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Signs your teeth aren’t as healthy as you think.

  • bleeding gums and bad breath can both be signs of gum disease.
  • if you notice white patches on your teeth or a tooth getting darker over time, consider seeing a dentist as you might have cavities or dental trauma.

Everyone wants a healthy smile, but it’s not always easy to tell when your teeth are struggling.

Indicators are:

You have bad breath all the time

Though it’s normal to experience bouts of bad breath once in a while, persistently bad breath might mean something is amiss in your mouth.

Bad breath or can be a warning sign of gum disease. Improper brushing and flossing can lead to a buildup of plaque and bacteria on the teeth and gums causing inflammation and bleeding of the gums.

Bad breath can also be caused by sinus issues or even stomach problems, so it’s worth a trip to the dentist if you notice your bad breath isn’t going away.

Your tongue looks white

A healthy tongue should be light pink.

Your tongue can turn many different colors depending on what you’ve recently eaten but if you notice that your tongue usually looks white and coated, your mouth might not be as healthy as you think.
Keep bacteria at bay by giving your tongue a quick scrub with your toothbrush or the ribbed back of your brush head. Keeping up with brushing and flossing is also a good way to decrease the harmful bacteria in your mouth.

Food is always getting stuck between your teeth

If you find yourself frequently fishing food out of your smile, it might be a symptom of a growing cavity.

If you’re flossing and brushing like normal but feel that there’s always food stuck between your teeth, this could be a sign of a hidden cavity between teeth that you can’t see from the surface.

If you suspect that food might be catching on a hidden cavity, be sure to bring it up with your dentist so that they can take a look between your teeth. It’s also a good idea to keep up with regular flossing to keep any small cavities from growing larger.

Your gums bleed when you brush or floss

Brushing your teeth shouldn’t cause your gums to bleed.

If you’ve been noticing a bit of blood in your toothbrush or saliva after brushing or flossing, it could be a sign that your gums are in distress.

Inflamed gums bleed upon a light touch, even with a toothbrush. Healthy gums do not bleed upon a light touch. If you see pink in the sink after brushing your teeth may not be as healthy as you think.

You have white patches on your teeth

White patches on your teeth could be one of the first indicators of an impending cavity.

White spots could indicate early tooth decay with porosity and weakening of the enamel.

Tooth decay is often in areas that you can’t see, like the back of teeth or between teeth, so it’s hard to spot with the naked eye. That’s why scheduling regular dental appointments is so important.

You’ve noticed one tooth getting darker over time

Sometimes dental problems can be seen rather than felt. When one tooth starts to look darker than surrounding teeth, it might indicate a nerve problem.

If a tooth is struck, often in an athletic trauma, the nerve inside the tooth cannot sustain the blow. This tooth can become necrotic and can darken over the years relative to its neighbor.

This condition often occurs in front teeth. If you notice one tooth darkening, you should definitely consult a dentist even if the tooth doesn’t hurt. Not doing so can result in the loss of the tooth.

You have lingering discomfort

With healthy teeth, you should not experience discomfort when brushing, flossing, or chewing. Pain when biting or eating can indicate you’ve sustained a temporary tooth injury or more serious damage.

Sometimes you can have a ‘bruised tooth.’ For example, if you bite into a pebble in a salad unexpectedly, the tooth can become tender for a few days. Like any bruise in your body, this eventually heals.

Any tooth pain that does not go away after a week could be a sign of a serious issue, such as a cracked tooth, which might require restorative dentistry.

Your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold drinks

If your teeth hurt for a while after drinking hot liquids, consider seeing a dentist.

Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages can be a sign that a cavity is brewing in your teeth. Healthy teeth usually aren’t too sensitive to extreme temperatures, but ailing teeth might hurt or ache after you take a sip of hot tea or enjoy a bowl of ice cream.

Often, the length of time the teeth hurt are an indication of how severe the problem may be. Do not be alarmed if it hurts just for a second because sometimes cold drinks tend to trigger a bit of sensitivity for just a brief second. You know you may be having a problem if the sensitivity to cold or hot lasts longer and longer.

Please call Dr. Appleton for a complete exam at 905-668-6301.  

