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Drill-Free Dentistry – Boston, Concord, Acton

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Often, the sound of the dentists drill, or even the thought of it, is what keeps folks away from the dentist office. If you have tooth decay or a cavity, you can now get dental treatment without the drilling. Air abrasion dentistry is drill-less dentistry that removes tooth decay.

Air abrasion dentistry uses a tool like a mini sandblaster, that sprays air and fine particles on your tooth to remove tooth decay.  The particles are made of silica, aluminum oxide mixture and are propelled by compressed air. The stream of particles attacks the tooth decay. The decay is then "suctioned" away through a thin tube.

Air abrasion dentistry is safe. Compared with traditional tooth drilling, there are many advantages of air abrasion dentistry:

  • No heat, sound, pressure, or vibration is generated.
  • The need for anesthesia is reduced especially if the cavity is shallow.
  • More of the healthy tooth tissue is left behind.
  • The working area is left relatively dry, which is an advantage when using composite fillings.
  • The risk of fracturing and chipping the tooth is reduced.
  • More than one cavity or tooth decay spot can be treated in one visit.
  • Procedure is simple and quick.

Air abrasion is perfect for children and those who are fearful of the dentist.

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

Teeth Grinding in Children - Boston

Joseph Coupal - Friday, April 11, 2014

Teeth grinding and jaw clenching, medically called bruxism, is a common problem for children. It actually affects at least 20% of kids. Usually teeth grinding occurs while sleeping or when a child is under stress. It usually lasts for about four seconds and happens approximately six times per hour during the night.

Kids may grind their teeth for different reasons, including improper alignment of jaws or as a response to pain such as teething, and stress. Studies have shown that kids with ADHD, behavioral problems, cerebral palsy, and those taking certain medications are more likely to grind their teeth or clench their jaws.

If your child grinds or clenches his teeth, you should take him to a pediatric dentist. Most kids grow out of grinding teeth by adolescence. Nevertheless, it can cause problems and should be treated.

Minor problems caused by teeth grinding in kids are:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Painful chewing
  • Sore face or jaw
  • Grinding sound annoying other family members

More serious consequences include:

  • Worn down tooth enamel
  • Chipped teeth
  • Increased temperature sensitivity
  • Facial pain and jaw problems, such as TMJ (temporomandibular joint disease)

To help stop your child from grinding or clenching teeth, Dr. Anna Kalmanovich may suggest a mouth guard specially molded to your child’s mouth. If teeth grinding is the result of stress, try talking with your child about his feelings regularly and doing soothing activities before bed. For more information, contact Today's Dental of Boxborough.

livescience

Protect Kids Teeth During Spring Sports – Boston, Acton, Concord

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Today’s Dental of Boxborough wants to remind young athletes to play it safe by wearing a mouth guard during recreational and organized sports this spring.  Research estimates that about 2% of all children or adolescents who participate in sports eventually will suffer a facial injury severe enough to require medical attention.

"A properly fitted mouth guard is an essential piece of any athlete's protective equipment," says past president of the Academy for Sports Dentistry.  "Mouth guards protect the teeth from being knocked out, broken and displaced.  Mouth guards prevent injuries to the bone and tissues around the teeth. They also help prevent injuries to the lower jaw) and temporomandibular joint in the jaw. Tooth loss in kids incurs a tremendous financial, emotional, and psychological expense.  Protect what you have - wear a properly fitted mouth guard."

National Facial Protection Month strives to raise public awareness and remind parents and caregivers, coaches and athletes to play it safe while playing sports.

Sports accidents reportedly account for 10 to 39% of all dental injuries in children and are most often caused by direct hits with a hard object, such as a puck or ball, and player-to-player contact.

Here are five tips to help prevent teeth and facial injury:

  1. Wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports: Mouth guards are significantly less expensive than the cost to repair an injury, and dentists and dental specialists can make customized mouth guards that hold teeth in place and allow for normal speech and breathing.
  2. Wear a helmet: Helmets absorb the energy of an impact and help prevent damage to the head.
  3. Wear protective eyewear: Eyes are extremely vulnerable to damage, especially when playing sports.
  4. Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin: Hockey pucks, basketballs and racquetballs can cause severe facial damage at any age.
  5. Make protective gear mandatory for all sports: Athletes who participate in football, hockey and boxing are required to wear mouth guards.  Mouth guards have been proven to significantly decrease the risk of oral injuries, it not mandatory in every sport for kids to be required to wear them, however, kids should wear them in all spots, even in those where they are not required.

