Maintaining dental health has two main
components — at-home dental hygiene and
professional cleanings and examinations. Simple
maintenance of your dental health can prevent
complications such as tooth loss, as well as the
need for restorative or cosmetic dentistry in
How can I
prevent tooth decay and gum disease?
Good oral hygiene starts at home, though it
needs to be supplemented by regular visits to
our cosmetic and general dentistry practice,
Shekib Cosmetic Dentistry. Steps you can take to
prevent tooth decay and gum disease include:
Brush at least twice daily using a
soft-bristle toothbrush and an ADA-accepted
fluoride toothpaste. This helps prevent tooth
decay, gum disease, and the need for costly
cosmetic or restorative dentistry in the future.
Replace your brush every two to three months.
Flossing is crucial to the health of your
teeth and gums and the prevention of gum
disease. When flossing, use an 18-inch strand of
floss. Ease the floss between each tooth; then,
sweep it up and down several times while curving
around the tooth at the gum line. Don’t forget
to floss behind your last tooth and to floss
bridges and artificial teeth with the aid of a
At every regularly-scheduled dental
appointment at Shekib Cosmetic Dentistry, one of
our dentists will carefully check your teeth,
gums, mouth, and throat. A checkup at the Shekib
Cosmetic Dentistry office includes:
A head and neck examination:
This includes a cancer exam, facial exam,
palpation of chewing muscles, palpation of lymph
nodes, and an exam of the temporomandibular
A clinical dental examination:
This includes a periodontal exam and
examinations of the mobility of teeth, the
mucous membranes, saliva, occlusion (bite),
removable appliances, and contact between teeth.
If we detect tooth decay or broken fillings, we
will discuss appropriate action with you.
A full set of digital X-rays
A dental cleaning (prophylaxis):
This includes scaling plaque, polishing teeth,
flossing, assessing your mouth’s cleanliness,
and providing oral hygiene instructions. If you
wish to learn more about proper brushing and
flossing techniques, ask your dentist about it
at this stage of the visit.
Following the clinical dental exam, your
dentist will discuss a detailed treatment plan,
if necessary. One of our friendly receptionists
will schedule a follow-up visit for you.
Regular dental visits, along with a thorough
home care regimen, are key to a lifetime of good
oral health. General dentistry of this type can
prevent the need for cosmetic or restorative
dentistry later in life.
fluoride help prevent tooth decay?
Fluoride helps reverse and prevent tooth
decay in three ways:
1. Promoting Tooth Remineralization
Acids can demineralize a tooth — that is,
create a weak spot that develops into a cavity.
Fluoride helps promote the opposite process,
called remineralization, which can reverse the
very early stages of tooth decay.
2. Helping Teeth Become More
Resistant to Tooth Decay
Fluoride actually strengthens teeth, giving
them natural protection against future tooth
3. Inhibiting Oral Bacteria’s Ability
to Create Tooth-Attacking Acids
Fluoride disrupts bacteria’s ability to
metabolize sugars, the process that leads to the
attack of tooth enamel.
What are the
stages of gum disease? How is gum disease
Gum disease has several stages. The initial
stage is called gingivitis and is an infection
of the gingival (gum tissue). In this stage,
gums become red, swollen, and prone to bleeding.
The underlying bone is unaffected. In later
stages, however, gum disease can lead to bone
loss and the loosening or even loss of teeth.
Gum disease treatment varies according to the
stage of the disease. At its mildest stages,
gingivitis can be treated by clearing plaque and
tartar deposits from the gum pockets. Severe gum
disease, on the other hand, might require
treatment that includes bone and gum grafts.
Sensitive teeth can be caused by a range of
factors. The porous part of the tooth, called
dentin, is the region that registers pain, and
dentin can become exposed due to:
- Fractured or chipped teeth
- Teeth injured by clenching or grinding
- Receding gums caused by gum disease or
sensitive teeth be managed?
Pain from sensitive teeth often comes and
goes, but if you experience constant pain, you
may have a more serious problem.
There are many effective treatments for
sensitive teeth, including:
- A soft-bristle toothbrush to prevent gum
- Toothpaste designed to insulate the
nerve that registers pain
- A fluoride rinse or gel, available at
Shekib Cosmetic Dentistry
If you have sensitive teeth, visit Shekib
Cosmetic Dentistry to discuss your symptoms. We
can help determine the cause of your pain and
develop a course of treatment.
