Dental Health

Guard Your Teeth to Get the Most Out of Your Smile

You only get one set of permanent teeth. Are you doing everything you can to keep them healthy and strong?

Sure, you brush and floss. Maybe you even use a great antimicrobial mouthwash. You never miss a six-month appointment with your North Vancouver dentist, either.  So, what more can you do? Well answer this question, if you can. Have you ever noticed yourself clenching or grinding your teeth? If you have, there is one more big thing you can do to help your teeth stay healthy: Get a night guard.

Wearing a night guard can help your oral health in several ways. Not only does it protect your teeth, but also your jaw and if you have migraines, it could provide some relief from a common musculo-skeletal headache trigger!

 

Grinding Down Through Your Enamel Over Time

 

Your teeth can show age just like the rest of your facial features. But instead of getting fine lines like your eyes and mouth, your teeth will discolor, shift alignment, and show wear through the enamel. Perhaps they even look flat or jagged.

But if you have bruxism and grind your teeth when you sleep, the wear and tear will look much worse. After a lifetime of grinding, your regularly shaped teeth will be very short. A night guard can help protect your teeth from excessive wear from grinding and clenching, keeping your pearly white enamel intact.

 

Cavity Prone?

 

When you wear away all the enamel due to grinding your teeth, you open them up for extra cavities. Additionally, during the wear, your teeth may flatten out, which makes it more difficult for you to bite and chew.

When you start wearing a night guard early enough, you can prevent the wear before opportunistic cavities start to form.  Our North Vancouver dentist at Pier Dental Centre will make sure your night guard fits your teeth and bite effectively, to protect them from the bite forces that come with bruxism.

 

Have TMJ Disorder? About that Sore Jaw

 

Do you wake up in the morning with a tired, aching jaw? How about waking up with a headache that radiates from your temple into your eyes or ears?  That kind of wakeup call is not the way to start your day, but if you have bruxism, you’re probably used to this kind of morning.

Now imagine not grinding your teeth through the night. How would your jaw feel if it were unable to tighten down as hard? A night guard will help keep your jaw from locking down and clenching your teeth together (or fully engaging your TMJ.) Additionally, if you have migraines that are triggered by your bruxing, a night guard may help decrease or completely stop the trigger, lessening the instance of your migraines.

If you’re looking for a solution for your night grinding or potential tooth wear, schedule a consultation with to Dr. Robert Cegielski.  Not only will you find a sympathetic listener, but it’s likely, you’ll find help and hope for better oral health.  Contact our North Vancouver dentist office to schedule your appointment!

Helping Your Child Learn Self Dental Care

Is there anything more magical than watching your child grow from a small infant into a gangly, independent big kid? It happens in fits and starts at first, from the 20-month-old who proclaims, “Do it myself! Me!” and becomes more frequent in its appearance until one night, you realize that your role in the “getting ready for bed” game has shifted from player to coach to observer.

But it’s still your job to make sure hygiene and personal care are taken care of well enough for your child to be healthy. There is a fine line to walk between doing the job for your child and teaching him to care for himself, and many ways to reach that point. But the end result should always be a grown child who can take care of his own body. How do you get there? Here’s some advice from our North Vancouver family dentist.

Baby Steps

When your child is an infant, you’re the one who stands between their smile and “baby bottle tooth decay.” You’re the one who gets them used to the sensation of something rubbing and brushing over their gums. Establish good habits early – even too early for them to know what’s happening. Don’t allow milk or juice to be taken to bed in a bottle or sippy cup. Make cleaning the gums a nightly ritual. Use a small, fingertip gum brush or a damp washcloth to wipe away the residue from a day’s worth of milk, juice, cereal, and baby food.

Hand Over Hand Learning

As your little one gets bigger and has more “I do it myself” moments, it’s useful to switch models of dental hygiene from one where you do everything to one where your child gets to help. Giving him a chance to try to brush his own teeth before you brush them helps him grow more confident of his skills. Don’t stop teaching, though. One of the ways little people learn best is to have a grown hand holding theirs, showing them the right way. This can be a particularly effective way to teach brushing the teeth, since manipulating the brush can take a little practice!

