Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Tooth decay is an age old problem that has affected generations of children and adults. Tooth decay is preventable, we just need to understand what causes it so that we may then prevent it from occurring.

Tooth decay is caused by a bacterial intrusion into the tooth. The bacteria feed on the buildup of food debris on teeth. The bacteria then secrete acids which breakdown tooth enamel. Once the acid forms a hole in the enamel, the bacteria can then enter the tooth and progressively breakdown the tooth, causing a cavity.  Understanding this process is critical to maintaining oral health and preventing tooth decay.

Best Tips To Prevent Tooth Decay

-Maintain Proper Dental Hygiene. This is the first step to preventing tooth decay. Proper dental hygiene should include, brushing, flossing, and using an antibacterial mouthwash. Toothbrushing should be done at least twice a day for 2 minutes each time. Brushing more often during the day will enhance your dental hygiene. Flossing should be done at least once a day (preferably before bedtime) but it can also be done more often.  The goal in dental hygiene is to not only keep down the amount of debris in the mouth but also to keep the environment from becoming acidic which will allow bacteria to more agressively break down teeth causing tooth decay.

Use of an antibacterial/fluoride mouthwash (such as purple listerine)is often overlooked but is also important. These oral rinses are designed to decrease cavity causing bacteria in the mouth while utilizing fluoride to strengthen enamel against breakdown. If brushing and flossing is done properly, use of an oral rinse should complete the protection against tooth decay.

-Sugarless Gum. Sugarless gum is important because it stimulates salivary flow. The increased saliva in the mouth will help to keep our teeth clean. Saliva is the mouth’s natural defense against oral bacteria. Choose a sugarless gum with xylitol. Bacteria can not feed on xylitol, because it cannot be metabolized. This helps keep the acid levels lower. Xylitol has also been shown to help remineralize our teeth’s enamel.

-Maintaining Proper Nutrition. Choosing foods and drinks wisely is important to your overall health as well as your dental health. By eating properly, you are able to keep your body as healthy as possible allowing your body to fight off any attack. The best snacks for your dental health include raw vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Avoiding sugar is not always an option so it is important to minimize the damage. Apples are actually the perfect snack for dental health as they act as a tooth cleaner and whitener. They are able to clean your teeth by the abrasive action of the skin and hard inner surface of the apple, malic acid in the apple helps to remove surface stain and keep teeth whiter. You can actually squueze juice from an apple and mix it with baking soda to brush on and whiten your teeth. So next time you are looking for a midday snack pick up a shiny apple.

-Drink Fluoridated Water. While fluoride is a controversial topic for many. It has been proven time and again to protect our teeth from tooth decay. Fluoridated water is important for children to drink. The fluoride becomes a permanent part of the tooth when it is consumed during tooth development.  Drinking at least 16oz of fluoridated water each day will help prevent tooth decay. Another option is to use a supplemental fluoride prescribed by your dentist.

-Dental Sealants. Many believe dental sealants are just for children but that is not so. If an adult has no tooth decay on the tooth in question nor any previous dental restorations a sealant can be placed and be effective. A dental sealant is designed to cover the chewing surfaces of premolars and molars. This keeps the grooves of our teeth from developing tooth decay. In many of us, these grooves are quite deep and are an inherent weakness in the fight against tooth decay.

Tooth Decay Conclusion

Tooth decay is preventable with diligent dental hygiene and maintaining regularly scheduled dental visits. Maybe in the future, we can eventually wipe out tooth decay . Until then, we need to follow the steps above to maintain good oral health.

Many people assume that a baby’s teeth  are not important to care for because they will fall out eventually. This is simply not so. Not only can breakdown of these primary teeth cause severe discomfort and infection to your child, they can also have far reaching consequences into adulthood. As a matter of fact, in many ways, the primary teeth are just as important as the permanent teeth. Below are the top reasons why!

Caring For Your Child’s Teeth

-Function. The primary function for any tooth whether it be primary or permanent is to chew and break down food for nutrition. Without teeth, it becomes extremely difficult to eat most hard, crunchy, healthy foods. No one wants their child to suffer the pain or embarrassment of tooth loss due to decay or infection. It may take years for the next tooth to emerge and allow him or her to eat properly again.

