Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive? | Hoboken Dentist

If you find yourself constantly avoiding hot or cold food and beverages because it is painful, then it may be time to do something about it.

What Is Dentin Hypersensitivity?

Dentin, which contains microscopic tubules filled with tiny nerve endings, make up most of the insides of your teeth. Protecting it is a hard outer layer of enamel and cementum.

Dentin hypersensitivity or nerve irritation is a sharp dental pain that often occurs whenever the dentin loses much of the enamel or cementum. Without its natural protective coating, the tiny nerve endings become vulnerable to being exposed to hot, cold, acidic or sticky foods, which can make for quite the painful experience.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Many things can cause tooth sensitivity, such as:

  • Using a hard toothbrush can wear the enamel out and cause tooth sensitivity. So too can aggressively brushing teeth. This is why many dental experts recommend using a soft-bristled tooth.
  • Regularly drinking highly acidic foods and beverages, such as soda and juices, can also cause tooth erosion and lead to sensitive teeth.
  • Tooth decay, broken teeth and worn leaky fillings can also cause the dentin of your tooth to be exposed.
  • Tooth grinding can wear the teeth enamel out and lead to tooth sensitivity.
  • It is also very common for patients who recently received dental treatment, especially with procedures such as crowns, fillings, and tooth bleaching to have sensitive teeth. This, however, is temporary, and will usually go away in a few days’ time.

Visiting the Dentist

The best way to find relief from your pain and discomfort is to visit the dentist. Be sure to tell your dentist when you started noticing the pain and let the dentist know if you’ve done something to make yourself feel better, such as applying warm compresses or anything else.

After a couple of questions and doing preliminary examination, the dentist will then treat the underlying cause. Treatment can vary from something as simple as fixing a cavity or applying an in-office fluoride gel to strengthen the tooth enamel. Treatment can also be much worse and require surgery from a periodontist to fix gum loss that has led to your teeth’s root surfaces to become exposed.

What You Can Do About It

Other than in-office procedures and treatment, there are a few things that you can do yourself to help alleviate the pain. Case in point, using desensitizing toothpastes can help block off the nerve endings in the exposed dentin and reduce pain. You can also try to avoid acidic foods and drinks to see if it helps with the pain.

Of course, prevention is always better than cure, and the best way to prevent tooth sensitivity is to brush properly twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush every day and floss at least once daily. Also, if you grind your teeth, you may want to bring up the issue with your dentist as soon as you can well before it causes other problems, such as tooth sensitivity.

In any case, if you’ve been staying away from certain types of food and beverages for quite a while know to avoid pain, be sure to set an appointment with with Dr. Musarra. Call today at 201-795-2111 or visit our website at www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

 

Why Do Baby Teeth Need Fillings If They Are Going To Fall Out Anyways?

 

Most parents aren’t usually alarmed when they find cavities in their children’s baby teeth. Often, they just leave it alone. After all, they’re not permanent and will eventually fall out, so why bother? While it is true that baby teeth will eventually just fall out on their own, leaving cavities in baby teeth untreated will lead to serious consequences down the line.

The Importance of Primary Teeth

Your child’s primary baby teeth are extremely important. Not only do they help your child chew food, but the baby teeth also play a significant role in helping your child form good speaking habits and pronounce words properly. More importantly, they serve as placeholders and guides for when the permanent teeth start to erupt. Not to mention the effect of having a complete smile and healthy-looking teeth on your child’s self-esteem.

Why Baby Teeth Need To Be Filled

If cavities are found in baby teeth and they’re not treated, the decay can affect the permanent teeth underneath. In some cases, the decay can even spread to the permanent teeth.

You may ask then, wouldn’t it be better to just pull out the tooth instead of filling it? Well, while pulling out the tooth is actually possible, it’s not exactly in the best interest of the child. Remember, both children and adults need a complete set of teeth to speak and chew properly. Just missing a single tooth can significantly affect the way we chew or speak. This is especially important in children, as they’re still growing and any negative experiences that might make them much more self-conscious than necessary can have a significant impact on their self-esteem.

