Dental Blog

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

 

Straight teeth for 2013

January 24, 2013 | Posted Uncategorized

We often get asked about an invisible way to straighten teeth. Below is info on Invisalign, a custom made series of aligners that are clear and move your teeth to better alignment and appearance.

 

http://www.invisalign.com/How-Invisalign-Works/Pages/Default.aspx

 

Have a great 2013!

 

Does smiling make you happy?

January 18, 2013 | Posted Uncategorized

This article will make you smile:) 

( Thank you Kashif for sharing)

Evidence That Smiling Causes Happiness 

In 1989, a psychologist named Robert Zajonc published one of the most significant studies on the emotional effect of producing a smile. His subjects repeated vowel sounds that forced their faces into various expressions. To mimic some of the characteristics of a smile, they made the long "e" sound, which stretches the corners of the mouth outward. Other vowel sounds were also tested, including the long "u," which forces the mouth into a pouty expression.


Subjects reported feeling good after making the long "e" sound, and feeling bad after the long "u."

Other studies reported similar results. One had subjects make the positive and negative expressions by holding a pen in their mouths, either protruding outward for a pout or held lengthwise in the teeth to make a smile. In another, researchers had subjects mimic each physiological trait of a smile until their faces were in a full Duchenne expression.

In yet another experiment, one group of subjects was shown pictures of various facial expressions; another group made those facial expressions and a final group made those expressions while looking in the mirror.

The evidence all points toward smiling as a cause of happy feelings. Subjects were asked questions that pinpointed their emotional state before and after smiling, and they overwhelmingly scored happier after smiling. In the study involving the mirror, subjects who watched themselves smile saw an even more pronounced change in mood than those who smiled without the mirror, and the subjects who merely looked at pictures didn't experience that change at all.

Those researchers hypothesized that self-consciousness is a factor in the effect -- that introspective people might experience a greater smile-related mood lift than those who are less aware of their feelings. Thus the mirror-related boost. But what about the difference between those who looked at pictures and those who created the expressions? Why would the people who put their faces into a smile feel happier afterward?

Most other studies on the topic note the cause-and-effect relationship without having a definitive explanation for it. The reason why Dr. Zajonc's research is so significant in the field is because he proposes a detailed, physiology-based explanation for the cause-and-effect relationship. According to his hypothesis, the facial changes involved in smiling have direct effects on certain brain activities associated with happiness.

taken from: http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/smiling-happy1.htm

Pain in the Jaw Joints

January 15, 2013 | Posted Uncategorized

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.

New Year's Goals

January 06, 2013 | Posted Uncategorized

Happy New Year!

Many of us set goals for the new years, but as someone once said " goals that aren't written down, are just dreams".

With that in mind here are three tips to help you achieve your new year's goals

1. Write down your goals- be as specific as possible

2. Share it with a friend or relative- verbalizing your goal to others adds pressure to achieve your goal

3. Re-visit your goal list on a monthly basis

All the best with your goals in 2013

 

 

Seven out of 10 Canadians will develop gum disease at some time in their lives. It is the most common dental problem, and it can progress quite painlessly until you have a real problem. That's why it is so important to prevent gum disease before it becomes serious. So what is Gum disease or Gingivitis?

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

Facts about Flouride

December 07, 2012 | Posted Uncategorized

Both the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) support the use of fluorides in dentistry as a safe and effective preventative measure against dental caries. Historically, fluoride as a decay preventative has been extensively researched for well over 50 years, and the research has been consistent in proving its safety and efficacy.

Humans ingest fluoride on a daily basis due to the fact that fluorides are found naturally in food and water and as an additive in public drinking water, toothpastes, and in oral prescriptions and rinses. So dentists must assess and account for these varied sources before considering any particular means of fluoride delivery to any individual, particularly children under the age of six, for whom over exposure can result in a condition of the teeth known as fluorosis.

Dental Fluorosis
Dental fluorosis is a change in the appearance of teeth and is caused when higher than optimal amounts of fluoride are ingested in early childhood while tooth enamel is forming. As long as the total daily intake of fluoride is maintained below specified levels, fluoride is a very important preventative measure in maintaining dental health of North Americans.

