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.

What to Avoid on Halloween | Tyngsboro Dentist

Next time you go fishing for candy in that plastic pumpkin, let us offer a few suggestions for the ‘better’ choice in a sugar snack.

Candy corn. Even though candy corn is a Halloween candy trademark, it is one of the worst Halloween candies for your teeth. Candy corn has lasting negative effects on your teeth because it has a high amount of sugar, which can lead to tooth decay.

Caramel apples. Caramel apples are also a huge symbol of Halloween. However, as good tasting as they are, they are extremely bad for your teeth. Not only do they have a caramel coating that can get stuck in your teeth, but they also have a high amount of sugar that can cause tooth decay.

Chewy candy. Starburst and gummy bears are great for a fruity treat, but are some of the worst candies for your teeth because it gets stuck in the crevices of your teeth, unable to be removed by your toothbrush alone. This can lead to tooth decay.

Chocolate. Candy bars are one of the most popular items, but chocolates filled with caramel, cream, or coconut are bad for your teeth. They stick to your teeth like chewy candy, allowing bacteria to feed on it and cause tooth decay.

When brushing your teeth after eating sugar isn’t an option, rinsing your mouth out with water is a good secondary option. Keep those teeth clean, no one wants to hear the word ‘cavity’ on your next visit!

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

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.

How Can I Maintain Good Oral Health at Home? | Tyngsboro Dentist

460453373Most people have heard that poor dental care is linked to heart disease, as well other health maladies. And while you may brush regularly, you may be still making some basic mistakes.

Your toothbrush should be the last thing your teeth touch at night. Snacking before you sleep significantly raises your risk for cavities. Your morning method is equally important. 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 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. And 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. If plaque isn’t removed, you increase your risk of developing gum disease. 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. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends buying a new brush every 3 or 4 months and this is why. The average brush contains more than 10 million bacteria, according to one study. 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.

I know this may not sound like something you should think of when brushing your teeth, but your tongue traps harmful bacteria too. Food or debris can easily get stuck in the crevices between the carpet-like strands, known as papillae, on the surface of your tongue. Run that toothbrush over your tongue as well! Keeping these few tips in mind will ensure that you will have great oral health when you go in for your dental checkups.

For further information regarding your daily dental routines and/or make an appointment, contact Dr. Yankowskas at 978-649-7773 or www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. 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.

What to Expect at a Long Overdue Visit to the Dentist | Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentist

If you’re wondering what’s in store for you as a patient, rest easy – modern dental visits are fast, easy, and will be much less painful than in years past. So, 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 a basic explanation:

– You’ll almost certainly start with X-rays. X-rays allow dentists to get an understanding of the state of your mouth. 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. Most dentists will conduct a number of X-rays – some of them may be uncomfortable, but they shouldn’t be painful.   

– 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 haven’t been in a while, the dentist may also check your head, neck, and mouth for signs of oral cancer – this may seem unusual, but it’s a great way to find problems early. 

– If you’re complaining of a specific problem – perhaps a toothache – it’s likely the dentist will identify the cause in his examination. Depending on time, the dentist may be able to treat the problem immediately – in the case of minor cavities, this typically means a local anesthetic to numb the area, followed by a brief period of drilling to remove decay, and then a filling using composite resin. Once the resin is set and cured, the dentist will polish and shape the resin with the dental drill.

– Depending on the length of your appointment, your dentist or dental hygienist may follow your examination with a thorough professional cleaning. In some cases, this can be done in the same appointment – in others, scheduling may dictate that you come in for a follow-up, when more time is available. 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.

If you’ve been putting off seeing your dentist because you’re anxious about the pain, rest assured that modern dentistry involves far less pain than you may remember. Talk to Dr. Yankowskas if you’re nervous, he’ll be happy to go slower, and explain what they’re doing to help keep your mind at ease. Visiting the dentist twice yearly can help catch minor problems before they become major problems, which means fewer and faster dental visits in the future.

For more information on your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.

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

Halloween Candy & Your Oral Health | Tyngsbro Dentist

Have you been elbow deep in candy-corn since September? You’re never too old to fall in to a Halloween candy coma. The threat is real, people!

So next time you go fishing for candy in that plastic pumpkin, let us offer a few suggestions for the ‘better’ choice in a sugar snack.

Candy Corn

Even though candy corn is a Halloween candy trademark, it is one of the worst Halloween candies for you teeth. Candy corn has lasting negative effects on your teeth because it has a high amount of sugar, which can lead to tooth decay.

Caramel Apple Suckers

Caramel apple suckers are also a huge symbol of Halloween. However, as good tasting as they are, they are extremely bad for your teeth. Not only do they have a caramel coating that can get stuck in your teeth, but they also have a high amount of sugar that can cause tooth decay.

Chewy Candy

Chewy candy like Starburst and gummy bears can hit the spot sometimes, but also cause cavities in your teeth. Chewy candy is one of the worst candies for your teeth because it gets stuck in the crevices of your teeth, unable to be removed by your toothbrush alone. This can lead to tooth decay.

Filled Chocolates

Candy bars are one of the most popular items to give out on Halloween, and will fill the majority of your basket. However, chocolates filled with caramel, cream, or coconut are bad for your teeth. They stick to your teeth like chewy candy, allowing bacteria to feed on it and cause tooth decay(Source: daterdentistry.com). 

Ideally you should brush your teeth after eating sugar but that may not always be available to you, rinsing your mouth out with water is a good secondary option. Keep those teeth clean, neither of us wants to hear the word ‘cavity’ on your next visit!

Enjoy the Halloween holiday!

For more information on your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.

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

Preventing Tooth Decay | Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentist

We all want to maintain a beautiful healthy smile, some patients wonder what else they can do in addition to regular brushing and flossing to maintain optimal oral health. Tooth decay is the destruction of your tooth enamel, the hard, outer layer of your teeth. It can be a problem for children, teens and adults. Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms on your teeth. When you eat or drink foods containing sugars, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth and over time the enamel can break down. This is when cavities can form.

Below are some oral health tips to keep your teeth healthy!

• Fluoride Therapy: It is the delivery of fluoride to the teeth topically or systemically in order to prevent tooth decay (dental caries) which results in cavities. Fluoride Therapy delivery involves fluoride supplementation using water, salt, tablets or drops which are swallowed. Tablets or drops are rarely used where public water supplies are fluoridated.

• Brushing your teeth: Brushing and flossing properly, along with regular dental checkups, can help prevent tooth decay and gum diseases. Brushing your teeth three times a day makes your teeth stronger.

• Regular checkups with your dentist: It is very important to seek the help of a dentist since they know a lot about it. They know what to do and where to focus on your teeth.

• Dental sealant: It is the dental treatment that consists of plastic material that covers one or more teeth, for preventing of cavities and tooth decay. Dental sealants are applied in a dentist’s office.

• Dietary snacks: It is good to limit sweet snacks as excessive intake of sweets alters’ your blood sugar. If you avoid snacks, you may be depriving your body of nutrition from food. Good snacks should include healthy proteins and fats.

Dr. Yankowskas is always happy to guide you with your oral health concerns. Always ask questions at your regular dental visits!

For more information on your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.

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