My Blog

Posts for: August, 2020

By Barbara Preussner, DMD
August 28, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   oral health  
KeepTheseTopFactorsinMindWhenBuyingYourNextToothbrush

Search online for “right tool for the job” and you'll get over a billion results related to everything from baking cakes to repairing cars. It's also just as applicable to oral hygiene.

One of those “right” tools is the humble toothbrush. Most of us use the manual variety whose basic components—a long narrow handle and a bristled head—haven't changed much in a couple of centuries. That hasn't stopped competing manufacturers, however, from striving to produce the latest and greatest toothbrush. It's a wonderful testament to the free market, but it might leave you dizzy with indecision about which product is right for you.

You can avoid this paralysis if you remember why you're using a toothbrush in the first place—to remove the daily buildup of dental plaque, a thin bacterial film that causes tooth decay and gum disease. With that in mind, here are the top things to consider when picking out your next toothbrush.

Bristle texture. Although you might think a stiff-bristled brush would be better at removing plaque, most dental professionals recommend soft bristles. Stiffer bristles can damage your gums and lead to recession; on the other hand, coupled with the mild abrasives and detergents in toothpaste, soft bristled-brushes are just as effective in removing plaque.

Comfortable size and shape. Toothbrushes come in various lengths and handle widths, so choose one that's comfortable in your hand. If you have issues with manual dexterity, consider one with a wider and thicker handle that's easier to hold. You'll be acquainted for at least six months (that's how often you should change out your current brush for a new one), so get a toothbrush that feels right to you.

The ADA Seal of Acceptance. Like toothpaste, the American Dental Association also tests toothbrushes. Those that meet the ADA's high dental product standards can include the ADA Seal of Acceptance on their packaging. When you see it, it's a good indication that particular toothbrush will perform well. You can also get advice from your dentist or hygienist on what type of brush you should use.

Every time you brush, you're potentially improving your dental health and avoiding disease. Make sure it counts with a toothbrush that's right for you.

If you would like more information on toothbrushes, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sizing Up Toothbrushes.”


By Barbara Preussner, DMD
August 18, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  
3ThingsThatCouldHelpYouAvoidAnotherRoundWithGumDisease

While periodontal (gum) disease could ruin your dental health, it doesn’t have to. Dentists and periodontists (specialists in gums and other supporting tooth structures) have effective methods for stopping it, especially if the infection is diagnosed and treated in its earliest stages. With effective treatment, those swollen, reddened and bleeding gums can return to a healthy shade of pink.

But even if we stop the infection, you’re not out of danger. If you’ve had at least one bout with gum disease, you’re at higher risk for another infection. We will need to maintain ongoing vigilance to prevent another infection.

If you’ve recently undergone treatment for gum disease, here are 3 things you should do to keep your now healthy gums continually healthy.

Practice daily oral hygiene. Gum disease arises most often from dental plaque, a thin biofilm of disease-causing bacteria that builds up on tooth surfaces. It’s important for everyone to remove this buildup with daily brushing and flossing, but it’s even more so if you’ve already experienced gum disease. Practicing effective oral hygiene every day will reduce the presence of bacteria that could ignite a new infection.

See the dentist more frequently. The general rule for routine dental cleanings and checkups is twice a year. But you may need more frequent visits, post-gum disease. Depending on the severity of your disease, we may recommend you make return visits at two- to three-month intervals of time. These visits may also include heightened screenings to ensure another infection hasn’t taken hold, as well as procedures to make it easier to clean certain tooth areas prone to plaque buildup.

Manage other health conditions. Gum disease’s severity is often caused by the inflammatory response your body initiates to fight the infection, which then becomes chronic. This is similar to other conditions like diabetes, heart disease or rheumatoid arthritis: There’s evidence inflammation elsewhere in the body could worsen a gum infection, and vice-versa. Managing other health conditions through medical care, medication and lifestyle changes could minimize the occurrence and severity of a future gum infection.

If you would like more information on remaining infection-free after gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Periodontal Cleanings.”


By Barbara Preussner, DMD
August 10, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Crowns  

Find out how dental crowns protect and preserve your natural teeth.

Having a healthy smile is something that everyone strives for; however, everything from a sports injury to decay can weaken and damage teeth. Luckily, when these issues arise our

Holliston, MA, dentist Dr. Barbara Preussner can treat and restore the tooth with a dental crown, a tooth-shaped cap that fits over the crown of a natural tooth to provide a natural-looking protective barrier.

You could benefit from getting a dental crown if you have,

  • A severely decayed tooth that a dental filling can’t completely support
  • Experienced a traumatic injury to a tooth that has caused it to fracture, break or crack
  • A severely disfigured or discolored tooth
  • A weak tooth that is prone to crumbling or cracking
  • A tooth that needs to undergo root canal therapy
  • One or more missing teeth and you are getting a dental implant or dental bridge

If our Holliston, MA, restorative dentist has told you that you need a dental crown here are some of the benefits of getting this dental cap,

Improved appearance: No matter whether a tooth is severely discolored, misshapen or damaged, the fact of the matter is that the tooth sticks out and affects the overall appearance of your smile. Luckily, dental crowns are made from material that looks like a real tooth, which means that the crown can instantly improve the color, shape and size of a tooth once it’s cemented into place.

