Four Things to Do to Get on Your Dentist’s Good Side | Richmond Hill Dentist

It’s bad enough that we need to visit the dentist regularly, but to hear bad news every time you show up only makes the appointment harder to keep. But, if you think about it, we all control the outcomes of these checkups. It isn’t our dental professional’s job to keep our mouths healthy – it’s ours. We are the ones that cleans our teeth, we are the ones that have habits that cause dental issues; we have no one to blame but ourselves. So, if you want to get in your dental professional’s good graces and score yourself a fantastic report card, take a moment to follow these tips:

Kick the bad habits. The nicotine and tar in cigarettes are not only turning your teeth an unsightly shade of yellow, but smoking creates a ripe environment for bacteria and plaque on your teeth and along the gum lines, harming tissue and eventually increases your risk of tooth loss.

Keep your appointments. Regardless of the reason, keeping your trips to the dentist regular can catch problems such as decay, gum disease, trauma, or cancer at an early stage when they’re treatable — and solutions are more affordable.

Brush your teeth correctly. It takes only about two minutes to properly clean your teeth and gums. Angle the brush 45 degrees toward your gum line, and use gentle, circular strokes.

Fix the flossing habits. Flossing is fundamental to keeping teeth and gums clean — but only if you do it right. Use about two inches of floss between your fingers, unroll a fresh section of floss for each tooth, and keep the floss tight against your tooth to break up plaque while leaving your gums in good shape.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your dental health, contact Dr. Tayefi, DDS at (905) 237-7842 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.artdentfamilydentistry.com for additional information.

Dr. Elham Tayefi proudly serves Ontario and all surrounding areas.

Choosing the Right Kind of Braces | Richmond Hill Dentist

One of the cornerstones to a great smile is straight teeth. Not only does it look great, but it is ideal for basic day-to-day functions, like chewing or speaking. Unfortunately, lots of patients aren’t born with these ideal grins. This is where braces come into play. But did you know that there are many versions of braces? It’s true! It isn’t just the traditional metal variation anymore. So, here is a quick rundown with the pros and cons of each:

Traditional. Stainless steel braces are the most inexpensive types of braces. The main drawback to metal braces is that they’re very visible. They’re also known to cause irritation in the gums and cheeks while you adjust.

Ceramic. Ceramic braces are made to blend in with your teeth, but at a much higher cost. They’re built to withstand stain, but the ties can easily stain, if you drink coffee or tea. Unfortunately, ceramic braces are much more sensitive and are prone to breaking or chipping.

Lingual. Even more inconspicuous than ceramic, lingual braces are tucked behind the teeth. The main problem with lingual braces, aside from the cost, is that they’re not ideal for most cases. These braces can also get in the way of the tongue, causing speech problems and/or injuries.

Invisible. Invisible braces are not like your conventional braces wherein you have brackets mounted to your teeth. Instead, you’re wear custom-fitted aligners or rubber trays for 20 hours a day, removing them only when you’re eating or brushing your teeth. The main advantage of these braces is that they require less frequent dental visits. The biggest drawback, though, is that it’s easy to lose the trays and replacing them can be quite costly.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your braces, contact Dr. Tayefi, DDS at (905) 237-7842 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.artdentfamilydentistry.com for additional information.

Dr. Elham Tayefi proudly serves Ontario and all surrounding areas.

Extracting Your Tooth: What You Need to Know | Richmond Hill Dentist

We all want to keep our teeth for as long as possible, but there are times with a circumstance will necessitate losing a tooth. It could be for a number of reasons – from severe tooth decay or infection, gum disease (where the supporting bone is compromised), fractured teeth to treating impacted wisdom teeth, even cosmetic removal. So, if you find that your dental professional suggests extraction, here are some simple things to keep in mind.

While there are many different reasons for extraction, virtually all extractions fall into one of two classes – simple and surgical. Simple extractions typically involve local anesthetic, and instruments are used to gain leverage and physically loosen and pull the tooth from the patient’s mouth. Surgical extractions, as their name implies, is typically conducted by an oral surgeon under anesthesia, and may involve teeth that are fully beneath the gum tissue, or teeth that require cutting tissue or bone for other reasons.

