Tooth Truths: 6 Tooth Myths Debunked Forever

While absolutely no evidence exists to 100% disprove the existence of a tooth fairy, these tooth myths have been put to bed.

Tooth Myth #1: White teeth = healthy teeth.

Like books, teeth shouldn’t be judged by their covers. While a whiter smile will do wonders for your confidence, no evidence suggests that whitening your teeth will improve their health. That still comes down to brushing and flossing regularly, seeing your dentist twice a year and staying away from sugary foods that contribute to poor oral health (and usually poor overall health too).

Tooth Myth #2: Everyone’s gums bleed.

Nope. Swelling and/or bleeding gums after brushing or flossing is a telltale sign of gum disease. It’s not normal and it should be addressed. The good thing is that nursing your gums back to health isn’t particularly challenging; it requires a simple commitment to brush and floss regularly in combination with regular dental visits.

Tooth Myth #3: Braces are only for young people.

While adolescence is the best time to correct alignment issues, it’s certainly not the only time. While many adults find the maintenance of having braces too challenging to add to their already-hectic schedules, many other adults push through, have braces put on their teeth and look infinitely better in no time.

Tooth Myth #4: Brushing properly negates the need to floss.

So incredibly wrong. Brushing accounts for roughly 65% of a clean mouth because it can really only focus on the bigger surface areas (front, back, top). But brushing can’t get between your teeth, which is where most of the decay-causing food particles wind up (the other 35% of the job). Not flossing will lead to cavities you don’t see until it’s too late. When that happens, a root canal or extraction could be your only option. And then you’ll think “why didn’t I take the 2.5 minutes every night to floss?”

Tooth Myth #5: You don’t have to be concerned about baby teeth.

Yes, you SHOULD concern yourself with baby teeth. Baby teeth play an important role in guiding the erupting permanent teeth to the right position. Removing one too early can create alignment issues in the adult teeth coming in behind them if no intervention is performed. Also, and maybe most importantly, getting your kids used to going to the dentist will go a long way to ensuring they continue going as adults.

And the last of the Tooth Myths: A straight set of teeth has only aesthetic value.

No doubt that straight teeth look better than crooked, gangly ones. But they have health benefits too. Crowded teeth hide some tooth surfaces, which means they’re not brushed properly. This can lead to gum disease and/or tooth decay. Also, crooked teeth can lead to an uneven distribution of biting forces, which can lead to not chewing your food properly and jaw related issues.

Bonus Myth: You don’t need to see the dentist twice a year.

That’s just crazy talk. Book an appointment.

The Best Mother’s Day Gift

You know what would make mom really happy this Mother’s Day? The gift of knowing her pride and joy is making life just a little bit easier for her on an everyday basis. So if you’re looking for the best Mother’s Day gift ever, take one thing off her plate for good. And if you’re looking for a place to start, try your teeth.

Mother’s Day Gift: Eight promises that will improve your oral health

1. You can promise to drink lots of water. It’s not just the choice of water over juice and pop that will help keep your mouth clean, but the act of wetting your mouth on a regular basis flushes out bacteria. Every time you drink a glass of water, you help your teeth and gums out a little bit.

2. You can promise to keep a packet of floss in your school bag. And you can promise to use it after lunch to keep bacteria from forming over the afternoon. If you can show mom that you know how to floss effectively, even better.

3. You can promise to use a bit of mouthwash every night. A little rinse goes a long way to getting anywhere your toothpaste didn’t. And any bits of food left will be neutralized and flushed away.

4. You can promise to snack healthily most of the time. That “most of the time” is important because it’s not realistic to think you’ll never have a cookie or a piece of chocolate (of course you will). But if the majority of what you snack on are fruits and veggies, your teeth and gums will be so much healthier for it. We recommend finding fruits and vegetables you like and asking mom to have them cut up and ready to eat. She’ll be more than happy to oblige.

5. If you’re going to drink pop, you can promise to drink it through a straw. This way, the sugary syrup will have less direct contact with your teeth.

6. If you’re going to chew gum you can promise to chew sugarless gum. The Xylitol in it (sugar substitute) kills oral bacteria, pulls food particles off teeth and promotes saliva flow.

7. You can promise to brush and floss twice a day, every day.

8. And finally, you can promise not to make a stink about going to the dentist.

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Yonge Eglinton Dental!

The Perfect Saturday at Yonge and Eglinton

Looking for a way to spend a spring Saturday at Yonge and Eglinton? You’ll have no shortage of things to keep you busy.

Saturday at Yonge and Eglinton: Early Morning

Get some exercise in with a walk in Eglinton Park, just north west of the Yonge and Eglinton corner. There is a great play structure and some gorgeous green fields where dog lovers toss balls and frisbees. If you time it right, the spring bloom is awesome. Grab a coffee from one of the many shops along the strip before you head in.

