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Ask the Dentist

Why is fluoride so important?

Fluoride has long been a topic of debate and although fluoride use has its critics, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention consider the introduction of fluoride to improve oral health one of the top 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

Fluoride has a very unique property in that it can replace Calcium in our enamel. So when our teeth are exposed to acid (which is how decay starts) the acid leaches (pulls) calcium out of our enamel thereby weakening our teeth. Fluoride, when available, replaces the calcium in our enamel and makes our teeth more resistant to acid. So, in essence, fluoride makes our teeth stronger because acid from bacteria won’t be as effective at decaying our teeth.

It’s still very important to brush and floss because, even with fluoride replacing our calcium, our teeth are still susceptible to decay. So 2-3 minutes twice a day for brushing and flossing every day is still the Canadian Dental Association recommendation.

What can be done for crooked front teeth?

There are several ways to address crooked front teeth, but it depends on the degree of crowding. Severe crowding is often best treated with orthodontics (braces) to straighten the teeth. Moderate to mild crowding can also be treated with Invisalign, which utilizes clear trays that are custom made and move teeth gradually and gently. This can be done at your family dental office.

Another way to change the appearance of teeth is with composites. These are tooth-coloured resin fillings that are bonded to repair decayed, chipped, fractured, or discoloured teeth. They can also be used to close spaces between teeth, make teeth look longer, or change the shape or colour of teeth. They usually last several years, depend on how much bonding was done and oral/biting habits.

Other options include porcelain veneers and crowns. These are thin layers of porcelain that are placed and bonded to prepared teeth. They can be used in situations where one wishes to change the shape, colour, or overall appearance of his or her teeth. They are very lifelike and can last for many years with proper care.

Can my dentist do botox?

Dentists have extensive knowledge of the head and neck anatomy, as it is the area they work on daily. Dentists are skilled at injections as they routinely give injections in sensitive areas.

Botox has therapeutic uses and is not just for cosmetics. If you clench or grind excessively, Botox can reduce these habits, saving your teeth and relaxing your tense facial muscles. People who suffer from headaches are getting relief with Botox. Also, people who suffer from excessive sweating can use Botox to inhibit the sweat glands.

In 1992 it was two Canadian ophthalmologists who first used Botox to treat wrinkles around the eyes and forehead. This treatment has been approved by the FDA and it is reported to last up 4-6 months. Botox treatment offers advantages for men and women. Botox is a purifi ed protein which is safely metabolized by the body. The appointments are short and you are able to carry on with your day as it allows for natural movement of the face. Results last up to 6 months or even longer with repeated use. The CDSBC has approved the use of Botox in dental offi ces. For more information or to find out if Botox will work for you please contact Dr. Jana Lamb for a Complimentary Cosmetic Consult at 250-287-7343.