Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Flossing is often overlooked as part our oral hygiene regimen. Although it is often overlooked, it is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Brushing alone cannot remove food debris and bacteria in and around our teeth. Flossing is able to reach areas in between teeth and in the back areas of the mouth. Flossing really is a simple act, but many often overlook it and ignore the habit of flossing. For those of us who do floss, improper technique can also cause problems.

Common Flossing Mistakes

1. Skipping The Back Teeth – When we floss it is essential to not only concentrate on the front teeth. It is equally important to get in the back of the mouth, between and around molars, and keep those areas clean. This removes food and plaque bacteria in areas from which a toothbrush can not reach. You need to keep your teeth as clean as possible to avoid the onset of periodontal disease and tooth decay.

2. Not Rotating The Floss At Each Area – The purpose of flossing is to remove bacteria, food debris, and bacteria from between the teeth. If you do not rotate the floss at each tooth you are just replacing the removed bacteria and debris back into the mouth.

3. Flossing Too Aggressively – Some of our teeth have tighter spaces than others and this could cause a more aggressive approach to flossing. It is better to gently work the floss up and down between your teeth, following the natural curve of the tooth, so as not to snap the floss down and cut your gums. You should floss using a mirror to watch what you are doing, it is easier to see if you are missing anything. You should NEVER , “shoeshine” your teeth. Side to side aggressive motion, over time, causes notches into the roots of the teeth.

4. Not Flossing Because Your Gums Bleed – At times our gums can bleed if we are not maintaining proper oral hygiene. This is the earliest sign of periodontal disease, called “Gingivitis”. This stage of periodontal disease can be reversed. If you see some blood, continue gentle flossing, and rinsing with warm salt water. As the bacteria and irritants are removed the inflammation will subside and so will the bleeding. It might take 1-2 weeks for that to happen.

5. Keep Track Of Where You Are Flossing – It can be very easy to miss a tooth or two while flossing. Create a good routine to keep on track and not get distracted.

6. Not Flossing At All! – This is the biggest mistake! Many have been lucky enough not to have decay or serious problems, and have never flossed. This may have “worked” for you in your youth, but it will put you at risk for periodontal disease as you get older. People who have never had a cavity, and do not have good oral hygiene habits are at much higher risk for gum disease. Those pearly whites may stay beautiful until they day they all start to fall out!

Conclusion

Don’t wait for problems to begin. Floss regularly and correctly, and you are setting yourself up for good success in maintaining your oral health. Remember, to floss gently, properly, and often. As many dentists say,” You don’t have to floss all of your teeth, just the ones you want to keep!”.

Summer is finally here! As the weather begins to heat up, most of us spend more time participating in outdoor activities. Different activities like Tennis, horseback riding, basketball, and swimming. As we have all of this fun, there are a few precautions one should take to protect their oral health. Protecting yourself will make the summer safer and much more fun.

Summer Smile Protection Tips

1. Sports Mouthguards – As we do more physical activities, we need to think about our teeth, just like our skin needs protection from the sun, our teeth need protection from trauma. Approximately 40% of all sports related injuries involve the head, more precisely, the face.Having your dentist fabricate a custom made athletic mouthguard, will decrease your risk of tooth loss from trauma significantly. Research has also shown that these athletic mouthguards can also lower the risks of a concussion, as well as, enhance your athletic performance by helping maintain airway and more efficient breathing.

2. Sports Drinks – Sports drinks (like gatorade) have become extremely popular beverages even for non athletes, but they can also be damaging to our smiles. Most sport drinks contain a high content of sugar and are highly acidic. Consumption of too many sports drinks can lead to tooth decay and tooth enamel erosion. If you choose to drink sports drinks during activity, keep a limit on them, drink plain water in between, and practice proper oral hygiene to keep the acids and sugars from attacking your teeth. Remember, sport drinks are made to replace what your body loses during extreme sweating and exertion, they are not meant to be a beverage consumed with lunch. Use them properly and you will not suffer the damage that they can incur.

