The importance of professional teeth cleanings cannot be understated. Seeing your dentist every six months promotes healthy teeth and gums by detecting and treating dental problems early. Still, there are plenty of things you can do at home to take care of your teeth between dental visits. Here’s what we recommend to prevent tooth and gum problems before they start.
Use Proper Tooth Brushing Techniques
Make a habit of brushing your teeth at least twice a day, preferably 30 to 60 minutes after every meal. Brushing removes plaque and acids from your mouth while leaving a fresh, minty scent behind. For the best results, follow these techniques:
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle along the gum line.
- Brush with short, circular motions.
- Be gentle to avoid irritating your gums.
- Brush for a full two minutes.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Flossing gets between your teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Floss once a day to help prevent plaque from hardening into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. It doesn’t matter what time of day you floss—just remember to do it! If you don’t like using traditional floss, try floss picks or a water flosser for the same benefits.
Rinse with Mouthwash
The third part of your daily oral care routine should be to swish mouthwash. Antiseptic or antibacterial mouth rinses are the best options for killing bacteria that cause plaque. Rinsing as recommended also helps reduce bad breath and even reverses early gum disease.
Cut Back on Soda and Added Sugar
Sugary sodas and other sweets are known to wreak havoc on your teeth. Sugar promotes bacterial growth and causes plaque to form. Even if you opt for “diet” soda, the phosphoric acid and citric acid in these drinks still eat away at your enamel, making you more prone to cavities. The occasional soda won’t cause much harm, but water is the best drink for a healthy smile. To add a little flavor, try putting fruit or mint leaves in your water.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Crisp, fresh foods like apple slices, raw carrots, and celery sticks don’t just provide your body with essential vitamins and nutrients—they also act as natural tooth scrubbers, helping to cut down on plaque and stimulate your gums. Include fresh produce in every meal for a healthier smile.
Chew Sugarless Gum
While it’s ideal to brush after each meal, chewing sugarless gum is the next best thing. This increases saliva production, which helps remove lingering food particles and rebalances the pH level in your mouth. The minty flavor also helps to improve your breath.
Park 56 Dental is pleased to offer routine teeth cleanings and other dental services to help our patients smile with confidence. Visit our spa-like, patient-centered dentist office to receive the personalized, quality care you deserve. Contact us online or call (212) 826-2322 today to find out for yourself why we’ve been voted Top Dentist in NYC!
Cavities and tooth decay are common oral health problems. If left untreated, decay can spread and destroy the entire tooth. While it’s best to prevent cavities in the first place, your dentist can save a decaying tooth by giving you a filling. Here’s everything you need to know about dental fillings.
The Process of Getting a Filling
To ensure a painless procedure, your dentist first numbs the tooth and surrounding tissue using a local anesthetic. Next, the decayed portion of the tooth is removed with a drill or laser. Then, the tooth cavity is cleaned to remove residual bacteria and prepare it for the filling. If the decay reaches the tooth root, a liner made of composite resin, glass ionomer, or another material may be applied to protect the nerve.
Once the tooth is prepped, it’s time to add the filling. This part of the process varies depending on the filling material being used. For example, with tooth-colored composite resin, the material is added in layers, cured with a special light, shaped, and polished for a smooth, natural-looking finished product.
Types of Dental Filling Materials
You have several filling materials to choose from. The right fit for you may depend on the location and extent of your cavity, cost differences, insurance coverage, and your dentist’s recommendations. Here are the top options:
- Amalgam fillings: Made of mercury, silver, zinc, and other metals, amalgam is a strong, inexpensive filling. The presence of mercury scares some patients, but com declares that amalgam fillings have never been shown to cause health problems. The biggest drawback is amalgam’s metallic color, which makes it less desirable for filling cavities near the front of the mouth.
- Tooth-colored composite resin fillings: This option is extremely popular because the filling matches your natural teeth. Chemical bonding provides excellent structural support for composite resin fillings. The downside is that this material doesn’t last as long as amalgam fillings, and it’s also more expensive.
