Rest assured, we have our patients and staff well-being in mind. We have implemented the following Enchanted Infection Control measures.
Strict sterilization of instruments and disinfection of treatment rooms, as we have always done.
Extra high volume suction equipment has been installed to collect even more aerosols.
Treatment rooms will be left vacant between patients to allow a suitable time for disinfection and air filtration.
All high touch surfaces such as door handles will be disinfected frequently.
Staff and doctors will be screened before work to ensure they have no flu-like symptoms. If anyone has symptoms they will not be permitted to work until they are well.
All clinical staff will be wearing personal protective equipment(PPE) including masks, visors, closed glasses, gowns, and gloves.
Plexiglass barriers have been installed in the waiting room and chairs have been removed.
Social distancing will be maintained where possible by staff and patients and the number of patients in the office at one time will be kept to a minimum.
Contactless payment will be performed and due to this we will not be allowed to receive cash in the office.
COVID-19: How to prepare for your appointment and what to expect.
Assessment: Please ensure that you have completed to COVID-19 screening assessment by phone or by email prior to your appointment.
Symptoms: If you are feeling any flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, body aches or loss of smell, please let us know prior to the appointment so that you can be rescheduled.
Masks: If possible, please wear a mask or face covering to your appointment. Non-medical masks are fine.
Wait until your appointment time: Please do not enter the office until the time of your appointment to help maintain social distance.
Please come alone: Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate family or other waiting guests waiting inside the office. Please have them wait in the car or outside where possible.
Hand Hygiene: Hand sanitizer will be provided inside the office.
Screening: Upon arrival we will need to reconfirm the screening questionaire, take your temperature and ask you to rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash.
COVID-19 fee: To help offset the significantly higher cost of infection controls small COVID-19 fee may need to be added to your appointment.
Rest assured, we have our patients and staff well-being in mind. We have implemented the following Enchanted Infection Control measures. Strict sterilization of instruments and disinfection of treatment rooms, as we have always done. Extra high volume suction equipment has been installed to collect even more aerosols. Treatment rooms will be…
Cosmetic dentistry continues to lead in popularity, and the technologies and techniques dentists use continue to evolve to provide even better results in a shorter amount of time. While most patients think that it involves little more than teeth whitening and replacing lost or damaged teeth, there’s quite a bit more to it than that.
A beautiful smile has a huge impact on your confidence and how the people around you perceive you. Before we take a look at some of the more popular cosmetic procedures, let’s define what cosmetic dentistry is – how it’s changed, how it impacts your smile, and how it’s perceived by people at large.
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is a method of professional oral care that focuses on improving the appearance and health of your mouth, teeth, and smile. And although cosmetic dentistry procedures are usually elective, rather than essential, some cases of treatment will also provide restorative benefits.
The most common procedures used in cosmetic dentistry are fairly simple, whereas others are more complex and require specialized care.
How has Cosmetic Dentistry changed?
A number of historians believe that ancient civilizations have been practicing aesthetic dentistry since as far back as 700 B.C. People who had dental problems wore dentures created out of animal teeth, bones and even seashells. Later on, during the reign of the Roman Empire, the people learned the value of ammonia and other similar abrasive substances in removing tooth stains. By the 1700s, dentists began creating teeth covers out of porcelain.
Composite bonding refers to the repair of decayed, damaged or discolored teeth using material that resembles the color of tooth enamel. Your dentist drills out the tooth decay and applies the composite to the tooth’s surface, then “sculpts” it into the right shape before curing it with a high-intensity light. Also referred to as simply “bonding,” per the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, this effectively covers the damage to the tooth and gives the appearance of a healthy tooth in its place. Bonding is one of the least expensive cosmetic dentistry procedures available to patients with tooth decay, chipped or cracked teeth and worn-down edges.
Dental Veneers are typically manufactured from medical-grade ceramic and are made individually in a lab for each patient to resemble one’s natural teeth, according to Coquitlam Dentist Dr. Komal Dhir. They look exceptionally realistic and can resolve numerous cosmetic problems, ranging from crooked teeth, to cracked or damaged enamel to noticeable gaps between two teeth. The dentist applies the veneer to the front of each tooth using a dental adhesive.
One of the most basic cosmetic dentistry procedures, teeth whitening or teeth bleaching can be performed at your Coquitlam Dental Office or at home with our Free Take-Home Whitening Kit for new patients. Whitening should occur after plaque, tartar and other debris are cleaned from the surface of each tooth, restoring their natural appearance. Teeth can also be bleached to achieve an even lighter shade than this original color, according to the Canadian Dental Association (CDA).
Over the years, teeth become stained and worn from food, drinks, medication and personal habits such as smoking. Whitening coats the teeth and this procedure can be done in the dental office or at home. Additionally, patients can use whitening toothpaste to achieve the same effect.
