Your Smile Dental Care blog

22-08-2016 10-49-39 AM


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Back to School Dental Care

Making a list and checking it twice?

22-08-2016 4-19-56 PMThis is the time of year that we begin turning our attention away from the lazy hazy days of summer and back towards the upcoming new school year. Getting back into routine in terms of sleeping, eating and grooming is the perfect time to remind your children about the importance of oral care.

And although a dental check-up may be the last thing on your mind as you go through your child’s back-to-school checklist, you may want to reconsider. We now know that dental problems, including cavities, leads to more absences from school which can result in poorer academic performances.

Many parents do not realize that dental decay spreads through baby (primary) teeth much more quickly than in permanent teeth. Early detection can help prevent small issues from growing into much larger and more painful problems.

 

Prevention Tips:

Implementing just a few changes in the way we approach our children’s oral health can go a long way in preventing cavities.

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  1. Frequency – This is the #1 most important cavity prevention tip. Teeth need 4 to 5 hours to heal after an acid attack caused by eating/drinking. Mineral rich salvia is our body’s natural defence against cavities, but you have to allow it the time it needs to remineralize affected enamel.
  2. Diet – Any food that has natural or added sugars and starches in it can be used by bacteria in the mouth that then excrete damaging acid onto tooth surfaces. Highly acidic foods will also eat away at enamel. Decreasing the amount of sugars in your child’s diet, choosing water as their preferred beverage, eliminate snacking and choosing foods that help buffer against the acidic nature of other foods all go a long away in helping to prevent cavities.
  3. Xylitol gum – Chewing gum in school is probably still a no-no, but perhaps you can speak with your child’s teacher and explain the benefits of xylitol. It is found in some sugarless gums and is effective in controlling the amount of acidity in the mouth. This, in turn, helps to reduce the bacterial population and their damaging activity.
  4. Cheese – Pack some cubes of cheese in your child’s lunch and encourage them to eat if before and after their meals. Cheeses not only coats and protects enamel during meals and helps to balance the ph-levels in the mouth during acid attacks, but also contains minerals and casein which have anti-cavity properties.
  5. Water – Water is the preferred beverage of choice for a healthy mouth. Encouraging your child to also rinse with water following a meal when they cannot brush will help dilute acids in the mouth and wash away food debris.

 

Other Tips to Consider:

  • 22-08-2016 4-03-23 PMNo Snacking – The health of the oral cavity depends on the spacing out of meals. Hunger is the body’s way of letting us know that it’s time to eat, but snack time during school is now deeply entrenched in our school system. Educating yourself about the correlation between meal frequency and tooth decay will help you begin an open and honest conversation with your school’s administrator about the harmful effects of recess snacks not only on teeth but on classroom behaviour also. Good Luck!
  • School Insurance – We have seen many dental emergencies over our 30+ years in the dental business. Many of these accidents occur at school. We have a number of patients that benefitted from having had enrolled in the school insurance program that is offered. One patient, in particular, is still having ongoing dental treatment 20 years after the initial injury to his tooth. His parents certainly did not expect to ever have to use the policy, but are now glad that they enrolled in the program. The long-term prognosis for this particular tooth suggests that this patient will have ongoing maintenance costs for the rest of his life.
  • Sports guard – We can never emphasise enough the importance of protecting teeth during sports and playful activity. Again, we see many accidents caused during activity and the school ground is the most popular place for injury. No child probably wants to be the only students wearing a sports guard, but we do encourage it’s use.
  • Oral Hygiene at School – You may want to consider buying a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste for your child to use at school. Perhaps you can approach like-minded parents with children in the same classroom about this idea to help make this in-school routine more appealing to your child.
  • Plan Ahead – Life is busy we know, but setting sufficient time aside to plan healthy meals will help you avoid scrambling during the precious minutes in the morning to pack your child’s lunch.

 

Attending Post Secondary School?

Even young adults beginning their post-secondary studies should take the time now to see their dentist before school begins, especially if they are still on their parent’s dental benefits. With so many new changes happening during this exciting new academic experience, the stresses can build up.

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During exam time we get an increased number of emergency calls to our office from students complaining of pain, not only throughout the oral cavity, but also around the jaws, ears, head and neck. Oftentimes, it is due to the increased forces of grinding and clenching (a side effect of stress), while other times it is due to the swelling associated with the emerging wisdom teeth.

