Dentist’s offices have been allowed to reopen by the Ontario Health Minister. The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario will be advising dentists when they can open from and the precautions that must be taken to protect staff and patients from coronavirus transmission.
We thank everyone for their patience during the lockdown. Dawson Dental will begin scheduling regular appointments shortly. Our team will get in touch with you to reschedule your appointment. If you do not hear from us, please call us.
During this time, select Dawson Dental clinics will continue to provide emergency dental care. We are observing physical distancing guidelines and enhanced sanitization protocol to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Precautions we are taking
- Enhanced patient protection measures: All our team members have upgraded their protective personal protective equipment (PPE) for all appointments.
- Virtual waiting room: We have set up a virtual “waiting room” for our patients to check-in via call or text message and wait, if necessary, somewhere safe outside the clinic, such as in a car.
- Patient pre-screening: We pre-screen patients in advance over the phone for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors to ensure our office stays COVID-free. We also screen our team members. A second patient screening will be done upon entry into the clinic and your temperature will be taken using a digital thermometer.
- We ask that only the patient come in for their appointment. In the case of a minor, one parent or guardian may escort their child. Be aware both will be subject to the full check-in protocol.
- Sanitation stations: Before accessing our office, you will be asked to sanitize your hands.
- Face masks: If you’re able to wear a mask to your appointment, please do so. Otherwise, we will provide you with one upon entry into the clinic.
- Physical distancing: 2 meters’ physical distancing will be practiced at all times, except as necessary for the provision of care.
Tongue injuries are common in children and in adults. Injuries can occur because of biting down on the tongue accidentally while chewing or while playing sports. In this article, we look at how you can treat little cuts on your tongue, as well as the signs that you may need to see a dentist.
Causes of tongue injuries
Cuts and punctures on the tongue heal themselves normally in a day or two. Even sores on the tongue should dissipate over time. Here are a few causes of tongue injuries:
- Biting down on tongue while eating
- Biting tongue during sleep
- Cuts from sharp or broken fillings
- Punctures and cuts from hard or sharp foods
- Constant rubbing against misshapen or misaligned teeth
- Trauma from physical injury
Treating pain and bleeding
If you have hurt your tongue, follow these steps to stop bleeding and manage pain:
- Rinse mouth with a water-hydrogen peroxide mixture (1:1 ratio) – do not swallow it
- Cool a clean cloth by wrapping it around ice
- Remove ice and press the cloth firmly on the wound for a few minutes to reduce bleeding
- Reduce inflammation by rinsing the mouth with warm salt water after meals
Signs you need to see a dentist for a cut
Tongue injuries are generally not serious enough to warrant seeing the dentist. In the case of profuse bleeding, deep cuts, swelling, pus formation, or prolonged pain, it is advisable you see a dentist. Deep and wide cuts may require dissolvable sutures or stitches. Objects stuck in the tongue may need to be removed by the dentist too. You should also see a dentist if you have a lingering foul taste in the mouth after an injury.
Dental x-rays provide a treasure trove of information to the dentist. Also called radiographs, they can show tooth decay, infection, cavities, impacted teeth, misaligned jaws, and much more. X-ray images are relatively straightforward – once you understand what you are looking at. Of course, it takes a qualified dental professional to identify problem areas. In this article we look at:
- How does dental radiography work?
- What are the different types of dental X-rays?
- Reading a dental X-ray
- Importance of dental X-rays
How does dental radiography work?
Radiography is the process of producing an image for medical examination on a sensitive film or plate using x-rays or other forms of radiation. In dental radiography, an x-ray tube is used to project beams (radiation) onto the patient’s mouth. X-rays pass through the mouth and come out the other side harmlessly (attenuation). On the other side is a receptor that captures the x-rays and creates an image. Receptors can be vinyl film packets or digital sensors.
X-rays do not pass through skin and tissue evenly. Thicker and heavier masses such as teeth will block x-rays more than other tissues such as skin.
What are the different types of dental X-rays?
There are two main types of dental x-rays. Intraoral x-rays are taken with the receptor inside the patient’s mouth. These are good for evaluating teeth and surrounding tissue. Extraoral x-rays are taken with the receptor outside the patient’s mouth. These are good for getting the big picture of the teeth and assessing the skull and the jaws.
