Category Archives: cosmetic dentistry

4 Ways To Improve Your Smile

There’s something about having a nice, white smile that gives you extra confidence and helps to project a warm, vibrant personality. We live in the selfie era, and that means there’s more attention than ever before to how your smile looks to others. Fortunately, even if you weren’t born with perfect teeth, there are a number of different ways to improve your smile.

Method #1: Whitening

The first method is to focus on making your teeth as white and bright as possible. The easiest way to do this is by using new toothpaste that’s specifically marked as “whitening” toothpaste. At most pharmacies and supermarkets, you can also buy special whitening kits. These are meant to be used over a specific period of time, and work by bleaching your teeth a whiter color. For that reason, they are often referred to as “at-home bleaching kits.”

But perhaps the best way to whiten your teeth is by going into your dentist’s office for an annual check-up. You’ll walk away with teeth that look whiter and cleaner, thanks to the plaque that your dentist is able to remove during the visit.

Method #2: Bonding

Every notice how some people have sparkling white teeth? That may be the result of bonding, in which a white material is bonded directly to the teeth using a form of dental cement. Usually, this material is porcelain or a specialized resin. This bonded material helps to protect against corrosion and gives your smile an improved appearance.

Method #3: Braces

If you still have unpleasant memories of metallic braces from childhood, no worries. The current generation of “invisible braces” makes it possible for any adult to straighten out crooked or crowded teeth. There’s nothing better than having a nice, straight smile when it’s time for a photo. You want to be able to flash a full smile, where all the teeth are lined up nicely.

Method #4: Implants and crowns

Typically, implants are used to replace missing teeth, while crowns are used to repair and hide damaged teeth. Implants are useful because they can prevent the teeth in your mouth from shifting over time, which might lead to a change in your bite or other dental complications. Crowns are useful because they can be used to improve the appearance of your teeth. These crowns are like small caps that fit over the top of your tooth to protect it. In order for them to fit properly, though, it will require some reshaping of your original tooth.

Of course, there’s one basic method to improve your smile that you can do from home without having to go to a dentist’s office at all – and that’s brushing and flossing on a regular basis. That’s especially important if you drink a lot of coffee or smoke, both of which can stain your teeth over time. Always make sure that you replace your toothbrush on a regular basis, and that you are using one that can properly reach all areas of your mouth. By doing so, you’ll be taking an important step in improving your smile.

If you want to make your smile glow, even more, pay us at visit at SmilesNY. We will ensure that your pearly whites are as you are, and check to see if your teeth are healthy.

5 Early Childhood Dental Issues and Signs

Early Childhood Dental Issues and Signs

Early Childhood Dental Issues and Signs

If you have very young children, it might be easy to overlook their dental health care until they get older. This can be a real mistake. You could overlook a number of early childhood dental issues, that if allowed to worsen over time, could lead to more serious complications. Here’s a closer look at some early childhood dental issues and some signs to watch out for.

#1: Baby bottle tooth decay

You might think that the only way a person can get a cavity is by eating a lot of sweet, sugary foods over a long period of time. As a result, how is it possible that a young toddler might already have signs of tooth decay? The key is to realize that frequent, prolonged contact with sugary drinks – including milk and formula – may lead to the early degradation of teeth.

Thus, if you notice your small toddler falling asleep with a bottle of formula in their mouth, or if they are constantly keeping the bottle in their mouth when they aren’t hungry, that might be an early warning sign. Also keep in mind – most juices are also relatively high in sugar. That means giving your young child juice on a frequent basis might also lead to tooth decay.

#2: Thumb or pacifier sucking

While it’s perfectly normal for children to engage in thumb sucking or pacifier sucking at a very early age, if you notice this behavior past the age of 5, it could be a signal of potential problems ahead. That’s because the sucking motion will eventually cause the upper and lower jaws to move out of alignment. If left to persist for too long, it could lead to a serious overbite problem.

#3: Tongue thrusting

This type of motion – in which the tongue is pushed toward the lips during swallowing –leads to problems. In a worst-case scenario, it might lead to the front teeth being pushed out of alignment. That’s particularly true if the thrusting motion is very sudden or violent – it will have the impact of pushing against the front teeth as well.

#4: Unexpected tooth loss

Yes, all children will eventually lose their first set of teeth. But if you notice early tooth loss, that could be a bad sign. What may be happening is that a diet high in sugary foods is causing a deterioration or weakening of the teeth. The mouth will break down those sugars, and they will eventually turn into acids that work to erode teeth. So keep a close eye on your child’s diet.

