Tag Archives: cavity prevention

Dental Tips for Your Next Cookout | Palm Harbor Dentist

During these hot summer days, it is pretty natural to gather with friends and family together for a BBQ. Ice cold drinks are flowing, smiles and laughter fill the air – there is nothing better. If you are the host of this summertime event, here are some tips to consider when it comes to preparing for guests. And if it benefits their dental health at the same time, even better…

Crunchy munchies. When it comes to BBQ nosh, chips and dips are always a given. But there are other crunchy foods that can not only produce saliva, but scrubs cavity-causing bacteria. These foods are the ones you would see on fruit and veggie platters. Apples, pears, broccoli and carrots – there are so many smile-friendly options to offer your guests.

Add some cheese. Cheese is packed with calcium and other fantastic things that keep our teeth strong and healthy. Top off your burger, offer a charcuterie board – all of these will not only please your guests, but your smiles as well.

Toothpicks. If you are offering corn on the cob, pulled meats or foods that have seeds, chances are that your guests will have food stuck in their teeth. Instead of toothpicks, which can damage your gums, offer dental picks or wooden plaque removers. Gum is also a great idea, just make sure it’s sugar-free.

Infuse the water. We all know that sodas and other carbonated beverages need to be offered, especially on a hot summer day, but these drinks tend to not only damage our teeth, but also dehydrates the system. Infuse some water with various fruits and herbs – it’s healthy, tasty and looks great in a pitcher.

If you’re interested in learning more about dental tips for your next summer gathering, 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.

Is Easter Good for Your Smile? | Palm Harbor Dentist

Springtime is a wonderful time of year. The sun shines brighter, nature is blossoming – there are lots of reasons to want to smile during this time of year. And with springtime comes the Easter season. Pastel colors, baby farm animals and colorful hidden eggs abound. But is the Easter Bunny hurting your smile?

Easter baskets. One of the staples of Easter is the egg hunt – this necessitates the use of a basket. For some little ones, these baskets are filled with candies and other little gifts from the Easter Bunny. We all know that candy isn’t good for our teeth, but in moderation, everything can be enjoyed. Try to stay away from overindulging in hard, sticky candies. Not only do they stay in your mouth longer as they dissolve, but they can break teeth or other dental appliances, like braces. Believe it or not, but chocolate is the best for you, especially the darker varieties. Fancy a chocolate bunny?

Easter eggs. A childhood favorite during this cheerful holiday is dying hard-boiled eggs. The designs and colors not only dazzle the eyes during egg hunts, but it’s a family activity that really brings home the reason for the season. Fortunately, eggs are a great source of protein, and our teeth need protein to stay strong. One large egg contains 95 mg of phosphorus and its protein to phosphorous ratio is excellent. Since the yolk of an egg contains vitamin D also, eating them is an easy way to get two needed tooth nutrients in one shot.

But beyond pretty eggs, lots of the foods we eat during our Easter feast are great for our teeth. Fruits, veggies and meats all have bits that can benefit our smiles. Happy Easter!

If you’re interested in learning more about keeping your teeth healthy and strong, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.