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White Smile Checklist: 10 Ways to Keeping Your Pearly Whites Bright

Your smile is always one of the first things that catches people’s eye. Whiter teeth do not only improve your smile and appearance, but can also increase your confidence and self-esteem greatly – so it’s no wonder that teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetics dentistry options. However, over time, permanent teeth can lose their lustre as a result of diet, genetics and the natural aging process. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to keep your pearly whites nice and illuminated. As your Mississauga family dentist, we have compiled a list of ten different ways to help you in keeping your teeth nice and bright.

  1. Have professional hygiene therapy sessions to help clean and remove all of the superficial stains.
    The first step towards a whiter brighter smile is to make frequent visits to see your dental hygienist. During hygiene therapy sessions, plaque and calculus deposits are removed, which are what is creating the yellow or green coating on the surfaces of your teeth. Your hygienist will use specialized instruments adapted to clean the contours of your mouth and also polish your teeth in order to eliminate the extrinsic brown staining from your teeth.

  2. Use a soft toothbrush and replace it often.
    Using a soft toothbrush helps to preserve your tooth enamel. If you use a medium or hard-bristled toothbrush, you can potentially wear away the enamel, making it weaker and more susceptible to yellowing over time. It is also important to replace your toothbrush every three months, as toothbrushes can hoard bacteria – which in turn can break down tooth enamel and contribute to bad breath and tooth decay.

  3. Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables.
    Eating foods with lots of fibre such as celery, apples, and raw carrots help to essentially “scrub” your teeth from particles that can cause cavities and tooth decay. These foods are best consumed as the last part of your meal or snack if you are not able to brush your teeth after eating.

  4. Use mouthwash regularly.
    Using mouthwash daily helps to kill the odour and bacteria that can advance enamel and tooth decay. Make sure that you choose an alcohol-free mouthwash, as alcohol can dry out the inner tissues of your mouth, which can in turn increase the breeding of bacteria.

  5. Floss daily.
    I know we’ve heard it all before, however flossing is extremely important to your overall dental health and in maintaining your pearly whites. Your toothbrush is not able to reach every crevice and angle in your mouth and that is where flossing comes in to play. Flossing can get in between the teeth and dislodge the tiny particles that may eventually turn into major issues.

  6. Drink darker beverages through a straw.
    Coffee, soft drinks, and wine can all stain your teeth over time. The best way to maintain your smile and still be able to enjoy these beverages in moderation is to drink them through a straw. Drinking darker liquids through a straw helps the liquid to bypass your teeth so that you do not stain them.

  7. Moderate consumption of acidic foods.
    Eating foods with acid, such as orange, lemons, and pickles can wreak havoc on your enamel, making it easier for stains to get in and yellow your teeth. Drink water after consuming acidic foods to help rinse away as much acid as possible. Try to avoid brushing for at least 30 minutes after consuming anything acidic, as acid breaks down the enamel and brushing your teeth right away can actually cause more damage.

  8. Use professional whitening systems and products.
    Here, at Credit River Dental Centre, we offer whitening methods to best suit your needs in order to help you achieve your whitest smile. Our office provides two teeth whitening treatments - in office, which can be done in under an hour, or take-home treatments, in which custom whitening trays are created for you so you can whiten in the comfort of your own home, at your convenience.

  9. Eat foods with calcium.
    Eat foods with calcium to help keep your teeth strong. Cheese, dark leafy greens, milk, yogurt, broccoli, and almonds are all great choices to keep your calcium levels high for your optimal teeth health. Vitamin D is also beneficial with the absorption of calcium, therefore consuming both will give your body the tools to keep your teeth strong and resilient.

