Practices to Avoid Staining your Teeth | Tyngsboro Dentist

teeth whitening

If you look at your teeth in the mirror and aren’t thrilled with what you see, your teeth may be stained as a result of the foods and beverages you consume. Common culprits of staining are red wine, dark sodas, and coffee, three beverages casually consumed by the average person. There is nothing wrong with consuming dark foods and beverages, of course, but if you find your smile has become dull or yellow, it may be time to evaluate the habits that surround the consumption of them. Thankfully, however, there are ways you can mitigate dental staining with some common and easily applied practices. Here are some tips to keep in mind the next time you go for that evening glass of wine or morning cup of coffee.

Brushing your teeth 30 minutes after consuming these beverages may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s better than brushing immediately after. Coffee, soda, and wine are acidic, meaning they weaken your enamel. When we brush immediately after, we are being abrasive against an already weakened barrier causing it to weaken further. Brushing some time after consumption helps retain your enamel and will help prevent staining.

Otherwise, all you can do is floss, employ whitening powders or pastes, and maintain regular dental visits to keep teeth stains at bay. If you are interested in incorporating health practices into your life that also help reduce the risk of staining, cutting back on your consumption of dark sodas, red wine and coffee will go a long way to achieve that goal. You can also try at-home whitening strips, trays, or UV light whitening devices that may help you get up to two shades of whiter teeth.

If your teeth are already stained, and at-home methods aren’t working to mitigate the appearance of dull or yellow teeth, that’s where a cosmetic dentist can help. In-office whitening is more powerful than at-home treatments, and when professionally executed may go further than DIY methods.

To learn more about our practice or view the beautiful smiles Dr. Yankowskas has created, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly serves patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Dental Implants and Bridges | Tyngsboro Dentist

Tooth loss can be a result of dental trauma, advanced gum disease, or deterioration of the underlying bone over time. If you have experienced dental trauma, it’s important to see your dentist sooner than later to assess surrounding teeth and gums. Either way, a cosmetic dentist may present two replacement options to consider; a fixed dental bridge or an implant. It’s important to understand what these options entail in order to make the best decision for you.

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge can actually be thought of as a bridge. An artificial tooth (or teeth) is fixed to crowns on adjacent teeth on either end that attaches to healthy teeth, acting as the support posts if you will. The caveat to this solution is that if the tooth root is not replaced the bone may not get the stimulation it needs to remain healthy. Missing tooth roots could cause resorption, which causes the bone to lose density and shrink over time. Ultimately, this can cause one’s face to have a prematurely aged appearance.

Implants

Dental implants require a more extensive procedure, but restore the entire tooth structure rather than simply fill in the gap. Simply put, implants work by inserting a base into the jawbone into which a post with a crown on top can be placed. Implants provide stability and stimulation to the underlying bone which helps prevent resorption while looking and feeling like a natural tooth. 

Your dentist will review these procedures, benefits, and risks with you as you navigate your particular circumstances. While these are typically recommended, your dentist may encourage you towards one or the other option as they see fit. Be sure to ask your dentist any questions or concerns you may have prior to embarking on any given treatment option.

To learn more about our practice or view the beautiful smiles Dr. Yankowskas has created, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly serves patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Things to Know about Oral Bacteria | Tyngsboro Dentist

Woman smiling with braces

We all know that oral microbiota contributes to our overall oral hygiene. Good bacteria and harmful bacteria coexist, and certain behaviors can advance one or the other. In general, a good oral care routine and healthy eating will keep the harmful bacteria at bay without any serious issues. Here are some things you should know about the bacteria that exist within your mouth.

Harmful Bacteria

Streptococcus mutans is specifically found on tooth surfaces and difficult-to-clean areas like pits and fissures on the teeth. It feeds on the sugars and starches you eat, leading to the formation of cavities. This bacteria is the main cause of tooth decay in humans because it produces enamel-eroding acids and thrives in a low pH.

