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Want to ask a dentist a question but don’t want to pay an exorbitant consultation fee?

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To ask a question, click on any topic below, then scroll to the bottom of the page and fill out the form.

Our resident dentist, Dr. Qin Li, will reply to your question as soon as she can.  We can only respond to questions submitted via the website; we do not respond to questions submitted via email.

Note:  Dr. Li can only reply to general questions about dental practices and procedures and not to questions about your personal dental condition(s), as there are many factors involved in assessing cavities and other dental diseases that cannot be accurately diagnosed without a proper examination.

Thornhill, Vaughan, Richmond Hill Dentist

Silver Diamine Fluoride

An FDA-approved breakthrough therapy for stopping the growth of existing cavities.

IV Sedation

IV sedation is a form of conscious sedation that helps patients with anxiety relax during their dental procedures.
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Digital Dental X-Rays

Digital x-rays reduce radiation and provide instant, high-definition results.
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Gum Disease

Many adults currently have some form of gum disease. Find out what causes gum disease and what you can do to prevent it.

Teeth Cleaning

Professional teeth cleaning can help prevent cavities, tartar build-up and gum disease.

Tooth Decay

Fix cavities and restore broken-down teeth to their original beauty.
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Dental Exams

Regular professional examinations can catch problems before they become serious.

Tooth Fillings

Fillings restore the appearance and strength of damaged teeth.
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Tooth Replacement

Replacing missing teeth can restore your smile and prevent further problems.


Restore the natural look of your smile and chew with confidence.

Crowns and Bridges

Restore the look and function of damaged teeth.
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Root Canal Treatment

Fix a painful, infected tooth and restore its natural appearance.
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Clenching and Grinding Teeth (Bruxism)

Find out what you can do about grinding your teeth.
Tongue Tie - Before

Tongue-Tie (Ankyloglossia)

Correcting tongue-tie early can dramatically reduce the probability of serious dental or speech issues.
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Wisdom Teeth Removal

Have your wisdom teeth removed safely and professionally.
Tooth Pain

Laser Cold and Canker Sore Treatment

Heal cold and canker sores quickly, painlessly and effectively.
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Tooth Extractions

Have a problem tooth extracted professionally.
Bad Breath

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Find out what's causing your bad breath and get professional help.
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Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening can achieve great results in very little time.
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Dental Bonding

Improve the appearance of your teeth with a simple cosmetic procedure.

Tooth Fillings

Fillings restore the appearance and strength of damaged teeth.
Smiling Couple With Great Teeth

Tooth Replacement

Replacing missing teeth can restore your smile and prevent further problems.


Restore the natural look of your smile and chew with confidence.

Crowns and Bridges

Restore the look and function of damaged teeth.
Dental Implants - Photo Of Smiling Couple


One of the most effective ways to replace a missing tooth.

Porcelain Veneers

Improve the appearance of teeth that are stained, damaged, or appear too small or crooked.
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Invisalign® Clear Braces

Clear, removable aligners are a discreet and convenient way to straighten your smile.
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Clear Six Month Smiles® Braces

Get straight teeth in as little as six months with Six Month Smiles clear braces.
Gum Contouring

Laser Gum Contouring

Gum contouring can even out your gum line and improve your smile.
Bad Breath

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Find out what's causing your bad breath and get professional help.

Don’t see your topic above?  Post your question using the form below!

This Page Has 34 Questions

The information provided below does not constitute dental advice and is general in nature. It does not take into account your personal dental health and should not be acted on without consultation with a certified dental professional.

Bathurst Centre Dental Care accepts no liability for any loss or injury arising out of the use of this website or reliance on the content of this website.

    1. Hi Alex, some chewing gums have sugar. Chewing gum with sugar constantly may increase the likelihood of cavities. Sugarless chewing gum is a better alternative for your teeth. The constant chewing motion will often lead to more muscle fatigue and wear and tear of the jaw joint. Prolonged chewing should be avoided in people with TMJ (jaw joint) pain. The human mouth is full of bacteria, rechewed gum is usually laden with bacteria, something you may want to avoid for better oral health and overall health.

  1. I never can breath from both nostrils since I can remember unless I take afrin type med. Right now. My teeth,gum, everywhere in my face throbs every 2 mins . Only cold fluid calms the pain. What’s going on?

    1. Hi R, please make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can to see if the pain is caused by a dental infection.

  2. Hello Dr. Li,

    I was wondering if the upper tooth located most right (at the end) is included in one of the following numbers? #17 27 37 46 47
    I already took out all the wisdom tooth. please let m know thank you.!

    1. Hi Jess, if all wisdom teeth were removed and there are no other missing teeth in the upper right quadrant, then the upper right last tooth is numbered 1.7 in the international and Canadian tooth naming system.

