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Tips for Invisalign (Invisible) Braces

What you Need to Know

Are you one of the many individuals choosing the option of wearing invisible braces for straightening your teeth?

Known by their brand name, Invisalign®, these popular clear braces are the new modern way for your dentist to rearrange crooked, misaligned teeth.

Although, this modern choice for braces seems like a miracle solution for those who would rather have their teeth straightened discreetly, it nonetheless comes with its own set of complications that we will address today.

Like anything that is accomplished over a period of time, there is a process involved which takes time to become accustomed to. Understanding and dedicating yourself to this process will help you achieve the end results you are looking for.

 

How does Invisalign work?

Patients wear a series of clear, plastic, custom-made trays over their teeth 20 to 22 hours a day. This leaves you with 2 – 4 hours for eating and oral hygiene. Each set of trays are designed to gently exert pressure on the teeth to rearrange their positions. As teeth move, the trays are replaced with new ones every two to three weeks until treatment is complete.

 

Wearing Time

wearing-timeInvisalign are worn almost all day long – 20 to 22 hours – everyday. The trays are changed every 2-3 weeks to accommodate tooth movement depending on the complexity of treatment and wearing time may be evaluated as treatment progresses.  You will be shortchanging yourself in terms of time and money if you neglect to understand the importance of the mandatory wearing time.

Pros: By wearing them for the recommended time, your teeth will move as expected and your aligning trays  will not feel uncomfortable doing movement.

Cons: If you leave your aligners off for extended periods of time, they will feel tighter and more uncomfortable when you put them on your teeth again. If you do not commit to wearing them for the recommended hours per day, treatment time will take longer than initially planned and you may not get the results you were hoping for.

Cleaning

For the health of your teeth, gums and other parts of your mouth, cleaning your aligners throughout the day, especially after eating, is an essential part of treatment.

Pros: The upside to keeping your aligners clean is a healthy mouth.

Cons: Bacteria, plaque, food debris and  staining can easily accumulate unnoticeably if you forget to keep your trays clean. Dirty trays can lead to sore and bleeding gums, tooth decay, bad breath, tooth stains and sore throats. Your dentist will advise you on how to keep your trays clean. One patient told us that they use Listerine to rinse their trays after cleaning as it stains any residue or buildup that was not cleaned off.

 

A higher risk of Tooth Decay is one of the major
drawbacks of Invisalign

Cavities

When you decide that you want great looking teeth, you are making an considerable investment in time, money, and most importantly, in your personal appearance and the health of your teeth. Your journey with orthodontic braces requires you to make a commitment, not only to the process of wearing and caring for your trays, but to being diligent about your oral hygiene.

Pros: Caring for your trays and your teeth during the process will ensure that your new smile is a healthy one!

Cons: If you have found that avoiding cavities in the past has been a challenge for you, wearing clear braces will only complicate your efforts. Saliva cannot get to the tooth surfaces to naturally cleanse your teeth when they are covered with the trays all day long. Tooth decay is one major drawback to these braces and there have been many, many, disastrous cases where patients have not only achieved the straight teeth they were dreaming of, but a mouth full of cavities also! You MUST understand that there is a high incidence of tooth decay that can occur with covering your teeth for upwards of 22 hours a day if you do not have a strict oral hygiene routine.

 

Eating

You have to remove your trays to eat then clean your teeth and trays before placing them back on again.

Pros: Confining your eating to 3 square meals a day will certainly help with the habit of snacking and the consequence of cavities that result from frequent eating. If the idea of losing weight and eating more healthy appeals to you, this will be a good opportunity to arrange how you will implement your plan during the Invisalign process.

Cons: There will be little or no time for snacking when wearing clear braces. The time you take to snack will take away from the mandatory wearing time and you must make time to clean your teeth and the braces properly after eating. This will be a huge adjustment for many people which can result in some weight loss. You may need to adjust your caloric intake accordingly when you are eating a full meal and preplanning is beneficial. People who have medical issues where meals are a significant factor, like diabetes, should discuss the use of Invisalign with their physician before committing to the process. You should also be aware that during tooth movement your bite will likely not line up properly which can make your chewing feel “off.” You may have to get in the habit of chewing slowly and carefully.

Note: Drinking – Some people may tell you that it’s okay to drink any liquids during wearing time without having to remove your braces, but only regular water is safe. Other beverages usually contain the sugars and acids that can break down enamel and over the time of treatment can result in tooth decay. The clear braces also stain and pick up odours easily.

