How to Eat Your Way to Dental Health | Tyngsboro Dentist

We all know the basics of good dental hygiene – brush twice a day and avoid sugar. But there are also foods you can eat that will not only benefit your overall health but also your mouth. And if you want to keep your teeth throughout your life, it is wise that you have a combination of these basic tips in your day-to-day lifestyle.

Research indicates that antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts may strengthen immunity and improve the body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, all of which can help protect the teeth and gums. And some foods and dietary habits even have distinct effects on the mouth’s ability to handle cavity-causing bacteria spikes:

Dairy. 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. 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.

Produce. Crispy fruits and vegetables help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath. Vitamin C, folic acid and other nutrients from fruits and vegetables will also help protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infection.

Water. Believe it or not, but water is as effective as mouthwash at swishing away stuck particles and residue from teeth, while keeping your gums hydrated while stimulating saliva.

It is possible to eat your way to a cleaner mouth. So, try to work these everyday foods in order to maintain your oral hygiene.

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.

Galileo Can Keep Your Smile Healthy | Tyngsboro Dentist

Now, it is obvious that Galileo won’t exactly be at your dental appointment. In fact, his scientific works have little to do with your dental health. With new technology being introduced every day, the field of dental medicine isn’t one to be exempted from the many benefits brought about by new machines. 3D dental imaging, such as the Galileo 3D CT scan, present a clear set of advantages for both dental practitioners and patients alike in improving the overall clinical experience.

3D scans, in a way, provide a live feed of a patient’s dental anatomy from various angles. The various perspectives allow for a better view of the structure of the bones, making it easier to locate root fractures and canals. Even more importantly, 3D scans provide dentists the ability to gain more accurate measurement of their patient’s dental structure. These scans can be used in both diagnosis and treatment planning to increase its possibility of success and allows dental practitioners to be more confident in preparing for various dental procedures, such as extractions, root canals, implants and so on.

The use of 3D dental scans also creates a more engaging environment where dental practitioners and professionals can assess their patient’s dental health, while at the same time the patient can also ask questions about what they see on the screen. This allows for constant communication between patient and doctor, allowing for a more comfortable dental visit for the patient, which may help put them at ease, especially those who suffer from dental anxiety.

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.

Top 5 Contributors of Tooth Decay | Tyngsboro Dentist

If you’ve ever had a toothache before, you would know just how painful it can be. Small as the affected area is, toothaches can be so painful that you won’t be able go about much of your daily routine. And, more likely than not, that toothache was caused by tooth decay.

Listed below are the top five causes of tooth decay:

Alcohol

Dehydration is a well-known side effect of drinking, which is why you feel so parched the morning after a night out drinking. And, among the laundry list of things alcohol is bad for, it also happens to include your teeth.

By decreasing the flow of saliva in your mouth, drinking alcohol allows bacteria to cling to the tooth’s enamel. Drink it often enough and you could find yourself dealing with tooth problems, among many other things.

Apart from causing dehydration, alcohol also has a relatively high sugar content, which is notorious for causing tooth decay.

Smoking

If you ever need any more reason to convince yourself or anyone close to you to stop smoking, tell them that it’s bad for their pearly whites. Although being around them frequently when they smoke could be just as bad for your teeth. This is because both smokers and those exposed regularly to second-hand smoke have been shown to be at an increased risk of cavities.

Oral Hygiene

Specifically, poor oral hygiene is one of the main causes of tooth decay and other oral problems.

Dentists recommend that you should at least brush your teeth twice a day, and floss at least once. In fact, if possible, you brush your teeth after each meal. Although this isn’t exactly practical for everyone.

Fail to brush and floss your teeth regularly, and the bacteria in your mouth flourishes, and produces even more lactic acids than ever before. If left unchecked, the bacteria’s acid can damage the enamel of your teeth, which will eventually lead to tooth decay. However, if you brush regularly, you can prevent the bacteria from building up around your teeth, which reduces your risk of tooth decay.

Poor Diet

Eating sugary snacks and drinks regularly isn’t just bad for your weight, it’s also bad for your teeth too.

As it turns out, the bacteria on your teeth enjoy the sugary treats just as much as you do, turning it into lactic acid in as little time as twenty minutes. The same goes for starch as well.

Avoiding The Dentist

If you haven’t paid your dentist a visit in quite some time, now would be the best time to do so. Avoiding the dentist is just as bad for your teeth as any of the four culprits listed above, if not worse.

Remember, visiting the dentist often helps make sure that you’re always on top of your teeth’s needs, whether it’s a simple cleaning procedure, or to check for any signs of tooth decay, and generally, the prevention of tooth decay and other oral problems.

Make an appointment today for a check up and cleaning with Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. James Yankowskas at 978-649-7773. www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

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.

