7 dental sins

Are You Guilty of Committing
These 7 Dental Sins?

Brushing and flossing twice a day are two essential steps towards good oral health, but are other habits sabotaging your smile? From behavioral tendencies to choices you thought were smart or healthy…the tiniest slip-ups can be the most damaging. Double-check your daily routine to make sure it’s free of these common dental no-no’s.

1. Over-Whitening

It seems almost every type of dental product you can imagine is now available with whitening ingredients, but too much exposure to these additives can actually do more harm than help to your smile. Daily use of whitening toothpaste, floss or rinse that contains peroxide can both weaken tooth enamel and aggravate the nerves of your teeth, resulting in chronic tooth sensitivity.

2. Sucking on Breath Mints or Hard Candies

Individually wrapped or packaged in tins, their convenience may be appealing to those looking to give their breath a quick boost, but this is one shortcut you’d be wise to avoid. Almost all varieties are rich in sugar, and prolonged sucking on them is a quick and direct route to tooth decay if there ever was one.

3. Drinking Bottled Water

Water is arguably the healthiest thing you could drink, but virtually all bottled products are fluoride-free. Those who drink bottled water exclusively may be at real risk of tooth decay due to a fluoride deficiency, especially if they are not getting this enamel-fortifying ingredient elsewhere.

4. Using Your Teeth Like an Extra Pair of Hands

Despite their ability to chew through food day in and day out, teeth aren’t designed to do the job of scissors, other tools, or your bare hands. Ripping open packaging, cutting tape, or even carrying a foreign object around with your teeth is a recipe for chips, cracks, broken dental work, and, in the extreme case of an accident, tooth loss.

5. Chewing on Ice

Cool and refreshing as it is, chewing on ice (and/or icy treats like popsicles) can cost you. It’s hardness and extremely cold temperature is a dangerous combination that can cause fractures all the way to the roots of your teeth, if you bite down hard enough.

6. Nibbling on Pencils or Your Nails

Whether it’s due to nerves, concentration, or mindless daydreaming, chewing on non-food objects can do a number on your teeth. Similar to chewing on ice, biting down hard enough can cause fractures, but even without exerting a lot of force, constant grinding can shift the teeth and/or damage tooth enamel over time.

7. Frequent Snacking

Certain diets or schedules may encourage “grazing”, in which snacks and smaller meals are eaten throughout the day. No matter how healthy your food choices are, frequent snacking is still bad for your teeth. Constant contact with food exposes your teeth to harmful bacteria and plaque without rest or chance for remineralization, contributing to both tooth decay and gum disease over time. And if you snack before bed, be sure to brush before going to sleep.

Making Better Choices

Habits are hard to change, but in many cases, there are simple, even effortless ways to correct behaviors that are hurting your teeth. If you find yourself committing any of these oral offenses, ask your dentist for help. He or she can offer a number of healthier alternatives or suggestions to solve the problem for good.

How to prevent gum disease

How to Recognize and Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease affects approximately half of all Americans. While that’s a startling statistic, what’s more notable is that most cases are preventable. The good news is that preventative care is simple and, by taking care of your smile daily, you can ensure you don’t become part of the statistic above.

Understanding Gum Disease

When teeth aren’t kept clean, bacteria starts to grow in the mouth. Bacteria can cause inflammation and, over time, lead to the development of gum disease. Gum disease doesn’t usually cause pain or discomfort as it begins to develop, making it more difficult to recognize at first.

However, there are symptoms that eventually emerge. If they are addressed when they first appear, it is possible to treat and prevent gum disease from returning. Symptoms include:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • A receding gum line
  • Loose or separating teeth (as the gums pull away from the teeth)
  • Consistent bad breath
  • Sores in the mouth

Prevention Begins at Home

Oral health begins at home. Here are some simple ways to take care of your gums and help prevent gum disease:

    • Brush for at Least 2 Minutes Twice Daily — Brush with fluoridated toothpaste in the morning and in the evening. Take special care along the gum line to remove any food and bacteria. If you have trouble keeping track of time, you may want to invest an electronic toothbrush with a built-in timer.

