Why Do I Need Crowns?
April 17, 2019
Dental crowns cover the surface of a tooth, sitting on it like an attached cap. To plant a crown on the tooth, the tooth needs proper preparation. This involves removing some tooth tissue so that there will be ample space for the crown.
An impression of the tooth gets created and sent to a facility that can make an exact model. In fact, they can even color the crown to make it look natural!
Depending on the type of crown used, you may need to have more than one visit. Crowns serve more than one purpose: both practical and aesthetic. Keep reading to learn why crowns are important for dental health!
Practical Uses for Crowns
First, crowns help strengthen teeth. If a tooth becomes cracked or suffers physical damage, it's in danger of becoming weakened. A crown will hold the tooth together.
A tooth may also have its structure compromised if it has gotten too many fillings or after a root canal. To add strength to a dental implant, a crown could be used as well.
Aesthetic Uses for Crowns
Crowns are also good for aesthetic uses. This is because they are already colored, allowing cosmetic enhancement of your teeth.
If your teeth are particularly stained, crowns can cover these imperfections up. If you have crooked teeth, you can use porcelain crowns to make your teeth look better as well.
Different Types of Crowns
Crowns are usually categorized on permanency and the materials used to make them.
Permanent crowns last for years and are generally made in a specialized facility. Current technology now allows for permanent crowns made in the dental office.
With temporary crowns, they are a placeholder while permanent crowns are being made. Temporary crowns get made for usage in a time frame measured in days.
Crowns are often made from metal, a combination of porcelain and metal, resin, or ceramic.
Metallic crowns are among the strongest types of crowns. As such, they last longer than other types of crowns.
They are also thinner than other crowns, meaning less tooth matter needs removing. But metallic crowns are much more noticeable than other crowns as they are metal, and not colored.
Porcelain-metal hybrid crowns are also very strong, and more appealing than solid metal. The porcelain is apt to chip away, and the metal can sometimes be visible around the gum line.
Resin crowns are the least expensive option, but you get what you pay for. Resin crowns tend to break down faster than other types.
Ceramic crowns are the opposite and are often more expensive than other crowns. Ceramic crowns are also the closest in appearance to natural teeth.
This is a great option if you can afford them and want natural looking crowns. Ceramic crowns may be necessary if you're allergic to metallic crowns.
Since these crowns are ceramic, they are not as strong, and may cause more wear on teeth.
Can't remember the last time you had a dental exam or need crowns? Schedule a consultation at Cambridgeside Dental Associates in Cambridge, MA today!
What Counts As A Dental Emergency?
March 25, 2019
Our teeth aren’t only important for how we look, but we need them to be healthy or it can cause some problems. Accidents happen to everyone, but it can be difficult to know if something is an emergency. Keep reading for some examples of dental emergencies!
Teeth that have visible damage to them and that are in pain are obvious dental emergencies. Teeth can get cracked, chipped or broken from physical trauma easily.
Falling on your face, getting hit in the mouth, or even biting down too hard on food can do this. Never let a damaged tooth go without being seen by a professional- and the sooner the better.
A small fracture or chip can likely wait until normal dentist hours. If your tooth has cracked, gotten smashed, or knocked out, you need to see a dentist immediately.
In the case of a tooth that's knocked out with the roots still intact, avoid handling the tooth as much as possible. In fact, if you can, try to put the tooth back into the socket and hold it in with some wet, sterile gauze pads.
If it won’t stay in, carefully clean the tooth and put it in a sealed container of milk or your own spit. Continue putting pressure on the source of bleeding in your mouth as you make your way to the dentist.
Severe Tooth Pain
If you begin having severe tooth pain, it may be a good idea to see a dental professional as soon as possible. You could have an abscessed tooth or another problem.
An abscessed tooth counts as a dental emergency because it is an infection. Left untreated, it can cause fever, headaches, swelling, and growths on your gums and neck.
Rinsing your mouth out with salt water will help reduce the pain temporarily. Your primary focus should be getting to a dentist immediately.
If the dental clinics near you aren't open, it can still benefit you to call them. Most clinics have emergency instructions and will guide you to the nearest resource.
If the pain isn’t bad and isn't accompanied with other signs of infection, you still need to see a dentist. Most problems can wait a few days unless it's a severely abscessed tooth. In this case, scheduling a normal dentist appointment should be possible.
Non-Emergency Dental Problems
Small chips and cracks in the tooth are not emergencies. This is true if the pain is manageable and the remaining tooth isn’t sharp or cutting up the inside of your mouth.
If your filling has fallen out or you lost a crown, this is not considered a dental emergency. But keep in mind that regular dentist appointments are your defense against emergencies!
Want to start your journey to healthy teeth and gums? Schedule your first appointment at Cambridgeside Dental Associates in Cambridge, MA today!
6 Tips To Naturally Whiten Your Teeth
February 28, 2019
Having white teeth is a goal for many people. Teeth become stained from tobacco use, drinking wine and coffee, age and lack of nutrients.
To combat this, people may resort to store bought whitening strips. Professional teeth bleaching is also a popular method of of whitening.
This can be quite effective but it's also expensive. Wondering if there's an easier way to get whiter teeth? Keep reading for 6 tips on naturally whitening your teeth!
You’ve likely seen this advertised online at some point. This trend is so popular because of how counter-intuitive it looks.
