We'll Take Care of You

At Brush Dental, we offer a variety of services, including:

-Preventative Dentistry: We do routine examinations, X-Rays, cleanings, fluoride, and more.

-General Dentistry: We'll handle your fillings, porcelain crowns, bridges, dentures, and root canals.

-Cosmetic Dentistry: Come in for teeth whitening, veneers, implants, botox, and bondings and leave with a beautiful smile.

-Children's Dentistry: The earlier you help your child get confident and comfortable about their dental care, the better chance he or she will have a positive attitude toward going to the dentist.

Healthy Smiles

We want you to join us in the belief that a healthy smile can last a lifetime. That’s why we focus on prevention — while also assisting you with all your general dental needs. With regularly scheduled, professional dental care, you can avoid both serious dental and periodontal health issues and live a healthier life!

Articles of Interest

Bonding can be used to improve the appearance of your smile by changing the colour, shape, position or spacing of your teeth.  Bonding is accomplished by placing a white composite resin over your tooth.  The composite resin comes in a variety of colours and with different transparencies to closely mimic the look of natural teeth.   Bonding is used to close gaps, repair chipped teeth, and cover darkly stained teeth.

Bonding is usually completed in one appointment.  Your dentist will prepare the teeth as needed to ensure a long lasting result.  The composite resin will be bonded to your tooth and shaped to the desired form.  A bright light will harden the composite and then your dentist will polish the restoration to make it look and feel like a natural tooth.

Bonding achieves similar initial results to porcelain veneers with some major differences.  Bonding takes less time to complete and can be done in one visit.  Bonding is less expensive than porcelain veneers and is better to use on younger children.  However, bonding does not last as long as veneers – about ½ the lifespan.  Bonding can stain over time, more than natural teeth.  Porcelain does not stain as easily.  To prevent staining, avoid dark coloured food and beverages, such as coffee, tea, cola, and red wine.

The earlier you start helping your child get confident and comfortable about their dental care, the better chance he or she will develop a positive attitude toward the dental office. The Canadian Dental Association recommends a child’s first dental should be at age one year old. These quick early visits allow your child to get used to the office, the dental chair and the dental staff. A new toothbrush and a toy help make these visits fun and rewarding. Also important is the opportunity for you, the parents, to ask questions and to discuss home care for your family.

We will assess and discuss several things at your child’s visit: signs of decay; crowding of teeth; gum health; tooth development; habits such as thumb sucking; how to protect teeth during sports; how to brush and floss; choosing the right toothpaste and toothbrush; and how to avoid cavities.

Appointments for children are kept as short as possible. Most children can have their treatment done in our office. For those who need extra care, we can refer to a children’s dental specialist to complete the treatment.

A beautiful smile can make a world of difference in how others see you, as well as how well you view yourself. We can help you to have a confident, healthy smile. We believe that each smile is unique and we will discuss a variety of cosmetic procedures that can be used to achieve your goals and expectations for a beautiful smile.

1. TOOTH WHITENING

Teeth grow dull and yellow with age and become stained by various agents – coffee, tobacco, tea, wine, berries, and other food and beverages. Tooth whitening is a simple, safe, non-invasive dental treatment that brightens natural tooth enamel to enhance your smile.

Our in office system can whiten your teeth in about one hour. The second method is a take-home whitener. This system requires two short visits to create custom-fit trays which are used for 8 -12 applications either overnight or for 1 – 2 hours a day.

Both systems can achieve similar results. However, teeth will re-stain over time. Teeth will need to be re-whitened every couple of years, more often if you continue to engage in stain producing habits. Everyone is unique and some teeth respond better to whitening than others. We can customize the treatment to suit your smile. Also, whitening is only effective on natural tooth enamel. So some old fillings or crowns may need to be replaced if they become visible after your teeth are whitened.

2. WHITE FILLINGS

Many types of filling materials are available for restoring decayed, chipped, worn, and cracked teeth, as well as spaces between teeth. The most widely used is a white composite resin that can be closely matched to the color of your existing teeth. As with all dental restorations, composite fillings will last for many years but are not permanent.

3. PORCELAIN CROWNS

A crown is a long-lasting restoration that covers or replaces most of a tooth, restoring it to its original size and shape. Crowns protect and restore strength to broken, heavily filled, and cracked teeth.

At our office, we can provide single-visit crowns using Cerec. This is a technology that utilizes 3D digital imaging and computer assisted design and fabrication to create and individualized, custom-made tooth colored ceramic restoration.

4. PORCELAIN VENEERS

Veneers are thin, custom made pieces of durable, tooth colored porcelain. They are bonded onto the front surface of your teeth. Veneers can aesthetically restore crooked, chipped, discolored, stained, and uneven teeth. Veneers can also be used to close spaces between teeth.

