The benefits of Orthodontics

For most patients, the word ‘orthodontics’ brings to mind an image of a teenager sporting metal bracket braces. The truth is that there are many orthodontic treatments available to correct a wide array of dental issues. While we recommend that parents bring their children in for their first orthodontic appointment around age 7, teenagers and adults can also be successfully treated with orthodontics.

Orthodontics refers to the branch of dentistry that corrects misalignment issues of the teeth and jaw. Orthodontics can do more than improve the appearance of a patient’s teeth. Orthodontics can be used to correct alignment issues such as overbite, underbite, crossbite, crowding of the teeth and much more. If left untreated, these conditions can lead to further problems down the road, such as headaches, sleep apnea and TMJ.

There are many different orthodontic appliances, but the most common are braces, retainers and the Invisalign System. With braces, metal brackets are bonded to the tooth surface and connected with a wire arch. The arch puts gentle pressure on the teeth, which gradually moves the teeth and/or jaw into the correct alignment. The braces will need to be periodically adjusted as the teeth shift. While braces are safe and effective, they can be cumbersome and present issues with eating and cleaning. Often times, certain foods need to be avoided while a patient is wearing braces. For this reason, many adult patients and parents opt for Invisalign.

With Invisalign, patients use a series of clear trays which serve to shift the position of the teeth. The clear trays are removable, so they won’t interfere with eating or drinking. However, in order for treatment to be successful it is important that the patient wears the trays consistently. Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional metal bracket braces as they are more convenient and discreet. In addition, the Invisalign system is comparable in price to traditional metal bracket braces.

After an orthodontic treatment, a patient is advised to wear a custom made retained to ensure that the teeth do not shift back to their original position. With Invisalign, clear removable Vivera® retainers are available.

There are many benefits to orthodontics. Properly aligned teeth are not only aesthetically pleasing, but can benefit a patient’s oral health as well. If you are interested in orthodontics for yourself or your child, give our Edmonton office a call at 587-405-4587. Our friendly dentist, Dr. Christine Fialka-Eshenko can help you decide which orthodontic treatment is right for you.

How Invisalign can benefit your oral health and improve your smile

We get many inquiries at our Edmonton dental clinic about Invisalign® . Invisalign® is an orthodontic system that uses a series of clear aligners to gradually shift the teeth into proper alignment. Invisalign provides advantages over traditional metal bracket braces. In many cases, treatment time is faster with Invisalign and the cost is no more than with braces. The clear Invisalign®  retainers are more comfortable than metal brackets and wires, and can be removed for activities such as eating and brushing the teeth. Invisalign® is often a preferred choice for teens, who may be self conscious about wearing less discreet orthodontic appliances.

Many times when patients are interested in orthodontics for themselves or their children, their main concerns are esthetic: conditions such as gapped teeth, overbite, underbite or other forms of malocclusions are often thought to be unsightly. However, people are sometimes unaware that these conditions can cause oral health issues over time if left untreated. TMJ disorder, migraine headaches and sleep apnea, for example, are often affected by misalignment of the teeth. If at all possible it’s best to treat malocclusion early on to prevent further problems from arising. While it is recommended that children have their first orthodontic consultation by age 7, teens and adults alike are successfully treated with Invisalign®.

While the Invisalign® retainers are removable, it is important that they are worn for at least 20 hours a day for optimal benefits .Invisalign clear aligners for teens contain compliance indicators that fade from blue to clear to help gauge wear time.

After treatment is complete, Vivera retainers are used to prevent the teeth from gradually shifting back. Vivera retainers are clear and comfortable just as the Invisalign® retainers are.

If you are in the Edmonton area and are considering orthodontic treatments for yourself or your child, give us a call at +1 587-405-4587. Once you book a consultation, our friendly Edmonton dentist Dr. Christine Fialka-Eshenko will give help you decide whether Invisalign®  is the right choice for you.

Teeth Whitening in Edmonton- how to get that pearly white smile in time for the holidays!

