Clip-On, DIY Veneers: Are They Worth the Savings?

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You can buy almost anything online nowadays, including dental veneers. But are these affordable, clip-on, temporary veneers really worth the cost savings? Join our dental office in Plainsboro as we shed some light on this increasingly popular craze in this week’s blog.

What Are DIY Veneers?
DIY veneers are dental appliances that someone can temporarily glue or snap over their natural teeth. The goal is to give the user an improved appearance by covering up any imperfections that they don’t like in their smile. There are two main types of DIY veneers -- one that requires molds of your teeth to make and one that does not. Anyone can order these veneers online without the need for a dental appointment.

The Problems With DIY Veneers
Even though DIY veneers may be attractive because of their relatively low cost, there are definite disadvantages with buying and using these appliances. Let’s take a look at some of the most concerning problems of DIY veneers.

Not Custom
Any dental treatment that does not require you to see your dentist in Plainsboro before undergoing treatment should raise a red flag. Every person’s mouth is unique, their teeth are unique, and their treatment should absolutely be unique as well. If it’s not, like DIY veneer appliances, there’s a good chance the treatment will not give patients the result they’re looking for. Additionally, many appliances that are worn in the mouth without oversight from a dentist can be very uncomfortable.

Unrealistic
Despite the fact that some brands of DIY veneers require molds of your teeth in order to produce the veneers, you still don’t know what you’re going to get. There have been many examples of patients getting DIY veneers only to have them look incredibly unrealistic. Either they’re way too white, the teeth are way too big, or the overall proportion is way off.

Bite Problems
One important thing that DIY veneers do not take into consideration is the bite and jaw position of the patient’s mouth. If the appliance doesn’t fit correctly, patients have a tendency to shift the way they move or rest their jaw. This can put abnormal stress on the jaw joint which can lead to pain and issues with the TMJ/TMD joint.

Temporary
As we mentioned above, DIY veneers are only designed to be a temporary fix. This means only a short-lived improved appearance. Sometimes maybe even for only a few hours.

If you’re looking to get a whiter, straighter, more beautiful smile, we highly recommend you start by scheduling an appointment at our dental office in Plainsboro . We offer a variety of cosmetic dentistry solutions to fix any concerns you may have, and all of our work takes your entire mouth and overall health into consideration before we begin treatment. If dental veneers turn out to be the ideal solution for you, we will design beautiful, permanent, custom veneers that will transform your smile, not only for a short time, but for every day of your life.

Is Vaping Bad for Oral Health?

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We all know that traditional smoking can put us at increased risk for many serious health concerns such as heart disease and cancer. But what about these newer, ‘safer’ electronic cigarettes that claim to help people quit smoking or at least cause fewer health risks? As it turns out, these ‘safe’ e-cigarettes come with a fairly large list of risks, too. Join our dental office in Plainsboro as we share just how damaging using e-cigarettes can be.

Vaping and Overall Health
Using e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, has been increasing in popularity in the United States over the past few years. While many manufacturers claim that these devices are safer than traditional cigarettes, research is starting to contradict that claim. Recent studies show a possible correlation between vaping and an increased risk of pneumonia, rapid heart rate, congestive heart failure, and stroke. While more research on the overall health effects of vaping needs to be done, many studies support that the ‘safer’ way to smoke simply isn’t safe.

Vaping and Oral Health
Similarly to studies on vaping and overall health, we need more research on the effects of vaping and oral health. However, the past few years of research have found possible links between vaping and risks to oral health, including:

Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is an annoying and potentially dangerous condition that puts our mouths at risk for cavities as well as gum disease. One study found that vape juice, or e-cig aerosol, may increase the risk of dry mouth thanks to an ingredient called propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is known to cause dry mouth, and constantly exposing yourself to it can greatly increase your risk of developing dry mouth, getting cavities, or suffering from bad breath.

Inflamed Gums
A 2016 study found that vaping, and again the vape juice, increases the chance of gum inflammation. Not only can this condition be uncomfortable, but it can also greatly increase your chance of gum disease if not treated.

Cell Damage
Yet another study from 2018 suggested that vaping can damage cells’ DNA and even kill cells. The researchers also found that this cell damage is directly linked to bad breath, bone loss, tooth loss, and gum disease.

Even though e-cigarettes may have first claimed to be a safer alternative to traditional smoking,the growing research suggests differently. More research is needed to continue just how much vaping can affect our overall and oral health, but for now, it’s not looking good.

If you’ve switched from smoking traditional cigarettes to vaping, consider quitting altogether. The American Lung Association has some great advice and is a good place to start.

Of course, smoker or non-smoker, it’s still crucial to maintain regular visits to your dentist in Plainsboro . These visits allow your dental team to keep a close eye on your oral health and diagnose any problems early while they’re often still easily treated.

What You Need to Know About Fluoride

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Fluoride has been used in the prevention of tooth decay and cavities since it was first introduced into public water supplies in 1945. But there are some research studies that suggest that fluoride isn’t safe. At our dental office in Plainsboro , we’d like to help debunk that theory and explain the benefits and importance of fluoride treatments.

What is Fluoride and What Does it Do?
Before we go any farther, we should first take a close look at what exactly fluoride is and how it works. It’s important to note that fluoride is a mineral that’s naturally found throughout nature and even in some foods and water. But why is it an important part of oral health? Essentially, fluoride makes it more difficult for acids released by bacteria in the mouth to wear away tooth enamel. When tooth enamel erodes, it leaves teeth exposed to those acids and bacteria and increases the likelihood for cavities. By adding fluoride into the mix, the teeth are protected.

