5 Reasons Biking Makes Us Smile

 

Biking season is upon us once again, and we’ve never been so excited. If you’ve caught the biking bug, you’ll know the exhilaration of flying over spectacular mountaintop scenery, or gently riding through Whistler’s alpine forest. The truth is, no matter your ability, age, shape or size, everyone can enjoy biking, and the reasons to love it go far beyond practicality. Here are a few reasons why biking puts a smile on our face:

#1 Freedom

In our eyes, there’s nothing more freeing than hopping on a bike and immediately feeling the wind in our hair and the fresh mountain air in our face. Biking is a great escape from everyday stress, and there is so much to savour. Whether we’re descending towards Whistler’s stunning lakes, quietly cruising through a forest trail, or even taking a break with a cold drink, there’s a certain sense of freedom we get when sat on our bikes that nothing can compare to.

#2 Speed

We all know the anguish of being stuck in traffic that just never seems to move, and don’t even get us started on not being able to find somewhere to park. On a bike, we are free to take as many twists and turns possible to avoid traffic jams, and we get to know all the best short cuts. Biking is an efficient, speedy way to get from A to B, and it really does deliver us from door to door. It serves as the perfect medium between driving and walking, as it’s still slow enough for us to be able to take in our surroundings. Plus, we end up saving a ton of money on petrol.

#3 Fitness

Aerobics exercises like biking have an immense impact on our physical health. Biking burns a crazy amount of calories and really gets us to use all of our body, meaning we can reward ourselves afterwards guilt-free. As a non-impact sport, it’s also great for our joints, and lots of physiotherapists recommend it for people recovering from injuries. Biking is also incredibly beneficial for our mental health- according to Bike Citizens, biking is known to reduce stress, reduce depression and anxiety and give us an overall self-esteem boost!

#4 Nature

While we’re sweating and struggling on a steep mountain incline, we get to know the countryside pretty well. Riding past rivers, mountains, alpine meadows and all sorts of wildlife is the perfect way to wind down and relax. Being so close to nature truly gives us a new appreciation for the beauty of Whistler’s backcountry, as we get up close and personal with the flora and fauna. Plus, we can ride with the satisfaction that we are helping all this beautiful nature by not polluting it.

#5 Adventure

Ultimately, the sense of adventure is what keeps us coming back to biking. The feeling of setting off with no real destination in mind and no coherent vision of where we’re going is what makes biking so thrilling every time. Biking can be the perfect solitary sport, but we enjoy riding and exploring with our friends even more. All we need is two wheels and a set of pedals and we’re free to explore new parts of Whistler that we’ve never even seen before.

Here at Whistler Dental we cannot wait for summer to begin. The weather, activities, and overall good vibes of the community make us grateful to live and work in such an amazing place. We pride ourselves on providing quality dental care to visitors and members of the Whistler community. If you need routine, emergency or cosmetic dental care, get in contact with us now!

 

 

What’s the difference between bonding and veneers?

 

 

If you’re unhappy with your teeth, both veneers and bonding are great for fixing imperfections and giving you that perfect smile. Maybe you’ve been thinking about changing the appearance of your teeth for a while, or maybe you’re just curious. Either way, it’s important to make sure you have all the information available to you. We’ve prepared this handy guide outlining the processes and overall lasting effects of both veneers and bonding, so you can make a decision that’s right for you.

 

The basics of Veneers:

A veneer is a thin shell that is placed on the front of the tooth. Veneers are custom-made for each patient, and are usually made from porcelain, which means they are almost undistinguishable from natural teeth.

The dentist starts the process by removing a thin layer of enamel from your teeth and makes a mould of them, which is used to create your veneers. In between appointments you may be given temporary veneers to wear to cover the portion of tooth that was removed. At your next visit, composite resin cement is then used to individually glue the permanent porcelain veneers onto your teeth.

According to Dentistry Today, porcelain veneers are great for covering gaps between teeth, and also hide crooked, misshapen or stained teeth. Veneers are very effective in correcting overcrowding, and can really transform your smile.

 

The basics of Bonding:

Unlike a veneer that is made outside of the mouth, bonding is placed inside the mouth by a dentist, and then shaped and hardened to match the rest of your teeth. A small amount of chemical is put on the tooth to make it rough, and then the dentist layers a composite resin on your tooth and shapes it to give it a natural finish. While the process is more delicate, it is much quicker than veneers, and many teeth can be done in one visit.

