Summer Treats and Your Oral Health

Summer can be a time for indulgences which unfortunately is not the best time for your oral hygiene.  With the heat of summer, it’s common for many people to drink cold beverages and eat ice cream as well as being out in the sun.  We want to provide a few tips to enjoy the benefits of the good weather without having to worry about your next dental visit.

Your Teeth Are Not Tools!

Your teeth are designed as the initial digestion method of your body and are used to break down food for your stomach.  Many people feel that their teeth can substitute for tools and use them to open bottles, wrappers, and chew ice.  Some of these habits can harm your teeth and can be costly to repair.  So remember to only use your teeth for their intended purposes and not as tools.

Use Mouth Guards During Sports

When playing sports in the summer, even if they are not contact sports, it is a good idea to wear proper protection.  Your teeth can be easily protected by wearing a mouth guard during your sports activities.  Come in and see us at Dental Health Group and we can provide you with a custom mouth guard that will protect your teeth this summer.

Summer Treats Can Hurt Your Teeth

Remember that while enjoying a refreshing cool snack such as ice cream, slushies, sodas, freezies, there is just a few things to remember as some of these snacks may not be the best for your oral health.  Also, learn how you can help offset the damage.

Sugary Ice Cream Can Cause Tooth Decay

Dairy products, like ice cream, can be a good source of calcium.  Unfortunately, most ice creams are made with lots of sugar, one of the leading causes of tooth decay.  When buying ice cream, we suggest buying sugar-free or low-sugar ice cream.  However, if your child wants regular ice cream, there are a few ways to minimize the impact the sugar has on the teeth.

  • Brush teeth after eating ice cream or rinse with water or mouth wash.  This will help get some of the sticky sugars off the enamel.
  • Avoid ice cream with extras like caramel or syrup
  • Eat ice cream at the end of a meal.

Water is Best!

Are sodas bad for my teeth?  Yes, they are!  The acids in sodas start to eat away at the enamel on your teeth only 20 minutes after your first drink.  Plus, the extra calories provide no nutritional value.  We recommend ddrinking water to quench your thirst on the hot days.

Be Sure To Wear Lip Balm with an SPF of at least 15

Even if you remember to wear sunscreen on your face and body when spending time outdoors, you may forget about your lips. Your lips are more susceptible to burning than most parts of your body, yet many people don’t think about protecting them from the sun.  A quick application of lip balm will go a long way in protecting the lips from the sun’s harmful rays.

Remember, summer time is a time to enjoy.  We hope these simple tips will remind you to maintain good oral health practices!

Teeth Grinding – Do You Do It? Tips on How to Prevent the Damage!

Do you sometimes wake up in the morning with a sore jaw? When you chew, do your teeth and jaw ache? If you grind your teeth, either at night or during the day, you suffer from a disorder called bruxism, and it can be incredibly damaging to your dental and oral health. If you think you’re suffering from bruxism, you should make an appointment with a qualified dentist in Burlington – like the ones at Dental Health Group – to discuss your options. In the meantime, let’s take a look at what causes teeth grinding and what you can do to prevent and treat it.

Bruxism Causes 

Many people who grind their teeth in their sleep start because of stress. They’ll be under a lot of personal or professional stress, and they’ll unconsciously grind their teeth back and forth as they toss and turn through troubling stress dreams.

You would think, then, that the majority of cases of bruxism could be solved by reducing stress and that most of them are actually short-lived. The problem is, according to scientific studies, grinding your teeth as you sleep can become a habit. You may start when you’re under stress, but once the stress is gone, you’ll still wake up with a sore jaw and sensitive teeth.

The same is true of grinding your teeth during the day. You may start grinding when you’re trying to bite your tongue instead of saying something impolite to a coworker or your boss, but if you do this often enough, you’ll find yourself grinding your teeth more and more, whether you mean to or not.

How Bruxism Harms Your Teeth

As you continue grinding your teeth, whether you do it at night or during the day, your teeth will begin to wear down. The pressure and friction from grinding can cause teeth to crack and can even cause them to loosen in their sockets. Bruxism can also irritate the jaw joint, causing TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ). In other words, if you grind your teeth, you need to seek out preventative measures and find a way to treat your bruxism before any permanent damage is done.

