In life, sometimes you will encounter a dental emergency. There are ways to avoid injuring your teeth, like not chewing on hard foods like nuts and popcorn kernels, but accidents can happen. Most dental emergencies are not as severe as medical emergencies, but it is still good to know what to do in any given emergency. If you are in a lot of pain, you may need emergency dental care but for some situations you do not need to see a dentist right away.
For a toothache, you should first try to rinse your mouth with warm water and clean it out. Then, call your dentist. You should describe the symptoms you’re feeling and ask to be seen right away. Your toothache could be a symptom of a cavity, an infection, tooth decay, gum disease or grinding issues. If you notice any swelling or have a lot of pain, you can take over-the-counter pain medicine. You can also hold an ice pack to your face at the spot of your sore tooth.
2. Chipped, cracked or broken tooth
A chipped or broken tooth is almost always salvageable. You should call your dentist and tell him or her what happened. He or she will want to see you right away. If you have the piece of tooth that broke off, your dentist may be able to glue it back on if your tooth is not in bad condition. But usually, for minor cracks and breaks, your dentist will use a white filling to repair the tooth. If your tooth is completely cracked or broken, you may need a root canal or a tooth extraction and implant.
3. Knocked out tooth
A mouthguard is important to wear during contact sports so that you do not get a bleeding tooth or – even worse – a knocked out tooth. If your knocked out tooth is a permanent or adult tooth, your dentist may be able to put it back in. Make sure you keep your tooth moist throughout. If you are able to, and if your tooth is clean, you can try putting the tooth back in your mouth. Place the tooth in the socket without touching the root. Placing it in the socket within ten minutes gives your tooth a better chance of taking root again. If it is not possible for you to put your tooth back in place, you can place your tooth between your teeth and gums or in milk, and rush to your dentist’s office or the nearest dentist to you.
4. Lost filling or crown
Fillings are used to fill up cavities in teeth caused by decay or breaks. A crown is used to shelter the tops (or ‘crowns’) of damaged teeth. Sometimes, fillings or crowns fall out or come loose because of decay underneath. Such decaying can erode the tooth further and loosen the tight hold the crown or filling has on the tooth.
A lost crown or filling can be painful due to the exposed tooth tissue being sensitive to air, pressure or temperature. If your crown comes off, put it in a safe place and schedule an appointment with you dentist to see him or her as soon as possible. For a lost filling, put a piece of soft, sugarless gum on the spot where the filling was lost. It is only a temporary solution, but it will protect the area until you can quickly see a dentist.
5. Something stuck between teeth
It is never a pleasant feeling having food stuck in teeth. It can be embarrassing and downright uncomfortable. For food – or any object – stuck in your teeth, the best thing to do is get your dental floss. Try using the floss to carefully and gently remove or dislodge the object. If you struggle with using a regular floss, you can use a flossing stick. Do not poke between your teeth with a pin or other sharp object. You could potentially cut your gums or scratch the surface of your tooth. If you cannot get the object out, see a dentist.
At Dawson Dental we have made seeing the dentist as easy as possible. With over 25 locations you are never more than 15 minutes from a team of qualified dental professionals. Our emergency patient care team is available 7 days a week to assist with dental emergencies. Call us at 1855-876-8479 immediately to have your dental emergency resolved.
Everyone wants a whiter smile. As you age, due to many factors like coffee and wine stains, your teeth start to become darker which can make you feel self-conscious. There are so many products that claim that they have the best tooth whitening solutions, but what really works? Below are five options for getting much whiter teeth.
1. In-office whitening
Your teeth can become shades whiter by having a qualified dentist perform a whitening procedure. The dentist will apply the whitening product directly to your teeth. These products can be used with a special light, heat or a laser. Results can be seen after a single half hour to an hour’s treatment. The one time in-office has immediate results and can last from 6 months to a year. When the procedure is finished, you might experience some sensitivity for one or two days, but don’t worry, the sensitivity will lessen once the pores of the teeth (dentinal tubules) close up. This is one of the best teeth whitening methods, but also the most expensive one.
2. Whitening rinses
One of the more recent teeth whitening products are whitening rinses. Similar to mouthwashes, they freshen your breath and assist in lessening gum disease and dental plaque. However, whitening rinses also contain ingredients, like hydrogen peroxide, which whiten teeth. The creators of these products say that it could take 12 weeks to see the results. You only need to swish the rinse in your mouth for a minute, two times a day before brushing your teeth. However, several experts are of the opinion that whitening rinses may be less effective than other over-the-counter products. One of the reasons could be the short amount of time for which the whitening rinse is in contact with your teeth. Whereas other methods remain in contact with your teeth for up to 30 minutes, whitening rinses are in contact only 3 or 4 minutes. It’s why people don’t see drastic changes with these products.