There’s also the fact that pulling teeth out can cause the other teeth to shift to “compensate” for the gap left by the missing tooth. If baby teeth are pulled out much earlier than necessary, this can lead to alignment problems once the permanent tooth starts to erupt.  However, when the decay is too expensive, dentists will have no choice but to pull the teeth out. But, this is only a last resort option. If this happens, the dentist will also usually recommend inserting an appliance into the space left by the pulled tooth to protect it until the permanent tooth is ready to come in.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

The key to making sure that your child grows up with a healthy and beautiful smile is to practice proper hygiene as early as their first baby tooth erupts. As toddlers, instill in them the importance of brushing and flossing correctly. Limit their consumption of sugary snacks too. It might also be a good idea to take them to the dentist at an early age as well.

Remember, your child’s primary teeth are extremely important to his or her growth and development. You should never think lightly of any problems with them just because they’ll eventually fall out anyway.

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s teeth, be sure to schedule an appointment today to know more about how you can take better care of your child’s teeth. Call 201-795-2111 or visit the website at www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

 

Type of Dental Issues Porcelain Veneers Can Fix | Hoboken Cosmetic Dentist

 As much as people with beautiful looking smiles love to show off their pearly whites, those who aren’t so fortunate may not like to smile as often. For those with less-than-perfect teeth, smiling can be a painful, if not potentially embarrassing experience.

Thankfully, there are plenty of options to help fix a variety of dental problems, and one of treatment options gaining popularity in recent years is porcelain dental veneers.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are one of the most versatile dental solutions designed to fix a number of oral problems. Although considered a cosmetic procedure, porcelain veneers can also be used to correct other dental issues to help improve the overall health of your teeth. Because they can be used to treat both cosmetic and functional problems, porcelain veneers have quickly become one of the more popular choices for dental choices today.

Another particular benefit that makes porcelain veneers such a popular option is their ability to provide immediate results. This is in contrast to other procedures that might otherwise take months or years to do so.

The many types of dental issues porcelain veneers can be used to effectively fix and mask include:

  • Discolored or stained teeth
  • Slightly crooked or misaligned teeth
  • Chipped, cracked or broken teeth
  • Tooth gaps
  • Misshaped teeth

Although not considered as a main treatment option, porcelain veneers can also be used to treat severe teeth alignment problems, or malocclusions.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Of course, the main advantage is that porcelain veneers can help give you the smile you’ve always wanted. But, it’s also worth taking note that the treatment uses very little tooth structure, and that the procedure itself often requires less anesthesia, if at all. Also, the materials used to make porcelain veneers make them very resistant against coffee stains, as well as other types of stains that naturally teeth don’t really offer much protection against.

Unfortunately, because the procedure involves removing part of the enamel, it’s considered irreversible. Also, as a result, it’s no longer possible to correct or change the color once the veneer has been cemented. It’s also possible to experience temperature sensitivity for a few days after the procedure. Lastly, veneers can be damaged by biting or chewing on something hard regularly, such as ice or finger nails.

Are They The Right Choice For Me?

The beauty of porcelain veneers goes beyond just correcting aesthetic imperfections. Sure, porcelain veneers can indeed help give you the smile you have always wanted. However, they can also be used to help improve the overall health of your teeth. This includes helping realign your bite, stabilization cracked or broken teeth, preventing tooth decay, and strengthening weak or loose teeth, just to name a few.

