Christmas Smile: The Naughty and Nice Dental Behaviors

Published on December 18, 2017 by

If you want a top-notch Christmas smile, then you need to keep the naughty and nice dental behaviors in mind. These behaviors can affect your smile in more ways than you might realize, so it’s important to stay on the nice list. Our dentists, Dr. Mario Samaniego or Dr. Jaime Gonzalez are happy to help you by giving you the information about those behaviors. The more you know, the better!     

Naughty: Using a toothbrush that has hard bristles.
Nice: Using a toothbrush that has soft bristles.

Naughty: Not flossing daily or flossing improperly.
Nice: Taking the time to floss correctly at least once a day.

Naughty: Not wearing a mouthguard while you play sports and activities that are high in contact, like basketball and wrestling.
Nice: Wearing a mouthguard while you’re playing high-contact sports and activities as well as when you’re doing low-contact sports and activities, like sledding and ice skating.

Naughty: Sharing forks, spoons, and other utensils with others.
Nice: Keeping your utensils to yourself and making sure everyone has what they need.

Naughty: Grinding your teeth at night or even during the day.
Nice: Taking steps to stop grinding your teeth or protecting your smile with a mouthguard.

For more information and details about these naughty and nice dental behaviors in Las Cruces, New Mexico, please contact our dental team at your earliest convenience. All you need to do is reach out to Las Cruces Dental Associates at 575.523.1479. We look forward to hearing from and helping you!

Dental Restorations: Dental Floss

Published on December 9, 2017 by


There are two main oral health care treatments that are necessary to work in tandem with each other in order to protect your teeth. Because plaque buildup between your teeth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, it is important to make sure it is cleaned out as much as possible. However, brushing can only clean the surfaces of teeth and around your gum line and has serious struggles cleaning between teeth. In situations like this coming, the use of an interdental cleaner such as dental floss will be needed.

Flossing is essential to ensure harmful oral ailments such as dental erosion and tooth decay cannot occur. As brushing can help clean your teeth and remove food debris from your mouth, it cannot clean between teeth. Because of this, flossing will be needed. When flossing, always make sure you use highly effective products that can accomplish the task for which they are assigned. Speak with your dentist about product recommendations and suggestions or look for a dental floss or interdental cleaner that features the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This insures the product will function as intended.

If you decide on a threaded floss, make sure that it is long enough to be able to clean between each and every tooth and behind you furthest row back. To avoid contamination, never use the same section of a strand more than once. This means you have a strand long enough to be able to easily clean between each tooth. Ideally, your strand should be a roughly 18“ in length. Be sure to wrap each end around a finger on each hand so you can move up and down as needed. Furthermore, make sure you are using thread that will not shred during use. Single filament thread is extremely effective for this task.

The most amazing smiles and oral health care routines begin with interdental treatments. If you would like to set up an appointment with Dr. Samaniego at our dentist office in Las Cruces, New Mexico for interdental treatments, please call us at 575.523.1479. Our team at Las Cruces Dental Associates looks forward to keeping your oral health in peak condition.

Yearly Oral Health Reminders: Dental Bonding

Published on November 28, 2017 by

One highly effective form of tooth restoration and cosmetic dentistry that has proven beneficial for millions of patients is dental bonding. Dental bonding is a highly effective branch of dentistry that focuses on applying materials to each tooth, typically made of porcelain and resin, to repair damaged smiles.

Dental bonding treatments are highly effective for individuals who have broken or cracked teeth. In addition, if you have suffered from extensive tooth decay, composite resins can be used to help fill in cavities. In addition, the treatments are highly effective for deep stains and discolorations, as well as issues associated with receding gums.

If you have any spacing malocclusions, irregular, or abnormally-shaped teeth, or are in need of making your teeth look longer, then a dental bonding treatment may be required. If a portion of your tooth has been exposed due to receding gums, a dental bonding treatment can be used to provide root protection by covering up the portion of a tooth that is exposed.

If you would like an oral exam for a dental bonding treatment with Dr. Samaniego and the rest of our team here at Las Cruces Dental Associates, please set an appointment to come see us at our dentist office in Las Cruces, New Mexico. We can be reached at 575.523.1479.

A Basic History of Dentistry

Published on October 31, 2017 by

The earliest known evidence of dental work goes back as far as 12,000 BC. Archeologists have found an ancient infected tooth which contains remnants of a dental cleaning with flint tools.

The first written text we know that mentions dentistry, however, is dated thousands of years later in 5000 BC. This Sumerian manuscript cites “tooth worms” as the origin of dental decay. This theory wasn’t actually proved wrong until the 1700s.

