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Why is Sugar bad for Teeth?

Sugar vs Acid

 


Believe it or not, sugar is actually not the cause of tooth decay – acid is!  Sugar does play a major role, however, in the development of cavities!


 

Sugar feeds the bacteria in our mouths, giving them the energy they need to breed and form the sticky plaque colonies that accumulates on tooth surfaces. Because plaque forms repeatedly over teeth throughout the day, it continues to grow in size making it difficult for saliva to simply wash it away. This is why we need to physically remove it with the assistance of a toothbrush and floss aids.

 

The Battle is Real

Just like humans eliminate waste from their bodies, so do bacteria. Anything we take into our bodies that isn’t used, stored or no longer needed is removed from the body. We call this waste or a by- product. After the bacteria has used sugar for energy and to help them stick together and onto tooth surfaces, they release their waste. This waste contains an acid that is chemically corrosive enough to break open the enamel rods that make up the basic building structure of enamel. Inside these rods are the minerals that give enamel it’s strength. As the acids dissolve these rods, the minerals leech out and the affected surface of the tooth becomes soft when this dissolving action is taking place. We call this activity an “acid attack” or demineralisation process.

Every time you take sugar into your mouth, an acid attack occurs. The number of acid attacks depends on how often you consume sugar – and let’s face it – sugar is in everything nowadays!

 

The Attacks in our Body

As with most invasive or destructive actions that take place in the body, there is a counter response to balance out and reverse this damage. One if the most important responses comes by way of saliva.

Saliva’s defensive action is simply amazing and it also contains minerals. As acid demineralizes our teeth, saliva is there to repair or “remineralize” the damages surfaces. It’s a constant battle that takes place in our mouth all day, everyday, all of our lives. Damage then repair. The same battles happen all throughout our bodies.

Saliva also helps in the fight against cavities by:

  • restoring the acidity of the mouth to a healthier, neutral pH-level
  • washing foods and debris away from teeth and
  • helping to dilute and eliminate sugars left in your mouth after swallowing
  • helping to prevent the breakdown of the hard parts of the teeth
  • replacing minerals that have “leeched out” of the teeth during the acid attack process.
  • aids the digestion process by breaking down starches and fats we eat
  • keeping mouth tissues moist

The most important thing to remember is that after the saliva has neutralized and cleared the enemy as best it can, it now must begin the rebuilding process by repairing the damage caused by the acid erosion. It can take up to 4-5 hours to harden the tooth surfaces soften by acid.

 

4-5 Hours = Hunger

Hmmmm, that sounds familiar. What else, coincidentally, takes 4-5 hours?  Hunger!  That’s right. Your body is designed to EAT: eat, absorb, throw then be ready to do it all again at the next meal.  I know what you’re thinking – 4 to 5 hours?

 


We have become grazers. We eat and drink all day long interfering with the healing nature of Saliva.


 

Unfortunately, many of us have developed habits that thwart our saliva’s valiant efforts!  We have become grazers. We eat all day long. We sip drinks, we snack, and we justify our habits because about 20 years ago we were told that a snack in between meals will speed up metabolism and will eliminate over eating. What really happened though? We ignored the part that said “little, healthy choice” and starting eating/drinking often – all throughout the day.

 

Many breakfasts cereals with milk have more sugar than some desserts!

 

Did you know that there never used to be snacks at school recess time? True!  Want to hear how parents describe their children’s average day of eating?

A child’s average day looks like this:

 

Meal 1: Morning breakfast

Meal 2: Morning recess snack

Meal 3: Lunch

Meal 4: Afternoon recess snack

Meal 5: After school snack

Meal 6: Dinner

Meal 7: Evening or before bed snack

 

Seven (7) separate food intakes PLUS any drinking (other than water) in between! And have no doubt, there’s likely sugar consumed at every single meal. Natural occurring sugars in our fruits and vegetables and all the added sugar in out processed and baked foods. The food industry has ensured that sugar is used as a filler and taste enhancer in most processed foods.