Preventing Teeth Grinding 

If you only grind your teeth during the day, you may be able to stop by being very aware of your jaw and how your teeth feel. If you catch yourself grinding your teeth, you can stop and take a moment to massage your jaw joint. This should help you relax and stop grinding as much.
If you grind your teeth at night, a custom mouth guard or splint from your dentist may be a comfortable option. This will help relax your jaw and keep your teeth from grinding together. After wearing a guard or splint for a while, you may find that the habit has faded and that you don’t need to wear it any longer. 

Treating Bruxism

In addition to preventative measures, you may need to get some dental treatment to correct damage to your teeth. This can include veneers, crowns, inlays, or onlays, among other treatments. Basically, once you’ve addressed the grinding problem, your dentist will want to correct any damage to your teeth and give you back your gorgeous smile.

When to Consider Braces – Adults and Kids

Are you thinking about braces for yourself or your kids? It may be time to visit your dentist to talk about when and what kind of braces are right for you or your child. You have a lot more choices than you did when you were a kid, and you may be a candidate for Invisalign or another option.

Furthermore, you should know when and what kind of braces to consider for your child, as well. If you get them braces too early, their mouths may still be developing, and orthodontic treatment may not be as effective. Read on to learn about braces for kids and adults, including the different types available, when to consider them, and how long they need to be worn. Everyone can benefit from a perfectly aligned smile.


Correcting Your Bite at Any Age 

First, in addition to the aesthetic advantages of braces, they also help align your teeth and correct your bite. This can greatly reduce wear and tear on your teeth, giving you better dental health for the years to come.

Aligning your bite can also help reduce or eliminate TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder, also called TMJ), which is a big factor in bruxism (teeth grinding) and can be very painful and hard on your teeth. So, before you write braces off as a purely superficial treatment, consider how much correcting your bite can help your dental and overall health in the long run.


Braces for Adults 

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see a perfectly aligned smile with beautifully even teeth? If you’re like most people, you weren’t born with that perfect smile. If you didn’t get braces while you were in middle school or high school, you probably have a few teeth that are out of place or misaligned, and you probably wish for a straighter smile.

Even if you did get braces back in the day, though, teeth have a tendency to settle back into place over the years. Your once straight and beautiful smile could be right back where it was before you ever visited an orthodontist. Whether this is the case or you just need some minor straightening, you may be hesitant to go through the whole process of getting braces again.

After all, when you think of your years wearing braces, you probably imagine how awkward you felt and how difficult it was to talk without a lisp. Furthermore, you probably aren’t too excited about giving presentations at work with a mouth full of metal brackets and rubber bands. Fortunately, though, you may not have to go through all of that again because you may be a candidate for Invisalign or other options for straightening your teeth that don’t involve traditional braces.



If you have mild to moderately misaligned teeth, you are most likely a candidate for Invisalign or porcelain veneers. With Invisalign, you’ll have an impression taken of your teeth, and custom, invisible trays will be made to fit over your teeth and slowly bring them into alignment. Your first trays will fit almost exactly over your teeth as they are now, and each set of trays will be progressively closer to bringing your teeth into perfect alignment. You’ll wear each set for approximately two weeks, taking them out only to eat or drink beverages other than water. 

The whole process usually takes about 12 months, but may take more or less time, depending on how much your teeth have shifted and how much straightening they need. 

If your teeth are only slightly misaligned, you may be a good candidate for an even faster solution with porcelain veneers. These very thin porcelain shells are shaped to fit perfectly over your teeth and can be made to correct unevenness, gaps, and/or minor crowding for a beautiful smile. The whole process usually takes only two visits, and the results can be amazing. 

If your teeth are moderately to significantly misaligned, you may want to opt for ceramic braces that are less noticeable than metal braces, or you may be able to choose braces that fit to the backs of your teeth and will be completely hidden from sight.


Braces for Kids 

While most children get braces in middle school or high school, you may want to consider braces for your kids earlier than that. As we mentioned earlier, braces can help avoid many dental and oral health issues for both kids and adults, and starting the process earlier rather than later may decrease your child’s odds of developing bruxism, TMD, and other disorders.