If you’re interested, be sure to schedule a personal consultation and exam with Dr. Musarra to see if you are a good fit for porcelain veneers. Call today at 201-795-2111 or visit our website at www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

 

Can Children Wear Invisalign?

invisalign

Almost everybody knows what metal braces are and just how effective they can be when it comes to correcting a variety of dental problems. But, as much as they’ve been proven to work, braces aren’t exactly the only option available these days. Invisalign, for example, uses clear aligners that can straighten teeth just as effectively as braces can. The only difference is that it doesn’t suffer from all the notable drawbacks, such as the ‘unsightly’ appearance of having metal braces on your mouth, making changes to your usual brushing and flossing routine, and having to avoid certain types of food, among many other things.

That being said, it’s no secret that Invisalign has become a popular alternative to metal braces these days. And, if you’re a parent, you might be wondering, can my child wear Invisalign? Better yet, is it safe for children?

Children and Invisalign

The answer? A resounding yes. Invisalign is just as safe and as effective in adults as it is in children. The problem here, though, is that Invisalign’s advantages could end up working against its favor if it’s not worn by a responsible and mature adult.

Why so? For starters, the main advantage of wearing Invisalign retainers over traditional braces is that you can remove them anytime. But, for the treatment to be effective, you’ll need to wear the retainers for at least 20 hours a day. This means you’ll have to wear them wear them pretty much the whole day, removing them only when you’re eating, brushing your teeth and flossing, or for the occasional night out, meetings, and so on. However, when it comes to kids, it’s not unusual nor unheard of for them to remove it every now and then out of curiosity. They may sometimes forget to put it back on, or forget where they put it, or take it off for far too long. Either one of those scenarios can greatly affect the treatment process, potentially making it even more expensive and in worse cases, completely undermine it.

It’s also a well-known fact that kids just aren’t as vain as adults, and that most kids often wear traditional braces. Unlike adults who opt for Invisalign mostly because it’s “low key” and that it doesn’t make them look different, it’s not exactly that hard to convince a child to wear traditional braces since other kids are probably wearing them too.

Should Your Child Wear Invisalign?

Both traditional metal braces and Invisalign clear aligners are equally effective when it comes to correct a variety of dental issues. This means that you should base your decision on how you feel and how much you trust your child. After all, everyone is different, including children. Your child may be more mature and responsible compared to others, and can be trusted with Invisalign.

Regardless of whether you choose Invisalign or not, what’s important is that you are there for your child. Encourage your child, take the time to listen to his or her fears and anxiety, especially if it’s about the treatment. Try to do your research and familiarize yourself with the treatment as well to make it easier for you to explain things to your child.

For more information on Invisalign or other questions about your child’s oral health, call Dr. Flynne Weingarten at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at http://www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.

 

The Effects of Thumb Sucking On Children’s Mouths | Hoboken Pediatric Dentist

thumb sucking

 Thumb sucking is something many parents worry about as their babies grow up and become toddlers. Parents often wonder whether to let the habit be, or if they should do something to stop it.

Is It Normal?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), thumb sucking or finger sucking is a natural reflex that’s seen even during an infant’s development in the womb. This said reflex can be soothing and may help your child feel secure and happy. The habit may also help to induce sleep. As such, it’s not unusual for toddlers and infants to suck their thumbs in the evening before going to sleep.

Until When Is It Considered Normal?

The ADA recommends that the best time to start discouraging thumb sucking behavior in children is by the age of four. Around this time, prolonged sucking could affect your child’s developing jaw and teeth, and cause permanent teeth to become misaligned.

If the habit continues well beyond the age of five or six, the constant pressure of the sucking motion will begin to have an effect on the mouth and teeth. The front teeth, for example, may protrude, leading to what’s commonly known as ‘buck teeth’. The child’s bite may also become open, a dental disorder where the upper and lower front teeth cannot touch. Even worse, thumb sucking will begin to have an effect on the alignment of not only the permanent teeth, but also the secondary ones.

In these cases, a general dentist will usually provide a referral to an orthodontist or pediatric dentist. If necessary, the dental professional may prescribe a crib, which is a dental appliance placed in the roof of the mouth to help discourage thumb sucking. The bite will then eventually correct itself if the habit is stopped in time.

