The 6 Worst Foods for Your Teeth

foods-avoidSince we were kids we’ve heard the same guidelines for a healthy mouth over and over again: brush twice a day, floss often, go to the dentist, drink your milk, rinse with mouthwash, etc. What a lot of people don’t realize, however, is that something as small as jellybean or as simple as a cracker could be standing in between you and the beautiful smile you desire. Here at Dental Partners of Boston, we have compiled a list of the 6 worst food and drinks for your teeth and provided some simple switches to keep your smile clean, healthy, and attractive.

Soda– On average, soda contains more than 35g of sugar ready to surround your teeth and break down your enamel. Even diet sodas, because of their acidity, can cause some serious tooth erosion. Rather than slurping down a can full of cavities, try switching to water flavored with fresh fruit and on occasion, juices with no added sugar.

Sticky Candy– Lollipops, gummy bears, caramels, and the list goes on. Sugary, chewy candies hit your teeth with a double-punch as the sugar eats away at your teeth’s enamel and then stays hidden until you brush and floss, doing even more damage. If you have a serious sweet tooth that won’t go away, chocolate is one of the better options because it tends to rinse away easily with saliva and water.

High-Sugar Breads and Crackers– Oftentimes people forget that breads and crackers are carbohydrates and still contain sugar. What’s worse is that when you chew these starches, the sugars condense into those sticky, sugary lumps that can hide in your teeth and wear away at your enamel. When choosing breads, make sure you look for options with low-sugar and pair your sandwich or snack with a tall glass of water to wash away crumbs.

Alcohol– We all know that large doses of alcohol aren’t good for our overall health, but have you ever considered the impact alcohol has on your teeth? Alcohol, just like prescription drugs, can dry out your mouth. When your mouth isn’t able to create saliva, bacteria and food are able to stay in your teeth longer, potentially leading to gingivitis. If you do drink alcohol, make sure you are pairing it with lots of water to prevent staining and dry mouth.

Dried Fruit– Fruit is healthy though, right? Yes, for the most part, but when you dry and condense all of that sugar into a sticky treat, it is almost as bad as candy. Sugar from chewy fruit snacks can hide between your teeth and stay there. When you are looking for a sweet snack, opt for fresh fruit rather than the dried stuff.

Coffee and Tea– So good, yet so bad for your teeth. Not only do coffee and tea stain your teeth significantly, but the acidity can also damage your enamel. When drinking the two beverages, try adding milk or cream to lessen staining and pair with water to continually rinse out your mouth.

Although these foods can cause some serious damage to your teeth, it is important to remember that they are okay in moderation. Don’t deny yourself the foods you love, just make sure to brush well, drink lots of water, and limit the amount you consume. For more information about our boston dentist’s office and cosmetic dentistry in Boston, visit our website today!

The Dental Implant Process

implant-processDental implants in Boston are far and away the most popular option to replace missing teeth because they have huge advantages over dentures. Implants don’t require the high maintenance dentures do (like creams, regular fittings, and special cleaning requirements), they last as long as you do, and they look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. So how do you get dental implants? Let’s take a look at the process.

Initial examination

When you first come to Dental Partners of Boston, we’ll look at the sites of your missing teeth and examine them to ensure that your gums, surrounding teeth, and jaw bone are healthy enough to receive implants. You’ll usually need an x-ray so we can see the shape and density of the jawbone in the area. These scans also help us place the implant in the right spot to ensure a proper bite.

Preparation

If we have concerns about the odds of implant success, you might need to go through a period of preparation before an implant is placed. This may mean bone grafts to strengthen the jaw or periodontal treatment to reduce the chance of infection or implant rejection.

Surgery

Once you have the green light, you’ll schedule time to have the implant placed. The implant itself is made of a titanium screw topped with an abutment and crown. Your implant will be inserted into your jawbone, which will be encouraged to grow around it and fix it in place. The screw is inserted first, then the abutment is added, and then the crown tops off the implant to make it look just like a real tooth.

