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All Posts in Category: Oral Hygiene

Six Ways to Win the Brushing Battle With Your Children

NEPEAN, ONTARIO- The primary concern of most young children is when they can get their hands on the next chocolate chip cookie or lollipop. Needless to say, implementing a proper dental hygiene is not on a child’s priority list.

It should be on the parent’s list, however.

A clean smile is essential for people of all ages, including babies and toddlers. The mouth is the ideal environment for bacteria growth. It’s important that a consistent routine of brushing and flossing be performed, especially since the typical kid diet includes an abundance of sugary drinks and sweets. This reality means that children are increasingly susceptible to cavities and more severe forms of decay.

Kids commonly battle their parents after being told to brush their teeth. No matter how difficult the child is, parents must stand firm in their fight to teach children good dental hygiene habits. We understand that this task is easier said than enforced, so we at Nepean dentistry practice Trillium Dental have assembled a few helpful tips to make the process easier.

1. Begin early. Prior to the first baby tooth sprouting at six or seven months, softly wipe the gums down with a damp cloth after the baby eats or drinks. However, dental care should start once a tooth is present. Take your baby to visit the dentist and gently brush whatever teeth have grown in. Getting in a good routine early will make things easier once he or she hits the rebellious toddler years.

2. Make brushing entertaining. Kids don’t like boring. Liven up their dental hygiene routine by playing music, including a friend or stuffed animal or composing your very own tooth brushing song. By making dental hygiene fun, kids will be eager to pick up their brush and scrub away.

3. Offer a reward. Parents realize the reward of brushing and flossing is a healthy and beautiful smile, but that prize isn’t going to cut it for a small child. Keep track of every good tooth brushing session with a colorful poster and stickers in your child’s bathroom. Once he or she earns a certain number of stickers, reward them however you’d like. Avoid treating them with sugary candies, though.

4. Let your child pick the supplies. Toddlers are fiercely independent (or so they think), so let them make their own decision when selecting a toothbrush and toothpaste. When a child knows that they made their own decision, it’s exciting. He or she will likely be eager to show you that they can brush on their own.

5. Make it a family affair. Show your child that you’re excited about brushing and flossing by including other family members. Not only does this make things more exciting for the child, but it sets a great example.

6. Don’t give up! Be consistent. Brush your teeth after every meal, and let your child know that you’re doing so. By setting a consistent routine, kids will know what to expect. If he or she fights back, keep trying. Don’t give up on your child or their dental health.

If you’re looking for a family dentist in the Ottawa area, contact Trillium Dental.

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National Orthodontic Health Month Spotlights Oral Health Benefits of Straight Teeth

KANATA, ONTARIO- Achieving superb dental health may not be the primary reason patients seek orthodontic treatment, but is one major benefit. October is National Orthodontic Health Month in Canada and the United States, and Kanata dentistry practice Trillium Dental is informing patients how orthodontics can improve the health of your smile.

Think of your smile as a net. When teeth are crooked and crowded, food particles easily become trapped. Misaligned teeth that lean in or jut out can also make plaque difficult to spot in the mirror. Because of this, patients in need of orthodontic care often struggle to maintain a clean smile with routine brushing and flossing practices. When teeth are straight and smooth, however, identifying and removing wedged food particles is much easier.

The benefits of orthodontic care don’t end at a simple dental hygiene routine. When the top and bottom rows of teeth are aligned, the bite becomes more natural and comfortable. Teeth that have shifted out of alignment place added strain on the jaw. This can trigger painful consequences, like Bruxism (teeth grinding) and TMJ disorders. Also, patients with a straight smile have a decreased risk of developing gum disease, since there are no gaps that leave tissue susceptible to irritation and gums fits snugly on straight teeth.

At Trillium Dental, patients in need of orthodontic care can achieve a healthy, straight smile with Invisalign. This incredible treatment offers an efficient and discreet aligning experience. A series of custom-made, clear plastic aligners is used to accelerate the straightening process. Every two weeks, the aligner is swapped for a new mold that reflects the desired movement in the teeth. Every patient has a unique smile anatomy that requires personalized attention, but the average duration of treatment is only one year!


