Kids Are Back at School

September 02, 2014 | Posted Education

Kids are back at school. Summer is over. Have you started to think about Christmas yet? There are 4 months left until the New Year.  What does this mean for your teeth?
 
Most people don’t realize that their dental insurance has an annual limit.  When you don’t use the maximum, it is lost to you.  Insurance companies count you not using it.  Take advantage of the benefits that you are paying for!
 
This is the time to plan that crown, bridge or surgery you have been putting off.  It is always easier to do it when you can plan and budget rather than in an emergency.  Planning will also cost you less because you can take advantage of the insurance benefits you have before they are lost.
 
Start planning now before the Christmas crunch.  Call us at the Rideau Dental Centre at 613-230-7475.  We are here to help.
 

What is a dental implant?

August 19, 2014 | Posted Education

A dental implant is made of titanium and is used to replace missing teeth.  This artificial tooth root is placed into your jaw to anchor a replacement tooth or bridge.  This is a great option to replace a lost tooth due to periodontal disease, trauma, failed root canal or for any other reason.
 
For dental implants you need to be in good general health, have healthy gums and have enough bone in the jaw to have an implant.  If the jawbone has shrunk or isn’t developed properly, bone grafting can be done to build up the bone in your jawbone.
 
Dental implants are done by:
 
· First the dentist will examine your mouth and take x-rays to ensure dental implants are right for you.
· The first stage of surgery the titanium implant will be placed in the jawbone and left to heal for several months.
· The second stage of surgery is when the gum tissue is opened up to place an abutment.  An abutment is a post that attaches the replacement tooth to the implant.  In some cases, this abutment can be placed at the same time as the implant.
· Finally an artificial tooth or crown is made to fit the abutment. If multiple teeth are missing, a bridge can be placed with an implant on either side.
 
Are dental implants are the right choice for your mouth?  Call us at the Rideau Dental Centre at 613-230-7475.
 

Two Minutes Two Times a Day

August 05, 2014 | Posted Education

Two minutes, two times a day, everyday, always!!  We need to brush our teeth everyday for at least 2 minutes twice a day.  You need to brush the inside, the outside, the biting surfaces and the tongue.  This should take at least 2 minutes.  It is longer than it seems.  Set a timer or play a song. See how long you brush!
 
Be careful how you brush.  Be gentle. Be kind.  No hard scrubbing or hard toothbrushes. Start by choosing the right toothbrush.  Pick one that is soft with a small head.  This makes it easier to move around the mouth and less damaging to the gums.  Do not share your toothbrush with any one else.  Let it dry between uses.  Replace it every 3 to 4 months.
 
When you brush, think of brushing one tooth at a time.  Start by placing the brush at a 45 degree angle where the gum and tooth meet, flex gently and sweep down from the gum line in a flicking motion.  Repeat in the same area 5 to 10 times. Brush the chewing surfaces in a back and forth motion. Brush the tongue or use a tongue scraper from the back of the tongue to the tip of the tongue.
 
Talk to your dental hygienist at the Rideau Dental Centre about the right brush and technique for your mouth.  Call us 613-230-7474.
 

Healthy Gums, Happy Heart

July 22, 2014 | Posted Education

Whether it is our mouth or our overall health, I think we can all agree that prevention and healthy lifestyle is the key.  We exercise, watch what we eat, minimize smoking and alcohol.  Is there anything else that can be done to reduce our risk factors?
 
Gum disease and heart disease are both inflammatory diseases.  Research shows that having gum disease may be a significant risk for increased heart disease and stroke.  This risk is comparable to smoking, family history and elevated cholesterol.
 
How is it possible that something in our mouth can reach our heart?  Bacteria in the mouth cause gum disease.  This bacterium causes inflammation of the gums, penetrates the gum line and finally spreads into the underlying bone.  How does it get to your heart?  For those individuals with gum disease, it is thought that the simple act of brushing or chewing food can injure the gum tissue.  This allows the bacteria to enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart.  Keeping your gums disease free is the key.
 
We want you to have healthy gums and a healthy heart.  Talk to your dental health professional about your oral health and how you can improve it.  Call us at the Rideau Dental Centre at 613-230-7475.
 

It Is Summertime!

July 08, 2014 | Posted Education

It is finally summertime and the weather is hot.  Which means we are more active and many of us are enjoying our holidays.  Accidents happen…  an elbow, a fall or a ball in the face.  Anything can happen which can cause a dental emergency.
 
Trauma to the mouth can cause a badly bitten tongue or lip, a broken or chipped tooth and even a knocked out tooth.  When is it necessary or more importantly how fast do you need to see a dentist?
 
When in doubt always call your dentist and explain the injury.  A bitten tongue or lip may only need a bit or pressure applied to stop bleeding or ice applied to reduce swelling.  A broken tooth may be repaired with a white filling but a more serious break may need a root canal and crown. 
 
A knocked out tooth always needs immediate attention.  See your dentist right away.  Your dentist may be able to put it back in the mouth.  The best prognosis is a tooth placed in the mouth within ten minutes and after 2 hours the prognosis is poor.  When the tooth is knocked out, if it looks clean put it back in the socket.  If this is not possible or there is a chance it will be swallowed, put the tooth in a container of cold milk. 
 
Talk to your dentist at the Rideau Dental Centre about protecting your teeth during any sport activities.  Prevention is always best.  Call us at 613-230-7475.
 

Say Ahh!

