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2 Reasons Why Water Is Vital For Healthy Teeth and Gums

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The concept of drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day has been a popular public message for decades. And, it’s not difficult to see why staying hydrated is important for a person’s overall health. But there’s an added benefit to drinking enough water—it promotes healthy teeth and gums!

2 Reasons Why Water is Vital for Healthy Teeth and Gums

We could go on and on about the benefits of water, because they are plentiful. It helps with energy, sleep, depression and weight regulation, to name a few. What about the dental benefits?

Here are just 2 reasons why water contributes to healthy teeth and gums.

  1. Protecting against dehydration. Staying hydrated keeps our saliva in tip-top shape. Yes, there is healthy and unhealthy saliva. Warning signs of unhealthy saliva include little to no saliva (aka dry mouth) or very sticky saliva.

Dry mouth can be caused by not drinking enough water, a nutrient deficient diet, or medications. Sticky saliva can mean that there is a buildup of sugar and/or bacteria. The problem with unhealthy saliva is that it can’t do its jobs, which include keeping the tissues of the mouth well hydrated, to wash away food debris, and protecting against acids from sugars and bacteria which can lead to dental decay.

Another benefit of water is that it doesn’t contain any sugar like juices and sodas. Because the person is avoiding sugary beverages and opting for water instead, the risk for decay is reduced.

  1. Preventing dental caries. If people are drinking fluoridated water, studies have shown the risk for tooth decay drops significantly. Of course, there is some controversy regarding adding fluoride to drinking water. As with everything, too much of a good thing can still be too much. Talk to your dentist for more information about water fluoridation.

Ways to Increase Your Water Intake for Healthy Teeth and Gums

increase water intake, New York City root canal treatment, New York City endodontistMany people don’t like water, so they assume they’re a lost cause when it comes to proper hydration.

This is definitely not the case. There are plenty of ways to improve the taste of water!

  • Add lemon, lime and orange slices to a jar of water. Refrigerate overnight. The oils in the skins of these fruits infuse the water with a nice, light flavor.
  • Add mint leaves to the water. Refrigerate overnight. This makes a healthy, incredibly refreshing “mint tea”, but doesn’t contain sugar or caffeine.
  • Add a little bit of fresh lemon or lime juice to water and a small amount of stevia powder. Stevia is a leaf that offers sweetness without the side effects of sugar.

Talk to Your Dentist for More Healthy Teeth and Gum Tips

For more information on how to get healthy teeth and gums, talk to your dentist. Even those in specialty professions, like Fifth Avenue Endodontics, have an abundance of knowledge when it comes to prevention of dental problems. They are happy to offer their recommendations for healthy teeth, gums and body.

All About Dentures

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About Dentures

Full dentures - Fifth Avenue EndodonticsDentures are an artificial replacement for natural teeth, made of acrylic (plastic) and metals (like stainless steel). They are custom designed to fit your mouth and designed to look just like your real teeth.

Dentures come in two main types and we’ve described the differences below. Your dentist will explain which option will best fit with your lifestyle.

Full dentures (upper and lower dentures): These are recommended when all natural teeth either in your upper or lower arch (or both) need replacing.
Partial dentures: These are recommended when multiple natural teeth need replacing. They also help maintain the alignment of your remaining teeth and keep them from shifting.

How are they made?

After a tooth is extracted or lost, the tooth socket starts to fill in with bone and the gum tissue heals and changes shape. This process takes a few months until the gums and bone reach a stable shape. After this time, a conventional full denture is made, preferably about 8 to 12 weeks after the teeth were extracted or lost from the mouth. The process starts by taking a series of impressions or molds of the oral tissues that will support the denture. A dental lab will use these impressions to make models of the patient’s mouth. The dentist and laboratory technician will then slowly start building the dentures on these models and transferring them to the patient’s mouth at each step to ensure proper fit, establish a proper bite, and ensure that the appearance and esthetics of the denture are desirable.