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Five Surprising Ways You Can Damage Your Teeth

ORLEANS, ONTARIO – Think indulging in sugary candies, smoking and guzzling red wine are the only ways to harm teeth? Think again. While it’s true that teeth are among the toughest structures in the body, they’re also incredibly sensitive to a number of activities we often do daily. Orleans family dentistry practice Trillium Dental lists five surprising ways patients harm their teeth without even knowing.

We often discuss water’s benefits for teeth, but H20 that’s loaded with chlorine and other chemicals fails to receive our approval. Pool chemicals are often linked to enamel damage. Observations from the American Journal of Dentistry and The Journal of the Canadian Dental Association state that swimming in a pool brimming with chlorine for about 2 months triggers rapid enamel erosion and sensitivity. When taking a dip in the pool, only immerse your smile under water when necessary. Be sure to keep your mouth shut tight if doing so.

Whitening Toothpaste.
So, how could toothpaste possibly be detrimental to teeth? When it’s engineered to scratch at the tooth’s surface. Whitening toothpastes do their job thanks to small particles that scrape stains off the protective enamel layer. Unfortunately, the enamel can fall victim to the abrasiveness. Damaged enamel leaves teeth susceptible to cavities, advanced decay and sensitivity. If you must use whitening toothpaste, opt for a gentle variety and don’t use it every time you brush.

Dried Fruits.
As healthy of a snack as dried fruit appears to be, the sticky-sweet consistency can wreak havoc on teeth. Dried fruits are the safer choice over gummy, processed fruit snacks, but its sugars still promote bacteria growth, which leads to enamel erosion and decay. If you need a fruity fix, reach for an apple! Apples are rich in tooth-fortifying minerals.

We all know that coffee stains teeth. What coffee addicts may not realize, however, is that this pick-me-up also transforms a smile into a plaque magnet. Heavy staining makes teeth increasingly sticky, allowing an assortment of bacteria to get a good grip. If you’re a coffee guzzler and would like to avoid the need for porcelain veneers or dental implants in the future, be sure to implement a proper oral hygiene routine of brushing, flossing and mouth rinse to combat the added stickiness.

Yes, you read correctly. When poorly timed or done aggressively, even brushing teeth can prove harmful to teeth. Dental professionals typically encourage their patients to brush following a meal, but they leave out one important stipulation. Since acids from consumed foods weaken the enamel, brushing immediately after a meal can scrub away more than just plaque. To achieve a healthy smile while keeping the enamel intact, wait about an hour after eating to brush.

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Chewing Gum Provides Delicious Smile Benefits for Patients

NEPEAN, ONTARIO- Odds are you were chastised by your school teacher for smacking gum in the classroom a time or two. Despite years of negative association, chewing gum can provide a few awesome benefits for teeth. The team of professionals at dentistry practice Trillium Dental in Nepean explains how chewing your favorite gum can provide more oral health advantages than minty fresh breath.

Teachers may not approve of gum, but dentists sure do. Perhaps its biggest bonus, sugar-free gum (emphasis on sugar-free) increases saliva flow in the mouth. Studies show that in the first few minutes of chewing, the flow rate increases by 10 times! More spit may not seem like a huge benefit, but saliva is responsible for rinsing away dangerous bacteria, neutralizing lingering acids from food and drink and facilitating the remineralization process. Remineralization is vital to fortifying the tooth’s protective enamel layer and preventing decay.

Saliva production isn’t the only reason why dental professionals recommend chewing gum for 20 minutes after meals. The chewing action helps to loosen sticky plaque that can lead to cavities and staining, in addition to killing the germs that cause unpleasant breath. Gum can also stimulate blood flow in the gums, boosting periodontal health and reducing the chances of gingivitis.

There is one caveat, however. Sugary gums can still supply some dental health perks, but the sugar attack outweighs any benefits. Be sure to stick with sugar-free varieties. A common ingredient in sugar free gums is xylitol. This natural sweetener extracted from fibrous plants helps to keep a neutral pH level in the mouth and inhibits bacteria from sticking to teeth. The extent of xylitol’s impact on dental health is hotly debated, but it is certainly the smarter choice over normal sugar.

