Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

As our children head back to school, we have a list of items on our checklist to get done. Usually this list includes shopping for new school clothes and buying essential books but dental check ups are often overlooked. Recent research has shown many students falling behind educationally because of poor oral care. During the long summer vacation those regular routines of brushing and flossing often suffer. To help avoid issues popping up during the school year that could potentially lead to loss of classroom time it would be wise to consider a visit to the dentist prior to starting school.

Why Is A Regular Dental Cleaning And Examination Important?

Seeing your dentist regularly has many benefits to an adult as well as a child. What goes on at these visits?

-Review Of Medical History. Study after study has shown that there is a direct link between our oral health and our general health. Regularly updating your child’s medical history will keep you up to date to any changes that may be occuring in your child’s health. This allows the dental team to make the necessary adjustments to your child’s treatment. Some of these changes could include changes in medications, recent surgeries or injuries, or even changes in your child’s vitamin routine. What may seem trivial to you could have definite implications to your child’s dental treatment.

-Dental X-Rays. Not every routine dental visit will include dental x-rays. For most children, they are recommended to be taken once a year. Dental x-rays give the dentist and hygienist a clearer window into the your dental health. Tooth decay, periodontal disease, and tumors can be detected using x-rays.

-Periodontal Examination. This includes examining your glands, periodontal tissues, lips, and tongue to ensure everything looks and feels normal. Routinely, your hygienist will perform a periodontal screening which includes checking around each individual tooth for the presence of bone loss. While advanced periodontal disease is rare in children it can occur. More likely, gingivitis will occur which appears as red, puffy gum tissue that easily bleeds when brushing. This is especially important for teenagers as their hormone levels are changing making them more susceptible to developing periodontal disease. Also, gingivitis can show up in the form of bad breath. Which can be socially awkward for our teens.

-Teeth Scaling And Polish. This should include using both ultrasonic instruments as well as hand instruments. The ultrasonic instruments are used to debride and remove debris above the gum line. While hand instruments are used to attack areas below the gum line to ensure all the plaque and tartar are effectively removed. Stains can also be removed using these instruments. And finally, your hygienist will polish your teeth to make them smooth and shiny.

-Fluoride Treatment. Fluoride is an important mineral in the health of our teeth. It occurs naturally in many foods as well as water. During the course of our daily lives, our teeth are constantly losing and gaining fluoride through two processes: remineralization (adding fluoride) and demineralization (losing fluoride). When there is more demineralization than remineralization tooth decay occurs.

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to attacks from acid, plaque bacteria, and sugars in the mouth. It also has the ability to reverse very early tooth  decay.  It is most definitely important for children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride. This is the time period during which the primary and permanent teeth develop and erupt into the mouth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.

-Dental Examination. During this examination your dentist will discuss with the hygienist anything that they may have found during their examination. This is important because the dentist can then pay particular attention to certain areas to ensure the proper treatment plan is developed. Following the examination, your dentist will discuss with you if any treatment is needed.

-Patient Education. An educated patient makes the best choices for his/her dental care and this includes children. Therefore this part is just as important as any other part. Your dentist or hygienist might use visual aids, like a disclosing solution, to show areas that you may need work to on at home. Demonstrations of proper flossing and brushing technique may also be shown at this time.

Benefits Of Back To School Dental Visits

-Increased Health. Your child will benefit from receiving the best possible dental care in a timely manner before problems get out of hand.

-Increased Self Confidence. A healthy smile will increase ones self confidence allowing them to perform better socially and at school.

-Increased Educationally Opportunities. By staying on top of their dental health, your children will not be forced to miss classroom time to tend to their dental issues.

-Better Focus. Knowing that your dental health is on track will relieve you and your children of any worry as the year progresses.

Conclusion

As you can see above there are many benefits to having your child see your dentist regularly. Best of all you are setting them on a path to maintaining their dental health and their smiles for a lifetime.

Every dental office gets calls asking for an appointment. The caller says it is “just” for a cleaning. While a professional cleaning is vital there is more that goes on at that visit than just the cleaning. Do you know the steps involved for a routine visit and why your dentist or hygienist performs them? Read below to find out…

The 6 Month Visit

-Review Medical History. Study after study has shown that there is a direct connection between our oral health and our general health. Regularly updating your medical history will keep us up to date to any changes that may be occuring for you. This allows the dental team to make the necessary adjustments to your treatment. Some of these changes could include changes in medications, recent surgeries, or even changes in your vitamin regimen. What may seem trivial to you could have definite implications to your dental treatment.

-Radiographs. Not ever dental hygiene visit will include dental x-rays. For most they are recommended to be taken once a year. Dental x-rays give the dentist and hygienist and window into the your dental health. Tooth decay, periodontal disease, and tumors can be detected using x-rays.

