Tag Archives: smile

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.


Health Benefits of Smiling

December 1, 2016


The clocks have gone back, daylight is shortening, and the festive season looms closer bringing with it many more reasons to smile. However, the decrease in daylight can be a problem for many. Thankfully, we all come equipped with the tools to help. Heading into the winter months is the perfect time to remind ourselves of the health benefits of smiling.

  • Did you know the simple act of smiling boosts endorphin release in the brain and nervous system? Endorphins are our friends, lowering stress and anxiety.
  • Another benefit of endorphins is they act as painkillers.
  • Smiling improves mood, even when not in social settings.
  • When in social settings, happy faces are preferred to neutral faces. It seems obvious, but how often are we out in the world, or in front of a screen in neutral or scowling without realizing? We don’t drive in neutral or reverse (at least not too long), why neutralize our face.
  • There is power in the giving of a smile. Mother Teresa said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing”.
  • Smiling children are a boon. Studies in Sweden showed other people’s smiles suppress control over our facial muscles forcing us to smile, and children smile 400 times a day compared to the 20 smiles of the average adult!


Take your smile one step further to belly-busting laughter. Hard laughter leads to increased heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen consumption. If this reminds you of exercise, you would be correct. However, this is only present in periods of intense laughter and should not replace aerobic exercise, or to justify that extra bag of chips, no matter how tempting.

Research in the activity of smiling continues to uncover various benefits, including links to boosting your immune system. Now armed with knowledge of the health benefits of smiling, look after your most important asset, your teeth.

For bright, and beautiful smiles, the smile you desire, schedule your free smile analysis at Dr. Walter Heidary Family Dental today.


Reasons to Smile During The Holidays

December 14, 2015


It’s that time of year again: aisles of gift-wrap and Christmas decorations have taken over every store, and the holiday spirit has arrived in full steam. December is a time of tradition, joy and cheer; a time to give, receive and help those in need. You can definitely feel the spirit of Christmas magic floating in the air everywhere you go. With Christmas coming up, and the New Year quickly approaching, there are many reasons to smile this Holiday Season.


Spending Time with Loved Ones

There’s no greater gift during the holidays than the gift of spending time with your loved ones. Spending quality time and appreciating the ones that matter the most is the true meaning of the holiday season. The spirit of the season always comes through as people take time to gather with family and friends, or attend work parties with co-workers. Whatever your holiday traditions are, whether they include large family dinners, ugly Christmas sweater parties with friends, or cuddling by the fireplace with your significant other, being around the ones you love is sure to put a smile on your face.

Festive Decorations 

Everywhere you go, holiday displays light up the darkness with the most bright and colourful decorations imaginable. Christmas trees filled with ornaments collected throughout the years have light up households. Halls are decked with boughs of holly, and mistletoe is hung. Children are lined up to sit on Santa’s lap to take a picture, and give St. Nick their Christmas list. You won’t be able to help but smile as the feeling of magic and warmth surrounds you.

Spreading the Joy

Who doesn’t love presents? But nothing compares to the feeling of seeing the look on a loved one’s face as they open their gift! This holiday, don’t stress about buying the perfect gift for your friends and family. Instead, focus on do-it-yourself presents that show your loved ones you are thinking of them. Remember, it’s the thought that counts! The feeling of sharing and caring is representative of this special time of the year, so take a moment to give back to others. Give a smile to someone in need by giving back to charities and local food banks this holiday season.

Holiday Food

Holiday treats such as eggnog, gingerbread cookies and peppermint stick candy are everywhere this season. Gathering in the kitchen with the family to bake and decorate special cookies, or build a gingerbread house are activities that are enjoyed at any age! Remember, foods that are high in sugar speed up the tooth decay process if proper cleaning is not in order. We know that this is a time of indulgence, and while we want you to enjoy yourself, remember to appreciate everything in moderation. Here’s a tip: brush your teeth after every treat, and give out leftover baked goods to your friends or co-workers. You will have a fun time baking and decorating delicious treats, putting a smile on someone else’s face AND stay healthy! The holidays may take a toll on your teeth if you aren’t careful, so make sure you schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible after the holiday parties start to calm down.

Outdoor Winter Activities

The temperature may have cooled down substantially, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the outdoors! Grab your children and hit the hills for some tobogganing, or the local rink for some skating fun. If that is not your cup of tea, try horseshoeing or building a snowman. If you prefer a more fast-paced activity, hit the slopes for some skiing or snowboarding. Whatever your preference is, there are many winter activities to help you keep active this holiday season.

New Year’s Resolutions

As 2015 comes to an end, it is a great time to step back from our busy day-to-day lives and reflect on the past year. It is a time to evaluate last year’s resolutions and create new ones. With a new year, comes the possibility of reinventing yourself. If living a healthy lifestyle is one of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2016, don’t forget about oral health. Make oral healthcare a priority for the whole family this year and keep healthy smiles for life!


These are just a few reasons to smile this holiday season. We hope that you can find many more reasons to smile and spread the holiday cheer. From everyone at Dr. Walter Heidary Family Dentistry, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season full of healthy smiles!





back to school dentistry

Why You Should Head Back to the Dentist Before Heading Back to School

August 17, 2015

When summer is starting to wrap up, it’s time again to prepare your children for another school year. Whether they are going to school for the very first time, or are returning for their final year before graduating, you want to make sure you have done everything to get your children ready for the year ahead. One thing you should be sure to include on that back to school checklist is a dentist appointment.

