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How to Manage Your Dental Emergency

Be Prepared for the Holidays

We all look forward to the holidays when we can relax with family and friends and enjoy all the great festive foods that the season has to offer. What we don’t expect, however, is a dental emergency! So what are you to do if you find yourself needing a safe home remedy to tie you over until you can get to your dental office?

 

Break a tooth?

Many things can cause your tooth to break including injury, biting down too hard, cavities and large fillings. If you break or chip a tooth your should see your dentist right away. Even a small chip in your tooth can progress into a much more complicated matter and can cause further damage to your tooth, so it is best to have a broken tooth attended to as quickly as possible. Fixing your broken tooth will depend on the extent of damage and how quickly you are able to arrange treatment so that the tooth doesn’t continue to break. Very small chips can sometimes be smoothed off, but fractures extending into the root area may, in some cases, have to be removed

Your at home steps:

1. Rinse your mouth immediately with warm water to remove any small bits and pieces of tooth and other debris.
2. If you are bleeding form the tooth or mouth area, you can use a moistened gauze or clean fabric to stop any bleeding.
3. If you begin to swell, apply a cold compress along the facial side of the injury in a 10 minute on, 10 minute off fashion.
4. You may also want to take an anti-inflammatory to help control any swelling and relieve pain.
5. Call your dentist

 

Lost a filling?

You may not think of a lost filling as an emergency, but it can be a traumatic and even painful experience for many people. Sometimes both the filling and a piece of tooth breaks off, while other times it’s actually just the tooth and not a filling. Fillings do not last forever and may fall out for a number of reasons. Your dentist will examine the area to determine why it fell out and discuss the repair options with you. Do not delay treatment as the tooth may continue to breakdown and could fracture into the root. There are many occasions when teeth that have broken into the root have to be removed. If you know already that you have a weak tooth that could break, have it attended to before it worsens. The sooner you get to the dentist, the better the chance of  saving the tooth.

Your at home steps:

1. Try to locate the piece that fell out and place it in a small baggie for safe keeping. Bring it with you to your appointment.
2. Rinse your mouth immediately with warm water to remove any small bits and pieces of tooth and other debris.
3. If you are bleeding form the tooth or mouth area, you can use a moistened gauze or clean fabric to stop any bleeding.
4. If you begin to swell, apply a cold compress along the facial side of the injury in a 10 minute on, 10 minute off fashion. An anti-inflammatory may also control swelling and relieve pain.
5. You can still eat, but should chew on the opposite side of the mouth from where your filling fell out. Choose softer foods and avoid those that are sharp or extreme in temperature.
6. As for brushing your teeth, you should try to keep the tooth as clean as possible to avoid added irritation, food impaction and plaque/debris buildup. You will want to brush gently with a very soft toothbrush and rinse with warm temperature water.
7. Do not attempt to sand off any sharp edges as you may do further damage to the tooth. Sharp edges can be annoying and bother your curious tongue, so if you have any orthodontic wax or can borrow some, just soften it between your fingers and apply it over the area. Chewing gum may be used also, but may not stick as well.
8. Do not attempt to glue any tooth or filling piece back into place. It will likely not stick and will cause additional work for your dentist.
9. Call your dentist

Crown fall out or becoming loose?

There are a few reasons why a dental crown may become loose and/or fall out such as underlying cavities, old and disintegrating cement, underlying broken tooth, injury/trauma, or the constant habit of grinding/clenching.

Your at home steps:

1. Wrap the crown in a piece of tissue or gauze then place it into a plastic container.

2. Do not attempt to clean off the crown or it may drop onto the floor or down the drain!

3. Rinse your mouth with warm water and spit out into a cup or bowl. This is done to ensure that there isn’t more pieces of tooth of crown in your mouth that you could swallow or aspirate. Retrieve any pieces you think may be a piece of tooth or crown and place in the plastic container.

4. Sometimes, your tooth is left with a sharp edge  when a crown falls off. Do not try to file it down yourself! If you happen to have any orthodontic wax that is used for braces, you can place it over the sharp edge until you get to the dentist.

5. Never, ever “glue” your crown back onto your tooth. Not only is glue not safe in the mouth, but you make our job more difficult when we have to try to remove the “glued” crown without causing further damage to the tooth or to surrounding teeth. Some patients have also been known to use sticky gums or foods to “glue” a crown in place. Not only do you run the risk of the crown being lost or swallowed, you are providing food for cavity-causing bacteria to further damage your tooth.

6. Same goes for any temporary cements that can sometimes be found in pharmacies. Our concern is that any re-cementation would be very temporary at best and could still leave you at risk for swallowing, choking, aspirating or the crown falling out and being lost. Additionally, self-cementing could cause your bite to be off, which in turn, may cause complications and harm to other teeth. Use these drug store cements or denture adhesive at your own risk!

7. You can still eat, but should chew on the opposite side of the mouth from where your crown fell out. Choose softer foods and avoid those that are sharp or extreme in temperature.

8. As for brushing your teeth, you should try to keep the tooth that was crowned as clean as possible to avoid added irritation, food impaction and plaque/debris buildup. You will want to brush gently with a very soft toothbrush and rinse with warm temperature water.

9. See your dentist as soon as possible. Teeth move when they are not supported by adjacent teeth or biting against opposing teeth. Delaying treatment will cause your existing tooth to shift and your crown will likely no longer fit the new tooth position.

Severe toothache?

Toothaches are considered one of the worst pains you can experience! Cavities, infections, sinusitis, fractures and even getting something caught between your teeth can cause a lot of discomfort. It is very important to understand that pain caused by an infection should be attended to right away as infection can spread to other parts of your body. Obviously, getting to the dentist as soon as possible is recommended, but how can you find some comfort before your appointment?

 

Your at home steps:

1. If you suspect that something is stuck under your gums or between your teeth, try flossing the area gently to remove the offending item, but still see your dentist to examine the area and ensure that there isn’t a more serious issue developing.
2. You may also find relief rinsing your mouth with warm salt water
3. Applying a cold compress along the facial side of the injury in a 10 minute on, 10 minute off fashion may give you additional relief.
4. DO NOT place aspirin directly on your tooth as it contains an acid that is strong enough to burn your gums and other soft tissues in your mouth.
5. Call your dentist

Tooth knocked out?

