1090 St. Clair Avenue W, Toronto 416-652-7590
Why Are Sports Guards Necessary?

Why Are Sports Guards Necessary?

If you play or have ever played a contact sport, you have probably worn a sports guard. Sports guards are recommended for any sport where there is a risk of contact between people or inanimate objects such as sticks, balls or pucks. Sports guards are recommended for sports such as soccer, hockey, basketball, football and lacrosse.

Common Oral Injuries from Sports 

  • Tooth chips and fractures (when a break happens on the crown of a tooth)
  • Root fractures (when a break occurs on the root of a tooth)
  • Tooth avulsion (when a tooth gets knocked out)
  • Tooth intrusion (when a tooth gets pushing further into the jaw bone)
  • Tooth luxation (when a tooth moves from its original position and gets pushed back or forward in the jaw)

How Do Sports Guards Work? 

Sports guards work by absorbing a blow and dispersing it throughout the guard. The guard also acts as a cushion between upper and lower teeth to prevent traumatic tooth-on tooth injury. Sports guards prevent irreversible damage to the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth. 

Types of Sports Guards 

Boil and Bite – This type of sports guard is inexpensive but doesn’t offer the best protection because it is not designed specifically for your mouth. A boil and bite sports guard can be purchased at a store and requires the material to be heated up and then bit into to form a mould of your jaw. The sports guard won’t have the ideal fit, but it is better than not wearing a guard. Boil and bite sports guards are recommended for children whose mouths are growing and changing.

Professionally Made – The ideal sports guard is professionally made. A dental impression will be taken of your upper and lower teeth, and the sports guard will be fabricated based on the impressions. The sports guard will be fitted and adjusted to give the best fit. 

Caring for Your Sports Guard 

  • Store your sports guard in a case when not using it 
  • Clean your sports guard after each use with warm water and a separate toothbrush 
  • Never used hot water on your sports guard as it could warp the material.
  • If your sports guard is loose and you can pop it out with your tongue, it no longer fits properly and won’t offer the best protection, and a new guard should be made. 

If you are interested in having a sports guard made or have any questions about them, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

How to Keep Your Child’s Mouth Healthy

How to Keep Your Child’s Mouth Healthy

Ensuring that your child has a healthy mouth free of cavities and gum issues is vital, but it can be hard to know what to do to keep their mouth as healthy as possible. Listed below is an essential guide in maintaining the health of your child’s mouth:

  • Before teeth erupt in your baby’s mouth (around 6-10 months old), use a damp cloth to wipe your baby’s gums after milk.
  • Once the first baby teeth erupt (around 6-10 months old), start using a small-headed toothbrush to brush the teeth with water, after milk and before bed. 
  • All of your child’s teeth will be erupted by around 2.5 years old. 
  • There are 20 baby teeth in a full set, 12 front teeth, and eight back teeth. 
  • Reduce soother use and try to eliminate by the age of 2.5
  • To wean a soother, try cutting the tip of the soother off to reduce suction. 
  • Try to eliminate thumb sucking also around 2.5 
  • Both a soother and thumb sucking create a suction that can alter the shape of their jaw and affect how their teeth bite together. 
  • Make sure to brush your baby/child’s teeth after nursing and after bottles of milk. 
  • Never put your baby to bed with a bottle of milk, as exposure to the sugars in the milk can cause cavities. 
  • Begin using a fluoridated toothpaste around three years old, only using a size of the tip of a pen 
  • Bring your baby/child in for their first dental visit around 2.5-3 years old or earlier if there is a specific issue or concern. 
  • If you notice a chip or discoloured spot on your baby/child’s teeth, bring them to the dentist, as this might be a sign of a cavity. 
  • Begin flossing your child’s teeth around four years old. At this time, the spaces between their back molars will close together, increasing the risk for cavities. 
  • Help your child brush and floss their teeth until around the age of 7-8 to prevent the risk of cavities (in particular, at the age of 6, adult molars erupt at the back that is difficult for kids to access on their own) 
  • At any point, if there is trauma to your baby or child’s mouth, bring them immediately to the dentist.
  • If you notice a grey or yellow baby tooth, it may mean there was past trauma, and you should bring them to the dentist for a check. 

