Easy Practices for Better Oral Hygiene

Boy brushing his teeth

Caring for our oral hygiene is highly important to our overall health. While we all do our best, habits you may have picked up along the way that may contribute significantly to the deterioration of our overall oral health. Here are some behaviors that may be worth considering the next time you step into your bathroom.

Storage. How we care for our toothbrush matters – a dirty or splay-bristled toothbrush can introduce unwanted bacteria or hurt your gums while you brush. The best way to care for your brush is to rinse after brushing and allow to air dry on its own.

Cleanliness. Keeping your toothbrush dry and clean is important for your oral hygiene and the longevity of the brush. Packing a wet toothbrush invites a warm, moist environment for bacteria to grow. Overcleaning your brush however will deteriorate the bristles faster, meaning more replacement.

Multitasking. Many of us utilize brushing time to pick out our clothing for the day or wipe the mirror. While this isn’t a bad thing, it may mean you aren’t brushing your teeth properly. Over time, the lack of care will contribute to a buildup of bacteria between your teeth or gums.

Dental Visits. It’s completely understandable why people may be hesitant to visit the dentist; dental anxiety, bad experiences and strange noises can contribute to an uneasy visit. Avoiding the dentist, or having inconsistent visits can escalate what may have been a small issue under regular care.

To schedule an appointment today or learn more about Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry and see the beautiful smiles Dr. James Yankowskas has created, visit us today at http://www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com/.

Oral Care Myths and Misconceptions

Oral care and hygiene are paramount to our ability to maintain and retain our teeth as we age. With so much information about oral care practices online, we felt it was important to demystify some of the most common misconceptions we hear and offer advice on how to move forward.

Myth 1. Hard Brushing Cleans Better.

This action is counter-productive, as excess pressure on your teeth can work to damage enamel rather than support it. Hard brushing also hurts our gums and can lead to a recessed gum lining over time. We recommend taking care to brush gently with a soft-bristle brush.

Myth 2. Chewing Gum Helps Clean Teeth.

Chewing gum is certainly not a replacement to brushing. Chewing gum can be a great way to combat sugar cravings or a candy habit, but while it makes your breath smell better, it cannot replace the benefits of brushing.

Myth 3. Baby Teeth Don’t Need Brushing.

Good oral care practices begin when we are young, and proper oral care for a child’s first set of teeth matters. Tooth decay in a baby tooth can lead to complications as an adult, so we recommend a twice daily brushing routine as soon as the child has teeth.

Myth 4. Sugar Causes Cavities.

Sugar itself is not the cause of cavities, though the bacteria that eat the sugar can be. The starches and sugar itself attract bacteria that thrive on the surface of your teeth and release an acidic compound that promotes tooth decay. Regular brushing and rinsing after eating particular sugary foods will go a log way to prevent decay.

Myth 5. Enamel Loss Causes Sensitivity.

There are many reasons why we may experience sensitivity, and enamel loss doesn’t happen overnight. Tooth grinding, abrasive toothpaste, aggressive brushing and lack of regular proper oral hygiene all contribute to both sensitivity and a loss of enamel. Should you lose your enamel however, you will likely experience tooth sensitivity as well.

To schedule an appointment today or learn more about oral care, and see the beautiful smiles Dr. James Yankowskas has created, visit us today at http://www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com/.

Brighten and Whiten with a Professional Whitening Session | Tyngsboro Dentist

Interested in getting that brighter and whiter smile you’ve always wanted? You aren’t alone. Whitening products and treatments are some of the more common dental requests. Not only because there are loads of products over-the-counter to purchase, but because whitening is a simple, immediate way to improve your smile.

Generally, there are two types of professional teeth whitening services offered. And here is how it all breaks down:

Professional bleaching and laser whitening. This is what we all know as professional whitening. This in-office procedure is done by applying hydrogen peroxide or other similarly strong active agents to the teeth to help remove both deep and surface stains. Although more expensive, you can opt for laser whitening, which involves the use of similar active agents only with the addition of a strong laser to help speed up the bleaching process.

Whitening trays. The use of whitening trays is mostly an in-home procedure. The dentist simply creates a custom mouthpiece you’ll wear for several hours every day or even overnight for as much as two weeks. In most cases, the mouthpieces can be used again.

Prior to the procedure, dentists will usually take an extensive oral health history, checking for previous and current cases of tooth sensitivity and discoloration. There are potential side effects worth taking note of, including irritation, sensitive teeth, and sore throat during and after the treatment.

Once you are done with your treatment, realize the work falls on your hands to keep your teeth bright. Proper dental hygiene and avoiding bad habits is imperative to keep your smile looking gorgeous for as long as possible.

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

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

Cavities: How Do They Happen? | Tyngsboro Dentist

When it comes to dental health, the first issue we get exposed to is the cavity. The culprit to most of our childhood dental ails, the cavity is both treatable and preventable. If you find that your dental visits consist of getting fillings, take a look at what it is that you’re doing in regard to dental health. If you aren’t practicing good dental hygiene habits, you are likely going to continue to develop cavities and other dental maladies.