3. Drinking Water – Water is great for your body, skin,and your teeth. Choose pure water with no added flavors or carbonation and you will not have to worry about demineralizing your teeth, many of the additives can cause tooth enamel breakdown. Water can also help by flushing away food particles and bacteria, keeping your mouth clean and fresh. The simple act of drinking water helps to maintain oral hygiene.  Maintaining good oral hygiene also includes proper brushing, flossing, and use of an antibacterial mouthrinse. Following a good oral hygiene program should always include staying properly hydrated. The best part about water is you can drink it any time with no side effects. It is truly the perfect drink for your entire body.

4. Swimming and chlorine- Swimming in your pool is a great way to exercise and spend time with your family and friends. The swimming pool contains chlorine, a very hazardous chemical, which can cause damage to your teeth even when levels are properly monitored.  Spending a lot of time in a pool with poorly maintained chemical levels can cause permanent damage to your teeth’s enamel. Water that is over chlorinated (such as many community pools) may cause tooth enamel erosion and  permanent staining of teeth. The tooth surface is directly affected by harsh chemicals, such as acid, causing the enamel to erode, thin, breakdown, and stain. When there are high levels of chlorine in the pool, the water becomes more acidic. Continuous exposure to acid can cause the damage to begin and subsequently progress.

5. Chewing Gum - Chewing a sugar free gum containing xylitol is a great way to protect your teeth. Gum chewing helps to increase the production of saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps keep the mouth neutral, or balanced. The addition of xylitol to the saliva helps this balance at another level.  Xylitol  cannot be converted to acids by oral bacteria, so it helps to maintain a proper alkaline/acid balance in your mouth. Chewing gum also helps satisfy your snacking desire, which may be a great way to decrease the intake of junk food snacks for you and your children.

Conclusion

We all look forward to Summer and enjoying the great weather. Now it is time to enjoy it fully, without suffering from it for the rest of the year. Be aware of the hazards, and be prepared for you and your family. Taking care of you and your family will make this the best summer yet!  Have a happy, healthy summer!

Many people think it is okay for some gum bleeding during brushing or flossing but that is simply not true. Bleeding gums equal unhealthy gums. Periodontal disease canBleeding Gums Marielaina Perrone DDS creep up silently attacking your gums and bone in your mouth. This is especially important with recent studies showing periodontal disease being linked to systemic diseases like stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.

In most cases, inflamed, swollen and bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis. However,  there are a number of other factors that could be causing your gum problems. Whatever the cause of sore, painful gums, there are steps you can take to minimize gum damage and discomfort. Some people avoid dental cleanings at home or in the dental office because it always makes them bleed. What they need to understand is, that the only reason they are bleeding is because they have become inflamed. Once you have your teeth cleaned and are taught proper oral hygiene techniques, it takes about 2 weeks of bleeding gums before they heal and stop bleeding. You just have to put up with some soreness and tough it out to get results. Once your gums have healed you will be amazed how good they feel, and how the bleeding just stops.

Reasons For Gum Inflammation and Bleeding

-Poor dental hygiene

-Open mouth breathing

-Medication causing tissue overgrowth, or poor healing

-Acid reflux (GERD)

-Poor nutrition

-Systemic Disease

Other Factors That Cause Bleeding Gums

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy has many side effects. One of those side effects can include painful, swollen, and bleeding gums. Another gum issue from chemotherapy is stomatitis. This

Bleeding Gums Marielaina Perrone DDS

causes the development of painful sores and ulcers on the gums and throughout the mouth.

Tobacco use

Smoking or using other tobacco products can be very damaging to your gum tissue, and people who smoke are much more likely to develop periodontal disease than those who do not. Smokers often find that their smoking habit gives you a number of gum problems from sensitive gums that bleed to painful sores in your mouth.

Hormone Irregularities

Some women find that they experience gum problems during menstruation or pregnancy (and even menopause). The hormonal increase during puberty can elevate blood flow to the gums, making them red, swollen, and sensitive. For women with menstrual gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen, and have an increased likelihood to bleed shortly before each menstrual period. These problems typically subside after menstruation begins. Pregnancy gingivitis typically starts in the second or third month of pregnancy and continues through the eighth month, causing sore, swollen, and bleeding gums. The use of birth control products (oral and injectables) may cause similar gum problems. Though uncommon, some women going through menopause may find that their gums become extremely dry and therefore sore and more likely to bleed.