June 24, 2014 | Posted Education

Why do my dentist and my hygienist ask me to say ahh?  What are they doing?  Dental health professionals play a vital role in screening individuals for oral cancer.  We use our eyes to catch visual abnormalities and we use fingers to feel for lumps and bumps.  It is important to be checked at each visit.  Who else has their hands in your mouth?
 
Oral cancer may develop on the lips, the tongue, the inside of cheeks, the gums, under the tongue, the roof of the mouth, the back of the throat and the tonsils.  Risk factors include: smoking, alcohol, HPV virus exposure, lack of fruits and vegetables in your diet and sun exposure.
 
The normal course of healing is two weeks.  Anyone experiencing symptoms beyond this should contact a dental professional.  What signs or symptoms to look for:
 
· White or red patches anywhere in the mouth
· Mouth sore that bleeds easily or won’t heal
· A colour change of the oral tissues
· Teeth are suddenly loose
· Dentures that stops fitting
· Pain or swelling
· Difficulty swallowing or speaking
· Enlarged lymph nodes
· Persistent earache
 
Any cancer has a better prognosis if caught early.  Visit your dentist regularly.  Call us at the Rideau Dental Centre 613-230-7475.
 

Your Dentist Needs to Know!

June 10, 2014 | Posted Education

It is important for your dentist to have your overall medical history.  Complete disclosure allows your dentist and hygienist to be more effective in caring for your oral health needs.  There are certain health conditions, which does not allow us to provide dental care.  If so, it may actually harm you.  Some systemic diseases can be seen in the mouth and make oral conditions more difficult to treat. Your medical history allows your dentist and your hygienist to properly manage your treatment.
 
We need to know:
 
Are you pregnant?
Have you had any hospital stays or surgeries?
Do you have any heart problems?
Have you had any changes in your blood pressure?
Do you have any allergies?
Are you taking any medications?
Have you been diagnosed with diabetes, HIV, hepatitis or tuberculosis?
Are you undergoing cancer treatment?
Do you smoke or use chewing tobacco?
 
It may seem personal to discuss your health with us. It is important so we can tailor your treatment for you without doing any harm.  We care about you.  Call us at the Rideau Dental Centre at 613-230-7475.
 

Why We Paint?

May 27, 2014 | Posted Education

We changed how we do fluoride treatments.  We no longer use those big cumbersome trays that were uncomfortable in the mouth but now we paint on a fluoride varnish.  This varnish is a temporary adhesive form of varnish, which is applied by your dental hygienist.
 
It is a more effective way of delivering the fluoride to the tooth since it is designed to adhere to the tooth for several hours.  It can be applied to enamel, dentin or cementum to prevent decay, repair the tooth surface and treat sensitivity. 
 
Advantages include: 
 
·  Varnishes are easily applied.
·  Varnishes dry rapidly and set in the presence of saliva.
·  They are suitable to use with patients that have a strong gag reflex.
·  Due to the small amounts used and the rapid setting time there is only a small amount ingested.
·  The sticky consistency helps it to adhere to the tooth and stay in contact with the tooth for hours. 
·  Varnishes can be used in children under the age of 6 due to the reduction in the amount of fluoride that can be potentially swallowed.
 
At Rideau Dental Centre we are always trying to find better ways to improve your oral health.  Call us for an appointment at 613-230-7475.
 

Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel? Are you approaching retirement? Have you thought about how this affects your dental budget?
 
Not everyone realizes that his or her dental benefits or budget may change after retirement. Many of us work years without taking full advantage of our insurance coverage. Unfortunately we cannot bank what isn’t used every year.
 
As we approach are golden years…there are specific dental concerns. Dental fillings do not last forever. They may have been in your mouth for years and need to be replaced. Large fillings may need to be crowned to prevent them from breaking. Are your gums healthy? Will you need to see your dental hygienist more frequently? Do missing teeth need to be replaced? Are your dentures fitting comfortably? Ask a member of your dental team all these questions.
 
It is often challenging when a patient comes to us just before retirement and inquires about work that may need to be done before their benefits are changed. It is difficult to inform them that their treatment needs exceed the insurance annual maximum. It is important to share your retirement goals with your dental team 3-5 years before. This way they can sit down with you and plan out any treatment needed while maximizing your insurance coverage.
 
Feel free to ask for a reassessment appointment. Your dentist will re-evaluate your oral health and prepare your mouth for your retirement.
 

Acid reflux is a common condition where the acid from the stomach flows upward into the oesophagus and the mouth. Severe cases are referred to as GERD.  Stomach acids irritate and inflame the tissues of the oesophagus, while in the mouth there is an increase in enamel erosion.
 
Cavities in teeth start at a pH level of 5.5, but stomach acid is very low at 2.0. Constant exposure to these acids dissolve the enamel aggressively while the person is often unaware of the damage occurring.  Teeth will be prone to chipping, increased wear, decay, and sensitivity.  Signs and symptoms include:
 
· Heartburn
· Difficulty swallowing
· Sore throat
· Sinus infections
· Burning mouth
· Coughing and chest pain especially while lying down
 
Life style can play a major role.  Use of alcohol, cigarettes, diet, medications and poor posture can all aggravate acid reflux.  Dental care professionals can help identify acid reflux and help minimize tooth erosion.  Tips to manage acid erosion:
 
·Avoid food that triggers heartburn
·Loose weight
·Avoid alcohol and cigarettes
·Avoid eating 3 hours before bedtime
·Elevate the head of the bed
·Maintain good posture
·Brush twice a day with a soft toothbrush and use toothpaste with low abrasiveness
·Do not brush immediately after an acid episode.  Wait until the natural flow of saliva neutralizes the acid (about 60 min). Rinse with water or let a sugar free antacid dissolve in your mouth. 
·Avoid mint-flavoured products since they relax the valve at the base of the oesophagus, which will release more acid from the stomach. 
 
