Define Your Dental Pain | Hoboken Dentist

While we know that we should schedule regular visits to the dentist, many patients tend to only schedule dental visits when they have an actual toothache. After all, if it doesn’t hurt, it must be fine, right? Wrong.

Generally speaking, pain is a protective response that ranges from minor sensitivity to severe pain and informs the body that something is wrong. As for tooth pain, it is caused by a reaction of the nerves inside a tooth’s pulp chamber with the severity dependent upon the type and degree of the stimulus. So, if you feel a certain pain beginning to occur, visiting the dentist as soon as possible is necessary. Here are definitions of various dental pain:

Sensitivity. Sensitivity to hot and cold food and drink may not be a serious problem, but if it lasts longer than a few moments, it could be caused by decay, a loose filling, or an exposed tooth root due to receding gums.

Damaged teeth. Pain when biting down on food is often caused by decay or cracked teeth and may require a root canal to clean out the damaged nerve pulp within the tooth.

Pressure. A dull ache or feeling of pressure above your upper teeth may not be tooth related at all – sometimes it can be sinus congestion from a cold or flu or caused by grinding or clenching.

Constant pain. The worst pain of them all, having a constant pain along the gum line can be caused by periodontal disease and can be accompanied by swelling and bleeding gums. Periodontal disease should be treated quickly, as it often involves both teeth and gums, and the infection can spread causing significant health problems.

To learn more about dental pain, call Dr. David Musarra at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.

Dr. David Musarra proudly accepts patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark and all surrounding areas.

So Many Toothbrushes, So Little Clue | Hoboken Dentist

Your dentist recommends you brush your teeth at least twice a day, and ideally after each meal. But, have you asked which toothbrush you should be using? Most stores carry dozens of different toothbrushes, how do you choose between the different brushes?

The first thing you should check when selecting a brush is that the brush carries the ADA seal. These are known to be both safe and effective – the bristles should be safe and rounded to avoid damaging your gum tissue, and firmly attached to ensure they don’t fall off.

Next is to choose between manual and electric. Some people prefer manual toothbrushes because they’re less expensive. Electric toothbrushes can help patients who brush too hard, because they can rely on the rotation of the toothbrush to clean teeth rather than pushing on the brush.

Most dentists recommend soft bristled brushes – soft bristle brushes are still able to remove food particles and plaque from your teeth, but are less likely to damage gum tissue. Because gum tissue is delicate and can be permanently damaged by aggressive brushing, you should always try to brush gently, and soft bristles can help ensure you are gentle on your gum tissue. Finally, choose one with a brush head that is size appropriate to ensure that it fits comfortably in your mouth and can reach all sides of all teeth.

If you have questions about choosing the right brush, talk to your dentist. They often have specific recommendations for patients and can fill you in about the pros and cons of different brushes.

To learn more about toothbrushes, call Dr. David Musarra at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at http://www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.

Dr. David Musarra proudly accepts patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark and all surrounding areas.

Do Dental Sealants Really Work For Kids Teeth? | Pediatric Dentist Hoboken

dental sealants


Thorough brushing and flossing are great for removing food particles and plaque from teeth, but those two alone are not enough. Especially when we’re talking about the depression and grooves found all the way back of your teeth.

This is where dental sealants come in, as they help add an extra layer of protection for those vulnerable from decay.

Why Children?

Fluoride has been proven to be very effective in preventing decay and protecting all the surfaces of your teeth. However, the chewing surfaces found on the back of your teeth are especially vulnerable to decay.

The main reason why children benefit from them the best is because their permanent molars don’t come in until between the ages of 6 and 12. This means that a dental sealant can be applied to them almost immediately when they come out. Additionally, this is also why dental sealants are more effective in children than they are in adults.

Why the Molars and Premolars?

As mentioned earlier, the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars typically have deep fissures. And, it is these grooves and pits that make them very vulnerable to decay. However, dental sealants are not limited to the molars and premolars. Other teeth who also have deep fissures are also candidates for dental sealants to protect them from decay.

Sometimes, even baby teeth may be primary candidates for dental sealants, especially if they have grooves or pits, just for added protection.

What to Expect During the Procedure

  • Preparation – First, the dentist or dental hygienist removes plaque and other food particles from the tooth. The tooth is then isolated and left to dry out for a while. Once dry, the hygienist will start etching the surface of the tooth before rinsing off the material and leaving it to dry out again.
  • Application – Once fully dry, the dental sealant material is applied to the tooth’s surface using a brush. A self-curing light is then used to make sure that the sealant bonds well to the tooth surface.
  • Evaluation – Finally, the dental hygienist or dentist takes a look at the dental sealant to check for any remaining crevices. Once fully hardened, the dental sealant will look like a hard plastic coating that will serve to protect the molars and premolars from tooth decay.

