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Maintain Good Oral Health this Summer

By Pamela Li, in News, on June 12, 2014 | Comments (0)

Ottawa, Ontario – The summer months are upon us once again and fun in the sun is just around the corner. But while you’re playing, don’t forget to maintain proper dental care or come fall, you may regret it.

Ottawa dental Care

“Summer is a time when we want to be carefree and we often indulge in treats such as popsicles, ice cream and the like,” says Dr. Pamela Li, who operates an Ottawa dental clinic that serves patients of all ages. “While we are having fun, we also have to remember to brush and floss properly so our oral health doesn’t deteriorate.”

It’s important that even when you’re on vacation, you brush twice a day and floss once a day. Be sure you change your toothbrush regularly, and always store it properly.

If you currently wear braces, maintaining a good oral care routine is very important. Don’t let the hard work your mouth is putting in now go to waste because you didn’t brush your teeth regularly. Also, if you’ve recently had your braces removed and wear a retainer, follow your dentist’s guidelines for the wearing the retainer. Even forgetting to wear it for a few days can alter the position of your teeth. The purpose of a retainer is to keep the teeth in their new locations until they are properly trained to “remember” those locations.

Another common issue that arises during summer months is tooth sensitivity. Eating ice cream and drinking cold, ice filled drinks can bring about tooth sensitivity, even in people who may have never experienced it before. Tooth sensitivity affects millions of people, so you aren’t alone if you wince in pain when sipping a cold glass of iced tea. Dr. Li offers the following tips if you are among this number:

  • Take it easy on your teeth. Using a hard bristled tooth brush or brushing too hard can remove the protective layers of enamel. If the bristles of your toothbrush are completely flattened, or pointing in numerous directions, that’s a big sign you’re brushing too hard. This can then expose the sensitive areas of your teeth, making it painful to eat or drink very cold foods.
  • Consider changing your brand of toothpaste. Some toothpastes, such as those that whiten, are more abrasive to remove stains. Consider switching to Sensodyne or another sensitive toothpaste that will help control the sensitivity.
  • Limit the number of acidic foods and drinks you ingest. This is important because too much acid can lead to erosion of your tooth enamel.

“Tooth enamel is the strongest substance found in our bodies,” says Dr. Li, whose Ottawa dentistry office works with patients on preventative care. “It protects the teeth from the daily wear and tear involved in biting and chewing and the temperature extremes your teeth face each day when we eat and drink. The enamel guards against erosion, but over time, that enamel can wear down, leaving the dentin underneath susceptible to decay.”

So what causes enamel erosion? There are several things dental patients should be aware of.

Drinking too many soft drinks or fruit drinks is a major area of concern. Bacteria thrive on sugars, and then produce high acid levels that eat away the enamel.

Sour foods and candies are also highly acidic, leading to erosion of enamel. During the summer months, we often turn to drinks such as lemonade to cool us off. But the combined sugars and acids can actually be harming our teeth.

Dry mouth can adversely affect our teeth, as well. Saliva works to wash away the harmful bacteria and neutralizes acids by washing them away. A lack of saliva means these harmful things stay on our teeth longer.

To prevent enamel erosion, cut down on the acidic foods and drinks in your diet. Drink fewer carbonated beverages and eat fewer citrus fruits. Rinse your mouth right after eating or drinking highly acidic items. Switch to drinking through a straw so the acid can bypass your teeth. Drink milk to neutralize the acids or chew sugar-free gum that contains xylitol. Drink plenty of water and wait at least an hour to brush teeth after ingesting anything with high acidity.

Keeping these tips in mind will ensure a healthy summer and keep you out of the dentist’s chair come the cooler months. And remember, if you have regularly scheduled maintenance appointments set up for the summer, don’t skip those. If you have any concerns with your oral health, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

© 2014 Millionairium and Dr. Pamela Li. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Pamela Li are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Ottawa Dentist Uses Latest Technological Advances

By Pamela Li, in News, on May 10, 2014 | Comments (0)

Dental care in OttawaOttawa, Ontario – When you’re looking for a dentist, you want to be sure you are looking for one who provides the greatest quality of care, and that means one who utilizes the latest advances in dental technology. As a Las Vegas Institute trained dentist, Dr. Pamela Li combines superior care with a commitment to technology to ensure her patients receive the best dental care available.