Brushing your teeth with a black substance seems like a good way to make your teeth look worse! But this method is actually very effective!
Activated charcoal binds with what it touches. Activated charcoal only works on surface stains in the enamel of the tooth. Stains on the dentin are a bit more difficult to deal with.
Though activated charcoal can whiten your teeth, you may need to pair it with something else.
Another good and cost effective way to treat surface stains is using baking soda. Baking soda is naturally abrasive and prevents bacteria from growing in your mouth.
This way of whitening takes longer to see any noticeable benefits. Try buying some baking soda toothpaste during your next trip to the store!
Apple Cider Vinegar
If you can handle the smell, apple cider vinegar also is a great way to kill the bacteria in your mouth. Beware though!
The acidic properties in vinegar that make it good for cleaning eat away at enamel. The use of vinegar to whiten teeth should only used sparingly and for very short periods of time.
Avoiding common staining foods and drink is not enough to prevent yellowing. Instead, a better diet can make all the difference!
Try eating more vegetables that have a crunch to them. These crunchy veggies can help rub away plaque that's built up in hard to reach areas. Obviously this is not a replacement for brushing your teeth!
Clean, healthy looking teeth are much easier to maintain than to achieve. Teeth are actually porous like sponges. As a result, they will hold onto staining pigments from food, drink, and tobacco.
The goal of teeth whitening at Cambridgeside Dental in Cambridge is opening pores. Once the pores are open, they are then able to release deep seated stains on your teeth.
Cutting back on wine, soda, coffee, and sugar prevents further stains from developing. This helps make your other treatments more effective!
But only relying on prevention won't help if you have existing stains on your teeth. That isn’t to say you can’t enjoy some of these things occasionally, just treat them with moderation.
Brush and Floss
You can’t achieve healthy, white teeth without brushing and flossing your teeth.
Plaque build up causes cosmetic problems, among other things. You could end up with tooth and gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.
Not getting the results you want from whitening strips or natural options? Schedule an appointment at Cambridgeside Dental Associates in Cambridgeside, MA today!
How Many Times A Week Should I Floss?
January 21, 2018
You’ve no doubt heard over and over that you should be flossing your teeth often. But how often is “often”?
It is important to your dental health that you maintain a frequent flossing schedule! Continue good dental habits by visiting your dentist regularly. Come check us out in Cambridge, MA by setting up an appointment!
What A Good Flossing Schedule Looks Like
It is generally recommended that you brush your teeth after every meal. This helps maximize good dental health.
It is also recommended that you floss every time you brush, but at the very least it should be at least once a day.
There is some debate surrounding whether it is better to floss before you brush or after. One side says that flossing first is better because you remember to do it.
The other side says that flossing after gets excess toothpaste between your teeth. The truth is as long as you are consistently flossing, it doesn’t actually matter all that much.
Using mouthwash or foreign objects is not a good substitute for floss. Mouthwash does not have the force or abrasiveness to clean between your teeth.
Objects like toothpicks or metal pins are too thick to fit in your teeth and could do more harm than good. If you have difficulty flossing, you can invest in a water flosser. You could also try a pack of pre-threaded flossers.
Why Do We Floss?
Using dental floss breaks down plaque buildup between your teeth. This is a space that is impossible to clean with only your toothbrush.
If plaque buildup continues, it can lead to the development of tartar. Tarter cannot be removed without intervention from a dentist. Tartar builds up in the gums. This leads to gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.
Flossing may seem like a pain, but it takes a few short minutes and can save you a lot of pain and time in the long run.
The Right Flossing Technique
Not everyone knows that there is a “correct way” to floss, much less how to actually do it.
It’s a little bit more involved than plunking some string between your teeth and pulling it out. Here’s the right way to do it per the ADA’s guidelines:
Don’t skimp on the amount of floss you use. Pull about 18 inches of floss out of the container.
Wrap several loops of one end on one of your middle fingers and wrap the other side around the other.
Pinch the floss on each end with your pointer finger and thumb.
Wrap the floss around the tooth in a C-shape and rub the floss up and down and between the teeth gently.
Unravel the floss from the middle fingers every time you move to another tooth. This way, you are using fresh floss every time.
Bleeding from your gums is normal when you first start a serious flossing regimen. Make sure you are not flossing too hard, since it should not be a painful experience.
Concerned about your dental health? Contact Cambridgeside Dental Associates and book your appointment today!
What Smoking Really Does To Your Teeth
December 17, 2018
We all know smoking is bad for us. It causes problems and greatly increases your risk of lung cancer. But smoking goes much further than that.
It can lead to problems in your eyes such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and more. It increases your risk of strokes and heart disease by almost 4 times.
It’s not only lung cancer to worry about- smoking can lead to colon cancer, oral cancer, stomach cancer, and many more. Smoking is bad news, period.
And of course, smoking does nothing good to your teeth! Keep reading and learn all the terrible ways smoking ruins your teeth.
Smoker teeth comes from the tar and nicotine in tobacco products. Our teeth are porous, believe it or not, like our skin.
These pores can be induced to open or close. It's how most teeth whitening products work.
Because of their porous nature, it is very easy for your teeth to retain unpleasant colors. That is why you should limit consuming pigmented food and drinks like wine and coffee.
The color gets in and becomes trapped, becoming more and more visible over time.
You may think you can avoid staining your teeth by using vapes or electronic cigarettes. You can't!