Call us at Rideau Dental Centre 613-230-7475 to make an appointment.
 

Have You Heard of Xylitol?

April 14, 2014 | Posted Education


What is Xylitol?  Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol that is found in corn and birch trees.  It can be used as a sweetener in foods along with other sugar alcohols such as mannitol and sorbitol.  Substituting sugar for xylitol can help fight cavities!!
 
Cavity causing bacteria live in our mouth.  They feed on sugars from our diet to grow and multiply.  Brushing and flossing helps reduce bacteria by decreasing the amount of sugar or plaque sticking to the teeth. The bacteria eat sugar only to produce a waste product that is very acidic.  This acid eats a hole in the tooth and a cavity develops.
 
Xylitol inhibits bacteria from growing essentially by starving them.  Bacteria cannot digest xylitol. Overtime fewer decay-causing bacteria thrive in the mouth and the level of acid attacking the tooth is lowered.  Studies have shown that cavity causing bacteria is passed from parents to newborn children.  Mothers using xylitol significantly reduce the frequency of cavities for children.
 
Xylitol is found in gum and mints.  They must be used 3-5 times a day after meals for a total intake of 5 grams.  The gum should be chewed for 5 minutes and allowed to dissolve in the mouth. 
 
Talk to us at the Rideau Dental Centre about Xylitol.  Call us 613-230-7475.  We’ll answer your questions.

Oral health is not limited to your teeth. Sores may appear in or around the mouth. These can be very painful. Usually sores disappear on their own within a week or two. They can have different appearances: red, white, ulcerated, raised, blistered. They also have different causes, including:
 
• Bacterial, fungal or viral infection.
• An irritant such as a broken tooth or loose orthodontic wire or improperly
  fitting denture.
• A symptom of a disease or disorder.
 
 If a mouth sore doesn't go away on its own within a week or so, it should always   be checked by your dentist. Your dentist can recognize the source of the problem and rule out anything more serious. Call us at Rideau Dental Centre to make an appointment 613-230-7475.
 

It is very important to take care of your teeth and gums while you are pregnant.  Hormonal changes can put you at risk for pregnancy gingivitis.  Most women notice their gums look redder and bleed when they brush or floss.  There can be severe swelling and bleeding.  Pregnancy gingivitis can start as early as the second month and usually disappears after the baby is delivered.  Good oral hygiene at home is essential to minimize the effects of pregnancy gingivitis.
 
Pregnancy granulomas can also develop as early as the second trimester and usually disappear after delivery.  These are red growths that are often found near the upper gum line but can be found anywhere in the mouth.  They can bleed easily and can form ulcers.  The exact cause is unknown but it usually associated with poor oral hygiene.
 
Morning sickness may also cause problems.  Frequent vomiting may cause enamel erosion.  It is important not to brush immediately after vomiting, since the acids will erode the enamel as you brush.  The pH in your mouth must be neutralized first.
 
Good oral health for mom is also important for your baby.  Periodontitis is associated with a higher risk of delivering a pre-term and low birth weight baby.  These babies have a higher incidence of developmental complications, asthma, ear infections, birth abnormalities, behavioural difficulties and a higher risk of infant death.  Mothers with high levels of cavity causing bacteria can also lead to increased dental cavities in the infant.
 
Routine dental procedures are best performed in the second trimester and elective procedures postponed until after delivery.  Always tell your dental professional if you are pregnant.  This is extremely important for safety of both mother and infant.  Call us at the Rideau Dental Centre 613-230-7475.  We’ll take care of both of you!

What is the best type of floss to use?  This is a question that is often asked by our patients.  The answer is very simple.  Floss that is the most effective is floss that you use everyday and effectively.  There is no single floss that is best. Use the floss that suits you or makes your job easier.
 
That said there are different kinds of floss: multifilament floss (nylon or silk) and monofilament floss.  Nylon floss is the most common and been around the longest.  It comes in waxed, unwaxed, different flavours and thicknesses.  Monofilament floss is newer technology.  It is very strong and doesn’t rip or tear.  This quality can make it easier to pull the floss between teeth.  Monofilament floss is also available in different flavours and thicknesses. It is all about personal choice.
 
It is also extremely important that once you committed the time to floss everyday, you do it right.  Flossing needs patience.  It can’t be rushed.  Popping the floss in and out doesn’t cut it.  The floss needs to clean the side of the tooth, even under the collar of gum.  This is where the bacteria hide. 
 
Ask your dental hygienist to show you the correct way to floss at your next appointment.  There may also be some other interdental aides that may work for your specific needs.  Call us at Rideau Dental Centre for an appointment at 613-230-7475.
 
 

Choosing the Right Toothbrush

February 18, 2014 | Posted Education

Are all toothbrushes equal?  How do you choose the right toothbrush?  What should you look for in toothbrush?
 
The main purpose of your toothbrush is to remove soft plaque.  A soft tooth brush is all you need.  A medium or hard toothbrush may cause abrasion, tooth sensitivity and gum recession.  Save that medium or hard toothbrush for scrubbing the bathroom!
 
Size of your toothbrush does matters.  Bigger is not better.  Your toothbrush should be able to fit in the back of your mouth along the gum line.  You should think of brushing one tooth at a time.  A small adult compact toothbrush is best.
 
Electric toothbrushes have some advantages over manual toothbrushes.  They can do a better job especially for those have limited dexterity.  They can also prevent excessive force on the teeth by stopping when too much force is applied. 
 
