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Maintaining a good bedtime oral hygiene routine is even more important than your daytime one. A lot can happen overnight while you are sleeping. Food debris and

Oral Health Marielaina Perrone DDS

Maintain Good Oral Health At Bedtime!

bacteria can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums during sleep time, when there is almost no saliva produced to wash away bacteria. Most of us have more time at night to properly clean our teeth, but wait until we are too tired to do so.  In a few easy steps, you can be assured of a clean mouth, and get a better night’s sleep.

Bedtime Oral Health Tips

1. Tooth brushing at Bedtime. Brushing your teeth before you go to bed at night helps protect against plaque buildup, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. If you are particularly susceptible to tooth decay and/or periodontal disease, it is recommended that you brush immediately after dinner, then again right before bedtime. The earlier you brush, the less likely you are to start snacking, less snacking will reduce food debris and decrease the likelihood of cavities.

2. Practice Proper Brushing Form. The best way to clean your teeth is to brush at an angle gently in short circling strokes. Brush the outer tooth surfaces first, then the inner tooth surfaces, followed by the chewing surfaces. To clean the backs of your front teeth, use the tip of the brush and stroke gently up and down. Get a separate brush (or even a specialized tongue cleaner) to clean your tongue, there is quite a bit more bacteria (as well as dead cells) on your tongue than your teeth, so don’t use the same brush for both.

3. Switch to an electric toothbrush. The rotating and oscillating movement of the electric toothbrush head removes plaque from your teeth more efficiently than a regular toothbrush. Be sure to choose an electric toothbrush that’s comfortable to hold, easy to use, and has the rotating-oscillating head.

Oral Health Marielaina Perrone DDS4. Do Not Just Brush – Floss Too! Flossing removes food particles and plaque buildup where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. If this debris stays on the teeth, bacteria will increase throughout the night and feed off them, produce acid, and break down enamel while you’re sleeping. Tartar can not be removed by flossing, but accumulation can be slowed down with good hygiene, and the proper rinses. Flossing before bedtime is essential if you want to decrease your chances of periodontal disease and tooth decay. Morning flossing is also recommended, especially if you’re prone to periodontal disease or tartar buildup.

5. Rinse with mouthwash. Mouthwash isn’t just for fresh breath — anti bacterial mouth rinses contain a variety of ingredients that strengthen teeth(fluoride), kill plaque bacteria (Listerine) , help treat certain oral health conditions (Chlorhexidine), or simply dissolve plaque and tartar, like Periogen. Rinsing with a mouthwash before bed will help keep your teeth free of plaque and tooth decay and your gums safe from gingivitis. Most commercial, over-the-counter mouthwashes are designed to mask bad breath, tend to dry your mouth, and they won’t do much to contribute to your oral health. Talk to your dentist about which mouth rinse  is the right one for you.

6. Be aware of teeth grinding, apnea, and snoring. If you experience worn tooth enamel, increased tooth sensitivity, or torn cheek tissue, you may be grinding your teeth (also called bruxism) while you sleep. Though dentists cannot stop you from grinding your teeth, they can make you a mouth guard that you can wear at night to protect your teeth from the effects of grinding. There are also appliances that can be made to help you with jaw repositioning to help you breathe easier, and stop snoring.

7. Use a Waterpik. A waterpik is an excellent tool to remove debris that we are unable to get to, massage and stimulate gum tissue, and cleanse a deeper periodontal pocket. You can also add your therapeutic mouthrinse or periogen to the waterpik, to place it where it is needed most.

8. Maintain Regular Dental Visits. Be sure to schedule regular dental examinations and professional cleanings. Your dentist and hygienist will help you keep your teeth clean and your gums healthy over the course of your lifetime. Remember, preventive care and maintenance are just as important for a healthy mouth as good daytime and nighttime oral hygiene.

