Your Lifestyle Guide to Adult Braces

While it’s never too late to improve your smile, you may be turned off at the idea of displaying a mouthful of metal, especially as an adult. If you want a healthier smile but don’t want to endure orthodontic treatment, this comprehensive guide to living with braces is geared toward you!

Keep the Goal in Mind

Wearing braces is just like every other means-to-an-end. You work out regularly to stay fit. Each day you head to work to make a living. Even washing dishes or doing laundry applies, if want fresh clothes or clean eating utensils you simply must do it.

Braces are no different. In fact, orthodontic treatment is a means to multiple ends:

  • Correct bite problems
  • Improved chewing and speaking
  • Healthier teeth
  • Reduced risk of decay
  • A straight, beautiful smile
  • Bonus results in increased confidence

Em-Brace Your New Look!

It is not uncommon to see more adults wearing braces these days. In fact, so many older people are seeking treatment, you may have stopped noticing. Therefore, there are more people out there who can relate to having braces later in life.

Care for Your Braces

There are pros and cons that come with caring for your braces and underlying teeth.


  • Seeking orthodontic treatment was your decision, not your parents’ choice.
  • You understand the cause and effect of orthodontic treatment more thoroughly.
  • You want to get the most bang for your buck.


Young adolescents and older teens are amid change. As an established adult, you may find it more difficult to adjust your ingrained routine. Regarding oral care, braces require more diligent work. It takes longer to floss, and you need to do it carefully. Brushing your teeth is tricky, and you mustn’t eat some of the foods you are used to enjoying.

For all the “pros” you will care for your braces and teeth properly, you will do great! And, of course, you can always call our Queens, NY dental clinic for more tips or to ask any questions.

Know Your Options

If the thought of wearing traditional metal braces as an adult still seems unpleasant, know your options. Dental Arts Kew Gardens also offers Fast Braces and Invisalign.

If you have been told in the past that you are not a candidate for clear aligners, don’t hesitate to check with us. We have extensive experience and will determine which orthodontic treatment is best for your case.

Is Sedation Dentistry Right for You?

Does the thought of a visit to the dentist make you cringe? Would you rather pet a spider than get that cavity filled? At Dental Arts in Kew Gardens, we understand dental anxiety and want each of our patients to have a calm, comforting and exceptional experience. For this reason, we are proud to offer nitrous oxide “sedation” dentistry. Nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as laughing gas, is a safe and healthy compound which can be used to provide a more relaxed dental experience. Wondering what the benefits of nitrous oxide dentistry are?

  • Provides a relaxing effect. For patients that feel nervous or anxious at the dental office, nitrous oxide can provide a safe, healthy and calming effect, allowing the patient to feel more relaxed during treatment.
  • Reduces patient gag reflex. Nitrous oxide can also reduce the gag reflex, allowing our dental staff to work on your teeth, gums and oral health without your gag reflex becoming induced.
  • Allows patient to remain responsive. Other forms of sedation dentistry may make communication with the patient difficult; nitrous oxide allows the patient to remain responsive to directions and able to communicate with our dental staff.
  • Does not provide complete sedation. Nitrous oxide also leaves the patient completely awake, yet relaxed while other forms of sedation dentistry can completely sedate the patient.
  • No lingering side effects. Once treatment has been completed, oxygen will be increased, completely removing the nitrous from your system, allowing you to continue with your day. Other forms of sedation dentistry require the patient be driven to and from the appointments.

Kew Gardens Sedation Dentistry Process

During your appointment at our Kew Gardens dental office, you will be provided with a small mask which will be placed over the nose. You will be asked to breathe normally through your nose as nitrous oxide is administered through the mask. After just a few minutes you will begin to feel more calmed and relaxed. Once your treatment has been completed, oxygen levels will be increased, allowing the nitrous oxide to leave your system fully.

Implant-Dentures: Improve Your Life!

It seems like conventional dentures always come with problems. They shift out of place; an improper fit can be painful, and they must be removed for cleaning. Therefore, implant dentures are believed to be like manna from Heaven. Unlike conventional dentures, implants provide better stability for improved mouth function and a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Modern research confirms that improved functionality boosts the quality of life for patients who choose implant dentures. Since this was long-term study it offers very encouraging results regarding the positive effects over the course of a lifetime.

Improvement in Almost Every Way

Eighty patients participated in the new study, divided into two separate groups,
conventional dentures, and bar-retained implants. For more than 23 years, participants were followed.

The Oral Health Impact Profile was used to evaluate patient quality of life. However, the OHIP is flawed but does embody the best approach for gauging a patient’s quality of life in terms of oral health.