Periodontitis is a serious inflammatory disease that affects the tissues and the alveolar bone that support the teeth. While this disease is caused by several types of bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis is strongly linked to it.

Helpful Bacteria

lactobacilli bacteria can fight several kinds of harmful bacteria and may help restore a healthy balance in your mouth. This bacteria can be found in some types of chewing gum and people with gingivitis may be asked to use it every day by their dentist.

Streptococcus Salivarius helps suppress oral pathogens like Streptococcus Pyogenes and Streptococcus Pneumonia that cause infections and autoimmune disorders. It also provides immune support to help reduce symptoms of oral and respiratory viral infections while crowding out other potentially harmful oral pathogens.

To learn more about our practice or view the beautiful smiles Dr. Yankowskas has created, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly serves patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Your Tongue May Indicate Overall Health | Tyngsboro Dentist

Your tongue can be an indicator of overall oral health or intricate bodily ones. If you have never analyzed your tongue or had a dentist mention anything about it, it’s likely not sharing anything in particular about your oral or overall health. Yet, it’s important to recognize that it could, and monitoring it isn’t a bad idea.

A Short History

In Ayurvedic medicine, the health of the tongue is an indicator of whole-body health. The practice of tongue scraping has been performed for centuries in cultures around the world but is considered an ancient Ayurvedic practice. Today, with modern advances in medicine, we now understand what these indications mean.

Indication of Health

Different indicators are known to share different aspects of your health. White patches mean there may be an overgrowth of candida, a yeast that is treatable with an anti-fungal rinse or pill. If your tongue is black and hairy-looking, it may indicate diabetes, yeast infection, poor oral hygiene, or the result of cancer therapies. Red and white spots mark areas where your taste buds have naturally worn, but this is common. Redness on the other hand can mean a deficiency In folic acid, B12, or iron as well as potentially indicating fever or strep throat. A webbed or striped look can mean you have oral lichen planus, caused by your immune system attacking your cells. Bumps along the tongue indicate canker sores and herpes commonly known as cold sores.

If you are worried about the health indications your tongue may express, consult your dentist to better understand what may be going on, and find solutions for our oral healthcare.

To learn more about our practice or view the beautiful smiles Dr. Yankowskas has created, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly serves patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Care Accessories to Enhance Your Smile | Tyngsboro Dentist

In the ever-evolving technological age, there are a number of ways you can enhance the hygiene and aesthetic of your smile. There are also a number of gadgets on the market specifically designed to fill whatever gaps you feel are present as you strive to enhance your smile. These means essentially fall into two categories; hygienic and aesthetic. Of course, a well-rounded oral care routine is the first step towards attaining the smile you want, but if your hygiene is quite good, and you still aren’t seeing the results you want, aesthetic additions may do the trick.

Here are a few ways you can upgrade your existing tools or add to your care collection:

Hygienic

Electric Toothbrushes: Do you even complete your two-minute scrub and think “my teeth don’t feel very clean”? It may be because the traditional toothbrush just isn’t cutting it anymore. Electric toothbrushes have gained popularity because they are designed to provide brush strokes that work to give you a better clean in the same amount of time. It can go a long way to providing the basic care your teeth need.

Flossers: There are so many ways to floss available for your choosing. Traditional waxed or unwaxed threads are no longer the only options. Water flossers and plush threads are great alternatives (if not better alternatives) to the floss we commonly associate with.

Tongue Scraper: While there is no definitive rule that these need to be employed in your care routine, the benefit of incorporating one is the added removal of potentially harmful bacteria. Tongue scraping removes the same bacteria that feed on the sugars left between the teeth after a meal from the surface of the tongue, improving overall hygiene.

Aesthetic

At-Home Aligners: At-home aligners are an easy, effective means of straightening out your teeth for an enhanced aesthetic. While they aren’t meant for everyone, and you should speak with your dentist prior to incorporating at-home aligners into your oral care practices, they can gently move your teeth into their proper position and enhance your smile.

