A Healthy Mouth for Good Health – Tips for Caregivers

We are here to help with your dentures

Tips for Caregivers

  • Wash hands before handling denture or wear disposable gloves.
  • Apply a water-based lip moisturizer and remove dentures from the mouth before brushing thoroughly.
  • Use a soft toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to brush all surfaces of any remaining natural teeth, and if possible use floss or a proxabrush to clean between the teeth.
  • Brush natural teeth twice daily, especially before bedtime. Don’t forget to floss!
  • Clean and massage all mouth tissues (cheeks, gums, roof and floor of the mouth) with a super soft toothbrush, gauze or an oral swab.
  • Use a tongue scraper or soft toothbrush to clean the tongue from the back to the tip as many germs are harboured in the tongue.
  • Clean dentures over a water-filled sink or a towel to prevent breakage in case they slip from your hands.
  • Use a denture brush with denture paste to brush all surfaces including the underneath or gum side of the dentures. Rinse with warm water. Clean all surfaces of the metal wires [clasps] on partial dentures.
  • Do not use household bleach or abrasive cleaners to clean dentures.
  • Remove denture adhesives daily from the dentures and the mouth to prevent infections and irritations of the tissues. Use only zinc-free denture adhesive products.
  • Soak dentures in a denture cleaner such as NovaDent® or commercial cleansing tablets at least once daily.

Help for dry mouth
A side effect of many prescription medications is dry mouth (xerostomia). Saliva production is affected by some diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and by cancer treatment. A dry mouth increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay, especially if tooth roots are exposed due to gum recession and bone loss.
It also makes denture retention (snug fit) more difficult.

  • Avoid using a mouthwash containing alcohol.
  • Biotene® products (toothpaste, rinse, gel, mouth spray, gum) sold in drugstores help to moisturize and provide relief for dry mouth.
  • Sipping on water, sucking on ice chips, using sugar-free candies and gum may also help to moisturize a dry mouth.

Natural teeth need regular examination by a dentist and regular professional cleaning by a dental hygienist.
Dentures need to be examined yearly by a denturist to evaluate their condition, fit, ensure the bite is correct, and for professional cleaning. Denturists Nancy Tomkins and Cliff Muzylowsky can assess the health of the mouth, as well as provide the services necessary to ensure comfortable, well-fitting dentures. We make nursing home calls and work with many local dentists to ensure your oral health concerns are addressed.

– Call Teresa for a no charge consultation

A Healthy Mouth for Good Health – Information for Caregivers

We are here to help with your dentures

What is the importance of a healthy mouth?

Good oral hygiene habits are essential for a healthy mouth. Good oral hygiene contributes significantly to overall systemic health and well being. If you are a denture wearer or care for someone that is, well-fitting dentures and a good cleaning routine are necessary.
Removing bacteria and plaque from the natural teeth, gums, dental implants and dentures is important as a daily routine. Dentures harbouring dental plaque may lead to problems with the underlying tissues that support the prosthesis, as well as, create problems for remaining natural teeth. Daily oral care helps to prevent bad breath, infected gums, tooth decay/ loss, abscesses and life-threatening infections. Good oral care can reduce the risk of pneumonia; help to
prevent heart disease, stroke, and problems controlling diabetes.

What are the warning signs?

Bad breath, swollen, red and bleeding gums, difficulty chewing and/or swallowing, clicking dentures, behaviour such as refusing to eat or strained facial expressions while eating, are signs of problems in the mouth.
Is dental disease preventable?
Oral cancer and dental disease can afflict anyone, including those missing all of their natural teeth. Early detection and treatment of oral cancer are critical. Dental disease is preventable with daily oral care and routine visits to oral health care professionals.

What can I do as a caregiver to assist?

Dental plaque accumulates in everyone’s mouth each day and needs to be removed daily from the natural teeth, oral tissues (including the tongue) and dentures, ideally after each meal. However, we are aware that in nursing homes and in other circumstances this is difficult to achieve.

  • Determine how much help is required, speak with the nursing staff and determine what is required and when it should be done.
  • Make sure that mouth care supplies are on hand and replaced as needed – brushes should be replaced every three months or following illness such as the flu.
  • For residents in facilities, label mouth care supplies – toothbrush, denture brush, tongue scraper and denture container – with their name. In our dental laboratory, we can permanently place names in dentures.
  • Help out by including tooth brushing and denture cleaning during your visits. Wash, rinse and tap excess water from brushes after use and store in an open container to air dry.
  • Make regular appointments for professional oral health and denture care.

