CALL 978-381-5676
24/7 Emergency Service
Servicing Boxborough, MA

Today's Dental of Boxborough

RSS Grab Today's Dental Boxborough's RSS Feed

Teeth Whitening Before the Holiday Season – Boston, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Fall is here, school is in full-swing and the holidays are fast approaching.  Take some time out of your busy schedule to do something for yourself so you will be ready for all of the upcoming holiday photos and parties. In-office teeth whitening now will give you a healthy, white smile just in time for the holidays. Everyone wants their holiday pictures to look their best, and teeth whitening is the perfect way for you to look (and feel) your best in them.

The fastest and easiest way to get a holiday make-over is with teeth whitening. Lifestyle habits, what we eat and drink, genetics and aging all have an effect on our teeth. Teeth change color over time, becoming darker and stained. Teeth whitening brightens discolored and stained teeth and improves your smile, thus improving your self-confidence as well.

Over-the-counter teeth whiteners are not nearly as effective, as efficient, or as long lasting as in-office teeth whitening procedures. If you want to look your best during the holiday choose in-office whitening.

Your smile is the first thing people notice about you. A bright, youthful, white smile helps you look and feel great. It also makes the right first impression. You can have that perfect smile for your holiday parties and photos. Teeth has an immediate, natural, yet dramatic effect. This holiday season, look great with in-office teeth whitening from Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

For a healthy, white, natural holiday smile, contact us.

Thumb Sucking and Your Child’s Teeth – Boston, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It's perfectly normal for babies and young children to suck their thumbs, even though some parents are concerned about it. The habit is typically harmless if children do it occasionally, like at bedtime or in association with a stressful event.

When It's a Problem

Most children will stop thumb sucking between ages 2 and 4. Older children who chronically suck their thumbs or fingers may need guidance from parents or a pediatric dentist to stop the habit. That's because the chronic sucking habit can cause children's permanent teeth to become crooked.

If you're in doubt, discuss the matter with your dentist. You may be reassured to learn that if your children are tapering off thumb sucking, there is probably no need for treatment. That's particularly true if they still have baby teeth. Dental problems are usually avoided if the habit stops before the permanent teeth erupt.

Oftentimes children themselves will want help to stop. It has to do with social acceptance, especially at school.

How to Break the Habit

If you think your children have a problem, you might want to deal with the habit initially by ignoring the behavior. In other words, don't give them attention when they suck their thumbs. Put an obstacle on your children's hands. You might try a sock or a glove.

Another idea: Provide rewards for positive behavior. Praise your children whenever you notice that they are not sucking their thumbs. You also might mark a star on a calendar when they go without thumb sucking for a day or leave their socks or gloves on all night. Stars could earn an extra story, a trip to the library, or some other reward.

Your dentist or pediatrician can also give you advice about how you can gradually phase out the use of these methods to keep the habit from returning. In some cases, use of a device for inside the child's mouth may be recommended to make thumb sucking more uncomfortable.

For more information on thumb sucking and your child’s teeth, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Before You Whiten Teeth Talk to Your Dentist – Boston, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Friday, September 18, 2015

There are many over-the-counter teeth whitening products available to you. But, you may not get the results you are looking for when you use store-bought whitening products.

All promise a dazzling smile and whiter teeth, and some of them work well.

However, when you opt for over-the-counter teeth whitening products, you don’t get your dentist’s education, training, and experience. And you actually need this before you whiten your teeth.

You’ll save money when you choose over-the-counter tooth-whitening products instead of in-office teeth whitening, but you get what you pay for.

Even if you want to try to whiten your teeth at home, American Dental Association experts recommend that you see your dentist first. This is because you want to rule out dental problems such as periodontal (gum) disease before you use store bought teeth whiteners.  Whitening your teeth can aggravate those problems.

Also, previous teeth restorations like crowns and fillings won’t whiten along with their natural teeth. Tooth whiteners do not work as well on antibiotic-stained teeth either. And they do not correct all discoloration. Yellow and brown teeth respond better to bleaching than gray teeth.

Another advantage of scheduling a visit with your dentist before you whiten your teeth is that the dentist can explain all your options and educate you on the advantages and disadvantages of each method. If you choose to whiten your teeth by yourself, your dentist can recommend the best product for you. They can also explain what they can do for you.

Over-the-counter products are not custom-fit for your mouth. In-office teeth whitening uses custom trays that fit perfectly in your mouth; and you can use them at home. In-office teeth whitening also uses stronger bleaching agents than you would get from a store bough product.

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

Keep Kid's Teeth Healthy – Boston, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, September 02, 2015

It’s back to school season and an investment in your child’s oral health is one that will pay lifelong dividends. To help develop the oral care habits of kids, teach them to brush their teeth twice daily with fluoride-rich toothpaste. Brushing teeth in the morning is important because our mouths are naturally acidic after waking up. Toothpaste neutralizes the PH levels of our mouth and protects our teeth from acidic substances. Nighttime brushing is equally important for the same reason you know to be true, protecting our teeth from cavities and decay by cleaning any food residue left in our mouth after dinner or a late-night snack.

