3 Quick Tips To Improving Your Dental Routine

Daily brushing and flossing your teeth are the two things that most dental professionals recommend at your regular visits and checkups, but did you know there are a few more things you can do to achieve great breath and a healthy smile?

1) Brush your tongue. Did you know many new toothbrushes contain a tongue cleaner on the back of the bristles? After you have finished brushing use the back end of your tooth brush to scrub your tongue and the inside of your cheeks. If you don’t have a tongue cleaner on the back of your brush, you could purchase a tongue cleaner at your local pharmacy or just use your toothbrush to do the dirty work.

2) Gargle before brushing. It’s best to gargle before brushing your teeth. The swishing helps loosen plaque on your teeth making it an easier job for your toothbrush. It is also beneficial to rinse beforehand because when you rinse after your brush, it actually removed the fluoride from your teeth and defeats the fluoride purpose.

3) Brush the right way. You should be brushing your teeth at a 45-degree angle as opposed to brushing parallel to your teeth. This helps get into the crevices and below the gum line better. You should also be replacing your toothbrush every 3 months or after you have been sick.

Don’t forget, it is still recommended to see your dentist at least twice a year (unless you it has been recommended you come more frequently). Call us at Innovation Drive Dental today at 905-264-0333 to schedule you check-up!

10 Facts about Saliva….Tidbits about Spit

Spit may be disgusting but it is one of the most interesting bodily fluids we have.

  1. Humans produce 1-2 litres of saliva per day.
  2. Saliva is 98% water, but it contains many important substances, including electrolytes, mucus, antibacterial compounds and various enzymes. One of the enzyme found in saliva is amylase that breaks some starches down into maltose and dextrin and starts the digestive process.
  3. The water in your saliva comes from your blood.
  4. Saliva production becomes increased while eating or preparing to eat , or even watching or smelling food being cooked. Saliva production is reduced when you are stressed, nervous or frightened. Chewing sugar free gum with xylitol increases saliva production which is actually good for your teeth. Certain diseases and medicines can affect how much saliva you make. If you do not make enough saliva, your mouth can become quite dry. This condition is called dry mouth (xerostomia).Dry mouth causes the gums, tongue, and other tissues in the mouth to become swollen and uncomfortable. Germs thrive in this type of setting. A germy, dry mouth leads to bad breath
  5. Your spit contains your entire genetic blueprint.
  6. Humans have 3 major pairs of salivary gland in the mouth that produce all your saliva. Parotid (in the cheeks), Submandibular( near the lower jaw) and Sublingual ( under the tongue).
  7. The antibacterial compounds found in saliva, and enzyme called Lysozyme, can provide a constant protective shield against various pathogens and bacteria that attack the gums, teeth and throat. Unfortunately, saliva production drops dramatically at night, which is why most bacterial growth in the mouth occurs while we sleep, leading to the dreaded “morning breath” and the morning plaque film on teeth.
  8. Optimal pH for saliva is about 7.4. The lower your pH value below 7.0, the greater your degree of acid stress. Food and drink change the pH of saliva. Age may be a factor also, as children have an average saliva pH of 7.5, while adults tend to be more acidic, with a saliva pH as low as 6.5. The pH level in the mouth affects the health of our teeth and gums and is a good indicator for our general health. Regulating the pH in the mouth will also help reduce the bacteria in our mouths, thereby reducing our risk for cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. Bacteria feed off sugars that are commonly found in sucrose (table sugar), glucose, fructose, lactose, and cooked starches. Foods such as candies, sodas, pastas, animal proteins and breads, and even natural fruits, give bacteria in the mouth more fuel to produce lactic acid which is the acid that causes tooth decay.
  9. There are many diseases or illnesses that can be passed on through “swapping spit”…aka kissing. Aside from the common cold or flu, one can contract Herpes (HSV 1), Syphilis, bacterial Meningitis, Infectious Mononucleosis, Gingivitis and cavities.
  10. Saliva helps wounds in the mouth heal faster than wounds elsewhere on the body.