5. PORCELAIN FIXED BRIDGES

A dental bridge is a non-removable appliance that is used to replace missing teeth. It can be made of porcelain or porcelain overlying a gold alloy substructure. Bridges provide excellent aesthetics, prevent unwanted tooth movement, and restore chewing and speaking ability.

6. DENTAL IMPLANTS

Dental implants are another technique used to replace missing teeth. The implant is a titanium post that is placed in the bone to replicate the root of a tooth. This titanium root is used to support a porcelain crown. We have a number of highly trained dentists that we recommend to place these implants.

7. BONDING

Bonding can be used to improve the appearance of your smile by changing the colour, shape, position or spacing of your teeth.  Bonding is accomplished by placing a white composite resin over your tooth.  The composite resin comes in a variety of colours and with different transparencies to closely mimic the look of natural teeth.   Bonding is used to close gaps, repair chipped teeth, and cover darkly stained teeth.

Bonding is usually completed in one appointment.  Your dentist will prepare the teeth as needed to ensure a long lasting result.  The composite resin will be bonded to your tooth and shaped to the desired form.  A bright light will harden the composite and then your dentist will polish the restoration to make it look and feel like a natural tooth.

Bonding achieves similar initial results to porcelain veneers with some major differences.  Bonding takes less time to complete and can be done in one visit.  Bonding is less expensive than porcelain veneers and is better to use on younger children.  However, bonding does not last as long as veneers – about ½ the lifespan.  Bonding can stain over time, more than natural teeth.  Porcelain does not stain as easily.  To prevent staining, avoid dark coloured food and beverages, such as coffee, tea, cola, and red wine.

What Are Neuromodulators?

Botox and Xeomin are medications that temporarily reduce muscle activity to improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles in adults. Neuromodulators are also used to treat tooth grinding (bruxism) and overactive jaw muscles. Botox and Xeomin are trade names for similar products. Botox was the first and the most well known. They are both highly purified protein from the Clostridium botulinum bacteria.

How Do They Work?

In the jaw, increased muscle activity creates clenching and grinding habits.  This can result in jaw soreness and pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ pain). Neuromodulators are injected into the masseter muscles to reduce the intensity of muscular contractions, leading to a temporary decrease in clenching, grinding and muscle soreness. After several treatments, the effects can last longer and may even stop the clenching and grinding habits.

Facial lines and wrinkles are caused partly by external factors, such as sun damage or smoking, and partly by changes to the structure of the face – skin, bones and cartilage. Wrinkles are also caused by years of repeated muscle contractions from frowning and squinting. Neuromodulators are injected into the muscles of the upper face and temporarily reduce local muscle activity.  By relaxing the muscle, there is a visible smoothing of frown lines and crow’s feet.

Will It Look Like I Have Had Work Done?

Treatment of the jaw muscles will not cause obvious changes to your appearance. Some patients notice a slight decrease in the width of their jaw.

The treatment subtly smoothes facial lines around your eyes and between your brows. If done properly, there should be no loss of expression. Your face should look natural and animated. You should look like a younger version of you.

What Is The Treatment Like?

After having an initial dental and cosmetic assessment and discussion, an appointment is scheduled for the actual treatment. Pre- and post-treatment photographs are taken. Treatment involves injecting small amounts of the neuromodulator into the appropriate muscles, with each injection taking only a few seconds. The number of injections depends on the target areas and results desired. Total treatment time is usually less than 15 minutes. Most patients feel a sensation like a pinch. Some patients will get temporary redness and swelling at the injection site. This usually lasts less than 30 minutes. Patients are able to return to most regular activities immediately. Post treatment care instructions are provided.

When Should I Expect Results?

For people with jaw problems, you may feel a decrease in jaw tension in a few days. The full effects of each treatment occur in about two to four weeks. Maximum results may take several treatments and take many months.

For cosmetic results, the smoothing or relaxing effect should start within 2-5 days after the treatment and the maximum results are usually achieved after 2 weeks. The results last for 3-5 months when nerve function returns to normal.

What Results Should I Expect?

Patients getting treatment for clenching and grinding will notice decreased tension in their jaw muscles and may notice a decrease in the size of the muscle itself.

Expected results are discussed before treatment. Generally, lines that are visible at rest will not disappear – they will soften or smooth. Lines that are visible only when the muscles are activated may disappear completely. Remember, you want to look good for your age, yet still look like you.

What Are The Side Effects?

Side effects are not common when the procedure is done properly. However, even with careful planning and techniques, side effects are seen in about 3% of patients.  Some side effects include eyelid droop or swelling, discomfort at the injection sites, tiredness, headache, neck pain, vision problems and allergic reactions. Patients are given a complete list of side effects before treatment.

Who Is A Good Candidate For Treatment?

People who clench or grind their teeth, have headaches related to overactive jaw muscles or have tension in the jaw muscles can benefit from treatment.

