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No More ‘Zombie-Like’ Gum Disease – Boston, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Zombies have the worst gum disease and bad breath. But you can keep them and their problems at bay.
Rick from "The Walking Dead," is still facing zombies this season. And, as we all know, the walking dead are the champions of repulsive oral health. After all, they've had a lifetime to perfect awful dental habits. Look at their gums. Yellow dental plaque is covering their once-white teeth, while their gum lines are jagged and dirty.

First off, the zombies have a horrible diet. What we eat plays a large role in the health of our teeth and gums, since bacteria in the mouth convert sugars from the foods we eat into acids, which wear away dental enamel. The more sugary the foods, the more likely you are to experience tooth decay and cavities.

So, in order to prevent scary, zombie-like smiles, here is a list of mouth-healthy foods and drinks:

  • Opt for apples, celery and other vegetables. Crunchy foods can actually dislodge stray particles between teeth, while their high water content helps wash down the sugary effects. These foods also stimulate saliva production, which rinses the mouth of acid and bacteria.
  • Cheeses are a particularly beneficial option to keep your teeth looking fresh and vital. Certain cheeses, like aged cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss, Gouda and American varieties, have been shown to coat the teeth, re-hardening surface enamel and combating acid erosion.
  • Steer clear of hard candies, brains, human flesh and soft drinks. These all have been known to end poorly for your teeth and gums.

Secondly, zombies are the poster people for gingivitis, the inflammation of the gums, and periodontitis, an advanced-stage gum disease. Their gums have eroded, a sight that would appall dentists. The lower the gumline, the bigger the pockets that harbor anaerobic bacteria and dental plaque. Additionally, food pieces compound with our bodies' natural bacteria to create bad breath.

Zombies are mindless of good dental health practices. Zombie or not, you can avoid gum disease and bad breath by flossing once a day and brushing twice per day. It has been shown that if you floss before brushing, you stand a higher chance of developing it as a habit.

Focusing specifically on the gums, you can brush in small, circular motions to shed bacteria. This is will leave your gums feeling fresh and healthy.

Regular visits to your dentist are crucial for a healthy smile. It is recommended that you make an appointment about every six months. Dental professionals can examine individual teeth and the region where the gum meets the teeth in order to keep your mouth as shiny as possible. If you have any concerns, such as a receding gum line or need for a cavity treatment, your dentist will be glad to help.

Keep your mouth away from "The Walking Dead" levels; otherwise, you might find yourself endlessly wandering for friends to hang out with as well. For a dental appointment, contact Today's Dental of Boxborough.


How to Choose a Cosmetic Dentist – Boston, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Cosmetic Dentistry focuses on aesthetic restoration and replacement of teeth, including procedures such as dental veneers and dental implants.

Today’s advanced technology in dental options can produce dramatic results in a short amount of time. A state-of-the-art facility and dental team can make the difference in proper care.

Quality cosmetic dentists requires a dedicated and experienced staff as well as knowledge in various fields of aesthetic, restorative, and implant dentistry, which is why you should take your time and do your research when choosing one.

In order to achieve the best results look for a dentist who has specific experience within cosmetic dentistry. Choosing the dental right practice can offer patients greater confidence and overall dental health. When choosing a dentist it is important for patients to look for someone who is active in the dental community, with a great deal of experience and extensive training.

For more information, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Halloween Treats that are Braces Friendly – Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Halloween is almost here.  However, for orthodontic patients, certain sweet treats can be trouble. There are nearly five million orthodontic patients who wear braces, clear aligners or other orthodontic appliances to help them achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. They want to enjoy Halloween too, without worry.

Halloween tends to be one of the busiest times of the year at orthodontists’ offices, primarily because patients indulge in treats that they should not be eating. Candies and other treats that are hard, chewy, sticky or crunchy can cause damage to braces, clear aligners and other orthodontic appliances. In addition to patient discomfort, a broken bracket or loose wire may prolong treatment and require additional orthodontic appointments. As part of October’s National Orthodontic Health Month, the AAO is providing orthodontic-friendly Halloween recipes and tips to help patients and their families enjoy the holiday.

