Tag Archives: good dental habits

Dental Tips for a Healthy Halloween – Best and Worst Candy For Your Teeth

October 12, 2018

Halloween is one of the best holidays of the year – not only can you indulge in unlimited candy, but you can dress up, watch scary movies and have a lot of fun!

With Halloween right around the corner, most children are preparing for duffel bags full of candy and easy access to all sorts of sweet treats (the average person eats 3.4 pounds of candy near Halloween!). With the holiday season approaching right after, our children (and ourselves) will be faced with an overabundance of sugary and starchy treats and sweets.

When we indulge on candy – the sugar combines with the bacteria in the plaque that exists on our gums and teeth. This combination produces an acid that triggers the tooth decay process.

There are precautions you can take to ease your mind about your children’s oral health during this sugar-coated holiday.

Drink more water to flush the mouth of sugars and acids

  • This helps to remove and wash away food particles and debris.

Eat candy with your meals

  • Try to eat sugary foods with meals or shortly thereafter. Saliva production increases during meals and helps rinse away food debris and acids produced by bacteria.

Avoid sticky situations

  • Avoid hard candies
  • Avoid chewy / sticky / gummy candies

These candies are much higher in sugar, and therefore stick to the teeth for much longer. It’s also much more difficult for saliva to break down these sweets. This includes hard candies, toffees and caramels, gummy bears, sour candy and jawbreakers.

The best candies are sugar free lollipops, sugar free gums, chocolate and peanut butter cups.

If the candy is lasting too long – try doing a candy swap with your kids! Trade them – their candy for stickers, or an outing to somewhere that they like.

Summer Treats vs Oral Health

July 17, 2018

There are so many fun ways to beat the heat during the summer time – swimming, camping, chasing the ice-cream truck. What’s better than a fun family barbecue, a trip to the fair, or a popsicle by the pool? Indulging in refreshing treats like ice cream, freezies, slurpees and sodas are a great ways to stay cool – but they can seriously damage your teeth. Try making these once-in-a-while treats!

Dairy products like ice cream can be a great source of calcium. Unfortunately most ice cream is made with a lot of sugar. If you can – buy ice cream that is sugar free or has low sugar. Avoid toppings like caramel sauce and syrups if you can, and brush your teeth after to remove the sticky sugars from your enamel.

Healthy Summer Snack Ideas

Corn: Corn reaches its peak sweetness during the hottest months of the summer. Corn is nutrient rich, filled with important compounds that benefit dental health including phosphorus, magnesium, thiamin, fibre and vitamin C.

Salads: Crisp, ripe, fresh and vibrant. The veggies that make up great salads provide essential nutrients and fibre. Raw veggies are also great at naturally scrubbing debris from the teeth, and keeping the teeth shiny.

Fish: Lighter meals are enjoyed more in the summer, and fish is an excellent protein option for this. Omega 3 fatty acids can help fight gum disease and also benefits your overall health.

Berries: Ripe, juicy, red strawberries are the perfect snack for sugar addicts. They are super sweet when they’re ripe, a surrogate candy if you will – but without the risks of processed sugar. Strawberries are packed with vitamins and minerals essential for fuelling the human body. Berries contain vitamin C, calcium, folate, magnesium, potassium and cancer fighting antioxidants.

If you have tooth sensitivity issues and are avoiding ice cream, talk to your dentist about this, we can help!

What are some of your favourite summertime treats? We’d love to hear about it! Share your favourites in the comments below.

Tips on Teen Dental Health – What you should know

June 26, 2018

Teens struggle with orthodontics, contact sports and poor diets filled with carbs and sugars. Less common issues that can still seriously impact the oral and dental health of teenagers are vaping, smoking and mouth piercings. Higher rates of tooth decay are more common in teenagers because of these issues.

Being a teenager is hard. As teens grow, they are faced with many obstacles and their oral health is no different. The teenage years is the time when most people get braces, or their wisdom teeth removed – or both! Many of these procedures are a common part of life and growing up, while others are proactive and preventative measures taken by your dentist to ensure a lifetime of good oral health.

Things to consider discussing with your teens:

Bad Breath: Simple changes in personal oral hygiene habits can eliminate and freshen up your teen’s bad breath. Flossing, brushing twice a day and using mouthwash should get to the root of the problem. If these efforts don’t work – there may be another problem causing this and you should bring your teen to a dentist.