 

Habits

Chewing – Some people have the urge to chew on these clear braces simply because there is something new and constant over the teeth. Chewing can roughen up the surface material, but the trays are replaced every couple of weeks so it usually doesn’t damage or affect effectiveness of the trays. In time, you may become used to wearing them and this adaption may help reduce this chewing habit.

clenchClenching and Grinding  Again, if you suffer from clenching and grinding, it will likely not damage the trays before they have to be replaced again, in fact, some orthodontists say that the constant pressing down on the trays can actually help the teeth move more efficiently. However, some people exert such heavy forces during this habit that it may affect the trays somewhat. While others with existing TMJ issues say that wearing the trays tend to aggravate the condition. Speak to your provider about this before deciding on this type of orthodontia. If you typically wear a night guard for your grinding habit, you will not be able to during your Invisalign treatment.

Note: If your trays begin feeling loose towards the end of each two week period, it is usually not an issue and is actually a sign that your teeth have moved into their new positions. Habits like chewing, grinding and clenching may make them feel looser, but usually not to the extreme that it could affect the effectiveness of the trays.

 

Oral habits – Feeling and probing the retainers with your tongue or heavy muscular action using the insides of your mouth can cause tissue irritation. Resist the habits of developing any oral fixations and before long you will not even notice the trays in your mouth.

Drooling – Some patients report excessive saliva when wearing the trays. This can be difficult especially since the urge to suction the saliva using the mouth muscles then swallowing or spitting out can become annoying. If you find yourself drooling at night, just place a towel over your pillow. It is normal for your mouth to treat the trays as something foreign and produce excess saliva to dispel the object. Overtime this should become less of an issue

Lisping – Speaking can be difficult when you are first becoming accustomed to the new trays. This will subside within time if you try hard to be deliberate and slower with your speech and become conscientious every time you notice yourself slipping into this lisping habit.

 

Movement

r23-jessicaPros – Teeth tend to move more quickly with Invisalign than with traditional braces. This shortens the overall treatment time so that you can enjoy the benefits of straight and aligned teeth sooner.

Cons – There is a balance that must be considered when moving teeth so that the roots of the teeth do not shrink away. The roots of the teeth are important as they anchor and hold your teeth in your jawbone. If they wear away, your teeth will become loose and mobile. Your dentist may suggest that you have x-rays taken periodically so that the health of your roots can be monitored.

 

Other Considerations

headache-14344661Tension – Some people develop sore jaws and tension headaches since the jaws do not match up during tooth movement and their teeth are not settled into the bite they have become accustomed to over the years. You can massage and/or place ice packs wrapped in a towel over the affected areas in a 20 minute on/off cycle to help reduce aches and inflammation. Switching to your new trays before you go to bed along with an ibuprofen is also a good idea. Speak to your dentist if the aches persists so that a pain relief can be suggested and treatment can be re-evaluated.

Locked jaws – Again, because the bite is ever changing, your jaw muscles and joints can become affected – even locking sometimes. Invisalign treatment can also aggravate a pre-existing TMJ issue. Massages and ibuprofens can reduce the tensions and inflammation that can cause this to occur, but you need to bring this situation to the attention of your dentist for evaluation.

Dry Mouth/Chapped lips – While some people develop excessive drool, others find their mouths have become dry and irritated. This can cause mouth sores, chapped lips and increase the likelihood of tooth decay. Using a lip moisturizer, drinking a lot of water and/or chewing sugar-free gum may help.

Mouth sores – The mouth can become irritated and develop sores if your oral hygiene is poor, your mouth is dry, your trays are dirty or from tissue action against the trays. Sometimes the trays need to be trimmed if there is some excess material that is irritating your mouth tissues. You can file these area down at home if you are careful and don’t overdo it. Bring it to the attention of your dentist so the source of your irritation can be addressed or oral hygiene instructions can be reviewed.

Lastly…

The great thing about Invisalign is that you can get great looking teeth without anyone knowing that you’re wearing braces, but you must do your homework and be truthful with yourself about your ability to commit to the treatment recommendations. Nothing worth having comes easy! Weighing the above pros and cons will help you decide if you are a good candidate for these types of braces.

It is also important to choose your healthcare provider carefully. The movement of teeth is very complex in terms of the physical, biochemical, and cellular processes that take place. Treatment requires the care of a competent dentist who has the education and experience to move things along with careful planning and consideration of all the likely variables.

 A lot can go wrong in a short time if you are tempted by a quick fix with a cheap price tag!
Educate Yourself!

.

 

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


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The Consequence of Missing Teeth

16-03-2015 5-58-09 PMAs dentists, we hate it when we are faced with a situation where a tooth must need to be removed due to disease or injury. We are in the business of saving teeth, so when a tooth must be removed we become concerned for the remaining teeth and how the loss of this tooth will affect them…and it will!

Over time. missing teeth can result in serious complications, if left untreated.

A tooth here, a tooth there.

With the human dentition containing a total of 32 teeth (28 if the wisdom teeth have been removed), it is understandable why some people still believe that it is not essential to replace missing teeth when there are other teeth still left to do the job.