The start of a new school year is a great opportunity for parents to get all check ups completed, and have an up-to-date record of their children’s health. There is no better way to start the school year off right, than with better dental care habits and a routine that will keep your child healthy and happy.

We believe you’re never too young to take care of your teeth; which is why we offer three different types of Children’s Dentistry appointments to get your children on the right track:


This one-hour session, suited for children ranging from 2 – 6 years old, is meant to engage them about dentistry and dental care through play. This appointment uses puppets, models, microscopes, and tablets to give your child an interactive learning experience. Through this learning and engagement, the goal is to not only make them comfortable in the dental office, but to also encourage and motivate children to care for their teeth while at home, and continue to make healthy choices to promote dental health.

The self-care appointment also includes a dental hygiene appointment, a cleaning, and a check-up from Dr. Heidary.


While the self-care appointment helps children to feel more comfortable in the dental office, the prep appointment works to develop coping strategies so your child can feel more in control during their regular dentist appointments. During this 30 minute session, children “play dentist” by practicing dentistry on puppets using the tools and procedures that will be used in their own appointment.

As children often don’t get the chance to engage with the actual tools before an appointment, or aren’t walked through the procedures of a regular check-up, this prep appointment helps to alleviate the fear of the unknown during their future appointments.


Different from the self-care and prep appointments, the specific dental treatment appointments are where parents are encouraged to get involved. These treatments are based on the individual child’s age, needs, and coping abilities. The goal of these appointments is to create an easy, and stress-free experience for the child. These appointments are 30 minutes each.

Children’s Dentistry

Each child’s program is customized to their specific needs, with the goal to create a fun, engaging way to learn about dentistry and their own oral health. Those who participate in the children’s dentistry program are more prepared for dental treatments, and we hope they will get fewer cavities, gum infections, and have fewer dental-related phobias and issues due to their familiarity and positive outlook on their dentistry experience.

General Dentistry

If your children are a bit older, they may already be familiar with the treatments and practices of the dental office, or aren’t quite suited for the Children’s Dentistry program. If that is the case, they should be receiving regular check-ups and appointments to maintain their healthy gums and teeth well into their adult years.

At any age, we will put together a customized preventative oral health program to give you a healthy smile for life. This program includes proper brushing and flossing tips, as well as information such as foods to avoid to best care for your oral health.


At Dr. Walter Heidary Family Dentistry, we have programs and appointments to suit children of all ages, as well as yourself. Be sure to contact us to book your back to school dentist appointments!

Smile Your Way to Self-Confidence

December 22, 2014

smiling people cheers with wine

Have you ever met someone with seemingly bottomless expanses of confidence? All eyes are on them as they walk into a room. They are always sure of themselves, they can capture the attention of any audience, they walk with assurance, they seize opportunities, and they are well respected.

Sometimes it may feel like you can never get on their level – you will never be the person who strides into a room with positivity and confidence. You feel like you will always shrivel in front of others nervously and continue on, unnoticed. There are steps you can take to become more confident in yourself. The very first step is also the easiest one – smile!

Various studies have proven that facial expressions are not only visible portrayals of emotion; they actually contribute to that emotion as well.

Smiling can make you feel happier, feel better about yourself, and increase your confidence. Even when you fake a smile, you are slowly changing your attitude and you can begin to increase your self-confidence. A study in which participants held chopsticks between their teeth that forced them to smile while performing stressful tasks proved this theory. Those participants who were forced to smile had lower heart rate levels, lower self-reported stress levels, and an easier time recovering from the stress than those who held neutral facial expressions. Choosing to smile even impacts what we find funny or what we enjoy – the more we smile, the more we perceive things positively.

By choosing to smile, you are choosing the positive route and soon enough your fake smile will transform into a real one!

Body language is a huge influencer in how we are perceived. Don’t believe us? Just watch this TED talk! Smiling is an important part of our body language – by smiling, we open ourselves up to those around us. The more you smile, the more likely you will be perceived positively. You become more approachable, more likely to get hired, and even more attractive. This even works when people don’t see you smiling – like when you’re talking to someone over the phone.

When others perceive us positively, it’s much easier for ourselves to do the same. When our social interactions are more successful, when we reach our goals, when we have a positive outlook – all things that come from smiling more – our self-confidence can soar. One tiny act of smiling can give us just enough juice to start a positive chain of events that leads to huge improvements to our self-esteem.

Want to know some more positive effects of smiling?

Back to School with a Smile

August 20, 2014

It’s almost that time of year again! Back to school! Send your child back with a smile by visiting the dentist.

Smile back to school

When children are young, there are many changes happening with their teeth with losing baby teeth and growing permanent teeth. It’s a time when tooth decay is common. Left untreated, tooth decay can cause a child problems with eating, speaking, sleeping, and learning, so it’s important to prevent.

Tooth decay is entirely preventable and getting a dental checkup before children head back to school is a vital part of preventing it.

Children need confidence too! A healthy and happy smile is one way to give them the confidence they need to be successful in class.

Another thing to consider when you’re getting back in the swing of things is the importance of your children eating healthy lunches and snacks. Include portable healthy lunch items and snacks in your child’s lunch, including cheese, raw vegetables, yogurt or fruit. If your child eats in the school cafeteria, make sure to review healthy, balanced food choices with them before the first day of school. Nutrition programs at early learning centres like Childventures, let you breathe easy about your child’s nutrition. Your children’s teeth will definitely thank you for keeping sugary snacks and food at a minimum.

healthy lunches good for teeth

Still need to schedule an appointment? Contact us now and help your child achieve their desired smile!