How to Recover Smoothly After Oral Surgery

You’ve just gone under the knife and probably just regained all your senses. Don’t panic, just let your body work itself out. You may feel pain, it’s normal. Below are some common questions people have after oral surgery.

How do I keep my mouth clean after surgery?

Do not rinse your mouth or brush your teeth for the first 8 hours after surgery. After that, rinse gently with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8oz of warm water) every 4 hours. Brush your teeth gently, but avoid the area of surgery.

How long does the swelling last and what can I do to ease the pain?

Swelling after surgery is a normal body reaction. So don’t panic! It reaches its maximum about 48 hours after surgery and usually lasts roughly 4 to 6 days. Applying ice packs over the area of surgery for the first 12 hours helps control swelling and may help the area to be more comfortable.

How much bleeding after oral surgery is normal?

Some blood will ooze from the area of surgery and is completely normal. You may find a blood stain on your pillow in the morning, so it is advisable to use an old pillowcase the first night.

Do not spit or suck thick fluids through a straw, because this promotes bleeding. If bleeding begins again, place a small gauze pack directly over the tooth socket and bite firmly for 60 minutes. If you don’t have any, an unused tea bag is an excellent alternative. Keep your head elevated with several pillows or sit in a lounge chair.

Should I be worried about the bruising?

Mild bruising in the area of your surgery is a normal response in some people and should not be a cause for alarm. It will disappear in seven to 14 days.

What kinds of post-off problems should I call the office after my oral surgery?

  • You experience excessive discomfort that you cannot control with your pain pills.
  • You have bleeding that you cannot control by biting on gauze.
  • You have increased swelling after the third day following your surgery.
  • You feel that you have a fever.
  • You have any questions.

When in doubt, just give our friendly New Westminster Dentist a call. We’ll be happy to ease your mind!

My jaw is stiff after the oral surgery, is it normal?

After surgery you may experience jaw muscle stiffness and limited opening of your mouth, This is normal and will improve in five to ten days.

Can I smoke after oral surgery?

Recent studies have indicated that tobacco smoke delays soft tissue healing! The toxic constituents of cigarette smoke—particularly nicotine, carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide—suggest potential mechanisms that may undermine timely healing;

  • Smoking causes blood vessels to tighten up. This decreases blood flow to the healing area. With less blood, its harder for damaged tissues to get the nutrients and oxygen they need to heal properly.
  • Smoking decreases the level of oxygen in the blood. Healing tissues need plenty of oxygen, but they don’t get if you’re a smoker.
  • Smoking decreases the formation of collagen. Collagen is the main protein in connective tissue that is needed for a wound to heal properly.
  • Smoking increases scar tissue formation. By limiting the migration of fibroblasts – the most common type of cell found in connective tissue – to the wounded area. This leads to an accumulation of these cells at the edge of the wound.
  • Smoking increases the level of hydrogen cyanide in the bloodstream. This makes it harder for chemicals in the body to transport oxygen from cell to cell – an action that is necessary for healing.

If you have further questions that we didn’t address in this article, please call Sapperton Dental in New Westminster and we’ll be happy to address your question.

new westminster stained teeth

Cosmetic Dentist Addresses Stained Teeth

A very common cause of tooth discoloration is a childhood injury called a pulpal bleed or bruise of the tooth due to force or trauma. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the tooth is non-vital. An evaluation by a New Westminster Cosmetic Dentist is recommended for a definitive diagnosis.

Your teeth can become discolored by stains on the surface or by changes inside the tooth. There are three main types of tooth discoloration:

Extrinsic — This occurs when the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) is stained. Coffee, wine, cola or other drinks or foods can stain teeth. Smoking also causes extrinsic stains.

Intrinsic — This is when the inner structure of the tooth (the dentin) darkens or gets a yellow tint. You can get this type of discoloration if:

  1. You had too much exposure to fluoride during early childhood.
  2. Your mother used tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy.
  3. You used tetracycline antibiotics when you were 8 years old or younger.
  4. You had trauma that affected a tooth when you were a young child. A fall, for example, may damage the developing permanent tooth.
  5. You had trauma in a permanent tooth, and internal bleeding discolored the tooth.
  6. You were born with a rare condition called dentinogenesis imperfecta. This causes gray, amber or purple discolorations.

vancouver seniors yellow teeth

Age-related — This is a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Dentin naturally yellows over time. The enamel that covers the teeth gets thinner with age, which allows the dentin to show through. Foods and smoking also can stain teeth as people get older. Finally, chips or other injuries can discolor a tooth, especially when the pulp has been damaged.

Symptoms

Symptoms include stains on the enamel. They can range from white streaks to yellow tints or brown spots and pits. If the enamel has worn away, and dentin is showing through, you may notice a yellow tint.

Diagnosis

No special tests are needed. Our New Westminster Dentists can diagnose tooth discoloration by looking at the teeth.

Expected Duration

Some tooth discoloration can be removed with professional cleaning. An example would be the stains caused by coffee. Many stains are permanent, however. Teeth sometimes can be whitened with a bleaching gel. In some cases, if the discoloration is severe, a crown or veneer may be required to cover it.