Another common problem is a sudden increase in the rate of decay amongst young adults in post-secondary school with no past history of serial cavities. Most times we can attribute this to a change in diet, especially the frequency at which snacks and beverages such of coffee/tea/sodas are consumed. Our recommendation is to always be vigilant when it comes to oral hygiene care and the numbers of meals/snacks/beverages eaten throughout the day. Give you teeth the healing time it needs!

A thorough check up before going away to school will help to take care of any dental issues that may arise during the school year.

Lastly, if you are thinking about having a check-up when you come home during winter break, it is important to reserve your check-up appointment well in advance as many students are thinking the same thing you are!


If it’s been a while since your children have had their teeth checked and cleaned, give us a call today.  We’ll make sure your child’s teeth are looking sharp and ready for school!

 

25-02-2016 11-26-10 AM

 

 

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

 

 


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Why are we interested in your spit?

17-11-2014 3-23-49 PMYour medical information provides us with valuable information that may help us understand the conditions in your mouth. A review of your medical history can reveal that some of your medications, illnesses and therapies are affecting your saliva, which in turn, can have an impact on your dental health. We need a certain amount and consistency of saliva to keep our mouth and teeth healthy.

Saliva, commonly known as spit, is an amazing component of our body. It is designed to be so effective in bathing and protecting our teeth and maintaining a healthy pH-level in our mouth that, along with crunchy, natural cleansing foods, early humans experienced very little decay. But, our eating habits have changed drastically and the environment of our mouth and the amount of bad bacteria, in addition to the effects of medications, illnesses or therapies, hinders the effectiveness of our saliva’s medicinal properties.


Why is Spit so Important?

On average, a healthy person produces about a litre of saliva a day. Saliva production increases during eating, however, at night our saliva production halts which is why it is important to remember to brush and floss before you go to sleep! Saliva is 99% water and 1% electrolytes, mucus, glycoproteins, enzymes, and some antibacterial compounds. Disruptions in the quality or quantity of saliva has a significant impact on the environment of our mouth. Only when we see the destructive nature of a dry mouth can we truly appreciate how important saliva is.

Saliva is key in:

– washing foods and debris away from teeth and

– helping to dilute and eliminate sugars left in your mouth after swallowing

– restoring the acidity of the mouth to a healthier, neutral pH-level

– helping to prevent the breakdown of the hard parts of the teeth

– creating the suction between dentures and the gums.

– replacing minerals that have “leeched out” of the teeth during the acid attack process.

– aids the digestion process by breaking down starches and fats we eat

– lubricating our foods making it easier to swallow

– keeping mouth tissues moist

– normal sense of taste

– helping us speak

Dry Mouth

When we produce less saliva or the consistency of our saliva is thick it can leave our mouth dryer than normal.  A dry mouth has a huge impact on our dental health resulting in:

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To learn more about dry mouth read our article here.

If you are suffering from persistent dry mouth, there are solutions. Oral rinses can supplement the moisture in your mouth and sugarless gums or candies can help stimulate the production of saliva in your mouth.


Saliva and Tartar Formation

23-03-2015 11-32-01 AMEver wonder how you get that hard gunk on your teeth that only your dental team can remove? That is bacterial rich plaque that you did not remove while brushing or flossing your teeth and has now hardened onto your teeth. It is mushy and sticky at first, but then minerals from our salvia start to mix with this soft plaque and it begins to become so hard that we have to use specialized instruments to scrape (scale) it off.

We call this material calculus and it can be found above and below your gum line and in between your teeth. There tends to be a higher concentration of calculus on the cheek side of upper molars and behind the lower front teeth as these areas are directly next to where our saliva ducts secrete salvia into the mouth.

Plaque can also accumulate and harden on dentures or other dental appliances that are not removed and cleaned often enough. This calculus is very destructive to teeth and gums.

Tartar and Tooth Sensitivity

For some people, who have allowed this material to build up and remain on their teeth for a very long time, having it removed can result in increased tooth sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures. This is because the calculus destroyed the gum tissue that would normally cover the tooth’s root surface. The root is not as highly mineralized (hard) as our tooth enamel and is therefore more sensitive to changes in temperatures and acidic foods.

Saliva and Cavities

The cavity process begins when bacteria “eat” and ferment the sugar we provide them creating acids. It is a complex process that is affected by many factors, but simply put, this acid attacks our teeth and can dissolve some of the important minerals that make up the hard parts of our teeth. The saliva starts the repair process by hardening the affected areas of the teeth by depositing minerals. This demineralization (acid attack) and remineralization (repair) happens every time we consume sugars and acids in our diet. It can become a constant battle throughout the day if you eat frequently.

