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Senior Dental Care

Senior Dental Care

Are there special dental concerns as people age?

senior dental care Watertown Watham Brighton MA senior dental care Senior Dental Care senior dental care Watertown Watham Brighton MAYes. The aging process takes its toll on all parts of our bodies. Receding gums can increase your teeth’s sensitivity to cold and heat, and expose your teeth’s roots to the danger of tooth decay. Did you know that some seniors are more likely to suffer tooth decay than children? Lack of exposure to fluoride as a child and dry mouth as a result of the aging process or various medications or conditions, are the typical culprits. Your chances of developing oral cancers also increase as you age, particularly if you smoke. Do you take more medication now than you did when you were younger? Keep in mind that medications can affect your dental health and always bring a list of your current prescription and over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements and herbal products, as well as dosages and frequency of use, to each dentist appointment. Your dentist can help you develop the best senior dental care routine.

How can I deal with increased tooth sensitivity?

A good place to start when dealing with increased tooth sensitivity is to try using a fluoride rinse and switching to a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. Other intervention may require a dentist. Be sure to mention increased sensitivity to your dentist at your next appointment. If you do not have a scheduled appointment, or if your teeth suddenly become much more sensitive, call to schedule an appointment.

I’ve never had problems with my teeth; do I really need to keep seeing a dentist?

As we stated, your chances of developing dental problems increase with age. Just because you have never had problems with your teeth does not mean that you never will. It is important to stay consistent with proper senior dental care and comprehensive dental exams. Your dentist can watch for signs of oral cancer, dental health problems, or other medical problems of the mouth, head, and neck.

What should I do if arthritis is making it difficult for me to brush and floss my teeth?

Even if it has become difficult, it is very important to maintain a healthy senior dental care routine as you age. One option to make brushing easier is to increase the size of the toothbrush handle. You can accomplish this many ways. You can wrap the handle in tape, or insert it into a bicycle handle grip or rubber ball, whatever feels comfortable and gives you added control. A second option is purchasing an electric or sonic toothbrush. There are numerous types of flossing aids available. Your dentist can help you find the best toothbrush and flossing aids to meet your needs.

What can I do if I’m finding it more difficult to chew and swallow certain foods?

Dry mouth, tooth decay, poorly-fitting dentures and other treatable conditions can make chewing and swallowing more difficult. Talk to your dentist about any issues you are having. Did you realize that part of a healthy senior dental care routine is proper nutrition? Your diet is important to your dental health and overall health throughout life.

Why would Watertown Dental be my best choice for my or my parent’s senior dental care needs?

From expert pediatric dental care to the best senior dental care, Watertown Dentistry can meet the dental needs of patients of any age. If you are in the Watertown, MA area, call today to schedule an appointment.

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What drinks are bad for teeth?

Serving Waltham, Belmont, Watertown, Newton & Cambridge, MA

Drinks That Can Damage Your Teeth

In the previous two posts we discussed habits that can damage teeth. Today we are going to look at some drinks that you may or may not suspect are bad for teeth.

Why is soda so bad for teeth?

Like candy, soda is full of added sugar. You may be surprised by how much when you check the label for sugar content. On top of excess sugar, sodas also contain acids that erode tooth enamel. Diet soda may not be a much better choice. Although your teeth do not get a sugar bath, most artificial sweeteners are acidic.

Is fruit juice a better choice for tooth health?

There are many potential health benefits to drinking natural fruit juices, but that may not include dental health. Fruit juices are full of vitamins and antioxidants. And sugar. Whether or not you are surprised by the amount of sugar in your favorite soda, you are likely to be by the amount in your juice. Some have as much per serving as soda, so are just as bad for teeth. Various juices also have high acid content. Though they will still be high in natural sugars from the fruit itself, look for juices with no added sugar. Especially when giving juice to young children, consider diluting it with water.

Sport drinks can’t be that bad for teeth, can they?

While sports drinks also seem a healthier alternative to sugary soda, they can also be bad for teeth. They do their job in part because they are also high in sugar, which means they can contribute to tooth decay. Want to stay hydrated while you enjoy recreational sports or working out? Drink more water and fewer sugary drinks. It is good for you and your teeth.

Will coffee really stain my teeth?

Most likely. Over time, thanks to its acidity and dark color, coffee can cause yellowing of your teeth. On the up side, coffee stains are not as bad for teeth as other types of staining. The yellow that results from long-time coffee drinking is one of the easiest stains to treat. If you are concerned about yellowing or other discoloration of your teeth, be sure to talk to your dentist about your whitening teeth options.

red wine bad for teeth bad for teeth What drinks are bad for teeth? red wine bad for teethIs it true that red wine can stain teeth?

Yes. Red wine contains pigment that gives it its red color, and can discolor your teeth. It also contains tannins. Tannins like to stick to things. They will try to bond with your tooth enamel, and help the color stick to your teeth. Throw in the acid that microscopically eats away at the surface of your teeth, making them rougher and more prone to staining, and you have a triple whammy of tooth-staining power.

Is white wine bad for teeth?

