dentists in Lone Tree

7 Benefits of Regular Checkups with Dentists in Lone Tree

Taking good care of your teeth and dental health requires good habits and a multifaceted approach. From good nutrition to brushing regularly, taking intentional steps to have strong, healthy teeth and gums should be a natural part of your day.

Routine checkups are also a critical part of maintaining good oral health. When you skip trips to the dentist, you put your teeth and gums at risk of decay, cavities, and bad breath.

If it’s been a while since your last dental exam or you need confirmation that regular visits to dentists in Lone Tree are a good idea, keep reading! We’ll tell you about seven benefits of regular checkups with your dentist.

1. Keep Bad Breath In Check

Popping a piece of gum or a mint is a good way to freshen your breath after a meal. However, if you suffer from chronic bad breath, you might have a more severe problem than the aftermath of eating garlic or onions.

Bad breath can be the result of mouth sores, tooth or gum decay, poor dental hygiene, or halitosis. Without regular checkups, gum disease and bacteria can cause severe bad breath that toothpaste or mints can’t hide. In some cases, your dentist can recognize a separate health condition causing your chronic bad breath.

Keep your breath fresh! Make regular appointments to your dentist for cleaning and exams.

2. Find Problems You Can’t See

Some dental exams include a round of x-rays. While these can be uncomfortable for a few minutes, dental x-rays can reveal a lot about your teeth, gums, and the underlying conditions of your mouth.

Regular x-rays help your dentist keep track of what’s happening in your mouth that isn’t visible to the naked eye. They can recognize cysts, bone decay, tumors, root decay, and other issues causing pain and damage inside your mouth. Without treatment, these issues can cause permanent damage or require expensive oral surgery to resolve.

Routine dentist visits are much more than a way to keep your teeth clean and get a free toothbrush! Your dentist can help you catch early signs of different dental problems with regular x-rays.

3. Take Care of Plaque and Tartar Buildup

Even when you practice diligent toothbrushing and flossing habits, your teeth need help with plaque and tartar removal.

Tartar and plaque happen to everyone, and it’s not something you can easily remove with consistent brushing. With routine dental visits, you can keep these harmful buildups in check.

Regular brushing is critical to keep your teeth in excellent condition, but a toothbrush can’t reach every nook and cranny in your mouth. Your dentist’s or hygienist’s special cleaning tools help remove the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth. It might not be a pleasant few minutes while they scrape away the buildup, but it’s worth it for whiter, healthier teeth!

4. Control Your Cavities

No one likes to hear a dentist’s tally of your newest cavities at the end of a dental appointment. However, avoiding the dentist doesn’t mean you have fewer cavities!

Regular dental check-ups help your dental team keep an eye on your cavities. It’s critical to fill cavities before they have a chance to cause more tooth or gum issues. Catching them early with twice-yearly dental exams is the best way to keep cavities under control and improve your mouth’s health.

Not all cavities are painful or visible. You might not realize you have one until your next dental exam! Your dentist can recognize the early onset of a cavity and treat it before it becomes a painful problem.

5. Examine Your Neck and Throat For Cancer

Your dental team can benefit your health beyond your teeth and gums. During your exam, the hygienist or your dentist examines your tongue, throat, and neck for potential signs of cancer.

The American Cancer Society estimates that about 53,260 people will receive a diagnosis of the oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer in 2020. Dentists play an integral part in helping people identify early signs of these cancers during routine dental exams. With early detection, patients have more treatment options available to reduce the spread and severity of mouth, jaw, or throat cancer.

6. Treat Gum Disease

Your teeth can be healthy and cavity-free, but don’t forget about your gums. Regular dental exams help you monitor gum diseases and other issues that can damage the health of your mouth.

When a buildup of tartar or plaque goes without regular removal, it can lead to gum disease where the tooth comes in contact with your gums. As your gums become weaker and recede, your teeth can become loose and fall out. Gum disease can spread into your roots and jawbone if the problem goes without treatment.

