Tooth Fairy Celebrations Around the World

While many of us grew up (and even continue the tradition with our own children) placing lost teeth under our pillows at night and waking to find a dollar bill or gift in its place, did you know that isn’t how everyone celebrates losing a tooth around the world?

In fact, there are many different ways of celebrating a lost tooth. Take a look at how the countries and cultures below honour a missing tooth.

Afghanistan, Russia and Bangladesh: In these countries, children toss lost teeth in a mouse or rat hole to bury them. The hope is they will be given back a strong, healthy, white adult tooth.

Mexico and Spain: Some children in Mexico and Spain don’t all celebrate a small fairy—instead, some believe that a mouse takes their tooth while they sleep and leaves money in its place.

Korea and Taiwan: Some Korean and Taiwanese children have a different tradition that doesn’t involve a fairy or a mouse—instead, they toss their tooth on the roof of their home for good luck, and wish for a healthy, shiny new adult tooth.

China, Vietnam and Cambodia: Similar to Korea and Taiwan but with a different twist, some children in these countries throw lost lower teeth on the roof and place lost upper teeth in the dirt. This way, the new teeth will grow toward the old teeth and erupt straight.

South Africa: While children in the US and Australia place lost teeth under a pillow, some South African children store them in a pair of slippers at bedtime.

Is It Time for a Checkup?

If your child hasn’t seen us in over six months, we recommend booking a checkup and clean with our practice. We’ll make sure their teeth are clean, coming in on time and looking great. Contact us today to book their visit. We can’t wait to see them (and you) in the practice soon.


Stress and Your Smile

When we think of stress, we often associate it with symptoms like anxiety, tension, racing thoughts, poor sleep and high blood pressure among others. But did you know that your smile can also show signs of stress?

It’s no secret that the last year and a half has been stressful for everyone around the globe. As your partner in oral health, we want to help you recognise the impact stress can have on your mouth, while offering solutions to overcome it and beam brightly.

  • Stress may increase your risk of developing gum disease. That’s because during times of stress, your body produces more cortisol, a hormone. When high levels of cortisol are produced, your body focuses more on survival than anything else. This lowers your ability to fight infections in your mouth, gums and elsewhere.
  • Have you noticed that during times of stress, you are more prone to headaches? It may be a result of jaw clenching or teeth grinding, known as bruxism. Bruxism usually occurs when we’re sleeping. Grinding our teeth and keeping our jaws tightly clenched can cause morning headaches as well as worn down teeth.
  • For some of us, stress makes us reach for comfort foods that we normally wouldn’t. Things like ice cream, treats or sweet drinks may make us feel better for a moment, but too many can have a lasting negative impact on oral health. They can lead to dull teeth, cavities and plaque buildup.

If you feel like your smile is showing signs of stress, we’re here for you. Contact our team today to learn more about our services and how we can help. We look forward to seeing you in the practice soon.


Oral Health During Pregnancy

If you’re pregnant you’ve probably assembled a team of experts to help you on your journey.

OB-GYN? Check.
Birthing coach? Check.
Lactation specialist? Check.

Your baby bump and the countless changes going on inside it tend to get all the attention. And with all the prenatal appointments and preparations going on, your teeth are probably the last things on your mind. But if you want the best outcome for both you and your baby, make sure an oral health specialist is on your pregnancy team.

The reasons might surprise you.

Hormones and Your Gums

During your pregnancy you’ll experience hormonal changes that affect your mood, your digestion, your posture and even your gums.

Research suggests a connection between gum disease in pregnant women and premature or low birth weight babies. Estimates indicate that close to 20% of premature births may be triggered by the mother’s periodontal disease. Premature births can produce a variety of health risks for the baby. These include problems with hearing and eyesight to cerebral palsy.

Inflammation of gum tissue can have whole body effects. Make sure you get appropriate dental care during your pregnancy.

Dental Care During Pregnancy Is Safe

One of many misconceptions about pregnancy is that you shouldn’t see a dentist because dental care is unsafe. Not true. Dental care during pregnancy is safe. So that shouldn’t stop you from getting your routine teeth cleaning or checking out any other oral health issues.

Your dentist can spot potential problems before they become serious issues and offer up tips to avoid pregnancy gingivitis.

Morning Sickness and Your Teeth

About half of pregnant women experience morning sickness during the first trimester of pregnancy. When you’re in the grips of morning nausea, the last thing you’re probably thinking about are your teeth. But you should.

When you vomit you expose your teeth to strong stomach acids. Stomach acid weakens the enamel on your teeth.

Afterwards, it’s tempting to brush your teeth to restore freshness to your teeth and gums. But brushing doesn’t remove the acid. It simply spreads it around. Instead add a tablespoon of baking soda to some water and swish it around in your mouth. This will help neutralise the acid. Then brush your teeth.

Put Us On Your Team

Your health affects your baby’s health. Attending to your oral health is good for you and your baby. Proper hygiene now is more important than ever. Arrange a checkup. We want to help support you during and after your pregnancy.


Everything You Need to Know About Teeth Whitening

Advances in whitening technology have made a brighter smile easier to achieve than ever before, and we’re happy to help patients every day get the smile of their dreams.