The Domino Effect

The loss of a permanent teeth leads to a whole host of other problems if it is not replaced in a timely manner. If it’s true that a picture paints a thousand words, then let’s look at the one below:

 

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This is a typical scenario when even just one tooth is removed without being replaced.  At first glance, you can see some movement and tipping of surrounding teeth, but it’s the significance of this situation that needs further explanation.

Teeth are arranged in the jaw in such a manner so that they support one another and withstand the chewing forces together as a team. When one is lost without being replaced, it sets into motion a collapsing situation where teeth begin to move out of position and alignment. Convincing patients that are in pain or injured that they need immediate treatment is not difficult because their signs and symptoms are usually sudden and uncomfortable. A situation like this is not often ignored for too long. However, the destabilization that occurs with dental collapse happens over a period of time. The signs are not as obvious and damage is often taking place silently. It is easy to understand why treatment recommendations are sometimes ignored or postponed.

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1. Supraeruption (Over-eruption)

Although the process is more complex, quite simply put, when teeth first appear in the mouth they emerge out of the bone and gum tissue as their roots and surrounding bone grow and push them out. The only reason they stop is because they meet the teeth that are also emerging in the opposite arch. Their biting surfaces fits into one another like a puzzle and an even distribution of contact throughout the entire dentition allows for proper chewing and equalized forces.

When an opposing lower tooth is lost and not replaced it’s upper partner now has no opposition and begins to adapt to this new space by moving downward. In doing so, it loses contact with it’s neighbouring teeth on either side and begins to bite more heavily with the teeth in the opposing lower arch. The bite is thrown off it’s ability to distribute an equal force among all the teeth, and this can cause headaches, jaw tension, root exposure, tooth breakage, grinding, clenching and wear.

2. Tipping23-03-2015 9-44-50 AM

When a tooth is lost and not replaced, the bone shrinks in the space and the teeth on either side now have a vacant area in which to tip and move into. In doing so, they lose contact with their other adjacent teeth. Teeth are designed to touch one another to prevent food impaction that can damage tissue and cause cavities. If enough of the vacant space becomes occupied by tipping teeth then the space becomes too small to make replacement a viable option without modifying other teeth.

Loss of contact3. Loss of Contact

Teeth that are beside one another contact each other at their greatest bulge (curvature).  Think of the place between two teeth where your floss “snaps” through. This is the contact point. Although gum tissue hides the area underneath, there is actually a space between the gum and the tooth. Your floss cleans out any food and plaque that may accumulate here, but one of the reasons for a curvaceous shape of the tooth crown is to prevent too much food impaction by deflecting food away from this area. When teeth are in alignment with one another, this action works well and efficiently.

4. Plaque and Food Impaction

Aside from the first space that was created by the missing tooth, more spaces begin to develop as adjacent and opposing teeth begin to move out of their original positions. These teeth lose contact with their neighbouring teeth and leave spaces and pockets into which plaque and food can gather. Oftentimes food impaction occurs frequently and can be difficult to remove as the space continues to grow. Plaque and food accumulation leads to cavities, gum and bone destruction and gum disease.

5. Bone Loss

During the formation of teeth, bone grows in and around the root of the teeth for support and nourishment. Teeth are necessary to maintain healthy jaw bone. When a tooth is removed there is no longer the need for bone and it resorbs (shrinks) away. Healthy, dense bone is an important factor when considering the placement of implants for replacement. The longer you leave the space, the smaller the height and width of the bone becomes. Bone loss also occurs in the areas where adjacent and opposing teeth have lost contact with their neighbouring teeth because of the destructive nature of the gum disease process. Even the floor of your sinus bone collapses into spaces where there used to be teeth. Bone loss can significantly impact your chances of becoming a good candidate for any future dental implant placement.
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Complications

Chewing/Nutrition – When teeth are missing, we chew in the areas of the mouth where teeth are present. Sometimes, people have to use teeth that are smaller, more slender and not designed for the chewing capacity of large molars. Other times, remaining teeth are loose or uncomfortable to use. As the dentition collapses over time, chewing can become difficult and nutritional deficiencies arise.

Gum Disease – Gum disease is a process that happens over time and is usually silent until a lot of destruction is done. Missing teeth create the perfect condition for gum disease to form and progress. Teeth stabilize one another and protect the gum tissue that surround them. In turn, the gum tissue and ligaments protect and secure the tooth to the bone socket. When teeth move and create spaces, food and plaque begin to accumulate in the spaces under the gum and eventually destroy enough tissue to create a pocket into which more food and plaque can gather. Cleaning out this pocket can be difficult and the space continues to grow destroying gum and bone along the way. When enough tissue is lost the tooth starts becoming loose and you may face the loss of another tooth. Gum disease and tooth loss can be a vicious cycle. Trying to control and correct all of the factors that allow this disease process to progress can be exasperating.

