Your Smile Dental Care

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Clean as a Whistle? Think Again!

Clean Whistle – An Oxymoron?

Last week, as one of our staff members was driving to work, she had to stop as a crossing guard ushered school children across the street. This, of course, is a common sight as we make our way to and from work during the school week, but what went through her mind on this particular day was the phrase, “Clean as a whistle.”

So is this really an oxymoron?

Well, it depends on how clean one keeps said whistle. And for that matter a number of everyday items that frequent our mouths comes to mind: pacifiers, sippy cup lids, wind instruments, mouth guards, ortho retainers, toothbrushes, etc…


Our spit is literally teeming in germs – hundreds of different types! Obviously, it is important to clean items that are repeatedly contaminated by the germs of our mouths because otherwise they become a breeding ground for these bacteria which can result in sore mouths and throats and lead to systemic and oral infections.

Always follow manufacturer’s instructions and common sense for cleaning these types of items. Inspect and clean routinely and store as directed. Our bodies and immune systems are designed to deal with microbes and their attacks on our systems, but we must be extra vigilant when we are placing these types of items in our mouth repeatedly. Furthermore, people who’s immune systems are already compromised medically should be extra careful as they are at a higher risk for adverse health effects.

04-04-2016 3-08-02 PMAt Your Smile Dental Care  we care for mouths as well as teeth. You may not notice, but we are always scanning your mouth as we treat and restore teeth, looking for any signs of abnormalities.

The same approach should be taken with items that are constantly placed in the mouth – scan them frequently looking for cleanliness, or any accumulation of debris or even damage where buildup can hide from the eye.

And when it comes to musical instruments, someone in the music business told us that any deposit inside an instrument, like a harmonica, can harden and actually change the tone and volume of the instrument. Many things come with cleaning instructions, but if they don’t, find out by asking the store personnel where you purchased the item or by calling the manufacturer. Items, like instruments are too expensive to be neglected, but your health is important also.

Toothbrush Care

Most of us just rinse our toothbrushes after use and put them back into their holder, but there are a number of important considerations when it comes to our toothbrushes:

  1. 16-03-2015 11-40-06 AMRinse your toothbrush thoroughly after use with clean water before storing or you can go the extra step of using warm soapy water to clean it before rinsing and storing.
  2. Air dry in an upright position.
  3. Store your brush away from any potential source of contamination (like the toilet).
  4. Never store it in a closed container as bacteria love warm, dark, moist places.
  5. Never share your toothbrush.
  6. Replace it after 3 months, if it begins to show signs of wear or after an illness.
  7. You may also consider wanting to replace your toothbrush it you find it in a different spot than where you last placed it or if it is wet before use – Someone else may have used it. Gucks!
  8. Check to make sure there is not debris or toothpaste left over in the bristles before storing it.
  9. Although not necessary, some people like to soak their toothbrush in some bacterial mouthwash for about 15-20 minutes everyday before storing.
  10. There is no conclusive evidence that using a dishwasher or microwave is an effective cleaning method, but if you like to use this method just understand that it could damage or change shape of the bristles.
  11. There is also no evidence that using an ultraviolet sanitizing unit is necessary, but if you like using this method just be sure to check the condition of the bristles often.
  12. New tooth brush? Always clean it after taking it out of it’s package using warm soapy water and following with a good rinse.

No one is ever going to be able to get their toothbrush 100% clean without the use of a sterilizer, but keeping these tips in mind should give you some “peace of mind” when it comes to toothbrush cleanliness. If you would like more information on toothbrush care, read our blog here.

Sharing is not always Caring

Lastly, a large number of diseases are spread through cross-contamination – it is how germs are shared. It should go without saying then that the “swapping of spit” is inevitable if things that enter our mouths are shared. There is no way of knowing for sure who is carrying an illness, so the best practice is to always be careful not expose yourself to germs where at all possible. Sharing is not always caring and we are all at risk. Being mindful of the factors that increase the spread of germs to one another will help you stay safe and healthy.


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


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.


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

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Caught in a Daily Grind?

NGAre you waking up with sore teeth or jaws? Headaches?
You may be grinding or clenching your teeth during your sleep without even realizing it!

The medical experts tell us that deep sleep is important. It gives our body a chance to rest and heal. However, there are many things that can affect our quality of sleep like stress, foods and illnesses.

The muscles and joints associated with the oral cavity are parts of your body that rely on a rest from tension and activity. You may actually be surprised to learn that forces of up to 1000psi (pounds per square inch) or more can be brought to bear on teeth during sleep. Certain medications can cause these forces to rise even higher in intensity. People have even reported to us that they can hear a household member grinding their teeth right through the bedroom walls.


