704 Burnhamthorpe Rd. East | Mississauga, ON L4Y 2X3 (905) 567-5768




Blog of Cawthra Dental

Wisdom Teeth Extraction In Mississauga

“Wisdom teeth” are your 3rd molars that erupt around 16-20 years old. It is also possible to have wisdom teeth that never erupt into the mouth, and remain under the gums. Oftentimes there isn’t enough room in your mouth for these teeth, and they may need to be extracted before they cause you problems. Wisdom teeth impaction can lead to pain, swelling, dental infection, unexpected shifting of other teeth and even cavities on your second molars due to the close proximity. 

Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure 

Your wisdom teeth can be extracted by your dentist or an oral surgeon. The procedure can be done while you are awake or asleep, however, most patients are able to complete treatment while awake easily. This all depends on the difficulty of the extractions, how impacted they are, what location they are in, and the comfort of you and your dentist. 

  • To start, you may or may not be put to sleep with IV sedation 
  • Your dentist will use specialized tools to remove the wisdom teeth
  • The extraction area may or may not be stitched up with dissolving stitches
  • You will be given post op instructions for care 

Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Extraction 

  • It may reduce your risk of dental infection 
  • A reduced risk of pain and swelling 
  • Minimize risk of misalignment or shifting of nearby teeth 
  • Removing wisdom teeth is easier when they are not infected (do it early before it becomes an issue)

Important Information

If you experience pain or swelling with your wisdom teeth, see your dentist right away.

  • Wisdom teeth extraction recovery usually lasts only a few days 
  • Do not smoke or use a straw until fully healed
  • It is often best to remove all of your wisdom teeth at once instead of just 1 or 2, because teeth only function with opposing teeth
  • You may not have all 4 wisdom teeth, it is common for people to be missing 1, 2, 3 or all of their wisdom teeth in some cases.

If you believe you may need your wisdom teeth extracted, or have any questions about it, please contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

Why Are Dental Cleaning Appointments Important?

What Happens During a Dental Cleaning? 

We all love our teeth after a dental cleaning; they feel smooth, fresh and clean. But what is occurring during that dental cleaning?

The bacteria accumulating on your teeth, called plaque, sits around and eventually calcifies (or hardens) into tartar, called calculus. When calculus forms on your teeth surfaces, it creates the perfect place for more bacteria to adhere to. Oral bacteria cause an immune response in your gums, which results in inflammation. During your dental cleaning, all the plaque and calculus are removed from your teeth surfaces, above and below the gum line. A combination of an ultrasonic water jet and hand scalers are used to remove the bacteria, and stains are polished off with a polishing tool. If there is inflammation in your gums, you may experience some bleeding and tenderness during the cleaning, which will subside shortly after. 

Mouth-Body Health 

Did you know that your oral health is linked, in many ways, to your overall health? Good oral hygiene is linked to improved cardiovascular health, a lower risk of pneumonia, and a lower risk of premature birth during pregnancy. This is because the bacteria from your mouth can travel in your bloodstream to other parts of your body, increasing potential health risks. Of course, oral bacteria also lead to problems with your teeth, including cavities, gum disease and even tooth loss. 

How Frequent Should You Have a Dental Cleaning? 

It is recommended to see your dental hygienist for routine dental cleanings at least every six months. Your dental hygienist can clean areas that are difficult and sometimes impossible for you to reach with a toothbrush and floss at home. If you have current or past gum disease, recession, braces, or cavity-prone, it is recommended to have your dental cleaning more frequently, for instance, every 3-4 months. Talk with your dental hygienist about how often you should have your dental cleanings. 

Only Floss the Teeth You Want to Keep! 

So, what can you do at home to keep your teeth and gums healthy? It is important to brush at least twice a day, using either an electric or a soft manual toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste. It is also essential to floss your teeth at least once a day, making sure to access slightly underneath your gums. 

If you are due for a dental cleaning, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

What Is Xylitol And How Can It Help You?

Xylitol is a naturally occurring plant alcohol found in most fruits and vegetables. For use in medicines, it is mostly extracted from birch wood. Xylitol is used as a sugar substitute in order to reduce the sugar content in many chewing gums, mints and candies. Xylitol’s medicinal uses include preventing ear infections and as an additive to foods to help patients with diabetes and prevent tooth decay and dry mouth. 

How Does It Work?