Is Fluoride Just for Kids?
Fluoride is most important for growing smiles. Your dentist in Plainsboro will most likely recommend that infants and children be exposed to fluoride from 6 months of age until they’re about 16. This may mean changing to a toothpaste that includes fluoride or receiving fluoride treatments at bi-annual dental visits. However, the benefits of fluoride don’t go away once someone hits their 16th birthday. In fact, fluoride can be beneficial for adults too. Adults should also receive some sort of fluoride treatment occasionally in order to keep fighting tooth decay. Fluoride treatments may also be recommended to help combat tooth sensitivity.

How Much Fluoride is Too Much?
Fluoride is safe and beneficial to dental health, but there is such a thing as too much. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), kids under 8 years old should not use products containing fluoride if the public water supply in their hometown has more than 2 mg/L of fluoride. The biggest risk to kids of being exposed to too much fluoride is something called dental fluorosis, or staining and pitting of tooth enamel.

Fluoride should be used only as directed or prescribed, and intake should be monitored. Here are a few tips to help you monitor the use of fluoride products in your family:

● Keep fluoride supplements out of the reach of children
● Avoid flavored toothpaste to discourage swallowing
● Use only a pea-size amount of toothpaste with fluoride in it

If you have any concerns or questions about how dental fluoride can help protect your family’s smiles from damaging decay and cavities, we welcome you to call our Plainsboro dental office to schedule an appointment with us today.

Oral Health Risks for Seniors

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As we get closer to Senior Citizens Day on August 21st, our dental office in Plainsboro wanted to dedicate a blog to some of our most treasured and favorite patients -- our seniors and their families. Today, we’ll focus on some of the most common oral health risks that tend to affect senior citizens most often, and how to protect your smile against them.

Discolored Teeth
Yellowing or darkening of teeth can happen to anyone, but as we get older, we may start to see our teeth change color and lose their whiteness and brightness. While many things can contribute to tooth discoloration including smoking and tobacco use, the foods we eat, our morning coffee, or our evening glass of red wine, the reason we tend to see discoloration as we age is a bit different. Many times our tooth enamel, which is the white outer coating of our teeth, gets thinner as we get older. This can actually make the insides of your teeth visible, and since the color of the inner tooth is often dark and a bit yellow, the teeth also appear yellow or dark.

Dry Mouth
Dry mouth may seem like a minor concern and nothing worth worrying over. However, if left untreated, dry mouth can increase the risk of decay, gum disease, or even tooth loss. Dry mouth can be caused by any number of things but most commonly it’s a result of medication. The truth is, many prescription medications and over-the-counter medications list dry mouth as a side effect. Why is this concerning? When the mouth dries out, it means there’s not enough saliva to rinse away dangerous bacteria, leaving your teeth exposed to the very thing that can easily create a cavity.

Tooth Loss
One of the biggest fears we all have when it comes to our oral health is the misconception that we’re going to experience tooth loss at some point in our lives. But this isn’t necessarily the case. If you take good care of your teeth and see your dentist in Plainsboro regularly, you very well may be able to keep your natural teeth for your entire life. In fact, the best thing you can do to protect yourself against tooth loss is to brush and floss every day, avoid tobacco products, and seek care early if you’re experiencing a problem. However, if you do happen to lose a tooth or need to have to one removed... don’t panic. There are many tooth replacement options available such as dental implants, a dental bridge, or dentures.

Gum Disease
Gum disease is another condition that can affect anyone. But it’s very serious and tends to affect us more as we age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , over 70% of those over the age of 65 have gum disease. Gum disease is an infection that occurs under the gum line and can cause red, painful bleeding gums. But that’s not all. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss and may even increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and as recent research suggests, Alzheimer’s disease.

While there’s nothing we can do to keep ourselves from getting older, there are things we can do to protect our smiles even as we age including:

● Brush and floss every day
● See your dentist in Plainsboro at least twice a year
● Drink plenty of water, especially if you have dry mouth
● Don’t smoke or use tobacco

If it’s been longer than six months since you or a family member has been to the dentist, we welcome you to call our dental office in Plainsboro to schedule an appointment with us today.

Swimming and Your Oral Health

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There’s nothing quite like hopping in a cool swimming pool during these hot summer days. It’s relaxing, it’s fun, and it’s good for you! Swimming is a summer favorite for the team at our Plainsboro dental office, but there are a few things we want to warn you about when it comes to your pool water.

Dangers of Pool Water

Swimming pools are often sanitized using a combination of chemicals, including chlorine. This chlorine helps keep harmful bacteria from swimming around in your pool water and protects you and your family. It also plays a role in the water’s pH level. However, if proper balance isn’t maintained, your pool water could put your teeth at risk.

Pool water should be kept at a safe pH level at all times -- usually between 7.2 and 7.8. If the pH drops below this safe zone, it becomes acidic and can cause eyes to burn, skin to become irritated, and tooth enamel to erode.

Acidic Water and Enamel Erosion

Enamel is the hard coating surrounding each tooth’s surface and protects teeth against bacteria, decay, and sensitivity. It’s one of the hardest materials in our bodies, but that doesn’t make it unbreakable. Enamel can erode due to a diet high in acid, brushing too hard, or yes, swimming in a pool with a low pH. Of course, those who spend a lot of time in the pool like competitive swimmers are at greater risk for this type of enamel erosion.

