SLimDental

A dental professional reviews and e-quips himself with new electric toothbrush

At SLimDental we offer much of the latest technology. However, I must admit that sometimes we like to stick to the tried and true. Although we carry much of the latest technology, I tell staff and patients that, “we only use the ones that actually work.” For example, I have a CAD/CAM system which cost about $120K, but sits collecting dust most of the time because I’ve only been able to find one application where it is more useful and better than traditional methods. The crowns it produces are inferior to the ones we receive from our dental laboratory. It sits almost idle near my waiting room as a testament to ‘dentistry with integrity’.

Now, when it comes to electronic toothbrush technology I have tried it all. I moved back to using a soft bristle manual toothbrush. I found that I could do a better job of keeping my teeth and gums free of bacterial plaque and food debris by using good technique with manual dexterity; after all, I am a dentist. The key is manual dexterity, but for those who don’t have it, they could benefit from an electric toothbrush. I recommend electric toothbrushes to those who have difficulties due to injury, arthritis, loss of strength and dexterity in their hands or just if they are plain lazy and need something to help overcome and motivate them to brush–and floss of course!

The problem I found with electric toothbrushes is what I call a false reliance on the mechanisms of the toothbrush to clean the teeth. That combined with the bulkiness of the handle that houses the rechargeable battery; these toothbrushes are clunky and harder to maneuver.  In addition, I had a hard time keeping the toothbrush itself clean. Imagine that, having a hard time cleaning the toothbrush that cleans your teeth. I would clean the mildew that developed on the base crevices in the charger with a manual toothbrush! Oh, and one other thing, I hurt and damaged my gums and my teeth after they became sensitive from some of the stiff and tough plastic bristles that are designed into some of the rotating-oscillating toothbrush heads. I find that most people use electric toothbrushes whether sonic, ultra-sonic or rotating-oscillating simply based on preference.  For those who do use these toothbrushes, I’ve encouraged them to switch up their routine and rotate (no pun intended) between their electric and manual toothbrush. This allows them to reap the benefits of both.

In comes the quip toothbrush, the so-called Tesla of toothbrushes. I decided I needed to try it out and I was pleasantly surprised. It runs on a AAA battery that is easy to replace and eliminates the need for an electric cord in a wet environment. The absence of a cord and rechargeable battery leaves less of an environmental footprint which is conscientious. They also keep you accountable to change your brush heads with their subscription program which delivers brush heads automatically every 3 months. Its design has a sleek and ergonomic handle making the toothbrush as maneuverable as a manual toothbrush, while adding the sonic mechanism to boost the cleaning effect! I get the best results when I brush just as if I was using a manual toothbrush and that’s how I instruct my patients to do it.  Finally, the cost is not inhibitive (starting at $25), which allows you to get multiple ones for your family and travel without worry. In short, the quip toothbrush does the job of an electric toothbrush without losing the benefits of a manual brush. The quip itself is clean, conscientious to the environment and cost-effective.

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Dental Implants: The Recovery

Recovery Sign

The recovery time following dental implant surgery tends to vary, but is usually based on the amount of teeth being implanted, whether or not a bone graft was needed and the individual and how well they manage their recovery. Luckily, the science and technology behind dental implants has improved drastically over the last few years, improving post-surgery pain and comfort for patients.

The patient requiring the least amount of recovery time would be one who had a standard, single dental implant placed with no bone grafting. With a simple procedure like this one, there is very little discomfort or pain after the surgery. Mild bruising and soreness can occur, but is typically manageable with over the counter pain relievers. In more severe implant cases, such as those where multiple teeth are implanted or severe bone grafting needed in order to accomplish the implant, the recovery time tends to be longer and the discomfort can be more intense.

In any cases, it is important to keep your mouth clean after surgery, which can be done by rinsing your mouth gently with salt water beginning the day after surgery. You may begin brushing your teeth the night after the surgery, but make sure to keep it light around the surgery area as to not disrupt the healing in that area. It is also important to remember that in the week following your surgery, there should be no smoking and no sucking through a straw, as this can seriously inhibit your healing process. It is important to stick to a diet primarily consisting of soft foods for the first 7-10 days following your surgery before beginning to return to your normal diet.

As you can see, the recovery process after receiving a dental implant is fairly predictable and comfortable. It is important to follow the instructions that we give you at Dentistry With Integrity, and to always remember that if you have any questions or concerns regarding a procedure or following your surgery, you can always give us a call at Grand Central-Murray Hill Phone Number 212-679-4300.

