What is Fluoride and Do You Really Need It?

 Fluoride: it’s best known for protecting teeth, but just how does it do that?

If you have ever wondered what all the fuss over fluoride is, why your toothpaste contains it, or how much of it you really need, then you have come to the right place! We have demystified fluoride and explained everything you need to know about this tooth-loving mineral.

 What is fluoride exactly?

Fluoride is a colourless, naturally-occurring mineral that can be found throughout the Earth’s surface. It can be found in solid, liquid and gas forms and, when applied in small doses, has been proven to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. It’s for this reason that fluoride is often added in very small doses to the drinking water of municipalities as it has been proven to prevent cavities when compared to areas without fluoridated drinking water. The City of Toronto has added fluoride to its drinking water since 1963.

If you have been to our office at Museum Dental lately for a routine dental checkup, you likely experienced a concentrated fluoride treatment which usually comes in the form of a flavoured foam and is applied to your teeth using dental trays.

How does fluoride protect my teeth?

Fluoride protects teeth in a few different ways. One way is by strengthening the structure of the tooth for small children, which is still in the developmental stages for their teeth enamel. If the right amount of fluoride is applied during this period, the actual structure of the enamel is strengthened and becomes more resistant to acids. This means that, as the child grows, they will have teeth that are better protected right from the beginning.

When plaque builds up on and around teeth, the destructive bacteria within it is in direct contact with the enamel of the teeth. The bacteria slowly eats away at the enamel and weakens it by leaching vital minerals out of it. This process is called demineralization and, while the mouth naturally fixes the weakened enamel through remineralization, the natural process can become ineffective if teeth are not cleaned properly or if too much sugar enters the mouth on a regular basis.

So another way that fluoride helps to protect teeth is through remineralization. Fluoride helps to promote the process of remineralization and makes sure that the enamel which is replaced during the process is stronger and less susceptible to breakdown.

Fluoride also works against the destructive acid produced by plaque which is extremely important in preventing tooth decay. It does this by blocking some of the most harmful enzymes found in plaque and prevents them from producing the acid that weakens tooth enamel.

How much fluoride should I be consuming?

 All water contains some fluoride, even natural spring water that has never been treated.

The recommended dietary allowance for fluoride differs depending on your age, gender, and whether or not your drinking water has fluoride in it already. In general, the amount of fluoride an adult female of 14 years of age or older should be consuming each day is 3 milligrams, while adult males of the same age range should be consuming 4 milligrams per day. Children from four to 13 years old should have one to two milligrams, while infants and small children shouldn’t consume more than half a milligram.

To compare how much fluoride is in your daily diet, consider that one conservative use of fluoridated toothpaste can contain between one and three milligrams of fluoride, depending on the brand and type of the toothpaste. Keep in mind that the suggested amounts of fluoride above are concerned with how much fluoride should be consumed internally, and that when you use toothpaste you should absolutely not be swallowing it. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep track of how much fluoride is in your diet to ensure that you are meeting but not exceeding the recommended dosages. 

How can I make sure I’m getting enough fluoride?

The most effective way to ensure that you are introducing fluoride into your mouth, and one of the most important steps in general oral care, is to brush your teeth twice each day with fluoridated toothpaste. Make sure that when you are brushing, you take the time to go over and around each tooth on all sides and along the gum line to ensure that you aren’t leaving any area uncleaned or unprotected.

You can also introduce fluoride into your diet through foods such as taro root, yams, milk, eggs, cassava, red meats, and fish, especially if it’s canned. All of these foods contain less than 0.1 milligram of fluoride in them per serving.

Having a regular dental checkup every six months is also extremely important, not just because your mouth will be professionally cleaned, but also because you should receive a concentrated fluoride treatment each time. The treatment may come in the form of a flavoured foam or gel that is applied using dental trays or it may just be a rinse.

However it is given, the effects of professional fluoride treatments last much longer than those of at-home products or through dietary consumption. Professional treatments are especially important for those who are more susceptible to tooth rot or cavities as they boost the tooth enamel strength and make sure that every surface of each tooth is reached.

What if I’m still unsure about fluoride?

