Tag Archives: cavities

Do I Need a Filling? | Palm Harbor Dentist

Are you experiencing toothaches, sharp pains, or sensitivity? If so, it may be time to schedule an appointment for an examination. For something simple like a cavity, the repair option would be a filling. If left untreated, it can progress into more severe dental issues, so it is important to keep an eye on your smile and any changes that may be developing. But how do you know what to look for when it comes to something common like a cavity? If you notice any of the following signs, dental fillings will likely be a solution:

  • A dark spot or hole in your tooth
  • A chipped tooth
  • A rough tooth
  • If floss is tearing in a particular location between your teeth

If your dentist finds that a filling is necessary, there are a few options to choose from. Some of the choices include amalgam, composite and ionomers. Amalgam fillings are very durable, easy to use, and inexpensive when compared to other materials and usually used for molars. Composite fillings are made out of a mixture of glass or quartz and resin, producing a tooth-colored filling. Composite fillings are durable and provide good resistance against fracture in small to medium restorations but tend to stain and discolor over time. Ionomers, on the other hand, are made out of a mixture of acrylic acids and fine glass powders used to fill cavities on the root surfaces of teeth or in small fillings that do not require any chewing resistance.

Dental fillings are essential in maintain ideal oral health because they prevent tooth decay. Without dental fillings, individuals risk the chance of permanently losing their teeth.

If you’re interested in learning more about dental fillings, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS 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.

Bad Habits Can Ruin Your Smile | Palm Harbor Dentist

While we are preparing for our holiday social calendar, we do our best to look our best while enjoying our family and friends. However, for many, our dental health isn’t a top priority like it should be. One of the main issues isn’t exactly hygiene, but bad dental habits we’ve picked up over the years. Some of those habits may even be done without our knowledge. If you happen to have one of the following habits, make some time to try to change them before dental issues are created:

Chewing ice. Are you an ice muncher after your drink is finished? Little did you know, the cold and hardness of the cubes can actually do damage to your teeth by chipping or cracking them.

Using your teeth as a tool. 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. Find a pair of scissors or a knife instead.

Carbonated beverages. ‘Tis the season for toasts with bubbly drinks. While this isn’t a surprise, we’re adding the usage of sugar-free sodas as well. Carbonated beverages of all types are acidic and incredibly harmful to teeth.

Nail biting. Perhaps one of the most common bad habits, biting your nails itself is not only damaging to your nail beds, but your teeth.

Grinding your teeth. The official term for this habit is bruxism and it is common to occur at night. Grinding your teeth can wear your teeth down. 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. Larry Lieberman, DDS 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.

Pizza Is Good for Your Teeth? | Palm Harbor Dentist

When you are watching your weight, pizza is generally off the table. But what if we told you it could be good for our smiles. Don’t believe it? Well, today is National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day (we didn’t make it up) – and we can’t think of a better time to rave about this dental miracle. I mean, beyond consistently making us happy with its deliciousness:

Crust. No, not going to convince you crust is healthy. But one way to fight cavity-causing bacteria is saliva production. Chewing on the crust of the pizza will increase saliva production, giving those bacteria no chance to set up shop in your mouth.

Tomato sauce. Tomatoes are acidic, which isn’t good for our tooth enamel, but it also contains vitamin C, which fights infections, including gum disease, toothaches and other dental issues. Lycopene and calcium can also help prevent oral cancer.

Cheese. We all know calcium is great for strengthening our teeth and cheese is jam-packed with it. And it is one nutrient we cannot produce naturally so don’t be afraid to say, “extra cheese, please!”

Meat. Meat contains lots of protein and protein is good for maintaining your teeth’s structure while also developing muscle/connective tissue development. So, load up on those meat toppings!

Veggies. No everything pizza is without vegetables and that is a good thing because they are not only full of fiber, but vitamin A.

Pizza may get a bad rap because of its unhealthier aspects, but by no means is it bad for you. Stack on those toppings and enjoy giving your smile the boost it craves – it’s good for your smile!

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of pizza, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS 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.