If you have any questions about how to keep your baby or child’s mouth healthy, contact us now to schedule an appointment

Treat A Tongue Tie With Frenectomy Treatment

Treat A Tongue Tie With Frenectomy Treatment

Before we speak about treating tongue ties, it is important to understand the frenums’ role in the mouth.

What Is A Frenum?

A frenum connects tissue in the mouth. There are several frenums, but we will focus on the three largest frenums. The maxillary frenum connects gum tissue with the upper lip and is located between the top two front teeth. Attaching the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth is the lingual frenum. Finally, the mandibular frenum connects the lower lip and gums with an attachment between the two bottom front teeth. Frenum tissue can range in thickness. Thick frenums may cause issues with speaking, eating and the position of teeth.

Potential Issues With Large Frenums 

  • Gap or space between the two front teeth where it attaches
  • May restrict movement of the tongue, which affects speaking and pronunciation
  • Can exert a pull on the gums, leading to gum recession

 

Frenectomy Benefits

  • May reduce risk of injury
  • Lowers the risk of gum recession caused by frenum attachment
  • It may help close or reduce the gap between teeth
  • Better range of motion for the tongue, usually resulting in easier speech

Which Type Of Treatment Is Used? 

A frenectomy is a standard and straightforward surgical procedure that eliminates or reduces the unwanted effects of an oversized frenum. The procedure reduces or stops unwanted stress caused to connected tissues in the mouth. One example is reducing the frenum’s attachment to the floor of the mouth and the tongue. This improves the tongue’s range of motion, allowing for more straightforward speech and pronunciation.

What Is The Procedure Like?

The tissue will be partially cut during the frenectomy procedure once a local anesthetic is applied to the affected area to reduce discomfort. A traditional scalpel may be used, or your dentist may use a laser. Our office uses a special NV microlaser. Using this type of laser has the added benefit of being able to coagulate, cauterize and sterilize. Some patients can have this procedure using local anesthetic in some cases, and they report fast healing times. Since the procedure is quick and straightforward, it can be performed at any age.

Do you think that you or your child could benefit from a frenectomy? Have any questions about the procedure? Please contact us today to schedule an appointment or consultation. 

 

What Causes Bad Breath And How to Fix It

What Causes Bad Breath And How to Fix It

Bad breath, also known as “halitosis” or “malodour,” is a common problem that most have experienced at least once in their lifetime. There are many causes of bad breath and many ways that bad breath can be improved. Bad breath can be caused orally or gastrointestinally, but studies show that 80% of the source of bad breath comes from the mouth. Please read below to understand the causes of bad breath and how to improve it. 

Cause of Bad Breath 

– Plaque accumulation on tooth and gum surfaces may lead to gingivitis or inflammation of the gums and periodontitis, which is inflammation of the supporting structures of the teeth, also known as gum disease. 

– Plaque accumulation on the tongue surface 

– Dental decay and broken fillings 

– Food traps between teeth 

– Dentures that are not being properly cared for

– Ketogenic diet (high in proteins and fats and low in carbs)

– Smoking and tobacco products 

– Foods that alter your breath (garlic, onions, coffee, etc.)

– High sugar intake

– Dry mouth, caused “xerostomia” 

– Acid reflux 

– Certain medications such as antihistamines and diuretics 

– Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, liver disease, respiratory tract infections and bronchitis 

How to Improve Bad Breath 

– Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day 

– Keep your tongue clean. Use a tongue cleaner daily 

– Use a mouthwash approved by the CDA/ADA with medial ingredients 

– Have cavities/broken fillings fixed

– Keep dentures clean and take them out each night 

– Reduce sugar intake, increase intake of fruits and vegetables 

– Reducing smoking and use of tobacco products 

– Get checked for acid reflux and other medical conditions that are linked with bad breath 

– Use a salivary substitute if you suffer from a dry mouth 

– Make sure not to miss your routine check-ups and cleanings with your dentist and dental hygienist 

If you suffer from bad breath and are interested in treatment options or have any questions about how to improve your breath, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Learn The Importance of Cleaning Your Tongue

Learn The Importance of Cleaning Your Tongue

Did you know that at any given moment, you have millions of bacteria living in your mouth? Bacteria exist on every surface in the mouth, including the surfaces we know of, such as our teeth and gums and lesser thought of surfaces such as the tongue and cheeks. It is essential to have a well-rounded oral hygiene regimen that including reducing bacteria in these infrequently cleaned areas. 

