• 8 Bad Habits That Ruin Your Dental Health

    Are you looking for ways to take better care of your smile? It’s easy to focus on things you should do, like brush morning and night, floss once a day, and visit your dentist for a professional cleaning every six months. But what about the things you shouldn’t do? Here are eight bad dental health habits that you need to break right now.

    1. Chewing on ice or hard candy: Munching on the ice cubes at the bottom of your drink may seem harmless, but this habit can damage your teeth if you bite down wrong. Chill your beverage before serving it to avoid needing ice, or drink from a straw to reduce the temptation to chew.
    2. Biting your nails or chewing on pens: These bad habits introduce harmful germs into your mouth, damage your teeth, and lead to jaw dysfunction. If you want to stop biting your nails, try wearing bitter-tasting nail polish.
    3. Using your teeth as tools: Never use your teeth to open packages, undo knots, tear tape, or open bottles. Instead, find the right tool for the job, such as scissors or a bottle opener.
    4. Constantly snacking or sipping on sugary drinks: Eating nonstop keeps your teeth in constant contact with food particles, increasing the risk of cavities. This habit is even more problematic if your snacks or drinks have high sugar content. The solution is to eat balanced meals so you aren’t tempted to snack all day. Then, reach for water instead of juice, soda, or sports drinks.
    5. Brushing too hard: Aggressive brushing can wear down tooth enamel and irritate your gums. To avoid these problems, choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and focus on gently massaging your teeth, not scrubbing them raw.
    6. Playing contact sports without a mouthguard: It only takes one hit to the mouth to chip, break, or even lose a tooth. You might also bite your cheek or tongue. To protect your teeth and soft tissues, ask your dentist about creating a custom mouthguard.
    7. Grinding your teeth: Stress can cause nighttime tooth grinding, or bruxism, a habit you have little control over. If you think you grind your teeth in your sleep, the best solution is to wear a special nighttime mouthguard your dentist makes just for you.
    8. Smoking or chewing tobacco: Using tobacco products of any kind stains your teeth, causes gum disease, and increases the risk of oral cancer. Save your dental health—talk to your dentist for tips to quit smoking

    At Park 56 Dental, we know it can be hard to break bad oral health habits. But just a few small changes can go a long way toward preserving your smile! For more tips or to schedule your next dentist visit, feel free to get in touch. We’ve been voted the best dentist in New York, with over 20 years of experience serving the 10022 zip code area. Call us at (212) 826-2322 or contact us online to speak with our NYC dentist today.

  • Why Do Dentists Encourage You to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

    The human mouth goes through numerous changes over the years. For many people, one of the most memorable milestones is the appearance of the third molars around ages 17 to 21. “Wisdom teeth” are so named because they are the final teeth to appear and come in at a mature age.

    When wisdom teeth erupt through the gums correctly, they can help with chewing. However, while there’s no definitive rule, most people have their wisdom teeth removed. Why is this? And how do you know if you should keep your wisdom teeth or not?

    Many situations warrant having your wisdom teeth removed. Here are the most common reasons your dentist may encourage you to make this choice.

    Fully Impacted Wisdom Teeth

    An impacted tooth fails to erupt through the gums, meaning it remains covered by gum tissue. This may occur if your mouth is too small for the tooth to emerge. Dentists usually recommend removing impacted wisdom teeth because trapped bacteria could cause painful cysts or abscesses to form.

    Partially Impacted Wisdom Teeth

    A partially impacted tooth erupts partway through the gums. Dentists almost always advise removing wisdom teeth in situations like this. After all, the partial eruption makes it easy for bacteria to get inside, leading to swelling, pain, and stiffness in the jaw. Tooth decay is also more likely because it’s difficult to clean a partially impacted tooth.

    Overcrowding

    Some willful wisdom teeth erupt fully, even if there isn’t room in the jaw. This can overcrowd your mouth and damage neighboring teeth. Your entire smile may even shift, throwing off your bite and causing jaw pain.

    Necessary for Your Dental Care Plan

    Your dentist may recommend wisdom teeth extraction as part of your overall oral care plan. For instance, if you’re planning to get braces soon, it’s wise (pun intended) to remove problematic wisdom teeth before you begin straightening your smile. And if your wisdom teeth come in after having braces, prompt removal prevents them from undoing all your hard work.

