Practice Blog

Top 7 Signs Your Child May be Suffering from Sleep Disordered Breathing

Top 7 Signs Your Child May be Suffering from Sleep Disordered Breathing
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By Dr. Sabrina Magid-Katz, Advanced Dentistry of Westchester 
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Is your child affected by sleep or breathing issues? Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) is an all-inclusive term for breathing difficulties, ranging from mild snoring all the way to severe airway obstruction during sleep. When your child’s breathing is disrupted, their body recognizes the disruption much like choking, which can result in changes in heart rate, raised blood pressure, arousal of the brain, and ultimately disrupted sleep.
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Sleep disorders often run in families, although they can manifest differently in children. Sleep issues can contribute to behavioral problems such as ADD, bed-wetting, and difficulty in school (especially math and reading). These symptoms may show that an underlying problem exists.  There are ways we can guide growth to not only improve symptoms but set children up for a healthier future.
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TOP SIGNS OF SLEEP DISORDERED BREATHING
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ADD/ADHD- Because some of the symptoms of sleep disordered breathing are so similar to Attention Deficit Disorder, as much as 50% of ADD/ADHD diagnoses may in fact be related to a sleep disorder.  Screening and treating for sleep disorders can help the conditions of those with ADD/ADHD and may allow the reduction of medications.  Studies also show that 25% of children with ADHD could have their problem eliminated if their sleep breathing disorders were effectively treated.  More than half of children who suffer from ADHD will experience profound effects as adults if untreated.  If we can uncover an underlying sleep disorder and change their growth to eliminate it, we can remove this risk as well as the need for future treatment.
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Bed wetting- This is an embarrassing and stressful issue for more families than one might think.  Children with sleep-disordered breathing are thirty percent more likely to have issues with bedwetting.  This may be the result of pressure on the bladder while trying to breathe or changes to the hormones from the sleep disorder over time.  Treating patients with sleep-disordered breathing is likely to improve or resolve the bedwetting.
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Difficulty in school- Children who don’t get good quality sleep at night often have difficulty during school, especially in subjects that take high amounts of concentration like math and reading. Those with sleep disorders were found to be three times more likely to have grades of C or lower, and seven times more likely to have reported learning problems.  Not only will grades suffer, but their self-confidence and social relationships will suffer too.  In class, they may be labeled as “bad at math,” a “slow reader,” or disruptive.  On the playground, they can be more irritable, aggressive, anxious, and more likely to be depressed.  They are more likely to have emotional, communication, and friendship difficulties.  Some children who are officially diagnosed with behavior disorders actually have underlying sleep disorders.
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Crowded teeth- Crowded teeth may force the jaw and muscles to develop in a way that constricts the child’s airway. Many people don’t think about the teeth and mouth when they think of sleep disorders or the other symptoms it can cause, such as ADD.  However, poorly positioned teeth and bite can actually cause the sleep disorder in the first place.  One disorder, called obstructive sleep apnea, is when the tongue and tissue in the mouth and throat block the airway.  If the teeth crowd the space the tongue should rest in, or the jaw pushes the tongue back, the airway will be blocked.
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Snoring/mouth breathing/restless sleep- Has the noise coming from your child’s room stopped you in your tracks? Have you taken the time to quietly watch and listen to your child sleep?  Try it some time, as it may give you some valuable insight into how they’re breathing.  Snoring may be annoying or even funny at times, but it is one of the most common and easily recognizable signs that a person may have a sleep breathing disorder.   Keep in mind, however, that although snoring can be a good indicator that further diagnosis is needed, it is not always present and is not a requirement for a sleep disorder.  Children are less likely to snore than adults and parents are even less likely to report them as snoring, despite the presence of sleep breathing disorders.  When listening closely, gasping and snorting sounds during sleep may catch you off guard or even make you momentarily worry. Even though they may seem to be sleeping peacefully right after, it is important to investigate further, as this is a pretty good indicator of sleep disordered breathing as well.  You may also notice that your child’s mouth hangs open while they’re sleeping or even during the daytime.  Mouth breathing may be a sign that their airway is obstructed.  It can also lead to changes in facial growth, which can in turn make the sleeping problem worse.  Lastly, if your child has restless sleep or wakes up frequently it may be because they’re not able to breathe properly while sleeping.  Sleep is tremendously important for proper growth, development, and health.  That’s why it is just as important to properly diagnose and correct whatever is disturbing their slumber.
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Allergies– Kids with allergies and stuffy nose have part of their airway blocked, so they are more likely to breathe through their mouth at night.  This mouth breathing can change the way they grow and develop and make the airway worse for life.  There is also some thought that the physical stress of these sleep breathing disorders can cause inflammation and other immune reactions which may cause the allergies to worsen.
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Daytime sleepiness-  You might imagine a person who isn’t sleeping properly at night to be really tired during the day.  While many (but not all) adults with sleep disorders report feeling tired during the day, it is less of an indicator for children.  Many children show signs of hyperactivity secondary to the exhaustion, making the sleepiness difficult for parents to detect.  However, if your child is telling you that they are sleepy, it is best to listen to them and take them seriously enough to get it checked out.
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A child with Sleep Disordered Breathing may exhibit many of the same symptoms as a child with ADD/ADHD, Poor Performance in School, Nightmares, Bedwetting, Chronic Allergies and more! Unfortunately, many children are being misdiagnosed and mistreated.  Many treatments also temporarily help the symptom without fixing the underlying problem.  With The Healthy Start program, we address the core sleep issues while naturally straightening teeth. The program enables us to address sleep disordered breathing and straighten teeth without braces.  The system can supplement or even replace traditional orthodontics by treating children earlier and addressing the muscle habits and overall development. Children without sleep disorders can benefit too!  By correcting muscle habits and aligning the teeth as they come into the mouth (rather than waiting until after they’re in), we can eliminate the need for those annoying retainers the rest of their life.  It is a gentle, non-invasive, natural way of straightening teeth to achieve a picture-perfect, healthy, and beautiful smile.
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The system works with the natural forces of tooth eruption and swallowing. The soft, comfortable, removable devices gently guide the erupting teeth into their perfect positions. It aids in the correct growth and alignment of the jaw, encourages the development of proper oral habits, and expands the arches to ensure incoming permanent teeth have enough room to erupt in straight.
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If your child is exhibiting one or more of these symptoms, set up a consultation so we can get your child on the path to a more comfortable diagnosis and treatment.  By intervening early, we can correct many of these issues so that they may achieve their full potential and live a healthier life.
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About Dr. Sabrina Magid-Katz, D.M.D.
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Dr. Sabrina Magid-Katz, D.M.D., lectures to dental societies about screening for Sleep Apnea and is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. She practices general dentistry at Advanced Dentistry of Westchester in Harrison, NY where she also screens for and treats Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Dr. Magid Katz DMD holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Bases of Behavior from Duke University and completed her Doctorate of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the recipient of the prestigious “Robert Seminara Resident of the Year” award for “excellence in General Dentistry and outstanding service as a PGY1 Dental Resident” from NY Presbyterian-Methodist Hospital. Named in Westchester Magazine as one of the 22 people that everyone in the County will be talking about, Dr. Sabrina Magid Katz DMD takes great pride in the cutting edge dental care she offers patients, as well as in her expertise in screening for oral cancer and obstructive sleep apnea. Throughout her schooling and dental career, she has also been committed to addressing the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing patients. Dr. Magid Katz has been featured in Teen Vogue, Vice, Dentistry Today, Social Life Magazine, WAG Magazine, Fox 5 and numerous media outlets.  For more information visit www.adofw.com.

