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.
 

Cavities develop when the enamel that protects the outer surface of our teeth is damaged by plaque. If you have cavities it is extremely important to get them treated by your dentist as soon as possible.
 
If your dentist or dental hygienist finds a cavity in your mouth, your dentist can treat it by placing a filling after removing the decayed tissue. There are a number of different types of fillings including:

  • Amalgam Fillings: This is the type of filling that most people are familiar with, it has been in use for over a century. Amalgam fillings are silver in colour, which means that they aren’t as preferable for use in more visible teeth.

  • Composite Fillings:  Composite fillings are made of a tooth coloured material that is much stronger and more durable than the material used in amalgam fillings. It also takes longer to place these fillings than it does to place amalgam fillings.

  • Ceramic Fillings: These fillings are made out of porcelain, they are aesthetically pleasing and fairly durable, however, if they become rough they can wear opposing teeth.

  • Glass Ionomer Fillings: This type of filling is made of an acrylic and glass material. They release fluoride which can help prevent further tooth decay. Unfortunately, these fillings only typically last five years or less, so they are not usually prefered over other filling types.

 
If you have more questions related to filling options for cavities, or what we offer here at Rideau Dental Centre, give us a call at 613-230-7475.

We’ve all heard of gum disease, but what is it really and how can it be treated? There are actually two different types of gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the more mild version of gum disease, but if gone untreated, can develop into the more serious condition called periodontitis.
 
Gingivitis is typically caused due to poor dental care. Without frequent brushing and flossing, plaque can develop on your teeth, and over time it can turn into tartar. Both plaque and tartar will lead to gingivitis. Other common causes of gingivitis include tobacco use, overly aggressive brushing and flossing, and uncontrolled diabetes.
 
Common symptoms of gingivitis are:

  • Frequent mouth sores

  • Frequent gum bleeding

  • Swollen gums

  • Persistent bad breath

  • Pain when chewing

  • Gums appear more shiny than usual

 
If you are diagnosed with gingivitis or periodontal disease your dentist/hygienist will recommend a treatment plan specific to your needs, which will include a preventive regimen.
 
If you have any questions or would like to book a visit to your dentist, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475!

Oral cancer includes cancers of the lips, cheeks, tongue, sinuses, and pharynx. If not diagnosed and treated early, oral cancer can be life threatening. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of oral cancer so that you can contact your dentist or doctor immediately if you develop any of them. 
 
Common symptoms of oral cancer include, but are not limited to:

  • Velvety white or red patches in the mouth.

  • Swelling, lumps, bumps, and rough spots on the lips, gums or other areas of the mouth.

  • Ear pain.

  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing.

  • Numbness of the tongue or other areas of the mouth.

  • Hoarseness

 
If you notice any of the above symptoms, make sure to contact your dentist or doctor as soon as possible.
 
Oral cancer is treated in the same way most other cancers are treated, by using surgery to remove the cancerous cells, and then radiation therapy to eliminate any remaining cancerous cells.
 
There are a few simple things you can do to highly decrease your chances of getting oral cancer.

Do not smoke or use any tobacco products, eat a well balanced diet, and limit your exposure to the sun, as it can increase the chances of cancer on your lip.
 
Here at the Rideau Dental Center, our team of dentists and hygienists perform an oral cancer check at every appointment. If you have any specific concerns be sure to discuss it at your next visit. If you have any other questions or would like to book an appointment, please contact us here at the Rideau Dental Center by calling 613-230-7475.

Fluoride is one of the best advancements in preventing tooth decay, however fluoride in excess 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.
 

Thumb sucking 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.
 

Happy Holidays!

January 02, 2018 | Posted Education

It's that time of the year again! Holiday season often means eating lots of tasty sweets - so remember to look after 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 new year!
 

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.

Sleep Apnea - What is it?

November 06, 2017 | Posted Education

Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder that causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start during sleep. Typical symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring and feeling tired after a full night of rest. There are three main types of sleep apnea:
 

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea - This is sleep apnea’s most common form. Breaks in breathing are caused by the throat muscles relaxing when they shouldn’t.

