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Fort McMurray, Alberta
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Your baby’s comfort and well-being means the world to you. It is important to know everything there is about teething so you can help alleviate some of the pain your child may experience while their new teeth cut through their gums.

Babies are born with teeth but they only start to pop through the gums around 4-6 months old. Of course, this time frame varies depending on the chid. Usually, the first teeth coming in are at the top and bottom front of your child’s mouth.

Why does your baby need their teeth to grow in at an early age?

They need their teeth to speak, chew and smile. The sooner they grow in, the better.

Symptoms of Teething

Your little one will become very uncomfortable during the teething process. You may be aware of some of the signs such as:

These are all normal symptoms of those little teeth making their way into your child’s mouth. If your child has diarrhoea, gets a rash or has a fever then you should see your paediatrician right away.

How Can You Help Your Baby During the Teething Process?

Gently rubbing your baby’s gums will soothe their discomfort. Try using a small, cool spoon, a moist gauze pad or even just your clean finger. If this doesn’t work, you might want to try a teether but be careful to buy the appropriate one for your child.

What to Look for When Buying a Teether

Don’t just purchase a teether because it is marked as such. You need to ensure the material the device is made from is safe. Solid rubber teethers are a good choice. Avoid teethers filled with a liquid gel. Your baby can break open the teether allowing the liquid to spill out causing your little one to choke. The substance inside a liquid teether could cause a disease or infection if it is contaminated. Small rings are also a choking hazard for your child so avoid small teethers at all costs.

It is important to take care of baby teeth even if they are just breaking through the gums. These little teeth hold space for your child’s permanent teeth growing under the gums. Without proper care, baby teeth can be lost too early. When your little one loses teeth too early, complications can arise such as limited room for adult teeth due to a shifting of space.

Always, always take care of your child’s teeth to ensure they grow properly. Take your child to the dentist once their first tooth appears and make brushing and flossing part of a daily routine. Ask your dentist for further information on how to treat your baby’s teeth.

As a woman, you go through many changes in your life from puberty to menopause. Each hormonal change affects your body and your oral health. Do you have good oral health or do you feel you need a little extra help from the dentist? Here are some ways your mouth may feel the hormonal changes your body is experiencing and how your dentist can help.

Puberty

When your body begins puberty, it starts to produce extra sex hormones. Estrogen and progesterone send lots more blood to your gums thus sensitivity is increased. This is known as puberty gingivitis and is noticeable by red, swollen gums. Your gums are more likely to bleed during brushing and flossing but this does not mean you should stop. In fact, you need to brush twice a day and floss once daily to maintain a healthy mouth and steer clear of issues arising due to changes in your body. Regular dental cleanings are also essential to avoiding painful, puffed up gums.

Menstruation

It’s that time of the month, your menstrual cycle begins. You are used to this regular occurrence but what you don’t realize is your teeth and gums are affected by this monthly situation. How? Hormonal changes, particularly the increase of progesterone, cause the following oral changes.

Will you have these dental issues the entire time during your period? Not typically. Most of these dental problems start a day or two before your period but end shortly after the beginning of your cycle.

Ask your dentist if you are exhibiting signs of menstrual gingivitis or if your dental problems are signs of a different complication. Your dental professional will help take care of the issues you are experiencing. Always inform your dentist about your specific dental concerns.

Birth Control Pills

Do you use birth control pills? You might discover your oral contraceptive is quite literally a pain in your gums. Experiencing inflamed gum tissue is possible with some birth control pills however with newer pills on the market, you are less likely to experience this issue. Levels of estrogen and progesterone in most current oral contraceptives are relatively low and less likely to cause problems with your gums.

It is important to note if you are having a tooth removed, and on the pill, you may be at higher risk for dry socket. Talk to your dentist if you are taking a birth control prescription so they can be fully aware of any complications that may arise and know how to avoid or handle them.

