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oral health toddlers

Dental Care for Toddlers

Starting your child’s dental care as early as possible will prevent cavities and other dental issues. Caring for toddler’s teeth is fairly easy, but it’s important to help your child develop good habits early in life.

Brushing Your Toddler’s Teeth

Your child should brush twice a day as soon as their teeth appear. Most children can start brushing with help from their parents when they’re three years old. Until your toddler reaches the age of six, you should supervise his or her brushing.

Use about a pea-sized amount of a fluoride toothpaste, making sure that your toddler doesn’t swallow it. With a soft-bristled toothbrush, brush the inside and outside surfaces of each tooth. Angle the toothbrush’s bristles toward the gums as you brush. Your toddler should also floss just before bedtime.

Teach Good Eating Habits

Teaching your child good brushing and flossing habits from a young age will help them maintain their dental health into adulthood. Toddlers might not want to brush and floss, but make sure they know it’s not a negotiable part of their morning or evening routine.

When kids are very tired, they usually don’t want to brush. Having them brush and floss a little earlier in the evening can be easier for them than brushing and flossing right before bedtime when they’re exhausted. However, make sure the only drink your child has after brushing is water.

Problems to Watch Out For

You should watch out for baby bottle tooth decay, which can occur when your child takes a nap with a bottle of milk or juice. The sugar can cling to a tooth and lead to tooth decay. Only give your toddler water in a bottle before they go to sleep.

Drinking from a sippy cup all day can also lead to tooth decay, especially on the back of the front teeth. A sippy cup is a good tool for transitioning to drinking from a glass, but your toddler shouldn’t have one all day long.

Some children’s medicines are flavored or sugary, and they can increase the risk of cavities if they stick to a tooth. If your child is taking one of these medications, he or she may have to brush more than twice a day. Ask your dentist how often your child should brush.

If your child continues with a thumb-sucking habit after the age of three or four, it can cause issues with the mouth and jaw. Try to use positive reinforcement to break this habit by praising your kids when they don’t suck their thumbs.

 

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breastfeeding and oral health

What You Need to Know About Oral Health and Breastfeeding

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding breastfeeding, especially regarding extended nursing. All of this confusion and misinformation can cause new moms to be unsure of how nursing could be impacting their little one’s oral health. Many believe that allow a baby or toddler to breastfeed for too long can lead to tooth decay, similar to “baby bottle tooth decay” in formula fed babies. However, this assumption has never been proven to be factual.

All children can be susceptible to contracting cavities; however, nursing is usually not the main proponent. In fact, before the bottle was introduced, cavities and dental decay in children were extremely rare. However, breast milk does contain natural sugar, so it is important to begin caring for your child’s oral health as soon teeth come in.

Streptococcus Mutans and Cavities

Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria known to be the primary cause of tooth decay, uses sugars found in food to produce acid. This acid contacts teeth and begins the decaying process.

Dr. Brian Palmer, a dentist, stated, “Human milk alone does not cause dental caries. Infants exclusively breastfed are not immune to decay due to other factors that impact the infant’s risk for tooth decay. Decay causing bacteria (streptococcus mutans) is transmitted to the infant by way of parents, caregivers, and others” (Palmer 2002).

A study conducted by Dr. Torney in 1992 also discovered that there was no correlation between cavities found in patients under the age of two and baby’s nursing patterns, such as frequent night nursing and nursing to sleep. The study also states Torney’s belief that breast milk bacteria actually assists in defeating decay-inducing bacteria. However, he also said that this does not make exclusively breastfed babies immune to cavities, as small enamel defects can cause teeth to become too far gone, and not even breast milk can save them.

In 2015, a study was performed in exclusively-breastfed infants for six months by Pediatrics. This study found that these children were 72% less likely to have crooked teeth, along with a lower chance of having an open bite, cross-bite, and/or overbite than formula fed babies.

This proves that if your breastfed toddler has crooked teeth, a cross-bite, etc., the cause is highly likely to not be from nursing. Instead, evaluate for other sources for the problem. Pacifiers and thumb-sucking have been known to cause crooked teeth; however, sometimes the problem is merely genetics.

Many mothers are frightened by the daunting task of nursing an infant or toddler who has teeth. Even though your child has teeth, you do not need to wean them off of breastfeeding. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend moms to breastfeed their infants for at least the first year of life, and the World Health Organization advocates for a minimum of two years.