In France in the middle ages, a group of dentists gathered. They didn’t name themselves dentists though; they were called barbers, and they treated more than teeth – they also treated various medical conditions and even cut hair. Eventually, the guild evolved into two groups: barber-surgeons with education and training did the operations, while lay surgeons helped with dental cleanings and checkups.

In the 1700s, Pierre Fauchard, the Father of Modern Dentistry, wrote a book called “The Surgeon Dentist: A Treatise on Teeth”. It outlined the first comprehensive dental system. With this knowledge, dentistry began to multiply throughout the world, including the United States.

In 1840, the first dental college formed in Baltimore, Maryland. A few decades later, Colgate began producing toothpaste and toothbrushes. However, caring for teeth regularly didn’t really catch on in America until after World War II when U.S. soldiers brought their habits that they had learned abroad back to their hometowns.

Since then, new inventions and techniques have developed to make dentistry better than ever. Do your teeth need some attention? Just call Las Cruces Dental Associates in Las Cruces, New Mexico, at 575.523.1479 to set up an appointment with Dr. Samaniego.

What You Need to Know About Mouthwash

Published on October 22, 2017 by

Mouthwash is a great tool in any oral-health enthusiast’s box of tools. It can help you keep your mouth pristine and your breath pleasant, and it’s really not that difficult to use.

Mouthwash’s primary advantage is its removal of plaque and food remnants from your mouth. The liquid materials composing mouthwash contain antibacterial materials that rinse your mouth, and the swishing action you make while using mouthwash pushes out unwanted leftover debris from the spaces between your teeth, where bacteria like to form cavities.

To use mouthwash, simply pour the instructed quantity (as seen on the container) into a cup and swish it in your oral cavity for about 30 seconds. Once you’ve swished it around for 30 seconds or more, spit it out into the bathroom sink and don’t eat anything for about half-an-hour. And while the main purpose of mouthwash is to reinforce and protect your pearly whites and gums, your friends and family won’t mind the fresh breath you’ll have as a result of use!

We’d love to teach you more about what mouthwash can do for you, including all about how it helps to avert gum disease. To talk to our Las Cruces, New Mexico, Las Cruces Dental Associates staff now, get in contact with us at 575.523.1479. Dr. Samaniego and the staff here will be thrilled to answer whatever questions we can for you.

Sports Dentistry: Protecting and Helping Your Smile While Participating in Sports

Published on September 30, 2017 by

When you think of dentistry, you can probably name off the most common branches involved, like general and family dentistry, restorative dentistry, preventive dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and pediatric dentistry. But did you know there is such thing as sports dentistry? Well, it’s true! This branch focuses on the prevention and treatment of dental injuries and oral diseases associated with sports and exercise.

When you think of sports injuries, you don’t usually think of oral injuries. Well, unfortunately, most oral injuries occur on the court, field, or track. In fact, oral injuries, like knocked-out teeth, dislocated jaws, cracked teeth, and torn oral tissues, oftentimes occur when hard, forceful objects hit the mouth. To prevent injury, sports dentistry recommends the use of a mouthguard. When injuries do occur, it provides the treatment necessary to restore the full function and health of your mouth.

When it comes to mouthguards, there are many options available. Those include stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite mouthguards, and custom-made mouthguards. You can typically find stock and boil-and-bite guards at the local sporting goods stores. If you’re interested in a custom-made mouthguard, please talk to your dentist, Dr. Samaniego. These guards take away the shock and pressure involved when those hard objects hit the mouth, protecting your smile from injury.

To learn more about sports dentistry, please contact Las Cruces Dental Associates at 575.523.1479 today and talk to a member of our dental team. We are here to help you in any way we can, and we look forward to assisting you.

Without Treatment Gingivitis Can Progress into a Serious Gum Infection

Published on September 23, 2017 by

If your daily oral hygiene routine fails to effectively clean away plaque and residual food deposits from your teeth and gumline, it can gradually harden into tartar. The presence of this bacterial substance can cause inflammation and other complications with your periodontal tissues.

This initially starts as the condition which is known as gingivitis. Early on it can cause your gums to look inflamed while causing them to bleed easily when brushing and flossing. If you notice some pink discharge during your daily oral hygiene routine, or you’re struggling chronic bad breath, you should schedule a dental checkup with Dr. Samaniego.

With timely care, it might be possible for Dr. Samaniego to treat gingivitis with a professional dental cleaning to remove all traces of hardened tartar from your teeth and gumline.

