silver, tin, and copper with possible amounts of zinc, indium, and palladium.

Mercury is used in dental amalgams because it makes the material pliable. When mixed with an alloy powder, it is soft enough to press into the tooth. It also hardens quickly, can withstand biting and chewing, and lasts for 20+ years.   

Issues in Dentistry

Mercury in amalgam is considered harmless, and continues to be used daily in dentistry. However, many health issues can arise from amalgam. First off, mercury is a neurotoxin, which when used for fillings is placed one inch away from your brain. As the filling wears over time, small amounts of mercury can be released in the form of vapor. This can lead to mercury build up in body organs.

In 2010, the FDA warned against the use of amalgam within vulnerable populations. These populations include children, pregnant women in regards to the fetus, hypersensitive people, and people with kidney impairments. While low levels of mercury don’t cause ill effects, higher levels can result in anxiety, irritability, memory loss, headaches, and fatigue.


Other alternatives exist that do not contain mercury. These include composite resin, glass ionomer cement, porcelain, and gold. While amalgam use has decreased over the years, it is still the most widely used material due to the fact that it’s the cheapest option and holds up well over time. Composite resin, however, is a suitable alternative. Its cost is considered moderate and is either white or adjusted to match the color of your tooth enamel. Composite resin also adapts better to any cavity size, whereas amalgam struggles to adhere to smaller cavities. Therefore, amalgam can damage healthy areas of a tooth in order to cover a cavity. Amalgam also can tarnish or darken the tooth over time.

Other Dangers

Aside from direct effects in dentistry, amalgam has shown to impact the environment as well. Amalgam accounts for 240-300 tons of mercury entering the market every year. U.S. dental offices are the second largest user of mercury; the first is power generation.

Dental amalgam pollutes land, air, and water. Land is impacted by mercury through landfills, burials, and fertilizer. Air is infected through cremation, dental clinic emissions, sludge incineration, and respiration. Lastly, water comes in contact with mercury by way of dental clinic releases as well as human waste. Both of these issues are responsible for the largest source of mercury in our wastewater. The form of mercury used in amalgam is considered elemental. Once this mercury is exposed to the environment, however, it converts to methylmercury. This form of mercury is what is commonly found in the fish we consume. Therefore, amalgam impacts not only an individual, but the environment as well.

Sunrise Dentistry strives to provide not only dental health, but whole body health as well. By eliminating mercury from our practice, we are helping you to live a happier and healthier life. We offer biocompatible dental fillings, mercury level testing, and mercury removal. Call us at 970-247-3303 (Durango) or 970-533-7204 (Mancos) to schedule your appointment today!








The Use of Ozone Therapy Treatment and Sterilization in Dentistry

What is Ozone?

To begin understanding the basics of Ozone Therapy Treatment, one must first have a grasp on what exactly ozone is. As most of us know, ozone makes up one of the protective layers of the earth’s atmosphere that helps to reduce direct exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. At the same time, however, ozone is simply a molecule of three oxygen atoms (O3). Besides in its naturally occurring form in the earth’s atmosphere, ozone has a variety of uses for everyday life. Ozone is particularly touted for its sterilization and filtering effects, often being used by municipal water treatment plants for water purification, to clean fruits and vegetables for sale in supermarkets, and to filter commercial bottled water.

Sunrise Dentistry is proud to offer ozone therapy for many of our dental procedures as a sterilizing agent as well as a treatment for head and neck infections including sinus issues.

Photo courtesy of pridedentaloffice.com

Introduction to the Dental Field

Ozone was first used in the medical field in the 1900s and has since been used as a method of speeding up the healing process for wounds and certain types of diseases. While ozone treatment was originally developed in both Europe in the United States, the medical community in Europe has more widespread adaptation of ozone therapy treatments. Since then, ozone (in lower concentrations) has been found to be a powerful combatant to certain bacteria, viruses, and fungi while avoiding damage to more complex human cells, meaning it can be applied in a large number of areas. This discovery ultimately led to its introduction into the field of dentistry.

