Dr. Sam’s Graduation👩‍🎓

Graduation tends to evoke a time for reflection and a chance to take a step back and look at the big picture. The day-in and day-out routine of a long schooling process can sometimes diminish the excitement that was so alive at the start—graduation gives you a chance to reignite that spark as you’re able to look back on your accomplishments and take your newly minted knowledge with you onto the next big thing.

Today, I get the opportunity to reflect as I graduate from my fellowship in implantology. Implantology is not a recognized specialty by the American Dental Association and this fellowship was an additional two years of part time schooling after 4 years of dental school and 3 years of a full-time residency in prosthodontics. (Yup, you heard that right. I had 9 years of school AFTER college.) So, as you can imagine, I have answered A LOT of questions about why I bothered “wasting” my time and money on a program teaching me information which someone else could learn on the fly. The bottom line is this: it was all done for my patients.

Towards the end of my prosthodontic residency, I came to realize that the more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know. What I DID know was that I wanted to be able to provide implant surgery as an option to my patients and that I didn’t feel confident in the training I already had. Nor did I think that a weekend course on implant placement was going to satisfy my need to really be well trained and live up to the exceedingly high expectations of my midtown Manhattan patient base.

So, I enrolled in the Implantology Fellowship Program at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine where I learned from the best surgeons, clinicians and academicians in the game. Of course, there were points going through it where I was frustrated. But, now with the opportunity to reflect on my time in my fellowship, I can honestly say that I’m SO glad I did it. Not only did I gain the clinical skills and the confidence to perform these procedures in my practice, but I now understand the fundamentals of why I’m doing these procedures, the scientific rationale behind them and the biology that supports my decisions of one treatment or another.

How does this benefit my patients?  Probably in more ways than you realize. Not only do I have more formal training than almost any other dentist out there, but in a lot of cases I’m able to treat my patients from the beginning to the end of their treatment in the same office. (Of course, there are exceptions!) But my combination of prosthodontic and surgical training gives me the advantage of being able to see the big picture to better plan treatments, execute the treatment for patients in a convenient and efficient manner and achieve better outcomes for them overall.

Whew, that was kinda tough. I don’t like bragging, but in the spirit of reflection and moving forward, it’s important to recognize and be proud of what I’ve accomplished and why I went through it in the first place. With my graduation, my spark is reignited and I’m so looking forward to being able to move onto my next big thing: providing superior service to all of our patients at Gallery57Dental. Cheers!

Listen Up Ladies- It’s National Women’s Health Week  

It’s National Women’s Health Week! And since our oral health is an important part of maintaining our overall health, we thought we’d point out a few reasons why it’s especially important for the fairer sex to take care of those pearly whites. So come on ladies, let’s get our toothbrushes in formation…

Hormonal Changes

Whether you’re not a girl/not yet a woman, got a bun in the oven or are going through “the change,” fluctuating hormones can actually cause lots of issues in the mouth. Changing hormone levels most often manifest as bleeding or swollen gums. If these issues aren’t treated, the gum inflammation can progress into periodontal disease, or irreversible bone loss around the teeth.

Heart Disease

People with gum disease have an increased risk for heart disease and almost double the risk of having a fatal heart attack. Since heart disease is the number one killer in American women, that statistic alone should be enough to have all the women [who independent] brushing every day.

Osteoporosis

There are several studies that suggest that there is a link between osteoporosis and low bone density in the jaw. This is important because the teeth are anchored in the jaw bone and if there is gum disease, osteoporosis may lead to these teeth losing bone faster.

These are just a few of the reasons it’s extra important for women to take great care of their oral health. The best way to do that is by brushing and flossing at home and regular visits to your dentist. And we’ve gotta stay in the best shape we can, because who run the world? GIRLS!

“Kissing While Wearing Invisalign Trays?” (And 6-Other Top Orthodontic Questions)

 

I would say most of my Invisalign patients are relapsed patients who have had braces in the past, but they but never wore their retainer and the teeth shifted back.Their ages range from teens to 70’s. All of them have the same traumatic memories of wire braces, brackets and food getting trapped in embarrassing situations!

