7 Signs Your Smile Needs Help

Did you know that the simple act of smiling could add up to 7 years to your life? That’s what the results from one study suggest! A healthy, confident smile is a valuable asset worth protecting. Don’t overlook these clues that hint your smile needs a little attention.

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Oral Bacteria: We Are Not Alone

You probably know that your mouth is home to one of the largest populations of bacteria in your body. While they’re an independent bunch, you can dramatically influence their effect on your health. It starts with understanding how the key bacterial players operate and your role in altering their destructive tendencies.

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Oral HealthLegwork Websites
Colorado Mission of Mercy

Do you recognize the assistant in blue scrubs working in this video? It is our very own superstar team member Monique. She is volunteering her time at COMOM - Colorado Mission of Mercy 2 day free dental clinic. Way to go Mo! 

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Legwork Websites
The Ice Chewing Dilemma

Your teeth and the surrounding jaw muscles present a powerhouse capable of crushing even the hardest foods to pieces. But sometimes we use our teeth in ways that push them to the limit and lead to unnecessary problems and treatment. Learn about one habit that may accelerate the breakdown of your teeth and how to read the symptoms your teeth share with you.

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What’s Behind Bad Breath?

When you wake up in the morning, no one expects your breath to smell very good. With a few good hygiene habits, your breath is usually ready for the day. But if you’re struggling with bad breath, or you suspect it might be a problem, Dr. Amy and Dr. heath have a few tips to kick this social issue to the curb. Learn more here about the real causes and how to keep your breath fresh every day.

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Welcome Nina

Please Welcome Nina Engstrom! Nina moved here from Wisconsin just about 20 years ago. She has worked in the dental field for over 18 years now, starting in a front office position, next hygiene assisting, then getting her assisting/EDDA certification. Her insatiable appetite to continue to learn and passion to help people led her to make the switch to becoming a dental hygienist and has just over 10 years practicing dental hygiene. She is an empathetic compassionate caregiv...er who looks forward to building long relationships with you and your families.

Nina is married and has two young active boys that keep her busy!! She loves the outdoors-hiking, snowboarding, running, spending time with her family and friends and practicing yoga in her free time. Many of you already know Nina as she has been with the practice longer than the Copelands-she filled in for Dr. Countryman for many years! We are so excited to have her here in the office fulltime!

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Dr. Amy recommends you follow the following guidelines if you have sensitive teeth:

-Brush and floss regularly
Keeping your teeth and gums clean can help prevent receding gums which often lead to root sensitivity.  Roots of teeth are sensitive because they are made of soft cementum instead of hard enamel.
-Don't brush too hard or too often
Aggressively scrubbing your teeth and gums with your toothbrush or more frequently than your dentist recommends can contribute to gum recession and wear your enamel. When you brush your enamel away you get exposed dentin and tooth sensitivity.
-Use a softer toothbrush
A softer toothbrush can help to reduce the effects of pushing too hard when brushing and help to protect your enamel and gums.
-Use toothpaste for sensitive teeth
Sensitivity toothpastes can provide daily relief from pain due to sensitivity when used twice a day. Enamel and dentin look like a sponge in a microscope. You need potassium nitrate found in sensitivity toothpaste to plug those holes to keep teeth less sensitive. For very sensitive teeth trying putting some of the paste on your finger and rubbing it into that part of the tooth.
-Visit us regularly for exams and cleanings
We can advise you if you are brushing too hard since we chart out your gum recession. Also, we can clean the plaque and tarter off hard to reach spots preventing recession.
-Make sure you are not grinding your teeth
Grinding causes thinning or loss of the enamel. The dentin which is under the enamel is the insulator for the nerve and has larger holes than the enamel. Exposed dentin can be very sensitive because air and liquids can penetrate those holes.  Come in and see us about a night guard if you grind your teeth-we make ones that will surprise you how comfortable they are to wear.

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On a recent trip Dr. Amy volunteered a bit of her time reading to the Medina Children's Library in Morocco. As she read The Very Hungry Caterpillar (one of their daughter Channing's favorites) the librarian translated it into Arabic. The kids tried to guess what Amy's profession was-most guessed a teacher but one fellow was certain she works as a police woman. They were very excited to find out she is a dentist. Of course, she helped them a bit with some simple English but also took the opportunity to teach them about dental health.

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Please welcome our new awesome assistant Trisha!

Trisha is a Colorado native from Arvada. She earned a bachelors degree in biology from Lindenwood University in Missouri, hoping to one day continue on to dental school. After having two beautiful girls, she decided being a mom was what she was meant to do, but Trisha still loves the dental field. She has been a dental assistant/EDDA since 2001. When she is not in the office, she enjoys skiing, hockey, hiking, and anything else outdoors. Trisha spends most of her time driving her kids to hockey and The dance practices and wouldn't have it any other way.

