Posts for: October, 2017

By Jeffrey Mason, DMD
October 28, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  
OralHealthConcernsforPreteens

As if the preteen years didn’t give kids and their parents enough to think about, new oral health concerns loom on the horizon. Along with major changes to the body, brain and emotions, additional risk factors for tooth decay and gum disease appear during adolescence — the period of development starting around age 10 and extending through the teen years that marks the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Even with declining rates of tooth decay across the nation, the cavity rate remains high during adolescence. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 1 in every 5 adolescents has untreated tooth decay. What’s more, the onset of puberty — usually beginning around age 10-11 in girls and 11-12 in boys — brings changes in hormone levels that can affect gum health.

We all have millions of microorganisms in our mouth, representing hundreds of different species of mostly helpful, but some harmful, bacteria. Research has shown that total oral bacteria increases between ages 11 and 14, and new types of bacteria are introduced, including some that are not friendly to teeth and gums. Some unfamiliar microbes trigger an exaggerated inflammatory response to dental plaque, so gum bleeding and sensitivity are experienced by many children in this age group. In fact, “puberty gingivitis,” which peaks around age 11-13, is the most common type of gum disease found during childhood.

A combination of hormones, lifestyle changes and poor oral hygiene habits raises the risk of oral health problems among adolescents. A more independent social life may be accompanied by a change in eating habits and easier access to snacks and beverages that are sugary, acidic (like sports drinks and soda) or full of refined carbohydrates — none of which are tooth-healthy choices. And as children move toward greater independence, parents are less likely to micromanage their children’s personal care, including their oral hygiene routines. Good oral hygiene can keep dental plaque at bay, lowering the chance of having gingivitis and cavities. But let’s face it: Adolescents have a lot to think about, and keeping up with their oral health may not be top of mind.

To help your preteen stay on top of their oral health, keep healthy snacks at home for your children and their friends and make sure you are well stocked with supplies such as new toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste. In addition, most preteens (and teens) can benefit from gentle reminders about oral hygiene routines.

For optimal oral health through all stages of life, make sure your preteen keeps up with professional teeth cleanings and exams, and talk with us about whether fluoride treatments or sealants may be appropriate for your child.

For more on your child’s oral health, read “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health” and “Dentistry & Oral Health For Children” in Dear Doctor magazine.


TestDriveYourFutureLookafterDentalWorkwithaTrialSmile

Most of us wouldn't think of buying a new car without a “test drive.” It's a serious investment, so you want to make sure you're comfortable with your new ride.

Like an auto purchase, the plan you and your dentist agree on to cosmetically enhance your teeth and gums — a “smile makeover” — is a significant investment. Wouldn't it be nice to “test drive” your future smile before you undergo any procedures?

Actually, you can — two ways, in fact. For one, your dentist could use computer imaging software that alters a photo of your face to show how your smile will appear after dental work. These computer enhancements are a great planning tool for making decisions on the look you want to achieve.

But even the best computer images only provide a static, two-dimensional representation of your new smile. It can't capture all the angles and movement dynamics of any proposed changes. That's where the other way, a trial smile, is a true test drive — you can see your future smile in action.

With a trial smile, your dentist temporarily places tooth-colored material called composite resin on your teeth to simulate the proposed changes. The resin can be shaped and sculpted to create a life-like replica that you'll be able to view in all three spatial dimensions. What's more it will give you a chance not only to see what your new smile will look like, but to actually experience how it feels in your mouth.

Creating a trial smile is an added expense and it's only available during your consultation visit — the dentist will need to remove the resin before you leave. But you'll still be able to get a good impression of what your final smile will be like. You'll also be able to take photos you can show to family and friends to get their impressions of your proposed new look.

A trial smile allows you to know beforehand what your dental work investment will provide you, and even fine-tune your makeover plan before work begins. With this particular kind of “test drive” you'll have greater assurance that you'll be happy and satisfied with the end results.

If you would like more information on trial smiles, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Testing Your Smile Makeover.”


By Jeffrey Mason, DMD
October 10, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   Veneers  

Are you interested in dental veneers?veneers

Your Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Mason, can help your answers and tell you more about dental veneers and how they may enhance your smile.

What are veneers?

Veneers are thin porcelain or plastic shells installed to the front of your damaged teeth. They can cover a variety of issues, including:

  • Stained teeth or discolored as a result of unhealthy and/or unhygienic choices, such as not brushing or flossing, drinking too much coffee and/or tea, or smoking and chewing tobacco. There are some things that may cause the staining of your teeth but aren't actually bad for your like antibiotics that have tetracycline.
  • Mishappened teeth, such as worn down or chipped teeth, crooked or irregularly shaped teeth, and uneven spacing, like gaps between teeth or overcrowdedness.

How do you get veneers?

You will need to go to your Hasbrouck Heights dentist so that he may conduct a full dental examination. The examination will help him assess the health of your teeth, find any problems, like cavities, and decide if you're a good candidate for veneers.

Dr. Mason will create a custom plan for your teeth. If your teeth and gums are in good overall health but he finds a few cavities, he will need to clean them out and seal them before installing any veneers. Then he will make a mold of your teeth to send to a lab that will design your veneers.

The next time you come into his office, he will shave some enamel from the surface of the teeth that will have veneers placed on them, then bond the veneer on the surface with a special type of cement. The cement is hardened using a laser. You will have two-week adjustment period after that, where the veneers will start to change their shape and size. A follow-up appointment is necessary after these two weeks and if all is good, then finally your teeth are all done!

If you have any questions about veneers, call your Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, dentist, Dr. Mason, at 201-288-4447.