Halloween Tips-for-Teeth

Halloween can seem like a kid’s ultimate daydream. But for their dental health, it can actually be their greatest nightmare. Just because Halloween has the potential to be bad for teeth doesn’t mean you should only let your children eat apples and carrots. 

That doesn’t mean that all candies are the same. There are certain candies that you need to pay a little extra attention to this Halloween season.

Good Candy

One of the best candies you can let your child eat is chocolate. Because it is soft, it easily dissolves off of the teeth after eating, which minimizes the risk of developing cavities.

Another good candy for your dental health are certain kinds of gum. Chewing gum after eating greatly reduces the risk of developing cavities. It can help clean the mouth out and promote the production of saliva, a natural cavity fighter. The best gum to chew is anything that is sugar-free.

The “Be Mindful” Zone

Certain candies are worse for teeth than others. Anything that is sticky can linger on the teeth longer, allowing bacteria to grow and create cavities. It can also pull out any fillings in the teeth, causing painful and potentially deeper cavities.

Hard candy can chip or crack teeth if you try to chew them. Make sure that your child sucks on hard candy, rather than biting it. A lot of hard candies can be sour, which tend to be very acidic and damaging to teeth.

Lastly, one of the greatest classic Halloween treats is the popcorn ball. While delicious, the kernels can become lodged in between teeth and into the gums. This creates areas where bacteria can flourish and eat away at the teeth.

Your Dental Saviors

At the end of the day, there is no particular candy that you should go out of your way to avoid. All candies have the potential to cause damage to the teeth. If you are mindful about what you are consuming and how you are consuming it, you will be just fine. It is important that you floss once a day and brush twice per day. Mouth rinses can also be beneficial after eating.

Happy Halloween and good luck Trick-or-Treating!

What Issues Can Invisalign® Fix?

Invisalign® revolutionized the way people look at orthodontic treatment. The clear aligner system from Invisalign® made it possible for people to discreetly improve their smiles. While Invisalign® allows people to love the appearance of their smile and avoids many of the discomforts of braces throughout the process, there should be more to consider when choosing orthodontic treatment. You should consider which treatment option will best treat your individual situation. While you should speak with Dr. Pedersen before making your final decision, we have included issues that Invisalign® can effectively treat.

Crooked Teeth

Invisalign® is very effective at treating crooked teeth. The clear aligners offer a great solution for people to align their teeth and love their smile.

Overbite & Underbite

Invisalign® can be used to treat both an overbite and an underbite. An overbite is when the top front teeth extend beyond the bottom of your bottom front teeth. An underbite is when the lower jaw rests in front of the top jaw when the mouth is closed. Invisalign® can be used to move either the top or bottom teeth into the right place so that they align properly with the mouth closed.

Crossbite

A crossbite occurs when teeth don’t line up properly with the mouth closed. This could be the top teeth in the back of your mouth resting inside your bottom teeth or could be one or more of your top front teeth resting behind your bottom front teeth. Invisalign® can move teeth into the proper positions and treat a crossbite.

Gaps in Teeth & Crowded Teeth

These opposite issues can both be treated by Invisalign®. Gaps in teeth occur when there are large spaces between teeth. Crowded teeth happen when there is not enough room in the jaw for all of the teeth, often causing them to overlap or twist. Crowded teeth can make it easy for food to get stuck or plaque to build up, and should be addressed to keep optimal oral health.

Limitations of Invisalign®

While Invisalign® is an excellent option for many orthodontic issues, it does have its limitations. There are times when it may be best to go with braces. For severe orthodontic issues and intrusion and extrusion, braces often offer the force that is needed. It’s also important to note that Invisalign® continues to get better and better. We can now treat more complex orthodontic situations than we could even a few years ago. If you are interested if Invisalign® is the right treatment option for you, contact our Maynard, MA office at 978-897-5020.

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What is Biofilm?

