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.

Trick-or-Treating Keeping Your Family’s Smile Healthy | Richmond Hill Dentist

It’s that time of year again – the weather gets chillier and before you know it, tiny ghosts, princesses and superheroes invade your front porch on a sweet mission. Sure, it may not look like it used to, but little ones love to dress up in their costumes in exchange for some Halloween treats. But before you send them off to collect more cavities, here are some Halloween tips to keep in mind to prevent that spooky dental checkup in the future:

Limit the intake. In your child’s eyes, it’s a candy free-for-all. Instead of denying them all the sweets they can gobble, have them choose a set number of candies they want the most. The rest can be frozen for later, or even given away. Now you know they have enough to make everyone happy, but you know they aren’t sneaking it behind your back, foiling your secret dental scheme.

Set a schedule. One easy way to monitor your family’s sugar intake is to make it an event. Designate a certain time you can all enjoy a candy break together. Not only will you be able to keep track of what they’re eating, but you can plan it to ensure everyone can brush or rinse afterwards, making sure those cavity creeps stay away. Having a snack time at home can make everyone less inclined to crave sweets.

Continue the care. The main defense against candy-driven cavities is good dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing before bed will prevent cavities from attacking while your little one sleeps. Make brushing a fun way to fight “cavity crime”. They can be their smile’s superhero all year ‘round!

If you have questions or concerns regarding inlays and onlays, 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.

Inlays and Onlays Will Improve Your Smile | Richmond Hill Dentist

No one wants dental flaws. Our smile is important to us. It helps in so many aspects of our daily lives. So, when your dental checkup results in tooth decay and/or cavities, we are looking for the solution to fixing it. And this is where your dental professional comes in. Because there are several ways to go about repairing teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay or cavities, it is important to seek their expertise in creating a treatment plan. Some of these restorative options include inlays and onlays. The problem is – which is best? For now, let’s dig deeper into the inlay/onlay option.

Inlays and onlays are a more conservative approach than dental crowns are because they don’t require as much of your natural tooth to be removed. This procedure is also considered less invasive an in some cases, which is going to be a better choice for patients. But there are many benefits that stem from inlays and onlays:

Natural looking. Inlays and onlays are made up of a mixture of porcelain and composite resin, which creates a more natural looking appearance.

Durability. Since inlays and onlays are made from a stronger material than crowns, they typically last longer and provide additional support.

Tooth preservation. Because they don’t require your dentist to remove as much of your natural tooth structure, inlays and onlays preserve more of your natural tooth.

Hygiene. Custom-made for each individual tooth, inlays and onlays are easier to clean and bacteria is less likely to get into the affected area after treatment.

Expansion. Inlays and onlays don’t expand and contract in the same way as filling materials, reducing the stresses on the tooth.

If you have questions or concerns regarding inlays and onlays, contact Dr. Elham 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.

Adjusting to Braces: Food Edition | Richmond Hill Dentist

When a patient needs braces, one of the first questions is how will my day-to-day life change? And there’s no need to sugarcoat it – it will. It isn’t going to be earth-shaking, but there will be some adjustments made to the way you brush and floss, and your diet will change a bit as well, especially if you choose to have traditional braces.

Before you get too nervous, there is a very good reason for it. Because brackets are attached to your teeth using a basic dental cement, eating foods that are extra hard or sticky can cause the brackets to pop off, which will mean an unexpected dental visit for repair and delaying your treatment. And yes, they are made of metal, but they can be damaged by eating the wrong foods. Not only that, but food that cannot be cleaned off braces with a simple brushing and flossing may lead to discoloration and decay of your teeth. The good thing is, if you stay on task, your experience will go smoothly. So, here is a list to keep on the fridge while you are wearing braces:

  • Absolutely no gum, sugarless or otherwise
  • Chewy foods like bagels, hard rolls and licorice
  • Crunchy foods, such as popcorn, ice and chips
  • Sticky foods, including caramels, taffy and gum
  • Hard foods like nuts are healthy but can break your teeth like hard candy
  • Crispy foods you bite into, like corn on the cob, apples or carrots
  • Also avoid biting into non-food items, such as nail-biting and pencil-chewing habits

If you have questions or concerns regarding your dietary restrictions, contact Dr. Elham 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.