Walk into the average big box store, and you’ll see an entire aisle dedicated to oral hygiene. If you’re a fan of clean teeth and healthy gums, you might enjoy comparison-shopping electric toothbrushes, dental water jets, specialized mouth rinses, and organic toothpaste. But do all these products really do what they say they will?
Some experts say that certain products can have unexpected side effects. Others, such as water flossers, may do more harm than good because of the unintended, indirect way they can affect your oral care routine.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that patients interested in bleaching their teeth seek treatment from a dentist, rather than trying to do it at home. This is because over-the-counter (OTC) whitening products are not customized to an individual patient’s mouth, and so the chemicals come into contact with the sensitive gum tissue, causing pain, irritation, and tooth sensitivity that can persist.
Another downside of OTC whitening products is that they require repeated use over a long period of time to achieve visible results. And you could still end up with uneven white patches in your smile. If you use the whitening strips and your teeth aren’t perfectly straight and even, the chemicals probably won’t get to all areas of the teeth, leaving some spots untreated.
Water flossers, commonly known as waterpiks or sometimes dental water jets, are devices that shoot a high-velocity stream of water. They’re supposed to be aimed at the spaces between the teeth to knock loose food particles and bacteria. Water flossers can be helpful for people with limited dexterity, and they’re good for people who have a history of gum disease. This is because the water can flush out the pockets that form when the gums pull away from the teeth.
However, water flossers do have a dark side. Even if they’re advertised as being able to remove plaque and hardened tartar, they can’t. The only way you can get rid of tartar is by visiting your dentist for a professional cleaning, and the only way to get rid of plaque between your teeth is by flossing. But some people who use water flossers trick themselves into thinking that it’s a substitute for actual flossing, which is why these handy devices may sometimes do more harm than good. It’s great if you do want to add a water flosser to your daily routine, just as long as you continue to floss thoroughly at least once every day.
Nothing caps off a great teeth cleaning session like a swish of mouthwash. But you should always check the label carefully before you buy. Mouthwash products with alcohol can do more harm than good. If you have a canker sore, a high amount of alcohol can irritate it. Even worse, alcohol-containing mouthwash can contribute to dry mouth. Your teeth and gums need a steady flow of saliva to wash away bacteria and food particles, so having dry mouth can actually increase your risk of cavities. Plus, like water flossers, mouth rinses aren’t a substitute for brushing and flossing.
Protect your oral health by choosing non-alcohol, fluoridated mouthwash, and use it only to complement, rather than replace your main oral care routine.
Looking for recommendations for your oral care routine? Make an appointment at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry in Suffolk County. Our cosmetic dentists can get your gums and teeth healthy and brilliantly white. We offer safe and effective teeth whitening, dental implants, and so much more. Call our office on Long Island at 631-296-0588 to request a consult.
By about five weeks of age, babies start to show “social smiles.” These are intentional expressions of love and warmth that start surprisingly early in life. As children grow up, most of them start to intuitively pick up on other, subtler cues of social situations and emotions. A person’s smile and other body language indicators can give insight as to that individual’s personality and feelings.
Smiles are contagious. A warm, genuine smile can instantly make other people feel happier. Food served with a smile even seems to taste better. It can also make someone seem more trustworthy. In one interesting research study, students were instructed to pretend that they were members of a college disciplinary body, and they had to decide whether or not another student was guilty of cheating on a test.
The students were all given the same packet of material that suggested the student was guilty. Some of them saw a photograph of the student, in which she wore a neutral expression. Others saw a picture of her smiling. Almost all of the study participants decided the student was probably guilty, but those who had seen the picture of the student smiling wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.
Not all body language is universally interpreted. In the U.S., children are taught that making eye contact is a sign of respect, because it indicates that a person is paying attention to the conversation. But in certain Asian and Middle Eastern cultures, eye contact can be socially inappropriate.
Enthusiastic Westerners sometimes make a thumbs-up sign to indicate their excitement or agreement with someone else. It can also be a congratulatory gesture. However, in India, giving the thumbs-up sign is roughly akin to giving someone the middle finger in Western culture.
Micro-expressions are those momentary changes in one’s facial expression that flash only briefly on the face before disappearing. A twitch of a muscle here, a slight narrowing of the eyes there can reveal much more than more obvious facial expressions. This is especially true for adults, since most adults have learned how to camouflage their facial expressions when the situation calls for it.
And because micro-expressions are so fleeting, you’d have to film your encounters and study them frame-by-frame to pick up on them. That’s why some experts say to just trust your instincts when interpreting someone’s body language—your subconscious mind can pick up on these micro-expressions, even if your conscious brain can’t.