Continual Transitions

Each phase of growth for your child will come with newly gained abilities and hopefully greater responsibility. As she begins to master brushing, give her the responsibility to brush in the morning without a monitor, while you still keep an eye on the night time brush and floss. Get a tooth brush with a timer to help her know how long to keep brushing, so her evening cleaning is long enough. Provide floss picks to take away the coordination problems that are part of flossing.

Gradually, you can begin stepping away from her dental hygiene routine, until she is at a point where you trust her to care for her teeth.

Even when kids can brush and floss, it’s still important to keep their cleaning appointments twice a year! Don’t forget to schedule with your North Vancouver Dentists at Pier Dental Centre!

Three Reasons to Have A “Family” Dentist

Do you have family dentist in North Vancouver? If you don’t, you should!  Who else are you going to call when you have a terrible toothache or when your child breaks a tooth?  But if you don’t have a family dentist, you also don’t have someone who knows about the tooth you had extracted during college, or the fact that you had gingivitis last year; this means that there’s no one to watch out for shifting teeth or periodontal disease currently. Here are three reasons why you should choose Pier Dental Centre in North Vancouver as your family’s dentist!

 

1.Having a dental team you know and trust. When you come to the dentist, it’s important that you feel comfortable with all the people who help you. You should trust that you can talk about any dental concern or discomfort you have, or discuss how you feel about your teeth. Only when you have a friendly rapport with your dentist can you begin to have conversations about your ideal dental health and appearance!

 

2. A centralized location for adults AND children’s dental care.  Your family and children’s dental health is an important consideration for you as you choose a North Vancouver dentist. After all, a smile should last a lifetime. Children in particular require dental care that is gentle and not remotely frightening. At Pier Dental Centre, Dr. Cegielski, Dr. Kherani, and all our staff are particularly compassionate and tender with our smallest patients. We know that it is important for them to feel comfortable at the dentist in order to encourage good dental habits throughout their lives! Plus, you can bring everyone to the same office, saving you valuable time.

 

3. Someone who understands everything your family has been through You know your general practitioner MD needs to have a complete record of your medical history to be able to provide the best and most accurate care. Did you know that your dentist needs the same? If you’ve skipped around from one office to another, no one knows to watch for gingivitis coming back, that you have a new cavity every year, that your bite has gotten steadily worse since a tooth was removed. Staying with one family dentist over the course of many years gives you another reason to trust your provider. At Pier Dental Centre, we up the ante with your dental record. Everything is digital: there are no notes or pages that can be lost. We can look through your entire history in a few moments to ensure we are recommending the best treatment for your teeth.

 

 

A Dental Home in North Vancouver

 

Your dental health is important to your overall wellness and may predict or be linked to many major medical issues like heart disease, diabetes, and infertility. Imagine how better off you could be with a dentist who has a long-term stake in your health.  Choose a family dentist you trust; call Pier Dental Centre today for your next appointment!

Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity – Is It Normal?

Whether you’re celebrating with ice cream or having a Halloween candy snack, the pain in your teeth from the cold and sweet makes enjoying them a difficult task. You’re left sucking on your teeth, trying to get the sensation to subside. But why is it happening at all?

There are a few different reasons why you could be suffering from sensitive teeth, and not all of them indicate a problem! Dr. Cegielski of Pier Dental Centre can help you figure out why.

Recent Fillings? New Crown?

If you’ve had recent work done to your teeth, they may still be adjusting to the new material. It takes some time, maybe as long as a couple weeks for your teeth to really adjust to the amalgam or composite fillings. Sensitivity is possible, especially with the metal style fillings that conduct heat so well.

Crowns are also a likely culprit. Though a newer style crown will not have a metal component, many caps are still made with silver, gold, or white gold at the base. Like an amalgam filling, the metallic crown will conduct heat remarkably well. If you’ve had a root canal, you might not feel the sensitivity in the tooth with the crown, but rather in the surrounding teeth. Then again, a crown can be placed on a tooth with an extra-large cavity, without a root canal, so the root and nerve may still be present, and more sensitive to the heat and cold.

