teeth Archives - Downtown Toronto Dentist | Toronto Dentistry | Soho Dental teeth Archives - Downtown Toronto Dentist | Toronto Dentistry | Soho Dental

Downtown Toronto Dentist | Toronto Dentistry | Soho Dental

  Contact : 416-340-SOHO (7646)

All Posts Tagged: teeth

how to brush your teeth

How to Brush Your Teeth Better, Starting Today

Even if you have a great visit to the dentist, you may hear that you’re not brushing ‘properly’, that you should switch to a softer brush, consider going electric. In short, when it comes to teeth brushing, you may be doing it wrong.

According to the Canadian Dental Association, which covers the basics of proper brushing on their website, we should be brushing our teeth for two to three minutes, at least twice a day; yet, a recent Statistics Canada survey found that fewer than three in four Canadians brush that often. Plus, the sheer amount of choice available these days when it comes to toothbrushes can be challenging to navigate — for starters: manual or electric, bamboo or plastic handles, microfine or firm bristles, and nylon or silicone heads (and that’s before adding in optional accessories such as dental floss, water flossers, and tongue scrapers).

To help us improve our daily teeth-brushing routine, avoid common dental pitfalls, and navigate the crowded oral-care tools landscape, we reached out to dentist Dr. Andrea Gelinas of Gelinas Dental Studio and Toronto-area periodontist Dr. Dara Lee for their top tips and must-haves. Here are their teeth-brushing dos and don’ts, tips for using the newest tools properly, and expert product recommendations.

There’s no single perfect toothbrush for everyone

“I think it’s about finding the right thing for you. Because not everyone is going to like every product,” says Dr. Gelinas. For example, you may prefer a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush over a plastic one because of environmental concerns, or look for an ultra-fine brush if you have gingivitis or gum recession — but those same models might not be relevant for someone else.

For Dr. Lee, both electric and manual toothbrushes are good options “provided they are used properly,” and replaced on a regular basis when the bristles are worn out. Electric toothbrushes can reach hard-to-access areas and can be simpler to use, says Dr. Lee, whereas with manual toothbrushes you’ll have better control over pressure but need to focus more on technique. “[An electric brush] is already oscillating to clean away the plaque in the area…you just have to hold it there and let it do a lot of the work for you, and then move on to the next tooth,” says Dr. Lee.

Adjust your brushing style to your tool or device

Both Dr. Gelinas and Dr. Lee emphasize that proper brushing techniques for electronic toothbrushes differ than those for manual ones. “Where people use [electric toothbrushes] incorrectly is when they move it around too much like they used to with their manual toothbrush, and then you can risk putting excess pressure and causing gum recession,” says Dr. Lee.

“The electric brushes with those small oscillating heads, they oscillate at anywhere between 45,000 and 65,000 times a minute, so you actually don’t need to move them,” says Dr. Gelinas. “At that speed…you should be moving [the head] from tooth to tooth, but you don’t necessarily need to do any movement while you’re on the tooth.”

When using a manual toothbrush, Dr Gelinas recommends holding your brush at a 45-degree angle instead of perpendicular to your tooth, “Hold that at 45 degrees down toward the gum. This way, some of the bristles are going a little bit underneath the gum line, and you can either go back and forth or in a bit of a circular motion.”

Brush your gums

According to Dr. Lee, a common mistake that people make is forgetting to focus on their gums, too, when they are brushing their teeth, “This can leave plaque along the gum line which can then buildup and cause gum disease.”

Be gentle

“As a periodontist, I see a lot of patients or referrals for patients with gum recession which is often caused by brushing too hard — either with a hard toothbrush or improper brushing technique where they’re scrubbing their teeth horizontally,” says Dr. Lee. “This can cause the gums to recede and the roots to become exposed.”

Dr. Gelinas suggests avoiding medium and firm bristles on toothbrushes, which can be abrasive, and also cautions against brushing too hard — both can contribute to gum recession. But you don’t have to get an extra soft or Microfine brush unless you have a specific need for them. “Those extra, extra soft bristle brushes are perfect for patients [with generalized gum recession]. If you’re someone that doesn’t have any recession and things are generally healthy, and you were to use a brush like that, you’re probably not going to feel like things are as clean and fresh as we want them to be,” says Dr. Gelinas.

