Have you ever wondered how your dentist cleans their teeth? Do they have special tools available for home use because they work in the industry? Are they tempted to skip flossing on nights when they are just too tired? Do they carry a toothbrush with them wherever they go so that they can brush even after a cup of coffee? Here, we reveal the secret dental cleaning habits of dentists that Brampton patients trust, so you can make your best effort to keep your teeth and gums super-healthy.
Dentists Brush Regularly
The dentists that Brampton patients visit don’t brush their teeth all day long. Instead, they stick to the same schedule they recommend for their patients: brushing twice a day. While some people might say you should brush your teeth after every meal and snack, this can be bad for your teeth, especially if you brush directly after eating or drinking. This is because the acids that remain in your mouth can be pushed onto your teeth surface.
Sticking to a simple morning and evening routine works just fine, and always wait at least 30 minutes before brushing if you’ve just eaten breakfast or a bedtime snack.
Dentists Use the Right Toothbrush
Well, of course they do, because they know which toothbrush is right for their needs. This might be harder to decide when you are out shopping for your toothbrush. Instinct might lead you towards medium or firm brushes, but soft brushes are actually your best bet, especially if you have tooth sensitivity. When in doubt, choose medium and avoid firm as they tend to be too abrasive.
Also, keep comfort in mind. If you find your brush is uncomfortable, you might not brush properly. For example, a smaller toothbrush will provide better reach. This is also important for kids, so they should always use an age-appropriate toothbrush with soft bristles.
An electric toothbrush might not be for everyone, but they do offer some benefits. They are designed to fit better in your mouth and also keep brushing consistent. The oscillating head has the perfect motion to help remove debris. Many come with timers, so you always know you’ve brushed long enough. If you tend to be an aggressive brusher, you can choose a model with a pressure sensor.
Dentists Choose a Protective Toothpaste
Not all toothpastes are created equal. Always choose a toothpaste with fluoride to promote strong, healthy teeth.
It might be tempting to choose whitening toothpaste, but for regular use, whitening toothpastes are far too abrasive. Instead of keeping your teeth sparkling and bright, they can cause your teeth to fade and even yellow if the abrasion erodes your tooth enamel.
If you have sensitive teeth, use a sensitive toothpaste. You will reduce sensitivity while reaping the benefits of a good oral hygiene regime.
Dentists Clean Their Entire Mouth
As mentioned, a smaller toothbrush head will allow you to reach all angles of your mouth easily. It is easy to miss your back teeth, as well as your lower front teeth, while brushing. If you use a precise brushing method, you can start at the back upper molars, make your way around to the molars on the opposite side, and then do the same for your lower teeth. This helps you clean each tooth effectively.
As well, use circular motions to work the gums so that you can release plaque and debris. This also promotes gum health. Avoid aggressive brushing, as this can lead to pain, not to mention bleeding of your gums.
Flossing is also important for removing debris and helping your gums remain healthy. You can get between your teeth and remove particles of food. These are the little culprits that can lead to plaque build-up, tooth decay, and gum disease. It’s actually a little-known fact that it’s best to floss before brushing. You then more effectively remove the rest of the debris and rinse it away after brushing.
Dentists Use Mouthwash
As a final step following brushing and flossing, mouthwash provides a good rinse to rid your mouth of plaque and debris while helping to kill bacteria. This provides fresher breath as well. Avoid mouthwashes that offer whitening or enamel restoration and, instead, choose one that has an antibacterial formula.
Dentists Brush for Two Minutes
Even if you brush twice a day, if you don’t brush long enough, you won’t reap the full benefits of brushing. Two minutes is recommended to provide a thorough cleaning and reach all the surfaces.
Dentists Brush Gently
Many people are under the misconception that brushing harder will provide more effective cleaning. This is incorrect. Gentle brushing is always best, as when you push too hard, you can actually cause damage.
Aggressive brushing can degrade tooth enamel and also damage your gums. If you experience sensitivity, pain, or bleeding, ease up on your pressure. Even if you forget to brush your teeth, there’s no need to press extra hard to make up for the last time. Gentle, consistent pressure is all that is needed for a thorough cleaning.
Dentists Don’t Over Whiten
Although you want to have a clean, bright smile, whitening is not always recommended. Whitening products contain harsh bleaches, which are not intended for excessive or regular use. If you wish to whiten your teeth, speak to your dentist about your best options. If you use over-the-counter whitening products too often, you could wear down enamel and also cause extreme sensitivity.
Dentists Get Regular Professional Cleanings
Last, but not least, your dentist books regular dental checkups with their dental hygienist twice a year. They provide a thorough professional cleaning, as well as a checkup to look for potential issues.
