Using the Right Toothbrush

1 May
When it comes to oral care, consistency is everything. The single most important element of good oral care is following a regular routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing.Using the right toothbrush can make your daily oral care routine...
Read more »

Sports Guards: Protecting Your Teeth

3 Apr
Mouthguards aren’t just for adults! Remember to add a mouthguard for each child to your list of school supplies. Protecting your child’s head, jaw and teeth, even for seemingly non-contact sports, is very important. Mouthguards not only protect the teeth....
Read more »

Grinding: What You Should Know

1 Mar
  Bruxism is the involuntary clenching, grinding and gnashing of the teeth. About half of the population does it from time to time. Around five per cent of the population are regular, forceful tooth grinders. Often it happens during sleep,...
Read more »

Treating and Preventing Bad Breath

1 Feb
Treatment for bad breath (halitosis) will depend on its cause. Usually, the most effective treatment is improving your dental hygiene. As part of your daily routine, you should: -floss between your teeth -brush your teeth and gums -clean your tongue...
Read more »

Protecting Your Teeth With Sealants

1 Dec
Sealants can stop cavities before they begin Children are prone to cavities because of the natural shape of their growing teeth. When first molars come in around age 6, deep crevices called pits and fissures form on the chewing surfaces...
Read more »

Oral Habits

1 Nov

Undesirable oral habits are quite common among babies and young children. They are also prevalent among adults. Because such habits can do damage to the teeth or jaws that is unsightly, expensive to repair, or even dangerous, it is important to address such behaviors as early as possible. Sometimes, simple measures can discourage such problematic actions, but sometimes intervention, either in terms of behavior modification or the use of a preventive dental appliances, may be necessary.

Oral Habits of Babies and Children
Some oral habits of babies, such as sucking, are universal and completely normal. They only become troublesome if they persist and begin to affect the bite and jaw formation.

download (1)Thumb Sucking
Thumb sucking is a very common self-soothing behavior in babies, but can be detrimental to the alignment of the teeth if it continues as children get older. Some parents can help discourage thumb sucking by offering comfort during times of stress and offering the child praise for refraining from the practice. Once the child is a bit older, the dentist may be able to explain the troubles that thumb sucking can cause, thus helping to discourage the behavior. When necessary, behavior modification therapy, such as first substituting a pacifier for the thumb and then weaning from the pacifier, may prove effective. In situations where the child is resistant, preventive appliances can also be helpful.
Pacifier Use
Prolonged use of pacifiers into early childhood can lead to changes in tooth alignment or may delay speech development. It can cause a child’s upper front teeth to slant outwards, or they may not erupt properly. Most children will stop using pacifiers on their own, between the ages of two and four. If your child is set on using a pacifier beyond this age then you may need to take action to wean them off this habit before it causes permanent damage to their newly erupted permanent teeth.

Tongue Thrusting
Tongue thrusting is a habit in which the tongue moves to a forward position in the mouth during swallowing. It can cause an open bite and other orthodontic issues. Sometimes, a night guard or another appliance can correct the problem. In other cases, oral therapy is necessary to train the patient to change the tongue’s

Drinking Sugary Substances
Drinking sugary substances like juice during the day, or being nursed or given a bottle of milk during the night, can be detrimental to developing teeth. Where possible, only water should be given unless it is possible to clean or rinse the child’s mouth after the snack.

Swallowing Toothpaste
It is important that children be given non-fluoride toothpaste until they are able to understand that toothpaste is only to be applied to the teeth, but not ingested, since fluoride is highly toxic if consumed in any but the smallest quantity.

Nail Biting
Not only is nail biting undesirable in terms of causing possible infections of the cuticles, it can also have an adverse effect on the teeth, the bite, and even the digestive tract. The simplest solution may be applying a bad-tasting nail polish to discourage the practice. Other behavioral therapy may be helpful, including, at times, cosmetic manicures that make the child want to keep the nails looking attractive. There is some evidence that nail biting may be related to other obsessive-compulsive behaviors and may therefore, in severe cases, especially those involving finger biting, be helped by certain anti-depressive medications.