Ask us at the Rideau Dental Centre for brush recommendations that suit your mouth.  There are specialized brushes for specific needs, which your hygienist may recommend for you.  Call us at 613-230-7475.

Why White?

February 04, 2014 | Posted Education

Many years ago I was babysitting my nephew.  His brushing as a toddler was not living up to my standards.  He was a logical young boy and wanted to know why brushing was so important.  When his mom arrived home I told him to look in her mouth.  He looked and saw the amalgam silver fillings.  He was shocked.  Even at that young age he realized that silver fillings were ugly.
 
White fillings are an advantage cosmetically obviously.  But are there any other advantages?  Are we putting our teeth at risk for vanity?
 
White fillings or composite fillings are made of powdered glass, quartz, silica and added to a resin.  A shade can be chosen by your dentist to match the tooth.  Composite can be bonded directly to tooth structures, creating two very distinct advantages over traditional amalgam. 
 
· Composite requires less removal of tooth structure.
· Composite restores most of the strength of the tooth, leaving the tooth less susceptible to breakage. 
 
Placing white fillings require proper technique by the dentist.  Improper use of bonding agents may result in tooth sensitivity.  Talk to your dentist at Rideau Dental Centre.  Call us 613-230-7475. 

Are You Always Tired?

January 21, 2014 | Posted Education

So do you get a good night sleep and feel rested in the morning?  Or do you keep your partner up with your snoring?  You may have a sleeping disorder that could cause you to stop breathing many times throughout the night.  This disrupts your natural sleep cycles and causes a restless sleep.  This disorder is called obstructive sleep apnea. 
 
Major signs of sleep apnea include sleepiness throughout the day when not active, morning headaches, difficulty with concentration and memory, moodiness, irritability and depression.  Has your partner ever told you snore then go quiet then go back to snoring again? Going quiet is when you briefly stop breathing.
 
Major risk factors include: 

  • Overweight

  • Male

  • Related to someone who has sleep apnea

  • Over the age of 65

  • Black, Hispanic, or a Pacific Islander

  • A smoker

  • Certain physical attributes, such as having a thick neck, deviated septum, receding chin, or enlarged tonsils or adenoids

 
Dentists cannot diagnose sleep apnea but they can help recognize the signs and symptoms to refer you to your family physician.  Dentists can also work with your physician to fabricate oral appliances to help prevent your jaw and tongue from blocking your airway.  Please feel free to discuss any concerns when you visit us at the Rideau Dental Centre.  Call us at 613-230-7475.

1) Daily flossing
2) Quitting smoking
3) Crowning that tooth
4) Daily flossing
5) Getting your teeth cleaned
6) Bringing your kids in for their check up
7) Daily flossing
8) Stop smoking
9) Wear your night guard
10) Call us at Rideau Dental Centre 613-230-7475.
 
Happy New Year!

Do I Need Orthodontic Treatment?

December 23, 2013 | Posted Education

Orthodontics or braces aren’t just for kids anymore.  More and more adults are choosing to have orthodontic treatment done.  It isn’t just about the perfect Hollywood smile but can be about improving oral health.

Teeth can be crowded or crooked or rotated which can cause many problems in the mouth.  When teeth aren’t straight, it makes them harder to keep clean.  Poor oral hygiene leads to more cavities and gum disease, which may lead to tooth loss.  Misaligned teeth can also cause abnormal wear on the teeth and added pressure to the gums, which again may lead to tooth loss.   Added stress on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) from improper alignment of teeth as they bite together may cause headaches and pain in the TMJ. 

Modern orthodontics has changed.  There are more options than “metal train tracks”.  Brackets can be tooth coloured or brackets can be replaced with clear removable appliances. 

Make an appointment today to discuss your options with your dentist at the Rideau Dental Centre.  Call us at 613-230-7475.  Have a safe and happy holiday! Merry Christmas!

 

 

Are Oral Piercings Safe?

December 10, 2013 | Posted Education

Are oral piercings really any different from piercing your ears?  What do you say if your teenager asks you what you think? What exactly are they and what are the risks?
 
Most commonly oral piercings consist of a barbell through the tongue or labret between the lower lip and chin.  Other areas could include the uvula, the lips and the cheeks.  The jewellery can be made of stainless steel, gold, plastic and titanium.
 
The most obvious problem with oral piercings is infections.  Our mouth is full of bacteria.  Piercings through the tongue or floor of the mouth are at higher risk for infection.  There is also the potential for muscle and nerve damage.  Chipped teeth are commonly see with tongue piercings and gum recession are frequent with labrets.
 
What can you do to avoid these complications?  Research the facility doing the piercing to ensure infection control.  Disinfect your jewellery regularly.  Don’t play with it in your mouth.  Make sure that the jewellery is made of plastic to protect the teeth from chipping.  Seek medical attention immediately if you experience swelling, bleeding or pain.
 
Schedule your appointment with your dentist at the Rideau Dental Centre to monitor any damage to teeth and gums.  Call us at 613-230-7475.

Wisdom Teeth… To Keep Them or Not

November 13, 2013 | Posted Education

Most adults have 32 teeth by their late teens but do not have enough room for all of them.  Wisdom teeth are the last molars to erupt at the very back of our mouth.  If the fully erupted molars are aligned properly and the gums are healthy, the wisdom teeth do not need to be removed.  Unfortunately this often isn’t the case and they need to be extracted. 
 
