Dental Treatment Questions Brantford ON • Oral Hygiene Care • Dental Care FAQ Ontario
Is fluoride bad for you?
Community water fluoridation is perfectly safe, and is a
critical means for preventing rampant tooth decay in our
children. Tooth decay is the most frequent condition suffered by
our children, other than the common cold, and tooth pain is one
of the leading reasons for school absences. The scientific
evidence is overwhelming in its support for water fluoridation
at regulated levels in the prevention of tooth decay. In fact,
the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) listed water fluoridation
as one of the top 10 public health initiatives of the 20th
century, a list that included motor vehicle safety, promotion of
heart health, recognition of the health risks associated with
tobacco, and awareness of a mother's health during pregnancy.
And our community has something to be very proud of – in 1945,
Brantford was the very first community in all of Canada to have
access to fluoridated water!
Excessive amounts of ingested fluoride by children can cause
tooth irregularities, including white or brown spots. Young
children, especially, often swallow too much toothpaste while
brushing. So parents, supervise your young kids while they
brush. Kids (and even adults) often use way too much toothpaste
(a pea-size drop is plenty). A little goes a long way.
I think I grind my teeth at
night. What can I do about this?
Do you wake up with pain in your jaws or a persistent headache?
If so, you may be grinding (called bruxing) while you sleep.
Persistent bruxing can damage teeth and cause them to get
shorter and shorter. It can also damage your temporomandibular
(jaw) joints and even affect your hearing. If you suspect that
you are a bruxer, ask us about our NTI night-time appliance. It
is FDA approved as a drug-free treatment for
so bad about losing a tooth?
Teeth can be lost due to an accident or other trauma, but the
most common reason people lose a tooth is because of gum disease
and/or decay. So, is it a big deal to lose a tooth? I mean you
can’t die from it, right? No, you can’t, but losing even a
single tooth can cause the other teeth to shift and move around
– not good. This can affect chewing and your ability to absorb
nutrients from your food. Other bad things can happen; your face
will change shape, often looking “sunken.” This can make you
look much older than you really are. Your speech can be
affected. Because it’s harder to chew with missing teeth, you
may find yourself favoring softer foods and more carbohydrates,
which can cause you to gain weight. The best way to treat a
missing tooth (or missing teeth) is with dental implants. An
implant can replace one tooth or many. They can be made to look
so natural that even a dentist has to look hard to tell the
Do the doctors check for
Yes, we do. Our dentists and hygienists routinely screen for the
early signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer can affect your lips,
tongue, gums, salivary glands, and jaw bones. The number of new
cancers detected in the mouth are higher than cervical, liver,
stomach, brain, and ovarian cancers. The effects can be
devastating. In fact, survival rate for oral cancers is much
lower than for cervical, melanoma, and prostate cancers. Like
many cancers, there are often no symptoms in the early stages.
Early detection is key, and regular visits with your dentist and
hygienist are your first line of defence.
What causes people to lose
Many people assume that tooth loss is due to decay. It’s not.
It’s because of gum disease. And it can be completely painless
right up until you lose your teeth. Symptoms include bleeding
gums when you brush or floss and loose or shifting teeth. If
you’ve been told you need gum surgery, you will be glad to know
that it’s possible to control gum disease with a variety of
I’ve read that gum disease
can contribute to heart disease and even stroke. Is this true?
Yes. Recent medical research has caused many doctors to reach a
startling conclusion: gum disease, stroke, and heart disease are
linked. Since heart disease is usually fatal, it is clear that
gum disease is a serious matter. The Canadian Dental Association
estimates that 8 out of 10 Canadians have periodontal (gum)
disease. If this were any other affliction, such as AIDS or
tuberculosis, it would be considered an epidemic! Most dentists
think it is just that. They also knew that gum disease would
never be labeled epidemic because “no one ever dies from it.”
The worst is that you lose your teeth. Not pleasant – but
certainly not life threatening. But that’s all changed.