Because of the acid also found in white wine, it can, like red wine, soften tooth enamel. This etching makes your teeth vulnerable to staining from other beverages and food. The good thing about staining from red or white wine is that if you practice conscientious dental care, it is likely temporary. Eating cheese or another type of protein to create a bit of a barrier when you drink wine, and rinsing your mouth or chewing gum after drinking wine may help limit the temporary staining. Consider using a whitening toothpaste.

Are there other drinks, foods or habits I should avoid?

As you have seen in this series of blog posts, all sorts of things can be bad for teeth. If you are concerned about any of your favorites, discuss them with your dentist.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Watertown, Belmont, Cambridge, Waltham, and Newton, Massachusetts area, call Watertown Dentistry to set up your first appointment. We always take the time to answer all of our patients’ questions and provide the best possible dental care to keep your smile healthy for a lifetime.

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More Habits for Better Dental Health

In our last post we discussed habits that can impact your dental health. This week we will look at a few more things you may or may not expect can put your smile at risk.


Should I wear a mouth guard to prevent dental injury while playing sports with my friends?

dental health Watertown Waltham Belmont Cambrisge MA dental health More Habits for Better Dental Health dental health Watertown Waltham Belmont Cambrisge MAAll types of recreational activities have the potential to cause dental injury. In a previous post on pediatric dental health we shared the importance of wearing a mouth guard when playing sports. The importance of protecting your teeth does not end when you become an adult. Use a mouth guard while playing sports with a likelihood of facial contact with hard equipment and surfaces, or with other people.

Colds and Allergies

Are cough drops safe for my teeth?

If you regularly use cough drops to soothe your throat irritated by a cold or allergies, be aware that most have high sugar content. The bacteria in your mouth does not care whether the sugar comes from candy or something considered medicine. Where ever it comes from, sugar can be a foe of dental health by contributing to tooth decay.


Can piercings damage teeth?

You may not have made piercings a habit, but if you have either your tongue or lip pierced, you increase the chance of suffering dental injury. A tooth can easily be cracked or chipped by biting down on a metal stud. A lip piercing can also lead to tooth loss from gum damage caused by metal rubbing against the gums. Because of the high levels of bacteria common in the human mouth, tongue and lip piercings also carry a high risk of potentially painful or damaging infection. If you would like a lip or tongue piercing, or already have one, consider potential effects on your dental health and discuss the risks of dental injury, gum damage, infection and tooth loss with your dentist.

Eating Habits

Are there eating habits besides frequent snacking that can damage teeth?

Frequent snacking and poor food choices can play a role in poor dental health. Another eating habit that can harm teeth is binge eating. Because binge eating can involve excessive amounts of sugar and starches, it can in and of itself contribute to tooth decay. If binging is followed by purging and becomes habitual, the teeth will be damaged by repeated exposure to the strong acids in vomit. The acid will erode the enamel, leaving the teeth weak and brittle. Because of the tell-tale damage to teeth, dentists are sometimes the first to suspect someone is struggling with an eating disorder.

Frequent vomiting from any cause – such as GERD, “morning sickness,” medical treatments, or medications – will damage tooth enamel. If you have an eating disorder or other medical condition causing you to vomit, seek medical care.

Be sure to tell your dentist about any medical conditions or treatments, and any medications you take.

Overzealous Oral Care

How can taking good care of my teeth harm them?

Brushing your teeth is necessary for good dental health, but brushing too hard will damage your tooth enamel, weakening it and wearing it down, which can cause sensitivity and even cavities. It can also irritate your gums. Overuse of mouthwash can contribute to dry mouth.

How can I take the best care of my teeth?

Regular visits allow your dentist to keep track of any changes in your dental health. Your dentist can also give you advice on how to avoid potential damage to your teeth, but avoiding various habits or activities or doing them more safely. At Watertown Dentistry, your dental health is important to us. We can provide the best care for teeth that have already suffered injury or decay, to restore your smile’s health and keep it beautiful for a lifetime.

Call us for more information (617) 600-3442


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Habits That Can Cause Tooth Damage

Are there bad habits I should avoid to prevent teeth damage?

tooth damage by chewing on a pencil tooth damage Habits That Can Cause Tooth Damage tooth damage by chewing on a pencilChewing on Things

Many people have a habit of chewing on things, especially when they are focused on a task or stressed. Common victims of nervous chewing habits are pens and pencils.

Will chewing on pencils damage my teeth?

Chewing on pencils, pens or other hard items can chip or crack your teeth.

Is chewing gum good for my teeth?

Chewing sugary gum can be very bad for your teeth, bathing them in sugar that bacteria feeds on; it increases your risk of developing plaque and tooth decay. However, many studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum triggers the production of saliva to prevent tooth damage as a result of cavities.

Is chewing on ice okay for my teeth?

Ice is natural and contains no sugar, but, like other hard objects, chewing on it can chip or crack your teeth. It can also irritate the soft tissue inside your teeth, leading to increased sensitivity and pain that can be sharp and quick or a lingering toothache.

If you have a habit of chewing on things, ice included, prevent tooth damage by switching to sugarless gum.

How bad is biting my nails?

Biting your nails is not only hard on your teeth and cause tooth damage, it also increases the risk of infection.