Shop around for the electric toothbrush features that are important for you

There are countless electric toothbrush manufacturers and models on the market, and they all offer slightly different features and benefits. According to Dr. Lee, Oral B and Sonicare are the most common brands in this category. “Both are good; I would suggest looking for one that includes a pressure sensor so that it will let you know if you are pushing too hard,” says Dr. Lee, adding that some brands also offer different brush heads for various requirements — for example, a specially-designed head for individuals with braces or one with softer bristles for sensitive gums.

Dr. Gelinas prefers the Quip electric toothbrush (for its subscription concept, sleek look and “more gentle movement”) and recommends keeping things simple when it comes to other electric options. “If you’ve got the toothbrush that’s got a million different gadgets and attachments and this and that…it’s just not necessary. At some point you have to draw the line,” says Dr. Gelinas. She does like that many electric toothbrushes have built-in timers, which can help ensure that you’re brushing long enough.

With regards to the new crop of electric toothbrushes with silicone bristles, such as the ones from Foreo, Dr. Gelinas notes that current research shows that plaque removal is the same between nylon bristles (the standard material) and silicone, making the latter a good option to consider. “The fact that they’re really soft [and less abrasive] is a huge bonus,” says Dr. Gelinas.

Consider a water flosser, maybe a tongue scraper too

Also a good adjunct to include would be water flossers like the one from Waterpik. Flossing should always be done in addition to brushing. But a water flosser is especially helpful for those who have difficulty flossing harder to reach areas, so that you’re still cleaning between the teeth where the toothbrush doesn’t reach.

“You already should be making sure, at minimum, that you’re brushing and flossing and using a tongue scraper — it’s so easy and takes seconds,” says Dr. Gelinas. “Everyone forgets about this massive piece of surface area that’s in your mouth that just harbours a ton of bacteria.” A tongue scraper can also help improve bad breath, according to Dr. Gelinas.


Article originally appeared at: https://www.cbc.ca/

Author: Truc Nguyen

Read More
Zeiss Extaro 300

Restoring a Cavity Using the Zeiss Extaro 300 Dental Microscope

Restoring a Cavity in Between the Teeth Using Augmented Vision and the Zeiss Extaro 300 Electronic Digital Microscope at Soho Dental in Toronto. A true wonder of technology!

Read More

Repairing a Fractured Front Tooth at Soho Dental

To fracture a front tooth accidentally can be quite a traumatic experience. Fortunately, repairing a fractured front tooth can often be done with one dental visit. The video illustrates how we can restore a fractured tooth, conservatively with dental bonding

Read More

How Acidic Foods Affect Teeth And Which To Avoid

When families gear up to indulge in their favorite foods during the holiday season, tradition often puts numerous acidic foods on the dinner table. If they’re on yours, do you know what they can do to your teeth? There are numerous types of foods that fall into this category.

Foods to Avoid

Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes and similarly common fruit items are as acidic as they are healthy, which is why it’s important to consume them with water to ensure they don’t harm your enamel. However, these products aren’t the only foods out there known for their low pH level. Others include:

  • Pickles
  • Cranberries
  • Tomato products (pasta sauce, ketchup, salsa, hot sauce)
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol (wine)

Why They Hurt

When the acids in the foods you eat and drink cause tooth enamel to wear away, teeth can become discolored as a result. And when tooth enamel weakens in this way, demineralization has started to occur – leaving your teeth’s dentin exposed and prone to sensitivity. Brushing after a meal is generally a good idea, but avoid doing so right after consuming acidic foods. Acid softens your enamel, and brushing too soon will only speed up tooth wear before the enamel has time to settle again. Unfortunately, demineralization can lead to tooth decay.

How to Lessen Dental Erosion

Try eating any acidic foods alongside foods that have a higher pH level, and are therefore low in acidity. Some of these foods include nuts, cheese, oatmeal, mangos, melons, bananas, apples, eggs, vegetables, brown rice and whole grains. Fish and lean meats also have low levels of acid. These foods may actually help protect your tooth enamel, giving you a nice double benefit. They do this by neutralizing acids in otherwise acidic saliva, and by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to put minerals back in the teeth.


