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Archive for 2017

Closing Spaces in Between Teeth Using the Bioclear Technique  

This patient presented with spacing between her two front teeth that that she found displeasing. The space really bothered her and she asked if we could close the space using bonding.

Trying to close such a small space with bonding is a difficult task because it is hard to control the bonding  material such that we do not get excess material in between the teeth and below the gums. Excess material can cause irritation and inflammation of the gums.

The Bioclear technique allows us to close small spaces in a predictable way so that we can have good anatomical contours that are smooth and do not irritate the gums.

Our next blog will feature a video that shows the Bioclear technique.


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Old or Discoloured Bonding

Bonding with composite resin allows us to repair chips, fractures and discoloration conservatively. The underlying tooth structure is not removed and the integrity of the tooth is intact. This is different from some other treatment options such as crowns or veneers.

Bonding has a lifespan of about 5 years at which time it may chip or discolour.  The good news is that it is easily replaced and because the underlying tooth structure remains unchanged, re-doing the bonding is just as conservative as the original treatment.

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Healthy Snacks to Maintain Strong Teeth For Life

If you want to maintain strong teeth for your lifetime, you need to ensure you are eating enough whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables and lean meats.

Some healthy snack choices include:

  • nuts and seeds
  • peanut butter
  • cheese
  • plain yogurt
  • popcorn

Acid Erosion

There are some drinks and snacks that are bad for your teeth and may contribute to acid erosion. Acid erosion happens when food or drink with a low PH level (more acidic) are consumed. That acid can linger in your mouth, taking the minerals away and softening the surface of your teeth. This makes your teeth more susceptible to damage and often leads to increased sensitivity and may require treatment. The big offenders seem to be soft drinks, orange juice and lemonade.

Nutrition Tips

  • Try to avoid acidic food and drink between meals; there isn’t as much saliva in your mouth at these times to protect your teeth
  • Don’t clean your teeth right after eating. If you brush while the acid is still in your mouth you are removing some of your teeth’s surface. If you wait about an hour the saliva will help your teeth battle the acid so it is safe to brush
  • Try to finish your breakfast, lunch or dinner with a little cheese or milk as these products help cut down on the acid in your mouth.

A Note About Sweets

When it comes to your teeth, it’s not about the amount of sweets you eat, but the length of time that you leave your teeth exposed to sweets. So it’s better to eat sweets at mealtimes rather than between meals, as the amount of saliva produced at mealtimes will help protect your teeth.

If you cannot avoid sweets between meals, choose something with less sugar like those listed above. Sticky sweets like toffee or hard candy should be avoided as snacks.

Do you have more questions about these issues? Speak to your dentist today.

Content courtesy http://www.youroralhealth.ca/

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Toothpastes For Sensitive Teeth – Which is Best?

Almost all the toothpastes discussed below include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) as a surfactant. It’s what gives the toothpastes their pleasant foaminess. Some people find that SLS irritates their mouths, however, contributing to the incidence of canker sores or other mouth discomfort. Another problem dentists frequently encounter is sensitive teeth — teeth that hurt when touched by hot or cold food or drink.

A lot of things can cause canker sores and sensitive teeth, but most toothpastes designed for sensitive mouths and teeth don’t include SLS, which can dry the gums and lining of the mouth. Some toothpastes for sensitive teeth made by Sensodyne and other brands also contain potassium nitrate, an ingredient that can alleviate tooth sensitivity. Dentists say that some patients only need to use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth for a month or two, for example if you’re using a whitening product, like strips, that may contribute to sensitivity, while others need to stay with it indefinitely. We cover teeth whitening products in a separate report.

There’s no doubt about it: the brand Sensodyne reigns supreme when it comes to products made for sensitive gums and teeth. Sensodyne ProNamel Gentle Whitening (Est. $10 for 2) is a popular choice. It is designed to restore teeth to their natural whiteness and protect enamel against acid erosion, which causes teeth to grow yellow, thin, transparent and dull. This makes it a good choice for heavy coffee drinkers and people at risk of acid erosion, as it reportedly strengthens acid-softened enamel and prevents further enamel from dissolving. In addition, its desensitizing formula actually has a cumulative effect — it makes teeth less sensitive over time.

