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.

Great Nutrition, Great Oral Health | Hoboken Pediatric Dentist

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, certain foods naturally cleanse, brighten, and defend against bacteria that can harm your teeth and gums. In between teeth whitening visits to Dental Associates of Hoboken, you can use the following foods to keep your smile beautiful. The following 10 foods were recommended by the academy for a healthy, brighter smile:

Pineapples can help whiten teeth. Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain, which acts as a natural stain remover. Bromelain also helps break up plaque.

Ginger can protect against periodontal disease, an inflammatory process that causes the loss of bone and supportive connective tissue in your mouth.

Carrots contain vitamin A, which is needed for healthy tooth enamel. Eating them raw stimulates saliva, your mouth’s natural cleanser.

Basil is a natural antibiotic that reduces bacteria in the mouth.

Cheese is rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorus, all of which help reduce acid in your mouth.

Sesame seeds help “scrub” away the plaque on your teeth. Chewing nuts can also provide this coarse, scrubbing action. Sesame seeds also contain bone and teeth-strengthening calcium.

Shiitake mushrooms contain a compound called lentinan, which inhibits bacteria from growing in your mouth.

Onions contain the sulfur compounds, thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates, which reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay. Eating them raw is a must as cooking will destroy these tooth-friendly compounds.

Salmon not only provides calcium but also vitamin D, another nutrient needed for healthy bones and teeth.

Broccoli contains iron, which helps form an acid-resistant film or barrier that can protect the enamel of your teeth.

 

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

Shield Your Baby’s Teeth From Possible Tooth Decay

pediatric dentistWhile most babies rarely see their first tooth erupt before they are 6 months old, proper infant dental care should still be practiced right from the start.

One thing that’s highly recommended by dentists is for parents to take their child to the dentist before their child’s first birthday. Apart from checking if the child’s teeth and gums are well taken care of, the dentist will also take this time to orient the parents on how to practice proper infant dental care at home.

Tooth decay, for one, is very common among toddlers whose teeth and gums aren’t properly cared for.

Commonly referred to as either baby bottle tooth decay or early childhood caries, the alarmingly growing number of children suffering from this dental disease is enough of a reason to raise awareness among parents and their toddler’s dental health.

Causes of Tooth Decay in Children

Tooth decay develops because of the interaction between cavity causing and non-cavity causing bacteria, carbohydrates and the components naturally found in our saliva. This interaction of all four factors collectively affects tooth enamel surfaces, sometimes destroying it.

One of the most common reasons why tooth decay occurs in children is when the bacteria from the mother’s mouth or that of the primary caregiver comes in contact with a spoon or pacifier that’s then given to the infant.

There are also cases where baby bottle tooth decay is a result of poor feeding habits. Babies who are put to bed with a bottle or if their teeth are regularly exposed to sugary drinks such as fruit juice, milk or formula for long periods of time are all at risk.

Tooth decay may also affect teeth as soon as they erupt, especially the upper front teeth.

There are a lot of possible reasons and factors that may contribute to how much of a risk an infant is at for tooth decay, namely:

  • Frequent bottle feeding at night
  • Frequent consumption of sugar-filled snacks and drinks
  • Frequent and early exposure of bacteria in the baby teeth
  • A possible breakdown of the enamel, the protective layer of the teeth
  • Lack of fluoride
  • Lack of oral care

The Importance of Baby Teeth

While baby teeth will eventually be replaced by a permanent set of teeth, it’s still important to take proper care of them as they allow children to chew, speak and it also holds the spaces for the permanent teeth in the jaws.

If not cared for, tooth decay in baby teeth can have both short-term and long-term effects on the erupting permanent teeth.

Prevention and Treatment

  • Never let babies and toddlers fall asleep with a bottle containing milk, fruit juice, or any other sweetened liquid. The same goes for pacifier dipped in sweeteners.
  • Avoid licking pacifiers and feeding spoons or doing anything that may share your saliva with the baby.
  • Use a Xylitol wipe, washcloth or a clean gauze pad to clean your baby’s teeth and gums.
  • Use a child-sized toothbrush with water to brush your baby’s teeth when they first erupt. Be sure to consult the dentist first if you plan on using a fluoride toothpaste before the age of two.
  • Watch over your children when brushing and make sure that they spit and not swallow. Most children will eventually learn to spit on their own by the age six or seven.
  • Encouraging babies to drink from a cup before their first birthday can also prevent tooth decay.
  • Promote a healthy diet and proper drinking habits to your child early on so they can carry these habits well into their adulthood.

Visiting the Dentist

As a general rule of thumb, your child should be taken for a dental visit on his or her first birthday or when the first tooth appears, whichever comes first.

The initial visit is important as this is where the dentist will demonstrate to you, the parents, the proper technique for taking care of your baby’s teeth. Also, regularly taking your child to the dentist at an early age will make him or her less likely to develop dental anxiety or phobia later on.

Make an appointment to prevent tooth decay today by contacting Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. To learn more about tooth decay and what steps you can take to prevent it visit www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

 

Halloween & Your Childs Oral Health | Hoboken Pediatric Dentist

57224815Most dentists agree: Halloween can be scary for parents, but it’s OK to let kids enjoy some treats. While tooth decay is a serious concern, parents can enforce a few simple rules to make Halloween candy safe and fun for their children.

First, understand the risk. The problem of Halloween candy is simple: eating candy day after day allows bacteria-fueling sugars and enamel-weakening acid to sit on teeth, breaking down the protective layers and encouraging decay. Once bacterial colonies begin to set in, the tooth material will be damaged, leading to cavities, fillings, and in some (hopefully rare) cases, full extraction.

Knowing that the risk is related to allowing sugar and acid to sit on the teeth, parents should realize that it’s not the amount of sugar consumed, but the amount of time children are allowed to keep the sugar on their teeth. Where teeth are concerned, it’s less damaging to teeth for a child to eat five chocolate bars in 5 minutes than one bar every hour for five hours – if they’re eaten quickly, the child should brush his or her teeth immediately after finishing, which then cleans the sugar and acid from the teeth.

It’s important to note that not all candy is created equally. While chocolate is often considered bad by many parents, it’s fairly easy to brush off of teeth. Sticky, gummy candies are likely to get stuck to teeth and survive the brushing process. Sour candies tend to be more acidic, which weakens enamel. Chips and pretzels tend to soften and stick to teeth.

Finally, remember that just because Halloween candy is OK from a dental perspective, childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes are a growing problem, and parents should encourage moderation in their treat-seeking children. Set and enforce limits – while kids should be encouraged to enjoy Halloween, they shouldn’t be allowed to eat all of the candy they can gather, and diabetic (or pre-diabetic) children should be especially limited in their treat consumption.

If you have questions about Halloween candy and your children’s dental health, ask your dentist. They’ll be more than happy to help explain the pros, cons, dos, and don’ts of enjoying treat filled holidays.

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.