Dental Advice

Is chewing gum good or bad for your teeth? Xylitol alternatives.

Blog | Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Hygiene | Oral Health

One of commonly asked oral hygiene questions is whether or not chewing gum is good for your teeth. We have all seen countless commercials advertising chewing gum as a means to strengthen, whiten, and improve your teeth and gums. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. Chewing gum can be healthy for your teeth, however, some types of gum are actually very bad for your tooth enamel. It all boils down to what the gum ingredients are. While sugar-free gum is usually better for your teeth than chewing gum that contains sugar, this distinction isn’t always the only important factor.

Chewing Gum With Sugar

Numerous clinical studies have been done on whether or not chewing gum with sugar is detrimental to your overall oral hygiene. The evidence suggests time and time again that chewing gum that contains sugar is detrimental to your teeth. It can erode and weaken your enamel, lead to tooth decay, and even cause problems with your gums. The reason is that sugar is more difficult to wash away with saliva than sugar substitutes as it binds with plaque and is hard to remove without a dental checkup. Sugar filled gum also leads to a greater increase in bacteria growth within your mouth, as bacteria thrive on sugar. An excess amount of bacteria in your mouth can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.

Sugar-Free Chewing Gum is Better

As all Saskatoon dentists will tell you, sugar-free chewing gum is far better for your teeth than gum flavored with real sugar. In fact, sugary gum is so bad for your teeth that if you begin chewing it frequently over just several months it will be quite obvious for your hygienist to see during a routine dental checkup. Sugar-laden gum can start to pit the enamel on your teeth in just weeks after regular chewing, so be sure to avoid it at all costs. Saskatoon dentists may quote several of the most recent studies that were published by the National Dental Association, all of which showed that sugary gums harm tooth enamel every time it comes into contact with your teeth. While the decay progress is slow, it can build up fast with frequent use of sugary gums.

The Top 3 Flavoring Ingredients in Sugar-Free Gum

  1. Xylitol – If you ask a professional at a dental clinic in Saskatoon they will likely tell you that sugar-free gum that uses xylitol as its primary flavoring ingredients is by far the safest option for your teeth. Not only is xylitol non-corrosive to tooth enamel, but it also stimulates an increase in the production of saliva. An abundance of saliva is one of the main ways that your mouth and teeth stay healthy, as saliva acts to clean the surfaces of your mouth.

  2. Sorbitol – The cosmetic dentistry Saskatoon association strongly recommends sorbitol as an alternative to sugar-free gum. Sorbitol flavored gums are safe to use after or before oral surgery or any other dental procedure, as it is low in acids. In fact, most cosmetic dentistry Saskatoon will even recommend that you only chew sorbitol based gums before or after oral surgery, as the gum will help your mouth maintain a healthy level of saliva, which is very conducive to healing within the tissues of the gums.

  3. Aspartame – If you ask a professional at any dental clinic Saskatoon about which artificial sweetener is the most commonly used in sugar-free gum, they will tell you that it is aspartame. As most people know aspartame actually tastes sweeter than sugar, despite containing no sugar and being comprised of zero calories. Pediatric dentists Saskatoon may, however, recommend that you limit the amount of aspartame that your child comes into contact with. The pediatric dentists Saskatoon association acknowledge that excessive aspartame may increase a child’s appetite to an unhealthy level.

Protect Your Teeth with Sugar-Free Options

The next time you reach for a pack of gum at the grocery store, make sure you take the time to ensure that it is the sugar-free variety. Chewing sugar-free gum exclusively will help ensure that your tooth enamel stays well protected over the long haul, leading to far less tooth decay. If your teeth are hurting, are showing signs of wear (regardless of your chewing gum choices) or you’re simply due for a check up with a dentist in Saskatoon, give our team at Acadia Dental Clinic a call!  Our team specializes in routine dental hygiene, emergency dental care and being a full service family dental clinic in saskatoon. We are here to serve you.

What can be done about sensitive teeth?

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Problems

Sensitive teeth respond to normal stimuli with brief instances of pain or tingling sensations. When your teeth are sensitive, you may feel a twinge of discomfort when you eat something hot or cold. You may also feel pain if you bite down on food or your teeth are hit by air. With severe sensitivity, you may even feel uncomfortable sensations when you brush your teeth. Fortunately, you often do not have to live with sensitivity since there are many things that Saskatoon dentists can do to alleviate the discomfort.