#5: Any chipped or broken teeth

Young kids love to play, and some of them may not yet realize their own strength. As a result, there’s always the risk of a chipped or broken tooth. If the tooth eventually falls out after being weakened, you might need to put in a space maintainer until the new tooth grows in.

The biggest takeaway lesson here is that it is possible to prevent tooth decay. Keep an eye on your child’s behavior, and an even closer eye on their diet. Even some foods that you may think are perfectly healthy – like fruit juices – might actually be very high in sugars that deteriorate teeth over time.

3 Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

3 Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments

It is true that a number of cosmetic dentistry treatments can help you get your teeth to look more attractive. There are other benefits of these treatments that deserve a closer examination, and we will look at a few of these here.

Improve Your Dental Health

Your teeth will be more likely to experience periodontal disease when they are cracked or chipped. This means that they are more likely to break down and decay further. Some spots around your teeth are hard to reach with a toothbrush, and bacteria can fester and cause further problems. Once these nasty buggers have a home, they can rot your teeth from the inside out.

When you utilize proper cosmetic treatment, you can fill your cracks or chips. Another means of fixing this problem is having your teeth reshaped entirely. Either solution is preferable to doing nothing. Enacting a solution to this disease will help you even more in the future, as you will have one fewer thing to worry about.

Keep Your Teeth Aligned Properly

The problem with having weakened or missing teeth is that other healthy teeth near the affected area will also start to decay. Human jaw structure requires all your teeth to be present, so when one is missing it creates problems. Because the roots in an area will have become too weak, your remaining healthy teeth will start to either shift around or decay themselves.

With cosmetic dentistry, you can keep your jaw line and gums from wearing out. This is thanks to the added stimulation that will occur around an area. For instance, a proper crown or implant can get into your jaw line to help keep the bone structure from wearing out. Meanwhile, the deepest parts and roots of your existing teeth will not be exposed. This ensures that your smile will continue to look strong.

Keep Your Teeth from Suffering from Fatigue

Sometimes, a tooth of yours hurts. This is not the end of the world, you think, as you can just chew with another part of your mouth. Doing such an act could cause undue stress to a healthy part of your teeth than necessary, thus weakening the entire area. If you start out with one problem, you don’t want it to conflagrate and start issues with other sections of your teeth.

This can be a real burden, but cosmetic dentistry can help to fix the problems that are keeping you from using all of your teeth. For instance, a cosmetic procedure to fill in a crack or chip in one tooth, which will help encourage you to start using that part of your mouth again when chewing or speaking. This ensures that you won’t add lots of undo stress onto specific areas around your teeth.

You will benefit greatly from any kind of cosmetic dentistry treatment you utilize. It can work for not only your appearance but also for your dental health in general. If you have any questions, the knowledgeable and experienced staff at SmilesNY is here to help.

5 Top Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

5 Top Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Cosmetic dentistry has evolved over the years to include a number of attractive treatment options. More people are taking advantage of these than ever before as they are aiming to get their smiles to look their best.

Teeth Whitening
A teeth whitening procedure is precisely what it sounds like. It entails a gel or bleaching material being applied onto the top layers of the tooth enamel. The goal of this is to reduce the appearance of stains and discoloration that can develop on the teeth over time.
Such a procedure often works with teeth whitening trays that clients use in their own homes. In other cases, it entails several applications of a stronger bleach material that must be applied by a dentist in a clinic with the proper amount of protection being used.

Dental implants work with a specific setup to improve upon how one’s natural smile can be supported. With an implant, a metal rod is inserted into the gum line so it can be affixed to the jaw bone. After the rod is secured by the jaw bone and heals, a crown can be applied outside of the gum line. The support of the metal rod allows the crown to remain in place and helps with the procedure.
This establishes a more realistic look and can preserve a patient’s natural jaw line. This comes from the tooth being installed in a manner similar to how one’s natural teeth are naturally organized. When the implants are put in place, one can treat it just like any other tooth.

A crown is a type of cap or other cover used to conceal a tooth that has been damaged or has decayed. This helps to improve upon the appearance of the tooth, and may also improve the tooth’s alignment. Many of today’s crowns are made with porcelain materials and can be colored to fit in with the rest of one’s teeth.

Dental Bonding
Dental bonding works to control the overall shape and color of a tooth. In this procedure, a white filling material is applied onto the surface of a tooth. This allows for a tooth to be adjusted with a fuller shape and more realistic color. However, bonding can wear out after a period of time and needs to be retouched on occasion.