LVI is a world-renowned training facility for dentists. It uses a comprehensive and rigorous training program to better equip dentists with the knowledge and technology they need to treat all aspects of dentistry, with a focus on cosmetic dentistry and TMD disorders.

“As an LVI trained dentist, I am committed to providing high quality care that incorporates the use of technology to provide the best diagnoses and treatment options for my patients,” says Dr. Li, who has been an Ottawa dentist since 1994. “My office features state-of-the-art technology so that you can receive the best care possible.”

From digital radiography to Tens Units to computerized mandibular screening, Dr. Li uses the latest technological advances because she knows it results in the best care possible for her patients.

Her office uses only digital radiography, utilizing the award-winning Dexis system. This system exposes patients to 70-80 percent less radiation than traditional X-rays, so it is much safer. Not only that, images appear instantly and the dentist can magnify images. That results in a better picture of what is going on in the mouth, allowing the dentist to make a more accurate diagnosis. And if that’s not enough, digital radiography is better for the environment because there is no need for developer or fixer chemicals.

Neuromuscular problems can be treated with a Tens Unit. The low-frequency transcutaneous electrical neural stimulation unit works by delivering a small electrical impulse to the muscles that are responsible for jaw movement. These impulses will relax the jaw, resulting in increased blood flow to flush away any toxins. In as little as an hour, patients can experience a more relaxed jaw that is able to find a more optimal position.

Other alignment issues can be diagnosed with a K7, or computerized mandibular scanning unit. The K7 will record proper alignment of the jaw, range of motion and the opening and closing trajectory of the jaws. It can also measure muscle activity to determine a physiologic rest position of the jaw. Using a sonograph that measures the sounds in the jaw joint, Dr. Li can also determine if a patient’s jaw is damaged and to what extent.

“Another technology that benefits my patients is my experience with soft tissue lasers in periodontal therapy,” says Dr. Li. “I use soft tissue lasers in gum recontouring, crown lengthening, frenectomies and a host of other procedures. Laser technology offers so many benefits to my patients, including extreme precision, minimal bleeding and less discomfort and trauma to the area I’m working on. That means minimal healing time and limited or no scarring for my patients.”

Additionally, Dr. Li uses the latest technological advances to screen and treat snoring and sleep apnea. The Medibyte by Braebon is a portable polysomnograph unit that patients can use in the comfort of their own bed and home instead of going to a sleep clinic or hospital.  The data recorded can be sent to a certified sleep physician for diagnosis. By staying dedicated to the latest technology, Dr. Li can provide the best care and treatment options for her patients.

© 2014 Millionairium and Dr. Pamela Li. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Pamela Li are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Ottawa Dentist and Staff to Attend LVI Course

By Pamela Li, in News, on April 6, 2014 | Comments (0)

Healthy teethOttawa, Ontario – Ottawa dentist Dr. Pamela Li is committed to staying up to date with the latest procedures and technologies. That’s why she and her staff will be attending a course given by the prestigious Las Vegas Institute at the end of the month.

The course will cover neuromuscular dentistry and TMJ disorder and how proper occlusion can aid patients. During the course, Dr. Li and her staff will further learn about the importance of recognizing malocclusion issues in their patients, and the need for establishing neuromuscular care to properly treat patients. They will learn how to better educate their patients about their dental and occlusal issues, and discuss the use of the TENS unit and K7 technology to help treat TMD and neuromuscular issues.

“We are very excited to attend this course,” says Dr. Li, who also practices cosmetic dentistry. “Any time we attend a course given by LVI, we walk away with a wealth of new knowledge that benefits our patients. We treat many patients who suffer from pain, due to neuromuscular and TMD issues, and this course will enable us to help make them better.”

Neuromuscular dentistry provides an evolution in thinking about occlusions. Dentists are able to assess the teeth and jaw joints as well as the muscles and nerves of the face and jaws. This gives a more comprehensive approach based on scientific protocols.

During the course, Dr. Li and her staff will learn how the missing pieces of the occlusion puzzle can create pain, see how the pain develops, and learn how that occlusion can create problems in the entire body from the fingers to the lower back. The instructors will offer practical methods to support optimal occlusion and end chronic and debilitating pain. The science behind proper occlusion will be studied, which will lead to how best to restore the mouth. A mentor will guide the participants as they discover the knowledge and techniques that will help them provide optimal health for their patients.