The profile uncovers how people feel about their dental health in varying situations and from different viewpoints. Categories examined might include any of the following:

  • Handicap
  • Functional limitations
  • Physical pain
  • Psychological discomfort
  • Psychological or physical disability
  • Social disability

It is difficult to separate the differences between categories without examining the individual questions. The OHIP survey results concluded that implant patients were less bothered by their prosthetic teeth in virtually all categories. The one area that was not drastically different statistically was regarding social disability. Across the board, implant dentures were viewed as considerably better.

We Need a Better Measure

The one major disadvantage to this research is the limitation from the OHIP. This is a commonly used tool for measurement, that helps answer the questions at hand, but there are considerable drawbacks. It only covers how often patients feel their oral health disrupts their lives. It fails to address the positive effects of maintaining good oral health. Therefore, some additional benefits of implant dentures may be neglected.

You Can Improve Your Quality of Life

There have been other studies conducted that examine how implants improve quality of life. Osteoporotic women were researched, and the conclusion was much the same: implant dentures make life better.

If you are not satisfied with the idea of wearing dentures, and how it will negatively affect your life, it may be time to find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants. You will achieve better mouth function, so you can enjoy a more pleasurable life.

Teeth Staining: Causes and Prevention

We all want white teeth, and nowadays, there are plenty of methods to help get you that bright smile, from toothpaste to home whitening treatments to professional treatments at your dentist office. But how can you avoid these treatments and help prevent stains in the first place? Read on for some tips for keeping your smile bright.

Food and Drink

The majority of stains come from your food and drink. Wine, tea, coffee, and cola drinks are the top culprits and, in general, food and drinks with darker or more intense colors have a higher propensity for staining teeth. Smoking and chewing tobacco also not only tints or stains your teeth, it can damage them and the health of your gums as well. Additionally, acidic foods and drinks can soften teeth and make them more susceptible to absorbing stains.

Intrinsic Stains

While most stains are caused by what you eat and drink, and are only on the surface and therefore cosmetic in nature, some stains are intrinsic, coming from discoloration from within the tooth. Staining of the inner layers of the tooth (beneath the enamel) can be due to a variety of reasons, such as extreme exposure to fluoride during early childhood or the use of tetracycline antibiotics during pregnancy. Tetracycline antibiotic use in children can also result in the appearance of intrinsic stains. The treatment of intrinsic stains can be a more difficult process and should be discussed with your dentist.

How to Prevent Stains

Using a straw can help prevent teeth staining as it keeps beverages with staining potential from coming into too much contact with your teeth. Swallowing quickly can also reduce the amount of contact and staining on your teeth. The most effective way to prevent staining is frequently brushing, though this is not always possible. A good alternative is to swish your mouth with water after eating or drinking to help remove staining materials from your mouth until you are next able to brush.

Teeth Whitening

While there are many methods for tooth whitening available, as previously mentioned, it’s recommended that you speak with your dentist before using one. Generally speaking, a professional tooth whitening treatment at your dentist’s office is usually the healthiest and most effective method, but your dentist can help you find one that best fits your needs.

How to Include More Calcium in Your Diet

Calcium and milk go hand in hand like fluoride and toothpaste. You can’t find milk without it, and for a lot of us, milk makes up a large portion of our calcium intake. But what about those of us who can’t have dairy? How can we get calcium if we are lactose intolerant?

How Calcium Benefits Your Oral Health

Calcium helps strengthen our teeth and jawbone and also helps maintain the health of our bones throughout our body. Surprisingly, calcium is also necessary for the proper function of the other muscular components of our mouth. The nerves, blood vessels, and muscles all rely on calcium to some degree.

How Much Calcium Do We Need?

To a large degree, the amount of calcium we need depends on our age, size, and gender. Some people need over 1300 mg of calcium while children can get away with about 700 mg. However, if you consume less than 500 mg of calcium, it puts you at a greater risk of gum disease. Unfortunately, most people actually don’t get in their daily recommended dose of calcium on a regular basis.

Non-Dairy Calcium Sources

  • Canned fish with bones – The bones of small, canned fish are small enough to eat and are an excellent source of calcium!
  • Dark leafy green vegetables – This includes spinach, kale, and collard greens.
  • Calcium-fortified drinks – Fortified orange juice is a good source of calcium as well as vitamin C.
  • Tofu – Most tofu has beneficial added calcium!
  • Almonds – Almonds have more calcium than any other type of nut!
  • Dried figs – Figs have a sweet, indulgent flavor and eating a half cup of them would really feel like a treat.

These foods can add variety to your diet if you are looking for a little boost in your calcium intake without giving you the bad side effects of lactose. Figs, almonds, and leafy greens are very different but give many similar benefits when it comes to keeping gum disease at bay.

