Our Blog

May 13,2024








Three Options we offer for teeth whitening:


1)   ZOOM In-office (The in-office procedure takes about 60-90 minutes)


2)   Take-home whitening (We will give you bleaching trays and gels to whiten at home)


3) ZOOM In-office & Take home whitening (We do the whitening in-office and give you bleaching trays to take home, so that you can maintain your new smile. This is the best option!)


April 3, 2024

The top 10 ways to keep your teeth healthy.


1.       Brush teeth twice a day. The American Dental Association suggests brushing twice a day with a soft toothbrush.

2.       Thoroughly brushing your teeth. You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes. This includes all surfaces of the teeth, gums, roof of mouth, and tongue.

3.       Use a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps fight against cavities. We recommend a toothpaste with an ADA seal of approval.

4.       Limit acidic drinks and sugar. Acidic drinks can wear the enamel off of the teeth. We recommend drinking with a straw or rinsing with water to break down the acid.

5.       Flossing daily. Flossing morning and night are important, especially with braces. Flossing the proper way can help get rid of plaque and tartar build-up. It can also help with the health of your gums and bad breath.

6.       Only using your teeth to chew food. Do not use your teeth to open bottles or packages. This increases your chances of injuring your teeth.

7.       Protecting your teeth. If you are an athlete, you should always wear a mouth guard when playing a contact sport., especially if you have braces. We offer our patients mouth guards for free!

8.       Tongue scraping. Tongues scraping is helpful for keeping the mouth clean and fresh. There can be up to 20 billion bacteria on your tongue.

9.       Seeing your dentist for regular checkups. Every 6 months you should be seeing your general dentist for check-ups and cleanings.

10.   Maintaining a healthy diet. This includes a diet with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and calcium rich foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurts that promote strong teeth and gums.

March 3, 2024

What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a type of dentist who specializes in moving crooked teeth into a straight position. Before you can become an orthodontist, you must first complete dental school and become a dentist. Orthodontics was the first recognized specialty in the field of dentistry. Orthodontics primarily focuses on straightening crooked teeth. Sometimes additional appliances are needed to help change the skeletal pattern of the jaws.

Orthodontists may use braces, wires, and other appliances to help correct irregularities of teeth and jaws. For example, sometimes a palatal expander is used to widen a narrow upper jaw.  A person may need orthodontics for medical reasons, cosmetic reasons, or both.  Most typical cases need braces for approximately 2 years, but some cases can be for more or less time, depending on the orthodontic problems with which the patient presents

Teeth can be straightened either with braces or clear aligners (e.g. Invisalign). Not all patients are good candidates for clear aligners, and this must be determined at the consultation. Dr. Slutsky doesn’t charge for consultations, and he can evaluate what is most appropriate for a patient.  

February 13, 2024


            One of the most common causes of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. When plaque, germs, and food particles build up in your mouth, they may cause halitosis (consistent bad breath).  Brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings can help prevent this.

           Drinking alcohol is another possible culprit. Alcohol may damage the esophagus. It also may lead to acid reflux, which releases acids and chemicals from the stomach into the mouth.  This also can cause bad breath.

            Some medications may cause bad breath by drying out the mouth as a side effect (xerostomia). The mouth uses saliva to wash away debris and bacteria. If you have dry mouth, the debris and bacteria may remain and create an odor.  If you do have dry mouth, some things to help generate salvia are chewing sugar free gum, drinking water, and eating. When you begin chewing, glands in your mouth begin to secrete saliva.

Your diet may be playing a part in why you have bad breath.  Eating foods such as garlic, onions, canned fish, and some spicy foods may contribute to halitosis.

Smoking can also cause bad breath. The smell of the cigarette smoke itself can linger on your breath. Smoking also dries out your mouth, which may cause gum disease in addition to bad breath.

Gum issues or infections may cause bad breath. The bacteria growing below the gum line (sub-gingival dental plaque) have a foul smell and contribute to bad breath.

January 04, 2024



Dental hygiene starts before your child even has teeth. For a newborn baby, you should take a warm cloth with water and wipe the baby’s gums morning and night.  As a parent your job is to instill good oral health as a lifelong habit.

