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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.

Is Your Toothbrush Making You Sick?

By Pamela Li, in Articles, on May 30, 2013 | Comments (0)

Keeping Toothbrushes CleanOttawa, Ontario – Do you have a cold that seems to be lingering, but can’t figure out why? The answer might be lurking in your medicine cabinet. That’s right; your toothbrush could be harboring germs that can result in you being unable to shake that cough.

Researchers from the University of Manchester have reported that one toothbrush can contain more than 100 million bacteria. But don’t rush to throw out all the toothbrushes in your home, says Dr. Pamela Li, a dental care expert with a practice in Ottawa.

“Our mouths harbor bacteria,” says Dr. Li, whose Ottawa office practices laser dentistry. “We brush our teeth to remove plaque, which is itself bacteria. The good news is that our bodies’ natural defenses protect us from getting sick from the bacteria that live on our toothbrushes.”

There are, however, several things we should be aware of, such as storing your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible. For homes with small bathrooms, find the place farthest from the toilet to keep your toothbrush. Every time a toilet is flushed, bacteria spray into the air. Keeping a toothbrush near the toilet can let those bacteria jump onto your toothbrush.

Other tips to remember include:

  • Keep your toothbrush dry. Bacteria thrives in wet areas so be sure your toothbrush has a chance to fully dry in between brushings. Don’t use toothbrush covers because they can prevent a toothbrush from drying completely.
  • Rinse your toothbrush. Wash the toothbrush thoroughly every time you use it.
  • Store it upright. Never store a toothbrush lying down.
  • Never share toothbrushes. Even keep toothbrushes of other people from touching yours because they can swap germs.

“Before brushing your teeth, always thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and soap,” says Dr. Li, whose office fits patients with porcelain veneers. “For my patients who wear dentures in Ottawa, having clean hands before brushing or flossing can eliminate any germs that might be on their hands from transferring to their toothbrushes.”

Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months, not just because of the buildup of bacteria, but also because toothbrushes can wear out. Toothbrushes should always be replaced after suffering from an illness. While the chances of getting sick from your toothbrush are pretty small, continuing to use a toothbrush after you’ve been sick can result in germs transferring back to you. That means the life of a cold might be extended.

For those who swoon at the mention of germs and are looking for a way to sanitize their toothbrushes, there are several products on the market that claim to kill germs There are sprays and rinses, as well as products that use heat or UV light to get rid of the germs. And some toothbrushes claim to have bristles that are antibacterial. While some of these products may be efficient at killing germs, no solid evidence exists that they can in fact reduce someone’s chances of getting sick. And before buying any product, be sure it’s use has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to ensure your safety. The FDA will have checked any claims a product makes.

“In truth, the only fool proof way to eliminate germs on your toothbrush is to replace it frequently,” says Dr. Li, who provides dental care in Ottawa dental clinic. “Most antibacterial products will only eliminate 99.9 percent of bacteria, which can still leave behind a lot of germs. I recommend that my patients throw their toothbrushes away immediately after an illness or every few months when they are healthy. And for my patients with weak immune systems that should be even more often.”

It’s important to remember that bacteria cause gum disease, bad breath and all of the things we dread when it comes to our oral health. Part of maintaining a good oral health care regimen includes proper cleaning and storing of your toothbrush, as well as replacing it often. All of the hard work you put in regularly brushing and flossing can be undone by your toothbrush. And if you’re sick, failing to replace your toothbrush can leave a lingering illness that might be hard to shake.

© 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.

New Findings on the Effects of Periodontal Disease and Patients’ General Health

By Pamela Li, in News, on December 2, 2012 | Comments (0)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – There has been a great deal of interest from the dental community regarding ongoing research on the relationship of periodontal disease to diseases and disorders elsewhere in the body. The relationship between periodontal disease to heart disease, diabetes and low birth weight babies is well documented, but there are many other conditions that are not.

Last month, the Periodontics Report published new findings that evaluate the relationship between periodontal disease and oral health to rheumatoid arthritis, gastric precancerous lesions, chronic kidney disease and osteoporosis.

“It has been a long-standing saying that the mouth is the window to the body, which suggests that someone who takes care of himself or herself is not healthy without good oral health,” said Ottawa ON dentist Dr. Pamela Li, who offers dental implants and porcelain veneers. “This study investigates this self care philosophy and emphasizes diseases that are linked to oral health.”

Rheumatoid Arthritis
This is an inflammatory disorder affecting the joints, which results in the destruction of connective tissue. The periodontal status of 66 patients with RA was evaluated and of those patients, 28 percent of them demonstrated poor periodontal health. However, the severity of RA did not correlate with the severity of the periodontal disease.