Post-surgery

After surgery, there’s a healing period of a few days during which you’ll notice some swelling and pain at the implant site. Depending on your pain tolerance and the advice of your doctor, you may receive pain medication. The osseointegration process will continue for the next few months; once it’s finished, your implant is ready to stay with you for life.

The implant process can be long, but after it’s finished we promise you’ll be happy with the way your new tooth looks. The best part about an implant is the fact that no one, aside from a dentist, can tell that it’s not real. And as long as you brush and floss regularly, your implant will last as long as you do.

If you have any more questions about the process, please contact Dental Partners of Boston today. We’re more than happy to answer your questions about the most advanced modern tooth replacement option in the world.

Your Smile and Your Health

whole-healthHave you ever heard the phrase “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”? That is because in the days that phrase was coined, a horse’s health (and therefore overall value) could be determined by assessing the teeth, gums, tongue and tissue. The human body is similar, because every organ system is interconnected with the rest in such a way that many times one system will act as a messenger for another that is in distress. The mouth can show symptoms of entirely unrelated problems–symptoms which are visible to dentists like us.

When you come in for your regular dental checkup, there are many things we look for. We examine your teeth and note their color, texture and density. We look at the gums, observing their color, firmness and sensitivity. We take note of any unusual odors or colors. We look for any lumps or spots that could indicate a problem. All of these things and more can indicate the health of your mouth and body, giving us clues about conditions which may be just beginning to emerge. If we find anything unusual, we take it very seriously, even if it’s outside the scope of our practice. We are committed to taking care of all of our patients, whatever their needs, and will refer our patients to any doctors or specialists they may need in order to receive the individualized care they deserve.

On the other hand, when teeth are properly taken care of, it can have a positive effect on your overall well-being. Strong teeth support a healthy diet. Healthy gums can actually prevent many different problems such as bone loss and even some cancers. A mouth that is healthy and clean is more appealing and attractive to others, and this in turn contributes to your self-esteem. Confident people are generally more successful in the work environment as well, meaning that good dental hygiene can have far-reaching effects on your entire life.

At Dental Partners of Boston, we take a comprehensive approach to dentistry. We strive to ensure that the overall health of your entire mouth is maintained, so that you can enjoy all of the health benefits that come with a strong, beautiful smile. If you are seeking excellent dentists in Boston, look no further than the Dental Partners of Boston. We are happy to help you achieve the strong, healthy smile you want. Contact us today, and let us help you reach your dental goals.

Why Choose Professional Teeth Whitening?

Having a beautiful white smile can help you feel more confident and look years younger. In order to keep a sparkling smile, you can whiten your teeth whenever they start to look yellowed or dingy. There are many ways to whiten your teeth, both professionally and using over the counter products.

How Do Teeth Become Stained?

Over time, teeth darken due to aging, pigmented or acidic foods (such as coffee and wine), smoking, and injury. You can often prevent tooth stains by avoiding certain foods and drinks, brushing your teeth after you eat, and going to the dentist regularly. But over time, most of us will still see our teeth yellow considerably.

Your options

Over the Counter

Many people choose to whiten their teeth using over the counter methods. Unfortunately, over the counter whitening products are not always effective and they can take a long time to achieve desired results. They are great if you have a lot of time to whiten your teeth, or you only want to lighten your teeth a few shades.  

  • Toothpastes: One of the most common tooth whitening products on the market, they normally contain ingredients like silica to help scrub off stains.  
  • Whitening Strips: These are placed on the teeth, and cost about $15-$30 a box. They contain active ingredients such as peroxide to remove stains.  
  • Trays: These are meant to hold whitening gel against your teeth for long enough that it can take effect.  
  • Rinses: Whitening rinses are normally the least effective whitening technique. Most rinses contain hydrogen peroxide as their active ingredient, but only come into contact with the teeth for a short time.  

