Tips That Will Help Prevent Cavities

Tooth decay is also referred to as cavities and can, unfortunately, occur at any time during your life. Even though children are definitely more likely to develop cavities secondary to poor dental hygiene and eating habits, it’s important to remember that adults are just as likely to develop tooth decay or cavities. If a cavity is small, it can be repaired easily by using a special composite resin but when they are left untreated for long periods of time, cavities will slowly progress and eventually infect the whole tooth, ultimately reaching the pulp located at the center of it and thus forcing you to get a root canal. Just like with most other health conditions, it is very important to understand that prevention and oral hygiene is the key to healthy teeth and enjoying a healthy mouth every day and to avoid dental emergency .

Here are a few tips that can help you prevent cavities:

You have to brush your teeth regularly Using the Right Technique
Dental professionals recommend that people brush twice a day for at least two minutes each time. When you brush your teeth, your toothbrush should be used at a 45-degree angle and always make sure that the brush comes into contact with both teeth and gums. This way, the brushing action will help remove bacteria, debris, plaque, and all the tiny particles that are stuck to the soft tissue and your teeth. When the time comes for choosing a toothbrush, most Ottawa dentists will suggest using a power toothbrush, that uses sonic vibrations or that is equipped with a rotating head to remove more effectively the bacteria and debris around your teeth. You should definitely stay away from hard bristle toothbrushes and avoid brushing your teeth too hard, as this can lead to gum recession.

Remember to Floss Daily

Flossing is definitely one of the most important dental hygiene habits you have to follow at home. A common problem that dental professional share is that patients aren’t flossing their teeth at home even though it is the best way to keep the areas between your teeth clean and free of bacteria and debris. There are obviously various types of floss available out there, including string floss, flossing brushes, and water flossing devices. At the end of the day, it’s obvious that if you’re not used to flossing, this whole process may feel like a chore in the beginning as you will have to get used to the process. Rest assured that as you start flossing regularly, you will see the results and you’ll be encouraged to keep doing it.

Use Mouthwash Regularly

Mouthwashes are powerful tools that use bacteria-fighting ingredients meant to clean away plaque, food, bacteria and germs that could be left behind after brushing. Always remember, you have to read the label before using a mouthwash to make sure that you are doing it correctly. Most of these rinsing products will ask you to use a cap-full of mouthwash and rinse your teeth with it for at least 30 seconds. If you realize that the alcohol in your favorite mouthwash burns while your rinse and makes your cleaning experience uncomfortable, think about changing to an alcohol-free formula. You should get used to rinsing with a mouthwash every time you brush your teeth to achieve a clean mouth and a fresher breath.

Stay away from sugary and acidic foods and drinks

Bacteria that live on your teeth and in your mouth feed off sugar, that acts as a catalyst for the development of tooth decay. In the end, the less sugar a person eats, the less food the bacteria have access to for feeding and the less likely you’ll be to develop cavities. It is the same process that takes place with acidic foods and beverages. What is important to understand is that there are certain foods and drinks that are definitely bad for your teeth and that people should try to avoid at all costs. On one hand, this means for adults, less snacking between meals and at night, while making healthier choices throughout the day. On the other hand, for kids, it means staying away from candies, sweet pastries, and sugar-filled beverages. If it’s impossible to give up your sweet tooth, brushing and rinsing your mouth with a mouthwash after eating or drinking will help get rid effectively of the sugar and acids attacking your teeth.

Follow Your Dentist’s Recommendations

Your dental professional will give you sound recommendations to take better care of your teeth at home and while you are at work. This will include product recommendations, advice about brushing techniques and relevant tips on how to choose your toothbrush if you have braces, crowns, bridgework, or veneers. In the event that you have periodontal disease, you may require special treatment to help take care of your gums and minimize the chance of tooth decay. By following the recommendations given by your dental professional, you’ll have the power to avoid cavities and achieve a healthy mouth. It’s simple, to get the most of your dental checkups, remember to ask your dental professional the questions that are important to you so you can better take care of your teeth at home.

When you take the time to invest in your oral hygiene, you’ll find that your regular appointments are important and that you will develop fewer cavities and avoid the need for dental fillings, root canals, and more costly dental procedures. If it’s been a while since you’ve visited us, it’s never too late to start taking care of your teeth.

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Mercury Free Treatment in Ottawa

Ottawa, ON area patients who are interested in maintaining the health of their smile and avoid materials that are not biocompatible with the body are welcome to work with our Ottawa dentists at Parliament Hill Dental, to learn about mercury-free treatment options. Many patients choose to replace their amalgam fillings because of their appearance, which can be a wonderful way to make dental work look more natural and keep it from standing out as dental repairs when patients speak, smile, and laugh with others.

