10 Ways To Improve Your Smile

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. It can brighten up someone’s day. It can change someone’s mood. It can help you obtain favor with people. A good smile can take you a long way. It carries happiness and joy. It communicates that you are confident in yourself and believe in what you are saying. Your best smile is important for your own self-esteem, your relationships, and your career or business endeavors. In fact, a smile is universal! Everyone understands a smile, even someone who doesn’t speak your language. Your smile is one of your biggest assets and it’s in your best interest to take care of it. Here are 10 ways to improve your smile.

Eat Healthy Foods

Did you know apples, carrots, and celery act as natural stain removers? They increase saliva production which is your own personal cleansing agent for the mouth. There are other foods that can help clean your mouth and whiten your teeth as well such as strawberries, seeds, and nuts.

Teeth Whitening

A quick look down the dental aisle will turn up several different over the counter whitening solutions. There are also in-office procedures your Dentist can do as well. Teeth whitening is a wonderful and safe way to brighten your smile. Talk with your Dentist about the best options for you.

Braces

In certain cases, braces may be necessary to straighten up crooked or crowded teeth. Although, metal brackets are conventional, they are not your only option. Thanks to technological advances in treatments, you can also opt for removable aligners, “invisible braces,’ or clear plastic brackets.

Dental Bridges

All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may be aware of their importance to your appearance and dental health. Your teeth work together for many daily functions from eating to speaking. With missing teeth, it’s difficult to do these things clearly and effectively. A great way to fill the gap left by one or more missing teeth is a dental bridge.

Veneers

Now that our office offers Lumineers, you can have the smile you have always wanted with less time and far more comfort than ever imagined. The Lumineers are digitally designed to be as thin as a contact lens, while still being strong enough to handle every day wear and tear. As a result, they can be seamlessly applied over your current teeth for the perfect, natural-looking smile you have always dreamed of having. Lumineers are the #1 patient preferred veneer system in the world.

Bonding

Need to fix your smile? Consider bonding. Bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin to repair a decayed, chipped, fractured, or discolored tooth. Bonding is done in a single visit, unlike veneers, dentures, and bridges which are manufactured in a laboratory and require a customized mold to achieve a proper fit. Bonding is a very easy and inexpensive cosmetic dental procedure, which is mostly used to improve the appearance of a discolored or chipped tooth.

Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing is your first defense when it comes to maintaining a healthy smile. We recommend brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day to keep your teeth clean and your mouth fresh.

Read the Label

Not all toothpaste is created equal. That’s why you should always take a minute to read the labels before buying a tube at the market. You’ll find a lot of the ingredients work to protect the whiteness and sparkle of your teeth, but what are all those other ingredients for? Do you need them?  Triclosan, Dyes, Saccharin, and Sodium lauryl sulfate are ingredients you can do without!

Seeing Your Dentist Twice a Year

There are reasons why you should see your dentist at least twice a year. Plaque removal is a great reason for starters. This residue is hard to see, but it packs an ugly punch. Plaque is a soft, sticky film that builds up on your teeth over time. If not addressed properly, plaque can lead to tartar – a hardened form of plaque that eats away at tooth enamel, causes tooth decay and eventually leads to gum disease, and bone loss around your gums. Regular visits to the dentist can help you better manage plaque and tartar buildup to prevent these problems before they even start.

Exercise

If you can believe it there are exercises to help improve the muscles in your face. Did you know it takes 43 muscles to smile? Well, these muscles around your smile can be sculpted to improve the look of your smile in countless ways. For example, the Cheek Lifter is an exercise that lifts sagging cheeks and helps develop the upper lip.

If you’re interested in improving your smile, we can help! Gary C. Demetriou, D.M.D. uses the latest in dental technology to be able to enhance your smile using a wide variety of techniques, depending on what is necessary to each patient. Call our office at 978-794-0010 and set up your appointment today.

Surviving the Holiday Dental Woes

It’s time for good cheer, gift giving, and making merry this holiday season. There are so many things to consider such as what gifts you’ll get for friends and loved ones, what you’ll wear to holiday parties, and how to navigate family get togethers. It’s been said that the holiday season can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Indeed there’s a lot to consider. However, sometimes we forget about our health, more specifically oral health.  All those sugary cookies, desserts, and sweet treats you’ll be eating over the holidays this year can take a toll on your teeth.