Ask The Sleep Dentist: What is Sleep Apnea?

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when your breathing is disrupted during sleep. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a chronic condition where the jaw and soft tissue blocks the airway.  Breathing stops for a period of time until the person wakes up just enough to move the muscles and breathe again. This may happen every other minute without a person remembering in the morning.  Among other serious medical effects, these mini-arousals disrupt the sleep cycle so that the deep and reparative stages are not reached. You may think you’re allowing plenty of time for sleep but remember the quality of sleep matters just as much, if not more. You may not be getting the type of sleep you need to be healthy and refreshed.  Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, acid reflux, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and depression may be related.

How common is sleep apnea? 

Although the condition is largely underdiagnosed, an estimated 30 million adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is also prevalent in children.

What causes sleep apnea?

Excess tissue in the back of the throat, misaligned or narrow jaw, large neck, or excess body weight can all block the airway and contribute to obstructive sleep apnea.

Is it more common in women or men? Does it present itself differently in men/women?

Men are twice as likely to have OSA, although women are less likely to be diagnosed even when they have OSA. This is perhaps more serious in women since they may be more likely to have a risk of heart problems associated with the condition. Although presentation is largely the same, women are more likely to report insomnia and daytime sleepiness.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:

SNORING- Snoring can be annoying, even funny, but it may be a sign of sleep apnea. The noise from snoring comes from the vibration of tissue in the back of the throat. This indicates a narrowing airway that may at times close completely. Choking and gasping may be witnessed during snoring. The person is literally choking on the blocked airway and gasping for breath.

SLEEPINESS- Sleepiness makes sense if you’re waking up every other minute and never getting to the deep reparative stages of sleep. If you tend to fall asleep while sitting quietly watching TV or in the passenger seat of a car, it’s possible that you’re not getting the quality of sleep you need. That said, not everyone with sleep apnea realizes they’re sleepy.

FOOD CRAVINGS- Untreated sleep apnea may actually affect hormones that control food cravings and full signal, making it difficult to lose weight. Unfortunately this is a viscous cycle since excess weight can worsen sleep apnea.

MEDICAL CONDITIONS- Diabetes, high blood pressure, reflux, depression, impotence, and other medical conditions may be related to sleep apnea and can be an indication that one’s sleep should be investigated.

ADD- In children, sleep apnea may present as ADD/ADHD, bed-wetting, or poor performance in school. In fact, an estimated 50% of ADD diagnoses may actually be sleep related since the symptoms are so similar.

How Sleep Apnea is Treated:

If sleep apnea is suspected, it is important to get a sleep study, which can be done in a lab or in your own home.  CPAP, a machine with a mask that keeps the airway open with a column of pressurized air, may be recommended.  If apnea is mild to moderate, or a CPAP cannot be tolerated, treatment can be as simple as a special night guard designed by a sleep-trained dentist. This night guard gently pushes the lower jaw forward to hold the airway open. In children, a specially trained dentist can make a soft night “pillow” that retrains the tongue and guides the growth of jaws into a proper position so they may actually grow out of the sleep apnea altogether.

About Dr. Sabrina Magid-Katz, D.M.D.

Dr. Sabrina Magid-Katz, D.M.D., lectures to dental societies about screening for Sleep Apnea and is a member of The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. She practices general dentistry at Advanced Dentistry of Westchester in Harrison, NY where she also screens for and treats Obstructive Sleep Apnea. For more information visit www.adofw.com.

