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tips for healthy white smile

9 Tips for a Bright, Healthy Smile

Everyone wants to have a bright, healthy smile. Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that you have one. Here are some of the things that you can do to ensure that you have an award-winning mouth of pearly whites.

Avoid Things That Damage Enamel

Certain drinks and foods have the ability of stripping away enamel over the course of time. You should avoid these on a regular basis. Such drinks and food items include sugary snacks, sweetened drinks and soda. When you consume such things, bacteria in your mouth consume their residue and excrete acids that eat into your enamel.

Avoid Things That Stain Teeth

Certain foods and drinks are known for staining teeth as a result of being heavily pigmented. These include coffee, tea and wine. If you want every tooth to remain as white as possible, make sure to avoid these things. If you already have teeth that have been stained, you can use fluoride toothpaste that makes teeth white or seek out cosmetic whitening treatments from a dentist.

See Your Dentist

Make sure to regularly see your dentist so that you can find out whether there are any problems that you have to tend to. Going for periodic dental checkups will ensure that your smile remains bright and healthy. If you have any obvious imperfections with your smile that require cosmetic procedures, going to the dentist will allow you to perfect your smile. If you have any cavities, your dentist will be able to treat them before they blow up into more complicated conditions.

Avoid Tobacco Products

You should avoid tobacco products because they stain teeth, promote gum disease and sometimes lead to oral cancers. Your smile will not look too bright or healthy with discolored teeth and inflamed, diseased gums.

Eat Right

A good tip for keeping a healthy smile is to eat right. Make sure to eat foods from all food groups and obtain the proper nutrients. Everything in your mouth needs proper nutrition to be healthy. Every tooth is made of bones, and bones require proper nutrition to stay strong.

Drink Water

Drinking water is one of the best things that you can do for your overall health. Without a doubt, it is something that you should be doing for your oral health. Water washes away the bacteria and acids that destroy enamel.

Avoid Snacking

Another good tip avoid snacking because of the fact that less saliva is produced while snacking on smaller things than while eating larger meals. This means that bacteria and acids are washed away less while there is more debris on teeth. If you do snack, make sure that you are snacking on healthy items that do not have high sugar contents, such as vegetables. You do not want to have debris from sugary foods staying on your teeth while there is relatively little saliva in your mouth.

Brush And Floss

It is of the utmost importance that you brush and floss your teeth so that every tooth is clean, white and beautiful. You should also floss your teeth because not flossing affects the appearance of your smile. If you don’t floss, your gums will most likely become infected and inflamed, and it will show. Flossing helps to get food debris from out of your gums. Flossing will keep dental issues from happening and is just as important as brushing.

According to The American Dental Association:

Cleaning between your teeth may help prevent cavities and gum disease. Cleaning between your teeth helps remove a sticky film called plaque. Plaque contains bacteria that feeds on leftover food or sugar in your mouth. When that happens, it releases an acid that can eat away at the outer shell of your teeth and cause cavities.

Be Careful When You Chew

When you bite and chew things, do it slowly and carefully so that you do not bite or chew on anything hard. If you bite or chew on something hard, you can chip a tooth. This is especially true when you eat fruit with hard seeds, with forks and spoons and food items with bones in them. Chipping a tooth can negatively affect the appearance of your smile.

In conclusion, these are the things that you can do to have a beautiful mouth. You should be careful when you chew, brush and floss, drink water, avoid snacking, eat right, drink water, see your dentist, avoid tobacco products, avoid teeth-staining drinks and foods and avoid products that damage the enamel.

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foods that might cause bad breath halitosis - brooklyn dentist

Common Foods that Might Cause Bad Breath

Do you suffer from halitosis, commonly referred to as ‘bad breath’? Having bad breath can be embarrassing but if your mouth is healthy, the solution could be as simple as proper dental hygiene. Halitosis could also be a symptom of an underlying issue, such as gum disease or improper nutrition. Below, you can find a list of foods that could be causing your mouth odor and what treatment options you should take to eliminate bad breath.

According to The American Dental Association:

Halitosis – or chronic bad breath – is something that mints, mouthwash or a good brushing can’t solve. Unlike “morning breath” or a strong smell that lingers after a tuna sandwich, halitosis remains for an extended amount of time and may be a sign of something more serious.

Foods that could be causing short-term bad breath

Garlic, Onions, and Spicy Foods

It should be no surprise garlic and onions have the potential to give you bad breath. They are delicious but if you plan on eating them during your lunch break, be proactive and carry a toothbrush and toothpaste with you so you can brush afterward.


