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/

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

THE ORAL HEALTH AND SCHOOL PERFORMANCE CONNECTION



It’s back to school time, and as a parent, you want the best for your children in school. There are many ways you can support your child in school, you can take an interest in their activities, be enthusiastic about attendance, and help them with homework. There may also be one more way you can help your children succeed at school. Surprisingly, research suggests that children with better oral health are likely to do better in school.
What the Research Says
One study in North Carolina looked at risk factors for poor school performance among school-aged children. As expected, the study found poor school performance linked to low socioeconomic status, low levels of parental education, and poor overall health. However, it also found a strong link between poor oral health and poor school performance, with children classified as having poor oral health 40 percent more likely struggle in school.
These findings are generalizable to the rest of the country. For example, attendance is an important factor in academic achievement, but dental conditions are responsible for a loss 51 million school hours among schoolchildren each year. Dental pain and infection are linked to poorer performance.
School-Based Programs to Promote Oral Health
Considering the apparent benefits of good oral health for school performance, some schools are taking steps to promote better oral care and health. In Maine, for instance, schools in need can apply for grants through School Oral Health Program (SOHP). The SOHP consists of four components:
1.     Oral health education for all children to support healthy behaviors
2.     A weekly fluoride mouth rinse to strengthen teeth
3.     Dental screenings to identify children who may need dental care
4.     Dental sealants, or plastic coatings, on back teeth to guard against decay
The State of Maine also supports an “Annual Sugar Out Day” to raise awareness of the effects of sugar on dental health and to help students choose low-sugar alternatives.
Oral Health Habits to Adopt
You can help your child improve their oral health and do better in school by encouraging good oral hygiene. This includes brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, and reminding your child to drink water after eating. Also, regular trips to our Cedarhurst, NY office can help prevent serious tooth problems.

Start the school year off right and call us today at 800-223-0801 to schedule an appointment. You can also schedule online at http://www.alinabergandds.com/appointments/

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How Fruit Juice Affects Your Teeth


As a healthy alternative to soda and sports juice, fruit juice is often enjoyed. The downside is that juice is extremely acidic and can damage the enamel on your teeth. The acid in juice begins to erode your teeth as soon as it washes over them. Enamel is made of mineral crystals that are densely packed. These crystals cannot grow back, so once they are damaged, they cannot heal or be restored.  

Eroded enamel exposes the yellow dentin underneath, and the damage is more than just cosmetic. Your teeth can become sensitive each time you eat or drink something hot, cold, spicy, sweet, sour or acidic. According to the National Institutes of Health, juice isn’t the only beverage that can damage teeth: Even just one soda a day can also erode enamel as can wine, energy drinks and fruit smoothies. Low-acid alternatives such as tea, water and milk are better options.  

Tips to help avoid damage to your teeth:

When you do drink something that is acidic, use a straw. This limits the amount of contact the liquid has with your teeth.

Drink your juice with food rather than between mealtimes, and after your meal, rinse your mouth with water to get rid of any lingering acids in your mouth.

After eating, wait about half an hour to give your saliva time to neutralize remaining acids, and then brush your teeth.  

Keep your enamel strong by brushing with fluoridated toothpaste and have a fluoride treatment once or twice a year to help fight tooth enamel decay.

If you have already suffered enamel erosion, there is hope. You can use an enamel restoring toothpaste to strengthen the remaining enamel on your teeth, and you might benefit from fluoride treatments, which can help remineralize the enamel as well. If the damage is extensive, we might recommend fillings, bondings, veneers or other restorations to protect the worn enamel.

If you have questions regarding fruit juice and how foods affect your teeth, please ask our Cedarhurst, NY team for advice.


Call us today at 800-223-0801 to schedule an appointment. You can also schedule online at http://www.alinabergandds.com/appointments/

Thursday, July 27, 2017

CAN I USE MOUTHWASH INSTEAD OF FLOSSING?


Mouthwash can go a long way in improving your oral care, however, it is not a substitute for flossing. Mouth washing and flossing provide different benefits that you should understand.

Mouthwash Benefits
Mouthwash comes in two categories: Cosmetic and Therapeutic.  Cosmetic mouthwash is a type of rinse provides temporary relief from bad breath and has a pleasant taste. These do not actually kill any bacteria.
Therapeutic mouthwashes provide the healthier benefits. These may contain different ingredients including fluoride or antimicrobial agents. This type is used to remove plaque buildup and reduce the potential for calculus formation. Therapeutic rinses can also help prevent cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis. In addition, Dr. Alina Bergan can prescribe special rinses to assist patients after periodontal surgery or other procedures.

Flossing Benefits
Flossing is what removes the plaque formation before it can harden and become calculus. While a rinse reduces buildup, only flossing will fully remove plaque, especially between teeth. The bristles on a toothbrush do not get between teeth completely. If plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar or calculus. When this builds below the gum line, gum disease can start.

