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Skip DIY Teeth Whitening - Boston, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cheap DIY teeth whitening "can leave you with teeth of an 80-year-old": Some products are so strong they can strip away enamel.

  • Teeth-whitening is now very popular with people looking for Hollywood smile
  • But leading dentist says some beauticians use swimming pool bleach
  • Also warns against kits available claiming they don't work

Over-the-counter whiteners promise a perfect smile at a fraction of the price of professional teeth whitening treatments.

But cheap teeth-whitening methods and DIY remedies can do permanent damage to your teeth.

Some are so harsh they strip away the enamel, leaving healthy young people with dull brown teeth usually only seen in the elderly.

A leading cosmetic dentist, said: ‘You only get so much enamel in your life and once it has gone, you are in serious trouble.’

Teeth-whitening has become increasingly popular as regular folks seek the Hollywood smile sported by celebrities.

He said they are so desperate for white teeth they ignore warnings and will use any and all products. "People want white teeth and will move hell and high water in an attempt to get them."

Others are putting their faith in cut-price treatments offered by beauticians and hairdressers or in kits bought over the counter.

Budget bleaching sessions are at best useless and at worst dangerous. Research shows that only hydrogen peroxide and derivatives of it, such as carbamide peroxide, whiten teeth.

However, some beauticians use chlorine dioxide, which is better known as swimming pool bleach.

It eats away at the enamel, exposing the dentine below, which looks brown. Also, patients should be warned against buying kits online. Some contain five times as much whitening agent as needed.

They will whiten teeth but also leave them extremely sensitive.

Some people are under the impression that the citric acid in strawberries and lemon juice whitens teeth. Strawberries do not whiten teeth, while too much lemon juice just damages enamel.

For professional teeth whitening, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

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Early Orthodontic Treatment , When to Start it – Boston, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Friday, December 05, 2014

Like in any medical field, early treatment is important in ensuring results. So when should early orthodontic treatment for children first be considered? Phase I treatment for children should generally begin around age 7, when several permanent teeth in most children have come in. This allows dentists to effectively evaluate a child's orthodontic condition.

Previously held beliefs that patients should wait to visit with the orthodontist can result in even more difficult orthodontic treatments for the patient.

A Phase I orthodontic examination generally answers five questions: Whether a problem exists, how it can be corrected, if teeth removal is needed, how long treatment will take, and how much treatment will cost. Most Phase I treatments to last between 12 and 21 months, with checkups occurring every 6-10 weeks. These checkups allow Team Orthodontics to monitor a child's facial growth, bite, and amount of dental crowning.

The primary objective for Phase I orthodontic treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe, and to improve self-esteem and self-image. In some cases, a child may require a second phase of treatment, which usually spans between 12 and 20 months. This phase generally involves braces on all of the permanent teeth. It is best to assume a child will need braces even after Phase I treatment.

So, what does this all mean for adults who never received orthodontic care as a child but may now need it? A surprising percentage of patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness, and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is 'too old' to wear braces.

For more information on early orthodontic treatment, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Take Advantage of Dental Benefits Before the End of the Year -Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving is here and the end-of-the-year is right around the corner. The end-of-the-year means your dental benefits will be expiring.

Too many people do not take advantage of their annual dental insurance benefits letting them expire at the end of each year. What many people do not realize is that even though their coverage may not pay in total for certain dental procedures, most dental plans fully cover routine dental care. Also, if you know that you are going to need extensive dental work done, you can plan your dental visit for later in the calendar year, like October. Your dental benefits will renew again at the first of the year. This makes it more affordable to have procedures such as root canals and crowns done, by using the available benefits from two calendar years towards one or two major procedures.

Dental insurance benefits often made available to employees through employer's health insurance, PPO, or HMO plans. Unlike regular medical insurance plans, most dental insurance plans do not offer large amounts of coverage or cover as many expenses. You are usually allotted a pre-determined maximum amount of coverage per calendar year per person covered under the plan. Now is the time to begin or schedule extensive dental work if you need it.

As a general rule, most dental insurance plans offer coverage at 100% on preventative dental care such as routine exams and teeth cleanings. Be sure to have your dental office contact your dental insurance carrier prior to having any work performed, this way you will understand the potential out of pocket expenses that may be involved.

To make the most out of your dental insurance benefits, make sure to get your annual dental check ups and cleanings that are fully covered. Keep in mind that an ounce of prevention in regards to dental care could save you much out of pocket expense that your dental insurance may not cover.

