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




Blog of Cawthra Dental

We Are Still Open During The Lockdown

Our dental office is still open as an essential service to serve you. Please note that dental offices are not closed and will remain open after the province of Ontario’s announcement on Monday, January 3rd, 2022, about the modified Step 2 lockdown that will come into effect on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022.

We have invested in medical-grade air purifiers for your safety, strategically placed throughout the office to recycle the air and remove harmful contaminants continuously. All patients are also screened before their appointments to ensure as safe an environment as possible. Surfaces are regularly wiped down throughout the day with sterilizing solutions and wipes.

Remember that delaying or putting off dental treatment will likely worsen any existing dental issues. Leaving dental problems ignored will result in more invasive and lengthier treatment times. Maintaining your oral health through regular dental visits and ongoing oral health monitoring through dental checkups is essential.

Please get in touch with us today to schedule your visit or appointment now.

Do Electric Toothbrushes Work Better?

Have you ever thought about switching from a manual to an electric toothbrush? Choosing the right electric toothbrush that’s best for you can seem complicated, with several different brands and models to choose from. Research shows that electric toothbrushes offer a superior clean over manual toothbrushes. They can clean away more plaque and bacteria and are easier to use by brushing for you. There is the perfect electric toothbrush out there to suit your particular oral health needs. 

How Do They Work? 

Electric toothbrushes use powered bristles that move in a circular, sweeping, or vibrating motion to remove plaque and stain from tooth surfaces. Electric toothbrushes can perform more brush strokes in 2 minutes of brushing than you can achieve with a manual toothbrush. They have been proven to remove more plaque, reduce gum inflammation and prevent gingivitis. They work in such a way that they can replicate dental office equipment, like the polish.

Ease of use is one of the most prominent features of electric toothbrushes. Manual toothbrushes require a proper brushing stroke to remove plaque, whereas electric toothbrushes will do the work for you if placed appropriately along the teeth surfaces. Each tooth requires about 3 seconds of brushing, and it is essential to leave the toothbrush in place instead of brushing back and forth with it. Some electric toothbrushes will notify you when finished with each side of the mouth. With their ease of use, electric toothbrushes are ideal for seniors and children who may have difficulty using a manual toothbrush. 


Many electric toothbrushes include features that make brushing more manageable, efficient, and fun. Various features include: 

  • Different brush modes such as deep clean, sensitive and tongue clean 
  • Pressure indicator to prevent aggressive brushing that causes gum recession 
  • 2-minute brush timer with quadrant notification 
  • Colour selection 
  • Access to an app to track oral health 

Compared with manual, electric toothbrushes offer a far superior clean for the average person. It might just be the key component you need to optimize your oral health routine. If you have any questions about electric toothbrushes and which one to choose, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Learn How You Can Protect Baby Teeth

Brushing and Flossing 

It is essential to help your child brush and floss their teeth until around the age of 8 to help reduce the risk of cavities and to keep their gums healthy. Brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss their teeth at least once a day. Flossing should begin around four years old when their back molars close together. Adult molars erupt around six years old, and it is essential to make sure these teeth stay cavity-free, which is why it’s recommended to continue helping brush their teeth for a few years after these teeth erupt. 

Start Fluoride Toothpaste at 3 Years Old

Around three years old, start your child on a toothpaste containing fluoride. Use the size of the tip of a pen (very small.) This will be enough fluoride to help benefit their teeth while having no concerns with accidentally ingesting it.  

Fluoride Mouthwash at 6 Years Old

If your child is particularly cavity-prone, they may benefit from a mouthwash containing fluoride in addition to their toothpaste. Make sure they aren’t rinsing, eating or drinking for 30 minutes after using any product containing fluoride to help the fluoride work. Only start a fluoride mouthwash once they are competently spitting out. 

Low Sugar Consumption 

Sugar is the main cavity-causing culprit. Reducing sugar intake is proven to help reduce the risk of cavities. Sugars that are sticky, chewy or gummy will get stuck in the biting surfaces of their teeth. Make sure to help your child brush their teeth after these snacks, or at least have them rinse their mouth with water. 

Sugar-Free Vitamins 

Vitamins containing sugar are a significant culprit for cavities. Make sure the vitamins you select are sugar-free. Crunchy vitamins are also better than gummy vitamins because they don’t stick in the teeth as much.  

