Your Smile Dental Care blog


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Getting a Quote on the Price of Good Teeth

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Do you have unhealthy teeth and think that you’re just unlucky?

Are other people just blessed when it comes to great teeth?

While it’s true that genetics do play a role in the size, shape and alignment of our teeth, the saying, “The grass is always greener where you water it” couldn’t be truer when it comes to having healthy teeth.

22-10-2015 10-15-17 AMUnfortunately, by the time a person realizes that they should have paid more attention to the health of their teeth, they have already had a history of issues with their mouth. They may already have a mouth full of fillings, root canals and missing teeth. Perhaps, gum disease is already making it’s way through their mouths. They may already have a lifetime of dental maintenance ahead of them because of past neglect and that is really unfortunate.

The equation TIME + EFFORT = RESULTS can really be used to accomplish many things in life. The message, as it applies to health, needs to be taught at a young age, so that by time a person reaches adulthood, routines and habits are already established and engrained. While we all know that it’s harder to teach, “An old dog new tricks” and try to change habits later in life, it’s not impossible. The concern, however, is that a mouth full of repair is more difficult to manage and it’s health harder to sustain than one that has always been diligently cared for.

30-11-2015 5-13-22 PMWhat’s Your Dental Lifestyle?

It’s important for us, as parents and caregivers, to model and promote healthy lifestyle habits to set examples that our children can follow. We are often told that that the way we take care of ourselves and our health is likely to be the way our children lives. When it comes to adopting good dental hygiene and healthy eating habits at home, the payoff is huge in terms of “Healthy Teeth for Life.”

We have a patient who is an elite runner who has pursued his sport since grade 4. At 26, he is now a 2016 Rio Olympic hopeful. Another patient of ours is working hard towards her PHD in chemistry, while the daughter of another is a well-known singer. We can only image the amount of hard work and dedication it has taken for each to get to their level of game. We’re sure that they have had their share of obstacles, and mistakes and doubts, but there must also be motivating factors that constantly reinforce their resolve to continue with their individual pursuits, despite the setbacks they encounter along the way.

As dentists, we consistently reinforce the message of establishing inexpensive, healthy dental choices at home in order to avoid the cost of dental neglect.  However, we still see many non-compliant people who complain about the cost of healthcare while simply refusing to put any effort into brushing and flossing their teeth – let alone making any healthy food choices. Some just shrug off the state of their mouth with a joke, blame it on genetics or consign it to being their “lot in life.”

The Pay Off

Because we have over 30 years of experience, we have seen what dedication to care can do for a person over the years. Very happy indeed are those patients who, day in and day out, set aside the time it takes to clean their teeth, make wise food choices and see us regularly.

It’s the time and dedication that we put into our small, daily, health routines and grooming rituals that pay off over the years. “Nothing ever worth having comes over night nor without some effort.”

There’s a another quote that comes to mind and it has been attributed to the singer, Willie Nelson. “If I had known that I would live so long, I would have taken better care of my teeth.” Only someone who is experiencing this type of grief or the dentist who hears this type of lament often, can truly appreciate the pain of regret in this quote.

Wise to Resolve, Patient to Perform

It may only be the beginning of December, but we’re going to jump on the New Year’s Resolution thingy a little early 02-11-2015 9-35-30 AMthis year just so you can get prepared ahead of time.

Not all teeth are straight or arctic white in colour, and not all nice looking teeth are healthy – but they can be! Resolve this year to put into practice just a few good habits ~ one for each month! Begin by making an appointment to see your dentist for a check-up and cleaning.

If it’s been quite a few years before you’ve seen a dentist, you probably need a thorough assessment of your teeth first. This way you can get an understanding of the current health of your teeth and gums and what can be done to help you on your way to a more dentally healthy you – something your overall health will thank you for also!

When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, most of us hate starting over and over again each year. Our advice is, “Stop Quitting!”

We think that’s enough quotes of wisdom for one blog. See you all in the New Year!

Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
http://www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 

 

 

 

Parents in the Dental Treatment Room

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We treat many children in our practice. We also have many patients that have “grown up” in our practice. Caring for children can be challenging, but also very rewarding. It is tremendously satisfying to gain a child’s trust after managing their care under trying circumstances.

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It takes a village…

Seeing their confidence grow and knowing that they are leaving our office with a sense of accomplishment and pride makes everyone’s effort worthwhile. And when we say effort, we mean everyone’s – ours, the child and their parents/caregivers.