Nicotine is the primary culprit here. In its natural state, it's colorless but it turns yellow when mixed with oxygen.
You may notice that frequent smoker's teeth are discolored by the edges and gum line. This is because the edges of your teeth generally have tartar build-up around them.
Tartar build-up is more porous and absorbent than enamel.
Tartar is a deposit of hard material only removable by a professional. Tarter becomes strongly bonded with the tooth, making it difficult to remove.
Tobacco can also cause the gum line to recede, exposing the roots of the teeth. Since the roots are not covered with the same amount of enamel as the rest of the tooth, they stain much quicker
Smoking and other tobacco products can cause gum disease. This leads to redness, swelling, and bleeding in the gums
As you continue smoking, your gums pull back. Teeth can become loose and eating becomes painful.
Smoking can also affect your body’s ability to heal after surgeries or dental procedures.
It is critical for your well being to avoid smoking. Even if you are already a smoker, beginning by reducing your usage helps.
The more frequently you smoke, the bigger your risk of developing these symptoms.
Besides not smoking, it's important to brush your teeth twice a day, and floss. Don't forget to visit your dentist for checkups and deep cleanings regularly!
You only get one set of teeth, so it's vital to keep them in good shape! By following dental hygiene recommendations and avoiding smoking, you can have great teeth!
Thinking it's time to come in for a cleaning or dental examination? You can set up an appointment with Cambridgeside Dental in Cambridge, Massachusetts today! Your teeth will thank you!
3 Things Your Teeth Are Telling You About Your Health
November 21, 2018
Teeth in bad shape? Having damaged teeth and gum disease aren't only signs of poor oral care!
They can also tell you more about your health. Here are a few ways your mouth can be a warning sign of other problems.
A systemic disease affects the entire body rather than one location. This can include the mouth. Over 90% of systemic diseases have symptoms in the mouth.
Patients with diabetes have an increased risk of gum diseases. These could show up as periodontitis or gingivitis.
Some studies suggest gum disease may affect the ability to regulate blood glucose. This could indicate diabetes and gum diseases feed into each other.
HIV and AIDS also show symptoms in the mouth. In fact, HIV/AIDS have a wide variety of oral problems. These can include dry mouth, ulcers, sores, lesions, and more.
This is due to the nature of HIV/AIDS, since it is an autoimmune disorder and causes the immune system to shut down.
If you have some of these symptoms, don’t start panicking. The only way to tell if you need to worry for sure is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Come in for a full and in-depth dental screening at Cambridgeside Dental in Cambridge, MA
It’s not only body-wide diseases that affect the mouth. The mouth can also be telling of other disorders, both mental and physical. Here are some examples.
This condition affects bone structure, causing bones to become brittle. This may also be associated with tooth loss and loss of bone density in the jaw.
This disease diminishes mental function. As it progresses, Alzheimer's can get to the point that basic oral care is forgotten. When this happens, it opens the door to various dental problems.
Hormone And Toxin Testing
One of the primary ways to test almost anything in your body is through testing your saliva. Saliva is usually used in diagnostics for cortisol levels. Cortisol gets made when the body reacts to stress.
Saliva can also test hormone levels, cancers, drugs, and the presence of antibodies. Without saliva testing, it would become more difficult to get answers in a short amount of time. If there's something wrong with your body, your mouth or saliva will often tell you!
Protect Your Health By Protecting Your Mouth
Oral diseases and problems can affect the rest of your body. You can help prevent issues by taking steps towards good dental health. Try to brush your teeth at least twice a day and include flossing in your routine
Look online for a proper flossing method to make sure your gums are being taken care of. Eat less snacks throughout the day and try to eat a healthy diet.
This includes plenty of leafy green vegetables and fruits. If you notice a dental problem arise, set up an appointment at Cambridgeside Dental! Fast intervention can make a world of difference when it comes to your oral health.
Ready to make oral health a priority? Contact Cambridgeside Dental in Cambridgeside, MA for an appointment today! It's never too late to begin the journey to a beautiful smile!
What Should I Expect From Zoom! Tooth Whitening?
October 16, 2018
It seems like everyone wants white teeth these days. Over the years teeth can become yellow and discolored. This can be due to drinking coffee, wine, or soda, using tobacco, and other sources.
Many people turn to teeth bleaching to restore their teeth back to a clean, white shade. Not everyone knows exactly how it works. At Cambridgeside Dental in Cambridge, MA we offer one of the fastest tooth whitening procedures ever- the Zoom! In-Office Whitening System.
How Does Zoom! Work?
Zoom! bleaches the two parts of the teeth that are responsible for discoloration: the enamel and the dentin. Enamel is the protective outer layer of the tooth. It is, in fact, the hardest thing in your body. Dentin is the bony tissue underneath the enamel that forms most of the tooth. This means that there are two different kinds of tooth discoloration. These are known as extrinsic (enamel) and intrinsic (dentin).
Your teeth are actually porous like a sponge, which is how colors from food attach to them. These pores can also open and close. During the Zoom! treatment, a gel that has hydrogen peroxide penetrates both layers of the tooth. This cleans both the dentin and the enamel.
As hydrogen peroxide breaks down, it releases oxygen. By releasing oxygen, stains get removed without damaging the tooth. Additionally, the Zoom! light activates the hydrogen peroxide, making the system even faster and more effective. The entire treatment only takes about 2 hours, only 1 hour of which is then spent actually using the bleach. The first hour the patients will spend on preparation.
