Thumb sucking is one of the most common children’s habits with almost half of all children under 4 years old doing so. But what effects does it have on their teeth and what can you do to prevent your child from sucking their thumb?

What Is It?

Babies are born with a natural urge to suck on something. This urge naturally decreases at 6 months old, however many children will still suck their thumb to calm them as they are falling asleep. Children who tend to continue the habit after 4 years old often do so when they are tired, hungry, restless or scared.

Effects On Their Teeth

You are probably already aware that thumb sucking can cause orthodontic problems. But what actually does it do? Excessive sucking on a pacifier or a thumb can cause teeth to grow inwards and can lead to middle ear infections. Sometimes surgery is needed to fix these problems. Teeth being pushed around the mouth can cause an overbite or underbite to form.

But it’s not just the teeth that can be affected. A lisp can develop as a result of thumb-sucking changing the jaw bone positioning. The roof of the mouth can become sensitive and germs from the thumb can lead to infections.

Reversible

You’ll be pleased to know that most damage caused by thumb sucking is reversible. If children stop sucking their thumb before preschool age when their adult teeth have started to grow, the teeth will usually go back on their own.

How to Prevent your Child from Sucking their Thumb

Trying to stop your child from sucking their thumb may seem like a challenge. Here are some tips to help you teach them in a constructive way.

Eliminate Sources of Stress

Thumb sucking is normally a result of a child being hungry, tired, restless or scared. Try to figure out which of these is triggering your child to suck their thumb at any time and work to find a solution. Using distraction techniques to prevent the thumb sucking such as a toy or song often has positive results too.

Positive Reinforcement

Punishing or nagging your child to stop them from sucking their thumb may seem like the easier option but try to avoid it. They will see it as a cause of stress and may repeat the habit more. Instead, encourage them when they don’t do it. Positive reinforcement has far better results than negative.

Education

Another way to help them kick the habit is by educating them on the long term effects of thumb sucking. By explaining why they shouldn’t continue with their comforting habit, will increase the likelihood of you achieving positive results from it.

At Whistler Dental we can help fix any orthodontic issues caused by thumb sucking. Book an appointment for your child today.

Spring is the time of year to make sure you keep on top of all the little things that you’ve been missing. But spring cleaning isn’t just for your house. Here are the reasons why regular dental check-ups are important and why you should get your teeth checked at this time of year.

Cleaning

There are 2 parts to a dental check-up  – examination and cleaning – and they’re both equally as important. The examination ensures your teeth and gums are healthy. During the cleaning, dentists use special tools to remove plaque and tartar build-up and will polish teeth to remove any stains. It is just as important to make sure your teeth are cleaned regularly as it is to get them examined.

Check For Cavities

A cavity is a hole in the tooth that is caused by the plaque bacteria softening the enamel. Acid is created when plaque bacteria break down the sugars in your mouth. If cavities are left unattended, they can result in further damage to the tooth, and sometimes the tooth even needs to be removed. Dentists can check for cavities, fill them and help you prevent them so they don’t become more of a problem.

Remove Plaque

Plaque can build up and be the cause of many problems. Most plaque is removed by regular brushing however if it is not removed, it can accumulate on your gumline. This can irritate and infect the tissue leading to gum disease. When plaque is left to build up, it turns to tartar which appears as a yellow or brown coloured deposit on the tooth. It is strongly bonded to the tooth and can only be removed by a dental professional.

Gum Checks

Your teeth aren’t the only important thing in a dental check. A dentist can have a look at your gums and use a ruler to measure the spaces between your gums. If teeth have deeper spaces it is a sign of gum disease. As well as causing gum pain and tooth loss, complications of gum disease can result in lung damage and heart disease.

Look After Your Teeth

By looking after your teeth you can prevent many problems. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and use mouthwash. Avoiding sugary snacks and drinks can also help reduce plaque build up. You should be getting a dental check-up every 6 months but any tooth pain or bleeding gums, require immediate dental attention.

Make sure you come and see us at Whistler Dental this springtime and get a dental check-up. Book an appointment online or call us on 604.932.3677.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. You may recognize that fluttering feeling of being in love. But which of these symptoms are love and which mean you are in need of root canal treatment? Here’s which is which and how to know the difference. If you have any doubts or pain, book an appointment with Whistler Dental today.

