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aesthetic advantage continuing dental education

The Pros and Cons of Using Charcoal for Oral Care | New York, NY

In recent years, charcoal has gained popularity as a trendy ingredient in oral care products, promising a natural and effective solution for achieving a brighter, whiter smile. From charcoal toothpaste to charcoal-infused toothbrushes, the market is flooded with these products. However, before jumping on the charcoal bandwagon, it’s crucial to understand the pros and cons associated with using charcoal for oral care.

Pros of Charcoal Oral Care

  • Natural Whitening Properties
  • Charcoal is known for its natural teeth-whitening properties. Its abrasive nature helps remove surface stains from the teeth, resulting in a brighter smile. This makes charcoal oral care products an attractive option for those seeking a non-chemical alternative to traditional whitening methods.
  • Detoxification and Odor Control
  • Charcoal is renowned for its ability to absorb toxins and impurities. In oral care, it can help absorb bacteria and toxins, contributing to improved breath freshness. Charcoal’s adsorption capabilities make it a promising ingredient for those battling bad breath.
  • Gentle Exfoliation
  • Charcoal provides a gentle exfoliation for the teeth, aiding in the removal of plaque and tartar buildup. This can contribute to better oral health and a reduced risk of cavities and gum disease.
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Many charcoal oral care products boast natural and eco-friendly formulations, appealing to consumers who prioritize sustainability. Charcoal is a renewable resource, and its use aligns with the growing demand for environmentally conscious products.

Cons of Charcoal Oral Care

  • Abrasive Nature
  • While charcoal’s abrasiveness contributes to its whitening effect, it can be detrimental to tooth enamel over time. Excessive use may lead to enamel erosion, tooth sensitivity, and increased vulnerability to cavities. Dentists often advise caution and moderation when using charcoal oral care products.
  • Messy Application
  • Charcoal toothpaste and powders can be messy to use, staining sinks, countertops, and clothing. The black residue left behind may not be suitable for those who prefer a clean and tidy oral care routine.
  • Lack of Fluoride
  • Many charcoal oral care products do not contain fluoride, a mineral essential for preventing tooth decay and strengthening enamel. This absence may be a concern for individuals relying solely on charcoal products, as they might miss out on the proven benefits of fluoride in preventing cavities.
  • Limited Scientific Evidence
  • While charcoal oral care has gained popularity, scientific evidence supporting its long-term efficacy and safety is limited. More research is needed to determine the potential risks and benefits associated with consistent use over time.

In the realm of oral care, charcoal presents a double-edged sword with its natural whitening properties and potential drawbacks. As with any trend, it’s crucial to approach charcoal oral care with a balanced perspective, considering individual oral health needs and consulting with dental professionals for personalized advice. While charcoal can be a valuable addition to an oral care routine, users should remain mindful of its limitations and potential risks.

Aesthetic Advantage has state-of-the-art educational facilities that can help you take your career to the next level, call us at (212) 794.3552 for more information.

Aesthetic Advantage proudly serves New York, Atlanta, Florida, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Boston, Rhode Island, California, South Carolina, and all surrounding areas.

aesthetic advantage continuing dental education

Understanding Dental Insurance | New York, NY

Maintaining optimal oral health is crucial for overall well-being, and dental insurance plays a pivotal role in ensuring access to quality dental care. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the intricacies of dental insurance, empowering you with knowledge to make informed decisions about your oral health coverage.

Dental insurance is designed to offset the costs of preventive, basic, and major dental care. Unlike general health insurance, dental insurance is often a separate policy, providing coverage for a range of dental services. Most plans cover routine check-ups, cleanings, and X-rays, while more comprehensive policies may include restorative procedures like fillings, root canals, and even orthodontic treatments.

Types of Dental Insurance Plans:

  • Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO)
  • Pros: Lower premiums, predictable costs, and no deductibles.
  • Cons: Limited choice of dentists, referrals required for specialists.
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO):
  • Pros: Greater flexibility in choosing dentists, no referrals required for specialists.
  • Cons: Higher premiums than DHMO, some out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO):
    • Pros: Similar to PPOs but with a more restricted network.
    • Cons: Limited coverage for out-of-network services.
  • Fee-for-Service (FFS) or Indemnity Plans:
    • Pros: Maximum flexibility in choosing providers.
    • Cons: Higher premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs.

Key Components of Dental Insurance

  • Premiums:
    • The amount you pay for your insurance policy, typically every month.
  • Deductibles:
    • The amount you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in.
  • Coverage Percentage:
    • The percentage of costs covered by the insurance company for various services.
  • Annual Maximum:
    • The maximum amount the insurance company will pay in a policy year.
  • Waiting Periods:
    • Some plans have waiting periods before certain services are covered.

