Eat Your Way to Pearly Whites | Tyngsboro Dentist

We all want to show off a shiny set of pearly whites. We buy products over-the-counter, practice proper dental hygiene and even have a dental professional give us the works with a whitening procedure. But did you know there is a natural way to keep those teeth bright white in between dental visits? According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, certain foods naturally cleanse, brighten, and defend against bacteria that can harm your teeth and gums. Here are the top 10:

Pinapples. Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain, which acts as a natural stain remover. Bromelain also helps break up plaque.

Ginger. Ginger can protect against periodontal disease, an inflammatory process that causes the loss of bone and supportive connective tissue in your mouth.

Carrots. Carrots contain vitamin A, which is needed for healthy tooth enamel. Eating them raw stimulates saliva, your mouth’s natural cleanser.

Basil. Basil is a natural antibiotic that reduces bacteria in the mouth.

Cheese. Cheese is rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorus, all of which help reduce acid in your mouth.

Sesame seeds. Sesame seeds help “scrub” away the plaque on your teeth and contain bone and teeth-strengthening calcium.

Mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms contain a compound called lentinan, which inhibits bacteria from growing in your mouth.

Onions. Onions contain the sulfur compounds, thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates, which reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay. Problem is, you have to eat them raw.

Salmon. Salmon not only provides calcium but also vitamin D, another nutrient needed for healthy bones and teeth.

Broccoli. Broccoli contains iron, which helps form an acid-resistant film or barrier that can protect the enamel of your teeth.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro, Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and all surrounding areas.

Do I Need to See an Endodontist? | Tyngsboro Dentist

There’s nothing to argue about – toothaches are horrible, even worse when they get infected. Because if left untreated, you may need a root canal. The best dental professional for root canals? An endodontist, and here are five reasons why:

Anesthesia options. Root canal treatments are very painful and sometimes, the typical anesthesia just won’t be enough. Endodontists have more sedation options and are also much better trained in numbing up specific areas, such as those with severe infections.

Comfort. Endodontists have access to better tools and have gone through specialized training to make sure that the process goes smoothly with little pain involved.

Tooth preservation. Because of their expertise and training, endodontists can save even the most corrupted of teeth. This helps keep your smile look natural. While extraction is almost always an option, an endodontist will do everything possible to make sure that the corrupted teeth are saved.

Better emergency care. Not only do you get better quality care, but the endodontist can also see take care of your emergency much faster. This means you’ll rarely have to book an appointment many days prior and have your dental problem solved as soon as possible.

Specialized training and experience. Endodontists receive additional training to make sure that they can handle the complexities of root canals and re-treatments.

Given just how painful root canal treatments are, there’s just no way anyone would want to go through the same horrific experience again and again, so make sure the next time you need a root canal, see a specialist as soon as possible.

 

Start the Year Off with a Set of Pearly Whites | Tyngsboro Dentist

It can be argued that a person’s smile is one of the first thing a person notices upon meeting, keeping our smiles bright and clean is something we should all make a priority. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as it seems. Diets, habits and other reasons can cause our teeth to become dingy over time. Brushing twice a day and flossing almost always works to improve your yellow teeth. But, in the times that they don’t, it’s time to consider other options. With the new year upon us, why not work better dental habits into your list of resolutions?

Avoiding smoking will do wonders for your teeth, and health overall. So too will avoiding stain-causing beverages such as coffee and soda. Although, if it can’t be avoided, you can try to minimize the stains by drinking such beverages through a straw. Or, you can also try drinking milk or water after eating or drinking something acidic to reduce the acid’s eroding effect on the teeth. Avoiding snacks in between meals also helps give your saliva enough time to dilute the acids in your mouth.

Of course, brushing and flossing remain the two most important things you can do to prevent yellow teeth and to maintain oral health. OTC products, such as whitening toothpastes, whitening trays and rinses, can all help whiten teeth by removing some of the stain build-up and providing a mild bleaching effect if properly used.

If you need further advice to whiten your smile, ask your dentist. They can give you the proper advice on how to achieve the sparkly, white smile you’ve always wanted.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro, Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and all surrounding areas.