For information on protecting kids teeth, or for appointments after injury, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

SysConMedia

Does Thumb Sucking Ruin Your Child's Teeth? Boston, Acton

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

During infancy, parents are happy when their babies can seek solace in their own thumbs. But there comes a time when parents fear their child’s thumb sucking. For most people, though, concerns about thumb sucking are a bit more cosmetic.

The alleged dangers of thumb sucking or pacifier are so severe that it's become one of those issues that perfect strangers feel comfortable commenting upon.

But is thumb sucking worth all this fuss? It is, after all, an extremely common habit; about 80% percent of babies and children suck their thumbs at some point. Thumb sucking is a normal reflex in children that soothes them in times of stress. Many children outgrow the habit on their own, but for those who don't, what are the consequences?

How Thumb Sucking Ruins Teeth

There are two important factors that answer the question, 'will thumb sucking damage teeth': age and intensity. Most dentists agree that the habit won't harm baby teeth, but it should be addressed by the time that permanent teeth arrive, which is around age 6. Once the baby teeth are gone, the potential damage has a greater likelihood of becoming permanent or requiring the attention of an orthodontist. This damage could include abnormal alignment of teeth, known as a malocclusion, as well as damage to the structure of the roof of the mouth. Perhaps most noticeable among the dental difficulties are buck teeth, which result when the pressure of the thumb pushes the top teeth out and away from each other. The changes in dentition could also cause speech problems, such as a lisp. It's possible that malocclusions will take care of themselves once the child stops sucking his or her thumb, but movement of the teeth will probably involve dental work.

The intensity of thumb sucking will affect the extent of the damage. If a child forcefully sucks his or her thumb from day one, then the habit could impact the shape of the mouth and the position of the teeth before permanent teeth even come in. On the other hand, if a child places a thumb in his or her mouth only occasionally, with little to no sucking, then it's less likely to cause a permanent problem. Children may continue to indulge in this action at times of exhaustion or boredom.

Doctors and dentists suggest providing positive reinforcement to children for not sucking their thumbs, as opposed to negative comments when they do suck, which may only increase the stress and, by extension, the sucking. Have a dentist explain potential pitfalls of thumb sucking, and remember that these children are almost like little addicts: Children usually require the desire to quit, and even then, it will take about 30 to 60 days to let go of the urge to suck.

For help with dental issues caused by thumb sucking, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

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Pediatric Dentists Remind You About Dental Care for Kids – Boston, Acton

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pediatric dentistry is different from general dentistry. Properly caring for children’s teeth helps to instill the right dental habits in your kids for life. Here are a few reminders on caring for baby teeth and oral health from birth through their school-age years.

Birth to 2 years

Before teeth erupt, clean baby's mouth and gums with a soft cloth or infant toothbrush at bath time.

Once teeth erupt, brush them gently with a soft child's size toothbrush and a 'smear' of fluoridated toothpaste twice a day.

At bedtime, give nothing but water. Any sugary liquids or carbohydrates (milk, formula, fruit juice) expose teeth to bacterial acid all night long

Take a child to see a dental provider by his or her first birthday

2 to 5 years

Assist or brush your child's teeth at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night with a pea-size amount of fluoridated toothpaste. They don't have the ability to brush effectively alone. They should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.

Schedule dental visits every six months for routine cleanings

Begin flossing a child's teeth when any two teeth are touching

Limit the amount of juice you give a child to less than 6 oz. per day.

School-age children

Parents should supervise their children's brushing until they are 7 or 8 years old

Don't forget to floss their teeth once teeth are touching

Chewing gum with XYLITOL, a non-sugar naturally occurring substance, to stimulate saliva flow helps clean the mouth (Make sure to ask the teacher first)

Avoid carbonated beverages, which can erode enamel on teeth; sport drinks and juice pouches keep acid levels high and are also bad for teeth.