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Andrea Hutchison on Facebook said, "Another vote for Amy Ragan Copeland-Copeland Family Dental. Top notch with us and our children. Even took a picture of our 5 year old getting his teeth cleaned then sent it as a post card to him personally. He was so excited to get mail of his own. And they did an amazing job on my bridge. Super understanding about busy families. Work hard with insurance. My husband is picky and he loves them.  They've been wonderful for us."

Thank you for the wonderful review Andrea Hutchison!  We strive to be a great dental office for the whole family!  We love sending surprise postcards to our little patients-we want to start them out on a good dental path from a young age so they have no anxiety about going to the dentist as an adult!  We attend many hours of continuing education to be able to replace missing teeth with implants and bridges.  We love when fun patients like you get so excited in the chair when we get to cement the final crowns in for good!  It makes our day!! Thank you for noticing the hard work from our entire team!

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Where are the Drs. Copeland spending their weekend? Friday and Saturday from 8am-5pm they are completing continuing education. Every year Dr. Heath and Dr. Amy attend courses to keep Copeland Family Dental on the cutting edge of dentistry. They attend courses about white composite fillings, types of crown materials, tooth sensitivity, dentures, teeth grinding and much more.  This weekend part of their tuition is being donated to the Colorado Mission of Mercy which provides free dental care for those in need!  http://cekarma.com/social-cause/

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In honor of administrative assistants week we would like to thank Cathy for her outstanding work.

Cathy has been in the dental field for more than 30 years, starting with this practice in 1984! She started out as a certified dental assistant then a year later went on to get her Expanded Duties Dental Assistant (EDDA) certificate. After assisting for more than 15 years, Cathy began at the front desk a few days a week along with her clinical work. The rest is history! After 30+ years with this practice, she now runs the front desk and helps outs in the back when she can.

Cathy and her husband Tom have been married for more than 30 years and have two beautiful girls. Her oldest lives in Maryland and got married in August, 2015. Her youngest lives and works in Grand County. Cathy is training to do another physique show, run the Boulder Boulder, hike a couple of fourteeners, and do the Tough Mudder. Tom and Cathy are also huge Broncos fans and have been season ticket holders for years now.

And as you can see Cathy knows how to have fun!

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Have you been wondering where all of the awesome portraits on our website and in our office come from? Our awesome patient Andrea Smyth is a natural light photographer here in Highlands Ranch. After taking a family photo with Andrea a few years back, Dr. Heath and Dr. Amy decided they needed to share this as a gift to their staff.  If you would like to learn more about her awesome work please stop by  http://andreasmythphotography.com/

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Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Approximately 2.5 million children less than four years old in the U.S. are diagnosed with cavities annually. In addition, each year over 300,000 children are sedated for dental treatment. Memories of childhood dental trauma have been found to be associated with an increased amount of adult dental anxiety. Imagine how dramatically these statistics could be changed if only simple preventive steps were taken, such as an early visit to the dentist. The exam appointment would be short and very easy for the patient.

In 1986, the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry issued a policy statement recommending a child’s first visit to the dentist should be some time after the first tooth erupts but no later than the 1st birthday. It is important that your child’s first visit to the dentist is a positive experience, and you can help make it enjoyable and upbeat. Your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and his staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. The less concerning the visit, the better.

It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as needle, pull, drill or hurt. Dental offices make a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child. During your child’s first visit, the dentist will examine your child’s teeth, show you proper cleaning techniques, and discuss proper diet to prevent early childhood tooth decay. Crying is a normal reaction to almost any kind of anxiety in a young child. New experiences, strange people and places fit in that category for the very young. Understand that tears are very common and dentists anticipate crying in some small children. The more relaxed the parent and dental staff are at that time, the sooner the child will overcome his/her anxiety. The crying child is often harder on the parents than the child itself. It will go away with time, in some cases it takes several visits, and no harm is done.

Pointers for Parents!


  • Bribe your child into going to the dentist.
  • Use a dental visit as a punishment.
  • Let the child know you feel any anxiety about going to the dentist.
  • Let anyone tell your child scary stories about dental visits.
  • Use words like hurt, pain, needle, drill, shot, etc.


  • Try to make dental visits enjoyable for your child.
  • Let your child go into the treatment room alone, if doctor prefers.
  • Set a good example! Brush and Floss your own teeth daily, and visit the dentist regularly.

Dentists and their staff can do a lot to protect your child from dental disease. By starting dental visits at an early age and making them regularly, you can help your child have strong, healthy teeth all throughout life.

Written by Capt. (Dr.) Nguyen and Capt. (Dr.) Weber, residents of one-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry, 375th Dental Squadron, Scott AFB.

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