What to Do If Your Restoration Falls Out

You could be munching on your favorite snack and — pop! — you feel your filling give way. Fillings or crowns can fall out due to gradual loosening overtime from chewing hard food or the onset of tooth root decay which is a more serious condition. This occurrence, though rare, does occasionally happen. If not taken care of, the condition could worsen as food debris will fill the holes left and further aggravate the decay. However, you don’t have to panic. Stay calm and learn how to protect your distressed tooth.

Remove the filling or crown and keep it if you can.

Your crown or filling will most likely fall off while you are chewing, brushing or flossing your teeth. Quickly remove the filing from your mouth to prevent it from being swallowed. If you accidentally swallowed it, there is nothing to worry about as the filling will be safely passed. This means you have to get a replacement. Carefully clean the old crown when found as it can be reattached. This is done free of charge if it’s the same dentist that originally placed it. Clean the affected tooth thoroughly and call your dentist.

Immediately call a dentist for an appointment.

Immediately call your dentist for an appointment if your crown falls out. This is necessary because the exposed tooth might become further damaged or decayed if not refitted right away. This is considered as an emergency by most dentists, and they will try to get you to the clinic as quickly as possible. While waiting to see the dentist, there are temporary measures you can take to protect your tooth.

Use temporary filling material to replace the crown.

Before your appointment with the dentist, you have to take immediate steps to protect the exposed tooth from bacteria. If the crown is still intact, you should properly clean it and hold it in place over the tooth with dental cement which can be found at most drug stores. The dental cement can also be used to simply cover the tooth. Alternatively, you can mold dental wax over the tooth. This serves as an effective barrier against bacteria and would protect the tooth before a more permanent solution by your dentist.

Keep it clean.

While good oral hygiene is a must in normal circumstances, having a tooth with the interior exposed requires additional care. Brush the affected tooth softly to remove food debris. You can also rinse the area with salt water for good measure.

Dull any pain or sensitivity.

The exposed nerves in the troubled tooth might be painful especially while eating or drinking. The use of clove oil, which can be found in drug stores, is effective in numbing and relieving the pain when applied to the area. Use over-the-counter pain medication if the pain remains unabated.

Avoid certain foods.

In the interim, you might have to avoid certain food that could aggravate your condition. Take care to chew with the unaffected part of your mouth when you do eat. The following types of food and beverages may cause more pain and decay:

  • Sugary foods and drinks
  • Hard foods
  • Hot or very cold food and drinks
  • Acidic foods and drinks

Contact us!

The loss of your filling or crown shouldn’t have to disrupt your routine more than is necessary. Our dedicated and experienced professionals will examine your teeth thoroughly and have you up and about in no time. Contact us whenever you have any problems with your fillings or crown.

Diabetes and Oral Health

Were you aware that November is National Diabetes Month? This makes it the perfect time to talk about the connection between oral health and diabetes and how you can successfully manage both.

The Connection Between Diabetes & Oral Health

So what exactly is the connection between diabetes and a patient’s oral health?

Patients that have diabetes have a higher risk of infection in their mouth, increasing their chances of decay and gum disease. But the connection doesn’t quite end there; gum disease and decay can impact a diabetic’s blood sugar levels, resulting in elevated levels that can increase the risk of complications such as heart and kidney issues. Although proper dental care is important for every patient, it is essential for proper diabetes maintenance.

The good news, however, is that patients that take care of their oral health typically have better blood sugar levels, and those with better blood sugar levels often have better oral health. Properly managing both your oral health and diabetes can help ensure you avoid any complications down the road. Wondering what you can do to take care of your oral health and diabetes?

  • Eat foods with more nutrition.
  • Avoid foods/beverages high in sugar/carbs.
  • Watch your weight.
  • Practice proper at-home dental care.
  • Schedule routine oral examinations and dental cleanings.

Do you have diabetes? Want to make sure you are effectively managing your oral health and diabetes together? Contact Dental Arts Kew Gardens today! We’d be happy to evaluate your teeth, gums and overall oral health to determine if diabetes may be causing dental complications. If any risk signs are present, we can discuss treatment options and better at-home care techniques to help you manage your health more effectively.

Fall Tips for Healthy Teeth

You may be surprised to learn that changing seasons can have a negative impact on otherwise healthy teeth. The drop in temperature may leave you prone to fall dental problems.

Patients with teeth sensitivity may find the condition tends to worsen during the cold weather months. The sudden temperature change can lead to either mild discomfort or sharp teeth pain.