How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth

Why do people grind their teeth? 

There are different opinions as to why people grind their teeth.  Some think it is a stress habit.  Some think it is a discrepancy in the bite. Others think children grind their teeth because of an airway problem   Many medications cause grinding and clenching as a side effect.

How would someone know they grind their teeth at nighttime? 

Signs of wear will be seen by a dentist.  People who grind at night often wake up with sore tired jaws.  Many people grind or clench their teeth (same thing) during the day.

What are the health effects of grinding? 

Grinding can wear away the tooth enamel leaving them sensitive to temperature   It can cause loss of structure of the teeth at the gum line which can be sensitive and unaesthetic. It can also cause loosening of the teeth.  Bruxism can cause jaw problems or TMD, which results in facial pain, chronic headaches, clicking in the jaw and lead to osteoarthritis of the jaw.

What is the effect on your teeth from grinding? 

Teeth grinding or bruxism is very detrimental to the teeth, the supporting structures of the teeth (bone and gums), and the muscles and joint which makes up the jaw mechanism. Untreated bruxism can break teeth requiring their getting crowns or extraction and grind teeth down to the point that it involves the nerves of the teeth.  Teeth grinding can cause damage to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) resulting in osteoarthritis of the joint with pain, grinding noises and clicking while chewing.  This parafunction can also cause chronic headaches due to the overworking of the muscles of the head and face.

What products do you recommend to help? 

Evaluation by a dentist is essential.  An oral appliance can protect the teeth and jaws from night time grinding but it won’t stop the problem   Determining the cause and correcting it can be very effective. Over the counter oral appliances are available, but we don’t recommend them because of lack of proper bite and functional design.  In addition, OTC appliances are soft and people tend to chew them making the problem worse.

Why is it important to be aware of teeth grinding?

If you are grinding your teeth during the day it is important to become aware of it so you can catch yourself and stop the parafunction.  The rule is “lips together, teeth apart” unless you are chewing or swallowing.

 

Should you Floss?

Over the past year, there have been conflicting reports on the validity of flossing. We want to set the record straight and let all of our patients know that flossing is in fact a very important part of your overall oral hygiene regimen.  As a practicing dentist for 40 years, I have seen the benefits of flossing.  It is instrumental in preventing tooth decay.  Flossing is extremely effective and we continue to recommend it to promote oral health.

Should you floss? 

Yes! Should you do a lot more than floss for proper oral health- absolutely! Dental decay is caused by germs eating sugar and producing acid, which demineralizes tooth enamel and results in caries (decay).  Every dentist knows that flossing as part of a prevention program helps remove the bacterial plaque and therefore will help reduce decay.

How has flossing traditionally been viewed in terms of dental health?

Flossing has always been viewed as an important part of dental hygiene.  It is used to disrupt and loosen the bacterial plaque in areas that cannot be reached by tooth brush bristles.  It is PART of a complete oral hygiene regimen.

How does flossing aid people in achieving proper dental health? What ailments can flossing help prevent?

To understand the role of flossing, you have to understand the bacterial nature of dental disease.  In dental caries (decay), the disease is caused by strep mutans which resides in a sticky bacterial plaque on the teeth.  These bacteria do not eat the teeth, they eat sugar and excrete acid.  It is the acid which “eats” (decalcifies) the teeth.  A prevention program such as the one we employ at Advanced Dentistry of Westchester attacks the problem by treating decay as the chronic, incurable, contagious (to babies) disease it is.  Like any other disease, the first line of defense is cleanliness.  Reduce the bacterial population, such as hand-washing to reduce the chance of getting the flu.   In dentistry, it is brush, AND floss, and rinse.

How can people properly floss and what other ways can people help prevent oral decay?

Flossing means not simply getting the food out from between the teeth, but wrapping the teeth and polishing both adjacent surfaces while working the floss out towards the biting surface.

What are the top 7 things you can do to prevent decay?

  1. Understand the bacterial cause of dental disease, which is essential to complying with any prevention program.
  1. Remove as much bacteria as possible…Brush and FLOSS!
  1. Reduce the FREQUENCY of refined sugar, which is what the bacteria feed on to produce the acid that results in decay.
  1. Fluoride in the drinking water of children.  This has been shown to dramatically reduce decay.
  1. Prescription level fluoride applied topically by brushing and not eating, drinking, or rinsing afterward every night.
  1. Seeing a dentist regularly.  That means every 3-6 months as determined by the dentist based upon dental history.  A dentist that uses an effective prevention program (like ours) is very important.
  1. If a patient has a high decay rate, using compounds like L-arginine can be very effective in preventing decay.

Do you have any other recommendations in regard to flossing or proper dental health?

Once you’ve removed as much bacteria as possible, the next step is to stop feeding the germs.  When you eat sugary foods the bacteria produce acid for 20 minutes.  The more frequently you eat sugary foods, the more this happens.  It’s not the quantity of sugar it is the frequency.  And NEVER eat sticky sugary foods like raisins or dried fruits or candy.  You might as well glue the sugar to your teeth.

For patients that have a high decay rate, the next step is to make the teeth resistant to acid.  That means a prescription level fluoride applied topically.  You need the strength of prescription level fluoride to work.  At night before bed, brush, floss, and rinse to reduce the bacterial population.  Then brush with a prescription fluoride gel or paste.  Use your saliva with the fluoride to swish and thoroughly push between the teeth and then spit out.  No eating, drinking or rinsing after that.  We combine this with fluoride varnish applied to the teeth every three months.