If you’d rather whiten your teeth in your own home, you can try the Zoom! Take-Home System. The main difference between the two is the Take-Home system takes longer. The Take-Home system takes a weekend, where the in-office is faster. Over the course of three nights, patients wear the gel. This gets worn for anywhere between 4 and 8 hours depending on your doctor’s instructions.
Is Zoom! Effective?
Zoom! is much faster than over the counter teeth whitening strips. Zoom! is a proven method of teeth whitening. While strips can take months to barely make your teeth any whiter, a typical Zoom! treatment could whiten your teeth by eight shades in as little as one hour!
As long as you follow tooth maintenance guidelines, results last a lifetime. For best results, make sure to brush and floss frequently. If your teeth seem less white, you can touch up with take-home gel.
Is Zoom! Safe?
Under proper supervision teeth bleaching is safe. If left on too long, the bleaching material can damage teeth and make them sensitive. Your dentist will know exactly how much whitening product to use and how long to leave it on for. You may experience some increased tooth sensitivity for up to 3 days after treatment.
You can contact us through phone or email to ask any questions about the Zoom! Teeth Whitening System. Come in today!
Are Veneers Right For You?
September 13, 2018
If you feel self-conscious due to a chipped tooth or a gap, dental veneers can help. They can even make stained teeth appear white without bleaching. Keep reading to learn more about veneers!
What Are Veneers?
Veneers are made of either porcelain or a resin composite. They are then fashioned into thin coverings placed over the front of the affected teeth. They are then bonded onto the teeth they are covering. To make room for the veneer, some enamel ends up removed. Because of this, veneers are not reversible— once they’re on, they are permanent.
The two different materials have certain advantages.
Porcelain veneers are stronger than the resin composite veneers
Porcelain veneers are more natural looking
Porcelain veneers are resistant to staining
Composite resin veneers are usually less expensive
Composite resin veneers are easier to repair
Composite resin veneers don’t need as much enamel removed to place them over your teeth
Veneers may not work for everybody. To determine if you should get veneers, come into Cambridgeside Dental in Cambridge, MA and talk to us!
What To Know Before Getting Veneers
There are a few basic things to keep in mind when considering veneers.
First of all, your teeth and gums must be in good general health to get veneers.
Next, keep in mind that while getting veneers is a permanent choice, they can fall off after a length of time. This is fixable during a quick visit to the dentist office.
It's key to have your veneers replaced as soon as possible! If you don't replace your veneers immediately, your weakened teeth become exposed
Keep in mind that it will take time to grow accustomed to your veneers. They may feel strange in your mouth. If you have trouble biting, let your dentist know.
Also, you will still need to clean your teeth with floss and a proper brushing technique. While a veneer covers some of your tooth, cavities can still form underneath the veneer or around it.
You will experience some pain in your gums after the procedure, as they get used to and form around your veneers.
You don’t always need veneers on all your teeth. Veneers are applied on a case by case basis. Each veneer is a custom fit and uniquely shaped for your mouth.
Even with veneers, you should remember that teeth aren't meant to be a perfect shade of white. It's more natural if teeth have shades of yellow or gray!
Finally, if you grind your teeth, veneers might not be right for you. Veneers are fragile due to their thinness. You will also have to avoid biting into objects that are too hard as this can cause the veneers to chip or break.
If you're embarrassed by your smile, veneers at Cambridgeside Dental may be right for you! The only way to know for sure is to come into our office.
Having the smile that you always wanted will give you more confidence. Ask today about how to get started with veneers!
7 Dental Health Myths To Avoid
August 13, 2018
Like any other profession, the world of dental health is filled with misconceptions. It’s important to separate fact from fiction if you’re looking to keep your mouth healthy and happy. Here are some of the most common myths, and the truth behind them!
Myth: Gum disease is unavoidable and more likely to happen as you get older.
Gum disease is actually completely avoidable. Simply taking good care of your teeth will prevent you from contracting gingivitis (gums become swollen and red) or periodontitis (gums pull away from the teeth). Gingivitis is reversible with proper dental maintenance, but periodontitis requires treatment and can lead to permanent damage including tooth loss if it is ignored and not treated.
Myth: Mouth cancer only comes from smoking.
Although smoking is deadly, it is not the only way you can get mouth cancer. In fact, any tobacco product can cause mouth cancer. Frequent abuse of alcohol can also lead to cancer and some research suggests that the HPV infection may also lead to oral cancer. Oral cancer, like other cancers, can be fatal, and it is important to begin treatment in its early stages before it spreads. To minimize your chances of being diagnosed with mouth cancer, don’t smoke or consume any tobacco products. Your mouth will thank you!
Myth: You must get all of your wisdom teeth removed
If your wisdom teeth are not bothering you or impacting your dental health, there’s no reason you can’t keep them. They are frequently able to grow correctly and not cause problems. Whether or not you need your wisdom teeth removed depends on if they come in straight and evenly spaced.If they do not grow in normally, they can push your other teeth out of alignment, lead to gum infection, and even cause tooth damage if they grow at an angle into the molar next to them.
Myth: Diet soda won’t damage your teeth
Because there’s artificial sweeteners rather than sugar in diet sodas, people incorrectly assume that diet soda won’t damage their teeth. This is false! Anything that is acidic, like diet soda, can eat away at the enamel of your teeth and damage them. A significant loss of enamel will make your teeth more prone to cavities.