Professional Whitening

Visiting a Boston cosmetic dentist for a professional teeth whitening will be more effective and faster than using over the counter products, since the products we use are more concentrated than what you can find in a store. Over-the-counter options are also one-size-fits-all, while professional products are custom made to fit your mouth and your situation. Over the counter whitening trays fit loosely in the mouth and often irritate the gums, while a custom-made tray is fitted specifically to your bite to minimize irritation. To take advantage of these benefits, contact us today to set up your whitening appointment.

How to Prevent Toothbrush Abrasion

Preventing toothbrush abrasionBrushing regularly is essential to dental health. But over-brushing, particularly with a hard toothbrush, can lead to toothbrush abrasion, which can damage teeth and gum tissue. It is estimated that 10-20% of the population have damaged their teeth or gums due to consistent vigorous brushing.

The challenge

We tend the think that significant effort is required to keep our teeth healthy, when in fact plaque is easy to remove. Plaque is a soft deposit that sticks to the tooth’s surface and builds up over time, and while it needs to be regularly disrupted, this does not take a great deal of pressure.  Those most at risk for toothbrush abrasion are those who are meticulous at attending to their daily dental care. Other factors can be at play such as a genetic predisposition to receding gums or clenching and grinding your teeth.

How it affects dental health

Brushing too hard and too often can damage gums and cause them to recede while also wearing down tooth enamel.  Receding gums can expose sensitive roots, while removing enamel removes the tooth’s natural protection from wear.  This can cause significant problems later on like periodontal disease and cavities that could require root canals, fillings, and even tooth extraction.

One of the signs of toothbrush abrasion is small divot in the tooth just at the gumline. That divot can be sensitive, sometimes creating a shock sensation when exposed to cold or touched with the finger or toothbrush bristle.

The solution

Stopping toothbrush abrasion mostly involves a change in mindset about home dental care. You should approach brushing with the mindset that you need to be thorough and gentle. Only use a soft bristled toothbrush. The type of toothbrush is often indicated on the top of the packaging the toothbrush comes in. Also, brush your teeth in a soft circular motion as opposed to a back and forth ‘sawing’ motion across the teeth. Brushing is only meant to remove food and debris; therefore it only takes light pressure. A trick to help you remember and to brush more lightly is to switch to brushing with your non-dominant hand.

If you have more questions, consult with Dental Partners of Boston, your premiere Boston dentists, about the severity of your toothbrush abrasion and proper brushing technique to stop aggravating the problem.Contact us today to make an appointment.

Replacing Amalgam Fillings

fillingsOnce upon a time, almost everyone that needed a cavity filled got an amalgam filling—the common silver-colored kind of filling, which is made of a combination of silver, mercury, tin, copper, and other metals. Millions of people across the country now have amalgam fillings in their teeth, but in recent years, some have begun to wonder how safe it really is to have mercury in your teeth.

Currently, there is no consensus about the safety of amalgam fillings. While it is true that mercury vapor is released from amalgam, the amount of vapor released from fillings is safely below the FDA-accepted 0.4 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. The American Dental Association continues to support the use of amalgam fillings.

Still, some wonder whether it would be wise to replace their amalgam fillings with composite resin fillings—a popular choice in recent years. Composite resin doesn’t contain mercury, and it is white rather than silver, so it blends in with your teeth. Generally, replacing silver amalgam fillings with white composite fillings is not necessary or recommended. However, in some cases there may be serious cosmetic problems with amalgam fillings, or the amalgam fillings may be badly made or damaged. In these situations, the filling should be replaced.

Besides the cosmetic improvement, composite fillings offer several advantages over amalgam fillings, such as the following.

  • Composite fillings are bonded to the tooth, which reinforces the remaining structure of the tooth and doesn’t leave room for foreign material to wedge itself between the tooth and filling and create cracks. This strengthens the weakened tooth.
  • Composite fillings have smooth, bonded edges, which leave fewer nooks and crannies for plaque to accumulate and cause further tooth decay.
  • Composite fillings conserve the tooth structure more effectively. Less of the original tooth is removed to create space for the filling.
  • Composite fillings are easily repaired. Chips in the filling can be repaired by adding more composite material.
  • Composite fillings seal and protect the inner layer of the tooth, known as the dentin, from bacteria that causes decay.
  • Composite fillings last longer than amalgam fillings.

