Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Dental x-rays are used for diagnosing and treating dental problems, such as cavities between the teeth or hidden by fillings, infections in the bone, fractures, gum disease, abscesses, cysts, and tumors. Professional standards of dentistry include x-rays as part of a dental exam. 

Facts about x-rays: 

  • Many dental offices offer digital radiography advancements in x-rays that reduce radiation by as much as 80 percent 
  • Improved x-ray film requires less exposure for clear images 
  • X-rays have about as much radiation as eating 50 bananas 
  • Flying from New York to LA exposes you to 8 times as much radiation 
  • Living in a brick or concrete house for a year exposes you to 14 times as much radiation 

You need just 6 x-rays each year for an oral exam and a set of full-mouth x-rays every 3 years. And dentists use x-rays to diagnose the problems they can’t see with the naked eye, and is crucial to maintain optimal teeth, muscle, jaw and bone health.

How to Keep Your Teeth White & Still Drink Coffee

For all the coffee lovers out there, it’s hard to think about giving up this energy sustaining beverage to prevent tooth discoloration. It’s no secret that regularly drinking coffee can stain your teeth but there are ways to prevent those nasty long-term effects.

What causes the discoloration? Tannins, which are the staining substances in coffee, build upon the tooth enamel. Don’t be fooled into thinking that simply adding milk to your coffee will reduce damage, as the milk doesn’t reduce the number of tannins and contains sugars that can increase plaque on your teeth.

Here are 8 ways to fight back against coffee stains

1. Use a Straw
You can limit the coffee that encounters the most visible portions of your teeth. While your molars will still be stained, the forward-facing side of your front teeth will be saved from direct contact with tannins. However, it is easy to burn yourself drinking coffee through a straw and you may even develop the same wrinkles around the mouth that smokers suffer from.

2. Drink More Iced Coffee
Iced coffee is less likely to stain your teeth than hot coffee, especially if you use a straw to drink your iced coffee.

3. Drink Decaffeinated Coffee
Decaffeinated coffee has less staining properties than fully caffeinated coffee.

4. Drink Water Between Beverages That Stain
Help flush the coffee out of your mouth by rinsing your teeth. Water will also help dissolve and remove sugars from sweet beverages.

5. Use Non-Sugary Additives
While many coffee additives are high in sugar, other options, like unsweetened almond milk and ice, can dilute the staining properties of coffee.

6. Brush Your Teeth Regularly
Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent coffee stains. In addition, flossing will remove the particles that cause staining between the teeth.

7. Chew Sugar-free Gum
Chewing sugarless gum after drinking coffee will kick your increase your saliva
production. The gum will pull debris off your teeth while the saliva washes away sugar and neutralizes the acid.

8. Use In-Home Whitening Products
Whitening toothpaste can help counteract the discoloring effects of your daily diet, lightening your teeth by targeting surface stains. Another good option is tooth strips which keep peroxide on the teeth longer than toothpaste does.

8. Get Your Teeth Professionally Whitened
Over time, your teeth with naturally discolor at different rates. For the best results, visit a cosmetic dentist to have your teeth professionally whitened.

 

The best way to prevent discoloration from drinking coffee is simply to reduce the amount of coffee you drink. But no one wants to do that! Instead, use these tips to keep those teeth as white as they can be!

Most importantly, regular appointments with your dentist are the best-proven way to ensure that your teeth are healthy and white. Between visits, focusing on good oral hygiene is vital to ensuring that your smile remains beautiful. 

4 Reasons Why Your Teeth are getting weaker & How To Prevent it

One of the most common reasons people see the dentist is because their teeth are chipping and breaking, and they don't know how to prevent it. 

We want you to achieve that great smile you're always worried about having. So here are 4 easy ways to prevent chipping and breaking that most Dentists don't tell you about.

Acid breakdown

Avoid acidic drinks. Your teeth are fragile. Things like acidic drinks, acid reflux and disease can wear down and chip your teeth. Here are things to avoid to prevent acid from hitting your teeth:

  • Drink less soda & lemonade.
  • See your primary care physician if you have acid reflux.
  • Eat a health diet and maintain good weight.
  • Brush your teeth regularly.

