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Menopause & Oral Health

For years, various aspects of menopause, such as the hot flashes and the night sweats have been made fun of on TV and in movies. While these symptoms can often make for a good laugh or two, they are not necessarily a laughing matter.

During menopause, many women experience drastic changes to their hormone level that can drastically affect their oral health.

There have been studies which have shown that women are at a higher risk for oral complications due to fluctuations in their hormones. This begins during puberty and lasts all the way through into menopause.

In fact, researchers have even concluded that postmenopausal women are even more likely to develop periodontal disease than any other age group of women.

Learn more about the connection between menopause and your dental health with the help of your Newark dentists.

 

The Most Common Problems During Menopause

  • Receding Gums – As a woman’s hormones fluctuate, this can cause their gums to become more sensitive than they once were. This leaves them prone to recession and puts your teeth at a greater risk of developing decay.
  • Discomfort – A very common complaint from menopausal women is a general discomfort in their mouths. This ranges from minor issues such as dry mouth and altered perception of taste to more severe discomforts such as pain or burning sensations.
  • Bone Loss – As a woman progresses through menopause, her estrogen levels will begin to decrease. In turn, this causes her bones to become weaker and lose some of their original density. Furthermore, this bone loss isn’t restricted to arms and legs. In fact, menopausal women often experience a loss of bone density in their jaws, which can affect how certain dental appliances fit.
  • Tooth Loss – The bone loss experienced by a woman is also indicative and a precursor to tooth loss. In fact, researchers have shown that for every 1% loss in whole-body bone density, the risk of tooth loss increases as much as 4 times. There have been many other studies that have corroborated these findings, and some have shown that women with lower bone mineral densities have fewer teeth than control subjects.

 

Preventing Problems During Menopause

While menopause is an inevitable part of every woman’s life, oral complications don’t have to be.

The best thing you can do for your teeth is to follow a proper oral hygiene routine which involves brushing your twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing once. Aside from that, always do your best to avoid acidic or sugary foods and make sure to visit your dentist regularly.

As a woman ages, it becomes more important that she eats properly to nourish her body with the necessary minerals to keep her bones, and teeth, healthy and strong.

During your next visit to your Newark dentists, be sure to discuss any questions or concerns that you may have about taking care of your teeth during menopause.

Autism and Dental Health

Oral health is a priority to maintaining a healthy life, but for many children that have autism, this is difficult to accomplish. With some determination and patience, it’s possible to overcome the challenges. Here are some tips to utilize with the help of your serving Newark dentists.

Assess Abilities

Your first step is to assess the child’s abilities. See how capable they are of brushing and flossing on their own. If they need some encouragement, show them how you do it. Explain the purpose of each tool you’re using and why it’s essential.

Routine Fun

Your oral care routine needs to be enjoyable for the child. It should be something that they look forward to doing. That’s why you should utilize pictures, videos or songs to go along with your morning and bedtime tooth-brushing time.

If your child is sensitive to brighter lights, loud sounds or certain smells, remember to be aware of this while constructing the routine. You want to minimize the distractions as much as possible. Always brush in the same location, at the same time and through proper positioning.

With Young Children

If you are working with a younger child, you only want to use a pea-sized amount of kids toothpaste. Make sure it’s fluoridated. It’s also helpful to allow them to pick their toothpaste and toothbrush. This allows them to be excited about brushing their teeth.

Gently put the brush on your child’s teeth. If they don’t fight, start brushing slowly. Work your way around all their teeth until they are clean. Make sure to reach every surface. Then, have them rinse their mouth out with water. If they are still patient with you, now is the time to introduce the floss. Flossers are a great way to clean the teeth without the cumbersome use of traditional floss.

Allow your child to move at their own pace with the process. It might take some time to get used to. Start slowly and implement new things as you can. Don’t attempt to do it all at once or you might overwhelm them.

Accomplishing dental care is in itself a great feat when working with autistic children. If you need additional help, be sure to reach out to your serving Newark dentists, Dr. Jones. Call our office today at (973) 375-5575.

