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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!

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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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Crowns for Baby Teeth

Stainless Steel Crowns

My Dentists wants to put crowns on my child’s teeth. This seems like an extreme measure since they will eventually fall out anyways!

Usually, dentists repair decayed teeth with filling material. However, when teeth are badly broken down by the cavity (decay) process, have had nerve treatment or are weakened by a developmental condition, replacing almost the entire crown portion of a tooth with traditional filling material is not always a practical nor secure solution.

 ss-crown

A remedy must be found that allows the tooth to withstand the forces of biting and chewing  long enough for the incoming adult tooth to replace it – which could be many years.

Replacing the diseased crown of a tooth with a durable stainless steel crown (silver caps) is the most economical and durable solution until the tooth falls out and is replaced with the permanent (adult) tooth. These caps are not made in a lab like permanent adult crowns are. They come ready made in a variety of shapes and sizes, no impressions need to be taken, and there is no additional lab fees associated with their costs.  Additionally, they are categorized under  “routine restorative” so most insurance policies cover them as basic treatment. They are just another way to restore baby teeth so that they can function.

Why not just pull the tooth?

11-16-2016-7-58-51-pmThis is a common question, and sometimes, the teeth are not repairable and must be removed. However, taking out teeth before their natural time is a “last resort” solution. Baby teeth are vital to the dentition as natural space holders for the permanent teeth. Their premature removal will interfere with the eruption of the adult teeth.

Removing a baby tooth before its time is not the end of the problem. The space where the baby tooth was removed must still be replaced with a spacer maintaining appliance so that the adjacent teeth will not start to move into and invade this important place.

The chart below shows the normal eruption pattern of primary and permanent teeth. You will notice that there are many years between the emergence of the baby teeth and the age at which the adult teeth will eventually arrive in the mouth to replace them.

 

Permanent (Adult) Teeth

During a child’s teenage years, The adult teeth continue to develop there is significant growth and development of the dentition and jaws. This needs to be taken into consideration when restoring a badly broken down adult tooth in a child.

If you refer back to the eruption chart, you will notice that the first permanent teeth begin to erupt around 6 years of age.

BGC

From the illustration above, you can see that if a baby tooth becomes badly broken down by decay or a developmental condition when the child is still young, a suitable interim solution needs to be found until the permanent adult teeth are ready to emerge into position. Stainless steel crowns become an effective, affordable and practical semi-temporary measure until then.

Stainless steel crowns have been around for over 75 years and are safe and effective. They are easy to keep clean and rarely allow decay to reoccur. Although, some parents may not like the metallic appearance of the steel crowns,  since baby molars are in the back of the mouth, they are less noticeable.

All of this makes them an affordable and effective treatment solution for an otherwise serious problem.

We hope you have found this article informative. Please visit and subscribe to our blog to learn more about Your Smile Dental Care.

 

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

 

 

 

 


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Back to School Dental Care

Making a list and checking it twice?

22-08-2016 4-19-56 PMThis is the time of year that we begin turning our attention away from the lazy hazy days of summer and back towards the upcoming new school year. Getting back into routine in terms of sleeping, eating and grooming is the perfect time to remind your children about the importance of oral care.

And although a dental check-up may be the last thing on your mind as you go through your child’s back-to-school checklist, you may want to reconsider. We now know that dental problems, including cavities, leads to more absences from school which can result in poorer academic performances.

Many parents do not realize that dental decay spreads through baby (primary) teeth much more quickly than in permanent teeth. Early detection can help prevent small issues from growing into much larger and more painful problems.

 

Prevention Tips:

Implementing just a few changes in the way we approach our children’s oral health can go a long way in preventing cavities.

