Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

At home dental hygiene is often neglected due to our busy schedules. While many are diligent in maintaining good oral health at home others let it slide. The recommended daily regimen is brushing in the morning after breakfast and again before bedtime. Is it helpful to brush more often?

Tooth Brushing Frequency

The answer to the above question is YES and NO! It is definitely possible to over brush our teeth. It is estimated that approximately 80% of us are over brushing. Some of us become obsessed, but we are brushing incorrectly and we are brushing with the wrong type of toothbrush. There is definitely such a thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to brushing your teeth.

Brushing your teeth too frequently and too aggressively can damage the structure of our teeth as well as wear out the tooth enamel. Toothbrushes are designed to last around 3-4 months before they lose their soft bristles. However, frequent usage of the toothbrush would wear down the bristles and leave the bristles jagged and sharp, with serrated edges. When this happens, your toothbrush can then wear away the enamel and dentin from our teeth.

As a result, you should replace your toothbrushes before the bristles splay so that you’re reassured that your toothbrush would not wear away your tooth structure. You also should choose toothbrushes that will not hurt your gums and teeth. It is recommended that a soft bristle toothbrush is used unless recommended differently by your dentist.

Proper Brushing Technique

1. You should always try to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. Tooth brushes can be chosen on individual preference.  Basically, choose one that you are comfortable with.  Also size of brush head is important. If the toothbrush is too large to fit properly in your mouth, you will be unable to reach the further most areas. For many an electric toothbrush will work best. Our office recommends the Rotadent (made by Zila) electric toothbrush but any would be fine if it is effective for you.

2. Rinse your brush before using it. A small amount of tooth paste is enough for brushing. You do not need to cover all  the bristles with toothpaste. Just want enough on there for the paste to do its work.

Proper brushingProper brushingProper brushing

3. Hold the tooth brush angulated at 45 degrees to your teeth towards the  gums. Do not hold the brush flatly against your teeth. You want to be able to have the brush go all the way down to the gum line where most of the plaque resides. Paying extra attention to the gum line, hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration.

4. Start from the back of the upper jaw. You need to ensure you are cleaning all surfaces of the teeth effectively. There are three surfaces…..

1. The chewing surface of teeth.

2. The outer surface of the teeth facing the cheek.

3. Inner surfaces of the teeth.

Start with 3 teeth at a Clean on all 3 surfaces of the teeth. Use gentle pressure with short back and forth movements. Avoid using vigorous pressure as it is unnecessary. Let the brush and paste do the work for you.

5. After cleaning the 3 back most teeth, move on the next 3 teeth…..and so on.

6. After you have completed brushing your upper teeth, move on to your lower teeth and complete brushing in the same way as the upper teeth.

7. After brushing your teeth, brush along the gum line gently to remove any lodged food particles. Also, brush your tongue. Brushing your tongue will remove bacteria and buildup there to help with bad breath.

Tooth Brushing Recommendations

1. It is necessary to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Most people do this once every morning upon waking up, and before they go to bed at night. You can also brush your teeth after your midday meal or snacks.

2. Use short, gentle strokes to clean your teeth. Brush the outer and inner surfaces, as well as your tongue. If you have to clean in between your teeth, then use vertical brush strokes.
Then, you should brush your teeth for at least two minutes at a time. This would ensure that you have adequately removed all the plaque, food residue, and bacteria that may be in your mouth.

3. Remember to floss each night before going to bed to ensure that there is nothing stuck in your teeth.

One last tip, would be the use of a plaque disclosing solution. This would give you a visual aid to see what areas you are missing or need work on.

Toothbrushing Can Keep Away Tooth Decay

Above all, you should visit your dentist every six months for a professional dental cleaning to remove any tartar or plaque build up. These regular visits would ensure that your mouth is as healthy as it can be. Your dentist would also use this opportunity to clean your mouth thoroughly to get rid of the tartar and plaque buildup.

With the proper toothbrush, brushing techniques, and regular visits to your dentists, you are on your way to having a perfect, flawless smile. Just remember to regularly brush your teeth – and to brush them for at least two minutes!

dental emergency can arise at any time and place. These emergencies can be a loose crown, fractured tooth, or even atoothache. Many homes and even cars have emergency first aid kits in case of a medical emergency. Most do not even think twice about dental emergencies until they happen. Are you prepared for a dental emergency?

