When you think of a healthy smile, you may picture straight, white teeth, but your gums are just as important. Even if you don’t have cavities, your teeth could be in jeopardy if you develop gum disease. This condition occurs when plaque starts to form along and under the gum line. If not removed with daily brushing and flossing, this sticky substance can harden into tartar, irritating your gums and causing an infection. This leads to gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease.
Since gingivitis is usually painless, most people don’t even know they have it. If left untreated, it can progress to a more advanced stage called periodontitis. This chronic condition affects a whopping 47 percent of American adults over age 30. Without professional care, periodontitis can lead to tissue and bone loss, eventually causing your teeth to loosen and fall out.
Don’t let this happen to you! Follow these gum disease prevention tips to maintain healthy gums and protect your smile.
Brush twice a day
Brushing with fluoride toothpaste is a fundamental way to remove plaque and food particles from your teeth that can irritate your gums. Select a soft bristle toothbrush, and avoid scrubbing too hard since this can erode tooth enamel and cause receding gums. Try an electric toothbrush for even more effective plaque removal.
Don’t just brush—floss!
Even an electric toothbrush can’t sweep away particles and plaque from between your teeth. That’s why flossing is so important. Even if your gums bleed, don’t shy away from this part of your oral care routine—bleeding is a sign that your gums are weak. Flossing more often provides the stimulation they need to help make them stronger.
Use gingivitis-fighting mouthwash
Shop for mouthwash products that reduce plaque, slow tartar formation, fight gingivitis, or all three. Remember, mouthwash isn’t a substitute for brushing and flossing—it should come after these steps to maximize the benefits they offer.
Looking for another reason to quit the habit? Smoking is closely linked to the onset of gum disease and other oral problems. Since nicotine, tar, and other chemicals in cigarettes weaken your immune system, your body has a harder time fighting off a gum infection. Plus, your gums can’t heal as easily once they’re damaged, making gum disease treatment less effective.
Visit the dentist every six months
Since gum disease is so prevalent and quick-forming, children and adults of all ages are encouraged to visit the dentist for an oral exam and professional cleaning every six months. A process called scaling is the only way to remove tartar build-up, a key aspect of gum disease prevention. Your dentist can also check for cavities, polish your teeth, recommend dental care products, and leave you with a brighter, more confident smile.
The services at Park 56 Dental can help you prevent and treat gum disease in NYC. For more dental care tips, or to schedule an appointment with our dentist, please contact us at (212) 826-2322.
If you want to straighten your teeth, you will be pleased to learn that there’s an alternative to brackets and wires called Invisalign. This treatment uses a series of virtually invisible aligners to gradually shift your teeth into the desired position. Learn more about Invisalign to see if this is the solution you’ve been looking for.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign aligners are made using 3D computer imaging technology. You wear each upper and lower aligner for about two weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Each new set of aligners shifts your teeth ever so slightly until, by the end of your treatment, they have moved into their final straight position. Most patients need between 18 and 30 aligners for a total treatment time of nine to 15 months.
How much does Invisalign cost?
In most cases, the cost of Invisalign is comparable to traditional braces. The total cost depends on your insurance coverage and the complexity of your case. Many dentists offer flexible financing options to help make your dream of having straight teeth a reality. You can also use money from a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for Invisalign with tax-free dollars.
Why should I put my confidence in Invisalign?
Since Invisalign was first invented in 1997, over six million people worldwide have used this technology to straighten their teeth. Advancements to the Invisalign system, including the introduction of the patented SmartTrack material, allow treatment times to be up to 50 percent faster than other clear aligner treatments. SmartTrack is made from medical-grade, high molecular weight, thermoplastic polymers that are BPA-free and FDA-approved.
How will Invisalign affect my life and appearance?
Because the aligners are virtually invisible, most people won’t even notice you’re undergoing treatment—that is, until you reveal your new smile in a few months! Until then, you’ll enjoy the freedom of removing your aligners at suitable times. This allows you to eat and drink whatever you want, brush and floss like normal, chew gum, play woodwind instruments without added difficulty, and smile with complete confidence at weddings, in photos, or during job interviews. Just remember to wear your aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours a day to avoid delays in your treatment.
