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February is national children’s dental health month. In celebration of kids all over below you will find some helpful tips to keep your children’s smile healthy and bright for a lifetime.

Helpful Pediatric Dental Hygiene Tips

Watch What They Drink! – While fruit juice can be a very healthy alternative to energy drinks, soda, and other artificial drinks. Fruit juice has some dangerous dental health qualities as well. The high sugar content in these drinks can be damaging to your child’s smile increasing the risk of tooth decay. This is especially true if drinking thru a sippy cup or constantly drinking throughout the day with brushing or rinsing. A good tip is to mix in fruit juices with water. The water will help rinse away the damaging sugar and keep them hydrated on even the hottest days.

Autism Marielaina Perrone DDS
Keep Your Family Smiling For A Lifetime!

Take The Lead For Dental Hygiene. Lead by example and show your children how to maintain a healthy smile by maintaining a solid dental hygiene regimen at home along with regular dental visits. Brushing and flossing can be a daily family activity in morning and evenings if possible. Not every family follows the same schedule so this might be tough to follow.

Tooth brushing should be at least 2 minutes long covering both inner and outer surfaces of our teeth. Flossing should be same way covering all tooth surfaces to ensure cleaning all over the mouth.

By the age of 2, your child should be able to brush and even floss properly with some limited help from you. If they are under the age of 2, you should be brushing and flossing for them to ensure they are learning from you as well as keeping their developing mouth clean.

Another good tip is to make brushing and flossing into a game with rewards. Keep a chart handy in the bathroom to work towards goals for your children. Before long these habits will become a part of the normal routine and rewards will no longer be needed.

Keep Regular Dental Visits. Most fears that people have developed are from their parents. If a parent is afraid of the dentist, most children will also be afraid even without their own bad experiences. Your child should start regular dental visits by about the age of 1. This is usually when the first teeth begin to appear. Your child will also become familiar with the sights, sounds, and people in a dental office and feel comfortable over time.

Chew Sugarless Gum. Many kids love chewing gum. Chewing gum is excellent for stimulating saliva production and cleaning our mouths during the day. However, the sugar can stick to our teeth causing more damage than benefit. Choose a sugarless gum to get the best of both worlds!

Consider Dental Sealants. If your dentist has not already discussed them with you ask at your next visit. Dental sealants are a clear coating that goes over the biting surfaces of your child’s teeth covering the natural grooves where tooth decay likes to develop. Dental sealants are an excellent protectant against tooth decay.

Pediatric Dental Hygiene Conclusion

Keeping kids healthy is a top priority including their dental health. The hardest part for a kid is developing that routine so that it becomes natural and easy. Remember to schedule regular dental visits for examinations and professional cleanings.

In the age of instagram and selfie’s people are always looking for an edge to look better. Cosmetic dentistry offers many options to achieve a whiter, brighter smile. These can include teeth whitening, orthodontics, porcelain crowns, and especially porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers can give you the smile you always dreamed about with minimal preparation and can dramatically change just about any smile.

Porcelain Veneers Explained

Using similar materials that are used in porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers are fingernail like thin pieces of porcelain that are bonded to your teeth in order to change the shape, color, and size of your teeth. Porcelain veneers are also sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics” because you can even straighten your teeth. This will not work in extreme cases but can help adjust your smile in small increments.

The best part about porcelain veneers? This cosmetic dentistry treatment can be completed in as little as two dental visits and the veneers are individually fabricated and customized to fit your smile. They look completely natural when the treatment is completed. The porcelain will mimic your natural tooth in translucency as well as in reflection of light.

Porcelain Veneers Before Marielaina Perrone DDS
Porcelain Veneers – Before
Porcelain Veneers After Marielaina Perrone DDS
Porcelain Veneers – After

Characteristics Of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers have the following characteristics:

Translucent qualities — Like natural tooth enamel, porcelain veneers are translucent, meaning they allow some light to pass through and reflect off the natural dental material. This gives the veneer a natural depth, providing for a dazzling smile.

Color matching — If you are replacing multiple teeth, then all your veneers can be a natural, bright color. When covering just one or two teeth, porcelain veneers can easily be matched to the surrounding natural teeth in order to provide a consistently beautiful smile.

Non-porous surface — Porcelain veneers are ceramic glass and are non-porous, preventing future stains from ruining your new smile.

Porcelain Veneers Visits

Porcelain veneer treatment is generally completed over the course of 2-3 dental visits. They are as follows:

Visit 1 – Consultation. This is when you will explain your concerns and wishes about your smile with your dentist. Your dentist can then explain if porcelain veneers are right for your individual smile and desires. In some cases, porcelain veneers are not the right treatment and more extensive treatment may be needed like orthodontics or porcelain crowns. Porcelain veneers can also be used in conjunction with those procedures to give you the smile you have always desired.