If you’re concerned about the state or appearance of your existing fillings, schedule a consultation with Dental Partners of Boston, the practice that’s at the forefront of cosmetic dentistry in Boston. One of our experienced dentists will evaluate your situation and discuss the possibility of replacing your amalgam fillings.

Coping with Dental Anxiety

phobiaIf you suffer from dental anxiety, it would be hard to visit even the very best dentist in Boston. Phobias and anxiety about visiting the dentist are extremely common. An estimated 15% of the population would rather be anywhere else. For many, the thought of a dental visit can cause sleepless nights, a sick feeling, or even tears. If you experience dental phobia, you are not alone.

Many people who suffer from dental anxiety will only go in an extreme emergency, and even then put it off until the last minute. Unfortunately, this can cause your dental health to slowly decay, affecting your overall health as well. Those who avoid the dentist out of fear run a higher risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss.  

Here at the Dental Partners of Boston, we strive to make every patient comfortable and ease any dental anxiety you may have. Our staff is ready to make your visit as smooth as we can. As much as possible, we will meet your requests to help you have a pleasant visit. We will:

  • Address your fears, discussing what may be the causes and how we can help soothe them.
  • Keep you informed throughout your visit, letting you know what will happen before it does, including warning you of any pain or discomfort that you may experience.
  • Work with you to establish a “stop” signal (such as raising your hand, or tapping the dental chair) so that you remain in control of your care.
  • Allow you to bring a friend to your, listen to music, bring in any objects, etc. to help you feel more comfortable or distract you from the procedure.  
  • Offer nitrous oxide to help you relax.

We understand that every patient is different, and we will work with you to help you overcome your specific fears. We are here to help you. Please don’t hesitate to let us know your specific concerns, and to ask a member of our staff for help. Contact us today to discuss your needs.

When to Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

Who doesn't want brilliant, even teeth? We offer a range of attractive, affordable options for a beautiful smile.Your smile is one of the most noticeable aspects of your appearance.  A bright, radiant smile has been proven through numerous studies to help a person feel more confident, have better social experiences, and even perform at a higher level during job interviews. Whether you’re looking for a process as simple as teeth whitening, or you need crowns, implants, or veneers, the dentists here at Dental Partners of Boston strive to provide the best cosmetic dentistry service in Boston.

But how do you know when it’s the right time for cosmetic dentistry procedures? That’s the question we’ll tackle today.

There are a lot of ways for a smile to be flawed, from chipped teeth to discoloration, from missing teeth and gaps to overcrowded teeth. Our dentists are some of the best cosmetic dentists in Boston, and have all the skills necessary to give you the smile you desire. And it’s when you have the above problems with your teeth, or any others, that you should seek out a consultation from a cosmetic dental specialist.

One of the most common procedures we offer is dental crowns. Dr. David S. Kim, D.MD., M.M.Sc specializes in implant, esthetic, and reconstructive dentistry. Crowns fall right into his wheelhouse. They are essentially “caps” for your teeth, and can fix anything from discolored or chipped teeth, to providing cover for a dental implant, support for a bridge, or to cover up a filling that doesn’t match the color of the surrounding teeth.

Another procedure to fix crooked or overlapping teeth, or even to correct minor bite problems, is enamel shaping and contouring. Dr. Yael Frydman, D.M.D., has been practicing dentistry since 1998, and has all the skills necessary to perform this delicate procedure. Enamel contouring and shaping involves removing a small amount of the enamel on your teeth in order to make them look, fit, or bite together more efficiently. It’s a process usually accompanied by dental bonding.

Dental bridges are another common form of cosmetic dentistry, used to replace missing teeth with artificial teeth. Bridges are anchored to surrounding teeth, then capped with crowns to look just like real teeth. However, as with every dental procedure, the success of your bridgework depends on your overall oral health. After having any of the above procedures completed, it’s highly recommended that you adopt a strict oral hygiene routine in order to keep your oral health at a top level.

