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While many think of Halloween as a day reserved just for children, many adults with an invite to a Halloween party this month will get their own chance to put the costume on and have a little fun when the street lights come on this October 31st.  With that in mind, we thought it wise to suggest a few minor precautions for you to consider so no harm may befall you this All Hallows' Eve.

  • First! Consider your costume: You may not think a Halloween costume could be the cause of a dental emergency, but it does happen. And, one of the more common injuries seen in the dental emergency room the week of October 31st is a cracked or chipped tooth. Why? Because people trip over their tails, their big giant clown shoes, their antique wedding gowns, and anything else that can get in the way of good vision … like a mask, for instance.  If you're wearing a costume you haven't donned since last year, be aware of your surroundings, and tread carefully. Alcohol can make matters worse, so be aware of this the night of the party and be safe.
  • Avoid the candy bowl: Let's face it, in most offices candy is everywhere as it is, and if you have children, your house is either now – or soon will be – littered with candy from their own Halloween bounty hunt. So pass over the candy bowl, and instead snack on cheese and meats any chance you get. Meats and cheese are good for your teeth and keep salivation going strong so you can enjoy the night without polluting your teeth with candy for hours on end. Munching on snacks like these will also keep food in your stomach – another benefit you'll appreciate later if you enjoy any adult beverages.
  • Go easy on the fake teeth: A lot of costumes come to life with a good set of “scary teeth.” The only trouble is, if you're wearing them all night long you’ll end up with red and sore your gums next day. Cheap plastic teeth will most certainly irritate your gums if you keep them in too long, particularly if you talk with them. Give your mouth a regular rest throughout the night and ditch the plastic fangs every hour or so. Also, be sure to drink water to keep your gums hydrated. Again, alcohol is not your friend with fake teeth, because it dries out gum tissue making it more prone to irritation.

Have a fun, safe Halloween, and get ready for the cold … November is right around the corner!

August 22nd is National Tooth Fairy Day. So is February 28th! Apparently the tooth fairy is so honorable, she’s celebrated twice each year. Is it because sometimes the tooth fairy is mommy, and other times, “she” is daddy? Hmm … What we do know is that despite all that recognition, the tooth fairy is not at all immune to the slings and arrows of inflation. It seems kids across the land are expecting a higher bounty under their pillows these days, and you won’t believe the going rate.

So, what’s the going rate? Statistically speaking, about $3.70 a tooth. But that number is going up, and some tooth fairies are actually being worked over for $50 a tooth according to a recent survey released by Visa. What’s a respectable tooth fairy to do?

Get Creative!

The best way to distance yourself from the need to tuck Ulysses S. Grant under the pillow of your toothless tot, is to avoid monetary compensation altogether. If you think “novelty,” instead of cash, your kids will love their gift just the same, and you won’t have to keep up with the Joneses. After all, the last thing you want to deal with is little Johnny asking why the tooth fairy gave him a quarter, but left neighbor Billy fifty smackers. Here are a few ideas:

  • Foreign Coins: Add a little bit of mystery by giving coins from other countries. It’s still money, and it’ll set the curiosity button aglow in your kids. Just watch! You can pick up a bag of coins for a few bucks online, and use it for years.
  • Glass Beads or Marbles: These two ideas are eternal. What kid doesn’t like shiny glass things? Really! Even adults love ‘em. And maybe, instead of just collecting them, you can learn how to play marbles, (yes, it’s actually a game), or have your kids craft their own beaded jewelry with the beads the tooth fairy leaves behind.
  • Stickers: Another timeless idea. Get a pack and dish them out as teeth fall out, or, find an affordable single set and give the whole set. Movie-themed stickers can be a nice treat, and a great way for the tooth fairy to demonstrate her hipness.

So, this year, when it comes time to put on your tooth fairy hat, try saying “no” the playground extortion ring and rising prices, and give your kids something they can actually put to good use. If you enjoyed these three ideas, there are a few more to choose from at GeekMom.com. Happy August, all! 

You know the stories … full of verve and hyperbole … they're the stories of adversity and challenge our relatives just love to tell. There's Grandpa Joe, who walked two miles to school each day … barefoot, and in the snow. There's Uncle Sal, who brought in that fish so big they even needed the captain and his mates to help reel it in. And then there's Aunt Vera's root canal. Ouch. That one doesn't even have a story, really … it's just an expression.  One of pain that comes across so vividly, it's expressed only with a big wince and the sound we make when we pretend we're sucking soup through closed teeth. Aunt Vera has Uncle Sal and Grandpa Joe beat hands down. That's some real adversity. But that was then.
In just the last ten years alone, root canal therapy has advanced so far that some practitioners can actually perform the procedure without anesthesia. It's remarkable. So why all the fear-mongering? There are two big reasons.

Why People Say a Root Canal Hurts

When you actually get past the story-telling, the main reason people talk about the pain of a root canal isn't because of the procedure itself, but rather, the infection that necessitates the procedure. When a tooth's nerve tissue or pulp becomes infected or inflamed due to decay or injury, to put it simply, itreally hurts. Often a secondary infection in the form of an abscess can form at the base of the tooth as well, and when it fills with pus, it places a lot of pressure on the nerves in the area. Again, uncomfortable.
The other reason this procedure has acquired a bad rap over the years is because of old technology. In the past, rotary drills required a lot of pressure to clean out the tooth, that pressure created heat, which in turn heated the nerve, causing pain.  Also, just the sound of the drill itself created a certain sense of mental anguish among patients that furthered the concept of pain even in its absence.

