Are You Taking Good Care of Your Teeth? | Hoboken Dentist

According to the American Dental Association, an individual should be brushing their teeth two times a day for at least two minutes. Are you surprised by this fact? Are you brushing enough? 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. 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 mouthwash to seal the cleanliness in and for a trace of fresh breath and there you have it – the ideal dental routine.

To learn more about proper dental hygiene, 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 and all surrounding areas.

Take a Deeper Look at Your Little One’s Teeth | Hoboken Dentist

thumb suckingWe want nothing but the best for our children, especially when it comes to their health. And while a fact of life that they will lose those baby teeth, it doesn’t give any reason to neglect their dental health. Dental appointments should start early, so any issues can be caught before they become worsened. X-rays are valuable diagnostic tools dentists may use to help evaluate your child’s teeth and your dentist may suggest getting one done every six months in order to track progress. Here is a quick x-ray rundown:

Bitewing x-rays. These X-rays are used to view the areas between teeth to show where cavities are starting, but only done once the molars make contact. In some children, this doesn’t happen until the first permanent molar has erupted.

Periapical x-rays. Periapical x-rays show the supporting bone structure of the teeth and the permanent teeth growing below the baby teeth and used to look for abscesses and gum disease.

Panoramic x-rays. These x-rays are used to view all of the teeth on one film, especially to show the upper and lower jaws, the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) and the sinuses above the upper teeth. They are often used if a child has hurt his or her face, has orthodontic problems, or is mentally or physically disabled.

Occlusal x-rays. Used to view most of the upper or lower teeth on one film, these are useful when the dentist does not have a panoramic x-ray machine.

Orthodontic x-rays (cephalometric or lateral skull). Used to evaluate growth of the jaws and the relationship of bones in the skull, these help to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

To learn more about x-rays, 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 and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Let Halloween Ruin Your Teeth | Hoboken Dentist

We are on the eve of the sweetest holiday of all. Yes, it’s a dentist’s archenemy – Halloween. If you have a family, you are sure to be carving pumpkins and dressing up in your scariest costumes to venture out into the night in search for candy confections. It is a fun time for the entire family, but it is also very important not to forget about our dental hygiene during these candy-covered events. After feasting on these spooky treats, keep these dental tips in mind:

Babies and children:

  • Clean each new tooth gently with a clean wet washcloth. As your baby grows you can switch to a child’s toothbrush.
  • Do not use toothpaste on a child younger than 2 years old.
  • Do not let your baby fall asleep with a bottle. This leads to what is called “baby bottle tooth decay.”
  • Take your child to the dentist regularly starting at 1 year of age.

Teenagers:

  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
  • If your teenager plays sports be sure they wear a protective mouth guard.
  • Make sure they see the dentist for all regular checkups.

Adults:

  • Brush teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Check with your doctor to make sure any medications you are taking might damage your teeth.
  • Check your mouth regularly for sores, red swollen gums or anything out of the ordinary.
  • See your dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleanings.

To learn more about dental hygiene, 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 and all surrounding areas.

There’s Nothing Wrong with Getting a Little Filler | Hoboken Dentist

Did you know that September is National Self Care Awareness Month? It’s true. If there was ever a time you should take a minute to take a personal inventory of what you need to live your healthiest life, now is it. This includes your dental health. After all, the mouth is the first line of defense against most of our overall health issues, so taking care of it is important.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of instances that happen, and regardless of your dental hygiene routines, you’ve ended up developing a cavity. There is no need to panic – you can have it fixed, but it is going to entail a trip to the dentist. You will be presented with dental filling options, but your options are going to vary. Here is a quick rundown of the types of fillings available:

Amalgam. Amalgam fillings are very durable, easy to use, and inexpensive when compared to other materials. They can sustain very heavy chewing loads, so they are usually used to restore molars.

Composite. Composite fillings are made out of a mixture of glass or quartz and resin, producing a tooth-colored filling. They are durable and provide good resistance against fracture where there is moderate chewing pressure. Composite fillings take a bit longer to complete and tend to discolor over time.

Ionomers. Ionomers, on the other hand, are made out of a mixture of acrylic acids and fine glass powders and used in areas that do not require any chewing resistance since they have low protection against fractures.

To learn more about dental fillings, 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 and all surrounding areas.

Before You Grab that Energy Drink, Read This | Hoboken Dentist

One way we perk ourselves up is with energy drinks. But what you may not be aware of is that energy drinks are causing irreversible damage to their teeth. Energy drink contain high amounts of acid that essentially rest upon our teeth and cause a multitude of irreversible damage.

We all know we shouldn’t drink sugary drinks frequently, but what about the acidity in them? It’s probably not something we think much about, but dentists say it is high time we start, especially when it comes to the river of energy drinks we — and young people in particular — are consuming.

These high acidity levels found in energy drinks erode tooth enamel, the glossy outer layer of teeth. Damage to tooth enamel is irreversible, and without it, teeth become overly sensitive and are more likely to decay and develop cavities. Dentists all around are reaching out to their patients to limit their energy drink consumption, as the results may damage their oral health forever.

After consuming energy drinks, patients should wait about an hour before they brush their teeth. During this time the enamel of your teeth is soft and susceptible to damage. If you do consume an energy drink it’s always a good idea to rinse your mouth with water afterwards while waiting for the opportunity to brush your teeth.

Always be aware that everything you eat or drink either has a positive or negative effect on your oral health. Good dental hygiene can help combat the things you eat and drink that are not good for your teeth and gums. This is includes brushing twice a day, flossing and using mouthwash.

To learn more about the effects of energy drinks, 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 and all surrounding areas.