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  1. Frequency – This is the #1 most important cavity prevention tip. Teeth need 4 to 5 hours to heal after an acid attack caused by eating/drinking. Mineral rich salvia is our body’s natural defence against cavities, but you have to allow it the time it needs to remineralize affected enamel.
  2. Diet – Any food that has natural or added sugars and starches in it can be used by bacteria in the mouth that then excrete damaging acid onto tooth surfaces. Highly acidic foods will also eat away at enamel. Decreasing the amount of sugars in your child’s diet, choosing water as their preferred beverage, eliminate snacking and choosing foods that help buffer against the acidic nature of other foods all go a long away in helping to prevent cavities.
  3. Xylitol gum – Chewing gum in school is probably still a no-no, but perhaps you can speak with your child’s teacher and explain the benefits of xylitol. It is found in some sugarless gums and is effective in controlling the amount of acidity in the mouth. This, in turn, helps to reduce the bacterial population and their damaging activity.
  4. Cheese – Pack some cubes of cheese in your child’s lunch and encourage them to eat if before and after their meals. Cheeses not only coats and protects enamel during meals and helps to balance the ph-levels in the mouth during acid attacks, but also contains minerals and casein which have anti-cavity properties.
  5. Water – Water is the preferred beverage of choice for a healthy mouth. Encouraging your child to also rinse with water following a meal when they cannot brush will help dilute acids in the mouth and wash away food debris.

 

Other Tips to Consider:

  • 22-08-2016 4-03-23 PMNo Snacking – The health of the oral cavity depends on the spacing out of meals. Hunger is the body’s way of letting us know that it’s time to eat, but snack time during school is now deeply entrenched in our school system. Educating yourself about the correlation between meal frequency and tooth decay will help you begin an open and honest conversation with your school’s administrator about the harmful effects of recess snacks not only on teeth but on classroom behaviour also. Good Luck!
  • School Insurance – We have seen many dental emergencies over our 30+ years in the dental business. Many of these accidents occur at school. We have a number of patients that benefitted from having had enrolled in the school insurance program that is offered. One patient, in particular, is still having ongoing dental treatment 20 years after the initial injury to his tooth. His parents certainly did not expect to ever have to use the policy, but are now glad that they enrolled in the program. The long-term prognosis for this particular tooth suggests that this patient will have ongoing maintenance costs for the rest of his life.
  • Sports guard – We can never emphasise enough the importance of protecting teeth during sports and playful activity. Again, we see many accidents caused during activity and the school ground is the most popular place for injury. No child probably wants to be the only students wearing a sports guard, but we do encourage it’s use.
  • Oral Hygiene at School – You may want to consider buying a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste for your child to use at school. Perhaps you can approach like-minded parents with children in the same classroom about this idea to help make this in-school routine more appealing to your child.
  • Plan Ahead – Life is busy we know, but setting sufficient time aside to plan healthy meals will help you avoid scrambling during the precious minutes in the morning to pack your child’s lunch.

 

Attending Post Secondary School?

Even young adults beginning their post-secondary studies should take the time now to see their dentist before school begins, especially if they are still on their parent’s dental benefits. With so many new changes happening during this exciting new academic experience, the stresses can build up.

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During exam time we get an increased number of emergency calls to our office from students complaining of pain, not only throughout the oral cavity, but also around the jaws, ears, head and neck. Oftentimes, it is due to the increased forces of grinding and clenching (a side effect of stress), while other times it is due to the swelling associated with the emerging wisdom teeth.

Another common problem is a sudden increase in the rate of decay amongst young adults in post-secondary school with no past history of serial cavities. Most times we can attribute this to a change in diet, especially the frequency at which snacks and beverages such of coffee/tea/sodas are consumed. Our recommendation is to always be vigilant when it comes to oral hygiene care and the numbers of meals/snacks/beverages eaten throughout the day. Give you teeth the healing time it needs!

A thorough check up before going away to school will help to take care of any dental issues that may arise during the school year.

Lastly, if you are thinking about having a check-up when you come home during winter break, it is important to reserve your check-up appointment well in advance as many students are thinking the same thing you are!


If it’s been a while since your children have had their teeth checked and cleaned, give us a call today.  We’ll make sure your child’s teeth are looking sharp and ready for school!

 

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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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Retained Primary Teeth

22-02-2016 1-50-43 PMChildren hit many different milestones in their young lives with some children reaching developmental stages well before others. It’s not uncommon for parents to be concerned and seek our opinion when their child does not lose their baby teeth on time.