Have you ever heard of the phrase “coffee breath?” Sometimes having a cup of coffee in the morning is necessary to start your day, but make sure that you drink a bottle of water after to prevent odors from forming. Coffee is a diuretic so if you notice you’re getting dry mouth after a cup, brush and drink fluids to alleviate this side-effect.

Tuna and other Fish

Do you love seafood? Before you take a bite of that tuna sandwich, don’t forget your toothbrush. Seafood can leave you with bad breath if you’re not careful. You can fix this by popping a piece of gum into your mouth after eating. Another tip – put lemon or vinegar on your fish before you take a bite to reduce the fishy odor.

All of these foods can temporarily cause odors in your mouth but practicing good dental hygiene should eliminate the issue. Just make sure you brush and floss after eating. Also, you can try to eliminate these out of your diet, just to see if that improves the issue.

However, if you eliminate these foods out of your diet and practice proper hygiene but you still have halitosis, these are signs that there may be other issues causing you bad breath.

Foods that cause chronic mouth odor and bad breath

Nutrition and your bacteria play a major role in body odor. Halitosis can be a symptom of bacterial imbalance within your gut and mouth. Your oral bacteria break down what you eat and release a by-product called Volatile Sulfide Compounds (VSC). When there is an imbalance, there is a buildup of compounds, resulting in halitosis.

To decrease these odor-causing compounds, reduce the number of amino acids that you consume. How do you know that your odor is being caused by VSCs? There are three types of bad breath caused by VSCs:

Rotten egg smell

When you consume the amino acid cysteine, it breaks down and gives off an eggy smell. If your halitosis smells like eggs, try eliminating these from your diet:

  • Soybeans
  • Beef & lamb
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Chicken, turkey, and pork
  • Oats
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Legumes
  • Rotten Cabbage or Fishy Smell

Most bad breath is due to bacteria breaking down the hydrogen in the mouth. If you notice a fishy smell coming from your mouth, try eliminating these from your diet:

  • Beetroot
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Corn
  • Seafood

The breakdown of the essential amino acid methionine is causing your mouth to have unpleasant odors. Usually, when it is broken down into methyl mercaptan, it is a sign that you have gum disease and that you may need to see a dentist.

If you want to avoid eating foods rich in methionine, keep these out your diet:

  • Cheese (Parmesan has the highest levels)
  • Brazil nuts
  • Lean beef & lamb
  • Chicken and turkey breast and pork sirloin
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Beans

Try to eliminate these foods from your diet to see if your halitosis improves. If this does help, you should also see a dentist to check your gum health.

Also to help restore bacterial balance in your mouth and gut, try taking a probiotic. Probiotics will reintroduce good bacteria into your body and help restore the balance that you need to reduce the unpleasant odors. Probiotics can be found in over-the-counter supplements, or in whole foods like yogurt.

Another way to restore the balance in your mouth bacteria is to temporarily eliminate carbs from your diet. Sugar and simple carbohydrates will increase bacterial imbalances and result in more odor-causing compounds to occur. Try to eliminate foods that are high in starches (potatoes, grains, corn, beans) and sugar; instead, substitute them for foods that are high in fiber.

Eat these foods to improve your halitosis / bad breath

To combat bad odors, try adding more acids to your diet. Increase your intake of lemons, limes, and apple cider vinegar to help combat halitosis. Just make sure that your brush your teeth afterward to protect your teeth. Also, add chlorophyll, zinc, and magnesium to your diet to help eliminate odors and deodorize your mouth.

If you’ve changed your diet and lifestyle, and still find that you’re suffering from bad breath, contact our Brooklyn dental office today and schedule a consultation with our dentists or hygienists. The issue may not be food or lifestyle related, but a deeper issue related to your oral hygiene.

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invisalign vs metal braces

Invisalign vs Traditional Metal Braces

Straight teeth are the foundation to good oral health. At one of your dental appointments, your dentist may recommend that you see an orthodontist. Unfortunately, a lot of people put off getting their teeth straightened because they don’t want to deal with braces. However, there is another way to get a beautiful smile. Invisalign clear aligners can fix crooked teeth. Here’s why you should choose Invisalign instead of metal braces.

They’re Clear

It’s not uncommon for individuals to put off getting their teeth straightened because they don’t like the look of braces. They don’t want to deal with having metal on their teeth. Invisalign aligner is different. Most people won’t even notice that you are wearing one. What this means is that you can discretely change your smile, and no one ever has to know. You can easily get the smile you want without having to deal with the unsightly look of metal braces.