The first recorded use of ozone in dental applications was in 1930 in Zürich, Switzerland by Dr. E.A. Fisch. Medical-grade ozone that is used in dental procedures is created by passing oxygen through a corona discharge generator, resulting in pure ozone that can be used in both liquid and gaseous forms. A third form, known as ozonated olive oil, is made by filtering ozone through olive oil to make a thick ointment that can then be directly applied to the targeted area. All three forms of medical-grade ozone can be used for dental applications, depending on the intended target of treatment.

Uses in Modern Dentistry

  • Periodontal disease – ozonated water flushed below the gum line can help to treat and reduce periodontal disease over time. Additionally, ozonated gas can be used to treat gum tissue around the affected area
  • Root canals – ozone’s sterilization properties come particularly in handy when undertaking root canal operations. Ozone can kill any bacteria in the area of operation to create a sterilized root canal system and help speed up recovery time.
  • Sensitivity – For those suffering from tooth sensitivity, ozone gas can be applied to help recalcify teeth to help remove sensitivity.
  • Post-operation pain – patients sometimes feel a certain degree of pain or extreme sensitivity after having a cavity filled or crown installed. This pain is often caused by an inflammation caused by a buildup of bacteria in the inner pulp of the tooth. The application of ozone before the crown is placed or the cavity is filled has been known to reduce the amount of bacterial buildup and thus reduce the risk of needing further dental work to deal with pulpitis.
  • Extractions- ozonated water can be flushed in the dental socket immediately after extractions to dramatically reduce the pathogens that may be in bedded in the bone, tooth or periodontal ligament. This will reduce post-operative pain and help speed up healing recovery.


As mentioned before, ozone is simply a molecule containing three atoms of oxygen. Because oxygen is necessary for everyday life, it is impossible to be allergic to ozone. In addition, there are no known reactions or side effects of ozone with any kind of medication.

Sunrise Dentistry offers a unique, holistic approach to dentistry that focuses not only on the health of your teeth and gums, but also on how dental health can affect the overall health of your entire body. We are committed to the highest quality dental care possible, while always keeping in mind the larger context, the interrelated organic systems within the body that dental care is inseparably part of. Ozone treatment therapy is only one part of our approach to safe and comfortable dentistry experience.






Five Foods that are Incredible for Oral Health

Your mouth is affected by your diet just as much, if not more than the rest of your body. Certain foods will affect your mouth positively in ways that no other food can. On top of drinking lots of clear fluids, the following are great foods to keep your mouth happy and healthy. At Sunrise Dentistry, we value overall health just as much as we value the health of the mouth.

Healthy Smiles & Fruit-Stock Photo Small


Almonds contain a good amount of calcium and protein and are low in sugar. These little nuts are a convenient food because you eat them in so many different ways. A handful with any meal can be a good idea, you can throw them on top of a salad, or you could get your fill of almonds out of an almond butter.


Yogurt contains high levels of calcium and protein making it ideal for maintaining the strength of your bones and teeth. Studies have also shown that the consumption of yogurt can cut down on plaque, bad breath, and gingivitis. When choosing which yogurt to add to your daily diet, lean towards a plain type of yogurt without any added sugars.


Crunchy fruits and veggies like apples and carrots cause a heightened production of saliva. In theory, this helps rinse your mouth out, which can reduce the likelihood of cavities. Apples act as a great lunchtime dessert, just throw a bag of apple slices in with your sandwich to get your mouth nice and clean after your midday meal.

Green Tea

Green tea is home to some marvelous antioxidants that have been shown to lower the risk of gum disease. The more of this magical concoction you gulp down, the lower the risk becomes. The study to back this information was performed in Japan.

Citrus Fruit

The acidic environment created by eating fresh citrus fruits discourages the growth of bacteria in the mouth. The vitamin C found in these fresh fruits is also a preventative measure for gingivitis and gum disease. These benefits apply to all fruits and veggies high in Vitamin C like berries, melons, and peppers.