In addition to brushing our teeth, teaching children to floss daily at a young age helps reinforce this good habit. You can start flossing for your child at age four; most children will be able to do it on their own by age eight. Flossing helps remove plaque between teeth and under the gum-line, before it hardens into tartar. Brushing our teeth just isn’t enough to get to those hard-to-reach places and sustain proper oral health. Once tartar has been formed, it can only be removed by professional cleaning.

It is crucial to accustom your child to regular visits to the pediatric dentist. It is recommended that a child go to the dentist by age one, or within six months after the first tooth erupts. Primary teeth typically begin growing at around six months of age.

Ensure that children’s diet limits starchy and/or sugary foods, which produce plaque acids, eventually leading to tooth decay. When they choose to consume any of these foods, it is best to include them as part of a meal, rather than an isolated snack. When consumed as part of a meal, the saliva produced helps rinse out the teeth and doesn’t allow the sugary/starchy foods to stick in your child’s mouth.

Make sure your child is drinking water that is fluoridated. Fluoride, a substance found natural in water, plays an important role in healthy tooth development and cavity prevention. Fluoride combats tooth-decay in two ways; it is incorporated into the structure of developing teeth when ingested, and it shields teeth as soon as it comes in contact with them. Fluoride prevents the acid produced by bacteria in plaque from dissolving your child’s tooth enamel, and allows your child’s teeth that are damaged by acid to repair.

For more information on keeping your child’s teeth healthy, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Gulf News

Make Time For Kids' Oral Health While Getting Ready for School – Boston, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It is back-to-school time. Pediatric dentists warns that your children's oral health shouldn't be lost in the morning rush to get ready for school.

Taking care of your child’s teeth is critical, but during busy school mornings, kids sometimes forget to brush. Children should see the dentist twice a year, but adequate home care, healthy diets and trauma prevention can ensure that children's teeth stay healthy when they get back to school.

There are some steps children and parents can take to help ensure kids teeth stay healthy and cavity-free:

Brush before breakfast: There is little time to spare on most school mornings. Sometimes kids eat their breakfast on the way to school.

It's not necessary to wait until after breakfast to brush. This will help ensure kids brush their teeth before heading off to school.

The goal is to prevent the pH of the mouth from dropping to an unsafe zone since cavities form in an acidic environment. Studies show that if we brush before we eat, the mouth's pH will not dip low enough to form cavities.

Don't micromanage: Some parents tell kids to hold off brushing until after they've fixed their child's hair. Allow children to brush their teeth while their hair is being done so no time is wasted and teeth are clean.

Consider diet: School meals may contain processed and sugary foods. Parents who pack their child's lunch should focus on sending perishable items, such as fruits and vegetables, that will provide children with healthy alternatives.

Don't overthink it: A little variety is nice, but there is no harm in giving kids the same lunch each day if it means it will be healthier. For example, cutting fruits and vegetables, and adding hummus and pita bread is healthy and convenient.

Consider shelf life: Packaged foods that can sit on the shelf for a long period of time, such as crackers and pretzels, contain starch. Starch coats the teeth and can breed cavity-causing bacteria.

Since kids may get these snacks at school, parents should avoid adding them to their pantry at home. Instead, opt for fresh fruits and vegetables or dried fruits like raisins.

Choose water: Juice often contains more sugar than children should have in an entire day. This sugar can coat the teeth, promoting tooth decay.

Sugar can also lead to an afternoon crash, which interferes with schoolwork. Instead of juice, give kids fruit and teach children to drink water.

Be safe: Kids participating in organized sports should wear mouth protection. This is particularly true if they play soccer, baseball and basketball.

Children should also always wear a helmet when riding bicycles or scooters. Helmets should also be worn when roller skating or rollerblading.

Seek help: Children who fall on their face should visit the nurse and the dentist. Sometimes issues can develop slowly.

A minor problem could actually affect the root of a tooth. If a permanent tooth is knocked out it must be replaced within 30 minutes.

Never scrub a tooth that has fallen out, even if it looks dirty. This could kill its root.

Don't expect pain: Cavities in children don't hurt until they become infected. So, some children with cavities may not complain about tooth pain.

Be careful about braces: Dental care for those with braces is even more important. It can be tough to brush around braces and plaque can build up, leading to permanent damage.

Teens often wear braces and hormonal changes that take place during adolescence can alter bacteria in the mouth.

For more information on oral health for kids, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.


Clear Braces for Back to School - Boston, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, August 20, 2015

Now that school is about to start, your teen may be stressed about crooked teeth and the idea of having to get braces. But, your teen can achieve straight teeth with having to deal with metal braces. Clear braces invisibly straighten your child’s teeth. Clear braces are custom made to fit your teen’s teeth perfectly.