Tips for Maximizing Dental Insurance Benefits

  • Regular Check-ups:
    • Prevention is key. Regular dental check-ups can help catch issues early, saving you money in the long run.
  • Understand Your Coverage:
    • Familiarize yourself with your policy’s terms, coverage limits, and any exclusions.
  • In-Network Providers:
    • Opt for dentists within your insurance network to maximize coverage and minimize out-of-pocket costs.

Take Advantage of Preventive Care:

  • Most plans fully cover preventive services like cleanings and exams.

Dental insurance is a valuable tool in safeguarding your oral health and managing the costs of necessary dental care. By understanding the nuances of different plans and being proactive in your dental care, you can make the most of your insurance coverage, ensuring a healthy and confident smile for years to come.

Aesthetic Advantage has state-of-the-art educational facilities that can help you take your career to the next level, call us at (212) 794.3552 for more information.

Aesthetic Advantage proudly serves New York, Atlanta, Florida, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Boston, Rhode Island, California, South Carolina, and all surrounding areas.

aesthetic advantage continuing dental education

The Relationship Between Sugar and Oral Bacteria | New York, NY

The human mouth is a bustling ecosystem, home to a diverse community of microorganisms, including bacteria. While these microscopic residents play crucial roles in maintaining oral health, an intricate dance unfolds when sugar enters the scene. This blog post delves into the fascinating interaction between sugar and bacteria in the mouth, shedding light on the consequences of this sweet partnership.

As we indulge in sweet treats and sugary beverages, our taste buds revel in the delightful sweetness. However, the celebration doesn’t end there. Sugars act as a potent energy source for bacteria residing in the oral cavity. The most notorious culprits are Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus, bacteria that thrive on fermentable carbohydrates, breaking them down into acids.

The Acidic Tango:

When bacteria feast on sugars, they produce acids as metabolic byproducts. This sets the stage for an acidic tango that can have detrimental effects on oral health. The acids erode tooth enamel, the protective outer layer of the teeth, leading to the formation of cavities and dental decay. The more frequent the sugar consumption, the more intense this corrosive dance becomes.

Biofilm Formation:

Bacteria aren’t lone performers in this oral drama; they team up to create biofilms. These sticky, slimy layers of bacteria and sugars adhere to tooth surfaces, forming a breeding ground for further microbial activity. This biofilm, commonly known as plaque, becomes a hotbed for bacterial proliferation, contributing to the development of oral diseases.

Sweet Temptations and Oral Hygiene:While the interaction between sugar and bacteria may seem like an inevitable consequence of enjoying sweets, maintaining good oral hygiene can tip the balance in your favor. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups help remove plaque and prevent the escalation of bacterial activity, keeping your mouth in harmony.

The Role of Saliva:

Saliva acts as a natural defender against the sugar-bacteria duet. It contains minerals that neutralize acids and enzymes that aid in the remineralization of enamel. Chewing sugar-free gum can stimulate saliva production, providing a helping hand in mitigating the effects of sugar on oral health.

The interaction between sugar and bacteria in the mouth is a complex dance with potential consequences for oral health. While sugar undoubtedly fuels bacterial activity, practicing good oral hygiene and mindful sugar consumption can help maintain a healthier balance. So, the next time you reach for that sweet indulgence, remember the intricate symphony playing out in your mouth and take steps to keep the harmony intact.

Aesthetic Advantage has state-of-the-art educational facilities that can help you take your career to the next level, call us at (212) 794.3552 for more information.

Aesthetic Advantage proudly serves New York, Atlanta, Florida, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Boston, Rhode Island, California, South Carolina, and all surrounding areas.

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The Anatomy of the Human Mouth: A Closer Look | New York, NY

The human mouth is a marvel of biological engineering, serving many essential functions that go far beyond mere communication. This intricate structure plays a vital role in our ability to eat, breathe, and express our emotions. In this blog, we will take a closer look at the anatomy of the human mouth and the various components that make it such a versatile and indispensable part of our bodies.

The human mouth consists of several distinct components, each with its unique functions. Let’s start with the most visible part: the lips. Lips are not only essential for facial expressions, but they also protect the delicate tissues inside the mouth from external factors. Just behind the lips, the cheeks form the walls of the mouth, helping to keep food within as we chew and swallow.