Not All Candy Is the Same | Palm Harbor Dentist

As we approach the spookiest holiday of the year, it is important to celebrate with caution. After all, we all enjoy a handful of fun-sized candy but overdoing it can cause issues with our dental appointments. We know too many sweets can lead to cavities and tooth decay, but it is also important to celebrate with the other ghosts and goblins. Here are some basic guidelines for us to keep in mind this Halloween…

Sugar contributes to decay by providing food for bacteria that damages teeth, but simply eating candy isn’t going to cause decay. It’s the sugar remaining on the teeth long term that contributes to the decay. So, limit your time eating candy, and immediately rinse with water and/or brush as soon as possible.

Not all Halloween candy is created equal. Sour candies tend to have far more acid than sweeter candies and that acidity is more damaging to tooth enamel than plain sugar and should be avoided if possible. Candies that are sticky – such as caramels, gummies, and popcorn balls – are more likely to stick to teeth, and therefore more likely to resist brushing. Because they may get stuck on teeth, they are more likely to cause tooth decay.

While you are chowing down on sweets, make sure to balance it out with other healthier food sources. The saying holds true – too many sweets will spoil your dinner. While Halloween can be fun, and candy is typically OK, be sure to ensure that candy is enjoyed in moderation and try to avoid the overly acidic/sour and sticky/gummy candies.

If you’re interested in learning more about Halloween candy, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS 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.

When Your Breath Keeps Others Away | Palm Harbor Dentist

Do you suspect you have bad breath? Believe it or not, but it may not be a lack of oral hygiene or eating too much garlic. If it’s a more recurring issue, it could be the beginning stages of gum disease. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone. But that’s not all – many other diseases and illnesses may cause bad breath. Respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems, just to name a few. Treat bad breath at home by following these tips:

Practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months or after an illness. Use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food particles and plaque once a day. Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly.

See your dentist at least twice a year. Having an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning is essential to detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.

Stay away from tobacco. Ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.

Drink lots of water. Chewing sugarless gum or candies containing xylitol stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria.

Log of the foods you eat. If you think your diet may be causing bad breath, bring the log to your dentist to review. Similarly, make a list of the medications you take. Some drugs may play a role in creating mouth odors.

If you’re interested in learning more about bad breath, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS 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.

Cavity Prevention 101: Palm Harbor Dentist

We all want a good report card when we go to visit the dentist. Unfortunately, we aren’t always the most responsible when it comes to a consistent dental regimen. When it gets by us, there is a high chance we will develop a cavity. A cavity occurs when plaque produces enough acid to eat through tooth enamel. The effects are usually reversible through extensive dental treatments, but there’s an easier way to deal with cavities – follow these three simple tips:

Watch your diet. People who love sugary treats are more likely to suffer from dental issues those that don’t prefer sugar will. Frequently snacking on sweets leaves sugar and starch on your teeth if not brushed afterwards, causing plaque and eventually, cavities. To minimize the risk, cut back on your sugar intake, or avoid it altogether. By making the decision to eliminate sugar from your diet, you’ll not only improve your oral health, but your health overall.

Don’t skip the dentist. Plenty of people suffer from cavities because they rarely pay a visit to their dentist. If it’s been a while since your last appointment, consider scheduling a visit ASAP. Your dentist will examine your entire mouth and give you a proper assessment of your oral health.

Make dental hygiene a priority. Make it a habit to brush your teeth every day and floss regularly. People tend to forget to floss, but it gets in spots a toothbrush can’t. If you don’t know if you’re brushing or flossing your teeth properly, ask your dentist. Gargling mouthwash will also go a long way in eliminating plaque buildup, so ask your dentist for any brands they recommend.

If you’re interested in learning more about cavity prevention, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS 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 Type of Toothbrush Should I Choose? | Palm Harbor Dentist

We are all aware of the need to keep up our dental hygiene each day in order to keep our smiles clean and healthy. But have you ever really noticed how many different types of toothbrushes there are? Not only the manual and electric versions, but within each variation? With so many shapes, sizes and styles of toothbrushes on the market, how are we ever supposed to know which kind to buy? With an entire section dedicated to just dental care, deciding which is the best can be confusing. Here’s what you should look for:

Most dental professionals agree that a soft-bristled brush is best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also preferable, since they can better reach all areas of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back teeth.

