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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4 Important Steps to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

family dentist Williamsburg NYHealthy teeth and gums not only help keep your smile bright, but your overall health can be impacted by your dental health. While visiting your family dentist every six months is a critical step in maintaining great oral health, there are several other things you can do every day as well.

Brush at least twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste. Brushing is an important step, but did you know there is a proper way to brush? You should use a soft bristle tooth brush; there is no need to use excessive pressure to clean teeth. In fact, scrubbing teeth can result in premature gum recession and worn dental enamel.

One way to clean teeth properly is to use an electronic toothbrush. The fast action of the bristles helps to remove food debris. You don’t need pressure … just guide the toothbrush around all oral areas. Another advantage of an electronic toothbrush is they come with a timer that lets you know when you’ve brushed the recommended two minutes each time you brush.

Floss your teeth every day. Dental floss comes in a variety of ways: waxed, flavored or plain, tape, flossed threaders and floss picks. Flossing every day will remove what your toothbrush missed between teeth. An added bonus is flossing correctly helps keep gum tissue stimulated.

Diet is important for oral health. Sugary snacks and beverages should be limited. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water are great options that will contribute to oral as well as overall good health.

Proper hydration is important. A dry mouth can contribute to many dental problems over time. Insufficient saliva prevents the natural flushing we need for oral health. If a dry mouth seems to be a chronic problem, your family dentist can recommend rinses that will help. If your dry mouth is due to medications taken, there may be a substitution available that will help.

Your family dentist has options available to assist you to stay decay free. Teeth not already impacted by dental decay can be treated with sealants that work to seal out the bacteria that contribute to decay. Fluoride keeps dental enamel strong, and fluoride treatments are available if needed. And of course, having teeth thoroughly cleaned and polished every six months will keep you looking great and your teeth healthy.

Call our team today to schedule your next appointment!

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Smile Makeover: What are my options?

cosmetic dentist Brooklyn

Enhancing your appearance by improving your dentition can be achieved in many ways. You can consult with our cosmetic dentist to see all the fabulous offerings that are available that can remake your smile.

Budgetary or time constraints are often given as reasons why a smile makeover may seem out of reach. But many cosmetic corrections once reserved for the well to do are now available to people everywhere. And very often a smile makeover can be achieved in a matter of a couple of dental visits. A few cosmetic problems and possible solutions include:

Stained or discolored teeth – Possibly one of the most economical ways to improve your smile is with teeth whitening. Drab, stained teeth can ruin your smile. Teeth whitening can lighten your dentition and help to eliminate the stains from food, drink, or lifestyle habits like tobacco use.

Missing teeth – If you have suffered from tooth loss due to decay, disease, or trauma your life can be dramatically improved if you supplant lost teeth with dental implants. This procedure involves placing titanium posts in gum tissue where tooth loss has occurred. While healing, bone in the jaw will integrate with the implant providing a solid base that will support a restoration that will look, feel, and act like your natural tooth did.

Dental implants allow the patient to enjoy all the foods they love without restriction, laugh with self-confidence without fear of slippage or tooth movement, and speak clearly now that teeth are again intact.

Misshapen, uneven, chipped dentition – These issues and more can be resolved with dental veneers. And porcelain veneers are available as a permanent solution; or you can select Lumineers which are veneers with the capability of reversing the procedure.

In either case, veneers are very thin shells that are affixed to the front of teeth requiring enhancement. You can correct one or multiple problems with veneers from deeply stained teeth to closing unwanted gaps between teeth.

Dark spots, chipped enamel, receding gums – Dental bonding uses a tooth colored resin material that your cosmetic dentist can apply to your teeth that can correct problem areas. It is malleable, strong, and can alter smaller areas of concern.

Whatever you feel is needed to enhance your smile, a consultation with your cosmetic dentist will outline the available procedures that can improve your appearance. Contact us at Eurodental Studio today!

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A Parent’s Guide to Infant and Toddler Dental Care

dentist in Williamsburg NYBaby teeth begin to form in the womb. At three or four months of age, teeth begin to emerge. Caregivers are responsible for the early years of dental care. When only a few teeth are present, wiping them with a clean soft cloth is ideal. Your baby should have their first visit with the dentist around the age of one.