- Tooth-colored ceramic fillings: Ceramic fillings tend to last longer than composite resin, and they are also more stain-resistant. However, ceramic is relatively brittle, so some healthy tooth material may need to be shaved away to make the filling larger and more durable. Ceramic is also among the most costly dental filling materials.
- Glass ionomer fillings: This material, made of acrylic and a special type of glass, is often used as a liner to protect tooth nerves when a cavity is located below the gum line. These unique fillings release fluoride over time, which helps to prevent future tooth decay. They last about as long as resin composite fillings and are comparable in cost.
If you think you have tooth decay, don’t ignore the problem. Filling a small cavity is always easier and more affordable than waiting for the decay to spread. If you have any tooth pain, sensitivity, or discoloration, call (212) 826-2322 or contact Park 56 Dental online to schedule a checkup at our dentist office in New York City.
Most people take their teeth for granted. However, if you lose a tooth to extensive decay or a traumatic injury, the gap in your smile may be all too apparent. Fortunately, you have options for replacing your lost tooth, including bridges, dentures, and dental implants. Here are the top reasons to restore your confident smile with fixed implants.
- Prevent your teeth from shifting: When you lose one tooth, the surrounding teeth tend to shift and fill in the space. This can throw off your bite and lead to uneven spacing or overcrowding. Having an implant placed now helps to maintain the position of your teeth so you can avoid these complications.
- Preserve your jawbone: Other tooth replacement solutions, including bridges and non-implant-supported dentures, may eventually weaken your jawbone. However, implants feature an artificial tooth root that grows into the bone, stimulating it and preventing deterioration.
- Maintain your appearance: If you’re missing multiple teeth, a significant portion of your jawbone could begin to deteriorate. Eventually, your jaw, cheeks, and lips may start to sink inward, making you look years older than you really are. The stimulation provided by dental implants keeps your jawbone healthy, so your face looks full and youthful for years to come.
- Avoid the hassle of wearing dentures: Implants are more natural-looking than dentures. As a permanent solution, implants also let you avoid the hassle and embarrassment of removing dentures to eat or sleep. You never have to worry about your implants falling out, either, which enhances your comfort and confidence. You can even brush and floss implants with the rest of your teeth, unlike dentures, which require special soaking and cleaning.
- Preserve the structural integrity of your remaining teeth: Bridges involve shaving down the teeth on either side of the gap and placing crowns to support the artificial tooth. If these teeth are healthy, you may hesitate to damage their structural integrity. Implants are self-supporting, so the surrounding teeth remain untouched.
- Enjoy a long-lasting solution: Implants are capped with custom-made porcelain crowns designed to look, feel, and function exactly like a natural tooth. These artificial crowns are known to last for decades with proper care, allowing you to smile confidently for many years to come.
- Suitable for more and more candidates: You may have heard that not everyone is a good candidate for implants. However, dental restoration technology has evolved tremendously in the past 10 years. This means, even if you didn’t qualify for implants in the past, you might want to speak with your dentist about the latest options available.
The dentists at Park 56 Dental can help you compare all your tooth-restoration options, including dental implants in NYC. If you have a gap in your smile or are otherwise dissatisfied with the condition of your teeth, give us a call at (212) 826-2322 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry.
Everyone knows sugar is bad for your oral health, but few people know why. Once you understand how sugar affects your teeth, you may be less tempted to indulge in Halloween candy and other sweets during the holidays.
How Cavities Form
Your mouth is home to hundreds of different types of bacteria. Some are beneficial, but others cause cavities. When you eat sweets, some of the sugar lingers on your teeth. Harmful bacteria eat these leftovers and leave acids and plaque behind.
Without proper oral hygiene, the accumulation of acid lowers the pH balance in your mouth. This causes demineralization, or the removal of minerals from the hard outer surface of your teeth known as enamel. As your enamel erodes, holes form in your teeth. The damage eventually progresses deeper and deeper until it causes pain and tooth loss.
