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When The Thumb Bites Back…

June 28, 2016

We see it all the time. An infant sucking their thumb is very cute. However, if the habit continues for any length of time, damage to their bite will occur. It creates the ‘buck’ teeth we are all familiar with. It can also cause boney changes in the mouth  by the thumb pushing up on the palate and the cheeks pushing in on the upper back teeth. If a soother with an orthodontic nipple can replace the thumb, awesome. If not, there are habit breakers available if the habit continues into the stage where adult teeth start to appear (around six years of age). It’s not an easy issue to resolve as parents. It could be that the habit has an emotional component we can’t easily dismiss. As well, the science of osteopathy discusses the theory that thumb sucking may be a child’s way of correcting an issue with the movement of the cranial (head) bones, a theory too complicated to fully discuss in a short blog. – Dr. Jay Rabinovich

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June 3, 2016

Although not always the case, adults usually have 32 teeth. The last tooth of both jaws at the back are your wisdom teeth. The question is, should you have them removed. There are a lot of factors to consider before making that decision. If they have come in properly and are in a position that they can be cleaned at home easily, then there is no real reason to have them removed. If it appears that they will not come into the mouth at all and will not risk the health of the teeth beside them, then I believe they should be left alone as well. The issues arise when they come in the mouth in an improper position. In those cases, they are difficult to maintain and can cause recurrent gum infections, cavities on the adjacent teeth or decay themselves. In those situations, extractions might be the right treatment. But like all treatment, risks need to be taken into consideration such as potential nerve damage (usually associated with lower wisdom tooth extractions) , sinus trouble (associated with the uppers), etc.. Finally; Just to debunk a common myth, wisdom teeth do not cause crowding in front teeth. Dr. Jay Rabinovich

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May 24, 2016
What happens if I’m pregnant and I need dental care? Hopefully it never comes to that, but the health of mom is just as important as the baby’s. Generally, we don’t like to do anything until the baby is born, except for cleanings. We suggest increasing the frequency of cleanings to avoid ‘pregnancy gingivitis’. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can cause gums to react to plaque and tartar buildup more than usual. Coming to the hygienist a little more often can help alleviate these changes. As far as dental work is concerned, emergencies only. If we can, delaying until the second trimester is preferable and any medications that need to be prescribed would always be done so in consultation with the patients OB/GYN.
Dr. Jay Rabinovich
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May 9, 2016

New parents are sometimes unsure of when they should bring their child in for their first dental visit. I suggest that between 2 1/2 and 3 years of age is the right time. At that point he or she has a full compliment of baby (primary) teeth and should be checked for any problems. I have always made the first visit an easy one by giving the young one a ride in the dental chair, counting their teeth with a quick look for obvious issues and then giving them a toy to make the whole experience quick and positive. If there is nothing of concern found at that point (such as evidence of baby bottle syndrome, the subject of next weeks blog ), a few weeks later we would book a second visit with a hygienist for a quick polish to introduce a little more of what future visits will be like.  It’s so important early on to establish a relationship of trust and ease so that the a fear of the dentist never arises. Dr. Jay Rabinovich

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April 20, 2016

It is estimated that 45% of the population snores and that 25% of the population are habitual snorers. How can dentists help solve the snoring problem? There are devices that can be made in a dental office that are worn at night to stop snoring. They work by bringing the lower jaw and tongue forward just enough to open the airway, which should cause the snoring to stop. If sleep apnea is part of the problem (of the habitual snorers, it is estimated that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 3 men have Obstructive Sleep Apnea ), it might be the case that these devices are not for you and that a CPAP machine is recommended. The only way to find out the correct solution for you is to spend a night in a sleep clinic. They will be able to find out how many apneic episodes you are having throughout the night. If you fall under a certain threshold, then the intra oral device might be all you need. Over that threshold, a CPAP machine is the only safe way to help. Dr. Jay Rabinovich