 

Grinding & Clenching Your Teeth

Reduce your stress. The number one cause of chipping and breaking teeth is from stress. Many people take their stress out on their teeth by clenching during the day, or grinding at night. Instead, focus on healthy ways to take out stress such as:

  • Light to moderate exercise.
  • Take regular breaks during the day, and focus on relaxation.
  • Take yoga classes or do breathing exercises.
  • Find out what stressful activities occur throughout your day and eliminate or reduce those activities as much as possible.
  • Wear a custom night guard that's been made by your dentist.

 

Misaligned Teeth

Misaligned teeth can easily cause your biting and regular daily activities to wear down on your teeth over time and cause chipping. The best way to fix misaligned teeth is to see an Orthodontist for options, or consider doing a more popular treatment like Invisalign.

 

Blunt Force Trauma

Be careful indoors and outdoors. During a lifetime, most people have several accidents that cause chipping and breaking of teeth. Take care of your teeth by avoiding blunt force and trauma, wearing a mouth guard during extreme exercises, and be mindful of your surroundings. While it is impossible to avoid all trauma, a careful daily routine can protect your teeth from hitting and breaking. 

 

If you're ready for that perfect smile, see our cosmetic dentist today for a consult.

Wellesley Invisalign

Get the Facts Straight: The Advantages of Invisalign

Have you ever looked at a Colgate advertisement and wondered how some people have perfectly straight teeth? Well, apparently a lot of people have because orthodontics is continuously growing to support a widening population of human-beings concerned with how straight their masticating tools are. Think about how many people your teeth are in front of each day. It’s not like your whitening and straightening those things purely for the two minutes you spend looking in the mirror. Straight white teeth demonstrate to others that you are concerned with your own health and well-being. It’s a statement that an increasing portion of the world can make as dentistry, the final bastion of world health, is becoming far more prevalent in people’s lives.

If you take a step back and look at the history of braces, you begin to appreciate the leaps in science that we’ve made in the last few decades to arrive at something as magical as Invisalign. Health professionals have theorized for centuries that mouth-guard type devices could help teeth stay in their intended position. Finally, the French discovered removing the rear wisdom teeth would help avoid crowding, a common cause of crooked teeth in adults, thus expanding a medical profession aimed at pearly white, straight mouth bones.

The term “braces” became widely used in the 1900’s, using technology first engineered a century earlier: wire cribs placed directly over each set of two teeth. Elastics were eventually added to improve jaw alignment. These innovations, in addition to the dental dam, a thin piece of latex that fits around the teeth to protect gums during dental work, have made our modern idea of braces possible.

The first modern braces required wrapping wire around each individual tooth because bonding techniques weren’t strong enough to fasten the wire to the front of teeth. These wires, made of ivory, zinc, or gold, were tightened over time… ouch! The 1970’s saw a massive leap in orthodontics. Stainless steel wire joined by dental adhesive on the teeth made the braces significantly less painful and damaging. Since then, science has continued to improve the timetable for how long braces need to be worn, as well as allowing for “invisible” braces… but these pursuits, unfortunately, failed to provide a truly invisible way to strengthen teeth.  

Enter Invisalign: the revolutionary new way to straighten teeth without the need for uncomfortable wires. Those wire have long caused controversy over toxic metal exposure, but Invisalign uses BPA-free plastic liners, free of any harmful toxins. The FDA approved material is completely safe and expunges the concern over metal allergies. This new generation of braces reduces oral pain and sores caused by wires and brackets while preventing tooth discoloration and breakage.

There are many benefits to Invisalign:

  • Invisible: Invisalign Clear Aligners are virtually invisible. You can achieve that perfect smile without embarrassment: no more picking out colors to match the season! Invisalign is more aesthetic than metal or clear braces.