Reducing the Effects of Sugar on Your Teeth
A constant battle is raging in your mouth between bacteria and tooth enamel. Fortunately, you have an effective weapon on your side—saliva. In addition to breaking down food as it enters your digestive system, saliva helps to remineralize your teeth with calcium, phosphates, and other minerals.
It’s possible to fill cavities and restore your smile, but it’s best to avoid tooth decay in the first place. Here’s how to give your saliva a fighting chance against the onslaught of sugars and acids in your mouth:
- Limit your sugar intake by eating less Halloween candy and other sweets during the upcoming holiday season.
- Brush your teeth after eating sugary food. If that’s not possible, chew sugarless gum or swish with water to wash away any lingering sugar in your mouth.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol that has the same sweetness as sugar but is not a viable food source for bacteria.
- Limit between-meal snacks to give your saliva a chance to wash away acid and repair your teeth before the next meal.
- Don’t eat or drink anything sugary between brushing your teeth and going to bed. Likewise, never send your child to bed with juice, which introduces sugar to the mouth just when saliva flow decreases during sleep.
- Consider dental sealants, a product that covers the chewing surfaces of a child’s molars to protect this rough, pitted area from bacteria.
- Seek out fluoride. This mineral helps prevent tooth decay and can even reverse cavities in their early stages. Drink fluoridated water, brush with fluoride toothpaste, and ask about fluoride treatments at your next dentist visit.
The best way to avoid cavities is to combine at-home oral hygiene tips with routine teeth cleanings at Park 56 Dental. Our experienced dental team will check on the condition of your smile, clean and polish your teeth, and address any cavities that are developing before they grow any larger. To schedule your next appointment, please contact Park 56 Dental online or call our NYC dentist today at (212) 826-2322.
You probably know that if you don’t take good care of your teeth and gums, you increase your risk for cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. But are you aware that oral health can affect the rest of your body? Connections have been discovered between decreasing oral health and many seemingly unrelated diseases and conditions. Learn more about this connection here, as well as how to maintain a healthy mouth and body.
When your gums are damaged and infected because of gum disease, oral bacteria can enter your bloodstream directly through this soft tissue. This allows bacteria to travel to your heart, where clots can form as a result. A condition called endocarditis, or inflammation of the inner lining of the heart, may also develop.
Chronic gum inflammation also emits chemicals that can cause atherosclerosis, or the clogging and hardening of artery walls. This health condition blocks blood flow, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The harmful bacteria that grow when you have gum disease don’t only travel to your heart—they also enter the brain, where they kill brain cells and lead to memory loss. This may increase the chance of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s possible to inhale oral bacteria that form because of gum disease. Once in the lungs, the bacteria can cause infections, pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and even chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Gum disease and diabetes are a dangerous combination. If you are diabetic, you are more susceptible to infections, including gum disease. Then, if you have gum disease, this heightens your risk for high blood sugar, which can lead to diabetes or worsen your existing symptoms. And if you have both conditions at once, you have a higher chance of developing kidney disease.
Oral bacteria from gingivitis can increase inflammation throughout the body. This makes people with gum disease more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, a painful and debilitating inflammatory condition.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy increase the risk of oral health problems. Then, developing gingivitis or periodontitis can lead to premature birth, low birth weight, and other health issues for mother and baby.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene to Protect Your Overall Health
The message is clear: good oral hygiene can do more than preserve your teeth and gums—it can keep your whole body healthy. To discourage the problems that often accompany gum disease, remember to follow these tips:
- Brush your teeth morning and night with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss daily.
- Chew sugarless gum after meals.
- Avoid cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
- Eat a well-balanced diet and limit your sugar intake.
- Seek fluoride treatment from your dentist.
- Schedule teeth cleanings and dental checkups every six months.
If it’s been a while since your last dentist visit, set an appointment at Park 56 Dental by calling us at (212) 826-2322. We’ll check the status of your teeth and gums and recommend a treatment plan if necessary.
