How to stay cavity free this Halloween

Halloween is almost here, which means we will be facing the scariest, most terrifying, most horrifying of monsters: CAVITIES. With all the candy and sugar around, the formation of cavities is thriving, especially in children’s mouths. Since cancelling trick or treating is certainly out of the question, here are a couple of tips to help stay cavity free this Halloween.

Eat dinner before going trick or treating
Eating before going trick or treating leaves your children feeling fuller longer, making them less likely to binge on candy afterwards.

Drink water
Drinking water definitely does not replace brushing teeth, but it helps wash away some of the excess sugar and bacteria stuck in your child’s mouth.

Sort through the candy
After trick or treating, go through the candy with your children and let them separate their favorite candies from their least favorite ones. The pile of unwanted candy can already be discarded, preventing your kids from eating candy just for the sake of it.

Set limits
With your children, decide the amount of candy they are allowed daily. Limiting to 1 or 2 pieces of candy a day is reasonable and makes sure your children are not eating too many sweets.

Restrict candy to lunch or dinnertime
Allow your kids to have a piece of candy after lunch or dinner as dessert, to prevent them from snacking on sweets throughout the day. Additionally, saliva levels are higher after meals, which helps wash away some of the bacteria and eliminate plaque.

Brush teeth more thoroughly
Teach your children the importance of brushing and flossing, and encourage them to brush an extra 2 minutes if they’ve eaten candy during the day. They are going to have to work hard for that sugar!

Choose wisely
Sticky candies like caramels, or hard candies like lollipops take a long time to dissolve, exposing teeth to sugar for longer periods of time, and increase the risk of tooth decay. Safer options include chocolate, sugar free gum and even powdery candies (which dissolve quickly in the mouth).

What about braces?
Eating candy with braces doesn’t always have to be a nightmare! To keep braces intact, avoid nuts, caramel, gum, popcorn and chewy candies. Chocolate, soft candies and mints are safer options!

Get a dental cleaning
A dental cleaning is the safest and most foolproof way to make sure your children’s teeth are clean and healthy, especially after Halloween. In any case, we recommend that children and adults alike get a dental cleaning every six months to ensure their oral hygiene is in top shape.

Click here to book an appointment for a dental cleaning online, or call us at 514.277.773.

Happy Trick or Treating!

9 tips to keep your teeth healthy when travelling

Going on vacation this summer? Don’t forget about your teeth! As your travel buddies, they require just as much care and attention on the road as when you are home. Here are 9 tips to help prevent dental complications while travelling.

Before your trip

1. Pack your dental hygiene essentials
Packing a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss goes without saying, but don’t forget to bring other dental accessories that you may use, such as a mouthguard, mouthwash, floss threaders for braces, etc. Travel size dental products are really convenient and allow you to travel light. Traveling with an electric toothbrush? Be sure you have an adaptor for it!

2. Get a dental checkup
Consulting your dentist before travelling is always a good idea. Ask for a thorough exam so that your dentist can spot any problems before they become potential emergencies. Most dental problems can be solved quickly, while the more complicated treatments can often be postponed until your return.

During your trip

3. Give your toothbrush some air
A wet toothbrush can breed bacteria. In your travel bag, make sure your toothbrush is covered, in a travel container or resealable Ziplock bag, to keep the bristles clean and out of touch from other objects. As soon as you reach your destination, take your toothbrush out of its travel container and let it air dry.

4. Forgot your toothbrush?
If you forgot to pack your toothbrush or toothpaste, don’t worry! You can always grab a new toothbrush at the hotel front desk or at the nearest drugstore. If dental products really aren’t available, rinse your mouth profusely with water to wash away some of the bacteria.

5. Be cautious with water
If the local water is compromised or simply unsafe to drink, you shouldn’t use it to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth. Bottled or boiled water are safer options wherever you are.

6. Chew the bacteria away
Although constant gum chewing is not recommended, you can make an exception while traveling. On vacation, you can’t always brush your teeth after every meal, and therefore chewing sugarless gum will help neutralize the acids in your mouth and increase the flow of saliva, allowing for food debris to be washed away.

7. In case of emergency
Keep your dentist’s phone number or business card on you. You’d be surprised by how many dental emergencies can be resolved over the phone! If you are visiting family or friends, ask them to recommend their local dentist. Your hotel’s concierge can also recommend a good dentist. If you have travel insurance, the company’s hotline can refer you to a qualified dentist, and even provide translation help if necessary. In any case, try calling the clinic beforehand to make sure that it follows standard hygiene regulations, such as using new gloves for each patient and sterilizing instruments.

After your trip

8. Get back to your dental routine
Let’s be honest: we all get a little lazy with our teeth on vacation. We skip flossing or brushing a couple of times, and indulge in sweets and sodas. But don’t let these temporary bad habits become permanent ones! Get back to your dental routine of brushing and flossing to make sure your pearly whites remain healthy.

9. Go see your dentist… again
If you’ve experienced any problems or complications, we recommend you see your dentist when you return. If you’ve consulted another dentist during your trip, ask to have your file transferred to your dentist back home, so that he or she can remain updated on your oral health. Plus, us dentists love hearing all about your adventures abroad!

Prevent dental complications abroad by following these simple tips. Invest time in talking to your dentist before your departure so you can enjoy your holiday to the fullest. And don’t forget to send us a postcard!

Get a teeth whitening treatment for a dazzling smile this summer

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular dental procedures. Many people decide to whiten their teeth for special occasions, like weddings, graduations, birthdays, or simply for their everyday life.