When it comes to the type of handle, shape of the head, and style of bristles, pick whatever is most comfortable for you. When it comes to aesthetics, the best toothbrush is one that fits your mouth and allows you to reach all teeth easily. For many, a powered toothbrush is a good alternative. It can do a better job of cleaning teeth, especially those with difficulties brushing or who have limited manual dexterity

When it comes to replacing your toothbrush, there is a general rule of thumb – you should replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear, or every three months, whichever comes first. It is also very important to change toothbrushes after you’ve had a cold because the bristles can collect the germs from your cold, which can lead to reinfection.

If you’re interested in learning more about toothbrushes, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS 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.

Why You Should Stay Away from Soda | Palm Harbor Dentist

It seems we drink them whenever we have a burger or a delicious slice of pizza. Americans love soda. They’re fizzy, refreshing, bubbly, they’re delicious…but if you are drinking them frequently, they’re also ruining your teeth. Drinking soda is one of the main culprits of teeth harm caused by your diet. Of course, in moderation it poses very little threat, but a steady consumption of soft drinks is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. Heavy soda consumption has also been linked to other health complications including diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.

Sugar in soda combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid, which attacks the teeth. Diet or “sugar-free” soda contains its own acid, which also can damage teeth. When sipping on soda all day the sugar and the acidity is sitting on your teeth, eating away at your enamel, staining your teeth, and setting off bacteria bombs.

Sugar in soda combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid, which attacks the teeth. Diet or “sugar-free” soda contains its own acid, which also can damage teeth. Each attack lasts about 20 minutes and starts over with every sip of soda you take. These ongoing acid attacks weaken tooth enamel. Kids and teens are most susceptible to tooth decay because their tooth enamel is not fully developed. Some guidelines to avoiding tooth decay:

  • Consuming two or more servings of dairy foods
  • Drink water – Water is beneficial in more ways than one in this instance
  • Restricting other sugared beverages to occasional use

If you’re interested in learning more about the effects of soda on your teeth, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS 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.

Eat Your Way to a Healthy Smile | Palm Harbor Dentist

When we treat our bodies well, it treats us well in return. But it’s not only in a general sense, a diet filled with nutrition can also help to improve and/or maintain our dental health as well. If the foods are not good for you, they can contribute to the development of gum disease; if they are, they will have the opposite effect.

Foods and drinks high in sugar and acid are typically bad for your teeth because they contribute to both tooth decay and periodontal disease, making them weaker and more vulnerable to tooth decay. Foods like celery can help brush food particles off of teeth, and they also encourage the production of saliva to cleanse the teeth. Foods high in calcium and protein (such as cheese, milk, meats, and nuts) tend to be low in sugar and key 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. Soft foods like peanut butter are more likely to be stuck between teeth, and drinks that are sipped throughout the day tend to stay in contact with teeth all day. In order to keep these foods from having adverse effects on your teeth, eat or drink the sugary ones in one sitting so you can brush or rinse afterwards. If a toothbrush isn’t handy, popping a stick of sugar-free gum in your mouth will create the saliva needed to rinse your teeth enough until a proper brushing is available.

If you’re interested in learning more about smile-friendly foods, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS 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.

Why Visit the Dentist? | Palm Harbor Dentist

We all know proper oral hygiene is important not only for your smile, but for your overall health as well. And regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. They will help keep your mouths in tip top shape, but the brunt of the work relies on you. So, don’t think of these regular dental appointments as a bad thing – they are doing more than you know…

Gum disease prevention. Gum disease is a tissue infection surrounding your teeth, and one of the major causes of bone loss if left untreated. Regular dental cleanings and DIY care are main factors in prevention.

Oral health maintenance. On these visits, your dentist will look closely for any problems that may have happened in between visits. The sooner you treat issues, the better.

Oral cancer detection. Early diagnosis of oral cancer is very important in improving of the prognosis of cancer. When you have dental cleanings, you are also screened for oral cancer.

A healthy smile. When you have a beautiful smile, you feel more confident and satisfied with your being. When you feel confident, you live it that confidence.

Brighten your smile. Our diets have a tendency to stain our teeth over time. A dental cleaning can remove built-up stains and leave you with freshly polished teeth.

Fresh breath. Even if you brush and floss regularly, getting a cleaning is a great way to keep your mouth healthy and odor-free.

Good overall health. There is a correlation between poor oral health and chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, premature and low birth weight.

If you’re interested in learning more about dental exams, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS 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 Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.