Saliva and our Diet

A healthy mouth has a pH of between 6.75 and 7.25 and the key is trying to maintain this level in order to keep disease at bay. When the pH-level becomes more acidic the harmful bacteria begin to multiply and dominate. One thing you can do to help maintain a neutral pH-level in the mouth and a healthy level of beneficial bacteria is to adopt a diet that is low in simple carbohydrates or sugars and to reduce the amount of meals you eat during the day.  We cannot emphasize this enough.

The Dangers of Snacking

8-13-2015 3-20-42 PMIt is important to remember, however, that this repair process can take up to 4-5 hours and should not be interrupted by eating more sugars or acidic foods. This is an essential consideration and should not be left out of the healthy foods conversation, especially when you are trying to reduce cavities for yourself and your children.

Demineralization and Toothbrushing

It is not recommended that your brush your teeth immediately after an acid attack. The hard surfaces of the teeth that have been softened by acids are vulnerable to the scrubbing action of your toothbrush bristles. You will cause less additional wear to your teeth if you wait at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking.

The Miracle of Saliva

We constantly get bombarded by information about making healthy choices and changing our lifestyles in order to obtain and maintain our well-being. What if we told you that by focusing on the health of your mouth you can make significant inroads towards a healthier you?

19-10-2015 8-33-19 PMFor years the world of dentistry has been telling patients that if they brushed and flossed and visited the dentist regularly they’d have healthy mouths that were free of disease. But over the years, we’ve seen that, sometimes, this isn’t enough. We see cavities in patients who care for their teeth and gums as instructed, while others with mouths full of plaque and irregular care have little to no cavities and even no alarming degree of gingivitis. The old adage that, “You are what you eat” is an essential part of the equation, but so is, “When you eat.”

We are still learning about the miracle of saliva and are gaining new insights into the complex relationship of all the different types of bacteria in the mouth. While many people find saliva and it’s accumulation in the mouth to be revolting, our Your Smile Dental Care team truly appreciate it’s unique medicinal and diagnostic properties … and that’s nothing to spit at!

Yours in Better Dental Health,

The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13-08-2015 11-37-26 AM


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Sports Drinks and Your Smile

8-13-2015 2-03-28 PM

 

Whew!

8-13-2015 2-10-10 PMYou’re taking a break from some heavy duty activity and you’re sweaty and thirsty. A cold, refreshing sports drink is usually your beverage of choice to quench your dry mouth and help replace those important electrolytes you’ve just lost.

Seems health and harmless enough, but did you know, with consistent use, many sports drinks can cause seriously damage to your teeth, making them more susceptible to corrosion and tooth decay?


Acid Attack

If the amount of sugar in these types of drinks isn’t alarming enough, the acidic nature of the phosphoric or citric acids contents can erode the enamel right off your teeth!

When exposed to the corrosive nature of these acids, the outer, shiny layer of enamel begins to break open and dissolve. It doesn’t take long for the damage to be irreversible. We call this an “acid attack” and it can take up to an hour before your saliva can neutralize the acidic levels in your mouth after you are finished your drink.

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Think brushing your teeth right away will help?


Think Again…

The scrubbing action of brushing your teeth immediately afterwards can cause further damage because the tooth’s enamel is in a weakened, soft state during this acid attack.

At What Costs?

We’re not trying to make activity even harder to recover from than it already is. Tooth damage from the frequent use of acidic drinks is becoming a serious concern for dentists and the damage, in terms of dental destruction and the associated financial costs, can be staggering.

What Can You Do?


Water: sometimes it just doesn’t cut it…

8-13-2015 2-12-15 PMWe recommend good ol’ water to help quench your thirst and stay hydrated. However, if you are involved in very intense exercise and training in hot weather for long periods of time, replacing the electrolytes you’ve lost during activity is extremely important for your overall recovery, fitness and health.

Depending on where you live, ordinary tap water also contains salt and other minerals. You would have to know how much as it is unlikely that it contains the quantity you’ll need to help you recover after intense exercise.

Simply put, normal table salt makes up the bulk of the electrolytes you’ll find in most sports drinks, It also will contain some potassium, magnesium, calcium and chloride which you also lose from your body when you sweat heavily.