The influence parents/caregivers have over their child’s attitudes towards dental health and responsibility makes their role very significant to us and our efforts. Although, we may agree on what an ideal child patient may be like, there is not really what you would call a “typical” child patient. That is because the behaviours, needs and temperaments of children differ so vastly. In fact, a child may behave one way one day and entirely different the next visit. At Your Smile Dental Care we are parents ourselves, and as such, will treat you child as we would want our own children treated.

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Our goal is to complete the planned treatment safely and effectively and provide as comfortable and enjoyable an experience as possible. To accomplish this, we need the co-operation of both the child and parent. This brings into mind the question of …

Parents in the treatment room

We believe that you know your child best. You are oftentimes their only advocate. In the best interests of your child, we all must be on the same page when it comes to managing a fearful or difficult situation. Your child’s focus and attention is an essential part of allowing us to delivery safe, quality care. It is with this in mind that we offer the following guidelines to help to ensure the success of your child’s visit:

Anxious Parents
09-03-2015 4-47-39 PMOftentimes, a child’s visit to our office can be more distressing for a parent than the child. Parents can unknowing transmit their own anxieties and fears to their child which, in turn, can affect their attitudes and responses. Sometimes, we find ourselves having to manage both the patient and the parent. You help your child and our team by remaining in control when your child is feeling out of control. If you feel that you are ill-equipped to cope and offer positive support in the treatment room, perhaps you can designate another caregiver to accompany your child in the operatory.  Over time, as trust develops, you may find your own anxiety levels improve to the point where you can be an effective partner during treatment.

Undivided Attention
When we need to give instructions to a child to encourage them to participate responsibly while we care23-11-2015 4-48-30 PM for their teeth, we try to appeal to their age-appropriate sense of obligation, value and logic. However, when there are many distractions in our treatment room, speaking to an apprehensive child and trying to gain their focus and trust can be incredibly difficult. In the treatment room, it is very important that the primary focus and interaction remain between the dental team and the child so that communication and guidance can take place without distractions or interruptions and that confusion does not arise and complicate matters. It is with these consideration in mind that  most dentists will ask for your cooperation in remaining a silent partner in the treatment room unless otherwise asked for asked to your assistance and emotional support.

Coming in and out of the treatment room
During dental care can also be extremely disruptive to both the child and dental team. We offer a chair for you to sit on during the dental procedure. If you prefer to read to pass the time along, we have plenty of magazines in the greeting area or invite you to bring your own material.

One family member only in the treatment room
It goes without saying that more than one family member in the room can be a tremendous distraction for the patient and dental team and the room can become crowded and disruptive. Informal checkup visits may allow for a more playful “family experience” in the treatment room, but the care we deliver during more complex, invasive procedures demands more concentration and order. Designate the parent or caregiver that can best support your child and understand the dental after-care instructions given.

23-11-2015 3-37-08 PMLet us work our magic
We are trained to identify certain behaviours and modify our strategies and techniques accordingly. We are accustomed to anticipating sudden movements or outbursts. Hampering our efforts by distracting your child’s attention with words or gestures can escalate an otherwise manageable scenario. We will certainly call upon you for assistance should your intervention become necessary.

Appreciation
Nothing educates a parent more than having an opportunity to see our efforts and the efforts of their child firsthand. Watching our dental team perform helps most parents gain a new appreciation and understanding for the skills needed to navigate an encounter while still providing their child with a positive patient experience.

23-11-2015 4-37-17 PMNegative words
Although a parent’s intention may be honourable, phrases like, “It’s not going to hurt” can be incorrect or misleading. Your words alone can arouse fear and anxiety where none may have existed. Not all fearful children are uncooperative. Likewise, not all uncooperative children are fearful.

Unaccompanied children
Sometimes, children behave and concentrate better without their parent in the room. If you feel this applies to your child or would like to foster independence, you can always stand just outside the room within ear and eyeshot.

Building Relationships
Appreciate that we are trying to establish the type of trusting relationship with your child that will foster a long term healthy, positive and responsible attitude towards their well being that will hopefully remain with them throughout their lives. To do this we need your support. Your own positive words and attitudes are tremendously infectious.

Other concerns that come to mind

Mood – It has been our experience that young children are much more emotionally 23-11-2015 4-15-11 PMcooperative between the hours of 9am and 12pm when they are rested, alert and have not spent a long, tiring day at school, possibly worrying about their upcoming appointment. This is an especially important consideration when it is a nervous child’s first visit. Nothing is gained when we expect the best from someone when they are at their worst.