How Dental Filings Have Changed Over the Years

Dental restoration procedures such as fillings have been around a long time and have become a common procedure in dentistry. However, many of us take this procedure for granted and have no idea about what people had to go through in the past.

Today, your Newark dentists are looking at a few of the ways in which dental fillings have changed over the course of the years.

 

Silver and Mercury Fillings

In the past, standard dental fillings were made of a silver alloy and combined with up to 50% mercury. Thankfully, we’ve realized that mercury is a highly toxic substance and should never be put into our mouths. However, back then, people believed it to be safe because it was only present in a cured form, and there was a very little risk of the mercury making its way into a person’s body.

Today, the standard for dental fillings has become the use of a composite that can be adjusted to match the color of a person’s teeth.

 

Other Dental Filling Materials

While dentists no longer use mercury to fill cavities, there are a few other metals that can be used such as gold, which typically lasts just as long as traditional fillings would. There are also ceramic and porcelain fillings that can be used. These are great because they stay brighter and whiter for much longer than traditional composite fillings.

Another newer form of dental filling is known as a glass ionomer filling. These are still rather new to the industry and are not used very often. They are made with a combination of acrylic and a special silica formula.

Also, these fillings are designed to slowly release fluoride back into your tooth and work to protect the inside of your tooth from future decay. The bad news is that they are far less durable than other types of fillings and might need to be replaced once every 5 to 10 years.

 

Indirect Fillings

Another option that is now widely available is known as an indirect filling. This type of treatment usually involves two consecutive visits and is often used when the damage is not extensive enough for a traditional crown.

During your first visit, the dentist will work to remove any decay, as well as previous filling material. Then, he or she will take an impression of your tooth to create a mold, that will be used to make the indirect filling. The mold will be sent to a lab to be created and then, during your second visit, your dentist will use it to fill your tooth before cementing it into place.

 

Laser Dentistry

Another major way that dental filling procedures have changed, is that today, Newark dentists can use lasers to perform the same tasks that traditionally require drilling. Laser treatments are much less invasive than other procedures and are meant to not cause any pain to the patient whatsoever. Furthermore, the procedure can be performed much quicker, which means that your dentist will be able to take care of several cavities during the same visit.

 

If you have any questions about fillings or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jones, give our office a call today at 973-375-5575.

Guide for Selecting the Right Toothbrush

As always, your family dentist in Irvington NJ recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once. This will help remove any leftover food particles and prevent plaque from sticking to your teeth which can cause gum disease, cavities, and many other oral complications. Furthermore, it’s just as important to use a proper brushing technique and a proper toothbrush as part of your everyday oral care routine.

Toothbrushes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and there are hundreds of different types available on the market. This variety gives us the options to find a brush that meets our specific needs. However, this makes it much more difficult to find a toothbrush that is right for us.

Here, Dr. Jones has put together a few helpful tips that should help you find a brush that is perfect for you.

Choose a size that’s right for you

When looking for a new toothbrush, be sure to choose a proper size. Just as children should always use smaller toothbrushes designed specifically for smaller mouths, adults should also use toothbrushes designed for them. Once you’ve made a choice, be sure to check that the head of the toothbrush reaches your back molars and can cover them completely. Furthermore, you may also opt for an electric toothbrush, which makes the job even easier and can be more effective for you than a manual brush.

Fancy isn’t any better

In your search for a new toothbrush, it can be easy to get swept away by all the fancy looking toothbrushes on the shelf. While style always plays a role in our spending habits, it’s important to not forget that functionality should always come first. It’s recommended to always use a softer toothbrush with rounded bristles to ensure that you’re able to properly scrub the surface of your teeth and that you won’t cause any damage to your gums while doing so. Some toothbrushes have stiffer bristles, but these are harder on your teeth and gums and are not recommended for people with sensitive teeth.

