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Pediatric Dentist or General Dentist for Your Kids – Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This blog will hopefully give you a better idea of how pediatric dentists differ from general dentists.

For starters, pediatric dentists have the option of doing postgraduate work in children's hospitals. During their training, they learn about kid-specific issues such as sedatives specifically for children, treating children under general anesthesia and "behavior guidance," which focuses on winning patients' trust and adapting to a child's behavior: It can be pretty challenging for a 3-year-old who has a cavity and needs local anesthetic to sit still to get that tooth fixed.

Pediatric dentists in training also do research projects. A typical project, for example, could look at cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth and how the amount can be determined.

Pediatric dentists have to have the right personality for treating children. The people who get into this profession ... they don't get burned out on kids who are crying or stressed out.

Pediatric dentistry places great emphasis on prevention. Parents are now advised to take their children for a well-child dental exam by their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth erupting. That first exam consists mainly of talking about prevention, which includes factors such as hygiene, diet and nursing, he said.

Pediatric dentistry also takes a whole-household approach to cavity prevention because a family's lifestyle affects a child's dental health.

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

Clear Braces are Becoming More Popular with Teens and Adults- Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Friday, July 11, 2014

If you’ve always dreamed of having the perfect smile, braces can not only fix misaligned teeth, but also correct non-cosmetic issues such as TMJ and sleep apnea, as well as prevent gum disease. Clear braces, or clear aligners, are a revolutionary system of treating crooked teeth. They have changed the way patients are treated - long gone are those uncomfortable metal braces, now replaced with clear braces.

With clear braces patients can see the beginning of their new smile within the first few weeks of treatment. It is the ideal treatment for children and teens. More comfortable than traditional braces, clear braces are effective at treating mild to severe crowding.

If you are a teenager or adult, it’s not too late to have your teeth aligned. In fact, more and more patients are adults. Invisible braces are the ideal treatment for those whose teeth have fully erupted and whose jaws have stopped growing. Clear braces work as a series of clear removable aligners to straighten teeth without metal wires or brackets. Little by little, results are accomplished, and there is no mouth irritation.

The removable braces means you can eat and drink what you want during treatment as well as brush and floss normally.

Clear aligners are one of the fastest growing treatments in orthodontics. Treatment with clear braces is a clear way to straighten teeth without braces using aligners which offer high level of comfort, convenience and flexibility in comparison to traditional braces. These aligners are also cost effective and take less time to complete the teeth straightening procedure. Continuous innovation in technology and increasing awareness for oral health among individuals are influencing the demand for clear aligners. 

Increasing consumer awareness for oral health and the increasing emphasis we put on straight, white teeth are just a couple reasons clear aligners are increasing in popularity. For more information on clear braces, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Dental Problems that Can be Fixed with Clear Braces – Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Straight teeth can boost self-confidence and self-esteem. Though you may only be concerned about how you look, there are often health benefits to straight teeth, too. However, most teens and adults are never too excited about the prospect of metal brackets in traditional braces. Here are a few dental problems that may be solved with clear braces.

Crowded or crooked teeth

Often this makes it difficult to floss and clean in between your teeth, leading to increased incidence of cavities and gum disease. As you age, crowded teeth often get worse. Clear braces and aligners work invisibly to move your teeth into the appropriate spaces and eliminate overcrowding.

Spaces between teeth

Severe spacing is when you have gaps between your teeth. If these gaps go untreated, they may eventually lead to periodontal or gum-related issues as you age. Braces are a great solution for closing gaps in teeth, whether it's from sucking your thumb as child or if you have a missing tooth.


An overbite is when the upper teeth cover the lower teeth more than is normal when you bite down. If left untreated, you may grind down your teeth and experience painful jaw problems. Braces gently guide your teeth into a new, more normal position.


An underbite is when the lower teeth extend out more than the upper teeth when you bite down. Without treatment, you may suffer painful jaw problems. Clear braces move your teeth to assist in correcting your underbite and provide you with a smile to make you proud.


A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth are not aligned to the lower teeth and can appear either in the front or sides of the mouth. Braces apply gentle pressure to your teeth to move them into the correct position.

Open Bite

An open bite means there is an opening between the upper and lower teeth when the jaw is closed. This opening can be either in the front or the back of the mouth. Biting and chewing can sometimes be difficult with an open bite.

No matter what your treatment problem, if you need a minor adjustment, contact Today’s Dental fo Boxborough for an efficient and cost-effective solution to a perfect smile.

Questions About Losing Baby Teeth – Boxborough, Boston

Joseph Coupal - Friday, June 20, 2014

In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when their first tooth appears or no later than their  first birthday. Pediatric dentists are specifically trained to help take care of kids’ teeth and to ensure that they have healthy teeth for life.

