mamaroneck Oral Surgery

Teaching Kids About the Tricks in their Treats On Halloween!

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Halloween may be one of your children’s favorite nights of the year, but it can easily turn into a fright fest for oral health. This Halloween, protect your children’s teeth from the worst trick or treating candy offenders!

Here’s a list of the candies to avoid and some alternative options:

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The candy that is most harmful to your teeth is the chewy candy that will stick to your teeth. Chewy candy includes Taffy, Starburst, Candy Corn, Sour Patch Kids, and chocolate filled with caramel and coconut. The longer the candy sticks to your teeth the more likely bacteria will develop leading to cavities.

Hard Candy

Other candy to avoid is hardy candy like Jolly Ranchers, Jawbreakers, or lollipops. Chomping down on hard candy can lead to cracked teeth. Ouch!

Chocolate

Stick to chocolate (except for the kind with sticky fillings!) when rummaging through the candy bowls. Chocolate won’t get stuck to your teeth and is a great way to curb your sweet tooth.

Gum

Sugar-free gum is the best option if you’re craving something sweet. Gum is made with low calorie sweeteners, like xylitol and sorbitol, that starve destructive bacteria so plaque can’t develop. Not only do you get to enjoy a treat but you’re helping your oral health!

baked-21777_640Halloween is a great time to teach your children good oral health habits. It’s important they understand the effects too many sweets will have on their teeth. No child wants a cavity! Your kids don’t need to be deprived of trick or treating or their candy, the ‘trick’ is for them to understand some candy is better than others – and that everything is okay in moderation. By teaching children at a young age to take care of their teeth you’re teaching them good habits for life!

Keep in mind, it’s only one day a year, so enjoy your candy in moderation and remember to brush well!

Mamaroneck Oral Surgery wishes everyone a safe and Happy Halloween!

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5 Reasons Your Teeth Hurt (And What To Do About It)

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It’s easy to brush off tooth or mouth pain you may be experiencing…until the issue develops into something more serious. Often times if you have mouth pain it is an early sign of a deeper issue, which is why it’s important to get to the root of the problem. Waiting for the problem to get unbearable before addressing it only leads to more pain, wasted time and unnecessary expenses. Here are five common tooth pains you should have your dentist or oral surgeon check out:

 

1.Cold Sensitivity

If you feel an achy pain in your teeth after taking a sip of cold water, biting into ice cream, or walking outside in cold weather it can mean one of two things: either you need to switch to toothpaste for sensitive teeth or you have a broken filling, cavity, or worse. If you are experiencing the aching pain throughout your mouth, it is an indication of gum disease. Either way, it’s a good idea to make an appointment to get it looked at by a professional.

2.  Sore Gums

Generally, when you have gum sensitivity, it is due to trapped food particles that are causing gum inflammation and irritation. However, tender gums can also indicate the early stages of gum disease. It’s better to be safe than sorry, get it checked out immediately.

3.  Achy Jaw

An achy jaw can be caused by grinding your teeth at night or by clenching your teeth during the day. Both of these issues can cause major dental complications if they are not addressed. During the day, try to relax and be aware of your mouth to prevent clenching your teeth. An oral surgeon will be able to tell the difference between a minor problem and a more serious issue such as TMJ.

4.  Bite Sensitivity

If you are experiencing soreness when chewing or biting, to the point that you’re adjusting how you eat to avoid the pain, there is a problem. You may have a cracked or abscessed tooth – an infection in the root of your tooth – or you could have nerve or tissue damage. Do not put off visiting a dental professional to make an appointment as soon as possible.

5.  Persistent Toothache

If you have a toothache for over a day or two, then you need to visit your dentist. Tooth pain is an indication of an infection and, if not treated early, it can spread to different parts of your body.  When life gets busy, it’s easy to label a minor pain as something to be dealt with later. Making time to have the problem checked out now you’re avoiding having to make an emergency appointment later.