23-03-2015 10-41-47 AMBone level in an unhealthy and healthy mouth

Increased food and plaque accumulation – When teeth lose contact with one another the space that forms between them allows for food to easily collect in the area. Food impaction can injure 23-03-2015 11-32-01 AMgum tissue and cause bad breath. Continual food impaction can cause cavities, destroys gum tissue and surrounding bone creating large pocketing into which more debris can gather. Because this cycle of destruction happens below the gum line, it can go unnoticed for a long time. Only regular visits to the dentist will allow you to get baselines charted and monitored.

Tooth Decay – With increased food impaction comes a higher incidence of tooth decay. Food impaction can become a chronic situation. You will likely feel the need to floss after almost every meal and food can become submerged so far into the gum pocket that it becomes difficult to removed. Decay can go unnoticed until pain or a dental exam.

Sinus collapseSinus Collapse – When an upper tooth is removed, over time, the floor of the sinus begins to collapse into the space where the tooth root used to occupy interfering with the space needed for a future dental implant.

Root Exposure – The root of the tooth is covered with a tissue that is much less calcified and more sensitive than enamel. As a tooth moves out of it’s position when it over-erupts or tips more of the root tissue will become exposed. Patients often notice more sensitivity to hot and cold sensations and a higher incidence of cavities along this softer root portion of the tooth.

Muscle Tension – When remaining teeth move out of alignment the whole bite can be thrown off. Forces may not be evenly distributed among the teeth and some teeth may meet before the others do when chewing. This imbalance causes extra stress on facial muscles and joints (TMJ) that are also compensating. Tense muscles results in headaches, neck pain, earaches, upper back and shoulder discomfort.

TMJ – An uneven bite can quickly become a TMJ issue. Clicking, popping jaw joints, grating sounds, pain in the cheek muscles and uncontrollable jaw or tongue movements are not uncommon side affects of the missing teeth.

Fracture – The uneven bite that can occur with missing teeth often causes a few teeth to bear the biting forces that should ideally be shared by all teeth. This overload of forces can cause teeth to chip and fracture. If a fracture runs through the tooth and into the root surface then the tooth cannot be save. Unfortunately, it will become another tooth that must be removed.

Facial Collapse – Our face shape and size changes as we age and although facial collapse is usually more pronounced in someone who has lost most or all of their teeth, patients who have lost several teeth may begin to notice a “caved” in look to their face compared to others of their own age group who have more teeth.

 

Treatment Options

Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for missing teeth that will restore the beauty and function to your mouth. It used to be that dental bridges were the most common way to replace missing teeth. Nowadays, thanks to advanced technology, dental implant are the most permanent, long term treatment solution.

Dental Implants are so effective that many of our patients who choose this option tell us that their implant is completely undistinguishable from their other natural teeth in both appearance and function!

Been a while?

Ignoring the certainty of dental collapse now will eventually leave you facing more extensive and expensive dentistry in the future. Your options will also be limited if you experience bone loss and collapse over the years. If it was many years ago that your had teeth removed and are wondering what can be done now, don’t delay any further. Your dentist will evaluate your dentition and let you know if your bite can still be restored and any missing teeth replaced.

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


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Protecting Your New Smile!

When You Smile, We Smile!

25-01-2016 1-10-24 PMIt’s a wonderful day when you finally get the new smile you’ve always dreamed of. It’s a great feeling for us at Your Smile Dental Care as well. Nothing is so satisfying as seeing gratitude in a patient’s smile; it’s a feeling that never gets old!

Over the years, we have helped thousands of patients improve their smiles. For some, it’s can literally be a fairy tale come true when a cosmetic dental makeover has improved and transformed their smile dramatically!

There are many reasons why people improve their smiles. They may not like the size, shape or arrangement of their original teeth. They may have injured or diseased teeth that need restoring or they may just want to turn back time on an aged smile. In many cases, the flaws people see in their smiles may not negatively affect their oral health, but they can still have a real and lasting impact on their confidence and self-esteem.

Protect your Investment!


04-11-2014 2-04-12 PMOral hygiene
When practiced conscientiously and often, caring for your teeth can not be stressed enough. Dental materials can not decay, but your underlying tooth still can! Where your own tooth meets the cosmetic material is the areas that are most susceptible to cavities. We monitor these areas closely when you come in for regular recare visits. Your careful attention at home with tooth brushing and flossing will protect your investment for years to come.

Diet
 Aside from oral hygiene, your diet has the greatest impact on the health of your teeth. Snacking too often in between meals and sipping sugary drinks are the leading cause of cavities today! It takes 4-5 hours in between your meals for your saliva to heal the surfaces of your teeth after the acid attacks from eating. Respecting this time and the your body’s natural defence against cavities will go a long way in helping prevent tooth decay.

