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Self Care = Self Happiness

I woke up today with one of the biggest realizations I’ve had in a long time. It was something deep down I already knew, but seemed to ignore and never put much thought into.

“Self care is a reflection of self happiness”.

We live on a planet that houses over seven billion people, surely there were multiple reasons at least one person could make you happy right? Surely all the money in the world could do the trick right? Maybe that last chocolate glazed donut could? But then I realized it was a domino effect. Happiness itself could never be pure and really grow unless it started with the right foundation. That foundation started with ME.

In a world that’s become so fast paced that you feel you’ll miss if you blink, we seemingly forget to take the time to even breathe. The newest piece of technology, the newest social media platform, new food, new shoes, new shows, and the list is endless. Yet as much as we drown in the now and new, how effective is it all in making us happy? It’s all short term, maybe. But, when was the last time we invested in something that was for long term happiness? Through all the stages of progression, there is one thing that is constant, you. Do you wake up with a smile? Do you think about how great the day is going to be before it even begins? Do you look in the mirror and see what you want to see? Do you hop off the treadmill of life and stop to take the time and realize its okay to take a breather?

It is so easy to forget the small things that matter the most and in the long run. For example, how important is brushing for at least 2 minutes twice a day? A day that is equates to 1,440 minutes, surely a mere 4 minutes can be spared! With something that takes so little time, we sometimes forget to prioritize and yet, we drive 15 km over the speed limit to save an extra 2 minutes just to get to work, to that party, or to that meeting. We rush and rush in order to keep up with life’s pace. There’s a saying that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again but expecting different results.” And yet we always leave the same time, knowing we’ll have to rush in order to save those 2 min on the road.

This concept can apply to oral health in two ways; if you constantly neglect your oral health, it’s never going to give you the same results. It will progressively get worse. On the upside, if you consistently take the time to cater to your oral health, the results won’t stay the same; it will constantly get better and stay healthier.

And though it may be easy to just start brushing because you read a blog that emphasizes its importance, smiling into the mirror with those pearly whites because you’ve taken the time to take care of them and that feeling of confidence, is something no words on paper or on the internet can ever express. That self care will reflect in the way you express your happiness.

So, in a world that is forever moving and changing, don’t be afraid to step back, breath, smile a healthy smile and realize that you don’t have to keep up with life. Life is what you make of it and in order to have a happy life, you need to be a happy you first!

A healthy smile is a great attribute to a happy life! At Credit River Dental, we would love to reflect our happiness in making your smile happier! Call us today at 905-278-4297!

10 Habits that Could be Harming Your Teeth!

Are These Habits Harming Your Teeth? 

We admit it – We are all living hectic and busy lifestyles, and hence we all tend to fall prey to various bad habits. Most of the time, we don’t even acknowledge our habits and fail to see the harm behind them. These habits can initially appear harmless, but when we look at these habits on a long-term perspective, we might feel alarmed about the potential threats they can have on our health. By the time we realize it, we might be too late to reverse the damage created on our body and health. Surprisingly, there are a lot of bad habits and small actions that can pose negative effects on our teeth.

Since teeth are one of the most important parts of our body, it is important that we get rid of certain habits and rectify certain actions that we do on a day-to-day basis to ensure optimal health for our teeth. As your Mississauga family dentist, we are always behind you in achieving optimal oral health and by raising awareness to these habits; you may be able to avoid the potential negative effects before it is too late.

Here is a list of common habits that you may be doing that can potentially be harmful to the health of your teeth:

  1. Utilizing Your Teeth as a Tool
    We use our teeth for consuming food, but we often end up using them as our primary tool for several activities. Some of us may be guilty of opening bottles, ripping open packages and holding things using our teeth. As tempting as it may be, our teeth are not meant to be used as scissors. These activities can cause damage to the teeth, putting unnecessary stress to them and should definitely be avoided!

  2. Biting Your Nails
    Nail biting is one of the most common habits and is definitely a habit that can prove harmful in the long run. It can very much damage the shape of your teeth and cause layers of enamel to break down – which can eventually lead to tooth sensitivity and chipped/fractured teeth.