Pregnancy

Are you pregnant? You may begin noticing a large amount of plaque building up on your teeth. Plaque is a major cause of gingivitis. During pregnancy, your increased level of progesterone increases your susceptibility to bacterial plaque. Pregnancy gingivitis causes your gums to bleed and swell easily. Watch for signs of gingivitis especially during your second to the eighth month of pregnancy. How can you avoid this issue? Your dentist may suggest more frequent dental cleanings during your second or early third trimester. Dental cleanings will be customized to suit your hormonal changes during pregnancy, keeping you and your unborn child safe.

Menopause

Changes as a result of menopause can include altered taste, dry mouth, burning sensations in your mouth, and inflamed gums. Estrogen levels decline during menopause which puts you at high risk for bone loss (osteoporosis) and periodontitis. Talk to your dentist about treatments and ways to prevent extreme dental complications due to menopause. You can’t avoid menopause but you can help your teeth and gums live a happy life.

Unfortunately, hormonal changes throughout your life cause you to be more prone to oral health problems. Your dentist knows how to take care of everything inside your mouth to keep you smiling without pain and suffering. Even if your body is going through some serious changes, you can look and feel good. Booking regular dentist appointments can save your teeth from deteriorating and your gums from disappearing.

Braces can be tricky. Trying to keep your teeth and gums clean after you eat is challenging with a mouth full of brackets and wires. We know what and how you can eat to maintain your oral health while straightening your teeth. You don’t need to feel confined just because of braces, all you need is a little common sense and to avoid a few troublesome foods.

Foods You Should Avoid with Braces

Popcorn

Popcorn has thin husks that can slide into your braces. Trying to get rid of every little bit of popcorn is difficult and can be impossible. Even if you love leftovers, the taste and feel of your favourite buttery snack for months on end can become repulsive. You will need to go to the dentist for proper cleaning before the food stuck in your mouth causes an infection.

Do you still crave a salty snack at the theatre? Eating chips is a better choice as it is less likely to get little bits stuck in between your wires.

Gum

Gum is sticky. Sticky items attach to metal, wrapping up in the wires of your braces. Gum can even pull the elastic ties off your brackets and tend to contain sugars which are a common culprit for cavities.

If you are addicted to gum, try some with less sugar so there is less chance of it attaching to your orthodontic appliances.

Eating soft, healthy foods will maintain your health and the structure of your braces. As with general oral health, limiting sugar and brushing regularly will help you maintain your teeth and gums for years to come.

Keep in mind, hard foods can damage your braces even if they are nutritious. Try cutting things like raw vegetables into smaller, chewable pieces so they are less likely to damage your wires, brackets, and elastics.

How to Chow Down with Braces

Take Your Time

Your teeth might not fit together as they used to since braces add levels of thickness inside your mouth. Slowly and carefully eat your food so that you can find the right rhythm for a mouth that feels brand new. Be careful to not chew too quickly or aggressively. Rubbing of your braces up and down your cheeks and lips can cause sores inside your mouth.

Soft Foods Diet

Eat soft foods such as soup, pasta, and yogurt. When you are new to braces some sensitivity can be avoided by eating soft ingredients. When crunching down on hard foods, sensitivity increases.

There are ways to work around the inconveniences caused by braces but orthodontics is essential to a happy, healthy, straight smile.

Ouch! Drinking cold water really causes pain in your teeth, so does sipping a hot cup of tea. What the heck is going on? You have teeth sensitivity. Why? Below are some of the common reasons.

1. Mouthwash Addict

Do you find yourself constantly using mouthwash? Did you know rinsing too often is a bad idea? Yes, mouthwash can be overused. Using mouthwash every day, throughout the day can have negative effects on your teeth and gums. Some mouthwash contains acids and alcohol that can deteriorate your enamel, exposing more of your tooth’s root and causing sensitivity.

Alcohol also causes dry mouth. Dry mouth might lead to bad breath or the loss of saliva. Without saliva, your teeth are left unprotected from cavities.

Stop buying mouthwash just because it is a popular choice or has a cool commercial. Start purchasing rinses void of acid and alcohol. Your mouth will thank you for it.