Good oral health affects your overall wellness in many ways. Straight teeth ensure a comfortable bite and help you chew thoroughly. Then, healthy gums can help stave off other complications, including stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. But have you ever considered how restoring your smile can improve your mental health? The psychological impacts of a beautiful smile can’t be ignored.
If you feel self-conscious about crooked, chipped, or stained teeth, you may often cover your mouth with your hand or maintain a tight-lipped smile. Correcting any problems with your teeth and gums generates a wave of self-confidence. This encourages you to smile, laugh, and communicate without underlying anxiety about people looking at your teeth.
Decreased Risk of Depression
Researchers from Deakin University found a connection between depression and oral health. In short, if you’re experiencing problems with your teeth and gums, your chances of feeling depressed increase. As an inflammatory disorder, depression can be triggered by inflammation in the gums (or elsewhere in the body). This means, if you’re feeling down, you should take a closer look at your oral care routine. Enhancing your dental hygiene could improve your mental health.
Boosted Mood & Physical Health
Scientists and therapists agree—the simple act of smiling has undeniable emotional advantages. It has been demonstrated that flashing a smile releases dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin into the brain, which helps fight off stress and promote feelings of joy. These feel-good neurotransmitters even help lower your heart rate and blood pressure for improved physical health as well.
A 2011 study found that both men and women are perceived as more attractive when they smile and make eye contact. You are more likely to interact in a friendly manner with those around you if you are confident with the appearance of your smile.
Emotions affect your personality and life outcome by influencing the way you think, behave, and interact with others. People with more positive emotions are happier, have more stable relationships, and are more likely to live longer than people with overwhelmingly negative emotions. It stands to reason that happier people smile more and, as already stated, smiling makes you feel happier. A Wayne State University study from 2009 brings the point home by suggesting that people who smile more intensely tend to have longer lifespans.
Enhanced Ability to Spread Joy
If you have straight, white teeth that you want to show off to the world, you’ll be encouraged to smile more often. As they say, “Smile and the world smiles back.” This phrase comes from the notion that smiling is contagious. When you walk around with a smile on your face, it lifts not only your own mood but also the moods of those around you. This isn’t just common sense—it’s backed up by current research.
Do you suffer from bad breath, also known as halitosis? In a majority of cases, the odor stems from bacteria in your mouth. Everyone knows that eating onions and garlic can make your breath stink, but these are far from the only culprits. Learn what other things cause bad breath so you can avoid them.
- Citrus fruit: Odor-causing bacteria love acidic environments, so eating lots of citrus fruit invites bad breath to stick around.
- Pasta sauce: Tomatoes are acidic as well, meaning red pasta sauce can contribute to bad breath.
- High-protein diets: The body produces ammonia as a byproduct of breaking down protein. When the odor escapes from your mouth, it causes bad breath.
- High-sugar diets: Because of how sugar interacts with the bacteria in your mouth, eating too many sweets could result in sour breath.
- Peanut butter: Its sticky consistency makes peanut butter difficult for saliva to wash away. As it lingers, bacteria feed, making your breath stink for hours at a time.
- Canned fish: Fishy compounds tend to linger in the mouth, giving off an unsavory smell until you drink water, chew gum, or brush your teeth.
- Cheese: Most dairy products, including cheese, contain amino acids that react with bacteria in your mouth to produce excess hydrogen sulfide. The result is a mouth that smells like rotten eggs.
- Horseradish: Isothiocyanate is a sulfur-containing compound found in all cruciferous vegetables, including horseradish. Mint is the best way to combat the effects of this compound.
- Coffee: Your favorite morning beverage has a drying effect on the mouth, reducing saliva flow and allowing odor-causing bacteria to thrive.
- Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption causes dehydration, which can reduce saliva production. This creates a dry environment for foul-smelling bacteria to flourish.