Brushing After Nursing 

Make sure to brush your child’s teeth after nursing and before bed. Milk contains natural sugars that can cause cavities, so it is important not to let that milk sit on their teeth. The most common holes from nursing are on the upper front teeth. Make sure to check for chips or dark spots on their front teeth during nursing. 

No Bottle to Bed 

Please do not put your child to sleep with a bottle of milk, as the milk can sit in their mouth and cause cavities. Try to give your baby the bottle, brush their teeth, and then put them to bed. 

If you have any questions about how to protect your child’s teeth, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment


What Causes a Bad Smell in The Nose?

Several conditions may cause a bad smell in the nose, including sinusitis, tooth/ mouth infections, dry mouth, some medications, some foods/drinks, and olfactory damage. Typically, a bad smell in the nose is not life-threatening but can decrease the quality of life.

Acute or Chronic Sinusitis

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, leading to nasal congestion, bad breath and nasal discharge. These symptoms collectively can cause a foul smell in the nose. Sinusitis can be acute (short term, lasting 3-8 weeks) or chronic (long term.) It is typically caused by a strain of bacteria but can also be caused by a virus or fungus. 

Dental Conditions 

Tooth infections, cavities and poor oral hygiene can all lead to a bad smell in the nose and a bad taste in the mouth. Plaque and bacteria have an odour and can travel through the mouth and reach the sinuses. Tooth decay traps bacteria that release gases that can also produce an unpleasant odour. 

Certain Foods/ Drinks 

The ability to taste and smell is due to microscopic molecules in foods and drinks that travel to the sinuses through passageways in the mouth. Some foods can linger in the mouth and lead to a bad smell in the nose. These foods and drinks include garlic, onions, coffee and spicy foods.   

Certain Medications 

In much the same way as foods and drinks, some medications can also lead to a bad smell in the nose. These medications include nitrates and nitrites, amphetamines and phenothiazine. 

Dry Mouth 

Dry mouth occurs when there is not enough salivary production. Dry mouth symptoms are feeling parched, swollen nasal passageway, sticky mouth, cracked lips and a bad smell in the nose. Causes of dry mouth include dehydration, certain medications, old age, and salivary gland conditions. 

Smoking/ Tobacco Use 

Tobacco use can cause bad breath, and it can also alter the way tastes and smells are perceived, which can cause a bad smell in the nose. 


This is a condition in which people smell certain odours that aren’t there. Often these odours are burning, metallic, chemical or rotten. Phantosmia is associated with colds/flus, sinus infections, migraines, epilepsy and stroke. 

Acid Reflux 

Some digestive conditions, such as acid reflux, can cause a foul smell in the nose and a bad taste in the mouth. Some more serious conditions can also be related to a bad smell in the nose, such as diabetes, liver disease and kidney disease. 

The treatment for a bad smell in the nose is based on the cause. Some home remedies include a daily salt-water rinse, staying hydrated, and practicing good oral hygiene care at home. You can also use over-the-counter medications such as nasal decongestant spray and antihistamines. It is essential to see your doctor/dentist if the bad smell lingers for several weeks or more, as it may be a sign of an underlying condition. Contact us for more information.

Learn The Importance of Nightguards

Nightguards are used to help protect your teeth from the wear and damage caused by common clenching or grinding habits. The term for these habits is called “bruxism” and is thought to occur in up to 30% of the population. These habits often happen at night as a form of sleep movement disorder and are involuntary. Clenching is when the jaws bite down hard against each other, and grinding is when the jaws move back and forth on each other. Both of these habits can lead to teeth and jaw problems over time. 

Signs & Symptoms of Bruxism 

  • Soreness/ tenderness in the jaw 
  • Jaw clicking/locking/popping while opening or closing 
  • Sore muscles in the cheeks, head or neck 
  • Sensitive teeth 
  • Wear spots on the biting surfaces of the teeth 
  • Gum recession (usually on the back surfaces of the teeth) 
  • Headaches  

How Night Guards Work 

Nightguards help to protect your teeth by taking the pressure and strain away from the teeth and jaw and placing it on the guard. The night guard acts as a cushion between the upper and lower teeth to absorb force. Nightguards can be fabricated to fit on either the top or bottom teeth and can be made from various plastics ranging from soft to hard. 

