oral care

Ageing with your dentist: Your oral health needs as you move through life.

Dental Care | Dental Health

As we move through life, we experience many ups and downs, and that is true of our teeth as well. Maintaining a good oral health routine is critical to your lifelong health. While we may encounter bruxism, damage, or an occasional filling, your dentist is with you through the whole process to ensure the longevity of your teeth and gums. Your trusted Midtown dentist can help you move through the different cycles of your life with healthy habits and expert advice. This blog will look at the various facets of ageing teeth, such as yellowing and dentures, and how to keep them healthy as you grow older. 

Teeth will naturally yellow as you get older.


Teeth yellow as we age because the enamel of our teeth starts to fade, exposing our more yellow dentin layer underneath. While genetics can determine the density and brightness of your enamel, we all move through this process as we age.


While genetics plays a prominent role in the colour of your teeth, so does your diet. To prevent premature yellowing of the teeth, you can minimize your intake of foods and beverages which cause staining, such as coffee and red wine, and avoid smoking and chewing tobacco. If you wear dentures already, it is important to note that this is also true for dentures. However, the most crucial factor in preventing yellowing teeth is to maintain a diligent oral health routine.


How do you maintain your teeth throughout your lifetime?


Maintaining your oral health is not only good for your teeth but good for your body overall. Your mouth is fundamentally connected to the health of your entire body—infection, decay, and bacteria in your mouth can affect your overall health. There are links between gingivitis, tooth decay, periodontal disease and the health of your heart and body. The best way to maintain your teeth and your health is with these simple tips:

Grandparent brushing teeth with grand daughter
 
  • Bi-annual dental cleanings and checkups (some patients may require more)

  • Brushing a minimum of twice daily with a fluoride-based toothpaste

  • Flossing daily

  • Using an antibacterial mouthwash daily

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet low in acid and sugar

  • Staying hydrated––especially if you are taking medications that cause dry mouth

What are some common risk factors for oral health as we age? 

As our enamel becomes thinner, we increase our chances for harmful damage to our teeth. Common causes of enamel wear include a diet high in acidity and sugar, damage caused by trauma to the teeth (including using our teeth to open bobby pins or bottles), and inadequate dental hygiene practices––which can become more challenging as our mobility or strength decreases. As we age, we may also face receding gums, which only increase the severity of any damage. When our gums recede, they expose areas of the teeth which are not naturally protected by enamel. As such, these areas are far more susceptible to damage and sensitivity. 

There are also external risk factors for our teeth, including medical conditions and medications. Many prescription medications can cause a decrease in saliva production resulting in dry mouth. If your medication(s) causes you to have a dry mouth, it is imperative that you stimulate your saliva glands. You can do this by: 

  • Chewing raw and crunchy foods such as carrots and celery

  • Having gum, mints, or lozenges––but beware of sugar content

  • Drinking plenty of water throughout the day 

Saskatoon’s teeth are our number one priority.


We want to ensure your teeth are healthy as you move through every stage of life. Whether you are preparing for dentures, starting to think about the health of your teeth in a new way or have questions about cosmetic procedures such as whitening or veneers, we are here to help. We are here to help you move through the ageing process with healthy teeth and bodies. Talk to your trusted dentist at Midtown Dental today about ageing, dentures, and oral care for seniors. 

What causes bad breath (halitosis) and could it be a symptom of other issues?

Blog | Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Health | Dental Problems | Gums

What causes bad breath (halitosis) and could it be a symptom of other issues?

Having bad breath can be embarrassing and harmful to our health if it is chronic. There are several causes for bad breath (otherwise known as halitosis) that range from lifestyle to serious medical conditions. Let’s discuss these situations in greater detail below.Read more

Two Peas In a Pod: Why Brushing and Flossing Come Hand-in-Hand

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Health | Gums

Two Peas In a Pod: Why Brushing and Flossing Come Hand-in-Hand

Brushing and Flossing, it’s a subject we deal with every time we go to the dentist. After a while, it begins to feel like white noise.