If you are suffering from any of the tooth pains mentioned above, call Dr. Elias and Dr. Paonessa at Mamaroneck Oral Surgery to schedule an appointment, 914-873-0045.

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10 Ways To Improve Your Smile and Oral Health

Want pearly whites and a healthy mouth?  Follow these ten steps to improve your oral health!

  1. Brush and Floss DailyScreen Shot 2015-08-20 at 12.10.41 PM

The most important thing you can do to improve your oral health is to brush and floss your teeth regularly.  No matter what, you should brush your teeth twice a day, morning and night.  Make it a part of your daily routine, no excuses!

2.  Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Schedule an appointment with your dentist for a check-up twice a year.  A dentist will make sure your oral health is good and will notice the early signs of any dental problems that you may not have noticed.

3.  Drink Lots of Water

We’ve all heard the 8 glasses of water a day rule, but you may not know that drinking water can also improve your smile!  When you drink water, it helps to wash away leftover food and promotes the production of clean saliva to help combat bad breath. Plus, water helps to keep your teeth and gums happy to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis.

4.  Stop Smoking!

Besides the other harmful effects of smoking, like cancer, smoking can be detrimental to your oral health.  Smokers are more likely to have gum disease and tooth decay because smoking increases the amount of dental plaque in your mouth.  Smoking also cause bad breath and stains your teeth.  These stains can sometimes be polished off but they can also soak deep into the enamel becoming permanent.

5.  Address Any Dental Pain Immediately

Many people tend to ignore any dental discomfort because they think it will go away on it’s own, or that it isn’t serious.  Big mistake!  You’re feeling pain for a reason and it could be a sign of a more serious issue.  If you are experiencing any aches or pains in your mouth you should consult your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.

6.  Get Other Health Conditions Under Control

When your body is strained or working hard to deal with one health condition it is difficult to treat another one.  If you have a  serious health condition, such as high blood, diabetes, or obesity, your oral health is being affected.  It is important to take care of your overall health and that will help to improve your oral health.

7.  Avoid Drinking Soda & Eating Processed Sugars

Soda is extremely damaging to your teeth and oral health.  The sugar in soda combined with the bacteria in your mouth creates an acid that attacks your teeth causing tooth decay.  If you won’t completely eliminate soda from your diet, then you should at least limit how often you drink it.  It is also a good idea to reduce the amount of sugar and processed sweets you eat because they increase your risk of getting cavities.  Plus sweets, like hard candy or caramel, cause cause teeth to crack or break.  It may be delicious in the moment but definitely not worth it in the end.   

8.  Eat More Fruits and VegetablesScreen Shot 2015-08-20 at 12.11.24 PM

Many fruits and vegetables, like carrots and apples, can help to promote healthy teeth and gums. Crisp fruits and raw vegetables are known to help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.  Not only are they a tasty treat but they’ll keep you healthy too!

9.  Don’t Use Your Teeth as a Pry Bar

Although this step may seem obvious, many people make the mistake of opening bottles or packages with their teeth when they could easily use a bottle opener or scissors.  Teeth are fragile and can easily be damaged when trying to pry something open.

10.  Purchase a Quality Toothbrush

Most dentists and oral surgeons will recommend their patients use an electric toothbrush.  Electric toothbrushes are known to clean more effectively than manual brushing.  If an electric toothbrush is not in your budget than it is important to replace your toothbrush when necessary.  Anytime the bristles on your toothbrush start to spread or thin out they become completely ineffective and you know it’s time for a new toothbrush.

If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health contact Dr. Elias and Dr. Matt Paonessa to schedule an appointment, 914-873-0045.

