Tag Archives: family dentistry

When It’s Time to Buy a New Toothbrush | Palm Harbor Dentist

If you really think about it, we will have thousands of toothbrushes in our lifetime. Not only do they need to be changed out every three months, but also when we catch a cold. When you choose a toothbrush, it needs to be convenient and can reach all the nooks and crannies of our mouth for the ultimate clean. Here is a quick reference to help you think through your choices. After all, we use this little gadget twice a day – we should make it count, right?

Electric and manual. As a general rule, electric toothbrushes tend to outweigh the manual variation. They’re more effective at reducing plaque and they may better reduce the risk of gingivitis, but they are also more expensive.

ADA seal. The American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval signifies that a product is both safe and effective.

Opt for a soft-bristled brush. Hard bristles are very abrasive on your teeth, they can cause damage. Instead, choose a soft-bristled brush.

Customization is key. Not all mouths are the same size, so it makes sense to select a toothbrush head size that’s the right fit for you. Also consider the head shape—some are more tapered, others broader.

It’s all about the grip. As with head size and shape, grip is also something to consider. There is no right or wrong, so just choose one that feels good in your hand. Don’t be afraid to try out the feel of different toothbrush handles before committing to a purchase.

When in doubt, just ask. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, ask a professional. They will give you ideal recommendations based on your particular case.

If you’re interested in learning more about toothbrushes, contact Dr. Lieberman at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

Do You Need a Filling or a Root Canal? | Palm Harbor Dentist

Keeping our smile clean and healthy is important – not only for your general health, but in order to dodge any extra trips to the dentist. Because when we develop tooth decay, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible because it will only get progressively worse the longer you ignore the issue. And when we hear the words ‘cavity’ or ‘root canal’, we regret ever skipping a day of dental hygiene. But do you know why these two dental issues strike fear in the hearts of so many? Let’s take a moment to explain the differences. After all, knowledge is power – the more we know, the easier it is to change poor habits.

Now, a cavity is a hole in a tooth left behind by dental decay. And this is the biggest issue with decay – it spreads like wildfire. If you find that you have a cavity, your dentist will clean out the decay and fill it with a special composite resin. This dental filling material is not only safe but also tooth-colored to blend in with your natural teeth.

When it comes to a root canal, decay is not damaging the outside of the tooth, but the pulp inside of a tooth. This pulp becomes inflamed or infected, possibly leading to an infection spreading to the surrounding teeth and affecting your overall health. It is at this point you will need root canal therapy, where the affected tooth pulp is removed, thoroughly sterilized to remove any leftover debris, then then filled with a special material to seal the tooth and prevent the further infection and a crown.

If you’re interested in learning more about tooth decay, contact Dr. Lieberman at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

The ABCs of Tartar Buildup | Palm Harbor Dentist

One of the first instances of poor dental habits is the development of tartar. This is why it’s so important to practice good dental hygiene each and every day. And if you find that you are developing tartar, don’t ignore the issue and visit the dentist for treatment. Tartar is just the jumping off point that leads to further dental issues, like gum disease and tooth decay, down the road. That said, let’s take a look at what tartar is and how we can prevent it.

Tartar, sometimes called calculus, is plaque that has hardened on your teeth. When plaque isn’t removed regularly by brushing and flossing, it can harden and become tartar. It forms at, underneath, and above the gumline and can irritate gum tissues and lead to cavities and gum disease. When tartar collects above the gumline, the tissue can become swollen and may bleed easily.

Symptoms. Unlike plaque, a colorless film of bacteria, tartar is a mineral buildup that’s fairly easy to see if it’s above the gumline. The most common sign of tartar is a yellow or brown color on the teeth or gums. The only way to detect tartar — and to remove it — is to see your dentist or dental hygienist.

Prevention. Proper brushing, especially with a tartar control toothpaste, and flossing are essential in reducing plaque and tartar buildup. Regular visits to the dentist also help. Because once tartar has formed, only your dentist or dental hygienist can remove it. During a scaling, a dental professional uses special instruments to remove tartar from your teeth above and below the gumline, all the way down to the bottom of the tooth pocket.

If you’re interested in learning more about tartar, contact Dr. Lieberman at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

Getting Botox Injections at the Dentist? | Palm Harbor Dentist

No one likes getting older, but it’s bound to happen, no matter how hard you try to stop it. Just a few decades ago, dental professionals needed to be convinced to do cosmetic procedures, like whitening and orthodontics. The main focus of dentists back then was simply to ensure that their patient’s teeth were healthy and that nothing was wrong with them. How teeth looked wasn’t a focus – it was all about function.

These days, more and more dental professionals have realized that function and esthetic go hand-in-hand in achieving optimal health. Our faces, mainly our jaws, have muscles prone to suffering from constant muscle spasms. Conditions such as bruxism, TMJ and others involving facial pain have been proven to benefit from Botox injections, though not all dentists are aware of this.