I completely understand the hesitation to jump back in to the orthodontic boat and would love to address some common patient questions I get from people considering Invisalign treatment:

 Can I wear them out on dates? Yes! I would suggest taking out the trays before your date gets there and putting them back in after the meal (of course after you’ve brushed and flossed or rinsed out well and chewed some sugar free gum).

Will Invisalign trays show in selfies? Shockingly not! While it’s nice when you have the control to sort through and choose the photos that will be publically posted of you, this is not always an option! Patients of mine have found that overall their Invisalign trays do not show up in photos. If you have a big event and are feeling nervous you can take them out for photos, but of course try to limit the time with the trays out.

Can I kiss someone wearing Invisalign trays? The consensus is yes! No one notices. The feed back I got form patients dating or in new relationships it wasn’t an issue. I found patients would take them out in the beginig of treatment but by the end were more secure that no one would notice.

Will Invisalign trays affect my speech?  It may! But usually just for the first day or two. Sometimes not at all! Occasionally patients will lisp every now and then throughout treatment though this is uncommon.

My job requires public speaking, can I wear Invisalign trays at work? Yes! I found that patients may take out their trays for high pressure large public speaking situations but less so as they progress through their Invisalign. Some patients will  leave them in at work in general but take them out for big high pressure meetings.

I feel self-conscience about my appearance and will wearing Invisalign make it all worse?

The feedback  I have received from patients is that they tend to start feeling better about themselves a couple weeks into Invisalign! Most patients tend to lose some weight as snacking and drinking become a bit more of a shlep. My patients hygiene tends to improve too with the added brushing and flossing.

So tell me doc, what’s the deal with Invisalign what are the cons?

Of course there are and I like to be quite clear. Invisalign only works for a compliant patient. You need to wear them 22 hours a day for them to work predictably.  They need to come out at meals. You will inevitably have to remove them in public at times. You need to brush and floss 3-4 times a day! Hygiene is super important so you don’t damage your gums and teeth.

The attachments seem to be the main dread of patients! They are tooth colored composite that is placed on the teeth for the duration of treatment and removed at the end.  They can be pretty spiky and large. They tend to dull with time. I find as freaked out as any patient is, I always offer to remove them  after a week or two if they still bother you and no one ever comes back. Meaning you get used to them and no one notices them.

The long and short is, I love doing Invisalign because I believe it leaves my patients feeling good and sets them up for success. It can decrease chances of gum disease, calculus build up, staining, uneven wear (which can be ugly and hard to fix)and it’s relativity non invasive and I find patients LOVE It.

Do you have any questions I didn’t get to?

Please let me know and I’d be happy to answer.

 

Scrumptious Chocolate Brownies That Are Good For You?!

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Who doesn’t like chocolate? It boosts your endorphins, it has anti-oxidants, it can lower blood pressure and it tastes great!

It’s National Nutrition Month!

In honor of National Nutrition Month and with Easter and Passover coming up, Gallery57Dental’s practice manager, Stefani, is sharing one of her favorite healthy desserts, that has a “surprise” ingredient…

She calls them: “Double-Chocolate–Better-For-You-Brownies”

Stefani is a Certified Holistic Health Coach & Personal Chef.  She believes that healthy eating doesn’t have to involve deprivation, sacrifice or guilt! It’s about enjoying food and using moderation to make better choices.

The 6-week Real Food Health Challenge

Currently the office is participating on a 6 week Real Food Health Challenge.

The Real Food Challenge isn’t about losing weight, although that can be a great perk when cutting back on processed foods. They are supporting one another in making better food choices and staying away from overly processed foods.  And even enjoying healthier versions of their favorite dishes, such as this brownie recipe.