3. Whitening strips and gels
Whitening strips are thin, nearly invisible pieces of flexible plastic coated with a peroxide-based whitening gel. Whitening gels are clear peroxide-based gels that you can apply to your teeth with a small brush. For these treatments, you don’t need to visit a dentist. Whitening strips and gels can be purchased at a pharmacy or supermarket. The package for whitening strips usually contains a set amount of strips that are disposable. You attach the strips to the front of your teeth and wear them for half an hour a day for two weeks. The results usually last around four months.
All toothpastes can eliminate surface stains since they have mild abrasives. However, some whitening toothpastes have chemical and polishing agents to remove stains effectively. Whitening toothpastes don’t include bleach which is why they can only remove surface stains. Whitening toothpastes can lighten your tooth’s colour by one shade. Enamel building toothpastes can assist in remineralizing your teeth and can help seal small cracks in your teeth that often pick up stains. Make sure to use the right toothbrush too or else you risk leaving blank spots.
5. Coconut oil
Cosmetic dentistry is not always needed for whiter teeth. Oil pulling is an age-old ayurvedic oral detoxification method. It has become popular recently due to its natural benefits for cleansing and detoxifying the mouth. Coconut oil is the most effective oil to use for oil pulling although you can also use sesame oil or olive oil. For oil pulling, it is best to do it first thing in the morning, before you brush your teeth. You swish the oil in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes and then spit the oil in the garbage. When you swish the oil in your mouth, the plaque and bacteria gets trapped in the oil and exits your mouth when you spit it out. Coconut oil also keeps your gums healthy. The antifungal and antibacterial properties in coconut oil can hinder bacteria that causes gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath.
Best teeth whitening? By a dentist, of course
For the most natural and safest whitening for your teeth, get in touch with a dentist. At Dawson Dental, we understand the kind of results you expect and work with you to devise teeth whitening plan that complements your oral health. Call us to learn more about ZOOM® One Hour Teeth Whitening
When is your child’s first visit to the dentist? The hair-raising question that parents everywhere dread. Widespread misconceptions have conditioned parents to expect screaming children, teary waterworks and ‘puppy dog eyes’ to avoid seeing the dentist. The reality is a little less exciting.
Today, children come in with their parents; they play games (dental, of course) on iPads while they wait; and make new friends with other children. The trick to this bliss? Making sure your little ones are comfortable going to the dentist from the very first time.
Taking your baby for the first dental visit
This question is at the top of everyone’s lips…At what age should I take my child to the dentist for the first time? You should take your baby to see the dentist as soon as he or she starts to show new teeth. According to the Canadian Dental Association, you should take your baby to see a dentist within 6 months of the first tooth erupting or before they turn one year old. Since children grow so fast, a visit every 6 months thereafter is a minimum.
The first visit doesn’t mean getting a procedure – or even an X-ray. A paediatric specialist will keep an eye on your child’s ‘milk teeth’ (temporary teeth) and catch developing infections, plaque and any potential problems. Remember, your child may have temporary teeth till they are 12 years old – so you need to keep them healthy!
Preparing yourself for the visit
Not just your kid, you need to be prepared too. Remember, children will pick up on parents’ anxiety. Stay calm and don’t use words like ‘hurt’, ‘pain’ or ‘scared’.
Don’t delay that dentist visit
What happens at the first dentist appointment?
Your child’s first visit to the dentist may be as a baby or pre-school toddler. The dentist will examine gums, tongue, bite and teeth, if they have erupted. The dentist will tell you how you should take care of your baby’s teeth, give you advice on diet and if you should use a fluoride toothpaste.
Addressing any dental concerns at the earliest also means less discomfort for your child as they grow older. The dentist will check for crooked and impacted teeth. For older children, X-rays can show if existing teeth have any cavities and if permanent teeth will come out correctly.
If your child needs braces, the sooner they get them the sooner they’ll be able to take them off. Don’t wait for the first toothache to take your son or daughter to the dentist’s.
Good dental care starts at home
Good dental care begins at home. Start with the essentials: brushing twice a day; making sure food is not stuck in teeth after meals; avoid sugary sweets. When your child is old enough, make sure they floss regularly. Your dentist can teach them how to floss and keep their mouth healthy and clean.
“How do I care for my baby’s first teeth?
Start by cleaning and checking your baby’s mouth every day. Check the gum line to make sure it is healthy. When they show teeth, use a soft baby toothbrush to clean them. As they grow older, you can use a small drop of fluoride toothpaste to clean their mouth. If you are feeling unsure of how to go about it, speak to a dentist. They’ll be able to show you how to care for your baby’s oral health.
Wear and tear is no match for our teeth. The more we use them and neglect our oral health, the more susceptible they are too tiny hairline fractures called craze lines.
What are the craze lines?