Sensodyne ProNamel Gentle Whitening is a top pick among experts, and user reviewers are very pleased with the product. They say it has a pleasant taste and that it does gradually whiten teeth. A number of users remark that regular brushing with this toothpaste essentially cured their hot/cold sensitivity. Some people who don’t have sensitivity issues say they used this product to decrease their sensitivity before switching to a stronger whitening product, such as strips or gels. Many also say it provides long-lasting fresh breath. It does not carry the ADA seal due to its whitening ingredients, which the ADA does not evaluate.

Alternatively, if you don’t want or need whitening but want a top-rated toothpaste for sensitive teeth, consider Sensodyne Repair and Protect Toothpaste (Est. $5). Its active ingredient is stannous fluoride, which prevents cavities from forming. The product earns high praise from users, who praise the taste and gentle formula. Sensodyne Repair and Protect is ADA approved.

Another solid choice for people with teeth or gums sensitivity is Colgate Sensitive Complete Protection Toothpaste (Est. $7). Like Sensodyne, it contains potassium nitrate as an anti-sensitivity agent that gradually builds tolerance for hot, cold and sugary foods. It also contains fluoride, which promotes plaque removal and healthy gums. This product has also earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Colgate Sensitive Complete Protection gets positive feedback from users, with most saying it is very effective for treating teeth and gums sensitivity. A number of reviewers remark that they were advised to try the product by their dentist, and several commenters say that it is more or less comparable to Sensodyne, yet the taste of Colgate toothpaste to Sensodyne products.

Another go-to toothpaste for mitigating sensitivity is Aquafresh Sensitive Toothpaste (Est. $16 for 4). Like the Sensodyne products and Colgate Sensitive Complete Protection, Aquafresh Sensitive contains potassium nitrate as an anti-sensitivity agent and is intended to lessen teeth and gum sensitivity after a few weeks of use. It comes in “Smooth Mint” flavor or as a “Maximum Strength Sensitive + Whitening” toothpaste.

Although Aquafresh Sensitive is well liked among its many user reviewers, some note that it can be hard to find in stores. Reviewers remark that the toothpaste is effective at reducing sensitivity and that it isn’t as abrasive as equivalents by other brands. Some say the taste is too mild or leaves a bad aftertaste; others say they like it just fine. It does not carry the ADA seal, again, due to its whitening claims.

Article originally appeared at: www.consumersearch.com

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Everything You Need to Know About Mouthrinse

Mouthrinses are used for a variety of reasons: to freshen breath, to help prevent or control tooth decay, to reduce plaque (a thin film of bacteria that forms on teeth), to prevent or reduce gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease), to reduce the speed that tartar (hardened plaque) forms on the teeth, or to produce a combination of these effects. Most mouthrinses are available without a prescription.

What ingredients are commonly found in mouthrinse and mouthwash?

Basic ingredients include water, alcohol, cleansing agents, flavoring ingredients and coloring agents. Active ingredients vary depending on the type of mouthrinse, but they can be placed into four general groups:

  • Antimicrobial agents act directly on oral bacteria to help reduce plaque, decrease the severity of gingivitis and control bad breath.
  • Fluoride helps reduce tiny lesions (tooth decay) on tooth enamel and make teeth more resistant to decay.
  • Astringent salts can serve as temporary deodorizers that mask bad breath.
  • Odor neutralizers act by chemically inactivating odor causing compounds.

What’s the difference between cosmetic and therapeutic mouthrinses?

Cosmetic mouthrinses may temporarily control or reduce bad breath and leave the mouth with a pleasant taste. But they don’t deal with the causes of bad breath. They don’t kill the bacteria that cause bad breath or chemically inactivate odor causing compounds. Also, none of the cosmetic mouthrinses helps reduce plaque, gingivitis or cavities.