What are the
causes of bruxism (teeth grinding)?
Teeth grinding can be caused by a range of
factors; often, both emotional and physical
factors are involved. Causal factors can include
stress, sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, and
crooked or missing teeth.
How can bruxism
Once the cause or causes of bruxism are
determined, your dentist can develop a course of
treatment. Treatment methods may include:
- Relaxation techniques if stress is at
the root of the problem
- Physical therapy
- Muscle relaxants
- A plastic tooth guard to wear at night
Bruxism can cause serious pain and headaches,
as well as dangerous wear on the teeth. In
severe cases, restorative dentistry techniques
such as inlays or porcelain crowns are needed to
rebuild teeth damaged by bruxism. Therefore, it
is crucial to seek treatment for bruxism early
to avoid waking up with headaches or jaw pain.
How do I keep
my child’s teeth healthy?
Following a few simple guidelines can help
keep your child’s teeth strong and beautiful for
Start oral care
Oral care should start soon after your child
is born. After feeding, clean your child’s gums
using gauze or a clean, damp cloth. As soon as
your child’s teeth appear — as soon as four
months after birth — they should be brushed.
Each day, brush your child’s teeth with a soft,
wet toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of
Nursing-bottle mouth, also known as
baby-bottle tooth decay or baby-bottle syndrome,
can cause a baby’s front teeth to rapidly decay,
which can lead to a lifetime of dental
difficulties. Preventing nursing bottle mouth is
easy: If you give your baby a bottle at nap or
bed time, simply fill it with plain water rather
than formula, milk, or juice—never let your
child fall asleep with a bottle filled with a
liquid other than water In addition, check your
child for brown spots near the gums because they
are a warning sign for tooth decay.
Take your child
to the dentist
General, preventative dentistry should start
early. A child’s first dental visit should take
place at 6 to 12 months after birth. Regular
fluoride treatments, administered by a dentist,
are especially helpful in strengthening enamel
and arresting tooth decay for children. Contact
our general dentistry practice in Astoria today
to schedule an appointment for your child.
of dental sealants
Dental sealants are a popular and effective
way to protect your child’s teeth against
What are dental
Dental sealants are a plastic coating painted
on the grooved, hard-to-reach surfaces of the
back teeth. Pits and fissures on these surfaces
are particularly susceptible to tooth decay.
Dental sealants can be used to seal out
cavity-causing bacteria from damaging the teeth.
How are dental
Dental sealants are quickly applied at Shekib
Cosmetic Dentistry. One of our dentists prepares
the chewing surfaces of teeth, then paints on
the sealant. The sealant material bonds directly
to the tooth and hardens with the aid of a
special curing light. Dental sealants hold up
well under the force of chewing, and they
provide protection against cavities for about
five years. During regular dental visits, one of
our dentists will check the state of sealants
and re-apply them if necessary.
How do dental
sealants protect teeth?
Because fluoride is effective in preventing
decay from forming on the smooth surfaces of
teeth, and dental sealants protect the grooves
of teeth, these treatments are best used in
Dental sealants are particularly effective
for protecting children's teeth. The first
permanent molars emerge when a child is about 6.
A dental sealant treatment performed shortly
after these first permanent teeth emerge
protects the teeth from developing cavities.
Another good time for applying sealants occurs
when a child is about 12, when the second
permanent molars emerge.
We may also recommend sealants for adults who
are at a particularly high risk of tooth decay.
Cosmetic dentistry is more popular than ever
before, and for good reason. Today's cosmetic
dentistry techniques yield impressive,
professional teeth whitening work? Is it safe?
Physician-supervised teeth whitening systems
such as Zoom!® are widely considered to provide
the safest cosmetic dentistry treatments. Teeth
whitening is a conservative method for
completely making over your smile.
Teeth whitening procedures are performed with
a specially formulated peroxide gel that allows
oxygen to permeate your tooth enamel, lifting
stains. The structure of your tooth enamel is
not affected. The most common side effect is
temporary tooth sensitivity.
My teeth are crooked! What are my options?
