4 Reasons Smiling Can Improve Your Health!

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We’ve all heard the old cliché that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile, so you should smile to conserve energy! That’s actually false. It takes a minimum of ten muscles to smile but only a minimum of six to frown, so the expression should really be “smile to burn calories!” But smiling will do much more for your health than just giving your face a workout.

Here are four ways smiling benefits our health.

#1: Reduces Pain

Smiling releases endorphins, which are our bodies’ feel-good hormones. They serve as natural pain killers with no side-effects. What’s particularly interesting about this is that it’s the smile itself that releases the endorphins, not the attitude behind it.

Our brains are so hardwired to associate smiling with joy that even a fake smile will get you the chemical benefits. So whenever you get injured, it really is a good idea to grin and bear it!

#2: Relieves Stress

Another thing the endorphins released by smiling do for you is help relieve stress. A study in 2012 tested how quickly subjects’ heart rates could go back to normal after performing a stressful task. One group was instructed to hold a pencil between their teeth (which forces a smile) and the other was instructed to hold the pencil between their lips (which forces a neutral expression). The subjects with the biggest smiles recovered the fastest.

This goes back to the way our brains react to smiles. We don’t just smile when we’re happy; smiling can actually make us happy, which means you really can “fake it till you make it” when it comes to smiling!

#3: Boosts Our Immune System

Relieving tension and stress by smiling can have a profound cumulative impact on your health. It can make you more resilient against illness and it can even reduce your chances of getting cancer by lowering the number of stress-induced mutations your cells go through.

#4: Increases Longevity

Smiling doesn’t just make you look younger and more attractive; it can also add years to your lifespan. Taking advantage of every opportunity to smile (and then some) could make you live up to seven years longer!

Let Those Smiles Shine!

As adults, we average a paltry 20 smiles per day, while children will light up with a smile 400 times in that same day! Imagine the health benefits we could rack up if we could start smiling like we did when we were kids? Some people keep their smiles to themselves because they aren’t happy with the way their teeth look, but we can help you get and keep a smile you’ll be proud to show off.

Our biggest reason to smile? Our patients!

Love At First Smile! This Valentine Day

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From the very first moment a patient sees the end result with Vaneers, their smile brightens up from ear to ear. It can’t stop and it won’t stop! Their self-esteem goes up to a whole other level.Dental veneers are very conservative aesthetic dental restorations. They offer vitality and beauty that is so life-like that people will believe they are your natural teeth.

Vaneers will often only take two office visits with minimal to no drilling and, in most cases no anesthetic needed. Thinner, stronger, and whiter teeth, no other treatment comes close to how natural of a perfect smile you can achieve. The best part of all, it’s clinically proven to maintain its radiance and integrity for over 20 years.

Placing custom veneers requires a high degree of technical skill as well as attention to cosmetic detail. Dr. Ashnaei designs each case individually to match and enhance characteristics already present in each patient’s teeth.

We will do a comprehensive exam to confirm you are a candidate. Don’t delay, call Glen Dental Centre today to set up a free consultation.

Is Your Breath Ready for Valentine’s Day?

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Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is a common Valentine’s Day concern and is thought to affect ~20% of the population. Halitosis comes in varying degrees of persistence and can be caused by any of the following:

  • Ingesting strong smelling foods such as garlic or coffee
  • Smoking or using other tobacco products
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Oral infections such as tooth decay or periodontal disease
  • Dry mouth (using certain medications can cause dry mouth and, by consequence, halitosis)
  • Illnesses such as diabetes, liver disease or kidney disease

Halitosis Causes

The majority of halitosis cases are caused by bacteria in the mouth breaking down food substances that produce foul odors, particularly on the back of the tongue. These cases are simple and can be fixed quickly by improving oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and using mouthwash ensures that all food particles are removed from the surfaces of teeth and the tongue which prevents bacterial breakdown of food and bad breath. Tongue scrapers, which can be found at any drug store, can also be helpful at scraping off odor causing bacteria and dead cells from the surface of the tongue.