How Nightguards are Made 

A night guard is made professionally in a dental office/ dental lab. The first step is to have impressions taken of your teeth (both upper and lower.) Next, the impressions are used to make a replica of your teeth and jaw with a plaster model. Once the plaster model is created and set, a machine is used to mould the plastic guard material around the model, which will give an exact fit for your mouth. The night guard will be tried in and adjusted for comfort and fit if needed.  

Important Info 

  • Make sure to wear your night guard every night in order to get the best protection. 
  • Clean your night guard every morning with a separate toothbrush and warm running water, and store it in your night guard case 
  • Don’t use hot water on your night guard as this may warp the material. 
  • If you notice your night guard is beginning to crack, chip or break, the guard will no longer be offering the best protection, and it’s time to have a new guard made.  

If you think you could benefit from a nightguard, or have any questions about them, contact us today to schedule an appointment.  

Why Are Sports Guards Necessary?

A sports guard is a plastic tray that covers the entire upper arch of teeth to prevent tooth on tooth trauma from contact sports. A sports guard acts as a cushion between teeth, absorbing the blow. Sports guards should be worn for any sport where there is a risk of injury from another person or an intimate object, such as basketball, hockey, football, soccer, lacrosse, etc. Two common types of sports guards are boil and bite and professionally made. 

Boil and Bite Sports Guards 

This type of sports guard can be purchased in most sporting goods stores and is relatively inexpensive. The material is heated up and bit into, so an impression of the teeth is left to cool down. A boil and bite sports guard doesn’t offer the best protection because it isn’t designed specifically for each person’s teeth. Boil and bite sports guards are only recommended for children whose mouths are growing and changing. 

Professionally Made Sports Guards 

Professionally made sports guards are fabricated from an impression taken of the upper and lower teeth to get a replica. Professionally made sports guards offer the best fit and the best protection for the teeth and jaw. Professionally made sports guards also last longer than boil and bite sports guards. For any adult playing contact sports, it is always recommended to have a professionally made sports guard over a boil and bite sports guard. 

Important Sports Guard Tips 

  • Wear your sports guard when playing a contact sport, even while practicing 
  • Clean your sports guard after each use with a separate toothbrush and warm water 
  • Store your sports guard in a clean case 
  • Never use hot water on your sports guard, as this may warp it.
  • Your sports guard should fit snug to your teeth, and you shouldn’t be able to pop it out with your tongue. If you can, it is too loose and likely needs to be adjusted. 
  • If you notice chips or breaks on your sports guard, it might be time for a new one as it likely isn’t offering the same protection. 

 If you need a sports guard or have any questions about them, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment. 


Keeping Teeth Clean With Dental Braces

Anyone who’s had dental braces knows it can be challenging to keep the braces, teeth and gums clean due to many nooks and crannies and difficult-to-reach areas. Braces are recommended when there is crowding, space issues or bite issues, and treatment time is typically between 2-3 years. There are several options for straightening teeth, including clear aligners, lingual braces (braces on the backside of teeth,) and traditional braces. Each option has its pros and cons in terms of treatment length, aesthetics and function. For this article, we will be focusing on how to clean traditional braces adequately. 

Electric Toothbrush 

An electric toothbrush is highly recommended for use during orthodontic treatment. An electric toothbrush does a better job of accessing difficult-to-reach spots and can remove more bacteria than a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes come with either a circular or oval-shaped head and use either an oscillating or sweeping motion, depending on the brand. An electric toothbrush performs more brush strokes in 2 minutes than what you can do with a manual toothbrush. Make sure to brush at least twice a day for two minutes each brush. 

Water Flosser 

A helpful tool to use during orthodontic treatment is a water flosser. This tool is used to spray water between teeth and around brackets to flush out bacteria. Water flossers are particularly good at cleaning out difficult-to-access areas. Make sure to angle your head into the sink during use, and use once or twice a day. 

Floss Threader/ Superfloss 

When using traditional manual floss, either a floss threader or super floss must be used to access the floss underneath the wire and between the teeth. Both of these options have a hard end that helps poke the floss between the teeth. 


This is a handy tool to help clean between brackets, which can be difficult to access because the wire is in the way. A proxabrush is similar to a pipe cleaner and cleans away bacteria with its tiny bristles. It is meant to be angled underneath the wire, between the brackets. 