What are amalgam fillings?

Amalgam fillings are used for areas of dental decay to restore the smile. However, they can be dark gray in color, standing out when patients open their mouths while laughing, smiling, and speaking with others. This can make many patients feel self-conscious about their appearance and start to hide their smile. However, by replacing these fillings with composite resin, which are mercury-free, patients will enjoy a more aesthetic appearance to their smile.

Composite resin

Amalgam fillings can be removed and then replaced with composite resin. This is a clay-like material that mimics the appearance of natural tooth enamel when placed, shaped, and polished. Parliament Hill Dental and the team of professionals find that many patients love their new look when they have their amalgam fillings replaced with composite resin.

How are mercury-free restorations placed?

Parliament Hill Dental and the team of professionals find that many patients love their new look when they have their amalgam fillings replaced with composite resin. Dental fillings are placed in the tooth when there is an area of decay. This is done in our practice in just one appointment, making it simple for patients to have their treatments done quickly.

Other restorations used in our practice that are also mercury-free include:

  • Dental veneers
  • Dental bridges
  • Dental crowns

Who is a candidate for mercury-free restorations?

Everyone is encouraged to ask about using mercury-free dental restorations within their smile. They are safe, effective, affordable, and beautiful! We know how important it can be for patients to achieve a smile they’ve always wanted, even when imperfections exist, and conditions occur which negatively affect the appearance of the smile. With mercury-free restorations, patients will know that their smiles are attractive and properly cared for. Regardless, we do encourage patients to book a consultation appointment with Parliament Hill Dental to be evaluated and determine if mercury-free restorations are appropriate to enhance the smile.

What about porcelain restorations?

Parliament Hill Dental regularly uses porcelain to create restorations, including veneers, bridges & crowns. Porcelain looks just like natural tooth enamel and ensures that the repair looks as natural as possible. Porcelain is a material that has been used on patients for many years to achieve the appearance they desire.

How are porcelain restorations made?

Parliament Hill Dental regularly uses porcelain to create restorations, including veneers, bridges, and crowns. Porcelain restorations are not made in-house in the same way composite resin is used. Instead, porcelain restorations require the dentist to prepare the teeth first. This may include the removal of a thin portion of the enamel. Then, impressions are made and sent to a dental laboratory. The laboratory will fabricate the new restorations with porcelain and send back to the dentist within a week or two. The entire process takes some time, but these restorations are long-lasting and beautiful. We want our patients to know that we take immense pride in helping them achieve the smiles they’ve always wanted, even when the damage has occurred. With porcelain restorations and composite resin, many areas of concern can be aesthetically addressed by our team of professionals. We can assess the smile and determine which solution is best for an individual and provide the information needed to move forward in receiving treatment.

Take the time to connect with Parliament Hill Dental today

If you are interested in visiting professionals, we encourage you to speak to our dental team about the advantages of mercury-free treatment. Contact Parliament Hill Dental and the team today at 234 Laurier Avenue West in Ottawa, ON by calling (613) 233-1118. We can schedule patients for an appointment to discuss their dental needs and provide solutions for the smile that are affordable and effective.

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How to Prepare for Dental Emergencies

If a dental emergency arises, do you know what to do? Furthermore, have you ever asked yourself, “If an emergency occurs, is there a dentist near me who will respond?” Parliament Hill Dental dentists will educate patients in Gloucester, and the surrounding areas, about the various types of dental emergencies and how to handle them. Being prepared is essential when an emergency occurs. Parliament Hill Dental not only keeps patients informed about potential dental emergencies but promptly responds to them.

Being prepared for dental emergencies

Think of a fire drill. At an early age, you were probably taught, “Stop, drop, and roll.” If a fire occurs, you are less likely to panic when you are prepared. Likewise, if a dental emergency strikes, you can feel more at ease when you know how to handle it. It is important to know the most common types of dental emergencies so you can equip yourself with knowledge as well as over the counter solutions. Parliament Hill Dental will provide tips on how to respond to the following dental emergencies until she can see you:


– Rinse your mouth with warm water. If food is trapped between the tooth and gum, use dental floss to remove it. If the mouth is swollen, place an ice pack on the cheek. Over the counter pain relievers may help, but swallow then, never hold them in the mouth because they will irritate the tissues.

Broken or chipped tooth

– Save the pieces and rinse them and your mouth with warm water. If you bleed, apply gauze to the affected tooth for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. To reduce swelling, place an ice pack on the cheek or lip near the affected tooth.