Your smile says a lot about you. Get the smile that makes a great impression with a little help from accomplished cosmetic dentists on Long Island. Call Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry today, and we’ll set up a prompt consult with Dr. Nick or Dr. Elliot. Choose from our full menu of beautiful cosmetic improvements, including veneers, teeth whitening, implants, and Invisalign. We even offer sedation dentistry in our modern clinic in Suffolk County!
Scientists say sleeping with an open mouth is as damaging to teeth as sipping orange juice or fizzy soda before bed. If you wake up in the morning with dry lips and your throat feeling like you’ve just swallowed sand, you could be a mouth breather. Breathing through your mouth as you sleep is more than just an annoying habit for a partner sharing your bed. Mouth breathing causes some very real health concerns that are worth addressing.
A study published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation found that the pH level in a normal mouth is a neutral 7.7. A mildly acidic level would be a pH of 6.6, but some mouth breathers reached acidity levels as high as 3.6! Dry membranes and a high pH balance in the mouth makes it easy for bacteria to take hold, causing bad breath, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.
Mouth-breathing promotes the growth of the upper jaw, causing a rather large overbite and gummy smile. Children who breathe through their mouths often develop long face syndrome – which is characterized by unattractive features like flat facial features, less prominent cheekbones, long and narrow face shape, poor muscle tone, and small jaws. They may suffer from poor posture and crowded teeth. Kids who wear braces take longer to treat and are more likely to suffer relapse when they breathe with their mouths open all the time. Often, children struggle with lisps related to an underlying facial deformity and mouth-breathing. Screening for and diagnosing mouth-breathing before age 5 can prevent these abnormal changes.
A particularly low amount of oxygen in the blood is called hypoxemia, which causes high blood pressure, fatigue, and headaches. The journal of General Dentistry explains: “Mouth-breathing also irritates the tonsils and adenoids, so you have a double whammy where the sinuses are congested, which causes further blockage of the upper airway.”
Not only is it difficult to take in oxygen through the nose, but the lack of oxygen passing over the mucous membrane and into the sinuses inhibits nitric oxide production, which is necessary for the proper functioning of the heart and blood vessels.
People who mouth-breathe often wake multiple times a night when their oxygen supply is low. Children may be diagnosed with ADHD due to problems concentrating and learning difficulties at school. Adults may suffer from brain fog, excessive daytime sleepiness, and chronic fatigue. Breathing through your mouth can also cause the jaw and tongue to fall back, blocking the airway to cause apnea and increasing the likelihood of loud snoring. Many people do not know they have Sleep Apnea until they find out they are mouth breathers.
Dentists can treat mouth breathing several different ways, depending on the root cause. If the cause of mouth breathing is huge tonsils, removal may be an option. Structural issues can be corrected with orthodontic treatment or surgery. Some patients use affordable oral appliances similar to sports mouth guards that open up breathing passages. Treating underlying allergies with nasal sprays or antihistamines may also improve the condition.
To reduce mouth dryness, dentists recommend treating the root cause of mouth breathing, using a humidifier at night, drinking additional fluids during the day, and rubbing a small amount of Vitamin E oil on the gums before sleep. Special treatments or coatings can be applied to the teeth and mouth to restore proper pH.
Excessive or irregular gaps between the teeth are a common result of malocclusion, or an improper bite. In more severe cases, they are indicative of tooth loss.
At Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we understand the serious psychological and social issues associated with a less-than-desirable smile, and we want to fix this problem.
Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot on Long Island offer multiple solutions for patients with gaps in their smile.
If you’re looking for a quick solution to your dental issues, porcelain veneers might be right for you. These are individually customized, wafer-thin sheets of porcelain that are shaped to resemble your natural teeth. Your cosmetic dentist will carefully trim and shade your veneers before bonding them to the visible sides of your teeth. As an added bonus, porcelain veneers will instantly camouflage other imperfections, like stubborn stains and misshapen teeth. However, they cannot replace gaps due to missing teeth and they generally aren’t a great option for people who grind their teeth.
If your gaps aren’t due to missing teeth, but rather to malocclusion, then Invisalign is an effective and easy option. Your cosmetic dentist will carefully evaluate your mouth to make sure you’re a good candidate for Invisalign. This treatment gently guides misaligned teeth into the positions they should be in. You’ll wear a series of clear plastic aligners that are custom-made just for you. Invisalign can’t transform your smile as quickly as porcelain veneers, but patients do tend to get great results in about a year on average. For best results, wear the aligners 20 to 22 hours per day.
Dental bridges are indicated for patients with gaps created by missing teeth. Although dental implants are considered the gold standard for tooth replacement, these do require oral surgery. Dental bridges are a noninvasive alternative for people who aren’t good candidates for surgery or simply prefer to avoid it. Dental bridges may be fixed or removable. If you choose this option, your cosmetic dentist will make two crowns that fit over the teeth adjacent to the gap. These crowns hold a replacement tooth in place to cover up the gap in your smile.