Can’t Eat?

That’s a sign of Love! When you’re in love, and can’t stop thinking about someone you can lose your appetite. But be careful- root canals can stop you from being able to chew which can make it really difficult to eat too.

Sensitivity To Heat or Cold

You guessed right, that’s a sign of a root canal. If your tooth aches when you eat or drink anything hot or cold, it may be a sign of a root canal. It starts as a dull ache and gets progressively worse.

Throbbing Pain?

That’s a sure sign of a root canal. The soft tissue (pulp) inside the root canal becomes infected or inflamed and causes throbbing pain to the tooth. (Don’t get confused with heart throbbing – that’s a sign of being in love…)

Flushed Cheeks

A sign that love is in the air. When you’re in love, blood flows to your face, causes your cheeks to go red. When you have a root canal in need of treatment, the infection causes increased blood flow to the area, which makes it red too.

Gum Inflammation

Root canal pain is caused when the tooth decays or a crack or chip in the tooth causes the pulp inside the tooth to get inflamed. This causes the nerves to react which leads to gum inflammation. (Don’t get this confused with the burning desire you feel when you’re in love…)

Other Symptoms

There are other symptoms of needing root canal treatment that should definitely not to be confused with being in love. A loose tooth, puss coming from the area and when the tooth becomes a darker colour are all indications that you should go and visit your dentist as soon as possible.

Don’t Worry

Root canal treatment may seem daunting but the process actually saves the tooth. The endodontist will remove the inflamed pulp, clean and shape the inside of the root canal and fills and seals the space. A crown is then placed on your tooth to protect it.

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us here at Whistler Dental. If you’re not sure if you’re in love or in need or root canal treatment (or both!) book an appointment today.

With a new year just starting and snow falling, we’re sure you have plenty to smile about. Here are 10 reasons why you should be smiling and things to smile about.

Benefits of Smiling

Smiling makes you more attractive

We are drawn to people who are smiling and away from people who are frowning. It also makes you feel more confident and more likely to make a better impression.

Smiling relieves stress

When you smile, endorphins are released which improves your overall mood and helps gets rid of stress. Our brains are hardwired to believe that we only smile when we are happy so by smiling you can actually trick your brain into thinking you are in a better mood!

Smiling improves your immune system

Another scientific reason to turn that frown upside down – it can actually help boost your immune system. It has been reported that the body releases more white blood cells when you’re smiling than it usually does. White blood cells protect the body against infectious diseases and foreign invaders, so it’s a really easy way of staying healthy. That’s the reason why celebrities are often invited to children’s hospitals.

It makes you more productive

A study conducted in 2010 showed that people who smile more, are much more productive and creative in the workplace. Smiling is contagious so spread that smile around.

Smiling boosts your mood

Forcing yourself to smile makes you feel happier! Have you ever tried to think of something negative while you’re smiling?

Lowers your blood pressure

Want an easy way to improve your health? Just get grinning! Studies monitoring blood pressure before and after smiling showed a measurable difference.

Things to smile about

Living in Canada

Canada is not only a beautiful country but full of so many opportunities. Living in this awesome country is a reason for anyone to smile!

The mountains

It’s hard not to keep smiling when you’re in this stunning mountain town. Especially with blue skies and snow falling, this winter paradise is enough to keep you showing off those pearly whites!

Going outdoors

Being able to get outside and go for walks in the fresh air is guaranteed to make anyone feel happier. Get away from day to day life and take a walk to the lake.

Having a good dentist

We know how to make your smile look pristine and how to help you look after your teeth. Having a good dentist is the best way to ensure your smile is looking its best.

Come book an appointment at Whistler Dental today so we can help you get the perfect new year smile. Book an appointment here or call 604-932-3677.

Getting the New Year off to the right start is important, especially when it comes to dental health. Here’s 6 resolutions to help you take better care of your teeth and how we can help you at Whistler Dental.

Cut Back On Sugar

We all know we’re guilty of indulging over the holidays. With lots of tasty treats on offer, it’s easy to forget the impact that sugar can have on your teeth. Eating lots of sugary treats has a direct link with took decay. The bacteria in dental plaque feed on sugar to produce acid that attacks your tooth enamel. Each acid attack can last up to 20 minutes and can lead to cavities and sensitive teeth.