For an appointment or consultation, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.


Dental Implants Give You a Confident, Natural Smile for the Holidays – Boston, Boxborough, MA

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, November 20, 2014

The holiday season is fast approaching. You want to enjoy all of the seasonal get-togethers, and snapping photos is a big part of the festivities. If you’re not comfortable with your smile, now may be the time to fix that. If missing teeth have you hiding your smile, dental implants could be the solution to enhance your outward appearance and restore function.

If you suffer from missing teeth, whether from genetics or an accident, a dental bridge may not give you the natural feel you want. Dental implants give you the confidence of a natural tooth, along with a healthy bite. This is a permanent fix.

Dental implants give you the ability to have natural looking teeth that are comfortable and that you can be confident in. They taste and chew food as well as a natural tooth would.

A dental implant is an artificial root inserted into the jaw to replace a tooth, much like its original, natural structure, and very strong.  The dental implant is made out of medical grade titanium, very similar to any sort of knee or joint replacement.

The process starts with 3D X-rays to diagnose the exact problem, then surgery can be done the same day. If a tooth needs to be extracted it can be, and the dental implant can be inserted any time after that.

A custom mold is created for each patient.  The dental implant has three parts: an anchoring root, an abutment and a crown;  just like a tooth which is prepared for a crown and then you put the tooth on top of it.

Patients can undergo sedation dentistry if they are worried about feeling any pain. Dental implants can be an option for one or two missing teeth, or the entire mouth.

Be thrilled to be showing off your full smile again this holiday season.

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

Kids Need Regular Dental Check-ups – Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Friday, November 14, 2014

Every child is unique, but children’s healthcare plans tend to follow the same schedules. Nowhere is this more true than in pediatric dentistry, which follows that general rule that says children are seen once every six months, starting at age 1. However, recent research shows this model has many problems.

A 2010 survey published in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Journal found that 7.5 million children ages 6 to 12 experienced a toothache within a six-month period; one in seven children reported having pain associated with a toothache. These toothaches also affected the child’s performance at school.

Children from low-income families were especially impacted by toothaches, which caused about a third of elementary school absences among children from low-income families. Students who reported experiencing pain from toothaches were four times more likely to have a grade point average of under 2.8. The most common cause of toothaches is tooth decay, which can be reversed with preventive care.

The president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), says, “We're reaching epidemic proportions of a rapid form of tooth decay especially in younger children, often from disadvantaged backgrounds”.

Two reports cite the American Academy of Pediatrics Dentistry’s (AAPD) guideline for the regularity of kids visits to dentists. The AAPD guideline supports an increase of preventative care, especially frequent fluoride varnish applications to children who are high risk for dental caries. Providing fluoride treatments frequently can reduce cavities by 30%.

Not only does increasing preventive care help decrease the epidemic of tooth decay, it is also highly cost effective. Fluoride varnishes provide a return of 65 cents per dollar spent and follow-up care for children who already had cavities provides a return of 77 to 88 cents per dollar. It is also approximately 10 times more expensive to provide inpatient dental care for dental caries than to provide preventive care.

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

In-Office Teeth Whitening for Faster, Better Results – Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, November 06, 2014

Today we put much emphasis on bright white teeth. Everyone wants them and with access to so many teeth whitening products, white teeth are no longer only available to the rich and famous. But do over-the-counter teeth whitening products really work?

Brushing your teeth with a strawberry and baking-soda mixture  — which "The Dr. Oz Show" and YouTube videos have touted as a natural, cheap, easy, do-it-yourself way to brighten teeth — does not actually whiten teeth, and may even weaken them, new research shows.

In the past, lemons had also been advocated as tooth-whitening agents. However, researchers very soon discovered that the high concentration of citric acid in lemons made their juice acidic enough to potentially erode teeth.

Studies were also done with three other groups of human molars, which they subjected to other teeth-whitening remedies — over-the-counter whitening strips, prescription tooth-whitening products and a procedure mimicking professional teeth whitening at a dentist. All of these methods produced discernible, yet very different whitening results over different lengths of time.

However, for the most productive and effective solution, in-office teeth whitening is best. In-office whitening jump starts the process. Then you are sent home with custom trays and whitening agent to finish the job in the comfort of your own home.

In-office teeth whitening brightens the entire tooth, not just the front. Also, because it is applied in the dentist’s office and then with custom trays, in-office teeth whitening is better for your gums and the other soft tissue in your mouth.

For a more effective and faster solution to natural looking white teeth, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

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.

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