Herald Square Dental and The Denture Center

What Can Good Oral Health Prevent?

When it comes to your teeth, practicing good oral hygiene should be at the top of your list. We only have one set of fully grown adult teeth that we use in every aspect of our lives. When we see family, friends and even strangers, one-third of the time our teeth are the first thing they notice. Having a well taken care of smile can make the difference in your social life. Aside from your teeth’s appearance, between meals and snacking, our teeth are constantly working for us. So, what are you doing to improve your teeth? Good oral health can prevent several undesirable dental traits and problems.

Making sure to brush your teeth for at least two minutes, scrape your tongue, floss daily and gargle with mouthwash twice daily can prevent bad breath caused from plaque and food build-up. Gum disease can be prevented by regularly flossing around the gums and teeth to loosen build-up and plaque that irritate the gums and cause cavities. Don’t let neglecting to maintain these oral health habits keep you from becoming a social butterfly.

Cavities are a pain. The toothache that comes from biting into a sugary treat can be enough to jumpstart your new oral health habits. In caring for your teeth, you can dramatically reduce the number of cavities that develop from the acid and bacteria left from foods, especially sweet ones.

Keeping your oral health in check may also inhibit costly dental procedures from accumulating. A cavity that is left untreated can quickly turn into a tooth in dire need of a root canal, and developing gum disease may require gum laser therapy or tooth extraction. Most certainly, teeth that are well taken care of will have less plaque build-up that causes bad breath, cavities and gum disease, and better oral health could potentially prevent overwhelming dental expenses in the future.

Want to know more about what good oral health can do for you? Give us a call to find out, and schedule your checkup today! Herald Square Denture & Dental Center Phone Number 212-689-0024

Healthy Foods for Healthy Smiles!

Healthy Food for Healthy Smiles

A healthy school lunch will not only give your child the energy they need throughout their school day, it will keep their teeth healthy too! Below are some examples of healthy foods that will keep your kid smiling all day long!

PB&J’s! While a popular choice, often times sugary jellies and nut butters are not great for kid’s teeth. Try switching to a natural peanut butter, and a preserve or fruit jam (aim for 5grams or sugar or less per serving). Use whole wheat bread as a healthy alternative too!

Cheese Please! Cheese is high in calcium which is probably one of the most important nutrients for your teeth. It is absorbed by tooth enamel and help block bacteria growth. Without calcium, your kid’s teeth could be in big trouble! Cheese also has protein, which is not only important for the growth and development of children, it also keeps their muscles strong and healthy making for a stronger smile.

Snack-Attack! Apples are great to munch on, they are high in water which help to dilute the sugars they contain. When you are chewing, the saliva production helps protect against tooth decay, pairing this with a low sugar nut butter makes an excellent snack! Edamame beans are also a great option, they are rich in calcium and are fun to eat too! Just make sure to get a salt free version to avoid too much sodium.

We want water! Although it seems simple, water is MUST. Often times we give our kids way to much juice and not enough water, and studies have shown that juice is just as bad for you as soda! Kids should be drinking 5-10 glasses of water each day, so encourage them to hydrate by sending them to school with a reusable water bottle they can keep filling up.

If you have any questions about what types of smile friendly foods your child should be eating, feel free to call our office today!

When do You Need a Bone Graft?

Bone grafts are essential for replacing missing or damaged bone in your jaw. Whether a cavity has reduced your tooth to an empty, gummy space after an extraction, or gum disease has caused loose teeth, a bone graft can repair and rebuild the damaged bone needed to support a dental implant. Surrounding teeth can also become loose and eventually fall out without healthy bone regeneration, which may cause future complications. Without bone grafting, a dental implant would not have enough mass to securely latch onto.

So, when do you need a bone graft?

• Once a tooth is lost, 25% of bone width is reduced within the first year. If left untreated for an extended period, there would not be enough surrounding jawbone to support a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. Once bone mass is gone, it cannot be reversed which is why a bone graft may be needed.

• Periodontal disease can also cause bone to disintegrate, which can lead to tooth loss. The bacteria slowly eat away at the jawbone and periodontal ligament, which connect teeth to bone.

• Dental trauma, including the persistence of grinding and clenching teeth, can cause excess wear on the tissue supporting tooth structure. The constant pressure can also lead to fractured or cracked teeth, which do not heal. Aside from grinding and clenching, trauma can also include a tooth getting knocked out from an accident or a fall. In this case, a bone graft may be needed as well.

Bone loss can be caused by several different circumstances, but one thing is for sure- a bone graft is a great alternative for repairing and building new bone. So, what are you waiting for? Call today for a consultation to see what our office can do for you! Herald Square Denture & Dental Center Phone Number 212-689-0024

The Healthcare Provider That I Am

by Paola Fonseca

During the nine years that I have been a registered dental hygienist, I have been called many different titles by patients, perhaps unaware of what I really do. Some patients have called me an “assistant”, a “nurse” or even a “doctor”. Knowing that some patients and the general public lack a precise idea of my profession, I felt inclined to elaborate on this topic.

