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Treating Poorly Aligned Teeth – Boston, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Friday, May 29, 2015

Correctly aligned teeth are what keeps us from biting our cheeks and let us chew and speak properly. Properly aligned teeth also allow for proper cleaning to prevent tooth decay.

Badly aligned teeth are called malocclusion. This means that the teeth of the upper jaw don’t connect properly with the teeth of the lower jaw. Different types of malocclusion are overbites, underbites, and uneven bites.

Malocclusion causes many problems. These problems include trouble biting or chewing, speech difficulties such as lisping, mouth breathing, jaw pain, unhealthy gums, and an unattractive appearance.

Children may inherit malocclusion because of the size and shape of their face, jaws, and teeth. Or they can develop it from using a bottle or pacifier too long, thumb sucking, losing baby teeth too early or late, or from an accident.

Sometimes both inherited and later problems are to blame. Signs your child might have a malocclusion include crowded, misplaced, or oversized teeth; or jaws that shift or make sounds.


Your pediatric dentist may try to prevent your young child’s malocclusion from developing. Preventive treatment means leaving enough space for permanent teeth to come in. This may require a space maintainer to take the place of a baby tooth lost too early. Or the orthodontist might remove primary teeth that don’t come out on their own.

A second type of treatment, called interceptive treatment, aims to keep a developing malocclusion from getting worse. The orthodontist may guide emerging permanent teeth into alignment by:

  • Removing teeth
  • Reducing the size of teeth
  • Holding space for permanent teeth

Comprehensive orthodontic treatment means correcting a malocclusion and making sure that the jaw works well. This treatment may take place in several phases.

Two types of appliances can correct malocclusion. Removable appliances made of wires and plastic are easy to keep clean. But to do their job, they must be worn exactly as instructed. Fixed appliances, called braces, control tooth movement better than removable appliances. But food collects around braces. So children wearing braces must be especially careful about cleaning their teeth.

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

Over-the-Counter or Professional Teeth Whitening? – Boxborough, Boston, MA

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure done today. However, it isn’t for everyone. You may not know what’s in store with store-bought whitening products.

Grocery stores and drugstores have all kinds of oral care products. In fact, there is a staggering array of over-the-counter teeth whitening products that promise a dazzling whiter smile. Some work, some don’t.

When choosing an over the counter whitening product you don’t get your dentist’s education, training, and experience or judgment.

Although you’ll save money with store bought teeth-whitening products, the results may not be everything you expected.

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 try to find the perfect over the counter teeth whitener. Whitening your teeth won’t fix those problems and can even aggravate them.

Also, many people don’t realize that previous restorations in their mouth won’t whiten along with their natural teeth. These include crowns and fillings. 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 seeing your dentist before you decide to whiten your teeth is that the dentist can explain all your options and tell you the advantages and disadvantages of each method. Perhaps you will decide to start with professional teeth whitening and then use store bought products between visits. If you elect to whiten your teeth by yourself, your dentist can recommend the best product for you. The dentist can also explain what he or she is able to do for you.

Over the counter products are not custom-fit. A dentist can make custom trays that fit perfectly in your mouth. You can use the trays at home. He or she can usually provide stronger bleaching agents than you would get in an OTC tooth whitener, too. The dentist can also offer you an in-office tooth-whitening treatment that can be done in a single office visit, using the most powerful bleaching solution. This takes about 30 to 60 minutes.

Tooth whitening can cause sensitivity in the teeth and gums in some people. If you have questions or are considering teeth whitening, call Today's Dental of Boxborough.

Teeth Whitening For the Best Wedding Photos – Boston, Boxborough, Concord, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Lots of people are planning their weddings. June begins wedding season. Make your pictures and memories perfect with teeth whitening from Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

You smile is your most noticeable attribute. But teeth naturally become darker overtime because of habits and lifestyle. Smoking and drinking coffee, tea and red wine can all cause stained teeth which detracts from your smile.

