Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Maintaining our oral health can be challenging at times. We all live busy schedules but research has shown that good oral health can lead to good overall health. Below are some tips to help embrace your oral health today!

Top Oral Health Tips

-Brush at least twice a day and floss daily before bedtime. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are major issues as we get older. Almost 75% of all teenagers have gums that bleed. This is one of the first signs of the development of periodontal disease. In its earliest form (gingivitis), the damage is reversible so it is best to catch it early. Other brushing tips include:

-Change your toothbrush at least every 6 months.

-Teenagers with braces may need to use special toothbrushes and other oral hygiene tools to brush their teeth.

-Older people with arthritis or other problems may have trouble holding a toothbrush or using floss. Some people find it easier to use an electric toothbrush.

-Become A Gum Chewer. Chewing sugar free gum (or gum with xylitol) after a meal can also protect by increasing saliva flow, which naturally washes bacteria away and neutralizes acid.

-Do Not Smoke (Or Use Smokeless Tobacco). Not only will using tobacco products stain your teeth but their use will significantly increase the risk of periodontal disease and oral cancer.

-Eat A Well Balanced Diet. No matter your age, a healthy, well balanced diet is essential to healthy teeth and gums. A well-balanced diet of whole foods (this includes whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and cheeses) will provide all the nutrients you need. Research has also shown consuming more fish (omega-3 fats) may actually reduce the risk of developing periodontal disease. It is believed the omega-3 fats will lower inlfammation in the body including the gum tissues.

-Avoid Sugary Foods. When bacteria in the mouth break down simple sugars, they produce acids that can erode your tooth’s enamel, opening the door to tooth decay. Sugary drinks, including colas and fruit drinks, pose a special threat because people tend to sip them, raising acid levels over a long period of time. Sticky candies (like gummy bears and fruit roll ups) are another culprit, because they linger on teeth surfaces.

-Play Smart. Sports help maintain our body and mind health, but they can pose a major threat to teeth. Most school teams now require children to wear mouth guards. But remember: unsupervised recreational activities like skateboarding and roller blading can also result in injuries. An over the counter mouthguard can help soften the blow from theses traumatic injuries. A custom made sports mouthguard made by your dentist can be even more effective as research has shown a well fitted mouthguard can actually help reduce incidence of concussions.

-Maintain A Regular Appointment Schedule. It is recommended to have a dental examination every 6 months — more often if you have problems like periodontal disease. During a routine exam, your dentist or dental hygienist will:

-Check For Tooth Decay.

-Remove plaque and tartar that cannot be brushed or flossed away.

-Check For Early Signs Of Oral Cancer. Most cases of oral cancer can be treated if found early enough. Undetected, oral cancer can spread to other parts of the body and become harder to treat. Once oral cancer progresses it becomes very very difficult to effectively treat.

-Wear and tear from tooth grinding (also called bruxism). Teeth grinding may be caused by stress or anxiety. Over time, it can wear down the biting surfaces of teeth, making them more susceptible to tooth decay. If your teeth show signs of bruxism, your dentist may recommend a mouth guard worn at night to prevent grinding.

-Signs of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease (also called gingivitis or periodontitis) is the leading cause of tooth loss. Unfortunately, by the time most people notice any of the warning signs of periodontitis, it’s too late to reverse the damage.

-Interactions with medications. Older patients, especially those on multiple medications, are at risk of dry mouth, or xerostomia. Reduced saliva flow increases the risk of tooth decay and gum problems. As many as 800 different drugs cause dry mouth as a side effect. Always tell your dentist about any medications you take. A change in prescriptions may help lessen the problem. Saliva like oral mouthwashes are also available.

-Get Children Started Early. 1 in 4 young children develops signs of tooth decay before they start school. Half of all children between the ages of 12 and 15 have tooth decay. Dental care should begin as soon as a child’s first tooth appears, usually around six months.

Oral Health Conclusion

Maintaining good oral health should become a habit from an early age. The earlier we get into the routine the easier it will be to stay healthy throughout our lives.

Periodontal disease is a slow, progressive disease that appears to sneak up on us. Many ignore the warning signs simply because many of them are painless. It is important not to ignore these signs and symptoms as periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. There are many different types of periodontal disease including aggressive, chronic, necrotizing periodontitis, and periodontitis associated with systemic diseases.  Each of these types of periodontal disease has its own distinct characteristics and symptoms, and all require prompt treatment by a dentist to help halt subsequent bone and gum tissue loss.

