Morristown Dental Associates

Avoid a Spooky Smile from Your Halloween Costume

During the month of October, children and adults across the US are anticipating the spookiest day of the year, Halloween. Between the creative outfits and the delicious sweets and treats, there’s a lot to look forward to. Of course, we want you to be careful about enjoying too much candy since it’ll hinder your overall health, including your smile. But there’s more to dental care than just monitoring the amount of sweets you eat.

Start Out the Night Right – With a Clean Smile

While you do want to go easy on the Halloween candy to protect your teeth, it also helps to pay close attention to what you’re putting in your mouth and on your teeth as part of your Halloween costume.  Sometimes, this includes wearing fake or false teeth. Whether you’re looking for fangs to complete your vampire outfit or you need to dress up your teeth with a grill, these additions can help bacteria build-up.

Once you get your new (temporary) smile, make sure it’s properly cleaned and you feel comfortable wearing it in your mouth. If it’s uncomfortable or causing you pain, it could tear up your gums and potentially cause bleeding. If you feel comfortable wearing it, then make sure to brush your teeth before putting on your costume teeth.  Brushing before inserting them will mean the latest bacteria and debris won’t have anywhere to hide and won’t linger while you’re out having fun.

Don’t Wear Your New Smile for Too Long

While you don’t want to downplay your outfit, you also want to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy and unharmed. We highly suggest limiting the amount of time that you wear your fake teeth to reduce the chance of any damage or discomfort.  Remove your plastic teeth when eating or drinking to avoid any difficulty or potential damage.

Be Careful – Not Everything is Safe for Your Smile

Besides plastic teeth, there are other costumes that may require a “mouthpiece.” For instance, if you’re playing the popular Sherlock Holmes, your costume may come with his infamous pipe. But if you’re not entirely sure of how it was made, you may want to either complete a thorough cleaning or avoid the piece altogether. Your oral health is much more vulnerable than you think and on this night of costumes and candies, your teeth could be in danger!

Morristown Dental Associates wants to wish you and your family a very happy Halloween. We hope that our few words here about making Halloween a bit safer for your smile will help you and your family enjoy it even more!  Please call our office to schedule your next visit today at (973) 538-3456.

Importance of Caring for Children’s Teeth

We’re all familiar with tasty sweets, chocolates, and candies that we love to indulge in. It’s no surprise that children are big fans of those treats, too. Unfortunately, too much of something as delicious as candy can be detrimental to your smile, especially against baby teeth. That’s why we believe it’s extremely important to establish good, healthy habits to help children avoid cavities, decay, early tooth loss, and other oral health problems.

There are numerous ways that candy is intertwined in a child’s life. Sometimes, it’s reflexive, like giving them candy or chocolate to stop them from being upset. Other times, it’s a reward for doing well in class or in a public situation. This can be used as a default tactic, but we highly encourage patients to not use this method. Instead, we want children to know how candy can hurt their teeth and why they shouldn’t have such a large amount in one sitting and so frequently.

What are the best snacks and drinks for my child to have?

Some of the best snacks for children to have are, of course, fruits and vegetables. While they’re not always the ideal snack for kids, their teeth will be thankful. Some of the most convenient and tasty are bananas, tangerines, carrot and celery sticks. Rice cakes and plain popcorn are also great alternatives.

Because of their convenience, parents are likely to buy dried fruits since they don’t expire nearly as fast as fresh fruits do. Unfortunately, dried fruits can be extremely high in sugar and are quite sticky. They can get in hard-to-reach places in your teeth and can cause bacterial build-up. Try to avoid enjoying these as often as fresh fruits, but note that they can be a better alternative than other candies and snacks.

Instead of sodas and sugary fruit juices, try to switch their daily beverage to water. Another great drink for children to have is plain milk. Don’t be afraid to ask us which kind of milk, whether it’s whole or skim milk, that is best for your children’s teeth.

We want to share this information with our patients because children’s teeth are extremely sensitive and aren’t as strong as adult teeth. It’s important to take care of their baby teeth to make sure this area is healthy enough for their adult ones to grow in. If children suffer from cavities and decay when they have their baby teeth, their adult teeth are also at risk.

Protect your family’s smile by avoiding too many sweets and treats

If you’re interested in learning about more tips to protect your child’s smile, whether it’s about food, drinks, or bad habits, please feel free to call our office at 973-538-3456 today.

Teeth Removal: When This is a Must

With proper teeth care, most people try to avoid removing a tooth. In the mind of many people, a tooth is only removed because there is no hope for the tooth. And this is the case sometimes. However, this is not always the reason for removing a tooth.

Why Teeth are Removed?

There are several reasons why teeth are removed, and it is important that you realize this does not mean that you did not take care of your teeth. Even those who brush and floss twice daily still have some issues with their teeth, as many teeth issues are genetic. Some of the reasons why the teeth may be removed are:

  1.  There are extra teeth coming into the mouth that are not needed.
  2.  Baby teeth sometimes have to be removed in order for permanent teeth to come in straight.
  3.  Certain cancer drugs can weaken the immune system and cause an infection.  The infected teeth may need to be removed.
  4.  If the tooth is causing an infection, then these teeth are almost always removed.
  5.  Wisdom teeth are often extracted due to decay, infection and crowding or damage to other teeth.