Safe for treating conditions involving facial pain, Botox injections may also prove useful in many other dental cases. In orthodontics, the teeth of patients with strong mentalis muscles are prone reverting back to pre-therapy positions. Botox can help with this by making the muscles weaker to allow more normal movement and prevent the undoing of the effects of the current treatment. Patients who are still getting used to dentures can benefit from Botox, especially if they suffer from strong and consistent muscle contractions

If you find that you are nervous about Botox injections, you may want to know that local anesthesia, which is far more frequently used by dentists, is a lot more dangerous and has greater potential for complications and negative reactions, compared to Botox or dermal fillers.

If you’re interested in learning more about Botox injections, contact Dr. Lieberman at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

Let Your Smile Enjoy Thanksgiving | Palm Harbor Dentist

Here we are again… The day before Thanksgiving, one delicious American holiday. And as we prepare to give thanks for everything that we are grateful for, take pause to throw a quick thank you to your smile. After all, our smiles help us with the best parts of life – eating amazing foods, speaking about our blessings and showing off our happiness with a smile. To enjoy the holiday season without a ton of dental repercussions in the new year, follow these simple tips:

Foods and drinks high in sugar and acid are typically bad for your teeth. The sugar provides food for bacteria that contributes to both tooth decay and periodontal disease, and foods high in acid wear down tooth enamel, making them weaker, apt to crack, and more vulnerable to tooth decay. Yes, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie are Thanksgiving favorites, just make sure to keep your helpings to a minimum.

And fear not, foodies – lots of holiday favorites are really great for our smiles, so feel free to indulge in them! Foods like celery can help brush food particles off teeth, while producing saliva to naturally cleanse the teeth. If you are eating foods that are high in calcium and protein (cheese and meats), help contribute to stronger teeth by protecting tooth enamel.

After you’ve stuffed yourself to the gills, make sure you don’t allow the bacteria in your mouth enjoy what you did. If you have a toothbrush handy, a quick brushing wouldn’t hurt. If you’re unable to brush your teeth, make sure to have a glass of water to rinse or chew sugar-free gum – it encourages saliva to help cleanse your teeth, while helping to discourage bacteria growth in your mouth.

If you’re interested in learning more about dental health during the holiday season, contact Dr. Lieberman at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

How Gum Disease Affects Your Body | Palm Harbor Dentist

When we think about our dental health, we mainly box it into things relating to our smile. If we don’t look after them, our smiles are affected. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Because our mouth is our first line of defense when it comes to our OVERALL health, it is important to know that how we treat our smiles can directly affect the way our body responds. Because oral issues, like gum disease or poor dental hygiene, can be linked to other life-threatening diseases, here is a breakdown of just what is affected:

Blood. Individuals with diabetes are more like to have periodontal disease than those without diabetes. Gum disease makes it harder to control you blood sugar, resulting in a high chance for diabetic issues.

Brain. Researchers have found that there may be a close link to poor oral health with an increased risk of dementia. Oral bacteria may spread to the brain through cranial nerves that connect to the jaw and may contribute to a type of plaque that has been linked to Alzheimer’s.

Heart. Individuals with gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease. Harmful bacteria from your mouth enter your blood stream and attaches to fatty plaques in your heart’s blood vessels. Ultimately leading to inflammation in which makes you more prone to clots that may trigger heart attacks.

Lungs. Individuals with poor hygiene are hurting their respiratory systems. Gum disease may increase your risk of respiratory infections such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Reproductive system. Women with gum disease take an average two months longer to conceive a child that those who don’t have gum disease.

If you’re interested in learning more about gum disease and how it affects your health, contact Dr. Lieberman at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

It’s World Smile Day! | Palm Harbor Dentist

There’s something about a smile. Not only can it brighten your day, but it is extremely contagious. Strangers smiling on the street, a happy child, even a playful puppy can bring a smile to even the grumpiest of faces. In fact, it’s the first feature noticed upon meeting someone. This is why it is important that we take good care of our smile. Our smile is one of the most powerful tools we have to make the world a better place. So much so, today is World Smile Day!

It’s true. Today is the day we celebrate our pearly whites. And because our smile is so important, it is vital that we take care of it with proper daily dental hygiene and a healthy, balanced diet. Make sure to brush at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes, floss to get into those areas missed by your toothbrush, and rinse thoroughly to remove any of those cavity-causing bacteria.

A healthy balanced diet is not only good for our overall health, but also for our teeth. Fruits and vegetables are a great way to get vital nutrients into our systems, but there are some in particular that add a dental boost. Crunchy foods like apples and carrots increase saliva production, which is our mouth’s natural cleanser. Dairy products include lots of calcium, which is ideal for strong teeth and gums. Staying away from excessive sweets and junk food is also going to help keep your grin the brightest it can be.

