HOW IMPORTANT IS FLOSSING?

HOW IMPORTANT IS FLOSSING?

Many people floss less often than they should, whether that be a few times a week or every once in a blue moon. Ideally, you should be flossing your teeth at least once per day as part of your oral hygiene routine for healthy teeth and gums. So, why is this important? Our dentists and dental hygienists at Trillium Dental will explain below.

PREVENTS TARTAR BUILDUP (AND CAVITIES)

Even if you brush your teeth twice per day, bacteria can still collect in the crevices between your teeth where your toothbrush doesn’t reach. If you don’t floss regularly, this bacteria turns into plaque, which then hardens into a substance called tartar. Tartar feeds on tooth enamel, creating cavities between the teeth and causing further tooth decay if it is not removed by your family dentist with a dental scaler. When you floss, you’re removing plaque before it hardens, which is an easy way to prevent dental problems like cavities and gum disease.

PREVENTS GUM DISEASE

When tartar builds up along the gum line, it eats away at the tooth enamel and infects the gum tissue, increasing your risk of developing periodontal disease. If you don’t floss your teeth on a regular basis, you may develop gingivitis, or early-stage gum disease, which is characterized by swollen, tender gums that bleed easily. Fortunately, gingivitis can be reversed with various periodontal treatments like gum lasering and gingivectomies. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry — gum disease is linked to many life-threatening health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

A BEAUTIFUL SMILE

Swollen, infected gums aren’t a pretty sight, especially if the infection has progressed to gingivitis or periodontal disease. Many patients with gum disease have receding gums, which make the teeth appear longer than normal due to the infected gums pulling away from the teeth. It is also not uncommon for people with periodontal disease to have extensive tooth decay, which causes the teeth to turn a grayish color. If you value the appearance of your pearly whites, flossing daily is essential for an attractive smile.

BOOK A DENTAL CHECKUP IN OTTAWA

At Trillium Dental, our dentists and dental hygienists emphasize the importance of flossing to all of our patients. If you are due for a teeth cleaning at your local dental clinic, contact us today or book your appointment online at one of our eight dental offices in Ottawa. We look forward to seeing you!

HOW TO TALK TO YOUR CHILD ABOUT THE DENTIST

HOW TO TALK TO YOUR CHILD ABOUT THE DENTIST

Talking to your child about the dentist, doctor, or any other medical profession isn’t always easy, as children have very vivid imaginations that can develop into fears if concepts are not explained in a way they understand. Because of this, parents often find themselves between a rock and a hard place when it comes time for their child’s first dental exam. After all, they want to tell the truth so their little one knows what to expect, but they also don’t want to instill any irrational fears or phobias.

At Trillium Dental in Ottawa, our dentists and dental hygienists have years of experience in family dental care, and we pride ourselves on providing a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere for kids of all ages. For us, it all comes down to creating a fun environment for kids to show their curiosity and learn about their oral health. Book your child’s dental appointment with us today, or continue reading for some tips about how to talk to your child about the dentist!

USE WORDS THEY UNDERSTAND

If your child is about to have their first dental appointment, odds are, they’re just one or two years old. Their vocabulary is already limited, so be sure to talk to them in a manner that they can understand. Start by showing them a toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, and explain that every so often, they’ll be treated to a professional teeth cleaning with a little squirt gun and vibrating toothbrush (that sometimes tickles!).

Don’t bring up needles, drills, or dental x-rays, because these are the things that tend to develop into dental phobias. In fact, most children don’t get cavities until their elementary school years, so avoid any talk of needles and cavities until they’re a bit older and can understand the concept of preventative oral hygiene. Until then, break it down using simple, positive language so they know the basics of what to expect when they have their first dental cleaning.

TELL THE TRUTH

It is also important not to hide information from your child, as this can throw them off when they arrive at your local dental clinic. Tell them that a dentist (or teeth cleaner) will take them back to a chair, where they can relax while their teeth are cleaned. Frame it as a pampering experience that doesn’t hurt, and they’ll be less likely to be afraid when their dental hygienist pulls out the electric toothbrush.

The dentists and dental hygienists at our Ottawa dental clinics are great about explaining what they’re about to do in an easy-to-understand, kid-friendly way, so you can rest assured that your child is in good hands with us. We’ll explain our fancy toothbrush and water sprayer to them, and that if anything, it’ll tickle, not hurt. We’ll also let them pick out a toothpaste flavor and toothbrush color to take home, which they’ll find comfort in and maybe even get excited about.

