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.