 

What Are The Benefits of Dental Crowns? | Tyngsboro, MA

crowns

Dental crowns are a very versatile dental treatment option. Crowns are custom made caps that cover a tooth entirely, from the chewing surface to the gum line. They are placed over a damaged tooth or dental implant to restore the color, look, shape and size of the damaged or missing tooth. There are many benefits that stem from dental crowns, the following list consists of the top benefits of dental crowns.

  • Natural Looking- Composite resin and porcelain crowns resemble natural teeth because the mimic the translucent properties of natural teeth. Therefore, dental crowns seamlessly blend in with your natural teeth, creating the illusion of a healthy, bright smile.
  • Durable- Dental crowns typically last between 15-30 years, but how long they last ultimately relies on how well you care for the crown. In other words, you should practice proper oral hygiene and avoid bad habits to ensure that your dental crowns lasts.
  • Don’t Slip- Unlike dentures, which may slip and slide, crowns stay in place because they are either cemented over a tooth or implant, or anchored in place with a bridge to replace a missing tooth.
  • Comfort- Dental crowns are a great choice over alternative dental treatments, such as dentures or dental bridges, which can cause pain or discomfort because they sit on top of your gums and jawbone. Dental crowns, on the other hand, are stable and will not irritate your gums or cause discomfort.
  • Increases Confidence- Having damaged or missing teeth can make some people feel less confident and self-conscious about their smile. Restoring teeth with dental crowns can help increase a patient’s overall confidence.
  • Improved Speech- Having missing teeth or dentures that don’t fit just right can affect your speech, causing your speech to sound slurred or lisped. In addition, missing teeth can cause jaw bone deterioration. Restoring your damaged or missing teeth with dental crowns can help you speak more confidently.

If you’re interested in restoring your damaged or missing teeth with dental crowns, contact Dr. James Yankowskas in Tyngsboro, MA at 978-649-7773 to schedule a consultation today or visit www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com for additional information.

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

Why Do I Need a Crown After a Root Canal?

crownsDentists often apply crowns to teeth after a root canal procedure to help seal and strengthen it. However, it’s not always that dentists use crowns. In fact, the teeth found at the front of the mouth are often strong enough to not need a dental crown. The same goes for other teeth whose structures weren’t severely weakened by infection or injury and remain reasonably strong after a root canal.

Such cases are rare, though, and even if root canals are meant to save teeth from decay, the procedure can also weaken teeth. This is because infected teeth are treated by removing the pulp and applying filling to replace it. Usually, dentists have to drill through the tooth to remove the infected pulp, which ends up weakening the teeth. This is why crowns are necessary ON TOP of fillings, especially in teeth with large cavities.

When Are Crowns Not Necessary? 

Of course, as mentioned earlier, crowns are not always necessary.

For example, if the incisor and canine teeth are relatively intact, a root canal without crown replacement is okay. This is because the front teeth are not primarily used for chewing, which means they are not as physically stressed as compared to the premolars and molars. Although if the incurs or canines are extensively excavated during the procedure, the dentist may opt to crown the affected tooth to restore its strength.

There are also cases where the premolars and molars are suitable for root canals with no crown replacement. Although, it is only usually possible if the said teeth are at low risk of fracture, such as when cavities aren’t large enough to require extensive excavation during the root canal. In such cases, silver or composite fillings alone are strong enough to seal the chewing surface of the premolars and molars.

Crowns Are Very Important 

Because of how root canals work, though, dentists often recommend placing crowns on top of applying permanent fillings. This is so as to provide proper protection to affected teeth, while at the same time, restoring its strength and appearance as well. Remember, treated teeth without crowns are at a much higher risk of fracture than those with crowns.

Of course, whether or not you have your teeth covered by crowns or not, it’s important that you continue to take proper care of your teeth. Remember, your teeth are still vulnerable to tooth decay. Make sure that you protect your natural and treated teeth properly by brushing twice a day, flossing and visiting the dentist regularly.

Speaking of the dentist, these oral health care providers can help you choose the best option to restore your tooth after a root canal procedure.

Just keep in mind, even though the front teeth does not always need a crown for strength, its appearance can greatly benefit from a crown. Also, even if the treated molars or premolars are not at a high risk of fracturing, a filling-only restoration just doesn’t provide the necessary protection and improved appearance that a crown does.

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.

Am I Too Old For Braces?

Woman smiling with bracesIn a perfect world, people would be born with straight teeth – teeth that line up similar to that of the keys on a piano. However, we do not live in a perfect world and many often worry about having crowded smiles, crooked teeth and/or misaligned bites. Such cases, though, aren’t solely an aesthetic problem.

For example, crowded and crooked teeth are difficult to clean and are more prone to tooth decay and gum disease. Meanwhile, bad bites or malocclusions can cause problems with speaking, chewing and swelling, as well as put additional strain on the chewing muscles, which may eventually lead to facial pain.