  • Central Sleep Apnea - Occurs when the brain sends incorrect signals to the muscles that control breathing.

  • Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome - This form occurs when someone has a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.

 
If it goes unnoticed, sleep apnea can cause major health issues such as strokes, hypertension, heart attacks, and even heart failure. Sleep apnea is a very serious problem, but your dentist at the Rideau Dental Centre is trained to help in the treatment. Please visit our website for more information.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

Why You Should Clean Your Tongue

October 23, 2017 | Posted Education

We hear everywhere 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. Your 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.
 

Oral Care For Teenagers

October 10, 2017 | Posted Education

Today, the most common chronic disease in people from ages six to nineteen is tooth decay. By making a few minor changes in your daily routine, you can drastically reduce the risk of tooth decay and ensure that you have a healthy smile for years to come. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Avoid drinking soda - Soft drinks are acidic and contain large amounts of sugar, which allows them to erode tooth enamel and cause cavities. If you aren’t quite ready to cut soda out of your diet completely, consider drinking it with a straw to minimize the contact that the liquid has with your teeth. Also, rinse your mouth with water when you are finished drinking.

  • Play it safe - Sports involving physical contact are one of the leading causes of oral injuries in teenagers, but many of these injuries can be easily prevented with the use of a mouthguard.

  • Avoid oral piercings - Oral piercings often fracture tooth enamel, which can lead to requiring a filling or even root canal. Oral piercings also often cause infections, causing swelling and breathing difficulties.

Like adults, teenagers should visit their dentist every six months. Regular visits help ensure that any problems are caught early on. 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.
 

What Are Panoramic Dental X-Rays?

September 18, 2017 | Posted Education

Panoramic dental x-rays are the prefered type of x-ray when dentists need to capture the entire mouth in one image. They are commonly performed by dentists and oral surgeons to plan for braces, dentures, extractions and implants. Panoramic x-rays take images in 2-D, and capture the teeth, upper and lower jaws, and surrounding tissue. Imaging with x-ray exposes part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce the image.
 
Common uses for panoramic x-rays over conventional intraoral x-rays are planning for procedures, and revealing dental problems such as advanced periodontal disease, jaw tumors and oral cancer, impacted teeth (wisdom teeth), jaw disorders, and sinusitis.
 
Preparing for a panoramic x-ray is very simple. You will be asked to wear a lead apron to protect the rest of your body from any radiation exposure, and you will be asked to remove any jewelry, eyeglasses, and other metal objects that are in the region being imaged. It’s very important that women always inform their dentist or oral surgeon if there is a possibility of them being pregnant. Many tests aren’t performed during pregnancy to protect the fetus from any radiation. If the x-ray is necessary, extra precautions can be made to minimize the radiation exposure to the baby.
 
If you have any further questions, or would like to ask about receiving a panoramic x-ray yourself, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

Despite the many technological advances that have been made in dentistry, it is still common for people to suffer from tooth loss due to tooth decay, gum disease, or injury. Luckily, dental implants are available.
 
Dental implants are metal frames or posts that are surgically anchored into the jaw. After these implants have been inserted, they allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth. There are a number of benefits that dental implants bring over traditional tooth replacement methods, such as:
 

  • Improved appearance - Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth, because they are anchored to the bone.

  • Improved speech - With dentures, the teeth slip and move around in the mouth, causing mumbling and slurred speech. Dental implants allow you to speak naturally.

  • Easier eating - The fixed nature of dental implants allows you to eat the same foods that a set of natural teeth can eat.

 
At Rideau Dental Centre we have dentists with expertise in placing and restoring dental implants. Feel free to discuss this with us during your next visit. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us by calling 613-230-7475.

Do You Really Need To Floss?

July 31, 2017 | Posted Education

Flossing should be an essential part of everyone's oral hygiene routine. Floss helps clean out food and plaque from places where your toothbrush can't reach. This helps prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. You should attempt to floss at least once per day. When flossing, be gentle to avoid damaging your gums.
 