Halloween should be a fun time for all kids, those wearing braces included.

What kinds of Halloween treats are “orthodontic-friendly”?

The good news is that there are plenty of food options for orthodontic patients – and with a little creativity, orthodontic patients can still enjoy Halloween treats. In general, orthodontic patients should look for softer treats, such as soft chocolate or peanut butter cups, or melt-in-your-mouth foods. Those with braces or retainers should avoid any foods that are sticky, chewy, hard or crunchy. The AAO recommends patients avoid the following Halloween treats, or recipes with these ingredients:

  • Caramel
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn (including un-popped kernels)
  • Taffy
  • Jelly beans
  • Hard pretzels
  • Licorice
  • Bubblegum
  • Taco chips
  • Ice

Is it okay for orthodontic patients to eat sweets?

A few sweets can be okay occasionally, if the patient remembers to brush and floss afterwards. Orthodontic patients need to pay special attention to keeping braces or other orthodontic appliances clean, as well as teeth and gums. Orthodontists can advise patients on how best to brush and floss between teeth, around brackets and at the gum line. If patients follow their orthodontist’s recommendations, practice good oral hygiene, and are careful about the foods they eat, they should be able to finish treatment on time and with good results.

What should orthodontic patients do if food damages their braces?

If a patient chews on the wrong type of treat and damage occurs, they should call their orthodontist so that arrangements can be made to correct the problem. Typically, small problems can be solved over the phone. Loose brackets or wires can usually be made more comfortable by applying some orthodontic wax until the patient can come into the office.

For more information on orthodontic treatment or caring for orthodontics, contact Today's Dental of Boxborough.

Get Rid of Bad Breath – Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Friday, September 26, 2014

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can get in the way of your social and work life and leave you feeling self-conscious and embarrassed. If you’ve been battling bad breath, here are some easy ways to freshen your mouth.

Brush and floss more frequently

One of the most common sources of bad breath is plaque. Food caught between teeth also adds to the problem. It’s important that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. However, if you're concerned about your breath, brushing and flossing more often will certainly help. Make sure you don't overdo it. Brushing too aggressively can wear down enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to decay.

Scrape your tongue

The coating that forms on the tongue can host foul-smelling bacteria. To get rid of it, gently brush your tongue with your toothbrush. If it's too big to comfortably reach the back of your tongue, try a tongue scraper.

Avoid certain foods

Onions and garlic are the prime offenders. Unfortunately, brushing after you eat them doesn't help. The substances they contain actually make their way into your bloodstream and travel to your lungs, where you breathe them out. The only way to avoid the problem is to avoid eating them, especially before social or work occasions when you're mindful of your breath.

Rinse your mouth

Besides freshening your breath, anti-bacterial mouthwashes add extra protection by reducing plaque-causing bacteria. After eating, swishing your mouth with plain water also helps your breath by eliminating food particles.

Keep your mouth moist

Lack of saliva promotes tooth decay and can cause bad breath. If your mouth is dry, drink plenty of water during the day. Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy. Use a humidifier at night to moisten the air in your house. If nothing helps, talk to a dentist. Cotton mouth can be caused by certain medications.

For more information, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

The Mississauga News

Why Should You Choose a Pediatric Dentist for Your Kids? Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Friday, September 19, 2014

Many adults have a fear of the dentist because of an episode involving their dental treatment during their childhood.  An isolated traumatic experience or a series of them can lead to patients avoiding the  dentist. Rebuilding the patient's trust as it pertains to their dental treatment may take a lifetime to amend after avoiding dental care during childhood and adolescence.

Pediatric dentists can start a positive, pediatric dental experience to instill a lifetime good dental health habits and regular dental checkups.  Dental technology can help.

Dental Lasers for restorative treatment

A common challenge for pediatric cases is administering anesthesia. Kids are often fearful, anxious, and restless when it is time for numbing. But what if restorative treatment or dental fillings can be performed without a needle? Advances in technology using dental lasers that cut hard tissue have made it possible to remove decay and affected tooth structure with little to no anesthetic. A common problem in pediatric dental care among very young patients is the idea that dental treatment is punishment for neglecting their teeth. The anesthetic process and the noise of the dental drill are two common factors feeding the fear of dental treatment. Using dental lasers in restorative dentistry can prevent this. Often, laser dental treatment to remove decay can be performed without any anesthetic, especially if the decay is not too deep into the dentin.