No teen wants to hear: “you need braces?” But now, you can take the stress away. Teens no longer have to choose between metal braces or crooked teeth. Now your teen can have the straight teeth they have always wanted without brackets and wires. Clear braces can help by using clear, removable aligners to  straighten teeth.

Clear braces are a better, less stressful approach to straightening teen teeth. They gradually straighten your teen’s teeth and are comfortable, affordable and very effective. By using removable clear aligners, your child can also brush, floss and better take care of their teeth while they are still in braces. This makes for healthier and more attractive teeth once the straightening process is complete.

For information on clear aligners for back-to-school, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Root Canal: What are the Causes? Boston, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, August 13, 2015

A root canal is a procedure used to treat problems with your tooth’s dental pulp, or soft core. This core contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. Pulpal nerve damage result in a root canal procedure,

What Causes Pulpal Nerve Damage?

The most common causes of pulpal nerve damage are:

  • Irritation brought on by a deep cavity that reaches down to the nerve or through deep fillings. This allows harmful bacteria to reach the pulp or nerve which results in an infection and further decay.
  • Trauma to the tooth or jaw that damages nerve tissue within the tooth
  • A fractured or cracked tooth that involves the pulp or nerve

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Pulpal Nerve Damage?

The signs and symptoms of pulpal nerve damage can vary from person to person. The most common ones include:

  • Pain in the tooth when biting down
  • Tooth pain while chewing
  • Oversensitivity of the teeth with hot or cold drinks
  • Gum or facial swelling

These signs and symptoms can resemble other oral health conditions so you need to visit a dentist for a correct diagnosis.

What Does a Root Canal Involve?

The affected area is numbed with anesthesia. The tooth crown, or top, is opened to expose the pulpal tissue so that it can be removed. The area surrounding and containing the pulpal tissue is carefully cleaned, enlarged, and shaped so that permanent filler can be used to prevent any further infection and discomfort. After filling, an artificial crown is made to complete the restoration of the natural tooth.

The procedure may be spread over more than one visit.

With proper care and regular checkups, your treated tooth can last a lifetime.  Until the crown is placed, avoid using it to chew hard foods.

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

Get Rid of Bad Breath – Boston, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

To ensure that your breath is fresh, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss daily, food can become trapped in your mouth, attracting bacteria that leads to bad breath. Also, bad breath can be caused by food particles that collect between the teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue which can decay.

To prevent bad breath, brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. Brush gently and pay special attention to the gum line. Also, use floss to clean between your teeth at least once daily. Brushing your tongue and roof of your mouth can also help remove odor-causing bacteria and debris. Mouthwashes just temporarily mask a bad odor. They don’t have a long-lasting effect. If you feel like you constantly must use mouthwash for bad breath, talk with your dentist.

More Problems and Solutions

Several other factors can play a role in bad breath. These include:

Gum disease. Bad breath that doesn’t go away can be an early warning sign of gum disease. In addition to brushing and flossing, it’s important to have regular dental checkups and professional cleanings.

Food. Certain foods can affect your breath for up to three days after eating them, including onions, garlic, and coffee. Once food is absorbed into the blood, it is carried to the lungs. There it can give exhaled air a bad odor. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash can mask the problem. But the improvement is short-lived, and the problem will keep coming back until your body eliminates the food. For a long-term solution, you might need to adjust your diet.

Dry mouth. Saliva helps prevent bad breath by washing away food particles and bacteria. When you sleep, saliva production slows down. This causes many people to wake up with bad breath. Dry mouth during the day can be caused by salivary gland problems, breathing through your mouth, or taking certain medications. Depending on the cause, your dentist might recommend drinking more fluids, chewing sugarless gum to stimulate saliva flow, or using artificial saliva.

Smoking. This is another common cause of bad breath—and one more good reason not to smoke. If you’re a smoker, ask your dentist or doctor for help with quitting.

Medical conditions. Bad breath can also be a sign of another medical disorder, such as chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, digestive problems, and liver or kidney disease. If your mouth is healthy, your dentist may refer you for a medical evaluation.

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

Helping Teens with Their Dental Habits - Boston, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Monday, July 06, 2015

Encouraging proper dental care and daily brushing can be a battle with young children. This struggle can sometimes get worse as your kids enter their tweens and teens.

It’s not uncommon for habits to slip as teens hit puberty. If you have a child who is susceptible to gum disease or cavities, this age period is often when major problems begin. Good dental health is particularly important to teens as older children who neglect their teeth can lead to a lifetime pattern of poor dental hygiene. Poor brushing habits can result in cavities, yellowing, gum disease and loss of teeth.

