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Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Tooth decay is an age old problem that has affected generations of children and adults. Tooth decay is preventable, we just need to understand what causes it so that we may then prevent it from occurring.

Tooth decay is caused by a bacterial intrusion into the tooth. The bacteria feed on the buildup of food debris on teeth. The bacteria then secrete acids which breakdown tooth enamel. Once the acid forms a hole in the enamel, the bacteria can then enter the tooth and progressively breakdown the tooth, causing a cavity.  Understanding this process is critical to maintaining oral health and preventing tooth decay.

Best Tips To Prevent Tooth Decay

-Maintain Proper Dental Hygiene. This is the first step to preventing tooth decay. Proper dental hygiene should include, brushing, flossing, and using an antibacterial mouthwash. Toothbrushing should be done at least twice a day for 2 minutes each time. Brushing more often during the day will enhance your dental hygiene. Flossing should be done at least once a day (preferably before bedtime) but it can also be done more often.  The goal in dental hygiene is to not only keep down the amount of debris in the mouth but also to keep the environment from becoming acidic which will allow bacteria to more agressively break down teeth causing tooth decay.

Use of an antibacterial/fluoride mouthwash (such as purple listerine)is often overlooked but is also important. These oral rinses are designed to decrease cavity causing bacteria in the mouth while utilizing fluoride to strengthen enamel against breakdown. If brushing and flossing is done properly, use of an oral rinse should complete the protection against tooth decay.

-Sugarless Gum. Sugarless gum is important because it stimulates salivary flow. The increased saliva in the mouth will help to keep our teeth clean. Saliva is the mouth’s natural defense against oral bacteria. Choose a sugarless gum with xylitol. Bacteria can not feed on xylitol, because it cannot be metabolized. This helps keep the acid levels lower. Xylitol has also been shown to help remineralize our teeth’s enamel.

-Maintaining Proper Nutrition. Choosing foods and drinks wisely is important to your overall health as well as your dental health. By eating properly, you are able to keep your body as healthy as possible allowing your body to fight off any attack. The best snacks for your dental health include raw vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Avoiding sugar is not always an option so it is important to minimize the damage. Apples are actually the perfect snack for dental health as they act as a tooth cleaner and whitener. They are able to clean your teeth by the abrasive action of the skin and hard inner surface of the apple, malic acid in the apple helps to remove surface stain and keep teeth whiter. You can actually squueze juice from an apple and mix it with baking soda to brush on and whiten your teeth. So next time you are looking for a midday snack pick up a shiny apple.

-Drink Fluoridated Water. While fluoride is a controversial topic for many. It has been proven time and again to protect our teeth from tooth decay. Fluoridated water is important for children to drink. The fluoride becomes a permanent part of the tooth when it is consumed during tooth development.  Drinking at least 16oz of fluoridated water each day will help prevent tooth decay. Another option is to use a supplemental fluoride prescribed by your dentist.

-Dental Sealants. Many believe dental sealants are just for children but that is not so. If an adult has no tooth decay on the tooth in question nor any previous dental restorations a sealant can be placed and be effective. A dental sealant is designed to cover the chewing surfaces of premolars and molars. This keeps the grooves of our teeth from developing tooth decay. In many of us, these grooves are quite deep and are an inherent weakness in the fight against tooth decay.

Tooth Decay Conclusion

Tooth decay is preventable with diligent dental hygiene and maintaining regularly scheduled dental visits. Maybe in the future, we can eventually wipe out tooth decay . Until then, we need to follow the steps above to maintain good oral health.

Brushing at bedtime is one of those things that most of us just do, never questioning why. It starts as our teeth develop and our parents brush for us and hopefully we continue it throughout life. Do you know why it is recommended to brush before bedtime?

Top Bedtime Dental Hygiene Benefits

1. Remove Buildup of Bacteria In The Mouth. Our mouths are bombarded throughout the course of the day with a variety of environments. It could range from an acidic, hot cup of coffee in the morning to that pen you chewed on while sitting in a meeting at work. These daily activities introduce harmful elements to our teeth. That pen, for example, has been handled by many people and placed on desks throughout the day picking up bacteria and germs. So it is a good idea to brush your teeth and use an antibacterial rinse to rid your mouth of some of these harmful germs, acids, and plaque bacteria building up inside your mouth.

2. Avoid Plaque Buildup Overnight. Plaque is a yellowish film that builds up on our teeth usually along the gumline and between teeth. As the plaque bacteria eats the left over food particles on your teeth, a white film of plaque colonizes and builds up in your mouth. Plaque is acidic, and given time, will exert its damage onto the teeth and gums. So by brushing multiple times per day, and especially just before bed, we are cutting down on the risk of damage to our teeth and gums from this harmful plaque.