- Tobacco: Smoking or chewing tobacco causes an unpleasant odor in the mouth. Smokers are also more likely to develop gum disease, another source of bad breath.
- Medications: Some prescriptions cause dry mouth, a known cause of halitosis. Other drugs break down in your body, releasing foul-smelling chemicals that can be carried on your breath.
- Infections: Gum disease, tooth decay, mouth sores, or surgical wounds may lead to infections that cause bad breath and an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
- Digestive issues: Chronic digestive distress, acid reflux, and bowel disorders can produce gases that cause halitosis. An inability to digest certain enzymes could also lead to bad breath.
- Poor dental hygiene: The best way to combat almost all sources of bad breath is to brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash. By maintaining good oral health, you can combat halitosis before it starts.
If your bad breath just won’t go away, you may need help from a dentist to uncover the underlying cause. Please contact Park 56 Dental at (212) 826-2322 to work with one of the top dentists in New York. By providing a thorough dental cleaning, we can help you get rid of bad breath for good!
For several weeks in early 2020, dentists in New York City and elsewhere across the globe were required to stop providing non-urgent care in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. As we resume our “new normal,” many patients are asking—is it still too early to visit the dentist?
Rest assured that the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are now allowing patients to return to the dentist for routine cleanings, cosmetic dentistry, and other elective services—with a few changes in place. Here’s what you should know before visiting the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Is My Dentist’s Office Safe?
Germs are everywhere, but healthcare facilities, including dentist’s offices, have always been among the cleanest places you could go. Many safety guidelines have been the norm for years, including regularly washing your hands, sterilizing tools, and discarding certain gear and needles after a single use.
In light of the pandemic, many dentists, including Park 56 Dental in NYC, are doing even more. Here are some of the steps we’re taking to ensure patient safety and comfort:
- Conducting pre-visit health screenings and contactless temperature checks for all visitors and staff
- Making masks and hand sanitizer available upon request
- Staggering check-ins to minimize wait times and help maintain social distancing
- Holding virtual appointments to answer questions or conduct follow-ups
How “Essential” are Dentist Visits?
The fact that dentist offices were shut down for everything but emergency procedures could make some people think that routine teeth cleanings aren’t that important. However, the condition of your teeth and gums can greatly impact your overall health. In fact, putting off routine cleanings could compound dental problems and other health issues in the months and years to come.
The practical precautions that dentist offices are currently taking are effective at reducing the risk of coronavirus transmission while allowing you to care for your teeth and gums. Skipping your appointments any longer than necessary is simply not worth the risk to your oral health.
What to Consider Before Going to the Dentist
Social distancing is the best way to slow the spread of the coronavirus. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate for 14 days. In short, cancel your dentist appointment if you’re not feeling well. You’ll be sent home if you come in with a cough, fever, or shortness of breath. You should also stay home if you think you have been around anyone who has the coronavirus, whether or not they have tested positive.
Park 56 Dental in NYC is open for business! Anything that can be done remotely, such as payments or health questionnaires, will be handled over the phone or via email. We are taking COVID-19 restrictions seriously and place your safety above all else. Please call us at (212) 826-2322 or contact us online to ask questions about our coronavirus precautions or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
The technical name for gum disease is periodontitis or periodontal disease. This is a common infection that, according to a recent CDC report, affects nearly half of all American adults age 30 and older.
The mildest form of this disease is called gingivitis. Early symptoms include tender and swollen gums, gums that bleed when you brush your teeth, and a receding gum line. If left untreated, periodontal disease can become painful, lead to pussy discharge, and even result in tooth loss. Advanced gum disease can also increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other health problems.
Protect yourself from gum disease and the associated side effects by following these preventative tips.
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Make this a habit every morning and evening, no matter how busy or tired you are. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride and has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Choose a soft toothbrush, and brush thoroughly but gently to avoid irritating your gums. Brush for two full minutes, and hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle along the gum line so it sweeps away the bacteria hiding there.