Although most dental care professionals would recommend that such problems be treated while patients are still young, they aren’t exactly against those who opt for orthodontic treatment well into their adult years.

Special Considerations

If you’re already an adult and you’re considering orthodontic treatment for your teeth, you may want to keep in mind a few things.

For starters, because your bones have already stopped growing, your orthodontist may recommend that you undergo surgery to accomplish the necessary structural changes in your teeth. Also, the treatment for adults may take as long as two years, if not longer.

Your orthodontist may also recommend that you have your teeth and gums checked by a general dentist and/or a periodontist first. This is to minimize the risks for complication resulting from gum disease.

How Treatment Works

To put simply, what orthodontic treatment does is place pressure on the teeth, slowly “pushing” them to their ideal position. Orthodontists accomplish this by attaching mechanical devices or appliances to the teeth.

There are many types of orthodontic appliances used to straighten teeth, but braces are, by far, the most common. This is because these dental appliances are extremely versatile and are able to move plenty of teeth in a variety of directions.

The typical treatment takes around one to two hours, after which you’ll have to visit the dentist every few weeks or months for adjustments.

Choosing The Right Type of Braces 

Adults and working professionals who’re looking for orthodontic treatment for their crooked, misaligned and crowded smiles don’t have to worry much anymore about unnecessarily standing out because of their braces.

Besides the traditional metal braces, there are other options today, including ceramic braces, invisible lingual braces and even invisible and removable braces known as Invisalign.

Of course, metal braces are still the cheapest and considered the “go-to” treatment of choice for a variety of cases. However, if you only need to have your upper teeth fixed, you can opt for ceramic tooth-colored braces and not have to feel as self-conscious whenever you smile.

Lingual braces are also another option and they work similarly to metal braces. Though, instead of being fitted in the front, lingual braces are custom-fitted to the back and hidden from plain sight. The problem with lingual braces, however, is that they cost significantly more than traditional braces and are much harder to clean.

Invisalign is also another alternative and is considered the best looking out of all the braces. The treatment straightens teeth using invisible aligners that you can also remove at any time, preferably when eating or brushing. The downside is that the treatment is costly and is not suitable for cases of severe crowding and malocclusion.

In any case, regardless of which type of orthodontic appliance is used to straighten your teeth, the results will still be the same and you’ll still end up with a better-looking smile.

If you are interested in straightening your teeth with the help of orthodontics, contact Dr. James Yankowskas with Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry at 987-649-7773 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com for additional information about braces.

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

What Is A Water Flosser?

flossingRegardless of how often dentists have reminded us over the years about the importance of flossing, most of us refuse to listen. Whether we admit it or not, we’re not exactly avid fans of flossing – it’s tedious, awkward, difficult and just downright messy.

If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the benefits of flossing, but don’t want to use a manual or string floss, you can use water instead of string via a water flosser.

How Does It Work?

A water flosser is a dental appliance designed to be used at home as an alternative to manual flossing. They vary in sizes and features, but most are likely to include a motor with a pump, a water reservoir and a special water flosser tip.

Water flossers work similar to jet washers in that the motor and pump causes a stream of pressurized water to flow directly from its own reservoir through the tips. Though, the only difference is that water flossers aren’t as powerful and are meant to be used orally.

The main use for this targeted stream of water is to remove plaque, food particles and bacteria that’s regular brushing alone can’t take care of. Also, when compared to the use of a traditional string floss, water flossers are more effective, less awkward and generally, easier to use. Better yet, is that the water helps stimulate the gum tissues, which also carries additional health benefits.

Why You Should Use A Water Flosser

Ideally, the main reason as to why you should opt for a water flosser over a traditional string floss is that they’re just easier to use. That, however, isn’t all that there is to water flossers.

Many of those who’ve made the switch to water flossers report a more pleasant experience, and as a result, they floss more often than when they still used a traditional string floss.

Another reason why you’d want to invest in a water flosser is to prevent gum disease and treat it. These dental appliances are clinically proven to help remove plaque, improve gum health and most important of all, reduce gingivitis.

Those with braces and other types of orthodontic appliances are the ones who will benefit best from the use of water flossers. The same goes for those with bridges, crowns, dental implants, as well as those whose medical conditions prevent them from flossing properly, such as those with arthritis.

A Much Needed Addition To Your Oral Care Routine

As has been mentioned throughout the post, using a water flosser is just much more convenient compared to using a traditional string floss. Also, with water flossers, you don’t even have to worry about looking at yourself in the mirror while you floss, nor hold your mouth wide open all throughout.

You simply place the flosser tip in your mouth, close your lips, turn the power on and floss along your gum line and in between your teeth until the water empties from your mouth right onto the kitchen or bathroom sink.

The use of water flossers, along with brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes each time will go a long way in keeping your mouth clean and healthy.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas with Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry at 987-649-7773 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com for additional information regarding oral health.

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