If you have several missing teeth, dentures may be a good choice. These removable sets of replacement teeth are a quick way to fill in the gaps at a low cost. By replacing these gaps in your smile, dentures can even improve your facial symmetry. The main drawback of dentures is that they are removable and may, on occasion, slip out of place. Consider talking to your cosmetic dentist about implant-supported dentures to fix this problem.
There are lots of cosmetic dentistry solutions available to help you get a great smile, but the only way to find out which choice is best for you is to come in for a consultation. At Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, you’ll find customized cosmetic dentistry treatment plans and state-of-the-art medical technology. Call us today to request your one-on-one consult.
What do Julia Roberts, Zach Efron and Blake Lively all have in common? Perfectly aligned teeth and a beautiful, mega-watt smile! While some of Hollywood’s hottest stars were blessed with naturally flawless teeth, others have perfected their red carpet smiles with the assistance of a skilled cosmetic dentist.
In the June issue of Bella – New York’s premier women’s luxury lifestyle magazine – Dr. Elliot Koschitzki offers expert advice on how porcelain veneers can help patients achieve a dazzling celebrity smile (think Charlize Theron or Kate Hudson!). When applied properly, veneers are totally indistinguishable from your own natural teeth, and according to Dr. Elliott, these thin porcelain restorations can last upwards of 20 years with regular cleaning and dental checkups.
If you’ve ever dreamed of having a movie star smile, porcelain veneers are an easy, painless way to boost self-esteem, by giving your teeth a more desired color and shape. In the article, Dr. Elliott answers some frequently asked questions about dental veneers, which offer life-changing results in just two office visits. “Very often our patients can get pretty emotional when my assistant hands over a mirror at the end of the appointment,” adds Elliott. “We like to keep a box of tissues nearby!”
Dental veneers are micro-thin pieces of porcelain that are customized to fit over the front surfaces of the teeth – much like an artificial acrylic nail. Veneers are ideal for camouflaging gaps in teeth, severely discolored teeth, teeth that are slightly misaligned, crowded or those with small cracks and chips. A mold of your teeth is taken so that you and your dentist can create a customized treatment plan, using temporary mock-ups to fine tune the final veneers. Once the veneers are fabricated, a thin layer of enamel is removed from the fronts of teeth where the permanent veneers are bonded using a strong dental adhesive. The whole procedure is minimally invasive and requires just two office visits.
Thanks to modern techniques in cosmetic dentistry, getting porcelain veneers is a pain-free and simple process involving minimal discomfort. During a one-on-one consultation in which you can discuss your aesthetic concerns, a treatment plan will be designed to give you the best results possible. The goal, emphasizes Dr. Elliott, is to achieve a harmonious smile. So whether you have front teeth that are too crowded or spread out too much, you may need additional veneers to create a more attractive outcome.
Besides offering a virtually instant celebrity smile makeover, veneers offer some extra benefits. They are incredibly durable and, unlike your natural teeth, resistant to stains. That means you can enjoy your coffee, tea and wine without worrying about dulling your new pearly whites.
If you are interested in learning more about custom-made veneers with one of New York’s leading cosmetic dentists, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Elliott at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, located in Rocky Point.
It’s never too late to get a beautiful new smile – call our offices today for an appointment!
Americans are increasingly aware of the profound impact dental health has on physical attractiveness and self-esteem. Cosmetic dentistry is a thriving industry as people seek tooth restoration to look and feel better, to turn back the clock, and to prepare for upcoming events such as weddings, reunions, and vacations.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) has identified several key industry trends that have led to increased demand for smile enhancement over the past year in their annual “State of Cosmetic Dentistry” survey.
Restoration using dental crowns is the most common procedure in cosmetic dentistry today, used “most frequently” by 82 percent of all cosmetic dentists. Dental crowns are used to restore a broken tooth, protect a weakened tooth, cover a failed implant, or fill large holes once decay has been removed. Crowns are most commonly made from ceramic or porcelain. Most crowns last between 5 and 15 years, but some last up to 30.
Here at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we have advanced 3D print technology that manufactures personalized dental crowns in just 20 minutes, so we can get patients in and out the same day. We also use 3D technology to determine the right placement for implants, measure the jaw, prepare patients for reconstructive surgery, examine decay and tooth root structures, and reduce radiation exposure. Despite all the advantages of 3D technology, only 28 percent of cosmetic dentists have made investment a priority.
When cosmetic dentists were asked to describe the ONE “most popular” cosmetic procedure at their practices, a third of survey respondents named tooth whitening. There are in-office and at-home methods of teeth whitening, depending on your individual circumstances. Years of tobacco use and drinking red wine, coffee, tea, or cola can be lifted from the teeth in just two office visits. The popularity of teeth whitening has skyrocketed over the last 20 years, as more people become aware of how quick, effective and affordable it is.
