The Practice of Dr. Michael Koumas

Why Does Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?

happy girl with whitened teeth and red lipstick smiling for the camera












Tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel on the teeth gets thinner or when gumline recession occurs. When the gumline recedes, the underlying surface known as the dentin is exposed, and this reduces the protection the enamel and gums provide to the root and tooth. Tooth sensitivity can make eating some of your favorite foods or drinks unbearable. One known cause of tooth sensitivity is teeth whitening, but why does this common procedure cause sensitive teeth?

Why Whiten?

Whitening your teeth is one of the best ways of getting stains off your teeth and to give you the smile you’ve always wanted. Teeth whitening is a great way to make you feel better about your smile, and in turn, gain confidence in many aspects of your life. There are many whitening products such as gels, bleaching strips, toothpastes, and mouth rinses. These products can either work just on the surface of the tooth, or just below it.

What Causes the Sensitivity?

Some of these products contain carbamide peroxide, which is an active ingredient that breaks down into hydrogen peroxide, that works to remove stains that are on the surface of your teeth or deeper. These ingredients usually are the gels used in bleaching trays, or over the counter whitening strips. The sensitivity you may feel can be a direct result of these ingredients being on your teeth for a long period of time. When the hydrogen peroxide soaks through your enamel, it exposes the nerves in the dentin beneath it, which is why many experience sensitive teeth after a whitening. Other products, like toothpastes, may not have this ingredient but still cause sensitivity on the surface.

Tooth sensitivity from teeth whitening is usually temporary and stops after the bleaching treatment. It is important to use high quality products that do not damage your teeth or cause prolonged sensitivity. While there are over the counter products available for teeth whitening, it is better for your mouth health to use whitening procedures recommended by our practice.

If you would like to learn more about our teeth whitening treatment, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

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Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Brush or Floss?

Colgate toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss on a white counter











While it may be alarming for your gums to start bleeding when you are brushing or flossing, it may be more common than you think. As long as your gums are not bleeding for too long, it is nothing to worry about, however, this means that your gums are trying to tell you something. If you want to know why your gums are bleeding when you brush and floss, we discuss and causes and how to treat this below.

Causes of Bleeding Gums

There are many things that can cause your gums to bleed when you brush. One of the causes could be that there is too much plaque buildup along your gumline and in between your teeth. Another contributor to this could be a calculus (tartar) build up caused by not flossing to remove plaque every day. Calculus is difficult to remove without the help of your dentist, who could also get to the bottom of why your gums are bleeding in the first place.

How to Treat Bleeding Gums

The first step to treating your gums is by visiting your dentist to discover the cause of the bleeding. Another way to help treat bleeding gums is by brushing and flossing every day. Using a mouthwash to kill bacteria that may be in the affected area can also help treat bleeding gums. Mouthwash can help to keep an oral infection from spreading deeper into gums and the roots of your teeth.

Make sure to eat a balanced diet that includes calcium-rich foods that can help develop and maintain strong teeth. If you smoke, consider options to help you quit, and ask your dental hygienist for some tips to make sure you are brushing and flossing your teeth correctly to keep them healthy.

If you want to schedule an appointment to learn more about the causes and treatments of bleeding gums, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

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Should I Floss Before or After I Brush?

woman with braces smiling after flossing her teeth

Occasionally, we find ourselves questioning our at-home dental practices since we only see our dental professionals as little as twice a year. Flossing is one of our important at-home dental practices that is often forgotten. Is it important to floss? When is the best time to floss? We answer these common questions about flossing below:

Is it Important to Floss?

There are many different beliefs about flossing, however, the bottom line is that it is an important part of our dental routine. Flossing can sometimes be seen as a chore when having to add it as an extra step to traditional brushing. There are also many different types of floss to use such as waxed, unwaxed, flavored floss, floss picks, and more. All of these types of floss work great to get in between your teeth and to get into those hard to reach places that a toothbrush cannot. Finding a flossing tool that you are most comfortable with can make it much easier to incorporate flossing into your daily routine.

When is the Best Time to Floss?

When running late for work in the morning, it can be hard to slow your pace down to pay particular attention to flossing. As long as you are flossing once every day, you are already making your mouth healthier. The best time to floss is before bedtime, after you are done eating for the day. As long as you are flossing, it does not matter if it is before or after your brush your teeth. Whether you floss before or after you brush is up to you and what you are most comfortable with! To keep your mouth the healthiest it can be, make sure to visit your dentist every six months for an oral exam, and professional cleaning.

If you want to schedule an appointment to learn more about flossing and how to maintain good oral health, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.