Myth: If your family has bad teeth, you will too
Although genetics do play a small role in oral health, it doesn’t mean your teeth are doomed. As long as you are conscientious when it comes to your oral hygiene, your teeth will stay healthy. Proper oral hygiene like regular brushing and flossing can make all the difference, even if your parents both suffer from dental issues.
Myth: You should brush hard to get your teeth clean
Brushing too hard has the opposite effect of your teeth getting clean. By brushing your teeth too hard, you’ll actually wear away the enamel faster. Proper brushing techniques to remember include brushing in short strokes (the length of an individual tooth) at a 45 degree angle to your gums. You should also purchase a soft-bristled toothbrush, which will allow you to gently clean your teeth.
Myth: Flossing is optional for maintaining dental health
Most people don’t enjoy flossing, but it’s an extremely important part of dental health! By flossing, you break down any plaque that may have built up between your teeth and under your gums. If you don’t floss, you leave your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure to use proper flossing technique by wrapping the ends of the floss around your middle fingers, pinching the inside of the floss with both hands leaving about 5 inches of it open, then rub both sides of each tooth using a side to side motion and going underneath the gums.
Have questions about other common dental health myths or need a dental cleaning? Schedule your appointment with Cambridgeside Dental in Cambridge, MA and get on the path to a healthy smile!
6 Facts You Need To Know About Teeth Bleaching
July 6, 2018
Everyone wants white teeth. They are generally considered more appealing, and the confidence that a nice set of pearly whites gives is immeasurable. However, not many people know about the entire process behind teeth bleaching. As a result, there tends to be a lot of misinformation. To set the record straight, here are 6 teeth bleaching facts!
1. Professional Teeth Bleaching Does Not Permanently Hurt Your Teeth
This is an incredibly common misconception. Teeth whitening is a well understood and tested practice. Although it does have potential to damage teeth, as long as the instructions that will be given to you by the dental professional at our office in Cambridge, MA are followed closely, the enamel of your teeth will remain intact.
2. Teeth Whitening Works Because Your Teeth Are Porous
That’s right— just like a sponge, your teeth have pores in them. These pores can open, similar to the way that pores in your skin behave. When external agents like coffee, tobacco smoke, or wine rush past your teeth, these pores collect them. These stains are permanent unless you take action to remove them, e.g. teeth bleaching. The chemical compounds in teeth bleaching solutions are designed to carefully push out the staining “stuff” in the pores in your teeth.
3. Sensitivity After Treatment Is Normal
Although many people believe it, professional teeth bleaching will not permanently damage your teeth. However, because of how it works, your teeth can become dehydrated after having their pores cleaned. This leaves them exposed, especially to extreme changes in temperature. This sensation should go away in about 24 hours, but everyone’s teeth are different. You can also try using a special fluoride treatment to help speed up the process if you have particularly sensitive teeth.
4. The Removal Of Teeth Stains Is A Process
You will often see teeth whitening products marketed as “fast-acting” and they “work overnight!”, but these are false promises. UV lights may offer a quick fix, but it is not long lasting unless you couple it with custom teeth bleaching. If you want a safe and long lasting tooth whitening process, you will need custom-fit trays that you get from the dentist. While the active ingredients in most commercially available teeth-whiteners are similar, custom-fit trays offer unparalleled coverage. Furthermore, depending on the extent of the staining and the patient’s unique teeth, the process could take days, weeks, or even months to achieve its full potential. Consider anything that promises “fast results” to be dangerous or a flat-out lie.
5. Your Teeth Have An “Original” Shade Of White
Since teeth bleaching works by removing stains from your teeth, it is impossible to have your teeth become whiter than they are in their natural state. Once your teeth have returned to their original shade of white, your teeth won’t get whiter.
6. Make Sure To Use The Bleach Kit Right Before You Sleep
If you bleach your teeth during the day, you will more than likely need to eat at some point. Remember how your teeth are like a dry sponge after treatment? That means they will “suck up” staining agents significantly more easily until they are rehydrated. To get the best results, consider using your bleach kit before bed.
Curious about how to get started? Schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (617) 491-1403!
How Do I Get My Kids to Brush and Floss Their Teeth?
June 13, 2018
We all know oral hygiene is important — but how do we get our children to care about their own oral health? Even if your child knows the danger of cavities and the importance of brushing and flossing, it can be hard to get kids to consistently care for their own teeth. Here are just a few tips for how to help your children brush and floss regularly.
Encourage Kids to Pick Out Their Own Toothbrush, Toothpaste, and Floss
For children, a sense of personal agency is important. The goal of getting your child to brush and floss on their own teaches them to take responsibility for the task — so it’s a good idea to let them have a choice in the matter.
When you go to the grocery store, let your child pick out their own teeth-cleaning supplies. You can add in some restrictions based on your budget, and of course you can make sure they pick out good quality toothpaste and brushes. When you provide your child with a choice between brushes or flavors of toothpaste, you can dramatically improve their independence with oral health.
Make It A Family Activity
Kids don’t just learn from what you tell them — they also learn from what they see you do. To get your child to brush and floss on their own, it helps if they can see you brushing and flossing regularly as well.