Acidic foods cause tooth decay. Acidic foods such as lemons, citrus juices, or soft fruit drink don’t cause cavities, but they put enamel in danger, weakening the tooth and making it more prone to getting a cavity. At the same time, acidic foods naturally help to clean off our teeth and brighten it a bit. The solution? Enjoy them but try to keep your acidic food intake to a minimum.

Children aren’t more prone to cavities. The rookies to dental hygiene and lovers of all things sweet are definitely more susceptible to cavities, but there has been an increase in cavities found in older people because some medications dry out the mouth and reduce saliva. Saliva is vital in fighting tooth decay because it helps neutralize acids.

Sugar and cavities. We may have been taught that sugar causes cavities, it’s the acid produced by bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities. Sugar is bacteria food. The longer you leave it in your mouth, the longer the bacteria have to dine on it and cause cavities.

As you can see, cavities are a common dental issue that is quite easy to avoid. Keeping up good dental hygiene practices and dental appointments are key to a healthy mouth and bright smile.

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

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

Tips to Make Your Veneers Last as Long as Possible | Tyngsboro Dentist

We all want that perfect smile, but for many of us, it doesn’t happen naturally. In fact, most of us need a bit of dental work to achieve the smile we’ve always wanted. Thanks to modern medicine, porcelain veneers are one of the top cosmetic dentistry procedures and can really turn your smile around. But the longevity of your porcelain veneers greatly depends on how well you take care of them. So, pay attention to aftercare instructions from your dentist and these simple tips for optimal longevity:

Practice good dental hygiene. Good oral care at home helps to prevent periodontitis, which can cause your gums to recede. Veneers are placed right at the gum line. If your gums do start to recede the appearance of your veneers could be compromised.

Avoid excessive force. This is a habit for many of us, but your smile doesn’t like it. Things like biting your nails or chewing ice can break or dislodge a veneer, and for some, could be the reason you have the veneer in the first place. Make a conscious effort to stop these types of habits.

Quit clenching and grinding your teeth. By grinding your teeth your veneers can be chipped or broken due to the force generated by these actions. If you suffer from bruxism at night, find out about getting a night guard to protect your teeth and veneers.

Limit foods and drinks that stain. And lastly, while porcelain veneers are very resistant to staining the cement used to hold them in place can stain over time. Try to avoid coffee, tea, soda, wine and tobacco.

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

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

Mouthwash: Is It Necessary? | Tyngsboro Dentist

Many of us believe that dental hygiene is a three-step process – brushing, flossing and rinsing. Mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing, but it does add a layer of protection to your smile while also freshening your breath. This is why it is a good idea to incorporating into your routine each day – it’s perfect for eliminating bacteria.

So, how should you use mouthwash if you choose to incorporate it into your oral hygiene routine? Here are a few tips to making the most of your daily dental hygiene experience:

Wait thirty minutes. Some people rinse their mouths with mouthwash and/or water immediately after brushing. But because toothpaste contains fluoride, it needs to set on your teeth. Using mouthwash literally rinses the all the fluoride benefits before it has a chance to strengthen your teeth. If you want to reap the full benefits of your hygiene, wait a half hour before using mouthwash.

Rinse after flossing. The point of using a mouthwash is to freshen your breath, it is also the perfect way to remove food debris you’ve just loosened by flossing. Using mouthwash or some water is the cherry on top of your smile’s health.

Use mouthwash at lunch or after other meals & snacks. A great way to utilize your mouthwash’s benefits, use it between meals. Many of us don’t carry a toothbrush around but having a travel size bit of mouthwash handy is a great way to improve your smile throughout the day. We all know that ideally brushing after each meal is ideal, but a quick rinse with mouthwash will help kill bacteria and remove food particles, preventing plaque and acid buildup in your mouth.

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

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

Dental Prosthesis: Three Ways to Improve Your Smile | Tyngsboro Dentist

In the quest for the perfect smile, the options can be a bit overwhelming. You and your dental professional will sit down to discuss what you would like to see in your smile, eventually finalizing a treatment plan. And depending on your particular case, a dental implant or two may be called for. And while the artificial tooth roots are all made of titanium screws, not every dental prosthesis is the same.

Dental crowns. A dental crown is a cap that fits over the top of a tooth and is made to match the color and shape of the natural tooth. To place an implant-supported crown, the natural tooth will first need to be extracted, an implant screw is placed in the jawbone and an abutment is attached. Once the implant site has healed and the bone has fused with the implant, a permanent dental crown replaces the temporary crown.

Implant-supported dental bridge. While a dental crown is a single cap, a dental bridge is made up of two dental crowns with a fake tooth or teeth between them. Implant-supported bridges are used when the natural teeth are unable to support a dental prosthesis. The placement of a dental bridge is similar to placing a dental crown, but instead two dental implants are placed.

