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How Getting Older Changes Your Dental Health Approach

Dental Problems

For a while, people may have felt that getting older was naturally correlated with losing their teeth, but as the aging population grows, we are realizing that this is no longer the case. In fact, there’s a greater likelihood than ever for people to keep their natural teeth for the rest of their lives. However, what this doesn’t mean is that this happens automatically. Not only do people want to keep up good oral habits for their lives, but they may also need to adjust them as they age.

Why is this the case? There are several different reasons, but here’s a brief list of some of the biggest issues seniors deal with that may impact their oral health:

  • Certain prescription medications or over the counter medications. In some cases, these medications may have side effects or interactions that can impact your teeth and oral health. Make sure that you speak to your doctor about this.
  • Comorbid conditions. These include diabetes, hypertension, and other diseases that may impact older people. In fact, oral health changes may be a precursor of these conditions.
  • Physical impairments. This may sound odd at first, but in some cases, seniors may have limitations to their range of motion that make brushing difficult, or have trouble shopping themselves for tooth-friendly foods.
  • Grinding or clenching. Habits like these can lead to tooth structure being worn away over time. It may be a good idea to use some sort of night guard.

In addition, there are specific conditions like dry mouth, but gum disease is probably the biggest source of tooth loss in older adults. This is because not only are older adults likely to have receding gums, which open up a new surface for decay, but things like old fillings that need to be replaced or dentures that don’t fit will actually aggravate these conditions. Any sort of dental restoration like a filling or crown should be looked at least every eight years to check for a replacement. The longer you wait, the bigger the risk of decay spreading.

Understand that it’s important to keep your oral health in proper order, but your needs may evolve as you get older. The good news is your best tactic to keep healthy doesn’t really change—getting regular dental checkups. Make sure that you reach out to the dentists at Acadia Dental to get the care you need.

What’s Causing My Sensitive Teeth?

Dental Hygiene

In some cases, the taste of cool food like ice cream or a hot drink like coffee may make your teeth feel painful on occasion. Even air with certain temperatures may give a similar feeling. In other situations, the act of brushing or flossing may feel painful, even though it’s designed to help you. What you may be dealing with is the struggle of sensitive teeth, and while this can arise from several different issues, there are also several things you can do to stop the problem.

Most of the time, sensitive teeth stem from issues with the enamel, the outer layer of your teeth that are designed to protect them. Some people are just naturally born with less enamel, but in other cases, you may unwittingly end up wearing down your enamel. This can be caused by brushing your teeth too hard, grinding your teeth at night, or eating too many acidic foods and beverages.

There are other situations that may lead to your teeth being sensitive though, even if your enamel is fine. For example, receding gums can leave parts of your teeth exposed that do not have enamel. Acid reflux can wear down enamel over time, and there’s also the possibility of temporary sensitivity after procedures like getting fillings or having your teeth bleached. In other cases, sensitivity is a symptom of a greater problem, like a tooth that is cracked or damaged or dealing with heavy decay.

In some cases, basic dental procedures will be enough to alleviate the cause of your sensitivity. For example, fixing a cavity or getting a filling may remove/protect the exposed surface of a tooth that may be causing sensitivity when it comes into contact with hot or cold food/drinks/air. In other cases, you may need to do something more, especially if there’s no obvious cause for your dental care. For example, a dentist can use fluoride gel to strengthen your tooth enamel and reduce the amount of pain. Certain toothpastes, both over-the-counter as well as other brands, can help as well.

If you find yourself dealing with sensitive teeth, there is the possibility of this just being a minor issue that will go away with time. However, it could also be an indicator of a bigger issue with your oral health, something that you should have attended to. Make sure that you reach out to the dentists at Acadia Dental to get the care you need.

Brushing and Flossing: Why You Should Do Both

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Oral Health

“Your gums are bleeding because you don’t floss.” If you’re anything like the 32% of Americans that never flosses, you’ve probably heard this line from your dentist more times than you can count.

You may go home with the intention of flossing, but after a day or two, it falls by the wayside. But oral health is important for everyone to practice.

You should brush and floss daily to maintain those pearly whites. Neglecting your oral health can cause some serious side effects that nobody wants to deal with.

Do you want to know more? Keep reading to learn why you should brush and floss.