When you help your kid get ready for the day, brush your teeth together. Do the same thing at night. Even if you can only manage one or the other, regularly seeing a parent caring for their teeth can really help a child get into the habit themselves. And don’t forget to floss! If you don’t do it regularly, they probably won’t, either. Remember, you should be flossing once a day, and so should your kids!
Keep A Record
You can motivate your child by keeping a record of their dental hygiene routine. There’s no need to make it punitive — rather, make it a fun activity for your kids. Create a calendar and let them put a sticker down for each day they brush and floss. You can also check to make sure that they’re brushing and flossing properly — doing it with them will help — and you can give an extra sticker for when they do a really good job.
If your child earns a certain amount of stickers, you can give them a prize. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, but the process of earning a prize through regular brushing and flossing can be a good motivator.
Talk About The Importance of Oral Health
Your child may already know from school and the dentist that it’s important to brush and floss. But it’s also important that they know why they need to care for their teeth. This isn’t to scare them into brushing — asking your child to brush and floss solely out of fear isn’t healthy. Rather, the goal is to try and help your child understand the benefits of good oral health, and the consequences of poor oral health.
Need help explaining good oral health to your kids? You can get excellent home care education at Cambridgeside Dental Associates. Contact our office in Cambridge to learn more!
3 Advantages of Dental Implants
May 18, 2018
Has a missing tooth got you feeling embarrassed? Are you avoiding some of your favorite foods because a lost tooth is keeping you from your full crunching potential? Have you found yourself looking grouchy in pictures due to hiding your incomplete smile? You may be a great candidate for a dental implant.
A dental implant is a small titanium post that is inserted into the jaw bone by your dentist. The post and the bone then bond together over the course of a few months, creating a sturdy foundation for an artificial tooth made to match your natural teeth. The tooth is then attached to the rod in a second procedure.
While dental implants may sound a little scary, the procedure is low on the pain scale and most patients are able to go about their daily lives without much interruption. There are three major advantages to having a dental implant: improved oral health, overall comfort, and confidence.
Improved Oral Health
When one or more of your adult teeth are missing, deterioration of the jawbone can occur. This can actually change the shape of your facial structure over time. Having a dental implant is a great way to prevent such deterioration because the post and artificial tooth help maintain your facial structure. Also, unlike some other procedures, dental implants leave the surrounding teeth completely intact — the more natural healthy teeth you have, the better long-term oral health you will have.
Unlike removable dentures, dental implants become a part of you — they won't slide around when you are eating or speaking. You can eat your favorite foods with friends or nail that speech with confidence! Your dental implant stays put and cleaning it is as simple as brushing and flossing daily. With proper oral care your implant can last a lifetime, so you won't have to go back for another procedure.
Missing a tooth when you are a child can be exciting and downright adorable. Missing a tooth when you are an adult, on the other hand, can leave you feeling self-conscious and prevent you from smiling as much as you normally would. With a dental implant, your smile looks and feels natural. The post provides a strong anchor much like your own tooth root, and the artificial tooth created by your doctor will match your natural teeth. No one will know you have a dental implant!
Considering dental implants? Contact us to discuss your options with our team of dental experts. Our cosmetic dentistry specialists conveniently serve the Greater Boston area. We make the process as easy and painless as possible — we’ll get you back to smiling like your old self in no time!
6 Signs You’re an Excellent Candidate for Porcelain Dental Veneers
April 11, 2018
Porcelain dental veneers are one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures available. It’s not hard to see why — the wafer-thin porcelain shells are custom-made to hide teeth imperfections such as cracks, chips, gaps or stains, resulting in a bright, beautiful smile.
While dental bonding is also an option for patients looking to revitalize the appearance of their teeth, the quality of porcelain veneers is exceptionally better. With proper care, veneers can last up to fifteen years!
Wondering if porcelain dental veneers are right for you? Keep reading for six signs that show you’re ready to transform your smile with porcelain veneers.
You want a long-term solution for crooked, gapped or stained teeth
While most people think of braces or Invisalign as the best dental treatment for crooked teeth, porcelain veneers can be a faster, more viable option — the application process is much quicker than applying braces, which can take months or even years of maintenance and routine appointments to achieve your ideal smile.
However, whether or not you’re a good candidate for porcelain veneers depends on how far out of alignment your teeth are — applying porcelain veneers to severely misaligned teeth can ultimately result in cracks in the porcelain. It’s always best to schedule a consultation with your dentist so they can examine your teeth and determine the solution that best fits your needs.
If your teeth are stained from coffee, wine, or cigarettes, porcelain veneers can also be an excellent way to improve the overall color, shape and size of your teeth. The non-porous surface of porcelain veneers is resistant to stains, so you won’t have to worry about regular teeth bleaching or over-the-counter whitening products.
You can clearly articulate your “smile goal” to your dentist
When you’re considering porcelain veneers, it’s important to communicate your expectations to your dentist. During your initial consultation, explain what you don’t like about your teeth and what you hope to change. Describe your ideal tooth shape, size, and color. It also doesn’t hurt to bring in photos of a smile that’s similar to what you want — this will help your dentist determine the amount of time and materials needed to create your ideal smile.
Your teeth have a healthy amount of tooth enamel
In order to prepare your teeth for veneers, your dentist must remove a small amount of enamel from the surface of each tooth. This process helps the porcelain adhere to the tooth during the bonding process. If the enamel on your teeth has been worn away (this typically happens by consuming liquids with a high acid content, such as soda or fruit drinks), there won’t be enough of a foundation for the veneer to bond to your teeth.
