Most people don’t think about their teeth very often, aside from when they brush and floss. But have you ever wondered what the different types of teeth in your mouth are, and what their function is? There are four main types of teeth, and each type has a different shape to help you chew and digest food. The different types are:

  • Incisors - The eight teeth in the front center of your mouth (four on top, and four on the bottom). These teeth are usually the first adult teeth that you got as a child, coming in between the ages of six and eight. Incisors let you bite into your food.

  • Canines - These are the next teeth that develop in your mouth. You have four of them, and they’re your sharpest teeth. Canines let you tear apart tough food.

  • Premolars - You have eight of these in total, and use them for tearing and crushing food. Unlike the incisors, premolars have a flat biting surface.

  • Molars - The largest teeth in your mouth, molars have a similar function to premolars - to grind, tear, and crush food. Molars have large, flat biting surfaces making them perfect for the job. You have twelve in total, including the four wisdom teeth.

And that sums up the four basic types of teeth! You should make an effort to preserve all of your teeth by brushing and flossing, as they all are important regarding both function and aesthetics. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

 
 

Electric 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.
 

You probably already know how important brushing and flossing your teeth is for your teeth and gums, but what you may not have known is that good oral health has been shown to correspond with a lower risk of heart disease. Research has discovered multiple links 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 gum bleeding 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.

Acid reflux disease, also known as GERD, is quite common among adults. It is the reflux of stomach acids back up into the esophagus, which can make its way into the mouth. When the acid comes in contact with teeth, it can demineralize them. 
 
Typically, enamel on the tongue and palate surfaces of the teeth is affected the most, rather than the cheek side of the tooth. Acid reflux can also cause dry mouth, aiding the growth of bacteria and plaque, which increases the risk of developing cavities. 
 
Other symptoms of acid reflux disease include bad breath, sore throat, heartburn, and a bad taste. Molars are usually the most affected, due to their proximity to the esophagus, so the signs of enamel loss may not be noticeable without inspection by your dentist.
 
If you know that you have acid reflux disease, or are experiencing any of the symptoms outlined above, make sure to contact your dentist. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

Fluoride is one of the best advancements in preventing tooth decay, but in excess, fluoride can cause dental fluorosis, which is a common disorder characterized by tooth discolouration. In reasonable amounts, fluoride is great at protecting the teeth from cavities and even reversing the early stages of tooth decay, but too much of it will cause teeth to appear stained.
 
For most people, drinking tap water is their main source of fluoride. Tap water in Ottawa contains an average of 0.70 milligrams of fluoride per litre, in accordance with a study carried out by Health Canada. Other common sources of fluoride are toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental office fluoride treatments. In early childhood, permanent teeth are still forming under the gums, so too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis, meaning that when they come 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.

When you think about it, getting an x-ray can sound scary; high frequency wavelengths getting blasted right through your body! As frightening as this may sound, dental radiographs are actually very safe if proper safety measures are taken. Here are some of the safety measures we take here at the Rideau Dental Centre to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.

  • Digital Radiography: Digital radiography requires 50-80% less radiation exposure for the patient when compared to old fashioned film systems. Other advantages to digital radiography include that no film, darkroom, or chemicals are needed, and no lead foil waste is generated. In addition to all of that, digital radiographs have a higher resolution than conventional radiographs, and the digital x-ray is displayed on a monitor immediately. 

  • Lead Apron and Thyroid Collar: When a patient receives an x-ray, they are provided with a lead apron and thyroid collar. Lead aprons help protect your chest area from the already fairly small amount of radiation emitted from a digital radiograph. A thyroid collar helps reduce the amount of radiation that reaches your thyroid gland, one of the most radiation-sensitive organs.

  • Lead Walls: The walls in our office that are near radiation producing equipment have lead inside them to prevent radiation from penetrating them, protecting other patients and staff from radiation exposure.

Along with the safety measures listed above, we also provide all of our staff with personal radiation monitors, and have an in-house radiation safety committee. Our goal here at the Rideau Dental Center is safety for all patients and staff, and we take as many measures as possible to ensure this. If you have any questions about dental radiography safety, feel free to contact us by calling 613-230-7475!
 