A whole tooth (crown and root) that has been knocked out (avulsed) can begin to die within 30 minutes so it is essential that you get to a dentist immediately. The chances of successful re-implantation decreases the longer you wait for treatment. If any other injuries sustained during injury are minor and do not require immediate medical attention, then get to a dentist as soon as possible. Have someone call them to explain what has happened and that you are on your way. If you have any doubt as to whether or not any other injuries sustained are serious, go to the nearest emergency department immediately. You should bring the tooth with you in a cup of cow’s milk just in case there is dental personnel on staff that can treat you while your other injuries are being attended to.

Your at home steps:

1. Only handle the tooth by the crown portion NOT the root so that you do not further damage the root’s attachment fibres. If the root has debris on it try to find a cup and fill it with some cow’s milk or water. Holding the crown, place the root portion of the tooth into the cup of liquid and wiggle the tooth back and forth to try to loosen and slough away the debris from the root surface. Do this ONLY if the root is dirty and do not scrub or use soup.
2. After cleaning, try to put the tooth back into the socket and hold it in place. If it is a child, adult supervision is critical so that they do not swallow the tooth. With a crying, flailing child, this can be near impossible, so use your discretion.
3. If you can’t place it back into the socket, then place it into a glass of cow’s milk or even the injured person’s saliva. Milk contains proteins, antibacterial substances and sugars to help the cells of the tooth and it’s surrounding tissues
4. Keep the tooth moist at all times.
5. There is also a kit available online called  Save-A-Tooth. Find it here through Amazon
6. If there is bleeding, use a moistened gauze or clean fabric to stop any bleeding. No need to clean up around the face; you want to disturb the area as little as possible.
7. If you can not get to your dentist, go to the nearest dental office that is open.

 

 

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Loose tooth?

If you have sustained an injury that causes your tooth to loosen but NOT fall out you should:

Your at home steps:

1. Leave the tooth alone and do not put pressure on it.
2. If you begin to swell, apply a cold compress along the facial side of the injury in a 10 minute on, 10 minute off fashion.
3. You may also want to take an anti-inflammatory to help control any swelling and relieve pain.
4. Call your dentist.

 

Jaw injury?

If you suspect that you have sustained an injury to your jaw, you will need to proceed to your nearest ER or urgent care with an x-ray department.

Your “on-the-way” steps:

1. Apply a cold compress to the injured area.
2. Keep your jaw as still as possible
3. You may also want to take an anti-inflammatory to help control any swelling and relieve pain.
4. Many ERs do not have any dental personnel on staff, so you will need to see your dentist after you are discharged so that they can evaluate the area further for any dental damage such as broken teeth/roots, severed nerves, tooth socket widening, bone fragments, etc.

 

Suspect an abscess?

Dental abscesses can be life-threatening! Because abscesses are serious infections that can damage your oral health and spread to other parts of the body, you need to seek medical attention immediately! Even if the pain or swelling subsides, you still need to see your dentist right away as this type of infection does not go away without treatment. Some of the signs and symptoms associated with a gum or tooth infection include:

  • swelling
  • sever and/or radiating pain
  • foul odour
  • fever
  • tender or swollen lymph nodes
  • earache, headache, sinus pain
  • white pimple on gum
  • trouble breathing or swallowing
  • fatigue

Your at home care steps:

1. Do not try to break open or pop any pimple on your gum
2. Rinse with warn salt water
3. Take an anti-inflammatory to help control any swelling and relieve pain.
4. Call your dentist.

 

Prevention

It has been our experience that most dental emergencies tend to be problems that had been growing for a while and have decided to show up just in time to ruin your good night sleep, weekend, holiday or vacation! This is why we always recommend preventative dental care every 6 months as the best way to detect and treat dental problems while they are usually small and simple to repair. Every year, we include a few days over the holidays to remain open in case you or family and friends need our help or need to complete any outstanding dental treatment before the end of the year.

 


Rather than researching home remedies online or taking advice from friends or friends, call your dentist first.
Only they can offer you the safest, “specific to you” advice on what you can do at home.

 


 

 

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


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How often should you go to the dentist?

Why should I see a dentist if my teeth don’t hurt?

Your Smile is important and the health of your teeth has an impact on your overall health. But what if your teeth feel and look great to you?

Many people still believe that unless they are experiencing pain or have broken a tooth, it’s not necessary to see a dentist for regular examinations, but in a healthy mouth you shouldn’t be feeling any pain or sensitivity with your teeth!

 


“Pain should not be the only factor that makes you decide to go to the dentist.”


 

The fact is, dental pain is usually a warning that you have left an undetected problem too long.

Each tooth has a soft inner core consisting of blood vessels, lymphatic tissue and a nerve center. It plays an important role in the growth and development of the tooth, but once the tooth comes into the mouth, it is the lifeline that brings nutrients to the tooth and also sends out sensory signals in response to trauma and disease.

If you have ever broken a tooth or have had a painful cavity, you know the pain signals that your nerve sends out as a warning! However, it is actually located far enough away from the tooth’s outer surface that by the time an advancing cavity reaches the nerve it is usually too late to repair the problem with a simple fix.

The fact is, many oral disease are silent. We usually think that if our teeth are “quiet” that they are healthy, but you have to treat your oral health as you would your overall health.

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Regular maintenance check-up exams allows us to catch and manage the early signs of disease, before they become bigger, more complicated issues. At Your Smile Dental Care, we are here to help our patients restore their smiles to optimal dental health so that their future focus can be on prevention! We think that by encouraging our patients to maintain regular check-ups and cleanings and teaching them how to prevent dental problems before they occur is time well spent.

How often should you be going to the dentist?

That depends!

Our recommendations are based on your own individual, “specific to you”  oral health, medical conditions and lifestyle habits. Maintaining regular professional dental care allows us to monitor and evaluate your oral health and advise you accordingly.

Some people see us twice a year for their regular check-ups and cleanings, while others, who have more tartar build-up or who are at a higher risk for cavities and gum disease, need more frequent visits. It is important to understand that there are many changes in our lives that can impact our oral health and change the schedule of our dental visits.

 


“Even if you maintain an excellent oral care routine and always have good check-ups, you still need to continue a proactive attitude to help ensure that you and your dentist can always stay on top of things.”


 

And, it is especially important to take care of your teeth and seek professional dental care if you are in one of the following high risk groups below:

  • smoke or use tobacco products
  • are pregnant
  • have diabetics
  • have current gum disease
  • have a weak immune system
  • tend to get cavities or build up plaque
  • suffer from *dry mouth (see below)
  • have limited dexterity
  • have poor dietary habits
  • Snack frequently or sip a beverage other than water all day
  • have bulimia or acid reflux

*Dry Mouth: If you suffer from dry mouth your oral health may be at risk. People can develop dry mouth for a number if reasons, especially if they have:

  • diseases, such as bulimia, Sjögren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus or pernicious anemia, that alter the flow rate or content of saliva,
  • are receiving chemotherapy with drugs that cause xerostomia
  • are receiving radiation therapy directed to the head or neck.