Xylitol tastes sweet but is not converted into acids in the mouth like sugar is. Xylitol is able to transform the type of oral bacteria from the kind that causes cavities, to the kind that doesn’t cause cavities. It is essential to use xylitol products on an on-going basis, as just one use won’t prevent cavities. Make sure the dose of xylitol in the products you are using is enough because it is recommended to intake between 1-20 grams of xylitol per day to experience the cavity preventing benefits. Some xylitol-containing products only contain a trace amount of xylitol, so make sure to look at the label. 

Side Effects 

Xylitol is safe within the recommended daily doses (that being between 1-20 grams per day for adults and children) If more is ingested, it can lead to gastrointestinal upset such as gas and diarrhea. If a huge amount of xylitol is ingested for a long duration of time (more than three years), there is a potential link to tumours. For both adults and children, make sure to stay within the safe range of ingestion, under 20 grams per day. 

It is important to note that xylitol is toxic for dogs, even in small amounts. Make sure to keep xylitol products out of the reach of dogs and small children. If your dog ingests a xylitol product, bring them to the vet immediately. 

In addition to using xylitol products, also continue using fluoride toothpaste to help combat the risk of cavities for yourself and your child. If you have any questions about xylitol or how much to use, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

We Have Officially Reopened For All Dental Care!


Dear Valued Patients,

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. We are excited to let you know that we are resuming all non-essential and elective treatment.

Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines.  While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to you and your family’s oral health needs and safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice, as you may have witnessed during your visits.  The safety and comfort of our dear patients and staff is of utmost importance.

Our office has always adhered to the guidelines published by Health Canada, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, and the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario, and continues to do so.

You will see some changes when you attend your upcoming appointments.

●    Our office will communicate with you beforehand to review Covid-19 screening questions, and the same screening questions will be asked again upon your arrival.
●    We will call your mobile phone when we are ready to allow you entrance into the building. Until then, you will be asked to wait in your car.  If you do not have a mobile phone, you are welcome to knock on our front door and we will come out to let you know when we are ready to see you.
●    You will see additional signage regarding Covid-19 symptoms, cough etiquette, etc.
●    Our administrative staff will be behind a barrier or be wearing masks and eye protection..
●    We will request hand sanitization upon entry.
●    We will need you to wear your own mask (cloth or homemade masks are GREAT!).
●    We will take your temperature, and if no sign of a fever, you will be escorted directly to the operatory.
●    After completion of treatment you will be required to wear your mask.
●    You will be escorted to the administration desk for any necessary billing and or appointment scheduling.
●    We request that you maintain a 6 ft distance from the admin staff if possible, and keep your mask on at all times, except when receiving treatment.
●    We request that if you develop any Covid-19 symptoms, 0-14 days after your appointment, you contact the office and inform the administrative staff.
●    We request payment via debit or visa if possible, avoiding cash.
●    We are disinfecting all touch surfaces frequently, and have increased housekeeping services.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at 905-279-9998 or cawthradental@yahoo.com.

We appreciate your patience, trust and loyalty during this time, and look forward to seeing you soon!


Cawthra Dental Management

What Is A Sports Guard And Do You Need One?

Sports guards are a form of mouthguard that is used during contact sports such as hockey, lacrosse and basketball. Any time there is a chance of trauma from an object or another person, a sports guard is recommended. There are two main types of sports guards, which are professionally made and store-bought. Both types have their pros and cons. 

Professionally Made Sports Guards 

Professionally made sports guards are the gold standard for sports guards because they fit precisely to your mouth and teeth and offer you the best protection. This type of sports guard is made by taking an impression of your teeth and sending the impression to a dental lab to be made. The sportsguard will be fabricated out of acrylic. Because professionally made sports guards offer the best protection and are custom made, they are more expensive than store-bought mouth guards. Sometimes the cost of the sports guard may be covered by your insurance provider. 

Store Bought Sports Guards 

Store-bought sports guards are only recommended in a couple of situations because they don’t do as good of a job preventing injury and trauma. Store-bought guards will be recommended for children whose mouths and teeth are constantly changing, as well as for someone going through orthodontic work, for the same reason. Store-bought guards are usually boil and bite, which means they need to be heated up and moulded to your teeth. 

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How to Care for Your Sports Guard 

  • Make sure to clean your sports guard between use with a separate toothbrush and store it in a sports guard case
  • Never use hot water on your sports guard as this may change the shape 
  • Never remove your sports guard with your tongue or chew on it 
  • If your sports guard is loose or has cracks and chips in it, bring it into your dentist to take a look at it, it may be time for a new guard 

If you believe you may benefit from a sports guard, or have any questions about sports guards, contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

Helpful Tips & Online Resources During COVID-19

While some are enjoying the downtime that staying at home has brought, there are some of us who grow restless. However, it is vital that we all stay at home as much as possible to flatten the curve of COVID-19. Rest assured, that there are still many online activities that you can take part in to help pass the time. 