The holiday season is quickly approaching. We all have our own unique traditions, but for most us, events such as family dinners and work parties will be plentiful in the coming weeks. It’s only natural to want to look and feel your best for your friends and family. And of course, no one wants wants to show off a yellow, stained smile in those holiday pictures. So if you want a whiter and brighter smile in time for Christmas, don’t worry! Our friendly Edmonton dental clinic, Focus on Smiles, has some tips and tricks to help you achieve that luminous smile.

First of all, be mindful of the food and beverages you indulge in. Truth be told, most of us are guilty of going a little overboard on the eggnog and gingerbread cookies from time to time. However, if you consume drinks like red wine, orange juice and pop too often you will soon find that your teeth are starting to look a little dull. To avoid this type of staining try sticking with white wine and less acidic/ sugary drinks – plain water is always a good choice. If you’re going to drink a sugary, acidic or colored drink, consider using a straw. It will minimize the amount of the beverage that gets on your teeth.

We all know that it’s important to brush after each meal and snack, but realistically, this is not always going to be possible. If you’re at a dinner party and can’t sneak away to brush your teeth, just drink some water. Swish it around in your mouth to help rinse away the sugars and food particles.

This is also a great time of year to consider coming in for a cleaning and exam, especially if you are overdue anyway. In fact, most insurance benefits expire at the end of the year, so it’s best to book that appointment before you lose out on December 31. You may even opt for a professional teeth whitening to give your teeth that extra sparkle.

In fact, if your teeth are yellowed or stained, a professional teeth whitening may be necessary to rejuvenate them. We have a number of teeth whitening options that yield far more dramatic results than over the counter whitening products. With the numerous tooth whitening options available, there is no reason to hide a yellow smile out of embarrassment. If you live in the Edmonton, Alberta area, please contact Edmonton dentist Dr. Christine Fialka-Eshenko today to schedule your initial consultation and boost your self-confidence with the smile you deserve.

How to Choose the Right Toothpaste

Enter the toothpaste aisle of your local drugstore and you might be overwhelmed by the multitude of different brands and varieties lining the shelves. You might be drawn in by claims such as whitening, bacteria fighting, cavity protection and much more. Fortunately, you can find a great toothpaste for under $5, and as long as it has a seal of approval from the Canadian Dental Association or the American Dental Association it’s probably going to be just fine. However, different toothpastes have features that you might find useful. Below we’ve broken down the pros and cons of several different types of toothpastes to help you find the right one for your unique dental needs.


Whitening toothpastes will generally contain a mild abrasive such as baking soda. While these toothpastes can help to buff away surface stains from the enamel, if you have deep discoloration you may require a professional teeth whitening treatment to see noticeable results.

Cavity protection:

Almost any toothpaste on the market contains fluoride, which offers cavity protection. Toothpastes making special claims about cavity protection likely have an extra measure fluoride. If you find that you are prone to cavities and this is a concern for you, special high fluoride toothpastes such as Colgate® PreviDent® 5000 Plus (Rx) are available by prescription only. Ask your dentist for more information.

Natural or organic brands

Many of the toothpastes labeled as having “natural” or “organic” ingredients are not approved by the Canadian or American Dental Association. This is likely due to the fact that many of these toothpastes do not contain fluoride. Since you won’t be ingesting toothpaste, there is no real need to opt for organic or special ingredients. In addition, these types of toothpastes are usually a little more expensive than regular brands and don’t offer the same level of cavity protection. If you really want to buy a natural brand of toothpaste, at least try to find one that contains fluoride for maximum effectiveness.

Children’s toothpastes

If you have kids, you may want to buy them their own special brand of toothpaste. Kid’s toothpastes are generally the same as regular ones except for the fact that they come in flavours that are more palatable to children, such as bubblegum or berry. If a toothpaste like this will make your child’s brushing experience more fun, then by all means go for it! But if all you have on hand is regular toothpaste that should work fine too- just remember to only use a pea size amount and make sure that your little one does not swallow any of it.

