A Guide to Cavities and How They Happen | Henderson Dentist

Cavities are part of health and hygiene discussions from the moment we begin brushing- or throw a fit about it. Cavities are preventable and treatable; it’s important to be aware of what causes cavities and how dentists treat them.

How Do Cavities Happen?


Acidic Foods– Citric acid contained in lemons, limes and oranges also pops up as an ingredient in processed foods. Citric acid and others weaken teeth and put enamel in danger of erosion which in turn creates crevices for bacteria to stick and become a cavity. It would be difficult to avoid citric acid, so the best thing you can do is consume water throughout the day and keep the intake of acidic foods to a minimum.

Sugar– While sugar doesn’t cause cavities, like citric acid, it contributes to the likelihood you may develop one. Sugar is a harmful bacteria’s favorite food, so the longer sugar lingers on your teeth, the more likely that bacteria will begin to eat it. This weakens your enamel and creates opportunities for that harmful bacteria to hang around and cause a cavity.

Believe it or not, children are not more prone to develop cavities than adults, but there are factors that may put children and elderly individuals at more risk for tooth decay. Children tend to crave and eat sugary foods while doing a poor job brushing their teeth. The elderly tend to take medication that reduces the amount of saliva they produce thus reducing the neutralization properties of saliva. Drinking water throughout the day and regular dental visits can help both children and their grandparents to reduce the chances harmful bacteria may cause a cavity.

How Are Cavities Treated?

If you wake up to a toothache or notice black spots on a tooth, you may have a cavity. Cavities are a common occurrence and dentists have several means of treating them. Treatment options vary depending on how advanced the tooth decay has become.

Simple Decay- Fluoride treatments and fillings are viable treatment options if the cavity is in its early stages. Your dentist will apply a solution to the decaying tooth to kill harmful bacteria and place a filling where the cavity was to seal the area to prevent further decay. This is a fairly simple and painless method for cavity removal, as well as the most common treatment option.

Serious Decay- If the cavity has progressed beyond the ability for a fluoride treatment to remove the bacteria, crowns, root canals and tooth extraction are a dentist’s next line of defense. Crowns are custom coverings for decaying teeth; typically made from porcelain, they work to strengthen your effected tooth once the bacteria has been removed. If the decay reaches the inner tooth, or pulp, your dentist will remove the pulp, medicate it to clear any infection and add a filling. Tooth extraction is a last resort option when the decayed tooth is beyond restoration. Your dentist may recommend a bridge or implant for the gap.

Worried you may be experiencing tooth decay? Call to schedule an appointment today at 702-735-2755 or visit us online at www.patricksimonedds.com today.

Dr. Patrick Simone proudly serves patients from Henderson and all surrounding areas.

Oral Care Myths and Misconceptions | Henderson Dentist

Oral care and hygiene are paramount to our ability to maintain and retain our teeth as we age. With so much information about oral care practices online, we felt it was important to demystify some of the most common dental myths and misconceptions we hear and offer advice on how to move forward.

Myth 1. Hard Brushing Cleans Better.

This action is counter-productive, as excess pressure on your teeth can work to damage enamel rather than support it. Hard brushing also hurts our gums and can lead to a recessed gum lining over time. We recommend taking care to brush gently with a soft-bristle brush.

Myth 2. Chewing Gum Helps Clean Teeth.

Chewing gum is certainly not a replacement to brushing. Chewing gum can be a great way to combat sugar cravings or a candy habit, but while it makes your breath smell better, it cannot replace the benefits of brushing.

Myth 3. Baby Teeth Don’t Need Brushing.

Good oral care practices begin when we are young, and proper oral care for a child’s first set of teeth matters. Tooth decay in a baby tooth can lead to complications as an adult, so we recommend a twice daily brushing routine as soon as the child has teeth.

Myth 4. Sugar Causes Cavities.

Sugar itself is not the cause of cavities, though the bacteria that eat the sugar can be. The starches and sugar itself attract bacteria that thrive on the surface of your teeth and release an acidic compound that promotes tooth decay. Regular brushing and rinsing after eating particular sugary foods will go a log way to prevent decay.

Myth 5. Enamel Loss Causes Sensitivity.

There are many reasons why we may experience sensitivity, and enamel loss doesn’t happen overnight. Tooth grinding, abrasive toothpaste, aggressive brushing and lack of regular proper oral hygiene all contribute to both sensitivity and a loss of enamel. Should you lose your enamel however, you will likely experience tooth sensitivity as well.

