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Understanding & Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

The health of your infants developing teeth is extremely important. Unhealthy baby teeth may lead to crooked or decaying permanent teeth. As a parent you want to protect your childs teeth. After all, the appearance of teeth will guide their smile for the rest of their life. There are things which can damage incoming teeth. One of the most common causes of infant and toddler teeth abnormalities is baby bottle tooth decay. Below is some information on the subject which you may find interesting.

What is baby bottle tooth decay?

Baby bottle tooth decay occurs when sweet, sugary, or acidic drinks are left in the mouth for prolonged periods of time. The sugars and acid create bacteria. These bacteria attack the teeth which leads to tooth decay.

What causes baby bottle tooth decay?

Baby bottle tooth decay may be caused by giving the child sugary or acidic drinks at bed or nap time. This condition may also be caused by failure to practice good oral hygiene. As well, some parents dip pacifiers into sugary liquids. Sucking on a sugar coated pacifier or bottle nipple can lead to tooth decay.

Can unhealthy baby teeth damage permanent teeth?

Yes. Baby teeth with decay may create a wealth of issues for permanent teeth. This decay may cause permanent teeth to form in a crooked pattern or to be unhealthy.

How can baby bottle rot be prevented?

There are several steps a parent may take to prevent damage to a childs baby teeth. This includes following good oral hygiene habits and avoiding certain practices. Here are some tips.

  • Never allow the child to fall asleep with a bottle.
  • Clean the inside of your infants mouth with a clean gauze after each feeding.
  • Once a tooth begins to develop make certain to brush it regularly. This should be done with a soft bristled, infant tooth brush. Use plain water with no paste. Very gently sway the brush back and forth across the tooth. It is never too early to begin instilling good dental hygiene habits.
  • Do not give sugary drinks in a baby bottle.
  • Avoid giving your infant soft drinks.

It is also important to schedule a dentist visit once your child has his or her first birthday. Early dentist visits may help to detect possible problems. Early detection is key in correcting problems before they multiply. As well, the dentist may be able to provide suggestions for promoting healthy teeth.

If you follow the steps above you will most likely be able to prevent baby bottle tooth decay. You will promote good oral health. This will lead to a beautiful smile which your child may take pride in throughout their life. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact your child’s dentist. He or she will be more than happy to address any concerns you may have.

Invisalign Teeth Straightening as an Alternative to Braces

Invisalign teeth straightening offers an alternative way to get a great smile, troche without having to wear ugly, information pills metal braces. It is an increasingly popular method among adults who want to straighten their teeth without looking like a teenager. You can get the same great results without having to deal with the embarrassment and discomfort of metal braces.

What is Invisalign?
The Invisalign teeth straightening method involves creating a custom-made set of removable and transparent aligners that will progressively reposition and straighten your teeth. Simply remove the aligners before brushing, eating, flossing or special events. This method offers a much more convenient and comfortable solution to traditional metal braces. They are easy to clean, they do not cause mouth abrasions (like metal and wire can) and they do not require appointments for re-adjusting.

How does Invisalign Work?
3-D computer imaging is used to design a complete treatment plan for you. This will allow you to see the end result of how your teeth will look. A lab will then create several aligners to straighten and reposition your teeth over a time period of one or two years. Aligners are changed every two weeks until your smile has been completely transformed into a beautiful masterpiece. You will typically visit your dental professional every six weeks or so for progress reports.

How Much does Invisalign Cost?
That is a very difficult question to answer, because each patient has different needs and will require different levels of treatment. Generally speaking they are comparable to the price of traditional metal braces. It is recommended that you contact our dental office to make an appointment for a consultation. Once you have met with your dentist, he will be able to give you a much better idea of the cost for your Invisalign treatment. Additionally, some company provided or private dental plans will cover some or all of your Vancouver Invisalign treatment.

Emergency Dentistry

No one wants it to happen, yet it could happen at any time: tooth pain. The reasons for having tooth pain cover a wide range of possibilities, but for tooth pain that needs to be addressed immediately, an emergency dentist is needed to relieve your pain and fix the problem. This may be a temporary fix, depending on the problem, or it may be all you need, but an emergency dentist is trained and prepared for any possible dental issue.