When a child starts to get teeth, it can be challenging to get them to brush. Here are some ideas to make brushing more fun:

Brush teeth together (parent and child), and make it part of a regular routine.

Let your child choose his own toothbrush. Having your child pick his own toothbrush makes it exciting for him. Maybe it’s his favorite color or character. Maybe it’s an electric toothbrush or one that plays music with a timer.

Toothpaste comes in flavors that your child may like.

You also can reward good brushing with stickers (not with candy).

Try turning brushing time into a game. For example, “copycat” is a game where the child mimics your brushing or makes up a song or dance when it’s time to brush. 

December 07, 2023


When braces are bonded, we check to make sure that the brackets are secured to the teeth.  However, sometimes accidents happen, and you may loosen a bracket.  Some ways in which brackets may loosen are by biting into something hard or by sustaining trauma to the teeth.  If you break a bracket, what should you do? If the bracket is still on the wire, then secure it by placing the orthodontic dental wax which you were given to the bracket on the wire.  This will help to stabilize the bracket until you can return to the office.  If the bracket is off the wire, then dispose of it.  Call the office to make an appointment so that we can repair it. If your wire is poking, then you can dry the area with a paper towel and place dental wax.  This should make you comfortable until you can return to the office. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment, feel free to reach out to the office 

November 13,2023

Orthodontic Wax

When you start treatment, the assistant will give you a take home bag. Inside the bag will have instructions, a toothbrush, floss threaders, and wax.

Reasons to use wax:

Wax will come in handy while in treatment if you have anything poking, rubbing, or irritating the mouth. Wax provides instant relief if your braces are rubbing. It is used as a temporary solution to relieve irritation on the inside of the mouth/cheek until the patient adjusts. Orthodontic wax is non-toxic and safe for the mouth. Dental wax is made for the mouth and okay if swallowed by accident.

How to use orthodontic wax:

Wash your hands and brush your teeth before placing the wax. Pat and dry the area inside that is irritated; if you place the wax in a wet area, it will not stick and will slide off. Take a small piece of wax and make a ball of it. Stick the wax onto your troubled area and rub it gently until it sticks to the sharp area. Leave the wax on to give the irritated area time to heal. How long can I wear dental wax? You should replace your wax 1 or 2 times a day. Also, replace it after eating, drinking, or brushing.

Can I sleep with dental wax on? Yes, you can sleep with your dental wax on. This provides time for your wound to heal, and will help you to sleep through the night without pain. Wax should be taken off when you wake up and a new piece should be placed after brushing.

October 9, 2023

National Dental Hygiene Month


October is National Dental Hygiene Month. This is important, because it encourages children and adults to focus on their oral health. It reminds everyone to keep up with their cleanings every six months, switching out an old toothbrush, and celebrating their favorite hygienists.


Here are some tips for proper brushing:


1.      Make sure that you are brushing at the right angle. You want to brush at a 75-degree angle.


2.      When brushing, you do not want to brush too aggressively, such as bending the bristles on the toothbrush.  Gently move the toothbrush back and forth and in small circular motions.


3.      Brush all surfaces of the mouth. In addition to the teeth, you should also gently brush the tongue, gums, and roof of the mouth.


4.      You should floss before you brush. If you have braces, we encourage patients to use floss threaders and/or waterpiks.


5.      Only use a toothbrush with soft bristles, never medium or hard.

August 8, 2023 

Phase 1

Phase 1 orthodontic treatment is usually used when a child has a mixed dentition (some baby teeth). This treatment usually involves placement of braces on the front teeth or an orthodontic appliance such as a headgear, tongue crib, or palatal expander.

The purpose of Phase 1 treatment is to lessen time for future orthodontic treatment and to avoid problems early. After your child is done with Phase 1, he/she will sometimes be given a retainer to hold the teeth in place. They will return about 6 months later to evaluate growth and determine if Phase 2 treatment is indicated.