See your dental professional twice a year for dental cleanings, which play an important role in maintaining your oral health by helping to identify dental erosion in its early stages. If there is a need, they can counsel you on making healthy dietary choices to stop dental erosion if your eating habits are contributing. Outside the dental chair, keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of water so saliva can cleanse your mouth of these acids regularly. Use a fluoride toothpaste, which can help to repair tooth enamel and reduce your risk of decay. Keep in mind that according to the American Dental Association (ADA) fluoride furthers the remineralization of the tooth enamel. Swishing with a fluoride mouthwash will also help to lessen the severity of dental erosion. Be sure to floss once a day in your daily oral health routine, too.

Don’t overlook the little things behind your daily routine, either. Chewing sugar-free gum can increase saliva flow, allowing it to neutralize acids and help teeth to stay strong. After all, a healthy mouth will only help you enjoy your favorite cuisine!

Author:  Diana Tosuni-O’Neill RDH, BS
Article originally appeared at: http://www.colgate.ca

Read More

Repairing a Cavity in a Front Tooth

Repairing of “Anterior Caries” (also known as a cavities in the front teeth) are one of the procedures we commonly perform at Soho Dental Toronto. While work on your front teeth may sound serious and even scary – this is a very common procedure, and is performed quite easily, and painlessly. Watch this great video of cavities in the front teeth being repaired at Soho Dental, and see for yourself why you shouldn’t let worry or fear prevent you from addressing issues you might have with your most important teeth! Contact us today to book a consultation and let us explain how we can help you get those front teeth shiny and new again!

Read More
Teeth and Soda

What You Need To Know About Dental Erosion

What is dental erosion?

Erosion is the loss of tooth enamel caused by acid attack. Enamel is the hard, protective coating of the tooth, which protects the sensitive dentine underneath. When the enamel is worn away, the dentine underneath is exposed, which may lead to pain and sensitivity.

How do I know I have dental erosion?

Erosion usually shows up as hollows in the teeth and a general wearing away of the tooth surface and biting edges. This can expose the dentine underneath, which is a darker, yellower colour than the enamel. Because the dentine is sensitive, your teeth can also be more sensitive to heat and cold, or acidic foods and drinks.

What causes dental erosion?

Every time you eat or drink anything acidic, the enamel on your teeth becomes softer for a short while, and loses some of its mineral content. Your saliva will slowly cancel out this acidity in your mouth and get it back to its natural balance. However, if this acid attack happens too often, your mouth does not have a chance to repair itself and tiny bits of enamel can be brushed away. Over time, you start to lose the surface of your teeth.

Are there any medical problems which can cause dental erosion?

Bulimia is a condition where patients make themselves sick so that they lose weight. Because there are high levels of acid in the vomit, this can cause damage to tooth enamel.

Acids produced by the stomach can come up into the mouth (this is called gastro-oesophageal reflux). People suffering from hiatus hernia or oesophageal problems, or who drink too much alcohol, may also find they suffer from dental erosion due to vomiting.

Can my diet help prevent dental erosion?

Acidic foods and drinks can cause erosion. Acidity is measured by its ‘pH value’, and anything that has a pH value lower than 5.5 is more acidic and can harm your teeth.

Fizzy drinks, sodas, pops and carbonated drinks can cause erosion. It is important to remember that even the ‘diet’ brands are still harmful. Even flavoured fizzy waters can have an effect if drunk in large amounts, as they contain weak acids which can harm your teeth.

Acidic foods and drinks such as fruit and fruit juices – particularly citrus ones including lemon and orange – contain natural acids which can be harmful to your teeth, especially if you have a lot of them often.

‘Alcopops’, ‘coolers’ and ‘designer drinks’ that contain acidic fruits and are fizzy can cause erosion too.

Plain, still water is the best drink for teeth. Milk is also good because it helps to cancel out the acids in your mouth.

Are sports drinks safe?