Why You Need to Keep Your Dental Appointments | Tyngsboro Dentist

Dental treatmentYou’ve missed the last couple dental appointments, and it’s time you face facts – it’s time you pay a visit. And if it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, your first visit back will require a lot of routine procedures. Most dental visits will follow a similar path, and knowing what to expect can help lower the stress of the unknown. Dentistry has come a long way though, so there is no need to have anxiety on your visit to the dentist. Here’s the basics:

X-rays. Most dentists will conduct a number of X-rays – some of them may be uncomfortable, but they shouldn’t be painful. Not only will they be able to see large problems like misaligned, missing or cracked teeth, they’ll also be able to see small cavities caused by decay, and even problems such as bone loss in the jaw caused by periodontal disease.

Examination. Once the X-rays are complete, the dentist will likely check your teeth manually for anything that they noticed when reviewing the X-ray, and also check the health of gums for signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease. If you’re complaining of a specific problem – perhaps a toothache – it’s likely the dentist will identify the cause in his examination.

Cleaning. Depending on the length of your appointment, your dental professional may follow your examination with a thorough professional cleaning. If you haven’t seen a dentist in quite some time, the professional cleaning may be more involved, with techniques such as periodontal scaling (cleaning the roots beneath the gum line), which can take multiple visits.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro, Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and all surrounding areas.

Drinking Wine Can Be Good for You | Tyngsboro Dentist

With the holiday season in full-swing, it is time to gather together with family and friends to give thanks for our blessings and celebrate the day. This will typically go hand-in-hand with an adult beverage or two. In general, alcoholic beverages aren’t the best option for us, but there may be a slight ray of hope to the original theory. According to research published by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, red wine contains antimicrobial elements that were found to help kill bacteria in simulated lab tests. While the same result was produced by taking in shots of grape seed extract, red wine is much more appetizing.

Cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss are caused by the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth. When together, they form communal groups of bacteria that turn into plaque, produce acid, and are difficult to kill. In order to test this red wine theory, scientists grew cultures of mouth mimicking bacteria, and dipped them into different liquids such as red wine, alcohol-free red wine, and red wine with grape seed extract. Out of the three, red wine proved the most effective in eliminating bacteria.

But before you stockpile wine bottles, know that while red wine has proved to protect our teeth against gum disease, it still does a great job in staining our teeth. Rinse your mouth with some water between glasses to fight stains. This is a time for celebration – just make sure you take the necessary steps in helping aid your teeth from staining before you start pouring the glasses.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro, Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and all surrounding areas.

Eat Your Way to a Brighter Grin | Tyngsboro Dentist

Let’s face it – a set of bright shiny teeth can make a smile go from pretty to incredible. But keeping up with their white sheen isn’t as simple as one thinks because much of our diet includes foods and drinks that stains them into a dingy shade of white. And there are ways to whiten your teeth, but is there a more natural way to get back the pearl back in our pearly whites? The answer is yes. The following is a list of foods that are not only nutritious, but will also help whiten our teeth at the same time:

Fruit. The crispiness of the apple is what is doing most of the work here by helping to strengthen your gums. The juiciness of the apple produces saliva, which clears out all of that bacteria that gives us cavities. Another juicy fruit that gives your teeth a good shine is the orange because the citric acid also scours your teeth. One fruit that may surprise you as a whitening agent is the strawberry, but the malic acid is the strawberry’s secret ingredient.

Vegetables. When it comes to vegetables, but we never correlate an onion as a dental secret, but this colorless veggie won’t stain your teeth and their natural alliums are actually good for you. Broccoli is probably Mother Nature’s most blatant toothbrush. Carrots and celery are the next in this line of veggies. And if you think about it, celery is kind of like nature’s floss so eat up!

Dairy. Chockful of calcium, foods like milk, yogurt and cheese strengthen your teeth and gums. The stronger your teeth enamel is, the white & healthy they become.

Call Tyngsboro Dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Reasons You May Not Be Brushing Properly | Tyngsboro Dentist

Most people have heard that poor dental care is linked to heart disease, as well other health maladies. And while you may brush regularly, the problem may not be that you don’t do it enough, but may lie in the way you brush your teeth.