  3. Use of Tobacco
    Not only does smoking impact the health of your heart and lungs, the use of tobacco has multiple effects to the mouth as well. Smoking increases your risk for gum disease and oral cancer, can cause dry mouth and bad breath, and decrease healing time.

  4. Chewing Ice
    Chewing ice seems like a pretty harmless activity but can often result in cracked and chipped teeth, damage to tooth enamel, problems with existing dental work (such as fillings and crowns) and sore jaw muscles.

  5. Using Toothpicks
    Whenever we eat certain types of food, especially chicken or meat, a lot of the residue will get stuck in between the gaps of our teeth. People often pick up toothpicks in order to lodge that residue out from in between their teeth, but little do they realize that they can be causing damage to their gums. Floss, floss picks, soft piks, and proxabrushes are all great aids designed for getting you out of those sticky situations. Ask your dental hygienist how you can ditch the toothpicks and opt for other interdental aids that are better suited for you.

  6. Consuming Too Many Sugary Foods and Beverages
    Although sugary foods and beverages might taste good, they can be harmful to our teeth and increase our risk in developing cavities. Always ensure that you are brushing away the harmful sticky bacteria after consuming something high in sugar.

  7. Falling Asleep Without Brushing
    We all have those tiring days where all we want to do is lay in bed and sleep as soon as we get home. However although we are asleep, the bacteria in our mouth are still very much active. Taking those two extra minutes to brush right before you hit the hay can save your teeth from developing cavities.

  8. Grinding/Clenching Your Teeth
    Although we may not realize it, we may find ourselves clenching our teeth during the day or grinding during our sleep. This can take a toll on our enamel and lead to further tooth damage. It is important that we make a conscious effort in catching ourselves clenching and relieve our jaw muscles when we do so in order to loosen up the pressure of our muscles. Since night time grinding is involuntary, special guards can be customized to you in order to prevent damage to your teeth.

  9. Using a Hard Bristle Toothbrush
    Although people may think that the harder the bristle, the cleaner your teeth will feel, hard bristle toothbrushes are actually more damaging than you would think. They often cause irreversible effects such as gum recession and enamel wear. Switch your hard bristle toothbrush for a soft or an extra soft one.

  10. Regular Soda Consumption
    Carbonated beverages are highly acidic and can have loads of sugar in it. Having pop as a regular part of your diet can cause acid erosion to your teeth, which can in turn weaken the enamel and make you more prone to getting cavities.


If you exhibit some of the habits above, don’t be too hard on yourself. By becoming more conscious of these habits, it will help you to reduce further damage to your teeth. Whether you tackle the habits all at once, or work on improving them little by little, you’ll be making a big difference in your oral health. If you need help breaking any of these habits, contact us at Credit River Dental Centre and we’ll be sure to work with you in achieving all of your oral health goals!

Eat Junk food? Don’t Let It Eat You!

We are finally in the summer solstice and boy, does it come hot! What better ways to cool down than to hit the beach and go for a swim, the splash pads and water parks, and of course those tasty ice cream treats for after! You make sure that your freezer is stacked with icy treats to keep the kids (and maybe yourself) sweetly cool. Those delicious smoothie recipes are definitely on top of the list!

As your Mississauga dental team, we understand that indulging in some cool treats is one of the perks of hot summer days. We love our ice cream too! July has more than ten dedicated days that celebrate all sorts of junk food; National Strawberry Sundae Day, Peach Ice Cream Day, National Chocolate Day, and even includes National Junk Food Day on July 21st, which is the same day as National Ice Cream Day. And while these especially bizarre days only come once a year, it’s easy to over indulge and soak in all that sugar along with the sun.

