EVERYONE KNOWS that snack time is one of the best times of the day! Getting a tasty treat in the middle of the workday or grabbing a snack after school can be just the pick-me-up you need to tackle the rest of your day with a smile.

But before you reach for the chips or chocolates, we have a few smile-friendly suggestions! Today we want to share our team’s favorite snacks that protect your teeth and benefit your smile.

Our Smile-Friendly Snack Picks


Dr Ghamian: cucumbers
Dr Khoury: cheese
Susan: apples
Carla: peanut butter and celery
 

In addition to trying out our favorite snacks, keep these tips in mind when planning snacks that benefit your oral health:

Eat More Of These

Leafy Greens: Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens have calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, and magnesium; all essential for healthy teeth and gums.
Cheese, Milk, and Yogurt: Dairy is a delicious source of calcium, which supports strong bones and teeth.
Kiwi, Oranges, And Other Vitamin-C-Rich Foods: Vitamin C boosts your body’s ability to fight infection that causes gum disease.

 

Eat Less Of These

Soda And Energy Drinks: These acidic, sugary drinks attack and gradually deteriorate your protective tooth enamel.
Sticky Candy, Gummies, And Dried Fruit: These foods stick in your teeth and continue to bathe your teeth in sugar for hours after eating.
Highly Processed Carbs: This includes crackers, white bread, and pastries, which feed decay-causing bacteria in your mouth.

VISITING YOUR KANATA DENTIST every six months is an important part of maintaining your oral health. Not only does it keep your smile clean, but it can help you keep an eye on your overall health too!

For some, it may have been a while since your last visit or you or a loved one may be apprehensive about visiting the dentist. Knowing what to expect can help relieve much of this anxiety, so today we want to explain the basics of what happens during your bi-annual cleaning and how you can prepare for your next appointment!

Gather Necessary Information Beforehand

Discussing your family history may not be the first thing you think of when scheduling your dental appointment, but being familiar with your family’s medical history allows us to better care for your oral and overall health.

Like many other conditions such as heart disease and certain forms of cancer, periodontal disease has strong genetic ties that can run in your family. Knowing your family’s medical history can help your dentist keep an eye out for oral health issues such as gum disease or other conditions which present symptoms in the mouth, such as diabetes.

Aside from gathering any relevant personal or family medical information, be sure to to review your dental insurance benefits as you prepare for your appointment. Knowing your level of coverage will help you understand what costs will be associated with your care. If you have any questions about using your dental insurance in our practice or if you would like information about paying for care without insurance, give us a call!

What Happens During Your Appointment?

Although this varies from patient to patient based on their individual needs, a dental check-up generally consists of a professional cleaning, a comprehensive dental examination, and potentially X-rays.

Dental X-Rays

How frequently you need dental X-rays relies largely on your medical and dental history, your age, and your current oral health. New-patient examinations often include X-rays as well.

If required, dental X-rays are generally taken at the beginning of your dental appointment. Dental X-rays allow us to detect and diagnose tooth decay between teeth, on hard-to-reach surfaces, and under existing dental work. X-rays can even be helpful in identifying dental and orthodontic issues that exist beneath the gum line.

Dental Cleaning

Once it’s time for your cleaning, your dentist or hygienist uses a small metal instrument known as a scaler to scrape off tartar above and below the gum line and in between teeth. Next, they polish your teeth using a polishing tool and a lightly abrasive paste to deep clean your pearly whites and remove any tartar left behind after the previous step. Last but not least, they’ll finish your cleaning with a thorough flossing.

Comprehensive Exam

After your teeth are clean, your dentist, Dr Ghamian Dr Khoury or Dr Tang,  will perform a comprehensive oral examination to ensure your oral health is in tip-top shape. They will:

  • examine your teeth for signs of decay
  • check for gum swelling and redness, and measure the depth of your gingival pockets to check for signs of periodontal disease
  • test how your top and bottom teeth come together and check for signs of teeth grinding or other potential orthodontic issues
  • examine your neck, lymph glands, and oral cavity for signs of oral cancer

Based on your exam, we’ll discuss any necessary treatment recommendations and offer helpful tips on how to improve your oral hygiene before your next appointment.

Ever Wonder which order your baby's teeth are supposed to come into the mouth?

Check out the picture below, children have 20 teeth in total, and they usually come out in pairs. First ones to come out are the lower front two teeth, they are labelled "1", and that occurs between 6-12 months of age. The second ones are the upper front two teeth, labelled "2". It goes from there till the upper last molars, labelled "10", erupt between 24 to 30 months of age.




 

We are a team that never rests. We went for a two day course in Chicago, organized by a leader in the dental field,  to learn the best ways to be of service to our patients. While we missed out on the nice weather that Ottawa had, we are coming back with lots of new knowledge that will help us Wow our patients each and every day. 


Thank you Centrum Dental team members for taking time away from your homes and families to come learn with us. 

And for us, Dr Yamen Ghamian and Dr Habib Khoury, this brings us to about 80 hours each of continuing education so far in 2017. We are hungry for knowledge and strive to bring the very best to our dental patients in Kanata and Ottawa. 

It was a full house for our second appreciation event for our patients. We rented the entire movie theater and watched " Boss Baby" together. Below is a small video of Dr Ghamian and Dr Khoury as well as a picture of the dentists giving their best impression of the " Boss Baby" look.

Thank you to all our amazing patients who should up and had a great time!

We had so much fun back in November 2016 holding an appreciation event for our patients by renting a movie theater and watching a movie, that we decided to do it again. 

Looking foward to seeing many of our amazing patients this Sunday

Thank you

Your Kanata Dentists
Centrum Dental Centre

Acid is known to damage your teeth.

In fact, acid starts to weaken enamel at a pH (acid scale) below 5.5. Many of the food we eat and drinks we drink have a pH lower than that. Here's a sample of the pH of some common foods and drinks

Water                pH 7
Avocado            pH 6.5
Banana              pH 4.5-5.2
Beer                   pH 4.0-5.0
Salad Dressing  pH 3.5-4.2
Orange Juice     pH 3.4-3.8
Cola                   pH 2.4
Energy Drinks   pH 2.4-3.6
Wine                  pH 2.3-3.8
Lemon Juice      pH 2.2


Beware of the acidity of your food, make sure to drink some water after consuming something acidic, that way you can reduce the acidity in your mouth and the damage to your teeth!
 

 
This holiday season, help us help those in need!  Between December 1st and December 22nd we are accepting donations for the Kanata Food Cupboard.  Bring in your donation and be entered into a draw for a Bayshore Gift Card! 

As today is Halloween, this is a good time to talk about "Nutrition and Your Teeth"
 

It has long been known that good nutrition and a well-balanced diet is one of the best defenses for your oral health. Providing your body with the right amounts of vitamins and minerals helps your teeth and gums-as well as your immune system-stay strong and ward off infection, decay and disease.

Harmful acids and bacteria in your mouth are left behind from eating foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. These include carbonated beverages, some kinds of fruit juices, and many kinds of starch foods like pasta, bread and cereal.

Children's Nutrition and Teeth

Good eating habits that begin in early childhood can go a long way to ensuring a lifetime of good oral health.

Children should eat foods rich in calcium and other kinds of minerals, as well as a healthy balance of the essential food groups like vegetables, fruits, dairy products, poultry and meat. Fluoride supplements may be helpful if you live in a community without fluoridated water, but consult with our office first. (Be aware that sugars are even found in some kinds of condiments, as well as fruits and even milk.)

Allowing your children to eat excessive amounts of junk food (starches and sugars)-including potato chips, cookies, crackers, soda, even artificial fruit rollups and granola bars-only places them at risk for serious oral health problems, including obesity, osteoporosis and diabetes. The carbonation found in soda, for example, can actually erode tooth enamel. Encourage your child to use a straw when drinking soda; this will help keep at least some of the carbonated beverage away from the teeth.


Smart Snacks for Healthy Teeth
There's no discounting the importance of continuing a healthy balanced diet throughout your adult life.

What's wrong with sugary snacks, anyway?
Sugary snacks taste so good — but they aren't so good for your teeth or your body. The candies, cakes, cookies and other sugary foods that kids love to eat between meals can cause tooth decay. Some sugary foods have a lot of fat in them, too. Kids who consume sugary snacks eat many  different kinds of sugar every day, including table sugar (sucrose) and corn sweeteners (fructose). Starchy snacks can also break down into sugars once they're in your mouth.

How do sugars attack your teeth?
Invisible germs called bacteria live in your mouth all the time. Some of these bacteria form a sticky material called plaque on the surface of the teeth. When you put sugar in your mouth, the bacteria in the plaque gobble up the sweet stuff and turn it into acids. These acids are powerful enough to dissolve the hard enamel that covers your teeth. That's how cavities get started. If you don't eat much sugar, the bacteria can't produce as much of the acid that eats away enamel.