Inside the mouth, we find the tongue, a muscular organ responsible for tasting, moving food around, and aiding in speech. The tongue is covered in tiny bumps called papillae, which contain taste buds that allow us to perceive different flavors. It is a highly flexible and agile muscle that plays a pivotal role in forming various speech sounds.

The roof of the mouth is divided into two parts: the hard palate at the front and the soft palate towards the back. The hard palate provides a stable surface for the tongue and helps in the initial stages of chewing, while the soft palate is involved in closing off the nasal passages during swallowing to prevent food or liquid from entering the nose.

The floor of the mouth is home to the sublingual and submandibular salivary glands, which secrete saliva. Saliva contains enzymes that aid in digestion and lubricate food for easier swallowing. It also helps maintain the health of the oral cavity by neutralizing acids and preventing tooth decay.

Speaking of teeth, they are integral to the mouth’s functioning. Humans typically have 32 teeth, including incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Each type of tooth has a specific role in breaking down food. Teeth are anchored in the jawbone and are responsible for the initial mechanical breakdown of food before digestion begins in the stomach.

Behind the teeth, you’ll find the pharynx, a muscular tube that connects the mouth to the esophagus, allowing for the passage of chewed food and liquids into the digestive system. This area also plays a crucial role in preventing choking by sealing off the trachea during swallowing.

The human mouth is a remarkable and complex structure, responsible for vital functions such as eating, speaking, and breathing. Its various components, including the lips, cheeks, tongue, palate, salivary glands, teeth, and pharynx, work together seamlessly to support our daily activities. Understanding the anatomy of the mouth can lead to better oral health and a deeper appreciation of this incredible biological marvel.

Aesthetic Advantage has state-of-the-art educational facilities that can help you take your career to the next level, call us at (212) 794.3552 for more information.

Aesthetic Advantage proudly serves New York, Atlanta, Florida, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Boston, Rhode Island, California, South Carolina, and all surrounding areas.

aesthetic advantage continuing dental education

How To Make Flossing A Routine | New York, NY

Routine flossing helps to ensure that the granules of residual food left after meals are removed to prevent cavities. When traces of food remain tucked away between our teeth, it becomes a source of food for corrosive sugars to feed on; over time, this becomes the source of pockets in the teeth for bacteria to settle and the problem to compound.

Flossing is a very important step for any oral care routine, and it’s usually one of the first questions posed during a visit. If you have been uneasy about answering this question, or are like many others, vague about flossing, here are some ways you can begin to incorporate it into your everyday hygienic protocol.

  1. Find floss you enjoy

Waxed, non-waxed, plush, disposable picks, threaders, and water flossers are all available options. If one type of floss doesn’t make you want to floss, it’s less likely you will do it. It’s important to find a way to floss that suits your tastes. The tried-and-true thin waxed threads may irritate your gums, so trying a plush thread may alleviate your disregard. If putting thread between your teeth is off-putting, a water flosser that shoots a stream of high-pressure water may do the trick.

2. Set a reminder

If it’s not currently part of your routine, or you have so much going on it’s hard to remember, setting a reminder on your phone or a notecard by your sink may help you begin to incorporate this practice until its second nature. If the technique of flossing is something you struggle with, employ this practice as a means to check in with helpful guides that walk you through the proper steps until you get the hang of it.

3. Reward yourself

Marking off days on a calendar, watching an episode of your favorite show, or brewing a cup of your favorite tea are all great ways to reward yourself for remembering to floss. As you go along, allow yourself a special treat once a week, every two weeks, or once a month to reinforce the good hygiene habit you are forming. It takes about 21 days to form a habit, so whatever you do to encourage yourself to keep practicing for at least that long, will go a long way toward a lifetime of proper oral care.

Aesthetic Advantage has state-of-the-art educational facilities that can help you take your career to the next level, call us at (212) 794.3552 for more information.

Aesthetic Advantage proudly serves New York, Atlanta, Florida, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Boston, Rhode Island, California, South Carolina, and all surrounding areas.

aesthetic advantage continuing dental education

Making  the Most of Your Dental Visit | New York, NY

You might not consider your dentist to be the person you confide in about your habits, lifestyle, or oral care concerns you experience at home. Yet, these factors all play a role in your oral health and can alert your dentist to treatment options and suggestions tailored to your needs as an individual. Here are some ways you can begin to make the most of your dental visit if you aren’t already:

Discuss Your Concerns:

It’s important to remember that your dentist is on your team; they are open to answering your questions with knowledge and experience. If you have any concerns about your teeth, gums, or jaw, or are experiencing any pain it is important to share that with your dentist. It’s easy to turn to the internet for answers to these concerns, but lifestyle habits among other things are factors your dentist can consider with you. If any of the following apply to you, it is important to discuss them with your dentist before they potentially get worse:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Sores in the mouth that do not heal
  • Sensitivity or pain
  • Clenching your jaws
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Problems with brushing or flossing

Share Health and Lifestyle Changes:

If you make changes to your lifestyle, such as reducing or increasing medications or the consumption of coffee or nicotine, it’s important to let your dentist know. These seemingly nominal changes can have a huge impact on your oral health over time. The acid in coffee may weaken your enamel over time, where as reducing consumption may allow it to remain in tact. The potential impact of nicotine from cigarettes or chewing tobacco on your oral health is another important thing to share so your dentist can look for signs of change.

Being open and honest with your dentist about your concerns, habits, and any changes you make in your life is paramount to receiving the best treatment possible.

Aesthetic Advantage has state of the art educational facilities that can help you take your career to the next level, call us at (212) 794.3552 for more information.

Aesthetic Advantage proudly serves New York, Atlanta, Florida, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Boston, Rhode Island, California, South Carolina and all surrounding areas.

The Myths and Misconceptions of Proper Oral Health | New York, NY

Oral care and hygiene are paramount to our ability to maintain and retain our teeth as we age. With so much information about oral care practices online, we felt it was important to demystify some of the most common dental myths and misconceptions we hear and offer advice on how to move forward.

Myth 1. Sugar Causes Cavities.

Sugar itself is not the cause of cavities, though the bacteria that eat the sugar can be. The starches and sugar themselves attract bacteria that thrive on the surface of your teeth and release an acidic compound that promotes tooth decay. Regular brushing and rinsing after eating particular sugary foods will go a long way toward preventing decay.

Myth 2. Enamel Loss Causes Sensitivity.

We may experience sensitivity for many reasons, and enamel loss doesn’t happen overnight. Tooth grinding, abrasive toothpaste, aggressive brushing, and lack of regular proper oral hygiene all contribute to both sensitivity and a loss of enamel. Should you lose your enamel, however, you will likely experience tooth sensitivity as well. 

Myth 3. Hard Brushing Cleans Better.

This action is counter-productive, as excess pressure on your teeth can work to damage enamel rather than support it. Hard brushing also hurts our gums and can lead to a recessed gum lining over time. We recommend taking care to brush gently with a soft-bristle brush.

Myth 4. Chewing Gum Helps Clean Teeth.

Chewing gum is certainly not a replacement for brushing. Chewing gum can be a great way to combat sugar cravings or a candy habit, but while it makes your breath smell better, it cannot replace the benefits of brushing.

Myth 5. Baby Teeth Don’t Need Brushing.

Good oral care practices begin when we are young and proper oral care for a child’s first set of teeth matters. Tooth decay in a baby tooth can lead to complications as an adult, so we recommend a twice-daily brushing routine as soon as the child has teeth.

Aesthetic Advantage has state-of-the-art educational facilities that can help you take your career to the next level, call us at (212) 794.3552 for more information.

Aesthetic Advantage proudly serves New York, Atlanta, Florida, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Boston, Rhode Island, California, South Carolina, and all surrounding areas.

aesthetic advantage continuing dental education

Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures | New York, NY

No two cosmetic dentistry procedures are the same, though some may be more similar than others. It’s important to understand common cosmetic dentistry procedures so you can accurately identify the type of treatment you seek for your concerns, and gain insight to what it may mean to embark on a cosmetic process.

Teeth Whitening – a common procedure for cosmetic dentists is teeth whitening. Coffee, tobacco, alcohol, predisposition, and many other things can contribute to a less-than-white smile. If over-the-counter methods haven’t quite worked to bring back your pearly whites, you may consider speaking with a cosmetic dentist for a more intense treatment.

Crowns – similar to a veneer, dental crowns are a porcelain or ceramic tooth look-alike that fits over a weak or damaged tooth. Crowns are made to fully encase the tooth and can last between five to 15 years depending on how well they are cared for.

Braces – these are within the realm of cosmetic dentistry because braces shift the teeth into optimal positions for your bite and mouth size. Braces are one of the most common procedures a cosmetic dentist may perform, as tooth alignment is just as much about oral health as it is aesthetics.

Dental Bonding– for chipped, cracked, or gapped teeth, your dentist will apply a tooth-colored resin to the chipped area. They will layer resin, utilizing a UV light to harden it as they go, in order to build back the original look of the chipped tooth or teeth.