Almost anyone can benefit from treatment. Cosmetically, it is recommended to start at a young age before the lines become deeper and visible at rest. Treatment in middle age can achieve good results. Older patients with deep set lines may not respond well to this treatment. Other cosmetic options can be explored, such as fillers or surgery.

Who Is Not A Good Candidate For Treatment?

You should not get treatment if you are pregnant or nursing, have allergies to the medication, or have an infection at the injection site. Patients with muscle or nerve conditions (such as ALS, myasthenia gravis and others) should avoid neuromodulators.

Do Men Get Treatments?

Approximately 15% of patients are men. And the number is going up.

Is It Safe?

Botox, the first neuromodulator, has been used for over 15 years for cosmetic treatments. It is one of the safest and most widely researched and tested medical aesthetic products.  Xeomin is a more pure form of the medicine and has a similar safety record.

Where Can I Get More Information?

There is a lot of information on the company website: www.botoxcosmetic.com.  Feel free to ask questions at your next dental appointment.

   The best way to deal with dental emergencies is the prevent them.  This is done by regular brushing and flossing and by regular visits to your dentist’s office.  Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels, and hard candy.  Your teeth are not good bottle openers or scissors.  Prevention is also accomplished by using appropriate mouthguards when engaging in high risk activities, such as hockey, lacrosse, wrestling, basketball, etc.

Proper oral care can eliminate most dental emergencies.  However, accidents do happen.  Here are some quick guidelines on what to do if you have a dental emergency.

Bleeding lip or tongue.  Clean the area well and apply a cold compress.  If you are unable to control the bleeding, go to emergency at the nearest hospital.

Something stuck between your teeth.  Try to remove the debris gently with floss or a toothpick.  If you are unable to remove it, call your dentist.

Broken tooth.  Gently rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area.  If there is no pain, call your dentist to schedule an appointment.  If there is pain, call your dentist and ask to be seen as soon as possible.  If the break is small, a white filling may be placed.  If the break is large, a crown may be needed.  Your dentist will help you decide on the right treatment for you.

Knocked out tooth.  Try not to touch the root of the tooth.  Gently rinse the root if it is dirty, but don’t scrub it.  If it is an adult tooth, try to put the tooth back into its socket.  If it is replaced within 10 minutes, it has a good chance of re-attaching.  If you cannot re-insert the tooth, place it in a cup of milk.  Get the patient and the tooth to your dentist’s office as soon as possible.

Toothache.  Try to determine the cause of the pain.  Is it sensitive to hot or cold or biting?  Does the tooth hurt without any stimulus?  Call your dentist for an appointment.  Try to describe the problem as best as you can.  This will help the office schedule an appropriate appointment.  Take ibuprofen or Tylenol for pain relief.  A cold pack may help with swelling and pain.

If are in pain and your dentist is unavailable, there may be an emergency dental clinic in your area.

When restorative procedures such as root canal therapy, crowns, or fillings are not enough to save a tooth, it may need to be pulled, or extracted. Tooth extraction procedures today are less painful than before, with many patients experiencing little discomfort and only minor bleeding. Many extractions can be completed in our office. However, difficult cases, such as wisdom teeth or badly broken teeth, may require referral to an office that can provide sedation.

Instructions following an extraction:-
1.Pain relief. Most patients require only over the counter pain medications. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) is especially effective. Tylenol can also be used. In certain circumstances, a prescription medication is necessary. Take the medicine before the procedure and before the anesthetic wears off. Taking the painkillers at regular times will increase their effectiveness. You may need to take medications for up to one week. If the extraction site feels like it is healing and then becomes markedly worse a couple of days later, you should call to have the area assessed. An infection may be recurring at the site and require further treatment.

2.Bleeding. Bleeding is normal after extractions. You should bite on a gauze for about one half hour to stop the bleeding.

3.Swelling. If swelling occurs, you can apply an ice bag to your cheek for ten minutes on and ten minutes off for the first few hours.

4.Food. Soft, easy to chew food is recommended for the first day or two. Do not eat or drink until the freezing wears off. Do not drink through a straw for the first few days to allow the area to heal properly. Spicy or acidic foods may irritate the area.

5.Activity. Take time to rest and relax following an extraction. Some children, however, will be able to resume normal sporting activities within a few hours.

6.Smoking. Smoking decreases the blood flow to your mouth and can affect healing. Stopping or at smoking less for a day or two will help your extraction site to heal faster.

7.Antibiotics. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them until they are gone. This will help to prevent re-infection of the area.

1. WHITE FILLINGS

Many types of filling materials are available for restoring decayed, chipped, worn, and cracked teeth, as well as spaces between teeth. The most widely used is a white composite resin that can be closely matched to the color of your existing teeth. As with all dental restorations, composite fillings will last for many years but are not permanent.