Common Periodontal Disease Signs And Symptoms

-Bleeding Upon Brushing, Flossing, Or Eating. This is one of the most common signs that periodontal disease is active. It is often also one of the most overlooked signs. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease. As the bacteria and toxins build up in the mouth, the body responds by activating the inflammatory process, rushing our cells to stop the attack. This will cause the gum tissues to become inflamed and red. It is important to note that bleeding gums can also be something more sinister like leukemia and blood platelet disorders.

-Unexplained Pain Or Swelling. This can be caused by a periodontal infection. At this point it is essential that you get to a dentist as soon as possible. If the infection is left unchecked it will cause damage to the gum tissues and the bone supporting your teeth. It can also be carried to other parts of the body through the blood stream.

-Persistent Bad Breath (Halitosis). Bad breath can occur from many things but peristent bad breath can mean progressive periodontal disease . As the gum tissues are destroyed, the areas where the oral bacteria can flourish will increase causing a foul odor in the mouth. There are other causes of chronic halitosis that should also be ruled out.

-Change In Your Smile Or Loose Teeth. As periodontal disease advances, your teeth will loosen and shift out of position. This will effect the way your teeth fit together and even alter your smile.

-Teeth Become Longer In Appearance. As periodontal disease progresses it will lead to destruction of the bone and gum tissues. This will show up as gum recession. Once the gum tissues pull back they expose more of the tooth and root, making them appear longer than before.

-Pus Drainage. This goes along with the periodontal infection mentioned previously. An active periodontal infection will create pus which can ooze out from between the teeth and gums causing a bad taste and malodor.

Avoiding Periodontal Disease

Dental and Periodontal Examinations

Your dentist will complete a thorough examination with x-rays and periodontal charting. Notations about the visual condition of the gum tissue will also be recorded. In its earliest stages the gum tissue is usually red, puffy, and painless or slightly tender at this point. Plaque and tartar will more than likely be present to some degree. A periodontal probe will be used to measure around the teeth to see if your periodontal disease has progressed and to what degree. It is important to note that once bone loss has occurred you now have a more advanced form of periodontal disease.

Following the examination, your dentist will recommend a course of treatment for your periodontal disease. This will include a professional cleaning along with extra home care instructions. The goal in treatment is to reduce the inflammation and not allow progression of the disease. An antibacterial rinse (example, Listerine) may also be recommended for at home use. Your dentist may also recommend repair of misaligned or crooked teeth to aid you in your home care efforts. Your dentist may also recommend a more frequent schedule(every 4-6 months) to control your periodontal disease.

Following removal of plaque and tartar, bleeding and tenderness of the gums should begin to subside within 1-2 weeks after professional cleaning and careful dental hygiene. Warm salt water or antibacterial rinses can also reduce gum inflammation. Taking an over the counter anti inflammatory medication can also aid in pain and inflammation reduction.

Healthy gums should look pink and firm with no bleeding upon brushing, flossing, or eating. Good oral hygiene must be maintained for your whole life, or periodontal disease will come back and possibly advance past the gingivitis form into advanced periodontal disease (also called periodontitis).

Steps to prevent periodontal disease should include:

-Routine dental visits. Usually recommended every 3- 6 months for examination and professional cleaning.

-Brushing after every meal and flossing at least once a day.

-Rinsing with an antiseptic rinse as recommended by your dentist.

Consult your physician if the bleeding is severe or chronic, gums continue to bleed even after dental treatment, or you have other unexplained symptoms along with the bleeding from your gums. These could all be the sign of a more serious condition than periodontal disease and should be checked out as soon as possible.

Periodontal Disease Conclusion

Periodontal Disease in its beginning stage is very treatable and should be easily controlled. Keeping periodontal disease from progressing to more advanced stages should be your goal. It takes a regular effort by both you and your dentist but it can be done. Getting control of periodontal disease will not only help your overall health, but will keep you smiling!

Flossing is often overlooked by most people. However, it is an essential part of maintaining good dental hygiene and dental health. Below are the top reasons why you should floss your teeth every day…

-Flossing Helps Avoid Periodontal Disease. Flossing is the important hygiene technique we can do to prevent development of periodontal disease. Food debris can become trapped in the spaces where the gums and teeth meet. This food debris will be attacked by the oral bacteria, your body will respond by activitating its defenses. Daily flossing removes most of the food and plaque that toothbrushes cannot reach, thus preventing the subsequent inflammation . If left unflossed, gingivitis eventually progresses to periodontal disease.

-Flossing Prevents Buildup Of Tartar.  Flossing daily helps to reduce and prevent tartar buildup.

-Flossing Keeps Us Healthy! Maintaining good dental hygiene protects more than your dental health. Recent research has shown that when bacteria flourishes in an unhealthy mouth, it can lead to a number of serious health problems and diseases. The list includes cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes. The evidence is too much to ignore. Maintaining good dental hygiene also helps maintain good overall health.

