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

What Are Dental Pulp Diseases

October 24, 2016 | Posted Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Causes Morning Breath

October 11, 2016 | Posted Education

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

Violent Brushing Is Bad For You

September 26, 2016 | Posted Education

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

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!

What Is A Root Canal?

July 18, 2016 | 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.

Sometimes, you may notice one or more of your teeth are 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.