 Gum Damage From Brushing and Flossing

The most common cause of bleeding gums is not following proper techniques when flossing and brushing. This allows harmful bacteria to accumulate, and can lead to damage to your gums. The gingival tissue in the mouth can be strengthened considerably with proper hygiene. Normal brushing and flossing of healthy, pink, firm gum tissue does not elicit bleeding.

Whether you choose a manual or electric toothbrush, choose one with soft nylon bristles that have blunted ends. Even though you can find brushes with medium or hard bristles, they may damage the enamel on your teeth or cause gum recession.

When you brush, make sure you use gentle, circular motions to massage and clean the teeth and gums. While many people use a back-and-forth motion, this motion canBleeding Gums Marielaina Perrone DDS actually irritate and damage your gums, making them sore and more likely to recede.

We all know the importance of flossing every day to help remove plaque from places where your toothbrush cannot reach. Make sure that you have been taught to properly floss and brush by a professional.Be gentle and thorough when you brush and when you floss. Floss between your teeth by carefully sliding it up and down, following the curve of each tooth, and do not use a shoeshine or slicing motion.

Stages Of Periodontal Disease

Recent studies show 50-75% of American adults over the age of 35 suffer from some form of periodontal disease. The majority with periodontal disease have the earliest form, called gingivitis (reversible with treatment), about 10-15% of the population has the much more advanced type of periodontal disease known as periodontitis (controllable but not reversible).

Poor oral hygiene leads to a build up of bacteria and plaque in the mouth around teeth. This build up of bacteria may cause your gums to become inflamed, which results in red, swollen, or bleeding gums. Most people with gingivitis do not notice any symptoms initially. If you diagnose gingivitis early, it can be reversed and healed with proper oral hygiene maintenance. Gingivitis, if left untreated, can and will progress, and ultimately lead to tooth loss.

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

-Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums

-Gums that bleed during and after toothbrushing or during flossing.

-Loose teeth

-Shifting of teeth or changes in the way your teeth bite together

-Persistent bad breath (halitosis) or a foul taste in the mouth

-Receding Gums

Bleeding Gums Marielaina Perrone DDS

-Red, swollen, or tender gums

As gingivitis progresses, it develops into periodontitis. This a condition in which the gums and bone that hold the teeth in place can begin to break down. The bacteria on the

teeth release toxic substances that harm your gums and cause them to become infected. The infection and the inflammation that result when your body attacks the bacteria can break down your gums and the bone in your jaw supporting the teeth. You may experience exceptionally swollen, painful gums that are likely to bleed. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.

Tips To Prevent Bleeding Gums

-Visit dentist regularly.  This should include dental examinations, x-rays, and professional cleanings.

-Brush Twice a Day and follow proper brushing technique. If you’re not sure what to do, ask your dentist or dental hygienist for a quick lesson at your next visit.

-Floss daily. Flossing takes but a minute or two a day to do but the effects are far reaching in terms of keeping you gums healthy.

-Eat a well-balanced nutritious diet.

-Stay Hydrated by Drinking plenty of water.

-Do Not Smoke!

-Relax. Being stressed out raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol, increasing the likelihood of inflammation throughout your body, including in your gums.

Conclusion

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is not a difficult job. It just requires knowing the proper techniques, creating daily habits, and visiting your dentist on a regular basis for check ups and professional cleanings. In the long run it will be well worth it as you save your teeth for a lifetime!

Most teens and adults who wear braces cannot wait for the day that they are free from them. They look forward to finally having the straight smile they have desired.

Braces - Marielaina Perrone DDS

Orthodontic Treatment – Braces

Whether treatment takes a few months (in cases of limited orthodontics) or 2-3 years it is still something to look forward to. But now the work begins to continue maintaining proper oral hygiene to keep those teeth straight, white, and free of tooth decay.

Tips to Maintain that Straight Smile

-Schedule regular dental examinations and cleanings. Now that the braces are off it is not a time to slack off on maintaining your teeth. Most patients find dental hygiene to be easier after dealing with braces for such a long time. Most patients, especially adult patients, are extra motivated following orthodontic treatment. They want to show off their new smile and keep their teeth shining. Immediately following removal of braces it is very important to schedule an appointment to see your regular dentist to ensure there is no tooth decay, residual cement, chipped enamel or stains. Sometimes there are white spots caused by decalcified enamel under or around the brackets. The gums, and roots of teeth also need to be evaluated. The dentist will also check your orthodontic retainer to assure proper fit and hygiene.

