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An allergic reaction is caused by our immune systems being sensitive to a specific substance (also called an allergen). An allergic reaction occurs when you make contact with, inhale, swallow, or inject a substance into your body that causes your immune system to produce a reaction. Many allergic reactions are quite  mild, such as hay fever while others can cause breathing or swallowing to stop, and be life threatening. It is believed 1 in 5 people in America are susceptible to allergies of some kind. There are some common dental products that can cause allergic reactions that we should all be aware of.

Allergic Reaction During Dental Care

The dental office utilizes many types of compounds that could potentially be an allergic issue for you as a patient unless you communicate with your dentist. Some know of their allergies, while others may develop new ones at any time after exposure. The usual first response is itching, redness and irritation of tissue. A rash, or welts may occur, swelling of the face, tongue , lips and/or throat may occur in a severe reaction.  The main potential allergens in a dental office include:

-Latex – This is a natural rubber harvested from trees and used in a wide range of products. Dental products that may have latex include masks, gloves, rubber dams, prophy cups, and some syringes.  The latex gloves are the usual culprit as they may contain powder particles which come into direct contact with the skin and mouth. Prolonged exposure to latex and the dust they shed can trigger an allergic reaction. This reaction can be minor to one that is more severe. Luckily, most dental offices are aware of this allergy today and have non latex gloves available for sensitive patients or have made the switch completely for the safety of all patients.

-Local Anesthesia – A very rare reaction but it does happen to a small subset of the population. Dentists use a variety of local anesthetics based on the need and situtation of the patient. The main anesthetic used is lidocaine. A true allergy to local anesthetic is quite rare and it is usually due to a sensitivity to para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA). That term is quite a handful but it is simply a by product of the local anesthetic. There have also been cases of local anesthetic allergies to preservatives added to local anesthetics. Most patients who report an allergic reaction are not actually allergies, but instead a reaction to the effects of epinephrine. This reaction usually takes the form of a rapid heartbeat or an increase in blood pressure.

-Metals – Metals are used throughout dentistry and can be a  concern for many. The most common form of metal allergy is a nickel allergy. Nickel alloys are used to create a lot of our everyday items, like buttons, buckles, zippers and kitchen ware. Nickel is also found in some 14K and 18K gold, and when you sweat, it draws the nickel out. Stainless steel has nickel in it, too, but it’s usually bound so tightly that it won’t affect even the most allergic person. But very allergic people can react to the nickel present in some food items, which include nuts, chocolate, tea, coffee, beer and apricots. Dentists can avoid nickel allergies by the use of dental crowns with no nickel content as well as using orthodontic brackets made of ceramic.

-Pine, Mint- Most fluoride varnishes, not pastes, contain natural pine to make them stick to the teeth. Many dental items are flavored with mint oil to make them taste better. Many people are allergic to pine or mints such as spearmint, peppermint, and cinnamon.

-Acrylic Monomer- Acrylic is used in temporary crowns, and removable dentures. The liquid used to activate and harden the acrylic can cause severe allergic reactions to those susceptible.

Dental Allergies Conclusion

Allergies can develop over time, so it is important to tell your dentist if you notice any allergic type reactions during or after your dental appointment. Also, if you know before any dental treatment that you have any allergies you should tell your dentist so the proper materials can be used to avoid an allergic response. The main goal of any dental treatment is to take care of your dental health and not to compromise it. With a little knowledge and good communication, dental allergy issues can be addressed and avoided altogether. An allergist can test you to help determine what you should avoid to prevent an allergic response.

Dental Hygiene is one of those things in life that takes just a small amount of time to give great benefits to our teeth and overall health. Luckily for us, there are some great dental products out there today that can aid us  in achieving the goal of good dental hygiene. It all starts with brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once per day. Consistency is the key to maintaining good dental hygiene.

Best Dental Products

1) Automatic Toothbrush. An automatic toothbrush is able to reach places that most manual toothbrushes are unable to. Another advantage of an automatic toothbrush is that they help prevent wear that aggressive manual brushing causes. Most automatic toothbrushes have a timer on them. This ensures that you are brushing for the proper amount of time. An automatic toothbrush is especially helpful for patients with limited dexterity either from age or disease. There are two types of automatic toothbrushes:

-UltraSonic Toothbrushes. These toothbrushes can generate between 30,000 and 40,000 brush strokes per minute. By comparison, manual toothbrushing can only generate 300 brush strokes per minute. The bristles also rotate in the recommended back and forth motion needed to clean teeth and gums properly. Another plus of these sonic toothbrushes is that they have a patented cleaning action that actually directs fluid between teeth and below the gum line to gently remove plaque and food debris.

-Electric toothbrushes. These toothbrushes can generate between 3,000 and 7,500 brush strokes per minute. Generally these brushes work by rotating in a circular motion. Some even have a dual action with pulsating motion added in as well to facilitate plaque and food debris removal.

Although individual designs differ, the bristles in the brush head are typically either set in a circular format that rotates (the entire head rotates in unison) or individual tufts of bristles within the brush head spin independently. Some electric toothbrushes have both a rotating as well as a pulsating motion to help remove plaque and reduce gingivitis.