Prevention

Brushing your teeth after every meal will help to prevent some stains. Our Dentists at Sapperton Dental in New Westminster recommend that you rinse your mouth with water after having wine, coffee or other drinks or foods that can stain your teeth. Regular cleanings by a dental hygienist also will help to remove surface stains.

Intrinsic stains that are caused by damage to a nerve or blood vessel in a tooth sometimes can be prevented. You may need to have root canal treatment to remove the inner part of the tooth (the pulp) before it has a chance to decay and darken. However, teeth that have root canal treatment may darken anyway.

To prevent intrinsic stains in children, avoid too much early exposure to fluorides. Once the enamel is formed, fluoride will not discolor teeth.

Treatment

vancouver bleaching gel

Many extrinsic stains caused by food and drink can be removed by regular professional cleanings and home care. Good home care includes brushing, flossing and rinsing after meals.

It’s also possible to remove discoloration at home. You will use a bleaching gel and a mouth guard given to you by our dentist. The bleaching gels designed for use at home aren’t as strong as those applied by our dentist. This means that the process takes longer — usually two to four weeks.

You also can buy whitening products over the counter. They contain a weaker bleach than the products you can get from our dentist. The whitening agent is applied as a gel placed in a mouthpiece or as a strip that sticks to your teeth. Over-the-counter mouthpieces fit less securely than the kind you get from our dentist, but they will lighten your teeth over time.

Whitening toothpaste may remove minor stains. They do not actually change the overall color of your teeth.

If your tooth has darkened after a root canal, bleaching the enamel won’t help. Our dentist can apply a bleaching material to the inside of the tooth, or you may consider a crown or veneer.

Bleaching will not lighten some stains, such as tetracycline stains. In this case, our dentist may recommend covering the discolored areas. This also may be useful when the tooth is chipped or badly damaged.

A tooth can be covered with a color-matched composite bonding material. Another option is to get veneers. These are thin ceramic shells that cover the outer surfaces of the teeth.

When To Call a Professional

Tooth discoloration is mainly a cosmetic dental problem. Visit one of our Dentist in New Westminster, BC if you’re unhappy with how your teeth look. Any change in a child’s normal tooth color should be evaluated by a dentist.

Prognosis

The prognosis is very good for extrinsic stains. Intrinsic stains may be more difficult or take longer to remove.

How Can I Prevent Teeth Discoloration?

By making a few simple lifestyle changes, you may be able to prevent teeth discoloration. For example, if you are a coffee drinker and/or smoker, consider cutting back or quitting altogether. Also, improve your dental hygiene by brushing, flossing, and using a mouthwash daily, and getting your teeth cleaned at a New Westminster Dental Office every 6 months.

new westminster family dentist

New Westminster Family Dentist Answers Questions from Parents

Your children’s teeth might be small, but they are important. Following good dental practices as a child is the only way to ensure your children’s dental care routine lasts into their adult years. However, knowing exactly what to do sometimes can be difficult. Parents generally have lots of questions when it comes to their children’s oral hygiene needs.

Just in case you are too nervous or embarrassed to ask, we’ve listed the top questions parents have asked our family dentist about their kids’ teeth.

When should my child see the dentist for the first time?

This is probably the most common question our family dentists hear on a day-to-day basis. The most common time to bring your child to see a dentist is when his or her first tooth erupts. It’s important to create regular dental habits as early as possible.

What should I expect from my child’s first dental visit?

Typically, on a child’s first visit to our Sapperton Dental Office on Columbia Street, the minimum goal is to complete an examination and apply a fluoride varnish. We also work on getting your child to feel comfortable sitting in the dentist’s chair and with the overall process.

Should my child get braces?

vancouver dentist braces

It seems like almost every kid these days has dental braces, and if yours doesn’t, you’re likely wondering if there is some sort of requirement. Fortunately enough, you’re not required to get braces for your child. But if you’re worried his or her teeth aren’t growing in correctly, it might be time for to drop by our New Westminster Dental Office for a consultation.

Do baby teeth really matter if they’re just going to fall out eventually?

This question makes a lot of sense. What’s the point of putting a ton of effort into taking care of baby teeth when they’re just going to fall out? However, baby teeth matter just as much as adult teeth because they pave the way for adult teeth. The way you take care of your child’s baby teeth can have a long-lasting impact on their adult teeth.

Should you brush your child’s teeth?

In short, yes! As explained in the previous question, baby teeth are important and taking care of them encourages good dental habits in your child’s life that will last a lifetime.

How should I brush my child’s teeth?


Your child needs to brush his teeth twice a day, in the morning and after dinner. Ensure that he/she is brushing the inside and outside surfaces thoroughly to dislodge any bacteria. Squirt a small amount of toothpaste onto a soft, children’s toothbrush and begin brushing in a small circular pattern. Children 2 years old and younger only need a small amount of toothpaste, similar to the size of a grain of rice. Children between the age of 2 and 4 years old only need an amount of toothpaste equal to the size of a pea. While children who are 5 years old and older can use the equivalent of the size of a bean

When is it okay to let my child start brushing on his own?