Abrasives
02-06-2014 11-14-48 AMWe want you to brush your teeth, but NOT brush them away! Abrasives are harsh enough to wear away surfaces. Over time (sooner than you think), highly acidic diets, hard toothbrushes, harsh toothpastes and powders, high-powered cleaning jets (home and professional) and acidic-based fluorides can scratch and erode the lustre, shine and even colour of cosmetic materials and roughen their surfaces. Rough and pitted areas pick up stains, food debris and plaque more easily. What may look bright, shiny and smooth today will become dull, pitted and stained tomorrow!

Gum Recession
Your dental cosmetics will be designed to fit up against the living tissues of your gum. Your gum tissue can shrink and wear away over the years because of plaque/tartar accumulation, harsh scrubbing actions with a toothbrush, and abrasive tooth pastes. When this happens, a tiny gap can appear. If the gum continues to recede, this gap can become markedly more noticeable and the underlying, more sensitive root surface can also become visible. Your dental hygienist will help you find a healthy balance between brushing them in a manner that stimulates good blood flow to their tissues and removes accumulated food and plaque while being gentle enough not to destroy and wear your gums away.

Alcohol
Alcohol is a solvent which makes it capable of dissolving certain materials. Excessive alcohol consumption and over using alcohol-based mouth rinses can affect the longevity of dental cements and white filling material used in cosmetic dental work by softening and dissolving them. Deterioration can cause the bond between the cosmetic work and the tooth to dissolve and can roughen the surface of white fillings making them appear dull looking and more susceptible to staining.

Habits
Nail Biting copySome habits  die hard. Those that can cause the chipping and breaking of your new teeth are worth spending time to control today rather than having your beautiful new smile repaired tomorrow. Try to avoid habits like nail biting, pencil chewing, opening items with your teeth and using your front teeth to do the grinding and chewing of molars. If you clench and grind your teeth, your dentist will certainly recommend wearing a night guard to protect your new teeth from these dangerous stresses and forces.

Sports
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Impact sports and rough activity can cause injury to the mouth, but simple play can too. While no one can predict an accident we can help prevent them by reducing the risks. Protective head gear and dental guards are significantly less expensive than the cost to repair broken and injured teeth. Before play, take a look at the surroundings, know and understand the rules of safe play and consider all that could cause potential harm before play begins.

Long Term Success

It has been our experience that patients with cosmetic dental treatments tend to take much better care of their teeth once they’ve invested in a new, beautiful smile. And while the materials used in dental cosmetics are durable and long-lasting, if they do require some repair down the road, most mends are relatively easy to fix as long as your dental team catches it early. That is why regular check-up are so vitally important to the long term success of your new smile.

And remember, fads will come and go, but teeth are always in style. Take care of them and they will serve you for years to come!

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


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The Smile You’ve Always Wanted

What is the first thing about the face that you notice when you first meet a person?

26-10-2015 11-16-00 AMUnquestionably, it is either the eyes or the smile that first impresses upon you.

When it comes to the smile, however, it can light up a room and be a very disarming asset for a person.

No one has a perfect smile, but oftentimes people will ask for one. What we try to achieve is the smile they wish they had – the smile of their dreams!

The advances in dentistry have been tremendous and now it is easier than ever to design the smile that’s right for you!

Perhaps your teeth are discoloured, misaligned, heavily restored or broken down. You may want a less toothy grin or have a gummy smile you want fixed. Whatever your “specific to you” circumstances are, we have an array of cosmetic solutions at our fingertips to replace, correct, align, modify or reconstruct your smile.

Just as people comes in all shapes, sizes and colours – so do teeth!

25-01-2016 12-22-55 PMA very important consideration when selecting the best dental makeover for you is ensuring that the final result compliments the overall shape and characteristics of your own facial features. A smile on one person may not necessarily look good on another.

This is where skill and technique comes in to play. Without this careful and experienced attention to detail, the teeth can be off colour, improperly positioned, too masculine or too feminine looking, disproportionate in length, improper in curvature, and so forth.

Many things have to be taken into account to achieve a final result that is both appealing and natural looking. At Your Smile Dental Care, the procedures we recommend consider both the overall health AND cosmetic wellness of an individual.

We invite you to call us at (905) 576-4537 OR (416) 783-3533 to schedule a consultation appointment. We’ll discuss the possibilities for your oral health and ideal smile so that you can be one step closer to the smile of your dreams!

Browse our smile gallery and see the amazing results of our
quality cosmetic dentistry.

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Yours in Better Health,

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


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The Year of Your Smile

Are you planning a move forward this year?

We’ll the time is finally here! The month for changes and moving forward. The time of year where we all sign up for a new lease on life and embrace all things happy, healthy and prosperous.

At Your Smile Dental Care, we are ripe with hope. Someone, somewhere is standing in front of a mirror and thinking about….Flossing!