If patients still get some decay after these steps there are other things we can add to arrest the decay.  You have to remember that if you get cavities that it is a chronic, incurable, contagious, disease.  We can arrest it but we can’t cure it.

About Dr. Kenneth Magid

Dr. Magid has practiced dentistry for over 40 years.  He is currently the Director of Pre-Doctoral Laser Dentistry and Associate Clinical Professor at NYU College of Dentistry and is the Assistant Director of Honors Esthetics.  He has appeared on nationwide television and radio programs to discuss high tech and cosmetic dentistry including ABC and The New York Times. Dr. Magid lectures throughout the U.S. and Canada and is a contributor to many journals on topics including “Minimally Invasive” Dentistry, Laser Dentistry, Digital Radiography, Air-Abrasion dentistry, “21st Century Dentistry” and Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Magid received his dental degree from New York University College of Dentistry.

Top 4 Things to Look for When Choosing a Westchester Cosmetic Dentist

When many of us think about a makeover we automatically envision a new hair style, a new wardrobe and makeup. But what if there was something else that could transform your look?
What is a smile makeover and how do I know if it would help me?
A smile makeover uses techniques such as bleaching, bonding, cosmetic contouring, and porcelain veneers to provide a beautiful and natural-looking smile. A smile makeover can correct unsightly spaces or broken-down teeth, and change the color of teeth darkened with age. Studies have shown that a beautiful smile can make you look over 15 years younger. To know if a smile makeover would benefit you, we can take a photograph and alter it to let you see what you would look like with a new smile.

How do I know I will like my smile after a “makeover”? 

With our process, you will know what the final outcome will be before anything is done, and you have input and control over the final result. With just a photo sent to our lab, you can see your new smile and make any changes you would like. Once you decide you love the look of the new you, we create the makeover first on models and then in the temporary veneers you will wear during the process. You get to “try out” the new look in your own smile and get the opinion of your significant others. Once you love the look of these trial veneers, the porcelain veneers are created, and you leave with the smile you’ve always wanted. The only surprises are happy ones.

Can I eat anything I want with veneers?

Absolutely. Ribs, corn on the cob, apples, anything reasonable can be eaten with veneers. The one restriction is teeth are not tools! No opening bottles, tearing cloth, biting pens, and NO nail biting.

How long do porcelain veneers last?  

We’ve got smile makeovers done with veneers that have been there for over 30 years, and they still look great. You can generally expect to get many years and often even a lifetime from this service. Porcelain veneers don’t stain or darken with age, and functionally they can restore and strengthen damaged teeth.

What should I look for when choosing a cosmetic dentist:

Here are the top 4 things to look for when choosing a cosmetic dentist. The first thing I always ask a new patient interested in cosmetic dentistry is, “What are you unhappy about with your smile?” It is important to know what someone wants to change before presenting new smile options. Through advanced technology and computerized cosmetic makeovers, we can completely alter your smile in as little as 2 visits. If you are thinking about choosing a cosmetic dentist to enhance your smile, it is important to know what to look for, and the right questions to ask.

  1. Check Credentials: What are the dentists credentials in aesthetics? Thoroughly research their credentials before choosing a cosmetic dentist. As a baseline, they should be published on aesthetics and should frequently lecture on aesthetics. They should also be teaching aesthetics at a university level.
  2. Know Their Process: Have a thorough understanding of the cosmetic dentists process for smile makeovers. For example, does the patient have control of the process, or does the doctor? Does the patient know in advance what they will look like? With our digital cosmetic makeovers, patients can see what their smile will look like and get input from friends and family. This is critical to ensuring your level of success with a smile makeover. You should know in advance you will be happy with the result. Our motto is, no unpleasant surprises!
  3. Ceramist: Be sure to thoroughly research who the ceramist is. For example, are you working with a high-level ceramist or a commercial lab? You won’t get the same results with aesthetic ceramics, and they will look opaque.
  4. Ask to see a Veneer: Veneers should not be monochromatic. Be sure to ask to see what an actual veneer will look like. Just like fine china is translucent at the edge, so are veneers. The color comes from within.

Photo Credit: WestchesterNYMoms

How to Protect Your Children’s Teeth while Playing Sports

When it comes to playing sports, safety is the number one priority. Unfortunately, dental injuries are not uncommon when it comes to sports-related incidents. Here are our top tips to protect your children’s teeth during the back to school sports season.

Wear a mouth guard

The best way to prevent a dental injury is to wear a mouth guard. You don’t want your child’s teeth to be knocked out, broken or chipped. Before purchasing a mouth guard, talk with your dentist. Your dentist knows your child’s mouth the best. They know the appropriate suggestions for which mouth guard should be purchased. It is extremely important the mouth guard fits your child’s mouth properly. You do not want it to fall out while your child is on the field playing sports.

Maintain a healthy diet to build strong teeth and gums

By staying away from sugary snacks, you are building strong roots in your gums. When it comes to your child’s diet, limit soft drinks and sugary foods that promote tooth decay. Replace the candies, soda, and potato chips with fruits and vegetables. If your child does consume a sugary snack, the best thing they could do is drink water and brush their teeth. The water helps rinse away bacteria and brushing your teeth gives your child a good cleaning. The stronger your child’s teeth, the better protected they will be when playing a sport.

Take your child to the dentist twice a year

Taking your child to the dentist more than once a year might seem like a lot, but it is the easiest way to prevent any dental problems from forming. The dentist wants to keep your child’s teeth in tip-top shape. If any problems do occur, your dentist can fix it before it gets worse.