Although cavities are not directly caused by sugar, the acids created by the bacteria in your mouth that feed off the sugar are the culprits. The more sugar you feed those bacteria, the more acid they produce and heighten the risk for bacterial infections, or cavities. Did you know that a single can of coke contains a whopping 9.75 teaspoons of sugar, which is equivalent to 39 grams of sugar? The Heart & Stroke foundation advises that consumption should be kept at 10% of the total calories per day from added sugars. 5% is ideal for an average 2000 calorie a day diet. That works out to roughly 12 teaspoons or 48 grams of sugar. That is over 80% of how much sugar is recommended daily in one single can serving! A single cup of ice cream can contain around 7 teaspoons of sugar or around 28 grams. That is more than 50% of what is recommended, so it is easy to surpass your daily sugar intake if you don’t keep mindful!

And even though it is okay to have one once in a while, you may want to consider swapping a soda here and there for a more refreshing glass of water which hydrates you more than any can of soda can! A swap for frozen yogurt would also be a good alternative! Sometimes small changes can create big differences, and your taste buds won’t be able to tell the difference!

To minimize the risk of developing cavities, it is crucial to brush and floss your teeth regularly and schedule regular dental visits. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoridated toothpaste ensures you keep your teeth plaque-free and healthy. Dental cleanings only takes a few minutes every couple months to ensure we can help you maintain your oral health. This is why it is very important to maintain regular and proper oral health so that your smile shines brighter than the sun! We at Credit River Dental strive to make sure your smile is as hot as the summer! Call us today to book your appointment today 905-278-4297!

Could These Common Diseases Be Contributing to Tooth Decay?

No part of the body functions truly independently, and your teeth are no exception. Your mouth is a window to the rest of your body and will often show warning signs if there is something bigger going on. If you’ve ever wondered why we ask so many questions about your medical history and lifestyle, it is because we are trying to understand the entire picture, along with what your mouth and oral health are telling us. There are many more things that can contribute to tooth decay rather than just poor oral hygiene. In fact, common diseases such as diabetes, autoimmune conditions, and eating disorders are examples of some systemic disease that do in fact impact the health of our teeth. As your Mississauga family dentist, we feel that it is important for you to be educated on the oral-systemic links in order to achieve optimal oral health. Common systemic conditions are:

  1. Diabetes
    Diabetes is perhaps the most significant cause and effect relationship with tooth decay. Whether you have type I or type II diabetes, your body’s blood sugar level is elevated because of lowered insulin levels. This impacts many parts of your body and the mouth as well. One of the most common symptoms of diabetes is dry mouth. Beyond making your mouth feel more comfortable, saliva acts as your mouth’s natural cleansing system, and protects your teeth against the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Lack of salivary flow makes your teeth more vulnerable and more prone to developing cavities.

    As the tooth decay continues to build up, the risk for gum disease also increases due to the continual buildup of bacteria in your mouth. In fact, about a quarter of all people diagnosed with diabetes also develop gum disease. To further complicate this situation, gum disease can cause blood sugar levels to rise, which can in turn, increase the severity of the diabetes. It is a vicious cycle that needs to be addressed as soon as symptoms begin to develop.

  2. Autoimmune Conditions
    Autoimmune conditions are a family of diseases that involve the body attacking parts of itself. This can include everything from major organ systems such as kidneys, to smaller systems such as salivary glands. Many of these diseases have an impact on the mouth, but the one that is most directly tied to oral health is Sjögeren’s syndrome. Sjögeren’s syndrome reduces the amount of saliva the mouth produces, which has the same effects we described earlier with diabetes. With extreme cases, patients may not even produce saliva at all.

    People with Sjögeren’s are advised to make more frequent visits to the dentist in order to monitor and keep watch of any tooth decay as a result from the decreased saliva flow. There are also several over the counter products that can be used in order to manage the symptoms and increase salivary flow. Products including xylitol – a natural saliva stimulant – will be quite beneficial to those experiencing dry mouth.

