When to Visit the Dentist About Your Toothache

Do your teeth hurt? Many people ignore tooth pain and hope that it will go away, but a toothache causes more than just discomfort. In many cases, a toothache is a cause for concern because it could signify a dental problem. These tips will help you determine whether you should visit Dr. Villani to address your toothache.

Length of Pain

You may experience temporary tooth pain if you have food particles stuck between your teeth. If the pain doesn’t cease after brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth, then you should visit Dr. Villani. A toothache is usually the first symptom of a cavity. You usually can’t feel tooth decay in its early stages, so by the time it begins to cause pain, the decay is spreading, deepening, and worsening the condition of your oral health. If you ignore the pain and don’t visit the dentist, the problem will only worsen.


Do You Need Dental Implants in Brighton?

Missing teeth can make your mouth look unattractive and feel uncomfortable. If you’re missing teeth in Brighton, Dr. Villani can restore your smile with dental implants. Wondering if you would benefit from implants? Take this short quiz to determine why you would need them.

1. How many teeth are you missing?

a. Just one
b. A few
c. Many

2. Do you currently have any replacement teeth?

a. Dentures
b. Bridges
c. Implants

3. What is your biggest problem with missing teeth?

a. Difficulty eating and speaking
b. Other teeth shifting
c. It looks bad

4. What’s wrong with your current tooth replacement method?

a. Dentures are ill-fitting, uncomfortable, and irritating
b. Dentures are not stable
c. Surrounding teeth cannot support a bridge


How Flexible is Your Tongue?

Your tongue has about 10,000 taste buds that help you experience different foods and flavors. But it also has another essential role in everyday functioning—it helps you speak! Dr. Villani can make sure your whole mouth is healthy so you can taste and speak properly.

How Does Your Tongue Move?

About 85 percent of people can curl their tongue into a tube. Your tongue is the most flexible muscle in your body, and the only one that’s attached at only one end. However, almost half of the bacteria in your mouth live on the surface of your tongue. When these bacteria build up, they could cause bad breath and dry mouth that make your mouth uncomfortable and slow down your tongue’s movement. The flap under your tongue, called the frenulum linguae, is the flap of tissue under your tongue when you lift it up. This flap helps your tongue move freely.


The Proper Way to Brush Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth removes food particles and harmful oral bacteria to keep your mouth clean and healthy. We often talk about the importance of brushing your teeth at least twice a day, but do you really know how to properly brush? Ask the hygienists at Brighton Family Dental Group for help choosing the best oral hygiene products and routine for your mouth.

How to Brush Your Teeth

Use this step-by-step guide to help keep your pearly whites sparkling.

  1. Run water over your toothbrush to soften the bristles.
  2. Apply a pea-sized amount of a fluoridated toothpaste onto the bristles.
  3. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush the surfaces of your teeth gently using a circular motion. Start on one side of your mouth and brush each tooth for 5-10 seconds until you reach the other side.
  4. Turn the toothbrush parallel to your gums to gently brush along your gum line.
  5. After brushing the outer surfaces of your teeth, angle the brush so you can comfortably reach the inside and chewing surfaces.
  6. Be sure to brush all upper and lower teeth, your tongue, your gums, and the roof of your mouth.
  7. Once you finish brushing all your teeth, go back over certain teeth, if necessary. The correct brushing process should take about three minutes to effectively clean your teeth.
  8. Spit out the toothpaste and rinse your mouth with water.
  9. Rinse extra debris and toothpaste off your brush and store it upright in an open environment to dry before your next use.


Patient Testimonials

It’s essential to find an experienced dentist that you can trust to give you the best oral care and service. Dr. Villani and our team encourage you to visit our dental office for all your dental needs. Take a look at what some of our current patients are saying.


Dr. Villani is constantly continuing his education to bring our patients the most recent dental developments. Our team of dedicated dental professionals values the satisfaction of every patient.

  • “I have been a patient at Brighton Family Dental Group for many years and I am always impressed by the high quality of friendly professional service I receive. First class all the way!” – Robert G.
  • “Probably the best dentist my teeth have ever seen!” – Darlene R.
  • “Can’t say more about the professionalism and personal care I always receive here. A thoroughly enjoyable experience.” – Henry L.
  • “I have ALWAYS been extremely pleased and thoroughly confident in the professional care I’ve received.” – David C.


Questions for Your Full Medical History

Many oral conditions and body health problems are related. At Dr. Villani’s dental office, we will take a full health analysis to determine what problems you have and if something in your mouth is causing trouble. We may also ask you about your family medical history to determine your risk of certain conditions. Be prepared to answer some of the following questions.

Health and Medical Problems

Pregnancy is related to gum disease, headaches may be a sign of TMJ, and some medications can cause dry mouth. These are a few examples of how your systemic health connects to oral health.

  • Do you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol?
  • Do you have a history of diabetes?
  • Do you have any heart conditions?
  • Do you have any type of cancer?
  • Do you have a history of alcoholism?
  • Do you have a history of tobacco?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Date of last doctor visit.
  • Do you have any mental illnesses or disabilities?
  • Do you have any physical disabilities?
  • Do you have a history of obesity?
  • What medications are you currently taking and what are they for?
  • Do you get a lot of headaches?