How do I clean my aligners?
The Invisalign Cleaning System is the best option for keeping your aligners clean. You can order this online or from your dentist. An alternative is to brush your aligners with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You will also need to brush your teeth after every meal before putting your Invisalign back in. Otherwise, your teeth could become stained by residual food trapped under the aligners.
If you still have questions about Invisalign, Park 56 Dental in NYC can answer them for you. We are a Certified Invisalign Provider with years of experience fitting our patients with this advanced tooth-straightening product. To schedule an Invisalign consultation in New York, please contact us today at (212) 826-2322.
They say that with age comes wisdom. They may not say this as often, but with age also comes wisdom teeth. This is the last big developmental milestone your mouth undergoes as childhood comes to an end.
Wisdom teeth usually appear between ages 17 and 21. They are your third row of molars evolutionarily designed to replace any teeth you may have lost by now. Thankfully, because of modern dentistry and oral hygiene, you probably still have all of your adult teeth at this age. As a result, there may be no room to allow your wisdom teeth to grow in naturally.
If you’re in your late teens or early 20s, here’s what you need to know about wisdom teeth to help you make the right choice for your oral health.
Why are Wisdom Teeth So Often Removed?
When they grow in properly, healthy wisdom teeth can be beneficial, helping you chew and filling in your jaw with a final row of teeth. However, if the jaw is too small, or the wisdom teeth don’t grow in straight, they may need to be removed. Scenarios like these are incredibly common, meaning that more likely than not, you will need to have your wisdom teeth extracted.
Here are some of the problems your dentist looks for as he or she monitors the growth of your wisdom teeth:
- Impacted wisdom teeth, which are trapped in the jaw or under the gums and can cause a harmful cyst to develop
- Improperly positioned wisdom teeth, which can allow food to become trapped and flossing to be difficult
- Partially erupted wisdom teeth, which give bacteria a place to enter the gums and cause an infection to develop
- No room for wisdom teeth to come through without overcrowding or damaging the surrounding teeth
When to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Everyone is unique, but your dentist may recommend extracting your third molars in these situations:
- As a preventative measure if your mouth appears too small
- As part of your oral health plan, such as before getting braces
- If X-rays reveal impacted wisdom teeth
- If you experience pain, cysts, tumors, damaged teeth, or gum disease
Is it Possible to Keep Your Wisdom Teeth?
If it’s not immediately necessary to remove your third molars, you may choose to let them continue developing. Your dentist will recommend monitoring them regularly because of the possible problems that can occur later. Be sure to floss around your wisdom teeth, including behind them, and visit your dentist at least every six months.
Park 56 Dental offers compassionate, high-quality dentistry in NYC. We know you might be anxious about having your wisdom teeth extracted. That’s why we make sedation dentistry available to our patients. We’ll work closely with you to determine whether nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation, or IV sedation is the best option.
Please contact us today at (212) 826-2322 to schedule a wisdom tooth extraction consultation at our New York office.
While seven out of 10 Americans brush their teeth at least twice a day—the amount recommended by the American Dental Association—only 30 percent of the population flosses every day. This makes it clear that people prioritize brushing, but they’re more inclined to write off flossing. Here’s why you shouldn’t skip this important part of your oral care routine.
Flossing Removes Plaque
Plaque is a soft, sticky substance that forms on your teeth after you eat. Within just a few hours, it starts to solidify into tartar, a hard substance that forms along the gum line. Skipping a few days of flossing gives plaque all the time it needs to stick firmly to your teeth. By then, the dark-colored tartar can only be removed by a dentist using special tooth-scraping tools.
Thanks to floss, you can get into hard-to-reach places between the teeth and under the gum line, scraping away plaque before it hardens into cavity-causing, tooth-staining tartar!
Flossing Promotes Healthy Gums
Perhaps you intentionally avoid flossing because it makes your gums bleed. It may seem counterintuitive, but flossing actually strengthens your gums to reduce bleeding.