3. Sleeptime Causes A Dry Mouth. It is normal that as we sleep our mouths produce less saliva. Hence, why we tend to be thirsty first thing in the morning. A dry mouth is the perfect breeding ground for plaque bacteria. This can lead to increased tooth decay and even the development of periodontal disease. Our mouths need saliva to not only help break down food as we eat but also to bathe the mouth to dislodge food and bacteria from between our teeth and gums. Brushing before bed will again get your mouth ready for that dry environment to come, by removing a good portion of the bacteria and plaque that could cause damage.

4. Preventing Periodontal Disease. As mentioned above, removing plaque and bacteria form the mouth will significantly reduce bacterial damage to your teeth and gums. The same plaque that can cause tooth decay can also be prevalent in periodontal disease. Once periodontal disease progresses, it is very difficult to treat and control. It can lead to teeth shifting, receding gum tissue, and even tooth loss.

5.  Awaken In The Morning Feeling Fresh. We have all had those nights where we either fell asleep on the couch or simply forgot to brush, the next morning we wake up with a terrible taste in our mouths. Think about all the foods and drinks you ingested the day before. That means they were allowed to stay in your mouth for a full 24 hours allowing the bacteria in your mouth to feed unchecked for a full day. Take the time before bed to brush properly, rinse with a fluoride rinse such as purple listerine, and you will feel more refreshed in the morning and have better “morning breath” that your partner and family will appreciate.


Brushing and maintaining dental hygiene should not feel like a chore. If you we get into the habit of brushing, flossing, and rinsing it becomes second nature. A good dental hygiene regimen should not take 30 minutes to complete. In as little as 5-7 minutes 2-3 times per day you can ensure you are doing your best to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible so you get to keep your teeth for a lifetime.

When it comes to snacking, we do not always make the right choices. In moments of weakness and hunger we often opt for a sugary snack.  It may give us a bit of energy to

Dental Health Marielaina Perrone DDS

Make Good Snacking Choices For Your Dental Health!

get through our day, or just be a comfort during stress. Sugary snacks may taste great, but they are poor choices for our teeth and our bodies. Not only will the sugar cause tooth decay, but it will effect us negatively in other ways as well. Sugar causes you to “carb crash”, making you feel tired after the sugar high wears off, makes your body need to over produce insulin, dries your mouth out, and can allow us to gain significant amounts of weight if we are not careful. Smart choices are the key.

What Happens In Our Mouth When We Eat Sugar?

Our mouth is full of various bacteria. When sugary and starchy foods are introduced into the mouth the bacteria feed on the remains. The byproduct of this “feeding” is the production of acid. This acid over time will break down the enamel of our teeth leading to tooth decay. If you simply choose to eat healthy foods, then your chances of exposure to these acids is reduced.

The key is to make smart choices when snacking. There are many types of snacks out there and not all are bad for us. Certain sweets are worse than others. These include the gooey and chewy sugary snacks, and the sour gummy type candies. The reason these snacks are so much worse is that they stick to the surface of the teeth lasting in the mouth and on the enamel far longer than other types of sugary snacks, the sour gummies also contain high acid along with the sticky sugars..

The time of day is also important. Snacking late at night, or just before bedtime will allow the sugar to remain in your mouth overnight.As your mouth dries out, saliva production and bacteria clearance decrease dramatically. A dry mouth with sugar residue will put you at an increased risk for tooth decay.

Practice good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing following snacking will go along way towards helping reduce our risk for tooth decay.

Best Snacks For Dental Health

-Fresh fruits and raw vegetables. The fruits can include oranges, melons, and pears. While the vegetables can include broccoli, celery, cucumbers, and carrots.

-Whole Grains. This can include whole wheat, rye, pumpernickel bagels, baked tortilla chips, wheat crackers with cheese, and even some unsweetened cereals.

-Milk and dairy products. This includes milk, cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese.

-Meat, nuts and seeds. This can include turkey, deli meats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and various unsweetened nuts.

Dental Health Marielaina Perrone DDSSnacking Tips For Good Dental Health

Let’s be honest with ourselves, snacking is a part of who we are. Snacking in moderation along with good dental hygiene will keep our teeth healthy as well as keep our weight down so we can be healthier overall. A few key tips:

-Snack Wisely. Make the right choice more often than not. Get in the habit of choosing good snacks that are beneficial to our teeth and bodies. Avoiding sugar when possible. Drink lots of water during and after snacking.

-Time Your Snacking. Avoid sweets between meals. If you do choose to snack between meals get in the habit of brushing and flossing following the snack to keep the acids at bay.

-Variety. Mix up your snacking to ensure we get a good baalnce of nutrition into our bodies.

