Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

We are always looking for ways to prevent tooth decay. Most of us are aware of the traditional methods, such as brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily. Fortunately, there are dental sealants, a dental procedure which produces significant protection from tooth decay. Dental sealants are a great way to ward off tooth decay in the grooves of our teeth. Many of us have an inherent weakness in the structural formation in the grooves of our teeth. Weakness in the grooves on the top surface of our teeth allows food and bacteria to stick and stay. This creates a highly concentrated environment of cavity causing bacteria which are very difficult to thoroughly remove.  Dental sealants can help young children, teens, and adults prevent cavities.

How Do Dental Sealants Work?

Our teeth are formed with grooves and pits in them that can trap foods. When  food particles become trapped, there is a marked increase in probability of tooth decay. The longer the food debris stays, the more likely it is that tooth decay will begin. With proper dental hygiene, we are able to remove most of the food debris and dental plaque before it does any damage. For many with deeper grooves in their teeth, toothbrushes are unable to adequately get inside of the grooves leaving bacteria and food behind. Sealants are placed to help those with deeper, uncleansable, grooves.

Dental sealants are generally recommended to all children as their permanent premolars and molars erupt into the mouth. The dental sealant is a thin resin that is painted onto the biting surface of teeth. The thin resin then bonds down into the base of the grooves in the tooth’s surface. This resin will fill in those narrow grooves decreasing the chances of tooth decay developing in those teeth. The smooth surface makes it easier for you to maintain good dental hygiene. Even though the chance of tooth decay on the biting surfaces has decreased, tooth decay is still possible. The other surfaces of the teeth are still unprotected and the dental sealant does not last forever. They generally last about 5-8 years before needing to be reapplied.

Dental Sealants Conclusion

Dental sealants are a great preventive method for all ages. The most common cavities are those found in the grooves of our teeth. Dental sealants will definitely decrease the chances of developing tooth decay on the biting surfaces of your premolars and molars. Dental sealants provide you an opportunity to gain an extra edge in the fight against tooth decay. Dental sealants are placed in a painless manner, are relatively inexpensive, and long lasting. Ask your dentist if any of your teeth should be sealed and protected, because not all teeth need sealants. Remember to maintain regular visits to the dentist for dental examinations and professional cleanings.

Diet plays a big role in the maintenance of our teeth and gums. Many people are unaware of what foods are bad for our dental health. Did you know that carbohydrates are really just sugars in disguise? Luckily, our oral bacteria is unable to properly break down complex carbohydrates. However, simple sugars (monosaccharides) and links of simple sugars (disaccharides) can be broken down. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria break down these sugars producing acid as a byproduct. The acid sits on and between our teeth dissolving our teeth causing tooth decay.

Sugars That Cause Tooth Decay

-Sucrose. Also known as common table sugar (also sometimes called saccharose). Sucrose is found in most candy, is the sweetest of all the sugars, and is broken down by Streptococcus Mutans.  S.Mutans is able to uniquely break down sucrose into dextran. Dextran acts as the glue for the bacteria to stick to teeth as well as act as a reserve food source for the bacteria. This glue makes dental plaque stickier and harder to remove. Sucrose is found in sugar cane, maple trees, and sugar beets.

-Fructose. This sugar is found in nature in many fruits (berries, melons) and root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes). Fructose is not as sweet as Sucrose. Where Fructose becomes a problem for our teeth is when it is concentrated as high fructose corn syrup. At that point it becomes far sweeter than sucrose, sticky, and easily broken down by bacteria to cause decay. High fructose syrup is widely used due to its cheapness and its liquid form. Low cost makes it far easier to use in many commercial products.

-Glucose. This is the main energy source of our body. All of the other sugars ingested are broken down into glucose by the body. Glucose is broken down by bacteria as well and will cause  our teeth to decay.

-Lactose. Also known as milk sugar. It is found in many dairy products (milk, yogurt, and cheeses). This is one of the rare sugars that is not sweet to the taste but it can still be broken down by our oral bacteria to produce acid in our mouths and lead to decay. In infants, milk left pooled in the mouth by sleeping with a bottle, can cause decay and thrush.

-Maltose. Commonly found in bread, rice, cereals, and beer. Beer is especially dangerous as it contains sugar and is acidic. A detrimental combination for our teeth. Maltose, like lactose, does not taste very sweet.

Avoid Sugars?

Avoiding sugar in today’s modern world is quite impossible for many. As you can see above, sugars come in many forms and in a variety of foods. The key as always should be to take in sugars in moderation, and use thorough oral hygiene techniques. It is important to note that sucrose, has little nutritional benefit. Sucrose (white table sugar) should be ingested in moderation. Lactose, natural fructose, and maltose are found in products important to a good healthy diet so they obviously will not be avoided if we wish to be healthy.

Tips to Minimize Dangers From Sugar

-Moderation. Ingest sugars in moderation.

-Maintain Good Oral Hygiene. If you are eating lots of sugar be sure to brush if you can immediately following to remove and dissolve the majority of the byproduct acids. If you cannot brush, rinse thoroughly with water following eating sugars, and chew sugar free gum.

-Drink Water. This will lessen effects of acidic attack on our teeth.

Conclusion

Let’s face it, most of us are not going to hold to a strict sugar free diet so it is important to maintain good oral hygiene. This is doubly important for children who tend to eat more candies than  adults. As always remember to visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings.