The dental hygienist plays a significant role in the dental office and various healthcare settings such as schools, hospitals and community health centers, in addition to academic dentistry and dental education. The Dental hygiene degree offers a vast array of master’s degrees specializing in science, public health, healthcare administration and research.

An 8-hour dental board examination, a practical examination and local anesthesia exam are necessary to obtain a professional license. Dental hygienists are trained in documenting the patient’s medical history, taking vital measurements and removing plaque and calculus deposits from dental surfaces. Providing non- surgical soft tissue treatment and dental prevention treatments in addition to patient nutritional counseling and oral hygiene education are also components within our scope of practice. Dental hygienists are also expected to take CE courses to renew their license every 3 years with a minimum of 23 credits per renewal that include CPR and infection control.

One of the most important health services we provide is soft tissue management and prevention of gum disease. In simple language: we clean, maintain and condition soft tissue (gum), apply sealants to prevent the formation of cavities in young children, fluoride application, measurement of bone loss recession and bleeding points, assessment of tooth mobility, oral cancer screening and status of gum health.

As dental hygienists, our goal is to educate and create awareness in the community about the dental health-body connection. For example, diseases such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, low birth weight and certain cancers are linked to a person’s oral health.

To learn more about our friendly, fun team, please call Herald Square Dental & The Denture Center today at Herald Square Denture & Dental Center Phone Number 212-689-0024!

Are Silver Fillings Safe?

Hi, I’m Dr. Arthur Yam of Herald Square Dental in Midtown Manhattan.

A question I am often asked is “Are silver fillings safe?”

People are becoming more and more careful about what they put into their bodies, so this is a great question!

Silver fillings are made up of an amalgam of metals including silver, mercury, tin and copper. There is a lot of controversy over whether the mercury component is harmful or not.

Mercury is a metal that occurs naturally in the environment. We are exposed to it through air, drinking water, soil and food. Very low levels don’t cause any health issues but at higher levels it acts as a neurotoxin.

We used to believe that the mercury in the fillings was inert and that there was no leakage, but it has been found that very small amounts of mercury do in fact get released as vapors.

Studies have shown that the amount of mercury people are exposed to from their silver fillings is extremely low. In fact, it is less than the amount that we are exposed to on a daily basis from the environment or from the food we eat. The low level of mercury exposure from silver fillings is completely safe.

Scientific evidence confirms that silver fillings do not cause health issues.

That being said, at Herald Square Dental, we almost never use silver fillings any more. Almost all of the fillings we place are tooth colored composite fillings.

The current generation of composite, or tooth colored fillings are just as strong as silver fillings and aesthetically, the results are night and day.

So even though silver fillings are perfectly safe, composite fillings are the way to go moving forward.

Another common question I am often asked is, “should I remove my silver fillings and replace them with white ones?”

My advice is, if a silver filling is intact and the tooth is healthy, you should leave it alone.

When you remove a filling you have to remove some natural tooth structure with it, leaving less tooth structure to hold a new filling and to protect the nerve.

Placing a new filling can also cause sensitivity.

So my advice is – if a tooth is healthy, leave it alone.

However, if the filling is compromised or there is a new cavity in the tooth then yes, you should definitely replace the old filling.

What if existing silver fillings bother you aesthetically? Silver fillings are dark and sometimes especially when they are on lower teeth, they are visible when you open your mouth to eat or speak.

If having silver fillings makes you self-conscious and affects your confidence, then that is another good reason to replace them.

So the 2 good reasons for replacing a silver filling are: 1) for aesthetics and 2) to fix a broken or decayed old filling or tooth.

I hope I’ve addressed some of your dental concerns today!
This is Dr. Arthur Yam. Keep Smiling!

National Ice Cream Month: Fun Facts About Your Favorite Summer Treat!

fun ice cream facts


I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Flashback to when you were a child
on a hot summer day, when all of the sudden you hear that magical jingle that captivated all of
our hearts; the ice cream truck! In the year 1984, President Ronald Reagan decided that from
then on out, the Month of July would be recognized as National Ice Cream Month! Because
really, what’s better than a big, cold, scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day? That was a trick
question—there is nothing better. Whether it’s vanilla, chocolate, mint chip, or pistachio,
there’s a flavor for everyone. Ice cream has that ability to brighten anybody’s day and for that,
we’re eternally grateful. With that being said, let’s celebrate this month by highlighting some of
the most fun facts about ICE CREAM!