Dry Mouth

For patients with dry mouth, either natural or caused by taking certain medications, it’s often recommended to chew on sugar free gum containing xylitol which stimulates saliva production to inhibit bad breath. Chewing gum for 20 minutes following meals and snacks is sufficient to help prevent halitosis as well as tooth decay for both patients with and without dry mouth.

While most cases of halitosis can be traced back to oral hygiene, persistent halitosis cases can be more complicated. Not all bad breath smells the same, and the type of bad breath present is often indicative of underlying illness affecting the patient. For example, having persistent “fruity” breath is often a sign of diabetes while having breath that smells like ammonia could mean that the patient is suffering from kidney disease. Many other illnesses such as liver disease and lung cancer can have a particular effect on a patient’s breath. If you’re suffering from persistent halitosis and believe that it may be caused by another illness, please book an appointment with us for consultation as soon as possible.

Sedation Effectiveness for Dental Phobia

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Dental Phobia, or Dental Anxiety, is a common condition that causes sufferers to avoid visiting the dentist at all costs. Though some people may experience a normal fear of the dentist – Dental Phobia keeps patients from important visits. Years spent away from the dentist’s office can lead to an unsightly smile, and pose a serious threat to one’s health. This phobia can be triggered early on due to a faulty or painful dental incident as a child – or can even take its toll later on as an adult after a bad dental experience. Others suffer from this phobia as a distressing side effect to previous traumatic experiences.

People often use the words “anxiety” and “phobia” to mean the same thing, but they are different.

Those with dental anxiety will have a sense of uneasiness when it’s time for their appointments. They’ll have exaggerated or unfounded worries or fears. Dental phobia is a more serious condition. It’s an intense fear or dread. People with dental phobia aren’t merely anxious. They are terrified or panic stricken.

People with dental phobia have a higher risk of gum disease and early tooth loss. Avoiding the dentist may have emotional costs as well. Discolored or damaged teeth can make people self-conscious and insecure. They may smile less or keep their mouths partly closed when they speak. Some people can become so embarrassed about how their teeth look that their personal and professional lives begin to suffer. There is often a serious loss of self-esteem.

People with dental phobia also may suffer from poorer health in general, and even lower life expectancy. This is because poor oral health has been found to be related to some life-threatening conditions, such as heart disease and lung infections.

There are varying degrees of dental anxiety and phobia. At the extreme, a person with dental phobia may never see a dentist. Others may force themselves to go, but they may not sleep the night before. It’s not uncommon for people to feel sick — or, in some cases, to actually get sick — while they’re in the waiting room.

Dental phobia, like other mental disorders, can be treated. Without treatment, dental phobia is likely to get worse over time. That’s partly because emotional stress can make dental visits more uncomfortable than they need to be.If this describes you, you need to tell your dentist about your feelings, concerns and fears. He or she will help you overcome these feelings by changing the way you are treated. You also may be referred to a mental health professional.

Why Dental Health Check Ups Are Important

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One of the major issues facing dentists, patients and patients wallets is that the majority of us don’t visit the dentist on a regular basis. According to research from NHS Digital (previously the Health and Social Care Information Centre) half of UK adults haven’t been to the dentist in the last two years. More than a quarter of adults only visit the dentist when they have a problem.

The infrequency and irregularity of dental check-ups is causing a huge number of problems for us. The facts say a lot here with 31% of adults having tooth decay, 66% of us having visible plaque and 29% of the population suffering from regular pain in the mouth or teeth.

How Often Should You Visit the Dentist

Both adults and children should visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend. For those with certain medical conditions, your dental team may want to see you more often.

It is also important to remember that certain types of medication may impact our oral health too, for instance, patients who have ‘dry mouth’ caused by medication may be more likely to get tooth decay and will need to visit their dental team more often.

Why Dental Check Ups Are So Important

The problem we have is that many of us ignore the health of our mouth, especially when we compare it to our overall body health. We allow problems to develop before we actually visit the dentist.

There are a wide number of issues this creates but we have listed the two most common issues left unchecked;

Allowing Gums to Bleed

Allowing your gums to bleed helps create cavities and inflamed gums – pockets develop under the gum-line filled with bacteria that eat away the teeth and eventually the bone causing tooth loss. Visiting the dentist regularly can ensure your gum health is properly maintained and early treatment prevents serious problems developing.