Unfortunately, there is no set age when your child will have the skills to brush his teeth on his own. Each child is different. However, it’s a good idea to allow your child to begin brushing his teeth as soon as he is willing. Of course, you’ll want to stand by and watch to ensure he is doing it properly. As a good rule of measure, your child will probably need assistance brushing his teeth until he is around 6 years old or so.

What should I do if my child doesn’t want to brush?

As a parent, you are well aware that it’s hard to get your child to do anything he doesn’t want to. If your child avoids brushing his teeth like the plague, get creative. Make brushing time more of an event than a duty. Let them know that children’s dental practices can be fun. Consider making it a family practice, where you all do it together, or consider purchasing him a toothbrush with his favorite character on it.

Are Dental X-Rays safe for my child?

X-rays are a normal part of every dental visit, but they’re also exposure to radiation, which makes this question a completely valid concern. However, the risk associated with this very small amount of radiation is non-existent.

Should you consider sedation dentistry for your child?

Sometimes children are incredibly anxious and afraid of going to the dentist. This is called dental phobia or anxiety, and many adults suffer from it as well. Sedation dentistry is definitely an option to calm your child’s nerves, but be sure to consult with your family dentist first.

How can you change your child’s diet with oral health in mind?

The way we eat greatly affects our oral health, and the same is more true for your children. To encourage healthy dental habits, make sure your child eats a healthy, balanced diet. Limit their sugar and starch intake, as these substances most commonly encourage tooth decay.

And always remind your child to rinse their mouth after a meal or drink.

What should you do if your child has a toothache?

Children get bumps and bruises all the time, but that doesn’t mean you need to see a doctor. However, if your child is complaining of a toothache, you should set up an appointment with our Family Dentist at Sapperton Dental Office as soon as possible. To alleviate the pain until you can see a dentist, give your child acetaminophen. You should also rinse the area with warm salt water.

How can you prevent tooth decay?

As a parent, you want what’s best for your child, so it’s understandable that you want to know the best way to take care of your child’s teeth. One of the best things you can do is to teach regular, healthy dental habits, and lead by example. And, of course, don’t forget to schedule regular dental appointments for cleanings and checkups at Sapperton Dental Office on 301 East Columbia Street #105 New Westminster, British Columbia V3L 3W5.

new westminster dental emergency

New Westminster Dentist Addresses Dental Emergencies

We’ve all been there.

A toothache that wakes you up in the middle of the night. The sudden accident that knocks out a tooth. The crunchy snack that chips a tooth or breaks a filling. Well, maybe we haven’t all experienced accidentally losing a tooth, but we all know it can happen easily and without warning.
Any of these can mean pain, or difficulty with normal activities like eating, drinking, sleeping, even breathing. But, what else do dental emergencies have in common?

Anxiety, worry, concern. It’s normal. Many people don’t know what to do when a dental emergency happens.


  1. Should you rush to the hospital?
  2. Can a lost tooth be saved?
  3. Is it okay to take painkillers?
  4. Is there anything you can or should do while waiting for treatment?

So many questions – but in an emergency, you should know that the first thing you should do is call a dentist. If you don’t have one, please call Sapperton Dental in New Westminster at: (604) 544 0894.

Here are some tips for common dental emergencies:

types of cracked tooth vancouver

  1. For a knocked-out permanent or adult tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preservation product that has the CDA Seal of Acceptance. Then, get to Sapperton Dental Office in New Westminster, BC right away.
  2. For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down.
  3. If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress.
  4. For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.
  5. For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with sharp or pointed instruments.

When you have a dental emergency, it’s important to visit our New Westminster Dental Office on East Columbia Street or an emergency room as soon as possible.

Here are some simple precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to the teeth:

  • Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities.
  • Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth.
  • Use scissors, NEVER your teeth, to cut things.

At Sapperton Dental Clinic, our New Westminster Dentists reserve time in their daily schedules for emergency patients. Call our New Westminster Dental Office at (604) 544 0894 and provide as much detail as possible about your dental emergency.

new westminster dental cleaning

Routine Dental Cleaning with New Westminster Dentist

What happens during a typical dental checkup with Sapperton Dental in New Westminster, BC? Well, let us tell you all about it!

According to the Canadian Dental Association, about 80% of Canadians visit their dentist at least once each year for a regular dental checkup. However many people have little to no idea what is actually happening in their mouth while they’re in the dental chair.

Hearing strange noises and having someone work inside your mouth can understandably cause a lot of stress and anxiety. But not to worry, we’re here to tell you exactly what will be going on from start to finish the next time you visit our Dentist in New Westminster for a routine checkup. After all, the more you know about something, the less scary it seems!

Say hello to our friendly receptionist

new westminster dentist

The first person you’ll meet during your dental appointment is our receptionist – Serena. She makes things flow smoothly around the office, coordinate payments and appointments, and give you your notifications for when you’re supposed to come in next. We have a lot of love for our dental receptionists!