Discouraging The Habit

More often than not, the best way to discourage thumb sucking is to ignore the behavior. Once they’re exposed to various social situations, children eventually figure out on their own that this behavior is not ‘normal’.

If, however, the habit persists beyond kindergarten or the age of four, it’s time to intervene.

  • Have your child use a pacifier instead. Sucking on pacifiers is easier to discourage and are also easier to take away.
  • Create a chart and reward system to help keep track of your child’s progress for quitting.
  • Encourage and praise your child once you see them make an effort to stop.
  • You may also want to schedule a consultation with your child’s dentist.

Whatever you choose to do to discourage thumb sucking in your child, always remember to use positive reinforcement. It’s been proven that children are more likely to respond to positivity, praise and encouragement. Resorting to criticism and nagging may cause your child to become anxious and worsen the problem.

For more information on thumb sucking or to make an appointment for your child contact Dr. Flynee Weingarten at Hoboken Pediatric Dentistry. Call 201-795-2111 or visit the website at www.hobokenpediatricdentistr.com.

What Problems Can Invisalign Correct?

Invisalign aligners

With Invisalign having become a much more popular treatment of choice by many over the recent years, it’s no surprise that more and more people want to know about it. In particular, what most are interested in are the dental problems Invisalign can fix.

Below are some of the main dental issues that Invisalign can effectively treat.

  • Gapped teeth. Gaps in between teeth can occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, they’re caused by the abnormal continued growth of the jawbone. Other times, leaving missing teeth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift to adjust to the empty space, which creates gaps. Regardless of the cause, spacing issues or gaps in between teeth will all eventually lead to a variety of gum problems, as well as an increased risk of periodontal disease.
  • Overbites happen when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth. Although genetics are the main cause for most overbite cases, it can sometimes also occur due to bad oral habits, or the over development of the bone supporting the teeth. Much like teeth gaps or spaces, overbites can eventually lead to gum problems if not addressed. Even worse, overbites add unnecessary stress on the lower teeth, as well as cause painful jaw and joint problems.
  • The opposite of overbites, an underbite occurs when the lower teeth protrude past the upper teeth. It can be caused by a variety of things, from undergrowth of the upper jaw, or overgrowth of the lower jaw – or both, in some cases – and it can also be caused by missing upper teeth. Having an underbite causes unnecessary tooth wear, in addition to causing pain and other issues in the jaw joints.
  • Open bite. Open bites occur when some of the teeth can’t make physical contact with the opposite teeth. This can either be caused by genetics, or excessive thumb-sucking as a baby, toddler or child. Those with open bites often have a hard time chewing and some even experience pain. Open bites have also been proven to cause speech impairment, as well as increased risk of TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorders.
  • Crowding of the teeth occurs when there’s just not enough room in the jaws for teeth to fit normally as they would. Crowding will only get worse the longer it is left untreated and will eventually result into severely crooked teeth, which causes various dental issues, such as plaque accumulation, tooth decay and an increased risk for gum disease.
  • When both the upper and lower jaws are misaligned, that’s what you call a crossbite. This causes the upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth, causing unnecessary additional wear on the teeth, gum disease and in worse cases, bone loss.

As you can see, from mild cases of gaps in teeth into much more complicated dental problems such as overbites and underbites, Invisalign is an effective dental treatment.

Contact Dental Associates of Hoboken today for more information on Invisalign and to schedule an appointment. Call 201-795-2111 or visit the website at www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

 

Should My Kids Use Mouthwash?

children and mouthwash

To put simply, yes. Mouthwash is extremely useful for children. An oral hygiene routine that includes using a gentle mouthwash can help ensure that your kid’s teeth and gums are healthy at all times. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should just go and have your kid gargling mouthwash right away. For mouthwash to be effective, especially in kids, it has to be used safely as well.