We all know that is is important to keep up with our brushing and flossing everyday. However, it is vital during COVID-19 to keep up with your oral health while at home. If you know that your oral care needed help before, this is the time to work on it. Always follow the recommended guidelines, ensuring that you brush your teeth at least twice everyday. Be sure to also floss in the morning and before going to bed. It is vital to floss before bed to remove any stuck food from your teeth and gums. 


Please note that some of the free trials may require your credit card details to complete the sign-up process. Read all terms and conditions before you sign up for any free or paid service. 

Online Streaming Services

Other Free Services


Various levels of government regularly release updates about COVID-19 and related services. Check out these links daily for important changes: 

 We hope these resources can help during your stay at home to help with limiting the spread of COVID-19. Remember to check all government websites regularly for changes.

 The Cawthra Dental team wishes all of our valued patients the best! Please stay safe and we hope to see you soon.

Why Does Your Dentist Need Dental X-Rays?

Dental x-rays are pictures that are taken of our teeth that show the underlying structures beneath the soft tissues, and in areas, we can’t visually see. X-rays are black and white images that show us the density of oral structures. On an x-ray, the lighter a structure is, the denser it is (called opaque), the darker a structure is, the less dense it is (called radiolucent.) Therefore enamel of teeth shows up very light, and gum tissue shows up very dark, almost not noticeable on an x-ray. 

Why Are X-Rays Taken?

  • Checking for cavities on biting surfaces, in-between the teeth and underneath the gums 
  • Checking for infections at the root (apex) of any of the teeth 
  • Monitoring the health and levels of the bone and periodontal ligament support
  • Checking the angulation of tooth roots 
  • Checking for any abnormalities such as cysts 
  • Monitoring the health of past restorative work 
  • Checking wisdom teeth impaction
  • Monitoring the health of the jaw joint 
  • Used for patients with dental braces (before and after)
  • In kids, checking the eruption of baby teeth 
  • In kids, checking for extra or missing adult teeth under the gums 

example xray showing wisdom teeth mississauga dentist

When Are X-rays Recommended? 

X-rays are recommended based on an individual’s need. If there is an issue or concern, an x-ray will be needed to get a full picture of what is going on. Cavity check-up x-rays are recommended every 1-3 years based on cavity risk. Someone who has never had a cavity will be recommended less frequently, and someone who is cavity prone will be recommended more often. 

Dental Considerations

X-rays are only taken when needed/ recommended. Most dental offices offer digital x-rays, which significantly reduce the radiation exposure. Lead aprons are used to cover the vital structures in the neck and torso. Regular check-up x-rays (a series of 4 x-rays) are around the same amount of radiation as the average background radiation in 1 day or the radiation from a 1-hour flight (very minimal!)

If you have any questions about dental x-rays, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

What is Involved in a Complete Oral Exam?

The difference between a complete oral exam and a regular check-up exam is the detail of the diagnosis during the exam. During a complete oral exam, time will be taken to review and check every facet covering overall medical health, gum and teeth health. A comprehensive oral exam is recommended every 3-5 years or at the first visit to a new dental office. It gives a complete break down of the health of your teeth, gums and mouth. Comprehensive oral exams may be recommended more frequently if there are concerns.

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What to Expect During a Complete Oral Exam 

  • Complete or updated medical history. Often your overall health affects your oral health and visa versa. 
  • Addressing your chief concerns regarding any cosmetic or functional problems 
  • Extraoral exam checking the tissues of your face, lips and neck 
  • Checking the health of your lymph nodes and looking for any lumps or bumps in the neck 
  • Checking your TMJ which is the jaw joint for any pain, clicking or deviation 
  • Intra Oral exam to check the tissues of your cheeks, tongue, the roof of your mouth, floor of your mouth and throat 
  • Oral cancer screening, checking for any abnormalities 
  • Checking for any signs of clenching or grinding 
  • Completing or updating the odontogram and recording any missing teeth, current fillings, dental crowns, implants, bridges, etc. 
  • Checking for any cavities, chips, wear, fractures, infections, etc. 
  • Taking any x-rays that are recommended to check the health of your teeth and bone 
  • Pictures may be taken of your teeth and mouth to assess for changes over time 
  • Completing a periodontal exam which is an exam of the health of the gums and the best indicator of gum disease 
  • Reviewing brushing and flossing habits 
  • Creating a customized treatment plan based on your needs 
  • Making any necessary referrals such as to an oral surgeon, orthodontist or periodontist 

If you have any questions about complete oral exams or believe you may be due for a complete oral exam, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Learn About Different Brushing and Flossing Techniques

Of course, you know that it is essential to brush your teeth at least twice a day and to floss at least once a day, but did you know that the technique you use to brush and floss your teeth has severe effects on the health and longevity of your teeth? It is vital to use the correct methods for optimal plaque removal to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. Listed below are several different brushing and flossing techniques. Make sure to discuss with your dentist or dental hygienist which method will work best for you. 

