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Wow another year come and gone, I can hardly believe it! I feel like I blink and it’s done. I don’t know about you but I try to stay away from the pressures of a resolution, when do you start those anyways, on January 1st? There is no way I am spending one of my only days off trying to get to the gym or eat salads all day! I would rather spend it reflecting and refocusing.
For me the New Year is more a time to think about the year that has past, and how I can begin to shape this coming year. Even though it really is just another day, it feels a bit like a fresh start, where I can self evaluate and figure out what I want to do better this year.
I wanted to share with you something that helps me do just that. It’s a great activity that I hope you all enjoy as well. It takes about 90 minutes and allows you to ponder the past 12 months and focus on what lies ahead. I highly recommend trying it out and really spending some quality time with you before the hustle and bustle of the New Year. You can find it here: http://blog.kevineikenberry.com/leadership-supervisory-skills/90-minute-activity-new-years-eve/
What about you? Do you have any New Years activities that you look forward to, please feel free to share them with me.
Also, seeing as we are heading into a new year, I am asking you all for some help. I am always in need of blog ideas, so, if there is anything that you would like me to talk about please let me know. Any recommendations are appreciated!!
Wherever you may find yourself tonight, please be safe and have fun. I look forward to seeing you in 2016!!
Thank you all for being part of my 2015!!
No matter what you celebrate, I hope you are sharing it with loved ones. I am so happy and grateful to have a few days to decompress and catch up with friends and family.
Today, I don’t feel like talking teeth, instead I want to take in the feeling of the season which is filled with happiness and excitement. There is a “buzz” that cannot be fully put into words, but if you sit back and watch, it is one of the few times during the year when people actually seem happy and neighbourly. Ok, ok, maybe you won’t see that today, Christmas eve at the mall, but if you have a moment to sit in a park or at a neighbourhood Starbucks hopefully you will notice this feeling all around you.
If this time of year puts you in a happy place, be sure to share it with the world, smile more, lend a helping hand, or maybe even buy a stranger a cup of coffee. Pay it forward; because you never know what a kind gesture may mean to someone else.
So on this day and every day may you find yourself at peace and surrounded by love. I wish you all the merriest of days…..xxoo
It’s everywhere, people with beautifully perfect white teeth, so you ask yourself, how do I get my teeth to look like that??
First of all, don’t be fooled, much of what you see on T.V. and in magazines has been photoshopped, and most of the movie stars and models have what are called veneers (basically a half crown that is placed over the natural teeth, invasive & expensive, a topic for another day). So keep your expectation of teeth whitening products earthbound.
Secondly, don’t be using “whitening” toothpastes. If you can crunch it, you shouldn’t be using it on any regular basis. Some of the pastes that are marketed for teeth whitening are just abrasive, so while they may remove some of the external, granular staining on your teeth in the long run you are doing more harm than good. In fact, these pastes may thin your enamel and over time the next layer of tooth will reflect through more causing your teeth to actually appear more yellow!
Lastly, use a peroxide, gel based product. I of course am not a fan of unsupervised at home teeth whitening to the likes of whitestrips or pre-fabricated trays, but I am a realist and am well aware of their popularity. So, if you are going to use over the counter whiteners, please follows the directions; do not over do it; and listen to your body! If your tissue starts to tingle or burn or your teeth become super sensitive, stop using it!!
If you really want results talk to us, we can customize in-office whitening treatments that is not only effective but is safe.
I called my doctor today and hung up feeling frustrated, so I felt the need to vent a bit. I cannot be the only one that is annoyed and angered by the hassle attached to booking appointments!
I hate to admit it, but it prevents me from booking appointments that I need to because the thought of calling the office, being put on hold, and then trying to be nice to a receptionist that is obviously annoyed that I need to work around my schedule as well, come on “work with me lady!” is all I can think. I do not wake up in the morning wanting to do this, or quite frankly have time for this in my day! More often than not I just hang up while on hold listening to the ridiculous classical music they pump through the phone, to what, try to keep me calm?
Why can’t all places that work with appointments offer online scheduling? This is the biggest reason I chose to offer this to all my patients. I realize the hassle of trying to call during business hours, and since our office is not open on Tuesdays or Wednesdays I thought it best to allow people to do their own bookings. I mean, we’re all adults; it’s not that hard to navigate the system, and if you book something that doesn’t quite make sense, I’ll contact you to clarify. It’s not rocket science; I just wish other places would get on board!
Thanks for listening; I’m feeling better, maybe good enough to try booking my appointment again, on second thought. I’ll wait until tomorrow!