Wisdom teeth can grow sideways, erupt partially out of the gum or remain impacted in the bone.  All of these scenarios are a potential problem. Partially erupted molars are open to the oral cavity that allows bacteria to hide under the gums and cause an infection.  This can be extremely painful.  Cysts or tumours can form around impacted molars.  This is very dangerous since it may result in the loss of bone of the jaw and healthy teeth. 
 
Your dentist will take x-rays and perform an exam to evaluate any risks for the extraction of your wisdom teeth.  Call us before it hurts for an appointment at the Rideau Dental Centre at 613-224-8338.

Taking Care of Our Parents

October 29, 2013 | Posted Education

As our parents get older, their needs change.  Life can change and get more challenging in an instant.  Priorities evolve and oral care can get left behind.  Oral health for seniors is very important.  It can improve general comfort, quality of life and self-esteem.  Poor oral health is linked to heart disease, pneumonia and complications from diabetes.
 
Seniors may have trouble with brushing technique or remembering to brush twice daily.  Assistance or modifications to their oral care may be needed.  For instance, a large handled brush would help an arthritic senior.  Some mouthwashes or toothpastes may be too harsh and difficult to tolerate.  Good oral hygiene helps eliminate harmful bacteria.
 
Prescription medications often lead to dry mouth.  This is a common problem.  Dry mouth can be very uncomfortable causing denture pain, cavities and difficulty swallowing and chewing.  Home fluoride can help prevent cavities.  Changing toothpastes and mouthwashes can help sooth dry mouth and stimulate saliva. 
 
Seniors should also have their oral cavity checked for open sores or lesions.  These can be very painful and make it difficult to eat.  Proper nutrition is essential to overall health. 
 
Take care of your parents like they took care of you!!  Talk to your dental professional at the Rideau Dental Centre to evaluate your parent’s individual needs.  Call us at 613-230-7475.

Taking Care of Your Monsters

October 15, 2013 | Posted Education

Halloween!  It is that time of year for trick or treating and parties!  Dressing up to be your favourite character is fun at any age.  Our children are fuelled by their need for sugar!!  It is our job watch out for their oral health.
 
The toughest job as parents is juggling our kid’s happiness and their best interests.  Sugary snacks are often part of any celebration.  Supervising which types of candy, the quantity and frequency can make all the difference. 
 
Bacteria feed on candy.  The more the candy consumed, the bigger the sugar feast.  The longer is stays in the mouth, the bigger the sugar feast. Snacking on sugar all day, the bigger the sugar feast. 
 
Try to avoid candies that are sucked on or chewed for a long period of time. Do not feed your children candy with every snack or meal.  Remember candy should never replace nutrient rich foods. 
 
Most important!  Our kids need to brush after each sugary snack.  Brushing at least two times a day for two minutes and flossing once a day is the best way to fight cavities.  Two minutes is a long time for kids.  Put a timer in the bathroom to remind them to keep brushing.
 
Have fun and be safe on Halloween night.  Enjoy sweets but in moderation.  We’ll keep an eye out for any hiding sugar bugs on your next check up!  Call us at 613-230-7475.

It's Time to Quit!

October 02, 2013 | Posted Education

How many times have you thought about it? Nobody needs to remind you why you should quit. Obviously smoking can kill you many different ways. Why haven’t you stopped?
 
Quitting smoking is a personal decision.  Motivations can be health reasons, family members, financial or you could be just sick of the smell. You have to decide when you are ready.  When you are, do it!!
 
When the time is right prepare yourself.  Set a date and stick to it.  Get support from family and friends.  Talk to your family doctor.  Change your habits and make new ones.  Get out and exercise.  Identify your triggers.
 
In the oral cavity smoking is easily recognized.  Smokers often have brown stain covering their teeth.  Tooth loss among smokers is high due to periodontal disease.  Oral cancer is just one of the many cancers smokers are at a higher risk for.
 
At the Rideau Dental Center we can help you in your journey to quit.  Please talk to your dentist or hygienist and we can help set you on the right path. Call us 613-230-7475.

Life is Stressful

September 17, 2013 | Posted Education

Our North American lifestyle is busy.  We often put off taking care of ourselves to care for our families and our career.  It is easy to make excuses why we have no time to go to our dental appointments.  This has to stop.
 
Our bodies are just like the car we drive.  It needs a regular check up and maintenance.  Our oral health is linked to our general overall health in many ways.  Poor oral health can contribute to diabetes, respiratory and cardiac diseases, and women delivering pre-term low birth weight babies.
 
Routine exams help diagnose problems when they are smaller and simpler to fix.  Routine dental hygiene treatment helps maintain healthy gums and a strong foundation to support the tooth.  Prevention is the key.
 
It is important to have a long-term plan for your oral health care.  Insurance doesn’t cover everything and has annual limits.   When insurance hasn’t been used for the year, the unused amount cannot be accumulated.  It is lost. 
 
Try to plan to budget annual maintenance for your mouth to prevent exceeding your annual limit and maximize your dental benefits.  Our team at the Rideau Dental Centre is happy to assist you with your insurance claims.  Call us at 613-230-7475.

Back to School

September 03, 2013 | Posted Education

Sending the kids back to school is always a busy time for every family. Getting clothes, books and packing lunches and snacks.  Kids are at school all day and sometimes longer with after school activities.  That is a long time without brushing their teeth!
 
Cavities causing bacteria and kids have one very big thing in common.  SUGAR!  They love sugar. Bacteria feed on sugar to produce acid.  That acid creates a hole in the tooth that is called a cavity.  It isn’t realistic to eliminate sugar completely from our children’s diet but there are ways to reduce the risk.
 