Keeping up with regular dental exams can keep gum disease under control. Without treatment or routine cleanings, patients face painful and expensive oral surgeries to repair diseased and damaged gums.

7. Receive Good Oral Hygiene Education

Most people have plenty of bad oral habits. From biting your nails to chewing ice, smoking, or skipping your nightly toothbrush routine, we often fail to take good care of our teeth, mouth, and gums.

Regular visits with your dentist can help you stay on track with better oral hygiene. If your brushing method isn’t getting the job done, your dentist can recommend a better toothbrush, toothpaste, or technique.

Regular dental visits allow professionals to get your mouth clean and cared for, but ongoing maintenance is up to you! Checking in with your dentist at least twice a year can help you stay accountable for better oral hygiene. Your dentist can also keep you informed about new treatments or practices to keep your mouth healthy and clean.

Choose the Best Dentists In Lone Tree

You’ll find the best benefits of regular dental exams when you choose the best dentists in Lone Tree! Willow Creek Dental is fully committed to helping you maintain good oral health. We use a modern approach to dental care, and we’ll never judge you if you’re nervous about seeking dental help.

Contact us to schedule your next dental check-up!

Brush or Floss First, That is the Question

Ask Willow Creek Dental: Brush or Floss First?

This question, “Is it better to brush or floss first?” is asked a lot by new patients and followers on our Facebook and Twitter pages. There are many different theories on this subject matter, so we went straight to the source, Dr. Mary Blakeley. Her response, “If you are asking the question if you should floss or brush first means you are more than likely doing both, and that’s really all that matters. It isn’t the order in which you brush or floss, it’s more that you do both to keep your teeth healthy.”

Other questions we have received from our social pages, include:

Why should I brush my teeth after each meal? We recommend that you brush your teeth at least two times a day. While it is ideal to brush your teeth after each meal it is not always an option. In those instances, rinse with water or an antibacterial mouthwash to remove loose food particles.

Why is it recommended that you brush your teeth for 2 minutes each time you brush?  To keep up with good oral hygiene, we recommend that you brush your teeth for two minutes. This allows you to focus 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth to remove food particles and help prevent future tooth decay and gum disease.

Why do I have bad breath?  I brush and floss my teeth daily? Bad breath, or halitosis, is caused by bacteria in the mouth emitting sulfur-like smells. Certain foods you are eating can affect the production of bacteria in the mouth. Beverages like coffee and foods like garlic, fish, and spicy foods can trigger bad breath due to the residue that sticks to the gums, teeth and mouth lining.

Do you have a dental question you’d like a member of our Willow Creek Dental team to answer? Post your comment below, send us a Facebook message, or contact us on our website. We’re here to answer your questions.

Michelle with Kids

Get to Know Michelle Meyer, Hygiene Coordinator

Michelle HeadshotMichelle joined Willow Creek Dental in 2011 and has been busy scheduling patients as our Hygiene Coordinator ever since. She is a Colorado native who grew up in Aurora and has two children living in North Dakota and Tennessee.



You have a background in Accounting with over 20 years of experience. How did you end up at Willow Creek Dental? Do you still do any Accounting work today? 

I actually used to work for a packaging and shipping franchise with Dr. Blakeley’s husband and he told me about the opportunity at Willow Creek Dental. I still occasionally like to pick up Bookkeeping jobs on the side as Accounting is “relaxing” for me.

What is your favorite part of the job?

I love getting to know our patients and their families.

What has surprised you the most working at a dental office?

Truthfully, it is all the candy and junk food that we get at our office from other doctors and vendors!

You love country music and have been lucky to meet some pretty famous people. Who have you met?

I have been fortunate to meet Darius Rucker, Jana Kramer, The Band Perry, Kasey Musgraves, Lauren Alaina, and Eli Young Band.

You are always attending concerts. What has been your favorite concert so far? What is one you would love to go to?