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  • CANNABIS & DENTAL PROCEDURES
    Whether you smoke it, vape, or use edibles, cannabis (marijuana) can
    negatively impact your dental appointment.
  • STAY SAFE: TALK TO YOUR DENTIST
    If you consume cannabis products before your dental appointment it can affect the outcome of your procedure. Be sure your use of cannabis is part of your current medical history (just
    like tobacco and alcohol).To ensure your safety, your dentist needs to know if you have taken any cannabis prior to your dental appointment.
  • CANNABIS EFFECT VARIES 
    Various strains of cannabis have different amounts of THC. The amount of THC in your system is determined by the strain, the amount and the way it is consumed. When smoked or inhaled as vapour, the effects tend to peak sooner and dissipate more rapidly. When eaten, the drug effect takes longer to appear, lasts longer and is less predictable.
  •  PLAN AHEAD 
    Please avoid consuming cannabis products before your procedure. Your dentist may need
    to re-schedule your appointment for another time to ensure your safety.
  • CANNABIS CAN ALTER THE EFFECTIVENESS OF PRESCRIBED MEDICATION
    Cannabis can impact the effects of medications and anaesthetic needed for your procedure.
  • INCREASED BLEEDING
    Using cannabis can increase your risk of bleeding and cause complications for healing after your dental procedure.

Information provided by the Ontario Dental Association

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Tip #1 KEEP IT FUN!

Brushing and visiting the dentist should be both positive and fun experiences. The worst thing you can do is threaten your child with brushing.

Don’t tell your child that if he/she doesn’t brush that they will have to see the dentist as if it’s some big scary punishment for not brushing.

You can use music for this purpose.  Play your child’s latest favorite song to keep them brushing longer.

The goal is to get them brushing for 1-2 minutes ideally, after every meal.

Tip #2 USE AN HOURGLASS

We recommend an hourglass for brushing which allows the child to have a concept of how much time is left to brush.

An easy and inexpensive way to track the amount of time spent brushing.

Tip #3 DOWNLOAD THE BRUSH HERO APP

Brush Hero is a gaming app that you play by brushing.

In each two-minute game you earn points by thoroughly brushing all your teeth.  Any toothbrush and smartphone can be used with the app.

Thank you to one of our patients for recommending it!

Dr. Appleton and Dr. Bana recommend to keep brushing fun so your children will develop a healthy and positive attitude towards their dental care.

 

If you would like more information please call the office and one of our team members will answer any questions you may have!

905-668-6301.

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Joint Public Statement on Root Canal Treatment
from the
Canadian Dental Association and
Canadian Academy of Endodontics

Root canal treatment, also referred to as endodontic therapy, is an effective and safe treatment for teeth whose pulp has become inflamed or infected. It can also be required in other situations to help save and restore a tooth.

Root canal treatment is routinely performed successfully by dentists across Canada. A dentist who has taken advanced training in endodontic therapy is called an endodontist and may be recommended by your dentist for more complex cases. Root canal treatment remains, for many patients, the only viable option to retain a tooth that has suffered severe damage or has become infected.

Root canal treatment is the process of removing infected or injured tissue (pulp) from inside the crown and roots of a tooth. Once cleaned, the canal is disinfected, shaped, filled and sealed with natural rubber-like material called gutta percha. The opening of the tooth is then sealed with either a temporary or permanent filling to prevent future infection. Considerable advancements in diagnosis, radiographic imaging, equipment and techniques now permit dentists and endodontists to complete root canal treatment, even for teeth with very complex anatomies, to the highest level of precision.

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) and the Canadian Academy of Endodontics (CAE) caution that misinformation about root canal treatment is circulating in the public domain. Patients are advised to discuss any questions or concerns about root canal treatment with their dentist and endodontist to ensure that unnecessary anxiety or fear of developing other health problems does not result in treatment delays which could further compromise the integrity of the tooth.

Taking proper care of your teeth and gums is a lifelong commitment. The best way to prevent the need for root canal treatment is to follow a good oral hygiene routine by brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and to visit your dentist regularly.

Please visit these trustworthy sources of information which address common misconceptions about root canal treatment.

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) and the Canadian Academy of Endodontics (CAE) are aware that misinformation about root canal treatment is circulating in the public domain. False claims about root canal treatment is harmful because it creates undue fear, or confusion among patients and their families which can lead to delays in seeking treatment and result in the loss of otherwise treatable teeth. The spread of inaccurate information about root canal treatment is not beneficial to patients in terms of their comfort, safety, or long-term health.

Since patient safety, quality oral health care, and knowledge about oral health and related procedures are top priorities for CDA, it has worked with the CAE to provide the most current and factual information about root canal treatment and its safety. The CDA is committed to share important information about oral health and will continue to monitor the situation.

Root Canal Treatment

When the nerve of your tooth becomes infected, a successful root canal treatment lets you keep the tooth rather than having to pull it out. Keeping your tooth helps to prevent your other teeth from drifting out of line and causing jaw problems. Saving a natural tooth avoids having to replace it with an artificial tooth.

