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Diet and dental health

March 3rd, 2012  |  Published in Articles, Featured

You know that what you eat can make a difference in the way you feel and perform. That is why you should try to choose foods that will help your body stay strong and healthy. But did you know that your choice of foods and your eating patterns also may affect your dental health?

How does diet affect dental health?

If your diet is low in certain nutrients, it may be harder for the tissues of your mouth to resist infection. This may be a contributing factor to periodontal (gum) disease, the main cause of tooth loss in adults. Although poor nutrition does not actually cause periodontal disease, many researchers believe that the disease progresses faster and is more severe in patients whose diet does not supply the necessary nutrients.

To make sure that you are getting enough nutrients for good general and oral health, you should choose foods from the four basic food groups: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat, fish and eggs. When you do snack, avoid soft, sweet, sticky foods, such as cakes, candy and dried fruits, that cling to your teeth and promote tooth decay.

Instead, choose dentally healthy foods such as nuts, raw vegetables, plain yoghurt, cheese, popcorn and sugarless gum or candy. To have a diet that promotes dental health, you must develop sensible eating habits.

It all begins with a smile

February 25th, 2012  |  Published in Articles, Featured

Like it or not, we live in a beauty-conscious society. Not all of the ‘beautiful people’ were born that way, however. Many have helped nature along by taking advantage of plastic surgery, as well as cosmetic dentistry. Melanie Griffith, Cher, Jane Fonda, to name just a few, have all openly displayed the results of their cosmetic surgery to the world.

Fortunately such self-improvement is no longer the exclusive domain of the rich and famous. Nor is it considered a sign of self-indulgence or vanity. Quite the contrary, taking steps to improve your appearance today is considered an investment in your health and well-being, and it is as socially acceptable as it is personally gratifying. In our modern competitive society, a pleasing appearance often means the difference between success and failure in both our personal and professional lives. Because the mouth is one of the focal points of the face, it should come as no surprise that the smile plays a major role in how we perceive ourselves, as well as in the impressions we make on the people around us. If you would like to improve your confidence we have the expertise to recommend the most appropriate course of cosmetic dental treatment.

Amalgam fillings

Many of the Clinic’s Patients voiced their concerns about the mercury contained in this material, not to mention the copper, zinc and silver.  The metals pollute both our Clinic and our local environment.

Tooth Coloured Materials

We only use tooth coloured restorations now. Special chemicals, that are fully bio-degradable, are used to clean the tooth surface, before the tooth-coloured filling material is bonded into position.The ‘super glues’ used are perfectly safe, and provided these tooth coloured fillings are placed in a suitably prepared tooth, they will last a minimum of 5 to 8 years, dependant on the size of the restoration, and how much tooth structure it replaces. The larger the restoration, the less time they will last, and for many of the larger restorations, you should be considering a crown to fully restore the tooth to its original shape and function.

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are thin porcelain coverings, similar to false finger nails. They are superglued to natural tooth tissue, and can be used to disguise the original colour, shade or shape; in fact any facet that you find embarrassing about your teeth.

Bleaching Systems

Bleaching teeth is a very effective way to brighten and lighten dark or stained teeth. This technique has particular application for upper and lower front teeth. It takes about 2 to 3 weeks, and can create a permanent colour change. The systems we use here are designed to be used at home, so that you are in control of the final shade and colour. All the chemicals used in these systems have been extensively researched and are safe as prescribed.

Together with us you can learn to look after yourself!

Free Consultation

February 24th, 2012  |  Published in Articles, Featured

Web Special:

Free Consultation for New Patients

Refer a friend and you both earn Starbucks Card

Our practice continues to grow and thrive because of your “word of mouth”.
We appreciate you for sending us your friends, family, and co-workers.
Every time you send us a new patient for dental services, we will give you a complimentary gift certificate to Starbucks cafe.

good dentist | family dentist | fix cavity | teeth whitening | burnaby dentist burnaby

How often should I see my dentist?