My favorite concerts have been Luke Bryan where I was at the stage watching him perform and Blake Shelton.  I have yet to see Kenny Chesney, whom I’d love to see, but I prefer the smaller venues and he plays at football stadiums.

What is something about yourself that would surprise people?

I am interested in learning more about “energy healing”. There are actually people who are licensed and paid to do energy healing work. I love learning about Chakras, Numerology and have a mentor who is helping me gain confidence and clarification with my intuition and medium abilities.  I also love working with Tarot Cards.  Handwriting Analysis is another subject I love learning about and I have basic skills with.

What do you like to do in your downtime?

Weekend trips to see my children or local trips to the mountains are my favorite.  I also enjoy country dancing (two step, triple step, country cha cha, west coast swing) and want to learn salsa dancing next.

Favorite Book:

“The Secret”- a book about the power of your thoughts… what you attract into your life. The thoughts you put into the universe are what comes back at you, changing our thinking, having lots of gratitude and the feeling of abundance and ultimately it is what you get back.  Again, it’s that energy thing.

Favorite Movie or TV Show:  

Sweet Home Alabama is my favorite movie and I love the TV show Nashville.

Favorite Holiday Tradition:

We don’t really have any regular holiday traditions however my family does get together every Christmas Eve.

Katie Camel Resized

Get to Know Katie Stager, Registered Dental Hygienist

Katie Stager Close up 4_6_15Katie has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from CU-Denver and also a Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene from CU-Dental Health Science Center. She has been with Willow Creek Dental since 2008 and is also our OSHA and Infection Control Coordinator, ensuring that our procedures and equipment meet OSHA requirements.


You have a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry. Were you always planning to go into the dental field?

Yes, I always knew I wanted to go into the dental field but I wanted something to fall back on in case my body doesn’t let me do hygiene for the rest of my life. At the time I was very interested in dental forensics, which is why I got a degree in Chemistry.

What advice would you tell someone who would like to be a Dental Hygienist?

I would tell them to shadow a dental office and a Registered Dental Hygienist to make sure you like it. Also, try to complete an internship if possible.

What hygiene habits are you instilling in your young daughters?

USE AN ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH FROM DAY 1.  For my 3 year-old, we sing a song until I am done brushing her teeth.  She gets to brush first and then I get to brush and I sing songs until I’m done.

You like to be active and played soccer growing up. Do you still play today?

Can’t say I still play but some days I miss it.  I am still quite active, though, and enjoy going to the gym for spin classes.

You and your husband love to travel—how many different countries have you been to? What was the place that surprised you the most?

I have been to 16 different countries, I think. I survived the Bermuda Triangle back in 2014. I never ask someone who travels a lot which place was their favorite because each place is very different.  I always ask, “if you could go anywhere right this second, where would you go?”  I love Europe for the history.  I also have favorite beaches that I love to visit for the water.  United Arab Emirates surprised me the most I would say.  The customer service was amazing and everywhere you went people were very kind.  EVERYTHING is in English. including stop signs, which are in the shaped like ours and say it in Arabic and then underneath say “STOP”.

What would be  your dream place to visit?

I have so many places still on my bucket list. As of right now, though, I am anxious to take the girls on a Disney cruise.

What do you like to do in your downtime?

I enjoy family time, making cards and scrap booking.

Favorite Book:

I enjoy reading a suspenseful James Patterson book.

Favorite Movie or TV Show:

For TV shows, I like Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef, Banshee, and Shameless. Nick and I also enjoy watching a good movie.  It’s hard to pick a favorite, but we really enjoy getting a good laugh.

Favorite Holiday Tradition:

We always watch Planes, Trains, and Automobiles for Thanksgiving and Christmas Vacation for Christmas. Growing up one of my siblings would wake up very early and wake all of us up. We would sit on my parents bed and go through our stockings. Then we would head downstairs and open presents. My mom would put some kind of pastry in the oven and we would eat that while watching one of our new movies. All of us would then fall back asleep watching the movie. We would stay in our pajamas all day and just hang out as a family. I loved it. I would love to start those kind of traditions with our daughters.