05-01-2015 4-22-01 PMOh yes, we did! Not even a week into the New Year and we’re already dropping that five letter word. Dentists are lucky to get their patients to brush 3 times a day, let alone floss! Unwilling to leave it at a good 2 minutes of good brushing the tops and sides of your tooth, we have the nerve to suggest that perhaps you should clean in between your teeth as well!

Actually, it’s one of the easier rules to remember moving forward this year because you have probably already heard it before: You only have to floss the teeth you want to keep! True Story!

All kidding aside, helping our patients find solutions to the dental issues that they have been ignoring or putting off until now is our passion! This is the time of year that we typically see more patients wanting to take control of their oral health or deciding to move forward with treatment that we may have recommended.

We also see more inspirational and motivational phrases popping up everywhere. They are inspiring and are filled with the message of hope. We are all looking for happiness and studies have shown that one place you can find happiness in on your face. The emotions you place upon your face influences your feelings, suggesting that your brain and your heart aren’t the only parts of our body playing a role in the emotions we feel. Facial expressions don’t only reflect emotion – they cause them!

Open Laugh 2Smiling and a sense of happiness go hand in hand. Smiling, even when you do not feel like it, has immediate effects. Try it right now. Smile a great big, happy smile for 5 minutes. You begin to feel a sense of happiness right away. This is because smiling sends all kinds of different signals to your body setting into motion a sequence of events that triggers the brain to release our “happy” hormones. If you couple your smile with a conscious feeling of gratitude, a sense of peace and calm may start to settle upon you.

Smiling does not even have to genuine to have a positive affect on your emotional well-being. Imagine how quickly a contrived smile can soon turn into a sincere one if practiced every day. Imagine your life next January. It seems like a small act, but one that can make a big difference in your life and life of those around you.

The studies involving the smile/emotion connection reminds us of a patient who, because of some dental surgery, could not smile for a few weeks. She reported to us that it was the inability to smile that affected her mood and not any of the discomfort she was feeling. We have also experienced first hand how our dental team’s smiles can help disarm fearful or hard to deal with patients. It never ceases to amaze us how much more relaxed and friendly a patient will become after a smile from one of our friendly staff.

Hidden Smile - CopyWe are also reminded every day of the many people who simply do not like to smile because of the way their teeth look. Some even use the habit of placing their hands up near their mouth in a cover-up gesture. Smiling for photos, laughing aloud or simply smiling spontaneously when happy becomes a dreadful task and one which they will go to great lengths to avoid.

Sad really, considering that there are so many remedies available today. Even small improvements to your smile can make a big difference in your appearance and how you feel about smiling. We can address a broad range of aesthetic flaws with our in-office Smile makeovers and turn a person’s frown upside down in as little as an hour.

There may be some that consider cosmetically altered smiles fake-looking and unnatural and would discourage another from choosing a smile makeover, but we have been told by so many patients how much their new smiles have changed their lives! Wonderful news like this cannot be dismissed. Who could pass up the chance to help make someone smile and possibly change their lives for the better? Take a look at our smile gallery to the right of this page. Real people with real smiles!

There are many people that have fake smile without having had dental improvements. We’ve all faked a smile. Some of us are masters at it. Not such a terrible thing in world with so much grief. Sadness will always find a way into our lives – it has it’s place. If smiling more, however, can make you feel happier and be contagious enough to affect change in others then let 2015 be the Year of the Smile…Your Smile!

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Yours in Better Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 5SMILES
(416) 783-3533


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The Sexy Six

All I want for Christmas is my….

Broken 21We welcomed a new patient last week who works in construction. He was having difficulty with a jackhammer that kept jamming on him. It eventually misfired unexpectedly and it hit him right in the mouth and his upper left front tooth broke off at the gum line. He was looking forward to attending his company’s Christmas party with his family and his wife wanted it repaired before this event.

We are pleased to say that he left with a very confident smile a short time later and we were happy to be a part of his holiday cheer!

We have the pleasure of helping many people get their teeth camera-ready for holidays and other important events all throughout the year. December is always a busy month for us as we help patients finish up their treatment before the end of the year and assist others looking to find smile solutions for the holiday season.

The “Sexy Six”

This got us thinking about a phrase we heard a few months back – “The Sexy Six”  Sexy SixIt is a reference to the upper front 6 teeth and the suggestion that some people are primarily concerned about the appearance of these teeth while concentrating less on the teeth that are not as visible when speaking or smiling.

In our experience, there is an element of truth to this as in the case of patients wanting to start treatment on their front teeth before other any teeth that may require more immediate attention. Unfortunately, sometimes a patient may decide not to continue treatment once their front teeth are taken care of. If left untreated, the cavities in the remaining teeth will spread and eventually cause pain and infection.

Sometimes, back teeth are left in such a state of disrepair that they must be removed. If they are not replaced with bridges, implants or partial dentures a person naturally uses their front teeth for biting and chewing their food. However, these smaller, single-rooted teeth are designed for cutting and biting into foods and the forces that go into chewing and grinding are too ex7-14-2014 8-59-39 AMcessive for these slender teeth. Eventually, these front teeth begin to breakdown and eventually become loose from the extra stresses brought to bear on them.