    Other Problems

    If you decide to keep your wisdom teeth for now, continue to monitor them for signs of trouble. It may become necessary to remove them if issues develop near your wisdom teeth, such as:

    • Tooth, jaw, or cheek pain
    • Repeated infections
    • Gum disease
    • Extensive tooth decay

    The decision to remove your wisdom teeth isn’t always straightforward. That’s why it’s important to visit the dentist regularly. Routine oral exams and X-rays reveal what’s happening in your mouth so you can take the best course of action for your oral health.

    If your wisdom teeth are giving you trouble, visit Park 56 Dental for a consultation. We offer compassionate, high-quality dentistry in the 10022 zip code area of NYC, and we’re confident we can help you make the right choice regarding your wisdom teeth. If you decide to have them extracted, rest assured that we offer sedation dentistry to make you feel more comfortable. Call us at (212) 826-2322 to set an appointment today.

  • 10 Ways Stress Can Impact Your Teeth

    You know that stress can manifest as a headache, muscle tension, or high blood pressure, but have you ever considered how stress can impact your teeth? Here are 10 of the most commonly reported dental health issues linked to stress.

    1. Tooth grinding: Also known as bruxism, nighttime tooth grinding is a common condition, especially among stressed individuals. The unconscious habit wears down your teeth over time and may also cause tooth shifting and jaw pain.
    2. Tooth fractures: Teeth have tiny fissures in them due to everyday wear and tear. As long as they don’t become any worse, these fissures are no problem. Unfortunately, jaw clenching and stress go hand-in-hand, causing weak teeth to eventually fracture and break.
    3. Sensitivity: Nighttime grinding and daytime clenching can wear down the protective enamel layer, leaving your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures and sweet and sour foods.
    4. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain: The TMJ is the joint connecting each side of your jaw to your skull. Pain or dysfunction in this joint is known as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. Stress-related tooth grinding, jaw clenching, and muscle tension may cause or aggravate TMD.
    5. Gum disease: Some studies suggest a link between the stress hormone cortisol and bacterial growth that leads to gum disease, also called periodontal disease. This chronic oral health problem can cause gum sensitivity, bad breath, and eventually tooth loss.
    6. Cold sores: Also called fever blisters, cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. Being upset or stressed can trigger an outbreak at the corners of your mouth, which may take a week or more to clear up.
    7. Canker sores: These painful mouth sores make it difficult to eat spicy, salty, or acidic foods. Experts aren’t sure what causes canker sores, also called recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS), but it appears that stress increases your risk.
    8. Oral infections: Stress negatively impacts your immune system, making you more vulnerable to low-grade infections in your mouth and elsewhere in your body.
    9. Dry mouth: Formally known as xerostomia, dry mouth is when your salivary glands fail to produce enough saliva. Among other causes, stress and anxiety have been shown to decrease saliva production, causing dry mouth.
    10. Bad oral health habits: Stressed-out people are often exhausted or pressed for time, making them more likely to neglect their oral health, as well as rely on cigarettes, alcohol, and unhealthy comfort food. All of these habits increase the risk of cavities, gum disease, and other concerns.

    Don’t allow stress to wreak havoc on your dental health! Instead, take steps in your daily life to reduce anxiety, such as meditating, doing yoga, and working on your time management skills. Then, fit dentist visits into your busy schedule to keep on top of oral health problems as they arise. To work with the best dentist in New York, contact Park 56 Dental at (212) 826-2322. We have served patients in the 10022 zip code area for over 20 years.

  • The Best and Worst Thanksgiving Foods for Your Teeth

    When you go to plan your Thanksgiving dinner menu, how do you decide what to serve? Most people opt for traditional family favorites, perhaps with a new dish or two to try. But if you or someone in your family is struggling with oral health issues, it may be wise to choose foods based on how good they are for your teeth and gums. Here are some of the best and worst foods to eat for Thanksgiving if you’re focused on good oral health.