  3. Anorexia and Bulimia
    Both anorexia and bulimia are severe eating disorders in which a person has an extreme fear of becoming overweight, and either eat less or regurgitate food as a result. Both conditions have implications on the teeth because the body is not receiving the proper amount of minerals, vitamins, proteins and other nutrients that are needed in maintaining good oral health and preventing tooth decay. A person who is bulimic may binge eat and then vomit, which allows the acid that is breaking down the food to eat away at the tooth enamel. Overtime, the acid will weaken the tooth structure, making it more prone to getting cavities.

Avoid Tooth Decay with Total Body Care

These are just a few of the more common diseases that contribute to tooth decay. The connection between your mouth and body are not always apparent, which is why it is important to share your medical history with your dentist. Our team at Credit River Dental Centre will work with you in order to develop a treatment plan that integrates your mouth with the rest of your body for a full-body approach. To learn more speak to your dental team at Credit River Dental Centre or book your appointment today at (905) 278-4297 and take control of your oral health!

5 Tips to Prepare Your Child for Their First Dental Visit

As a parent, there are a lot of exciting “firsts” that you experience with your child. From first steps, to first words, to first tooth, the list goes on. Another first that can be a huge deal is taking your child to the dentist for the first time. It is important to start the habit of taking your child to the dental office as soon as their first tooth comes in to help familiarize them with the office and to monitor their oral health conditions. Typically, adults who have had earlier exposure to oral care at an early age see it as a routine part of life. However, in the eyes of a child who has never met one, a dentist can be quite intimidating. As your Mississauga family dentist, we feel that it is important to make every child’s first visit a great experience so they feel at home.

Here are some tips that can help you prepare your children for their first dental visit:

  1. Remain Positive
    Children often mirror our behaviour so promoting a positive attitude about oral hygiene will allow children to be more enthusiastic about it. Children love to learn about their bodies and the things they can do. For younger children, having them simply identifying where their teeth and tongue are will help bring awareness to that part of their body. You may also want to explain the importance of keeping their teeth and gums healthy.

  2. Use Encouraging Words
    Using positive and encouraging words will help your child feel at ease. If you have any fears of the dentist yourself, it is best not to relay those fears to your child. Children can quickly pick up on their parent’s anxieties, which tend to make them feel anxious too. Using phrases like “we will show the dentist what a great job you do when you brush” or “the dentist will count your teeth” will make them feel more comfortable with opening their mouths and showing the dentist their teeth.

  3. Expose Them to Dentistry
    Reading children books and allowing them to watch TV shows of their favorite characters visiting the dentist allows them to learn more about going to the dentist and gets them excited about going. Another idea is that you can also check out the dental office’s website or Instagram and show them pictures of the staff in order to familiarize them with the names and faces. Explain what will be happening during their visit and how friendly the dental staff will be. You can also bring them to tour around the office or to any events hosted by the office before their visit to also help familiarize themselves. Here at Credit River Dental Centre, parents and children may borrow books from our Children’s Dental Library that can help introduce children into a positive dental environment.

  4. Tell Us More About Your Child
    As your Mississauga family dentist, we will do our best to ensure that your child has a great and comfortable experience. Telling us about their favorite shows or activities will allow us to prepare for their appointment as soon as they come in. If you don’t, our friendly patient co-ordinator will be sure to ask when you call us. You can also let us know if your child has any fearful traits which will allow us to develop strategies to prevent any problems that may arise during treatment.

  5. Make Your Child Feel Secure
    Children cope with anxiety in different ways, some by hugging their favorite stuffed animal and others by simply staying close to their moms. As you enter the clinic, hold your child tightly as you introduce the dental office. This will allow them to feel your support and allow them to be more comfortable knowing that you are there with them. Allowing them to bring their favorite toy as well will also give them extra support. It is important for the child to feel comfortable inside the clinic first before they go to sit on the dental chair.

    Starting children off at a young age is crucial to developing good dental hygiene habits for their future and will only make future visits easier. If you are currently looking for a family dental clinic who will offer your child a wonderful and comfortable experience, be sure to contact Credit River Dental Centre and schedule your child’s first dentist appointment with our experienced and compassionate professionals today!