 

Making Better Food Choices

But, the world is waking up. We are becoming wiser in our foods choices and becoming more educated at label reading. There ARE food choices that we can make that are dentally healthier alternatives to processed food that are high in sugars and preservatives:

  1. Fibrous Whole fruits are vegetables – Choosing ones that are whole and crisp help to naturally cleanse foods and plaque away from the teeth and surrounding tissues not only by increasing saliva production, but also by way of their fibrous, mechanical cleansing actions. Also these kinds of foods also contain antioxidant vitamins, such as Vit C and other nutrients that help protect tissues in the mouth from cell damage and bacterial infection.
  2. Cheese: Cheese (another saliva producer) also contains calcium and phosphates to help rebuild enamel, and releases a protein casein that can coat teeth in a layer of film to protect the hard tooth surfaces during acid attacks.
  3. Sugarless chewing gum – Today, we have a variety of chewing gum choices and those that contain Xylitol or Recaldent not only stimulates salivary production and prevent germs from sticking to teeth. Recaldent, contains Xylitol and  enables remineralisation of teeth by replacing enamel compounds lost during acid attacks.
  4. Water – Staying hydrated with water in between meals is essential in allowing you to stay hydrated while still allowing the 4-5 hour time in between meals that is so critical for the repairing of hard tooth structures. So, making water your beverage of choice is a wise choice indeed!
  5. Fresh cranberries  – New studies are researching the role that cranberries may play in interrupting the bonding of oral bacteria before they can form damaging plaque. So stayed tuned about cranberries.

 

We cannot emphasis enough about how important the quality and quantity of your saliva is for the health of your teeth. While teeth are under attack from bacterial and food acids on a daily basis, the good news is that saliva can reverse this damage through it’s natural remineralization process – replacing minerals and strengthening the tooth again.

 

What Can You Do?

Because we are all at risk of developing tooth cavities because of the bacteria in our mouths,watching what we eat and how often is just as critical, if not more, than taking good care of your teeth by practicing good oral hygiene. You can help your body’s natural cavity-fighting capabilities by paying close attention to:

  1. Frequency – Space you meals out. Eliminate, or at least reduce, snacking in your daily diet. If you like a dessert now and again, eat it with your meal. Choosing nutritious food, rather than foods high in sugar, acids and stickiness are also important.
  2. Oral Hygiene – Brush your teeth at the very least, 2 times/day. Wait 30 minutes after eating to brush, but if you can’t get to a toothbrush then rinse with water vigorously after a meals and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.
  3. Professional Care – Seeing your dentist regularly is important so that the health of teeth can be monitored and small signs of disease or wear can be detected and repaired before they become bigger problems. Your dentist/hygienist may recommend that you come in more frequently for exams and cleanings based on your own individual level of oral health, habits and medical conditions.
  4. Dry Mouth – The quality and quantity of your saliva is important. Many things can impair saliva production such as medical conditions, medications, weather, stress, exercise etc. and result in a drier mouth environment than normal. Your teeth and mouth tissues can suffer during these times of persistent dry mouth and this natural loss of moist protection can cause cavities, mouth sores, gingivitis, burning tissues and bad breath. Your dentist, family doctor and even your pharmacist can help you find relief, if not even, a solution to your dry mouth.
  5. Habits – There are many habits that can affect our oral health:
  • tobacco products
  • alcohol
  • grinding/clenching
  • thumbsucking
  • chewing ice cubes
  • biting your nails
  • using your teeth as tools
  • brushing your teeth and gums too hard
  • exposure of teeth to stomach acids eg. Acid reflux, bulimia
  • exposure to teeth to the chemicals and chlorine in swimming pool water

 

WHO Recommendations

The Heart and Stroke Foundation, Diabetes Canada and the Childhood Obesity Foundation are all on board with the World Health Organization recommendations and are urging Canadians to reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. To read the whole report follow this link: WHO Sugar Recommendations

 

So although sugar doesn’t directly cause tooth decay, it IS part of a process that so you still have to rethink your food choices. Although, there are many different types of germs in the mouth, eliminating the bacteria that love to eat and metabolize the sugars we eat is impossible. You can introduce the habits above to help reduce the numbers of these kinds of bacteria in the mouth and help to slow down their activity, but you can never get rid of them.

Habits are hard to change, but practicing a healthy lifestyle are the best ways to take care of your teeth and gums and get the upper hand in the battle against tooth decay.

 

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

 

 


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Kick the Thumb Sucking Habit!

 It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it!

Babies are born with a very strong instinct to suck, which is often evident even in the womb. Of course, this is necessary for successful feeding and there are distinctive actions that are associated with this need such as a rooting (search for breast) reflex, turning the head, sticking out their tongues, hand to mouth reflex, and fussing. This natural behaviour in babies can lead parents to think that their baby is hungry or not getting enough to eat.