Here’s are four easy steps to combat the holiday dental woes.

Step 1: Put a limit on sugar consumption (ahead of time).

We all are familiar with the infamous relationship between sugar and oral health. Sugar plays a very large role in our overall food consumption here in the United States. The effect of sugar on our overall health can be quite sobering if you dare to look into it. Consequently, sugar’s impact on oral health is staggering. The truth is sugar in and of itself does not cause harm to your teeth. Rather, it’s the unfortunate chain of events occuring after eating that delectable sugar cookie that causes the harm. You see, unhealthy bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar molecules. This process is what creates plaque buildup that eventually leads to tooth decay. Therefore, eating less sugar during the holidays would be a smart way to avoid suffering from cavities, or worse tooth loss. Put a limit on how much dessert you will eat. Eat your dessert on smaller plates so it feels like you’re eating more.

Step 2: Plan to drink more water.

Water can be described as the magic elixir of life. It can do wonders for your body including hydration, flushing toxins out of your body, and aiding in digestion. Additionally, water can help rinse your mouth out and pass any extra sugar digestive tract preventing it from sitting in your mouth and attracting bacteria. Drinking more water also helps to fill up your belly and give you a more full feeling which can deter overeating.

Step 3: Brush.

It may seem extra hard to get your twice daily tooth brushing in during the holidays. But it can make a big difference. Brushing your teeth twice a day especially after eating sugary foods and consuming acids, will help keep your smile bright and clean. Remember to make your each brushing time last for two minutes in order to reap the maximum results.

Step 4: Schedule your dental cleaning after the holidays.

Just in case you do build up extra plaque during the holidays, you can clear it out with a dental visit. Plan ahead and schedule a visit with your dentist to coincide with the holidays. Having a dental visit right after the holidays will help you to remain accountable to yourself in order to be prepared for the visit. Also, the timing of the visit right after the holidays will ensure you have a teeth cleaning done right as the new year kicks in.

You don’t have to let your oral health take a back seat during the holidays. Be proactive with yourself and your family so that you can survive the holidays with a healthy smile.

Importance Of A Stunning Smile

Have you ever noticed that most celebrities have beautiful smiles? Everyone from reporters to actors to reality stars all have the most stunning smile. What gives? Hollywood has never ignored the secrets of a beautiful smile and neither should you.

Your smile is important! Without it, you’ll miss out on the wonderful things that a stunning smile affords you and the people around you. For example, did you know that a smile is contagious? Two studies from 2002 and 2011 at Uppsala University in Sweden demonstrated that when people smile at you, it actually lowers the control you have over your facial muscles making you smile back. The studies also found that people have a really hard time frowning when they are confronted with a smile. Spread the joy. Try smiling at someone the next time you’re in public and see what happens.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have a stunning smile that you can feel confident showcasing, you won’t smile as often. Not smiling causes you to miss out on some wonderful things in life.

These are the benefits you’ll miss out on without a stunning smile…

Smiling releases endorphins helpful to relieving stress. Stress in the body leads to all sorts of problems. Thus, smiling boosts your immune system. Your entire body relaxes when you smile giving way to tension relief, expelling toxins, and improving your overall mood. In fact, when you’re in a bad mood, go ahead and smile anyway. Enjoy the natural muscle relaxant you can generate from a hearty smile.

The benefits of a stunning smile are incredible! Even if you’re speaking to someone who speaks a different language, a smile is universal. Everyone knows what a smile means, even among people from different cultures. When you smile, you are seen as sociable. It sets people around you at ease making them feel more comfortable. People with a great smile get more promotions because of this. They appear more attractive and attract more partners, whether in romance or business.

Speaking of professional relationships, smiling actually projects more confidence which helps salespeople sell more and it also helps entrepreneurs attract more clients. It works the same way in personal relationships. A stunning smile can help you make more friends and schmooze with more confidence at parties and in other social situations.  

The good news is, practically everyone can have a stunning smile. Whether you need teeth whitening, crowns, or dentures, we can help you get the smile you deserve. Don’t spend another day worrying about an unattractive smile. You can have confidence in your smile with just 1 visit to your dentist.