Veneer Application – you can think of a veneer as a thin shell that fits over the surface of your existing teeth to improve the color, shape, size, or length of teeth. Veneers are made of porcelain or a resin composite and permanently bonded to the teeth.

Gum Reshaping – when your gums appear more pronounced than your teeth, or your gemlike is uneven, a cosmetic dentist may recommend gum reshaping. Essentially, a small amount of gum or bone tissue is removed or contoured to even out the appearance of your gum line or tooth ratio.

Aesthetic Advantage has state-of-the-art educational facilities that can help you take your career to the next level, call us at (212) 794.3552 for more information.

Aesthetic Advantage proudly serves New York, Atlanta, Florida, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Boston, Rhode Island, California, South Carolina, and all surrounding areas.

aesthetic advantage continuing dental education

What You Should Know About Oral Infections | New York, NY

How much do you understand oral infections? We all know they are something to avoid, but it’s important to understand the different types of infections you may experience in your lifetime, and the warning signs you may be on the brink of one. Here are some of the most common oral infections that may result from poor oral hygiene:

Gingivitis– Simply put, Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. It is the precursor to Periodontitis, the escalation of Gingivitis should it go untreated. Gingivitis is the result of plaque buildup that spreads from the gums to the ligaments that support the teeth.

Periodontal Disease– When left untreated, Gingivitis may spread below the gum line, affecting the supportive tissues and bone of our teeth. This progression is known as Periodontal Disease which deteriorates these support leading to the potential loss of teeth and may even spread to the lungs causing pneumonia.

Canker Sores– These are cuts that develop on the gums and other mouth tissues and are common in children and teens. Vigorous brushing, cheek bites, and sports injuries – as well as hormones and immune problems, may lead to canker sores.

Oral Herpes– According to centerforbeautifulsmiles.com, “50-80 percent of American adults” carry the Herpes Simlex Virus. This can lead to “blisters and ulcers on the gums and tongue, flu-like symptoms, or no symptoms at all.” While there are things individuals can do to keep the virus dormant, an outbreak may last ten days to two weeks.

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease– Toddlers and school-aged children are the most susceptible to Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. The virus Coxsackie A16 is spread by direct contact with saliva and mucus; children are particularly unconscious of their direct exposure to these fluids. Children may experience fever, sore throat, and the development of painful blisters on their body but should only last a few days.

Herpangina– Similar to Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, Herpangina typically affects children and presents itself with fever symptoms and difficulty swallowing. Yet, unlike Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, it forms blisters on the back of the mouth that once ruptured, become ulcers. Symptoms typically only last a few days.

Aesthetic Advantage has state-of-the-art educational facilities that can help you take your career to the next level, call us at (212) 794.3552 for more information.

Aesthetic Advantage proudly serves New York, Atlanta, Florida, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Boston, Rhode Island, California, South Carolina and all surrounding areas.

aesthetic advantage continuing dental education

The Real World Positive Effects of Smiling | New York, NY

Everything in the human body is connected, and smiles have real-life implications for our physical and mental health. Friends may even encourage one another to smile during difficult times; that is because even a fake smile produces real endorphins. Here are some ways smiling can have real world, positive effects on your personal wellbeing and relationships.

Smiling and Our Health. When we smile, our brains release neuropeptides and neurotransmitters that alleviate the stressors of our day. The most common hormones associated with these results are dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. Dopamine and serotonin are “happy hormones”, acting as antidepressants. Endorphins offer mild pain relief; together, they have been shown to reduce stress and our heart rate. A smile a day can go a long way to making us feel better and look out for the world with a positive attitude.

Smiling and Our Relationships. People who smile more often are seen as being more approachable, likable, creative, and productive. Smiling can also have a “ripple effect” as one person’s expression of joy can cause an onlooker to also feel joy and smile too. The next time you are out with friends, or a loved one could use a pick-me-up, remind them of their positive attributes and share a smile with them!

It is important to note that there are individuals who experience smile anxiety and may hesitate to share in this exchange. Smile anxiety occurs when an individual becomes reluctant to smile in public because he or she dislikes, or is embarrassed by, the aesthetic appeal of their smile. There are many factors that may cause someone to feel this way including trauma, decay, or the way in which their adult set has grown.

It’s important to retain gentle kindness if you know a loved one struggles with the appearance of their smile, though there are several means of restoration your dentist may accommodate.

Aesthetic Advantage has state-of-the-art educational facilities that can help you take your career to the next level, call us at (212) 794.3552 for more information.

Aesthetic Advantage proudly serves New York, Atlanta, Florida, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Boston, Rhode Island, California, South Carolina and all surrounding areas.