According to a recent Gallup Youth Survey, 34% of teens brush their teeth only once a day and 2% claim that they don’t even brush daily. The numbers are even more discouraging when it comes to daily flossing, which is necessary for maintaining healthy teeth and gums and preventing future problems such as gingivitis. However, few teens floss as often as they should, with the survey finding that only 13% floss daily and 44% rarely or never floss.

One of the problems is that many teenagers have yet to grasp that they have adult teeth, which are taller than the baby teeth they leave behind. Also, 12-year-old molars typically arrive between 10 and 16 years of age and many children are not aware that they need to reach further back to brush them. Additionally, motor skill development doesn’t make it reasonable to expect kids to adequately floss until they are at least 10 years old.

The following are some simple and easy tips to encourage teens to take proper care of their teeth:

  • Don’t hover. Constantly monitoring teens may make them less likely to brush. Provide encouragement, but give them some space.
  • Use positive forms of reinforcement and establish an appropriate reward system.
  • Don’t threaten. Never use a visit to the dentist as a punishment, which can create an unfounded fear of the dentist and instill a dread of dental treatments.
  • Practice what you preach. It’s important for parents to set a good example for teens and follow your own behaviors, including those related to dental care. Teenagers are more likely to develop good dental health habits if they see them displayed at home.
  • Have teens keep a travel-size toothbrush in their locker or backpack, which makes it easy to keep up with good teeth-cleaning habits after meals and snacks.
  • Explain the consequences, in detail. Describe the implications that can result from a failure to brush, including plaque buildup, tooth decay, gum surgery and root canals. Also focus on the more superficial elements of poor oral care, such as stained teeth, which should get a teen’s attention.

It’s important to make sure teens keep up with routine dental visits and exams, including cleanings, which should take place every six months. It can also be helpful to have a neutral outsider, such as a dentist or dental hygienist, talk to your teen about the importance of brushing and flossing.

For more information on teen dental health, contact Today's Dental of Boxborough.

The Record

Choosing a Pediatric Dentist for your Kids – Boston, Boxborough, Concord, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years of rigorous specialty training following a four-year dental school curriculum and is the only dentist who limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are the primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs. Their residency training provides extensive study and hands-on experience in both problems specific to the growth and development of children’s mouths and in child psychology. Pediatric dentists also have a different approach in orienting children to the dental environment, and practice behavior management techniques that encourage positive early dental experiences for children.

When should my child first see the dentist?

Your child should first see the pediatric dentist by age 1, or as soon as the first tooth emerges. Although many people still wait to make their child's first dental visit at age 3, this information is no longer current. By age 3, your child may either already have cavities or have poor dietary and hygiene habits that can leave them more susceptible to cavities. Remember, big dental problems can begin at a very young age. The greatest risk of severe cavities comes from either frequent sipping on sugary drinks or allowing your child to fall asleep while drinking a bottle or nursing. The most important reason to begin dental care so young is to begin a thorough preventative program for your child. And then the dentist can spot problems, such as the early stages of decay, before they do any major damage.

Is my child at risk for dental disease?

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, your child may be at an increased risk for dental disease and cavities:

  • Do you (child’s mother) and/or any of your other children have tooth decay?
  • Does your child snack frequently? Does your child have increased between-meal exposures to sugars, including 100 percent fruit juices and/or flavored milks or sports drinks and carbohydrate-rich snacks?
  • Does your child sleep with a bottle or is your child breastfed throughout the night?
  • Does your child have special health care needs that impact cooperation or coordination?
  • Does your child have red puffy gums, chalky white spots, or visible plaque?
  • Does your child have a medical condition or take any medications that cause dry mouth (asthma)?
  • Does your child have decreased exposure to fluoridated water and toothpaste?
  • Are your child’s teeth brushed one or less times per day?
  • Has your child had cavities in the past?
  • Has it been more than 6 months since your child’s last dental visit?

Why are baby teeth so important anyway?

Although it is true that your child will lose their baby teeth, the molar teeth in the back will remain in the mouth until your child is 10-13 years old. The baby teeth have many important jobs, primarily, to save space in the mouth for the adult teeth growing beneath them. When a baby tooth is lost too early, usually due to infection from a cavity, the rest of the baby teeth near that empty space shift around. They can even prevent the grown-up tooth from growing into the mouth correctly. This can lead to crooked adult teeth and future orthodontic problems. Baby teeth also help your child to speak clearly and to chew thoroughly. Cavities in baby teeth can lead to infection and pain for your little one and can also cause damage to the grown-up teeth beneath them. Early visits encourage your child to be much less fearful of the dental environment, which in turn promotes adults with healthier teeth.

Your pediatric dentist will help your child on a lifelong journey towards good oral health. Early visits also encourage your child to become less fearful of the dental environment. Please don’t wait until it is too late — tooth decay is almost 100 percent preventable.

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

News Transcript

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Recent Posts