Teeth: What Have They Done For You Lately?

Las Vegas family and pediatric dentistry

In this blog post from Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, we are going to explore the secret life of our teeth.

The shape of each tooth gives a clue to what it does. The incisors, or your front teeth, are sharp. They need to be because their job is to cut food. Their curvature helps move food inside the mouth.

Behind the incisors, you find the canine teeth. Their roots go far into the jaw bone because they are designed to hold onto food and tear through it.

Premolars, found just behind the canines, are flat on the surface. This allows them to crush your food as you chew. And, finally, in the very back are the molars. They are large and have nice, flat chewing surfaces that help them to grind food down into smaller, more digestible pieces.

And that is a quick overview of your teeth. It’s important to keep them clean and healthy, which is why we encourage all our patients to see us twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.

At Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, the dental health of our patients is always our top priority. We offer family and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup with us today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

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How To Make Brushing Your Teeth A Habit

Brushing your teeth on a regular basis is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Healthy teeth make a beautiful smile. Brushing can also help with gum health and even keep your breath smelling sweet.

For some of us, though, brushing can be an annoying chore that gets in the way of a good time. Hopefully you don’t think of brushing in such dire terms, but it happens.

The best way to build brushing into your routine is to make it a habit. A habit is a repeated practice that becomes hard to give up. Some habits can be bad, of course. Brushing can be a good habit.

If you can make brushing your teeth a habit, you’ll be one step closer to a life of successful checkups.

Here are some tips for creating a good habit that you can teach to your kids. These tips will also work on teens. And they work on adults, too:

Keep It Simple

One of the best ways to create a habit is to keep the requirements simple. Brushing teeth is already a simple task, but we can focus on the simplicity to help it stick as a habit.

Don’t complicate the instructions for your kids. Keep it as simple as possible at the start. A small amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush, brush for two minutes, rinse with clear water. Simple.

Regular Timing

One of the cornerstones of a habit is routine. Routine is rooted in consistent timing. Choose at least two, or three regular times to brush your teeth. Set a timer if you have to, but it’s best to create a habit around other regular activities. “First thing in the morning” or “after breakfast” are good times. After dinner or just before getting into bed are also good times.

Regardless of when you choose, make sure it is a daily activity, and that it is tied to another routine or habit as a reminder. In this way you are actually appending an existing habit or routine, and that makes it easier.

Stick To It

Research indicates it takes about two weeks to create a habit. You have to do a task for at least two weeks in a row before your brain will turn it over to auto-pilot and make it into a habit. Your brain tries to do this with routine things so you don’t have to keep the task in your short-term memory.

If you can stick with a task for two weeks, you’ll be well on your way to creating a good habit. If you can hold on for 30 days, you’ll imprint your new habit as a reflexive routine. You may never have to think about it again!

Improve It

Finally, any good habit needs constant improving. You can improve your habit of brushing your teeth by working on proper form, or by adding a little bit of time. Work toward the two minute mark; any longer and it may start to cause damage. You can also make sure you are using a soft or medium brush, and that you are using floride toothpaste to keep your teeth healthy.

Start Today

There’s no time like right now to get started on creating healthy habits for your teeth. If you are having trouble with brushing, make a commitment to work on it starting now. If you are caring for a child, or working with a teenager, help reinforce good habits with reminders, positive support, and a leading example.

Once you have created a healthy habit around brushing your teeth, you’ll have plenty of reason to smile.

At Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, the dental health of our patients is our top priority. We offer a full range of services, from family dentistry to urgent dental care. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

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5 Ways To Floss Daily

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If you want to floss regularly but can’t seem to get into the habit, this post from Providence Dental in North Las Vegas is for you. Flossing is so important to good dental health that we want to give you a few ideas for unique times to floss so you can keep your teeth and gums healthy.

  1. If you’re an early riser, try flossing in the morning right after you brush.
  2. Try just after lunch, but before you go back to work.
  3. Before or after you exercise. Your oral health is just as important as your physical fitness. Keep some floss in your gym bag and give your teeth and gums some attention along with the rest of your body.
  4. While watching your favorite TV show (Game of Thrones, anyone?).
  5. While taking a bath. Any task is more enjoyable if it can be done while relaxing in a warm tub. Light some candles and play your favorite tunes for an at-home spa experience.

We hope this gives you some ideas to help you make flossing part of your daily routine. Just before bedtime, however, is still the best choice. Food particles left on teeth can turn into plaque while you sleep. The bacteria in plaque erodes enamel, creates cavities, and adversely affects gum tissue.

At Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, we care about the dental health of your entire family. We offer children’s and family dentistry, and a range of other services. Please call for an appointment today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

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Treatment For Sensitive Teeth

Centennial Hills cosmetic dental and tooth implants

For anyone who feels pain when sipping your morning coffee, or who cringe each time you brush or floss, the dentists at Providence Dental in Las Vegas are here for you.

