Baby Bottles and Tooth Decay

family dentist Williamsburg NYWhen your baby comes into the world you will do everything possible to protect your child from harm. Most parents would not equate the beverages in your child’s bottle as harmful, but consider this – would you want to have to take your toddler to your family dentist because their baby teeth are suffering from dental decay?

Of course, that is the last thing you would want to put your child through. But you need to know there is potential for this experience to occur if you are putting your child down for a nap or the night with a baby bottle that contains anything but water.

Milk, formula, and juice often contain sugar. If your baby should fall asleep with any amount of the beverage in their mouth, you could be exposing their baby teeth to the very things that lead to plaque buildup (a leading cause of cavity formation).

Plaque can build on teeth at any age. If a caregiver believes that since baby teeth are going to fall out eventually, their care isn’t that important, well that is just not the case. Even though baby teeth will eventually be replaced with permanent teeth, this first set of teeth must pave the way for the next set of teeth, so you want them to be healthy and remain in place until they are ready to come out.

A cavity occurs when the protective enamel is breached allowing the nerve of the tooth to be exposed. No matter when and to whom this occurs, the discomfort from dental decay is awful. No parent wants to see their child experience this pain, let alone what is required to repair the cavity.

Caring for your child’s teeth involves wiping them clean with a soft cloth until your child is old enough to sit up and allow you to gently brush their teeth with an age appropriate brush and toothpaste. Your child’s first visit with the family dentist should occur at twelve months.  

During this first visit your child will receive a dental exam without the pressure of being in pain, and subsequent visits will be easier when that first visit is stress-free. Your family dentist is available to answer questions and teach you the best ways to care for your child’s teeth. Call our caring team today!


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Why Sticky Foods Can Harm Your Teeth

dentist BrooklynWhen you think of sticky foods, what comes to mind? Caramel, gummy, sugary … and they  usually have one thing in common. They have a tendency to cling to your teeth allowing plaque to grow; and once plaque forms and grows on your teeth, a visit to your dentist is needed to remove it.

It is critically important to keep plaque from building on your teeth. Plaque actually starts out as a sticky substance (sometimes from those sticky foods); and hardens over time forming plaque. It is plaque that can build on teeth leading to damaging dental decay.

Decay occurs when the protective enamel covering teeth is breached allowing bacteria to penetrate. Everyone’s mouth and teeth contain bacteria. The foods and beverages we consume that contain sugar and carbohydrates (which is about everything you consume, but water) promote bacteria growth forming that damaging plaque.

A daily oral health care program will include brushing at least twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste; and flossing daily to remove debris your toothbrush did not reach. This daily regimen will help to limit plaque growth. The second part of a successful oral health plan includes visiting your dentist every six months for teeth cleaning and a dental exam.

Regular dental visits are very helpful in monitoring dental health so that if there appears to be a cavity forming, it can be assessed and treated in a timely fashion. Minor decay is much easier to repair than if a major cavity develops … deep decay can even result in the need for root canal therapy if bacteria results in infection.

Decay isn’t the only problem you may have to face if dental plaque is allowed to grow … gum disease is a threat as well. Plaque settles around the base of teeth at the gum line and can push beneath the gums. This can lead to red, swollen, bleeding gum tissue … very often the first sign that gum disease is developing. Your dental provider removes both plaque you can see and that beneath the gum line during your cleaning visits.

Decay and gum disease prevention are primary reasons to brush, floss, and keep regular dental cleaning visits; limiting foods (like sticky foods) and beverages known to contribute to dental plaque buildup will help promote great dental health.

For more tips, contact our office today!

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How durable are porcelain veneers?

cosmetic dentist BrooklynPorcelain veneers are a solution offered by your cosmetic dentist that will enhance your appearance to resolve numerous dental maladies.