2. Gum Disease can lead to sensitive teeth

Perhaps the sensitivity of your teeth is trying to tell you something. You might have gum disease. Receding gums can cause sensitive teeth. Your dentist will know what to do to help protect you from further damage.

3. Acidic Food Diet

You love acidic foods and eat them on a daily basis. Your mouth might be rejecting your choice of snacks by acting out with sensitive teeth. Sensitivity is a result of acid eroding away your tooth enamel and exposing dentin, the inner layer of your tooth where the nerve centre lies. You can experience pain during eating, often when exposed to cold and hot foods.

Acidic foods are good for you in moderation to help whiten your teeth but an excessive diet of citrus and sours are corrosive to your oral health.

4. Cracked Teeth

Cruising down the candy aisle, you choose hard candies to delight your taste buds but your favourite sweets may be the cause to your teeth cracking. Cracks lead to the nerve-filled pulp becoming irritated. Always chewing on hard substances will cause tooth sensitivity when you bite down on anything.

Try chewing on softer candies from the store and doing so less often to avoid chips, cracks, and a mouthful of cavities.

5. Tons of Plaque

When it comes time to brushing and flossing your teeth, you quickly stick the toothbrush in your mouth for a few seconds and maybe swipe some floss here and there. You are not spending as much time as you should on your daily routine. Oral health laziness will lead to a sensitive oral cavity. How? Plaque starts to form after eating and your teeth become more sensitive when plaque builds up. Brushing and flossing your teeth will help prevent deterioration of your tooth enamel due to a plaque invasion.

A good dental hygiene routine is essential to a healthy, happy mouth.

Take care of your oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist at least twice a year. Watch what you eat and the products you use to clean your mouth. Your dentist will help you with the more detailed steps towards a healthy smile.

You brush and brush and brush but cavities still develop. You might be able to reach almost every spot in your mouth to rid it of plaque and bacteria but the surface of your molars is difficult to clean. Why? This zone is filled with grooves often too deep and narrow for a toothbrush bristle to reach. When it’s tricky to get this area 100% clean your teeth become easy targets for cavity-causing bacteria.

How do you prevent cavities from forming in your molar zones? Sealants!

Sealants are coatings placed on the chewing surface of your molars and pre-molars resulting in a smooth surface covering over the fissured area. They have been shown to reduce a whopping 80% of the risk of tooth decay in your molars so why not get protection for your teeth?

It’s best to get sealants as soon as your molars come through, usually around age 6-14. Can adults get sealants too? Yes, adults without fillings or decay may benefit from sealants. Sealants are made from a synthetic material and can be clear, slightly tinted or white to match your natural tooth colour.

Will dental sealants make your teeth feel different?

Once the dental sealants material is hardened on your molar, you may feel the coating for the first little while. Using your teeth to chew normally will allow the sealant to wear to the natural height of your bite. Soon, you will not feel anything different than you would before having a sealant administered.

Are dental sealants permanent?

No, but they can last many years and can be replaced if need be.

Do dental sealants hurt?

No, sealants are a non-invasive procedure and neither the procedure or the sealant itself will cause any discomfort.

Should you still use fluoride if you have sealants?

Yes, because these do different things. Sealants keep germs out of the grooves of your teeth while fluoride makes the enamel of your teeth stronger. Both treatments protect you against cavities.

Do you still need to brush and floss the section of teeth where the sealant resides?

Yes, brushing and flossing your teeth is essential to healthy oral hygiene. Sealants will help protect your teeth from cavities but you need to maintain a regular cleaning routine to ensure a healthy mouth sticks around for years to come.

There are varying types of sealants available for you. Your dentist should have options for children and adults. Seal out decay from your teeth by asking your dentist what the best dental sealant is for your situation.

You are getting older and as such your teeth are ageing as well. Changes to your teeth occur at every stage of life and with a higher birthday number comes the need to be more aware of your oral health. As you age, you are at higher risk for dental concerns. What changes to your teeth, gums and jaw should you be aware of? How can you take control of your dental metamorphosis?

With ageing comes life changes and your teeth begin to act out. Justas you might have rebelled when you were a teenager, your teeth often rebel against you later in life. Your oral structure begins to deteriorate and shift the older you get.