Dental implants simply are used to replace teeth after tooth loss. Our dentist will insert a small titanium screw into the jaw at the site of the missing tooth, which serves as the support for a dental crown. These implants are almost indistinguishable from the surrounding natural teeth, and once the bone and supporting tissue fuse to the implant, they are permanently secured into place. Dental Patients need to practice diligent oral hygiene during the implant placement period to clean plaque and food debris from the area.
If you’re considering cosmetic dentistry procedures, it’s vital to find a cosmetic dentist who specifically offers the option you’re interested in. Talk with family and friends to find out if they can refer to you a dental professional.
At Ridgeway Dental Office in Coquitlam, our dentists have placed over 1000’s of implants.
Invisalign® is a custom-made clear aligner that is interchanged roughly every two weeks for a period of six to eighteen months, or longer depending on the severity of misalignment of the patient. Similar to a mouth or dental retainer (which is designed to keep teeth from shifting out of place), an Invisalign® aligner is used for orthodontic treatment as a technique to move and properly align teeth for a beautiful smile. This clear aligner is usually computer generated from a mold (or impression) of the patient’s teeth—taken by our dentist in Coquitlam—and the fitting is unique to each patient only.
Cosmetic dentistry continues to lead in popularity, and the technologies and techniques dentists use continue to evolve to provide even better results in a shorter amount of time. While most patients think that it involves little more than teeth whitening and replacing lost or damaged teeth, there’s quite a bit…
A very common cause of tooth discoloration is a childhood injury called a pulpal bleed or bruise of the tooth due to force or trauma. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the tooth is non-vital. An evaluation by a Coquitlam Dentist on Lougheed Hwy is recommended for a deﬁnitive diagnosis.
Your teeth can become discolored by stains on the surface or by changes inside the tooth. There are three main types of tooth discoloration:
Extrinsic — This occurs when the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) is stained. Coffee, wine, cola or other drinks or foods can stain teeth. Smoking also causes extrinsic stains.
Intrinsic — This is when the inner structure of the tooth (the dentin) darkens or gets a yellow tint. You can get this type of discoloration if:
You had too much exposure to fluoride during early childhood.
Your mother used tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy.
You used tetracycline antibiotics when you were 8 years old or younger.
You had trauma that affected a tooth when you were a young child. A fall, for example, may damage the developing permanent tooth.
You had trauma in a permanent tooth, and internal bleeding discolored the tooth.
Age-related — This is a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Dentin naturally yellows over time. The enamel that covers the teeth gets thinner with age, which allows the dentin to show through. Foods and smoking also can stain teeth as people get older. Finally, chips or other injuries can discolor a tooth, especially when the pulp has been damaged.
Symptoms include stains on the enamel. They can range from white streaks to yellow tints or brown spots and pits. If the enamel has worn away, and dentin is showing through, you may notice a yellow tint.
No special tests are needed. Our Coquitlam Ridgeway Dentists can diagnose tooth discoloration by looking at the teeth.
Brushing your teeth after every meal will help to prevent some stains. Our Dentists at Ridgeway Dental in Coquitlam, BC recommends that you rinse your mouth with water after having wine, coffee or other drinks or foods that can stain your teeth. Regular cleanings by a dental hygienist also will help to remove surface stains.
Intrinsic stains that are caused by damage to a nerve or blood vessel in a tooth sometimes can be prevented. You may need to have root canal treatment to remove the inner part of the tooth (the pulp) before it has a chance to decay and darken. However, teeth that have root canal treatment may darken anyway.
To prevent intrinsic stains in children, avoid too much early exposure to fluorides. Once the enamel is formed, fluoride will not discolor teeth.
Many extrinsic stains caused by food and drink can be removed by regular professional cleanings and home care. Good home care includes brushing, flossing and rinsing after meals.
It’s also possible to remove discoloration at home. You will use a bleaching gel and a mouth guard given to you by your dentist. The bleaching gels designed for use at home aren’t as strong as those applied by your dentist. This means that the process takes longer — usually two to four weeks.
You also can buy whitening products over the counter. They contain a weaker bleach than the products you can get from your dentist. The whitening agent is applied as a gel placed in a mouthpiece or as a strip that sticks to your teeth. Over-the-counter mouthpieces fit less securely than the kind you get from your dentist, but they will lighten your teeth over time.
Whitening toothpaste may remove minor stains. They do not actually change the overall color of your teeth.
If your tooth has darkened after a root canal, bleaching the enamel won’t help. Your dentist can apply a bleaching material to the inside of the tooth, or you may consider a crown or veneer.
Bleaching will not lighten some stains, such as tetracycline stains. In this case, your dentist may recommend covering the discolored areas. This also may be useful when the tooth is chipped or badly damaged.
A tooth can be covered with a color-matched composite bonding material. Another option is to get veneers. These are thin ceramic shells that cover the outer surfaces of the teeth.
The prognosis is very good for extrinsic stains. Intrinsic stains may be more difficult or take longer to remove.
How Can I Prevent Teeth Discoloration?