There is no set age when children should get braces, but a good dentist in Burlington – like the dentists at Dental Health Group – can make observations about your child’s teeth and help you determine the best time to consider braces. All kinds of environmental and genetic factors can play into whether and when a child may need braces, including but not limited to:

  • Early loss of baby teeth
  • Injury or trauma
  • Adult teeth coming in crooked under baby teeth that have not fallen out yet
  • Thumb sucking
  • Nail biting
  • Bruxism
  • TMD

Most kids won’t be candidates for Invisalign or veneers, as their mouths are still developing. While Invisalign can correct the alignment of teeth and veneers can correct their appearance, neither can correct a child’s bite as well as braces with brackets and rubber bands. That said, kids can opt for ceramic braces or braces that fit on the backs of their teeth. Your child could get all of the benefits of braces without ever looking like they have a mouth full of metal.

No matter which style of braces you and your child choose, you can typically expect your child to wear braces for two to four years, though this time does vary. How long your child has to wear braces will depend a great deal on how early they start the process and how much correction is necessary.

Talk to your dentist in Burlington about braces for yourself and/or your child at your next appointment to find out about all of your options for a straighter, more beautiful smile.

Scaredy Cat When It Comes to the Dentist? Tips for Getting Over Your Fear!


When you think of going to the dentist, do you feel your pulse rising? Do you tense up at the thought of sitting in that chair and hearing the sound of the drill as your dentist goes to work on your cavities? First of all, you’re not alone. According to one article, one in four people fear going to the dentist, but you don’t have to live in fear. There are actually quite a few ways to overcome your dental anxiety, and the best dentists provide a lot of options to help you out, too.


Before we get into how to get over your fear of visiting the dentist, though, let’s discuss some of the leading causes of dental phobias. After all, it’s much easier to handle a phobia if you understand its underlying causes.


Most people who report intense anxiety or fear when they visit the dentist say that they are afraid of feeling pain. With advancements in anesthetics and sedation dentistry, there’s no reason to be afraid of feeling pain when you’re in the dentist’s chair, but past experiences can have compelling and lasting effects. Thus, the real cause for a lot of patients who suffer from this phobia is carryover from a bad experience at the dentist’s office when they were younger.


Others experience fear of the dentist because they fear the loss of control associated with letting someone else perform invasive procedures on their teeth. They know logically that their dentist will do everything in his or her power to make the procedure as comfortable and quick as possible, but they have problems giving up control and trusting their dentist to perform these tasks.


As a result of these issues, many people avoid visiting the dentist for months or even years when they know that they should be making regular appointments. They avoid getting their teeth cleaned because they feel anxious about visiting the dentist. Then they continue avoiding the dentist because they fear that they’ve developed cavities and will need to have them filled or worse. Unfortunately, this can continue until major dental work is needed, which can be both expensive and uncomfortable. So what can you do to stop the cycle?


Get Support


If you have a severe phobia of visiting the dentist, you can help yourself a great deal by seeking support from your friends and family. Talk to someone close to you about your fear, and ask them if they would be willing to go with you to your appointment to support you. You can also find information and support online at Dental Fear Center, a website dedicated to helping people overcome their fear and anxiety about visiting the dentist.


This website has a number of helpful resources, including a forum that allows people like you to voice their fears and discuss the ways they’ve overcome them. It also includes a step-by-step guide for people who are too anxious to even begin looking for a dentist, as well as an FAQ about dentistry to help you understand different procedures, how they are performed, and measures taken to help you feel more comfortable. The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel when you find a dentist and begin the process of getting your teeth and gums clean and healthy.

Healthy woman teeth


Make a Consultation Appointment to Discuss Your Anxiety


Next, whether you’re visiting a new dentist for the first time or you’re making your first appointment in some time with your old dentist, call ahead and see if you can schedule a consultation appointment. When you go in for this visit, your dentist will not perform any procedures. The two of you will discuss your fears and the work that you need done.


