What are the benefits of Invisalign over traditional metal braces?

Written by: Dr. Sharanya Srinivasa DMD

Paramount Dental Care is an Invisalign certified dental practice in Secaucus, NJ. Many of my patients ask me about the benefits of Invisalign when compared to traditional metal braces.

The most attractive advantage to Invisalign patients is that no one can tell you are wearing them. With metal braces, you may feel embarrassed to talk or smile. This is especially common for adults with braces.

One advantage of Invisalign is that you remove the aligners when you eat. While wearing metal braces you must cut out certain sticky or chewy foods that can get caught on the metal braces and damage them. You also run the risk of food getting stuck in the braces with out getting cleaned out, causing decay and bad breath. With Invisalign, you can eat what you wish, brush and floss as you normally would, and reapply your aligners.

Metal braces have brackets that may cause pain/sensitivity to those who wear them. Invisalign has a smooth surface that feels similar to your natural teeth.

 

 

Advertisements

The Problem With Missing Teeth

People often ask what happens to your mouth when you are missing a tooth for a long period of time.
The main problem with missing teeth is because you have a missing space, the neighboring teeth will shift into this space. The surrounding teeth basically tip over into the space the missing tooth left behind. Even the tooth above the space will start to move down until it can touch an opposing tooth. On this tooth the root surface will become exposed, and very sensitive to cold.
Another concern is that food starts to build up around the tipped tooth because now there is space on either side of the teeth. This will make the tooth susceptible to cavities and bone loss.
Lastly, now that the teeth have tipped into the missing space which can not only change your bite, but it can also cause changes in your TMJ joint.
Replacing a missing tooth with an implant or a bridge or partial denture is very important. Talk to your dentist today about your options.

All About Root Canals

Root canals are a common dental procedure. They are necessary when decay causes pain in the nerve. So how are root canals done?

We start by removing the decay and cleaning out the nerve. Once the nerve is clean, we put in a filling material called gutta percha. Next, we place a post in the filling area. This post helps the core buildup attach to the gutta percha. Finally, we place a crown on top to completely seal it off from the outside. This helps protect the tooth because after a root canal, the tooth becomes brittle.

 

Caring For Your Braces

Written by Dr. Sharanya Srinivasa DMD

Braces not only straighten your teeth, but also correct your bite, crooked, crowded or spaced teeth. This helps maintain good oral hygiene. Food cannot easily get stuck between your teeth because they are aligned. However, while wearing braces you must take impeccable care of your teeth.

It is necessary to brush after everything you eat, and to floss 1-2 times per day. You must brush often while wearing braces to prevent getting food buildup around the brackets. This buildup will cause white spots on your teeth. The white spots are demineralized enamel. Colgate Booster Plus is a great toothpaste that your dentist can prescribe if you start getting white spots. If you cannot brush right after a meal, rinse your mouth with water making sure to wash away all food stuck in your teeth or braces. Be sure to perform a detailed cleaning before you sleep at night.

While you have braces on, you will need to avoid eating certain foods. You will mainly need to avoid sticky, hard or chewy food. Some examples: gum, candy, bagels, hard rolls, popcorn, caramels, corn on the cob (you can cut the kernels of the cob and eat them with a fork!), nuts, and ice.

It is important for children who play sports to wear a mouthguard. Custom mouth guards molded to your child’s mouth work best in protecting braces and teeth.

Make sure you make it to your dental appointments, which will be approximately every 4 to 8 weeks. However, be sure to call your dentist if you need immediate care.

If You’re Nervous in the Dental Chair, These Tips Can Help!

By: Dr. Sharanya Srinivasa DMD

If you are feeling anxious about your next dental visit, you are not alone. Many adults are nervous about dental visits. However, anxiety and nervousness are very treatable. Here are some tips for nervous dental patients.

