Sudbury Smile Center
Posts for category: Oral Health
Brushing is the most effective way in order to remove plaque from both the teeth and gums. Getting this off quickly helps to prevent bacteria from turning into acids that lead to cavities. A good oral hygiene routine helps keep your teeth looking their best for a lifetime. Dr. Reina Garcia in Sudbury, MA, can offer helpful brushing and flossing tips to her patients.
About Good Oral Hygiene
Most dentists suggest brushing two to three times a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Use a circular brushing motion with the brush at a 45-degree angle. Brush the tongue too in order to remove harmful germs or bacteria that can stay trapped in the mouth. Replace the toothbrush every few months. Our family dentist in Sudbury can demonstrate to her patients the best way to brush.
With flossing, once daily is recommended. Flossing helps to remove bacteria and other things from places that the toothbrush can’t reach in the mouth. This is considered the best preventative technique against plaque. This helps prevent gum disease, cavities and other dental problems. It also improves blood circulation to the gums. Use the loop or spool method that can be learned at a visit with Dr. Garcia. Never snap the floss as that can damage the gums causing them to be tender and/or bleed.
Dr. Garcia, a family dentist in Sudbury, MA, can teach her patients the proper way to take care of their teeth and gums regularly. After a thorough dental examination and cleaning, she can learn of any dental issues that must be remedied in the mouth too. Preventative exams and cleanings, once every six months, helps reduce the chance of future dental problems. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Garcia today, call our office at (978) 448-5500 today.
Knowing what gum disease symptoms to be on the look out for could help save you a lot of problems in the future.
With the CDC reporting that half of the adults in the US have gum disease, it’s so very important that you are on the lookout for any changes that warrant a trip to see our Sudbury, MA, family dentist, Dr. Reina Garcia. From not flossing regularly to not brushing properly, there are many reasons why gum disease can manifest. Gum disease undergoes multiple stages. In the earlier stage it can be reversed, but once it has reached a more advanced stage it can lead to more serious health issues.
What are some early signs to be away of?
In the beginning stages, gum disease is very minor and you may not even know that anything is wrong. This is why those regular dental cleanings are an important part of your health. It’s during these visits that our Sudbury dentist will be able to detect subtle changes in your gums that could mean gum disease.
Classic early signs include having swollen, sore or red gums. You may also notice that your gums bleed, particularly when brushing or flossing your teeth. In some cases, you may even start to see that your gums are receding, which will make your teeth appear longer.
Fortunately, this early stage, known as gingivitis, is reversible. We will provide you with the best tips for caring for your smile at home to prevent it from turning into full-blown gum disease.
How will I know if I have a more advanced form of gum disease?
Those with more advanced stages of gum disease will notice the signs we mentioned above, as well as loose teeth or even tooth loss. You will also be more likely to deal with tooth sensitivity because as the gums recede they will also expose the roots of your teeth. You may notice chronic bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth. If you notice an abscess, a pimple-like growth, forming on the gums these are all signs that require immediate dental care.
If you are experiencing any of these issues above it’s important that you turn to Millbrook Smiles in Sudbury, MA, right away. We can examine your smile and determine whether or not you have gum disease. From there we can create a treatment plan to help manage your condition effectively and improve the health of your gums.
Your family's health is extremely important to you; that goes without saying. But while you may be monitoring your children's growth and activity levels and staying current on doctor appointments, are you following the proper steps to keep everyone's teeth healthy? Dr. Reina Garcia, your family dentist at Millbrook Smiles in Sudbury, MA, has provided a few tips for each family member to ensure everyone is receiving the proper dental care at home.
Guidelines for babies
It may seem strange to develop an oral hygiene routine for a child who doesn't have teeth yet, but your Sudbury family dentist highly encourages parents to help their children get in the habit early. Beginning just after birth, the gums should be wiped off after feedings with a clean, damp cloth. Once the first teeth begin to emerge - usually between six months and one year of age - use a finger brush or small toothbrush and a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste to gently clean these teeth. Dr. Garcia also cautions parents against letting a child go to sleep at night or during naps with a bottle of formula, milk or juice. The long exposure to the sugars contained in these drinks can cause severe tooth decay. If your child falls asleep better with a bottle, it can be filled with water.