So, before you start your day, take a moment to put a smile on your face. Not only will it help your general disposition, but it can spread to everyone you meet. Say cheese!

If you’re interested in learning more about taking care of your smile, contact Dr. Lieberman at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

What You Need to Know About Wisdom Teeth | Palm Harbor Dentist

Wisdom teeth – the third and final set of molars in the rear of your mouth – are one of the least predictable teeth. For some of us, it is a situation that works itself out and they come in without issue. But for most of us, it can become a very painful issue. Unlike other teeth, it’s not uncommon for wisdom teeth to be absent. Even more unusual, while some people have all four wisdom teeth, other people have only one, two, or three – there’s no reliable predictor to determine how many wisdom teeth any given patient has prior to an x-ray.

In many cases, wisdom teeth crowd other molars, grow in misaligned, or only partially erupt from the gum, causing pain, tenderness, and further alignment issues. They can remain impacted – partially erupted through the gum, leaving the gum tissue broken and allowing bacteria to enter the gum tissue, leading to significant decay of the tooth itself.

For these reasons, it’s common for many patients to first learn about their wisdom teeth when their dentist recommends that they be removed. If the wisdom teeth are fully erupted and visible, extraction may be simple; if the wisdom teeth are underneath the gums, the dentist or oral surgeon will need to cut into the gum to get to the teeth, which tends to be more invasive.

If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort near the back of your mouth, or if you’ve been told you have wisdom teeth that may be problematic, find out about the various options available to you. Extraction may not be necessary, but it’s also possible that extraction could be a simple way to relieve pain and pressure caused by wisdom teeth.

If you’re interested in learning more about wisdom teeth, contact Dr. Lieberman at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

Summer Is Over, Autumn Is Here | Palm Harbor Dentist

Now that we’ve said goodbye to our summertime fun, it is time to get things in order. We are getting close to the holiday season and the end of the year, so we start the school year and get our head’s in the proverbial game. If we drop the ball on our dental health, it can cause load of issues down the road. If we don’t have good dental habits, we can develop various dental maladies, like gum disease. You may not think much of gum disease, but not only is it harmful to your smile, but it is harmful to your overall health. Let’s look at just how madly poor dental hygiene can affect us:

Heart. Individuals with gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease. Harmful bacteria from your mouth enter your blood stream and attaches to fatty plaques in your heart’s blood vessels, leading to heart attack triggering inflammation.

Brain. Oral bacteria may spread to the brain through cranial nerves that connect to the jaw and may contribute to a type of plaque that has been linked to and increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Blood. Gum disease makes it harder to control you blood sugar, resulting in a high chance for diabetic issues. And with loads of sugars, there is more bacteria to attack your teeth, causing gum disease in a cyclical motion.

Lungs. Individuals with poor daily dental hygiene practices are hurting their respiratory systems. Gum disease may increase your risk of respiratory infections such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Fertility. Women with gum disease take an average two months longer to conceive a child that those who don’t have gum disease. In men, it can lead to low sperm counts and unhealthy semen.

If you’re interested in learning more about gum disease and how it affects your health, contact Dr. Lieberman at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.

Choosing Between Veneers and Dental Bonding | Palm Harbor Dentist

Not everyone is an ideal candidate for teeth whitening. Teeth whitening isn’t recommended if you have tooth-colored fillings, crowns or bonding on your front teeth. The whitening gel cannot change the color of these types of dental materials, which will make them stand out in your freshly whitened smile. In such cases, patients may want to look into alternative options, such as veneers or dental bonding. But, what’s the difference?

Dental veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or plastic that are bonded to the front of your teeth to improve their appearance or function. Veneers can aid in improving teeth that are severely discolored, chipped or misshaped. There are two veneer options:

  • Porcelain veneers. These veneers must first be fabricated in a dental lab to fit your teeth and typically requires two office visits. They will last from 15-20 years, depending on your maintenance.
  • Composite veneers. This type of veneer is bonded to your tooth enamel in a single visit. Composite veneers cost much less, but only last around 5-7 years.

Dental bonding uses a tooth-colored composite resin to restore teeth that are chipped or broken, slightly gapped, discolored or misshapen. Bonding can also be used as a cosmetic alternative to silver fillings. After applying a mild etching solution that slightly roughens the surface of your tooth and allows the bonding material to adhere, your dentist will apply the composite resin and shape the bonding material, then use a high-intensity light to harden the material and then finely polish the restoration.

Several patients choose bonding over silver fillings due to it looking more natural. The material can be match to your natural tooth color. But, because the bonding material is more porous, smokers will see that it yellows.

If you’re interested in learning more about dental options to improve your smile, contact Dr. Lieberman at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Palm Harbor and all surrounding areas.