  10. See your dentist regularly.
    At Credit River Dental Centre, it is our main goal to help you to achieve your optimal oral health. Schedule regular dental appointments so that we can assess your teeth and formulate a plan for you to achieve all your oral health goals. Our office is committed to providing every patient with a bright and brilliant smile that can completely transform not only their appearance, but their confidence

2019 Novel Coronavirus

By now I’m sure you have heard about the Coronavirus coming out of China that has so far claimed the lives of over 1,000 individuals and infected over another 45,000. What do we know so far about this relatively new and little known virus and how does it compare to the flu caused by the influenza virus that we are encouraged to get vaccinated for every year.

2019 Novel Coronavirus also known as 2019-nCoV is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Reported illnesses so far have ranged from people with mild symptoms to people being severely ill and even dying. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath.

Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. There are everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the flu as well as this 2019-nCoV virus:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear facemask to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, including 2019-nCoV.
    • Facemask should be used by people who show symptoms of 2019 novel coronavirus, in order to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Recently Returned Travelers from China

If you were in China in the last 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should:

  • Seek medical advice – Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

According to our Ministry of Health, primary care providers, including dentists and dental offices including Credit River Dental Centre are asked to do passive and active screening.

Passive screening includes:

Signage is posted on entry to Credit River Dental and at reception areas for patients with symptoms to self identify, perform hand hygiene, wear a procedure mask, and have access to tissue and a waste receptacle.

All patients will then be instructed to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing and sneezing.

The Ministry has recommended that we:

  1. Screen patients over the phone before scheduling appointments at Credit River Dental.
  2. Post signs in our reception area asking patients with symptoms to identify themselves.

We are thus asked to screen for patients with fever and/or cough or difficulty breathing.

AND any of the following:

  • Travel to Hubei Province, China in the 14 days before the onset of illness.
  • Close contact with a confirmed or probable case of 2019-nCoV
  • Close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who has been to or from Hubei Province, China in the 14 days before their symptoms.

If a patient screens positive by phone:

  • Credit River Dental will take a clinical history and travel/exposure assessment by phone to determine if the patient is a Person Under Investigation (PUI)
  • We will have to contact public health to report the suspect case and discuss the best options for testing. Decisions about testing are based on symptoms, exposure history and local resources available.
  • If patients are referred to hospital, Credit River Dental will coordinate with the patient, the hospital and local public health.

If a patient screens positive at the office, we are asked to:

  • Maintain a 2 metre distance from the patient and wear a procedure mask.
  • Isolate the patient and, if possible, have them wear a procedure mask.
  • Take a clinical history and travel/exposure assessment to determine if the patient is a Person Under Investigation (PUI)
  • Contact public health to report the suspect case and discuss the best options for testing. Decisions about testing are based on symptoms, exposure history and local resources available.
  • If patients are referred to hospital Credit River Dental will coordinate with the patient, the hospital and local public health.

If a patient has travelled to or from Hubei Province, China in the last 14 days but has no symptoms we will:

  • Advise the patient to watch for symptoms. If they develop fever, new onset of the cough or difficulty breathing, they should call their primary care provider, TeleHealth Ontario or the local public health unit.

It is important that we keep things in perspective and realize that here in Canada, the chances of contracting the 2019-nCoV is still extremely low, especially if you follow the hygiene guidelines above. So far, there have been 7 reported infections and no reported deaths due to the 2019-nCoV virus in Canada. The flu virus on the other hand has infected over 12000 in Canada and killed at least 10 in that same period of time so it is still very important that anyone over 6 months of age get the flu vaccine.

The Ministry of Health has set up a Health Care Provider Hotline at 1-866-212-2272.

A Heart Felt Gift for this Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air.  For some Valentine’s day is a celebration of a new relationship, for others a celebration of a long term one and for some it’s a celebration of independence and loving one’s self.  Whatever Valentine’s Day symbolizes for you or for a significant other, finding the right gift can be a challenge.

Our Mississauga dental office can help you with this.  What better than to give the gift of a beautiful smile for a loved one or for yourself.  A beautiful smile may not necessarily mean a full mouth makeover.  These simple gift(s) may be enough to give you or your loved one that extra sparkle this Valentine’s day.