Tooth Contouring
The fifth and final procedure is tooth contouring. This is a process where a tooth is reshaped, which often entails the use of a drill or a special laser material. Fixing overlapping teeth is the main goal of the procedure, but it can fix chips and cracks as well. As the teeth are reshaped, more parts of their surfaces are exposed. This, in turn, makes it easier for a person to take care of one’s teeth without missing certain areas.

All of these particular cosmetic dentistry procedures are popular and important to look into. They work in different ways but they all come with the same goal. They are designed to help patients with getting the best-looking smiles they can have. If you have any questions, or if any of these procedures appeal to you, contact us at SmilesNY.

8 tips to overcoming anxiety about going to the dentist

Dentists are around to take care of your teeth. Although you might take your teeth for granted, they’re pretty important. You use them when you speak, smile and when you eat. It’s safe to say these are all pretty pleasant activities.

But for some reason many people still dislike going to the dentist and even fear it. According to Harvard Health Publications, between 13% and 24% of people all over the world are afraid to go.

Some people feel anxiety because of a bad experience they had in the past or because they start to anticipate discomfort and fear that everything could go wrong. However, modern medicine has advanced incredibly. Even the most dreaded procedures (we’re talking to you, root canals), have been tamed, so there’s really no rational reason to fear going.To keep your gums and teeth healthy, follow these 8 tips to overcome the anxiety of going to the dentist.

To keep your gums and teeth healthy, follow these 8 tips to overcome the anxiety of going to the dentist.

1. Be honest with your dentist

The first step to building trust, reducing your anxiety and improving the overall experience is to simply be honest. Tell your dentist and the staff how you feel and your concerns. They aren’t scary monsters — they’re humans, and probably have fears of their own. They’ll do the best they can to make you feel more comfortable.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Often, fear stems from the unknown. You may start to try and fill in the foggy future by creating narratives about what might happen. Usually, your mind spirals into worst-case scenarios, even if they are actually very unlikely to happen in real life.

Instead of letting your mind wander into the dark cavities of the dental world, ask your dental assistant and dentist to walk you through what they’ll do during the procedure before you even go in. Once you’re there, ask them to explain what they’re doing as they work, too.

You might even be surprised just how much you’ll learn and how happy your dentist is to tell you what all their equipment is for. Pretty soon the procedure will seem routine, maybe even a bit repetitive, and less like your worst nightmare.

3. Go slow

Sometimes people get caught up in the people pleasing side of dentistry. Your mouth is open for most of the time, it’s difficult to speak and someone else is standing over you instructing you how to adjust your face.

It certainly can feel awkward, and you might try to just get in and get out without making waves. However, it’s actually okay to interrupt your dentist or dental assistant. Don’t forget that you’re the patient, and they want to make sure everything goes smoothly, too.

If you need to slow things down, ask a question, spit, take a break, or anything else, speak up. Sometimes people don’t feel in control when they’re in the dental chair, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

4. Try deep breathing exercises

Being able to calm yourself and get back to an emotional middle-ground is essential for any type of stress. Practice slow, deep breathing exercises before you go to the dentist and when you get there to try and maintain your equilibrium. This will also help you stay grounded in the present.

You can also practice breathing exercises when you’re with your dentist. Focusing on your breath will also draw your attention to something other than what’s going on in your mouth.

5. Bring something soothing

Sometimes focusing on your breath can be a little difficult, so you might want to take along something else that you find soothing. Bring your own music to listen to while you’re waiting or take along something to fidget with like silly putty or a hair band. You can play with it while you’re getting your teeth cleaned to distract your mind.

6. Bring backup

Having a friend or family member with you – someone you can trust – is also beneficial. Just knowing someone is there to support you can bring some relief.

7. Ask your dentist for sedatives

If you really feel unable to handle your anxiety, ask your dentist to use sedatives. They may be able to use nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or local anesthetics. Actually, there are quite a few options to choose from.

Although not ideal, using these sedatives to cope with your fear is better than not ever going to the dentist at all.

8. Go to counseling

For some people, none of these tips are enough to get over their fear. If you’ve become so petrified of going to the dentist it prevents you from getting the treatment you need to stay healthy, you may have a phobia.

There’s a difference between being afraid of something and phobias, which interfere with your daily life and go far beyond anxiety. If you really can’t go to the dentist because of a phobia, it may be a good idea to seek counseling to try and master it.

Dentists don’t want to inspire fear; they want to help. If you let them, they can work with you to make sure those pearly whites are healthy for years to come. So, what are you waiting for?

Dentist: Yes, we do notice your teeth when you’re talking

Dr. David Gordon knows most people aren’t fans of the dentist. He said there isn’t a day that goes by at his office, Logan Peak Dental Care, when he doesn’t hear at least one patient say they aren’t happy to be there.