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diabetes and oral health

Living with Diabetes? Oral Problems to be Aware of

Diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas isn’t secreting enough insulin to combat the glucose in the bloodstream. It can cause all sorts of health problems. While many associate it with problems like poor circulation, trouble with eyesight and fatigue, few realize that it can also be a source of poor dental health. There are many dental problems that can be related to the disease. That’s why it is important to get frequent dental check-ups and cleanings. Here are some problems your dentist will be watching out for:

Gum Disease

There are two types of gum disease that are often spotted in diabetic patients. An early stage of gum disease known as gingivitis is most common in those with diabetes. If gingivitis is not treated, it can lead to a much more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis. Proper oral hygiene is not enough to combat this condition. As those with the condition may be susceptible to it because their body is less able to fight the infection that causes gum disease.

Serious gum disease needs to be treated by a dentist right away. It is not only detrimental to our oral health. It can actually lead to the progression of the disease itself. Having gum disease can make it more difficult for the body to regulate blood glucose levels.

Cavities

Diabetics are at a higher risk for cavities. Cavities are caused when bacteria invades the tooth. Part of the reason diabetics often experience this problem is because they have less saliva. Saliva helps to protect the teeth from these bacterial invasions. The other reason is that there is more glucose present in the saliva that the body’s able to produce. Since there is less insulin to counter-act it.

Dry Mouth

As noted before, having a dry mouth can lead to cavities. Diabetics must deal with the discomfort that a dry mouth produces. Having a dry mouth tends to lead to bad breath as well. That’s why it is especially important to use mints, gum, and mouthwash if you suffer from diabetic, dry-mouth symptoms.

Diabetes and Oral Health Are Heavily Linked

Diabetics need to take extra precautions when it comes to their dental health. Those with the condition should be sure to brush their teeth after every meal, visit the dentist at least twice a year, and never forget to floss. While being a diabetic makes it harder to keep up with dental health, it is possible.

If you are a diabetic, and would like to schedule a consultation with our friendly dental staff, contact us today. With a convenient Port Washington location, you’re in good (local) hands!

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does sugar cause cavities

Does Sugar Really Cause Cavities?

Sugar is a major issue in the standard American diet today. There are many studies showing the negative impact of unhealthy food in the diet. Not only are people dying earlier because of these habits, but many people are also having dental issues. Oral health is vital to living a long and happy life. If you want to improve your smile, you need to improve your diet. Here are some of the most important steps that you can take to transform your diet in the coming years.

Oral Health and Daily Diet

One of the most important parts of having a healthy mouth is eating the right food. There are many people today who eat a diet that is high in sugar and other processed chemicals. This is not the best way to have success with your mouth. You need to be on an eating plan that aligns with your goals in every way possible.

Not only that, but you need to work with a dental team who has your best interests in mind. Our team has decades of experience in this industry.

Finding the Right Dentist

Going to the dentist on a regular basis is a great way to prevent cavities. You need to work with a person who you can trust. A lot of people do not enjoy going to their local office because they think it is too expensive and a waste of time. However, this is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Several times a year, you should be going to a dental office in your area. This is one of the best ways to take your health to a new level. Not only can this help to prevent issues, but they can give you advice on how to live a healthy lifestyle with your test.

Final Thoughts

Overall, having a healthy mouth is an important step in having a healthy life. There are a lot of people today who struggle in this area. You need to be on an eating plan that makes sense with your health goals. For many people today, it is hard to stay on track with healthy eating for a variety of reasons.

The more processed food you have in your diet, the higher the chance that you will get oral issues later on. Cleaning up your diet and getting regular cleanings is the best way to have success in this area.

To schedule a dental checkup, contact 3V Dental Associates today!

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invisalign port washington long island

Invisalign vs Braces

Millions of Americans suffer from having crooked or crowded teeth. Although the traditional treatment for correcting this orthodontic problem has for years been braces, there is a good alternative to traditional wire braces: Invisalign. Invisalign is a clear set of plastic aligners, also referred to as trays, that are meant to straighten your teeth so that you can ultimately enjoy a more beautiful smile. It is worth learning more about this dental product if you are considering it if you have crooked or crowded teeth.