Saturday at Yonge and Eglinton: Mid-Morning

Once you’ve gotten your appetite going, take your empty belly over to Uncle Betty’s at 2590 Yonge Street for their scrumptious chocolate donuts that are only available on the weekends. You won’t be disappointed. Donuts not your thing? No problem. Their brunch menu is known as one of the best in the ‘hood.

Saturday at Yonge and Eglinton: Late Morning

This is prime people-watching time, and one thing Saturdays at Yonge and Eglinton has is people. And with all the new condos in the area, the mix of people you’ll see is inspiring. It used to be fairly homogeneous around here…but not anymore.

Saturday at Yonge and Eglinton: Lunch

The strip’s full of choice, but we’re big fans of the Pickle Barrel at the Yonge Eglinton Centre, mostly because there’s something for everyone. We highly recommend the deli sandwiches. Mmm.

Saturday at Yonge and Eglinton: Mid-Afternoon

Get your shopping on in the Yonge Eglinton Centre and beyond. The west side of Yonge Street is where you’ll find more of the bigger box stores, but the east side is lined with boutiques of all kinds. The exception is Sporting Life at the southeast corner of Yonge and Lytton. It’s a neighbourhood staple and a must-visit.

Saturday at Yonge and Eglinton: Late afternoon

Been outside and on your feet all day? Reward yourself with a movie at the Silver City Yonge and Eglinton. Here’s what’s playing today

The one thing you shouldn’t do if you have morning sickness

If you’re one of the “lucky” pregnant women who gets morning sickness, the one thing you should avoid is brushing your teeth until after it passes. Immediately after vomiting the pH in your mouth will drop and soften the outer layer of your enamel. Until the pH levels in your mouth are neutralized by your natural defenses like saliva, your teeth will be more easily damaged by your tooth brush .

Also, the stomach acids you produce during bouts of morning sickness will eat away faster at freshly cleaned enamel. In this narrow case, the residual layer of plaque or bacteria that’s formed on your teeth overnight will actually help protect your teeth.

You may have that yucky, gunky feeling in your mouth for longer than you’d like, but you’ll be able to brush it away in no time.

In the meantime, you can rinse your mouth out with lukewarm water instead. But resist the temptation to flavour that water up, because the last thing you want to do is introduce more acid.

What about that dry mouth that can accompany morning sickness?

It’s a common side effect of pregnancy, and it can lead to tooth problems. Drinking water often improves this symptom. Also, if you want to get the saliva flowing a little bit more, we’d also recommend sugarless gum (which will also come in handy to quell the morning sickness feelings).

What about my bleeding gums?

Swollen gums and gingivitis are part of the miracle, so don’t freak out if your gums bleed when you floss. Keep up your oral hygiene and know that this side effect has nothing to do with your dedication to oral health.

And what about my crazy cravings?

Look, we’re not going to tell you to deny yourself those sweets if that’s what you feel you need to get through the day. But we would tell you to keep an eye on how much of it you eat. It goes back to acid, which sweets and starchy snacks create in your mouth.

And the one thing you should do?

Book an appointment for a teeth cleaning before you have your baby. Because once it’s out, you’re not going to have the time. We can pretty much guarantee that.

A Sinus Infection and Tooth Pain

Spring time is sinus infection season for a few reasons. The most common culprit is the return of allergy season. If you’re a sufferer, you’re gearing up for the inevitable swelling of the nasal passages and the increased mucus in your nose. This blocks the opening of the sinus drainage pathways and can lead to infection.

But while pollen is the main reason for the increase in sinus infections at this time of year, it isn’t the only one.

There’s also the “do-I-or-don’t-I-wear-a-jacket-today” dilemma that most of us face when it’s sunny and 6˚C out there – because after a long winter, 6˚C feels like 16˚C. And while it’s true that you can’t catch a cold directly from not dressing appropriately, it does affect your immune system, making you more susceptible to catching someone else’s virus. Then the increase in bacterial mucus has the same sinus blocking effect and the increased possibly developing a sinus infection.

Tooth pain and a sinus infection

When a cold or a bout of allergies turns into a sinus infection, you can develop tooth pain. But it’s not the acute tooth pain that you’d experience from a chipped tooth, cavity or a root issue. The pain from a sinus infection is more like an overall feeling of pressure in all your teeth – because that’s exactly what’s happening. The mucus builds up in your maxillary sinuses, which are above your molar teeth roots. The pressure pushes down on your dental nerve endings, which is what causes the discomfort.

So what can you do about tooth pain caused by sinus infection?