February 21st, 2012  |  Published in Articles, Featured

We used to recommend that you come into the Clinic every 6 months. This outdated and old fashioned approach has no real  clinical basis at all. Our Burnaby Dental Clinic will recall you by our computerised system at the interval set in discussion with you, our Patient, our hygienist, and the Dentist. Once your dental health has been assessed, and any problems sorted out, you should see your Hygienist or Dentist  every 3, 4 or 6 months. You will be recalled more often if you are prone to Periodontal disease. Infants should see a dentist at about 12 months of age.

Hygiene and Maintenance Services

January 9th, 2012  |  Published in Articles, Featured

The basis of modern dentistry is understanding the disease process and preventing it. For this reason, our hygiene department will be the undeniable cornerstone of our services and therefore, will be the most valuable resource that we offer you. The goal of our hygiene department is to achieve optimum periodontal health and show you how to maintain your gums and teeth through effective home care procedures.

Your dental hygienist is specifically trained and responsible for the delivery of these important services. Their roles will include:

  • Removing all debris (plaque, calculus and stain) from your teeth.
  • Providing you with the tools and skills necessary to keep the debris to a minimum.
  • Constantly evaluate both your gum health as well as home care efficiency.
  • Evaluate your specific susceptibility to dental disease.
  • Suggest hygiene appointment frequency and intervals (maintenance program).

Consider that not all people are equally susceptible to dental disease. While some have absolutely no dental disease, others will display susceptibility to either dental (tooth), periodontal (gum) or both disease processes.

Our first order of business is to advise you on any health recommendations such as smoking cessation.

Second order of treatment will be to mechanically remove as much calculus and plaque as possible. This will be limited by the extent of the gum disease as well as any areas which are difficult to access. Examples of this would be retained wisdom teeth or severely crowded teeth where access in between the teeth is difficult or impossible. Once we have removed as much of the bacteria from your mouth as possible, there will be an immediate healing process that takes place. This will continue for as long as the bacteria are kept away from the gums.

Our third order of treatment, and probably the single most important aspect of your oral health will be home care instruction. Simply put, much of your oral health and the ability to reduce your future dental treatments lies directly in your hands. Your hygienist will be carefully monitoring your home care techniques and will be encouraging you to do them on a daily basis. This is not as easy as you may think. First, we try to make this a daily habit. Even when this occurs, it may still not be dequate. Not to worry, once you have the habit, it simply becomes a matter of perfecting your technique. Home care techniques require a fair bit of manual skill and you cannot expect them to be perfect right off the mark. In many instances, with both hygiene treatments and home care, we will see continued healing and improvement for up to two years!

Consider that your dental health is not just about your situation today but about your ongoing dental health, especially as it relates to time and the ageing process. Certainly, not a very sexy subject, however, all of us are trying to limit the effects of ageing through various means. The mouth is no different and we continually see the effects of ageing. When we evaluate your dental health and create a treatment plan for you, we are looking at both your current situation as well as the future. Although you may be in good dental health today, we may notice factors such as progressing gum recessions which we will expect to continue and become a potential problem in the future. For this reason, we will be drawing your attention to these factors so that you/we can reduce the progression as much as possible and, if necessary, apply corrective treatments.

Our goal, currently, is to provide you with good dental health into your mid 90’s. This sounds rather astounding, but we have already found that an active lifestyle into the late 80’s is really nothing of note anymore. It is expected that within two generations, the majority of people will be surviving into their second century. What does this mean for those patients? It means that more time will be spent visiting all manor of health specialists (eyes, hearing, feet, spine, etc) including dentists. This means that we, in dentistry, have to become more proactive in the earlier years of our patient’s lives. If we consider that it is now unacceptable to lose one’s teeth at any time of life, we need to start the process during childhood.
It is now becoming clear to us that we need to prevent more disease in order to provide you with less treatment during your lifetime in order to avoid excessive treatments as you get older.

Its an obvious fact that the more disease that your teeth experience, the more treatments they receive and the more they become compromised. Also, the earlier in life that your teeth become diseased, the harder it will be to maintain them. The sooner we all realize this concept, the better your dental health will remain. For this reason, your dentist and hygienist will be constantly monitoring your gum health through pocket probing as well as recession values.