Finding the Right Dental Family

As your top choice Mississauga dental office, we know how important it is to not only find a great dentist, but a dental team that makes you feel at home. Dental visits can create a lot of anxiety, fear, and stress amongst some patients, but we at Credit River Dental make sure that you feel comfortable and at ease!

Have you ever walked into your favourite retail store and saw a fabulous jacket on the mannequin that you just had to have? You walk up to it and see if the rack is there, but it’s not. You look around and see if there’s anyone to help. There’s no one in sight. You walk to one of the registers and see a sales associate restocking. You politely ask for some help, only to be turned away with a response of, “sorry, I don’t work in this department!” You decide to search yourself and finally find it. You head back to another register to cash out. The cashier beams a smile and asks if anyone helped you. You tell her no and she simply nods and continues to render the bill. You walk out happy with your new purchase, but a tiny part of you was disappointed in the lack of customer service. How could such a great store have such lousy workers?

In an ever changing economical world, goods and services are bountiful. You walk along a busy city street; there are at least five coffee shops, three dental offices, 2 nail salons and seven different places to eat. Our society has been spoiled with countless ways to indulge, but what separates one from the other? In a world of franchise companies, what keeps “mom and pop” businesses in the race?

Amazing Customer Service Does!

Searching for the best has never been easier with technology literally at our fingertips. We then look at the reviews to relate to firsthand experiences from customers or patients and we realize that they are all based on one thing, customer service. How well do they treat their customers/patients? Were they friendly, passionate and helpful? Character can make or break! It doesn’t matter how great you are at the service you provide, if the way it is served is unpleasant, that speaks more of the work than the work itself!

Dentistry has always been deemed the least favourite visits in the healthcare field. Although this may be the case, making sure that patients are as comfortable and happy with their visits is something a great dental team will always strive for. When looking for the right dental office, you want more than just a great dentist. You want a team that can answer your questions, help accommodate if the case may arise, but most importantly, makes you feel like you are family! Find a team that reflects the work of a great dentist. A great dental family not only helps you with great oral health, but provides comfort and ease in and out of the chair!

At Credit River Dental Centre, we know the importance of a great smile. We understand that dental visits can be a little stressful and nerving, but rest assured that will do our best to help you feel at ease. If you ever have questions or are feeling a little nervous, it would be our pleasure to sit with you to answer and help reassure you! Enjoy a coffee or a snack from our patient snack bar. We offer televisions in the operatory rooms so that you can watch in comfort during your treatment. We are also available after hours for emergencies if you need help. Dr. Lee ensures your greatest smile in the chair, and his dental team makes sure to help continue that smile off the chair! Call us at 905-278-4297 to book your appointment today!

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile” - Roger Staubach

Want Whiter Teeth Without Bleaching?

Here are 5 makeup tips that can make your teeth look whiter

  1. Lipstick Shade
    With lipsticks, the key is to look for those with bluer undertones as opposed to yellow. Slightly purple tones will help teeth appear somewhat whiter than those that lean yellow or orange. How does it work? If we look at the colour wheel, blue and orange/yellow sit across from each other, so blue tones tend to cancel out orange or yellow tones when placed side by side together, and vice versa. Therefore, lipsticks with a blue base will help cancel out any orange or yellow tones on your teeth.
    Red lipstick usually lean one of blue, pink, or orange. Blue tones will provide the greatest whitening effect, pink tones will be relatively neutral, and orange tones will provide a slightly yellowing effect. Unfortunately, darker shades in general will make teeth appear slightly yellower.
  2. Bronzer
    As far as having an influence on the appearance of your teeth, your bronzer can either lead to your ultimate downfall or make you a star. Avoid going too orange but rather use a subtle taupe-toned bronzer in order to lift your teeth an entire shade brighter.
  3. Eye Makeup
    Similar to the way your teeth will look whiter if you use a lipstick with cool or blue undertones, wearing cooler eyeshadows will help to deflect any yellow tones. Wear purple, blue and silver eyeshadows through the winter months in orderto brighten your smile, whereas in the spring try green and turquoise lids.
  4. Contour the curves of your mouth
    Your lips can appear fuller by accentuating the shape of your mouth and, combine that with a berry-toned lipstick in order to kick up the shine in your teeth. Trace around the edge of your lip line with a highlighting pencil while putting some extra emphasis on the curve of your cupid's bow.
  5. Lip Gloss
    Similar in the way cooler hues in lipsticks can help to enhance the appearance of your pearly whites, the flecks of shimmer or glitter in your lip gloss follow a similar colour rule. Toss away any glosses that contain gold or bronze-toned glitter, and choose one with a silver shimmer instead in order to offer a sparkly smile.
    And of course if you would like to whiten your teeth the more traditional way then please do not hesitate to contact us at the Credit River Dental Centre in beautiful Port Credit, Mississauga.

