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Choosing a toothbrush seems like a simple task but walking down the aisle of the local drug store you will see countless options. The options can be overwhelming if you are unsure of what to look for. In many cases, toothbrush choice comes down to preference. The best toothbrush you can buy is one you will use at least 2x a day. Below you will find some tips on how to choose the right toothbrush for you.

Toothbrush Tips

Should You Use A Manual Toothbrush Or An Electric Toothbrush? – Both types are very effective at maintaining dental hygiene. However, for some the electric toothbrush will work better. This includes children, those with limited dexterity, and many seniors. It all comes down to choice and preference here. Manual toothbrushing can be just as effective as using an electric toothbrush in the right hands.

Hard Or Soft Bristles? – Stay away from toothbrushes with hard bristles. They are unnecessary and will end up doing more harm than good. Soft bristled toothbrushes are more than capable to remove plaque and food debris from our teeth. The goal is to clean our teeth not to damage them or the surrounding tissues.

Small Or Large Brush Head? – This comes down to personal preference. A good toothbrush is one that is able to reach all areas of the mouth and also be comfortable. If a smaller brush head is more comfortable for you then choose that one.

Toothbrush handle. Again, this comes down to comfort. Some toothbrushes have a grip to them and some do not. Use what is comfortable for you.

American Dental Association (ADA) Seal Of Approval. This seal is earned by the toothbrush manufacturer once it proves its toothbrush is safe and effective in brushing our teeth. The ADA states that for a toothbrush to qualify for a seal of approval it must meet the following criteria:

-All components of the toothbrush are safe for use in the mouth.
-Toothbrush bristles are not sharp or jagged, and will not fall out with normal usage.
-Handle material has been shown to be durable with normal usage.
-The toothbrush can be used by the average adult to significantly decrease gingivitis and plaque build up.
-Electric toothbrushes must meet additional safety requirements. This includes undergoing at least one clinical investigation to show the product is safe and effective for use.

When Should I Replace My Toothbrush? – A toothbrush should be replaced every 3 months or sooner if you notice the bristles are beginning to wear down. A worn down toothbrush will not maintain your dental hygiene as effectively as a newer one. It is a minimal cost to maintain your beautiful smile. Also, if you get sick, you should change toothbrushes after getting better so you are not reinfecting yourself with bad germs.

Toothbrush Choice Conclusion

So, the bottom line is to choose a toothbrush that is most comfortable for you to use. After all, if the toothbrush is uncomfortable to you, you will not use it effectively or regularly. See your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and dental examinations.



A toothbrush is our tool to keep our teeth clean and our breath fresh but, did you know, they can harbor bacteria that grow and diversify over time? The main recommendation has always been to change to a new toothbrush every six months mainly because the toothbrush bristles eventually lose their ability to clean your teeth gently and effectively. New research says that your handy toothbrush may be a haven for bacteria and other microorganisms. Not only do they harbor the bacteria but they can also transfer them to your loved ones with each use.

Tips To Keep ToothBrush As Clean As Possible

Leave Brush Out In Open – This allows your toothbrush to air dry. Bacteria generally thrive and flourish in cool, humid, and dark places. This describes most bathrooms. Studies have shown that toothbrushes kept in a humid, dark environment retained almost 50% of the Herpes Simplex Virus (type 1) for almost a week. Further studies have shown that placing a toothbrush too close to the toilet bowl can introduce new types of bacteria every time you flush. Water particles are launched up to a 6 foot radius surrounding the toilet possibly contaminating your toothbrush and other bathroom items in the process.

Helpful Tip: Do not keep toothbrushes stored away inside your dark medicine cabinet. Consider leaving your toothbrush in a place with dry, well lit area like a nightstand.

Change Brush Earlier If Possible – Replacing your brush more frequently to ward off progressive bacteria growths. The American Dental Association now recommends changing out your toothbrush every 2-3 months. A good tip might be to buy 12 new toothbrushes at the start of the year and replace the old one at the start of every new month. This makes it easy to remember and keeps your toothbrushes from becoming biology experiments.