If you have any questions about keeping dental braces clean or what products will work best for you, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

Learn What Causes a White Tongue

You may have been startled at one time or another at the appearance of your tongue being white in colour. This is typically harmless and can occur either on the entire top of the tongue or just a portion. In rare occurrences, a white tongue can be caused by something more serious. It is essential to monitor signs and symptoms if you are experiencing a white tongue and see your dentist if there is no improvement after a couple of weeks. 

Typical Causes of a White Tongue 

A common cause of a white tongue is poor oral hygiene. This occurs when plaque and bacteria form on the tongue, giving it a coated appearance. This white coating is easily cleanable with a toothbrush or tongue scraper. Other causes of a white tongue are dry mouth, dehydrating, breathing through the mouth at night, eating a diet high in carbohydrates, trauma to the tongue such as biting it, smoking and drinking alcohol. 

Less Common White Tongue Causes 

Oral Thrush – This is an oral infection caused by a build-up of candida yeast. Those with a weakened immune system are more at risk of oral thrush, such as people with diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or certain deficiencies such as iron or vitamin B. Additionally; oral thrush can be caused by the use of dentures, in particular, if they are not removed nightly or cleaned properly. 

Leukoplakia – Consists of white patches that form on the mouth’s soft tissue, such as the cheeks, gums, floor of the mouth and tongue. The patches are typically thickened tissue and can form into oral cancer. 

Oral Lichen Planus – caused by an issue with the immune system, lichen planus cause appear as white spots that form on the tongue. This is usually coupled with mouth sores and bleeding gums. 

Syphilis – This is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause oral sores. If left untreated, syphilis can cause leukoplakia spots on the tongue called syphilis leukoplakia.  

When to See a Dentist 

It is essential to see a dentist if the white coating stays persistently on the tongue after a couple of weeks, even with cleaning it. In addition, if there is a burning sensation, pain, trouble chewing or talking, open sores, fever or weight loss. 

We encourage you to contact us today if you have any questions about a white tongue. 

Learn Why Baby Teeth Are Important

If you’ve wondered how important baby teeth are (they just fall out anyway, right?), you aren’t alone. Many people are unaware of the importance of maintaining healthy baby teeth until it’s time for the adult teeth to erupt. Baby teeth are vital for a child’s wellbeing for several reasons, and therefore it’s essential to maintain a healthy smile.

The first baby tooth erupts between 5-10 months, and a complete set of baby teeth should be present around 2½ to 3 years old. Baby teeth begin to exfoliate (become loose and then lost) at 6 years old until around 12 years old. Listed below are the key reasons baby teeth are so important. 

Biting, Chewing, Smiling 

Baby teeth help your child with biting and chewing and therefore allow your child to maintain proper nutrition. If baby teeth are lost prematurely, eating is more complicated, and certain foods may be impossible, leading to inadequate nutrition. Healthy baby teeth also help to improve a child’s confidence in social settings. 

Place Makers for Adult Teeth 

Adult teeth use the baby teeth as a guide to erupt into the correct position. If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, the adult tooth no longer has an indicator of where to come through the gums. This can lead to malposition of the teeth in the form of crowding, rotations and tipping. Down the road, there can be issues with the way the teeth bite together, and orthodontia may be required. 

Speaking and Facial Development 

A complete set of baby teeth is essential for proper facial development and learning to speak and pronounce words. The tongue, lips and cheeks press against the teeth to form sounds. If baby teeth have been lost premature, it is difficult, if not impossible, for a child to pronounce some words/sounds correctly. 

Avoidance of Pain 

Lastly, the most critical factor in maintaining healthy baby teeth is to prevent your child from experiencing dental pain. Cavities, trauma and unhealthy teeth can all cause your child to be in unnecessary distress. 

Baby teeth should be cleaned just the same as adult teeth to maintain health. It is also crucial for your child to have regular dental cleanings and check-ups. If you have any questions about keeping healthy baby teeth, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment. 


What You Should Know About Oral Sex and STD’s

Several different sexually transmitted diseases can be passed through oral sex and can affect the mouth, throat, genitals and rectum. Listed below are the sexually transmitted infections that are transmitted orally. 