Watch Out for Whitening!

Getting your teeth whitened once could leave you with a small amount of sensitivity. Getting your teeth whitened regularly may increase that hyperactive sensation. Whitening your teeth too much or using aggressive products may even cause severe pain. Be on the alert for commercial bleaching products that you find online or at the mall. They may promise amazing whitening, but the tradeoff of oversensitivity and weakened enamel is not worth it!

Tooth Decay and Cavities

A cavity, even a small one, can affect how sensitive your teeth are to cold, heat, and sweet. If you notice a newly sensitive tooth, don’t ignore it! At Pier Dental Centre, we are more than happy to check your smile and screen for any signs of decay. You might not see them: they could be between the teeth or in a narrow crack. But as that sensitivity grows worse, you can be sure the cavity is growing larger. Don’t wait to get it treated!

Solutions for Sensitive Teeth at Pier Dental Centre

With professional memberships across Canada and in the US, Dr. Cegielski is committed to the best outcomes for his patients and their smiles. If you’re having tooth sensitivity in North Vancouver, make your appointment at Pier Dental Centre. Sensitivity can turn to toothache and pain overnight if it’s not treated right. Dr. Cegielski can give you options that treat the problem and help you get back to the life you had before you suffered from tooth sensitivity.

 

Is Cosmetic Bonding Right for You?

As you get older, you start to see and feel the signs of age on your body. First your hair, then your skin, perhaps your joints get a little achy in the damp weather. Then one day you smile in the mirror and realize your teeth are also showing age too, and it’s not so graceful!  They’ve started to yellow, and some of them show signs of wear, like tiny chips or grooves on the biting surface.

Further, they’ve started to show some movement – gaps that have gotten bigger, teeth that are crooked when they never used to be. You keep your dental appointments for cleanings and exams, so you know you don’t need fillings to correct any of these issues, but what can you do?

It’s possible that you’re a candidate for cosmetic bonding. There are several situations when bonding may work for you. At Pier Dental Centre, we are happy to examine your teeth and discuss which ones you are concerned about, then determine what treatments are available.

 

Bonding May Work If…

…You have gaps that are slightly too wide: If your teeth are widening a bit as the years go on, it could be due to a missing tooth in the back of your mouth, even your wisdom teeth.  That little bit of room in your jaw gives the teeth enough space to move under normal bite forces. It takes time, but after 15 years or so, you may start to see spaces where they never were before. Cosmetic bonding can close that small gap, or the one between your front teeth if you have it!

…Your teeth are worn from grinding. A sore jaw in the morning, a headache that radiates from your temples, teeth that are worn and yellowed along the gumlines. They all mean one thing: Bruxism. Grinding your teeth wears down enamel, allowing the yellow dentin underneath to show through along the gumlines or even causing wedge-shaped notches in your teeth. Dental bonding can cover the dentin, allowing your teeth to be their whitest again! (Aside from the wear on your teeth, bruxism can be a symptom of oral sleep apnea, so it’s best to get that checked out!) If the biting edges of your teeth are worn too, you may need a crown.

 …You have small chips or cracks on prominent teeth. These could be from biting on hard foods or using your teeth as a tool.  Bonding can fill and cover these minor imperfections up to a point, however if a tooth is broken, it will need different sort of repair.

 

Bonding Won’t Fix Everything

Though there are several minor cosmetic problems bonding works well for, it can’t fix large gaps, severe fractures, alignment, or poorly shaped teeth. But Drs. Cegielski and Kherani can create a treatment plan that will work for your teeth, whatever their condition. Regardless of whether you have your teeth bonded or use another cosmetic procedure, you should continue caring for them with excellent dental hygiene including brushing twice daily, flossing, and visiting your dentist at Pier Dental Centre every six months for a checkup and cleaning.

Contact our North Vancouver office to schedule your appointment!