 

Why Do We Get Swollen Taste Buds?

August 15, 2019 | Posted Education

Taste buds are the reason that you can tell sweet from sour, and salty from bitter. Every person has around 10,000 taste buds in total, and they are housed inside of the tiny bumps on your tongue, called papillae. Normally, you shouldn’t be able to feel your taste buds. But sometimes, they can swell up. Swollen taste buds can be very painful, and make drinking and eating uncomfortable. Some of the conditions that can cause your taste buds to swell up are:

  • Acid Reflux - If acid makes it all the way into your mouth, it can burn the papillae on your tongue. 

  • Allergies - Certain foods or substances can cause reactions when they hit your tongue. 

  • Mouth Burns - Hot drinks and foods can burn taste buds, causing them to swell up.

  • Smoking - Cigarettes contain chemicals that can irritate the taste buds. 

  • Stress - Being under stress has been linked to a number of health issues, including swollen taste buds. 

  • Transient Lingual Papillitis - A common condition that causes inflamed taste buds. Only lasts for a short amount of time. 

  • Oral Cancer - Very rarely, swollen taste buds could be a sign of oral cancer. 

Usually, swollen taste buds will go away on their own after a few days. If you find yourself getting them frequently, make sure to practice proper oral hygiene, avoid spicy and acidic foods, and quit smoking. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

Thumbsucking is a natural reflex for children. Sucking on objects such as pacifiers, fingers, and thumbs often make babies feel happy and secure. When the permanent teeth begin to come in, sucking can create problems with the alignment of the teeth and growth of the mouth. Pacifiers can have the same effect on the teeth as fingers, but are often an easier habit for children to break.
 
Intensity is the determining factor of whether or not sucking will cause dental problems. If children passively rest their thumb or pacifier in their mouth, they’re much less likely to experience problems when compared to children who vigorously suck on their thumbs. Overly aggressive sucking can even cause damage to primary (baby) teeth. 
 
Most children stop sucking their thumbs between the ages of two and four, or by the time their permanent teeth begin to come in. If your child doesn’t stop sucking their thumbs, you should attempt to praise them for not sucking. Sucking is often associated with insecurity, so it’s recommended to try to eliminate any anxiety by providing comfort to your child. 
 
If you notice a change in your child’s teeth, or are concerned about their sucking habits, you should consult your dentist. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

Anyone who has travelled before knows that it can be difficult to keep up a proper oral hygiene routine. If you’re on a long trip, taking good care of your teeth is extra important, since if you have a dental emergency you could end up in a third world dental office which will not have the same quality and safety regulations as one here in Canada.
 
First, you need to remember to bring proper dental hygiene tools, such as your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. Don’t worry though, if you forget any of these or need replacements during your travels, you should be able to purchase them in almost every country with no issues.
 
After brushing your teeth, make sure you give your toothbrush time to dry. If you put it in your bag immediately after brushing, it will be a prime breeding ground for bacteria. When brushing your teeth or even washing your toothbrush, make sure to use clean, safe water. If the tap water from the location you are visiting is not suitable for drinking, then it is not suitable for brushing your teeth. It’s also a good idea to watch what you’re eating while on the road, as often times it becomes much easier for us to indulge ourselves with sweets.
 
To reduce the risk of a dental emergency while on vacation, it’s always a good idea to have a thorough dental examination prior to your departure. If you’ve got any questions about oral health care while travelling, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Center by calling 613-230-7475.

Usually occurring during sleep, teeth grinding is typically caused by an abnormal bite, missing/crooked teeth, or stress. Grinding wears down, loosens, and can even fracture the teeth.
 
To prevent teeth grinding, your dentist will first try to identify its cause. An intraoral appliance may be used to help reduce the detrimental effects of the grinding. If it is stress that is causing you to grind your teeth, you should ask your doctor or dentist about ways to reduce it. If your grinding is caused by a sleeping disorder, seeking treatment for it should reduce grinding. Some other things you can consider to help reduce tooth grinding are:

  • Cutting back on drinks/foods that contain caffeine such as coffee and chocolate.

  • Trying not to chew on any non-food objects, including gum. Chewing on things allows your jaw to get used to it and makes it more likely that you will grind your teeth.