-Development. Our teeth are essential in the development of a growing child. The growth of the jaws are triggered by the teeth. The teeth give the body a guide with which to grow from. Without this guide, there could be significant growth issues of the face, jaw, and bite. Also, without the primary teeth as space holders, the permanent teeth will have no room to enter into the mouth and cause crowding issues which can lead to periodontal disease, tooth decay, and occlusion issues. Some of these problems may be correctable with orthodontics (braces) and possibly a retainer, but some require further tooth loss, and possibly surgery. Most of these corrective measures are quite expensive. Taking the time to care for the baby teeth to prevent these problems is a far less costly and helps keep your child healthy.

-Preventing Pain and Discomfort. Tooth decay is quite prevalent in today’s American child. This can be easily prevented with proper dental hygiene maintenance and a healthy diet. When tooth decay does occur, it is best to get it fixed right away,when it is small, and before the child even notices it. Tooth decay can progress quite quickly if left untreated, especially in primary(baby) teeth. If left untreated, tooth decay will cause pain, infection, and discomfort to your child as well as a more expensive option to repair (like tooth extraction, baby root canal or a stainless steel crown).

Infections in the baby teeth can lead to long term problems in the gums.  Infections can also  cause problems with the development of the permanent teeth.

-Learning Tool. Baby teeth are the ultimate training ground for your children. It gives them a chance to learn good oral hygiene that will carry over into adulthood. Teaching them proper techniques and habits will be a lesson that will serve them well as they grow older into adulthood and beyond. These habits should include brushing, flossing, rinsing with an anti bacterial mouthwash, choosing healthy snack and meal options, and visiting the dentist at least twice a year.

Conclusion

Baby teeth are often misunderstood in their role of development. They are very important in a child’s development and should be treated with the utmost care. With proper care, a child will be proud of their smile, and have easy, fun, informative dental visits. If issues do arise, they should be treated early. The dentist and parents should be partners in a child’s dental care.

Periodontal Disease is generally associated with adults and most people believe that periodontal diseaseas well as other major dental issues are strictly an adult problem.

Periodontal Disease Marielaina Perrone DDS

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene To Keep Away Periodontal Disease

This is not the case. Children and adolescents are also at risk of developing periodontal disease and associated health problems. When children have periodontal disease, signs and symptoms include bleeding gums, especially when brushing, swelling of gums, red and tender gums, receding gums, bone loss, and persistent bad breath.

Factors That Put Children at Risk for Developing Periodontal Disease

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, periodontal disease rarely occurs in young kids and is uncommon in teenagers. Hygiene, genetics, hormones, medications, and disease put you at greater risk for developing periodontal disease. The most frequent type of periodontal disease seen in children is gingivitis, which is the earliest stage (and only stage that is reversible) of periodontitis. Without dental treatment, gingivitis can and will progress to periodontal disease. While uncommon, there are certain factors that increase the risk of children developing  juvenile periodontal disease. Juvenile periodontits affects the first permanent molars and incisors.

Genetic Factors

Genetic factors help determine whether children are at risk for developing periodontal disease. Research studies have shown that genetic factors increase the risk of developing periodontal health problems in children. Children of parents with periodontal disease have an increased risk of having the periodontal disease bacteria that can lead to increased gum infections. If one or both parents or a member of the family has or has had some form of periodontal disease, it is strongly recommended that these parents ensure their kids practice proper dental hygiene daily and visit the dentist regularly.

Teenagers – Effect Of Hormonal Changes

The risk of developing periodontal disease increases as children approach puberty. Teenagers experience increases in hormonal levels, which can promote hormonal periodontal disease. Hormones such as progesterone increase blood circulation to the gums making the tissue even more sensitive and easily irritated by plaque and bacteria that cause periodontal disease. Most teenagers also lack the motivation to practice proper dental care due to the pressure of growing up and the effect of these hormones. This increases the risk of periodontal disease such as ANUG (acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis) even more. Flaming red tissue, bleeding ulcerated tissue, pain, and gum recession are characteristic of ANUG. It is essential for adolescents to take good care of their teeth and visit the dentist regularly for periodontal evaluations.

Periodontal Disease Marielaina Perrone DDSPoor Dental Hygiene Maintenance

Poor dental hygiene maintenance puts children at increased risk of developing periodontal disease. When children do not take good care of their teeth and gums, plaque builds up and bacteria breaks it down causing periodontal health problems. Teeth clenching and grinding increases the risk of periodontal disease in children. The best way to prevent periodontal disease in children and reduce the risk is to teach good dental care habits early in their lives. Since children copy their parents’ habits, so parents should also take proper care of their teeth.