The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies is a postgraduate training center for dentists. LVI offers many courses that include topics such as neuromuscular, advanced diagnostic and aesthetic dentistry. LVI is dedicated to a deeper understanding of the art and science of dentistry and offers hands-on clinical and interactive lectures combined with live patient treatment to give dentists a training opportunity they can’t find anywhere else.

Finding a dentist who is committed to their ongoing education is a crucial part of selecting the right dentist for your care. While every dentist had to follow a similar program in order to become a dentist, not every dentist follows the same path throughout their career. It is important to find a dentist like Dr. Li who is committed to continuing her education and training by seeking out the best courses provided by the best educators. And LVI provides just that experience for dentists from around the world.

“I’m committed to seeking out the best treatment options for my patients,” says Dr. Li. “My staff and I always strive to provide the best and most comprehensive care possible, and continuing our educations through LVI courses is one of the best ways we can ensure that continues.”

The course will take place in Toronto on the weekend of March 27-29.

Dental versus Cosmetic Reasons for Braces

By Pamela Li, in News, on March 6, 2014 | Comments (0)

BracesOttawa, Ontario – Do you think your teeth are crooked and you could benefit from wearing braces? For many patients, braces are a medical necessity to improve the mouth function and ensure proper dental care. For some others, they are purely a cosmetic enhancement. Which type of patient are you?

“The reasons for choosing braces are as different as the patients who wear them,” says Dr. Pamela Li, an Ottawa dentist. “For patients who suffer from malocclusions, such as overbites or underbites, braces are needed to improve the function of their teeth and jaws and prevent future dental issues. But for others, they simply may think their gap or crossed over teeth are a bit unsightly.”

The way your teeth fit together is known as occlusion. Some people suffer from malocclusions, which is misalignment of the teeth. There are three types of malocclusions. A Class I malocclusion is the ideal relationship between the upper and lower teeth. While the teeth function properly, there can still be crowding or spacing present. A Class II is commonly referred to as an overbite. The patient will present with lower molars positioned posterior and the upper jaw will appear to protrude forward. A Class III is referred to as an underbite. The lower molar will be positioned anterior and the lower jaw will protrude forward.

While some patients may have an ideal bite, they may still have some degree of crowding or spacing that they deem unattractive. In these instances, braces may not be as necessary, but a cosmetic dentist may still work with the patient to help them achieve their ideal smile.

“There are many reasons why our teeth become crowded looking,” says Dr. Li. “Sometimes a mouth isn’t quite large enough to accommodate all of the permanent teeth. Losing baby teeth too early or too late can also be a factor, because this can inhibit the growth of the permanent tooth, forcing it to erupt in an incorrect position. Sometimes the jaws don’t develop properly due to bad oral habits such as mouth breathing, thumb sucking and other bad oral habits. This will result in constriction of the jawbones, crowding and a bad bite.”

There are also as many reasons for spacing in the teeth as there are for crowding. Small teeth or jaw size can contribute to spacing issues. While many people, such as pop star Madonna, choose to embrace their spacing, still others might find it unsightly and would like the gap closed.

For patients who suffer Class II or III malocclusions, braces are deemed more of a dental necessity to ensure their jaws work properly. Crowded teeth aren’t able to be cleaned as well, which leads to decay. Over time, if these problem aren’t fixed, malocclusions can lead to other serious dental issues, such as decay and periodontal disease. Additionally, improper bites can lead to wear of the teeth and eventual breakage.

The good news is, no matter what your reason for choosing braces, there is now a straightening option for everyone. Dental technology is rapidly progressing, so patients have a variety of options to choose from. Invisalign allows patients to comfortably and discretely achieve a better smile. Lower profile options, such as self-ligating and lingual braces, also give patients a more aesthetically pleasing way to straighten their teeth.

If you feel you could benefit from braces, now is the time to schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist and get the smile you deserve.
© 2014 Millionairium and Dr. Pamela Li. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Pamela Li are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Oral Health Issues Specific to Teens

By Pamela Li, in News, on February 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

Teenager with bracesOttawa, Ontario – For most of us, we can remember the teenage years very well – and all the agony that can go along with it. Teens face unique challenges to fit in, and with bullying reports at an all-time high, teens face enormous pressure to fit in. Don’t let their oral health be one of those.