Periodontal Disease

Over time, you could lose bone and notice changes in your gums. It is best to talk to your dentist about receding gums as soon as possible to avoid dangerous periodontitis. The more extensive your gum loss, the higher the chance of you losing your teeth due to little or no bone support. Your dentist will recommend a treatment to help alleviateissues with gum disease.

Wear and Tear

As your 50th birthday rolls around, you may notice a change in the appearance of your teeth. Your top teeth might start to look shorter and more of your bottom teeth can begin to show. How did this happen? As your body loses bone mass, your teeth deteriorate giving the appearance of shorter upper teeth. Receding gums will cause your lower teeth to look longer.

Changes to your teeth may cause you to grind them resulting in further deterioration. Be aware of maintaining good oral hygiene into your golden years to avoid any detrimental issues. Justbecause you are older doesn’t mean you can stop visiting the dentist regularly. Routine cleanings and check-ups help keep your teeth functioning properlyat every stage of life.

Dry Mouth

Changes in your body affect your teeth and gums. Hormone fluctuations and age-related diseases can cause issues with your oral health. Certain medications that ward off diseases can be the culprit of dry mouth. Even if you have been taking medications for years, a compounding effect can compile into bigger problems. Check with your dentist for treatments and options to alleviatedry mouth while on medication.

Stress and bad habits like nail biting, smoking and chowing down on sweets will take a toll on your oral health. To avoid problems associated with your vices, it is important to maintain a good oral health routine. Take care of your teeth unless you are striving for the toothless look when you are an elderly person. How do you take care of your teeth?

Take charge of your dental situation so you can be a grandparent with all ofher/his healthy teeth. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist about ways to keep your teeth looking and feeling their best!

You are excited as you head out to get your tongue pierced but before you do, you should consider the repercussions it could have. At your next dentist appointment, your dentist could discover some damaged teeth or infection. You’ve never experienced dental issues before so why would you now? What changes could possibly create oral health problems? Your new tongue piercing!

Oral piercings can complicate your dental health. First, let’s distinguish what an oral piercing is. It is a small hole in your lip, cheek, tongue, or uvula, made for jewellery.

What complications can arise from oral piercings?

1. Damaged Teeth, Gums and Fillings

Do you play with your oral piercings? This seems harmless but can actually injure your gums, crack your teeth, or even create scratched, sensitive teeth. Are there fillings currently in your mouth? Your fillings might be harmed from the constant movement of this jewellery. Hard materials such as stainless steel, metal, titanium, nickel, gold, or plastic attack and slowly chip away at your teeth.

Visiting your dentist for regular oral exams allows any damage in your mouth to be discovered and fixed if needed. When left unattended, small cracks and chips can lead to a mouthful of problems.

2. Nerve Damage

Did you get your tongue pierced only to find you now have a hard time speaking, chewing, and swallowing? Is it also difficult for you to taste grandma’s apple pie? Piercing your tongue can result in numbness caused by nerve damage. This loss of sensation may cause you to injure your tongue unknowingly. Damage may result in serious blood loss. If you are experiencing symptoms of nerve damage after an oral piercing, check with your dentist or doctor to see what can be done to help you.

3. Infection

Your mouth is normally very moist, an ideal environment for breeding bacteria. Oral piercings open a portal for infections due to the breakage of surface skin or mucous tissue. Openings are more susceptible to infection, similar to an open wound from a scratch or cut. Out of all the oral piercings, lip piercings are the most common place infections are transferred. Why? They are continuously in contact with the skin surface and mouth cavity, exposing them to external and internal bacteria. If you have an oral piercing, have your dentist consistently check your mouth for any signs of infection. Treating your infections right away will lessen the risk of potentially life-threatening illnesses.

It is important to understand that your dentist may not be able to solve your dental issues normally when you have an oral piercing. Dental treatments may require extra care to avoid tools getting caught on your jewellery. Your dentist might have difficulty getting clear looking x-rays. Oral piercings block some of the abilities of the camera and might need to be taken several times to get any sort of usable images. Your dentist will have a difficult time trying to figure out the details of your teeth from a distorted film.

