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urbansmiles

What is a Waterpik WaterFlosser and how does it work?

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The WaterPik WaterFlosser is a flossing device that makes use of water to clean your teeth rather than the usual flossing string. It enables you to floss your teeth with water rather than having to run a string between your teeth.
It is recommended that you do floss your teeth regularly. This is because there are areas in your mouth that the brush does not reach while brushing, these areas may be breeding grounds for bacteria
How does the device work?
The water flosser uses a jet of water that is sent to the teeth at high pressure and from a small outlet. There is pulsation in the flow of water to dislodge any particles that may be stuck between the teeth. The jet of water is aimed at the gumline and between the teeth for effective flossing. As the water hits the areas, plaque, tartar, and food particles are dislodged and removed from the mouth by the flowing water.
According to Dr. Rob Andrew of Urban Smiles Family Dental in Edmonton Canada, the flossing string does not get rid of the plaque at the gum line. It only removes particles between the teeth. Even between the teeth, there are those small particles that do not come out. The only way you can remove the particles with water pressure. Waterpark waterFlosser delivers this pressure.
Research has also shown that flossing with pulsating water is more effective that using a steady stream of water. The device also has different pressure settings that enable the user to vary the pressure to his or her liking.
WaterPik waterFlosser is also more comfortable to use that the string. People who suffer from sensitive teeth may not feel comfortable pulling strings between their teeth. The flosser offers an alternative. Moreover, people who feel too lazy to floss their teeth also find the flosser easy and fast to use.
You should floss your teeth every day, preferably after brushing. Brushing should be done at least twice a day. Dr. Rob Andrew advises that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. If you brush and floss every day, you lower your chances of getting tooth decay and other hygiene related conditions by more than 40 percent.
WaterPik waterFlosser comes in many designs and features. There is the countertop design that comes with corded and cordless options. There is also the flosser and electric toothbrush combined into one.

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What do I do if one of my teeth gets knocked out in an accident or playing a sport?

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You may have your teeth knocked out in a car accident while playing or hitting a stationary object. There is a high likelihood of losing a permanent tooth. However, if you act fast, the situation can be salvaged so that you retain your tooth. Here are some things that you should do.

The dentists usually refer to the broken tooth as avulsed tooth. The tooth usually has its nerve endings and blood vessels damaged. These two cannot be repaired. This is why a root canal procedure is important on the tooth. The bone will attach to the root of your tooth once it has been put back in place by the dentist.

Once you have been hit, avoid touching the root of the tooth ( it is below the gumline) to avoid damaging the area

If the tooth got dirty when hit, hold the crown of the teeth and rinse it with milk. If milk is not available, you can use water. Avoid using fabric or a washcloth as you may cause damage to the crown

Ensure that the tooth is kept moist at all times. It is good that you drop it in a glass of milk or place it between your cheek and the gum. If the patient is a child, tell him or her to spit the tooth in a cup and add some saliva. If that is not possible, use water. The child may not hold the tooth in his or her mouth without swallowing.

What the dentist will do

As explained by Dr. Rob Andrew of Urban Smiles Family Dental, Edmonton Canada, it is important that you see the dentist in about 30 minutes to an hour after the accident for the reinsertion procedure. The root canal procedure is only done if the crown is intact. If the tooth is broken, the dentist will suggest a prosthetic tooth or a bridge. If there is some debris left in the socket, they will be removed at this stage.

Usually, the dentist splints the tooth in place with a composite material and a soft wire. This helps the tooth to remain in place for a few days. If you have broken your jawbone, it may take a little longer to have the tooth healed.

Once the tooth has been fixed, it will be checked after about three to six months for signs of infection. If none is found, you will have a yearly check up

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What Is A Cera Root Dental Implant And How Is It Different From A Regular Implant?

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A Cera Root dental implant made from a ceramic called Zirconia Oxide. It is used to replace soon to be missing teeth, or already missing teeth. Cera Root dental implants are becoming more popular with each passing day due to their advantages over the traditional metal implants, hence the reason why Dr. Andrew & Urban Smiles Family Dental recommends them. Here are some of the things that make them different from regular implants.