Knocked out tooth

– Hold the tooth by the crown and rinse off the tooth root with water. Do not remove any tissue fragments or scrub the tooth. Gently place the tooth back in its socket. However, if it is not possible, do not force it. Place the tooth in a container of milk and bring it with you when you see Parliament Hill Dental. The chances of saving the tooth are highest within the first hour.

Above all, keep our number with you at all times – (613) 233-1118. If you experience an emergency, call immediately.

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Preventative Dentistry in Ottawa

At the practice of Dr. Louis Carlyle, patients in and around the area of Ottawa, ON are often interested in seeking a beautiful, healthy smile. One of the aspects of dentistry many patients fail to understand is preventative dentistry and the importance of good oral hygiene habits and their effect on dental health and wellness.

What is preventative dentistry?

Preventative dentistry is the field of dental work that focuses on achieving and keeping the smile healthy. This area of dentistry is often the focus at home. Patients who take care of their smile and take a proactive approach to their dental health will benefit from less expensive dental work, fewer visits to the Ottawa dentist, and the avoidance of conditions that can cause permanent damage to the smile. Preventative dentistry is part of a good oral hygiene routine.

Good oral hygiene habits

Dr. Louis Carlyle educates his patients on the advantages of good dental hygiene habits and how they can improve the health of the smile. Conditions such as periodontal disease and tooth decay can develop is patients are not careful to pay close attention to their smile’s needs. Below are a few things patients can do to maintain their oral health and wellness:

Brushing the teeth – patients who brush their teeth after every meal will enjoy the benefits of a healthier smile. This is because acids, sugars, plaque, and tartar are easily removed with a soft-bristled brush and proper toothpaste. This is one of the easiest ways a patient can keep their smile healthy and beautiful!

Flossing the teeth – flossing the teeth is also necessary, as it helps in removing food particles that can become trapped between teeth and contribute to the development of tooth decay. Floss once a day in the evening to clean the teeth before bed.

Routine dental evaluations – a proactive approach to oral health and wellness also includes routine visits with Dr. Louis Carlyle for checkups. Checkups may include x-rays to check the health of the smile. If our dentist spots any areas of concern, such as an area where it appears tooth decay is forming, or periodontal disease is present, early intervention can be done to keep the problem from spreading and becoming more serious. These conditions benefit from early intervention, which ensures treatment is less expensive than if the condition is left to become worse.

Visits as needed – if patients notice anything wrong with their smile between their routine appointments, they should book a visit with Dr. Louis Carlyle to address the problem before it becomes a bigger issue. This is necessary, especially when problems arise such as toothaches or damage to the tooth structure.

What is done for periodontal disease?

If a patient has periodontal disease present, they need to work with their dentist to obtain treatment as soon as possible to keep the condition from becoming more severe. If left untreated, the earlier stages of periodontal disease can progress to periodontitis, which can cause tooth loss, bone loss, and gum tissue loss. This damage can be permanent and may require many appointments and extra funds to address when it occurs. Preventative care can greatly reduce the cost of overall dental health needs, making dental work more affordable than ever. Treatment for periodontal disease may include deep cleanings such as scaling and root planing and the administration of antibiotics. During a consultation appointment, Dr. Louis Carlyle can determine the stage the condition has reached and discuss with patients the treatments they can undergo to bring their smile back to health. Patients may also need to visit their dentist every three months instead of every six to address the condition.

Book an appointment with Parliament Hill Dental today!

If you reside in or around the Ottawa, ON area, we welcome you to request a visit with our team by calling our front office at (613) 233-1118 and attending an appointment at our practice, conveniently located at 234 Laurier Avenue West. Dr. Louis Carlyle and his team are pleased to accept new patients into the practice seeking high-quality dental care.

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Canker Sores, Cold Sores, and Mouth Sores

Mouth sores (sometimes called mouth ulcers) can be identified by their location. Canker sores only occur inside the mouth, whereas cold sores form on the outside of your mouth, usually on the skin near your lip.

Cold sores are caused by a virus and are therefore contagious. Canker sores, on the other hand, are instigated by a variety of factors but cannot be spread.

Most mouth sores heal on their own. Usually, they are harmless, unless your immune system has been compromised by a chronic illness such as cancer or HIV/AIDS.

If you have a mouth sore that does not go away for several weeks, or if your symptoms are recurring, you should contact your doctor. Some sores can be indicators of mouth or neck cancer, or they may be the result of an infection.