Senior woman with dentures - Fifth Avenue EndodonticsThe patient will generally need to be seen by the dentist once per week for about 4 to 5 weeks until the denture is complete. The patient will then need to return occasionally during the first month after the denture is delivered to have adjustments made. An immediate denture can often be made so that the patient has something to wear the same day the teeth are removed. This type of denture is made before the teeth are extracted and is put in place the day the teeth are removed. Sometimes the back teeth are taken out first and the front teeth are left in place until the day the denture is delivered. This type of denture doesn’t fit the bone and gum tissue as intimately as a conventional denture, so it requires more adjustments during the healing stage. An immediate denture is best used as a temporary appliance until a conventional denture can be made after all of the gum and bone healing is complete.

Are there alternatives?

Yes, there are bridges and implants. A bridge replaces missing teeth by placing crowns on the teeth next to the space and attaching a fake tooth to both of the crowns. Bridges are made from gold, porcelain fused to gold, all porcelain, or zirconium. Bridges can only replace about two to three missing teeth in a row, depending on the location. Since bridges are cemented in place, they are considered a “fixed, or permanent denture.”

An implant is a metal post that is inserted into the bone of the upper or lower jaw. This post is then used to replace a single tooth by attaching a crown to it, or multiple teeth by attaching a bridge to multiple implants. Implants are the most expensive option for tooth replacement, but implants simulate natural teeth better than any of the other options.

Fifth Avenue Endodontics welcomes your questions about tooth problems, repairs, and options. We are your New York City root canal specialists! Thank you for reading.

How to keep teeth healthy through diet and nutrition – Part 2

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Keep your healthy Endodontist NYC New Yorkers like to eat. But have you ever thought about eating for your teeth? In Part 1 of this series we discussed foods that benefit your teeth — like celery and strawberries. We continue this helpful topic with more tips on keeping teeth healthy. If you already have had problems with decay and cavities, you want to pay special attention to what you eat. Some people have weaker teeth and weaker (thinner) enamel than others. Know your risk – speak to your dentist endodontist.

FOODS FOR HEALTHY TEETH

Sesame seeds are similar to celery in that they are also an abrasive food that can help “brush” the surface of teeth and remove bacteria causing debris. They are also high in calcium, which is important in bone and teeth formation, and are extremely easy to incorporate into the diet. Toss a handful of toasted sesame seeds on your next snack or meal, or sprinkle them in your salads.

Vitamin K is essential for bone growth and mineral absorption, it can help strengthen teeth enamel when paired with Vitamin D. Cruciferous vegetables, such as kale and broccoli, are very high in Vitamin K and other immune-boosting nutrients that can also contribute to healthier gums and teeth. Other great sources of this vitamin include egg yolks, hard cheese, pasteurized butter, fermented grains, and naturally-cured salami.

FIGHT BACTERIA WITH PARSLEY

Parsley has been used as a natural breath freshener for ages. This herb is known for its antibacterial properties and may help prevent bacteria that can lead to lose of tooth enamel. Next time, chew some parsley in place of sugary gum or breath mints; not only will it freshen your breath, it can also save your teeth from sugars that can deteriorate enamel.

Now consider having some tea. Naturally high in antioxidants for a healthier oral cavity, almost all leaves that brew tea also contains fluoride, which protects tooth enamel from decay. Green tea, in particular, also contains the antioxidant polyphenol, which protects the teeth by preventing plaque from adhering to its surface. As an added bonus, freshly brewed tea may also help eliminate bad breath for a more presentable smile.

WATER IS YOUR FRIEND

Drinking water can ensure a clean mouth, it washes away trapped debris between teeth that serve as a breeding ground for enamel harming bacteria. For the sake of your teeth, it is also advisable to swish and rinse the oral cavity with water after drinking or eating highly acidic or enamel-dissolving foods, such as alcohol, coffee, or lemons, to keep the harsh foods from dissolving teeth surface and enamel. By keeping yourself hydrated, your body can also have a stronger immune system to potentially help ward off gum disease, which in turn, can be detrimental to tooth enamel.