At your regular checkups, you can also receive a fluoride treatment and discuss any concerns you might have about your dental health. Your hygienist will also offer hygiene tips to optimize your dental health.
As you can see, dentists follow the same dental hygiene regime they recommend for their patients. Sticking to these rules will help keep your teeth and gums healthy for life.
Many adults live with an embarrassing smile without ever thinking to speak to their dentist about cosmetic treatments. Often, people assume cosmetic treatments would be too costly. However, many affordable treatments can help you have the smile you have always wanted. Many features that can spoil a smile are easily remedied. Here are five ways you can achieve your dream smile.
1. Gum/dental contouring
Gum contouring is also known as the “gummy smile” correction. The procedure removes excess gum tissue that covers your teeth and makes your smile appear to be “all gums.” However, Toronto patients can also resolve many other issues, including:
- Chips in teeth and fractures: Smile contouring can make corrections to issues such as minor chips and fractures.
- Create an even smile: Uneven teeth can be reshaped to improve appearance.
- Reduce the height of teeth (horsey teeth): A reduction of height in the right places can greatly improve the appearance of teeth.
- Reshape pointy teeth: Cosmetic contouring is used to adjust the length of the cuspids.
- Reduce a slight overlap: Even minor overlaps can cause issues due to plaque and tartar build-up.
2. Porcelain veneers
Porcelain dental veneers are custom-made “shells” designed to cover the front surface of your teeth. They are matched to your ideal tooth colour and can improve a number of issues. Not only can they be used to mask extreme staining, but they are also resistant to future staining from coffee, tea, and smoking.
With proper maintenance, your veneers can last for years. They don’t weaken your natural tooth surface and require minimal tooth preparation. A long-lasting aesthetic cement attaches the veneers to increase longevity. The veneers are made of natural-looking porcelain colour matched to your natural teeth.
You will have to avoid using your teeth to do things such as open packages or biting your nails. Also, they are not suited for those who grind their teeth or who have severe bite problems.
Lumineers® are a thinner porcelain veneer that is also placed over existing teeth. They do not require the removal of tooth structure, so the treatment doesn’t require drilling or freezing.
Both options offer a very natural looking enamel that can be used for many restorative options, including:
- Worn-down teeth
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped
3. Teeth whitening
Teeth whitening treatments can change the colour of your teeth often by as much as eight shades. Zoom® One Hour Teeth Whitening is a safe, effective, and very fast whitening option available in our office. You will see dramatic results in just one hour.
The hydrogen peroxide gel is made more powerful using the Zoom! Light. It helps to break down the hydrogen peroxide so that oxygen enters the enamel and dentin; bleaching coloured substances away. The Zoom! Light improves penetration of the tooth surface, getting 33% more action than peroxide alone.
We also offer professional take-home teeth whitening kits with customized whitening trays. You take home the professional strength whitening gel and apply it using trays made from impressions of your teeth. This provides a snug fit for even whitening.
The whitening gel works much like the Zoom in-office treatment to lighten stains on your enamel. It is not as quick and can take several weeks for the carbamide peroxide to get the shade you desire.
4. Invisalign braces treatment
Invisalign® clear aligners offer an invisible orthodontic treatment for a number of smile woes, including:
- Crooked teeth
- Gaps in teeth
- Open bite
- Crowded teeth
The Invisalign® system can be used to shape your smile with 75% more predictability than traditional braces. They offer optimal comfort and aesthetics, as they are invisible. You can take them out to eat and care for your teeth, and they don’t require adjustments at your dental office. Instead, you simply change your aligners every two weeks at home to help ease your teeth into the ideal position.
5. Dental implant replacement treatment
Living with missing teeth can not only affect your smile but your overall dental health. A single missing tooth can cause your other teeth to shift dramatically, causing issues such as overlaps, more gaps, and a crooked smile. This also leads to bone loss, which can completely alter the appearance of your face. As your gums shift and shrink away from the remaining teeth, they can even over-erupt or come out of their sockets.
Missing teeth also make you look older due to bone loss. Dental implants can stop the aging process, restore the facial structure, stop the movement of surrounding teeth, and restore proper bite and chewing functions.
If you have good oral health and general overall health, you could be a candidate for dental implants. Dental implants use metal posts or frames surgically positioned in the jawbone beneath your gums. They provide a permanent mount similar to your natural roots for your replacement teeth. The titanium posts actually fuse with your bone, providing a natural, very secure post for your new teeth. This also allows them to promote dental and bone health.
