Your Smile Dental Care


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Choosing Dental Floss

 

So you’ve decided to make flossing an addition to you home oral care routine. Great idea!

Your local pharmacy is be stocked with all kinds of different types of floss and the choices can be confusing.

 

How do you know which one is right for you?

 

Floss comes in different flavours, coatings, sizes, thicknesses, textures and specialized uses. Finding the one that will do the job right and fits your oral health care needs is a conversation that you can have with your dental care provider via telephone or during your next visit.

 

Let’s look at some of the possibilities that may suit your “specific to you situation:

Sensitivity – Understandably, people who suffer with sensitive teeth or bleeding, swollen gums are are reluctant to begin flossing. Finding soft floss or one coated in wax that will slip easily and comfortably between teeth will make the task more manageable. A daily routine of proper brushing and flossing will soon have gums looking pinker and the bleeding will subside. You should arrange to see your dentist, however, if your gums bleed consistently and your teeth are always sensitive. Don’t ignore theses symptoms as they may be signs that something more serious is going on with your dental health.

 

Tight teeth – Oftentimes, people who have teeth that are very tight or close together find that traditional floss will shred when sliding it between teeth or that they have to force it through. This can cause the floss to snap through the contact area too forcibly and possibly injure gum tissue. They can use:

Waxed floss that is coated and more resistant to breaking. The way coating allows it to fit easier between tight spaces.

Glide floss is specially woven with a light wax coating making it strong, shred-resistant and easy to slide between teeth.

 

Wide spaces –  Some people have teeth with gaps or they are spaced further apart that normally. Superfloss with it’s unique design can be used for wide areas between teeth, braces, and bridgework. It is made up of 3 parts:

1. A stiff string to help thread the floss through or into an area (floss threader)

2. A softer, spongy to gather food particles and plaque more efficiently

3.  A traditional flossed end

 

 

 

Braces: If you wear braces or have dentures, that doesn’t mean that you can’t floss. Try a specialized floss threaders or Superfloss that has a stiff end that you can thread beneath the main wire of your braces and a spongy component that slides easily between the teeth. Your orthodontist will also recommend other dental cleaning tools that will help you clean the particular type of braces that you have.

 

 

Children – It’s harder for children to use floss, so start them off with floss wands. Once their dexterity develops and their teeth become closer together,  you can teach them to use traditional floss. Some creative people have introduced the concept using mega blocks as pictured below:

 

 

 

*Mobility issues – Finding practical dental hygiene solutions for people who have physical or mobility issues can be challenging. They may be caring for their own teeth or may have a caregiver that provides this task. When it comes to flossing, there are electric flossers on the market that help clean in between teeth. A  floss holder/wand, like the one pictured above, or tying floss into a circle for easier handling can also help simplify oral care.

 

Is your floss always shedding or catching on something in between your teeth?

Sometimes, floss can become stuck on something in between teeth making it difficult to remove the floss without breaking or shredding it. Many things can make floss snag including, a broken tooth/filling, a cavity, tartar buildup or an overhanging margins of a filling. Seeing your dental healthcare provider will help identify the problem, and after remedy, they will ensure that the area in question is snag-free so you can resume flossing at home.

 

When to Floss…

Brushing your teeth and using mouth rinse does not replace flossing. Floss goes when your toothbrush can’t reach and mouth rinses are not as effective either. Most people find that flossing once a day, usually before bedtime, is ideal for the. Others, however, get food stuck in between their teeth and under their gums often and need to floss after meals immediately to feel comfort. Finding any time during the day that works best for you is the best time! Once you get the hang of flossing, it only takes a few minutes to include this in your daily hygiene routine, but the benefits last a lifetime!

 

 

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

 


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Flossing: Why You Should Make Make it Your New Year’s Resolution

 

Flossing 2018

With all the New Year, New You choices this time of year, how can we possible complete with all the great suggestions out there? Every year flossing makes our list and every working day we dental professionals remind our patients how very important this ritual is.

Over and over again!

If the following reasons aren’t enough to motivate you then you prove it to yourself using the 100% convincing smell test.

 

Clean Teeth

If your aim is to clean your teeth to prevent the destructive forces of germs that can cause dental cavities, bad breath and gum disease, then what you must know is that your toothbrush does not reach all the surfaces of your tooth crown. The hardest to reach places for your toothbrush bristles are in between teeth and below the gum line. Floss is able to really get into these areas to remove remaining plaque and food debris. Left over plaque will eventually harden into tartar and can only be scraped off with special dental tools.