12 Things Dentists Want You To Know

1) You only need to floss the teeth you want to keep. If you skip flossing from your regular oral hygiene routine you miss out on cleaning over 1/3 of your tooth.

2) Dentists screen for more than just cavities. Last year an estimated 4700 Canadians were diagnosed with oral cancer. Here at Innovation Drive Dental we offer a Velscope exam with every new patient exam in hopes of easing your worried mind.

3) Soda is not the only drink that destroys teeth. Drinks high in sugar like fruit juices, energy drinks and sports drinks are also culprits. If you chose to continue drinking these, remember to wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to prevent damage to your enamel.

4) Dental cleanings are not just glorified tooth brushing. We use professional instruments that allow us to properly remove tarter and calculus, a cement like form of hardened plaque.

5) Oral exams are a must at least once a year. Did you know that gum disease may increase your risk of heart disease?

6) Let your dentist know of your dental fears. We want your dental visit to be as enjoyable as possible. Here at Innovation Drive Dental we always do our best to make our patients feel comfortable.

7) We are not judging you. No matter how long it has been since your last dental visit, we’re just happy you have taken the steps and you have booked your dental appointment. Call us at 905-264-0333 to schedule your next dental appointment.

8) We’re not here to take your money. We follow the Ontario Dental Association Fee guide. All our fees are the same across the board in Ontario. Some procedures (like cleanings) may cost more based on the amount of time required to properly clean your teeth.

9) Baby teeth need fillings too. Some of those baby teeth stay in the mouth until you are 12/13 years old. We also want them to stay healthy as they are holding the spots for your permanent teeth. Neglecting oral health in the early years can lead to serious problems with permanent teeth, gums and even speech. The Ontario Dental Association recommended bringing your child in for their first visit at 1 year old.

10) According to the Canadian Dental Association, bleaching your teeth doe not weaken them. We offer in office Zoom Whitening and take home bleaching options here at Innovation Drive Dental.

11) Childhood tooth decay has decreased in the last 40 years. This us because three quarters of Canadians now visit the dentist at least once a year. Did you know that you can look into options such as Healthy Smiles if you do not have dental coverage with your work?

12) There are also some government programs that offer dental care programs for seniors as well. Contact your local dental association to find out if you’re eligible.

Did You Know?-Cold Sores

Cold sores are blisters on the lips and are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) type 1. Did you know that 90% of all people get a cold sore once in their life? Following the initial blister, your body may develop antibodies, after that 40% of the population are likely to have recurring blisters. The blisters are generally brought on after a fever, colds or in times of stress when our immune system is down. Cold sores are spread by kissing, sharing of utensils, glasses, lip balms, etc. Once the virus has entered your body, it can take up to 20 days after exposure for the cold sore to appear. The sores then normally last 7-10 days and are considered contagious until they crust over. Because of this, we recommend rescheduling any dental appointments until you are no longer considered contagious.

April=Oral Cancer Awareness Month

This Sensor Helps You Watch What You Eat

Scientists at the Tufts University School of Engineering in Medford, MA have invented a sensor that helps you monitor what you eat. Until recently, the ability to accurately track your daily food intake has been fairly unreliable. This device is a 2mm square that can bond to the surface of your tooth.  At the moment it will only collect information on your salt, glucose and alcohol consumption however they are hoping they will be able to detect a whole array of chemicals and nutrients in the future. They also say that with the ability of picking up chemicals in saliva, they may be able to rate stress levels well.

I haven’t been to the dentist in 10 years. What can I expect?

Wow! Is it 2018 already? Where did the years go? Today we all live very busy lives. The years seem to pass so quickly and we often don’t realize that it may have been 10 years since we last saw a dentist. Although some may have stayed away on purpose, others had every intention to book an appointment but forgot.

Here at Innovation Drive Dental in Woodbridge we welcome all new patients, whether it has been 10 years, 5 years or even 6 months since last seeing a dentist. One of the first things we ask after a patient books a new appointment is how long it has been. The question is not meant to judge, but we know if someone has been away for a while they will often need more time to ask any questions they may have, to discuss the treatment options and often just to feel comfortable in the new setting.