Once baby teeth arrive and begin to fall out, we have found that parents have some very common questions.

How many teeth do children have?
Kids have 20 baby teeth. Adults grow 32 teeth, so eventually your child will grow 32 teeth. This usually happens by the teenage years, though everyone has a different timeline. Sometimes adults have their wisdom teeth removed. If they are all removed, adults have 28 teeth.

When do kids lose their teeth?
Kids typically start losing baby teeth around age 6. Girls often start to lose baby teeth before boys. Most kids will have lost all their baby teeth by age 13.

Baby teeth usually fall out in the order that they first appeared: two bottom front teeth, two top front teeth, lateral incisors, first/front molars, canines and second/back molars.

How many teeth do kids lose?
Kids will lose 20 teeth — all of their baby teeth — over the course of about seven years.

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

Invisible Braces or Metal Braces? – Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Friday, June 13, 2014

When you saw them on camera over the past several years, you probably had no idea that Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, and Khloe Kardashian were getting their teeth straightened. That’s because they were using nearly invisible braces.

Invisible braces are a series of clear plastic trays, called alignment trays, worn on both the upper and lower teeth.

With computer modeling technology, clear braces calculate the shape each tray needs to be to gradually shift teeth into the desired position.

Ideally the trays, which look exactly like the retainers people wear after having braces, are worn for 22 hours a day and only removed while eating or for cleaning.

In total, treatments typically last from less than a year up to two years—but since the trays are removable it can be tempting to take them out, which can lengthen the treatment time.

Compared to Metal Braces

The biggest draw of invisible braces, also called clear aligners, is of course that they are practically invisible—unless you are really looking, you would never notice someone is wearing them.

Convenience, cleanliness, and comfort are the other big draws for people.

Each tray is worn for about two weeks, and patients usually get three or four trays per visit, which means they don’t have to return for six to eight weeks. With metal braces, patients typically come back every four weeks.

Office visits are also short.

With invisible braces, people can take the trays off and brush fairly normally and there is very little impact on their lifestyle. With metal braces, teeth cleaning is more challenging.

A lot of people find it difficult to really maintain their teeth well when they’re in regular braces.

Most people perceive invisible braces as less painful than regular braces.

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

Kids Need Dental Care – Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Friday, May 30, 2014

A small cavity left to fester can grow into a big health problem. Although the government made pediatric dental care one of the health law’s “essential benefits,” new data suggest a lot of parents didn’t buy dental coverage during the online enrollment period.

About 60% of U.S. children will have had cavities by age 5. Children with tooth decay are more likely to have ear and sinus infections. The chance of developing other chronic problems, such as obesity, diabetes and even heart disease, also increases.

Chairman of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Council on Dental Benefit Programs, says early dental problems can affect children’s learning, how they interact with other kids and their ability to eat.

‘More than cavities’

It starts having an impact much more than cavities.

Many children get coverage through their parents’ employer-based health insurance or the government-funded Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid, which serve low-income people. But the American Dental Association says there’s still a big gap: 10 million children ages 2 through 18 had no dental insurance in 2011.

Shopping for dental coverage is complicated and confusing. Perhaps more important, there’s no separate subsidy for buying dental coverage and no federal penalty for failing to buy it.

Only 34% of medical plans sold on the federal exchange included pediatric dental benefits. Parents often confronted difficult choices — the ideal medical plan for their family might not have dental care for the kids. To get that coverage, they’d have to buy a stand-alone plan at an additional cost.

For more information on dental care and coverage for kids, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Healthy Teeth in Kids is Good for Overall Health and Self Image – Boston, Acton

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Your child’s teeth and smile are important for improved physical health. But healthy teeth in kids also helps and build upon their self-confidence and their self-esteem.  This is a very important aspect of a child’s development.

But, it is not just for aesthetics that you should bring your child to a pediatric dentist. Your child needs to develop good dental habits and learn to take proper care of their teeth and gums so that they will have healthy teeth throughout their lifetime. These habits start with you, their parents.

Kid’s dental health includes brushing and rinsing, routine dental exams, and necessary dental treatments. Dental health can also include fluoride, extractions, fillings, braces and more.

Your child’s physical health is impacted by their dental health. It is a known fact that kids miss less school when their teeth are healthy and cared for.  Poorly developed and teeth can result in poor nutrition, painful infections, and issues with speech development; almost as important is the fact that their self-image is affected as well.

How to Care for your Child’s Teeth

  • Brush teeth and gums at least twice a day, once before bed.
  • See a dentist every 6 months.
  • When permanent teeth erupt, they should floss every night before bed.
  • Remember that braces or extractions may be needed to prevent long-term problems.

