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Here are some dental care truths and myths for you to consider.

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It seems like we’ve heard every crazy idea there is about how to take care of your teeth and how to fix them. But the most lethal ones are seldom that extreme. A lot of false beliefs about dentistry are unfortunately common.

The sensitivity of teeth differs among Edmontonian’s. Some individuals have very sensitive teeth, while others just have receded gumlines, exposing tooth roots and causing discomfort. While dental decay may induce sensitivity, it is not always to blame.

More sugar results in more cavities.

Brush your teeth if your gums are bleeding.

The rationale behind this misleading notion is that bleeding gums should be brushed after they have healed, whereas in reality, gums bleed because they haven’t been brushed enough! This is due to gum irritation caused by bacteria growth around and under the gum line. If your gums are bleeding, you have gingivitis or, worse, severe gum disease, and you should visit your dentist as soon as possible.

Cavities are indicated by sensitive teeth.

Bleaching might cause tooth damage or weakening.

Bleaching has no effect on tooth health, integrity, or strength. Teeth whitening, in reality, only affects the colour of teeth by eliminating tooth pigmentation. Some individuals may have sensitive teeth or moderate gum irritation after bleaching, but symptoms are just transient and do not signal any damage.

Putting aspirin on your teeth may relieve dental pain.

In no circumstances should you proceed in this manner. However, aspirin is only effective when absorbed into the circulation, thus taking it orally will not have any impact. Even worse, Dr. Rob Andrew cautions that aspirin’s interaction with the gums may aggravate existing discomfort and even cause burns. You wouldn’t rub an aspirin pill on your back to relieve muscular pain, would you? Not likely at all.

We’ve finally reached a point where we can communicate. Allowing dental misconceptions to circulate may be detrimental. Please share this information and contact Urban Smiles Family Dental if you have any concerns about how to maintain a healthy and attractive smile in Edmonton.

Make your appointment today with Dr. Rob Andrew and Urban Smiles Family Dental. 780.989.6030

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Some Bad Food & Drinks For Your Teeth

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What you eat says a lot about your oral health. There are certain foods and drinks, that can cause problems. We listed some below, check it out!!!

Popcorn

Put down that bowl of microwave popcorn. “Countless number of people come in with cracked teeth from eating half-popped popcorn kernels, not to mention the sneaky husk. Popcorn husk is notorious for finding its way in between teeth and causing gum pain.

White Bread

There’s nothing quite as tasty as a piece of toasted white bread with a little butter.  Unfortunately, your teeth disagree with your taste buds.  White bread is packed full of sugar.  As you chew, you masticate the bread into a gummy, sugary paste that sticks to your teeth and gets into your gums.  If you’re not a diligent brusher, these sugars can cause cavities!  When you’re selecting your bread, go for types that aren’t as high in refined sugars. 

Ice

Ice couldn’t possibly be bad for you.  It’s just frozen water.  It’s calorie and additive-free.  Think again!  Chewing ice causes undue wear and tear on your teeth.  Crunching down on a fresh ice cube can damage the enamel on your teeth.  It’s even possible to crack or chip your teeth while eating ice.  We’ve even seen crowns come loose as the result of avid ice chewing!  If you find yourself craving ice, it may be the result of low iron. 

Carbonated Drinks

Soda.  Pop.  Coke.  No matter what you call it, it’s not particularly good for your teeth.  New studies suggest that it can be as terrible for your teeth as certain illicit drugs.  The acid in carbonated sodas slowly breaks down your tooth enamel over time.  Drinking a full-sugar soda is even worse.  The bacteria in your mouth love sugar and the byproduct that they excrete is one of the leading causes of bad breath.  And if those reasons weren’t enough, carbonated drinks with dyes in them can permanently stain your teeth. 

Coffee

Is the best part of waking up worth damaging your teeth?  Coffee (or tea) in their naturally brewed forms can actually be good for you.  However, many people can’t stomach the taste of black coffee without a hint of something sweet.  As we’ve mentioned, sugar is just not good for your mouth.  And unfortunately, neither is caffeine.  Caffeinated beverages actually dehydrate you, and dry your mouth out.  A lack of saliva hastens tooth decay.  Additionally, coffee has been known to stain your teeth, not to mention it makes your breath smell bad.  We’re not saying you have to give up coffee, but be mindful, and drink plenty of water afterward!

Breath Mints

This might come as a shock, but those sweet little treats that are meant to freshen our breath can actually make it worse and damage your teeth.  The fact of the matter is that most mints are made mostly of sugar.  We suck on mints, usually stashing them in our cheeks to enjoy them slowly over time.  But because of this, the bacteria in our mouths have a literal field day with that lump of sugar slowly melting against our teeth.  The best way around this is to opt for a sugar-free mint or gum to prevent the bacteria from feasting.