Both the CDA and ADA recognize the need to monitor the scientific literature with respect to levels of exposure to fluoride and general health to ensure the continued safe and effective use of fluorides in dentistry.

Fluoridated Toothpastes and Mouth Rinses
Both the American and Canadian Dental Associations acknowledge and support the use of fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses in the prevention of dental caries. The recommended usage of fluoridated toothpastes should be twice per day, with minimal rinsing of the mouth with water after brushing. In the case of children under 6 years of age, adult supervision during brushing is recommended, monitoring that only a small portion

(e.g. pea-sized portion) of fluoridated toothpaste be used, as excessive swallowing of toothpaste by young children may result in dental fluorosis. Children under 3 years of age should have their teeth brushed by an adult using only a ‘smear’ of toothpaste. It is further recommended that until the child develops the manual dexterity to properly brush their own teeth, an adult should supervise this activity.

Fluoride mouth rinses are an effective preventive measure for at risk individuals and should be used according to the specific needs of the individual. Fluoride mouth rinsing is not recommended for children under 6 years of age.
 

Dentist Delivered Fluoride Applications
The use of fluoride gels, foams and varnishes are recommended based on an assessment for risk for dental decay, history of dental decay, and consideration of facts such as whether the patient lives in community or area where the drinking water is not fluoridated.

Fluoride Supplements
Dietary fluoride supplements are available only by prescription in North America. They are intended for use by children living in non-fluoridated areas who are assessed as being at greater risk for dental decay. Supplementation, in these cases, are indicated in order to increase the level of fluoride exposure to levels similar to those of children living in optimally fluoridated areas.

Healthy Snacks for your Teeth!

November 29, 2012 | Posted Uncategorized

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

Some other healthy snack choices include:

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

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

Nutrition Tips

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

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

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

 

taken from: http://www.oda.on.ca/healthy-snacks68

Canker Sore or Cold Sore?

November 21, 2012 | Posted Uncategorized

What is the difference?

People sometimes confuse canker sores and cold sores, but they are completely unrelated. Both can be painful, but knowing the differences can help you keep them in check.

A canker sore is typically one that occurs on the delicate tissues inside your mouth. It is usually lightcolored at its base and can have a red exterior border.

A cold sore or fever blister, on the other hand, usually occurs on the outside of the mouth, usually on or near the nose or lips. A cold sore is contagious because it is caused by the herpes simplex virus, and it is usually painful and filled with fluid.

In most cases, patience is the best medicine for treating canker sores. A healthy diet and good oral hygiene are usually the best remedy, but some special rinses and anesthetics can help. Cold sores can be treated effectively with some over-the-counter topical creams; sometimes, an antiviral medication will be prescribed by your doctor.

 

Straight Teeth with Invisalign

November 17, 2012 | Posted Uncategorized

Both Drs. Ghamian and Khoury are certified in Invisalign treatment. To find out more about the invisible way of getting your teeth straight, visit: http://www.invisalign.com/Pages/Smile-Assessment.aspx

 

 

Have a Sweet Tooth?

November 07, 2012 | Posted Uncategorized

Most of us have a sweet tooth. We all need our sweets once in a while, but there are ways to make sure that doesn't lead to cavities and gum problems. Read below to find out more.

 

Everyone knows that sweets are bad for your teeth. But, did you know that the amount of sweet food you eat is not as important as the length of time your teeth are exposed to sweets? Eat sweets at mealtime rather than between meals. The amount of saliva produced at that time will help protect your teeth.

If you cannot avoid sweets between meals, choose something with less sugar like nuts and seeds, peanut butter, popcorn, plain yogurt. Sticky sweets that stay in your mouth for longer periods of time like toffee or hard candies should be avoided as snacks.

Vitamins, Minerals and Your Teeth
Just like our bodies, our teeth and gums need certain essential vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and strong. Babies, children and adults all need ample amounts of the minerals calcium and phosphorous, and the vitamins A, C and D to ensure proper tooth development and strength.