Sure, we all know that brushing is important, but flossing seems kind of redundant. Do we really need it? Why are both of them necessary?

In the next few paragraphs, we’ll try to break down the benefits of brushing and flossing and explain why you should be doing both. Read on to learn more.

The Weird World of Teeth

Dentistry can be potentially traced back to the ancient Egyptians, who were incredibly skilled as far as ancient doctors go. They were the first to understand that a broken bone could be set and would grow back together.

They also may have pioneered dentistry. Granted, that was a simpler time when a dental problem meant an untreated abscess or cavities from accidentally eating sand, and they couldn’t even cure that.

Let’s jump ahead a few thousand years to the mid-nineteenth century when the medical model now known as germ theory was becoming popular among the masses.

This brings us to today and the question of why flossing is important. Flossing and brushing combined help in the treatment of gingivitis, which is caused by bacteria. However, that’s not the only benefit.

It also helps to destroy other forms of plaque and bacteria, which could lead to more serious issues. In fact, your mouth can be thought of as the metaphorical canary in a coal mine.

Plaque in your mouth can potentially lead to a higher risk of heart disease, as well as mouth infections, which can spread to other areas of the body. Plus, paying close attention to your mouth can help you notice signs that might be a sign of another issue somewhere else in the body.

Brushing and Flossing

As great as toothbrushes are, they can’t do everything. Their shape is not particularly well-designed for cleaning in between teeth.

This helps to prevent bacteria from forming in the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. It may seem like a hassle now, but in the long run, it can save a lot of money on dental procedures.

Plus, it helps to cure bad breath, and can even make your teeth appear whiter by cutting away particles you wouldn’t otherwise notice.

Oral Hygiene

It may seem like your dentist is beating a dead horse every time they talk to you about the benefits of brushing and flossing, but it is true. Brushing and flossing help cut down on plaque and bacteria, which can prevent a lot of problems later on.

Additionally, brushing and flossing can also help your mouth look better and smell better.

If you want to know more about dentistry and how to keep your mouth healthy, please visit our website. Maybe you have bleeding gums but aren’t sure why. We can help. Perhaps you want to know which foods you should avoid if you want to keep your teeth healthy.

Quit the Chattering: How to Deal with Your Dental Anxiety

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Health

Quit the Chattering: How to Deal with Your Dental Anxiety

You’re eating popcorn then all of a sudden you feel it, the dreaded toothache. Instantly your palms get sweaty you may even get knots in your stomach.

Dental anxiety is more common than you would think. It’s estimated that around 80 percent of Americans have some anxiety when it comes to seeing the dentist.

Many of us have learned this fear from an early age, most likely from our first dentist appointment. Unfortunately, this isn’t a fear that we can get over by avoidance. Avoiding the dentist only makes the situation worse.

When it is time to go to the dentist, we have some tips to help you get through your appointment.

Share Your Dental Anxiety with Your Dentist

The best thing you can do is tell your dentist and the assistant, what exactly your fear or dental anxiety is about. If you are open with the staff they can help to modify things to lessen your anxiety.

Having good communication with them can be key to a tear-free dentist appointment. The different types of anxiety have different approaches to counteracting them.

Anxiety Caused by Expected Pain

This is one of the most common types of dental anxiety. Most simply because no one likes pain, and odds are if you have dental anxiety and you’re at the dentist – you may already be in pain.

Let your dentist or dental assistant know, they can give you topical numbing before the shots. Also don’t be afraid to tell them that you can still feel it if you think you can. Even if it’s in your head, it can’t hurt to give yourself the extra peace of mind.

If that doesn’t ease your mind, many dental offices can use the assistance of nitrous oxide or laughing gas that can help you relax.

Bad Experience in the Past

It seems like most people who have dental anxiety have had bad experiences in the past. Whether it was because of anxiety or the cause if it.