It’s no wonder why some people are waking up
with sore teeth and jaws!

If you are continually grinding and clenching your teeth during your sleep this can prevent your body from falling into that deep nocturnal rest that your health needs and that causes a tremendous amount of damage in the process.

5-5-2016 10-40-19 AMThis destructive Bruxism activity can occur during the day also. Many people unconsciously grind or clench their teeth during the day. One of our patients tells us that they are constantly surprised to catch themselves clenching during the day.

Whether your habit is mild or severe, if done with frequency, over time it can lead to pain and damage to the head and neck including, but limited to, headaches, clicking TMJ, sore jaws, sensitive, broke and loose teeth, sinus pain, difficulty opening mouth, bite issues, pain chewing, neck stiffness, earaches, and vertigo.

If you suspect that you are experiencing bruxism during sleep or are suddenly starting to suffer from some of the symptoms mentioned above, it is important to consult your dentist right away. Bruxism is an unconscious habit that can be very destructive. Your dentist will be able to have a custom fitted guard made for you to wear while you sleep. That way both you and your teeth can get a well-deserved rest.

Bruxism is the grinding or clenching of
teeth, mostly at night

nightguard111 (2)These night guards can also be found for purchase at local pharmacies for a relatively inexpensive price. We find, however, that our patients tend to wear through these types of guards much more quickly than the custom guards offered through dental offices and the repeated costs of having to replace the guards can become costly.

Our labs use a much more durable material that not only lasts longer, but does not easily warp nor break despite heavy forces they are subjected to. The night guards that are stocked by retail stores are often made of a material that can be easily and quickly softened so that you can custom mold them to your teeth at home through a heat process – much like stock sports guards that are boiled in water then fitted to the teeth. Others come in a more rigid material, but in varying sizes for you to choose from.

A custom-made night guard requires a very short appointment to take molds of your teeth. These molds are sent to our lab and within a few days you will be ready to sleep easy…literally!

So, whether your bruxism issues are minor and can be taken care of with a simple bite adjustment or need the extra help of a protective night guard, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We’ll discuss your symptoms and help you find a solution that is just right for Your Smile!


The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533

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Something About Mary, A Dental Story…

Building Relationships ~ One patient at a time!

26-10-2015 11-16-00 AMLike many of our patients who “grew up in our practice,” Mary never had a fear of going to the dentist. From a young age she has always been a happy smile that we get to see twice a year.

She brightens up our office every time she walks through our doors. One day recently, we asked her about this sunny disposition of hers when it comes to her appointments and her answer turned into this wonderful story that she then wrote down afterwards when she got home and sent it to us. We feel privileged to share it with you.


              I get excited when I get to come in and get my teeth cleaned. There’s nothing like that fresh, just polished feel after a check-up and cleaning.

            When it comes to my comfort level at my dental office, I’ve never really thought about it. I’ve been coming here all of my life and I feel a great connection with the whole team. When I come in, I get a chance to catch up and share what’s going on in my life with everyone and I know they truly care about me. Everyone’s been here, like forever and I have a connection here like no other healthcare place I attend.        

            One time when I was in about grade 10 we had a class discussion at school about fears. I couldn’t believe it when so many hands went up to choose, “the dentist!” I was like, “What?” I honestly couldn’t relate. I always looked forward to my trips to Dr. Axelrod, rides in the dental chair, learning about my teeth and how to care for them, choosing my toy prize in the treasure box, being part of the “No Cavity Club”, and going home with my new dental goody bag containing a new toothbrush and kid’s toothpaste and colouring book. I mean, what’s not to like about that?”

            My parents never made a big fuss about treatment or anything about the dentist for that matter, so visits just seemed commonplace and routine. So, when I had a cavity once, I never had any fear before my visit. It was treated like all of my other routine visits – fun, fun fun! Getting my tooth fixed was just another fun visit.

            Now that I’m an adult, I’ve been coming in for more frequent cleaning because I feel like every 9 months is just way too long between cleanings. I’m told that I have really healthy teeth and I know that because I’ve always taken care of them I will probably be able to keep them forever and not have to worry about my teeth when I’m older. Whenever any of my friends have any problems with their teeth I say, “Go see my dentist. You’ll love him!” That’s my story!

  When we first asked her about her sunny side, we weren’t expecting all of this, but we weren’t surprised either. We have many adults who have been coming here since their “First Visit.” We are tremendously honoured when they choose us to care for their own children’s dental health and appreciate all of their kind referrals of family and friends.

af51dd89-a5da-4f6a-b6d1-521031ac6af6Do you have a great dental story for us?