The heightened focus on your daily oral hygiene routine will help keep gingivitis from redeveloping. This includes brushing your teeth twice and flossing once each day. This will help clear away plaque and residual food material from between your teeth and along the gum line.

Attending your regular dental checkups with Dr. Samaniego twice each year will help keep your teeth free from tartar buildup. At the same time he will also monitor your gums to make sure gingivitis has not redeveloped.

If you live in the Las Cruces, New Mexico, area and you have gingivitis concerns, you should call 575.523.1479 to schedule a dental checkup at Las Cruces Dental Associates.

Smart Smile Basics: Dental Crowns

Published on August 14, 2017 by

If you wish to improve the appearance of your smile and at the same time provide an extra layer of protection for your teeth, dental crowns are an extremely beneficial option. Dental crowns are prosthetic enhancements designed to cap or conceal damage to broken teeth. Beyond covering a tooth for added protection, crowns can also improve the appearance of a tooth.

Dental crowns are highly effective treatment options for extremely weak teeth and broken teeth that have fallen apart. Dental crowns can bind any bits of teeth together to once again allow the tooth to maintain and return to its natural functionality. In situations where a dental filling is required, dental crowns can even be used to hold the tooth and the filling together if there is not enough tooth remaining.

Dental crowns are highly effective for covering previous treatments such as dental bridges, dental implants, root canals, and dental fillings. Furthermore, if the damage to your teeth is too severe for other treatments such as veneers or implants, dental crowns can often be used to save teeth that otherwise may need to be extracted. Dental crowns are extremely durable and are known to last upwards of two decades and even longer.

Dental damage can be treated with the help of dental crowns and our licensed professionals at Las Cruces Dental Associates. To book an appointment with Dr. Samaniego at our dentist office in Las Cruces, New Mexico, please contact us at 575.523.1479. We can help you choose the right service for a brighter smile!

A Dental Bridge Is a Common Remedy for a Missing Tooth

Published on August 4, 2017 by

Losing a tooth can lead to additional complications. While you will certainly experience a decreased ability to chew, a lost tooth could also alter your smile’s appearance, and the clarity of your speech. The loss of the tooth can also lead to long-term complications.

The empty space in your mouth can cause the nearby teeth to gradually drift out of their correct position. This could lead to excess wear and tear on the related teeth in your bite pattern. In time, the compromised tooth enamel may foster tooth decay and dental fractures.

To prevent these complications, and restore the full use of your tooth Dr. Samaniego might recommend installing a dental bridge. This is a standard piece of dental work that consists of a pair of crowns fused to an artificial tooth. It will eventually be anchored in your mouth on abutments formed from the core of the two closest teeth.

Dr. Samaniego will create the abutments by using a dental drill to remove the tooth enamel from each of those two. A detailed impression is then made of the abutments and any nearby teeth. The impression will be sent to a dental lab where your new bridge will be created.

When it’s ready, you will need to come back for a follow up appointment. Once Dr. Samaniego cements the bridge into place your fully restored tooth will last for many years to come.

If you live in the Las Cruces, New Mexico, area and you’re missing a tooth, you should call 575.523.1479 to explore the dental restoration options offered at Las Cruces Dental Associates.

A Lip Injury Might Need First-Aid While Assessing the Need for Professional Treatment

Published on July 31, 2017 by

Sports injuries can potentially include an accidental blow to the face. When this happens the chances of suffering an injured lip are high. Should this befall you or a teammate, you might need to apply some basic first-aid while assessing the need for professional treatment.

In a situation like this Dr. Samaniego offers a few key insights to help manage the pain and determine the need for more advanced treatment.

The first thing to do is assess the severity of the wound. If you have blood on your lip you can use a wet washcloth to gently wipe it away. Any blood or unwanted debris in your mouth can then be gently rinsed away with lukewarm salt water.

If your lip is bleeding excessively it might require stitches or further treatment at the Emergency Room or a nearby urgent care facility.

You might be able to minimize any swelling by holding a cold compress on the area for up to 20 minutes at a time. If you don’t have one immediately at hand, you can improvise a cold compress by placing crushed ice in a zip-top bag wrapped in a washcloth or tea towel.

If the bleeding persists you can try to control the bleeding by pressing some sterile gauze to the wound. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after 20 minutes the wound likely requires professional treatment in the Emergency Room.

If you or someone you know has suffered a significant lip injury in the Las Cruces, New Mexico, area and you need help assessing the severity of the wound, you can call 575.523.1479 to speak to a staff member at Las Cruces Dental Associates.