 

Oral Health Conclusion

Dental hygiene must be maintained on a regular basis along with visits to the dentist for dental examinations and professional cleanings if you are to maintain a bright, healthy smile. Dental hygiene can not be left by the wayside just because we are tired. Make the time and effort to properly maintain your teeth, and you will be rewarded every morning with a beautiful smile!

 



gummy smile fix

Fixing a Gummy Smile

What is a Gummy smile? A person’s smile can be called a gummy smile if a significant amount of gingival (gums) tissue can be seen by others when that person smiles.  A gummy smile by itself is not considered to be unhealthy or abnormal. It has been long considered by dentists a normal variation of human anatomy. Many people with a gummy smile tend to be very self conscious of how they smile, and tend to not smile as broadly.

A gummy smile tends to make the teeth look short and unhealthy. The gingival tissue should be at or just above the neck of the tooth, called the cementoenamel junction. In cases of a gummy smile, the tissue may cover 50% or more of the teeth. The gummy smile can be caused by a variety of things. These can include higher than normal bone tissue, possible incomplete eruption of the tooth, excess gum tissue, or abnormally thick gingival fibers. The presence of excess gum tissue makes maintenance of oral hygiene very difficult or at least more difficult than for patients without a gummy smile. This can lead to unhealthy tissue that can bleed easily as well as increased risk for tooth decay. The excessive tissue will allow food and bacteria to get lodged underneath, causing red, swollen gums and bleeding. This early situation is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest form of periodontal disease. If this goes untreated the gingivitis

Gummy smile before fix

Gummy Smile – Before

leads to  periodontal disease with progression toward tooth loss. Most people notice this just on the front teeth but it can also happen in the back teeth as well.

Cosmetic dentistry is a great way to fix the gummy smile problem and can be quite rewarding for patient and doctor alike. Upon final completion of a case the results are usually quite dramatic. The completed result is usually noticed by everyone around the patient increasing their self esteem almost immediately. Changing the way you smile can positively change your outlook on life. Patients tend to smile more, and feel more confidence and pride in appearance. When patients return for follow up visits they almost always report they should never have waited so long to have this treatment done. It is that dramatic.

Using cosmetic dentistry to correct a gummy smile is very straightforward. There are two separate procedures to fix a gummy smile. The type of procedure needed depends on the cause of the gummy smile. Whether it is removal of excess gum tissue or, removal of excess bone, or a combination of the two.

gummy smile after fix

After – Gummy Smile procedure

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures to fix a Gummy Smile

1) Gingivectomy. A gingivectomy is simply the removal of excess gum tissue. By removing the excess tissue and reshaping the gums, you end up with a very cosmetic result. During this procedure a very small amount of gum tissue needs to be removed. The Dentist will generally use a laser, an electrical cautery unit, or periodontal incisions to complete the reshaping and removal of gum tissue. Although the procedure is generally quite painless, local anesthetic is necessary. The treatment requires no sutures and typically the gingival tissue heals within 1-2 weeks. A gingivectomy is usually the prescribed procedure when only a few teeth are affected by the gummy smile. Sometimes, the bone must also be remodeled to correct the problem. Which leads us to #2…

2) Crown Lengthening. During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is removed and reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. This can be done to one or more teeth to expose a natural, even, wide smile. This procedure is a bit more advanced but still relatively easy to perform by a trained dentist or specialist. The gum tissue is removed in the same way as in a gingivectomy, the bone removal requires rotary instrumentation.

There is a very low risk of complications for both procedures. Any discomfort following the procedures can usually be handled by over the counter medications. Patients will see results immediately. But over the next few weeks following the procedure it will look even better. This is because the gingival and bone tissues need time to fully heal. Once fully healed they will see the full effect of a beautiful and healthy smile and can say goodbye to their old gummy smile!

 

 

Thumb sucking is a common habit and natural reflex for children. Sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or whatever they can get in their mouth may make babies feel secure and happy and help them learn about their world. Thumb sucking can continue as a child grows. They will use the thumb sucking to soothe themselves or help themselves fall asleep.

Is Thumb sucking normal?