But, through in-office teeth whitening you can be sure of a beautiful, bright smile. Stop worrying about your smile and your wedding pictures.

In-office teeth whitening is a simple, effective treatment that brightens the color of your teeth. It is the ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile just in time for your wedding photos.

Many people opt to try to brighten their smile by bleaching their teeth at home. But in-office whitening is more effective, faster and safer than over-the-counter products. Our teeth whitening works on the entire tooth, because teeth are opaque. Also, we make sure that your new, brighter, whiter teeth are also natural looking. You want a bright attractive smile for your wedding photos, but you don’t want a fake looking white smile.

Having brighter, whiter teeth is the number one aesthetic concern for most Americans. Visit Today’s Dental of Boxborough for a consultation on how to make your smile beautiful for your wedding photos. Be sure you have perfect, lasting memories of your special day.

Dental Sealants Protect Kids’ Teeth from Cavities – Boston, Concord, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Tooth decay in permanent teeth is falling among children, teens, and adults and dental sealants are playing a roll in this decrease. Dental sealants are a thin, plastic coatings that guard teeth from cavities. The CDC found that 38% of children and teens ages 12 to 19 have dental sealants.

Why Use Sealants?

Regular brushing and flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of teeth. But your toothbrush can’t reach all the depressions and grooves. These grooves are the number one spot where cavities develop in teeth. Sealants can protect these areas on the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. Some teeth have pits where food or bacteria can collect, so those teeth are sometimes sealed as well.

Who Needs Them?

Because baby teeth save space for permanent teeth, it’s important to keep them healthy. Some of these baby teeth may need sealants, particularly if they have deep pits and grooves.

As soon as children’s permanent teeth come in, they should get sealants. Children’s first permanent molars usually come between ages 5 and 7, and their second permanent molars come in between ages 11 and 14.

The dentist will paint the sealant onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens.

For more information on sealants for your children’s teeth, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Improving Your Smile with Dental Veneers – Boston, Boxborough, Acton, MA

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, April 30, 2015

You can’t avoid it, on TV, in magazines and even people you know all have that perfect smile. More and more people are looking to improve their smiles. If you want better looking teeth talk to a cosmetic dentist about dental veneers.

Veneer are a thin layer of porcelain that is placed over the front of your teeth to mask discolorations, brighten teeth, and generally improve your smile.

Over time, teeth become darker internally and wear down externally, making them appear even darker. Many lifestyle habits can cause teeth discoloration like smoking, coffee, tea, red wine, and certain antibiotics.

Veneers are used to change a tooth’s color, size, or shape. They are ideal for masking teeth that are stained or chipped, or filling in gaps between front teeth.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) found that a new smile can make you appear more attractive, more successful, and even more intelligent.  In fact, the first things people notice about someone’s smile include:

  • Straightness
  • Whiteness and color of teeth
  • Sincerity of smile
  • Missing teeth
  • Sparkle of smile

For more information on improving your smile with dental veneers, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Options for a Better Smile – Boston, Concord, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Friday, April 24, 2015

If you want a better smile, you have a couple options. Your dentist can use veneers and crowns to fix a range of dental problems.

If your teeth are chipped, broken, cracked, or badly stained or have slight gaps, you and your dentist may discuss a number of remedies. Your dentist should consider the simplest solution that works for you. In order of complexity, these solutions range from bonding to veneers and crowns.


Dental Veneers are thin, custom-made shells designed to cover the front of your teeth. They are used to fix spaces between teeth and teeth that are chipped or worn, permanently stained, poorly shaped, or slightly crooked. Made of porcelain or plastic, they are usually used for the front teeth—particularly the upper front teeth—that are most visible when you smile. If you have a wide smile, some of the posterior teeth may be covered as well.

Porcelain Veneers made of porcelain are the most durable and color-stable. They may also be an alternative to crowns, which are more expensive.

