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How Aging Effects Oral Health

At different ages, we all need specific healthcare. Senior patients have a different set of needs than kids or younger adults. Many patients don’t know that they need to change the way they take care of their smiles as they age, but a good dentist should partner with you to maintain good in-office and at-home dental care routines to ensure you keep a healthy, beautiful smile for a lifetime. In this post, we’ll discuss the effects of aging on your oral health and how you and your dentist can work together to improve the lifetime health of your smile during dental checkups and by optimizing at-home oral hygiene routines.

Common Oral Health Issues for Seniors

There are many ways that oral health changes as we age. Some of the most common oral health issues seniors struggle with include:

  • Dry mouth – taking more prescription medications coupled with reduced saliva production as we age can lead to dry mouth. This oral health issue may seem like nothing more than a nuisance, but actually, it can lead to numerous serious concerns, including tooth decay, gum disease, and excessive dental wear.
  • Increased risk for gum disease – dry mouth and decreased immune function can both increase patients’ risk to suffer from periodontal (gum) disease due to the greater levels of plaque production and diminished ability to neutralize plaque acidity.
  • Tooth loss – older patients are more likely to lose teeth as years of dental wear and damage take their toll.

Gum Disease & Aging

As we age, we’re at greater risk for systemic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. What many patients don’t know is that gum disease increases your risk for and the severity of your illness. Gum disease has been connected to numerous whole body health issues, and unless your

Permanent or Removable Retainers: Which is Right for You?

When the time to remove your braces finally arrives, it is very exciting. Unfortunately, it can be somewhat confusing, too, because you are faced with choosing between two kinds of retainers. Should you go with permanent, removable, or a combination of the two? It is always wise to follow your dentist’s recommendations, but knowing more about the two types of retainer beforehand can be helpful.

Permanent Retainers

Permanent retainers are the clear choice for patients who want to “get it and forget it.” Once your permanent retainer is placed in your mouth, you won’t need to worry about daily retainer schedules, since it is permanently affixed to your teeth.

Because teeth begin to shift naturally as we age, a permanent retainer typically offers better long-term results for teeth straightening than a removable one. You can’t forget to put it in — it’s already there! Temporary retainers get lost or are forgotten on trips, and often fail to get used as often as they should be.

One drawback to permanent retainers is flossing. Some patients find it more difficult to floss with a permanent retainer, but we can show you effective ways to floss fairly quickly with your permanent retainer.

Removable Retainers

Removable retainers offer the advantage of easy use: you will generally put a removable retainer in at night and take it out in the morning. Regardless of your retainer schedule, you’ll be able to enjoy some time with no retainer. However, a removable retainer can easily be forgotten at times, and this means you won’t be taking full advantage of teeth retention.

Another potential advantage of a removable retainer is that you can take it out and brush and floss your teeth with ease, which is more of a challenge with a permanent retainer. Although removable retainers can be

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!

Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular visits with your dentist, especially while you’re wearing braces, helps our you get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

The American Dental Association has sponsored National Children’s Dental Health Month every February for the last 68 years to raise awareness about the importance of oral health at a young age.

The ADA has produced some fun activity sheets for kids:

kids dentist activities

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Canker Sore Got You Down? A Dentist in Framingham Can Help!

January 4, 2018

Canker sore on the lower lip

Do you suffer from canker sores? If so, you know how uncomfortable and irritating they can be. It’s amazing that something so small can be such a big pain! They’re particularly hard to live with if you have a taste for acidic or spicy foods, like orange juice or curries. Unfortunately, those things are off the menu while you’re waiting for your canker sore to heal. Thankfully there are several things you can do to speed up the recovery time and also prevent these pesky little buggers from occurring in the first place. Keep reading as a dentist in Framingham talks more about this common problem.

What Causes Canker Sores and Can They Be Prevented?

Unfortunately, some people are simply more prone to getting canker sores than others, and no one knows exactly why.

Having said that, there are some known risk factors:

  • Allergies to foods or oral care products
  • Stress
  • Viral infections or a weak immune system
  • Vitamin deficiency

Talking with your doctor or dentist is a great place to start, as they can help you rule out any potential allergies in your diet or to the products you use at home.

Also, according to The American Academy of Oral Medicine, keeping track of when you get canker sores can really help you determine if any particular foods or activities are triggers for you.

Next, managing your stress levels and taking a good quality multi-vitamin with a meal each day may prevent canker sores from developing. Keep in mind that you may only be able to reduce outbreaks, if not eradicate them entirely!

What Can You Do To Heal Canker Sores Faster?