Wine

Like coffee, red wine also has tannic acid. A dry mouth causes bad breath, and a lack of saliva also contributes to the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Saliva washes away the bacteria that cause cavities. White wine isn’t necessarily a better option — it’s more acidic than red, and all alcoholic beverages dry out the mouth. 

Dried fruit. Although fruit in any form seems like a healthy snack, it’s best to avoid the dried variety. Dried fruit is high in sugar and can easily become lodged between the teeth, which promotes bacteria buildup.

We know you can’t rule out all these things but you can keep them top of mind to preserve your teeth.

Make your appointment today with Dr. Rob Andrew and Urban Smiles Family Dental. 780.989.6030

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Can Kissing Cause Cavities? Really?

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Our mouths are home to many microscopic organisms. Most of them are harmless, and some are even beneficial, but some cause tooth decay and gum disease. The worst are streptococcus mutans and porphyromonas gingivalis.

Kissing comes with risks. You might fall in love, catch a cold, or be grossed out by bad breath. But did you know that kissing someone with poor oral hygiene could increase your risk for cavities?

On average, an individual will have between 34 and 72 different types of oral bacteria. Once we get a strain of bacteria in our mouths, it probably isn’t going away. The trouble is that each person has different bacteria, so kissing or even sharing drinks with someone could introduce new strains of bacteria to our mouths.

Young children don’t have as many types of oral bacteria as adults yet, and their immune systems aren’t used to dealing with them. Too many kisses from Mom and Dad can leave them more vulnerable to developing cavities.

The best way to avoid sharing your oral bacteria with your child is to keep those kisses to the cheek, don’t share your spoon or fork with them, and make sure they always have their own drink instead of giving them sips from yours.

Lower Your Risk of Infecting Someone Else

While you can’t necessarily control your partner’s oral health, you can definitely control your own.

  • Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day
  • Floss at least once every single day
  • Don’t use tobacco
  • Scrub your tongue

Dr. Rob Andrew says “That is why it is important that moms and dads of new babies have their teeth cleaned before baby is born because the baby will get the strains of bacteria that the parents have”.

Follow these tips and you’re sure to please your partner not only because your kisses will be fresh, but also because you’re not infecting them with cavity-causing bacteria. Now that’s love!

Make your appointment today with Dr. Rob Andrew and Urban Smiles Family Dental. 780.989.6030

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Smiling is actually so good for you.

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Smiling is the way people express happiness and share the joy with others. While people know that a smile makes them feel good, they may not realize that smiling offers real health benefits.

Smiling Strengthens the Immune System

It is thought that when you smile, immune function improves because you are more relaxed, thanks to the release of certain neurotransmitters. While depression weakens the immune system, happiness boosts the body’s resistance.

Smiling Boosts Heart Health

Lower blood pressure and a lower heart rate are both benefits people can experience when they smile.

One of the best reasons to smile might be that it could make you live longer. In a 2010 study, it was found that genuine, intense smiling is linked to longer life expectancy.

While there’s more research to be done, there is some evidence to suggest maintaining a positive mood could contribute to living a longer and healthier life. Thus indicating happiness could extend life for many years.

Smiling makes people appear younger, according to researchers. Study participants underestimated the ages of people who smiled or weren’t smiling when shown photos.


In addition, 63 percent of people believe smiling in photographs improves an individual’s appearance.

Feeling down? Try putting a smile on next time. It’s likely your mood will improve. Smiles physically activate pathways in the brain that influence your emotional state. So just by smiling, you can trick your mind into feeling happy — regardless of whether it’s real or not. Sounds crazy but try it.

Make your appointment today with Dr. Rob Andrew and Urban Smiles Family Dental. 780.989.6030

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What are Dental Implants?

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Dental implants are used to replace tooth roots. Thus, dental implant surgery is a procedure that uses metal, screw-like posts to replace old, damaged, or missing teeth with new artificial teeth that look surprisingly real, and can function exactly like real teeth. It’s pretty impressive! “Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth,” writes WebMD.

Why Replace Missing Teeth surrounding the space left by a missing tooth may begin to move out of place and cause misalignment issues. The jaw bone around the area may also begin to deteriorate, resulting in facial collapse or negatively impacting your ability to speak and chew.

Dental implants are favored over bridges and dentures as they are seen as a permanent and aesthetic solution to the problem of missing teeth. Plus they are strong and durable and fit in well with a busy lifestyle. The term ‘restoration’ is used to refer to a false tooth. This tooth is then attached to the implant and looks and behaves in the same way as a natural tooth.

Dental implant surgery is a straight forward and safe procedure. Implanting a titanium post into the jawline may sound intimidating, but it comes down to your provider.

Rest assured that Dr. Rob has performed countless successful dental implants. 

The procedure has a high success rate, and almost anyone in good health makes a great candidate for implants. 