For more information on children’s dentistry and oral health, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

USA Today

Tooth Decay in Kids Reaching Epidemic Proportions, and it's Preventable – Boston, Acton, Concord

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tooth decay in children is largely preventable, but it remains one of the most common diseases of childhood — five times as common as asthma, and seven times as common as hay fever. CDC says 42% of children ages 2 to 11 have had cavities in baby teeth; 21% of those ages 6 to 11 have had cavities in permanent teeth. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry highlights the seriousness of dental decay in children and urges parents and caregivers to start early to prevent it.

Early childhood tooth decay is a serious problem that can result in severe pain, infection and tooth loss even in toddlers.

In fact, it is reaching epidemic proportions of a rapid form of tooth decay especially in younger children, often from disadvantaged backgrounds. We're seeing increases in the rate of what we call early childhood caries (ECC) or what use to be called baby bottle tooth decay. It develops most commonly with infants and toddlers when they are put to sleep with a bottle in their mouth, put to sleep nursing, or walk around with a sippy cup. That, combined with the fact that their teeth aren't being cleaned as carefully as they should, leads to this situation.

How can cavities be deadly?

Dental caries are caused by bacteria in the mouth. Those bacteria can spread from the tooth into the nerve where the tooth becomes abscessed. Then it can spread into the bloodstream.

Children should have their first dental exam by age 1, but a survey shows 40% of parents wait until after age 2.

As soon as the first tooth emerges, there is the possibility of getting tooth decay. Kids should be seen as early as possible by a pediatric dentist so parents know the proper oral hygiene techniques for infants and toddlers, what they should feed them, what they shouldn't feed them, and to assess the growth and development to make sure everything is normal and growing to its fullest potential.

In regards to older kids when it comes to oral health, there are some concerns about the advent of high energy drinks and monster drinks. Now teenagers have mouths full of decay which has never been seen before. Teens should not be drinking those drinks. They're very bad for the teeth because they contain so much sugar.

For more information or to make an appointment with a pediatric dentist, contact Today's Dental of Boxborough.

USA Today

Early Orthodontic Treatment Makes A Beautiful Smile Forever - Boston

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Crooked teeth in children may be because of the jaws being too small. If there is no room for the teeth, they become bunched up and crooked. There are a variety of reasons why jaws don't develop correctly, but the current thought is improper breathing, diet and pollution as a child grows and develops.

If a child only breathes through their mouth, their tongue lays low so air can come through. This is not good because the tongue is needed to form the roof of the mouth and make it a U-shape instead of a V-shape. The tongue pushing on it from the inside during normal swallowing develops the U-shape of the upper jaw.

With today's dental technology, bone can actually be moved, expanded, and grown in a way that places the jaws into the right position with the correct size. Part of the key to success is the age of the person who needs the procedure.

Consider this - if you wanted to have a unique bend or curvature of a tree in your backyard, you would need to start when the tree was a sapling. The same holds true for people. Starting orthodontic treatment young results in much easier, and almost always better, treatment outcomes.

Expansion appliances fit in the roof of the mouth and sometimes on the lower jaw as well. Once they are in place, there is a screw that can be turned which puts more pressure on the bone, and the bone actually moves.

Kids are tough and adaptable. After the first week they will be totally used to the appliance - how to eat, talk, and keep everything clean.

Oral appliances will help put everything in its right place and will help develop the right jaw-to-jaw relationship for the rest of their life.

Here is another reason early orthodontic treatment is important and essential. Symmetry is beauty. The jaws and teeth make up one-third of the face, and if they don't develop correctly, the face will not be symmetrical.

Getting an evaluation for your child earlier can lead to minimal treatment. Many do not have crooked teeth, they just have limited room. We all like big, beautiful smiles - especially at an early age.

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

Castanet.net

Tips to Help Keep Your Kids Calm at the Dentist's Office - Boston

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

When you were a kid, you probably didn’t like going to the dentist. But today, pediatric dentists are trained to make your child comfortable, have fun, and actually enjoy the visit to the dentists’ office. With consistent oral hygiene, regular dental visits and the new technology now available, your kids don’t have to be afraid of the dentist, they can enjoy it – and form great oral hygiene habits at the same time.

Even so, some kids are still anxious about dentist appointments. Usually it’s because they don’t know what to expect, but one of the most common reasons actually has to do with you.

In fact, a study found that if one family member was anxious about dental visits, that fear was oftentimes passed onto other members.

What’s more, children take cues from their dads when deciding if the dentist is something to fear.

