Tid Bits

Aging and Oral Health

January 19th, 2016

Aging and Oral Health

As you age, it becomes even more important to take good care of your teeth, gums and overall oral health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one-fourth of adults age 65 and older have no remaining teeth. What's more, nearly one-third of older adults have untreated tooth decay.

Oral health, regardless of age, is crucial to overall good health. Ideally, we all want to keep your natural teeth, but whether you're caring for natural teeth or dentures, advancing age may put older adults at risk for a number of oral health problems, including:

  • Dry mouth
  • Diminished sense of taste
  • Root decay
  • Gum (periodontal) disease
  • Uneven jawbone caused by tooth loss
  • Denture-induced tissue inflammation
  • Attrition (loss of teeth structure by mechanical forces)
  • Recession of gums resulting in root exposure
  • Oral cancer

These conditions may not be diagnosed until it is too late. If you want to feel good, stay healthy, and look great throughout life, you might be surprised what a difference a healthy mouth makes.

Here are some tips for maintaining and improving your oral health as you age:

  • Brush twice a day with a toothbrush with soft bristles. You may also benefit from using an electric toothbrush. Each brushing session should be two minutes long.
  • Clean between your teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner.
  • If you wear full or partial dentures, remember to clean them on a daily basis. Take the dentures out of your mouth for at least four hours every day. It's best to remove them at night.
  • Drink tap water. Since most contains fluoride, it helps prevent tooth decay no matter how old you are.
  • Quit smoking. Besides putting you at greater risk for lung and other cancers, smoking increases problems with gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
  • Visit our office regularly for a complete dental checkup.

If you have any questions about keeping up with your oral hygiene at home, please give us a call!

Adapting Your Diet after an Orthodontic Adjustment

December 19th, 2015

If you have just gotten braces or had them tightened, it may take a few days for your teeth to adjust. During this time, you’ll want to take extra precautions to prevent unnecessary pain and potential damage to your teeth, gums, and appliances. Don’t worry: Any discomfort you experience will soon disappear. And it’ll all be worth it in the end. Your new, beautiful smile will be yours for a lifetime!

Change What You Eat

Eating inappropriate foods can cause unnecessary pain. Here are some easy ways you can adapt your diet and eating habits after an adjustment.

  1. Cut your food into small pieces. Any food that requires chewing can be cut up into bite-sized pieces. This includes sandwiches, pizza, meat, and bread.
  2. Eat softer foods. In the first couple of days, stick to soft foods such as yogurt, pudding, and soups. Mashed potatoes and applesauce are good options as well. It’s easy to cook fruits and vegetables to make them softer: just steam them in the microwave!
  3. Be gentle with your teeth. Braces give your teeth a workout, so to ease soreness, be gentle with your teeth. Avoid chewy foods that can further irritate already-sore teeth and gums.

Dealing with Discomfort

Even if you alter your diet and take extra precautions, your mouth may still be sore or irritated. Here are some ways to reduce any lingering discomfort.

  1. Eat slowly and carefully. If it hurts to chew something, stop! If chewing is needed, try to use your back teeth as much as possible.
  2. Put pain on ice. Try sucking on some small pieces of ice. Don’t chew on the ice; this will make your discomfort worse. You can also use an ice pack or put frozen peas in a bag and apply pressure to the sore areas.
  3. Use wax. Put wax on any metal part that irritates your mouth. If you need some, please let us know!
  4. Do a salt rinse. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes. Just don’t swallow the salt water.

Following these simple tips will get you back to smiling in no time! If you have any questions about your treatment, or how to eat with braces, please give us a call or ask us during your next appointment!

What to Do in Case of Emergency

November 19th, 2015

We never want you to experience pain or discomfort, below you will find information on how to address some of the most common issues associated with orthodontic treatment.

What to Do in Case of Emergency

Call our office as soon as possible (908.756.6006) if you break or loosen any of your appliances. Please do not come directly to the office – by calling us, you will allow us to create a time to see you. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to notify us if you need an appliance repaired.

Loose Brackets or Bands

Call our office immediately (908.756.6006) for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire at night or over the weekend. If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for you.

Wire Irritations

Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office (908.756.6006) for an appointment.

Lost Separators

Most patients lose a separator during their treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but call our office (908.756.6006) to see if it needs to be replaced.

Discomfort with Orthodontic Treatment

During the first week after your braces are in place and routine adjustments are complete, you will likely feel some pain, soreness or discomfort. You may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws.

Some emergency issues require hospital assistance  if you have suffered substantial loss of blood or an allergic reaction please call 911. This information is for orthodontic treatment only.

Incognito™ Hidden Braces

October 19th, 2015

Incognito™ Hidden Braces are a unique orthodontic treatment option I provide featuring customized braces placed on the back side of your teeth where they are completely hidden from view. Since they are completely customized for you, Incognito Hidden Braces allow me to offer many treatment options.
Incognito Hidden Braces can treat nearly any orthodontic issue, while Incognito Lite Hidden Braces are specially designed to fix just your "social six" - the teeth that are visible at the front of your mouth. No matter which option you choose, no one will know you're wearing braces – unless you tell them!
Using state-of-the-art technology, 3M custom builds your exclusive Incognito™ Hidden Braces to deliver predictable, effective and efficient treatment results. Traditional metal or ceramic braces and other lingual (behind the teeth) braces are mass produced and based on a generic prescription. Incognito Braces are 100 percent customized to the contours of your teeth. What does this customization mean to you?
·      Total treatment time is usually shorter than when using generic brackets
·       Brackets are more comfortable than the standard    brackets because they fit perfectly with your individual teeth
·     Fewer appointments are usually necessary since the brackets and the wires are designed to efficiently deliver your final result
Here's how it works:
My excellent orthodontic staff will take impressions of your teeth and send them to technicians at the 3M lab.
·       I will customize your Incognito Braces treatment plan with the help of the 3M lab to meet your exact needs and correct your condition efficiently.
·      Using computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM), 3D printing technology, and robotics, your brackets and wires are custom manufactured exclusively for you, to correct your exact condition and deliver a confident smile.
·        Each bracket is cast in gold with precision design. Not only is the gold highly polished for additional comfort, but it also is safe for anyone that has Nickel allergies.
Experience the secret behind a beautiful smile.   Have the smile you've always dreamed of for your wedding, your career or simply for yourself. You deserve it!

High-tech and professional care, impeccable facility, friendly and efficient staff!
– The Iroudayassamy Family

Everyone is so friendly and professional. Appointments are a pleasure!
— The Horne Family

My child and I are extremely pleased with the final results. Yesenia has a beautiful smile.
— Yvette Alvarez

Overall, excellent service! I would not change a thing!
— DeAngelis family

I wish every Doctor's office I visit could run the office as efficient and as smoothly as Dr. Menker's.
— Isaiah V.

See More Patient Testimonials
Warren Location
58 Mount Bethel Rd. Suite 201
Warren, NJ 07059
South Plainfield Location
1904 Park Ave.
South Plainfield, NJ 07080
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