Time for a New Toothbrush

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Keeping a consistent routine is a great way to combat most problems that might arise in oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly throughout the day can keep enamel and gums strong and breath smelling fresh! Most people would think that is all they need to worry about but that is not quite true.

Consider the process of flossing – with floss, it is a quick ‘one and done’ deal. Simply throw away the floss after use.

When it comes to a toothbrush, this practice is definitely not just routine. Usually, we do not throw away a toothbrush or even toothbrush head after each use but replacements should be considered after some time.

Toothbrushes and toothbrush heads can fray overtime which inhibits their effectiveness as they will not properly brush or scrub teeth as they should.

What about what we cannot see? Bacteria and germs gradually build up on the tool and make the brush itself counterproductive for oral hygiene. To avoid unneeded contact with germs and bacteria, be sure to replace toothbrushes and toothbrush heads every 90 days or sooner if the bristles begin to fray. Also consider making a change after an illness as whatever germs and viruses that caused the illness will most likely linger on an innocuous toothbrush or toothbrush head.

Maintaining teeth brushing tools can be done easily with the use of reminders for replacements on a calendar or cell phone. Buying in bulk makes switching much easier and quicker than buying individually and can be cheaper too.

Also, see your local dentist at Las Vegas Smile at least twice a year to maintain a healthy smile.

Oral Health Routine

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Routines are designed to keep things running smoothly and just like how workout routines help keep the body in shape, oral hygiene routines help keep teeth and gums healthy.  Fresh smelling breath is also a plus.

The most highly recommended oral hygiene routine involves brushing with toothpaste, flossing between teeth and using mouthwash. Each step is important and should be done correctly to fully maximize their potential.

The most frequently misused item on our list is floss. Dental floss is commonly used to pull food out from between teeth. Toothbrushes simply cannot get into the tight spaces between teeth which means that problems like plaque can freely grow there with little resistance.  Hook floss around a tooth in a ‘C’ shape then move the floss in an up and down motion. This will scrape off plaque and food debris that brushing alone may miss. It is recommended that floss be used at least once a day.

Despite not being able to get in between teeth, toothbrushes are still an important tool! Brushing gets the largest amounts of acid, bacteria, plaque and food debris off of teeth. If all these things sound bad — they are!

  • Acid can wear down tooth enamel and expose sensitive parts of the teeth.
  • Bacteria can cause either inflammation or infections. Inflammation of the gums can be painful at its best and cause illness at its worst.
  • Plaque and food debris can not only cause tooth enamel to wear down but also bad breath and discoloration.

To get the most out of this part of the routine, be sure to brush with toothpaste twice a day. It is most important that one of those times be before bed or after the final snack or meal of the day.

Lastly is the use of mouthwash or mouth rinse. Rinsing is a great way to add another protective layer to teeth as well as wash away any lingering risks to dental health but be sure to talk to a professional about what type of mouthwash to use.   Certain mouthwash and toothpaste were created to tackle specific problems so be sure to choose the right one for your specific needs.

Make a positive impact on your overall oral health by keeping a daily, consistent oral hygiene routine.  Visit a dentist at Las Vegas Smile twice a year, to keep your smile bright, teeth healthy and to address any potential issues.

How Do Teeth Change with Age?

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As anyone who has reached middle-aged or older knows, everything in your body starts to change as time goes by. The same is true for your teeth. Of course, using the best dental hygiene practices can stave off problems for a very long time. However, physiological changes still affect dental health and appearance. Learn how teeth change with age and what you can do about this natural process.

Shifting and Movement of Teeth
The actual structure of your jaw and mouth change over time. Studies show that the dental arch begins to narrow once you hit around 40 years old. Add in the effects of gravity, constant chewing and pressure, and weakening musculature and bone density, and your teeth may shift out of optimum alignment. In most cases, this does not necessitate a return to braces or a retainer. However, it can cause some issues with bite alignment and additional friction can lead to weakened enamel and an increase in cavities.

Worn and Weakened Enamel
A lifetime of chewing and natural teeth movements wear down the enamel that covers every tooth surface. There is no way to avoid this because you cannot give up chewing your food. People who grind their teeth can help prevent this wear with certain dental protecting tools such as mouth guards. When the enamel thins, the chance of cavities and other problems like this can increase. It is extremely important that you maintain a proper dental care regimen no matter what.

Gums Thin and Recede
Periodontal disease, excessively harsh brushing, and the natural progression of the years all cause the gums to get thinner and drawback from the surfaces of your teeth. Lower production of saliva, which is another common issue as we age, can contribute to this problem as well. Make sure to speak with your dental expert to make sure you do not have gingivitis or other serious infections instead of simple age-related gum issues.