Sometimes parents project their own feelings about going to the dentist onto their children.

The good news is that if your children are scared of the dentist, there are ways to help ease their fears. Try these tips:

Start brushing early.

Even if your baby doesn’t have teeth, you should clean his gums with a baby toothbrush, finger cot or wet cloth after each feeding. Introducing good oral hygiene at an early age prepares kids for examinations and cleanings later on.

See the dentist before the first birthday.

Children should visit the dentist when the first tooth erupts or by age one. Early dental visits get your child used to the dentist and can prevent dental problems and anxiety about dental procedures in the future.

Talk about it.

Read a book about going to the dentist, explain what to expect or tell your kids about your own positive experience. Prepare them really well and then they’re going to be excited to go.

Practice at home.

Have your kids sit in a recliner or on the couch and pretend to examine and clean their teeth at home so they’ll know what to expect.

Make it fun.

Bring a favorite book or toy for a sense of familiarity and comfort. If you make it a fun, happy experience it will likely translate to a positive visit.

Be positive.

Regardless of your own past experiences or how you feel about the dentist now, make it a positive time for your kids. Avoid talking about pain or discomfort and emphasize how healthy their teeth will be, for example.

Drop in.

Go to the office before your child’s appointment so he can meet the staff and the dentist so they can see that there’s nothing to be scared of.

See a pediatric dentist.

Pediatric dentists have specialized training with kids, use smaller instruments, and usually have kid-friendly offices with bright colors, videos and toys. They’re prepared to work with kids who are anxious or have special needs, too.

Going to a pediatric dentists is an easier and more comfortable experience for children.

Get help.

If you’re too anxious to bring your child to the dentist, ask your partner, another family member or a friend to take her. The worst thing a parent can do is teach that fear to their child.

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

Fox News

Every Dentist is NOT a Pediatric Dentist - Boston

Joseph Coupal - Friday, February 21, 2014

Pediatric dentistry is a specific field of dentistry that focuses on the oral and dental health of infants, children and adolescents. Every dentist is not a pediatric dentist, in fact, three additional years of training are necessary after dental school in order to be deemed a ‘pediatric dentist. And, only pediatric dentists can meet the needs of your children.

At Today’s Dental of Boxborough we are committed to your child’s total health care, meaning both their physical health and their dental health and the two go hand in hand. Good oral health is an important part of total health. Choosing us as your child’s pediatric dentist gives you the opportunity to put preventive dental health habits in place for your child that will foster good dental habits for the rest of their lives.

Today’s Dental of Boxborough focuses on prevention, early detection and treatment of dental diseases and teeth issues. We are current on the latest advances in dental technology for children.

It is our goal to help both your and your child feel good about dentist appointments and to teach your children how to care for their teeth. From our special office designs to our communication style, our main concern is what is best for your child and their teeth.

Contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough for an appointment with a Pediatric Dentist.

Pediatric Dentistry - AAPD

Rapid Tooth Decay is on the Rise in Children – Boston, Acton

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

February is National Children's Dental Health Month. Today's Dental of Boxborough specializes in pediatric dentistry so we thought we would share some new facts about the health of children's teeth with you from a new report from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry:

  • Early childhood caries - a rapid form of tooth decay, commonly called cavities or simply ‘tooth decay’ - is on the rise among young children of all income levels. Research shows it can cause lasting harm to a child's oral and general health, as well as to their social and intellectual development.
  • Children from low-income and minority families are especially vulnerable to early childhood caries (cavities or tooth decay) mainly because they're less likely to see a dentist than other children. The percentage of young children with untreated tooth decay rises as family income declines.
  • By age three, 5% to 10% of U.S. children have oral health issues. By age 5, about 60% will have had caries.
  • Pain associated with acute caries (cavities or tooth decay) can affect a child's health and well- being just as much as asthma. Rapid tooth decay makes children more vulnerable to infections elsewhere, such as in the ears, sinuses and brain.
  • When children have difficulty chewing because they're in pain or for other reasons, it can lead to malnutrition and gastrointestinal issues, which can keep them from growing properly and thriving.
  • Children with dental problems are more likely to miss school.
  • Among parents and caregivers surveyed, 40% wait to take their child to the dentist until after age 2, though the recommendation is by 1 year old.

For more information on preventing tooth decay in children, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

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