Archive for February 2012

The “red carpet” season is still upon us as the biggest of the stars will soon descend upon Hollywood to see who will come away with this year’s Oscars. Some people will be curious to see how their favourite performers or movie’s fair on this big night.

However, many people derive more pleasure seeing how the stars look on the red carpet…tuxedos and gowns flowing, smiling for the cameras! And what smiles they will have, particularly if they win!

At Rideau Dental Centre, we cannot promise you an Oscar victory! However, we are confident that we can provide you with an Oscar-worthy smile!

Last week, we talked about how whitening might be an option for some people. This week, we would like to consider the option of veneers.

Veneers are a thin, restorative material that is placed directly onto the surface of the teeth. They can be used to correct a variety of dental conditions including stains, discolouration, poor spacing, poorly shaped or crooked teeth, or teeth that have been chipped or damaged.

As always, you should discuss your own options with your dentist to determine if veneers are the right option for you. After all, they are purely a cosmetic option.

While veneers can be used to improve the appearance of crooked teeth, for instance, they may not improve the functional aspects associated with such a condition, such as a poor bite. Your dentist may recommend other alternatives if s/he believes they would be better for you. Also, people with unhealthy or weak teeth, inadequate amounts of enamel, who lack a stable bite or whose teeth are poorly aligned may not be the best candidates for veneers.

However, if your dentist recommends veneers as an option for you, the next decision you will have is what type of veneers. Veneers are usually made of either translucent porcelain or a form of composite resin. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Composite resins can be installed in one visit making the process more convenient in some instances.  However, the translucent quality of porcelain gives them a more natural appearance. Furthermore, they are less likely to become stained and tend to be more durable.

In fact, with proper care, you can expect porcelain veneers to last between 10 and 15 years, sometimes even longer. The key is to continue with good oral hygiene practices. There is nothing you need to do to take care of your veneer’s that is different from taking care of your natural teeth. Regular brushing and flossing is a must!

So if you think your smile is missing some of that red carpet flair, talk to your dentist to see if veneers might help you get it! You may not have photographers recording your every red carpet move, but you will have the confidence that comes with a beautiful smile. And flashing a confident smile is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Martin LaBoissonniere

Dental Surgeon

Looking after our health is something that should be a top priority no matter what month it is. However, February is heart month, a time to truly be aware of that vital organ in our bodies that makes sure we stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

No matter how many times we hear the news, it is startling to think that our lifestyles have led us to the point where young adults in their thirties and even twenties can be at risk for heart disease. Yet some people seem more concerned about using politically correct terminology to avoid creating a stigma for at risk individuals.

We believe the focus needs to be on prevention. With that in mind, it is important to focus on the fact that the risk of developing serious heart disease can be significantly reduced by making simple changes to those lifestyles.

Eating naturally tastier and more fulfilling whole foods, leaving the computer games behind and going for a walk are two simple ways to improve your heart health. Another simple way is to invest the extra five minutes a day you may need to simply take care of your oral health!

That is right! Brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once, combined with regular visits to your dentist, may be a key component of the ticket to better heart health for many of you!

Before you scratch your head wondering how good oral health care can reduce your risk of heart disease, you should be aware that the American Association of Retired Persons included good oral health care on its list of best practices to take care of the hearts of its members.

The reason was simple. No system of the human body works in isolation. Rather, they are all connected. Various infections can be detrimental to the condition of our hearts. And one of the easiest access points those infections can have to penetrate the body is through the mouth.

Indeed, your mouth acts as a filter to keep out so many irritants that could be dangerous for our health. But just like the filter on your furnace, it works best when it is properly cleaned.

A mouth that is not properly cleaned is a breeding ground for bacteria and infection that can travel throughout the body, including to the heart. If plaque is allowed to build up on the gum line, the bacteria that will grow there may not limit its damage to the teeth, gums and jaw.

So this month, as we focus on ways we can head off that heart disease in young people, remind yourself that every step you take to improve your heart health might add not only years to your life, but add to the quality of those years too! Exercise more! Eat better! And take better care of your oral health…because good oral health is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Peter Georgopoulos  

Dental Surgeon