Ready to achieve that healthy smile? All you need to start is a good set of dental tools. Tools like brushes, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash all can help you maintain a beautiful smile with less plaque, cavities and gum disease. Our experts put together some recommendations for each of these tools, and why they are important to keep in your daily maintenance routine.

 

  1. Brushes – A good brush is one you will actually use at least twice a day, but if you are having a certain dental issue, you may want to talk with your dentist at your next cleaning about what may fit your needs the best. Oscillating toothbrushes can be helpful for removing plaque, and often can help as well with removing particles that may cause staining later on. Dr. Laura Frangella points out “​​Oscillating toothbrushes minimize technique errors that occur with manual toothbrushes. People often miss hard to reach areas because they are rushing or just don’t know proper brushing technique. Oscillating toothbrushes are designed so that all you have to do is position the toothbrush head in the proper areas, and it will do all the work for you by performing the proper brushing motions on its own.”  Frangella dentists often recommend Sonicare and Oral-B brands for oscillating toothbrushes. If you don’t feel comfortable using an oscillating brush because of sensitive teeth or gums, or cost is an issue, a soft gentle brush may be a good choice for you. Most dentists recommend some type of soft bristle as people tend to brush harder than is really necessary. 
  2. Toothpaste – Most dentists recommend a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is recommended for its remineralizing attributes, having fluoride in your toothpaste will help avoid cavities and tooth decay by keeping enamel healthy and strong. Frangella Dentists recommend brands including Crest, Colgate and Sensodyne. There are toothpastes that are geared to more sensitive teeth, and even some for people with dentures or veneers. For more sensitive teeth, Frangella Dentists recommend Sensodyne toothpaste. Be sure to select one that fits your needs best. Ask your dentist at your next cleaning what the biggest issue is with your teeth, and you’ll be able to narrow down quickly which toothpastes may be best for you. Some people prefer to go a more natural route. Some natural toothpastes can be too abrasive for teeth, so be sure to read the labels carefully to make sure it’s effective in helping with cavities. If you are unsure about whether or not your toothpaste is an effective one, be sure to bring it to your next dental cleaning to ask your dentist.
  3. Floss – It’s important to floss your teeth once a day to get any food particles that may have gotten stuck in between your teeth that your brush can’t reach. Think of it as the tool that gets in the deep crevices where the brush can’t get to. If those particles stay in those crevices, bacteria will build, and that’s when issues like gum disease and cavities can begin. There is the traditional string version of floss that most dentists use for cleanings. These can often come in different flavors, widths and offer the flexibility to use different techniques for flossing. The wider the floss, typically the easier it will be to wrap around your fingers, but it may be more difficult in getting in and out of teeth that are tight together. The thinner string will get in between really hard to reach places most often, but may be difficult to wrap around your finger. Frangella Dentists typically recommend Glide and Satin-floss. There are also floss picks that some people prefer that come with a short string of floss already measured out, and a pick on the other end. These can be helpful for some who may not be able to reach their back molars. Children often find these to be easier than the traditional string floss. Another tool that many dentists recommend is a water flosser, or oral irrigator. These can be effective at removing plaque, often easier than traditional flossing, as they push water into those deep crevices, removing food particles, much like traditional floss would. This might be a good option for those with braces or bridges who may struggle with traditional floss. Frangella dentists recommend the Waterpik water flosser most often. 
  4. Mouthwash – Mouthwash tends to all look alike, so how do you know which one to use? First, most dentists recommend that you make sure it has the American Dental Association’s Seal of Approval on it. This means that it passes all the standards for safety and efficacy. Mouthwash should include some version of fluoride to help with plaque. Look for one that may target a dental issue your dental hygienist may have mentioned at your last appointment, such as anti-plaque, anti-cavity, or even sensitivity issues. Frangella Dentists often recommend Listerine or ACT brands of mouthwash. Also, remember that mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing. It can be helpful post-flossing to help remove any bacteria that may be left from flossing, and help prevent gingivitis and other gum disease; just be sure to use it in moderation. 

Whether you use one item over the other, it’s important just to use what works for you! Any dentist would agree that there’s no such a thing as a bad dental tool as long as it’s getting used. Take care of your teeth, and they will help take care of your overall health! If you want specific recommendations, ask your dentist at your next dental visit, or feel free to call us to schedule your next appointment. 