You’ll Lessen Your Risk for Cavities

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of good oral hygiene is to have healthy teeth. If you’ve ever felt the sharp pain that accompanies cavities, you’ll know that they’re not fun.

A cavity is caused when plaque builds up on your teeth and wears down the enamel. If left untreated, it continues to wear down your tooth dentin. The best way to prevent cavities is to brush and floss every day to remove the plaque on and in-between your teeth before it can attack.

You’re Breath Will Smell Better

Has your partner ever dodged a kiss? Do your coworkers rush conversations with you? This may be because you have bad breath.

It’s an awkward and embarrassing problem, but it’s not something you have to live with. Plaque is full of bacteria. If you aren’t brushing and flossing this plaque away, that bacteria can set up camp and cause bad breath.

Your Gums Will Be Healthier

Do your gums feel tender to the touch? Are they red and inflamed? It sounds like you may be in the early stages of gingivitis.

When plaque and tartar accumulate on your gumline, the bacteria present in it can irritate your gums. If left untreated it can turn into periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss. It doesn’t matter if you floss before or after brushing, but you should do both to make sure your teeth and gums are squeaky clean.

You’ll Be Healthier Overall

Have you ever had a friend or colleague that left a toothache untreated? People tend to have the misconception that problems in the mouth aren’t as important as problems in other areas of the body.

But the truth is that oral health affects your overall health. Untreated tooth abscesses can lead to a bacterial infection that can spread to your jaw, neck, or brain and become life-threatening. Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack, diabetes, and stroke.

By just taking a few minutes to brush and floss every day, you can prevent these risks and have a healthier body. Regular deep cleanings by your dentist are also necessary to remove hard tartar that brushing and flossing can’t get.

Why You Should Brush and Floss

If you’ve been neglecting your oral hygiene, it may seem hard to start up a good habit. However, taking care of your teeth and gums is a vital part of caring for your health. Just follow our guide to learn why you should brush and floss every day.

Did you find this helpful? Check out our blog for more great content like this.

How to Prepare Your Kids for Their First Dental Visit

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Oral Health

Is your child about to take their first trip to the dentist?

Let’s face it, the dentist can be a scary place for a child. It’s a new environment with new people. And these new strangers are going to poke and prod at your mouth? No thanks.

But, while we’ll admit a trip to the dentist is definitely no trip to Disneyland, it doesn’t have to be scary or dreadful. In fact, your child may actually end up enjoying their trip to the dentist.

But, in order for your children to enjoy themselves, you first need to make sure they’re prepared.

Read on to learn how to prepare your child for their first dental visit.

1. Teach Children About Their Teeth

Children are little sponges and any new information you teach them they will soak up.

A good way to calm their nerves before their first visit to the dentist is to teach them all about their teeth and their oral health.

Start having conversations with your child about healthy habits for their teeth and how they can take better care of them. Even for really young children, simply having them identify where the teeth and tongue are can make a difference.

You can use fun activities to teach your child about their mouths, such as sing-alongs, craft projects, poems, and books.

If your child has an older sibling, you can also use them to help. Have your children brush their teeth together. You can have them brush to songs, use coloured toothpaste, etc.

Whatever you can do to make teeth seem more fun, the better!

2. Take Them With You

One of the best ways you can prepare your child for their first dental visit is by taking them with you to yours.

This will not only help them get acquainted with their new environment, but it will also help show them the dentist is not so scary after all.

When you take your child with you, make sure to show them around and introduce them to the dentists and office workers you come in contact with. Make sure you are smiling plenty and have a happy attitude.

If your child sees you having fun at the dentist, they will see no reason for them not to have fun either!

3. Tell Them What to Expect at Their First Dental Visit

Telling your child what to expect at their first appointment can help eliminate any scary surprises.

Usually, the first appointment involves the dentist explaining the importance of having clean teeth. They will do this using different visuals, such as oversized teeth. Sometimes, the dentists will count their teeth and give them a simple cleaning and brushing.

You may be allowed into the dentist’s room, or you may be asked to wait outside in the lobby. Make sure your child is prepared for both. However, it’s a good idea to let them go in alone, as this encourages independence.

It can be a good idea to call your dentist beforehand so you know exactly what will happen that first appointment. Then, you can tell your child everything they have to look forward to.

Now They’re Ready!

Follow these steps, and your child should be good and ready for their first dental visit.

If you have any questions about taking your child to the dentist, or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.