Here are some problems to look for to know if your child may need Phase 1 treatment or full braces:

·        Excessive spacing

·        Crowding

·        Open bite (back teeth touch, front do not)

·        Deep bite (excessive overlapping of the top teeth over the bottom)

·        Cross bite (one side of the bite is closer to the cheek or tongue than the other side)

·        Under bite (lower teeth project beyond upper)

·        Overjet (excessive protrusion of the upper jaw over the lower)

·        Abnormal eruption (tooth erupts in an abnormal position)

July 6,2023

 Tongue cribs are commonly used on children with finger sucking habits or with a tongue thrust. They block the tongue from going between the front teeth. This allows the front teeth to move toward each other in a correct bite. If the child is a finger sucker, we need to determine when the patient is sucking his/her finger (e.g. bedtime or when watching television at night) so both the patient and parents become aware of when this is happening. Parents need to become aware of the importance of positive reinforcement as the child tries to break the habit (e.g. instead of saying “stop sucking your thumb”, say “I am proud of you that you are not sucking your thumb right now”).

If the patient has a tongue thrust (swallows by sticking the tongue between the front teeth) then in addition to a tongue crib, the patient needs to receive swallow instructions.  We will teach the patient how to swallow correctly and give exercises to reinforce the correct swallowing pattern.

Below is an example of a patient who I treated with a tongue crib. He was both a thumb sucker and had a tongue thrust. The before and after occurred after about 6 months of wearing the appliance.

June 5,2023

What is the best age for my child to start orthodontic treatment?

Some children require braces earlier than others. Although full braces are often placed after most of the permanent teeth have erupted into the mouth, in some cases children need to start treatment earlier. There are many reasons for this: narrow upper jaw, early or late loss of baby teeth, trouble chewing or biting down, finger sucking, crowding, impacted teeth, jaw misaligned, protruding teeth, underbite, or grinding.

There is no exact age for everyone to start braces, since each patient is different.  The American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends children visit an orthodontist for the first time no later than age 7 to be examined. At the consultation, Dr. Slutsky will determine if braces or other orthodontic treatment is necessary now or in the future.  There is no charge for this consultation.

Early intervention may prevent minor issues from becoming more serious. It also allows an orthodontist to correct an issue that cannot be addressed once a child’s face and jaws are fully grown.

Many orthodontists recommend early intervention to create room in the child’s mouth for adult teeth and to limit the risk of crowding.  This can preserve space for teeth that have not erupted yet and minimize treatment time as your child becomes older.  It also can correct a bad bite that otherwise may cause tooth decay, gum disease, accidental chipping, uneven tooth wear or speech impediments.

If you feel that your child may benefit from braces, give us a call today for your free first-time consultation.

May 15,2023

Clear Aligners vs Braces

During our free initial consultations, we have many patients who want to know the pros and cons of traditional braces and clear aligners, so we are here to break it down for you and try to answer all of your questions.


Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.


Clear (Ceramic) Braces

Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. There is a surcharge for ceramic brackets. Please contact our office for full treatment details.


Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable acrylic trays that straighten your teeth like braces. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment, plus brushing and flossing are less of a hassle. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment.

We have our own in-house clear aligners to move teeth for less money than we charge for traditional systems.

April 4,2023

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Bad breath impacts more then 50% of the population. Many people with halitosis are unaware of their oral problem until it is pointed out by someone else.

There are a variety of products on the market to help with bad breath from chewing gum, mouth wash, breath mints, to tongue strips. These are a temporary solution to an underlying condition.

Common causes of bad breath are as follows:

Poor oral hygiene: If teeth are not brushed and flossed properly, this can cause food and debris to be left in between teeth and gums. This can cause decay, which will leave a foul odor.  When brushing, in addition to the teeth, you should also brush the gums, roof of the mouth, and tongue. Deposits can build up on the tongue causing bad breath.

Certain foods: garlic, onions, pickles, certain spices, and condiments. These odors are absorbed through the blood steam and are released when you exhale.

Dental problems: Certain dental problems will cause bad breath, such as gingivitis, cavities, ulcers, and dry socket.

Dry mouth: Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, certain health conditions, alcohol, smoking, and excessive caffeine.  Saliva production is very important for oral health.   Saliva is used by the mouth to wash away debris and helps ward off cavities and other infections.  