Luckily for his patients, Gordon knows not to take the comments personally. Instead, he’ll strive to make his patients as comfortable as possible while they’re in his care.

“I think beyond helping people’s oral health, I enjoy being able to make a difference in people’s lives,” Gordon said. “Unlike a lot of medical professionals, dentists see their patients often enough to develop strong friendships, to watch kids grow up. I see that as one of the most rewarding parts of my profession.”

Here are Gordon’s Top 3 things dentists want people to know about them:

No. 1: Yes, we’re always staring at people’s teeth, even when we’re not working.

David Gordon: That’s actually not a misconception. I do stare at people’s teeth a lot. Of course, I don’t say anything, but you can tell a lot about a person’s teeth just by looking at them.

I can sometimes see decay on people’s teeth. Oftentimes there will be a dark shadow underneath the enamel, and that’s usually indicative of something deeper going on. I can tell a decent amount about someone’s regular oral hygiene just by seeing their gums at the front. If they’re red and inflamed, obviously there’s something going on there.

But I probably can’t see as much as people think I can see just from a quick smile. I can’t tell someone’s oral hygiene history entirely by just a quick glance, but it’s something that I’ll always notice.

Herald Journal: Do you see people become self-conscious about their breath as well?

DG: You know, I hear an awful lot from people who say to me, “I could never do your job.” One of the main reasons they say that is because they hate the smell of bad breath. I don’t like the smell of bad breath; I’m no different from anybody else. What I do enjoy is that I get to help people fix that problem. It’s very gratifying to have a patient come to me in a poor state of oral health and a few weeks later is much, much better.

People do get self-conscious about their breath, but I usually have a mask on anyway. Oftentimes, I don’t pick up on it, so it’s nothing most people really need to stress out about much.

No. 2: There’s a lot more creativity involved in dentistry than you might think.

Gordon: There’s a saying in dentistry that has almost become sort of cliche, that dentistry is a blend of art and science. It’s true that a lot of what we do is science-based, just like any other health profession, but we’re also dealing with little, tiny sculptures inside people’s mouths.

There’s a lot of spatial awareness that dentists have to possess. One portion of the entrance exam into dentistry school, the Dentist’s Admissions Test, is about perceptual ability — your ability to picture what a shape looks like and being able to turn it around in your head without being able to manipulate it in person.

There’s some creative skill required in a lot of what I do. Before I went to medical school, I didn’t know that I needed to possess that creative side. As dentistry became more appealing to me, I discovered that about myself — I enjoy creating stuff and making new things for people. For example, after I finished dental school, I began baking cakes for my kids. I thought it would be fun to try out, and it turns out that I have a bit of a knack for it.

HJ: What’s more difficult between working on people’s teeth and baking cakes?

DG: (Laughs) Dentistry for sure. When I make mistakes in dentistry it’s a lot more serious, but making cakes is just a fun thing I can experiment with.

No. 3: Most dentists know you don’t like coming to see them, but we’re still happy to help.

DG: I do get discouraged a little bit, but if I really let something like that get to me, I would need serious therapy. I get told at least once a day that people hate coming to see me.

I understand that dentistry can be an emotional thing for people. It can be especially scary when you’re a child, and it’s something unfamiliar, and it can leave a very long-lasting, deep wound into people. Even as an adult, people have a difficult time getting over that.

So I do what I can to cater to that feeling and make it better. I do whatever I can to go out of my way to make this as enjoyable an experience as I possibly can do for you.

Everybody thinks that dentists have the highest suicide rate because of what they do, but that’s not true at all. Not even close. It’s a myth that has been passed down. In general, dentists are pretty happy with what they do.

The Top Dentist-Approved Ways to Whiten Teeth

It was 1999 when Friends’ Ross Geller famously bleached his teeth to glow-in-the-dark effect-giving beauty writers everywhere rich fodder for years to come. So poignant was that reference, so timeless, that it continues to pervade the teeth-whitening realm nearly two decades later. We’re forever in pursuit of that ageless, immaculate smile-one that appears both unreal yet totally natural. And, mercifully, our whitening options have evolved right along with the American sitcom. (Death to the laugh track!) We asked top cosmetic dentists on both coasts for their favorite smile-brightening strategies-so you can yuk it up with complete confidence.

