Thursday, December 14, 2017

BEST TIPS TO MAKE YOUR TEETH LOOK WHITER THIS HOLIDAY SEASON


It’s the holiday season which means lots of parties and photos and you want your teeth to look their best. Unfortunately, everyday living can dim our smiles. Food, coffee, some juices, and soft drinks can stain your teeth. Poor brushing and flossing can also leave tooth stains. Injuries to teeth or gums can cause some yellowing as well, and in some cases, medicines can discolor teeth.
So, you may need some extra help to maintain or restore your teeth's natural beauty. Here are some of the best ways to whiten your teeth:
1. Reduce additional staining by drinking with a straw or cutting back on coffee and soft drinks.
2. Brush and floss every day.
3. Try a whitening toothpaste or mouthwash.
4. Visit our office for teeth cleaning and an exam every six months.
We can also help you whiten your teeth with in-office professional teeth whitening at our Cedarhurst office. These whitening products are much more effective than whiteners you can buy at the store and are completely safe. Since they're stronger, application by a member of our team is essential to achieve the best results.
Some teeth can resist bleaching. If that's the case, we can try several techniques:
·         Deep bleaching that applies whitening agents over several visits.
·         Veneers and bonds that cover existing stains with a whiter, brighter surface.
·         Laser whitening that uses light to clean stubborn stains off teeth.

Take Care!
You may come across “bleaching stations” in shopping malls or at fairs. Avoid using these as the so-called whitening techniques can irritate your teeth and gums, leaving them highly sensitive to pain. Note too, that the operators of these whitening stands will make customers apply the bleach themselves, to avoid charges of practicing without a license. That should serve as a red flag and a caution to seek trained professionals, like Dr. Alina Bergan, instead.

To make an appointment please call us at 800-223-0801 or go online and book at appointment on our website: http://5townsdentistry.com/schedule-appointment/

Thursday, November 30, 2017

DANGERS OF ALCOHOL AND ORAL HEALTH


The Holiday Season is upon us and that normally means we go to parties and get togethers that have alcohol. We often have patients who ask, “Can drinking alcohol affect my oral health?” There are, in fact, a few reasons why that martini or spiked eggnog may not be good for your pearly whites.
In addition to creating an overly acidic environment in your mouth, alcohol severely dehydrates oral tissues because of its desiccant and diuretic properties. Because alcohol saps oral tissues of their moisture so readily, saliva glands can't keep enough saliva in the mouth to prevent dry mouth. In addition, saliva contains antibacterial properties that inhibits growth of anaerobic bacteria, a destructive type of oral bacterial responsible for tooth decay, gingivitis, chronic bad breath, and periodontitis.
What are anaerobic bacteria?
When there is a lack of saliva flow in the mouth and the mouth cannot naturally cleanse itself of oral debris (food particles, dead skin cell, mucous), conditions develop that promote activity of anaerobic bacteria, or bacteria that thrive in dry, airless places. These anaerobes also flourish when an unending supply of proteins (food debris) are available to consume, creating rapidly multiplying layers of plaque that stick to teeth and demineralizes tooth enamel unless removed by brushing and professional dental cleanings.
This is one of the reasons why it is important to drink a full glass of water after you indulge in alcohol.
Oral Cancer and Alcohol
Acetaldehyde is a chemical compound leftover after the liver has metabolized alcohol. Capable of causing genetic mutations, acetaldehyde is also a known carcinogen that contributes to the ill feelings of hangovers. Although most metabolism of alcohol is done in the liver, evidence shows that metabolism also occurs outside the liver and that enzymes in the mouth could encourage accumulation of acetaldehyde in oral tissues.
When combined with poor oral health, smoking, and other detrimental lifestyle factors, alcohol may be considered a primary contributory factor in the development of oral cancer.
Even if you don't drink or drink only occasionally, remaining aware of symptoms that may indicate oral cancer will improve your chances of recovering successfully when you start treatment in the early stages of oral cancer. Signs include red or white speckled patches in the mouth, unexplained bleeding, lumps/swellings, chronic ear or throat pain, and areas of numbness in the mouth or on the face.
If you have any questions about alcohol and its connection to oral health, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Alina Bergan at your next visit to our Cedarhurst office.
Wishing you safe and Happy Holidays!

To make an appointment please call us at 800-223-0801 or go online and book at appointment on our website: http://www.alinabergandds.com/appointments/

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

3 Reasons to Visit Your Dentist Regularly


When is the last time you visited our dental office? If it has been more than 6 months since your last routine cleaning, it is time for you to schedule another checkup with Dr. Alina Bergan DDS. While you might think that periodic cleanings are meant to get your teeth bright and white, checkups do more than just keep your teeth clean. They also maintain your oral health, and the benefits of routine checkups can extend to your whole body.