What is root canal treatment?
Who does this procedure?
How is a root canal treatment done?
How is a tooth restored after root canal treatment?
What else should I know?
What is root canal retreatment?
What is root canal surgery?

 

What is root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is the process of removing infected, injured or dead pulp from your tooth. The space inside the hard layers of each tooth is called the root canal system. This system is filled with soft dental pulp made up of nerves and blood vessels that help your tooth grow and develop.

Image: Root Canal 1
A healthy tooth.

When bacteria (germs) enter your tooth through deep cavities, cracks or flawed fillings, your tooth can become abscessed. An abscessed tooth is a tooth with an infection in the pulp. If pulp becomes infected, it needs to be removed. An abscessed tooth may cause pain and/or swelling. Your dentist may notice the infection from a dental x-ray or from other changes with the tooth. If left untreated, an abscessed tooth can cause serious oral health problems.

An abscessed tooth
An abscessed tooth.

Who does this procedure?

Your dentist may do root canal treatment or refer you to an endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who has completed a university post-graduate specialty program in endodontics. Endodontics is a specialty of dentistry concerned with the treatment of the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth.

If your child’s primary (baby) tooth is damaged, your dentist may refer you to a pediatric dentist for this procedure. A pediatric dentist has at least 2 years of extra university training in treating children.

How is a root canal treatment done?

    1. The dentist gives you a local anesthetic (freezing).
    1. To protect your tooth from bacteria in your saliva during the treatment, the dentist places a rubber dam around the tooth being treated.
    1. The dentist makes an opening in the tooth to reach the root canal system and the damaged pulp.
    1. Using very fine dental instruments, the dentist removes the pulp by cleaning and enlarging the root canal system.
    1. After the canal has been cleaned, the dentist fills and seals the canal.
  1. The opening of the tooth is then sealed with either a temporary or permanent filling.
The damaged pulp is removed
The damaged pulp is removed.
The root canals are filled and sealed
The root canals are filled and sealed.

How is a tooth restored after root canal treatment

After a root canal treatment, your tooth has to be restored (fixed) to look, feel and work as much like a natural tooth as possible. If an endodontist performed your root canal treatment, he or she will fill the opening of the tooth with a temporary filling and send you back to your dentist or prosthodontist for tooth restoration.

A prosthodontist is a dental specialist who restores and replaces teeth using crowns, bridges, dentures and implants. Your dentist or specialist may use a permanent filling or a crown to restore your tooth. The choice of restoration will depend on the strength of the part of the tooth that’s left. A back tooth will likely need a crown because chewing puts a great deal of force on back teeth. If there is not enough of the tooth left, posts may be used to help support the crown.

The tooth is prepared for a crown.  Posts are used to help support the crown.
The tooth is prepared for a crown.
Posts are used to help support the crown.
The crown is cemented into place
The crown is cemented into place.

What else should I know?

Root canal treatment may be done in 1 or 2 appointments. After root canal treatment, your tooth may be tender for the first week or two. Bad pain or swelling are NOT common. If this happens, call your dentist or endodontist.

You can still get a cavity or gum disease after a root canal treatment. Root canal treatment does not protect your tooth from other types of damage. With proper care and regular dental visits, the tooth could last as long as your other teeth. Most of the time, a tooth that has had a root canal treatment can be saved. However, there are cases where everything possible has been done to save a tooth and still the tooth must be extracted (pulled).

What is root canal retreatment

Most root canal treatments are successful. But in some rare cases, a second root canal treatment is needed. This is called retreatment. When retreating a tooth, the root canal filling material is taken out, and the canal is recleaned, reshaped and refilled.

What is root canal surgery

Sometimes root canal surgery is needed when a regular root canal treatment cannot be done or when it has not worked. Surgery is done to:

  • Check the end of the root for fractures (cracks).
  • Remove parts of the root that could not be cleaned during regular root canal treatment.
  • Clear up an infection that did not heal after regular treatment.

Information provided by the Canadian Dental Association February 2019

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“One of the best compliments you can give us is to send us your family and friends”

 

WE WARMLY WELCOME ALL NEW PATIENTS!

We are pleased to welcome you as a new patient and look forward to being of service to you.

Our office is conveniently located in beautiful downtown Whitby.

Free parking is provided behind the building off Kent Street.

It is important to us to that your first visit feels comfortable and welcoming!

From the moment you walk into our office and are greeted by our experienced and friendly front desk administration team.  Lori and Trish will make you feel as though you are part of our extended family.

Your dental appointment time will be a special one.  Our trained staff will take all the time necessary to discuss your dental health, your needs and goals.