A Whiter Brighter Smile

Our office offers two types of whitening treatments; one that can be done in our office in as little as an hour or one that can be done in the comfort of your own home.  Our in-office treatment can be done in less than an hour and give you a difference of up to 8 shades whiter.  Minimal sensitivity is experienced with this treatment.  Click HERE  to find out more about our in-office whitening treatment.  Our office also offers Professional home whitening treatments that can be done over the course of two weeks.  Although slight sensitivity may be experienced with the home whitening kits, the shade of whitening can be controlled and treatment can be done in the comfort of your own home.  Call our office at 905-278-4297to consult with one of our specialists about which whitening treatment is right for you!  Deals and Special offers for this service are limited to our patients or patients to be only.

A Cleaner and Brighter Smile

Giving the gift of good oral health is something you or your loved ones will always be thankful for.  Our office offers Oral B’s Professional Care Electric Toothbrush to you at cost pricing so you and your loved ones can enjoy a cleaner and brighter smile.  We also offer Cario toothpaste which help to prevent cavities.  This toothpaste is a revolutionary toothpaste created by Oral Science.  It does not contain SLS and is Fluoride-Free.  Call us at 905-278-4297 to find out more about these superior homecare products or to purchase yours today.

A Little Sparkle in a Smile

Like the saying goes, diamonds are forever!  Have you ever thought about adding a little sparkle to your smile or gifting a loved one a little sparkle?  Our office now offers diamonds backed in 22K yellow gold or 18K white gold which can be placed non-invasively on the tooth surface.  We also offer other tooth jewel options.  Click HERE  to find out more about tooth jewellery.

Your oral health matters and as your Mississauga dentist our team dedicates our learning to making sure we can help you and your loved ones achieve optimal oral health.  To find out more about what we can do to help you with this contact our office today at 905-278-4297!

The Gift You DON’T Want

The Common Cold!

It’s the most, wonderful time, of the year! With the bright and shining lights of the Christmas trees, to the shiny wrapping paper that sits just below, the holidays can be such a beautiful time spent with family and close friends. But, being close can lead to other things that aren’t so joyous; that includes the common cold!From the constant unpredictability of the north, the weather can go from hot to cold in a matter of days. The shock in temperature can affect our bodies in different ways, but did you know; the common cold, didn’t actually get its name from the cold weather? Rather, the implications of indoor festivities that have us dwelling in the sneeze covered counters or handshakes from Aunt Mary or cousin George. The act of staying indoors, in close proximities to those infected due to the cold is likely the cause of the common cold and along with it, those unpleasant symptoms that keep us under those sheets. Not only can the common cold affect your mind and body, but it can also attribute to other oral symptoms that are just as unpleasant. Have you ever experienced tooth pain when you were sick? This is not uncommon as the largest sinus cavity in your face is located above your upper jaw. When you have a sinus infection, the buildup of fluids in that cavity can cause pressure on the roots of your teeth. Although this may be the case, it is always recommended to visit your dentist to confirm there isn’t an underlying issue causing the toothache.When your nose is all stuffy, it makes it extremely hard to breath, so you tend to breath through your mouth. This can cause dry mouth. Since your saliva has a key role in fighting tooth decay by washing bacteria that causes plaque, staying hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids is important when you are feeling under the weather.Another oral symptom that can be caused by the common cold is bad breath. When your body is producing excess mucus, the post nasal drip that seeps in the back of your mouth creates an environment that allows bacteria to grow and multiple, thus giving off an unpleasant odor. It is important to note that when you are sick, it is highly recommended to stay on top of your oral care and hygiene game. Although it may be tough to get out of bed, it is important to know that being sick can take a toll on your oral health so skipping hygiene appointments or dental visits to get some extra rest can cause more harm than good. This can be especially true if your oral health is already on a rocky road and the excess bacteria and lack of oral hygiene can make matter worse. So, as hard as it may seem to get out of bed during sick days, its best to remember the long term effects and how brushing at least twice a day can help minimize oral complications and improve your health overall.Contact your top choice Mississauga dental office today to keep your mouth in tip top shape for the holiday season at 905-278-4297

Dentophobia : Ways to Overcome the Fear and Anxiety of Dentistry

Have you ever wanted to do something so badly, but you were too afraid to do it or afraid of something that would let you do it? Are you stressed or scared of just the thought, sight, touch or sound of something/someone? Phobias; we all have at least one. Even Superman had one; kryptonite.