Desensitizing toothpaste

Toothpastes that are formulated for sensitive teeth are designed to provide relief from pain associated with hot and cold foods. If you suffer from sensitive teeth, toothpastes like Sensodyne® may help. Sensodyne® has a wide range of toothpastes that also have additional benefits such as whitening or cavity protection. However, if your sensitivity persists it’s best to come in for a checkup to help determine the cause of your sensitivity. If you are still unsure of which toothpaste is right for you, give us a call at +1 587-405-4587 to book a consultation with our friendly Edmonton dentist Dr. Fialka-Eshenko.

Santa visits Focus on Smiles!

The Focus on Smiles office received a yearly visit from a very special patient: Santa!
Mr. Kringle took time out from his busy schedule making toys at the North Pole for the children of the world to say hello to the staff and patients at our dental office in Edmonton. We made sure he walked away with a gift of his own- freshly cleaned and polished teeth and a goody bag filled with lots of dental essentials.

Santa reminded us all to be on our best behaviour since Christmas is only 21 short sleeps away. We made sure to give him our wish list! We also had a great chat with Santa about general dentistry and dental hygiene. With a sweet tooth such as his it’s especially important for him to come in for a cleaning and exam twice a year. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing more of Santa throughout the year! We also reminded him of the importance of regular brushing and flossing after meals and before bed.

Unfortunately Santa couldn’t stay long- he had to fly back to the North Pole to feed the reindeer. We’re so grateful that jolly ol’ St. Nick chose our very own Dr. Fialka-Eshenko to be his family dentist, and we can’t wait until the next time he stops by our Edmonton dental clinic.

Dr. Fialka-Eshenko and the entire team at Focus on Smiles would like to wish our patients and their families and friends a warm and happy holiday season

The benefit of dental implants

If you are missing one or more teeth, you have likely considered restorative dentistry options. Perhaps you may be putting off replacing the lost tooth due to time or financial constraints. If this is the case for you, you may be pleased to hear that restorative dentistry has become more affordable in recent years, and financing options are available. In fact, when you leave a missing tooth untreated you are giving the jawbone an opportunity to shrink. This can cause the remaining teeth to shift out of alignment, which will cause a host of other costly and unpleasant dental issues in the long run. Not only will replacing a missing tooth enhance the appearance of your smile, it will improve your oral health in the future.

Dental implants are restorations that are made to look and function exactly like your natural teeth. The implant consists of a small titanium screw which will be inserted into the jawbone where the root of the natural tooth used to be. Once healed, the titanium screw will stabilize and serve as a post to affix the prosthetic tooth to.

The prosthetic tooth is a composite, made of many different types of materials which are hard and strong. The tooth is then capped with a porcelain crown. Although dental implants do not develop cavities like real teeth do, it’s still important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine to keep gum disease at bay and to protect the natural teeth. With proper care a dental implant can last for a patient’s lifetime.

Our friendly Edmonton dentist Dr. Christine Fialka-Eshenko is skilled at making implants blend in seamlessly with the remaining teeth. If you have missing teeth and would like to learn if you’re a candidate for dental implants, please contact Focus on Smiles. Dr. Christine Fialka-Eshenko welcomes patients from the greater Edmonton, Alberta, area.

Treatments for headaches and migraines in Edmonton Alberta

Millions of people suffer from recurring, often debilitating migraines, headaches and cluster headaches. Many of these people have sought help from doctors, chiropractors, physiotherapists and other professionals to little or no avail. What they may not realize is that misalignment of the teeth and jaw are to blame for the pain that they are experiencing. You see, this misalignment can cause tension in the head, neck and shoulder areas, which can in turn lead to chronic pain and affect a patient’s entire well-being. This misalignment is referred to as temporomandibular joint disorder, often abbreviated to TMD or TMJ.

So what can be done if a patient is experiencing pain caused by TMD? Some dentists, such as Dr. Christine Fialka-Eshenko, are specially trained to diagnose and treat TMJ disorder. Dr. Christine Fialka-Eshenko begins by assessing the relationship between the nerves, muscles, jaw alignment, and hard and soft tissue to determine the cause of the patient’s symptoms. If misalignment of the temporomandibular joint is discovered, Dr. Christine Fialka-Eshenko will work on a treatment plan to shift your jaw into its optimal position. This will relieve you of temporomandibular joint disorder symptoms, such as headaches, migraines, jaw locking, popping or clicking, bruxism, pain when chewing and difficulty sleeping.