How can I "snack smart" to protect myself from tooth decay?
Before you start munching on a snack, ask yourself what's in the food you've chosen. Is it loaded with sugar? If it is, think again. Another choice would be better for your teeth. And keep in mind that certain kinds of sweets can do more damage than others. Gooey or chewy sweets spend more time sticking to the surface of your teeth. Because sticky snacks stay in your mouth longer than foods that you quickly chew and swallow, they give your teeth a longer sugar bath. You should also think about when and how often you eat snacks. Do you nibble on sugary snacks many times throughout the day, or do you usually just have dessert after dinner? Damaging acids form in your mouth every time you eat a sugary snack. The acids continue to affect your teeth for at least 20 minutes before they are neutralized and can't do any more harm. So, the more times you eat sugary snacks during the day, the more often you feed bacteria the fuel they need to cause tooth decay.

If you eat sweets, it's best to eat them as dessert after a main meal instead of several times a day between meals. Whenever you eat sweets — in any meal or snack — brush your teeth well with a fluoride toothpaste afterward.

When you're deciding about snacks, think about:
•    The number of times a day you eat sugary snacks
•    How long the sugary food stays in your mouth
•    The texture of the sugary food (Chewy? Sticky?)
If you snack after school, before bedtime, or other times during the day, choose something without a lot of sugar or fat. There are lots of tasty, filling snacks that are less harmful to your teeth—and the rest of your body — than foods loaded with sugars and low in nutritional value. Snack smart!

Low-fat choices like raw vegetables, fresh fruits, or whole-grain crackers or bread are smart choices. Eating the right foods can help protect you from tooth decay and other diseases. Next time you reach for a snack, pick a food from the list inside or make up your own menu of non-sugary, low-fat snack foods from the basic food groups.

How can you snack smart? Be choosy!
Pick a variety of foods from these groups:

Fresh fruits and raw vegetables
Berries
Oranges
Grapefruit
Melons
Pineapple
Pears
Tangerines
Broccoli
Celery
Carrots
Cucumbers
Tomatoes
Unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices
Canned fruits in natural juices

Grains
Bread
Plain bagels
Unsweetened cereals
Unbuttered popcorn
Tortilla chips (baked, not fried)
Pretzels (low-salt)
Pasta
Plain crackers

Milk and dairy products
Low or non-fat milk
Low or non-fat yogurt
Low or non-fat cheese
Low or non-fat cottage cheese

Meat, nuts and seeds
Chicken
Turkey
Sliced meats
Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower seeds
Nuts

Others
(these snacks combine foods from the different groups)
Pizza
Tacos

Remember to:
•    Choose sugary foods less often
•    Avoid sweets between meals
•    Eat a variety of low or non-fat foods from the basic groups
•    Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after snacks and meals

Note to parents
The foods listed in this leaflet have not all been tested for their decay-causing potential. However, knowledge to date indicates that they are less likely to promote tooth decay than are some of the heavily sugared foods children often eat between meals.
Candy bars aren't the only culprits. Foods such as pizza, breads, and hamburger buns may also contain sugars. Check the label. The new food labels identify sugars and fats on the Nutrition Facts panel on the package. Keep in mind that brown sugar, honey, molasses and syrups also react with bacteria to produce acids, just as refined table sugar does. These foods also are potentially damaging to teeth.

Your child's meals and snacks should include a variety of foods from the basic food groups, including fruits and vegetables; grains, including breads and cereals; milk and dairy products; and meat, nuts and seeds. Some snack foods have greater nutritional value than others and will better promote your child's growth and development. However, be aware that even some fresh fruits, if eaten in excess, may promote tooth decay. Children should brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste after snacks and meals. (So should you!)


Please note: These general recommendations may need to be adapted for children on special diets because of diseases or conditions that interfere with normal nutrition.

We had another amazing free dentistry day this year, check out our "free dentistry day" section to learn more.

We plan to have our third annual Free Dentistry day in September 2017.

SO, YOU WANT TO whiten your teeth. You’re not alone! In fact, when the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked what people would most like to improve about their smile, the most common response was whiter teeth.


There Are Several Teeth Whitening Options

With so many teeth whitening products on the market, you may be left scratching your head as to which one you should choose. As with any type of treatment, it’s important to know all the facts so you can make the best choice for you and your unique smile! Some of the most common teeth whitening options are:

  • Whitening toothpastes
  • Whitening strips and gels
  • Tray-based tooth whiteners
  • In-office whitening

Whitening Is Safest And Most Effective When Supervised By A Dentist

You should always consult with your dentist before deciding to whiten, as this cosmetic procedure isn’t for everyone. There are also many benefits to whitening with your dentist!

For example, if you’re considering a tray-based tooth whitener, seeing your dentist is definitely your best option. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth so that your mouthpiece tray is customized exactly to fit your teeth. This will ensure maximum contact between your teeth and the whitening solution as well as protect your gums.

If you choose in-office whitening, your dentist will provide additional protection for your gums and the soft tissue of your mouth so that no irritation from the whitening solution occurs.To do this, your dentist will apply a gel to the gum tissue or use a rubber shield.

With over-the-counter products, you’re on your own. Your dentist, however, will check your mouth, the type and extent of stains on your teeth, the number of dental restorations you have and consider your medical history to decide which whitening option is best for your specific smile. They will oversee the process and results of the treatment to ensure the treatment’s safety and efficacy.

A Note To Parents

Teeth whitening is a big trend among teenagers. Parents should always supervise their teenagers’ use of whitening products as overuse or failure to follow directions can damage tooth enamel or irritate gums. Be sure to consult with your dentist before allowing your teenager to whiten to make sure they are at an appropriate age and stage of dental development for whitening.

Still curious about how whitening works? Check out the video below to learn more!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VVtzd0guas


Keep Your Smile Beautiful

What truly keeps teeth bright, white and healthy is daily brushing and flossing. But if you feel like your smile is lacking some sparkle or has yellowed over the years, give us a call or come in to see us!We’d be happy to help you brighten up that beautiful smile of yours.

We love our patients!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

“DO I NEED TO FIX my child’s baby tooth since it’s going to fall out anyway?” This is a question we get asked a lot as dental professionals. The answer is a resounding YES! Primary, or “baby,” teeth serve an important purpose in your child’s present and future oral health.

Baby Teeth Have Three Main Functions

Besides providing an aesthetic appeal to your child’s smile and boosting their self-esteem, primary teeth have three main functions:

  1. They aid in proper chewing, fostering good nutrition
  2. They promote proper speech development
  3. They reserve a space for permanent teeth to grow in
If a primary tooth falls out or must be removed before its time due to decay, the surrounding teeth may shift into the gap, causing dental crowding and future orthodontic problems. In some cases, untreated infections in baby teeth can even affect the developing permanent teeth.

Taking care of those primary teeth not only prevents decay, but also helps your child get into the habit of good oral hygiene and sets the stage for their future oral health. Baby teeth may fall out but they’re still very important!

Regular Dental Visits Make For A Lifetime of Healthy Smiles

Your child’s first dental visit is an important milestone! Children should visit the dentist when their first tooth appears or around their first birthday.

A February 2005 Children’s Dental Health Project report found that children who visited the dentist by age one were less likely to visit the emergency room for oral health problems. They also found that children age five who had their first dental visit by the age of one incurred less oral health-related costs than their peers who didn’t see a dentist until age five.

On your child’s first visit, we will check their mouth for decay and other problems as well as show parents proper cleaning techniques. Another benefit of early, regular dental visits is that we can determine if a child is at a higher risk for cavities and implement appropriate intervention.

Baby Teeth Matter

Even though they’re temporary, your child’s baby teeth are essential to their growth and development. Teach children to take care of their baby teeth and set them on a lifelong path of good oral hygiene. If you have any questions, call us or comment below!

We love our patients and their beautiful smiles!
Image by Flickr user Donnie Ray Jones used underCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Spring is almost here. We at Centrum Dental, your Kanata Dentists, wish you a wonderful season filled with renewal and growth and many memorable moments

At Centrum Dental Centre, your Kanata Dentists, we are always on the lookout for ways to make dentistry more predictable and more comfortable for our patients. After doing some thorough research, we found that many of our patients dread getting impressions taken, whether its for orthodontics or for crowns and bridges. 

We are very excited to announce that we have just received our Digital Scanner that will allow us to replace many of the impressions that patients dread. This technology is cutting edge and we can't wait to start using it. We get trained next week and we're sure our patients will see the difference. 




Here's a video on the new technology: http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/987125O/introducing-the-3m-true-definition-scanner.mp4
 




A great big thank you goes out to all of the people who helped to make our very first Annual Free Dentistry Day such a success!! Our lineup started at 5:00am and was growing quickly throughout the morning. We are happy to say we were able to help all 65 people who were so patiently waiting in line. It was a crazy, busy day and we feel blessed to have shared in the stories and smiles that came through our door. 

Thank you to our team for all of your hard work not only on Saturday, but on all of the days leading up to Saturday.