Helpful Tip: Select toothbrushes with translucent bristles. Research has shown that these brush heads contain 50% less bacteria than the colored ones. It might be also helpful to use an anti bacterial mouth rinse to protect your mouth and also to rinse your toothbrush in after brushing to keep the numbers of bacteria down to a minimum.

Nuke Your ToothBrush? – Some studies have advocated microwaving your manual toothbrushes (do not try this with an electric toothbrush!). This technique may eliminate several forms of bacteria and viruses that can form on tooth brush heads. This is an out of the box tip and has not been endorsed by anyone. People have been microwaving pacifiers for years to sterilize them. Just be careful not to ruin the integrity of the toothbrush in the process.

Helpful Tip: Never microwave a toothbrush with metal parts!

UV (Ultraviolet Light) Sanitizers– There are many highly effective sanitizers which utilize UV light to kill  up to 99 % of toothbrush germs. This is especially helpful when a family member is sick and there is a stronger need to protect from cross contamination onto other toothbrushes.

Conclusion

Toothbrush maintenance and cleanliness is an often overlooked part of our oral hygiene regimen. We must remember how much bacteria we carry in our mouths on a daily basis. We certainly do not want to introduce any new germs to the mix that might be growing on our toothbrushes. Change a few habits and add some simple steps to help you and your family stay happy and healthy for many years to come.



Cosmetic dentistry has become such a common term that almost every dentist calls themselves a “cosmetic dentist”. The American Dental Association does not recognize

Cosmetic Dentistry Marielaina Perrone DDS

Cosmetic Dentistry As An Art

cosmetic dentistry as a specialty in dentistry. The fact is, that even though cosmetic dentistry is not officially recognized,  it does take extra skill, experience, and training. A good cosmetic dentist is concerned with both the esthetic outcome as well as the functional outcome working together in harmony.

Common procedures used in cosmetic dentistry include teeth whitening, porcelain crowns, dental implants, limited tooth movement, gum sculpting, dental bonding, and porcelain veneers. With the exception of teeth whitening, all of the other procedures require extra skill on the part of the cosmetic dentist. The goal in any cosmetic dentistry procedure is to have the final product look and feel as natural as possible. This includes proper treatment  planning before and skilled preparation during the procedure. Choosing the ideal procedures, utilizing the highest quality materials, and pairing with the best dental laboratories are what makes for ideal cosmetic dentistry results. Being able to correct or fix any issues that might arise are just as important.

Cosmetic Dentistry Case Example

Patient came to the dentist with a  list of things she did not like about her teeth. She did not like spaces between teeth, wanted whiter teeth, and also had a badly decayed tooth in the upper molar area.

Step 1 – Fully explain your wants and needs. You and your cosmetic dentist need open lines of communication. An agreement should be reached about what can and cannot be done based on time, budget, and  function.

Step 2 -Full treatment planning records need to be taken. Pre operative x-rays, study models, and digital photographs. These are essential for a good cosmetic dentistry outcome.

Before Cosmetic Dentistry Marielaina Perrone DDS

Cosmetic Dentistry – Before

Step 3 – Options for treatment should be presented. Discuss options and develop an agreed upon treatment plan. In the pictured case, the mouth was healthy (except for decayed molar) and free of periodontal disease. Patient was shown what the final treatment could look like. Such visual cues can be very helpful in decision making. In this case the treatment plan decided upon included:

-Removal of an extremely decayed molar, and replacement with a dental implant.

Porcelain Veneers to correct shape, size, color, and spacing of the front six upper teeth.

Teeth Whitening – This will allow the patient to whiten the teeth to a more desirable color, so that the new porcelain veneers, and implant crown can be matched to a more visually appearing, cosmetic color.

Step 4 – Patient has badly decayed molar removed and is referred to periodontist for implant consultation and placement. Following placement of dental implant patient will wait 4-6 months for healing and bone strengthening to occur before final porcelain crown can be placed.

