The last two options that are used for straightening teeth are called ceramic braces and lingual braces. Although neither option is very popular, they are still options for those who are not keen on either the traditional metal braces or Invisalign.

Ceramic braces are nearly identical to the metal braces in the sense that they include a bracket and a wire, but they are far smaller than metal braces and tooth coloured so they are not as noticeable as the bright, shiny, metal ones. Other pros of ceramic braces include the same as the metal braces such as: faster treatment time and no risk of loss.

Cons of ceramic braces include the inability to use them for severe cases of tooth misalignment, more expensive than their metal counterparts, and are far more easier to stain because of their material. Frequent cleaning is a must in order to prevent discoloration. 

Lingual braces are the sweet spot between Invisalign and traditional braces. They are nicknamed incognito or hidden braces because while traditional braces are adhered to the front of the teeth, lingual braces are placed on the backs of the teeth, giving them all the power of metal braces, but the invisibility of Invisalign. Other pros include no risk of loss, and are suitable for all ages and the majority of patients.

However, lingual braces have their own unique set of challenges. There’s a risk of a temporary speech impediment due to the placement of the braces, as well as tongue irritation from being in constant contact with the braces. They’re also much harder to clean due to not being able to see them clearly, and they are far more expensive than their counterparts.

Speak with your dentist about your options as well as further information. Only they, through a consultation, will be able to help you make a clear and informed choice.

Last week, we talked about Invisalign as being one of the ways that people of all ages can help straighten their teeth. But we also mentioned that Invisalign might not be for everyone, which is where traditional braces come in.

Traditional metal braces are metal brackets that are adhered to the surface of each tooth and connected through a wire. Unlike the metal braces of the past, the brackets are now smaller, and the wire is much more effective at moving the teeth as they can now use the body’s natural heat in order to speed up the process.

Other advantages of using metal braces include: a more linear and faster treatment time, inexpensive, able to be used on children, no risk of loss, and they are able to correct much more severe cases.

However, they are not without their disadvantages as well. For those concerned with their looks, metal braces are very noticeable to those around you, your teeth are much harder to clean, and there are certain foods which you have to eliminate from your diet such as gum, caramel candies, and anything else that is particularly hard or sticky as they can damage the brackets.

To find out whether traditional metal braces are right for you, schedule a consultation with your dentist for more information and to discuss your options.

As much as magazines and the media would like you to believe that perfectly straight teeth come naturally, it’s just not the case for the vast majority of people. In fact, did you know that more than 75% of children between the ages of 10-13 will undergo some kind of corrective dental procedure in order to fix the alignment of their teeth? Adults who never had the opportunity as a child are now looking at getting the same procedures done as well which has given rise to new ways in order to achieve straight teeth. One of them is Invisalign. 

Invisalign is a clear tray that is custom fit to the wearer’s mouth that they wear for the majority of the day in between meals, depending on the severity of their alignment issue. One of the reasons why Invisalign is so popular is because it is completely unnoticeable, meaning that people can go about their day to day lives and forget that they’re even wearing the tray. Others will not be able to notice it as well.

Other pros of Invisalign include: comfortability, the ability to remove while eating and drinking, relatively affordable, and are easy to clean and take care of.

However, Invisalign is not for everyone. Busy teens and adults who will forget to put their Invisalign in will not benefit from it as much and their teeth will take longer to align as there is usually a 22 hour a day requirement in order for them to be effective. As the teeth shift, adjustments to the tray are also needed and can cause mild to moderate discomfort with every change.

 A quick consultation with your dentist can help provide more insight on whether or not Invisalign is right for you depending on your age and lifestyle. Contact your dentist today to further discuss your teeth straightening options.

Hopefully this guide has given you a better insight into the world of tooth alignment correction. Please note that not all benefits and cons are listed here and you may have a different experience than others as what works for one person may not work for you. Your dentist will be able to determine which is best for you based on a number of factors, and can answer any questions you may have.

To set up a free consultation, please contact Dr. Sam Saddat and his team at +1 805-499-3691

Ever leave the dentist and come home to find that your mouth is sore and the pain just won’t go away? This is a common occurrence that happens to most people after they undergo a dental procedure, but luckily, there are things that can help alleviate that pain while your mouth heals.