 

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Early Detection

Knowing that here are also a number of oral health problems that can exist before you even begin to have symptoms will better help you understand why seeing your dentist regularly is so important for your oral health. We want to catch and treat problems early before they become more complicated.

If you’ve put off regular dental care – for whatever reason – do not delay any further. Your Smile is important!

 

 

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

 


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Lost or Broken Dental Cap (Crown)

Hey, if the crown fits…

At Your Smile Dental Care, we recommend dental crowns when a weakened tooth needs added support and strength. And, although we used a special type of dental cement to permanently adhere the crown to the underlying tooth, dental caps have been know to fall off.

A dental crown may come loose or fall out for a number of reasons:

 

1. Cavities

If it is not a dental implant crown, then you still have your natural tooth underneath the crown. Like your other teeth, it is still susceptible to cavities if you are not meticulous about your home care or in attending regular professional cleanings. If part of your tooth gets destroyed by dental decay, then the crown may no longer fit snugly around your tooth. Bacterial plaque and its damaging acid continues to seep in where this protective seal between the tooth and the cap has been breached, further destroying tooth tissue. As the tooth continues to break down, the crown will become loose and eventually fall out. Sometimes the crown even comes off with the tooth still inside. Usually still fixable, but it sure makes patients say, “Yikes!”

This is why dental visits are so important! Regular visits allow us to monitor the health and fit of your dental crowns so that we can catch problems before they become bigger issues – like losing a crown.

 

2. Grinding

Don’t be surprised if you are not even aware that you grind or clench your teeth – most people aren’t! You may wake up with sore teeth and jaws, have loose teeth, have chips or fractures in some teeth, or  experience tooth pain or sensitivity. The incredibly strong forces that are put on your teeth when grinding or clenching can cause dental crowns to become loosened or even chip/break. Dr. Sam Axelrod advises patients who clench and grind to wear a custom-made guard over their teeth at night for added protection. A nightguard will put your teeth into proper bite and protect your teeth and dental crowns from wear and damage.

 

3. Injury or Trauma

Some injuries can be so severe that a crown gets knocked right off a tooth. It may be that the dental crown was already loose and all it needed was a sudden jarring hit to knock it off!

 

4. Disintegrating Cement

Gradually, over time, the cement that holds the crown in place can break down and dissolve. This leaves the bond between the existing tooth structure and crown weak and the crown simply falls out. Again, you dentist will monitor the seal at your dental check-ups to ensure that the integrity of the cement is still intact.

 

What to Do…

It is understandable why most patients panic when their crown falls out. They know that their tooth is no longer protected by the crown and they may even begin to feel some sensitivity to hot and cold food, biting down, tooth brushing or breathing in air.

 

Take these 10 steps to increase the likelihood of saving your crown and tooth:

1. Wrap the crown in a piece of tissue or gauze then place it into a plastic container.

2. Do not attempt to clean off the crown or it may drop onto the floor or down the drain!

3. Rinse your mouth with warm water and spit out into a cup or bowl. This is done to ensure that there isn’t more pieces of tooth of crown in your mouth that you could swallow or aspirate. Retrieve any pieces you think may be a piece of tooth or crown and place in the plastic container.

4. Sometimes, your tooth is left with a sharp edge  when a crown falls off. Do not try to file it down yourself! If you happen to have any orthodontic wax that is used for braces, you can place it over the sharp edge until you get to the dentist.

5. Never, ever “glue” your crown back onto your tooth. Not only is glue not safe in the mouth, but you make our job more difficult when we have to try to remove the “glued” crown without causing further damage to the tooth or surrounding teeth. Some patients have also been known to use sticky gums or foods to “glue” a crown in place. Not only do you run the risk of the crown being lost or swallowed, you are providing food for cavity-causing bacteria to further damage your tooth.

6. Same goes for any temporary cements that can sometimes be found in pharmacies. Our concern is that any re-cementation would be very temporary at best and could still leave you at risk for swallowing, choking, aspirating or the crown falling out and being lost. Additionally, self-cementing could cause your bite to be off, which in turn, may cause complications and harm to other teeth. Use these drug store cements or denture adhesives at your own risk!

7. Rather than researching home remedies online or taking advice from friends or friends, call your dentist first. Only they can offer you the safest, “specific to you” advice on what you can do at home.

8. You can still eat, but should chew on the opposite side of the mouth from where you crown fell out. Choose softer foods and avoid those that are sharp or extreme in temperature.

9. As for brushing your teeth, you should try to keep the tooth that was crowned as clean as possible to avoid added irritation, food impaction and plaque/debris buildup. You will want to brush gently with a very soft toothbrush and rinse with warm temperature water.

10. See your dentist as soon as possible. Teeth move when they are not supported by adjacent teeth or biting against opposing teeth. Delaying treatment will cause your existing tooth to shift and your crown will likely no longer fit the new tooth position.

 

Swallowed or Aspirated Crown

What happens if you accidently swallow a crown?

Usually a crown is small enough that it just goes through the digestive tract without complication. However, there is always a risk that the crown can become stuck in the throat obstruction of the airway. You would begin immediate action as you would with any other type of choking. See here for Choking Victim instructions.

Aspiration is an entirely more serious matter than involves the crown being accidentally “breathed” into the respiratory tract during swallowing, coughing or hiccupping. In a case like this, you will need to be evaluated immediately at your local hospital emergency or the nearest urgent care with a radiology department. A chest x-ray will determine the location of the crown and the attending physician will arrange for prompt retrieval to prevent further complications.

 

If you have lost your crown or are facing any kind of dental emergency, please give us a call right away. At Your Smile Dental Care, Dr. Sam Axelrod and his team of caring professional will be happy to answer your questions and make all possible arrangements to help you.

 

 

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


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What’s Brewing in your Mouth?

 

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GERMS!

You can’t see them, but you can sure feel, taste and even smell the hundreds of different types of germs that make their home in your mouth.

While many of these bacteria are harmless, others wreak havoc in the mouth causing tooth decay, inflammation of the gums and bad breath.

Let’s talk about bad breath. No one wants it, but everyone has it from time to time. Even though bad breath is a common condition and is oftentimes very embarrassing, it can also be an indicator of health problems in the mouth and/or rest of the body.