For a pediatric dentist contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Orthodontics for Straight Teeth at Any Age – Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that diagnoses, prevents and corrects irregularities of the teeth and jaw that occur as a result of a bad bite, missing or additional teeth, misaligned teeth, crowded teeth, crooked teeth, an overbite or underbite, a misaligned jaw or a disorder of the jaw joint. Orthodontic treatments, or growth modification, serves to enhance the teeth’s function as well as the appearance of the individual who has undergone treatment.

There are two main stages of orthodontic treatment - the active phase and the retention phase. The active phase involves the use of oral devices to alter the alignment of the teeth. The retention phase involves the use of a retainer to ensure that the teeth that have been forced into their new position remain in the desired position.

Treatment by an orthodontist can have many long-term benefits. Properly aligned teeth are much easier to maintain and thereby reduce the chances of tooth decay. They can also improve chewing, since individuals with bad bites are not able to chew as efficiently as those with normal bites. Orthodontic treatment can also improve speech; misaligned teeth can result in speaking difficulties. Furthermore, improved tooth alignment can prevent the premature wearing of the surfaces of the back teeth.

There’s no doubt that orthodontic treatment can be sought at just about any age.

Treatment for children can be sought when a child reaches around seven years of age, or at least a consultation can be done at this time if it seems like there will be issues with how the child’s permanent teeth come in. In most cases, actual braces will not be attached to the teeth until the permanent teeth come in. But, it may be necessary to do some preliminary work prior to that point, such as palette expanders and such, to reduce the problems that may occur when the adult teeth start to erupt.

The pre-teen and teenage years are the most common times to begin orthodontic treatment, since by then all or most of the permanent adult teeth have erupted and re-alignment can begin where necessary. Orthodontic treatment is typically at its most effective at this stage and is most easy for patients to tolerate, since many of a teen’s peers are also undergoing similar treatment at the same time.

For more information contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Kids Cavities and Tooth Decay: Fight it with Xylitol and Oral Care- Boston

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, May 01, 2014

At the age of five, this child has had four cavities.

"It kind of makes me feel like I'm not doing my job, like I'm not doing what I have to do to take care of her dental hygiene," says the child’s mom.

The mother has never had a problem with her teeth and she makes sure her children brush daily.

But even so some parents can do everything right and may unknowingly pass bacteria to their children that can cause cavities and tooth decay.

Studies from the 1970's were done where they determined it was from the mother's mouths and now with DNA testing they can actually show that when mothers kiss and cuddle or lick the pacifier that their bacteria is being transferred to the child's first tooth.

Once inside the mouth, it spreads quickly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 42 percent of children, age two to eleven, have cavities in baby teeth. 21 percent of children, age six to eleven, have cavities in their adult teeth.

And left unattended, it can lead to severe consequences. The impact can also be deadly. They can spread to the brain sometimes to the area around the heart and those can be life threatening.

But it’s not just an urban issue; it’s a problem in the suburbs too.

There’s a common assumption about baby teeth.

Sometimes there's a misconception that in children that, it's just baby teeth, they'll get another set. Well the baby teeth serve as space maintainers so once you start losing them too early, it can create a whole lot of problems in the mouth.

Problems that can be prevented, by flossing, fluoride sealants, and with one product – Xylitol.

Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute and can be found in some mints and chewing gum.

Dr. Phillips says you can even mix the Xylitol granules with water and spread on the teeth.

Even if the baby teeth are damaged you can work on this program and change the damage before the new adult teeth come through in kindergarten.

It's great helping to fight cavities.

If a child is old enough to have chewing gum, the mints, three or four times a day, that's recommended, it's helpful.

While Xylitol is recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and some research shows that it can help fight cavities, some dentists say more research is needed and it’s not a substitute for practicing good hygiene.

American Pediatric Dentists now recommend that children see a dentists by age one, instead of three years old.

It’s also recommended that children start using toothpaste with fluoride by the time their first tooth comes in.

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

What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist? - Boston, Acton

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of the dentistry field. A pediatric dentist has two to three years of specialized training following dental school. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.

Pediatric dentistry is the specialty of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of young people. After completing a four-year dental school curriculum, two to three additional years of rigorous training are required to become a pediatric dentist.

Pediatric dentists are concerned about your child’s total health care. Good oral health is an important part of total health. Establishing a Dental Home for your child gives you the opportunity to implement preventive dental health habits that keep a child free from dental/oral disease. Today’s Dental of Boxborough focuses on the prevention, early detection and treatment of dental diseases, and keeps current on the latest advances in dentistry for children.

Pleasant, relaxing visits to our dental office promote the establishment of trust and confidence in your child that will last a lifetime. Our goal, along with our staff, is to help all children feel good about visiting the dentist and teach them how to care for their teeth.

For more information on Today’s Dental of Boxorough and pediatric dentistry, contact us.


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