2. PORCELAIN CROWNS

A crown is a long-lasting restoration that covers or replaces most of a tooth, restoring it to its original size and shape. Crowns protect and restore strength to broken, heavily filled, and cracked teeth.

At our office, we can provide single-visit crowns using Cerec. This is a technology that utilizes 3D digital imaging and computer assisted design and fabrication to create and individualized, custom-made tooth colored ceramic restoration.

3. PORCELAIN FIXED BRIDGES

A dental bridge is a non-removable appliance that is used to replace missing teeth. It can be made of porcelain or porcelain overlying a gold alloy substructure. Bridges provide excellent aesthetics, prevent unwanted tooth movement, and restore chewing and speaking ability.

4. DENTURES AND PARTIAL DENTURES

A denture is a removable dental appliance that replaces missing teeth and the surrounding tissue. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing and rest and adhere to the gums. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. Partial dentures use small clasps to attach to some of the remaining teeth to achieve stability.

5. ROOT CANALS THERAPY

Root canal therapy is needed when the pulp, the living tissue inside a tooth, is irreversibly damaged or infected. The pulp can become infected by a deep cavity, a large restoration, or trauma to the tooth. In order to save the tooth, the pulp and any bacteria are removed, and the resulting space is filled with a restorative material to prevent re-infection. General dentists do most root canals, but certain cases require a root canal specialist, an endodontist, to complete the therapy. Dr. Caruk will assess your tooth to determine who is best able to restore your tooth.

The only alternative to root canal therapy is to extract the tooth. Although extraction is cheaper and quicker in the short term, subsequent problems to the adjacent teeth may result in the need for significant treatment.

Many people associate root canals with pain. The truth is that most root canal therapy is relatively painless. Dental pain diminishes quickly once treatment is initiated. The procedure itself will often cause no different sensations than a filling appointment. 

6.ORTHODONTICS

Regardless of your age, straightening your teeth can help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile. Modern, patient-friendly treatments make the experience comfortable and rewarding. Straight teeth not only look better, they are also easier to keep clean and can decrease the incidence of tooth decay, gum disease, and abnormal tooth wear.

Orthodontics can be done at any age. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your teeth, ask us about a referral to an orthodontist. For children, Dr. Caruk recommends seeing an orthodontist between the ages of 7 and 8 to determine the most effective treatment for your child. Some appliances can be used at a young age to avoid or shorten the time needed for straightening teeth later.

7.EXTRACTIONS

When restorative procedures such as root canal therapy, crowns, or fillings are not enough to save a tooth, it may need to be pulled, or extracted. Tooth extraction procedures today are less painful than before, with many patients experiencing little discomfort and only minor bleeding. Many extractions can be completed in our office. However, difficult cases, such as wisdom teeth or badly broken teeth, may require referral to an office that can provide sedation.

Instructions following an extraction:-
1.Pain relief. Most patients require only over the counter pain medications. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) is especially effective. Tylenol can also be used. In certain circumstances, a prescription medication is necessary. Take the medicine before the procedure and before the anesthetic wears off. Taking the painkillers at regular times will increase their effectiveness. You may need to take medications for up to one week. If the extraction site feels like it is healing and then becomes markedly worse a couple of days later, you should call to have the area assessed. An infection may be recurring at the site and require further treatment.

2.Bleeding. Bleeding is normal after extractions. You should bite on a gauze for about one half hour to stop the bleeding.

3.Swelling. If swelling occurs, you can apply an ice bag to your cheek for ten minutes on and ten minutes off for the first few hours.

4.Food. Soft, easy to chew food is recommended for the first day or two. Do not eat or drink until the freezing wears off. Do not drink through a straw for the first few days to allow the area to heal properly. Spicy or acidic foods may irritate the area.

5.Activity. Take time to rest and relax following an extraction. Some children, however, will be able to resume normal sporting activities within a few hours.

6.Smoking. Smoking decreases the blood flow to your mouth and can affect healing. Stopping or at smoking less for a day or two will help your extraction site to heal faster.

7.Antibiotics. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them until they are gone. This will help to prevent re-infection of the area.

Grinding you teeth at night is very common. A high percentage of people grind their teeth but only a small percentage is aware of it. Signs of nocturnal grinding include morning headaches, sore jaws, earaches, neck pain, loose teeth, broken teeth, and the shortening of teeth (especially the front teeth).

One way to prevent the effects of grinding is to wear a nightguard. Our dental guards are made of plastic and fit over all of upper or lower teeth. The guard protects the teeth from abrasion and can reduce muscle strain by allowing the lower jaw to move easily with respect to the upper jaw. A nightguard is typically worn every night on a long-term basis. It is not a cure, but it will protect your teeth and cosmetic dentistry.