- Bitewing (shows cavities starting to develop and bone loss due to gum disease)
- Periapical (show the root of teeth in detail)
- Occlusal (used to look for tooth or bone fractures, tooth eruption)
- Panoramic (frontal view of all teeth; “big picture” view of teeth)
- Cephalometric (evaluate the relationship of upper and lower jaws to each other and cranial base; good for tracking growth – important in orthodontics)
Digital dental x-rays are a more recent technology. Instead of using a film that must be processed in a dark room, a digital receptor sends the image directly to the computer. It can then be viewed, shared, or printed out.
There are a few benefits of using digital dental x-rays:
- There is lesser exposure to x-rays
- Images are available a few seconds after being taken
Reading a dental x-ray
A dental x-ray works on the principle that harder more mineralized tissues will block more of the x-ray radiation. Due to this, hard tissues like the enamel and dentin will appear light in color. Spaces between teeth and tooth pulp appear dark because they are non-mineralized.
One easy way to understand it is the harder something is the lighter it appears. The softer something is the darker it appears.
What do cavities look like on x-rays?
Cavities appear as a dark spot in a tooth. Cavities start in the enamel, which shows as the lightest color in the x-ray. It will travel inwards into the dentin, which is softer than enamel and appears darker too. Dental x-rays also show cavities between two teeth, something that would not be visible to the naked eye.
Importance of dental x-rays
Dental radiography is an indispensable diagnostic tool for many reasons. They allow the dentist to:
- See inside and between the teeth
- See under the gums and locate the tooth root
- Check for cavities
- Assess the extent of tooth decay
- Diagnose cysts and abscesses
- See impacted teeth
- Detect bone loss and periodontal disease
Do dental x-rays show infection?
Yes, x-rays can show infection and abscesses even before the person feels obvious symptoms.
What does a dark spot on a dental x-ray mean?
A dark spot in an x-ray can mean the presence of a cavity. It is a sign that bacteria have attacked the enamel and are entering the dentin. This decay must be addressed as soon as possible.
With the Covid-19 imposed lockdown making work from home the “new normal”, many people are asking, “Should I brush more frequently if I am home longer?”
Should you brush and floss more frequently during the lockdown?
Speaking to CTV News, The president of the Ontario Dental Association said “there’s more attention required to the basics like brushing or flossing more often because we probably are snacking and eating a lot more throughout the day.”
If your eating habits have changed, you may need to brush and floss more than twice a day. If you have braces, Invisalign, or implants, you may need to clean them more frequently too.
With frequent snacking, coffees, and sugary drinks, teeth become more prone to the accumulation of plaque. Bacteria in the mouth thrive on sugars and rinsing the mouth with water after a meal is not effective at eliminating these.
Stay away from:
- Sugary foods like candy
- Carbonated soft drinks (diet or regular)
- Hard foods like nuts and ice
These discolour teeth, wear them down and cause gingivitis. Foods with seeds and bones can also pierce the soft gum tissue and become lodged. Avoid them to reduce the possibility of dental emergencies.
Other tips for good oral hygiene during Covid-19
Keep toothbrushes separate
Your family will not have the same bacteria in their mouth as you. In fact, if someone is feeling unwell they can transmit the infection to you if your toothbrushes are kept in close contact. Use separate toothbrush holders for your family members. Clean the brush before every use too.
Sterilize brushes regularly
Do not use sanitizing wipes or disinfectants on your toothbrush or dental appliances! These can be toxic if ingested. Baby sterilizing tablets and liquid is a good way to sterilize toothbrush heads, retainers, gum shields, and Invisalign.
Schedule a virtual consultation
Schedule a virtual consultation with our Chief Dental Surgeon at Dawson Dental. He will address your concerns and recommend treatment options. Virtual consultations are free and can be done from the comfort of your home!
If your gums are looking inflamed or bleeding during the lockdown, talk to Dawson Dental. Our professionals can guide you on how to manage the problem. Talk to a member of our patient support team to learn more.
Which type of toothbrush is best – soft, medium, or hard? In this article, we are answering this question once and for all. Find out which bristle strength is right for you and how to choose the best toothbrush.
Which is the best toothbrush?
Toothbrushes with soft bristles are ideal for most people. They are stiff enough to dislodge debris stuck between teeth but aren’t so hard that they will damage the enamel (when used correctly, of course). Soft brushes can also be used to clean the gum line without discomfort and bleeding. If you don’t have any pre-existing oral conditions or have not been instructed to use a particular type of toothbrush, then a soft toothbrush is your best bet. Try and buy one that has the Canadian Dental Association’s ‘Validated’ seal.