 If you want to learn more about how fluoride can help to protect your teeth or if you’re unsure about how much you really need to have in your diet, make an appointment with us at Museum Dental and our team of dentists and hygienitst will be more than happy to discuss it. The dental professionals at Museum Dental will assess your oral health, your dental habits and specific needs, and will give you advice that is tailor made for you!

 

Michael Bulger

Tips for Kids to Prevent Tooth Decay (From the dental clinic at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida)

The following are ways to reduce your child's risk of tooth decay:

  •  Sugary foods and drinks should be consumed only with meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinses food particles from the mouth.
  • Limit between-meals snacks. If children crave a snack, offer them nutritious foods.
  • If your children chew gum, choose sugarless with xylitol or recaldent. Chewing sugarless gum after eating can increase saliva flow and help wash out food and decay-producing acid.
  • Monitor beverage consumption. Instead of soft drinks or power drinks, children should drink water or low-fat milk.
  • Help your children develop good brushing and flossing habits. Parents should assist their children until age 10.
  • Schedule regular dental visits.

For more information click here

Michael Bulger

Museum Dental Introduces Accelerated Invisalign Treatment with Propel

Propel Excelleration is  an innovative accelerated option that fast tracks patients’ invisalign orthodontic treatment. Excelleration allows patients to achieve excellent orthodontic results in half or less of traditional treatment time.

Propel Excelleration reduces the amount of time patients are in braces or clear aligners by working with the body’s own natural biology to stimulate the bone surrounding the teeth, helping the teeth to move faster. The simple 3-step in-office treatment is performed in minutes by the doctor and is done during a patient’s regularly scheduled appointment. The “Propel Excelleration” process yields minimal or no discomfort to the patient and requires no recovery time so normal daily activities can be resumed immediately. Results from patients who have already received Propel Excelleration have been exceptional.

Whether patients are looking to prepare for their wedding day, an upcoming graduation, or just simply want to finish treatment sooner, Propel Excelleration will help give them that beautiful smile in faster time.

Patients seeking additional information on Propel’s advanced orthodontic treatment are encouraged to view this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA3KHbusw-8

Dr. Michael Bulger

Michael Bulger

Beware of “Sugar-Free” sodas, candies and sport drinks.

Sugar isn’t the only dental risk factor in modern comfort foods and beverages. 

Recent research findings published in the Australian Dental Journal  (http://www.oralhealthcrc.org.au/sites/default/files/Dental%20Erosion%20Briefing%20Paper_FINAL2015.pdf ) show that the chemical components of “Sugar-Free” drinks and candies can be just as harmful to teeth as products with sugar. Many beverages and candies contain a large amount of acids that can soften the surface layer of tooth enamel that can lead to accelerated wear and erosion.

 There are a number of ways of effectively reducing and neutralising the impact of acidic foods and beverages on teeth. The Australian Dental Association makes the following recommendations:

•Drink more water (preferably flouridated), particularly between meals.

•After eating or drinking acidic products, don’t brush your teeth right away as this can remove the softened tooth layer. Instead, rinse your mouth with water and wait one hour before brushing.

•Limit the intake of soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks and diet drinks.

•If drinking acidic beverages, do so at meal times.

•Chew sugar-free gum (particularly one with bioavailable calcium phosphate) - this can stimulate saliva flow, rinse away acids, and re-harden softened enamel.

•Have regular check-ups with your oral health professional. People who believe they are at risk of dental erosion can talk to their oral health professional about using a remineralising treatment to replace lost calcium and phosphate.

Michael Bulger

Is your child a thumb-sucker?

Many psychologists believe that thumb sucking is normal behaviour.  Unfortunately, it may lead to dental problems if continued for several years, especially after the age of six when adult teeth begin to appear.  The most common effect is protrusion of the upper front teeth.  With constant pressure from the thumb, they may angle outward instead of growing straight down and may cause a change in their appearance.  Braces or orthodontic work are often needed to correct this.

A deeper or higher palate may be created by continual pressure for the thumb since bone is soft during the formative years.  Breathing patterns may also be altered because of changes in the palate.  Many mouth breathing adults were thumb sucking children.  