We’d love to hear about it and others would love to also. Positive dental stories help people have hope that they can come into a dental office, regardless of their level of dental health, and know that they will be treated kindly and receive the same type of care that Mary has enjoyed all of her life.

The road to optimal dental health is a journey for some and we’re here to help set you on the right path. It just takes a few steps forward to a place where you’ll find a comforting welcome! 🙂
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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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The War inside your Mouth!

Plan on staying healthy and keeping your teeth for life?

At Your Smile Dental Care we know the value of a smile, but with so much attention given to one’s smile, it’s easy to overlook other important elements of your mouth.

10-03-2014 3-10-37 PMTaking care of your teeth and gums isn’t just about preventing cavities or fixing broken teeth, your mouth is a gateway to your body’s overall health. More than 600 different species of bacteria, 70 to 80 different types of fungi and a few viruses and parasites make their home in your mouth. Although some are beneficial to our health, it is important to keep the number of harmful ones in check with proper oral hygiene since they can double in numbers in only a few short hours.

Inflammation in the mouth can lead to inflammation in the rest of the body and people with compromised immunities must be even more diligent in keeping their mouths healthy and clean. If left untreated, conditions like gum disease can leave you at risk for life-threatening conditions in other parts of the body.

During gum disease, oral bacteria gets into the blood stream and your immune system must then work to fight them off. Although different studies may report different conclusions, the chronic infection that forms during gum disease unquestionably poses a risk for various kinds of bacterial growth and infection elsewhere in the body.

Brushing and flossing is more than you think! 

Once you understand the link between poor dental hygiene and the wide variety of health conditions that can result, you will begin to appreciate just how important it is to keep your mouth as clean as possible.

Studies also indicate that a staggering number of people still do not floss their teeth daily. Since tooth brushing only cleans 3 of the 5 surfaces of the visible tooth structure this means that they are missing 40% of their teeth depending on the size and shape of each tooth.

Brush & floss like your life depends on it … because it does!

10-03-2014 2-45-27 PMBrushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day should be considered an essential not optional part of your daily routine. We all should be taking the matter of caring for our teeth very seriously and be careful not to rush through the time we spend cleaning them. And because germs live on the tongue, cheek and gums as well we can’t forget to clean these areas also.

We have noticed over the years that our patients with excellent oral hygiene tend to have better health care habits in general. A single step in the right direction can have an immediate impact on the condition of your mouth. You would be surprised at how quickly bleeding gums start to improve in both appearance and colour by spending just a few more minutes each day keeping them free of bacterial plaque. Using floss and interdental brushes to get in between teeth and under gums will help to make a significant improvement and reduce bleeding. Maintaining a healthy diet and reducing the frequency of snacking between meals will also help to create a better environment in the mouth and keep the bacterial population down.

The good news is that…..

At Your Smile Dental Care we believe that an educated patient is an informed patient! Cavity Free

We go a step beyond simply repairing dental problems and creating beautiful smiles. We strive to get to the source of a problem and prevent them from reoccurring rather than constantly treating them.  We take the time to get a broader picture of your overall dental health and reassess how effective your home care is. By updating your medical history often and reviewing your medications we can determine if there is anything that may be compromising or impacting your dental health.

Thanks to our preventive program we have children in our practice that have never had a cavity and adult patients who have not had a dental problem in years!

Finding a good dental healthcare provider can help you keep you teeth for a lifetime and in doing so may possibly save your life as well!  If you’re looking for a preventive care dentist in the Oshawa or Toronto area give us a call today. You’ll be glad you did!

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Dental Implants in Oshawa

All is not Lost: Dental Implants

Whether due to cavities, gum disease, or injury, our teeth may need to be removed before their time. Many people make the mistake of assuming that it is not necessary to replace a missing tooth since they still have other teeth to eat with.

Losing even just one tooth leads to damage that you won’t see or feel until it’s too late. One missing tooth can trigger a domino effect that will eventually cause dental collapse and the needless loss of other teeth. The lips, cheek, tongue, gums and other teeth work together to support and keep teeth in position.  When even one tooth is removed, this delicate balance is lost and teeth begin to lose contact with one another as teeth above move down and out of alignment, and adjacent teeth begin to drift into the empty space.

All of this causes additional stress on the dentition and a serious change in your bite even though you may not be aware of it. Remaining teeth are now left with the increase risk of tooth decay, gum disease, breakage, sinus and facial bone collapse, and bone loss.

