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Posts for: February, 2020

By Signature Smiles, LLC
February 20, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Implant   Restoration  

At Signature Smiles, LLC, Dr. Carmela LaFalce dedicates herself to making Toms River, NJ, patients feel like the best version of themselves. When empty spaces in the mouth arise from decay, disease, or injury, the consequences can be detrimental to your mood, social life, and aesthetic. Fortunately, a dental implant restoration can put life back into your smile and everyday routine. To determine if you are a candidate, please schedule a consultation at our office. Read on for more information about the positive effects dental implants can have on your general wellness.

What Is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant consists of three parts - a titanium screw, abutment, and crown. The Toms River Dental Implant Restoration resembles a tooth's root, and different types range in size and shape. The best kind for your specific needs depends on approval from your dentist. These metal posts, or frames, are inserted into the jawbone during a minor procedure in our dental office. The screw and abutment work together so that the crown, which mirrors a natural tooth, can deliver a reinforced bite, revitalized self-esteem, and a younger-looking appearance.

When It's Time for Toms River Dental Implant Restoration

If you avoid eating your favorite foods because empty spaces in the mouth cause pain when chewing, this is only one reason to consider dental implants. They rehabilitate your entire smile when you struggle with one or more missing teeth. When teeth are weak, damaged, or decayed, the jawbone deteriorates, making you look older than your actual age. These restorations preserve the jawbone. The implants maintain and support facial structures for a more youthful appearance. They are also the only tooth-replacement option that stimulates bone growth and prevents bone loss.

Caring for Dental Implants

Maintaining adequate oral care is necessary for protecting your investment. Although dental implants require the same consideration as natural teeth, they need extra attention to ensure optimal success. After completing your Toms River dental implant restoration, Dr. LaFalce provides you with aftercare instructions. These include brushing with a small, soft, manual or electric toothbrush, using low or nonabrasive toothpaste. You'll also need to floss around the abutments and use antimicrobial mouth rinse for added protection. Implants can last for a lifetime if you practice good oral hygiene and visit our Toms River, NJ, office twice a year.

If you're embarrassed by one or more missing teeth and hide your smile because of it, consult with Dr. Carmela LaFalce to discuss how you might benefit from implant dentistry. During a consultation, she encourages patients to speak up about their smile goals, ask questions, and address any concerns that arise. For more information about dental implant restoration and other services provided at Signature Smiles, LLC, visit our website. For appointment scheduling in our Toms River, NJ, office, please call (732) 244-4114.


Your child’s current dental care sets the stage for good oral health later in life. It’s essential, therefore, that you know how best to protect their teeth and gums. In recognition of February as National Children’s Dental Health Month, here’s a short true or false quiz to test your knowledge of proper dental care for your child.

  1. Your child’s dental hygiene begins when their first teeth appear.
    False: The bacteria that cause dental disease can take up residence in an infant’s mouth before their first teeth come in. To help curb this bacterial growth, wipe your baby’s gums with a clean, wet cloth after nursing or bottle-feeding.

  2. Kissing your newborn on the mouth could lead to tooth decay.
    True. Any mouth-to-mouth contact with your infant could transfer oral bacteria from you to them. Their immune system isn’t mature enough to handle these “new arrivals,” which can increase their risk for tooth decay. Instead, kiss your child on the cheek or forehead or use other ways to show affection.

  3. Primary (baby) teeth don’t need the same care from disease as permanent teeth.
    False: Although they have a limited lifespan, primary teeth play a huge role in a child’s dental development by protecting the space intended for the incoming permanent teeth. If primary teeth are lost prematurely due to dental disease, it could lead to incoming teeth erupting out of position.

  4. It’s best to start your child’s regular dental visits around their first birthday.
    True: By age one, children already have a few teeth that need preventive or therapeutic care by a dentist. Starting early also gets them used to seeing the dentist and reduces their chances of developing dental visit anxiety.

  5. Your infant or toddler sucking their thumb isn’t a cause for concern.
    True: Thumb-sucking is a nearly universal habit among infants that typically begins to fade around ages 3 or 4. If the habit continues, though, it could begin affecting their bite. It’s recommended that you encourage your child to quit thumb-sucking around age 3.

  6. The best time to consider your child’s bite health is right before puberty.
    False: Signs of an emerging bite problem can begin appearing even before a child starts school. It’s a good idea, then, to have your child undergo an orthodontic evaluation around age 6. If the orthodontist finds a problem, it may be possible to intervene to correct or minimize it before it goes too far.

One last thing: Your child’s dental care isn’t entirely on your shoulders. We’re here to partner with you, not only providing preventive and therapeutic treatment for your child, but also advising you on their day-to-day dental care and hygiene. Together, we’ll help ensure your child’s dental development stays on track.

If you would like more information about dental care for children, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”

By Signature Smiles, LLC
February 10, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   gum disease  

Here’s the bad news about periodontal (gum) disease: It’s a leading cause for tooth loss. Even worse: Half of adults over 30 will have some form of it during their lifetime.

But here’s the good news: If caught early, we can often treat and stop gum disease before it can do substantial harm to your mouth. And the best news of all—you may be able to avoid a gum infection altogether by adopting a few healthy habits.

Here are 4 habits you can practice to prevent a gum infection from happening.

Practice daily brushing and flossing. Gum disease is a bacterial infection most often arising from dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that accumulates on teeth. Removing plaque daily with brushing and flossing will reduce your chances of a gum infection. And be sure it’s daily—missing just a few days is enough for gum inflammation to get started.

Get regular dental cleanings and checkups. Even the most diligent personal hygiene can miss plaque, which may then harden into a calcified form impossible to remove with brushing and flossing called calculus (tartar). At least twice-a-year professional dental cleanings will clear away any remnant plaque and tartar, which can greatly reduce your risk for dental disease.

Make gum-friendly lifestyle changes. Smoking more than doubles your chances of gum disease. Likewise, a sugar-heavy diet, which feeds disease-causing bacteria, also makes you more susceptible to infection. Quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol consumption and following a dental-friendly diet could boost your teeth and gum health and avoid infection.

Watch for signs of infection. Although you can greatly reduce your risk of gum disease, you can’t always bring that risk to zero. So, be aware of the signs of gum disease: sometimes painful, swollen, reddened or bleeding gums. If you notice any of these signs, make a dental appointment—the sooner you’re diagnosed and begin treatment, the less likely gum disease will ruin your dental health.

If you would like more information on preventing gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

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

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