Dental Tips:

Following the tips below can help minimize the damaging effects of the acids in your drink and are worth making a healthy habit in your rest, recreational and exercise choices.

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More Tips:

  1. Try to find a sports drink without all the unnecessary added sweeteners and artificial colors.
  2. Try to aim and squirt dink towards back of your throat in an attempt to avoid contact with teeth.
  3. If all you need to do is stay hydrated during normal hot weather and moderate exercise, water should be sufficient.
  4. Remember, that activity isn’t the only way you lose sustenance from you body. Consider also that illness and fasting will cause the depletion of important nutrients.
  5. Mineral water (not spring or distilled water) can be an adequate alternative. Read the lable as some contains more sodium than the average sports drink.
  6. You may be able to find a coconut water that contains the level of potassium and sodium  you’re looking for as an endurance athlete. Watch out for the sugar content.
  7. Be careful to read all labels. Some drinks carry a high content of  sugar and even caffeine for some extra kick!
  8. Know that high sodium drinks can cause more thirst, so always have water on hand if you find that your sports drink didn’t quite do the trick in quenching your initial dryness and for rinsing your teeth afterwards.
  9. Don’t like the bland taste of water? Get a filter or try adding a slice of fresh fruit to your drink.
  10. Read your favourite sports drink label, do the math and make a DIY recovery drink. You can also add your own flavouring and colour using instant drink powders. Search the internet for some great online recipes.
  11. Be careful to ensure your mouth isn’t frequently in a state of dryness. Saliva is the essential factor in tooth remineralization after an acid (demineralization) attack.

A word of about a thing called Hunger

8-13-2015 3-20-42 PMIt takes 4-5 hours for your saliva to repair acidic damage done to your teeth. This process should not be interrupted with anything other than water or a non-carbohydrate substance.

Hunger gets such a bad rap! It’s actually a natural reoccurring event that is suppose to happen to let you know that it’s time to eat. So, unless you’re diabetic or have another health-related issue that prevents you from fasting between meals, allow this natural process to happen and let your body use this time for repair.

For the Best of the Best…

And lastly, If you’re an elite, competitive athlete who must undergo mandatory drug testing you already know to use your own sports drink bottle not the large, free for all jug provided at some training facilities/events by sponsors and may be easily “accessible” by anyone. Not that we’re suggesting anything, but you can never be too careful when so much is at stake!


Protect Your Smile,

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

8-13-2015 1-43-19 PM

22-06-2015 12-41-23 PM


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50 Soft Food Ideas

Soft Food Recommendations

The process of chewing and swallowing foods is something we often take for granted until a situation arises that makes this everyday task difficult. Suggesting soft foods to our patients is commonplace for us; it is something we do everyday.

SmoothieBut let’s face it, there’s only so much soups and smoothies and jello one can eat before you want to scream. Imagine then, being faced with a situation where you or a loved one is forced to change to softer foods long term. From mouth sores to congenital abnormalities to age-related issues, there are many reasons why a person may have to modify the types of foods they enjoy.

And we sure enjoy our food. We look forward to our meals and want real food. Actually, there are many soft food choices that are limited only by our imagination and our ability to “surf the Internet”.

Who knows when or if you may ever have a need for the list below. We encourage you, however, to keep this list handy and use it as a starting point to create tasty and nutritious soft food meals of your own!

Soft Foods

Soft Foods To Avoid

Anything that can irritate or is small enough to become lodged into surgery site.
– Chunky or diced foods
– Nuts
– Pectins
– Too Hot (temperature and spicy)
– Too sharp (chips, tacos etc…)
– Straws


Great Ideas

22-06-2015 1-03-22 PMAdditions: You are limited only by your imagination when choosing toppings for your foods. Melt cheese over foods. Add feta, peanut butter, syrups, and sauces. 

Modifications: Many recipes can be modified to include more healthy, nutritious alternatives. 

Soups: Leftovers can be easily pureed into soups. Add to potatoes to thicken and water/milk/broth to help liquefy. 

Slow Cooked Goodness: Your slow cooker is great to really soften and moisten recipes.

Smoothies: A great way to add vitamin and minerals. Strain any pectins/pits through a cheese cloth. 

Sandwich it! Try placing what you just made between two slices of bread. If the crusts are too hard just remove them.

Blender Casseroles: Many recipes can be modified by placing the ingredients in a blender or food processor then baking as you would a casserole. Sprinkle with cheese near the end of cooking time.