Step 5 – Begin Teeth Whitening. This procedure can either be done in office (in one hour), or the patient can complete teeth whitening at home over the course of 2-4 weeks. This step is important as the final porcelain veneers and porcelain crown will be fabricated to match the new, lighter, final shade following teeth whitening.

Step 6 – Following teeth whitening, porcelain veneers procedure can begin. Porcelain veneers (also referred to as porcelain laminates) are super thin, custom fabricated

After Cosmetic Dentistry Marielaina Perrone DDS

After Cosmetic Dentistry

shells of tooth colored porcelain designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your smile’s overall aesthetic appearance. These shells are adhesively bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, width, and/or length. At end of this appointment patient will be sent home in temporary veneers while the laboratory can fabricate the custom porcelain veneers.

Step 7 – Placement and bonding of final veneers. This is a critical step in this case as the porcelain veneers must not only line up properly to close gaps but also be the right color and shape.

Step 8 – Placement of porcelain crown following healing of the dental implant.

Step 9 – Happy Smile!

Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion

There you have the steps involved in a typical cosmetic dentistry case. Sometimes there are extra visits if any issues arise but if planned for properly the patient should know exactly what to expect in terms of the cosmetic dentistry treatment schedule as well as finances. Cosmetic dentistry can transform an ordinary smile into one that makes the patient smile bright for a long time to come.

Did you know that a redheads genetic makeup may lead to a need for increased local anesthetic and have higher dental anxiety? A recent study by the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) shows that people with a specific gene tend to experience increased dental anxiety during routine dental treatment. This gene occurs more often in redheads than the general population. A second study showed that redheads need 20% more anesthesia, and it wears off faster than in blondes or dark haired people. Perhaps, the need for increased anesthesia has caused many of these redheads to fear dental treatment?

The Dental Anxiety and Dental Pain Study

The dental anxiety study included 144 people (67 with red hair and 77 with dark hair) who answered various questions about dental fears and dental anxieties. Following survey questions, blood samples were taken to test for the presence of specific gene variations. People with one specific gene, melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), were more than twice as likely to report dental fear and dental anxiety than those without the gene. 85 patients had the gene in the study and 65 of them were redheads. This same gene is also thought to be responsible for increased sensitivity to thermal pain and increased resistance to the effects of local anesthesia.

The research teams believes variations of the MC1R gene play a role. This MC1R gene produces melanin, which gives skin, hair and eyes their distinctive color.

While blond, brown and black-haired people produce melanin, those with red hair have a mutation of this receptor. It produces a different coloring called pheomelanin, which results in freckles, fairer skin and red hair. Approximately 5% of whites are believed to have these characteristics.

While the relationship between MC1R and pain sensitivity is not known completely, researchers have discovered MC1R receptors in the brain and some of them are known to influence pain sensitivity. As stated above, non redheads can also carry the gene.

Tips to Deal With Dental Anxiety and Dental Pain

-Communication. Keeping open lines of communication is always important to ensure proper numbing is being obtained to make the patient comfortable. Discussing all aspects of dental anxiety ahead of time will ensure the best possible outcomes for the patient.

-Medication. Many patients do very well taking a pre visit valium to relax themselves and remove excess dental anxiety. It will also allow the anesthesia to work more effectively during the visit because you are so relaxed.

-Distraction. Use of an ipod, to listen to music during your dental visits places your mind in a relaxed state. It helps to drown out unwanted noise.

What Does It All Mean?

Many redheads will present with increased dental anxiety as well as be more resistant to local anesthesia. So, both dentist and patient need to be aware of these situations. A dentist armed with this knowledge will approach these patients differently and ask specific questions about past anesthesia issues, as well as past dental anxiety and experiences. You do not have to have red hair to experience dental anxiety or have difficulty getting numb. There are many ways to address both problems  and overcome them with proper techniques and good communication.