If you’re currently dealing with an outbreak, here are some great ideas from a Framingham dentist to help

Top Ten Tips for Cleaning Your Braces Like a Pro

Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever when you have braces!

When you have braces, food has more places to hide in your mouth, so diligent cleaning is more important than ever in order to avoid bad breath, swollen gums, discoloured teeth and cavities. If you remove plaque regularly during the course of your braces, you’ll experience better results and shorter treatment time. Keep plaque at bay with these top ten tips:

1. Clean one tooth at a time.

When you brush, take time with each individual tooth – at least 10 seconds each – and pay careful attention to the spots where your teeth touch your braces.

2. It’s all about angles.

Brush the tops of your teeth and braces with your brush angled down toward where they meet. Brush the bottoms of your teeth and braces with your brush angled up.

3. The tooth, the whole tooth, nothing but the tooth.

While the front surface of your teeth may seem like the most logical to clean, it’s equally important to clean the inner surface of your teeth (tongue side) as well as the chewing surface. And be sure to clean along your gum line – a key spot for plaque buildup.

4. Find the right floss for your teeth.

Regular floss works for some patients, but others find it easier to work with a floss threader, which helps you get the floss into tight places. Other patients like an all-in-one product called Superfloss, which comes with a stiff end for easy threading, a spongy section for cleaning wide spaces, and regular floss for narrow spaces.

5. Eat, then clean.

While you’re in treatment, it’s important to brush after every meal. Bits of food can easily get caught between braces and teeth, and these food bits interact

Keep Teeth White After Treatment from Your Dentist in Framingham

It’s a beautiful day when you get your teeth whitened multiple shades, making them glisten in the sun. Afterwards, you walk towards the restaurant next door to grab a light lunch. As the server walks up to your table, she asks what beverage you’d like. You catch yourself before saying the phrase “hot tea please.”

Your dentist in Framingham will remind you of how to take care of your recent investment. However, in case you need a handy reminder, they’ve provided information on how to protect your new white teeth.

How to Take Care of Whitened Teeth

It’s much easier to manage your newly whitened smile than it is to whiten it in the first place, so you’ll want to take the necessary steps to care for your investment. Start by buying a toothpaste specifically designed to whiten teeth. This will remove stains after eating foods you eat and prevent your teeth from yellowing further. If you do consume foods that cause staining, try to brush and/or rinse this food out of your mouth before it has a chance to stain. Be sure to avoid colored toothpastes as well.

You’ll want to try using a straw to drink beverages that stain, as this will reduce your teeth’s exposure to them. The surface of your teeth is like cloth; it actually contains many holes that gives stains room to settle. If you wear lipstick, a cool trick to make your teeth look whiter is to apply a bright shade of lipstick that is blue or pink-based. Avoid orange or brown shades which only complement the yellow in your teeth.

Avoid These Foods at All Costs

There are many foods you should try to avoid if you’re trying to retain your whitened smile. Since your dentist might not go over every single

When is the Best Time to Floss?

At Clear Advantage Orthodontics, we encourage our patients to practice good oral hygiene between office visits. Good oral hygiene includes flossing, cleaning between the teeth to remove the food and debris that get lodged in areas hard to reach with a toothbrush. When food is left stuck between teeth, it provides a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause periodontal disease!

Help with Flossing

If you have questions about your flossing technique or what type of floss is best for your teeth, contact our office. The staff will be more than happy to assist you in perfecting your home hygiene regimen. In most cases, you can choose between interdental cleaning picks or flexible floss strands to perform your daily flossing routine.

Should You Floss Before or After Brushing?

According to recent clinical findings, you can floss either before or after brushing, according to your own preference. By flossing first, you can brush away dislodged food debris afterward. On the other hand, brushing first allows you to loosen plaque between the teeth, making it easier to floss more effectively.

Whichever you choose, the most important goal is to floss thoroughly. That means using a fresh strand of dental floss each day, and carefully pulling it back and forth between all of the teeth. Do not skip flossing because your teeth look or feel clean.

When to Floss

Unlike brushing, you need only floss between your teeth once per day. Although you may choose to do it in the morning or afternoon, many prefer to floss at night to prevent food and debris from remaining in the crevices of the teeth overnight. This could prevent the build-up of plaque too, which is a cause of tooth decay.

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The Truth About Toothpastes – Framingham Premier Dental Blog

November 6, 2017

One of the questions dentists hear most often from patients is, “What toothpaste should I use?” Most patients don’t love the typical answer, “It’s up to you.” However, the most important factor in picking a toothpaste is choosing a product that you like. Whether it’s the flavor, aroma, or the texture you like, as long as you consistently brush your teeth, your toothpaste should do its job, keeping your teeth clean. In this post, you can learn some basics to better understand what to look for and how to make the right toothpaste choice for your unique smile. You can also be one of the patients who asks their dentist for a recommendation during your next preventive dentistry checkup. Dentists and dental hygienists are always happy to help their patients make these choices.

