How do Pacifiers, Thumb Sucking, and Bottles Affect My Child’s Smile?

May 15, 2018

Young boy sucking his thumbAs infants, your little ones may use pacifiers and thumb sucking or fall asleep with their bottles to self-soothe. Unfortunately, when these behaviors continue for too long, kids can experience damage to their smiles. For this reason, we typically encourage parents to start weaning kids off of these behaviors around the age of two or three. Every child is different, but around this age, your kids should be able to understand some basic instructions and learn to self-soothe in other ways. If your child continues to self-soothe by sucking on thumbs, pacifiers, or bottles by the time they enter school, it may be time to talk to your children’s dentist or pediatrician about how you can help your child change their behaviors.
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6 Surprising Things That Affect the Cost of Dental Implants

October 7, 2017

Senior man smiling at dental officePatients who want to replace missing teeth with dental implants have a lot of questions, but the most common one by far is, “How much do they cost?” Patients are often frustrated when their dentists tell them that it varies, but this is the only honest answer. There are numerous factors that impact the cost of your dental implant restoration, and having a better understanding of these variables will help you determine the cost of your implant tooth replacement plan.
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Do you suffer from Selden, NY dry mouth?

June 13, 2016

Selden, NY dry mouth can cause cavities and other oral health problems. Dr. Stephen Scotto-Lavino talks about symptoms, treatment and prevention.

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, comes from stress, cancer therapy, immune system disorders and other causes.  Dry mouth contributes to dental issues such as tooth decay, too.  Learn more about dry mouth from Selden, NY dentist, Dr. Stephen Scotto-Lavino.

Is dry mouth harmful?

Dry mouth is harmful if it’s a chronic problem with the mouth constantly feeling sticky and irritated. Saliva moisturizes the inside of the mouth and down the esophagus, initiating the digestive process with an enzyme called amylase. The body produces this chemical to  break down carbohydrates and sugars.  Without amylase, the esophagus and stomach struggle to process foods we eat.

With no saliva, your mouth can’t taste, talk and swallow normally. In fact, the drier the mouth becomes, the more oral tissues develop. Saliva is a wonderful antimicrobial agent and defends the mouth from viral and bacterial infections such as the common cold sore.

How xerostomia happens

Physicians at the well-respected Mayo Clinic say that dry mouth occurs more often as we age. Women over the age of 40 seem most prone, and about 20 percent of the elderly have dry mouth.  Other factors such as anxiety and chronic stress, plus simply not drinking enough water, factor into the condition. Excessive caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods and salt dry out oral mucosa, too.

Many prescription drugs cause xerostomia. Cancer drugs, anti-hypertensives, diuretics, and muscle relaxants remove moisture from the lips, tongue and gums.  If you think one of your regular medications is problematic, ask your  physician or pharmacist. Perhaps there is an alternative medication you could use.

Other precipitating factors include:

  • Head and neck trauma
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • HIV
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Many autoimmune disorders, such as Sjogren’s Syndrome which disrupts tear glands in the eyes and salivary glands in the mouth

How to treat Selden, NY dry mouth

Dr. Scotto-Lavino can diagnose dry mouth. He may advise something simple such as adequate water intake and chewing sugarless gum to stimulate the salivary glands.  Limiting caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea and colas, along with reducing alcohol and salt, helps. Smoking cessation cuts down on symptoms, and it benefits overall health, too.

Some people use a  bedroom humidifier to the air. Try breathing through the nose. Always remove dentures at night. Over-the-counter dry mouth rinses and saliva stimulants and substitutes relieve symptoms.

Feeling parched?

Keep your 6-month check-ups and cleanings with Dr. Stephen Scotto-Lavino. Brush with a soft-bristled brush twice a day, and floss once a day. Choose an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste. Regular at-home oral hygiene stimulates the salivary glands to keep saliva flowing.

Contact Dr. Scotto-Lavino for your routine appointment. Ask your Selden, NY dentist about dry mouth and what you can do about it.

Proper Brushing Technique from the Dentist Selden, NY Trusts

September 14, 2015

Proper brushing technique from your dentist selden, NYContrary to popular belief, there is a right and wrong way to brush your teeth. Too often, patients think that going through the motions while brushing their teeth is acceptable. Guess what – it isn’t. Your teeth, along with your oral health, needs to be taken care of and proper brushing is a big part of that. The days of spending less than a minute brushing or lackadaisically moving from one tooth to another are over. We’re here to help you with your brushing routine so you can enjoy the benefits of fantastic oral health. Though brushing isn’t the only thing you can to do to keep your oral health in great shape, it’s one a main component of great oral hygiene habits.