By making a few simple lifestyle changes, you may be able to prevent teeth discoloration. For example, if you are a coffee drinker and/or smoker, consider cutting back or quitting altogether. Also, improve your dental hygiene by brushing, flossing, and using a mouthwash daily, and getting your teeth cleaned by a Dentist in Coquitlam every 6 months.
A very common cause of tooth discoloration is a childhood injury called a pulpal bleed or bruise of the tooth due to force or trauma. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the tooth is non-vital. An evaluation by a Coquitlam Dentist on Lougheed Hwy is recommended for a deﬁnitive diagnosis. Your…
Your children’s teeth might be small, but they are important. Following good dental practices as a child is the only way to ensure your children’s dental care routine lasts into their adult years. However, knowing exactly what to do sometimes can be difficult. Parents generally have lots of questions when it comes to their children’s oral hygiene needs.
Just in case you are too nervous or embarrassed to ask, we’ve listed the top questions parents have asked our Coquitlam Family Dentists about their kids’ teeth.
When should my child see the dentist for the first time?
This is probably the most common question our family dentists hear on a day-to-day basis. The most common time to bring your child to see a dentist is when his or her first tooth erupts. It’s important to create regular dental habits as early as possible.
What should I expect from my child’s first dental visit?
Typically, on a child’s first visit to our Coquitlam Dental Office on Lougheed Hwy, the minimum goal is to complete an examination and apply a fluoride varnish. We also work on getting your child to feel comfortable sitting in the dentist’s chair and with the overall process.
Should my child get braces?
It seems like almost every kid these days has dental braces, and if yours doesn’t, you’re likely wondering if there is some sort of requirement. Fortunately enough, you’re not required to get braces for your child. But if you’re worried his or her teeth aren’t growing in correctly, it might be time for to drop by our Lougheed Hwy Dental Office for a consultation.
Do baby teeth really matter if they’re just going to fall out eventually?
This question makes a lot of sense. What’s the point of putting a ton of effort into taking care of baby teeth when they’re just going to fall out? However, baby teeth matter just as much as adult teeth because they pave the way for adult teeth. The way you take care of your child’s baby teeth can have a long-lasting impact on their adult teeth.
Should you brush your child’s teeth?
In short, yes! As explained in the previous question, baby teeth are important and taking care of them encourages good dental habits in your child’s life that will last a lifetime.
How should I brush my child’s teeth?
Your child needs to brush his teeth twice a day, in the morning and after dinner. Ensure that he/she is brushing the inside and outside surfaces thoroughly to dislodge any bacteria. Squirt a small amount of toothpaste onto a soft, children’s toothbrush and begin brushing in a small circular pattern. Children 2 years old and younger only need a small amount of toothpaste, similar to the size of a grain of rice. Children between the age of 2 and 4 years old only need an amount of toothpaste equal to the size of a pea. While children who are 5 years old and older can use the equivalent of the size of a bean
When is it okay to let my child start brushing on his own?
Unfortunately, there is no set age when your child will have the skills to brush his teeth on his own. Each child is different. However, it’s a good idea to allow your child to begin brushing his teeth as soon as he is willing. Of course, you’ll want to stand by and watch to ensure he is doing it properly. As a good rule of measure, your child will probably need assistance brushing his teeth until he is around 6 years old or so.
What should I do if my child doesn’t want to brush?
As a parent, you are well aware that it’s hard to get your child to do anything he doesn’t want to. If your child avoids brushing his teeth like the plague, get creative. Make brushing time more of an event than a duty. Let them know that children’s dental practices can be fun. Consider making it a family practice, where you all do it together, or consider purchasing him a toothbrush with his favorite character on it.
Are Dental X-Rays safe for my child?
X-rays are a normal part of every dental visit, but they’re also exposure to radiation, which makes this question a completely valid concern. However, the risk associated with this very small amount of radiation is non-existent.
Should you consider sedation dentistry for your child?
Sometimes children are incredibly anxious and afraid of going to the dentist. This is called dental phobia or anxiety, and many adults suffer from it as well. Sedation dentistry is definitely an option to calm your child’s nerves, but be sure to consult with your family dentist first.
How can you change your child’s diet with oral health in mind?
The way we eat greatly affects our oral health, and the same is more true for your children. To encourage healthy dental habits, make sure your child eats a healthy, balanced diet. Limit their sugar and starch intake, as these substances most commonly encourage tooth decay.
And always remind your child to rinse their mouth after a meal or drink.
What should you do if your child has a toothache?
Children get bumps and bruises all the time, but that doesn’t mean you need to see a doctor. However, if your child is complaining of a toothache, you should set up an appointment with our Family Dentist at Ridgeway Dental Office as soon as possible. To alleviate the pain until you can see a dentist, give your child acetaminophen. You should also rinse the area with warm salt water.
How can you prevent tooth decay?
As a parent, you want what’s best for your child, so it’s understandable that you want to know the best way to take care of your child’s teeth. One of the best things you can do is to teach regular, healthy dental habits, and lead by example. And, of course, don’t forget to schedule regular dental appointments for cleanings and checkups at Ridgeway Dental Office off Austin Ave in Coquitlam, BC.
