What Are Wisdom Teeth?

June 20, 2016 | Posted Education

Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars that most people get during their late teens to early twenties. For some people, wisdom teeth come in properly aligned and can be a great addition to the mouth, but most of the time they come in unaligned and need to be removed. When wisdom teeth come in unaligned, they may be positioned horizontally, angled away or towards the second molars, or be angled inward or outward. Unaligned wisdom teeth can cause a number of issues such as damaging adjacent teeth, the jawbone, and nerves around the mouth.
 
To check if you have wisdom teeth, once every few visits your dentist will take an x-ray to check if the teeth are present and see their alignment. Depending on the state of your wisdom teeth, your dentist may recommend that they are extracted. Typically, the earlier the extraction the better, as extractions tend to become more painful and complicated as the bone and tooth roots continue to develop.
 
If it is determined that your wisdom teeth are ready for extraction, your dentist or oral surgeon will prepare you for your surgery and explain to you exactly what will happen. Proper sedation will be used depending on the difficulty of your specific surgery. The surgery itself should be fairly comfortable and not too painful due to the anesthetic your dentist or oral surgeon will use. After the surgery when the anesthetic wears off, the amount of pain one experiences depends on the exact type of extraction that had to be used. After a few days, you should be pretty much fully healed.
 
Here at the Rideau Dental Centre we have the expertise to provide wisdom teeth extraction should that be recommended during your assessment. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us by calling 613-230-7475!
 

You often hear about the importance of brushing your teeth and flossing, but what about your tongue? Proper tongue care is very important but often overlooked. Your tongue is the perfect place for bacteria to thrive, and if it’s not properly cleaned, it can cause bad breath and poor oral hygiene.
 
Cleaning your tongue can be extremely simple, yet very rewarding. Each time you brush your teeth, try to remember to clean your tongue as well. To clean your tongue, you can either brush it with your toothbrush, or use a tongue scraper. If you are using a toothbrush, gently brush your tongue back and forth and side to side, and then rinse your mouth with water. Some toothbrushes also have a tongue cleaner built in on the back of the head of the brush, so if your toothbrush has one built in, you can also use that. Using a tongue scraper can be an even better method of cleaning your tongue, simply swipe it along your tongue and rinse after each time swipe. Always make sure to be gentle when cleaning your tongue, if it feels sore or starts to bleed then you are using too much force.
 
You should try to clean your tongue at least twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, but cleaning it more often doesn’t hurt. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

 

Dental Sealants

May 24, 2016 | 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. It is for this reason that many dentists will suggest applying sealants, especially on young children.
 
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.
 

Dental Sealants

May 24, 2016 | 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. It is for this reason that many dentists will suggest applying sealants, especially on young children.
 
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.
 

What Is Sleep Apnea?

May 09, 2016 | Posted Education

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts while you are sleeping. Common symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring and feeling tired after a full night’s rest. There are three main types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea - The most common form of sleep apnea. Breaks in breathing are caused by throat muscles relaxing.

  • Central sleep apnea - Occurs when the brain does not send the correct signals to the muscles that control breathing. 

  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome - Occurs when someone has both central and obstructive sleep apnea.

 
If gone unnoticed, sleep apnea can be extremely dangerous. Your dentist can help you create a proper plan to help you deal with sleep apnea. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Rideau Dental Centre by calling 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!

What is a Healthy Diet?

April 11, 2016 | Posted Education

Your diet affects your entire immune system. Studies have shown that a healthy and nutritious diet can help lower the risk of oral related health issues such as periodontal disease and tooth decay.
 
But what is a healthy diet?
A healthy diet is based on the concepts of balance, variety, and moderation. To achieve balance in your diet, try eating appropriate amounts of food from each of the recommended categories in a food guide such as the Canada's Food Guide. Try to make sure you are eating a variety of different foods, as one food cannot meet all of your daily nutritional requirements, and this can also help keep meals more interesting! Finally, make sure you have appropriate serving sizes of your food and drink, as this can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower the risk of other health issues.
 
Certain foods and drinks such as soft drinks, citrus fruit, vinegar, and wine can cause acid erosion in your mouth, so you should try to control how often you eat them, and when you do, try to brush your teeth right after. Some foods that can help keep your teeth healthy are whole grain breads, cheese, lean meats, nuts, and yogurt.
 
If you have any questions regarding eating healthy and how what you eat affects your oral health, feel free to contact us here at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475!
 

Whether you are off relaxing on a beach in Mexico, horseback riding through the Mongolian steppe, or backpacking around Europe, it’s important to remember to keep your good oral hygiene habits so your mouth stays healthy. If you are on a long trip, this is especially important. You do not want to end up in a Nepalese dentist office after having to get air rescued from the himalayas due to a dental emergency, as usually a third world dental office will not have the same health regulations as one in Canada.
 
First off, 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 allow your toothbrush time to dry out. If you put it in your bag immediately after brushing when the brush is still wet, 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.
 

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.

Dental Radiography Safety

February 29, 2016 | Posted Education

In our last blog post, we talked about the different types of dental x-rays (also known as dental radiographs), and how each type is used differently so that your dentist can get all of the diagnostic information they require to do their job. When you think about it, getting an x-ray can sound scary at first; high frequency wavelengths get blasted right through your body! But don’t worry, dental radiographs are actually very safe if proper safety measures are taken. Here are some of the measures we take here at the Rideau Dental Center 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!