The sun is well and truly out in Whistler, and with it comes all the activities that we love. However, while we’re jumping on our bikes and chilling by the lake, it’s important not to take a vacation from cleaning our teeth. Although it’s true that sensible exposure to the sun can actually improve our oral health, it can be very easy to accidentally overdo it. Here are a few little steps you can take to protect your mouth this summer and keep your teeth in perfect condition.

Prevent dental injuries with a mouth guard

There’s a reason almost all professional athletes use mouth guards. If you’re biking, or even just enjoying some ball games at the lake, it’s important to protect your teeth. We don’t need to tell you that cracking a tooth can be incredibly painful, for both you and your bank balance. Buy an over the counter mouth guard if you must, or head to your dentist for a high quality, custom-fit mouth guard that will give your teeth great protection for all your competitive sporting.

Wear sun protection on your lips

We all know to put on sunscreen and avoid the dreaded pain of burning. The same should go for our lips! The delicate skin on your lips is very susceptible to damage caused by UV rays, and over time this can lead to a variety of issues including skin cancer. If you plan on spending time out in the sun, make sure to bring a lip balm with you with at least SPF 15, and to keep applying it regularly.

Use your hands not your teeth (to open things)

Your teeth are for chewing food and that is about it. As great as they are, they are not meant to be used as scissors or pliers. When you’re opening drinks at a barbecue, or taking off the tags of your fresh new summer clothes, it can be tempting to substitute your teeth for tools as it seems the easiest and quickest option. This can do serious damage to your teeth, so make sure you remember a bottle opener for your next barbecue.

Ice cream and pop in moderation

Nothing quite tops an ice cream in the sun, and in Whistler this is especially true as we are spoilt for choice by all the ice cream parlours. It can be easy to overindulge when relaxing in summer, but you still need to be responsible for keeping your teeth healthy, and having sweet treats in moderation. Sugar enables harmful bacteria to thrive in your mouth, so brush your teeth after snacks, and limit your consumption to one or two sittings, as opposed to eating sugar constantly throughout the day.

Don’t forget your oral hygiene

During summer it’s typical for your routine to fall to the wayside. That’s ok! Summer is all about relaxing and lounging around. However, one routine you should stick to is your oral hygiene routine. If you’re up late, it can be tempting to fall straight into bed, and promise yourself you’ll brush your teeth first thing in the morning. No matter what time of year, brushing your teeth 2-3 times per day and flossing daily are essential for your overall health and well-being.

Here at Whistler Dental we hope you have a great summer and enjoy exploring all that Whistler has to offer. We can’t stress enough the importance of looking after your teeth all year round, so if you need a check up or are just looking for advice, get in contact.

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. Being a Whistler dental office, we love and encourage all outdoor activities – so long as you consider your teeth! Dental protection appliances such as our custom mouth guards are a must for everyone – from elite athletes to first-timers.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Floss Daily

The Canadian Dental Association suggests flossing once a day minimum to remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth that cannot be reached by a tooth brush. If we’re getting real with ourselves, were you consistently flossing once a day in 2017? Your answer we suspect is probably not. According to a recent study by USA today only 30 percent of the population in America flosses on a regular basis. With the benefits of flossing too big to list including preventing gingivitis, removing plaque, keeping breath fresh and maintaining healthy gums there are numerous reasons why 2018 should be the year to commit to a regular flossing practice.

Mouth guard to protect teeth

If you’re like most people in Whistler, you’re on the mountain and taking part in high impact sports on a regular basis. The benefits of protecting your teeth with a mouth guard are proven (read this article here), and if you’ve been lucky enough to avoid damage to your teeth thus far, it’s time to commit to properly caring for your pearly whites in 2018 by getting a custom mouth guard. Mouth guards are becoming the standard for amateur and high performance athletes and should be a staple gear item for those embarking on adventures on a regular basis.

Be proud of your smile

Are you proud of your beautiful smile, or do you feel self conscious and avoid smiling due to not being 100 percent happy with the appearance of your teeth or gums? Being confident with your smile translates immensely to good self esteem and success and confident in your life overall. If you aren’t proud of your smile it’s time to own up to it, and commit to creating a smile that reflects who you really are. Find out more about our Smile Design and look forward to finally wearing that smile that looks perfect on you.