Whitening Trays: These work similarly to the teeth aligners mentioned above. Instead of working to straighten your teeth, however, you simply mold the trey to your teeth, brush on the included whitening solution to the inside of the tray and allow it to rest on your teeth for the prescribed amount of time. Kits are easily accessible and when done properly can make your smile up to a few shades whiter.

UV Light: This is another means of enhancing the color and brightness of your teeth. Typically, when you employ a UV light, you first brush on the whitening solution and allow the light to rest on that set of teeth for a number of minutes. The solution and light combination works to enhance your smile and can potentially do so up to a few shades whiter.

To learn more about our practice or view the beautiful smiles Dr. Yankowskas has created, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly serves patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Three Ways to Make Flossing A Routine | Tyngsboro Dentist

teeth whitening

Flossing is a very important step for any oral care routine, and it’s usually one of the first questions posed during a visit. Routine flossing helps to ensure that the granules of residual food left after meals are removed to prevent cavities. When traces of food remain tucked away between our teeth, it becomes a source of food for corrosive sugars to feed on; over time, this becomes the source of pockets in the teeth for bacteria to settle and the problem to compound. Here are three ways you can make the habit of flossing a routine addition to your care routine.

  1. Find floss you enjoy

Waxed, non-waxed, plush, disposable picks, threaders, and water flossers are all available options. If one type of floss doesn’t make you want to floss, it’s less likely you will do it. It’s important to find a way to floss that suits your tastes. The tried-and-true thin waxed threads may irritate your gums, so trying a plush thread may alleviate your disregard. If the notion of putting thread between your teeth is off-putting, a water flosser that shoots a stream of high-pressure water may do the trick.

2. Set a reminder

If it’s not currently part of your routine, or you have so much going on it’s hard to remember, setting a reminder on your phone or a notecard by your sink may help you begin to incorporate this practice until its second nature. If the technique of flossing is something you struggle with, employ this practice as a means to check in with helpful guides that walk you through the proper steps until you get the hang of it.

3. Reward yourself

Marking off days on a calendar, watching an episode of your favorite show, or brewing a cup of your favorite tea are all great ways to reward yourself for remembering to floss. As you go along, allow yourself a special treat once a week, every two weeks, or once a month to reinforce the good hygiene habit you are forming. It takes about 21 days to form a habit, so whatever you do to encourage yourself to keep practicing for at least that long, will go a long way toward a lifetime of proper oral care.

To learn more about our practice or view the beautiful smiles Dr. Yankowskas has created, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly serves patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Make the Most of Your Dental Visit | Tyngsboro Dentist

Visiting the dentist is an essential part of your oral health. Many people are timid about regular cleanings and check-ins, but they help you notice warning signs sooner. Here are some ways you can prepare for your next dental visit to get the most out of it. 

Discuss Your Concerns:

It’s important to remember that your dentist is on your team; they are open to answering your questions with knowledge and experience. If you have any concerns about your teeth, gums, jaw, or are experiencing any pain it is important to share that with your dentist. It’s easy to turn to the internet for answers to these concerns, but lifestyle habits among other things are factors your dentist can consider with you. If any of the following apply to you, it is important to discuss them with your dentist before they potentially get worse:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Sores in the mouth that do not heal
  • Sensitivity or pain
  • Clenching your jaws
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Problems with brushing or flossing

Share Health and Lifestyle Changes:

If you make changes to your lifestyle, such as reducing or increasing medications or the consumption of coffee or nicotine, it’s important to let your dentist know. These seemingly nominal changes can have a huge impact on your oral health over time. The acid in coffee may weaken your enamel over time, whereas reducing consumption may allow it to remain intact. The potential impact of nicotine from cigarettes or chewing tobacco on your oral health is another important thing to share so your dentist can look for signs of change.