I Need a Filling. Which Is Best? | Hoboken Dentist

When it’s time to visit the dentist and you find out that you need a filling, it’s never a good feeling to have. Not only have you not taken care of your teeth well, but now you need to have another dental procedure. Many patients are confused by what kinds of dental filling options are available but are dependent on many factors – the patient’s health, where and how the filling is placed and chewing pressure the tooth will have to bear.

Amalgam. Amalgam fillings are very durable, easy to use, and inexpensive when compared to other materials, so they are usually used to restore molars. Unfortunately, amalgam fillings are silver, so they aren’t as natural looking, possible short-term sensitivity, and more tooth structure is removed to conform the filling.

Composite. Composite fillings are natural-looking, durable and provide good resistance against fracture in small to medium restorations where there is moderate chewing pressure. Because less tooth structure is removed when using a composite, a smaller filling can be used than one using amalgam. They are moderately more expensive than amalgam depending on the size of the filling and procedure time is generally longer, and they tend to stain and discolor over time.

Ionomers. Ionomers, on the other hand, are made out of a mixture of acrylic acids and fine glass powders. Ionomers are usually utilized to fill cavities on the root surfaces of teeth or in small fillings that do not require any chewing resistance since they have low protection against fractures.

To learn more about fillings, 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 and all surrounding areas.

Take Care of Your Tiny Human’s Teeth | Hoboken Dentist

Our child’s mouths are very busy places from ages 6-12. They will shed twenty baby teeth, which they acquired by age three, en route to building a finished, full set of 28 adult teeth. Their jawbones and new teeth grow while their baby teeth fall out to make room. It’s a wonderful process to witness, and to celebrate with visits from the Tooth Fairy.

However, most children’s teeth do not come in perfectly straight. It’s very common to see new adult teeth crowded by other teeth, especially in a still-growing jaw. Bite misalignments may appear that cause awkward chewing and even jaw pain or teeth damage. Early intervention with orthodontics is a great way to stay ahead of problems and make the transition to permanent teeth a happy one.

In the past, dentists typically waited for patients to enter adolescence before intervention, but today’s technology allows pre-emptive treatment in children as young as six or seven. When the first signs of crowding appear, dentists can proactively help incoming adult teeth emerge into better positions in the mouth and sometimes even avoid pulling teeth. Children with crossbites, protruding teeth and small dental arches are good candidates and work done earlier may shorten the treatment term. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that kids be screened for problems at age seven.

Of course, orthodontics provides cosmetic enhancement as well as medical benefits, and avoiding braces during the sensitive high school years is an added bonus. With early intervention, your child could have their beautiful smile completed ahead of schedule.

To learn more about pediatric dentistry, 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.

Fix Your Smile with a Little Bonding | Hoboken Dentist

Showing off your smile is one of the easiest things you can do to shed a little light on this world. But when you have a flawed grin, you may not be so apt to share your light. This is where your dentist comes in. There are many cosmetic dental procedures available to give you your best smile – one of those procedures being dental bonding.

Cosmetic dental bonding is an example of a procedure that can significantly help improve the look of broken and damaged teeth, as well as tooth gaps, and a number of other esthetic and even functional dental maladies.

The procedure typically involves the application of a composite resin to one or more of your teeth. To prevent the bonding from standing out, the dental professional will make sure that the material matches the color of the rest of your teeth. It may also be possible for the bonding to be used to close small gaps in between your teeth.

Cosmetic bonding is actually very durable and can last for as long as 10 years. However, that’s only true if you’re willing to make some necessary lifestyle changes. For example, you’ll have to stop chewing ice and other hard stuff such as hard candy as doing so can cause the dental bonding material to crack. The same goes for those who habitually bite their nails. Also, if you have bruxism, or if you unconsciously grind your teeth, especially when you’re sleeping, you’ll want to wear a night guard at night – if possible, a custom made one. This also includes habits such as smoking regularly, as well as drinking sodas, highly pigmented drinks and coffee to prevent staining.

To learn more about dental bonding, 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.

Protect Your Little One’s Teeth | Hoboken Dentist

thumb suckingAccidents happen, especially when children are involved. And as parents, we try to do our best to protect our little human’s bumps and bruises. Sometimes you can slap a bandage on a “booboo”, but if it’s a dental accident, it’s a little bit tougher to know what to do in a pinch. Because knowing what to do when one occurs could be the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Preventative measures are always best to avoid the potential for accidental tooth damage, such as having your child wear a mouth guard when playing sports and avoid chewing hard candy. If your child does end up with a dental emergency here are a few tips to help you:

Broken tooth. Rinse mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call your dentist immediately.

Knocked out baby teeth. If it seems to be more serious than a knocked-out tooth, consider going to the hospital. If the injury looks like just a knocked-out tooth, call your dentist.

Knocked loose baby teeth. If a tooth is knocked loose, call your dentist for advice on how to proceed. He or she will likely advise a soft diet for the next few days to allow the tooth to re-implant into the jawbone.

Knocked out permanent teeth. Call your dentist immediately for an emergency appointment. It is critical to get your child and his or her tooth to the dentist within 30 minutes of the accident, as it may be possible to successfully re-implant the tooth. Keeping the tooth in good condition and receiving care immediately make the odds of successful re-implantation much higher.

To learn more about dental emergencies, 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

Should My Little One Use Mouthwash? | Hoboken Dentist

Instilling good dental hygiene habits is important for every new parent to know. The sooner you teach them, the easier it will be for them to take those lessons throughout life. But what about mouthwash? Is it safe for a little human to use mouthwash? 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.

When choosing a mouthwash for your kid, try to stay away from adult mouthwashes because most contain alcohol. 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:

Supervise your child. 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, so they don’t swallow it or use it as a substitute for brushing and flossing. Once they get the hang of it, you won’t need to monitor them anymore.

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.

To learn more about pediatric dental care, 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.