 Diseases and medications that Can  Effect Periodontal Disease

-Diabetes, poor healing

-Asthma ( inhalers can cause oral tissue damage)

-Cancer and cancer therapies(radiation and chemotherapy can cause severe damage to oral tissues)

-autoimmune disease , poor healing

-some medications can cause tissue overgrowth, such as the anti-seizure medication, dilantin.

Forms Of Pediatric Gum Disease

Gingivitis is the and mildest stage of periodontal disease. It is the most common form of gum disease in children and adolescents. Chronic gingivitis may affect children and teens causing gums to swell, redden and bleed easily.  Professional treatment and proper dental care is the way to treat and prevent this gum condition. If left untreated, gingivitis will progress and cause further damage  to oral tissues.

Aggressive (Juvenile) periodontal disease is not common in children and adolescents, sometimes it can develop even in healthy children. It mostly affects the visible molarsPeriodontal Disease Marielaina Perrone DDS and incisors, and causes loss of the bone supporting the teeth without plaque or calculus formation.

Generalized aggressive periodontal disease is rare in children but less so in teens. This form of periodontal disease has serious symptoms including gum inflammation, calculus, plaque and loose teeth.

Advanced gum disease that contributes to systematic health conditions may also occur in children and teenagers. This type of periodontal disease is especially common in children with Down syndrome, Type 1 diabetes, Kinder Syndrome, and Papillon-Lefevre syndrome.

Since kids are at risk of developing periodontal health problems just like adults, it is important for parents to take good care of their children’s teeth and gums and instill in them a lifetime habit of proper dental care including brushing and flossing.

Understanding The Risks Can Help You To Help Your Child Fight Periodontal Disease

When kids start early, they will continue practicing proper oral care, hopefully carrying that habit into adulthood.  It is essential for parents to ensure their children have regular dental checkups, periodontal health evaluations and professional cleaning. If a parent or member of the family has gum disease, it is especially important that other family members undergo a professional gum evaluation and take serious care and consideration of their teeth and gums.

Dental Hygiene - The practice of keeping the mouth, teeth, and gums clean and healthy to prevent oral disease, by regular brushing and flossing and visits to a dentist.

Halloween time is a fun time for the whole family…the weather begins to turn, leaving cooler weather for lots of quality family time. It also means its time to pick out Halloween costumes for the kids and family as well as looking forward to collecting bags full of candy from the neighbors and at school. In those bags of candy lies an unsuspecting hazard…Sugar! Sugar consumption without proper dental hygiene leads to tooth decay.

But this time does not have to be a time being scared of possible dental issues following Halloween. It can give parents and children alike a chance to learn new dental hygiene tricks to maintain their dental health throughout the year.

Dental Hygiene Tips

By following the dental hygiene tips below, parents can help prevent tooth decay for their trick or treaters while teaching them good dental hygiene habits:

1. Be Selective. Not all of the Halloween treats are scary. A good dental hygiene tip is to encourage kids to eat candy that melts fast and can be eaten quickly. Try to avoid gooey, sticky sweets (like caramels) that can linger on in the mouth and on the teeth. This will allow the bacteria in the mouth to produce more acid which will cause tooth decay. Remind kids after eating any sugary candy to brush their teeth or at the very least rinse their mouths out with water. This will lessen the amount of time the sugar stays in contact with the teeth. A really good idea might be to buy a new toothbrush that is Halloween related as a final “treat”.

2. Hide the excess candy. Do not just leave the Halloween candy around the house after the Halloween trick or treating is over. Store it in a secret place out of reach from kids and adults.

3. Avoid grazing. If you maintain dental hygiene tip #2 this should not be an issue. The idea is not to just keep picking at the candy throughout the day. This reduces the time the sugars are in the mouth decreasing chance of tooth decay. A better idea is to hold back candy and use it as an after meal treat. Then have your child immediately brush and rinse to neutralize the sugar and acid production. Another option, if you cannot brush or rinse is to give them a sugar free xylitol gum. The gum will help increase salivary flow which will also help to neutralize the acids in the mouth.

4. Eat a Healthy Meal first. Have children not fill up on snacks and Halloween candy but fill up on a healthy nutritious meal first. This will give them less temptation to overdo their candy consumption. This is a good dental hygiene tip for all year and not just Halloween time.

So there you have it, a few easy dental hygiene tricks to allow you and your family to fully enjoy the Halloween time. Candy is not necessarily the enemy, the enemy is not maintaining a diligent dental hygiene regimen. As always visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings.