The Headaches – Bite Connection and What You Can Do to Find Relief

The Headaches – Bite Connection and What You Can Do to Find Relief

blog header for the headaches and bite link blogYou’ve got a headache…yet again. The pain radiates through your head and down your neck. It sends shooting pains into your face. Is it a tension headache? Could it be a migraine? Is it TMJ disorder, also known as TMD?

One of the leading cause of temporomandibular joint disorder is malocclusion or a “bad bite.”

What’s interesting is that a lot of people with a misaligned bite may not even be thinking of making this connection with their teeth and headaches.

What is the link between a headache and a malocclusion? And how can a dentist like Dr. Jennifer Buchanan in Airdrie help you reduce the likelihood of experiencing TMJ headaches?

The Link Between a Headache and a Misaligned Bite: Understanding the Root Cause of Your Pain

One of the most common causes of debilitating headaches and migraines is TMD.

There is a strong link between patients with chronic headaches and TMJ disorder.

The muscles, tendons, and nerves of the head and neck are intricately connected. The nerve that supplies nutrients to the jaw joints and facial muscles also branches off to various teeth.

A misalignment in our teeth that’ causing the teeth to not mesh properly puts pressure in the jaw joints and facial muscles. This is why patients with TMJ disorder not only have headaches but also jaw pain and neck pain.

If you have a headache on one side of your head, it may very likely be related to your jaw joint.

Jaw clenching and bruxism (grinding of the teeth) are also symptoms of a misaligned bite. All of these things aggravate the nerves and strain the muscles, leading to a headache.

TMJ Disorder – Why It Should Be Addressed ASAP by a Dentist with a Physiologic Approach

TMJ disorder is not something that should be taken lightly. It can have a huge impact on your life if left untreated. Some people’s symptoms get so bad that they’re unable to eat or speak properly due to the pain.

Airdrie dentist, Dr. Jennifer Buchanan, can provide you with a comprehensive TMJ treatment plan. Once we identify it is TMJ disorder causing your headaches and jaw pain. We will devise a number of treatment options which may be able to deal with the issue.

Our tools can also assist in identifying how misaligned your jaw joints are.

Physiologic Approach to Treating TMJ Headaches

We start by using a gentle muscle stimulator that massages the muscle surrounding the jaw and helps it to relax.

We may suggest that you use a TMJ splint for your treatment, which is designed to fit over your teeth. They help to prevent your lower and upper teeth from coming together. This helps to take any pressure off the jaw muscles and joints so these parts of your face can heal more quickly.

Dr. Buchanan may also design a custom-fitted orthotic device that fits inside your mouth which helps to maintain your jaw in just the right position.

This can gradually help to reduce any tension in your jaw muscle and associated jaw pain.

Orthodontic Treatment Can Often Fix Misalignment

Besides trauma, TMJ disorder can be caused by malocclusion or a misaligned bite. The teeth can shift over time, particularly if you have any missing teeth. The other teeth will shift to fill in those spaces. Other causes include crooked and/or crowded teeth.

In addition to the teeth being out of alignment, the jaw can be, as well. Some people have narrower jaws that don’t allow for proper function of the jaw or the teeth.

Other types of occlusion include:

  • Overbite
  • Overjet
  • Underjet
  • Crossbite

All of these occlusion issues can be treated with orthodontics. Spending some time in braces will put the teeth and jaw into proper alignment, allowing for better function, which leads to less tooth and jaw pain.

You First Dental – Providing a Unique Treatment Plan for Your Unique Needs

Why should you see the dental team at You First Dental if you’ve been experiencing painful headaches and jaw pain? It’s because this team will treat you as an individual and put you first.

TMJ Treatment - Airdrie AB

TMJ Treatment – Airdrie AB

Each person has unique needs. While everyone has the same basic physical makeup, people still have very diverse needs and experiences. What works for one person may not work for the next.

The team at You First Dental doesn’t believe in a cookie cutter approach to dentistry. When you seek TMJ treatment from this Airdrie dentist office, you’ll get a solution that works specifically for you. That is the only way to get lasting pain relief from horrible headache and other TMJ disorder symptoms.

Do you ever experience painful TMJ symptoms? Like debilitating headaches? Contact You First Dental to schedule an examination. We’ll find the best solution that will benefit your overall health and wellbeing.


Keep your bite in top shape to help facial, jaw, and tension headaches.
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Ease your mind and take advantage of dental financing – Your Airdrie dentist explains

Ease your mind and take advantage of dental financing – Your Airdrie dentist explains

use dental financing in alberta

After digesting how much your dental treatment is going to cost, your next question is likely: how am I going to pay for this? Unfortunately, many patients that turn down treatment when their dental damage is more minimal,  come back to the issue years later having to do even more treatment which is more costly.

Fortunately, dental offices that truly have their patients’ best interest at heart, offer dental payment plans.

Why is dental financing an option you should consider at our Airdrie dentist office?

Why more dentists should be more flexible and offer dental financing plans

Cost is one of the main reasons dental financing is offered so that patients don’t have to avoid their recommended  dental treatment.

While dentists can understand that the cost of dental treatment is a huge barrier for many, they worry about their patients getting the dental care they really need.

Airdrie Dentist applying invisible braces

Airdrie Dentist applying invisible braces

Avoiding dental treatment because of the cost is risky.

Dental problems don’t get better without treatment. Typically they progress, putting patients at risk of having to spend more money in the long run, to fix bigger problems. They’re also at risk of unbearable pain and tooth loss.

Thankfully, our patients have options. With dental financing, it’s easier to pay for dental work and is great for unexpected dental expenses.

Everyone is important! What you can expect from an in-office financing plan

What kind of dental financing option can you expect from You First Dental?

Our Airdrie dentist office offers an option called DentoPlan. This plan will allow you to spread payments for treatment over several months. Your dentist gets paid all at once and you make payments to DentoPlan.

For instance, maybe you need dental implants. Instead of trying to figure out where you’re going to come up with thousands of dollars, you can choose a 36-month financing plan in which you pay only $122.60 each month.

DentoPlan covers all dental procedures, including:

  • Preventative cleanings, exams, and x-rays
  • Fillings and crowns
  • Emergency treatment
  • Dentures, implants
  • Root canals
  • Periodontal treatment
  • Sleep apnea care
  • TMJ disorder care
  • Orthodontia.

You can use DentoPlan to pay for 100% of your treatment plan, or only a portion of it. Payment plans can range from one to 10 years, and you won’t be penalized if you pay your plan off early.

In-office financing with DentoPlan can help you address dental issues as they arise. And it will give you peace of mind that you’re able to take care of your dental needs in a practical way, all while preventing even worse problems down the road.

Let us help you – your health, well-being, and satisfaction are of priority to us

What’s the best way to care for your teeth, besides brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits?

The answer is: being financially prepared for treatments you need and deserve!  Whether you simply need a few cleanings a year or you have a more complex treatment plan.

Dental financing from an Airdrie dentist here at You First Dental can help you feel more at ease with investing in yourself. When you maintain your dental health, you can avoid further dental damage and greatly improve your quality of life.

Would you like more info about our financing options? Call or email us and we’ll be happy to answer all of your questions so we can help address your dental needs.  


Keep your smile in top shape with a little help from some friends.
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The Importance of Dental Implants: 4 Ways They Can Impact Facial Structure

The Importance of Dental Implants: 4 Ways They Can Impact Facial Structure

dental implants can improve facial structure header blog


These days, more and more patients are opting for dental implants when they lose a tooth. At You First Dental in Airdrie, we are happy to assist  patients with their dental implant needs in a comfortable, caring environment.

What Are Dental Implants and why does You First recommend them?

To fully understand the impact dental implants can have  it’s important to first understand how they work.  

Dental implants are like your natural teeth. A titanium base is surgically placed into your jawbone, taking the place of the root of your missing tooth.

On top of the implant, a well trained You First dentist places a crown that looks like a real tooth. With the crown, you can talk, chew, and clean it just like you normally would.

Dental implants are becoming a popular missing tooth option amongst dentists for replacing missing teeth for the following reasons:  

  • It’s Easier to Eat – With an implant, it’s easier to eat nutrient-rich foods, like raw fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds.  
  • You Have Better Alignment – Each tooth relies upon its neighbors to maintain proper alignment. If one tooth is missing, the others will shift to fill in the space. This strains the other teeth, as well as the muscles of the head and neck and the jaw joints.
  • The Body Responds Well to Titanium – It’s easier for the implant to integrate into the bone, a process called osseointegration. This makes the implant more stable than other options that don’t rely on bony integration.
  • Dental implants are Durable – The implant success rate is up to 98%. With proper care, they can last for years, decades – even a lifetime. This makes them a great investment.
  • Better Alignment Leads to a Healthier Body – Misalignment can lead to clenching or grinding your teeth. This can result in TMJ disorder, pain, and sleepless nights. That, in turn, can put you at risk for diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure.

4 Ways Dental Implants Can Improve the Structure of Your Face

In addition to disturbing your sleep and causing TMJ disorder, missing teeth can also have a profound effect on facial structure. Dental implants can help with facial asymmetries and imbalances. Here’s how.


dental implants

1. Dental Implants Promote Proper Tooth and Jaw Alignment

By filling in the empty spaces left by missing teeth, implants can keep the teeth and jaw in alignment which can improve or maintain your facial structure.

2. Implants Can Reduce Jaw Bone Shrinkage

Over time, if missing teeth aren’t replaced, the jawbone in and around the area of the missing tooth/teeth will lose its density and shrink. This can result in a sunken appearance.

Thankfully, a single implant, or multiple implants that secure a full denture, can remedy this situation. The implants keep the bone dense and strong, leaving your facial structure looking full and more youthful.

3. Dental Implants Can Prevent Further Tooth Damage

Tooth damage increases because more pressure/stress is put upon the remaining teeth. Eventually, you may end up with cracked or broken teeth, which can lead to a root canal or extraction.  

An implant will prevent the other teeth from shifting, reduce the pressure upon them, and  provide stabilization for the jaw.

4. The Body Will Continue to Adapt to the Implants

As time progresses, the body will continue to adapt to the titanium implant. The bone around it will get stronger and denser, which means your facial structure will remain intact as long as you have the implants.

facial structure and tooth loss

How to Find out If Dental Implants Are Right for You

Should you get dental implants if you have missing teeth? Your Airdrie dentist at You First Dental will be able to tell you whether you’re a good candidate for them or not.

In some cases, patients need to have an additional procedure called a bone graft if they don’t have enough bone. And in other cases, they may need to make lifestyle changes (like  smoking cessation) before their dentist will recommend an implant.

If you end up with dental implants, you won’t regret that you got them.

You’ll experience better chewing, fewer dental problems, and a fuller, more youthful appearance. With all of those perks, you’ll find that getting implants can even improve your confidence and self-esteem.

Are you interested in learning more about dental implants or our affordable payment plans for dental implants? Contact us for an exam and consultation. The team at You First Dental can help you determine whether dental implants are the best option for your missing teeth.

Your Complete Guide to Choosing a New Dentist in Airdrie

Your Complete Guide to Choosing a New Dentist in Airdrie

How to Find a New Dentist in Airdrie ABWhen most of us think of healthcare, we tend to think about the care of our brain, lungs, digestion, and cardiovascular system. But our oral health is just as important a piece of our healthcare. So when it’s time to find a new dentist here in Airdrie, it’s important to choose carefully.

Here’s our guide to finding the best dentist – one who will fit all of your oral healthcare needs!

Choosing a New Dentist:

The Ultimate Guide to Making the Right Choice 

There are a lot of reasons why you might need a new dentist. Maybe you’ve moved to a new area, or your lifelong dentist is retiring.

Whatever the case, you have an important decision to make.

Here are some tips to help you find a new dentist in Airdrie who will cover your needs the best.

Location, Location, Location

Probably one of the most important factors to consider is location. You want to choose a dentist who is near to your home or office. Why is this so important?

The first reason is convenience. There’s nothing worse than having to take time out of your day simply because you have to drive a far distance to an appointment.

Another reason is that it’s might be too easy to back out of appointments – or avoid scheduling them altogether – if the office is far away.

Keep it easy for yourself to make your dental health a priority. Don’t let something like distance get in the way of that. Do your best to find a great dentist nearby.

Are They Really the Best Dentist in Airdrie?

Before making a decision, contact the office and ask if they offer free consultations. If so, schedule one so that you can tour the office and meet the dentist and their staff. While there, ask the some questions like:

  • What are their professional qualifications? Where did they go to school? What kind of credentials do they have?
  • Do they invest in continuing education so as to stay up to date on the latest procedures, products, and tools?
  • What’s their approach to dental care? Do they focus mainly on restorative procedures, or do they focus heavily on prevention as well?
  • Do you feel comfortable with them? Are they easy to talk to? Do they listen attentively to your concerns or downplay them? Do you feel at ease when chatting with the dentist?
  • Can this dentist take care of your specific dental needs, especially if you have any special considerations?

Don’t Forget the Dental Team and Practice Office

The dental team is a big part of your dental experience. Consider these questions once you meet the team:

  • How does the receptionist treat you over the phone?
  • Does the team seem helpful, compassionate? Are they open to answering your questions?
  • What services do they offer?
  • How does the office/clinic look? Is it clean and organized? Check out the waiting room, as well as the individual operatories, to get an idea of how clean and how well the office runs.
  • Is the office open convenient hours for appointments – for you?
  • Will they work with your insurance company? Can they answer your financial questions?
  • How much financial information will you receive prior to treatment?
  • Do they offer payment options if you’re a cash-only patient? Is there a financing option?
  • Do they offer emergency visits?
  • What is their office policy regarding missed appointments or cancelling on short notice?

One of the Most Important Things to Consider: Their Reputation

If you really want to find the best dentist in Airdrie, ask around.

