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Too Much of a Good Thing

10-03-2014 2-45-27 PM - CopyEveryone likes the look of clean, white teeth. White teeth imply health for many and don’t we all want to look and feel healthy?

So many people want whiter than white teeth that many will often go to extremes to get it. Make no mistake – we love white teeth too and promote the use of whitening in our office, but when it comes to overdoing it, we have seen a few unfortunate mishaps arise from the DIY playbook.

Beautifying teeth is nothing new, but we’ve come a
long way
 from the corner shop barber/dentist

Having white, clean looking teeth isn’t a new fad. The Victorian were trending the whole arctic white teeth thing long before us. Unfortunately, they learned too late that the practice of rinsing with nitric acid may have given them blindingly white teeth, but it cost them their enamel along the way. Many were left with a mouthful of rotten stubby teeth soon afterwards. We see the same type of enamel erosion caused by stomach acids on the teeth of bulimic patients or on those who consume large quantity of acidic drinks.

And long before the Victorians, the ancient Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Asians were all using various items and methods to whiten and also cosmetically alter their teeth. So, beautifying teeth is nothing new, but we have come a long way since from the corner barber/dentist for a shave and a little dental work.

Moderation is a word we prefer, especially when we advise our patients about brightening up their smiles. Today, we are finding that patients are not only going to the extreme when it comes to whitening, but tooth brushing as well. Understanding that the beautiful sheen to your very calcified enamel needs to be protected, can go a long way when choosing what you will use to keep it bright & clean.

Online Remedies

YSDC3Although we know better today, the explosion of both credible and incredible online information can be both empowering and dangerous to those seeking a more convenient and holistic approach for their healthcare needs. Home remedies have been around forever and some are still with us because they have stood the test of time in both effectiveness and safety.

A quick search online will yield you all kinds of home remedies for healing or whitening teeth. Home dental care remedies may soothe or calm down an aggravating dental problem, but if the problems persists, you should see your dentist right away.

Attending to a dental issue while it is small is much easier to correct than allowing it to spread or get much worse.  When using at-home whitening recipes you must be careful not to use ingredients that are highly abrasive to teeth or acidic enough to erode enamel. Acidic or course products prove to be very counter-productive in the long run as they wear away enamel with their corrosive or abrading properties. If you are considering whitening your teeth with an online remedy or DIY kit, we advise that you also consider discussing the benefits and risks with your dentist beforehand.

Although, we’ve tried to warn people about the hazards of some of these remedies, we face a growing number of skeptical people – people who are dubious of our advice rather than these online claims. Unfortunately, they may not have seen the consequences firsthand as we have.

Everything in Moderation – including Abundance

 

Hard Bristled Toothbrushes

06-06-2016 3-31-18 PMThere are still many people who are diehards when is comes to using hard-bristled toothbrushes and what’s even harder is trying to convince them otherwise.

To some, it stands to reason that the harder the toothbrush, the more efficiently plaque and build-up can be removed from tooth surfaces. In fact, many people do not feel that they’re getting their teeth “clean” unless they are using a stiff, hard bristled toothbrush and scrubbing forcefully. Sometimes, we suspect that if Comet came out with a toothpaste, it would be a hit with some consumers. All kidding aside, you’ll also find all kinds of conspiracy theories online about the dental industry pedaling soft toothbrushes so that there WILL be buildup and cavities and destruction and that is unfortunate.

Any buildup that cannot be removed with a soft or even medium toothbrush, will not come off  without professional cleaning

The idea behind soft bristled toothbrushes is that the softer the bristles, the more “splay” or flexibility the bristles have to really get at those hard to reach areas in and between teeth. And unlike hard bristles that can cut gum tissues and allow harmful bacteria into the bloodstream, soft bristle are gentle on your gums. What you’re looking for in a toothbrush is one that allows you to apply the ideal pressure and bristle action to both stimulates the gums and provide the necessary protection of these tissues. With hard bristles, it is almost impossible to avoid tissue trauma and eventual gum recession.

Important: Any buildup that cannot be removed with a soft or even medium toothbrush, will not come off  without professional cleaning and scrubbing vigorously will only lead to damage of the supportive gum tissue that surrounds and protect the teeth. Even dentures do not need to be cleaned with a hard brush if they are being cleansed daily. Hard brushes can create scratches and grooves and remove that nice looking, buffed sheen on a denture.

How to Brush Properly

Holding your toothbrush to the gum line at a 45 degree angle, use very light pressured strokes in either a circular motion or a vibrating motion. Roll your toothbrush downwards towards the biting surface of the tooth. When you brush, your toothbrush should come in contact with your gums to adequately remove all the plaque where your gums meet your tooth. “Scrubbing” damages your gums even with a soft toothbrush. Using a hard brush doesn’t prevent tartar buildup. Tartar builds up because of ineffective tooth brushing. We have patients with the best of oral hygiene who still get build-up and need to come in for regular dental cleanings.

Watch our tooth brushing video: Dental Care Instructions

 

 

Diet

Do you ever wonder why that despite your efforts to brush and floss regularly you still end up with cavities and gum problems?

While good oral hygiene habits are essential for healthy teeth and gums , the spacing of meals is equally important. Minimizing the harmful attacks from the bacteria in our mouths go a long way in preventing the destruction of teeth and their supportive tissues. The severity of damage depends on how long and how frequent acids are allowed to be in contact with teeth.  Sticking to 3 healthy meals a day and avoiding the urge to snack will reduce the number of acid attacks that dissolve enamel and allow the necessary time (4-5hours) for your mineral-rich saliva to neutralize your acidic mouth and repair the damage from bacterial acids. Learn more here:  Getting the Upper Hand on Cavities

 

Your Partner in Dental Health

We  are pleased that more patients are wanting to take an active role in their dental care by improving the look of their smiles. It’s easier than ever to get great looking teeth, but safety and moderation are the most important considerations for the health and longevity of Your Smile.

 

 

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A bright, healthy smile is always in fashion,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 


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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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Aging Well

Top 10 Aging Smile Solutions:

Aging can affect your oral health just like it can your overall health. Even if you have taken care of your teeth meticulously over the years, your teeth can show the signs of aging and can make you look older than you are or feel!

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to correct or at least minimize these changes.

1. Dark Teeth – As you get older your teeth can appear slightly darker or dull looking. This is usually because the outer, whiter enamel begins to wear as the inner yellow dentin begins to thicken. Staining foods/drinks and previous injuries to your teeth can also cause discolouration. Solution: Tooth whitening or veneers can brighten your tired smile. Avoid foods/drinks that stain which can compound the natural darkening of your teeth.

Whitening

2. Dry mouth – Some medications can reduce the amount of saliva your body produces leaving you with a drier mouth. This interferes with chewing and increases the likelihood of gum disease and cavities. Solution: There are sugarless gums and oral products that you can find at your local pharmacy which can help increase saliva stimulation and fluoride rinses to help strengthen enamel. Speak with your family physician to find out if one of your medications is causing your dry mouth. Perhaps there is an alternative medication that can be prescribed.

3. Longer teeth – Ever heard the saying, “Long in the tooth?” If you are losing gum tissue (recession) more of your tooth begins to show. If this gum disease process continues, eventually the softer, more sensitive root portion of your tooth will become exposed. Solution: Fluoride varnishes/rinse and sensitive toothpastes can be used to decrease discomfort. Avoid hard, abrasive toothbrushes and toothpastes. Use lighter force when brushing. Consult your dentist to find out if you are experiencing the effects of gum disease. Therapy can be started to slow down this gum loss.

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4. Smaller Teeth – Teeth naturally wear over time, making them appear shorter and flatter. Clenching and grinding can also cause the biting surface of your teeth to wear down. Solution: A night guard can slow down this process and prevent further tooth loss. Filling and dental crowns can be placed to repair more extensive damage.

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5. Smaller jaw – Bones change over time and forces are constantly remodeling your facial bones. As the years pass, you will eventually lose volume in the size of your jaws. Losing one or more teeth without replacing them will also cause the jaw to shrink. Solution: Replace missing teeth as soon as possible to maintain jaw strength and size. Eating a well-balanced diet will help to ensure that you are receiving the nutrition necessary for bone growth and maintenance.

6. Sagging Facial Skin – If your jaws and surrounding facial muscles are shrinking and losing definition, the overlying skin may begin to sag causing you appear older than you really are. Solution: Aside from cosmetic facial surgery, proper nutrition, chewing and replacing missing teeth sooner than later are beneficial in reducing bone loss. We now know that replacing a missing tooth with a bridge or denture will restore chewing, but will also accelerate bone loss in the jaws. A dental implant, however, takes the place of and functions like the missing root while maintaining the valuable facial bone.

7. Tooth Sensitivity – The tissue that surrounds the root of your tooth is not as naturally calcified as enamel, is more sensitive to chemical and thermal changes in the mouth and is less decay-resistant. If your gums are receeding then more of the root will begin to show increasing the likelihood of decay and discomfort. Solution: Fluoride can be applied to these areas to strengthen the root tissue and the use of sensitivity toothpastes usually provide effective relief. It is important to keep plaque away from the weaker root surfaces in order to reduce the chance of cavities. Never use a hard toothbrush, abrasive toothpastes or forceful scrubbing tooth brushing action.

Muriel8. Chipped Front Teeth – Your broad, multi-rooted molars are designed for forceful chewing and grinding not your slender, smaller front teeth. If you have had several molars removed in the past and are now using your front teeth to chew your foods, you run the risk of breaking/chipping your front teeth, fracturing your root and/or loosening these teeth. Solution: Most chipped and broken front teeth can be repaired, but a permanent solution to restore proper chewing function must be undertaken to avoid continued breakdown and eventual loss of the front teeth. High quality dentures and implants can be made to replace missing molars. Loose or ill-fitting dentures are now a thing of the past now that they can be supported by an implant.

Note: Filling do not last forever. Maintain regular dental exams so that fillings can be checked and replaced/repaired if necessary.

9. Poor Mobility – Dexterity can become a serious issue as one ages. Arthritis, strokes and Alzheimers are just a few conditions that can making tooth brushing and flossing difficult. Solution: Caregivers must be diligent in their efforts to help Seniors with their care to prevent plaque and calculus build-up that can cause cavities and gum disease. Using less toothpaste and a toothbrush with a larger grip or an electric toothbrush can make tooth care easier.

10. Nutritional Deficiency – Missing teeth, tooth sensitivity, poor-fitting dentures and impaired taste can compromise the ability and desire to eat a well-balanced diet leading to nutritional deficiencies and a decline in overall health. Solution: Food may be easier to consume if they are softer, cut into smaller pieces, and more flavourful. Ill-fitting dentures can be modified or replaced and sensitive areas of the mouth repaired or protected with dental materials.

While we may be living longer, healthier lives, we are also facing many challenges in attending to and prioritizing all of our health care needs. Unfortunately, dental issues are among one of their most common health problems experienced by the aging population. With almost over 30 years of experience, we know first hand the frustrations, challenges and barriers that can hinder a person’s access to care. Whether you are someone who is looking to obtain optimal oral health as you begin to age or are someone who is looking to bring in your elderly parent/s for a long, overdue examination, at Your Smile Dental Care we are here to team up with you and offer you support and solutions while maintaining a strong focus on prevention.

Dr. Sam Axelrod offers a wide range of dental services to make it easier for you and your family to receive the care they need. Call us today at (905) 576-4537.

09-08-2014 9-12-36 AM

Yours in Better Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team


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How to Whiten Teeth Naturally

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

50 Shades of White

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

Nature’s Whiteners

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


Disclaimer*

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

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

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

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

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

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There are four main ways to whiten teeth naturally:

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

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


Oral Hygiene

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

Group of Fruits and Vegetables

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

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

Home Remedies

Food whiteners

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Avoiding Stains 

How teeth become discoloured.

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

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

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


Professional Care

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

Dental Hygienist

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

Dental check-ups

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

A Word about Realistic Expectations

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

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

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

Yours in Better Health,
The Your Smile Dental Team

Added Bonus Tip

Lipsticks

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