First off, your toothbrush should be the last thing your teeth touch at night. Snacking before you sleep significantly raises your risk for cavities. Saliva production slows down as we sleep, allowing the bacteria in your mouth to multiply even faster. Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes, making sure you scrub at a 30- to 45-degree angle and rotate your wrist in a circular motion to effectively remove the plaque. This may come as a shock to you, but spitting out your toothpaste doesn’t totally remove all the harmful stuff that you loosened while brushing. Adding some type of an oral rinse to your routine will be greatly beneficial to your oral health.

Another problem you may have is your toothbrush. Pick a soft bristle toothbrush that can slip under your gum tissue and dislodge any plaque stuck there. Brushing with a medium or hard model can cause your gums to recede and expose the surface of your tooth’s roots. Pick a soft bristle and change your toothbrush every couple of months. Worn bristles won’t effectively remove plaque or bacteria.  If you’ve been sick, swap out your brush immediately. Residual bacteria and viruses from an illness can cling to the brush and potentially re-infect you.

Call Tyngsboro Dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Don’t Let the Holidays Ruin Your Smile | Tyngsboro Dentist

Christmas homemade gingerbread cookies

During the holidays, we are generally running around like crazy, bouncing around from function to shopping mall and back again. With so many things on our plates, it is difficult for us to keep our typical routines straight. Sadly, this leads to things slipping through the cracks. One such routine is our dental health routine. Because we are surrounded by foods that aren’t exactly the best for us, it’s easy for things to go awry as we celebrate. It’s tough not to indulge – there are so many tasty treats surrounding us. It’s a true test of wills, so we need to be conscious of what we consume during this time of year. And if we take extra good care of our teeth during this delicious season, the less of a chance we will have a bad report when we go back to visit the dentist. Here are just a few tips to keep in mind as you are celebrating the season:

Indulge your sweet tooth. There are so many traditions we have that involve sugary foods, it’s easy to lose track of our intake. There’s no reason to stay away, so just keep things in moderation. After you are all done enjoying yourself, take the time to brush and floss.

Make sure to enjoy “good” foods. Staple holiday foods, like cranberries, turkey and cheese, are actually very good for your teeth. The vitamins and minerals not only benefit your body, but also help to strengthen, and even whiten, your teeth. Just remember, overindulging can have negative consequences. Cranberries contain a lot of acid that can eat away at your teeth so don’t overdo it. Too much dairy can also have negative effects.

Your teeth aren’t tools. Using your teeth for opening bottles or packages is never a good idea. Not only will you damage your teeth, but you can actually pull whole teeth out right by the root using them as bottle openers or scissors. Use the appropriate tools to get things done.

Keep up with your dental routine. It’s important to remember to brush and floss your teeth, even when there is fun to be had. And your little ones may even put up a fight, but taking the time to brush, floss and rinse every day will definitely be worth it when the dentist gives you and your family a clean bill of health. And just to make sure your holiday didn’t cause any issues, make yourself an appointment to see your dentist once the celebrations have ended.

To find out more, contact Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry for an appointment today. Call 978-649-7773 or visit his website at  www.tyngsborocosmeticdentistry.com.

Accepting patients from Tyngsboro, Townsend, Westford, Hudscon, Pepperell, Pelham and all surrounding areas.

What Are The Stages Of Periodontal Disease? | Tyngsboro, MA

periodntal disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an inflammation of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your natural teeth. It is very common but also fairly preventable. Periodontal is typically caused by poor oral hygiene. When you don’t brush and floss your teeth, plaque can build up and the bacteria not only can affect your teeth and gums, but can eventually affect the gum tissue and bone that supports your teeth.  Depending on which stage of periodontal disease you have, your teeth may become loose, fall out or have to be extracted. There are three stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. Periodontal disease often exhibits worsening symptom as time goes on.

