(732) 244 - 4114

Posts for: June, 2017

By Signature Smiles, LLC
June 21, 2017
Category: Oral Health

When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?

For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.

Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.

Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:

  • It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
  • A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
  • Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!

Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!

If you would like more information about flossing and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Signature Smiles, LLC
June 08, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

When to ditch that old toothbrush and other good oral health habits you should adopt.toothbrush

You’ve had that toothbrush for a while now. Perhaps you’re not even sure when you bought it. If you have an electric toothbrush than you may not remember the last time you put a new toothbrush head on it. This is certainly a problem. An old and fraying toothbrush won’t clean teeth properly, not to mention that these splayed out bristles can actually scratch up healthy enamel. Our Toms River, NJ, dentist, Dr. Carmela LaFalce, provides some helpful tips for keeping your teeth and gums their healthiest.

When to Swap Out Your Toothbrush

A toothbrush head isn’t meant to last forever. At best, you’ll be able to use it for about three to four months before needing to replace it. Of course, the moment you start to notice that the bristles are starting to splay out, this is a good sign that it’s time to toss out that toothbrush and get a new one.

Also, if you’ve just gotten over an illness (whether you caught that nasty cold from your roommate or that stomach bug that went around the office finally got to you) this is the perfect time to toss out that toothbrush. Think about it— you don’t want those germs lingering on your toothbrush and then going back in your mouth. Don’t put yourself at risk for another infection. Ditch that toothbrush right away.

Another good idea is to replace your toothbrush after traveling. Think about how many new germs that toothbrush has seen, from the hotel bathroom to your suitcase. Play it safe and replace your toothbrush after any kind of traveling.

Why You Should Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly

Besides the obvious protection from germs, a worn toothbrush won’t be as effective for cleaning your teeth as a fresh, new toothbrush head. You want to get the most effective clean possible and by replacing your toothbrush every three months you can make this possible. As we mentioned before, frayed old bristles can actually be damaging to your teeth. Protect your teeth from potential damage and excessive wear and tear and just pick up a new toothbrush when it’s time.

Do you have questions about how to care for your smile? Do you need to book your next visit with us? Then call Signature Smiles in Toms River, NJ, today to get the care you need, your questions answered and your concerns addressed. We are here for you!


You’ve decided to obtain dental implants for your missing teeth. It’s a good choice — they provide the closest restoration to the function and appearance of natural teeth. You will, however, need to undergo a surgical procedure to imbed the implants’ threaded titanium posts into supporting bone.

It’s understandable if you’re a little apprehensive about undergoing surgery. We’re here, though, to set your mind at ease: implantation is a relatively minor procedure carefully planned in advance. Most patients experience no discomfort during the procedure and very little afterward.

We begin by completely numbing the surgical site with a local anesthetic. If you have a high level of anxiety, we can also administer a sedative or similar medication to help you relax. We then access the underlying bone through a series of incisions that create a flap in the gum tissue that we’ll later suture closed.

It’s quite common to have prepared a surgical guide or template beforehand. The template placed in the mouth marks the exact site for a small channel (or hole) we create in the bone. We then incrementally increase the size of the hole by drilling until it matches precisely the implant’s size and shape. This takes time to avoid overheating and damaging the bone.

We then remove the implant from its sterile packaging and insert it into the opening. We’ll also take x-rays to ensure correct positioning, which is critical for achieving an attractive result. We then suture the gum flap in place using stitches that will eventually dissolve. The implant will then integrate with the bone for a few weeks to create a strong, durable hold before we continue with the restoration.

Most patients can manage any post-surgical discomfort with mild anti-inflammatory pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen, although we can prescribe something stronger if you need it. We may also prescribe a mouthrinse with an anti-bacterial agent like chlorhexidine for you to use while the gums are healing to reduce the risk of infection.

Implant surgery is part of a long process that will eventually result in regaining the function of your lost teeth. What’s more, undergoing this minor procedure will also help you regain something just as important — a beautiful smile.

If you would like more information on dental implant restoration, 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 “Dental Implant Surgery.”

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

Request Appointment

Our office has flexible hours to fit your busy schedule