While there is a usual pattern and time frame for teeth to emerge into the mouth and others to be lost, as dentists, we begin to become concerned when a tooth/teeth goes well beyond these expected dates and there is a significant delay.

There are several common reasons for what we called “retained” baby teeth. A dental clinical and x-ray examination will determine why the baby tooth is failing to fall out (exfoliate). Afterwards, the dentist will decide whether to extract the baby tooth or keep it in the dentition.

It is not uncommon to find differences in treatment options amongst dentists as there are many factors to consider before deciding on a treatment plan, such as preserving bone, aesthetics, function and maintaining contact with surrounding and opposing teeth be preserved.

Incomplete root resorption

Have you ever wondered why only the crown portion of a baby tooth falls out? This is because the root portion of the tooth dissolves away. Sometimes, the roots do not get resorbed equally or completely. The course of action that the dentist will take often depends on the location and position of the adult tooth. Because the baby teeth are natural space holders, removing them too early can interfere with space that is needed for the eventually arrival of the adult tooth. A dentist may wait for the baby roots to eventually disappear or may help the process along by removing the final portions of the baby tooth to allow the underlying adult tooth to emerge.

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Bone Fusion

22-02-2016 2-19-13 PMUnder normal conditions the teeth and bone do not touch, rather, they are connected by way of tiny hair-like fibers. Think of how a trampoline mat is connected to the supporting steel frame by way of tension springs. In this way, the tooth is free to move slightly so it can withstand the forces exerted upon it during chewing. Sometimes, however, teeth become directly attached to it’s surrounding bone. Treatment depends on whether or not there is an adult tooth present underneath the baby tooth.

a) Adult Tooth present – If the baby tooth is fused to the bone AND has an adult tooth to replace it then your dentist will likely extract the tooth. A space maintaining device will be placed on the adjacent teeth in order to keep this space available for the future incoming adult tooth. The area and adult tooth will then be monitored during it’s own eruption process for any signs of abnormality.

b) Adult Tooth Absent – If the baby tooth is fused to the bone and DOES NOT have an adult to replace it then the decision of extraction versus retention becomes a more complicated issue and bone preservation becomes a very important consideration.

i) Maintain – If the retained baby tooth is of sound structure and is in a good position to function (chew) with the other teeth then your dentist will likely opt to keep this tooth in the dentition and monitor it over the years. It is not uncommon to find many older adults that still have a retained baby tooth. Good oral hygiene is very important as there is no adult tooth to replace this tooth. If the tooth is lost eventually, then a dental implant can be considered.

ii) Maintain with Modifications – This is often the case when the tooth is submerged somewhat and is therefore lower in height and dimensionally smaller than the adjacent teeth. If the dentist decides that that the tooth is viable enough to be kept in the mouth, a few modification may have to be done to the tooth in order for it to function properly and have contact with all surrounding and opposing teeth.  The tooth can be built up and reshaped in order to achieve function, but the tooth and surrounding bone will have to be closely monitored over the years.

 iii) Extraction – If the baby tooth is removed now, the resulting space will have to be preserved with a space maintaining device until a future implant can be considered. The dentist may opt to perform a procedure called decoronation, whereby the crown portion is removed from the tooth and the site left to heal over. It is believed that important supporting fibers will then reconnect with the adjacent permanent teeth present. As these neighbouring teeth advance in their eruption process, the bone height and width can be maintained for many years until an implant can be considered.

Adult Tooth Misalignment

2-26-2016 1-05-43 PMUnerupted – If the developing adult tooth is “stuck” in it’s position underneath, in the bone, the baby tooth may also be delayed in falling out. There are dental procedures that can help move the adult tooth along in it’s eruption process and eventually into position in the dentition. Your dentist may send you to an orthodontist for further evaluation. In consultation with the orthodontist, both short and long term solutions can be discussed that is unique to your child. Today, interceptive orthodontic treatment can go a long way in preventing the need for more extensive orthodontic treatment in the future.