If you want to access our easy online booking system it is available 24/7 at http://dentalhygienegroup.fullslate.com/
My apologies for not posting for so long, but I am back and will try to keep it short and sweet….and more regular from now on. I’m going to try a new approach to this blogging thing, I think it could be a great way for you all to get to know me and the Dental Hygiene Group a bit better, and know what’s going on in the office, also to get my opinion on everyday “stuff”. If there is anything specific you want me to touch on please let me know and I will do my best to accommodate! I hope you enjoy the new format. Stay tuned for regular rants.
We have a visitor this holiday season!
Stay tuned to see what kind of mischief she gets into over the next few weeks
Heading off to college or university is a very exciting time. Focusing on school is of course the priority, but you are also learning how to balance life with work and managing not only your course load, but your health and home as well. For many this is the time where oral health problems arise for the first time.
As a student you are facing many unique challenges that can affect your oral health:
Home care – pulling all-nighters to study or staying up late simply because you can is the norm. No matter the reason it’s still important to brush two times per day for a recommended two minute time period, and to incorporate flossing or inter-dental aides at least once a day. Electric toothbrushes that have a timer are great tools to invest in.
Diet – While things such as energy drinks may offer a caffeine jolt they also contain citric acid, which strips enamel off the teeth. Avoiding these drinks is best for preserving dental health but coffee is a better choice (less than 4 cups a day) if a pick-me-up is needed. Late night snacking is also a crime many students are guilty of, falling asleep without brushing your teeth means the sugars and acids in your late night snack have all night to eat away at the enamel on your teeth. Leftover food particles are also the perfect breeding ground for gingivitis causing bacteria, which also causes bad breath.
Stress – Getting A’s across the board isn’t easy. The stress to make the grade, in addition to sleep deprivation from studying, can show on one’s teeth as a result of grinding and clenching. Making sleep (7 to 8 hours a night) and exercise (at least 30 minutes a day) a priority will help college students deal with stress in a productive way. If a student has jaw pain (as a result of grinding and/or clenching) they should see a dental professional immediately.
Alcohol consumption – Many alcoholic beverages are very high in sugar, and when mixed with juice or soda become highly acidic which can wreak havoc on tooth enamel. College students may also notice an increase in teeth staining due to increased consumption of certain alcoholic beverages such as red wine.
Missing regular Dental Hygiene appointments – It’s easy to forget or blame parents for not scheduling your appointments but remember that as a college student you are well on your way to being a full fledged adult. With that comes the responsibility of learning to balance academics, with social and personal life to ensure dental, and overall, wellness for years to come.
Most universities and colleges offer a student insurance plan that will cover preventative care with a dental hygienist. Prevention is definitely the best medicine as waiting can create the need to have major restorative work that may not be covered under the plan and can interfere with your studies due to pain and lengthy appointments.
We are here to help. If you have any questions or would like to come for an appointment call or book online.
Quitting smoking helps more than just your lungs.
If your resolution includes quitting smoking, then good for you! This is one of the most significantly beneficial lifestyle changes you can make.
We are well aware that smoking causes major problems for organs such as your lungs and heart, but what about your mouth? Smoking is a huge risk factor for many oral health issues such as:
~ Gum disease – Smoking can also suppress the body’s immune system, reducing its ability to fight infections such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. If you already suffer with gum disease smoking slows the healing of damaged gum tissue due to vaso-constriction (narrowing of blood vessels).
~ Premature tooth loss – On average smokers will lose 2 teeth every 10 years. Smokers develop more calculus (or tartar), which can lead to such things as recession. They are also at a much greater risk for periodontal disease which is the number one reasons adult lose their teeth.
~ Tooth discoloration – Smoking may leave black or brown stains on the surface of the teeth, most commonly found behind all of the front teeth but also around the neck of the tooth. If there is recession present then the stain may adhere to the margin where the enamel meets the root surface. Depending on the severity and location of the stain it may be very difficult to remove.
~ Bad breath – In smokers halitosis is generally caused by the retention and exhalation of the smoke that is inhaled
~ Deep wrinkling around the mouth– Smoking can create deep wrinkles around the mouth and speed up the skin’s natural aging process
Even with excellent oral hygiene and preventative care, smokers may face a particularly difficult time in maintaining the health of their gums, not only are smokers more likely to develop gum diseases, but they also have a more difficult time treating such diseases and restoring their gums to a healthy state. This is even truer for patients who also suffer from conditions that already threatens their immune system, such as diabetes.
Quitting is not easy but the benefits are almost immediate. Your circulation improves, your blood pressure starts to return to normal, breathing becomes easier and your taste buds awaken. You’ll also have a healthier mouth!