Why Your Root Canal Worrying Days Are Over

In just the last ten years, advances in dental technology, not to mention an increased attention to chairside manner, has resulted in root canal therapy that is of no more discomfort than having a tooth filled.  Here are some of the reasons:

  • Electric drill that spin faster and vibrate less: In the big fight against the whirring, heat-miser drills of the past, today's drills are winning the appreciation of dental patients everywhere.
  • A more comprehensive array of anesthesia: New medicines allow for greater control over numbing localization as well as the length of time needed for anesthetic.
  • Digital X-rays and 3-D imaging: The newest dental imaging solutions allow your doctor to diagnose root canal cases more accurately and reduce the potential of mistakes retreatment.
  • Microscopic cameras: Used in some offices, such cameras allow for greater examination of the inside of the tooth, and can allow surgeons to give patients a play-by-play of the procedure if they wish as well.
  • Laser technology: Your doctor may even use a dental laser instead of a traditional drill, reducing treatment time and ensuring a faster recovery.
  • Less time in the chair: Perhaps the best part? In some cases, the time for this procedure has come down to only an hour or two.  All of this technology adds up to less time spent at the office, and less angst for the patient.

In a few decades as technology continues to advance, and many more people experience today's modern root canal therapy, stories like those told by the legendary Aunt Vera will get harder and harder to believe. Call City Smiles Dental Today if you think you may need a Root Canal- 212-375-1160.

Here’s a tip. When you’re packing to go back home from your upcoming or next summer vacation, toss your toothbrush. We all know bringing home a used toothbrush is a messy adventure, complete with wet Dopp kits and crushed bristles. And, when was the last time you replaced that thing, anyway? Changing your toothbrush after a trip is a great way to get into this good habit. And now that you know you’ll be shopping for a new one, here are some tips to pick one that’s the best fit for you.
Choosing the right toothbrush comes down to two specifics: what’s recommended, and what’s good for your own mouth.

The Standard Recommendations:

  • Go soft: Overwhelmingly, soft bristles are better for your teeth and gums. Yes, you can buy medium bristles and stiff bristles, but unless your dentist has recommended that specific type of brush for your mouth, go soft.
  • Go round: This confuses a lot of people since the shapes and patterns of bristles are mostly at all sorts of whacky angles. Nothing really appears to be “round!” What round actually means is that the bristles are “end-rounded,” meaning the rough edges of each bristle have been smoothed out to avoid hurting sensitive gum tissue.
  • Go for the seal: The seal of the American Dental Association (ADA), that is. Believe it or not, there aren’t many toothbrushes allowed to display the ADA seal, which certifies the product as safe and will hold up to regular use. As in the bristles won’t fall out and the handle won’t break. This does happen with cheap toothbrushes! Here’s the full list.

The Personal Recommendations:

  • Pick the right size: The head of the toothbrush should fit comfortably in your mouth so you can reach the surface of each tooth (front and back). This includes your back molars too, so if you can’t do this with your current brush, it’s likely too big.
  • Pick the right handle: The shape and design of the handle all depends on how you like to hold your toothbrush when you’re brushing. There are a myriad of ways to hold your brush. A little experimentation here is probably best. Non-slip handles are typically a good jumping off point. Also, most of us hold our toothbrush a bit too aggressively, so the next time you’re in the office,bring your favorite brush with you to the office, and ask your hygienist to help you tweak your grip a bit. Your gums will thank you!
  • Pick the right bristle shape: Bristles, bristles, bristles! Oh, so many shapes, angles and colors. Which to pick?! Experts say to pick the one that feels best in your mouth. That’s not much guidance, we know. But the basic idea is that bristle design will feel different to different people depending on how big their teeth are, whether they have a lot of spacing, braces, prosthetics … a million things, really. So, again, “feel” is most important. That’s why these are personal recommendations after all!

And that’s it, really. Choose any color you’d like. We won’t offer any advice on that!

June 10, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Drinking   Heat   Health tips   doctor   water  

June 21st marks the day when, with a little tilt of the Earth’s semi-axis, the Earth leans a wee bit closer to the sun and ushers in … what those of us in the northern hemisphere have been looking forward to for a long time … Summer! Yeah! Off come the jackets, and out comes the sunscreen, the picnic baskets, sports gear and whatever makes you happy this time of year.  And that’s not all! June also brings with it Father’s Day, International Children’s Day and Fruit and Vegetable Awareness Day. Who knew you could squeeze so much fun into just 30 days? With that in mind, let’s check out a few dental centered tips you can chew on while you’re soaking up the sun.

Cover those lips! –  Speaking of sun, we all know to use sunscreen to protect any exposed skin we might be flashing while outside, but how good are you at protecting your lips? Most women might already have this covered with lip gloss, but for you guys out there, don’t forget to protect your kisser. Cancers of the lip are just as deadly as any other type of cancer, and as you might imagine, terribly disfiguring. So, polish up your lips with as high an SPF as you’d like this summer and be safe!
Don’t sip all day long – With the summer heat you’re going to want to stay hydrated, and water is your best friend. But, if you’re not the biggest fan of water, and prefer tea, juice, or sports drinks, try to refresh yourself with these belly busters in moderation. Not only do the sweet versions have tons of sugar, but also the constant sipping of those sugary beverages keeps your teeth bathed in cavity-inducing carbs. So, rinse with water in between sips if you can, or at least follow up a sweet beverage with plain water. You’ll feel more full and avoid the sugar and acid bath that juices, teas and sports drinks bring along.
Fire up the grill – Meats and vegetables cooked gently over the fire not only smell terrific, but are great for your teeth as well. Meats and vegetables help to re-mineralize your teeth and aid in the support of healthy bones.
Summer will be over before you know it, so get outside, enjoy the sun, get your Vitamin D, enjoy the water if you can, and have fun with your family. With Father’s Day AND Children’s Day in the same month, it’s happy times for the whole family – no matter the size!

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