Category Archives: Preventive Dentistry

Don’t Skip Lunch on National Make Lunch Count Day | Palm Harbor Dentist

Today is a day to stop and enjoy your lunch break. According to a survey commissioned by TGI Fridays, many American workers don’t take full advantage of their lunch breaks. Some eat their lunch at their desk, some skip lunch altogether. Unfortunately, taking a break has many benefits. It improves your productivity and gives your brain a chance to relax and ingest some healthy foods to nourish your bodies. The following ten foods will not only fit those bills, but will also keep our smiles bright and shiny:

Pineapples can help whiten teeth due to an enzyme called bromelain, which acts as a natural stain remover while breaking up plaque.

Ginger can protect against gum disease, which causes the loss of bone and supportive connective tissue in your mouth.

Carrots contain vitamin A, needed for healthy tooth enamel. And eating them raw stimulates saliva, your mouth’s natural cleanser.

Basil is a natural antibiotic that reduces bacteria in the mouth.

Cheese is rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorus and they all help reduce acid in your mouth.

Sesame seeds help “scrub” away the plaque on your teeth. Not only that, but chewing nuts can also provide this coarse, scrubbing action.

Shiitake mushrooms contain a compound called lentinan, which inhibits bacteria from growing in your mouth.

Onions contain the sulfur compounds, thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates, which reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay, but you need to eat them raw.

Salmon not only provides calcium but also vitamin D, another nutrient needed for healthy bones and teeth.

Broccoli contains iron, which helps form an acid-resistant film or barrier that can protect the enamel of your teeth.

If you’re interested in learning more about smile-friendly foods, 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.

Breaking the Myth: Periodontal Disease Edition | Palm Harbor Dentist

gum disease myth

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, three out of four Americans suffer from some form of gum disease. Despite the major prevalence, only three percent of those individuals actually seek treatment for their gum disease. With more research indicating that gum disease may be linked to several other diseases, maintaining healthy teeth and gums have become more and more important. Here are some common things in which the AAP have deemed misconceptions about oral health that should help you distinguish signs of gum disease:

Bleeding gums are not important.

Red, swollen, and bleeding gums are an important sign of periodontal disease. If you notice bleeding while brushing or flossing on a regular basis, you should schedule a visit with your dental professional in order to be evaluated for periodontal disease right away.

You don’t need to floss every day.

Having a set oral health routine is incredibly important. This includes keeping up with brushing AND flossing. Doing one without the other is giving opportunities for harmful bacteria to wreak havoc on your dental health.

A tooth lost to gum disease is lost forever.

This is not true, but not exactly false either. While gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss, and you tooth is indeed lost forever, periodontists use procedures such as dental implants to replace teeth.

Poor oral hygiene is the only way to develop gum disease.

Good oral hygiene can definitely contribute to the prevention of gum disease, however there are other factors in which having good oral hygiene won’t matter. For example, using tobacco increases your chances of developing gum disease by a large amount.

If you’re interested in learning more about periodontal disease, 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.

Set Your Mind at Ease with Laser Dentistry | Palm Harbor Dentist

laser dentistry

As a good rule of thumb, visiting the dentist at the beginning of a new year will not only start it off on the right foot, but it can also let you know just how much you celebrated during the holiday season. Unfortunately, many patients are nervous about a dental visit because of fear. The sound of the drill, the pain we visualize – there are plenty of reasons patients skip out on regular dental visits. Thanks to laser dentistry, patients can now choose to go for virtually pain-free dental procedures. Take a look at the benefits:

Better accuracy and precision. Procedures done on the bone and gum tissues are also more precise using lasers, which leaves the surrounding areas unaffected and helping you maintain your natural set of teeth for a longer time.

Greatly reduced trauma. High-speed drills can cause fractures in the teeth that will eventually lead to further dental problems and costs down the road. With lasers, trauma is significantly minimized.

Faster and more efficient procedures. The use of lasers can make it easier for them to perform certain procedures that would usually require multiple trips in one visit, and those that often required a specialist can now be performed by a single dentist, saving you time, money and hassle.

Less bleeding and swelling. For many years, bleeding and post-op swelling were common in dental procedures. With lasers, dentists can perform procedures such as soft tissue with little to no bleeding and post-op swelling involved.

Versatility. Those that required the extensive use of drills and scalpels, such as decay removal, cavity preparation, root canals, and many others will be far easier to do all thanks to lasers.

If you’re interested in learning more about laser dentistry, 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.

