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No matter what age you are, maintaining good oral care is essential for your overall health! This is why it’s important to get into a good routine of brushing, flossing, and scheduling regular dental checkups as soon as possible. Whether you’re a kid, a teen, an adult or a senior, there are certain specific dental practices you should be following – and oral health issues that you should look out for. Here are some dental tips for every stage of life, so you can maintain a beautiful, healthy smile!

Babies and Toddlers

Teething occurs between the ages of 3-9 months. According to the Canadian Dental Association, a child’s first trip to the dentist should be within six months of their first tooth appearing, and no later than their first birthday.

With young infants, it’s important to keep an eye out for potential oral health issues early on. Thumb sucking is completely natural and normal amongst young children, but make sure it doesn’t lead to problems with bite and tooth alignment. The same goes for baby bottle tooth decay, so avoid giving your child too much sugar and make sure they have adequate exposure to fluoride.

Kids and Teens

During this stage, it’s especially important that parents set a good example when it comes to oral health. Most kids start to lose baby teeth by age 6, so teach them a great dental hygiene routine to prevent cavities and tooth decay. You can easily encourage healthy smiles by having plenty of oral health-care supplies on hand, and by encouraging a healthy diet.

For image-conscious teens, teeth can be a source of deep insecurity. If your child wants straighter teeth or needs to correct their bite, schedule an appointment with your dentist to see whether Invisalign or traditional braces would be a better fit. It’s also worth noting that wisdom teeth usually come in during the late teens, and they may need to be removed due to crowding, pain or infection.

Adults

Oral care during your adult life is as just as important as it is throughout childhood. Neglected teeth and gums can lead to cavities, infection and tooth loss. If a cavity becomes too deep, root canals may be required. Daily brushing and flossing are the most effective way to prevent these issues and keep teeth and gums healthy – it may sound repetitive, but it’s true!

Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant should schedule checkups between 4-6 months of pregnancy. If you have a sweet tooth while pregnant, or if you suffer from morning sickness, make sure to be extra diligent with oral hygiene.

Seniors

Oral health is a lifestyle, and maintaining a healthy mouth when you are older can prevent a multitude of health problems. During this stage of your life it’s essential to schedule regular dental checkups (even if you have dentures) so your dentist can look out for any problems that need to be addressed. It’s also especially important to watch for early signs of oral cancer. If you notice any open sores or changes in the tongue and cheek lining, we offer oral cancer screenings.

Provided you stick to a good oral hygiene routine throughout your lifetime, most of the dental problems we have outlined can be easily prevented. At Whistler Dental, we offer general dentistry services for the entire family. To find out more about what you can be doing for you oral health at any age, book an appointment with us.

Cavities are very common in both adults and children. In fact, tooth decay is the world’s second most prevalent disease, after the common cold. We hope that none of our patients ever have to experience the pain and inconvenience of a cavity. However, if you do get a cavity in your lifetime, it’s important to know what to expect. Cavities give many warning signs before progressing to the next stage. We’ve outlined the life cycle of a cavity, so that you can spot one developing, and prevent it from causing serious damage.

#1 The early signs of decay

Tooth decay is caused when enamel is worn down by acid in the mouth. Smoking, regularly consuming acidic drinks and sugary foods, and irregular dental check-ups all increase the likeliness of dental decay. When you don’t practice good oral hygiene, the sugars on your teeth build up, and bacteria begins to feed off them and produce acid. These bacteria, food particles and saliva combine to form plaque and dull spots on the surface of the tooth.

At this stage, so long as you practice regular cleaning and good oral hygiene, it’s fairly easy to get rid of this plaque and stop these dull spots from forming into a cavity.

#2 The damage of a tooth

The plaque starts to thin as the enamel wears away. Eventually this hole will go deep enough to break the enamel surface and expose the dentin underneath. This is when the hole officially becomes a cavity. From here, the tooth will decay more rapidly, and the cavity will get larger and deeper. Cavities at this stage usually aren’t painful. This is why regular check-ups are essential, as often you won’t know if a cavity is developing.