Teeth whitening is an aesthetic dental procedure that whitens teeth safely and efficiently. Contrary to popular belief, our teeth are not naturally white. Their natural colour is yellow and comes from the dentine, a bony tissue covered by the enamel. The thicker the enamel, the whiter the tooth appears. In addition to the dentine, our age, diet, dental hygiene and tobacco consumption affect the colour of our teeth. Teeth whitening is a safe method to get rid of spots or discoloration on our teeth.

There are mainly two teeth whitening methods: in-office whitening and home whitening.

In-office whitening occurs at the dental clinic. First, the dentist applies an isolating and protective product on the gums. Then, a hydrogen peroxide based whitening agent is applied to the teeth. This agent is applied two to three times every 10 to 15 minutes, and the activation of the agent with a light is optional. This whitening method is quick and safe, as the level of sensitivity of the patient and the agent’s viscosity are controlled by a professional. Even though you need to go to the dentist, the procedure lasts an hour to an hour and a half and there is nothing to do at home!

Home whitening allows the patient to whiten his teeth himself and at his own rhythm. The procedure starts with an appointment to take dental impressions and build clear trays. These trays are custom-made and fit perfectly in the patient’s mouth. The patient takes home the clear trays with the whitening agent and an instruction booklet. Usually, the tray, filled with the whitening agent, is worn one to two hours, for two to three weeks or until the desired results are achieved. In case of tooth or gum sensitivity, the patient can stop the treatment and start again at his own rhythm. Unlike whitening kits available at the drugstore, the home whitening kit obtained at a dental clinic is custom-made and perfectly adapted to each patient’s dentition. This prevents spilling the whitening agent, which could be swallowed, and allows the dentist to control the agent’s viscosity to prevent irritating the gums.

Even though the colour of your teeth depends on the pigments found in your diet, your teeth will never be as dark as they were before the whitening procedure. Moreover, touch-ups, at the dentist or at home, are always possible. Naturally, colored foods, like coffee, red wine and tomato sauce easily stain teeth. Maintaining a good dental hygiene, reducing or stopping tobacco consumption and drinking white wine, instead of red wine for example, extends the whitening effects of the treatment.

Tips for healthy gums

 When we think of oral health, our teeth are the first things that come to mind. However, we often neglect our gums, which play an important role in our oral health.

In addition to brushing regularly and efficiently, here are a few extra tips to maintain happy gums:

  • Rinse, rinse and then, rinse some more
    Although brushing your teeth helps eliminate a lot harmful bacteria, there are still lots that get left behind on your tongue and other surfaces. Rinsing with a mouthwash is key in helping eliminate additional bacteria that may be trapped inside your mouth.
  • Flossing
    Although flossing can be frustrating and painful to some, it is absolutely necessary to get between your teeth and into your gums to remove bacteria buildup, leftover food particles as well as plaque and tartar. Added bonus of flossing: by removing all that unwanted stuff from your gums, you can eliminate bad breath.
  • Regular dental cleanings
    This one is a given. Regular cleanings help to maintain overall oral health and avoid any problems by removing all the unwanted stuff that gets wedged in our teeth despite our best efforts.
  • Dairy is your friend
    Consuming dairy products is not only important for getting the recommended amount of calcium, but it’s also good for your teeth and gums! Dairy products such as milk and cheese help breakdown and neutralize the acid in your month, protecting your teeth while fortifying them. In addition, it helps remove plaque and food particles left behind, further helping your gums.
  • Avoid soft drinks
    Eating processed sugar and drinking carbonated beverages can increase the production of plaque, eventually leading to gingivitis. In addition, the acidic content of these beverages can harm the enamel of your teeth.

Gums are just as important as your teeth and often neglected. Keep these simple tips that require just a bit of time and effort on your part to avoid unwanted problems and diseases in the future.

Brushing your tongue demystified – Why it’s important

 Flossing in addition to brushing is already a challenge for most people. Remembering to brush your tongue as well, makes you wonder if it’s really worth it.

You should be brushing your tongue, and here is why…

Your tongue houses the most bacteria in your mouth. Even though brushing your teeth or rinsing with a mouthwash will eliminate a good portion of the bacteria, whatever is found on the tongue will deposit itself once again on your teeth, hence the importance of brushing your tongue thoroughly. Brushing your tongue can also help with breath issues.

You should brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth by going back and forth and side to side with your toothbrush and then rinsing thoroughly. If brushing your tongue makes you gag, think about investing in a tongue scraper instead.

Happy brushing!

Do I really need to go to the dentist every six months?

One of the most popular questions that we get from patients is “Do I really need to come every six months”? How often you need to go for a dental exam depends on your oral health needs, not on your insurance coverage. Since the goal of a dentist visit is to catch small problems early, more frequent visits to the dentist may mean lower costs in the long run.
For many people, this means a dental exam every six months. Your dentist may suggest that you visit more or less often depending on how well you care for your teeth and gums, what problems you have that need to be monitored or treated, and how fast tartar builds up on your teeth.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I floss every day?
  • Do I brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and follow my dentist’s instructions on how to brush properly?
  • Do I eat a well-balanced diet, including food from all food groups, and limit sweets and sticky foods?
  • Do I smoke, and if so, how many cigarettes per day?
  • Do I have a history of cavities or gum disease?
  • Do I have a history of cavities or gum disease?

The answers to these questions are all factors that can affect your oral health. They will help you and your dentist decide how often you need to visit for dental exams.