  3. Hi, i’ve been having ongoing tooth pain for 3 months. A cold test and x-rays have been done and it came back normal. The endodontics said it was because of my low gums exposing it to cold and hot foods, he recommended me to see a periodontics for gum grafting. I booked to see a general dentist with experience with perio, she said it’s not my gums causing it but bruxism. I clench my teeth during sleep sometimes . The pain is like a throbbing/fuzzy/sharp feeling, very hard to describe. I was told to use sensodyne as a toothpaste and ointment, but after 2 months I haven’t seen any results and the pain remains the same. Oddly enough, I notice it kind of fade away when i’m about to sleep or sleeping. I really want to fix my teeth, and it’s been an emotional rollercoaster because I feel like I can’t cure this mysterious pain. Please help me!

    1. Hi Noelle, unfortunately I cannot diagnose based on your description alone. If your dentist diagnoses the pain due to bruxism, ask him/her if a night guard would be a good idea. If you are not sure, a second opinion with a periodontist would be a good idea as well.

  4. Hey I have a question. What can I eat with a tooth infection and abscess? my tooth is getting pulled soon. the dentist never told me what foods to eat.

    1. Hi Kristin, when a person have a tooth infection and abscess, it is typically hard to chew food. It is probably best not to eat anything that may cause more discomfort, typically food that is hard or crunchy. Try to maintain a healthy balanced diet and stay hydrated. You can also use a blender to help break down your food and reduce the amount of chewing if needed.

  5. Hello Dr Li,

    I had a question regarding a toothpaste. I wanted to know if Arm & Hammer advanced white is alright to use, more specifically if there’s any potential side effects from using that particular toothpaste? Another question I had was if my teeth shifted after not wearing braces due to not wearing a retainer, would I need braces again or could I get fitted for a new retainer? I understand that this depends on how much my teeth have shifted but I’m just asking the question in general.

    Thank you, Harjeev

    1. Hi Harjeer, Arm & Hammer advanced white toothpaste uses baking soda as a primary cleaning agent. The list of ingredients are listed in the link below. If you are allergic to any of the ingredients, do not use it. In general, whitening toothpastes tend to be a little more abrasive than non whitening ones. If you have thin enamel due to erosion or abrasion lesions on your teeth, you will want to consult with your dentist or hygienist first before starting using whitening tooth paste.

      In general, if you are happy with the current position of your teeth, then a new retainer will suffice. If you want to change the position of your teeth again, then you need braces.

  6. My dentist’s office has switch from fluoride foam to a paint-on varnish. I simply can’t tolerate the varnish, but the office no longer offers the foam. I was thinking of buying the foam and trays myself and doing fluoride treatments at home (on the same schedule I used to get them at the dentist). Is there any danger to this? Do I just make sure I don’t swallow any of the foam?

    1. Hi Chris, many dental offices have made the switch from fluoride foam to varnish due to the overwhelming number of scientific studies showing the effectiveness of fluoride varnish at reducing tooth sensitivity and cavities.

      If you are someone with a moderate or high caries risk, before considering any DIY fluoride foam treatment, have a discussion with your dentist or your hygienist to see if there are different flavours or brands of vanish that you can try. If you are someone with low caries risk, lives in an area with fluoridated water and uses fluoride toothpaste twice daily, then a DIY fluoride foam treatment may not be necessary.

      In Canada, the type of fluoride foam used by dental offices (with 12,300 ppm fluoride) can only be purchased by a licensed dental professional. So the main concern with fluoride foam that can be purchased by you is that they may not be products that are approved by FDA or Health Canada, and may not have similar efficacy or may not be safe.

      Please see the following article entitled: “Professionally applied topical fluoride, Evidence-based clinical recommendations” published in Journal of American Dental Associations for your reference.

  7. I have braces and I’ve been grinding at night and damaging them. My orthodontist gave me a sports mouthguard to sleep in. I’m just wondering if sleeping with a sports mouthguard is safe or if it will affect my oral health.

    1. Hi Kay, we do not usually recommend using a standard sports guard for night time grinding. A sports guard is much bulkier and softer compared to a night guard. It covers your entire teeth and a large portion of your gum to prevent potential injury during high impact sports. Because it prevents saliva flow to your gums, extended wear of a sports guard during sleep may cause bacteria to become trapped there, leading to gingivitis. It could also potentially cause unwanted jaw and teeth changes. A night guard covers only your teeth’s surfaces and none of your gums. However, night guards are much more rigid and could interfere with orthodontic treatment which is trying to reposition your teeth. That’s likely why your orthodontist prescribed a sports guard instead.

      I cannot comment on your situation without an exam of the sports guard, but your orthodontist most likely prescribed a modified sport guard that is soft enough to allow teeth movement and still protects the brackets from being knocked off in your sleep. It is most likely less bulky compared to a regular sports guard and covers less tooth structure. If you have any further questions, please contact your orthodontist.

  8. tooth #5 which has been root canaled is becoming loose due to some bone loss. upon eventual extraction can an immediate socket graft or similar be performed? I’m looking to avoid a sinus lift. Thank you

    1. Hi Gary, immediate socket grafting can be done during the extraction of a tooth to help preserve the current bone height during the healing process. However, you may still need a sinus lift for an implant, depending on the existing bone level, the bone level on teeth #4 and #6, current sinus position, and your healing ability. Unfortunately, I cannot comment on your specific situation without an in-person consultation and x ray.