  • Dental stain – Discolored or stained teeth can ruin your smile. Deep stain can be from a mineral imbalance, medications, tobacco use, or neglect … whatever the cause, you can turn back time with porcelain veneers.
  • Chipped teeth – Whether you are dealing with one or multiple teeth, veneers can make chipped teeth appear whole again.
  • Misshapen or uneven dentition – It only takes one or two teeth that are shaped differently, are mismatched with surrounding teeth, or are uneven in size to distort your appearance. Veneers can be placed on one or several teeth to produce a symmetrical smile.
  • Unwanted gaps between teeth – They can virtually disappear with veneers.
  • Porcelain veneers are a minimally invasive avenue to a straight, even, and brighter smile. And in the process, treated teeth are fortified with added strength. Porcelain is a strong, stain resistant material used in many dental treatments. Veneers are wafer thin shells that are fabricated to match surrounding teeth in size, shape, and color so treated teeth will appear to blend with teeth left untouched.

The process works by removing a minimal amount of enamel from the front of teeth that will receive veneers. The thickness of the enamel removed matches the veneer itself so when placed, teeth will fall in line with untreated teeth.

The dental lab will produce veneers to be tried in for fit, appearance, and function. Small adjustments can be performed chairside, if needed. When satisfied, veneers are permanently cemented in place.

Prior to getting started, the cosmetic dentist will advise the patient that porcelain will not respond to whitening, so if the patient wishes to lighten their smile they should whiten first so veneers can be color matched to newly lightened dentition.

Once veneers are in place, care must be taken to prevent breaking or dislodging them. Biting into hard or chewy foods should be avoided. For example, an apple should be eaten by cutting it into smaller pieces rather than biting into it with veneer treated teeth.

Maintaining teeth treated with veneers is no different than what is done for all teeth … brush at least twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste, floss daily, and visit the dentist every six months for cleaning and dental exam.

Contact our team today to schedule an appointment and discuss if veneers are right for you!

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5 Surprising Habits That Could Damage Your Teeth

Brooklyn dentalThere are many actions we can take to help maintain good dental health, but there are several things that can do considerable damage to teeth that are done without giving them a thought:

  • Nail biting – Often starting as a subconscious habit in your youth, this bad habit has the potential to wear down dental enamel, can result in chips in teeth, and can even cause teeth to break. In addition to the damage to your dentition, the germs that can transfer between hands and mouth can lead to infection.
  • Chewing on ice – Just like pen caps, pencils, and other non-consumable items, ice is so hard it has the capability of fracturing a tooth. Teeth are very strong, but certainly not invincible. Biting on ice and things like hard candy can do serious damage.
  • Teeth grinding – Another habit that often gets started subconsciously during periods of sleep, teeth grinding and jaw clenching can lead to uneven teeth, chips in enamel, and/or broken teeth.
  • Diet soda – We know the sugar content in regular soda can result in dental decay, but diet soda can do damage as well. The phosphoric acids in soda are the culprits that can lead to cavity formation.
  • Brushing too hard – Many patients make the mistake of believing they need to scrub their teeth to keep plaque from forming. Using a hard bristle toothbrush and excessive pressure can lead to worn enamel and/or premature gum erosion.
  • These five actions may surprise you as hazardous for your teeth, but there are others that are more obvious.

Tobacco use: Smoking (cigars or cigarettes), chewing tobacco, and even using the more recent creation, e-cigarettes, can contribute to plaque build-up that increases the probability of developing decay or gum disease (that can lead to tooth loss). 

Diet can play a large role in dental health as well. Sugary snacks and beverages should be reserved for special occasions, not daily fare. Water should be your beverage of choice, and infusing water with fruit or adding sugar free flavorings can make drinking water more palatable.

Brushing at least twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist every six months for cleaning and exam are the good habits that promise to be helpful in maintaining great dental health.

Contact our team at Eurodental Studio to receive more tips or schedule an appointment!

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I’m Postponing Dental Treatment Because It’s Not Bothering Me

Brooklyn dentistDiscomfort from a toothache is a symptom that can identify a dental problem. But there are other indicators that you are dealing with dental issues that are easier to ignore, and the result can be much more costly than if you had just kept the appointment with the dentist in the first place.