-Wear Your Orthodontic Retainer. Following most orthodontic treatment an orthodontic retainer is custom made for patients. This retainer will need to be worn for 9-12 months as your teeth “adjust” to their new positions. If you choose not to wear your orthodontic retainer regularly, your teeth will likely shift. After the first year, many people wear their orthodontic retainers at night, several nights per week, to ensure that their new smiles continue to look great. There are three basic types of orthodontic retainers. These include:

1) Hawley Retainer. This type of orthodontic retainer is made of acrylic that is custom molded to your mouth. These contain a wire to hold your teeth in position. A Hawley retainer is the most common type of retainer. The acrylic can be made available in clear, and in a variety of colors and interesting designs, so you can “personalize” your orthodontic retainer if you so choose.

Las Vegas Orthodontics Marielaina Perrone DDS

Wear Your Orthodontic Retainer To Keep Your Smile Straight!

2) Essix Retainer. These are made of clear plastic. Most people like these as they are fairly lightweight and thin, and do not look anything like traditional retainers.

3) Fixed Retainer. These are just as the name implies, meaning they do not come out. These are usually a thin wire bonded behind a section of teeth using a tooth colored material. This type of orthodontic retainer stays in the mouth 24 hours a day and patients must be extra diligent to maintain proper oral hygiene as food and debris can be trapped along this type of orthodontic retainer. This is most often used on lower teeth, as they have the highest incidence of moving back to their original positions over time. The fixed orthodontic retainer is best for those who would be unlikely to wear a removable retainer as they are instructed to, or would likely lose it.

-Never stop wearing your orthodontic retainer unless advised otherwise. Wearing the orthodontic retainer will ensure the teeth do not shift over time.

Maintenance of  Your Orthodontic Retainer

How can you keep your orthodontic retainer clean? You can brush a Hawley retainer with a toothbrush. Brushing is not recommended for Essix orthodontic retainers because brushing can scratch or damage them. You can use denture cleaner such as efferdent, but there are actually several retainer cleaning products custom produced for this task. These include RetainerBrite and SonicBrite. You should also bring your orthodontic retainer to dental appointments, your hygienist can place them in a special tartar and stain removing solution to soak while you are having your teeth cleaned.

-Retainer Brite. This cleaner comes in tablet form and can be used with our without a portable sonic cleaner. The advantage of this cleaner is that the tablets are individually wrapped, which makes it easy for traveling and on the go.

-SonicBrite. This cleaner is a powder that comes with a battery operated sonic cleaner bath. It works very well at getting white calculus build up off of many types of Las Vegas Orthodontics Marielaina Perrone DDSorthodontic retainers and dental appliances. Patients with Essix retainers and Invisalign -type aligners tend to like this system.

All of these systems do a very good job at keeping your orthodontic retainer smelling fresh and preventing white build up. They can be used for either plastic and wire Hawley retainers, or Essix (clear plastic) retainers and Invisalign type aligner trays.

What If I lose My Orthodontic Retainer?

Losing retainers especially for teenagers is quite common. A good tip to make sure you do not lose it is to carry a retainer case with you at all times. Get in the habit of placing the orthodontic retainer in its case whenever you need to remove it. This way it is not just left in a napkin on a restaurant table or left for a dog to chew. Be sure to keep your orthodontic retainers in their protective case when out of your mouth.  Dogs love to chew retainers, and they can be easily knocked off counters and stepped on. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure that the retainer is kept in a safe place when not in use.  Backpacks, pockets, and purses are also dangerous, unless the protective case is used.  Heavy books, keys, etc. can bend and break orthodontic retainers.

You have long awaited your new smile. You have been through a lot to get here. Make sure you do all that you need to maintain your investment. Your future should be filled with years of bright smiles. Wear your orthodontic retainer, so that your teeth don’t move out of their new, beautiful positions. Continue with excellent oral hygiene. Be diligent with your dental visits. These tips can help keep that perfect smile straight for many years to come!