So if you feel that you’re a candidate for cosmetic dentistry, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We are happy to help you achieve the smile you want.

What to Expect During Your Endodontic Treatment

Despite their reputation, root canals are generally no worse than getting a filling.The words “root canal” have become almost synonymous with “horribly unpleasant experience.” But despite their bad reputation, root canals today are actually very similar to getting a regular filling. If you’re one of the millions of people who needs endodontic treatment to save your teeth, rest easy—we’ll do everything we can to make sure you’re comfortable.

Why do I need a root canal?

A tooth is composed of three basic layers: on the outside is the hard white surface called enamel, below is another hard layer called dentin, and below that is a core of soft tissue called pulp. Pulp contains blood vessels and nerves, and is necessary for a tooth’s growth and development. But once the tooth is mature, the pulp is no longer necessary. It can, however, become infected due to decay or to a crack in the tooth. When this happens, it becomes painful and may even cause an abscess. To save the tooth, an endodontist might need to perform a root canal.

What happens during a root canal?

First, Dr. Goldberg creates an opening in the top of the tooth and removes the infected pulp, and then cleans the empty canal. He then fills the space with a safe, rubberlike material and seals it. In a separate procedure, we will place a crown on the tooth to protect it and make it look as good as new. It then works just like any other tooth.

With the help of anesthesia, root canals can be performed with very little pain. Many patients feel comfortable during the procedure. Immediately after the procedure, your tooth might feel sensitive, but this sensitivity can often be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medication.

What happens after the root canal?

Your tooth will function just like any other tooth after your root canal (though you shouldn’t use the tooth for chewing until after the crown is placed on it). Many patients are able to return to their normal routine the day after the procedure. Most teeth treated with a root canal last a lifetime, and the procedure has a high rate of success.

Like any surgery, a root canal can cause some discomfort. But when completed, it will spare you from further tooth pain due to decay and abscess, and can save you from losing the tooth altogether.

Still nervous about root canals? Rely on the top-quality care we provide at Dental Partners of Boston, some of the best dentists for the job. Contact us today to discuss your options.

The Benefits of Digital Dental X-Rays

Dentists depend on x-ray images to view and diagnose dental issues that can’t be seen just by looking in your mouth. And just like film and video cameras have made the switch in recent years from conventional film to digital, digital x-ray imaging is becoming the standard for dental practices across the country, including dentists in Boston. But is this newer technology really better? For many reasons that matter to both dentists and patients, the answer is yes.

What are the advantages of digital x-rays?

  • Less exposure to radiation. Radiation is often among patients’ top concerns. Digital imaging exposes the patient to 70% less exposure than film imaging. Plus, digital x-rays usually require fewer retakes due to poor exposure, bad positioning, or other issues, ultimately decreasing the amount of radiation exposure even further.
  • Images ready immediately. Digital images can be viewed within seconds of being taken, whereas film requires several minutes to be developed in a darkroom before it can be viewed. This is helpful not only because it saves time for dentists and patients, but it can also be useful to dentists who need information during dental procedures.
  • Digital enhancement. With the easy-to-use software included with digital radiography systems, it is possible to quickly enhance x-ray images. Changes can be made to the image’s size, contrast level, or brightness level, which in some cases may make a problem easier to see and diagnose. It also makes it easier for patients to see problems when viewing their own x-rays with a dentist.
  • Easier storage. Images can be stored on a computer rather than in physical form at the dentist’s office. Also, having a digital x-ray image transferrable via computer makes communication between different dental and orthodontic offices easier—which comes in handy if a patient has to be referred from one doctor to another.
  • It pays off in the long run. While the cost of digital imaging equipment may be higher upfront, digital radiography is less expensive and more environmentally friendly (resulting in less chemical waste) in the long run.

Dental Partners of Boston is dedicated to safe and cutting-edge care, which is why we offer digital x-rays. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.