Eat Your Way to a Healthy Smile | Tyngsboro Dentist

We all know that proper dental hygiene habits are needed to maintain a healthy mouth. But did you know that you can have a healthy smile by eating? It’s true. We know avoiding sugar helps, but there are foods in our diets that are improving your smile as well. Let’s take a quick look at which foods are the best:

Calcium-fortified juices, milk and other dairy products are rich in calcium and vitamin D and help promote healthy teeth and bones, reducing the risk for tooth loss. Adding powdered milk to cooked dishes helps those who don’t like milk or cheese to get some of the calcium needed to protect teeth and jawbones.

Cheese unleashes a burst of calcium that mixes with plaque and sticks to the teeth, protecting them from the acid that causes decay and helping to rebuild tooth enamel on the spot.

Crisp fruits and raw vegetables, like apples, carrots and celery, help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath and folic acid is found in leafy greens.

Vitamin C, and other nutrients from fruits and vegetables help protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infection.

Fresh cranberries interrupt the bonding of oral bacteria before they can form damaging plaque.

Water is as effective as mouthwash at swishing away stuck particles and residue from teeth. It also keeps your gums hydrated while stimulating saliva – a great defense against bacteria.

So, as you can see, it really is possible to eat your way to a cleaner mouth. Try these everyday foods to maintain your oral hygiene. It doesn’t get easier than that.

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 and all surrounding areas.

Healthy Smiles in the Kitchen | Tyngsboro Dentist

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, certain foods naturally cleanse, brighten, and defend against bacteria that can harm your teeth and gums.

The following 10 foods were recommended by the academy for a healthy, brighter smile:

  • Pineapples can help whiten teeth. Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain, which acts as a natural stain remover. Bromelain also helps break up plaque.
  • Ginger can protect against periodontal disease, an inflammatory process that causes the loss of bone and supportive connective tissue in your mouth.
  • Carrots contain vitamin A, which is needed for healthy tooth enamel. Eating them raw stimulates saliva, your mouth’s natural cleanser.
  • Basil is a natural antibiotic that reduces bacteria in the mouth.
  • Cheese is rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorus, all of which help reduce acid in your mouth.
  • Sesame seeds help “scrub” away the plaque on your teeth. Chewing nuts can also provide this coarse, scrubbing action. Sesame seeds also contain bone and teeth-strengthening calcium.
  • Shiitake mushrooms contain a compound called lentinan, which inhibits bacteria from growing in your mouth.
  • Onions contain the sulfur compounds, thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates, which reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay. Eating them raw is a must as cooking will destroy these tooth-friendly compounds.
  • Salmon not only provides calcium but also vitamin D, another nutrient needed for healthy bones and teeth.
  • 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 and all surrounding areas.

Why Do I Have Bad Breath? | Tyngsboro Dentist

Have you noticed friends or co-workers stand further away than necessary to talk to you? Do you receive daily offers of gum and mints? If the answer is yes to any of these questions … you probably have bad breath, also called halitosis.

The most common reason people have bad breath is decaying food particles and bacterial growth in the mouth, especially on the tongue. If you have poor oral hygiene habits, the accumulation of food and bacteria will make your breath smell bad. But gum disease and cavities can produce halitosis, and so can systemic illnesses such as diabetes, acid reflux (GERD), and sinus infections.

Keeping a daily oral hygiene routine can go a long way to prevent halitosis. Other measures you can take to prevent halitosis are:

Drink plenty of water. Water loosens and rinses away food particles and also encourages saliva production.

Chew sugar-free or gum sweetened with Xylitol. Chewing also encourages saliva production, and minty flavors help freshen breath.

Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash. Your dental professional may have suggestions for the best over-the-counter mouthwashes and may also give you a prescription oral rinse.

Use a tongue scraper. These devices are designed to remove the bacteria and food debris that cling to your tongue’s surface.

Invest in an electric toothbrush. Studies have shown that electric toothbrushes are better at removing plaque, and since most of them are designed to turn off after a specified time, people tend to brush for a longer period.

Go to your regular checkups. Attending your regular exams with both your dentist and your medical doctor ensures your health issues will be addressed at their earliest appearance.

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 and all surrounding areas.