More Comfortable

Metal braces can be uncomfortable. The brackets can cut into your lips, and you can end up with canker sores on your cheeks. They often have pieces of metal that scratch the mouth. If any of these issues occur, braces will still need to remain in place. You can try to put wax over these areas, but it often doesn’t help. Unfortunately, you can’t remove braces until your treatment is done. Invisalign clear aligners are different in that they are removable. You can take them out of your mouth for short periods of time. Because of this, they tend to be a lot more comfortable than braces. You also don’t have to wear them when you eat. What this means is that you don’t have to deal with food getting caught in between your wires and brackets. They are also easy to remove, and you don’t have to worry about damaging your gums when trying to take them out. They have a smooth texture, and they aren’t made up of any sharp pieces. At our Brooklyn dental office, we specialize in making our patients feel comfortable in every way possible!

Shorter Treatment Time

In many instances, patients will need to wear metal braces for around two years. This can be rather inconvenient. Invisalign is different. Many patients only have to wear their aligners for around a year. While the length of treatment will vary from person to person, the time it takes to straighten an individual’s teeth tend to be a lot less than for those who wear traditional braces. Let our Brooklyn dental team give you straighter teeth in less time!

There’s No Guesswork

It can be difficult for an orthodontist to know exactly how long their patients will wear braces for. The process of moving teeth with metal brackets and wires isn’t exact. Invisalign patients will have a different experience. Everything is computerized. This allows them to know exactly how long they will have to wear their clear aligners. There won’t be any guessing as to how long it will take in order for them to achieve a beautiful smile.

No Teeth Damage

Metal braces can be damaging to the teeth. It’s difficult to brush around brackets and wires. Many individuals develop cavities simply because of their braces getting in the way. With Invisalign, there are fewer dental risks. Patients can remove their aligner to brush their teeth. They can easily floss, and they are able to thoroughly get in between their gums. This will cut down on the need to see a dentist because of tooth decay. Metal braces also use a lot of force in order to get teeth to move. This puts a lot of pressure on them. Down the road, this can cause dental problems. With Invisalign, teeth are gently moved into their correct positions. No damage will be caused while the teeth are being straightened.

Lower Costs

It’s not uncommon for someone to put off getting braces because they can’t afford them. It can cost thousands of dollars that many individuals just don’t have. Invisalign tends to be a lot cheaper. They often cost a fraction of the price of metal braces. There are also affordable payment plans available. No one should put off having straight teeth because they can’t afford orthodontic work. Many individuals are surprised to find out how affordable Invisalign clear aligners actually are.

Check with Oceanview Dental Care and our Brooklyn office for specials and promotions!

Quicker Results

Patients often experience quick results when wearing Invisalign clear aligners. This is especially beneficial for those that are self conscious about their smile. The results with metal braces tend to not be as quick. Those who wear metal braces might not see results for months on end. For many patients, this can prove to be rather frustrating.

No Painful Appointments

Many people don’t like to see the dentist because they associate it with pain. Orthodontic appointments can be painful as well. For those that have metal braces, they might have to have their wires changed out or brackets removed. It’s not uncommon for them to feel pain immediately following their appointment. While our dental team would love to see you at our convenient Brooklyn dental office, Invisalign clear aligner patients won’t experience this pain. The orthodontist will often just inspect their teeth to check for progress. They may also take an x-ray, and they will then give them new aligners. They will also make sure that the new aligners fit correctly. There isn’t any pain that occurs during or after the appointment. Some patients will notice that their new aligners may feel snugger than their old ones. However, this just tends to be a little uncomfortable and not painful. This discomfort tends to diminish in a day or two.

In conclusion, there are a lot of benefits to choosing Invisalign clear aligners instead of metal braces. If you aren’t sure whether or not they would be a good fit, give us a call today to schedule an appointment. We can go over your options with you, and we can answer any questions that you have. There really is no reason to put off getting the beautiful smile that you’ve always wanted.

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tips for healthy white smile

10 Tips for Healthy, White Teeth

1. Go on a white-teeth diet.

If you’re quaffing red wine and black tea, or smoking cigarettes or cigars, expect the results to show up as not-so-pearly whites. Other culprits to blame for dingy teeth include colas, gravies, and dark juices. Bottom line: If it’s dark before you put it in your mouth, it will probably stain your teeth. Brush immediately after eating or drinking foods that stain teeth and use a good bleaching agent, either over-the-counter or in the dentist’s office. For convenient teeth-cleaning action, eat an apple.

2. Chuck your toothbrush…

…or change the head of your electric toothbrush at least every two to three months. Otherwise, you’re just transferring bacteria to your mouth. According to Beverly Hills dentist Harold Katz, D.D.S., the best way to brush is by placing your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums and gently moving it in a circular motion, rather than a back-and-forth motion. Grip the toothbrush like a pencil so you won’t scrub too hard.