“Smiling is definitely one of the best beauty remedies. If you have a good sense of humor and a good approach to life, that’s beautiful.”

Make your appointment today with Dr. Rob Andrew and Urban Smiles Family Dental. 780.989.6030

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How Smoking and Vaping Affects Your Teeth

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Everyone knows smoking causes lung cancer. Smoking can also cause bad breath and chronic gum problems, which can eventually lead to tooth loss. Tobacco use affects the teeth’ bone attachment and soft tissue and interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells.

Smoking also results in tooth discoloration and a dulled sense of taste and smell.

  • 20 percent of smokers have poor dental health, four times the rate of people who have never smoked.
  • Smokers are less likely to have gone to the dentist in the past five years than non-smokers.
  • More than a third of smokers have at least three dental health issues.

Smokeless tobacco products pose the same risk of mouth cancer and other oral-related problems. These products contain at least 28 chemicals shown to increase the risk of oral cancer and cancer of the throat and esophagus. By chewing tobacco, nicotine levels are higher, while snuffing delivers more nicotine than over 60 cigarettes.

Other additions like sugar, sand, and grit to smokeless tobacco products aggravate the dental problems that may be experienced via snuffing and chewing.

Initially, it was thought and assumed that since e-cigarettes are designed to release a smokeless vapor, they would be a much better alternative. Vaping may be better for non-smokers as it does not produce secondhand smoke that can be harmful. However, when the teeth and gums come into contact with nicotine, it can restrict the number of nutrients being transported to the soft tissues as a result of reduced blood flow.

Vaping can also cause gums to recede from the root of the tooth, which can pave way for a whole set of issues. Infections, rates of decays and a host of other dental issues can be accelerated the more one vapes. When it is carried on for long enough, it can even lead to the loss of teeth in extreme situations. Patients should visit the dentist for a check-up if they start to notice:

  • Extreme halitosis or the presence of constant bad breath
  • Redness, irritation or bleeding of the gums
  • Tender and swollen gums
  • Shaky teeth or a sudden loss of teeth
  • Receded gum tissue

Replacing the smoke on your face with a smile today will replace illness in your life with happiness tomorrow.” – Anonymous

“Smoking and vaping leads to dry mouth, plaque accumulation, gum inflammation, teeth stains and bad breath to name a few. Smoking can further lead to oral cancer”.

 – Dr. Rob Andrew

Visit Urban Smiles Family Dental and lets keep smiling.

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Brushing Your Tongue

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Your tongue is covered with bacteria, coffee turns it brown, red wine turns it red. In some smokers, the tongue can develop a condition known as black hairy tongue, due to a growth that may grow as a result of tobacco use. The condition causes the tongue to become yellow, green, black, or brown, and give the appearance of being hairy. The truth is, your tongue is just as much of a target for bacteria as your teeth are, even if it is not at risk for developing cavities itself.

Bacteria will accumulate greatly in the areas of the tongue between the taste buds and other tongue structures, It’s not smooth. There are crevices and elevations all over the tongue, and the bacteria will hide in these areas unless it is removed.”

Even if you’re an oral hygiene superl-star who brushes your teeth twice to three times a day, flosses regularly and dutifully visit’s your dentist every six months, you may still be missing one step that could help keep your mouth fresh and healthy.

Your tongue houses the most bacteria in your mouth. Even though brushing your teeth or rinsing with a mouthwash will eliminate a good portion of the bacteria, whatever is found on the tongue will deposit itself once again on your teeth, hence the importance of brushing your tongue thoroughly. Brushing your tongue can also help with breath issues.

You should brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth by going back and forth and side to side with your toothbrush and then rinsing thoroughly. If brushing your tongue makes you gag, think about investing in a tongue scraper instead.

Here’s how to clean your tongue with a toothbrush:

  • Choose a soft-bristle toothbrushes
  • Stick out your tongue as far as it will reach.
  • Position your toothbrush at the back of the tongue.
  • Brush lightly forward and backward along your tongue.
  • Spit out saliva that appears during the brushing and rinse out the toothbrush with warm water.
  • Clean your tongue as often as you brush your teeth.

“Tongue scraping is one of the most overlooked oral health practices. Regular scraping of the tongue removes bacteria that contributes to gum disease, cavities and bad breath”. Dr. Rob Andrew Urban Smiles Family Dental

Visit Urban Smiles Family Dental and lets keep smiling.

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Snoring causes big problems with relationships and marriages.

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Snoring is taxing enough on its own. It is known for its bleak effects on a person’s health, sleep quality, and mood. When snorers share a bed with someone else, they end up sharing the load with their partner as well. When the snores are loud enough, a great relationship could turn into a living nightmares in the snap of a finger.

Approximately 18 percent have said that snoring is the cause of regular arguments in their relationship, while 30 percent sleep in a separate room from their partner because of it. Snoring may not seem like a big deal in the beginning, but it is clearly more of a major problem maker than most people think.