 

    • Floss at Least Once Daily — Floss removes food and bacteria that brushing can’t, preventing the formation of plaque and related gum health issues. If you struggle with traditional floss, you may opt for an interdental cleaner or water pic.

 

  • Use a Mouthwash — Mouthwash, in combination with brushing and flossing, helps to reduce plaque buildup, thereby preventing gum irritation.
  • Eat a Healthy Diet — Avoiding starchy and sugary foods helps to decrease plaque and the potential for gum disease.

Professional Prevention Plays a Part

In addition to diligent at-home care, dental visits are also critical to gum disease prevention:

    • Professional Cleanings — Only dentists have the tools necessary to remove plaque from your teeth, making it important to get professional cleanings every 6 months. If you suffer from gum disease, you should try to visit your dentist more frequently, every 3-4 months for cleanings.

 

  • Common Dental Problem Correction — Improper fillings, grinding, and other common dental issues can increase the risk of gum disease. Proactively correcting problems like these will decrease the risk of gum disease.

Prevention Begins With Proper Care and Professional Guidance

Only you can provide the day-to-day care your teeth and gums deserve. However, there is only so much you can do on your own and, therefore, you should visit your dentist regularly as well.

You don’t have to be one of the many Americans currently suffering from gum disease. By taking steps to understand, recognize, and prevent gum disease, you can enjoy a healthy smile, gums included!

How to overcome an overbite

Bye-Bye, Buck Teeth! How to Overcome an Overbite
“Overbite”, “overjet” or simply “buck teeth”‚ Protruding teeth can go by many names, but “pretty” isn’t one of them. And they aren’t comfortable either; upper teeth that extend well past the lower teeth can often make it difficult to close the mouth, chew or speak easily.

It’s a common condition, but not one that people have to live with. In fact, there are just as many corrective methods for this dental problem as the names it has been given! If you (or a loved one) has buck teeth, get an in-depth look at what may have caused it and what you can do to prevent it from becoming a lifelong burden on your looks, oral health and self-esteem.

Causes of Buck Teeth
Buck teeth can easily be identified at a very early age, and can be due to a variety of factors including:

Genes: a person can inherit the problem if born with naturally uneven jaws
Habits: teeth can jut out after constant pacifier/thumb sucking or tongue thrusting
Crowded teeth: crookedness, facial injury and/or tooth abnormalities can play a role
The severity of the condition can vary from mild to extreme, and may gradually become worse over time if left untreated.

Treatment Options
Age and the depth of a patient’s overbite are two primary factors that can dictate the type of treatment an orthodontist chooses to correct the problem. New techniques are always being explored, but here are a few of the most common recommendations:

1. Braces
Whether metal, ceramic or clear, it’s a popular route many orthodontists take to fix protruding teeth. Teeth that are jutting out are straightened and forced closer in alignment with the lower jaw by tightening the braces over time.

2. Aligners
In mild cases of protruding teeth, clear, removable aligners may be a more comfortable and convenient option. Aligners use less force (and thus result in less pain) than braces and can be removed for added ease when brushing or flossing.

3. Surgery
Extreme cases in which the overbite is due to skeletal/jaw structure may require surgery. Patients who fall into this category are referred to an oral maxillofacial surgeon, and surgery usually involves pushing the maxilla bones (which form the upper jaw) behind, or moving the mandible (lower jaw) forward.

Surgery aside, the length of time it takes to achieve results is largely due to when the problem is treated. Younger patients whose jaws are still developing typically require less time to correct an overbite compared to adults whose jaws are not as malleable.

Benefits of Treatment
Even the mildest cases of overbite can reap significant benefits from professional treatment. Perhaps the most noticeable improvement is cosmetic in nature. Once treatment is complete, any bulging around the mouth disappears and patients may experience less strain in their facial muscles.