Innovation Dental highly recommends that the first appointment is booked as a New Patient Exam with the doctor. We prefer not to jump into a cleaning right away, for may reasons.  This is an easy and painless appointment as it is purely diagnostic and gives the patient the time to discuss with the doctor any of their concerns. This appointment reintroduces the patient to what dentistry has to offer today with all the modern technology and the knowledge of caring staff and clinicians. A Complete New Patient exam involves:

1.       Introduction and medical history is taken

2.       A pre-op blood pressure measured

3.       A full set of digital x-rays are taken (very low radiation as compared to old style x-rays)

4.       An intra-oral and extra-oral examination is done

5.       An oral cancer screening is done using a Velscope (a special light is shone in your mouth) http://www.velscope.com/velscope-technology/overview/

6.       Charting of the teeth (any existing work you have had done as well as any potential treatment you may need done)

7.       Measurement of bone levels

8.       Intra-oral photos of all the teeth for visual records and future comparison

9.       Discussion and Treatment plan (Q&A)

This appointment can take up to an hour and is very educational and informative. We like to book a cleaning after the New Patient Exam as not all cleanings are the same, and not everyone needs the same cleaning. The Doctors at Innovation Dental feel that treatment should be individualized to the patients needs. If it has only been a few months then you may be ok with one appointment to finish, but some patients may require 2 or more cleaning appointments with freezing (if needed).

If it has been a long time for you, one tip would be to floss a lot before you come in, even if it makes your gums bleed, as this will get them used to being touched below the gum line and may be less uncomfortable at your first cleaning appointment.

At Innovation Dental in Woodbridge we strive to be the dentist you will NOT stay away from or forget to book back with.  We make seeing a dentist or hygienist as enjoyable as a dental visit can be………and those are big shoes to fill……..ask any of our patients! https://www.rateabiz.com/reviews/innovation-drive-dental-woodbridge-on/614cbb39035a2c8916915ab8bc93c688/summary

What Should Be Done When A Tooth Is Knocked Out

The other day we had a patient (who happens to be a teacher) running late for her dental appointment. When she arrived at the office she informed us that one of her students had their tooth knocked out during gym class. She was busy writing up an incident report and that was why she was late. When Dr. Shulman asked what protocol was taken to ensure the life of the tooth, the teacher informed her that no protocol was taken; they were not told what to do when an event like this took place.

So, here it is…

What should be done when a tooth is knocked out (permanent/adult teeth only)?

  • Make sure to handle the tooth carefully. Try to hold the tooth by the crown (the white part), the root (pointy part) of the tooth is soft and can be easily damaged. Try not to touch the root if possible.
  • If the tooth is dirty, try to rinse it with milk (if available) if not, you can use lukewarm water. Do not scrub.
  • Gently rinse mouth and, if possible, try to position the tooth back into the socket (this should be done within 5 minutes) and then bite down on a clean towel/paper towel to put pressure on the tooth and keep in place.
  • If you are unable to get the tooth back in, the tooth should be kept moist. Your best bet is to place the tooth in a cup of milk (if readily available). If there is no access to milk, spit into a cup and let the tooth sit in saliva, or you can place the tooth in your mouth beside your cheek.
  • Go see your dentist immediately (this should be done within an hour of the incident). The tooth can be saved, but time is of the essence. When a tooth is knocked out, the nerves and blood vessels are damaged as well. Because of this, the tooth will require root canal treatment.

What will be done once you have arrived at the dental office?

