Family & Cosmetic Dentist Toronto FAQs

We speak with our patients to answer any questions that they may have regarding the health and maintenance of their oral conditions. Listed below are some of the questions that are asked often. Contact our dental clinic in Toronto to discuss any of these questions, or if you have your own questions.

Do I need a dental check-up? How often?

Only your Toronto dentist is trained to notice problems with your teeth, gums and mouth. During a check-up, your Toronto dentist looks for gum disease, cavities, loose fillings, broken teeth, infections, early sign of oral cancer, and signs of other problems that could affect your general health.
How often you visit your Toronto dentist for checkups will depend on how well you care for your teeth and gums, and if there are any problems that need to be watched or need treatment, and how quickly tartar builds up on your teeth. After your check-up, your Toronto dentist will be better able to suggest when to come back for your next visit. Regular visits to one of our dental clinics in Toronto will help to catch small problems before they become serious problems.

Do I need dental X-rays? How often?

Dental X-rays help your Toronto dentist see problems long before they get too serious. Dental X-rays can show cavities between teeth and around old fillings, bone loss caused by gum disease, bone infections and abnormalities, teeth that are trapped under the gums, such as wisdom teeth, Long or crooked tooth roots that will need special care if you are having treatment such as a root canal, TMDs (temperomandibular joint disorder).
How often you get x-rays will depend on your medical and dental history and current condition. Your Toronto dentist will only take X-rays if you need them. Some patients may need X-rays more regularly so that their Toronto dentist can keep an eye on the condition of their oral health. You may need X-rays more regularly if you are going to have major dental treatment, if you are at a high risk for cavities or gum disease, or if you have dry mouth from medication or disease. If you are a new patient, your Toronto dentist will probably want to take more X-rays to get a complete picture of your oral health. The amount of radiation from a dental x-ray is extremely small. Also, advanced technology allows the members of your dental team to greatly reduce your exposure to radiation.

Why do i get Cavities?

Tooth decay is the process that results in a cavity or dental caries. It occurs when bacteria in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth. If not treated, tooth decay can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss.
You can easily prevent tooth decay by brushing and flossing your teeth, regular dental hygiene visits and checkups and avoiding foods that are high in sugar.
Tooth decay usually does not cause symptoms until you have a cavity or an infected tooth. When this occurs, a toothache is the most common symptom. It is diagnosed by an oral examination and x rays.
Treatment for tooth decay depends on the extent of the decay. Slight tooth decay may be reversed by using fluoride. To fix cavities caused by mild tooth decay, a dentist will remove the decay and then prepare the tooth for a filling. For more severe tooth decay, a crown or root canal may be necessary. In extreme cases, the tooth may need to be removed.

Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?

Bleeding during brushing and flossing is often the first sign of periodontal (gum) disease. This means that your gums have become inflamed or infected as a result of plaque and tartar buildup along and below the gum lines. This condition can become very serious if left untreated and can eventually lead to receding gums and tooth loss.
The best treatment for this condition is a visit to your Toronto dentist for a thorough check-up and cleaning, followed by a complete regimen of brushing and flossing. With prompt and thorough treatment, the condition if caught early can normally be corrected. Please feel free to call our dental clinic in Toronto if you have noticed bleeding during tooth brushing, or if you would like direction on proper home care techniques.

How can I help myself to prevent bad breath?

According to recent studies, almost half the population of adults in North America suffers at least occasionally from bad breath (halitosis). The most common cause of bad breath is bacteria in the mouth and on the back of the tongue. These bacteria produce a volatile sulfur compound, which in turn produces a smell similar to “rotten eggs”. (Other non-dental causes of halitosis include certain foods, smoking, alcohol, hormonal changes or simply being hungry.)
If the halitosis is of oral origin, the treatment usually begins with ensuring meticulous hygiene of the mouth. Your Toronto dentist or dental hygienist will check for gum disease and, if necessary, prepare a detailed treatment plan. Tongue scraping should also become an important part of daily home care and part of your regular tooth brushing routine. (It’s easy and painless.)

Why are my teeth so sensitive?

Teeth are often sensitive because the dentin layer of the tooth has become exposed. Any stimulation at the surface of the dentin is transmitted through the tubes to the nerves, causing pain. The dentin is usually exposed in 2 ways: abfraction and worn away enamel. To determine the cause of patient’s tooth pain, we’ll first make sure that the pain isn’t caused by decay, a broken tooth or abscess.
Proper homecare is essential to taking care of sensitive teeth. We may recommend that you avoid high-acid and high-sugar foods, use a desensitizing toothpaste, use a soft-bristled toothbrush or wear a nightguard if you clench or grind your teeth.