Luckily, your options for correcting crooked
teeth mean you don't have to endure the
uncomfortable metal braces of the past! Our
cosmetic dentistry practice features
Invisalign®, a system of orthodontics that uses
invisible plastic aligners to comfortably shift
your teeth into place.
Numerous other cosmetic dentistry techniques
exist that can provide “instant orthodontics”
that require no braces at all. Composite bonding
and the application of porcelain veneers are
both conservative ways to mask the appearance of
crooked teeth. Be aware that these cosmetic
approaches cannot address orthodontic issues
such as an overbite, underbite, or crossbite,
and therefore are not suitable for every
If you have crooked teeth and would like to
achieve a more beautiful smile through premier
cosmetic dentistry treatments, visit Shekib
Cosmetic Dentistry for a free consultation. At
this meeting, one of our dentists will diagnose
your specific issues and recommend a course of
Do you offer
tooth-colored fillings? Can they replace my old
The placement of tooth-colored composite
fillings is one of the most commonly performed
general dentistry procedures at Shekib Cosmetic
Dentistry. In addition to filling new cavities,
these beautiful restorations can replace old
metal fillings that have blackened, fractured,
popped out, or that simply take away from the
beauty of your smile.
How can I know
I will be happy with my cosmetic dentistry
We take an individualized approach toward
each patient's treatment. Our dentist applies an
artistic eye to smile makeovers, and they always
consider your facial shape, the natural form of
your teeth, and other factors so that you
achieve optimal results. We invite you to
view our smile makeover
gallery to see the cosmetic dentistry
results we are able to achieve.
Missing teeth is a common complaint among our
patients. Luckily, our practice features several
cutting-edge methods of filling gaps in a
If I am
missing one or more teeth, what are my options?
Patients today have an array of options for
replacing missing teeth. Dental bridges,
dentures, and dental implants all have their
advantages and disadvantages, though modern
cosmetic and restorative dentistry has come to
favor dental implants because they look and
function just like real teeth and require no
If you have lost a tooth or several teeth, we
urge you to seek treatment. Adjacent teeth can
shift into the gap left by a lost tooth; in
addition, a missing tooth can lead to bone loss,
hygiene problems, difficulties with speaking and
eating, and much more. Today’s dental
restorations are better than ever, and they can
give you a strong bite and a beautiful smile.
Contact Shekib Cosmetic Dentistry
today for a consultation to learn more about
your options for tooth replacement.
Who is a good
candidate for dental implants?
Nearly anyone who is missing one or more
teeth, and desires a superior, long-lasting
aesthetic result is a good candidate for dental
implants. However, patients must have enough
bone to support and stabilize the implant. Some
individuals who have suffered bone loss as a
result of gum disease or another condition may
need bone grafting before a dental implant can
be placed successfully. Dr. Shekib is skilled in
the bone grafting and dental implant procedures
and will be glad to work with you to eliminate
the gaps in your smile.
and Cosmetic Dentistry
Going to the dentist does not have to be
associated with anxiety and discomfort! At
Shekib Cosmetic Dentistry, our dentists take
several steps to make sure our patients are
relaxed and comfortable while receiving the best
in modern dental care.
What are the
treatment applications for BOTOX® Therapeutic?
Though BOTOX® treatments are best-known for
eliminating wrinkles and fine lines on the face,
the muscle-relaxing properties of this compound
make it useful in dental treatment as well. We
use BOTOX® Therapeutic injections to relax the
temporomandibular (jaw) joint to treat TMJ
disorder, teeth grinding, and clenching.
BOTOX® Therapeutic injections are useful in
dental implant surgery — especially one-day
implants — because BOTOX® injections can reduce
the stress put on a new dental implant. Dr.
Shekib regularly uses BOTOX® Therapeutic
injections as the last stage of the immediate
dental implant process to reduce stress on the
new implant so it can become properly integrated
with the jaw bone.
Financing Dental Treatment
Our dental treatment is personalized,
advanced, and more affordable than ever before.
How can I
finance my general, cosmetic, or restorative
We offer an array of financing options that
allow patients to spread the cost of their
general or cosmetic dentistry over time. We also
accept payment by a variety of methods,
including payment through dental insurance.