Are you re-considering getting your oral piercing now? Perhaps you already have one. Franklin Dental Centre wants to make sure you know the appropriate precautions and procedures related to oral piercings. Visit your dentist regularly to avoid any complications with your mouth jewellery.

Have you ignored brushing and flossing your teeth and gums? Maybe you have delayed or avoided coming to the dentist? Now you have a cavity that needs attention fast. What type of cavity do you have and how do you fix it?

There are 3 types of cavities

Root Decay

Your roots should never be visible but when you have root decay, you can get cavities on the root of your tooth. There are different treatments available for you depending on the extent of the root decay. If the cavity has reached the pulp, you may need a root canal or if even deeper damage is visible then your dentist may have to extract your tooth.

Root decay sneaks into hidden locations in your mouth, sometimes when you are unaware anything is going on. Visiting the dentist on a regular basis allows your dentist to find any hidden decay with the help of their intraoral cameras and x-ray technology. Some signs of this type of decay are discolouration of your tooth near the gum line, notches on the tooth where it connects to the gums or receding gums that show a yellowish part of the tooth.

Pit and Fissure Decay

Do you have deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of your back teeth? Your dentist may find this type of cavity early and can suggest a toothpaste to clear up the issue but there are more severe cases. If your cavity reaches the dentin you will require a filling, composite or crown.

You may need a sealant placed on your molars to prevent further damage. Your dentist will determine if the pitting and fissuring need to be addressed. A sealant is a protective coating applied to your teeth.

Smooth Surface Decay

Smooth surface decay is the least serious of all 3 types of cavities. This decay occurs on the outside of your flat surfaced teeth. Go to your dentist if you notice this kind of decay. Your dentist may recommend a filling or just a specialized toothpaste. Other options to correct smooth surface decay may include varnish, gel or fluoride enriched water depending on how much enamel your cavity has deteriorated.

Cavities can harm the outer coating of your teeth enamel as well as the inner layer of dentin. When left unattended, cavities can cause further damage to your teeth’s structure leading to more complicated issues.

You can help prevent developing cavities by getting rid of the bacteria that live in your mouth. How do you do this? One great way to avoid dental caries is to visit the dentist twice a year for cleanings and check-ups. Come on, keep your smile shining!

Heading to the dentist, you wonder, what does all that unfamiliar dental jargon mean? Maybe you should have asked the hygienist. Maybe you should have done some research to better understand what is happening with your oral health.

While your dentist can help you grasp the treatments you may be getting, being knowledgeable about dental terms further benefits your situation. Below are some dental terms and treatments you may hear at your next dentist appointment.

Stomatitis

Inflammation of your lips and mouth that might include a sore. Mouth sores are often painful but you can get relief from your dentist. Stomatitis can occur due to a variety of things including allergies to certain foods, poor dental hygiene, sharp objects and sometimes stress. Visit your dentist for a check-up if you suspect a problem. Your dentist can provide remedies for these common situations.

Tooth Bounded Space

Have you lost your tooth and now have a gap in between two teeth? You have a tooth bounded space. Your dentist may suggest a false tooth be placed in this space so that you can have an aesthetically pleasing smile. Let your dentist help you bring back your confidence with options to fill in the gap.

Unilateral

Do you have a dental issue on one side of your mouth? This is a unilateral concern that can be treated at the dentist’s office. Loosely translated, uni, means one, and lateral means to the side. Regardless of which side the dental problem occurs, your dentist will have varying options to help you out.

Vestibuloplasty

Your alveolar ridge height might need to be restored. Vestibuloplasty is any series of surgeries for this restoration. What exactly is the alveolar ridge? The small protuberance behind your upper front teeth. Your dentist may recommend vestibuloplasty to accommodate new dentures or appliances required inside your mouth.