Going to an dentist for an emergency procedure is just like going to a dentist in a non-emergency situation, with a couple of exceptions. An emergency situation means that you are in pain, and the first priority is to get the pain under control. Once the pain has been taken care of, the cause of the pain will be ascertained, if it isn’t obvious. In the case of an injury resulting in a lost or damaged tooth, the cause of the pain is clearly evident, and the procedure to follow will most likely be evident to the professional as well.

Maybe a lost crown, a cracked filling or tooth, or some other cosmetic dental work has caused the problem, and again, an emergency dentist will be able to assess the situation with a thorough examination. In these cases, the dentist may not go through all the standard steps that would be taken in a normal visit – if it’s clear what needs to be done, then the procedure can continue. If, on the other hand, the cause of the pain is not immediately evident, x-rays and other investigative procedures mey be required.

Nobody needs to live with pain, and an emergency tooth extraction, filling repair, root canal, or temporary reconstruction may be just what is needed. Whatever the cause of the pain, and the emergency, an emergency dentist will care for you as a patient with the same professionalism, expertise, and understanding as a regular dentist.

No one wants it to happen, yet it could happen at any time: tooth pain. The reasons for having tooth pain cover a wide range of possibilities, but for tooth pain that needs to be addressed immediately, an emergency dentist is needed to relieve your pain and fix the problem. This may be a temporary fix, depending on the problem, or it may be all you need, but an emergency dentist is trained and prepared for any possible dental issue.

Going to an dentist for an emergency procedure is just like going to a dentist in a non-emergency situation, with a couple of exceptions. An emergency situation means that you are in pain, and the first priority is to get the pain under control. Once the pain has been taken care of, the cause of the pain will be ascertained, if it isn’t obvious. In the case of an injury resulting in a lost or damaged tooth, the cause of the pain is clearly evident, and the procedure to follow will most likely be evident to the professional as well.

Maybe a lost crown, a cracked filling or tooth, or some other cosmetic dental work has caused the problem, and again, an emergency dentist will be able to assess the situation with a thorough examination. In these cases, the dentist may not go through all the standard steps that would be taken in a normal visit – if it’s clear what needs to be done, then the procedure can continue. If, on the other hand, the cause of the pain is not immediately evident, x-rays and other investigative procedures mey be required.

Nobody needs to live with pain, and an emergency tooth extraction, filling repair, root canal, or temporary reconstruction may be just what is needed. Whatever the cause of the pain, and the emergency, an emergency dentist will care for you as a patient with the same professionalism, expertise, and understanding as a regular dentist.

Dental Erosion

Although the average person takes protective measures to safeguard their teeth daily and prevent unnecessary actions from dentists, much fewer are aware of the differences between tooth decay and tooth erosion. In dentistry, erosion is the wearing away of the enamel tissue from excessive exposure to acids. Unlike tooth decay, tooth erosion is not localized. It affects the entire tooth surface. Bacteria do not contribute to the condition. For those involved with dentistry, tooth erosion has become a serious issue because of the significant portion of the population who show signs of its symptoms. According to some research, as many as 50% percent of young persons in the United States and the UK examined had manifestations of tooth erosion in some form, and of that group, over 30% of documented cases suffered from severe developments of the condition. These high percentages are not limited to the youth. Tooth erosion affects a significant portion of all age groups, resulting in many dentists making prevention a priority. The nature of tooth erosion results in anyone being at risk for developing its symptoms unless preventive measures, mostly dietary, are taken. Excessive amounts of carbonated drinks and even fruit juices will augment the unwanted build-up of acids which is harmful to tooth enamel. For this reason, such beverages should be had in moderation, and in the case of many soda products, abstained from entirely. People with eating disorders, most commonly bulimia, are at a much higher risk of tooth erosion due the vomiting associated with their conditions. To help strengthen teeth, one should drink water and milk as a substitute for frequent acidic drinks. Also, dentists suggest avoiding the brushing of one’s teeth shortly after consuming an acidic drink, as the enamel tissue is soft from the drink and brushing would only further weaken it.

Vancouver Dentist on Children’s Cavities

“My 8 year old child is diligent about brushing her teeth, does not eat much candy or sugary foods, but seems to still develop cavities quite easily. What could be the problem?

 

The first thing to note is that you are not alone with this issue and we see it more often then we’d like. The primary reason why children have a higher chance of developing new cavities is that their teeth are not fully developed yet. Because they are still developing, they are less mineralized and therefore softer than an adult’s teeth. It is important to understand that your child’s teeth will not be fully developed until they are in their late teens.

