Oral Health

Getting to the Root of Root Canals

Blog | Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Problems | Oral Health

What is a root canal?

The root canal refers to the cavity in the center of the tooth, beneath the translucent protective layer of enamel and the hard white layer of dentin. The root canal naturally contains soft tissue called pulp which is made up of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues. Like any soft tissue in the body, the root canal is susceptible to infection which can jeopardize the integrity and health of the tooth and the entire mouth. By understanding the causes, treatment, and prevention of root canals, you can maintain the integrity of your smile. Read more

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.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.

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!

Can Eating Disorders Affect One’s Oral Health?

Dental Advice | Oral Health

Eating disorders know no age, gender, or a specific type of person. While female teenagers and women most commonly suffer from diseases like anorexia, bulimia and compulsive overeating, they can still affect anyone. Such disorders can have many negative impacts on someone’s mental and physical health. Acadia Dental knows that these health issues can also have a big impact on one’s oral health.

 

The effects can be dire. A disorder does not need to include vomiting for it to be bad for your teeth and gums. Heavily restrictive diets can extremely be unhealthy for one’s oral care as well. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, up to 89% of bulimia patients display signs of early tooth erosion. Other studies have shown similar findings with patients who have extremely restrictive diets.

 

One of the reasons why some of these disorders are so harmful is due to the loss of proper nutrition which causes gums and other soft tissues to bleed more easily. Saliva production might also be affected, causing a sufferer to have a chronic dry mouth.

 

If a patient regurgitates on a constant basis (this is also known as purging), he or she stands a greater chance of harming the teeth’s enamel due to the stomach acid. Teeth can also change in size, colour, and length, leaving them brittle. This now makes regular eating as well as one’s everyday life extremely difficult.

 

Here are some of the signs you may notice with someone who has an eating disorder:

*Teeth can become weak and translucent

*Lesions on the surface of the teeth within six months of the onset of the disorder

*Increased sensitivity to the temperature of food and liquid

*Dry mouth or enlarged salivary glands

*Exposed pulp and possible pulp death

*Sudden pain in random areas of the mouth

*Tooth decay

 

HOW ACADIA DENTAL CAN HELP

Regular dental visits can be helpful in diagnosing and preventing eating disorders from worsening. According to the Institute for Dental Research, 28% of bulimia cases were diagnosed initially during a dental examination. A patient might not even realize that what he or she is doing is a problem. We will guide the patients and provide the help that they need.

 

Our professional dental staff at Acadia Dental will be able to tell if a patient has recently started purging or if they have been doing so for years, as they can view the damage that has been done to the teeth. They will also be looking for tooth decay, enamel erosion, abnormal jaw alignment, chronic sore throat, mouth sores, and cracked lips, among others.

 

If you or someone you know is being affected by an eating disorder, it is important to get help as soon as possible. These eating disorders can be life-threatening if not treated properly. These situations should be treated with care, especially when it involves confronting a loved one. Remember that these issues are not as simple as they seem, so make sure to bring up the topic in a nonjudgmental way. This could make the difference between them seeking help and continuing on a destructive road.

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