Wax Pattern

Have you ever had to bite into some dental wax? This might be because your dentist required a formation replica of your teeth and gums. A wax pattern can be used when your dentist needs to manufacture crowns or a metal device such as a retainer. Dentists use wax patterns regularly to get an accurate mold of your teeth.

Xerostomia

You may have xerostomia. What does this mean?
Xerostomia is also known as dry mouth syndrome, a condition that causes you to have less salivary secretion than necessary. It can produce a dry burning sensation in your mouth. Your dentist will perform an intraoral exam to determine why you have dry mouth. You may be referred to a specialist of salivary gland disorders.

Oral Yeast Infection

Often referred to as oral thrush, yeast is a tiny fungus that can infect your oral system causing a burning or itchy throat or mouth. If your throat is infected, you might even have a hard time swallowing. This occurrence can happen in infants and adults and is characterized by a white cottage cheese type substance in the mouth. Ask your dentist which medication is right to combat this type of infection.

Zygomatic Bone

Also known as cheek or malar bone, a zygomatic bone is a bone that forms your cheek structure. It is important you treat this bone with respect by avoiding extremely crunchy or hard foods in your diet. If you injure your zygomatic bone from crunching too hard, you could need dental surgery.

Do you feel more relaxed for your next dental appointment now that you have a better understanding of a few more dental terms? Brushing and flossing regularly and visiting your dentist should help you avoid visiting the dentist for a vast array of these dental issues.

Now that you have been on this dental terminology journey, let your dentist help you take care of your teeth, so the only terms you need to know are regular check-up and dental cleaning!

Following up from last week’s blog, we want to inform you of some terms and treatments you may need to understand before your next dental appointment.
It’s always a good idea to know what is happening with your oral health. Beyond the usual terms like cavities, crowns and cleaning, there is a whole list of dental terminology you may come across.

Microabrasion

Do you have irregularities and intrinsic stains on the surfaces of your tooth enamel? Speak to your dentist about microabrasion.

Your dentist can use a mechanical technique to remove small tooth impurities that can help rid you of aesthetic concerns. Unlike tooth whitening, where the change is a result of a chemical reaction, microabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure using an abrasive substance to improve the look of your enamel.
As an added bonus, this treatment can reduce the risk of chipped or fractured teeth.

Necessary Treatment

A treatment deemed necessary by your dentist for your oral health. A necessary treatment might be as simples as a cleaning or something involving a little bit more work like a root canal.

Performing necessary treatments help protect your teeth and gums. Think of it as preventative maintenance helping you reduce the chance of more in-depth procedures.
Your dentist will take your oral history and structure of your mouth into account to ensure proper treatments are provided to you.

Occlusion

The way your top teeth come into contact with your lower teeth when certain things like resting and eating occur.

The way your teeth fit together is very important because ill-fitting teeth can cause pain, inhibit proper chewing, cause tooth breakage or even tooth loss. Your dentist can make sure your teeth align correctly and identify any overbite or underbite.

Periodontal Disease

Inflamed tissues resulting in an abnormal space between a tooth and its surrounding tissue. There are varying stages of periodontal disease.

Gingivitis is the first stage and is curable, but as the disease progresses bacteria begins to deteriorate your gums and enter the bone causing bone loss. In severe cases, your gums recede, and you could lose your teeth. Your dentist may suggest medication or surgery, depending on the severity of your individual situation.

Quadrant

The dental arches are divided into four sections and each one of them is called a quadrant. The quadrant begins at the midline where the arch is and extends distally to the last tooth. The upper jaw contains quadrants 1 and 2, the lower jaw, 3 and 4.

When identifying the area in your mouth requiring work, your dentist will refer to the numerical quadrant to ensure the correct tooth is being treated. Your dentist will check all four quadrants in your mouth at every appointment.

Residual Root

The remaining portion of your root after losing over 75% of your tooth’s’ crown. Your dentist might need to re-do your broken crown but will let you know the best treatment for this issue should it occur. If the residual root becomes infected it may need to be removed completely.

Next week, you can read further about dental terms and treatments in our informative blog. Are you having a hard time understanding something? Contact your dentist to get a comprehensive explanation of your individual treatment.

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