  • Acetaminophen/Ibuprofen: The most common pain reliever on the market. Brands such as Advil and Tylonel are great for helping to relieve minor to moderate aches and pains and are safe to use provided that each patient reads and follows the label correctly. Stronger versions of these medications can be prescribed by the dentist and doctor for more severe pain, but the majority of patients will be fine with the over the counter variety. This medication is especially recommended to patients who have undergone surgical treatments and are advised to stay clear of Asprin as a pain relief as it can cause bleeding and disrupt the healing process. 
  • Ora-Jel: For topical applications, the over the counter brand Ora-Jel is recommended because of the ingredient benzocaine, which helps to numb the area. Like with any medication, always read and follow the label for best results, as certain age groups may not be allowed to have this product. 
  • Saltwater Rinse: This is not meant to be done straight after a procedure, but once 24 hours has passed, patients can swirl a homemade saltwater rinse around in their mouth. To make this, add one table spoon of salt to an 8oz glass of water and swirl the mixture repeatedly around in your mouth, making sure to focus in on the area you want to treat. Spit the water into the sink afterwards, as it is not meant to be swallowed due to its high salt content. Do this 2-3 times a day, especially after meals, for the most effective results.

Dentists will often explain what to do and what not to do after a procedure has been done on their patient. There may be things not mentioned on this list that they will suggest doing. Seeing as they know you and the procedure the best, it is recommended to follow their instructions on how best to alleviate your pain. Pain that is constant, severe, and will not go away warrants a trip back to the dentist or even to the emergency room depending on the severity as soon as possible as it may be a sign of infection.

Yellowed or greyed teeth may not be just from surface stains such as tobacco, coffee, and other things that we consume. Some stains may run deeper than the surface and therefore require more than just a whitening strip or toothpaste. That’s where dental bleaches come in.

Dental Bleaches

Dental bleaches are far more effective than the leading whitening strip, but as with any treatment, the results may not be exactly what the patient is looking for. Dental bleaches are also much more expensive than  a whitening strip so it’s important to first go for a consultation in order to properly weigh the pros and cons of the treatment. It’s also important to mention any dental procedure that you’ve had done in the past as they may be the cause of the discolouration and the dentist will have to change their approach on how to treat it. If dental bleaching is something that will work for the patient, there are a couple different ones available.

  • Vital bleaching is typically done on teeth that the dentist considers to be “alive”, meaning that they have not undergone any cosmetic or rigorous treatment in the past. Vital bleaching is also done on stains that are caused by coffee, wine, and aging.
  • Non-vital bleaching is done on teeth where treatments like root canals and fillings have been done.

When the treatment has been chosen and approved, the dentist will then decide which method to use to complete the procedure. They will use the number of teeth that need to be treated, the history of the teeth, and the way that it became discolored.

For the first method, a combination of heat and light are used, as well as a special bleach that is applied to the teeth beforehand. This offers the fastest results.

The second method is wearing a custom fit mouthguard that contains the same bleach as the first method. However, these mouthguards can be taken home and worn during certain periods of the day.

Finally, the final take home method is a special toothpaste that is provided by the dentist that contains the same bleach as the previous methods. 

For more information about dental bleaching and to find out what method might be right for you, please contact your dentist for a consultation to discuss your options.

Our teeth are one of the most finicky things of our body to take care of. The slightest slip-up or numerous missed brushings can do anything from giving us bleeding gums, or even holes in the teeth. One of the most common things that can happen to our teeth just from living our daily lives though, is discolouration. Teeth were never meant to be stark white, at least not naturally, but with the use of tobacco, coffee, wine, and even just aging, our teeth can become yellowed or even greyed out, and many people seek to fix this. One of the most popular ways to do this is through surface whiteners.

Surface whiteners are available at any drugstore or pharmacy, usually located with dental hygiene items such as mouthwash, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. Just like the rest of the products that you’ll find, you’ll see that there are many different types to choose from as each dental brand will likely have their own version of a teeth whitener and whitening toothpaste. They all essentially work the same: the toothpaste will usually contain some sort of scrub that is used to buff the surface of the tooth and remove any stains that have appeared. This can take several uses, but they’re safe to use daily. Whitening strips are also available, and although they might work faster than the toothpastes, they are also considerably more expensive, so be sure to pick the right product that fits within your budget and lifestyle as the strips are made to be worn longer than the two minutes it takes to brush your teeth.

Please keep in mind when considering these products that they are just surface whiteners and will only do just that: whiten the surface of your teeth. Deep rooted stains will not come out with the use of these products and require the expertise of a dentist using dental bleach. Consult with your dentist before trying surface whiteners to see if they are right for you.

Dental offices across the globe are currently closed as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, but one day they will reopen and many people will be overdue for their teeth cleaning. Here’s what to expect when you come in for your next visit.

It all starts with a physical exam. The dental hygienist will move a tiny mirror around your mouth to see if anything looks out of the ordinary, taking note of any inflamed gums, bleeding, and signs of gingivitis. If nothing is found, the cleaning can proceed. However, things of interest will be alerted to the dentist who will normally come in and assess the situation and guide the hygienist on how to proceed.During this step, x-rays of your teeth may also be taken.

For the cleaning part of the exam, the hygienist will use a scaler, which is like a metal toothpick, to clean any plaque from around the gums and inbetween your teeth–the hard to reach areas. Patients who spend time at home brushing and flossing regularly will rarely feel discomfort during this step, while those who aren’t so vigilant with their oral health routine will often say that this is the most uncomfortable step.