Own up to any dental problems

Do you grind your teeth? Have sporadic or constant tooth pain or extreme bad breath that doesn’t go away no matter how much you brush? If you’ve been suppressing dental problems, 2018 is the year to finally come face to face with them and be empowered to take control of your dental health and address any issues which have been causing you pain or discomfort until now.

Ease up on the sugar

We all know sugar is not good for us. Besides causing tooth decay there are a myriad of other reasons why sugar is bad for our health. Let’s make 2018 the year to cut back on sugar. Whether it’s eliminating soft drinks from your diet, swapping refined processed sugar for honey, or going without sugar completely for the year, commit to improving all areas of your health this year by kicking your sugar habit in 2018.

Be consistent with your dental check ups

Have you been consistent with your two dental check ups a year? Having a teeth cleaning and dental examine bi-annually will ensure your teeth are in optimal condition and will identify any dental problems before they become worrisome. Schedule your bi-annual dental visits for yourself and your family and feel good that you are committing to a year of oral health and well-being.

The team at Whistler Dental wishes you all the best in 2018 and hope to see you throughout the year to keep you accountable to your dental resolutions!

Here are the signs.

Living your life with a smile you’re not proud of, one that causes pain or discomfort or just doesn’t feel right is not something that has to be endured. Here at Whistler Dental we offer Smile Design using the latest technology to create smiles that are customized to an individual. Cosmetic dentistry is the art and science of smile enhancement and encompasses colour, shape, position, size, symmetry, texture and luminescence. If you’ve been showing any of the signs below it may be time to makeover your smile and design a smile that you can be proud of.

  1. You are self conscious about your smile

Are you self conscious about your smile? If you try hiding your smile, are worried about what people think of your teeth or simply don’t feel comfortable with the way you look, smile design may be the right choice for you. We will discuss with you what your ideal smile would look like and explain to you the process of making it happen.

  1. The function of your bite isn’t optimal

Do you have an over-bite or under-bite that isn’t optimal? You may find your bite doesn’t function properly, puts excess wear or tear on your teeth and causes speech impediments. These issues can usually be solved by properly aligning, positioning or shaping the teeth or jaw. An aligned bite is imperative to long term dental health and a smile makeover can be a great way to achieve this.

  1. Your teeth have lost their luster

Age, eating, drinking, smoking and many other environmental factors can cause your teeth to lose their luster. Over the counter teeth whiteners can be tricky to use and often don’t have the full long-term affects of a professional whiting treatment. Having luminous pearly whites is achievable through smile design and is one of the many perks of creating a smile you can be proud of.

  1. You want straight-teeth

You may have been living with crooked or out of aligned teeth for some time and have always hoped for straight teeth. This could be easier than you think with new technology such as Invisalign which uses invisible aligners to straighten teeth and create beautiful smiles. Designing the perfect smile often uses systems such as Invisalign to straighten teeth considering the shape, symmetry and composition of the face.

  1. You don’t like the shape or symmetry of your face

Facial symmetry is something that can be addressed with cosmetic dentistry. Often the position of the jaw is not optimal or tense muscles around the jaw can pull the face out of alignment. Cosmetic treatments like Botox and jaw alignment treatments and surgeries can better align or enhance the shape of an individual’s face.

  1. You’d like to repair broken, chipped or missing teeth

Smile design can replace broken, chipped or missing teeth with a range of solutions including veneers, dental implants or straightening techniques. It is hard to adorn a confident smile when teeth are damaged or missing. Your dentist will be able to asses the current state of your teeth and make a recommendation on the best way to bring your smile from a 2 to a 10.

  1. You’d like to relax facial muscles or rid fine lines

It is common for patients to have concerns surrounding fine lines around the mouth area. Often these issues can be addressed by Botox which is administered right here at Whistler Dental. There are many other cosmetic and non-cosmetic reasons to have Botox- you can read about them here.

If you’ve always wondered what you’d look like or how you’d feel with a perfect smile, it is time to stop wondering and take some action. Schedule a consultation with the dental professional at Whistler Dental and let’s design a smile that you are happy with.

From Olympic athletes to kids just starting out on the slopes, mouth-guards are imperative to maintaining optimal dental health and protecting those pearly whites. Mouth-guards are proven to protect teeth from damage due to injuries, falls and aggressive performance, and have also been shown to limit and reduce the impact of concussions. Elite winter athletes are required to wear mouth-guards when competing and more frequently amateur and new athletes are wearing them as a precautionary measure. Although Whistler Blackcomb does not have a rule making mouth-guards compulsory they are highly recommended by the mountain.

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