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How to Make Your Own Ice Cream

'ice cream'As you may or may not know, July is officially National Ice Cream Month! While it is fun to go and grab ice cream from your local shop down the street, it can be more fun and rewarding to make your own ice cream for you and your family to enjoy. Ice cream is also a great treat to enjoy after different types of oral surgery. You don’t need an ice cream maker in order to make delicious, creamy ice cream. Just follow our instructions below!

Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

– 2 cups of milk
– 3 tablespoons of sugar
– 2 teaspoons of vanilla

Materials:

– 3-4 cups of ice
– 2/3 cup salt
– 1 quart sized Ziploc bag
– 1 gallon sized Ziploc freezer bag

Instructions:

– Combine milk, vanilla and sugar in quart sized bag
– Press any air out of bag and seal tightly
– Mix ice and salt in gallon sized bag
– Place quart sized bag into gallon sized bag and seal tightly
– Shake the bag vigorously for about 5 minutes.
– It will be very cold, be careful!
– Liquid inside smaller bag should start to harden
– Let bags sit for a few minutes with ice in large bag surrounding small bag
– Open bags up and scoop ice cream out
– Enjoy!!

As you can see, it isn’t hard to shake up some ice cream that the whole family can enjoy, using fairly standard household ingredients. Use chocolate/strawberry milk instead of regular milk to change the flavor, or use half and half for a creamier product. This year, celebrate National Ice Cream month by making your own ice cream at home!

5 Reasons Why Your Teeth Are Changing Color

Woman Brushing herTeeth

Brushing and flossing your teeth every day can keep your smile bright and white. However, you might have noticed that even though you take great care of your teeth, they look a little yellow and have lost their sparkle. This is completely normal. Here are 5 reasons why this could be happening to you.

  1. Food and Drinks: Coffee, tea and red wine play a major role in staining your teeth. They all have Chromogens, which are intense color pigments that attach to the white outer part of your tooth known as enamel.
    Tip: Drink with a straw, keeping those stain-causing dyes in the drink away from your teeth
  2. Tobacco Use: The two chemicals found in tobacco, tar and nicotine, create a tough stain. Tar is naturally dark. Nicotine is colorless, but when it’s mixed with oxygen, it creates a yellowish color. Both together create the stain.
  3. Age: Below the white shell of enamel on our teeth is a softer area called Dentin. Over the years, our outer enamel gets thinner from brushing and the yellowish dentin shows through.
  4. Trauma: If you have experienced an injury to the mouth, your tooth may change color. This is because your tooth reacts to the trauma by putting down more dentin, which is darker than the outer enamel on your teeth.
  5. Medications: Many different kind of medications come with the side effect of darkening your teeth. Also, children who are exposed to medication when their teeth are forming, either in the womb or as a baby, can experience discoloration of their adult teeth later in life.

Some of these reasons are preventable and some of these happen over the course of life. Try to avoid some of these things and continue to brush and floss your teeth every day. If you would like to discuss your teeth whitening options with us, please call our office at 212-679-4300 to schedule an appointment.

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Where Do Dental Implants Come From?

'children playing in dirt'Dental implants have a surprisingly rich and interesting history. Across centuries and throughout cultures around the world there is evidence of attempts at replacing missing teeth with various objects and materials.

The oldest dental implants can be traced back to 2000 BC in China, where missing teeth were substituted with bamboo pegs.

Fast forward a bit to around 1000 BC and you’ll find an ancient Egyptian King whose tomb was recently discovered along with his mummified remains; a copper peg hammered into place where a tooth once lived. This may have been the first time in history that we know of when metal implants were used.

Across the globe some time around 300 BC, an iron tooth was found in a French grave thought to be Celtic in origin. It is possible this implant may have been a post-mortem placement to honor the dead, as an attempt to perform the surgery using a live patient would have been an excruciatingly painful process.

Just 2000 years ago missing teeth were being substituted for animal teeth, and the poor were even selling their teeth to the wealthy, just to make ends meet! The body often rejected these surrogate teeth, causing infection.

More recently in 1931 in Honduras, Dr. Wilson Monroe and his wife found a jawbone amongst other artifacts, with teeth fashioned from shells and attached to the jawbone of an ancient man.