Cereals: We all know how quickly cereals can soften in the milk if left for a few minutes. Do a careful crunch test in your mouth with the first spoonful just to be sure.

 

DIY Flexible Freezer Bags

Recipe for a flexible and reusable ice pack:

2 Cups of Water
1 Cup of Rubbing Alcohol (70% or 95% – the higher
the alcohol content the slushier the end product.)
Food Coloring (optional)
2 Ziploc Freezer Bags

Instructions: Mix the ingredients together and pour into a sandwich or freezer (Ziploc) baggie. You can mix in a bit of food colouring if you want. Remove as much air as possible and seal. Place this baggie inside another baggie for added strength. Place into freezer for about 12 hours.

And there you have it!
We hope that this list helps and is something you can print to always have on hand so you can be prepared in advance. Good luck and remember to always consult your own dentist or doctor so they can advised you further based on your own “specific to you” circumstances.

The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 

 

 

 

08-06-2015 11-16-26 AM


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Genetics and Soft Teeth

 

01-06-2015 10-53-45 AMIt happens all the time! The one child in a family who is dental, health and food conscious is the one who gets all the cavities whereas the sibling who never brushes their teeth and snacks all the time is the child who gets to enter their name into the “Cavity Free” Club.

Even people with similar oral hygiene behaviours may have completely different rates of developing tooth decay.

So, is there really such a thing as soft teeth? Can being cavity-prone be inherited or are you just unlucky?

While it is true that your dental health depends on a combination of good oral hygiene and genetics, how much of a role does heredity and luck really play?

When a patient comes to see us with a history of tooth decay and missing teeth we begin by collecting some family history to determine if there are any possible contributors to their poor dental health. There are quite a few dental abnormalities that can be caused by defective genes, but these conditions are rare. And while genes do play a role in food preferences, type of saliva, ph-level of the mouth and how susceptible a person may be to tooth decay, true genetic abnormalities that affect teeth are rare and seldom seen.

Is there really a genetic disorder that causes soft teeth?
Can soft teeth be inherited?

Over the years, we have had many patients claim that the poor condition of their teeth was caused by the soft teeth they inherited from a parent or grandparent. While there truly is a genetic condition that can result in imperfectly formed teeth, it is a rare condition and is seldom seen. It’s characteristics are easily distinguishable from the type of soft teeth that are caused from our choices.

01-06-2015 11-24-23 AMThe truth is, sometimes it’s easier to blame genetics either because it saves us from the shame we feel or it saves us from being held accountable for our health conditions. But, we know that when patients tell us that they have soft teeth, they truly believe it.

While we never rule out the possibility of soft teeth, if, after examination, we find that their teeth are perfectly normal, we then have to find what is causing their poor teeth.

If not inherited, then what can cause teeth to soften?

Enamel is the hardest substance in the body – twice the hardness of bone, however, there are all kinds of damaging substances and actions that are capable of weakening it over time. It’s easy to understand this process if you think of how running water is capable of smoothing rough rock over time.

Things like….

Acid Reflux/Bulimia – The acids in our stomach are very strong and corrosive making them capable of softening enamel. Frequent exposure to these acids can and will cause the enamel to breakdown. Over time, the weakened areas will start to take on a whitish, chalky look and eventually get larger and darken over time as they progress into cavities.

Enamel Fluorosis – Teeth can erupt with weakened, less mineralized areas as a result of ingesting excess fluoride during development. This can happen from swallowing too much fluoridated toothpaste, eating foods with high fluoride content, taking fluoride supplements or drinking well water that has a high fluoride level (greater than 1 part per million). This  example of soft teeth will quickly be identified by the dentist when the teeth first erupt because of it’s distinctive colouration. If severe enough, fillings can replace these weakened areas on the tooth, otherwise home care instructions are given and the tooth is monitored over it’s lifetime. Ironically, once the tooth is fully developed it is no longer susceptible to fluorosis and future fluoride treatment will actually help to harden these areas.

Bacteria – There are certain germs in the human mouth that produce an acid that has a corrosive affect on teeth. The goal is to reduce the amount of sugar these bacteria can consume through your sugary diet and by exercising good oral hygiene through brushing, flossing and using anti-bacterial mouth rinse.