Unfortunately, the only way to treat the pain is to treat the sinus infection itself. Over-the-counter cold-and-sinus medication will help, but here are a few home remedies that may offer some relief:

Drink Coconut Water

Hydrating the mucus membranes decreases mucus buildup so you don’t get any worse. The coconut water specifically is high in electrolytes like magnesium, potassium and sodium, all of which can give your immune system a bit of a boost to clear the infection a bit faster.

Eat Chilies

Getting your nose running and your eyes watering will help you clear some of the blocked mucus. And as a bonus, capsaicin (which is what gives chilies their kick) is a natural pain reliever.

Hum A Few Tunes

Seriously. Humming increases airflow to your sinuses, which can help clear and drain them. We’d recommend longer songs like American Pie or Inna Gadda Da Vida.

Sleep Sitting Up

Propping your head up will get gravity to do some of the draining work for you while you rest. If you can’t do that, some extra pillows will also work.

As for brushing and flossing with a sinus infection…

It may be a bit uncomfortable to keep up with oral care when you have sinus-infection-related tooth pain but keep it up. The last thing you’ll want after clearing the discomfort of a sinus infection is tooth problem. If think you are having a toothache, a sinus infection and you are unsure if they are related book an appointment to see your dentist.  Often it is very simple to sort this out.

Teeth Whitening at Yonge and Eglinton

We’ve described the entire teeth whitening process on our website (there’s even a two-minute video describing the treatment).

After a long, dreary winter, now’s the time to brighten up your world.

Start in your mouth.

Here’s the why:

Teeth whitening improves confidence

When you look in the mirror in the morning you’re revving yourself for a productive day. A bright smile staring back at you will give you the oomph to give it your all.

It improves your perception

Rightly or wrongly, we are often judged on our appearance. If you put in the effort to look your best, people will think you put that same amount of effort into everything you do.

It can lead to improved oral health

After teeth whitening you’ll want to preserve your new smile for as long as you can. So you’ll be more diligent with brushing and flossing. You’ll make better choices about the food you eat. You’ll be more inclined to stop bad habits that damage your teeth.

It improves family photos

Years from now, when you look back on spring 2018, you’ll think “wow, I look great!” That starts with a bright smile you’re excited to flash. It changes the vibe of any picture.

But what will teeth whitening not improve?

The process of teeth whitening will not improve your oral health. Only a diligent commitment to oral health will do that. That means brushing twice a day. It means flossing regularly. It means using mouthwash and not putting your teeth in danger of being chipped or cracked. It means going to the dentist twice a year.

But if a course of teeth whitening will give you the motivation to do all these things, then we’re all for it. Talk to you dentist at Yonge Eglinton Dental to determine if teeth whitening is for you.

Protecting your teeth

Protecting your teeth is important to you. You brush twice a day. You floss regularly. You go to the dentist. These are all good things. But are you avoiding activities that can damage your teeth? Here are five of the more common things people do that inadvertently damage teeth.

Your teeth are not a tool

You’ve probably used your teeth to twist open a bottle, tear open a packet or carry something when your hands are full. Yes, it makes things easier in the short term, but it can lead to chips, cracks and misalignments that really aren’t worth the immediate gains.

Avoid oral piercings

Yes, they’re trendy, but they can lead to infections, gum recession and even tooth loss. And depending on where you get your mouth piercings, food can get lodged in there and lead to bacteria buildup. If you feel the need to express yourself with a stud or hoop, it might be best to choose another location on your body.

Wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports

Mouthguard technology has evolved with time. Today they’re much more comfortable than they were previously. The pros use them, and you should too because getting smacked in the mouth on the field, floor or ice is common. And if you need dental surgery to fix the trauma, you might be sidelined for a long time.

Don’t chew on ice cubes

Yes it’s just frozen water, but every chomp down chips away at your tooth enamel. And if you happen to have a filling, chewing ice is among the best ways to compromise its integrity.

Protecting your teeth by wearing a night guard

If you clench and/or grind your teeth at night consider wearing a nightguard to minimize the damage this activity can have on your teeth and jaw.

And one simple do

Take the time to take care of your teeth. Be diligent about brushing and flossing. And make the time to visit the dentist twice a year.

March Break at Yonge and Eglinton

March Break is awesome for kids and hellish for parents – especially those with young children whom they have to entertain for a whole week.

Most parents take at least one day off during March Break if they can. Others will take the whole week off. Either way, when you have a day to spend with your kids, the city’s full of fun things to do. And if you find yourself near mid-town, and you want to take advantage of your proximity to Yonge and Eglinton to do a bit of shopping in the Yonge Eglinton Centre, here are a few ways you can justify dragging them along on your “you-time:”

Donuts at Uncle Betty’s (2590 Yonge Street)

Uncle Betty’s has become a neighbourhood staple. More specifically, their donuts have become staples. Unfortunately, their chocolate donuts are only available on the weekends, but their Cinnamon Sugar is so good that it doesn’t much matter. Once your kids get a taste of that scrumptious dough, they’ll do whatever you need them to do.