Our Selden, NY office wants you to know that you have a friend in us. If you’re unsure of proper brushing techniques and could use some help, we’re here for you. Dr. Scotto-Lavino is the dentist Selden, NY residents can trust to get their smiles looking and feeling beautiful. Step one of achieving great oral health is by having an excellent brushing technique. We’ll provide you with a tried and true brushing technique that will leave your teeth feeling clean.
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Are you Flossing Correctly? Ask the Dentist Port Selden Trusts

August 18, 2015

Woman flossing dentist Port Selden

Dr. Stephen Scotto-Lavino and his Selden, NY team encourage patients to examine their flossing routine to receive maximum benefit from their efforts. Many patients dislike flossing, but the majority of flossing related complaints are actually the result of improper technique. Thorough dental hygiene at home protects teeth from decay, and significantly reduces risk for periodontal (gum) disease. Without proper flossing, you’re not cleaning some of the most at risk parts of your teeth.  Dr. Scotto-Lavino and his team invite you to read more about flossing and its benefits, or call to schedule a dental hygiene visit to find out more.
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Solving Bruxism, or Teeth Grinding and Clenching, with Dr. Stephen Scotto-Lavino in Selden, NY

September 23, 2014

463781417Do you occasionally notice that you grind or clench your teeth when you’re deep in thought? Has a certain someone told you that you grind your teeth at night? Teeth grinding and clenching, or bruxism, is a mostly unconscious condition, making regular dental check-ups all the more important. Dr. Stephen Scotto-Lavino in Selden, NY, can diagnose and treat bruxism with custom-fitted night guards to give you and your sleep partner a restful night.

The Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism

According to Dr. Scotto-Lavino, the most common symptoms of bruxism, of course, involve the face, jaw, neck and head. These symptoms may include:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching that others can hear
  • Flattened, cracked, chipped or loose teeth
  • Worn enamel
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Jaw or facial pain
  • Stiff or tired jaw muscles
  • A headache at the temples
  • An earache
  • Cheek or tongue damage from chewing on either

These symptoms may result from a variety of causes including anxiety and stress, sleep apnea, intense concentration, malocclusion and even as a side effect of certain medications. But whatever the cause, the symptoms are not pleasant. And bruxism may lead to significant oral complications including flat or worn teeth; cracked or chipped teeth; chronic headaches; TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder); damage to crowns and other restorations; and tooth sensitivity.

Treatment for Bruxism

One of the most common and effective methods for treating bruxism is a custom-fitted mouth guard that is worn at night. This guard is made of hard acrylic or softer materials and serves to separate the upper and lower teeth, protecting them from grinding and clenching. You may notice relief the very first night that you wear your nightguard.

Make an Appointment Today to Treat Your Bruxism

If you or someone you care about grinds and clenches their teeth, make an appointment today to see Dr. Stephen Scotto-Lavino in Selden, NY. Our office conveniently serves patients in the surrounding areas of Long Island, including Terryville, Port Jefferson Station, Coram, Mt. Sinai, Farmingville, Centerreach and more.

 

Family Dentistry for Selden and Beyond

January 3, 2013

family dentistryA dental office that serves your entire family is something any parent would love to find. That’s why your local Selden dental office provides family dentistry. With our focus on families, we can help patients of all ages get the important care they need. We offer service to Centereach, Port Jefferson, Farmingville, and surrounding communities in the Long Island area.

What Services Are Included As Part of Family Dentistry?

Family dentistry uses general and preventive services to meet the needs of a wide range of patients. That means we put a special focus on regular exams and dental cleanings. Why? Because it’s through regular visits like these that your local Selden dentist will be able to catch common oral health conditions early, before they become a major problem.

During a regular visit, your dentist will closely inspect your teeth and gums for signs of gum disease and tooth decay. Gum disease has been tied to other kinds of health conditions, like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, and pregnancy complications. Tooth decay, on the other hand, is a common for all patients, but especially for young kids who are just learning to brush.

Outside of general and preventive care, our Selden family dentistry services include:

  • Periodontal therapy
  • Nightguards for bruxism
  • Dental crowns and fillings
  • Endodontics

To learn more about any of these services, or any others, call your local Selden family dental office. We provide care for Selden, Centereach, Port Jefferson, Farmingville, and surrounding communities in the Long Island area.


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