“Teenagers face immense pressure to fit in,” says Ottawa dentist Dr. Pamela Li. “From having the right clothes and shoes, to being involved in the right activities, they are bombarded every day. Bullying is at an all-time high. Don’t let your child’s poor oral health be a contributing factor.”

Did you know that halitosis, or bad breath, is a fairly common occurrence during the teen years? This is often due to improper oral health care and poor diets. And in addition to causing breath that makes no one want to get near them, this can also lead to a higher risk of tooth decay.

Dr. Li reports that nearly 21 percent of children ages 6 to 11 have some sort of decay, and that number increases to a whopping 67 percent during the teen years, 16 to 19.

The best way to avoid bad breath and tooth decay is to start an oral care regimen at an early age, as well as maintain regular visits to a dentist. Teens need to take special care to brush their teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once per day. The tongue can hold a lot of plaque and bacteria because of its rough surface. It is important to clean the surface of their tongue every day with a toothbrush or a special tongue scraper.  Teenagers can also become dehydrated from sweating and exercise so they must keep themselves hydrated by drinking plenty of water.  A dry mouth can lead to increased inflammation and bad breath.

Dental sealants provide a coating that acts as a barrier for the tooth, protecting it from cavities. They are typically applied to the tooth’s chewing surface and cover the pits and grooves found in the teeth. Sealants can be put on by a family dentist, and provide great protection against decay. They hold up well over time, but just because you have a sealant that doesn’t mean you can skimp on your oral health care!

Fluoride is another important aspect of any good dental care regimen. Fluoride strengthens the enamel of the teeth to make them strong enough to fight against decay.  Dr. Li uses a fluoride varnish that is very effective.  The sticky varnish sticks to the teeth for several hours so the fluoride has a longer time to remineralize the tooth surface.

Crooked or misaligned teeth are another problem teens face. When their baby teeth begin to fall out and be replaced by permanent ones, the results can be less than perfect. And for many teens, this can lead to teasing and embarrassment. The British Dental Journal recently published a report on bullying and schoolchildren and found that certain dental characteristics, such as dental malocclusions, can lead to increased instances of bullying. This can then lead to a decrease in self-esteem and a downward spiral into negative oral health care.

But there is a great answer that can help teens achieve a better and healthier smile, without getting teased about having a metal mouth. Invisalign Teen is a clear, comfortable, removable teeth straightening option. The teen simply wears a set of aligners and replaces them with new ones every two weeks. Over the course of treatment, the aligners elicit a gentle yet effective force that guides the teeth into their ideal locations. Because the aligners are virtually invisible, Invisalign allows teens the discreteness they may desire. And because they are also removable, they can eat and drink as usual as well as maintain their standard oral care regimen.

Teens need to be sure they use mouthguards to protect their teeth and mouths while involved in sports. Most teens are aware of the risks when playing some sports such as hockey or rugby but they are not aware of the risks of some other sports such as basketball, volleyball or soccer. Mouthguards work to cushion blows to the face that could result in lip or tooth injuries, jaw fractures, TMJ problems and concussions. Your dentist can help you determine which mouthguard is right for you.

The most important thing for teens to remember during these years is that visits to the dentist are just as important to maintain as their get-togethers with their friends. Without realizing it, skipping dental visits or skimping on their oral care regimen can do lifelong damage to their teeth. Patients should see a dentist at least every six months, and follow all care instructions as provided by the dentist. With a little extra attention, oral health issues don’t have to add to the already long list of things our teens worry about.

© 2014 Millionairium and Dr. Pamela Li. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Pamela Li are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Keeping Your Mouth Healthy Even at Work

By Pamela Li, in News, on January 27, 2014 | Comments (0)

chewing gumOttawa, Ontario – Office places can sometimes be riddled with treats and snacks that might not be the healthiest for your smile. But Dr. Pamela Li, a cosmetic dentist, offers some tips to keep your smile healthy, even during the workday.

“We all spend a lot of time in our offices, sometimes more than we’d like,” says Dr. Li, who runs an Ottawa dental clinic that serves all ages. “And because of that, it is important that you take care of your teeth while in the office. Leaving food on your teeth can lead to decay and cavities.”

Keep a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss in your office. Not only do we eat lunch while at the office, but sometimes we find ourselves having breakfast and indulging in snacks while we are working. The particles from the food and drinks we ingest can leave harmful bacteria on our teeth that can lead to decay. Brushing and flossing after eating can remove these harmful particles. Brush 30 minutes after finishing your meal or snack. This will also keep your breath fresh at work.