If you would like to talk about treating your teeth grinding or have any other questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

Why Do We Get Canker Sores?

June 19, 2019 | Posted Education

Canker sores are small, shallow ulcers that appear in the mouth and can make simple tasks such as talking and eating uncomfortable. Canker sores are typically caused due to stress on the soft tissue inside the mouth.
 
Consuming acidic or citric food and drinks such as oranges, lemons, strawberries, pineapple, and soda can trigger and even worsen canker sores. Canker can also be caused by any of the following:         
 

  • Diet lacking in zinc, vitamin B12, iron, or folate acid.           

  • An accidental cheek bite.

  • Emotional stress.       

  • A response to an allergic reaction.    

  • Hormonal stress during menstruation

 
Many different diseases including celiac, Behcet’s, and Crohn’s disease can also cause frequent canker sores. Unfortunately, there is no cure for canker sores. However, you can take measures to reduce their frequency. Try to avoid foods that irritate your mouth, and avoid chewing things like gum that may cause you to accidentally bite your cheek. If you find that you have canker sores that are unusually large, spreading, or last more than three weeks, it is recommended that you contact your dentist.
 
If you have any questions about canker sores, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475

Most people know about the impact that tobacco has on their overall health, but people often don't consider its effect on oral health. The following are some of the possible oral health problems that smoking or chewing tobacco can cause.

  • Tooth discolouration

  • Persistent bad breath

  • Gum disease

  • Mouth sores

  • Cavities

  • Sinusitis

  • Different sense of taste and smell

  • Oral cancer

Smoking interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells, which makes one more susceptible to gum (periodontal) disease. This interference also impairs the flow of blood in the gums, which causes wounds to take longer to heal.
 
We at the Rideau Dental Centre are always available to diagnose the above oral effects and assist you in a smoking cessation plan. Take a look at the Canadian Cancer Society's website smokershelpline.ca for some great resources.
 
When you visit our office we always complete a thorough oral examination. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us by calling 613-230-7475.

Handling Dental Emergencies

May 30, 2019 | Posted Education

Dental emergencies can be extremely dangerous, and if left untreated can cause permanent damage and the need for more expensive treatment after the fact. Here are some common dental emergencies, and what you should do about them.

  • Chipped teeth - Collect and rinse any broken pieces, and apply gauze if there is any bleeding until it stops. If there is any swelling, apply a cold compress on the mouth, cheek or lip where the chip has occurred. See your dentist as soon as possible.

  • Toothaches - Start off by rinsing your mouth with hot water. If your mouth is swollen use a cold compress to help reduce swelling. See your dentist as soon as possible.

  • Knocked-out tooth - Pick up the tooth, holding it by the crown, and gently rinse it with water if it is dirty. If you can, try to put the tooth back in place, but do not force it into the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth into a container with milk. Immediately visit your dentist, as knocked out teeth have the highest chance of being saved if they are seen by a dentist within one hour of the accident.

  • Abscess - An infection near the root of the tooth, abscesses are very serious, as the infection can even spread to other parts of the body. See your dentist as soon as possible if you discover that you have a pimple-like swelling on your gum.

These are just some of the more common dental emergencies. In all cases, the best course of action is to visit your dentist as soon as possible. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

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.

Taking good care of your teeth is always important, but it’s even more important during pregnancy. When you get pregnant, your body deals with many different hormonal changes. Here are some dental problems that may be experienced during pregnancy:

  • Gum disease - Occurs when a bacterial infection develops that can affect the fibers holding your teeth in place. Gum disease can affect the health of the baby, as women who have it are at a higher risk of giving birth early and having babies with low birth weights.

  • Gingivitis - Increased hormone levels can cause gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. This may cause bleeding when brushing or flossing.

  • Dry mouth - Caused by a decrease in saliva due to hormonal changes, it can increase the risk of many oral health issues.

  • Pregnancy granuloma - A red growth that typically appears on the edge of the gum near the tooth. These growths are not dangerous, but they can be uncomfortable and affect speaking and eating. They usually disappear after the baby has been born.