You’ve heard this from your dentist – but we’ll reiterate it – avoid soda and sugary drinks. Sodas and sweet juice drinks have high sugar levels. Enjoy them rarely, and stick to water and less acidic beverages. If you must have fruit juice, water it down. Your endodontist NYC at Fifth Avenue Endodontics wants you to have clean, healthy teeth! Contact us to learn more. Thanks for reading.

Plaque, Tartar and Decay

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New York City Root Canal Treatment

We instinctively take care of our heart. We worry about our weight, our liver, and our health. But we don’t think of the health of our MOUTH very often, do we? But your mouth deserves your attention – because you don’t want plaque and you don’t want tooth decay.

Dental plaque is, you could say, your mouth’s worst enemy. Or at least, the worst enemy to your teeth. Plaque is basically a sticky film that covers your tooth enamel and contains bacteria. It is also an ideal setting for bacteria to grow. Where there is plaque – and it’s left alone – there is decay. The bacteria in plaque contributes to gum disease as well as tooth decay.

So, what is plaque made of? Well, it’s actually comprised of tiny leftover food particles, mixed with your saliva. When you brush after every meal, you do not give plaque a chance to grow. Brushing removes the tiny food particles that inevitably are left behind after we eat. If someone goes several days without brushing their teeth, the plaque hardens and actually sticks very well to the tooth enamel. At this point, it becomes what dentists call tartar. Tartar makes your teeth turn various shades of yellow and can also cause bad breath. It is difficult to remove — it has to be scraped off with a dental instrument.

dental plaque New York City root canal treatment

It is interesting to note that plaque forms because of a chemical reaction that takes place in the mouth. Plaque actually needs carbohydrates to form. And luckily for plaque, carbohydrates are found in just about every food. It stands to reason that foods containing a lot of sugar have more carbohydrates — this is why you always heard as a child that if you ate too much candy and cookies, you would get cavities.

There are many health benefits to a low-carb diet and less plaque is one of them. You can talk to your nutritionist, functional medicine doctor, or your general practitioner about reducing carbohydrates. And reducing sugar in the diet is always good. Sugar does damage in the body far beyond just affecting your teeth.

While brushing your teeth after every time you eat something seems excessive, it certainly can’t hurt to brush after every meal. But, dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice per day, ideally once after breakfast, and once before bed. Flossing also helps remove plaque and ensures that it won’t have time to become tartar because plaque can exist between your teeth where your brush doesn’t reach.

Most dentists will tell you that you have about 48 hours before plaque begins to harden and tartar formation begins. You might be surprised to learn that 80% or more of American adults have periodontal disease that is caused by the formation of plaque. Plaque actually begins to harden within just a few hours of forming. It is quite resilient. Note that drinking things like green tea and cranberry juice helps prevent plaque buildup.

Another interesting fact: pregnant women are more likely to have plaque buildup and can have increased tooth decay during pregnancy.

Let’s face it — cavities, yellow teeth, tooth pain, and bad breath are not things we want. Gum disease is not fun either. All of these can be prevented with proper dental care. As your New York City endodontist, we’ve seen the damage that a poor diet and/or poor dental care can cause to our teeth. Many people with their busy lives don’t take the time to brush and floss properly or they ignore a tooth problem until it really hurts. And that is when the decay could require a root canal.

The good news is, today’s root canal procedure is very standard and painless. Advancements in dental care treatment have made root canals, crowns and other dental procedures much faster and easier to perform — and they heal faster as well. If you have a question about getting the new york city root canal treatment or other dental question — feel free to call and speak to us here at Fifth Avenue Endodontics, your New York City root canal treatment specialist.

Good Info to Know for Teeth Health! Part 1

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Healthy Food for Healthy Teeth

Healthy foods for healthy teeth We know there are foods that we should not eat because they will damage our teeth or cause decay,
healthy foods for healthy teethbut do you know what foods are actually good for your teeth? Often our teeth and mouth are our last thought when we think about being healthy. But it’s a good idea for the following items to be incorporated into your daily diet, to help keep your teeth strong and gums healthy.

Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese are important because they have plenty of phosphorous and calcium that can help strengthen teeth enamel and help with re-mineralization. They also promote saliva secretion, which can have a preventative effect, as saliva protects teeth against bacteria and balances the mouth’s pH level. For those who are lactose intolerant, enriched soy milk can be a good alternative as it usually has added calcium. (Many people are low in all sorts of vitamins or minerals. Comprehensive testing is available from functional medicine doctors and nutritionists that can identify what you are lacking).

Don’t like celery? Well, celery is considered an “abrasive” food item due to its high fiber content. It can help protect teeth and its enamel by cleaning the surface of the teeth. Its fibrous nature also requires longer chewing time, which also can promote saliva secretion and maintain a healthy pH level in the mouth. The gums, which are also integral to healthy tooth enamel, are also massaged in the chewing process to ensure its health.

Hopefully, you like berries. Strawberries are full of antioxidants and vitamin C, which are important in maintaining the overall health of the oral cavity. They have a natural exfoliating effect due to its malic acid content, and can also help whiten your teeth while removing enamel-harming tartar. There is no need to actively rub the actual fruit on the teeth; however, as an excess of malic acid may actually do harm and dissolve tooth enamel. To keep your teeth enamel and oral cavity healthy, just incorporate strawberries in your diet, as a snack or a healthy dessert.

GET YOUR VITAMIN D.

Studies have shown that vitamin D is a nutrient that plays a key role in regulating proteins that create tooth enamel. So foods that are rich in vitamin D, such as fish oil, cold-water fish, or enriched egg yolks, are great for strengthening and possibly re-mineralizing tooth enamel. For example, canned sardines are a great super food that is rich in vitamin D. Beneficial for strengthening tooth enamel, and you can also eat the bones of the fish for added bone-strengthening calcium and fluoride.

Most animal proteins, such as chicken and beef, contain phosphorus, which is a mineral essential to healthy tooth enamel. When phosphorus is paired with calcium and vitamin D, healthy bones and teeth are created. Tofu may be an alternative option for vegetarians, as it contains a good amount of protein, and may also have the added benefits of calcium and magnesium.

Your friendly root canal specialists in New York City, Fifth Avenue Endodontics, encourage you to make healthy choices, not just for your teeth, but for your body and your longevity. We welcome all questions concerning tooth health, cavities, and root canal procedures. See our next article for more on this topic.

EATING AND DRINKING FOR YOUR TEETH 

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Good and Worst Foods for Teeth

We eat for a lot of reasons. Because we are hungry, we eat what we like, we eat what tastes good or we eat healthy for our bodies. But when, if ever, do we eat for our teeth? Do you ever even think about your teeth when making food choices? Now, we talk about the foods for teeth.Good and Worst Foods for Teeth

When it comes to food, your teeth are the first to be affected. And your teeth do have enemies. It’s important to know what foods are good for your mouth and which ones can have negative effects on your teeth and gums.

Let’s first talk about sugar. Is it one of the worst foods for teeth? That grainy white stuff you dump in your coffee — Yep, not nice for your teeth. Eating candy or candy bars, sucking on a lollipop, eating cake or cookies — all of this is detrimental to your teeth. You may have a lot of fillings in your mouth because you had cavities in your younger years. Maybe because you had too much sugar as a child and into your young adulthood. Keep in mind that a little bit of natural sugar is okay but things like agave nectar, Stevia and artificial sweeteners don’t contribute to decay like good old-fashioned sugar does.

Note that chemical-based artificial sweeteners may not be good for us so they should be consumed in very limited quantity. Just a dash of Splenda rather than a whole pack is the way to go. But play around with different sweeteners and figure out what works for you.

Now let’s talk about the crunchy stuff. Decay starts with bacteria and so any foods that cut back bacteria are good foods for teeth. Sugar — you guessed it — actually contributes to bacteria growth. But things that we crunch like celery, carrots, apples and cucumbers will not only fight bacteria in our mouth by producing saliva, but they also help keep plaque from forming on your teeth and at the gum line. Get in the habit of crunching one fruit a day, ideally in the morning. Why? Because eating fruit at night — which has a good amount of sugar in it — means you don’t burn it off and the sugar becomes fattening for you. Better to eat sugary foods earlier in the day so that you burn the calories.