Preparation – Parents have the ability to shape their children’s behaviour and how they deal with their feelings. We understand that keeping a positive attitude when discussing your child’s upcoming visit, without giving them any false hope or misleading details, can be challenging. If you suspect that your child is extremely apprehensive about their dental appointment and time permits, perhaps you can “drop by” the office to pick up the medical history form you will need to complete for their first appointment. This way, they’ll be able to meet some of the staff and leave with a prize from the treasure box. The encounter will be short and sweet and create a sense of familiarity for their next visit. In the meantime, keep conversations brief and simple. We find that the less said, the better, so try not to include too many details. If you are unsure of something, just say so and tell them they can ask us at their appointment.

23-11-2015 3-51-07 PMDental Language – We all appreciate when complicated, unfamiliar or fearful matters are simplified and explained in terms we understand and can relate to. It helps us be in a better position to make informed decisions and move forward in the problem-solving process. We introduce positive, yet simple language when addressing your child to help breakdown planned treatment into simple terms they can understand and appreciate to help them get through unfamiliar or difficult situations. Our “dental language” may sound over-simplified, but we know it to be an effective way to reduce patient fear and improve behaviour. Our language will grow in sophistication and complexity as your child grows and matures. Our ultimate goal is to equip them the language and knowledge they will need as adults to continue to make wise and informed decisions with respect to their dental health.

Behaviour management techniques – We have seen many children over the years who would not cooperate in other offices. While we are not miracle workers, we do believe in your child and their ability to overcome their fears and anxieties. We are equipped with an array of techniques to identify and manage many different types of behaviours in children in order to complete treatment safely and successfully. Understand however, that if a dentist’s instructions to a child takes on a more serious tone, it is done so with the intent of appealing to a child’s sense of responsibility and to disarm a child’s uncontrollable emotional state. The goal is to not allow a situation to escalate to the point where a child feels less safe and more out of control.

23-11-2015 4-20-21 PMPositive Reinforcements – It is absolutely amazing to see how empowered and confident a child becomes after successfully accomplishing a difficult appointment. The praise that follows helps to strengthen their resolve to trust and behave more positively at their next visit. Your co-operation and trust is also essential in these matters. Together, we can help your child develop courage and create a better dental future for themselves. Children who put forth the effort and determination to succeed should, “Own the moment!”  When good behaviour is rewarded quickly and often, additional value is added and positive attitudes are reinforced and strengthened. A parent’s positive follow-up words, smiles, hugs, high-fives etc. are, most definitely the best reward a child can receive.

04-08-2014 11-54-04 PMPrevious traumatic experience – When we care for a child that has had a previous traumatic experience, they are already armed with some very concrete ideas about dental offices. Our job is to convince them otherwise and this could take several visits before treatment can be initiated. If a child is in immediate pain or injured, then the dentist is faced with having to accomplish treatment and try to change some of the child’s attitudes and trust issues during the first visit. As dentists, we do our best, but if restoring a child’s teeth will take several , complex treatment appointments, sometimes it is in the child’s best interest to see a children’s specialist where they can be sedated and have all the treatment completed in one visit.

23-11-2015 4-29-58 PMExpectations – There are times when a parent’s expectations for their child and the dental team is just too high or unrealistic. This is especially true in the case where a child has a tremendous amount of treatment necessary. The ultimate goal is to provide the level of care that repairs the dental destruction without further damaging the child psychologically. Together, we can come up with a plan to deliver the care needed while appreciating that children have different abilities and that circumstances differ from child to child and sometimes day to day.

Healthcare is a necessity – Teaching your child that visiting the dentist is a necessity, not a choice, and that the dental team is here to help keep their teeth healthy and beautiful for years to come is one of the best ways to foster a positive attitude. It’s difficult, however,  to teach your children responsibility if you are not demonstrating it in your own life. You can hinder or help your child and their experiences based on you own actions and words, so please consider them carefully.

Lastly…

my-boy-732736-mNo single method or technique can be used for all children nor every visit. Trusting relationships and coping skills form over time and each interaction with your child is an opportunity for us to establish the rapport and approach that best suits your child.

