Frequently asked questions
Q: Does sugar cause cavities?
A: 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 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.
Q: There are so many different toothbrushes. Which one should I buy?
A: The brand of the toothbrush is less important than the type of brush and how often you brush your teeth. We recommend that you have a soft bristle brush. This type of brush will effectively remove plaque and will not damage your gums. We also recommend that you brush at least twice a day. The condition of your brush is also important; when the bristles begin to bend over, it is time to start using a new brush. When the bristles on your toothbrush are bent over, they lose their ability to remove food and plaque, as it is the tip of the bristles that clean your teeth the best.
Q: How does fluoride help my teeth?
A: Tooth enamel is hard, but it also has microscopic pores. 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.
Q: Why do my teeth feel sensitive?
A: Tooth sensitivity is often experienced because the surface of the tooth has been worn down. One of the most common reasons for this in adults is that the roots of the teeth are exposed because the gums are receding away. 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 it is causing you pain. 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.
Q: Is there anything I should do before my appointment?
A: There are a few things that you should keep us informed about in order to ensure that we are most effective when treating you, please keep us informed about:
- Whether your teeth or gums are more sensitive to heat, cold, or sweets
- Any changes in your gums, such as changes in colour, tenderness, or bleeding when you brush or floss
- Whether your floss catches on rough edges of teeth that causes the floss to tear
- Any changes in the skin on the inside of your mouth, such as changes in colour
- If you clench or grind your teeth, or if your neck and jaw muscles are tense or sore
- Any allergies you have
- If you are pregnant
- Any medicine you are taking
- If your medicine has changed since your last check-up
- Any health problems or medical condition for which you are being treated
- Any other changes in your general health
Q: Do you take x-rays?
A: X-rays help us to see problems in the early stages of development; this helps us treat problems long before they become serious. If we catch a cavity early, we may be able to treat it without even having to fill or restore the tooth. If decay is not detected soon enough, you may not know you have a problem until it is causing you some pain or discomfort. Major tooth restoration may be needed to repair a tooth if the decay has advanced enough. X-rays reveal:
- Cavities between teeth, under the gums, and around old fillings
- Bone loss due to periodontal disease
- Inside the bone and gums, enabling us to monitor erupting teeth.
- Problems below the gums, such as:
- Long or crooked tooth roots when evaluating for root canal treatment
- Infections at the roots of teeth
Q: Are x-rays safe?
A: 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, which provides you with additional protection.
Q: How common is gum disease?
A: Gum disease is very common. Nine out of ten Canadians will develop gum disease at some time in their lives. It is the most common dental problem and it can progress quite painlessly until you have a serious problem. 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.
Q: What if I am already in the early stages of gum disease?
A: If you already have gum disease, getting rid of plaque and tartar gives your gums a chance to get better. That is why, in the early stages of gum disease, the best treatment is:
- Regular cleanings in our practice
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing once a day
Q: Why do I have bad breath?
A: Many people suffer from bad breath. In fact, 40% of the population have problems with bad breath at some time in their lives. Some reasons for bad breath may be:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Eating certain foods, such as garlic or onions
- Chewing tobacco
- Diseases, such as cancer or diabetes
- Dry mouth (often called morning breath)
Mon: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Tues: 9:00am - 7:00pm
Wed: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Thurs: 9:00am - 7:00pm
Fri: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Meadowvale Professional Building Unit 308, 6855 Meadowvale Town Centre
Ph - 905 826 5900
Fax - 905 826 0751