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How To Deal With A Dental Emergency While Traveling

No one expects to get hurt or sick while on vacation but a simple accident can quickly turn your relaxing getaway stressful. When you’re traveling there are certain precautions you can take to prevent a dental emergency and ways to be proactive if something should happen.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 2.58.01 PMBefore leaving for your vacation, it’s always a good idea to schedule a dental checkup, especially if you’re traveling abroad where you might not have access to good dental care. If you have any of the following symptoms you should have them taken care of well in advance of your vacation to prevent pain or infection:

  • Schedule a teeth cleaning, if you have gum disease
  • Treat cracked or decayed teeth
  • Complete root canal treatments
  • Remove wisdom teeth

No matter how careful you may be, dental problems can happen to the best of us. When traveling, and away from your regular dentist, you need to decide if your symptoms need to be treated by a dental professional immediately or whether it can wait. Here are a few common dental problems that can occur and how you should handle the situation:

  • Toothache
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    • Carefully make sure there is no food or debris stuck in your teeth and gently use dental floss if
      needed
    • Depending on the level of pain and how long it continues, you may need to contact a dentist
  • Chipped or Cracked Tooth
    • Rinse mouth with warm water
    • Apply cold compress to control swelling
    • Call a dentist or visit the emergency room immediately
  • Knocked Out Tooth
    • Hold the tooth by the crown and rinse it off with water
    • Try to salvage the tooth by putting it in a cup of milk or under your tongue and get to a dentist immediately

It’s always a good idea to call your regular dentist or oral surgeon for advice or to see if they can recommend anyone in the area. If not, ask for a recommendation from the hotel concierge or your insurance company. If you’re traveling abroad and need a dental referral you can contact the American Consulate or the American embassy in the country you are visiting. Keep in mind that being proactive and having a checkup and scheduling any oral surgery before you leave is the best way to prevent existing problems. 

To make sure you and your teeth are travel ready contact Dr. Elias and Dr. Matt Paonessa to schedule an appointment, 914-873-0045.

 

 

 

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Summer Vacation: The Ideal Time For Wisdom Teeth Removal

School’s out and summer vacation is finally here! Now is the time for dental check-ups, taking time to schedule an appointment with your oral surgeon, and getting your child’s wisdom teeth removed.

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Oral surgeons recommend getting wisdom teeth removed between the ages of fifteen and twenty. Removing wisdom teeth at a young age is associated with fewer complications and faster healing.

Why is summer the ideal time of year to schedule wisdom tooth removal? With your child out of school, he or she has the free time to:

  • Have a consultation with your oral surgeon
  • Discuss any anxiety or fear with the doctor
  • Schedule the procedure and have wisdom teeth removed
  • Take as much time as needed to recover

Generally, it takes a few days after your wisdom teeth are removed to get back into your daily routine, but everyone heals differently. Missing a couple of days during the school year can be stressful for both kids and parents, with work piling up for both. Instead of your child to worrying about missing school, schedule a wisdom tooth removal during summer vacation. A child who isn’t worrying about homework and school can take the time to relax and recover properly.

Plus, there is finally an excuse to eat as much ice cream as they want this summer!

Don’t have an oral surgeon in the area or ready to make your appointment? Call Dr. Elias or Dr. Matt Paonessa to schedule your child’s wisdom teeth removal today, 914-873-0045.

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Why You May Need a Bone Graft Before Getting Dental Implants

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If you’re planning to have dental implant surgery to replace a missing tooth, you may need a bone graft.  Generally, a bone graft is necessary when there is not enough healthy jawbone to support the dental implant.  Bone grafting has become an extremely common procedure that is simple, safe and will likely increase the success of your dental implant surgery.

There are various reasons your natural jawbone may not be strong including:

  • gum disease
  • tooth development defects
  • an injury to the mouth
  • wearing dentures
  • empty spaces in the mouth

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If this is the case, your oral surgeon will recommend bone grafting to help strengthen the bone. Bone grafting involves adding a bone tissue to the jaw, this bone tissue comes from either another bone in your body, a donor or from synthetic bone material. In most cases the bone will be taken from another part of the mouth, such as the chin or the back part of the lower jaw. Once the bone grafting is complete, it may take some time before your oral surgeon can proceed with the implant surgery. It is important to wait until the grafted bone has fused with the jaw to give the dental implants a strong base.  This process can take at least three months, or possibly more.