A Healthy Mouth for Good Health – Information for Caregivers

As Time Goes By

What is the importance of a healthy mouth?

Good oral hygiene habits are essential for a healthy mouth. Good oral hygiene contributes significantly to overall systemic health and well being. If you are a denture wearer or care for someone that is, well-fitting dentures and a good cleaning routine are necessary.

Removing bacteria and plaque from the natural teeth, gums, dental implants and dentures is important as a daily routine. Dentures harbouring dental plaque may lead to problems with the underlying tissues that support the prosthesis, as well as, create problems for remaining natural teeth. Daily oral care helps to prevent bad breath, infected gums, tooth decay/ loss, abscesses and life threatening infections. Good oral care can reduce the risk of pneumonia; help to prevent heart disease, stroke,and problems controlling diabetes.

What are the warning signs?

Bad breath, swollen, red and bleeding gums, difficulty chewing and/or swallowing, clicking dentures, behaviour such as refusing to eat or strained facial expressions while eating, are signs of problems in the mouth.

Is dental disease preventable?

Oral cancer and dental disease can afflict anyone, including those missing all of their natural teeth. Early detection and treatment of oral cancer is critical.

Dental disease is preventable with daily oral care and routine visits to oral health care professionals.

What can I do as a caregiver to assist?

Dental plaque accumulates in everyone’s mouth each day and needs to be removed daily from the natural teeth, oral tissues (including the tongue) and dentures, ideally after each meal. However, we are aware that in nursing homes and in other circumstances this is difficult to achieve.

  • Determine how much help is required, speak with the nursing staff and determine what is required and when it should be done.
  • Make sure that mouth care supplies are on hand and replaced as needed – brushes should be replaced every three months or following illness such as the flu.
  • For residents in facilities, label mouth care supplies – toothbrush, denture brush, tongue scraper and denture container – with their name. In our dental laboratory we can permanently place names in dentures.
  • Help out by including tooth brushing and denture cleaning during your visits.Wash, rinse and tap excess water from brushes after use and store in an open container to air dry.
  • Make regular appointments for professional oral health and denture care.

Tips for Caregivers

  • Wash hands before handling denture or wear disposable gloves.
  • Apply a water-based lip moisturizer and remove dentures from the mouth before brushing thoroughly.
  • Use a soft toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to brush all surfaces of any remaining natural teeth,and if possible use floss or a proxabrush to clean between the teeth.
  • Brush natural teeth twice daily, especially before bedtime. Don’t forget to floss!
  • Clean and massage all mouth tissues (cheeks, gums, roof and floor of the mouth) with a super soft toothbrush, gauze or an oral swab.
  • Use a tongue scraper or soft toothbrush to clean the tongue from the back to the tip as many germs are harboured in the tongue.
  • Clean dentures over a water-filled sink or a towel to prevent breakage in case they slip from your hands.
  • Use a denture brush with denture paste to brush all surfaces including the underneath or gum side of the dentures. Rinse with warm water. Clean all surfaces of the metal wires [clasps] on partial dentures.
  • Do not use household bleach or abrasive cleaners to clean dentures.
  • Remove denture adhesives daily from the dentures and the mouth to prevent infections and irritations of the tissues. Use only zinc-free denture adhesive products.
  • Soak dentures in a denture cleaner such as NovaDent® or commercial cleansing tablets at least once daily.

Help for dry mouth

A side effect of many prescription medications is dry mouth (xerostomia). Saliva production is affected by some diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and by cancer treatment. A dry mouth increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay, especially if tooth roots are exposed due to gum recession and bone loss.

It also makes denture retention (snug fit) more difficult.

  • Avoid using mouthwash containing alcohol.
  • Biotene® products (toothpaste, rinse, gel,mouth spray, gum) sold in drugstores help to moisturize and provide relief for dry mouth.
  • Sipping on water, sucking on ice chips, using sugarfree candies and gum may also help to moisturize a dry mouth.

Natural teeth need regular examination by a dentist and regular professional cleaning by a dental hygienist. Dentures need to be examined yearly by a denturist to evaluate their condition, fit, ensure the bite is correct,and for professional cleaning.

