Frequently Asked Questions

You are already exposed to low levels of radiation from the environment on a daily basis. This is caused by natural sources of radioactive substances in the earth, the sun and from naturally occurring radiation in our bodies. This is commonly referred to as background radiation. The amount of radiation you receive during a single x-ray is equivalent to a few days of background radiation. In addition to the low levels of radiation used, we target the x-ray machine only at those areas we need to review in order to ensure that you have healthy teeth. We also cover the remainder of your body with a lead apron providing you with additional protection.

Plaque forms on your teeth daily. When sugar combines with the bacteria in plaque it produces acids that damage the enamel on your teeth. Although decreasing sugar intake will help, it is impossible to avoid sugar completely as it is naturally found in many of our foods, including fruits and vegetables. In order to maintain healthy teeth and gums you must brush and floss daily using good techniques to ensure the best results.

It is the most common dental problem, and the most common cause of tooth loss. It usually progresses quite painlessly until it is in its advanced stages. The end result is bone loss and the loss of teeth. Even though you may brush and floss regularly, regular visits to the dentist will help detect gum disease in the early stages, when you are still able to prevent tooth loss.

Tooth enamel is hard but also has microscopic pores in it. Sugar combines with the bacteria in plaque, which forms on your teeth daily, to produce acids that seep into the enamel's pores. This causes the enamel to demineralize and become weak, contributing to the formation of cavities. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by slowing the breakdown of enamel and speeding up the natural remineralization process. This keeps your teeth strong and healthy. Fluoride also fights cavities by reducing the amount of acids that are produced by plaque.

The Canadian Dental Association recommends that you should be brushing your teeth at least two times a day. Brushing keeps your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy by removing plaque and helps keep your breath smelling fresh. It is also recommended that when you brush your teeth, you use a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. You should spend at least a minute on the top teeth and a minute on the bottom teeth, and also remember to floss and use a tongue scraper daily.

Children, teens, and adults should all see the dentist for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer or gum disease may be required to see the dentist more than just twice a year. Our dentists will help determine how often you should visit for regular checkups.

Your teeth may feel fine, but it’s still important to see your dentist regularly because problems can exist without you knowing. There are many oral health conditions that only your dentist is trained to detect and evaluate.

Ten oral health problems our dentist can see that you can't:

  • Deterioration in fillings, crowns and other restorations.
  • Root cavities — decay on roots of teeth exposed by receding gums.
  • Periodontal pockets caused by gum disease.
  • New decay under the gumline.
  • Cavities under existing fillings or between your teeth.
  • Hairline tooth fractures.
  • Impacted wisdom teeth.
  • Early signs of gum disease.
  • Early signs of oral cancer.
  • Signs of other problems that could affect your general health.

We are frequently asked this question by our patients. The brand of the toothbrush is not nearly as critical as the type of bristle, the size and shape of the head and how frequently you replace your brush. We recommend a soft bristled brush with a small head. The soft bristles are most important for the health of your gums. A small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. Daily frequency of brushing and replacement with a new brush are much more important issues than the brand you choose.

If you already have gum disease, getting rid of plaque and tartar gives your gums a chance to heal. That's why in the early stages of gum disease, the best treatment involves regular cleanings in our dental office, brushing at least twice a day and flossing on a regular basis.

Proper dental care is important from the moment your child’s first tooth appears. Both the Canadian Academy of Paediatric Dentistry and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that your child’s first dental visit be on the appearance of his or her first tooth or 12 months of age, whichever comes first.

Early visits give us a better chance to prevent problems. That first visit is important because your dentist will examine the baby's mouth, teeth and gums. The dentist will also teach parents how to effectively clean the child's teeth and gums and evaluate any adverse habits, such as thumb sucking or pacifier use.

It is also important for parents to make dental visits for their children as enjoyable as possible. Avoid scary stories about dental visits or sharing your own anxiety about going to the dentist.

Explain to your child that we will "count" and "take pictures" of their teeth. It is best not to wait for an emergency to be the child’s first dental experience.

Several internal medical conditions can cause your breath to go downhill fast. They include diabetes, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, and chronic bronchitis. You'll want to see your doctor to rule out things like acid reflux, postnasal drip, and other causes of chronic dry mouth (xerostomia).

Bad breath can also be caused by a buildup of bacteria in your mouth that causes inflammation and gives off noxious odors or gases that smell like sulfur. Studies show that about 80% of bad breath comes from an oral source. For instance, cavities, gum disease, plaque on the tongue that have trapped food particles, cracked fillings, and poorly maintained dentures can all cause bad breath.

Your dentist can help you determine whether any of these conditions are contributing to your bad breath and help you find treatment solutions.

Tooth sensitivity is often experienced when the surface of the tooth has been worn down. One of the most common causes of sensitivity in adults is recession of the gums resulting in root exposure. This allows the effect of heat and cold to penetrate to the pulp where the nerves are located. The problem gets worse as you tend not to brush your teeth properly if they are causing you pain. There are many other possible causes of sensitivity, including cavities, cracked teeth or infections. If you are experiencing pain or sensitivity, let us know so we can assess your situation and recommend the best treatment to take care of your discomfort.

Visiting the dentist regularly not only will help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but also will help keep the rest of your body healthy. Dental care is important because:

  • Regular preventive visits help minimize costly dental treatment.
  • Your dental health correlates to your overall health, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and premature birth.
  • A healthy dentition allows for good nutrition throughout your life. This is important from childhood and keeps you healthy as you age.
  • Regular visits help prevent tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, both of which can lead to tooth and bone loss.
  • Brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly will help reduce the amount of bad-breath causing bacteria in your mouth.
  • Your dentist can help you achieve a more attractive smile and increase your self-confidence.
  • Regular cleaning helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco.
  • Your dentist can help you enjoy a pain free, healthy, beautiful smile for the rest of your life!