For immediate relief,Dr. Christine Fialka-Eshenko may use a state of the art TENS unit to relax your muscles. The TENS unit works by emitting a constant, rhythmic pulse of ultra low frequencies to increase blood flow , massage the affected tissues, and stimulate endorphin production to reduce pain.

For long term relief, a special orthodontic appliance may be fabricated to help realign the jaw and alleviate tension in the surrounding musculature.

We understand that migraine headaches can dramatically reduce your quality of life, so please don’t suffer in silence. If you live in the Edmonton, Alberta area and suffer from headaches that you think may be caused by temporomandibular joint disorder please contact our office today to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Christine Fialka-Eshenko.

KoR Teeth Whitening

If you’re thinking of getting your teeth whitened in the Edmonton area, look no further! After working with other whitening systems we have found that the KoR Deep Bleaching system offers the most dramatic and consistent results. As always, we strive to ensure that our patients receive the very best in dental care, which is why we use KoR Whitening at our Edmonton dental office!

What sets the KoR Whitening system apart from the rest?

We noticed that many of our patients had deep staining due to tetracycline use as a child. We found that the KoK Whitening system worked best on these type of stains. In fact, this whitening system can lighten your teeth up to 16 shades! This system also offers a unique versatility and convenience; it is available as both an in-office or at-home treatment, allowing you to choose the option which best fits your needs.

This system also works well for patients with sensitive teeth, as it includes a desensitizing agent in the tooth whitening formula. It is comfortable and safe for your teeth and gums. In fact, there is no need to give up your favourite foods and drinks after treatment with KoK Whitening. If you wish to consume staining drinks such as coffee, tea or red wine, Dr. Fialka-Eshenko will recommend a twice monthly at home treatment as part of a long-term maintenance program. When used properly this system provides long lasting and natural looking results for a smile you will be proud to show off!

The KoK Teeth Whitening system is safe and effect for teens, young adults and even the elderly. Everyone can enjoy that boost of confidence that a beautiful, bright white smile can yield. If you are interested in teeth whitening for yourself or a loved one, please contact our Edmonton Dental Clinic for more information!

What to do in case of a dental emergency

A good majority of dental emergencies are preventable. Regular dental checkups in addition to a good home care routine will go a long way towards preventing decay- many dental emergencies are due to toothaches caused by deep decay.

However, even if a patient meticulously cares for their teeth, dental traumas and accidents can occur which will require emergency dental care. If you find yourself or a loved one in the midst of a dental emergency don’t panic. Stay calm and take the appropriate steps as listed below for the best shot at saving your tooth.

Broken, chipped or cracked tooth

If you find yourself with a damaged tooth the best thing to do is come in for an emergency dental visit as soon as possible. If it’s a small crack you’ll likely need a filling or a crown. A sharp edge left when the tooth fractures can be irritating to the tongue or cheek; your dentist likely will smooth the rough edges before deciding on the best restorative options for the broken tooth.If the tooth is severely damaged it may need to be extracted. In this case you will need a dental implant to replace the lost tooth. In any case, its best to come in sooner rather than later.

Tooth knocked out

If a tooth is completely knocked it can be a traumatic situation. Do your best to stay calm and try to find the lost tooth. Place it in a glass of milk and schedule an emergency dental visit for that same day if possible. If your mouth is bleeding try holding a sterile gauze in the space where the tooth used to be. Also, if the tooth isn’t totally avulsed, try to push it back into place, bite on some tissue and call for a dental appointment.

A bad toothache

A toothache that is contrast and accompanied by swollen cheeks, sensitivity to hot and cold or fever could indicate an infected or abscessed tooth. If you have any of these symptoms don’t delay seeking dental care. You may need antibiotics, a root canal or extraction. The infection won’t get better on its own and could lead to severe complications if left untreated.

At Focus on Smiles we understand that dental emergencies can happen at any time. For this reason we welcome emergency patients and offer same day appointments. If you think you may be experiencing a dental emergency please do not hesitate to contact our downtown Edmonton office.