Implant-supported denture. Dentures are artificial teeth and gums that are used to restore an entire upper or lower arch of teeth. Although dentures can be used as a removable dental prosthesis, fixed dentures used dental implants for permanent stabilization in the mouth. Placing an implant-supported denture requires the placement of at least four dental implants and the extraction of any remaining decayed or damaged teeth.

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

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

Foods to Eat as Your Mouth Heals | Tyngsboro Dentist

There comes a time in everyone’s life that a dental procedure needs to be done. We aren’t talking about a dental examination – those are a part of a thorough check-up. We’re talking dental procedure – something you’ll likely need some type of anesthetic to complete. And after oral surgery, your mouth is going to be very tender and will need some time to recover. But you’re hungry! Don’t worry – we have a step-by-step guide to help you eat your way back to health. After all, our smiles are in recovery mode and the goal is to avoid infection and irritation. After your procedure, the American Dental Association recommends these staples:

  • Pureed or cream soups
  • Oatmeal or cream of wheat
  • Cottage cheese
  • Soft scrambled eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Smoothies or shakes
  • Mashed potatoes

When it comes to temperature, the operative word is warm. Hot or cold foods and drinks can affect the healing process.

Eating a balanced diet with lots of protein can help you heal because it helps build and repair muscle, skin, and tissue. You can easily get lots of protein from protein powder mixed with milk or water, soup with beef or chicken broth. There are also several soft fruit and veggie options to ensure you get adequate nutrition while healing. For example, you can eat mashed avocado to get the small amount of recommended healthy fat you need per day. Peaches, kiwi, and strawberries are soft and high in vitamin C, which helps repair tissues. Keep things as low in sugar as possible to avoid gum disease and once your dentist signs off on crunchier foods, slowly introduce them back into your diet.

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

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

Can Diabetes Affect Your Smile? | Tyngsboro Dentist

Do you have diabetes? You aren’t alone – Diabetes affects 34.2 million Americans, and that’s just the ones that have been diagnosed. Unfortunately, diabetes doesn’t just affect our bodies, but also our smiles. Diabetic patients with poorly controlled levels are more apt to develop numerous oral complications, such as periodontal disease, salivary gland dysfunction, infection, neuropathy, and poor healing. Because this is American Diabetes Month, let’s take a look at the ways your diabetes can affect your smile:

There are two major forms of diabetes recognized, type-1 and type-2. Both are characterized by inappropriately high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). In type-1 diabetes, the patient cannot produce the hormone insulin, while in type-2 diabetes the patient produces insulin, but it is not used properly.

Oral changes are evident in poorly managed diabetics. These patients are at risk for numerous oral complications, such as periodontal disease, salivary gland dysfunction, infection, neuropathy, and poor healing. Their presence may serve as an early clue to the possible presence of diabetes, prompting your dentist to perform or request further testing.

Periodontal disease is a commonly observed dental problem for patients with diabetes. Nondiabetic patients can obviously develop gum disease, but for those patients with diabetes, the symptoms and progression will develop quicker and more severe.

In conclusion, we can summarize the above by citing the American Dental Association, which states that those with diabetes are more at risk for getting periodontal disease and those with periodontal disease are more likely to contract diabetes. Good hygiene and regular visits to the dentist will lower our risk for gum disease, as well as diabetes and other diseases. Keeping your blood sugar level within the normal range by proper diet and exercise will keep your body healthy and lower the risk of gum disease.

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

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

This Thanksgiving Thank Your Smile | Tyngsboro Dentist

Here we are… on the brink of the most thankful holiday we have on the calendar – Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a not only a holiday all about watching football and breaking bread with the people in your life, but a time to give thanks for everything we have. Unfortunately, there is one very important piece to our puzzle that always gets overlooked during the thanks we give – our smiles. So, what is there to do? Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you celebrate this scrumptious holiday:

Keep things short and sweet. Between the pre-meal snacks and the post-meal desserts, it’s impossible to not fall victim to grazing the entire day. The longer you allow the acids in foods to hang out in your mouth, the easier it is for cavity-causing bacteria to invade your teeth and set up camp. It’s all about moderation.

Stay hydrated. Keeping a glass of water handy will not only help with digesting all of the plethora of tasty sides but drinking plenty of water will also wash away any food debris still lingering around in your mouth. Saliva is your mouth’s natural defender against bad bacteria, so keeping your saliva production up will help prevent cavities.

Keep your dental routine. Because our teeth are so important during this delicious holiday, make sure you brush, floss and rinse the way you normally would. Scratch that, pay more attention to them. Your teeth don’t know you’re celebrating. They just know that you’re enjoying a feast. After the holidays, be sure to make an appointment for a quick dental check-up. Thanksgiving is a fantastic time to give thanks for everything in your life – don’t let your smile be the exception.

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

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