Encourage good hygiene at home

From a young age, you want to encourage good dental hygiene in your children. Keeping good hygiene at home includes: brushing your teeth twice a day or after every meal, flossing at least once a day, and changing your toothbrush every three months. Good hygiene will help make your children’s teeth strong and prevent any injuries from occurring.

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Healthy Halloween Treat Alternatives for Kids

Every Halloween, kids take joy in trick-or-treating and revel in the many great treats they collected. You’re not going to be able to stop them from getting the candy, but when trick-or-treaters come to your door this year, you can provide healthy alternatives that can also be a big hit.

Dr. Kenneth Magid of Advanced Dentistry of Westchester Offers Advice on Healthy Treat Alternatives to Give to Kids on Halloween

Joy in Toys. Small toys available in online catalogues are great options and don’t have to break the bank. Kids love playing with toys as much as they love eating candy and they last longer too.

Healthy Snacks Also Taste Good. This year, we are giving out spry mints and gum which help to prevent tooth decay. This treat should not be given out in large quantities and should not be given to very young children. Other healthy alternatives include little packs of carrots and pretzels. Parents will appreciate that you went the extra step to provide a healthy treat.

Choose Candy Wisely. If you have to give out candy, dark chocolate is a much healthier option and is better for your teeth then other candies. Avoid sticky and sour candy, which helps to dissolve teeth. Avoid fruit by the foot, it’s like gluing sugar to your teeth!

Remember, let your kids eat as much candy as you want on Halloween night but the next day make sure it’s out of the house. Stay safe and never eat unwrapped or unsealed candy. Although horseplay is part of Halloween, a little common sense avoids traumatic injury.

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Dental Treatment During Pregnancy Tips

Pregnancy is a wonderfully exciting time that necessitates a unique set of precautions and medical practices. Often, expectant mothers do not consider how their dental health can impact their overall well being during pregnancy.

Dental treatment during pregnancy is a function of evaluating the risk and reward in any given situation. With a few considerations, dental care during pregnancy can be easy and beneficial— for both mother and baby!

Keep Gums Healthy

Healthy gums are an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Periodontal or gum disease can be related to low birth weight and premature babies, as well as a serious pregnancy complication called preeclampsia. It is important to have your teeth cleaned during pregnancy, preferably during the second trimester, to help avoid these problems and combat the inflammation that typically occurs during pregnancy.  Be sure to keep up with regular flossing and brushing at home, and remember to be thorough but gentle.

Get Your Teeth Checked Early

It is also important to have your teeth checked for major problems that could cause pain and infection. The best time to have this or any necessary treatment is the second trimester, so try to schedule your checkup and cleaning for the beginning of the second trimester to give you optimal time for any treatment that will be needed. Local dental anesthesia is generally safe, and worth using to prevent pain or infection.

Know the Technology

In our office, we have technology including lasers and air abrasion that are comfortable without anesthesia and are completely safe. As far as x-rays go, if there is an imminent concern, your dentist may decide an x-ray is necessary, and you will be covered with a protective shield. Keep in mind that digital x-rays have a particularly low level of radiation (far less than a cross-country flight). That said, if there are no particular concerns and you have a low rate of decay and dental problems, regular check-up x-rays may often be postponed.  Communication is key, so speak to your dentist about any concerns you might have. Oral health is an important part of a healthy pregnancy!

Post-Baby Cavities: What You Need to Know 

Some women unfortunately find that they have more cavities than they’re used to at their post-baby cleaning. Why? For starters, common pregnancy symptoms such as heartburn and vomiting. When people talk about cavities, they usually mention sweets and bacteria. But what actually happens is that the bacteria eat the sweets (or any carbohydrate) and produce acid. It’s the acid that actually rots teeth. All of that acid that comes with reflux and vomiting creates cavities. Another reason for the higher cavity rate is a change in habits during pregnancy. If you have morning sickness, you may only be able to eat high-carbohydrate foods.  You will also likely be eating or snacking more frequently, especially as you get further along in pregnancy. Your mouth takes about twenty minutes to recover from the acid in your diet and being produced by the bacteria that are being fed. More frequent snacking means more time that your teeth are being bathed in acid. That goes for sipping on anything other than plain water, too.

Cavity Prevention Techniques

What can you do?  Between meals opt for plain water or try adding cucumber or mint instead of lemon (sour and citric drinks and foods are acidic). Try to limit time for snacking or sipping on anything else. Additional small meals if necessary are better than having a nibble every few minutes. Avoid dried fruit, it’s like gluing sugar to your teeth for the bacteria to feed on for longer periods of time. If you have something acidic or acid coming up from your stomach, rinse with water or rub on some toothpaste with your finger or q-tip. Vigorous brushing right after may remove some of the tooth structure you’ve just softened with the acid.  Lastly, be diligent about your hygiene regimen of brushing and flossing, especially before bed, and don’t forget your mid-pregnancy checkup!

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What You Need to Know About Toothpaste

The toothpaste aisle of your local drug store can be very confusing. There are so many brands and variations to choose from! Dr. Magid breaks down what you need to know to choose the right type of toothpaste in our latest blog post.

Does it matter what kind of toothpaste I buy?

“Natural” brands are okay, but look for one with fluoride in it. Not using fluoride can have damaging, painful and costly consequences. Fluoride is completely safe when used topically, and in controlled concentrations when ingested such as tap water and supplements. What this means is that all adults and children who are old enough to reliably spit the excess toothpaste out, should be using fluoride toothpaste. For patients with a high cavity rate, we often recommend a prescription level fluoride toothpaste to help prevent further decay. Again, as long as you don’t eat the toothpaste for breakfast it only sits on your teeth, helping to make your teeth stronger and remineralize them safely.