Bad experiences can leave you uneasy and anxious to go back to the dentist. Again, tell your dentist what happened, that way they can do their best to avoid doing what triggered you before.

Give your new dentist a chance don’t hold the new one accountable for the old one’s actions.

Not being Informed

Some people are afraid of the unknown. If you’re someone who likes to be told what they are doing every step of the way, tell them that.

If you have dental anxiety, and you’ve never had the dentist walk you though, it’s worth a try. Knowing what’s happening can help settle your anxiety. And if you don’t like it, you can always ask the dentist to stop.

You Don’t Need to be Anxious About the Dentist

Dental anxiety is so common that associate Professor Jason Armfield came up with a ‘dental anxiety scale‘ to help treat it all around the world.

The key to lowering your anxiety levels at the dentist is to stay open and communicate. Dentists understand and are more than willing to do what they can to help you feel at ease.

If you have other concerns or are looking for a dentist with experience in dental anxiety, contact us.

Oral Care: Choosing the Right Toothbrush

Dental Advice | Dental Care

Oral Care: Choosing the Right Toothbrush

When it comes to choosing the right toothbrush, it can be a bit confusing because of the many sizes, colours, and types of bristle you can choose from. Throw the electric toothbrushes into the mix, and you can surely get lost in the dental aisle. The question becomes: “Which is the right toothbrush for you?” And the answer actually depends on your unique dental needs.

For Sensitive Teeth

A survey done by the Academy of General Dentistry stated that one in three dentists report that brushing with too much force is the number one cause of tooth sensitivity.

Many people believe that by using a hard or medium-bristled toothbrush, you get cleaner teeth, but in reality, those types of bristles do more harm than good. Hard and medium-bristled brushes are known to cause bleeding or receding gums as well as worn enamel that exposes the dentin, thus leading to tooth sensitivity.

Keep in mind that soft-bristled toothbrushes are always the best option and that soft bristles are just as effective as the hard or medium-bristled ones.

For People Who Grind Their Teeth at Night

Bruxism – teeth grinding and clenching – affects 1 in 3 people. The grinding process is similar to putting over a thousand pounds of pressure on the teeth and jaw. Ongoing teeth grinding can wear one’s teeth down to nubs and it also wears away the enamel, which can lead to extreme tooth sensitivity. This is why people who are suffering from bruxism need to use an extra soft-bristled toothbrush.

 

People with Arthritis or Limited Mobility

There are people, especially the elderly and those with limited mobility, who have a hard time getting to all their teeth using a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are a better option in this case. They have bristles that rotate in one direction and can be switched and moved to the opposite direction. They are more effective in terms of cleaning the teeth or those electric toothbrushes that only spin in a single direction.

People with Braces

Soft-bristled electric toothbrushes are great for people who wear braces. One study which had 21 patients who have orthodontic appliances found that those patients who used electric toothbrushes had significant improvement in plaque reduction in comparison to those who used manual toothbrushes.

If you do not have your personal dentist yet, be sure to reach out to us today! With Midtown Dental, you can be sure that your oral health will be taken care of and all your dental concerns handled only by the best!

Smoothies and Fruit Juices: Are They Bad for the Teeth?

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Health

Studies have shown that smoothies and fruit juices actually have more sugar in them than a can of soda.

 

Although fruit juices are healthier for the body when compared to soda, they are not so healthy for our teeth. While fruit juices contain concentrated amounts of nutrients found in fruits, such as vitamins A and C and other oxidants, they also contain substances that can be harmful to our teeth.

 

This might be surprising for many people, but it is the truth. And It is not just sugar that causes damage to our teeth. We should also be wary of acid, usually found in soda drinks and wine, which can also be found in fruit juices.