  • Removable – The Easier Way to Manage Oral Health: You won’t be walking around with an entire salad stuck to your teeth. Food can easily become lodged between metal brackets, making the cleaning process much harder. Over time, trapped food can cause an unwanted buildup of plaque.  

  • Eat What You Want: Everything from popcorn to caramel and even corn on the cob, you can eat whatever you want because you’ll remove the Invisalign aligners before each meal.

  • Comfortable: There are no metal wires continuously rubbing up against the side of your mouth. Irritation, discomfort, and open sores are eliminated with Invisalign’s plastic surface.

  • Fewer Emergency Visits: There aren’t any poking wires or broken brackets that require an unscheduled visit to the orthodontist.

As with any dental procedure, it’s important to understand the limitations of Invisalign aligners:

  • Transient Lisp: Both aligners and brackets may cause a slight lisp at the beginning while you adjust.

  • New Aligner Every Two Weeks: While you don’t have to see the orthodontist every two weeks, there will be added pressure on your teeth each time you change the set of aligner trays, usually lasting a day or two.

  • Frequent Teeth Cleaning: Invisalign requires a close attention to oral hygiene. You must thoroughly brush and floss your teeth after ANY food consumption. However, this may cause the added benefit of better oral health and teeth whitening.

  • Remove Aligners Before Every Meal: Invisalign aligners must be removed before eating or drinking anything but water.

  • Requires Excellent Cooperation: Aligners must be worn an average of 22 hours each day or else intended results may not be reached. Invisalign may not be for rule-breakers.

It is important to note that metallic braces are more effective for complex issues. Invisalign is not ideal for patients with bridgework, back-tooth bite issues, the need to rotate canines or premolars, the need to move teeth vertically, or the lack of discipline to keep trays in for at least 22 hours each day. Conversely, Invisalign may be the treatment of choice for certain malocclusions, producing better results in less time. Metallic braces are not ideal for patients that play contact sports regularly.

To summarize the differences between metallic braces and Invisalign Clear Aligners:

  • Irremovable metal braces VS. Removable Invisalign trays.

  • Typically silver VS. Invisible

  • Metallic braces are 24/7 for an average of 2 years VS. Invisalign aligners are worn 20-22 hours daily for 6 to 18 months

  • Metallic braces usually cost between $1,800 and $5,500 VS. Invisalign averages $5,000

  • Metallic braces usually require a follow up every month VS. Invisalign aligner trays are changed every 2 weeks with follow-ups every 4 to 8 weeks

Now that you are well-versed with the advantages of braces and Invisalign depending on your dental needs, let’s discuss what you can expect before getting Invisalign. You will start with a consultation. A doctor will examine your teeth and explain what the Invisalign treatment can do for you. Invisalign treatment is a personalized plan that is unique to every mouth. The doctor will use a fast, precise digital scan to map your teeth and calculate the sequence of trays you require. Before you even begin your Invisalign journey, you will have an opportunity to preview your new smile. Aligners are custom made for you in the largest and most advanced mass customization process in the world. Your doctor will be there every step of the way to ensure that the aligners fit well and to answer any questions.

What should you expect from your Invisalign braces and how do you care for the aligners after placement? Invisalign allows you to live your life without interruptions. You continue eating all your favorite foods. You’ll stay active in sports and activities. You can even continue brushing and flossing as you normally do.

Take your aligners out to eat and drink, then brush your teeth before putting them back in. Wear your Invisalign Clear Aligners 20 to 22 hours each day for best results. Parents can check usage with the blue compliance indicators to ensure kids are wearing them enough.

You’ll wear each set of aligners for two weeks or as prescribed by your doctor. The progress of your alignment will be monitored through check-ups every 4 to 8 weeks. It’s important to understand that you may feel a little extra pressure or discomfort for a few days after starting a new set of aligners.

Special Instructions for Cleaning:

  • Rinse your aligners every night

  • Brush them gently with your toothbrush

  • Use the Invisalign cleaning solution to keep your aligners clear

Straight teeth are no longer unattainable. Invisalign gives you perfect alignment without forcing you to change the way you live your life. Invisalign is the world’s most advanced clear aligner system, backed by two decades of innovation.

