Keep Your Smile from Showing Your Age, Part 1

Our teeth are incredibly strong. They constantly endure extreme temperature and pressure from chewing, crunching, and biting. Still, everyday wear and tear and the natural aging process take a toll on our teeth.

Follow this advice to prevent your age from showing in your smile.

Preventing Acid Erosion

The biggest threat to your teeth are sugary and starchy foods. These carbohydrates ferment and cause the bacteria in your mouth to produce acids, which quickly eat away at your tooth enamel. As a result, your teeth become much more susceptible to tooth decay.

What You Can Do:

  • Limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks as much as possible.
  • Avoid frequent snacking, which causes acid levels in the mouth to remain high over an extended amount of time.
  • Chew sugarless gum when you get a craving for something sweet. Chewing increases saliva production, which helps cleanse the mouth and neutralize acidity.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes and floss daily.
  • Have regular dental checkups and cleanings every six months.

Preventing Mechanical Wear and Tear on Your Teeth

The main function of your teeth is to bite and chew to break up your food for digestion.

While teeth do not become more brittle with age, continuously using a chipped or cracked tooth to bite can cause serious damage. Teeth that have fillings or have had root canals are particularly vulnerable because they are missing components of their natural structure.

Grinding and clenching your teeth, also called bruxism, is a negative habit that is frequently caused by stress or anxiety. Bruxism can wear down the biting surfaces of your teeth over time.

What You Can Do:

  • Avoid chewing on ice and other very hard foods.
  • Check to make sure that pitted foods have no pits before you bite down on them.
  • Come in for appointments regularly. I can spot cracked or broken fillings that may weaken your teeth. We will also check for signs of bruxism and suggest methods of treatment if necessary.

Dr. Thomas Villani and Dr. Richard Kondrat are family and cosmetic dentists in Brighton, Massachusetts. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Brighton Family Dental Group at (617) 562-5210.

6 Healthy Habits for Optimal Oral and Overall Health

Tooth decay is among the leading causes of tooth loss for Americans, and it can open the door to developing serious overall health problems.

Just as healthy habits can help to ensure your overall well being, healthy dental habits can safeguard against tooth decay and avert other dental problems, as well.

To minimize your chances of developing tooth decay, stick to these 6 healthy dental habits.

1.     Brush thoroughly and frequently. Brushing your teeth is the best thing you can do to protect yourself between dental appointments. Brushing every morning and every night is the minimum to maintain quality oral health.

2.     Floss daily. Brushing your teeth is not enough. Flossing can get in between your teeth and close to your gum line in a way that your toothbrush can’t. Flossing twice a day is ideal, but be sure to floss before you go to bed if you can only do it once daily.

3.     Have regular dental checkups. Having regular dental exams and checkups every 6 months is a crucial part of your oral health. In addition to cleaning your teeth, you will be screened for early signs of serious oral conditions, such as oral cancer and gum disease.

4.     Limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks. Sweets stick to your teeth and can lead to tooth decay when bacteria feed on them and form acids. If you eat something sugary, be sure to brush your teeth and/or swish your mouth with water immediately to rid your teeth of bacteria.

5.     Drink tap water. Though bottled water may seem more convenient and healthier, it’s lacking something very important for your teeth: fluoride. Many areas of the U.S. have fluoridated water, so simply drinking it will help to protect your teeth.

6.     Get sealants. Sealants are used to coat and cover the back teeth to build a barrier that bacteria cannot penetrate. Dental sealants are recommended for children to promote lifelong dental health.

The team at Brighton Family Dental Group wants to do everything they can to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you live in Brighton, Watertown, Cambridge, Brookline, or Newton, call today at (617) 562-5210 to reserve your appointment time.

A Few Facts About Fluoride

Dental fluoride is a routine part of most dental cleanings and exams at many dental offices. For some time, however, the use of fluoride has been a debate among dental and health professionals.

The question remains: Is fluoride good for you and your teeth, or not?

Well, the answer is yes. Fluoride contains a protective component for your teeth, but it can be harmful in certain circumstances, as well.

If you are over the age of 8, wear braces, have dry mouth, or have difficulty brushing and flossing your teeth properly, fluoride treatment benefits you the most. Fluoride in small amounts strengthens your tooth enamel, the number one protector of your teeth. Without fluoride, and other helpers such as saliva, your tooth enamel would not reharden after eating and drinking and would leave your teeth exposed to plaque and decay-causing bacteria.

On the other hand, fluoride in large amounts can be very harmful, especially for young children. Fluorosis is a condition caused by over-exposure to fluoride that can cause softening and crumbling of your enamel and permanent discoloration to your teeth.

The bottom line: Don’t be afraid of fluoride.

It’s safe to assume that you use fluoridated toothpaste. Most people do, and it’s unlikely that a toothpaste will get the ADA seal of approval if it contains no fluoride at all. Many areas of the U.S. have fluoridated water, so it’s likely that you ingest small amounts everyday. Between the fluoride in your toothpaste and drinking water, it’s enough to promote healthy teeth and gums, but not enough to harm you.