To learn more about our practice or view the beautiful smiles Dr. Yankowskas has created, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly serves patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Oral Care Myths and Misconceptions | Tyngsboro Dentist

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 dental myths and 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 for 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 themselves 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 long way toward preventing decay.

Myth 5. Enamel Loss Causes Sensitivity.

We may experience sensitivity for many reasons, 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.

Interested in learning more about proper oral care or if you may be experiencing an infection? Visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly serves patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Dry Mouth Causes and Symptoms | Tyngsboro Dentist

Dry mouth can be caused by a natural inability for your glands to produce sufficient saliva, medication, aging issues or as a result of radiation therapy. Dry mouth is a condition in which one’s salivary glands produce an insufficient amount of saliva to keep your mouth wet.

Saliva is important because it naturally prevents tooth decay by neutralizing acids, limits bacterial growth and washing away food particles throughout the day. It also makes the consumption of food easier as enzymes in the saliva aid in the breakdown of food. While dry mouth is an inconvenience, it can also have a notable impact on your general and oral health.

Common symptoms include:

– Dryness or sticky mouth feel

– Bad breath

– Dry or grooved tongue

– Difficulty chewing, speaking and swallowing

Dry mouth complications:

– Increased plaque

– Mouth sores

– Tooth decay

– Gum disease

– Sores or split skin around the mouth

Due to the variety of causes for dry mouth, it’s important to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor. Your dentist however may be a good resource for suggestions about how to protect your teeth.

Some suggestions may include a fluoride tray or rinse to prevent cavities. There are also  prescription or over-the-counter artificial saliva or moisturizers to lubricate your mouth. These can be effective means of alleviating discomfort in addition to suggestions made by your physician.

At-home remedies:

– Sip water or chew ice chips during the day and during meals

– Chew sugar-free gum

– Over-the-counter saliva substitutes

– Breathe through your nose

– Utilize a humidifier

Dry mouth habits:

  – Consumption of caffeine and alcohol

– The use of tobacco, antihistamines, and decongestants

– Consumption of sugary, acidic, spicy or salty foods

If you are curious about whether or not these symptoms apply to you, or have dry mouth and would like suggestions from a dental professional, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly serves patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Dental Specialists and You | Tyngsboro Dentist

Dentistry, like many healthcare fields, allows practitioners to specialize in a given aspect of their craft. It is important to understand these differences, and to seek the appropriate care for any concerns you may have regarding your oral health.

It’s important to recognize these differences, and seek our directories that bridge the gap between dental specialists and you.

Endodontists diagnose, treat and prevent infections and injuries to the pulp or nerves of teeth. You may seek the opinion of an endodontist if you experience acute pain in your tooth, injure a tooth or notice swelling around the teeth and gums. They perform root canals, treat traumatic dental injuries and apply dental implants.

Orthodontics. An orthodontist specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and correction of misaligned bites, and the neuromuscular and skeletal abnormalities of orofacial structures. You may visit an orthodontist to evaluate jaw alignment, straighten teeth, close gaps or improve speech. If you are referred to an orthodontist by your dentist, it is important to make a visit to better understand how you may improve your oral alignment as misalignment can lead to serious health concerns later on.

Periodontists are experts on gum health. Your dentist will recommend a periodontist if you show signs of gingivitis (gum disease), have a complex case of gingivitis or are at risk of tooth loss. Periodontists will aid in the prevention of gum disease, and support your natural or manmade teeth as they monitor your soft oral tissues.

Prosthodontist. A Prosthodontist repairs deficient teeth and replaces missing ones. As their name suggests, they work with prosthetics and custom fit dentures and crowns as permanent replacements for missing teeth. 

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. Oral surgeons treat diseases, injuries and defects of hard and soft oral tissues. They may work with patients whose cases require work on the jaw, face, and mouth with issues ranging from misalignment to tumors and cysts within this region.

To learn more about the services Dr. Yankowskas provides, or schedule an appointment today, visit us online at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly serves patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.