Thank you to our volunteers, both family and friends. Without you, we wouldn't have succeeded! Finally, a big thank you to everyone who shared our information on social media to help spread the word to all in need.

 

 
 

An interesting episode on the interesting ups and downs of fashion and teeth, from Billy Bob teeth, to gold teeth and fashion. 


http://www.cbc.ca/radio/stripped/episode-three-the-riches-of-teeth-1.3147227

I had a chuckle when I read that boxer Floyd Mayweather's mouthguards have gold flakes and 100$ bills in them. No wonder why they cost over $25,000!

check out the news report below:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102589978 

Here is a research paper on a comparative study between conventional dentures and implant supported dentures on the lower jaw. The 6 year study found that patient satisfaction and chewing ability was much improved with implant supported dentures as opposed to conventional dentures.


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24923574


Below is a good article about endurance training and its impact on oral health. Will come in handy for those training for the Ottawa Race Weekend!


source: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/article/how-endurance-training-can-harm-your-teeth
article by: Melissa Mantak

 

How Endurance Training Can Harm Your Teeth


How Endurance Training Can Harm Your Teeth

Most of us take our teeth for granted. Yet, think about how important the functions your mouth performs for you. Your mouth and teeth are the gateway for breathing, eating and drinking. The long digestive process begins in your mouth. The demands of endurance training, as well as the substances you put in your mouth, impact the healthy function of both your teeth and your entire body. Turns out that endurance athletes are particularly susceptible to dental erosion and its far-reaching effects on our bodies.

I’ve been an endurance athlete my whole life and I experienced a lot of dental problems for a period of many years. I know countless triathletes and endurance athletes who have experienced the effects of how undetected, seemingly benign oral health problems can cause a ripple effect throughout the body. These issues can  become a performance limiter by negatively impacting whole body health.

We take for granted that regular brushing alone is enough to keep us healthy. Or, perhaps it’s too expensive or inconvenient to go to the dentist regularly. However, the evidence is overwhelming that oral health is a crucial element in overall health, well-being and athletic performance at all levels.

Two Main Causes of Dental Erosion

There are two main reasons why endurance athletes are at increased risk for dental erosion: consuming sugary sports drinks and nutrition and heavy mouth breathing.

Sugary Sports Foods

Frequent small sips of sports drink or other sugars while training, spares muscle glycogen, but negatively impacts your teeth.  Sugar consumption increases acid producing bacteria that begins the cascade of potential problems.  Most sports drinks also contain phosphoric or citric acid which further erode tooth enamel. A compromised tooth is now more susceptible to bacterial build up, leading to a list of potential dental problems: plaque, cavities, gingivitis, inflammation, unresolved infection, periodontitis, etc.

However, sugary sports drinks were not the main cause of dental erosion.

Heavy Mouth Breathing

This type of breathing during endurance training leads to dry mouth that reduces saliva flow giving bacteria a bigger opportunity to grow and thrive. A 2014 study in The Scandinavian Journal of Sports Medicine looked 35 triathletes and 35 controls5, the athletes showed a significantly greater erosion of tooth enamel than controls. The triathletes had much lower levels of saliva and increased pH (more alkaline) during exercise. Saliva performs a very protective function for the teeth.  The longer the training session, the drier and more alkaline their mouths became. The more hours an athlete spent training, the greater the instances of dental erosion, tartar plaques and cavities.

The conclusion is that dry mouth combined with sugary sports nutrition exacerbates the potential harm.

Full Body Effect

If left unchecked, prolonged bacterial build up in your mouth will negatively impact how your whole body functions and performs. Advanced dental erosion has been implicated in many disease states, such as: osteoporosis, pneumonia, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Long, hard training for days, weeks and years can leave your immune system stressed. Add to this an increased bacterial load in the mouth and your immune system struggles to keep up with demand.

Steps to Improve Your Oral Health

You can improve your oral health while continuing to enjoy and thrive with your endurance training and racing, even reverse or eliminate current problems. Here are action steps you can take:

  • Brush and floss daily
  • See your dentist for check ups 2 to 3 times each year
  • If you have any nagging tooth pain or unresolved dental problems, get this taken care of right away
  • If you need ongoing specialized care, look for a sports dentist in your area
  • Using a Sonicare toothbrush, water flosser (Water Pik) and Listerine will improve your oral health dramatically (in addition to brushing and flossing)
  • Decrease your consumption of sports drinks and other sugary sports foods. Rinse your mouth with water after consuming sugars. There is a time and place for these foods during hard training blocks and races. Work to reduce them during easy and short sessions. Instead, drink plain water or coconut water. You can also add electrolytes.
  • Work on more nasal breathing. Breathing through your nose increases the production of nitric oxide that helps to increase your lungs’ oxygen absorbing capacity and kills bacteria, viruses and other germs. This may be the hardest one to change. It takes time and focus, but can be accomplished during easier and shorter training sessions.

Be proactive about taking care of your teeth and you will improve your training, health and performance for life.

References

  1. Mercola. Online Newsletter Article:  Endurance Exercise Can Damage Your Teeth.  October 10, 2014.
  2. Saltmarsh, Jason. Huffington Post Blog:  Great Legs, Gross Teeth: Endurance Runners and Tooth Decay. June 6, 2014.
  3. Bryant, S., et al. Elite athletes and oral health. International Journal of Sports Medicine: 2011 September: 32(9)720-724.
  4. Needleman, I. et al.  Oral health and impact on performance of athletes participating in the London 2012 Olympic Games. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2013 November: 47(16) 1054-1058.
  5. Frese, C. et al. Effect of endurance training on dental erosion, caries, and saliva. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine Science Sports. June 2014. (Epub ahead of print)
  6. Reynolds, Gretchen. Is Exercise Bad for Your Teeth? The New York Times. September 24, 2014.
  7. Barker, Joanne. Oral Health: The Mouth-Body Connection.  WebMD. Archive.
  8. Brown, Tracy.  The truth about healthy teeth: at home dental care.  WebMD. Feature.
  9. Scadding, G. Nitric oxide in the airways. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Aug (15)4: 258-63.
 
 

 

Aging and oral health

North Americans are generally leading longer and healthier lives. Today's seniors are also enjoying good oral health, keeping their natural teeth longer than previous generations.

The maintenance of good oral health is stressed throughout one's life. It remains a very important corner stone to good overall health and quality of life. Neglect of teeth and gums leads to infections in the mouth. There is a growing body of medical evidence that shows that the inflammation that results due to the infection in the mouth may be closely linked to other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and in severe cases can even lead to respiratory infection like pneumonia. But, by simply keeping up with regular brushing and flossing as part of your daily regimen, you can maintain good oral health. Your regular dental visits are a further assurance to help screen for other serious diseases including oral cancer.

Follow the same simple rules that have supported you throughout your life including:

  • Maintain a daily regimen of brushing and flossing
  • Avoid alcohol or drink only moderately
  • Avoid tobacco
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet that incorporates fruits, vegetables and fiber-rich foods.
  • Limit sugar-intake
  • Visit the dentist regularly. Please do ask us any questions that you may have with respect to your oral health and update us on any changes to medications that you may be taking. If you are caring for an elderly parent, ask about ways for you to support their oral health care.

With increased age, seniors can be faced with several major overall problems related to their oral health:

  • Age changes; general changes in their body physiology
  • Dealing with the effects of disease and drug therapy; seniors may become more susceptible to oral disease such as decay, gum disease and oral cancer. Additionally, increased use of medications, physical and cognitive deterioration and changes in diet may begin to impact oral health.
  • Due to an incapacity to be mobile, seniors may not be able to always receive proper and timely dental care.

Here are a few other influencing factors to consider and discuss with your dentists.

Cavities and decay – Due to the lack of fluoride when many of today's seniors grew up, they had a higher tendency to develop decay at a younger age, and consequently had more fillings than many of today's younger population. Today, many of these fillings, if not looked after with proper oral hygiene at home, can develop re-decay around their margins. Another factor that leads to an increased incidence of decay in seniors is due to gum recession. Over time, if one is not careful in maintaining good oral hygiene, our gums can significantly recede. As the gums recede, the roots are more exposed and therefore susceptible to decay causing acids.

Gum disease – Gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis) are essentially caused by the bacteria found in plaque. The research evidence suggests that older patients develop plaque more quickly, but that the majority can prevent and maintain their gums and their health by focusing on good home care and regular preventive care at the dentist's office.

Oral cancer – The incidence of oral cancer is higher among seniors. Regular dental visits can help to spot early signs of oral cancer and pre-cancerous conditions.