Thumb sucking may be a difficult habit to break.  Parents should first try talking with their child and help from your dentist may be needed.  If these attempts fail, you may consider trying a mouth appliance specifically designed to prevent thumb sucking.  Any loss in your child's gratification from thumb sucking will be outweighed by the benefits of a healthier, more functional mouth.

Museum Dental

Michael Bulger

Inflammatory Gum Disease Influences Heart Attack Severity

 

The extent and severity of inflammatory gum disease is closely related to heart attack severity, new research published in the Journal of Dental Research suggests.   

“Chronic periodontitis appears as a "death risk factor", and it plays an important role in the prognosis of acute myocardial infarction (MI),” according to a recent study from the University of Grenada, Spain. 

However, follow-up checks are needed to monitor for any new coronary events, cardiac failure, or death among the participants, according to the research team.  

If that happens to be the case, chronic periodontitis should be considered as a predictor in the development of MI, and be therefore included in the risk scores for better understanding whether those patients may actually have a higher incidence of fatality from heart attack. 

PMW 

Dr. Philip M. Walton  DDS, MMSc, FRCD(C)

US Board Certified, Diplomate of Periodontics

Michael Bulger

Gingival Depigmentation Procedure

Hello Everyone!

It's been a while since our last blog post but we promise the wait was worth it! Dr.Philip Walton explains gingival depigmentation to us!

Although most people think of healthy gums being pink in colour, there are actually many variations that can exist. A number of race/ethnicity have darker gums which is commonly referred to as gingival hyper-pigmentation. This is most commonly found in Asian and African populations and tends to present itself with shades of brown or purple hues. The reason for this discolouration or darkening of the gums has to do with an increased presence of Melanin cells which are responsible for various skin tones as well.  

 

Although discolouration of the gums does not pose a health issue, there are many individuals who tend to be self conscious about the appearance and desire improved aesthetics. Until recently - it was believed that gingival pigmentation could not be altered. In fact - many so-called aesthetic surgeons or dentists in Beverly Hills have began to market high cost and unpredictable solutions for patients who are quite desperate to change their gum appearance.

 

In reality - newer methods which are undertaken with great ease are now available and can provide substantial improvement in the aesthetic appearance of pigmented gum tissues. These procedures are typically undertaken with just local anesthesia - similar to getting a filling done. The procedure is painless and can take as little as 20 minutes depending on the severity and extent of the hyper-pigmentation. Patients typically return to work the same day and daily routine/lifestyle continues unaltered. Mild soreness in the first few days is the only side effect to be expected.

The below case is a beautiful example of a before and after:

Before

Before

Here the patient is seen at less than 1 week following the upper being completed.   

Here the patient is seen at less than 1 week following the upper being completed. 

 

Here the patient is seen following completion of both the upper and lower arches

Here the patient is seen following completion of both the upper and lower arches


This case was performed by Dr. Phil Walton and represents his years of training and is not be used without permission.

Michael Bulger

Digital X-rays at Museum Dental

Our office has included digital x-rays for over 10 years as part of our patient experience and as a vital diagnostic tool. This technology has many positive effects on our patients:

  • X-ray exposure is reduced by up to 85% compared to traditional film processed techniques.
  • We are able to use computers to capture, store, and transmit dental x-rays in an eco-friendly way without using film and chemicals. Images are available almost instantly on the computer screen.
  • Many diseases and conditions of the oral cavity (regarding teeth, surrounding tissues, and bone) cannot be seen in a visual exam of your mouth. Early detection of dental conditions and problems saves time, money, and unnecessary discomfort. Digital x-rays can also help prevent more serious dental and health problems.

Because the images are stored on the computer, we can print or copy digital x-rays. We can send images to dental specialists when patients are referred to them. We can also electronically send images with treatment estimates to insurance companies to expedite assessment and approval of dental benefits.

Additionally, technical errors often can be corrected to provide an optimal x-ray without having to make another x-ray exposure. New digital x-rays can be compared easily with past x-rays to see “if” and “how” conditions have changed.

As always, precautions are taken to limit your exposure to radiation from x-rays. Modern equipment limits the size of the radiographic beam to approximately the size of the sensor being used and patients wear a leaded apron and thyroid shield as the x-ray is taken.

