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Caring for Victoria's 80,000 Smiles

The FAQ of Poplar Dental Centre in Victoria

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions page of Poplar Dental Centre. Here you’ll find some of the most common questions we receive in our office.


Q: Can sugar cause cavities?

A: Yes and no; the acidic content produced by bacteria is the actual cause of cavities. Bacteria thrive on sugars, allowing them to multiply and cause damage to your teeth’s protective enamel.


Q: Which toothbrush is right for me?

A: At Poplar Dental Centre, there is no particular brand of toothbrush that we endorse, but we often recommend toothbrushes with soft bristles. Soft bristles are easy on the gums and do well to remove food and bacteria from between the teeth. Remember to replace your toothbrush when the bristles begin to bend!


Q: How does fluoride help my teeth?

A: Fluoride offers several protective benefits for your teeth, although a fluoride toothpaste should only be used after a child can brush and rinse on their own. We recommend using fluoride-free trainer toothpastes for children who are not yet capable of self-care. Fluoride bonds to the calcium-phosphate surface of your tooth’s enamel, creating a protective barrier from acids and bacteria.


Q: Why does my tooth feel more sensitive to temperatures?

A: Tooth sensitivities can be caused by either a loss of tooth enamel, or part of the gum line has receded, exposing the root’s sensitive nerves. Discuss your tooth sensitivities with your dentist to find the best possible solution.


Q: What should I tell my dentist before an appointment?

A: As oral health is linked with your body’s overall health, it’s important to inform your dentist when you experience changes, such as:

  • Tooth sensitivities to warmth, cold, or sugary foods
  • Gum tenderness, bleeding or colour changes
  • Floss catching on rough edges of teeth
  • Colour or texture changes in the lining of the mouth
  • Clenching or grinding of teeth
  • Soreness or tension in neck or jaw
  • Allergies
  • Pregnancy
  • New or changed medicines
  • Receiving treatments for a health condition
  • Changes in general health


Q: Are x-rays safe?

A: New technologies in digital x-rays provide better imaging with lower radiation, typically the same amount you would receive in 2 days of your natural environment. X-rays are important tools in locating hidden dental cavities, bone loss in periodontal diseases, as well as other problems which may occur under the surface of the gums. We supply a leaded chest apron as an additional precaution.


Q: How common is gum disease?

A: You may be surprised to learn that 9 out of 10 Canadians will experience some form of gum disease throughout their lives. Because gum disease begins without pain, it often goes unnoticed if you do not receive regular checkups. But, gum disease can lead to a host of problems, including severe pain, tooth loss, and loss of bone from the jaw. Regular brushing, flossing, and visits can help deter the likelihood of a serious gum disease problem.


Q: Why do I have bad breath?

A: If you experience bad breath, known as “halitosis”, discuss it with your dentist. Halitosis can be caused by any number of factors, including:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Certain foods, such as onion or garlic
  • Tobacco products
  • Diseases, including cancer and diabetes
  • Dry mouth, including “morning breath”


For all “Infrequently Asked Questions” related to oral health, please feel free to call us today!

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