A March Break visit to Gamerama (2470 Yonge St)

These guys have been selling video games to kids at Yonge and Eglinton for over 25 years. They were around for Sonic, GoldenEye and Xbox Live. They know what’s what and they won’t steer your kids wrong. Leave there with a shiny new console and your kids will let you spend all the time you want in Sephora.

Toys R Us (2300 Yonge St)

No, it’s nothing fancy, but a toy store is a surefire winner. And with the movie theatre  and the Pickle Barrel down the hall, you can make a day of it. The kids’ menu at the Pickle Barrel is particularly yummy, and please (please, please) don’t leave without trying one of their signature shakes.

Of course, if the weather cooperates and you want some outdoor fun, you’ve got Eglinton Park on the west side of the strip and Greenwood Park on the east side. The former is great for picnics and frisbee. The latter is perfect for hikes and dog walks.

Have a fabulous March Break!

February is Children’s Dental Health Month.

In 1941, a one-day event in Cleveland, Ohio, to raise money for a children’s dentist office went viral. By 1949, February 8th became National Children’s Dental Health Day. Three decades later, in 1981, the American Dental Association extended the event to the entire month of February.

In honour of Children’s Dental Health Month, here are the top 8 tips for keeping kids’ mouths healthy and their smiles bright.

Promote children’s dental health with good oral hygiene – EARLY!

Get your kids into the habit of cleaning their teeth right from the get-go. After a bottle or nursing, clean your baby’s gums with a water-soaked gauze pad or damp wash cloth. This will help them get used to the ritual and make it easier when you switch to brushes.

Brush gently

Get your kids excited about brushing by making it comfortable for them. The harder you push, the more uncomfortable it becomes  and there’s no evidence that brushing harder makes a difference.

Stress technique

At three years old, start teaching your kids to brush their own teeth. But you should always follow up their brushing by brushing their teeth again. And stress proper technique like getting to the back teeth and brushing the tongue. By age six, your child should be able to brush their teeth on their own. At that point you can teach them flossing. They should be able to floss independently by age nine.

Do a fluoride check

Most tap water is infused with fluoride, which is good for teeth. If your water supply isn’t, think about fluoride supplements for your child.

Don’t let your child go to sleep after drinking anything but water

Long-term exposure to the sugars in milk or juice dramatically increases the potential for decay.

Avoid sugar

Saliva takes a minimum of 30 minutes to neutralize the acids caused by sugary foods. Steady sugary snacks lead to an ever-present level of acid in your kids’ mouths, increasing the chances for tooth decay.

Childproof your home to avoid dental accidents

Research has shown that most dental injuries in children under 7 are related to banging into furniture.

Get your kids to the dentist

Find a dentist  you like and establish a long-term relationship.

Winterlicious at Yonge and Eglinton

Winterlicious is one of Toronto’s yearly cold-weather food festivals. Restaurants around town create special prix-fixe menus for the event, giving us all a reason to venture out into the cold and try something new.

It just wrapped up earlier this month, so here are four restaurants we had a chance to try during the event and what we learned.

North 44 (2537 Yonge St)

We learned that, despite the foray into celebrity chef land, Mark McEwan still has the magic touch. With all the new fine-dining spots at Yonge and Eglinton, it’s easy to forget this original high-class spot. We had a parsley crusted duck confit and the most exquisite rainbow beet salad.

Five Doors North (2088 Yonge St)

We learned that venturing south of Eglinton definitely has its advantages. The short ribs were ridiculous, but the flourless chocolate cake was the show-stopper.  While they may have moved locations, they are still making some of the best food Yonge and Eglinton has to offer.  Little known fact: Five Doors North was named for being five doors north of Gio’s, the restaurant with the big paper mache nose on its awning.

Prohibition (40 Eglinton Ave East)

We learned that a gastropub can be more gastro than pub. Prohibition was one of the Winterlicious locations with a lunch menu and it didn’t disappoint. We had “T.O.’s Best Truffle Mac & Cheese” – and it was!

Tabülè (2009 Yonge St)

We learned that healthy eating can be all kinds of delicious with the right spices. In this case, that spice came on a Kefta Kabob and a Halum salad with a magnificent pomegranate dressing.  One of the true gems of our neighborhood.

Missed Winterlicious? Summerlicious is just around the corner

Mark your calendar for July 6 – 22 and prepare to head to Yonge and Eglinton!