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All Posts in Category: Oral Care

jaw pain

Why Do I Have Jaw Pain?

Every day we use our jaw in multiple ways without even thinking about it. That is until we experience jaw pain and may require a nigth guard. Our jawbone connects to our skull at a pair of joints close to the ear canals known as the temporomandibular joints or TMJ. What might be some of the reasons for our jaw pain? Besides chewing food, our teeth should not be in contact with each other. If that takes place, it is called parafunctional contact. These are some examples of it:

jaw pain

Not wearing My Sports Guard

A sports guard keeps your teeth safe during contact sports and is often mandatory equipment in many team sports. The guard material of the sports guard helps absorb impacts and spreads the force of such impact over a larger area, often preventing concussion. If you or your child is a keen sports player, investing in a custom-fabricated mouth guard is a necessary and highly recommended expense.

Grinding or Clenching My Teeth at Night

If you unconsciously grind, gnash or clench your teeth at night, you have a condition called Bruxism. This condition is generally stress-related, besides possibly causing damage to your teeth it can, in addition, be the cause of jaw pain. Wearing a night guard, therefore, becomes a must. A night guard is worn at night, and not only protects your teeth but also separates the upper and lower jaw, promoting relief of muscle spasm, TMJ pain and reducing wear and breakage of teeth. 

Having Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder

Pain at our temporomandibular joints (TMJ’s) is one of the most common reasons for jaw pain. It is more common among women and is often felt after an illness, jaw injury or an episode of acute stress. It can also be due to arthritis or other conditions that attack the cartilage that projects the joints. Of all these causes, stress may be the largest contributor. Some TMJ disorder symptoms include:

  • A popping or clicking sound when you open or close your mouth,
  • Headaches, and/or
  • Soreness and stiffness in your jaw or neck area.
  • Restricted jaw opening
  • Difficulty chewing

jaw pain

If you need a sports or night guard or require temporomandibular joint (TMJ) treatment for whatever reason, it is best to contact your local Peterborough dentist, Dr. Ralph Bastian. For more information on how we can relieve your jaw pain with a teeth guard, do not hesitate to get in touch

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senior dental care

5 Reasons Why Senior Dental Care Is So Important

Those in the know say that seventy is the new sixty, and we agree! Senior dental care is important because it affects your physical and mental health. Well-maintained, natural teeth make it easier to enjoy the company of loved ones and friends or socialize with strangers.  

Here are five reasons why senior dental care is important.

senior dental care

Keeping Your Natural Teeth Versus Dentures Improves Quality of Life

Natural teeth are superior to dentures in every way. Aging gracefully with all your natural teeth is possible – if basic hygiene habits such as brushing your teeth and flossing are maintained. You will feel a lot more comfortable socializing with family, friends if you are confident your teeth will stay in place.

It Is Much Easier to Talk and Chew

Chewing food with natural teeth is easier, as they are set solidly in your jawbone. Dentures rest against your gums making chewing and talking more difficult since they are moving constantly and are in danger of causing denture sores. This is not a problem for natural teeth when maintained by proper dental care as provided by your dentist. We should also mention that natural teeth can masticate food in such a fashion that is much more nutritious and makes the food more easily digestible, helping you to improve your general health. Patients with dentures often have to make food choices that are soft and not necessarily so nutritious.

Well-Maintained Teeth Do Not Require Relines and Partial or Complete Dentures

Receding gums are a natural part of the aging process. It can be managed by regular cleaning as well as visits to a dentist who offers personalized senior dental care that will make you feel more comfortable. Well-maintained teeth do not require relines or refitting the surface of a denture to the gum, the way partial or complete dentures might. In particular for seniors, root sensitivity and root decay can be a problem. To prevent these issues your dentist can provide fluoride treatments and medications for dry mouth, which becomes an issue at night for many seniors.

A Sense of Pride on Having Your Own Teeth 

Natural teeth make you look good, whilst dentures make the face look older and more gaunt. Poorly fitting dentures often reduces the vertical hight of the face so that the distance from the chin to the nose is reduced and looks abnormal. Dentures need to be routinely removed for cleaning or to give the soft palate and remaining tissues a rest. Food also tastes better with your own teeth, as taste buds  (up to a third) are found throughout the mouth, including the soft palate.  

Dentures Can Click and Move Around, Making It Uncomfortable for Some People

Dentures become loose as the bone shrinks and gum underneath atrophy. This may cause them to click and move around, causing embarrassment when in the company of others. When you have your own teeth, any social situation is an opportunity to let the natural beauty of your smile through!

senior dental care

We provide senior dental care for seniors in Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes. Contact us today to find out how our services can improve your quality of life. 

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How to Make Your Tooth Fillings Last

Contrary to popular belief, tooth fillings do not always last a lifetime. This is especially true if dental health does improve after the restorations are done.. If you are determined to ensure that your dental fillings stand the test of time, here are 3 helpful tips and guidelines to follow. 


