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Posts for: June, 2017


Is having good oral hygiene important to kissing? Who's better to answer that question than Vivica A. Fox? Among her other achievements, the versatile actress won the “Best Kiss” honor at the MTV Movie Awards, for a memorable scene with Will Smith in the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day. When Dear Doctor magazine asked her, Ms. Fox said that proper oral hygiene was indeed essential. Actually, she said:

"Ooooh, yes, yes, yes, Honey, 'cause Baby, if you kiss somebody with a dragon mouth, my God, it's the worst experience ever as an actor to try to act like you enjoy it!"

And even if you're not on stage, it's no fun to kiss someone whose oral hygiene isn't what it should be. So what's the best way to step up your game? Here's how Vivica does it:

“I visit my dentist every three months and get my teeth cleaned, I floss, I brush, I just spent two hundred bucks on an electronic toothbrush — I'm into dental hygiene for sure.”

Well, we might add that you don't need to spend tons of money on a toothbrush — after all, it's not the brush that keeps your mouth healthy, but the hand that holds it. And not everyone needs to come in as often every three months. But her tips are generally right on.

For proper at-home oral care, nothing beats brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, and flossing once a day. Brushing removes the sticky, bacteria-laden plaque that clings to your teeth and causes tooth decay and gum disease — not to mention malodorous breath. Don't forget to brush your tongue as well — it can also harbor those bad-breath bacteria.

While brushing is effective, it can't reach the tiny spaces in between teeth and under gums where plaque bacteria can hide. But floss can: That's what makes it so important to getting your mouth really clean.

Finally, regular professional checkups and cleanings are an essential part of good oral hygiene. Why? Because even the most dutiful brushing and flossing can't remove the hardened coating called tartar that eventually forms on tooth surfaces. Only a trained health care provider with the right dental tools can! And when you come in for a routine office visit, you'll also get a thorough checkup that can detect tooth decay, gum disease, and other threats to your oral health.

Bad breath isn't just a turn-off for kissing — It can indicate a possible problem in your mouth. So listen to what award-winning kisser Vivica Fox says: Paying attention to your oral hygiene can really pay off! For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can read the entire interview with Vivica A. Fox in Dear Doctor's latest issue.

By George Salem and Associates, PC
June 21, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Do you practice good oral hygiene habits? Are you really sure of what they should be? Your our oral hygieneBraintree, MA dentists, Dr. George Salem and Associates, teach their patients the right ways to care for their teeth and gums. After all, your smile affects your personal appearance, self-esteem, oral function and your systemic health, too. Preserving all of these is what preventive dentistry is all about.

What should you do on a daily basis?

It's no surprise that you should brush and floss every day, but do you do these oral hygiene practices correctly? First off, the American Dental Association (ADA) advises you brush your teeth and gums with a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste twice a day and to floss with the flossing product of your choice once a day. Also, the ADA says you should brush for at least two minutes and that your flossing routine should take at least that long--maybe more as needed.

Dr. George Salem and Associates totally agree with this sound advice. They add that children through senior adults should:

  • Eat a high-calcium and high-fiber diet every day. Eliminate as much starch and processed sugars as possible as a high-carb diet encourages the formation of soft plaque and hard tartar, both of which harbor harmful bacteria.
  • Drink several glasses of water a day. Water washes tooth and gum surfaces and increases saliva with its antibacterial enzymes.
  • Restrict in between meal snacking.
  • Chew sugarless gum (with Xylitol).

With just a bit of discipline, your daily hygiene habits will keep your smile bright and strong.

What else can you do for a great smile?

Dr. Salem and his team ask their patients to come in for oral exams and cleanings every six months. Your dentist in Braintree will carefully inspect your mouth for:

  • Signs of decay and gum disease
  • The condition of restorations such as fillings and crowns
  • Signs of oral cancer, treatable if found in its earliest stages
  • Signs of tooth misalignment, bruxism (teeth grinding) and TMJ (jaw joint) dysfunction

Your hygienist will scale your teeth to remove the plaque and tartar your toothbrush misses, and she will polish your teeth with a rotary brush and mildly abrasive toothpaste. The result is a sparkling smile that looks clean and feels refreshed.


Be aware of how your teeth and gums look and feel on a daily basis. This should be part of your oral hygiene routine. If you notice any pain, sensitivity or soreness, a change in the fit of a denture, bleeding, bad breath that doesn't go away, or any chips in enamel, fillings or crowns, please contact the office right away. Small dental health problems are most easily treated when you alert your dentist immediately.

If you haven't scheduled your six-month check-up and cleaning, why not do so today? Please call Dr. George Salem and Associates at (781) 843-0660.


If you’re in the initial planning stages for a dental implant, you may already be encountering a number of options to consider. One that may come up is how the visible crown will attach to the metal implant imbedded in the bone.

Generally speaking, implants are composed of two parts: a metal post most often made of titanium placed into the bone that serves as the “root” for the new tooth; and a visible, life-like crown made of dental porcelain that attaches to an abutment on the titanium post. The crown can be attached in one of two ways: either with a small screw through the biting surface of the crown into a receiving hole in the abutment or cemented to it.

The major advantage of a screwed crown is that it allows for easy removal of the crown if needed. While the titanium post can often last a lifetime, porcelain crowns more often need repair or replacement since they receive the brunt of the biting forces in the mouth. A screw-attached crown is much easier to remove than a cemented one.

On the other hand, screwed crowns have a small access hole that must be restored with a tooth-colored filling to help the crown appear natural. This isn’t too great an issue with back teeth but does make achieving a natural appearance in the front more difficult. Cemented crowns look more like a natural tooth and are thus more flexible in achieving the desired appearance.

Besides the possibility the cement may cause gum inflammation or bone loss, the chief detraction from cemented crowns is the difficulty in removing them. Crowns are often damaged in this process so it’s highly likely it will have to be replaced rather than repaired. It’s possible to use weaker cement, but this raises the risk of the crown coming loose at some point from the abutment.

As we plan for your implant, we’ll discuss which type of attachment will work best for you, depending on the tooth to be replaced and other conditions with your oral health. The end result, though, should be the same — a new, natural-looking tooth that serves you well for many years to come.

If you would like more information on dental implants, 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 “How Crowns Attach to Implants.”

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Dr. George Salem and Associates, P.C.

Braintree, MA Dentist
Dr. George Salem and Associates, PC
60 Adams Street
Braintree, MA 02184

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