-Maintain Dental Hygiene. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after snacks and meals. If you cannot brush and floss right away, vigorously rinse your mouth with water a few times to try to wash away some of the sugar from our mouths as well as counteract the acids.


The bottom line is to choose your snacks wisely. Your health as well as your children’s depends upon it. Many snacks are better for children simply because they have the ability to promote growth and development. Be aware that many “healthy” foods if overindulged in, without maintaining good dental hygiene, can still cause tooth decay. Adults and children need to get in the habit of brushing, flossing, and rinsing following snacking and having a meal. Your teeth and body will thank you for it in the long run.

Maintaining a good bedtime oral hygiene routine is even more important than your daytime one. A lot can happen overnight while you are sleeping. Food debris and

Oral Health Marielaina Perrone DDS

Maintain Good Oral Health At Bedtime!

bacteria can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums during sleep time, when there is almost no saliva produced to wash away bacteria. Most of us have more time at night to properly clean our teeth, but wait until we are too tired to do so.  In a few easy steps, you can be assured of a clean mouth, and get a better night’s sleep.

Bedtime Oral Health Tips

1. Tooth brushing at Bedtime. Brushing your teeth before you go to bed at night helps protect against plaque buildup, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. If you are particularly susceptible to tooth decay and/or periodontal disease, it is recommended that you brush immediately after dinner, then again right before bedtime. The earlier you brush, the less likely you are to start snacking, less snacking will reduce food debris and decrease the likelihood of cavities.

2. Practice Proper Brushing Form. The best way to clean your teeth is to brush at an angle gently in short circling strokes. Brush the outer tooth surfaces first, then the inner tooth surfaces, followed by the chewing surfaces. To clean the backs of your front teeth, use the tip of the brush and stroke gently up and down. Get a separate brush (or even a specialized tongue cleaner) to clean your tongue, there is quite a bit more bacteria (as well as dead cells) on your tongue than your teeth, so don’t use the same brush for both.

3. Switch to an electric toothbrush. The rotating and oscillating movement of the electric toothbrush head removes plaque from your teeth more efficiently than a regular toothbrush. Be sure to choose an electric toothbrush that’s comfortable to hold, easy to use, and has the rotating-oscillating head.

Oral Health Marielaina Perrone DDS4. Do Not Just Brush – Floss Too! Flossing removes food particles and plaque buildup where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. If this debris stays on the teeth, bacteria will increase throughout the night and feed off them, produce acid, and break down enamel while you’re sleeping. Tartar can not be removed by flossing, but accumulation can be slowed down with good hygiene, and the proper rinses. Flossing before bedtime is essential if you want to decrease your chances of periodontal disease and tooth decay. Morning flossing is also recommended, especially if you’re prone to periodontal disease or tartar buildup.

5. Rinse with mouthwash. Mouthwash isn’t just for fresh breath — anti bacterial mouth rinses contain a variety of ingredients that strengthen teeth(fluoride), kill plaque bacteria (Listerine) , help treat certain oral health conditions (Chlorhexidine), or simply dissolve plaque and tartar, like Periogen. Rinsing with a mouthwash before bed will help keep your teeth free of plaque and tooth decay and your gums safe from gingivitis. Most commercial, over-the-counter mouthwashes are designed to mask bad breath, tend to dry your mouth, and they won’t do much to contribute to your oral health. Talk to your dentist about which mouth rinse  is the right one for you.

6. Be aware of teeth grinding, apnea, and snoring. If you experience worn tooth enamel, increased tooth sensitivity, or torn cheek tissue, you may be grinding your teeth (also called bruxism) while you sleep. Though dentists cannot stop you from grinding your teeth, they can make you a mouth guard that you can wear at night to protect your teeth from the effects of grinding. There are also appliances that can be made to help you with jaw repositioning to help you breathe easier, and stop snoring.

7. Use a Waterpik. A waterpik is an excellent tool to remove debris that we are unable to get to, massage and stimulate gum tissue, and cleanse a deeper periodontal pocket. You can also add your therapeutic mouthrinse or periogen to the waterpik, to place it where it is needed most.

8. Maintain Regular Dental Visits. Be sure to schedule regular dental examinations and professional cleanings. Your dentist and hygienist will help you keep your teeth clean and your gums healthy over the course of your lifetime. Remember, preventive care and maintenance are just as important for a healthy mouth as good daytime and nighttime oral hygiene.


Oral Health Conclusion

Dental hygiene must be maintained on a regular basis along with visits to the dentist for dental examinations and professional cleanings if you are to maintain a bright, healthy smile. Dental hygiene can not be left by the wayside just because we are tired. Make the time and effort to properly maintain your teeth, and you will be rewarded every morning with a beautiful smile!