 

These actions ensure a baby’s survival, and although the sucking action can be a complicated task at first, with practice, it usually becomes a skill that they master well. It’s actually the hand/finger to mouth instinct that, if it turns from a reflexive to a soothing action, should be monitored so that it doesn’t turn into a behavioural habit.

 

Depending on which “expert” you read, this type of self-soothing can be a calming strategy, a sign of a deeper rooted emotional issue or an early addiction. Addiction seems to be a rather harsh assessment of a natural, self-preservation action, but nonetheless, it is a habit that can be physically destructive to the developing mouth, jaws and teeth and this is what dentists are concerned with. What may start out as a good night sleep for both children and parents and the subject of many “cute” Kodak moments (over 14,000 public posts on Instagram) can turn into a habit-breaking nightmare.

 


“If thumb sucking persists, it can drastically change the developmental pattern of the teeth and jaws
causing open bite, protrusion and misalignment.”


 

We see the after affects of thumb sucking and finding the best suited, habit-correcting solution for your child requires patience and determination from everyone concerned. Many parents, who were initially told that this habit will correct itself naturally before their child enters kindergarten, will be the first to say that they wished they had taken measures to stop it earlier. Most agree that, if they could turn back time, they would have helped their child find another self-coping alternative rather than allow the thumb sucking to become a comfortable or entertaining habit.

 

There are a variety of habit-correcting appliances on the market that can be made by your dentist or, alternatively, there are products that are placed over the hand/fingers. All are designed to make it more difficult for your child to enjoy this habit and nip it in the bud before any orthodontic or speech problems develop.

 
All children are different and only you know your child best. Your dentist will help you explore the options available and help you choose one. Certainly, the more entrenched the habit is, the more difficult it may be to correct. Sometimes, it takes more than one method to find the one that works best for you and your child.

 

Tips to Help Your Child:

1. Begin the conversation – Help them to decide to quit by speaking with them about their habit and understand it’s harmful affects. Discuss germs, dental growth, speech problems, maturity, show them pictures and online videos, etc. Stay positive so that they can visualize the healthy outcome.

 

2. Plant the seeds of success – Words are your best ally. Use positive motivational phrases to inspire and empower them.

 

3. Reward – Rewards are incentives that help motivate and compliment their efforts. It could be smaller daily rewards as well as larger ones at key milestones that you have mutually agreed upon. It will not only add encouragement, but give them something to look forward to.

 

4. Progress Charts – Oftentimes, we have to break up our undertaking into a series of smaller goals. Have your child make up a chart with stickers to keep track of their progress and setbacks. Provide them with a reward every time they reach a pre-arranged goal. Understanding that this is a work in progress helps them top appreciate that anything that is worth having is worth working for.

 

5. Replace Habit – Help your child choose a healthy alternative to thumb sucking for self-soothing. It could be a soft, cuddly toy/blanket, an age-appropriate meditative exercise, or just some extra hugs and cuddles.

 

6. Identify – Knowing when and where your child enjoys the habit can help you be more effective in your approaches to curb the habit and help you substitute distractions or find creative solutions. Point out to your child when the habit is occurring so that they will learn to become self-aware and begin to recognise it on their own.

  

We understand. More often than not, the power struggle between parent and child becomes very real when the child is not a willing participant in breaking this habit. Finding the right balance of support and guidance without scolding can try even the most patient parent. 

If you are concerned about your child’s thumb sucking or any other dental issue, we are just a phone call away at (905) 5SMILES. We can help you find a solution even if it’s just having a caring conversation with your child to reinforce your efforts 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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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


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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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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

 


3 Comments

Dental Implant Procedure

Have Missing Teeth?  Loose Dentures?
Thinking about getting Dental Implants?

28-03-2016 2-39-09 PMDental Implants are modern dentistry’s highly successful, long-lasting, and natural-looking substitute for missing teeth or for supporting dentures. Dental implants actually fuse directly to your jaw bone becoming one with your living bone structure. In doing so, implants help to maintain your jawbone – which would otherwise begin to disintegrate once your tooth is removed.

So What Exactly are Dental Implants?

Simply put, your natural tooth is comprised of two main parts – the root portion, which is the part of the tooth in the bone and the crown; what you see in the mouth. Dental Implants replace the root portion of your lost tooth then an additional portion is placed that extends above the gum line to support whatever type of final restoration is needed such as a crown, bridge or denture.