The Surprise Ingredient

We mentioned that there is a “surprise” ingredient…it’s black beans!! Black beans are known for their high protein and fiber content. 5 things you may not have known about black beans:

  • Black beans contain quercetin and saponins which can protect the heart. Research indicates that saponins help lower blood lipid and blood cholesterol levels, which prevents damage to the heart and blood vessels.
  • The iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc in black beans all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength
  • Black beans are naturally low in sodium and contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium, all of which have been found to decrease blood pressure naturally. [just use low-sodium beans if using canned variety and make sure to rinse]
  • Studies have shown that individuals with type 1 diabetes who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels. Additionally, people with type 2 diabetes may have improved blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels. One cup, or 172 grams (g), of cooked black beans contributes 15 g of fiber.
  • The fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content of black beans, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. This fiber helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease.

We hope you will try & enjoy this non-traditional version of a brownie…the G57 team certainly enjoyed them!!

 

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Double Chocolate Decadent, Better-For-You Brownies    

2 cups black beans,[canned is fine, drained & rinsed]

4 organic eggs

1 tsp stevia or 1 tsp of raw brown sugar [your choice- I like it with the brown sugar, but if making these diabetic friendly, please use the stevia]

1/2 c unsweetened applesauce

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 TBSP of unsweetened cocoa powder

8oz of dark chocolate  [bittersweet or semi-sweet work best and  Valhrona or ScharffenBerger or Callebaut are high quality brands that come in dark chocolate]

 

 

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  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a double boiler or microwave melt chocolate.
  3. In a blender or food processor, combine beans & eggs.
  4. Add stevia, applesauce, baking powder, cocoa powder and melted chocolate. Process until smooth.
  5. Pour batter into a 9″ or 8×8 non-stick pan. [make sure to line the pan with either parchment paper or aluminum foil to make easier to remove from pan].
  6. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Insert a toothpick or knife into the center…if it comes out clean, it’s time to remove from the oven. Let them cool completely in the pan be removing**store brownies in the fridge, as there are no preservatives in them**

 

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                                                                                                             Stefani Brannon-Smith, CHHC

5-Ways The Flu Compromises Oral Health

It’s official, 2018 flu is the worst with hospitalizations higher than ever seen since tracking has begun in 2005 and it’s far from over. The CDC predicts that although it has probably peaked, there at least 11-13 more weeks of influenza to go.

Most people who get the flu see improvement in several days to less than 2 weeks. But some people can develop serious complications caused by viral infections of the nasal passage, throat and lungs that can compromise oral health.

Your mouth is the villain of the flu story

Our mouth is the primary villain in the story of how flu bacteria spreads, originating from saliva and mucus in our nasal passages. Some of the most common ways we contaminate everyone around us:

-Sharing drinks

-Sneezing without covering the mouth and nose in the crook of our arm.

-Not disposing of loose tissues that have been sneezed in.

A pain in the gums

Along with sneezing and sniffling, you might notice a dull pain in your gums, but this might not be a dental problem. Toothaches during flu season can be due to sinus chambers getting blocked with excess mucus. You can alleviate this discomfort by taking a mild decongestant, rinsing your sinuses with a Neti Pot or gargling with mouthwash or salt water.

Sinus pain that persists for more than a week might be due to a sinus infection and needs to be treated by a doctor who may prescribe antibiotics. If once the flu has resolved and you’re still experiencing gum pain, make an appointment with your dentist.

The link between oral health and pneumonia

One of the dangerous complications of the flu is developing pneumonia. Maintaining oral health throughout the year prevents periodontal disease, which studies have found create a predisposition to pneumonia. Research has found that people who don’t maintain their dental health had a greater risk of developing pneumonia than those who visit the dentist twice a year. 

Disinfect Disinfect Disinfect…

Aside from vaccination, the most important thing to do is prevent the spread of germs. Everything you touch while you’re sick is loaded with bacteria. Seriously EVERYTHING! Wash your hands frequently for about 20 seconds and wipe down doorknobs and anything else you touch with a Lysol wipes. Don’t neglect decontaminating your dental gear. Mouth guards, retainers and removable braces should be carefully cleaned. To be on the safe side, dispose of your toothbrush once you’ve recovered. You should be replacing it every 3-4 months anyway.