I’ve always been a winter fan (I’m not crazy, I promise!), I was born and raised in friendly “Winterpeg”, Manitoba, the land of snow! I love to snowboard and ice skate even with a mild fear of heights and slipping. Yet every season, I’m on the top of that mountain and speed my way down without so much as a thought of just one wrong move, could send me tumbling down in pieces.

I do enjoy summer and the fun filled sun soaking activities associated with it, but there is one thing I’m absolutely terrified of; bees! As soon as I hear or see one, I’m probably the roadrunner’s best competition, I speed away! I can face being on top of a 3000+ foot high mountain, but a 3mm sized bee will have be running for my life.

Different phobias can affect people in many different ways. Some symptoms may be worse than others depending on the phobia itself or the situation in which it presents itself. For many, (I was once including in this group), dentistry is on top of the list. The thought of the drilling, suctioning sounds, needles and metal instruments in my mouth that I couldn’t see, only feel, it can be a scary thought. It can cause sweating, nervousness, agitation, and anxiety just to name a few. And though it may sound and seem scary, there are a few things that can help alleviate these symptoms.

Firstly, it is important to realize that being scared is okay. It does not make you any less of a person, nor does it exclude you from those who are not scared. It is important to note that for some people, this phobia stems from previous bad experiences, which then hinders any future treatments, But, if we had the mindset that just because something didn’t go the way it was planned the first time, that we should just then give up. We wouldn’t succeed in anything in life. Letting past bad experiences define your future direction only leads to circles; you’ll always end up back to where you started. Dentistry is an integral part of life that should be seen as support group; a group of professionals in oral care that are here to lead you to and maintain a healthy oral lifestyle. We are your number one fans that want you to succeed in oral hygiene!

“Dentistry is an integral part of life that should be seen as support group; a group of professionals in oral care that are here to lead you to and maintain a healthy oral lifestyle.”

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. For some, knowing step by step can help alleviate some of the stress of not knowing what’s going on. Express any concerns you may have openly and we will always try our best to explain in the best possible manner.

If your nerves seem to really get to you, you can make special requests to help make you feel more at ease.

Practicing positive self-encouragement can also be a big help! Telling yourself you are capable can help with your esteem. You are your number one fan! It is always good to be optimistic and remind yourself that you will be fine and that you can trust your dental family in providing you with the proper care and treatment.

We also offer televisions in our operatories so don’t be afraid to ask to put on your favourite show! You can also bring in a set of headphones and listen to music or your favourite podcasts. We can dim the lights and diffuse some essential oils to help too. Distractions can be a big help when you are feeling anxious!

As your top choice dental office, we want to reassure you that you are in great care! Our ultimate goal is optimal oral health and we are here to help you every step of the way. Let us know how to make each visit as comfortable as possible. It’s okay to feel scared, but rest assure, your Credit River Dental family has your back every step of the way!