What’s Next?

With dental sealants, your child’s molars and premolars are now well protected from the effects of tooth decay. That, however, does not apply to your other teeth. Both brushing and flossing are still just as important with dental sealants as they are without them.

While dental sealants do really work for children’s teeth, they are not permanent. Often, they only last for anywhere between five to ten years. Also, don’t forget to have them checked by your child’s dentist regularly.

Combined with good oral hygiene at home, a healthy diet and regular dental visits for checkups and cleaning, dental sealants are a great way to keep your child’s teeth clean, healthy and free from decay throughout their lives.

To learn more about dental sealants call Dr. Flynne Weingarten at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at http://www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces | Hoboken Dentist

Traditional orthodontics, better known as metal braces, have long been the go-to option for getting teeth straightened. However, over the years, newer methods have been developed, and one of these is Invisalign.

What Makes Them Different? 

When patients follow the dentist’s advice, both Invisalign and traditional braces have the same end results. However, they vastly differ from each other when it comes to how they straighten teeth. Traditional braces use brackets, wires, and rubber and need to be adjusted every once in a while. Meanwhile, Invisalign uses a set of clear aligners that are worn one after the other in a very particular order over two years. More importantly, with Invisalign, patients don’t have to visit the dentist as often as if they had traditional braces.

How Does Invisalign Exactly Work? 

Invisalign was first manufactured by Align Technology in San Jose, California, and began sale in the United States in 1999. Since then, the technology has been used by dentists in more than 45 countries to straighten teeth.

The process starts with a consultation with an orthodontist and general dentist. The first thing they do is take photos and X-rays of the teeth. Then, they take impressions of the mouth. Also, if necessary, they will recommend removal any problem tooth or teeth so treatment can begin.

After preparing everything, the clear aligners are fabricated as a set. The patient will then have to wear each aligner in a particular order to straighten teeth. The average treatment time is around 13 to 14 months.

Are They Better Than Traditional Braces? 

The main difference is that unlike traditional braces, the clear aligners can be removed at any time. Patients are recommended to wear the aligner for 21-22 hours every day. However, it’s also recommended to remove when eating, brushing and flossing teeth.

Being removable makes clear aligners extremely convenient for a lot of reasons. For one, patients don’t have to worry about what they eat. All they have to remember is to put them back on after. Plus, patients don’t have to worry about having to change their usual brushing and flossing habits. This is unlike with traditional braces, where patients have to learn more elaborate methods just to take proper care of them.

Is Invisalign Treatment Expensive? 

The initial costs of Invisalign treatment are higher than traditional orthodontics. However, the actual costs may end up more or less the same. This is after factoring in the costs of frequent visits to the dentist with traditional braces for repairs and adjustments. Also, you’ll have to remember that most patients end up getting retainers anyway after the initial treatment.

It doesn’t matter whether you go with traditional braces or with the newer Invisalign treatment. What’s important is that you get your teeth straightened. Not only will this help improve your smile, but it will also help improve your overall health!

Schedule an appointment  today to know more about Invisalign and whether they are a better option for you or not. Call Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111 or 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.

 

How Do I Keep My Child from Binging on Halloween Candy?

thinkstockphotos-128958877It’s Halloween…that one day of the year that children hold dear to their hearts. Sure, there is Christmas. We all know there’s no competing with Santa. But it’s the one day of the year that everyone can be anyone or anything they want to be. And above all that, there’s candy. Lots of candy given simply by saying those three magic words: trick or treat. No need to be good in order to dodge the coal in the stocking. In fact, the ‘trick’ in trick or treat almost praises bad kid behavior if candy ISN’T received. But as your children are scouring the neighborhood for a larger haul than the year before, ask yourself – how can I monitor my child’s oral health during this sugar-infused time of year?

Here are some pediatric dental tips to keep in mind when going through your little monsters’ stash:

Limit the intake. Halloween has to be the coolest time of year for your child’s imagination. For one day, they have the freedom to munch on candy while “fighting crime” dressed as a superhero or riding a unicorn in as fairy. Tiny humans live for this day. Depriving them of what some would call a major part of the holiday will not only make your child upset, but won’t make life at home very peaceful. So instead of denying them the sweets, have them choose a set number of candies they want the most and let them have them. Whatever they don’t choose, throw it out or freeze it for later. Not only will you know that what they are eating is safe, but you can rest at ease that they aren’t sneaking it behind your back, unleashing the cavities while you aren’t looking.