 Maintaining oral health while recovering

It’s difficult to do much of anything while recovering from the flu. But try not to neglect your oral health, especially since recovery can take weeks if not more. It’s a long time to go without brushing your teeth and maintaining your dental health.

We all have our go-to cures, but unfortunately not all of them are tooth friendly. Orange juice, Vitamin C boosts, ginger ale, tea and throat lozenges can cause havoc to our dental health. Brush frequently and try to use sugar free options whenever possible.

 

 

Dental Trends To Leave Behind In 2018

New year, new you… right? No? Whew, me neither.

Even though we may not have become entirely new people over the course of the last few weeks, wellness is still at the forefront of everyone’s minds. And since dental health is an integral part of our overall health, there are a few key trends you can leave behind to help keep your teeth in their best shape for the year ahead!

Oil Pulling

This is an Ayurvedic technique that involves swishing sesame or coconut oil in the mouth for 20 minutes before spitting it out. In theory, the oil has antibacterial and antiviral properties that can whiten teeth and treat periodontal disease. However, there is no scientific evidence that supports these claims. Oil pulling won’t cause any harm but won’t solve any of your problems either.

Charcoal Toothpaste

Charcoal is a known detoxifying agent in medicine. Due to its porous composition, the idea is that it will absorb any stains on the teeth and make them appear whiter. But, no charcoal-containing toothpaste has been proven to do this. The abrasive particles will help scrub teeth clean but can also do some serious damage by wearing away the outer white enamel layer of the teeth and can actually cause the teeth to look darker!

Apple Cider Vinegar

The benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar seem to be a never ending list—weight loss, helps with digestion, bad breath, even cavities! The dental claims are totally unfounded, plus drinking ACV can cause erosion of the teeth due to it’s acidic pH. (ACV is 3.075 and tooth enamel starts to dissolve at 5.5!)

The keys to keeping your oral health in shape all year round? Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and regular visits to your dentist—no fancy tricks required. If you have questions about any wellness trends, please let us know!

5-Ways Exercise Helps You Sleep Better

Working up a sweat at the gym can lead to more restful Zzz’s at night. Just 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week enhances the quality of your sleep by 65 percent and leaves you feeling more energetic all day.

Developing a regular fitness regimen can transform the way you sleep at night in many ways:

Helps Restore Your Sleep Cycle

Working out helps regulate our internal clocks and circadian rhythms, so you can sleep at night instead of dozing off during the day.

When is the best time to exercise? Early morning and afternoon may raise the body temperature slightly, then allowing it to drop and bring on sleepiness at night when you need it most. It also helps to exercise outdoors, letting your body absorb the natural sunlight during the daytime hours.

Alleviate Stress

Are you tossing and turning nightly with all the problems of the world circling your head? How can you relax? Science has found that even five minutes of aerobic exercise reduces anxiety. Choose any of your cardio favorites, running, kickboxing or Zumba to decrease your tension and get into a better headset. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.

Improves Quantity And Quality Of Sleep

Exercise can help to improve not only the quantity of sleep but also the quality. Studies have shown that daytime physical activity stimulates longer periods of slow-wave sleep, the deepest and most restorative stages of sleep.

Combats Insomnia

Chronic insomnia is the most common sleep disorder among adults. Unfortunately exercising once in awhile doesn’t do much to alleviate this problem and in fact might make it worse. A regular fitness regimen that’s maintained over a course of time could begin shifting your internal clock. But you have to be patient. It might take several weeks or months to significantly change the sleep pattern. 

Decreases The Severity Of Sleep Apnea

Exercise alone is not a substitute for medical therapy in treating a serious disorder such as Sleep Apnea. With this condition, airways collapse during sleep, which causes breathing to stop briefly and restart as many as 30 times an hour, all night long.