​​The mouth contains a complex microbial ecosystem or system of microbiomes, that can both help and harm teeth. Biofilm, which plaque is an example of, is any collection of microorganisms that cling to each other and to a surface.  It’s impossible to completely remove bacteria or eliminate microbiomes from the mouth. However, as in any ecosystem, there is a balance that is necessary to maintain a healthy equilibrium. Good oral hygiene habits, healthy choices, and a balanced diet are our way of maintaining that equilibrium so that more dangerous and harmful bacteria are reduced and kept in check. 

Oral Hygiene and Biofilm

If good hygiene habits aren’t maintained then plaque and the microbiome it contains can harden and grow. This can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities. After oral surgeries in particular there is a risk of infection if good habits aren’t maintained. For this reason, twice daily brushing, regular flossing, and using a mouthwash are critical. 

Since teeth make up a relatively small part of the overall surface area inside the mouth using an anti-bacterial mouth wash is a great way of fighting back harmful oral bacteria. By regularly brushing you force the biofilm and bacteria in your mouth to regenerate and prevent it from growing out of control.

Diet and Bacteria

Too much sugary food, or improper hygiene after consuming sugary food, can feed bacteria. Sugar is a sort of fuel for certain harmful bacteria present in your mouth. This is why candy, soda and other sugary foods and drinks are associated with causing cavities. Similarly, too many acidic foods can throw off the oral microbiome and fuel harmful bacteria.

Healthy Choices and the Oral Microbiome

Certain habits and behaviors like smoking or nicotine use can also throw off the oral microbiome. Nicotine usage can cause dry mouth which reduces saliva which naturally helps keep the mouth at equilibrium. Additionally, a thin film can form on teeth from smoking and vaping that can trap excess bacteria. Chewing tobacco similarly can fuel particular types of bacteria.

Regular dental checkups and examinations for more serious issues are also a crucial part of maintaining good overall oral health. At Maynard Family Dentists we are happy to help new clients learn about good oral hygiene. Make an appointment or call us today at 978-897-5020.

What Foods Stain Teeth: Common Culprits

Many people wish that their teeth were whiter. One thing that you may not realize is causing your teeth to be discolored is the things that you eat. The foods you eat can actually have a significant effect on the color of your teeth. Join Maynard Family Dentists as we dive into some of the most common foods that can stain your teeth.

Coffees & Teas

Tea and coffee are both highly acidic, which can weaken the surface of your teeth, making them more susceptible to staining. Tea and coffee also both contain tannins, which help their coloring stick to your teeth. There is some evidence that having milk in your tea or coffee can help reduce the amount of staining.

Sauces

Dark-colored sauces such as soy sauce, tomato sauce, and curries also cause staining. Switching to lighter or creamy sauces can help mitigate some of the staining.

Fruits & Berries

There are many vibrant fruits that can stain your teeth. Think of the fruits that can stain your clothes – pomegranates, cherries, blueberries, and blackberries just to name a few. In the same way that they can stain your clothes they can stain your teeth.

Sodas

Sodas are highly acidic thanks to their carbonation. In addition that, the dyes in these drinks – including light-colored ones – can cause staining. There are also chemicals in the drink that eat away at your enamel.

How to Mitigate Staining

There are several things you can do to mitigate the effects of food on the color of your teeth. While cutting out the food listed above would be the number one way to reduce their effect, even we enjoy having them so we’ve included things you can do to reduce the staining while still enjoying your favorite foods.

  • Use a straw. Using a straw when drinking your favorite beverage helps reduce the amount that the acidity and coloring of the drink comes in contact with your teeth.
  • Brush after you eat. Brush your teeth about 30 minutes after you eat food that can stain. It’s important to wait a little bit of time to allow the acidity in your mouth to get balanced out so you don’t cause additional damage.
  • Rinse your mouth. If you cannot brush your teeth after eating, rinsing your mouth with water can help reduce the acidity of your mouth and remove some of the staining agents from your mouth.
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Having regular checkups and teeth cleanings at your dentist is a great way to help your smile stay beautiful.