Both surgical and simple extractions require healing – your dentist or oral surgeon may prescribe antibiotics to minimize the chance of infection and will pack the socket with gauze to eliminate the chance of food particles becoming embedded in the opening formerly occupied by the removed tooth. It will take some time to heal but keeping your meals to liquids for the first couple of days will allow the area to heal without issue.

If your dentist recommends extraction, you should ask whether the extraction will be a simple extraction or if it will require surgery, and you should discuss the need for antibiotics and expected healing time. While extraction is fairly common and well understood, there are some potential complications (including infection, bleeding, swelling, and nerve injury).

If you have questions or concerns regarding your tooth extraction, contact Dr. Tayefi, DDS at (905) 237-7842 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.artdentfamilydentistry.com for additional information.

Dr. Elham Tayefi proudly serves Ontario and all surrounding areas.

Why Do We Use Toothpaste? | Richmond Hill Dentist

We know the importance of looking after our teeth, which includes brushing and flossing them twice a day. But why do we use toothpaste? Toothpaste cleans the teeth, protects them against tooth decay, and keeps them looking healthy and attractive, while ensuring your breath is nice and fresh as well. Dentists recommend that you use toothpaste, especially fluoride toothpaste as this not only cleans your teeth but protects them as well. Brushing the teeth with toothpaste, flossing and using a mouthwash are all essential parts of a daily dental hygiene routine that will result in healthy and great looking teeth.  

Brushing with toothpaste is important for several reasons:

  • Toothpaste and a correct brushing action work to remove plaque, a sticky, harmful film of bacteria that grows on your teeth that causes cavities, gum disease and eventual tooth loss if not controlled.
  • It contains fluoride, which makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage can even be seen.
  • Special ingredients in toothpaste help to clean and polish the teeth and remove stains over time.
  • Toothpastes help freshen breath and leave your mouth with a clean feeling.  

Contrary to what toothpaste commercials show, you don’t need a heaping amount of toothpaste for effective cleaning. Simply squeeze a pea-sized dab of paste on the top half of your brush. If you brush correctly, holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush for at least two minutes, the paste should foam enough to cover all of your teeth. Children under age 6, however, should be given a very small, baby pea-sized dab of toothpaste on their brush to prevent swallowing.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your toothpaste choice, contact Dr. Tayefi, DDS at (905) 237-7842 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.artdentfamilydentistry.com for additional information.

Dr. Elham Tayefi proudly serves Ontario and all surrounding areas.

How Is Oral Cancer Diagnosed? | Richmond Hill Dentist

It may not sound like a commonality, but oral cancer is something that affects us more often than you think. In fact, 132 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every hour of every day and 640,000 new cases each year worldwide. And dental professionals are the only ones that can diagnose us – this is why it is important to keep your dental appointments.

As part of your routine dental exam, your dentist will conduct an oral cancer screening exam. More specifically, your dentist will feel for any lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, face, and oral cavity. When examining your mouth, your dentist will look for any sores or discolored tissue as well as check for any signs and symptoms mentioned above and may perform an oral brush biopsy if they see tissue in your mouth that looks suspicious. This test is painless and involves taking a small sample of the tissue and analyzing it for abnormal cells. Alternatively, if the tissue looks more suspicious, your dentist may recommend a scalpel biopsy. This procedure usually requires local anesthesia and may be performed by your dentist or a specialist. These tests are necessary to detect oral cancer early, before it has had a chance to progress and spread.

See your dentist on a regular schedule. Even though you may be conducting frequent self-exams, sometimes dangerous spots or sores in the mouth can be very tiny and difficult to see on your own.

The American Cancer Society recommends oral cancer screening exams every 3 years for persons over age 20 and annually for those over age 40.

During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist to perform an oral exam. Early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment.

If you have questions or concerns regarding oral cancer, contact Dr. Tayefi, DDS at (905) 237-7842 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.artdentfamilydentistry.com for additional information.

Dr. Elham Tayefi proudly serves Ontario and all surrounding areas.