No one can sleep next to someone who regularly sounds like a wounded warthog while sleeping. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be a lost cause. Take better care of your relationship by treating the root of your relationship woes and figuring out ways to treat snoring.

Many people don’t know that snoring is the number one sign of an actual sleep disorder called sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious and common condition that causes an individual to temporarily pause breathing multiple times throughout the night.

7 Million Adults in Canada have Sleep or Wakefulness Disorder

Urban Smiles is Proud to Announce that we have Nightlase Treatment

“NightLase is an easy walk-in walk-out procedure that reduces the effects of sleep apnea and decreases the amplitude of snoring by means of a gentle, laser-induced tightening effect caused by the contraction of collagen in the oral mucosa tissue”. Dr. Rob Andrew Urban Smiles Family Dental

Visit Urban Smiles Family Dental and lets keep smiling.

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HOW DOES SUGAR AFFECT YOUR DENTAL HEALTH?

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The plaque bacteria use sugar to produce acid that attack your enamel and over time that causes tooth decay.

-Dr. Rob Andrew Urban Smiles Family Dental

We all know that eating too much sugar isn’t good for your health in general, but do you know how eating too much sugar affects your teeth?

It is not the sugar alone that causes tooth decay, but rather the process that happens after you eat the sugar. The mouth is full of hundreds of bacteria, many of which are beneficial to the oral ecosystem. However, certain harmful oral bacteria actually feed on the sugars you eat to create acids that destroy the tooth enamel, which is the shiny, protective outer layer of the tooth. Cavities are a bacterial infection created by acids, that cause your teeth to experience a hole in them. Without treatment, cavities can progress past the enamel and into the deeper layers of the tooth, causing pain and possible tooth loss.

Decrease the Effects of Sugar on Your Teeth

While it may be impossible to cut all sugar from your diet, taming your sweet tooth and following a few tips will help decrease the damage to your teeth.

  • Limit your consumption of sugar, including soft drinks and energy drinks.
  • Drink water to rinse your mouth while eating.
  • Brush teeth after eating sugary foods.
  • Don’t eat sticky, sugary foods such as candy.
  • Cut down on carbohydrates since they turn into sugar in your mouth.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste which helps build up your enamel.
  • Floss regularly to remove plaque and reduce the bacteria between teeth.

PREVENTIVE CARE AND EARLY DETECTION

Schedule regular dental checkups and cleaning appointments for your family; this way, any signs of tooth decay can be taken care of early.

There is no denying that people love their sugar. In fact, Canadians eat an astounding 88 pounds of sugar per year, that produces an enormous potential for tooth decay. Make the necessary changes in diet and dental hygiene now, so the effects of sugar on teeth don’t come when your family is preoccupied with bigger life events.

Visit Urban Smiles Family Dental and lets keep smiling.

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Brushing Too Hard is Not Good!

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“Brushing your teeth too hard can lead to oral health problems and put your mouth at risk for tooth abrasion, tooth sensitivity, and gum recession”. Dr. Rob Andrew Urban Smiles

We recommend that you brush for two full minutes — 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth — twice a day. Use the timer on your phone or choose an electric toothbrush that alerts you every 30 seconds. 

Proper Brushing Technique

If your toothbrush bristles become frayed very quickly, or your gums are often sore after your brush, there is a good chance that you are applying too much pressure. Here are some tips to help you properly clean your teeth:

  • Make sure you are using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle against your teeth and use short, tooth-wide strokes.
  • You should feel the bristles against your gums, but you should never “smash” them down.
  • Holding your toothbrush in your non-dominant hand may help you to lighten up on the amount of pressure you apply.
  • If you use an electric toothbrush, you do not have to press it hard against your teeth; just make sure it makes contact with them.
  • The next time you visit us, ask Dr. Rob or one of the dental hygienists for tips on how you can improve your at-home oral hygiene routine. They will be happy to give you some advice.

Your toothbrush is one of your best friends in your efforts to maintain great oral health… but only if you use it the right way.

Below are some fun facts about teeth we thought you’d enjoy learning about.

  • Teeth start to form even before you are born—milk teeth or baby teeth start to form when the baby is in the womb, but they come through when the child is between 6-12 months old.
  • Humans have only two sets of teeth in their entire lifetime—baby teeth and permanent teeth. Once you have your permanent teeth, make sure you take good care of them.
  • No two people have the same set of teeth—your teeth are as unique as your fingerprint, so be proud of your unique set of teeth.
  • Your mouth produces over 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime—that’s enough to fill two swimming pools. Saliva has many uses, including assisting you with your digestion and protects your teeth from bacteria in your mouth.
  • An average person spends 38.5 days brushing their teeth over their lifetime.

Visit Urban Smiles Family Dental and lets keep smiling.

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