How do I begin the Implant Process?

The dental implant process involves several steps – each one essential to ensure the long term success of the implant and final restoration.

Consultation Appointment – The first thing you would do is to let your dentist know that you are interested in finding out more about dental implants. Your dentist will discuss your specific dental issues with you, take some diagnostic x-rays and let you know if your dental and medical health makes you a good candidate for this type of procedure. Not everyone can have a dental implant placed since you need to have a certain amount of bone available to support an implant. Your dentist will check to see how much bone volume and density you have in the area where your tooth is missing. If you have deficient bone levels, you may be able to have a bone regeneration procedure done which is designed to help restore bone to an area.

Referral – If your dentist does not provide Implant dentistry, they will arrange a referral to another dentist that does. You will probably then have the final restoration, that is placed on top of the implant, done by your own family dentist.

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Diagnostic Appointment
– After your initial consultation visit, the dentist will decide the type of dental implant that best suits your needs and take some additional x-rays so that precise measurements can be determined. After the consultation and diagnostic x-rays, the process for dental implants involves two main surgical procedures at least 4-6 months apart.

3-22-2016 10-18-44 AMFirst Stage – At this appointment, the implant post is inserted into your jawbone. The site is then closed with sutures. This stage can usually be performed using local anesthetic. You will then return to the office about 10 days later to have the sutures removed and the surgical site examined. The site is then left to heal for several months. During this time, bone cells grow around the post so that the jawbone and post become fully and firmly fused together. This fusion period is essential so that the implant will not move and is strong enough to support the final type of crown, bridge or denture that will be place on it.

Second Stage – At this stage, the implant site is then reassessed and evaluated to determine if the post and bone have fully fused with one another. If fusion has been successful, then another type of post, called an abutment, is placed into the implant post. This abutment extends above the gum line and an impression is taken. This impression is used by the dental laboratory to create your custom crown, bridge or denture.

Third Stage – Your final crown or bridge is cemented permanently to the abutment. If you are having a denture made, it can be made to be permanently fixed to this abutment or a removable alternative can be made.

Night Guard Protection – If you have a grinding or clenching habit,  your dentist will probably recommend that your wear a night guard while you sleep to protect your implants and your investment from the destructive forces of this habit.

Follow Up Visits – Dental Implants are to be cared for as you would your own natural teeth. Maintaining your regular dental re-care visits is crucial to the implant’s success. Like any body part that is replaced, attending to re-examination appointments allows the dentist to evaluate the stability and health of the implant, bone and gum. Understanding that all of the teeth and their supporting bone/gum structures work together and support one another will help you appreciate why the health of all the parts of your oral cavity have a direct affect on your implant also.

Success

Dental implants have the highest success rate of any other tooth replacement option. Implants have been around in dentistry for well over 50 years! They are designed to last a lifetime, so they are well worth the investment. The great news is that if you ever need to have the crown, bridge or denture replaced or replaced, it can be done so without ever even affecting the implant itself!

Understand however, that the long-term success of any body replacement part requires regular re-care examinations and maintenance so that the site and surrounding areas can be closely monitored for health. Of course your mouth is not a car, but let’s use this analogy so we can drive (excuse the pun) this very important point home.  You would never buy a new car then drive it off the lot never to give consideration to it’s future maintenance. Your regularly maintained dental visits allow your dentist to inspect the implant for the presence of inflammation, bone loss, mobility etc. as well as the integrity/functioning of the restoration that is attached to the implant.  As with any unhealthy condition in the body, early detection is key to effective and successful repair treatment. At your own risk and peril do you ignore this recommendation.

Book Your Consultation today:

Our team at Your Smile Dental Care will be happy to discuss the entire dental implant process with you and answer any questions you may have. You can contact us at (905) 5SMILES to schedule a consultation with Dr. Axelrod to see if dental Implants are the right choice for you and Your Smile.

 

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Yours in Better Dental Health,

Dr. Sam Axelrod & the Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com


2 Comments

Dental Spot Remover


I just got my braces off and my teeth are straight, but now I have white spots on my front teeth!

 

Unfortunately, these spots are permanent damage to your teeth and are areas of decalcification where bacterial acid have dissolved the enamel during orthodontic treatment.

Did your dentist alert you to these  spots during treatment?