Why Do Toothaches Hurt So Much? | Richmond Hill Dentist

There is nothing worse than discovering a toothache. Sure, lots of things hurt, but there is something special about a toothache. You take a bite of your favorite food and WHAM! A shooting pain overwhelms your entire mouth, and you can no longer look at your favorite food the same. And in cases like this, we need to a visit the dentist.

But what exactly is a toothache and how did we end up in this kind of pain? Well, there are lots of different ways a toothache can occur. It can be as simple as a cracked tooth, cavities, or exposed roots; but it can also be something more serious, like your ears or sinuses causing the issue.

When it comes to pain, each one of us has a different threshold of pain tolerance. Some can work through a headache; some are taken out at the first signs of one. Because both headaches and toothaches are detected by the same trigeminal nerve in your head, there is no real way to crack the case without the help of your dental professional.

Our mouths dictate many of our overall health issues, so it is important to pay attention to the signals your body gives you when something is wrong. Ignoring the pain will only lead to more problems, so make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as you find headaches or toothaches are persistent. There’s nothing to be afraid of. The technological advancements in dentistry makes dental procedures easy and virtually painless. And this is why we tell you that it’s so important to take care of your teeth. Good oral hygiene is the best line of defense against a toothache.

If you have questions or concerns regarding toothaches, contact Dr. Tayefi, DDS at (905) 237-7842 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.artdentfamilydentistry.com for additional information.

Dr. Elham Tayefi proudly serves Ontario and all surrounding areas.

Saving Your Smile with Implants | Richmond Hill Dentist

Many patients put off going to the dentist. Whether they’re afraid of the pain, the noise of the procedures or the monetary cost of dental work, putting off dental visits can turn small problems into larger ones. Left long enough and your teeth can be lost due to decay, infection, or physical problems like cracking.

For the most severe dental problems, one of the common treatments is the dental implant. Where fillings remove small areas of decay with a synthetic substance and crowns place a cap over an existing tooth root, implants replace the entire tooth – root and all. The process is involved, but done properly, a tooth implant can last many decades, potentially even a lifetime.

The procedure starts by removing the existing tooth and root and placing a titanium implant post into the patient’s jawbone. This metal post is the foundation for the entire implant, and it should be allowed to heal for 6-12 weeks, as the bone forms a permanent bond with the metal post. Once firmly bonded, the dentist will attach a second metal connector – known as an abutment – to the post, which provides a connecting surface for the replacement tooth. The dentist will then make impressions, modeling the entire mouth so that the replacement crown perfectly matches your existing bite. Finally, the crown will be attached permanently to the abutment, providing a solid, permanent tooth.

While there may be some pain in the initial extraction, the rest of the procedure can typically be done under local anesthesia (such as Novocain). The procedure does take a few months to allow the post to properly bond to the jawbone, but once complete, the patient will have a natural looking, durable, convenient replacement for even the most severely damaged teeth.

If you have questions or concerns regarding dental implants, contact Dr. Elham Tayefi, DDS at (905) 237-7842 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.artdentfamilydentistry.com for additional information.

Dr. Tayefi proudly serves Richmond Hill and all surrounding areas.

The Aftercare of the Root Canal | Richmond Hill Dentist

When we wake up with a toothache, we know that it’s time to take a trip to the dentist. Unfortunately, ignoring issues like tooth decay will only lead to them worsening, which means extra pain. So, bite the proverbial bullet and make that appointment. Soon you and your mouth will have been treated and you are on your road to recovery. But you were right – it wasn’t a painless experience.

There’s no doubt that a root canal procedure can cause some of the worst temporary oral pain you could experience. But all is not lost; there are lots of ways you can temporarily ease some of the pain. If you’ve just had a root canal or are planning on getting one done soon but need relief while you wait, keep this handful of remedies in mind to help ease and sooth the painful areas after your procedure is finished:

  • Make sure to take the antibiotics prescribed by your dentist.
  • Relieve pain with anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen.
  • Avoid eating hard, crunchy or tough foods for the first few days.
  • An ice pack applied to the affected area can help to relieve pain.
  • Use a numbing gel such as Oragel once the anesthesia wears off.