  1. Allergies and sensitivities: There is an increasing number of people who suffer from allergies and sensitivities that contraindicate the implantation of metal devices. Many cases of allergies to titanium dental implants develop after long-term exposure to the metal. This means that one can develop allergies or sensitivities in the form of inflammation, redness, itching and discomfort leading to loss of teeth after years. Cera Root implants, on the other hand, hardly cause sensitivities or allergies, hence the reason why many dentists recommend them.
  2. Biocompatibility: As compared to regular implants, Cera Root implants are made from a biocompatible material called Zirconia Oxide. They lead to a firm fixation between the ceramic implant and bone. A study conducted at the University of Minnesota recently confirmed that Cera Root implants have a stronger osseointegration compared to other implants.
  3. Corrosion resistance: Zirconia is an electric and thermal insulator as well as highly resistant to corrosion. These properties make Cera Root implants highly bio-inert, thus ensuring that the surrounding tissues remain healthy after implantation.
  4. Esthetics: As they are white in color, Cera Root implants easily overcome many shortcomings of traditional metal implants. This is particularly important if a patient has thin gums, where implants shine through them and give a gray appearance. The aging process also leads to recession of the gums and if one has metal implants, they may become visible.
  5. Electric insulant: Being a non-electric conductor, Zirconia implants make it hard for bacteria and other foreign materials to adhere to the surface of implants. This makes it easier for patients to avoid bleeding of gums as well as clean and maintain healthy gums.
  6. One-piece design: Traditional implant systems are usually made up of an implant that is placed at bone level as well as an abutment connection that’s connected to the implant by a fixation screw. These multiple parts make it easy for bacteria colonies to grow in between them and induce peri-implant inflammation by releasing toxins. This can sometimes compromise a patient’s immune system due to stress, smoking, allergies, illness or even age. The one-piece design of Cera Root implants eliminates the risk of the above problems.

Urban Smiles Family Dental Staff Writer:

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What Is The Best Over The Counter Medication For Tooth Pain?

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Over the counter drugs are often used in dentistry to treat pain ranging from a number of reasons including discomfort from advanced gum infections and gum disease, discomfort from cracked or broken teeth, pain from abscessed teeth as well as pain from wisdom teeth. Understanding how a particular medication reliefs pain or whether you can take certain drugs is the first step towards ensuring that you choose the right kind of over the counter medication. Some of the best and most effective over the counter medication for tooth pain as recommended by Dr. Andrew & Urban Smiles Family Dental include:

  1. Acetaminophen

This is a popular over the counter medication for toothaches that is particularly helpful to individuals who can’t take ibuprofen. Like with any medication, it’s important that you have a discussion with your dentist or physician because there are drug interactions and side effects that you should know about before taking Acetaminophen. The drug is available in various forms including oral suspension fluids, liquid gel capsules, and tablets.

  1. Ibuprofen

This is the most popular type of pain medication for toothaches that’s available over the counter. It is a non-steroid, anti-inflammatory drug that works great for dental pain, especially since inflammations are directly related to pains and aches. Your dentist can prescribe ibuprofen every six to eight hours as an alternative to narcotic pain reliever. Ibuprofen, or any non-steroid, anti-inflammatory drugs, cannot be used by anyone who has asthma. It is available in oral suspension formulations, liquid gel capsules and tablets.

  1. Ketoprofen

This is another drug classified as a non-steroid, anti-inflammatory medication that can be used to relief toothaches. It is sold both as a generic version and a whole lot of trade names. It has a better effect when it comes to pain relief as compared to ibuprofen, which would explain its higher price tag.

Other over the counter medications that have been known to have a good effect on tooth pain are anesthetic liquids, gels or pastes such as DenTex Stix, Orajel and Anbesol. The problem with these medications is that with these medications, the effect doesn’t last very long. It’s been said that alternating ibuprofen with codeine can help for the hours in between when the ibuprofen has worn off, especially if one is on a maximum dose. For extreme pain where your gums are swollen and there is stuff oozing out around your tooth, the best thing to is to see a dentist for treatment.

Urban Smiles Family Dental Staff Writer:

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How Should I Clean My Teeth?

