The Holidays are upon us and we would like to wish a happy new year filled with health, happiness, and spectacular success.
Our favorite Holiday Carol
Brush enough to glow,
In an angled-brush open way,
All the Smiles will grow,
Flossing all the way!
Ho - ho - ho!
Happy Holidays from your Belmont Family Dentistry!
Our 2017 Holiday Hours
We will be closed December 25 until January 2 to celebrate the holidays with our families.
Our office will be closed at 3 p.m. on December 21, 2017.
We will resume normal business hours January 3, 2018.
BELMONT FAMILY DENTISTRY
Did you know there are five distinct stages of tooth decay? And, that in the first stage of decay, you can actually take steps to reverse the progression of the disease? Indeed, it’s true. In the first stage of decay, whether you’re a child or an adult, the application of fluoride via fluoride treatments, your toothpaste and even the local water supply can stop a cavity from penetrating through the enamel and reaching its second stage. Even the saliva in your mouth and the foods you eat help to re-mineralize a tooth in jeopardy. But that’s just the first stage! What about the rest? Understanding how a cavity progresses can assist you in preventing each successive stage from occurring in your children. There’s always a lot going on in that little mouth!
Stage One: White Spots
In stage one, the tooth begins to show signs of strain from the attack of sugars and acids, and white spots will begin to materialize just below the surface of the enamel. These white spots are representative of the demineralization of the tooth and can be easy to miss because they’re likely to occur on your child’s molars. A dental exam, of course, is designed to catch such cavities! Can you see why regular visits to the dentist are recommended? As mentioned previously, at this stage, the cavity can be repaired without the need to excavate the tooth. Call us at (617) 484-1760 to make an appointment!
Stage Two: Enamel Decay
Stage two marks the beginning of the end for the surface enamel that is being attacked. Initially, the tooth erodes from the underside outward, so the outer enamel will still be intact for the first half of this second stage. Once the cavity breaks through the surface of the enamel, there is no turning back, and your child will need to have the cavity corrected with a filling.
Stage Three: Dentin Decay
If a cavity in your child’s mouth were to progress beyond stage two without you knowing, you’d tend become aware of it when it started to hit stage three because it would probably start to cause some pain. At this level, the cavity begins to eat away at the second level of tooth material that lies beneath the enamel: the dentin. A filling can still be used to stop the onslaught of bacteria assaulting the tooth in order to prevent the cavity from reaching the tooth’s most critical component: the pulp.
Stage Four: Involvement of The Pulp
Once the cavity reaches the pulp, it’s going to hurt. A lot. So if you’ve unfortunately missed all the signs to this point, a screaming child or moaning teenager will certainly let you know there is a big problem. Stage four is serious, and a root canal is the only option of treatment at this stage, save for a complete extraction. Should you have a tooth that has reached this stage, we would work with our endodontist partners to help treat bring you back to good health.
Stage Five: Abscess Formation
In the fifth and final stage of a cavity, the infection has reached the tip of the root and exited the tip of the tooth’s structure. This in turn infects the surrounding tissues and possibly the bone structure. Swelling would be commonplace and pain severe. In children (as well as adults) an abscess can be fatal if not dealt with immediately. Root canal or extraction would be the order of the day should decay reach this stage. Need to see us? Give a call at (617) 484-1760!
As you can see, cavities don’t happen overnight. In the early stages, regular visits can stall and reverse the progression of these dastardly little devils, so it really does pay to visit the dentist at pre-selected intervals. You can keep your kids far from stage five their whole lives, and if a little bit of prodding to get them to the dentist accomplishes that, you can rest easy despite the griping.
Summer is coming to an end. Labor day is around the corner and before you know it, winter will be here! I know this is the last thing you want to hear but imagine it’s winter … you’re standing at the door, ready to brave the cold. You’re layered-up with three shirts and a sweatshirt, your heavy winter coat, and two layers of socks underneath your waterproof winter boots. Then you’ve got those awesome jeans with the flannel on the inside, your comfy hat, scarf, and gloves. You’re set! But wait. As you step toward the door, you suddenly realize you have an itch … and it’s deep down … buried beneath all those layers. And, try as you may, every attempt to reach that bugger-of-an-itch fails. Defeated, you realize the only relief you’re ever gonna’ get is to remove each one of those layers. Where are we going with this?!