There are a lot of months where the proper care can start your baby on a path to great oral health; or mistakes can be made that can be problematic. The positive steps include:

As more teeth begin to emerge, use a baby size tooth brush and age appropriate tooth paste to gently clean your child’s teeth. Never use fluoridated tooth paste as your baby does not know how to spit out the tooth paste; and you don’t ever want to risk your child swallowing a paste geared toward older children or adults.

At twelve months of age, take your baby for their first dental visit. This provides an opportunity for your dentist to do an examination to make sure your child’s oral health is on track. This is also a great time to ask questions and learn how to best support your baby’s incoming dentition.

The temptation to put your child down for a nap or at bedtime with a bottle of formula, milk, or juice should be resisted. When your baby falls asleep, they can have some of the bottle contents stay in their mouth for hours … this can lead to the formation of plaque on baby teeth. The only beverage baby should be able to take to bed is water.

Children learn best by example. Allow your child to watch you brush and floss your teeth. Your child will require hands-on assistance for years, but when you feel they are coordinated enough to try to brush on their own, encourage them to do so. However, this is a job that requires supervision for years … not only to make sure it is done, but to make sure it is done correctly.

Continue to take your child to the dentist for regular cleaning and check-ups. There are preventative measures that can be taken such as in-office fluoride treatments and dental sealants that can be placed on chewing surfaces to deter dental decay. A lifetime of smiles will be your reward.

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Common Causes of Tooth Wear

Brooklyn dentalWe use our teeth every day in ways we don’t consciously think about … speaking and chewing are the most obvious; but we put wear and tear on teeth in other ways. Brushing teeth too harshly or using the wrong kind of toothpaste can damage dental enamel. Nervousness or anxiety can result in grinding teeth.

Mindless chewing on a toothpick, pencil, or other inanimate objects can translate into daily minutes of putting stress on your teeth without giving it a thought. While a couple of minutes here and there don’t seem like a big deal, they can add up. And the result can mean loss of tooth structure, broken teeth, dental decay, and/or gum disease.

Do you chew ice, bite your nails, or use your teeth like scissors to open packages? These are all doing damage to your teeth. While all of these things are within our control, there are other concerns that may be more difficult to resolve. Illness and some medications can result in dentition damage.

If you have visited the dentist and had a tooth repaired, the restoration might be causing undue pressure on your ability to bite correctly. A malocclusion (a condition where the top teeth do not align properly with corresponding lower teeth), crooked or overlapping teeth, or misshapen teeth can alter how you chew producing tooth wear. Missing teeth can change how you bite as well.

Many of these situations can be rectified by giving more thought to how you treat your teeth. Eliminate the harmful habits; use the correct tools to brush daily (a soft bristle tooth brush and fluoridated tooth paste are recommended); floss daily; and visit the dentist every six months for a cleaning, polishing, and dental exam.

If you are grinding teeth, this will be apparent; your dentist may suggest a night guard be worn to help you stop. If straightening teeth is important to maintaining good dental health, orthodontics may be recommended. Missing teeth can be supplanted with some type of dental prosthesis. A poorly placed restoration can be adjusted.

Our permanent teeth are needed for chewing, digestion, speaking, and to help us look our best for our lifetime. Maintaining great dental health also contributes to good overall health.  Discontinue the things known to do dental damage; and initiate good dental habits to help eliminate unnecessary wear to teeth.

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Can dry mouth lead to cavities?

Brooklyn dentistEveryone experiences a dry mouth at one time or another. Anxiety, thirst, medications, or illness can result in an occasional bout of dry mouth. However, when the mouth is dry over an extended period, a consultation with your dentist is in order. There are solutions that will bring relief and prevent problems such as dental decay from developing.

When you experience a dry mouth over a period of time, you may be suffering from xerostomia. This is due to the inability to produce sufficient saliva. Saliva is critical to keep the mouth moist – think of it as a natural mouthwash. It not only helps cleanse the mouth, saliva is important to aid in digestion.

A chronically dry mouth may be due to dehydration, certain medical treatments, illness, or medications taken. An adjustment in needed drugs may help, but only make changes on the advice of your dentist or medical provider.

Some of the more obvious symptoms of a dry mouth include thirst, dryness in the throat or mouth that might result in hoarseness, bad breath, chapped lips, sores in and around the mouth, or sticky teeth or tongue making eating or speaking a challenge. Patients that have an oral prosthesis might experience added difficulties.