So what can you do to help fight bad breath as well as keep your mouth healthy?

 

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Aside from ensuring that you are in the habit of brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day and flossing daily, you will also benefit from following these other 13 tips:

 

1. Clean your tongue! Bacteria love to hide in the hair-like filaments that make up tbe upper side of the tongue, so don’t forget to also clean your tongue with a toothbrush or tongue scraper

2. Use an antiseptic mouth rinse once a day to help kill germs and fight bad breath

3. Reduce snacking in between meals. When you cut off the sugary food source that germs eat you also cut down on the number of acid attacks that occur in the mouth

4. Drink water often throughout the day to help wash away food particles and germs from the mouth and also prevent dry mouth

5. Eating a piece of sugarless candy or chewing sugarless gum will help stimulate saliva flow to wash away food debris and bacteria

6. Do not sip on sugary drinks or coffee/tea with milk, cream and/or sugar frequently or all day long

7. Consume alcohol and coffee in moderation as they also tend to dry out the mouth

8. Speak to your doctor if you suspect that you have a dry mouth condition as it can be an indicator of a health issue or be a side effect of medication

9. Ensure that other medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease is monitored by your physician regularly and is under control

10. Quit smoking or using other tobacco products

11. Eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet that helps to control inflammation

12. Eating crispy, fresh fruits and vegetables also increases your saliva flow to help wash away other food debris and bacteria

13. Be aware that during illness and prolonged periods of hunger or fasting from meals, acids in the stomach can build up and cause foul breath also

 

 

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

 


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Need to know what your Dental Insurance Plan covers?


Am I covered?

This is one of the most common questions that our patients ask us, whether it is in response to a recommended treatment plan or just a general inquiry.

It is an important question because it is obviously one of the greatest factors that a patient takes into account when considering dental treatment. And although, treatment may be necessary for your dental health, no one wants any surprises when it comes to finances.

 


“It is becoming increasingly difficult for dental practices to gather information from your insurer on your behalf.”


 

Even if you already have an employee booklet that was given to you by your employer, it can sometimes be difficult to interpret or may not explain all the limitations your plan may apply to your covered benefits. Under Ontario’s Privacy Act, it is becoming increasingly difficult for dental practices to gather information from your insurer on your behalf. Oftentimes, they want the subscriber of the plan (the employee) to be present in the office to grant permission and that is not always practical.

When a patients needs to be seen by a dentist for an unexpected emergency or last minute appointment, they do not always have the luxury preparing for their visit. If we have to initiate immediate treatment in order to save the tooth, waiting for approval of a cost estimate is also always a choice. An inquiry to the insurer over the telephone about treatment eligibility can be further complicated if they do not wish to disclose the information about the plan’s benefits without the policy holder’s written permission (regardless of the emergency circumstances) or they want to review the treatment case and dental images first.

This is just one of the many scenarios that take place when dealing with dental insurance. It can be an exercise in frustration especially when you are faced with having to make an immediate or timely decision about your dental health needs. When treatment cannot be delayed and is a same-day necessity, the uncertainty of insurance coverage can trigger an additional worry for patients.

 

Dental Speak

Understanding your dental policy and the terminology used can be confusing. If you ever want to call your insurer to get a general breakdown of your policy there are a number of important terms and questions you may want to know and understand before making an inquiry:

 

Basic Services – Most insurance companies classify routine maintenance and restorative treatment under basic services. These include, but may not be limited to, exams, cleanings, fluoride, x-rays, sealants, fillings and extractions. Your plan will likely limit the frequency under which they will pay for such procedures and you should be aware of these date/frequency limitations.

When making an inquiry to your insurer, you would ask: “What procedures are considered Basic under my policy?  How often can will these Basic services be performed?”

 

Major Services –  Most insurance companies classify Major as those services that go beyond the scope of routine procedures because they involve more complex or extensive treatment in order to restore or repair a condition where breakdown, loss or damaged has occurred.

When making an inquiry to your insurer, you would ask: “Am I covered for major services? What are those major treatments and the associated limitations that I should be aware of?”

 

Fee Guide (aka. Fee Schedule) – is an annual suggested fee structure that is put together by a provincial or state dental association and serve as a guide when dentists are billing patients. Most insurance companies will base their fees according to this annual fee schedule. In order to make a dental plan more affordable for an employer to offer to employees, they may choose a plan that pays at a previous year’s suggested fees. For example, if you have an appointment in 2017 and your dentist bills you at 2017 prices, but you plan pays out at 2015 prices, you will pay the difference in fees between these two dates. From year to year, some dental fees increase, some decrease, while others may remain the same price. Dentists are not required to follow any fee guide, but most do. If the dentist practices a specialty such as oral surgery or endodontics you should inquire about their fees.

When making an inquiry to your insurer, you would ask: “What fee guide does my plan follow?”  “Does it cover both General and Specialist practitioners?”

 

Deductible – Similar to a car deductible, it is the annual dollar amount you must pay before your insurance policy takes effect. It usually is an annual deductible and is applied to your first visit of the year. You may have a deductible for each member on your policy or just one for the whole family.

Case Scenario 1: If your first visit of the year is a covered expense under the terms of your policy and you are charged $100.00 for the treatment, under a policy family deductible of $25 your insurer will pay $75.00 ($100 minus the $25 deductible). Subsequent dental treatment for your family members within the year will not be subjected to this deductible as it has already been applied.

Case Scenario 2: If your first visit of the year is a covered expense under the terms of your policy and you are charged $75.00 for the treatment, under a policy family deductible of $100 your insurer will pay not pay anything as the $100 deductible has not been met yet. In fact, there is $25 still outstanding and will be applied to the next visit in that particular year. Subsequent dental treatment for your family members within the year will not be subjected to this remaining deductible as only $75.00 has been applied.

Sometimes, the deductible is only applied to certain treatment procedures such as major services. Understand that any premium or co-payments usually do not count towards this deductible.

When making an inquiry to your insurer, you would ask: “Does my policy have a deductible and is it single or family? How much is the deductible? Is it applied  to all covered procedures or only certain treatment?”

 

Annual Maximum – Most dental plans have a certain dollar amount that they will pay towards your dental treatment per year. It involves a specific benefit period (January to December for example) and once this maximum dollar is reached then you are responsible for paying any remaining costs. It is important to understand that, if at the end of this benefit period, you still have a portion of this dollar amount still available and do not use it, it is usually lost and does not carry over into the next benefit period. Annual maximums vary depending on the policy and they are another way that employers and insurers limit their costs. There may be a different dollar amount applied to basic treatment as opposed to major services. It may also be applied to each individual under the policy or be a dollar amount for the entire family.