Your children’s teeth might be small, but they are important. Following good dental practices as a child is the only way to ensure your children’s dental care routine lasts into their adult years. However, knowing exactly what to do sometimes can be difficult. Parents generally have lots of questions when…
Many patients don’t realize just how important it is to use the right toothbrush. They typically rely on the sample they get after their 6-month dental visit or pick up a cheap option at their local grocery store. To them, all toothbrushes are basically the same, and they don’t see a reason to invest in an electric version.
While using a manual brush is, of course, better than nothing, many dentists in Coquitlam, BC want their patients to make the switch to electric. These brushes help ensure patients get their mouths as clean as possible—reducing their cavity risk and the likelihood they’ll develop gingivitis.
Either kind of brush is fine, but you are more likely to spend the right amount of time brushing—two to three minutes—when you’re using an electric toothbrush, says our very own Burnaby Dentist Dr. Jasmine Sethi. (Manual brushers average less than one minute.)
The Key to a Lifelong, Healthy Smile
Burnaby Dentists agree that regular tooth brushing (no matter how high tech or low tech the gadget) and flossing can help prevent tooth decay.
As a general rule, our Burnaby dental clinic recommends that children up to age 7 have adult supervision while brushing. This is to make sure kids completely clean all surfaces of their teeth, even hard-to-reach places where plaque often accumulates, such as the back molars or the lower bottom teeth next to the tongue.
The CDA has more suggestions for parents to help their kids develop good dental habits:
Take your child to see the dentist regularly. Schedule a visit to the dentist within six months of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than the child’s first birthday.
Encourage children to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
Start brushing the child’s teeth with water as soon as the first tooth appears. A pea-sized amount of toothpaste can be used after age 2, when the child can spit it out.
Watch how your child eats. It’s better to eat regular meals and fewer sugary snacks.
Make certain your child gets the right amount of fluoride needed for decay-resistant teeth. Ask your dentist how this can be done.
Ask your dentist about dental sealant, a thin protective barrier that shields the chewing surface of back teeth from tooth decay.
Whichever you use, choose one with soft bristles. Others may be too abrasive and could lead to receding gums. No matter what kind of brush you choose, be sure to floss daily.
What causes receding gums, and what can be done about them?
Overzealous toothbrushing. Brushing too hard around the gum line, or just brushing with bristles that are too hard, can erode gums.
There are 2 main causes:
Teeth grinding (a.k.a. bruxism). Some people grind so hard that the pressure accelerates gum erosion. In many cases, your dentist can shave down a tooth that is causing your bite to hit against another tooth. In other cases, you may need to get a customized mouth guard to wear at night (when most grinding and clenching occurs) to prevent further damage.
Gum disease. This is an infection of the gums that occurs when bacteria become lodged between the tooth and the gum. The bacteria eventually eat away at the bone and the supporting tissues at the base of the tooth. As the bone recedes, so does the surrounding gum tissue.
What to do? Depending on the cause and the severity of the problem, a dentist may recommend anything from a deep cleaning of the teeth and gums to a gum graft, a procedure in which tissue is taken from the top of the mouth and grafted onto the gums, where it takes hold over the course of four to six weeks.
What is the best kind of toothpaste to use?
At a minimum, purchase a toothpaste that carries the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) seal of acceptance, which means that it has been independently tested, lives up to any label claims, and contains fluoride, a mineral that keeps tooth enamel strong and prevents tooth decay.
If you have sensitive teeth, toothpaste labeled for this can help lessen pain. These products contain minerals, like strontium chloride and potassium nitrate, that block the tiny tubules in teeth that lead to the nerves. You generally need to use the toothpaste for several weeks to feel an improvement, as the mineral needs to accumulate over time.
If your dentist says you have excess tartar (which can lead to tooth decay), look for a tartar-control toothpaste containing pyrophosphate, which can help reduce the buildup. Some new formulas boast the antibacterial ingredient triclosan, which is often found in liquid hand washes and can help cut down on gingivitis, tartar buildup, and bad breath, according to the CDA.
If your teeth look dingy, toothpaste marketed as “whitening” can help brighten your smile. These paste usually contain tiny crystals or mild chemicals that loosen debris and remove minor stains. Those with baking soda work in the same way.
Many patients don’t realize just how important it is to use the right toothbrush. They typically rely on the sample they get after their 6-month dental visit or pick up a cheap option at their local grocery store. To them, all toothbrushes are basically the same, and they don’t see…
They say you are what you eat. And in no better place can that be seen than in your teeth. That’s because many foods and beverages can cause plaque, which does serious damage your teeth. Plaque is a bacteria-filled sticky film that contributes to gum disease and tooth decay. After you eat a sugary snack or meal, the sugars cause the bacteria to release acids that attack tooth’s enamel. When the enamel breaks down, cavities can develop.