Rachel Scuba Diving

Get to Know Rachel Holland, Registered Dental Hygienist

Rachel HeadshotRachel was born in St. Petersburg, Florida but has been in Colorado for the past 20 years. She has an Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene from Pueblo Community College.


You have an Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene. Are you also getting your Bachelor’s degree? Have you always wanted to go into the dental field? 

Yes, I am. I am currently enrolled in the first bachelor program ever offered at Pueblo Community College. I will finish my degree in the spring of 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Dental Hygiene Education. I have known I wanted to be in the dental field since I was 19 years old. I shadowed an incredible dental hygienist and she inspired me to do what I love doing today, treating and educating patients!


What advice would you tell someone who would like to be a Dental Hygienist?

My best advice would be to do your research, shadow hygienists and get experience in the field before pursuing your degree. Make sure you enjoy it and study hard!


What is your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of my career is the patient care. I truly enjoy getting to know each and every one of my patients while being able to provide excellent care simultaneously.


You are a certified scuba diver. When did you get certified? What got you interested in diving?

I was certified in July 2016. So far, I have dove in Mexico and Florida. My dad grew up diving in Florida and always dreamed of showing our family how beautiful underwater life can be. So this past summer we all went to Mexico and were scuba certified together!


What would be your dream scuba trip?

My dream scuba trip would be in Hawaii, Bora Bora, Indonesia, or the Galápagos Islands.


You are currently learning Portuguese. What made you choose Portuguese? Do you speak any other languages?

Yes, I am currently learning Portuguese. My fiancé is Brazilian and speaks Portuguese fluently. I am interested in learning in order to interact with all of his family, especially when we visit them in Brazil. It is a fun language but very difficult to learn pronunciation. I also know and understand most of the Spanish language.


What do you like to do in your downtime?

In my down time I like to go for walks/ runs at cherry creek state park, ride my road bike in the mountains, spend the weekends with family and enjoy a glass of wine and a good TV show in the evenings.


Favorite Book: Currently my favorite books are hygiene school related while I’m finishing my degree (haha).

Favorite Movie or TV Show:
My favorite movie is A League Of Their Own. My favorite show is How I Met Your Mother .

Favorite Holiday Tradition:
My favorite holiday tradition is Halloween because we always dress up as different characters and act goofy.

Kristen Climbing

Get to know Kristen Kirkland, Registered Dental Hygienist

Kristen NEW Close up 3_27_15(1)Kristen grew up in Lake Tahoe, California and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene from Northern Arizona University in 2005, being named the College of Health Professions Outstanding Student of the Year. She moved to Colorado after graduating and has lived in Lone Tree ever since.

You grew up in California and went to school in Arizona. What brought you to Colorado?

I decided to move to Colorado without ever having visited because it sounded fun! I wanted a real city to live in where I could still ski, and then got into climbing after having moved here. I love the seasons in Colorado – Denver is the warmest and lowest elevation of anywhere I’ve ever lived.

What advice would you tell someone who would like to be a Dental Hygienist?

I love being a hygienist, and it’s a great career for working in health care, but not working with sick people.

You are passionate about rock climbing and just got back from a trip to Switzerland. What was special about climbing there?

Switzerland is such a beautiful place. A really good friend of mine moved there earlier this year for work, so I got to see her as a great bonus. Every place I climb has a subtly different style of climbing that presents new challenges, both mental and physical.

What other countries have you traveled to?

I’ve been to the Netherlands, France, Italy, Canada, and the British Virgin Islands. I’m planning a trip to Belize for February (maybe a little climbing, but mostly enjoying some sunshine and sand instead of my usual hanging out under a rock in the dirt!)

When not out of the country, you still rock climb every weekend. What is your favorite local spot?

