Top 10 Oral Health Resolutions

January 3rd, 2011

A new year can mean a healthier you!

These ten resolutions are simple steps you can take to improve your teeth and gums this year - you may even improve your overall health while you're at it.

1.  Start fresh - Replace your toothbrush or power toothbrush head if it has been 3 months since you last started using a new one – or if you have recently been sick, or if the indicator on the brush tells you it’s time (even if it has been over 3 months and the indicator looks fine) OR if someone else decided to use your brush!

2. Brush for at least two minutes at least twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste.

When? A good time to brush is after eating breakfast and then again after you have finished eating and drinking for the day. If you can brush during the day, after meals is a great time.  Use a stop-watch or timer if you need to. We have some here if you need one.

3. Keep your toothbrush far away from the toilet.

It’s always wise to flush the toilet with the lid closed as germs can spray way up into the air (at least that’s what we’ve been told).

4. Floss daily. Use about 18 inches of dental floss and floss in between every tooth. To see a video on good flossing form, please visit this YOU TUBE Video.

5. Reduce your soda, citrus, and carbonated beverage consumption.

If you are going to drink these beverages, it may be wise to drink them through a straw and limit the amount of time spent drinking.  If you want a soda, have it in one sitting, instead of prolonged sipping.  (See Dr. Ejaz Ali's Beverage Do's and Don'ts).

6.  Schedule your dental cleaning and checkups for the year.

Calling early in the year will usually help you find a convenient date and time. Some people may require cleanings or specialized treatments more often, including pregnant women and those who have periodontal disease. Professional cleanings are important for your health - the hygienist is able to remove built up tartar and look for signs of infection, like gingivitis. Gingivitis is reversible but periodontal disease is NOT!

7.  Do you have bleeding gums?

If you haven't addressed those bleeding gums with your dentist, 2011 is a perfect time, especially if you have diabetes. One of the newest concerns is that those with increased blood sugar levels are having a harder time controlling their gum health. Please visit Joslin Diabetes Center's information on dental health and diabetes to learn more.

8.  Schedule an advanced oral cancer screening for your next dental visit if it has been a year or more since your last screening.

Not sure if you’ve been screened?  Check with your dentist – advanced oral cancer screenings use additional technology that may aid in earlier detection. We've also learned a lot about the HPV and oral cancer connection in 2010 - that's why we recommend this screening for young patients who may not have normal risk factors like tobacco and alcohol use.

9. Protect your dental investment by wearing your retainer or nightguard!

Save yourself from needing braces again by wearing the retainer your orthodontist made for you. Teeth will and do shift.  If you own a nightguard, wearing it nightly will help protect your teeth from the damaging effects of grinding. Grinding and clenching the teeth during sleep can wear away your enamel, putting you at risk for decay and increased tooth sensitivity.  Waking up with a headache and sore neck every morning could be because you are clenching your jaw - a nightguard is an added defense against this.

10. YOU DESERVE a healthy smile!

Oral health tends to be one area of health that people neglect or feel awkward about caring about.  Maybe it's a fear of the dentist that keeps you away, which we understand. There are many options, such as sedation dentistry, that can allow fearful patients get hours worth of work done with minimal discomfort. Discussing sedation options with your dentist might help relax you.  Getting dental problems fixed and spending a few minutes a day brushing and flossing is not being selfish.  You deserve to have the best oral health possible – and it’s absolutely within reach!

Wellesley Dental Group is a full service dentist office serving patients of all ages, starting as young as infancy.

A more relaxing experience

February 10th, 2010

We strive to do everything to help our patients have a more relaxing experience. Sometimes, in order to do this, sedation dentistry is an option we will discuss.