We’re going inside your mouth, of course, to your tongue – this is a dental article, after all! Because whether you know it or not, like you in the wintertime, your tongue is also “all covered up” – buried beneath layers of bacteria, fungi, and food residue that can inhibit your ability to taste, let alone cause your tongue to appear various shades of yellow, white, or green! Remove the bacteria, though, and your food will once again directly interact with those taste buds, and return to its natural hue. So how does one do that? With a tongue scraper, of course!
WHAT is a tongue scraper?
A tongue scraper is a U-shaped device designed to “scrape” the top layer of scum from your tongue. They have been in use since ancient times, and have been made of everything from wood to whalebone. Nowadays, they are made of more hygienic material, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs and colors.
WHY use a tongue scraper?
The residue on your tongue includes things like the cavity-inducing Streptococcus mutans bacterium, fungi, rotting food (that’s not good), and what’s referred to as “volatile sulfur compounds.” In other words, sulfur – that “rotting egg smell.” Talk about ew! So, as you can see, there are several reasons why you’d want to get rid of this gunk in your mouth. Let’s tackle them one by one:
• Reduce bad breath: ‘nuff said!
• Reduce your risk of periodontal disease and cavities: Bad bacteria contribute to plaque and tartar on teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities. Bacteria build-up can also lead to inflammation of gum tissue (gingivitis). If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, which means a more expensive dental visit (plus other unwanted consequences!). Speaking of avoiding an expensive dental visit, when was the last time you came in to see us? Come see us now if it’s been awhile, by calling in at (617) 484-1760.
• Make room for good bacteria: see our article here on probiotics for your mouth.
• Prevent heart disease? While the debate is still up in the air, some studies suggest there could be a correlation between gum disease and heart disease.
HOW does one use a tongue scraper?
In general, make sure to rinse your tongue scraper before and after use. Apply the tongue scraper to the back of your tongue and drag it forward. Then, rinse and repeat. Make sure to get the sides of your tongue as well, not just the center! Make sure not to press too hard or you can cause yourself to bleed. And, if you’re wondering if you should scrape your tongue while recovering from a dental procedure, that’s a good question … ask your dentist for the best advice particular to your situation. Still not sure how this thing really works? The next time you’re in ask us for a quick tutorial!
WHERE do I buy one?
Tongue scrapers are relatively inexpensive, and can also be found at any local drugstore. It doesn’t matter the material, color, or brand – just find the one you like and get scraping!
You may have heard the word 'sealants' before; but you are unsure of what they are? Think of a white material that goes on the chewing surfaces of those back teeth sealing all the crevices and grooves on them. Sometimes toothbrushes fail to clean these grooves and as you know kids are notoriously bad brushes! Sealants prevent food from accumulating in these grooves and forming tooth decay. They are quick, painless and easy to apply. Talk to us if you have any questions, we will be happy to help!
“Luminous beings are we.” – Yoda
Let your true luminosity shine through your smile! Summer is almost here! Your oral hygiene is probably the last thing that comes to mind when you watch Star Wars. However, it’s always on our minds and we thought of sharing today some great dental wisdom to keep you motivated:
1) “Do or do not, there is no Try!” – Yoda
Get into the habit of brushing, then brushing in the morning and at night. Also, commit to flossing every night, no exceptions. It takes about 3 weeks to create a habit so stick with it and it will become second nature. Storm that plaque, trooper!
2) “Your eyes can deceive you; don’t trust them.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi
Your teeth may look clean. But if you are only brushing your teeth, you are only cleaning 60% of the teeth’s surfaces. That’s if you are brushing them correctly! Don’t leave your oral hygiene to chance. Make sure you are brushing and flossing correctly. May the floss be with you!
3) “It’s a trap!” – Admiral Ackbar
Food can get stuck in between your teeth causing a food trap. This can be caused if you have an open contact between two adjacent teeth, periodontal disease or a cavity. If you have a food trap, floss! Food trap can lead to sore gums, and bad breath. Call us if you run into trouble.
4) “The force is strong with you.” – Darth Sidious
We like to see you twice a year for your dental check-up exams and cleaning! This gives us an opportunity to educate you on areas of improvement and empower you to do your best at home.
5) “Ahhh, hard to see, the Dark Side is.” – Yoda
Taking care of your back molar teeth isn’t easy. You have your cheeks, your tongue, and if you managed to keep your wisdom teeth you may find yourself struggling to see back there. Consider brushing in front of the mirror and make sure the toothbrush is reaching those molars when you are brushing.
Following these tips and you can enjoy teeth whiter and brighter than a Storm Trooper’s uniform! If your smile is leaning towards the dark side call us to book an appointment right away at 617 - 484-1768.