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Do you ever notice that sometimes you have a bad breath even though you brush your teeth and floss at least twice a day? The reason is not because you use the wrong brushing or flossing technique. It may in fact be because you don’t clean your tongue properly or at all. The tongue is an important feature of the mouth that makes it possible to articulate speech and eat. We wouldn’t be able to whistle a tune, taste anything, chew, swallow or tell someone about our day without the tongue.

Just as bacteria builds up on and between teeth, and hardens into tartar or plaque if not cleaned, bacteria builds up on the tongue. The surface of the tongue is usually covered by tiny bumps known as papillae. Food particles, bacteria and dead skin cells often collect between the grooves of these bumps and with time, they are covered by a layer of mucus. Trapped between the surface of the tongue and mucus, these bacteria can lead to bad breath and discoloration of the tongue, hence the importance of cleaning it. But how should you go about it?

There are two main ways to properly clean your tongue as recommended by Dr. Andrew & Urban Smiles Family Dental i.e. scraping and brushing. The latter involves gently scrubbing the surface of your tongue back and forth with a moistened toothbrush. This can be achieved effectively by spitting out excess toothpaste after brushing your teeth but before rinsing your mouth. Scrub your tongue with your toothbrush that still has some toothpaste residue. Also scrub the cheeks as well as the roof of your mouth before rinsing to get an all round clean.

A tongue scraper offers an alternative solution to keeping your tongue clean and avoiding bad breath. It is available in many drug stores and is designed to glide along the surface of the tongue and take off the layer of mucus as well as any debris or bacteria it traps. For effective use, stick your tongue out and place the scraper at the back of the tongue and slide it down towards the tip. Rinse the scraper and repeat the process, ensuring that you move from the back to the tip to prevent accidental ingestion of the debris and bacteria. Rinse the scraper thoroughly then brush and floss your teeth once done.

Cleaning your tongue is something that should be part of your daily dental health routine. With opportunities for bacteria and food particles to build up on your tongue on a daily basis, the importance of cleaning your tongue every day cannot be stressed enough.

Urban Smiles Family Dental Staff Writer:

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What Should I Do If I’ve lost All My Back Teeth?

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Many adults have one or two or more missing teeth. Some even miss all of their back teeth. The posterior teeth play a vital role in chewing. They also affect overall bite and help ease the excessive pressure on the front teeth brought about by eating. As such, they have an incredibly crucial role in the oral cavity. According to Dr. Andrew and Urban Smiles Family Dental, losing your back teeth can have a series of negative consequences even on the remaining teeth, ligaments, jaw muscles, joints and gums. Such include:

  • Decrease in chewing efficiency
  • Loss of the alveolar jaw bone as well as reduced residual bony ridges
  • Painful dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint, which plays a vital role in connecting the skull with the lower jaw
  • Rotation, tipping as well as migration of the adjacent teeth
  • Extrusion of unopposed teeth

With such risks, you’d think that people would place an urgency on replacing lost back teeth as compared to the front teeth. Due to their exposure, many people prefer to replace their lost front teeth and assume that since no one can see the posterior, there is hardly any need to replace them. However, from a dental point of view, it is important that you consider replacing them at least for the loss of function created by their absence if not aesthetics.

It’s also important to note that just because posterior teeth are out of view, losing one or more of them won’t change your appearance with time. A good example of an effect of losing back teeth is that the facial height reduces and this becomes incredibly visible after a while. Unfortunately, that is not the worst you will experience after losing back teeth. Some of the consequences mentioned above, say for instance shifting of teeth, can set off a chain of reactions that eventually weaken the overall dental system. With a back tooth missing, the adjacent teeth shift at an accelerated rate and if they shift too much, they can become worthless with time. Shifting of the teeth can also change the relationship of how the teeth and jaw are attached, increasing the risk of periodontal disease.

Replacement can help curb some of the above consequences. Professional dentists like Dr. Andrew recognize implants as an effective way of replacing missing posterior teeth. Some of the obvious benefits include their ability to contribute to the bite, easy to clean, free standing restoration and the fact that the restoration process doesn’t affect the adjacent teeth. Bridgework and removable partial denture are also effective solutions for curbing the effects of missing back teeth.

Urban Smiles Family Dental Staff Writer:

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Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Brush My Teeth?