Oral Habits of Adults
In many cases, bad oral habits of children may persist into, or develop during, the adult years, particularly during periods of stress. Common adult problems include:

-Crunching hard foods or icedownload (2)
-Sipping sugary drinks over prolonged periods
-Using the teeth as tools
-Grinding the teeth, known as bruxism
-Cleaning the teeth irregularly or improperly


Crunching on ice or chewing on popcorn kernels may seem harmless, but it can lead to damaged enamel and even tooth fractures. Sipping sugary beverages over the course of the day causes decay and possible infection. Although in some cases it may seem natural to use the teeth to tear off a bit of thread or open a plastic wrapper, using the teeth as tools can cause serious problems. Similarly, teeth grinding, which normally occurs during sleep, can lead to a number of difficulties, including headaches, jaw pain and worn teeth. Bruxism usually responds well to the use of a bite plate designed to keep the upper teeth from making direct contact with the lower teeth.

Perhaps the most common bad oral habits of adults are not cleaning the teeth properly with both toothbrush and floss, and failing to visit the dentist as regularly as needed. Dr. Helen or our dental hygienist will happily instruct patients in proper methods of dental hygiene.

Braces 101

3 Oct



Caring for braces
“When you think of braces, do you think of traditional shiny gray metal bands used to straighten teeth exclusively for the sake of appearances? Did you know that today braces come in colors (even sparkles!) and that health troubles as varied as headaches, jaw pain, earaches, mouth breathing and sleep apnea can be potentially alleviated with proper alignment of the teeth and jaws? Many adults are wearing braces now, too.”

Want straight teeth? Braces are one of the most popular ways to go. This orthodontic appliance is usually placed in patients ages 12 to 15 to correct crooked or overcrowded teeth.

“The benefits of braces are many,” said Kevin Sheu, DDS, Delta Dental senior dental consultant. “Straight teeth, an attractive smile, improved dental function and, often, improved overall health are all results of wearing braces.”

Below are some answers to questions about staying comfortable and healthy while wearing braces.

Why is good oral hygiene with braces so important?
Food and plaque can get trapped in the tiny spaces between braces and wires, causing decay and enamel stains. Food can also react with the bacteria in your mouth and the metal in the braces to produce a bleaching effect, which can cause small, permanent light spots on the teeth.

Brushing-with-bracesHow should teeth and braces be cleaned?

You should brush after every meal and use a floss threader or
special orthodontic floss (available at drug stores) at least once a day to clean between braces and under wires. Check your teeth in a mirror to make sure all food particles are gone. If you don’t have your toothbrush with you, rinse your mouth vigorously with water.

How do braces feel?
The wires that are used to move teeth into position are usually tightened at each visit to the dentist or orthodontist. This causes pressure on the teeth and some discomfort. Eating soft foods and taking a pain reliever, such as acetaminophen, can help. Also, braces can rub against the inside of the lips. If this is a problem, wax can be placed on the wires to keep them from chafing (available from your dentist or orthodontist and at drug stores).

How long do braces have to be worn?
It depends on how complicated the spacing or occlusion (bite) problem is. Most braces are worn for 18 to 30 months. After the braces are removed, the patient wears a retainer, which is used to maintain the position of the teeth while setting and aligning the tissues that surround the newly-straightened teeth.

Should any foods be avoided?
Yes. Sweets, soda and other sugary and starchy foods can promote tooth decay and gum disease. Sticky and chewy foods (caramel, taffy, chewing gum, dried fruits) can stick to braces and be difficult to remove. Biting and chewing hard foods, such as some candies and nuts, ice, beef jerky and popcorn, can break wires and loosen brackets. Avoid damaging wires on the front teeth by cutting carrots, apples and other crunchy, healthy foods into bite-sized chunks before eating them.



1 Sep
    Has your dentist or endodontist told you that you need root canal treatment? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with root canal, or endodontic, treatment. Learn more about root canal...
Read more »

What Are Dental Crowns and Bridges?

4 Jul
  What are Dental Crowns and Bridges? Both crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices. Unlike removable devices such as dentures, which you can take out and clean daily, crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants,...
Read more »