Museum Dental

Michael Bulger

Dr.Bulger answers your questions on x-rays!

Dear Patients,

We welcome your concerns, encourage your questions, and strive to keep you informed about dental care. During my discussions with patients, a few have expressed their concerns about dental X-rays. I would like to address some of these concerns and share this information with you.

Are X-rays necessary?

  • Dental X-rays are necessary for accurate diagnosis of many dental conditions. They allow dentists to detect decay and diseases of the mouth, bone, face and jaw that may not be visible during an oral examination.
  • X-rays help us detect dental conditions early and they play an important role in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of dental problems.
  • Are they safe?
  •  Modern equipment filters out unnecessary radiation and focuses the X-ray beam to a very small area of interest.
  • Our high-speed digital sensors and protective collars and aprons further reduce our patients’ exposure. With these safeguards in place, the small amount of radiation you are exposed to from dental X-rays generally represents a much smaller risk to your health than an undetected and untreated dental problem.

I hope this information assures you that we are committed to providing competent and quality care to our patients. Please feel free to contact us at office number to ask us about X-rays or any other aspect of your dental treatment. Thank you again for choosing MUSEUM DENTAL.

Sincerely,

Dr. Michael Bulger and the Museum Dental team.

Michael Bulger

Dental Care for Babies

TGIF! We know everyone's excited for the weekend but we couldn't let the weekend start without posting some dental tips!

Being a parent is a full-time job. As your family dentist, it's my job to send preventive dental care reminders about how to care for your child's developing teeth and gums.

Below are some tips on good oral care for your child, plus information on thumb-sucking and teething. Post these on your refrigerator or in another handy place so your family and babysitters can also see them:

  • Infants should finish their bottle or breastfeeding before going to bed. Frequent and prolonged exposure of a baby's teeth to liquids containing sugar, like sweetened water, fruit juice and potentially milk, breast milk and formula is a risk factor for early childhood caries, sometimes called baby bottle tooth decay.
  • Do not dip pacifiers in sugar or honey.
  •  Wipe the baby's gums with a wet gauze pad or with a washcloth or towel after each feeding.
  •  Begin brushing your child's teeth with water as soon as the first tooth appears.
  •  To reduce the chances of tooth decay, children should be encouraged to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
  • Your child's first dental visit should occur within six months of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than the baby's first birthday.
  • Aggressive thumb sucking may cause problems with children's primary (baby) teeth, so please mention to me on your next visit if your child has this habit. I can check his or her mouth for any changes and give you techniques to help curb thumb-sucking.
  • As baby teeth erupt, your child may become fussy, sleepless or irritable. One way to comfort your baby is to gently massage the gums with a clean finger, a small cool spoon, or a clean, wet gauze pad, washcloth or towel.
  • Consult with your pediatrician, family physician or dentist on the most appropriate water to use in your area to mix with infant formula.

As always, we are here to answer your questions, so please feel free to call our office at 416-922-6848 to schedule your first “well-baby” dental appointment.

Have an amazing weekend!

Museum Dental

Michael Bulger

Refreshing summer drinks that won’t stain your teeth and relieving mosquito bite itches!

 

Happy summer to everyone from Museum Dental!

It’s summer time and while many of you escape up north to cottages and enjoy the break, you return to back to the city with black fly bites and mosquito bites along with the extreme itch that is unbearable.  Well, the staff at Museum dental, along with of one of our patients have stumbled upon a great remedy to relieve that sting and itch from insect bites. 

Pro Namel toothpaste! Yes, this fabulous toothpaste which is great for your regular brushing has been found to immediately stop the itch on an insect bite. Why you ask?  We aren’t exactly sure but we are researching it. In the mean time enjoy the outdoors and caring around a small tube of Pro Namel toothpaste in your pocket for that quick relief.

Now comes the fun part of this post! 

Looking for delicious, refreshing, summer drink recipes? Drinking intensely coloured drinks is the biggest contributor to stained teeth. The darker the drink colour, the greater potential there is for staining.

Here is a list of some of our favourite summer drinks that will not only taste delicious, but will also help keep your teeth sparkling white all summer long!