An estimated 30-40 million Americans have this sleep disorder, which can cause severe daytime drowsiness, difficulty in concentrating and irritability. Along with medical treatment, developing exercise regimens such as walking, running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike can help improve symptoms.

Start counting your steps to a better night’s sleep. *ENTER OUR “30 SECONDS TO WIN A FITBIT” CONTEST! Just complete our questionnaire online or in-office to enter! https://goo.gl/sJMqbh * Winner to be announced January 29th.

 

Raising The Barre For New Year’s 2018

Every New Year we all resolve to start a new fitness regimen. In fact last year, despite being the most popular resolution, only 8 percent of people actually followed through. It’s extremely hard to keep it going regularly and once we’ve fallen off the wagon it gets harder and harder to get back into fitness mode. Let’s raise the bar, not only for your oral health but also your overall health for 2018.

Making fitness part of our regular routine is no easy feat. One way to get the momentum going is remembering what’s at stake. The health benefits of working out  go way beyond looking good, they also include cholesterol control, improved muscle and bone health (osteoporosis prevention), heart health as well as improved sleep and weight control.

For best results, how often do you really need to exercise?

For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines: Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. For city dwellers this can be easier to incorporate by choosing to walk or bike to work. For commuters in the suburbs this can be tough.

Here are some tips I personally use and find helpful:

  • Take the steps no matter what! This is great way to sneak in cardio.
  • Split your dessert in half and save some for the next day (or share with a friend).
  • I get on an exercise machine for half hour 4 days a week (minimum) and stream my favorite show to pass the time.
  • Wear a heart rate monitor when working out, it really motivates to push yourself further.
  • Reward yourself! I always indulge myself to a great post-workout treat. My favorite is bananas, SunButter and Justin’s Hazelnut Spread.
  • Find a workout that will keep you motivated. Me and Dr. Sam Rawdin love doing a barre class at Physique 57. It’s a fun cardio workout that tones and shapes your body!

We care about your dental health and overall health. That’s why we’re giving away 2 barre classes to help jumpstart your workouts. Join our Instagram contest and raise the barre for 2018!

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Dr. Sam’s Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Still scrambling to find a holiday gift for your family/friend/co-worker/work wife/work husband/dog walker/hair stylist/manicurist/doorman? Luckily, there’s one thing that they ALL have in common… they’ve all got teeth that need some TLC.  Who wouldn’t want a gift that can give them a sparkling smile AND improves their overall health and wellness? Check out our fun picks below, suited to fit any budget or style.

And don’t worry, we fully encourage the “treat-yo-self” mantra when it comes to and ordering any of these just for you!

Electric Toothbrushes

At Gallery57Dental, we’re always recommending electric toothbrushes to our patients. It’s a better clean with less work! Plus, most of them have a 2-minute timer so you know exactly how long you should be brushing.

quipIf you guys follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, you should! My handle is @style.your.smile) you may have seen my story about Quip toothbrushes. Coming in at under $50, this is an awesome gift for anyone who likes a chic, minimalist look. I see you, rose gold handle! Plus, there’s a subscription service to get a new brush head every 3 months so you’re never stuck with old, yucky bristles. $45 for the brush, $5 billed every 3 months for replacement brush heads https://www.getquip.com/

sonicare    The brand I recommend most often is the Philips Sonicare. Any of their brushes are going to give you 7x better plaque removal than a manual toothbrush, but this HealthyWhite+ line focuses on removing surface stains to give you whiter teeth in just one week. It has 2 modes and 3 levels of intensity for maximum comfort and cleaning. 119.99 for the brush, travel case and charger https://www.usa.philips.com 

apa toothbrushIf you’re really trying to impress your gift recipient, go for the Apa Beauty Clean White Sonic Toothbrush. This brush is as much a décor item for your vanity as it a functional product. Carried by high end retailers such as NET-A-PORTER and Violet Grey, this brush delivers 40,000 sonic vibrations per minute to clean, whiten and massage the teeth. $250 for the brush, charger and travel protector  https://www.net-a-porter.com/