Whether we have completed your treatment plan or not, this maintenance process will be vital to your dental health. Needless to say that when patients fail to carry our their home care or to continue their professional visits with us, we will expect more dental breakdown than when the program had been followed

Remember, your hygienist is specially trained to provide you with the expertise to maintain your teeth and gums. Please contact us or let us know if you have any questions.

Tooth whitening and bleaching

December 23rd, 2011  |  Published in Articles, Featured, Highlight

Enjoy your bright smile!

Patients are very interested in whitening teeth. This is because appearance is important to them and they realize that the mouth and their smile is the focus of considerable attention, as we go through our daily routines.

If we feel good about our appearance we feel good about ourselves. These good feelings in turn result in better relationships with those around us.

Bleaching procedures are not new in dentistry. Many techniques have been developed by dentists to lighten the shade of a patient’s teeth. In the past, treatments were done in the dentist’s office. Most methods involved isolating the teeth and sealing them off from the remainder of the patients mouth. This was necessary because strong hydrogen peroxide solutions, heat, and light were used to bleach the teeth. The large amount of time involved made the procedures costly. The results were generally good but one major problem existed. The teeth would return to their former shade in 3 to 6 months. The process would have to be repeated again, with another charge incurred. Needless to say few people had their teeth bleached.

Current techniques are usually done by the patient at home. Much milder methods are used which are much gentler and easier to control. Instead of attempting to bleach the teeth in one session at the dentist’s office, the process  takes 2-3 weeks and is done at home with supervision and instructions provided by the dentist. This technique utilizes a vacuum formed plastic device, called a tray, that holds the bleach in contact with the teeth. The bleach is still basically hydrogen peroxide based. Usually the chemical used is carbamide peroxide which breaks down to hydrogen peroxide after it is applied to the tray and teeth. The results are quite similar to the former in-office treatments but the advantage is that, periodically, every 3-4 weeks, the teeth can be retreated, at home, by the patient, with no additional cost or bother to the patient. This periodic re-treatment maintains the desired color and shade. Bleaching can remove many stains that are in the outer layers of your teeth. Teeth tend to change shades, usually yellow, with age. These changes can be reversed. Stains in the grey family (such as tetracycline) can be more stubborn, if not impossible, to bleach. Usually, we cannot predict the effectiveness of bleaching for each individual patient. Bleaching must be tried first to see what degree of bleaching is obtainable. Bleaching will not change the colour of existing dental restorations. If restorations are planned for the anterior part of the mouth it is advisable to accomplish the bleaching first, then match the new restorations to the now bleached teeth.

So, What do you need to do next if you want to have your teeth bleached and whitened?

First of all, your dentist should examine all of your teeth and determine the health of your mouth. After treatment plans are made and you are ready to go ahead with bleaching, the dentist will need to take moulds or impressions, of your teeth. These moulds are used to make the custom vacuum formed trays to hold the bleaching agent against your teeth. After the trays are made they will be tried in and adjusted. You will be given instructions for wearing the trays and how to apply the bleach. Usually, you will be returning to the dentist office for a visit to review your progress and determine the response of the teeth to bleaching and any side effects. There are a few side effects that you need to be aware of. In our Clinic, we have a printed sheet of the side effects that you may experience. As with any procedure we can have problems which vary with each patient. The most common side effect is sensitivity of the teeth and gums. This can be controlled by fluoride mouth rinses, and the use of  Sensodyne (TM) or another desensitizing toothpastes. Usually, by cutting down the time of bleaching this problem can be controlled. Many times breaking up the amount of time bleaching is done into smaller, longer spaced segments, will alleviate the sensitivity problem.

Another problem is sometimes the wearing of the tray makes the teeth tender to biting pressure. This can happen when the original impression was distorted in some manner. This results in an inaccurate model. When the tray is vacuum formed to fit the model the inaccuracy is reproduced and when the trays are placed in the mouth they act like weak orthodontic appliances which result in sore teeth. The trays will probably have to be remade.