 

Mint Julep

  • Whiskey
  • Mint
  • soda water
  • sugar (substitute stevia or coconut sugar for a healthier alternative)

Strawberry Basil Margaritas

  • frozen limeade concentrate
  • strawberries (muddled)
  • basil leaves
  • tequila

Watermelon-Cucumber Twist

  • Vodka
  • triple sec
  • watermelon juice
  • cucumber
  • mint juice
  • lime juice

 

Summer Citrus Champagne

  • Honey
  • Zest of lemon
  • Lemon juice
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Fresh orange juice
  • Champagne

Enjoy!

Michael Bulger

Types of Gum Disease

Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis and can eventually lead to tooth loss and other health problems.

Gingivitis

 

Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.

Factors that may contribute to gingivitis include, diabetes, smoking, aging, genetic predisposition, systemic diseases and conditions, stress, inadequate nutrition, puberty, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, substance abuse, HIV infection, and certain medication use.

Periodontitis

 

Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.

There are many forms of periodontitis. The most common ones include the following.

  • Aggressive periodontitis occurs in patients who are otherwise clinically healthy. Common features include rapid attachment loss and bone destruction and familial aggregation.
  • Chronic periodontitis results in inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth, progressive attachment and bone loss. This is the most frequently occurring form of periodontitis and is characterized by pocket formation and/or recession of the gingiva. It is prevalent in adults, but can occur at any age. Progression of attachment loss usually occurs slowly, but periods of rapid progression can occur.
healyvsnot.jpg

Dr. Philip M. Walton  DDS, MMSc, FRCD(C)

US Board Certified, Diplomate of Periodontics

Michael Bulger

Does frequent snacking present problems for our teeth?

Well, it depends. Every time we eat, our mouths go to work cleaning things up and restoring “balance”.

Having three meals a day is one thing. But when we continuously snack, our mouths struggle more to maintain that clean, happy balance—especially when we’re eating the wrong kinds of foods.

The Types Of Foods We Snack On Make A Difference

Some snacks are hard to resist, but they’re also harder on your teeth. This includes starchy foods, sugary foods, and really acidic things like orange juice or energy drinks. So what does it mean to snack smart? Snacking smart doesn’t mean you have to cut out those hard-to-resist snacks altogether. After all, what are we supposed to do in the theater while we’re watching a movie?! But smart snacking DOES mean a couple of things:

1. Being more aware! Start noticing the snacks you’re eating, and WHEN you’re eating them.

2. Keeping “teeth-healthy” snacks handy. At first you’ll miss the sweets. But very quickly your tastes will adjust and smart snacks will easily tide you over between meals and late at night. Here are some suggestions:

  • Crunchy, fibrous vegetables and fruits, like apples, actually scrub your teeth and increase saliva flow.
  • Protein-rich foods like beans, meats, and eggs have phosphorus and minerals that help build strong teeth.
  • Cheese is sugar/starch free, and dairy products are high in calcium which is great for teeth.

Did You Know An Apple Is Like A Mini Toothbrush?

When you’re craving a snack, practice putting away the crackers and cookies. Opt for something that’s good for your teeth instead. Enjoy this video that explains it more in depth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjlCgRjfXbk&feature=player_embedded

Eating Treats With Your Meals

Don’t torture yourself. If you choose, having a starchy or sugary treat once in a while is fine. Eating them at the right time can help too, and potentially have a less damaging effect on your teeth.

  • Eat treats WITH a meal to help dilute their effects and wash them down. During meals, you have increased saliva flow to clean away debris, counteract acids, and remineralize your teeth.
  • Follow up with brushing or rinsing—and when brushing isn’t convenient, consider chewing on some sugar-free gum.

Do you have smart snacking tips of your own? We’d love to hear them!

Thanks for your trust in our practice! We appreciate you!

Michael Bulger

Dealing with dental anxiety

For some people, visiting the dentist can be a stressful experience. Millions of people experience anxiety at the thought of an upcoming dental visit and end up postponing their appointment. At Museum Dental, we want to assure you that we understand this anxiety and want to make your visit as pleasant as possible.