Today’s advanced dental treatments and materials can give you a healthier, more complete smile that can last you a lifetime. Your North Andover, MA dentist, Dr. Demetriou, can help revitalize and maintain your teeth and gums, giving you the smile you’ve always wanted. To do this, Dr. Demetriou and his staff use the most advanced technologies in modern dentistry. Stop by our office to see our staff or set up an appointment on our website.

5 Foods That Can Whiten your Teeth

Most of us know that there are certain foods that can stain your teeth such as coffee, tea, and red wine. On the opposite side of the coin, there are foods that can help whiten teeth over time. These foods are not only healthy for your body, but also quite helpful for your teeth. In addition, these foods are natural and easy to come by.

Apples, Carrots, and Celery

There’s a reason why mothers tell us to eat our fruits and vegetables. Apples, carrots, and celery act as a natural stain remover. They increase saliva production which is our own personal cleansing agent for the mouth. They also kill bacteria that causes bad breath. Most importantly, biting down on these crispy fruits and vegetables causes a healthy crunching action that helps to scrub your teeth crystal clean. Other types of fruits that help to naturally whiten teeth are oranges and pineapples. The tartness found in these fruits also promote saliva production.

Strawberries

Don’t let the red hues fool you. This tasty treat actually contains a natural chemical that can clean your teeth and remove plaque. Malic acid is present in strawberries and it is said to be a ‘natural astringent to remove surface discoloration’ according to  Dr. Irwin Smigel, president of the American Society for Dental Aesthetics. Eat them in salads, desserts, and cereal or mash them up with some baking soda for an extra tooth brushing from time to time.

Seeds & Nuts

Exfoliating is good for the skin and also good for your teeth. Chewing up seeds and nuts causes a light abrasive that can be good for removing debris and plaque from your teeth. Almonds, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds and the like are a good healthy snack to grab and your teeth will love the cleaning action as well.

Baking Soda

This pantry staple is the mother of all fixings. It’s good for just about everything. Baking soda not only does wonders with various cooking recipes, but it also is a great natural cleaning agent for your teeth. There’s a good reason you’ll find this ingredient in many commercial toothpaste products. Baking soda is actually a form of salt and works really well for scrubbing off plaque and surface stains. Try switching up your morning routine by brushing with baking soda.

Water

We call it life’s elixir. We need it for our very survival. Not only does water keep you hydrated, but it can help act as a ‘rinse’ during our highly coveted coffee breaks. As we mentioned earlier in this article, coffee, red wine, tea and other dark beverages can stain the teeth, but try swishing water around in your mouth before, during and after to prevent staining. We recommend sticking with plain water instead of carbonated or sparkling water as bubbles can erode tooth enamel and actually harm your teeth.

If you’re looking for natural ways to whiten your teeth, try them all. They are tasty, healthy, and great for your teeth. While it’s important to take responsibility for your oral health and seek natural ways to promote oral health, we recommend being consistent with a dental care professional for regular maintenance and to complement and promote overall wellness and your perfect smile.

How to get your Stubborn Husband to go to the Dentist

How to Get Your Stubborn Husband to go to the Dentist

Whether the man in your life has an innate fear of the dentist or he just doesn’t deem it important enough to go, you may understandably be frustrated with his lack of attention to his oral health. After all, you know the importance of regular cleanings every six months as well as flossing and brushing twice daily. But he may not realize it. Check out these tips to encourage your husband to make an appointment.

Recite the Stats

Many men think well in terms of numbers, of hard and true facts. Learn the statistics and let him know what you find.

  • 31% of adults aged 20 to 44 have untreated cavities, according to the CDC.
  • Only 64% of adults aged 18 to 64 visited a dentist in the past year.
  • Large amounts of bacteria in the mouth caused by poor dental hygiene can allow germs to invade the bloodstream. This can lead to infections and diseases, says Medical Daily.
  • The American Dental Association says that those who are at a high risk of developing periodontal disease should visit their dentist more frequently.
  • One in four adults admit they don’t brush twice a day, including one-third of men.
  • Only 9% of men have oral health that is deemed excellent.
  • 51,000 of people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer this year, says the American Cancer Society. About 10,000 of them will die.
  • Oral cancers are more than twice as common in men as in women.

