First Aid for Tooth emergencies

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Colgate-Palmolive describes dental emergencies as “Any trauma to the mouth that may cause bleeding and lacerations to the gums, and dislodge or fracture teeth, and may require immediate medical attention”. Often kids suffer from oro-facial injuries while playing. Similar injuries may be seen in sportsmen. Such cases must be seen by a dentist or a surgeon immediately. Here are some tips that may come in handy in case of dental emergencies at home before you can see your dentist or doctor.

Dentists recommend that you must have the following items in your dental first aid box:, dental floss, cotton balls and swabs, sterile gauze, toothbrush, tweezers, wash cloth, aspirin, ice pack, bottled water, salt, dental wax, an oxygenating oral cleanser, oral pain relieving gel, and examination gloves.

Dentists recommend that all sports professionals must wear a mouth guard in order to protect the teeth from sports related injuries. Chewing on hard candies and ice cubes must be avoided to prevent injury to teeth. In case some object or food particle is wedged between your teeth, try to remove it using floss or a waterpik, if it does not come out, don’t try to remove it with a sharp object as it can injure your gums. If you suffer from tooth ache, rinse your mouth with warm water or if you have a swelling apply an ice pack from outside the mouth. You may also take over-the-counter painkilling medication like Advil. In case of bitten lip or tongue, apply pressure externally for few minutes to help bleeding to stop. You can also apply an ice pack from outside to curb the swelling. If you have a broken tooth with a sharp edge, which may lacerate your tongue or lips, you can cover the laceration with dental or paraffin wax to prevent cutting of the tongue or cheeks or lips.

The ideal way to deal with dental emergencies is to see your dentist or medical doctor immediately.

Our dental team recommends having regular dental check-ups and cleaning twice per year. If you would like to book an appointment with us, give us a call at 604-552-2241 or you can e-mail us at and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Is tooth polishing good or bad for your teeth?

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         After you regular dental cleaning appointment, you may have noticed that your hygienist usually finishes off by polishing. Polishing involves the use of rubber cups and a tooth polishing paste which is made up of fine granules, which help to remove any roughness on the tooth surface and also get rid of stains that are difficult to remove by scaling. But more often than not, a lot of patients end up asking if it is necessary or if it is beneficial for your teeth.

Polishing teeth makes them feel smoother and shiny. “There is no health benefit to polishing,” said Julie Frantsve-Hawley, the editor of The International Journal of Evidence-Based Practice for the Dental Hygienist.

Polishing is a measure taken to remove stains from your teeth that are otherwise difficult to get rid of using routine procedures of dental cleaning. Polishing is helpful in case the stains are on the external tooth surface. Good example of this kind of stains is staining due to smoking, coffee or tea, staining due to tartar deposition. It must be noted that only external stains can be taken care of by polishing any type of internal tooth stains must be removed by teeth whitening procedures.

Call our Coquitlam dental office at 604-552-2241 to schedule your regular dental cleaning appointment. Prevention is better than cure so we recommend that you get your cleaning done regularly.

Do you have gaps between your teeth?

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Here are some of the treatment options for you:

Gap between teeth is also called as a diastema. Most commonly seen in the front teeth, a diastema may affect a person’s appearance drastically and may sometimes be the cause of underlying depressive conditions caused due to embarrassment, low self-esteem and lack of confidence.

Gap between teeth may be caused due discrepancy between the size of the jaw bone and the teeth. Missing teeth may also be one of the causes of a diastema. A high attachment of the upper lip may also be one of the causes of a diastema. Sometimes, a diastema may also develop as a result of incorrect swallowing action. Gaps between teeth seen in children, however, are considered to be a normal finding if they still have baby teeth. Children may also develop temporary gaps in their front teeth between the ages of 9-11 years as the permanent teeth are erupting. Certain oral habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrusting, may also be the cause of diastema between teeth.

When you see your dentist with the concern of treating your diastema, your dentist may offer you a wide range of treatment options from a simple restoration to orthodontic treatment involving braces or invisible braces (Invisalign) depending upon the type of teeth involved and the cause of the diastema and the severity of the discrepancy.

We offer a free orthodontic consultation for all our patients who desire to undergo orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth. If you would like to schedule an orthodontic consultation you can call our Glen Dental Centre Coquitlam office at 604-552-2241 and our dental team would be happy to help you.

Are you the right candidate for teeth whitening?

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Teeth whiteningEveryone wants a beautiful, sparkly, bright, white smile. The most commonly sought dental treatment is teeth whitening or bleaching. Tooth whitening is a procedure in which a chemical is applied to the tooth internally or externally that lightens the colour of the tooth making it look more white, cleaner and sparkling.

A lot of dental offices have various kinds of whitening treatments offered ranging from at home whitening procedures to laser whitening procedures done in the dental office. However, many people seeking to whiten their teeth don’t know that they may not be the right candidate to whiten their teeth.