Cavities are the most common chronic disease faced by people aged six to 19 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They cause complications like pain, chewing problems, and tooth abscesses. And if you don’t brush or floss your teeth, your plaque will harden and turn into tartar. Tartar above the gums can lead to gingivitis, an early form of gum disease.
How can you prevent plaque from wreaking havoc on your mouth? Besides brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing and visiting your friendly Burnaby Dentist regularly, try to avoid or limit the foods below.
So what foods should you avoid in order to keep your tooth enamel nice and strong? In general, you should stay away from food and drinks that are acidic, high in sugar and starch, and sticky.
The following items are particularly damaging:
Drinking carbonated sugary drinks is perhaps one of the worst things you can do to your teeth. Fizzy drinks essentially coat your entire mouth with tooth-decaying acid. One study even found sugar-filled soda could be as bad for your teeth as using methamphetamine and crack cocaine! Keep your soda intake to a minimum, and when you do indulge, make sure to wait at least 20 minutes before brushing your teeth afterward.
2. Sour Candy
All types of candy are tough on your teeth, but sour candy, in particular, is especially damaging. Not only do sour candies contain a unique type of acid that eats away at your enamel, they also tend to be chewy and will stick to your teeth for a longer time, so they’re more likely to cause decay. If you’re craving sweets, grab a square of chocolate instead, which you can chew quickly and wash away easily.
Think twice as you walk down the supermarket bread aisle. When you chew bread, your saliva breaks down the starches into sugar. Now transformed into a gummy paste-like substance, the bread sticks to the crevices between teeth. And that can cause cavities. When you’re craving some carbs, aim for less-refined varieties like whole wheat. These contain less added sugars and aren’t as easily broken down.
4. Citrus Fruits
It’s true citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are delicious and packed with healthy vitamins. Unfortunately, they’re also full of acid that will erode your tooth enamel. To combat this acidity, eat citrus fruits in moderation and make sure to rinse your mouth out with water after you’re done.
We all know that drinking alcohol isn’t exactly healthy. But did you realize that when you drink, you dry out your mouth? A dry mouth lacks saliva, which we need to keep our teeth healthy. Saliva prevents food from sticking to your teeth and washes away food particles. It even helps repair early signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral infections. To help keep your mouth hydrated, drink plenty of water and use fluoride rinses and oral hydration solutions.
All it contains is water, so it’s fine to chew ice, right? Not so, according to the Canadian Dental Association. Chewing on a hard substance can damage enamel and make you susceptible to dental emergencies such as chipped, cracked, or broken teeth, or loosened crowns. You can use your ice to chill beverages, but don’t chew on it. To resist the urge, opt for chilled water or drinks without ice.
7. Potato Chips
The crunch of a potato chip is eternally satisfying to many of us. Unfortunately, they’re loaded with starch, which becomes sugar that can get trapped in and between the teeth and feed the bacteria in the plaque. Since we rarely have just one, the acid production from the chips lingers and lasts awhile. After you’ve gorged on a bag, floss to remove the trapped particles.
8. Dried Fruits
You likely assume that dried fruits are a healthy snack. That may be true, but many dried fruits — apricots, prunes, figs, and raisins, to name a few — are sticky. They get stuck and cling in the teeth and their crevices, leaving behind lots of sugar. If you do like to eat dried fruits, make sure you rinse your mouth with water, and then brush and floss after. And because they’re less concentrated with sugar, it is a better choice to eat the fresh versions instead!
I hope this article helped clear up any misconceptions about the types of food and how they may affect your overall oral health. Feel free to give Bainbridge Dental Office a call if you have any questions regarding this article. Or if you’re in the neighborhood, drop by our dental office located at 2842 Bainbridge Ave just off of Lougheed Hwy in Burnaby, BC.
They say you are what you eat. And in no better place can that be seen than in your teeth. That’s because many foods and beverages can cause plaque, which does serious damage your teeth. Plaque is a bacteria-filled sticky film that contributes to gum disease and tooth decay. After…
Besides brushing and flossing, what else can we do to optimize oral health? This is a great question and while not every dentist, or dental hygienist, may agree on what else is needed to get and keep your gums and teeth healthy I feel you should know about the other oral hygiene tools that are available. That way you can make up your own mind.
First, you must be aware that everyone is different in regard to the state of their oral health and even within one’s mouth there will exist different conditions, requiring different dental tools. Thus, in some parts of your mouth, a toothbrush may be all you will need to keep that part healthy. Yet in another area, you will need to floss regularly to keep it disease free. And in some areas, you will need to use the toothbrush, floss, water irrigator and other unique dental tools to maintain optimal oral health.
But before I get into the various ‘preventive dental tools’ that are available you will need to be aware of the fact that regardless of the tools that are available you must first know why you are using them, what they do, when to use them, how to use them, and be committed to being responsible for your own oral health. As I like to say, ‘it isn’t the brush, it’s the brusher’ and ‘it isn’t the floss, it’s the flosser’! While treatment is something that is done to you, prevention is something that is done by you! So when it comes to achieving and maintaining optimal oral health you, and you alone, will determine how successful you will be – not the tools you use.