Address the Root Problem

The #1 reason people avoid going to the dentist? Fear. In fact, three out of four adults report at least some anxiety when facing a dental visit, from feeling slightly afraid to feeling terrified, according to the Dental Fears Research Clinic. Approach the issue gingerly and ask your husband if he feels anxious about going to the dentist. You may be rebuked at first, but be persistent. It’s actually quite common for men to feel fear due to the lack of control they experience in situations like dental visits. In a society that puts a lot of pressure on men to be in control and never show emotion, it’s no wonder your guy is having a hard time admitting this.

Common sources of dental anxiety include the fear of pain or injections, the sound of drills and other instruments, lying flat in the chair, and simply that lack of control that comes with being at the mercy of someone else.

Problem is, men who proclaim they hate the dentist simply avoid going to appointments. While this calms the fear initially, it leads to the need for more in-depth cleanings, more cavity fillings and other procedures when they do go. This results in more pain and loss of control, so they stop going for awhile again and the cycle repeats itself. Bottom line, if men kept up with their six-month cleanings, the visits would be far more pleasant than if they were to wait until bigger issues crop up.

Another top reason for avoiding the dentist is cost. With many families going without dental insurance due to the high cost of this insurance on top of standard health insurance, many men forgo their own dental visits in favor of saving money. They may stress the importance of dental care with their wives or children, but when it comes to themselves, they feel their money is best spent elsewhere.

Luckily, the office of Gary Demetriou, DMD, can remedy both of these situations. We accept many different insurance plans, and for those who don’t have insurance, we offer affordable payment plans that work with your budget. In terms of allaying fears, our staff is well aware that many people — including men — may feel anxious when visiting us. That’s why we do all we can to put you at ease.

How To Achieve A Holiday-Ready Smile

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes parties, cookie swaps, plays and plenty of get-togethers with friends and family. It’s so easy to get swept up in the gifts and the shopping and the food that you can inadvertently put your own appearance on the back burner. All that coffee and tea you’ve been swigging to get through the craziness of Black Friday is now showing its effects on your teeth. Take a good look in the mirror: do you see yellow and brown tints or spots that really detract from your smile? If so, you could benefit from some teeth whitening to get them looking more attractive. After all, you’ll be meeting and greeting lots of people this holiday season.

You spent a lot of time and effort on planning your outfits and jewelry for all the holiday parties you’ll be attending and hosting this month, and your smile should match your spectacular attire. If you think it’s too late to get a holiday-ready smile, think again. Check out these things you can do now to get a brighter smile.

Use a Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste is good to have on hand, but it works gradually and it’s not as effective as whitening trays or strips. Definitely, use it as a complement to your oral care regimen so you can remove stains and prevent stain build-up over time.

Nix the Coffee and Soda

For all you coffee and soda lovers out there, this can be a tough one to swallow. But if you cut back, or at least sip through a straw to minimize contact with the teeth, you will reap the rewards in the form of better-looking teeth. After drinking, rinse out your mouth with water.

Eat Plenty of Vegetables and Fruits

Maintaining a healthy diet can also do wonders for your teeth. Fill your plate with celery, carrots, and apples for extra vitamin C, which works to improve your saliva production. The more saliva flowing in your mouth, the better it works to wash debris away from the teeth.

Use an At-Home Whitening Kit

Pick up a kit or some strips from the store if you have a few days or a week before that party. They’re fairly affordable and have been known to lighten stains somewhat; however, they contain a mild peroxide which works minimally at dissolving surface stains. For better results, go pro.

Schedule a Professional Appointment

If you’ve gone through all of these suggestions and they haven’t quite worked, or you need something more immediate, make an appointment with your dentist for in-office teeth whitening. This is the most effective and quick way to achieve the results you need. Prepare to see amazing effects that can brighten your teeth several shades in just one appointment.

Dr. Demetriou offers in-office teeth whitening for fast, effective, long-lasting results. Call us today at 978-794-0010 to make an appointment before all those holiday parties!

What You Can Do Right Now for Healthier Teeth

You may not have the perfect teeth you’d like at the moment. Good oral health seems to be a constantly-evolving process that isn’t ever really “perfect” in many people’s eyes. However, there are things you can start doing right now that will improve the health of your teeth and overall oral hygiene.

Keep Flossing

No matter what you’ve heard lately, it’s important to keep flossing. Do it every night, especially after a big meal and especially if you have braces. You may have heard about studies that found flossing was not effective or necessary in maintaining oral health. However, both the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say you should still floss. They say those studies were flawed by participants who said they flossed more than they really did.