The Canadian Academy of Periodontology reports that studies
found periodontal infection may contribute to the development of
heart disease, increase the risk of premature, underweight
births, and pose a serious threat to people whose health is
already compromised due to diabetes and respiratory diseases.
Periodontal disease is characterized by bacterial infection of
the gums. These bacteria can travel into the bloodstream –
straight to the heart.
Now the Good News
With advanced periodontal disease, the treatment is surgical.
Gum surgery is never fun, but it is almost always successful in
controlling the condition, and it’s usually covered by common
insurance plans. With mild periodontal disease, there are very
effective NON-surgical procedures which, coupled with improved
dental hygiene, can virtually halt the spread of the disease.
This, too, is usually covered under most dental insurance plans.
Why is it important to have
regular teeth cleaning?
Did you know “teeth cleaning” does more than just clean your
teeth? Removing plaque is absolutely essential if you want to
preserve your teeth. It builds up on the tooth surfaces and
between the teeth. Brushing and flossing are, of course, vital,
but everyone needs their teeth professionally cleaned on a
regular basis. Remember – only a dental hygienist can completely
clean your teeth.
What is a TMJ disorder?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, your jaw joints. The
pain, discomfort, or tenderness in or around the jaw joints is
Signs that you might have a TMJ disorder are:
• Facial pain or tenderness
• Jaw pain
• Pain in or around the ears
• Neck pain
• Jaw stiffness
• Discomfort while chewing
• Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
• Jaw “locking up”
• Jaw makes a clicking sound
• Teeth that don't come together properly when eating or chewing
There are a variety of treatment options for TMJ. Be sure to ask
your dentist about these.
Your office looks too fancy. It must only be for wealthy
We have patients from all walks of life - doctors, lawyers,
teachers, firemen, factory workers, unemployed single moms, and
everything in between. But the one thing ALL of our patients
have in common is that they want the finest dental care possible
in the most comfortable environment possible.
How much are your fees?
It is impossible to accurately quote our fees over the phone or
online. Our fees depend on where in your mouth the tooth is that
needs treatment, which materials we need, how much planning is
involved, and the condition of the teeth to start with. We
suggest coming in for a complimentary consultation with the
doctor so that we can accurately assess your situation, review
different options, and tell you how long it will take and how
much it will cost.
If you are asking about fees because you are looking for the
lowest fees, we can tell you that you can probably find lower
fees at another dental practice. We believe in providing the
finest quality dental care in the most convenient and
comfortable manner possible. We take meticulous care in our
treatment and use top quality materials and labs, all the while
making sure your visits are as pleasant as possible. We are not
the cheapest dental office in town, but if you are looking for
someone to take excellent care of your smile, this is the place
My 12-year-old son likes to chew
ice. Is this harmful?
Tooth enamel is very hard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t break
it. Try to avoid eating “hard foods” such as popcorn. Don’t
crack nut shells with your teeth or chew on ice. Opening
packages with your teeth can also damage the enamel.
Why are soft drinks bad for your
Sugar and acids are your teeth’s worst enemies. What are we
talking about? Soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit juices, and
candy. Because of the acid content, Mountain Dew seems to be the
worst of the worst. Dentists even have a name for the damage it
does – they call it “Dew Mouth.” These soften the tooth enamel,
making it highly susceptible to decay. Parents, watch your kid’s
consumption of these, because young children’s enamel hasn’t
developed fully. This makes these drinks even more damaging for
kids. As well as eliminating the above (or at least reducing
their consumption), use a sugar-free xylitol chewing gum after
meals. Also, rinse your mouth
with a high-quality dental mouthwash.
Tongue piercings seem to be a very
bad idea. How bad?
Yes, they can look cool, but they can also fracture your teeth
as well as make it much easier to get a nasty infection of the
tongue and lips. Dentists have estimated that up to 40% of
people who have metal rings or other oral piercings have had big
problems from tooth fractures and infection.