The Truth About Dental X-Rays

Dental x-rays are routine parts of regular dental cleanings and exams, yet many patients resist them for fear of “unnecessary” radiation exposure. Brighton family dentists Dr. Thomas Villani and Dr. Richard Kondrat use dental x-rays to take a “beneath-the-surface” look at what’s going on inside your mouth and on your teeth and gums, and they agree that dental x-rays are extremely valuable tools to help them treat their patients in the most comprehensive and advanced way possible.

That’s why it concerns them when patients resist these radiographic images. Read on to find out more about dental x-rays and why you’re limiting the care Dr. Villani and Dr. Kondrat can provide for you every time you resist a dental x-ray.

How much radiation is in a dental x-ray?

Measured in a unit called a rem (more commonly used as a millirem, or mrem), radiation is just a part of daily life. The National Council on Radiation Protection reports that the average U.S. citizen absorbs upwards of 360 mrem each year from sources including radioactive materials in the earth and food we eat, smoke detectors, living in a brick house, cooking with natural gas, reading a book for more than three hours a day, flying in an airplane, and sleeping next to another person.

Can you guess how many mrems of radiation you’re exposed during a typical dental x-ray? (more…)

The Perfect Gift for Everyone on Your List

Although it’s commonly called the most wonderful time of the year, the holidays can be stressful. Finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list can be time consuming, so Dr. Thomas Villani, Dr. Richard Kondrat, and the team at Brighton Family Dental Group want to help you out. This year, give a high-tech gift that is sure to make the recipient smile: an electric toothbrush.

The Benefits of an Electric Toothbrush

In addition to their sleek style and high-tech nature, electric toothbrushes are 25 percent more effective at removing plaque than conventional toothbrushes, according to the British Dental Health Foundation.  While a traditional toothbrush will meet your dental hygiene needs if you brush thoroughly for the proper length of time and follow up with other at-home dental hygiene measures, you can’t deny the power of a toothbrush that does all of the work for you.

In fact, research shows that a person is more likely to brush his or her teeth for a longer amount of time with an electric toothbrush than a traditional brush for several reasons. First, most high-end electric toothbrushes come equipped with a timer to let you know when you’ve brushed for the full two minutes that most dentists recommend. This takes the guesswork out of brushing your teeth and you can focus on getting those pearly whites clean and sparkling. Additionally, several models of electric toothbrushes include a built-in pressure system to let you know when you’re brushing your teeth too hard or not hard enough. This is valuable because you risk wearing away your tooth enamel when you brush your teeth too rigorously, but you risk leaving plaque and bacteria on your teeth when you brush too lightly. An electric toothbrush does all of the work for you! All you have to do is make sure the brush moves evenly and thoroughly throughout your mouth and over all of your teeth. (more…)

National Flossing Day

First and foremost, the team at Brighton Family Dental Group want to wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving.

As your dental care family, we are thankful for you and the opportunity to make you and your family smile all year round. To reserve post-holiday cleanings for you and your family, give us a call at (617) 562-5210. We look forward to seeing you and starting 2012 with a smile!

Post-Holiday Dental Hygiene

Once the table is clear, leftovers divided and put away, and the infamous “food coma” has set in, you have one more thing to think about. Every year, National Flossing Day falls the day after Thanksgiving, so Dr. Tom Villani and Dr. Richard Kondrat want to remind you that flossing is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy smile.

To floss properly, follow these five simple steps:

  1. Starting with about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch of two of floss to work with.
  2. Holding the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide the floss gently up and down between your teeth.
  3. Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gumline. Never snap or force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue.
  4. Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth.
  5. To remove the floss, use the same back and forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth.

Brushing alone is not enough to keep your teeth healthy and clean between regular dental cleanings and exams. Ideally, Dr. Villani and Dr. Kondrat want you to floss at least twice a day, but if you can only do it once daily, floss before bed. Doing so will rid your mouth of bacteria so that your teeth are free from plaque build-up while you sleep.

To reserve an end-of-the-year dental cleaning at Brighton Family Dental Group, call our Brighton, Massachusetts dental office at (617) 562-5210.

Dental Care for Expectant Mothers

The month of November is Prematurity Awareness Month sponsored by the March of Dimes.

What is Prematurity Awareness Month?

This campaign is dedicated to raising awareness about the serious problem of premature birth. In the past 25 years, the United States’ premature birth rate has risen by 36 percent, and more than half a million babies are born too soon every year. The rate is much higher in other countries around the world.

Why is premature birth such a problem?

In short, prematurity is the leading cause of death among American newborns. Being born too soon is a serious problem because, often, premature babies are not able to survive independently as a result of underdevelopment. If the baby does survive, his or her chance of developing lifelong health problems such as cerebral palsy, mental challenges, chronic lung disease, blindness, and hearing loss is much greater.

What is the length of a healthy pregnancy?

A full-term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, but a baby can usually be born healthy at 36 weeks. The March of Dimes strives to educate women on the importance of waiting until at least 39 weeks to give birth whenever possible. After all, a healthy baby is worth the wait. (more…)