Here are a couple tips on what you can do now to help avoid this:

  • Supervise your child’s brushing to ensure they are effectively brushing their teeth. Pay close attention to the area where the teeth and gums meet to make certain all food particles are being removed. This will help protect the gums and prevent tooth decay from forming along the gum line.
  • Make flossing a habit. Creating a habit of flossing is imperative to the overall health of your child’s teeth. One way that many parents find effective for getting their children to floss regularly is to have them floss while watching a favourite TV or movie.
  • Apply dental sealant. Sealants can be utilized and applied to adult molars to help prevent tooth decay from forming on the chewing surface of the teeth.
  • Schedule regular dental cleanings and fluoride treatments. It is recommended that you bring your child in every 6 months for a regular dental check-up and cleaning. Speak to your dentist about starting a regular fluoride program.

Speak to your dentist for more detailed information regarding keeping your child’s teeth strong and healthy. To schedule an appointment for your child or any member of your family contact our clinic today.

A couple common oral health questions

As a dentist in Vancouver, I am asked similar questions from patients on an almost daily basis. Here are just a couple of these common questions and a brief answer.

“Should I be concerned about bleeding gums?”

In the even that you notice blood when brushing, either in the sink or on your toothbrush, it is strongly recommended that you schedule an appointment with your dentist. Even if this bleeding is not causing any noticeable pain, bleeding gums is in almost all cases a sign of gum disease. Additionally, this bleeding could be caused by a build-up of plaque beneath the gum-line and brushing alone may not be able to dislodge this built-up plaque.

Another possibility for why you’d be noticing blood when brushing is if you are brushing with too much force. Brushing too hard can not only cause bleeding, but can also damage enamel or force food particle deeper between your teeth. When brushing, always hold your toothbrush without gripping too hard, and brush in a small circular motion. Also, try not to bend the bristles of the toothbrush too much when brushing. Finally, select a soft bristled toothbrush, instead of a medium or firm one, as this will help to not cause bleeding and damage to your enamel.

“How long do fillings last?”

Generally, the classic amalgam fillings that were widely used in the past by most dentists last approximately 12 years and white composite fillings that are common today last about 10. These timeframes are of course approximate and presume proper dental care procedures and dental hygiene. In the event that your fillings are older than this, it is recommended that you visit your dentist to ensure there are no cracks in your fillings and that they have not shifted over the years. This check-up on the condition of your fillings will help you avoid any future tooth decay or tooth loss.

If you are concerned about bleeding gums, old fillings or any other general dentistry or emergency dental condition, please contact our dental clinic here or call us at 604-879-9999 to book an appointment with one of our experienced dentists.

Quick Reference Guide to Dental Emergencies

It is important not to ignore a dental emergency, like injuries to the teeth or gums. If ignored these dental problems can become more serious and may increase the risks of permanent damage or the need for extensive procedures and expensive treatments down the road.

This guide will cover a very quick and to-the-point summary of what should be done for an array of common emergency dental problems before seeing a dentist.

Toothaches: First things first, using warm water, thoroughly rinse your mouth. Then, use dental floss to dislodge and remove any food that may be stuck between your teeth. In the event that there is any swelling to the mouth or cheek, apply ice externally over the affected area. Then, contact our office as soon as possible.

Objects stuck between teeth: First, very gently try to remove the object with dental floss. If this is unsuccessful, contact our office. Under no circumstance should a pin or other sharp object be used to try and remove the object.

Broken or chipped tooth: First, save any broken pieces that you can. Thoroughly, rinse your mouth and any broken pieces with warm water. In the event there is any bleeding, apply gauze or a cotton ball to the bleeding area for approximately 10 minutes or until bleeding ceases. Finally, apply ice or a cold pack to the outside of the cheek, mouth or lip over the broken tooth to minimize swelling and reduce pain. Contact our office as soon as possible.

Knocked-out tooth: First, if possible, retrieve the knocked-out tooth. Hold the tooth by its crown (this is the part of the tooth that is normally exposed above the gum-line) and rinse the root of the tooth with water to remove any dirt or debris, but do not scrub. Next, if possible and easy, you should replace the tooth. Ensure the tooth is facing the right direction and under no circumstance should you force it into place. If reinserting the tooth isn’t possible, place the knocked-out tooth in a container and cover with milk. If milk is not available, a cup of water with a small pinch of salt can be used. Contact our office immediately! A knocked-out tooth has the best chance of being saved if it is reinserted within 60 minutes of being knocked-out.

