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.

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.

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.

The Pros and Cons of Veneers

If you have been thinking about getting veneers, ask your trusted dentist about them and do your own research. Armed with information, you’ll know, especially after a conversation with your dentist, whether or not veneers are a good option for your situation. Veneers fall under the category of cosmetic dentistry, which is designed to improve your smile and oral health. You may see celebrities on TV or people about town who smile and flash perfect teeth. They’re not all born that way. Sometimes they have help, and many times, it’s through the use of veneers.

There are many positives and negatives to veneers, so let’s explore them.

Veneers: What Are They?

Made up of thin pieces of porcelain, resin or other composite material, veneers are actually molded to fit your teeth. They boost the whiteness and overall symmetric appearance of your teeth in size, color or shape. People choose veneers for many reasons:

  • To restore white color due to tooth discoloration from root canals, fillings, food or beverages
  • To repair chipped or broken teeth
  • To improve the appearance of irregularly-shaped teeth
  • To fill gaps
  • To mask injury done to the teeth

Did you know they can last up to about 15 years before replacement is required? You can choose from a variety of veneer types, including:

  • Porcelain
  • Composite
  • Instant
  • Removable

Pros

Veneers are desirable for one main reason: to restore confidence in a person’s smile. Whether from injury, birth, or disease, your teeth may have suffered damage over the years. You may want to see a perfect smile when you look in the mirror. For that, veneers are an excellent fix. Because they can be molded to your teeth, customization is another big selling point. It’s tough to even tell the difference between your tooth and the veneer!

Other perks? No additional drilling or shaping is needed, and you don’t need to engage in extra maintenance. Just keep brushing and flossing like you normally would. You can also select the shade of white you want, which can be as close to your natural color as possible so the result isn’t as noticeable.

Cons

While the pros outweigh the cons in many respects, there are a few drawbacks to them that your dentist would like you to know. Because veneers don’t change color like natural teeth do, you may see a contrast over time as your natural teeth start to yellow and the veneers stay stark white. Nothing a little teeth whitening won’t cure! Plus, this change shouldn’t be quite so dramatic if you’re continuing to brush and floss like normal.

Because veneers are delicate, they can chip or crack if you’re not careful when eating. You can’t chew ice, grind your teeth, bite your nails, or engage in any other bad habits that would compromise your veneers. And remember, just because you have veneers doesn’t mean decay can’t still happen underneath. If you have experienced gum disease or weakened enamel before, think twice about getting veneers.

Again, though, it’s always important to have a conversation and a visit with your dentist to go over all your options.

 

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.

5 Low Sugar Dessert Recipes We Found Online

If you have a sweet tooth but are conscious of preventing cavities, you may dread having to give up dessert. But you don’t have to! There are plenty of low-sugar recipes out there that you can try. They’ll satisfy your sweet tooth yet won’t do as much damage as those heavy-sugar desserts that you may be accustomed to. Check out these five recipes we found online:

1. Nutty Carrot Cake Bars

You’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
  • 3 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk
  • Fluffy cream cheese frosting (see below)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with foil
  • In a bowl, mix all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and baking powder. Add carrot, 1/2 cup of nuts, eggs, oil, and milk.
  • Stir, then spread mixture evenly in pan.
  • Bake 15 to 18 minutes. Spread with frosting and sprinkle remaining nuts.
  • For frosting, beat 1/2 cup frozen light whipped topping, 1/2 8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese, and 1/4 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt.

2. Mixed Berry Crumble Pots

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup date sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3 cups mixed berries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease four ramekins. Mix rolled oats, date sugar, and coconut oil, placing berries at the bottom of the dish. Place mixture on top. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Chocolate Thins

You’ll need:

1 cup dark chocolate squares
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

Toppings like chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds or unsweetened coconut

Directions

Line a flat tray with parchment paper. Melt chocolate over low heat with a double boiler. Add coconut oil and cacao powder and combine. Pour onto the tray and sprinkle with toppings. Freeze for half hour.

4. Peanut Butter Cups

You’ll need:

7 ounces dark chocolate squares or 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup all-natural peanut butter or sunflower butter

Melt chocolate in double boiler, melting coconut oil into chocolate. Line a baking pan with cupcake liners and scoop mixture into each. Put in freezer for a couple of minutes so it sets. Add a teaspoon of peanut butter in middle and flatten with a spoon. Place melted chocolate over that and return to freezer for 15 minutes.

5. Blueberry Muffins

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar substitute
  • 1 cup low-fat lemon yogurt
  • 6 tablespoons 1% milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 12 muffin cups. Mix flour, baking powder and baking soda in large bowl, then whisk. Add blueberries and lemon peel. In a smaller bowl, beat egg, then add oil, sugar substitute, yogurt, milk, and vanilla. Combine both mixtures and spoon into muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.

Contact Dr. Demetriou

Have you been going overboard on the sugar lately? Make an appointment now! Call us at 978-794-0010. Enjoy the recipes!

10 Must-Know Cavity Myths You Need to Bust Right Away

You may assume only candy causes cavities or that kids get more cavities than adults. Truth is, though, a lot of the things you’ve heard about cavities, what causes them and how to avoid them may not be true — or as entirely true as you once thought. Let’s go over some myths and facts about cavities so you can move forward with the right knowledge to pass on to your kids.