Childhood Fever – A child’s fever can reach such a degree that it can interfere with the cells that mineralize the enamel causing hypomineralization (areas where less minerals were deposited into the enamel). This occurs, most commonly, with the first adult molars and front teeth. This can occur in vitro during the last trimester of pregnancy and the first four years of life and it is likely that other factors such as oxygen starvation combined with a low birth weight, respiratory problems, calcium and phosphate metabolic disorders may also be involved.

Food/Drink Acids – The frequent consumption of highly acidic foods and drinks can have an eroding affect on your teeth and weaken them over time. Be especially aware of the damage that highly acidic sport drinks, sodas and juices can do to your teeth. Your child’s teeth can be at risk for softening if they make frequent use of a bottle or sippy cup containing anything other than water.

08-06-2015 9-08-53 AMNutrition – With nutrition it’s all about moderation. If you are constantly eating foods that are high in sugar and/or acids then your teeth are frequently exposed to the damaging effects. Eating three, well-balanced meals is a start. Switching to a diet that includes more fruits and vegetables, water as your choice of beverage, limiting your sugar intake and eliminating snacking between meals will benefit you both your teeth and body. Recent studies have shown that eating cheese after your meal has an anti-cavity affect by increasing saliva production and lowering the mouth’s ph to a level that bacteria are less active in. Eating the cheese before a meal may help by coating the teeth making bacterial penetration and adhesion more difficult.

Oral Hygiene – Not brushing and flossing your teeth allow bacterial plaque to accumulate and deposit acid onto the teeth enamel. Because your saliva production decreases during sleep, it is very important that you brush and floss your teeth before bedtime so that your bacteria will have nothing to snack on while you sleep.

Brushing Habits – Brushing your teeth with too much force or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear down enamel and the other tissues of the teeth over time. Small crevices will start to form in the surface of teeth into which food and bacterial plaque can accumulate. Just be careful on how hard you are scrubbing while you are brushing and be sure to always use a soft or super soft toothbrush only. If you use an electric toothbrush you only need to guide the brush while it preforms it’s own cleansing actions. In fact, some of the newer types of electric toothbrushes are designed to stop if you apply too much pressure. Your dental hygienist is trained to check for any signs of toothbrush abrasion, but you can ask them to check just to be sure at your next dental check-up appointment. See our Your Smile Dental Care Instructions

08-06-2015 9-24-20 AMMedications – Not only can our mouth become drier as we age, but there are also many types of medications that can cause your mouth to become drier than normal. Without salvia to naturally clean bacteria and food debris away from your tooth surface, the enamel will be susceptible to the cavity process and begin to weaken. Also, because your mouth becomes acidic when eating, try to avoid food at least one hour before bed to give your saliva time to neutralize these acids.

Radiation/Chemotherapy  – The salivary glands can become damaged during radiation and chemotherapy treatment. As a result, your saliva flow can decrease and become thicker making it’s cleaning action less effective. Improvement in the quality of saliva may return within a few months or may there may be long-term impairment.

Immune Diseases – Your salivary glands can be attacked by some auto-immune diseases causing the quality and quantity of saliva to be compromised.

Cross contamination – Believe it or not, cavity-causing bacteria can be passed from person to person by way of saliva exchange. This can happen through kissing, sharing food utensils/cups/food, sneezing and sharing toothbrushes. Mother’s must be especially careful not to pass these germs on to their children.

Just because your parents and grandparents had “bad teeth”
doesn’t mean that you have to.

01-06-2015 11-12-48 AMTooth decay is the most common chronic disease in the world, but is also one of the most preventable. Do “soft teeth” run in your family? Not likely, unless there is a true genetic disorder present. The number of people with true “soft teeth” is very low. It’s easy to blame genes for poor dental health, but we encourage our patients to take an honest look at their diet and oral care. If there is room for improvement then together we can find the solutions you need to move forward to help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.

Do you get a lot of cavities? Do you suspect that maybe your teeth have become weak over the years?

If you feel that you are getting your fair share of cavities speak to your dentist or hygienist about your concerns.  At Your Smile Dental Care, we believe that healthcare should be a partnership between patient and doctors – a trusting relationship where we work together to find solutions. Having a better understanding of your dental health will help you stay informed so you can make healthy choices and better decisions regarding your dental treatment.

Your Smile is our top priority!
Dr. Sam Axelrod & Associates

23-03-2014 10-21-20 11AM

coffee


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Coffee Decay

Your task buddy. Your sidekick.