Bonding is great for minor repairs, and can be shaped to look like the missing part of a tooth. It is also used to correct tooth spacing and fix cracked or chipped teeth.

 

Which one is right for you?

Ultimately, it depends on what you are comfortable having done, and the results you hope to achieve. Bonding is a great quick fix, but usually only lasts around 3-5 years. Veneers are contrastingly more permanent, and if looked after properly can last anywhere from 10-25 years. It’s also worth mentioning that the composite resin used in bonding is far more susceptible to staining and discolouration, which does not occur with veneers.

If you are considering bonding or veneers, here at Whistler Dental we have experts who would be happy to discuss with you which procedure you would be better suited to. We truly believe that designing the perfect smile can really help you to live your best life possible, so book an appointment with us today.

Help Your Kids Overcome Their Dental Fears

child-at-dentist

Spiders, the dark, and heights: children develop many fears that need to be
conquered. With strange white rooms, unusual smells, and masked doctors, the
dentist can be a very common one for young children. Yet allowing this anxiety
to develop can cause serious health problems to children that could persist in
later life. Teaching your kids about the importance of oral health can be a great
way to calm their nerves, and it doesn’t have to be boring. Consider trying out
some of the recommendations below.

1. Start check-ups young

Normalising check-ups can be the most effective way to eradicate your child’s
nerves. The more common you make something, the less anxiety it will provoke.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) advises parents to take
their children to the dentist every six months, starting when their first tooth
appears. If children get used to this routine, and grow up with memories of
visiting the dentist, it will seem like a normal part of life that they can’t even
remember being scared of.

2. Watch the words you say

Kids really look to their parents to gauge how to react to things, so using positive
reinforcements can teach your child that dentists are the ‘good guys’. By
substituting negative words like ‘pain’ and ‘hurt’ for positive phrases about how

the dentist is a ‘superhero’ for teeth, here to ‘check for sugar bugs’, your child
will learn to see trips to the dentist as exciting rather than daunting.

3. Make it fun

This may all sound like a bit of a chore, but it doesn’t have to be. Kids love to
pretend, so playing dentist at home can be a great way to educate your child. All
you need is a toothbrush, mirror, and a willing pretend patient, and your child
can get to grips with how an appointment works. Colourful toothbrushes with
their favourite cartoon characters, and even different flavours of toothpaste, can
also encourage kids to want to brush their teeth and make everything that little
bit easier.

4. Make oral health a priority

Teaching children that oral health is an investment will have perhaps the
greatest lasting impact. Your child can quickly internalize a simple routine that
involves brushing twice a day, and flossing regularly, and will most likely carry it
through to adulthood. By creating an open discussion about dental hygiene, and
having a solid routine that they can follow, they will soon learn to look after their
teeth without even thinking.

5. Choose a dentist with experience

Finally, choosing the right dentistry can be crucial to putting your child at ease.
Dentists who specialize in families will be experts in making your child as
comfortable as possible, and will put their best efforts into building trust and
calming nerves.

Here at Whistler Dental, we treat outpatients like family and specialize in suiting
every patient’s needs, so book an appointment for your child today!

April Is Oral Health Month

April is Oral Health Month in Canada. Oral Health Month serves as a reminder of the importance of good oral hygiene. This includes but is not limited to brushing at least twice daily, flossing and regular visits to the dentist not only keep your mouth healthy but also contribute to better health overall.

We often ignore many of the symptoms of poor oral health and potential problems. Bleeding or tender gums, bad breath, sores and so much more take a back seat whereas an irritation or pain elsewhere in the body would mean a trip to the doctor.

Poor oral health can affect a person’s quality of life. Oral pain, missing teeth or oral infections can influence the way a person speaks, eats and socializes. These oral health problems can reduce a person’s quality of life by affecting their physical, mental and social well-being. Not to mention correcting a serious oral health issue can be expensive.