The tongue harbours loads of bacteria because it’s a rough surface filled with thousands of taste buds, called papilla. If examined underneath a microscope, the surface of the tongue appears as many hills and valleys. Bacteria are easily trapped between the microscopic papilla and stick around. In addition, the act of tooth brushing can clear plaque away from the teeth and gums but transfer it onto the tongue with the help of the saliva. It is important to clean your tongue at least once a day.                                                                                                      

Signs/ symptoms of bacteria accumulation on the tongue are: 

  • A yellow, white or grey discolouration of the tongue
  • Bad breath, called malodour 
  • Altered or reduced taste 
  • A metallic taste in the mouth 

How to Clean Your Tongue 

There are several tools you can choose between to clean your tongue. The most important aspect of a tongue cleaner is its ability to clean between the papilla/ taste buds thoroughly. Some manual toothbrushes are built with a tongue scraper on the reverse side of the bristles. Other tongue cleaners contain bristles or corrugated plastic. The best way to clean the tongue is to drag or scrape the tongue cleaner from the back of the tongue to the front several times in a row with rinsing in between. It is important to clean out and rinse your tongue cleaner after each use. Only use your tongue cleaner on the top surface of your tongue. The underside of the tongue is a delicate tissue that should not be brushed or scraped.  

In addition to using a tongue cleaner, you should also use an alcohol-free mouthwash to help reduce oral bacteria. Mouthwash helps to clean smooth surfaces of your mouth, such as your cheeks and palate. If you have any questions about how to clean your tongue, or if you still notice bad breath or a coating even after tongue cleaning, please call us today to schedule an appointment. 

All About Teeth Clenching and Grinding

All About Teeth Clenching and Grinding

During these unprecedented times of COVID 19, people, on average, are experiencing a higher prevalence of stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety may be caused by social isolation, inability to see friends and family, loss of a loved one or job, or financial hardship. Stress and anxiety may present in many different ways, including headaches, problems sleeping, upset stomach, chest pain, elevated blood pressure and even teeth clenching and grinding. 

Teeth clenching and grinding are both considered involuntary movement disorders. They can either happen while awake or asleep and are an unconscious habit. Clenching is when the upper and lower jaw bites together with force, and grinding is when there is also a movement of the upper and lower teeth against each other with force. Teeth grinding is very common in children and is usually grown out of with age. The medical term for teeth clenching is “bruxism.”

What are the Signs & Symptoms?

Typically, the signs and symptoms of teeth clenching and grinding include, but are not limited to, a sore jaw that can sometimes feel like an earache, sore muscles in the cheeks and neck, headaches, sleep disruption, tooth pain or sensitivity, clicking or popping in the jaw joint, lockjaw and flattered or worn surfaces of the teeth. Occasionally, there will be no signs or symptoms associated with teeth clenching or grinding, primarily if it only occurs infrequently. 

What is the Treatment?

Although it is difficult, if not impossible, to prevent teeth clenching and grinding, there are treatment options to prevent the signs and symptoms associated with it. There is no treatment recommended in children who grind their teeth, as they will usually grow out of the habit. For adults, there are several options for treatment, which most often involve the use of a nightguard. A night guard is a sturdy plastic tooth covering used to alleviate stress on the teeth and jaw. Nightguards can be fabricated in several different forms, such as with clasps or no clasps, with a bite pad or no bite pad. Other options to correct teeth clenching and grinding are correcting tooth alignment, such as the use of braces, Botox injections in the muscles around the jaw, stress and anxiety management and muscle relaxant medications.  

If you think you may be clenching or grinding your teeth, know that this is a prevalent habit, and you are not alone. Especially during these unprecedented times, many people are dealing with more stress and anxiety. It is essential to seek treatment to prevent tooth wear. If you have any questions about teeth clenching and grinding, we are happy to see you and encourage you to call us today to schedule an appointment.