This correlation between pool water with a low pH and enamel erosion dates back to the 1980s. In fact, one study showed that nearly 40% of competitive swimmers had some level of enamel erosion. Continued research appears to support the notion that pool water may, in fact, put tooth enamel and oral health at risk.

What to Look For

The first sign that your pool’s pH may be too low is burning eyes or irritated skin. But when it comes to your teeth, the signs may take a bit longer to show up. There are two main signs you may be suffering from pool-induced tooth problems -- increased sensitivity or unexplained brown spots on your teeth, known as swimmer’s calculus. If you’re noticing signs of a dental problem, call your dentist in Plain sboro as soon as possible.

How to Keep Your Smile Safe

If you’re going to spend some time a pool this summer, make sure to test the water regularly to ensure it’s at a safe pH level. Additionally, try to keep pool water out of your mouth as much as possible. And of course, always brush and floss properly and maintain regular appointments at our Plainsboro dental office.

Different Types of Dental Floss

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When it comes to great oral health, you’ll often hear your dentist in Plainsboro talk a lot about proper brushing and the importance of doing it every day. But there’s a good chance your dental team also talks to you about why you should be flossing every day. And with good reason. Flossing greatly lowers your risk of developing cavities or gum disease, and if you don’t floss, you miss out on cleaning about 35% of your teeth! So today, we’d like to cover some of the different types of dental floss available so you can find the one that’s best for you.

1. Traditional Floss

The tried and true traditional string floss is probably the most commonly used floss out there. It’s been tested and proven time and again to effectively remove plaque buildup in-between teeth and up under the gum line, allowing for healthier mouths overall. There are many positives to using traditional floss including:

● It’s compact and easy to store or travel with
● It works
● It’s pretty cheap

But traditional floss doesn’t come without cons. Some people find this type of floss difficult or cumbersome to use and, therefore, don’t get a very thorough cleaning. Younger children or those with limited use of their hands or fingers may have trouble effectively using traditional floss and should seek an alternative.

2. Floss Picks

Individuals who may have trouble using traditional floss may choose to try floss picks. These plastic picks can be easier to use and are still convenient to store and pack in your travel bag. Floss picks use a threaded piece of floss in between two sturdy posts; this eliminates the need to wind loose floss around your fingers and work to fit them into the back of your mouth. However, many times more than one floss pick will be needed for each flossing session so you may go through your supplies faster than traditional floss.

3. Water Flosser

The most high-tech flossing option is an electric water flosser. These devices are highly effective at removing plaque and bacteria safely and gently. They can even help decrease time spent flossing. The truth is, your dentist in Plainsboro is probably a big fan of using a water flosser. But again, they may not be the right fit for everyone. They are electric, which does require them to be plugged in or charged regularly, and they can also be pretty big so they’re not the most convenient thing to store. Lastly, water flossers are more expensive than traditional floss or floss picks.

The most important thing to remember when choosing the best dental floss for you is to make sure you pick an option that you’ll use. If you need some guidance on finding the type of floss that will work best for your oral health, as well as your comfort, talk with your dentist in Plainsboro.

Best Things To Do Before Your Next Dental Visit

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That time has come again. It’s time to see your dentist in Plainsboro . But this time can be different. Whether it’ll be the first time visiting a new office or you’ve been going to the same dentist for many years, there are a few things you can do ahead of time to help make the appointment a little bit easier.

Confirm Your Appointment

One of the easiest things you can do to prepare for your dental appointment and make sure the visit goes smoothly is to confirm your appointment with the office. Ideally, dental offices prefer confirmation 24-hours prior to your scheduled time. Many times dental offices will either call, text, or email you with an appointment reminder. Make sure to respond to these in a timely manner. If your dentist in Plainsboro doesn’t offer that service, try to call the office a day in advance to confirm. This helps eliminate any confusion, makes sure you and the team are on the same page, and protects your personal schedule.

Prepare Your Health History

Your dentist in Plainsboro is an important part of your healthcare team, and just like medical doctors, they need to know your complete health and medical history. This means that even if you’re not a new patient at the office, you may still need to update your health history form. Make sure you know any and all prescriptions you take along with the dosage, share any health problems you may have, and communicate any changes in your health that may have occurred since your last visit.

Records

If this will be your first visit to this dental office, make sure you’ve contacted your previous dentist and requested to have your dental records transferred. Knowing your dental history, being able to access any x-rays or images, and reviewing your previous dentist’s notes will help your team give you the best dental care possible.

Share Concerns

A lot can happen in between your dental appointments, and if anything does, it’s important for your dentist to know about it. Take a little time to think if anything has been bothering you, if you have any pain or discomfort, or if there are any parts of your smile you wish were different. Then share those concerns with your dentist. The best way to get the best result is to always be honest with your dental team. This will only help further customize your care.

Your Schedule

Most commonly, people see the dentist twice a year. That means that you’ll probably be asked to schedule your next appointment six months from now. If you haven’t looked that far ahead in your schedule, you may be clueless as to what days or times will or won’t work for you. Before your visit, check out your calendar to see if there are any upcoming vacations or prior commitments so you can get rescheduled on a date and time that works with your schedule.

We’re always accepting new patients at our Plainsboro dental office and welcome you to call to schedule a visit with us today.

All About Dental Implants

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Even though our teeth are made up of one of the toughest materials in our bodies, the truth is, sometimes our natural teeth won’t last forever. Whether it’s due to trauma, gum disease, or decay, it’s not uncommon to have a tooth fall out or to have one removed. If this happens, there are many tooth replacement options available, but a favorite choice of your Plainsboro dentist is a dental implant.

