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Posts for: November, 2017

By Stiles Family Dentistry
November 29, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   flossing  

Flossing--it's such a bother, or is it really? The fact is that flossing, combined with twice daily brushing, spares your oral health and your flossingsystemic health, too. Taking just a couple of minutes, flossing removes harmful plaque and prevents accumulation of hard tartar. Paired with hygienic cleanings every six months at Stiles Family Dentistry, flossing keeps your smile beautiful, healthy and strong. Learn the details from your Salem, NH, dentists, Dr. Nicholas Papapetros, Dr. Jhon Giraldo and Dr. Paul Masterson.

What flossing does

It prevents an infection called gum disease. Both mild gingivitis, with its bad breath and bleeding gums, and advanced periodontitis, with its bone and gum deterioration and tooth mobility, lead to tooth loss when left untreated.

However, when people floss daily and brush twice a day, according to American Dental Association guidelines, the chances of gum disease (and its related health issues) and tooth decay are greatly reduced.

The who's and how's of flossing

Everyone should floss--even toddlers. Of course, at that young age, parents actually do the flossing for their children. However, as youngsters grow, they have sufficient discipline and dexterity to do it themselves. Most children can be independent flossers around age 10, says the American Dental Association.

Regarding how to floss, remember that consistency is important. Floss every day--either in the morning or at bedtime. People with metal braces have to floss more frequently and diligently.

So, if you have not been flossing, don't despair. Just start now. Pick a flossing product you like and will use faithfully. Water flossing devices and interdental brushes work well, too. If you select traditional strands of plain, waxed or flavored floss, here's how to use it:

  1. Remove an 18-inch strand from the spool and wind the opposite ends around your index fingers.
  2. Pull the strand taut using your index fingers and thumbs.
  3. Gently insert the floss between your two front teeth, and making a C-shape with the floss, move it up and down.
  4. Wind the used floss around one index finger, and insert a clean section in between the next two teeth.
  5. Proceed around the top arch and then the bottom until you have completed your entire mouth.

Stay with flossing. The more regularly you do it, the easier it will become.

Say goodbye to plaque in Salem

And, say hello to a healthy smile with daily flossing. For more tips on oral hygiene, ask your hygienist at Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, NH. Please contact the office to schedule your next professional cleaning: (603) 893-4538.


Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.

That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.

Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.

The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.

It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.

What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.

How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”


Congratulations—you’re engaged! It’s a stupendous (and hectic) time in your life as you plan your upcoming wedding.

You want to look your best for the big day—which means you may be dieting, exercising or making changes to your hairstyle and makeup. Be sure, though, to consider another important part of your appearance—your teeth and gums. Here are a few options that could help your wedding day smile shine even more.

Cleanings and whitening. While dental cleanings are primarily about removing disease-causing plaque and tartar they can also give your teeth that clean and polished look. And if you want an extra boost in brightness, consider whitening—we may be able to lighten up your teeth’s stain-induced dullness.

Bonding. If your teeth have slight imperfections—chipping, slight gaps or staining that doesn’t respond well to whitening, consider bonding techniques to repair or cover these defects. Composite resin is a dental material that can be shaped and bonded to teeth to reform a deformed tooth—and with color matching as well. For more extensive defects you can cover the front of imperfect teeth with bonded porcelain veneers or completely cap a tooth with a custom crown.

Tooth restorations. If you have missing teeth marring your smile, you have several options. The top choice: dental implants, which replaces the root of the tooth and will be able to have a crown attached to it. An implant can thus restore both better function and appearance. For more affordable options, you can also turn to fixed bridges or removable dentures. The latter can be custom designed to replace all the teeth on a jaw arch or just a few in different locations.

Gum enhancements. Teeth aren’t the only part of your smile that might need a helpful touch—your gums’ appearance might also be a problem. There are cosmetic procedures including plastic surgery and tissue grafting that can help correct overly prominent “gummy” smiles or, at the other end of the spectrum, longer appearing teeth because of gum recession.

Orthodontics. If you have extended time before the wedding date, we may be able to correct crooked teeth or a poor bite (malocclusion) that’s adversely impacting your smile. In some cases, you may be able to choose clear aligners, removable plastic trays that are hardly noticeable to others, over more visible braces to correct your bite.

If you would like more information on cosmetic dentistry for lifetime events, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.