The Perfect Toothbrush

As we’ve mentioned, there are many different styles and types of toothbrushes out there. Just remember that everyone’s smile is different and that we all require a brush that is suitable to our own need. Furthermore, it should be noted that it’s crucial to replace your toothbrush every three months and that brushing should always be followed by a thorough flossing.

In addition to finding the perfect toothbrush, make sure to visit your family dentist in Irvington NJ regularly for routine checkups at least once a year. Proper oral care habits will help you maintain your oral health, which is vital to your overall health and well-being. For more in-depth information on how to choose a toothbrush that is right for you, be sure to talk to Dr. Jones and his helpful staff, who will be glad to point you in the right direction. Give our office a call today at (862) 245-1944 to schedule your appointment!

Tips for Cleaning Your Ceramic Teeth

Using ceramic materials in dental restorations is a common procedure. The first denture made from porcelain was used in 1789. This popular option replicates the natural appearance and color of your teeth. Because ceramic can cost a little when it comes to your dental health, it’s important to protect the integrity of your restorations. While cleaning the ceramic in your mouth is similar to the care of your natural teeth, there are some tips that will make it easier for you.

Protect your investment with this list of tips to help keep your ceramic teeth clean and beautiful with the help of your family dentist in Irvington NJ, Dr. Jones.

Cleaning Ceramic Tips

  • Continue to brush your teeth at least twice per day. It is better if you can brush after each meal instead. Use a soft-bristled brush to prevent scratching the teeth.
  • At night, floss your teeth. Be especially careful when you floss around the restoration. You don’t want to pull around the edges and damage it. If you are struggling to floss your teeth, talk to the hygienist who can help you learn proper techniques.
  • Use only the products your dentist recommends in your mouth. This includes toothpaste, toothbrushes and
  • While it is safe to use an electric toothbrush, you might want to avoid ultrasonic brushes. They tend to loosen the binding that is holding your restorations on.
  • When using mouthwash, make sure you choose one without alcohol because it softens bonding agents and can loosen your ceramic restoration. An alcohol-free mouthwash helps to keep your ceramic in place while giving you a fresh, clean mouth.
  • Attend all your dental exams and cleanings as recommended. This allows the dentist to spot any issues early before they cause more trouble.
  • Avoid any cleaning method or product that hasn’t been approved by your dentist. This includes natural remedies. You don’t want to introduce a product to your ceramic restoration without first getting approval from your dental team.

Beautiful Smiles

Take care of your ceramic restorations to protect your investment and the future of your healthy smile. Speak to your family dentist in Irvington NJ about any concerns or questions regarding the use of ceramic materials in your mouth. Call our office today at (862) 245-1944.

Oral Facts vs. Oral Fiction

Between word-of-mouth and the speed at which information travels across the Internet, there are a plethora of myths and rumors floating around that make it difficult for patients to figure out what’s true and what’s nothing more than a myth when it comes to your dental care.

Here, your family dentist in Irvington NJ aims to break down a few of the common myths and see if they have any weight behind them.

  1. Everyone will need dentures at some point in their lives…

This is not true at all. Today, it is estimated that about 75% of people over the age of 65 have kept at least some, if not all their teeth. Researchers credit this to better advancements in preventative measures such as community water fluoridation and brushing daily with a fluoride toothpaste. Aside from that, the advances in the dental field are making it easier for your dentist to save your teeth. So, to bust the myth, with daily brushing, flossing, and proper oral care, you should be able to keep your natural teeth for your entire life.

  1. Calcium from food or from supplements is the same…

Again, this is nothing but a myth. Calcium is especially important as we age to prevent issues like osteoporosis and bone loss. These conditions can happen in the jaw, which in turn can lead to loose teeth. In a recent study, people who took calcium supplements were more than twice as likely to a heart attack as those who did not take supplements. The recommended intake for most adults is about 1,000mgs per day, and preferably from foods such as dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.