Items To Include in a Dental First Aid Kit

-Pain Medication. This can include Motrin or Aleve. Just something to relieve the pain until you can see your dentist for better pain relief. Do not use aspirin as this will inhibit clotting.

-Cotton or Gauze pads. These come in handy if there is any bleeding from an injury or even to have the patient bite down on to relieve some of the pressure. It also comes in handy if you have irritation from your braces or a denture. You can place the cotton or gauze in between the appliance and the sore to relive some of the discomfort.

-Wax. Another handy item to cover up areas of irritation like orthodontic brackets or wires.

-Floss. This can come in handy to remove food debris that gets lodged between teeth and beneath the gums that cause pain and discomfort.

-“Save A Tooth” System. This is for transporting teeth that have fallen out so that you have a better chance for long term survival once re implanted.

-Teabags. These are great for stopping bleeding following oral surgery or even a trauma in the mouth. Research suggests that bags containing tea from the plant camellia sinensis is better than herbal tea for this purpose. Tea bags may also be soothing if you bite your lip, cheek, or tongue.

-Denture Adhesive Paste. This can be used even if you do not have dentures. In addition to using it to secure dentures, it can also be used to temporarily secure a crown or bridge that has fallen out. A good example of this is Fixodent.

-Temporary filling material. This material tends to work better than wax for temporary replacement of a missing filling.

-Dental Mirror and Spatula. The mirror can come in handy if the emergency is back in the mouth and the spatula is necessary for using any temporary filling material in the mouth.

-Instant Ice Packs. These packs can come in handy if there is any trauma to the mouth or face.

-Topical Anesthetic. This can give temporary relief for denture sores, gum irritation, cold sores, canker sores, or sores from simply biting your lip, tongue, or cheek.

-Packets of Salt. These can be helpful if rinsing is necessary, as salt water helps clean and irrigate out wounds.

-Package of Colgate Wisps. This handy dental hygiene tool acts as toothbrush as well as a toothpick. These can help remove foreign objects lodged between your teeth.

-Orabase. A paste used for healing canker sores or sore mouths.

-Dentist Contact Information. Most dentists can be reached after hours via an emergency telephone line.

Dental First Aid Conclusion

All of the items listed above are readily available in most homes as well as drug stores. You can make a kit for at home and in your car for on the road. You never know when a dental emergency might arise and this kit can be a life saver or should I say tooth saver! As always visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings as well as for follow up to any at home dental emergency.

Everyone likes giving or receiving kisses especially around valentine’s day. It could be a spouse, child, or loved one, but are there any dental health dangers associated with kissing? With just one kiss, you can share over 500 different types of disease causing germs and viruses. Not knowing who you are kissing could be as dangerous to your health as having multiple sexual partners. What are the benefits, aside from the obvious?

Common Diseases and Viruses Transmitted By Kissing

-Cold Sores – This type of sore is caused by the herpes virus (family of diseases that causes Epstein-Barr, chickenpox, or herpes simplex). Cold sores appear as tiny, clear, fluid filled blisters that form around the mouth and lips. This type of sore is highly contagious. This is especially true while the sores are open and leaking fluids. Even sores that have formed scabs can be contagious.

-Upper respiratory tract infections - like colds can easily spread through a kiss. If you feel a cold or flu virus coming on you should avoid kissing. Many different viruses are responsible for causing the common cold. Colds are believed to be spread by direct contact with the virus. You can catch a cold from airborne droplets or from direct contact with secretions (fluids and mucous) from the infected person’s nose and throat.

-Mononucleosis (also called Glandular Fever) – This is called the “kissing disease” for a reason! It is easily transmitted to others through kissing, as well as sharing food, a cup, or even a straw.

-Hepatitis B – this may be transferred via kissing but it is quite rare, but it is transferable through saliva. Hepatitis B shows up in far higher levels in the blood than in the saliva. If the person you are kissing has bleeding gums (from periodontal disease), it will  be even more likely to be transmitted through the  mucous membranes (mouth, tongue, and gums).