Flossing

We all know we should be doing it, but we don’t all know why. Flossing helps get rid of bacteria around our teeth and removes any food stuck there. If plaque is left on your teeth, it will eventually harden and turn to tartar. You can reach the areas of your teeth that you are unable to reach with a toothbrush. Flossing tip: if you can only floss once a day, make sure it is before bedtime.

Eat Healthily

Not only is staying away from sugary foods important but keeping a balanced diet impacts on the health of your teeth. Foods such as dairy products, kale, salmon and nuts are rich in calcium and help keep teeth strong. Eating foods with high water content help to neutralize the acid in your mouth and foods high in fibre will help to produce more saliva- which flushes the mouth of bacteria.

Dental Cleaning

You should be getting a dental cleaning at least every six months so if it’s been longer, book an appointment. Dental cleaning not only gets rid of all the plaque you may have missed from brushing, but stains can be removed, giving you a brighter smile.

Restore

New year, new smile! Now is the best time to get all of that restorative work you’ve been putting off done. Ignoring dental work such as crowns, fillings or implants can be more detrimental to your dental health. If you have dental benefits that start in the new year, now is the best time to use them.

Quit Smoking

Smoking not only stains your teeth but also can lead to gum disease, tooth loss and mouth cancers. The earlier you stop smoking, the less damaging the long-term effects will be to your teeth.

2019 is the best time to think about what your dental health new year’s resolutions are. Book an appointment at Whistler Dental today.

 

Wisdom teeth are the cause of many problems in adults. But what are they, what causes the pain and when should you get them removed? Here’s everything you need to know about wisdom teeth and how we can help you at Whistler Dental.

What are they?

Wisdom teeth, (or third molars) usually appear in adults between the age of 17 and 25. Early humans needed stronger teeth due to a coarse diet of nuts, leaves and meat. These days, our softer diet and access to tools makes them unnecessary – however we are yet to evolve away from them.

Problems and complications

Completing your full set of 32 adult teeth, wisdom teeth have been known to be the cause of much discomfort in adults. Pain can be caused when they grow side ways or only emerge partly, leading to infection and other serious issues.

What problems can be caused?

When teeth become trapped in gums they become ‘impacted.’ This leads to problems including misalignment of teeth, pain or infection. Symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth can include: pain, damage to adjacent teeth, headache or jaw ache, gum injection and even bad breath.

Why you should get a check up

Regular dental check ups are vital to keep an eye on what the teeth are doing. Dentists can check for signs of infections such as tenderness, swelling and inflamed gums. X-rays will show where the teeth are positioned, check for signs of crowding and ensure the right removal strategy can be implemented.

What happens if they are not removed?

While you might think you can manage with a bit of discomfort, there are many reasons why they should be removed. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause cysts. Not only are these painful but they can also damage the adjacent teeth and even the jaw bone. The longer you put off removing these teeth, the more chance of damage to your teeth, gums and bones can occur. Infections can lead to other health problems as well, so it is important they are addressed.

Crowding

Sometimes wisdom teeth can cause overcrowding and as a result it is still necessary to remove them. Even if they are not a cause of pain, they can make you susceptible to cavities. Too many teeth in a small space makes them less easy to clean which can result in further problems.

Not all wisdom teeth cause problems and some pain while they are growing can be managed easily. It is important to make sure you floss and use fluoride mouthwash to make sure your teeth are kept in good condition. Book an appointment with Whistler Dental to get the best advise about how to care for your wisdom teeth.

The snow has arrived, the mountain is open for skiing and the village is starting to look very festive! As 2018 draws to a close, here’s why you should book an appointment with Whistler Dental and use your dental benefits before the year is up!

Use it or lose it

Most dental Benefits don’t carry over to the next year. There’s currently 3 weeks left of the year and if you haven’t used your benefits by December 31st then you’ve missed your opportunity.

Take care of small problems before they get bigger

Regular check-ups can actually save you money, as you can keep on top of problems before they get bigger. Common dental problems such as cavities, mouth sores, tooth erosion, gum disease and even bad breath, all need to be addressed before they escalate into bigger issues.