Visit Your Dentist Regularly

This is the golden rule for impeccable oral health in general, and it goes for keeping tooth fillings in good condition too. Visiting your dentist for regular dental check-ups, at least every six months is a must. 

Seek Help Quickly When Necessary 

Have you noticed that one or more of your tooth fillings is cracked or broken? It is important to notify your dentist of this as quickly as possible. The great news is that cracked or broken dental fillings can be easily replaced while keeping the loss of existing tooth structure to a minimum. Any small crack can allow bacteria under the filling and decay process get started. 

Many will be wondering how it is possible to know if there is a problem with a dental filling if they do not notice it visually. There are many signs that a tooth filling needs attention. For example, if you find that one or more of your teeth are suddenly extremely sensitive to hot or cold food, this is a sure-fire sign that your filling is damaged. A sharp pain in the tooth when biting into food is another symptom to watch out for. That often indicates that the tooth has an internal crack and the filling needs to be replaced and extended to cover the damaged portion of the tooth.

If suddenly your floss catches between teeth were normally it was a smooth surface, this could indicate a fracture filling or decay under the edge of it.

Take Care of Your Teeth 

There is only so much that your dentist can do to boost your oral health! The rest is up to you. Maintain great dental hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day, replacing your toothbrush every three months and avoid consuming too many acidic and sugary foods and beverages. Daily flossing should be a priority for everyone’s oral hygiene. 

Looking for a reputable dentist in Peterborough who is experienced in composite dental fillings and other methods of tooth fillings? Kawartha Lakes residents should always turn to Dr. Ralph Bastian. Make contact today to book an appointment. 

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How to Keep Your Teeth White, Clean and Stain-Free


Clean, healthy pearly whites are something that many people aspire towards. Not only do clean, stain-free teeth make you look healthy and attractive, but it can give you a confidence boost as well. Here are a few tips to keep your teeth white for years to come:

Avoid Ingredients that Can Stain Your Teeth

Smoking, black coffee, red wine and curry can all stain your teeth. Avoid these ingredients or limit your intake of them to keep your teeth white. If you consume foods with these ingredients, rinse your mouth and brush your teeth immediately afterwards.

Use a Quality Toothbrush

A good toothbrush and toothpaste are the foundation of a healthy teeth cleaning regime. Buy a new toothbrush every few months or as soon as the bristles start to bend over. Always buy soft or extra soft brushes to avoid damaging the gums.

Eat Healthy Foods

Foods such as carrots, celery and apples trigger a lot of saliva in your mouth, hard cheeses are specially good to inhibit plaque formation.

Floss Daily

Flossing is usually the first good habit that goes out the door once deadlines start to approach or time is limited. Commit to flossing at least once a day as it can save you a lot of gum problems in the future. It is important to have the floss somewhere where you can see it easily and are reminded to use it. Try to floss at the same time each day to help to form the habit.

Visit a Dental Hygienist Regularly

Unless otherwise recommended, visit your dental hygienist every six months for a proper cleaning. If you have or are susceptible to periodontal disease, your teeth should be professionally cleaned every three to four months. Removing the plaque bacteria from the pockets regularly sets back the disease process.

Dr. Ralph Bastian offers a wide range of treatments, going from preventative children’s teeth cleaning to teeth cleaning for patients with periodontal disease. Contact our dental office in Peterborough for an appointment today.

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Childrens teeth health

Taking Care of Your Child’s Oral Health

Taking care of your child’s oral health, and teaching him or her about oral health care, is an investment in your child that will pay dividends for long into the future. Here are a few tips from a family dentist in Peterborough to help you along the way:

Set a Good Example

“Monkey see, monkey do!” Children learn by taking in their environment and seeing what the adults are up to. Make teeth brushing a family activity where everyone brushes their teeth. Teach them that brushing needs to happen minimum twice a day and that they need to floss daily. A good tip is to set a timer to 2 minutes to ensure that a decent amount of brushing takes place. Many modern brushes come with built-in timers for this purpose.

Let the Kids Choose

Take your children to the grocery store or pharmacy and let them choose their own toothbrush. This way, they can choose the colours and patterns they like. For younger children, the adults should choose the toothpaste and children under three should have a fluoride reduce toothpaste.

Reward Good Oral Care

Draw a chart that marks off the days that the children complete their oral healthcare routine. Reward them by sticking star-shaped stickers on the chart, or give them a small toy after a week of good brushing.

Minimize Sugar

Sugary drinks and high-sugar treats are very bad for children’s oral health. Juice packs and sticky candy are some of the worst offenders! Never put a small child to sleep with a Sippy cup with fruit juice. Continuous exposure to sugar overnight guaranties decay.

Children should visit their Dentist at Least Twice a Year

A bi-annual visit to a kid’s dentist will pick up on minor issues that can be repaired easily before they become major problems. Children’s tooth enamel is much thinner than adult’s teeth, so it needs to be monitored more carefully and frequently.

Looking for a family dentist in Peterborough? Then contact Dr. Ralph Bastian today.

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