www.creditriverdental.com
905.278.4297
dentistry@creditriverdental.com



Vaping and Your Oral Health: What You May Not Know!

Most people are now likely aware of the negative effects of smoking cigarettes to their overall and oral health, however what is less known are the effects that vaping has on your oral health. Although this is a healthier alternative to smoking, there are still some negative side effects that we believe everyone should be aware of.

First off, what exactly is vaping? Vaping is the process of consuming nicotine or other substances through a vaporizer or an electronic cigarette. Vaping allows you to consume nicotine at controlled levels without actually smoking cigarettes and is often used as an aid to quit smoking. These battery powered devices heat liquid (also known as e-juice) to produce a fog-like vapor. The number of people in Canada who use vaporizers/e-cigarettes has tripled over the last four years and its popularity continues to grow as the years progress.

Vaping became a much more effective and safer alternative in comparison to smoking cigarettes. Although vape oil/e-juice does not contain any tobacco – which is the main ingredient in cigarettes – it may contain nicotine, which can pose a variety of significant health risks on its own. Although there are options of using nicotine-free oils, the majority of people using vaporizers do prefer adding nicotine to their oils.

As this new trend becomes more prominent in our society, we, at Credit River Dental Centre, want everyone who currently vapes or is considering vaping to understand and educate themselves about the potential consequences behind it.

Here are five ways vaping can affect your oral health :

  1. Increased Risk of Tooth decay
    • Regardless of if there is nicotine or not, vaping tends to dry out the mouth. Salivary flow is crucial to maintaining good oral health because it protects us by breaking down food particles and allows the good bacteria to work in our mouths.
  2. Bad Breath
    • Since nicotine compromises your body’s ability to produce saliva – your mouth’s self-cleansing agent – you are more likely to have excess build up of bacteria in your mouth, which can lead to bad breath.
  3. Bruxism/Tooth Grinding
    • Nicotine stimulates your muscles, which can make you feel restless or agitated, triggering bruxism. Teeth grinding causes wear to the enamel, which can eventually lead to exposed dentin and increased temperature sensitivity.
  4. Periodontal Disease
    • Nicotine consumption can lead to gum disease because it causes the blood vessels to shrink. This compromises the blood flow and negatively impacts our immune cell function. Due to less blood flow and a weakened immune defense response, the risk of gum disease becomes much more significant.

  5. Gum Recession
    • Vaping and smoking can both cause damage to tissue cells in your mouth. Due to the lack of blood flow to the gums, your gums are unable of receiving the nutrients and oxygen that it needs. This can cause the gums to recede and also cause pockets to form in between your gums and your teeth.

Due to the multiple effects of vaping to your oral health, you may be wondering what you can do in order to reduce the risks and damage caused by regular vape use. In order to prevent these effects, you must aim to maintain exceptional oral hygiene practices. You should be brushing your teeth at least two to three times daily, flossing daily, brushing your tongue and using an antibacterial mouth rinse to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth. Increasing your water intake and frequent rinsing can also aid in avoiding dry mouth. Due to the effects of nicotine, switching to lower nicotine or no nicotine e-liquids will also be helpful in reducing the effects. We also recommend scheduling regular hygiene appointments in order for us to monitor your oral health status and prevent progression of gum disease.

