Is Your Mouth the Cleanest It Can Be? | Hoboken Dentist

We know that we need to brush on a daily in order to keep our teeth their cleanest. But how often have you thought about how clean your toothbrush is? Not only because you keep it in the bathroom, but because you stick it in your mouth every day. As you reach for your toothbrush every morning, think about what’s hanging out on its bristles. Now, don’t get freaked out, but researchers have found that a single toothbrush can be loaded with as many as 10 million germs and bacteria! In fact, studies have found that your toothbrush could be a breeding ground for tiny microorganisms. Toothbrushes can become contaminated with oral microbial organisms whenever they are placed in the mouth. Toothbrushes also don’t have to be sold in sterile packaging, so they may even have bacteria right out of the box.

With all of these germs surrounding our toothbrushes, what do we do to keep them clean? Make sure to run your toothbrush under tap water and then let it air dry in an upright position. You should allow sufficient time for your toothbrush to dry before you decide to use it again. If you are really worried about bacteria and germs, soak your tooth brush in a mouth wash solution, or use some hydrogen peroxide mixed with water to form your own solution.

Now that we have an idea about its care, how often do you need a new one? There isn’t a real specific answer, however the American Dental Association recommends getting a new toothbrush about every three months.

To learn more about toothbrushes, 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.

Toothpaste: Is It Necessary? | Hoboken Dentist

As we embark on a brand-new year, we do our best to try to put our best selves forward. We change our bad habits into good ones and hope for the best. After all, a great year needs a sense of self-confidence that helps the universe see you and send those good tidings. We break out our new threads and get a new haircut – everything needed to start the year off right. But what about your smile? How can you brighten this year with a dingy grin? It’s time for some TLC to our teeth.

Ever wondered why we use toothpaste? Sure, we are all taught that toothpaste helps to clean our teeth of plaque and food debris without damaging our delicate enamel. While some toothpaste can be created with a little water and baking soda, we tend to opt for the over-the-counter options. These toothpastes contain fluoride which helps to protect enamel. If you are looking for additional advantages to your dental hygiene routine, you may choose a specific toothpaste, including those that brighten our teeth, help with sensitivity or reduce plaque. Toothpaste is a huge part of preventive dental care.

Toothpaste is made up of several ingredients that help to clean your teeth, such as:

Abrasives. These help to remove stains and plaque.

Detergents. Detergents are what makes the toothpaste foam once it hits your mouth. It helps to dislodge food debris.

Humectants. Gives the toothpaste texture and moisture.

Thickeners. Helps the toothpaste stay on your brush and squeeze out of the tube that way it does.

Preservatives, flavoring and coloring. These give toothpaste the look and taste it has.

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.

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.

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.

Can My Smile Be Saved? | Hoboken Dentist

Maintaining a healthy smile is rather easy, as long as you take the time to put in the work it takes to keep your mouth clean and bacteria-free. However, cosmetic issues are a different story and patients will wonder what types of options they’ll have when planning dental procedures. If a tooth has a very large area of decay, can it be saved? Unfortunately, we can diagnose you from a simple blog. The best answer to your questions will come from your dentist, and two likely options that will be presented are crowns and bridges.

Dental crowns are often chosen when the original tooth is compromised – either weakened from decay, broken, or otherwise unable to maintain itself without assistance. Dental crowns are custom-made shells that go on top of the rest of the tooth and molded to match your existing tooth and normal bite, but stronger.

Unlike dental crowns, dental bridges are used in cases where the underlying tooth can’t be saved. Like a crown, it will be designed by your dentist to match your existing teeth and bite, but is generally attached to neighboring teeth.

While crowns and bridges are typically only presented as options for patients with significant damage to one or more teeth, they are fairly common. Bridges and crowns are typically recommended as necessities, and as such, insurance will likely cover a portion of the cost. With proper care, bridges and crowns can last 5-15 years, or more, and will allow the patient to chew, drink and speak normally for many years.

To learn more about crowns and bridges, 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.

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.

Don’t Give Your Little One Too Much of a Good Thing | Hoboken Dentist

You would be hard-pressed to find a baby without the cutest smile imaginable. And when you become a parent, the desire to keep that smile the brightest and healthiest it can be is incredibly important to every parent. And when it comes to dental health, it has been ingrained in our minds that fluoride is important to protecting your teeth from future dental issues. Even though fluoride is necessary to prevent tooth decay, dental professionals will not deny that giving your little one too much fluoride can begin to develop a condition known as Fluorosis.

Fluorosis is a harmless dental condition which is characterized by brown, mottled or discolored areas on your tiny human’s tooth enamel. But how it develops might surprise you. As we know, most breast milk and ready-to-feed formulas contain infant-safe levels of fluoride because it is important to your child’s dental development. What we don’t consider is the fact that formulas that require water can increase this level of fluoride since community or well sources usually contain the highest amount of fluoride proven to be beneficial in preventing tooth decay. So instead of giving your tiny human the necessary amount of fluoride to protect their teeth, the added dose of it produces adverse effects after time.

So, what do we do as parents? When using formula that requires water, use bottled water that is low in fluoride, fluoride-free or filtrated tap water. If fluorosis is corrected in primary teeth, fluorosis will not likely be a problem when permanent teeth surface.

To learn more about fluorosis, 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.