As adults, most of us still relish the idea of gorging ourselves on sweets this season, but with age has come the knowledge of what leftover Halloween candy can mean for our health and our teeth. Luckily, you don’t have to completely miss out on reliving your childhood to protect your teeth. You can reduce your risk of developing tooth decay with these words of advice from Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, your Astoria family dentist.
Beware: Harmful Treats
Sugar is one of the main motivators behind the processes that cause tooth decay. When the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, they excrete lactic acid over the surfaces of your teeth. These acids constantly attack and weaken your tooth enamel until it can no longer protect your teeth from bacterial infection. Candy corn, cookies, and cakes are all loaded with sugar and can increase your risk of developing cavities. Chewy snacks, like gummy bears and taffy, can wreak havoc by sticking to the surfaces of your teeth or lodging between teeth and continually feeding bacteria. Although the opposite of sweet, sour candies are also among the dentally dangerous treats to look out for. Sour candies tend to be acidic and can introduce acid to your teeth without the need of a bacterial middle man. (more…)
Crooked and misaligned teeth are common among people of all age groups; however the most effective traditional treatment for straightening teeth, metal braces, is usually attributed to children and young teens. Adults must contend with a usually strong sense of self-consciousness when considering braces for straighter teeth. Many choose to eschew the treatment and endure their crooked teeth in lieu of the possible embarrassment of wearing metal brackets and wires to work and social functions. Luckily, you no longer have to choose between discontent from crooked teeth and apprehension about metal braces. Dr. Leibowitz, a family dentist in Astoria who offers ClearCorrect to his patients, explains the revolutionary product that can allow you to have straighter teeth without announcing your treatment to the world.
Why You Should Straighten Your Teeth
If you’ve refused braces for a while now, you may have convinced yourself that it is just not worth the treatment to straighten your teeth. After all, the people around you don’t seem to notice, and your imperfect teeth probably haven’t held you back from a successful professional life. However, straightening your teeth is about more than improving the look of your smile. (more…)
Old wisdom tells us that a smile is contagious, and many of us recognize the saying, “smile, and the world smiles with you.” What some people are unaware of, however, are the tangible benefits of the simple act of smiling, including an improved overall quality of life. Unfortunately, a large portion of the population does not reap these benefits due to insecurities regarding their smile. Smiles that are blemished by stained, crooked, or missing teeth can significantly reduce your confidence, causing you to smile less often and less sincerely. Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, your Astoria family dentist, outlines the benefits of smiling, and the methods to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.
Everybody Loves a Smile
One of the more immediate benefits of smiling is, as stated above, the fact that it’s contagious. Studies regarding the therapeutic effects of smiling have shown that the more often you smile the more positive effect you have on your environment. (more…)
The thought of manually removing a tooth is enough to send shivers down the spines of some patients. At our Astoria dental office, Dr. Leibowitz strives to preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible, and offers numerous innovative dental procedures to restore diseased or damaged teeth. In some cases, however, a tooth may be damaged beyond repair, or so thoroughly infected that removal is necessary to prevent the further spread of infection. At such times, a tooth extraction may be your best, if not only, option to preserve your oral and overall health.
Does My Tooth Have to Go?
When your tooth is affected by tooth decay, or exposed due to an injury, early detection can typically translate into successful, relatively non-invasive treatment. Unfortunately, some oral health issues rarely, if ever, exhibit noticeable symptoms or discomfort until they have progressed. Depending on the severity at the time of detection, treating a diseased or damaged tooth can include removal of diseased tissue, or total tooth removal to prevent the spread of infection throughout the rest of your teeth. After a comprehensive dental examination, Dr. Leibowitz can discuss with you your viable treatment options, including tooth extraction, if necessary. (more…)
One of the oldest examples of ancient dentistry consists of a tooth whose cavity was filled with beeswax. In times past, our ancestors were quite inventive in their endeavors to treat dental issues. Materials that ancient humans used to fill teeth included stone chips, resin, cork, and eventually, metal. Today, the practice of removing and replacing infected tooth tissue continues strong. However, the materials of choice have advanced greatly. Your Astoria, NY, dentist Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz explores the pros and cons of the two most popular dental filling materials; composite resin and silver amalgam fillings.