There are many reasons why a tooth or teeth becomes discoloured. Teeth that are discoloured internally due to trauma or due the side effects of drugs are essentially the ones that are indicated for whitening. The best candidates for teeth whitening are the ones that have healthy teeth without cavities and those with healthy gums who wish to have a brighter smile. Whitening is not recommended for children under the age of 16 as it can cause a lot of sensitivity. It is also not recommended for pregnant or lactating women or in individuals that are allergic to chemicals contained in bleaching materials. Whitening must also be avoided in people with gum recessions, tooth erosions and people with lots of restorations like fillings, crowns, bridges and people suffering from dental sensitivity.

It must be borne in mind when opting to go for a dental whitening procedure that one must not expect extreme outcomes. Your dentist will usually show you an estimation of the expected results. In order to obtain the best outcome for teeth whitening procedure, it is recommended that you have a session of your complete dental cleaning followed by polishing.

We at Glen Dental Centre, offer a free teeth whitening for life to all our new patients that have a complete exam along with x-rays and complete dental cleaning. Call our Glen Dental Centre Coquitlam office at 604-552-2241 to know if you qualify for the offer.

Suffering from tooth sensitivity? Here’s what can be done

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sensitive teethTooth sensitivity is a commonly experienced in winters or when you have cold drinks and foods. It is often felt as a sharp shooting pain which is commonly observed when brushing, flossing, eating or drinking. Sensitivity is also commonly observed as a side effect of tooth whitening. Sometimes, sensitivity may also be experienced after dental fillings but they generally subside with time and don’t require any major treatment.

There are several treatment options that your dentist may advise you to take care of your tooth sensitivity, depending upon your situation.

  • Sensitivity may be treated by using a desensitizing tooth paste or mouth rinses. These can help to block the transmission of pain to your nerves and hence provide relief.
  • Sometimes, when the tooth root is exposed in the mouth, dental bonding or application of a desensitizing resin by your dentist or hygienist may help to relieve the pain.
  • In case if severe sensitivity where none of the routine methods may work, your dentist may recommend you to have a root canal treatment.
  • In case where the tooth root is exposed due to severe gum recession, a gum grafting surgery may help to cover the exposed root surface.

In order to prevent your tooth sensitivity from recurring, our dental team recommends that you brush your teeth twice daily, use a soft bristled tooth brush, brush using a fluoride containing tooth paste. Avoid brushing too vigorously. You may also want to consider limiting your intake of foods that are acidic especially containing citric acids. You should also avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes after your meals as brushing during this time may cause harm to your tooth enamel which is soft and vulnerable to erosion during this time.

If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, you can schedule an appointment by calling our Glen Dental Centre Coquitlam office at 604-552-241.


Foods that are known to cause staining of teeth

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Foods that stain teethDentists emphasize on the importance of regular dental cleaning every six months for several reasons. One of the reasons is that cleaning of teeth is also helpful to get rid of yellow colored tartar and brownish stains that develop on the external tooth surface due to various factors like smoking, chewing tobacco, frequent consumption of caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee. We talked about the right candidates for teeth whitening earlier on. Generally, after teeth whitening procedure your dentist may advise you to avoid foods that stain teeth. So what are the foods that stain teeth? Read on to know more.

  • Curry: Curries contain lots of spices which is used in a lot of exotic cuisines as well as commonly used in Indian foods. These contain turmeric which can cause yellowish staining on teeth. Munching on fruits and vegetables after consumption of these foods can help to avoid staining.
  • Beverages: Teas, coffees, colored sodas, sports drinks and wines both red and white are known to contain chemicals that cause staining of teeth. These drinks are acidic and also cause damage to the tooth enamel. Hence consumption of these should be avoided or reduced.
  • Fruits, especially berries can cause staining of teeth as they have a high potential to stain teeth even though they have a lot of health benefits.
  • Pasta sauces: They contain a lot of tomatoes, and due to their highly acidic nature and bright red hue, may stain teeth. Finishing off your pasta meal with a salad can be of help to avoid this.

Call our Glen Dental Coquitlam office at 604-552-2241 if you would like to know more about teeth whitening services offered.

Why does your dentist need to know your medical history?

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medical historyVisiting a dentist for the first time may be pretty harrowing for most of us. From decades, our parents and friends have told us that seeing the dentist is not a pleasant experience. And when you do finally get the courage to see your dentist, you are asked a lot of questions at your very first visit. When you visit a dental office the first time, you will be asked a lot of questions about your concerns, your dental history, your medical history, your lifestyle, and your food habits and so on.

Your dental as well as your medical history coupled with your initial complete oral examination will help your dentist develop an effective treatment plan that is best suited to cater to your dental needs. The most important reason why your dentist needs your complete medical history is that many medical illnesses, be it major or minor, may affect the oral cavity along with your teeth and gums.

Major illnesses like diabetes, blood pressure or hypertension, heart diseases, lung diseases, kidney diseases, liver diseases and so on may have an effect on your dental health and treatment. Another important aspect of your medical history is the medications that you are currently taking. When you see your dentist for the first time, make sure that you carry a complete list of medications that you are currently taking along with the list of medications that you are allergic to, if any. Your dentist will most likely update your medical history each time you see him. Nevertheless, you should make sure to let him/her know in case of any changes in your history. You may be concerned about the confidentiality of your medical history but you need not worry as your dentist is legally bound to keep your information confidential.