To avoid the above problems, be sure to pay extra attention to your teeth while you are pregnant, and eat a healthy diet. Visit your dentist frequently, and make sure that you let them know that you are pregnant so they are able to weigh the risks of x-rays and medications if they happen to be required.
 
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

Are you looking to straighten your smile? Invisalign is a modern way to straighten teeth, using a series of transparent aligners, custom-made for your teeth. There are a number of benefits that invisalign brings over traditional braces, including the following:

  • Clear and virtually invisible aligners, versus traditional braces which require brackets and wires.

  • Unrestricted eating. With invisalign you are free to eat anything you want, unlike with braces which impose a number of restrictions of foods you can consume.

  • Invisalign aligners are removable, which lets you easily clean your teeth.

  • Smooth and comfortable aligners, instead of wires that can poke your mouth.

There are some limitations with Invisalign depending on your specific bite and expectations of orthodontic treatment. If you are interested in invisalign, book a consultation for a thorough assessment with Dr. Nguyen here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

Finding out that you may need a lot of dental work can be pretty stressful, and you may wonder if it’s really necessary. If you feel like you should get a second opinion on your specific situation, it is probably a good idea to do so. There’s nothing wrong with seeking a second opinion.
 
While there aren’t rules as to when you should and shouldn’t get a second opinion, but usually, routine procedures such as fillings do not require one. Examples of when it may be a good idea to get a second opinion are:

  • If you are diagnosed with something major, such as oral cancer.

  • You are unsure if the recommended solution to a problem is necessary.

  • You have already had dental work but it did not fix your problem.

  • You feel your dentist is not qualified to treat your problem.

 
There are a number of benefits to getting a second opinion. Different dentists have different backgrounds, which can help provide an alternate perspective on a problem, allowing you to make a more informed opinion. Another reason to seek a second opinion is if you need to see a specialist, as some dentists have more training in specific areas than others, which may be able to help with your problem.
 
If you are looking for a second opinion, asking your dentist for a referral to another dentist or specialist is a great place to start. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

If you get anxious about visiting the dentist, know that you are not alone. Here at the Rideau Dental Centre, we have methods of helping patients who get nervous at the dentist. We offer two forms of conscious sedation, oral and IV, which are both great for helping patients relax.
 
Conscious sedation also allows our dentists to work more efficiently, which can reduce the number of visits to our office that are required for a procedure. Conscious sedation is also normally used during wisdom teeth removal, to help ease pain and make the procedure more pleasant for the patient.
 
We recommend conscious sedation for patients who have sensitive teeth, a gag reflex, fear of the dentist and/or dental equipment, or complicated dental problems. If you are interested in conscious sedation, we’re happy to help. Feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

Many people find oral piercings cool and attractive, but it’s important to consider the health issues that are associated with oral piercings. Oral piercings to areas such as the tongue, lips, cheeks or uvula can interfere with speech, chewing, or swallowing. Some other things that these piercings can cause include:

  • Infection - Your mouth is a great breeding ground for bacteria, this bacteria mixed with the wound created by the piercing is the perfect way for one to get an infection.

  • Damage to teeth - Oral piercings often cause scratched or cracked teeth. They can also cause damage to fillings.

  • Nerve damage - Sometimes, the nerves in the location of a piercing may be temporarily or permanently damaged after receiving the piercing.

  • Excessive saliva production - Oral piercings also often cause an increase in saliva production, which can lead to difficulties in daily oral activities.

  • Hypersensitivity to metals - It is possible for an allergic reaction to occur at the site of the piercing.

Before you make the decision to get an oral piercing, be certain to consider all of these possible negative effects on your oral health! If you’ve got any other questions, feel free to contact us at Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475!

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.
 

What Causes Dry Mouth?

January 28, 2019 | Posted Education

Saliva is needed to moisten and cleanse the mouth, and to digest food. It also controls bacteria in the mouth, which helps prevent infection. When saliva production is too low, the mouth gets dry and uncomfortable. Dry mouth has a number of different possible causes, including the following:

  • As a side effect - Dry mouth is a common side effect to many nonprescription and prescription drugs, including allergy, cold, pain, diarrhea and acne medications.  Dry mouth can also be a side effect to diabetes, cystic fibrosis, anemia, hypertension, stroke, and mumps.