Being able to open and close the mouth more easily can also vastly improve speech, especially for those who adopted a slur or lisp due to an overbite. And last but not least, better alignment of the teeth can have a profound effect on oral health, making it easier to clean the teeth and minimize the risk of jaw-related disorders such as TMJ.

If you’ve been battling a case of buck teeth, get it fixed for good by finding an orthodontist near you.

Sources:
Beercroft, Matt. (2014, June 5). Overbite: Causes & Treatments. Retrieved June 17, 2015, from http://www.beecroftortho.com/2014/06/overbite-causes-treatments/

Orthodontic Disorders (2012). Retrieved June 17, 2015, from http://dentaloptionspa.com/orthodontic-disorders-aventura-fl.html

Learn about fillings

The Facts on Fillings
Fillings…Whether you need an existing filling replaced or a new cavity filled, get the facts on what your options are. Gone are the days when cast gold and silver amalgams were your only choices. With dental care advancements, other materials are also being used to fill cavities. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the four most common filling materials.

Types of Fillings

1. Silver Amalgam Fillings: Dental amalgam has been used to fill cavities for more than 150 years. Also known as “silver fillings”, it contains a mixture of metals ‚Äî consisting of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy. Amalgam fillings have proved the test of time due to their durability, strength and affordability. Silver fillings will last at least 10 years and can withstand chewing forces.

Although amalgam has been used for years, there are both structural and cosmetic disadvantages to this type of filling. The process of creating and fitting an amalgam filling often forces the dentist to remove healthy parts of the tooth. Amalgam fillings will also expand and contract with temperatures in your mouth, which over time can result in the filling pulling away from the tooth. Additionally, silver fillings will not match the color of natural teeth and can create discoloration of the tooth surrounding the filling.

2. Cast Gold Fillings: Cast gold fillings are comprised of gold mixed with other metals to form an alloy. Unlike other filling materials that usually last 5 to 10 years, cast gold fillings last at least 15 years, if not longer. They will not corrode and are extremely durable against chewing forces. However, they do come with a price tag. Cast gold fillings are one of the most expensive filling materials and cost more than amalgam, composite resin and glass ionomer.

There are other disadvantages to gold cast fillings beside cost. They require you to visit the dentist at least twice ‚Äî initially to take a tooth impression and place a temporary filling and next to place the gold filling. Similar to amalgam fillings, gold fillings are not aesthetically appealing and will not match your natural teeth color. They can also cause discomfort; if placed next to an amalgam filling you may experience an electric current in your mouth known at “galvanic shock.”

3. Glass Ionomer Fillings: Glass ionomer is a tooth colored material that is often used as cement for inlay fillings, which lie within the cusps of teeth on the chewing surface. It may also be used for fillings in front teeth or in roots, typically for patients who have a lot of decay extending below the gum. In addition to matching the color of the teeth, glass ionomer provides protection through the release of fluoride and easily bonds to teeth to prevent leakage around the filling and further decay.

Unlike other filling materials, glass ionomer is weaker in structure. On average, glass ionomer fillings have a greater chance of fracturing and will last around five years. Additionally, the filling process with glass ionomer takes longer than with other materials because it needs to be applied in thin layers.

4. Composite Resin Fillings: If aesthetics is your primary concern, composite resin fillings are ideal. Dentists can blend multiple shades to create a color that is almost identical to that of natural teeth. Composite resin fillings are made of a plastic and glass mixture and can be used for both small and large fillings.

Not only will they match your natural teeth color, but also they bond directly to the teeth making them stronger. They also require less drilling than amalgam fillings and can be used with some other materials to provide the perfect filling for your cavity. Similar to glass ionomer, composite resin fillings will only last about five years. Additionally, the composite may shrink when placed on the tooth, which can lead to gaps between the tooth and filling, a potential hazard for more cavities.

Now that you know the facts, you will be prepared to discuss the options with your dentist. Of course, your dentist is your most valuable resource when selecting which filling material to proceed with. Based on the location and extent of the decay, he or she will determine what is best for you.