Battle of the Flossers: Traditional String vs. Water Flossing

Flossing is an integral component to any great oral hygiene routine. If you are brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day, you are on the right track to maintaining healthy gums, stronger teeth, and a brighter smile! It is recommended that we floss at least once a day because it is able to clean 40% of tooth surfaces that our toothbrushes alone are not able to reach. As important as flossing is, only 31% of people are actually flossing every day. We all know we should be doing it, however what exactly is stopping us from reaching for our floss? Some people may have a hard time getting floss in between tight spaces or underneath dental work; some people have limited hand dexterity and are not able to get the floss all the way to their back molars; and others just find it way too time consuming and would rather just head straight to bed. If you have a hard time reaching for your traditional string floss, than water flossers may be a great aid to consider adding in to your oral hygiene regime. As we breakdown the battle between traditional string floss and water flossers, we hope that you will be able answer any questions that you may have had and also encourage you to ask which aid is more suitable for your needs at your next dental visit! As your Mississauga family dentist, we make it our duty to help you in every step of the way in order to achieve your optimal oral health.

The Tried-and-True: Traditional String Floss

Dental floss is a soft thread or string of silk or similar material used to clean your teeth. When it comes to regular string floss, you do have a few different options to choose from. For example, there’s waxed floss, which has a light coating of wax that makes it more durable, and there’s unwaxed floss that makes it easy to clean tight spaces between teeth. There is dental tape, which is flatter and broader to provide comfort to those who have more space in between their teeth, and there’s polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) floss, which is less prone to shredding and can easily slide between tighter spaces.

Pros of Flossing:

  • Flossing is a very efficient way to remove excess food and debris from your teeth
  • Floss is inexpensive, convenient, and easily accessible
  • It is quick and easy – you can do it almost anywhere
  • Reduces the risk of gingivitis and gum disease

Cons of Flossing:

  • It is difficult for floss to reach some areas of the mouth
  • It can cause minor bleeding if it isn’t done properly
  • Some people have a hard time getting the hang of it

Technology Takeover: Water Flossers

A water flosser is a specialized device that shoots a thin stream of water. When aimed between your teeth or at the gum line, it uses the pressure of the water to massage the gums and push the food away from the teeth. Clinical studies show that using a water flosser results in a penetration of 50% of the depth of the pocket, about two times as far as can be reached with dental floss.

Pros of Water Flossers:

  • Easy to use, especially for those with braces or other types of dental work (such as bridges, implants and fixed retainers)
  • Great choice for those with arthritis or limited dexterity
  • The massaging action can improve gum health and reach areas where traditional floss can’t

Cons of Water Flossers:

  • More expensive
  • Takes up storage space on your bathroom counter and requires electricity and water
  • Difficult to use outside your home

And The Winner Is…

Actually, we recommend a combination of both! Water flossers are extremely effective, however they are still not a complete replacement for traditional floss. Although it is definitely better than not flossing at all, flossing is definitely still important because it removes bacteria colonies from teeth and gums, whereas water flossers simply rinse these areas. Ideally, people should be using both by starting off with string floss to help loosen up the plaque and food particles, and then following up with the water flosser to help flush them all away.

Which Is Best for You?

We hope this guide has given you some insight on the advantages and disadvantages of the types of flossing tools available. If you still have any questions, please give us a call or visit our office at Credit River Dental Centre and we will help you in assessing the best way and most effective way to care for your teeth and gums at home!

Happy National Boss Day.

It’s that time of the year again. The flourishing colours of summer greens and blues transition to the vibrant reds and oranges of autumn. I’ve always loved fall; the crispness of the air with the nice hint of heat.

October is well known for its several festivities and holidays; the bountiful Thanksgiving with turkey and stuffing galore. Who could forget the spooky yet sweets filled traditions of Halloween? October is also known to be a month of awareness for things like Mental Health, Breast Cancer and Lupus. It definitely stands out as a month of appreciation, an appreciation for having what you do and what you don’t, a beautiful month indeed.

Truth be told, I never paid much attention to the national days associated with October, other than the ones I’ve mentioned. This year makes a special one for me though, October 16th; National Boss’ Day. Why may you ask am I particularly fond of this day? Well, given that both my bosses are AMAZING, it comes from a more personal perspective; a self growth, self realization, self worth perspective to be exact. They are a testament that when you give people the chance, direct with constructive criticism, and genuinely care about progression into success, you can change the life of someone in more ways than you know!

