• How Sports Drinks Could Be Ruining Your Teeth

    Do you rely on sports drinks to keep you hydrated when you’re working out or playing sports? Sports drinks are helpful if you’re working out in extreme heat, for an extended period of time, or when you’re working out after you haven’t eaten for a while. Because of the electrolytes and carbohydrates in sports drinks, they’re very useful in replacing nutrients and providing energy in extreme situations. However, there’s research to indicate that regular consumption of sports drinks can be hazardous to your dental health.  

    A recent study of elite and professional athletes revealed that many of them have substantial dental problems, regardless of good dental hygiene. This study, published in the British Dental Journal, looked at 352 athletes, with 256 of those athletes on track to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Competing across different types of sports, including swimming, cycling, soccer, rowing, hockey, sailing, and athletics, the participants had an average age of 25 years old. Out of the 352, 344 completed a questionnaire regarding their dental hygiene, sugar consumption, whether they smoked or chewed gum, and when they last saw the dentist. Pertinent findings included: 

    • Most of the athletes brushed their teeth twice a day and saw their dentists regularly.  
    • 80 percent of the athletes consumed sports drinks while training or competing. 
    • 58 percent used energy bars, and 70 percent took gels.  

    The risk of dental problems seemed to be heightened by the changes in the makeup of the athletes saliva during and after intense exercise. Sports drinks, energy bars, and gels are marketed without guidance about oral health. While the researchers acknowledged that their findings were limited, especially because they had to rely on the participants’ honesty about their habits, they still concluded that these products have a negative impact on dental health. The sugar the products contain increases the risk of tooth decay, and the acidity of the products increases the risk of erosion. During the dental check-ups of the athletes, the researchers noted high levels of tooth decay and acid erosion.  

    What does this mean for the general population? Because dental problems are common, the CDC recommends fluoride toothpaste and fluoridated water, thorough brushing and flossing, and regular dentist visits, abstention from smoking and limited alcohol consumptionWe would add that it also might be best to stick with water during most exercise periods, rather than hydrating with sports drinks that may damage your teeth.  

    At Park 56 Dental Group, we provide personalized, quality dental care in a spa-like environment. We offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.  

  • Dentists Give Their Tips for Getting Their Own Kids to Brush Their Teeth

    You eagerly await the arrival of your children’s first teeth and cheer every little pearly white as it emerges. By the time they’re old enough to take care of their dental hygiene on their own, however, getting them to properly do it can be like, well, pulling teeth. How can you get your kids to brush their teeth? Here, we offer some tips from dentists who have mastered the art of getting their own kids to brush 

    • Make brushing a family affair. Establish a routine in which everyone brushes their teeth twice a day, for at least 2 minutes each time. From the time they’re little, let your kids see you brushing because children love to imitate their parents. During tooth brushing time, you can demonstrate good techniques and how much toothpaste to use.  
    • Get a good look. When the kids are small, stand behind them and get them to look up at you. That way, you can look down into their mouths and see all of their teeth when you help them brush.  
    • Don’t stop reminding them just because they’re older. As long as they’re home, ask them if they’ve brushed their teeth, and talk to them about good dental hygiene and healthy eating. When they leave home, send them care packages that include new toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss.  
    • Give it a sniff. If you suspect your small child hasn’t brushed, ask to smell his or her breath for the scent of toothpaste. When your child is a teenager, teach this trick: sniff the floss. Teens are breath-conscious, so teaching them to floss their teeth and then smell the floss is a good way to help them gauge whether their breath is socially acceptable.  
    • Never give up on the routine. Those two minutes spent brushing are extremely important, so establish the routine and stick to it. If you need to set a timer or play music for two minutes to get your kids into the groove, do what it takes, and keep on doing it until it’s firmly established as a habit. For many kids, being able to brush their teeth themselves is a big accomplishment, so play up that angle and praise your kids for a job well done when you catch them practicing good dental hygiene.  