Here are a few tips to help you relax before and during a dental treatment:

  •  Tell your dentist and the dental staff if you feel fearful, tense, or anxious. Talking about your fears can help your dentist tailor the treatment and pace to suit your needs.
  • Try to schedule your dental visit for a time when you won't be rushed or physically strained. You may find a Saturday or early morning appointment less stressful than rushing to see the dentist directly after work.
  • Get a good night's sleep the night before and eat light meals the day of your appointment.
  •  Wear loose, comfortable clothes to your dental appointment. Avoid wearing tight collars or clothes that will restrict your movement.
  • Arrange a signal ahead of time with the dental staff, such as raising your hand, to indicate you are feeling discomfort or need a break from a procedure.
  • Bring some music to listen to during your treatment.
  • Try visualization. Focus on a relaxing scene from a favorite vacation spot and keep it in your “mind's eye” during the visit.
  • Please talk to the dentist about medications that are available to help create more relaxed, comfortable dental visits.

 

The type of procedure, your overall health, history of allergies, and your anxiety level are considered when determining which approach is best for you.

Have a great weekend!

Museum Dental

Michael Bulger

Gum disease risk factors

The main cause of periodontal (gum) disease is plaque, but other factors affect the health of your gums.

Age

Studies indicate that older people have the highest rates of periodontal disease. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that over 70% of Americans 65 and older have periodontitis.

Smoking/tobacco use

Tobacco use is linked with many serious illnesses such as cancer, lung disease and heart disease, as well as numerous other health problems. Tobacco users also are at increased risk for periodontal disease. Studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease.

Genetics

Research has indicated that some people may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. Despite aggressive oral care habits, these people may be more likely to develop periodontal disease. Identifying these people with a genetic test before they even show signs of the disease and getting them into early intervention treatment may help them keep their teeth for a lifetime.

Stress

Stress is linked to many serious conditions such as hypertension, cancer, and numerous other health problems. Stress also is a risk factor for periodontal disease. Research demonstrates that stress can make it more difficult for the body to fight off infection, including periodontal diseases.

Medications

Some drugs, such as oral contraceptives, anti-depressants, and certain heart medicines, can affect your oral health. Just as you notify your pharmacist and other health care providers of all medicines you are taking and any changes in your overall health, you should also inform your dental care provider.

Clenching or grinding your teeth

Clenching or grinding your teeth can put excess force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and could speed up the rate at which these periodontal tissues are destroyed.

Other systemic disease

Other systemic diseases that interfere with the body's inflammatory system may worsen the condition of the gums. These include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Poor nutrition and obesity 

A diet low in important nutrients can compromise the body's immune system and make it harder for the body to fight off infection. Because periodontal disease begins as an infection, poor nutrition can worsen the condition of your gums. In addition, research has shown that obesity may increase the risk of periodontal disease.

 

Dr. Philip M. Walton  DDS, MMSc, FRCD(C)

US Board Certified, Diplomate of Periodontics

Michael Bulger

Dental Misconceptions

During medieval times, people believed they could cure a toothache by driving a nail into an oak tree. Silly, right?

Today’s Misconceptions Are Different!

There are still some crazy ideas out there about teeth—ideas that have very little to do with the facts.

Have you ever fallen for one or more of these modern misconceptions? Most people have.

 

Misconception #1 – Cavities Are Only Caused By Sweets

Technically, cavities are caused by carbohydrates interacting with bacteria on your teeth to create acid by-products. Carbohydrates include sugars, but cavities can just as easily be caused by crackers, potato chips, and bread!

 

Misconception #2 – Children Are More Prone To Cavities Than Adults

  • Kids are NOT inherently more prone to decay… They’re just not as good at brushing! Teach your child thorough brushing techniques—helping them out until they’re dexterous enough to do a good solo job.

 

Misconception #3 – My Teeth Are Fine If I Have No Pain

  • Decay can eat clear through your enamel and dentin before some people feel it at all! Catching tooth decay early typically allows more of the tooth to be saved, and can spare you added discomfort and expense. That is why it is important to see us regularly so we can detect early cavities and fix them.

 

Misconception #4 – If My Gums Bleed I Should Stop Flossing

  • Actually, that’s a really bad idea. Bleeding gums are often the first sign of gum disease. This happens when bacterial infections inflame your gums due to a lack of efficient cleaning! Sure, floss gently if your gums are sensitive. But be thorough and extra diligent!