Partially dislodged (extruded) tooth: Contact our office immediately. In order to reduce pain and swelling, ice should be applied to the outside of the cheek or mouth over the affected tooth. Additionally, Advil (Ibuprofen) can be taken to relive the pain and combat swelling.

Lost filling: Contact our office immediately. As a temporary measure, use temporary dental cement (available at most pharmacies) to fill the cavity. If dental cement is not available, sugar-free gum can be used as an alternative. Do not use sugar-filled gum as this will cause pain.

Lost crown: In the event that a crown falls off, contact our office as soon as possible. Retain the crown and bring it with you to your appointment with one of our Vancouver dentists. If the tooth is causing pain and you are unable to see a dentist right away, use a Q-tip or cotton swab to apply a small amount of clove oil to the affected area of the tooth. You should be able to find clove oil at most large pharmacies or in the spice section of most supermarkets. Next, you should replace the crown over the tooth. To do this, first apply temporary dental cement (found in most pharmacies) to the inner surface of the crown and then place it over the tooth and hold for a few seconds. If dental cement is not available, toothpaste or denture adhesive can be used as a substitute, but under no circumstance should products like super glue or crazy glue be used.

Abcess: Because an abcess can cause very serious dental and general health problems if left untreated, it is imperative that you contact our office immediately if you believe you may have an abcessed tooth. An abcess is an infection that occurs at the root of a tooth. This is a serious dental condition and can cause severe damage to the tissue surrounding the tooth and the infection can spread to other areas of the body, if left untreated.

Kingsgate Dental is a full service dental clinic and our dentists are available Monday-Saturday from 9:00am to 5:30pm to assist in any of your general and cosmetic dental needs, including dental emergencies.

Teeth Whitening (Bleaching)

Teeth whitening (teeth bleaching) is by far the most well-known and common cosmetic dentistry procedure today. The reason for this procedures popularity is that a bright, white smile is valued by both men and women alike and the short answer is that teeth whitening works. Virtually every person who chooses to undergo this treatment will notice a moderate to substantial improvement in the brightness and whiteness of their teeth.

Now, if you are contemplating teeth whitening, there are a few options to decide between. Ultimately, the decision comes down to whether you choose to get your teeth whitened by a dentist or choose an at home whitening solution. Before exploring these two options, it is important to discuss what causes the stains that teeth whitening removes.

Causes of Teeth Staining

Starting colour: First, every person has an inborn tooth colour ranging from greenish-grey to yellow-brownish and this colour intensifies over time. Generally, yellow-brown teeth is more responsive to teeth bleaching or whitening.

Age: Over the years, teeth begin to darken as a result of the accumulation of stains and natural wear and tear. When a teenager undergoes teeth whitening, the results are dramatic and almost immediate. As one gets into their twenties the teeth start to display a yellowish cast and teeth whitening may require a little more time and effort to obtain the same results. Once someone is in their forties, many notice that this yellowing starts to become brown and this may result in more maintenance being required to keep teeth bright. If you’re in your fifties and now considering teeth whitening, it is important to be aware that there may be stubborn stains that are more difficult and time consuming to remove.

Tooth thinness & translucency: As with the starting colour of ones teeth, the thinness and translucency of your teeth is a genetic trait and becomes more pronounced and visible with age. All teeth are translucent to some degree, but those that are more opaque and thick have an advantage. Thicker teeth appear lighter, sparkle more and respond better to bleaching and whitening treatments. The transparency of teeth is virtually the only condition that can’t be corrected by bleaching or teeth whitening.

Smoking: The tar and nicotine in cigarettes leave brownish coloured deposits that actually soak into the teeth and can cause discolouration. This is a very common cause of teeth staining.

Eating habits: The consumption of deeply coloured foods and beverages can contribute substantially to the teeth staining that occurs over the years. Coffee, tea, red wine, cola, oranges and carrots are just a few of the main foods that can stain teeth and contribute to the need for teeth whitening. Additionally, highly acidic foods such as vinegar and citrus fruits can cause the erosion of enamel and cause the yellow-colours dentin of the teeth to show through.