    Limit These Worst Thanksgiving Foods for Your Teeth

    • Stuffing and rolls: They may be Thanksgiving staples, but the sugary carbohydrates in stuffing and rolls feed the bacteria in your mouth. The acids left behind can then erode your teeth and lead to cavities.
    • Cranberry sauce: Loaded with sugar and tooth-staining berries, cranberry sauce is known to discolor enamel and encourage cavities to form.
    • Pies and desserts: Most people enjoy a slice of pumpkin or pecan pie and other desserts after Thanksgiving dinner. Keep in mind that sugar turns into acid in your mouth, making it your teeth’s worst enemy.
    • Caramel corn: Popcorn is bad enough, but cover it with sticky caramel, and you have a recipe for dislodged crowns and lost fillings.
    • Alcohol: The acid in wine is enough to etch your teeth if you drink it too often, so be wise about your alcohol consumption this Thanksgiving.

    If you must indulge in these Thanksgiving foods, do so sparingly. Then, to remove particles from your mouth, rinse with water throughout the meal and brush your teeth 30 minutes after your last bite.

    Eat More of These Best Thanksgiving Foods for Your Teeth

    • Turkey: Good news—the quintessential Thanksgiving food is perfectly fine for your teeth! Turkey doesn’t contain starch or sugar that can harm your oral health, and it’s also an excellent source of vitamin D and protein to support a healthy smile.
    • Vegetables: Carrots, celery, cucumbers, and tomatoes are a healthy addition to your Thanksgiving feast. Veggies are chockfull of vitamins and nutrients that promote good oral health. The act of chewing them also scrubs your teeth, massages your gums, and stimulates saliva flow.
    • Sweet potatoes: Feel free to load your plate with sweet potatoes because they’re high in potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamin B6. Just be careful about the brown sugar or marshmallows often served with them.
    • Cheese and nuts: Munch on these snacks guilt-free, knowing they’re filled with calcium, protein, and other nutrients your teeth need to stay healthy and strong.

    If you notice stained, yellowed, or aching teeth around the holidays, don’t put off visiting the dentist. A trip to Park 56 Dental will leave your teeth feeling cleaner and brighter. Voted NYC’s best dentist, we are well-equipped to meet all your preventative and restorative dentistry needs. Give us a call at (212) 826-2322 to set up an appointment today! We have been serving patients in the 10022 zip code area since 1997.

  • How to Prevent Cracking Your Teeth

    Your bite produces massive amounts of pressure, as much as 5,600 pounds per square inch. Teeth structure is amazingly resistant to this pressure and able to withstand a compressive force of approximately 30,000 pounds. But when you introduce foods and non-foods that are excessively hard, teeth can crack under the pressure. Tiny cracks in your teeth can put you at risk for deeper, more serious cracks and the introduction of dangerous bacteria into the tooth openings. Learn how to prevent cracks in your teeth so you can safeguard your smile for years to come!

    Abstain from Foods that Could Injure Your Teeth

    While teeth can withstand some tremendous forces, avoid adding extra stress by using them in proper ways. One of the most common ways teeth are damaged are from the foods and non-foods you eat or chew on. Common culprits for teeth cracks include:

    • Ice
    • Popcorn
    • Frozen foods
    • Hard candies
    • Pens or pencils

    If any of these foods or non-foods are a part of your daily routine, consider making some changes to protect your oral health.

    Get Treatment for Teeth Grinding or Clenching

    Twenty percent of Americans grind their teeth, a condition called bruxism, which is often accompanied by teeth clenching as well. Most people aren’t conscious of this stress-induced condition since it often occurs while they are sleeping. If teeth grinding isn’t treated it can lead to chips, breaks, and cracks in teeth overtime. A custom nightguard by your dentist can help treat the effects of teeth grinding.

    Wear a Sports Mouthguard During Athletic Activities

    Athletes are also at risk for teeth cracks from impact injuries during activities. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reports that only 22 percent of children wear mouthguards while playing sports. A sports mouthguard can protect teeth from this dangerous source of oral trauma.