When Your Teeth Begin to Yellow | Tyngsboro Dentist

In the day and age of the selfie, having a nice smile is practically a necessity. So, twice a day you take the time to practice proper dental hygiene – you brush, floss, rinse with mouthwash a couple times a day. This should be enough, right? Sometimes it just isn’t enough. It’s time to consider other options.

Here is the problem – what is causing your teeth to yellow if you are doing everything you should be doing? Sometimes it is just out of our hands. It’s just the natural makeup of the tooth.

Tooth enamel is the hard, white surface of your teeth, and below it is a pale brown substance known as the dentin. Naturally, the thick enamel looks white. But, having thin enamel makes the color of the dentin show more, making teeth look a bit more yellow from outer appearance. Enamel becomes thinner as people age, certain medications, and the acids from food and drinks in our diets also erode your tooth’s surface.

Avoiding smoking will do wonders for your teeth, and health overall. If your problem lies within your diet, you may want to begin to cut back on these items completely. Or better yet, indulge your cravings while minimizing stains by drinking such beverages through a straw. Food and drinks that are very acidic break down the tooth’s enamel but drinking milk or water will help combat these issues by rinsing away any acids that can cause issue to your smile. Avoiding snacks in between meals also help give your saliva enough time to dilute and help rinse the acids in your mouth.

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 and all surrounding areas.

Toast Your Smile with Red Wine | Tyngsboro Dentist

Here we are, wrapping up one more holiday season and about to embark on a brand-new year. It’s an exciting time of year to say the least, between the events and hectic schedules. We need a moment to relax and soak in everything the season has to offer. What better time for a nice glass of wine? Not only can a glass of red wine ease some of the holiday tensions, but it can also help prevent dental issues in the future. 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, who wants to drink grape seed extract when there’s red wine on the table?

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.

While red wine has proved to protect our teeth against gum disease, keep in mind that red wine still does a great job in staining our teeth. Make sure you take a moment to practice proper dental hygiene after indulging in this adult beverage. Enjoy the holiday season!

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 and all surrounding areas.

When the Bridge Goes Out | Tyngsboro Dentist

scared of root canal endodonticsWhen we get some type of dental implant to fix our smile, we assume that if we follow the given care instructions, our smile will look fantastic going forward. The problem is, sometimes they don’t. When we have lost one or more teeth, a dental bridge may be the treatment needed to repair the issue. And because you are going to have replacement teeth, a dental bridge is a cosmetic dentistry piece that we are ensured will last for decades on end. However, while the endurance and longevity of such a tool is great, it will eventually need some replacement or repair.

So, if we take care of our daily dental hygiene, what causes a dental bridge to fail? Most dental bridges are made of ceramics or porcelain fused to an underlying metal frame and lacking oral care can cause the products to fail. Bacteria can enter under the bridge through the crowns and manage to produce decay in the abutment teeth. Abutment teeth may cause fractures.  As far as the bridge goes, the bridge itself may eventually break.

And if you find that your dental bridge has begun to give you problems, it’s time to contact your dental professional to take a look. Dental bridges need to be fixed as soon as you notice chips, cracks and/or feel pain or sensitivity while chewing or brushing it. If you neglect to get it fixed, you won’t develop further issues. Proactive behavior will allow for less work to be done!

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 and all surrounding areas.

It’s National Dental Hygiene Month…and Halloween | Tyngsboro Dentist

It may seem hard to believe, but October not only brings out tiny ghosts and goblins to our front door, but also celebrates the antithesis of sugary confections – National Dental Hygiene Month. With this conundrum in our midst, let’s focus on how to keep our teeth healthy while we enjoy our Halloween treats. After all, creating good dental habits will only prevent bad news during your next appointment.

Practice proper oral hygiene. First thing’s first – if you want to keep your smile looking healthy and bright, be sure to brush twice a day for two minutes each session with a soft-bristled toothbrush, floss at least once a day and use a good fluoride mouthwash. Round that out with regular dental checkups and you are on the right track to a great smile for a long time to come.

Keep it out of your mouth. Chewing on things that do not belong in your mouth is never a good idea. Not only can you chip of crack a tooth, but you are slowly wearing your teeth down. Instead of an ice cube, chew on sugar-free gum. The saliva production you create will keep away cavity-causing bacteria.