Erupted – It is not uncommon to have adult teeth come into the mouth in front of or behind the baby tooth it’s suppose to replace. Removal of the baby tooth will depend on the position of the adult tooth, in which arch (upper or lower) this is occurring and at what stage of “falling out” the baby tooth is in. Although seeing permanent teeth erupt out of position when the baby teeth are still present is an unsettling thing for parents to see occur, it is a common situation. Once the baby teeth fall out or are removed, the adult tooth will eventually move into place naturally or with the assistance of orthodontia.

Lastly,

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of regular dental check-ups. Dental development and eruption problems are more common than one would think. Missing teeth can be caused by a number of things including genetics, injury, infection and endocrine disorders.

As challenging as some cases may be, with today’s advances in dentistry, there are now a variety of short and long term solutions available for consideration.  Early diagnosis and intervention is often an important consideration in planning for a healthy tomorrow.

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

 

 

 

 

 


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Tips for Teething

Teething Tots

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Sometimes, it just seems so unfair. Just when you get to that stage in a baby’s life when they’re finally sleeping through the night the Terrible Teething phase begins.

What most parents want to know is how long the teething stage will last and what are some of the most effective remedies that we would recommend.

Unfortunately, we can not predict how long nor how severe your baby’s teething will be. It may surprise you to learn that some babies are born with teeth!

Generally speaking, however, teething can begin as early as 3 months of age and ends with the emergence of the last primary teeth – the second molars. Knowing that these last teeth will arrive between the ages of 2 to 3 doesn’t make the idea of teething any more thrilling, but usually there are some periods of relief in between each type of tooth’s appearance. Hopefully, you’ll learn what works best for your child along the way, making each teething period more tolerable than the last.

Know the Signs

Teething

 

The signs of tooth eruption will usually begin before the first tooth pokes through the gums. Symptoms can last for just a few short days while the new tooth emerges, or as long as several months if they come in close succession.

Drooling, fever, irritability, tender and swollen gums, and trouble sleeping are all common during teething. Your baby may also be more fussy at mealtimes, grab at their face and ears, and have looser bowel movements.

When to worry

Oftentimes, you may notice several of these symptoms together, however, some symptoms should not be dismissed. If your baby is experiencing a fever, diarrhea, vomiting or a fever lasting more than 24 hours you should have it checked out by a physician.

Ways to Soothe

Not all babies are fussy during their teething periods. If you’re asking, there’s lots of people and plenty of online sites willing to give advice on how to soothe your teething child. Some methods work, some don’t, while some can be actually dangerous  like this still trendy item. You will soon find out what works best for your bay.

Consider some of these simple tips to begin with:

  • Drooling – Excessive drooling, although part of the teething process, can cause skin irritation that can become sore and chapped. Rubbing your04-01-2016 10-18-29 AM baby’s wet chin can also start to irritate the skin after a while. When drying your baby’s chin with a clean cloth, use soft, dabbing motions then apply a water-based moisturizing cream or lotion.
  • Pressure – Try rubbing your baby’s aching gums with slight pressure using a clean finger or clean, moistened cloth/gauze.
  • Cold therapy –  Cold therapy can be a great reliever of discomfort. With babies, however, you have to be careful not to use extreme cold as it can harm the tender tissues of the mouth, lips, gums and even hands. There are products on the market that you can freeze, but we recommend using a chilled cloth, pacifier, spoon or teething ring and always under supervision. Be sure to check teething items often for signs of wear and breakage.
  • Gnawing – Babies seems to naturally grab onto anything and put it in their mouths. The pressure associated with biting on hard items can be soothing. If your child has moved onto solid foods, you can chill hard foods such as whole carrots or celery and allow them to gnaw on it.  They can hold the food with their hands or you can put the food item into a meshed product that is designed specifically for this purpose. There are teething cookies available that are both nutritious and shaped for handling. Again, close supervision is a must for any pieces that may break off and become a choking hazard.
  • Chilled foods – You can offer them their foods chilled if they will take it. There are products that are designed for self feeding of pureed foods. By placing pureed foods into the mesh container your baby will be able to chew and suck on the food without the risk of choking.
  • Pain relievers – Consult your baby’s physician if you choose to use an over the counter pain reliever as a remedy for teething. Understand the difference between  acetaminophen and  ibuprofen. Both are pain relievers. Ibuprofen reduces inflammation (swelling and redness), tends to last a little longer, but must be given with food to avoid stomach upset. It is not recommended for babies under 6 months of age.  Acetaminophen is milder on the stomach, but is not an anti-inflammatory. If you are unsure of the correct dosage, intake frequency or the potential side effects, always consult your doctor or pharmacist as this information is especially crucial for your baby’s welfare. Beware of teething medications that contain Benzocaine – a local anesthetic. It is found in common pain relievers for sore gums (Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, and Orabase) and has been linked to a rare, but serious condition called methemoglobinemia that interferes with blood oxygen.
  • Alcohol – No matter how much someone may insist that whiskey is the best natural pain reliever, we cannot recommend it use.