Dental decay is a potential problem as decay occurs as plaque builds on teeth. Any breach in dental enamel can allow bacteria from plaque to permeate the tooth with decay the likely result. Of course, we can’t rely solely on saliva to flush away plaque. That is why brushing twice every day with a fluoridated tooth paste is another important act to prevent decay. But saliva does help.

What can be done to increase or promote saliva production? Drinking lots of water to stay hydrated can help. Steady sipping throughout the day is best. Limit caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, and soda as they can interfere with good hydration as well as alcoholic drinks. Sucking on sugar free candy or chewing sugar free gum might aid in saliva production as well.

There are products your dentist can recommend such as oral rinses or artificial saliva products. If you are having a problem and can’t see your dentist right away, your pharmacist might be able to suggest an over the counter product to bring relief.

Call our office today to schedule an appointment and discuss your treatment options!

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What signs and symptoms are associated with an impacted tooth?

dentist Williamsburg NYAn impacted tooth is any tooth unable to erupt due to blockage or positioning against another tooth, bone, or other oral tissue. This pertains to teeth that remain totally embedded in the jaw or teeth that partially erupt. For many patients, impacted teeth most often occur with the third molars or wisdom teeth. There are four wisdom teeth, and they are the last teeth to erupt. If there are no problems associated with an impacted tooth, no action is needed. However, if negative symptoms are present, a consultation with your dentist will reveal the best course of action for relief.

The third molars begin to form around the age of nine; however, they don’t usually erupt until late teens or early twenties. But individuals that regularly see their dentist will have an idea if they are likely to have problems with wisdom teeth.

Since the jaw is usually fully developed before wisdom teeth erupt, very often there is insufficient space for them to erupt without interference. Children that are fortunate enough to have adequate jaw space will probably not require third molars extraction. But when one or more teeth are impacted, the signs or symptoms experienced can include:

Gum infection – Chronic bad breath, swelling, or discomfort indicate infection may be present.

Malocclusion – These teeth want to erupt so they may begin to force neighboring teeth to shift. This tooth movement can result in an over bite, under bite, or cross bite.

Decay – Failure to keep these areas clean can lead to plaque build-up … often leading to dental decay.

Discomfort – As an impacted tooth tries to break through, it can be painful.

Pericoronitis – This is a condition where irritation and inflammation are produced by the crown of a partially erupted tooth.

If symptoms are persistent, a visit to the dentist is recommended. Dental X-rays are usually required for a definitive diagnosis. Having the third molars extracted is very common. Your dentist may be able to complete this treatment, but very often a referral to an oral surgeon is given if teeth are fully impacted.

Generally the patient is anesthetized for removal of impacted teeth. This makes extraction easier for both the patient and the dentist. Soft foods for a few days coupled with an over the counter pain reliever is usually sufficient for a rapid recovery.

Are you in need of tooth removal? Contact us at Eurodental Studio today!

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Do I really need to pay attention to my tongue?

dentist BrooklynUsually the only time you think about your tongue is when you bite it, use it to lick an ice cream treat, or burn it on a hot cup of soup or piece of pizza. But the tongue plays such a huge role in day to day living, we should be giving it more thought then we do. Your dentist certainly checks it out carefully during your dental exam looking for potential problems.

On a daily basis the tongue is used for a variety of purposes:

Speaking – The tongue works in tandem with the teeth, lips, and roof of the mouth to form specific sounds.

Chewing and Swallowing – You might not actually realize the work your tongue is doing when you eat. The next time you eat, consciously visualize what actions your tongue is doing to aid in this process.

Digesting – While you are chewing your tongue is aiding in grinding food down; when you are ready to swallow the tongue helps to push your food down to be digested.

Tasting – Sweet, sour, spicy, mild, salty, bitter … without your tongue you would not be able to distinguish the different ways foods taste.

Sensations – Your tongue helps to make you aware of hot and cold. Taste buds located all over the tongue contain the nerves that connect the tongue to the nervous system that tell the brain in a matter of seconds that a beverage is too hot, for instance.

The moist, pink cover on the tongue is called mucosa. This covering contains all those taste buds, and in order for it to work properly it must be kept moist. That is why saliva production is so important.