 

Teeth Whitening Dentists in Wellesley

There are some simple and important ways to ensure your teeth stay as natural white as possible.

The most common ways to keep your teeth white is to abstain from:

  • smoking
  • soda
  • spicy food
  • coffee
  • tea
  • wine

The best ways to promote good, healthy teeth at home are to:

  • Brush your teeth daily
  • Use mouthwash daily
  • Floss your teeth daily

Despite good healthy teeth habits, teeth whitening by a professional dentist can quickly whiten the overall look your teeth with just a single procedure.

Here's what to expect during a teeth whitening with a dentist in Wellesley:

  • First, we do a comprehensive oral examination to fully understand the current condition of your teeth, gums, jaw and muscles. Understanding everything that is going on with your teeth is extremely important to determine the right way to whiten your teeth. 
  • We'll then schedule a teeth whitening appointment at a later date. We will fully clean you teeth first, then apply a whitening gel to your teeth, which takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.
  • We'll later follow-up to ensure your teeth whitening is working properly and address any issues needed.

To get the best benefits and longest lasting results, continue to ensure good eating, drinking and cleaning habits for your teeth, so that your teeth remain as white as possible for many years to come. 

Get in touch with Wellesley Dental Studio today to learn more about Teeth Whitening and schedule a comprehensive dental exam to get started.

Getting Dental Crowns Placed in Wellesley, MA

Getting your first dental crown can be intimidating. But we want to make the experience as pleasant as possible for you, and that starts with understanding what to expect during your first crown placement. 

Here are some of the most common questions our patients have at Wellesley Dental Studio, based in Wellesley, MA. 

 

Does it hurt to get a crown placed?

Most patients are surprised at how little pain there is for getting a crown placed. Before placing a crown, the gum tissue near the damaged tooth is given a topical anesthetic, and then a second localized anesthetic to minimize as much pain as possible. 

 

What is the process of getting a crown placed?

After the anesthetics are applied, the damaged tooth is gently reshaped and prepared to receive the crown with virtually no pain.

Once the tooth is prepared for the crown, a mold of the tooth will be taken to create the crown.

The crown is custom-crafted for a virtually perfect fit over the damaged tooth and then bonded.

After a crown is first placed, there will be some discomfort from the feeling of a new bite alignment.

 

What Problems Can Porcelain Crowns Address?

  • Replacing large fillings that are damaged or have a cavity underneath them
  • Treating teeth with large cavities 
  • Fixing broken teeth
  • Changing the smile (esthetics, shape, size, and color of teeth)
  • Treating cracked teeth that causes pain/discomfort while biting
  • Protecting teeth after root canal

 

What are Crowns Made Of?

We prefer to use of porcelain to ensure the highest quality results. Other materials include gold and porcelain fused to metal. 

 

Is it possible that I could get a cavity underneath my Crown?

Yes, there is always the possibility of getting cavities underneath your crown. Underneath your crown will be a natural tooth structure which can decay over time if it is not taken care of properly.

Ways to prevent a cavity underneath your crown include:

  • Brushing and flossing your teeth several times per day
  • Daily use of mouthwash regularly
  • Regular dental exams every 3 to 6 months

 

How Long Do Crowns Last?

The average dental crown can last between 5 and 15 years. But with the proper care and attention, crowns can often last your entire life. 

 

 

Why Dental Crowns Need to Be Replaced

Some reasons your crown may need to be replaced include the following:

  • Grinding or clenching your teeth
  • Biting your fingernails
  • Chewing on ice
  • Opening plastic packaging with your teeth
  • Inadequate brushing and flossing
  • Improper crown placement, which is why it's important to choose a highly-qualified dentist

 

Ways to Protect Your Crown

To keep your crown in the best shape possible, you should:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day
  • Give extra attention to where your crown meets your gum line when brushing
  • Avoid biting on hard objects
  • Wear a custom-made night guard if you clench or grind your teeth