Many sports drinks contain ingredients that can cause dental erosion as well as decay. However, it is important for athletes to avoid dehydration because this can lead to a dry mouth and bad breath.

What can I do to prevent dental erosion?

There are a number of things you can do:

  • Have acidic food and drinks, and fizzy drinks, sodas and pops, just at mealtimes. This will reduce the number of acid attacks on your teeth.
  • Drink quickly, without holding the drink in your mouth or ‘swishing’ it around your mouth. Or use a straw to help drinks go to the back of your mouth and avoid long contact with your teeth.
  • Finish a meal with cheese or milk as this will help cancel out the acid.
  • Chew sugar-free gum after eating. This will help produce more saliva to help cancel out the acids which form in your mouth after eating.Wait for at least one hour after eating or drinking anything acidic before brushing your teeth. This gives your teeth time to build up their mineral content again.
  • Brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, with fluoride toothpaste. Use a small-headed brush with medium to soft bristles.

Should I use any other special products?

As well as using a fluoride toothpaste, your dental team may suggest you use a fluoride-containing mouthwash and have a fluoride varnish applied at least every six months. They may also prescribe a toothpaste with more fluoride in it.

How can it be treated?

Dental erosion does not always need to be treated. With regular check-ups and advice your dental team can prevent the problem getting any worse and the erosion going any further. If a tooth does need treatment, it is important to protect the enamel and the dentine underneath to prevent sensitivity. Usually, simply bonding a filling onto the tooth will be enough to repair it. However, in more severe cases the dentist may need to fit a veneer.

How much will treatment cost?

Costs will vary, depending on the type of treatment you need.

It is important to talk about all the treatment options with your dental team and get a written estimate of the cost before starting treatment.

Content originally appeared at: https://www.dentalhealth.org

Read More

Could Your Own Stem Cells Be Used To Heal Your Decayed Tooth?

A dentist is researching alternatives to root canal treatment and extraction

Can decayed young teeth be saved with stem cells? Dr. Renato Silva thinks so.

When decay penetrates the nerve space in an adult’s permanent tooth—known as dental pulp—a root canal is the best solution. A dentist removes the nerve and pulp, and then cleans and seals the inside of the tooth.

But when that same problem occurs in a child or young adult, a root canal becomes much trickier, because the root of the tooth may not be fully formed. Dentists might try to clean and fill the root canal, or they might pull the tooth and replace it with an implant when the patient is older.

“We see a lot of kids come into our endodontic clinic and pediatric clinics with dental problems,” said Silva, D.D.S., Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the department of endodontics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). Factors that contribute to decay include not brushing and/or flossing, diet, saliva composition and genetics.

Depending on the age of the child, a permanent tooth will come in, but the root may take a few years to develop, said Ariadne Letre, D.D.S., Ph.D., director of research in the department of endodontics at UTHealth’s School of Dentistry and a member of Silva’s team.

Rather than choosing a root canal treatment or tooth extraction for young permanent teeth, Silva believes he can use stem cells to replace the damaged tissue with healthy tissue and promote root formation.

His research is in the preclinical stage, but results so far have been promising.

A microscopic image of tissue invagination into the tooth after 45 days of implantation.

Dental pulp is a complex bundle of tissue, blood vessels and nerves. The tissue dies when it is contaminated by bacteria. During a root canal, a dentist will dig out that contaminated tissue and replace it with an artificial material, Silva said, because you can’t leave an open space for bacteria to continue to grow. Even so, root canal therapy treated teeth are destined to be brittle and devitalized.

But what if there was a way to revitalize the tissue and make the tooth healthy again?

While pondering ways to promote root formation, Silva and his team came up with the idea of using stem cells retrieved from the root area deep inside the tooth called the apical papilla. Since they also needed some sort of scaffold for the cells, they devised one made of a polymer fiber impregnated with a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels that would help with tissue and pulp regeneration.

“These stem cells of the apical papilla can turn into any type of tissue, and in our case, we need root and pulp tissue, so we thought, ‘Why not?’” Silva said.

After removing the decay from the tooth and cleaning out the root canal, Silva and his team fill in the area with stem cells and the VEGF scaffold, which will regenerate the pulp tissue, he said.