Scraping plaque out from below the gum line also helps prevent gingivitis, an infection characterized by red, swollen gums. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, or periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss if it’s left untreated for long enough.
Flossing Makes Your Whole Body Healthier
Cavities and gum disease affect other parts of your body more than you might realize. The bacteria that thrive in an unhealthy mouth can lead to heart disease, respiratory illness, and diabetes. It could even increase your risk of having a stroke.
Therefore, just a few minutes of flossing each day with a low-cost product could have incredibly beneficial implications for your overall health.
Flossing Fights Cavities
A cavity can develop anywhere tooth decay occurs, including in between two teeth and under the gum line. Prevent bacteria from building up here with the simple act of flossing. It could save you the discomfort and cost of a root canal!
Proper Flossing Technique
If you use traditional floss, wrap the ends of an 18-inch piece around your forefingers, and gently slide it between each tooth. Curve around one tooth, and then the other, rubbing up and down to scrape away floss and stimulate the gums. Avoid a sawing motion, which can harm your gums. If traditional floss is uncomfortable, you can also use floss picks or a water flosser.
Clearly, flossing is a simple step you can take to keep your mouth healthier. Of course, it can’t replace professional dental cleanings, which should take place every six months or as recommended by your dentist. Park 56 Dental is here to help you take good care of your smile. We provide general dentistry as well as smile restoration services. Visit us for the dental care you need today!
For more dental health tips, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at (212) 826-2322.
You might have a carefree attitude this summer, but don’t let the family vacations and time off of school negatively impact your teeth. Instead, keep your smile beautiful with these summer dental care tips.
Drink More Water
Instead of reaching for sugary, acidic soda when you’re thirsty, make the right choice for your dental health and choose water instead. Drinking water washes away food particles and plaque-causing bacteria that can lead to cavities and bad breath. Tap water, in particular, promotes a brighter smile because it contains fluoride to strengthen your enamel.
Plus, staying hydrated reduces your risk of dry mouth. With adequate saliva production, your teeth benefit from a slippery, protective coating that prevents debris from clinging and acids from eating away at your enamel.
Drink Acidic Beverages Through a Straw
When you do indulge in soda, juice, or lemonade, use a straw to reduce contact with your teeth. Enjoy the taste of your drink, but don’t swirl it around your mouth. After all, you want to limit the amount of time acid and sugar linger on your teeth.
Sip on Tea
Green tea is full of antioxidants that promote good health. It can even suppress bacteria growth, slow down tooth decay, and help prevent gum disease. Drink tea to your heart’s content, but don’t forget to rinse your mouth out afterward. This is because, despite its benefits, tea can leave surface stains on your teeth. Your dentist can remove these, but it’s easiest to prevent them if you can by swishing with water after each cup of tea.
Eat the Right Snacks
It’s fun to chew on gummy candy, sip on sports drinks, and snack on starchy crackers and pretzels, but these goodies don’t do your teeth any favors. Smarter snacks include raw fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and crunchy nuts and seeds. These tasty, nutritious snacks fill you up, fuel your summer activities, and help you maintain a healthy smile. Chewing on sugar-free gum after a meal or snack can also help remove food particles and prevent cavities.
Schedule a Dental Checkup
If it’s been six months since your last trip to the dentist, this summer is the perfect time to schedule a checkup. Fit it your appointment before your upcoming vacation, if possible, to reduce the chance of a dental emergency while you’re out of town. A dentist appointment is also beneficial before the school year starts this fall. Get any cavities taken care of before the hectic back-to-school season begins!
The experienced NYC dentists at Park 56 Dental are prepared to offer personalized, quality dental care for you and your kids in a comfortable, spa-like environment. We’ll help you smile bigger and brighter this summer as you enjoy making memories with your family!
To learn more about us, or to schedule a visit, please contact us at (212) 826-2322. If you’re new to our office, we’ll provide a consultation to ensure we can meet your dental care needs.