In addition to providing teeth cleanings, we also proudly offer teeth whitening services in the Maynard, MA area. Please give our dental office a call at 978-897-5020 or use the link below to schedule an appointment for teeth cleaning or whitening.

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What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

To many people, a morning coffee or afternoon glass of wine is a ritual that cannot be disturbed or broken, but as there are many joys that come with those drinks there are still many enamel-straining prices. There are 3 different types of staining that can happen to your teeth and different causes. Learn more below about what causes teeth to discolor. If you are unhappy with the color of your smile, Maynard Family Dentists in Maynard, MA can help!

Types of Stains:

Tooth discoloration can be caused by surface stains, material changes in your teeth, or a mix of the two. Tooth discoloration can be divided into three types, according to dentists:

  • Extrinsic Teeth Stains: These stains are a type of discoloration that affects the outer layer of your teeth. Extrinsic stains are not as permanent as the other types, these stains will not respond to simply brushing your teeth. If there are cracks on the teeth they can become deep-set and begin to be harder to remove.
  • Intrinsic Teeth Stains: This type of stain will be found on the inner layer of your teeth or the dentin. Though dentin is beneath the tooth enamel, the darkened dentin can cause the whole tooth to appear discolored.
  • Age-Related Teeth Stains: Age-related teeth stains are a combination of both extrinsic and intrinsic discoloration. The core tissue of your teeth, the dentin, will naturally yellow over time causing your teeth to become discolored. Another factor that may cause your teeth to show discoloration is that the enamel of your teeth will become thinner allowing the dentin to show through.

Causes of Enamel Stains

There can be many causes when it comes to teeth stains. Certain drinks and foods can cause there to be stains on your teeth, but there can be a biological factor as well. Many times there can be ways to prevent these stains from appearing on your teeth and many that you can not control. This list can help you determine what the cause was behind the stains on your teeth.

  1. Food & Drink: Coffee, dark sodas, red wine, and some fruits and vegetables can be so acidic that they cause staining.
  2. Tobacco: Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can contribute to discoloration.
  3. Oral Care: Tooth discoloration can be caused by poor dental hygiene, such as insufficient brushing or flossing.
  4. Trauma or Disease: Discolored teeth can result from any trauma, illness, or disease that impairs enamel formation in children, whether in the womb or while teeth are developing (under the age of 8). Adult teeth can sometimes become stained as a result of trauma. Discolored teeth can be caused by a number of disorders and therapies, chemotherapy and radiation, for example, cause tooth discoloration.
  5. Medical Treatments: There are times when some medical treatments can contribute to your teeth staining as well as some medications.

Ways to Help Clear Stains

There are a few remedies that can help lessen the impact of these causes. With help of some products, the coloration of your stains can become less apparent, but will not fully remove those stains.

  1. Keeping a consistent healthy oral routine – brushing twice a day and daily flossing
  2. Twice-yearly visit to your dentist
  3. Limitation of teeth-staining beverages
  4. At-home remedies – brushing with baking soda products
  5. Professional teeth whitening

If you are interested in getting your teeth back to pearly white, contact Maynard Family Dentists in Maynard, MA today for a professional teeth whitening session!

Affordable Dentures in Maynard, MA

For those who are missing all or most of their teeth, dentures are an excellent solution. One of the most cost-effective ways to replace a full set of upper or lower teeth, dentures can be a permanent solution for patients looking to restore their smile and confidence. We offer affordable denture solutions to meet the needs of every patient.

When it comes to replacing your teeth, there are several options. The one you choose will depend on the extent of your tooth loss. If you’re missing all or most of your teeth, affordable dentures may be the right solution for you. Dentures are a cost-effective way to replace a full arch of missing teeth. They can be used as a permanent solution or as a temporary one until you’re ready for something more expensive and permanent, such as dental implants.

