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Common Dental Myths

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It’s no myth that going to the dentist can bring on some anxiety, and with so much stress and stigma surrounding dentists and orthodontists, it’s not surprising that myths about teeth abound. Perhaps you’ve considered whitening your teeth, but you’ve been warned of harmful effects of using bleaching agents; or you’ve avoided chewing gum because you heard it will rot your teeth. Maybe you never had a chance to ask your dentist or orthodontist—that can be a difficult thing to do when your mouth is full of instruments!

Fear not! Here are three of the most common dental myths, and the realities of dental health:

1. “Bleaching will weaken your teeth.”

We’d all like to have that bright, pearly white smile, and sometimes regular brushing and flossing just doesn’t cut it. Luckily there’s a myriad of whitening products available over the counter or from your dental professional to help make your teeth look whiter. Yet some people worry that using bleaching products on their teeth is harmful or destructive, weakening the teeth. The main thing to remember is that you’re not rinsing your mouth out with Javex — teeth-bleaching products are harmless if used according to the directions.

Clinical studies support the safety and effectiveness of home-use bleaching gels when used correctly and appropriately. Tooth sensitivity and irritation to soft tissues can occur during bleaching treatment, but these effects are transient, and there’s no need to fear that using bleaching products will weaken your teeth. Bleaching only affects the color of the teeth, not their strength or health. Bleaching works by removing some of the pigmentation in the tooth, and if you bleach too often, your teeth might begin to appear translucent if you’ve removed too much of the natural pigmentation. Don’t mistake this translucency for weakening of the enamel or damage to the teeth — it’s just a change of color.

2. “If you eat that, your teeth will fall out.”

Sound familiar? Many of us can recall being told that if we drink too much soda, snack on too much taffy, or eat too many cookies, they will destroy our teeth. While all these foods are bad for your teeth (and ultimately your general health), dried fruit, fruit juice and honey all contain natural sugars that can cause tooth decay. But did you know that the amount of sugar you eat is not the deciding factor in tooth decay?

The bacteria in your mouth feed on carbohydrates, like sugar, and produce an acid that eats away at the enamel of your teeth. The longer the sugar is in your mouth, the longer the bacteria can feed and produce acid, and the longer the acid can work on the enamel. In other words, it’s not about the amount of sugar you eat, it’s about how long the sugar is in contact with your teeth.

This means that eating a whole cake then immediately brushing your teeth is less harmful to your dental health than eating one slice without brushing. Sipping on sugary drinks all day, or snacking on slow-dissolving candies like lollipops, allows sugar to hang around your teeth for a long time — not a good idea.

So enjoy the sweets, but make sure you brush right after!

3. “Chewing gum is bad for your teeth.”

This one isn’t exactly a myth — more like a misconception. Chewing gum of any kind increases saliva production, which is a good thing for your oral health. Besides having enzymes that digest carbohydrates, it has antibodies that fight decay-causing bacteria, it contains buffers that neutralize the acids that eat at your teeth, and it contains minerals that help rebuild parts of your teeth that have been attacked by decay acid.

The problem arises when the sugar found in some gum feeds the bacteria in your mouth. So whether gum is good for you or not depends on whether it’s sugar-free or not. Of course, avoid chewing any type of gum if you have braces; gum chewing actually bends the wire (in extreme cases, it can actually break a bracket off completely) and the teeth will then move to the bent wire, instead of following the originally straight wire in your braces.

The key to debunking dental myths is to rely on the experts. There’s no need for stress when you head to your Ottawa orthodontist; we’re here to answer any questions or concerns you may have, and help demystify the topic of dental health. If you’re ever wondering about the realities of dental health, just give us a call at 613-722-8500 or e-mail us at info@bracesinottawa.com!


Could Your Smile Hold the Key To Your Dream Job?

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Could Your Smile Hold the Key To Your Dream Job?

In a professional setting there are many things that influence the way you are perceived by your coworkers or your boss. Your confidence and comfort while working or during an job interview will play a large huge part in your success both at work in acquiring a job. Human resources professionals are emphasizing the importance of body language to communicate your personality and what better way to show genuine enthusiasm than with a winning smile during an interview? People who smile are perceived as more confident, likeable, competent and courteous.

Of all our facial expressions, the smile is the most prominent, so it’s important to ensure your smile is genuine. Having a genuine smile can become more difficult if you’re battling with insecurities about the appearance of your teeth. Issue such as yellow teeth, a chipped tooth or misaligned teeth can affect confidence and your smile. A real smile can be a challenge when your teeth are a source of insecurity. Thankfully, there are many options available to improve your teeth, and by extension, that winning smile

Do A Smile Self-Assessment

One of the first things you can do is a smile self assessment. Look at your smile objectively and subjectively. Subjectively, your emotional satisfaction revolves around your confidence and emotional perception how you look. If you notice that you compulsively hide your smile from being displayed or photographed, you might be uncomfortable with your appearance. How do you feel about your smile; can you identify any problem areas that you would like changed? Objectively you can look at what is considered to be optimal facial aesthetics according to dental professionals. Identifying dental malocclusion can be complicated but if you’d like more information feel free to give us a call, or do a bit of research and even start here.

Professional Benefits of Treatment

The vast majority of contemporary employers have moved away from simple experience based hiring and are looking for a “cultural fit” when looking for new employees. According to Forbes the top three traits employers are looking for are professionalism, high-energy and confidence. Large employers are currently finding a general lack of confidence in their workforces, and confident workers are in high demand. The way you present yourself in a professional setting helps give a first impression on how your personality might benefit the company. When you appear well-kept, confident and professional, it provides reassurance to future and current employers that those traits will extend into your work ethic as well.

The primary forms of benefit for orthodontic treatment are improvement of oral health and psychosocial well-being. Facial aesthetics have been shown to significantly determine self-perception. The most beneficial aspects of treatment are: improved self-esteem, physical attractiveness, self-confidence, social attractiveness, self-image and more ease while cleaning teeth, not to mention the medical and physical benefits.

Orthodontic treatment aims to improve the alignment and appearance of teeth for the betterment of your lifestyle and health. With more self-esteem, attractiveness and confidence you will be able to bring your skills forward to advance your career and employment opportunities. To begin to improve how others perceive you in the workplace you must have confidence in your ability, appearance and your smile!

Consider Teeth Whitening

If you are suffering from yellow teeth despite your best efforts to brush properly or cut down on habits that stain your teeth, whitening might be the solution you’re looking for. Before starting you should consult a dental professional to pick the best program for your needs. Having white teeth makes you seem friendlier and more approachable. Keep in mind that there can be some pitfalls to at home teeth whitening products, the advantage of getting it done by a professional is that the process will be faster and less complicated.

It’s Never Too Late To Get Your Perfect Smile!

Experts agree that it is never too late to consider orthodontic treatment. Nearly half of all orthodontic patients are adults hoping of getting the smile they’ve always dreamed of. For professionals, there exists a variety of more lightweight and less visible braces. Orthodontics are no longer strictly a world of inconvenient metal and there is now a world of possibilities for adults who do not want to impact their professional and polished appearance. Contact us at 613.722.8500 or here about treatment to enhance your professional appearance and start your journey to that perfect, professional smile.