Silver Amalgam Dental Fillings
For over 150 years, silver amalgam has been the dental filling of choice. At the time that it was introduced to the US, in the early 1800s, gold was the standard dental filling material, but only a few select people could afford to pour the precious metal into their teeth. Aside from affordability, silver amalgam fillings were also durable. Amalgam fillings are strong and durable, typically lasting at least 10 or 15 years. Amalgam is also strong enough to adequately withstand chewing forces, and it is usually less expensive than the alternatives. Unfortunately, since they are made of silver and other metals, amalgam fillings are not aesthetically pleasing. To make room for the large fillings, additional healthy tooth structure must be removed, which can compromise the integrity of the remaining tooth structure. (more…)
If you experience discomfort in your gums or teeth, your first inclination may be to visit the dentist. It may surprise you to learn that the same inclination may also help you alleviate aches and pains in your jaw, head, neck, and shoulders. A common cause for tension and discomfort in these areas is a condition known as TMJ disorder, which affects the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) that connect your lower jaw to your skull. Many people visit a doctor to try and resolve the issue. However, the condition is often misdiagnosed, or not diagnosed, due to the fact that the symptoms are similar to those of numerous other health maladies. As a dentist in Astoria, NY, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz can help diagnose TMJ disorder, and offers treatments to relieve and sometimes eliminate its debilitating symptoms.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
The temporomandibular joints are the two large joints located just in front of each ear. These joints and the muscles around them are responsible for the complex movement of your jaw. Unfortunately, there is no single root cause for the development of TMJ disorder. However, experts agree that the condition often results from over-taxation of the jaw joints and the muscles surrounding them. This undue pressure can be caused by a number of dental conditions, including malocclusion (a misalignment in the way your upper and lower teeth fit together) and bruxism (the habit of grinding and clenching your teeth). Other factors, including injury, stress, or a joint affliction such as arthritis, can also cause TMJ discomfort. (more…)
One of the most common tooth complaints that dental patients express is a discontent with the color of their teeth. This unhappiness is the reason why teeth-whitening is among the most popular cosmetic procedures today. However, stains on your teeth are not all the same, and in some cases, even professional-strength whitening procedures may not suffice to correct the blemish. Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, your Astoria, NY, dentist, explains the two major types of tooth stains and the best options for correcting them.
Extrinsic, or External, Tooth Staining
Extrinsic tooth staining occurs on the outside of the tooth. Common causes for extrinsic tooth stains include consumption of dark-colored foods and beverages, such as coffee, soda, wine, berries, and tea, among others. Poor oral hygiene is another common factor for tooth staining. Plaque attaches to your enamel (the protective outer layer of your tooth), and if allowed to remain for too long, it can turn your teeth yellow. (more…)
For quite some time, the general consensus has been that chocolate tastes too good to be anything but bad for you. Chocolate is adored for its rich texture and sweet flavor, but also feared for the same reasons. Luckily, a plethora of chocolate research has shown that the wealth of antioxidants found in chocolate can actually benefit your overall health. A study from Osaka University in Japan also suggests that certain parts of the cocoa bean can help inhibit oral bacteria and tooth decay. For chocolate lovers everywhere, these revelations are ample reason to celebrate. To honor the traditional champion of sweets, Queens, NY, dentist Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz provides these fun facts you may not have known about your favorite indulgence.
Fun Chocolate Facts
- As of this date, a Google search for the word “chocolate” returns 761,000,000 results in 0.23 seconds. By contrast, a Google search for “oral health” only returns 109,000,000 results.
- The official, or scientific, name for the cocoa tree, which provides the cocoa beans to make chocolate, is Theobroma Cacao: Greek for “food of the gods.” (more…)
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures available. In fact, in a poll by the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, of those surveyed, the majority of participants chose “a whiter smile”, when asked what they would most like to change about their teeth. This quick and easy cosmetic dental treatment can have a significant impact on your smile and your confidence. Your Queens dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, offers professional teeth whitening to help brighten your image.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Your teeth incur stains from a variety of reasons, such as incomplete oral hygiene, certain habits, and aging. Stains can occur both on the surface of the tooth and beneath the tooth enamel, in what is called intrinsic stains. Teeth whitening procedures address these stains by oxidizing the tooth and allowing the active whitening agent to disperse discoloration. The result is a noticeably whiter smile.
Teeth Whitening in Queens
Your Astoria cosmetic dentist, Dr. Leibowitz, offers take-home teeth whitening for a convenient smile makeover. Dr. Leibowitz will begin by taking an impression of your teeth for custom-fit bleaching trays. The snug-fit trays make all of the difference by delivering the teeth whitening agent directly to your smile. This provides even, complete whitening even in harder to reach spaces where whitening strips would leave discoloration behind. In addition, take-home whitening gives you the option to apply the gel whenever teeth whitening is most convenient for you. For a smile that shines brighter for longer, you can continue to use your unique trays for touch up treatments from Dr. Leibowitz. (more…)
What are partial dentures?
Partial dentures, like complete dentures, are made from an acrylic material shaped like your teeth on a plastic base made to look like your gum tissue. Unlike full dentures, partial dentures are recommended if you have some teeth. These dental prosthesis stay in place by attaching to one or more of your remaining teeth. Partial dentures fill in the gaps of missing teeth across a smile arch, even if the teeth are not adjacent to one another. Our Astoria dentist, Dr. Leibowitz, recommends partial dentures because they not only replace tooth function, but also prevent teeth from drifting out of place and causing issues with malocclusion.
What are the benefits of complete dentures?
While tooth replacement is the main goal of dentures, these dental restorations can also improve your smile. You will no longer have to hide your smile because of missing teeth, and you can benefit from the virtual face-lift dentures provide. When you are missing several teeth, your face will begin to look like your mouth is sagging, adding deep wrinkles to your lips and laugh lines. These dental restorations sit on top of your gum tissue, adding height from false teeth to your mouth. This vertical height keeps your face from appearing sunken-in or collapsed by lengthening the jaw.
How can I care for my dentures?
Maintaining your dentures properly is important for your oral health. After the first 24 hours following denture placement by our Astoria dentist, you should remove your dental restoration every night before bed. During this time, your gums can recover from holding up your dentures and your dental prosthesis can soak in cleaning solution. This will keep your mouth clean and ensure the longevity of your dentures. (more…)