Medium toothbrushes are a popular choice and they aren’t much different from a soft toothbrush either. People buy them because of the perception that they are better at cleaning teeth. Used incorrectly, a medium brush can wear away enamel. Another drawback is that it cannot be used to clean the gum line because it is too abrasive and can cause damage to the soft gum tissue.
Hard toothbrushes are not recommended for anyone who has not been specifically directed by their dentist to use them. The tough bristles can weaken and wear away enamel. They can also damage the soft gum tissue and cause the gum line to recede. Brush slowly and gently if you are using a hard brush.
Extra soft and ultra-soft
Extra soft and ultra-soft toothbrushes are also known as ‘periodontal toothbrushes’ and ‘sulcus toothbrushes’. They are advised for people who are suffering from receding gums, bleeding gums, gingivitis, or periodontitis. Bristles are extremely soft to reduce the discomfort of brushing close to the gum line. People generally don’t use ultra-soft toothbrushes unless they have been advised by a dentist.
If you are thinking of getting a gentler toothbrush because of pain in your mouth, speak to a dentist first. The pain is likely due to an underlying condition.
Other tips for choosing the right toothbrush
Color, design, and price are poor indicators of the effectiveness of a toothbrush. This is what you should look for in a brush:
- Soft bristles
- Narrow head (for easier access to all surfaces of the teeth)
- Canadian Dental Association ‘Validated’ seal
A travel cap is a great feature too. It keeps the brush clean during transport and protects the bristles from bending.
Good oral health begins with regular brushing and flossing. Make sure you brush at least twice a day and use a mouthwash as part of your oral hygiene regime. Good habits from a young age will prevent problems as you get older. Talk to a Dawson Dental professional about maintaining your oral health.
There is a rainbow of mouthwashes to choose from on store shelves. But which is best? Which is recommended by dentists? We look at a few types of mouthwash recommended by the Canadian Dental Association. Find out below which may be the best one for you.
What should you look for in a mouthwash?
People usually choose a mouthwash for a specific reason. Some want to eliminate bad breath, correct dry mouth, or whiten teeth. Some want one that can eliminate plaque and prevent gingivitis. Reading the front of the label before is one way to understand what its ‘specialty is – the manufacturer will clearly list out the specific benefits of the mouthwash. To get a better idea, read the composition label on the back. Here are a few ingredients you will find:
Fluoride – Strengthens enamel and fights tooth decay
Cetylpyridinium chloride – Kills bacteria and reduces bad breath
Chlorhexidine – Eliminates plaque and controls gingivitis
Essential oils (such as menthol and thymol) – Antibacterial and antifungal properties
Carbamide peroxide/Hydrogen peroxide – For whiter teeth
Best mouthwashes for different conditions
Dawson Dental does not endorse any of these brands. Mouthwash is effective as part of a healthy oral regime. For specific oral issues, speak to a dentist.
All the mouthwashes below have received the Canadian Dental Association’s ‘Validated’ seal. Before buying, make sure to check for this symbol.
Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection
An alcohol-free mouthwash provides all-around protection against bad breath, bleeding gums, and tooth decay. Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) is the active ingredient making it an antibacterial mouthwash. Users like the minty taste and that it doesn’t leave a stinging sensation in the mouth.
Peridex – The best mouthwash
Peridex is extremely effective at controlling gum inflammation, redness, gingivitis, bleeding gums, and plaque because it contains an antiseptic called germicidal chlorhexidine. It kills harmful bacteria and provides excellent all-round protection.
Listerine Cool Mint Antiseptic
Another alcohol-free mouthwash, Listerine Antiseptic contains four active ingredients: eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate, and thymol which help fight gingivitis and plaque. It gives the classic ‘blue Listerine burn’ that many people find reassuring, and a minty taste that promotes fresher breath.
Listerine Healthy White Restoring Mouthwash
This mouthwash helps strengthen and whiten teeth. The active ingredient is Sodium Fluoride which has cavity protection and teeth-whitening properties. It also helps strengthen weakened enamel. This mouthwash should only be used by adults and children over the age of 12.
TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse
An alcohol-free mouthwash, it fights bad breath for up to 12 hours after use. It also claims to be vegetarian and vegan-friendly, kosher, and gluten-free. It has also been approved for use by diabetics. Users like that it does not burn.
Mouthwash should be used as part of a complete oral health regimen. Some people prefer using two different types of mouthwash in the morning and at night. Teeth whitening mouthwashes generally recommend not rinsing or eating for up to an hour after rinsing, making them more suitable for nightly use. If an oral or dental problem persists, schedule an appointment at a Dawson Dental clinic near you.