What is a Dental Implant

A dental implant, or even multiple implants, is a superior way to restore your smile and give you a permanent replacement for your tooth. They are usually preferred over a dental bridge or dentures because the implant itself essentially replaces the entire tooth’s structure, not simply the crown. This helps restore your mouth to full function, and oftentimes, you won’t even be able to tell you were ever missing a tooth. In short, dental implants create a natural feel that can last a lifetime.

Benefits of a Dental Implant

We already know that a dental implant can give us back full functionality of our smiles, but there are many other upsides to this tooth replacement option, such as:

● Improved appearance and speech. Since dental implants replace the tooth’s natural root system and the post is integrated into the bone, dental implants continue to provide stimulation to the bone. This can help reduce the look of wrinkles and lower your risk of bone loss in the jaw. And since an implant functions very much like a natural tooth, you’re able to speak clearly and do not have to deal with any annoying slippage that can often occur with dentures.

● Easier eating. One common complaint of denture wearers is that they can’t eat what they want when they want to. Dental implants eliminate that restriction and leaves people free to enjoy the foods they love the most. There is no worry of a denture slipping or food stuck getting under one. Overall, those with dental implants can eat without worry.

● Enhanced oral health. Another difference between a dental implant and its denture counterpart is that a dental implant is a permanent structure. This means there’s no need for overnight soaking or the extra cleaning that comes with a removable denture. You can care for a dental implant just as if it’s your natural tooth.

What to Expect During an Implant Procedure

The first step in determining whether a dental implant is right for you is to schedule a consultation with your dentist in Plainsboro . This visit will allow your dental team to exam your specific situation and determine if an implant is the best tooth-replacement option. If it is, your team will review the treatment plan and schedule the procedure. The procedure itself is pretty easy and consists of a few parts:

1. Place the post. Your dentist and your team will insert a titanium post into your jaw bone. While it may sound scary, the procedure itself is mild to moderately painful.

2. Healing time. After the post is implanted, you will be fitted with a temporary crown while your bone integrates into the post, building you a super-strong foundation.

3. Add the abutment. Once the post is sturdy and healing time is complete, your dentist will custom make you a permanent crown that will be affixed to the post. Overall, getting a dental implant is an easy and straightforward treatment that can bring your smile back to life.

If you’re missing a tooth or are at risk for losing teeth, give our Plainsboro dental office a call to schedule an appointment today. We’ll be happy to identify the best treatment option for you and your individual situation.

Summer Foods That Your Smile Will Love

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As you’re enjoying the sun this summer and the foods that tend to go along with long summer days and nights, the team at our Plainsboro dental office wants to share a few snack ideas with you that your smile will love.

Top 4 Summer Foods for Your Smile
When choosing what to eat this summer try this basic rule of thumb: if it’s good for your body, it’s good for your teeth. Try some of the following:

● Cheese - Cheese is a great snack for your teeth and your bones. It contains both calcium and vitamin D which work together to keep teeth and bones nice and strong. Cheese can also increase saliva production which will help rinse away bacteria and sugar.
● Chicken - Enjoying a piece of grilled chicken breast may sound perfect, after all, it’s healthy and delicious. But the drumsticks, thighs, and wing can be more beneficial for your smile since they contain collagen. Collagen is incredibly important for strong, healthy teeth and gums.
● Vegetables - Crispy, uncooked vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and celery are fantastic snack options for similar reasons as the other foods. Raw veggies rub away buildup on your teeth as you chew and protects your smile against decay. This quick cleaning may also help keep bad breath away.
● Water - So this one isn’t really food, but it is really important. Keeping your mouth hydrated by drinking plenty of water will help rinse away food particles and bacteria before they have a chance to settle in and cause damage.

What to Avoid
The truth is, not all summer snacks are great for your teeth. There are some that can increase your risk of decay and cavities such as:
● Condiments
● Soda
● Alcohol
These foods and drinks either have a lot of sugar, are acidic, or can dry out your mouth -- all of which can increase the chance of decay and cavities.

Choosing healthy snacks (and drinks!) this summer can go a long way in protecting your teeth against decay. But that doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid some of your favorites if they’re on the “avoid” list. Just remember to enjoy those in moderation and of course, see your dentist in Plainsboro regularly.

Do I Really Have to Get My Wisdom Teeth Taken

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Extracting wisdom teeth is an incredibly common procedure. In fact, over 90% of Americans have their wisdom teeth removed. While there are some occasions when wisdom teeth surgery isn’t necessary, more often than not, it’s recommended to prevent additional problems and pain in the future. Let’s take a look at why so many Americans have their wisdom teeth removed and why our dental office in Plainsboro may recommend it for you.

There’s Not Enough Room
Perhaps the most common reason your dentist in Plainsboro may recommend having your wisdom teeth taken out is that there simply isn’t enough room for these four teeth to fit. If there’s not enough room in your mouth and the teeth are allowed to erupt anyway, other teeth may shift, and this can cause additional problems. For example, you may need orthodontics to correct any overcrowding or crookedness that may occur. Your bite can also be affected by overcrowding, which can lead to jaw pain, headaches, and neck pain.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Another problem with not having enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt properly is that they can get stuck developing in the bone. This is referred to as having impacted wisdom teeth. Once the teeth are impacted, treatment tends to become more complicated, so it’s best to catch any potential problems with wisdom teeth and remove them early. If your wisdom teeth become impacted, your Plainsboro dentist will talk to you about the most appropriate treatment to help.

