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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.

Dr. Li Attends Course on Gum Grafting and Crown Lengthening

By Pamela Li, in Articles, on January 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

visit to the dentistOTTAWA, Ontario – Dr. Pamela Li recently attended a continuing education course from the Perio Institute in Toronto in an effort to sharpen her skills and knowledge to better serve her patients. One of the topics covered was crown lengthening.

“Crown lengthening is a great option for patients with overly gummy smiles,” says Dr. Li. “Gummy smiles can be the result of too much gum tissue covering the tooth. Crown lengthening can also be performed to make a restorative or cosmetic dental procedure possible. If a tooth is decayed, broken below the gum line or doesn’t have enough visible structure to attach the restoration, crown lengthening can correct it.”

During the procedure, excess bone and gum tissue are reshaped to expose more of the tooth. A cosmetic dentist like Dr. Li, who serves patients in Ottawa, can do this to one tooth, then entire gum line, or several teeth to expose a broader and toothier smile. In the event that the patient needs a crown or bridge, but doesn’t have enough visible tooth to attach it, crown lengthening will adjust the gum and bone level so the tooth will be able to be restored properly.

“The course I attended was incredibly valuable,” says Dr. Li. “It covered both anterior, or front teeth and posterior or back teeth, lengthening. In anterior crown lengthening, we often are simply correcting gummy smiles by making teeth look longer. Posterior crown lengthening is used for short teeth, root decay and broken teeth.”

Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure during which the gingival tissue around the tooth is incised. The dentist or periodontist will make cuts in the tissue to pull the gum away from the bone, providing access to the tooth root and bone. The amount of gum tissue that will need to be removed will depend on the needs of the individual patient. Once enough of the tooth is exposed, the area will be cleaned and the gums will be stitched back together.

It is a minor surgery with a quick recover time, and stitches will typically resorb on their own within a week. Patients will receive a special oral rinse and care instructions to properly care for their mouth during recovery.

The other procedure covered during the course Dr. Li attended was gum grafting. In some patients, gum grafting is a necessary procedure to protect against the effects of gum recession, which can be damaging. Gum grafts can also be performed to improve the look of a patient’s smile.

“If a patient is experiencing gum recession that means the patient is losing gum and bone around their teeth,” says Dr. Li. “More of the root of the tooth will be exposed, and there is an increased risk of root decay. While it can be a common occurrence, it can lead to unattractive smiles and tooth sensitivity. Eventually, if not treated, it can even lead to tooth loss.”

To repair the damage, a gum graft may be needed. At the course Dr. Li attended, two types of grafts were discussed – connective tissue grafts and free gingival grafts.

Free gingival grafts are usually performed on the back teeth, or areas not typically seen. Using tissue from the roof of the mouth, a small amount will be removed and then attached to the gum area in need. This type of graft works well in patients who have thin gums and require additional tissue to reinforce their gums.

Connective tissue grafts are used in esthetic areas. A flap of skin will be removed from the roof of the mouth. Under the flap lies a tissue called the subepithelial connective tissue. This will also be removed and stitched to the gum tissue that surrounds the exposed root. Once the connective tissue has been removed, the flap will be stitched back down. Connective tissue grafts are typically performed in the front or more esthetic areas of a patient’s mouth. The tissue can reattached to the exposed root area, and will decrease sensitivity on the roots.

Just as with a crown lengthening procedure, recovery from a gum graft will take about a week to two weeks. Patients will be given a special rinse to help control plaque during the healing process, and in some cases, patients will be put on an antibiotic to reduce the possible infection risk. Patients should refrain from flossing and brushing the gum line that was repaired until it has fully healed.

If you think you may be a candidate for either procedure, contact Dr. Li’s office today. She is committed to helping her patients achieve their best smiles and maintain their best oral health, and her commitment to quality care is evidenced by her desire to continue her education and advance her skill set.

© 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.

Dentophobia is Very Real: How your Dentist Can Help

By Pamela Li, in Articles, on December 12, 2013 | Comments (0)

girl whit toothacheOTTAWA, ONTARIO – Dentophobia, or fear of the dentist, is a very real phenomenon for many patients, no matter the age. Dr. Pamela Li is a dentist who works with patients in Ottawa of all ages, and is equipped to help her patients overcome their dental fear.

“For older patients, there are many reasons why they may be afraid to visit a dentist,” says Dr. Li, whose dental clinic proudly serves families, expectant mothers and senior citizen patients. “Previous experiences that resulted in excess pain, anxiety disorders or other issues can compound a patient’s fear of visiting the dentist.”