Dry mouth (xerostomia) – Older adults are susceptible to dry mouth, an appropriate environment for bacterial growth. Dryness of the oral cavity can result from a number of factors. Medications can influence the secretion of saliva from the salivary glands. The lack of normal saliva production leads to a very dry environment in the mouth. This dry environment results in an imbalance in the normal bacteria in the mouth and can lead to an overgrowth of microorganisms that result in increased dental decay and soft tissue infections of the mouth. Without saliva, your body losses one of its natural defenses to cleanse the mouth of harmful cavity causing bacteria.
To help combat a dry mouth, avoid caffeine and tobacco. Make sure you drink plenty of water and avoid refined sugar.

Medications – Many Seniors are prescribed medications that contain sugar and can cause dry mouth, both factors that can influence oral disease. Common causes of dry mouth include certain prescription medications (eg. Antidepressants, antihistamines, pain medications, etc.), anxiety states, certain cancer therapies that might involve irradiation of the head and neck, chemotherapy, states of anxiety, Sjogren Syndrome, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and certain foods and tobacco. It's important to tell your dentist about any medications you are taking and other possible symptoms, such as abnormal bleeding, taste alterations and soft-tissue symptoms like swelling and discoloration.

Diet – Unfortunately, many seniors may begin to experience mouth or teeth problems that make them less likely to consume a healthy diet which further leads to a negative impact on oral health. Some of the reasons for this include a decrease in appetite, physical disabilities, dementia, such as Alzheimer's, or untreated tooth decay. All the more reason if possible to for our aging population to try and keeping their natural teeth longer in life. By virtue of being able to use their teeth, seniors make better nutrition choices, allowing them to continue to enjoy a wide variety of foods that further support ongoing oral health.

Health conditions – While diseases of the mouth and surrounding areas are a serious health risk, their relationship to overall general health is often not considered important or is simply overlooked.

Gum disease that is left untreated can lead to an increased risk of diseases of the respiratory system. This is primarily caused when the toxic bacteria that are contained in plaque make their way from the mouth to the lungs. The result is either respiratory infections or worsening of already existing cardiovascular conditions.

Seniors that are living with diabetes are a more susceptible population group to the affects of periodontal disease (i.e. gum disease that has advanced to the point of causing loss of bone and tissue attachments around existing teeth). Diabetics with uncontrolled gum disease are therefore more susceptible to tooth loss.

Seniors that may have compromised immune systems due to existing chronic ailments or medications are more susceptible to getting fungal and viral infections of the mouth.

Sensitive Teeth – A great number of people complain of tooth sensitivity, but more so amongst the senior population. The sensitivity is usually the result of a lifetime of wear and tear of the teeth and gums caused by factors such as brushing too aggressively, lack of oral hygiene leading to receded gums and overall gum disease, broken and fractured teeth, bruxism (grinding of teeth), acidic foods and complications resulting from certain dental treatments. The triggers for tooth sensitivity can be anything from thermal stimulation (hot or cold foods or drink), sugary or acidic foods, even just breathing in cold air.

Dentures – Many seniors who have lost some or all of their teeth are wearing removable dentures to replace those missing teeth. The proper care and maintenance of these partial or complete dentures is paramount to maintaining the health of the mouth. Poorly fitting dentures, and those that are not removed regularly to allow oral tissues and existing teeth to be adequately cleaned, can lead to further dental and oral tissue problems. Seniors that wear dentures are advised to continue regular dental visits to ensure proper fit and function of their dental prosthesis.

Tips for seniors and caregivers
Regular dental visits are a perfect time to speak to the dentist about concerns that you may have with regards to your oral health (or that of someone under your care) and will help to spot trouble early. It is also a time to update the dentist as to any medical issues or medications that you may be taking that could adversely affect your oral health.

Some additional tips for seniors and caregivers:

Brushing and flossing
Review the tips for proper brushing and flossing as instructed by your dentist or dental hygienist.

Always choose a soft toothbrush, run the bristles under warm water so as to further soften the brush against gum tissue, and remember to replace worn brushes every 3 to 6 months.

If your suffer from any condition that makes holding the toothbrush a challenge (e.g. arthritis or any other health conditions), speak to your dentist or dental hygienist about options

Denture Care
When cleaning or caring for your denture, in order to avoid accidental breakage should they fall, make sure to have a folded towel or a sink full water over which you handle your denture.

Avoid letting your dentures dry out. When not worn, do not simply leave them out exposed to the drying affects of air. Remember to soak them in a glass with water or a denture cleaning solution.

Never place your dentures in hot water, as that will cause the denture material to warp.

Brush, clean and rinse your dentures daily.
 
Message to Caregivers
If you are caring for a senior who is faced with physical or cognitive deterioration, please take note of their oral health by simple observation inside their mouth for any problems. Their oral health does impact the quality of their lives, and upon their overall systemic health. Maintain their regular dental visits in order that any problematic symptoms or troubling signs can dealt with early. If possible, attend the dental visit with the elder in your care in order to provide as much relevant medical information as possible.

The below is the latest recommendations regarding Fluoride from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

For Release: Aug. 25, 2014

Dental caries – or tooth decay -- is the most common chronic disease in children in the U.S., a silent disease that disproportionally affects poor, young, and minority populations. In a new clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) “Fluoride Use in Caries Prevention in the Primary Care Setting,” published online Aug. 25 in the September 2014 Pediatrics, the AAP states that fluoride is effective for cavity prevention in children. The AAP is issuing the following new recommendations:

-Fluoridated toothpaste is recommended for all children starting at tooth eruption, regardless of caries risk.
-A smear (the size of a grain of rice) of toothpaste should be used up to age 3. After the 3rd birthday, a pea-sized amount may be used. Parents should dispense toothpaste for young children and supervise and assist with brushing.
-Fluoride varnish is recommended in the primary care setting every 3–6 months starting at tooth emergence.
-Over-the counter fluoride rinse is not recommended for children younger than 6 years due to risk of swallowing higher-than-recommended levels of fluoride.

Because fluoride is available in many sources, including food and tap water, and may be administered at home and professionally applied, pediatricians should be aware of the risks and benefits of various fluoride modalities to appropriately advise families to achieve maximum protection against dental caries, and to help counsel patients about proper oral health.

- See more at: http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Recommends-Fluoride-to-Prevent-Dental-Caries.aspx#sthash.S1WSIl3H.dpuf

Interesting article below. From the Globe and Mail. 

If you’re a kid in Atlantic Canada, here’s a reason to smile. According to a new survey, the tooth fairy is paying a premium for baby teeth in the Maritimes and Newfoundland. At $3.46 a tooth, it’s 19 per cent higher than the national average of $2.80.

Even better, 35 per cent of respondents in Atlantic Canada said their children found $5 or more per tooth under their pillows in 2014. Quebec children were the least likely to get a visit from the tooth fairy – 13 per cent received no money for their lost teeth. For those who did, $2.06 was the average rate.

The findings are from a telephone survey of approximately 1,000 households with children under age 13 conducted for Visa Canada. The company is promoting the launch of an online financial calculator that allows children and parents to compare their earnings with other children from similar households in Canada.

Ontario reported the second-highest going rate for baby teeth at $3.21 apiece. “Generally, kids are doing really well,” said Visa spokesperson Michelle Michalak.

If kids in Atlantic Canada and Ontario save the funds, by the time they lose all 20 baby teeth they will have stashed away $69 and $64 respectively. The average in the Prairies was $2.43 per tooth, but 55 per cent could expect to receive up to $5. In British Columbia, children got an average of $2.47 per tooth.

The poll was conducted for Visa by GfK Canadian Omnibus Service and had a claimed margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/atlantic-canadas-kids-earn-most-from-tooth-fairy-study-says/article20149114/

The Video below discusses Perioprotect, a recent addition to the services provided at Centrum Dental Centre, your Kanata dentists.

Plaque is a film of bacteria that forms on your teeth and gums after eating foods that produce acids. These foods may include carbohydrates (starches and sugars), such as candy and cookies, and starchy foods such as bread, crackers, and cereal.

Tooth decay leads to cavities and occurs when plaque remains on your teeth for an extended period of time, allowing the bacteria to 'eat away' at the surfaces of your teeth and gums. Ironically, the areas surrounding restored portions of teeth (where fillings, or amalgams have been placed) are particularly vulnerable to decay and are a breeding ground for bacteria.

Plaque can lead to gum irritation, soreness, and redness. Sometimes, your gums may begin to bleed as a result of plaque. This gradual degeneration can often cause gums to pull away from teeth. This condition is called receding gums.

Long-term plaque can lead to serious problems. Sometimes, the bacteria can form pockets of disease around tooth structures, eventually destroying the bone beneath the tooth.

Infants
The first dental appointment for children should be after the child turns 6 months of age and before their first birthday. The reason for such an early appointment is because the primary (first) teeth should have started to erupt and this is the time to detect anything of concern. Some of the issues that could cause problems are thumb sucking and baby bottle tooth decay.

Thumb-Sucking

Children find comfort from sucking a thumb, finger or a pacifier. This is normal. However, if the infant or child is doing this often, it can cause malformed teeth and an irregular bite pattern.