Wisdom Teeth Are Hard to Take Care of
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are situated all the way in the back of the mouth. Because of this positioning, it can be difficult to reach them with a toothbrush and floss. When not cleaned thoroughly, bacteria can linger around and increase the risk of cavities and even gum disease.

Seeing the dentist at least every six months is important for everyone, but especially for those who are in the prime years of wisdom teeth development, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. At your visits, your dental team can keep an eye on your wisdom teeth development through regular x-rays and make the appropriate treatment recommendation for you when it’s the right time.

your regular checkups at our dental office in Plainsboro show that your wisdom teeth are putting you at risk for impaction or greater problems later on, we will probably recommend having them removed to keep your mouth in its best, healthiest shape.

Gum Disease & Your Overall Health

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Your dental care isn’t only about your teeth. Your gums also play a key role in not only the health of your mouth but also the health of your body. At our dental office in Plainsboro , we care for your entire mouth and are always on the lookout for gum disease. Gum disease is a serious infection that can lead to concerns with your overall health and, of course, your oral health.

What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection within the gum tissue. You may have heard gum disease referred to as periodontal disease, gingivitis, or periodontitis. While these are all gum disease, they do not all mean the same thing.

Periodontal disease - Periodontal disease is the technical name for gum disease. While there are different stages of gum disease, the term periodontal disease essentially refers to gum disease in general.

Gingivitis - Gingivitis is the term used for early-stage periodontal disease. During this time, you may not be able to recognize the symptoms. In that case, your gum disease may go untreated and get progressively worse. If that happens, your gums are harder to treat, and your teeth and overall health can be at serious risk.

Periodontitis - Periodontitis is used to describe gum disease that has progressed into a more severe stage. This happens when bacteria spreads below the gum line. Your gums may become irritated or inflamed and can cause the gum tissue to weaken. This can cause loose teeth or even the loss of one or more teeth.

How Does Gum Disease Affect the Body?
The bacteria in gum disease can cause various health issues throughout the body. Numerous studies have shown that gum disease has been linked to serious medical conditions and diseases including:

● Lung Disease
● Cancers
● Heart Attacks
● Strokes

Early and treatment of gum disease can help keep your body protected from these serious health concerns. This is one reason you should see your dentist in Plainsboro regularly.

What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?

● Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
● Red, swollen, or tender gums
● Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
● Receding gums
● Loose or shifting teeth

If you’ve noticed any signs of gum disease if you’re due for a dental checkup, we welcome you to call our Plainsboro dental office as soon as possible. We’re here to keep your mouth, and your body, healthy.

What To Do For a Dental Emergency

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Nobody ever wants to experience an emergency, including a dental emergency. Dental emergencies, including injuries to the mouth, teeth, or gums, can be painful and scary. Knowing what to do for a dental emergency depends on the nature of the injury. Our dental office in Plainsboro is here to give you some tips on what to do for several of the most common types of dental emergencies.

The Most Common Dental Emergencies
The best thing you can do in the event of a dental emergency is to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Plainsboro as soon as possible. But there are some ways you can relieve discomfort and increase the chances of an easier treatment in the meantime.

Knocked Out Tooth - Getting a tooth knocked out can certainly be scary. Acting quickly and calmly can actually help save your tooth, but there are some things you should know. After you find the tooth, only touch the crown and avoid contact with the roots. If you can, put the tooth back into the socket gently. If you can’t, place the tooth in a cup of milk or store it under the tongue with some spit and get to a dentist.

Lost Filling - There are a number of things that can cause a filling to fall out, leaving a hole in your tooth. This can be painful as your tooth roots may now be exposed. The best thing to do is to fill the hole to protect those roots. Many pharmacies and grocery stores have dental cement you can buy and use to fill the hole. While this may help reduce pain, it is a temporary solution, and you should still see your dentist as soon as you can.

Chipped or Broken Tooth - An injury or even something hard and crunchy can chip or break a tooth. Don’t panic. First, find any pieces of the tooth and rinse them off with water. If you’re bleeding, apply a piece of gauze and press. A cold compress can help with the pain and any swelling that may occur. There are many ways a tooth can be fixed, so again, schedule an appointment with your dentist.

Avoid a Problem
Even though nobody can really anticipate a dental emergency, you can help reduce your risk of one by making sure you see your dentist in Plainsboro every six months for regular checkups. These visits can help identify any potential problems before they become a painful surprise. You can also watch what you eat and make sure you wear a mouthguard when playing sports to further protect your smile.

The team at our Plainsboro dental office is here to help our patients and community stay healthy. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Dental X-Rays, Who Needs ‘Em? (You Do!)

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If you see your dentist in Plainsboro regularly, then you've probably had a dental x-ray or two taken in your life. The reason we rely on x-rays so heavily is that they’re absolutely a crucial part of creating a custom treatment plan that’s going to address your dental issues and needs, the right way.

We know it may seem like they’re just any other x-ray and you might even wonder why you actually even need dental x-rays in the first place. The truth is, these images can save your smile and maybe even your life. Let’s learn more about what x-rays are and what they do for you.

Why Do We Need X-Rays?
Radiographs or x-rays are relied on heavily for preventive dentistry or to help fix issues such as cavities, decay, and breakage. Generally, dentists rely on 2D or 3D imaging to gain a better understanding of what’s going on inside your mouth, highlighting your jaw bone health and tooth structure that lies beneath your gums and enamel. It gives us the added ability to find out if something is going on inside your mouth or teeth that’s not 100 percent visible to the naked eye.