March 7, 2023

What are the five most common dental problems?


5 Common Dental Problems and Treatment

  1. Gum Disease - gingivitis or periodontal disease. These are infections of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. They are typically caused by poor oral hygiene and can lead to tooth loss. You should see your dentist or periodontist if you have gum disease.
  2. Tooth Sensitivity is usually caused by worn enamel or gum recession which causes the root of the tooth to be exposed.
  3. Tooth Decay happens when there is damage to the enamel, the outermost layer of tooth structure. Tooth decay is caused when bacteria in the mouth makes acids that attack the enamel of the teeth. If tooth decay is not treated, it can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss.
  4. Oral Cancer can happen anywhere inside the oral cavity - lips, gums, tongue, cheeks, roof or floor of the mouth. Oral cancer forms when cells on the lips or in the mouth mutate. Risk factors include tobacco use, heavy alcohol use, and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Signs of oral cancer include a sore that does not heal, hole, bump, and red or white patch. If you have any questions about oral lesions, see your dentist as soon as possible to get them checked.
  5. Dry Mouth is also known as xerostomia. This is sometimes caused when your saliva glands do not produce enough saliva. Dry mouth can also be caused by not drinking enough fluids, sleeping with the mouth open, dry hot weather, eating dry foods, or side effects of medications or radiation treatment.

February 7,2023

Myths & Facts About Fluoride


There are many myths about fluoride regarding the health and effectiveness of fluoride use. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. You can find trace amounts in certain foods such as brewed black tea and some shellfish. You also can find trace amounts in some bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, and oceans.


The first myth is that fluoride is not safe for children. Fluoride is safe if used in the correct doses. When we use fluoride in toothpaste and drink fluoridated water, it is very safe, helps to prevent cavities and strengthens teeth.


Fluoride is naturally found in water in trace amounts, even bottled water. In fluoridated communities such as Philadelphia, there are proven benefits for public health that come from having the optimal level of fluoride in the water. Safe amounts of fluoride are added to the water that we drink and bathe in to help prevent cavities.  


The second myth is that adding fluoride to the water supply will cause fluorosis. Fluorosis is a condition in which teeth get white marks from too much fluoride ingestion. 

Levels that cause these conditions are much higher than in fluoridated water. A child or adult would have to consume dozens of gallons of water to reach dangerous fluoride levels.


The third myth is that drinking fluoridated water causes cancer. Fluoride in proper does is harmless and has a number of advantages. It does not cause any conditions including diabetes, kidney problems, or heart disease. It has been endorsed for its safety by the Institute of Medicine as well as the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Dental Association.


Although we get fluoride from brushing our teeth with toothpaste, we still need it in our drinking water. Fluoride in toothpaste is not enough of a dose to prevent cavities. Our teeth can still be vulnerable to decay without water fluoridation. Fighting decay works best in combination with fluoridated water and fluoride toothpaste to preserve your dental health.

January 5, 2023

New Habits for the New Year with Braces/Invisalign

When you wear braces or Invisalign, there are daily habits that you need to add to your routine to get the best results. Dental health is very important when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Not having good habits can extend your time in treatment and lead to problems. For example, not wearing your orthodontic rubber bands can limit Dr. Slutsky’s ability to achieve an ideal result. Not brushing and flossing may cause tooth decay or gum disease. So, if you have slacked off with your dental routine, now is the time to get back on track.

  1. Brushing - Keep your toothbrush in sight in the bathroom.  This may make it easier for you to remember to brush in the morning or evening.  For work or school, buy a travel size toothbrush so you can use it after you eat.  Keep it in your school bag, purse, or lunchbox. With braces and Invisalign, you should brush after eating.
  2. Reminders -Set reminders on your phone, or perhaps leave sticky notes for yourself. This may help to remind you to put your retainer in before bed, to change to a new set of aligners, to clean your aligner/retainer, to switch your rubber bands, or even to floss or brush.
  3. Regular visits - Make it a habit not to miss visits with Dr. Slutsky or the general dentist. Getting a 6-month checkup and cleaning at your dentist is very important, especially when you have braces. Coming regularly to Dr. Slutsky’s office for your adjustments is also important. If we don’t see you, we cannot do your adjustments, which prolongs treatment time.
  4. Eating - There are a lot of things which you can eat while in treatment. Eating the things that you shouldn’t, such as sticky and hard foods, may cause breakage. When you have breakage, treatment is disrupted, and you have to take time out your day to come into the office for an extra appointment for us to repair what is loose or broken. We want to keep you on track and get you the results you are looking for!
  5. Rewards system - Dr. Slutsky offers rewards to kids and adults who stick to good habits. We have a point system where you get points for: nothing broken, teeth taken care of with good brushing and flossing, and of course if you wear your Dr. Slutsky’s t-shirt to the office. Save up your points and pick your prize!