The reality is that oral health problems could be a sign of something serious such as oral cancer. Every year approximately 3,200 Canadians are diagnosed with oral cancer and 1,050 deaths from oral cancer occur. This devastating disease has a low survival rate because it is often diagnosed very late. With early detection, the survival rate of oral cancer can be greatly improved. This means going to your dentist for regular dental exams. Your dentist has the training and experience to detect oral cancer early.

In addition to seeing your dentist regularly, here are 4 great ways to keep your teeth healthy from the Canadian Dental Association:

  1. Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once daily between dental office visits. Choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride and is approved by the Canadian Dental Association.
  2. Make healthy food choices, and try to limit sugary and highly acidic foods, which can promote tooth decay and acid erosion.
  3. Check your own mouth for signs of gum disease, tooth decay or oral cancer. Symptoms of gum disease include sore, sensitive and red gums that may bleed during brushing. Sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet food or drink or pressure could suggest the presence of tooth decay. Symptoms of oral cancer include: sores in the mouth that persist for more than 7 to 10 days, unexplained bleeding, patchy white or red areas on the tongue or in the mouth-tingling or numbness or small lumps or thickening on the sides or bottom of the tongue or in other areas of the mouth. If you feel that you have any of these symptoms present in your mouth, contact your Victoria dentist, as he/she is specially trained to recognize gum disease, tooth decay and oral cancer and can provide early treatment.
  4. Don’t smoke or use tobacco products. The use of these products causes gum damage, tooth staining, tooth loss, persistent bad breath and can lead to oral cancer.

Only your dentist has the training, skills, and expertise to properly address all your oral health care needs. Book an appointment today to take care of your own oral health!

5 Little-Known Services that Dentists Provide

services

Often when we think of a trip to the dentist, we think about a check-up, fillings, and even braces. But what you may not know is that your dentist can perform a number of other services. Some of which, may drastically improve your quality of life in one way or another. These range from oral health related to cosmetic in nature. Here are 5 little-known services that dentists provide and may just change your life.

TMJ Jaw Therapy

You might be someone that experiences a frequent click in your jaw or even difficulty opening your mouth. Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). However, it is often referred to as TMJ issues, after the temporomandibular joint. Luckily, these uncomfortable symptoms aren’t ones you have to live with.

Sleep Disordered Breathing

For many, snoring is not considered a major medical problem but it can affect you and those around you. Believe it or not, there are solutions that can put an end to the nightly concert. A trained dentist can work with you to determine the cause of your sleep disordered breathing and help to fix it.

Botox

Dentists are experts in the muscles and bones found in the face. Their extensive training and experience equips them with the ability to achieve more precise and natural looking results than other Botox providers. Therapeutic dental botox offers relief for:

    • headache pain resulting from muscle tension in the head, face, and neck
    • headaches resulting from bite issues such as TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Syndrome
    • persistent clenching and grinding of the teeth
    • “gummy” smiles due to over-retracted upper lips
    • upside-down smiles (as it takes more muscles to frown compared to smiling)
    • lip lines and puckered chins

Oral Cancer Screenings

As with all forms of cancer, it is better if it is caught sooner rather than later. An oral cancer screening is more than just looking in your mouth. Your dental practitioner will use advanced procedures to discover a wide variety of oral abnormalities which can indicate oral precancer and cancer.

Grinding/Clenching Teeth Solutions

The technical term for teeth grinding/clenching is bruxism. If not treated, bruxism can lead to worn/broken/missing teeth. Additionally, this issue can lead to problems with your jaw. During a regular check-up, your dentist can determine if you are grinding your teeth, the mechanism behind it and put a solution into action.

Through additional education and special training, the dentists at Whistler Dental have perfected skills in diagnosing, treating, and performing additional services that can change the way you live your life and greet the world.

Why Check-Ups Are Essential

check-up

You should be seeing your dentist every six months and at the very least, every year. For many, scheduling an appointment might not be seen as a priority, but in reality, it is an important date to keep. Anxiety and financial concerns are just a few of the reasons oral health takes a back seat but in the long run, the cost of not seeing your dentist might be far greater. If delaying or even neglecting to have a dental check-up at all is something you are familiar with, consider the below article food for thought. Here is why check-ups are essential!

