Archive for February 2013

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

With the Super Bowl having just been played over the weekend, it is hard to believe that it has been a while since any of our kids would have played a game of football. And with the NHL just having started up, it may be hard to think that the winter minor hockey season is fast coming to an end.

For those of you who put the hockey gear aside for the summer and move on to other sports, it is quite common to retire the mouth guard until the next hockey season begins. However, it is our position that, as long as your child is playing most sports, a mouth guard should be considered an essential piece of equipment!

Hockey and football have been the most progressive in requiring young athletes to protect their teeth by wearing a mouth guard. In some respects, it is somewhat ironic that these two sports should be leaders in the use of mouth guards given the protection already provided by mandatory facial cages.

Fortunately, hockey and football have recognized that damage to the teeth, gums or tongue can still occur simply by virtue of the jarring force of impact when two young bodies collide.

What is perhaps harder to believe is that sports such as soccer or baseball, where no facial shield is required, do not require participants to wear mouth guards. Clearly, physical contact is not as big a part of soccer or baseball when compared to football and hockey.

Nonetheless, kids and objects can still fly around a field at pretty high rates of speed. That means incidental contact is extremely likely! In the absence of a face shield, a mouth guard may be all that you have to protect the teeth of your young child from serious injury.

Just consider the force of a collision between two young athletes, each weighing 100 pounds, and travelling towards each other at full speed! Or when a baseball is thrown across the infield, trying to make an out at first base but which may not be as accurate as we would like? How about a soccer ball kicked at full velocity and hurdling straight toward your young child’s face?

All of these are common instances in soccer and baseball. And the damage they can do to unprotected teeth is both extensive and costly.

Obviously, the use of a custom-fitted sports mouth guard is no guarantee of absolute protection for those teeth. But some protection is better than none. Reducing the damage from a collision may be enough to save your child’s teeth.

So talk to us at Rideau Dental Centre about what we can do to provide a custom-fitted mouth guard to your young athlete for summer sports! Because collisions happen in non-contact sports, and protecting your mouth is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Peter Georgopoulos

Dental Surgeon