North York DLK Dental

Keep your Smile Merry and Bright by Knowing the Four “S”s of the Holidays

Sugar, Starches, Spirits and Stress can all be less than festive to your teeth

TORONTO, ON — Dentists across Ontario hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season and are gifting you with helpful dental tips to keep it a merry time for your mouth. Whether you’re staying in with family and friends or heading out to parties between now and New Years’, the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) wants you to enjoy the festivities while keeping these four “S”s in mind.

The holidays are a minefield of sweets that include candy canes, which aren’t just pure sugar, they can also chip and crack your teeth. Eggnog, cider, pop, cookies, chocolates and caramels are also loaded with sugar, so swish with water after drinking and eating these to wash away the residue.

Many of us love mashed potatoes, stuffing, bread and crackers, but all of these can get stuck in your teeth. They may not be sweet but these starches break down into sugars, which cause cavities.

Alcohol is no friend to your mouth. Wine is sugary and high in acid, plus, red wine can stain teeth. Champagne and beer have high carbonation, which can also erode tooth enamel and many mixed drinks have lots of sugar and carbonation in them, as well. Some people like to chew on the ice cubes in their beverages and that too, can crack your teeth.

This isn’t a fun and magical time of year for everyone and because of that, it’s important to pay attention to stress levels. Along with feeling terrible, anxiety can lead to over-indulging, loss of sleep, a sluggish immune system and teeth grinding, which causes pain and over time, can lead to tooth loss.

ODA President Dr. David Stevenson says, “Of course you can enjoy your sweet and savory delights over the holidays! Just be sure to brush twice a day, floss daily – especially after turkey dinner, and have tooth-friendly snacks like cheese, fresh veggies and nuts to balance out all the rich treats.”

About the Ontario Dental Association
The ODA has been the voluntary professional association for dentists in Ontario since 1867. Today, we represent more than 9,000, or nine in 10, dentists across the province. The ODA is Ontario’s primary source of information on oral health and the dental profession. We advocate for accessible and sustainable optimal oral health for all Ontarians by working with health-care professionals, governments, the private sector and the public. For helpful dental care tips, visit

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Brushing Techniques

Brushing your teeth properly at least twice a day helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Here are tips to proper brushing:

  • Brush your teeth for two to three minutes
  • Avoid hard scrubbing
  • Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently brush in short strokes from where the tooth and gum meet to the top of the tooth
  • Brush all outside and inside surfaces
  • Clean the pits and crevices on the chewing surface of your teeth with short sweeping strokes
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath
  • Talk to your dentist about proper brushing techniques


Your Gum (Periodontal) Health and Your General Health

While you may not think periodontal (gum) disease affects you, 75 percent of adults over the age of 35 show signs and symptoms. In fact, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

Also, Research has shown that periodontal disease is associated with several other diseases. Research over the years demonstrated that as well as bacteria, inflammation may also be a factor that linked periodontal disease to other diseases in the body. Therefore, treating bacteria and inflammation may not only help manage periodontal diseases but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.

Research has shown an association between periodontal disease and other diseases including:
· Heart Disease & Stroke
· Diabetes
· Pregnancy
· Menopause and Post-Menopause
· Osteoporosis
· Respiratory Disease
· Cancer

How can I prevent periodontal disease?

· Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line and gently clean where the gums meet your teeth.
· Clean between your teeth at least once a day with dental floss (or other interdental cleaners, such as rubber tips and oral irrigators, as recommended by your dentist) to remove bacteria, plaque and food particles your tooth brush can’t reach.
· Eat a balanced diet, which includes a variety from each of the basic food groups, to maintain optimum oral health.
· Visit your dentist regularly, ideally every four to six months, for a preventive checkup and professional cleaning, which is essential in the prevention of gum disease, and the maintenance of good oral health.

Reference: The above introduction has been prepared for you based on material from the “Ontario Dental Association” and “American Academy of Periodontology”.

Choosing the right Toothpaste


People have different dental problems and benefit from different toothpastes. Talk to your dentist about the toothpaste that best suits your needs.

For children from birth to 3 years of age, talk to your dentist about whether use of toothpaste is recommended for your child.  For children 3 to 6 years of age, use only a small amount – the size of a green pea – when assisting your child with brushing their teeth.  Make sure your child does not swallow toothpaste.

Oral Rinses
Oral rinses, or mouth rinses, are liquids that you swirl in your mouth — no swallowing! — to combat various oral health problems.

They range from simple mouthwashes, that fight bad breath; to ones that contain fluoride; to other, more specialized ones that fight conditions such as plaque and gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease.