Calcium, aided by phosphorous and vitamin D, is the main component of teeth and bones. It's what helps keep them strong. Vitamin A is necessary for the formation of tooth enamel, and vitamin C is essential for healthy gums.

Nursing mothers should keep in mind that their diet may influence the growth of the newly-forming teeth of their baby. A nursing mother's diet should include foods from all of the food groups.

An adequate intake of the proper vitamins and minerals helps in the development of healthy teeth. A lack or absence of these minerals can lead to disease.

Fluoride is an important mineral for tooth decay prevention. Fluoride strengthens the enamel of young developing teeth, and acts with calcium and phosphorous to restore and harden enamel in mature teeth. Fortunately for our teeth, fluoride has been added to almost half of the drinking water in Canada. If your drinking water comes from a well, you may want to have your water tested for the presence of natural fluoride. Contact your local health unit for more information.

As with the overall health of our body, a good diet is the best way to ensure dental nutrition. Strong teeth need a variety of whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables and lean meats, in addition to milk products. Toothhealthy snacks also include nuts and seeds, peanut butter, cheese, plain yogurt and popcorn.

An estimated sixty-five percent of Canadians have bad breath. Over three million Americans have "chronic halitosis," which is persistent bad breath. Ninety percent of all halitosis is of oral, not systemic, origin.

Canadians spend more than $100 million a year on over the counter halitosis products, many of which are ineffective because they only mask the problem.

To find out more about Bad breath or Halitosis, read below.

 

What causes bad breath?
Bad breath is caused by a variety of factors. In most cases, it is caused by food remaining in the mouth - on the teeth, tongue, gums, and other structures, collecting bacteria. Dead and dying bacterial cells release a sulfur compound that gives your breath an unpleasant odor. Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, contribute to breath odor. Once the food is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is transferred to the lungs, where it is exhaled. Brushing, flossing and mouthwash only mask the odor. Dieters sometimes develop unpleasant breath from fasting.

Periodontal (gum) disease often causes persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth, and persistent bad breath may mean a sign that you have gum disease.

Gum disease is caused by plaque - the sticky, often colorless, film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. Dry mouth or xerostomia may also cause bad breath due to decreased salivary flow. Saliva cleans your mouth and removes particles that may cause odor. Tobacco products cause bad breath, stain teeth, reduce your ability to taste foods and irritate your gum tissues. Bad breath may also be a sign that you have a serious health problem, such as a respiratory tract infection, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment.

Bad breath may also be caused by medications you are taking, including central nervous system agents, anti-Parkinson drugs, antihistamines/decongestants, anti-psychotics, anti-cholinergics, narcotics, anti-hypertensives, and anti-depressants.

Caring for bad breath

Daily brushing and flossing, and regular professional cleanings, will normally take care of unpleasant breath. And don't forget your often overlooked tongue as a culprit for bad breath. Bacterial plaque and food debris also can accumulate on the back of the tongue. The tongue's surface is extremely rough and bacteria can accumulate easily in the cracks and crevices.

Eliminating periodontal disease and maintaining good oral health helps to reduce bad breath. If you have constant bad breath, make a list of the foods you eat and any medications you take. Some medications may contribute to bad breath.

Improperly cleaned dentures can also harbor odor-causing bacteria and food particles. If you wear removable dentures, take them out at night and clean them thoroughly before replacing them.

If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy and that the odor is not oral in nature, you may be referred to your family physician or to a specialist to determine the cause of the odor and possible treatment. If the odor is due to gum disease, your dentist can either treat the disease or refer you to a periodontist, a specialist in treating gum tissues. Gum disease can cause gum tissues to pull away from the teeth and form pockets. When these pockets are deep, only a professional periodontal cleaning can remove the bacteria and plaque that accumulate.