Typically, they do, when these spots initially begin to appear. They may warn you to start brushing better and may have mentioned the word “decalcification.” They obviously become more visible once ortho braces are removed and the look, texture and size of these spots will depend on the degree of severity.

 

The Battle

14-02-2017-3-27-12-pmWhen bacteria metabolize the sugars you ingest they excrete an acid onto your tooth surface. This acid is capable of breaking down the tissues that make up your tooth. Your saliva is rich in essential minerals and is the body’s natural way of repairing the damage from these “acid attacks”, but sometimes, the demineralization far outweighs any remineralization that the saliva can accomplish.

 

When this occurs, the tooth area in question begins to lose it’s shine and takes on a chalky, rough look due to surface etching.  The amount of enamel surface lost over time can be considerable enough to not only cause a very defined white spot, but it can eventually become deep enough to result in an actual cavity. Tooth decay after braces is not uncommon; it occurs far more often than you would think. Some patients have to have their orthodontic treatment stopped and the braces removed because their poor oral hygiene is causing so much damage!

 

2017-14-322Brushing your teeth effectively when you have braces on can be a challenge because food debris and plaque accumulate in, around and under the orthodontic bands and brackets making removal difficult. Extra effort is needed to make sure you are getting your toothbrush into all the nooks and crannies where food and plaque can hide.

Your orthodontist will recommend various orthodontic tooth brushing aids to help you accomplish this more easily. And since braces are typically worn for several years, this extra care is essential to keep teeth and gums free from the harmful effects of dental plaque.

 


“If you were not diligent about brushing your teeth before braces, you may find the new dental hygiene routine with braces very demanding”


 

 

20170214_110957You Get What you Give

 

A frank and honest discussion with your orthodontist before treatment begins is a very important step. Knowing and understanding the pro and cons of treatment will help equip you with all the information you need to make an informed decision before considering braces.

Cleaning your teeth will not be the only battle you may face with braces, but like anything in life – the effort you put forth is an indicator of the value you place on your smile and your interest in having healthy teeth.

 

Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy…

Having nice straight teeth with an ideal bite makes for a beautiful smile. However, if they are marred with these permanent white spots or riddled with cavities it can affect your smile for years to come, so you’ve really just traded one dental problem for another.

Treatment Options?

Getting rid of these white spots depends on the severity and can include one or a combination of these options:

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Remineralization – Your dental professional can place a mineral rich solution on the affected areas to try to minimize the damage, strengthen the weakened area and restore some of the essential minerals back onto the tooth surface. This is only effective when the damage is not severe.

 

Whitening – The white spots are noticeable because they are whiter than the normal colour of enamel. Tooth whitening procedures can help lighten your natural tooth colour to a shade that is closer to that of the white spot. The long term effectiveness of whitening depends on how easily your tooth picks up staining. It is considered a temporary solution because it usually has to be repeated as needed and you will come to know how often your situation demands.

 

Microbrasion – If the surface damage is very minimal, there is a procedure that essentially “sands”  or rubs away the white spot with a fine rock/acid mixture until the underlying natural enamel is exposed. Different people have different variations of thickness to their tooth enamel, so this technique depends on how deep the dentist must go to reach new enamel.

 

Fillings – If the white spot is too deep then your dentist can “scoop it out” using the drill and replace it with a white filling material that most closely matches your natural tooth shade.

 

Dental Veneers – Dental veneers are very thin porcelain coverings for the front surface of your teeth. They are a quick and easy way to hide marks and discolouration of the enamel. This procedure is generally advised when the other options have been tried already or the spotting is too widespread.

 

Straightening Things Out

Your home care can dramatically minimize your health care risks during orthodontic treatment. Following the tips below will help ensure that when your braces are removed you are putting your best SMILE forward!.

 

  • Brush 3 x/day carefully and effectively
  • Use orthodontic cleaning aids
  • Choose water over sugary/acidic drinks
  • Stay away from highly acidic, sugary and sticky foods
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste
  • Rinse once/day with an antiseptic mouth rinse
  • Maintain regular dental checkups
  • Ensure that your orthodontist is examining your teeth for signs of decalcification
  • Avoid snacking in between meals

 

 

At Your Smile Dental Care, we cannot stress enough the importance of proper home care for everyone. This is especially true when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment and have braces that can trap food and plaque easily. By raising your awareness and taking the time and effort to implement the tips above into your daily routine you will be making a great investment in your future SMILE!

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