 

 

Bad Breath

This is a no-brainer. No one wants to have bad breath and that is exactly what will happen if you leave left-over food in between your teeth and below your gums where your tooth brush can’t reach. What does a kitchen compost smell like after a day? The rotting food sticks. Your new hairdo, buffed body,  better food choices – all your other self-improvement efforts will be moot if, at the end of the day, you smell bad because of mouth odour.

 

Tooth Loss

It simply is not enough to just brush your teeth to keep them healthy. Your tooth has 5 surfaces and your toothbrush only reaches 3 of them. You will not realize how important it is to remove impacted food and plaque until the gums and bone that support your teeth  become irreversibly damaged. Seven out of ten Canadian will develop gum disease at some point in their lives. It is a preventable disease, but you have to want to keep your teeth badly enough to take the time to care for your teeth properly.

 

 

Unhealthy Looking Gums

Ever wonder why your gums bleed or look all red and puffy. It is the look of inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s healing response to injury, germs, and diseased tissue. Even when you begin flossing, initially your gums will still bleed, but they will start to heal and start to look health and pink again. You may have straight, white teeth, but the look of unhealthy gums do little to show off them off. It’s like getting all dressed up in a new outfit, without showering. People will notice!


Save Your $$$

There is a saying we have in dentistry, “Dental care is not expensive, Neglect is!”  No truer words were ever spoken about dental care. Your yearly expenses for buying a toothbrush, toothpaste and flossing are far less costly in terms of money than it is to repair diseased teeth and gums. Floss is cheap to buy and we give it to our patients for free! Surprisingly, we still see a lot of people who have had their fair share of dental costs and toothaches who still neglect their teeth. If you include one resolution this year – please choose flossing!

 

Easier Dental Cleanings

Plaque accumulates above and below your gum line. Any plaque that is not removed during brushing eventually hardens onto the tooth. We call this hardened plaque tartar (calculus) and it can only be remove with professional tools that scrape it off your teeth in such a manner that does not cause damage tooth and gum health. If you tend to get a lot of this tartar buildup, flossing gets where your toothbrush can’t reach and can remove this plaque before it has a chance to harden. Although, it’s virtually impossible to remove all plaque, flossing

 

Protect Your Overall Wellbeing

Certain microorganisms are normally found only in the mouth. A number of epidemiological research studies are helping us recognize that there may be a cause-effect relationship between certain oral bacteria/infections and conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, bacterial pneumonia and autoimmune diseases. If germs and infections can enter into the body system, multiply in other body sites and further complicate other health conditions, then maintaining oral health is crucial – not only to prevent oral disease but also to maintain good general health.

 

Help Your Teeth Have a Great Year

At Your Smile Dental Care, we can help you take care of your teeth year-round so that Your Smile will not only look great, but remain healthy for many years to come! For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit us on the web or call (905) 5SMILES

 

Yours in Better Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
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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Medications and YOUR SMILE

Are Medications Ruining YOUR SMILE?

We are seeing a growing number of patients that are experiencing dryness of their mouths and a number of dental issues associated with this dryness.

In fact, some dryness of the mouth can be so severe that it is not just uncomfortable, it becomes very painful. Additionally, there are times when the throat is so parched, that a person can’t even swallow.

The Importance of Saliva

You may not have given much thought about saliva, other than the fact that the mouth is moistened by it, but the production of saliva is an important process in the mouth. It not only moistens, but it helps control the levels of  bacteria and fungi in our mouths, aids in chewing, tasting and digestion, cleans, protects and remineralizes teeth, and neutralizes our mouth after acid attacks.

Naturally, when a patient complains about a decrease in the quality and quantity of their saliva, we become concerned.

The condition of persistent dry mouth is called Xerostomia and it is a common side effect of many of the prescription and non-prescription medications we may be taking as well as a manifestation of certain diseases such as Aids, anemia, stroke, hypertension, cystic fibrosis, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, diabetes and a condition called Sjogren’s syndrome.

Your saliva output can also be damaged by medical treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy, smoking/tobacco products, menopause and dehydration from illnesses, bulimia, excessive sweating, diarrhea, blood loss and burns.

Because our bodies are about 60% water, even a small drop in hydration can affect us immediately, let alone long term. There are over 500 medications that list dry mouth as a possible side effect.

Check out the Colgate Oral Care webpage where the classes of prescription drugs that affect the salivary glands are listed.

 

 

 

If you suspect that you are experiencing dry mouth, speak to your family physician and even your pharmacist as soon as possible. They can, hopefully, find a solution that is right for you.

