Dental Care Tips

by maxtooth on February 14, 2013

In these modern times, we have a vast array of products for dental care available that help us maintain oral hygiene, which are crucial for getting plaque and bacteria under control. However, some people still have plenty of dental complaints and discomfort. Perhaps, there are still many things to learn about oral health than simple brushing.

Here are some dental care tips:

1.) About Brushing

Of course, the conventional knowledge about brushing is still the most basic dental care. It is very important that you brush early in the morning to remove the bacteria and plaque that accumulated overnight and at night before going to bed, because when we sleep saliva dries up. Make sure to clean all surfaces of your teeth and don’t forget to include your gums.

Use toothbrushes that have soft bristles and the small head kind. Soft bristles ensure that you don’t damage your tooth enamel and you don’t irritate your gums. Furthermore, use enough gentle pressure.

2.) About Flossing

It is also helpful to floss in-between your teeth prior to brushing. This helps remove the plaque in these areas. Around 90% of oral problems start from tiny spaces between teeth that are usually unreachable by brushing. These areas are where plaque often collects.

3.) About Dry Mouth

Do you know that saliva is effective in battling tooth decay as well as gum disease? When there is not enough saliva in the mouth, oral health problems start to occur. Persistently dry mouth can be a sign of the side effects of some medicines, or even specific oral disease. There are many products available for stimulation of saliva production. Ask your Fort Lauderdale dentist for more information.

4.) About Mouthwash

If you’re going to use a mouthwash, make sure you opt for alcohol-free. Alcohol is a known irritant that can dry your mouth. This can cause bad effect on the saliva inside the mouth, and will make the teeth more prone to bacterial attack.

Mouthwash though has the benefit of reaching areas that brushing cannot, much like flossing. So you can rinse two times per day – once in the evening before going to sleep and once first thing in the early morning when you wake up.

5.) About Fresh Breath

The still most common cause for bad breath is poor oral and dental care. When naturally-occurring bacteria in your mouth breaks down food particles and plaque, they release volatile sulphur compounds that give your mouth the foul odour. By keeping food debris and plaque in check, the bacteria reproduces less because it has much less to feed on.

6.) About Cleaning Your Tongue

Another reason for bad breath is the bacteria build up on the tongue, most of which accumulates in the back portion. This may be harder to reach with the toothbrush, so use a tongue scraper every single morning because it removes tongue plaque which freshens your breath.

7.) About Regularly Replacing Your Toothbrush

Good dental care and hygiene also involves replacing the toothbrush every 2 to 3 months. If you don’t, your brush can collect bacteria from its bristles and transfer it back to your mouth. The bristles get softer because of wear and tear, making it ineffective. If you’re one who uses an electric toothbrush, the very same rule should be followed.

If your toothbrush starts to wear out before 2 months,  you may be brushing too hard. Remember to choose toothbrushes with soft bristles because hard bristles could damage your gums and the soft tissues inside your mouth.

For the proper way to brush and other dental care concerns, consult your Fort Lauderdale dentist.

Dr. Max Zaslavsky DMD
6451 N. Federal Highway, Ste. 129
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
954-491-3544

{ 0 comments }

A Teeth Whitening SmileCosmetic dentistry is a great way to boost a person’s self-confidence and emotional health.  Cosmetic dentistry procedures such as invisible braces, implants, crowns or teeth whitening may cost more than the typical general dental procedures but in terms of the morale and joy they give, the cost is negligible.

Here are some of the more popular kinds of cosmetic dentistry services and the benefits they give the people:

1.  Porcelain veneers – Porcelain veneers are sheets of porcelain permanently affixed to the front side of the tooth to enhance the look of the tooth.  Porcelain veneers are the best choices of dentists to address crooked, chipped, worn, discolored or yellowed teeth.  Veneers made today are identical to natural teeth and that is why they are also very good replacements for lost teeth.  Furthermore, they never stain.  They effectively correct minor teeth imperfections and can be used in lieu of braces for light misalignments.  Veneers do not discolor which is the biggest benefit a person can get from this service.