Design a new smile with veneers

First impressions matter, and according to studies, can affect how people perceive you even after meeting you for a second and third time. Part of your first impression is your smile. Good or bad, people often perceive others with straight teeth as being more successful and smarter. Don’t leave people with a negative impression with a smile that contains chipped or missing teeth. Porcelain Veneers are thin, porcelain coverings that produce an instant smile makeover. Durable and natural looking, veneers will cover chipped, cracked, and worn teeth to align and brighten nearly any smile. Veneers can be done with often minimal-prep or no-prep. Fix your smile instantly with this cosmetic treatment at our offices this spring.

Invisalign

Worried about having a crooked smile this summer? One of the fastest and easiest ways to straighten out your smile is through Invisalign. Invisalign ® moves the teeth using clear aligners that can be removed, while traditional braces move the teeth with fixed wires and brackets. These clear aligners will not show up in photos, leaving your smile photo-ready. Invisalign can correct crowding, overbites, underbites, and excess spacing. While traditional braces can do the same thing, they are more visible in photos. Depending on your teeth and desired treatment outcome, your dentist will recommend the treatment that is best suited for you. Most dentists will offer payment plans that can make the treatment work for your budget. Learn more about our Invisalign services today!

Spring Cleaning

Summer is just around the corner, and everyone is looking forward to some social events again with weddings, and other special summer festivities. Along with those events come lots of photos, which means your smile needs to be ready! Here are some tips from our dental experts on ways to touch up your smile in time for all of those summer social events:

  1. Daily Maintenance: One of the easiest ways to quickly touch up your smile is by taking care of your teeth daily, by brushing twice a day, flossing at least once, and keeping an eye out for any potential issues, such as chipped teeth or pain signaling another potential dental issue. Some people may also benefit from using a mouthwash daily.
  2. Routine Cleanings: Haven’t had your routine cleaning in a while? It’s important to invest in your teeth’s health by going in every 6 months for a routine cleaning. During this cleaning, not only will your dentist examine your teeth for cavities, chipped teeth, and any signs of oral cancer, but he or she will also polish your teeth, removing plaque and stains.
  3. Whitening: Have you done the white tissue test lately with your teeth? Chances are that if you haven’t been whitening your teeth on a consistent basis, they probably aren’t sparkling white. Shortly after a routine cleaning, you can use whitening toothpaste and an at-home whitening kit to take advantage of making sure your teeth are appropriately white for those summer social events. If the at-home kits aren’t working well, it might be time to talk to your dentist about some professional whitening services that they might offer. Our team offers several options for whitening teeth, including helping brides, and bridal party members to schedule whitening within an optimal time frame before the big day.
  4. Resolving bad breath: Now that mask mandates aren’t as prevalent, you may be more and more aware of your breath again, especially when you are eating fun new foods, and old favorites at these summer social events. One of the best ways to keep your breath smelling great is to keep your teeth clean with daily brushing, flossing, and regular routine cleanings. You can also bring a travel toothbrush and toothpaste to quickly brush your teeth after eating at an event. Gum and other mints can mask the odor, but many contain sugar, which can exacerbate the odor later on. Drinking water can also help wash away excess sugars around your teeth, and help prevent some bad odors.

Do you need more than these to fix up your smile? Our team of dental professionals can help assess what you might need including veneers, braces or Invisalign, and more. Contact us today to learn more about how you can touch up your smile in time for summer’s social events!

 

Need a Breath Mint?

Feeling the need to pop a mint or know a loved one that could use one? Bad breath is something that is easily treatable, and can be improved with many home remedies. Bad breath is caused by bacteria building up in your mouth. This often comes from food particles breaking down that have gotten stuck in a crevice somewhere in your teeth. The best way to prevent bad breath is by brushing and flossing after meals. If you are already doing that, try drinking more water after each meal and be sure to swish it around to wash away any remaining food particles. If you have dentures, be sure to remove and clean them every evening to prevent bacteria building up in your mouth. While mints and other herbs such as parsley and basil can help neutralize the odor, you can also try raw crunchy foods such as apples to clean the teeth. Cinnamon and yogurt are some other foods that can help cut down on the bacteria in your mouth. Still having issues? Talk with one of our experts to make sure there aren’t other issues causing your bad breath!