If you’re considering teeth whitening, here are a few things you should know before your treatment.

1. Products offered in our practice offer superior results than any product you can purchase in a local store or supermarket. While over-the-counter whitening products can certainly enhance the brightness of your smile, the results will happen over a much longer time frame than if you were to visit us.

2. You may experience sensitivity after a whitening session, but any discomfort will fade quickly. Most patients we welcome into the practice report any tooth sensitivity post-whitening clears up within 24 hours.

3. Whitening is ideal for most people, though you should know that dental restorations will not lighten. If you have crowns, veneers, or dental bridges, they will not get whiter like your natural teeth will.

4. An in-chair visit takes just about an hour to complete, and will leave your teeth stunningly brighter immediately. While you may walk in with dark and stained teeth, you’ll leave beaming brilliantly.

5. Your results can last anywhere from a few months to a few years depending on how well you care for your teeth and whether or not you do whitening touch-ups. Ask us about take-home whitening kits at your next visit, which allow you to maintain your results from the comfort of your own couch.

If you have other questions about teeth whitening or would like to book an appointment with us, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us to book your visit or simply give us a call with your questions.

We look forward to seeing you in the practice soon and helping you get the smile of your dreams.


What’s Causing Your Toothache?

Difficulty eating. A throbbing jaw. Temperature sensitivity. These are a few of the unpleasant symptoms that often accompany tooth pain.

Whether you’re dealing with an ongoing dull ache or a sudden sharp pain, chances are a visit to our practice is necessary. In fact, we recommend scheduling a visit with the dentist if you’ve had any sort of tooth or mouth pain for more than 24 hours.

When you visit us, we’ll dive into what’s causing your pain. Often times, it’s one of the following:

1. Tooth decay. This is a leading cause of tooth pain. When your enamel wears thin, the teeth can become more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, resulting in sudden pain. Tooth decay is also responsible for cavities.

2. Infection. A tooth infection can happen when bacteria infects your tooth, often times due to a crack, chip or a cavity. If you don’t properly care for your teeth every day, you’re more likely to develop a tooth infection.

3. Teeth grinding. Do you ever wake up with a headache or sore jaw? You might be grinding your teeth while you sleep. Clenching your jaw so tightly for hours on end during slumber can cause tooth pain. When you visit us, we’ll be able to tell whether or not there is evidence of teeth grinding by examining your teeth and bite.

4. An abnormal bite. An uneven bite can place unnecessary strain on your jaw muscles, resulting in tooth and mouth pain. Sometimes, this can even lead to Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ.

5. Tooth eruption (in children). If you have infants or school-aged children, chances are you’re all too familiar with the pain that tooth eruption can bring. In infants, this usually occurs around six months in age. Older children will begin to lose their primary teeth around age six or seven.

If you’re dealing with tooth pain, give us a call to book an appointment. We’ll do our best to get you feeling better quickly.


Trendy Toothpaste: Good or Bad?

You’ve probably seen the shocking pictures of people brushing their teeth with a black substance—maybe you’ve even given it a try. Charcoal toothpaste has risen in popularity over the past couple of years, going viral on social media and even popping up in local stores.

With promises of a whiter smile, is it really ideal to use every day as a replacement to your regular toothpaste?

We breakdown the charcoal toothpaste trend below with everything you should know.

What is charcoal toothpaste?

Black in appearance, this type of toothpaste is much different than traditional toothpaste. Most charcoal pastes contain activated charcoal, which is a form of carbon. Charcoal toothpastes typically do not contain fluoride, an important ingredient in oral health products.

Can charcoal toothpaste whiten teeth?

Because charcoal toothpaste is abrasive, it’s true that it may remove surface stains. Abrasive paste works by scrubbing away at your enamel. Using abrasive toothpaste to whiten too frequently may actually do more harm than good as the enamel becomes worn down. If you’re looking to whiten your teeth, contact our practice to learn more about in-chair whitening or take-home kits that are proven to be effective and gentle, while offering incredible results.

Can charcoal toothpaste freshen breath?

Some brands of charcoal toothpaste are [flavored] with mint. More so, when brushing your teeth with charcoal paste, you are likely removing some plaque buildup or tartar. However, there’s no current evidence to support that charcoal toothpaste freshens breath or removes any more plaque than traditional fluoride toothpaste does. Charcoal paste can also get stuck in the crevices of your teeth, and even discoulor dental restorations.

Will charcoal toothpaste detoxify my gums?

Probably not. While the paste may lift away plaque or tartar like regular toothpaste, it can also become trapped in the crevices of your teeth, having the opposite effect.

If you have more questions about charcoal toothpaste, we’re happy to answer them at your next appointment, as well as recommend oral health products that are proven to be gentle and effective.


Food Tips After Extractions

Let’s face it-no one wants to undergo a dental extraction. Yet, for one reason or another, they’re necessary at times to ensure the health of your teeth and gums for the long-term.

If you’ve been told you need a tooth extraction, or suspect one might be in your near future, one of the best things you can do to prepare yourself is to learn about the process and what to expect after your treatment.