Myth #1: Adults don’t get as many calories as kids. In fact, while you may assume because kids love candy and soda that they have way more cavities than their parents, the truth is actually the reverse. With advances in fluoride treatments every six months at the dentist as well as in the water supply, coupled with better education in schools about oral hygiene, decay in school-aged has been reduced by half in the last 20 years, says WebMD. Conversely, older adults are experiencing unprecedented cavity rates due to the prevalence of medications that tend to dry the mouth. When saliva is reduced, the protection it affords is lessened.

Myth #2: Sugars present in cookies and candy are the only culprit of cavities. Nope. cavities are actually caused by bacteria, which is a process that can be jump started by any number of foods with hidden sugar in them, including rice, potatoes, bread, fruits, and vegetables. That bacteria then produces acids that can add to the problem, especially if you’re drinking lots of acidic beverages such as juice and soda.

Myth #3: Putting an aspirin near the source of a toothache will make it go away. Nope again. You’ll have to actually consume that aspirin for it to have any pain relieving effects. Aspirin contains acids that can burn your gums and cause ulcers.

Myth #4: Fillings have a set life expectancy. While it is true that fillings don’t necessarily last forever, factors such as tooth wear and oral hygiene play a part in when you should have them replaced. Don’t let any dentist tell you there’s a certain timeline for fillings. It should depend on an individual basis.

Myth #5: No need to go to the dentist; if you don’t feel pain, you don’t have a cavity. Cavities don’t always cause pain, however, and you could be doing a lot more damage letting them fester if you don’t regularly see your dentist. At your six-month checkup, your dentist can take a look and see if anything is happening, fixing problems before they do start to hurt.

Myth #6: Once a cavity is treated, another one won’t crop up in its place. You can treat that one cavity, but lapsing back into poor oral hygiene habits may open the door for a new one to form next to the existing one or around it.

Myth #7: Tooth grinding causes cavities. This one isn’t as cut and dried. No, it can’t technically cause cavities, but tooth grinding can cause stress and wear on the enamel over time, leaving your tooth more vulnerable to decay.

Myth #8: Brushing is all you need to do to prevent cavities. In order to get into spaces between the teeth, you’ll also need to floss and use mouthwash in addition to brushing in order to fight cavities effectively.

Myth #9: Chips in your teeth don’t cause cavities. Yes they do, as they offer a great place for bacteria to hide and fester. Again, use a fluoride mouth rinse to combat decay.

Myth #10: Cavities are the only reason you need a root canal. Yes, unfilled cavities that are left untreated certainly do lead to the need for root canals; however, other things can too, such as grinding or clenching of the teeth or injury/trauma to the tooth.

Overall, it’s important to keep up with your six-month dental checkups. Call Dr. Gary C. Demetriou, D.M.D. in North Andover at 978-794-0010 today!

4 Ways to Improve Your Smile

If your smile has been lackluster lately, you may have considered cosmetic dentistry to restore the brilliance of your teeth. Anything from injury to food stains can dull the look of your smile over time, but there are a few ways you can correct that! Did you know that smiling adds seven years to your life? Here are some more quick stats about smiling:

  • 88% of people say smiling makes them feel good
  • 92% of people say they smile to brighten someone’s day
  • Smiling can kickstart your immune system for better overall health

If that doesn’t make you want to reclaim your smile, we don’t know what will! Let’s take a look at some ways in which you can achieve that.

Teeth Whitening

Anything from coffee to wine to cigarette smoke can stain your tooth enamel. If you’ve already tried those over-the-counter teeth whitening remedies to no avail, try professional teeth whitening at the dentist’s office. When done in a clinical setting, you know the results will be successful, thanks to professional-grade whitening treatments done while you wait.

Dental Bonding

Have you chipped or broken a tooth? You may be a good candidate for dental bonding, which involves the creation of tooth-colored composite resin with no numbing agent required. This semi-permanent filling repairs  chips and breaks, as well as exposed roots and cavities. You get a tooth that looks just like the original, with a strong material that is sure to last many years.

Veneers

These are thin shells of plastic or porcelain that fit over your existing tooth. First, an impression will be taken of your upper and lower teeth, which will then be used to make a customized set of veneers. These are great for those with broken or chipped teeth, gaps, or permanently discolored teeth. Veneers generally last longer than bonding yet aren’t as expensive as dental crowns.

Invisalign

Many people decide to go with Invisalign over traditional metal braces, due to their less invasive design nature and increased convenience. With no need for cumbersome brackets and wires, Invisalign can correct a variety of orthodontic issues such as:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Overcrowding
  • Gaps
  • Cross bites
  • Overbites
  • Under bites

Best part is, there are no painful adjustments — only customized aligners used in succession for gentle, gradual correction of your orthodontic problem. In addition, Invisalign treatment usually takes about half the time of traditional braces, which is why so many teens and adults love this option. And because you can remove your Invisalign braces at meal and snack times, there’s no embarrassment about getting food stuck in your teeth.

Contact Dr. Gary C. Demetriou, D.M.D.

Getting a brilliant smile starts with a visit to Dr. Gary C. Demetriou, D.M.D., who has been a dentist in Andover & North Andover area since 1986. Our staff is dedicated to your comfort and prompt attention as well. Call for an appointment today at 978-794-0010. We have many convenient slots available to fit your busy schedule.