Meeting our Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) in New Westminster

The next person you’ll meet after checking in for your dental appointment, and the person you’ll spend the most time with, is our Certified Dental Assistant aka CDA.

Our New Westminster CDAs are trained dental professionals who take care of routine dental care, such as regular cleanings and assist our New Westminster Dentists in other procedures. They are an integral part of our dental practice in New Westminster, BC and make up a big part of the team that works to keep your oral health at its best.

CDAs provide excellent help with the preparation work and with assisting our dentists during procedures.

You can think of CDAs as the truly unsung heroes at Sapperton Dental in New Westminster!

Your Dental History

Before anything is done inside your mouth, our New Westminster Dentist will need to know about your medical history if this is your first appointment at Sapperton Dental or, if you have been to to our dental practice before, any changes in your health such as new medications, diabetes, arthritis, pregnancy, etc. It is important that our New Westminster Dental Care Team knows about any health concerns, anxieties, or allergies you may have in order to avoid incidents and to make sure you get the kind of care you need.

And when we say that we want you to tell us about any concerns or anxieties you have, we mean it! Don’t be a hero and try to be brave – it’s VERY common to be afraid of the dentist. Sometimes, all a person needs is a little explanation or a little listening to their fears to make things seem a little better.

Dentist Teeth Cleaning

new westminster dentist checkup

Now that you have shared your health concerns, our team of dental professionals can start working inside your mouth. The first thing we will do is give your teeth a thorough cleaning. We start by scraping off built-up plaque and tartar that collects above and below the gum line before flossing between and around every tooth to remove any plaque or food particles that are clinging on.

Our Sapperton Clean Team will also give your teeth a smooth and shiny finish using a tooth polisher with a spinning head and slightly abrasive paste. The polishing will get rid of any residue that was previously missed and will make your teeth smoother so that plaque will not collect as easily on them between visits to the dentist.

Examining the teeth

Now that your pearly whites are squeaky clean, it’s time to have a look at any problem areas in your mouth. A metal probe with a small angled mirror will be used, which will help them see behind and between teeth and gums, as well as check for the softening of tooth enamel and dentin.

Our New Westminster CDAs will also be on the lookout for the swelling of gums in any areas, mouth sores, and redness. Finally, our CDAs will measure your mouth’s periodontal pockets, which are the spaces between the top of the gum line and where the gum tissues firmly attaches to the tooth. Ideally, this pocket should only be between one and three millimeters deep, however deeper pockets can be a sign of gum disease and thus should be closely monitored.

Dental X-Ray

new westminster dental x ray

The last thing to do is take dental x-ray pictures of your mouth so our Dentist in New Westminster, BC can see if there are any issues below the mouth’s surface. This involves biting down on a piece of specially designed plastic while an x-ray imaging machine is placed against your cheek. The resulting image will show the visible parts of your teeth as well as the roots below the gum line and your jaw bones, allowing our dentist to see exactly what is happening in your mouth and assign your oral care as needed.

We want to mention here, our New Westminster Dental Office only recommends digital x-rays, which emit up to 90% less radiation, allow for easy storage, and take less time than traditional machines – which means shorter, more convenient, and safer visits for you!

Dental Exam at Sapperton Dental in New West

The dental exam is different from the initial examination that our CDAs completed as this one is done by our dentist. Our Sapperton Dentists will use your dental x-rays to see if there is any loss of bone, fractures, or any other abnormality below your visible gum line before moving on to look for issues with jaw alignment, teeth grinding, and oral cancer.

Generally, our dentist in New Westminster, BC will feel your jaw bones from outside of your mouth while you bite down to ensure that your bite is smooth, aligned, and there is no clicking or popping from your jaw joints. They will also inspect the grooves of your teeth to see if any of them have been cracked or smoothed down due to grinding or jaw clenching. Finally, our dentist will gently feel behind your jaw and your neck to see if there are any signs of oral cancer.

Once all of this is done, our dentist should have a full understanding of what your oral health needs are, and will be able to prescribe any necessary dental treatments to prevent or treat your issues.

Dental Results & Advice

After the dental exam is complete, our New West Dentist at Sapperton Dental will let you know exactly what is going on in your mouth and will advise you about next steps. Sometimes this involves scheduling another dental appointment at our New West Dental Office for a procedure while other times our New West Dentist will give you advice about what you can do at home to better your oral health. It is extremely important that you listen to this advice and put it into action as best you can to ensure that your next checkup is the best it can be.

Future Dental Appointments

The final step of the routine dental checkup is scheduling your next one for a date four to six months in the future. Scheduling your next appointment right away is the easiest and most effective way to ensure that you don’t forget to have your dental checkup regularly. Even if you are diligent in your personal dental care, there is no better protection against oral issues than having your mouth professionally cleaned and monitored.

Take a trip back to our front desk and once again you’ll be helped out by a smiling and attentive dental receptionist. And, as always, if you have any questions or concerns about any part of your dental visit or your upcoming scheduled visits, make sure to let her know. Trust us, she doesn’t bite. We’re very strict about that sort of thing.