As dentists, we can recommend that you:

  • Restore any dental issues that have arisen due to dry mouth.
  • Ensure that you are brushing at least 3 times/day and flossing before bed.
  • Limiting your meals to 3-4/day and spacing them out 4-5 hours apart
  • Reduce the amount of sugar you intake
  • Ask your doctor to suggest the vitamins supplements that are right just for you
  • Choose a product from your local pharmacy for help with dry mouth. This includes, sprays, rinses and special toothpastes. You may have to try a few until you find one that works best for you.
  • Chew sugar-less gum or suck on sugar-free lozenges
  • Drink more water
  • Using a humidifier in your bedroom at night
  • Use a fluoride rinse at bedtime
  • If you use a mouth rinse choose an alcohol/peroxide-free product
  • Avoid weather and activity that causes excessive sweating
  • Use a nasal spray if you are experiencing sinusitis
  • Avoid tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages and highly acidic juices
  • Avoid dry food such as crackers and toast
  • Avoid very salty foods

Unfortunately, if dryness of the mouth persists and is left unchecked, it can lead to tooth decay, mouth sores and gum problems. If you would like more information about dry mouth, please follow the link below:

 

 

 

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


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Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork!

Why does my dentist need to know my health history?

So, you go to the dentist for a matter concerning your teeth or perhaps you’re there for your bi-annual dental check-up and cleaning and your exam begins with a bunch of questions about your overall health.

What gives?
Why does a dentist or hygienist want an update of your medical history at every visit?

This is a very legitimate question. After all, you may be coming in for just a simple visit and do not understand what the rest of your body has to do with your mouth.

We are caring for you – not just your teeth!

20140915_103718_resizedYou may have read somewhere about the “Body – Mouth” connection. There are medical conditions that significantly impact your oral health, determine the course of future dental treatment or explain why a particular problem keeps reoccurring.

When we exam you we are seeing more than just your mouth. We are caring for you, not just your teeth! We are concerned with making accurate diagnoses and following up with individualized treatment.

Obviously, patients with more complicated health histories will require more attention than others. In order to maximize our patient’s time with us we routinely ask that they keep a current copy of their medication list in their wallets for quick reference and let us know in advance of their visit here if there has been any significant changes in their health.

Sometimes, it is necessary to follow-up a health issue with the family doctor. Your family physician may prescribe some medication for you to take prior to your dental treatment, especially if you have recently had a new body prosthetic placed or have had a heart stent procedure. Other times, a medication may have to be temporarily discontinued before a particular dental procedure can begin.

As such, we ask that our patients bring in a copy of their medication list when they see us for their check-ups so that we can up date our records and advise as necessary.

Never underestimate the value of your health history…

MedsWe understand that your time is valuable and that you would like to get to your dental matter at hand rather than filling out forms. Updating your medical information may seem like an imposition to you or you may not want to disclose certain personal health issues to us, but it is important to understand that it is with your safety in mind that we must collect this information and ask any pertinent follow-up questions.

What may seem like an irrelevant health issue to you may turn out to be the essential information we need when diagnosing, treatment planning, using materials in your mouth or prescribing medications. Knowing these details can save your life!

Patient health histories are clearly documented and updated regularly in our office. We need you to be as comfortable with us as you would be with your family physician. We would like to think that our patients appreciate that we hold their health in such high regard and that we do not omit this part of your care.

At Your Smile Dental Care we treat our patients as we do our own family and friends. Keeping current and accurate patient records help us deliver the very best care to you – our valuable patients.

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


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Your Stinky Floss: The Debate Continues

Even though it was last year that the Associated Press report suggested that flossing was overrated and unnecessary, we are still being asked by patients whether flossing is necessary or not. The simplest answer seems to be answering their question with another question: “What do you suggest for cleaning plaque and food from in between teeth and under the gums?”

 

Although there are other effective interdental aids for cleaning in between teeth, flossing is the only device that can actually get into the tight area between teeth – assuming there is not already a space or gap.

 

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People will have to excuse their dental care providers for getting a little defensive when the health benefits of flossing is called into question. At Your Smile Dental Care, we’ve seen the value that flossing brings to our patients’ oral care over the past 30 years and we will continue to dig in our heels on the subject.

 

We only need to use our common sense about flossing. If you have something in a body part that is causing a foul odour and inflammation that can lead to loss of surrounding tissue, infection and loss of said body part, would you not want to get it cleaned out?

 

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Practicing the best oral care you can with the tools available is important when it comes to your overall health. The link between gum disease and a number of other serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and immune system disorders has been well established.