Case Scenario 1: If you have an individual annual maximum of $1000 and you have seven cavities totaling $700 and have not used any other monies from your plan during that specific benefit period, then you still have $300 remaining.

Other consideration that can affect this dollar amount of deductible, co-payments and type of dental services – basic or major.

Case Scenario 2: If you have an individual annual maximum of $1000 and you have seven cavities totaling $700 and have not used any other monies from your plan during that specific benefit period, but your plan only pays 80% for this type of basic treatment and has a $25 deductible, then they will pay $535 toward the dental cost leaving you with $465 remaining.

Unfortunately, the annual maximums that many insurance companies offer do not match the realty of today’s dental healthcare costs.

When making an inquiry to your insurer, you would ask: “Does my policy have an annual maximum? Is it a single or family maximum? What period does it cover? How is it applied – basic, major towards any treatment? What happens to remaining dollars at the end of the benefit period? Does my policy have a lifetime maximum? How can I best keep track of this annual maximum?

*TIPSometimes, a patient needs a lot of dental treatment during their benefit period. They may choose to have only the treatment that is covered by their annual maximum, and then delay the remaining treatment until their benefit period renews. Sometimes, it may be a viable option for you, while other times, delaying dental treatment can lead to higher costs in terms of fees, pain, complications and disease progression. Always consult your dentist if you are considering delaying recommended treatment. Oral health can be unpredictable, especially if you do not visit your dentist on a regular basis.

 

Co-Payments (aka. co-insurance) – is the percentage of the procedure bill that your insurance does not pay. It is your portion of the dental cost. If your dental office bills your insurance directly, then you will pay this fee after each dental visit. If you pay your dentist first and are reimbursed by your insurer then they will pay the covered costs minus this co-payment.  Co-payment are usually expressed as percentages.

Case Scenario: your dental policy may cover basic procedures at 80% and major services at 50%. You will be responsible for paying the remaining 20% or 50% respectively. For basic treatment, your insurer will pay $60 of a $75.00 dental bill.  If you were charged $500 for a major service your insurer will pay $250.00. Other factors will also be accounted for such as annual maximums and deductibles etc…

Again, it is a way for employers or insurance companies to limit their costs of offering dental coverage. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a dental policy that covers 100% of all treatment. Like a deductible, a co-payment represents your portion of your dental expenses. Some patients ask their dentists to waive or write-off their co-payments, but each dentist in Ontario has a legal and ethical obligation via-a-vis the insurance company to collect all co-payments from a patient.

When making an inquiry to your insurer, you would ask: “What co-payments am I responsible under this policy? Are there different co-payments for different types of procedures?”

 

Coverage period – This term basically means the period of time for which you or a member of your dental plan is covered for insured benefits. It can be used to describe a benefit year or the period of time that your policy is in effect. Some plans kick in only after a specified “waiting period”, so it is essential that you call your insurer to ensure that you are eligible to use the plan before you make a dental appointment. Additionally, you may only be covered for basic services for a period of time before any major coverage applies.

When making an inquiry to your insurer, you would ask: “When is the exact date that I can begin using this plan?” “Up to what age are my dependents covered and what conditions apply?” “What happens if I am laid-off or go on leave from my job?” “Is there a wait period for any procedures such as major treatment? “Is there anything else that can affect my eligibility under this plan.”

 

Single/Family – Single refers to the individual policy holder/employee and Family includes their spouse and at least one child. Single coverage usually costs less in premiums than a family plan. Clarify with your insurer who is covered under your plan and ensure that their personal information (spelling of name, date of birth etc…) is correct. If you are living in a co-habitation arrangement with a common-law spouse or separate with your spouse, ensure that you understand how it can affect their eligibility under the plan. Lastly, you may want to know if your yearly deductible applies to the family as a whole or each individual member of the plan.

When making an inquiry to your insurer, you would ask: “Does my policy cover my family?” “Do we have one maximum dollar amount for the whole family or do we have individual annual maximums?” “Is my plan’s annual deductible single or family?”

 

Frequencies – Your insurer often limits the number of times that they will pay for a particular dental procedure. The time lapse between two identical procedures and the limitation your insurer will place on having the same procedure performed again can be very problematic for patients if they are not aware of these plan limits. For example, you may be covered to have a check-up examination every 6 months. There are other plan frequencies applied to different treatment such as crown replacement (ie. every 5 years), orthodontics (ie. once in a lifetime), fillings (ie. once every 3 year for same tooth, same surfaces) or new patient exam (i.e. once every 36 months).

When making an inquiry to your insurer, it becomes a little trickier when asking about frequencies. If you think that a tooth has had dental tx performed on it in the past, your dental provider can make this inquiry to your insurer on your behalf.

 

Examinations – There are different types of exams that a dental provider may perform. The exam that is arranged for you depends on the situation and the amount of time involved for the dental provider.

Complete Exam (Procedure code 01101 baby teeth, 01102 mixed baby and adult teeth, 01103 adult teeth) – Exams that warrant a complete verbal, visual and radiographic (x-ray) evaluation of a new patient or of an existing patient that requires a more comprehensive assessment of their oral health status. It generally centers around in-depth information gathering to the extent that allows the dental team to acquaint themselves with a patient’s past medical/dental history, chart pre-existing dental work, diagnose current conditions and develop a plan for future care. Most insurers pay for this every 2-3 years.
Recall/Check-up (Procedure code 01102) – A regular, periodic maintenance examination of a pre-existing patient to ensure no dental problems/issues have arisen since your last check-up exam. It usually coincides with  a regularly scheduled cleaning. Every 6-12 months
Emergency Exam (Procedure code 01105)- An exam that is required in an unexpected, urgent situation such a fractured tooth, extreme pain or swelling of an area of the mouth. Insurers may limit how many of these exams can be done outside of your regular check-up exam.
Specific Exam (Procedure code 01104)- An examination that is required apart from your regular check-up exam for the assessment/diagnosing of a specific area or tooth of concern and is not urgent in nature. Again, your insurer usually place limitations on the frequency of this type of exam.

When making an inquiry to your insurer, you would ask: “How often can I have a check-up exam?” “What are my plan’s frequencies concerning emergency and specific exams” “How often can I have a complete new patient exam?”