In addition to the limitation of sweet treats, set up a time of day that your child will be able to eat that candy. Similar to snack time at school, having a time when your little one knows a snack is allowed teaches them that snacking isn’t an all-day event, making them less inclined to crave sweets all day.

Of course, the main defense against Halloween candy-driven cavities is always going to be good dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing before bed will prevent cavities from attacking while your little one sleeps. In case you aren’t sure if your child is brushing thoroughly enough, there are various disclosing products you can give your child to find out if their doing a good job brushing by coloring areas in their teeth that have plaque buildup. If they are fully against brushing, entice them to making a change by letting them pick out their own dental stuff. Kids are often swayed by doing grown up things. The key is to make brushing less of a chore and more of a fun way to fight “cavity crime”. Not only will they continue to love Halloween, but they can be their teeth’s superhero all year ‘round!

For more information on ways to keep your child’s smile healthy during Halloween, 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.

Eight Fun Facts About Teeth

flossingWhile you certainly know your way around your toothbrush and know more than a thing or two about your teeth, none of what you know right now can possibly prepare you for these fun facts about your pearly whites!

  1. Cavities were once believed to have been caused by tiny tooth worms

People during the medieval times believed that tiny tooth worms bore holes in the teeth, causing cavities. It’s said that these tiny tooth worms hid out of sight and that their wiggling caused the unbearable pain of toothaches.

Weirdly fun and certainly gross as that may seem, modern dental medicine has taught us that bacteria in the plaque that builds up around teeth over time are what causes cavities, not tiny tooth worms as previously believed.

  1. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body

If you thought that your bones were the hardest part of your body, then you’re wrong. As it turns out, our pearly whites, namely, the tooth enamel, is considered by experts as the hardest mineral substance in the human body – it’s even harder and stronger than bone!

The next time that you think about punching someone’s teeth out, you may want to think about how much stronger teeth are than your fists.

  1. The world’s most valuable tooth belonged to Sir Isaac Newton

Valued approximately at somewhere north of $35,000 in today’s money, Sir Isaac Newton’s tooth, which was encased in a ring, sold for $3,633 in London way back in 1816.

  1. Contrary to popular belief, George Washington never had wooden teeth

Contrary to popular belief, the first president of the United States never had wooden teeth. In fact, his dentures were made out of gold, hippopotamus tusk, elephant ivory and human teeth!

  1. No two people have the same set of teeth

While everyone mostly has the same number of teeth, and teeth almost all look the same, it seems that they’re just about as unique as our fingerprints.

In fact, dental records and teeth are often used in identifying people, dead or alive, in what’s known as forensic dentistry.

  1. Your teeth are good indicator of your physical and mental health

People who take good care of their bodies are more likely to have a good set of teeth. Likewise, the dentist can also tell if patients are under constant just by closely examining their teeth. This is because people who’re stressed often constantly grind their teeth, resulting into obvious signs of unnecessary wear and tear.

Additionally, poor dental health has been determined a risk factor for various illnesses, such as heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s.

  1. Your teeth have already developed way before you were even born

You probably don’t know this, but the tooth buds of your 20 primary teeth, as well as that of the 32 permanent teeth are already there in your jaws the very same day you were born. In fact, your teeth had already begun developing while you were still inside the womb.

The lone exception here is the wisdom teeth, which only begins to develop well into your adult years.

  1. The tooth fairy has been giving more money lately

On average, the “tooth fairy” left 25 cents almost half a century ago. This quadrupled to $1.00 by the 80s and has since increased to $2.00.

As fun as these facts may be, there’s one undeniable fact when it comes to your teeth and it’s that daily preventative care goes a long way in making sure you get to enjoy a healthy smile for years to come.

Make sure you’re in good oral health by contacting Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111 to schedule a checkup and professional cleaning today! Or visit www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com to learn more about oral health.

Pediatric Dentistry “Firsts” | Hoboken Pediatric Dentist

pediatricsNew parents typically have no shortage of questions they must answer when dealing with “firsts” with their children. Pediatric dentistry is no exception – there are a number of “firsts” for children as it relates to their teeth, and navigating them effectively is key to setting the foundation for good oral health for their children.

The first question for new parents is typically when they should expect the first teeth. The two lower front teeth should erupt around 6 months of age, followed by the two upper center teeth. The remaining will appear in no predictable order – but all 20 baby teeth should be present by 3 years of age.

The next natural question is typically when the parent should schedule their child’s first dentist appointment. You should make sure the first appointment is within 6 months of the first tooth appearing, but definitely before the child’s first birthday. The first visit is typically a checkup to look for signs of decay, check the bite, and look for problems in the gums, jaw, and tissues within the mouth. The dentist will take this opportunity to provide guidance on topics such as brushing, fluoride, teething, and problems like thumb sucking.