Starting At The Right Age

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), children younger than six shouldn’t use mouthwash that contains fluoride. Better yet, they shouldn’t use mouthwash at all, unless advised by the dentist. This is because children that young tend to swallow when rinsing and may end up ingesting too much fluoride. While small amounts of fluoride help keep teeth strong and free of cavities, large amounts can lead to what’s known as fluorosis, or enamel discoloration.

Benefits of Mouthwash

The purpose of mouthwash is to boost the effects of brushing and flossing. With kids, this is all the more important as they have yet to master brushing and flossing properly yet. It also helps give your kids a fresher breath, which can do wonders for their self-esteem and self-confidence. Also, mouthwashes containing fluoride help provide an extra dose of cavity protection for kids that are over the age of 6. If your child wears braces, mouthwashes are even more important as they can help loosen bits of food that are often stuck in between the brackets.

Choosing The Right Mouthwash

When choosing a mouthwash for your kid, try to stay away from adult mouthwashes because most contain alcohol. While the alcohol is extremely useful against invasive bacteria that can fester inside the mouth and along the line, it’s not exactly safe for children and their growing bodies. Instead, choose a mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol. It’s a big plus if it’s specifically targeted towards children.

Once you’ve chosen the right kind of mouthwash, it’s important to keep in mind these two tips:

  1. Supervise your child when using mouthwash. If your child is between 6 and 12, or even below 6, make sure that you’re always around while he or she is using mouthwash. This helps keep them honest about not swallowing any of the mouthwash and so that they don’t end up using mouthwash as a substitute for brushing and flossing. Give or take a few months, using mouthwash after brushing and flossing will all become routine, and you won’t need to monitor them anymore.
  1. Keep mouthwash out of reach of children. Because most mouthwashes are brightly colored and well flavored, it’s best to store them way out of reach of your children. High shelves or locking cabinets are examples of ideal storage spots. You’ll want to keep them stored in such safe places up until your kids are old enough to use mouthwash safely.

Contrary to popular belief, children can also develop oral health problems such as gum disease, which makes it extremely important that you teach your own child the importance of practicing a proper oral hygiene routine.

Brushing, flossing and using the right mouthwash everyday can help make sure that your child enjoys a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

In addition, be sure that your child goes in for regular dental check ups and cleanings. Make an appointment today with Dr. Posner at Dental Associates of Hoboken by calling (201)795-2111 or on the website at www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

 

Great Nutrition, Great Oral Health | Hoboken Dentist

teeth-whitening (2)Having a proper dental routine is definitely going to help keep your smile bright and pretty, but is there anything else you can do to perpetuate that grin down to your little ones? You can.

I’m talking about your diet. And I don’t just mean your personal diet. Your entire family should be aware of the good things that happen from eating well. Sure, we all know that eating well is good for us, but did you know that putting more of these foods into your diet can work wonders on not only your health, but also on your teeth? You heard it right…there are some foods that also excellent for your smile. So, you ready to get your shopping list ready? Let’s go!

We’re going to start with the obvious…milk. Milk is extremely good for your teeth because of a little chemical called calcium. Calcium is one of the main elements that make up your teeth so of course drinking plenty of the stuff is quite necessary. Not only does drinking a glass make your teeth stronger but milk actually helps neutralize the plaque bacteria in your mouth too. But don’t think any kind of milk will do. Unfortunately for the little ones, cereal milk becomes sugar milk once it hits the bowl. Not the same as drinking a glass. Sorry kids, cereal milk is not good for you; it’s just delicious. But honestly, all dairy foods are great for you in moderation. It’s the calcium that is doing the work.

The next in line would have to be fruits and vegetables. Yes, this one is even tougher to convince little ones to get into. We all know eating these types of food are great for our overall health, but they are also great for keeping your teeth strong, even whiter between whitening appointments! A great way to talk your little ones into it? Tell them to think of celery and broccoli and natures toothbrush and floss. Lots of crunchy fruits are great for your health, not only because of all those vitamins, but because these crunchy foods are also producing saliva and saliva is our mouth’s first line of defense against cavity-causing bacteria so munch away. Just keep in mind that these sweet treats are still sugary so try not to overindulge in these thinking you are helping your smile. They are good for you in moderation.