The first line of defense against tooth sensitivity is proper oral hygiene. Incorrect brushing and over-brushing can result in receding gums, which results in the exposure of microscopic tubules in the dentin. When these tubules are exposed, acidic, hot, cold, and sticky foods can then reach the nerve cells in the teeth causing discomfort (who are we kidding—it’s pain).

We can figure out if your brushing style is contributing to your tooth sensitivity and get you on your way to proper oral care habits. We usually recommend toothpaste for sensitive teeth. These reduce pain after several applications. However, some patients may need in-office procedures such as fluoride gel treatments.

Studies show that as many as forty million people have tooth sensitivity. If you’re among them, remember that it most cases you can do something about it. Call us at Providence Dental in Las Vegas for an appointment. We offer family dentistry, and specialties like wisdom teeth extraction. We also offer urgent dental care. Call today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

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It’s Better To Prevent A Cavity Than Fill One

how to prevent cavities Las Vegas

At Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, our goal is to maintain the dental health of our patients so that no restorative dental work is ever required.

In other words, preventing cavities, gum disease, and enamel wear. Brushing your teeth and flossing is a good beginning to preventative dentistry. It is also imperative that you have a checkup and cleaning twice a year. With kids, dental sealants might be a good option.

Dental sealants are a thin plastic covering, usually used on the very back teeth. These teeth are especially susceptible to trapped food particles, and at the same time tend to be the hardest ones to brush. The goal of a sealant is to safeguard a tooth against decay, which is always preferable to filling a cavity.

Despite the best efforts of parents, many children develop cavities during their childhood years. Since the rate of tooth decay generally declines with age, if teeth remain intact during childhood, there is a better chance that these teeth can stay healthy for decades.

Fillings, inlays/onlays and crowns do a great job at saving teeth from extraction, but they don’t last forever. When a 10 year-old gets a cavity in a brand-new permanent tooth, that tooth will probably need periodic attention throughout his life, even if no additional decay arises. Once the enamel has been eaten away by acids, the tooth is forever weakened.

Sealants act as a barrier between food particles, plaque, and the teeth. The good news is that sealants are easy to apply and last for years. After we apply the sealants, they will be checked with each visit and re-applied as needed.

At Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, the dental health of you and your children is always our number one concern. We offer family and pediatric dentistry. Schedule your next checkup with us today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

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Think Before You Pierce

The Dangers of Oral PiercingIf you are considering puncturing your lip or tongue, this post is for you. The dentists at Providence Dental in North Las Vegas would like you to consider the following:

Infection
Your mouth is full of bacteria. Any opening in the tissue carries the risk of infection. The germs from your tongue and mouth can easily get into your bloodstream. Dentists and doctors are constantly treating acute infections caused by oral piercings. Oral infections can be a real problem and should be a major consideration before getting an oral piercing.

Tooth Damage
It should come as no surprise that having a piece of metal bang around in your mouth can easily damage tooth enamel. Though tooth enamel is very strong, once it’s chipped or cracked, it can only be restored with artificial material. Fortunately, Providence Dental in Las Vegas offers many tooth restoration options such as crowns and fillings, but our advice is to avoid the problem if you can.

Prolonged Bleeding and Swelling
The blood vessels in the tongue are often damaged when the tongue is pierced, causing prolonged bleeding and possible build-up of scar tissue. In some extreme cases, the tongue swells up enough to block the airway.

Gum Recession
A number of periodontal disease studies have shown that wearing oral jewelry is linked to periodontal disease which can result in tooth loss. Periodontal disease can cause gum recession which exposes the root of your teeth, potentially causing hypersensitivity and pain. Again, our advice is to avoid the trouble right from the start.

These are just a few of the dangers or oral piercings. At Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, we strongly recommend not getting any. Our services include family dentistry and emergency dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

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New Parents: Educate Yourselves About Children’s Oral Health

This post from Providence Dental in Las Vegas is for new parents, or couples planning for children sometime in the future.

The statistics on early childhood tooth decay are sobering. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 42% of U.S. children between 2 and 11 years old have in their primary teeth.

At Providence Dental, we are dedicated to helping today’s toddlers avoid the prevalent tooth decay that has plagued previous generations. If young children are protected from birth, they are more likely to maintain good oral health throughout the rest of their childhood. But this is only possible if parents make it a priority. We urge new parents to be proactive about child dental health from the moment they leave the hospital.

You do your best to protect your children from illness and infection. It’s essential to understand that tooth decay is an infectious disease with serious long-term consequences.

Anticipatory Guidance

Here is what we at Providence Dental (and the American Dental Association) recommend regarding a toddler’s first dental visit:

It is advantageous for the first visit to occur within six months of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than 12 months of age, and receiving oral health education based on the child’s developmental needs (also known as anticipatory guidance).