We all want healthy mouths. But it isn’t easy or guaranteed. This is why we need to take the time to maintain proper dental hygiene in order to do our part in between dental visits. Otherwise, we may be stuck to have a major dental procedure done to repair any damage done. Aren’t you glad there are ways to soothe any pain you may experience afterwards? There is no reason to dodge the dental chair – technology and patient care is here to help our patients.

If you have questions or concerns regarding dental aftercare, contact Dr. Elham Tayefi, DDS at (905) 237-7842 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.artdentfamilydentistry.com for additional information.

Dr. Tayefi proudly serves Richmond Hill and all surrounding areas.

Home Treatment Options for a Brighter Smile | Richmond Hill Dentist

If you ask most people what they consider a great smile, chances are they will say bright white teeth. But oftentimes, our diets and lifestyle choices can hinder your teeth being their pearliest. You can brush and floss every day, but your teeth may not keep its natural sheen. You can make appointments with your dental professional to have teeth whitening sessions, but that can get pricey. So, how do you keep your teeth white in between dental visits? Here is a breakdown of some ways you can do at home:

Whitening products sold over the counter in the form of strips, trays, or paste work by using the oxidizing agents to remove pigment on the surface of the enamel. The products are effective at removing surface stains but should be used in moderation. Overuse of the oxidizing agents can cause both gum and tooth sensitivity, and overuse may even leave some of your teeth looking translucent.

Now for the natural methods. Believe it or not, there are some foods that can actually help whiten our teeth while keeping us healthy. There is the tried-and-true hydrogen peroxide and baking soda paste, but did you know that strawberries and bananas can produce similar results? Strawberries contain malic acid, and malic acid is fantastic at breaking down teeth stains. A couple berries and some baking soda is a great, and fruity, version of the peroxide version. Rubbing a banana peel over your teeth like a toothbrush will also shine up your smile. The minerals in a banana, like potassium, will absorb into your teeth and brighten it in a very healthy way.

So, as you can see, there is hope for our dingy grins. It just depends on the way you’d like to pursue it.

If you have questions or concerns regarding gum disease and diabetes, contact Dr. Elham Tayefi, DDS at (905) 237-7842 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.artdentfamilydentistry.com for additional information.

Dr. Tayefi proudly serves Richmond Hill and all surrounding areas.

Diabetes and Gum Disease: What You Ought to Know | Richmond Hill Dentist

Do you have diabetes? It is a very common disease that affects millions. Not only does diabetes affect our blood sugar levels, but it also affects our dental health. Poorly controlled diabetic patients are at risk for numerous oral complications, such as periodontal disease, salivary gland dysfunction, infection, neuropathy, and poor healing.

There are two major forms of diabetes recognized, type-1 and type-2. Both are characterized by inappropriately high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). In type-1 diabetes, the patient cannot produce the hormone insulin, while in type-2 diabetes the patient produces insulin, but it is not used properly.

Oral changes are evident in poorly managed diabetics. These patients are at risk for numerous oral complications, such as periodontal disease, salivary gland dysfunction, infection, neuropathy, and poor healing. Their presence may serve as an early clue to the possible presence of diabetes, prompting your dentist to perform or request further testing.

Periodontal disease is a commonly observed dental problem for patients with diabetes. While similar to the periodontal disease encountered among nondiabetic patients but may be more severe and progress more rapidly.

In conclusion, we can summarize the above by citing the American Dental Association, which states that those with diabetes are more at risk for getting periodontal disease and those with periodontal disease are more likely to contract diabetes. Good hygiene and regular visits to the dentist will lower our risk for gum disease, as well as diabetes and other diseases. Keeping your blood sugar level within the normal range by proper diet and exercise will keep your body healthy and lower the risk of gum disease.

If you have questions or concerns regarding gum disease and diabetes, contact Dr. Tayefi, DDS at (905) 237-7842 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.artdentfamilydentistry.com for additional information.

Dr. Elham Tayefi proudly serves Richmond Hill and all surrounding areas.