Teeth Discoloration
As the decades pass, food, beverages, smoking, and time can yellow or discolor your teeth. Even with the utmost care and avoidance of staining foods, your teeth do naturally get yellower as you age. This is due to the dentin layer showing through the outermost enamel as it thins.

Dental Nerves Weaken
One of the potentially good changes that happen to teeth as you age involves the dental nerve that goes up into the center of each one. These actually gets smaller as time goes on, which means you feel less pain during dental procedures, when biting wrong on something hard, or when eating hot or cold foods or beverages. On the other hand, weakened nerves can also hide serious dental problems as you cannot feel the usual pain associated with them. This is just one reason why it is important to maintain regularly scheduled dental appointments.

No matter how old you are, regular tooth care and visits to your Las Vegas dentist should remain part of your health and well-being schedule. If time or other issues make more serious problems arise, there are options your dentist can help with including implants, partial or full dentures, and more.

Cleaning Teeth Options – From Traditional to Trendy

Cleaning Teeth Options – From Traditional to Trendy

When most people think about teeth cleaning, they imagine a classic toothbrush and a tube of commercial toothpaste or they might remember their last professional cleaning with a dental hygienist. These days, more options exist than ever before. People are setting aside classic toothpaste and choosing more natural, unique, and sometimes startling products to get the bright, healthy smile they love.

Classic Baking Soda or Sea Salt
People have recommended brushing teeth with baking soda or sea salt for decades. They have similar abrasive materials to commercial toothpaste, which makes them a great way to remove food particles and plaque buildup. Many people do not like the taste and add a few drops of peppermint oil to the mixture.

Charcoal Toothpaste
The idea of using black charcoal toothpaste seems counterintuitive, but this trend can help whiten your smile and remove plaque. Activated charcoal can actually attract impurities and soak up plaque from the surface of your teeth. Charcoal generally has a higher abrasion factor then ingredients like baking soda or salt, so dentists recommend care when scrubbing your teeth with it. It may not look good when you scrub the black mixture around your mouth, and many people do not like the taste, but it is quite effective.

Natural Herbal Soap
Some forgo products specific to teeth completely. Instead, they use some type of natural soap with herbal or essential oil ingredients. While this can clean your mouth, it may not remove the stuck-on plaque that can cause problems. Instead of chemical detergents, most prepared dental soaps rely on healthy oils, plant ingredients like aloe vera and essential oils like peppermint or citrus for fresh breath.

Hydrogen Peroxide
This liquid kills most bacteria and can contribute to teeth whitening but may work better with a mouthwash then as a replacement for toothpaste. Of course, there is no abrasion involved. Hydrogen peroxide can also affect moisture levels in the mouth, which may contribute to bad breath or gum damage.

Coconut or Other Oils
The common Ayurvedic practice of oil swishing has become popular around the world in recent years. You may use coconut or other oils to brush your teeth as well. It has antibacterial properties, tastes fine, and can hydrate gums and sensitive tissues in the mouth.

Commercial toothpaste has been around since the 1870s. Over the years, oral health has improved greatly and continuous research leads to other options in dental care. Before you adopt a new product for your everyday regimen, take time to learn about all the benefits and risks.

In the end, as long as you choose a healthy method of cleaning your teeth, you will enjoy an attractive and happy smile for as long as possible. Before chasing trends or trying a new product, speak with your Las Vegas Smile dentist and research the potential benefits and problems. Many teeth cleaning options exist from traditional to trendy, but the best one for you is always the one that protects your teeth from damage while ensuring a healthy and beautiful smile.

Give Teeth the Valentine’s Attention that they Deserve

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Valentine’s is almost here! Candy, love letters and maybe even a romantic candle lit dinner with a special someone. However, getting ready for the perfect day is not just about crisp clothes and fine jewelry. A riveting smile can really pull together just about any look.

Teeth are one of our longest lasting relationship and deserve to be treated well this holiday and every day after. Give them a gift that will make them shine! Been considering Invisalign or teeth whitening? Why not? A bi-annual visit to the dentist or a short term goal like Invisalign may be just what those teeth need to feel appreciated and help them be their best!

 

Sometimes it can be hard to give teeth the attention they deserve. Flossing and brushing can seem just a little too easy to glance over and maybe even a bit tedious. Try turning it into a date! Put on some music and pay extra special attention to dental hygiene for just a few minutes. The music will help keep time while also making the task seem much less tedious.

Be sure to extend that care throughout the day too! Stay hydrated, avoid sugar and try not to use those pearly whites as tools to open things or chew needlessly.