Educate yourselves on how to prevent early childhood dental decay before teeth erupt. Then you will avoid creating habits that put teeth in jeopardy.

At Providence Dental in Las Vegas, we want all our patients to have excellent dental health. Our services include children’s dentistry, and family dentistry. Schedule your next checkup with us today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

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Does My Dentist Treat Bad Breath?

Cure Bad Breath In ProvidenceWhen dental patients ask if mouthwash cures bad breath, one of us on the team at Providence Dental in North Las Vegas tells them that treating bad breath with a mouthwash is like drenching yourself with cologne instead of taking a shower. It’s only a temporary mask for odor caused by poor oral hygiene, tongue bacteria, or digestive conditions.

The best-selling mouthwashes have a considerable amount of alcohol, which can exacerbate bad breath by drying out the mouth. Some bacteria grow even speedier in a dry environment.

To do away with bad breath, you need to find the cause. To get rid of hidden bacteria multiplying between teeth, pay more attention to thorough flossing and brushing.

A haphazard, thirty-second brushing won’t prevent halitosis (or cavities). Try to brush for at least three minutes. It may seem like overkill if you have been a speed-brusher, but remember that there is a lot of area to cover on multiple planes.

Devise a system to brush every reachable surface of every tooth. Then floss carefully around every tooth, pulling the floss down into the space at the gumline on both sides. Brush your gums, sides of mouth, palate, and tongue, also.

Schedule a deep dental cleaning at Providence Dental with the best hygienist in the area and request a refresher (no pun intended) course on brushing and flossing.

If your tongue is the culprit, you might want to start using a tongue scraper. Tongue scraping has become quite popular, especially among the college crowd. A tongue scraper works like a squeegee to scrape bacteria and food particles off the surface of the tongue.

At Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, we treat many people with bad breath. There is no reason to feel embarrassed. Our services include family and cosmetic dentistry. Make an appointment with us today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

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Do You Eat A Tooth-Healthy Diet?

Healthy Teeth and Your Las Vegas DietMaintaining the dental health of all our patients is an important concern at Providence Dental in North Las Vegas. We are passionate about helping you care for your teeth and keeping them healthy.

Everyone knows that maintaining healthy teeth requires thorough daily brushing and flossing. Regular visits to our practice is also necessary for preventing cavities and maintaining proper dental hygiene.

It’s easy to forget that another way to maintain dental health is with a proper diet. A diet that includes foods that help your muscles and bones will also help you develop healthy gums and healthy teeth. Examples of foods to include in your diet are those rich in vitamin B, such as breads and cereals. Foods rich in vitamin C, like fruits and vegetables, help improve the health of your gums. Zinc and magnesium are also good for the health of your teeth and are found in foods like lean beef, fish, and poultry.

Saliva is critical to healthy teeth because it aids in maintaining the pH balance in your mouth. Foods high in fiber also encourage saliva production as does the chewing of sugar-free gum. Chewing gum, however, can damage unhealthy teeth or pull out dental fillings, so always use caution when deciding whether to chew gum.

Just as certain diet choices in the Las Vegas area can be beneficial to the health of your teeth, others can be dangerous. Foods and drinks that are high in sugars – especially soda and energy drinks – are more likely to form the acids that attack your teeth and result in decay.

Making good diet choices and limiting between meal sugar consumption can improve your dental health. And at Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, that’s what it’s all about! We offer family and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

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5 Critical Oral Cancer Facts

oral cancer dental checkup Las Vegas

At Providence Dental we urge people to come in twice a year for a dental checkup and cleaning. These are an important part of your dental health. You’ll receive a thorough cleaning and exam, including a screening for oral cancer.

In the last few decades, lung and breast cancer have attracted a lot of attention. There is relatively less awareness of oral cancer even though it claims almost 10,000 lives every year in the United States. If you smoke or have acquired HPV, you have a higher risk for developing oral cancer.

At Providence Dental, we work to increase awareness of oral cancer and the significance of early diagnosis. Here are five essential things to know about oral (mouth) and oropharyngeal (back of mouth and throat) cancers.

  1. About 80% of people with oral cancer use some type of tobacco (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes).
  2. 40% of individuals who receive late-stage diagnosis of oral cancer die within five years. The survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.
  3. In many cases, it is extremely challenging for the individual to detect oral and oropharyngeal cancers because they can produce inconspicuous symptoms or no symptoms at all. Any abnormality in the mouth or throat, even if small and painless, should be analyzed by a dentist or doctor.
  4. HPV (the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease in the US) is the most common cause of oropharyngeal cancer. Of the various strains of HPV, HPV16 is the one most frequently linked to oropharyngeal cancer.
  5. African American men have a higher risk of dying from oral cancer than do whites.

At Providence Dental in Las Vegas, oral cancer screenings are included in every checkup, to ensure your dental health and overall health. We also offer family and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment with us today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

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