  • Dehydration - Not drinking enough water, or having a condition that dehydrates the body such as fever, vomiting or diarrhea can cause dry mouth.

  • Tobacco - Smoking or chewing tobacco can lower the amount of saliva that your mouth produces.

It is often easy to tell if you have dry mouth, typical symptoms include a dry feeling in the mouth, frequent thirst, difficulty tasting, and bad breath. Along with those symptoms, dry mouth increases one's risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth infections.
 
If your dry mouth is caused by a certain medication, speak to your doctor, as there may be an alternative that will not cause dry mouth. Other things that you can do to promote saliva production are sucking on sugar free candies or chewing gum, drinking lots of water, breathing through your nose, and using a humidifier in the winter. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

If you have been feeling a sharp pain coming from part of your mouth when biting or chewing certain foods, you may have a tooth fracture. A cracked tooth can occur for a number of different reasons, including grinding of the teeth, chewing on hard objects, exposure of the tooth’s enamel to a rapid temperature change, or an accident such as falling off of a bike.
 
Depending on the location and size of the fracture, it might be easy to visually identify its location, or it could be a hairline fracture on a hidden part of a tooth. Your dentist will usually be able to determine its location by asking you about where the pain is occurring, when it occurs, and taking an x-ray of the affected area.
 
When the exact location and size of the fracture have been determined, your dentist will determine the best treatment for you. Possible types of treatment include bonding and root canals. Small fractures often do not usually cause any problems, but can be repaired for cosmetic reasons. 
 
If you have any questions, or would like to see us about a possible fracture, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

 
 

Many adults feel that they missed out on the opportunity 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.
 


It's that time of the year again! For many of us, holiday season means eating lots of tasty sweets - so remember to take care of your teeth!
 
Many of us like to make goals for the new year - if you can't think of anything, how about starting and sticking to a new oral hygiene routine? A proper oral hygiene routine includes brushing and flossing at least two times a day, and visiting the dentist for a checkup every six months. Taking good care of your teeth for the next year will have a positive impact on your smile.
 
It's sometimes easy to neglect good preventive dentistry, including regular visits with your dentist/hygienist when there are no imminent dental issues. Good oral health is an integral part of your overall health and the start of a new year is a good time to implement a healthy regimen if it isn't already part of your healthy lifestyle. If you have any dental problems or concerns that you want to address, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475. Happy holidays!

How To Temporarily Hide Bad Breath

December 03, 2018 | Posted Education

At one point or another, we’ve all eaten something that makes our breath smell a bit unpleasant. To completely 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 hide your bad 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 613-230-7475.
 

We’re always told about the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth, but what about your tongue? Taking proper care of your tongue is an important part of a good oral hygiene routine. The tongue is a perfect place for bacteria to thrive, and if not properly cleaned, it can cause bad breath.
 
Cleaning your tongue is very simple! Every time you brush your teeth, remember to clean your tongue as well. To clean your tongue, you can either use a tongue scraper or just brush it with a toothbrush. If using a toothbrush, gently move it around the tongue and then rinse with water. Some brushes have added tongue cleaners to the back sides of the head, so if yours has you, feel free to use that instead. Tongue scrapers can be an even better tool to clean the tongue. To use one, swipe it along the tongue and rinse after each swipe. Always be gentle when cleaning your tongue. If it starts to feel sore or begins bleeding, you are using too much force.
 
Try to clean your tongue at least two times per day, once in the morning and once in the evening, however cleaning it more often won’t hurt. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

While there are many benefits to adding mouthwash to your daily routine, remember that it should be an addition to your normal oral hygiene routine, and not a replacement of it. Here are a few of the benefits that mouthwash can bring:

  • Many mouthwashes can help prevent the buildup of plaque. However, this doesn’t mean that they can remove pre-existing plaque from the teeth - so remember to keep brushing and flossing!

  • Certain mouthwashes contain fluoride, which can help prevent cavities.

  • Antibacterial mouthwash kills bacteria in the mouth, which freshens your breath, and helps fight gum disease.