  • Does not always cause symptoms, but if it does, they are usually a sore throat, a burning sensation while urinating, discharge from the vagina/penis/ rectum, swelling and pain in the testicles, rectal pain 
  • Diagnosis is made from a urine sample or a swab of the throat, rectum, urethra or cervix 
  • Treatment is a course of antibiotics, but some strains have become resistant to antibiotics, so make sure to see your doctor if the first round of antibiotics doesn’t work 
  • If untreated, gonorrhea can lead to an increased risk of HIV, infertility and epididymitis 


  • Typically chlamydia has no symptoms 
  • If the infection presents in the throat, the symptom is usually a sore throat 
  • If the infection is in the genitals or rectum, the symptoms are discharged, burning during urination, rectal pain, swollen testicles 
  • Diagnosis is made by a urine sample or a vaginal swab for females 
  • Chlamydia is treated by a round of antibiotics 
  • If untreated, it can lead to infertility, epididymitis, increased risk of HIV and passing to a child in pregnant women 


  • The syphilis virus has four stages and each stage has different symptoms 
  • Primary: Small, round sores at the site of infection that can last 3-6 weeks 
  • Secondary: Skin rash, swollen lymph nodes, fever, sores in the mouth and genitals, brown spots on palms of hands and soles of feet, hair loss, headache, weight loss, muscle pain, fatigue 
  • Latent: No symptoms 
  • Tertiary: Damage to internal organs, eyesight problems, numbness, dementia (usually occurs 10-30 years after initial infection)  
  • Diagnosis for syphilis is made through a blood test or from testing fluids taken from open sores 
  • If left untreated, syphilis can lead to a stillborn child, increased risk of HIV, organ damage, blindness 

Human Papillomavirus 

  • The most common STD in the United States 
  • Symptoms include genital and throat warts 
  • There is no specific treatment for HPV. Sometimes a diagnosis is only made when a pap smear comes back abnormal 
  • HPV virus cannot be treated, but the genital/throat warts can be treated 
  • HPV often goes away without treatment but can spread through sexual partners 
  • Some types of HPV can lead to cervical cancer in women 



  • Symptoms for herpes may be mild but can include painful/itchy sores around the genitals/rectum/mouth, headache, fever, body aches, swollen glands 
  • Diagnosis is made from a blood test or a skin sample from a sore 
  • An antiviral will be prescribed to treat the symptoms, but there is no cure for herpes 
  • Herpes can be passed to sexual partners with or without treatment, but the risk can be reduced with daily medication 
  • Herpes increases the risk of contracting HIV, and it can be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy


  • Symptoms include discharge, red/itchy genitals, burning sensation during urination 
  • Diagnosis is made through lab tests as symptom diagnosis is not enough on its own 
  • Treatment is a single dose of antibiotics that also kill parasites 
  • Prognosis is good 

Hepatitis A 

  • A virus that causes inflammation of the liver 
  • Symptoms are fever, tiredness, nausea, loss of appetite, yellowing skin, dark urine and pain in the abdomen, which usually develops 28 days after exposure to the virus 
  • Exposure is usually oral-fecal, so it can be spread through oral sex 
  • Diagnosis is through a blood test 
  • Although there is no cure for Hep A, it rarely causes any complications 

Hepatitis B 

  • Also, a virus that causes inflammation of the liver 
  • Sometimes doesn’t cause any symptoms, but when it does they can include a rash, joint stiffness, fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, yellowing of skin and eyes, dark urine, pain in the abdomen 
  • Diagnosis is made with a blood test, but it takes 3-8 weeks to appear in the blood to make the diagnosis 
  • Hepatitis B is either acute or chronic, and acute has no treatment, whereas chronic will require medication to slow the progress 
  • There is a vaccine to help prevent Hepatitis B 


  • Affects the immune system, making people more prone to other illnesses 
  • There may not be any symptoms in the early stages, but they may include fever, aching muscles, sore throat, chills, tiredness, swollen neck glands and night sweats 
  • With the correct dose of medication, HIV can be undetectable in the bloodstream and passing it on to others can be prevented 

Prevention of STD’s 

  • Use condoms for every sexual encounter 
  • Use a dental dam for oral sex 
  • Be in a sexually monogamous relationship where both partners have been tested for STD’s 

If you have any questions about orally transmitted STDs, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.