 

Specialist – If you have been referred to a Specialist, typically their fees are higher than the suggested provincial fee guide for General dentists. Additionally, you will usually pay up front for your treatment at a Specialist office and be reimbursed by your dental insurer according to the terms of your policy. Although your insurer may not cover all of the fees, it may at least defray some of the cost. Ensure that you know the payment policy of the Specialist you will be seeing and how you are to submit a claim for treatment to your insurer.

When making an inquiry to your insurer, you would ask: “Does my policy covers Specialist fees and at what percentage and up to what maximum dollar amount?”  

 

Composite on molars – This is term that is used to describe a white filling on a molar. Some plans will only pay for an amalgam fillings on back teeth where aesthetics are less of a concern since most people cannot see your back teeth. Many dental offices no longer provide amalgam material as a choice for fillings when a tooth is decays or fractures. There is a cost difference – with the composite white filling being slightly higher in price – so insurers will scale their payment of white fillings to the amalgam price.

When making an inquiry to your insurer, you would ask: “Does my plan cover composite on molars?”

 

Dual Coverage – This is when a patient has dental coverage through 2 separate dental plans – usually their own plan and then an additional plan through another employer, school, spouse or partner. Other dependents and children oftentimes have coverage through both parents. When there is eligible coverage under 2 dental plans one becomes the Primary plan that pays first and the other plan is the Secondary policy that pays all or some of the cost that the Primary does not. When submitting your claim to your Secondary insurer, you will need to enclose proof of Primary insurance payment before they will cover the remaining cost. You may not “double dip” meaning – both insurers require that you fully disclose the presence of dual coverage as you cannot claim your dental fees in such a manner that results in both the Primary and Secondary insurers reimbursing you or the dentist for more than 100% of the claim. Having 2 plans to help defray the cost of dental treatment helps to lower your out-of-pocket expenses, not profit from it. When your Primary claim is submitted, it will include details that will indicate to your Primary insurer that you have Secondary coverage and vice versa. If, for whatever reason, you no longer have the benefit of a Primary plan, you may need to provide proof to the Secondary insurer before they step up to their new position as Primary Benefit provider.

When making an inquiry to your Secondary insurer, you would ask:  “What kind of proof do you require to pay a Secondary claim?” There are two types of Statements of proof that are available – both referred to as EOB: Explanation of Benefits. One is the statement that the Primary carrier sends along with the dental cheque (it may be in postal, email or online form) while another form of proof that is sometimes accepted is the insurer’s response to the electronic submission that your dental office sends over a specific carrier network online and has the phrase EOB on the response.

 

Secondary payments – The is the benefit/money that is paid by a Secondary insurer as in the case of dual coverage or a Health Spending Account. See above. They are not the initial insurer that pays for a dental claim.

 

Health Spending AccountA Health Spending Account is a type of benefit that provides payment for healthcare-related expenses that are over and above any insurance benefits that an employee may have. Typically, a patient would pay the dentist bill first then provide receipt of payment to their HSA for reimbursement.

When making an inquiry : You would make any inquires about a HSA to your employer or  Human Resources department.

 

Orthodontic coverage – This refers to any type of treatment involving re-positioning of teeth like dental braces. It is typically categorized under major treatment and often has it’s own lifetime maximum and co-payment limitations. Generally, your orthodontic provider will submit a treatment plan to your insurer for consideration before any benefits will begin to be paid out and usually these costs are paid out over the course of  the treatment.

When making an inquiry to your insurer, you would ask: “Does my policy include orthodontic coverage?” “What is the maximum dollar mount I can claim under orthodontics and is it a lifetime maximum?” “Is there an age restriction?” “Does treatment have to be provided by an orthodontist?”

 

Assignment of benefits – As a courtesy to patients, some dental offices will submit and bill your insurance company directly then wait for payment of the covered portion of treatment. Dentists are not required to do this. The full cost of the procedure is ultimately your responsibility. Understand, that many offices may not offer assignment of benefits for a number of reasons. It is getting increasingly difficult to do business with or make inquires on behalf of patients to insurance companies who implement very strict information policies based on their interpretation of Ontario’s Privacy Act. Lastly, dentists treat you based on your needs – not your dental plan. A dentist is still obligated to recommend treatment based on sound, evidence-based diagnosis even when your benefits do not completely match your health needs. Providing dental care while being a third party and fee collector to an agreement between a you and your insurer is a relationship that many healthcare providers do not wish to engage in.

When making an inquiry to your insurer, you would ask: “Will you make payment directly to my dental provider?” “Do you accept electronic claim submissions?”  Your dental office will then have additional information about this electronic claim process.

 

Estimates – A written treatment plan (and images/x-rays, if requested) that is submitted to your insurer to determine whether any or all of the dental procedures in the treatment plan will be covered by your plan. Most insurers no longer provide verbal authorization over the telephone and recommend that you send them an estimate for any treatment over $300-$500. In this way, you will know in advance what your plan will cover and what your out-of-pocket expenses will be. It is important to remember that a pretreatment estimate does not guarantee payment from your insurer. Your insurer will calculate benefits according to your current eligibility, any deductibles that may be applied and how much is remaining of your yearly allowed maximum.

When making an inquiry to your insurer, you would ask: “Can you tell me over the phone if I will be covered for “such and such” treatment.  If not, approximately, how long will the estimate process take?” When making an inquiry to your dentist, you would ask: “Will you submit an estimate to my insurer for the proposed dental treatment and await their reply before we proceed?” Will it be safe to postpone advised treatment until my insurer replies?”

 

Age Limitations – This is another restriction in coverage and applies to limiting or denying benefits based on age. An example is fluoride or orthodontic braces that may be limited to children under a certain age or the termination of coverage once a dependent reaches adulthood. Many plans allow dependents to still remain eligible for benefits as long as they are still in school full time and can provide proof of this. Ensure that you provide your insurer with any pertinent information they require for your post secondary school aged child to remain eligible.

When making an inquiry to your insurer, you would ask: “What are the age restrictions that limit the eligibility of any members on this plan? What information do you require in order for my post secondary children to remain eligible?”

*TIP – Know the date when your child will no longer be covered under your policy due to any age/school restriction and ensure that they receive a comprehensive dental examination and complete any recommended/outstanding treatment before this date. Waiting until last minute will put unnecessary time constraints on both you, your dependent and your dentist.

 

EOB – A statement issued by your insurer showing what the dentist billed for each procedure and how much the insurer paid. Oftentimes, the statement will contain additional information with respect to why a particular procedure was not covered, the remaining balance of your yearly allowable maximum and perhaps some information pertaining to frequencies.

When making an inquiry to your insurer, you would ask: “How will I receive an accounting of what my dentist billed and what you, the insurer pays – Email? Online? Mail?