The long term rewards of treating children successfully is seeing the healthy dental attitudes they develop as the grow into adulthood. Helping children triumph brings us our own tremendous feelings of fulfillment, achievement and pride in our chosen profession and demonstrates to us that our efforts are indeed worthwhile and fruitful.

One thing we have learned over our 30 years of experience is to … Never underestimate the capabilities of children!

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The YOUR SMILE Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
http://www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

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White Spots

Q: I have two white spots on my upper front teeth that I’ve had my whole life. I’ve tried bleaching with teeth whitening products, but they’re still there. What can I do to get rid of them?

Turners Tooth
There are a number of circumstances or conditions than can result in areas on the enamel that appear markedly whiter than the rest of the enamel. The photo above clearly shows a distinct round dot that is typical of a condition know as Turner’s Hypoplasia. It is the result of a childhood trauma to the mouth that disturbed the enamel development of an adult tooth as it was forming in the jaws at the time of accident.

09-11-2015 3-57-36 PMInjury to a child’s mouth can occur quite easily especially when they are beginning to crawl/walk and explore the world around them. Ten permanent (adult) teeth develop in the jaw bone immediately below the ten primary (baby) teeth that they will eventually replace. Even though you cannot see the adult teeth, injuries to the baby teeth can affect the health and development of these important replacement teeth.

If, during a fall, the child’s mouth is injured, one of the primary teeth may make contact with the facial (and sometimes the palatal) side of an upper front permanent (adult) tooth with enough force to interfere with the cells that are forming the adult enamel on that particular tooth. Injuries such as this usually occur before three years of age.

The disturbance can result is a round whitish, sometimes yellowish spot in a specific location which corresponds to where the baby tooth “banged into” the adult tooth and mineralization was impaired before it was completely finished forming. This spot is visible when the adult tooth comes into the mouth and usually affects only one tooth in the mouth.

Diagnosis and Treatment

There are other causes of Hypoplasia that can leave the enamel weak and more susceptible to the cavity process. If the size and depth of the spot is minimal, it can usually be fixed quite easily. The dentist will first identify and determine the cause of the white spot, ensure that more teeth aren’t affected and that it isn’t an indication of a more serious condition. If the area of concern is only cosmetic in nature there are two common remedies:

Microbrasion – If the affected area of the enamel is very superficial in depth then a conservative procedure called microbrasion can be done. A very minute layer on the affected enamel is removed using an acidic/abrasive mixture with some products having a bleaching agent added to their formula. The amount of enamel that is removed during microabrasion is minuscule and unnoticeable, however, there is a risk that the resulting thinner more translucent enamel may allow the darker coloured dentin to shine through causing the new surface colour to also appear darker. If your dentist is planning on adding a whitening procedure to this treatment in an attempt to better match the affected spot to the same colour as your natural tooth shade, they may decide to wait several weeks since it takes this long for surface remineralization to occur.

Filling – If the damaged enamel penetrates further into the tooth then the area can be fixed with a tooth-coloured resin filling material. Your dentist will choose a shade of enamel coloured dental filling material that most closely matches the white shade of your natural tooth. The white spot will be removed and replaced with this dental material then buffed to a high glossy finish for a natural-looking, glossy sheen.

Turner's Treatment
Veneer
– If the tooth is spotted with several larger areas of discolouration, yet the integrity of the tooth’s crown is still very sound, then a matching porcelain dental veneer can be place over the entire frontal portion of the tooth somewhat like a false nail is attached to finger nails.

Considerations

22-12-2014 12-03-57 PMIt is important to understand that there are other, more serious reasons for white spotting on the teeth that are not just a matter of cosmetic concern, but a problem that can leave the enamel susceptible to further damage and deterioration.

Oftentimes, parents do not realize that their child has sustained a dental injury until obvious signs and symptoms appear such as an infectious gum boil, loose tooth or darkened enamel. Some dental injuries, if left untreated, can lead to damage of the developing adult teeth.

If your child has sustained an injury and you suspect that it may have affected one or more of their teeth it should be evaluated by your dentist as soon as possible.  An examination will determine the severity of the injury, if immediate treatment is necessary or if it is a situation that should be monitored.

Our smiles are important to us which is why even small imperfections on our teeth can be bothersome. As the demand for perfect smiles continue to increase, so do the improvements in dental materials and techniques making it easier for us to restore Your Smile.  In fact, it’s a simple as a call to (905) 5SMILES. 🙂

Yours in Better Health,
Dr. Sam Axelrod and Associates
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com