Whitening Products

When it comes to whitening, there are a bunch of different ways to achieve that luminous smile. One of these products is a sure way to tell your gift-getter that they brighten up your holidays!

optic whiteThe simplest (and least expensive) way is with a whitening toothpaste, such as Colgate’s Optic White High Impact. This toothpaste (which is under $10!) not only cleans teeth and fights cavities, but also contains the same active ingredient that is found in professional whitening products. $5.99 on Amazon  https://www.amazon.com/Colgate-Optic-Impact-Whitening-Toothpaste

crest - Copy (2)  For a more noticeable whitening result, head to your nearest drug store and pick up Crest White Strips. I happen to be a fan of the FlexFit series, as they tend to stay in place a little better. This particular line is meant to be worn only for an hour at a time, so it’s a great gift for those constantly on the go! $75.99 for a 3-week supply https://crest.com/

kor - Copy  If you’re really looking to splurge, contact our office to give the gift of in-office whitening. It’s still the most effective way to whiten teeth in one session, plus it comes with custom fit whitening trays for at home touch-ups. Call us to find out more!  $475 and up(212) 246-8700  https://gallery57dental.com/

Stocking Stuffers!

 

A few more of my favorite items that are perfect for helping keep the teeth in tip-top shape through the New Year.

cocofloss  One of my new product finds is Cocofloss. It’s a multi-filament dental floss that actually scrubs between the teeth to better remove plaque than any other floss I’ve tried. It contains coconut oil to help soothe the gums AND comes in peppermint flavor just for the holidays! $22 for a pack of 3 https://cocofloss.com/

marvisFor the jet-setter, a set of fancy travel-sized toothpastes would make the perfect gift! The cinnamon flavor is especially festive this time of year, but the retailer also makes other contemporary flavors such as ginger, jasmine and licorice. $15 for set of 3 https://shop.nordstrom.com

Koffie strawIf your giftee is a coffee-lover, these reusable straws will help keep their teeth white and shiny long after the holidays are done. Koffie Straws are bent at the top to direct coffee, tea or other stain-inducing liquids behind your front teeth and they’re made from silicone so they can be safely used in hot beverages. Plus, they come in different fun colors! $12.99 for 2 straws and cleaning brush https://koffiestraw.com/

Pumpkin Soup That’s ‘Gourd For You

 

Nothing more comforting then pumpkin soup with some toasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top to warm you on a chilly winter’s day. How often is something delicious also healthy? Well pumpkins are loaded with vitamins that include.Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin A which boosts gum health, strengthen teeth and promotes healing damaged gums. Just one ounce of pumpkin seeds fulfills 35 percent of your daily magnesium needs and tops the whole thing off. Enjoy this tooth friendly pumpkin soup recipe.

Ingredients

1.2 kg / 2.4 lb pumpkin (any), unpeeled weight (Note 1)

1 onion, sliced (white, brown, yellow)

2 garlic cloves, peeled whole

3 cups / 750ml vegetable or chicken broth, low sodium

1 cup / 250 ml water

Salt and pepper

Finishes:

1/2 – 3/4 cup / 125 – 185 ml cream or half and half (Note 2) or 3/4 cup / 185 ml milk (any type, I use low fat)

 

Instructions

  1. Cut the pumpkin into 3cm / 2.25″ slices. Cut the skin off and scrape seeds out (video is helpful). Cut into chunks.
  2. Place the pumpkin, onion, garlic, broth and water in a pot – liquid won’t cover all the pumpkin. Bring to a boil, uncovered, then reduce heat and let simmer rapidly until pumpkin is tender.
  3. Remove from heat and use a stick blender to blend until smooth. If you don’t have a stick blender, use a blender – see notes.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir through cream (never boil soup after adding soup, cream will split).
  5. Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle over a bit of cream, sprinkle with pepper and parsley if desired. Serve with crusty bread!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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