Canker Sores

Canker sores can develop on the soft tissue inside your mouth. They do not form on your gums or the roof of your mouth, though they may develop along the base of your gums. You’ll often find canker sores on the inside of your lip or the wall of your mouth.

Canker sores start as a raised bump and then turn into an open sore. These sores make it difficult to eat or drink, and they also make brushing and flossing a challenge. Thankfully, canker sores don’t last long, typically any more than two weeks. They should go away on their own, though there are some strategies you can use to monitor the pain:

  1. Use a topical gel or patch. This helps protect the sore from spicy, hot, or acidic foods and other irritants, i.e. if the affected area is bumped or jostled.
  2. Take vitamin supplements. Canker sores have been linked with a B-12 vitamin deficiency. Consider taking supplements if you are having routine troubles with canker sores.
  3. Avoid irritating foods. These can be acidic foods like tomatoes or citrus fruits, spicy dishes, hot beverages and foods with a rough or crunchy texture.
  4. Use mouth rinses. You can mix water with a teaspoon of salt for a basic salt rinse. However, medicated mouthwashes may be more effective. You should be able to purchase a medicated rinse in your local pharmacy without a prescription.

Canker sores have been linked with vitamin and sleep deficiencies, stress, and hormone changes (often menstruation or pregnancy). They also often result from injuries in the mouth, such as burns from hot foods or cuts from orthodontic appliances or sports.

Canker sores are also caused by food allergies. They are often paired with chronic illnesses like celiac or inflammatory bowel disease. People with drier mouths have a higher risk of developing canker sores.

Cold Sores

Cold sores form along the outside of your mouth, usually near your lip. They can also form inside your mouth or nostrils.

These sores can be caused by the herpes simplex virus HSV-1. This is not the same as HSV-2, genital herpes, though the two illnesses are related. Once you contract HSV-1, it will live in your system throughout your lifetime. The virus will remain dormant, but you may periodically experience flare-ups due to stress, hormone changes, or a lowered immune system from illness or surgery.

Cold sores have several stages. First, you may feel tingling or itching around your mouth before a small blister develops. These blisters may spread to other spots around your mouth and will eventually burst before they ooze and crust over. Cold sores are very contagious, so you should avoid touching the affected area for fear of spreading it.

Cold sores usually heal on their own within seven to ten days. You shouldn’t need to contact your doctor unless your symptoms persist longer than usual. If your immune system is compromised by cancer treatment or HIV/AIDS, you need to take action against cold sores immediately to avoid serious complications.


If you have cold sores, you should consider:

  • Antiviral ointments. Topical creams like acyclovir and penciclovir can shorten recovery times, but they must be used as soon as you experience itching or tingling, otherwise, they may not help.
  • Antiviral medications. Valacyclovir, acyclovir, and famciclovir are commonly used to shorten your recovery time for cold sores. People with routine outbreaks will often turn to these medicines.
  • Topical ointments to relieve discomfort. While these creams cannot speed up your recovery, they will soothe pain and keep the sore moisturized. Be sure to wash your hands after applying the ointment and do not share the medication with others.
  • Painkillers. Ibuprofen and Tylenol can help relieve discomfort.
  • Avoiding contagion. To avoid spreading the virus to others, do not share food or utensils and avoid physical contact near the mouth. Wash your hands with soap and warm water if you touch the affected area. Be careful not to touch other sensitive areas of your body where the virus could easily spread, such as the eyes or genitals.

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Pregnancy Dental Care Tips

Your dental health is important for the health of your baby. Changes in your hormones during pregnancy put you at a higher risk for gum disease. Poor dental health has been associated with early delivery, gestational diabetes, intrauterine growth restriction, and preeclampsia.

If you’re expecting, you might be concerned about several dental issues: which dental procedures are safe for your baby, when and how often you should see the dentist, and what you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Is Dental Care Safe during Pregnancy?

Yes, it’s not only safe to visit your dentist during pregnancy, it’s also recommended. Tooth decay can negatively impact both you and your baby. Changes in your hormones can put you at a higher risk for gingivitis. You might even consider extra cleanings during your pregnancy to protect your gums against gum disease.

When you visit your Ottawa dentist, let him or her know what stage you are at in the pregnancy, as well as any medications you may be taking. Some prefer not to visit the dentist during the first trimester because this is the most vulnerable state of the pregnancy. It’s typically best to schedule dental procedures during your second trimester because it will be too uncomfortable to sit in the chair during the last months of the pregnancy.

Dentists try to avoid treatments too late in the third trimester, out of fear that having you lie on your back for too long could induce labour. If you need any dental procedures during your third trimester, they are typically delayed until after the delivery.