As your Mississauga Dentist, your oral health is our top priority. Our goal is to ensure that we are able to provide you with the information needed in order to educate you on achieving your optimal oral health. If you have any further questions, you can contact our team at Credit River Dental Centre at 905-278-4297.

Celebrate Your Smile This April!

April is Oral Health Month and an important part of this celebration is National Dental Hygiene Week, which takes place from April 6th to 13th. Here at Credit River Dental Centre, we recognize our hygienists as an integral part of our team, as they ensure our patients and their smiles are greatly taken are of! National Dental Hygiene Week also reminds us to focus on the importance of our oral health and emphasizes the goal of dental hygienists in terms of achieving “oral health for total health” for everyone.

The primary role of dental hygienists is oral disease prevention, in order to improve and maintain patients’ overall physical and mental well-being. As one of your primary health care providers, dental hygienists are valuable partners in terms of prevention and play an important role in everyone’s life. Our oral health is deeply connected to our general health, and the conditions within our mouths can signal more serious issues within our bodies. Dental hygienists can work collaboratively with you in order to develop oral self-care routines, and offer treatment recommendations and disease preventing strategies in order to benefit you and your oral health. Whether it be through introducing toddlers to their first dental visit or providing care to adults with periodontal disease, dental hygienists want to ensure that you have a healthy smile for life. 

Oral Health Month and National Dental Hygienists Week gives everyone a perfect opportunity to create new oral health goals in order to improve one’s oral condition. The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association have formulated a chart with some oral health tips that can help to set you up for success and allow you to achieve your greatest smile! If you have any further questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us and ask your dental hygienist about what she/he can do to help you improve your overall oral health!

Benzocaine…Not for Teething Pain!

As your Mississauga dental office, informing our patients and the community about potential dental concerns is our utmost priority. As parents it’s always heartbreaking to hear your children crying especially when they are in discomfort and we feel helpless to relieve that pain. This can be true of pain in the mouth whether it’s coming from an emerging tooth or a canker sore. In the past few years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning parents against using products that contain benzocaine for treating teething discomfort. In fact, they are now taking action to get the products off store shelves because they are linked to a rare but potentially dangerous illness.

According to a May 23, 2018 press release, "OTC oral health products containing the pain reliever benzocaine for the temporary relief of sore gums due to teething in infants or children should no longer be marketed and [the FDA] is asking companies to stop selling these products for such use. If companies do not comply, the FDA will initiate a regulatory action to remove these products from the market."

Benzocaine is a topical anesthetic (pain reliever), and is the active ingredient found in a number products used to treat mouth pain including Anbesol, Cepacol, Hurricaine, Orajel and Topex. It's also available as a generic medication or a store brand, and may come in the form of a gel, spray, ointment or lozenge. Regardless of the name or the form, however, it's unsafe for babies and young children to use.

Benzocaine has been linked with a disease called methemoglobinemia - an uncommon but serious and potentially fatal condition. This illness occurs when the blood contains high levels of methemoglobin, a hemoglobin-like protein. Because methemoglobin carries less oxygen to body tissues than hemoglobin, an excess of this substance can cause shortness of breath, fatigue and dizziness - and in more severe cases, seizures, coma and death.

So what options do parents have to ease discomfort that may be caused by teething? According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, there are a number of simple things that may help.

  • Give young children a clean rubber or silicone teething ring that has been chilled in the refrigerator (not frozen), or a cold, wet washcloth to chew on. A chilled pacifier may also be helpful - but be sure anything you put in baby's mouth is free of potentially harmful substances like lead paint.
  • Try gently massaging the gums with a clean finger - this can counteract the pressure of an emerging tooth and help soothe the irritation.
  • If pain persists, ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, in a dosage that's appropriate for your child. However, do not give your child alcohol in any form!

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding the discomfort your child may be experiencing while teething don’t hesitate to call your Mississauga Dentist at Credit River Dental Centre!

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