 

Other Consideration….

Alternative  Provision: When it comes to dental treatment, your dentist will usually make recommendations based on your individual circumstances. You may be fortunate enough to have several different options available to you. When it comes to options, however, each option generally comes with their own set of advantages/disadvantages in terms of cost, material, long-term prognosis (outcome), stability, patient comfort and compliance, success, limitations, etc.  When it comes to your insurer providing payment for any particular treatment, you are limited to the terms of your policy.

Alternative  Provision 1: Your insurer may agree to pay for your treatment, but only if your choose a less costly option or another treatment option of their choosing. The least expensive alternative is not always the best treatment option for you. For example: Your dentist may suggest a crown for a tooth that has been heavily restored and your insurer may only pay for the tooth to be repaired using pins and filling material. What happens when that tooth breaks sooner than later because the filling did not provide the necessary coverage/support/strength? What happens if the break extends down into the root and the tooth has to be removed?

Alternative Provision 2: Your insurer may agree to pay for your treatment, but will only pay out at the price of a less costly option or another treatment option. For example: Your dentist may suggest an implant in the area of a missing tooth. Your plan may provide benefits for a less expensive option, but agrees to pay for your implant, but only up to the price they would have paid for the less costly option.

It’s great to have dental coverage until you find out that your plan does not cover your individual needs – needs that become more complicated with due to age, neglect accidents, disease or wear. Remember, your dentist treats you not your dental plan.

 

Pre-existing Conditions – There may be a clause in your policy that restricts benefits if your particular condition already existed before you had your current dental plan. One such common condition is the “Missing Tooth.”  If your dentist recommends that that you replace a missing tooth/teeth with a bridge, implant or denture, but this tooth was removed before you were insured under your dental plan, your insurer may not pay any money towards restoring your condition back to ideal dental function. Likewise, for treatment of gum disease if they can prove that the condition of your gums and supporting structures of the periodontium were already compromised before your plan came into effect.

 

Whew!

This is a lot of information to take in.

In dentistry, we work with many, many different types of dental plans – all with various limitations and rules. Although a dental office may become familiar with a certain number of dental plans in their particular area or community, it is not practical to expect dental staff to be fully knowledgeable of all the individual plans available.

Your dental coverage is usually part of an overall benefits package offered by your employer and is designed to help employees offset their healthcare expenses. It is generally not based on your dental care needs – needs that are necessary to keep your smile happy and healthy!

 

Help Us to Help You!

Prevention is the number #1 way to keep dental costs down!

Prevent dental disease by practicing good oral hygiene and nutrition.

– Brush and floss daily
– Limit sugary drinks and snacks
– Don’t smoke or use tobacco/marijuana products
– See your dentist at least once a year for a thorough examination and cleaning.
– Except for water, space your food intake to 4-5 hours apart to allow saliva to repair damage from acid attacks. – – If you must snack, choose raw, crunch vegetable or fruit.

Prevent  insurance complications for your dental office by informing them of any policy or personal life changes that could alter your coverage such as: changes to employment status changes (as in the case of a temporary layoff), a child in post secondary school or a change in marital status.

Prevent small issues from becoming bigger problems by maintaining regular recare visits and attending to dental issues when they are small and under control. This will go a long way in reducing the likelihood of unexpected emergencies and their associated costs in terms of pain, dental fees and future restorative care.

Prevent dental cost surprises by understanding the ins and outs of your dental plan including what’s covered, limitations and what you are expected to pay before having treatment done.

Prevent future worries by taking the time now to consider future dental costs when planning for your overall healthcare needs in retirement.

Prevent disappointment by taking the time now to discuss treatment options and expectations with your dentist. This includes asking about any risks, future maintenance, long-term prognoses, as well as the consequences of delaying or opting out of treatment.

Prevent any miscommunications by practicing good dialogue techniques with your provider, including the insurance company. Practice active listening, repeat back what you understand and ask for clarification when necessary, be open about your concerns including financial considerations, voice any objections immediately, know what your portion of the bill will be etc…

 

Understanding dental insurance is crucial to making smart decisions about your dental plan’s features. Now that you have a solid grounding in the basics of dental insurance, you’ll be better prepared to understsnd you own plan’s features and help you and your family get the dental care you need!

Who’s taking care of Your Smile?

 

 

 

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

 


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Back To School Check List

Back to school already?  Where did the summer go?

No doubt, the next month will begin the mad rush to get kids, both young and old, back to school again. Ideally, during the earlier summer weeks is the ideal time to schedule dental checkups and finish up with any outstanding treatment well before the end of summer rush. You can help your children get a head start on the school year with these healthy dental choices:

Snacking – Reducing the amount of times throughout the day that your child eats is one of the most significant lifestyle changes you can help them make. This can be frustratingly difficult in the school setting where snacks abound and parents understandably tire of creating new and healthy packed lunches everyday. The problem is that many of our foods contain naturally occurring or added sugar/starches that result in bacterial acid attacks upon the tooth surfaces. It takes saliva 4-5 hours to repair this damage. It is no exaggeration when we say that many children eat 7 times/day including in between beverages. Parents are fortunate that many simple, dentally healthy food ideas can be found readily online that can help reduce the frustration associated with the dreaded “packing school lunches” blues.

Safety – Most injuries to the teeth are unexpected but avoidable. Supervision and protective face/mouth gear should always be an important consideration before the activities and sports begin NOT an afterthought! Dental sports guards significantly reduce the risk of mouth injuries and are available at your nearest pharmacy or you can have a custom one made for your child at your dental office for added protection. Other habits such as chewing on pens/pencils, and using the teeth to “open” containers/packages can result in chipped and fractured teeth.

Dental Care – According to the Canadian Dental Association, an estimated 2.26 million school days are missed by children every year because of dental pain – not to mention the unplanned time parents have to take off work to bring them to the dentist. Maintaining a regular dental checkup routine for your child and helping them to create a consistent schedule for brushing and flossing at home not only introduces healthy habits for life, but helps to reduce the likelihood of unexpected toothaches and subsequent absences that can occur during school time.

Cavities are 100% preventable

Sealants – Bacteria and food can accumulate easily into the grooves and pits found along the biting surface of back teeth. A special dental material can be placed onto these areas to help protect them from bacteria and acids that cause cavities. Usually, sealants are placed on the back adult molars as soon as they emerge into the mouth and are added protection for these teeth during your child’s cavity prone years.