Today we are lucky enough to have dental implants that not only look and feel like real teeth, and anesthesia for the pain is also a plus. Thanks to studies conducted by Per-Ingvar Brånemark of Sweden in the 1950’s, oral surgeons have been able to perfect the process over the years to create today’s implants, which have a 98% success rate! Through a process known as osseointegration, metals and other implant materials are able to be skillfully placed so that your jaw bone actually attaches itself to the implant creating a seamless support system.

Missing a tooth or two? Give us a call at Grand Central-Murray Hill Phone Number 212-679-4300 to discuss your dental implant options today!

Invisalign – Working for Men

'man with invisalign'Guys: More and more of your colleagues, coworkers and neighbors are having their teeth smoothed, whitened and aligned to gain that competitive edge in the business world.

So, we have to ask: How is your smile looking today?

Let’s face it, in today’s world, men and women will likely work for more employers over the course of their career than at any other time in history. Long gone are the days where people work for the same employer, climbing the ladder toward retirement. The modern worker knows that he must constantly adapt his skills, and possibly even his personal appearance, to stay in the game. Often, that work starts in the orthodontist office.

More and more men these days are choosing Invisalign® clear aligner orthodontic treatment to get their smile in tiptop shape. After all, first impressions in the business world are, indeed, everything.

Invisalign®: What Men Love

  • Discreet Meetings: By far one the most appealing aspects of Invisalign® is the fact that it provides orthodontic treatment that goes nearly undetectable while in progress. This means that you can go to those meetings and no one will know from across even a small board-room table that you are in the process of aligning your smile.
  • Safety in Numbers: Even if someone does notice, you can rest assured that you are in good company. With so many adults, including men, choosing clear braces to fix decades-old smile issues, you will still “fit in”.
  • Convenience: Invisalign® can be removed for eating and brushing.
  • Length of Treatment: Most cases require just 12-18 months of treatment.
  • Compatible with Your Personal Life: Because it is removable, Invisalign® encourages you to continue on with your personal life as planned and without restrictions.
  • Confidence: A great smile projects your worth, both in the professional and social realms. You may just land that promotion or dream job when you flash a bright, handsome smile that exudes confidence.

If you’d like to find out about the cost of Invisalign® and whether you are a good candidate, please give us a call at Grand Central-Murray Hill Phone Number 212-679-4300!

Bad Breath is Bad News

'woman with fresh breath'Bad breath is bad news. Don’t let bad breath be a part of your day! In our office, we are asked on an almost daily basis “How can I get rid of my bad breath?”

Here are some quick and easy tips to help keep your breath fresh and clean:

1. Brush and Floss Regularly:
It’s basic advice, but foolproof. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing and tongue scraping once is the best way to combat bad breath. When the bacteria in your mouth have bits of food and debris to feed on, they create the odors that cause bad breath. Keeping your mouth clean will keep your breath clean at the same time!

2. Drink Water:
You don’t always have access to a toothbrush. As it turns out though, water can be an effective way to freshen your breath until you can get home and brush. Water helps clean out your mouth and prevents dryness, another major cause of bad breath.

3. Eat Good Foods:
A good way to prevent bad breath is to stay away from foods that make your breath smell bad, and eat foods those that will help your breath smell good! Melons and citrus fruit are high in Vitamin C, and help kill bacteria in your mouth. Fibrous foods like apples and celery can help remove food stuck in your teeth, reducing smells caused by bacteria feeding on them.

4. Choose gum and mints with Xylitol:
Sugary gum and breath mints are often used to tackle bad breath. However, the stinky bacteria in your mouth love sugar, and giving them more tends to produce acid that can make your breath smell worse AND lead to tooth decay. Xylitol is a sugar alternative that bacteria cannot break down, which makes it a perfect method for keeping your breath fresh and clean.

If you are troubled by your bad breath, ask us for more tips on staying fresh and clean!

Walking For Those Who Crawl

March of Dimes
Premature babies are those that are born before the normal 37-week gestational period. These babies have various health issues, which can affect them over their lifetime. Sadly, some premature babies won’t make it – which is what March of Dimes aims to prevent.

What is March for Babies?
March for Babies supports the prevention and research of pre-term births through charitable walks in the month of march. The goal is to raise funds to help mothers give birth to healthy, full term babies while researching the possible causes and preventions of premature birth.