To schedule a routine dental cleaning with Sapperton Dental Clinic in New Westminster, BC please call (604) 544 0894 or visit our New Westminster Dental Office at 301 East Columbia Street #105 New Westminster, British Columbia V3L 3W5. We accept walk-ins and dental emergencies!

new westminster dentist cavities

New Westminster Dentist Addresses Food that Cause Cavities

They say you are what you eat. And in no better place can that be seen than in your teeth. That’s because many foods and beverages can cause plaque, which does serious damage your teeth. Plaque is a bacteria-filled sticky film that contributes to gum disease and tooth decay. After you eat a sugary snack or meal, the sugars cause the bacteria to release acids that attack tooth’s enamel. When the enamel breaks down, cavities can develop.

Cavities are the most common chronic disease faced by people aged six to 19 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They cause complications like pain, chewing problems, and tooth abscesses. And if you don’t brush or floss your teeth, your plaque will harden and turn into tartar. Tartar above the gums can lead to gingivitis, an early form of gum disease.

How can you prevent plaque from wreaking havoc on your mouth? Besides brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing and visiting your friendly New Westminster Dentist regularly, try to avoid or limit the foods below.

So what foods should you avoid in order to keep your tooth enamel nice and strong? In general, you should stay away from food and drinks that are acidic, high in sugar and starch, and sticky.

The following items are particularly damaging:

1. Soda

burnaby dental sodaDrinking carbonated sugary drinks is perhaps one of the worst things you can do to your teeth. Fizzy drinks essentially coat your entire mouth with tooth-decaying acid. One study even found sugar-filled soda could be as bad for your teeth as using methamphetamine and crack cocaine! Keep your soda intake to a minimum, and when you do indulge, make sure to wait at least 20 minutes before brushing your teeth afterward.

2. Sour Candy

burnaby sour candyAll types of candy are tough on your teeth, but sour candy, in particular, is especially damaging. Not only do sour candies contain a unique type of acid that eats away at your enamel, they also tend to be chewy and will stick to your teeth for a longer time, so they’re more likely to cause decay. If you’re craving sweets, grab a square of chocolate instead, which you can chew quickly and wash away easily.

3. Bread

burnaby dental breadThink twice as you walk down the supermarket bread aisle. When you chew bread, your saliva breaks down the starches into sugar. Now transformed into a gummy paste-like substance, the bread sticks to the crevices between teeth. And that can cause cavities. When you’re craving some carbs, aim for less-refined varieties like whole wheat. These contain less added sugars and aren’t as easily broken down.

4. Citrus Fruits

burnaby citrus fruitsIt’s true citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are delicious and packed with healthy vitamins. Unfortunately, they’re also full of acid that will erode your tooth enamel. To combat this acidity, eat citrus fruits in moderation and make sure to rinse your mouth out with water after you’re done.

5. Alcohol

burnaby dental alcoholWe all know that drinking alcohol isn’t exactly healthy. But did you realize that when you drink, you dry out your mouth? A dry mouth lacks saliva, which we need to keep our teeth healthy. Saliva prevents food from sticking to your teeth and washes away food particles. It even helps repair early signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral infections. To help keep your mouth hydrated, drink plenty of water and use fluoride rinses and oral hydration solutions.

6. Ice

burnaby denta lceAll it contains is water, so it’s fine to chew ice, right? Not so, according to the Canadian Dental Association. Chewing on a hard substance can damage enamel and make you susceptible to dental emergencies such as chipped, cracked, or broken teeth, or loosened crowns. You can use your ice to chill beverages, but don’t chew on it. To resist the urge, opt for chilled water or drinks without ice.

7. Potato Chips

burnaby potato chipsThe crunch of a potato chip is eternally satisfying to many of us. Unfortunately, they’re loaded with starch, which becomes sugar that can get trapped in and between the teeth and feed the bacteria in the plaque. Since we rarely have just one, the acid production from the chips lingers and lasts awhile. After you’ve gorged on a bag, floss to remove the trapped particles.

8. Dried Fruits

burnaby dried fruitsYou likely assume that dried fruits are a healthy snack. That may be true, but many dried fruits — apricots, prunes, figs, and raisins, to name a few — are sticky. They get stuck and cling in the teeth and their crevices, leaving behind lots of sugar. If you do like to eat dried fruits, make sure you rinse your mouth with water, and then brush and floss after. And because they’re less concentrated with sugar, it is a better choice to eat the fresh versions instead!

I hope this article helped clear up any misconceptions about the types of food and how they may affect your overall oral health. Feel free to give Sapperton Dental Clinic in New Westminster a call if you have any questions regarding dental cavities or this article.  Or if you’re in the New Westminster neighborhood, drop by our Dental Office located at 301 East Columbia Street #105.

new westminster electric toothbrush

Why Dentists Recommend Electric Toothbrush Over a Manual Toothbrush

Many patients don’t realize just how important it is to use the right toothbrush. They typically rely on the sample they get after their 6-month dental visit or pick up a cheap option at their local grocery store. To them, all toothbrushes are basically the same, and they don’t see a reason to invest in an electric version.