Circular Brushing Method

Angle your toothbrush toward your teeth and gums and use a circular motion for 2-3 teeth at once. This is the easiest brushing technique and is usually recommended for children.

Bass Brushing Technique

Hold the bristles of your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward your teeth, allowing the bristles to slip slightly underneath your gums and use a vibrating back and forth stroke, accessing 2-3 teeth at a time. Make sure to spend an adequate amount of time in each spot before moving on to the next.

Modified Bass Brushing Technique

Using the same technique as bass, but using a rolling motion away from the gums after each set of teeth (a rolling stroke upward for the bottom teeth and downward for the upper teeth).

Rolling Stroke Brushing Method

In this method, you will use a rolling technique with your toothbrush away from the gums. Angle the bristles toward the gum line and roll the toothbrush away from the gums.

Electric Toothbrush Technique

To use an electric toothbrush, make sure to let the toothbrush do the work for you. Electric toothbrushes use their unique type of toothbrush technique (usually an oscillating or sweeping motion), so you simply have to access the teeth and gum line and slowly bring the toothbrush across, accessing every tooth.

tooth cleaning aids and tools mississauga dentist

“C” Flossing Method

This is the best technique to use with manual dental floss. It involves accessing the space between teeth with the floss and then hugging the floss slightly around each tooth to remove as much plaque as possible. After guiding the floss through the space between teeth, first, hug the front tooth, go over the gums but not out of the contact, and hug the floss around the back tooth, then move on to the next area.

Floss Wands

With floss wands, you are unable to use c-method flossing, so make sure to access the contact by guiding the floss through, and make sure to access underneath the gum line with the floss.

Water Flosser

A water flosser uses a jet of water to flush out bacteria. It may take some practice to get into the groove. Find the right angle to spray the jet of water between each tooth. 

If you have any questions about brushing or flossing techniques, or about what technique or tool will work best for you, we urge you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Pros and Cons of Removable and Fixed Retainers

Retainers are used to hold teeth in a certain place, often after orthodontic work is completed. After orthodontics, if no retainer is used, the teeth may shift and revert to the position they started in. Your dentist or orthodontist will recommend either a removable or a fixed retainer to keep your smile looking aligned. 

Removable Retainer 

With this type of retainer, you can put in and take out when needed. It is recommended to wear your retainer as much as possible. The exception being when eating and brushing or flossing. Sometimes they are only recommended for night-time use. Make sure you discuss with your dentist or orthodontist about the recommended usage. Removable retainers will either be a clear tray or have a wire front depending on what the use. 

Advantages of Removable Retainers

The advantage of a removable retainer is that you can take it out and put it back in. This means that it is much easier to brush and floss your teeth, and you can take it out of your mouth when needed.

Cons of Removable Retainers

For the retainer to work, you have to wear it. If a patient isn’t compliant with wearing their retainer for the recommended amount of time, their teeth may be more susceptible to shifting with time. If you don’t wear your retainer consistently, sometimes it can feel tight or sore when putting it back in. 

Fixed Retainer

A fixed retainer is a wire that is glued to the back of your front teeth (either bottom, top or both) to hold your teeth in place and prevent shifting. Fixed retainers stay in place without having to be taken out and put back in.

Advantages of Fixed Retainers

The benefit of a fixed retainer is permanent retention. Because the fixed retainer can stay in for eating, brushing and flossing, it is continually holding the teeth in the correct position.

Cons of Fixed Retainers

Because the fixed retainer cannot be removed, it cannot be taken out for brushing and flossing. The wire causes difficulties with cleaning as there are more areas where plaque and bacteria can build up. There is more work involved in keeping your teeth clean when you have fixed retainers. Floss threaders, super-floss and even a water flosser, are important tools to use to help you clean your teeth clean.

cleaning dental retainer

If you believe you would benefit from either a fixed or removable retainer, or have any questions about them, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.