• How to Take Care of Your Teeth between Dental Visits

    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!

  • Everything You Need to Know About Dental Fillings

    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.

  • Why You Should Consider Dental Implants

    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.

  • How Sugar Affects Your Teeth

    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.

  • How Poor Dental Hygiene Affects Your Overall Health

    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.

    Heart Disease

    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.

    Dementia

    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.

    Respiratory Infections

    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).

    Diabetes

    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.

    Rheumatoid Arthritis

    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.

    Pregnancy Complications

    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.

  • How Restoring Your Smile Can Help with Your Mental Health

    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.

    Greater Self-Confidence

    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.

    Better Appearance

    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.

    Longer Lifespan

    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.

    Ready to improve your mental health? Start by restoring your smile at Park 56 Dental! Call our NYC dentist at (212) 826-2322 or schedule your appointment online today.

  • How to Prevent Gum Disease

    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.

  • What is a Dead Tooth?

    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.

  • What is a Dental Bridge?

    There are several options for replacing missing teeth, including dental bridges. Closing the gap in your smile can help prevent problems with your existing teeth and gums, including driting, bone loss, difficulty chewing, or speech problems. Learn more about dental bridges to help you decide if this is the right restorative treatment for you.

    What is a Dental Bridge?

    Dental bridges literally “bridge the gap” left by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is comprised of multiple parts:

    • Crowns cap the teeth on either side of the gap, known as the abutment teeth.
    • One or more false teeth, called pontics, are suspended between the crowns to replace the missing tooth or teeth.
    • Crowns and pontics may be made of porcelain, alloys, gold, or other materials.

    What is the Process of Receiving a Dental Bridge?

    Your first visit with the dentist involves preparing the abutment teeth by removing some of the enamel. This creates room to place crowns, which serve as anchors for the pontic cemented between them.

    During the same visit, your dentist takes an impression of your teeth to use as a model when creating custom pontics and crowns for your dental bridge. A temporary bridge protects your exposed teeth and gums until the permanent product is finished.

    At your second appointment, the dentist removes the temporary bridge and puts the new pontic and crowns in place. Temporary cement ensures a comfortable fit. After a few weeks, you return to the dentist one final time to have the bridge firmly cemented in place.

    Factors to Consider

    When comparing bridges with other tooth-replacement options, keep these factors in mind:

    • Time: You can complete the dental bridge process in two or three visits spaced within a few weeks of each other.
    • Cost: While your insurance coverage determines what you pay out of pocket, bridges tend to be a middle-of-the-road option, with dentures costing less and implants costing more.
    • Longevity: With excellent oral hygiene and regular checkups, dental bridges can last up to 15 years.
    • Aesthetics: Pontics aren’t embedded in the gum line, so it may be possible to distinguish them from your natural teeth upon close inspection. For this reason, bridges often replace teeth toward the back of the mouth.
    • Comfort: Bridges are not removable, so there’s no risk of slipping, which may exist with some types of dentures.
    • Oral care: Whether you have a dental bridge or not, you should brush twice a day and floss once a day. If you have a bridge, your dentist may also recommend using antiseptic mouthwash and a special flossing tool to clean out debris from under the pontic.

    Park 56 Dental is pleased to offer bridges and other smile restoration options to meet your diverse needs. We operate out of our spa-like, patient-centered New York office that makes going to the dentist a pleasure. Contact us online or call us at (212) 826-2322 to schedule a consultation for dental bridges in NYC today.

  • Why our Teeth Shift or Become Crooked

    Have you noticed a shift in your bite? You might think that your teeth are firmly attached, but it’s actually very common for them to shift, becoming crooked or misaligned. What causes teeth to move around in your head? And what should you do about it?

    • Sometimes baby teeth become crooked. It doesn’t necessarily mean the permanent teeth will be crooked, but in some situations it does. Baby teeth may just be crooked because they’re too small for the available gum space. If a child sucks a thumb or pacifier for too long, the baby teeth may become crooked, and if there is trauma to the mouth or tooth decay that causes a baby tooth to fall out prematurely, the permanent teeth may grow in crooked. If the baby teeth are crowded, the permanent teeth probably will be too. Genetics and heredity play a role, and poor dental habits and poor nutrition are sometimes the problem.
    • Your jaw size may be to blame. Some scientists believe that our teeth often become overcrowded because our jaws have evolved to be smaller than they used to be. Interestingly, the lower jaw grows forward continually, throughout a person’s lifetime. This can cause the lower front teeth to bump into the upper front teeth, which either makes the top teeth spread out or the bottom teeth become crowded. On the other hand, the width of your lower jaw diminishes over the years, which also contributes to crowding of the lower teeth.
    • Teeth can lose enamel and change shape. Whether it’s because of an injury or acid erosion, sometimes enamel is lost from your teeth, changing their shape. This can cause them to move out of alignment. Grinding the teeth, a condition called bruxism, can change the shape of the teeth as well.
    • As you age, your teeth may shift. Aging causes bones, ligaments, and muscles to grow weaker. What’s more, the constant pressure of moving against each other can wear teeth down, causing them to shift and crowd.

    Sometimes, there’s no reason to do anything about teeth that have shifted. Your quirky, crooked smile may just be part of who you are, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are some factors, though, that would make it a good idea to move your teeth back where they belong. If it’s hard to chew, to speak, or to keep your teeth clean, or your crooked teeth are diminishing your confidence, there are many options available for straightening them.

    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, in a patient-centered practice with hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.