Tobacco Use: Tobacco products contain toxins that have been shown to cause various types of cancer, gum disease, bad breath and tooth discolouration. It’s easier to kick the habit at a younger age rather than older!

Contact Sports: If your teen is involved in contact sports – mouth-guards should always be used to protect the teeth, jaw and head from potential impact.

Wisdom Teeth: Wisdom teeth can cause a host of problems for most people if not removed by a certain age. If you’re teen needs their wisdom teeth extracted – this should be done between the ages of 14-18, for the least amount of recovery time.

Orthodontics: Whether braces or aligners – orthodontics are used to straighten the teeth and align your bite. The brackets, wires and elastics can serve as obstacles to optimal oral hygiene. Your teen needs to be properly taught by a dental professional the best ways to effectively remove plaque and food debris.

Teenagers who keep up good dental health habits and take care of their mouth will reap the benefits of healthy teeth well into adulthood. Remember to set a good example by practicing proper oral hygiene and ensuring your teen gets regular dental care.

At Desired Smiles Family Dentistry we offer many types of dental services for teenagers – including orthodontics, wisdom teeth removal, and general dentistry.  Contact us to learn more about our dental services and book your teen an appointment today!

How To Choose a Dentist

May 22, 2018

When deciding on a new service provider – hairdresser, chiropractor, esthetician or contractor, chances are you don’t make a decision based solely on advertising or how fancy their website it. Chances are you ask people that you trust for their opinions. Chances are – you look for reviews online to see what other people’s experiences are like. When choosing a dentist – why wouldn’t you do the same?

Make sure you know your dental health benefits before looking around!

What to look for:

Cost: After you’ve figured out your dental health benefits, it’s important to make sure that the dentist you’ve chosen will assist you with your insurance and help you discover what is covered and what is not? Do they offer multiple payment methods? If your insurance requires referrals to specialists, can the dentist you chose provide this for you? Keep in mind that dental costs vary by practice.

Location and Office Hours: Make sure that the location is close to your home or your work to make it easier for scheduling appointments and showing up on time. Make sure that it’s open on the days and at the times you would likely come in.

Services and Qualifications: Does the office offer a wide range of dental services, making it more convenient for you to have comprehensive dental care? The office should be able to provide you with a list of services that they offer and the dentist’s qualifications, and about the dentist’s training.

Emergency Care Services: Ask what happens if you have an emergency either during regular office hours or outside of it. Dentists should not refer you to a hospital emergency room. You should be able to contact your dentist or a suitable substitute by phone or answering service if you have a problem.

Personal Comfort: One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a dentist. Does that person make you feel comfortable? Are you able to explain your symptoms and ask questions about procedures? Would you feel comfortable expressing your fears and anxieties and asking for pain meds?

Things you can ask friends & family about their dentists:

  • How long do you sit in the waiting room?
  • Are the staff members courteous?

Before you make a decision, Google your dentist and check their RateMD.

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

Sedation Dentistry for Nervous Patients

March 26, 2018

If you cringe at the thought of being in the dentist’s chair – you’re not alone. Many people are nervous about dental procedures and treatments. If you’ve avoided visiting the dentist because of fear or anxiety, then sedation dentistry (a.k.a sleep dentistry) is the solution for you.

With the use of sedative agents, individuals are able to receive the required treatments without the anxiety and fears that come along with dental procedures.

There are many sedation options available to you – ranging from laughing gas (where you can still drive yourself home after) to conscious iv sedation, to general anaesthesia. From very young children to anxious adults, sedation is used to make everyone’s dental visit as comfortable and calm as possible.

It’s important to have a positive and relaxing dental experience. Sedation dentistry can help you remove the fear and anxiety that you associate with dental visits, and get the proper dental care that you need.

High levels of fear and anxiety about the dentist, and traumatic dental experiences are not the only reasons an individual would consider sedation dentistry. You are also a candidate for sedation dentistry if you have a sensitive gag reflex, sensitive teeth, difficulty numbing the area of treatment, or a complex dental condition.

For your comfort, sedation is available for any dental procedure, from cleanings and fillings to crowns and root canals.

If you require sedation dentistry to be comfortable, please call 905.637.5463 (KIND) or (289) 319-7869.

Why only dream of a beautiful smile, when you can dream while getting a beautiful smile