There are so many to choose from. I always say it depends on the season, but Guanella Pass, or a little area outside of Vail called Red Cliff are both favorites!

You are also an avid skier. What is your favorite Colorado resort?

I usually spend Friday at Mary Jane/Winter Park, but my favorite resort is definitely Crested Butte.

What else do you like to do in your downtime?

I practice yoga,  cook almost every night, and read.

Favorite Book: Anne of Green Gables

Favorite Movie or TV Show: Sound of Music

Favorite Holiday Tradition:

Making a “friendsgiving” meal every year (14 years running). I brine my turkey ahead of time and then spend all day in the kitchen making everything from scratch. One year I even made the whole meal in a motel room in Utah while on a climbing trip using just a crockpot and microwave.

Elizabeth Headshot 2

Willow Creek Dental Welcomes Dr. Elizabeth Trepka!

Elizabeth Headshot 2Willow Creek Dental is excited to welcome Dr. Elizabeth Trepka to our office!

Dr. Trepka grew up in Wickenburg, Arizona. She was a student-athlete at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. She went on to get her Master’s degree in Biomedical Science from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Dr. Trepka also worked as an Expanded Duties Dental Assistant for five years prior to starting dental school.

Dr. Trepka attended the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine and graduated in 2016.  While in school, she was involved in the Women’s Dental Club and received the “Quintessence Award for Clinical Achievement in Periodontics.”

Personally, Dr. Trepka married her husband Gregg in 2013 and they have two young daughters, Macie and Joanna. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, going to concerts, baking, and playing volleyball and basketball.

Dr. Trepka offers general and cosmetic dentistry services, in addition to sleep apnea treatment, Invisalign clear aligner therapy and implant dentistry. She can be reached at

Castle Rock

Refer a Friend and Enter to Win $250 to Castle Rock’s Finest!

Our local neighbor to the south, Castle Rock, has a ton of great restaurants, shopping and activities to keep you entertained. So when you refer a friend or family member to our office in July, you will be automatically entered to win $250 in gift cards to shop at the Outlets at Castle Rock and dine at Augustine Grill. We will draw the lucky winner on August 1st. Click here for the official rules of the program.

So refer away and check out what Castle Rock has to offer!

4th of July

Fun things to do over the 4th of July

Our office will be closed on Monday, July 4th so our team can celebrate Independence Day with their family and friends. In honor of the holiday, here are some fun ways to enjoy the long weekend:

Most importantly, have fun and be safe!


Continuing Education

Our doctors work extremely hard to advance their education to provide Willow Creek Dental patients with innovative, high quality dentistry. Below are a few of the courses they have attended.

  • Dr. Mary Blakeley recently completed a mini-residency TMD program with Dr. Jay Gerber at The Center for Occlusal Studies in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Dr. Gerber, a leader in modern occlusal studies for over 25 years, offers the comprehensive TMD program to dentists who are passionate about helping patients with TMJ Disorder. The program included appliance construction, adjustment, electro-diagnostics, imaging and case studies. In addition to her trips to West Virginia, Dr. Blakeley completed a course for the K-7 occlusal evaluation system at the renowned Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies earlier this year.
  • Dr. Kylee Brightside just returned from a trip to Boston, Massachusetts where she attended a 3-day course in advanced bone grafting and implant placement. The innovative course involved six live surgeries and a cadaver lab for the highest level of training. Dr. Brightside also continues with her passion for treating head and neck cancer patients and spent a weekend in March attending courses at the Specialty Care Dentistry Association’s annual convention. The courses focused on special considerations for patients with head and neck cancer, geriatrics and medically compromised patients.
  • Dr. Amanda Campbell has also traveled for her continuing education, most recently to Scottsdale, Arizona to participate in a Cone Beam Imaging & Implant Treatment Planning course through Sirona Dental. Prior to that, she attended an All-on-Four implant course through the Metropolitan Denver Dental Society that included a live surgery and immediate provisionalization.


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