Do You Have Bleeding Gums?

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Problems | Oral Health

We understand how alarming it must be to see blood in your sink after brushing your teeth, but there is no need to panic!

 

Gums might be just a tiny part of our body, but they actually have a big job. For starters, they protect the roots and neck of our teeth from bacteria. Without healthy gums to guard our teeth, bacteria can easily sneak beneath your teeth, causing damage to tissues over time. The tissues will then become too damaged to hold your teeth, leading to loose teeth that may eventually fall out.

 

THE CAUSES OF BLEEDING GUMS

GINGIVITIS (Gum Disease)

If you do not brush or floss regularly, bacteria build up in the groove surrounding your teeth. As bacteria move and grow, they irritate the gums, causing gingivitis. This is the early stage of gum disease and its most common symptom: bleeding gums.

 

Fortunately, this stage of gum is reversible. One of our dentists or dental hygienists can help scrape away bacteria and plaque. Flossing and brushing regularly keeps the bacteria at bay so you can enjoy healthy gums again.

 

If gingivitis gets worse, your gums will start pulling away from your teeth, leaving space for bacteria to go into the tissues below your teeth. Keep in mind that the longer bacteria live in your tissues, the worse your dental health also gets.

 

PREGNANCY

When a woman is pregnant, there are hormonal changes that affect her entire body, including the gums, leading to a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. To avoid any oral issues while you are pregnant, it is best to have one of our dentists take care of your dental health with you.

 

MEDICATIONS

The medications that you take can also cause your gums to bleed – even if you have healthy brushing and flossing habits. Aspirin and blood thinners keep the blood from clotting. These medications increase the risk of bleeding gums and might cause the gums to bleed for a long time after brushing.

 

Make sure to tell your dentist if you are taking any of those medications.

 

NEW ORAL HEALTH ROUTINE

If you have just started to have an oral health routine, then your gums might bleed until your mouth gets used eventually to those new habits. Flossing and brushing regularly clear away plaque and bacteria from your gums. Gradually your gums should bleed less until it stops altogether eventually.

 

WHEN TO SEE A DENTIST

If your gums bleed regularly, even if you practice good habits, then it is a must to make an appointment with one of our dentists soon. The sooner you see your dentist about signs of gum disease, then the condition will also more likely be reversed.

Debunking Myths About Cavities

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Problems

Cavities are undesirable, and they should be prevented whenever possible. Most parents teach their kids about the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth regularly. Many people are diligent when it comes to visiting their dentists twice a year for preventive checkups and cleanings.

 

However, there are still some myths related to cavities – both among children and adults. Let us debunk some of these myths today so that we all have a solid understanding of preventative measures, risk factors, and treatment options.

 

Here are some of the most common misconceptions about cavities:

 

#01. Cavities are a childhood problem.

This is one of the most popular cavity myths all around the world. Many adults believe that cavities occur during childhood and that it something that they can leave behind when they get older. However, that is not the case. In reality, more adults tend to have more cavities than children.

 

#02. Once you get a tooth filling, it will not be affected by cavities anymore.

Again, this is FALSE. The filling process involves the decay being removed by the dentist, then filling in the cavity. When the decay has been removed and replaced, most people think that they do not have to worry about that tooth anymore. While decay at that particular spot is stopped after the treatment, it is still a must to maintain good oral hygiene. The rest of your teeth can still develop cavities, and it can also develop decay around or next to the filling. Remember, fillings do not give us a free pass to neglect our oral health.

 

#03. If your teeth are sensitive, you have a cavity.

Tooth sensitivity can be caused be several culprits – not just decay. For instance, gum recession is a condition that results in exposed roots of the teeth, and it is a major cause of sensitivity. Worn enamel can also lead to teeth sensitivity, and this is often caused by aggressive brushing or bruxism (grinding of the teeth).

 

#04. Gaps in teeth are a risk factor for tooth decay.

This myth most likely originated from the concept that flossing is important because it is able to get to the hard-to-reach areas between our teeth. As true as that may be, gaps in the teeth are not a risk factor for decay. Large gaps, in fact, make flossing and brushing between those teeth easier!

 

#05. Sugar is the only cause of tooth decay.