Your mouth is said to be a gateway to the rest of your body. As such, it offers a critical view of the state of your health. Oral symptoms can indicate vitamin deficiencies, diabetes symptoms, dehydration, and many other health problems. A dental checkup can give you valuable information about the rest of your body and provide clues about ways you can improve your health.

During a routine checkup, we perform screenings for oral cancer especially if you smoke or drink. These lesions can be difficult for you to see on your own, but during your appointment, we use a mirror to examine each part of your mouth. Early detection and treatment of oral cancer can save lives.

Finally, poor dental care can increase your risk of periodontal disease. When oral bacteria enter the bloodstream, they can trigger systemic inflammation that increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Regular brushing, flossing and dental checkups can promote better heart health.


If you have questions about your oral health call us today at 800-223-0801 to schedule an appointment. You can also schedule online at http://www.alinabergandds.com/appointments/

Monday, October 30, 2017

BEST AND WORST HALLOWEEN CANDIES FOR YOUR TEETH


Whether you are you are planning to go trick or treating, go to a party dressed in a clever, silly or scary costume, or simply get-together with friends and family to watch scary movies, we hope you have a fun and safe holiday!
We also wanted to give you some Halloween tips for the Best and Worst candies that you could receive this year, courtesy of the Academy of General Dentistry:
Worst:
Chewy/sticky sweets, such as gummy candies, taffy, and even dried fruit can be difficult for children and adults to resist, and even more difficult to remove from teeth.
Sour candies are highly acidic and can break down tooth enamel quickly. The good news: Saliva slowly helps to restore the natural balance of the acid in the mouth.
Sugary snacks, including candy corn, cookies, and cake, all contain high amounts of sugar, which can cause tooth decay.
Pop Corn Balls, keep floss handy if you’re enjoying one of these fall favorites. Kernels can get stuck in-between your teeth and they are also sticky, sugary and can be hard.
Best:
Sugar-free lollipops and hard candies stimulate saliva, which can help prevent dry mouth.
Sugar-free gum can actually prevent cavities as it not only dislodges food particles from between the teeth but also increases saliva—which works to neutralize the acids of the mouth and prevent tooth decay.
Dark chocolate and its antioxidants, according to some studies, can be good for the heart and may even lower blood pressure."
Make sure you drink lots of water and brush your teeth after eating your candy.
Happy Halloween everyone!
 If you have questions about your oral health call us today at 800-223-0801 to schedule an appointment. You can also schedule online at http://www.alinabergandds.com/appointments/

Monday, October 23, 2017

WHAT IS THE SECRET TO LIFELONG TEETH WHITENING?


Have you ever noticed your attention being instantly drawn to peoples’ teeth when they smile at you? Why do some people have dull and yellowing teeth, while others have teeth that appear bright white. Everyone’s teeth naturally dull over time because of aging and the contact your teeth have with staining foods, such as chocolate, wine, and coffee. However, teeth-whitening treatments can help you keep your teeth white for life.

Get Regular Treatments
The effects of teeth whitening or bleaching treatments are only temporary, so regular treatments with Dr. Alina Bergan DDS are necessary to keep your teeth white for life. Bleaching too often can wear away your tooth enamel. The effects of in-office bleaching can last for several months to a year, while you may need to repeat your use of at-home bleaching kits every few months to maintain your white teeth. Whitening toothpastes do not contain bleach, so you can use them daily. The American Dental Association suggests asking your dentist for advice on which treatment is best for you.

Have Realistic Expectations
Not everyone’s teeth can be turned bright white, according to the American Dental Association. Your teeth may naturally be a light yellowish color that lends itself well to teeth-whitening procedures, but bleach is not likely to be effective for grayish teeth. Brownish teeth fall somewhere in between.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Maintain good oral health to keep teeth white as your efforts will not be as effective if your teeth are in poor health. Visible fillings, implants, or bridges that are metallic stand out against the white color you want to achieve. You can help prevent tooth decay and reduce your risk of needing these unsightly treatments by maintaining a good oral hygiene routine. In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day to remove dirt and potential staining agents, the actions below can promote a healthy mouth.
Floss every day
Visit Dr. Alina Bergan DDS regularly
Rinse your mouth with water after each meal and snack
Limit sugary and starchy foods and beverages, especially between meals


If you have questions about teeth whitening or your oral health call us today at 800-223-0801 to schedule an appointment. You can also schedule online at http://www.alinabergandds.com/appointments/

Thursday, September 28, 2017

CLEAN YOUR TEETH WHILE YOU EAT!