#1: The best way to eat ice cream? In a waffle cone of course! However, it wasn’t until
1904 when an American ice cream vendor at World’s Fair in Missouri ran out of cups due to the
high demand of guests, so he quickly rushed on over to a local waffle vendor and asked him to
roll up his waffles so that they could hold the ice cream. The rest is history!
#2: Do us a favor really quick. Open your Freezer. Is there at least one form of ice cream
in there? There should be! In fact, approximately 98% of all U.S families have ice cream in their
homes at ALL TIMES! So, if your freezer is lacking, run to your local grocery store and pick up a
pint so you’re not the odd one out!

#3: Brain freezes…. Ice cream’s arch nemesis. A brain freezes is a short-lasting sensation,
normally lasting for about ten seconds, that often occurs when you eat or drink cold items in a
short amount of time. The most tried and true way to get rid of a brain freeze? Place your
tongue on the roof of your mouth and wait it out!

#4: Did you know one that one of the biggest ingredients in ice cream is AIR? That’s
right, air. Air is added cream to make the consistency lighter, while also improving the texture.
It’s often said that the amount of air added to the batch will determine the overall quality (the
more air, the cheaper the quality).

#5: Throwback to the year 1665, when the first documented ice cream recipe was
handwritten in a recipe book. The ingredients? Orange flower water, mace, and ambergris, also
known as whale barf. Let’s just say we sure are grateful for how far the flavors have evolved….
This month, we want you to enjoy all that ice cream has to offer. We challenge you to
try a new flavor that may be out of your comfort zone; who knows…maybe it’ll be your new
favorite. Give us a call at Herald Square Denture & Dental Center Phone Number 212-689-0024 if you have any questions or concerns regarding your oral

Common Dental Implant Myths

Insecure about a missing tooth? Don’t be. With dental implants (link), you can get your smile back to looking perfect. For many, dental implants provide the feeling of having their natural teeth back again. This is because instead of being a removable type of device, such as a dental flipper, dental implants are permanently embedded into the jaw, which then allows a dental crown to take the place of the missing tooth. We understand that this procedure may seem intimidating, but we’re here to reassure you it’s not as bad as it sounds. Below are the top three common misconceptions when it comes to getting dental implants.

Myth #1: Dental Implants are painful

This is a common fear. Many people hold back from pursuing a dental implant, simply because they’re afraid the procedure might be too painful. However, this is not true. The procedure itself is pain-free. As always after surgery, there may be some temporary discomfort, but your doctor will work very closely with you to ensure your comfort and ease.

Myth #2: Dental Implants are expensive

Although dental implants aren’t cheap, they’re a much better investment than dental bridges, which need replacing every 7-15 years. Dental Implants cost may be high initially, but it’s a better financial decision in the long run.

Myth #3: Dental Implants cause headaches

It’s a fairly common myth that dental implants can cause migraines or headaches. However, we’re here to let you know that this is not true. There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support this. After the dental implant has successfully bonded with the jaw/gums, you should experience zero pain.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding dental implants, give our office a call at Herald Square Denture & Dental Center Phone Number 212-689-0024 so we can discuss the next steps.

Smiling Is Good For Your Health

Have you ever considered how much you smile and what keeps you from proudly flaunting those pearly whites more often? We are in the practice of helping patients have their best smiles, and we want to do that for you, because smiling might be one of the very best, most effective things you can do to improve your health. Smiling has countless benefits for your mind, your body, and your overall well-being.

Smiling affects your brain.

  • Stress relief

    Every time you smile, neuropeptides (feel-good transmitters that fight off stress) in your brain are released, relaxing your body and lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. Make smiling be your go-to relaxation technique.

  • Pain relief

    Endorphins (more feel-good transmitters) are released from your brain to act as a natural pain reliever.

  • Anti-depressant

    Serotonin (even more feel-good transmitters) naturally lifts your mood without the side effects of prescription anti-depressants. So when you’re feeling down, try smiling instead of popping pills, and see if that improves your mood.

  • Heart health

    Smiling often leads to laughter, and when it does, your heart rate speeds up, followed by a period of muscle relaxation and a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. So when you laugh, you’re also reducing your risk of heart disease!

  • Immune system booster

    Studies show that laughter (which, again, almost always begins with a smile) releases molecules in your brain that fight illness while, conversely, negative thoughts can bring down your body’s immunity. So turn the frown upside down, and it might just literally make you feel better!

Smiling affects your body.

  • Physical appeal

    A smiling person is generally perceived as someone who is relaxed and happy, confident and sincere, and therefore, more attractive than one who is not.

  • Longevity

    A 2010 study, using photographs of facial expressions to measure level of emotion, found a link between smile intensity and long lives. The bigger your smile, the longer your life!

Smiling affects your social life.