    At Park 56 Dental Group, we provide personalized, quality dental care in a spa-like environment. We offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.  

  • The Main Reason People Stop Flossing and What You Can Do About It

    Do you know how important it is to floss? You probably know that regular flossing is important to your oral hygiene, but do you actually do it? According to a recent survey, 31 percent of respondents admit to starting and then stopping flossing. Why do people stop, when they know it’s a good thing to do? Time seems to be the primary factor in the failure to floss.  

    Is this “no time” argument a reasonable excuse? Out of the people surveyed, only 13 percent floss their teeth after every meal, and for 36 percent of those flossers, this was not a daily habit. 64 percent of people who quit flossing didn’t report problems with their flossing routines, so issues encountered during flossing are unlikely to be the reason for quitting. Of those who did report problems, gum damage was the primary reason, at 33 percent. Lesser problems included teeth damage, ineffective cleaning, infections, and dental work problems. Few survey respondents, only 14 percent, believed flossing to be ineffective.  

    This survey was conducted by DentaVox, the survey arm of Dentacoin, which is a global organization. Other studies have also found that time considerations impact their flossing habits. In one survey from the United States, for instance, 55 percent of respondents reported that flossing is too time-consuming for them to do it regularly. 

    Ultimately, even though the excuse is a common one, it doesn’t hold water. Flossing is important to your dental health, and if you don’t make time for flossing, you’re opening yourself up to gum disease, tooth decay, and possibly expensive dental treatments. Isn’t that enough incentive to find the time?  

    How can people work flossing into their schedules more easilyStart by committing to flossing just once a day. You can work it into your morning or evening routine, but you can also do it just about anywhere. Any time you’re sitting, whether you’re at your desk or watching television, you can use single-use floss holders easily and effectively. If you tend to forget to floss, you might also consider keeping these floss holders beside your toothbrush, so that your memory will be jogged while you’re brushing your teeth.  

    At Park 56 Dental Group, we provide personalized, quality dental care in a spa-like environment. We offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.  

  • How Often Should You Visit the Dentist?

    There haven’t always been guidelines for how often you should visit the dentist. As recently as 50 years ago, many dental professionals focused on restoring smiles rather than keeping them healthy in the first place. 

    Then, dental and health organizations began to rally around the idea of setting standards for preventative dentistry. It is upon these standards—and the continuing evolution of dental care and advice—that dentists operate today. 

    Visit the Dentist Every 6 Months 

    The general rule of thumb is to visit the dentist every six months. This timeframe allows your teeth to benefit from frequent professional cleanings that can prevent gum disease and cavities. 

    With no evidence to work from, early dental and health organizations made their “best guess” when they recommended that people see the dentist twice a year. The advice ended up being spot on! Some of the first publicized references to this recommendation were found in early Pepsodent ads, such as this one from 1931, which advises customers to “use Pepsodent twice a day—see your dentist twice a year.” 

    Even if you take great care of your teeth at home—by brushing every morning and night, and never forgetting to floss each day—you still need to see a dentist regularly. First of all, those tartar stains that form on your teeth can only be removed with professional dental tools.  

    Plus, there’s always the possibility of developing cavitiesgum disease, or oral cancer, which don’t exhibit symptoms in their early stages. Frequent visits to the dentist give you a chance to uncover these problems and reverse them while they’re still in a manageable stage. 

    Consider Oral Hygiene, Eating Habits & Medical Conditions 

    While seeing the dentist every six months is a good recommendation for most people, it doesn’t apply to everyone. For instance, some individuals with a spotless dental record, flawless oral hygiene, and a healthy diet have a low risk for oral health problems. They may do just fine seeing the dentist only once a year. 

    Other people have a higher-than-average risk for cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. We recommend that the following groups visit the dentist more frequently: 

    • Smokers 
    • People prone to cavities or plaque buildup 
    • Periodontal disease patients  
    • Pregnant women 
    • Diabetics 
    • People with bacterial infections or weak immune systems 
    • People dealing with illness or high stress 

    These individuals may need to visit the dentist every three or four months for a short time, for several years, or throughout their entire life. More frequent dentist visits help to fight off infections, treat changes in the mouth, and prevent certain situations or lifestyle choices from causing more severe health problems. 