Reducing the frequency and duration teeth are exposed to the acid attack is essential.  The acid attacks the tooth while the sugar is in the mouth plus 20 minutes.  So if your child sucks on a candy for 5 minutes, the acid attack lasts 25 minutes.  If they have 5 candies throughout the day, multiply that by 5.
 
-Pack healthy snacks full of nutrients instead of empty calories (fruits and veggies versus candy).
-Avoid pop or sugary drinks that are consumed over a long period of time.
-Avoid sticky sugary foods.
-Avoid candies or gum that have sugar.
 
At the Rideau Dental Centre we’d be happy to answer any of your questions. Call us at 613-230-7475.

I Don't Like My Smile

August 20, 2013 | Posted Education

Patients often are unhappy with the appearance of their smile for many different reasons.  It can change your life and confidence level.  Our smile is one of the first things people notice and they are contagious.
 
Missing or broken teeth need to be fixed.  These teeth can be crowned or replaced by a bridge or implant. Old crowns or bridges may not match the teeth next to them anymore. Margins of the crown may be visible making them obvious.  Modern lab techniques can make porcelain crowns that are much more aesthetically pleasing than in the past.
 
Misaligned teeth aren’t just for children.  Sometimes teeth shift as we get older or maybe we never had braces to correct them.  Traditional braces or Invisalign could be options at any age.
 
Colour of your teeth could be the issue.  Whitening your teeth with custom trays or with over the counter whitening products may be possible and easy to brighten your smile. Not everyone is a candidate to whiten his or her teeth and it is important to discuss this first with your dentist before trying it.
 
Visit us at Rideau dental centre to sit down and discuss your concerns.  We want to see you smiling everyday! Call us 613-224-8338.

Having a new addition in the family is a busy time. Time goes by fast and before you know it, your little one is teething. Teeth generally start to make their appearance around 6 months of age. The Canadian Dental Association recommends that your child be brought in to see a dentist within 6 months of the appearance of the first tooth or by 1 years old.
 
At their dental assessment, the dentist will evaluate dietary concerns, oral hygiene and any fluoride recommendations.  The dentist will check for cavities and any developmental abnormalities.
 
One of the most important reasons to bring you child to the dentist is for your child to be comfortable. Establishing a trusted relationship between your child and the dentist is essential. This allows open communication and easier dental visits for the child, the parents and the dentist.
 
Start your dental family at the Rideau Dental Centre today. Call us at 614-230-7475.

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is made up of the jaw joint and the group of muscles that allow us to chew, speak, swallow and yawn.  When the balance is lost and something goes wrong, we develop TMD  (temporomandibular disorder).
 
Signs and symptoms include many of the following:  Tenderness and muscle soreness.  Difficulty opening or closing your mouth.  Headaches or neck pain.  Clicking, grinding or popping noises when you chew your food.
 
The causes of TMD are not always obvious but stress often plays a major role.  Everyday lives can cause us to clench and grind our teeth together often without even realizing it.  There also can be other factors such as an injury, whiplash, missing teeth, improperly fitting dentures…
 
Your dentist can suggest several solutions to relieving TMD pain.  First and foremost relax!!  Often just knowing you are clenching can help stop the habit.  Hot and cold compresses can help along with massaging the muscles. 
 
Your dentist may also recommend a bite splint or nightguard.  This appliance covers the biting surface of the teeth of one jaw which helps relax the muscles.  The nightguard also protects your precious teeth and dental work from wear and fracture.
 
Discuss any TMD symptoms with your dentist at the Rideau Dental Center so they can help alleviate any pain you may experience.  Call us at 613-230-7475

The dreaded questions asked when you sit down to your dental hygiene visit… What do you do at home to take care of your teeth? Are you flossing daily? 
 
Why does it matter anyways?
 
Most people don’t really know what periodontal disease is or if they have it. Some people think it is normal that their gums bleed. It isn’t normal. It is a sign of disease.
 
Bacteria live in your mouth. They grow, multiply and group together to form a biofilm. Bacteria hide around and underneath your gums where it is dark, moist, warm, and generally undisturbed. When bacteria attack the tissues of the gums they cause your body to fight back causing an inflammatory response. In the mouth this appears as red, shiny swollen gums that bleed easily. Bone loss may be observed on x-rays and measured during your periodontal assessment.
 
Periodontal disease is an infection. To fight or prevent the bacteria in your mouth, you must reduce the number of bacteria and break up the biofilm. This means keeping all surfaces of your teeth clean especially between your teeth!
 
There are many tools to clean your teeth. Your hygienist will recommend a personal homecare routine. Visit your registered dental hygienist at the Rideau Dental Center.
 

A crown is like a helmet for a tooth.  Our teeth take a beating from a lifetime of chewing, not to mention clenching and grinding.  Crowning a tooth protects the tooth from fracturing when it has been weakened.  Fractures can be above the gums or below the gums. Teeth that fracture below the gums may be unable to be restored thus needing to be extracted.
 
The crown of the tooth may be compromised for different reasons.  One reason may be lack of tooth structure remaining.  A filling is only meant to fill a small hole and not replace the crown of the tooth. Root canalled teeth need to be crowned too. After a tooth has been root canal treated it becomes brittle and prone to breaking. 
 
Crowns are made of different materials.  They can be tooth coloured or gold or silver. Crowns can be completed in one or two appointments. Computer generated crowns (CAD-CAM) can be done in one visit.  Traditional lab fabricated crowns are done in two appointments. 
 
Your dentist will help you decide when a crown may be recommended and which type is best for your tooth.  Don’t to break a tooth! Call us at the Rideau dental centre for an appointment.

