Your Toothpaste Spit Shouldn’t Be 50 Shades of Red

Your Toothpaste Spit Shouldn’t Be 50 Shades of Red


OK, you’re brushing your teeth as usual but this time, when you spit, you notice a bit of pink in the spittle. While it might not seem like a big deal, it actually is. One of the first signs of early gum disease, called gingivitis, is bleeding in the gums, often noticed during brushing. Other signs include consistent bad breath and receding gums.

Obviously, the first thing you need to do if you notice the above in your own life, is to call our Lower Manhattan dental office and schedule an appointment. We’re pros at controlling and conquering periodontal disease before it leads to tooth loss. After a thorough dental exam, we’ll create a plan of action to get you back to dental health.

Prevention of gum disease is, however, the best route, inasmuch as I assume you’d like to avoid the “pink in the sink” phenomenon. If you follow these suggestions, I promise you a healthier dental profile!

  1. Stay away from tobacco! That includes vaping and other forms of tobacco use.
  2. Call us when you start a new prescription, as some meds contribute to gum disease.
  3. Buy an oral flossing machine and use it every day!
  4. Learn how to brush properly. Ask us or, faster, check out YouTube for videos
  5. Use mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol.
  6. Stay away from sweets
  7. Keep your twice-a-year appointments

To your health & beauty,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
NYC Cosmetic Dentists

Resin, Porcelain or Ceramic: What’s the Difference?

Resin, Porcelain or Ceramic: What’s the Difference?

Over the past 20 years, dental patients have benefited from advances in dental technology. Examples include traditional metal braces that have been supplemented with Invisalign, and manual flossing with its high-tech alternative, water flossing. The standard in dental fillings, that being the silvery metallic fillings we all recognize, have been marginalized as dentists and consumers alike find ceramic and resin dental materials superior to their ancestor.

Ceramics have been used since the early 1900s to create dental porcelain, although the formula has been made stronger over the years, and today’s products are more natural looking than previously. If you lost a tooth in the 50’s or 60’s, it’s likely it wasn’t replaced with an exact match, due to technology limitations at the time. Today’s ceramics have an infinite number of shades to match virtually any tooth color.

Dentists were bonding teeth, i.e., applying crowns, back in the 70’s, although the practice didn’t reach popular levels until the 80’s, following the introduction of resin cement. Not only did resin cement provide a stronger (virtually unbreakable) bond for the crown, the results were much more attractive. This bonding method also contributed to the safe and reliable method of creating fixed bridges that functioned and looked just like the original teeth.

While porcelain’s inclusion in crowns and bridges was commonplace in the past, the result, though attractive, was fragile, since glass particles were part of the mix. To make the porcelain stronger, it was the practice to add metals, which, unfortunately, created a problem with appearance. At the present time, here at our NYC dental office, we have access to numerous blends of glass-infused ceramic cores that deliver strong teeth that are also beautiful and natural in appearance.

If you’re interested in a better smile, and/or you have missing teeth, schedule an appointment with one of our Manhattan dentists for an exam and a written proposal for a Smile Makeover. Call us at (212) 267-1884 to schedule your appointment.

To your health and beauty,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
NYC Cosmetic Dentists

Five Healthy Foods That Can Damage Your Dentition

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 11.14.53 AMAlthough everyone knows that drinking soda (including diet soda) and eating sweets can damage teeth, many of our New York City cosmetic dental patients are surprised when, after noticing some dental erosion, we ask about their “healthy” habits, such as juicing. Here are five “healthy” foods that may be challenging your beautiful smile, and some tips to maintain your pearly whites!

Gummy Vitamins
Prior to the presence of gummy vitamins, children often balked at the chalky texture of chewable vitamin tablets. Seeking a more palatable option for kids, vitamin manufacturers created little chewable vitamins similar to gummy bear candies. Needless to say, these took off like a rocket! Figuring that we might enjoy them as well, manufacturers now offer a plethora of gummy vitamins for adults. Sounds great, right? Not so fast. Unfortunately, the sugars in these gummy vitamins stick to your teeth just like their candy counterparts. Our advice: Rinse immediately after eating a gummy vitamin and brush as soon as possible to remove the sticky, sugary residue or go back to taking vitamins in pill form.

BBQ & Pasta Sauces
Love your ribs, burgers and fries dipped in BBQ sauce? Addicted to good Italian food? Although yummy, BBQ and pasta sauces not only coat your food, it coats your teeth as well, and both are full of sugar and tomatoes. The sugar can join the bacteria on your teeth to create cavities, and the tomato color can stain your teeth. Our advice: Rinse thoroughly immediately after eating anything with red sauce and brush as soon as you can.