Finally, if you have a family of meat-eaters, you will be pleased to know that similar to the crunchy foods mentioned in the prior paragraph, this protein-packed food also produces saliva because of all the chewing. The more you and your family are keeping your teeth clean and healthy, your overall health will reflect this. And twice a year, take the family to visit the dentist to make sure you are doing everything you can to keep your smiles bright and healthy.

For more information on proper daily dental care, contact Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Learn more about their practice by visiting www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

Accepting patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark and all surrounding areas.

How to Properly Care for Your Teeth | Hoboken Dentist

78652984Did you know that even if you clean your teeth, you may not be cleaning it well? Brushing your teeth is only as good as how well you manage to actually clean them.

According to the American Dental Association, an individual should be brushing their teeth two times a day for at least two minutes. Two minutes is just barely the appropriate amount of time to sufficiently remove dirt from the front and back ends of the teeth.

After you have brushed your teeth for at least two minutes, use dental floss to get in between and hard to reach areas. Floss removes any extra food particles left in between teeth. If left untouched, those particles may turn into plaque, resulting in a higher risk for gum disease.

Flossing is merely the act of wrapping a piece of string around your teeth, one by one, in order to remove any bacteria and excess material stuck between each tooth. In its conception, floss was made from strands of silk, but now it comes from thin filament cord. There are varying thicknesses and varieties to choose from, depending on preference. Some are waxed, some are electric or water-based. There are also handy tools available on the market that help facilitate you in flossing properly, whether you need help reaching all of your teeth or working your way around complicated dental work, like braces. So no matter your reason for avoiding the floss, it isn’t a good one.

Even the process itself is relatively simple. Cut yourself a piece of floss about 18 inches long. Wrap both sides around your fingers until you have a good two inches separating either side. Pull it taut between your thumb and index finger and guide the floss in between each tooth. With a downward zigzag motion, slide the floss around each tooth in a curved motion, reminiscent to a shoe shine fella’s rag. What you’re trying to do is gently scrub down all the space between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach.

Finally, rinse your mouth with an ADA approved mouth wash to seal the cleanliness in and for a trace of fresh breath!

For more information on proper daily dental care, contact Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Learn more about their practice by visiting www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

Accepting patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark and all surrounding areas.

Take Care of Your Child’s Smile | Hoboken Dentist

475936549Parents usually provide oral hygiene care until their child is old enough to take responsibility for their daily dental health routine of brushing and flossing. A proper routine of preventive pediatric dental home care is important from the day your child is born.

  • Before Teething. Clean your infant’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding.
  • Baby Teeth. As soon as the first teeth come in, begin brushing them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and water.  If you are considering using toothpaste before your child’s second birthday, ask your dentist first.
  • Avoid Sugary Drinks to Sleep. To avoid baby bottle tooth decay and teeth misalignment due to sucking, try to wean your child off of the breast and bottle by one year of age, and monitor excessive sucking of pacifiers, fingers and thumbs. Never give your child a bottle of milk, juice or sweetened liquid as a pacifier at naptime or bedtime.
  • Let Them Do It. Help a young child brush at night, the most important time to brush, due to lower salivary flow and higher susceptibility to cavities. Perhaps let the child brush their teeth first to build self-confidence, then the parent can follow up to ensure that all plaque is removed. Usually by age 5 or so, the child can learn to brush his or her own teeth with proper parental instruction.
  • Lead by Example. The best way to teach a child how to brush is to lead by good example. Allowing your child to watch you brush your teeth teaches the importance of good oral hygiene.

For more information on ways to keep your child’s smile healthy, contact Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Learn more about their practice by visiting www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

Accepting patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark and all surrounding areas.