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What Is A Food Trap And How Do You Fix It?

What Is A Food Trap And How Do You Fix It?

What is a Food Trap?

A food trap is any area in your mouth that you may or may not realize contains trapped food after having a meal or snack. The leftover foods turn into plaque, which causes issues to the teeth and gums in the area. Issues such as cavities, gum disease, and even infections can occur. Often, a food trap will be between two teeth or behind the last molar, but it can also occur around the front or back side of teeth. You may or may not notice the food trap is there, so it is essential to visit your dentist and dental hygienist regularly so this type of concern can be addressed before it causes problems with your teeth and gums.

Treatment Options

Dental Fillings

Dental fillings can be placed to fill the space being affected by trapped food. This treatment option will be recommended if the food trap is between two teeth. A dental filling would be placed on either one or both of the teeth that the food trap affects, closing the space that exists between the two teeth, so food no longer gets stuck in the area. Cleaning teeth is easier when the food trap is eliminated.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a more invasive and proactive way of fixing a food trap. Either one or both of the teeth the food trap affects will be thinned down, and a dental crown(s) will be placed on top, closing the food trap. This option may be recommended if there is already a large filling on the tooth or if the food trap cannot be fixed with dental fillings.

Leaving It & Monitoring It

If the food trap is small and is relatively easy to clean out daily, it may be okay to leave it and monitor it. If left untreated, it is vital to use the best tools available to you to make sure the food trap is clean. Make sure to talk with your dentist or dental hygienist about what tools you can use to clean the food trap at home. Regular dental visits will be recommended to monitor the food trap for changes and assess the health of the teeth and gums.

If you think you have a food trap or have any question about food traps, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

How To Keep Your Teeth Clean With Dental Braces

How To Keep Your Teeth Clean With Dental Braces

It can be tricky to keep your gums and teeth healthy while wearing dental braces. However, it is vital to do so properly to prevent cavities and gum disease. Listed below are essential components in an adequate at-home oral hygiene regimen.

Electric Toothbrush

While wearing dental braces, it is essential to use an electric toothbrush. An electric toothbrush will provide you with a superior clean. They can complete more brush strokes in two minutes than you can accomplish with a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are also able to access tricky areas around the brackets, especially due to their smaller heads.

Water Flosser

A water flosser uses a thin jet of water to flush out bacteria from between the teeth, the brackets and the gum line. A water flosser can be used with either water or mouthwash.

Super Floss / Floss Threaders

For daily flossing, floss aids must be used to access underneath the wire of the braces. You can use either super floss, which is a pre-cut piece of floss with a ridged end to put between the teeth, or floss threaders, which are small loops to put the floss through. Try both options and use the method you prefer.

Proxabrush

A proxabrush is a small pipe cleaner like brush that is great to clean between brackets under challenging areas to reach — the bristles on the brush help to pull plaque out from the sides of the brackets.

Fluoride

Fluoride is an integral component in keeping your teeth healthy and free of cavities. Use toothpaste at least twice a day that contains fluoride as well as a mouthwash once a day that contains fluoride. Fluoride works by strengthening the enamel.

Regular Check-ups and Cleanings

Make sure to see your dentist and dental hygienist regularly for your cleanings and check-ups. It is recommended to come every 3-4 months while the braces are on to help keep your gums and teeth healthy.

If you have any questions about braces or keeping braces clean, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

What Is Pregnancy Gingivitis & How To Manage It

What Is Pregnancy Gingivitis & How To Manage It

Pregnancy gingivitis is a form of gingivitis that is caused by the change of hormones during pregnancy. The increase of estrogen will cause the gums to be more susceptible to inflammation and bleeding. Pregnancy gingivitis can affect pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy. However, it may be more severe in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. Pregnancy gingivitis can also affect a new mother while nursing. Often, pregnancy gingivitis and its symptoms will subside on their own after birth and nursing of the baby. In some cases, if pregnancy gingivitis is left untreated, it can cause severe gum issues such as “ANUG” and “ANUP,” which are acute but severe bursts of inflammation in the gums and surrounding tissues.

Symptoms of Pregnancy Gingivitis

In most cases, pregnancy gingivitis results in slightly more inflamed gum tissues than usual. Gum inflammation, gum bleeding, red and puffy gums and sore/ tender gums are the main symptoms. Sometimes these symptoms can be paired with a pregnancy “tumour,” which is a bulbous, puffy piece of gum tissue usually localized between teeth. During pregnancy, the body’s response to plaque bacteria is increased, and therefore, there will be a more severe response than usual to plaque accumulation.

Preventing Pregnancy Gingivitis/ Reducing Symptoms

 

Sometimes pregnancy gingivitis is not entirely preventable, but it is possible to reduce the symptoms. Making sure you brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day is a vital component of keeping pregnancy gingivitis at bay. Using an antibacterial mouth rinse is also essential to reduce the overall number of oral bacteria. Make sure you rinse your mouth with water regularly if you are experiencing morning sickness. It is vital not to miss your regular check-ups and cleanings. Your dental hygienist may even recommend more frequent cleanings (every 3-4 months) for the duration of the pregnancy to keep your gums as healthy as possible and reduce symptoms.

If you believe you may have pregnancy gingivitis, or have any questions about it, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Why Custom-made Sportsguards Are Necessary

Why Custom-made Sportsguards Are Necessary

It is vital to wear a sports guard anytime you are participating in contact sports. This means if you are participating in a sport where your mouth could contact another person or object, such as hockey, football and basketball. Sports guards are thin, pliable pieces of plastic formed to your teeth to protect your teeth and jaw from injury related to sports. Injuries to the mouth are the most common facial injury in sports.