Reading the Ingredient List

Most people know that fluoride is an important ingredient in tooth paste, but many patients aren’t sure what the other toothpaste ingredients are or what they do. Some of the common ingredients found in toothpaste and other oral hygiene products include:

  • Anti-cavity – fluoride
  • Sensitivity – potassium nitrate
  • Anti-gingivitis – stannous fluoride and triclosan
  • Anti-tartar – Pyrophosphates, triclosan and zinc citrate
  • Stains – silica abrasives, enzymes, hydrogen or carbamide peroxide

Picking the Right Toothpaste

Keeping the above ingredients and their uses in mind, look for a toothpaste that addresses your unique needs and meets the American Dental Association standard for approval. If you find a toothpaste with the ADA seal of approval, you know this product will contain effective ingredients and keep your smile clean.

Keeping your Smile Healthy

Whatever toothpaste you choose, a good brushing technique is essential to ensure you maintain your healthiest smile. Consider the following tips to improve your at-home dental care routine:

  • Brush for at

The Evolution of Braces – Clear Advantage Orthodontics

The Evolution of Braces

Did you know that even in ancient times, people wanted to improve the look and function of their smiles? We think of modern orthodontic appliances as efficient, sleep, and technologically sophisticated, but this wasn’t always so! Check out our highlights of the evolution of braces below.

Ancient Times: From Greece to Rome

  • According to The Angle Orthodontist, the first to think about methods of straightening teeth were Aristotle and Hippocrates between 400 and 300 BC.
  • The Etruscans, in ancient Italy, buried their dead with appliances that maintained spaces and prevented collapse of their teeth and jaws during life. Archaeologists have discovered mummified remains in various locations that have metal bands wrapped around the teeth.
  • A Roman tomb has also been discovered in which the teeth were bound with gold wire, including documentation on the wire’s use as a dental device.

18th Century: A French Development

  • The French dentist Pierre Fauchard is acknowledged as the father of modern dentistry. In 1728 he published a book that described various methods for straightening teeth. Fauchard also used a device known as a “blandeau” to widen the upper palate.
  • Louis Bourdet was another French dentist who published a book in 1754 that discussed tooth alignment. Bourdet further refined the blandeau and was the first dentist to extract bicuspids, or the premolar teeth between canines and molars, for the purpose of reducing tooth crowding.

19th Century: Orthodontics Defined

  • Orthodontics started to become a separate dental specialty during the early 19th century. The first wire crib was used in 1819, marking the beginning of modern orthodontics.
  • During this period, gold, platinum, silver, steel, gum rubber, vulcanite, and occasionally wood, ivory, zinc, and copper were used — as was brass in the form of loops, hooks, spurs, and ligatures.
  • Edward Maynard first used

When your kids should see an orthodontist

When your kids should see an orthodontist

Orthodontic treatments vary from dental treatment, in that they primarily address malocclusions, jaw spacing and tooth alignment, rather than the actual health of the teeth. That is why it is often more difficult for parents to determine when a child needs orthodontic treatment rather than dental treatment. So how can you know it is time to take your child to the orthodontist?

  • Bad Bite – As the adult teeth begin to replace primary teeth, bite occlusions can develop. These often become visible to parents between middle childhood and the pre-teen years, although an orthodontist can identify a bad bite with early evaluation.
  • Visible Tooth Crowding – If your child’s newly emerging teeth are already crowded, you should make an appointment with our office to discuss braces.
  • Tooth Grinding (Bruxism) – Children who grind their teeth at night may do so unconsciously, but the condition requires treatment to prevent the development of headaches, TMJ, and tooth damage. Oral appliances are available to correct nighttime tooth grinding.
  • Difficulty Chewing, Biting, or Speaking – If your child is displaying difficulty speaking or eating, or if he or she often experiences cheek biting, schedule an orthodontic consultation.
  • Asymmetry – If your child’s face is asymmetrical, or if his or her teeth do not meet together in a natural way, orthodontic treatment may be necessary.

Evaluation and Preventive Care

Even if your child has no visible tooth or jaw alignment problems, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child visit the orthodontist for an initial examination no later than age seven. The reason for early evaluation is because orthodontists are capable of finding subtle problems with the jaw and teeth growth and spacing before they become more pronounced and also more difficult to treat. By bringing your