Mouthwashes are generally ineffective on bad breath. If your bad breath persists even after good oral hygiene, there are special products your dentist may prescribe. An example is chlorhexidine, but be careful not to use it for more than a few months as it can stain your teeth. Some antiseptic mouth rinses have been accepted by the American Dental Association for their breath freshening properties and therapeutic benefits in reducing plaque and gingivitis. Instead of simply masking breath odor, these products have been demonstrated to kill the germs that cause bad breath. Ask your dentist about trying some of these products.

Halloween Candy

October 27, 2012 | Posted Uncategorized

October 31st is a great day for little kids. Who can resist all that candy!

Read below for some tips on the best and worst Halloween candy.

 

Halloween is just around the corner, and although candy consumption is almost unavoidable this time of year, the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) wants parents and children to know that there are both good and bad candy options, both of which may find their way into children’s trick-or-treat bags this fall.

 

“Of course, dentists do not advocate that children eat large amounts of sugary treats, but it is that time of year, so we want to clarify for parents which treats are better for their kids’ teeth and which ones may increase the risk of developing cavities,” says AGD spokesperson Cynthia Sherwood, DDS, FAGD.

 

Worst:
  •  Chewy/sticky sweets, such as gummy candies, taffy, and even dried fruit can be difficult for children and adults to resist, and even more difficult to remove from teeth. “These candies are a serious source of tooth decay, particularly when they get stuck in the crevices between teeth, making it nearly impossible for saliva to wash them away,” Dr. Sherwood says.
  •  Sour candies are highly acidic and can break down tooth enamel quickly. The good news: Saliva slowly helps to restore the natural balance of the acid in the mouth. Dr. Sherwood recommends that patients wait 30 minutes to brush their teeth after consuming sour/acidic candies; otherwise, they will be brushing the acid onto more tooth surfaces and increasing the risk of enamel erosion.
  • Sugary snacks, including candy corn, cookies, and cake, all contain high amounts of sugar, which can cause tooth decay.

 

Best:
  •  Sugar-free lollipops and hard candies stimulate saliva, which can help prevent dry mouth. “A dry mouth allows plaque to build up on teeth faster, leading to an increased risk of cavities,” Dr. Sherwood says.
  •  Sugar-free gum can actually prevent cavities as it not only dislodges food particles from between the teeth but also increases saliva—which works to neutralize the acids of the mouth and prevent tooth decay.
  • Dark chocolate and its antioxidants, according to some studies, can be good for the heart and may even lower blood pressure.

 

“Parents should closely monitor their children’s candy intake this Halloween—and all year round—and continue to promote good oral health habits,” Dr. Sherwood says. “Kids also should be brushing their teeth twice a day for two minutes.”

 

Taken from: http://www.agd.org/support/articles/?ArtID=11051

Choosing the right Toothbrush

October 24, 2012 | Posted Uncategorized

So you're in the dental health aisle and and trying to figure out which toothbrush to buy. Read the below for some tips. 

 

You’ll find a large selection of toothbrushes available, both manual and electric. It's a good idea to choose one that:

  • has a small head so it's easier to move around inside your mouth
  • has soft bristles
  • fits comfortably in your hand

Most important is brushing your teeth properly at least twice a day.

Adapting Toothbrushes for Special Needs
If you have difficulty controlling hand, arm or shoulder movements, here are some ideas on adapting standard toothbrushes:

  • Enlarge the handle with a tennis ball, sponge foam or bicycle grip
  • Lengthen with a stick or rod
  • Attach to the hand or arm with elastic or Velcro straps or hand brace
  • Bend the toothbrush handle
  • For people who cannot manage fine movements, try using an electric toothbrush

Caring For Your Toothbrush

  • Do not share your toothbrush or use someone else’s toothbrush
  • After brushing, rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water and allow to air-dry
  • Store standing upright. If it is near other toothbrushes, do not let the heads touch
  • Do not store in closed containers
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or when the bristles look worn and bent

taken from: http://www.oda.on.ca/personal-oral-care/learn-how-to-toothbrushes

 

A great article with tips for parents of kids just like mine!