Are Dental X-Rays Going to Expose Me to Radiation?
Most of the x-rays used in dental offices across the country today give off a minimal amount of radiation. It’s important to note that you should always limit your exposure to x-rays and avoid repeated use as it can damage cells over time due to the small, continued radiation aftereffects. Dental x-rays are certainly safer than ever thanks to advancements in dentistry over the years. Dentists now rely on using lower x-ray dosages, higher quality film, film holders, and well-designed, full-body aprons lined with lead. It’s important to note though that most of the modern dental x-ray technology that’s available today give off very little stray radiation.

How Do Dental X-Rays Work?
The process of obtaining a good dental x-ray image can occur a few ways. Usually, a dentist or a dental specialist will cover you with the iron apron for protection before putting a small plastic device in your mouth and asking you to bite down. Your bite is going to hold the x-ray film in place for accurate, immediate results.

In instances like this where we’re x-raying the inside of your mouth, it’s referred to as obtaining intraoral photos. There are also several extraoral x-rays that your Plainsboro dentist and orthodontists can use to help fix a smile, with extra meaning outside of your mouth. These images are useful in seeing your jaw bone and entire skull as a whole how it relates to your mouth and oral health.

If you’re experiencing a problem or if you feel like something isn’t right with your smile, please call our Plainsboro dental office. We may need to use one of these super cool x-ray techniques to help get you and your smile back into tip-top shape.

4 Steps to Decide If Cosmetic Dentistry Right for You

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Are you looking for a Plainsboro dentist who can help you with your cosmetic dentistry needs? We hope you’ll take a minute to read this blog packed full of tips you can use to boost your knowledge about cosmetic dentistry and what kind of treatments are available today. We’ve put together some simple steps you can take to get started today.

Step 1: Ask yourself: “Will cosmetic dentistry give me my perfect smile?”
Just like the title of this blog suggests, it’s a good idea to really take an internal audit of your goals and feelings about cosmetic dentistry and what it can do for you. Do you often look at yourself and your teeth in the mirror and not like what you see? Are your teeth noticeably discolored or chipped and it embarrasses you? Do you have a broken or missing tooth that you’ve been putting off having fixed? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might be a good idea to consider talking to a dentist in Plainsboro who can review your candidacy for a cosmetic transformation.

Step 2: Do your homework and know your cosmetic dentist.
The search for a cosmetic dentist doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Just be sure to check out a dentist’s website to get an idea of their office culture and credentials. You can always browse through before and after photos, read reviews, and check doctor bios for training and expertise.

Step 3: Decide what you’d like to change about your teeth.
What’s the one thing that bothers you the most about your smile? Is it the gaps between your teeth? Is it the staining from drinking too much coffee or tea? Are you just looking for a little boost to your confidence now that you’re finally able to enjoy life without a house full of kids? Whatever one of these questions resonate with you, just know there’s a cosmetic dentistry solution that will work for you. It’s just about finding out what treatment or procedures are going to give you the results you’ve been dreaming about.

Step 4: Research your possible treatment options.
There’s no surefire way to tell if you’re an ideal candidate for a cosmetic dentistry transformation until you see your dentist for a consultation. With all of the advancements in dental care today, there are so many options you can choose from to stay within your budget and exceed your goals. Some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures performed across the country include veneers, whitening, crowns, bonding, recontouring, and more.

We hope you were able to learn a little something about cosmetic dentistry and how to get started in pursuing a change for your smile. If you’re considering cosmetic dentistry, we hope you set aside some time to check out our Plainsboro dental office. No matter how small or how big your dental needs may be, we’re ready to answer your questions and take the next step towards a beautiful, functional smile, and results you’ve always wanted.

3 of the Top Concerns about Pregnancy and Dentistry

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Finding out that you’re pregnant is one of life’s most joyous (and scary) events you can endure. Everyone at our dental office in Plainsboro wants to send plenty of well wishes to all of the parents out there who are expecting a blessing of their own.

We wanted to set aside this blog to talk to the moms out there. Because whether you’re new to pregnancy and experiencing every special moment for the very first time, or a seasoned parental pro who knows exactly how this all goes, it’s essential not to put off your upcoming cleanings or treatments. We understand pregnancy brings up a lot of new concerns about your health and wellbeing, including taking care of your smile. Let’s talk about some of the most common concerns we hear from our patients about going to the dentist during pregnancy.

Common Concern #1: What if I need dental X-rays? Are they safe?
Most dental offices are equipped with state-of-the-art digital X-rays, eliminating the possibility of overexposure to harmful radiation for you and your baby. If you’re experiencing a dental issue, it’s advisable to get the necessary X-rays to fix the problem before it poses any risk of harming your developing fetus.

Common Concern #2: My gums are really bleeding. Should I call my Plainsboro dentist?
If you’re pregnant and reading this, there’s no doubt in our mind that you would agree that being pregnant can change your body, usually in part due to fluctuations in your hormones. The American Dental Association says that as many as 50 percent of pregnant women can develop “pregnancy gingivitis.” It usually goes away after your child arrives, but it’s important to brush and clean your teeth regularly. If still concerned about bleeding in your gums, you can always reach out to us for help.