Teeth Friendly Foods

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Food naturally sticks to teeth and can affect people in negative ways. Plaque, cavities and bad breath can all be a side effect of the food we eat but some foods can also aid in oral health.

Leafy greens are well known to be good for digestive health and packed full of iron and fiber but they also can reduce the risk of oral cancer. Studies done recently have concluded that smokers, specifically women, have reduced chances of developing oral cancer simply by eating leafy greens.

Another vegetable that helps keep teeth clean is the beloved carrot. Carrots help combat plaque. Plaque is a film that forms over the teeth that eats away at both enamel and gums. Any medium sized carrot or a handful of baby carrots can take care of the job.

Next is fruit! Surprisingly, even fruit, with their sugary taste, are helpful soldiers in the battle for oral health. Strawberries actually house a specific acid, malic acid, that is known to whiten teeth naturally. No need for synthesized chemicals!

Raisins are full of antioxidants, we all know this. However, not everyone knows that these antioxidants help slow or even halt the growth of at least two different types of bacteria that naturally grow in the mouth. Thank the raisins for fresher breath and whiter teeth!

Lastly and most strangely is hard cheese. Dairy products are known to help build strong teeth and bones but hard cheese eaten at the end of a meal will help maintain the pH balance. Just like the pH balance of a pool stops sludge from forming, oral pH balance does the same!

Stress and Oral Dental Health

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Stress is a common culprit when it comes to sudden and mysterious health issues. It is commonly known that stress can cause both mental and physical health issues like trouble sleeping and weight gain but stress can also affect oral health.  Therefore it is an important to get  dental cleanings and examinations at least twice a year.

Sometimes stress can cause a physical reaction that may or may not be intentional.  Bruxism or teeth grinding is a common reaction to stress that can cause fractures or loosen teeth until they fall out. This behavior can sometimes happen in the night while the afflicted is asleep, making it possible for them to not even know they’re doing it! Sometimes stress can dissuade people from healthy habits like exercise or proper oral dental health which can lead to problems like gingivitis, plaque and cavities that arise from lack of flossing, brushing and rinsing with mouthwash.

Other times, strange sores and blemishes can appear within or around the mouth. One such blemish is a canker sore. While bruxism can sometimes be connected with them, canker sores tend to appear at will during stressful times. The sores are gray or white, are located within the mouth and are often times painful but are not contagious. Stress can affect the immune system as well, which would allow symptoms of the herpes simplex virus to appear. These appear on the lip as little bumps full of fluid and are in fact contagious.

Stress sometimes can lead to the infamous stress eating of sugar snacks. Be sure to avoid candies and cakes as they not only affect teeth but weight. Keeping calm, cool and collected is the best way to avoid problems that can arise from stress.  Also, remember to see your dentist at Las Vegas Smile Center.

Sweets and Teeth

Sweets and Teeth Dentist

We all already know that sweets lead to cavities. Despite this, sugar consumption in America is skyrocketing. Especially around the holidays like Valentine’s Day and Halloween where the consumption of sweets has a propensity to be higher. 

In the early 1900’s, Americans only consumed an average of 4 pounds of sugar a year.  Currently, we consume a WHOPPING 160 POUNDS of sugar a year.  Even in just the past decade, despite public announcements and health trends, sugar consumption is steadily increasing.

In everyone’s mouth is a realm of bacteria. This can also be referred to as oral ecology. Entire colonies of microorganisms live within the mouth, most of which do no harm. Those who brush their teeth have about 1,000 to 100,000 bacteria living on each tooth. Those who do not, well, they can have between 100 million and 1 billion bacteria on each tooth.

When proper hygiene is practiced some of the bacteria are beneficial in preventing disease. However, Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus are the two destructive ones that aid in the formation of cavities. These two species of bacteria feed on the sugar that is eaten, and as a result, form a sticky, colorless film known as plaque. Regular flossing and brushing removes most of the plaque before it causes significant damage.

THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTY HABITS

30% of Americans only brush their teeth once a day. Most dentists concur that twice a day is the bare minimum. Brushing your teeth for one minute is considered not nearly enough, while two minutes is about right. 

When this healthy brushing habit breaks, it gives way to the production of tartar. Tartar is what plaque turns into, if left unattended. Tartar is formed from plaque, mixing with minerals in saliva, eventually hardening into a strong bond with discolored deposit that traps stains.  These bonds can be removed by a dental hygienist during a dental check-up and cleaning.

In a perfect world, we would reduce the amount of sweets we eat and brush our teeth three times a day, an hour after each main meal and visit our dentist at Las Vegas Smile Center on a routine basis.