10 Tips for Parents of Kids Who Resist Having Their Teeth Brushed

 

Chasing a defiant toddler around with a toothbrush is more likely to end in smears of toothpaste on the furniture and a tiny mouth that refuses to open than an effective lesson in oral hygiene. For parents that have attempted to plead, bargain, and even threaten their way into their child’s mouth with a toothbrush, here are ten hints and tips that might make the experience a more productive one.

Model Good Oral Hygiene Habits – It’s no secret that children love to mimic the adults that they love and trust, so letting your child watch you brush your own teeth can be an effective way of encouraging them to form good oral hygiene habits as well.

  1. Encourage Independence – While a toddler might not do the best job of brushing their teeth, they are generally quite talented when it comes to asserting their independence. Letting your child attempt to brush her own teeth will help her form the habit. Depending on your child’s individual temperament, it may also be easier to finish the job properly if you’ve allowed her to begin the task herself.
  2. Make the Process Fun – Singing a silly song, making a point of brushing teeth to attack fictional “sugar bugs”, and maintaining a playful, upbeat attitude can make a world of difference when it comes to convincing your child to let you brush her teeth. Rather than fighting for dominance with a child that’s just learning to assert her independence, make it a point to keep the entire hygienic process as fun and exciting as possible.
  3. Establish a Routine – When your child knows that brushing her teeth is part of her routine at certain points of each and every day, it will become progressively less difficult to handle. Keep in mind that introducing a change to the schedule you’ve previously established is almost always difficult in the beginning, and try to be patient until your little one adjusts.
  4. Enlist Your Dentist’s Help – Whether she’s offering a plaque-disclosing rinse that turns your child’s teeth a different color until they’re brushed properly or simply advising you on the best methods of establishing an oral hygiene routine, your dentist is a great resource for all things related to your child’s oral health. Don’t be afraid to approach the subject of dealing with resistance to brushing teeth at your next visit, if you feel that the situation is not improving.
  5. Let Kids Choose Their Own Toothbrush – While many parents shy away from commercially licensed products, a toothbrush with your child’s favorite princess, hero, heroine, or cartoon character may be just what she needs to get excited about brushing her teeth. Allowing her to choose her own toothbrush also gives your child a measure of control over the process, which can also make brushing her teeth less of a battle.
  6. Consider a Xylitol Toothpaste – The naturally-occurring sugar alcohol xylitol is not only appealing to kids due to its sweetness, but is also recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry for cavity prevention in children due to its efficacy in preventing tooth decay. Using flavored toothpaste that features this helpful and appealing compound may make your little one more receptive to having her teeth brushed, especially if you let her choose a flavored brand.
  7. Offer an Explanation – For some stubborn children, simply explaining why brushing their teeth is essential may be enough to convince them to relent. Harried parents often have a tendency to focus solely on accomplishing an unpleasant task, rather than providing the explanation for why it’s necessary to baffled kids. Talking about cavities and tooth decay in a way that your child will understand may help to end the struggle.
  8. Use a Musical Timer – Making a game of brushing your child’s teeth by using a musical timer provides the fun aspect that kids are looking for, while also ensuring that little teeth get the attention they require for the prescribed amount of time.
  9. Stay in Control of Your Temper – It’s easy to lose your temper when you’re forced to fight the same battle on a daily basis, but shouting at your child because she won’t comply is likely to make her dread having her teeth brushed even more. Try to be patient with your little one, and work through the initial rough patch.

Many parents opt to forgo the struggle of brushing kids’ baby teeth, reasoning that they’ll be falling out soon anyway. While this is essentially true, having dental work on baby teeth can be a traumatic experience and often requires the use of general anesthesia. Furthermore, the habits that you help them establish during toddlerhood and the preschool years will also determine how well they care for their permanent teeth when they get older and oral hygiene becomes more of their own responsibility.

taken from: Oral Health Journal at  http://blogohj.oralhealthjournal.com/clinical/dental-hygiene/10-tips-for-parents-of-kids-who-resist-having-their-teeth-brushed?tmp=0&utm_source=OH&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=OH-EN10032012&e=670x80wW6x08yM2vx

On thursday September 20th, Dr Ghamian and Dr Khoury had the privilege of attending a full day general dentistry course by one of the top dental gurus in the world, Dr Gord Christenson. The course provided your Kanata Dentists with insight into the biggest dental trends of 2012 as well as what new dental products are ground breaking and should be incorported into Centrum Dental's routine.

