Prophylactic antibiotic premedication is when a dentist prescribes antibiotics before a dental procedure. The mouth is full of bacteria, which can make it’s way into the bloodstream in various ways. For a healthy immune system, this isn’t usually an issue, but some people have a higher risk of infection. Antibiotics prevent the bacteria in the mouth from spreading to other parts of the body.
 
Most people do not need prophylactic antibiotics, but for those that do, it can help avoid serious problems. Typically, patients who have any of the following may require antibiotic prophylactics:

  • Artificial heart valves.

  • A compromised immune system.

  • A history of infection in the heart valves.

 
Prophylactic antibiotics are typically administered either orally or intravenously, depending on the instructions of the prescribing dentist. There are a number of different procedures that prophylactic antibiotics may be used for, including tooth extractions, implants, root canals, and cleanings.
 
If you have any questions about prophylactic antibiotics, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

How To Mask Bad Breath

January 16, 2017 | Posted Education

At one point or another, we’ve all eaten something that makes our breath smell a bit unpleasant. To get rid of bad breath, the most important thing you can do is brush and floss your teeth. However, if you’re out and about you might not always have a toothbrush and dental floss on hand - so what can you do to temporarily mask your breath? Try doing one of the following:

  • Drink water - One of the best ways to keep your breath smelling good. Water rinses out your mouth while keeping it moist. It’s also good for you!

  • Chew sugarless gum - Helps mask the bad odor, while also promoting the production of saliva which helps rinse your mouth.

  • Eat fruit - Foods with high amounts of vitamin C create an environment in your mouth that prevent bacteria from surviving.

  • Eat parsley - If you happen to be able to get your hands on some, parsley is great at masking bad breath.

  • Eat yogurt - Researchers have found that the active cultures in yogurt help reduce bad breath.

While none of the above are substitutes for a proper brushing and flossing, they are great to help out if you need to freshen up your breath and don’t have access to your normal oral hygiene kit. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-747

Many adults feel that they missed out on the chance to get braces and straighten their teeth when they were younger, but it’s actually easier than ever to get braces as an adult - and it’s becoming more common.
 
There are a number of possible reasons to get braces as an adult, including:

  • Overcrowded teeth

  • Crooked teeth

  • Bite problems

  • Jaw position problems

 
If problems like these go untreated, they can give you a greater chance of developing cavities, gum disease, and speech problems. People often shy away from braces because they don’t want to have big pieces of metal in their mouths, but nowadays there are many different options for straightening your teeth. Here are some of them:

  • Metal Braces - The classic type of braces, metal brackets and wires are attached to the teeth and adjusted after intervals of time to apply pressure to the teeth and move them into proper position.

  • Ceramic Braces - These braces are similar to metal braces, but their brackets are made of a tooth coloured porcelain, so only the wire is visible.

  • Acrylic Aligners (Invisalign) - Made of a clear acrylic material, these aligners are custom-fitted and removable. They are much easier to clean than traditional braces, and are essentially invisible.

 
If you are interested in adult braces or have any other questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

Dental Fluorosis - What Is It?

December 19, 2016 | Posted Education

Young children ingesting too much fluoride can lead to tooth discolouration, known as dental fluorosis. In normal amounts, fluoride is extremely good at protecting teeth from cavities and even reversing the early stages of decay, but too much of it can cause teeth to appear stained.
 
Drinking tap water is the main source of fluoride, which contains on average about 0.7 milligrams  of fluoride per litre. Other common fluoride sources are toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental office fluoride treatments. During early childhood, when permanent teeth are still forming under the gums, too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis, meaning that when they coming in, they will be discoloured. After the permanent teeth have come in, fluoride will no longer cause discolouration.
 
While only cosmetic, dental fluorosis can steal the bright smile of a child. Discolouration caused by it can range from barely noticeable, to severe discolouration with a patchy brown appearance. To minimize the risk of dental fluorosis in children’s teeth, use a small amount of toothpaste, and always ensure that they spit out the toothpaste rather than swallowing it.
 
If you have any questions about dental fluorosis, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

You probably already know how important brushing and flossing your teeth is for your teeth and gums, but what you may have not known is that good oral health has been shown to correspond with a lower risk of heart disease. Research has discovered multiple links between between the state of your mouth and the state of your heart.
 
People who develop gum disease are two times more likely to get heart disease than people with healthy gums. But why? Researchers say that the bacteria growing environment that gum disease creates allows bacteria that do not normally grow in the mouth to thrive. When bleeding of the gum occurs, these new bacteria have a chance to enter the bloodstream, contributing to the formation of clots and plaque build up in your arteries.
 
As you get older, your risk for gum disease increases, but staying on top of brushing and flossing should keep it at bay. If you develop symptoms such as persistent bad breath, bleeding gums, sensitive teeth, or swollen gums, let your dentist know immediately, as they could be warning signs of gum disease. Regular hygiene/dental visits are important to develop the best preventive regimen for your needs.
 
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 
 

Electronic toothbrushes have become increasingly popular in the last few years. Both electric and manual toothbrushes are suitable for removing plaque, which is the main purpose of a toothbrush. There are however, advantages and disadvantages to both options.
 
