My Blog

Posts for: July, 2017

By Sharon Stern, DDS, PC
July 30, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: fluoride  

In the early 1900s, a Colorado dentist noticed his patients had fewer cavities than the norm. He soon found the cause: naturally occurring fluoride in their drinking water. That discovery led to what is now heralded as one of the most important public health measures of the last century — the use of fluoride to prevent tooth decay.

While you're most likely familiar with fluoride toothpaste and other fluoridated hygiene products, there are other sources of this chemical you should know about — especially if you're trying to manage your family's fluoride intake. Here are 3 of these common sources for fluoride.

Fluoridated drinking water. Roughly three-quarters of U.S. water utilities add fluoride to their drinking water supply under regulations governed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The federal government currently recommends 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water as the optimum balance of maximum protection from tooth decay and minimal risk of a type of tooth staining called dental fluorosis. You can contact your local water service to find out if they add fluoride and how much.

Processed and natural foods. Many processed food manufacturers use fluoridated water in their processes. Although not always indicated on the packaging, there are often traces of fluoride in cereals, canned soups, fruit juices or soda. Many varieties of seafood naturally contain high levels of fluoride and infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water can exceed the level of fluoride in breast or cow's milk. Beer and wine drinkers may also consume significant levels of fluoride with their favorite adult beverage, particularly Zinfandel, Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

Clinical prevention measures. As part of a child's regular dental treatment, dentists may apply topical fluoride to developing teeth, especially for children deemed at high risk for tooth decay. This additional fluoride can be applied in various forms including rinses, gels or varnishes. The additional fluoride helps strengthen a child's developing enamel and tooth roots.

How much fluoride your family ingests depends on a number of factors like your drinking water, food purchases and dental hygiene products and procedures. If you have any concerns about how much fluoride you're encountering in your daily life, please be sure and discuss them with your dentist.

If you would like more information on fluoride's benefits for dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Fluoride & Fluoridation in Dentistry.”

By Sharon Stern, DDS, PC
July 15, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Via a recent Instagram post, pop diva Ariana Grande became the latest young celebrity to publicly acknowledge a dental milestone: having her wisdom teeth removed. The singer of hits such as “Break Free” and “Problem” posted an after-surgery picture of herself (wearing her signature cat-eye eyeliner), with a caption addressed to her teeth: “Peace out, final three wisdom teeth. It’s been real.”

With the post, Grande joined several other celebs (including Lily Allen, Paris Hilton and Emile Hirsch) who have shared their dental surgery experience with fans. Will "wisdom teeth removal" become a new trending topic on social media? We aren’t sure — but we can explain a bit about the procedure, and why many younger adults may need it.

Technically called the “third molars,” wisdom teeth usually begin to emerge from the gums between the ages of 17 and 25 — presumably, around the same time that a certain amount of wisdom emerges. Most people have four of these big molars, which are located all the way in the back of the mouth, on the left and right sides of the upper and lower jaws.

But when wisdom teeth begin to appear, there’s often a problem: Many people don’t have enough space in their jaws to accommodate them. When these molars lack sufficient space to fully erupt (emerge), they are said to be “impacted.” Impacted teeth can cause a number of serious problems: These may include pain, an increased potential for bacterial infections, periodontal disease, and even the formation of cysts (pockets of infection below the gum line), which can eventually lead to tooth and bone loss.

In most cases, the best treatment for impacted wisdom teeth is extraction (removal) of the problem teeth. Wisdom tooth extraction is a routine, in-office procedure that is usually performed under local anesthesia or “conscious sedation,” a type of anesthesia where the patient remains conscious (able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli), but is free from any pain or distress. Anti-anxiety medications may also be given, especially for those who are apprehensive about dental procedures.

So if you find you need your wisdom teeth extracted, don’t be afraid to “Break Free” like Ariana Grande did; whether you post the results on social media is entirely up to you. If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”

By Sharon Stern, DDS, PC
July 14, 2017
Category: None
Tags: Untagged

Three Easy Steps For A Whiter Smile

Food, smoking and age can all contribute to a discolored smile. Fortunately, there are several affordable at-home and in-office methods available from your dentist in Hoboken that can be used to removeTeeth Whitening these pesky stains and restore your white smile. Regardless of the severity of staining, there are a number of options available for you to choose from.  

Home Remedies For Brighter Teeth

For mild teeth stains, regular brushing with whitening toothpaste combined with flossing may be enough to eliminate stains. Regular cleaning visits to your dentist are not only important, but can also help enhance the health and whiteness of your teeth. For a cost-effective whitening treatment, mix two to three teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with baking soda to form a paste. Apply the paste to your teeth for two minutes, and then rinse and brush with your regular toothpaste. 
Although the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) discourages its use due to potential gum damage, over-the-counter bleaching kits have proven to be effective and can be purchased at most drug, discount and grocery stores. Instructions should be followed carefully, and use should be discontinued if pain or discomfort is experienced. 

Advanced Whitening Treatments

In less than an hour, your dentist in Hoboken can bleach your teeth by applying a special gel to the stains. A light is then applied to activate the solution. Depending on the degree of staining, the procedure may need to be repeated over several appointments. Tooth sensitivity may occur within a few hours to a few days of the treatment, but is the only noticeable side effect of this in-office procedure. 
Also available are at-home bleaching trays that you purchase from your Hoboken dentist. Similar to other over-the-counter bleaching kits, an at-home kit from your dentist requires trays.  Bleaching solution is simply spread into the trays, and the trays are placed on your teeth for the noted amount of time. Trays for these kits are custom fit in your dentist’s office to fit your smile and do a better job of distributing the gel among all areas of your teeth. 

Options For Severe Staining

If your teeth are severely stained, veneers will be your best option for a whiter, brighter smile. Although it is the most expensive and invasive whitening treatment, veneers can last up to 20 years and will cover your misshaped or damaged teeth. The process involves applying resin, a custom made porcelain, over your stained teeth, providing you with a natural, sparkling smile. 
Improving your smile is a great way to look healthier and younger. Luckily, there is a tooth whitening solution for everyone depending on the severity of your stains and the amount of money you are willing to spend. You can ensure the longevity of your bright, new smile by avoiding foods, beverages and habits that stain your teeth. Consider consulting with your Hoboken dentist at [Name of Practice] about the best at-home and in-office treatment for you.