We do understand that the “sexy six” (or twelve, if you include the lower front teeth) are the first teeth that people will notice when you smile and we can appreciate why these may receive more of your consideration. We’re here to give you a reason to smile. At Your Smile Dental Care we work in consultation with you to develop a treatment plan and schedule that is agreeable and is in the best interest of your overall dental health and appearance.

Smile Solutions

We offer products and services to help you regain your smile and enjoy healthier teeth and gums! Dr. Axelrod will be happy to discuss your options with you. Our friendly staff is committed to personalized care and you will always be treated in a gentle and compassionate manner.

We certainly hope you will have lots to smile about this upcoming year and we are always happy to help you find the smile solutions you are looking for. And, although some accidents are avoidable, others are unforeseeable – like jackhammers!  We understand the urgency of some dental issues.  If you have a dental problem that needs immediate attention over the holidays, give us a call. Our emergency instructions are on our answering machine and we will assist you in finding the help you need.

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Yours in Better Health,

The Your Smile Dental Care Team.


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How to Whiten Teeth Naturally

People want beautiful, healthy smiles and getting their teeth whitened is one of the more popular ways to achieve this!  In fact, it is the number one requested cosmetic dental procedure in Canada.

50 Shades of White

Teeth come in many shades of white and in dentistry we use shade guides to select or determine the colour of teeth. Natural Image 7teeth range from light greyish to yellow in colour, but there are many factors that affect the appearance or perception of these colours such as lighting, skin tone and staining.

Nature’s Whiteners

While there is no shortage of teeth whitening solutions available to consumers, increasingly, people are asking about natural ways to whiten teeth. If natural is the way you want to go, our disclaimer helps you to be informed because knowing the truth is the best thing you can do for the health of your teeth.


Disclaimer*

Before discussing treatments that naturally whiten your teeth, we must caution you. We’ve noticed that because whitened teeth has become so popular, many people are determined to use any means necessary to achieve a whiter, brighter smile despite the warnings.

You may have noticed that almost all webpages offering information on how to whiten your teeth naturally also mention the acidic nature of some of the remedies suggested. Results may not always be as immediate as one would like to see and this can lead to over use of a home treatment.

We cannot emphasize enough how important it is not to dismiss the damaging effect of acids in the mouth. If acids can cause cavities, which are essentially holes in your teeth, then it stands to reason that the repeated, daily use of some of these treatments will also cause your enamel to begin to soften and have the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve – great looking teeth! 

There is not some world-wide conspiracy amongst dentists and dental product manufacturers to steer you away from natural whiteners in an attempt to convince you to use professional products. It’s a matter of simple science. When too much acid or abrasive substances are used on enamel, erosion (wearing away) occurs.

Enamel does not grow back! Once you have scrubbed it off, it’s gone – along with it’s shine. Believe it or not, we want you to be happy and keep teeth for life. It’s as simple as that.

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There are four main ways to whiten teeth naturally:

1. Good oral hygiene
2. Home remedies
3. Avoiding stains
4. Professional care

The rule of thumb for natural looking white teeth: “If you would like to have white teeth that still look natural, your teeth should ideally be no whiter than the whites of your eyes.”


Oral Hygiene

Nothing is more affordable or easier than brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day and flossing daily. It is the only way to rid your teeth of food and plaque and takes so little of your time. There are many whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes on the market that have been approved by the Canadian Dental Association.  You can visit their website to find the list of toothpastes and mouthwashes that are safe for your teeth and gums.

Group of Fruits and Vegetables

Crunchy Foods – There are some foods like apples, celery and carrots that are crunchy enough to act as a natural toothbrush by scrubbing away plaque and stain from the surfaces of your teeth. These types of foods also cause the body to produce more saliva in the mouth to help naturally cleanse teeth.

Cheese – Eating cheese will leave a fine film on your teeth that can protect them from foods that stain or are highly acidic. Get in the habit of adding cheese cubes to your packed lunches or choosing them at the buffet table.

Home Remedies

Food whiteners

Malic Acid*Some foods, like apples and strawberries contain a low acid called malic acid which can dissolve stains on your teeth. A pasty mixture of the mashed up fruit and baking soda can be used as a toothpaste to whiten teeth. However, like most acids, it is capable of eroding enamel. If you are determined to use this type of natural whitener, make sure that you do so only every 3 months or so and rinse with water or a neutral mouth rinse immediately afterwards.

Lemons* – are highly acidic and can erode enamel quickly if used frequently. It is mixed with salt and used as a toothpaste for a couple of days 2-3 times a year. You must remember to rinse with water or a neutral mouth rinse immediately afterwards.