Thumb sucking engages powerful muscles that can alter the shape of the palate. This, in turn, can effect the position of the teeth and lips. If the child continues to suck their thumb or fingers after the four anterior teeth have erupted, conditions can worsen and it may require surgery to be corrected.

It is recommended that if by 4 years of age a child is still sucking their thumb or fingers you should seek the advise of your dental professional.

Baby bottle tooth decay
Baby bottle decay is caused by sugars found in breast milk, formula and in juices. Natural sugars found in milk and 100% fruit juice will have the same effect as refined sugar on the teeth. When an infant drinks from their bottle, the bacteria in their mouth will mix with the sugars from the drink. This mixture creates a mild acid that will attack the enamel of their teeth and form cavities. We can control this damage by managing how much sugar is given to the infant and controlling how long it stays there. Children that go to bed with a bottle of milk or juice are at an increased risk of decay. The sugars will pool in their saliva and have all night to work on destroying the outer layer (enamel) of the teeth. It is also risky to give a child juice between meals as this is just a continuos coating of sugar on the teeth throughout the day. In order to avoid baby bottle tooth decay, do not allow a baby to nurse on a bottle of milk or juice before going to sleep. Water is also the best choice to give between meals. Do not dip pacifiers into sweet substances and, as early as possible, teach your child to drink from a cup. Baby bottle tooth decay can interfere with the proper formation of the permanent teeth if it is left untreated.

Teething
Babies can begin teething as early as three to four months of age. This is a period where the teeth begin to sequentially erupt. The pain that children feel varies. Some babies can become irritable while others donʼt seem to be bothered at all. Symptoms of teething are swollen gums, drooling, crankiness, difficulty sleeping, and loss of appetite. You can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of teething by gently massaging your childʼs gums with a clean finger, a small cool spoon or a wet gauze pad. A teething ring may also help. The ADA (American Dental Association) and CDA (Canadian Dental Association) also report that if your child shows rashes, diarrhea and/or fever call your physician. These are NOT normal symptoms of teething.

Primary and Permanent Teeth
Most children at three years of age have 20 ʻprimaryʼ teeth. These teeth eventually get replaced by permanent teeth by the time the child turns 12 years of age. Somewhere between the age of 17-31, the 4 permanent molars, also known as wisdom teeth, may emerge.

It is very important that a childʼs primary teeth are kept healthy because they will determine the placement for the permanent teeth. If the primary teeth become diseased or do not properly erupt it can alter the growth pattern for the permanent teeth, leading to over crowding.

Brushing

Cleaning your baby’s mouth before teeth erupt
It is important to start cleaning a childʼs mouth before they even have any teeth. This is essential for two reasons. It develops a habit of keeping the mouth clean. Provides a clean and healthy environment for the primary teeth to erupt. The idea is to wipe all the gums. Firstly, with the baby in a comfortable lying position, make sure you can see clearly into the babies mouth. With a clean damp washcloth over your finger, wipe the babies gums. You can also buy special infant toothbrushes that fit right over your finger. Do not use toothpaste as the baby may swallow it. Once the teeth have grown through the gums you can clean the teeth with a child size, soft bristled toothbrush and a pea size amount of toothpaste. It is important to teach the child to spit out the paste when finished. It is recommended to avoid toothpastes containing fluoride on children under the age of two.

Proper technique for brushing your childʼs primary teeth
Use a soft bristled toothbrush with rounded edges. Make sure the toothbrush allows you to reach all the way to the back of the mouth. Hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your teeth. The bristles of the brush should be directed towards the gum line. Brush all three surfaces of the teeth, the chewing surface, the cheek side, and the tongue side. Brushing your teeth should take a minimum of 2 minutes to complete. Most people will miss the same spots repeatedly. To avoid this, change up your usual brushing pattern. The Canadian Dental Association and the American Dental Association recommend that you replace your toothbrush every three months.

Toothaches

 

Toothaches can be common in young children. Sometimes, toothaches are caused by erupting teeth, but they also could indicate a serious problem.

You can safely relieve a small child's toothache without the aid of medication by rinsing the mouth with a solution of warm water and table salt. If the pain doesn't subside, acetaminophen may be used. If such medications don't help, contact your dentist immediately.

Fluoride
Fluoride is a mineral found in food and most drinking water systems. Fluoride is important to our oral health because it makes our teeth more resistant to decay. If your drinking water does not have acceptable levels of fluoride there are supplements that your dentist could recommend. A fluoride toothpaste sometimes is not enough. Too much fluoride can also pose a problem. Dental fluorosis, a condition that can affect the look of the tooth is the result when too high an amount of fluoride is ingested in early childhood.

Toothaches
Young children often experience a toothache. This could be a result of erupting teeth. You can help to relieve a childʼs toothache by rinsing the mouth with a solution of warm water and table salt. If there is no relief using this solution you can also give acetaminophen.

If the Acetaminophen does not alleviate the pain, there could be a more serious condition and you should contact the dentist immediately.

Injuries
Most children who have a trauma to their mouth, jaws and teeth are due to accidental play, whether it is playing or sport or by putting foreign objects in their mouth. In order to prevent injury to the jaw, teeth, lips and gums it is strongly recommended that during playtime children are adequately supervised and that children wear mouth guards while participating in sports. Mouth Guards are small and fit securely around the childʼs teeth and prevent injury to the whole mouth. Childrenʼs mouth guards are small and when first inserted into the mouth they mold to the childʼs teeth. In the case of a tooth that is avulsed (knocked out), hold the tooth by the crown and try to re-implant it into the mouth. Never touch the tooth by the root. Then bite on a clean cloth or gauze to hold the tooth in place and go directly to your dental office. If the tooth cannot be put back into the socket, submerge the tooth in saline, cold milk or the victims own saliva and go to the dental office. This is an emergency visit and you should not have to wait long to be seen. The longer you wait, the less likely it is that the tooth can be re-implanted into the socket. When there is an injury in your mouth make sure you rinse your mouth to remove any blood or particles. In order to control the swelling, place a cold cloth or cold compress on the cheek near the injury site. If the tooth is fractured, do a warm water rinse and apply a cold pack or compress. The cold pack along with Ibuprofen will help to control the swelling.

To repair a fractured tooth the dentist will first determine if the fracture is minor or severe and if the nerve is exposed or damaged. In less severe cases, it could be as simple as just adding some filling material to restore the look of the tooth and smooth out any sharp edges. In a severe case the dentist will have to decide if the tooth can be saved. If a child has a primary (baby) tooth that is loose it is often just a case of the roots dissolving as the permanent teeth come in. These teeth usually come out on their own or when a child bites into something hard, such as an apple. If the tooth is very loose you can encourage the child to wiggle it until is falls out. Never yank the tooth as it may break and become infected. If the primary tooth is loose due to injury, apply a cold compress to the mouth and gums to lessen the pain and swelling. Contact your dentist immediately. The dentist will have to take an x-ray to determine the extent of the damage. Braces and retainers can sometimes cause irritation. Placing a small piece of orthodontic wax, gauze or cotton over the wire tip can provide relief. If a piece of the retainer or braces is stuck into the soft tissue, do not detach it yourself. Contact the dental office immediately.

Sealants
The premolar and molar teeth are the largest teeth in the mouth. They have a larger surface area and have several grooves and pits on the chewing surface. These grooves can be deep and are a prime place for plaque and acid to build up and cause cavities. It is for this reason that many dentists will suggest applying sealants, especially on young children. A sealant is a coating that is applied to the chewing surface of the teeth creating a smooth surface to act as a barricade protecting it from decay.


 
While many people embrace this trend, oral piercings have many possible and harmful side effects.
Common symptoms after oral piercing include pain, swelling, infection, an increased flow of saliva (“spit”) and injuries to the gums:

  • Millions of bacteria (“germs”) live in your mouth, so oral piercings may become infected easily. 
  • Swelling of the tongue is a common side effect but it is possible for the tongue to swell large enough to block your airway and prevent breathing. 
  • Piercing can cause uncontrollable bleeding and nerve damage. If a blood vessel was in the path of the needle during the piercing, severe and difficult-to-control bleeding can result. 
  • Blood clots or blood poisoning can occur
 
And the jewelry itself can be hazardous or cause other problems:
  • You can choke on the studs, barbells or hoops that become loose in your mouth.
  • Teeth can chip or crack from contact with the jewelry.
  • Bacteria that breeds around the piercing can cause bad breath.
  • The jewelry can prevent you from speaking clearly or cause problems with chewing and swallowing food.
  • The metals may cause an allergic reaction.
 
Since oral health is important for overall health, the effects of an oral piercing may have a greater impact than one may think. Unfortunately, many people with oral piercings don't realize that these side effects could happen to them.
 
 

It has long been known that good nutrition and a well-balanced diet is one of the best defenses for your oral health. Providing your body with the right amounts of vitamins and minerals helps your teeth and gums-as well as your immune system-stay strong and ward off infection, decay and disease.