Plaque, Tartar, And Cavities

As much as we all try, plaque buildup cannot entirely be prevented. There will always be areas of your teeth that aren’t reached with daily brushing and flossing. Consequently, the plaque hardens as it sits on the tooth and turns to tarter which is much harder to remove without the assistance of a professional. If the tartar is left, it can erode the tooth and turn into a cavity. Regular visits to the dentist are crucial in preventing tartar build-up and cavities.

Oral Cancer Screening

Your dentist doesn’t just look at your teeth, they look all around at the health of your mouth. In the process, they are observing for signs of oral cancer, an extremely serious disease that can be hard to treat if it is not caught early. With check-ups every six months, catching oral cancer in its early stages is dramatically higher.

Gum Disease

Plaque and tartar build-up not only lead to cavities, it can also be damaging to your gums. This is because tarter irritates the gums and causes them to pull away from the teeth. Another word for this is gingivitis, something you may have heard of before. Swelling, bleeding, or soreness are all symptoms of gum disease and should not be taken lightly. Your dentist can help you treat gum disease and stop it from escalating to the point of requiring surgery.

Prevention

Bruxism, jaw-issues, cavities and so much more can be prevented with regular dental check-ups.

Cosmetic Concerns

During a regular appointment is a good time to discuss any cosmetic concerns you might have. Determining if you are a possible candidate for teeth whitening, veneers, or Invisalign can be done right there. Moving forward, additional appointments can be booked and cost estimates can be provided.

Regular dental check-ups can prevent problems from escalating and ensure that your mouth is in tip-top shape. Next time you consider putting off your 6-month or yearly check-up, think again.

Tooth Care During Pregnancy

pregnancy

Pregnancy is a joyous time but also one full of to-do lists. You have your doctor appointments, hospital visits, and not to mention setting up the nursery. Throughout it all, it can be hard to justify the importance of prioritizing a dental appointment. However, getting an oral checkup during pregnancy is safe and important for your overall health as well as the babies. You see, carrying a child can cause hormonal changes that increase the risk of developing gum disease which, in turn, can affect the health of your developing baby. Below are some tips to help you maintain your oral health while pregnant.

  • A common myth is that dental care cannot be conducted during pregnancy. This is untrue. Routine dental care and urgent procedures can be done anytime during the gestational period. However, all elective dental procedures should wait until after the delivery. Before you have your dental appointment, check with your doctor to see if she has any special precautions/instructions for you.
  • Make sure to let your dentist know that you are pregnant.  If medications for pain or infection are needed, your dentist can prescribe ones that are safe for you and your baby.
  • Continue brushing and flossing to maintain your oral health.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to reduce the chance of irritating your gums.
  • Don’t skip an x-ray. Advances in technology have made X-rays much safer and able to be carried out while carrying a baby. Your dentist will use extreme caution to safeguard both of you, such as shielding your abdomen and thyroid.
  • Hormonal changes can put you at increased risk for periodontal disease and for tender gums that easily bleed – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. This is all the more reason to schedule a dental examination. Pay particular attention to any changes in your gums during pregnancy. If tenderness, bleeding or gum swelling occurs at any time, make an appointment a priority.
  • If you have morning sickness, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to avoid damaging softened enamel surface.
  • Make sure to rinse your mouth out after having morning sickness. The acid from your stomach can be strong enough to contribute to tooth erosion.
  • Some women also develop what are called “pregnancy tumors” due to hormonal changes that are associated with pregnancy. Don’t let the name scare you; pregnancy tumors are not malignant. The growths most often appear during the second trimester and look like little raspberries that form between the teeth. They usually disappear after pregnancy but can be removed if they are irritating.
  • Avoid sugary snacks. Cravings are common during pregnancy but try to opt for healthier options with less sugar.

Maintaining your oral health is key to your overall health. Consequently, it is very important to continue taking care of your teeth while going through pregnancy. This means scheduling regular check-ups with your dentist and not delaying treatment if it is a requirement. If you have any further questions about your oral health and pregnancy, speak to a professional at Whistler Dental.

Fascinating Facts About Saliva

saliva

Saliva is something that we all don’t pay very much attention to, that is unless it’s flying out of someone’s mouth! But this essential fluid deserves more time in the limelight. After all, it kills bacteria, protects our teeth against decay, helps us speak and swallow, and contains all sorts of information about us- and that’s only to name a few! There is plenty more fascinating trivia about this essential bodily fluid that will lead to a greater appreciation for spit, spittle, slobber, or drool. Read on to learn how saliva does a body good!