The idea of a bone graft is a lot scarier than the reality; it is a simple and safe procedure. Read our blog on How to Handle Fear of Dental Procedures and be sure to let Dr. Elias know if you have any questions or concerns.

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5 Rules for Diabetics to Prevent Oral Health Problems

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, there are many health concerns that you need to be aware of every day, including your oral health. Many people are surprised to learn of the correlation between diabetes and higher risks for oral health problems.

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One of the main concerns diabetics have to be aware of is the increased risk for mouth infection. The most common oral health problem associated with diabetes is gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, and periodontitis, a serious gum disease. The lowered immune system of diabetics increases the risk of a mouth infection. It is more difficult for them to fight a bacterial infection making them more susceptible to gum disease. Unfortunately, if you develop gum disease, it can cause your blood glucose levels to rise making it harder to control your diabetes. Other oral health problems associated with diabetes include dry mouth and thrush, a fungal infection in the mouth. Common symptoms include gum soreness, cavities, and painful mouth sores.

Diabetes is already a difficult disease to manage daily; you don’t want to make it even more difficult by adding on oral health problems. Follow these rules to prevent any oral health problems associated with diabetes:

  1. Most importantly, control your blood glucose! Besides the other obvious benefits, controlling blood glucose levels can help prevent dry mouth caused by diabetes.
  2. Practice good oral health habits by brushing and flossing your teeth every day.
  3. Visit your dentist regularly and make sure he/she knows you have diabetes.  Your dentist will tell you how often to make an appointment, but the suggested time period is every six months.
  4. If you have dentures, make sure to clean them everyday. It is also important for your dentures to fit properly.
  5. Quit smoking! Smoking will make gum disease worse.

If you have any concerns or notice any changes in your mouth, you should contact your dentist immediately.

Contact Dr. Elias today if you have concerns about your diabetes interfering with oral surgery.

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3 Simple Rules for Long Term Dental Implant Care

After going through the surgical procedure to have dental implants, you’re going to want to make sure you take proper care of them. In order for your implants to last over time it’s important to know the long-term care instructions. Here are three simple rules to live by for long term dental implant care.

1.  Good Oral Hygienedentist-674654_640

Although it may seem obvious, it is extremely important to take the time for good oral hygiene. Many people that end up with dental implants have them because they did not practice good oral hygiene in the first place. It is extremely important to brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly: make it a priority and part of your daily routine. As you grow accustomed to your new dental implants it is easier to keep up the good work, but overtime laziness can set in and your vigilance may start to slip: don’t let it! Always take the time to brush your teeth, floss, and remove food residue.

2.  Regular Appointments with a Dental Specialist

To guarantee you’re taking proper care of your dental implants you need to visit your dentist regularly. It is recommended to schedule check-up appointments every six months. Your dentist will make sure your teeth and implants are getting the care they need. Your dentist can also alert you if he/she suspects there might be something wrong and to schedule an appointment with your oral surgeon. In addition to visiting your dentist for regular exams, you should see your oral surgeon annually. During these visits your oral surgeon can see how well your dental implants are holding up and take care of any maintenance work that may be necessary. Although these are the typical time frames in which you should make your appointments, everyone is different. After your surgery you will be given the personalized instructions on how often to visit your dentist and oral surgeon.

3.  Early Detection of Infection

If you think something might be wrong with your dental implants, you’re probably right. Don’t brush signs of infection away. If you suspect you have an infection, make an appointment with your oral surgeon immediately. The sooner an infection is detected the easier it is to treat. Plus, the less damage done the quicker the recovery.

If you continue to follow these three simple steps your dental implants will have a long lifespan. Contact Dr. Elias at (914) 873-0045 if you have any concerns about your dental implants or wish to have a consultation about getting started with your implants.

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Home Care For TMJ

If you are experiencing frequent headaches, clicking or popping in the jaw, or pain in your face then you may be suffering from the common disorder, TMJ.

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What is TMJ?