For more information on pediatric dentistry, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Poor Oral Health May Increase Risk of HPV – Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Poor oral health, including gum disease and dental problems, was found to be associated with oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which causes about 40 percent to 80 percent of oropharyngeal cancers.

“Poor oral health is a new independent risk factor for oral HPV infection and, to our knowledge, this is the first study to examine this association,” said Thanh Cong Bui, Dr.P.H.

“The good news is, this risk factor is modifiable — by maintaining good oral hygiene and good oral health, one can prevent HPV infection and subsequent HPV-related cancers.”

The researchers found that among the study participants, those who reported poor oral health had a 56 percent higher prevalence of oral HPV infection, and those who had gum disease and dental problems had a 51 percent and 28 percent higher prevalence of oral HPV infection, respectively. In addition, the researchers were able to associate oral HPV infections with number of teeth lost.

Similar to genital HPV infection, oral HPV infection can be of two kinds: infection with low-risk HPV types that do not cause cancer, but can cause a variety of benign tumors or warts in the oral cavity, and infection with high-risk HPV types that can cause oropharyngeal cancers.

The researchers found that being male, smoking cigarettes, using marijuana, and oral sex habits increased the likelihood of oral HPV infection. They also found that self-rated overall oral health was an independent risk factor for oral HPV infection, because this association did not change regardless of whether or not the participants smoked or had multiple oral sex partners.

Because HPV needs wounds in the mouth to enter and infect the oral cavity, poor oral health, which may include ulcers, mucosal disruption, or chronic inflammation, may create an entry portal for HPV. There is, however, currently not enough evidence to support this, and further research is needed to understand this relationship.

Although more research is needed to confirm the causal relationship between oral health and oral HPV infection, people may want to maintain good oral health for a variety of health benefits. Oral hygiene is fundamental for oral health, so good oral hygiene practices should become a personal habit.

For more information, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Sedation Dentistry Takes Fear Out of Dental Visits – Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, September 04, 2014

So many patients need and want dental treatment, but the just can’t face the needles, the sounds, and the general experience itself. Odontophobia, dental anxiety or fear of the dentist is a genuine phobia with no logic to it. The patient knows the pain will be bearable and they will be fine, but still can't handle it.

This is where sedation dentistry comes in. Patients are treated with an intravenous drug similar to valium. They are still awake, but don't really know what's going on.

It's much safer than general anesthesia, however the patient needs to qualify medically, we look out for things like serious heart problems or uncontrolled diabetes. Together with the dentist the patient decides what form of sedation dentistry will best fit their needs.

It really is the perfect solution to maintaining dental health for those who have a serious fear of the dentist. People can come in and get as many treatments as they need in one go, without discomfort.

There are a few dentists practicing sedation dentistry. It can be offered for any procedure, not just the big procedures like wisdom teeth extractions and dental implants.

It is far better to fix a cavity under sedation than have dental cavity ignored because of fear, which will inevitably result in a larger problem over time. Sedation dentistry becomes a more cost-effective approach in the long term.

For more information on sedation dentistry, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Indo Business

Are Clear Braces Better for Teens? Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sometimes clear braces are a better option than traditional braces.

Traditional metal braces aren’t always the best option for older teens, who may be sensitive about their appearance. They want straighter-looking teeth, but not at the “social” expense of wearing traditional braces in high school.

Clear braces for teens use  clear, thin, plastic aligners to shift teeth into place. Teenage patients get new custom-made clear aligners about every two weeks. The beauty of clear braces is that teens can remove them to eat, brush, and drink, which makes it easier to keep their teeth cleaner than if they have regular braces. While the invisible aligners usually go unnoticed by friends and family, they can be removed for special occasions like an important stage performance or a first date.