How to Know What Tools to Use
If, when you were 6 years old, you learned everything you needed to know about taking care of your teeth and did what you needed to do – the only dental tool you would ever need would be the toothbrush. If you didn’t learn that lesson and later found that you had the early stages of gum disease and some decay, you could add dental floss to the toothbrush and if you knew when and how to use it, those two dental tools would be adequate to keep your gums and teeth healthy. But, if over time you didn’t know what you needed to do, or just got lazy and didn’t do it, and eventually progressed to moderate or advanced gum disease (which a high percentage of the population has) – those two dental tools would no longer be sufficient.
Anyone who has had bone loss and gum recession, or have periodontal (gum) pockets of 4mm or more, will need to add other tools to their dental arsenal – if they want to keep their teeth that is. The key to understanding this is to realize that every dental tool available does something that the others do not. Another way to put it is: the toothbrush doesn’t do what the floss does; floss won’t do what a toothbrush does; and the water irrigator can’t do what the floss and brush do. They all overlap to some degree but make no mistake about it; once your gums deteriorate to the state I mentioned above you will have to use all three of those tools and possibly more – to get and keep your gums healthy.
The Dental Tools
Aside from the toothbrush, floss and water irrigator, there are many preventive dental tools that weren’t available 20 years ago and all have some value in the right situation. I’ll list some of the more common ones.
There isn’t the space to go into each of the above supportive dental tools and if you are interested in them you can search the Internet and ask your dentist and hygienist to explain them to you.
Suffice to say that if you are motivated and have learned how, when and why to use the toothbrush, floss and water irrigator – most people will have no need for other tools.
But that doesn’t mean they can’t give additional support to your oral hygiene program. But the most important thing you can do is to consult with your dental hygienist and learn what preventive tools you’ll need for your own unique oral situation. But remember, if you don’t use them properly, and at the right time, it won’t matter if you have 100 of the best toothbrushes, or 5 superior water irrigators – because your gums won’t get and stay healthy by wishing them to be.
Regardless of the dental tools, you also need the support of your dental professionals, especially if you have, or had more serious gum disease. Your dentist can be of immense value to you in supporting and monitoring your oral hygiene program so don’t forget to enlist his/her support.
There two very important preventive dental tools that I haven’t mentioned and if you take advantage of them your oral hygiene program will have a much better chance of being successful. The first is a good, healthy, natural diet and one that eliminates or reduces refined sugar and refined food consumption. This is a separate topic but the more natural your diet is, the more raw fruits and vegetables it contains the easier it will be to keep your gums and teeth healthy. The second is to supplement your diet with adequate amounts of vitamins and natural supplements. These are big subjects and cannot be adequately dealt with here but supplementing your diet with good multiple vitamins, multiple minerals, and vitamin C is essential.
Besides brushing and flossing, what else can we do to optimize oral health? This is a great question and while not every dentist, or dental hygienist, may agree on what else is needed to get and keep your gums and teeth healthy I feel you should know about the other oral…
Halitosis, or what we commonly refer to as bad breath, affects almost 1 in 3 people– but that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable. Going through life scared your breath is going to cause people to grimace can put a damper on your confidence.
Thankfully, there are a few ways to fight bad breath– and they don’t involve keeping a pack of mints at the ready.
Neglecting to brush and floss gives leftover food particles the permission to linger in your mouth, causing sticky plaque to build up on your teeth. Plaque is full of bacteria notorious for causing bad breath. So it makes sense that limiting plaque will limit bad breath.
Here’s a good rule to follow: brush two times a day for at least two minutes. Similarly, make sure you floss at least once a day, preferably after each meal.
2. Use A Tongue Scraper
If you suffer from bad breath, you may notice your tongue looks white. This white coating is a buildup of bacteria, food debris, and dead cells. An easy way to avoid or get rid of this sour smelling white film is to use a tongue scraper after every meal.
When cleaning your tongue, start at the back of your mouth and move forward. Make sure to clean the top and side surfaces of your tongue, not just the center. Remember, be gentle on yourself! Your tongue should never be sore or bleeding after using a tongue scraper.
3. Drink Lots Of Water
Drinking water throughout the day is a smart practice in and of itself but is especially important for curing or avoiding bad breath.
You see, your mouth needs moisture in order to produce saliva, and a mouth without saliva is a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria. In fact, lack of moisture is the main reasons people experience “morning breath since your mouth produces significantly less saliva while you sleep.
Be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day, and especially when you first wake up, before and after exercising, and right before bed.