American Dental Association


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2020 Resolution: Brush Teeth 2x a Day, Everyday

pink toothbrush used two times a day with a light blue background

Now that 2020 is underway, why not make it your resolution to maintain good oral health? You may have heard your dentist say that you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, however, is there a reason why brushing two times daily is important? Here are three reasons why you should make it your goal in 2020 to brush your teeth twice a day, every day:


Plaque is continually being produced from leftover bits of food after meals combining with the bacteria naturally found inside your mouth. Plaque can ultimately cause cavities and tooth decay over time if left untreated. Because plaque adheres to your teeth and gums, brushing twice a day can help remove plaque before it has the chance to damage your teeth.

Tartar Buildup

Tartar is plaque that has calcified on the surface of the teeth. Not only does tartar make your teeth look less attractive due to its yellow hue, it can also be the home to additional plaque and bacteria due to its porous nature, which can further compromise your oral health.

Preventing Bad Breath

When brushing your teeth twice a day, also make sure to brush your tongue. Your tongue can be the home to bacteria and food particles, which when left over time can create an odor-causing buildup. Brushing twice daily can help reduce this layer of buildup for freshened breath all day.

If you want 2020 to be the year of a new, healthier you, start by focusing on the health of your teeth! Without good oral hygiene, you can’t be your best, healthiest self. If you want to learn more about how to maintain good oral hygiene, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.


Mouth Healthy


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Be Nice, Not Naughty to Your Teeth this Christmas

red and gold ornaments on a christmas tree

During the holidays we are surrounded by friends and family as well as sugary sweets everywhere we turn. The temptation and convenience of eating foods during this season that are not good for our mouths may be hard to overcome, but it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene during this time of year and all year round! Below are some tips on how to keep your mouth healthy this holiday season:

1. Maintain a Routine

It is important to have a dental care routine all year round that consists of brushing your teeth two times a day for at least two minutes. This time of year is busy and hectic, but make sure you are staying on top of your daily routine! This routine may save you in the long run from getting a cavity later.

2. Don’t Forget About Your Dentist

If you are due for a cleaning this December, don’t let it get pushed aside by shopping for presents and other wintertime activities. Your oral health should be one of your top priorities, so make sure you see your dentist in December if you are due for a checkup!

3. Drink Water

Drinking water instead of sugary drinks like sodas, sport drinks, juices, or coffee is something that is beneficial all year, but especially during the holiday season. Since people tend to eat more sweets during this time of year, try to reduce the amount of sugar your teeth are exposed to by swapping out a sugary beverage for water.

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about how to have a healthy mouth all year round, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

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Tips on How to Calm Your Child’s Dental Anxiety

scared child hiding face

There are many new experiences in a child’s life that can make them afraid, one being their first trip to the dentist. One top of the fact that it’s a new environment, the bright lights, loud noises, and new people touching them is the perfect combination to provoke anxiety. Fear of the
unknown is something very common in young children and if you are wondering how you can calm your child’s nerves, below are some ways to do so.

Let Them Know What to Expect

Give your child a play-by-play of what they will experience at the dentist, whether it’s a routine checkup or a more substantial procedure and be prepared to answer all their questions. It’s important to remember that although it may seem easier to do this at the time, do not lie about
what will happen. Lying will only make the situation worse and lower your child’s level of trust. Instead of lying, describe the situation in an easy-to-understand way and use a comforting tone and language.

Allow Them to Bring a Toy

As long as the toy will not interfere with the dentist’s work, having your child bring a stuffed animal with them to the dentist can help them feel comfortable and stay calm. You could also try to call the office ahead of time to let the office know of your child’s nervousness and ask them if it’s okay to bring a blanket or another comfort item from home.

The younger you start to incorporate good dental habits into your child’s life, the easier it will be to apply them and create a positive mindset towards dental care. It’s important for children to know that dentists are not the enemy and that they want their teeth to stay healthy and strong for the rest of their lives!

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment for you or your child, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

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Tips for a Tooth-Healthy Thanksgiving

people eating a thanksgiving meal at a table













Thanksgiving is a great time to gather around the table with friends and family that you love. While you are enjoying this special holiday, it is important to keep your dental hygiene in the back of your mind. You will undoubtedly be surrounded by delicious foods that are tempting, but not good for your mouth, and we have some tips on how to distract yourself from these mouth-killing meals.

Cheese, Nuts, and Raw Veggies

Snacking on cheese, nuts, and raw veggies as an appetizer can have some positive mouth health benefits. Cheese contains calcium which is a mineral that helps bones stay strong. It also contains casein, a protein found in milk products, which can help prevent cavities. Nuts also contain calcium and they have other minerals that can help strengthen teeth. Lastly, chewing raw vegetables produces a lot of saliva to wash away bacteria.