Craze lines are minute vertical lines that form on the teeth. Cracked teeth and craze lines are often confused for each other; however, they are actually two different things. (More on that later). Craze lines are superficial lines that don’t extend to the gum line but can be very unseemly.
What causes craze lines?
Craze lines do not form out of anywhere. They are caused by the stresses we subject our teeth to every day. Below you’ll find out why we get craze lines:
An uneven or unstable bite can lead to craze lines since your teeth may not be meeting where they should when you close your mouth. You can correct an uneven bite with a six-month braces treatment or Invisalign, but these treatments are not intended to fix the craze lines that have already formed.
Getting hit in the mouth while playing contact sports can leave you with craze lines. If you do play contact sports, make sure you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth. You can purchase a mouthguard at the pharmacy that you mold to your mouth yourself – or your dentist can custom create a mouthguard for you. The over-the-counter mouthguards aren’t as effective as the one your dentist will make because they aren’t created to the exact specifications of your mouth.
Grinding/clenching your teeth and jaw
The pressure from grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw can give you craze lines. When you grind or clench, you are usually unaware that you are mashing or pushing your bottom and top teeth together. In fact, most people grind or clench their teeth and jaw while they are asleep. As with playing contact sports, a mouthguard can be worn at night to minimize the impact. As mentioned above, choose a custom guard made by your dentist instead of the drugstore variety for adequate protection.
Chewing on non-food items
If you are prone to chewing on pens, straws or other non-food items, it could be causing your craze lines. Even the slightest impact from sucking or lightly chewing on something that isn’t food can create craze lines. To avoid chewing on non-food items, try sugarless gum. You should ask your dentist which brand of gum they recommend.
Biting into a frozen vegetable that isn’t cooked or chewing on ice are surefire ways to get craze lines. Make sure frozen foods are fully cooked before eating and suck on ice instead of chewing it.
Nail-biting is not only a bad habit because of all the germs found on our fingernails, but it also gives you craze lines too. No matter how much you wash your hands before biting your nails, it won’t protect you from craze lines. You can ask your dentist or physician about ways to stop biting your nails.
Using your teeth as an opener:
Under no circumstances should you be using your own teeth as a means to open bottles or tear through the plastic. Your teeth are not meant to open objects and packaging, they are meant to chew. The more you use your teeth as openers, the more prone to craze lines you’ll be.
In some cases, going from hot to cold temperatures can lead to craze lines. Eating hot soup while drinking cold water can cause temperature changes that your teeth may not be able to handle. To combat this problem, drink lukewarm or hot water (not too hot!) while eating hot foods.
What’s the difference between cracked teeth and craze lines?
Although craze lines are cracks in the teeth, they are minimal. When craze lines deepen, they become cracks. If you have a cracked tooth, everything from the tooth’s enamel (the outer layer) to the roots are affected.
How serious are craze lines?
Many people consider craze lines a cosmetic problem so it’s best to consult your dentist to see what treatments they recommended. Some people live with craze lines because they don’t cause them any pain. However, it’s important to fix any oral health issues before they lead to further damage. In general, oral health problems don’t clear up on their own. There is a chance that the enamel around the craze line may repair itself and thicken if you take care of your teeth. If you neglect your oral health craze lines will deepen, turn in full-fledged cracks and leave you with root damage, cavities and tooth decay.
If you notice craze lines on any of your teeth, do not wait until it turns into a crack and contacts our office immediately. At Dawson Dental, we can repair your mouth to ensure you have good oral health for years to come.
For a pregnant woman, the biggest myth is that you shouldn’t visit a dentist during your pregnancy. You should definitely visit a dentist when you are pregnant. Many pregnant women can make it throughout their pregnancy without any oral health issues, but changing hormones can wreak havoc on existing dental issues or create new ones. You can become more susceptible to gum disease (gingivitis) and serious gum infection (periodontitis) among other issues.
Planning for a baby?
It is best for you to schedule a dental appointment before you get pregnant. At your appointment, your teeth will be cleaned by professionals, your gum tissue will be carefully inspected and any oral health issues will be diagnosed and treated before your pregnancy.
Potential dental issues
During pregnancy, bleeding gums can become an issue for women. Pregnancy gingivitis is a condition where gums become inflamed, sensitive and swollen due to hormonal changes. Pregnancy gingivitis can cause redness, swelling in the gums and severe bleeding when pregnant women brush or floss their teeth.
What to do: Use anti-gingivitis toothpaste and mouthwash, and floss every day.
Excessive saliva, also known as ptyalism, is when you produce more saliva than normal due to hormonal changes, heartburn, or irritants. This issue would typically occur for pregnant women during the first three months of their pregnancy. It tends to diminish or disappear when you stop feeling nauseous.
What to do: Brush your teeth and use mouthwash twice a day, eat small and balanced meals, drink more water and swallow excess saliva.