Fall Dental Care Tips

Here are some healthy teeth tips that could help you shield your smile from the ravages of the cold.

  • Visit Your Dentist – If you can’t remember the last time you had a dental exam, you are likely overdue. You may be experiencing extra teeth sensitivity in the fall because your teeth are cracked, or the enamel has gotten thinner. Cold weather teeth sensitivity can also be caused by aggressive brushing, teeth grinding or clenching, oral infection, gum recession or gingivitis.

  • Your dentist can determine the underlying cause and put together the best course of action, after a thorough dental examination.

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene – Tooth sensitivity can be corrected by being more diligent with your daily dental care routine. Brush your teeth after each meal and don’t dismiss the floss. If you are still experiencing discomfort at the change of seasons, you may need to switch to a desensitizing toothpaste.

  • Drink More Water – It is important to stay hydrated all year round, not just during the summer months. The air tends to be drier when it is cold outside. Try to ingest at least two liters of water (roughly over 8 cups) every day. This is not only great for your body; it is also good for oral health. You need proper water intake to produce saliva and keep your teeth and gums moist. Without good saliva production, mouth bacteria will flourish.

  • Eat for Dental Health – It is important to have healthy food choices when you eat. A balanced diet will fuel your defense system against the harsh cold. Stick with snacks and meals from the following basic food groups:

    • Fruits and vegetables
    • Whole grains
    • Lean beef
    • Skinless poultry and fish
    • Dry beans and peas
    • Dairy products

Also, limit how often you snack throughout the day. Eating too many snacks is more harmful to teeth than eating three meals per day. More saliva is produced at meal-time, which can wash away food debris more efficiently.


5 Dental Facts You Might Not Know

For most people, the appearance and health of their smile are extremely important. It can affect how we feel about ourselves and even how well our mouths function. But aside from the importance of caring for our teeth, how much do you really know about the factors that can affect your smile?

Excess Fluoride Can Be Damaging  

Everyone has heard about how important fluoride can be for optimal oral health, but did you know it can actually be damaging to children in excessive amounts? Fluorosis can occur when children ingest large amounts of fluoride, resulting in teeth and bone problems later in life.

Tooth Enamel Can Break 

Has anyone ever told you not to chew on ice? This is for a good reason! Hard things such as ice, kernels and even a piercing can cause chips, cracks, and damage to teeth. You should never chew on anything hard.

Missing Teeth Are Common 

Tooth extractions have become more common over time, leaving much of the population with one or more missing teeth. Being born without certain teeth is also extremely common, wisdom teeth and lateral incisors are the most common to be missing. Missing teeth can occur for various reasons such as injury, decay, disease, and even genetics.

Braces Can Cause Cavities

Due to the wires, bands, and brackets involved with wearing braces, certain debris and bacteria can actually get stuck around the hardware. This can lead to increased risk of decay, demineralization and even cavities. Making sure to thoroughly and properly care for your teeth while wearing braces can reduce the risks.

Acid Can Be Just as Bad as Sugar

We often hear about how bad sugar can be for our pearly whites, but did you know that acidic foods and beverages can be just as bad? Highly acidic products such as citrus, soda, and even wine have been known to soften enamel and also cause erosion of teeth.

For children, the effects of acidity can be even worse due to the fact permanent teeth must mature over time, leaving them softer and more vulnerable until they have fully matured.

Dental Care During & After Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting time and one in which it’s particularly important to think about your health. You might wonder whether it’s safe to visit the dentist during pregnancy, and the answer is yes! Here is some important information about dental care both during and after your pregnancy.

Dental Care while Pregnant

You might not think that dental care and pregnancy would go hand in hand, but pregnancy is a great time to visit the dentist. Most dental procedures can still be completed while pregnant, although you might want to postpone any dental treatment that might require medication or sedation until after pregnancy just to be safe. The second trimester is typically regarded as the best time to have dental work done while pregnant.

It’s a good idea to keep up with your regular dental checkups while pregnant, both to avoid any kind of infection in your mouth and because your hormone levels can affect your good oral health, especially your gums—leaving you vulnerable to periodontal disease. X-rays are generally considered safe, but can almost always be postponed until after pregnancy if you’d prefer.

Dental Care After Pregnancy

It’s a good idea to make a dental appointment shortly after you have your baby to address any oral issues that may have cropped up during pregnancy. Your dentist will check your entire mouth, including your gums, to make sure everything looks healthy. Gum disease is known to occur during pregnancy, so your dentist might recommend a fluoride treatment or other safety measures to keep it under control.

If you’d like to make an appointment either during or after your pregnancy, our comfortable office awaits. Call Dental Arts KG at 718-441-0049 today!