Therapeutic mouthrinses, on the other hand, can help reduce plaque, gingivitis, cavities and bad breath. Some fight the bacteria present in plaque, a sticky film that forms on teeth and gums. Plaque bacteria create toxins that can damage the gums. Plaque that is not removed with daily brushing and flossing can cause gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. If plaque is allowed to continue to accumulate, gingivitis can progress to advanced gum disease, called periodontitis, which only a dentist can treat. Plaque can also turn into tartar (or calculus), a hard substance that can only be removed during a professional cleaning. Some therapeutic mouthwashes contain agents that either fight bad breath bacteria or that chemically inactivate odor causing compounds. Therapeutic mouthrinses that contain fluoride help prevent or reduce tooth decay.

Do I need a mouthrinse?

Your dentist can advise you whether you need a mouthrinse depending on your oral health needs. Rinsing helps remove debris from the mouth. It can be done before or after brushing, but it is not a substitute for brushing or flossing. You may consider, or your dentist may recommend, using a mouthrinse with fluoride or antimicrobial agents as part of your daily oral hygiene routine.

If you have difficulty brushing and flossing, a mouthrinse may provide additional protection against cavities and periodontal (gum) disease. Anti-cavity rinses with fluoride help protect tooth enamel. Dentists may prescribe special rinses for patients who have had periodontal surgery.

What is an “anti-gingivitis or anti-plaque” mouth rinse?

Anti-plaque, anti-gingivitis, antibacterial, antimicrobial or chemotherapeutic mouthrinses reduce bacterial count and inhibit bacterial activity that can cause gingivitis, a form of periodontal (gum) disease.

Can a mouthrinse eliminate bad breath?

Therapeutic mouthrinses can help reduce bad breath. However, if you must constantly use a mouthrinse or breath freshener to hide unpleasant mouth odor, it would be a good idea to visit your dentist to see if there is some underlying cause that can be corrected.

How does a mouthrinse get the ADA Seal?

A company earns the ADA Seal by submitting scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety and efficacy for its product. The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs carefully evaluates the evidence according to objective requirements. In the case of a mouthrinse, the Council may use any of the following requirements, depending on the product’s intended use:

A mouthrinse that claims to control gingivitis must substantiate that claim by demonstrating a statistically significant reduction in gingival inflammation. A mouthrinse that claims to control bad breath must substantiate that claim by showing that it works to reduce odors over a prolonged time frame. A mouthrinse that contains fluoride for reducing decay must either demonstrate effectiveness in clinical studies, or show that the formula is the same as a similar product that has been clinically proven. With any type of mouthrinse, a manufacturer must show that the product is safe and that it does not damage oral tissues or cause any internal problems.

Should I brush, floss or rinse first?

The sequence in which you brush, floss and rinse makes no difference as long as you do a thorough job and use quality products. Check the mouthrinse manufacturer’s label for recommendations on how and when to use the product, and look for products that have the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance.

At what age can a child use a fluoride mouthrinse?

The use of fluoride mouthrinses is not recommended for children six and younger because they may swallow the rinse. Always check the manufacturer’s label for precautions and age recommendations and talk to your dentist. Clinical studies indicate that regular use of a fluoride mouthrinse (daily or weekly, depending on the rinse) can provide additional protection against cavities over that provided by a fluoride toothpaste.

Content courtesy ada.org

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Replacement of Fractured Tooth Coloured Filling

Tooth coloured fillings, or composite resins, have become very popular option to restore the back teeth. They look virtually identical to natural teeth. However, like all restorations that we place, they do have a lifespan. The longevity of a tooth coloured filling can depend upon many factors including type of material used, the chewing forces that are placed on the filling, grinding or clenching forces and an acidic oral environment.

Old composite resins fillings can sometimes fracture, creating a situation where decay can develop under the filling. The first picture illustrates a broken filling and a filling with decay underneath. The second  picture shows the new restoration which is bonded to the tooth, creating a seal from the oral bacteria. This should serve the patient well for many years to come.

It is important to have your fillings checked by a dentist on a regular basis. If not, decay underneath a filling can go undetected and cause more serious problems.

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