What are the upsides and downsides of different types of toothpaste?

Most whitening toothpastes have abrasives that remove surface stains rather than actually bleach your teeth.

Sensitive toothpaste can be helpful for non-lingering cold and sweet sensitivity. It may take a few weeks of continual use for them to be effective. However, if the problem persists or there are other symptoms, it is important to see your dentist to rule out other sources of the discomfort.

The ADA seal on some toothpaste means that statements and claims made on that version of paste have been approved by the organization. Some people have a sensitivity to an ingredient which can be found in many toothpastes. The ingredient is called SLS, sodium lauryl sulfate, and can cause mouth sores in those who are allergic to this ingredient.  Read the list of inactive ingredients to look for it, even in seemingly “natural” product lines.  However, if a sore does not go away after two weeks or they keep recurring despite switching toothpaste, see your dentist for evaluation.

What is the primary ingredient that makes toothpaste effective?

Triclosan is an ingredient in some toothpaste, such as Colgate Total. It targets the bacteria that cause gum disease and can be effective in combatting gum disease. As in all adult toothpastes, excess should be spit out so that large amounts are not ingested.

Where does toothpaste choice rank in level of importance when brushing your teeth?

As long as the toothpaste meets your requirements for ingredients, the rest comes down to personal preference, feel and flavor, whatever will make you more likely to brush morning and night.  No matter how good your toothpaste is, care should be taken to brush the debris from all surfaces of your teeth. Be sure to gently brush by the gum line, both tongue-side and cheek-side, and on the chewing surfaces. It should take about two minutes to thoroughly brush all surfaces of your teeth. Keep in mind that it is not necessary to brush hard, what matters is that you reach all areas. Floss daily to get the build-up between the teeth and stimulate the gums. And don’t forget to have your teeth checked (screened for cavities, infection, and oral cancer) and professionally cleaned (there are areas that you may not be able to reach and hard build-up that we can take care of for you) at least every six months!

Toothpaste Aisle Graphic

How To Fight Bad Breath

bad-breathBad breath can be very embarrassing, but it is more common then you may think! More then 80 million people suffer from chronic halitosis (bad breath). Here are a few tips that will help you fight it!

Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily

Brush your teeth twice a day for two or three minutes. Brushing your teeth can help remove plaque and any food debris that were left behind. Many people do not think flossing is important, but what they do not realize is brushing your teeth does not remove all food debris. Flossing reaches the areas where your toothbrush cannot. Sometimes the remaining food debris is actually the cause of bad breath. Most over the counter mouthwash dries out the tissue and after a short time promotes bad breath. Use them sparingly and never use mouthwash containing alcohol on a regular basis it has been linked to oral cancer. We only recommend all natural mouthwash.

Brush your tongue

You want to make sure you brush your teeth really well. When people brush their teeth, they often forget about their tongue and the roof or their mouth. This is a prominent space for bacteria to form. To get rid of all of it, all you need is a good scrub with either your toothbrush or a tongue scraper.

Quit smoking

People who smoke tend to have bad breath. The tobacco dry’s out your mouth and leaves an unpleasant scent. The easiest solution to this problem is to quit smoking. 

Visit your dentist

You should be visiting your dentist once or twice a year to make sure you have good dental health. If you are suffering from chronic bad breath, visit your dentist to find out if there is a larger health issue. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment.

Summer Cavity Culprits Revealed

happy summer

Summer is a time for pool parties and BBQ’s, but it is important to keep those pearly whites

healthy too! Chips, sodas and sugary drinks are favorites of many people, but are also dental

health dangers. Dr. Sabrina Magid-Katz of Advanced Dentistry of Westchester shares the top

cavity culprits to look out for this summer as well as her favorite healthy substitutes.

Lemonade

When people think of summer, they often think of lemonade. What they may not think about is

how sipping on this refreshing drink is affecting their teeth. Not only does the sugar in lemonade

feed the bacteria in your mouth, but even the sugar-free lemonades have acid. It’s the acid that

actually causes tooth wear and decay. “When people talk about sugar causing cavities, what really

happens is that the bacteria eat the sugar and produce acid which erodes the teeth. It takes

approximately 20 minutes for your mouth to recover from the acid, so how often you sip or snack

is actually more important to your teeth than how much,” says Dr. Magid-Katz. For a healthy

substitute, try cucumber-infused water instead. It’s just as refreshing on a hot summer day and

good for you too!

Dried Fruit

Summer is a great time for fruit! Make sure to opt for fresh fruit instead of dried. Not only are

many types of fruit in season now, but eating them fresh is a much healthier alternative. The dried

fruit is sticky and holds on to your teeth for extended periods of time, constantly feeding the

bacteria in your mouth and causing cavities. When eating any kind of fruit (or any food at all for

that matter) beware of hidden pits that can break teeth and seeds that can hide under your gums

and in the grooves of your teeth. Be sure to brush and floss thoroughly to keep the seeds out!

Gummy Candy

While gummy candy can be tempting this summer, it is one of the top cavity culprits! Be sure to

avoid sticky candies and sour candies. “Sour candies get their sour taste from acid, which

dissolves teeth,” says Dr. Magid-Katz. The sticky part of the candy sits on teeth and feeds

bacteria. Go for the dark chocolate instead of the sour patch kids. Also avoid fruit by the foot.