    Park 56 Dental is ready to serve as your dentist in NYC! At your next appointment, be sure to ask for advice about what dental cleaning schedule you should follow. For answers to your remaining questions, or to schedule a visit, please contact us at (212) 826-2322 today. 

  • Caring for Your Braces

    If you have invested in braces to straighten your teeth, it’s clear that having a healthy, beautiful smile is important to you. The trouble is that traditional braces make dental hygiene a bit trickier than usual. To help ensure your teeth don’t succumb to cavities while you’re straightening your smile, follow these tips to care for your braces. 

    Brush with Care 

    Food particles and plaque tend to accumulate under and around the brackets and wires of your braces. With the following brushing techniques, you can sweep away debris to help keep your mouth clean and cavity-free: 

    • Remove elastics, bands, and any other removable parts of your braces. 
    • Clean around the wires and brackets with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Start by holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle from the gum line. Then, tilt the bristles as needed to sweep away even the most stubborn particles. 
    • Brush for two minutes twice a day. Aim to spend 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth. 
    • Rinse with tap water, and examine your teeth and braces in the mirror. Check for any lingering food particles that require a little more attention. 
    • If you don’t feel like your manual toothbrush is doing a thorough enough job, consider investing in an electric toothbrush. Look for one with a round head and V-shaped bristles designed for use with braces. 

    Remember to Floss 

    Flossing once a day is important for everyone, including people with braces. Unfortunately, the wires make it difficult to floss between your teeth along the gum line. 

    One solution is to use a floss threader. This makes it easier to feed the floss under each wire. We also recommend using waxed floss, which is less likely to get caught and shredded up in your braces. You can also use self-threading floss, which features a stiffened tip that speeds up the process of flossing with braces or permanent retainers. 

    No matter which method you use, thread the floss carefully under the main wire of your braces before passing it through your teeth. Be careful not to snap the floss—simply move it up and down slowly against each side of the tooth. Then, remove the floss and re-thread it through the next wire. Repeat this process until you have flossed between all your teeth. 

    Schedule Follow-Up Appointments 

    Visit your orthodontist for routine checkups and adjustments to your braces. This is what allows your teeth to continue shifting into the ideal position. Also, keep up with regular cleanings and oral exams with your regular dentist to keep your mouth healthy and catch cavities early. You may also receive more useful tips for brushing and flossing with braces. 

    Traditional braces aren’t right for everyone. If you’re interested in finding out what Invisalign has to offer, please contact Park 56 Dental in NYC at (212) 826-2322. We’ll help you get the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted without metal braces! 

  • What You Need to Know About Getting Dentures

    Dentists work hard to save their patients’ natural teeth whenever possible. However, if yours are severely damaged or decayed, tooth extractions may be necessary. This is the first step toward restoring the appearance of your smile and making it easier to speak and eat. The next step is to choose a tooth replacement option.  

    Dentures are a popular choice, especially if you’ve lost all your teeth. Dentures are removable appliances that make your teeth look healthy and function naturally. You can smile, talk, and chew with confidence while wearing properly fitted dentures. 

    If you’re considering different tooth replacement options, here’s everything you need to know about getting dentures. 

    Types of Dentures 

    The most common choice is a conventional denture, which is fully removable and made to replace all your teeth. To prepare for conventional dentures, you will need to have any remaining teeth removed and allow your gums to heal before being fitted, which may take a few months. 

    Because of the delay in making conventional dentures, you may have the option of inserting immediate dentures the same day your teeth are extracted. This way, you aren’t left without teeth during the healing period. 

    If possible, your dentist will preserve some of your natural teeth to provide stability for your dentures while reducing the deterioration of your jawbone. In this situation, your dentist may recommend overdentures, which are complete or partial dentures that sit on top of or attach to your remaining natural teeth. The added support makes overdentures less likely to become unstable or require refitting. 