Prior to working the dental field, I always had a passion for the medical world. I loved the idea of working with patients to help them, working with doctors and nurses and medical experts to progress in the world of medicine. I’ve worked with some amazing people doing what I love.

When I first got the call from my office manager, I was in disbelief, a dental office? She was sweet, super polite and asked me to come in for an interview. I was working at a fertility clinic at the time and had never worked in a dental office. I had a phobia of the dentist let alone ever thought of working for one.

During my interview, it was known I had no prior experience in the dental field. I felt a sense of doubt because I knew I was at a disadvantage amongst the other potential hires, but I was eager to prove to them that I was a fast learner, great at multi-tasking and capable of new challenges in a field unknown to me.

When I had found out I was hired, ecstatic was an understatement! Although there was a lot to learn about dentistry, I loved that I was able to take some of my skills from the medical field, including the passion to help patients, with me and utilize those in my new position.

In all honesty, the first month or so was particularly hard. As previously stated, I had no prior dental knowledge. It was pretty intimidating to be working with such an amazing team who all knew the ins and outs of dentistry. I felt almost out of place. And as “easy” as it was to hire me, it would’ve been that easy to let me go. Surely my boss’ didn’t have to go the extra mile to teach me from scratch. They didn’t have to be extra patient or understanding when I made mistakes, big or small. They didn’t have to take the chance on someone from a completely different field and expect them to progress in theirs. But, they did. They celebrated small victories, the ones that meant the most. They allowed me to not only believe in the good that they provide their patients, but that they are great people first and foremost. They’ve supported my capability, they’ve shared tremendous knowledge and continue to elevate not only myself, but our team to become the best so that we can provide our patients with the best!

I may not be a dental expert, but I am grateful in the knowledge I do have and continue to receive from such an amazing team. It’s only been a year and knowing that our office is lead by two amazing people marks for an absolute recognition. It’s easy to say that they provide the services they do because it’s their job, but coming from a non-patient perspective and sharing this story, I truly believe that good dentistry starts with good people. You’re not told to brush more, or floss more because that’s what you’re supposed to be told, it’s because the team instructing you to genuinely care that you should. They want you to progress towards better oral health, they want you to learn things you may not have known to become better and do better and because you deserve wellness and greatness in oral health, just like they have taught me!

So, in recognition of all great bosses, Happy National Boss Day! We wish the best to all those great bosses who lead their team to success and being prime examples of hard work, commitment, kindness, and awesomeness!

Call us at 905-278-4297 to book your next appointment with an amazing dental boss today!

“The Hygienist’s Role in the Assessment of Sleep Apnea”

As your cavitron buzzes away you suddenly notice that your patient is snoring in perfect rhythm with your ultrasonic scaler.  You check your notes and realize that this happened at their last hygiene appointment and even the one before this.  Is this normal or are your scaling skills so amazing they have a soothing effect?  Probably not!!!  Should this concern you?  Being the caring hygienist you are and one fully skilled in the assessment of the periodontium, you start to wonder why this is happening to this patient and not others.  Most of the time, patients are pale-knuckled in the chair until their treatment is complete to the point where you sometimes have to pry their fingers off the arm rest.  You look at your patient’s file to see if there is anything that you can correlate to her sleeping episodes.  She’s a petite young lady in her mid thirties.  Since you’ve built great rapport with her, you know that she isn’t married and doesn’t have any children so you start to wonder.  Yours and the dentist’s clinical findings indicate she’s a heavy bruxer or clencher and you’d been doing your due diligence in trying to get her to commit to wearing a night guard but she strongly believes she doesn’t need one because she sleeps with her mouth open!  Sound familiar?

What else can it be?  She’s got you stumped.  Most would leave it at that and just book her next hygiene appointment but you know sometime doesn’t feel right so what do you do?