-Dental Hygiene Examination. This includes examining your glands, periodontal tissues, lips, and tongue to ensure everything looks as it should. Routinely, your hygienist will perform a periodontal screening which includes checking around each individual tooth for the presence of bone loss. When bone loss is present they are called periodontal pockets. Periodontal pockets become dangerous because it becomes much harder to be cleaned properly through at home methods. Deeper pockets may require different treatment to bring it under control.

-Teeth Scaling And Polish. This should include using both ultrasonic instruments as well as hand instruments. The ultrasonic instruments are used to debride and remove debris above the gum line. While hand instruments are used to attack areas below the gum line to ensure all the plaque and tartar are effectively removed. Stains can also be removed using these instruments. And finally, your hygienist will polish your teeth to make them smooth and shiny.

-Dental Examination. During this examination your dentist will discuss with the hygienist anything that they may have found during their examination. This is important because the dentist can then pay particular attention to certain areas to ensure the proper treatment plan is developed. A thorough examination will be completed including an oral cancer screening using a Velscope, and a thorough check of your teeth along with a review of any x-rays. Following the examination, your dentist will discuss with you if any treatment is needed.

-Patient Education. An educated patient makes the best choices for his/her dental care. Therefore this part is just as important as any other part. Your dentist or hygienist might use visual aids, like a disclosing solution, to show areas that you may need work to on at home. Demonstrations of proper flossing and brushing technique may also be shown at this time.

Conclusion

Making time for the dentist is critical to your dental and overall health. There are lots of moving parts to your dental care including in office and at home care. A good dental team can lead you down a path to good dental health for life.

Why do most dentists want you to come in for a cleaning at least every 6 months?? While it might not seem like it is necessary, these regular and routine dental visits are

Cosmetic Dentist Marielaina Perrone DDS

Regular Dental Visits Are The Key To Good Dental Health

essential  for monitoring and maintaining healthy teeth and gums.Earlier changes can be detected, and they can be addressed. Recent research has also shown how important it is to maintain a healthy mouth for our general health as well. There are many disease states related to poor dental health. These systemic diseases include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and even, alzheimer’s disease.

The Six Month Dental Visit

What goes on in the dental office is only a small portion of oral health maintenance. Most of the work is done at home through maintaining a good oral hygiene regimen to keep our teeth and gums as clean and healthy as possible. A six month dental visit will include a professional cleaning as well as a thorough dental examination. There are many facets to this appointment. Most people would be surprised at how many different items the dentist and hygienist are actually checking.

What Does The Dental Examination Include?

Your teeth are just one part of a routine, thorough dental examination. Your dentist will evaluate the health of your teeth, your gums, TMJ, and entire inner tissues of the mouth and upper throat. They will also examine your mouth, tongue, lips, and skin for any signs of  disease, like oral cancer or diabetes.

The Head And Neck Examination

Your dentist will start off by looking for symmetry, irregularities, swellings, etc. by:

-Examining your face

-Examining your neck

-Checking your lymph nodes. They are specifically looking for any abnormal swellings or changes to one side and not the other. Also noting the presence of any tenderness.

-Checking your Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) for any clicking, popping, or irregularities. As we age, the TMJ, like any joint can begin to deteriorate and give us issues. A good dentist will be able to note the presence of TMJ disorder even without symptoms developing.

 The Teeth And Gums Examination

Next, your dentist examine the state of your teeth and gums by:

-Taking x-rays ( radiographs) as needed. Radiographs are generally taken once per year. These radiographs allow the dentist to see some areas that are not visible to the naked eye and are not felt by an instrument. This allows for early detection of tooth decay, as well as determination of infection, or bone loss. Unfortunately, fillings and crowns, depending upon location of breakdown,  still hide many areas of decay or fracturing., Such areas are generally found later due to discomfort, discoloration, or other changes.

-Examining the gum tissue for the presence of periodontal disease, infection, systemic disease. The symptoms can include bleeding, inflammation, recession, redness and irritation, swelling, sloughing tissue, and bone loss around the teeth.

-Checking if any teeth are becoming loose or show any sense of movement.

-Looking at the tissues inside of your mouth. This will include all sides of the tongue, the tonsils, the hard and soft palate, and inside your cheeks and lips. The dentist will look for tissue abnormalities that could be suspected to be oral cancer. Many dentists use the VELscope to detect oral cancer as early as possible. The VELscope is a special light that allows the dentist to see changes in tissue that occur when oral changes, such as cancer, are present.

-Checking the way your teeth fit together, how well you bite, if you clench or grind, signs of sleep apnea.

-Looking for the presence of tooth decay. This is achieved through the use of radiographs and by checking each tooth individually to see if there is any decay visibly, tactilely, or radiographically, present or beginning to form.

-Checking for broken teeth, fracture lines, chipping, wear.

-Checking for older dental restorations that need to be replaced. Generally when an older dental restoration begins to fail there is staining present around the margins where food and bacteria are leaking inside the restoration. Also, the dentist will examine any dental crowns present to check for decay and to see that the fit is still acceptable.