  • Your dentist will assess the state of your tooth, gums and bone and take an x-ray. Depending on the impact, there is a possibility of bone fracture in your mouth.
  • They will then try to reposition the tooth in the correct place.
  • A root canal may be done immediately, or your dentist may choose to wait depending on what they see.
  • For best result, your dentist will splint your tooth to the neighbouring teeth using a wire and some composite (filling material). This acts like a cast. It holds the tooth in place and prevents unwanted movement so that your bone can start to reattach to the tooth. You will be placed on antibiotics to prevent infection.
  • You dentist will want to monitor the health and progression of this tooth weekly for about 6-8 weeks and then at your regular 6 month check-up.
  • If the tooth is not salvageable your dentist will discuss options to properly replace your missing tooth and get your beautiful smile back ☺

Chances are you do not have oral cancer, but wouldn’t you like to know for sure? Oral cancer screenings are done at Innovation Dental.

Do these images below look familiar to you? Are you experiencing blisters, noticing unusual lumps or bumps, crust formations or white and red areas on the tongue, lips, gums or other area of the mouth that will not go away? These might all be signs and symptoms of oral cancer. Most non-cancerous lesions resolve within 10-14 days. If they do not resolve, you may need a thorough oral cancer screening examination. At innovation dental drive in Vaughan, we have the latest technology in oral cancer screening called the Velscope. Dr. Corey Shulman and Dr. Jennifer Shulman provide cancer screening as part of every initial examination. Whether you are new to the office or are an existing patient, our dentist and hygienist are always checking for any abnormalities at every visit. These lesions can become life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. Give us a call today to book your new patient examination and have your oral cancer screening done!

SCREENING AT HOME

Some simple tasks you can add to your daily routine.

  • CHEEKS AND LIPS: Pull back both cheeks and lips and check the tissues for any lumps, bumps, white spots, red spots, cracks and blisters.
  • TONGUE: Stick out your tongue and check for any abnormalities once again. Don’t forget to check underneath the tongue as well. Note: You can use a piece of tissue to help grab hold of your tongue
  • PALATE: Lift your head back and check the roof of your mouth for any abnormalities
  • TONSILS AND THROAT: If you have a tongue depressor, that can aid in detection. Stick your tongue out and firmly press down as far back as you can reach. Look at the tonsils and throat for any abnormalities.

REMEMBER: Preventative measures can be life saving.

WHAT DEFINES NORMAL AND ABNORMAL

Most patients ask the question, what exactly am I looking for? We at Innovation Dental in Woodbridge can help you understand the difference between normal and abnormal tissue.

Normal tissue

Normal areas present itself with uniform, symmetrical tissue pattern. Usually pinkish or brown in colour depending on ethnicity.

Abnormal tissue

Abnormal tissue can appear to be different in colour, either white or red areas. They usually come in irregular patterns, although that may not always be the case. Lumps or bumps can also be a sign. Sometimes they can be asymptomatic or symptomatic, therefore pain can not always be a good indicator. Below are some examples of some abnormal tissue patterns:

THE VELSCOPE

Here at Innovation Dental serving patients throughout Vaughan, Brampton, Woodbridge and Toronto, use the VELscope screening system which uses fluorescence light in order to enhance any abnormalities in the mouth. Below is a visual to help understand the non-invasive screening procedure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Facts on Fluoride

 

  • Stops or even reverses decay process (keeps the enamel stay strong by preventing loss of minerals) and reduces sensitivity
  • Can find in drinking water from community water supply, toothpaste, mouthwash, tablets, drops
  • Dentist’s provide rinses, varnishes, gels
  • No scientific evidence that fluoridated water has causes disease or illness
  • Fluoridated toothpaste alone is not enough, that’s why we need other sources
  • Fluoride + children: children under age of 3, guardians should consult dentist prior to using fluoridated toothpaste (over use of fluoride during tooth development can lead to fluorosis)
  • Fluorosis are very faint white spots that appear on the tooth (does not affect the function or health of the tooth, only appearance)
  • Areas of fluorosis are actually more cavity resistant

Fluoride Varnishes

  • Applied only by professionals
  • Agents painted on teeth after cleaning
  • Hardens on tooth and stays on for 4-6 hours then brushed off, releasing fluoride gradually over months
  • Great for children due to less gagging and less swallowed

Fact: healthy gums do NOT bleed