Fruit by the foot is many things, but fruit isn’t one of them. It is like gluing sugar to your teeth.

“Healthy” sticky snacks

Granola and raisins are considered “healthy” snacks that are actually dental dangers. These

snacks are prone to sticking to teeth and contain substances that help keep bacteria in the mouth.

As a healthy alternative this summer, opt for a less sticky “healthy” snack such as celery. Celery

has lots of fiber and water, which is good for your whole body. Try some nut butter on it for an

extra boost.

How to Get a Sparkling Smile in Wedding Photos

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From dress, to venue, to menu— There is a lot to consider when planning a wedding. But what is most often overlooked and forgotten about- is achieving a sparkling smile! We offer many dental and cosmetic treatments that can get your smile in sparkling condition, just in time for wedding season! Here are our top treatments we recommend getting before your wedding to achieve a sparkling smile:

Pre-wedding Cleaning

Whether it’s your big day or you’re a guest, a pre-wedding cleaning is recommended for anyone who wants to look their best in wedding pictures. Be sure to book your cleaning sometime within the month leading up to the wedding, so your teeth will still be sparkling and fresh!

Whitening

If you’re a bride, a white smile is necessary to match your pristine white dress! Whitening treatments take as little as two hours and will make a huge difference in your smile and overall appearance.

Veneers

If you’re looking to really “wow” the wedding crowd, consider veneers. Veneers would be ideal for wedding guests who want to look their best and make an entrance! Veneers are carefully applied in translucent thin layers so that each tooth can be shaped exactly as you’d like. It can be matched in color with your other teeth, or used to restore your smile to the whiter color of your youth. Think of veneers as whitening and reshaping all-in-one!

Invisalign

Invisalign is the perfect alternative to braces for any bridal party member. Invisalign is a series of virtually invisible plastic aligners that will straighten your teeth and perfect your smile. For adults, a treatment will usually take about one year, so be sure to book a consultation early in your wedding planning!

Fillers

A great smile isn’t all about your teeth— for those who want to appear youthful and radiant, fillers are a great option. Fillers will diminish fine lines and wrinkles, making your face appear more voluminous and full. Another bonus, since there is little downtime for filler recovery, you can squeeze an appointment in as a last minute boost before the big day!

If youre interested in any pre-wedding treatments, make an appointment with us today and well work together to make a pre-wedding sparkling smile game plan!

Gum Sensitivity and How to Treat it

toothbrush

Gum sensitivity is a problem many patients face. There can be a variety of causes for gum sensitivity and treatment options vary just as much.  In this post, we will shed some light on the common gum sensitivity questions and concerns we get here at Advanced Dentistry of Westchester.

What are the typical causes of gum sensitivity?

When people talk about “sensitive gums”, they’re typically talking about the cold or sweet sensitivity their teeth are feeling near the gums. This is often caused by a lack of gum coverage on the tooth called recession. Recession itself can be caused by multiple factors including inflammation of the gums (gingivitis or periodontitis), forces on the tooth, or hard tooth brushing. Some people do experience temporary sensitivity from teeth whitening as well. Another common cause of sensitivity is clenching or grinding. However, if the sensitivity persists it is best to have it evaluated by a dentist. 

What to look for in products? 

Many products, such as Sensodyne, advertise that they will help with sensitivity. Keep in mind, they may take a few uses to build up efficacy.  Potassium Nitrate is the key ingredient to look for. 

Procedures done to help?

In addition to over the counter sensitivity products and toothpastes, more powerful types of paste may be prescribed by the dentist. Special prescription level fluoride can be applied in the office or at home.  If there is gum loss and tooth structure loss, bonding can be placed over the area to block the “pores” of the tooth from sensitivity. If clenching, grinding, or forces on a particular tooth are the culprits, an appliance or bite adjustment may help.

With these tips in mind, remember it’s always important to check-in with your dentist and alert them if you’re experiencing any gum troubles. We can help direct you to the correct treatment, and help you regain a comfortable and beautiful smile!

What do Bleeding Gums Mean?

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Bleeding gums are a common sign of inflammation. When many people see blood when they floss, they stop doing it. In fact, the blood usually means to floss more, not less. Within reason, of course. In this post, we’ll cover how to properly floss and explore why gums bleed in the first place.

What’s the correct way to floss?

Gently! Flossing should be done up and down hugging each tooth like a “C”, once a day and when food is caught. It is also important to have regular professional cleanings, at least every six months, since there are likely areas that you can’t reach at home. There may also be other underlying causes of the bleeding, so it is important to discuss with your dentist.

Why do gums bleed?

One of the most common causes of inflammation is buildup – of food, plaque (the soft debris that sticks to your teeth), and/or calculus (the debris that’s hardened onto your teeth).  There are areas, especially under the gums, that may be difficult if not impossible to reach and clean on your own.  Over time this stuff hardens and creates a pebble-in-shoe effect.  Every time you chew, the hard points poke your gums much the way a pebble stuck in your shoe would poke your foot.  After a while, this repeated trauma causes inflammation and bleeding and soreness.  Good home care helps to prevent this process, but routine cleanings at your dental office are necessary to reach the areas you can’t reach and to take off the hard buildup, which you won’t be able to remove on your own.

Are bleeding gums normal?

A little “pink in the sink” from bleeding gums is never normal, and it is important to have a professional evaluation to determine the potential causes and plan of treatment and prevention.  While bleeding should not be considered normal and is not sign of good oral health, it is even more important to tell your doctor if you find your gums bleed even when you’re not brushing or flossing, as certain systemic conditions may contribute to this spontaneous bleeding.