Babies have a natural rooting and sucking reflex. This can cause them to put their thumbs or fingers into their mouths. Thumb sucking can sometimes can occur even before birth. Because thumb sucking is soothing to babies, some slowly develop a habit of thumb sucking when they are tired, anxious or simply bored. Some children who are thumb suckers will only suck their thumb, while some will need to hold an object they treasure, like a security blanket or soft stuffed animal.

Does Thumb sucking cause any problems?

Unfortunately thumb sucking can cause problems for children if it continues. Thumb sucking in children younger than 4 is usually not an issue for development. Children who suck their thumbs often or with increased aggressiveness after 4-5 years of age, or those who are still sucking their

effects of thum sucking

Effects of Thumb sucking

thumbs at age 6, are at risk for dental  or speech problems. Once the permanent teeth begin to come in and develop in the mouth, the persistent thumb sucking may cause top teeth to push out and upward, and bottom teeth to push inward. This tooth movement can cause development of a “buck tooth” appearance, an inability to close the front teeth (open bite), damage to the roof of the mouth, and subsequent speech issues. Pacifiers cause similar issues as thumb sucking but the habit of using the pacifier is a far easier habit to break, it can be thrown out, a finger can not. What determines if thumb sucking causes dental problems or not is the intensity and length of time of the thumb sucking. Checking a child’s thumb for damaged skin and calluses can help determine the aggressiveness of the thumb sucking habit. Many children simply rest their thumbs in their mouth. These children are far less likely to develop any long term issues from their version of thumb sucking. On the other hand, an aggressive thumb sucker may develop issues with their primary and permanent teeth (if they are still thumb sucking at that point when they erupt.

Speech problems caused by thumb sucking are related to the misaligned teeth, distorted palate, and tongue thrusting. The tongue does not have the ability to find the correct placement for proper enunciation, and the tongue muscle needs to be retrained. Tongue thrusting is the pushing forward motion of the tongue when swallowing, causing a continued pressure on the teeth even when not thumb sucking.Speech problems can include not being able to properly say S’s, T’s and D’s, lisping, and tongue thrusting when talking.

Children who are thumb suckers may need treatment for the following reason:

-They have not stopped thumb sucking on their own by age 4-5.

-Speech problems are becoming noticeable.

-If they are teased or feel embarrassed by their sucking.

Treatment

At home treatment by children can include:

-Gentle reminders from parents and loved ones. When you notice your child sucking their thumb, gently remind him or her to stop. You should always avoid criticizing or making fun of your child. This will only create stress.

-Positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement goes a long way in this area. Provide small rewards when they are not sucking their thumbs for extended periods of time. A reward could be as simple as an extra trip to the park or a slightly later bedtime.

-Competing response. Parents should give their child encouragement to do a different activity when they feel the urge to suck their thumbs. Could be something like squeezing a pillow.

Parents should also take away the child’s security blanket or stuffed animal during certain times of day. This will limit the amount of sucking. Another option is putting gloves on the hands or placing band aids over the thumb in question. This can help the child by reminding them they should not suck their thumbs.

If home treatment does not work and you are worried or feel frustrated about your child’s thumb sucking you should talk with your child’s dentist or doctor. There may be other treatment options, such as behavioral therapy, special nail polish for thumbnail, thumb devices, or devices for the mouth (habit appliances). A dental habit appliance is only a good idea for children who have not been able to stop thumb sucking on their own and have asked for help. It is usually something non removable, blocking the roof of the mouth to make thumb sucking impossible. It is worn for a few weeks to months and then removed by the dentist.

thumb sucking nail treatment

Thumb sucking nail treatment

Remember that thumb-sucking usually is not a problem until a child starts kindergarten or later. Most children will cease the activity on their own if you give them enough time. Slowly but surely, most children begin to stop thumb sucking on their own around ages 3-6 years old. If you notice changes in your child’s primary teeth, or are concerned about your child’s thumb sucking consult your dentist.