Visit 2 – Preparation Of Teeth. At this visit, your teeth will be prepared for the porcelain veneers to be custom fabricated. A small amount of tooth structure will be removed from each tooth included in treatment. In some cases, no tooth structure is necessary (these are referred to as “no prep” veneers). Your dentist will administer a local anesthesia to keep you comfortable during the procedure. Once the preparation of teeth is completed, your dentist will take a dental impression that will be used by the dental laboratory to fabricate your custom porcelain veneers.

Visit 3 – Completion Of New Smile. Once fabrication is complete by the dental laboratory, you will return for placement of porcelain veneers. The veneers will be placed on a trial basis to ensure proper fit, color, and shape. If the new veneers meet both your criteria then the dentist will bond them to your teeth.

Porcelain Veneers Marielaina Perrone DDS
Transform Your Smile With Porcelain Veneers

Benefits Of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are used in cosmetic dentistry to alter your front teeth in a variety of ways. These can include:

Making shorter teeth longer.

Reshaping a smile.

Changing color (porcelain veneers can can be viewed as permanent teeth whitening)

-Restoring worn teeth with weak or worn down enamel.

Close Gaps Between Teeth.

Repairing cracked, chipped, or broken teeth.

Minor Realignment Of Teeth. Porcelain veneers are also called “instant orthodontics” for this reason. They can straighten slightly out of place teeth to create a perfect smile.

Porcelain veneers are generally completed across the front 6 teeth on either the top or bottom or both. Single porcelain veneers can also be done to change individual teeth with minor flaws.

Additional Benefits Of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers can also change other parts of your face. This can include:

Lip Enhancement – The extra layer that porcelain veneers add to teeth pushes the lips just slightly outward, can lead to fuller lips that look very natural. If more attention is needed Juvederm filler can help here as well.

Strengthening sensitive teeth – Worn teeth lacking enamel will make patients feel twinges when their teeth are exposed to hot or cold. Porcelain veneers will strengthen the teeth by covering the exposed layers of the tooth leading to improved comfort.

Increased Smiling.

Porcelain Veneers Conclusion

The use of porcelain veneers in cosmetic dentistry is considered a fairly conservative treatment. This is because minimal tooth structure is removed to give you fantastic results. However, it is important to note it is not a reversible procedure. Once the tooth structure is removed it is permanent. Porcelain veneers have the ability to transform an ordinary smile into an extraordinary smile. If you are interested in porcelain veneers speak to your dentist today and see if they are right for you!

To Floss Or Not To Floss, the age old question. Flossing is necessary to maintain optimal dental health. Flossing at least once a day helps remove the sticky layer (plaque) that develops along our gum line and between teeth. This plaque when allowed to build up will eventually irritate your gum tissues and give bacteria a place to call home leading to development of periodontal disease. The best way to get rid of plaque is to brush and floss your teeth regularly every day. Brushing alone cannot completely clean teeth. Dental floss cleans between them and areas brushing cannot.

Is Flossing Necessary?

Floss removes plaque and debris that adhere to teeth and gums in between teeth, polishes tooth surfaces and helps control development of bad breath. By flossing your teeth daily (if possible floss after every meal), you increase the chances of maintaining your smile for a lifetime and decrease your chances for the development of periodontal disease and tooth decay.

Flossing is the #1 tool we have in the fight against plaque, even more important than the toothbrush. Many people just avoid flossing but in reality it only takes a minute or two once you get the hang of it. Also, many people have never been properly shown how easy it is.

So Many Options…Which Floss Is Right For Me?

The dental floss area at the local pharmacy can be a bit confusing. Floss comes in many types. They can be waxed or unwaxed, they can have flavors, and they even come in different widths.Dental floss comes in many forms: waxed and unwaxed, flavored and unflavored, wide and regular. No matter which type of floss you choose they all clean and remove plaque about the same. Waxed floss might be easier to slide between tight teeth or tight dental work. However, the unwaxed floss makes a slight squeaking sound to let you know when your teeth are clean. Bonded unwaxed floss does not fray as easily as regular unwaxed floss but does tear more than waxed floss. The best floss is the one you are using. Choose what feels most comfortable to you. The goal of flossing is to reach areas of the mouth that brushing alone is unable to.