Health Issues

Not only can you make sure your teeth are healthy and you have the perfect holiday season smile, dental problems which are left don’t just affect your teeth but also your health.

Poor oral health can lead to a series of related health conditions. Bacteria from gums can get into the blood stream and cause the arteries to build up plaque leading to cardiovascular disease. Respiratory problems can be caused when bacteria in the mouth are breathed in, and infections can lead to pregnancy complications and even be a contributing factor to dementia.

Symptoms of other health problems

As well as causing health problems, some illnesses have oral symptoms. Mouth cancer, for example, can have symptoms such as loose teeth and mouth sores, which your dentist can pick up on.

Plaque can lead to infections

Plaque can be a big cause of dental infections. At Whistler Dental we can help you to manage this, give you tips on flossing and overall oral hygiene.

Large Treatments

If you do need any large treatments, it is better to utilise your benefits before the end of the year. Treatment can start this year, splitting the costs. Optimise your dental allowance by using as much of your benefits this year as possible.

Take advantage of other covered services

In addition to dental check-ups, take advantage of the other covered services such as x-rays, screening and cleanings.

Benefit of your job

If you have benefits through your job, then by not using them you are essentially getting paid less than you should be. Your dental benefits actually increase your salary so it is important to get the most out of them.

BOOK NOW

Book an appointment with Whistler Dental today! Call 604-932-3677 or click here to book.

Hurry- slots are filling up so don’t leave it too late!

With the mountain set to open on November 22nd, the winter season will soon be upon us once again! But with hot chocolates, advent calendars, skiing and eventually Christmas, the winter season poses a lot of potential dangers for our teeth. At Whistler Dental, we are proud to offer a wide variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures. From teeth whitening, to smile makeovers, to custom mouth guards, here’s how to get your mouth ready for winter and get your best holiday smile yet.

Schedule a cleaning

The first step to brightening your smile is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. We will make sure your pearly whites are polished and cleaned professionally, and will remove any plaque, tartar and surface stains that may have built up. Regular check-ups with your dentist are essential to make sure you are brushing and flossing properly, and so your dentist can check your gums and teeth for signs of disease or cavities.

Align your smile

If you are not completely happy with your smile, this can greatly affect your confidence. Invisalign is a non-invasive, simple and subtle solution that straightens out teeth and gives you a perfect smile. These discrete, removable aligners are much more subtle than traditional braces, and almost invisible once they are in your mouth, meaning you can wear them on the slopes and at the après bars without garnering any attention. Plus – unlike with braces – they do not limit your diet or eating habits, making them the perfect tooth alignment treatment for the winter season.

Get a smile makeover

Smile makeovers are especially effective for chipped, worn or crooked teeth. From dental veneers and bridges to crowns and dental implants, Whistler Dental offers a variety of cosmetic procedures to give you the smile of your dreams.

One of the safest forms of cosmetic dentistry is teeth whitening. We offer both take-home or in-house whitening, and our professional methods will always deliver more effective results than store-bought methods.

Protect your mouth on the mountain

The delicate skin on our lips is particularly susceptible to cold weather and damage caused by UV rays. If you plan on spending a whole day on the mountain, it’s important to keep your lips protected with a moisturizing SPF lip balm to avoid the dreaded pain of dry, cracked, or even burnt lips.

Before you return to the slopes, it’s also worth getting fitted with a custom mouth guard. Mouth guards protect teeth from damage due to injuries and falls, and are worn by all elite winter athletes. Although Whistler Blackcomb does not make them compulsory, they highly recommend that you wear them.

 Keep your oral hygiene routine

The best thing you can do for a healthy smile is stick to your teeth cleaning routine – all year round. Don’t let holiday parties or long days on the mountain get in the way of oral hygiene. To maintain your smile, make sure you brush and floss daily, and keep an eye out for any changes to your mouth.

While we hope (and highly recommend!) that you make the most of the start of winter by getting stuck in with all things winter-sports related, we also highly recommend that you take the time to protect your teeth and mouth. To achieve your dream holiday smile, book your appointment with Whistler Dental today.