- Floss every day. When it comes to preventing gum disease, flossing is arguably more important than brushing because it stimulates the gums and removes debris from between your teeth. The American Dental Association says it doesn’t matter when you floss—do it in the morning, at night, or after lunch—just do it!
- Swish with a medicated mouthwash. All mouthwash products offer some benefits, but some promote gum health better than others. Shop for a version that reduces plaque buildup, slows tartar formation, fights gingivitis, or all three! Remember, mouthwash complements brushing and flossing—it doesn’t replace it.
- Consider and address your risks. Some people are more likely than others to get gum disease. Risk factors include advancing age, genetics, AIDS, cancer, and hormonal changes in females. While many risk factors are out of your control, others can be addressed. For instance, you can reduce your risk if you quit smoking and control associated health conditions, such as diabetes.
- Get your teeth cleaned regularly. Gum disease develops rather quickly, and the earlier you begin treatment, the better. Therefore, children and adults of all ages should schedule a dental exam and professional cleaning every six months or as recommended by their dentist. If you already have gum disease, you may need more frequent visits to maintain your gums and prevent them from getting any worse.
At Park 56 Dental, our team of qualified dental professionals can help your smile stay healthy and beautiful. We encourage you to visit us twice a year for preventative care. Then, if you notice signs of gum disease or other oral health problems, reach out to us right away. We’ll help you slow or even reverse gum disease with effective treatments such as root planing and scaling, flap surgery, and bone and tissue grafts. Contact us online or call us at (212) 826-2322 to learn more.
You may not think of your teeth as being alive, but they are. The outer shell, called the enamel, is the hardest substance in the human body. However, the nerves and blood vessels at the heart of your teeth are soft and vulnerable. If this inner layer (known as the pulp) becomes damaged, blood may stop flowing. A tooth with no blood flow is called a “dead” tooth. Without treatment, this tooth may become infected or abscessed and will eventually fall out.
What Causes a Dead Tooth?
Trauma or injury is a common reason for a tooth to die. Falling or being hit in the mouth can cut off the blood supply to a tooth or even cause blood vessels to burst. With no blood flow, the nerve inside the pulp dies.
Tooth decay is another possible cause. Without consistent dental hygiene habits, cavities can start to form. Left untreated, decay slowly eats through the tooth toward the sensitive pulp, eventually causing an infection. Inflammation may cut off blood flow to the pulp, causing the tooth to die.
How to Spot a Dead Tooth
It isn’t always easy to identify a dead tooth. Only a dental professional can pinpoint signs of restricted blood flow and a dying tooth in its early stages, which is why regular dentist visits are so important. Before long, though, the problem will soon become apparent.
Pain is the first symptom to watch out for. This may seem odd because the nerve inside your tooth is dead, but that’s not where the pain comes from. Bacteria and dead nerve remnants touching the extremely sensitive nerve endings around your tooth, called the periodontal membrane, are the source of your pain.
A change in color comes next. Dead teeth often darken over time as red blood cells die. This is very similar to developing a bruise. If a single tooth in your mouth gradually becomes yellow, gray, or black, visit the dentist right away.
Signs of infection could also appear if the dead tooth doesn’t receive treatment. You may notice swelling, a bad taste in your mouth, or an inflamed sore on your gums.
Treatment for a Dead Tooth
A root canal is the first option. Dentists want to avoid removing teeth whenever possible, and this procedure could save a dead or dying tooth. It involves removing all signs of decay and infection from deep within the tooth. Then, the dentist fills and seals it. In many cases, a crown is needed following a root canal.
Tooth extraction is the next choice. Even if your dentist can’t save your tooth, prompt treatment is necessary to avoid other complications. Once removed, you have several options for replacing the missing tooth, including an implant, bridge, or partial denture.
Park 56 Dental offers tooth care and smile restorations out of our spa-like, patient-centered New York dentist office. If you notice signs of a dead tooth, please contact us online or call us at (212) 826-2322 to schedule an appointment.