    Park 56 Dental offers restorative dentistry to repair and prevent cracks in your teeth so cracks don’t jeopardize the health of a tooth or adjacent teeth. Contact us today at (646) 679-3989 if you have any questions about the stability of your teeth. Your health and well-being are our top priority

  • Why You Should Consider Sedation Dentistry

    Sedation Dentistry is an Essential Part of Dedicated Dental Care

    A positive patient experience is an important part of excellent dental care. Fear of the dentist prevents too many from taking care of their teeth in a timely manner. Dentists are dedicated to helping their patients feel welcome, comfortable, and enthusiastic about improved oral health and aesthetics through sedation dentistry techniques. Sedation dentistry can eliminate fear before or during treatment!

    By the Numbers

    An estimated 30% of adults avoid the dentist due to fear. That’s a lot! For many people, they could be suffering needlessly from oral diseases despite modern technological advances that offer them relief and comfort with their dental health care needs. But researchers estimate 75 million US citizens don’t seek dental care that can easily be treated by conscious sedation dentistry or general anesthesia.

    What is Sedation Dentistry?

    Many people refer to sedation dentistry as “sleep dentistry” but the nickname is inaccurate since the patient does not actually sleep during treatment. Sedation dentistry is a form of dental treatment that significantly reduces pain and makes procedures easier to tolerate.

    This process usually involves giving patients time-release injections or intravenous anesthesia, so they can relax during their procedure without being bothered by the sight or sound in any way.

    Eight Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

    Sedation dentistry is a great option for patients who are afraid or anxious about visiting the dentist. It allows them to receive routine oral care without feeling threatened. It allows their minds to relax during procedures while under close supervision from providers trained in sedation techniques.

    Studies have shown that this form of treatment often results in less treatment time compared to those not under sedation. Other benefits of sedation dentistry include:

    • Makes the appointment time go by faster.
    • Reduces your dental anxiety during and before treatment.
    • Encourages you to make your preventive appointments.
    • Reduces the strength of your gag reflex.
    • Minimizes pain during treatment.
    • Helps you sit still for longer procedures.
    • Improves your overall health as you better your oral health.
    • Offers different strengths of sedation dentistry for ultimate comfort.

    Park 56 Dental is IV-certified and licensed by the American Dental Association to deliver sedation dentistry. Our specialty training by the State Board of Dental Examiners allows us to administer controlled medications to foster a comfortable, pain-free experience.

    Contact us today at (646) 679-3989 to learn the type of sedation dentistry that is best for you.

     

  • How to Care for Yourself After a Dental Procedure

    Root canals, tooth extractions, and dental implants are common smile restorations that require some recovery time. Choosing an experienced oral surgeon is the first step toward ensuring a comfortable recovery.

    At Park 56 Dental, we offer sedation dentistry to make your time in the dentist’s chair as comfortable as possible. We also review the recommended aftercare with you before you undergo any procedure, so you know exactly what to expect during your recovery. And if you have any urgent questions for us, rest assured that we answer emergency calls 24 hours a day.

    Here are some general aftercare tips we recommend to take care of yourself after a dental procedure.

    • Take it easy: Take time off school or work and rest at home. Avoid physical exertion for two to three days, and keep your head propped up with pillows to reduce inflammation.
    • Apply ice packs: Ice helps to numb any localized pain and brings the swelling down. Throughout the first recovery day, apply a towel-wrapped ice pack for 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off.
    • Leave gauze pads in place: Wait for three or four hours to remove any gauze pads your oral surgeon put in your mouth. This helps minimize bleeding and helps the surgical area clot properly.
    • Eat soft food: Stick to a liquid or soft-food diet for a few days. Chilled soup, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, yogurt, smoothies, milkshakes, and ice cream are all good options.
    • Avoid hot foods and drinks: Wait until the local anesthesia wears off completely to eat or drink anything hot so you don’t accidentally burn your tongue or the roof of your mouth.
    • Don’t drink through a straw: Suction in the mouth can dislodge the blood clot from the treated area, leading to a painful condition called dry socket. To prevent this, don’t drink from a straw for three days after oral surgery.
    • Take medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers can help make your recovery more comfortable. If your oral surgeon prescribes antibiotics, take those as directed as well.
    • Rinse with salt water: 24 hours after your procedure, rinse gently with warm saltwater. A good ratio is one-half teaspoon salt per one-half cup of water. Rinse after every meal and snack to help remove food particles from around the surgical area.
    • Brush carefully: Avoid brushing the treated area until it has fully healed, but continue to brush the rest of your teeth.
    • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol: These habits can interfere with the healing process, so avoid them for at least 24 hours. Better yet, quit smoking and always limit your alcohol intake to improve your overall health.

