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Prolonging Your Teeth Whitening

How to Prevent Discolouration of Whitening

 

Tooth whitening is still a popular and effective way to brighten Your Smile without removing any of your natural tooth surface. With all the commercial and dental professional whitening solutions available, your choices are many.

 

Cost           Treatment time           Effectiveness

These are the top 3 things that most people will consider when choosing a whitening product. Very few of us have brilliantly white teeth and there are many things that can cause discolouration of the surface enamel including aging.

 

How light will it go and How long will it last???

These are the 2 most commonly asked questions about whitening: How light will the teeth become and how long can they expect the brighten to stay.

Not every person achieves the same results. Most people get great results, while others are not as satisfied. Some people have to try different products or methods until they find the one that works best for them. While still other, do not follow after-care recommendations that can prevent or slow down the re-staining of teeth.

How Light Can I Go?

How much your teeth will lighten depends on a number of factors. The effectiveness of whitening will vary from person to person and product to product.

 

In general:

1) Some kits come with a shade guide so you can determine your existing teeth colour before whitening then do an after-treatment comparison.

2) Teeth with grey undertones do not lighten as well as yellow teeth do

3) Depending on the product of choice, teeth should improve 3-6 shades lighter

4) If you are not happy with the whitening results after trying different products/methods then you may want to consider dental veneers.

5) How effective a commercial product is will depend on the amount of whitening agent (usually hydrogen peroxide) it contains.

 

 

How Long Will It Last?

Again, this varies from person to person. Some people whiten once/month, while others once/year. Some people say that anything that can stain a white shirt may stain teeth. So, basically, if you’re not whitening, your darkening.

 

You can keep your teeth whiter for longer by following these tips:

1) Avoid foods that stain teeth such as richly pigmented wines/juices/ fruit/vegetables/spices like turmeric/balsamic/condiments/soya sauce

2) Avoid or cut down on coffee/tea which contain tannins that stain.

3) Use a straw if you would like your richly coloured drink to bypass your teeth.

4) Rinse your mouth immediately after eating. Do not brush, however, for at least 20minutes. Your teeth may still be soft from bacterial acid attacks and you may scratch enamel surface. Food pigments can hide in these scratched areas.

5) Acidic foods and drinks can cause etching to your enamel surface increasing the likelihood of more staining

6) Avoid abrasive toothbrushes and toothpastes that can abrade teeth and ruin their protective coating.

7) Some foods can create a protective coating over your teeth – like cheese. You can eat then before eating foods you think may stain your teeth.

8) Good oral hygiene is a must to keep unsightly plaque from accumulating which also picks up stains from the food/drinks we consume.

9) Understand, the bacteria acids can erode and pit teeth which allows a place for food stains to accumulate.

10) Check food labels. Many foods have colourants you may not even be aware of.

11) Some whitening systems include a touch-up kit that allows you to do a quick lightening at intervals.

Other Considerations:

Sensitivity – We always recommend that our patient brush with a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. This is because sometimes the whitening process can make teeth and even gums feel sensitive, even painful. Using a Sensitive Toothpaste will help reduce the likelihood of sensitivity or reduce it dramatically. This will allow you to perform the treatment for the recommended length of time without interruption or discomfort.

 

Clean Teeth – We also advise that you have your teeth professionally cleaned before whitening. By doing so, your dental professional will be able to remove some surface staining during the polishing procedure and tartar (calculus) that you already have on your tooth surface. You will ideally like to have the whitening solution contact enamel surface without having to penetrate through hard stone tartar.

 

Origin – Know where your whitening product comes from and it’s ingredients if your are purchasing your whitening from anywhere other than a dental office or reputable pharmacy. If you are having in-office bleaching anywhere other than a dental office then be aware of the place of manufacture and ingredients. If you are not able to review the product or care provider properly, then research or ask your dentist before starting treatment.

 

Existing Dental Work – Lastly, some people are disappointed to learn that whitening can only change the shade of existing, natural teeth. Dental restorations, such as crowns, bridges, white fillings and the false teeth on dentures are unaffected by the whitening procedure. If this is the case, you’ll want to speak with your dentist about other treatment options to help brighten your smile.

 

Have more questions about Teeth Whitening?
Give us a call today at (905) 5 SMILES and our friendly team will be happy to help you!

 

 

The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
http://www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 


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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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The Consequence of Missing Teeth

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

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

A tooth here, a tooth there.

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

The Domino Effect

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

 

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

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

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1. Supraeruption (Over-eruption)

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

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

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

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

Loss of contact3. Loss of Contact

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

4. Plaque and Food Impaction

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

5. Bone Loss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Treatment Options

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

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

Been a while?

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

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


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Feeling Anxious about your next Dental Visit?

Covering mouthWe get a lot of calls at Your Smile Dental Care from patients that suffer from what we call dental anxiety. Some people describe themselves as being dentalphobes and it is not uncommon for people to tell us that it has taken more than a year just to summon up the courage to make their first telephone call to our office.