Types of Sports Guards

Boil and Bite – A boil and bite sports guard can be purchased at a store for less than a custom fitted sports guard. Once purchased, the material is heated up, and the wearer will bite into the material, leaving an impression of their teeth. The boil and bite sports guard offers protection for the teeth and jaw, but it lacks the protection offered by a custom-made sports guard. Boil and bite sports guards are recommended for children who are growing and losing teeth, as the investment for a custom mouth guard would only last a few months before it no longer fits. Between the ages of 13 to 16, when growth slows, and all adult teeth are in, it is recommended to switch from a boil and bite to a custom-made sports guard.

Custom Made – This type of sports guard is made in a dental office and fits precisely to the wearer’s mouth with a tight seal. An impression of the teeth is taken, and an exact model is made out of a piece of flexible plastic. A custom sports guard has a tight seal and offers the best protection against force and trauma.

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How to Care for your Sports Guard

Clean the sports guard after each use with a separate toothbrush and some warm water. Never use hot or boiling water on the guard as it may deform the shape. Never bite or chew on your sports guard. If the sports guard is no longer fitting as it did at the start, or if there are signs of chips and wear, it is time to replace the guard. An ill-fitting sports guard offers substantially less protection than a well-fitting sports guard.

If you believe you may benefit from a custom sports guard, or have any questions about them, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

What is a Complete Oral Exam?

What is a Complete Oral Exam?

Complete / Comprehensive Oral Exam

A complete oral exam is a dental exam completed at the first visit to a dental office and every few years afterward to obtain all relevant information to make a proper diagnosis for teeth, gums and overall health. A complete oral exam takes longer to complete than a regular check-up exam, given the amount of information gathered and documented during the exam. A comprehensive oral exam is recommended every 3-5 years to verify all charting and diagnoses are current and up to date. Between complete oral exams, check up exams called “recall exams” are completed to address any concerns and examine the teeth and gums. Recall exams are great for addressing concerns and making diagnoses but have limitations compared to complete oral exams.

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During a complete oral exam, you can expect some, or all, of the following as part of the appointment:
– Create a new medical history, document any medical conditions, medications, allergies, past surgeries, etc.
– Examination of the head and neck to check tissues and lymph nodes
– Examination of the jaw joint and assess for any clenching/grinding or wear to the teeth
– Create/update odontogram charting. Charting of any missing teeth, fillings, crowns, veneers, bridges, implants, chips, fractures and cavities
– Create/update periodontal charting. Periodontal charting is a measurement of the gum attachment for each tooth, indicating any areas of gum disease
– X-rays (if needed) to assess the health of the teeth and bone support
– Assessment of oral tissues and diagnosis of gum health
– Oral cancer screening
– Diagnosis of cavities or need for restorative work
– Possible referrals to specialists such as orthodontist for aligning teeth, periodontist for any gum concerns, endodontist for root canals or oral surgery for removal of teeth
– Assessment of how previous dental work is doing
– Any concerns to be addressed
– Recommendations for an at home oral health regimen
– A custom treatment plan formed based on diagnoses and individual needs

If you believe you may be due for a complete oral exam or have any questions about them, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Learn How To Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Learn How To Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

What is bottle decay?

Cavities found on the upper, front teeth in small children are commonly known as bottle decay, nursing caries, early childhood caries or baby bottle mouth. The cavities are localized to the upper front teeth because when a baby drinks from a bottle or nipple, their tongue covers the lower teeth, protecting them. These cavities often develop before the molars erupt.

How do babies get cavities?

Like adult cavities, bottle decay is caused by a combination of bacteria + carbohydrates + susceptible tooth surfaces. When we ingest carbohydrates, such as the natural sugars found in milk, they can be used by cavity-causing bacteria to grow. This bacteria then creates plaque, which is acidic. When this acid is allowed to sit on the teeth undisturbed, it starts to break down the protective enamel layer. When this reaction often happens, such as with a nightly bottle before sleep, the enamel decays and a cavity develops. Our mouths do have some self-cleaning tricks, such as producing watery saliva, however, when we fall asleep, this saliva production slows down and if proper brushing is not done, the acidic plaque is allowed to sit on the teeth for a long period.

baby bottle tooth decay

How can I prevent decay in my children’s teeth?

Children should always go to bed with a clean mouth. This starts with wiping the teeth and gums with a wet cloth after nursing or bottles. Once the molars erupt, a soft toothbrush should be used at least twice a day to remove plaque.

The current guidelines from The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry note that fluoride toothpaste can start being used as soon as teeth erupt. For children under the age of 3, it is recommended to use a small “smear” amount of toothpaste, with adult assistance. Fluoride is the only substance that can help “heal” acid damage, otherwise called “demineralization.”

When parents are brushing children’s teeth they should lift the upper lip to ensure the toothbrush is removing all of the plaque, especially along the gum line where it tends to collect.

Children should only have water in bed with them as it does not contain carbohydrates. Night nursing, especially on-demand nursing should be reduced as early as possible to minimize cavity risk. Breast milk on its own has not been proven to cause cavities. However, if there is plaque is present on the teeth, and then breast milk is allowed to sit on the tooth surface as well, this can cause cavities over time. Increased frequency of feedings also increases the risk of cavities.

Children can start to develop cavities as soon as their teeth erupt; this is why every child should be assessed by a dentist within six months of their first tooth erupting. Dental professionals may be able to diagnose early signs of cavities and provide solutions to reduce the risk or slow the progression. Contact us if you have any questions, or would like to schedule a consultation or dental visit.