For example, if your gums bleed without provocation, you could be experiencing the onset of gum disease. Left untreated, this can escalate into periodontitis which can lead to tooth loss. There are many other symptoms such as swollen, red gum tissue; chronic bad breath; teeth feeling loose; or gum tissue pulling away. Treatment is required at this stage to save your teeth. Prompt attention at the first sign of a problem would have been much easier.

You’ve been told you have a small cavity. You can’t feel it yet so you opt to get it filled at your next appointment. Very quickly that small cavity can grow allowing bacteria to permeate the tooth resulting in an abscess. You’re told the only action that can save your tooth now is root canal therapy. Costly and time consuming treatment could have been prevented if treatment had been rendered at the time of discovery.

Your wisdom teeth are impacted as there is insufficient space for them to erupt properly. You don’t have any discomfort, but your dentist has suggested you have them extracted as a pre-emptive measure. But it will require oral surgery and you don’t want to take the time. Over the next months you notice your teeth are shifting … those wisdom teeth are trying to find room to come in. So you end up having them extracted, and require teeth straightening as well.

You can experience tooth loss from trauma, decay, or disease; but if you don’t replace lost dentition in the belief that one or two missing teeth can’t hurt, you might be surprised at the result. Remaining teeth can shift creating a malocclusion; bone loss in gums where teeth are missing can result in appearance changes; and the inability to eat the foods you love, speak clearly, and smile with confidence can take the joys out of life we take for granted.

Postponing needed dental treatment can prove costly so follow your dentist’s recommendations to maintain great oral health.

Instead, schedule an appointment with our team today!

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A Healthy Smile and Healthy Body Go Hand in Hand

dentist BrooklynThere are many components that go into maintaining a healthy smile. The patient needs to brush at least twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste; floss daily; and visit the dentist every six months for a cleaning and dental exam. But these are just the basics; there are many more things that can be done to keep both the smile and body in good health.

Research has concluded that oral problems and many health related illnesses are connected. One of the primary threads that link these issues is inflammation. Inflammation is actually the body’s response to an irritation. Left untreated, a minor irritation like a scratch on the skin may heal itself; but for many irritants, ignoring the problem can allow it to escalate from minor to chronic very quickly. You wouldn’t allow a major injury that threatens your health to go unattended; but problems with teeth and gums are serious as well and require professional attention.

Troubles with oral health often start due to negligence with daily brushing and flossing; inconsistent dental visits; poor diet; lifestyle such as tobacco or illicit drug use; inadequate rest; stress or anxiety; or a combination of these choices. These behaviors allow plaque to build up on teeth that can result in dental decay or gum disease.

Some of the symptoms of the onset of gum disease (gingivitis) include swollen, red gums; unprovoked bleeding gums; receding gum tissue; chronic bad breath; discomfort; and/or teeth feeling loose. Left untreated, these symptoms will likely worsen to the development of periodontitis. At this stage, the patient is facing tooth loss without immediate intervention.

A visit to the dentist can reverse many of the effects of gum disease, but it is up to the patient to follow the instructions given to maintain your oral health. Once periodontal disease has been diagnosed, the patient may require more frequent dental visits to prevent a reoccurrence.

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy will allow you to smile with confidence, eat the foods you need (and enjoy) for proper nutrition, and speak clearly without embarrassment.

A diet plentiful with fresh vegetables and fruit; water instead of sugary beverages; adequate rest; exercise; discontinuing or never starting tobacco use in any form … these are the basics that will contribute to better dental and overall health.

For more tips or to schedule a cleaning, call our office today!