Sources:
Dental Health and Tooth Fillings. (2015, January 26). Retrieved June 8, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-fillings

Fillings. (2014, March 7). Retrieved June 8, 2015, from http://www.medicinenet.com/fillings/page2.htm#what_types_of_filling_materials_are_available

How to fight plaque

What is Plaque? How to Fight Back!
Have you ever run your tongue across the front of your teeth and felt a sticky coating? That is the buildup of bacteria, also known as plaque. If you let the bacteria stick around too long, it can damage tooth enamel and lead to cavities.
The bacteria is called flora ‚ and it protects you from pathogenic organisms, the ones that cause disease. The flora in your mouth is composed of both helpful and harmful bacteria. When you have plaque formation, it’s a sign that the bacteria ratio has shifted in favor of the harmful. The harmful flora irritates the tissues, damaging your gums through the production of acid, which can lead to infections.
If plaque stays on your teeth for too long, it will harden into tartar and can cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums.
Here are five easy habits for better oral health:

1. Brush Regularly and Thoroughly: Plaque begins forming on teeth 4 to 12 hours after brushing, which is why dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day. Be sure you brush all the areas of your mouth, including teeth, tongue, gums and even the insides of your cheeks.

If plaque buildup is an ongoing issue for you, you may want to try an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes have been proven to successfully remove more plaque than manual toothbrushes. You could also try a tartar control toothpaste, which contain an active ingredient that interferes with the formation of plaque from bacteria.

2. Floss Daily: Remembering to floss every day can be a challenge. However, it is critical to get at the plaque that accumulates in hard to reach areas between the teeth. When you brush, you are only really cleaning about 60% of your teeth. The best way to ensure you are removing all plaque is to brush and floss. If you struggle to use traditional floss, try out an alternative such as a soft pic or proxy brush.

3. Use a Mouth Rinse: Not to be confused with mouthwash, mouth rinse is normally used prior to brushing and flossing to help prevent plaque buildup and bad breath, whereas mouth wash is generally used after brushing and flossing to freshen breath and kill any remaining germs. Incorporating a mouth rinse into your daily oral care routine is a great way to help fight plaque.

4. Watch What You Eat: When your mom told you not to eat a lot of sweets, she was watching out for your teeth. Foods high in sugar and starch encourage the production of acids, which can destroy tooth enamel and, over time, result in tooth decay. There is no need to eliminate these foods from your diet; however, it’s important to brush your teeth shortly after eating them.

Not all foods contribute to plaque buildup. Fibrous foods like fruits and vegetables stimulate saliva flow, which helps wash away food particles and neutralizes acids, keeping them from attacking your teeth. Additionally, calcium-rich foods like cheese, milk and yogurt mix with plaque and cling to teeth, helping to protect them from the harmful acids.

5. Visit Your Dentist: Schedule more frequent dental cleanings. Getting professional help to remove the plaque buildup on your teeth is always a wise move. No matter how much you brush and floss, there will be areas in your mouth that you cannot properly clean yourself.

Incorporating these five easy habits into your oral health routine will help fight the battle against plaque, in turn, helping to prevent tooth decay and gum infections.

 

Sources:
6 Habits That Cause Plaque on Your Teeth. (2014, July 22). Retrieved June 8, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-14/plaque-causes
What is Tartar? 6 Tips to Control Tartar Buildup. (2014, October 26). Retrieved June 8, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tartar-dental-calculus-overview?page=2

Philip Falsetti, DDS

Born in Lewiston, New York, I grew-up in Niagara Falls and graduated in 1984 from Niagara Falls High School, where I was co-captain of the swim team. Later, I swam for Syracuse University. I’ve played bass guitar in a band along the way, and like tinkering with computers, radios, scanners, and other gadgets. I’m a proud owner of a Meade LX200 10″ SCT telescope, build mid-power rockets, and fly RC aircraft when weather permits. I have a beautiful wife and two fantastic children who gracefully tolerate my interests.