2.  Crowns – A crown also like veneers can substantially improve the look of a tooth.  Their difference lies in the fact that a crown wholly covers a tooth which veneers do not do.  Besides being a cosmetic tooth enhancer, crowns benefit people by protecting the tooth from decay and corruption.

3.  Invisible braces – People who suffer from severe misalignments caused by overcrowded teeth, large tooth gaps, overbite and underbite can have these corrected with invisible braces.  This service opts for transparently clear aligners to correct the bad alignment.  Invisible braces are much better than conventional braces because the former can be removed for eating, flossing and brushing.  The benefit to invisible braces is that people need not be self-conscious of the braces they are wearing because it is distinctly invisible.

4.  Tooth whitening – Often people who are relatively seniors or even in their 40’s or 50’s may suffer from tooth discoloration due to several factors.  Some of these factors may include everyday drinking of coffee, and chocolate among many other factors which have directly caused their teeth to lose their natural white color.  Because of this, many people may become self-conscious and become insecure if their discolored teeth have caused their smile to suffer.  Teeth whitening service is a perfect solution to this teeth discoloration problem.  There are do-it-yourself teeth whitening home kits available at the local pharmacy.  However, these kits do not provide the superior teeth whitening quality dentists give to their patient for the simple fact that the products dentists use are much better oftentimes giving more times the magnitude of brightness teeth whitening home kits provide.  Over the counter tooth whitening home kits do work but they will never be as better the in office service dentists give.

{ 0 comments }

Periodontal Gum DiseaseRecently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published new and important findings that shows high prevalence rates of periodontal disease in the U.S., indicating that one out of two American adults over the age of 30 have periodontal disease.

The most recent data was collected from the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), and was the first to use full-mouth periodontal examinations, whereas previous NHANES relied only on partial mouth periodontal examination protocol. The full-mouth periodontal examination protocol utilized in the 2009-2010 NHANES measured six sites per tooth for all teeth (except third molars) on 3743 participants, providing the most comprehensive evaluation of oral health amongst Americans ever conducted.

The findings from the 2009-2010 NHANES periodontal disease survey, published this month in the Journal of Dental Research, indicate that an overwhelming 47.2 percent, or 64.7 million American adults, have periodontal disease. This is almost two and half times as many people as have diabetes. The study found that 8.7% had mild periodontitis (2 sites greater than 4 mm pocket depth or one site greater than 5 mm), 30% had moderate periodontitis (2 or more sites equal to or greater than 5 mm pocket depth) and 8.5% had severe periodontitis (2 or more sites greater than 6 mm attachment loss and one or more sites with greater than 5 mm pocket depth).

The study shows that periodontal disease increases with age. In adults over the age of 65, the prevalence was 70.1 percent. With large numbers of Americans reaching 65 each day, this growing population needs to be monitored closely. Data also concludes periodontal disease is higher in men than women (56.4 percent vs. 38.4 percent). Other segments with high prevalence rates include current smokers (64.2 percent).

This study indicates that conducting full-mouth periodontal probings annually has the potential to increase our diagnosis of periodontal disease before it progresses to severe periodontitis and permit us to provide more comprehensive treatment to our patients, benefiting both them and our practice.

Identifying and treating our patients periodontal disease earlier can help them save their teeth and help prevent the infection and inflammation associated with many systemic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer?s disease.

Photo by: andybullock77

{ 0 comments }

Dental Marketing 101 – Get Out There!

by maxtooth on April 17, 2012

When I first purchased my dental office in Fort Lauderdale 3 years ago, I bought an office with almost no patients. The transition between me and the previous dentist went horribly wrong, and when the dust settled, I had just bought myself an expensive start up. Needless to say, there were abundant sleepless nights, and like ANY startup in a severe economic recession, dental or otherwise, I needed to learn how to swim quickly before I drowned.

I had met with some of my surrounding dentists and specialists for advisement, and although the specialists were positive (don’t they have to be….they want your business), my fellow general practitioners only brought doom and gloom in the down economy.