The TemporoMandibular Joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. When it is stressed or overworked it is common to experience limited jaw movement and pain in the jaw and surrounding muscles. There are several different causes of TMJ including:

  • trauma to the teeth or jaw
  • grinding your teeth
  • poor posture
  • stress or anxiety
  • excessive gum chewing

 

Although TMJ is very common it can be hard to diagnose. 90% of TMJ sufferers are women, mostly between the ages of 20 and 40. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms you should consult your doctor, dentist or oral surgeon:

  • Jaw pain
  • Locking or dislocation of the jaw
  • Painful popping or clicking of the jaw
  • Tight, stiff, or sore jaw or neck muscles
  • Ear pain
  • Ringing or popping sounds in the ears
  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Tight, stiff, or sore jaw or neck muscles
  • Facial pain, cheek pain, or chin numbness or tingling

Home Remedies for TMJ

Most TMJ symptoms are due to overwork of the joints and muscles that move it and therefore there are a few ways to treat TMJ right at home. In order to relieve some of the pain you can apply ice or ice packs to the joint area. You can also use a heating pad to help get rid of the achiness. It may be most effective to alternate between cold and heat treatments until you feel some relief. Massaging the jaw or neck is a great way to relax the muscles and help with the pain. If these techniques don’t work you can always take over the counter pain relievers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

In an effort to try to prevent your condition from getting worse, try to pinpoint what might be causing your symptoms and make a conscious effort to stop. You should also eat soft foods and avoid chewing tough food or gum to give your jaw muscles some relief. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can work wonders. All of these techniques require you to consciously relax the muscles in your body helping with the pain. Lastly, even though it’s easier said than done, try to reduce any stress in your life.

Some TMJ maladies require a more sophisticated approach and treatment.

If your home remedies are not giving you the relief you need, call Dr. Elias for a consultation at (914) 873-0045.

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Keep Your Teeth Clean, Not Green

Keep Your Teeth Clean, Not Green | St. Patrick's Day Teeth and Gums | Mamaroneck Oral Surgery | Dr. EliasOn a holiday like St. Patrick’s Day, it’s important to take a few minutes to educate yourself on how to protect your teeth and gums with a few simple tips and tricks.

Tooth Enamel

The enamel on your teeth is the hardest substance in the human body, but once it is destroyed it doesn’t grow back. Once the sugar, acid and starch from alcohol combine with the natural bacteria in your mouth, the enamel starts to wear down.

Dry Mouth

Saliva naturally protects against germs in your mouth (and bad breath) while also using the proteins and minerals it contains to protect against gum disease, cavities and keep your tooth enamel strong. Drinking alcohol, like smoking, causes dry mouth, which in turn speeds up any damage inflicted by the acid, sugar and starch in your drink.

Heavy Drinkers

With prolonged alcohol exposure comes an increase in the chance of damage to your oral health. Effects include irritation of the gums and oral tissues, increase in tooth decay, increased risk of gum disease, and slower healing after dental surgery. Heavy drinking also leads to greater risks of mouth, throat and esophageal cancers.

Teeth Whitening

If you have started the process of whitening your teeth, stay far away from green beer. Whitening opening the pores of the enamel and indulging in green beer (or any dyed food or drink) could leave you with a green tinge to your teeth.

Good Habits to Protect Your Teeth

We don’t want to tell you not to enjoy St. Patrick’s day, but use these simple pointers to keep your smile healthy:

  • Drink water between alcoholic drinks. Not only will this help rinse away the sugars and acids from your teeth, but it may help with the hangover the next day!
  • Brush and floss before bed. Set an alarm on your phone before you head out to the parade as a reminder to make sure you’ve cleaned away all the leftovers in your mouth.
  • Get a good night’s rest. A lack of sleep is common with patients who get trench mouth – an periodontal disease that causes tissue death and open sores.

Remember to drink responsibly and have a happy St. Patrick’s Day! If you are worried about your oral health, before or after the parade, call Dr. Elias for a consultation at (914) 873-0045.

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