Apple-Cider Vinegar* – is used as a watery toothpaste, but results can take up to a month or later.  It is an effective method, but is a highly acidic way of whitening teeth and will erode enamel away over time.

Banana Peels* – this involves peeling one strip of the banana’s outer covering and rubbing the fleshy side of the peel against the front surfaces of your top and bottom teeth. You are to do this until your teeth are completely coated in a layer of banana paste and then you must try to leave your mouth slightly open with your lips away from your teeth for approximately 10 minutes. After this time, you take your toothbrush and gently brush this paste against your teeth then rinse your mouth out with water.

Baking Soda* – Good old baking soda mixed with water and a pinch of salt to make a paste is a common “homemade toothpaste.” In fact, people used this recipe long before commercial toothpastes were invented. It works wonders, however, there’s truth to the saying, “too much of a good thing.” This baking soda mixture is abrasive and can actually wear your enamel away if it is used too often. We recommend only once a week, being careful not to scrub your teeth too hard during brushing.

Hydrogen Peroxide – This is considered one of the most effective bleaching agents available and is an active ingredient in most mouthwashes and toothpastes. Again, you can make a paste by mixing equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide (some people add baking soda also) and apply it to the front surfaces of your teeth with a toothbrush or with your finger. Let it sit for a few minutes then rinse your mouth with water immediately afterwards. Claims that hydrogen peroxide is carcinogenic and can weaken teeth have been dispelled and it has been declared safe to use.

We do not recommend that you brush your teeth immediately after any of the home food remedies that contain acid. This is because the enamel surface of your teeth has been softened by the acid and any further brushing action within the next 60 minutes will continue to erode and damage your weakened tooth.


Avoiding Stains 

How teeth become discoloured.

There are many things that can contribute to the discolouration of teeth. Although, teeth tend to darken with age,  items like coffee, tea, red wine, soft drinks, dark fruit juices, colour-dyed foods/drinks, tobacco products, and some spices can easily stain tooth enamel. Poor oral hygiene results in the buildup of plaque and tartar into which food and drink can deposit. As professionals, we have seen a whole host of other colours, such as orange or green, appear on teeth.

05-05-2014 10-15-00 AMTobacco Products –  Some of the ingredients in smoking and chewing tobacco products leave behind deposits that work their way into the surface of the teeth causing an unsightly, brownish/blackish discolouration. Most times, the stain is so stubborn that it can only be removed by professional cleaning.

The Wine Trick!
They don’t make it a wine and cheese party for nothing! Eating a piece of cheese before taking a sip of your wine will coat your teeth and help protect them against the staining and acidic erosion effect of wine.


Professional Care

You may not have considered professional care as a way of naturally whitening your teeth, but the fact is, when plaque hardens on your teeth or stains cannot be removed by regular home brushing, your natural course of action should be to see your dentist or dental hygienist. The better your home care routine and lifestyle habits are the less time will be spent needing06-05-2014 9-56-15 AM professional cleaning.

Dental Hygienist

Whitening should never be used as a substitute for professional dental cleanings. Maintaining regular visits to your dental hygienist is the only way that tartar buildup and stubborn stains can be removed and is an opportunity to ensure that your home care routine is effective.

Dental check-ups

Caring for your teeth is a “team effort!” Without regular dental check-ups by your dentist, there is no other way to ensure that your teeth are healthy and cavity free. A white smile is of little importance if your teeth are not healthy. Your overall health depends on a healthy mouth.

A Word about Realistic Expectations

It is important to know that whitening techniques are not for everyone. Teeth that are stained permanently because of medications like tetracycline or have been repaired with white filling material, veneers or dental crowns cannot be whitened with products. If your teeth are not suitable for whitening there are plenty of other options available such as veneers or crowns.

While most tooth whitening procedures are safe and effective, it is also important to consult with your dentist to ensure that your teeth are in a clean, healthy, and cavity-free condition before whitening. Your dentist will be able to give you some realistic expectations about the degree of whitening you can expect depending on your natural tooth colour, your degree of staining and the type of whitening treatment you choose.

A white, healthy smile is a tremendous confidence booster and If you would like more information regarding teeth whitening or any of the our other smile options  we offer, give us a call today. You’ll be glad you did!
Your Smile - Copy

Yours in Better Health,
The Your Smile Dental Team

Added Bonus Tip

Lipsticks

04-11-2014 1-26-52 PMBy simply switching your lipstick colour you can downplay the colour of your teeth. The trick is to off-set the natural yellow colour of teeth which is considered a warm tone by choosing a lipstick that has a cool tone. So, colours that contain a hint of blue like reds and wines or have a cool, neutral tone rather than shades in the coral or orange range will make your teeth appear whiter in appearance.  Also, to help your teeth look moist and shiny instead of dingy and dull, shop for lipsticks that are glossy rather than one that are matte in their finish.