Degrees Earned:
• SUNY at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, DDS, ’99
• Michigan State University, BS, Microbiology, ’94
• Syracuse University, BA, Political Philosophy, ’88

General Practice Dental Residency completed:
• The Buffalo General Hospital, ’00

My advanced training was based at The Buffalo General Hospital Dental Department, now part of the Kaleida Health Care System. There I sharpened my skills in the practice of general dentistry, including rounds in the Emergency Oral Surgery clinic, and Emergency Room on-call. Additionally, my residency included work at the  Deaconess Skilled Nursing Facility dental clinic, located in Buffalo, NY. All phases of general dentistry were provided, as well as treatment of geriatric and mentally-disabled patients.

I’ve also served the Tuscarora Native-American community as their dentist in the bustling Tuscarora Reservation Dental Clinic. This facility is located in the Tuscarora School complex, 2015 Mount Hope Road, Lewiston, NY. I have treated thousands of adults and children of all ages at this clinic, and continue to do so on a part-time basis.

I’m now associated with Stellar Dental Care to assist you in maintaining proper oral health and prevention of tooth decay. We look forward to serving you!

Memberships:
American Dental Association
New York State Dental Association
8th District Dental Society
Niagara County Dental Society
Tuscarora Health Clinic Dental Dept. Supervisor
Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center Staff

Diane Witczak, D.D.S.

Dr. “Diane” comes to Stellar Dental care with a solid background in general and cosmetic dentistrty with 14+ years of experience. Her mastery of skills and knowledge in clinical procedures in the fields of restorative dentistry, fixed and removable prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign and mini-dental implants. She is a highly skilled, organized analytical professional with strong leadership and communication skills. We’re proud to have her on our team.

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Dr. Julia Kagan…Treating TMJ and Sleep Apnea

Julia Kagan, D.D.S. practices as an Acupuncturist in Buffalo, NY. She graduated from SUNY at Buffalo, School of Fine Arts , SUNY at Buffalo, School of Dental Medicine .

Dr. Julia Kagan is proud to offer caring, integrative treatment for individuals suffering with TMJ and Sleep Apnea disorders. She is a practicing general dentist of 11 years and a certified acupuncturist focusing on imbalances of the jaw and troubleshooting for other concurrent issues that commonly arise. She looks forward to helping you reclaim your vitality through a holistic mindset.

Doctor of Dental Surgery, New York State, Issued 2004
Certified Acupuncturist, New York State, Issued 2014

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Ahmed El-Halaby, Board Certified Periodontist

After earning his Bachelors Degree in Dentistry in 2001 from the Faculty of Dentistry, Cairo University, Dr. El-Halaby practiced as a general dentist for about five years. During that time, his interest in the field of implantology drew him to pursue an advanced education in periodontics.

In 2006 Dr. El-Halaby started residency at the Periodontics program at Case Western Reserve University, under the mentorship of Dr. Nabil Bissada. This dual-degree program awarded him with a Masters Degree in Oral Sciences, and a Certificate in Periodontics.
During residency, Dr. El-Halaby worked on a research project investigating the relationship between failed hip and knee joints and oral periodontal health, in addition to bacterial plaque and synovial fluid bacterial DNA compositions. This resulted in a publication in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology in the April 2012 issue, and was Dr. El-Halaby’s masters thesis project.

Other publications by Dr El-Halaby as primary author were related to clinical and surgical topics, and were published in the International Journal of Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry, and the Texas Dental Journal.

As a board certified periodontist, Dr. El-Halaby remains up to date with research and publications, as well as recent advances in the field. In practice his main focus is on dental Implant and related surgeries, as well as the treatment of chronic periodontitis
.
In 2011, Dr El-Halaby founded the East Texas Dental Hygiene Study Club, which provides the dental community with continuing education credits (CE’s) in the format of regular seminars discussing current and future trends in the field.

We are pleased that Dr. El-Halaby is now a valued member of our staff at Stellar Dental Care.

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