If quitting smoking is on your to do list talk to us, there are many resources available to make the journey easier.
Good luck & don’t give up!Here are some great resources to get you started: http://www.cdho.org/publicbrochures/oralhealthmatters_smoking.pdf https://www.dentalhealth.org/tell-me-about/topic/sundry/smoking-and-oral-health http://www.perio.org/consumer/risk-factors http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/tobac-tabac/quit-cesser/index-eng.php
We’ve been aware for quite some time that if you have diabetes you are at a greater risk for gum diseases such as periodontal disease (an infection of the bone and structures that keep your teeth in place), and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).
In case there was any doubt about the link between the health of your mouth and your overall health, new studies are suggesting that the connection between oral health and diabetes are not one sided, that they in fact affect each other.
What does gum disease have to do with diabetes?
Gum diseases are infections and like any other infection in the body diabetics have a more difficult time healing from these. People with diabetes are 2 to 3 times more likely than those without diabetes to have periodontal disease, especially if the diabetes is not well managed.
If your diabetes is uncontrolled it may lead to more frequent and more severe infections in the mouth compared to those whose diabetes is well controlled. For many diabetics more frequent professional cleanings help keep gum diseases under control.
Often the earliest sign of diabetes is active gum disease that does not improve with professional cleaning and strict oral hygiene at home!
But wait, there’s more!
More recent research suggests that the correlation between gum disease and diabetes is a two way street. Gum disease can be a factor in causing blood sugar to rise making diabetes harder to control. Having an active infection such as gum disease is never healthy, but it puts diabetics at risk for diabetic complications.
How will I know if I have gum disease?
There are some symptoms of gum disease that you can be on the lookout for such as:
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Loose teeth
- Presence of pus
- Persistent bad breath
Even in the absence of these symptoms, though, there may be gum disease present; the only way to know for sure is to see your Dental Hygienist for a thorough examination where she (or he) will discuss the condition of your mouth.
How do I treat gum disease?
The treatment of your gum disease will depend on the severity of the disease, your diabetic condition, tolerance to treatment, compliance with home care etc.
Following an assessment your Dental Hygienist will develop a plan that will help you achieve optimal oral health. A variety of techniques may be recommended, such as professional cleanings, lasers, or specialist referrals. A review of your current home care practices and guidance regarding how to improve and maximize the results should also be discussed.
Remember, what your Dental Hygienist does in the office with you is only half the battle, what you do at home between visits is imperative for treating gum disease and maintaining a healthy mouth. Your home regime should always include brushing at least 2 times a day, flossing and using an antiseptic mouth rinse. There are other tools available that your Dental Hygienist may suggest as well, be sure to talk to her (or him) about what may be helpful for you to try.
What else should I be aware of?
Periodontal disease and gingivitis are not the only oral problems that diabetics are at risk for. Here are a few other issues that may arise:
- Oral infections on tissue such as the tongue, cheek or roof of the mouth
- Fungal infections such as Thrush
- Poor healing after dental surgeries
- Dry mouth
What can I do to prevent gum disease?
Prevention is, and always will be, the best investment you can make for yourself. Preventing gum diseases is not a one-time thing; instead it requires a comprehensive approach that should include:
- A good home care regime
- Professional dental cleanings at an interval determined by a thorough dental hygiene exam
- Keeping diabetes managed through medication or diet
There is strong evidence that proper diabetes control will help protect against many oral health problems including gum diseases. Be sure to talk to your Dental Hygienist about steps you can take to move towards a healthier mouth….the rest of your body will thank you for it!
Want to know if you have or are at risk for Gum Disease?
Book an appointment with our Dental Hygienist for an examination and professional cleaning. Appointments can me made online HERE or by calling the office at 416-799-8344.
If you are fortunate to work for a company that offers you some dental insurance, don’t let it go to waste. There are many people that don’t have this benefit; in fact about 40% of Ontarians are without any dental insurance.
With all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season it is easy to postpone your dental hygiene appointment to the New Year, however, if your insurance renews with the calendar year you may be missing an opportunity.
How does dental insurance work?
The way most dental insurance benefits work is that you are provided a certain dollar amount of insurance each year. If you do not use those benefits you lose them! (Unused amounts do not carry over to the next year). Many people do not realize this and let hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars worth of dental insurance go back into the insurance company’s bank account. While our treatment recommendations are never dictated by insurance, if you have any treatment that remains to be completed, or you have any oral hygiene concerns at all, it would be very useful for you to come in before the end of the year.