Do you have pain in your mouth? Are you sensitive to sweets, hot, or cold? Is it a sharp and fast pain or is it a dull ache that lasts.
 
Many people experience these sensations but ignore them, hoping they will magically disappear. Having these areas checked is very important. You may have a cavity or an infection around the root of the tooth, or it could be as simple as root exposure or a filling that needs to be adjusted.
 
Most people are afraid of the dreaded root canal... But they don't know what it is or why is it really necessary.
 
The root of the tooth houses the blood vessels and nerves.  Root canals may be considered necessary when bacteria enter the pulp from different sources. Some of these include bacteria entering the pulp through large cavities or leaky fillings, or cracks or trauma to the tooth.
 
A root canal treatment is the removal of a dead, injured or infected pulp. You are given local anesthetic so the procedure is painless. Your dentist will remove the pulp and clean out the canal before sealing the pulp canals. After your tooth has had a root canal treatment you need to discuss how to restore the crown of tooth with your dentist.
 
Please don't ignore what your tooth is telling you. Make sure to tell us about it at your next visit at the Rideau Dental Centre!

25% of the adult population suffer from dry mouth.  Dry mouth may present itself by thick and ropy saliva, burning mouth, oral yeast infections, bad breath, difficulty swallowing, fissured tongue and more...
 
There are many different possible causes for a dry mouth.  It can be caused by different systemic conditions or more commonly as a side effect of medications or mouth breathing.
 
Your oral health professional may recognize dry mouth by performing an exam and listening to your concerns.
 
Saliva in our mouth is very important. Saliva helps to cleanse our teeth and tissues.  It also helps to buffer or neutralize the acid in our mouth. Acid produced by bacteria cause cavities.  When we have a chronic dry mouth our tissues can stick to teeth which creates soreness and cavities can grow extremely rapidly.
 
There are several things you can do to help alleviate dry mouth. Drink lots of water, chew sugar free gum or suck on sugar free candy to stimulate saliva.  There are also toothpastes, mouthwashes and gels created specifically to moisturize and soothe symptoms of dry mouth. Home fluoride may also be required to minimize cavities.
 
Talk to your dental health professional at the Rideau Dental Centre to help assess your risk for dry mouth.

What is a computer-generated crown?? Traditionally when a crown is done... the tooth is prepared and impressions are taken at the first visit.  These impressions are sent to the lab and typically 7-10 days later the crown is ready to be cemented into your mouth. 
 
With a computer generated crown or cerec, it is usually done in one visit.  After the tooth is prepared, a digital impression is taken with a 3D camera. Computer software along with your dentist designs the crown to fit your mouth. Crowns, onlays and inlays can be made using different ceramic materials and is fabricated right in the office.  You can even watch it being made!  From there it is cemented directly into your mouth.
 
This new technology allows control over design that enables your dentist to conserve tooth structure.   Cerec technology also saves your valuable time. At the Rideau Dental Centre we try to make all technologies available to our patients. Please call us to make an appointment.

Patients often ask why do I need x-rays and are they safe? Dental x-rays are taken for many reasons and the frequency they are needed is different for each individual. Your dentist will access your risk factors along with your dental history to determine when they will prescribe x-rays for you.  Without these images your dentist would be unable to detect cavities between teeth, infections or defective crowns or bridges. Your dentist may also be looking for missing teeth, impacted teeth and even an abnormal growth that may occur in the bone.

Radiation exposure can occur by acute or chronic exposure. Acute exposure is a large dose in a short period of time and a chronic exposure is a small dose over a long period of time. All of us are exposed to radiation everyday. This is referred to as background radiation and is naturally occurring. One single x-ray is 20-30 times less than the annual amount of background radiation and 50-300 times less than a single CT scan. New digital x-ray machines decrease the radiation exposure even more. Unnecessary x-rays are filtered out and the x-ray beam is focused to the area of interest but as an extra safety precaution a lead apron shields your body. 

At Rideau dental centre, your overall health is important to us. Our dentists only recommend the x-rays they feel you need and that is safe for you

How Clean Is Clean?

April 02, 2013 | Posted Education

Have you ever wondered about the path the instruments used at the dental office take to reach your mouth? We’d love to show you!! We love to brag about our state of the art sterilization process and highly trained staff.

We need to start with clean hands, gloves and masks.  Before we even put on gloves are hands are washed or sanitized.  New clean gloves and masks are put on for each patient.  The treatment room is disinfected, the suction lines are flushed and the water lines are purged between each patient. We treat each patient as a member of our family.

Dirty instruments are contaminated with blood, food debris and saliva. Nobody wants to be exposed to any dangerous bacteria or viruses.  Your health is important to us.

All dirty instruments must first be immersed in an ultrasonic bath to remove any debris.  They are rinsed and dried before they are placed in a sealed sterilization bag. Now they are ready for the steam-pressurized sterilizer.  When the instruments are removed, their bag indicators are double checked to ensure they are ready to be used.  Validation that are machines are operating correctly are done daily by biological testing. Ask us, we’ll be happy to show you.

Next time you come to visit us, please feel free to ask us for a tour of our sterilization centre. 

Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel? Are you approaching retirement? Have you thought about how this affects your dental budget?

Not everyone realizes that his or her dental benefits or budget may change after retirement. Many of us work years without taking full advantage of our insurance coverage. Unfortunately we cannot bank what isn’t used every year.