Etiology and Assessment are among the most important tools any clinician has in their arsenal especially when it comes to the field of dental hygiene.  We have such an amazing ability to make a difference with our skill set because of the information we can share with patients.  Educating them about their periodontal condition, decay prevention, and about the connection between oral health and their systemic health are what we discuss on a daily basis so it’s no wonder when something seems off with our patients, we notice.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea has been a concern for quite some time but until now, our knowledge has been limited.  We never thought to extend our assessment to the tongue, tonsils and how wide a patient can open.  Sure, we were taught to measure these things in hygiene school but weren’t really taught how to apply them in practice or what their significance is.  As part of our complete oral examination, we assess the tongue using the Mallampati Score.  Traditionally, this score is used to assess intubation for general anesthesia but the classification a patient is diagnosed with can determine tongue obstruction and its contribution to obstructive sleep apnea.1  

The assessment of the tonsils is also significant as this may too contribute to airway obstruction.  The Friedman grading scale is what we use clinically in our practice to grade the tonsils from 0 to 4 – 0 being no tonsils are seen or a tonsillectomy has been done to 4 where the tonsils are actually touching or “kissing.”  To ensure that we don’t base our findings solely on what we see clinically, we also have a patient fill out a questionnaire which also helps us determine if they may have sleep apnea or are at risk.  Click here to see a sample of the sleep apnea questionnaire we utilize.  

So what do you do if you suspect your patient has sleep apnea?  As clinicians, it is important that we collaborate with other medical professionals and in this case, it is very necessary.  You would then recommend that your patient see his or her medical doctor and request a sleep test to be done.  It is only through the sleep test that confirmation of a Sleep Apnea Diagnosis can be made.  Inform your patient that if their medical doctor doesn’t feel that it is necessary, they can discuss the findings with you.  Unfortunately, this has occurred but we are more than willing to share our finding with their medical doctor.

When a final diagnosis has been made then the proper treatment for sleep apnea can be administered.  Until treatment is rendered, it is best that certain dental treatments be postponed as they may add to the patient’s risk.  For more information on Sleep Apnea, click here!

Your Baby’s Oral Health – The Beginning Stages

Being a parent is one the most rewarding experiences in someone’s life. As rewarding as it can be, it also comes with its own set of challenges. As your Mississauga Dentist we would like to provide you with ways to encourage a positive dental future for yourself and your child.

Like with any behavior, routine plays a key role. Getting your infant used to having their mouth cleaned will make it easier to transition to using a toothbrush down the road. After each feeding, take a slightly damp baby cloth and clean the inside of your baby’s mouth. At around 6 months when your baby’s first tooth or teeth grow in, you can begin using a finger brush or baby brush to clean baby’s teeth. Did you know that breast milk contains sugar in the form of lactose? And that baby formula also contains this and others as well? Most parents begin feeding solids to their babies at 6 months of age paralleling the growth of the first baby teeth so when solids begin, it is again very important to establish good oral care routines.

At this stage, no toothpaste is required. If you decide to use toothpaste, it is best to select one without any fluoride. Since toddlers usually cannot spit until the age of 2 or 3 they end up swallowing most of the toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste can cause stomach upset when combined with stomach acids so it is best to avoid fluoride until they are able to spit well. When using toothpaste, only a small amount is required; about the size of half of a pea. At this stage, no toothpaste is required. If you decide to use toothpaste, it is best to select one without any fluoride. Since toddlers usually cannot spit until the age of 2 or 3 they end up swallowing most of the toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste can cause stomach upset when combined with stomach acids so it is best to avoid fluoride until they are able to spit well. When using toothpaste, only a small amount is required; about the size of half of a pea.