LEAD BY EXAMPLE

If your child is hesitant about their first dental visit, it is incredibly important for parents to lead by example. Let your child watch as you brush and floss your teeth, and show them how to do it at home before a stranger does it for them at the dental office. Talk to them calmly about what to expect, and don’t reveal any nervousness you may have about the dentist. Instead, tell them that they have nothing to worry about, that there are no needles involved in a teeth cleaning, and that they will have fun getting to explore the office.

Ready to schedule your child’s first dental exam? Call Trillium Dental today, or request an appointment online at one of our eight dental clinics in Ottawa. We look forward to meeting your little one!

TIPS FOR ESTABLISHING GOOD ORAL HYGIENE HABITS

TIPS FOR ESTABLISHING GOOD ORAL HYGIENE HABITS

For many people, oral health is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind concept — that is, until something goes wrong, such as a tooth cavity or the early signs of gum disease. As we’re sure you’ve heard many times before, prevention is key when it comes to dental problems and oral infections, which is why it’s important to practice good oral hygiene habits at home in between general dentistry appointments. Continue reading for some key tips and tricks for establishing good oral hygiene habits at home, courtesy of our family dentists and dental hygienists at Trillium Dental in Ottawa.

START A ROUTINE

People tend to slack on their oral health practices at home if they do not have a set schedule, such as a solid morning and bedtime routine. If you find yourself forgetting to brush twice per day, or if flossing is an issue, try forming a step-by-step routine to follow every single day. Not only will this help keep you accountable with regard to your oral hygiene, but it will also help you structure your days so that self-care and your overall health is a top priority. Hate flossing because your gums are sensitive or sometimes bleed? Remember that the more you floss and brush, the better your gum health will be. Too tired to brush your teeth after a long night out with friends? Don’t let yourself crawl into bed until you’ve washed your face, brushed your teeth, and flossed that sugary plaque away.

USE A TIMER

More often than not, it isn’t a lack of brushing and flossing that is the issue — it’s the thoroughness. Many people give their teeth a quick brush in the morning and at night, flossing only between the teeth that are easy to reach and swishing with mouthwash in an attempt to compensate. The key to good oral hygiene is to be mindful about how you brush and floss, not necessarily how often (twice per day is enough), so be sure to take your time and do a good job. One way to do this is to set a timer on your phone for two minutes, brushing every nook and cranny until your teeth are squeaky clean. You can also find fun hourglasses and sand timers online, which can help you stay on track with how long you’re brushing in the morning and at night.

PRIORITIZE FLOSSING

We can all relate to the frustration that comes with flossing those hard-to-reach spaces between the molars, but it’s important not to let this stop you from using dental floss at least once per day. It’s nearly impossible to keep food from finding its way into the spaces between your teeth, which is the number one cause of cavities. Trust us, cavity fillings (yes, even the pretty white tooth fillings) are far more of a pain than making an effort to floss everyday, so do yourself a favor and prioritize flossing when you establish a morning and bedtime routine by doing it every night.

SCHEDULE A TEETH CLEANING APPOINTMENT AT TRILLIUM DENTAL IN OTTAWA

Of course, there is only so much you can do at home to maintain good oral health, which is why our dentists and dental hygienists highly recommend visiting our Ottawa dental clinic twice per year for a routine dental cleaning. Contact Trillium Dental in Ottawa to schedule an appointment, or book your dental exam with us online!

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR CHILD FOR THEIR FIRST DENTAL APPOINTMENT

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR CHILD FOR THEIR FIRST DENTAL APPOINTMENT

As a family dental clinic, we understand that visiting the dentist for the first time can be a big step for kids. In fact, going to the dentist can be a dreaded experience for children, what with all the metal tools, drilling noises, and masked dentists poking around in people’s mouths. However, visiting our Ottawa dental office for your child’s first general dentistry appointment doesn’t have to be scary — we’re here to make their dental experience comfortable, easy, and even fun!

Of course, there are things you can do at home to prepare your child for their first dental appointment so they know what to expect, which is why our team at Trillium Dental is dedicating this blog post to helping you ease their nerves before visiting our Ottawa dental clinic. Continue reading to learn more, and contact us today to schedule your child’s first dental appointment!