We will always try to keep your visit as efficient as possible, ensuring that it starts on time and ends on time. We always welcome your feedback on how we can further improve meeting the needs of our patients.

Our goal is to keep you aware of your dental health needs. To accomplish this, we keep in touch with our patients by email, text messages or even a simple phone call whichever is convenient for you.

Please call our office to arrange your new patient appointment at 905-668-6301

 

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Related image

Cold Weather and Sensitive Teeth

We often wear down their enamel or suffer from receding gums and tooth sensitivity because of one of the following reasons:

  • Brushing too vigorously:   Brushing with too much force can start to wear down your enamel.
  • Clenching and grinding: Some people may clench or grind their teeth in their sleep.
  • Tooth decay: Sensitivity to cold is an early sign of an undetected tooth decay problem.
  • Periodontal disease: Diseases of the gums, cementum, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone can expose the dentin and cause sensitivity.
  • Tooth whitening agents: Have you started using a new tooth-whitening agent? The ingredients that make your teeth whiter may strip past surface stains and start wearing down your enamel. If the agent starts hurting your teeth, stop the treatment.
  • Other lifestyle habits: Other bad oral health habits, such as using tobacco products or not brushing or flossing properly, can cause your gums to recede. When this happens, the dentin at the base of the gums is exposed and can lead to temperature-sensitive teeth
  • Acidic beverages:  Sensitivity can also be a result of drinking sodas, coffee, tea, and other drinks with a high concentration of acid, such as juices, can erode your teeth and expose the dentin layer.

Should you experience any sensitivity during the cold weather call our office at 905-668-6301 for an appointment with Dr. Appleton.

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12
Nov
2018

LAS VEGAS!!


Posted by

A great big THANK YOU to Dr. Appleton for an AMAZING weekend away in Las Vegas!

Lots of fun, laughter and smiles! And of course, great learning at the conference!

We are so proud to be part of the Appleton Dental Team!

DR. APPLETON YOU ROCK!!

To learn more about our office, call us at 905-668-6301!

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3
Oct
2018

Thanksgiving dinner is an all-day event at many homes, with the “main meal” in midafternoon followed by “grazing” the rest of the day and evening.  Much of what you consume that day isn’t all that healthy for your oral health. But these seven tips on making smart choices on what you eat – or serve – will help your teeth and gums stay happy and healthy this Thanksgiving.

Sugar? Reduce It!

From sweet potatoes covered in a marshmallow topping to pumpkin pie loaded with whipped cream, Thanksgiving can be a sugary delight for those with a sweet tooth. But remember when you are loading up your plate that bacteria love feeding on sugar and creating cavities.

Beware the Starches

Cornbread and stuffing are also loved by bacteria that produce acids that lead to cavities. The starches convert to sugar when you eat them, and that’s what the bacteria feed upon. Reduce your portions of starches this Thanksgiving – swap them for more protein and vegies – and drink lots of water.

Bright Colors Equal Stained Teeth

If you like foods and drinks that are brightly colored, just remember that they can lead to dull-looking enamel on your teeth. So if you consume lots of red wine, cranberry sauce, cherry or blueberry pie, and coffee, your odds of stained enamel will rise. Reduce or skip those bright foods this year, drink lots of water, and schedule one of your two annual dental hygiene visits for the week after Thanksgiving!

Acidic Foods and Drinks Are Tough On Enamel

The enamel on your teeth does not like acid because it softens it, giving bacteria a better chance of causing cavities. Major culprits are wine and cranberry juice because of their high acidity.  Reduce the impact of the acid with sips of water and bites of non-acidic foods. Be sure you don’t brush for at least 30 minutes after eating highly acidic foods because your toothbrush bristles can damage your softened enamel.

Fill Your Plate with a Rainbow

Be sure to fill your plate with an array of vegetables that are brimming with vitamins and minerals. You’ll get lots of Vitamin C from red and orange vegetables and tons of calcium from leafy green vegetables. Vitamin C helps your gums and calcium creates strong teeth. Plus,chewing raw vegetables produces lots of saliva to wash away bacteria.

Go Nuts This Year

Nuts contain calcium and minerals that strengthen and remineralize teeth. The chewing of hard, crunchy nuts also produces extra saliva, which fights germs and prevents decay.

And Don’t Forget the Water – And Tea

Tap water contains fluoride which reverses damage to enamel caused by acids. Green and black tea kill bacteria, thus fighting cavities. Water and tea give you a chance to wash away the acids created by sugary and starchy foods.

Book your fall dental check-up by calling 905-668-6301.