Chewing gum can be good for your teeth, provided the gum is sugar free.

“The best tool to combat against the buildup of harmful bacteria on your teeth is the production of saliva,” says Dr. Li, who as a general dentist specializes in treating patients from infants through senior citizens. “Saliva can neutralize the acids that cause cavity and decay, and chewing gum creates saliva. So after your snack, consider popping a piece of gum in your mouth to wash away that bacteria.”

Xylitol is beneficial for decay prevention and it can be found in certain gum and candies. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that kills cavity causing bacteria. Find a gum or candy that contains 1 gram of xylitol and chew or consume around 6 grams throughout the day. Spry or Xyla are some examples and they can be found in health food stores.

A proper oral hygiene routine is essential to keeping a healthy mouth, as is keeping regular appointments with your family dentistry expert. Brush and floss twice a day and visit your dentist at least every six months.

© 2014 Millionairium and Dr. Pamela Li. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Pamela Li are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Importance of Nightly Oral Care Routine

By Pamela Li, in News, on December 21, 2013 | Comments (0)

teeth flossOTTAWA, ONTARIO – Keeping your mouth healthy and avoiding cavities depends on a few things, including your genetics and how well you care for your mouth. A nighttime routine is essential to keeping your mouth healthy and to avoid unnecessary dental work. Dr. Pamela Li, a family dentist in Ottawa, explains what you should do, and what you should avoid.

“Proper brushing and flossing at night is essential to keeping a healthy mouth,” says Dr. Li. “There isn’t much saliva created in our mouths while we sleep. Saliva is important to wash away the bacteria that enters our mouths through the foods and drinks we consume. If we don’t properly brush at night, those bacteria will remain in our mouths and they can multiply. But, brushing and flossing at night will remove the bacteria and keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy.”

The dentist recommends brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing before bed. Many people wonder if brushing or flossing should come first in the teeth cleaning ritual. Dr. Li says it does not matter, as long as you are thorough with each. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes and avoid rinsing with water after. Water can wash away the fluoride that is protecting your teeth from cavities. It is important to spit out all the toothpaste.

Flossing is one step patients often forget to perform regularly, but it is an essential step. Flossing gets rid of debris that gets stuck between teeth and that can’t be removed by simple brushing. Regular flossing can help prevent gum disease by removing plaque before it has a chance to harden into tartar. It also helps prevent decay in between your teeth.

If you normally use a mouth wash, or would like to incorporate one into your routine, ask your dentist which one is right for you.

“Some mouth washes contain high amounts of sugar,” says Dr. Li. “These are often disguised as washes that will cover bad breath, but in fact those sugars will provide food for the bacteria you want to get rid of.”

Dr. Li also advises against using a mouthwash that has a large amount of alcohol in it. Alcohol can contribute to drying out your mouth, and since less saliva is already produced at night, it’s best to read the label before purchasing.

Other things to avoid include brushing right after eating. The bacteria in our mouths produce acid that damage our tooth enamel. Food particles feed that bacteria, so for some it would seem to make sense to brush immediately after eating. But Dr. Li advises waiting at least 30 minutes after a meal.

“The acid from the bacteria works to demineralize the enamel,” says Dr. Li. “But saliva works to replenish those minerals. It’s best to wait a while after eating to brush because your mouth needs time to recover from the acid. If you brush your teeth especially with abrasive toothpaste while they are still weak from the acid, you can actually contribute to enamel loss. Over time, you may actually be causing irreparable harm to your teeth.”

Dr. Li suggests to instead drink a glass of water after meals. The water will counteract the acid, helping to wash away the bacteria and acid they create.

Dr. Li also suggests avoiding drinking milk right before bed. For many, especially children, a glass of milk at bedtime can help them fall asleep. But milk contains sugars that then feed the acid-producing bacteria in your mouth. Those sugars will coat your teeth, providing a feast for the bacteria throughout the night. That means you could be exposing your teeth to the dangers of cavities. Be sure children never go to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup of milk.

Taking the time to create a pre-bedtime tooth cleaning ritual will help you save time and money in the long run by avoiding unnecessary visits to your dentist. Keep your mouth clean and healthy by following Dr. Li’s simple steps to a better mouth.