Kick your smoking habits. If you ever needed another excuse to kick the habit, keeping your smile bright and shiny should be the main one. Not only are your teeth prone to staining, but smoking can also lead to mouth cancers and other harmful health issues.

October is a spooky time that everyone loves to celebrate. Keep the haunts out of your mouth with these simple dental tips.

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 and all surrounding areas.

Periodontitis: What You Need to Know | Tyngsboro Dentist

It has been proven that most Americans will develop some form of periodontal, or gum, disease at some point in their lives. We can help prevent it through good daily oral care and regular dental examinations. Unfortunately, if we don’t take these simple measures, it can lead to a more progressive form of gum disease known as periodontitis.

Periodontitis, one of the two types of progressive gum diseases that exist, is the worse of the two because it causes gums to become inflamed and eventually bleed. Untreated periodontitis can lead to missing teeth. While periodontitis is one of the two type of gum diseases, there are several types of periodontist that exist. Here is a quick rundown:

Aggressive periodontitis. This explains a rapidly progressive form of periodontitis that leads to gum deterioration and jawbone destruction.

Chronic periodontitis. This version is the most common form of the disease. Here, inflammation occurs at a slower rate, however may still eventually result in tooth loss.

Periodontitis. Periodontitis may occur in association with and be exacerbated by other health problems including diabetes, lung disorders, and heart disease.

Necrotizing periodontal disease. Individuals who have conditions such as malnutrition, HIV infection, and cancer are vulnerable to this type of periodontitis.

It is important to be aware of symptoms in order to have it treated before it progresses to something worse. If you have any of the following symptoms, seek dental care immediately so you may be treated:

  • Sensitive teeth, especially when faced with something cold, hot, or sweet
  • Swollen, irritated gums
  • Mouth pain
  • Mouth sores
  • Loose teeth
  • Frequent bleeding of the gums
  • Difficulty biting or chewing

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 and all surrounding areas.

Keeping Your Smile Healthy at Home | Tyngsboro Dentist

While it is important to know that poor dental care is linked to heart disease, as well other health maladies, it is also important to know that you are practicing proper dental hygiene. Here is a quick rundown of the basics. Practice them and your next dental visit will be a smooth one.

Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes, making sure you spend 30 seconds on each quadrant. A few straight strokes won’t get the job done. Position the handle of your brush so the bristles point at a 30- to 45-degree angle when they touch your gum tissue. Rotate your wrist in a circular motion to effectively remove the plaque. When you move behind your front teeth, you should turn your tool vertically to better reach the entire tooth. And make sure to give special attention to the back of your mouth, since that area normally hides the largest amount of plaque. Adding some type of an oral rinse to your routine will be greatly beneficial to your oral health.

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. Since the root surface isn’t as hard as the exposed enamel-covered part of your teeth, scrubbing this area can wear it away more easily and cause little cavities. Pick a soft bristle and change your toothbrush every couple of months. 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.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Should My Night Guard Be Custom? | Tyngsboro Dentist

nightguardIf you find that you are waking up with headaches and/or jaw pain, there is a chance that you are grinding your teeth while you sleep, otherwise called bruxism. It is important that you seek treatment for this condition as it can not only wear down your teeth but can cause even further issues to develop in your jaw. Speaking of bruxism, make sure that you consider other bruxism treatment options as well. Minimizing stress, changing your diet or medication, and fixing alignment issues with your teeth have all been proven to help with bruxism. Then there’s wearing a night guard while you sleep. There are a few on the market, ranging from store-bought to custom fitted – but which is the right one for you? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons:

Store bought version. Store bought night guards, while durable and do well enough to stop teeth from grinding against each other, aren’t exactly very comfortable to wear. Although this style of mouth guard uses thin materials to make it more suitable for use at night, they’re still far too thick to not interfere with the quality of your sleep.

Custom-fit version. A custom-made night guard costs roughly ten or so times more than a store bought one. However, even with the added premium, they are still well worth the cost for the comfort, fit, and reliability of the materials used.

Custom made night guards are in a laboratory using an actual mold of your teeth, but the customization can extend further because the dentist can also recommend the thickness to fluctuate, depending on your particular case.

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 and all surrounding areas.