The dentists at Trillium Dental can answer any questions regarding what products are best for teeth and gums. As a trusted provider of general, restorative and cosmetic dentistry in the Ottawa and Kanata area, Trillium can remedy a variety of dental issues and provide proven solutions like Invisalign, dental implants and porcelain veneers. Schedule a consultation today to learn more.

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The Importance of Dental Care: Another Study Finds Dementia/Oral Health Link

OTTAWA, ONTARIO- Need more inspiration to brush and floss regularly? How about this – researchers at the University of Lancashire in the UK have unearthed convincing evidence linking poor oral health to Alzheimer’s disease. The latest study exploring the dramatic health ramifications of dental hygiene adds to a growing body of research suggesting the significance of adequate tooth care.

While examining brain samples from patients who suffered from dementia, researchers stumbled across the bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis. This unpleasant bacterium is typically associated with periodontitis and cavities. Brain samples from healthy patients did not show signs of P. gingivalis. When entered into the bloodstream, the bacterium can potentially reach the brain on a frequent basis, inducing common dementia symptoms like confusion and memory loss.

Lengthy titles aside, what do these findings mean for the average dental patient? P. gingivalis can be found in the mouths of patients with gum disease and tooth decay and enters into the bloodstream through daily chewing and eating. However, this research is not suggesting that every kid with a cavity is destined to develop dementia. The study simply implies that the bacteria spawned from years of poor oral health can potentially trigger serious general health issues down the line, including Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Now is the time to take a step toward achieving good dental hygiene. The general and cosmetic dentists at Nepean family dentistry Trillium Dental rely on years of extensive training, experience and advanced technology to give patients a dazzling, healthy smile. Adequate at-home dental care is an important part of oral hygiene, but receiving professional preventative care every three to six months is vital to stop the spread of harmful plaque and bacteria. To learn more about how to schedule regular cleanings, cavity removal, periodontal care and teeth whitening in Ottawa or Trillium’s other nearby locations, give us a call today or visit our website.

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Seven Simple Ways to Whiten Teeth at Home

KANATA, ONTARIO- Among the most desired facial aesthetics is a dazzling white smile, but obtaining a glowing grin is trickier than some may think. As coffee guzzlers know well, the regular consumption of almost every dark colored beverage and select foods can easily stain teeth. Aging also plays a factor, as the protective layers of the enamel wear away with time. The most effective way to oust noticeable staining is to undergo professional whitening treatments, but surprisingly simple methods exist to maintain a pearly smile in between in-office touch ups. Even better, many of these whitening tips include indulging in your favorite snacks.

When life gives you lemons, make lemon mouthwash. As many blondes know, the supposed brightening powers of lemons are legitimate. This juicy remedy for lightening hair also works for whitening teeth! Harnessing the natural acidic bleaching power of lemons is an excellent way to improve a yellowing smile. Mix lemon juice with water and rinse, but don’t do this more than twice a week. Too much acidity can harm teeth and gums.

Apples & Carrots
As far-fetched as it may seem, the saliva producing agents in apples and carrots help to wash away bacteria and plaque that stain teeth and negatively impact oral hygiene. Because these foods are loaded with nutrients, they also give teeth and gums a healthy dose of fortifying vitamin C.

Just as many fruits and vegetables benefit the overall health of the smile, dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt provide a similar effect. The lactic acid and calcium found in dairy strengthens the enamel, which shields against staining and the accumulation of decay inducing bacteria.

Strawberries are full of malic acid, the same ingredient included in many over the counter whitening toothpastes and strips. Additionally, the fiber-rich fruit can do double-time as a delicious snack and natural mouth cleanser. Try mashing the fruit and leaving it on teeth for about a minute.

Hydrogen Peroxide
The oxidizing components of this antiseptic can brighten teeth with just a few swishes a month. Proven to be a major defense on the war against yellowing, hydrogen peroxide prevents the development of stain and bad breathe spawning bacteria. When safely using as a mouth wash, mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water. For optimal results, let the tingling action after spitting continue for roughly one minute, then rinse with water.

Baking Soda
Well-established as a reliable form of at-home whitening for years, the use of this acid- neutralizing household item is a fantastic way to gently scrub stains and cemented plaque from the enamel. Baking soda’s abrasive properties are perfect to mix with toothpaste every morning for a fresh, clean start.