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The Effects of Tobacco and Nicotine On Your Dental Health

family dentist Williamsburg NYIn the 1960’s the Surgeon General determined that tobacco (especially smoking) was hazardous to your health. Cigarette advertising was barred from television and radio; and a warning appeared on cigarette packs across the country. Lung cancer and heart disease were the primary concerns. But continued research has found tobacco use impacts dental health exponentially, which is why your family dentist continues to warn you about the effects of tobacco and nicotine on your dental health.

Whether you smoke cigarettes, a pipe, or cigars, the newest rage–e-cigs–or chew tobacco, the risk you impart to your dental health is major. Oral cancer, dental decay, gum disease, and eventually teeth loss are much more prominent problems for tobacco users than those who abstain. Serious risks tobacco users take include:

  • Oral cancer – The incidence of cancer of the throat, tongue, and soft oral tissues increases significantly for tobacco users.  Quitting tobacco or even decreasing its use improves your odds you won’t develop this dreaded (and potentially fatal) disease.
  • Cavities – Plaque and tartar growth on a tobacco users teeth is much higher; dental decay occurs when bacteria from plaque build-up permeates the dental enamel.
  • Gum disease – Gingivitis and periodontitis can occur for anyone, but tobacco users are more likely to develop these oral conditions that result in bleeding, swollen gums; chronic bad breath; and teeth pulling away from gums due to bone loss.
  • Tooth loss – Tobacco users face the likelihood that tooth loss is in their future. And bone loss eliminates dental implants as a solution due to inadequate jaw bone from smoking. 
  • In the event you must undergo any kind of oral surgery, healing is much slower.
  • Appearance – Teeth become stained and discolored.

Quitting a tobacco habit is not easy; there are nicotine patches and chewing gum to ease the transition. Your family dentist may help facilitate quitting by offering a smoking cessation program that can provide information and medication.

It is well documented how dangerous this habit is to overall as well as dental health, and nicotine is terribly addictive. The importance of never starting tobacco use can literally change your life, but it is not impossible to quit.

See your family dentist for assistance in quitting as well as information on the hazards of tobacco use.  This education could save your life. For more information, contact our team at Eurodental Studio.

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Help Your Teeth Age Gracefully With You

cosmetic dentist Williamsburg NYAging has many advantages … wisdom, experience, and life’s encounters can be very positive in allowing us to grow old gracefully. But pitfalls can occur that impact overall health … one of those setbacks is often controllable, and that is how we care for our dental health. Maintaining great oral health over the years may be rewarded with healthy teeth and gums later in life; but does that mean they will look beautiful? Maybe not, and that is where a consultation with a cosmetic dentist can enhance your appearance at any age.

As we age, teeth may have become stained; or maybe they are just drab. Teeth whitening may be all that is needed to lighten your dentition taking years off your appearance. There are many products on the market that promise to give you a dazzling smile. Let your experienced dental provider assess and recommend what is best for you.

Discoloration or stain, chipped teeth, or gum recession are often easily resolved with dental bonding. Your dentist will use a tooth colored composite to blend away stain, reshape chipped enamel or protect teeth where gum tissue has receded. The dental bonding material is the same type of resin used to repair dental decay, and it can be exactly matched to your tooth shade making these repairs virtually impossible to detect.

You may have worn away teeth leaving them uneven; one or more teeth may be misshapen; or you want to improve your smile without undergoing orthodontics. Veneers are wafer thin, tooth colored shells that are fabricated to match surrounding teeth that will be left untreated in shape, shade, and size. Veneers are simply cemented to the front of teeth you wish to improve.

Veneers are minimally invasive; and can be available in both a permanent or reversible treatment option. Lumineers do not require removing dental enamel to place.

Missing teeth can alter how you speak; limit what you are able to eat; and can be embarrassing when you’re out in public. There are different options for dental prostheses, but the one that is closest to having your natural teeth back is dental implants. You can restore your smile and eliminate any concerns about slipping or moving teeth. And you will be able to eat all the foods you love once again.

Your cosmetic dentist has a solution to improve your aging dentition, so call us today!

