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.

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.

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.

Why Does My Breath Stink? | Tyngsboro Dentist

Keeping your mouth clean is not only good for your health, but it is also good for your breath. As you eat food, chewing breaks food into small particles that can become stuck between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. As bacteria break down that food, the bacteria can release foul odors, which will be exhaled and noticeable to others. Patients with cavities caused by tooth decay are more likely to have food particles and bacterial colonies present – the cavities provide a protected space for bacteria, increasing the likelihood of odor causing bacteria being present. Sure, chewing a bit of gum after eating some garlic will mainly do the trick, but there are also some underlying circumstances that could be making your breath smell. If you find that your breath is less than lovely on a regular basis, consult your dentist – it could mean something more serious.

Like tooth-born bacteria, patients with periodontal disease are likely to have bad breath. Periodontal disease is an infection within the gums, typically caused by poor oral hygiene. As plaque and tartar build up against the gums, bacterial colonies build beneath the surface of the gums, creating large colonies that not only produce foul odors, but also damage gum and bone tissue, and could potentially cause severe dental issues such as tooth loss.

Because the root cause of bad breath is often bacteria, an antiseptic mouthwash can often help mitigate bad breath – at least for a while. However, it’s important to remember that mouthwash doesn’t necessarily remove all bacteria; it only kills some bacteria for a short period of time.

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.

A Is for Autumn and Apples | Tyngsboro Dentist

Now that we are smack dab in the middle of Autumn, I think that it’s time to talk about one of our mouth’s very best friends – the apple. Autumn is the time of year nit begins to cool down and the apple is the centerpiece of many of our autumnal celebrations. The leaves change from bright, vivid greens to more rust-like, “apple-y” colorations and we trade out our lemonades for apple cider. ’Tis the season of the apple and we are here to help you celebrate this tooth-friendly food properly.

Apples aren’t only a fruit used to sweet talk the teachers or keep away the doctors. They also help keep our smiles strong and bright. Apples are naturally full of vitamins A and C, key to keeping our gums nice and healthy. The small amount of acid and the crunchiness of the skin that acts as an astringent on your teeth when you bite into it. Scrubbing your teeth as you chew, the juiciness of the apple causes you to produce saliva. The more saliva you have going on, the less chance the bacteria has to bury itself in your mouth, wreaking havoc.

Just because the apple is now our favorite go-to snack, please remember that these sweet fruits do have sugar content, so be sure to brush afterwards to make sure you get rid of the loosened plaque left behind by your apple. If you don’t have a toothbrush handy, do a quick rinse with some water.

So, stock up on those amazing apples. Not only are they great at keeping us healthy, they are also great in lots of healthy autumnal recipes!

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.

Celebrate the Summer with Fresh Fruits and Vegetables | Tyngsboro Dentist

In order to have a relaxing dental checkup, we need to take care of our teeth. But let’s not pretend it isn’t tough to do when we are outside having fun in the summer sun. We are surrounded by delicious frozen confections and sweet treats! Hate to break the news, but if you want to keep your smile healthy and bright, we need to look after our smiles, and that includes what we put into our mouths. So, what are our options to get back the “pearl” back in our pearly whites? Believe it or not, it’s fresh fruits and vegetables. Since this is National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month, here are some options you may want to consider:

If you’re looking for a tastier teeth whitener, the crispiness of the apple is helping to strengthen our gums. And the juiciness of the apple produces saliva, which clears out cavity-causing bacteria. If you’re looking for a citrus version, try the orange. Not only is the vitamin C good for you, but citric acid also scours your teeth. Just keep in mind – too much can wear enamel. Even strawberries can benefit our smiles.

Lastly, the vegetables. Correlating an onion as a dental secret seems improbable, but this colorless veggie prevents stains on your teeth, and if you eat anything with onion, you’re much more apt to brush your teeth afterwards. Broccoli is Mother Nature’s most blatant toothbrush, while giving us an iron boost. Carrots and celery are the next in this line of veggies. If you think about it, celery is like nature’s dental floss so grab some peanut butter and celebrate!

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.

Sip to Celebrate International Tea Day | Tyngsboro Dentist

When the weather is chilly, nothing warms us up like a nice hot cup of tea. When the weather is warm, a tall glass of iced tea hits the spot like no other. It doesn’t matter the time of year – there is a perfect time to enjoy some tea. So much so, the world consumes 25,000 cups of tea every SECOND. That’s 2.16 billion cups a day! Tea is a centerpiece for some cultures and has some incredible health benefits, making it the most consumed beverage after water. It’s no wonder that the United Nations created International Tea Day on May 21, 2020.