Common Concern #3: I’ve got morning, afternoon, and night sickness. Should I tell my dentist?
Sickness and vomiting during pregnancy are one of the most common side effects that most women tend to experience early on in their pregnancy. When you get sick, excess stomach acid can eat away at your tooth enamel leading to decay. Remember these helpful tips you can use at home to help protect your teeth from acid:

Wait to Brush . Brushing immediately after vomiting can lead to damage. Acid weakens the enamel, and if you brush while the enamel is soft, you can cause scratches that bacteria can hide in. So wait at least an hour after getting sick to brush.
Rinse with Water . While you’re waiting for the right time to brush, it’s a good idea to rinse your mouth out with water initially. Swishing water around in the mouth and spitting it out can remove a lot of acid.
Keep Drinking Water . You’re already drinking a lot of water, so keep on doing it. The more water you drink, the less acid will stick around in your mouth.
Scrape the Tongue . Don’t forget about your tongue. After vomiting, get a tongue scraper and gently run it down your tongue. You can successfully remove a lot of acid that would actually end up on your teeth.

If you’re really having a hard time and are worried about your smile, contact our dental office in Plainsboro as soon as you’re feeling up to it. Seeing your dentist is crucial during your pregnancy, so let us work with you to determine what your needs are and how to proceed with your care during this special time in your life. We’re always here to help!

Is Calcium Important for Teeth?

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We make a commitment to every patient who walks through the doors of our dental office in Plainsboro to restore and protect both their oral and overall health. One way we can do this is to help your teeth and bones stay strong so that they can last a lifetime. One of the most significant nutrients our bodies need to keep them healthy is calcium. Let’s take a look at why it’s important in so many different ways.

Calcium Does Your Smile & Body Good
You might already know that calcium can be found in a variety of different foods and beverages. But did you know that you can also try calcium supplements (ask your doctor first) to help boost your intake? This can be a good option for people who struggle digesting dairy products that are high in calcium such as cheese, milk, and yogurt. Remember that magnesium and vitamin D support calcium’s effort to protect your teeth, keep your smile free from decay, prevent, loose teeth, and ward off gum disease.

Consider adding these calcium-rich foods to your diet:
- Broccoli
- Kale
- Almonds
- Tofu
- Beans
- Oranges
- Spinach
- Sweet Potatoes

How to Know You’re Getting The Right Amount of Calcium
It can be tricky knowing if you or your family members are getting the right amount of calcium in your diet to help protect your teeth and keep your bones healthy. Your dentist in Plainsboro is here to help with some daily calcium recommendations courtesy of the Institute of Medicine.

AGE MG/DAY
1 -3 700
4 - 8 1,000
9 - 18 1,300
19 - 70 1,000
71+ 1,200

This is just a general guideline for you to get an idea about daily calcium intake. There are also other recommendations that are gender specific, i.e., a woman’s calcium intake should increase when she’s pregnant.

No Bones About it - Calcium is Key to Being Healthy
We talked about it briefly earlier in this blog, but calcium is also super important for your bone health too. Why does this concern your Plainsboro dentist so much? Because we’re concerned about what a calcium deficiency can do to your jaw bone. Your jaw bone serves as the anchor for your teeth, so if it’s in poor health, you could run the risk of having loose teeth or losing them altogether. The other bones in your body also need calcium to help prevent damaging osteoporosis later in life.

We hope you learned a little something here today about how important it is to get the right amount of calcium in your diet, no matter what your age. It’s a benefit that your whole body will thank you for. If you have any questions about your smile or need to schedule a visit with us, please don’t hesitate to call.

Signs of an Abscessed Tooth

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Your tooth is throbbing, and you’re in a lot of pain. It’s unlike any pain you’ve ever felt before, and it’s definitely worse than a typical toothache. What could be going on? You may have an infection called an abscess. Besides the pain, the team at our dental office in Plainsboro wants you to know other signs that could indicate an abscessed tooth.

What Exactly is An Abscessed Tooth?
Before we launch into some of the usual signs and symptoms of an abscessed tooth, let’s take a closer look at what it is. An abscessed tooth is a deep tooth infection that has spread into the root. The infection begins inside the tooth in an area known as the pulp chamber. The pulp chamber houses the tooth’s nerves. As the infection grows, it moves into the root and eventually the bone. This will cause severe pain.

Signs of an Abscess
We already know that pain is a warning sign of a problem. But there are a few other symptoms that could help you identify whether the pain is caused by an abscess such as:

● A dark, discolored tooth
● Increased pain when pressure is applied
● Swelling on the gums that resembles a pimple
● A bad taste in the mouth
● Swelling of the jaw or face

While pain is usually the most recognized sign of an abscess, there are times when an abscessed tooth doesn’t hurt or show any of the symptoms above. In those cases, an abscess is typically diagnosed by your dentist in Plainsboro at a routine appointment through dental x-rays.

What Causes an Abscess?
There’s no one single thing that causes a tooth abscess. Many times an abscess forms from an untreated cavity and when the decay seeps into the pulp chamber. An abscess can also be caused by a tooth injury or injury to the mouth, prior dental treatment such as a root canal, crown, or filling, or from too much tooth grinding or repeated clenching.

How to Prevent an Abscess?
The best way to protect yourself from an abscess is by taking good care of your teeth and overall oral health. This means brushing and flossing every day and maintaining regular visits to your dentist in Plainsboro at least every six months.

Tooth pain, and especially pain caused by an abscess, can take its toll on you. If you’re experiencing any pain or signs of an abscessed tooth, call our dental office in Plainsboro as soon as you can. The earlier you seek help, the more successful treatment can be.

