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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.



Let’s be honest, most people do not floss regularly even though they know they should. Flossing is an integral part of any dental hygiene program. Brushing alone is not able to remove the bacteria and food debris that builds up between and around our teeth. Proper flossing can help prevent not only tooth decay but also tooth loss as well. So, what are the rules of flossing for you to follow? Below you will find the basics to floss porperly…

6 Rules To Great Flossing

Floss Everyday. Most prefer flossing at bedtime but it can really be done at any point in the day. Flossing can and should be performed more than once a day. The main goal of flossing is to remove the plaque and food debris from between and around your teeth.

Everyone With Teeth Or Dental Implants Should Floss. This includes kids, adults, and seniors. The general rule for flossing is if you want to keep your teeth or implants, you should floss. Flossing is often overlooked especially for children and those who do not have many teeth. It is never too early or late to start with good habits. Proper flossing will lead you toward a lifetime of good oral health.

Follow Proper Flossing Technique. Often times people floss with no idea of what they are doing…just going through the motions. The proper technique for flossing covers all aspects of your teeth going up and down between teeth as well as around them. The goal of flossing is to reach areas of the mouth that brushing alone is unable to.

Be Aware Of Bleeding GumsBleeding gums can happen on occasion when flossing. It can occur from improper flossing technique or ,more than likely, it is occuring because of the presence of early  periodontal disease. For many, it can be inflamed gums due to gingivitis, which is reversible. Medications and illness can also cause bleeding gums.  If your gums continue bleeding after 2 weeks of proper flossing  and brushing, see your dentist immediately for a complete dental examination and dental cleaning. Your dentist and hygienist will get you back on track to good oral health.

-Keep Up The Routine. Flossing should be done daily but the time of day may vary. The important thing is to stay steady and follow the course over time.

Use The Proper Tools. All dental floss or dental hygiene products are not made equal. There are a myriad of options available and you need to find what works best for your needs. For some it might be the standard dental floss while for others a floss holder may be necessary to get the job done. Keep trying different products until you find the one that will make you do an effective job on a regular basis.

Flossing Conclusion

Flossing is an important part of dental hygiene. There are alternatives, but nothing works quite as efficiently as flossing. Poor dental hygiene will eventually lead to periodontal disease and or tooth decay. Your dentist and hygienist can help you with your technique and let you know if you are doing it properly. Use your time wisely, make your hygiene habits efficient and effective. You will be pleasantly surprised at the improvements in your health!

 



Having a healthy, white smile is a goal for most of us. Maintaining a good routine for dental hygiene is key to the foundation of that success.The work required to make this happen, can be difficult and even overwhelming at times. Below are just a few easy tips to keep you on track for a healthy, white smile that dazzles.

Top 10 Dental Tips

1. Visit Your Dentist Regularly. This is very important to not only keep your teeth clean but keep your mouth free of periodontal disease. Regular dental examinations along with professional cleanings can help you keep your teeth clean, white, and healthy for a lifetime.

2. Beware of stains. Drinking red wine, black tea, or even indulging in an occasional cigar will give your teeth a darker, duller appearance. Brushing and flossing alone will not be able to remove these stains that work their way deep into your teeth. A good tip for when you do indulge is to brush and floss immediately after eating and drinking any items you think might stain your teeth. There are also natural tooth whiteners that you can use like crunchy vegetables and fresh apples. Their crunchiness helps give a cleaning action to your teeth to remove some of the lighter staining. There are also whitening toothpastes, such as colgate  optic white, which are very effective at removing surface staining when used regularly.

3. Don’t Forget Your Tongue. Studies have shown that bad breath can emanate from the tongue. Dead cells and bacteria can harbor in the folds of our tongue contributing to bad breath. Tongue scraping alone will not rid you of bad breath but it can help. You can use a toothbrush for this or most stores carry tongue scrapers specifically designed for the task at hand.

4. Gargle With Apple Cider Vinegar. This has become a popular remedy for whiter teeth. However, the vinegar can promote an acidic environment in the mouth causing tooth enamel erosion. Rinse with this at your own risk. The benefits may not be worth the risk of enamel erosion and tooth decay.

5. Use An Antibacterial/ Anti-Tartar/ Fluoride Mouthrinse. Oral rinses can get to places we sometimes miss from brushing and flossing. They also have the ability to lower the bacteria count in the mouth to help prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease. A good tip is to choose a mouthwash that  specifically targets your needs. There are whitening rinses, anti-plaque rinses to reduce periodontal bacteria such as listerine, anti-tartar rinses such as Periogen, Fluoride rinses such as ACT.