Denture Process at Maynard Family Dentists

The process for getting dentures begins with a consultation at Maynard Family Dentists, your local dentist’s office for affordable dentures. We offer both full and partial dentures.

We’ll take measurements and impressions of your gums and bite to design dentures that are visually appealing and comfortable for you. If you need any extractions, we schedule a time for quick, painless extractions. Next, we’ll fit you with a temporary set of dentures while we work on your permanent ones.

A few weeks later, you’ll come back to Maynard Family Dentists so that we can make sure your new set fits comfortably and securely. We want you to leave our office smiling confidently!

Depending on the type of denture you’ve chosen, they will need to be replaced after five to eight years as they begin to wear down over time. In order to help keep costs low for our patients, Maynard Family Dentists has created a variety of low-cost options for those interested in or needing dentures.

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Signs of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a result of bacterial growth in your mouth that causes harm to the gum tissue surrounding your teeth. While some symptoms are easier to ignore, if gum disease is untreated it can lead to bone and tooth loss. Don’t ignore the signs of gum disease—we can treat the problem before it gets worse. At Maynard Family Dentists in Maynard, MA we offer gum disease treatment solutions for any stage of gum disease.

The earliest sign of periodontitis is an irritated gum line that might present some discomfort or bleeding when you brush, floss, or have your teeth cleaned professionally. If not treated, the gums will start to retract and pull away from the teeth. This creates spaces between the teeth and gums called periodontal pockets that can quickly become filled with harmful accumulations. Your dentist will typically measure the depths of these pockets to determine how far the condition has spread and what treatment is needed to correct the problem. If gum disease eventually makes its way down to the jawbone and the connective tissues of teeth, the jawbone can deteriorate, and teeth can be lost.

Common Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

  • Gum recession
  • “Long teeth”
  • Tooth mobility (loose tooth/movement)
  • Sore teeth when you chew/bite
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Deep pockets under your gums
  • Visible bone loss on X-rays
  • Heavy tartar buildup
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding when you brush and floss
  • Swollen, red gums

Please keep in mind that if you smoke, vape, or use tobacco products, you may not see the same symptoms as someone who doesn’t. Your tissues could look “healthy” due to the lack of bleeding or swelling, even if the disease is present.

Gum disease is a very common oral health problem that with proper treatment can minimize the harmful effects. Call our team at Maynard Family Dentists with any questions and for treatment options.

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How to Know If Your Tooth’s Enamel Is Damaged

Enamel isn’t something we think about every day, or even all that often. However, it is one of the most important things about your oral health. Enamel is the tooth’s outer covering. Over time, enamel can become chipped, worn or even lost due to dental trauma, dental procedures or problems with the supporting tissues of the mouth. While calcium can naturally repair to some degree, damage sustained over time may leave your tooth vulnerable to further enamel loss.

It can be difficult to know if your tooth’s enamel is permanently damaged. We’ve created a list to know if yours is damaged to make it easier for you!

Tooth Sensitivity

One of the most common signs your tooth’s enamel is damaged is sensitivity. You may notice discomfort while eating or drinking something with hot or hot temperatures. The more your enamel gets damaged, the more extreme your sensitivity will become. If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, make sure to talk with your dentist as soon as possible!

Color

Another way to know if your enamel is damaged is if the color of your teeth has changed. This color change often occurs first on the central incisors, which are your very front teeth. Those teeth might become transparent around the outer edges. As the enamel continues to erode, your teeth might turn a gray or yellowish color.

Shape

If your teeth change shape, it’s a good indicator that you have enamel damage. Your teeth may begin to appear rounded, develop ridges, and often the gaps between teeth will become more substantial. Eventually, you may notice cracks in your teeth.