Also, if your dentist gives you a fluoride treatment, don’t be afraid to take it. Just be sure not to swallow it, as pure fluoride is much more harmful than diluted fluoride when ingested directly.

I’m Dr. Tom Villani, a family dentist in Brighton, Massachusetts, and my team and I make it a point to keep our patients informed so that they can make sound decisions about their dental health. Call my dental office at (617) 562-5210 for more information or to schedule dental appointments for you and your family.

You Fell in Love with His Smile, so Let’s Bring it Back

It’s proven that women tend to smile more than men. In fact, some studies show that women smile up to 8 times more than men daily.

While this number is more equal among men and women in similar careers, a Business Media Networks study shows that female smiles greatly outnumber male smiles on social networking websites.

The question must be asked: Why are men so hesitant to flash a big grin?

Factors such as culture and age are partially responsible, but the real reason runs much deeper. Men don’t tend to notice when they are being observed throughout the day, while women are constantly aware when eyes are on them.

If you wish the man in your life smiled more, try to figure out what’s holding him back. Maybe he’s stressed or self-conscious about his appearance.

If it’s the latter, cosmetic dentistry may be the way to put a big smile on your guy’s face. The goal of cosmetic dentistry is to give you a beautiful, natural-looking smile and, in turn, boost your confidence. With a multitude of cosmetic services, ranging from porcelain veneers, to teeth whitening, to dental implants, it is easier than ever to achieve a picture-perfect smile.

Depending on his smile goals, your guy’s smile can be touched-up or completely made over at Brighton Family Dental Group. If you live in Brighton, Watertown, Cambridge, Brookline, or Newton, we invite you to call our dental office at (617) 562-5210 to schedule an appointment.

We hope you find a home at Brighton Family Dental Group!

Choosing a dental care provider is a big decision. You want to go to a dentist that has your best interests at heart and wants to work with you to build and maintain a lifelong, healthy, beautiful smile. A dentist that will care for your children’s’ smiles is an added plus.

The team at Brighton Family Dental Group can do all that and more. Dr. Villani, Dr. Kondrat, and the team of dental professionals look forward to giving your entire family a lifetime of healthy smiles by providing quality dental care.

If you’re looking for a general dentist, you’ve come to the right place. We provide regular and routine dental checkups and cleanings, as well as root canal, gum disease, and endodontic treatment. We also offer cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as porcelain veneers, and restorative dentistry, including composite dental fillings and crowns, in our dental office in Brighton, Massachusetts.

If you live in Brighton, Watertown, Cambridge, Brookline, or Newton, we invite you to call our dental office at (617) 562-5210 to schedule your first appointment at Brighton Family Dental Group.

Your initial visit builds the foundation of our relationship with you, so we take great care to make sure your appointment goes smoothly. We request that all new patients arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to complete all insurance and health information forms. Please also bring a photo ID and your dental insurance card. All insurance coverage and eligibility will be confirmed prior to your initial visit for your convenience.

Plan on being at our office for approximately one hour. Depending on your dental health, you can expect to receive an exam from Dr. Villani. We will notify you of any concerns or necessary dental treatment at this time. Then, we will ask you about your dental goals and address any concerns you may have so that we can devise a treatment plan that is specific to your needs.

We look forward to hearing from you, and we hope you and your family will find a home at Brighton Family Dental Group!

The Anatomy of a Root Canal

The words “root canal” often evoke fear in dental patients, but the dentists at Brighton Family Dental Group have some good news for you.  Modern root canal therapy is less invasive, more precise, more comfortable, and more effective than in years past.

Inside each of your teeth, a canal houses dental pulp, also known as the nerve of your tooth. This pulp is extremely important. It keeps your tooth alive by bringing nutrients to the tooth, removing waste, and keeping the tooth alive and functioning.

If a deep cavity or fracture occurs in your tooth and it’s deep enough to cut into the sealed canal, your tooth pulp can become infected.

This can be very serious and very painful. As bacteria build up in the canal, it creates pressure and can result in an intense toothache. In very severe cases, a tooth with an infected internal canal may need extraction, but often, the tooth can be salvaged with root canal therapy.

To perform a root canal, Dr. Villani will administer anesthetic to completely numb the affected tooth. Then, he’ll use fine, precise tools and technique to remove the infected pulp and leave as much of your natural tooth structure intact as possible. A 100% safe, manmade substance is inserted into the tooth’s canal before a dental crown is secured on top, giving your tooth unwavering strength and a natural appearance. Without pulp, the tooth is no longer alive, but it can remain intact if it remains infection-free and well cared for.

If you experience tooth pain, it’s possible that you may need a root canal to keep your tooth intact. Please call our dental office in Brighton, Massachusetts at (617) 562-5210.

Are you a good candidate for dental implants?

A dental implant is a dental prosthetic used to replace missing teeth. Made from a titanium implant post and a ceramic dental crown, dental implants are designed to function and look like natural teeth, as well as fit and blend in with your natural tooth structure.

Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general and oral health who have lost one or more teeth due to periodontal disease or an injury. Candidates for dental implants need to have healthy gums and adequate bone density to support the implant.

While most adults can be quality candidates for dental implants, there are a few common reasons why your implants may not work. Smokers and those with uncontrolled chronic diseases or systemic problems may not be good candidates for this procedure. Smoking impairs the mouth’s ability to heal and can reduce the likelihood that the implants will be successful. People with diabetes may not be good candidates as well, due to healing problems within gum tissue.

Having a consultation is the first step in your smile transformation. If you appear to be a good candidate for dental implants, Dr. Kondrat and Dr. Villani of Brighton Family Dental Group will consult with you and plan your implant procedure. If you decide to proceed with treatment, Dr. Kondrat will complete and oversee the fabrication and placement of your implant prosthetic. After a short healing time, Dr. Villani will place your crown, bridge, or denture over your implant.

From start to finish, your entire implant procedure can be completed in our dental office in Brighton, Massachusetts. If you live in Brighton, Watertown, Cambridge, Brookline, or Newton, call us today at (617) 562-5210 to reserve your appointment time.

Straighten Your Teeth without a Mouth Full of Metal

Do you look in the mirror and see teeth that are crooked, crowded, or oddly spaced? Do you think that wearing braces as an adult is out of the question?

If so, think again. At this point in your life and career, wearing metal orthodontic braces simply isn’t practical, but it is possible to straighten your teeth and enjoy a straight, beautiful smile.

The dentists at Brighton Family Dental Group understand your image concerns and are here to help. We offer Invisalign clear braces in our Brighton, Massachusetts, dental office.

Invisalign is a teeth-straightening system that can give you the results of traditional braces, without the burden and eyesore of a mouth full of metal. With more freedom and less treatment time than traditional braces, Invisalign is a great option for image-conscious adults and older teens that need minor to moderate tooth movement.

And an Invisalign consultation is free at Brighton Dental, so you can learn about the procedure and make an informed treatment decisions.

At this consultation, we will help you decide if Invisalign is right for you by examining your teeth and bite and explaining how the Invisalign system works. If you decide to proceed with your smile makeover, Dr. Villani will take x-rays and impressions of your mouth, and then create a custom treatment plan.

From there, your clear Invisalign aligners will be fabricated in a dental laboratory. Once your aligners have been delivered, you will need to come in for a second appointment.

The Invisalign system is simple. Wear your aligners as often as possible, as treatment only happens when your aligners are in your mouth. The great thing about Invisalign is that you’ll have the freedom to remove your aligners to eat and for special occasions, but it is important to remember that your teeth only move when you wear them.

Generally, treatment can take anywhere from 9 to 24 months, depending on your case. You will receive a new aligner about every 2 weeks. This series of aligners will gradually move your teeth to the desired alignment.

Brighton Family Dental Group serves patients from Brighton, Watertown, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, and surrounding communities. Call us today at (617) 562-5210 to begin your smile transformation.

Ask Us About Teeth Whitening!

Sometimes, teeth whitening is all you need to bring new life to your smile. It has been proven that people with bright, white smiles give off a positive first impression. Often, these people are more successful, both personally and professionally, than those with dull and discolored teeth.

Teeth whitening is the most requested cosmetic dental procedure. While countless over-the-counter products claim to brighten your smile, people who are serious about whitening their teeth know to look elsewhere.

Over-the-counter products can’t give you the dramatic results you want, or only provide temporary results. As dentists, we offer a whitening system that’s more potent than any over-the-counter product. To be safe and get the bright, white smile you want, a dentist-prescribed whitening system is the way to go.

When your teeth look great, you won’t hesitate to flash your big, white, smile, so we invite you to call Brighton Family Dental Group at (617) 562-5210 or ask about our teeth whitening options at your next appointment.

We create beautiful, healthy smiles for the communities for Brighton, Massachusetts and surrounding areas, and we look forward to seeing you in our office.

Gum Disease and Your Heart

More than 80 percent of American adults suffer from some level of gum disease, and many people don’t even know it. If your gums are red, tender, swollen, or bleed when you brush your teeth, you may have gum disease.

Our dentists, dental assistants, and hygienists at Brighton Family Dental Group can help you overcome this serious condition. First, it’s important for you to know what gum disease is and how it develops.

When plaque and tartar build up at the gum line, they emit bacteria that irritate sensitive gum tissue. As a result, bacterial infection eats away at the bond between teeth and gums. The bacteria thrive in the dark, moist, and warm pockets formed at the gum line, and over time, these pockets grow deeper as infection spreads. Ultimately, gums recede to expose teeth roots, and teeth can loosen or fall out. Gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss for American adults.

Unfortunately, gum disease can also lead to serious overall health problems, such as an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, respiratory disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The best prevention against gum disease is attending six month checkups and cleanings. At these routine dental appointments, we will evaluate your soft tissues and look for signs of disease. If we find gum disease in the mild to moderate stage, it may be treated in three steps. This process is usually referred to as a deep cleaning. (more…)