 

Misconception #5 – After Dental Work Is Done On A Tooth It’s Stronger Than Ever

  • Not always the case. One of the biggest risk factors for decay is having had it before. Dental crowns and fillings are awesome but not perfect. They have nooks and crannies where bacteria can hide—especially as the restorations age. The lesson to be learned? Have your teeth checked regularly to make sure all is going well.

 

Remember, our greatest weapon against tooth decay is knowledge. Let us know if you have any questions about any of the ideas above, or any of your own that we haven’t covered yet.

Dr. Christakos

 

Michael Bulger

Gum Disease In Children

Types of periodontal diseases in children


Chronic gingivitis is common in children. It usually causes gum tissue to swell, turn red and bleed easily. Gingivitis is both preventable and treatable with a regular routine of brushing, flossing and professional dental care. However, left untreated, it can eventually advance to more serious forms of periodontal disease.
Aggressive periodontitis can affect young people who are otherwise healthy. Localized aggressive periodontitis is found in teenagers and young adults and mainly affects the first molars and incisors. It is characterized by the severe loss of alveolar bone, and ironically, patients generally form very little dental plaque or calculus.
Generalized aggressive periodontitis may begin around puberty and involve the entire mouth. It is marked by inflammation of the gums and heavy accumulations of plaque and calculus. Eventually it can cause the teeth to become loose.

Signs of periodontal disease


Four basic signs will alert you to periodontal disease in your child:

Bleeding

Bleeding gums during tooth brushing, flossing or any other time

Puffiness

Swollen and bright red gums

Recession

Gums that have receded away from the teeth, sometimes exposing the roots

Bad breath

Constant bad breath that does not clear up with brushing and flossing

Importance of good dental hygiene in adolescence

 

Hormonal changes related to puberty can put teens at greater risk for getting periodontal disease. During puberty, an increased level of hormones, such as progesterone and possibly estrogen, cause increased blood circulation to the gums. This may cause an increase in the gum's sensitivity and lead to a greater reaction to any irritation, including food particles and plaque. During this time, the gums may become swollen, turn red and feel tender.
As a teen progresses through puberty, the tendency for the gums to swell in response to irritants will lessen. However, during puberty, it is very important to follow a good at-home dental hygiene regimen, including regular brushing and flossing, and regular dental care. In some cases, a dental professional may recommend periodontal therapy to help prevent damage to the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth.

Advice for parents

 

Early diagnosis is important for successful treatment of periodontal diseases. Therefore, it is important that children receive a comprehensive periodontal examination as part of their routine dental visits. Be aware that if your child has an advanced form of periodontal disease, this may be an early sign of systemic disease. A general medical evaluation should be considered for children who exhibit severe periodontitis, especially if it appears resistant to therapy.
The most important preventive step against periodontal disease is to establish good oral health habits with your child. There are basic preventive steps to help your child maintain good oral health:

  • Establish good dental hygiene habits early. When your child is 12 months old, you can begin using toothpaste when brushing his or her teeth.   When the gaps between your child's teeth close, it's important to start flossing.
  • Serve as a good role model by practicing good dental hygiene habits yourself.
  • Schedule regular dental visits for family checkups, periodontal evaluations and cleanings.
  • Check your child's mouth for the signs of periodontal disease, including bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, gums that are receding away from the teeth and bad breath.

 

Dr. Philip M. Walton DDS, MMSc, FRCD(C)

 

Michael Bulger

Home Care: The Key to Good Oral Health

Hi Everyone!

 

As your dentist, I view myself as a member of your personal oral health team. The most important factor in your success of having no cavities and healthy gums is how well you practice good oral care at home.

Here are the pillars of oral health:

 

* Brushing and Flossing: Brushing your teeth twice a day with a CDA accepted fluoride toothpaste and flossing your teeth once a day is essential. Patients often say that they just don't have time to floss. You can floss your teeth at any point in the day. Flossing is easier than ever thanks to the variety of flossing products, such as inter-dental cleaners, floss picks, and power flossers. These healthy habits are worth incorporating into your daily life.