If you are noticing that you need to frequently use mouthwash to mask bad breath, it may be a sign that you have an underlying oral health problem. Speak to your dentist about this. Mouthwash, like salt water, can also help soothe canker sores, as it kills bacteria that can irritate the sore.
 
Remember that mouthwash is not an alternative to brushing and flossing, but feel free to use it, as it can be a great addition to your normal oral hygiene routine. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 
 

The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. It’s what allows your jaw to move up, down, left, and right, so that you can talk and chew. When there is a problem with this joint, you may have what is called a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
 
Most commonly, symptoms of TMDs include pain in the area around the ear, jaw joint, jaw muscles, face, or temples. Other possible symptoms are a popping noise when chewing or yawning, neck pain, and headaches. If you have any of these symptoms, make sure to inform your dentist and your doctor.
 
The exact cause of TMDs is often difficult to determine, but in most cases they are caused by multiple factors, including joint disease, jaw injuries, arthritis, teeth grinding, and stress. Usually, TMDs heal without much assistance, but using a cold or warm compress on the affected area can help ease the pain. Try not to open your mouth too wide or bite together too hard, keep your jaw relaxed.
 
If after an examination it’s determined that treatment for a TMD is necessary, your dentist will create a plan that may include relaxation techniques, referrals to other types of doctors, medicine, or wearing a night guard. Here at the Rideau Dental Centre, we have dentists who have developed an expertise in diagnosing and treating TMDs. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us by calling 613-230-7475.

GERD, also known as acid reflux disease, is fairly common among adults. Acid reflux is the reflux of stomach acids back into the esophagus, which can then make their way into the mouth. When stomach acid comes in contact with teeth, it can de-mineralize them.
 
Usually, enamel on the tongue and palate surfaces of the teeth is affected the most, rather than the cheek side of the tooth. Acid reflux can also cause dry mouth, which aids the growth of bacteria and plaque, increasing the risk of developing cavities.
 
Other symptoms of acid reflux disease include sore throat, bad breath, heartburn, and bad sense of taste. Molars are usually the most affected teeth because of their proximity to the esophagus, also meaning that the signs of enamel loss may not be noticeable without inspection by a dentist.
 
If you know that you have acid reflux disease, or are experiencing any of the symptoms outlined above, make sure to contact your dentist. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

While they may be temporary, your child's baby teeth are still important. Early childhood caries (also known as baby bottle tooth decay) most often occur in the upper front teeth. There are a number of factors that can lead to tooth decay. One of the most common factors in babies is frequent and prolonged exposure of the teeth to sugary drinks. This type of tooth decay can occur when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a baby, or when the child is put to sleep with it. In those scenarios, the bottle is left in the child's mouth for a long time allowing sugars to cling to the teeth and promote bacteria growth.
 
Fortunately, there are a number of simple things that can be done to prevent baby bottle tooth decay. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Wipe the child’s gums with a clean gauze pad after each feeding.

  • When your child’s first tooth comes in, begin gentle brushing using a child size toothbrush.

  • Use roughly a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste from ages three to six.

  • Place only milk, formula, or breastmilk in bottles. Try to avoid filling it with sugar filled juices and soft drinks.

  • If the child uses a pacifier, always use a clean one. Don’t dip it in any honey or sugar.

  • Try to encourage drinking from a cup.

By following the above steps, your child will have a much lower chance of tooth decay. As recommended by the Canadian Dental Association, you should schedule an appointment at our office for your child by the time they are 1 year old. We have dentists with expertise in treating infants. If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Center by calling 613-230-7475.

Many of us know that poor oral hygiene can cause cavities, but what if these cavities are left untreated? Untreated cavities can affect the pulp of the tooth, which is a collection of sensitive nerves and blood vessels located at its center. Left untreated, pulp diseases can lead to the loss of the tooth. Pulp diseases usually come with symptoms including tooth pain when eating hot/cold foods, sudden intense mouth pain, and infection.
 
There are a few different types of pulp disease:

  • Reversible Pulpitis - Mild inflammation of the pulp, symptoms can include pain when eating hot/cold foods. Left untreated, this form of pulp disease can lead to a collection of bacteria and pus. To treat this form of pulp disease, a filling is typically required.