Some cases of bad breath are a result of gum disease or tooth decay. If your bad breath continues despite your best efforts, make an appointment with your friendly Burnaby Dentist right away. Pick up the phone and give Bainbridge Dental a call at: (604) 420-2545
Halitosis, or what we commonly refer to as bad breath, affects almost 1 in 3 people– but that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable. Going through life scared your breath is going to cause people to grimace can put a damper on your confidence. Thankfully, there are a few ways…
Strictly speaking, the term “mercury free” refers to dentists who do not put amalgam fillings in their patients’ teeth. This term was first used over 40 years ago by dentists who wanted to distinguish themselves from dentists who felt that amalgams were safe and continued to put them into patients’ teeth. Their concern was based on the fact that mercury vapor, the most poisonous, naturally occurring substances on the planet is continuously released from amalgam fillings.
However, the term mercury free was never really an accurate description because even dentists who didn’t put in amalgam fillings still had to remove them – and the removal process released excessive and unnecessary amounts of toxic mercury vapor. But at least not placing amalgam fillings was a good beginning.
Over time, dentists who were mercury free developed protocols, procedures, and equipment that allowed them to dramatically minimize a patient’s exposure to mercury during the removal process. In effect, using these protocols meant that their practices were not just mercury free but also mercury safe – yet until the last few years, they still continued to use the now inaccurate term ‘mercury-free’ to describe themselves. Thankfully things have changed and those practicing and promoting mercury safe dentistry know it isn’t enough to just be ‘mercury-free’ when it comes to protecting the patient, the dentist, the staff, and the environment from exposure to toxic mercury vapor – you also must be ‘mercury safe’!
What is the Difference
Why is it important for patients to know the difference between a mercury free dentist and a mercury safe dentist? Recently a survey showed that 52% of general dentists no longer use amalgam and now call themselves mercury free. But, and this is important for every dental patient to know; not because they were necessarily concerned about safely removing them – but because they no longer felt amalgam was a good filling material when compared to the newer composite fillings.
The fact that more and more dentists are becoming mercury free but not also mercury safe has created a problem for patients who mistakenly believed that dentists who say they are mercury free (amalgam free) also meant they used protocols to safely remove amalgam fillings. The problem is even more complicated because there are still dentists who promote their practices as being mercury free – who are also mercury safe – but don’t promote themselves as such. So the question is; if a dentist states he or she is mercury free – how do you know if the practice is also mercury safe?
Not to worry, there is an easy solution to this dilemma. If you are looking for a dentist who will safely remove your amalgam fillings you must ask the following question: “Are you both mercury free and mercury safe?” Bottom line . . . you can’t assume that a dentist who advertises his or her practice as being mercury free (amalgam free), is also mercury safe – unless you ask!
The Advantages of a Mercury Safe Dentist
Unsafe removal of amalgam fillings generates huge amounts of toxic mercury vapor, easily up to a 100 times more than the maximum levels of mercury vapor allowed by all government regulatory agencies. What really separates mercury safe dentists from those who are only mercury-free is that they understand the extent and seriousness of occupational exposure to mercury at the dental office.
They also understand that:
When unsafely removed, amalgam fillings release huge amounts of poisonous mercury vapor.
The mercury released from amalgam fillings negatively affects the health of those exposed.
Patients need to be protected from excessive and unnecessary exposure to toxic mercury vapor during the amalgam removal process.
Mercury safe dentists also have the specialized equipment, training, experience, and skills necessary to minimize their patients’ exposure to mercury during amalgam removal. If you want to protect yourself from excessive and unnecessary occupational exposure to mercury vapor at the dental office make sure your dentist is not just mercury free – but also mercury safe! (Doing so is important for everyone, but especially pregnant and nursing mothers, children of all ages, and those whose immune systems are compromised.)
Strictly speaking, the term “mercury free” refers to dentists who do not put amalgam fillings in their patients’ teeth. This term was first used over 40 years ago by dentists who wanted to distinguish themselves from dentists who felt that amalgams were safe and continued to put them into patients’…
Without a doubt, the biggest misconception the public has about dental health is that the effects of dental diseases are limited only to the teeth and gums. It can and does negatively impact the overall health of the body. Yet, as destructive as dental disease can be, most people, including many dentists and physicians, still believe that the damage it does is limited to the oral cavity. But the fact is that numerous scientific studies no longer support that long-held assumption.
Are Amalgam (Silver) Fillings Safe?
No, they are not safe because elemental mercury makes up 50% of an amalgam filling and it continuously releases mercury vapor – much more (as you will see) when it is stimulated by many common actions, such as tooth brushing, grinding and eating. Eighty percent of the mercury released enters the body and every atom of mercury that enters it is harmful.
Mercury is the most poisonous, naturally occurring, non-radioactive substance on our planet. The World Health Organization, WHO, says there is no safe level of mercury and has stated that amalgam fillings are the greatest single source of mercury exposure, surpassing fish and other sources of mercury. Three European countries, Norway, Denmark and Sweden have permanently banned amalgam fillings and they can no longer be used as a filling material.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a ceiling limit of 100mcg/Hg/m3 (micrograms/mercury/cubic meter of air) for facilities using elemental mercury. If the levels of mercury vapor in the building reach 100mcg/Hg/m3 the employees have to leave as it is considered toxic and unsafe for employees. (Just one microgram of mercury contains 3 trillion atoms of it.) Yet the simple act of brushing just one amalgam filling can release more than 250mcg/Hg/m3. This can never be considered a small amount and this is just from one tooth!