To only post a blue neon sign and wait for people to flock to my office, I would be a fool. And if I were to rely on specialists to refer to me, in addition to the neon sign, I would be even a bigger fool who did not even deserve to be in business. I had quite a lot of work cut out for me. Some ideas would work, and some….not so much. But the crux of this one particular blog is to say to you, “where should I begin?” Whether you have an existing office that’s hurting, or have decided to own a startup practice, I implore you to think like a politician and start shaking some hands.

I’m a huge fan of SEO marketing in addition to the various social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, but the reality is, when you are starting out and you don’t have too many friends, the only way to get friends onto your Facebook/Twitter, etc is to just be social. Isn’t that an easy concept? Yet for us dentists, it’s really tough. Most of us are introverted. Most of us spent our college years studying diligently our sciences, while our roommates were out partying or having sex in the adjacent room (or in my case on the top bunk). So now it’s up to you to learn a new subject- schmoozing.

Ok, so how do I be social? Well fellow dental nerds, let me suggest two books to you. One you probably have heard of. The other, you are going to give me the Scooby Doo face, and say, “Whuuuu?” The first is “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It’s a good starter book and will teach you the basics on just calming down, taking a breath and saying hello to people. The basics are always good, and help get your foot into the front door for patient acceptance.

The second book is the kicker- “Rules of the Game” by Neil Strauss. It’s a book about how to hook up/mack with women, but the concepts are the same as if you are to try to bring patients into your office- dress for success, and make an effort to say hello. Dating is much the same as getting to know a new patient. For example- you have to learn each other’s nuances, crack some corny jokes and see if the other will laugh. You may not always be successful, but sitting with your back up against the wall (shameless Kool and the Gang reference) will get you nowhere.

In Fort Lauderdale alone, there are a plethora of dentists surrounding me at every corner. The competition is definitely present, and although I am of the philosophy that 2 gas stations across the street from each other both can make a profit, you still want that patient to come to your gas pump.

So how do we get that patient to come to you? What is the one thing you may not be doing (and if you already are, how can you make it better)? You need to be social outside of your office.  You need to pick a hobby (that you enjoy), a networking group, or an event that will open the door for future potential patients who can afford your dentistry. Furthermore, not only do you show up, but you bring your staff, your significant other, or both to open even more doors. Even further, you show up…often! People remember who you are after multiple handshakes, not just once.

For example, I go once a month to a local young professional social event at various bars in the downtown Las Olas area of Fort Lauderdale. I make it a point for various reasons to bring at least one person from my staff to each and every event. For one, I can cover more territory when my assistant or hygienist is with me. Also, it shows confidence in the office when it’s not just me. I feel it creates a sense of pride because I not only want my staff to be there to support me, but I want them to take a modicum of ownership in what they do for the office. Lastly, as shallow as it sounds, more men will flock to my female assistants than they will to me. It almost becomes a no brainer to hand out a card when a guy is making it a point to talk to my dental assistant. To be frank, I can be the best dentist in the world, but even a patient of mine who is a priest once said to me, “I sure still do admire a pretty face.” And he wasn’t talking about me.

So I joined a local Crossfit gym. What is Crossfit? Does it matter? What matters is that Crossfit in my area costs $150.00 a month. I like to work out, and I would be surrounded by other people who not only feel the same, but can as well afford a membership that costs almost $2000 a year (meaning they can afford to at least get their teeth cleaned). It created for me a comfortable social setting where I would be around similar people who I can initiate a conversation about working out, their businesses, as well as what I offered insofar as my dental skills. In other words, it gave me an “in.”

I then followed it up by friending all these people on Facebook so that I am easily accessible when and if they had a dental emergency. You know what I found? It worked. I get 1-2 new patients a month from my membership by way of fellow gym rats, or people they know.  Just getting out there and being friendly worked. Unlike a BNI or chamber, where you feel obligated and pressured to drum business on a weekly basis, I look at this technique of finding your niche and creating a long term relationship to be way more successful. These people see me on a daily basis in the gym sweating and grunting just like they do.  But then I capitalize on it by way of creating that important Facebook connection. And they not only see me sweating and grunting, but they see me as a dentist who is showing his before and after photos online, or talking about the importance of flossing.