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Pamela Li. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Pamela Li are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Can What You Eat Improve Your Smile?

By Pamela Li, in News, on November 17, 2013 | Comments (0)

To Improve SmileOttawa, Ontario – You are what you eat. But does that mean your smile is also what you eat? Dr. Pamela Li, an Ottawa dentist, says yes.

LAKELAND, Fla. – “Many dentists, including those in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, advise their patients on foods to eat that can naturally clean and brighten teeth,” says Dr. Li, who is an Ottawa cosmetic dentist and general dentist. “In fact, these foods can defend against the bacteria that harms your teeth.”

So what should you be adding to you diet?

If you want a whiter smile without having to go through Ottawa tooth whitening procedures, eat more pineapple. Studies show that there is an enzyme in pineapples that acts as a natural stain remover. It can break up plaque, preventing the enamel from eroding.

Ginger can promote healthy mouth tissue. It naturally works as an anti-inflammatory, so dental patients concerned about periodontal disease should consider adding ginger to their diets.

Parsley has been used as a breath freshener for decades. It has natural antibacterial properties that can help fight oral bacteria. Next time chew some parsley instead of breath mints or gum.

Basil can act as a natural deterrent for the growth of bacteria, as can shitake mushrooms. Garlic and raw onions can also remove bacteria. Sesame seeds can help remove plaque. In fact, chewing any nut can provide a scrubbing action to help clean your teeth. Sesame seeds, however, are the best because they also contain calcium which will strengthen the teeth and bones.

Cheese can prevent acids from harming your teeth. The protein, calcium and phosphorous can help repair and remineralize the teeth. In addition, tea is naturally high in antioxidants which help maintain a healthy oral cavity. Green tea in particular helps protect the teeth by preventing the adherence of plaque.

And there’s good news for those who love chocolate. Studies show that substances found in cocoa can actually lessen inflammation, and in fact, may even protect against erosion and decay. Opt for dark chocolate, as it is lower in sugar than milk chocolate.

“Just as these foods are good for your teeth, there are also foods and drinks you should avoid,” says Dr. Li. “Some foods will cause more damage than they are worth.”
Put those sugary sodas, sports drinks and fruit drinks down. The simple sugars that comprise them will be turned into acid when they come into contact with the bacteria in the mouth. Partaking in too many can cause your tooth enamel to erode, resulting in cavities.

Candy and snacks high in sugar also increase the acid levels in the mouth. Sticky or gummy candies are especially harmful because they can adhere to the surface of the tooth. Saliva is usually unable to remove them. Starchy foods, such as bread, pasta and potatoes, are broken down into simple sugars and can also increase acid levels.

We all know that coffee, tea and red wine can stain teeth. But did you know sweetened coffee and tea can increase acid levels? Because tea, coffee and wine are sipped, they pose a threat to teeth because the acid may remain over a longer period of time. The acid attack lasts for 20 minutes in your mouth so if you take a sip every 20 minutes, there is constant acid in your mouth.

“To keep your mouth as healthy as possible, avoid foods that can be damaging to your smile and consider adding more healthy options into your diet,” says Dr. Li. “In addition, maintain a healthy tooth cleaning routine, drink lots of water and visit your dentist regularly. With a little extra care, you can keep your smile bright and healthy.”

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Pamela Li. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Pamela Li are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Avoid the Sugar Rush of Halloween

By Pamela Li, in News, on October 10, 2013 | Comments (0)

Overindulging in Sweets Ottawa, Ontario – The costumes will soon be out and children everywhere will fill the streets to gather up Halloween goodies. It’s a child’s dream, and often an Ottawa general dentist’s nightmare. Sugary treats abound on Halloween, so how can we encourage our children, and ourselves, to avoid overindulging?

“Overindulging in sweets isn’t just harmful to our waistlines,” says Dr. Pamela Li, who owns an Ottawa dental clinic. “Sugary treats are consumed by bacteria in your mouth to create acid. It is the acid that causes the breakdown of enamel and forms cavities.”

Begin by discussing the importance of healthy eating with your children. Explain proper nutrition and that treats are OK in moderation. Teach them proper dental care techniques to remove sugar residue from their teeth. Brushing and flossing twice a day will help children avoid cavities. Have them regularly visit an Ottawa dentist to be sure their teeth and gums are healthy.

