Dentist in Ocean, NJ | Our Next Health and Wellness Event

Save the Date!

We’re delighted to invite you and your friends to our next Health and Wellness Event.

Date: October 24th
Time: 5:30 PM
Where: Soul Focus, 7 Meridian Rd, Eatontown
RSVP : Fran@alansterndds.com or 732-493-8030 before October 22

Nutritionist Debra Dayton and Dr Alan Stern will be discussing how to control the inflammation that is damaging our bodies every day. Our information will be practical, useful, and potentially life saving.

Light refreshments will be served and we will have a few surprises for some lucky people, too!

More information will follow. Please be sure to like our Facebook page for updates on everything that’s happening in our office community.

We are very excited about this event and hope to see you there!

Dr. Alan Stern, Fran, Jessica, and Ryan

 

Request an appointment, or call out office today to learn more at (732) 493-8030

Dr. Alan Stern | The Daily Grind: A Look at What’s Wearing Down Your Teeth

We wear our smiles everyday, and yet, so many of us are wearing down on our teeth without even realizing it. It’s not enough to just brush and floss twice a day when there’s the potential to do some serious damage to our smiles.

Here’s a look at five pesky habits that can really hurt our teeth—and simple solutions to change the bad behavior.

1. Stress

Stress—about work, family or that endless list of things to do—can lead to all sorts of bad behavior for your pearly whites, from nail biting and teeth grinding to jaw clenching. These habits can not only cause fracturing of your teeth, but even the loss of teeth all together. And as we head into the holiday season, the factors that cause stress-related behaviors seem to only grow. To combat the tendency to take stress out on your teeth, make sure you find time to add other forms of stress relief to your schedule. Hit the gym to sweat out your stress, or take a meditative yoga class for a little internal zen. Or, schedule a deep tissue massage for a little of both. These activities provide both physical and mental relaxation, allowing you to divert that energy into more positive channels.

Dr. Stern says: “The most recent research shows the greatest damage to teeth comes during the day, when clenchers put tremendous force on their teeth and, because they’re so acclimated to doing it, they aren’t even aware of it! Studies show that daytime clenching is dramatically more powerful and far MORE likely to trigger pain the facial muscles than night time grinding!”

2. Not Getting Regular Check-Ups

You know the drill: twice-a-year dentist visits keep teeth clean and healthy. Not only do dentists floss, brush and remove any stains from your teeth during your visit, they check for overall hygiene health, which is crucial in addressing any dental problems before they become more serious. Sure, it can be difficult to find time to schedule your visit, but regular dental visits should be treated no differently than your annual physical exam or other health-related assessment. And if you can’t afford dental insurance, check out our 2 for 2 Program (but hurry, as it’s only being offered through 12/22/13).

Dr. Stern says: “Like anything else having to do with our health, the more control we have, the fewer the problems we encounter. A simple thing like a dental exam can prevent a lot of trouble—just ask anyone who’s lost some teeth!”

3. Sleep

More than half of Americans experience frequent sleep problems and don’t get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And missing out on a good night’s rest carries with it more risk than just having a grouchy attitude in the morning. Snoring and sleep apnea can both affect gum disease, a cause of persistent bad breath and sensitive gums, along with a host of life-threatening illnesses, including sudden death. Not to mention that a lack of sleep also triggers stress, which in turn leads to other bad habits for teeth (see above!). To avoid these pitfalls, get the full, eight recommended hours of sleep. Try turning off electronics and easing into sleep by listening to gentle music or reading a book before bed. And if you just can’t schedule a full night’s sleep, be sure to be vigilant about healthy teeth habits, like brushing and flossing.

Dr. Stern says: “Not only is the quantity of sleep important; the quality of sleep is critical. A disruption of any of the four stages of sleep, N1, N2, N3 and REM (that’s the one we all heard of) impacts everything from daytime sleepiness to heart disease, to mood and memory disorders! And sleep disordered breathing is the # 1 disruptor of good quality sleep.”

4. Sugar

This sweet ingredient isn’t just bad for your waistline, it’s bad for your teeth as well. Sugar is a major factor in tooth decay—bacteria use it as a form of energy, so plaque on teeth grows faster in quantity and thickness. This then leads to cavities and other more serious tooth ailments. To prevent these dangers, reduce your sugar intake. Try to cut out sugary drinks and candy, which don’t offer nutritional benefits, and instead snack on fruit to satisfy your sugar cravings. Also stock your fridge with cheeses, nuts and chicken, which can protect tooth enamel by providing a boost of calcium and phosphorus, which remineralize teeth.

Dr. Stern says: “The best thing you can do here is to keep it simple—drink water when you’re thirsty and with your meals. Period. Soda contains enormous amounts of sugar. And diet soda has been shown to increase your appetite.”

5. Forgetting to Floss

Even those people who are vigilant about brushing twice a day will fess up to skipping the floss. Which is a huge mistake: floss is designed to clean the hard-to-reach places between teeth, where your toothbrush can’t help. These tiny crevices are where food and tartar tend to get stuck, causing a buildup of bacteria and plaque can occur. If you find yourself unmotivated to floss, try buying a flavored kind to spice up your routine. These days, floss comes in a host of delicious flavors, from mint and cinnamon to…cupcake!

Dr. Stern says: “Inflammation in the gums can impact the entire body. Cleaning between the teeth is the only way to control that inflammation. There are many devices to make this easier, including the air flosser, which we have here in the office for you.”

 

Ocean Dentist | Bad Breath Busters

While dragons breathing fire is pretty cool, no one wants to be the human version of that, breathing such a potent smell that it acts like an inferno, keeping others at a distance. Halitosis is the fancy name for bad breath, but there’s nothing fancy about unpleasant odors emanating from your mouth — or the health problems that can be associated with them.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Food is one of the top culprits. When stuck between your teeth, food can lead to unpleasant odors (particularly if it’s strong-smelling to begin with, like onions or garlic). And it’s not until you’ve completely digested a particular food that it stops affecting your breath.

In addition to yellowing your teeth, tobacco doesn’t do any favors for your breath. Certain medications can also be to blame. Illnesses, too, can temporarily cause halitosis, particularly respiratory tract infections like bronchitis and pneumonia.

Everyone’s experienced morning breath. That’s because your mouth gets dry while you sleep, and saliva helps to clear away those particles that can cause bad smells. Some people experience dry mouth during the day as well. Drinking lots of water and breathing through your nose instead of your mouth can help with this.

So Fresh and So Clean

How can you keep your breath sweet-smelling all day? The best way is to brush and floss regularly. Keeping your teeth clean keeps gum disease at bay, clears out all those lingering food particles, and reduces odor-causing bacteria. Remember to brush your tongue as well, or use a tongue scraper. A note of caution: When brushing or scraping the tongue, be gentle. Excessive scraping can harm taste buds over a long time.

If you find particular foods always make your breath bad, avoid those when you’ll be in situations where you’re interacting with people.

In addition to drinking water to keep your mouth moist, chewing sugarless gum can promote the production of saliva.

Mouth rinses are another great choice, but use moderation with ones that contain alcohol. Alcohol in excess can be carcinogenic, especially when combined with cigarette smoke.

Be sure to come in for regular checkups. If you’re developing gum disease, we can treat it, which will improve your breath. Mouth odor can also indicate diabetes, gastric issues, or other medical problems. We can help you figure out the cause of your halitosis and guide you in the right direction toward a solution.