While using a manual brush is, of course, better than nothing, many dentists in New Westminster, BC want their patients to make the switch to electric. These brushes help ensure patients get their mouths as clean as possible—reducing their cavity risk and the likelihood they’ll develop gingivitis.

Either kind of brush is fine, but you are more likely to spend the right amount of time brushing—two to three minutes—when you’re using an electric toothbrush, says Dr. Sandeep Sachdeva, a dentist at Sapperton Dental in New Westmisnter, BC. (Manual brushers average less than one minute.)

The Key to a Lifelong, Healthy Smile

New Westminster Dentists agree that regular tooth brushing (no matter how high tech or low tech the gadget) and flossing can help prevent tooth decay.

As a general rule, our New Westminster dental clinic recommends that children up to age 7 have adult supervision while brushing. This is to make sure kids completely clean all surfaces of their teeth, even hard-to-reach places where plaque often accumulates, such as the back molars or the lower bottom teeth next to the tongue.

The CDA has more suggestions for parents to help their kids develop good dental habits:

  • Take your child to see the dentist regularly. Schedule a visit to the dentist within six months of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than the child’s first birthday.
  • Encourage children to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
  • Start brushing the child’s teeth with water as soon as the first tooth appears. A pea-sized amount of toothpaste can be used after age 2, when the child can spit it out.
  • Watch how your child eats. It’s better to eat regular meals and fewer sugary snacks.
  • Make certain your child gets the right amount of fluoride needed for decay-resistant teeth. Ask your dentist how this can be done.
  • Ask your dentist about dental sealant, a thin protective barrier that shields the chewing surface of back teeth from tooth decay.

Whichever you use, choose one with soft bristles. Others may be too abrasive and could lead to receding gums. No matter what kind of brush you choose, be sure to floss daily.

What causes receding gums, and what can be done about them?

surrey dentist toothbrush

Overzealous toothbrushing. Brushing too hard around the gum line, or just brushing with bristles that are too hard, can erode gums.

There are 2 main causes:

  1. Teeth grinding (a.k.a. bruxism). Some people grind so hard that the pressure accelerates gum erosion. In many cases, your dentist can shave down a tooth that is causing your bite to hit against another tooth. In other cases, you may need to get a customized mouth guard to wear at night (when most grinding and clenching occurs) to prevent further damage.
  2. Gum disease. This is an infection of the gums that occurs when bacteria become lodged between the tooth and the gum. The bacteria eventually eat away at the bone and the supporting tissues at the base of the tooth. As the bone recedes, so does the surrounding gum tissue.

What to do? Depending on the cause and the severity of the problem, a dentist may recommend anything from a deep cleaning of the teeth and gums to a gum graft, a procedure in which tissue is taken from the top of the mouth and grafted onto the gums, where it takes hold over the course of four to six weeks.

What is the best kind of toothpaste to use?

types of toothpaste in surrey

At a minimum, purchase a toothpaste that carries the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) seal of acceptance, which means that it has been independently tested, lives up to any label claims, and contains fluoride, a mineral that keeps tooth enamel strong and prevents tooth decay.

If you have sensitive teeth, toothpaste labeled for this can help lessen pain. These products contain minerals, like strontium chloride and potassium nitrate, that block the tiny tubules in teeth that lead to the nerves. You generally need to use the toothpaste for several weeks to feel an improvement, as the mineral needs to accumulate over time.

If your dentist says you have excess tartar (which can lead to tooth decay), look for a tartar-control toothpaste containing pyrophosphate, which can help reduce the buildup. Some new formulas boast the antibacterial ingredient triclosan, which is often found in liquid hand washes and can help cut down on gingivitis, tartar buildup, and bad breath, according to the CDA.

If your teeth look dingy, toothpaste marketed as “whitening” can help brighten your smile. These paste usually contain tiny crystals or mild chemicals that loosen debris and remove minor stains. Those with baking soda work in the same way.

bad breath new westminster

New Westminster Dentist Addresses Bad Breath

Halitosis, or what we commonly refer to as bad breath, affects almost 1 in 3 people– but that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable. Going through life scared your breath is going to cause people to grimace can put a damper on your confidence.

Thankfully, there are a few ways to fight bad breath– and they don’t involve keeping a pack of mints at the ready.

1. Brush And Floss Frequently

The most important method for fighting off bad breath is to brush and floss your teeth daily.

Neglecting to brush and floss gives leftover food particles the permission to linger in your mouth, causing sticky plaque to build up on your teeth. Plaque is full of bacteria notorious for causing bad breath. So it makes sense that limiting plaque will limit bad breath.

Here’s a good rule to follow: brush two times a day for at least two minutes. Similarly, make sure you floss at least once a day, preferably after each meal.

2. Use A Tongue Scraper

If you suffer from bad breath, you may notice your tongue looks white. This white coating is a buildup of bacteria, food debris, and dead cells. An easy way to avoid or get rid of this sour smelling white film is to use a tongue scraper after every meal.