Invisalign Cost and Pricing

One of the biggest questions people have in regard to the option of clear plastic aligners is: Is Invisalign cheaper than braces? Generally, no, they aren’t cheaper. On the average, the Invisalign price ranges from $3,500 to $5,000. However, they are an excellent alternative to braces and can give you even better results overall. For example, with regular braces, you are limited in terms of how well you can clean your teeth and eliminate excess food particles to prevent the development of gum disease. This is because braces are made up of metal wires and brackets that prevent your toothbrush and floss from getting everywhere, particularly between the teeth. In turn, this can result in the buildup of bacteria and eventually plaque, which can be a breeding ground for periodontal disease.

With the set of clear aligners, you have a great deal more freedom. You can easily remove them for eating, brushing your teeth and flossing, which means you don’t have to worry about getting food particles stuck and can practice better oral hygiene as a whole. Aside from that, you leave them in your mouth 23 hours per day so that they can shift your teeth into proper position.

Why Invisalign?

Another notable difference between clear plastic aligners and traditional metallic braces is that aligners are extremely comfortable to use. This is because they are made from plastic and don’t include any metal or brackets like braces. As a result, you can feel more comfortable and don’t have to suffer from nicks, cuts or irritation that traditional braces typically cause.

The total treatment time is also different for the two options. With standard metal braces, you would have to wear them for an average of two years depending on your particular situation. The aligners are usually worn for six to 18 months. Each teeth straightening option requires regular visits to the orthodontist for adjustments. With braces, you are required to come in once per month. However, Invisalign has special the requirement of the aligner trays being changed every two weeks. Afterward, visits should take place every four to six weeks.

Overall, Invisalign is a great option for straightening your teeth. They definitely offer great benefits you cannot get from braces. It’s wise to discuss your options with 3V Dental today!

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smile makeover 3v dental associates port washington ny

4 Steps to Your Smile Makeover

Are you unhappy with the look of your smile? If so, 3V Dental is your local cosmetic dentist with that caring touch! Cosmetic dentistry can re-invigorate your smile, improving your appearance and greatly increasing your self-confidence. One highly effective and popular approach to cosmetic dentistry is the smile makeover.

What is a Smile Makeover?

A smile makeover is a combination of cosmetic procedures designed to address a variety of issues with your smile. Each makeover is individualized to meet your specific needs. You and your dentist will discuss in detail your goals for your smile and the best way to accomplish them. Based on this consultation, your dentist will recommend a combination of procedures that will give you the perfect smile you’ve always wanted.

Some of the most popular procedures included in a smile makeover include:

Because you plan your smile makeover ahead of time, you can often combine two or more procedures into a single appointment, saving you time and money.

What Cosmetic Dental Procedures are Right for Me?

You’ll choose your cosmetic procedures based on your goals for your smile and the recommendations of your dentist.

1. Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments because it can make a dramatic difference to your smile after a single, one-hour treatment. A whitening agent is applied directly to your teeth in your dentist’s office. Some whitening procedures, like Zoom! Teeth Whitening, require a special light to activate the whitener.

2. Dental bonding uses tooth-colored resins to change the shape of your teeth. Bonding is useful for teeth that are cracked, chipped, or asymmetrical. The dentist applies the resin, cures it with a special light, then sculpts it into the appropriate shape.

3. Tooth colored fillings are also made of tooth-colored resins, but can also be made of porcelain. They can replace your metal amalgam fillings for a more natural look.

4. Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. They are made up of an artificial tooth root, which is set directly into the jawbone, and a prosthetic crown. Unlike dentures, implants allow you to eat, talk, and chew without worrying about your tooth or teeth moving or shifting in your mouth.

Find exactly the right combination of procedures for your smile makeover, and you’ll finally have that perfect smile.
To schedule your smile makeover consultation today, contact 3V Dental Associates of Port Washington. Our friendly staff is standing by to take your call!

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4 Very Common Oral Health Issues and How to Treat Them

A beautiful smile is not the only benefit to taking care of your teeth. By regularly seeing to your oral health, you can also ward off a variety of unwanted health issues. Some of these problems only cause mild discomfort, but some can be extremely painful. Brushing and flossing regularly can help you keep your teeth happy and healthy, but it is also important to regularly visit your dentist in order to keep the following oral health issues from affecting you.