As we approach are golden years…there are specific dental concerns. Dental fillings do not last forever. They may have been in your mouth for years and need to be replaced. Large fillings may need to be crowned to prevent them from breaking. Are your gums healthy? Will you need to see your dental hygienist more frequently? Do missing teeth need to be replaced? Are your dentures fitting comfortably? Ask a member of your dental team all these questions.

It is often challenging when a patient comes to us just before retirement and inquires about work that may need to be done before their benefits are changed. It is difficult to inform them that their treatment needs exceed the insurance annual maximum. It is important to share your retirement goals with your dental team 3-5 years before. This way they can sit down with you and plan out any treatment needed while maximizing your insurance coverage.

Feel free to ask for a reassessment appointment. Your dentist will re-evaluate your oral health and prepare your mouth for your retirement.

Did you know you could develop oral cancer by sexual transmission? Did you know that younger sexually active non-smoking adults are the fastest growing group to develop oral cancer? Have you talked to your teenagers about the risks? Inform yourself!

HPV is a virus that is a known cause of cervical cancer. The oral tissue is very similar to the tissue in the cervix and does not discriminate against a man or a woman. Oral cancer can be horribly disfiguring and if left undiagnosed… has a poor prognosis. Oral cancer is 3 times more common and twice as deadly as cervical cancer.

Risk factors traditionally for oral cancer are smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.  Now unprotected sex and multiple sexual partners are putting non-smokers at risk.

What does it look like? It can be red or white. It can be a sore that doesn’t heal after 14 days. It can be a wart-like mass. It can also be hoarseness in the throat or pain. It can be difficulty swallowing, speaking, chewing or moving the jaw or tongue. It can even be a simple as feeling like something is always caught in your throat.

At Rideau Dental Centre each registered dental hygienist and dentist is highly trained and performs an oral cancer screening at each visit. Make your reservation for your oral health care assessment today.

From our standpoint at Rideau Dental Centre, when we hear that only 45% of the population visits their dentist at least once per year, we definitely become concerned about the oral health care of much of the population.  Most of you may be familiar with the basic belief that everyone should visit their dentist at least twice per year.

What you may not be aware of is that this is the minimum recommendation for those who are in good oral health. For those individuals experiencing specific dental issues, such as periodontitis, you may require more frequent visits.

However, for some people, the issue is not so much about the frequency of visits to maintain good oral health. If you are part of that population that simply does not visit the dentist at all, making the first visit is the one we are most concerned about!

There are always reasons you cannot make it to our office and we understand that. Work days seem so much longer than ever before as technology seems to have us permanently linked to the office. Single parents or two income families often struggle to balance work life with getting their kids to whatever activity they have that night.

As important as those aspects of life can be, the impact we can have on improving your quality of life is not something to be ignored either!

It is not just the traditional aspects of looking after your teeth and gums that we are concerned about. Educating you to look after your oral health away from our office is a big part of what we do!

That can include taking the time to discuss proper brushing and flossing techniques. It can even include proper care of your sports mouth guard. It may come as a surprise to you, but there is a case of a young athlete contracting asthma due to improper cleaning and storage of his mouth guard. The bacterial built up and went to his lungs via the access to his mouth. As soon as he properly maintained his mouth guard, his symptoms subsided!

The bottom line is that we pride ourselves on providing complete oral health care service. That means making sure you are armed with the best information to take home with you so you can improve your ability to look after your oral health.

After all, we cannot be with you every minute of the day. We need you to be as committed to your oral health as we are! And the first way you can demonstrate that commitment is by taking that first step and come in for an assessment. When you do that, together we can plan the way to help maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for life.

So invest the time to see your dentist. Because regular dental visits are a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Bao Nguyen

Dental Surgeon

Images of hearts will be everywhere this week as lovers celebrate Valentine’s Day. Given that February is Heart Health Month, all those images of love from the heart certainly seem very appropriate in more ways than one!

Of course, it is not our intent to cast any shadows on the romantic images a Valentine’s heart can represent. However, as health care providers, our focus on the heart does tend to be bit more clinical!

We understand that some of you would question why would a dental office be concerned about the health of your heart. The truth is our concern is quite valid for a number of reasons.

First of all, you may have noticed that more and more dental offices are measuring blood pressure of their patients. The reason for this is that if you arrive at an appointment with us experiencing elevated blood pressure, we may have to assess whether it is in your best interest to proceed with treatment at that time.

On a similar note, many patients with heart issues may be taking medication as part of their treatment. It is vital that we be aware of any medication you may be taking before we proceed with your dental appointment. Otherwise, there is a risk that we could administer something that may not mix well with your current medication. This is a situation we obviously want to avoid!

These are perhaps the more dramatic reasons why, at Rideau Dental Centre, the health of your heart is of great concern to us. However, there are also positive reasons for our concern that focus on prevention of heart disease. Believe it or not, good oral health is increasingly being recognized as one of the keys to maintaining a healthy heart!

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

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

To understand why this would be the case, keep in mind how the mouth is an open access point to many bacteria that can be harmful to the body, including the heart. A mouth that is properly cleaned and healthy is better able to filter out those harmful bacteria.

However, if plaque is allowed to build up along the gum line, your mouth will be less able to keep potentially dangerous bacteria from entering your blood stream. The wrong type of bacteria going in the wrong direction could result in consequences to your cardiovascular health you never would have anticipated when you decided you were too busy to brush or floss!

So this month, as we focus on heart health, allow us to contribute to your improved health in the best way we can. Let us help reduce the chance of dangerous bacteria attacking your heart…because good oral health is a healthy habit…and this month, healthy habits lead to healthy hearts.

Dr. George Parry  

Dental Surgeon