Manual toothbrushes are much less expensive than electric toothbrushes, and are much more common in stores. The small form factor of manual toothbrushes also makes it easier to bring them along while travelling. Children usually begin with using a manual toothbrush, as they are a simple and safe way to learn proper brushing techniques.
 
On the other hand, electric toothbrushes also have some benefits. With age, some people lose a bit of their manual dexterity, but an electric toothbrush can help make up for this. No matter what type of toothbrush you choose to get, remember to replace the bristles on the brush when the get worn down, which is usually after about three months of use.
 
Depending on your dentition, you may also require other home care aids that your hygienist or dentist can recommend. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 
 

Brushing and flossing are the classic methods of maintaining white teeth, but if you are still not satisfied with their colour, there are a few different methods that can lighten them further. All teeth change colour over time, but certain factors can accelerate this change in colour. Factors that can speed up tooth discolouration include drinking coffee, tea, and red wine, as well as tobacco use.
 
The most common form of tooth whitening is the use of surface whiteners. Surface whiteners usually come in the form of toothpaste. These products contain special abrasives that are unlikely to cause any damage to the teeth. Unfortunately, these products are limited to surface stains and are not a substitute for a professional cleaning.
 
A more effective form of tooth whitening is bleaching. Typically done in-office, a dentist will apply a peroxide-based product that is capable of altering the colour of the tooth. There are a few different application methods that are commonly used.  It’s also possible for bleaching to be done at home.  This typically takes multiple treatments instead of a one-time office visit.
 
Not everybody is a good candidate for tooth whitening, so it is important to be assessed by your dentist beforehand. If you are interested in tooth whitening or have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

What Are Dental Pulp Diseases

October 24, 2016 | Posted Education

Poor oral hygiene can lead to cavities, which when left untreated, can affect the centre (or pulp) of the tooth. The pulp of the tooth contains sensitive nerves and blood vessels, so if pulp diseases are left untreated, it can lead to the loss of a tooth. Typical symptoms of pulp disease include tooth pain when eating hot/cold foods, sudden intense pain in the mouth, and infection.
 
There are several different types of pulp diseases:

  • Reversible pulpitis - Mild inflammation of the pulp, symptoms include pain when eating hot or cold foods. Without treatment, this form of pulp disease can lead to a collection of bacteria and pus. Typically, a filling is needed. 

  • Irreversible pulpitis - Severe inflammation of the pulp, symptoms include sudden intense pain. If left untreated, it can result in a widespread gum infection. This type of pulp disease is typically treated with a root canal.

  • Dental pulp calcification - Hardening of the pulp tissue causes hypersensitivity and pain. A root canal is used to clear away hardened tissue.

  • Dental pulp exposure - Occurs when a crack in the tooth exposes the pulp to bacteria. Depending on the severity of the exposure, a root canal or even tooth extraction may be required.

 
Most instances of pulp disease are caused due to poor dental hygiene, which means that it can be easily prevented by regularly brushing and flossing. If you have any questions about pulp diseases, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475

What Causes Morning Breath

October 11, 2016 | Posted Education

Everyone has experienced the so called “morning breath” one way or another, but what causes it and how can it be mitigated? Bad breath varies from person to person, and depends on a number of different factors. When you sleep, your mouth dries out due to a decrease in saliva, allowing odor producing bacteria to thrive. This means that if you snore or breathe through your mouth while sleeping, you are more likely to have bad breath in the morning than those who don’t because the airflow through your mouth dries it out even more.
 
Other less common reasons for morning breath include medications, allergies, and smoking. Medications can cause the mouth to become very dry overnight, therefore increasing the strength of bad breath. Smoking dries up your mouth, decreasing saliva production, and also causes an increase in temperature, speeding up bacteria growth. Allergies create mucus which can drip down the back of your throat, providing a food source for bacteria.
 
Fortunately, morning breath is treatable. The easiest way to eliminate it is to properly brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. Try to incorporate brushing your tongue into your nighttime routine, as it’s a prime breeding ground for bacteria. If brushing and flossing still isn’t doing enough, try using mouthwash to freshen up your breath. As long as you follow the instructions on the mouthwash, it should kill the bad breath causing bacteria. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

Violent Brushing Is Bad For You

September 26, 2016 | Posted Education

Brushing is vital to maintain healthy teeth and gums, however, too much of a good thing can be bad. Also known as toothbrush abrasion, over-brushing can lead to oral health problems such as receding gums and sensitive teeth. Receding gums can also lead to further oral health problems such as periodontal disease and cavities on the roots of the teeth, requiring treatments including fillings, root canals, and tooth extraction.
 
Types of people at the highest risk of over-brushing are those who use hard-bristled toothbrushes and are very rigorous regarding their oral care. Other factors that can make one more susceptible to the effects of over-brushing include if the person grinds their teeth, has had braces, or has a genetic predisposition to receding gums.
 
It’s important to remember that brushing vigorously isn’t necessary to remove plaque, as plaque is soft enough to remove with very gentle brushing. The most important part of brushing is thoroughness, you need to brush every place that plaque can possibly hide.
 
If you have the symptoms of over-brushing, simply modifying your brushing technique to be gentler will usually fix the problem and prevent it from getting worse. If you need assistance in learning a proper brushing technique, or need treatment for a more serious case of toothbrush abrasion, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.