The process can take up to three visits. At the first visit, your dentist may make preliminary impressions of your teeth to make models to plan for the veneers. At the second appointment, the dentist will reduce some of the enamel on your teeth to make room for the veneers. The dentist will make a mold of the prepared teeth and send it to a dental laboratory, which will make your veneers. At the third visit, the dentist will place the veneers on your teeth with an adhesive resin.


If one of your teeth has a large amount of decay, number of fillings, or is cracked, your dentist might recommend a crown. This restores your entire tooth, not just its front surface. To prepare your tooth for a crown, your dentist will reduce the tooth to a stable foundation so that the crown can fit over it.

The dentist will make an impression to send to a dental laboratory that will make your crown. Your dentist will also fashion a temporary crown to cover your tooth until your permanent crown is made and fitted by your dentist during a second sitting. Dentists using CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing) technology may be able to make your crown at the same visit as the tooth is prepared.

Dental Crowns are made of materials such as ceramics (porcelain being one type); or metal (alloys of gold, copper, or other so-called noble metals or base metal alloys with a silver appearance) or a combination of ceramics and metal. They are often more expensive than bonding and veneers.

For more information on these and other options, contact  Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Easy Cosmetic Dental Procedures for Healthy Smiles – Boston, Concord, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Everyone deserves a happy, healthy smile, and should make their dental health a priority.

Do you want a more beautiful smile that you can feel confident about? You can have one, with the help of some cosmetic dentistry procedures.

One of the most popular and effective in correcting several aesthetic issues with your teeth are dental veneers. Well-designed porcelain veneers are a quick, painless and amazingly transformative cosmetic procedure.

Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic material, which are bonded to the front of a tooth. It easily fixes issues including chipped teeth, a gap in between teeth, discoloration, and in changing the shape and appearance of any teeth that need fixing.

They are a great solution to those who are unhappy with their front teeth if they suffer from cracks, chips or severe discoloration. Another popular use for veneers is that in some situations, they can be used as an alternative to crowns.

Another popular cosmetic dental procedure is white fillings, or composite fillings. This is the perfect way to make fillings invisible, the perfect material to fill new cavities, or for use in other minor cosmetic procedures.

These smile improvement procedures include changing the color of teeth or reshaping disfigured or cracked teeth. However, people mostly opt for white fillings to get rid of the silver ones so their cavities aren’t visible. White fillings blend well with the natural tooth color and can be easily and securely bonded to the existing teeth.

White fillings are great fillings for restoring decayed areas in the front or back teeth, and provide great durability and resistance for small to mid-size fractures. They can also withstand the pressure from daily chewing, which means not only will your smile look fantastic, but you will not have to worry about eating the foods you love.

If you are interested in learning more about the cosmetic dentistry procedures, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Invisible Braces at Any Age - Boston, Concord, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Friday, April 03, 2015

The best way to deal with crooked or overlapping teeth is to opt for braces. And no, braces are not just for kids or teenagers. There are options today where you can ask for invisible braces, clear aligners which are almost transparent when worn, and can be removed for special occasions. Dentists claim that these modern-day braces are comfortable to use, and are highly effective in shaping your teeth.

Clear braces are very popular with adults because they can’t be seen like traditional metal braces. Not all conditions can be treated with invisible braces, but there are many orthodontic conditions that can be such as overbite or overjet, crowded or widely spaced teeth and crooked teeth.

There are many benefits to clear braces. Crooked or overlapping teeth, overbite or underbite is generally an inherited trait. It also happens when your mouth is too small to accommodate all your teeth. Braces and orthodontic procedures help restore your facial symmetry. Wearing braces may seem scary, but modern technology has made it possible to wear them for shorter periods, and get a balanced set of teeth. You can expect to see results within the first three months and the invisible braces can take the embarrassment out of your smile.

To see if you are a candidate for invisible braces, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

What are Dental Sealants and When Should Kids Get Them? – Boston, Concord, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dental Sealants for kids help prevent cavities on the chewing surface of permanent teeth. They reduce the chance of cavities by about 70%.