In marketing, there is an expression, “everything works, but nothing works.” I would like to add, “it’s also what you put into it.” The above two examples worked for me, but there are plenty more I know I wish I could be doing, and for you the reader, I hope to have drummed up one idea you know you should be doing right now to get in the game. Going out during the week at least 1-2 times a month instead of heading home will get a few more patients walking through that door. It could be a networking breakfast or charity event. Heck, it could even be you striking up a conversation at the deli counter at your local grocery store. But if you don’t try, and wait for people to come to you, YOU will never be as successful as the guy next to you.

{ 0 comments }

The treatment procedures offered by dentists have expanded by leaps and bounds in the last decade.  So many products and technologies have arisen that allow people to enjoy the cleanest and healthiest mouth anyone can possibly enjoy. From traditional emergency care to  cosmetic procedures, the dentist of today have at their disposal techniques, equipments and procedures to alter the negative image of that patients have of their dentists and turn it onto a healthy and positive healthy one.

Thirty or more years ago, veneers that were installed into a patient’s tooth were not guaranteed to last 5 years or even less.  Modern technology has now built very durable porcelain veneers that can last for up to 30 years and more.  Even the modern procedures the dentist Fort Lauderdale use to check on your teeth has become quite efficient.  Today, the dentist does not have to depend on a small hand-held mirror or x-rays to determine your mouth and teeth’s health; instead he/she can now rely on intraoral cameras, equipments as small as a pen that handily examines your mouth and teeth.  There is no harmful radiation which you are exposed to and the camera can be navigated in your mouth to get snapshot photos of each tooth you have.  The photos can be magnified in resolution that easily helps to identify and problems in the teeth or mouth.

One other progress especially in the field of orthodontics is the making of Invisalign.  These are braces that are clear and somewhat transparent to the eyes when they are placed in the teeth.  They are made from materials known as aligners and comprise of clear plastic resin and can be removed providing a less conspicuous and more convenient option to conventional braces.

Generally even today, cavities are usually detected only when they start becoming painful.  Today, with the invention of laser cavity detection, cavities can now easily be detected even before they start hurting.  A laser device is used to help detect the onset of cavities by applying fluorescent lasers and wavelengths to the mouth.  The presence of tooth decay will alter the light and also become known through auditory response or a numeric reading.

In the realm of tooth extraction, the extracted tooth can be discarded but an implant can be a better replacement for the original lost tooth.  Dental implants now often replace the root of the old tooth and can conveniently eliminate complications arising from a missing tooth.  Other notable modern procedures that did not exist 30 years ago but offered now are mini-implants, advanced teeth whitening procedures and products and tooth colored fillings. Today, the services offered by the Fort Lauderdale dentist are truly amazing.  They attract more patients who probably would never consider going to the dentist except when suffering from severe toothaches thirty or so years ago.

{ 0 comments }

The first thing to do to find a good family dentist is to determine whether the Fort Lauderdale dentist is a qualified practitioner in the state of Florida and whether he or she is a graduate from a reputable program or school.  You also need to know how long the dentist has been practicing dentistry.  This does not mean a newly graduate dentist is not a good dentist, many new graduates may be much better than many long time dentists; however people tend to be more comfortable having their teeth taken care of by a Fort Lauderdale dentist who has been in practice for several years.  A good dentist usually is a member of at least one professional organization.  If the dentist has a website, then do some research about the dentist.  Take note of the dentist’s family background, dental education and other vital factors like credentials and awards.  If the Ft. Lauderdale dentist does not have a website, you can call his or her office to ask about the dental services they offer and the procedures he/she uses in treating the patient’s dental issues.

The Dentist in Fort Lauderdale

Family, friends and reliable acquaintances can also be good source of information about a dentist in Fort Lauderdale, and they can refer you to a really good one.   If you are budget conscious, ask if the dentist charges reasonable rates, gives discounts or if the dentist is cool to payment plans to patients who are in a financial crunch.  Ask if scheduling an appointment within a certain period of time can be difficult.  Gather all the referrals, then call the dentists and ask if they are still taking in new patients.  While you’re at it, ask them about insurance coverage too.