-Tooth Decay – The bacteria that cause tooth decay are not found in the mouths of babies at birth.  A baby’s mouth must be colonized with infected saliva, which can be passed by a kiss on the lips from Mommy or Daddy.

-Periodontal Disease – It is possible to pass the bacteria responsible for periodontal disease through kissing.

Benefits Of Kissing

Even with all the potential dangers listed above, kissing does have some major benefits.

-Increased Salivary Flow - During the act of kissing, the salivary glands get stimulated. This releases increased saliva into the mouth. Saliva is mostly water but also contains electrolytes, sodium, proteins, and digestive enzymes. These digestive enzymes not only help in digesting food but also in resiting the attacks o viruses and bacteria. Saliva naturally guards our teeth. Saliva also contains the nutrients calcium and fluoride, which help re-mineralize any sort of injury on your tooth’s enamel.

-Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder Treatment - The physical action of kissing someone effects more than 34 different muscles in your face. Those with soreness within the TM joints at times notice that kissing helps to loosen up the jaw bone, the tongue and other muscular areas within the mouth area. Unstrained muscle groups can sort out any discomfort which is being a result of TMJ issues.

-Increased Immunity Strength – Kissing causes individuals to transfer antibodies from one to another. These antibodies may be new to you and thus will strengthen your immune system. Nevertheless, if you know someone is ill, it’s wise to try to keep from kissing them until finally they are healed.

-Improved Mood - kissing releases nature’s antidepressant, oxytocin. Kissing does not just increase the production of feel good chemicals in our bodies, it also lowers our cortisol and cholesterol levels, too.

-Increased Metabolism - During a really passionate kiss, a person can burn anywhere from 2-5 calories per minute. This is double your normal resting rate. Over an hour of kissing can lead you to burn almost 200 calories. While you should not rely on kissing to help you lose a significant amount of weight, it might give your metabolism an extra boost and help shed a pound or two.

The negative effects of kissing should not keep you from kissing your loved ones, but you should be sure to maintain your oral health to keep up your dental and physical health.

Preventive Tips While Kissing

-Use sugar free chewing gum, preferably with xylitol.

-Use mouthwash.

-Maintain good oral hygiene by following home care instructions and visiting your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings.

-Visit your dentist if you suspect you may have tooth decay or a periodontal disease.

-Only kiss someone if you know where he or she has been.

Conclusion

We love to kiss those we care about. We need to remember to protect them as well as ourselves by being clean and healthy.  Be smart about who you kiss and enjoy yourself!

Halloween is a fun time but also one of apprehension on the part of most parents. We always worry about our kids, but at certain times of the year, the worries become more pronounced. For parents, the worry at Halloween time, is the amount of candy their kids consume. This is due to a variety of reasons, behavior, weight gain, but especially their dental health. We all know by now eating lots of sugar and candy can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay. So what are some fun alternatives to that sugary, gooey candy that causes so many problems?

Top 10 Candy Alternatives

1. Sugar free xylitol gum. This is a great alternative to candy as it promotes dental health.  The chewing action of the gum actually promotes salivary flow which lessens the amount of time the sugars stay in the mouth thereby lowering the risk factors for tooth decay. This is also recommended as a tool after your kids indulge in candy to keep their mouths clean between brushing.

2. Halloween Stickers. Kids love stickers especially Halloween ones. The spookier and scarier the better and kids love them. You can even hand these out at the door to the neighborhood kids.

3. Vampire Teeth, spider rings. Go for the glow in the dark ones. Always a hit even with older kids.

4. Temporary Halloween Tattoos. If you go this route make sure you buy some that are for all ages and not just the cute bats and pumpkins. The older kids will want scary tattoos that look more mature.

5. Pretzels, potato chips & popcorn. There are many fun sized bags of these snacks available, a great choice and kids love them.

6. Pencils with Halloween erasers.

7. Silly String. Kids and adults love silly string.

8. Bubbles.

9. Halloween glow necklaces and bracelets. Fun and great for safety as you walk through the neighborhood!

10. Halloween Balloons.

Tips for Good Oral Health at Halloween and everyday!

-Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste

-Floss at least once a day. Some kids have trouble flossing the old fashioned way so there are kid friendly alternatives like flossers.

-Visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings.

Hope Everyone has a Safe and Happy Halloween!!