Does an ice-cold drink or cup of hot coffee sometimes make your teeth sting? Are brushing and flossing cringe-worthy experiences? If so, it sounds like you might have sensitive teeth. Here are some possible reasons for teeth sensitivity and what you can do about it.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
In healthy teeth, enamel protects the crown of your tooth, the part that sits above the gum line. Then, a layer called cementum protects the tooth root below the gum line. If these protective layers are damaged, teeth sensitivity can occur. Here are some of the most common causes to be aware of:
- Enamel erosion: If the outer protective layer of your teeth wears away, the sensitive dentin underneath is exposed. Enamel can erode as a result of brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, and eating acidic food regularly.
- Receding gums: When the gums move away from a tooth, it can expose the root surface, which may be temperature-sensitive. Receding gums may be caused by brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, or receiving inadequate dental care that leads to gum disease.
- Plaque buildup: If plaque forms on an exposed root surface, tooth sensitivity may increase.
- Cracked teeth: A chipped or broken tooth may fill with bacteria. When this enters the pulp, inflammation and tooth sensitivity may occur.
- Tooth whitening products: Peroxide and baking soda, two major contributors to teeth sensitivity, are common ingredients in whitening strips, toothpaste, and other dental products.
- Using a mouthwash with exposed dentin: Some over-the-counter mouthwashes contain acids that irritate exposed dentin and further damage this tooth layer. If you have enamel erosion, ask your dentist about safe products you can use.
- Recent dental procedures: Everything from teeth cleanings to crown placement to root planing and scaling can lead to temporary teeth sensitivity. This should disappear within four to six weeks.
How to Treat Teeth Sensitivity
Fortunately, there are treatments for sensitive teeth. The ones you pursue depend on what’s causing your sensitivity. Your dentist may recommend the following:
- Desensitizing toothpaste: The compounds in this product block sensory input from the tooth surface to the nerve in your tooth, reducing sensitivity. It may take a few weeks of daily use to see results.
- Soft-bristled toothbrush: Learning how to brush more gently using a soft toothbrush, especially when paired with desensitizing toothpaste, could garner effective results.
- Fluoride treatment: An in-office gel applied to your teeth may strengthen your enamel and reduce pain when exposed to hot and cold temperatures.
- Dental procedures: If simple measures don’t treat your sensitivity, your dentist may recommend surgical gum grafting, bonding, dentin sealers, crowns, inlays, or root canals to eliminate the problem.
Having sensitive teeth can be uncomfortable. Fortunately, the team at Park 56 Dental can help! Our preventative and general dentistry services can counteract teeth sensitivity so you can enjoy hot and cold food and drinks, and brush your teeth in comfort. To learn more, please call us at (212) 826-2322 today.
Accidents involving your mouth can occur at any time of day or night. Some oral injuries need immediate treatment, while others are safe to delay until regular business hours. How can you tell a standard dental problem from a truly urgent situation? Answer the following questions to help determine what constitutes a dental emergency.
If you need immediate attention after hours, please call our emergency phone number at (917) 566-9419, and our on-call doctor will help you. If you are unable to reach us during a dental emergency, dial 911.
Are you in severe pain?
If you bite down on something hard or get hit in the face while playing sports, you could chip a tooth and expose a nerve, resulting in severe pain. A toothache from an abscess or serious infection can also be unbearable—and potentially life-threatening.
If you’re in excruciating pain, you shouldn’t wait to get treatment. Call our emergency dentist in NYC as soon as possible!
Is a tooth loose or knocked out?
Adults are done losing their baby teeth. If you feel a permanent tooth wiggling around in your mouth, even if you feel no pain, call an emergency dentist right away.
A knocked out tooth is even more serious. Call your dentist, and while you wait to be seen, handle the tooth as little as possible. If you can, insert the tooth back in its socket and place moistened gauze over it so you can bite down gently and hold it in place. NOTE: Don’t put a baby tooth back in its socket because it could fuse there or damage the permanent tooth beneath it.
If you can’t put a knocked out tooth back in its place, rinse it with saline solution (contact solution) or milk. Then, place the tooth in a container of milk or saliva (preferably from the patient). NOTE: Don’t rinse or soak a knocked-out tooth in water. Also, don’t scrub the tooth.
