Dentist Blog

Posts for: February, 2016

By Murphy Dental Group
February 20, 2016
Category: Oral Health

When Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell set out to teach her young daughter Ashby how to brush her teeth, she knew the surest path to success would be to make it fun for the toddler.

“The best thing with kids is you have to make everything a game,” Nancy recently said in an interview with Dear Doctor TV. She bought Ashby a timer in the shape of a tooth that ticks for two minutes — the recommended amount of time that should be spent on brushing — and the little girl loved it. “She thought that was super fun, that she would turn the timer on and she would brush her teeth for that long,” Nancy said.

Ashby was also treated to a shopping trip for oral-hygiene supplies with Mom. “She got to go with me and choose the toothpaste that she wanted,” Nancy recalled. “They had some SpongeBob toothpaste that she really liked, so we made it into a fun activity.”

Seems like this savvy mom is on to something! Just because good oral hygiene is a must for your child’s health and dental development, that doesn’t mean it has to feel like a chore. Equally important to making oral-hygiene instruction fun is that it start as early as possible. It’s best to begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they start to appear in infancy. Use a small, soft-bristled, child-sized brush or a clean, damp washcloth and just a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.

Once your child is old enough to hold the toothbrush and understand what the goal is, you can let him or her have a turn at brushing; but make sure you also take your turn, so that every tooth gets brushed — front, back and all chewing surfaces. After your child turns 3 and is capable of spitting out the toothpaste, you can increase the toothpaste amount to the size of a pea. Kids can usually take over the task of brushing by themselves around age 6, but may still need help with flossing.

Another great way to teach your children the best oral-hygiene practices is to model them yourself. If you brush and floss every day, and have regular cleanings and exams at the dental office, your child will come to understand what a normal, healthy and important routine this is. Ashby will certainly get this message from her mom.

“I’m very adamant about seeing the dentist regularly,” Nancy O’Dell said in her Dear Doctor interview. “I make sure that I go when I’m supposed to go.”

It’s no wonder that Nancy has such a beautiful, healthy-looking smile. And from the looks of things, her daughter is on track to have one, too. We would like to see every child get off to an equally good start!

If you have questions about your child’s oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Taking the Stress Out of Dentistry for Kids” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”

By Murphy Dental Group
February 11, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Veneers  

Dental veneers hide those little imperfections that make you feel self-conscious about your teeth. When you want to change the appearance your teeth, veneers can help reshape your smile. Your family dentists in Milton, MA, John Murphy, DMD and Patrick Murphy, DMD of Murphy Dental Group, PLLC, explain how veneers cover a multitude of problems.Veneers

What are dental veneers?

Dental veneers are very thin pieces of porcelain that are placed over a tooth or teeth. Although veneers are thinner than a fingernail, they can drastically change the appearance of your teeth. Veneers are good choice if you have:

  • Yellow or dull teeth, even after using whitening treatments
  • Discolored teeth due to tetracycline stains, large fillings or root canal treatment
  • Chips in your teeth
  • Teeth that are too short, slightly crooked or oddly shaped
  • Gaps between your teeth

Although veneers are appropriate for a variety of issues, in some cases, your dentist may recommend other types of treatment, such as orthodontia for very large gaps or very crooked teeth.

What is involved in the veneer process?

Before you can receive veneers, a small amount of enamel must be removed from your teeth. If the enamel isn't removed, your veneers won't fit comfortably. During this part of the process, your dentist may give you a local anesthetic to make you feel more comfortable, although some people don't need any pain relief. Your dentist will use a special type of putty to make impressions of your teeth, which will be sent to the dental laboratory that will custom-make the veneers to fit your teeth.

When the veneers are ready, your dentist will make any adjustments needed before using dental cement to permanently apply them to your teeth. They will use a special light to help the veneers adhere properly to your teeth. Once your veneers are in place, you'll be able to eat and drink normally.

Are veneers the perfect solution to your cosmetic dental issues? Call your Milton, MA, family dentists at Murphy Dental Group, PLLC at (617) 696-3900. Improve your smile with veneers!

By Murphy Dental Group
February 05, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

You may think an office cleaning is mainly cosmetic — giving your teeth that polished look and you that pleasant, “squeaky clean” feeling. But your dental hygienist is doing more than making your teeth look great during your cleaning session — they’re also providing a valuable service keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

Here, then, are 3 things your dental hygienist is doing during a cleaning session that protects your health.

Removing disease-causing plaque. An office cleaning produces more than a fresh and clean smile. Your hygienist is manually removing plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) in hard to reach places or where it has built up despite your best efforts at brushing and flossing. This built-up plaque is a ready source of bacteria producing acids, which give rise to both tooth decay and gum disease. And for actual occurrences of the latter, plaque removal is an important part of the treatment to restore your gums to a healthy pink.

Checking for signs of dental disease. As your hygienist cleans your teeth, they’re also looking for abnormalities in the mouth’s soft tissue — lumps, bumps, sores, or swelling — that may indicate something more serious requiring further examination. They’re also assessing your overall gum health, probing any areas that might indicate gum disease. And, of course, they’re looking for cavities, softened enamel or other signs of tooth decay.

Helping you improve your oral hygiene. As proficient as they are, a dental hygienist can only do so much to help prevent dental disease; the rest — daily brushing and flossing — is on your shoulders. But you’re not completely on your own, because your hygienist is your best personal hygiene training partner: not only can they assess how well you’re doing in your daily regimen, but they can also give you expert advice and tips on improving your brushing and flossing performance.

If you would like more information on the role of your hygienist in your dental care, 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 “Dental Hygiene Visit.”