The stem cells come from extracting the third molar of the child—known as the “wisdom” tooth. Silva and his team collect the cells attached to the bottom of the tooth crown, isolate the stem cells and then use them in the decayed tooth.

Because the use of stem cells for dental treatment in humans is not yet approved in the United States, Silva and his team have been researching their theory on mice. After putting the stem cells inside the tooth, they implant the teeth on the back of mice to evaluate new tissue formation. The result has shown that the tissue and blood vessels from the mouse go inside the root and fill in the empty space, mimicking the original dental pulp tissue.

Once the use of stem cells is approved for this use, Silva and his team will move forward with isolating the stem cells of the apical papilla from third molars to deliver into the decayed tooth of the same patient.

“I believe our results are promising in light of future patient-centered approaches toward pulp and dentin regeneration therapies,” Silva said.

Article originally posted at: http://www.tmc.edu

Read More

You Might Be More Prone to Cavities

You Might Be More Prone to CavitiesYou brush and floss daily and don’t snack on sugary treats, yet you’ve had your fair share of cavities. Your friend, on the other hand, is lax with the dental hygiene and lives on energy drinks and junk food, yet rarely has a cavity. What gives?

Cavities, which result from a disease process called dental caries, are areas of decay caused by certain oral bacteria. As the decay progresses, the bacteria can eventually invade the living portion of the tooth (dentin and pulp) and is considered a bacterial infection. At that point professional dental treatment is required to remove the infection, stop the disease process and seal the tooth.

This disease process requires certain combinations of conditions in order to progress. So it’s likely that you have more of those conditions, or risk factors, than your friend does. Don’t beat yourself up; while there are lots of things you can do to minimize risks, there are also factors that aren’t so easily controlled.

Tooth Decay Risk Factors

Let’s take a look at those risk factors:

  • Oral Bacteria — Cavities start with bacteria that build up on tooth surfaces in a sticky film called plaque where they feed on sugars and carbohydrates from the foods/beverages we consume, creating acids in the process. Acids dissolve the mineral bonds in the protective layer of tooth enamel, which makes it easier for bacteria to penetrate what is otherwise the hardest substance in the human body and infect the tooth. Your unique oral “microbiome” make-up could have more or less of the microbe species implicated in dental caries, and some strains of the same bugs are more aggressive than others.
  • Dental hygiene — Brushing and flossing correctly and regularly helps dislodge bacterial plaque and trapped food particles. Regular checkups and professional cleanings are also important to remove plaque that has hardened into “tartar.”
  • Diet — Minimizing your intake of sugary foods and carbohydrates reduces the availability of fuel for cavity-causing bacteria. Meanwhile, acidic foods and beverages can erode enamel, and the more frequently they are consumed, the less opportunity saliva has to restore the mouth to its normal pH.
  • Dry mouth — Saliva contains minerals that help neutralize acids and rebuild tooth enamel. Without a healthy flow, your ability to prevent decay is compromised. Certain medications, chemotherapy and some diseases can cause dry mouth. Drinking lots of water and using enamel-fortifying mouth rinses can help counter the effects.
  • Tooth shape — Tooth decay is most likely to develop in back teeth — molars and bicuspids (premolars) — where the tiny fissures on their biting surface tend to trap food and bacteria. Genetics determines how deep your fissures are.
  • Gum recession — Receding gums expose the tooth root, which isn’t protected by enamel and therefore more susceptible to decay.
  • Other factors — Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) and vomiting can create highly acidic conditions in the mouth. Retainers, orthodontic appliances and bite or night guards tend to restrict saliva flow over teeth, promoting plaque formation; fixed appliances like braces can make it more difficult to brush and floss effectively.

To learn more about your level of risk and how you can stack the odds more in your favor, talk with your dentist.