While green tea seems to have more health benefits than black tea, tea in general has tremendous ways of keeping us healthy. Just look at all the benefits from one little beverage:

  • Contains antioxidants
  • Reduces one’s risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Aids with weight loss
  • Protects the bones
  • Prevents tooth loss
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Helps battle cancer
  • Soothes the digestive system
  • Helps the body to feel more relaxed

You read it right – drinking tea helps prevent tooth loss. But if you’re an avid tea drinker you know that after a while, your teeth begin to stain. It’s going to happen – it’s part of its chemical makeup. But that doesn’t mean you need to walk around with a dingy grin – there are plenty of options you can do to brighten a stained smile. But it all starts with good dental hygiene. Brushing twice a day, combined with flossing and rinsing will only keep those tea stains at bay until your checkups. So, enjoy your tea, whichever way you prefer it. Your teeth will thank you for it.

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.

How Clean Is Your Toothbrush? | Tyngsboro Dentist

There is one hygienic tool we interact with on a daily basis. In fact, if we are using it correctly, we use it on a couple of occasions throughout the day. That handy tool? The toothbrush. Manual or electric, soft or hard bristles, our toothbrush not only keeps our smiles bright, but it also affects our overall health. Unfortunately, there may be things left on your toothbrush after these cleanings you may not notice after the rinse.

Blood. When you brush your teeth, it is not uncommon to find traces of blood from time to time. It may be the way you are brushing, it may be something more serious, like the beginnings of gum disease. So, if you find that you have begun bleeding during a tooth-brushing session, make sure you rinse your toothbrush well. Also, make an appointment for a check-up so you can catch any developing issues.

E.Coli. We don’t want to bring up anything gross, but there is the likelihood of fecal matter being on your toothbrush, especially if you store your toothbrush on the sink. What’s worse is that dangerous bacteria, like E. Coli, can come along with it. If you brush with a toothbrush that has E. Coli on it, it can make you very sick.

Staphylococcus Aureus. These bacteria live in our respiratory systems and on our skin. While rare, if conditions are just right, it can lead to a MRSA infection.

Thankfully, your mouth doesn’t need to be a vessel of terrible things. Here are ways to keep your toothbrush bacteria-free:

  • Don’t let anyone use your toothbrush.
  • Let your toothbrush air-dry upright.
  • Store your toothbrush at least six feet from your toilet.
  • Replace every 3-4 months.

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.

Not-So-Fun Facts About Gum Recession | Tyngsboro Dentist

periodntal disease

As a dental professional, there are some very common questions asked when patients come in for a check-up: Does gum tissue grow back after they’ve receded? Is it the result of brushing too hard? Do gums recede because of gum disease? And many of them are asked because of a misunderstood oral condition known as gum recession.

The gum tissue is nothing more than a layer of skin that covers the bone tissue of the upper and lower jaws. And, so long as the underlying jawbone stays intact, the gum tissue will stay straight and high on the teeth. Simply put, gums recede only because the bone responsible for supporting the gum tissue has withdrawn. Four reasons you jaw would begin to demineralize would be advanced gum disease, bruxism, trauma and genetics.

Gum disease. If left unchecked, gum disease can progress to the point where it can compromise your jaw bones and your overall health. Advanced forms of gum disease can’t be cured, so make sure to keep your appointments.

Bruxism. Whether it’s caused by stress or sleep apnea, the habitual clenching and grinding of teeth can compromise the strength and structure of the jaws, which can make it prone to gum disease and in turn, gum recession.

Trauma. Your teeth are built to be solid, but not indestructible. If left untreated, a chipped tooth – or in worse cases, a lost tooth or two – can put you at more of a risk for gum disease and subsequently, gum recession.

Genetics. Sometimes, though, the thickness of the facial jaw bones may be determined by genetics. Although it may sound unfortunate, those born with thinner jaw bones are more prone to demineralization and are at a much higher risk for gum recession.

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.

Learning to Care for Your Veneers | Tyngsboro Dentist

We all want that perfect smile, and thanks to modern medicine, there are lots of cosmetic dental procedures that can improve those flaws you feel self-conscious about. One of those procedures is veneers. Porcelain veneers are one of the top cosmetic dentistry procedures and you want them to look beautiful and function for as long as they can. The longevity of your porcelain veneers greatly depends on how well you take care of them. Here are a few tips:

Proper dental hygiene. This shouldn’t be a question – dental hygiene is important regardless of your dental work. Brush and floss daily with a nonabrasive toothpaste containing fluoride. Good oral care at home helps 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. It is a habit for many of us, but your smile doesn’t like it. That means no biting your fingernails, hairpins, ice or hard candy. These types of things can break or dislodge a veneer, and for some, could be the reason you have the veneer in the first place.

No 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.

Avoid 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. 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.