Late Teeth

It is not uncommon for parents to be concerned when no tooth has appeared by 8 months of age, especially when they see other babies getting their teeth. There is a usual and customary pattern of eruption, but some children’s teeth are slower to appear.

If you see no other signs of impaired development, especially with respect to bones, skin and hair, there probably isn’t anything to be concerned about. However, by about 18 months teeth should be starting to emerge into the mouth. We expect that all 20 teeth should have made their arrival by 3 years of age.

Use this chart as a reference guide:

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Your Child’s First Visit

A good recommendation to follow is to have your child’s first dental visit by age one years of age since tooth decay can occur as soon as teeth are present in the mouth. We call this 1st Dental Visit at 1st Birthday.  An early visit to our office is a good opportunity to acquaint your child with going to the dentist and allows us to examine your child’s dental development and discuss things like:

1. How to properly care for their teeth and mouth.

2. Dental development including teething and losing teeth.

3. Why tooth decay occurs and how to prevent it.

4. Proper dietary habits for healthy teeth.

5. Habits such as snacking, sippy cups, night time bottles, thumb sucking, pacifiers and tongue thrusting.

6. How to prevent some of the common accidents that can occur affecting the mouth and teeth.

04-01-2016 10-22-47 AMThere is an increasing number of children developing preschool cavities. Prevention is what every parent should be aiming for with regards to their child’s overall health. It has been our experience that the sooner children begin learning about the importance of proper oral care and having regular dental visits, the more likely that they will have healthier teeth in their adult years.

No one want a child’s first visit to the dentist be a repair visit because of dental decay, infection, neglect or due to an emergency accident. It takes time to build a trusting relationship with healthcare providers and every child is different.

If starting your child’s dental health off right sounds like a good idea, give us a call today!

At Your Smile Dental Care, we believe that kids like to have fun. We know from experience that introducing your child to the dentist at an early age and in a positive, relaxed manner will help them come to see dental visits as routine so they can avoid future apprehension.

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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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Fake Braces: Life Hack or Life Threatening?

Brace Yourself for this…

If you were to search the words, “fake braces” on you tube you would get 39,000 hits!

DIY dentistryHave you ever even heard of fake braces?

No? Well, neither did any of our patients when we asked, but it’s a growing trend!

There is an enormous market for knock-off braces and people worldwide have taken a shine to what used to be an embarrassing rite of passage for most kids. While some people are truly looking for a cost-free life hack to eliminate the gaps between their teeth, others are hoping to add a little fashion to their smile.

#hackjob

For years now, orthodontia has been seen as somewhat of a status symbol with many kids believing that they are a sign of wealth or are a way of putting a “geek is the new chic” spin on their looks. This life hack, however, can cause just that … a hack job on your teeth and gums!

No Limit to the Imagination

8-17-2015 10-31-04 AMKids are very imaginative with their DIY ideas and are using all kinds of novel methods to get the results and look they are aiming for ~ rubber bands, coloured elastics, bobby pins, paper clips, earring backs, string, fishing line ~ you name it! Fake braces kits are also available online in a variety of colours and designs with some people resorting to using crazy glue to cement the appliance to their teeth for better adhesion and elastics to force their teeth together and rid their smiles of the gap tooth look.