 

Most of us are already making changing in our lifestyles so that we can live healthier and longer. A daily 2 minute routine seems like one of the easier changes we could be making. The bottom line is this: There is research and studies that both sides of this argument can cite to continue their claims. No doubt, the debate will go on and on while the plaque and tartar build up and up!

 

Note to the Associated Press: For all those people that are able to remove meat and popcorn caught between their teeth using their floss – Is that evidence enough? How about how stinky our floss is after use – Is that evidence enough?

 

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 is a Periodontal Screening?

Does your smile pass the Test?

No doubt, you have heard how important it is to take care of your gums for the health of your teeth, but it can also affect your overall health. Gums, also known as gingiva, is a barrier tissue that covers and protects your teeth and the bone that surround and support your teeth.

When gums become tender, swollen and begin to bleed, it is usually a sign that the body’s immune system has been triggered.

Our mouth is home to a complex ecosystem of microorganisms. While much of the bacteria is our mouth are beneficial in preventing disease, there are some that are harmful if allowed to take over. The proper balance of these germs is critical for a healthy mouth. Certain processes take place everyday to keep this balance from being disrupted so that a response from our immune system is not triggered.

Some patients become aware that something is going on when they begin to notice bleeding when they brush their teeth. Others have had progressive gum disease for a long time and are surprised to learn of it.

Periodontal Screening

Watchful Eyes

Your dentist and dental hygienist are trained to not only help you maintain healthy mouth and teeth, but they are always monitoring your mouth for signs of the onset of gum disease. By routine – usually once a year – they will perform a gum evaluation called a periodontal screening.

During this screening, they are assessing the health of your supporting gum and bone structures and evaluating the look of your gums.

Healthy gums are pink and firm. Unhealthy gums are red, swollen, spongy-looking and may bleed. They also look for signs of gum loss (recession) and use a tiny instrument called a probe to measure the depths of the pockets between the teeth and gums. The pocket is a free space located around each tooth. In between each tooth it is where your floss enters for cleaning.

In a healthy mouth, this free space becomes attached gum about 2-3 mm of the way down. When bacteria is allowed to accumulate in this space inflammation occurs that triggers the immune system to send white blood cells. Unfortunately, the WBC not only destroys bacteria but gum tissue also. When the attachment portion of the gum tissue gets destroyed, the pocket become deeper and more bacteria, dental plaque and food can accumulate.

If left untreated or unnoticed, this pocketing will lead to bone loss. Eventually, enough bone is lost that the tooth becomes loose and cannot be saved.

Early detection is key

This is why it is important to identify this pocketing early in order to prevent further gum and bone loss. There are various treatment options available for gum disease and your dentist may refer you to see a gum specialist (Periodontist) for ongoing care.

Unfortunately, gum disease is called a “silent disease” that often goes unnoticed until a significant amount of damage occurs. This is usually the case for people who do not see a dentist routinely where the health of their teeth and gums can be monitored on a regular basis.

Periodontal disease has long been the leading cause of tooth loss in adults which is why every patient should have a periodontal screening performed annually. Early detection is key and can make all the difference.

The good news is that gum disease is an easily preventable disease. By simply brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and attending to regular dental check-ups and cleanings you are already helping your mouth and teeth.

To keep them in tip-top shape you need to start looking at your other habits:

  1. Meal frequency – Reduce snacking in between meals to allow your saliva to repair damage done by acid attacks. Read here
  1. Do not sip on sugary drinks or coffee/tea with milk, cream and/or sugar frequently or all day long.
  1. Use an antiseptic mouth rinse once a day
  1. Ensure that other medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease is monitored by your physician regularly and is under control.
  1. Consider a smoking cessation program as smokers are almost three times as likely as nonsmokers to have periodontitis
  1. Eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet that  helps to control inflammation.

Suggestions:

  • green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards
  • fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
  • fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
  • nuts and legumes
  • olive oil
  1. If you suspect gum disease, never ignore the signs and see a dentist.

Signs:

  • red, swollen gums
  • tender and/or bleeding gums
  • loose gums that have pulled away from your tooth
  • sensitive teeth
  • pain when eating
  • receding gums; tooth appears longer
  • spaces between tooth and increased food impaction
  • loose fitting partial dentures
  • persistent bad breath

 

Keeping your gums healthy and strong is the simplest way to maintain your overall health and help to ensure you keep your teeth for life. If it has been a while since you have been to the dentist for a check-up or suspect you may be having problems with your gums please contact our office today at 905 – 5SMILES (905.576.4537). You’ll be glad you did!

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