Seventy-four percent of cosmetic dentists list teeth bonding as a “frequent” procedure at their practices. For 30 percent of cosmetic dentists, it’s the #1 procedure. Bonding is a method of using resin to fill gaps between the teeth or cover existing teeth that are imperfect. Bonding can repair minor chips and cracks, make teeth appear the same length, give the teeth a uniform shape, and reduce awkward spaces. Bonding is a permanent solution to many of the mouth’s biggest problems.
In the past, patients with significant bone loss in the jaw, difficulty eating or speaking, and severe dental problems had no choice but to be fitted for removable dentures. The mini implant procedure hasn’t received much press, but it’s popular among cosmetic dentists who say it’s an affordable and reliable method of tooth restoration. This technique places small-diameter implants, which attach to the dentures to create a strong anchor for dentures, cemented crowns, or bridges. Patients enjoy added support that enables them to eat, speak, and laugh without worry. Best of all, the whole procedure can be done in less than one hour.
Contact Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule a free consultation and learn more about any of these trending smile makeovers!
Dr. Nick Augenbaum of Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry has been recognized as one of America’s best young dentists, according to the prestigious dental magazine Incisal Edge. Dr. Nick joins the ranks of 39 other dentists who made the magazine’s coveted ‘Top 40 Under 40’ list.
Fifteen women and 25 men – hailing from 20 different states – were among this year’s Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 winners. The recipients are praised for their remarkable achievements in the professional arena and charitable endeavors that give back to the community — earning them the distinction of some of the “finest young practitioners in our industry.”
A press release issued by Benco Dental, publisher of Incisal Edge, states of the 40 Under 40 list: “America’s best young dentists seem to create additional hours within each day during which they balance life with career, find creative ways to give back, and all the while achieve the professional excellence that allows them to provide unsurpassed patient care.”
To honor these trailblazing young dentists, Incisal Edge will be hosting a two-day event in New York City later this week. The whirlwind itinerary will feature face time with renowned Forbes editor Randall Lane, a photo-shoot near Madison Square Garden, and celebrations that highlight their professional careers.
Dr. Nick, along with other honorees of this esteemed list, was nominated by industry experts from around the country and thoroughly vetted by an independent panel. Chosen for their dedication to excellent patient care, dental innovations, and philanthropic work, these young men and women characterize a new generation of dental practitioners.
Dr. Nick has accrued other notable achievements, including an American Academy of Implant Dentistry Award for his outstanding work in implant dentistry, and the International College of Dentists Award for his extraordinary leadership and professionalism.
Along with his colleague Dr. Elliot Koschitzki, he provides general and cosmetic dentistry services in Suffolk County in a state-of-the-art facility located in Rocky Point, NY.
To schedule a free consultation at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, please call 631-319-9509.
The staff at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry are proud to announce the first winner of our scholarship award.
This award was created to help single mothers finance their higher education to take their careers to the next level and give themselves and their families hope for the future.
Many qualified candidates applied for our scholarship award this year, making the final decision challenging. We believe that our finalist best exemplifies the true spirit of the award in helping single mothers achieve solid professional footing for themselves and their children, beginning with the right education and training.
Tracy Birts of Aurora, Colorado, is the first recipient of the Long Island Implant and Dentistry Scholarship Award. Birts is a single mother who has worked her way through a local technical college, earning a GPA of 3.77 while working to support herself and her child. Birts believes that by earning her degree, she will inspire her child and others in her family to do the hard work necessary to get ahead in life.
Birts states in her award-winning essay that “leading by an example” can be just what another person needs to move their life forward in a similar way. She acknowledged that no one gets an “A” just by wanting it – the grade must be earned. In her quest for an education, Birts said she had to learn to remain consistent in her time management skills to balance parenting, work and school on a daily basis.
Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry introduced their scholarship award to help single mothers earn college and graduate degrees. Applicants of the award must be currently enrolled in high school, junior college, a four-year university or a graduate school. Applicants must show they have maintained a GPA of 3.0 or higher in their current school or the school they previously attended.
To apply for the scholarship, applicants must include a 1000-word essay with their application. The essay needs to explain how earning a degree with influence the future of their family. They also need to talk in the essay about the challenges in balancing motherhood and education and how their previous motherhood experience has prepared them for facing those challenges.
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"I needed work and had anxiety. The entire office made me feel welcome and as calm as I could get. I am almost finished and so happy with the people and the work done."
"As a resident of both New York City and Long Island I am so pleased to have discovered this practice. Up on all the latest dental procedures and techniques makes necessary treatment easy and well done!"
"I would recommend using Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry. They helped me change the way I look dramatically. Thanks so much!"