  1. Stay calm, take deep breaths, and do not fidget! One of the most important things to keep in mind is that your dentist is working in a small space. It is important to minimize movement and fidgeting. Make sure you take deep breaths in and out of your nose. Close your eyes, and visualize a relaxing scene. Your dentist is working as fast as they can, and you will be out of the chair in no time.
  2. Bring someone with you. Having someone you trust with you can help you feel less alone.
  3. Repeat positive affirmations in your head. This helps to end your negative thinking patterns. You might walk into a dentist’s office worrying, but it is important to try to switch your negative, worrisome thoughts to positive, affirming thoughts. Repeat things such as “I am safe”, “I am brave”, “I’ve done this before” or “I will be out of here in no time”.
  4. Speak to your dental office beforehand. If you are feeling nervous, try calling a week before your appointment to see how your dentist personally deals with anxious patients.
  5. Listen to music. Bring your headphones and iPod and play your favorite music. This will help distract and relax you. Listening to music can also help drown out the sounds of dental tools.

I hope this has helped! Remember, anxiety is very common.

Will Charcoal Toothpaste Whiten Your Teeth?

By: Dr. Sharanya Srinivasa DMD

It seems like you cannot open your Instagram explore page these days without seeing someone brushing their teeth with a sludgy charcoal mixture. What is this stuff? Will it make my teeth whiter?

Charcoal toothpaste is made of activated charcoal, a type of carbon with tiny pores that increase the absorption of chemical reactions. I hate to break it to you, but there is no dental research showing that activated charcoal toothpaste is an effective way to whiten teeth in comparison to professional whitening treatments. In fact, the American Dental Association warns activated charcoal may be too abrasive for tooth enamel.

From my personal experience seeing patients who used charcoal toothpaste (even 1 time per week), the results were not promising. The charcoal powder became embedded in a pocket in-between the tooth and the gum. This formed a gray line below all of the gums. The charcoal also gave a grayish tint to the gums.  However, there was no noticeable whiteness. It appeared that the charcoal made the gums darker in shade, causing the tooth to appear whiter. Hence, not actually whitening the tooth itself.

In my opinion, charcoal toothpaste tricks you into thinking you are naturally whitening your teeth. You  need to brush extremely hard to get the charcoal toothpaste off, causing you to brush more which may give the illusion of a whiter smile. Do not waste time and energy (and tooth enamel!) on this product.

Fluoride 101

By: Dr. Sharanya Srinivasa DMD

What is fluoride and why is it used in dental care? Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods, as well as city water in certain places. Some natural sources of fluoride are brewed tea, canned fish, cooked kale, spinach, apples, and skim milk.

A lack of fluoride makes you more prone to cavities. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making your tooth enamel more resistant to acid attacks from plaque and acidic foods.The dentist also gives fluoride treatments during the routine cleanings, predominantly for children. This help keeps cavities from forming. Adults can also benefit from fluoride.

Research has shown that communities that have fluoride in the tap water have less cavities than communities that do not fluoridate their water supply.  The amount of fluoride in water is very low and does not cause health related side effects but is needed to maintain oral health.

It is recommended that you have a fluoride treatment once every 6 months. Especially is you are prone to cavities.

How to Care for Young Children’s Teeth

By: Dr. Srinivasa DMD

Teaching children about oral hygiene at a young age is extremely important. With the right techniques, you can prevent your child from developing cavities.

For children ages 6 months to 2 years old, make sure you use a swallow-safe toothpaste. Use a finger toothbrush (shown below) in a circular motion. Never let young children sleep with a bottle of milk in their mouth, this causes cavities.

Children ages 3-10 need to brush 2 times a day. Make sure you are brushing your child’s teeth after they brush on their own. Children tend to skip their back teeth. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a fluoride mouthwash, as fluoride prevents cavities from forming.

Dr. Srinivasa treats children and adults in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Silicon finger toothbrush babies Secaucus New Jersey Dr Srinivasa Caring for baby teeth.jpg

Silicon finger tooth brush for babies Paramount Dental Care Secaucus New Jersey Dr Srinivasa dental tips caring for baby teeth smile makeover