The cost is comparable to traditional braces, but they may be a better option for those students who may have needed braces in middle school yet, for whatever reason, did not get them. Once students reach high school age, they are far happier with the invisibility clear braces. Studies have shown that parents should not ignore displeasing elements that adolescents bring to their attention, including things like dark, blotchy, or crooked teeth. The psychological and aesthetic component is often as important as the health of the teeth and the beauty of the smile. Invisible braces have proven to be an excellent choice for teens with busy after-school schedules who desire hassle-free orthodontics. They are also a preferred choice for adults who need braces, and treatment usually takes a year or less.

For more information on clear braces, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Hour Detroit

Clear Braces or Metal Braces for Adults– Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Friday, August 15, 2014

Everywhere, image matters. As an adult, when you want a straighter smile, you usually want to achieve it as discreetly and as quickly as possible. Luckily, adults in the market for dental braces will find more than just clunky metal.

Clear braces are one of the most popular options for straightening teeth for adults.  Note that every case is different and not everyone is a candidate for each method. Here are some of the pros and cons of both clear braces and traditional braces.

Clear Braces

These braces are clear, removable plastic trays which straighten teeth. Every two weeks, the patient receives new trays that are closer to the teeth’s ideal position. Most patients who are candidates choose clear braces.

The pros: Clear braces are nearly invisible to the naked eye, and trays can be removed for cleaning the teeth and for meals—eliminating worries about what you eat or about food stuck in the braces. Dental appointments are relatively short because the system is easy to apply and requires little maintenance. There’s also less discomfort compared with other options. Clear braces, or clear aligners, are going to become the standard for adults. The ability to remove the trays occasionally is good for gum health.

The cons: The big one is compliance. Patients have to wear the aligners for up to 22 hours a day. Anything less will result in a longer treatment time—treatment averages one year.

Visible Metal Braces

Anything fixed on the front of the tooth. This could mean traditional metal wires with stainless-steel brackets, metal wires with clear plastic brackets, or metal wires with tooth-colored ceramic brackets.

The pros: Traditional braces are often suggested to fix more severe alignment problems, such as a turned tooth, because they have a better grip on it.

The cons: These braces are completely visible. The brackets can cause discomfort and irritate the inside of the mouth for the first week or so until a patient adjusts. There are also issues with eating certain foods and keeping the teeth and braces clean. Clear brackets can stain. Treatment time for metal braces is typically longer, an average of 20 months, because cases tend to be more severe.

For more information about if you are a candidate for clear braces, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.


Sedation Dentistry Explained - Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Friday, August 08, 2014

The American Dental Association estimates that as much as 10% of the American population have dental phobia. Dental phobia is a severe anxiety or dread of making a trip to the dentist. This fear causes patients to cancel appointments or avoid going to the dentist at all, which can lead to serious oral health problems. To help relieve these fears dental offices are now offering offers patients sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry is an approach that involves using medications and anxiety-relieving techniques to help a patient relax during a dentistry appointment.

Sedation is necessary if the patient becomes extremely nervous before going to the dentist, feels tense during and after the appointment or has a sensitive gag reflex. Some patients are extremely afraid of choking or losing control while sitting in the dentist's chair.

Sedation dentists perform a consultation to find out how the patient feels when coming to a dentist's office. This allows the doctor to identify areas where they can intervene to enhance the patient's dental experience. One solution is to prescribe a one-time dose of a medication intended to relax a patient before the appointment.

Another option is inhaled conscious sedation, such as using nitrous oxide to reduce anxiety. Nitrous oxide is considered a very safe form of sedation dentistry and will quickly wear off. The solution may extend beyond medication -- it might include bringing an MP3 player into the room so that the patient can enjoy classical music.

Patients who experience severe anxiety related to dental visits may opt for intravenous conscious sedation. This method helps patients achieve the greatest level of anxiety relief and has some short-term memory-blocking capabilities, meaning the patient won't have to remember a dental procedure after it is over.

For some patients, dental anxiety fears are so intense that they don't even want to remember what happened. Sedation dentistry makes the difference because they can go to the dentist without fear or stress of experiencing or remembering the procedure.

For more information on sedation dentistry, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

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