6. Chew Sugarless Gum (with Xylitol). Xylitol has been shown to decrease the incidence in tooth decay when chewed regularly. Xylitol enhances the remineralization of teeth, particularly in small decay spots just developing in the tooth enamel. Also, bacteria are unable to produce acid when xyltiol is present. This inhibition of acid production will help the teeth to stay safe from tooth decay.

7. Brush With A Teeth Whitening Toothpaste. While the effectiveness of these toothpastes comes into question for many they do help remove light staining. Brushing with a toothpaste like Colgate’s optic white can keep your teeth as white as possible in between dental visits.

8. Choose The Right Lipstick. This tip is for the ladies, choose a medium coral or light red lipstick. These colors can make your teeth appear to look whiter, whereas lighter-colored lipsticks tend to bring out the yellow and darker areas in teeth.

9. Floss Regularly. Many do not realize the staining that can occur in between teeth from plaque buildup. Flossing will help keep tooth decay and periodontal disease in check but it can also make your teeth whiter and brighter.

10. Strawberries. There has been some evidence showing that strawberries have some teeth whitening properties. So next time you grab for a snack think about your teeth and grab some strawberries.

 Whiter Smile Conclusion

Having a healthy, white smile can be a reality with routine dental care coupled with good dental hygiene at home. For those, who need have dental issues already and need a little boost, there are many treatments that your dentist can advise you of  that can be personalized for your individual needs. It is never too late to have a healthier looking smile!

For a long time now, it has been recommended to brush and floss to maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing alone may not be enough for many patients. The

Oral Rinses Marielaina Perrone DDS

Oral Rinses Can Keep Your Smile Shining!

addition of an oral rinse can offer unique benefits that brushing and flossing are unable to achieve. Some of the oral rinses on the market can be used to treat gingivitis, assist in the remineralization of teeth, treat dry mouth, as well as help whiten our teeth. The main advantage of an oral rinse is its ability to reach all areas of the mouth, between teeth, and under the tongue. This gives it the ability to reach bacteria that normal brushing and flossing may not.

Types Of Oral Rinses

There are many different kinds of oral rinses available in stores today they generally fall into two categories:

Cosmetic Oral Rinses. This type of rinse is used for purely cosmetic reasons including temporarily masking bad breath or teeth whitening agents to lighten color of teeth. These usually have antibacterial properties as well as anti cavity protection but not very potent in those areas. Cosmetic rinses are commercial, over the counter products that help remove oral debris before or after brushing, temporarily suppress bad breath, diminish bacteria in the mouth, and refresh the mouth with a pleasant taste, like mint. Cosmetic oral rinses reduce mouth odors, or halitosis. Some do kill bacteria for a short time, but there is no lasting health impact that you could ascribe to them. The bacteria killed by these types of mouth rinses will grow back eventually, and while you’ll have fresh and minty breath in the short-term, these rinses don’t actually improve your oral health.

Therapeutic Oral Rinses. This type of rinse is meant to fix a persistent oral issue such as gingivitis. Therapeutic rinses have all of the benefits of cosmetic rinses but also contain an added active ingredient that helps protect against some oral diseases. Therapeutic oral rinses are effective in two ways. One is to simply attack bacteria by stop it from reproducing or to kill it. The other newer way is to hinder the bacteria’s ability to attach itself to oral surfaces. If the bacteria cannot attach itself to any oral surfaces plaque cannot form. Dentists will prescribe special rinses for patients with the following issues:

1. Tooth Decay

2. Periodontal Disease

3. Gingival Inflammation

4. Dry Mouth (Xerostomia).
Therapeutic rinses also are highly recommended for those who cannot brush due to physical impairments or medical reasons. A good example is Chlorhexidine which is a very common oral rinse used to treat periodontal disease. It is powerful because its effects last longer than some of the other mouth rinses.

Are There Oral Rinses For Children?

Oral rinses are especially effective for children since their dexterity and attention to detail is usually less than that of an adult. The oral rinses will ensure all areas of the

Oral Rinses Marielaina Perrone DDS

mouth are reached. Oral rinses for children generally have no alcohol and most usually do not have fluoride. They can be antibacterial or they can be used for pre brushing staining of plaque areas.

Oral Rinses Conclusion

Mouth rinses do serve a purpose, whether to freshen your breath or help fight plaque and gingivitis. They can be a vital addition to any oral hygiene regimen. Remember they are not a substitute for regular brushing and flossing. Those are still the main component of the at home oral hygiene program with oral rinses acting as a supplement. Recent studies have shown that oral rinses can reduce plaque and the risk of gingivitis when used in addition to tooth brushing compared with tooth brushing alone. Whatever oral rinse you choose, be sure to follow the instructions and avoid swallowing. As always visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings. Remember, when choosing a mouth rinse product, pick one that has the ADA seal of approval.