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.

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 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!

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!

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.

The Proper Way to Brush Your Teeth

Nothing could be simpler than brushing your teeth, right? After all, it’s not rocket science. Turns out, eight out of 10 of us are doing it wrong. Getting it right, and then teaching your kids so they have a lifetime of good oral hygiene habits, is crucial. If you don’t brush correctly, this could just be an act in futility. Let’s go over some steps to take to ensure you’re getting the job done right.

Find the Right Brush

It all starts with the right brush for you. Your dentist can recommend the best one for you, but generally, most people should stick with a soft brush. A hard brush can damage your gums and make them bleed, leading to recession that can allow harmful bacteria in. It’s best to get a soft nylon brush with round-ended bristles that can prevent scratching and irritation of the teeth and gums, says the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Make sure the brush you choose is the right size overall for your mouth. If you find yourself straining to open your mouth wide enough for the brush, it’s too big for you. So, what about electric toothbrushes? This is really up to the individual user. Electric toothbrushes can make it easier on those who suffer from arthritis, for example. The tool you use doesn’t matter as much as how you use it.

Get the Bristle Placement Right

After adding a pea-sized amount of toothpaste onto the brush, hold the bristles at the gum line at a 45-degree angle to gain the best access. This is so that the bristles can reach both the tooth surface and the gums. Start brushing gently in a back-and-forth rolling motion, beginning with the gums and then moving slowly down towards the tooth surface. Don’t neglect those hard to reach areas. Be careful to get the outer and inner tooth surfaces, back molars, and tongue.

Timing

It’s best to brush three times a day, or after every meal. However, you should make it a point to brush at least twice a day, in the morning and before bed. Most people simply don’t brush for long enough, though. Make sure you’re taking at least two minutes to do the job. If it helps, divide your mouth into four sections and break up the time in 30-second increments. Watch TV, listen to music, or sync to your smart phone while you do it to help the time pass quickly. If you have an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer, even better!

Know When to Let Go

Never keep your brush beyond the three-month mark. Not only can it get overrun with bacteria, the bristles tend to break down over time, losing their flexibility.

Get the Right Toothpaste

With so many products on the market, it can be tempting to go with the fancy ones, such as tartar control, whitening or similar ones that can really be harsh on the tooth enamel. It’s best to stick with a simple plain fluoride toothpaste. If your teeth need a whitening boost, alternate the two.

Need more tooth brushing tips? Schedule your appointment with Dr. Demetriou today at 978-794-0010.