New Year, New Smile | Palm Harbor Dentist

As we sit and take stock of what we would like in the upcoming year, it is important to think about how our health comes into play. Because without our health, we can’t work towards our other goals. One of the easiest ways to improve our health is basic dental care. Because it may not seem like it, but our mouth is the first line of defense for our overall health. There is a reason we are wearing masks – to protect our health. So, before we walk into a brand-new year, here are a few dental hygiene tips to help you brighten that smile and keep you on your dentist’s good side. You may not think you need it, but many of us can use the refresher:

Brushing. The rule of thumb is pretty well-known – brush your teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes. Start your day off right with fresh, clean breath and wrap up your day with a quick brush before bed to prevent cavities from forming while you snooze. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush in rounded strokes to keep your gums healthy as well.

Flossing. It’s one of the least favorite tasks on the list of dental hygiene tasks. The problem is, flossing not only removes stuff stuck deep between each tooth, but it also keeps your gums healthy by preventing bacteria from getting inside and causing infection.

Rinsing. Rinsing is not only a quick way freshen breath, but it also adds an additional layer of protection from plaque and cavities. We have been taught to rinse with mouthwash after brushing but doing it beforehand can loosen any particles you may have, making your brushing more effective.

If you’re interested in learning more about dental hygiene, 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.

End the Year Without Your Bad Habits | Palm Harbor Dentist

Let’s face it – this has been one wild ride of a year. There was always something new to make us overwhelmed. And with this, some bad habits may have presented themselves. It’s understandable. So, as we are preparing to enter a new (and hopefully less stressful) year, why not take a moment to think about these bad habits and make a change for the better? Here is a list of some bad dental habits that we hope you can try to curtail because they are really killing your smile:

Chewing ice. We’ve all been guilty of this. After you’ve finished a drink, you might have the habit of chewing the ice that is leftover. But it’s the cold and hardness of the cubes can actually chip or crack your teeth.

Oral tool kit. Just like the ice habit, using your teeth to crack open nuts, or tear through plastic can be incredibly detrimental. Just like chewing ice, using your teeth as a tool may cause damage to your teeth.

Drinking soda. This may seem harmless, but there is a number of reasons why soda is bad for our teeth. Chockful of sugar, even the sugar-free options are bad for our teeth. Sodas are acidic and incredibly harmful to teeth.

Nail biting. A nervous habit, we know and perhaps one of the most common bad habits at that, biting your nails itself is not only damaging to your nail beds, but also to your teeth.

Teeth grinding. Officially called bruxism, grinding your teeth can begin to wear them down. While this is difficult to control while you’re sleeping, a dentist may give you a night guard to help you get it under control.

If you’re interested in learning more about bad dental habits, 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.

Turkey Day Dental Tips | Palm Harbor Dentist

As we prepare for arguably the yummiest holiday of the year, it is important to realize that if we don’t look after our smiles, we could run into some issues come the new year. It is a holiday and for many of us, a time to indulge in all of the flavors this time of year has to offer. But there are some we should try to maintain a healthy balance, so as not to cause any dental issues in the future.

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, more likely 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.

Don’t worry – lots of holiday favorites are actually really great for our smiles, so feel free to indulge in them! Foods like celery can help brush food particles off of teeth, while producing saliva to naturally cleanse the teeth. Foods high in calcium and protein (cheese and meats) help contribute to stronger teeth by protecting tooth enamel.

In addition to the sugar and acid contents of food, patients should pay attention to how long the food is in contact with their teeth. If you have a toothbrush handy, a quick brushing wouldn’t hurt. If you’re unable to brush your teeth, chew sugar free gum – sugar free gum encourages saliva to help cleanse your teeth, while helping to discourage bacteria growth in your mouth.

If you’re interested in learning more about Thanksgiving dental tips, 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 Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Halloween Edition | Palm Harbor Dentist

As parents, we want to give our children the world. Thankfully, we as parents have the good sense to restrict the things we know aren’t good for them. Things become a bit trickier when it comes to things like Halloween. Ghosts, goblins and gooey sweets is the name of the game on this scary holiday. It is tough to impose good health when you’re surrounded by treats. Depriving your child of everything that this scary holiday celebrates won’t score you any parenting points, so it’s important to keep a balance between having spooky fun and staying good health. Because not all candy is the same, why not just weed out the really bad ones? Here are the top four sweetest enemies:

Skittles. Skittles may want you to taste rainbows, but they are also letting you ruin your teeth’s enamel by combining sweet and sour for a pH level of 2.5, levels so high they can cause serious damage to your little one’s teeth.

Caramel. Not only does the sticky texture stick to your teeth’s surface and loves to get deep into the crevices, but it can also loosen dental fixtures, like braces or fillings, making it especially harmful for those with dental work.