SPARK CURIOSITY

One of the best ways to prepare your child for their first dental appointment is to spark their curiosity about oral health and dental care through books, games, kids’ TV shows, and other fun activities. You can do this by “playing dentist” at home with your child when it’s time for them to brush and floss their teeth, where you pretend to be the dentist to show them how it’s done then provide a small reward when they do it for themselves. There are also lots of popular children’s TV shows and books that feature the main character’s first trip to the dentist. Some of these include:

  • The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss
  • Peppa Pig — “Peppa’s Pearly Whites”
  • Arthur — “Arthur’s Tooth”

For kids, watching their favorite characters overcome a fear of the dentist and turn it into an adventure can spark curiosity about the dentist and get them excited for their first dental appointment. If Peppa Pig can do it, so can they!

TAKE THEM EARLY

As with most other medical practices, the best thing you can do to prevent your child from feeling anxious about their first dental appointment is to start them early — ideally, before they turn one year old. Once your child reaches toddlerhood, their imagination starts to mature and they are much more likely to develop an irrational fear of the dentist, the pediatrician, and other medical professionals who use scary-looking tools. To avoid this, it’s best to bring your child in for their first dental appointment before their first birthday so they can become familiar with our family dental clinic and our friendly staff of dentists and dental hygienists.

LET THEM TAG ALONG AT ONE OF YOUR APPOINTMENTS

Lots of families bring their children in during their dental appointments to give them a firsthand account of what general dentistry is all about. Our dentists and dental hygienists are more than happy to meet your child and explain all our fun gadgets to them as we clean your teeth. This also gives us the chance to answer any questions your child might have about dentistry, like why it’s important to practice good oral hygiene at home, what flavors of toothpaste you can find, and why going to the dentist is fun. They’ll be pleased to know that the electric toothbrushes we use tickle, not hurt!

BRING THEIR FAVORITE STUFFED ANIMAL

In the event that your child does experience some anxiety when you sit them down in the dentist’s chair, it’s good to have their favorite stuffed animal or blanket on hand to make them feel more at home. Kids find a great deal of comfort in these items, which can help them get through their first dental cleaning appointment if they are nervous or start to cry. Our dentists and dental hygienists are great at comforting kids and making their dental experience fun, but it’s always a good idea to have their stuffed kitty or bunny in your bag if they need it. Our goal is to make each and every child’s first dental experience a fun adventure, and we welcome any comfort items that will help them enjoy the experience.

SCHEDULE YOUR CHILD’S FIRST TEETH CLEANING AT TRILLIUM DENTAL IN OTTAWA

Now that you have some tips and tricks up your sleeve to prepare your child for their first trip to the dentist, it’s time to schedule their first dental appointment at Trillium Dental in Ottawa. We look forward to meeting your child and showing them around our family dental clinic!

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR FIRST GENERAL DENTISTRY APPOINTMENT

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR FIRST GENERAL DENTISTRY APPOINTMENT

Here at Trillium Dental in Ottawa, our family dentists take great pride in providing their patients with exceptional dental services. We understand that not everyone loves going to the dentist, and if this sounds like you, you certainly aren’t alone. Everyone is welcome at Trillium Dental, whether you are switching dental offices or are new to general dentistry altogether, and we will stop at nothing to make you feel right at home in our dentist’s chair.

We want all of our patients to know what to expect during their first dental visit, as this can help ease some of the anxiety you may be feeling as you prepare to have someone new clean your teeth. That being said, here is what an initial general dentistry appointment at our Ottawa dental clinic entails!

PERIODONTAL & ORAL CANCER SCREENINGS

As a family dental clinic, our dentists take all the precautions necessary to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy before moving on to any dental cleaning, flossing, or fluoride application. Upon arriving at Trillium Dental for your first general dentistry appointment, we will conduct a thorough inspection of your oral cavity, which includes an oral cancer screening and a periodontal screening. This allows us to become aware of any underlying issues you may be experiencing so that we can proceed accordingly with gum treatments or an oral cancer treatment referral if need be. More often than not, this is not the case, and we will move on to X-rays.

DENTAL X-RAYS

Dental X-rays allow our dentists to inspect your teeth and gums in a way that is not possible without the most advanced dental tools and technology. We will have you bite a small plastic strip on one side as we snap the photo, then switch over to the other side and repeat the process. While this only takes a few seconds to complete, it is critical for us to identify any tooth or jawbone decay, tumors, abscesses, and other issues that may have gone under the radar during the periodontal and oral cancer screenings.