  1. Dry mouth will cause cavities…

This one is not a myth. Dry mouth puts your tooth at the risk of your enamel drying out and tooth decay setting in. Certain medications prescribed for adults can cause dry mouth, which is one important reason as to why you should discuss this with your family dentist in Irvington NJ.

  1. Manual toothbrushes clean just as effectively as electric toothbrushes…

This is a fact. If you take care of your teeth and brush at least twice per day, it doesn’t matter if you use a manual or electric toothbrush. However, for some who have limited movement in the shoulders or hands, they might not be able to clean as thoroughly. So, for some, an electric toothbrush might be the better choice to help get those harder to reach places.

If you’re looking to bust more dental myths that you come across, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Jones during your consultation. Call our office today at (862) 245-1944.

Unique Oral Care Hygiene Tips

We’ve all heard the common path to good oral hygiene: brush and floss your teeth, visit your dentist in Irvington NJ and eat a healthy diet. There are some uncommon tips you might never have heard of before that will take your smile to the next level. Check these out!

Opt for a Kid’s Toothbrush

Do you have small teeth or a small mouth? You might want to consider swapping out your toothbrush for a kid’s sized mouth instead. Using a toothbrush that is too large for your mouth means the opportunity to miss teeth. It’s also easy to wear out the enamel with a brush that is too big and too aggressive for your teeth.

If you are unsure, ask us at the next visit and we could recommend a smaller brush. If you want to be adventurous, get one of those toothbrushes with a two-minute timer just for fun!

 

Bring Your Straw

Want whiter teeth? Carry a straw with you to drink your coffee, wine, teas, and soda. Even though you don’t want to overdo any of these liquids, using a straw helps transfer the liquid right past the surface of your teeth to avoid staining. If using a straw would be too ridiculous for you, at least rinse your mouth well with water after drinking.

Don’t Brush Right Away

Many people think that running to brush their teeth after a meal is the best option, but that is false. Those acids on your teeth are waiting for you to rub them in further. The best plan is to wait for 30 to 60 minutes before brushing. During that time, be sure to drink plenty of water which will help wash those acids away instead.

These simple tips will help you take your oral hygiene routine to the next level. Of course, they are not a replacement for your typical care plan but are perfect to add on. Make sure you ask your dentist in Irvington NJ about any questions you have about your current oral hygiene plan. Call our office today at (862) 245-1944!

Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom Teeth or Third Molars

Typically, our jaws do not grow big enough and don’t have enough room for our wisdom teeth to come in properly. Since there isn’t enough space for them to properly break through the surface, they often come in at an odd angle or don’t fully emerge through the gum, which can often cause problems with the rest of your teeth.

Our wisdom teeth will often cause damage to their adjacent teeth. Therefore, your Irvington NJ dentist will often recommend removing them before they become a major problem that could require more complicated surgeries.

 

Why Isn’t There Enough Room for my Wisdom Teeth?

Today, our jaws are not the same size that they used to be. This is due to diets that lack certain nutrients which are meant to help our jaws develop properly, namely Vitamin K2. This important vitamin is responsible for taking calcium out of our foods and putting it back into our bones, resulting in stronger, healthier growth.

We typically no longer eat as many foods such as liver and other organ meats that are high in Vitamin K2. Which is why these days, underdeveloped lower parts of the face are so common. Our ancestors, who did not eat our modern diets, had much better jaw development which allowed for all 32 teeth to come in properly.

 

Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

To check if you have enough room for your wisdom teeth or third molars, try placing a finger behind your second molar. If there is a flat pad of tissue, you may have enough room for your third molars to come in. However, if the tissue curves upwards, the chances are that you do not have enough room for them.

This method, of course, is only a way to get a rough idea of whether you will need to have your wisdom teeth removed. This is quite similar to what your dentist will check during a checkup. However, it is important to consult with your Irvington NJ dentist to get a professional opinion on the subject.

 

If you’re experiencing pain or want to know more about your wisdom teeth, simply call Jones Dental Associates of Irvington at (862) 245-1944 to schedule a consultation with your Irvington NJ dentist, Dr. Jones!

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