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Noticing that your gums bleed when you brush your teeth can be an alarming discovery. The main question you’ll be asking when that happens is why? Why are your gums bleeding when you brush your teeth? There are many reasons why gums bleed, some of which are temporary while others are a cause for concern. It’s important that you make an appointment with Dr. Andrew & Urban Smiles Family Dental to figure out if any of the following are the causes for gum bleeding.

  1. Gingivitis

This is usually the first stage of gum disease. It occurs when plaque at the gumline and on your teeth isn’t removed by flossing or brushing infects the gums, leading to the symptoms of gingivitis. Examples of symptoms experienced include swollen gums that become too tender and bleed during brushing. This stage responds well to regular dental checkups and good flossing and/or brushing habits.

  1. New flossing routine

Not many people know this, but altering your normal flossing routine to a new can lead to bleeding gums. For instance, if you have started flossing more frequently to remove plaque from between your teeth or haven’t remembered to floss in a few days, you may start to notice some bleeding when you brush your teeth. This should clear up within a few days when your new flossing routine regularizes.

  1. Medications

According to the American Dental Association, some thinning medications are a common cause of bleeding gums. Such medications usually reduce the ability of blood to clot, thus making bleeding easier. It’s important that you let your dentist know everything about any medications you may be on as well as your experience using them.

  1. New toothbrush

Of course, a change in toothbrush especially from one with soft bristles to one with rough bristles, can lead to bleeding gums. If that’s the case, consider reverting back to a toothbrush with softer bristles. You should also consider talking to your dentist for recommendations on what you should use.

  1. Pregnancy gingivitis

It is not uncommon for pregnant women to experience swollen gums and bleeding when brushing their teeth. This condition is clinically referred to as pregnancy gingivitis. This occurs due to hormonal changes during pregnancy that alter the response of the body to bacteria that causes gum disease. The symptoms often clear up after pregnancy, according to the American Dental Association. Regular brushing and flossing as well as dental checkups can help prevent the symptoms from becoming worse.

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Is your Child at Risk of Tooth Decay?

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If you have experienced a decayed tooth, you can begin to imagine how uncomfortable it would be for a kid. Unfortunately, tooth decay plagues many children that it should largely due to their sweet tooth. Sodas, candy, chocolate and other sweet bites loved by children are the source of tooth trouble.

How does it happen?

The mouth has naturally occurring bacteria. When you eat food containing sugar and starch like soda, candy or sweets, some of it sticks on the teeth and gums. When bacteria feed on these sugars, acid is produced. This acid eats into the tooth enamel over time, making a cavity.

An appearance of a white spot on the tooth is a sign that the enamel has worn away and weakened. Dr. Rob Andrew says at this point the decay can be reversed. Saliva contains minerals such as calcium and phosphate, and also fluoride from toothpaste. The tooth enamel can gradually build up again over time with good dental hygiene. If this is not done, a cavity develops which can only be remedied by filling.

Preventing tooth decay

The best fight against tooth decay is good dental hygiene. The mineral Fluoride, commonly found in toothpaste, is the best defense against tooth decay. It can stop and reverse decay. It replaces minerals lost and weakens acid producing bacteria. Apart from toothpaste, the Urban Smiles Family Dental clinic says that fluoride is in other sources;

  • Fluorinated water from water wells. However, this should be taken with care as water containing excessive fluoride can stain the teeth leading to brown teeth.
  • Fluoride gels and varnish that can be applied on the teeth
  • Mouth rinse containing fluoride

Brushing

Proper and regular brushing of the teeth with toothpaste is the best way of getting rid of leftover food particles sticking to the teeth and gums. Children should be assisted and taught how to brush teeth until they are about 7 or 8 years of age.

Visiting to the dentists

Regular dental checkups can identify any sign of tooth decay and remedy any damage. If a child has decay on the permanent teeth, filling could be considered.  The dentist can also apply a sealant on the molars and pre-molars to avoid food being trapped in the ridges.

Reducing sugary foods

Eating of Candy, soda, biscuits and other sweet snacks should be reduced.  Encourage your child to eat these foods after meals and then brush his/her teeth immediately afterwards.