  • Irreversible Pulpitis - Severe inflammation of the pulp, symptoms include sudden pain. Left untreated, this form of pulp disease can lead to widespread gum infection. This type of pulp disease is usually treated with a root canal.

  • Dental Pulp Calcification - The hardening of the pulp tissue can cause hypersensitivity and pain. Root canals are used to clear away hardened tissue.

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

Most instances of pulp disease occur due to poor dental hygiene, meaning that it can easily be prevented by maintaining healthy brushing and flossing habits. 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 Swollen Taste Buds?

August 13, 2018 | Posted Education

Taste buds are the reason that you can tell sweet from sour, and salty from bitter. Every person has around 10,000 taste buds in total, and they are housed inside of the tiny bumps on your tongue, called papillae. Normally, you shouldn’t be able to feel your taste buds. But sometimes, they can swell up. Swollen taste buds can be very painful, and make drinking and eating uncomfortable. Some of the conditions that can cause your teeth to swell up are:

  • Acid Reflux - If acid makes it all the way into your mouth, it can burn the papillae on your tongue.

  • Allergies - Certain foods or substances can cause reactions when they hit your tongue.

  • Mouth Burns - Hot drinks and foods can burn taste buds, causing them to swell up.

  • Smoking - Cigarettes contain chemicals that can irritate the taste buds.

  • Stress - Being under stress has been linked to a number of health issues, including swollen taste buds.

  • Transient Lingual Papillitis - A common condition that causes inflamed taste buds. Only lasts for a short amount of time.

  • Oral Cancer - Very rarely, swollen taste buds could be a sign of oral cancer.

Usually, swollen taste buds will go away on their own after a few days. If you find yourself getting them frequently, make sure to practice proper oral hygiene, avoid spicy and acidic foods, and quit smoking. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

Why Do We Remove Wisdom Teeth?

July 30, 2018 | Posted Education

Wisdom teeth issues are a problem that many young adults end up having to deal with. They are the last set of molars to come in, and for some people they come properly aligned and are a positive addition to the mouth. However, in most cases, they come in unaligned and will need to be removed. Unaligned wisdom teeth are typically positioned horizontally, angled inward or outward, or angled away or towards the second molars. Incorrectly aligned wisdom teeth cause severe issues, including damaging adjacent teeth, nearby nerves, and the jawbone.
 
Every few visits to your dentist, they will take an x-ray to check if the wisdom teeth are present, and if they are properly aligned. If they are found to be unaligned, your dentist will most likely recommend that they are extracted. In most cases, the earlier the extraction can occur, the better. As the bone and tooth roots develop over time, the extraction tends to become more painful and complicated.
 
If it’s decided that your wisdom teeth should be extracted, your dentist or oral surgeon will explain to you exactly what will happen during your surgery. Depending on the difficulty of the surgery, different forms of sedation will be used. Because of this sedation, the surgery itself will be fairly comfortable. At the end of the surgery, when the anesthetic begins to wear off, the pain one experiences will depend on the method of tooth extraction that was used. During the next few days after your surgery, the pain will subside and your teeth will be almost fully healed.
 
At the Rideau Dental Centre we have the expertise to provide wisdom teeth extraction, if it is recommended during your assessment. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us by calling 613-230-7475!
 
 

What Causes Cavities?

July 17, 2018 | Posted Education

Everyone is at risk of getting cavities, but there are a number of factors that can greatly increase your chance of getting them. By taking simple precautions to make sure you don’t enable any of these cavity increasing risks, you can greatly decrease your chance of getting cavities.
 
Some of the most common cavity risk factors include:

  • Food/drink that clings to your teeth. This includes foods/drinks such as milk, soda, hard candy, dry cereal, and chips.

  • Frequent snacking. When you snack frequently, the acid in your food has more time to damage your teeth.

  • Lack of fluoride. Fluoride is a very useful natural mineral that helps prevent plaque buildup. Public tap water often contains added fluoride, but bottled water does not.

  • Inadequate brushing/flossing. This may be pretty obvious to most people, but it’s always important to remember to properly brush and floss soon after eating and drinking.

 
If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us at Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475, we are happy to help!