Oral rinses are most definitely not a substitute for flossing and brushing your teeth. Oral rinses are also generally not recommended for children, especially those who live in an area of fluoridated water.

Talk to your dentist about what types of oral care products would be appropriate for you and your family.

People have different dental problems and benefit from different toothpastes. Talk to your dentist about the toothpaste that best suits your needs.

For children from birth to 3 years of age, talk to your dentist about whether use of toothpaste is recommended for your child. For children 3 to 6 years of age, use only a small amount – the size of a green pea – when assisting your child with brushing their teeth. Make sure your child does not swallow toothpaste.


Flossing Tips

Interdental Cleaner

Cleaning between your teeth removes plaque from areas your toothbrush can’t reach. Plaque build-up contributes to tooth decay and gum disease.

Dental floss helps remove food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line. It’s recommended that you floss daily.

There are other that can help you clean between your teeth: dental tape (like floss, but flatter and wider); dental picks; pre-threaded flossers; interdental brushes that reach between the teeth; water flosser or wooden or plastic sticks.

Ask one of our dentist about what type of interdental-care products will be most effective for your individual needs and the proper techniques for each.



Your Oral Health on Vacation

When you’re preparing for a vacation, it’s important to keep your oral health top of mind. Maintaining good oral health-care routines is something you should do at all times, whether you are staying at home or heading out of town.

Here are some oral health-related tips to check off your list (and keep on top of mind) when you’re on vacation.

Your toothbrush – don’t leave home without it!

It is important to stick to your routine – continue to brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss daily. Carry travel-size packets of floss or dental picks in your purse or pocket that you can use if you’ll be out for most of the day. If you’re travelling, a collapsible toothbrush and a roll of floss fit nicely into your purse or carry-on luggage. If you will be away from home for more than one day, pack a toothbrush, floss and toothpaste. If you have a cottage, stock up on toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste for the season.
Remember to replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Toothbrushes should also be discarded when the bristles look worn and bent, or after a cold or illness.
See your dentist

Book a dental exam well before your vacation. Your dentist can detect problems before you may experience any symptoms and any necessary treatment can be taken care of before you leave.

If you plan on participating in any sport or activity where there is a strong chance for contact with other participants or hard surfaces – soccer, racquetball, in-line skating – talk to your dentist about a mouthguard. Mouthguards not only protect the teeth. They may also prevent serious injuries by helping to avoid situations where the lower jaw and teeth are forced up against the upper teeth and jaw.

Be prepared

Do your research before your trip on dental care available in the area where you will be staying. Get the contact information for local dentists and phone ahead for information on office hours. This will save you precious time in case of a dental emergency.

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Tips for Fresh Breath

Everyone suffers occasionally from bad breath. Bad breath is most commonly caused by conditions in your mouth, such as the food you eat, and how often you clean your teeth, gums and tongue.
Read our tips on how to keep your breath fresh:

  • Floss and brush your teeth, gums and tongue daily. Clean as far back on your tongue as you can, as that’s where bacteria often collect. If you don’t clean your mouth, any remaining food particles will attract bacteria, which cause bad breath and contribute to tooth decay.
  • Brush and floss your teeth after eating, if you possibly can. If you can’t do a thorough cleaning, drinking water or chewing sugar-free gum are good options.
  • Be aware that certain foods — such as garlic, onions and some spices — can contribute to bad breath for up to 72 hours after eating. After digestion, the proteins in these foods circulate in the bloodstream. They are carried into the lungs and are expelled in your breath until they exit your system.
  • Cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco can cause dry mouth and bad breath — on top of being harmful to your overall health. Ask your dentist for help with smoking cessation.
  • Bad breath can also be an early symptom of periodontal or gum disease. Gum disease is an infection that affects the gums and jawbone, which can lead to a loss of gum and teeth. If left alone, the bacteria will build up on your teeth and irritate the gums. Flossing helps removes food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line. Be sure to also visit your dentist for periodic cleanings and exams.

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What is Bonding?

What is it?
Bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin (plastic) to repair a decayed, chipped, fractured or discolored tooth. Unlike veneers, which are manufactured in a laboratory and require a customized mold to achieve a proper fit, bonding can be done in a single visit. The procedure is called bonding because the material bonds to the tooth.

What it’s Used for?
Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures. The composite resin used in bonding can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth. Most often, bonding is used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of a discolored or chipped tooth. It also can be used to close spaces between teeth, to make teeth look longer or to change the shape or color of teeth.

Sometimes, bonding also is used as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings, or to protect a portion of the tooth’s root that has been exposed when gums recede.

Preparation No preparation is needed for bonding. Anesthesia often is not necessary, unless the bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth.

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