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Understanding Periodontal Disease and How to Prevent It

By | Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a condition that occurs when the tissues and the bones that surround your teeth become infected. There are two different types of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis affects only the gums, while periodontitis is more severe and may begin to damage the tissues and bones in your mouth.

What Causes Periodontal Disease? periodisease
This disease may develop when bacteria start to build up on your teeth and gums. These bacteria are generally present in plaque.

What are the Symptoms?

You may have gingivitis if your gums are red, swollen, and tender, or if they tend to bleed easily when you are brushing or flossing your teeth. Because these symptoms generally aren’t painful, it may be easy to forgo receiving treatment from our dentist, Dr. Anna Szmitko, but you should not hesitate to contact us for an appointment.

If the periodontal disease has turned into periodontitis, your gums may pull away from your teeth, you may see pus excreting from your gums, and you may begin to lose some of your teeth.

Prevention Tactics
There are several things you can do to prevent periodontal disease from developing in your mouth, such as:

• Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly.
• Eating a diet that is high in vitamins and minerals and eating sugary foods sparingly.
• Avoiding smoking and chewing tobacco. These substances increase your chances of incurring gum disease.

Additionally, visiting our office is one of the best ways to ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy and the early signs of periodontal disease are caught before they develop into periodontitis.

Four Easy Ways to Prevent Snoring Caused by Obstructive Sleep Apnea

By | Obstructive Sleep Apnea

sleepapneaObstructive sleep apnea is a condition that causes interruptions in your breathing throughout the night while you sleep. One of the signs that may indicate you have obstructive sleep apnea is excessive snoring. Here are four easy ways to potentially stop snoring and help your partner get a restful night of sleep.

1. Sleep in a Different Position– When you lie on your back, the back of your tongue and soft palate may collapse into the wall of your throat, causing a vibrating sound to occur. In order to prevent this from happening, try sleeping on your side instead.

2. Drink Water– When you’re dehydrated, the substances in your nose and soft palate become thicker and stickier. Drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day can combat this problem.

3. Practice Good Sleep Habits– With a busy schedule, it may be hard to get enough sleep every night. However, poor sleep habits can also have an impact on your snoring. When you are extremely tired, you sleep deeply and are more likely to snore. To prevent this, make getting enough sleep every night a top priority.

4. Change Your Pillows– Allergens accumulating on your pillow and in your bedroom can contribute to snoring. If it’s been a while, replace your pillows and give your room a good dusting.

Our dentist, Dr. Anna Szmitko, can provide you with more ways to prevent snoring and to gain control over your obstructive sleep apnea. Contact us at Forest Green Dental Care in Newmarket, ON today for more information.

Kids Dentistry: When Should You Start Bringing Your Child to the Dentist?

By | Uncategorized

kidsdentistryAs a parent, teaching your child how to take care of their teeth is likely one of your goals. Taking your child to the dentist is one of the ways you can help your child understand the importance of proper dental hygiene. If you’re not sure when to make your first appointment with us for kids dentistry services, here’s what you need to know.

When to Make the First Appointment
You should take your child into our office for a kids dentistry appointment shortly after they celebrate their first birthday, or when you notice that a few teeth have popped through their gums. Although these teeth will eventually fall out, it is important to ensure that their teeth and gums stay healthy while they are saving the spots for permanent teeth.

What to Expect
Your child’s first visit with our dentist, Dr. Anna Szmitko, will focus on introducing your child to the dentist and getting them used to the idea of getting their teeth looked at. During this appointment, we will likely talk to your child about developing good dental hygiene habits and perform a general cleaning. From there, we will provide you more information about how often to bring in your child for kids dentistry services as more of their teeth start to come in.

When your child is between the ages of four and six, we will likely take their first set of X-rays to make sure that there aren’t any cavities in their mouth. Until they are about 12, preventing cavities from developing and helping your child establish flossing and brushing habits will be our primary focus.

