Tag Archives: dental hygiene

April is National Oral Health Month

April 23, 2018

Shake off the winter blues and swing into spring! This month Canadians across the country are celebrating National Dental Health Month. Supported by the Canadian Dental Health Association (CDHA), what better of a time to think about how you take care of your mouth? By promoting better oral health, this month long event encourages Canadians to have a better overall quality of life.

Oral Health for Overall Health

Our mouths are mirrors into the body, and reflect our overall well being. Compared to other parts of the body, people often ignore injuries, aches and bleeding in their mouths. Bleeding and tender gums, oral pain and mouth infections are common problems that are often ignored. If you ignore these problems, they can severely affect your quality of life.

If you’re having any problems with your mouth – it’s important to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. These problems can be potential indicators of serious chronic diseases like oral cancer.

What are the stats?

In Canada 1000 people die per year from oral cancer. Most often, the cancer is diagnosed at a late stage when treatments are not nearly effective. By regularly visiting the dentist, problems can be diagnosed earlier when the treatment outcome is better and more optimal.

Signs of Oral Cancer:

  • Small lumps / thickened areas in the mouth
  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • Tingling or numbness in the mouth
  • Bleeding mouth with no cause
  • Sores in the mouth that won’t heal

Preventative care is always the best option for staying healthy. Proper oral health is something vital to our overall well-being that far too many of us overlook! Take a minute to think about your own oral health, is it something you take seriously?

We encourage you to follow the CDHA’s ‘5 Steps to Better Oral Health’ to help reduce the risk of oral disease and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The 5 Steps to Better Oral Health according to the CDHA:

  • Visit the Dentist Regularly – Every 6-9 months depending on individual
  • Keep your Mouth Clean – Brush & floss at least 2 times a day, and use mouthwash
  • Eat, Drink but Be Wary – Healthy, unprocessed foods that are nutrient rich help the body to fight infection. Reduce sugar and processed food intake as well!
  • Check your Mouth Often – Gum disease (periodontal disease) is the most common cause of tooth loss
  • Avoid Tobacco Products

When should you take your child to the dentist for the first time?

January 25, 2018

Getting your child comfortable with the dentist’s office and oral hygiene is equally as important as getting the checkup itself.

We recommend bringing your child in for their first visit within 6 months of their first tooth coming in, as tooth decay and plaque can start to show. Your child’s baby teeth will fall out but they still need care. Even though you can’t see them, your child’s adult teeth are growing underneath.

 

Mother’s milk, formula, cow’s milk and fruit juices all contain sugars.

Babies may get early childhood tooth decay from going to bed with a bottle of milk, formula or juice.

If your baby absolutely requires a bottle for bed, use water instead.

The first visit is meant to accomplish 3 things.

  • First, it’s meant to familiarize your child with the dentist’s office, allowing him or her to explore and become more comfortable. The dentist will only take a look at a child’s teeth once he or she is at ease.
  • Once trust is established, the tools used in dentistry will be introduced in an attempt to remove the fear associated with these items.
  • Lastly this visit allows the dentist to do a quick exam, looking for evidence of tooth decay. The dentist will check the child’s gums, jaw, and bite looking for any problems that may affect the teeth, or speech.

People who start proper oral hygiene habits early tend to:

  • End up with fewer cavities and gum infections
  • Increase their overall oral health
  • Gain a positive dental outlook (are less afraid or nervous of dental processes)
  • Have increased self-confidence

Check out 10 Ways To Make Brushing Fun For Your Child for some helpful ideas!

At Desired Smiles we are known for our unique Dental Program for children. It’s designed to educate children about oral hygiene and dental processes in an encouraging and relaxed way.

We offer three types of appointments for kids. Each child’s program is customized specific to their needs, age, developmental abilities and level of anxiety. We work with kids in a fun and captivating way. Contact us to learn more or book your appointment!

Tips for the parent:

Dentists are trained in describing dental procedures and processes to children in a non-threatening way.

  • Before the appointment, try not to share personal experiences unless they were positive.
  • Explain to them where they are going and talk about it in an excited manner rather than a nervous one
  • Remind them that dentists are there to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy.

Check out How To Get Your Child Ready For Their First Dentist Appointment for more tips!

 

It is important to start the oral hygiene process young, as the younger a child is when they’re exposed to new routines, the more likely they are to continue them into adulthood.

Gift yourself a stress-free holiday

December 17, 2016

Holidays bring cheer and festivities all around. The family dinners, shopping, gifts and decorations, while being joyful can also be stressful.

Oral health issues like dry mouth, poor hygiene, canker sores, teeth grinding, TMJ and gum disease can all be related to stress. Furthermore, some coping mechanisms like night-time teeth grinding, indulging in sweet treats, etc. worsen the effect. Here’s 5 easy steps to prevent stress related health issues:

  • Exercising can not only reduce stress but also provide a good night’s rest. Regular exercise releases endorphins into our system which promote a positive feeling.
  • Make time for yourself. It’s easy to lose oneself in all the holiday bustle. Schedule time for unwinding and make it a priority to sit down to healthy, home-cooked meals as opposed to unhealthy alternatives on the go.
  • Avoid munching on treats throughout the day. This can be quite tempting especially during the holiday season when holiday treats and left-overs are plentiful. Munching is also used as a coping mechanism for stress. Drinking plenty of water promotes a feeling of being full and helps curb extensive snacking.
  • Smile! A simple smile is known to have stress-relieving effects and what’s more…smiles are contagious! Make this holiday season, a reason for smiling, not for stress.
  • Lastly, if you experience teeth grinding or related pains in the jaw and/or teeth, visit your dentist to prevent any further damage to your teeth.