Denturists Nancy Tomkins and Cliff Muzylowsky can assess the health of the mouth, as well as provide the services necessary to ensure comfortable, well fitting dentures. We make nursing home calls and work with many local dentists to ensure your oral health concerns are addressed.

  • Call Teresa for a no charge consulation

Dental Implants and Their Benefits

Dental implants and their benefits

From the desk of Nancy Tomkins

Millions of people experience difficulties associated with missing teeth. These difficulties can severely undermine your self confidence and quality of life.
Missing teeth can compromise your overall health, eating habits, food choices, speech and appearance. When teeth are lost, jaw bone loss is inevitable, which will affect the fit of your denture. Bone loss will result in the denture becoming loose, which may result in difficulty chewing, cause pain, decreased self confidence, and deterioration of the jaw bone structure over time.

What can you do to help yourself?
The preferred method of tooth replacement is a dental implant. Dental implants form a stable foundation for permanent replacement of teeth. If you wear a full denture (missing all teeth) a few implants may be used to “snap” your denture securely into place. Many people think that one dental implant is necessary for each tooth lost, when in fact a few implants ideally placed, may support several missing teeth. Dental implants also act as a support for partial dentures (missing some but not all teeth) in order to eliminate metal wires (clasps) from showing when you smile.

Other than securing my denture, what other benefits are there to dental implants?
Implants help to preserve the jaw bone by providing stimulation that was previously provided by the natural healthy tooth root. Maintaining bone structure also helps to maintain the integrity of your facial structures. The bone loss over years can be drastic, exposing denture wearers to uncomfortable gums and sensitive nerve impingement.

After all these years, do I have enough bone left to place dental implants?
I have been providing denture implant related treatment since 1988. There has never been a patient I have referred to the implant placing doctor that did not have enough bone. With the evolution of implants and the knowledge of dental professionals, so much wonderful advanced technology is available to create bone in areas where it may be necessary. There are small diameter implants and shorter implants with greater strength that may be used in areas where bone is not optimum.

Who makes the dental implants?
I believe this to be the most important question to ask. I am amazed when patients consult with me for a second opinion and have been given no information regarding the implant system, the company’s reputation or its biomechanical (technical advantages) over another company’s implant. All dental implant manufactures claim to have the best technology, similar to car manufacturers who market their vehicles to us. In fact, more people will know more about the vehicle they are purchasing than the dental implant technology they are considering.
Long term clinical documentation is the only way to compare technology and companies with one another. Straumann ® is the world leader in dental implants. In my 29 years of practice, I trust their technology to be very advanced, offering the clinician and patient many more treatment options. Dental implants are the closest possible replacement for natural teeth, and the best way to restore your natural smile. The cost of these implants has become very affordable. Ask your Denturist about how dental implants might be the right solution for you.

Why are dental implants a good choice?
Implant secured dentures are more stable and “real” feeling than most types of dentures. Implants are a proven restoration option with a long, clinical history and an excellent success rate. Dental implants can be used to replace a single lost tooth or all your missing teeth. Many patients who have chosen implant secured dentures report they are happy and comfortable for the first time since the loss of their natural teeth.

Is there pain when placing dental implants?
Often, patients who are missing all their teeth have not seen a dentist for decades. They are frightened by the thought of having any dental work performed. In fact, studies show that the number one excuse denture wearers use for not having implants placed is they are dental phobic.
With the advancements in dental fear management and techniques, patients report to me, if they knew that it was that simple, they would have done it years ago.

Benefits of Dental Implants

  • improved oral health
  • ability to eat well and enjoy a variety of foods
  • increased nutritional intake/digestion
  • improvement to overall general health
  • increased self-esteem
  • increased denture comfort
  • increased denture stability

In summary, so often denture patients tell me that they lost their teeth when they were young and were not in the same financial situation they are today. With the advancements in dentistry, you can turn the hands of time backwards and restore your smile to the way it once was.
Call Teresa for a no charge consultation.

Meet my Fabulous Team

Nancy Tomkins and Cliff at the denturist clinic

As the clinician treating patients directly, I receive all the kind words, homemade preserves, cookies and thank you cards. I really appreciate the kind gestures and take them all to heart. I even share my cookies with the people who make me look good every day –my caterpillars, the staff who I refer to as the ‘team’.

