It just breaks our hearts when we see patients who have put off treatment due to misconceptions about dental care and oral health. Many of these people have endured significant dental damage, simply because they didn't know what to do to care for their smiles.

These patients, and their stories, motivate our Medford dentists to educate the community about oral health issues. Keep reading to learn more!

Let’s start by addressing a few misconceptions about at-home oral hygiene:

“I should brush as much as I can”

The truth is that maintaining a healthy smile is all about quality of brushing, not quantity. Generally speaking, patients should brush every morning and night for at least two minutes. For most people, this routine is sufficient. However, if you want to brush more throughout the day, please talk to your dental team, as brushing too frequently can actually cause gum tissue damage and enamel erosion.

“Brushing is for cleaning teeth”

You absolutely want to make sure you clean your teeth every time you brush, but that’s not all you should be doing! Make sure that you are gently address your gum tissue and buff plaque off of your tongue. Bacteria accumulate throughout your mouth, not just on your dental enamel.

“All toothbrushes are pretty much the same”

This is a biggie. It is crucial that you use a toothbrush that is appropriate for your smile. The first thing to know is that different brushes have different bristle strengths: extra firm, firm, medium, and soft. Soft is the right choice for a majority of patients; this type of bristle is strong enough to clean well, but gentle enough to protect enamel. If you don’t know what type of bristle is right for you, please talk to your dentist. You can also ask your dentist if you’d benefit from an electric or sonic brush; some people find these helpful, especially when treating ongoing periodontal disease.

Our Medford dentists are here to give you any additional information that you may need; so give us a call to get started! 


If you find that are you are regularly struggling to freshen odorous or stale breath, it might be time to create a treatment plan specifically designed to fight bad breath. Our Medford dentists are here to help you do this; we’re here to give you some suggestions on how to beat bad breath for good. And, remember, we can give you more personalized recommendations when you come in for your personal consultation.

Treat existing infections

Oral bacteria create unpleasant odors when they feed on sugars and grow. So, as you would imagine, if you have an overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth, you’re likely to notice bad breath.

Treating existing infections, like cavities and gum disease will simultaneously neutralize bad breath.

Take a look at your diet

There are certain foods and drinks that can lead to bad breath. Obviously, for some odorous foods, like garlic and onions, these results are temporary. There are other substances, however, that affect your breath in a more long-term way. Sugary foods and beverages, for example, give bacteria the fuel they need to thrive. The more you are able to limit these indulgences, the better it is for your oral health and your breath. The same goes for acidic substances, as these make it easier for bacteria to take root in teeth and gums.

Incorporate healthy oral hygiene habits into your routine

As you look for ways to freshen your breath throughout the day, consider adopting some of these sound oral hygiene habits to keep stinky plaque at bay:

  • Rinse your mouth after eating or drinking anything other than water
  • Drink plenty of water, so as to support saliva production
  • Look for sugar-free gums and mints to freshen breath, as sugar-rich formulas can actually compound the problem

With a combination of diligent at-home care and professional cleanings, you can take control of malodorous breath for good. Please don’t hesitate to contact our Medford dentists to learn more!


Undoubtedly, taking simple steps to protect your smile, like brushing and flossing, will go a long way toward protecting your oral health. However, it can be equally important to protect and optimize the underlying structure of your smile. That is why temporomandibular joint health is critical. Keep reading to learn more about how TMJ issues develop and manifest in daily life.

Your temporomandibular joints are the joints that connect your skull and lower jaw. Your TMJs allow you to chew, speak, and emote.

Sometimes, temporomandibular joints are damaged due to discrete trauma, from accidents or collisions, for example. In other cases, TMJ damage is caused by repetitive irritation and structural dental problems.

If, for example, your bite alignment is poor, and your teeth do not come together naturally when you chew, you may shift how you hold your lower jaw in an effort to compensate. This puts immense pressure on the TMJ joints.  

Patients who suffer from bruxism, or chronic dental grinding, are likewise prone to TMJ issues, as pressure caused by tooth-on-tooth grinding strains temporomandibular joints.

If you are suffering from temporomandibular damage, you might notice:

  • A clicking or popping noise when you move your jaw
  • Jaw pain or soreness, which may radiate up to the ear or down through the neck
  • Limited jaw mobility, some patients are not able to fully open their mouths and take big bites

In order to treat TMJ problems, Dr. Varledzis first determines the underlying cause of your jaw dysfunction. Armed with this knowledge, we’ll be able to make personalized treatment recommendations that my include:

  • Stress-reduction techniques to combat anxiety-related dental grinding
  • Orthodontic treatment to improve bite alignment
  • Customized restorations or bonding to optimize how your top and bottom teeth come together
  • Protective oral appliances to guide your jaw into a healthier position, and protect your teeth from damage

Don’t wait to pursue TMJ treatment, as discomfort and structural problems can compound over time. Give our Medford TMJ dentists a call to learn more about living with TMJ disorder!