How to Stop Enamel Erosion

Tooth enamel loss puts your teeth at increased risk for tooth decay. Some tooth enamel loss occurs naturally with age, but you can help stop harmful tooth enamel loss by following a regular oral care routine of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly. Your tooth enamel is the first line of defense for your teeth against the tooth decay.

Here at Maynard Family Dentists, we are always happy to help. If you think you are experiencing enamel damage, give us a call at 978-897-5020, and we’ll set up an appointment. We’ll look at your teeth for any signs of erosion, and talk with you about your options if you do have damage.

What is the Role of Fluoride in Dental Care?

Fluoride is one of the most researched nutrients, with over 50 years of peer-reviewed scientific studies confirming its various dental health benefits. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by remineralizing and strengthening your teeth. It also lowers the risk of cavities and strengthens tooth enamel

Fluoride, a component of saliva and the hardest natural substance found in the earth’s crust, when combined with calcium and phosphate to form tooth enamel, is often referred to as a cavity-fighting mineral. Nevertheless, water fluoridation has been around since the 1940s. And its importance has not diminished; today, fluoride continues to play a crucial role in dental care. Call our office in Maynard, MA with any questions at 978-897-5020.

Why Do You Need Fluoride?

Fluoride is absorbed by the teeth and protects against tooth decay. Your teeth are constantly under attack by acids and bacteria. If these are left unchecked, these acids and bacteria will break down your teeth over time by causing tooth decay in the form of cavities. Cavities usually begin as microscopic damage to your tooth, but fluoride acts as concrete poured into a crack, protecting against such damage and even reversing early tooth decay.

How Do You Receive Fluoride?

Unfortunately, the amount of fluoride obtained through food is not sufficient to protect your teeth. Throughout both childhood and your adult years, your dentist will apply fluoride treatments at appropriate intervals. These fluoride treatments are put directly on your teeth and are usually in the form of a rinse, gel, or foam. You leave the fluoride in your mouth for a minute or so before either spitting it out or having it rinsed away. This is typically the part in your dentist visit where your dentist asks you the type of flavor you want!

Fluoride is an incredibly important part of your oral routine. You should go to your dentist every six months for a checkup, where you should get a fluoride treatment. This will help prevent tooth decay and help fight any decay that has already happened. Give us a call today at 978-897-5020 and we’ll schedule an appointment for you to come in and get a fluoride treatment with your cleaning.

Why Are Baby Teeth Important?

Tiny, but important ― that’s how baby teeth are referred to, especially by dentists. While most parents would look at their babies’ tiny teeth and wonder what in the world they could be thinking about, dentists realize early on that these tiny teeth aren’t just for looking at cute smiles and giggles. At Maynard Family Dentists, we focus on keeping the smallest smiles healthy.

Taking good care of your baby’s teeth early on is crucial to their oral health now and for the rest of their lives. We’ve come up with several reasons why you want to keep your baby’s teeth in tip-top shape.

  • These teeth are crucial to your child’s health and development. They help with the development of permanent teeth by saving space for them in the jaw. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift to the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in.
  • Baby teeth aid in speech development. Taking care of your child’s teeth will help them speak and communicate better.
  • They help your child maintain good nutrition by permitting him/her to chew properly.
  • Baby teeth help children feel good about themselves and their smile. It’s so important for children to feel confident from a young age and keeping their teeth healthy is imperative.

What happens if baby teeth aren’t taken care of?

Baby teeth can get cavities, just like adult teeth. In addition to the pain caused by cavities, they can also lead to dental infections. Tooth decay is a serious, infectious, and transmissible disease that can spread quickly and lead to infection. If a tooth needs to then get extracted, this can cause the teeth to drift, which may lead to overcrowding and difficulty for the adult teeth to grow in.

Be sure to visit a dentist within six months of your child’s first tooth appearing and definitely by the time they reach the one-year mark. Our team will check for cavities and any other pediatric dental problem. We’ll also help show you and your child how to properly take care of their teeth. Give our Maynard, MA dental office a call today at 978-897-5020!