And of course we are going to talk about dairy. You need calcium not just for strong teeth but also for strong bones. Many people are calcium deficient. Do you eat enough yogurt, milk, and cheese? Maybe a little ice cream now and then – but again, choose ones that are low in sugar. Sunflower seeds are actually very high in calcium and they promote building tooth enamel so try snacking on them once in a while.

Let’s talk about beverages now. Are you consuming sugary beverages like lemonade, sweetened iced tea, energy drinks, Gatorade, sodas? Alas, these are not your friends. Not only are they bad for your teeth and potentially cause cavities but they put too much sugar in our body. Sugar has been linked to all kinds of health problems and should be consumed in very small quantities. Keep this in mind when making beverage choices. Try having water with just a small amount of fruit juice or lemonade mixed in. Drink light iced tea and add ice and lemon. It’s important to make good beverage choices. Coffee of course stains your teeth as do any dark beverages so try limiting them and replacing them with lighter colored beverages if you’re concerned about white teeth. Green tea is a perfect substitute.

Now keep in mind that some foods can actually wedge in between your teeth more easily than others. Things like breads, crackers and potato chips can leave small particles in the cracks of your teeth and you don’t even know it. They create a perfect home for bacteria. This is why flossing is so important.

At the end of the day it is up to you to take care of your teeth and avoid decay. As New York City’s root canal specialists, we’ve seen our share of decay. We know what foods can do to our precious teeth. So, take care of your teeth, New York! Toss out the candy bar and have celery with peanut butter or apples with a bit of almond butter instead. Thanks for reading.

Avoiding Bad Breath

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Avoiding Bad Breath

It is not pleasant to be at a party or function, or even in the workplace, and be talking to someone with bad breath.
You yourself could have bad breath and not know it. This is why we should all take steps to prevent bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis. Everyone thinks their breath is fine and only other people have stinky breath. Not true. 85% of people have halitosis at times. The good news is, it is fairly easy to prevent, just by taking some simple measures.

bad breath solutionsThe first tip is an obvious one — get regular dental checkups and have your teeth cleaned at least once a year, but preferably twice per year. Tooth decay and plaque can contribute to bad breath. Removing that build up of plaque on your teeth and fixing any cavities will result in decreased chance for halitosis. Brushing your teeth frequently also decreases your chances of getting bad breath because you are making sure that food fragments are not residing in the cracks of your teeth.

Now what about your tongue? Do you clean your tongue? From the back to the front, your tongue can be covered in bacteria and yes, you guessed it, this can contribute to bad breath. You can brush your tongue gently with your regular toothbrush or gargle strongly with mouthwash and swish it all around your mouth and tongue.

Even just rinsing your mouth with water after you eat or drink something keeps food particles and bacteria from building up. And water is your friend in other ways. Staying hydrated throughout the day means you are less likely to develop halitosis. When your mouth is dry, less saliva is being produced and saliva is nature’s mouthwash. It fights bacteria and it washes away food particles. So when your mouth is dry, bad breath can take hold. Drink a lot of water especially if you are going to be socializing.

Certain foods lead to bad breath as well. You should avoid spicy foods like garlic and onions. Coffee and other strong drinks can also leave a smell. If you are consuming these things it makes sense to carry mints or gum and use them after consuming spicy foods and strong beverages.

If you are a smoker, you should know that smoking actually contributes to the buildup of plaque. So smokers are not only more likely to have bad breath, but also more teeth and gum problems. They have less saliva to protect them from halitosis as well.

Finally, we will encourage you to look for natural breath fresheners. You can chew on parsley or meant or even cinnamon sticks. Eating a grapefruit or an orange helps kill bacteria in your mouth and prevent bad breath. Flossing is a good idea to because it removes trapped food and gets your saliva flowing.