Commercial Whiteners
Lastly, commercial whitening products such as toothpastes and strips also do a commendable job of removing stains. While techniques administered by dentists such as Zoom! achieve the best results, over the counter products can afford buyers with a mild teeth whitening experience or touch-up. For example, many commercial strips lighten up to three shades, but a handful of professional methods leave patient’s teeth up to 10 shades lighter

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The Top 10 Reasons to Treat Gum Disease

STITTSVILLE AND OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Stittsville dentistry team at Trillium Dental knows how important it is to treat signs of gum disease early. Gum disease is detrimental to your tooth and gum health, and it can cost you permanent teeth if left untreated. At every regular teeth cleaning, our Stittsville and Ottawa dental teams screen patients for gum disease. In its early stages, it can be eradicated.

Here are the top 10 reasons to treat gum disease:

1. To Avoid Tooth Loss
Gum disease is the main cause of adult tooth loss. Tooth loss is harmful to your bite, your bone health and your self-esteem. If you treat gum disease early enough, you can thwart tooth loss and protect your smile.

2. To Avoid Gum Recession
Gum disease often causes your gums to pull away from your teeth. The recession forms pockets where bacteria gathers and grows. Treat gum disease and keep your gums healthy, strong and prominent.

3. To Reduce Hospital Visits
Gum disease, especially in advanced stages, can cause severe pain, which may lead you to visit the emergency room more often. Studies show that treating gum disease lowers your ER visits and medical costs.

4. To Reduce Heart Disease Risk
Gum disease has been linked to respiratory disease, diabetes and even some types of cancer. It has also been heavily linked to heart disease. Untreated gum disease can heighten your risk of heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure.

5. To Avoid Bone Deterioration
Severe gum disease causes tooth loss, and tooth loss causes the jawbone to deteriorate. The bone will weaken when the tooth it supports is lost. The deterioration can spread out and weaken other parts of your jaw.

6. To Preserve Your Bite
Losing one or more teeth to gum disease can be avoided. When you lose a tooth, your bite changes. Your teeth may fit together differently, and you may have trouble chewing food. You could even experience migraines or TMJ problems from a destabilized bite.

7. To Keep Your Gums Healthy
Your gums are the foundation of your smile. Healthy teeth come from healthy gums, and strong gums will hold your teeth firmly in place. Healthy gums don’t bleed, don’t recede and don’t cause you pain.

8. To Control the Infection
Gum disease is simply an infection. Bacteria and plaque have caused gum recession and maybe even tooth loss. The infection, if left untreated, could even spread to your bloodstream. You should treat gum disease to control and remove the infection from your body.

9. To Avoid Loosened Teeth
Before a tooth is lost completely, it will grow loose. A loose permanent tooth will feel much like a loose baby tooth, except this is a tooth you’re supposed to keep forever. Treating gum disease will strengthen your gums and strengthen their bonds with your teeth.

10. To Reduce Associated Pain and Discomfort
Gum disease often causes bleeding, tender gums. You may not brush and floss regularly because of the pain, or you may avoid eating when the pain is intense. Treating gum disease will reduce your pain and restore your gums to their previous good health.


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Using Fluoride to Prevent Dental Cavities

KANATA AND OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Fluoride is naturally found in the environment – in the air, in the soil and in the water. We’ve noticed over time that by drinking water fortified with the ideal level of fluoride, we’ve enjoyed fewer cavities. Scientists discovered that fluoride helps add good minerals to our teeth that fight against tooth decay.

Fluoride and Cavity Prevention
Our dentistry practice uses fluoride treatments to strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities and decay. We also provide Kanata Invisalign and Invisalign Teen to patients who desire straighter smiles without troublesome metal braces. Strong, healthy teeth reduce our risks of heart disease, diabetes and even certain types of cancer. Scientists have thoroughly test the use of fluoride and have deemed it useful for reducing cavities.

“The Canadian Dental Association supports the appropriate use of fluorides in dentistry as one of the most successful preventive health measures in the history of health care,” according to the CDA’s position statement. “Over 50 years of extensive research throughout the world has consistently demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of fluorides in the prevention of dental caries.”

