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As you may be aware, April is Oral Health month. This is a time to reflect on your dental hygiene habits and assess where you can make changes. At Whistler Dental, we can help you with this. Here are the top 5 steps to keeping your mouth healthy.

Keep Your Mouth Clean

If you think simply brushing your teeth twice a day means that you are keeping your teeth clean, then think again. Make sure you use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush when cleaning, to help prevent cavities. By limiting your sugar intake and swapping those sweet treats for healthy snacks, your chances of building up plaque will decrease. You should also wait 20-30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth. Acidic food weakens enamel so brushing too soon afterwards can cause damage in its weakened state.

Check Your Mouth Regularly

You may think your dentist is the only person who can check for gum disease but guess again. Some warning signs are easy to spot and you can see these yourself. If you have bad breath that won’t go away, red, shiny, sore or sensitive gums or bleeding when you brush or floss, it’s time to book yourself a checkup.

Eat Well

As well as being good for your body, good nutrition is great for your teeth. Build health teeth and gums by simply maintaining a healthy diet. If you want to snack, try swapping those candies for mouth-healthy substitutes like cheese, nuts, vegetables and non-acidic fruits.

Don’t Smoke Tobacco

Smoking tobacco not only stains your teeth but causes a whole load of other oral health problems. Smoking causes a lack of oxygen in your bloodstream leading to gum infections not being able to heal. It may not surprise you that gum disease is far more prevalent in smokers than non-smokers. In addition to this, tobacco smoke can cause cancers, heart disease and other problems.

See Your Dentist Regularly

You may be shocked to hear that as many as 48% of Canadians who haven’t seen a dentist in the last year have gum disease. Regular dental visits are the only way to guarantee your teeth are healthy and problem free. You should book a check-up every 6 months, but if you have any worrying symptoms, book in sooner.

Oral health is not something you should take lightly. Make sure you are staying on top of your dental hygiene and book an 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.

Thanksgiving is a time for seeing family, giving thanks, and eating – eating well! However, while you’re preparing your family’s big feast, take some time to consider your dental health. We all like to indulge in our favourite delicious dishes once a year, but many Thanksgiving foods can hurt and damage our teeth. Here are some popular Thanksgiving dishes that you should be wary of, and others that you can fully indulge in!

Thanksgiving foods that can hurt your teeth:

 

Cranberry Sauce

As turkey’s tasty sidekick, cranberry sauce is definitely a Thanksgiving staple. However, it comes as no surprise that cranberry sauce is packed with sugars that encourage bad oral bacteria to thrive. If you do want to include cranberry sauce at your dinner table, try to make it using fresh cranberries, instead of canned.

Pies and Desserts

No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without dessert, but Maple Pecan pies, Nanaimo bars, and buttery Apple Pies can all do serious damage to your teeth. While they may taste delicious, they’re full of starch and sugars that cause bacteria to chip away at the tooth enamel.

Stuffing

From apple and walnut to sausage and herb, people like to take their stuffing seriously! But unfortunately for our teeth, most stuffing recipes revolve around starchy bread that can create cavities and decay if left on our teeth.

Alcohol and sugary drinks

There’s nothing wrong with a glass or two of your favourite drink over the Thanksgiving weekend, but you should try to consume in moderation. Too much wine, beer and sugary drinks can wreak havoc on your teeth. Not only can they lead to staining and discoloration, but drinks high in alcohol also dry the mouth and reduce your saliva production – which removes plaque and bacteria from the tooth’s surface.

Thanksgiving foods that are good for your teeth:

 

Turkey

The star of the Thanksgiving table! Turkey is perfectly fine for teeth – so gobble up! Containing no starch or sugar, protein has phosphorus in it, which mixes with calcium and vitamin D to create strong bones and teeth.

Vegetables

Veggies are healthy for your body and your teeth. Chewing them causes your mouth to produce extra saliva, which helps to get rid of harmful bacteria.

Pumpkin Pie

In comparison with other sweet treats, pumpkin pie is full of calcium and vitamin C which helps keep gums healthy. Just make sure to eat it soon after your dinner, so you will have more saliva to wash away the leftover sugary food.

Cheese boards and nuts

Good news for all you cheese lovers out there: cheese is great for your teeth! Chewing on nuts is a great way to help your mouth produce saliva, and cheese is packed with calcium and protein which lowers the pH in your mouth and neutralizes plaque acid.

Taking care of your teeth over the Thanksgiving weekend is important. Aim to brush and floss your teeth 30 minutes after you’ve eaten, and drink plenty of water to wash away food particles in the mouth. From all of us here at Whistler Dental, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving! If you do notice tooth staining or toothache after thanksgiving, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.

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. Porcelain 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.

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.

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.

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!