To schedule an appointment today or learn more about proper oral care and see the beautiful smiles Dr. Simone has created, visit us online Dental Myths and Misconceptionsathttp://www.patricksimonedds.com/

What Type of Toothbrush and Toothpaste is Right for Me? | Henderson Dentist

For most of us, “twice a day for two minutes” is a good enough rule of thumb for our oral hygiene, but what we brush with also matters. Dentists recommend soft bristle toothbrushes for people of all ages to decrease excess pressure and harsh brushing on your teeth and gums. Excess pressure while brushing can damage enamel and create microtears in your gum tissue. While it may feel like gentle brushing doesn’t accomplish the same clean as brushing with pressure, a thorough clean can still be accomplished while being kind to your gums.

Other decisions to make about your toothbrush include what materials it’s made from, bristle pattern and the addition of things like charcoal to the bristles. These factors play a lesser role in the maintenance of oral hygiene, but with options on the market, its best to be informed.

Plastic toothbrushes with rubber grips line the lisle, but did you know toothbrushes are also made with bamboo and plant-based, compostable materials? Toothbrushes made from plant materials contribute less plastic waste to our world; simply cut off the bristles and burry the handle in your yard (or as recommended by manufacturer).

All toothbrushes are designed to remove surface level food and stains, no matter the bristle pattern. Toothbrushes featuring additives such as charcoal are not inherently bad as they can complement a well-rounded hygienic routine, but unregulated use may damage your enamel more than it whitens your teeth.

Sensitivity toothpaste works by concealing dentinal tubules or desensitizing nerve endings. They also contain fluoride which works to strengthen enamel. If you experience pain while drinking hot or cold fluids, it may be a sign you need a toothpaste that works to relieve your sensitivity. It is important to speak with a dentist about these concerns as well, as it may indicate a more serious issue.

Lastly, the flavor of your toothpaste is entirely up to you and with so many options from bubble gum to mint, it may be fun to change up the flavors as you go!

To learn more, or to schedule an appointment today, visit us at http://www.patricksimonedds.com/

Eat Your Way to Pearly Whites | Henderson Dentist

Did you know that you can naturally brighten your smile with just items you find in your kitchen? It’s true – and we aren’t just talking about baking soda. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, there are certain foods that can naturally cleanse, brighten, and defend against bacteria that can harm your teeth and gums. Here are some everyday foods that can lead to a healthy, bright smile. So, prepare to indulge!

Pineapples can help whiten teeth. Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain, which acts as a natural stain remover. Bromelain also helps break up plaque.

Ginger can protect against periodontal disease, an inflammatory process that causes the loss of bone and supportive connective tissue in your mouth.

Carrots contain vitamin A, which is needed for healthy tooth enamel. Eating them raw stimulates saliva, your mouth’s natural cleanser.

Basil is a natural antibiotic that reduces bacteria in the mouth.

Cheese is rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorus, all of which help reduce acid in your mouth.

Sesame seeds help “scrub” away the plaque on your teeth. Chewing nuts can also provide a coarse, scrubbing action. Sesame seeds also contain bone and teeth-strengthening calcium.

Shiitake mushrooms contain a compound called lentinan, which inhibits bacteria from growing in your mouth.

Onions contain the sulfur compounds, thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates, which reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay. Eating them raw is a must as cooking will destroy these tooth-friendly compounds.

Salmon not only provides calcium but also vitamin D, another nutrient needed for healthy bones and teeth.

Broccoli contains iron, which helps form an acid-resistant film or barrier that can protect the enamel of your teeth.

Schedule an appointment today 702-735-2755. Learn more about Dr. Simone’s practice and see the beautiful smiles he has created by visiting his website at www.patricksimonedds.com.

Dr. Patrick Simone proudly serves patients from Henderson and all surrounding areas.

Taking Care of a Baby’s Smile | Henderson Dentist

Now that we are full swing in 2022, it is time to take a moment to think about improving the health of you and your family. After all, we are trying to make our children as comfortable as possible during this time of their lives, but they’re baby teeth – why do we need to be on top of this right now? But the best time to start taking care of your child’s teeth is the moment that your child is born. Because baby teeth may fall out, but they are literal placeholders for the permanent ones. Even without teeth, bacteria can build up and cause damage as teeth begin to develop. So, let’s talk dental health tips for your tiny humans:

Before the first tooth breaks, wipe your baby’s gums with a soft damp cloth after every feeding. Once they begin to come in, it’s time to start brushing twice a day. Use a soft children’s toothbrush and minimal to non-fluoride toothpaste until they reach preschool-age, when the amount of toothpaste increases to the size of a pea.