The American Dental Association reports that you can benefit from a lifetime of fluoride-enriched community water for less money than it takes to get one cavity filled. Furthermore, studies show that fluoride reduces tooth decay by 20 to 40 percent. We know fluoride is a smart, useful and economic choice for cavity prevention.

So, where can you get fluoride? Not much fluoride can be gained from food, though many foods contain some fluoride in very small amounts. Seafood can contain more fluoride since ocean water contains natural amounts of sodium fluoride. But the best two places to get appropriate fluoride doses is from the tap and from dental products.

From the Tap
Many municipalities in Canada adjust fluoride levels in their community drinking water. Drinking water is one of the most important dietary changes you can make, and if you choose tap water over filtered water, you’ll also get the benefit of healthier teeth through safe fluoride doses. In Ottawa, fluoride is added to the central distribution center drinking water but not to the five communal well systems. The target fluoride level for the City of Ottawa is 0.70 mg/L, and these levels are monitored constantly. You can generally find out the target fluoride level for your drinking water on your local government’s website.

Water is also great for your tooth health already, since it encourages your saliva to flow. Your saliva naturally works to remove harmful oral bacteria and to clean your teeth and gums. Sodas aren’t the best choice for your teeth or your health. Sodas contain high levels of sugar, and that sugar is converted to acids in your mouth. Acids eat through the hard outer layer of your teeth to form holes, and these holes are dental cavities. Put down the soda and opt for tap water for immense health benefits.

From Dental Products
You’ve probably seen many dental products on the market that contain fluoride. Hopefully you’re already using toothpaste with fluoride to help prevent cavities and increase the efficiency of your at-home oral care. If not, ask your dentist for a great toothpaste recommendation to improve your oral hygiene and decrease dental cavities. You can also use a mouth rinse with fluoride to further fortify your teeth against decay, says the Ottawa family dentistry expert. Talk with your dentist about the best mouth rinse for your oral health needs.

Even with fluoridated water and fluoride-enriched dental products, you’ll still need to see your dentist at least twice a year. Your dentist can check your teeth and gums for any oral problems that you may not notice, and your hygienist can remove plaque and help reduce your chances of developing gum disease. Some of you may need to visit the dentist more often if you’re more prone to decay or gum disease. Contact us for a dental check-up in Orleans, Stittsville, Nepean, Kanata and downtown Ottawa. We put your oral health first, and we make sure you have all the tools to enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles.

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Don’t Fear Halloween Candy: Tips for a Tooth-Friendly Halloween

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – When you think of Halloween, you probably think of costumes and cold weather, pumpkins and spider webs. You might be planning a costume party or gathering candy to hand out to neighborhood trick-or-treaters. Your dentist in Ottawa is thinking of your teeth.

Drs. David Bartos and Mark Northcott want you to have a fun-filled Halloween without doing damage to your pearly whites. Our Kanata dentistry practice has brainstormed ways to keep your teeth healthy and clean this Halloween.

Evaluate Your Candy
What candy have you chosen to give out on Halloween? Just how sugary are those bite-sized treats? You probably don’t want to be the lady giving out apples or dental floss, but can you choose a candy that isn’t all sugar? (We realize this might be difficult, but look at labels; take your time.)

Let Them Eat
Halloween is a magical time for children, and it’s fun for adults, too. It might not be a good idea to restrict your child from enjoying the candy she’s procured. Forbidden foods looks even more glamorous because you can’t have them. Instead, let your child pick a reasonable amount of candy – her favorites – that she can have. You could donate the rest or even freeze it for later. Thawed Halloween candy will be just as tasty in a few months.

Clean Their Teeth
This holiday is a good time to talk with your child about good oral care. Remind your child to floss and brush daily, and make sure she follows through. For times when she can’t brush – at a party or running errands – chase those bite-sized treats with a piece of sugar free gum. Chewing gum helps your saliva flow, which breaks down sugars in your mouth.

Keep Candy In a Safe Spot
Put the candy in a neutral zone after your child has sufficiently gorged herself and her teeth are clean. Don’t let your child keep her candy by her bed or in her room. This is a great temptation. She might want to snack before bed and drench sugar on those already-clean teeth. Teach your child that self-control is important. There’s no more snacking after her teeth are clean for the night.