Are you bleeding profusely?
It’s not a dental emergency if your gums bleed while flossing, but if you have a traumatic injury and start bleeding from the mouth, this is a sign that something is wrong. Call an emergency dentist in NYC to have the problem looked at right away!
What is NOT a dental emergency?
Sometimes, oral trauma occurs, but it’s safe to delay treatment for a few days. Here are some examples of what does not constitute a dental emergency:
- A chipped or cracked tooth with no pain and no sharp fragments.
- Minor toothache with no other symptoms, such as facial swelling, high fever, or bumps on the gums.
- Lost crown or filling. (You can temporarily fill a cavity with sugar-free gum, or put a crown back in place for the time being with denture adhesive or dental cement.)
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, you may be having a dental emergency. Call Park 56 Dental’s after-hours dentist for help—(917) 566-9419.
Everyone wants their pearly whites to be—well, pearly white. You may be good about brushing and flossing every day, but the culprits of your stained teeth could be found in your diet. Here are the top food and drinks that cause tooth discoloration, and how to restore the sparkle to your smile.
What Causes Tooth Discoloration?
While it’s full of antioxidants that are good for your body, tea is infamous for staining teeth. All types—including herbal, white, green, and black—can cause stains. The darker the brew, the worse the stains.
It’s no surprise that if a drink can stain a tablecloth, it can also stain your teeth. The dark color of red wine is known for causing tooth discoloration, but white wine, which contains even more acid than red, is an equally guilty culprit.
Berries and fruits
Vibrant blueberries, cherries, blackberries, and pomegranates are packed with antioxidants, but their bright colors and high acid content can stain teeth—so can juices and pies made from these berries and fruits.
Soy sauce, tomato sauce, and curry may be tasty, but these deeply colored, often highly acidic sauces can cause tooth stains. Light-colored, cream-based sauces are less serious offenders.
Sports drinks & carbonated sodas
They may be packed with electrolytes to replenish what you lose in your sweat, but artificially colored, acidic sports drinks can erode enamel. Carbonated beverages are even worse because they contain tooth-staining chemical additives, in addition to artificial dyes and acids.
If your favorite candy stains your tongue, you can bet it also stains your teeth. Sour candy is the worst because it contains citric or tartaric acid, which eats away enamel.
How to Prevent Tooth Discoloration
Strive to decrease or eliminate the unhealthy tooth-staining culprits listed here from your diet, especially soda and candy. Then, limit your intake of the rest, mixing other healthy, non-staining foods into your diet as well.
Drink through a straw
Sip on stain-causing drinks through a straw to limit how much they come in contact with your teeth.
Enjoy the taste of your food or drink, but don’t swirl it around in your mouth longer than necessary. Swallow soon to prevent prolonged exposure to tooth-staining colors, chemicals, and acids.
Rinse, chew gum, or brush your teeth
Swish your mouth out with water shortly after eating or drinking something known for staining teeth. Chewing sugarless gum is also effective. If possible, brush your teeth, but wait at least 30 minutes after eating acidic food, or you could damage your enamel.
Schedule a Dental Cleaning
The good news is that most surface stains can be removed with a professional dental cleaning. That means the key to preventing tooth discoloration is as simple as visiting your dentist every six months! Park 56 Dental will leave your teeth looking shiny, healthy, and beautiful.
Let our NYC dentist take care of your smile! To schedule an appointment, please call us at (212) 826-2322 today.
Have you ever felt self-conscious about smiling with your slightly chipped, misshapen, or discolored front teeth? If so, it’s time to consider porcelain veneers. These cosmetic corrections hide your teeth’s imperfections behind thin, natural-looking shells that blend in perfectly with the rest of your smile.
Not sure if restorative dentistry is right for you? Consider the benefits of porcelain veneers to help you make the right decision for your oral health.
Correct a Variety of Cosmetic Flaws
Veneers are incredibly versatile. You can install one of a slightly different size or shape than your natural tooth to hide small gaps or create the appearance of a straighter smile. The coating can mask tooth discoloration and cosmetic chips or level out the length of mismatched front teeth.