There are a few different tools you can use to clean between your teeth, the most common being waxed or unwaxed dental floss, which both work well. If the spaces between your teeth are small, it may be easier to use waxed floss. Floss holders also exist for those who who have trouble handling a long thread of floss.
 
If you are unsure of how to properly floss your teeth, ask your dentist during your next visit. Proper flossing technique is critical. One of our dental hygiene team members at Rideau Dental Centre will review this with you during your next visit. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us by calling 613-230-7475.
 
 

Tobacco Use and Oral Health

July 17, 2017 | Posted Education

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.

Mouthwash, while not an alternative to brushing and flossing, can be a good addition to your normal oral hygiene routine. Here are a few of the benefits that mouthwash can bring:

  • Many mouthwashes can help prevent the buildup of plaque. However, this does not 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.
 
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. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475. Happy 150th Canada! Wishing everybody a great weekend.
 

Dental Health At Any Age

June 19, 2017 | Posted Education

Regardless of your age, being aware of dental problems you are more likely to face is the best way to stay ahead of them. Pregnant women can help out their children by eating healthy foods and taking calcium supplements. After the child's birth, it is a good idea to wipe your baby’s gums with a soft moistened cloth, to prevent a buildup of bacteria. At the age of six months, when the baby's teeth begin to erupt, parents should brush their teeth and gums twice a day using a soft children's toothbrush.
 
With adults, untreated tooth decay is very common. Tooth decay is often painless and only recognized during a dental exam. Periodontal disease is another dental problem that adults may face, and requires a dentist’s intervention. The risk of these dental problems has been shown to be connected to overall health. In the case of periodontal disease, smoking and certain medications can increase the risk of developing it. You should speak to your dentist about any medications you may be on, as they may recommend you visit more often than every six months.
 
Older adults should visit the dentist regularly, as they are at a higher risk of developing throat and oral cancers. Also, older adults are often taking medication that can have an affect on their oral health, so it's important to talk about this with their dentist.
 
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

Are Amalgam Fillings Safe?

May 31, 2017 | Posted Education

Commonly used to fill cavities is a material called dental amalgam. Cavities filled with amalgam are also known as silver fillings. Amalgam fillings contain mercury, which raises some concerns, but should you really be worried?
 
Amalgam is a combination of metals including silver, tin, mercury, and copper. Small amounts of other metals may also be included. Nowadays, new tooth coloured materials are usually used to fill cavities. At the Rideau Dental Centre, we monitor the condition of existing amalgam fillings and if it is deemed that they are fractured or leaking, we opt to remove and replace them with alternative materials.
 
Many studies have been done about the effects of mercury in amalgam fillings, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration came to the conclusion that there was no need to limit the use of amalgam fillings, and that they are safe for people ages six and above. Like most substances, the danger posed by mercury to the body is proportional to the amount. At low, natural levels, there is no danger. Studies have shown that the amount of mercury the body is exposed to due to the slow breakdown of amalgam fillings is less than the amount that people are exposed to in their normal food and drink.
 
At the Rideau Dental Centre, we have not used amalgam in over 20 years due to advancements in technology. If you have any questions about amalgam fillings or any other dental topics, feel free to contact us 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 it’s location, or it could be a hairline fracture on a hidden part of a tooth. Your dentist will usually be able to determine it’s 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.
 

Taking good care of your teeth is always important, but even more so 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 - An increase in 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 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, make 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.

Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating affect a large number of people across Canada. Along with negatively impacting one's health and quality of life, eating disorders can affect relationships with friends and family, and performance at school or work. If you suffer from an eating disorder, it’s extremely important that you speak with your doctor.
 
Along with affecting overall health, eating disorders can also impact one’s oral health. When the body does not get proper nutrition, gums and other tissue in the mouth can become sensitive, increasing the chance of it bleeding. Saliva glands may swell, causing dry mouth and bad breath. Repeatedly throwing up due to an eating disorder can destroy the enamel on teeth, to the point where they change colour and shape. Enamel loss can also cause tooth sensitivity, which makes eating hot or cold foods and drinks painful.
 