Good habits start at home, so why not make this a family affair? We all need to take care of our teeth if we want to keep them – start by teaching your family good dental hygiene habits. Everyone needs to be involved get the habit to stick.

When it comes to dental visits, parents should take their children in for an appointment as soon as their first tooth pops out, but no longer than the child’s first birthday. Your dentist will look for any early signs and symptoms of problems.

Schedule an appointment today 702-735-2755. Learn more about Dr. Simone’s practice and see the beautiful smiles he has created by visiting his website at www.patricksimonedds.com.

Dr. Patrick Simone proudly serves patients from Henderson and all surrounding areas.

Dental Crowns: Are You Royalty? | Henderson Dentist

Have you ever dreamt of wearing a crown? Do you have a secret fantasy of marrying a prince so you could wear the royal headpiece? Unfortunately, most of us will never know what it is like to become royalty or wear a crown, but that doesn’t mean our teeth can’t. In fact, getting a dental crown during a dental visit is quite common.

Unfortunately, needing a dental crown isn’t as lovely as getting crowned royalty. A dental crown is a cap placed over a tooth to restore its strength and appearance, in order to protect a weak or broken tooth, cover a large filling or help support a bridge. And this is necessary because your teeth have become weakened due to things like poor dental hygiene, physical injury or bruxism (teeth grinding).

A dental crown can last up to fifteen years, depending on how you treat them. If you like to chew ice, bite your nails or grind your teeth, know that these habits are damaging your teeth and look for ways to deter these behaviors. After all, a dental crown has so many benefits, including:

Discreet. Porcelain and composite crowns have the look and feel of natural teeth. And because they’re made from porcelain, they are stain resistant.

Durable. They can last for years and are cemented or anchored in place to prevent slipping or gum irritation.

Protection. Crowns protect the tooth from further decay and makes your tooth full-functional.

Confidence. Damaged, discolored or missing teeth causes confidence issues. Not only are they visually unpleasing, but they can affect your speech. Crowns help to make your smile beautiful and your speech clearer.

Schedule an appointment today 702-735-2755. Learn more about Dr. Simone’s practice and see the beautiful smiles he has created by visiting his website at www.patricksimonedds.com.

Dr. Patrick Simone proudly serves patients from Henderson and all surrounding areas.

Ways You May Be Harming Your Teeth | Henderson Dentist

We’ve all heard those stories about what types of things are on our toothbrush, but did you know that there is no evidence that anyone has ever gotten sick from their own toothbrush? The safest way to store your toothbrush is to rinse after each brushing session, and it let air-dry away from other toothbrushes. But there are other random habits you may be doing that are surprisingly bad for your smile:

Multitasking. As we rush around in the mornings we tend to multitask, like brushing your teeth while showering or scrolling through emails. However, if you’re multitasking while brushing your teeth you could be doing yourself doing yourself a disservice by preventing you from doing a thorough cleaning.

Ditching your retainer. If you’ve had braces, wear your retainer for as long as your orthodontist recommends. If you stop wearing your retainer regularly your perfect teeth will eventually start to shift, thus leaving you unhappy with your teeth all over again.

Overcleaning your toothbrush. There are many people disinfect their toothbrushes by zapping them in the microwave or by tossing them in the dishwasher, but these tricks actually aren’t needed. Taking these drastic cleaning measures can damage your toothbrush, defeating the purpose.

Travel case storage. It’s important to not pack a wet toothbrush in a travel case because bacteria thrive in moist conditions, so make sure to take your toothbrush out of its travel case to allow for it to air-dry.

Skipping the dentist. Some people suffer from dental anxiety which leads them to not going to the dentist, but by avoiding the dentist altogether you will only create more dental problems in the long run.

Schedule an appointment today 702-735-2755. Learn more about Dr. Simone’s practice and see the beautiful smiles he has created by visiting his website at www.patricksimonedds.com.

Dr. Patrick Simone proudly serves patients from Henderson and all surrounding areas.

The ABCs of Dental Prosthetic Devices | Henderson Dentist

In the search of getting the smile we’ve always dreamt of, there are plenty of options to consider. Crowns and bridges are dental prosthetic devices that are cemented onto existing teeth or implants that can instantly make a dramatic difference in your smile. Because unlike dentures, which can be taken out, crowns and bridges can only be removed by a dentist. This is a relief for many patients as dentures can slip or cause other issues because they can be easily removed. For those unfamiliar with these dental procedures, here is a breakdown of some basics to familiarize yourself. When you sit down with your dental professional, you can discuss your options in depth.

