Morristown Dental Associates

Men’s Oral Health Awareness Month

June is National Men’s Health Month. Oral and dental health is important for men and women alike, but there are differences between them that can put one or the other at a higher risk for certain issues like cavities, gum disease, and other common dental problems. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, men are more likely to neglect oral health issues that they’re experiencing, which makes them more likely to suffer from these difficult occurrences.

Taking the First Leap and Going to the Dentist

It can seem inconvenient or simply unnecessary to go to the dentist, which will stop patients of all ages from visiting a dentist for months, maybe even years at a time. Unfortunately, skipping this crucial step to your health will result in furthering any problems that you may not currently know about.

Many oral and dental health issues aren’t noticeable to the naked eye, which is why you always have x-rays completed during your routine visits. If there’s something underneath the line of sight that you can’t recognize, the problem will only get worse and can cause pain, infection, and potential tooth loss. While these appointments are typically harmless, it can be nerve-wracking to take this step – many patients haven’t gone to the dentist in a very long time and they would rather avoid unwelcome news if they can, even though it won’t solve any problems.

Gum Disease Strikes before You Know It

One of the most common and preventable diseases that people of all ages face is periodontitis, also known as gum disease. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, nearly 56% of men have gum disease compared to only 38% of women. While regular dental appointments can help protect teeth against decay and the need for fillings or more advanced restorative dentistry such as root canals or crowns, they can also diagnose gum disease and oral cancer early when treatment is less invasive and more successful.

 How often should I visit a dentist?

Regardless of gender, it is important to visit a dentist twice a year. In between visits, floss daily and brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste. For more information on men’s oral health and other oral health topics, call our office today to schedule an appointment.

April is National Facial Protection Month

This month we’re spreading the word to remind both children and adults: as you suit up for outdoor activities this spring, don’t forget to protect your face and head.  Spring often brings a flood of patients suffering with head, mouth and facial injuries resulting from sports-related accidents to doctors’ offices and emergency rooms. Many oral and facial injuries can be easily prevented with the use of sports safety equipment like helmets and mouth guards.

April is National Facial Protection Month, where the American Dental Association, the American Association of Orthodontists, and many other academies and associations discuss the importance of staying safe and protecting your teeth by wearing a mouth guard.

A mouth guard, also known as a mouth protector, helps cushion any blows to the face that an athlete may experience. This minimizes the risk of chipped or broken teeth, injuries to your lips, tongue, cheek, or jaw, and gives you the extra protection you need to maintain your healthy smile while staying active.

Some examples of sports that need their players wearing mouth guards are:

  • Boxing
  • Hockey
  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Soccer

Those are only some of the sports that require this athletic piece of equipment – there are numerous other sports where players can experience this kind of trauma, so it’s important to protect your smile at all costs.

According to the ADA,  Academy for Sports Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the American Association of Orthodontists urge parents, caregivers, athletes and coaches to be proactive about staying safe by using a mouth guard. Children between the ages of 7 and 11 are the most vulnerable to sports-related mouth injuries and athletes are at least 60% more likely to suffer from a dental injury if they’re not wearing a mouth guard.

Custom-made mouth guards made by your dentist are the ideal choice for any sport. Your teeth will properly fit in place, there will be no movement or shifting when wearing the custom mouth guard, and it’ll provide the utmost comfort. If you cannot afford a custom mouth guard, there are other options, including a stock version or a boil-and-bite version available at sporting goods stores.

Interested in learning more? Don’t hesitate to ask us! Contact your dentist in Morristown NJ by calling 973-538-3456 and schedule a consultation with our office to learn more about the different mouth guard options for you or your family. Stay athletic and stay safe!

 

Children’s Dental Health Month: Importance Of Dental Care For Children

National Children’s Dental Health Month: Importance of Dental Care for Children is crucial throughout the year but February is a time when we highlight its importance.

Each February, the American Dental Association works with thousands of dentists, orthodontists, and other dental professionals around the United States to promote the importance of pediatric dental care by celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month. This information spreads to parents, friends, caregivers, and more, so our children can continue to grow healthy and strong. Having a healthy smile goes a long way, so your dentists in Morristown want to share helpful habits and why regular check-ups are important to further improve the chances of a long-lasting smile for kids.

Baby Teeth are Just as Important as Adult Teeth
Don’t let the myths fool you! Baby teeth are extremely important and should be taken care of just as well as adult teeth. While these teeth eventually fall out and are replaced with the adult ones, these baby teeth are valuable for overall development and are holding the space for the permanent teeth coming in after. That’s why these teeth need to be properly taken care of by flossing and brushing twice a day, every day.

Tooth Decay is Extremely Common in Children
While it’s very preventable, tooth decay is very common in children due to lack of education and standard routine. We want all parents to know the simple steps they can take for preventive measures to ensure the safety of their children’s smiles. Try switching out certain snacks that contain a high amount of sugar for more fruits and vegetables, as well as incorporating more fun activities while brushing their teeth like short games and small prizes.

Keep Up with Routine Check-Ups and Cleanings
The professionals are here for a reason! We want to properly clean and take care of your children’s teeth in between their daily routine of brushing and flossing.

If you have questions about your child’s dental health or when he or she have their first dental examination, give our office a call at (973) 538-3456 and we can help you make that decision. Good dental hygiene can lead to a lifetime of happy smiles!

Why You Should Avoid Snacks

What makes snacks so appealing? Is it because they’re quick? Is it because they’re so easily accessible to enjoy? Is it because it feels like you’re enjoying something you know you shouldn’t, but it’s just so tasty? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, then you’re one of the many people who are tempted by delicious and convenient snacks. Unfortunately, while many of your favorite snacks are consumed on a daily basis, they may not be good for your health, including your smile.