The Academy of General Dentistry has launched a new website to help parents with the oral hygiene, www.2min2x.org. The website includes a section where parents and children can watch entertaining videos and listen to music—all 2 minutes in length—while the children are brushing their teeth.

Ottawa Dentist Receives 2012 Fellowship Award from

the Academy of General Dentistry

 

CHICAGO (June 23, 2012)—The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), a professional association of more than 37,000 general dentists dedicated to providing quality dental care and oral health education to the public, is pleased to announce that Yamen Ghamian, DMD, FAGD, of Ottawa, ON, received the association’s 2012 Fellowship Award during the AGD 2012 Annual Meeting & Exhibits, held June 21 to 24, in Philadelphia.

 The Fellowship Award is presented to dentists who seek to provide the highest quality of dental care by remaining current in their profession. To accomplish this goal, Dr. Ghamian completed 500 hours of continuing dental education, passed a comprehensive exam, and fulfilled three years of continuous membership in the AGD.

 

As a recipient of the Fellowship Award, Dr. Ghamian joins more than 6,700 active AGD Fellows who understand that providing great smiles and good oral health for their patients are the result of going above and beyond basic requirements.

 

“We are proud to honor Dr. Ghamian for his commitment to the profession,” says AGD President Jeffrey M. Cole, DDS, MBA, FAGD. “He has distinguished himself professionally among his peers and is a role model to both his fellow dentists and to the members of the community.”

 

Dr. Ghamian graduated from McGill Dentistry in 2002 and currently practices dentistry in Kanata, ON. In addition to the AGD, Dr. Ghamian is a member of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, Ontaria Dental Association, International Association of Orthodontists and Dentist's Den Study Club.

 

Dr. Ghamian and his wife, Hadia, have two children, Layan and Raya.

 

About the Academy of General Dentistry

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is a professional association of more than 37,000 general dentists dedicated to providing quality dental care and oral health education to the public. AGD members stay up-to-date in their profession through a commitment to continuing education. Founded in 1952, the AGD is the second largest dental association in the United States, and it is the only association that exclusively represents the needs and interests of general dentists. A general dentist is the primary care provider for patients of all ages and is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, management, and overall coordination of services related to patients’ oral health needs. For more information about the AGD, visit www.agd.org.

 

Info on the above recall can be found here:

 

OTTAWA - Health Canada is advising Canadians that Church & Dwight Canada has initiated a voluntary recall of its "Spinbrush Pro Clean SONIC Recharge Toothbrushes" (see photo below) distributed in Canada and the U.S. The company has advised Health Canada that the recall is due to the risks, including fire, shock or burns posed by the charging base overheating.

This recall is limited to specific lots of the product (DD9355 to 9365 and DD0002 to 0122) that were distributed between February 2010 and October 2011. Church & Dwight Canada has received six consumer reports of overheating in the U.S. and one report in Canada. According to Church & Dwight Canada, to date there have been no reported injuries or fires associated with use of the device.

Church & Dwight Canada is advising consumers who have the affected toothbrushes to stop using them and return them to the company for a full refund. For further information or to determine if your toothbrush is part of this recall, you may wish to call            1.888.709.4100       or visit Next link will take you to another Web site Spinbrush Rechargeable SONIC toothbrush recall.