Baby teeth are smoother on top, so sealants aren't usually used on them. But permanent back teeth have grooves and crevices where food and germs can gather and cause cavities. So when the first permanent molars come in, usually around ages 6 to 7 1/2, those four teeth should be sealed, and when the second permanent molars come in at age 12 or 13, those four should be sealed as well. Most insurance companies cover sealants up to age 14.

The dental sealants are the same kind of white, bonded material used to fill cavities, but more liquid in consistency. During the painless procedure, dentists paint on the liquid, which fills in the grooves and crevices. Sealants don't eliminate the need to brush. You still have the gum line, you still have between teeth.

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


Do Kids Need Dental Sealants? – Boston, Concord, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, March 12, 2015

Many young kids have a sweet tooth.

They’d rather drink juice than water and they don’t turn down candy often.

So, often pediatric dentists will suggest that dental sealants could keep tooth decay at bay in permanent molars.

Any type of preventive thing we can do to help keep a child’s smile beautiful, we want to do.

But a child’s mouth is part of an ongoing debate over whether enough kids get the liquid plastic coverings that protect “the most decayed tooth in the mouth.”

Only about 20% of children at poverty level and only 40% of kids from higher-income homes actually receive recommended sealants, according to studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That confounds pediatric dentists. Decades of research demonstrate that coating the biting surfaces of 6-year molars with a resin-based sealant can reduce cavities by up to nearly 80% immediately -- and up to 60% for four years or more.

It’s imperative that as soon as those adult teeth erupt, that they be sealed.

In practice, however, less than 40% of dentists actually follow the recommendations of the ADA, according to a 2011 study. The study tracked whether dentists were willing to seal teeth with the beginnings of decay, but no actual cavities.

The lack of dentists doing dental sealants for kids is a very silent and probably the most significant issue to care we face among children. Parents should be asking for sealants and not taking no for an answer.

Gordon J. Christensen, who publishes Clinicians Report, widely regarded as the “Consumer Reports of dental products,” says that sealants done properly are “an excellent technique” for combatting decay. But, he adds, the success of the sealant depends largely on the skill of the person who applies it.

“They have to seek out a practitioner who knows what they’re doing,” he said.

Christensen is concerned about so-called “non-cavitated caries lesions,” early signs of tooth decay that have not yet resulted in cavities. He worries that sealants trap plaque on the tooth, creating an environment that fuels future decay.

CDC researchers say studies have shown that decay does not progress once sealants are added.

Dental sealants are formed when a plastic-like liquid is dripped onto the biting surface of the tooth, coating the pits and fissures that typically trap food and foster bacterial growth.

They’re applied to the permanent molars and set with ultraviolet light, ideally between the ages of 5 and 7, when the teeth erupt. Cost can be $30 to $40 for each tooth and is typically covered by most dental insurance policies.

Studies consistently showed that sealants warded off decay in high proportions of permanent teeth, sometimes for up to a decade.

Between 45 million and 55 million sealants are applied each year in the U.S., with pediatric dentists performing more than twice as many procedures as either general dentists or dental hygienists.
Support for the sealants is shared by oral health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who are particularly in favor of school-based sealant programs that reach kids without regular care.
For many middle-class parents whose children do see the dentist, the problem is that the subject of sealants may not even be raised.

Some dentists, mostly those who treat few children, might be leery of sealants because they can be tricky to place, or because they didn’t learn to use them in dental school and aren’t in the habit of offering the treatment.

To be clear, not all children need sealants because their teeth are naturally not prone to decay or they have exceptional oral hygiene habits. But only a dentist can tell and parents should at least inquire.

But many do, and not just children typically at high risk. Recent studies have shown that boys in higher-income homes had the greatest prevalence of decay.

For those who do require sealants, they may mean the difference between a lifetime of healthy teeth and the pain and health risks of chronic decay.

What folks need to know is that 90 percent of decay in the adult is on the biting surface on the back tooth.

Dentistry is a very demand-based health service. Patient demand really affects what dentists do in their practices.

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

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