Guidelines for kids
Children under three years old should still have their teeth brushed twice daily by a parent or caregiver using the same methods as above. Older kids may be able to maneuver a toothbrush more efficiently, but some still need supervision or instruction to make sure they're cleaning each tooth properly. As soon as a child has two teeth that touch each other, your Sudbury dentist suggests making flossing part of the oral hygiene routine. To make the experience more fun and personalized, allow your child to choose their own ADA-approved toothbrush, toothpaste and other accessories or products.
Guidelines for teens and adults
Dr. Garcia reminds her teenage and adult patients that they should make a habit of brushing twice and flossing once daily to keep cavities and gum disease at bay. Sugary and starchy foods should be eaten in moderation; they disrupt the acidic balance in the mouth, giving bacteria the environment it needs to grow.
For all of our patients at Millbrook Smiles in Sudbury, MA, we recommend twice-yearly visits for cleaning and evaluations. If you'd like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Garcia, call us today!
One of the great benefits that patients with implants enjoy is their imperviousness to decay: unlike a natural tooth, bacteria have no effect on the materials in an implant’s construction. That doesn’t mean, however, you can become lax in your hygiene habits — although the implants may not be susceptible to disease, the surrounding gum tissue and bone are. If those tissues become infected you could start to lose the implant attachment and, as it progresses, the implant itself.
In fact, the gum tissue that surrounds the implant may be more susceptible to infection than those around natural teeth. Teeth maintain a connection with the jawbone through the periodontal ligament. Besides securing the tooth, the gum tissue has fibrous attachments to the tooth to help the gum tissue endure a lot of wear and tear and resist the invasion of bacteria and food particles. Implants are anchored directly into the jawbone (where bone eventually grows and attaches to the titanium implant surface) and don’t develop an attachment with the ligament. Implants, therefore, don’t have the benefit of resistance to bacteria and food particles that natural teeth receive through these fibrous attachments.
As a result, patients with implants need to establish a conscientious habit of effective oral hygiene. Daily removal of bacterial plaque from teeth surfaces through brushing and flossing (and semi-annual office cleanings and checkups) greatly reduce the risk of infection and subsequent inflammation. It’s also important to monitor the condition of your gums, especially around implants. If you begin to notice bleeding, red or swollen gums, or other signs of possible gum disease, you should contact us as soon as possible for an assessment.
Proper care for implants and their supporting tissues is just as necessary, and perhaps more so, than it is for natural teeth. By providing that care, you’ll help ensure years of effective service from your implants.
If you would like more information on hygiene practices with implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Infections Around Implants.”
Did you know that you probably do at least one thing during the course of an average day that puts your healthy smile at risk? These are some of the more common offenders:
Coffee, Soda, and Sports Drink Consumption
If you really can’t give them up, try to consume these beverages with restraint. Their high acidity and/or sugar content can erode protective tooth enamel, making your pearly whites more prone to staining and decay. Even natural fruit juices should be consumed in moderation as they tend to be high in sugar and sometimes acidity (e.g. orange juice). Your best bet? Water, of course. It won’t damage your teeth and thanks to fluoridation may even help remineralize and fortify your enamel.
Brushing Immediately After Eating
If you were told to brush after every meal, forget it. Acids in foods and beverages can soften your enamel, and brushing may actually accelerate erosion. Wait at least an hour to brush, which is the time it generally takes for your oral pH to normalize and your tooth enamel to reharden. However, it is advisable after eating to floss and rinse out your mouth with plain water or a mineralized dental wash to help wash away food particles.
Jaw Clenching, Tooth Grinding, Pencil Chewing
These and similar “parafunctional” behaviors — outside the uses for which teeth are designed — can cause undue tooth wear and exert stresses that can cause chips and fractures. They can affect other parts of the oral system, too, potentially resulting in jaw joint pain and muscle spasms, headaches and other head and neck ailments.
It’s hard to cut out all high-sugar/high-acid foods and beverages, so where complete elimination isn’t possible, focus on moderation and try to consume them only during mealtime. Jaw clenching and other parafunctional behaviors are often subconscious and may be harder to control; in such cases an unobtrusive device like a clear occlusal (bite) guard can alleviate the problem.
If you would like more information about tooth damage and prevention please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Tooth Decay” and “Stress & Tooth Habits.”