Most people tell us that their fears stem from previous traumatic experiences as a child or in the past and this is usually the most common reason for dental fears. However, there are plenty of patients who confess that, although they have never had a bad experience at the dentist, the deep seated fears they harbour were instilled in them from another fearful person.


FACT: Dental Fear is one of the most common fears worldwide


At Your Smile Dental Care, we pride ourselves on making you feel happy that you finally walked through our doors. Putting you at ease and making you feel comfortable throughout your experience is just as important to us as it is to you.

Our dentists and hygienists ensure that you have a complete understanding of your dental health and treatment recommendations. Not only will they take the time to explain things to you, but they will also encourage you to ask all the questions you need to without being made to feel rushed. Our in house treatment coordinator, Tracy, will also go over everything with you so that there’s no confusion nor any apprehension about what kind of treatment you will be receiving.

We’re here to help alleviate any of the fears or anxieties you may have about going to the dentist.

23-11-2015 3-37-08 PMOftentimes, patients just want to have a pleasant distraction available during their appointment. Whether you prefer a movie, music, a soft blanket and pillow, a friend to accompany you into the treatment room or just a caring hand to hold, we’re here to make your experience as comfortable and as relaxing as we can for you. In addition, we offer conscious sedation dentistry (laughing gas) to help calm you during your appointment.


Many Big Journeys begin with Small Steps


25-02-2016 11-19-50 AMDon’t let fear keep you from the health you deserve. Take time for yourself and begin your journey to dental wellness today. Your first step can be a quick phone call, then next maybe an office visit just to meet us. It doesn’t cost a thing to start making inquiries and you need not commit to anything. First steps, baby steps, whatever you want to call it, taking it slowly, carefully and thoughtfully in the beginning is sometimes the best way to get things done eventually.

We understand this. Dental care is our job and our passion!

With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Sam and his long term, committed, dental team know and appreciate the extra efforts some people have to make and the patience and understanding they need from us.

We care about you and Your Smile.
Let us help you make those first steps!


Have a Question?  Want to send us a quick message?
Need to make an appointment?

Click on the link below and one of our caring team members will contact you ASAP!

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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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Sports Drinks and Your Smile

8-13-2015 2-03-28 PM

 

Whew!

8-13-2015 2-10-10 PMYou’re taking a break from some heavy duty activity and you’re sweaty and thirsty. A cold, refreshing sports drink is usually your beverage of choice to quench your dry mouth and help replace those important electrolytes you’ve just lost.

Seems health and harmless enough, but did you know, with consistent use, many sports drinks can cause seriously damage to your teeth, making them more susceptible to corrosion and tooth decay?


Acid Attack

If the amount of sugar in these types of drinks isn’t alarming enough, the acidic nature of the phosphoric or citric acids contents can erode the enamel right off your teeth!

When exposed to the corrosive nature of these acids, the outer, shiny layer of enamel begins to break open and dissolve. It doesn’t take long for the damage to be irreversible. We call this an “acid attack” and it can take up to an hour before your saliva can neutralize the acidic levels in your mouth after you are finished your drink.

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Think brushing your teeth right away will help?


Think Again…

The scrubbing action of brushing your teeth immediately afterwards can cause further damage because the tooth’s enamel is in a weakened, soft state during this acid attack.

At What Costs?

We’re not trying to make activity even harder to recover from than it already is. Tooth damage from the frequent use of acidic drinks is becoming a serious concern for dentists and the damage, in terms of dental destruction and the associated financial costs, can be staggering.

What Can You Do?


Water: sometimes it just doesn’t cut it…

8-13-2015 2-12-15 PMWe recommend good ol’ water to help quench your thirst and stay hydrated. However, if you are involved in very intense exercise and training in hot weather for long periods of time, replacing the electrolytes you’ve lost during activity is extremely important for your overall recovery, fitness and health.

Depending on where you live, ordinary tap water also contains salt and other minerals. You would have to know how much as it is unlikely that it contains the quantity you’ll need to help you recover after intense exercise.

Simply put, normal table salt makes up the bulk of the electrolytes you’ll find in most sports drinks, It also will contain some potassium, magnesium, calcium and chloride which you also lose from your body when you sweat heavily.

Dental Tips:

Following the tips below can help minimize the damaging effects of the acids in your drink and are worth making a healthy habit in your rest, recreational and exercise choices.

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More Tips:

  1. Try to find a sports drink without all the unnecessary added sweeteners and artificial colors.
  2. Try to aim and squirt dink towards back of your throat in an attempt to avoid contact with teeth.
  3. If all you need to do is stay hydrated during normal hot weather and moderate exercise, water should be sufficient.
  4. Remember, that activity isn’t the only way you lose sustenance from you body. Consider also that illness and fasting will cause the depletion of important nutrients.
  5. Mineral water (not spring or distilled water) can be an adequate alternative. Read the lable as some contains more sodium than the average sports drink.
  6. You may be able to find a coconut water that contains the level of potassium and sodium  you’re looking for as an endurance athlete. Watch out for the sugar content.
  7. Be careful to read all labels. Some drinks carry a high content of  sugar and even caffeine for some extra kick!
  8. Know that high sodium drinks can cause more thirst, so always have water on hand if you find that your sports drink didn’t quite do the trick in quenching your initial dryness and for rinsing your teeth afterwards.
  9. Don’t like the bland taste of water? Get a filter or try adding a slice of fresh fruit to your drink.
  10. Read your favourite sports drink label, do the math and make a DIY recovery drink. You can also add your own flavouring and colour using instant drink powders. Search the internet for some great online recipes.
  11. Be careful to ensure your mouth isn’t frequently in a state of dryness. Saliva is the essential factor in tooth remineralization after an acid (demineralization) attack.

A word of about a thing called Hunger

8-13-2015 3-20-42 PMIt takes 4-5 hours for your saliva to repair acidic damage done to your teeth. This process should not be interrupted with anything other than water or a non-carbohydrate substance.

Hunger gets such a bad rap! It’s actually a natural reoccurring event that is suppose to happen to let you know that it’s time to eat. So, unless you’re diabetic or have another health-related issue that prevents you from fasting between meals, allow this natural process to happen and let your body use this time for repair.

For the Best of the Best…

And lastly, If you’re an elite, competitive athlete who must undergo mandatory drug testing you already know to use your own sports drink bottle not the large, free for all jug provided at some training facilities/events by sponsors and may be easily “accessible” by anyone. Not that we’re suggesting anything, but you can never be too careful when so much is at stake!


Protect Your Smile,

The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
http://www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

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How to Whiten Teeth Naturally

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

50 Shades of White

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

Nature’s Whiteners

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


Disclaimer*

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

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

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

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

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

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There are four main ways to whiten teeth naturally:

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

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


Oral Hygiene

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

Group of Fruits and Vegetables

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

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

Home Remedies

Food whiteners

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Avoiding Stains 

How teeth become discoloured.

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

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

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


Professional Care

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

Dental Hygienist

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

Dental check-ups

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

A Word about Realistic Expectations

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

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

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

Added Bonus Tip

Lipsticks

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


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Mouthwash and Germs

Last week we had a visit to our Oshawa Dental office from one of our dental suppliers, MariLou. She is always such an inspiration, and once again, she presented us with a wealth of information to help our Oshawa dentists and staff stay up-to-date on all the latest in the field of dental oral care for our patients.

As most of our patients know, we always have mouth rinse near the sinks in each of our dental care room as well as in our restrooms. We have always encouraged our patients to rinse and then freshen up with some mouth rinse before they leave after treatment. However, as our Listerine rep, MariLou introduced the idea of having patients rinse before their dental treatment.

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The benefit behind this idea is that, because some antimicrobial, therapeutic mouth rinses, like Listerine, kills up to 99.9% of the bacteria in your mouth, pre-rinsing will help reduce the amount of germs that can splatter from a patient’s mouth contaminating nearby equipment, surfaces and clothing. It is also thought that pre-rinsing and gargling will also help to eliminate most of the germs that are already present in your mouth that may enter into your body system through your blood or throat.

A safer and cleaner environment for our patients and staff…

Now, everyone knows that we take great care in disinfecting our care rooms in between patients. Although many of the surfaces in our treatment rooms are protected with barrier wrap and we use only the best disinfectants on the market, if the studies are correct and this idea really does eliminate most of the of tiny droplets of germs that become airborne then this is how we are going to roll from now on.

We always like to be ahead of the game when it comes to great ideas that soon become industry standards. If you would like to find our more information about this new preventative measure you can follow the links below:

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information Study 
  2. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

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This Winter and All Year Long….

We don’t stop caring about you when you leave our office. In between visits  your wellbeing is important to us, so, in consideration of the upcoming winter season and all of the associated illnesses that accompany this time of year, we thought that the suggestion to rinse and gargle with an antiseptic mouth rinse was a good idea.

Germs live everywhere in the mouth, but did you know that your teeth only make up 25% of the oral cavity? In order to help get all of your mouth clean we recommend that you rinse and gargle for 30 seconds once a day. Doing so would be just one more thing you can do to help reduce your chances of becoming sick this winter.

We know you try hard to brush and floss 2-3 times without having to add another 30 seconds to your routine, but if rinsing with an antibacterial mouth wash is as effective as all the studies say it is, then it is seconds worth adding. But remember, an effective mouth rinse is intended to be a supplement to, not a replacement for, daily tooth brushing and flossing.

There are many different types of mouth rinses on the market – each with their own specific goal. Make 18-10-2014 8-47-27 AMsure that you choose a product that is recognised by the Canadian Dental Association and is a antibacterial, therapeutic mouthwash with essential oils that help penetrate plaque. Also, to avoid cross-contamination, never drink directly from the mouth rinse bottle. Use the lid of the bottle to pour the amount of rinse needed into a separate cup – usually about 20ml/4tsp. Use this portion to rinse/gargle with.

Ensuring that our office is a safe and clean environment for our patients and staff is important to us. We hope that you will be happy to embrace this new infection control measure. Smelling your sweet breath will just be a little added bonus for us….

Until next week – Be well,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team

Oshawa Dentist (905) 576-4537                Toronto Dentist (416) 783-3533

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