We want you to make memories and have fun this Halloween while keeping your oral care in mind. Our practice offers general, cosmetic and neuromuscular dentistry to patients in greater Ottawa. We brighten your smiles with in-house teeth whitening, and we offer IV sedation dentistry to our patients who are anxious about dental procedures. Happy Halloween to you and yours!

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How Tobacco Use Jeopardizes Your Oral Health

ORLEANS AND OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Tobacco use has been linked to many diseases, including lung cancer, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, leukemia, cervical cancer and high cholesterol. It’s evident that smoking cigarettes affects numerous aspects of your health.

But how do tobacco products affect your oral health? We’ve got some answers for you.

You Could Lose Teeth
There are some times you’re prepared to lose teeth, like when you’re a young child or when you’re having your wisdom teeth removed. You shouldn’t worry about losing teeth when you’re an adult. Tobacco use increases your chances of loosing teeth prematurely. The Centers for Disease Control reports that 41.3 percent of smokers older than 65 have missing teeth, while only 20 percent of nonsmokers older than 65 are toothless.

In Orleans, dental implants could help replace missing teeth. But smoking could even jeopardize this procedure, which brings us to our next point.

Your Mouth Will Be Weaker
Patients who smoke experience longer recovery times than nonsmokers. Smoking can make your healing time after the removal of wisdom teeth longer and more painful.

“Following periodontal treatment or any type of oral surgery, the chemicals in tobacco can slow down the healing process and make the treatment results less predictable,” the American Academy of Periodontology reports.

Smokers have more difficult recoveries after periodontal treatment than nonsmokers and even former smokers. The silver lining here is that you can quit smoking before attempting periodontal disease treatment to strengthen your mouth and gums. Patients who use tobacco also have higher risks of getting white sores in their mouths, called leukoplakia.

Yours Senses Will Suffer
Tobacco use will hinder two of your five precious senses: taste and smell. Taste and smell are very closely related, and they both are dulled from tobacco use. Smoking can make your favorite food taste like cardboard. Or, put another way, after you quit smoking, those beloved tastes in your favorite meal will only get better and better. The Canadian Lung Association published a telling chart that shows the effects of kicking the habit over time. Your perceptions of taste and smell should improve after just 48 hours of quitting cigarettes according to the CLA.

Your Smile Will Be Less Attractive
Lighting up may seem cool, but causing stains on your own teeth isn’t. Tobacco users are sometimes given away by the color of their teeth. Cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco leave brown stains on teeth. These stains penetrate deep into your teeth, and they are difficult to remove. In Stittsville, cosmetic dentistry and tooth whitening can help improve tooth discoloration caused by tobacco, but if you keep smoking you risk negating all that great dental work. You’ll also experience more bad breath than nonsmokers.

You Have Higher Risks of Gum Disease and Cancer
Cigarette smokers build up more bacteria on their teeth, which means higher risk of developing plaque and then gum disease. When plaque hardens, it becomes calculus. Calculus can only be removed from your teeth from a professional cleaning, which is one of the many reasons it’s important to keep regular dental appointments. Calculus that isn’t removed stays put, eating away your gum tissues. Eventually your gums will pull away from your teeth and create small pockets. These pockets harbor bacteria that can ultimately eat away at your bones. Your dentist will be able to evaluate your mouth for early signs of gum disease. Your periodontist will suggest treatments to eradicate the bacteria and preserve your teeth and gums.

Tobacco contains chemicals that are known to cause cancer, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute and Kanata dentistryexperts. Known carcinogens in tobacco include arsenic, vinyl chloride, cadmium, benzene and ethylene oxide. A few other harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke include ammonia, butane, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, lead and acetone. Ammonia is commonly used in cleaning supplies. Butane is also called lighter fluid. Hydrogen cyanide is used as gas chamber poison. You probably know formaldehyde is used to embalm dead bodies. You get the picture.

The CLA reports 20 percent of Canadian teenagers are smokers. Smoking kills more than 45,000 people each year in Canada alone. Tobacco use can cause cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, jawbone loss and staining. If you or a loved one wants to quit smoking, refer to these helpful resources from Health Canada.

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