What is Demineralization of Tooth Enamel?

Have you heard of demineralization of your tooth enamel?

If you have weakened teeth and/or suffered from multiple cavities, this could be caused by demineralization. Demineralization of your tooth enamel is a superficial dissolving of the enamel (the glassy outer shell part of your teeth). It is also a sign of early tooth decay…often seen as white spots. It can be caused from too much exposure to acidic food and drink.

As you know, once enamel is gone, it cannot be regenerated…so, the key is to be proactive and try to avoid demineralization completely. You can do this by:

  • Avoiding sugary food and drinks as much as possible
  • Avoid acidic food and drink as much as possible
  • Not brushing too hard…and use a soft bristled toothbrush
  • Getting fluoride treatments at your dental clinic to promote remineralization
  • Using toothpaste with fluoride
  • Practice excellent oral hygiene
demineralization of teeth enamel

 

 

 

 

 

 

The moral of the story: see your dentist for a checkup every 6 months…or whenever something doesn’t feel right. Good health starts from within, so take extra good care of your teeth. You only get one set, after all!

If you are looking for a dentist in Surrey, we would love to have you as a new patient at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry! Give us a call to book an appointment for you and your family today!

Do You Know How Your Dentin Affects Your Teeth Whitening?

You may have heard the term “dentin” before, but do you know what it is? Well, your teeth are made of four components:

(1)   Enamel – the protective surface of the tooth

(2)   Pulp – is made up of items such as large nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels – allows the body to supply it with blood

(3)   Cementum – the root of the tooth  dentin and teeth whitening

AND of course….

(4)   Dentin

What is Dentin Made Of?

Dentin is calcified bodily tissue that is protected by the enamel. It is made up of 10% water, 20% organic material and 70% hydroxylapatite.

It is a bone-like structure, but softer than actual bone. Teeth are made up of 3 layers of dentin: primary (outer layer), secondary (middle layer), and tertiary dentin (inner layer).

I heard that my teeth may not be able to reach my desired level of super whiteness because of my dentin. Is this true?

If your dentin is a deep shade of yellow, this is unfortunately true because dentin cannot be whitened. The yellow will still show through your enamel. This is why some people will only be able to get to a certain level of whiteness.

Don’t get discouraged though – it is quite likely that your smile can still be improved from it’s current shade…especially if your teeth are stained from things like coffee, red wine, and/or cigarettes.

Book a consultation with your dentist and they will happily answer all of your questions.

Looking for teeth whitening in Surrey? Call us today at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry: 604-593-8201.

 

 

Do You Suffer from Daytime Bruxism?

When we think of bruxism, we usually think of teeth grinding while sleeping…but there is actually daytime bruxism as well.

Daytime bruxism is also often related to stress, whereby people clench their teeth instead of letting their mouth relax. Most people at some point do this, depending on what is going on in their life at the moment. That said, it becomes a problem when it turns into a chronic (ongoing) issue, causing damage and pain.

Clenching your teeth can lead to things like:  teeth clenching

  • Tension headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • The loss of enamel
  • Tooth cracking / breaking

The one benefit of having daytime bruxism as opposed to nocturnal bruxism, is that you are more aware it is happening, so it is then easier to diagnose. Self-awareness also makes it easier to catch yourself doing this and then begin to train yourself not to.

You can’t wear a regular mouthguard to help in this situation because those are too bulky and can affect your speech. There are, however, ultra-thin and more discreet daytime mouthguards available that can help protect your jaw, teeth, and prevent damage to your enamel.

It is also important to focus on getting a handle on your stress – not just for your clenching issue, but for your overall health as well. Talk to your doctor about what your options are in terms of stress management. Treating the cause vs. the symptoms is key.

More questions about teeth clenching? Contact our Surrey dentist at 604-593-8201.

Did You Know that April is National Facial Protection Month?

In honor of April being National Facial Protection Month, we want to remind all athletes of the importance of wearing mouthguards to protect their teeth and mouth. This applies to both recreational and competitive sports…during both games and practices. You never know when an accident may happen after all, so it is best to always be prepared.

mouthguards surrey

A good mouthguard will act as a barrier against any potential hits to the face to prevent chipped or broken teeth and various injuries to your tongue, lips, face, and jaw.