Confidence in chewing: You don’t realize just how important your teeth are for eating until you have broken or damaged tooth. Not being able to use all of your teeth can make eating certain foods challenging or even impossible. Unfortunately, untreated dental problems are more likely to cause digestive issues and nutritional deficits. To prevent these problems a dental crown can be placed over a weak or damaged tooth to almost fully restore strength and functionality back into it so you can eat what you want again.

Preserve your smile: The best thing you can do for your oral health is to maintain your own natural teeth. This means placing a dental crown over a cracked, damaged or infected tooth after it’s been treated. While some of the tooth will be filed down to make room for the crown, this is preferable to having a tooth extracted.

Have questions about dental crowns or any of the restorative, cosmetic or preventive dental care that we offer here in Holliston, MA? If so, call our office today. We would be happy to answer your questions and schedule your next cleaning or consultation.


WisdomTeethCanStillbeaProblemfortheWorldsYoungestBillionaire

According to Forbes Magazine, Kylie Jenner is the world's youngest billionaire at age 22. Daughter of Caitlyn (Bruce) Jenner and Kris Jenner, Kylie is the founder and owner of the highly successful Kylie Cosmetics, and a rising celebrity in her own right. But even this busy CEO couldn't avoid an experience many young people her age go through each year: having her wisdom teeth removed.

At around 10 million removals each year, wisdom teeth extraction is the most common surgical procedure performed by oral surgeons. Also called the third molars, the wisdom teeth are in the back corners of the jaws, top and bottom. Most people have four of them, but some have more, some have fewer, and some never have any. They're typically the last permanent teeth to come in, usually between ages 17 and 25.

And therein lies the problem with wisdom teeth: Many times, they're coming in late on a jaw already crowded with teeth. Their eruption can cause these other teeth to move out of normal alignment, or the wisdom teeth themselves may not fully erupt and remain fully or partially within the gums (a condition called impaction). All of this can have a ripple effect, decreasing dental function and increasing disease risk.

As Kylie Jenner has just experienced, they're often removed when problems with bite or instances of diseases like tooth decay or gum disease begin to show. But not just when problems show: It's also been a common practice to remove them earlier in a kind of “preemptive strike” against dental dysfunction. But this practice of early wisdom teeth extraction has its critics. The main contention is that early extractions aren't really necessary from a medical or dental standpoint, and so patients are unduly exposed to surgical risks. Although negative outcomes are very rare, any surgical procedure carries some risk.

Over the last few years, a kind of middle ground consensus has developed among dentists on how to deal with wisdom teeth in younger patients. What has emerged is a “watch and wait” approach: Don't advise extraction unless there is clear evidence of developing problems. Instead, continue to monitor a young patient's dental development to see that it's progressing normally.

Taking this approach can lead to fewer early wisdom teeth extractions, which are postponed to a later time or even indefinitely. The key is to always do what's best for a patient's current development and future dental health.

Still, removing wisdom teeth remains a sound practice when necessary. Whether for a high school or college student or the CEO of a large company, wisdom teeth extraction can boost overall dental health and development.

If you would like more information about wisdom teeth and their impact on dental health, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Wisdom Teeth: To Be or Not to Be?


By Barbara Preussner, DMD
August 07, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

Do you want to feel more confident in your smile? Here’s how veneers can help.

 

Perhaps you’ve heard about dental veneers before, particularly from a celebrity or someone whose smile you love. Of course, you don’t veneershave to be walking down the red carpet or starring in a TV show to consider dental veneers. Any healthy individual can get the smile they want when they turn to our Holliston MA dentist Dr. Barbara Preussner for porcelain veneers.

 

What are Holliston porcelain veneers?

Veneers are thin, durable coverings that bond directly to the front of your teeth to hide a multitude of cosmetic imperfections. Veneers are fully customized based on the size of your teeth and the results you’re looking to achieve. Common problems that porcelain veneers can hide include:

 

  • Misshapen or oddly shaped teeth
  • Size issues (teeth that are too short or uneven)
  • Discolorations and widespread stains
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Worn teeth
  • Gummy smiles
  • Slightly crooked or misaligned teeth

 

What are the benefits of getting porcelain veneers?

As anyone who has gotten Holliston Porcelain Veneers will be able to tell you, these simple restorations can go a long way to dramatically improving the overall appearance of your smile. Some of the benefits of porcelain veneers include:

 

  • A quick and easy way to enhance and improve your smile
  • Long-lasting results
  • A stain-resistant smile
  • A stronger and more resilient smile
  • Restorations that can last to 15 years before needing to be replaced
  • A straighter smile without having to get braces
  • Taking years off your appearance and making you look younger
  • Boosting your self-esteem and confidence
  • Smiling more, which is always great for your health and wellbeing

 

Am I a good candidate for dental veneers?

If you are an adult with a healthy smile but wish that your teeth were whiter, straighter, or more even then chances are good that you could be an ideal candidate for veneers. Whether you want to improve the appearance of one, three, or all teeth that are visible when you smile, our dental team can make this possible with the help of Holliston Porcelain Veneers.

 

Whether you have questions about porcelain veneers or you want to find out if you’re an ideal candidate, don’t hesitate to call our Holliston MA dental practice today at (508) 429-7125 to schedule your no-risk consultation with Dr. Barbara Preussner.