The faithful companion that keeps you alert and company as you write that research paper, prepare your taxes or hop from arena to arena, class to class. It helps wake you up, keep you up, and accompanies you everyday, everywhere.

2-23-2015 1-13-32 PMYou may even have a pet name for it like Joe or Juan or Brewster. Love it or hate it we all know of that someone who cannot function without their beloved cup of magic beans – COFFEE!

But, is it really the faithful, take along friend you’ve come to rely on anyplace, anytime or is it robbing you of one of your most precious and attractive facial features? Your teeth!

After decades of declining numbers, it appears that the incidence of decay is on the rise again. We’re not talking 1-2 cavities either. We’re seeing six to 10 cavities, or more in patients who have never really had a history of dental decay.

Various studies point to a variety of factors that are causing this upswing in decay such as meal frequencies and the amount of low nutrient, highly processed foods that are available to us. If you feel that you are getting more than your fair share of cavities, despite a good oral hygiene routine, you may want to rethink the way you consume your favourite comfort fuel.

23-02-2015 9-32-48 AMLiquid Comfort

We’re Canadians and we love our Timmys or McDs or Starbucks. And for a new generation of consumers, it is the energy drinks that are providing the extra octane needed. While 2 or 3 cups of java a day, and a caramel latte here and there may not seem harmful enough to cause any great health concern it’s more a matter of HOW we drink our coffee.

When you sip, sip sip, every last drip, drip drip All…Day…Long, you set the perfect stage for cavities to occur. Constantly feeding the germs in your mouth sugar, milk and cream is like “Baby bottle decay“, but in adults.

We’ve blogged before about how the cavity process works. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of allowing time in between your meals/drinks to allow your saliva to heal the damage of an acid attack. This includes excessive coffee consumption. For an increasingly health-conscious population, that message is still not getting out.

The Natural Way…

Acid attacks and remineralization can live in harmony and dental disease prevented if the body’s natural defences are kept in balance. The old saying, “Everything in moderation” is true when it comes to our consumption of foods/drinking containing sugar.

ClockThe cycle of damage and repair that occurs with our teeth is a natural process that happens all throughout the day. The goal is to minimize the degree of destruction and keep this system in balance by allowing the salvia the necessary time to remineralize damaged enamel so that decay does not get the upper hand.

One of the most important ways to accomplish this is to keep your meals/drinks spaced out at regular 4-5 hour intervals. For some this may seem impossible and perhaps even an unhealthy manner of eating. We have to remember, however, that hunger is a natural process and is our internal clocks way of  telling us, “It’s time to eat.”

In fact, rarely do our children go more than 180 minutes without eating! Some parents tell us that their children literally never stop eating … it’s one snack after another from the time they open their eyes until the time they go to bed. It’s only when we explain that how often food is eaten is just as important as what is eaten that they begin to understand why their children are getting so many cavities despite diligent tooth brushing habits.

Here’s a typical child’s weekday:

Breakfast – Recess snack – Lunch – Recess snack – After school snack – Dinner – Bedtime snack

Day's Meal
That’s 7 meals and possibly 7 acid attacks/day! If there is the additional consumption of drinks other than water then there’s more damage being done than you realize – despite all your good efforts to help your children keep their teeth brushed and flossed.

Even if you are keeping your meals spaced out, but are sipping beverages throughout the day, you are interfering with your body’s ability to keep your teeth cavity-free.

Other Factors

“We are what we eat”

Making sure that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need to create healthy, decay-fighting saliva is also an important component of this process. Your body’s ability to repair your teeth is dependent on your current health and nutrition status.

Your Smile - CopyAt Your Smile Dental Care, we know that you like your teeth and we presume that you probably want to keep them. We also understand the love affair with coffee and why it an important part of people’s lives. Our job is to help our patients understand the benefits and risks associated with their eating choices and help them make some adjustments in their consumption habits.

If your liquid therapy is an important part of surviving your day try…

1. Water. Keeping a glass of water with you and alternating between coffee and water throughout the day. This will help wash out your mouth and prevent your saliva from becoming too sugary and eating away at your teeth.

2. Using a straw. Consider sipping from a straw to help the liquid bypass your teeth. To keep the sugar out of your saliva you’ll still need to drink water in between sips.

3. Timing your drink. Consider having your beverages during meal times or at least consume your drink within 15 minutes.

4. Brushing. Introduce the idea of brushing your teeth at work or school. Wait 30 minutes after you eat to brush your teeth however, since your teeth may still be in a “softened” state of damage from the acid attack it just received.