Foods You Should Avoid with Braces

By | Braces

Although braces are a type of dental appliance that is relatively sturdy, you should still treat them with care. This means that you should avoid eating certain foods that could potentially cause damage to the wires and brackets that hold your braces in place. Some of the foods you shouldn’t eat while you have braces include:

• Popcorn and nutsbraces
• Hard taco shells
• Hard candy and gum
• Corn chips and pretzels
• Foods that are sticky, like caramel

Harder foods, like raw vegetables, meat, and fruit, should be cut up into smaller pieces before consumption. You should also avoid biting into them with your front teeth. Although it may not always be possible, it is best to stick to softer foods, like bananas, yogurt, and mashed potatoes while you have braces on.

In addition to watching what you eat while you have braces, you should also make taking care of your braces a priority. If you aren’t careful, food and plaque can build up in the crevices of your braces and may end up causing stained enamel and tooth decay.

After every meal, look in the mirror to make sure that any pieces of food aren’t stuck in your braces. Then, brush and floss your teeth, paying special attention to the areas around the brackets and wires.

If you have any questions about what foods you shouldn’t eat or how to properly care for your braces, our dentist, Dr. Anna Szmitko, can provide you with more information.

Five Ways to Recover from Wisdom Teeth Removal

By | Wisdom Teeth Removal

wisdomteethGetting your wisdom teeth taken out isn’t fun. However, there are several ways you can make the wisdom teeth removal process easier on yourself and to also speed up the healing process.

1. Watch What You Eat– After wisdom teeth removal surgery isn’t the time to get a burger from your favourite restaurant. After the surgery, stick with softer foods, like pudding and ice cream, and then add solid foods back into your diet gradually. Also, don’t drink through a straw—the sucking action can cause your stitches to come loose.

2. Rest Up– Although you may want to get back to your normal activities after wisdom teeth removal as quickly as possible, take at least a day to relax and recover. You should also avoid strenuous exercise for several days after that.

3. Open Your Mouth– After the wisdom teeth removal surgery, your mouth may be feeling stiff. However, you should try to open and close your mouth at regular intervals to prevent this stiffness from becoming long-lasting.

4. Rinse with Salt Water– If you are experiencing swelling and pain in your mouth, try rinsing with salt water. After the surgery, this should be done several times, especially after eating and drinking, to prevent infection.

5. Listen to Instructions– When you have your wisdom teeth removed at our office, our dentist, Dr. Anna Szmitko, will likely provide you with several guidelines regarding how to take care of your mouth after the surgery. Make sure that you abide by these instructions as closely as possible, as this will ensure you are able to heal from the surgery quickly.

What You Need to Know About TMJ Treatments and Disorders

By | TMJ Treaments

tmjTMJ disorders, otherwise known as problems with the jaw joint and chewing muscles, are highly varied in the way people respond to them. However, the disorders that require TMJ treatments generally fall into one of three categories:

• You experience discomfort in the muscles that control the function of your jaw
• Your jaw is dislocated, or you are suffering from a displaced disk
• An inflammatory disorder affects your jaw joint

The cause of joint disorders that warrant TMJ treatment is not explicitly known. However, trauma to the jaw or the jaw joint can trigger pain or discomfort in this area. Additionally, TMJ disorders are often more prevalent in women than men. If you believe that you have a jaw disorder, the pain or discomfort may have started without an obvious reason.

Pain, in the chewing muscles of the mouth or your jaw joint, is the most commonly recognized symptom of TMJ disorders. However, other symptoms exist, as well. If you notice that your jaw is extremely stiff, you have a hard time moving your jaw, or a popping or clicking sound occurs when you open or close your mouth, you may have a jaw disorder.

The TMJ treatments we recommend to treat your jaw problems will depend on the severity of your condition. However, before we start treatment, our dentist, Dr. Anna Szmitko, may recommend other ways to ease the symptoms of your condition, such as eating soft foods, avoiding extreme jaw movements, and applying ice packs to the affected area.

Snoring – It’s More Than Just Annoying to Your Partner

By | Snoring

Does your snoring keep your partner up at night? If it does, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. This is a condition that causes repeated pauses in your breathing while you are sleeping. In addition to snoring that can interrupt your partner’s sleep, not receiving treatment for your sleep apnea raises your risk of diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure.