When cleaning your tongue, start at the back of your mouth and move forward. Make sure to clean the top and side surfaces of your tongue, not just the center. Remember, be gentle on yourself! Your tongue should never be sore or bleeding after using a tongue scraper.

You should be able to find a tongue scrapper fairly cheap. You may even find toothbrushes with a built-in tongue scraper behind the head. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference this will make.

3. Drink Lots Of Water

Drinking water throughout the day is a smart practice in and of itself but is especially important for curing or avoiding bad breath.

You see, your mouth needs moisture in order to produce saliva, and a mouth without saliva is a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria. In fact, lack of moisture is the main reasons people experience “morning breath since your mouth produces significantly less saliva while you sleep.

Be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day, and especially when you first wake up, before and after exercising, and right before bed.

Some cases of bad breath are a result of gum disease or tooth decay. If your bad breath continues despite your best efforts, make an appointment with your friendly New Westminster Dentist right away. Pick up the phone and give Sapperton Dental a call at:(604) 544 0894.

water irrigator

Taking Care of Our Teeth: Brushing, Flossing, and More

We all know about brushing and flossing… but what other tools can we use for a healthier, cleaner mouth? This is a great question and while not every dentist, or dental hygienist, may agree on what else is needed to get and keep your gums and teeth healthy I feel you should know about the other oral hygiene tools that are available. That way you can make up your own mind.

First, you must be aware that everyone is different in regard to the state of their oral health and even within one’s mouth there will exist different conditions, requiring different dental tools. Thus, in some parts of your mouth, a toothbrush may be all you will need to keep that part healthy. Yet in another area, you will need to floss regularly to keep it disease free. And in some areas, you will need to use the toothbrush, floss, water irrigator and other unique dental tools to maintain optimal oral health.

But before I get into the various ‘preventive dental tools’ that are available you will need to be aware of the fact that regardless of the tools that are available you must first know why you are using them, what they do, when to use them, how to use them, and be committed to being responsible for your own oral health. As I like to say, ‘it isn’t the brush, it’s the brusher’ and ‘it isn’t the floss, it’s the flosser’! While treatment is something that is done to you, prevention is something that is done by you! So when it comes to achieving and maintaining optimal oral health you, and you alone, will determine how successful you will be – not the tools you use.

How to Know What Tools to Use

If, when you were 6 years old, you learned everything you needed to know about taking care of your teeth and did what you needed to do – the only dental tool you would ever need would be the toothbrush. If you didn’t learn that lesson and later found that you had the early stages of gum disease and some decay, you could add dental floss to the toothbrush and if you knew when and how to use it, those two dental tools would be adequate to keep your gums and teeth healthy. But, if over time you didn’t know what you needed to do, or just got lazy and didn’t do it, and eventually progressed to moderate or advanced gum disease (which a high percentage of the population has) – those two dental tools would no longer be sufficient.

Anyone who has had bone loss and gum recession, or have periodontal (gum) pockets of 4mm or more, will need to add other tools to their dental arsenal – if they want to keep their teeth that is. The key to understanding this is to realize that every dental tool available does something that the others do not. Another way to put it is: the toothbrush doesn’t do what the floss does; floss won’t do what a toothbrush does; and the water irrigator can’t do what the floss and brush do. They all overlap to some degree but make no mistake about it; once your gums deteriorate to the state I mentioned above you will have to use all three of those tools and possibly more – to get and keep your gums healthy.

The Dental Tools

Aside from the toothbrush, floss and water irrigator, there are many preventive dental tools that weren’t available 20 years ago and all have some value in the right situation. I’ll list some of the more common ones.

There isn’t the space to go into each of the above supportive dental tools and if you are interested in them you can search the Internet and ask your dentist and hygienist to explain them to you.

Suffice to say that if you are motivated and have learned how, when and why to use the toothbrush, floss and water irrigator – most people will have no need for other tools.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t give additional support to your oral hygiene program. But the most important thing you can do is to consult with your dental hygienist and learn what preventive tools you’ll need for your own unique oral situation. But remember, if you don’t use them properly, and at the right time, it won’t matter if you have 100 of the best toothbrushes, or 5 superior water irrigators – because your gums won’t get and stay healthy by wishing them to be.

Regardless of the dental tools, you also need the support of your dental professionals, especially if you have, or had more serious gum disease. Your dentist can be of immense value to you in supporting and monitoring your oral hygiene program so don’t forget to enlist his/her support.

There two very important preventive dental tools that I haven’t mentioned and if you take advantage of them your oral hygiene program will have a much better chance of being successful. The first is a good, healthy, natural diet and one that eliminates or reduces refined sugar and refined food consumption. This is a separate topic but the more natural your diet is, the more raw fruits and vegetables it contains the easier it will be to keep your gums and teeth healthy. The second is to supplement your diet with adequate amounts of vitamins and natural supplements. These are big subjects and cannot be adequately dealt with here but supplementing your diet with good multiple vitamins, multiple minerals, and vitamin C is essential.

dental crown new westminster

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Crowns & Bridges

1. Will people be able to tell if I have a dental crown or bridge?

Today’s crowns and bridges are made of natural-looking composite materials that make them virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

2. How Long Will They Last?

Both dental crowns and bridges will last a good long while, though how long depends on a few factors.
Good oral health requires you to brush and floss on a regular basis because oral hygiene should be your number one priority if you want the procedures to last and be effective in the long run.