This is the result of one missing tooth. Imagine what several missing teeth can do.

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However, all may not be loss!  The best solution for replacing the loss of a natural tooth and for helping to maintain the healthy position of any surrounding or opposing teeth is with a dental implant. Dental implant technology has come a long way in 50 years. It is simply amazing how many of the earliest implants are still being enjoyed by patients.  Today’s dental implants are state of the art and they are literally changing the way people live!

Unlike the root of a tooth, implants fuse to the bone often making them more stable than a natural tooth’s root. Not only do they replace missing teeth, but they look, feel and function like natural teeth. And because dental implants are so natural-looking and feeling, you may forget that you ever lost a tooth!

Do You Wear Dentures?

Even if you are currently a denture wearer, you can still regain the ability and confidence to eat and smile again with implants which are placed to help anchor and stabilize dentures!

So, whether lost teeth are a new situation for you or something you have lived with for years, dental implants are the closest thing to natural teeth. At Your Smile Dental Care you will experience all that modern dentistry has to offer, including dental implants. Our goal is to provide our patients with the information they need to make informed decisions about their oral care so that they can achieve and maintain long term dental health and a beautiful smile.

The non-graphic video below will provide you with a closer look at how Dental Implants are placed. We encourage you to browse through our website and contact us  if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.


The Your Smile Dental Team
Oshawa (905) 576-4537
Toronto (416) 783-3533

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Of COURSE we notice other people’s teeth!

Canadian Bobsledder Corey Sorenson taking out his Sportsguard after his Olympic accident.

Canadian Bobsledder Corey Sorenson taking out his Sports guard after his Olympic accident.

It was a horrific moment. We all watched helplessly as the Canadian bobsled 3 team careened out of control; trapped as their heads bobbed against the wall of ice. Then came the collective sigh of relief when they emerged from their sled. As the world was busy processing the aftermath, we couldn’t help but notice the protective sports guard that was dangling from Cody Sorensen’s mouth.

It’s a “dental thing.”  We can’t help it. What may go undetected to most people stares us in the face like a glaring neon light, daring us to take notice.

There’s no escaping it, not even while relaxing to enjoy a movie. Dentures on older celebrities, new crowns for Tom Cruise, veneers on George Clooney or invisible braces on Faith Hill – we see it all, secretly analyzing the “work” done. We’re guessing that this phenomenon is pretty basic with most  occupations. Much like a bricklayer scrutinizing the stonework on an archway or a fashion designer examining the cut of someone’s outfit, we can’t help but inspect another’s handiwork.

Thank you for the Shout Out…

A few years back a patient came to us to have her old, upper front bridgework replaced with a gorgeous new smile. While in line for a seat at the Astoria Restaurant during the Taste of the Danforth week, a nearby gentleman asked her who had done her teeth. She recovered from her initial shock only after the man introduced himself as a dentist and they proceeded to discuss her beautiful smile. To have someone notice your teeth is one thing – to have another dentist admire the artwork is a testament to the our quality of our work here at Your Smile Dental Care and we were honoured to say the least.

If you’ve ever noticed someone else’s teeth, chances are they have also noticed yours!

We’ve all seen the crews that scour neighbourhoods spotting instantly the homes in need of repair. To them the situation is obvious, but to the homeowner sometimes there’s a level of complacency that develops amid conditions that would likely cause anxiety to others. They are aware of their home’s deteriorating situation, but with other concerns demanding their immediate attention or finances complicating matters further, some repairs just have to wait.

We find that the same is often true of teeth that are in need of attention. Some people are literally worrying, fretting, and laying awake at night thinking about their teeth! Time, fear, finances, procrastination, apathy! These are all the most common obstacles keeping you from the radiant smile you have always dreamed of.

Getting a quote and discussing what would be involved is a good place to start. In doing so, you will be able to get a better understanding of the treatment and alternative options available and be advised if there are any serious implications of refusing or delaying treatment. At Your Smile Dental Care we will work with you to review treatment alternatives and provide a cost estimate for the treatment we recommend.

Whether treatment is simple and straight forward or more complex, arranging a consultation with a dentist is the first step to a healthier you. Dental disease spreads and will not resolve itself. Attending to dental problems before they become more complex is important because the cost of prevention is always far less than the cost of neglect.

We wonder if the chiropractors in the clinic next to us get to enjoy lounging on the beach in the summer or are they too busy checking out everyone’s alignment?  Just wondering….

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Dr. Sam Axelrod & the Your Smile Dental Team
Oshawa (905) 576-4537
Toronto (416) 783-3533