Harmful acids and bacteria in your mouth are left behind from eating foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. These include carbonated beverages, some kinds of fruit juices, and many kinds of starch foods like pasta, bread and cereal.

Children's Nutrition and Teeth

Good eating habits that begin in early childhood can go a long way to ensuring a lifetime of good oral health.

Children should eat foods rich in calcium and other kinds of minerals, as well as a healthy balance of the essential food groups like vegetables, fruits, dairy products, poultry and meat. Fluoride supplements may be helpful if you live in a community without fluoridated water, but consult with our office first. (Be aware that sugars are even found in some kinds of condiments, as well as fruits and even milk.)

Allowing your children to eat excessive amounts of junk food (starches and sugars)-including potato chips, cookies, crackers, soda, even artificial fruit rollups and granola bars-only places them at risk for serious oral health problems, including obesity, osteoporosis and diabetes. The carbonation found in soda, for example, can actually erode tooth enamel. Encourage your child to use a straw when drinking soda; this will help keep at least some of the carbonated beverage away from the teeth.


Smart Snacks for Healthy Teeth
There's no discounting the importance of continuing a healthy balanced diet throughout your adult life.

What's wrong with sugary snacks, anyway?
Sugary snacks taste so good — but they aren't so good for your teeth or your body. The candies, cakes, cookies and other sugary foods that kids love to eat between meals can cause tooth decay. Some sugary foods have a lot of fat in them, too. Kids who consume sugary snacks eat many  different kinds of sugar every day, including table sugar (sucrose) and corn sweeteners (fructose). Starchy snacks can also break down into sugars once they're in your mouth.

How do sugars attack your teeth?
Invisible germs called bacteria live in your mouth all the time. Some of these bacteria form a sticky material called plaque on the surface of the teeth. When you put sugar in your mouth, the bacteria in the plaque gobble up the sweet stuff and turn it into acids. These acids are powerful enough to dissolve the hard enamel that covers your teeth. That's how cavities get started. If you don't eat much sugar, the bacteria can't produce as much of the acid that eats away enamel.

How can I "snack smart" to protect myself from tooth decay?
Before you start munching on a snack, ask yourself what's in the food you've chosen. Is it loaded with sugar? If it is, think again. Another choice would be better for your teeth. And keep in mind that certain kinds of sweets can do more damage than others. Gooey or chewy sweets spend more time sticking to the surface of your teeth. Because sticky snacks stay in your mouth longer than foods that you quickly chew and swallow, they give your teeth a longer sugar bath. You should also think about when and how often you eat snacks. Do you nibble on sugary snacks many times throughout the day, or do you usually just have dessert after dinner? Damaging acids form in your mouth every time you eat a sugary snack. The acids continue to affect your teeth for at least 20 minutes before they are neutralized and can't do any more harm. So, the more times you eat sugary snacks during the day, the more often you feed bacteria the fuel they need to cause tooth decay.

If you eat sweets, it's best to eat them as dessert after a main meal instead of several times a day between meals. Whenever you eat sweets — in any meal or snack — brush your teeth well with a fluoride toothpaste afterward.

When you're deciding about snacks, think about:
•    The number of times a day you eat sugary snacks
•    How long the sugary food stays in your mouth
•    The texture of the sugary food (Chewy? Sticky?)
If you snack after school, before bedtime, or other times during the day, choose something without a lot of sugar or fat. There are lots of tasty, filling snacks that are less harmful to your teeth—and the rest of your body — than foods loaded with sugars and low in nutritional value. Snack smart!

Low-fat choices like raw vegetables, fresh fruits, or whole-grain crackers or bread are smart choices. Eating the right foods can help protect you from tooth decay and other diseases. Next time you reach for a snack, pick a food from the list inside or make up your own menu of non-sugary, low-fat snack foods from the basic food groups.

How can you snack smart? Be choosy!
Pick a variety of foods from these groups:

Fresh fruits and raw vegetables
Berries
Oranges
Grapefruit
Melons
Pineapple
Pears
Tangerines
Broccoli
Celery
Carrots
Cucumbers
Tomatoes
Unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices
Canned fruits in natural juices

Grains
Bread
Plain bagels
Unsweetened cereals
Unbuttered popcorn
Tortilla chips (baked, not fried)
Pretzels (low-salt)
Pasta
Plain crackers

Milk and dairy products
Low or non-fat milk
Low or non-fat yogurt
Low or non-fat cheese
Low or non-fat cottage cheese

Meat, nuts and seeds
Chicken
Turkey
Sliced meats
Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower seeds
Nuts

Others
(these snacks combine foods from the different groups)
Pizza
Tacos

Remember to:
•    Choose sugary foods less often
•    Avoid sweets between meals
•    Eat a variety of low or non-fat foods from the basic groups
•    Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after snacks and meals

Note to parents
The foods listed in this leaflet have not all been tested for their decay-causing potential. However, knowledge to date indicates that they are less likely to promote tooth decay than are some of the heavily sugared foods children often eat between meals.
Candy bars aren't the only culprits. Foods such as pizza, breads, and hamburger buns may also contain sugars. Check the label. The new food labels identify sugars and fats on the Nutrition Facts panel on the package. Keep in mind that brown sugar, honey, molasses and syrups also react with bacteria to produce acids, just as refined table sugar does. These foods also are potentially damaging to teeth.

Your child's meals and snacks should include a variety of foods from the basic food groups, including fruits and vegetables; grains, including breads and cereals; milk and dairy products; and meat, nuts and seeds. Some snack foods have greater nutritional value than others and will better promote your child's growth and development. However, be aware that even some fresh fruits, if eaten in excess, may promote tooth decay. Children should brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste after snacks and meals. (So should you!)


Please note: These general recommendations may need to be adapted for children on special diets because of diseases or conditions that interfere with normal nutrition.

Snoring can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Snoring alone can be disruptive and a nuisance. Snoring + sleep apnea can be life threatening.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder that temporarily causes breathing to be suspended during sleep. A physical obstruction happens in the airway which limits the amount of oxygen needed to reach the lungs. In the process of attempting to breathe again due to the obstruction, loud snoring or choking noises are heard.

The oxygen deprivation momentarily awakens a person from sleep. The cycle of waking and falling back to sleep is repeated a few times or hundreds of times throughout the night. The lack of oxygen can have long-term damaging effects such as the development of: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, pre-diabetes and diabetes and depression.

The airway obstruction is actually collapsing tissue in the back of the throat. This can be a result of the muscles of the upper airway relaxing during sleep. In “back sleepers” gravity can sometimes cause the tongue to fall back and obstruct the airway as well. In both situations the airway is narrowed or completely obstructed.
Snoring happens when the extra tissue in the back of the throat vibrates during the flow of breathing which produces the sounds of snoring. It is estimated that about 50% of people snore at some point during their lives. Snoring can be heredity and can increase as age advances. Occasional congestion from cold or allergies may also cause snoring.

Many people with sleep apnea suffer from issues of chronic fatigue, lack of concentration or focus. These are due to “unrestful” sleep resulting from the body unconsciously and repeatedly being awakened during the night because of the struggle for oxygen. 

If you are unsure if the snoring you hear from a loved one is sleep apnea, look for correlating indicators such as excessive daytime sleepiness, gasping during sleep, pauses in breathing, morning headaches, difficulty concentrating, moodiness, irritability or depression and possibly frequent trips to the bathroom at night.

Testing for a sleep breathing disorder is critical to getting a loved one on the path of better health. If you or someone you know experiences any of the other symptoms or indicators that may suggestion the play of sleep apnea, please contact us immediately for help.

Remember that while snoring is annoying, sleep apnea is life threatening. Ask your dentist at Centrum Dental, your Kanata dental centre, about testing for sleep breathing disorders.   

“Good oral health is essential to total health and the key to a happy and productive life,” says Mary Bertone, president of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA). Research suggests that periodontal disease, which can result from unchecked plaque on the teeth, is a risk factor for serious life-threatening illnesses such as diabetes, lung and heart disease, and stroke. “Resolving to make oral health a priority in your daily life is an investment in your future,” adds Bertone, noting that people of all ages can set oral health goals and develop new habits in 2014. “You are never too young or too old to make a commitment to oral health care.” Here are some helpful dental hygiene tips for all ages:

Infants and Toddlers up to age 3: Wipe your baby’s mouth and gums with a clean, wet cloth after feeding. Teach toddlers to hold a toothbrush, but brush for them twice a day using water (no toothpaste is necessary) once their first teeth appear.

Children ages 3–6: Help your children to brush their teeth twice a day, using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Show them how to brush every tooth surface and their tongue, and make sure that they spit out the toothpaste when they are done.

Children ages 6-13: Encourage children to begin flossing once a day, in addition to brushing twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Help them to make healthy food choices, avoiding sweets and sugars. Have them fitted for a  sports mouthguard to be worn during athletic activity.