At the Dental Hygiene Group, our goal is to help you enjoy a bright healthy smile! That means that you look good, you feel good, you have strong teeth and gums, and you enjoy the benefits of a healthy, attractive smile for a lifetime. Maximizing your eligible dental insurance can also help you with this.
If you would like to make an appointment, just give us a call and we will find a time that is convenient for you, or you can book directly online.
Just remember that when you ring in the new year on December 31st, you will lose any unused dental insurance. We are happy to help you get the full benefits that you are entitled to under your dental insurance policy.
The face of oral cancer has changed dramatically over recent years. With more and more people in the spotlight coming out about their battles, such as Michael Douglas, Roger Ebert, and Tony Gwynn, it has helped to bring this disease the attention it deserves.
Some facts about oral cancer:
-13th most common cancer in Canada, 6th most common worldwide
– In Canada more cases are diagnosed per year than cervical or ovarian cancer
-Overall survival rate is only 63% compared to 75% for cervical cancer
– 3 people die every day in Canada from oral cancer
-Exposure to HPV is becoming the most common link to oral cancer
Are you at risk?
It used to be that age and smoking were the leading risk factors; this is no longer the case. Although tobacco use is still a major risk factor there are other variables to take into account. Some of these risk factors include:
– Smoking – Tobacco is responsible for nearly one-quarter of cancer deaths worldwide making it the single greatest avoidable risk factor for cancer
– Alcohol – Smoking & Alcohol together
– HPV – The Human Papilloma Virus, spread via sexual activities
– Sun exposure – Gender
– Diet – Cultural trends
– Previous oral cancer history – Immune suppression
HPV and oral cancer
HPV (Human Papillomavirus), is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. Most types are not harmful and will go away without causing any health problems. There are some strains however, that are linked with head and neck (oropharyngeal) cancers.
HPV related cancers are increasing at an alarming rate, estimated to surpass cervical cancers by the year 2020. There is no definitive reason for this as of yet, but changes in sexual behavior, including an increase in oral sex, may be one reason for the rise.
The fastest growing segment for this type of cancer is generally healthy, non-smoking people in the 20-50 age range. With non-smoking men age 35-55 being at the highest risk (4 to 1 over women).
When HPV is found in the mouth and throat is called “oral HPV” and can cause oropharyngeal cancers, or cancer of the head and neck area. Most commonly these cancers are detected in the back of the throat, tonsil area and base of the tongue.
HPV can be present for many years, 15-30, before becoming pre-cancerous lesions or cancer.
What can you do?
As with any type of cancer or disease early detection is key! Often times the first signs are difficult to detect as they are painless and in locations that are not easily visible.
– Learn how to perform an oral cancer examination for yourself and do this regularly (monthly). There is a great tutorial HERE
– Do not ignore early warning signs! Although many oral cancers may be asymptomatic, there are some clues that should not be taken lightly. These may include: lesions that don’t heal, hoarseness, pain during chewing or swallowing, chronic ear pain on one side only, painless lump on the outside of the neck that lasts longer than 2 weeks, numbness of the mouth or lips, and most commonly a feeling that there is something stuck in your throat.
– Be sure that your oral care provider, either dentist or dental hygienist, is performing an oral cancer exam at every visit. This should include, feeling your tissue (neck, lips, cheeks, tongue etc.), as well as thoroughly visually examining your face and mouth, especially your tongue.
– Opt for an exam with a light based detection system such as the Velscope. These devices reflect through tissue to reveal changes that may be occurring much deeper than is visible with the naked eye.
– Follow the recommendation of your oral care provider. If something is detected the normal course of action would be to return in 7-10 days to see if the area has healed, if not, your dental hygienist or dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon or pathologist for a closer look and probably a biopsy of the area. Life can get busy, but it is imperative that you do not wait, see the specialist as soon as possible for a diagnosis.
– See your oral care provider regularly. It is important not only to maintain your appointments but to develop a trusting relationship with your health care practitioners. By seeing the same dental hygienist you not only are building a foundation for a healthy mouth but she (or he) is more likely to notice when something is not normal — for you.
How to treat oral cancer
Once diagnosed the treatment and success rates vary. Generally you would be working with a team of professionals, which could include: oral surgeon, radiation and chemotherapy oncologists, dental practitioners, nutritionists, rehab and restorative specialists.
Depending what stage the cancer is in the normal approaches would include radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy, or some combination of the three. Each case is individually assessed.
Remember that there are many resources that can be utilized for the patient and families affected by oral cancers. Here are a few websites with great information:
Have questions? Ask us!!
We perform a head and neck examination at every visit. For a small fee we also offer a Velscope examination, which we recommend adding annually.