Back to School Supplies – If you can’t remember the last time your replaced your child’s tooth brush then it’s probably time to do so! Replacing last year’s school supplies with new ones is a great opportunity to help your child choose a new toothbrush to replace their old one. Then they will be ready for a new one come the winter holiday time and again when they return to school after March Break!

 

Whether you still have time to schedule your children a dental appointment before the first day of school begins or would rather wait until you have their daily school routines established ~ do not delay. Our schedule fills up quickly this time of year! Give us a call today at (905) 576-4537.

Enjoy the rest of the summer season and here’s to a safe and happy school year!

 

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

 


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Too Much of a Good Thing

10-03-2014 2-45-27 PM - CopyEveryone likes the look of clean, white teeth. White teeth imply health for many and don’t we all want to look and feel healthy?

So many people want whiter than white teeth that many will often go to extremes to get it. Make no mistake – we love white teeth too and promote the use of whitening in our office, but when it comes to overdoing it, we have seen a few unfortunate mishaps arise from the DIY playbook.

Beautifying teeth is nothing new, but we’ve come a
long way
 from the corner shop barber/dentist

Having white, clean looking teeth isn’t a new fad. The Victorian were trending the whole arctic white teeth thing long before us. Unfortunately, they learned too late that the practice of rinsing with nitric acid may have given them blindingly white teeth, but it cost them their enamel along the way. Many were left with a mouthful of rotten stubby teeth soon afterwards. We see the same type of enamel erosion caused by stomach acids on the teeth of bulimic patients or on those who consume large quantity of acidic drinks.

And long before the Victorians, the ancient Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Asians were all using various items and methods to whiten and also cosmetically alter their teeth. So, beautifying teeth is nothing new, but we have come a long way since from the corner barber/dentist for a shave and a little dental work.

Moderation is a word we prefer, especially when we advise our patients about brightening up their smiles. Today, we are finding that patients are not only going to the extreme when it comes to whitening, but tooth brushing as well. Understanding that the beautiful sheen to your very calcified enamel needs to be protected, can go a long way when choosing what you will use to keep it bright & clean.

Online Remedies

YSDC3Although we know better today, the explosion of both credible and incredible online information can be both empowering and dangerous to those seeking a more convenient and holistic approach for their healthcare needs. Home remedies have been around forever and some are still with us because they have stood the test of time in both effectiveness and safety.

A quick search online will yield you all kinds of home remedies for healing or whitening teeth. Home dental care remedies may soothe or calm down an aggravating dental problem, but if the problems persists, you should see your dentist right away.

Attending to a dental issue while it is small is much easier to correct than allowing it to spread or get much worse.  When using at-home whitening recipes you must be careful not to use ingredients that are highly abrasive to teeth or acidic enough to erode enamel. Acidic or course products prove to be very counter-productive in the long run as they wear away enamel with their corrosive or abrading properties. If you are considering whitening your teeth with an online remedy or DIY kit, we advise that you also consider discussing the benefits and risks with your dentist beforehand.

Although, we’ve tried to warn people about the hazards of some of these remedies, we face a growing number of skeptical people – people who are dubious of our advice rather than these online claims. Unfortunately, they may not have seen the consequences firsthand as we have.

Everything in Moderation – including Abundance

 

Hard Bristled Toothbrushes

06-06-2016 3-31-18 PMThere are still many people who are diehards when is comes to using hard-bristled toothbrushes and what’s even harder is trying to convince them otherwise.

To some, it stands to reason that the harder the toothbrush, the more efficiently plaque and build-up can be removed from tooth surfaces. In fact, many people do not feel that they’re getting their teeth “clean” unless they are using a stiff, hard bristled toothbrush and scrubbing forcefully. Sometimes, we suspect that if Comet came out with a toothpaste, it would be a hit with some consumers. All kidding aside, you’ll also find all kinds of conspiracy theories online about the dental industry pedaling soft toothbrushes so that there WILL be buildup and cavities and destruction and that is unfortunate.

Any buildup that cannot be removed with a soft or even medium toothbrush, will not come off  without professional cleaning

The idea behind soft bristled toothbrushes is that the softer the bristles, the more “splay” or flexibility the bristles have to really get at those hard to reach areas in and between teeth. And unlike hard bristles that can cut gum tissues and allow harmful bacteria into the bloodstream, soft bristle are gentle on your gums. What you’re looking for in a toothbrush is one that allows you to apply the ideal pressure and bristle action to both stimulates the gums and provide the necessary protection of these tissues. With hard bristles, it is almost impossible to avoid tissue trauma and eventual gum recession.

Important: Any buildup that cannot be removed with a soft or even medium toothbrush, will not come off  without professional cleaning and scrubbing vigorously will only lead to damage of the supportive gum tissue that surrounds and protect the teeth. Even dentures do not need to be cleaned with a hard brush if they are being cleansed daily. Hard brushes can create scratches and grooves and remove that nice looking, buffed sheen on a denture.

How to Brush Properly

Holding your toothbrush to the gum line at a 45 degree angle, use very light pressured strokes in either a circular motion or a vibrating motion. Roll your toothbrush downwards towards the biting surface of the tooth. When you brush, your toothbrush should come in contact with your gums to adequately remove all the plaque where your gums meet your tooth. “Scrubbing” damages your gums even with a soft toothbrush. Using a hard brush doesn’t prevent tartar buildup. Tartar builds up because of ineffective tooth brushing. We have patients with the best of oral hygiene who still get build-up and need to come in for regular dental cleanings.

Watch our tooth brushing video: Dental Care Instructions

 

 

Diet

Do you ever wonder why that despite your efforts to brush and floss regularly you still end up with cavities and gum problems?

While good oral hygiene habits are essential for healthy teeth and gums , the spacing of meals is equally important. Minimizing the harmful attacks from the bacteria in our mouths go a long way in preventing the destruction of teeth and their supportive tissues. The severity of damage depends on how long and how frequent acids are allowed to be in contact with teeth.  Sticking to 3 healthy meals a day and avoiding the urge to snack will reduce the number of acid attacks that dissolve enamel and allow the necessary time (4-5hours) for your mineral-rich saliva to neutralize your acidic mouth and repair the damage from bacterial acids. Learn more here:  Getting the Upper Hand on Cavities

 

Your Partner in Dental Health

We  are pleased that more patients are wanting to take an active role in their dental care by improving the look of their smiles. It’s easier than ever to get great looking teeth, but safety and moderation are the most important considerations for the health and longevity of Your Smile.

 

 

2017-06-12_16-09

A bright, healthy smile is always in fashion,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com