When you have trimmed your list of your potential Fort Lauderdale family dentist, schedule an appointment to visit their office.  Some offices are cool to you just stopping by and checking out the office while others do require scheduling an appointment.  When you are in the office, observe everything – especially the staff and the office itself.  A clean, good smelling and orderly office are always good indications of a good staff and good dentist.  Observe if the staff makes it a point to make the patient as comfortable and relaxed as possible.  It is important to know whether the dentist provides services and procedures you think you and your family might need in the future.  This can help avoid the hassle of needing to see different dentists for different kinds of dental problems.

Lastly, talk with the dentist.  Ask him or her about anything you need to know about them and the procedures and services the Ft. Lauderdale dentist offers.  Ask about payment plans, the rates he or she charges per service or procedure.  Talking to the dentist will give you an idea of his or her personality and how he or she interacts with patients. You are likely to get a good idea how the dentist cares for his patients. It makes it comforting to know you’ve found a gentle and caring dentist in Fort Lauderdale who will make you feel at ease during painful procedures.

The Different Kinds of Dentists

Dentists usually have different types of specialization. Most people assume that dentists are all the same and all they do is to get a cavity filled or clean the teeth.  However, the truth is there are different types of dentists and each has their own specializations.  Some go beyond the work of a normal or cosmetic dentist and have training in a specialized area of dentistry, which most normal dentists do not have.

Pediatric Dentist

As the name suggests, a pediatric dentist deals with the dental care and health of children. Most people think that all dentists are the same and so would take their children to a regular dentist.  However, the best specialist to care for the teeth of infants to young teenagers is the pediatric dentist.  Of course, the pediatric dentist will do the same procedures such as cavity filling, teeth cleaning, oral examinations, etc. as a regular Fort Lauderdale dentist, but they are trained more to handle a child’s teeth which are physiologically different to adults and thus need treatment and care designed specifically for a child’s dental needs.

Orthodontist

People often cringe when they think about orthodontic procedures.  The orthodontist usually deals with teeth alignment.  It is his or her responsibility to properly correct misaligned teeth.  It is the orthodontist who recommends and applies teeth braces or other appliances to correctly align and straighten the teeth.

Oral Surgeon

Regular dentists are skilled enough to perform daily teeth extractions.  However if an in depth procedure is required, the specialist you then need to see is the oral surgeon.  This type of dentist is the most qualified to do complex procedures on your teeth with the least amount of pain.   A decayed or corrupted wisdom tooth that causes pain will most likely be removed by an oral surgeon.

Periodontist

This type of dentist specializes in gum problems and care.  A person suffering from gingivitis needs the service of a periodontist to treat or prevent this problem. The periodontist also can perform surgical procedures involving gum problems, gum removal or gum restructuring

Endodontist

The endodontist is most skilled in performing complex root canal procedures.  A regular dentist is skilled enough to perform root canals.  In cases where the root canal problem is too deep, too laborious and too complex to perform for a regular dentist, then the patient should see an endodontist instead.  Where blood vessels, tooth enamel and nerves are involved, the endodontist is the person most capable of doing the job the right.

Most people do not realize that some of the aforementioned specialists even exist.  Without these specialists there will be so many people suffering today without hope of being properly treated.  Thankfully, these specialists provide a valuable service that helps us get through life in a happy and less discomforting way.

{ 0 comments }

Specific Cosmetic Dental Procedures

by maxtooth on January 15, 2012

Pain phobia is mainly the reason why people are scared of going to the dentist even though most of them are aware that having regular check ups are essential for the health of their teeth, gums and mouth and eventually their general health.  Surely, when the time wherein drilling or anesthetic injections become a thing of the past then people will reconsider and begin to visit their dentist once more.