Below, your Morristown dentists break down the dangers of snacking and how your smile is one of the first parts of your body that is negatively affected by this habit.

What makes snacking so harmful?

Having a healthy, but fulfilling breakfast, lunch and dinner is ideal when it comes to taking care of your body. If you’re skipping meals or replacing them with snacks, you’re not getting the proper nutrition your body needs.

You also may be snacking on something unhealthy that affects your teeth, too. Snacks that are either sugary or salty come in direct contact with your teeth and can weaken your enamel. When you have these snacks multiple times a day, you’re continuing to break down the protective structure of your enamel, which can lead to sensitivity and other dental issues.

How can I snack smarter?

If you want to snack smarter, try to minimize the amount of snacking you do. When you snack in between meals, you’re giving your mouth a limited time to try and protect your teeth. Throughout the day, your mouth creates saliva, which contains calcium and phosphates that neutralize acids and correct the pH levels in your mouth. If you continue to snack in between meals or replace an important meal with snacking, you’re not allowing saliva to do its job!

Instead of the salty or sweet snacks that you may love, try switching them with foods that are good for your teeth, like carrots, celery, vegetables, strawberries, cucumbers, and other raw fruits and vegetables. Not only will these improve your diet, but they’ll work with you to stimulate your saliva glands and continue to correct those pH levels.

While snacks don’t have to be completely ruled out of your routine, your Morristown dentists urge you to make some conscious changes to what you’re snacking on and how often so you can protect your teeth. If you are interested in learning more about snacking options or how to take care of your teeth if you snack, simply give our office a call at 973-538-3456 today.

 

New Year, New You, New Smile

With the new year approaching, you may have already begun to think about your New Year’s resolutions. You may be considering resolving to save money, get a better job or lose weight. Many people set new goals about having a healthier lifestyle in the new year. Why not make one of your New Year’s resolutions improving your dental health?

Healthy resolutions can keep your teeth healthy, and any of the following strategies will go a long way toward giving you a brighter, healthier smile in the coming year:

Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables 

Remember when your parents told you to eat more fruits and vegetables as a kid? Well, we hope this habit stayed with you as you grew up! There are numerous health benefits to eating fruits and vegetables and many of those benefits apply to your teeth and gums. If you don’t consume clean and healthy foods and drinks, your oral and dental health are one of the first areas affected. 

 In the new year, try to integrate fruits and vegetables if you’re looking for a snack instead of chips and candy. Nutrients found in fruits, veggies, and nuts can fight against bacterial build-up. Vegetables like celery and fruits like apples can help clean bacteria and plaque that get stuck in between your teeth. 

 Cut Back on Alcohol Consumption 

Excessive alcohol consumption can be extremely harmful for your overall health, but your oral health can take a heavy hit if you’re not careful. Alcohol can damage and weaken your gums, causing them to recede, which can lead to weakened enamel or a potential loss of teeth. It’s true that if you use tobacco products on a daily basis, have a poor diet, and consistently consume excessive amounts of alcohol, you’re at a much higher risk for periodontitis, more commonly known as gum disease. 

 Finally – Visit Your Dentist! 

Keeping up with your appointments will help you prevent oral and dental health issues and allow us to monitor and solve any problems before they require a more comprehensive treatment. With these regular visits, you’ll receive a thorough exam and cleaning, as well as tips and advice on how to improve your smile in areas that may need additional help. 

 Let 2018 be the year that you’re proud to share your smile with friends, family and more! To start your year off right, call our office at (973) 538-3456 to schedule an appointment for your routine cleaning or ask us about other services that may benefit and improve your dental health. 

Don’t Let Holiday Meals Break Down Your Smile

You Can Have a Healthy Smile and Eat Your Favorite Holiday Foods, Too!

The holidays are here and your schedule is filling up fast! The next month and a half may be a little hectic, but don’t forget to keep up with your oral hygiene routine every morning and night. There are going to be family dinners upon family dinners with an overwhelming amount of delicious food. Unfortunately, not all of these tasty meals are going to be too nice to your smile. There will be some dishes that you only have during the holiday season – stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and more – that make your mouth water just thinking about them. Your taste buds could be going crazy, but your teeth and gums may start to ache. There will be countless sugary treats spread across the table, but if you indulge in too much, you’re quickly causing bacteria build-up and putting you at a higher risk for cavities and decay. Here are a few things to keep in mind when celebrating:

Make sure to enjoy “good” foods. Staple holiday foods, like cranberries, turkey and cheese, are actually very good for your teeth. The vitamins and minerals not only benefit your body, but also help to strengthen, and even whiten, your teeth. Just remember, overindulging can have negative consequences. Cranberries contain a lot of acid that can eat away at your teeth so don’t overdo it. Too much dairy can also have negative effects.

Limit sugar intake. This may seem like the hardest trick to achieve when the table is groaning with pumpkin pie or Christmas cookies. Try limiting your desserts, rinsing with water after eating, and make sure to brush your teeth or chew sugar-free gum if you cannot brush.

Stay hydrated. As you consume your holiday meal, keep a glass of water handy. Staying hydrated will not only help with digestion, but drinking plenty of water will also wash away any food debris still lingering around in your mouth. Saliva is your mouth’s natural defender against the bad bacteria in your mouth.

Keep up with your dental routine. It’s important to remember to brush and floss your teeth, even when there is fun to be had. And your little ones may even put up a fight, but taking the time to brush, floss and rinse every day will definitely be worth it when the dentist gives you and your family a clean bill of health.

To protect your smile during this holiday season, be sure to schedule an appointment with Morristown Dental Associates. Don’t forget that the end of the year is fast approaching, so we want you to get the most out of your insurance benefits! Call our office at (973) 538-3456 to pick the best date and time for your visit.

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!