How is teeth whitening from my dentist different from whitening kits I buy from a store?

Teeth whitening is one of the fastest and easiest ways to brighten your smile. The whitening options available in your dentist clinic in Toronto generally include in-office treatments and at-home kits.
In-office treatments use a special bleach and a source of heat or light to activate the bleach. Noticeable differences can usually be seen within an hour of an in-office treatment. At-home kits involve a tray that is custom-fitted to your teeth and holds a special bleaching gel, provided by your dentist in Toronto. You wear the tray for a prescribed length of time each day.
Whitening should always be done under the supervision of a dentist. We can rule out any underlying causes for the discolouration of your teeth and we can help you choose the whitening option that will best achieve your desired results.

How early should I take my child to the dentist?

Recent studies have shown that by the age of three, a child is already at risk of having cavities which can be caused by something as innocent as putting a baby to sleep with a bottle of juice or milk. At your child’s first dental visit, along with taking our first look at your child’s oral condition, we are largely focused on the parents and helping them to establish a good oral hygiene program and diet for the child. We believe that a child should have his or her first dental visit by the age of 2.
It is a little known fact that a child’s primary teeth are vital to the long-term health of their permanent adult teeth. The premature loss of primary teeth as a result of accidents or decay can cause serious problems, including poorly spaced and crooked adult teeth. As a result, it is just as important to care for a child’s baby teeth as it is for the adult teeth that follow.

How is a mouth guard from my dentist different from one I buy from a store?

High-speed collisions that occur during the play of sports like hockey, football, soccer and basketball can cause serious tooth damage. A professionally fitted mouth-guard is the best defense for any athlete against this. The mouth guards provided in our office are custom-made to perfectly fit the wearer’s teeth which can result in a more comfortable and secure fit. In addition, we use a heavier mouth guard material selected based upon each patient’s individual needs. The boil and bite mouth-guards that you purchase in retail stores simply can not provide the same level of protection.

Should I go to the dentist during my pregnancy?

Pregnancy can be a wonderful time, filled with joy and excitement. Unfortunately, it can also be quite a frustrating time, especially if you are experiencing dental problems throughout your pregnancy. Pregnant women are actually more prone to dental complications and it is important to get these complications treated effectively. There are a variety of dental problems that women are more prone to experience during pregnancy. These issues include periodontal disease and pregnancy gingivitis.
It is important to get proper dental care during pregnancy. Regular dental checkups and good hygiene practices at home can keep your teeth and gums free of tartar and plaque, and help to prevent or reduce the effects of pregnancy gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Do my wisdom teeth need to come out?

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. Sometimes these teeth can be a valuable asset to the mouth when healthy and properly aligned, but more often, they require removal. Wisdom teeth present potential problems when they are misaligned – they can position themselves horizontally, be angled toward or away from the second molars or be angled inward or outward. In addition, they can be entrapped completely within the soft tissue and/or the jawbone or only partially break through or erupt through the gum. Teeth that remain partially or completely entrapped within the soft tissue and /or the jawbone are termed “impacted.”

I get very nervous before and during dental visits, what can I do?

Sedation dentistry is a very effective solution for people who experience anxiety prior to and during their dental visits. Sedation dentistry does not put you to sleep. It induces a sense of deep relaxation that enables you to feel comfortable while we carry out our work.
You may be a candidate for sedation dentistry if you have:

  • intense fear of dental visits
  • a bad dental experience in the past
  • sensitive teeth
  • fear of needles
  • extreme dislike of the smells and tastes associated with dental procedures
  • strong gag reflex or inability to keep mouth open during treatment
  • difficulty with traditional “numbing” i.e. the numbing does not take
  • extensive treatment or multiple procedures to be done at the same time

There are many options for sedation and one is sure to help you. Talk to us to learn more.

Fillings… silver or white, what’s the difference?

Many of us who grew up before the time of fluoridated water have a mouth full of silver fillings. These fillings known as amalgams, have proven to be extremely durable restorations, but they are not very pleasing to the eye.
Fortunately, recent advances in dental materials have made it possible to use tooth coloured filling materials. These materials can be virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth and are used to achieve long lasting and attractive restorations. In our practice, we use tooth coloured materials for almost all of the fillings that we place. We even use these materials to replace old amalgam fillings that have started to deteriorate or that simply detract from the appearance of our patient’s smiles.
Feel free to contact our dental clinic in Toronto if you have any concerns about your old silver fillings. We will be more than happy to answer your questions.