Cosmetic Dentistry - Dr. Max ZaslavskyThe use of composite materials for making artificial teeth is ideal since they look and feel like real teeth.  They indeed are the materials used to fill in ugly gaps, tooth breaks, discolorations and cracks.  Dentists call this process dental bonding because the material strongly adheres to the tooth.  Bonding procedures do not usually require a retention trench which often entails drilling.  The bonding process is quite easily done and needs only one dental session to complete it.  The cost of this procedure is much less than a crown and is less painful unless the procedure needs to be done close to the gums which might then necessitate an anesthesia injection.

Newly created composites have much better bonding qualities and they also come in a broad range of color shadings that facilitates matching them with the natural teeth.  A Fort Lauderdale cosmetic dentist has the responsibility of filling a gap with a tooth that does not look like it was enlarged to cosmetically fill in the gap.  Cosmetic dentistry can take on an artistic endeavor where more natural looking is the norm of a good cosmetic dental work.  Rather than focus on the tooth size, the angles of the teeth are shaped in a way that the observer may not think that the tooth has been widened but rather that the only job done was the gap being filled up.  Since this may entail some skill, some bonding jobs fail to impress and so it is removed and replaced with a new bonding without weakening the integrity of the other teeth.

Usually a failed bonding procedure can be seen a few days immediately after the procedure.  Some people are not satisfied with this for some reason or another.  For some whom bonding can affect the integrity of the teeth, the cosmetic dentist usually advises them to use a crown instead.  Crowning is a much more permanent procedure than bonding although the main disadvantage of crowning is the flaking and discoloration of the tooth after 5 years or more.  When this happens the process needs to be repeated.  Usually discoloration (on bonded or crowned teeth) is seen from people who drink coffee a lot or those who smoke.

Bonding is usually helpful in preventing tooth decay although poor bonding work can cause grooves and pits in the enamel at the back of the teeth that can lead to tooth decay. If the person practices good dental practices, then tooth decay on these teeth can be prevented.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Dentists as Literal Lifesavers

by maxtooth on November 3, 2011

Very few people know that the dentist can literally save lives.  Dentists are more than capable of assessing one’s overall health since to them, the mouth can tell what state of health the patient has.  The dentist can detect medical conditions that can potentially lead to major diseases such as osteoporosis, kidney disease and diabetes among others.

Here are some signs dentists can detect and what they can mean for the patient:

1. Inflamed gums and excessive cavities – These potential symptoms of heart disease can manifest in the mouth and this is validated by some studies that associate periodontal disease to heart problems.  So, when you visit the dentist, he/she can alert you to potential cardiovascular problems, which more often than not your dentist will be the first to know.

2. Ammonia smelling breath – A breath that smells like ammonia coupled with something like a metallic taste in the mouth are very good signs of kidney disease.  The dentist should alert you as soon as he/she detects this and advise you in doing the next important steps to address this problem.

3. Halitosis (bad breath) and bleeding gums – These manifestations can either be gum disease condition or type-2 diabetes.  The dentist can tell you what kind of condition you have, especially if the gums are the problem.  Whatever the case, when you suffer from these conditions it is always good to see a physician for diabetes testing.

4. Slowly healing mouth sores and bright red gums – Potential symptoms of leukemia.  Having a regular dental check-up can potentially save your life by early detection of these leukemia signs and it is a safe bet that the dentist will detect these signs.

5. Burning or acrid taste in your mouth – This may be the taste of stomach acid which means you may be suffering from acid reflux.  Another clue for acid reflux is the steady erosion of the tooth enamel.  Dentists often provide good dietary habits that prevent you from suffering acid reflux and/or can advise you to see a physician ASAP for this problem.

6. Rapid loss of teeth – With aging comes tooth loss but rapid loss of the teeth is a potential sign of osteoporosis. Early detection which your dentist can provide if you practice regular dental check-ups is important in the prevention of bone fractures.

7. Airway blockage – A possible sign of sleep apnea is when the tongue falls back and blocks the air passageway. This can be seen by the dentist while you are seated on the dental chair.

8. White spots on the gums – Patches or spots that are whitish in color can be signs of oral cancer.  If you are a regular visitor to your dentist, this symptom can be spotted very early in its development.  As with the other aforementioned symptoms, the dentist can truly be a lifesaver if you come in for regular dental check ups.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }