Your Smile Dental Care blog

20170109_133954


1 Comment

It’s 2017: Keep Calm and Floss On

Live Well   |   Laugh Often   |   Floss Much

 

09-01-2017-2-00-05-pmOf all the new and exciting news from the world of dentistry last year, surely the report from the Associated Press report, which found an apparent lack of evidence to support the claim that flossing was effective, generated the most buzz throughout dentistry.

Equipped with their own advisories and statistics about flossing, dental professionals everywhere prepared themselves for the onslaught of patients who would, no doubt, come to their next dental appointments quoting this report and it’s claim of, “lack of scientific proof.”

But surprisingly, the best reply came from the comedian Steve Harvey who basically called the report was, “stupid” and was not going to stop flossing as he had seen some stuff on his string that he knew “full well” smelled bad. We won’t quote the whole thing, but you can listen to his full reply on YouTube.

He’s no dentist or scientist, but he’s certain that he’s coming from a place of knowledge.

You’re probably thinking, “I already brush 3 times a day, why do I need to do anything else?”  The math is simple. With five surfaces to every tooth and the tooth brush only able to effectively reach just 3 of those surfaces, how much are you leaving behind?  Approximately 40% of the plaque remains to continue it’s destructive work and eventually calcify to the hard substance called calculus (tartar).

20170109_120142

And how many times have you taken something out from between your teeth or below the gum line with your floss that had a putrid smell?  We think most people would agree with Steve that it’s usually pretty stinky stuff that is left behind.

We can laugh at Steve, but there’s no kidding aside! Interdental cleaning is a critical component to the oral care routine and a quick experiment at home will demonstrate that you will, most likely, still find foul-smelling plaque between your teeth and under your gums even after brushing effectively for a good 5 minutes. Go Ahead, try it! 

 

How to clean what your toothbrush misses

1) Traditional Flossing

At Your Smile Dental Care, we look to see how effective a patient’s present way of interdental cleaning is before making a recommendation. If they can successfully remove what their toothbrush misses without gum damage or bleeding then there’s no reason for them to change what they have mastered. See instructions here (2:12 minute point in the video)

Some people, however, have difficulty with the use of string floss – finding the technique of wrapping the floss around their fingers and negotiating it between their teeth and under the gums quite challenging and awkward. Fortunately, there are other flossing aids that can be used with ease.

floss2

2) Floss Wands

 

09-01-2017-11-08-14-amAnother method is using a floss holder. Although there are many different types of designs, it is basically a device that holds a small but tight piece of floss making it an easy and simple way to move and manage it around the mouth with just one hand. This is not, in our experienced opinion, the most precise option for flossing, but recognise that it has become a popular choice.

Therefore, we advise our patients to choose a product that allows you to load your own floss so that you can always have a clean segment for each tooth. This is a much more effective solution rather than just using the same piece of string for the whole dentition.


3) No Strings Attached!

 

09-01-2017-11-15-34-amThere are also a variety of electric flossing devices including water and air flossers on the market. Both are designed to clean in and around teeth by forcing debris out with gently pressure.

Water flossing has been around for many years and is often used as an alternative to string flossing. Waterpik is the most common interdental cleaning device that comes to mind, but there are other products on the market as well. A water flosser introduces a steady stream of pulsating water to flush out interdental debris while massaging the gums.

An Air Flosser uses micro bursts of air and water droplets to disrupt and remove plaque.

4) Other Interdental Aids20170109_105017

There are many other tools on the market: picks, sticks, rubber tips, threaders, tuft or conical bristles – all designed for specific uses to assist you in your interdental cleaning efforts.  The recommendation your dentist or dental hygienist makes will depend on your individual dental health needs. These other interdental aids are used in conjunction with flossing or as an alternative to flossing, but are not suppose to replace tooth brushing. While you will  never be able to remove 100% of the plaque from your teeth, cleaning in between your teeth and under you gums will certainly help reduce the likelihood of dangerous plaque buildup.

Effort is a reflection of Interest

Unless you believe in the value of effective oral hygiene, how can we convince you to floss?

One of the most important pieces of advice that we can give to people is that they understand why they need to remove what their tooth brush can’t reach and make certain that they are doing it effectively. It is simply not enough to just snap the floss in between each tooth without taking the time and making the effort to really do a good job. This not only involves proper placement of floss and effective removal of debris, but taking the time to see and smell what you are removing and ensuring you are being gentle with your gums. Likewise, other interdental cleaners are of no value if they are not used with the attention to detail.3-14-2016 2-39-05 PM

Dentists know that guilt and shame doesn’t work  and using scare tactics as a strategy is usually not an ineffective way to motivate patients long term, especially when dental disease or the oral health rewards are not always immediately obvious.

So, while it is true that we cannot force someone to do something they simply do not want to do, we continue to try our best to persuade and help our patients to see the value of flossingWith more than half of the population suffering from preventable gum disease, we can’t, with a clear conscious ignore the benefits of interdental cleaning and patients should expect nothing but the best advice from their healthcare providers.

 

09-01-2017-12-38-40-pm

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18-01-2016 12-08-56 PM


Leave a comment

Why your dentist asks health questions.

Q: Why does the dentist need to know my medical history and what medications I am taking? I don’t see how this has anything to do with getting my teeth cleaned.

 

The Intimate Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health

18-01-2016 3-00-40 PMAs the old song goes, the neck bone is connected to the…

Many people are also still surprised to learn just how much oral health is related to overall health. Many medical conditions and medications can have a significant impact on the health of your mouth, teeth and gums. The body systems are connected and the health of one is critical to all. Additionally, just as infections can spread from the mouth throughout the entire body system, so too can the signs of disease show up in the oral cavity first.

When we are cleaning your teeth, we are also examining your mouth and the structures in it, looking at it’s overall health and any signs of abnormalities. Because some systemic conditions of the body and your dental health are closely related, there can be a significant impact on the health of your mouth. Likewise, dentistry can affect the health of your entire body.

Doctor  vs  Dentist

06-05-2014 9-56-15 AMPeople still tend to view the mouth separately from the body, and similarly, dentistry an inferior scope of practice than medicine. While it is true that in dentistry the focus is more narrowly concentrated to the head and neck, it goes without saying that the northern region of the body is a pretty important part of the body.

There’s a saying that general medical doctors know a little about a lot while dental doctors know a lot about a little. Certainly, as a practitioner advances in their careers, taking on additional areas of study and practice, the depth and breath of their knowledge, experience, and skills increases. Each type of doctor brings to the patient different skill sets, scope of practice and levels of education.

One could not expect a cardiologist to perform oral surgery nor a dentist to manipulate the skeleton as a chiropractor does. Likewise, although an endodontist (root canal specialist) is educated as a dentist before continuing their studies in a more specific field of dentistry – with it’s own unique set of procedures – one would not expect them continue to know how to perform the treatment procedures of a general dental practitioner.

So, there is no us versus them. We work as a team of providers, in partner with you, to deliver  healthcare. Just as a we may refer a patient to a chiropractor or pain clinic for a jaw assessment, a primary physician may ask a dentist to exam an area of concern in the mouth or we may consult with one another to co-ordinate or modify treatment, medication or other therapies.

 

The Window of Life

18-01-2016 3-05-56 PMWe often hear that the eyes are the window to your soul, but your mouth can offer an informative view of what’s going on elsewhere in the body. Red, puffy and bleeding gums, sore mouth tissues, ulcers, infections, dry mouth and tooth decay can all be signs of systemic conditions that you may or may not be aware of and your mouth can be altered by the medications you are taking.

It is not uncommon for your dentist to detect diseases first. In fact, *oral cancer is often found to be at a lower stage of cancer and subsequent treatment be initiated quicker when discovered by a dental care provider. We know that early diagnosis is the key to the successful treatment of most diseases. We have literally saved lives with early detection!

We routinely advise patients to see their physician to follow up on something that was noticed during an exam so that appropriate treatment can begin sooner than later.

 

Putting the Pieces Together

18-01-2016 10-45-12 AMSometimes, it’s like solving a puzzle as we try to determine the reason for a change of health in your mouth.  Certain diseases can make current oral health problems even more severe which can exasperate our efforts to get control of and repair a dental issue.

The treatment that the dentist may recommend is dependent on many factors, not the least of which is your current health status. Procedures may have to be delayed or modified for some conditions such as pregnancy, high blood pressure, artificial heart valves, joint replacements or allergies.

It is with your overall health in mind that we ask questions about your “specific to you” medical health. In doing so, we hope to identify and offer ways to improve your dental health.

 

Other important considerations

Questions – If, for example, we see a sudden higher incidence of tooth decay in your mouth, we will begin to ask questions about any change in diet or medications that can have an impact on your mouth’s ability to self-repair. Our line of questioning is designed to determine the reason for the nature and extent of your dental problem then decide the best course of action.

Interactions – We will want to make sure that any medications we may prescribe you will not interact with any of the medications you are currently taking.

Emergencies – In the event of an emergency, knowing what medications you are currently taking can be vital to your health when we are determining our next course of treatment or prescribing other medications.

Updates – We always like to have updated medical information for each of our patients. Always ensure that you inform your dentist of any changes in your health status or in the medications you are taking.

Medication List – Keeping an updated copy of your medications at all times will make it easier to share the information with other healthcare providers.

*Prosthetic Joint Replacements and Heart Stent – If you have had a body part replaced, such as a shoulder, hip, heart valve or knee, or a heart stent placed, you will be advised to take what’s called a prophylactic (preventative) antibiotic before dental cleanings and other procedures. It is for the protection of the surgery site from infection that your surgeon will make this recommendation. They will also advise you as to how long this protocol will continue and the type of antibiotic you will need. *It is very important that you inform your dental care provider if this pertains to you. It could be a matter of life a death!

FamilyFinally, we are a vital member of your Healthcare Team aiming to provide you and your family with safe dental care and practical advice. Taking care of your oral health is an important investment in your overall health.  Never hesitate to call us in advance with your healthcare concerns and questions.

 

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

*Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

 

 

20-07-2015 2-59-31 PM


Leave a comment

Your Smile Before You Retire

20-07-2015 2-51-10 PMRecently, one of our staff member’s spouses retired from General Motors. In fact, earlier this year GMC offered retirement incentives to eligible employees at it’s Oshawa Plant, so we will see hundreds of General Motor employees retire soon.

While financial advisors suggest that we “practice retirement” for at least a year before our actual retirement date, many GM employees, who were not thinking about retiring for another few years, had only a month to reconsider and decide on a retirement package.

We had a front row seat to the great deal of preparation that goes into an unexpected retirement as many of our own patients were among those that chose early retirement. When there is suddenly a significant reduction in health and dental benefits, or worse, a loss of benefits, your present and future dental health becomes an essential consideration as you transition into retirement.

Our Oshawa patients are fortunate to retire with benefits, but they are significantly reduced and must be used with discretion. So, if you have the luxury of time before you retire, updating your vision ware, hearing aids, orthotics etc is a great idea while you still have the level of benefits that you are accustomed to.

Having a thorough dental check-up and cleaning then attending to any treatment recommendations will allow you to get your dental health in order before your level of benefits change. This is especially important for more complex, time-consuming treatments that may need to be scheduled in such a manner that allows you to maximize your full benefits now.

Some retirees transitioning to retirement benefits are often surprised to learn that their new level of coverage does not cover routine dental care or more complex procedures. And for patients hoping to purchase an individual commercial plan, they soon realize that it can be very expensive to buy a plan with the same level of coverage that they once had or that many procedures are not covered.

The lack of suitable dental benefits and a lower, limited income are the primary reasons why seniors do not maintain regular dental visits or neglect dental problems until they can no longer manage the discomfort. This is unfortunate since it is at a time in their lives when they may see their oral and overall health beginning to deteriorate.

Many of our patients are also entering their retirement years with all, if not most, of their own natural teeth. And, although how your teeth age depends largely on how well you have cared for them over the years, advancing age and associated health issues does put many retirees at risk for a number of oral health problems.

Ideally, we’d like to see you begin your retirement with a clean bill of oral health and help you avoid future complications and unnecessary costs. Unfortunately, we see our share of patients with issues that should have been dealt with years ago, let alone weeks before they retire.

Here’s to the best job you’ll ever have!

20-07-2015 2-46-08 PMOur recommendation is that you care for your teeth meticulously throughout your life. Your future self will thank you for brushing three times a day, flossing before bedtime, and reducing your meal frequencies and sugar/acid laden beverages. This requires virtually no cost at all and takes little effort. Visiting your dentist at least once per year as you do your vision, hearing and primary physician will allow you to get your teeth scaled and stay on top of problems before they grow into bigger, more complicated issues.

Consider including your dental health in your retirement arrangements and schedule a full dental examination well before beginning your new life. With careful planning, your teeth can stay healthy for the rest of your life.

We’ll give you an honest assessment of the present condition of your teeth so that you can make an informed decision moving forward. And here’s to a happy, well-deserved retirement. We hope it will be the best job you’ve ever had!

 09-08-2014 9-12-36 AM

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

 

 

 

30-03-2015 2-53-40 PM


Leave a comment

Improving Your Overall Health

It seems these days that more people than ever are trying their best to make wiser choices when it comes to a more healthy lifestyle.

30-03-2015 1-45-49 PMPersonal social media sites are full of friends sharing healthy ideas concerning our food, exercise, grocery shopping, food labelling, relationships, minds, etc…

We know that happiness and healthiness is important to our over wellbeing and many of the motivational quotes we see posted are both inspirational and timeless.

Dental Health is also an essential part of body fitness. It’s not just about having a great looking smile for appearance sake. Having an understanding of the intimate connection between your oral health and your overall health will help you appreciate why obtaining and maintaining good oral hygiene habits is so essential.

The Body/Mouth Connection

10-03-2014 2-45-27 PM - CopyOur mouths are teeming with all kinds of germs. Our job is to keep these bacterial levels under control so that we can avoid conditions like tooth decay and gum disease. Problems with your mouth can contributes to and complicates other serious conditions of the body like heart disease and diabetes. If dental disease is left untreated, it can progress into infections that can spread into our bodies and cause serious life threatening situations.

We are living longer and keeping our teeth longer. Gone are the days when people reached an age where they had their diseased teeth replaced with full dentures. We have to include the health of our teeth and gums when we are thinking about implementing healthy lifestyles for long term living.

Your Mouth – The Window to your Body!

A visit to your dentist for a complete physical exam of your mouth is just as important as the annual physical exam you schedule with your physician for your body. Perhaps, you have never realized that when we exam your teeth and gums, we also inspect the health of your mouth. Our exam is much more than a simple, “Say ah” with a tongue depressor. Using our small dental mirror, we explore everywhere in the mouth looking for suspicious or abnormal areas that can be indicators of more serious health conditions that such as cancer, HIV, Crohn’s disease, and osteoporosis.

DO SOMETHING

Help Us Help You…

This is also why we have you update your medical history forms often and make enquires about your medications. The more we know about your overall health, the more effective we can be in understanding and addressing what we see in your mouth.

What conditions may be linked to oral health?

  • Endocarditis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Premature birth and low birth weight.
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Immune system disorders

Get the facts!

One of our goals at Your Smile Dental Care is to increase awareness of how your mouth, teeth and gums can  help improve and affect the your overall health. We believe that taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.

If you think it’s time for a complete assessment of your Oral Health, give us a call today…you’ll be glad you did!

30-03-2015 1-04-02 PM

 

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

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Of COURSE we notice other people’s teeth!

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for the Shout Out…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

06-01-2014 6-40-33 PM

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


Leave a comment

YOUR SMILE says a lot about you….

Your smile is one of your most important facial features and can make a lasting impression!

Over the years we have created many beautiful new smiles. One patient in particular made a lasting impression on us. And,  although she has long since retired and moved back to her beloved country, her story reminds us of how important first impressions are!

This patient had recently lost her upper management job due to downsizing, but with the help of her vast network of friends and colleagues she quickly landed several job interviews. Equipped with  years of  experience, she was confident that she possessed the skills employers were looking for and was certain she would have no trouble securing a job offer. She was surprised, however, to be still jobless 4 months later!

Interestingly enough, this patient was also attending to a matter she had been wanting to do for years – making her dream smile a reality!  Her first visit to us was for a smile correction consultation. After being the first dental office in Oshawa to show her an after makeover simulation photo of what her teeth could look like with a few simple cosmetic dental procedures, she was convinced more than ever to begin her smile makeover. During her first dental appointment , she began discussing her recent job situation – or lack thereof!  As she confidently listed off her job skills and past experiences, we realized that she was overlooking the very thing that brought her to us in the first place – her smile!

Hiding your smile

Hiding your smile?

She rarely smiled and when she did she had a habit of placing her right index finger over her lips in a “shhh!” manner. Now, as dentists, we see this hand over the mouth gesture from time to time and most always in patients who are ashamed of their broken down or misaligned teeth. The habit becomes such a natural reaction that a person may not even realize they are doing it. Some people even grow moustaches to hide their teeth – not a option for women – not even in Movember!

A smile that needs some improvement should never dissuade an employer from hiring the most suitable candidate for a position. However, not smiling or hiding your smile with hand gestures may convince a potential employer that you lack the self esteem to handle the pressures of a job.  And few, if any employers, will admit that good dental aesthetics is often a mandatory requirement in an occupation that is regarded as prestigious or where an employee will likely represent the “face” of their company.

A down-to-earth, genuine smile is never so important as when you are trying to create a positive first impression during a job interview. We all know that an attractive smile is a great social asset and enhances a person’s facial features, but it can also increase your business opportunities as well. A strong, confident smile can empower you.

Smile with Confidence!

Smile with Confidence!

We are fortunate at Your Smile Dental Care to see renewal and rejuvenation all throughout the year. You don’t have to wait until you are in the limelight to give your smile new life.

Call us to arrange a cosmetic consultation appointment where you can share your dreams of a new smile with us. From whitening to veneers to implants, we are here to help you smile with confidence again. Let us show you how easy it can be to create a gorgeous, comfortable smile.

Call us today at:
(905) 5 SMILES
(905) 576-4537

We believe that real beauty comes from within, but being in the “Smile Business” we wonder how important do YOU think a person’s smile is? Can it make or break that all-important first impression? Share your comment below!