    Wearing Dentures 

    For the first few weeks, wearing new dentures may feel awkward. You might experience minor irritation or soreness along with increased saliva flow. These problems should dissipate as you become accustomed to wearing your dentures. If any problems persist, tell your dentist at a follow-up appointment so the necessary adjustments can be made. 

    Caring for Your Dentures 

    Good oral care continues to be important, even if your teeth have been replaced with dentures. Here’s what to do: 

    • Remove your dentures and rinse them with water to dislodge loose food particles. 
    • Gently brush all surfaces of the dentures with a soft bristle toothbrush and non-abrasive cleanser. 
    • Store your dentures in a cup of water when you’re not wearing them to prevent warping. 
    • Brush your gums, cheeks, tongue, and the roof of your mouth every morning before putting your dentures in to stimulate circulation and remove plaque. Brushing also reduces the risk of oral irritation and bad breath. 
    • You may choose to apply adhesive to improve the stability of your dentures. Use a product your dentist recommends, and follow the directions carefully for the best results. 

    Dentures are just one of several options for replacing missing teeth. If you have a gap in your smile, visit Park 56 Dental in NYC today. We’ll discuss whether dentures are right for you and explain any alternatives you’re interested in. Give us a call at (212) 826-2322 to get started! 

  • The Importance of Regular Dentist Visits

    While brushing and flossing at home every day is a critical part of maintaining a healthy mouth, these steps aren’t enough to keep tooth and gum problems at bay forever. For thorough preventative care and treatment, you need help from a dental professional. Here’s a look at just how important dentist visits are. 

    Your dentist checks for cavities 

    To do this, most dentists take X-rays of your teeth. This creates a clear picture of what’s going on in your mouth, even under the gum line. If a cavity is developing, X-rays tell the dentist exactly where it’s located. This way, you can get filling before the decay spreads and causes more trouble. 

    Your dentist removes tartar build-up 

    Every day, a sticky, clear layer of plaque forms on your teeth. You can remove plaque by brushing twice a day. If any is left behind, it hardens into a tooth-staining substance called tartar, or calculus. Only a dentist using special tools can remove tartar from your teeth, a process known as scaling.  

    Your dentist professionally cleans your teeth 

    Motored tools and a polishing agent provide a more thorough cleaning than what you can achieve at home. The dentist finishes the job by flossing between your teeth. Your mouth will feel extra clean after all the plaque, tartar, and surface stains have been removed. 

    Your dentist checks your gums 

    Healthy gums are just as important as healthy teeth. During your visit, the dentist will use a periodontal probe to measure the space between your teeth and gums. Shallow pockets indicate healthy gums, while deep spaces could mean you have gum disease. Catching this condition in its earliest stage, known as gingivitis, gives you a chance to reverse it. However, if you skip too many dentist visits, your condition could progress to periodontal disease, which can only be maintained or cured with pocket reduction surgery. 

    Your dentist checks for oral cancer 

    A careful examination of your tongue, throat, neck, and the inside of your cheeks can reveal swelling, redness, or signs of cancer. Receiving an early diagnosis offers the best chance of making a full recovery, which you can only do if you visit the dentist regularly. 

    Your dentist provides personalized advice to help you take care of your smile 

    If you struggle with poor gum health or teeth that stain easily, your dentist can recommend specific products or procedures that may help. Implementing this personalized, expert advice can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy between dentist visits. 

    Clearly, there are some things you can’t do without your dentist’s help. We recommend visiting Park 56 Dental in NYC at least once every six months for the important dental services you need. Our experienced dentists will take good care of your smile! To learn more about our services, or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (212) 826-2322 today. 

  • Gum Disease Prevention Tips

    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. 

    Quit smoking 

    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. 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. 

  • Wisdom Teeth: What You Need to Know

    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. 

  • Why Flossing is Important to Your Dental Health

    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.