Tooth Pain

Tooth pain is most often caused from cavities forming. Once a cavity reaches the stage where it is causing pain then root canal treatment (or possibly tooth loss) is more likely, or an extensive filling. Regular check-ups ensure that the beginnings of a filling can be identified, treated and additional brushing routines created.

Overall dental check-ups will dramatically decrease the potential for all oral health problems becoming serious. They are also cost effective compared to paying for expensive major dental works such as tooth replacements, crowns and gum repair.

Invisalign: What you need to know

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If you’ve always wanted to straighten out your teeth, but never got around to having braces or were put off by the look or the procedure itself, Invisalign may provide the answer.

For those who have an overcrowded mouth, uneven gaps or crooked teeth, braces work to gradually encourage your smile into a more suitable and attractive setting.

However, traditional braces are an investment visible for all to see, and for some, the thought of the metal brackets and wires attached to their teeth could cause them to hesitate over the decision to adjust the look of their smile.

This is why Invisalign presents an alternative to traditional metal braces, a solution which has only grown in popularity over recent years due to its flexibility and subtle appearance.

Here’s what you should know if you’re considering Invisalign.

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign is a process of using lightweight, clear aligners, designed using a 3D-constructed image of your mouth. The aligners are made from a fine plastic which sits over your teeth like a nearly invisible mouthguard.

Over the course of the treatment, you’ll receive a new set of aligners every two weeks, with the new set taking over from where the last set left off to continue the realignment process. As Invisalign involves precise 3D imagery, the process will be carefully mapped out by your dentist, so you’ll have a good idea of what to expect from week to week.

Moulded to the exact shape of your teeth, these aligners are worn day and night, and unlike traditional metal braces, they can be removed, which is beneficial for ease of brushing and flossing as well as eating.

What are some of the benefits compared to traditional braces?

With their ability to be removed when necessary, the aligners don’t restrict any dietary choices as the apparatus cannot be damaged by eating – for instance, braces wearers will be familiar with the inability to bite down into an apple.

Aligners also allow unimpeded access to your teeth for regular cleaning and flossing, which is a more difficult process with the 24/7 presence of traditional braces.

One of the key points which makes Invisalign so attractive is its discreet appearance, making it a sought after treatment by teenagers and adults. The clear plastic sits snugly over your teeth, so that the colour blends with your smile and renders the aligners barely detectable.

Can anyone be eligible for Invisalign?

Invisalign is suitable for treating a range of orthodontic issues which affect not only the appearance, but the structural workings of your smile. Crooked teeth and gaps between teeth can be easily treated with Invisalign, but these invisible braces can also work to correct overcrowding, where your jaw may be too small to fit all of your teeth comfortably.

Cross bites, which occur when your upper and lower jaws are misaligned, as well as deep bites where the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth (or vice versa in the case of an under bite) can also be addressed with Invisalign.

Although these may seem to be minor conditions, if left untreated, they make thorough cleaning difficult to achieve, which can lead to a build up of plaque or gum disease.

Like all dental treatments, if you are interested in Invisalign, the best way to find out whether you would make a good candidate is to consult your dentist.

New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy Mouth

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Every New Year’s Eve is filled with promises for a new you. How about including your teeth in your list of resolutions? By making a few small changes, you can resolve to maintain a healthy mouth for 2015. Here are some examples of dental resolutions you can employ for a healthier mouth in 2015.

Floss Daily

If you are like most people, you probably don’t floss your teeth on a consistent basis. This may be due to your hectic schedule, or the fact that flossing irritates your gums or causes bleeding. The cure for the latter is actually to floss more and with better technique! If you can manage to floss once at the end of the day during your evening bedtime routine, your gums will improve over time. Try to start by flossing every 2nd day for a week or so, and then work your way up to at least once per day.

Brush AFTER Flossing

The average person flosses after brushing, and while it is better than not flossing at all, it is actually not the most effective order for oral health. Flossing removes trapped plaque and food from between the teeth that the brush cannot get to. If you brush first, flossing will unleash these bacteria-filled substances onto the clean surface of your freshly brushed teeth, contaminating the mouth once again.