 

* You Matter- Nutrition Matters: Your choice of foods and beverages is another key to good oral health. Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. A steady diet of sugary foods and drinks, including sports drinks, can ruin teeth, especially among those who snack throughout the day. Sugar mixes with the bacteria in your mouth to produce acid. This acid attacks the enamel on your teeth for up to 20 minutes. When sugar is consumed regularly, the harmful effect on teeth can be dramatic. Once a tooth decays, the enamel does not grow back. The only option when decay occurs is to see me to have the tooth treated.

 

* Stop Smoking! Smoking or using tobacco in any form also damages your oral health. Not only does smoking and chewing tobacco place you at higher risk for cancer and other life-threatening diseases, but tobacco use can also cause periodontal (gum) disease. If you smoke and you are interested in quitting, we can talk about available treatment options and determine the best course of action for you.

 

* Regular Preventive Dental Visits: Even if you thoroughly brush and clean between your teeth each day, your teeth need professional cleanings at the dental office. Professional cleaning helps remove stains, plaque, and tartar from your teeth to keep your smile bright. It also helps prevent periodontal (gum) disease. Early detection of oral health changes help to stop issues before they become problems.

 

By taking care of your teeth, eating a balanced diet and having regular dental visits, you can have healthy teeth and an attractive smile for life. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at 416-922-6848.

Dr. Michael Bulger

Michael Bulger

How to prevent bad breath!

Hello everyone!

This week's blog was written by Dr.Bulger giving up tips on how to prevent bad breath!

Halitosis, or bad breath, is an embarrassing problem that nearly everyone knows, yet few care to talk about. Our office can help you get to the bottom of this problem and provide simple solutions to prevent bad breath.

Bad breath has many causes: odor-causing foods, tooth decay, gum disease, bacteria growing on the tongue, dry mouth, use of tobacco products, sinus or respiratory infections, some medical disorders, improperly cleaned dentures, inadequate oral hygiene, or some medications. We can help find the cause of bad breath and if it's due to an oral condition, we can set up a treatment plan to eliminate this problem. Treatment may be easier than you imagine.

Here are some quick tips for preventing bad breath:

1. Schedule regular dental visits for a professional cleaning and checkup. Keep a log of what you eat. Avoid constant use of breath mints and other hard candies containing sugar. They will only temporarily mask bad breath and can lead to tooth decay.

2. Make a list of over-the-counter and prescribed medications that you take. Some may play a role in causing bad breath.

3. Look for oral hygiene products that display the CDA Seal of Acceptance, a symbol of safety and effectiveness.

4. Brush twice a day with a CDA accepted fluoride toothpaste to remove food and plaque. Brush your tongue, too. Once a day, use floss or an inter-dental cleaner to clean between teeth.

5. If you wear removable dentures, take them out at night. Clean them thoroughly before putting them back in your mouth the next morning.

6. If you feel you must constantly use a breath freshener or mouthwash to hide unpleasant breath, see me so we can get to the root of the problem.

Museum Dental

Michael Bulger

Benefits of chewing sugarless gum!

Hi Everyone!

We have another informative post from Dr.Christakos about the benefits of sugarless gum and why you should be chewing it more often.

THERE ARE LOTS OF REASONS people chew gum. For some, perhaps it’s just a long-standing habit. But ever since a man named Thomas Adams invented chewing gum back in 1870 it’s been used to freshen breath and relieve nervousness too.

But did you know…

Chewing Sugarless Gum Can Help Prevent Cavities!

That’s right. Chewing sugarless gum can actually help fight cavities. Here are some facts:

1. Gum chewing stimulates saliva production which is your mouth’s natural cleaning and buffering agent—neutralizing acids released by the bacteria in plaque!

2. Gum chewing helps wash away food particles when brushing and flossing aren’t convenient.

3. For those who don’t naturally produce sufficient salivary flow, dry mouth can create lots of oral health problems. Chewing a piece of sugarless gum for 10 minutes each waking hour for about two weeks can help remedy the problem.

4. The sweetener Xylitol, used in many sugarless gums, inhibits the growth of particular kinds of bacteria known to cause cavities. Xylitol also makes it more difficult for bacteria to stick to your teeth.

Have a great week!

Museum Dental

Michael Bulger