Many people also believe that if they avoid drinking soda or eating sugar candy, they will not develop cavities. While sugar is a major culprit behind tooth decay, it is NOT the only one. Plaque, a sticky film, is always forming on the teeth. When you eat sugar or carbohydrates (potatoes, rice, fruits, bread), the plaque feeds on it. It then produces acid, which eats away at the teeth, leading to decay.

 

Learn more about cavity prevention and tooth decay; contact us today and set up an appointment with one of our trusted dental professionals.

Ways You Might Get Teeth Damage

Dental Advice | Dental Care

When we develop certain habits to improve our well-being, we are not always made aware of the problems those habits can cause our teeth. Teeth often receive a lower priority in terms of health, and some things are missed.

 

Here are some healthy practices you could be doing that might do more harm than good to your teeth:

 

BRUSHING TEETH RIGHT AFTER EATING

While it is an excellent thing to brush your teeth regularly, you have to know that timing plays an important role when doing so. The enamel softens and becomes susceptible to abrasive wear temporarily when you consume something acidic like oranges. So, brushing your teeth (and forcefully even) might remove enamel, leaving your teeth feeling sensitive. As you get older, it will only worsen because our gums recede with age and get more root surface exposure.

 

You can take more precaution by waiting approximately 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.

 

DRINKING LEMON WATER

Drinking lemon juice helps in digestion, cleanses the body of toxins, and strengthens immunity – these are just some of its health benefits. However, lemon juice or lemon juice diluted with water is a major culprit of dental erosion.

 

You should not stop drinking lemon water, but what you can do is take extra steps to protect your teeth in the process. Using a straw helps lessen the detrimental effects of this drink to your teeth. After drinking lemon juice or lemon water, be sure to have a drink of plain, ordinary water afterward.

 

TAKING MEDICATION THAT CAUSES DRY MOUTH

You might have been diagnosed by an illness or a chronic health condition that requires taking prescribed medications. Unfortunately, there are many drugs that come with the side effect of reducing saliva flow – your oral health could suffer in such instances. Those patients who are taking medications that give them a dry mouth are at a higher risk of developing tooth decay because the saliva is not there to physically buffer acids or wash food debris away.

 

You should not stop your medication, but what you can do is try sipping water throughout the day. Saliva flow can, however, be increased with sugarless gum, mints with xylitol content, tablets, gels and sprays designed specifically for dry mouth.

 

EXERCISING WITHOUT ANY DENTAL PROTECTION

Physical activity greatly benefits our bodies in hundreds of ways. However, you must remember that when you participate in impact sports such as martial arts or hockey, your teeth become at risk for damages if not protected properly. A custom mouthguard offers a cushion around the teeth in case of a direct impact to the face.

 

So, if you do not want to see your teeth chipped or knocked out, always wear a mouthguard. Repairing such damages require a lot of work and money, so in this case, prevention is definitely better than cure.

Awesome Dental Tips That Moms Need to Know

Dental Advice | Dental Hygiene | Oral Health

There are so many reasons as to why you should keep your family’s teeth and gums as healthy as possible:

 

*Maintaining their sparkling smiles.

*Avoiding toothaches and discomfort.

*Being able to chew for good nutrition.

*Avoiding gum disease and other serious problems.

 

Don’t worry! The great news is that there are simple ways on how you can keep your family’s (and even your own) teeth and gums strong and healthy from childhood to old age! Here they are:

 

#01. It’s never too early to start. One in four young children can develop signs of tooth decay way before they even start school. By the time your kid reaches the ages of 12 to 15, you can expect that half of the children his or her age have cavities. Dental care should actually begin as soon as your child’s first tooth appears – usually around six months after birth. When dealing with babies, their teeth can be wiped clean with a damp cloth or a very soft brush. When your child turns two years old, then you can let him or her have a turn brushing for themselves; just be sure to still follow up and supervise them.

 

#02. Seal off any trouble. Permanent molars come in when your child turns six years old. Thin protective coatings may be applied to the chewing surfaces of your child’s back teeth to prevent tooth decay in the pits and fissures. Sealants are known for reducing caries significantly. For more questions about this dental tip, do not hesitate to set up an appointment with one of our dentists today!