We often hear that patients are concerned about the recovery, and what they can or can’t eat after a tooth extraction.

To help you better understand what to expect, here’s a list of what you should and shouldn’t keep in your kitchen post tooth extraction.

1. Sugar-free ice pops are great to have nearby as you’re healing. The cold temperature may aid in reducing any swelling in your mouth. This may also reduce discomfort.

2. Scrambled eggs can be easy to eat without putting unnecessary pressure on your gums.

3. Cold vegetable soups can offer the nutrients you need for healing while being easy to consume.

4. Pass on candy and chips for the first week after a tooth extraction. These foods require too much chewing that can disturb the wound and cause infection.

5. Skip alcoholic drinks while you’re taking any pain medication to manage your discomfort. Alcohol can have a negative impact on the potency of your medication.

Are You Dealing With Tooth Pain?

We’re here for you. Find out what’s causing your issue by booking a visit with us. We’ll do everything we can to get you feeling better as quickly as possible with honest, effective dental care.

Book your visit today.


Do Receding Gums Grow Back?

While some see a healthy smile as sparkling white or straight teeth, the health of your gums are the real marker of oral wellness. When gums are unhealthy, they can cause costly problems for your entire mouth.

One of the most popular problems gums can experience is recession. If you’ve noticed your gums pulling back, here’s what you can do about it.

Signs of Receding Gums

One of the biggest signs of gum recession are teeth that suddenly appear longer. When gums recede, more of your tooth is exposed-sometimes as far back as the root, which can often lead to sensitivity when eating or drinking.

Other signs of gum problems may include:

  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Pain
  • Oral infection
  • Plaque buildup
  • Tooth loss

What You Can Do

Fear not-gum recession isn’t hopeless! While gum tissue doesn’t grow back on its own, there are treatments that work to pause recession and ones that can help replace receding tissue.

One of the best ways to stop gum recession in its tracks is to make an appointment for Scaling and Root Planing. Scaling is essentially a deeper clean than a traditional dental visit that can remove plaque and tartar buildup under the gums. Root Planing helps to ensure the roots of your teeth are properly attached to the gums. Scaling and Root Planing are ideal in cases of mild gum recession.

Other options for more severe recession include open flap surgery, regeneration therapy and even soft tissue grafts.

If you suspect receding gums are creeping into your smile, don’t delay-contact our team today to book a visit. When gum problems are detected early, proper treatment can be carried out to stop progression before it worsens.

We look forward to helping you.


Are You High Risk for Cavities?

If you don’t brush and floss your teeth daily, it’s no secret that you may be more susceptible to developing cavities in your teeth-but slacking on those necessities aren’t the only things that can bring trouble to your mouth.

Here are a few factors to consider that can lead to more tooth fillings.

  • Genetics. Did you know that not every mouth is created equal? Each one of us has a different amount of bacteria in our mouth at any given time, which is partially thanks to genetics. Genetics are also responsible for giving some of us brittle teeth, which can be a cause for concern when it comes to cavities.
  • Age. While getting older comes with more free time to do the things you enjoy, it can also mean more cavities as the enamel of your teeth weaken over time. As you age, it’s critical to continue to care properly for your teeth and be aware of limiting sugary sweets to help keep tooth trouble at bay.
  • Eating disorders. There are a couple of different ways that eating disorders can affect your teeth and lead to more cavities. To start, your teeth won’t get the proper nutrition they need, like calcium. More so, some eating disorders can lead to purging, which ultimately damages tooth enamel. If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, we’d love to direct you to resources that can help you overcome it and thrive.
  • Alcohol. Did you know that alcohol can lead to dry mouth and is highly acidic, which can wear away enamel?
  • Smoking. Even one cigarette each day can have harmful effects on your oral health. Smoking aids in the development of bacteria and tartar in your mouth, which may result in tooth decay, loss and cavities.

How to Upgrade Your Oral Hygiene

Having a bright, full smile isn’t the only reason to take care of your oral health. In fact, did you know that keeping your teeth clean and gums healthy is crucial for overall health?

While visiting us for regular appointments and brushing and flossing each day is an important part of your dental routine, there are other steps you can take to elevate your smile.

1. When you brush your teeth, what part of the mouth do you begin with? Try to make it a habit to begin your brushing routine with the back of your mouth. This is where a lot of debris is often left behind, so it’s important to give this part of your mouth the attention it needs.

2. Use a soft bristled tooth brush. While a medium or hard bristled toothbrush may seem like it cleans better, it can actually do more damage than good. Often, these types of brush heads are too abrasive long-term for your mouth.

3. Add more teeth-friendly foods to your diet. Foods that are raw and coarse are often the best-think celery, pears, carrots or apples. They can help to scrub the surface of your teeth, removing plaque buildup.

4. Most of us know the importance of replacing our toothbrush every three to four months. But when is the last time you’ve cleaned your toothbrush holder? A study by the National Sanitation Foundation determined toothbrush holders to be the third most germy item in the average household. Consider giving this a scrub every time you swap out your toothbrush.

If we haven’t seen you in a while, contact us today to book a visit. We’ll gladly welcome you back into our care!