Once the teeth have been scaled, the hygienist will go in with a high powered toothbrush and a gritty toothpaste that will remove any plaque that has been left behind, as well as polish the teeth to leave them smooth and shiny.

To finish up the exam, your hygienist will floss your teeth and rinse your mouth with water to remove anything leftover. Before you leave, make sure to take home a toothbrush and trial size container of floss, and don’t forget to book your next appointment in advance. Appointments can always be moved around if the date chosen does not work in the future.

Stay safe and healthy out there! We can’t wait to see you again.

Teeth that have not broken through the barrier of the gums are known as impacted teeth as there is something that has caused them to be stuck. Impacted teeth often go unnoticed as patients often don’t notice any symptoms until they get an x-ray done at their bi-annual cleaning. 

Although not common, some patients can have the following symptoms:

  • Bad breath
  • Red and/or bleeding gums
  • Pain when chewing

Impacted teeth often occur when there is not enough room in the mouth for them to grow in, therefore wisdom teeth are often the most common cases of impacted teeth as they are the last to come in and are at the very back of the mouth. Patients with smaller jaws are also common sufferers of impacted teeth.

For treatment, it depends on the patient and also the tooth affected. Wisdom teeth, for example will more than likely be extracted as they serve no real purpose. Other teeth such as the canines or incisors which are valuable teeth will often be treated by surgery and orthodontics in order to get the tooth through the gum and pulled into place.

If you suspect that you have an impacted tooth or require more information about the condition, contact us for a consultation.

We’ve all experienced having sensitive teeth at one point in time. You bite into an ice cream cone, expecting to enjoy it, only to be disappointed with a horrible pain in one of your teeth. While that situation may be a one time thing, there are people who suffer with tooth sensitivity on a regular basis, and it’s actually quite common. Most people that come to visit their dentist describe some form of tooth sensitivity. So why does it happen and what can you do to prevent and treat it?

Causes of Sensitive Teeth

While certain conditions can cause sensitive teeth such as cavities, everyday tooth sensitivity is caused by the thinning and wearing down of the hard surface of your teeth, also known as your enamel. Enamel helps to protect the roots of the teeth, so when it’s gone, your teeth become more sensitive. Enamel breaks down in the following ways:

  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Improper brushing
  • Bulimia
  • Acidic drinks and foods

Treatment and Prevention

Mouth guards can be purchased in order to help with teeth grinding and your dentist can recommend a softer toothbrush and better techniques to help keep your enamel intact. Acidic foods and drinks should be kept to the minimum and replaced with water whenever possible. Bulimia, on the other hand, seeing as it is an eating disorder, may take longer to overcome, but with the right support and medical help, bulimia can be successfully treated.

Conclusion

Any tooth pain or sensitivity should be reported immediately to your dentist so that they may properly diagnose the source. While it may be as simple as changing up your brushing routine and choosing a different toothpaste, your dentist will want to rule out things like cavities and gum disease that may be the culprit.

Call us today to book a consultation. 

Dentists recommend that your brush and floss after every meal, but many people do not, whether that be of their choosing or something out of their control. For those who are able to take care of their teeth, there are a few techniques that can be done to ensure that it is being done properly.

First, how to properly floss:

  1. Take a piece of pre-cut floss, or measure a piece of floss the length of your forearm and tear it off.
  2. Leaving around 2 inches of space, wrap the piece of floss around both your middle and index fingers.
  3. Work the floss in between your teeth using a back and forth motion, and then wrap the floss in a “C” shape at the bottom to get in the gumline. Repeat this 2-3 times for each tooth.

After flossing comes brushing. Brushing should come after flossing as it can remove all the particles left behind by the floss working between your teeth and just like flossing, there’s a specific way to do it to make sure your mouth is completely clean.

  1. Angle the brush at 45 degrees and work in a circular motion, concentrating and starting at the bottom of the tooth where it meets the gum.
  2. Work up and down the surface of the teeth, being careful NOT to scrub as it can damage the gums.
  3. Brush this way for about 2-3 minutes. Brushing your teeth should not be rushed. 
  4. Finish up with mouthwash and DO NOT SWALLOW.

Here are a few extra tips to make sure that your mouth and teeth are in the best shape.

  1. If you’re having a hard time getting into flossing because it’s considered to be a mundane task, try doing it when you’re watching TV before bed.
  2. To ensure brushing for 2-3 minutes, play your favourite song and brush until it is over.
  3. Choose a soft toothbrush with rounded bristles and replace it every 3 months or sooner if it becomes frayed.
  4. Those with metal braces may have a tougher time brushing their teeth. Talk to your dentist about specialized toothbrushes and flossers.

For any other general questions about oral hygiene, consult with your dentist.