 

#03. Use the right amount of fluoride. Fluoride is known for strengthening enamel, making it less likely to decay. Some people even drink fluoridated water. There are also kinds of toothpaste and mouthwash that contain fluoride. Just be careful, though – you do not want to use too much fluoride! It should be used sparingly in young children – not more than a pea-sized dab on their toothbrushes. Too much fluoride can cause white spots on the teeth – you do not want that either. It is a rare occurrence though that we actually see this. As such, this can be an important additive to tooth care to prevent the other end of the spectrum of soft spots or decay which we see routinely. Happy medium!

 

#04. Brush teeth twice a day and floss daily. Tooth decay and gum disease continue to be big problems and not just for older people! Three-quarters of teenagers, according to a study, have gums that bleed.

 

#05. Block blows to the teeth. Sports and other recreational activities are great for building healthy bodies, but they can also pose a great threat to the teeth. Most school teams require kids nowadays to wear mouth guards. However, unsupervised recreational activities such as rollerblading and skateboarding can still result in injuries. Have one of our dentists create a custom-fitted mouth guard for your kids.

 

These are just some of the great dental tips that moms should know! For more expert dental advice, do not hesitate to give us a call today and set up an appointment with one of our trusted dentists!

Deep Dental Cleaning/ Dental Hygiene and Its Benefits

Dental Advice | Dental Hygiene

Most of us are familiar with the semi-annual professional cleanings of our teeth, right? It is a routine procedure that is covered by most dental insurance, and they help us keep our teeth clean and healthy. Some people, however, tend to neglect their teeth cleanings or prophylaxis, or some have more serious issues with their oral health. They can benefit from a deep cleaning of their teeth. This is routinely performed within our office as part of your cleaning by our registered dental hygienists who are trained to do so as necessary. The depth of the cleaning is necessitated by the depth of pocketing around the tooth. If bacteria have access to an area then that area needs to be addressed even if you don’t see it.

 

Deep Cleaning vs. Surface Polishing (Prophylaxis)

Deep cleaning, also known as Scaling and Root Planing, is a therapeutic procedure essential to heading off periodontal disease. In addition to cleaning the teeth, the dentist or registered hygienist will use scalers, probes and other tools for cleaning the area below the gum line. Depending on the extent of the cleaning and patient sensitivity, the provider might opt to numb the area to be cleaned with the use of local anesthetic to ensure comfort.

 

Periodontal disease occurs when plaque, calculus, and stain on the crown and root surfaces of the teeth start to cause inflammation of the gums. Rough surfaces harbour bacteria. If this is left untreated, it can lead to serious damage to the bones and soft tissue that the teeth rely on for integrity and support. If left untreated for too long, the end result is tooth loss. This is often initially observed as ‘receding gums’ – the gum tissue pulls away and detaches from the teeth. This is also the time when periodontal pockets form. This alteration to the foundation is also created with the presence of disruptive force applications. Bacterial invasion creates mobility and mobility allows bacterial invasion. These two combatants must be kept in check.

 

Scaling and root planning gives the gums a healthier environment in which they can readapt and attach to the normal teeth surfaces.

 

WHY SHOULD YOU GET DENTAL HYGIENE/A DEEP CLEANING?

These are some of the most important benefits you can get from a deep cleaning:

 

PREVENTION OF GUM DISEASE

Deep dental cleanings help discourage diseases that result from a proliferation of bacteria. Removing all calculus, plaque and tartar also mean that infections will no longer easily form.

 

IMPROVEMENT OF OVERALL HEALTH

There have been many studies that have proved the connection between one’s oral and overall health. It has also been shown that the root diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and stroke are often found in one’s oral health. Deep dental cleaning can be your ally in preventing medical conditions that are linked to oral issues. The mouth is the portal of entry. In addition, regular dental checkups and deep cleaning procedures can help you diagnose life-threatening diseases earlier.

 

PREVENTION OF TOOTH LOSS

The most common cause of gum diseases is the buildup of plaque, and gum disease is known to be the major cause of tooth loss. Since deep cleaning includes removing the plaque from your teeth and gums, it helps prevent from having loose teeth or worse, tooth loss.

 

BRIGHTENING OF SMILES

Sparkling white smiles is what all of us want, right? We all know how important it is to have a bright smile for self-confidence, but it is not that easy to maintain white teeth for various reasons – drinking coffee and smoking. This is why you should consider having deep cleaning on a regular basis.

 

Setup an appointment with one of the dentists and dental hygienists at Acadia Dental for dental hygiene/ a deep cleaning procedure. Trust us, it is worth it!

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