Once children understand the importance of healthy eating, encourage children to be a part of picking out treats that are low in sugar. Teach older children how to read nutrition labels so they can pick out treats that are healthier options at the store.

“On Halloween night, let your home be an example of healthy living,” says Dr. Li, who is also an Ottawa cosmetic dentistry provider. “Instead of the usual candy bars and sugar filled snacks, brainstorm other ideas with your children. Healthier snacks, such as raisins or pretzels, are a wonderful option. Or you can even come up with fun treats that aren’t food at all. Consider handing out items such as temporary tattoos, bouncy balls, Halloween jewelry, spooky spiders, etc. Your children will love helping to pick out fun treats like this to hand out.”

After your children have been trick or treating, it is important not to let them overindulge in the treats they have received. Consider parceling out their candy for them, allowing them a certain amount each day after Halloween.

“Some parents have great tactics for helping their children avoid eating too many sweets,” says Li. “Consider letting your child pick out their 10 favorite pieces of candy, then donate the rest to a charity that could use the candy. Candy can be sent in care packages to soldiers serving around the world, bringing a bit of holiday cheer to them. If you have a child who has a winter birthday, consider using the extra candy in goody bags or to fill a piñata. Get creative, and allow your children to be a part of the conversation.”

Halloween is a fun time to enjoy delicious treats, in moderation. Parents should remember to take their children for regular checkups with their dentist to be sure their teeth and gums are healthy. Checkups are recommended every 6 months.

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Pamela Li. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Pamela Li are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Preparing for Your Child’s First Dental Visit

By Pamela Li, in News, on September 10, 2013 | Comments (0)

Ottawa, Ontario – Most Ottawa dentists recommend that children visit the dentist by their first birthday, or when teeth first begin to appear. That means parents must be prepared for this first visit, and likewise prepare their children to sit in the dentist’s chair.

“Family dentist practices such as mine love serving entire families,” says Dr. Pamela Li, who provides family dentistry as well as cosmetic dentistry such as tooth whitening. “I encourage all of my patients to do their research before choosing their dentist. It is important to find the dentist that is the right fit for your family. Ask people whose opinions you trust for their recommendations, and always visit an office first to be sure your family will be comfortable in the office and with all of the staff. A visit before procedures, even routine teeth cleanings, can help children build a rapport with the dentist, making them comfortable when their first visit comes.”

It also helps for parents to be prepared for the visit. Speak to the dentist or staff beforehand so you understand what paperwork you will need to have and what all the dentist will need to do once the child is in the chair. If you know and understand the procedures that will happen before, you will be able to prepare your children for the experience. Always ask the dentist to completely explain any procedure before it is done, and don’t hesitate to ask questions if you don’t understand something.

For older children, parents can more easily prepare them for a first visit because verbal children will be able to listen to and understand their parents explain what will happen. For younger children, parents can make visiting the dentist into a game or adventure. Make children excited to see the dentist and visits will feel normal and comfortable. It also helps to read picture books about going to the dentist so the child is prepared visually.

“At a first visit, I’m typically trying to accomplish two things,” says Dr. Li, who also fits dentures on her patients in Ottawa. “I want to learn about your child’s oral health and what is currently going on in their mouth. But I also want to help them, and their parent, develop a plan of care to keep their teeth clean and healthy. There will be an exam as well as a cavity risk assessment with diet counseling.”

The dentist will first do an examination of the patient’s teeth and gums to look for signs of decay, check the child’s bite and look for any issues that could come up as the child grows. It may also help the dentist to have a family oral health background, as some oral issues can be genetic.

The way an examination is handled depends on the dentist. Some allow parents to hold their children during the exam. This allows the parent to comfort the child during the procedure. Other dentists may ask the parents to wait in the waiting room so that the dentist and his or her staff are able to build a rapport with the child. Be sure you are comfortable with your dentist’s approach before your child’s first visit.

“The most important thing for parents is that they are completely comfortable with the dentist they have chosen,” says Dr. Li, who is also an emergency dentist. “If the parent is comfortable, chances are the child will be, too.”

And once your family has chosen a dentist, it is important to continue that relationship so that you can develop a dental home. This will create continuity and allow your child to develop a trusting relationship with the dentist.

If you need further information about your child’s first dental visit, you can ask Dr. Li.

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Pamela Li. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Pamela Li are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

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