Gingivitis

While most people only think of their teeth when it comes to taking care of their dental hygiene, your gums also play a large role in your oral health. Gingivitis, or gum disease, can happen to anyone. It is caused by an accumulation of plaque and bacteria in the mouth. Gum disease can easily go unnoticed, because it typically does not cause any painful symptoms until its later stages. Late stage symptoms might include red, swollen, or irritated gums that bleed during brushing and flossing. Think you have early stages of gingivitis? Certain gum treatments may be right for you.

Halitosis

Probably one of the most common signs of poor oral health is bad breath, or halitosis. An easy way to combat this problem is by brushing your teeth daily, regular dental cleanings, and making sure that you drink plenty of water. However, if the problem persists, it could mean that other factors are causing it. A dry mouth, for example, makes it easier for bacteria to live and grow in your mouth. Another cause may be that your teeth are aligned in such a way that food particles easily become trapped between them, and stay there without you noticing.

Dental Cavities

Tooth decay occurs when bacteria settles on your teeth. The bacteria slowly eats away at the enamel on your teeth until a hole is formed. If left untreated, the cavity can become infected, which can be extremely painful. The chance of getting a cavity varies from person to person, however, diet plays a large role in your chances of getting one. Sugary foods in particular can attract certain bacteria that can damage your teeth. Did you know that 3V Dental Associates offers the latest laser decay detection services? Ask us how we can help you fight decay!

Root Infection

This can occur when the bottom portion of the tooth, where the nerves are housed, becomes infected. A root infection can be caused by a deep cavity, or by a crack in the tooth. It can lead to extreme pain as well as swelling in the gums around the tooth and in the face. However, if treated quickly by your dentist, the problem rarely progresses to this state.

 

 

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foods that improve teeth and oral health

7 Foods that Might Improve Your Dental Health

Proper nutrition means eating a well balanced diet so that your body gets the fuel it needs to run at peak performance. Because nutrition affects all aspects of our body, a less than stellar diet can have serious impacts on your oral health. Improved nutrition means that your mouth can better fight off infections, which can result in gum disease and tooth decay.

At 3V Dental Associates, we’re happy to say a healthy smile starts in the kitchen! So have a look at these healthy foods and try adding them to your diet for improved health, and teeth!

#1 Cheese or Milk

Both cheese and milk contain calcium, which boosts your smile just by adding to the vitamin and mineral levels in your body. Calcium helps to strengthen teeth and bones and can enhance your smile just by incorporating more into your daily diet. When your teeth are stronger and whiter, you’ll also be likely to feel naturally like smiling more.

#2 Apples

Like some other fruits and vegetables, apples help scrub teeth while you’re eating and have often been referred to as nature’s toothbrush. They also stimulate the production of saliva, which helps to keep your mouth moisturized and your teeth looking fresh.

#3 Carrots

Carrots are not only beneficial for eyesight, they also help to remove plaque from your teeth and gums while you chew. A regular diet incorporating the raw vegetable can allow you to use their natural texture to keep your mouth healthy.

#4 Celery

While the diet benefits of celery have been widely known for a long time, people may not be aware that this vegetable also scrubs teeth with its natural texture. Next time you’re in need of a quick snack but don’t want to add plaque to your teeth and gums, reach for a stalk of this veggie that cleans plaque away naturally.

#5 Raw Onion

Raw onion is a natural antibacterial agent, so chewing on some can naturally help your mouth and breath to stay clean and to fight disease. While you may end up with onion breath afterward, it’s worth it every once in awhile to maintain a healthy mouth. Keeping your mouth’s bacteria in balance can help your breath, too.

#6 Cashews

Nuts like cashews are full of vitamins and minerals that can benefit your teeth. They’re high in iron, which is known to increase gum circulation, and they’re also natural antioxidants. Both can help keep your teeth in good shape while you chew.

#7 Wasabi

New research shows that wasabi may also benefit dental health. They’re also an antibacterial food, which is excellent for keeping your teeth clean and having the right balance of bacteria in your body.
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5 Ways to Help Improve Dull Teeth

Taking proper care of your teeth is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Your teeth are a great indicator of your overall health, so taking care of them is imperative. Here at 3V Dental Associates, we offer plenty of services to make sure your teeth are in excellent shape for years to come.