 3. Clean your tongue.

Use a tongue scraper every morning to remove tongue plaque and freshen your breath. One major cause of bad breath is the buildup of bacteria on the tongue, which a daily tongue scraping will help banish. Plus, using a tongue scraper is more effective than brushing your tongue with a toothbrush, says Dr. Katz.

 4. Eat ‘detergent’ foods.

Foods that are firm or crisp help clean teeth as they’re eaten. We already mentioned apples (otherwise known as nature’s toothbrush); other choices include raw carrots, celery, and popcorn. For best results, make ‘detergent’ foods the final food you eat in your meal if you know you won’t be able to brush your teeth right after eating.

 5. Gargle with apple cider vinegar.

Do this in the morning and then brush as usual. The vinegar helps help remove stains, whiten teeth, and kill bacteria in your mouth and gums.

 6. Brush your teeth with baking soda once a week

This will remove stains and whiten your teeth. Use it just as you would toothpaste. You can also use salt as an alternative toothpaste. Just be sure to spit it out so it doesn’t count as sodium intake! Also, if your gums start to feel raw, switch to brushing with salt every other day.

 7. Stay fresh.

To check the freshness of your breath, lick your palm and smell it while it’s still wet. If you smell something, it’s time for a sugar-free breath mint. Shopping for mouthwash? Make sure it is alcohol-free. Most over-the-counter mouthwashes have too much alcohol, which can dry out the tissues in your mouth, making them more susceptible to bacteria.

  8. Practice flossing with your eyes shut.

If you can floss without having to guide your work with a mirror, you can floss in your car, at your desk, while in bed, and before important meetings. In which case, buy several packages of floss and scatter them in your car, your desk, your purse, your briefcase, your nightstand.

9. Brush your teeth when you first get out of bed and before you get back in at night.

 They’re the two most crucial times, says Kathleen W. Wilson, M.D., an internist at the Ochsner Health Center in New Orleans and author of When You Think You Are Falling Apart. That’s because saliva (which keeps cavity-causing plaque off teeth) dries up at night, so it’s best to have all plaque cleaned off the teeth before sleep. It’s also important to brush first thing in the morning to brush off plaque and bacteria (morning breath!) that may have built up as you slept.

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baby cavities from mom kisses

Mom’s Kiss Can Spread Cavities to Baby

Numerous studies have shown that cavity-causing bacteria can pass from person to person through the transfer of saliva, such as sharing utensils, blowing on food, and yes, even kissing that sweet little bundle of joy on the mouth.

When Rachel Sarah took her daughter in for her first dental checkup a few years ago, she got a surprise. Not only did her 24-month-old have two cavities in her baby teeth, the pediatric dentist suggested she might have “caught” them from her mom.

“The dentist handed me this piece of paper that talked about saliva transfer,” said Sarah, a 37-year-old writer from San Francisco. “It said not to share cups or utensils or food and said, ‘No kissing your kid on the lips.’ I was shocked; I’d been taking a bite of food and then giving her a bite since she started eating. I told the dentist I’d never heard of this and he said these were new findings.”

As it turns out, studies about the transmission of cavity-causing bacteria from mom to baby have been published for 30 years. The primary culprit is Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria that can pass from person to person through the transfer of saliva, such as sharing utensils, blowing on food, and yes, even kissing that sweet little bundle of joy on the mouth.

According to a 2008 study in Pediatric Dentistry, “strong evidence demonstrated that mothers are a primary source of MS [mutans streptococci] colonization of their children; a few investigations showed other potential sources … notably fathers.”

“There have been many, many studies,” said Dr. Jane Soxman, a pediatric dentist from Allison Park, Pa. “It’s well-documented. You can’t blame it all on kissing a child on the lips — that’s one of several different factors that would have to be working together. But the main thing to know is that tooth decay is a bacterial infection and you can spread it from one person to another during the window of infectivity, which is during infancy and especially during the time of tooth eruption. That’s when the teeth are most vulnerable. It’s as if you had a bad cold and were kissing your child, you would spread the cold virus.”

Only parents (or caregivers) with active tooth decay can spread the Streptococcus mutans bacteria through the transfer of saliva. And Soxman stressed that the transmission of bacteria-laden saliva is just one piece of the puzzle. Tooth decay is caused by a combination of factors, including the transfer of infectious saliva, genetics, oral hygiene, and feeding practices, such as letting your baby constantly suck on a sippy cup full of juice or milk or other sugar-laden liquid. (Bacteria uses the sugar to produce acid, which breaks down enamel.) Baby teeth are particularly vulnerable to decay.

“When teeth first come into the mouth, when they first erupt, the enamel is very soft,” said Soxman. “They’re brand new virgin surfaces and are very susceptible.”

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