At this time, your dentist should explain the procedures associated with getting your teeth and gums back in good health. They should also discuss any anxiety-reducing options that they offer. For example, many dentists now provide pillows and blankets, and music and/or television in their exam rooms, as well as sedation dentistry options to help you feel relaxed and calm throughout your visit.


During your consultation your dentist may perform a brief oral exam, if you are comfortable enough to have this done. If not, this can be saved for your next visit. Even if you are not able to have an oral exam performed, this visit should give you the tools necessary to come to your next appointment.


Sedation Dentistry Options


For patients who simply cannot overcome their feelings of anxiety and fear when they arrive at the dentist’s office, more and more dental practices in Burlington, and all over Ontario, are offering sedation dentistry options. Practices like Dental Health Group offer their patients a range of sedation options, depending on their needs.


These options range from minimal sedation, in which case the patient will be awake but will feel calmer than they would otherwise, to general anesthesia, in which case the patient will be unconscious throughout the procedure(s) performed during the visit.
If you’re feeling mildly to moderately anxious, you may choose nitrous oxide (which is inhaled) or an oral sedative like Triazolam. With nitrous, you will be awake and will remember the whole experience, but you will feel a mild sense of euphoria throughout. With Triazalom or Valium, you will take your sedative before your appointment, and while you will be awake throughout, you will be moderately sedated and will have little to no memory of any procedures performed during your appointment.


With intravenous sedation, you will usually be conscious but heavily sedated throughout your appointment, whereas with general anesthesia you will be unconscious. If you choose any of these options, you will be closely monitored throughout your appointment to ensure that you are safe and that there is no danger to your health.

There’s no need to fear going to the dentist. Through sedation dentistry options and support from friends, family, and other people with dental phobias, you can get through your anxiety, go to the dentist with confidence, and feel great about your smile again.

Halitosis – What Is It and What to Do About It

young woman checking her breath with her hand

Did you know that halitosis (bad breath) is the third leading cause for people seeking dental treatment and care in the world? When it comes to their dental and oral health, people are more concerned about what causes bad breath and how to treat it than they are about almost anything else (with the noted exceptions of tooth decay and gum disease). So why are we so concerned about our breath?


When you wake up in the morning, before you brush your teeth, you don’t expect your breath to be the freshest. However, with good dental and oral hygiene habits, you shouldn’t have to worry about your breath smelling bad throughout the day…especially if you haven’t eaten any garlic or raw onions with your lunch. With halitosis, though, that’s not the case.


When you suffer from this condition, you can chew gum, pop breath mints, and be as careful as you can about your diet, but your breath can still ruin your chances at your next big interview. So what causes this bad breath, and how can you treat it?


Bad Breath is Usually Related to Oral Health


To properly treat halitosis, you must first know what’s causing it. In most cases, the underlying problem has to do with your dental and/or oral health. Tooth decay and gingivitis can cause your breath to smell rank, as can a coating of plaque, food, and/or bacteria on your tongue, as well as pieces of food stuck to your tonsils (if you still have them).


If you want to know what’s causing your bad breath and how to treat it, and you haven’t been to a dentist in some time, it’s time to make an appointment. Going to a reputable dentist in Burlington like the ones at Dental Health Group can help you out immensely. Your dentist can examine your mouth and determine if you have cavities or gum disease and if these things are causing or adding to your halitosis issue.


If this is the case, your dentist will recommend regular cleanings and will discuss your dental and oral hygiene habits with you. He or she may recommend a different mouthwash, flossing more regularly, and/or buying a new toothbrush or changing your brushing technique. If your halitosis is caused by poor dental or oral health, getting proper dental care from your dentist and maintaining good dental hygiene should fix the problem.


Other Causes and Treatments


All that said, some cases of halitosis are related to your internal problems, rather than dental health problems. If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic or if you have chronic acid reflux, your bad breath could be related to these issues. These can also affect your dental health, though, so talk to your doctor about correcting them and then visit your dentist to ensure you’re doing everything you need to keep your teeth healthy and your breath fresh.

Now that you know what causes bad breath and how to treat it, you should never have to worry about your breath ruining your day again. Visit a dentist you trust today and get your breath minty fresh.