 

How Teeth are Removed

There are two main ways in which teeth removal occurs in the dental office. These extractions are:

  1. Simple Extraction – this is performed when the tooth can be seen in the mouth. These are rather common, especially if baby teeth are being removed.
  2. Surgical Extractions – this is a more complex procedure, which is used if a tooth may have broken off at the gum line or has not erupted in the mouth. The oral surgeon will make a small incision into your gum to surgically remove the broken tooth or impacted wisdom tooth.

The surgical extraction of teeth may sound a bit daunting, but with today’s modern procedures and anesthesia, you have nothing to worry about. Afterwards, you and your dentist can discuss tooth replacement options to restore the function and beauty to your smile.

It is important to remember that teeth removal is often a must for the health of the person’s mouth. It is important that you go see your dentist about any tooth related injury you may have and ensure that you are following their directions to a “T” in order to stay healthy!

I’ve Cracked a Tooth… Now What?

The sound and pain of cracking or chipping a tooth can be terrifying. Not everyone has been there, so if you have experienced this feeling, consider yourself among the minority. Depending on the severity, there are many ways you can recover from this.

Maybe you fell and broke your fall with your front teeth or perhaps you were trying to open a bottle of champagne and accidently corked yourself in the mouth (trust us, you’ll be laughing about that later on in life). Either way, chipping a front tooth (or teeth) can be a scary experience.

The first time you smiled in a mirror, your heart probably sank. Worry not, though, 90% of front tooth damage is repairable! Here are a few ways:

  • Dental Bonding (composite material that is shaped to replace the missing parts of the tooth and cured)
  • Veneers (porcelain cover for the front)
  • Crowns (porcelain cover for entire tooth)

Ultimately, you don’t need to worry too much about your cracked or chipped tooth. At least not for long!

If your tooth is so heavily damaged that the root is impacted from the chipping or crack, you’ll find that more drastic measures will need to be taken to save your smile. You may find in some cases that the tooth is complete unsalvageable and will require extraction.

If your tooth is salvageable, it will require a root canal and a crown. This is often the case with severely damage molars. If the root can be repaired, you can keep your natural root and simply have a crown placed on top.

However, if your tooth is not salvageable (could be the case with both molars and front teeth), you will likely need it extracted. You can either get a bridge or an implant to replace the missing tooth or teeth. A bridge will crown the outer teeth (the teeth around the missing tooth) and a filler tooth will be firmly affixed between them. A dental implant will replace the tooth altogether with an anchoring screw.

What can I do to prevent my teeth from cracking?

While cracked teeth are not completely preventable, you can take some steps to make your teeth less susceptible to cracks.

  • Don’t chew on hard objects such as ice, unpopped popcorn kernels or pens.
  • Don’t clench or grind your teeth.
  • If you clench or grind your teeth while you sleep, talk to your dentist about getting a retainer or other mouthguard to protect your teeth.
  • Wear a mouthguard or protective mask when playing contact sports.

What is the Next Step?

If you have a cracked or chipped tooth, schedule an appointment with our office as soon as possible. We will be able to determine what your best solution will be. The longer you wait, the more likely it will become irreparable and require extraction!

 

The Importance of Family Dentistry

When it comes to your family, you want everyone to have top oral and dental health. The best option for your family is to find a dentist that offers numerous services for family members of all ages. There are countless benefits to going to one family dentist that can take care of your smile, as well as your children’s.

The key to top quality dentistry is prevention. There are several procedures that are available at a family dentist that include cleanings, exams, x-rays, and other common dental work to ensure that your smile is healthy. According to the American Dental Association, it is highly recommended to visit the dentist at least twice a year for routine check-ups and cleanings. If you’re not taking care of your teeth by brushing and flossing twice a day and keeping up with your visits, you’re putting your smile at risk.

If you don’t make a point to visit our family dental practice, you could suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Bad breath
  • Cavities
  • Toothaches
  • Stained teeth
  • Tooth decay
  • Weak or loose teeth
  • Tooth loss

These are only some of the things that a patient can suffer from if they don’t regularly visit the dentist. Your smile is more sensitive and unique than you may think, so it’s important to know if your teeth are in any risk of problems or concerns.

How You Can Help Educate about Family Dentistry

While the steps to proper oral hygiene are well known, many people may not understand how beneficial it is for you and your family to keep up with your dental care. Your teeth deserve to be treated with the best care around, so here are some helpful tips to maintain a healthy smile:

  • Brush your teeth every morning and night
  • Floss your teeth during your brushing routine
  • Avoid foods and drinks that stain and weaken your teeth
  • Schedule your visits to your family dentist in advance
  • Share these tips with family, friends, and children

Take Your First Step Today – Schedule an Appointment with Your Family Dentist

To get your smile on the right track, contact our Morristown family dental practice today at (973) 538-3456 and ask how we can help with your family dentistry. We’re able to provide you with even more helpful information for your unique and individual smile so your teeth can shine for years to come.