Juicing: Homemade or Purchased
Juicing has been a to-go, power-packed option for busy New Yorkers for over a decade. Whether you make it at home or buy it at the store, juices and smoothies contain lots of acid and sugar—sometimes more than a comparably sized soda. Drinking these juices literally bathes your teeth in that acid and sugar, promoting cavities and dental enamel erosion. Our advice: Drink your juice with a straw to avoid tooth surfaces and wait 45-60 minutes to brush. Brushing too soon actually makes your teeth more susceptible to the acids and sugars!

Dried Fruit
As a quick snack that doesn’t require refrigeration (read that: can hang out in your backpack or computer bag for ages), dried fruits contain concentrated amounts of valuable nutrients, such as Vitamin E, iron, potassium, calcium, and beta carotene. Unfortunately, dried fruits also contain non-cellulose fiber, which traps the sugar from the dried fruit on (and between) your teeth just like gummy candies. Our advice: Eliminate the sugar by brushing and flossing as soon as possible after eating dried fruit.

White Wine
OK, you know about red wine’s propensity to stain your teeth, so you’re feeling a bit jittery about the news regarding white wine, right? Truth is, although white wine won’t stain your teeth, it does contain acids that will eat away at your teeth’s enamel, which then enables stains from other foods to leave their mark. Our advice: Have cheese with your wine to buffer the wine’s acid. Not into cheese? Just rinse thoroughly after drinking white wine to neutralize some of the acidity.

Here at iSmile, we’re all about your dental health. If we haven’t seen you in the past 6 months, call us today at 212-267-1884 to schedule an appointment. Your teeth will be glad to see us!

To your health & beauty,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
NYC Cosmetic Dentists

Dental Phobia Reduced Through Cognitive Therapy

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 10.04.32 AMIndividuals with a high level of dental anxiety are more likely to avoid trips to the dentist.  As a result of this avoidance, they often experience a more advanced level of dental problems which, when finally treated, serve to reinforce their fears of the dentist. To address this repeating cycle, researchers in the UK tested CBT, a “talk therapy” technique, to see if it might help patients with dental phobia and/or dental anxiety.

For the British study, conducted by King’s College London Dental Institute, researchers selected cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which replaces negative thoughts with positive ones to equip patients to address their fears. Of the 130 men and women in the study, nearly 100 had such a high degree of generalized dental phobia that they either avoided the dentist completely or required sedation to get through an appointment at a dental office, even for something as minor as routine dental cleanings. Others in the study experienced a high degree of anxiety about specific treatments, such as injections or the use of a drill, but were able to go to the dentist for care.

In therapy sessions, the patients were taught to identify fear-related thoughts and to replace those thoughts with more helpful ones. Additionally, they were given information about dental treatments to counteract misinformation and negative thoughts. Patients were given specific techniques, such as controlled breathing and muscle relaxation, to cope with dental anxiety. They were also instructed to gradually picture themselves in fearful dental situations to cope with the fears in a controlled environment.

The study findings were published in the British Dental Journal. To read more about this research study, click here.

Here in our NYC dental practice, we’re familiar with dental phobia and dental anxiety. We know that, among our many patients, some of them fear any encounter at our dental office. We provide sedation dentistry for those who need it, which enables them to undergo dental care with the least amount of stress. If you or a loved one experience dental phobia or dental anxiety, talk to us about your fears. We’re here to help!

To your health & beauty,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
NYC Cosmetic Dentists



Help for Sensitive Teeth

Tooth painDo you have sensitive teeth? According to studies, about 40 million Americans do! Here at our Lower Manhattan dental practice, we routinely see patients with sensitive teeth and, you’ll be glad to know, we have solutions for them!

The tops of your teeth are protected with a layer of enamel. Beneath the gum line is another layer, called cementum, which protects the root. Beneath the enamel and cementum is dentin, which contains microscopic channels that support the enamel and surround the pulp, where nerves are located. If the enamel and/or cementum becomes thin or fractured, or if the gums recede, the dentin cannot adequately protect the nerves and cells within the tooth from the discomfort of acidic, sweet, hot or cold beverages and foods as well as inhaled cold air. The result: hypersensitivity.

Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth

If you experience discomfort or pain when your teeth are exposed to sweet, sour, acidic, hot or cold foods or beverages, or when inhaling wintry air, you may have sensitive teeth! There are numerous causes, however, some of which are easily treated, like switching to a softer toothbrush, avoiding too-frequent whitening sessions, and removing plaque or filling a cavity, while others require more advanced dental treatment to eliminate your discomfort.