#3 The beginning of pain

After the tooth erodes the enamel, it starts to erode the dentin. This will bring the nerve of the tooth closer to the surface, and will make your tooth extremely sensitive. As soon as you feel discomfort you should visit your dentist. As long as the decay hasn’t gotten past all of the dentin, you can still repair the tooth with a filling.

#4 The start of infection

If food and bacteria get caught in a cavity, it can be difficult to get them out. If these food particles stay in the tooth for too long, it can lead to infection – of both the tooth and of the surrounding bone. As you can imagine, this is incredibly painful! If this happens you should visit your dentist immediately to clear up the infection. A root canal – or even tooth extraction – might have to be performed as a last resort.

#5 The final treatment

As you can see, it’s far better to get treated for a cavity early on. While small cavities can be easily dealt with, large ones require much more extensive treatment, and end up being more painful and expensive for you. The best way to prevent cavities is by sticking to a good oral hygiene routine, and by visiting your dentist regularly. If you are experiencing any pain, or if it’s about time for a checkup, book your appointment with Whistler Dental today.

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.

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.

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!

THE TOP 5 DENTAL MYTHS BUSTED!

Like any topic, there is a lot of information out there (especially on the internet) and sometimes it’s hard to decipher if the information is true or not. Here we debunk some of the most infamous dental myths by dropping some truth bombs on these hotly debated dental topics. Here at Whistler Dental, we care about the oral health of our Whistler community so want to make sure that you have your facts straight when it comes to taking care of your teeth!

DENTAL MYTH # 1- ADULTS ARE TOO OLD TO HAVE BRACES

Not anymore! Although metal braces are not aesthetically appealing to most adults there are now modern solutions to fix crooked teeth and create stunning smiles (for people of all ages!). You are never too old to wear a smile you are confident about. Here at Whistler Dental, we use a fantastic braces alternative called Invisalign which slowly moves teeth into shape using clear and undetectable aligners. Adults can now achieve their ideal smile without having to sport a set of bulky metal braces.

DENTAL MYTH #2- DENTAL X-RAYS ARE DANGEROUS

Although we wouldn’t recommend having an x-ray just for the fun of it, there is a lot of over blown hype about the dangers of dental x-rays. The average person is exposed to 3,100µSv of radiation per year and the average full mouth dental x-ray contains a mere 34.9 to 170.7µSv; in fact, a dental x-ray contains about the same radiation as eating 50 bananas! The importance of having dental x-rays to identify and examine potential problems far outweighs the negligible radiation from x-rays.

DENTAL MYTH #3- SUGAR IS THE MAIN CULPRIT BEHIND CAVITIES

There is no denying that consuming sugar leads to dental decay and cavities in most people but there are often other more significant contributors that fly under the radar. The direct cause of tooth decay is more a genetic and environmental combination which causes a greater propensity towards cavities. Genetic and environmental factors affect tooth enamel, oral bacteria populations, and saliva composition. Sugar can cause the increase of bacteria in your mouth that causes cavities, but genetics and the environment are more likely to determine if this bacteria will cause cavities or not.

DENTAL MYTH #4- VANITY IS THE ONLY REASON FOR COSMETIC DENTISTRY

We regularly perform cosmetic dentistry at Whistler Dental and let us tell you, vanity is hardly the motivator for these treatments. Cosmetic dentistry is often an investment for overall health and wellbeing improvements and many treatments are recommended to enhance better overall oral health. Aligning a bite and replacing missing teeth with implants to maintain bone structure are examples of orthodontic and cosmetic procedures that provide a cosmetic solution to a problem and at the same time increase overall health and wellbeing.

DENTAL MYTH #5- YOU DON’T NEED TO BRUSH BABY TEETH

Just because baby teeth have a shorter lifespan than adult teeth doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be brushed! Not only does starting to brush a child’s teeth when young (from the occurrence of their first tooth) instill good habits, but it’s absolutely imperative to avoid painful dental implications, cavities, and gum problems in pre-school aged and young children. Children usually lose their last few teeth at the age of twelve. Brushing baby teeth is absolutely important and should never be deferred until children have their adult set.

Have any other questions about dental care, or additional dental myths you’d like addressed? Make sure to contact us at Whistler Dental, we’d be happy to help!