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Beware of a Highly Acidic Diet

dentist Williamsburg NYA daily diet of highly acidic foods can have a negative impact on overall health as well as dental health. Many people associate things like citrus as being highly acidic … is some cases they might be correct. However, many foods like meat, junk food (foods high in processed sugar and refined grains), and caffeinated drinks like soda all are highly acidic. In order to provide the best balance to enhance dental health, your dentist will recommend consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and more natural foods to offset the acids you consume.

Let’s focus on what can happen to your teeth when you eat and drink highly acidic foods on a regular basis. We have learned the primary source of dental decay and gum disease is plaque build-up.

Bacteria live on teeth; when you consume acidic foods the sugars and carbohydrates cling to bacteria already present on teeth. Throughout the day acids in the foods and beverages we’ve consumed just keep increasing resulting in plaque hardening on teeth. Over time that plaque can lead to cavities, gum erosion, and possibly even tooth loss.

Your dentist might discuss your brushing and flossing habits when you visit. But if you have developed and put into practice a daily oral hygiene regimen of brushing with a fluoridated tooth paste twice daily coupled with daily flossing, that discussion might be due to your diet. It might be time to try to offset those highly acidic foods with more natural, unprocessed foods.

A couple of helpful hints include:

Limit soda intake for overall health benefits, but if you do drink a soda use a straw. This allows much of the beverage to bypass your teeth.

Everyone appreciates a good snack, but review your choices. Candy and high carb foods like chips or cookies should be rarely eaten. Fruit, vegetables, nuts, or popcorn provides a more nutritious and healthier choice.

Try to maintain a better balance in the things you consume – maybe drink water instead of a soda, sugary beverage, or so-called “healthy” sports drink.

Make sure you are using a fluoridated tooth paste when you brush (at least twice every day). Daily flossing to remove what your tooth brush missed helps to keep gum tissue and teeth healthier.

See your dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning and dental exam. If it’s time to schedule your next visit, contact our team at Eurodental Studio today.

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How can the appearance of misshapen teeth be improved?

cosmetic dentist GreenpointMisshapen teeth can occur for many reasons … overcrowding due to the jaw being too small to accommodate all teeth; grinding or jaw clenching which wears down dentition unevenly; premature tooth loss allowing remaining teeth to shift; a traumatic event that alters dentition; or manipulation due to overuse of a pacifier or thumb sucking. While some of these problems are inherited making them beyond our control, there are solutions that can correct or hide them. A consultation with your cosmetic dentist will show you how.

Braces are used most often for children and teens to correct misshapen or misaligned teeth. When an overbite, under bite, or cross bite occurs, teeth appear crooked. This not only affects appearance, but dental health is put at risk. Misshapen or crooked teeth provide areas for plaque to build; this can lead to dental decay and/or gum disease.

The application of dental braces produces the result of shifting teeth to the correct occlusion. In the case of overcrowding, the need to extract permanent teeth prior to placing the braces is often needed. When the malocclusion is corrected, teeth are even and in correct alignment. Wearing a retainer is required to allow teeth to develop a memory of their new location and to prevent them from shifting back.

When teeth are uneven, chipped, ground down, severely stained, or have unwanted gaps between teeth, your cosmetic dentist may recommend a faster solution … veneers. Veneers are wafer thin shells that are made to match your teeth in size, shape, and color. Veneers can be applied to one or multiple teeth.

The veneer process can be completed in a couple of dental appointments. Your dentist will remove a thin layer of enamel from the front of teeth to be treated – this will allow the veneers to appear symmetrical with untreated neighboring dentition.

Impressions are taken; veneers will be fabricated at the dental lab. When ready to apply, they will be “tried in” to guarantee fit, comfort, and appearance. Small adjustments can be made at this time. Once they are perfect, they will be permanently cemented to the front of teeth.

Whichever avenue you choose to correct misshapen teeth, the final result will give your self-confidence a boost. With the proper care, you can enjoy your new smile for many years.

To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact our team at Eurodental Studio today!

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