Teenagers and Adults: Brush teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash and clean in between the teeth at least once a day. Eliminate tobacco use and eat nutritious foods that are low in sugar. Remember to wear a sports mouthguard during active play.

Seniors: Brush natural teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and clean in between the teeth at least once a day. Clean and soak dentures (full or partial) daily. Brush and massage the gums, either with a soft toothbrush or with a warm, damp cloth.

And of course, everyone from the age of one should visit a dental professional regularly to ensure optimum oral health. By developing good oral health habits now, you’ll look and feel better, not just in 2014 but for a lifetime.

taken from the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association, www.dentalhygienecanada.ca

 
Every day we gain new information indicating the aftereffect of untreated sleep apnea. The list ranges from diabetes and heart issues to the connection with cancer and even behavioral issues in children.  This ongoing stream of data and research has provoked us to find a list of factors that increase the risk of sleep apnea, so that we are better able to manage some of those risks, when possible. Knowledge is power!
Before diving into the list, let’s review the definition of sleep apnea to ensure that we are all on the same page.  For the most part, there are three types of sleep apnea -- central (happens in the brain), obstructive sleep apnea (most common), and mixed (both central and obstructive).  Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat collapse, causing the airway to close. 

Happy New year to all!
As many of us make resolutions for this year, some of those goals my revolve around more success. 
The read below from the Harvard Business Review website, http://blogs.hbr.org/2011/02/nine-things-successful-people/, offer some insight on what successful people do. 

Wishing all the success in 2014
Centrum Dental team

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren’t sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail. The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle. In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful peoplereach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

1. Get specificWhen you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals. Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”) Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

4. Be a realistic optimist. When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

6. Have grit. Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs. Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point. In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The good news is, if you aren’t particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don’t have the innate abilities successful people have. If that describes your own thinking …. well, there’s no way to put this nicely: you are wrong. As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.

7. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control “muscle” is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you’d honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don’t. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur (“If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.”) It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that’s the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.

8. Don’t tempt fate. No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it’s important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don’t try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don’t put yourself in harm’s way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do. Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., “Don’t think about white bears!”) has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.

If you want to change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like “If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down.” By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.

It is my hope that, after reading about the nine things successful people do differently, you have gained some insight into all the things you have been doing right all along. Even more important, I hope are able to identify the mistakes that have derailed you, and use that knowledge to your advantage from now on. Remember, you don’t need to become a different person to become a more successful one. It’s never what you are, but what you do.

Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. is a motivational psychologist, and author of the new book Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals (Hudson Street Press, 2011). She is also an expert blogger on motivation and leadership for Fast Company and Psychology Today. Her personal blog, The Science of Success, can be found at www.heidigranthalvorson.com. Follow her on Twitter @hghalvorson

  • Missing Teeth

Fixed bridges and implants are often used to replace missing teeth and to correct some kinds of bite problems.

Crowns and bridges are the most effective procedure for replacing missing teeth or bite problems.

  • Bridges

Bridges are natural-looking dental appliances that can replace a section of missing teeth. Because they are custom-made, bridges are barely noticeable and can  restore the natural contour of teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth.

Bridges are sometimes referred to as fixed partial dentures, because they are semipermanent and are bonded to existing teeth or implants. Some bridges are removable and can be cleaned by the wearer; others need to be removed by a dentist.

Porcelain, gold alloys or combinations of materials are usually used to make bridge appliances. 

Appliances called implant bridges are attached to an area below the gum tissue, or the bone.

  • Implants

The concept of implanting metal or prosthetic roots into the jaws to support
teeth is not new. Archeologists have uncovered attempts at dental implants in mummies found in ancient Egypt.

Early tooth replacement from ancient Mediterranean civilization
Over the centuries this concept has been attempted in a variety of ways, but has been unsuccessful until recently.

Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark is credited with the discovery and development of the technique of osseointegration. Osseointegration is defined as a chemical and mechanical bonding of a titanium implant (essentially a titanium screw or fixture) to the surrounding bone. These implants act as artificial roots, or anchors, for the replacement of missing teeth. Implants give replacement teeth a more stable base and improve the use one can get out of bridgework and dentures.

The treatment consists of 3 phases. The first phase of treatment is the placement of the implants by the surgical specialist. The second phase of the implant treatment is performed after an appropriate period of healing. A period of approximately 3-6 months is required for the process of osseointegration to be complete. The second phase of treatment consists of the placement of abutments or small metal posts to the implanted fixtures. The third phase of treatment consists of the restorative phase. In this phase the new replacement teeth are fabricated and placed on the implants and abutments.


There is now over 40 years of experience with dental implants. The success rates have been measured worldwide. Over 95% of the implants placed into the jaw have a greater than 5 years success rate. Loss of implants after 5 years is extremely rare.

In sporting activities there is a great need to protect your smile. Anyone who participates in a sport that carries a significant risk of injury to teeth, lips, cheek and tongue, should wear a mouth protector. This includes a wide range of sports like football, hockey, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, and volleyball.

A properly fitted mouth protector will stay in place while you are wearing it, making it easy for you to talk and breathe.

There are three types of mouth protectors:
1.   Stock
Stock mouth protectors are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult. 
2.    Boil and bite
Boil and bite mouth protectors can be purchased at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They should be softened in water, then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth.  It is extremely important to follow the manufacturer's directions in order not to end up with a poor-fitting mouth protector. 
3.    Custom-fitted
Custom-fitted mouth protectors are made by your dentist for you personally. They are more expensive than the other versions, but because they are customized they can offer a better fit than anything you can buy off the shelf.  They are also designed to suit the needs of the individual athlete, with various thickness indicated for different sports.

New Research Shows Cheese May Prevent Cavities 
CHICAGO (June 5, 2013)—Consuming dairy products is vital to maintaining good overall 
health, and it’s especially important to bone health. But there has been little research about how dairy products affect oral health in particular. However, according to a new study published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), consuming cheese and other dairy products may help protect teeth against cavities. 

The study sampled 68 subjects ranging in age from 12 to 15, and the authors looked at the dental plaque pH in the subjects’ mouths before and after they consumed cheese, milk, or sugar-free yogurt. A pH level lower than 5.5 puts a person at risk for tooth erosion, which is a process that wears away the enamel (or protective outside layer) of teeth. “The higher the pH level is above 5.5, the lower the chance of developing cavities,” explains Vipul Yadav, MDS, lead author of the study. The subjects were assigned into groups randomly. Researchers instructed the first group to eat cheddar cheese, the second group to drink milk, and the third group to eat sugar-free yogurt. Each group consumed their product for three minutes and then swished with water. Researchers measured the pH level of each subject’s mouth at 10, 20, and 30 minutes after consumption. The groups who consumed milk and sugar-free yogurt experienced no changes in the pH levels in their mouths. Subjects who ate cheese, however, showed a rapid increase in pH levels at each time interval, suggesting that cheese has anti-cavity properties. 

The study indicated that the rising pH levels from eating cheese may have occurred due to increased saliva production (the mouth’s natural way to maintain a baseline acidity level), which could be caused by the action of chewing. Additionally, various compounds found in cheese may adhere to tooth enamel and help further protect teeth from acid. 

“It looks like dairy does the mouth good,” says AGD spokesperson Seung-Hee Rhee, DDS, FAGD. “Not only are dairy products a healthy alternative to carb- or sugar-filled snacks, they also may be considered as a preventive measure against cavities.” 
 
To learn more about oral health, visit KnowYourTeeth.com.

Soda and Illegal Drugs Cause Similar Damage to Teeth 

CHICAGO (May 28, 2013)—Addicted to soda? You may be shocked to learn that drinking 
large quantities of your favorite carbonated soda could be as damaging to your teeth as 
methamphetamine and crack cocaine use. The consumption of illegal drugs and abusive intake of 
soda can cause similar damage to your mouth through the process of tooth erosion, according to 
a case study published in the March/April 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed 
clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). 

Tooth erosion occurs when acid wears away tooth enamel, which is the glossy, protective outside 
layer of the tooth. Without the protection of enamel, teeth are more susceptible to developing 
cavities, as well as becoming sensitive, cracked, and discolored. 
The General Dentistry case study compared the damage in three individuals’ mouths—an 
admitted user of methamphetamine, a previous longtime user of cocaine, and an excessive diet 
soda drinker. Each participant admitted to having poor oral hygiene and not visiting a dentist on 
a regular basis. Researchers found the same type and severity of damage from tooth erosion in 
each participant’s mouth. 

“Each person experienced severe tooth erosion caused by the high acid levels present in their 
‘drug’ of choice—meth, crack, or soda,” says Mohamed A. Bassiouny, DMD, MSc, PhD, lead 
author of the study. 
“The citric acid present in both regular and diet soda is known to have a high potential for 
causing tooth erosion,” says Dr. Bassiouny. 
Similar to citric acid, the ingredients used in preparing methamphetamine can include extremely 
corrosive materials, such as battery acid, lantern fuel, and drain cleaner. Crack cocaine is highly 
acidic in nature, as well. 
The individual who abused soda consumed 2 liters of diet soda daily for three to five years. Says 
Dr. Bassiouny, “The striking similarities found in this study should be a wake-up call to 
consumers who think that soda—even diet soda—is not harmful to their oral health.” 