Dangerous Trend

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that requires additional schooling after receiving a dental degree. It requires a particular set of skills and experience that takes into careful consideration how very attentive one must be when moving teeth through bone. Non-medical orthodontic braces can pose a serious health risk for wearers.

Taking your smile into your own hands…
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What Damage Can Occur?

Bone and Tooth Resorption – Resorption is a process by which something wears away usually due to forces upon it. The greater the force – the higher the rate of wear. The movement process, if done incorrectly or too quickly, can cause too much bone and even the root of the tooth to wear away.

Dead Teeth – Each tooth has blood, lymph and nerve vessels that enter at the end of each root to keep the tooth nourished and vital. This supply can be damaged and possibly cut off during DIY tooth movement causing the teeth to die. Infection and loose teeth can eventually occur.

Loose Teeth – Placing rubber bands around teeth can bring teeth quickly together, but they can also damage bone and soft tissue in the process. It used to be a dental technique used by dentists to help teeth they plan to extract to loosen up faster.  The bone that surrounds each tooth is not very thick. Too much movement in the wrong direction can actually cause so much bone destruction and in such a quick amount of time that it completely wears away. The tooth loses its greatest support feature and becomes very loose.

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Photo from manubaydental.com

Fenestration/Tooth Extrusion – This photo shows a very dangerous situation that can occur whereby the bone is worn away and the tooth makes its way through the gum tissue and is exposed.

Decay –  With the increased accumulation of food and plaque around the braces, decalcification and decay becomes a very serious issue. As such, the health of teeth is closely monitored during orthodontia. If the patient does not keep the area around their braces clean and the dentist can see serious signs of enamel damage, often times the braces are removed ahead of schedule to prevent further damage.

Discoloured Teeth – Damage to the interior blood, lymph and nerve supply can cause the teeth to discolour and turn grey to black.

Poisoning – The danger of poisoning from cheap metals containing unsafe or toxic material like lead should be a big concern for those considering using these products in the mouth.

Choking – Some of the materials used to make fake braces have tiny parts that can loosen easily and break off. If swallowed, choking or entry into the lungs can occur.

Gum Damage – Using metal wires that are fastened to the tooth with glue or wax can loosen and pierce into or stick under the gums causing bleeding, inflammation or infection. Winding string or elastic bands around teeth can create wear marks into the enamel and/or become lodged under the gums.

Very little to Smile about…

The Your Smile Dental Care team want you to know that braces are an important measure in correcting misaligned teeth and improper jaw relationships, but resorting to desperate DIY measures to move or accessorize your teeth can result in tremendous costs in terms of damage and dental treatments fees for repair. You can lose the teeth you’re craving to beautify and that could leave you with very little to smile about!

31-08-2015 3-08-30 PMThe good news is that some countries are now cracking down on this trend after the death of two teens in Thailand and are now doling out fines and even imprisonment for vendors who sell fake braces. However, warning needs to get out to those that are using their own DIY methods.

If your teeth are in need of some corrective measures, we strongly urge you to consult a professional. Many people do not realize that payments for orthodontic treatment is spaced out monthly over the entire course of treatment. This makes budgeting for braces more affordable and convenient. If you are using fake braces/retainers to just enhance your appearance, please know and understand the risks you are taking.

Referrals

If you have been wearing your own braces and are starting to notice some signs of damage don’t be embarrassed to call us right away! We’ve seen it all and are here to help you. Think you would benefit from braces and are looking for a good orthodontist in the Toronto or Durham region? We would be happy to discuss your “specific to you” issues and make a referral for you.

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

 

 


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Caring for your Baby’s Teeth

Do you know what the #1 disease among children in this country is?

03-11-2014 2-46-46 PMYou may be surprised to learn that it is tooth decay. It is a very serious problem and we believe that knowing how to care for your child’s oral health when they are babies will help to prevent what is essentially a preventable disease. Here are some great tips on how to keep your baby’s teeth as healthy as can be.