Snoring isn’t the only sign that you may have this condition. Some of the other indicators of sleep apnea include:

snoringGasping for air. If you have sleep apnea, you may gasp, choke, or snort after a lapse in your normal breathing pattern occurs.
Frequent bathroom trips. While getting up regularly throughout the night to use the bathroom is a sign of aging, it also indicates that you might have sleep apnea.
Waking up with a headache. Do you wake up with your head throbbing in the morning? During breathing pauses, the oxygen levels in your brain decrease, which can cause pain in your head.
Weight. If you are overweight, your chances for sleep apnea increase because the fat pads surrounding your airway narrow this space and make it more difficult to breathe.
Exhaustion. Even if you spend eight to nine hours at night in your bed, sleep apnea interrupts your sleep and may cause you to feel tired and drowsy throughout the day.

If you believe you might have sleep apnea, make an appointment with our dentist, Dr. Anna Szmitko, to explore possible solutions.

Dental Implants: What to Do Before and After the Procedure

By | Dental Implants

Dental implants are an alternative to dentures that can drastically improve the look of your smile. If our dentist, Dr. Anna Szmitko, believes that a dental implant is the right solution for you, there are several things you should do both before and after the procedure.

Before the Procedure
implantsBe sure to tell Dr. Anna Szmitko of any medical conditions you are currently experiencing. This is extremely important if you have vascular or heart problems. Depending on your condition, you may need to take an antibiotic before the surgery.

If you drink or smoke, you will want to stop doing so excessively before the surgery. Failing to stop may result in the procedure being unsuccessful.

Another thing you will want to remember is to stop drinking and eating a few hours before the surgery. During the consultation, we will let you know how many hours before the surgery you should stop eating and drinking. You will also want to dress comfortably in loose-fitting clothing when you come into our office for the procedure.

After the Procedure
We will give you instructions regarding how to take care of your new dental implant(s) after the procedure and how long you should wait before eating and drinking again. Because the anesthesia will likely make you drowsy, you should plan on having someone take you home afterwards instead of driving yourself.

If you’re worried about getting dental implants, don’t be. We will help you understand what to do before and after the procedure in order to help you feel comfortable and confident when the day of the surgery arrives.

Why Orthodontic Treatment is for Everyone

By | Orthodontics

When you think about orthodontics, images of pre-teens with braces may come into your head. However, there are several reasons why orthodontic treatment may benefit people of any age.

Why Braces?
orthodonticsIf you have a child who is around the age of seven, it is best to bring them into our office to find out whether or not orthodontic treatment is needed. This is a prime age for this initial consultation because around this time, cross bites, crowding, and other potential problems can be identified.

For adults, braces can not only improve the appearance of your smile, but also help prevent problems with your bite. Teeth that are straight and properly aligned are easier to clean, healthier, and more likely to not need extra treatment in the future.

Duration of Treatment
How long you or your child will have to have braces depends on how fast the mouth is growing and the severity of the problem. Most patients need to have braces anywhere from one to two years. The use of rubber bands and any other prescribed appliances for teeth straightening are essential for efficient treatment. If our dentist, Dr. Anna Szmitko, prescribes any additional treatment procedures and you diligently use them, you may be able to get your braces off quicker than you originally planned.

If you want a straighter, healthier, and more attractive smile, remember that orthodontic treatment is beneficial for anyone of any age!

Should You Really Go to the Dentist Twice a Year?

By | Dentist

go_to_dentistYou’ve probably heard that you should visit your dentist twice a year. If you’ve put off coming into our office for your bi-annual checkup and cleaning, there are several reasons why you should make time in your schedule to visit us soon.

Many people believe they do not need to visit their dentist because they brush, floss, and rinse on a regular basis and aren’t experiencing any pain with their teeth. However, our dentist, Dr. Anna Szmitko, will help you prevent problems that you might not see or feel. Many dental issues are not noticeable until they start to cause you pain or develop into an advanced stage. For example, you may not notice that you have a cavity, gum disease, or oral cancer until it has progressed unless you come into our office regularly.

Although visiting the dentist twice a year works well for most people, some people should be going more often. If you have a high risk for dental-related diseases or are diabetic, smoke, are currently struggling with gum disease, or are prone to cavities, you may want to consider coming into our office three to four times a year.

The best way to figure out the frequency of your needed dental appointments is by consulting with Dr. Szmitko. If you make it a priority to come into our office twice a year and take good care of your teeth, you will be able to find out if you can go longer between visits or need to come in more frequently.