During your porcelain veneer consultation, your dentist will examine your teeth to see if you have sufficient tooth enamel for veneers.
You don’t have a habit of grinding your teeth
Grinding your teeth wears down the surface of each tooth which can result in loose teeth, fractures or misalignment of your bite over time. Porcelain veneers are typically not suitable for those who grind their teeth, as the constant friction can cause veneers to crack, chip or break.
You’re committed to routine, daily oral hygiene and dental care
Brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis is the best way to care for your teeth and reduce the risk of dental problems down the road. If you have weak teeth due to cavities, tooth decay or gum disease, you are likely not a good candidate for porcelain veneers. Veneers are permanently bonded to your natural teeth, so it’s vital that your underlying teeth and gums are healthy.
You see your dentist for regularly scheduled visits
Here at Cambridgeside Dental, the veneer procedure is divided into three appointments:
- 1. Examine teeth to formulate a diagnosis and treatment plan
- 2. Prepare teeth for veneer application
- 3. Bond veneers to natural teeth
These visits may be scheduled over a period of several weeks, as it takes some time to customize the veneers to fit your natural teeth. Before you commit to porcelain veneers, make sure you can meet your appointment obligations. Regular visits to your dental office helps keep your veneers in the best shape possible, resulting in a natural smile that will last for years to come.
Curious to know more about porcelain dental veneers? Call us at (617) 491-1403 or schedule an appointment online to learn how veneers can change your life. Our dentists in Cambridge are happy to work with you to create the smile you’ve always wanted!
5 Tips to Prevent Cavities
March 3rd, 2018
Keeping your teeth healthy and warding off tooth decay can be harder than you think. There are a lot of things stacked against you in the tooth decay fight, so it is important to be constantly on the offense. Healthy teeth are all about prevention - so here are some ways you can prevent tooth decay and keep those dentists visits to a minimum.
What Is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay describes the destruction of the tooth - both the enamel and the dentin layer of the tooth. Tooth decay occurs when foods and drinks containing carbohydrates (sugar and starches) are left on the teeth. When remnants of these foods are left in the mouth, the bacteria in your mouth will digest it and turn it into acid. This acid can slowly erode your enamel over time, causing cavities.
Cavities can be painful, not to mention turn into more serious problems. When left untreated, cavities can become infected and result in the need for tooth extraction.
How to Prevent Cavities and Decay
Preventing cavities sounds like hard work, but work these tips into your daily routine and you will find that it is actually quite easy.
1. Brush your teeth.
This seems like common sense, but many people do not brush their teeth often enough or long enough. In order to reap the benefits of brushing, you should brush at least two times per day. Many people brush their teeth upon waking and before going to bed. It is recommended to also brush your teeth after each meal, if you want to up your dental hygiene game.
While we’re on the subject of brushing - you need to brush your teeth for two minutes per brushing. Many people who brush regularly still encounter cavities because they are using the improper technique. Set a timer and make sure you brush for two minutes, using circular motions. While you’re at it, make sure you are using a fluoridated toothpaste.
2. Floss every day.
Many people know that they are supposed to floss, but don’t. As annoying as it may be to make flossing a part of your routine, it is very important that you floss once a day. Food gets stuck between your teeth, and most of the time brushing can’t get it out. This makes the perfect breeding ground for cavities, so get to flossing!
3. Rinse with mouthwash daily.
Many types of mouthwash contain antiseptic properties that can kill cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. Rinsing also helps remove any food/debris stuck in your teeth.
4. Avoid cavity-causing foods.
As we mentioned, carbohydrates are the number one culprit for cavities. Avoid foods like candy, chips, and pretzels which can stick to the surface of the teeth. Brush your teeth soon after eating foods high in sugar or that are sticky in texture.
5. Visit your dentist regularly.
You should visit your dentist for a cleaning at least two times per year. During your visit, your dental hygienist will clean any plaque or tartar from your teeth that can’t be reached with a toothbrush. Cavities can also be diagnosed during these appointments.
If you suspect you have a cavity or if you are due for a dental cleaning, contact Cambridgeside Dental Associates in Cambridge, MA to schedule an appointment!
Cambridgeside - 4 Ways to Improve Your Dental Health in 2018
January 22nd, 2018
New year’s resolutions are usually centered around fitness, diet, and forming new habits. This year, why not resolve to work on your dental health? Your dental health directly affects you overall health, not to mention has a huge impact on your confidence and self-esteem.
Flossing and Brushing (the Right Way)
If you aren’t brushing and flossing your teeth every day, that’s a problem. Bacteria and plaque build up on your teeth and in your mouth which can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and more. Without brushing and flossing, the plaque build up can turn into tartar. Tartar needs to be removed by a dental hygienist, whereas plaque can be removed by you at home. Be sure to brush your teeth in gentle back and forth strokes for at least two minutes. Floss in between all of your teeth, and make sure to do it gently. Do this twice per day.
You don’t want your gums to be swollen and bleeding after flossing. If you notice bleeding and swelling after even gentle flossing, consult your dentist. This can be a sign of gum disease.
Switch to an Electric Toothbrush
Many dentists agree that the oscillation motion from an electric toothbrush clean teeth more thoroughly and faster. If you are looking to up your toothbrush game, as your dentist for recommendations!