The benefits of dental implants include:
- Renewed ability to chew and speak properly
- Restoration of facial aesthetics
- Preservation of remaining jawbone structure
- Recovery of the natural appearance and function of teeth
- Increased confidence
- In most cases, you do not need to remove and clean an appliance
Smile Makeover Consultation
Regardless of your smile challenges, a smile makeover consultation provides a thorough assessment of your dental health. From there, we can make recommendations for the most suitable solutions for your smile makeover. We consider all of your options and will explain how each works, the benefits, downsides, and cost. You can then make an informed decision about what solution works best for you.
Financing is available, making it affordable for anyone to have their dream smile.
Your gums are very important to your overall oral health. Because they are soft tissue and your mouth is a wet environment, bacteria are always present. When you don’t practice daily oral hygiene, bacteria and plaque are left in your mouth for too long, leading to gum disease. Bacteria occur in everyone’s mouth due to mucus, food debris, and plaque. This means everyone is at risk for gum disease if the plaque in your mouth is left to harden and form tartar. This can attack your tooth enamel and the tissue below your gum line.
If you are not visiting your dentist for regular checkups, signs of gum disease can go unnoticed, allowing it to progress. Gum disease can range from mild inflammation in the early stages of gingivitis to a serious condition called periodontitis.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the mildest form and earliest stage of gum disease. If left unchecked, it develops into periodontitis. Gingivitis is treatable with minimally invasive options, which means it is important to have regular dental checkups so it can be caught early.
What are the signs of gingivitis?
Signs of gingivitis include:
- Bright red or purple gums
- Tender or even painful gums
- Bleeding from the gums when brushing or flossing
- Bad breath
- Swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Soft gums
When you see these symptoms, you should call us right away so we can provide proper treatment.
What happens if gingivitis isn’t caught early?
If gingivitis is left untreated, it will progress to periodontitis, causing significant damage to the bone and soft tissue that support your teeth. This is because the bacteria in your mouth cause your immune system to attack the gum tissue and bone around your teeth.
The bacteria in your mouth can also get into your bloodstream, which can spread throughout your entire body leading to additional health problems.
How is periodontitis treated?
Treatment for periodontitis is more invasive than simple cleaning. It can require deeper cleaning called root planing and, in more serious cases, surgery and possibly bone and tissue grafts. These treatments are also expensive.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Although gum disease mainly affects people in their 30s or 40s, teens can also get gingivitis, although rarely. It is also more common in men.
In the early stages of gingivitis, it might not be as obvious because it is painless. However, as it worsens, you can watch for these symptoms:
- Loose teeth: Once the infection takes hold, your teeth can become loose. Deeper gum pockets around the teeth cause this.
- Receding gums: Gum recession can occur as the tissue around your teeth erodes.
- Sensitive teeth: As your gums recede, your teeth will become sensitive. Gums recede when you lose the protective enamel of your teeth, exposing the softer dentin below.
- Discomfort when eating: With the recession of your gums and loosening of your teeth, it can become painful to chew.
- Bad breath: Halitosis is an ongoing bad breath that can also leave a bad taste in your mouth. The accumulation of plaque on your teeth forms toxins that cause a bad taste and smell.
- Red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums: Inflammation caused by the bacteria in your mouth leads to redness, swelling, tenderness, and bleeding. However, in the early stages of gingivitis, although there is inflammation, it is usually not painful.
As the disease progresses, you might also experience:
- Pus around the teeth and gums
- Mouth sores
- Shiny gums
- Change to your bite
- Poor-fitting dentures if you have them
- More gaps and spaces between your teeth
Any of these symptoms call for a dental appointment!
Who is at greater risk of gum disease?
There are some factors that can put you at higher risk, including:
- Certain medications: There are many medications that can cause dry mouth. Without proper saliva flow, you can’t properly flush away germs and food debris which can lead to gum disease. Medications can also cause abnormal growth of gum tissue, which can make it harder to keep your gums and teeth clean.
- Aging: As mentioned, gum disease is more common in people in their 30s and 40s. However, those over 65 have the highest occurrence of periodontitis.
- Poor diet: If you are not getting enough nutrients, your immune system will be weaker. This will make it harder for your body to fight against infections, including gum disease.
- Obesity: Being overweight can also increase the risk of gum problems.
- Smoking: Smoking puts you at risk for many serious diseases, including increasing the chance for you to get gum disease. If you do have gum disease and smoke, it decreases the effectiveness of treatment.
- Diabetes: When you have diabetes, you are at greater risk for many types of infections, including gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Other medical conditions: Conditions like cancer and AIDS, in hand with their treatments, can contribute to your risk for gum disease
- Genetics: Some family histories include vulnerability to periodontitis.