    If you’re looking for skilled dental care and oral surgery in NYC, you’ve come to the right place. Park 56 Dental has been voted NYC’s best dentist, so why would you go anywhere else for your next dental procedure? To learn more about our services, please call us at (212) 826-2322 or contact us online today.

  • How to Prevent Gum Recession

    Receding gums are a common oral health problem. You know your gums are receding if you have less gum tissue than you used to and your teeth look longer than normal. What you’re seeing is the exposed tooth root, which may be sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Gum tissue doesn’t grow back, so it’s important to prevent gum recession before it’s too late.

    • Brush your teeth gently: It’s a misconception that the more aggressively you brush, the cleaner your teeth become. Not only does vigorous brushing wear down tooth enamel, but it also irritates your gums. Switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush, and be careful about how much pressure you use when brushing each morning and night.
    • Floss daily: Flossing targets the hard-to-reach places between your teeth and along the gum line. Scraping away plaque and stubborn food particles from these areas is critical to keep your gums healthy and prevent them from receding.
    • Stop smoking: Tobacco use of any kind is horrible for your oral health. It leaves a sticky film in your mouth that can cause gum recession if not removed thoroughly. Stop smoking to promote gum health, prevent tooth stains, and reduce the risk of oral cancer.
    • Eat a nutritious diet: Gum tissue, like the rest of your body, needs adequate vitamins and minerals for optimum health. Some of the best foods for a healthy smile include apples, carrots, leafy greens, plain yogurt, and almonds.
    • Wear a mouthguard: Do you grind your teeth at night? If you’re not sure, your dentist can diagnose this condition, known as bruxism. Then, you can look into getting a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth and gums while you sleep.
    • Straighten your smile: Crooked teeth and a misaligned bite place excess pressure on your jawbone and gums, making gum recession more likely. Invisalign is the invisible way to straighten your teeth and keep your gums healthy.
    • Avoid mouth piercings: Lip and tongue rings are a surefire way to irritate your gums and cause them to recede. So play it safe and stick to ear piercings to keep your mouth free of foreign objects.
    • Visit the dentist: The American Dental Association recommends that most people visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. During your exam, a hygienist will remove tartar and plaque from your teeth that can irritate the gums. Your dentist will also check for signs of recession and offer personalized tips to prevent the problem from getting any worse.

    If you notice receding gums or other signs of gum disease, reach out to Park 56 Dental. We’ve been voted the best dentist in NYC, so you can rest assured that our team will take great care of you. We offer effective treatments to help slow or even reverse gum disease and recession, including root planing and scaling, flap surgery, and bone and tissue grafts. To learn more, please call us at (212) 826-2322 or contact us online today.

  • Why Should You See a Cosmetic Dentist?

    Are you unhappy with your teeth? If you find yourself covering your mouth when you laugh and smiling with closed lips for photos, you could benefit from seeing a cosmetic dentist. While general dentistry aims to preserve oral health, a cosmetic dentist focuses on improving the way your smile looks and feels. Here are the top reasons to see a cosmetic dentist.