For children, the reasons for fearing a dentist may stem from their parents. Studies have shown that if a child’s mother exhibits fear of dentists, it will increase the child’s chances of having the same fear. Other factors that contribute to a child viewing a dentist office as scary include increased fears in general and a previous experience that may have resulted in pain.

That’s why it is so important that parents choose a dentist that everyone in the family can feel comfortable with and who takes fear of the dentist seriously. Dentists can help make patients more comfortable by being more careful about pain control and ensuring that the patient is comfortable before beginning any procedure, even if it is only a routine cleaning. Taking the extra time to talk with patients before beginning work can help patients have a more positive experience.

In some cases, patients may be entering their family dentistry practice with other issues that could contribute to their fear of the dentist, such as behavioral, mood or anxiety disorders. In instances such as this, it is especially important that the dentist knows and understands how to interact with the patient beforehand.

“That’s one of the things I enjoy most about my practice,” says Dr. Li. “Because I serve families, in addition to individuals, my staff and I really take the time to get to know them. It is important that both parties are comfortable to create a positive relationship. Knowing if there is an issue that could affect how they are able to sit in my chair for work can help me better understand how to approach their dental work. And then, I’ll be able to better gain their trust.”

Dr. Li explains that it is also important for the patient to feel comfortable enough with the dentist to be able to voice concerns or questions during a procedure. Being able to do this, and knowing the dentist will listen, helps patients feel at ease. The dentist should always carefully explain the procedure before beginning, and should be sure to explain in terms the patient, no matter the age, can easily understand.
During the procedure the dentist should encourage the patient to let the dentist know if they need to stop or take a short break. Many dentists have their patients raise their left hand if they need to take a break during work. This allows the patient to feel as if they have control over the situation.

So how can patients be sure they have a dentist who will help them overcome their dental fear? Before scheduling any work, always speak with the dentist first. If they can easily explain both the procedure to you, and how they will work with you to both alleviate pain and allow you to voice concerns or questions during the procedure that’s a good indication they are serious about helping you. If your dentist dismisses questions related to your fears, it might be time to look for a new dentist.

It’s also important that you and your family feel comfortable in the office. Dentists who are serious about helping their patients overcome fears will often go to great lengths to make patients comfortable. And every staff member a patient comes into contact with should also make patients comfortable. From the moment the patient sets foot in the door, they should feel like a member of the family.

But to make all of this happen, it’s important that the patient is honest with the dentist. If a dentist is unaware of their patient’s fear, they won’t be able to help them address it and overcome it. By working together, the patient and dentist can build a comfortable relationship, and the patient can be on the road to better oral health.

© 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.

The Effects of Tooth Grinding

By Pamela Li, in Articles, on November 24, 2013 | Comments (0)

DentistryOttawa, Ontario – Most of us at one point or another fall prey to bruxism, or tooth grinding. While occasionally grinding our teeth isn’t harmful, continuous grinding can have negative effects on our smiles.

“The problem for most tooth grinders is that it occurs while they are sleeping,” says Ottawa dentist Dr. Pamela Li. “This means they might not be aware that they are doing it, but they feel the effects.”

Habitual tooth grinders may find that they have a constant, dull headache or a sore jaw. Bruxism is usually caused by anxiety or stress, but it can also be caused by missing or crooked teeth or an abnormal bite. Chances are, if you aren’t sure if you grind your teeth, but suffer from a sore jaw or constant headache, a family member may have heard you grinding your teeth at night.

In addition to jaw pain and a headache, tooth grinders will typically display other symptoms, as well. Teeth can become worn down, or even fractured or chipped and the tooth enamel can become worn. Your teeth may become more sensitive. Because of the way your jaw muscle contracts while grinding your teeth, you could have an earache. Additionally, you could experience facial pain, damage from chewing the inside of your cheek, or indentations on your tongue.

In severe cases of bruxism, patients can experience fractured or loosening teeth. In extreme cases, patients can even experience the loss of teeth. Chronic grinding can wear teeth down so much that patients can need bridges, crowns, root canals, dentures or implants to correct the teeth that were lost or worn down.

“There are other serious issues caused by severe bruxism, in addition to just the effects on your teeth,” says Dr. Li, whose Ottawa dental clinic regularly treats bruxism sufferers. “Because it affects the jaw, it can cause TMJ disorder, or worsen it in patients who already suffer from it. It can even lead to hearing loss or change the appearance of your face.”

The first step to correcting tooth grinding is a visit to your dentist.