- Teeth grinding: Grinding or clenching your teeth can aggravate gum diseases due to added pressure on your teeth.
- Pregnancy and menopause: Although gum disease is more common in men, hormones during menopause and pregnancy can make gums more susceptible to gingivitis for women.
- Anxiety: Stress can reduce your ability to fight infection.
If you have any of the above risk factors, it’s always best to have regular dental checkups so we can keep an eye on your gum health.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Although gum disease is very common, it is also very preventable. It just takes good oral hygiene habits to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Even if you have some of the risk factors, proper oral hygiene, in hand with regular dental checkups, will help you maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Focusing on both brushing and proper flossing every day will help you reduce plaque and bacteria. Along with regular dental cleanings, your teeth will remain healthy. You should also always look for signs of gum disease. Because the early signs do not cause noticeable pain, you can look for things such as swollen or bleeding gums.
You can also make healthier choices including:
- Enjoy a healthier diet
- Lose weight
- Quit smoking
This will help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
What are the consequences of gum disease?
The number one cause of tooth loss in adults is gum disease. By maintaining a good oral health regime and scheduling annual comprehensive periodontal evaluations, you can help avoid the pain, expensive treatment, and the possibility of tooth loss associated with gum diseases. We can provide advice on protecting yourself against gum disease based on your health and history.
If you are worried about gum disease, contact Dawson Dental here to set up an appointment with our team.
Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars that appear most commonly in your late teens. Not everyone has wisdom teeth. They, unfortunately, often grow in misaligned and will require removal. Misaligned wisdom teeth can be angled towards your second molars, which can lead to crowding and damage other teeth, your jawbone, and nerves. When there are issues with your wisdom teeth, we might recommend extraction to avoid complications.
What are impacted wisdom teeth?
Impacted wisdom teeth are prevented from fully erupting. They can remain under the soft tissue and/or the jawbone, but can also be partially exposed through the gum. When teeth are unable to erupt, there is often a physical barrier, such as other teeth. If the angle in your teeth is incorrect this will also prevent erupting.
Do you always have to remove wisdom teeth?
When your wisdom teeth are not impacted, we will not recommend removal if:
- Your wisdom teeth are healthy.
- They have fully erupted without issue.
- They are positioned correctly without causing issues with bite or your other teeth.
- They can be cared for without causing hygiene issues.
There is no reason to go through the extraction procedure with healthy, aligned, and fully erupted wisdom teeth. In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth that are completely covered by bone and gum tissue that do not appear to be changing in their position will not require removal.
When should wisdom teeth be removed?
Other issues that will require wisdom teeth removal including:
- Not having enough room for the teeth to grow in properly.
- Teeth growing in at extreme angles.
- Teeth that are impacted and remain completely hidden within the gums.
- Partial eruption that leads to hygiene issues.
- Risk for the crowding of your other teeth.
It is often easier to remove wisdom teeth at a younger age, as this allows for faster recovery. Patients in their teens do not have fully formed roots and bone.
Why can’t I keep my partially erupted wisdom teeth?
When your teeth have partially erupted, they are exposed to bacteria, which can cause an infection. Infected wisdom teeth lead to pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and a feeling of general illness. Partially erupted teeth can also be prone to decay. This can lead to gum disease and cavities because these teeth are harder to keep clean.
Can we watch and wait to see if issues develop?
In cases where wisdom teeth aren’t fully covered by bone, it is often okay to take a watch-and-wait approach to see how the teeth progress. We can review the potential risks of taking this approach to help you decide what is best for you. We will also consider things such as how close the teeth might be to nerves, as well as issues such as partially erupted teeth developing cavities. Other things we would monitor include cellulitis and episodes of pericoronitis.
We will often decide to take an X-ray to look for signs that circumstances have changed. If we determine there is more risk to keeping your wisdom teeth, then we will recommend removal. It is important to keep track of the progress, as it will not always be obvious that a problem is developing.
Are there other reasons wisdom teeth should be extracted?
There are some changes to your teeth that could make extraction necessary, including:
- Ongoing pain
- Repeated infection
- Cysts or tumours
- Damage to nearby teeth
- Gum disease
- Extensive tooth decay
We will discuss these issues to determine if they are, in fact, caused by your wisdom teeth.
Why do some people not believe in removing wisdom teeth?
One of the main concerns about wisdom teeth removal is whether or not the extraction is justified. We will only recommend removal if there are issues that can lead to complications. The cost of wisdom teeth extraction is also a concern for those without dental benefits. When the extraction is required, it is far more cost-effective to make a simple financial plan with our office than it is to risk further, more costly complications down the road.
If you would like more information on wisdom teeth, contact Dawson Dental here.