  • Gingivitis- Gingivitis is the earliest and mildest stage of periodontal disease. It can typically be noticed by inflamed gums, red or swollen gums, which is mainly caused by plaque buildup. This stage of periodontal can also cause your gums to bleed, which you may notice when you brush or floss your teeth. This happens to be the only stage of periodontal that’s reversible with periodontal treatments.
  • Periodontitis- At this particular stage, the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place will be irreversibly damaged. Your gums will also start to separate from your teeth, then form pockets below the gum line which eventually become infected. With periodontal treatment and improved oral hygiene, you and your dentist can usually prevent it from progressing to the next stage.
  • Advanced Periodontitis- This is this very final stage of periodontal disease, the bone and fibers supporting your teeth are destroyed, which can cause your teeth to become loose. This can affect your bite, and if aggressive periodontal treatment can’t save them, your teeth may have to be removed.

How Do I Know If I Have Periodontal?

Periodontal does not discriminate, it can affect anyone at any age, but it is most common among adults. If it’s detected in its early stages, periodontal disease can be reversed. The signs and symptoms of periodontal include the following:

  • Red, puffy, swollen, or tender gums
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Teeth appear to look longer because of gum recession
  • Changes in your bite
  • Pus between your gums and teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in your mouth

If you suspect that you may be suffering from periodontal disease, contact Dr. James Yankowskas in Tyngsboro, MA at 978-649-7773 to schedule a consultation today or visit www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com for additional information regarding periodontal.

Dr. James Yankowskas proudly serves Tyngsboro, Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and all surrounding areas.

 

How To Prevent Cavities in Children

Boy brushing his teeth

Cavities develop when you let sugar-containing foods stay in your mouth for a long time without cleaning. The bits of food that’s left in the mouth make for excellent fodder material for bacteria that live on the teeth. This allows them to grow and eat away at the tooth enamel, which may eventually cause cavities, which are holes that will only grow bigger and deeper over time.

Cavities can happen to anyone, children included. In fact, children are much more susceptible to cavities than adults are. This is likely because children do not know how to take proper care of their teeth just yet, and are more likely to munch on sugar-filled snacks regularly.

As a parent, you are your child’s first line of defense against cavities and it’s important that you inform yourself about what it takes to prevent cavities in children.

Proper Oral Hygiene Habits

For infants, you can use a clean washcloth or a wet gauze to wipe away plaque from their teeth and gums. Alternatively, you can also use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Do this as often as two to three times a day. Also, avoid letting your child go to bed with a bottle of milk or juice at hand.

For older children, encourage them to brush their teeth two to three times a day. Make sure to limit the amount of sugary snacks they eat everyday as well.

Now that you know what to do, it’s time to implement it, which as you may have experienced already, is not exactly all that easy. Though, don’t worry, as children will eventually give in and let you clean their teeth without making much of a fuss.

A good idea would be to make brushing and flossing a family affair, an idea that your child will surely love. Using toothbrushes or toothpastes with character designs may also help.

Regular Visits To The Dentist

Many dental professionals recommended that children be taken to the dentist for the first time by the time they’re one or two years old. From there, you can ask the pediatric dentist how often you should start taking your child for checkups and cleanings. Though, as a rule of thumb, it’s best to take your child to the pediatric dentist every six months.

Dental Sealants and Fluoride

Parents may also choose to have dental sealants applied to their children’s back teeth to help seal the grooves and depressions in the said area. Such areas are extremely difficult to clean and are prone to bacteria and food particle buildup. Sealing them up can help prevent such buildup, which in turn may help prevent cavities.

Dentists may also provide prescription strength fluoride for children to strengthen their teeth and prevent cavities.

Make sure that you monitor your child’s oral health and that you encourage them to follow a proper oral care routine. Ideally, the routine should include brushing twice a day, flossing, rinsing with mouthwash and visiting the dentist regularly. If you do this, you not only make sure that your child’s teeth are well protected from cavities, but you also make sure that they develop the correct oral health habits that they will carry with them well into their adulthood.

If you would like to schedule a routine checkup or professional cleaning for your child, contact Dr. James Yankowskas at  DDS with Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry at 987-649-7773 to schedule a appointment today or visit ww.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com for additional information regarding cavity prevention for children.