Fillings and x-rays are safe during pregnancy. Your dentist will make sure you are adequately covered during the x-ray to prevent any risk to the child. X-rays are often necessary to plan accurately dental procedures.

Pregnancy and Your Dental Health

The primary reasons for dental problems during pregnancy are the result of hormone changes and morning sickness.

Hormone changes make your gums more prone to gingivitis because they cause more bacteria to form in your mouth. Estrogen and progesterone loosen bones and ligaments, and this may make your teeth feel looser. That being said, it is definitely not normal to have teeth move or fall out. Those issues are usually a sign of a previous dental condition.

One in two women develops gingivitis during pregnancy. This condition should go away after childbirth. You might notice that your gums are red, swollen, sore or prone to bleeding. Keep up with your regular brushing and flossing routines and talk to your dentist for more specific advice.

Frequently vomiting from morning sickness wears out the enamel of your teeth. If you’re having problems with morning sickness, there are measures you can take to protect your teeth against acid.

Mix a teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water to make a rinse solution. Rinse and spit after vomiting, then wait thirty minutes before brushing. Brushing your teeth immediately after vomiting can worsen the wear on the enamel of your teeth.

Things You Can Do to Keep a Healthy Mouth

There are a few things you can do to protect your mouth during pregnancy. We’ve gathered the following list to help you fight decay and gum disease while encouraging your child’s development.

  • Keep up your regular routines of brushing and flossing. If you haven’t been brushing twice a day and flossing once, now is the time to start. Flossing is perhaps the most important measure in fighting against gum disease.
    Continue visiting your dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups.
  • If you’re having trouble brushing because of morning sickness, try changing your routine. Consider buying a smaller toothbrush or using different toothpaste. Brush slowly if it is causing you to gag.
  • Limit sugar. Sugar is hard on your teeth because it turns to acid and then plaque. This puts you at a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
    Choose healthy snacks that are low in sugar. Yogurt, cheese, raw fruits and vegetables are all great choices.
  • Drink water and low-fat milk instead of soda or sugary beverages. This will keep you hydrated without the negative effects of sugar.
  • Keep a healthy, nutrient-rich diet to help your child’s development. Your baby’s teeth develop during the third and sixth months of pregnancy. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamins A, C and D, calcium, protein, phosphorus, and folic acid.

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Signs That Your Tooth Has a Cavity

Cavities (or caries) are a form of tooth decay. Bacteria in your mouth ferment carbohydrates, breaking down the enamel in your teeth. Bacteria live inside the plaque, which is why your teeth are more susceptible to decay if you have poor dental hygiene.

Cavities have no symptoms in their earliest stages. This is because cavities form beneath the surface of your teeth. As the decay progresses, you will start to have symptoms such as pain and obvious discoloration.

The best way to catch cavities is to make regular trips to the dentist. Your Ottawa dentist will be able to find decay with radiographs while the cavity is still in its earliest stages. Regular cleanings can also reduce the amount of tartar and plaque on your teeth, decreasing your risk of cavities.

Cavities cannot be reversed, but their progress can sometimes be slowed or stopped with good dental hygiene. If you do not visit your dentist, you may only notice cavities when they have progressed to a more serious stage and present symptoms.

Types of Cavities

There are three main groups of cavities: coronal, root, and recurrent cavities.
Coronal cavities form in the pits of your teeth, or in between teeth—areas affected by chewing. This is the most common type of cavity.

Root cavities
 can form when your gums have receded and are exposing the sensitive roots, which are not protected by hard enamel. These cavities are more common among older people.

Recurrent cavities
 occur at the site of a previous filling or crown. A renovated tooth tends to accumulate plaque, making the area more vulnerable to decay.

Signs of Cavities

If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with the dentist right away. Cavities do not fix themselves, and untreated tooth decay becomes worse the longer it goes untreated.

  1. Staining. Your tooth may have white, brown, or black spots. While sometimes these are just stains, cavities tend to be soft and sticky. Cavities may cause your entire tooth to discolour.
  2. Depressions in your tooth. You may be able to see holes or pits in your teeth.
  3. Toothaches. Your tooth may hurt suddenly without cause.
  4. Tooth sensitivity. You may feel sharp, sudden pain when consuming something hot, cold, sweet or acidic.
  5. Pain when biting. You might feel pain when biting down on something hard or crunchy.
  6. Bad taste or breath. When bacteria forms in the cavity in your tooth, you may develop bad breath or have a metallic taste in your mouth.
  7. Bleeding or swollen gums. Deeper cavities damage the nerve in your tooth and may cause infection. This irritates your gums, resulting in swelling or bleeding while brushing your teeth.
  8. Sensitivity to pressure. You may feel a dull or sharp pain in your tooth resulting from pressure changes, something you are likely to notice while flying. This is because air pressure changes can affect the nerve of an infected tooth.