How to Floss & Brush : http://www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/cfyt/dental_care/flossing_brushing.asp

Eat Healthy

You may already have resolved to eat healthy this year. In that case, an added bonus will be that you will be helping your oral health. So, what is eating healthy? In terms of oral health, eating better means avoiding sticky, sugary and acidic foods. The same bacteria that create cavities will feed off excess sugars left behind from candy, chocolate and even starchy foods such as bread or noodles. Acidic foods can erode your enamel over time creating sensitivity to cold temperature foods. If such foods can’t be avoided, follow the meal up with a refreshing glass of water, and consider brushing your teeth more frequently.

Quit Tobacco

Tobacco whether inhaled or chewed, plays a big role in the formation of oral diseases. These include bad breath, staining, tooth loss, gum disease and even oral cancer. There is no better time than right now to quit tobacco! Below is a link to a list of ‘Quit Smoking’ Apps for iphone and Android phones.

http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/top-iphone-android-apps-quit-smoking

Regular Check Ups

Our motto at Glen Dental is ‘Prevention is better than Treatment’ and it’s true! If you are in pain or suspect that you have a cavity but do nothing about it, chances are it will only get worse over time. A cavity that is past its initial stage of decalcification can progress into the pulp of the tooth, and can cause damage to the nerve. Once in the nerve, the tooth may become infected and need a root canal. If still left untreated, this tooth can die and the infection can spread to the bone causing bone loss. One small filling is cheaper and preserves more of the natural tooth than a larger filling, root canal or extraction. By having your dental check up consistently every 6 months as advised by your dentist, you can keep on top of your dental needs as they arise.

Foods to Avoid this Holiday Season

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In the last entry, we covered good foods to eat over the holidays to help prevent a dental emergency. Now that you know what to eat, let’s look at what to avoid during the holidays along with healthy alternatives. Your diet can make or break your dental health, and we would like to help you make this season a healthy one.

Candy, Cookies and Cakes: The three C’s! With the holidays in full swing, chocolates, candy and sweets abound! Although tempting, try to keep consumption of these foods to a minimum. Sugar is a prime cause of the acidic environment that creates dental decay and wreaks havoc on your teeth. The acid produced by excessive consumption of refined sugar dissolves the minerals essential for healthy teeth. If you do choose to indulge, it is recommended to have all the sweets in one sitting as opposed to grazing on sugar throughout the day.

Sugary Cereals: Breakfast may get overlooked over the holidays, but when you are rushing out the door, scarfing down a bowl of your favourite processed cereal is risky. You will be amazed at how much sugar can get crammed into those little puffs and flakes! Try to eat oatmeal or bran and fibre based cereals, or even eggs. Make sure to brush your teeth before you eat, or if you have the time, half an hour after breakfast in order to avoid damaging your enamel.

Carbonated beverages: If you like that fizzy taste when you mix a drink, opt for soda water instead of a soft drink. Pop drinks are absolutely loaded with syrupy sugar. Even if you choose the sugar-free version, the drink will still be acidic and when consumed in excess can cause tooth enamel to erode. If you choose to throw caution to the wind and drink a sugary carbonated drink, use a straw to lessen the direct contact with your teeth.

Chips: As you know chips are made from starch-filled potatoes. When cooked into chips, the starch breaks down into sugar which is the arch nemesis of your teeth. If you are craving that salty, crunchy snack, try something new and bring a bag of veggie chips to your next holiday gathering. An added bonus: they are friendlier on the waistline as well!

Wine: Who doesn’t love a glass or two of wine during the holiday festivities? Just keep in mind that white wine can be very acidic and contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel. Try to limit your wine consumption to meal time, as sipping throughout the day causes more acid exposure than sipping throughout the evening. Red wine is vibrant in colour and can increase the risk of staining your teeth. Just be sure to not skip brushing your teeth before bed to remove any stains.