The Instant In-Office Fix

The fastest and most tech-forward whitening method offered by dentists, the Philips Zoom WhiteSpeed combines a 25 percent hydrogen peroxide bleach with a supercharged blue LED light, which speeds the destruction of stains, so you’re out of the chair within an hour-smiling brighter than you did at check-in. (Just how much brighter is debatable: Some dentists say one to four shades, others claim up to eight. It really depends on your starting point-as “everyone has her own natural shade of white,” says New York City dentist Victoria Veytsman-and your affinity for tannin-rich Bordeaux and French roast.)

Upon illumination, the peroxide releases oxygen molecules, which penetrate the tooth enamel to dissolve deep-set stains. Because “the light doesn’t heat up the teeth as much as the lasers traditionally used in whitening, there’s less sensitivity,” says Marc Lowenberg, a cosmetic dentist in New York City. Plus, “peroxide concentrations have increased, so we can bleach the teeth in about a third of the time it previously took.”

Though the Zoom system is outfitted with adjustable settings for comfort control, Veytsman says about one in 10 people still experience minor sensitivity-what dentists call “zingers”-during or after treatment. To help improve the odds, and curtail those sharp, stinging sensations, dentists paint a masking agent over the gums and any areas of recession before starting. The procedure is then divided into three 15-minute cycles. “We’ll sometimes do just one cycle on someone who’s very sensitive, or maybe two, but usually not all three,” says Kevin Sands, a Beverly Hills dentist whose appointment book boasts names like Kardashian, Bieber, and Longoria. Docs typically apply a desensitizing gel right after whitening, as well, to counter any lingering zings in the 24 hours following.

Dentist Shares Nutrition Tips for Healthy Teeth

Nutrition impacts the health of your teeth in many important ways. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep your pearly-whites free from decay, shared by Dr. Andrew Koenigsberg, a dentist in New York City.

Avoid Sugar and Acid

Sugar and especially refined sugar is digested by the bacterial plaque on teeth to form acid. The smallest amount of sugar, (think a Tic Tac or a small amount of sugar in coffee), creates an acidic environment in the mouth for a couple of hours. This acidic environment softens teeth and makes them susceptible to decay. Acidic drinks and foods, including fruit, also create an acidic environment, making teeth susceptible to erosion, abrasion, and weakening (attrition), as well as decay.

“So there are some foods that we all know that are acidic: lemons, limes, oranges. And what I’ve seen people think is ‘the minute I eat them, let me go and brush my teeth and try to remove it,’ which is absolutely the worst thing they can do,” said Sharon Richter, a registered dietitian, in an interview on Floss Talk, a program hosted by Dr. Koenigsberg, a New York City dentist and owner of Gallery 57 Dental.

Brushing immediately after eating an acidic food is ill advised, according to Richter, because the acid would be forced into the teeth by the brushing action. It is ideal to wait for two hours after having an acidic food to allow saliva to neutralize the acids in one’s mouth.

Be Careful With Drinks

Many common drinks such as carbonated beverages and sports drinks can be highly acidic and can cause teeth to erode. In general, coffee and tea are less acidic and while they may stain teeth, will not cause erosion. Of course, adding lemon, one of the most acidic fruits, can change that. Many of these beverages also contain sugar making them even more cariogenic (able to cause cavities).

Eat Meals Not Snacks

If sugary and acidic foods and drinks are going to be consumed, it is best to do so with meals and then allow the saliva to neutralize the acid over the next couple of hours. If not challenged by new acid, saliva can reverse the effects of acid. This is challenging for many people who snack frequently as even “healthy” snacks often contain sugar. Nuts and many vegetables are a good choice as they have minimal sugar and are not acidic.

Best Time to Brush

It is better not to brush immediately after eating and drinking as the tooth is softest and the most susceptible to abrasion when exposed to acid. Of course, excellent brushing and flossing reduce the amount of plaque that is available to convert sugar into acid so effective oral hygiene is important. The ideal time to thoroughly remove plaque is after eating and drinking is done for the day and before going to sleep when the saliva slows down.

Should I Take Supplements to Strengthen My Teeth?

There are some common misconceptions surrounding the benefits of certain foods, vitamins and supplements in terms of their impact on tooth and gum health.

Calcium, while important for children whose teeth are forming, does not play a large role in the dental health of adults whose teeth are already formed. Even osteoporosis has minimal impact on the bones that hold the teeth in place (alveolar bones).

Proper, balanced nutrition is important for healthy gums and saliva; however, there is little evidence for specific dietary additions.

People suffering from “dry mouth,” a common side effect of many medications, should consult with a dentist and/or nutritionist to come up with a plan to keep the mouth moist without creating an acidic environment. Unfortunately, many people with dry mouth use tart, sugary lozenges to stimulate the saliva, which can lead to extensive decay.