Dangers of Untreated Cavities

An untreated cavity can go from being a minor problem to a dental emergency. Tooth decay continues to move deeper into your tooth, from the enamel to the dentin, which is a softer material full of tubules that allow acids and sugars into the nerve-filled pulp.

When tooth decay reaches the pulp, bacteria cause it to expand, pressing on nerves. If tooth pulp becomes infected, it can form an abscess, which is a pocket of pus at the root of the tooth. This infects the tooth and may even spread to your jaw.

Tooth decay can progress beyond what a filling can fix. An untreated cavity may eventually need a root canal (the removal of pulp inside the tooth) or even removal of the tooth. This is why you should see your dentist immediately when you notice symptoms of a cavity—to avoid costly and potentially invasive repairs.

Preventing Against Cavities

Cavities are the second most common health disorder among adults and the first among children. While they are common, there are some steps you can follow to decrease your risks.

Practice good dental hygiene.
 Brushing twice a day and flossing once can help reduce plaque on your teeth, which is the starting point for cavities.

See your dentist regularly.
Your dentist can catch cavities before symptoms appear. Though you can’t do anything to reverse a cavity, you can slow down tooth decay by improving dental hygiene. Your dentists will also be able to remove tartar from your teeth, something you cannot do by yourself at home.

Watch what you eat. 
Sticky foods or foods that are high in sugar (or carbohydrates) put a lot of wear on your teeth. This includes potato chips, hard candy, honey, sugar, dry cereal, dried fruits, cookies, cake, and soda.

Limit sugary drinks and snacks.
 If you snack or sip on sweet beverages throughout the day, you constantly expose your teeth to acids that break down the enamel on your teeth. Consider replacing snacks with healthier choices and taking your coffee without sugar. Water and low-fat milk are a great way to stay hydrated without the sugar of juice or sports drinks.

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Should Children Use Whitening Products?

You might be worried if you notice that your child’s shining white teeth have become yellow or discolored. While many adults whiten their teeth with over-the-counter whitening products, this form of treatment is not recommended for young mouths.

We’ll go over some of the unique characteristics of baby teeth, why teeth whitening treatments could be harmful, and what you can do to help keep your child’s teeth clean.

Baby Teeth versus Adult Teeth

Baby teeth have thinner, whiter enamel than adult teeth. They appear brighter because they are more calcified. As your child’s adult teeth grow in, they will appear more yellow than his or her baby teeth. Unusual discoloration can be caused by injuries, decay, or dietary choices. If you’re frustrated about the color of your child’s teeth, over-the-counter whitening treatments are not a solution.

How Whitening Works

Whitening treatments use hydrogen peroxide to work away stains on your teeth. The user instructions will tell you how long to leave on whitening trays, usually between 15 and 60 minutes. Bleaches used in whitening treatments can wear down the enamel of your teeth, exposing the sensitive layer of dentin underneath. This causes tooth sensitivity (pain caused by hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods or beverages), which usually goes away after a while, as long as you are not continually overusing whitening products.

Why Whitening Products are Not Recommended for Children

There is no sufficient research to prove that whitening treatments are not harmful to children under the age of 15. Most companies like Crest do not recommend their whitening products for children less than 12 years old.
When using at-home whitening products, you must be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Children are not always able to understand the risks of leaving on whitening trays in for too long, which will damage tooth enamel and irritate gums.

Children are also more likely to swallow when using dental products, which can be very hazardous when using whitening chemicals. If you insist on having your child’s teeth whitened, it’s best to discuss your options with your dentist, considering clinical treatment if he or she recommends it.

Causes of Dark or Discolored Baby Teeth

Teeth can become darkened or discolored from diet, decay, or injury. If you notice that your child’s tooth is dark or has white spots, you should have the dentist check to see if the tooth is healthy.

Dark teeth are often caused by bleeding inside the tooth. This is usually caused by an injury while playing sports or hitting the tooth on a hard surface. In this case, you should bring your child to the Ottawa dentist’s office to assess the injury.

Vitamins and medication can discolor your child’s teeth if they are high in iron. If you have taken the antibiotic tetracycline, either during pregnancy or breastfeeding, it may have affected the color of your child’s teeth.
Weak enamel is a genetic condition that makes teeth appear darker.