 

ACID

The enamel on our teeth is more fragile than we think. It can easily be affected by the acid released by the bacteria found in the mouth, and it can wear down even faster by acids that are found in common fruit juices. Cranberry or lime fruit juices are more acidic than vinegar when consumed in high amounts. Orange juice, specifically, has been found to decrease tooth hardness and it can also roughen the surface of the teeth. When the tooth enamel is worn down, this can lead to sensitive teeth, tooth loss, and development of cavities.

 

SUGAR

Sugar is one of the most popular substances that are most harmful to our teeth. It is consumed by the bacteria in our mouth and it gets converted to acid, causing cavities and worn teeth. The bacteria can also irritate the gums, which later on can lead to gum disease and weakening of the teeth. Even some fruit juices that come in their pure form can contain large amounts of natural sugars that can also affect the teeth. This is why it has been found that a pure fruit juice can contain more sugar than a soda.

 

PREVENTION IS BEST

Most fruit juices are still nutritious when compared to soda, even when they have some harmful effects on the teeth. So, yes, you can still drink fruit juices and smoothies, but if you want to maintain a healthy oral health, you should do your part!

 

Here are some tips on how you can still enjoy the healthy goodness of these sweet drinks and at the same time, reduce the harm they do to your teeth:

 

*Drink your juice freshly. Leaving the beverage to sit will allow for the fermentation of sugar.

*Favour vegetables over fruit juices, or you can try and put at least two parts vegetable to one part fruit. You should avoid drinking citrus fruits as they are highly acidic.

*Make sure the fruit is ripe. Unripe fruits contain high amounts of acid.

*Yoghurt-based smoothies are great for reducing the acidity in your drink, but you should still be careful because there are many yoghurts that contain more sugar than you think. Coconut oil is a tooth-friendly ingredient as it has antibacterial properties.

*Use a straw when drinking and make sure to drink clean water afterward.

 

If you have any dental concerns, the dental professionals and staff at Midtown Dental will be more than happy to assist you! We hope to see you soon.

Oral Care: Tips for the Elderly

Dental Advice | Dental Care

Our dental health is connected to our entire body. Any bacteria that lives and grows in your mouth can travel to the other parts of your body, thus, can contribute to problems with our overall health. Aging is a part of life, but it does not mean that you can’t do it gracefully and in the healthiest way possible!

 

Here are some great dental tips that can help you enjoy your golden years with healthy, happy smiles:

 

BRUSH AND FLOSS REGULARLY.

The common rule is you should clean your teeth at least twice a day. As you age, however, your mouth requires a little extra attention and time. After the age of 50, plaque builds up more quickly and it also becomes much more difficult to get rid of. This is why it is important to get in the habit of brushing your teeth after every meal. Make it a point to brush your teeth when you wake up and before going to bed. Consistent flossing is also essential and should be done after every meal.

 

USE AN ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH.

An electric toothbrush that has soft bristles is great for all ages, but more especially for seniors. This type of toothbrush comes with a built-in timer that ensures you brush for the correct amount of time. It is also helpful for seniors with arthritis, as the brush itself will take care of all the brushing. There will be no more worry about the up-and-down circular motions needed in order to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums – the electric toothbrush will do it all for you!

 

USE MOUTHWASH.

If you are looking for a great way to prevent cavities and to slow the buildup of plaque, then you should use mouthwash! However, you should be careful and avoid using too much mouthwash – you might upset the pH balance in your mouth. Rinsing with mouthwash once a day just before you go to bed would suffice. When choosing a mouthwash, go for an alcohol-free option for older adults. Alcohol can contribute to dry mouth.

 

CLEAN YOUR DENTURES DAILY.

Just like our teeth, dentures should be cleaned every day. The only difference is dentures should not be cleaned with toothpaste. Toothpaste will only damage your dentures as it is abrasive. Use products that are specifically designed to clean dentures. Be sure to also give your mouth frequent breaks from wearing your dentures. Take them out each day to help maintain healthy gums.

 

If you are a senior or someone you love is, and you want the best dentists who can help you take care of senior dental health, setup an appointment with one of our dental professionals today!