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Candy Eating: A Users Guide

October 26, 2016

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Halloween is coming up and after that, there’s the holiday season. The next few months will see our children faced with a barrage of sugary treats and candy. In particular, what is the best way to handle the basket of candy hauled in on October 31st?

When we eat candy, the sugar combines with the bacteria in the plaque existing on our teeth and gums. This combination produces a mild acid that starts the tooth decay process. The longer and more often the teeth are exposed to the sugars in candy, the more damage can occur. 

So, here’s our Users Guide to Candy Eating:

1.       Children should not eat anything before they get home. Make sure to check all the treats collected, for safety and also for potential allergic ingredients.

2.       Set a treat time. For reasons outlined above, it is better to eat a little more candy at one time than snack on candy multiple times a day. The teeth are exposed to sugar less frequently.

3.       A good treat time is with meals or shortly after. The saliva in the mouth increases at meal time and helps lessen the effect of the acid produced by the sugar and bacteria in the mouth.

4.       Drink more water with treats as it will flush the mouth of sugars and acids and also help remove food particles.

5.       Avoid hard candy. Hard candies take longer to eat so the sugars and the cavity causing acid are present in the mouth for a much longer time.

6.       Avoid chewy or gummy candy. These treat are usually higher in sugar and stick to the teeth much longer. They also tend to be more difficult for the saliva to breakdown.

7.       Brush, floss and rinse after treat time.

8.       Finally, if that candy haul is lasting way too long; try a candy-swap. Exchange your children’s candy for something else they like, such as stickers or passes to an amusement park.

Halloween and the holidays that follow should be fun events for kids, so deprivation of treats is not the answer. Candy and sweets can be enjoyed while limiting their impact on our children’s teeth and oral health.

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Back to School Means Back to the Dentist

September 1, 2016

 

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  1. Fresh haircut
  2. A new outfit
  3. School supplies
  4. Dental appointment

The next few days are a hectic time for students and parents getting ready to return to the classroom. Don’t overlook an important step in getting your child ready for school, a check up with the dentist and also a chance to reinforce good oral health habits.

Studies show that one of the first things people notice about someone is their smile and that a good smile creates a positive self-image…something all parents wish for their children. That Desired Smile starts with a dental check up and oral care instruction from their early years and continues into their teens as children’s teeth and mouths change dramatically as they grow throughout their school years.

So here’s our back to school dental checklist:

  • Regular dental examinations to diagnose and treat or prevent dental problems.
  • Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. If it’s hard to remember when to change a brush, you could try to change it every time report cards come out.
  • Eating healthy lunches and snacks including grains, milk, cheese, raw vegetables, yogurt or fruit. If your child eats in the school cafeteria, review healthy, balanced food choices with them before the first day of school. Cut back on sugary foods and soft drinks.
  • Wearing a properly fitted mouth guard while participating in organized sports, PE classes or playground activities.

We offer three types of appointments for kids:

  • Self-care (1 hour session, including a dental hygiene appointment)
    For children who are 2-6 years old, we use puppets, models, cameras, microscopes and disclosing tablets to engage them through play. The goal is to make them comfortable in the dental office, but also to motivate them to care for their teeth at home, and make healthy choices. Self-care sessions end with a cleaning and a friendly check up from Dr. Heidary.
  • Prep (1/2 hour session)
    Kids get a chance to “play dentist” and do dentistry on puppets, which gives them a chance to get comfortable with the tools and procedures that will be used in their appointment. It’s a great way for kids to develop coping strategies so they can feel more in control.
  • Treatments (1/2 hour session)
    Specific dental treatments are based on the child’s age, psychosocial needs and coping abilities; our goal is always to make it an experience that’s as easy and stress-free as possible for the child. We encourage parents to get involved.

Proper dental care and maintenance along with good oral health care skills learned at an early age, gives our children the best chance of maintaining healthy teeth throughout their lives.

 

 

Are You Afraid of the Dentist?

May 28, 2014

Don’t worry; going to the dentist is actually a very common phobia. Many people don’t know where the fear originates, but many feel anxiety about ridicule from the dentist or something else. In some extreme cases, this fear prevents people from receiving proper treatment for their teeth and gums.

Overcoming the Fear

As avoiding proper dental care can result in serious complications, it is best to face your fears to stay in good health. The first step to accomplishing this is finding a dentist that’s right for you. Having a positive relationship with your dentist can do wonders to relieve your fear. Find someone who you get along with, that you trust, and that can put your fears at ease. If you feel comfortable enough telling your dentist about your phobia, they can work with you to make you feel at comfortable.

On the other hand, if you don’t feel comfortable around your dentist, the lack of relationship can is exacerbate your fears. Do your research and find someone you trust.

How to De-stress Before Your Visit

So you’ve found the perfect dentist, but you’re still nervous? That’s understandable, but there are ways you can deal with your anxiety. Here are some tips to calm you down before your visit.

Think Positive!

When facing a phobia, a positive thinking manta may seem unattainable. That’s your negativity speaking! When you enter a situation with a positive outlook, it’s easier to handle the fear or anxiety you may feel. Besides, your dentist is there to help, not hurt. So smile! Your experience won’t be as negative if you, yourself, aren’t as negative.

Bring a Friend with You

A relaxed attitude is contagious. Bring a friend who makes you feel comfortable and takes you mind off of your fear.

Listen to Relaxing Music

Do you have that one playlist that just makes you feel good no matter where you are? Why aren’t you already listening to it in your dentist’s waiting room?

Breathe

When you’re stressed out, you can forget to breathe which adds to your stress. Put those yoga breathing techniques to good use and remember to breathe smoothly. You’ll feel calmer in seconds.

Things to Remember

At the end of the day, your dentist is not a cartoon villain. Your dentist wants what is best for you and wants to make your experience a positive one.