May 4th- May the 4th be with You!
The Force is Strong in our office.
We will be celebrating all week starting May 1st - May 6th. We encourage our patients young and young at heart to dress in your Star Wars attire.
We are also selling Star Wars themed battery powered Oral - B Toothbrushes for only $ 5.00! (while supplies last)
May 14th- Mother’s Day is shortly approaching treat your mother to a routine visit and show her that your care.
May 29th - We are closed for Memorial day.
Your smile is your business card! If you are graduating this May, remember a great smile will bring you confidence on that job interview you are looking for!
Attending a wedding this summer? Have your smile looking picture-perfect this summer. Perhaps you are in the wedding party, or you are the one getting married! If so, congrats! Remember, these photos will become a memory of your big day and you will find yourself looking at them again and again.
Do you smoke or drink alcohol? Smoking tobacco and consuming alcohol increases your chance of having oral cancer. Studies have also shown a link between Human Papilloma Virus (in specific, HPV16) with oropharyngeal cancer; affecting the back of the throat, the base of the tongue and the tonsils area. In fact, HPV16 is the leading cause for having oropharyngeal cancer affecting both men and women independently of their tobacco or alcohol consumption
Our screening takes only five minutes of your time. It is always offered during your routine dental check-up and cleaning appointment at no extra cost to you. Dr. Brachowicz and Dr. Ficalora both use the Oral ID, a blue LED light that fluoresces helping identify any abnormality at an earlier stage. This information is not meant to scare you but to keep you aware and well-informed. If you note something is wrong with your mouth call the office at (617) 484-1760 and will be happy to assist you.
RED SOX Opening Day!
April 3rd is opening day for the Red Sox, if you have an appointment on this day or during week; we invite you to show your team pride by wearing Red Sox gear!
April showers bring May flowers!
Spring is here. New green life is starting to pop up through the wet cold ground. Spring sports are starting and it’s a great time to talk about wearing a mouthguard. Five million teeth are knocked out each year during sport activities. Yikes! We can help keep that smile intact with a custom made mouthguard. Our office offers PlaySafe mouthguards which come in six levels of protection and can be customized with stickers, team logos and variety of colors.
The office will be closed for Patriots day.
Do you remember your first visit to our office as a new patient? It may have been just the other day! Or maybe, it was a while back? Either way, you probably remember the first person you met when you walked in, Rita. When she answered the phone or when you walked in, you can be rest assured you were greeted with a warm smile and kindness. We are happy and sad to announce Rita will be retiring this month after working for 22 years with us! We thank Rita for all the hard work she has done for us and we wish her the best as she travels the world.
Emergency dental visits go up 64% the day after St. Patrick's Day!
Here are some tips to help you deal with a dental emergency:
- If you have a toothache: Call us! Don't assume the pain will go away. There are many reasons why you can experience a toothache. You can even experience pain if you have something wedged in between your teeth or gums! Try flossing and rinsing your mouth with warm water. Flossing helps dislodge anything that might be in the wrong place. Also, remember to never place any aspirin directly on the gums as this will burn the tissues around it.
- If you have a broken or cracked tooth: Clean the area with warm water and apply a cold compress to the face to minimize swelling. Call us right away. We have an emergency line that you will be directed to.
- If you have a knocked-out tooth: Are you able to find the tooth? Check the socket area. Sometimes if the tooth looks knocked out, it might be pushed into the gums. If you were able to find the tooth keep it moist and don't touch the root. The best way to do this is to place it back into the socket. Otherwise, you can keep in between you cheek and gums or place it in a cup with some of your saliva. Don't wait and make sure to call us right away!
To prevent dental emergencies in the future...
- Remember to have your dental exam and cleanings done twice a year.
- If you're playing sports, wear your mouth guard. If you would like a custom fitting mouth guard, we can take impressions in the office.
- Avoid chewing on hard candy, ice or popcorn kernels. These three are the most commons causes of broken teeth.
- If you are out of town, take with you an updated list of all the medications, vitamins and herbals that you are currently taking. Call us or if you are overseas, send us an email at email@example.com.
Don't hesitate to call us, when it comes to a dental emergency, we are here to help! If you find yourself dealing with a bad toothache or a broken tooth, call the office right away: (617) 484-1760.