“Are you flossing regularly?” is probably a question you get asked every single time you visit the dentist. And that’s because it’s important! Many people hate the feeling of moving a piece of floss between their teeth, and therefore leave flossing out of their daily teeth cleaning routine. But just brushing your teeth often isn’t enough to remove plaque and prevent cavities. Helping you maintain a healthy smile by protecting your teeth and gums and protecting you from other diseases, here’s why flossing needs to be a part of your daily routine.

Why isn’t brushing enough?

The tooth has 5 surfaces, but your toothbrush can only reach 3 of them. The two untouched surfaces are very close to the sides of other teeth, making it easy for food to get trapped in between. When food gets stuck in these gaps, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria to build up, creating plaque. This is where floss comes in handy – as an interdental cleaning tool, it can get into these tight spaces and remove 80% of plaque.

Protect your gums

When you neglect flossing, plaque and bacteria can easily build up. If they are not removed properly the bacteria will eventually begin to irritate gum tissue, and this will get worse as bacteria increases. When left untreated, this can eventually cause Gingivitis – a periodontal disease that causes red and puffy gums to bleed easily.

And your teeth

As well as causing irritation, the bacteria between your teeth will also destroy your tooth’s enamel, causing a cavity. Flossing will remove this plaque to prevent the build-up of harmful bacteria. Regularly flossing is a great way to check your mouth for potential cavities, as well as swelling or redness. It will also make your teeth look brighter by removing plaque and excess food that you may not spot in a mirror.

Protects from other diseases

If left untreated, bacteria in an unhealthy mouth can harm the rest of your body. Gingivitis can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, leading to heart disease, diabetes and respiratory illnesses. Flossing only takes a couple of minutes out of your day, but will have huge benefits on your long-term health.

Good for your overall health

We understand that brushing your teeth after each meal may not be convenient, but flossing after a meal is easy and can be done anywhere. Not only does regular flossing help you practice good oral hygiene, but it can also help you maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, as flossing after eating will make you less tempted to snack.

Dentists recommend that you should floss once a day, the best time being in the evenings after you brush to remove any food and plaque at the end of the day. If you are concerned about dental diseases or have noticed any sensitivity or changes to your teeth, please book an appointment with Whistler Dental.

Most parts of the body are formed at birth. We get one set of bones, organs, eyes and hands that all develop and age with us as we grow older. However, the same cannot be said for our teeth. Our teeth go through an interesting and dramatically different lifecycle, from the first signs of teething, to permanent teeth developing, the pain of wisdom teeth and eventually tooth decay. Here’s a brief summary of what to expect at each stage.

A tooth is born

While newborns do not have any teeth, their front teeth are already fully formed. Teeth start forming just 6 weeks after conception, when they begin to grow down into the developing jaw. These teeth start to come through when a baby reaches around 2-3 months old, and most children have a full set of 20 milk teeth by the time they are 3. As teeth develop, they take on many shades. Tooth colour has a lot to do with genetics, so don’t worry if they appear discoloured initially.

Permanent teeth develop

When kids reach around 5 or 6, their jaws are strong enough to support permanent teeth, and so baby teeth start to fall out and visits from the Tooth Fairy begin. Developing permanent teeth eventually put enough pressure on the roots of the baby teeth, which causes them to break. By the time to tooth falls out, most of the root has already been reabsorbed into the gums. Their new adult tooth could appear in as soon as a week, or as long as six months.

The pain of wisdom teeth

Though our first incisors make an appearance at around age 6, our third set of molars often don’t come in until late teens. Believed to have been necessary for our ancestors’ diet, many people today are born with a jawbone that simply doesn’t have space for another set of molars. This overcrowding can cause wisdom teeth to be impacted – or stuck – between the jawbone and the other set of molars. Some can even get stuck and get infected while erupting, meaning they need to be taken out.

The aging tooth

Like all parts of the body, as people age, our teeth age with us. Cavities in the dentin become more common, and the risk of periodontal disease also increases. While many people do eventually need to have teeth removed, if you practice proper dental care from an early age and continue to do so at every stage of your tooth’s lifecycle, your teeth may well last a lifetime!

Whistler Dental would love to give you the reliable, affordable and exceptional dental care you need to maintain a beautiful and healthy smile for life. We offer a family-friendly environment and have plenty of experience with children of all ages, so please get in contact.