We want you to join us in the belief that a healthy smile can last a lifetime. Our focus is on prevention. By maintaining proper oral hygiene and receivin regularly scheduled professional dental care, you can decrease the incidence of serious oral health problems. Dr. Caruk considers preventive dentistry as essential to providing you and your family with complete dental care.

1. ROUTINE EXAMINATIONS

Routine visits with our office enable us to diagnose and prevent problems. We will address your dental concerns and discuss treatment options. We can treat existing issues like cavities and gum disease before they cause any serious damage.

2. DENTAL X-RAYS

Dental x-rays are essential, preventive diagnostic tools that provide valuable information that is not directly visible during an examination. Some problems that can be detected with x-rays include: abscesses, cysts, bone loss, tooth decay, poor tooth position and tumors. The frequency of x-rays depends on your individual dental health needs.

Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, more involved treatment, discomfort, and your teeth.

3. DENTAL CLEANINGS

Medical research is confirming that inflammation is a contributing factor in many of the chronic diseases of aging – including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. It turns out that the mouth is a significant source of inflammation when gum disease is present. Left untreated, gum disease increases your risk for these serious systemic diseases.

Gum disease is a silent disease – you can have it and not even know it. A dentist or dental hygienist can tell you if you have gum disease. There are identifiable risk factors that make some people more susceptible to gum disease than others.

A dental cleaning involves removing the soft plaque and hard tartar that accumulates on your teeth. Plaque and tartar contain saliva components, food debris, and bacteria. These bacteria produce toxins that lead to inflammation. After your teeth are cleaned, they will be polished to remove stains and create a smooth surface to decrease plaque build-up in the future.

We will work with you to identify and treat your gum problems. With regular professional cleanings, a plan for eliminating inflammation, and excellent home care, we can decrease your chances of developing serious gum disease.

4. FLUORIDE

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is present in most foods and water supplies. It is an effective agent in preventing tooth decay. Fluoride in food and water aids in strengthening erupted teeth and those developing under you gums. Fluoride in toothpaste and mouth rinses penetrates the outer layer of the enamel to make teeth more resistant to decay. We recommend a professional application of fluoride once or twice a year to provide additional protection.

4. HOME CARE

A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal when treating patients. Your personal home care is one of the most important factors in achieving that goal. Your home care starts by eating a balanced diet, reducing the number of cavity-causing snacks that you eat, and properly cleaning your teeth by brushing, flossing, and using other dental aids.

Electric toothbrushes are a great invention. They have been scientifically proven to clean teeth better than manual brushes. Flossing is important to clean between your teeth, where your toothbrush cannot get. Most cavities that we find are “flossing” cavities – that is, between the teeth.

Other dental home care aids include interdental brushes, tongue cleaners, fluoride rinses, anti-bacterial rinses, and medications. We will help you find the best protocol for your health.

5. SEALANTS

Sealants help to prevent cavities. They are made of a thin resin that seals the grooves of your back teeth to keep out decay-causing food, plaque and bacteria. They can be used on any unrestored tooth but are especially beneficial for children and young adults. They do not take the place of brushing and flossing but can significantly decrease your chances of getting a cavity.

6. SPORTS MOUTHGUARDS

Properly designed and custom fabricated mouthguards are essential in the prevention of athletic oral/facial injuries. Mouthgards not only prevent broken and knocked out teeth, but also decrease the incidence of concussions. Mouthguards are effective for hockey (even if you wear a shield!), basketball, and other sports.

A properly fitted mouthguard must be protective, comfortable, resilient, not bulky, cause minimal interference to speaking and breathing, and (possibly the most important criteria) have excellent retention, fit, and sufficient thickness in critical areas. Only a custom-made mouthguard can adequately protect you teeth.

7. NIGHTGUARDS

Grinding you teeth at night is very common. A high percentage of people grind their teeth but only a small percentage is aware of it. Signs of nocturnal grinding include morning headaches, sore jaws, earaches, neck pain, loose teeth, broken teeth, and the shortening of teeth (especially the front teeth).

One way to prevent the effects of grinding is to wear a nightguard. Our dental guards are made of plastic and fit over all of upper or lower teeth. The guard protects the teeth from abrasion and can reduce muscle strain by allowing the lower jaw to move easily with respect to the upper jaw. A nightguard is typically worn every night on a long-term basis. It is not a cure, but it will protect your teeth and cosmetic dentistry.

Root canal therapy is needed when the pulp, the living tissue inside a tooth, is irreversibly damaged or infected. The pulp can become infected by a deep cavity, a large restoration, or trauma to the tooth. In order to save the tooth, the pulp and any bacteria are removed, and the resulting space is filled with a restorative material to prevent re-infection. General dentists do most root canals, but certain cases require a root canal specialist, an endodontist, to complete the therapy. Dr. Caruk will assess your tooth to determine who is best able to restore your tooth.