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April 11, 2016

What defines a beautiful smile? As a dentist, I can look at your smile and can actually break it down mathematically to see if it fits into the textbook ideal. But really, that’s not important. Often times it’s a personal ideal. That brings me to todays topic. Closing spaces in the front. Sometimes spaces in the front can suit a person. More often than not, people prefer to have them closed. This can be done in more than one way, such as capping or veneering. Sometimes, simply bonding tooth coloured filling material to the sides of teeth can close up spaces. If done correctly, it can look natural, doesn’t involve drilling away any healthy tooth material, can be easily repaired if chipped, and best of all, can be done in one visit. It doesn’t work in every case (for example if the space is too wide or if the bonding makes the tooth look too wide for it’s length), but it’s certainly worth asking about if spaces have been making you self conscious about smiling. Dr. Jay Rabinovich

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April 4, 2016

As we all age, some changes do occur to your teeth. One of them, unfortunately, is that they start to yellow. This happens for more than one reason. As we get older, our enamel starts to thin and the second layer of tooth, which is yellow, thickens and shows through more. As well, what we eat and drink over the years leaves stain behind and has a great effect on colour. Tea, coffee, red wine and smoking of any kind are the major culprits. If your generally happy with your smile, and it’s only the fading colour that has you concerned, ask the advice of your dentist as to what can be done. Perhaps bleaching is the right choice. There is more than one way to bleach (for example store bought bleach strips, take home kits with custom fit trays, in office ZOOM treatment ) so make sure you get all the information you need, including risks and expected outcomes of each, to make an educated decision. If it’s more than the just the colour that’s the issue, more complex treatment options need to be discussed which may include moving teeth into a more pleasing alignment, porcelain veneers which can control shape and colour, etc. Next week, I will discuss how to close spaces between front teeth that some people find aesthetically displeasing. Dr. Jay Rabinovich

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March 28, 2016
This past Sunday, Toronto Beach Dental had the privilege to Ride in the Toronto Beaches Lions Club Easter Parade. It was a gorgeous sunny day and the turnout was incredible. It was great to see many familiar faces of long standing patients, and even some new ones, as we passed the huge crowds. My entire family was present, as well as some staff, handing out toothbrushes, toothpaste and frisbees. It was great to see all those that participated. There were over 90 floats, marching bands and honour guards. The best part was seeing the kids reactions when they saw our tooth mascot sitting on top of our open jeep. Can’t wait for next year!
Dr. Jay Rabinovich
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March 15, 2016
Anxiety in the dental chair is nothing new. Innovations in dentistry have brought the profession so far forward that 99% of procedures should be pain and stress free. Still, for some, it’s difficult to relax when they’re in the office. Maybe rough experiences as a child, or issues with needles, linger and make going to the dentist more difficult that it needs to be. An option to consider is Nitrous Oxide, better known as ‘Laughing Gas’ . In a nutshell, laughing gas is inhaled through the nose during the appointment and creates a floating feeling that relaxes you. Generally it is in addition to freezing but can help out if you absolutely don’t want an injection. You’re awake the whole time and, when the appointment is over, you are placed on oxygen until you’re entirely clear headed. You don’t need anyone else to bring you to or take you from the office. It’s important to know it’s around if you need it. Speak to your dentist to see if it’s right for you and that there isn’t anything in your medical history that doesn’t allow you to have it.
Dr. Jay Rabinovich
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March 7, 2016

Everyday in the office I have at least one discussion with patients about implants. Often times people are a little unclear as to how they work. Essentially, your bone is like drywall. You don’t screw directly into drywall, you put a plug in first. Your bone is the same and the implant serves as the plug. It is threaded on the outside to grab the bone and hollow and threaded on the inside to accept a screw (or a screw in post, fastener, etc.). There are a myriad of ways to use implants in the mouth and a subject for a blog on its own. I’ll go over those in a later posting. Dr. Jay Rabinovich

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