Just like adults need to brush twice a day, parents also need to brush the teeth of young children. Your child’s first toothbrush should be a soft-bristled brush with a small head (age appropriate size). As an infant, you should clean the gums with a soft brush and water. Once teeth appear, start brushing twice a day with non-fluoride toothpaste; once your child can spit, you can transition to fluoride toothpaste.

It’s likely that at some point, you’ll have a discussion with your dentist about your child’s first cavities – tooth decay is especially prevalent in children, and maintaining the baby teeth is instrumental to long term oral health for the child as they grown into adulthood. Your dentist will guide you in proper treatment of cavities – generally, they should be drilled and filled to prevent decay from spreading.

If you have questions about other pediatric dentistry “firsts”, call your pediatric dentist, they’ll be happy to answer questions you may have, and make appointments to get and keep your child on a healthy path.

For more information about pediatric dentistry by Dental Associated of Hoboken in Hoboken, NJ call 201-795-2111 or visit www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

Dental Associates of Hoboken also proudly accept patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark, and surrounding areas.

 

Are Dental Veneers for You? | Hoboken Dentist

close up smile red lipstickIf your teeth aren’t all you want them to be and you’re looking for a cosmetic alternative to what  is just an ‘okay’ smile-think dental veneers! If you have chips, cracks, and gaps between your teeth? Yes, a great solution for those issues is dental veneers!

Veneers typically utilize porcelain, which is well tolerated by gum tissue, and provides a strong, natural looking surface that matches nearby teeth. However, patients considering veneers should consult their dentist to discuss the possible downsides, such as the fact that they are non-reversible, difficult to repair, and may not be a good choice for patients who have existing dental problems (such as decaying teeth, as the veneer will not solve the problem of decay, and may complicate fillings in the future).

Porcelain veneers are the perfect option to enhance your smile and improve any imperfections. Although not all individuals are good candidates for porcelain veneers.

Veneers are usually placed if patients have the following:

  • Good oral health
  • Health enamel
  • Commitment to oral care

Veneers are not recommend with the following:

  • Tooth Decay
  • Gum disease or Periodontal disease
  • Root canal infection
  • Consistently grind their teeth
  • Consistently clinch their jaw

Veneers won’t erase preexisting issues, therefore an exam is needed to determine if you are a good candidate for veneers. Only a professional can determine whether or not porcelain veneers are the best option to rejuvenate your smile.

For more information on how you can benefit from porcelain veneers call Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111 or visit www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

Dental Associates of Hoboken also proudly accept patients from Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark, and surrounding areas.

Tooth Pain Could Mean Big Trouble | Hoboken General Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-452459879Many patients tend to schedule dental visits only when they have an immediate need, such as tooth pain. Generally speaking, pain is a protective response that ranges from minor sensitivity to severe pain and informs the body that something is wrong. As for tooth pain, it is caused by a reaction of the nerves inside a tooth’s pulp chamber with the severity dependent upon the type and degree of the stimulus.

There are many different types of dental pain, for example:

– Sensitivity to hot and cold food and drink may not be a serious problem, especially if only lasts a few moments after contact; however, if it lasts longer than a few moments, it could be caused by decay, a loose filling, or an exposed tooth root due to receding gums.

– Pain when biting down on food is often caused by decay or cracked teeth, and depending on the severity of the decay, may require an endodontist to perform a root canal to clean out the damaged nerve pulp within the tooth.

– A dull ache or feeling of pressure above your upper teeth may not be tooth related at all – sometimes it can be sinus congestion from a cold or flu. Of course, it could also be tooth related, as dull aches can also be caused by grinding or clenching, which can cause significant problems to your teeth over time.

– Constant pain along the gum line can be caused by periodontal disease, and can be accompanied by swelling and bleeding gums. Periodontal disease should be treated quickly, as it often involves both teeth and gums, and the infection can spread causing significant health problems.

If you’re experiencing tooth pain, be sure to make an appointment to have your dentist check on the underlying cause as soon as possible. Finding and treating the cause early can save both pain and money, as most of the underlying causes of pain tend to become more expensive to fix the longer they’re left untreated. Regular cleanings and checkups are a great opportunity for your dentist to find small problems before they turn into big problems, hopefully keeping your mouthy healthy enough that you’ll have no tooth pain at all.

For more information about oral health by Dental Associated of Hoboken in Hoboken, NJ call 201-795-2111 or visit www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

Dental Associates of Hoboken also proudly accept patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark, and surrounding areas.