  • Kindness

    If smiling is contagious, your smile will bring a smile to someone else, altering his or her outlook. Do your friends a favor, and use your smile to cheer them up!

  • Relationships

    People are drawn to those who smile because they are seen as likeable and positive. And being likeable makes it simpler to develop and maintain friendships. Smile more and watch how your social circle expands!

So what are you doing to improve your smile? How are you striving to make it an object of confidence that you can share with everyone? There’s no doubt about it. Wearing a smile that you love is a worthwhile investment. It might just save your life!

Do not delay – smile away! Call us for a smile consultation today! Herald Square Denture & Dental Center Phone Number 212-689-0024

    How To Care For Your Teeth When You’re Pregnant

    When you’re pregnant, there’s so much to think about! In fact, the mention of adding specific dental instructions to your already overwhelming list of to do’s may just tip you over the ever-encroaching edge. However, taking care of your mouth during your pregnancy is important for you AND your baby! You’ve got to do it, so let’s make it as simple as possible.


    First, continue doing what you’ve always done: regular brushing, flossing, balanced eating, and doctor visits. Keep on using toothpaste with fluoride. It strengthens your teeth while preventing decay, and it does not harm your baby. And keep on with your healthy diet, limiting sugary snacks while consuming plenty of calcium, which is good for your baby’s teeth and bones.


    But truth be told, everything is not same-o. Our bodies and hormones change during pregnancy, so here are tips for the 3 G’s you may run up against:


    Help! I’m gagging every time I try to brush my teeth!
    Don’t stop brushing!

    • Try using a soft small-headed, child size toothbrush.
    • Focus on your breathing.
    • Brush later in the morning when we are less apt to gag.
    • Don’t use toothpaste. (Smear some on your teeth when you are done and don’t rinse.)

    Gum disease

    Help! My gums are red, puffy, and tender!
    This is common, but be careful!

    • Attend regular check ups to keep your mouth healthy and lessen your chance of getting gum disease.
    • Brush and floss carefully to prevent plaque build up which leads to gum disease.
    • Ask your dentist about using a microbial mouthwash to reduce gum disease-causing bacteria.
    • Inform your doctor of any concerns. Delay in treatment of gum disease can lead to preterm and low birth weight delivery.


    Help! I’m worried I’m ruining my teeth each time I vomit!
    The acid ridden germs in vomit can cause dental erosion and tooth decay, but there are things you can do!

    • Rinse mouth with water (and sometimes a teaspoon of baking soda).
    • Wait 30 minutes to brush, allowing enamel time to recover from the vomit-induced acid attack.
    • Attend regular dental check ups to keep your mouth healthy.


    Keep in mind that babies are born with no germs (decay-causing bacteria) in their mouths. Decay-causing bacteria is passed from parents and caretakers when spoons are shared, etc., so if you keep your teeth and mouth healthy, you will lower the amount of bacteria passed to your baby.


    Our oral health habits continue to directly impact our babies, during pregnancy and beyond. Taking care of our mouths and teeth while pregnant is so important that it should be as routine as an ultrasound. Remember that oral health is part of your overall health, so incorporate oral health care into your routine prenatal care today! Call us right away to set up a regular cleaning and maintenance check up! Herald Square Denture & Dental Center Phone Number 212-689-0024

















    5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wait For Your Dental Implant

    clock sooner the betterYou need a dental implant, but you are reluctant to get started. We understand that there is some hesitation and life gets in the way. However, here are a list of reasons as to why you shouldn’t wait.

    1. Stop your remaining teeth from moving. Your teeth help keep everything in place. When you are missing a tooth, and have a gap, your teeth will start to shift to fill in that gap. That could cause not only uneven teeth, but teeth that are harder to clean and, in the end, that cost you more to fix.
    2. Save Your Jawbone. When you are missing a tooth, your jawbone slowing starts to deteriorate and shrink away. The roots of your teeth keep the jawbone stimulated to maintain the bone mass. The longer you are missing the tooth, the more the bone will disintegrate, making the implant process more difficult.
    3. The appearance of your face. Living without a tooth can eventually change how you look, especially if you suffer from bone deterioration. The longer you go, your skin could begin to make your cheeks sag, which will make you look older than you are.
    4. The way you speak. When you are missing a tooth, or teeth, it is difficult to enunciate words; you may sound like you have a lisp or simply begging to speak in an unclear fashion.
    5. Your overall self-esteem. Getting a dental implant will allow you to feel like your normal self. You won’t have to worry about how you look or how you sound. The implant looks and feels like a normal tooth. No one will know that you have an implant unless you tell them.

    These are just a few reasons as to why you shouldn’t wait to get your dental implant. If you are experiencing any hesitations or have further questions, contact our office. We are happy to ease your mind and get you on track to a beautiful smile. 212-689-0024