Brushing alone cannot get into those between-the-teeth spaces to get rid of bacteria that can lead to gingivitis. In fact, flossing gets at least four times deeper into the gums than brushing ever can.

Stop Drinking Soda

Now’s as good a time as any to kick the soda habit. Even if you drink diet soda, all that acid is eroding your tooth enamel, which you can never get back once it’s gone. Cola and ginger ale are the worst culprits when it comes to high sources of sugar. Sugar, as you know, causes cavities — so you’re doing a double disservice to your teeth by drinking that fizzy stuff. If you absolutely must have a glass of soda, brush your teeth afterwards or at least drink water.

Stop Smoking

Easier said than done, right? But if you ever want to see those pearly whites again, you’ll nix the tobacco. That’s because smoking coats your teeth with a yellow hue, which is bad enough. However, the nicotine and tar in cigarettes are gradually eating away at your gums, making your mouth a breeding ground for bacteria and plaque, says WebMD. By harming your gums, you’re increasing your risk of future tooth loss as well as mouth sores that can result in oral cancer.

Start Brushing Right

If your brushing technique doesn’t seem to be effective, you’ll have to switch it up. If you’re at a loss, ask your dentist next time you have a visit how you can brush more effectively. Devote at least two minutes to cleaning your teeth and gums. Any less than that and you’re not putting in enough attention to each tooth. Make sure your brush is angled 45 degrees toward your gum line, then use circular strokes very gently. Are the bristles bending? You’re working it too hard. Because plaque is relatively soft, you can get it off your teeth with some gentle brushing.

Stay Current on Your Six-Month Visits

Take a look at your calendar. Do you have a six-month cleaning scheduled? If not, call your dentist today to book your appointment. One of the easiest ways to take care of your teeth is to visit the dentist twice a year — at least.

6 Foods that Will Lead to a Brighter Smile

You may have straight teeth, but are they bright? Getting a white smile goes beyond whitening strips from the store or dental whitening treatments in the office. You have to do your part to keep up that brilliant smile at home. That means watching what you eat, as many foods and beverages cause staining to your teeth, such as coffee, berries, tea and wine. Get rid of that dim smile and adopt a brighter outlook. Check out these six foods that are great for a brilliant smile:

1. Eat apples. An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but it can also result in shinier, whiter teeth. Because they contain malic acid and vitamin C, apples can remove surface stains and plaque more readily. You can even crush up that apple and brush with it for more of an immediate effect. It doesn’t matter which kind of apple you choose, so go with your favorite.

2. Baking soda. While not technically a food, baking soda is safe to ingest. It’s cheap to buy (usually two for a buck at the grocery store) and can also be used to freshen your breath. You may already buy toothpaste with baking soda in it, but you don’t have to spend the extra money. Baking soda is just abrasive enough to get off those surface stains, but not so much that you damage the enamel of your teeth. Make a paste of water and baking soda and brush away. Repeat every other day.

3. Broccoli: This popular green food makes your mouth water, which stimulates extra saliva production, which in turn washes away food particles that can get lodged in your teeth. As such, broccoli is great for keeping bacteria and plaque at bay so that you don’t experience cavities or gingivitis.

4. Seeds and nuts: The abrasive texture of seeds and nuts like sunflower seeds, cashews, walnuts and almonds can remove surface stains without you even realizing it, says Redbook. Think of them as a natural exfoliator for your teeth! Buy a can, pop a handful every day, and watch the results.

5. Carrots: Just like seeds and nuts, carrots are also natural exfoliators due to their crisp texture. Carrots also make your mouth water, which, just like broccoli, is excellent for preventing bacteria and plaque buildup.

6. Celery: This vegetable has a natural buffing power that adds to the pearly appearance of your teeth. That’s because the stringy fibers in the celery, along with the crunchy texture, act like nature’s toothbrush. Also, because celery is so crunchy, it can help dislodge food particles from between the teeth. As a result, your gums stay healthy and as well as the tooth surface.

Need more healthy foods advice? Call Gary Demetriou, DMD, to book an appointment. We can be reached at 978-794-0010. We are dedicated to ensuring you retain that healthy, white, brilliant smile you’ve worked so hard to get!