Patients may not recognize that part of my success is due to my dedicated and loyal team. Individuals who work diligently alongside me without complaint. This article is dedicated to them, as they deserve as much of the publicity as I receive, helping to create smiles and healthy mouths. I am honored to work with this team; they are fun, hardworking and reliable. Allow me to tell you a bit about each of them and introduce you to my‘family’.

Teresa Catherwood, Office Manager/Receptionist.

Teresa and I first met while working for Dr. Mark Mahnin Paris in October 1985. She was his dental receptionist and I was the dental technician fabricating dentures for Dr. Mahn’s patients. In 1994 Teresa left to work forDr. Bruce McConnell in Cambridge and was whisked away to work for me when I opened my own denture clinic on Charing Cross Street in 1999.

Teresa has vast knowledge of all dental procedures, insurance claims and direct electronic billings. She is the famous friendly voice on the phone and the warm bright smile when she greets you by name as you enter the clinic. She is recognized wherever she goes in Paris and Brantford and always has a smile on her face. Teresa is very active member of St. James Church in Paris, enjoys golfing, gardening and you will hear her singing to the tunes playing on the radio. She has a lovely voice.

Marie Jenkinson, Certified BPS denture technician has been working with me since 1997. I have known Marie the longest of all the employees, as she is my sister. She used to take me to Disney movies when I was young and was my biggest fan cheering me on during my softball playing days. Marie is known in the profession as the ‘Ivocap Queen’, as she has perfected this advanced technique in Canada. She is often everywhere in the clinic, trained to cover Teresa when she is away from her front desk and in the on-site laboratory ensuring that things are running on time. Marie is skilled at all aspects of denture fabrication and makes it possible to offer to our patients same day denture repairs. Often done in a few hours for their convenience. Marie is an avid golfer, reader and enjoys gardening.

Sandra Goergen, Certified Dental Technician from Germany. I met Sandra during a BPS Masters denture course in July 2001 and since April 2004 she calls this beautiful country, home. Sandra’s unique skills are known throughout many countries and she has trained hundreds of dentists, dental technicians and denturists in the advanced denture fabrication techniques since1999. Unlike other technicians, you will often find Sandra in the treatment room with Nancy or Cliff discussing treatment with their patients. She brings her vast skills chairside to assist in the procedures, which allows for a predictable, successful outcome. Sandra is an avid alpine skier, enjoys the outdoors, especially during the winter and is a great cook.

Krista Cooper, Certified Denal Assistant.I first met Krista in 1996 while I was doing consulting work in a dental office in Brantford. This bubbly, bright-eyed young woman who loved to laugh impressed me and we soon became friends. Laughing at each other for admitting that we are self-diagnosed germaphobes who love music and like to dance.

Krista has been a certified Dental Assistant since 1995. She is also a certified Treatment Coordinator, who has worked in different aspects of dentistry. She has worked in general practices, orthodontics and now in dentures and dental implants. Krista is the clinic’s Infection Prevention Officer working diligently to maintain high sterilization and asepsis standards. She enjoys attending educational seminars and training sessions to learn about the new techniques and products that are introduced to the market each year.

In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her children, dogs and cats. She is close to her parents and loves to learn new things. Krista recently enrolled in healthy cooking classes, becoming aware of healthy living and loving it!

And to make my fabulous team complete, I have the pleasure of working with an associate to provide services to our patients.

Cliff Muzylowsky, Certified Denturist. I have known Cliff for over 25 years. A well respected Denturist in the profession. Cliff graduated from Western University with his Bachelor of Science in 1977 and became a denturist in 1981. He is a former Registrar for theCollege of Denturists of Ontario and worked for 8 years as the Executive Director of the Denturist Association of Ontario. His hometown is London, Ontario and he practiced in Toronto in his own clinic until 5 years ago, when he decided to relocate out of the big city to work in Brantford. He has fit into this clinic of all women with ease and his patients grow fond of his gentle, compassionate demeanor. Cliff enjoys reading, traveling and scuba diving with his wife Linda.

Call Teresa for a no charge consultation.

A Warm and Welcoming Environment

Nancy Tomkins Denture Clinic in Brantford is conveniently located at the corner of Charing Cross Street and St.Paul Avenue in a bright, fully wheelchair accessible clinic with ample free parking.

Fully certified and equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, we pride ourselves in offering our patients the absolute best in precision denture solutions in a warm and friendly environment.

No dentist referral necessary.