Fluorosis is a condition resulting from over consumption of fluoride. You may notice white lines or streaks on your child’s teeth if you have been giving him or her formula from powder or a liquid concentrate mixed with fluoridated water.

Diet has a considerable impact on the color of your child’s teeth. If your child drinks a lot of sugary beverages or eats artificially-colored foods, you may notice that his or her teeth appear more yellow.

Solutions for Whiter Teeth

Using proper dental hygiene and maintaining a healthy diet are the best ways to keep teeth bright and shiny. Encourage your child to get into the routine of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. Diet has a significant impact on the color of his or her teeth, so try to avoid dark-colored beverages like soda and certain juices.

Some natural foods with dark pigments may also cause stains, such as beets, grapes, blackberries, raspberries, or tomato sauce. You might consider limiting these foods if you’re trying to fight against stains.

With very young children, you start brushing right away. As soon as your child’s first tooth has grown in, you should brush his or her tooth with an infant toothbrush, using a small bit of toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice. You should also wipe your child’s gums with a soft cloth after feedings. This will limit decay, keeping your child’s teeth healthy from the start.

Older children might be able to consider whitening treatments after all of their adult teeth have grown in. This treatment is not recommended for those under 15 years of age. Make sure that your child knows the risks of whitening treatments and that he or she follows the instructions properly.

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Tooth Sensitivity Treatments

If you have tooth sensitivity, you’ll experience pain when biting down on hard foods or consuming something hot, cold, sweet or acidic. Often the pain feels sudden and sharp. Tooth sensitivity can make eating and drinking a difficult and fearful task.

There are many causes of tooth sensitivity. In its essence, tooth pain occurs when a softer material called dentin transmits temperature or acidity to nerves in the pulp of your tooth.

Normally, dentin is protected by a harder layer of enamel, which may become weakened or damaged. Dentin also gets exposed when your gums have receded, as the roots of your teeth lack enamel. The reasons your teeth are sensitive may dictate which treatments are most effective for you.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Erosion of enamel on your teeth. If you have a highly acidic diet, the enamel on your teeth will erode more quickly. Bleaches used in whitening treatments also thin enamel. Usually, sensitivity caused by whitening treatments is temporary. Your dentist will probably recommend that you lay off of them for a while.

You might also wear down enamel if you grind or clench your teeth. If you grind your teeth during sleep, you should consider wearing a mouth guard at night. Finding a solution to your stress might also help the situation.
Recent dental treatments. Your teeth may become sensitive after a filling, crown, or any other restorative treatment. Sometimes, you might need a bite adjustment, but continued sensitivity could be a sign that you need a root canal. Check back with your dentist if the pain doesn’t go away after four to eight weeks.

Gum recession. Gum recession may occur due to aging, but the culprit is usually gum disease. As plaque and tartar build-up along your teeth, your gums start to recede, exposing sensitive roots. This usually results from poor dental hygiene, but it may be further exacerbated by smoking, as well as chronic illnesses and changes in hormones (often during pregnancy).
Cracked or damaged teeth. If your tooth is cracked, chewing will cause different pieces to move, exposing the pulp, which is full of nerves and blood vessels. If a crack goes untreated, the pulp may eventually become infected, which can spread to deeper tissues in your mouth, even reaching the bone underneath.

Deep cavities can also be a cause for sensitivity. Cavities do not usually cause pain, so if you have a toothache, you should see your dentist right away. Decay may have reached deeper parts of your tooth, signaling it is now approaching an infectious state.

Brushing too hard. If you’re brushing too hard, you can wear down the enamel of your teeth and cause damage to your gums. It’s best to use a soft-bristled brush. Move your brush in a circular motion, rather than moving it quickly back and forth.

Clinical Treatments for Tooth Sensitivity

If you’re experiencing a lot of pain while eating or drinking, you should speak to your Ottawa dentist. Depending on the cause of the sensitivity, your dentist may advise one of the following procedures.

Gum grafts. Gum grafts can help resolve tooth sensitivity when roots are exposed by receding gums. A graft will be taken from tissue located on the roof of a patient’s mouth and then used to cover exposed roots. This treatment typically works to solve damage from severe gum disease.

Root canal. If your tooth has been damaged beyond what a filling can repair, your dentist may suggest a root canal. The dentist removes the pulp from your tooth, getting rid of nerve endings, which are no longer necessary once the tooth has grown in. While these nerves typically give you the sensation of hot and cold, they can be compromised to save the tooth.

Dental bonding. The dentist applies a special resin to your teeth to cover up sensitive areas. The process of bonding is similar to a crown but requires only one visit and minimal removal of material from the tooth. The downside to bonding is that it will stain and wear down over time, typically lasting four to eight years.