1. First Visit – Bringing your child in their first year as soon as their first tooth appears or before their 1st birthday will help to acquaint your child with the idea of visiting the dentist regularly and allows us to assess the development of their mouth and teeth. It is an opportunity for us to share oral hygiene instructions, diet information, teething tips and accident prevention strategies with you and for you to ask questions so that your child can start their way towards a lifetime of good dental health.

2. Gum Care – You can keep your baby’s gums clean even before they have any teeth at all by taking a soft moistened cloth, and after feeding, rubbing gently along and around the gum area. As well as keeping their gums healthy and clean, this routine will help your child to become accustomed to oral care.

Thumbsucking3. Thumb sucking – Because the developing jaw bone is still soft, the pressure from sucking on thumbs and fingers can actually remould the shape of the dental arch causing teeth to flare out. If you can discourage this before it becomes a habit, you will save yourself a lot of headaches down the road. There are a number of dentally acceptable pacifiers that are available on the market. Their shape is designed to help keep babies’ jaws in the correct position during use and their use should be discarded after the age of 2.

4. Diet – Because sugar is in almost everything, we all have to be extra careful to read labels and monitor how often our children are eating. We can not emphasize enough how important it is to allow at least 4 hours in between meals to allow your child’s saliva to heal any damage done by a sugar-related acid attacks to their teeth enamel.

5. Baby Bottle Decay – This is a painful condition whereby teeth become rotten as a result of being frequently exposed to 03-11-2014 2-59-08 PMliquids containing sugars. Even allowing your child to drink from a sippy cup all throughout the day or have a pacifier dipped in sweetened foods can eventually cause a mouthful of cavities. If your child is already in the habit of drinking from a bottle or sippy cup all day long or while sleeping, you can begin to break this habit by gradually diluting the sugary drink with water over 2-3 weeks until there is eventually just water in their bottle/cup. If done properly, your child should not notice the change.


Q
: How long should I allow my baby to drink from a bottle?

A: Babies have a natural sucking action that helps to soothe them and aid in the development of muscles, but they can be weaned from using a baby bottle by their 1st birthday and begin drinking from a cup.

6. Oral Hygiene for teeth – You can begin using a soft, infant toothbrush with water to remove plaque and food debris from your child’s teeth as soon as they appear. Avoid using toothpaste until they can spit effectively which is usually around the age of two. Even when young children can brush on their own, parents should still assist them to ensure that their teeth are cleaned properly. As they age and their dexterity improves, you can begin introducing the idea of flossing. Using floss wands/picks help when coordination is still developing. If it is difficult for your child to brush for two minutes you may want to use a musical timer or get them to hum a song like the, “ABCs” while they are brushing.

7. Germs – Many parents are surprised to learn that they can pass on the bacteria in their own mouth bacteria to their babies. Cross-contamination can occur anytime you taste your baby’s food before feeding, blowing on your baby’s food to “cool off ” foods, clean a pacifier or bottle nipple with your mouth, or share a spoon or toothbrush.

8. Mouth Injuries – Traumas to the mouth area can happen easily as a babies learn how to hold their head upright, sit, crawl and walk. As they age and become more mobile, there are new hazards to watch out for and a helmet worn 24-7 is not practical. If your baby experiences an injury to the mouth, bring them to their dentist right away where they will help manage the pain, determine the degree of injury and decide on a course of treatment if necessary.

First Aid for Children’s Teeth

The Importance of Baby Teeth:

The 20 baby teeth are important place holders for 20 of the 32 adult teeth that will eventually replace them. The goal is to keep them as healthy as possible because teeth that are lost too early can cause poor eating habits, speech difficulties, unsightly smile, and crooked and damaged adult teeth. For more information about the importance of baby teeth see our blog:

Baby Teeth DO Matter

At Your Smile Dental Care, we are very passionate about teaching good dental hygiene to children and their parents, but the habits are formed at home. When you know and practice good oral care at home, your child will be more likely to follow your good example. Together, you and your dental team can help your child keep their teeth for life and that is certainly something to SMILE about!
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Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783- 3533
yoursmiledentalcare.com