How to Get a Whiter Smile

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There are a number of things that can stain our teeth and make them look dull and discolored. When this happens, we tend to look for ways to bring back our bright, white smiles. At our dental office in Plainsboro , we have some good news -- there are many ways to whiten your teeth! Let’s take a look at some of the most common things you can do to get a whiter smile.

Professional Teeth Whitening
The best way to whiten your smile fast is to get professional whitening from your dentist in Plainsboro . Even though this option is more costly than many over-the-counter tooth whitening products, you can customize just how white you want your teeth to get and see the results immediately. Many times dental offices can also provide you with custom trays and whitening gel that you can use at home safely to maintain your new look.

DIY Smile Whitening
If you’re looking for ways to whiten your teeth, you may begin by exploring all of the options in your local grocery store or online. While there are tons of over-the-counter smile whitening products available, and they can be cheaper than a professional whitening, they do come with some risks. For example, you may be using a solution that’s too high for your teeth that could cause sensitivity and pain. Additionally, whitening strips and non-custom trays can allow the solution to seep into your gums. If left too long it can cause gum damage. Lastly, over-the-counter tooth whitening products tend to take longer to work.

Cosmetic Dentistry
If traditional forms of smile whitening just aren’t making your teeth as white as you’d like, you may be a candidate for cosmetic dentistry. The truth is, there are some types of tooth staining that don’t respond to whitening gels. In this case, the best solution may be dental veneers. Dental veneers essentially cover up the front of your natural teeth with a custom-made slice of porcelain. These veneers can be your ideal shade of white and are shaped to blend in with your other natural teeth.

It’s important to note that you should talk to your dentist before beginning any whitening treatment. Not all whitening solutions are appropriate for everyone. To find the best option for you and to reduce the risk of negative side effects, meet with your dentist.

If you’re unhappy with the color of your teeth, call our Plainsboro dental office to schedule an appointment today. We’ll talk with you about what you’d like to change as well as your oral health history so we can recommend the best tooth whitening treatment for you.

The Signs of Oral Cancer

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April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month , and at our dental office in Plainsboro , we know just how serious and scary oral cancer can be. To do our part to help raise awareness, we’re here to share facts, signs, and risk factors of oral cancer with our patients and neighbors.

Facts About Oral Cancer
● More than 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year
● Oral cancer kills more than 8,500 people annually
● Nearly 80% of oral cancer diagnoses are in tobacco users
● Men are two times more likely to develop oral cancer than women
● Patients who have had oral cancer once are up to 20 times more likely to develop another form of cancer

The Importance of a Fast Diagnosis
Oral cancer can be treated, however, treatment is much more successful when the disease is caught early. This is one reason why bi-annual visits to your dentist in Plainsboro are so important. You see, unlike other types of cancer, there are no official timing guidelines for screening for oral cancer like there is for, say, colon or breast cancer. Your regular dental visits essentially act as regular oral cancer screenings. These checkups allow your dental team to identify any potential signs of oral cancer early so that you can get treatment fast.

Oral Cancer Signs & Symptoms
One thing that can make oral cancer difficult to diagnose is that its signs and symptoms can disguise themselves as common oral health problems that don’t seem like a big deal. However, you’re better safe than sorry... so if you notice any of the signs below, call your dentist as soon as you can.
● A sore or discoloration that doesn’t go away
● A lump inside the mouth or neck
● Pain while swallowing, chewing, or speaking
● Changes in voice
● Chronic bad breath

Risk Factor
Even though oral cancer can happen to anyone, there are some people who may be at increased risk including:
● Those over 55
● Current or former tobacco users
● Heavy drinkers

Oral cancer is a very serious disease. Reduce your risk by changing any risky habits and commit to seeing your dentist every six months. Of course, if you suspect you’re at risk for oral cancer, or are concerned by any potential signs, we welcome you to call our Plainsboro dental office.

Bottled Water & Your Teeth

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These days, bottled water is everywhere. It’s one of our most common accessories when we pack our kids’ lunches or our go-to for busy work days. Let’s face it, bottled water is super convenient and a healthier alternative to a can of sugary soda or even common sports drinks. But our dental office in Plainsboro wants to take a moment to talk about some of the disadvantages of drinking bottled water.

What’s Bad About Bottled Water?
Bottled water doesn’t typically contain any fluoride whereas water from the tap usually does. According to the American Dental Association , if bottled water is your primary source of drinking water, your family may be missing out on the preventative benefits that fluoride has to offer. Fluoride is a natural mineral that’s easily absorbed into tooth enamel and creates a strong resistance to tooth decay. Without enough of it, your family may be at increased risk for cavities.

How to Make Sure Your Family Gets Enough Fluoride
Whenever possible, try to fill up a reusable water bottle with water that contains added fluoride. But that’s not the only way to give your family the benefits of fluoride. Fluoride can also be found in many other places besides your drinking water. You can add more of the mineral to your family’s diet by choosing prepared foods and beverages that contain fluoride. There are also fluoride supplements available by prescription for those who live in areas without fluoridated water. Your dentist in Plainsboro can also apply a fluoride varnish to your teeth for added protection.

Drink More Water!
One important thing to remember is that bottled water is better than no water at all. Keeping our bodies hydrated helps us maintain good oral and overall health. For example, when we’re properly hydrated we tend to feel more energetic, our muscles and joints work better, toxins are cleaned from our bodies, and body temperature is more easily regulated. Drinking plenty of water also prevents dry mouth, which can lead to bad breath and tooth decay.

If you have questions about fluoride or your oral health, never hesitate to give our dental office in Plainsboro a call. We’re always happy to answer your questions and listen to your concerns.