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Posts for: August, 2016

By Signature Smiles, LLC
August 23, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
DentalMagicTransformsSmiles

Magician Michel Grandinetti can levitate a 500-pound motorcycle, melt into a 7-foot-tall wall of solid steel, and make borrowed rings vanish and reappear baked inside bread. Yet the master illusionist admits to being in awe of the magic that dentists perform when it comes to transforming smiles. In fact, he told an interviewer that it’s “way more important magic than walking through a steel wall because you’re affecting people’s health… people’s confidence, and you’re really allowing people to… feel good about themselves.”

Michael speaks from experience. As a teenager, his own smile was enhanced through orthodontic treatment. Considering the career path he chose for himself — performing for multitudes both live and on TV — he calls wearing an orthodontic device (braces) to align his crooked teeth “life-changing.” He relies on his welcoming, slightly mischievous smile to welcome audiences and make the initial human connection.

A beautiful smile is definitely an asset regardless of whether you’re performing for thousands, passing another individual on a sidewalk or even, research suggests, interviewing for a job. Like Michael, however, some of us need a little help creating ours. If something about your teeth or gums is making you self-conscious and preventing you from smiling as broadly as you could be, we have plenty of solutions up our sleeve. Some of the most popular include:

  • Tooth Whitening. Professional whitening in the dental office achieves faster results than doing it yourself at home, but either approach can noticeably brighten your smile.
  • Bonding. A tooth-colored composite resin can be bonded to a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, such a chip.
  • Veneers. This is a hard, thin shell of tooth-colored material bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its color, shape, size and/or length; mask dental imperfections like stains, cracks, or chips, and compensating for excessive gum tissue.
  • Crowns. Sometimes too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or trauma to support a veneer. Instead, capping it with a natural-looking porcelain crown can achieve the same types of improvements. A crown covers the entire tooth replacing more of its natural structure than a veneer does.

If you would like more information about ways in which you can transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the techniques mentioned above by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening,” “Repairing Chipped Teeth,” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”


By Signature Smiles, LLC
August 08, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   fluoride  
DontForgetHiddenFluorideSourcesYourFamilyCouldbeIngesting

In the last half century, fluoride has become an effective weapon against tooth decay. The naturally occurring mineral helps strengthen enamel, the teeth's hard, protective cover.

Although it's safe for consumption overall, too much during early tooth development can lead to fluorosis, a brownish, mottled staining in enamel. To avoid it, a child's daily consumption of fluoride should optimally be kept at around 0.05-0.07 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, or an amount equal to one-tenth of a grain of salt per two pounds of weight.

The two main therapeutic fluoride sources have limits to help maintain this balance: utilities that fluoridate drinking water are required to add no more than 4 parts fluoride per million (ppm) of water; toothpaste manufacturers likewise only add a small amount of fluoride compared to clinical gels and pastes dentists apply to teeth for added decay protection.

But drinking water and toothpaste aren't the only sources of fluoride your child may encounter. Even if you have a non-fluoridated water supply, you should still keep a close watch on the following items that could contain fluoride, and discuss with us if you should take any action in regard to them.

Infant formula. The powdered form especially if mixed with fluoridated water can result in fluoride concentrations 100 to 200 times higher than breast or cow's milk. If there's a concern, use fluoride-free distilled or bottled spring water to mix formula.

Beverages. Many manufacturers use fluoridated water preparing a number of packaged beverages including sodas (two-thirds of those manufactured exceed .6 ppm), soft drinks and reconstituted fruit juices. You may need to limit your family's consumption of these kinds of beverages.

Certain foods. Processed foods like cereals, soups or containing fish or mechanically separated chicken can have high fluoride concentrations, especially if fluoridated water was used in their processing. When combined with other fluoride sources, their consumption could put children at higher risk for fluorosis.

Toothpaste. Although mentioned previously as a moderate fluoride source, you should still pay attention to how much your child uses. It doesn't take much: in fact, a full brush of toothpaste is too much, even for an adult. For an infant, you only need a smear on the end of the brush; as they grow older you can increase it but to no more than a pea-sized amount.

If you would like more information on fluoride and how it strengthens teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Fluoride & Fluoridation in Dentistry.”


By Signature Smiles, LLC
August 03, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: smoking  

Smoking is a well-known health risk. However, the first thing that cigarette smoke comes into contact with is your smile, putting it directlysmoking in the line of fire for various dental problems. Do you know what effects your smoking habit has on your smile? Find out with Dr. Carmela LaFalce, DMD at Signature Smiles in Toms River, NJ.

What does smoking do to my smile? 
Smoking does not just put you at risk for health issues like lung or throat cancer or emphysema. It also puts you at risk for tooth decay and gum disease, the number one cause of tooth loss. Smoking is also notorious as a cause of tooth discolorations and staining. Smoking damages the cells and reduces the blood flow in your oral tissues, causing slower healing times and increasing the chance of infection.

What about smokeless tobacco? 
Studies have proven smokeless tobacco to be just as bad, if not worse, for your oral health as smoking cigarettes or cigars. Smokeless tobacco users are at about 50 times the risk of developing oral cancers than non-users. Additionally, smokeless tobacco users are at about four times the risk of non-users for tooth decay, which leads to gum disease. Smokeless tobacco also has more nicotine than cigarettes, meaning they are even more addicting.

Quit Smoking in Toms River, NJ 
There are many resources available for quitting your smoking habit now. Quitting now will not only improve your dental and general health but drastically decrease your risk of diseases like cancer. Over-the-counter nicotine replacements often come in the form of patches or gum and are available at drug stores. This option helps you wean off of nicotine slowly. Support groups and self-help books can help you get in the right state of mind to kick your habit for good. Prescription medication can also help you quit smoking. Consult with Dr. LaFalce to determine the best route for you on your journey to becoming an ex-smoker.

For more information on what smoking does to your smile or information on how to quit, please contact Dr. Carmela LaFalce, DMD at Signature Smiles in Toms River, NJ. Call (732) 244-4114 to speak with an associate about scheduling your appointment with Dr. LaFalce today!




Carmela LaFalce, DMD
Dentist - Toms River
616 Washington St
Toms River, NJ 08753

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