    • Yellow, stained teeth: Years of eating and drinking tooth-staining foods and beverages can leave your teeth looking yellow and dull. Fortunately, extrinsic stains like these are easy to remove with Zoom!® in-office whitening. In less than an hour, your teeth will be several shades whiter. Use at-home whitening products between visits to help your look last as long as possible.
    • Discoloration: Intrinsic tooth discoloration can’t be corrected with whitening. Fortunately, you still have options! Veneers, or tooth-colored shells adhered to the front of your teeth, may be the best choice for giving your smile a bright new look.
    • Uneven teeth: If your teeth have worn unevenly, they may now appear pointy, jagged, or misshapen. They may even be different sizes or lengths. Tooth reshaping/contouring is the cosmetic dentistry solution to this problem. With a specially designed tool, the dentist can gently reshape your uneven teeth for a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
    • Missing teeth: Whether you had an infected tooth extracted or a traumatic injury left you with a gap in your smile, you can fill the hole with dental bridges or implants. A bridge anchors to dental crowns installed on the two adjacent teeth, while implants are self-supporting fixtures that mount directly to your jawbone.
    • Broken, chipped, or fractured tooth: When a tooth is damaged, it’s important to act quickly to save it. Your options include dental crowns, veneers, and bonding (applying composite resin to the surface of the tooth to repair it).
    • Cavities: Tooth decay can lead to cavities, which require a filling. If you currently have amalgam (metal) fillings, you can replace them with tooth-colored fillings made of composite or porcelain. This way, you can smile as wide as you want without anyone noticing your dental restorations.
    • Crooked teeth: If you want a straighter smile, but you don’t want metal braces, consider what Invisalign® has to offer! The clear, plastic aligners are virtually invisible, gradually shifting your teeth into the desired position without anyone even knowing you have braces.
    • Gummy smile: Excess gum tissue can affect your self-confidence and discourage you from smiling. Luckily, this condition is treatable using techniques such as dental crown lengthening, orthodontics, and oral surgery.

    If you’re ready to enhance your smile, visit Park 56 Dental, the best cosmetic dentist in New York. We provide an array of personalized treatments designed to restore your self-confidence, many of which can be completed in one office visit. For more information about cosmetic dentistry, or to schedule a free consultation, please call us at (212) 826-2322 or contact us online today.

  • 10 Ways to Prevent Tooth Enamel Loss

    Enamel is the semi-transparent outer layer of your teeth that protects the more sensitive dentin and pulp beneath from the acids, chemicals, and temperature extremes your mouth endures when you eat and drink. Even though enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, daily wear and tear can eventually cause the surface of your teeth to wear away. Once you lose tooth enamel, it’s gone for good, so it’s important to do everything you can to protect it! Here’s how.

    1. Limit acidic foods and drinks: When you eat anything acidic, your tooth enamel softens temporarily and loses some of its mineral content. Your saliva slowly balances out the acidity in your mouth, but if this acid attack happens too often, your mouth may not have time to repair itself before some enamel is brushed away. To prevent this, cut back on alcohol, coffee, tea, soda, sports drinks, tomato sauce, and sour candy.
    2. Eat less sugar: The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, producing acid as a byproduct. This is why juice, candy, and other sweet foods are so bad for your teeth.
    3. Finish your meal with dairy: Enjoying a glass of milk or a piece of cheese at the end of your meal helps rebalance the acidic pH in your mouth.
    4. Rinse immediately: If you have a hankering for something sweet or acidic, reduce the damage by rinsing your mouth with water once you finish eating.
    5. Chew sugar-free gum after meals: Chewing gum stimulates saliva flow, which helps remineralize your enamel. Plus, mint gum freshens your breath, making it a win-win.
    6. Wait an hour to brush: It may sound counterintuitive, but you shouldn’t brush your teeth right after eating. This is when your enamel is weakest, so wait until it has time to harden again before brushing.
    7. Brush gently: Unless your dentist recommends otherwise, use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Then, brush gently to remove food particles and plaque without scrubbing enamel away.
    8. Brush with fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride has the amazing ability to remineralize your teeth, strengthening enamel in the process. That’s why it’s so important to use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash.
    9. Wear a mouthguard: Nighttime tooth grinding can wear down your enamel. Ask your dentist about getting a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
    10. Work with your dentist: Ultimately, the best way to keep your enamel intact is to visit the dentist regularly. A dental professional can spot early signs of erosion and recommend fluoride treatments, prescription toothpaste, and other personalized solutions to help you preserve your smile.

    Ready to team up with the best dentist in New York? Look no further than Park 56 Dental! We can help you prevent tooth enamel loss and recommend dental restorations if your smile needs a boost. All the while, you’ll enjoy personalized, quality dental care in a spa-like environment. To get started, please call us at (212) 826-2322 or contact us online to request your free consultation.