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month? Over 51,500 people are diagnosed with cancers of the mouth, throat, tonsils and tongue each year according to MouthHealthy.org, the ADA’s consumer website. While performing your daily oral hygiene routine, keep an eye out for any sores that aren’t healing. If they don’t heal within two weeks, you should see your dentist to get checked out. For more information on Oral Cancer, check out: https://oralcancerfoundation.org/april-oral-cancer-awareness-month/

Take the Sting of Toothache Away

We all know the best ways to avoid toothaches: brushing, flossing and eating a healthy diet. However, sometimes you take that bite and still feel the sting of pain! Toothaches are our bodies’ way of letting us know something isn’t right. We can’t always get in to see our dentist right away, or may want to wait and see if it’s something that can be treated with a home remedy. Calling your dentist to ask is always a great first step. There are several at home treatments you can try while you wait to hear from your dentist. 

 

  1. Apply a cold compress: Inflammation occurs when your body rushes in to help repair. To help the inflammation go back down in the affected area, ice and other cold compresses can help to reduce that inflammation. A cold compress for 10-15 minutes is a good place to start. 
  2. Take an anti-inflammatory: If you’ve tried the cold compress, and need something to help longer, an anti-inflammatory pill such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help reduce the swelling as well.
  3. Rinse with Salt Water: Salt water has healing abilities. Salt water can act as a disinfectant and help reduce inflammation as well. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a mug of warm water, and swish a small amount of it around in your mouth for 30-60 seconds at a time.
  4. Use Peppermint: Peppermint is a natural anti-inflammatory, and many people have peppermint tea bags in their pantry already. Steep the tea bags in some warm water and swish it around in your mouth for 30-60 seconds. 
  5. Clove Oil: Cloves have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties in addition to being natural anesthetics. If you have some clove oil, you can try placing a drop on a cotton ball and holding it over the area. Alternatively, you can try gently chewing some cloves to release the oil and hold it in the affected area if you are able.

 

Once you try some of those remedies, you may still need to visit a dentist. When should you make that call?

  • If you still have pain after 48 hours
  • Have a fever 
  • Have swelling in your mouth or face
  • Have an earache or pain when you open your mouth 

While we can’t always avoid toothaches, we can help prevent them. Make sure you take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing at least twice a day. Still have a toothache and need help? Contact us, and let us assess the ache!

Woman with hand over her mouth, smilingDr. Laura Frangella, Your Manhattan Dentist When floss isn’t around, some people resort to a range of peculiar items to remove what their toothbrush left behind. A recent article in ADA News detailed the results of an Ipsos survey that asked 1,005 Americans what objects they use to get in those hard-to-reach places. The results may surprise you (or not)…

  • Fingernails came in at the top of the list, with 61% of respondents saying they’ve removed plaque and food particles this way.
  • Folder paper or cards finished second at 40%.
  • Cutlery took third with 21%.
  • Safety pins were next at 14%.
  • Strands of hair rounded out the list with 7% of people saying they’ve put this in their mouth.
Also … 63% of these adults admitted they know they should be using dental cleaners, including floss, interdental brushes, and water flossing tools, instead of grabbing what’s nearby. And 42% have experienced pain while using these items. According to an ADA member survey, dentists report their patients have confessed to putting other sharp, dangerous, and unhygienic items in between their teeth. They include: screwdrivers, pocket knives, twigs, matchbooks, toenails, and loose electrical wires. No matter what the circumstances, don’t ever put these non-dental items in your mouth! If you do, you could risk … 
  • damaging your gums and teeth
  • choking on the item
  • infection
  •  a big dental bill to repair any damage you’ve done! 
… And those are just some of the top concerns that come to mind. At Frangella Cosmetic and General Dentistry, your Manhattan dentist recommends you only use products that come with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. A complete list can be viewed on the ADA’s website. If you have any questions about the products you’re currently using to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, just ask during your next visit! As your partner in your oral health, we don’t want your smile to become a casualty!]]>