Bleeding gums is normal. It happens to everyone!
FACT: Bleeding gums is a sign of gum disease, which means there’s nothing normal about it. It only means that you haven’t visited your dentist for quite some time now and that a lot of calculus (hard deposits stuck on your teeth) have already accumulated, making your gums swell and bleed. Gum disease if left untreated may cause the loss of your teeth.
I brush properly, I don’t need to floss.
FACT: Wrong. Brushing cleans only 65% of your teeth. What about the other 35%? These are the surfaces in between your teeth which the toothbrush cannot reach (even if you use ultra-thin bristles). Only a dental floss can remove food debris stuck in those areas. Neglecting to floss (which you should do at least every night) may lead to cavities you won’t even notice because…yes, you guessed it right..they are formed in between your teeth and can be detected only by dental x-rays.
It’s just baby teeth..it will be replaced anyway. No need for my kid to see the dentist.
FACT: Baby teeth are as important as permanent teeth. A lot of parents are misinformed about this. Imagine your child experiencing severe toothache just because you haven’t brought him/her to the dentist before. Cavities on baby teeth should be filled and restored before they lead to a toothache or infection. They also play a big role in guiding the erupting permanent teeth to the right position. If a baby tooth is removed too early (might be due to severe decay), the space for the erupting permanent tooth is usually lost resulting in misalignment.
Dentist = Pain
FACT: So many people are afraid of the dental office. Dental phobia is a common reason why patients don’t go to their appointments. They always associate the dentist as to someone who inflicts pain…a lot of it. Well, this is not true. Most routine dental procedures such as scaling, polishing, and tooth fillings can be done without anesthesia. Though some might experience some sensitivity and discomfort, these procedures are often well-tolerated.
Well-aligned teeth have only an aesthetic value.
FACT: A beautiful smile can boost a person’s confidence at any stage in his/her life. But, having straight teeth also means an easier-to-maintain good oral hygiene which is a habit we all want to develop at an early age. When there’s crowding of the teeth, some surfaces (the overlapping parts) are not brushed properly, eventually leading to gum disease and/or tooth decay. In addition, correction of a bad bite produces an even distribution of biting forces on all the teeth, reducing the risk of trauma to the jaw joints as compared to someone whose teeth do not occlude properly or do not touch at all (open bite). Getting an orthodontic assessment from your dentist will determine if you have a malocclusion that needs correcting.
Dental scaling will abrade my teeth.
FACT: Everything done in excess is bad for you. Dental scaling and polishing if done at the right intervals will not do any damage to your teeth. This interval is usually 6 months apart unless otherwise recommended by your dental clinic. Patients who are prone to gum disease may need to see their dental health practitioner every 3-4 months.
It’s alright to wear my dentures 24/7.
FACT: Removing your dentures before going to bed at night is recommended. This lets your gums breathe from the constant pressure of the dentures. It also gives you the opportunity to care for your dentures by soaking them in a denture cleaning solution. Dentures if left unclean might become home to a lot of bacteria causing sores and irritation to the gums and palate.
Dental treatments cost a fortune.
FACT: The only reason you will have to spend so much on a dental treatment is that you didn’t take care of your teeth as much as you should have. As the old saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”. Neglect, or rather, the result of neglect is always costlier than the routine dental appointments that pop up on your calendar twice a year.
What do the Dentists Say?
We gathered some quotes from dentists practicing in BC to see what they think. You can see their comments below.
The biggest misconceptions in dentistry are: “There is only a problem if I have pain” and “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” There’s often no pain associated with oral cancer, endodontic problems (tooth pulp), and periodontal disease (gum disease). The other problem is that many patients are afraid to take X-rays. Often, the only way to diagnose a dental problem is with an X-ray.
People take their teeth for granted. Good dental health doesn’t just happen. Many of us need to take simple steps on a regular basis — steps like brushing, flossing, and minimizing the frequency and volume of the sugars that we consume. Others have a harder time simply because of genetics, traumatic events, congenital problems, or systemic diseases. But whatever the personal situation, the simple fact remains that each individual needs to truly consider the importance of their teeth for appearance, for speech, and for eating. Without teeth, we truly are handicapped. Developing the right habits and following them regularly will help each individual maintain his teeth and oral health for a lifetime.
Dr. Robert Abercomby
The biggest misconception is that teeth do not affect your body and overall health. Digestion begins in the mouth with the chewing of food. Teeth and your oral cavity are a vital part of your health.
Without a doubt, the biggest misconception the public has about dental health is that the effects of dental diseases are limited only to the teeth and gums. It can and does negatively impact the overall health of the body. Yet, as destructive as dental disease can be, most people, including…