But what is sedation dentistry?
We use a type of sedation called "Oral Conscious Sedation". It is not the IV sedation that normally puts people to sleep. Oral conscious sedation involves the dentist prescribing a specific amount of medication, taken orally at prescribed intervals, to help relax the patient. When dental work begins, it often feels like a very short period of time for the patient, even if hours have passed. Any fear of the dental appointment subsides, providing the patient with a very comfortable and relaxing experience.
Another benefit of sedation dentistry is that it allows patients to undergo many hours of treatment in a single visit.
We provide consultations in advance of sedation dentistry to make sure it is a viable and healthy option for each patient on an individiual basis.

Dental Anxiety Help

October 5th, 2009

In this blog series, Dental Anxiety Help, premiering today, we'd like to introduce our guest contributor, Andre Perreault, LMHC.  Over the course of the next several weeks (every Wednesday) we will be featuring his advice and helpful tips for people who experience anxiety, fear, and phobias about dental visits.  Please check back every week for more - we will tag our posts with "anxiety" for quick reference when viewing in a feeder program. 


[caption id="attachment_608" align="alignleft" width="237" caption="Andre Perreault, LMHC"]Andre Perreault, LMHC[/caption]

If you'd like to reach Mr. Perreault directly, please call him at (617) 835-6581.







“I think I have dental phobia”

If you have dental phobia then simply thinking about the dentist may lead you to a lot of tension, sweaty palms and even get your heart pounding.  These are just some symptoms of the anxiety associated with dental phobia. Now here is the important part; you are one of hundreds of thousands of Americans today who struggle with dental phobia and better yet, if you’re reading this than you are taking a step toward dealing with the anxiety that is holding you back from better health and a gorgeous grin.

Here are some tips, hints and general information about anxiety. Learning about anxiety is an essential component of dealing with anxiety. So take a deep breath and open up your mind so later you can open your mouth and get the job done.

Think about your past trips to the dentist and consider these questions:

Do you worry, become tense or feel on edge?

Are your worries or concerns irrational, but you can’t shake them?

Do you feel that something bad will happen despite firmly knowing that it’s highly unlikely?

Do you begin to sweat or feel your heart pounding?

Do you tremble at all or experience shortness of breath?

Do you feel dizzy?

Do you feel any fear?

These questions progress through levels of experience of anxiety and fear. You may answer yes to some and no to others but the most important question is this; do any of these feelings or experiences make it difficult for you to maintain your dental health?

If you answered yes to several of these, especially the last question, you are dealing with some level of dental anxiety or fear. If your experience of fear is intense, keeping you from thinking of the dentist, let alone going a dentist’s office, you are dealing with some level of phobia.

You may find it helpful to distinguish between anxiety, fear and phobia. Anxiety is fear of the unknown. Everyone experiences some level of anxiety especially when approaching a situation that they’ve never been through before. Fear, on the other hand is fear of something known. You’ve been to the dentist before. You know what the dentist will do and what it felt like last time and still you are afraid even to the point of experiencing the fight, flight or freeze reaction. And phobia is the same as fear but much stronger. Dental phobia is fear of the dentist that is so strong that even thinking about a cleaning causes a fight or flight reaction.

Side note: dental anxiety and dental phobia are not what most would easily consider a mental illness. However, dental anxiety or phobia can be experienced in addition to a more severe condition. The experience of anxiety consistently over time is linked to depression. It is believed that both anxiety and depression involve similar neurochemical processes in the brain and are related to the same biological vulnerability. Those who experience anxiety are more susceptible to depression and the reverse is also true.



I am here to help. To begin with I want to provide some general information to help educate those who might be feeling nervous about the dentist. I have included general information about anxiety, fear and the body’s responses to those feelings. In this blog series, I will be discussing a number of tips and exercises that you might find helpful.  If you would like to work with me personally please call (617) 835 – 6581.  You can also consult with Drs. Ali and Ali at 781-237-9071 on dental treatment options that reduce anxiety.  Thanks and I hope you find this helpful. Check back on Wednesday for tip #1 on combatting dental anxiety.

More entries

Dental Anxiety Help 2: Reality Check   click here

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