Content courtesy deardoctor.com


Read More

The Symptoms of Gum Disease

Red Flags That Signal The Symptoms Of Gum Disease

One of the main causes of gum disease is a build-up of bacteria. Bacteria build up on the teeth and gums each day. If they aren’t removed by a regular oral care routine of toothbrushing and flossing, they can cause the gum inflammation known as “gingivitis” which if left untreated, can progress to the more serious periodontal disease known as “periodontitis.” (1)

Don’t Ignore Early Symptoms Of Gum Disease

If you notice any of these symptoms of gum disease, see your dentist as soon as possible:

  • Gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss.
  • Red, tender, or swollen gums (healthy gums should be pink and firm). (2)

If you have symptoms of gum disease, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums to confirm the diagnosis. If symptoms of gum disease are caught early, the treatment may be as simple as a thorough dental cleaning and a revision of your at-home oral care routine.

Recognize Symptoms Of Advanced Gum Disease

If you notice these symptoms of gum disease, your infection may have progressed to periodontitis.

  • Pain: Pain in the teeth or gums.
  • Loose Teeth: Gums that pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where additional bacteria can build up.
Read More

Understanding and Eliminating Bad Breath

Want Some Life Saving Advice?

Ask Your Dental Hygienist About Understanding and Eliminating Bad Breath

Do you ever worry that you’re the only one in the room with bad breath? Well, guess again. Nearly 40,000,000 Americans commonly suffer from bad breath, also known as oral malodor or halitosis. Yet, it is a curable condition that is generally caused by strong foods such as onions or garlic; poor oral health habits; or medical problems such as stomach disorders, an excessive postnasal drip, or bacteria in the mouth. Once you discover the source of the problem, there are a number of ways to keep your mouth free of unpleasant odors.

Oral malodor can be divided into two distinctive categories—transitory and chronic. Transitory refers to food-related malodor that can last as long as 72 hours. Virtually everyone suffers from this condition at one time or another. The second category, chronic, is generally related to oral or general medical problems.

There are three basic sources of bad breath. The first is simple: an unclean mouth. Routine cleaning of teeth and gums will help prevent the build up of plaque—a soft, sticky, almost invisible film made up of harmful bacteria—and in turn help prevent bad breath. Carefully brushing at least two-to-three times a day, flossing daily, and rinsing your mouth vigorously to remove any loose foods is essential. However, research has found that simply keeping teeth clean is not enough to eliminate oral malodor.

Tongue deplaquing with tongue scrapers— tools exclusively designed for use on the tongue—is as essential for fresh breath as regular brushing. Tongue scrapers provide even pressure that forces bacteria, food debris, and dead cells from the pits and crevices in the tongue that a toothbrush cannot remove.

Second, medical problems can keep breath from smelling fresh. Research studies have found that bad breath has been linked to conditions such as diabetes, stomach disorders, or sinus infections with excessive postnasal drip. Common drugs and medications also can affect breath odor.

Third, lifestyle habits play a major role in the prevention of halitosis. For example, smoking and chewing tobacco can affect breath odor.

Just as important to oral health and fresh breath as consistent home care and healthy lifestyle habits is oral health care delivered by a qualified oral health care professional.

Regular oral health care appointments, which include a complete prophylaxis—teeth cleaning above and below the gum line—are essential to maintaining good oral health and fresh breath, so visit your dental hygienist every six months, or as often as she or he recommends.

In addition to helping patients understand the connection between oral health care and overall health, dental hygienists educate patients about proper oral hygiene and treat periodontal disease to prevent the condition from advancing and complicating other diseases.

For more information about proper oral health care, as well as brushingand-flossing instructions, please talk to your registered dental hygienist.

Caught Without a Toothbrush?


If you’re worried about your breath when your toothbrush isn’t available, don’t rely on sugar-coated candies or alcoholladen mouth rinse that can cause more harm than good. Use products that are sugarless and alcohol-free and contain antibacterial agents noted for their effectiveness at controlling oral malodor. Substances such as chlorine dioxide, zinc chloride and essential oils like eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate, and thymol have shown to fight oral malodor. Other tips for keeping breath fresh include:

  • Rinsing your mouth with water after eating if you aren’t able to brush
  • Chewing a piece of sugarless gum to stimulate saliva flow—nature’s own cleanser
  • Snacking on celery, carrots, or apples; they tend to clear away loose food and debris during the chewing process
  • Eating a balanced diet.A vitamin deficiency may contribute to gum disease and bad breath
Read More