Understand the Common Causes of Teeth Sensitivity

The first thing that you need to do is understand that there are many potential reasons why your teeth are sensitive. Sensitivity is simply a reaction and often the challenger that our teeth are reacting to can be controlled. Cavities, cracked teeth and broken restorations are a few reasons why your teeth may hurt. However something challenged your teeth to create this breakdown in the first place. This damage is often the result of sustained challenges. Sensitivity can actually happen far before physical irreversible (without treatment) damage happens. In some cases, simple aging (sustained challenge with time) causes the gums to recede, which can lead to the underlying dentin or root surface being exposed. Since it is not covered by enamel, these surfaces respond more to stimuli such as hot and cold temperatures. Poor oral hygiene can also cause what feels like tooth sensitivity as bacteria presents a challenge. When food gets caught between your gums and teeth, it can cause inflammation or pressure that presses on the nerves. In some cases, cosmetic dentistry Saskatoon residents receive such as teeth whitening results in temporary sensitivity.

Schedule a Complete Exam

A dental checkup is the only way to find out for sure what is causing your pain. During your checkup at a dental clinic Saskatoon patients visit, your dentist will check each of your teeth for signs of problems. In some cases, you may have more than one reason for the sensitivity. For instance, it is possible to have gum disease along with tooth decay in parts of your mouth at the same time. You may not even be dealing with any damage per se simply a response that your teeth are giving you from facing challengers. You may simply need to control the challengers. After your exam, Saskatoon dentists provide you with a treatment plan that can help you begin to reduce the sensitivity that you experience.

Follow Your Treatment Plan

Dentists use several different strategies to restore comfort when you deal with tooth pain. After your dental checkup, your dentist may recommend one or more of the following types of treatment.

•Fillings to restore decayed teeth
•Deep cleanings to treat gum disease
•Dental bonding to cover exposed dentin
•Special fluoride treatments to strengthen tooth enamel
•Replace cracked and broken fillings
•Bite adjustments to redistribute pressure points
•Increasing the integrity of a restoration or multiple restorations with stronger restorations in crowns by fortifying the tooth
•Fortifying gum tissue where it is weak or lost with grafting type procedures
•A guard to dissipate and distribute pressure
•Muscle treatment to address muscle tension as only place in the body where contracted muscle results in 2 hard surfaces coming together that have surrounding pain sensors

Each component of your treatment plan is designed to help you feel better again. Always work through the plan with your dentist to ensure that every reason for the sensitivity is addressed. Parents should also rely on the advice of pediatric dentists Saskatoon families use to identify dental problems at a young age before they get worse.

Watch for Sensitivity After a Filling

One of the most common reasons for a person to visit a dental clinic Saskatoon residents trust is to deal with tooth pain after a filling. While it is disappointing to find that a tooth still hurts after it is filled, it is usually a simple problem to correct. Sometimes, a filling is deep enough that it is close to the nerve of your tooth, and the nerve needs time to settle after being irritated by the dental procedure. Sometimes that inner nerve area still requires further treatment. Using caution to avoid chewing on that side of your mouth for a day or two often helps the inflammation go down.

A filling can also be built up too high. This causes too much force to be placed on it when you bite down on your food. When this happens, your dentist may need to polish it down until it no longer hits the opposing teeth so hard. Always talk to your dentist about pain that you have following a dental procedure to see if there is an easy way to correct the issue.

Also it helps to understand that there was an underlying reason to do the work in the first place. Bacteria or force often took a toll and got the best of the area. If bacteria or force are still taking a toll following picking up the pieces and being put back together, symptoms may still persist. Furthermore a dentist may be conservative and not jump to end stage treatments before having tried more conservative approaches. It is important to address the cause, not simply any visible resultant damage or the damage process will continue.

Watch Out for Grinding

Pediatric dentists Saskatoon parents trust with their child’s care often note that tooth grinding is the reason for sensitive teeth in children. Adults can also grind or simply clench and flex their teeth. It is simply tight or busy muscles which can happen anywhere in the body at any age and may come and go. Your dentist can give you a nightguard that reduces the damage that grinding does to your teeth and the support structures or help address the muscle activity.

Ease Sensitive Teeth Following Teeth Whitening

Today, cosmetic dentistry Saskatoon residents use to keep their teeth bright can also cause sensitivity. To reduce the risk of pain after teeth whitening, it is best to use professional services instead of over the counter treatments that may be too harsh or not well contained to the hard tissue vs soft tissue that is more delicate.

Tooth sensitivity is often a temporary condition that is caused by a treatable dental health issue. Be sure to mention sensitivity at your appointments and continue practicing good oral hygiene so that you minimize discomfort from your teeth.

What is the relationship between Diet and Oral Health?

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Hygiene | Dental Implants | Dental Problems

Here at Acadia Dental at The Centre Mall, we want our patients to have healthy teeth and gums for life. You already know the importance of brushing, flossing and avoiding sugary foods and beverages for optimal oral hygiene, but you can also improve your oral health by eating the right types of foods. Here are some of the main ways that your diet impacts your oral health.Read more

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.

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