Your mouthguard should fit well, be durable, and not hinder speaking or breathing. There are three different types of mouthguards:

  • Ready-made / stock mouthguards (from sporting goods stores)
  • Mouth-formed “boil and bite” mouthguards (from sporting goods stores)
  • Custom-made mouthguards (from your dentist)

Custom-made mouthguards are obviously ideal, as they will be more comfortable and be a better fit, however, any mouthguard is better than no mouthguard.

If you participate in any of the following, you should definitely be using a mouthguard: basketball, boxing, martial arts, football, rugby, hockey (ice, field, roller), gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, handball, baseball, softball, lacrosse, racquetball, tennis, squash, track and field, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, surfing, water polo, wrestling, and weightlifting.

Looking for a dentist in Surrey to make you a custom mouthguard? Call us at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry today!

Is Your Dentin Getting in the Way of Your Teeth Whitening?

You may have heard the term “dentin” before, but do you know what it is? Well, your teeth are made of four components:

(1)   Enamel – the protective surface of the tooth

(2)   Pulp – is made up of items such as large nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels – allows the body to supply it with blood

(3)   Cementum – the root of the tooth  dentin

AND of course….

(4)   Dentin

What is Dentin Made Of?

Dentin is calcified bodily tissue that is protected by the enamel. It is made up of 10% water, 20% organic material and 70% hydroxylapatite.

It is a bone-like structure, but softer than actual bone. Teeth are made up of 3 layers of dentin: primary (outer layer), secondary (middle layer), and tertiary dentin (inner layer).

I heard that my teeth may not be able to reach my desired level of super whiteness because of my dentin. Is this true?

If your dentin is a deep shade of yellow, this is unfortunately true because dentin cannot be whitened. The yellow will still show through your enamel. This is why some people will only be able to get to a certain level of whiteness.

Don’t get discouraged though – it is quite likely that your smile can still be improved from it’s current shade…especially if your teeth are stained from things like coffee, red wine, and/or cigarettes.

Book a consultation with your dentist and they will happily answer all of your questions.

Looking for teeth whitening in Surrey? Call us today at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry: 604-593-8201.

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Does Your Child Suck Their Thumb? You Need to Read This!

We all know that babies (and even toddlers) naturally suck their thumbs or use pacifiers and other objects to maintain a calmness, happiness, to help themselves fall asleep…or just out of general curiosity.

The problem with this, however, is that it can become a problem once their permanent teeth come in. It can interfere with the growth of their mouths, including changes in the roof of their mouths. It can also lead to misalignment. For aggressive thumbsuckers, it can even create problems with their baby teeth.  dangers of thumbsucking

It can also lead to sore thumbs. In severe cases, they could even crack and bleed or get infected…so then it becomes a health issue too. Not to mention, babies hands are often covered in germs.

So the obvious question then is: How Can I Help My Child Stop this Habit?

  • Get to the root of the problem. Find out why they may be seeking the comfort of thumbsucking – it is often when they are insecure or need comfort.
    For example: maybe it is too dark in their room at night and you could purchase a special kid-friendly lighting contraption that lights up the walls and ceiling or a fun night light to make it less daunting and distract them until they fall asleep.
  • Instead of just automatically giving them a pacifier or allowing them to suck their thumb, try rocking, massaging, or playing with them.
  • Give them activities to keep both hands busy.
  • Boost your child’s confidence by praising them for not thumbsucking.
  • For children who are old enough, ask your dentist to explain to them the importance of not thumbsucking so that they understand it is more than just their parents telling them “Don’t do that!”. It’s important to educate them as to WHY they should not do that.
  • Show your child YouTube videos about thumbsucking. As with the dentist talking to them, often it just takes someone youtube
    other than mom or dad to motivate them to stop.
  • Don’t confront them in a negative way – that will just cause them more anxiety. It is better to just nicely ask them “Do you realize you are sucking your thumb now?” Getting them in the habit of being more self-aware can work wonders.
  • Find an alternate item that they can focus on such as a stuffed animal or a blanket. 
When concerned or in doubt, ask your  stuffed animaldentist! They’re always there to be of help!

    Looking for a family dentist in the Surrey area? Call us to book an appointment at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry today!

 

Let’s Close Off February By Acknowledging That It’s National Children’s Dental Health Month

Did you know that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month? We collected some of our best blog posts from the past that are really important to keep top of mind when it comes to oral health – even starting from pregnancy!