Other effects of bleaching are really not known facts. We have used hydrogen peroxide for years as a mouth rinse and we have seen no apparent problems with its use. In all honesty, we can’t say for sure that its use will not cause harm to the teeth or gums that become apparent years from now. All we can say is that we suspect no long term problems will exist.

What, if any, are the contra-indications for tooth bleaching? And which people should not have any bleaching process carried out? As of this writing we would not recommend bleaching for smokers. Smokers should stop smoking before having their teeth bleached. The smoking not only defeats the effect of bleaching but some authors are concerned about the mixture of hydrogen peroxide with smoking having a potentiating effect on tissue damage already known to be caused by smoking. As far as we are aware, pregnancy and other diseases are not a contra-indication.

So I have now decided to have my teeth bleached, I have my trays what now? Brush your teeth before putting in your bleaching trays. Apply a small amount of the peroxide based gel provided into the tray and insert into your mouth. Don’t try and eat or drink while the trays are in your mouth. After about one hour of wear replenish the bleach in the trays and replace them in your mouth. We recommend that our patients wear the trays about 2 hours per day for 2-3 weeks. The hours do not have to be continuous. After removing the tray and discontinuing bleaching rinse your mouth. Avoid citrus fruits and other acidic foods while in the process of bleaching. They may contribute to sensitivity, and there is concern that the fruit acids may cause damage to the outer tooth surfaces.

After the first 3-4 weeks your teeth are probably bleached as much as possible. The time it takes for you to attain the colour and shade that you want, is very variable. The longer you wear the tray and the bleaching gel, the quicker the effects will be. But you have to balance this with the degree of sensitivity you may have. From here on out just renew the bleaching every 4 weeks or so by wearing the tray with bleach for 2 hours. Above all enjoy your bright smile!

For a permanent change, you should consider the placement of Veneers, and you can access this information from our Patient Information pages.

How to keep a healthy mouth

December 5th, 2008  |  Published in Articles, Featured

Clean teeth and gums

Having a clean mouth is important. In addition to being healthier, it gives you fresh breath and a nicer smile. When you eat, bits of food, some too small for you to see, remain in your mouth. They feed bacteria that grow in a sticky film on your teeth. This film, called plaque, is the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease.

Why brush?

Brushing your teeth after meals and between-meal snacks not only gets rid of the food particles that you can see, it removes plaque from your teeth. Using a fluoride toothpaste is important because the fluoride can help kill bacteria, as well as make your teeth stronger. Ask us to recommend the best toothbrush for you. Generally, a brush with soft, end-rounded or polished bristles is less likely to injure gum tissue. The size and shape of the brush should allow you to reach every tooth. Children may need smaller brushes than those designed for adults. Remember: worn-out toothbrushes can not properly clean your teeth and may injure your gums. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three or four months.

Why floss?

Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between teeth and under the gumline, areas your toothbrush can not reach. Because tooth decay and periodontal disease often start in these areas, it is important to clean them thoroughly on a daily basis. Flossing is a skill that needs to be learned. Do not be discouraged if you find it difficult at first. With practice, you will find that flossing takes only a few minutes of your time each day.

What about mouthrinses and mouthwashes?

If used as directed, in addition to brushing and flossing, mouthrinses and mouthwashes can help to prevent tooth decay.

10 secrets to keeping your teeth forever

December 3rd, 2008  |  Published in Articles, Featured

A Tooth is for Life, Not Just Your Teenage Years

  1. See your Hygienist at regular recall intervals as advised. This is the key to a Healthy Mouth.
  2. Daily Flossing & Brushing, at least twice a day, before or after mealtimes, as advised.
  3. Use a rotary toothbrush, like the SoniCare or the Braun.
  4. Use a Fluoride gel or Fluoride Mouthwash.
  5. Keep up your Preventive Care at home. Use recommended aids.
  6. Avoid misusing your teeth, like stripping cables, or biting your nails.
  7. Protect your teeth. Get a Mouthguard if you play sports.
  8. Please get Dental Problems attended to early. Don’t leave them to later.
  9. Maintain your investment in your mouth! Don’t waste your time and money.
  10. Attend your Dentists Recall Examination when advised.
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