Urban Smiles Family Dental

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What you Should Know about Mouth Cancer

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Mouth cancer is one of the less known types of cancer as it usually attacks people over the age of 40. However, the disease is increasingly being seen in people under this age particularly tobacco users. Mouth cancer will more likely kill a victim than say cervical cancer because many people are not aware they have it until it is too late.

What causes mouth cancer

Mouth cancer has been linked to alcohol and tobacco use in many cases. It is more prevalent in communities that have a culture of chewing tobacco. Users of gutkha, paan, and betel quid have been the largest segment of mouth cancer victims.  Smoking tobacco is also a risk factor.

The disease has also been linked to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). This virus often attacks the cervical lining in women. However, it is being linked to mouth cancer in individuals who practice oral sex.

People who are over 40 years and fit the risk profiles are more susceptible to mouth cancer than those in the lower ages.

Signs and symptoms

Mouth cancer can attack any part of the mouth including lips, tongue, throat, sinuses, pharynx and larynx. Dr. Rob Andrew says some of the early symptoms are;

  • Red or white lesions in the mouth or on the lips
  • Swellings, lumps, sores and thick patches in any part of the mouth or the throat.
  • Difficulty and discomfort when speaking, chewing, swallowing and when moving the jaw.
  • Feeling like there is a lump in the throat
  • Prolonged sore throat
  • Pain, numbness or tenderness in any part of the mouth even on the tongue.
  • Loss of teeth with no visible reason.

Early detection

The Urban Smiles Family Dental clinic recommends regular dental check-ups to identify any signs of trouble. As well as checking on the health of the teeth and gums, the dentist is able to observe any anomalies on other parts of the mouth including the tongue and lips.

If detected, treatment for mouth cancer will require surgery which will be followed by chemotherapy and radiation. Early detection is the best defense against the disease.

Can it be prevented?

Like other cancers, mouth cancer will be triggered by favourable conditions like presence of toxins from tobacco and alcohol. Reduction or kicking away chewing and smoking tobacco can reduce the risks of developing the disease.

Good oral hygiene for people who use tobacco and alcohol is also recommended. Proper brushing and flossing should be done. Regular visits to the dentist can also help detect any danger signs.

Urban Smiles Family Dental

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What is the Importance of Dental Flossing?

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The definition of proper dental hygiene stops at brushing teeth for many people. While it is effective at getting rid of most of the food debris left in the mouth, there is still a substantial amount that is left behind. Brushing cleans only two surfaces; the top and outer surfaces. The tooth has five surfaces which means three surfaces are left untouched by brushing.

Dr. Rob Andrew says that flossing is the best option for effective cleaning between the teeth. While antibacterial mouthwash can kill bacteria between the teeth, it does not clean remove the hard coating (tartar) that can build up on teeth surfaces when food particles are cleaned off properly.

Decay prevention

Tooth decay has been observed even in people who brush regularly. This is because the unreached plaque between the teeth encourages growth of acid producing bacteria, and this acid attacks the teeth enamel. For people who brush but not floss, tooth decay has been seen to originate between the teeth.

Tartar can also build up at the point where the tooth meets the gum. If this is not scraped off or removed by flossing, it can lead to swelling of the gum which is also called gingivitis. When this condition goes unchecked, the tartar can get under the gum and can lead to periodontitis.  At severe stages, this leads to infection, tooth and jaw bone loss.

The Urban Smiles Family Dental clinic observes that flossing can also prevent onset of other diseases that come about due to the presence of harmful bacteria in the mouth. It has been seen that people who suffer from periodontitis are also at risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and respiratory complications.

More effective

When flossing is combined with brushing, dental hygiene is more effective. Flossing removes tartar between the teeth allowing fluoride in the toothpaste to reach more surface of the tooth. This allows the mineral to stop and reverse tooth decay.

More attractive

Flossing makes for a brighter and whiter smile. By combining brushing and flossing you will have teeth that are uniformly clean which makes your smile better. You look more attractive and welcoming.

By keeping your mouth clean, flossing ensures your breath is always fresh. This is important to keep the people around you comfortable.

Save money

By preventing serious mouth medical complications, you avoid spending a lot of money. Treating tooth decay or gum disease will easily cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Avoid this with regular flossing.

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