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Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Your toothbrush is an essential part of maintaining any oral hygiene regimen.Walking down any oral health aisle in a drug  will show you dozens of different toothbrushes and other oral health aids. How do you choose the right toothbrush for you? Also, once you do make that toothbrush selection, do you know how to care for it properly?

Choosing The Right Toothbrush

The best toothbrush for you is one that fits in your hands properly, reaches all areas, is soft, and easy to use. Toothbrushes come in different shapes, softness, and sizes for a reason, we all have different size hands and mouths. You want a handle that is able to allow you to hold it firmly. You also want a properly sized toothbrush head with soft bristles that is able to fit easily into all areas of the mouth. It is critical to be able to reach everywhere to maintain good oral hygiene.

Electric Vs Manual

There is always a question of electric vs manual  toothbrushes. While, the electric toothbrush cleans more effectively, it is not for everyone. Whether it be cost, storage, charging, vibration sensitivity or personal preferences, the electric toothbrush may not be your number 1 choice. Use what works best for you, just brush with proper technique, and thoroughly.  Electric toothbrushes are especially important for those with orthodontic braces, older population, and those who just need a little extra help to keep their teeth clean. It is important to use a light touch when using an electric toothbrush, and to let it do the brushing, not you.  The oscillating heads can be harsher on your teeth and gums than a manual toothbrush when you scrub with it instead of placing it on one tooth at a time.

How Often Should You Change Your Brush?

Keeping a toothbrush too long will lead to an ineffective toothbrush. As a toothbrush gets used, it begins to fray and collect dangerous bacteria. The recommended rate of change is every 3-4 months for both manual toothbrushes and electric brush heads. A good tip is, if you develop a bad cold or the flu in between that time, you should change toothbrushes after the illness is over. This is to avoid reintroducing that bacteria back into your system. Might even consider using a disposable toothbrush while sick.

Cleaning And Storing Your Toothbrush

Proper toothbrush use should include rinsing thoroughly after each use to remove any excess toothpaste as well as any debris that may be left on it. A good tip will be to soak your toothbrush in an antiseptic rinse to eliminate any bacteria they may be harbored on your brush. Do not leave your toothbrush near the toilet area as the bacteria from the toilet can easily travel to your brush  upon flushing. If you keep it in the cabinet, dry it off before putting it away. There are also ultra violet tooth sanitizers that you can use.

Toothbrushes should be stored so that they are able to air dry. This usually means storing them upright either in the medicine cabinet or near the sink. Bacteria generally need a moist environment to grow and prosper. Another good tip is to never share your toothbrush with anyone, as it can lead to transmission of disease and bacteria.

Toothbrush Conclusion

A clean, effective toothbrush is necessary to keep up your oral hygiene on a regular basis. Brushing should be done at least two times per day for a minimum of 2 minutes each time. Keep track of how often you change your brush, and keep the holder clean and disinfected as well. As always visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations, professional cleanings, and new toothbrushes!

 

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!”.

At home dental hygiene care is critical to having good dental health and studies have shown it is also linked to our overall health. The best way to get adults to maintain their

dental hygiene to teach them proper habits as kids. One of the simplest things we do as part of our dental hygiene regimen is brushing. But did you know most of us do not remove all the plaque and bacteria properly. Parents should help with brushing, and/or check to see that the child has done a good job.  There is a way to ensure your kids are removing all the plaque and bacteria while brushing. Dentists have been using dyes for years called disclosing solutions to show patients what they have been missing. Disclosing solutions are a powerful, effective learning tool.

 Options for Disclosing and Detecting Plaque

There are many different solutions available. These include:

-Red-cote Disclosing Solution and tablets. Red-Cote Disclosants highlight harmful bacteria and plaque on the tooth surface. By staining these areas red, it shows patients areas where more brushing and flossing are needed. It is non-toxic and comes in a cherry flavor. These dyes also cause a lingering stain on the tongue and sometimes, lips for hours. Therefore, use on the weekend to give more time for the red solution to dissipate

-2 tone Disclosing Solution. Cherry-flavored 2-Tone Disclosing Solution works safely and dramatically. Stains new plaque red and old plaque blue to identify areas continually missed. Dye washes away easily.

-GUM Plak-Chek. The Plak-Chek is a virtually invisible plaque disclosing system that works for both children and adults. This solution works under a special blue light which fluoresces the dye under light. In this system, the dye is invisible in natural light yet glows green on plaque covered tooth surfaces when illuminated by the hand held blue light. Kind of fun for kids, but more difficult to visualize and finish cleaning the remaining plaque.