“If you think you may suffer from bruxism, make an appointment with your dentist,” says Dr. Li, who serves patients of all ages and is also an Ottawa cosmetic dentist, trained to help patients achieve their ideal smiles. “A dentist will be able to examine your mouth for signs of bruxism. Jaw tenderness will be our first sign, but we will also check to see if there are any signs on your teeth. Mild cases usually don’t require treatment, but more serious ones can lead to damaged teeth and other issues, so it’s always best to visit a dentist before the tooth grinding becomes too severe.”

A dentist will be able to fit you with a special mouth guard to wear while you sleep that will help dissipate the forces of tooth grinding.

The next step after making an appointment with your dentist is to try to discover the root cause of the tooth grinding. If it stems from an abnormal bite or crooked or missing teeth, your dentist will be able to help you correct those issues. Creating a more well-balanced smile will help ease and hopefully alleviate the tooth grinding.

In many cases, however, the grinding is caused by stress. If this is the case for you, consider ways to reduce your stress. Exercise can be a great help to relieving stress. In some cases, a physical therapist may be able to assist you.

Other things you may be doing could also be leading to tooth grinding, without you realizing. If you consume a lot of food or drinks that contain caffeine, consider cutting back. Additionally, avoid alcohol as grinding can be intensified after drinking alcohol. Do not chew anything other than food. Constantly chewing on something, such as gum or a pen cap, puts more stress on your jaw joints.

Severe sufferers of bruxism may find themselves clenching their teeth during the day. Try to become more aware of instances during the day when you might clench. If you find yourself starting to clench, try to relax your jaw. If that doesn’t work, you can place your tongue between your teeth to keep the teeth from clenching too tightly. Practice relaxation techniques before bed, and try holding a warm washcloth up to your jaw before going to sleep. This can help ease tightened muscles.

“It’s also important to remember that it’s not just adults who suffer from bruxism,” says Dr. Li. “I see children who also grind their teeth. It’s most common for children to grind their teeth as their baby teeth or permanent teeth are first coming in.”

Just as with adults, children will mostly grind their teeth at night, so it can be harder to diagnose. It can also be harder to determine the exact reason while children are grinding their teeth. It can stem from teeth that aren’t aligned properly or poor contact between the upper and lower teeth. But, it can also stem from illnesses or medical conditions. For instance, when a child suffers from an ear infection, parents may notice tooth grinding begins. Additionally, just as in adults, grinding can be caused by stress or anxiety, so parents should watch for signs of increased anxiety.

“In most instances, children will not require treatment for their bruxism,” says Dr. Li. “But if you suspect your child may suffer from it, be sure to mention it to your dentist at their next visit. That way, the dentist can continue monitoring their mouth for signs that the bruxism has worsened.”

Seeing a dentist regularly is important for overall oral health. If you suspect you may suffer from bruxism, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist right away, especially if you experience any serious side effects from it. The dentist will perform a thorough exam and recommend ways you can relieve the bruxism.

In some cases, dental work may need to be done to correct an abnormal bite or crooked teeth that are leading to the tooth grinding. An experienced dentist will be able to correct your smile to alleviate the grinding.

If serious dental work is not required, a dentist will also be able to fit you with a mouth guard to prevent grinding while sleeping. While mouth guards are available over the counter, one specially fit by a dentist will be the best at preventing tooth grinding.

By paying a little attention to possible symptoms and behaviors that could be leading to bruxism, and a visit to your dentist, you can be on the road to tooth grinding relief in no time.

© 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.

Cristal Veneers Provide a Beautiful Smile

By Pamela Li, in Articles, on October 20, 2013 | Comments (0)

A Beautiful SmileOttawa, Ontario – Are you looking for a way to perfect your smile, without extensive procedures, such as surgery? Dr. Pamela Li, an Ottawa cosmetic dentist, recommends Cristal veneers.

“What makes these veneers unique is how thin they can be made,” says Li, whose dental clinic in Ottawa helps patients achieve the smiles of their dreams. “They require minimal tooth reduction and can be as thin as 0.3 millimeters. And they’re strong and functional.”

Many people may avoid the option of veneers because they think the process to place them on is painful and long. That’s not the case with the newest porcelain veneers. With other veneers, more of the teeth have to be reduced to create room for the porcelain. With Cristal veneers the teeth are minimally reduced and temporary veneers are not necessary. This saves time and avoids the need for local anesthetic. At the preparation appointment, the dentist will shave off part of the enamel, equivalent to the thickness of the veneer. The Ottawa dentist then makes an impression of the teeth. The model is sent to a lab, where the veneers will be crafted.

Cristal veneers feel natural to the patient and look natural to others. Other options can look bulky, leading to an unnatural look unless the tooth is reduced. Each Cristal veneer is custom created just for the patient. They are crafted to naturally fit your teeth and match the shade of your teeth, while also complimenting your facial features. Your cosmetic dentist will work to ensure they blend in perfectly with your surrounding teeth.