-Flossing Leads To A Whiter Smile. By flossing and brushing regularly, you will be able to keep staining to a minimum leaving you with a whiter, brighter smile.

-Flossing Is Just As Important As Brushing. Brushing and flossing can be considered partners in the fight against periodontal disease. Dental floss is designed to reach the tight spaces between the teeth and the gap between the teeth and gums. Brushing alone is not able to reach these areas. Dental floss also removes the plaque that builds up near the gum line and between the teeth.

-Flossing Can Help Maintain Better Breath. By removing the food particles from between teeth and below the gum line you will see a marked improvement in your breath.

-Flossing Saves You Money. Maintaining good dental hygiene will not only keep you healthy but also save you money. By doing your job at home, you will develop less issues over time that can be quite costly to fix like tooth decay, tooth loss and periodontal disease.

Flossing Tips

-Follow Proper Flossing Form. Use a piece of floss 15 to 18 inches long, slide it between the teeth, wrap it around each tooth, and polish with an up and down motion gently following the curves of your teeth.

-Gums May Bleed. Bleeding means the gums are inflamed because plaque has built up and needs to be cleaned away. If bleeding persists after 2 weeks of brushing and flossing, you should see your dentist.

-Use A Floss Holder. Not everyone has the coordination or dexterity to floss properly. Using a floss holder can make it easier to get in those hard to reach places.

-Floss At Night Before Bedtime. Flossing before bed is best as it will remove the days food debris and plaque buildup.

Conclusion

It cannot be stressed enough that regular dental visits are only part of the equation to keeping up your dental health. Diligent at home dental hygiene care is the other part. If you do a good job flossing and brushing at home, your dental visits will go much smoother. Making flossing a daily habit will keep you healthier!

Undergoing orthodontic treatment can be a trying time for maintaining good dental hygiene, but the end result makes it all worth it. Creating a straight, attractive smile that one can be proud of is the goal of most orthodontic treatment.  However, orthodontic treatment can disrupt your daily routine. The orthodontic brackets and wires, and chewy, sticky foods can make dental hygiene more challenging and difficult. Poor hygiene, while wearing braces, can put your teeth and gums at risk for periodontal disease and decay. Luckily, there are ways to maintain great hygiene even with orthodontic brackets and wires attached to your teeth.

Tooth Decay Prevention Tips

Even without braces, maintaining dental hygiene can be very challenging. The main task in any dental hygiene program is to control the buildup of dental plaque and tartar. This dental plaque contains oral bacteria that releases acid that can destroy the out layers (enamel) of your tooth. Tartar is an irritant that can cause swollen or receded gums, and bone loss. The following are some key tips to help keep your teeth and gums in top shape while wearing orthodontic braces (or even without them!):

Flossing And Brushing Tips - To floss teeth if you have braces, feed the end of the floss threader or all in one floss through the space between the main arch wire and the upper portion of the tooth closest to the gum. Use a gentle sawing motion to work the floss on each side of the two teeth the floss is between. Be careful not to pull with too much force around the arch wire. Brush teeth by using a rotary toothbrush or a regular soft toothbrush. Brush down from the top and then up from the bottom on each tooth with braces. Next, brush your teeth with a proxabrush or “Christmas tree” brush. This brush is specially designed for cleaning between two braces. Insert the brush down from the top and then up from the bottom between two braces. Use several strokes in each direction before moving on to the next space between two braces. A Waterpik with Periogen and purple listerine works very well to flush out plaque, tartar, and stain to keep your brackets and elastics clean. Continue with cleaning until all metal surfaces shine and there is no plaque left behind.

Dental hygiene appointments should occur more frequently (every 3-4 months). Fluoride treatments and dental sealants are also helpful to keep teeth strong and decay free.

Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces – While going through orthodontic treatment there are several types of foods that shouldn’t be eaten. It helps if the pieces are smaller so they can be easily chewed and lessen risk of breaking any brackets or wires. Items and habits that should be avoided include:

-Hard or difficult to bite foods. These include apples, bagels, pizza crust, beef jerky.

-Chewy and sticky foods. This includes taffy, bubble gum, or caramels.

-Corn on the cob. Remove the kernels and eat them individually vs biting them off the cob.

-Hard pretzels, popcorn, nuts, and carrots.

-Do not chew ice, fingernails, or pencils.

-Do not open things (bottles, chip bags, etc.) with your teeth.

Conclusion

The last thing anyone wants, is to complete orthodontic treatment with beautifully straight teeth loaded with cavities and bleeding gums. Luckily, with diligent work in maintaining dental hygiene tooth issues can be prevented. This should also include regular dental visits for examinations and professional cleanings.