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.

Cardiovascular disease and your oral health

May 2, 2016

What happens to oral health affects overall health. Learn about the heart/mouth link from Selden, NY dentist, Dr. Stephen Scotto-Lavino.

Cardiovascular disease plagues 700,000 adults in the United States. Hypertension, stroke, coronary artery disease, valvular problems, heart attack–all are forms of this giant cause of sickness, death and skyrocketing health care costs. Thirty-five year Selden, NY dentist, Dr. Stephen Scotto-Lavino, teaches his patients the importance of healthy gums and their connection to cardiovascular health and overall well-being. (more…)

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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