The only alternative to root canal therapy is to extract the tooth. Although extraction is cheaper and quicker in the short term, subsequent problems to the adjacent teeth may result in the need for significant treatment.

Many people associate root canals with pain. The truth is that most root canal therapy is relatively painless. Dental pain diminishes quickly once treatment is initiated. The procedure itself often will cause no different sensations than a filling appointment. 

Everyone has had a sensitive tooth at some time.  Some of the possible causes are a cavity, a cracked tooth, an abscessed tooth, recent dental cleaning or restoration, following tooth whitening, and exposed dentin.  This article investigates the last cause, exposed dentin.

Dentinal sensitivity is the most common cause of tooth sensitivity.  It affects 15-20% of the adult population and the incidence increases as you age.  Symptoms vary from person to person and depend on the amount of exposed dentin, the health of the pulp, and your pain tolerance.  Most people experience sensitivity near the gumline.

To understand why some teeth become sensitive, you need a quick tooth anatomy lesson.  There are three layers of your teeth.  The enamel is the hard, protective outer layer that does not extend.  The dentin is the next slightly softer, yellower inner layer.  The pulp is the innermost layer composed of tissue, nerves and blood vessels.  The dentin has small tubules running through it.  When these tubules are exposed, your teeth can become very sensitive to numerous stimuli, such as cold, touch, acidic and sweet foods, and air.  This type of sensitivity can be sharp and is usually short-extend, although your teeth may have a dull ache afterwards.

The dentin can become exposed in several ways.  Gum recession is a major problem and gets worse as you age.  Recession is present in about 88% of people 65 and older.  Diet is another big factor in sensitivity.  Many people consume too many acidic foods and drinks.  Carbonated beverages, juice, fruit, wine, coffee, tea, and candy all contribute to an acidic environment in your mouth.  This acidity erodes and weakens your tooth and opens the dentinal tubules.  Bulimia, anorexia, and repeated gastric reflux also introduce strong acids into your mouth.  Heavy clenching and grinding of your teeth can cause enamel wear on the biting surface and enamel chipping along the gumline, exposing more dentin.  How does this happen?  Imagine if you push on the top of a beach ball.  The sides expand.  The same thing happens when you clench your teeth.  When the side of the tooth expands, the thin enamel near the gumline cannot flex so it chips.  Even whitening your teeth can cause temporary sensitivity.  Finally, improper home care can cause exposed dentin.  Excessive brushing and lack of brushing lead to gum recession.

What can you do?  Have your dentist assess your teeth.  The dentist will examine your teeth and diagnose the cause of your sensitivity. Your dentist may recommend a fluoride mouth rinse (Optirinse is a good example) or a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.  We like Sensodyne and Colgate for Sensitive Teeth.  An in-office desensitization treatment will help some patients.  The dentist or hygienist will discuss and possibly modify your home care techniques.  In some cases, you may require a filling or even gum surgery to cover the exposed dentin.  You may need an adjustment of your bite or a nighttime splint or nightguard.  Eliminate the predisposing factors by altering your diet – be aware of acidic food, drink water instead of pop, avoid fruit rollups, don’t suck on hard candy – even sugarless.

In conclusion, most tooth sensitivity can be controlled.  If you have problems, See your dentist.

Everyone experiences some level of stress.  Unfortunately, stress has been linked to several health problems – including your dental health.

Stress can cause pain in your jaw joint or temporomandibular joint (TMJ).  The pain is usually just in front of your ear, in your jaw muscles, or in the face or temples.  TMJ disorders can also cause headaches and teeth grinding, which can lead to tooth fractures, excessive tooth wear, and tooth sensitivity.  Pain in the TMJ can make it difficult to chew, swallow, speak or yawn.  Stress is not the only cause of TMJ pain.  Other factors include trauma to the joint and arthritis.  Sometimes there is no known cause.

Prolonged stress can decrease your immune systems responses which can increase the risk of infections, including in your teeth and gums.  Stress can make you neglect your personal health, such as nutrition and oral hygiene.  All these factors can lead to gum disease and bone loss in your jaw.  Stress is also linked to dry mouth and oral ulcers.

For the sake of your whole body health and your oral health, it is important to manage your stress levels.  Identify your stressors and try to avoid the ones you can and alter the ones you can’t.  If you cannot avoid the stressors, learn to adapt or accept the situation.  Learn to say “no”, avoid people who stress you out, pare down your to-do list, or talk to a friend. Try yoga, exercise, do something you enjoy, rest and relax.  Dentally, continue to brush and floss everyday and don’t eat unhealthy foods to deal with the stress. Sometimes a custom made night guard or Botox can decrease jaw pain. Talk to your doctor if you need help.

As a parent, you are responsible for keeping your child’s teeth healthy and clean. You can prevent cavities by providing a healthy diet and by regular daily dental care.

