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

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

Whitening Your Teeth the Natural Way | Tyngsboro Dentist

close up smile red lipstickLet’s face it. We all love a white set of teeth. They just make a smile go from pretty to incredible. Unfortunately, much of our diet includes foods and drinks that don’t help in keeping our teeth a brilliant white, but stains them into a dingy shade of white. Having your dentist whiten your teeth is fantastic, but can become pricey. Even over-the-counter whitening products do a fairly good job, but aren’t exactly good for our teeth with all the chemicals. So what’s a person to do to get back the pearl back in our pearly whites? That’s when we have to turn our attention to Mother Nature. The following is a list of foods that are not only nutritious, but will also help whiten our teeth at the same time.

Let’s start with the obvious. The fruit. Apples have been notorious in playing a huge role in our good health, so are we really surprised they also help whiten up our teeth too? 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 handheld fruit that does similar work while also neutralizing odor-causing, staining bacteria for your teeth is the pear. Another juicy treat that gives your teeth a good shine is the orange. Not only is the vitamin C good for you, the citric acid also scours your teeth. Just be careful, any type of acidic foods will slowly wear down your teeth’s enamel, leaving them more prone to stains and cavities. Everything in moderation. One fruit that may surprise you as a whitening agent is the strawberry. Yep, those delicious berries with the seeds that always get stuck in your teeth are actually helping them at the same time! The malic acid is the strawberry’s secret ingredient. So throw some fruit into your next salad. Not only will you have a yummy lunch, but you’ll have a set of pearly whites in no time.

When it comes to vegetables, it’s pretty obvious that they’re good for us but I never correlate an onion as a dental secret, unless that secret is how to scare away a bad date. But it’s true. This colorless veggie won’t stain your teeth and their natural alliums are actually good for you. And let’s face it, if you eat anything oniony, you’re much more apt to brush your teeth afterwards. Secret agent indeed. Broccoli is another veggie you wouldn’t exactly guess, but broccoli is probably Mother Nature’s most blatant toothbrush. Munching on these little “brushes” will not only supply your body with iron, but will give your teeth a quick scrub while it’s at it. Carrots and celery are the next in this line of veggies. All great vitamins packed inside, and the high water content is great for saliva production. And if you think about it, celery is kind of like nature’s floss so eat up!

Dairy is a superfood that works from the inside out. 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. Drinking your milk as a kid wasn’t just some ploy mom was pulling to torture you. She actually knows best.

How Chewing Gum Helps Whitened Tooth Sensitivity | Tyngsboro Dentist

177406608Have you ever noticed that our teeth seem to feel extra sensitive after we get our teeth whitened? Sure, they look great but at what cost? We know there are chemicals involved, but what about the tooth whitening process makes our mouths feel this way and how can we get it to stop? The remedy to this tooth sensitivity is as simple as popping a piece of chewing gum into your mouth.

Before getting into the evidence to support this theory, let’s take a quick look at what constitutes sensitive teeth. A tooth can become sensitive for a different reasons. First, there is the breakdown of your teeth’s enamel and when we get our teeth whitened, we are polishing up said enamel. As the enamel wears down, your teeth become increasingly prone to pain when drinking or eating certain foods. Receding gums can also play a major role in causing your teeth to become sensitive and there are lots of reasons gums can recede. Dentin exposure can cause your teeth (and their roots) to no longer have all of the protection our gums and tooth enamel provide. It is this that causes the pain we feel.

Now that we know a little bit more about what could cause the sensitivity, let’s get back into what can help relieve it. A study was published in the British Dental Journal stating 88 patients were broken into three groups prior to receiving an in-office teeth whitening. The groups were as follows: patients without chewing gum, patients with sugar-free gum, and patients with sugar-free gum that also included Recaldent, a product that helps strengthen tooth enamel by adding calcium & phosphate to its list of ingredients. After the procedure, those patients with gum were asked to begin chewing. Surprisingly enough, those that chewed on a piece of chewing gum had significantly less pain than the group that went without.

But why? Why did the gum-chewing patients feel so much more relief than those that didn’t? Scientists aren’t exactly sure. They have theorized that perhaps the increased saliva production gave the patient some type of relief. Or perhaps, the act of chewing gum made the patient forget about the pain altogether. What they did find is that the version of chewing gum that helped to remineralize teeth did not make a difference in the experiment whatsoever. If the patient had gum, the patient felt some relief, despite its ingredients.

So make sure to pick up a pack of sugar-free gum on the way to your next teeth whitening appointment. Not only will it help prevent cavities, tooth decay and bad breath, but it will also help relieve any sensitivity the whitening procedure may cause.

If you would like to schedule a teeth whitening procedure 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 for additional information regarding cavity prevention for children.

Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry proudly serves Tyngsboro, Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and all 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 for additional information regarding oral health.

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