It is recommended by the American Paediatric Dental Association that infants have their first visit to the dental office between 6 months to around their first birthday. At this appointment our dental team will ensure that your baby’s teeth are growing as expected, determine if modifications to the homecare routine are required and evaluate the structures of the mouth, head and neck. Tongue ties and lip ties are common concerns which are best treated early in infancy. This can affect an infant’s ability to eat properly and eventually speak properly among other concerns. Sleep apnea in infants is another concern which will be evaluated during this assessment to ensure there are minimal risks for any type of obstruction. Tips on how to alleviate discomfort during teething will also be discussed. Click here for teething tips: please link to Sam’s Blog on Allieviating teething discomfort -

Baby Bottle Syndrome

It is still common practice to put infants and toddlers to sleep with a bottle containing milk or sometimes even juice. We know that the development of cavity or decay is highly related to the length of time teeth are exposed to sugars. Whether it is sugar from formula, milk or juice, children should not be put to bed with any sugared drink in their bottles as this tends to result in Baby Bottle Cavities of the front teeth. If need be, water would be best to prevent this.

As your Mississauga dental team we strive to provide our community and our patients with information that can help improve your quality of life. Good routines give your family a great start. For any questions, concerns or tips on your child’s oral health, don’t hesistate to call a member of our team at 905-278-4297. Your family’s oral health is our top priority!

The Benefit of Plant-Based Foods to your Oral Health!

It’s very hard these days not to notice that more and more of your favorite restaurants are offering plant-based options. Pizza, burgers, even taco establishments are all getting in on the plant based craze. Hollywood is getting in on the action with a soon to be released movie produced by some of the biggest names in a film about former lifelong meat eaters, moving towards plant based diets and finding huge improvements in their physical health.

But what about your oral health? What kind of impact does a vegetarian diet have on your oral health? In addition to brushing and flossing, food plays a very key role in keeping your teeth strong and healthy. We often think about the negative impact certain foods can have but there are a number of foods that can improve our oral health.

From an oral health standpoint, foods can have not only an effect on the teeth but also the oral soft tissues including protection against oral cancer. According to the latest review in the journal of the American Dental Association, “Evidence supports a recommendation of a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables as part of a whole-foods, plant-based diet.” The foods found most protective include raw and green/leafy vegetables, tomatoes, citrus, and carrots.

While most people are aware that excess sugars can contribute to tooth decay, we also know that there are certain plant-based foods which can actually not only clean the surface of your teeth, but reduce bacteria as well. The following are just some of the foods that can improve your oral health.

Cucumbers contain dietary fiber which helps to clean teeth and gums. The natural water content found in cucumbers help to enhance the production of saliva.

Although parsley has traditionally been used as a garnish, you may want to consider consuming it along with the rest of your meal as parsley is antimicrobial and contains a chemical called eugenol, which not only improves breath odor but also has antiseptic qualities.

Strawberries contain a chemical called malic acid which actually has subtle whitening properties to help break down stains and brighten your smile! Because of the natural sugars and tiny seeds which may get stuck in your teeth, it’s a good idea to give your teeth a quick rinse with water after eating them

Shitake Mushrooms
Shitake mushrooms contain a chemical called lentinan, which helps to not only limit bacterial growth inside the mouth but also prevent gingivitis.

People often associate onions with being the cause of bad breath, but onions actually help prevent tooth decay. Their natural sulfur chemicals, which give onions their distinctive smell also help fight cavities!

Carrots contain keratin which reinforces strength and helps prevent tooth decay. Carrots are also high in fiber and help with saliva production, both of which contribute to a healthier mouth.

In one of the biggest studies to date, consuming citrus fruits more than twice a day, however, was associated with dental erosion 37 times higher compared to those who consumed citrus fruits less often. Consuming apple cider vinegar or sports drinks once a week or more and soft drinks daily will also increase your risk of erosion. The odds of erosion for these habits were ten, four, and four times greater, respectively, than in those who did not engage in that habit.

In order to enjoy the benefits of healthy foods like citrus while at the same time minimizing the risks of dental erosion, the most important thing to remember is not to brush right after we eat sour fruit. We should always wait at least 30 minutes. Acid softens our enamel and if we brush right after consuming these acidic foods we can actually inadvertently damage our teeth in the process.

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