-Evaluating any previous dental appliances you might have. This can include retainers, nightguards, sport guards, dentures or snore/apnea appliances. The dentist will ensure they are still fitting properly and that they are in good condition.

The Dental Cleaning

The dental cleaning is generally completed by the hygienist but some dentists do clean teeth as well. This part includes the following:

Cosmetic Dentist Marielaina Perrone DDS

6 Month Dental Visits For The Whole Family

-Checking the state of your teeth and gums.

-The use of an ultrasonic device to remove the pellicle, plaque, and tartar. The pellicle is a protein layer, much like a cuticle, that allows plaque and bacteria to more easily wick up and under the gum. The hygienist uses both an ultrasonic cleaning tool (called a cavitron) as well as using hand instruments. These tools allow the hygienist to remove substantial plaque and bacteria, and all of the pellicle, from above and below the gumline.

-Polishing your teeth with prophylaxis paste. This paste is slightly abrasive to remove any extrinsic stains that might be present. Polishing also helps to smooth surface roughness so that plaque will not stick as easily.

-Fluoride treatment. This is not just for kids! There are many types of fluoride with many different applications. Some of us are more susceptible to cavities, some of us have white spots, sensitive spots, or stubborn periodontal pockets. Different types of fluorides can help with all of these.

-Reviewing oral hygiene instructions for you to practice at home away, and from the office. This includes recommended brushing and flossing techniques as well as what products might work best for you.

Conclusion

Upon completion of the examination and cleaning, your dentist will be able to advise you of any further treatment needed. If nothing abnormal is found, you will set up your next appointment in 3- 6 month,s knowing you have been doing a great job at home with your dental care. If something is found, you should have it taken care of as soon as possible. You should try not to put off  dental work, as it will get worse over time. Remember, by seeing your dentist every 6 months and following daily oral hygiene practices at home, you have a better chance of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Being healthy will  save you time, discomfort, and money in the long run. Prevention is always the goal!

Dental care for children is one of the most important events in a child’s development. Not only will good dental care and experiences set the tone for an entire life of dental Pediatric Dentistry Marielaina Perrone DDScare but also keep them healthy and happy. The first dental visit is an extremely important step in a child’s life.

Best Age For First Visit?

The ideal time for a child’s first dental visit is about 6 months after the first tooth eruption, or up to 2 years old. The reason for this timing is to give the dentist a chance to assess development of the child’s mouth as well as to dispense dental hygiene instructions, help with teething, thumb sucking, and pacifier sucking issues to the parents. Dental issues, and tooth decay can start early, so it is best to see the dentist sooner than later.

So What happens at the first visit?

The first dental visit is usually quite short and probably will not involve any treatment. This visit is usually designed as a meet and greet in a non threatening and very friendly way. Usually the child will sit in the parents lap, and experience a ” tell, show, do” visit. This is where the dentist talks to the child , shows the instruments, lets them touch things, and does a limited dental examination. Depending on the dentist and child, parents may or may not be asked to wait outside. Each child, and parent will be different in how they handle being at the dentist.

During the dental examination, your dentist will check all of your child’s existing teeth for tooth decay, examine your child’s bite, and look for any potential problems with the gums, jaw, and oral tissues. If necessary, the dentist will clean any teeth and check the need for fluoride application. The big component of the first dental visit at this age is dental hygiene education as well as answering any questions that parents might have.

Pediatric Dentistry Marielaina Perrone DDSThe early dental visit will help you and your child build trust in your dentist. As a parent, you will see, that every 6 months there is a huge change in your child’s development and maturity. So, be assured, that even if your child cannot handle very much the first visit, it will become markedly easier at the next 6 month visit. For a child, they will become used to the dental visits, and usually look forward to them.

Dental Education Can Include:

-How to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen for your child’s teeth and gums as well as cavity prevention.

-Assess the need for fluoride supplements.

-Oral habits and their effects. These include thumb sucking, pacifier habits, and tongue thrusting.

-Developmental issues like teething.

-Nutrition instructions including foods, and beverages to avoid to decrease chance of tooth decay.

-Schedule of dental examinations. Most children are seen every 6 months just like adults. This allows the child to become more and more comfortable at the dentist as well as allow the dentist to closely monitor development and promptly treat any issues.

First Dental X-Rays for Children?

In general, dental x-rays should be taken when a child has back teeth which are in tight contact with each other, when a cavity is detected, or an anomaly is noted. Back teeth x-rays, (bite wings) and a jaw x-ray,(panoramic) should be taken by age 6 to assess developing teeth. It all depends on the children and their risk levels for dental problems like tooth decay or cleft lip/palate. If the child is deemed to be at a higher risk, then x-rays will be necessary earlier. Most children will have had their first dental x-rays by age 6. Dental X-rays play an important role in allowing your dentist to see if all permanent teeth are developing properly in your child’s jaw as well as detecting tooth decay.

Conclusion

The main takeaway is that children need proper dental care and instruction to maintain their dental health. The earlier you get started with your kids the better off they will be  as children and as adults.