AGD Spokesperson Eugene Antenucci, DDS, FAGD, recommends that his patients minimize 
their intake of soda and drink more water. Additionally, he advises them to either chew sugarfree gum or rinse the mouth with water following consumption of soda. “Both tactics increase 
saliva flow, which naturally helps to return the acidity levels in the mouth to normal,” he says. 
To see photos showing the similarities between damage caused to teeth by the soda abuser and 
the methamphetamine user, email media@agd.org. 
To learn more about oral health, visit KnowYourTeeth.com.

Protection from Infection

April 02, 2013 | Posted Uncategorized

Infection control refers to the recommended safety precautions that dentists follow to protect patients and staff. Many dental procedures involve direct contact with blood and saliva, but strict infection control helps to stop the spread of disease. Infection control procedures call for most of the instruments and supplies that your dentist uses to be either heat-sterilized or disposable.

Do all dentists practice infection control? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration Bloodborne Pathogens Standard requires that all employees who may come in contact with blood be trained about proper infection control procedures. The dental board in your state also may have additional rules that your dentist must follow.

Do dentists sterilize instruments after each patient? Dentists sterilize the drill and other instruments between patients to prevent the transmission of diseases. Dental offices follow and monitor specific heat sterilization procedures. Most dental instruments are sterilized in special machines because it takes much more than just soap and water to make sure instruments are free of bacteria. Recommended sterilization methods include placing these instruments into an autoclave (steam under pressure) or a dry heat oven, or to use a chemical vapor (commonly called a chemiclave). Typically, this equipment is kept in the office, away from patients’ view.

How are other objects sterilized? Before you enter the examination room, all surfaces are disinfected. To sterilize equipment that can’t be moved, such as X-ray units and countertops, a disinfectant is applied. Some offices may drape this equipment with protective covers, which are replaced after each patient. Disposable sharp items that cannot be sterilized—such as needles—are thrown away in puncture-resistant biohazard containers. Any disposable item that is contaminated with blood is discarded in a special container. 

taken from: http://www.agd.org/media/136085/FS_InfectionControl_Apr13.pdf

 

Dryness of the oral cavity can result from a number of factors. Medications can influence the secretion of saliva from the salivary glands. The lack of normal saliva production leads to a very dry environment in the mouth. This dry environment results in an imbalance in the normal bacteria in the mouth and can lead to an overgrowth of microorganisms that result in increased dental decay and soft tissue infections of the mouth. Without saliva, your body losses one of its natural defenses to cleanse the mouth of harmful cavity causing bacteria.


Common causes of dry mouth include certain prescription medications (eg. Antidepressants, antihistamines, pain medications, etc.), anxiety states, certain cancer therapies that might involve irradiation of the head and neck, chemotherapy, states of anxiety, Sjogren Syndrome, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and certain foods and tobacco.

Jaw Pain

March 06, 2013 | Posted Uncategorized

Often times we have patients complaning of pain in their jaw joints. 

People who grind their teeth can sometimes develop a serious problem with their jaw, which left untreated, can adversely affect the teeth, gums and bone structures of the mouth.

One of the most common jaw disorders is related to a problem with the temporomandibular joint, the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull, and allows your upper and lower jaw to open and close and facilitates chewing and speaking.

People with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) often have a clicking or popping sound when opening and closing their mouths. Such disorders are often accompanied by frequent headaches, neck aches, and in some cases, tooth sensitivity.

Some treatments for TMD include muscle relaxants, aspirin, biofeedback, or wearing a small plastic appliance in the mouth during sleep.

Minor cases of TMD involve discomfort or pain in the jaw muscles. More serious conditions involve improperly aligned joints or dislocated jaws. The most extreme form of TMD involves an arthritic condition of the jaw joint. Traumatic injuries also can cause jaw dislocation.

In these cases, jaw surgery, may be required to correct the condition. Some jaw surgery can be performed arthroscopically.

So what is Gingivitis anyways?

February 13, 2013 | Posted Uncategorized

Gingivitis is the medical term for early gum disease, or periodontal disease. In general, gum disease can be caused by long-term exposure to plaque, the sticky but colorless film on teeth that forms after eating or sleeping.

Gum disease originates in the gums, where infections form from harmful bacteria and other materials left behind from eating. Early warning signs include chronic bad breath, tender or painful swollen gums and minor bleeding after brushing or flossing. In many cases, however, gingivitis can go unnoticed. The infections can eventually cause the gums to separate from the teeth, creating even greater opportunities for infection and decay.

Although gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults, in many cases it is avoidable.

If gingivitis goes untreated, more serious problems such as abscesses, bone loss orperiodontitis can occur.

Periodontitis is treated in a number of ways. One method, called root planing, involved cleaning and scraping below the gum line to smooth the roots. If effective, this procedure helps the gums reattach themselves to the tooth structure.

Pregnancy has also been known to cause a form of gingivitis. This has been linked to hormonal changes in the woman's body that promote plaque production.

Questions about Fluoride

February 06, 2013 | Posted Uncategorized

We get asked daily about fluoride, the way it works, its benefits, and its potential drawbacks.

To help answer some of those questions, below are some frequently asked questions, courtesy of the Canadian Dental Association.

1. What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral found in soil, water (both fresh and salt) and various foods.

2. How does fluoride prevent tooth decay?

Fluoride has a positive effect on oral health by making teeth more resistant to decay. Fluoride can also prevent or even reverse tooth decay that has started.

3. Where do I get the fluoride that prevents tooth decay?

For many Canadians, fluoride is in public drinking water, which provides protection to the entire community. Fluoride toothpastes and rinses are available for purchase, and your dentist can provide professional fluoride products such as gels and varnish.

 

Dental Fluorosis

4. What is dental fluorosis?

Dental fluorosis is a change in the appearance of teeth. It is caused when higher than optimal amounts of fluoride are ingested in early childhood. In its mildest and most common form, it affects the look of the tooth with small white specks appearing on a child’s teeth.

5. Is dental fluorosis a concern in Canada?

The Canadian Health Measures Survey 2007-2009 found that dental fluorosis is not an issue of concern for the vast majority of children (84%). Some children (16%) have mild forms of fluorosis that often go unnoticed by both the children and their parents.

 

Water Fluoridation

6. What is water fluoridation?

Water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the level of fluoride in a public drinking water supply to optimize the dental benefits of preventing tooth decay.

7. Why is fluoride added to the public drinking water if it is available in other ways?

Fluoride is added to public drinking water to protect all members of the community from tooth decay. Community water fluoridation is a safe and effective way of preventing tooth decay at a low cost.

8. Who watches the fluoride levels in the drinking water?

The Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water makes recommendations about the optimal level of fluoride in public drinking water to prevent tooth decay. The recommended level takes into account that Canadians receive fluoride from other sources such as food and beverages.

9. What does an “optimal” level of water fluoridation mean?

An optimal level of water fluoridation is achieved by adjusting the level of fluoride in the water to achieve the right balance between the benefit of preventing tooth decay and the risk of developing dental fluorosis.

10. Are there any health risks associated with water fluoridation?

With the exception of dental fluorosis, scientific studies have not found any credible link between water fluoridation and adverse health effects.

 

Fluoride Toothpaste

11. Should I be using fluoridated toothpaste with my child?

For children from birth to 3 years of age, the use of fluoridated toothpaste is determined by the level of risk of tooth decay. Parents should consult a health professional to determine whether their child up to 3 years of age is at risk of developing tooth decay. If such a risk exists, the child’s teeth should be brushed by an adult using a minimal amount (a portion the size of a grain of rice) of fluoridated toothpaste. Use of fluoridated toothpaste in a small amount has been determined to achieve a balance between the benefits of fluoride and the risk of developing fluorosis. If the child is not considered to be at risk, the teeth should be brushed by an adult using a toothbrush moistened only with water.

For children from 3 to 6 years of age, only a small amount (a portion the size of a green pea) of fluoridated toothpaste should be used. Children in this age group should be assisted by an adult in brushing their teeth.

12. Why do young children need to be assisted or supervised with tooth brushing?

Young children tend to swallow toothpaste when they are brushing, which may increase their exposure to fluoride and contribute to dental fluorosis. For this reason, children need to be assisted or supervised with tooth brushing. An adult needs to ensure that an appropriate amount of toothpaste is used, that the child spits out the toothpaste rather than swallows it, and that the teeth are cleaned effectively.

13. How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride protection?

Your dentist is able to assess your child’s risk of developing tooth decay and advise you of an appropriate level of fluoride protection.

 

  http://www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/faqs_resources/faqs/fluoride_faqs.asptaken from