Spring Break Cleanings
Spring break is a great time to squeeze in a dental check up for that clean, confident smile. College years can wreak havoc on your teeth and change oral care routines as students. It is important to keep your teeth healthy. While Spring Break is a great time for fun and parties, serious stress from college can be rough on the teeth. Nightly clenching and grinding, often times unconscious can cause long-term damage to teeth. Furthermore, cavities are more common in college-aged individuals as lingering food particles from frequent snacking can contribute to tooth decay. So squeeze an hour in and schedule your dental exam and cleaning today…
National Children’s Dental Health Month
Belmont family dentistry would like to remind parents the importance of your child's oral health. If your child is overdue or has never been to the dentist, please call us today to schedule an appointment. We do still have some openings during school vacation week and available one Saturday per month to help accommodate everyone's busy lives.
Call us today to set up an appointment: 617-484-1760.
Heart Health Month
If you are a male over 45 or a female over 55, then you are at a higher risk of heart attack than your younger counterparts. February is National Heart Month, and it is the perfect time to think about all of the ways you can ensure you have a healthy heart.
You may not realize how much your oral health impacts the rest of your body. Research indicates that having good oral health can promote health in ways that you would not expect—like a healthy heart!
The Connection Between the Heart and the Smile
The mouth can actually provide some pretty good insights to the rest of your body. In fact, it can indicate when you are not getting enough minerals or vitamins, when you have infections, and even when you are stressed. It will also show signs of problems when you have diabetes, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease.
Preventing heart disease is a commitment to your overall health, and that includes your oral health. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is considered the number one killer in the United States. There may be a strong connection between your healthy mouth and your healthy heart. Although the research results in this area aren’t completely clear yet, it is always a good idea to work toward having good oral hygiene!
Gum Disease and Heart Disease
Gum disease, or gingivitis, is caused by poor oral care that leads to plaque and tartar on the teeth. One symptom is that your gums are red or swollen. They may also frequently bleed when you brush your teeth. Gum disease often goes undiagnosed, but it affects roughly 80 percent of all Americans.
Researchers have discovered that gum disease may be directly connected to heart disease and strokes. Now, it may not only be important for your oral health to get a diagnosis regarding gum disease, but it may also be important for your heart.
Inflammation is common between the two diseases, as well as hardening of the arteries. In fact, usually the plaque buildup in the arteries that is associated with heart disease is part of the inflammation process. Inflammation in gum disease occurs when the bacteria take over the mouth and the gums become inflamed and sore.
Having a Healthy Smile Can Lead to a Healthy Heart
If you are concerned about your heart health, you may want to take a hard look at your oral health as well. National Heart Month is a great time to visit Belmont Family Dental to ensure that your smile is bright and healthy. Call us today to set up an appointment: 617-484-1760.
National Pet Dental Health Month
We love our pets at Belmont Family Dentistry!
Did you know, periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in cats and dogs even though it's completely preventable. It's not always easy but even our pets need our help brushing their teeth.
Show us your pets' pearly whites! Snap some photos of your pets' beautiful teeth and we mean any kind of pets: dogs, cats, horses, bunnies, ferrets, guinea pigs ... fuzzy, furred or finned, you name it. After all, pets need dental care, too.
Post the photos to our Facebook page or Instagram account (@belmontfamilydentist ) your photos with the hashtag: #BELMONTFDPET
2017 is here, lets make this year a great opportunity for a beautiful and a healthier smile! Here are some tips to start off the year the right way:
1. Brush Twice a Day and Floss Daily.
Brush your teeth when you wake up and right before bedtime. Flossing daily will help remove any food in between your teeth. Cavities are one of the most common diseases but it can be prevented with brushing and flossing! To remind you of flossing, place the floss in a place where are more likely to use it, the nightstand, the shower, next to the TV!
2. Healthy food = Healthy Teeth
Whole grain foods, fruits and vegetable are always a great choice! But if you still want to eat those cookies or cheesecake, make sure you brush your teeth afterwards. Snacks on celery and carrots, not only they are healthy but these crunchy veggies will help scrape plaque away from your teeth. Remember the cheese helps fight cavities.
3. Be a Role Model.
Children love to emulate their parents. If you have children, make a point to show them that you take time out of your busy schedule to brush and floss. You will notice they will also do the same. Check to see how they are brushing. Remember, you want to make sure they are brushing their teeth correctly.
4. Have Your Dental Cleanings Done Twice a Year!
Has it been a while since your last cleaning appointment? Start the new year with a dental check up. Do you have a busy schedule? Are you afraid of the dentist? We have ways to help you and make your visit a pleasant one. Call us and schedule your appointment today!