Flossing Technique

Traditionally there are two flossing methods: the spool method and the loop method. The spool method works well for those with good manual dexterity. Take an 18-inch piece of floss and wind the bulk of the floss lightly around the middle finger. Wind the rest of the floss similarly around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger takes up the floss as it becomes soiled or frayed. Maneuver the floss between teeth with your index fingers and thumbs. Gently work the floss between your teeth. Do not force the floss between teeth. You can irritate and damage your gum tissues this way. Don’t rub it side to side as if you’re shining shoes. Bring the floss up and down several times, forming a “C” shape around the tooth and being sure to go below the gumline. The key is to cover all areas of the tooth to ensure a full cleaning around each tooth.

The loop method is suited for children or adults with limited dexterity, poor muscular coordination or arthritis. Take an 18-inch piece of floss and make it into a circle. Tie it securely with three knots. Place all of the fingers, except the thumb, within the loop. Use your index fingers to guide the floss through the lower teeth, and use your thumbs to guide the floss through the upper teeth, going below the gumline and forming a “C” on the side of the tooth.

Flossing Frequency

You shoot aim to floss your teeth at least once a day. You are talking 2-3 minutes each time you floss. Extra points will be given if you floss after every meal. Your teeth and gums will thank you in the long run!

Can Toothpicks Replace Flossing?

No! Toothpicks when used properly can be an effective tool at removing food between teeth, but not for daily cleaning of plaque between teeth. When you using a toothpick, do not press with too much pressure, as you can break off the end and lodge it in your gums causing damage to tissues.

Flossing Marielaina Perrone DDS
Flossing For A Lifetime Of Smiles

Can A Waterpik Replace Flossing?

There really is no substitute for daily flossing. But they are highly effective around orthodontic braces. However, they do not remove the sticky plaque attached to our teeth. Waterpicks are frequently recommended by dentists for persons with periodontal disease. Solutions containing antibacterial agents like chlorhexidine or tetracycline, available through a dentist’s prescription, can be added to the reservoir in these cases helping cleanse areas to bring them back to optimal health.

My Gums Bleed When I Floss…Should I Stop?

Bleeding gums can happen on occasion when flossing. It can occur from improper flossing technique or it is occurring 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.

Flossing Conclusion

Flossing is an integral part of anyone’s daily dental hygiene regimen. If you chose not to floss, your smile may pay the price in the long run. Once you get into the habit of flossing daily it will not seem like a chore and your smile will thank you for it! Remember to see you dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings.

Maintaining good dental hygiene is important for keeping a healthy smile. Keeping good habits is essential for this but keeping bad habits can ruin your hard work. Below are the top 5 bad habits destroying your smile.

Top 5 Bad Dental Habits

  1. Not Flossing Regularly. Flossing at least once a day is critical to overall dental health. In fact, it is recommended to floss after every meal if at all possible for optimal dental health. Flossing regularly removes the food particles and cavity causing bacteria that build up in and around our teeth. Some patients may notice slight bleeding upon flossing this is a sign of periodontal disease. In its earliest form, called gingivitis, this is reversible. Speak to your dentist if this bleeding upon flossing persists as this is a sign of periodontal disease. In its earliest form, called gingivitis, this is reversible. Once it progresses, there will be damage to your oral health.
  2. Not Changing Tooth Brush Regularly. It is recommended that you replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months and definitely no more than every 6 months. Your toothbrush will wear down over time and not be as effective. It will also have harmful bacteria build up over time that can wreak havoc on your dental health. Another tip is to change toothbrush after being sick (for example the flu or a common cold).
  3. Crunching and Sucking On Ice Cubes. Some people have the bad habit of chewing the ice after finishing their drink. This can be very harmful to your teeth due to the brittleness and cold temperatures of the ice cubes. This can cause microfractures in the enamel of your teeth. Over time this can lead to big problems, like fractures of teeth and tooth decay.
  4. Grinding Your Teeth. This is also called Bruxism. It is quite common and is usually brought on by stress. Many do this at night and are not even aware of the damage they are causing to their smile. Over time, the cusps of your teeth will wear down causing bite issues, fractured teeth, and tooth decay. In severe cases, it can also cause temperomandibular joint (TMJ) issues. A simple fix for this is a night guard to wear during sleep to protect your teeth and keep them healthy.
  5. Using The Wrong Tooth Brush And Technique. A hard bristled toothbrush along with an aggressive brushing technique can cause irreversible damage to your teeth and gums. It is recommended that you use a soft bristled toothbrush and gently brush your teeth in a circular motion at a 45-degree angle. Using a sawing, back and forth motion can cause the gums to recede, and can expose the root of the tooth. If the underlying material of your teeth (Dentin) is exposed it will make your teeth extremely sensitive. This can be quite painful.

Bad Dental Habits Conclusion

Maintaining good dental habits is all about routine. Once we get into a routine it is easy to keep our smiles healthy for a life time. It is important to discuss these issues with your dentist and correct them as soon as possible to avoid long term damage.