What do I do if I have bad breath?
There are various reasons bad breath can arise and often times one isn’t even aware they have it. The good news is there are many solutions to resolve this issue.
- Maintain good oral hygiene habits
- Brushing, flossing and use of mouthwash at least 2x per day will help keep bad breath bacteria at bay, most importantly in the morning after you wake. In addition to brushing your teeth, giving your tongue a good clean will greatly help. Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as 70 percent.
- Keep your mouth hydrated
- Flushing out the bad breath bacteria by swishing water around the mouth will help clear out food deposits and help reduce bacterial growth.
- Saliva production is also important to maintaining good breath. Ensure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dry mouth. Also, crewing gum can help with saliva production. Some medications and medical conditions cause dry mouth so be sure to ask our dentist and hygienist for solutions if you suffer from dry mouth.
- Visit your dentist and hygienist regularly
- Ensuring you see your dentist and hygienist for an exam and hygienic cleaning at least twice per year is key to maintaining good oral health. Periodontal disease may be contributing to your bad breath and seeking treatment is a very important step to keeping your teeth.
- Maintain good oral hygiene habits
How often should you have an exam and hygiene visit?
It is recommended that you have an exam and hygiene cleaning at least twice per year. Regular dental visits are essential to preventing dental and oral health problems before they become big concerns. We are committed to providing you with the best possible care, and our exam and hygiene involves more than just a quick “cleaning and checkup”
- Medical history review: Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight to your overall health and also your dental health.
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs) and intra-oral photos: Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
- Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
- Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for sometime and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
- Teeth polishing: Removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during toothbrushing and scaling.
- Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed (electric dental toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.).
- Review dietary habits: Your eating habits play a very important role in your dental health.
At what age should I start bringing my child to the dentist?
Ideally you will bring your child to the dentist for their 1st visit when they have their 1st tooth or by their 1st birthday. Establishing early dental care for your child will ensure that developmental and oral health are on track.
How can cosmetic dentistry help improve my smile?
If you desire a more beautiful smile you are not alone. Cosmetic dental procedures are among the most popular services we offer. The popularity not only due to the many advances in cosmetic dental procedures and materials available today, but also because patients are becoming more and more focused on improving their overall health. Depending on what you would like to achieve, cosmetic dental treatments can change your smile dramatically, from restoring a single tooth to having a full mouth make-over. Below are some procedures our patients have seen incredible results with and may work well for you!
- Teeth Whitening: Bleaching lightens teeth that have been stained or discoloured by age, food, drink, and smoking. Teeth darkened as a result of injury or taking certain medications can also be bleached, but the effectiveness depends on the degree of staining present.
- Composite (tooth-coloured) Fillings: Also known as “bonding”, composite fillings are now widely used instead of amalgam (silver) fillings to repair teeth with cavities, and also to replace old defective fillings. Tooth-coloured fillings are also used to repair chipped, broken, or discoloured teeth. This type of filling is also very useful to fill in gaps and to protect sensitive, exposed root surfaces caused by gum recession.
- Porcelain Veneers: Veneers are thin custom-made, tooth-coloured shells that are bonded onto the fronts of teeth to create a beautiful individual smile. They can help restore or camouflage damaged, discoloured, poorly shaped, or misaligned teeth. Unlike crowns, veneers require minimal tooth structure to be removed from the surface of the tooth.
- Porcelain Crowns (caps): A crown is a tooth-coloured, custom-made covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. Crowns protect and strengthen teeth that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations. They are ideal for teeth that have large, fractured or broken fillings and also for those that are badly decayed.
- Dental Implants: Dental implants are artificial roots that are surgically placed into the jaw to replace one or more missing teeth. Porcelain crowns, bridges, and dentures can be made specifically to fit and attach to implants, giving a patient a strong, stable, and durable solution to removable dental appliances.
- Orthodontics: Less visible and more effective brackets and wires are making straightening teeth with orthodontics much more appealing to adult patients. Also, in some cases, teeth may be straightened with custom-made, clear, removable aligners that require no braces.
Can you complete a crown in one appointment?
Porcelain crowns serve a restorative purpose and a cosmetic purpose. If the structure of your natural tooth is compromised enough that it jeopardizes the health of your tooth roots, a porcelain crown may be placed on top of the tooth. This will create elegant teeth as well as protect the function of the bite surface. CEREC one appointment crowns are a are a technological innovation that is available at Wentworth Family Dental. We have the technology to design and craft a porcelain restoration that precisely fits your tooth, just as a dental laboratory would. With CEREC one appointment crowns you have no temporary crown, no 2nd or 3rd visit to complete your treatment.
Why straighten my teeth?
In addition to the aesthetically pleasing look of a smile with straight teeth, there are other functional benefits. Straighter teeth perform chewing, biting and speaking functions more effectively and can help resolve jaw pain and TMJ issues. There are several types of malocclusion including overbite, underbite, crossbite, and overcrowding. Each of these alignment problems negatively impacts the functionality and cosmetic appearance of the teeth. Properly aligned teeth will also help with the following;
- Periodontitis: Periodontitis or gum disease begins with a bacterial infection. The bacterial infection is caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Crooked teeth are hard to clean effectively, which means that debris, plaque and bacteria can build up in hard-to-reach areas. Straight teeth are much easier to clean and are at less risk of contracting gum disease.
- Temporomandibular Disorder (TMJ): Crooked teeth can lead to improper jaw alignment, which in turn causes a painful condition known as TMJ. Severe headaches, jaw pain, lockjaw and the grinding of teeth characterize this debilitating disorder.
- Tooth injury: Straight teeth creates a strong wall, which means injuries are less likely to occur. Crooked teeth are weaker and often protrude, making them far more vulnerable to external injury.
- Uneven wear: Crooked teeth cause some of the teeth to work harder than others when biting and chewing. Straight teeth share the workload evenly, meaning less risk of injury and better aesthetics.
Ask us about how Invisalign clear aligners can help you achieve properly aligned teeth!
What can be done about old discoloured or silver fillings?
Older fillings and restorations can not only look unsightly but may also be breaking down and defective. When a filling is old, the margins (space between the tooth and filling) may eventually open and allow bacteria and food debris to enter, potentially causing dental decay.
We check your fillings and evaluate if they are defective and need replacement during your new patient exam and at each regular dental exam. If you simply want to replace fillings that are unattractive, we can assist you in deciding which ones should be replaced first and what replacement options would best suit you. Some options you have are;
- Composite (bonding) fillings: These are tooth-coloured fillings that can be closely matched to the colour of your existing teeth. They are particularly well suited for use in front teeth or visible parts of teeth and are one of the best ways to improve the health and beauty of your smile.
- Crowns (Caps): These types of restoration are used when a tooth is too damaged and cannot be repaired with a filling or other type of restoration. A crown is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens the remaining tooth structure and can be made of gold, porcelain, and other tooth-coloured materials.
- Inlays/Onlays: These restorations are custom made fillings. They can be made of composite resin, porcelain or gold and are made by a dental laboratory and placed by a dentist. Inlays/onlays are usually best for the posterior chewing surfaces of teeth and are utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective/unattractive fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma.
- Porcelain veneers: Used primarily in the front teeth, veneers are very thin shells of tooth-shaped porcelain that are individually crafted and permanently cemented to the front surface of teeth. They are a great solution for fixing discoloured, pitted, shipped, malformed, or slightly crooked teeth. Veneers are also used if you have unwanted spaces. Veneers are very durable, natural looking, and do not stain. This makes veneers a very popular solution for restoring a smile impaired by old, unattractive fillings.