Gummy Bears. Similar to caramels and other sticky candies, the gelatin used to make the gummy candy gummy, also sticks to the crevices of your teeth, making it difficult to remove.

Jolly Ranchers. Not only are they a hard candy that can damage teeth when bitten but sucking on hard candy isn’t a quick process, and the sugar wastes no time working their way into a tooth.

If you’re interested in learning more about Halloween candy, 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.

Busting the Myth Gum Disease Style | Palm Harbor Dentist

gum disease myth

If there is one thing that patients worry about when it comes to dental visits, it’s hearing they’ve had a bad checkup and need further dental work. One of these issues would be gum disease. While there are four stages to it, early detection is best in order to remedy the situation. Unfortunately, there are loads of myths about gum disease that cause patients to be confused as to how it develops or how to prevent it. With more research indicating that gum disease may be linked to several other diseases, maintaining healthy teeth and g ums have become more and more important, so let’s take a moment to bust the more common myths regarding gum disease:

Bleeding gums are not important.

Red, swollen, and bleeding gums are a telltale sign of gum disease. If you notice bleeding while brushing or flossing, you should schedule a visit with your dental professional to be evaluated for periodontal disease right away.

You don’t need to floss every day.

Having proper oral hygiene is incredibly important, and that includes keeping up with brushing, rinsing and flossing.

A tooth lost to gum disease is lost forever.

While you can’t get a permanent tooth back if it falls out because of gum disease, there is no need to worry about having the gap in your teeth – periodontists use dental implants to replace teeth.

Poor oral hygiene is the only way to develop gum disease.

Good oral hygiene can definitely contribute to the prevention of gum disease, however there are other factors in which having good oral hygiene won’t matter. For example, tobacco use or a poor diet. Both of these can increase your chances of gum disease development.

If you’re interested in learning more about porcelain veneers, 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.

Easing the Pain of TMJ Symptoms | Palm Harbor Dentist

No one like to have a toothache. For some reason, it feels like pain in our mouths is worse than any other type of pain. But what if it is your jaw that’s in pain? It brings on a whole new set of pain. Not only is it a larger area than a single tooth, but it can cause issues when trying to eat, sleep or other day-to-day activities. Thankfully, it is a condition that is temporary and can be alleviated without surgery.

Individuals suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ, experience many symptoms such as discomfort and pain in areas surrounding the face or jaw. For some it’s a tenderness in the jaw area while some find pain around the ear, others will have difficulty eating or may experience locking of the jaw joint, which makes it tough to open and close the mouth. There are a series of remedies recommended in order to alleviate tension found in those areas. You’ll find that the remedies are simple and can easily done anywhere. Some of these include:

Facial exercises such as stretching, relaxing, or massaging the muscles found around the jaw

Evading actions such as yawning, singing, or excessive chewing.

Learning new stress relieving techniques, including but not limited to meditation, breathing exercises, or personal stress relievers. There are loads of options online you can experience in order to find what best suits your needs.

Formulating an exercise plan in order to increase your pain tolerance.

Dr. Lieberman highly encourages patients suffering from TMJ to follow these few techniques in order to alleviate TMJ pain and symptoms. If symptoms worsen, you are encouraged to schedule an appointment immediately with our friendly staff.

If you’re interested in learning more about TMJ disorder, 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.

Sleep Your Way to a Healthy Smile | Palm Harbor Dentist

For some of us, going to the dentist is a rather frightening thing to think about doing. There are plenty of reasons one would be nervous about, sitting in the dental chair, and it is a very common fear for many patients. Thankfully, there is help that can get you through these checkups so you can have a healthy smile, regardless of your dental anxiety.

Sedation dentistry, also referred to as “sleep dentistry”, uses medication to help ease and relax patients before or during their dental procedure. There are many methods that can be used in sedation dentistry, and the method used depends on the patient’s needs. Here are the four most common methods of sedation dentistry:

Nitrous Oxide. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is combined with oxygen and inhaled through a mask over your nose. This nitrous oxide helps calm the patient’s nerves. This method requires little recovery however, you will still need to have someone drive you home.

Oral sedation. The night before a procedure, the patient will take an oral medication to ensure that you’re calm and relaxed during the procedure. The recovery time for this method is a bit longer, so a ride home will be necessary.

IV sedation. This method is considered to be moderate to deep sedation. This type of dental sedation is administered into the bloodstream, which results in immediate relaxation.

General anesthesia. The strongest method of sedation is general anesthesia. During this type of sedation, the patient cannot be easily awakened until the effects fully wear off. Because it will take a while, making arrangements for a ride home will be wise.

If you’re interested in learning more about sedation dentistry, 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.