Pregnant women tend to be more prone to tooth decay (cavities) if they experience morning sickness, eat more carbohydrates or start to neglect their oral hygiene in any way. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in your mouth use sugar to create acids that break down your teeth. Symptoms of tooth decay can include tooth sensitivity, bad breath and toothache in pregnancy.
What to do: Reduce or limit the amount of food and drinks you consume with added sugar, and make sure to brush twice a day and floss.
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a condition where your salivary glands do not secrete enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. It is quite common during pregnancy due to your changing hormones and you needing more water for your developing baby. Dry mouth can be caused by dehydration, gestational diabetes, snoring and sleep apnea, or thrush (a fungus).
What to do: Drink a lot of water, and try using sugarless gum or hard candies to keep your mouth moist and encourage saliva secretion.
For some women, overgrowths of tissue – referred to as pregnancy tumours – develop on the gums, typically during the second trimester. Do not be alarmed, it is not cancer. A pregnancy tumour is an inflammatory reaction (swelling) that occurs due to an irritant, like plaque or food particles. They often show up between teeth, bleed easily, and have a red, raspberry-like appearance.
What to do: Pregnancy tumours usually disappear after your baby is born, however, if they affect your food consumption you can speak to your dentist about removing them.
If you have any concerns about having bad teeth after your pregnancy, speak to a Newmarket dental professional at Dawson Dentist. Our dental clinic in Newmarket will help you maintain oral health during your pregnancy and answer any concerns you have. To schedule a consultation with a dentist in Newmarket, speak to us.
Does the keto diet affect your teeth? Yes, it does. ‘Everything in moderation’, goes the age old adage, and it holds true for your dental health too.
Too much of any food is bad for your teeth. Yes, not just candy, excessive meat eating can also cause tooth decay. To stay healthy, the mouth needs a slightly alkaline environment. This maintains a bacterial balance and keeps teeth healthy.
If you consume too much of anything or too little of something else, invariably, your body’s nutritional balance is disturbed. This will affect your oral chemistry.
Don’t forget – what you eat doesn’t just affect your teeth directly. Any nutritional imbalances can also cause oral ill health.
Ketogenic diet explained
The ‘Keto diet’ requires a high fat content, moderate amounts of protein and very little carbohydrates in fats. The goal of the Keto diet is to help people reach ketosis – a condition where the body burns stored fats for energy because it doesn’t have enough carbohydrates.
How keto diet affects oral health
Lowering the amount of carbohydrates you consume invariably means you have to avoid sugar in your diet. Oral bacteria thrive on sugar and a reduced sugar intake can reduce tooth decay, chance of infection and cavity formation.
Fighting gum disease
So the Keto diet doesn’t actually fight gum disease, but it can help reduce bacterial activity. With fewer sugars entering your mouth, bacteria will have less food to flourish. It doesn’t mean a keto diet will cure gum disease; it may aid in treatment or reduce infection.
Bad breath (‘Keto breath’)
‘What is Keto breath?’ is a concern we hear often. It is a sweet, fruity smell in your breath, due to the presence of elevated levels of acetone. Bad breath is often a sign of a chemical imbalance in the body – an intentional imbalance for Keto dieters.
Having a restricted diet means an imbalance in the concentration of the nutrients entering your body. Such swings can and do alter body chemistry. Even slight shifts can raise or lower the alkalinity of saliva and increase tooth decay. Remember, oral health requires maintaining a fine balance.
A known side effect of the Keto diet is osteoporosis. In simple terms, it is a weakening of the bones that occurs, in this instance, because of insufficient nutrients to form sufficient bone mass. As the jaw bone becomes weaker, teeth can start to become looser too.
What the Keto diet does to your teeth in the long term
Oral health varies from person to person. Some people may notice changes in their teeth immediately, others may not feel anything at all. Regardless, you should monitor your teeth closely. Pains, aches, inflammation and plaque build-up are signs that your teeth need to be checked by a dentist.
How you can look after your teeth during the Keto diet
There are several things you can do (and choose not to do) while you are on the Keto diet. These are basic precautions that should help your teeth stave off ill effects of a fat-rich diet.
- Drinking lots of water
- Floss regularly (not obsessively)
- Brush twice a day (don’t brush incessantly to combat Keto breath – it will damage your teeth)
- Choose sugar free mints and moderate chewing gum use
- Maintain a wholesome diet as far as possible (for a broad spread of nutrients)
- Make visits to your dentist more frequent (especially if you have an oral ailment or had dental surgery in the past few months)
If you have any concerns about your oral health, speak to Dawson Dental. Our Patient Care team can guide you on dental emergencies and schedule appointments with a dentist in Barrie at the earliest. Our dental clinic in Barrie is one of more than 25 dentist’s offices in Ontario. Our Barrie dentist can guide you effectively through your Keto diet plan.