Did you know that there are certain foods you can eat which help to clean your teeth? In dentistry we look at the impact of food in three ways: the kind of food, how often it is eaten, and when it is eaten. There are some cleansing foods that should be the last piece of food you consume during a meal for best results. Think of them as the closest you can get to brushing your teeth.

A healthy diet is important for oral health as well as overall health, but here are some foods that can help clean your teeth and mouth:
Carrots
Apples
Celery sticks
Popcorn
Cucumbers
Pears
Lettuce
Cheese

As you can see, good cleaning foods are usually foods that are firm and crisp. They act like scrubbers on and around your teeth and gums and bring your mouth's ph back to 7.0, which is optimal.

Which foods are the worst for your teeth?

You guessed it, cookies, cakes, breads, chips, crackers, soft drinks, dried fruit, and candies (what many people’s diets are full of) provide carbohydrates (sugar) to the bacteria in your mouth causing an acidic environment and increasing the chance of cavities and decay. These foods are sticky and don't rinse easily from your mouth. Avoid letting these foods sit on your teeth after eating them.
It also depends on how often you consume these foods throughout the day. For example, if you drink soft drinks, it's best to have it all in one sitting instead of sipping it all throughout the day. Doing so causes the perfect environment in your mouth for bacteria to flourish and your saliva never gets the chance to neutralize its ph.

This is where eating cleansing foods can come into play. When you're about to finish your meal, have an apple, celery stick, or carrot. It will act like a "natural toothbrush." Also, try to make these foods the basis for snacks you have throughout the day.

Always remember, these foods are not a replacement for brushing and flossing. You still need good dental hygiene regardless of what you're eating! For more tips and tricks for ideal oral health, ask Dr. Alina Bergan the next time you visit our Cedarhurst, NY office!

If you have questions about your oral health call us today at 800-223-0801 to schedule an appointment. You can also schedule online at http://www.alinabergandds.com/appointments/

Thursday, September 7, 2017

HOW SMOKING INCREASES THE RISK OF ORAL CANCER


The facts about smoking are everywhere, yet many people continue to smoke. Cigarette smoke contains more than 6,000 chemicals, and at least 200 of those chemicals are known to be harmful to your health. When smoke is inhaled, moist oral tissues are saturated with excessive amounts of carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and a host of other known carcinogens. Most oral cancers originate in abnormal squamous cell activity, which are cells found on the lips, inside the mouth, and in the throat.

How Oral Cancer Begins
Cells exposed to consistently high levels of cigarette smoke may eventually suffer abnormal mutations within their DNA. Since deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is responsible for providing cells with instructions about growth, reproduction, and death, these instructions become distorted, which causes the cells to reproduce uncontrollably.
Essentially, that is what cancer is: rapid, unchecked growth of genetically mutated cells that encourages the development of malignant tumors. Unfortunately, the chemicals in cigarette smoke are strongly associated with oral cancer.

Signs of Oral Cancer
Early-stage oral cancer is often asymptomatic, which means symptoms appear only after the cancer intensifies and spreads. Possible signs of oral cancer include:
·         Ulcers inside the mouth or on the lips that do not heal
·         White or dark red patches inside the mouth
·         Lumps inside or around the mouth (a lump could appear on your neck)
·         Bleeding, numbness, and soreness in the mouth
·         Chronic halitosis
·         Loose teeth in the absence of tooth decay

Diagnosis and Treatment of Oral Cancer
Squamous cell oral cancer is the most common type diagnosed in smokers. Dr. AlinaBergan and our staff often discover squamous cell carcinoma lesions during dental examinations or cancer screenings. Depending on the stage of the oral cancer, treatment may begin with a biopsy or an exfoliative cytology procedure that involves collecting cells from the oral cavity using a scraper.
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, oral cancer patients may need surgery, radiation therapy, a combination of surgery and radiation therapy, or chemotherapy to eradicate oral cancer.

Smoking, Cancer, and Tooth Decay
Not only is smoking the number-one cause of cancer but it is also detrimental to the overall health of your teeth and gums. Yellow teeth, bad breath, dry mouth, and expedited tooth decay are all caused by smoking, not to mention the damage smoke does to the heart, lungs, and kidneys. In other words, don’t smoke!

If you have questions about your oral health call us today at 800-223-0801 to schedule an appointment. You can also schedule online at http://www.alinabergandds.com/appointments/