Coming up next time: Not all emergencies can be avoided. That is why they’re called ‘emergencies’! Stay tuned, as we will cover what to do if you lose or chip a tooth.

Call our Coquitlam dental office Glen Dental Centre at 604-552-2241 to schedule your complimentary consultation today.

Tips to Avoid a Dental Emergency this Holiday Season

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With less than a month until Christmas and New Year’s Eve, you probably have a lot on your mind. The last thing you want to worry about is a dental emergency. Over the course of 4 week instalments, I will list some tips and tricks on how to avoid a dental emergency over the holidays.

This holiday season, family and friends are the focus, so there tends to be plenty of get-togethers with rich foods on the menu. Everyone over-indulges during the holidays, but this can put us at risk for damaging our teeth. If this happens to you however, make sure that you see a dentist as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary damage and discomfort. Here is a list of top picks of good, teeth-friendly foods to eat this season.

Cheese – The holidays aren’t complete without a few appetizers including cheese platters. As you taste and sample different cheeses this season, you will be happy to find out that along with being calcium-rich, cheese also promotes healthy teeth! Cheese can also balance the PH in your mouth which can counteract an acidic environment and prevent acidic foods from damaging the precious enamel.

Nuts – With all of the snacks and treats this season, choose wisely. If ‘salty & crunchy’ is your food of choice, try swapping the chips out for some nuts. Peanuts for example contain calcium and vitamin D which are great for general as well as oral health. Another popular holiday nut is the walnut, which contains zinc, fiber, folic acid and iron among other vitamins, which help keep your teeth and gums healthy. This may give you an excuse to have a slice of fruit cake!

Fresh Veggies – Casual get-togethers during the holidays will often have a spread of fresh vegetables and dip. As long as you don’t over-indulge on the dip, this is a healthy choice for your body and your teeth. Broccoli and carrots in particular contain vitamin A which helps strengthen tooth enamel.

Turkey – Turkey is a popular protein choice for the holidays. It is also rich in phosphorus. Combined with Calcium and Vitamin D, phosphorus are building blocks that our body uses to make healthy teeth and bones. By eating enough protein, you can help reduce tooth decay, keeping your teeth happy and healthy.

Call our Coquitlam dental office Glen Dental Centre at 604-552-2241 to schedule your complimentary consultation today.

Signs Your Baby is Teething

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As unique as all snowflakes are, the same can be said for every baby’s experience with teething. Typically, your baby’s first tooth is not due to appear from between 3 months and 12 months of age, the average age being 7 months. . Symptoms can appear up to 3 months before their first tooth erupts. They may be miserable or breeze right through teething and show none, one, or a combination of the following symptoms.

Drooling – How does one little infant produce so much drool? Teething can cause excessive drooling. It is important to gently wipe away the drool from cheeks, chin and wherever else it may accumulate to help prevent chapped skin. The extra fluid can also cause your little one to cough and gag. If your baby has no other signs of a cold or flu, don’t be too alarmed.

Biting – As the teeth put pressure on the gums, a source of relief is counterpressure. Babies will bite or gum whatever they can find to relieve the pain of teething.Try providing a frozen teething ring, or facecloth. A teething cracker can help (with supervision) as well as cold foods such as apple sauce of yogurt. Avoid carrots, as they can be a choking hazard.

Not Feeding – The suction created in the mouth at feedings can exacerbate the pain of teething, so your baby may become fussy at feeding time. Babies on solid food may also refuse to eat during this time as well. This can be frustrating as now they will be cranky due to teething as well as an empty tummy. Always consult a pediatrician if this lasts for more than a few feedings.

Irritability – As the teeth come in, your baby’s mouth will feel achy. Some babies won’t even make a peep, and some will be completely miserable. Along with being irritable, your infant may also resort to ear pulling and cheek rubbing. This is because the cheek and ear shares the same nerve pathway as the jaw. This irritability can last anywhere from a few hours, to days, or even weeks. Consult your Dr. before administering any pain relief medication. If you suspect an ear infection, consult your doctor.

Sleep Problems – Prepare to work double shifts! Even if your baby is used to sleeping through the night, the discomfort of teething may disrupt his or her sleep schedule.

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