Sometimes, you may notice one or more of your teeth feeling sensitive when you eat or drink something hot, cold, sweet, or sour. This sensitivity may be painful, often feeling like a sharp and sudden pain deep into your tooth. Typically, sensitive teeth are caused by your gums being pulled back and exposing the surface beneath them. This surface is called dentin, and is what makes up the inner parts and roots of the tooth. When this surface is exposed, it allows hot, cold, sweet, and sour foods to directly reach the nerves of your tooth, causing sharp pain. Other possible causes of tooth sensitivity include wear and tear due to brushing too hard, tooth decay, teeth grinding, and gum disease.
 
There are a number of different things you can do to reduce and control tooth sensitivity. First, make sure to brush and floss regularly using proper brushing and flossing techniques. Second, use a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. Regular use of a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth should make them less sensitive. Third, watch what you eat, as large amounts acidic food and drink can cause tooth sensitivity. If the sensitivity continues, make sure you talk to your dentist about it. There are a few different things that your dentist can do to help reduce tooth sensitivity, such as applying white fillings to cover exposed root surfaces, applying fluoride varnishes to root surfaces, or applying dentin sealers.
 
If you have sensitive teeth and would like to book an appointment with a dentist, or have any other questions, feel free to contact us at Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

Root Canals - What Are They?

June 18, 2018 | Posted Education

Root canals are necessary when the tooth’s pulp, which is composed of nerves and blood vessels, becomes infected or damaged. During the root canal procedure, the pulp is removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Common causes of pulp damage include cracked teeth, deep cavities, or another type of injury to the tooth. After the pulp becomes dead or infected and is left untreated, pus can build up causing pain.
 
The root canal procedure is made up of several steps:

  • First, an opening is made through the crown of a molar or the back of a front tooth.

  • Next, the damaged or infected pulp is removed, and the pulp chamber is cleaned.

  • After cleaning the chamber, it is permanently filled with a rubber compound called gutta-percha.

  • Finally, a crown is usually placed over the tooth to protect it and restore it.

 
With proper care, root canals can last your entire life. The tooth can still decay, so it's important to practice good oral hygiene. If you have any questions, or need a root canal yourself, contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

It doesn’t matter if you use a normal toothbrush, or an electric one. Eventually, the bristles on your brush will become worn out and your brush will need replacing (or in the case of an electric brush, the brush head will need replacing). It’s important that you use a toothbrush that is in good condition, to help make sure that your teeth are getting properly brushed.
 
Another thing to consider when trying to keep your toothbrush in good condition are germs. Toothbrushes are great breeding grounds for germs, so it is important that you rinse your toothbrush under tap water after brushing. After you’ve rinsed your toothbrush, you should store it in an upright position so that it is able to air out and dry off, killing the germs.
 
So how often should you replace your toothbrush? Typically, you should replace your toothbrush every three months. After three months, the bristles on the brush start to break down and are much less effective at removing plaque from teeth.
 
If you have more questions about toothbrush upkeep or choosing the right toothbrush, feel free to give us a call at 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, such as putting the bleaching product on the teeth, and then using a combination of heat and light to start the bleaching process, or using a custom bleach filled mouthguard. It’s also possible for bleaching to be done at home, but 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.
 

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.
 
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.
 

What Are Dental Sealants?

April 24, 2018 | Posted Education

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surface and grooves of the back teeth where decay most often occurs. Proper brushing and flossing habits help remove plaque from the smooth surfaces on teeth, but often the bristles of your toothbrush are not able to reach all the way into the deep grooves on your back teeth to clean them. Dental sealants protect these grooves by “sealing out” any food and plaque.
 
Sealants are quite easy for your dentist or hygienist to apply. They get painted onto your tooth enamel where it bonds with your teeth and hardens. As long as the sealant remains undamaged, it will protect your teeth from decay, which means sealants usually last for a number of years. Some sealants also contain fluoride, which can further prevent decay.
 
When you visit your dentist/hygienist after receiving sealants, your dentist will inspect their condition and reapply when necessary. If you are interested in having dental sealants applied to your teeth, ask your dentist during your next visit, or contact us at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475 to book an appointment.