  9. The dental hygienist I saw was pushing hard for me to get x-rays, almost pressuring me. So I just wondered, just in general, do most hygienists get a commission or bonus for doing x-rays?

    1. Hi Lee, the majority of the hygienists in Ontario, Canada are paid hourly. Some Ontario hygienists are business owners themselves who operate their own hygiene clinic. Some hygienists may be paid a bonus based on performance, some are paid a percentage of their production. I do not know how hygienists are compensated outside of Ontario.

  10. Hi,
    This is a question about general oral care routine…
    Should I swap mouthwashes from time to time?
    If yes then how often?

    It is just that at the moment I’m using some off brand wash with the active ingredient of Sodium Fluoride and before that some wash with Eucalyptol 0.092%, menthol 0.042%, methyl salicylate 0.060%, thymol 0.064% , and many years before that with a wash of Xylitol…. I did that for years for each product but I was worried that perhaps bacteria might get used to that (like with antibiotics)…

    Was I right? How should I act now?

    thank you!

    1. Hi Johan, mouthwash is a great adjunct to brushing and flossing. The mouthrinses you mentioned do not work like antibiotics, and there is no risk of bacteria developing a resistance to them. Mouthrinse containing Eucalyptol 0.092%, menthol 0.042%, methyl salicylate 0.060% and thymol 0.064% is often recommended for for people with gingival inflammation, while mouthrinse with Sodium Fluoride and Xylitol are usually recommended for people who have had cavities or are maybe more prone to caries. Please discuss your particular situation with your dental health provider to see which type would benefit you the most.

    1. Hi Amy, periodontitis in a person with uncontrolled diabetes tends to progress more aggressively compared to a person with well controlled diabetes. We do recommend our patients to consult with their MD to see if more needs to be done to help control blood glucose level.

  11. Hello. Wanna ask you about my back molars.
    Is it okay if my left side molars look way bigger then on right side? Cause in size they are different and they should be same if I’m not mistaking.
    I will get braces and is it gonna be complicated if they are in different size?
    I really need to know.

    1. Hi Lukas, in general, teeth can come in different sizes and symmetry is not always guaranteed. But it should not make orthodontic work or braces more complicated. Please discuss your specific concern with your orthodontist or dentist when you see them next.

  12. Hi Dr. Li,
    Is it possible to have my wisdom teeth extracted without any kind of injections, even for anesthetic?
    Thank you,

    1. HI Anais, it would be in your best interest to have local anesthetic (injection) for wisdom teeth extraction. Not only does it help control the pain during the extraction and right after extraction, the epinephrine in the local anesthetic also helps to reduce bleeding during the extraction, making it a clear field in which the dentist can operate.

  13. A dentist drilled in my tooth between two teeth and put in a filling. (They are molar teeth.) After this, everytime I would eat the food would get stuck between the teeth. I flossed everytime after eating until about two months later the filling fell out when I flossed.
    My question is; is it possible to fill the tooth in a way that there will not be a gap between my teeth and I don’t need to floss everytime I eat?

    1. Hi Erla, depending on the remaining tooth structure, there may be ways to close the gap. Please contact your dentist to discuss the available options.

  14. Hi, I recently had a 4 teeth extraction while having braces for 2 years. The 3 extractions seemed to heal and feel fine in the second or third day. But the 4th extraction was a hard one, the pain was a very annoying dull ache and bothered me for than the first 3. The problem I’m having is, 5 days after I’m still feeling discomfort as my adjacent tooth is hurting. I as well have an impacted wisdom tooth on the same line of the extraction. So I do not know if the pain and discomfort is coming from a possible dry socket, or the impacted wisdom tooth. Please give me your thoughts.

    1. Hi Joy, based on your description, it sounds like it could be a case of dry socket. However, you should book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible since a proper diagnosis requires an in-person visit.

  15. Hi Dr.Li,
    I am in my 50s and considering braces to improve my smile. I’ve never had braces. I’ve seen an orthodontist who has recommended ICONIX braces for 20 months. My question is how do braces affect the jaw for someone in their 50s? Secondly, How are the gums affected by the teeth being pulled from the braces? I realize there will be some discomfort in the early weeks. However, I am somewhat hesitant as I am concerned about long term effects due to my teeth shifting. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    1. Hi Brigitte, it is common to see adults (including someone in their 50s) getting orthodontic treatment. Along with helping improve your smile, another added benefit is that you will find it easier to maintain teeth that are straighter.
      Since your jaw bone development was complete a while ago, orthodontic treatment will take longer compared to a teenager whose jaw bones are not as dense. In general, if you have healthy gums prior to your orthodontic treatment and are able to maintain good oral health during the treatment, you shouldn’t experience any long term negative effects on your gums. It is, however, very important to have a checkup with your general dentist to rule out any cavities or active gum disease prior to the start of treatment.

      You can find more information on the website of the American Association of Orthodontists.

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