How can I stop grinding my teeth?

Teeth grinding is usually a result of stress and sleeping habits. While you can work at training yourself to stop grinding your teeth during the day, you cannot control grinding your teeth while you sleep; wear a mouth guard to prevent tooth damage at night. Stress management techniques can help both day- and night-time bruxism, a big word for teeth grinding.

Opening Things with Your Teeth

Do you ever open plastic packaging or bottles with your teeth? It may be convenient, but the damage you could do will not be. If you want to limit your chances of cracking or chipping a tooth, use your teeth only for eating. Use scissors or a bottle opener to prevent tooth damage from using your teeth as tools.


Which type of candy is worst for my teeth?

While no candy is good for teeth, which is worst is a good question. Gummy candies not only promote tooth decay by bathing your teeth in sugar, they can also remain stuck to your teeth for hours, trapping sugar and the resulting acids where they can keep damaging your tooth enamel.

How do potato chips damage teeth?

Bacteria does not just eat and break down simple sugars to acid, it also likes starchy foods. When starchy foods are stuck to your teeth, the resulting acid is there to damage your teeth longer. Starch is bad enough, but paired with how easily foods like potato chips get stuck in your teeth, they are one of the worst snack choices for your teeth. To minimize potential damage, brush and floss after eating snacks like potato chips.

If chewing gum can help prevent tooth damage, can snacking be good for my teeth?

While chewing sugarless gum for twenty minutes following meals may reduce your chance of tooth decay, snacking does not work the same. Snacking does not produce as much saliva as eating an entire meal, which can leave food stuck in your teeth producing acid for hours. Avoid snacking too often, and choose snacks that are low in sugar and starch.

What if I have already suffered noticeable tooth damage?

See your dentist as soon as possible! If you do not have one, get one! In the Watertown, Belmont, Cambridge and Newton, Massachusetts area, you can trust Watertown Dentistry to repair and preserve your beautiful smile.

Call us for more information (617) 600-3442


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What is a Root Canal?

During the month of November, Watertown Dentistry is offering free consultations for root canals.

Serving the residents and workers in Brighton, Cambridge, Waltham, Watertown, & Belmont, MA

Root canal therapy, or endodontics, is used to treat an infection inside a tooth. A root canal is the removal of the infected nerve and pulp of the tooth. After the infected nerve and pulp are removed, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected, then filled with a rubber-like material. The filler material returns structural integrity to the tooth, as well as sealing it to prevent further problems.

root canal Waltham Belmont Cambridge MA root canal What is a Root Canal? root canal Waltham Belmont Cambridge MAWhat is dental pulp?

The soft area inside a tooth is called pulp. It contains blood vessels and connective tissue that nourish the tooth. When bacteria finds its way into the tooth pulp, there is no way for your body’s natural germ-fighting defenses to effectively reach it and fight the infection. The nerve will degenerate and leave space for the bacteria to thrive. If the infection is left untreated, pus will accumulate at the root of the tooth and cause an abscess, which can be very painful.

Will removal of my tooth’s nerve cause problems eating or speaking?

After a tooth has erupted through the gums, the nerve serves no vital function. It merely allows the tooth to “feel” heat and cold.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

You may need one if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain from pressure like chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures after the heat or cold has been removed
  • Darkening of the tooth
  • Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums
  • A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums

It is important to remember that a tooth infection may cause no significant symptoms until it is quite severe, so if you have reason to suspect you have an infected tooth, be sure to share your concern with your dentist at your next scheduled appointment. If you do not have an appointment scheduled in the near future, call and make one.

Should I have a root canal or ask my dentist to pull my tooth so I don’t have to deal with the problem any more?

Once your tooth is gone, it is gone. A gap between your teeth can cause unnecessary strain and wear on your remaining teeth. You may not be able to eat all of your favorite foods if you have a gap left by a pulled tooth. A root canal can preserve your existing tooth, allowing it to function the way it did before it became infected. The filling material and a filling, or crown if necessary, will allow you to continue eating the foods you love while helping you avoid further intervention to deal with problems that may develop with teeth surrounding a gap. A root canal will relieve any pain you are suffering, from your infected tooth, so you can chew normally again. It will also keep swelling and infections from spreading to your gums or through your cheek to your skin, and eliminate the threat of bone loss at the tip of the root. All this, and it preserves your smile!

Do root canals hurt?

Despite what you have heard, modern root canals can be at least relatively comfortable during the process and recovery. Most patients say the discomfort of having a root canal is similar to that of having a tooth filled. Compared to the pain you may experience before you take the step of having a root canal, and the pain you will experience if you do not get your tooth treated, the pain of the procedure is small.

Depending on the amount of damage to your tooth, the root canal treatment can be accomplished in only one or two visits.

Who can I trust for a root canal in Massachusetts?

If you are in the Watertown, Belmont, Cambridge, Waltham or Newton, MA area, you can trust Watertown Dentistry for all dental needs, including endodontic care, that big word for root canal. If you are experiencing pain or persistent sensitivity, call us today for a root canal consultation.

Call us for more information (617) 600-3442


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