Teeth Whitening Options

Over-the-counter teeth whitening kits: The most convenient and affordable option for teeth whitening is the use of over-the-counter teeth whitening products. These take-home kits have a lower concentration of peroxide and in many cases are only effective in whitening the front teeth as opposed to professionally designed trays dispensed by a dentist. Additionally, what you may not know is that some teeth cannot be whitened using the peroxide solutions used at home. Teeth that have been veneered or restored to match the surrounding teeth will not react the same way your regular teeth will, thus producing an uneven result. Teeth too badly damaged from root canals or internal staining will not likely react to the whitening solutions either due to the damage they have already incurred, and hypersensitive teeth will often become more sensitive after using over-the-counter solutions.

In-Office Whitening: If you’re looking for the most dramatic colour change within the shortest period of time then in-office teeth whitening (bleaching) is probably your best bet. Teeth whitening that is completed by a dentist is significantly more effective because it is done with higher concentration of the active ingredient hydrogen peroxide. Ideally, in-office whitening should be followed up with maintenance whitenings with take home kits to maintain the longevity of your whiter smile.

Kingsgate Dental is proud to offer Pola® Teeth Whitening in our dental clinic. Please call us at 604-879-9999 or visit our contact page for more information about in-office teeth whitening.

Root Canal Therapy

A root canal or root canal therapy is the procedure used by a dentist in order to repair and save a damaged tooth when it is badly infected or decayed. Essentially, during the root canal, the pulp and nerve of the tooth are removed by the dentist and the inside of it is cleaned and subsequently sealed.

When the pulp or nerve tissue of a tooth is damaged, deterioration can begin and bacteria start to seep in to the pulp chamber of the tooth. This bacteria and other decaying debris, like food particles and carbohydrates such as sugar, may cause an infection or tooth abscess. An abscessed tooth can occur when the infection burrows all the way past the ends of the roots of the tooth.  An abscess is a puss filled pocket which forms at the bottom of the roots of a tooth. Also, an abscessed tooth can become very uncomfortable and painful if left untreated.

Additionally, when the root of a tooth is infected it can cause other symptoms beyond the above mentioned tooth abscess. An infection can also cause:

  • Swelling of the gum area around the tooth which can in severe cases spread into other surrounding areas of the face.
  • If left untreated, bone-loss may occur near the infected tooth’s roots.

Interestingly, the nerve of the tooth is not essential to the future function or health of that tooth. The only function that this nerve plays once the tooth has fully emerged from the gums is basically a sensory role. The nerve allows one to feel both hot and cold, etc. Because of this, the removal of the nerve does not negatively affect the functioning of a person’s tooth.

In some cases there are no immediate symptoms to indicate that a root canal may be necessary. Here are a few other signs to look out for that may indicate that a root canal is needed:

  • Sensitivity or pain from hot or cold temperatures, even when the temperature difference is gone
  • Teeth that have become discoloured where the sensitivity occurs
  • Swollen gums around the affected tooth
  • A “pimple” like bump on the gums around the infected tooth
  • Pain in a tooth when chewing or biting down

A natural question to arise when discussing a root canal procedure is whether there are any alternatives available. First off, a dentist’s main goal is to save a person’s natural teeth. This is of course always the best option and a root canal makes this possible. This fact makes the root canal the treatment of choice to allow someone to keep their natural teeth.

There really is only one viable alternative to a root canal. This alternative is extracting the tooth and replacing it with an implant or bridge. This will allow for proper chewing and will prevent any shifting of the adjacent teeth. In most cases these alternatives are more costly than a root canal, require additional procedures to the surrounding teeth as well as end up taking longer to complete.

Because of the negatives involved with leaving a badly decayed or abscessed tooth untreated, it is recommended that an individual consult their dentist if they have any concerns with their teeth. Also, time is of the essence in ensuring that a root canal can be successful in saving the damaged tooth.

Please contact our office immediately if you have any concerns or experience anything abnormal regarding your teeth. As always, a solid dental hygiene program including regular brushing, flossing and 2 professional dental cleanings per year will go a long way in preventing the need for a root canal or other emergency dental procedures.

Kingsgate Dental uses invisalign for teeth alignment correction

Kingsgate Dental uses invisalign for teeth alignment correction – check out this video to learn about how invisalign can work for you.