You could produce enough saliva in a year to fill two bathtubs.

 Production varies considerably from person to person, but on average most people produce 0.7 liters of saliva per day which is enough to fill two medium sized bathtubs a year.

It protects teeth and gums and helps to lubricate the mouth.

Saliva is an integral part of your oral health. It helps to kill bacteria, fight infection and prevent tooth decay.

Saliva helps break down food before it even enters the stomach

It helps to moisten food so it can be swallowed easily. It also contains the enzyme amylase that breaks some starches down into maltose and dextrin.

This necessary secretion helps wounds in the mouth heal faster than wounds elsewhere on the body.

Saliva is filled with a protein called histatin that is a known as an antibacterial agent.

It is the mouths primary defense against tooth decay.

Decay result from bacteria in plaque that generate acids, which attack tooth minerals. The buffering systems of saliva help counteract this acid formation. The watery flow helps wash away the sugars and food particles that, when broken down, also produce tooth-damaging acids.

The watery liquid secreted by your salivary glands contains natural painkillers.

Your saliva is rich with a substance called opiorphin: a painkiller six times more powerful than morphine.

It can reveal your age. 

The DNA in our spittle changes over time. As we age, our DNA undergoes a process called methylation. This chemical process activates certain genes and shuts others off, based on environmental factors. By focusing on two genes most affected by the change, scientists can detect a person’s age to within five years.

Parents have super spit. 

Researchers believe when parents orally clean pacifiers, they’re transferring some of their own harmless bacteria into the baby’s mouth

Saliva effects your health every moment of every day. To maintain the health of your mouth, make sure to visit your dentist. Dentists are involved with aspects of salivary gland function and saliva production, such as diagnosing problems, management, and treatment.

Custom Mouthguards For Sports

mouthguard

Often when the word mouthguard is mentioned, images of hockey players with missing teeth are conjured. In reality, the use of a mouthguard extends into a great number of sports. Determining if you would benefit from wearing one is simple: Do you want to protect your teeth and jaw while playing sports? If you answered yes, then exploring mouthguard options is for you. Choosing to get a custom mouthguard depends on what your personal preferences are regarding comfort level, price range, materials, and protection level.

What Exactly Is a Custom Mouthguard?

A custom-made mouth guard is fabricated by a dentist. The dentist takes a detailed mold of your teeth and then creates the protection out of thermoplastic materials. Since they are designed to fit perfectly in your mouth, they are considered by many to be the most protective option available.

What Are The Benefits?

Wearing a custom mouthguard while playing sports is the best protection for not only your teeth but your jaw and head. It will help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. Additionally, they can help absorb shock, stabilize the head and neck, and limit movement caused by a direct hit to the jaw; thus, reducing the risk of damage a blow to the head can cause.

How Long Do They Last?

Generally speaking, a custom mouthguard should be replaced every few years. To increase its longevity, a mouth guard must be taken care of and cleaned properly like any other appliance that is utilized to help your teeth. It should also be replaced once it becomes worn out because it will no longer offer a high level of protection.

Here are some tips on how to keep your mouthguard clean and in good condition:

  • Gently scrub it after each use with a toothbrush and some toothpaste.
  • Store it in its protective case.
  • To prevent it from melting or becoming deformed, keep it out of hot water or the sun.
  • Avoid chewing on it.
  • Replace it if it doesn’t fit properly and at the beginning of a new sports season

How Do I get One?

Custom-fit mouthguards can only be obtained through your dentist. If you are eligible for one, your dentist will arrange a time when you can be fitted for a dental mould to begin the process of creating your custom mouthguard.

If you are considering a custom mouthguard or have questions regarding one, be sure to talk to your dental professional.

Dental Resolutions to Stick by in 2018

dental-resolutions

It’s the time of year where we take a close look at our lives and identify opportunities for improvement. Looking back at 2017 where you happy with your dental care and how confident you were with your smile? Are there areas for you to improve on or dental issues you have been suppressing that it is time to deal with? As you review all areas of your life heading into 2018 make sure to prioritize dental hygiene and consider these dental resolutions to incorporate into the new year.

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