2) Water Irrigators with Periogen. the most common being the waterpik ultra. Most people do need these to aid in dental hygiene (especially those with bridgework, implants, and braces). The irrigation helps to stimulate blood flow to heal gum tissue, remove hard to reach food particles, and get up to 6mm into a periodontal pocket. Recently a new product has come to market called Periogen. Periogen is a unique product in that it is an oral rinse that removes tartar buildup between professional cleanings. The waterpik aids in getting the periogen oral rinse below the gum line and in between teeth.

3) Disclosing Solution. This is generally used for kids but can apply to adults having trouble keeping their teeth clean. The disclosing solution is used as a rinse and it will color the plaque and food debris on your teeth making what you normally miss during brushing very visible. You are able to then remove  any residue of color remaining and know what you need to do next time. Its a great visual tool to really make a difference in your oral health.

4) Flossers. While there are many new flosses that do a great job (such as reach total care), many patients do not floss regularly. Luckily, a product has been developed called a flosser( such as reach access flosser). Makes cleaning between teeth as easy as can be.  These are also helpful for those with limited dexterity as well as children.

5) Tongue Scrapers (also called tongue cleaner). This will allow you to remove food debris, fungi, dead cells and bacteria that builds up on the tongue. The benefit of this will be better breath. Decaying bacteria produce volatile sulphur compounds on the rear of the tongue.  These molecules account for about 85% of all cases of halitosis (bad breath). Scraping your tongue every night at bedtime can alleviate your bad breath.

Dental Hygiene Conclusion

There you have the top picks to aid in your dental hygiene. Dental hygiene is something that must be done consistently every day to have its greatest benefits. As always see your dentist for regular dental examinations as well as professional cleanings to keep your mouth healthy. Having a clean mouth will lead to a healthier you!

Taking a short or even a long trip is usually a fun experience but it can be stressful when it comes to what to pack. We try so hard not to forget the essentials, like packing

Dental Hygiene Marielaina Perrone DDS

Maintain Your Dental Hygiene While On The Road.

enough socks, underwear,shoes, etc. We try to be prepared for whatever the weather, and events the trip might involve. With all of hustle and bustle, many people overlook bringing travel friendly dental hygiene products with them when on the road. Maintaining our dental hygiene while on the road can pay real dividends to your dental health and your overall health. So what are some of the best dental products to keep up with our dental hygiene when on the road?

Best Dental Hygiene Products For Travel

The key to any of these products will be the actual use and the size. As we all know size is always an issue when packing especially when going on an airline these days.

-Traveling Manual Toothbrush. The traveling manual toothbrush may be a simple tool but it does perform well. It simply folds in half so the bristles are protected from dirt and bacteria while traveling. A good example of this is the Colgate traveling folding toothbrush. Just do not forget to brush regularly while on vacation.

-Travel size Electric ToothbrushSimilar to the at home version but just smaller. A very good example of this is the VIOlight Travel Toothbrush.  It runs on 2 AAA batteries and delivers quite a punch while weighing only 2 ounces. The best part about these brushes is they come in different colors and designs so no one in your family can mix up brushes.

-Toothbrush cover caps. If you don’t want to buy a special toothbrush, use your usual one, but pack it with cover cap. Colored plastic snap-on covers to keep your toothbrush from dripping on your other items, and to keep it clean. The different colors help you distinguish toothbrushes. These are very inexpensive, a package of 4 can be found in a dollar store.

Marielaina Perrone DDS Dental Hygiene

Practice Good Dental Hygiene To Maintain A Healthy Smile.

-Travel Size Fluoride Toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste is the cornerstone of any good dental hygiene regimen. You can bring the sample sized toothpaste you get from your hygienist at your next cleaning.

-Floss or flossers. Floss or packs of flossers are tiny and take up little space but pack quite a punch when it comes to dental hygiene.

-Travel size Mouthwash. Remember to keep this small(3.4 oz. or less). If this is in your carry-on, you will not be able to bring it on board if it is not the acceptable size. You don’t want to have to discard a larger bottle of mouthrinse. Remember, according to TSA regulations, all carry-on liquids must be 3.4 oz. or less and placed in a quart sized Ziploc bag, only one bag per passenger.

-Waterpik Flosser Travel Size. The waterpik is an excellent adjunct to any dental hygiene program. If this is a product you use at home, then you would not want to leave without it.

Dental Hygiene Tips While Traveling

-Do not forget to brush after every meal. If you are unable to brush immediately, rinse with water after every meal.

-Limit snacking.

-Carry sugar free gum with xylitol to chew if you are unable to brush.

-Always brush and floss before bed.

Dental Hygiene Conclusion

Maintaining good dental hygiene at home can be challenging, so doing it while traveling may be even more difficult. Our dental hygiene needs to be a routine in our daily lives even when we are far from home. To maintain good dental health as well as overall health becomes easier over time. The results of a good dental hygiene regimen are well worth it in the end.