5. Stop the Snack Attacks. Reconsider snacking in between meals to allow your body to recover from your last eating episode. Unless you’re diabetic or have another health condition that obliges you to eat more frequently, non-stop grazing should not go on throughout the entire day.

6. Gum. Chewing sugar-free gum after your drink will help stimulate your saliva flow which will in turn help rinse and neutralize the acids in your mouth.

7. Know your limits. The proper size and quality of your meals should keep you satisfied until your next meal. If your body have become accustomed to snacking, it may take a few weeks for your body to adjust, but it will and you may enjoy your meals more. Know your body needs and consume healthy calories according to your activity level and you keep your energy between meals. The athlete in training has a different set of nutritional requirements than the average person does.

Lastly,
2-23-2015 2-07-11 PMLike us, our children look forward to the little  “pick me up” they get at recess. We wonder sometimes if recess snacks aren’t what is “distracting” some kids. Your child will be more likely to eat their dinner if they are not offered too many options for eating too often. A healthy and nutritious breakfast will carry them through until lunch and still keep their brains capable of learning. If a recess snack is necessary consider a food item like cheese that will coat teeth or crisp fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots and celery that stimulate saliva flow and help clean plaque from teeth.

No one is saying that you have to give up your beloved coffee, but if you have been experiencing your fair share of cavities lately, it may be one area of your life that needs further investigation. We’re here to inform and help you in any way we can on your journey to better dental health. Like the rest of your body, your teeth depends on good food choices to stay healthy.

If you would like additional information on snacking, please visit the Ontario Dental Association for more Nutrition Sites.

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Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533

 

09-12-2013 1-48-02 PM


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Enjoy your Food!

Our love affair with food…

watermelon-dive-641528-mWhen it comes to seasonal satisfaction we all have our barometers. Even though we promised not to say anything negative about this summer (given the terribly long and cold winter we had), most of us have been disappointed with the amount of wind and rain we’ve had so far.

Last week a patient of ours told us that one way she judges her summer is by how good the corn on the cob was that season. We had to laugh at the truth of this statement because there are some seasonal foods that we all look forward to. One bad crop doesn’t only translate into higher food prices, it can also leave a produce tasting inferior and that is always a disappointment.

Another disappointment is when the foods we love are not compatible with our present dental conditions. As we age teeth can shift and gum pockets can form making some foods more difficult to enjoy. We then begin to omit them from our diet or make adjustments to how we eat them.

Going back to the corn story, one of our staff members passes judgment on the summer based on her experience with the corn that season also. She has a vivid memory of her denture-wearing father having to cut the corn off of it’s cob with a knife before eating it. She felt sorry for him since, to her, biting into the cob was almost as enjoyable as the corn-615988-mtaste and separating the two greatly diminished the experience.  So immense was her love of corn on the cob that  watching this ritual of her father’s play out again and again each summer made her vow that she would keep her teeth forever.

Cute story, but there are some things in life that we love and cherish. Their loss greatly affects our enjoyment and quality of life. If you do not necessarily place any value on your experience with food nor have had any past difficulties with biting and chewing  then it would be difficult to relate to just how important an issue this can be for others.

Many people cannot enjoy a simple meal, let alone a favourite food item, and that can translate into a health issue. Nutritional deficiencies can be problematic amongst people with eating complications. Food traps in the mouth can cause the accumulation and impaction of food debris around the teeth and under the gum line and dental issues can eventually develop. You would never know just how important good chewing function is until you have suffered it’s impairment.

Not all Teeth are Created Equal

Anterior teeth are not designed to function as molars, but often that’s just exactly what people with missing molars use them for. Eventually, these slender, single-rooted teeth begin to breakdown also. We’ve blogged about the dental solutions that are available for those suffering from complications that can occur in the mouth and teeth, but only when you have had an insufferable situation remedied would you ever be able to appreciate just how valuable stable teeth can be.

Restoring your ability to eat means more than just restoring teeth –  it means restoring and improving your quality of life. Whether you are looking for a remedy to a minor problem or have a more complicated dental issue the professional team at Your Smile Dental Care  have been helping patients find solutions for their dental dilemmas for over 30 years.

If you would like to schedule a consultation or are just looking for an experienced 2nd opinion we will be happy to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your oral healthcare needs.

Yours in better dental health,

The Your Smile Dental Care Team