Health Canada will monitor the recall by Church & Dwight Canada. Should new information be identified, Health Canada will continue to provide an update to Canadians.

source: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/_2012/2012_68-eng.php

Sports and Energy Drinks

May 05, 2012 | Posted Uncategorized

The consumption of sports and energy drink is increasing sharply especially among youth, causing irreversible damage to teeth, due to their high acidity. An article in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry highlights these concerns, and the Academy of General Dentistry's press release can be found here : 

 

Sports and Energy Drinks Responsible for Irreversible Damage to Teeth 
Though energy drinks found twice as likely to destroy enamel than sports drinks

 
 

CHICAGO (May 1, 2012)—A recent study published in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, found that an alarming increase in the consumption of sports and energy drinks, especially among adolescents, is causing irreversible damage to teeth—specifically, the high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel, the glossy outer layer of the tooth.

 

“Young adults consume these drinks assuming that they will improve their sports performance and energy levels and that they are ‘better’ for them than soda,” says Poonam Jain, BDS, MS, MPH, lead author of the study. “Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”

 

Researchers examined the acidity levels in 13 sports drinks and nine energy drinks. They found that the acidity levels can vary between brands of beverages and flavors of the same brand. To test the effect of the acidity levels, the researchers immersed samples of human tooth enamel in each beverage for 15 minutes, followed by immersion in artificial saliva for two hours. This cycle was repeated four times a day for five days, and the samples were stored in fresh artificial saliva at all other times.

 

“This type of testing simulates the same exposure that a large proportion of American teens and young adults are subjecting their teeth to on a regular basis when they drink one of these beverages every few hours,” says Dr. Jain.

 

The researchers found that damage to enamel was evident after only five days of exposure to sports or energy drinks, although energy drinks showed a significantly greater potential to damage teeth than sports drinks. In fact, the authors found that energy drinks caused twice as much damage to teeth as sports drinks.

 

With a reported 30 to 50 percent of U.S. teens consuming energy drinks, and as many as 62 percent consuming at least one sports drink per day, it is important to educate parents and young adults about the downside of these drinks. Damage caused to tooth enamel is irreversible, and without the protection of enamel, teeth become overly sensitive, prone to cavities, and more likely to decay.

 

“Teens regularly come into my office with these types of symptoms, but they don’t know why,” says AGD spokesperson Jennifer Bone, DDS, MAGD. “We review their diet and snacking habits and then we discuss their consumption of these beverages. They don’t realize that something as seemingly harmless as a sports or energy drink can do a lot of damage to their teeth.”

 

Dr. Bone recommends that her patients minimize their intake of sports and energy drinks. She also advises them to chew sugar-free gum or rinse the mouth with water following consumption of the drinks. “Both tactics increase saliva flow, which naturally helps to return the acidity levels in the mouth to normal,” she says.

 Also, patients should wait at least an hour to brush their teeth after consuming sports and energy drinks. Otherwise, says Dr. Bone, they will be spreading acid onto the tooth surfaces, increasing the erosive action.

 

A study came out this week discussing the safety of dental xrays. We found the below, courtesy of the American Dental Association, to be of value when analyzing the study.

CHICAGO, April 10, 2012 —The American Dental Association (ADA) is aware of a recent study that associates yearly or more frequent dental X-rays to an increased risk of developing meningioma, the most commonly diagnosed brain tumor. The ADA’s long-standing position is that dentists should order dental X-rays for patients only when necessary for diagnosis and treatment. Since 1989, the ADA has published recommendations to help dentists ensure that radiation exposure is as low as reasonably achievable.

The ADA has reviewed the study and notes that the results rely on the individuals’ memories of having dental X-rays taken years earlier. Studies have shown that the ability to recall information is often imperfect. Therefore, the results of studies that use this design can be unreliable because they are affected by what scientists call "recall bias."   Also, the study acknowledges that some of the subjects received dental x-rays decades ago when radiation exposure was greater.  Radiation rates were higher in the past due to the use of old x-ray technology and slower speed film.  The ADA encourages further research in the interest of patient safety.

As part of the ADA’s recommendations to minimize radiation exposure, the ADA encourages the use of abdominal shielding (e.g., protective aprons) and thyroid collars on all patients. In addition, the ADA recommends that dentists use E or F speed film, the two fastest film speeds available, or a digital x -ray.

In addition to the X-ray recommendations, the ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs will publish clinical guidance on the use of cone-beam computed tomography in an upcoming issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association. The ADA will share these recommendations as soon as they are available.