Pregnancy and Oral Health  february national children's dental health month

Common Questions About Baby Teeth

7 Tips for Soothing Your Teething Baby 

5 Tips to Make Brushing Fun for Kids

3 Ways to Help Kids Overcome Their Fear of Going to the Dentist

Tips for Maintaining Teeth from Infants to Adults

Dental Sealants – It’s Better to Be Proactive than Reactive

The Parental Role of the Tooth Fairy

So do yourself a favor and do your kids a favor and give these a gander. If your kids are old enough, it’s great to read some together too! The more education you can have, the fewer dental challenges and expenses you will have down the road.

Looking for a family dentist in Surrey? We are accepting new patients. Healthy and happy smiles are our specialty!

Interesting Facts About The History of the Toothbrush

There are many things that we use and kind of just take for granted and/or don’t know the history of.  The toothbrush is one of them…

history of the toothbrushDid you know that the toothbrush is over 5000 years old?

Ancient civilizations used to thin twigs with frayed ends to dislodge food from between their teeth, kind of like today’s version of the toothpick. They called them “chew sticks”.

Later on, they started to use wood, ivory, bone, and bristles of animals such as boars and hogs.

Did you know that the first mass-produced toothbrush was invented in prison?

Well, it’s common knowledge that inmates have nothing but time on their hands, so this really isn’t too surprising to hear, but nonetheless, interesting.

Back in 1770, a gentleman by the name of William Addis from England was put in jail for starting a riot. His fellow prisoners at the time used a rag covered in salt or soot to clean their teeth.

Having an entrepreneurial mindset, he saved an animal bone from dinner and then got a guard to give him bristles. He made tiny holes in the bone and inserted the bristles, then ensured they would stay in place by sealing the holes with glue. Pretty brilliant!

When he finally got released from jail, he improved his original invention and started a company to make toothbrushes.

The modern bristled toothbrush made of nylon that you would find in stores today was invented in 1938. Many people found these too hard, but by the 1950s, softer nylon bristles were being made.

See…you really do learn something new everyday!

Looking for a personable and highly professional dental clinic in Surrey? Call us at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry. We would love to welcome you and your family as a new patient!
 

Don’t Use Your Teeth As Tools

Chances are high that you or someone you know has used their teeth as tools before.

For example:

  • Ripping open packages  don't use teeth as tools
  • Tearing tape
  • Opening a bottle of beer
  • Taking tags off of new clothes
  • Holding things between your teeth such as nails when hanging something, pens, other random things when your hands aren’t free
  • Tearing open bags of chips

The list goes on…

It may seem totally harmless, but the extra pressure can actually cause a lot of damage, such as cracks, chips, harm to enamel, and in extreme cases, even loss of a tooth. It can even cause your teeth to shift, especially if you are currently using Invisalign where your teeth are already moving.

Can you imagine having to end up getting a dental implant just because you didn’t take a minute to grab a pair of scissors or a knife? And consider the expense that goes along with that…for something that could have been very easily prevented. Or you may have to get bonding or porcelain veneers.

Save yourself the trouble and use your teeth for what they were designed for – chewing your food and to helping you speak.

You only have one set of adult teeth to last you a lifetime – take care of them and don’t fall into any bad habits.

Need a family or cosmetic dentist in Surrey? Give us a call today at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry!
 

Has Activated Charcoal Toothpaste Peaked Your Interest?

If you are active on Instagram and Facebook, chances are very high that you have come face to face with an ad for activated charcoal toothpaste, as it is being pegged as one of the latest trends to whiten your teeth. (Although it’s not a new invention – back in ancient Roman times, people used charcoal in powdered form as an ingredient in their toothpaste.) Not to mention, it seems so much easier and less time intensive than other options. And because it seems so easy – because it’s literally just brushing like with regular toothpaste – it makes people wonder if it really works.

activated charcoal toothpaste

Tons of people swear by it, including social media influencers and bloggers. That said, there are dentists who have concerns about the risks that may be associated with use of it. There is thought that if you use charcoal toothpaste on a long-term basis, it may be too abrasive and possibly wear away at your tooth enamel. (And we know that once tooth enamel wears away, it’s gone for good, so it is something that you need to take seriously.)

When tooth enamel breaks down, the dentin (the layer beneath your enamel) then becomes more visible. Why is this a problem? It’s an issue because dentin has a yellowish tinge, so it can then make your teeth look more yellow or stained…which is the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve.

When it comes to teeth whitening, it is better to be safe than sorry and get a product straight from your dentist’s office, or make an appointment for a professional whitening in the clinic.

Looking for professional teeth whitening in Surrey? Come see us at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry! Call us to book your appointment today: 604-593-8201