Until the age of 6-8 years old children lack the motor skills to do a thorough job brushing their teeth.  Allowing children to brush their teeth is a good way for them to practice, but it is necessary for parents to brush their child’s teeth to ensure removal of plaque and bacteria.  Brush all aspects of your child’s teeth using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and a small circular motion reaching to the gumline. Establishing a routine can help you avoid missing any teeth.  For example, start on the back tooth on the top right and work your way forward.  Ensure that you do the cheek side, the tongue side, and the chewing surface of each tooth.  Repeat on the top left.   Then do the same pattern on the bottom teeth.  Make sure your child spits out after brushing.  It is recommended that you brush your child’s teeth for two minutes twice a day, typically after breakfast and before bed.  Using a timer or playing a song can help make sure enough time is spent for a thorough brushing.

Daily flossing is important for adults as well as children.  Your child may want to floss his or her own teeth, but parents are encouraged to floss either before or after the child practices until the age of 7-9 years old.  Flossing before bed is ideal to remove the plaque and bacteria between your child’s teeth before he or she goes to sleep.  While asleep the flow of saliva decreases so food particles are less likely to be washed off the teeth and bacteria is left undisturbed to consume the missed food.  The feasting bacteria produce acid, which can weaken tooth enamel and contribute to the formation of cavities.  To floss your child’s teeth take a length of floss and wrap the ends around your middle fingers, leaving your index fingers and thumbs to control the floss.  Alternately, you can purchase floss sticks that may be easier to use.  Gently work the floss between the teeth and down to the gumline using a sawing motion, and then wrap the floss around one tooth in a c-shape.  Rub the floss up and down and then move the floss to the other tooth and do the same.  Floss the spaces between the teeth and the back side of each of the very back teeth.

It can be difficult to see into your child’s mouth but there are a few positions that can help to make it a little easier.  You can sit on a couch and have the child lie down with his or her head on your lap.  You can also have your child sit on the ground between your legs leaning back against the couch while you sit on the couch and have your child tilt his or her head back.  If standing it may be easier to have your child stand in front of you and tilt his or her head back rather than face each other.  Don’t be afraid to try different positions until you find one that is comfortable for both you and your child.

Eating properly can go a long way to preventing dental problems for you and your children.  When you eat any food containing sugars, the bacteria in your mouth process the sugar to produce an acid.  This acid softens the outer layer of teeth (enamel) and can cause cavities or holes in your teeth.  The severity of damage depends on the amount of sugar consumed, the time the sugar stays in contact with your teeth, and the acidity of the food.  For example, sipping a pop slowly over an hour is worse for your teeth than drinking it quickly in 15 minutes.

Be aware that naturally occurring sugars can produce the same effects as refined sugar.  Many healthy foods contain natural sugar – milk, vegetables, fruit, and unsweetened fruit juice are just a few examples.  Therefore, putting your child to bed with a bottle of milk or juice can create a devastating destruction of your child’s teeth.  Using juice as a snack will coat your child’s teeth with sugar. Water is the best drink between meals.

Read labels!  Try to avoid high sugar content foods as much as possible.  Look for these words on labels:  fructose, glucose, sucrose, corn syrup, corn sweetener, honey, molasses, and maple syrup.

Have healthy snacks handy.  Give water instead of juice or pop.  Keep carrot sticks, cheese, vegetables, nuts, and seeds on hand.

Save sweets for a special occasion.  We all like treats but we don’t need them all the time.  Have a special dessert after a meal.   There is more saliva in your mouth after you eat.  This saliva helps to wash away the sugar.

You cannot avoid eating cavity causing foods.  Many are part of a healthy diet and are necessary to proper growth and development.  Your job is to be knowledgeable of the affect food has on your child’s teeth and to clean their teeth properly.

A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal when treating patients. Your personal home care is one of the most important factors in achieving that goal. Your home care starts by eating a balanced diet, reducing the number of cavity-causing snacks that you eat, and properly cleaning your teeth by brushing, flossing, and using other dental aids.

Electric toothbrushes are a great invention. They have been scientifically proven to clean teeth better than manual brushes. Flossing is important to clean between your teeth, where your toothbrush cannot get. Most cavities that we find are “flossing” cavities – that is, between the teeth.

Other dental home care aids include interdental brushes, tongue cleaners, fluoride rinses, anti-bacterial rinses, and medications. We will help you find the best protocol for your health.

Everyone wants to have a bright white smile.  Unfortunately, teeth naturally darken with age.  Teeth also discolour due to the accumulation of surface stains acquired from smoking and consuming certain foods, such as coffee, tea, red wine, pop, juice, and almost any food with a deep colour.

Many people are satisfied by the results of twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and regular cleanings at the dental office.  If you decide that you want whiter teeth, there are a few options.