-Listerine agent blue. This rinse can be used before or after tooth brushing. After rinsing with Listerine agent blue, kids will notice their teeth turning blue. This is important so kids can pay attention to removing all the blue tint as they brush. If they left any behind they know they need to go back and continue brushing. Works wonders for improving oral hygiene technique as well as self awareness for children of taking care of their own teeth. The blue discloser is not quite as “scary” looking as the bright red dyes.

Conclusion

Disclosing solutions are helpful tools to maintain good dental hygiene. Some tools will work better with different individuals. The key is to find what works for you and use it regularly. Once good habits are formed, and the proper techniques have been learned to keep your mouth it’s cleanest, your overall dental health will improve. Remember,your dental health effects your overall health. So, teach your kids how to be their healthiest from a young age. As always, visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings to ensure your optimal dental health.

Tooth decay (also called dental cavities) is the destruction of tooth structure. It can affect both the enamel (outer layer) and the dentin layer (inner layer) of the tooth. Tooth decay is the most common cause of loss of teeth and it affects almost everyone at some point in their lives. Tooth decay is also the second most common disease in the U.S. (the common cold is first).  Luckily, cavities can be easily prevented.

It is normal for bacteria to be present in the mouth. Certain types of bacteria are able to attach to hard surfaces in the mouth like the enamel that cover the teeth. If these bacteria are not removed, they are able to multiply and grow in number until a colony forms. Proteins that are present in the saliva also mix in and the bacteria colony becomes a whitish film (plaque) on the enamel.

These bacteria feed on sugars and starches from the food like chocolates, sticky sweets, ice cream, milk, cakes, and even fruits, vegetables and juices, producing acid as a byproduct. This acid then erodes the tooth enamel slowly dissolving the tooth. A cavity is formed causing a hole or break in the tooth structure. If not fixed at this stage, the tooth decay can progress further reaching the dentin where it can spread even quicker. The cavity can progress very quickly after entering the dentin. This can lead to a larger issue of a dental abscess if untreated.

Unfortunately for the patient, this process moves very slowly so there may not be any pain or tooth sensitivity until the cavity becomes quite big.

Preventing Tooth Decay

-Maintain a regimen of Dental Hygiene. This is a necessity to prevent tooth decay. A good dental hygiene program includes regular visits to dentist and hygienist, brushing after every meal (with a fluoride containing toothpaste), and flossing at least once a day. You should especially remember to brush before bed. Food can get stuck in between our teeth when we eat. If the food particles are not removed, it can lead to tooth decay. Flossing at least once a day is the best way to remove food from in between the teeth.

-Eat well balanced nutritious meal and limit snacking. Stay away from carbohydrates such as candy, pretzels and chips. These can remain on the tooth surface. If sticky foods are eaten, brush your teeth soon afterwards. Eating fruits and vegetables for snacks and limiting the amount of sugary drinks and foods will help to prevent plaque from forming on the teeth.

-Supplemental Fluoride. Fluoride can strengthen your teeth. Your dentist may recommend a daily fluoride rinse (ACT anticavity rinse is an example) as part of your dental hygiene. This will help in cavity prevention.

Fluoride Rinse - ACT

Prevent Tooth Decay – ACT Fluoride Rinse

regimen.

-Dental Sealants. These can prevent some tooth decay. Sealants are ultra thin coatings applied to the top (chewing) surfaces of the molars. This coating helps prevent the build up of plaque in the deep grooves on these molars. Sealants are generally applied on the children’s teeth soon after the molars erupt into the mouth. Adults can also benefit from the use of sealants if they have a high risk for decay or have deep grooves in the molars and premolars.

-Antiseptic Mouth Rinse. There are several antiseptic mouth rinses on the market that have been clinically proven to reduce plaque. These include Listerine or Crest Pro Health. Rinsing with either of these mouth rinses after brushing or eating can help in cavity prevention. They work by reducing the number of bacteria present in mouth as well as acting as a rinse to wash away plaque and film on teeth.

-Sugarless Gum. Chewing sugarless gum will help prevent tooth decay by stimulating salivary flow. In studies xylitol has shown to temporarily slow down the growth of bacteria that causes tooth decay. There are several brands of xylitol gum including epic, wrigley’s, and trident.

To reduce tooth decay, eating less sugar, regular cleaning and flossing are all needed to keep the bacteria that causes tooth decay from getting out of control. Tooth decay is preventable and treatable in most stages. Diligent dental hygiene along with regular dental visits will keep you cavity free!

tooth decay prevention