Eating disorders can be caused by a number of different social, emotional, and physical factors, and they should all be addressed to help treat and prevent them. If you suffer from an eating disorder, we recommend paying extra attention to your oral health by frequently brushing and flossing. If you vomit, instead of brushing, immediately rinse your mouth with baking soda to help neutralize the stomach acid. We strongly encourage people with eating disorders to seek treatment. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

Does Acid Reflux Cause Tooth Decay?

February 27, 2017 | Posted Education

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.
 

The temporomandibular joint is what connects your jaw to your skull. It’s what allows you to move your jaw up, down, left, and right, so 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.
 
Exactly what causes 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.
 

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.
 

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

While they may be temporary, your child's teeth are still important. Early childhood caries (also known as baby bottle tooth decay) most often occur in the upper front teeth. Numerous different factors can cause tooth decay, however, one of the most common 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 the growth of bacteria.
 
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.

What Are Panoramic Dental X-Rays

August 29, 2016 | Posted Education

Panoramic dental x-rays are the preferred type of x-ray when dentists need to capture the entire mouth in one image. They are commonly performed by dentists and oral surgeons to plan for braces, dentures, extractions and implants. Panoramic x-rays take images in 2-D, and capture the teeth, upper and lower jaws, and surrounding tissue. Imaging with x-ray exposes part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce the image.
 
Common uses for panoramic x-rays over conventional intraoral x-rays are planning for procedures, and revealing dental problems such as advanced periodontal disease, jaw tumors and oral cancer, impacted teeth (wisdom teeth), jaw disorders, and sinusitis.
 
Preparing for a panoramic x-ray is very simple. You will be asked to wear a lead apron to protect the rest of your body from any radiation exposure, and you will be asked to remove any jewellery, eyeglasses, and other metal objects that are in the region being imaged. It’s very important that women always inform their dentist or oral surgeon if there is a possibility of them being pregnant. Many tests aren’t performed during pregnancy to protect the fetus from any radiation. If the x-ray is necessary, extra precautions can be made to minimize the radiation exposure to the baby.
 
If you have any further questions, or would like to ask about receiving a panoramic x-ray yourself, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

Thumb sucking is a very natural reflex for children. Sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers and other objects can often make babies feel happy and secure, and often helps them fall asleep. When permanent teeth come in, sucking can cause problems with the alignment of the teeth and the growth of the mouth. Pacifiers can affect the teeth in the same ways that sucking on fingers do, but they 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, problems are much less likely to arise when compared to children who vigorously suck on their thumbs. Overly aggressive sucking can not only cause problems with permanent teeth, but even primary (baby) teeth.
 
Children usually 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 does not stop sucking their thumbs, you should try to praise the child for not sucking. Sucking is often associated with when a child feels insecure, so it’s recommended to try to eliminate any anxiety by providing comfort to your child.
 
If you notice a change in child's teeth, or are concerned about their sucking habits, you should consult your dentist. If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.
 

Oral Health Tips For Teenagers

August 02, 2016 | Posted Education

The most common chronic disease in people from ages six to nineteen is tooth decay. There’s a number of small changes you can make in your daily routine to ensure you maintain healthy teeth during your lifetime. Here’s a few of them:

  • Play it safe - Contact sports are a leading cause of oral injuries in teenagers, but can easily be prevented with the use of mouthguards.

  • Skip the soda - Soft drinks are acidic and have very high sugar content, which can erode tooth enamel and cause cavities. If cutting soda out of your diet completely isn’t an option, try drinking it using a straw to minimize the contact that the liquid has with the teeth, and rinse your mouth with water when you are finished drinking.

  • Avoid oral piercings - Tongue and other oral piercings can easily fracture tooth enamel, which can lead to requiring a filling or even root canal depending on the depth of the fracture. Oral piercings also often cause infections, which can cause parts of the mouth to swell and interfere with breathing.

 
Like adults, teenagers should visit their dentist twice a year. Regular visits will help ensure a healthy smile and that any problems are caught early on. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475!