Get recommendations from your current dentist, your friends/family members, or your physician.

You can even check out online resources, like Facebook, Google, and Yelp, as well as professional directories such as the one on Alberta Dental Association & College – here.

These sources can provide valuable insight into whether a dentist is exceptional or mediocre.

Put Your Oral Healthcare in the Hands of the Best Dentist in Airdrie

You deserve the very best. Therefore, make it your determination to put your healthcare in the hands of someone who truly deserves your business.

A high-quality dentist will be up-to-date on the latest dental tools, techniques, and technology. They’ll be professional yet kind and compassionate, addressing your questions, concerns, and even your fears.

Your teeth and gums are just as important as every other system and organ in your body. Make sure you put your oral healthcare into the hands of someone who will provide you with the exceptional care you need and deserve.

If you are looking for a new dentist here in Airdrie AB, come in and meet the dentist and team here at You First Dental – where everyone that walks through our doors is equally important to us!

Schedule a free visit today – make an appointment.

Teeth Whitening: Over-the-Counter or Professional Whitening Kits?

Teeth Whitening: Over-the-Counter or Professional Whitening Kits?

professional teeth whitening in airdrie abSomething looks different about your face, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Then it hits you after your friend posted a picture of you two smiling on Facebook – it’s your teeth. They just don’t seem quite as white as they used to be!

It’s time for teeth whitening – but what’s the best solution for you?

Both over-the-counter (OTC) and professional systems come with their own set of pros and cons. Let’s figure out the best choice.

Teeth Whitening in Airdrie: Over-the-Counter Products or Professional Whitening Kits?

North Americans spend more than $140 million each year for professional whitening and more than an additional $1.4 billion on OTC whitening products. Chances are you’ve tried some of the most popular options and they didn’t work out quite how you planned.

We’ll look at several factors so you can determine what’s best.


All whitening kits contain carbamide peroxide which breaks down into hydrogen peroxide as it works on your teeth. This is the active ingredient that whitens your teeth.

OTC whitening strips typically contain very low levels of peroxide: only about six percent. Trays and other higher-end gel options often include around 22 percent.

45 percent is the maximum amount that’s safe to use. For most people, 45 percent concentrations are not necessary and 35 percent varieties will exceed expectations. 35 percent concentrations are often available at dentist offices like ours under reputable brands like Opalescence Tooth Whitening Systems.


The peroxide strength dictates how long you can wear it on your teeth without causing damage.

If you’ve used whitening strips, you probably remember wearing them twice a day for 20 or 30 minutes. OTC options take a lot longer to work.

With Opalescence Tooth Whitening Systems’ 35 percent concentration, you only need to wear the gel trays for 30 minutes each day. It’s very important to stick within the required time to avoid pain, discomfort, or permanent damage.


When it comes to comfort it’s hard to beat professional teeth whitening from brands like Opalescence Tooth Whitening Systems.

Your dentist is available to treat any discomfort that arises. Plus, Opalescence’s gel is very viscous so it’s less likely to leak out of the custom trays.

Another huge benefit to Opalescence Tooth Whitening Systems is reduced tooth sensitivity. It’s especially formulated to prevent tooth dehydration: the main source of pain and sensitivity from other whitening kits.

Traditional OTC strips are a huge pain: they move around and get peroxide gel all over your mouth. And if you’re willing to spend a little more money to use more comfortable trays they still won’t be custom like the ones you find at our office, nor will the strength of the product be the same.


You can pick up inexpensive teeth whitening strips from almost any drug store for about $10 or $20. These options usually contain a very small percentage of peroxide. Plus, they don’t contain any ingredients like fluoride, potassium nitrate, or water to prevent tooth dehydration and sensitivity.

If you’re going to shell out the money for the high-end OTC options, you might want to consider professional teeth whitening with our assistance. Although professional whitening with Opalescence Tooth Whitening Systems might cost a little more, you can be sure about comfort and seeing the results you want as quickly as possible.

End Result

On one hand, teeth whitening isn’t for everyone. Even professional whitening might not give you the results you’re looking for if your teeth are extremely discoloured or stained. In which case we can discuss other options.

Generally speaking, you’ll get the end result you want with professional whitening. Patients see us all the time for professional treatment after OTC options didn’t work.


Professional options last a lot longer than OTC options. This is because Opalescence Tooth Whitening Systems contain especially formulated gel to prevent shade relapse.

Less frequent whitening means less money spent over time!

Choosing the Right Teeth Whitening in Airdrie

If you’re not new to teeth whitening, think about your past experience. What factors are important to you and which option gives you the best solution? Make sure to call or visit You First Dental to discuss your options and whether or not teeth whitening is right for you.

Make an appointment here.