You may even want to ask a close friend or family member, do I ever have bad breath? You may be surprised to hear that halitosis is frequent. If you have frequent halitosis, it could be linked to a health condition like severe allergies and sinusitis, bronchitis, systemic problems, or even good old stress. If you have halitosis frequently and you are taking good care of your mouth and teeth, you should check with your doctor or dentist to determine the root cause of the problem.

As your New York City endodontist, we appreciate clients who take care of their mouth and breath. Our endodontists share these tips to help you avoid this embarrassing condition. A healthy mouth is a happy mouth – and the people around you will be happier too.

ABOUT GUM DISEASE

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About Gum Disease

about gum diseaseHealthy gums are firm, and don’t bleed. They fit snugly around the teeth.

Gingivitis is a condition where a person has mildly inflamed gums that may appear red or swollen and may bleed during brushing or flossing.

It can be painless, and at the beginning of the inflammation of the gum line you may not know you have a problem. But it can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. There are three stages of gum disease:

STAGES OF GUM DISEASE

  1. Gingivitis – the earliest stage of gum disease.
  2. Periodontitis – the stage where the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. Your gums may begin to form a pocket below the gum line, which traps food and plaque. You should seek proper dental treatment and improve your home care to help prevent further damage.
  3. Advanced periodontitis – This is the final stage of gum disease, when the fibers and bone supporting your teeth are destroyed, which can cause your teeth to shift or loosen. Your bite can be affected and if aggressive treatment can’t save your teeth, they may need to be removed.

HOW DOES GUM DISEASE HAPPEN?

It is an inflammation of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. It is caused by the bacteria in plaque that can build up and then the bacteria will infect not only your gums but eventually the bone that support the teeth and even the teeth themselves. Eventually this damage will cause the teeth to become loose, fall out, or have to be removed by a dentist.

WARNING SIGNS OF GUM DISEASE

Gum disease commonly occurs among adults over age 25. However, it can start at any age. It can be reversed and detected early, if you see your dentist. These are some of the symptoms:

  1. Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
  2. Gums that are red, puffy, swollen or tender
  3. Gums that have separated, or pulled away from your teeth creating a pocket
  4. Teeth that look longer because your gums have receded
  5. Changes in the way your teeth fit together while biting
  6. Persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth
  7. Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums

PREVENTING GUM DISEASE

After our description, we’re sure you don’t want gum disease to happen to you. As endodontists serving New York City, we’ve seen our share of gum and tooth damage. It is preventable with good oral care that includes:

  1. Proper brushing and flossing
  2. Using antibacterial toothpaste and mouthwash killing bacteria
  3. A saltwater mouth rinse
  4. Bi-annual dental visits for cleaning and check-ups.
  5. Deep Cleaning, by a Dentist, when you need it

It is important that you have dental checkups, at least annually to prevent gum disease. Especially, people with heart disease or diabetes need to be aware of and work to prevent gum disease. Ask your New York City root canal endodontist if you have any questions, we are here for your dental health.

Treating Cavities and Types of Fillings – Part 2

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Dental Cavity Treatmentdental cavity treatment procedure

The dental cavity treatment goes back centuries, but it was not until 1875 that Dr. G.V. Black first described an organized approach to their treatment. His systematic methods are still used today, primarily for the placement of fillings. Although he recommended amalgam fillings, which are rarely used today (the ones we remember, silver in color, which are a mixture of mercury and other metals).

Most cavities discovered during a dental examination will need to be treated. In general, if a cavity has broken through the enamel and is into the underlying dentin, then that tooth has undergone cavitation, and requires cavity treatment. Early dental cavities that have not spread to the dentin should be treated with fluoride.

There are two basic principals of treating cavities: removing the decayed portion of the tooth, and rebuilding the missing tooth structure with a filling material. With an injection of local anesthetic, xylocaine in most cases, and a high-speed dental drill, the decay is removed and this prepares the tooth for filling. In the past, fillings were silver (amalgam), or gold. These materials are layered on top of the liner or base to finish the process of rebuilding the tooth. Composites, resins and porcelain are being used today as alternate filling materials.