If you suffer from any illness and would like to have your dental needs taken care of by your Port Coquitlam dentist, you can give us a call at our Glen Dental Centre Coquitlam office to schedule an appointment.

Does your child need to extract a baby tooth?

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Here’s why your child may need a space maintainer.

baby tooth extractionBaby teeth are sometimes considered as “not important” as they are eventually replaced by permanent teeth. But in reality, baby teeth should be considered very important as they guide the new permanent tooth to erupt in position. Baby teeth also help in the development of the jaw bones and the facial muscles. Baby teeth may be lost earlier in case of decay or trauma. If the space of the baby tooth is not maintained after extraction, the other baby teeth may move into the available space and your child may need orthodontic treatment in future. A space maintainer is a custom-made appliance made by a dentist after your baby’s tooth/teeth has been pulled out. It should be noted that not every child would need a space maintainer, you must ask your dentist to know if your child does need a space maintainer.

Space maintainers may be of two types- removable or fixed. Depending upon the child’s individual needs, you dentist may advise for a fixed or a removable type. In the removable type of space maintainer, the child may be required to wear the space maintainer until the permanent tooth erupts. A fixed type of space maintainer is usually fixed to the baby tooth with the help of dental cements. It may be removed one the permanent tooth is guided into its place. If your child has a space maintainer, he/she should be seen by the dentist regularly to monitor the appliance. It is very important for the child to maintain his/her oral hygiene as space maintainers can have a tendency to accumulate plaque and cause tooth decay or gum diseases. Dental cleaning at regular intervals is essential to avoid dental diseases.

At Glen Dental Centre, we believe that the best treatment of dental diseases is prevention. In order to have the best oral health, our dental team recommends that you have professional dental cleaning and check-up every 6 months. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call our Coquitlam office at 604-552-2241.


How is does fluoride work for your teeth?

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Fluoride for teethYou have heard all the time that fluoride is good for your teeth and it helps to strengthen your teeth but you do not know how exactly fluoride works. Here’s a sneak peak into how fluoride helps to keep your teeth strong. Researchers have found that fluoride helps not only the developing tooth but also to reverse early stages of tooth decay. Fluoride is effective for children as well as adults. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. It may be found in some foods as well as water supplies as well. Fluoride is often added to drinking water to reduce tooth decay.

Fluoride helps to strengthen your teeth in two different ways. Fluoride, when consumed, accumulates in the bones and teeth of growing children and helps to strengthen the enamel. Fluoride also helps to harden the permanent teeth after they have erupted. Fluoride also helps to reverse tooth decay by remineralizing the demineralised tooth enamel or the tooth enamel which is dissolved due to the acids in the mouth. If your drinking water contains fluoride and you use a fluoride containing tooth paste to brush your teeth twice a day, it is considered to be enough. You can also use fluoride containing mouthwashes that are available over the counter. You can also ask your dentist or hygienist about having professional fluoride treatments. Professional fluoride treatments are administered by your dentist or hygienist and may contain high concentrations of fluoride. Fluoride should be administered with caution in children that are above 2 years of age.

Fluoride is also helpful to prevent cavities in people with braces as cleaning the plaque around braces is difficult. Regular dental cleanings with check up and x-rays can help to keep dental diseases at bay. If you would like to schedule your regular dental cleaning, call our Coquitlam dental office at 604-552-2241 or email us at .

What is Crown Lengthening?

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crown lengtheningA lot of times before you get a crown, your dentist may tell you that you need a surgery called as crown lengthening. Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure in which the dental surgeon may remove a portion of your gums or bone or both to expose a portion of your tooth or tooth root in the mouth. So why is crown lengthening done? Crown lengthening is done when a tooth which needs a crown, does not have enough tooth structure above the gum line, to support a crown. When a tooth breaks below the gum line, or when a filling which is below the gum line falls off, crown lengthening may be needed. Crown lengthening can also be used to increase the size of your teeth seen in the mouth, especially in case of people with “gummy smile” where a lot of gums are seen while smiling.

Before crown lengthening, your dentist may review your medical history and x-rays. Before the surgery, you may be advised to get a cleaning done. After the surgical site has healed, your dentist will prepare your tooth to receive the crown. During the surgery, the dentist will make cuts on your gums, which will pull your gum line away from your teeth. Once the required amount of gums and/or bone is cut, your dentist places stitches over your gums. Your dentist will prescribe you antibiotics and pain relievers. You may also be prescribed mouth rinses which help to heal the surgical site.

For the follow-up after the surgery, you can apply an ice pack from outside to reduce the swelling. Your dentist may want to see you again within 7-10 days to remove the stitches and assess the post-operative healing. You must see your dentist immediately if bleeding doesn’t stop or if you think the area is infected, or if see any discharge from the surgical area.

If you are concerned about your gummy smile, crown lengthening may be the treatment of choice for you. If you would like to know more about the procedure, call our dental office in Coquitlam to schedule an appointment. Wish you a bright and warm summer.

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