Vegetables in Sesame Oil

Try using sesame oil to sauté your vegetables instead of vegetable, canola, or other types of oil. Sesame oil has been shown to lower the effects of plaque in your mouth and in some situations, has even reversed the effects of gingivitis.

Stick to Tea and Water

Soda and sugary drinks are not good for your mouth no matter the occasion, but it is especially important to stay away from them when you are eating more sugary and starchy foods. Tap water contains fluoride which reverses acid damage to your enamel. Also, green and black tea are bacteria killers, therefore fighting cavities.

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about your dental hygiene, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

Source: Colgate

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How Often Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?

woman with straight and white teeth smiling











You use it every day (or at least you should), it lives in your bathroom, and you use it in your mouth. Can you guess what this is? You guessed it – it’s your toothbrush! Given how often we use a toothbrush and how important it is for a healthy mouth, we don’t really give our toothbrushes much thought. However, having a clean toothbrush is extremely important for the health of your mouth.

How Often You Should Replace Your Toothbrush

There’s no number set in stone when it comes to toothbrush replacement, but the general rule is every three to four months. This number depends on a few factors such as your usage, health, and preferences. Children tend to brush more harshly than adults do, so you may need to replace their toothbrushes more often. The look of your bristles can tell you if you need to replace your toothbrush, if the bristles are frayed, they won’t clean teeth as effectively as a new toothbrush. Also, if you have been sick recently, you should consider getting a new toothbrush sooner.

How to Maintain Your Toothbrush

It is very important to keep your toothbrush clean so that it can clean your teeth effectively. One of the best ways of keeping your toothbrush clean is by rinsing it under tap water after use to get rid of any leftover toothpaste and saliva. Also, your toothbrush should always be stored vertically so that the bristles can air dry. For those of you who want to use a toothbrush cover, you should know that storing a toothbrush in a closed container may cause bacteria to build up on your toothbrush, so it is best to let your toothbrush air dry as much as possible.

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about your dental hygiene, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

Source: Colgate

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Tips for a Mouth-Healthy Halloween

kids in halloween costumes

Halloween is an exciting and fun time for kids, but it’s important to keep their health in mind during this holiday. Promoting good oral hygiene at a young age can give them long-term healthy dental habits. If you want your children to enjoy this holiday, but also want them to have a healthy mouth, follow these tips.

Time it Correctly

The best time to eat a sugary snack is after a meal. Saliva production increases during mealtime and this can help cancel out the acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. Also, since your children are already full from their meal, they won’t want to eat as much candy at once.

Space it Out

Make sure you are not keeping their candy in a bowl to continuously snack on all day. The more they snack on sugary snacks, the higher their chances are of getting cavities.

Brush Twice a Day

As difficult as it is to get your children to cooperate, it is still important that you have them brush their teeth twice a day. Brushing away the sugary food from their teeth plays a crucial part in preventing tooth decay.

Be Sure to Floss!

Although brushing their teeth twice a day is important, you still must make sure they floss as well. Flossing reaches the areas in between their teeth that a toothbrush cannot reach. Without flossing, decay-causing bacteria can build up creating plaque and eventually will cause cavities.

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about how to have a healthy mouth all year round, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

Source: Mouth Healthy

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How to Prevent Tooth Decay

tooth brushes in jar

Tooth decay is caused by the billions of bacteria that live inside our mouths, that build up as plaque which causes cavities and gingivitis. Long-term tooth decay can cause periodontal (gum) disease. All of this may sound scary, but if you practice daily good oral hygiene and regularly visit your dentist, you should have nothing to worry about. Here are the steps you need to take to help prevent tooth decay.

  1. Brush After Meals

Brushing your teeth twice per day with a soft-bristled toothbrush will help remove plaque from the surface of your teeth. Make sure your toothbrush is the right size and shape and can easily fit all areas of your mouth.

  1. Use Antimicrobial Mouthwash

Make sure you use an antimicrobial mouthwash containing fluoride to help prevent tooth decay. Antimicrobial mouthwash can help reduce the number of harmful bacteria in your mouth.

  1. Floss At Least Once Per Day

Flossing removes the plaque between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. Brushing alone is not enough to prevent tooth decay, you must also floss in order to get a proper cleaning.

  1. Healthy Diet

A healthy diet limits the amount of sugary and starchy foods that enter your mouth. Sugars and starches cause the bacteria in your mouth to create acids which causes harm to your gums and teeth.

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about how to prevent tooth decay, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

Source: College of Dentistry

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