Why You Should Get Involved
Whether you’re a mother, father, kid, soon-to-be mother/father, know someone who’s been pregnant or is thinking about children – this affects you and you can make a difference. Becoming informed and learning more about premature babies is the first step.

How You Can Help
March for Babies makes it easy to help! Spread awareness about premature babies and encourage everyone around you to do the same. If you are interested in donating, rest assured that your money will go toward supporting premature babies through research into prevention and causes of premature birth.

You don’t need to donate money to help. Some other ways to contribute include:
• Getting informed by visiting the March for Babies website: https://www.marchforbabies.org/
• Raising awareness
• Walking in a local event

Donate a Homemade Hat to a Local Hospital
If you can knit or crochet and are interested in hand-making a preemie baby hat, consider donating one to a local hospital! Local hospitals are always in need of hats for babies and you can take pride in knowing that you are keeping a baby’s head warm.

Will you help us get the word out?

Taking care of your veneers

'woman smiling after receiving veneers'Congratulations! You’ve just received your brand new veneers. Your smile has never looked this good, and you probably want to make sure it stays that way! Good veneers can last a long, long time, but only if you take good care of them along the way.

Here are some tips to make your veneers last a decade and even more:

Treat Them Like Teeth

You can ensure that your veneers last a long time if you brush them with the same care that you would your original teeth. Brush twice and floss once daily for best results!

Regular Cleanings

It’s important that we continue to schedule appointments with you so that we can make sure your veneers are looking their best, and that they stay that way. The week after the veneers are placed is the most important visit, followed by your regular dental hygiene visits, during which we can keep an eye out for potential problems.

Try Not to Grind

Many people grind their teeth, but it’s important that you let us know if you have a history of doing so. Measures can be taken to avoid damage to your new veneers over time, such as a nighttime mouth guard to protect your new smile.

Avoid Damage

Biting down on hard food is dangerous for any teeth, and even more so for veneers. Avoid using your veneers to bite down on hard materials and foods. The less stress you put on them the better.

Staining

Veneers keep their shade beautifully over the years, but they are not immune from staining. Avoid the same foods and beverages that you do for your natural teeth such as coffee, tea, wine (and smoking)!

What is involved in the procedure?

First we evaluate your teeth using various kinds of imaging and impressions to ensure that veneers are a good choice for you. Next we create a mock-up so that you can see what your teeth will look like after the procedure, before you make your final decision. If you decide to proceed the first step is to remove a thin layer of enamel from the teeth and then make an impression from which we can build the veneers. The veneers are bonded to the teeth with dental cement and hardened using a special light. That’s where the procedure ends and your new smile begins.

If you are ready for a smile upgrade with veneers, give us a call at Grand Central-Murray Hill Phone Number 212-679-4300!

Missing Teeth: More than Just a Gap in Your Smile

'man smiling'While it is true that the most obvious effect of missing teeth is a gap in your smile, missing teeth can cause other problems that you might not be immediately aware of. For example, did you know that for every missing tooth you have you lose 10 percent of your chewing ability? Read on to get a better idea of how a missing tooth can affect your life.

Surrounding Teeth
A missing tooth usually means more stress for the remaining teeth. In addition to that, if you are missing a tooth on the lower jaw, the opposing tooth on the top can grow longer to fill the gap in a process known as superuption or extrusion. This could lead to teeth tilting and move out of place by drifting into the space that was left by your missing tooth – a disaster for your beautiful smile!

Digestive Health
If you are missing teeth, you can’t enjoy all of the foods that you are used to eating – bad for your health and bad for your mood! Say goodbye to caramel apples, saltwater taffy, crunchy carrots and even gum. And because the variety in your diet is reduced when a tooth is missing, digestive problems are unfortunate yet common.

Decay and Hygiene Problems
The shifting of your teeth may cause new hygiene issues as it may be difficult to brush and floss like you normally would. This leaves your mouth more vulnerable to gum disease and tooth decay.

Facial Aesthetics
People with more than one missing tooth may also have issues with a collapsed bite which causes a loss of vertical dimension. This could make your face appear shorter, as the distance between the tip of your nose and your chin would decrease.

The good news is that you don’t have to suffer anymore! Dental implants can help you avoid all of the problems listed above and let you live your life normally again. It’s never too late for a dental implant, give us a call at Grand Central-Murray Hill Phone Number 212-679-4300 to find out about this life-changing procedure.