Gastric Precancerous Lesions
The association between poor oral health as a risk factor for gastric cancer was identified long ago. The reason for this has been attributed to the prevalence of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori in dental plaque. This bacteria is an organism associated with gastric pathology, for which dental plaque can be a reservoir. Ninety-one patients who were seen with gastrointestinal endoscopy were enrolled and biopsies were taken to evaluate for infection of the H pylori and an oral examination was performed.

Twenty-eight of the 91 patients demonstrated precancerous gastric lesions. This evaluation agrees with previously published studies that suggest poor oral health is a risk factor for stomach cancer. However, this new study suggests there is a relationship between gingival bleeding as a risk factor for gastric cancer.

Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is a general term for kidney disorders. It was previously discovered that periodontal disease is a risk factor for CKD. The reasons for this include the increased inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria, as well as the adverse effects of the bacteria circulating and filtering through the kidneys. For the study, 66 patients with periodontitis were examined and it was found that 19 did not have CKD, 25 had CKD but did not need dialysis, and 22 with CKD required dialysis. It was found that patients with advanced CKD had an increased severity of periodontal disease.

Bone Mineral Density and Tooth Loss
Osteoporosis is a disorder that affects older women and as such, periodontal disease generally affects older adults and is characterized by bone loss and tooth loss, believes the dental clinic Ottawa dentist. For this study, 404 postmenopausal women were evaluated over a five year period. A positive relationship was found between a loss of bone density and the number of teeth lost. A common underlying reason may be an estrogen deficiency, as this can place women at risk for osteoporosis, which can lead to tooth loss.

“All of these studies only further highlight the importance of dental professionals knowing their patient’s medical history,” the laser dentistry professional said. “Dental professionals and health care professionals need to work together so they can implement preventive measures and limit further infiltration of periodontal disease.”

© 2012 Sinai Marketing, Dr. Pamela Li. Authorization is granted, with the stipulation that Dr. Pamela Li and Sinai Marketing are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this press release is strictly prohibited with the exception of herein imbedded links.

 

Ottawa Family Dentistry Expert Celebrates Anniversary of Graduation and Practice Opening

By Pamela Li, in News, on May 6, 2012 | Comments (0)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Twenty years after graduating from dental school, Ottawa family dentistry expert Dr. Pamela Li is proud to celebrate the 15th anniversary of opening her own dental practice.

In May 1992, Dr. Li graduated from the University of Toronto with her dental degree. After completing a residency at St. Luke’s Memorial Hospital in Utica, N.Y., she spent one year at the Moose Factory General Hospital on the Moose Factory Indian Reservation in Northern Ontario and after associating for other dentists in her hometown of Ottawa for three years, Dr. Li bought her own practice in June 1997.

In August 2008, Dr. Li moved her practice to its current location where she employs four staff members: dental hygienists Rhonda and Lena, dental assistant Letitia and receptionist Donna. (more…)

Bad Oral Hygiene Can Impact the Rest of Your Body

By pamelali, in News, on January 4, 2012 | Comments (0)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Every time you visit the dentist your doctor probably nags you about brushing twice a day and flossing daily. While those habits, along with routine cleanings, are key elements to keep your teeth and gums healthy, it has been proven that how well you take care of your mouth could impact your overall health.

“Your mouth is the portal to the rest of your body,” said Dr. Pamela Li, an Ottawa tooth whitening provider. “In fact, some studies suggest there are more bacteria living in your mouth than there are people on the earth. Most of the bacteria are harmless, but if you neglect your oral health the harmful bacteria can quickly multiply and spread.”

Cavities and gum disease may contribute to serious conditions including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases, and premature and low weight babies. Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums, which can also impact the bone supporting the teeth. Plaque is a sticky biofilm of bacteria that builds up, thickens and hardens on the teeth. If it is not removed by daily brushing, it will harden into tartar and infect the gums and bone.

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Dr. Pamela Li Hires CDA Registered Dental Hygienist

By pamelali, in News, on December 21, 2011 | Comments (0)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Lena Jensen, a Canadian Dental Association accredited dental hygienist, has joined the staff of Dr. Pamela Li, a TMJ dentist in Ottawa.

Lena has been a dental hygienist for three years and graduated with honors from the Canadian National Institute of Health.

During her time there Lena won the Deans Award of Excellence, which is presented to the student with the best aggregate score in theory courses and who consistently strives for excellence as well the Golden Scaler Award, which is awarded to students who have demonstrated outstanding proficiency in client care.

Before working as a dental hygienist, Lena worked as a dental assistant for four years. She has a great deal of experience in the dental field and will be joining Rhonda Cross, who has been working for Dr. Li since 2003, on the hygienist team.

(more…)

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