First, there are whitening toothpastes and chewing gum.  These use gentle abrasives and other cleaners to whiten your teeth.  They have a limited ability to remove some of the surface stains on your teeth.

Second, you can whiten teeth at your dentist’s office.  During chairside bleaching, a protective gel is placed over your gums.  The whitening agent is applied to your teeth for 20 minutes, then cleaned, and reapplied for another 20 minutes. This procedure should take about one hour and may need more than one visit.

Third, you can use at home whitening agents.  Most whitening agents are peroxide based and come in several concentrations.  Your dentist will choose that best agent for your teeth.  This technique usually involves wearing a custom made mouthguard filled with the whitening solution for 30 minutes to overnight.

There are a few points worth noting.  There are side effects with any procedure.  Some people may experience tooth or gum sensitivity.  The sensitivity is temporary and should lessen once the treatment is finished.  Not everyone’s teeth will become extremely white.  For example, teeth that are “yellowish” whiten better than “greyish” teeth. Whitening will not correct all tooth discolorations nor will whitening change the colour of existing restorations.

In conclusion, whitening is generally a safe and effective way to improve your smile.  If you have any questions about whitening, please talk to your dentist.

What is it?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring compound found in soil, water, and some foods.  It has been found to help remineralize decalcified enamel surfaces, thereby making your teeth more resistant to decay.  Fluoride also decreases the ability of oral bacteria to produce acids in your mouth.

Where is it and how much is enough?

Fluoride is available to us in several ways.  First, fluoride is added to municipal water supplies.  Health Canada endorses this use of fluoride in drinking water as an important component of your oral health. You need to drink at least half a litre of water per day to prevent tooth decay.  Second, your dentist can apply fluoride directly to your teeth after a dental cleaning or as a varnish to strengthen a decalcified or sensitive tooth.  Third, fluoride is the active ingredient in many types of toothpaste.  To get an effective amount of fluoride, everyone should brush twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste.

Is it safe?

Used in the recommended amounts, fluoride is very safe and effective.  The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognized municipal water fluoridation as “one of ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.”  A 2007 Australian review of scientific research stated that

  • Community water fluoridation is beneficial for reducing dental caries (tooth decay).
  • Water fluoridation at optimal levels does not affect the risk of bone fractures.
  • There is no clear association between water fluoridation and overall cancer incidence or mortality.
  • The reviewed studies do not suggest an increased risk of adverse health effects at optimal fluoridation levels.

At Brush Dental in Sherwood Park, you and your family can experience a variety of dental services in a comfortable, friendly setting.  We strive to provide personal service for all patients young and old.  We are proud to treat several generations of the same family.  We will help you understand your treatment options and make the best choices for your specific dental needs.

At Brush Dental, your Sherwood Park dentist can assess the needs of patients as young as 1 year old.  Mostly, this involves talking with the parents and informing them of the importance of early dental home care.  We care for the needs of older children – checking for cavities; assessing growth; checking for crowding and spacing problems; and providing information on nutrition and home care.  Most of our staff have young children or grand-children and love to guide kids through their first few dental visits.  And there is always a prize at the end of the appointment.

We provide a full range of services for adults.  You can get your crowns and porcelain restorations in one visit with our Cerec technology. You can have your teeth whitened in one hour with our in-office tooth whitening system.  Our digital x-ray create large high definition images that you can see on our computer monitors.  Now you can see what we see.

1. Take a muscle relaxant as directed on the package instructions for three full days without interruption. I recommend Robaxisal (aspirin), Robaxicet (acetaminophen), or Robax Platinum (ibuprofen). They all have the same muscle relaxant but have different anti-inflammatory medications. Use whichever anti-inflammatory you prefer. Some people feel drowsy with these medications so be aware.
2. Limit how wide you open your mouth. Be careful with big sandwiches, apples and other food. When you yawn, tip your chin down to your chest – this limits opening and allows for a satisfying yawn.
3. No hard or chewy food. Be nice to your jaw joint.
4. Two or three times a day, apply hot and cold alternately for one minute each for a total of ten minutes. Finish with heat and then proceed to #5.
5. Gently stretch your jaw. Slowly open until you feel a slight stretch and hold for a few seconds. Do this a few times. Then slowly move your lower jaw to one side and hold. Then move to the other side.

If your jaw joint feels better, great! If there is little or no improvement, you may need to see a jaw joint specialist.

Keeping your mouth healthy

mouthguards

Get proper mouthguards to avoid broken and knocked-out teeth on the rink!

nightguards

Grinding your teeth while you sleep can cause jaw, ear, and neck pain. A well-fitting night guard can halt that.

sealants

Sealants, made from a thin resin that seals the grooves on your teeth, can prevent cavities.

home care

We can't do it all, but we can answer all your questions about how to keep your mouth healthy at home.