Tag Archives: dental tips

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.

Celebrating National Toothache Day | Palm Harbor Dentist

It’s true – there is a national day to celebrate the toothache. Something no one hopes to experience in their lives, the toothache is one of those pains that can drive someone insane. Not only because a toothache is painful, but it is a constant pain that can be caused by a number of issues.

If you find that you are developing tooth sensitivity to hot or cold, it may be brought on by exposed dentin from thin enamel or receding gums. A cracked tooth is a different type of pain, rooted deep in your jaw or gums when you bite down. The pressure of biting can cause the cracked tooth to spread, putting pressure on nerves, and causing an intense pain localized to a single tooth.

Throbbing pain on one side of the mouth may be caused by an infection below the tooth, often related to periodontal disease or dental abscess. If left untreated, the infection may spread to the bone, jeopardizing one or more teeth, and potentially causing loss of gum tissue.

There are even some mouth pains that have nothing to do with your teeth. Sinus issues and problems of the TMJ (jaw/skull joint) can both cause pain in the mouth and face but aren’t necessarily problems your dentist can solve.

So, if you find that you have woken up with a toothache, best bet is to schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible to avoid further issues down the road. In the meantime, there are loads of over-the-counter products that can help soothe your pain. Soaking a cotton ball in vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, tea tree or oregano oil, or baking soda with some water will soak into your sore tooth for optimal relief.

If you’re interested in learning more about toothaches, 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.

Biting Your Nails Is Damaging Your Teeth | Palm Harbor Dentist

There are lots of bad habits that can damage your teeth. For one reason of another, many of us use our teeth as tools for anything but eating. We drink teeth-staining beverages, we use our teeth as a knife, we smoke tobacco. But there is one bad habit that starts from childhood and progresses through adulthood – nail biting.

You may think that biting your nails is a harmless habit to have, but it really does a number on your smile. Not only can you chip a tooth, but you can also expose your mouth to bacteria that is hidden beneath your nail surface, which can wreak more havoc than a cosmetic issue.

If you are a chronic nail biter, you really need to consider stopping before your smile is damaged. Here are a few tips:

  • Keep your nails trimmed.
  • Apply bitter-tasting nail polish to your nails. This over-the-counter option is safe, and the awful taste deters the most avid nail biter.
  • Get regular manicures. Spending money to keep your nails looking attractive may make you less likely to bite them.
  • Replace the nail-biting habit with a good habit, like a stress ball.
  • Identify your triggers. By figuring out what causes you to bite your nails, you can figure out how to avoid these situations and develop a plan to stop.
  • Try to gradually stop biting your nails. Start with your thumbs and eventually you can work your way to both sets of nails.

Making small steps towards quitting a habit is a great way to ensure you’re breaking the habit. The goal is to get to the point where you no longer bite any of your nails, so slow and steady will win the race.

If you’re interested in learning more about the effects of biting your nails on your 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

When TMJ Disorder Hurts too Much | Palm Harbor Dentist

TMJ disorder are linked to problems with the jaw joint. A problem with the muscles or joints in your jaw can lead to headaches, ear pain, bite problems, jaw pain and much more. There are several conditions that can end up causing TMJ:

Bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching. Sufferers of bruxism often wake up with jaw or ear pain. This is due to wear on the cartilage lining of the temporomandibular joint.

Gum chewing or nail biting. Using your teeth as tools is going to eventually damage your teeth, but when it begins to affect your TMJ, it may be time to break this terrible habit.

Malocclusion, or the misalignment of teeth. Some people find it hard to chew on a certain side of their teeth due to misalignment, so they habitually chew on the other side causing excess stress on that side of the jaw.

Previous jaw fractures or injury.

Individuals suffering from TMJ experience many symptoms such as discomfort and pain in areas surrounding the face or jaw. And if we know anything, we know that toothaches are guarantees to a bad mood. Thankfully, there are a series of remedies recommended in order to alleviate tension found in those areas. 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 meditation, breathing exercises, or personal stress relievers
  • Formulating an exercise plan in order to increase our pain tolerance

If symptoms worsen, you are encouraged to schedule an appointment immediately with our friendly staff. It is possible that further steps may need to be taken to alleviate the issue.

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.

Is Sleep Apnea Ruining Your Sleep? | Palm Beach Dentist

When it’s time to get some sleep, it’s generally welcomed by our bodies after such a long day. It’s our bodies time to rest and heal itself in order to be able to handle another day. Unfortunately, many patients have a difficult time to get that well-needed sleep. They’re tossing and turning, they wake up often due to snoring, the types of sleep issues are countless. The interesting thing is, we generally don’t realize we have a sleep issue – we just feel sleepy the next morning. It’s our significant others that notice because they’re likely not getting enough sleep wrestling with your sleep patterns. If you find that this is becoming more of an issue in your life, it’s time to make a dental appointment because you may have sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where you have one or more pauses when breathing or shallow breaths while you’re asleep. The pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to minutes and can occur thirty times or more an hour. While this occurs, your diaphragm and chest muscles are working hard to try to open your obstructed airway and pull oxygen into your lungs. Sleep apnea can be dangerous due to the decrease in oxygen flow to your vital organs and can cause irregular heart rhythms.

In order to properly diagnosed sleep apnea, your doctors will have to perform a physical exam and take your medical and sleep history. Here are a few of the signs of sleep apnea to look out for:

  • Headaches when you wake up
  • Trouble keeping focused
  • Feeling depressed, irritable or having mood swings
  • Waking up frequently to go to the restroom
  • Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up

If you’re interested in learning more about sleep apnea, 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.