Fluoride treatments. Your dentist can apply a fluoride gel to sensitive areas of your tooth, which helps strengthen the enamel and also ease the pain. In some cases, your dentist may prescribe fluoride trays so that you can continue the treatment at home.

Treating Tooth Sensitivity at Home

Cut down on acidic foods and beverages. Carbonated drinks, wine, and citrus fruits contain a lot of acids. Limit acid in your diet to protect weakened tooth enamel.

Use desensitizing fluoridated toothpaste. Certain kinds of toothpaste can help with tooth sensitivity. Ask your dentist for a brand he or she recommends. Before you go to sleep, put a little bit of toothpaste on your exposed roots.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and don’t go too hard on the brushing. Try more gentle, circular motions when brushing your teeth.
Wear a mouth guard at night. This can keep you from grinding your teeth while you sleep.

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The Myth of Dental Insurance

Insurance coverage of visits to the Ottawa dentist continues to deliver surprises. Many people feel cheated and taken advantage of. But is the dentist to blame or the insurance company? Misconceptions are common, and dental insurance distinguishes itself from medical insurance in a number of ways.

This article will cut down and clear up ten of the most common myths about Dentaroot canall Insurance.

Myth 1 – It’s the Same as Health Insurance

The difference becomes apparent when considering premiums and deductibles. In and out of network coverage varies as well. Co-pays and what treatments are covered often depends more on the insurance provider than the plan selected. Looking at the nature of each of these categories as compared to health insurance, and you’ll find that nothing behaves the same. The solution: don’t expect your dental insurance to behave like health insurance.

Myth 2 – Putting Off Procedures Can Save Out of Pocket Costs

It may work in theory because your insurance only covers so much per year. In reality, dental problems get costlier as you put them off. Missed cleanings become cavities, become root canals, become crowns. Braces and correcting the dreaded occlusal disease is not cheap either.

Myth 3 – All Dentist Are the Same, Shop by Price

There are three specific areas where you’ll find dentists distinguish themselves within. Don’t let price be the only thing you consider.

Cosmetics – What will the results look like?
Function & Longevity – How effective is the treatment offered, and for how long will you have to undergo treatment?
Comfort – How comfortable will the treatment be?

Instead of just shopping for price, shop in these categories first. Which one resonates with you the most? Once you have that in mind, then compare the prices of various dentists.

Myth 4 – Benefits Dictate Quality of Care

Many dentists work to help you get the most out of your dental insurance. They usually felt “left out of the conversation” in terms of what your insurance covers. Apply this by shopping for dentists based on your needs instead of your insurance coverage.

Myth 5 – Benefit Allowance Is for Emergencies Only

Unlike health insurance, dental insurance is not designed for emergency care. There simply aren’t nearly as many emergencies. Regular preventive care packages are usually the best there is.

Myth 6 – Many Dentists Don’t Accept insurance

Here is where much of the confusion and frustration is generated. The idea started with practitioners complaining about the complexity and difficulty in dealing with insurance companies, however, it’s extremely unlikely that your dentist would choose not to accept insurance as a policy of his practice. Understand that dentists are largely left out of the conversation about what procedures are covered.

Myth 7 If You Don’t Have A Dental Benefit Allowance, You Can’t Go to the Dentist

Even if you don’t have insurance, you can still visit the dentist. Not only that, but it’s advisable to go both for your health and finances. Going early to the dentist will save you money in the long run. Complications of tooth decay and cavities get more expensive with the time. An out of pocket cleaning is cheaper than a co-pay for a root canal. Dentists are members of a helping profession. They want the best for your oral health. Most of them are very willing to discuss options and help you figure out the best financial plan of action.

Myth 8 – Most Dental Plans Cover $1000-$1500 Per year

The short answer is to be prepared to cover more of your premiums $1000-$1500 per year has been the standard for decades and hasn’t been keeping up with increased costs. Opt for preventive care often. Get the filling so you can avoid the root canal.

Myth 9 – The Dentist Should Be Familiar with Your Plan, What It Covers, and What It Doesn’t

Dental insurance coverage of procedures is between you and the insurance provider, as crazy as they may seem. Get in touch with your dentist and discuss your options beforehand.

Myth 10 – Dental Insurance Is “Supposed” to Make Going to the Dentist Cheap

Think of it more like a coupon than a full-coverage plan. Insurance companies exist to make a profit.

For that reason, know specifically which benefits you are paying for. This is what you’ll be taking to the bank. Lastly, don’t let insurance dictate treatment. Otherwise, you will lose money down the road.

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