“Cristal veneers are very strong,” says Dr. Li. “In fact, they last for years. And Aurum, the company that makes them, has warrantied each veneer for five years against breaking and chipping.”

So, who is a candidate for Cristal veneers? They are great for a variety of patients, especially those with narrow or small teeth, worn and aged teeth, stained teeth, chipped or cracked teeth, misshapen teeth, slight misalignments and gaps between teeth. Not everyone is a candidate for this type of veneers, so it’s important to consult with your dentist. Together, you can choose a treatment plan that will provide you a beautiful smile.

Previous attempts in the past to create a no preparation veneer were not nearly as successful as Aurum’s Cristal veneers. Specialized porcelain must be used to ensure the veneer can be thin enough not to look bulky, but strong enough to withstand the pressure of being on the tooth.

The result of Aurum’s technology is a beautiful veneer that is strong enough to last. And, because it requires less prep work on the dentist’s end, these types of veneers are often less expensive for the patient than traditional veneers. That means patients can be on the road to a new smile much easier.

“Veneers are a wonderful option for patients who want to brighten their smiles,” says Dr. Li. “And being able to offer Cristal veneers just gives my practice one more amazing tool to help my patients. These veneers help patients smile prouder than they have in years.”

Because veneers are placed without injections or other invasive procedures, patients can resume their normal activities as soon as the process is completed. To learn more about Cristal veneers, or other methods to brighten your smile, consult with your dental specialist today.

© 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.

Straighten Teeth with New SmartTrack Invisalign

By Pamela Li, in Articles, on September 19, 2013 | Comments (0)

Ottawa, Ontario – Since its introduction, dental patients everywhere have enjoyed the benefits of Invisalign. And now, Align Technology has improved their already great technology with the introduction of SmartTrack, a proprietary material that makes Invisalign better than ever. Ottawa dental clinic patients can enjoy the new technology, provided by Dr. Pamela Li.

The new proprietary material is more elastic than the previous material used in Invisalign aligners. Because of that, there is more constant force applied to the teeth to improve the control of the movement of teeth. SmartTrack became readily available for use by orthodontists and dentists in the beginning of 2013.

Orthodontists and dentists have been using Invisalign for years because of how easy the system is to place on teeth and how comfortable it is for patients. Invisalign works through a series of invisible aligners that are custom-fit for each patient. The aligners are made from a clear, smooth plastic and are removable. Over the course of treatment, the aligners work to gradually move teeth to their desired locations, as determined by the dentist or orthodontist.

“Aligners are worn for two weeks at a time,” says Dr. Li, who also performs dental implants. “Patients love them because they can maintain their regular diet and standard oral care regimen due to the aligners being removable. And because many adults wish to correct their smiles more discretely, Invisalign is a wonderful option because it is invisible to the eye. My patients love the results they see from using it, and we’re seeing even better results from the new technology.”

In the previous Invisalign aligners, the material used relaxed slightly over time. That resulted in a loss of the energy that was required to move the teeth to their proper locations. SmartTrack solves that problem because the new material keeps a constant force on the teeth over the course of the two weeks that each aligner is worn. Even better, the material is more flexible, meaning it can be molded to better fit a patient’s teeth. This then allows for improved control over the tooth movement process. Align Technology even studied the movement of the teeth of 1,000 patients, and the results showed dramatic improvement in control over patients who wore the previous aligners.

To work properly, Invisalign has to fit as close to the teeth as possible. The new, proprietary medical-grade thermoplastic used to make SmartTrack aligners fits closer to the teeth than the previous aligners. Because it is fully elastic, even if it were to become stretched, it will immediately return to its normal shape. This elasticity keeps teeth in line with the desired tooth movement as planned by the orthodontist.

“Invisalign is effective because it emits a constant, but gentle, force that guides the teeth,” says Dr. Li, whose office performs other cosmetic procedures such as teeth bleaching. “But just as important, patients love it because it gives them something they aren’t used to when thinking about orthodontic treatment. Invisalign allows for a comfortable and pleasant experience while achieving the smile of your dreams.”

SmartTrack is the new standard in Invisalign treatment. However, patients who may have started treatment using the old aligners do not have to begin treatment over again. The new SmartTrack aligners will fit seamlessly into the treatment plans dentists and orthodontists have already created.

For patients who may have been putting off orthodontic treatment because they worry it may be unsightly, now is the time to act in Ottawa. Find a dentist who uses the new SmartTrack technology and you’ll be on the road to a straighter, beautiful smile, comfortable and easily.

© 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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