Most of us worry before we sit in the dental chair and we know the questions that are coming…”Have you been flossing and brushing regularly?” So what do we do, weCosmetic Dentist Marielaina Perrone DDS frantically brush, floss, and use a mouth rinse right before our appointment. And when we finally sit down in the chair and we get asked that dreaded question we always answer “yes, I brush and floss all the time”. You hope they believe you but deep down you know they know you are not being entirely truthful. How can they tell? What are the Signs?

Signs You Are Not Brushing and Flossing Regularly

Brushing and flossing is such an important part of maintaining not only our dental health but studies have proven our general health as well. Signs that you are not brushing and flossing properly include:

-Increased Tooth Decay. There are other factors, like diet, that cause tooth decay but not brushing and flossing will definitely lead increased incidence of tooth decay over time, especially tooth decay between teeth. If you have any tooth cavities or the beginning stages of cavities, it indicates that flossing is a weak point in your home dental hygiene regimen.

-Inflammation. This might be one of the most obvious tell tale signs that you are not brushing and flossing regularly. Plaque, bacteria, and food debris will sit in between the teeth when we do not brush and floss properly. This causes the body to start the inflammatory process to remove the irritant. As a result your gums will begin to appear pink, puffy, and bleed very easily.

-Cuts or Abrasions on Gums. This is an indicator you are not flossing regularly or just not flossing properly. You need to be careful when flossing around teeth and do not force the floss.

Conclusion

The bottom line is you need to take the time to practice good dental hygiene to ensure a lifetime of smiles. Once it becomes a habit it will become second nature and be a seemless part of your daily routine.

The moral of the story is simple, make flossing a part of your daily regimen! The benefits to your dental health are tremendous.

Bad breath or halitosis, results from poor maintenance of dental hygiene, chemical breakdown of food, and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by  unhealthy lifestyle habits. We all know how bad our breath is after eating onions or garlic for lunch, but did you know that your tongue can be a major cause of your bad breath?

Importance of Regularly Cleaning Your Tongue

Did you know that your tongue’s surface is the main breeding ground for harmful bacteria? These are the same bacteria that attack your teeth and gums causing tooth cavities and periodontal disease.  Bacteria  give off toxins in your mouth that in turn produce foul smelling gases.

Most people are aware of the importance of brushing and flossing but a simple “scraping” of your tongue twice a day can reduce bad breath odors. Studies have shown this can reach as high as a 75% reduction in odors emanating from the mouth.

A dental myth widely believed is that the stomach is the root cause of bad breath. Bad breath directly caused from the stomach is so rare that of a thousand people treated for bad breath not a single case was caused by underlying stomach issues.

Tooth brushing and most mouthwashes do nothing to remove oral debris and dead cells on the tongue, the root cause of bad breath. The most you can hope for from them, is to mask the bad breath for a short while. A combination of methods works best and this should include brushing, flossing, and tongue cleaning. Tongue cleaning can show a huge improvement in one’s breath almost immediately.

Orabrush Marielaina Perrone DDS

Orabrush for a Cleaner Tongue

Tongue Cleaning: Did You Know?

-Combination of teeth brushing and tongue cleaning can reduce bad breath by as much as 85% Vs. tooth brushing alone.

-Tongue cleaning alone can reduce mouth odor by as much as 75%.

-Brushing alone, reduces mouth odor by as much as 25%.

-Tongue cleaning reduces the amount of bacteria, plaque, and dead cells on the tongue by as much as 40%

-Tongue cleaning will cut down the bacteria stored in the mouth by Tenfold.

-Tongue cleaning reduces halitosis including smoker‘s breath by as much as 85 %

How to Clean Your Tongue Effectively

There are lots of products on the market now strictly for tongue cleaning. There are many types of apparatus available to clean your tongue, it is strictly a matter of preference. The old fashioned manual toothbrush does quite an effective job as well.

1.  Apply a pea sized amount of toothpaste to a wet toothbrush, not the same one that you use for your teeth, because the tongue holds significantly more debris and different bacteria than your tongue. The tongue cleaning toothbrush should be rinsed in antibacterial mouth rinse and stored separately so as not to contaminate your regular toothbrush.

2. Open your mouth wide and stick your tongue out at yourself in front of the mirror. Reach in with the toothbrush and gently touch the back of your tongue, near your throat. If you gag, pull the toothbrush a bit farther out of your mouth and try again. Repeat this step until you find a starting point that does not cause you to gag. Don’t worry if you can’t get very far back, your gag reflex will relax over time.

3. Press down on the toothbrush and pull it forward. Drag it across the entire length of your tongue until you reach the tip.

4. Repeat Step 2, moving the brush off to one side slightly so you drag across a new section of tongue. Spit out excess toothpaste if necessary, but don’t swallow it.

5. Continue doing this until you have scraped the entire top of your tongue. Rinse the toothbrush. Lighten the pressure, and repeat the process on the underside. If the procedure is painful, you’re pushing too hard.

6. Rinse your mouth thoroughly for at least one minute with an anti bacterial mouthwash. Spit when you’re finished.

Tongue Cleaning Conclusion

Maintaining good oral hygiene may seem like a daunting task but it is really quite simple once it becomes a part of your daily routine. Not only will you experience better breath, and less dental issues, but you will feel better and more confident about yourself as you go about your daily activities. Research has shown time and again how important a smile is to our self esteem. Give yourself peace of mind and follow your dental hygiene instructions for a happier, healthier you!