Dental bridge. Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. They are cemented to existing teeth or implants that surround an empty space, serving as anchors for the bridge. Porcelain is the most common material choice because it can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.

Crowns. A crown covers a damaged tooth. They are used for various reasons such as strengthening a damaged tooth, improving the tooth’s appearance or shape and to fix alignment issues. As with bridges, crowns can be made of porcelain.

When would I need a crown?

  • To attach a bridge
  • Replace a filling when not enough tooth remains
  • Protecting weak teeth
  • Fractured tooth
  • Mask a dental implant
  • Disguise a discolored tooth
  • Cover a tooth that has had a root canal

Crowns and bridges are fairly easy to take care of. Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing and seeing your dentist on a regular basis. Also, steer clear of chewing hard foods such as ice. Follow these simple rules and your crowns and bridges could last a lifetime!

Schedule an appointment today 702-735-2755. Learn more about Dr. Simone’s practice and see the beautiful smiles he has created by visiting his website at www.patricksimonedds.com.

Dr. Patrick Simone proudly serves patients from Henderson and all surrounding areas.

Whitening Your Teeth in Autumn | Henderson Dentist

As we begin to say goodbye to the warmer summertime months and welcome in autumn’s cool crisp weather, we begin to change our diet as well. Iced tea is swapped out for pumpkin lattes, and our BBQ foods for heartier stews. And it’s important to remember that some of these favorites tend to tinge our pearly whites over time, regardless of our dental hygiene practices. Thankfully, there are also plenty of foods that do the reverse. Keep these choices in mind as we welcome in the chilly autumn months:

Fruit. Apples are known to play a huge role in good health, but it’s the crispiness of the apple doing most of the work. Biting into an apple helps strengthen your gums, while the juiciness of the apple produces saliva, clearing out cavity-forming bacteria. Another autumn fruit that does similar work while also neutralizing odor-causing, staining bacteria for your teeth is the pear. If you are looking for citrus, try an orange. Not only is the vitamin C good for you, the citric acid also scours your teeth. 

Vegetables. When it comes to vegetables, we would never correlate an onion as a dental secret, but if you eat anything oniony, you’re much more apt to brush your teeth afterwards. Ever notice broccoli looks like a toothbrush? Munching on these little “brushes” will not only supply your body with iron, but will give your teeth a quick scrub. And celery is basically Mother Nature’s version of floss. 

Dairy. Chockful of calcium, foods like milk, yogurt and cheese strengthen your teeth and gums. The stronger your teeth enamel is, the whiter & healthier they become. 

Schedule an appointment today 702-735-2755. Learn more about Dr. Simone’s practice and see the beautiful smiles he has created by visiting his website at www.patricksimonedds.com.

Dr. Patrick Simone proudly serves patients from Henderson and all surrounding areas.

When the Dentist Chair Makes You Nervous | Henderson Dentist

Let’s face it…the dentist isn’t anyone’s favorite appointment to make. But for some individuals, the fear of sitting in a dentist office is too much to handle. Too much to the point where they avoid going to the dentist at all. Unfortunately, this becomes an issue when dental issues develop into something worse. The point of regular dental checkups is to prevent any issues from developing into something more painful and extensive. So, having dental anxiety is nothing to mess around with as it can only cause trouble down the road.

Dental anxiety is a term used to describe the feeling some individuals get from going to the dentist or the thought of getting dental procedures. While anxiety levels vary in everyone, some individuals lose sleep or worry excessively about the dentist that the condition worsens every time they are faced with a new dental prospect. Fortunately, many dental professionals understand this issue and have addressed it by providing their patients with many creature comforts to calm the nerves during your visit. If you are looking to overcome your dental anxiety, here are some tips to help you.

Tell your dentist. Odds are your dentist understands exactly how you feel as they probably have other patients experiencing the same things.

Distract yourself. While you are in the office, watch some television, play some music, or read a book. Anything that will help you get your mind off of where you are. The point is to relax yourself.

Medicine. If you’re still feeling anxious even after you’ve relaxed your mind, talk to your dentist about general anesthesia or nitrous oxide to help you get through your procedures.

Schedule an appointment today 702-735-2755. Learn more about Dr. Simone’s practice and see the beautiful smiles he has created by visiting his website at www.patricksimonedds.com.

Dr. Patrick Simone proudly serves patients from Henderson and all surrounding areas.