December 9,2022

What is a Dental Emergency in Orthodontics

           Getting braces may take a little time to get used to. It is normal to feel some pressure and soreness when first getting your braces or after having an adjustment. The good news is that orthodontic emergencies are rare. If you feel as though you have an orthodontic emergency, the first step is to determine the severity.  Is this something you need to come into the office for, or is this something you can fix yourself?

Major orthodontic emergencies are:

Trauma- Any trauma to the face, mouth, or teeth.

Infection- If you have any swelling in the face, gums, mouth.

Severe pain- Unmanageable pain in the face or mouth.

With these dental emergencies, we ask that you contact the office or your general dentist immediately.

Minor issues:

Loose or broken bracket, band or broken wire - This problem is often caused by eating something hard or sticky. If the band or bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it as is — but don't connect any elastics to it! If it is causing discomfort, you can place orthodontic wax over it, call our office to let us know what happened, and we will schedule a visit. If a band is completely off, bring it into the office at your next appointment.

Color tie comes off- If one of your color rubber bands comes off of a bracket, you do not need to schedule an appointment; this can wait till your next visit.

Spacer falls out or broken- If your spacer is broken or falls out, call the office to let us know. Depending on how close your next scheduled visit is, we may replace the spacer, or we may just leave it out.

Broken or lost retainer- When you lose or break a retainer, you should call the office as soon as possible. It is important that you wear your retainer as instructed by Dr. Slutsky. Not wearing your retainer can cause teeth to shift or move to previous positions.

Our goal is to make treatment as easy and comfortable as possible for you.  If you have any questions or concerns while in treatment, feel free to call the office. We are here to help!

November 23, 2022

Who's ready for the Holidays??

Check out these helpful tips for your braces


If you need to feed your sweet tooth, make sure that you opt for brace-friendly treats like pumpkin pie, apple pie, plain chocolate, etc. AVOID all sticky foods that can loosen the braces. While it may be tempting to grab some of these tasty holiday treats, they can cause destruction for wires and brackets. Make sure to have dental floss, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and wax if you are traveling for the holidays. Keeping up on your oral hygiene will help keep your teeth and braces sparkling.

October 14,2022

Busting Myths About Oral Care

*Brushing harder = Brushing better*

Brushing harder does not mean that you are brushing better. The whole point of brushing is to remove plaque and stimulate the gums. When you brush hard, it may cause gum recession and wear away at enamel. When brushing your teeth, you want to use a 45-degree angle and gentle circular motions; never use so much pressure that the bristles are bending down.  Only use a soft bristled toothbrush, never medium or hard.

*Mouthwash = Toothbrushing*

Mouthwash can be used to freshen breath and remove bacteria, but it does not substitute for brushing and flossing. Mouthwash does not remove food particles and plaque from teeth and in-between teeth.

*Using more toothpaste = Cleaner teeth*

For children, an excessive amount of toothpaste can result in weaker teeth because of excess fluoride consumption. For adults, depending on the toothpaste you’re using, excess toothpaste may cause tooth sensitivity or cause too much abrasion on the teeth.

*White teeth = Healthy Teeth*

A lot of people think that the whiter you teeth are, the healthier they are. This is not true.  The strongest teeth are natural and healthy ones. Some people’s teeth are naturally whiter that other people’s teeth, but most people do not have very white teeth.  When we see movie stars, their white teeth are often “fake” veneers or crowns, not the natural teeth they were born with.

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