DENTAL CLEANING

After completing the preliminary dental screenings and X-rays, your dental hygienist will perform a thorough dental cleaning. This includes a tooth scaling treatment, during which your dentist will use a dental scaler to gently scrape away any plaque and tartar that has built up along or below the gum line. If you have a significant amount of tartar buildup under the gumline, we might clear it out using the Cavitron®, a device that uses gentle ultrasonic waves.

Then, they will use a high-tech electric toothbrush to completely clean your teeth from front to back, reaching all the crevices you can’t get to with the standard toothbrush you have at home. Once your pearly whites are clean and shiny, we will floss between each of your teeth, watching for sticky areas that might indicate a cavity. If all is well, we may then apply fluoride to the teeth, let it sit for a minute, rinse it away, and send you off to continue going about your day!

CHOOSE TRILLIUM DENTAL FOR YOUR GENERAL DENTISTRY

We hope this information has given you a good idea of what to expect during your first general dentistry appointment, and that you will choose Trillium Dental in Ottawa as your trusted family dental clinic. We look forward to meeting you and providing you with exceptional dental care, so make an appointment today!

WHY TEETH CLEANINGS ARE IMPORTANT FOR GOOD ORAL HEALTH: PART 2

WHY TEETH CLEANINGS ARE IMPORTANT FOR GOOD ORAL HEALTH: PART 2

Welcome back to the Trillium Dental blog! If you read part one of this blog series, you already know how regular dental cleanings can greatly reduce your risk of developing cavities, gingivitis, and moderate- to late-stage periodontal disease due to tartar buildup along the gum line. As it turns out, there are many other benefits of professional teeth cleanings, which we will continue to discuss throughout this post. Here are a couple more reasons why teeth cleanings are critical for good oral health.

EARLY DETECTION AND TREATMENT

During a professional dental cleaning, your dental hygienist will scope out your teeth, gums, and surrounding tissue for underlying issues that may not have been brought to your attention yet. The early signs of many oral health conditions, like developing cavities or mildly receding gums, tend to go unnoticed until your dentist takes a closer look during a hygiene visit. Other, more serious oral health conditions, such as jaw bone deterioration, are detected via X-rays, and it’s tools like these that allow dentists to discover the warning signs early-on.

As mentioned in our previous post, gingivitis, or early-stage gum disease, can be treated and even reversed if it is caught early enough by a dentist or dental hygienist. Given that gingivitis begins when something is irritating your gums (like plaque and tartar), the severity of gum disease is highly contingent on your oral hygiene habits and how often you visit the dentist for professional teeth cleanings. The same goes for cavities, bone deterioration, broken fillings, or any other oral health issue; early detection and treatment of these conditions greatly increases your chances of effectively remedying, or even reversing, the damage done to your gums and teeth.

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

In addition to detecting oral health issues early on and providing the appropriate treatment, your dental hygienist will also take preventative measures to protect your teeth and gums. One of the most common preventative methods used today is the application of dental fluoride, which helps protect your teeth from cavities for the first few months between professional teeth cleanings. Here in Ottawa, this mineral is found in our water and food, which also gives us a small boost of oral protection. However, this is not nearly enough to rely on, and it is still highly recommended to have fluoride applied to your teeth by a dental hygienist during a hygiene visit.

Much like an annual doctor’s appointment, regular dental appointments also provide the opportunity for you to get professional advice about how to improve your oral hygiene habits moving forward. Whether this means adjusting to a more frequent flossing schedule or switching to a brand of toothpaste that better suits your needs, our dentists and dental hygienists at Trillium Dental are always happy to provide our insight and guidance.

We understand that prevention is far easier and less expensive than most treatments for oral health conditions, so feel free to ask us how you can better protect and care for your teeth and gums at home. Our dentists and dental hygienists are always available to help you and address any concerns you might have, as this could mean the difference between a dangerous, worsening oral health condition and early detection and treatment by a dentist you trust.

HAVE YOUR TEETH CLEANED AT TRILLIUM DENTAL

All things said and done, regular dental appointments are one of the best ways to protect your teeth in the long run. From removing tartar and reducing your risk of developing gum disease to providing preventative measures, early detection, and treatment for oral health conditions, there are many reasons why professional teeth cleanings are critical for good oral health. It all comes down to prioritizing the health of your mouth and entire body, and taking the steps necessary to ensure that you are receiving the proper dental care.

If it’s been a while since your last hygiene visit, or you think you may be experiencing issues with your teeth or gums, schedule an appointment with Trillium Dental in Ottawa today! Our dentists and dental hygienists would be happy to clean your teeth and provide you with all the resources you need to maintain your oral health.