Types of Floss
Floss is available in a thin string form or a tape. It can be waxed or unwaxed. If you find flossing difficult, you might want to try a different type of floss. You can buy bulk floss in containers or purchase the disposable type with a plastic handle attached. Costco or other discount clubs often carry these. This style can be easier for many individuals to use. Interdental picks are available for bridgework or other situations where regular floss cannot be used.

If you have questions regarding the best mouthwash or floss, or need tips for easier flossing, please ask our Cedarhurst, NY team for advice. We will be glad to give you solutions to help keep your mouth clean and healthy. Call us today at 800-223-0801 to schedule an appointment. You can also schedule online at http://www.alinabergandds.com/appointments/



Friday, July 14, 2017

SMILE MAKEOVER



A smile makeover is usually a combination of one or more cosmetic dental procedures. To achieve your desired result, Dr. Alina Bergan may perform or suggest a variety of options. The entire process is designed specifically for your unique cosmetic needs, and Dr. Alina Bergan will make sure all your concerns regarding your smile are addressed.

Here are some of the most common procedures in cosmetic dentistry and how they work:

Tooth whitening – Whiter teeth are achieved through a bleaching process typically using hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Yellower teeth usually respond well to this procedure, while brown-colored teeth stained by fluorosis or taking tetracycline do not respond as well to whitening. Tooth whitening is not for everyone; if you have sensitive teeth, gum disease, or poor enamel, Dr. Alina Bergan may recommend against tooth-whitening services. Call us for specials at 800-223-0801.

Orthodontics – Braces are one of the tried-and-true ways of achieving a healthier smile. Braces are typically worn between 12 and 24 months to reposition the teeth in a straighter and safer alignment. Since your bite is also corrected during this process, it helps ensure you won't have any trouble down the line. There are several different types of braces available these days including: traditional metal braces, clear ceramic braces, lingual braces, and clear aligners.

Veneers – Veneers are thin, tooth-colored material (porcelain or resin) designed to be placed on the front surface of teeth to improve their overall appearance. They can be used in cases where the color, shape, size, or length is not as desired. Veneers are usually used in cases where teeth are discolored, chipped, worn down, misaligned, irregular, or have gaps.

Implants/bridges – Dental implants and bridges are used to replace missing or broken teeth. Nowadays, both implants and bridges are commonly performed procedures. Implants integrate directly with the jawbone, while bridges are placed over the adjacent teeth to the missing tooth. Implant technology has advanced a great deal in recent years and highly biocompatible ceramic materials are becoming more commonplace.

Getting your perfect smile will take time and patience, but the end result will be well worth it! Please schedule an appointment at our Cedarhurst, NY office about the cosmetic dental services we offer, and achieve the smile you've always wanted!

Call us today at 800-223-0801 to schedule an appointment.



You can also schedule online at http://www.alinabergandds.com/appointments/

Thursday, June 29, 2017

HOW SAFE ARE DENTAL X-RAYS?


Dr. Alina Bergan and our staff rely on digital X-rays to help us diagnose oral conditions and process images at incredibly high speeds. We can also view digital X-rays in real time while examining your mouth with an intraoral camera and upload the images to a software program. A chairside computer monitor lets you see these images as we refine areas of concern to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

But are dental X-rays safe?
Yes! They emit 80 percent less radiation than exposure-type X-rays and provide detailed images to improve diagnosis and treatment. We can now detect dental problems in their earliest stages without subjecting you to unnecessary radiation. The amount of radiation released by digital X-rays is “negligible,” which means the amount is so small, that it can be safely disregarded.
Digital X-Rays are safe for children and pregnant women, as digital X-rays detect microscopic pitting in tooth enamel and other abnormalities in the oral tissues that might have remained undetected with traditional X-rays. When Dr. Alina Bergan and our staff discover dental caries in their earliest stages, we can initiate treatment measures that will effectively prevent cavity development, tooth decay, and potential tooth loss.
Patient appointment lengths are shortened with digital X-rays as well, because images are immediately viewable and do not require the exposure time associated with old-style X-rays.

How Digital X-Rays Differ from Traditional X-Rays
Digital X-rays no longer require the use of cardboard-contained film, instead we insert a small sensing device about the size of a pen in your mouth and engage the digital X-ray machine by manually manipulating control buttons. Within seconds, images appear on the monitor that can later be stored in your file or sent to another doctor for further examination.
The increased resolution afforded by digital X-rays means that patients can see and understand the seriousness of their dental issues better, and are more inclined to follow through with procedures recommended by Dr. Alina Bergan.

Safer, Better, and Faster
Digital X-rays are used for detection of cancerous tumors in their early states, this technology offers vast improvements over film X-rays because of its cutting-edge image processing capability. Early detection of oral cancer and dental caries is the best way to prevent any type of oral health problem from exceeding the treatable stage. You can have peace of mind knowing that the latest dental technology is able to detect any issues you may have without posing any health risks.
We are offering a new patient special $99 cleaning, exam, and x-rays. Call us today at 800-223-0801 to schedule an appointment in our Cedarhurst office. You can also schedule online at http://www.alinabergandds.com/appointments/