As long as the underlying tooth is healthy, you can correct its appearance in many ways just by installing a veneer. Don’t worry—if the tooth is not healthy, you still have options, such as installing a dental crown or implant instead. Either way, you can find a solution to fix your smile with restorative dentistry!
Keep More of Your Natural Tooth
When a dentist installs a crown, most of the natural tooth must be removed to make room for it. With a veneer, only a small amount of the enamel must be shaved off the front to ensure the coating sits flush with the rest of your teeth. This sounds like an uncomfortable procedure, but it’s noninvasive and may not even require anesthesia!
The process takes only two visits to complete. At your first appointment, the dentist removes a portion of your enamel and takes impressions of your teeth to have custom porcelain veneers made. Temporary veneers are installed to protect your teeth until your next appointment, where they are replaced with permanent veneers that look and feel completely natural.
Smile Confidently for Years to Come
Having dental veneers requires no additional maintenance, but you should continue to take good care of your smile by brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist for regular checkups. Whether you have one veneer or several, you can expect them to last about 10 years before needing to be replaced.
Resist Cavities and Staining
Veneers protect against decay, making cavities less likely to occur in the teeth they cover. Simply continue to take care of your smile like you normally do, and you shouldn’t have any trouble! Veneers are also non-porous, helping them retain their original color. However, it may be best to avoid food and drinks that stain teeth—such as coffee, tea, wine, and tobacco—to maintain the beauty of your smile.
At Park 56 Dental, our NYC dentists are highly skilled and have years of experience installing dental veneers. If you are displeased with your smile for any reason, feel free to contact us at (212) 826-2322 for a consultation. We’ll discuss the possibility of restoring your smile with porcelain veneers and educate you on any other viable options that may suit your needs better.
If you have missing, infected, or otherwise damaged teeth, it’s important to have them restored as soon as possible. Otherwise, your speech could be affected, or chewing food could destabilize your bite and cause pain.
Dental implants allow you to confidently eat, smile, talk, laugh and enjoy all your other daily activities without feeling self-conscious about your teeth. If you have ever had a cavity filled and a crown put in, you’re familiar with the visible portion of a dental implant. Of course, if the tooth is missing or the root is severely damaged, you must replace that as well. This is where dental implants are helpful.
If you’re interested in this type of restorative dentistry, read on to learn everything you need to know about dental implants.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants have three components. The first is an artificial tooth root made of titanium, which is similar in size and shape to a screw. When your dentist implants this in your mouth, it bonds with your jawbone, a process that takes about six months. This creates a stable support for one or more artificial teeth.
A connector, known as an abutment, goes in next. Your dentist installs this on top of the artificial root once it has fully bonded with your jawbone. Then, after your gums heal around the abutment, the crown is cemented on top.
The crown component of a dental implant is custom-made out of porcelain to match the color and shape of your original tooth. It looks, feels, and functions exactly the way you would expect, creating a totally natural solution that’s indiscernible from the rest of your teeth. When you show off your healthy, beautiful mouth, no one will ever suspect you have a replacement tooth!
Facts About Dental Implants
- Archeological findings have discovered that people more than 2,000 years ago replaced missing teeth with carved seashells or stones.
- The American Academy of Implant Dentistry was formed in 1951, making it the first professional organization dedicated to advancing dental implant technology.
- In 1952, it was discovered that titanium fuses with bone, making it the go-to metal for dental implants.
- Modern dental implants have been around for over 30 years.
- Dental implants are strong, permanent devices. In fact, they are more durable than your natural teeth!
- Unlike some other restorative dental procedures, implants preserve your natural bone, stimulating more bone growth and a healthier mouth.
- 100,000 to 300,000 new dental implants are placed in the US each year to restore the smiles of young adults missing one permanent tooth as well as older adults needing to replace an entire arch of missing or damaged teeth.
The NYC dentists at Park 56 Dental are highly skilled and experienced with installing dental implants. If you have a gap in your smile or are dissatisfied with your teeth for another reason, call us at (212) 826-2322 to discuss the possibility of restoring your smile with dental implants.