Be Aware of Grinding Your Teeth
If you wake up with a sore jaw, headache, and tooth pain, you may be grinding your teeth at night. This can cause extreme tooth pain by exposing nerves over time, create issues with the shape of your teeth, and create issues with your jaw. If you suspect you are grinding your teeth at night, ask a dentist for help. They may find that a mouthguard is necessary to stop damage from nighttime grinding.
See Your Dentist
This one is obvious, but you’d be surprised (or maybe not) by the amount of people who go years without seeing a dentist! It’s not always apparent when there is an issue with your teeth, and most people only make an appointment when they notice something is wrong. We encourage you not to wait until you are feeling pain or noticing symptoms of a problem, and instead take a more proactive approach. Preventative dental care can help you avoid big problems down the line.
Interested in scheduling an appointment with Cambridgeside Dental Associates? Contact us today!
5 Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety
January 3rd, 2018
Everyone experiences some level of anxiety when visiting the dentist. For some people, however, this anxiety is debilitating enough to avoid going altogether. Even a simple check-up and cleaning can insight fear for some. Here at Cambridgeside Dental, we understand that not all patients enjoy coming into our office. That’s why we are dedicated to making our patients as comfortable as possible during their visit, whether they're here for a routine cleaning or dental surgery.
Your dental health is extremely important, so here are some tips you can use to manage your dentist-induced anxiety and get you through the door!
Get to Know Your Dentist
Getting to know the dentist who will be responsible for your dental health can ease your anxiety. It is normal to feel anxiety when going to the dentist, especially if you’ve never been to that dentist before. Get to know your dentist a little bit before your appointment by reading their online bios, looking at their CV and going to a consultation. This way, you know what to expect before your appointment, and you can decide if this dentist is the best fit for you.
Bring a Friend or Family Member
Having a familiar face in the office with you can relieve a lot of anxiety. In some cases, this person can come to your appointment with you. This can help you remain calm and make decisions during your visit.
In most dentists offices, there are televisions set up with movies playing to help distract patients. Focusing on something other than your procedure can be extremely helpful to ease anxiety during your appointment. Find something to distract yourself during your appointment, whether it’s watching a movie or looking out of the window.
Try Relaxation Techniques
There are many relaxation techniques you can learn to help calm you down during your appointment! One technique that we’ve seen success with is controlled breathing. To do this, take in a big breath, holding it for a few seconds, and letting it out slowly. This can help relax your muscles and slow down your heartbeat.
You may also find progressive relaxation helpful. To do this, you must consciously try to relax every muscle in your body, one by one. Start with your toes and move all the way up to your head. Progressive relaxation helps relax your muscles which can reduce pain.
Discuss Other Options
If you have tried these techniques but still can’t seem to bring yourself to your dentist's office, call your dentist to discuss your options. There may be sedatives, numbing agents and prescriptions appropriate for your situation.
If you feel nervous about coming in to see the dentist, you’re not alone. The first step to breaking that fear is to schedule your dental appointment with Cambridgeside Dental Associates here in Cambridge, MA. We’re here to help you keep your dental health in top shape while providing a relaxing and compassionate environment. Contact us to schedule your appointment with us today!
Years of coffee, tea, wine and/or smoking got your teeth looking dull? Here at Cambridgeside Dental Associates, we have a deep understanding of how the state of your teeth can affect your confidence and by association, your life. That is why we offer such a wide range of cosmetic dentistry services - including teeth whitening. Want to get back to flashing those pearly whites? If you’ve been thinking about teeth whitening but aren’t quite sure what to expect, this article is for you.
Cambridgeside Dental Associates offers patients in the Cambridge, MA area two effective teeth whitening options. The Zoom! Teeth Whitening and Teeth Bleaching.
The Basics of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is probably nothing new to you. Gels, strips and other at-home whitening methods have been around for years. If those methods of whitening work, why should you choose to have your professionally whitened?
The answer is that professional equipment and materials deliver professional results. Your teeth will be whiter faster, and in a safer way.
Zoom! In-Office Teeth Whitening System
Cambridgeside Dental Associates is one of few dental practices offering a teeth whitening system that can lighten your teeth eight shades in under a week. The Zoom! Whitening system is quick, safe and extremely effective. Here’s how it works.
The Zoom! Whitening system uses a gel which has the active ingredient hydrogen peroxide. This ingredient helps quickly bleach teeth without changing the structure of the tooth. You will come into our office for the treatment. After a brief preparation period, your teeth will be bleached for around an hour. Afterward, a five-minute fluoride treatment will be applied to end the process. You will take home an at-home gel that will be used as directed by your dentist for the next few days. Typically, at-home treatments last between four and eight hours per application. Some patients are able to achieve a six-shade difference in just three nights of use.
Teeth bleaching is extremely beneficial for people who are trying to correct brown, yellow or mottled tooth stains. It works for people of all ages and is a near-permanent solution for discolored teeth. No more buying expensive whitening strips and gels! Here’s how it works.
You will come into our office to have a custom tooth mold taken. Out of this mold, a custom whitening splint will be created. You will be able to pick this up at the office as well. You will also receive a special bleaching agent to use. With only a few hours of wear each day, the splint and bleaching agents will have your smile looking bright white! After desired results are achieved, you only need to maintain results once every month or so.
Would you like to learn more about your teeth whitening options? Contact Cambridgeside Dental Associates in MA to see if teeth whitening is right for you!