(Sources: MouthHealthy.org American Dental Association)

 

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In most cases, the natural colour of teeth is within a range of light greyish-yellow shades. Teeth naturally darken with age and their appearance can be affected by the accumulation of surface stains acquired from the use of tobacco products and the consumption of certain foods or drinks.

In addition, the perception of the colour of teeth is severely affected by skin tone and make-up. Independent of the real colour of their teeth, people with darker skin or who use dark makeup will look like they have brighter teeth.

Although teeth are not naturally meant to be completely white, many Canadians want a brighter smile. Responding to this desire, a wide range of “whitening” options has become available to consumers. These products fall into two main categories: surface whiteners and bleaches.

Surface Whiteners

These products use special abrasives to improve the product’s ability to remove surface stains. Most products in this category are either toothpastes or chewing gums. Because the special abrasives in these whitening products are often only finer versions of what is used in regular toothpastes, they are unlikely to cause excessive tooth wear. However, the effectiveness of these products is limited to surface stains and should not be used as a substitute for professional cleaning.

Bleaches

Most bleaching products are peroxide-based and are actually capable of altering the colours of the tooth itself. However, not all tooth discolourations respond to tooth-bleaching treatments. Individuals contemplating tooth-bleaching should consult with a dentist to determine the cause of the tooth discolouration and to determine whether a bleaching treatment will have the desired result. This step is especially important for patients with fillings, root canal treatments, crowns and/or with extremely dark stains on the anterior teeth.

A number of different bleaching techniques and products are available to patients. Your dentist will use one of these two methods to whiten your teeth:

  • Vital bleaching is done on “living” teeth and can be used to whiten your teeth if they have become stained by food or tobacco, or if they have become dark with age.
  • Non-vital bleaching is bleaching done on teeth that are no longer “alive.” If your tooth has changed colour because of a root canal, non-vital bleaching can lighten your tooth from the inside out.

There are three methods for bleaching teeth. The method that will work best for you depends on the number of teeth that need to be bleached, and on how badly they are stained (or discoloured).

Your dentist may suggest:

  1. Putting a special bleach on your stained teeth and using heat (or heat and light) to start the bleaching action; or
  2. Wearing a custom-made mouthguard filled with a special bleach for part of each day; or
  3. Brushing with a special bleach mixed in toothpaste.

Bleaching should be done only under a dentist’s care. Tooth-bleaching under controlled dental office conditions may be safe and effective, but the new in-office vital tooth-bleaching techniques, particularly those using laser and lights, have undergone little scientific assessment.

Home-use tooth-bleaching systems are available to the general public, either from a dentist or from various retail outlets. Clinical studies support the safety and effectiveness of home-use bleaching gels when used appropriately. Tooth sensitivity and irritation to soft tissues can occur during bleaching treatment, but these effects are transient. Yet the effects of long-term tooth-bleaching are unknown and need to be researched, especially since the effect is not permanent and many individuals end up undergoing periodic bleaching treatments.

Please call the office at 905-668-6301 to book your complimentary consultation to determine the best whitening option for you.

 

Information provided by the Canadian Dental Association.

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Healthy Dental Friendly Snacks

 

If you want to maintain strong teeth for your lifetime, you need to ensure you are eating enough whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables and lean meats.

Some other healthy snack choices include:

  • nuts and seeds
  • peanut butter
  • cheese
  • plain yogurt
  • popcorn

Acid Erosion
There are some drinks and snacks that are bad for your teeth and may contribute to acid erosion. Acid erosion happens when food or drink with a low PH level (more acidic) are consumed. That acid can linger in your mouth, taking the minerals away and softening the surface of your teeth. This makes your teeth more susceptible to damage and often leads to increased sensitivity and may require treatment. The big offenders seem to be soft drinks, orange juice and lemonade.

Nutrition Tips

  • Try to avoid acidic food and drink between meals; there isn’t as much saliva in your mouth at these times to protect your teeth
  • Don’t clean your teeth right after eating. If you brush while the acid is still in your mouth you are removing some of your teeth’s surface. If you wait about an hour the saliva will help your teeth battle the acid so it is safe to brush
  • Try to finish your breakfast, lunch or dinner with a little cheese or milk as these products help cut down on the acid in your mouth.

A Note About Sweets
When it comes to your teeth, it’s not about the amount of sweets you eat, but the length of time that you leave your teeth exposed to sweets. So it’s better to eat sweets at mealtimes rather than between meals, as the amount of saliva produced at mealtimes will help protect your teeth.

If you cannot avoid sweets between meals, choose something with less sugar like those listed above. Sticky sweets like toffee or hard candy should be avoided as snacks.

 Information provided by the Ontario Dental Association
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