Dr. Kenneth Magid, DDS, FICD, Named Top Dentist by New York Top Dentists

dr magid top doc

 

Congratulations to Dr. Kenneth Magid, D.D.S., who  has been named a Top Dentist by New York Top Dentists! Dr. Magid has recived this honor based on patient reviews and training in the field. New York Top Doctors is an exclusive healthcare resource available to the public in their search for top healthcare providers. NY Top Dentists features the most respected and highly qualified healthcare providers in New York.

Selection into NY Top Dentists is thoroughly reviewed by a group of doctors who have over 40 years working within the medical field.

Dr. Kenneth Magid of Advanced Dentistry of Westchester said, “I am honored to be recognized as a Top Dentist of 2015.“

Dr. Magid has practiced dentistry in Westchester County for over 40 years. He is currently the Director of Pre Doctoral Laser Dentistry and Associate Clinical Professor at NYU College of Dentistry and is the Assistant Director of Honors Esthetics. He has appeared on nationwide television and radio programs to discuss high tech and cosmetic dentistry including ABC and The New York Times. Dr. Magid lectures throughout the U.S. and Canada and is a contributor to many journals on topics including “Minimally Invasive” Dentistry, Laser Dentistry, Digital Radiography, Air-Abrasion dentistry, “21st Century Dentistry” and Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Magid received his dental degree from New York University College of Dentistry. 

About NY Top Dentists

NY Top Docs is an exclusive healthcare resource that reviews and approves healthcare providers in New York and features them online. There are two main divisions, NY Top Docs and NY Top Dentists. NY Top Docs is a trusted resource allowing the public to find high quality healthcare providers in a targeted method through selecting a search radius and specialty. NY Top Docs uses a comprehensive qualification questionnaire, research & an in depth screening process in selecting their top healthcare professionals. Their goal is to provide New York residents with a complete informational resource to assist them when choosing a Healthcare Provider. Visit nytopdentists.com  for more information.

About Advanced Dentistry Of Westchester

Advanced Dentistry of Westchester offers patients of all ages the latest in dental care with technology available in less than 1% of dental offices nationwide. Advanced Dentistry of Westchester is run by Dr. Kenneth Magid, D.D.S., FICD, and Dr. Sabrina Magid-Katz, D.M.D. The practice offers a variety of services including family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, implants and works with patients who suffer from sleep apnea. Advanced Dentistry of Westchester also offers technology that enables them to care for deaf and hard-of-hearing patients. Advanced Dentistry of Westchester is located at 163 Halstead Avenue, Harrison, NY. For more information call (914) 835-0542 or visit www.adofw.com or Facebook at Advanced Dentistry of Westchester.

Dr. Magid on Westchester Now

Dr. Magid Advanced Dentistry of Westchester on Westchester Now

Tune in on Saturday, April 25th, to hear Dr. Magid speak about innovations in the dental field. He will be covering everything from “no shot/no drill” fillings to computer guided implants.

Listen to AM 1230 WFAS live here.

In case you miss it: The interview will also air on Sunday, April 26th at 5:30 am on 94.3 FM and on Wednesday, April 29th at Noon on 1230 AM.

Dr. Kenneth Magid Featured in April 2015 Dentistry Today

Dr. Kenneth Magid was recently featured in a full page article in the April 2015 issue of Dentistry Today. In the article, Dr. Magid discusses the benefits of adding the latest dental technologies into your dental practice today. Be sure to pick up a copy of the April issue or click here to read the full story.

Dentistry Today Westchester Dentist Dr. Ken Magid

 

Westchester dentist Dr. Ken Magid

How to Stop the Process of New Decay

Advanced Dentistry of Westchester tooth decay prevention program launch

Looking to arrest cavities at an early stage and stop the process of new decay? Then our decay prevention program would be ideal. We have come up with the solution for patients suffering from tooth decay causing cavities.  With over 100 patients already experiencing the success of this program removing over 90% of decay, we believe more Westchester residents can benefit from our decay prevention program.

Many people have spent their lives and fortunes in the dental office in a downward spiral of cavity restoration. But now, Advanced Dentistry of Westchester can stop this spiral through our new revolutionary, preventive dental program.  There is proven science behind what we’re doing and it is especially beneficial for those who have truly damaging tooth decomposition.  Of primary importance is the program’s efficacy with little cost and minimal disruption to patients’ lives.

The program helps patients prevent new cavities and arrest early decay, especially in people with aggressive decay.  The program has been expanded to use the protein-building amino acid L-Arginine in topical form to help preclude new and further deterioration of teeth.

We have had a successful program for preventing decay for over 10 years and many proven cases. Now, we have added one more component that assures us we can be successful against even the most aggressive decay.  This is very important for anyone that has been prone to cavities.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The program was developed at NYU’s College of Dentistry where Dr. Kenneth Magid, DDS, FICD and Dr. Sabrina Magid-Katz, DMD, are both faculty. As a result of their efforts, both have had anecdotal results of more than 90% reduction in decay of people who have used the program.  Advanced Dentistry of Westchester currently has more than 100 patients using this program in various, customized stages of the program, depending on the aggressiveness of decay.

 

 


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  • Advanced Dentistry of Westchester
  • Kenneth S. Magid, DDS, FICD
  • Sabrina Magid-Katz, DMD

  • 163 Halstead Ave. • Harrison, NY 10528
  • (914) 835-0542
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