You also need to avoid eating unhealthy foods that have a hard surface because it might damage the crown or bridge. Avoid sticky foods to prevent decay and your crown or bridge should last from five to fifteen years.

3. How are crowns placed on teeth?

Crown placement is typically completed in two visits. First, we will remove a thin layer of enamel coating and shape the tooth to provide room for the crown. This process allows the crown to be placed without crowding neighboring teeth or creating an uneven bite. Then we make an impression of the teeth, which is sent to an on-site lab where the crowns will be made from the most advanced materials for long-lasting durability.

The dentist will fit a temporary crown, which is crafted from resin, to protect your tooth while the permanent crown is being made. At the second visit, the temporary crown will be removed and the tooth will be carefully cleaned before the permanent crown is applied using a strong adhesive.

4. Some people having Crowns with black, darkened lines in between their gums and teeth. Are they cause by Crown or Bridges?

The newer all porcelain crowns are an esthetic improvement over older, porcelain fused to metal crowns as if the gumline would recede, the older crowns often showed a metal edge to the crown that originally was hidden from view. Since all porcelain crowns have no metal, no markings are evident if the gum line recedes.

5. If having a root canal and it is quite discolored, can Porcelain Crown be the best approach?

If a tooth that requires root canal therapy discolors, it is an indication that the nerve inside the tooth had died and blood pigments have broken down and been absorbed into the calcified tooth structure. By placing an all ceramic porcelain crown on the tooth, it can restore the tooth to match its neighbors.

6. Should I replace my old crowns?

If your crowns are worn down or damaged, give us a call so that we can plan replacements. We may need to remove the crown and provide you with a new temporary crown until your new permanent crowns are complete.

If you’ve had your crowns for several years, you may be troubled by their aesthetics. Older materials used to create crowns were not as natural-looking and lifelike as today’s modern crowns. Metal crowns and porcelain-fused-to-metal may be a giveaway that you’ve had dental work done, and we completely understand that you want your smile to look its best.

We are happy to examine your teeth and provide a recommendation as to whether your crowns should be replaced. Give our Sapperton Dental Clinic in New Westminster, BC a call to schedule your evaluation.

7. Which foods should avoid for not damaging your Bridges?

Patients fitted with dental bridges are advised by dentists to avoid chewing extensively on foods such as raw vegetables, hard candies, and ice. These foods can cause damage to the bridge, which may require replacement if it cannot be repaired.

8. How many types of Dental Bridges?

There are three types of dental bridges:

  1. Traditional Fixed Bridge: A dental bridge is a false tooth, known as a pontic, which is fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth as you might do with removable partial dentures.
  2. Resin Bonded Bridges: The resin bonded bridge is primarily used for your front teeth. Less expensive, this bridge is best used when the abutment teeth are healthy and don’t have large fillings. The false tooth is fused to bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth with a resin which is hidden from view. This type of bridge reduces the amount of preparation on the adjacent teeth.
  3. Cantilever Bridges: In areas of your mouth that are under less stress, such as your front teeth, a cantilever bridge may be used. Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth on only one side of the open space. This procedure involves anchoring the false tooth to one side over one or more natural and adjacent teeth.

9. Which foods should avoid with a temporary dental crown?

Because temporary crowns are made from acrylic, which is less strong than the metal, ceramic or porcelain material of a permanent crown, you must take extra precautions. Limit the amount of chewing you do on the side of your mouth where your temporary crown is located. Avoid chewing on hard candies, nuts and very crunchy fresh vegetables such as carrots on the same side of the mouth as your temporary crown. Until your permanent crown is in place, don’t eat sticky desserts or candy, including caramels, licorice, jelly beans, taffy, toffee and gummy bears, as they could pull the temporary crown off your tooth. Avoid chewing gum for the same reason.

10. Which foods should avoid for permanent dental crowns?

  • Hot foods: Some individuals experience a mild-to-severe sensitivity in and around a crowned tooth when eating hot foods, particularly if they are affected by gum recession. If the problem persists, consult your dentist as the crown’s fit may require adjustment.
  • Cold foods: Although they do not harm your crown, such foods can trigger sensitivity similar to that caused by hot foods if any part of your gum recedes enough to expose the root above a crowned tooth. Your dentist may suggest that you use a toothpaste made especially for sensitive teeth; such toothpaste work by blocking the sensation traveling from the tooth to the nerves.
    Sugary foods: Avoid constant exposure to sugary drinks, candy or gum, keep snacking to a minimum, and brush or rinse your teeth after eating chewy or sticky foods such as dried fruit.

11. How do I care for my crowns and bridges?

It is important to maintain excellent oral hygiene, making sure to brush and floss twice a day. Avoid biting on hard foods like nuts and candy that can potentially fracture the restoration.