The human tongue is a critical muscle that performs so many daily functions of which we give little thought. Just as we brush and floss daily, the tongue should be kept clean as well. A tongue scraper is used to remove bacteria that have accumulated on the surface of the tongue.

Keeping the tongue clean eliminates a primary source of bad breath.

Tongue piercing is a fad that can result in infection so consult your dentist beforehand to learn about the risks involved.

Pay attention to your tongue as it performs crucial functions every day – it works much harder than you think. If you have more questions about how to take care of your tongue, ask our dental team at your next appointment! Contact us today to schedule one!

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What is a tooth friendly diet?

family dentist Williamsburg NYThere are many foods and beverages that we have been led to believe are harmless, even healthy. But anything containing lots of sugar and possessing high acidic values can be problematic for good dental health. Avoiding or limiting many foods and beverages might translate to great dental check-ups each time you visit your family dentist.

Your local grocer or health food market is loaded with tooth friendly choices. Fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful with varieties that are appealing for people of all ages. A diet comprised of highly nutritious values includes whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy products. When it comes to protecting your teeth, you will want to focus more on the foods that provide calcium and Vitamin C as these two components are essential for maintaining great dental health.

A lack of calcium in the diet may translate into weakened teeth. This can make you more susceptible to dental decay and gum disease. The foods that are a great source of calcium include milk, cheese and yogurt (to name a few). Calcium intake is critical for people of all ages and there are so many delicious ways to enjoy these dairy products. While calories should be considered, dairy is not the area to cut out (fewer processed foods, desserts, sodas and alcohol would allow more healthy foods to be consumed).

Vitamin C is an important nutrient and can be found in fresh, canned, and frozen fruits and vegetables. Consuming crunchy fruits like apples help keep teeth clean. Some fruits have high sugar content, but unless you have been advised to avoid them you should be on the right track with fresh fruit. Please note that dried or candied fruit does not carry the same advantages that unprocessed fruit does.

There are certain snacks that can be eaten without endangering teeth: popcorn (taking care not to bite down on any unpopped kernels), nuts, seeds (pumpkin/sunflower), and sugar free candy.

Regular and sugar free sodas should be eliminated to maintain great dental health. The sugar and acids in soft drinks can erode dental enamel promoting decay. Water is the most healthy and refreshing beverage around – try adding a few slices of fresh fruit to boost flavor.

Brush twice daily, floss daily and visit your family dentist every six months in addition to eating a tooth friendly diet. To make your next appointment, call us at Eurodental Studio today!

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Do I still need regular dental checkups if I wear braces?

Brooklyn dentistDuring orthodontic treatment, you will visit with your orthodontist regularly to make sure your teeth straightening program is on track and to make adjustments as needed. However, these periodic visits do not take the place of your six month dental check-up required to maintain healthy teeth and gums. You still need to visit your regular dentist for cleaning and exams whether you wear braces for a few months or a few years.

Your orthodontist does care about your oral health, however, unless something is obviously wrong concerning your dentition, your orthodontist is a specialist charged with providing you with straight teeth and is not looking to treat your oral hygiene issues.

In many cases, your orthodontist may recommend the patient to visit their dental provider for a thorough cleaning and dental exam just prior to having braces placed. Any issues can be addressed and treatment rendered.  This assures that you are beginning your teeth straightening program with optimum dental health.

Traditional metal braces are cemented in place and will remain for the duration of the teeth straightening program. Patients are encouraged to brush and floss daily to remove food particles that may be trapped not only by crooked teeth, but by the braces themselves.

Throughout the course of treatment, brackets and wires provide many places for the sugars and acids in foods and beverages to catch. If left unchecked, plaque can build leading to the potential for dental decay and/or the onset of gum disease.

Seeing your dental provider every six months allows plaque to be removed and teeth to be examined to catch any potential problems before they have a chance to escalate. Other things you can do while wearing braces include brushing with a fluoridated tooth paste at least twice daily; floss daily (this can be a little time intensive at first, and have your orthodontist demonstrate the best way to floss while wearing braces); and try to avoid foods that are hard, sticky, or chewy (that can easily get stuck in your braces).

Once your braces have been removed, see your regular dentist right away. You may have a little dental discoloration from wearing braces and your dentist will offer solutions for enhancing your newly straightened teeth with ways to brighten and whiten your enamel giving you a smile makeover to enjoy for life.

Contact our office to discuss your own treatment options!

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