Dental X-rays are valuable in helping dentists detect and treat oral health problems at an early stage. Many oral diseases can’t be detected on the basis of a visual and physical examination alone, and dental X-rays are valuable in providing information about a patient’s oral health such as early-stage cavities, gum diseases, infections or some types of tumors. How often dental X-rays should be taken depends on the patient’s oral health condition, age, risk for disease and any signs and symptoms of oral disease that the patient might be experiencing.

The ADA encourages patients to talk to their dentists if they have questions about their dental treatment. As a science-based organization, the ADA fully supports continuing research that helps dentists deliver high-quality oral health care safely and effectively.

Additional information about dental x-rays is available on ADA.org.

For the third year running Ottawa has been ranked the best city to live in Canada according to Money Sense Magazine. http://www.moneysense.ca/2012/03/20/canadas-best-places-to-live-2012/

Finishing Touches

February 16, 2012 | Posted Uncategorized

We are in the final stages of our renovations. Some of the many improvements include: more treatment rooms, a bigger waiting area, and a fresh modern look. Thank you for your patience as we continue to improve. 

2012 renovations

January 06, 2012 | Posted Uncategorized

Happy new year to all. We are in the process of renovating and expanding our office to better meet the needs of patients and staff. Pictures to be posted shortly:)

Canker Sore or Cold Sore?

December 21, 2011 | Posted Uncategorized

People sometimes confuse canker sores and cold sores, but they are completely unrelated. Both can be painful, but knowing the differences can help you keep them in check. To learn the difference between canker sores and cold sores, visit us at http://centrumdental.ca/patient-education/oral-health-problems/cankercold-sores.

Bad Breath

December 15, 2011 | Posted Uncategorized

An estimated sixty-five percent of Americans have bad breath. Over 4 million Canadians have "chronic halitosis," which is persistent bad breath. Ninety percent of all halitosis is of oral, not systemic, origin. Canadians spend more than $100 million a year on over the counter halitosis products, many of which are ineffective because they only mask the problem. For information on how to prevent bad breath, visit us at http://centrumdental.ca/patient-education/oral-health-problems/bad-breath-halitosis.

Brush Brush Brush

December 08, 2011 | Posted Uncategorized

Brushing is the most effective method for removing harmful plaque from your teeth and gums. Getting the debris off your teeth and gums in a timely manner prevents bacteria in the food you eat from turning into harmful, cavity causing acids. For tips on effective brushing techniques, go to http://centrumdental.ca/patient-education/dental-care/brushing.

Sweets!

November 30, 2011 | Posted Uncategorized

Everyone knows that sweets are bad for your teeth. But, did you know that the amount of sweet food you eat is not as important as the length of time your teeth are exposed to sweets? Eat sweets at mealtime rather than between meals. The amount of saliva produced at that time will help protect your teeth. 
To see the rest of this article go to http://centrumdental.ca/patient-education/dental-care/a-tip-for-the-sweet-tooth.

Check up for infants:)

November 24, 2011 | Posted Uncategorized

The Canadian Dental association recommends the assessment of infants, by a dentist, within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by one year of age. The main goal of the appointment is to prevent future dental concerns.

Dentures as wedding gifts!

November 15, 2011 | Posted Uncategorized

Did you know? - Within the last 100 years, in some parts of Britain and rural areas of Canada, full dentures were common wedding gifts. It was expected that all teeth would eventually be lost, and the gift was thought to help ease the cost of replacement teeth. Thank goodness for advancements in dentistry!

$38

July 04, 2011 | Posted Uncategorized

‎$38 - This is the amount of reduced dental costs for every $1 invested in water fluoridation, according to a 2010 report from the CDC.

80%

June 27, 2011 | Posted Uncategorized

‎80% -- This is the percentage of U.S. adults suffering from gum disease according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

8000

June 20, 2011 | Posted Uncategorized

‎8000 - This is the number of new cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year in the U.S., killing roughly one person per hour.