We know how frustrating it can be to have dull teeth. Here are some services we offer, as well as daily steps you can take that can prevent dullness and brighten up your smile.

1. Zoom Teeth Whitening

Zoom Teeth Whitening is a cutting-edge technique that can make your teeth up to 8 shades whiter after one 45 minute session. Over 10 million people have trusted this technique to brighten up their smile. Our dentist offers easy, hassle-free whitening sessions to boost your confidence and make your smile more radiant.

2. Yearly (minimum!) Dentist Cleanings and Checkups

Regular cleanings and checkups are an integral part of preserving your oral health. Without your yearly cleaning, plaque can build up on the teeth and be very hard to remove. Without the watchful eye of a dentist checking up on your teeth, cavities may form in your mouth.

Other problems can also go unnoticed if you wait too long between your checkups, so call us today to schedule your yearly cleaning.

You can take steps towards optimal dental health while away from our office as well. Here are some things you can do at home to avoid dull teeth and ensure your teeth are in the best possible shape.

3. Avoiding Sugar

It’s no secret that sugar causes irreparable damage to your teeth. Avoid consuming large amounts of sugar, and try to switch to sugar free candy and gum to preserve your oral health. Switching to a low-sugar diet is a great choice for your teeth and for the rest of your body as well.

4. Floss Daily for Healthier Gums

Many people don’t realize the importance of flossing daily. It’s very common for people to make excuses or say “I’ll do it tomorrow” about flossing. However, sticking to a daily regiment of flossing prevents cavities and gum disease. Flossing reaches parts of your teeth that go untouched by a toothbrush, which is why it’s so important.

5. Use Antibacterial Mouthwash Daily

Antibacterial mouthwash kills bacteria and stops it from reproducing. It also fights plaque, gingivitis and bad breath. Incorporating a mouthwash into your oral health routine is an excellent choice.

If you’d like some more ideas for how to take excellent care of your teeth, call our office today to schedule an appointment. Our experienced staff will be happy to assist you.

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missing teeth dental options

Missing a Tooth? You Have Options

If you lost a tooth due to extensive decay, infection, or trauma, then you may wonder just what your tooth replacement options are. Thankfully, there are many ways a cosmetic dentist can replace a single missing tooth, so there is likely a solution that is perfect for you.

Read on to learn about the three most popular options for single tooth replacement and how they work.

Dental Implants

dental implant restoration port washington ny

Dental implants are the optimal single missing tooth replacement option. After your dentist replaces your missing tooth with a dental implant, you will look and feel like you have your natural tooth back.

To install a dental implant, your dentist will first insert a post into your jaw that will act as a replacement for the original tooth’s root. Then, he or she will attach a false tooth called a pontic to the implant post.

Your dental implant will stay in your mouth permanently and can be cared for just as if it were a natural tooth.

A Composite Bridge

dental bridge port washington ny

There are several types of dental bridges, and composite bridges are great options when just a single tooth needs to be replaced. Unlike a traditional bridge that would require the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth to be prepared and crowned to help them support the pontic that will replace the missing tooth, little to no preparation of these adjacent teeth is needed when your dentist installs a composite bridge.

While composite bridges can vary slightly in design, many consist of a false tooth and two composite “wings” that are simply adhered to the backsides of the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth.

Like dental implants, a composite bridge will stay in your mouth permanently and will not need to be removed at night.

A Removable Bridge

If you would like a tooth replacement option that you can remove any time you would like to, such as when you are sleeping at night, then a removable bridge is the best tooth replacement option for you.

Removable bridges are also often called removable partial dentures, so don’t become confused if you hear the two terms used interchangeably. They not only enhance the cosmetic appearance of your smile, but also help you chew your food properly while you are eating.

A removable partial denture to replace one tooth would be made of one false tooth, or pontic, a partial pink acrylic denture palette, and anchors that attach the denture to your existing teeth when you are wearing it.

This is also a good option if you would like a temporary tooth replacement device to wear until you make the final decision as to which permanent tooth replacement option is best for you.

If you are missing one tooth, then realize that there are many single tooth replacement options today that can help you begin to love your smile again. Contact our Port Washington cosmetic dental office today to schedule your consultation!

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