Porcelain is still sometimes used for dental fillings called inlays. The disadvantage is that they can be brittle and therefore susceptible to breakage. Porcelain costs significantly more than amalgam or composite fillings. Porcelain can also cause accelerated wear of the opposing tooth when biting. Still, it has many advantages.

After a filling, it is not unusual for the tooth to be sensitive for a day or two. The deeper the filling, the more likely the tooth will have prolonged sensitivity, especially to cold food or drink. However, fillings should be completely comfortable within two weeks unless they were built up too high, and need to be filed down. If sensitivity lasts more than two weeks, that may indicate a tooth that has an inflamed or infected pulp, and requires root canal therapy by an endodontist.

A good filling, done correctly, will last ten to 20 years and is the ideal treatment when a cavity is caught early. Bad cavities often lead to a root canal procedure, which is no longer a painful prospect. New advancements in root canal and endodontic technology have made this procedure quick and only producing slight discomfort. More on cavity treatment, fillings and lasers in our next article! Thank you for caring about your teeth, from your New York City endodontists.

Foods that Support Healthy Teeth

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Advice for Having Healthy Teeth

Advice for having Healthy TeethFor all of our clients at Fifth Avenue Endodontics of New York, this information is helpful to you, and continues our three-part feature on eating for healthy teeth, skin, hair and nails. When we are children, everyone starts telling us not to eat candy or a lot of sugary foods and drinks to protect our health and smile – That’s all true! But, if you want to be proactive – read on to learn little known facts about what you should eat for healthy teeth, gums, hair, and nails!

Here are a few delicious healthy foods that are great for you on the inside and out!

Whiter Teeth

If you want to sport a gleaming smile you can skip the white strips and start noshing on healthy, vitamin rich fresh and naturally sweet strawberries! They taste better and deliver sustenance with a natural astringent malic acid, plus vitamin C to help get rid of stains and plaque. Just remember, you still need to keep the floss around for those pesky post-snack particles.

To prevent cavities and maintain good oral health and good breath, consider the fact that food changes in your mouth the moment you eat something. Bacteria in your mouth converts sugars and carbohydrates from the foods you eat to acids, and it’s the acids that begin to attack the enamel on your teeth, which is the start of the decay process. So, the more often you eat and snack, the more frequently you are exposing your teeth to the cycle of decay.

Stronger, Healthier Gums

For the health of your mouth, some of the best food choices include cheeses, chicken or other lean protein-rich meats, nuts, and milk. These foods are thought to protect tooth enamel and having healthy teeth by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to re-mineralize teeth. Re-mineralization is the natural process by which minerals are re-deposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids.

Other smart food choices include firm/crunchy fruits (for example, apples and pears) and vegetables. These choices offer high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain, and stimulate the flow of the saliva. Your saliva is important because it helps protect against decay by washing away food particles and buffering the acids. When you wish to eat acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and lemons, make them part of a larger meal to reduce the acid from them and their impact to your teeth and gums.

Coffee is the most popular way for adults to start the day in the U.S., but, you might want to switch to Green Tea or at least add it to your routine. Green tea improves the health of your teeth and gums, as it decreases inflammation, makes your mouth more alkaline, inhibits the growth of cavity-causing bacteria, prevents tooth loss, may slow progression of oral cancer, and freshens breath by killing odor-causing bacteria. Also, green tea tends to be rich in fluoride which is possibly the best known tooth strengthening agent available.

Longer, stronger fingernails and hair!

A smart go to for quick snack staples are almonds and carrots.  Almonds happen to strengthen fingernails due to the high content of biotin and vitamin E found in the nuts.  And, carrots provide high amounts of beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A in your body which is essential to hair growth. Not enough of either in your system may lead your talons and locks to become dry and dull.

For a truly healthy, bright smile – keep your diet simple, balanced and rich in lean protein, fresh raw greens and vegetables, and vitamins while eliminating or minimizing anything processed and/or sugary.  And, floss daily! Your New York City Endodontist cares about the health of your teeth!