Causes of Sensitive Teeth

  • Tooth decaycauses of sensitive teeth
  • Plaque build-up
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Exposed tooth root
  • Over-brushing
  • Using a too-hard toothbrush
  • Brushing with abrasive agents
  • Receding gums/gingivitis
  • Fractured or cracked teeth or fillings
  • Clenching or grinding the teeth, called bruxism
  • Abuse of teeth-whitening procedures
  • Recent dental procedure

Treatments for Sensitive Teeth

You don’t have to live with sensitive teeth! Depending upon the cause of your sensitivity, our New York City dentists can lessen or completely resolve dental sensitivities with one or a combination of these methods:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste
  • Application of sealants, fluoride gel or Gluma to decrease sensitivity
  • Crowns, inlays or bonding to correct decay or flaw in the tooth
  • Gum graft if gum tissue has been lost from the root
  • Laser treatments
  • Root canal if sensitivity is severe and unabated by the above methods

What To Do If Your Teeth Are Sensitive

Before making the assumption that you may have hypersensitive teeth, consider the possibility that you have a cavity or other dental problem that we need to evaluate and treat here in our Manhattan cosmetic dentist practice. Therefore, if you experience sensitivity in your teeth for more than 3-4 days, call our office at 212-267-1884 for an appointment. Upon examination, we’ll be able to diagnose the cause of your sensitive teeth and create a plan of action to help you!

To your healthy, beautiful smile,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
NYC Cosmetic Dentists






Crowns vs Fillings

At our Manhattan dental practice, our patients sometimes ask us if it might be preferable to have a crown placed over a tooth rather than a dental filling. While these two treatments aren’t identical, they can be an alternative for some patients, depending upon the severity of the decay.

Criteria For Dental Fillings

When a patient has minor dental decay, a dental filling is the logical choice both from a treatment standpoint and a financial one. Once a cavity has developed, we must remove the decayed area of that tooth, both to prevent further decay and to restore stability to the tooth.  Through the use of silver amalgam, ceramic, porcelain or a tooth-colored composite, we restore shape to the tooth to ensure a correct bite and avoid further decay in that area. Almost all of our NYC dental patients want to avoid silver amalgams for a variety of reasons, including aesthetic ones.

Criteria for Dental Crowns

If significant decay has weakened a patient’s tooth to the point whereby we believe the tooth cannot support a dental filling, Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 12.39.21 PMa crown is a logical alternative, as it offers both strength and stability to a tooth. Further, in patients with cracked or broken teeth, whether caused by decay or trauma, a dental extraction can be avoided while preserving as much of the tooth’s structure as possible with a crown. Manhattan dental patients often receive a crown following a root canal to support and strengthen a tooth to avoid damage during chewing.

Applying a crown is a fairly simple matter. For patients with an extensive decayed area in a tooth, we will insert filling materials such as those above in order to create a bigger, more ideal surface on which the crown will be placed. The crown is then cemented to the tooth and becomes a permanent feature in that patient’s oral cavity.

We hope you’re sticking to a twice-a-day brushing and flossing schedule, as well as a twice-yearly visit to our office, to avoid the discomfort, inconvenience and financial investment in a crown or filling. However, if you do experience dental problems, such as tooth pain or sensitivity, schedule an appointment with us so we can treat these concerns while they’re still small!

To your health & beauty,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
NYC Cosmetic Dentists

Gummy Vitamins Can Gum Up Your Dental Health!

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 3.52.06 PMWho doesn’t remember the fun of Flintstones chewable vitamins? They tasted like solid Pixi Stix, yummy and sweet in a crunchy pill version: everything kids love! Those types of chewables have plunged in popularity due to the advent of “gummy” vitamins for children. Knowing how adults have a fondness for sticky, chewy treats, and how many adults avoid vitamin pills because they hate swallowing them, we now have dozens of choices for grown-ups, including fish oil and calcium supplements. No doubt, gummies are yummy.

However wonderful it is that vitamin manufacturers have found a way to get more adults to take their vitamins, the glucose, corn syrup and sucrose in them are terrible for teeth. There are easily 3-5 grams of sugar in each gummy vitamin. Even worse, the sugar, combined with the gelatin that creates that gummy texture, sticks to the teeth even if you rinse after eating the vitamin. That sticky sugar makes it extremely easy for bacteria to multiply and attack your teeth, resulting in cavities. Add in the enamel-eating citric acid and you have a recipe for dental decay.

For those who just can’t go without their gummy vitamin, I recommend these two tips:

1.  Take gummy vitamin with food, such as when eating breakfast

2.  Brush your teeth afterwards, which I hope you do after breakfast anyway.

Sneaky sugars in fun treats like gummy vitamins can do a number on your teeth. Enjoy your gummies but protect your teeth! We love seeing you in the office, but don’t love loading your beautiful smile with fillings!

To your health & beauty,
Jeffrey Shapiro, DDS, PC and Glenn Chiarello, DDS
NYC Cosmetic Dentists