Secret to Having Great Teeth

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Below are some tips on how to keep your pearly whites just that: white and pearly. We all have bad habits that we may not even have been aware are harming our teeth. There is the obvious tip to brush at least two times per day, and avoid sugar, but there are actually many things you can do to keep your smile beautiful, or to prevent damage to your teeth and gums  in the first place.

Use Your Hands, not your Teeth!

Using your teeth to open bottles or to chew objects that are not food can dull or even crack your teeth. Avoid chewing your pen at work or school, and say no to crunching down on ice or unpopped popcorn kernels. Make sure to use the right tool for the job, including a nut cracker for nut shells, and nail clippers to trim your nails instead of using your teeth.

No Milk at Bedtime

Although comforting to your child, a bottle of milk at bedtime can spell disaster for developing teeth. When in contact with your child’s teeth for extended periods of time (overnight), milk, formula and juice can cause severe tooth decay resulting in what is called ‘bottle rot’. Try to only give your child water when they are going down for a nap or sleep.

Thumb Sucking is a No-No

 It is true that some adults suck their thumbs, but it is well known that children often do as well. Sucking your thumb will move your teeth out of their natural alignment. Pacifiers and bottles can do the same to children over the age of two as well.

Say ‘No’ to Tobacco

Cosmetically speaking, chewing or smoking tobacco will discolor and weaken your teeth. It can also lead to periodontal disease as well as oral cancer. Ask your doctor about nicotine alternatives.

Always Brush Before Bed

Don’t go to sleep without first brushing and flossing! Think of all the food you ate during the day, the remnants of which could reside below your gumline and between your teeth. Leaving this overnight will expose your teeth to plaque for extended periods of time making you vulnerable to gingivitis. If you are able to remove plaque within 24 hours, it doesn’t have enough time to produce enough acid to harm your teeth.

Avoid OTC Whitening Products

Always ask your Dentist before purchasing and using over-the-counter tooth whitening products. These products may not be regulated in the same way that in-office products are, as they are considered cosmetic. There is no guarantee that they are safe or effective for your teeth. Whitening is not for everyone either, so make to bring up whitening at your next dental checkup.

Sugary Candy

 Avoid chewing on hard candy or sugary gum throughout the day unless it is sugar-free. Extended exposure to sugary, sticky substances can cause decay and a trip to the dentist. Stick to sugar-free options instead. Bonus points if they contain xylitol, which can help prevent cavities and strengthen enamel.

Wear what is prescribed by your Dentist

 If you have gone through the time and effort (and expense) of having braces or orthodontic treatment, wear your retainer! If you don’t wear your retainer, your teeth may relapse, and begin to move back to their original position. Alternately, if you tend to grind or clench your teeth at night and have been prescribed a night guard, wear it! Not wearing your night guard can cause extra strain on your bite and your jaw joint (temporomandibular joint). Not wearing your night guard can risk cracking or chipping your natural and artificial crowns. Neglecting your dentist’s advice in this way can void the warranty of some restorative work.

Don’t Share Your Toothbrush

Every person’s mouth has its own balance of good and bad bacteria. Using someone else’s toothbrush can harm your mouth by exposing you to bacteria that your body is not used to.

Say No to Tongue Piercings

Getting your tongue pierced can be detrimental to your dental health. It can cause excessive drooling, infection, and swelling. Cosmetically, a tongue piercing can chip your teeth. In extreme cases, the device can cause enough trauma over time to cause the lower front teeth to fall out.

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

Tooth sensitivity, most common dental complaint!

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Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common dental complaints. It can be so painful that you may alter your food habits. Tooth sensitivity is caused when the outer tooth covering or the enamel of the tooth is destroyed by acids in the foods or aggressive brushing habits or when the gums recede exposing the tooth root. Tooth sensitivity may also sometimes result from teeth whitening treatments.

Brushing with a soft brush and a sensitivity relieving toothpaste is advised. In addition you should avoid brushing too hard as it can destroy the protective tooth enamel resulting in increased sensitivity. The best sign of your correct brushing habits is seen by observing the bristles of your toothbrush. A tooth brush with bristles that resemble a blooming flower shows that you are brushing too hard.

In order to know the correct brushing technique and to protect our teeth from sensitivity the dental team at Glen Dental Centre advocates that you see your dentist and hygienist on a regular basis to help protect against conditions that may contribute to sensitivity such as gum disease causing recession and cavities. Our dental team would be pleased to offer you various options to help you care for sensitive teeth.

Call Glen Dental Centre in Coquitlam today to know more or to book an appointment.

Are You A Teeth Grinder?

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Have you been told that you are a grinder? Do you feel that you grind your teeth while you are asleep? Your Coquitlam dentist tells you what teeth grinding is and why it can be more harmful than you think.

Occasional teeth grinding is generally considered to be harmless but frequent grinding can cause damage to the teeth and the jaw bones. Sometimes frequent grinding over a long period of time can cause cracks on teeth or fracturing of teeth. Teeth may also loosen or fall off as a result of excessive grinding. Grinding may also affect your jaws, cause or worsen joint disorders of the TMJ.

To prevent harm to your teeth caused due to grinding, your dentist may advise you to get a night guard. If your grinding is due to stress, ask your dentist or doctor for options to reduce stress. In certain cases, muscle relaxants may also help to reduce grinding. If you are suffering from a sleep disorder, treating it would help you to reduce grinding.

Your Coquitlam dentist on Glen Drive offers you some tips that will help you to stop grinding your teeth:

  • Avoid consumption of foods and beverages that contain caffeine, such as coffee, chocolates and colas.
  • Consumption of alcohol should be avoided as it can intensify the grinding.
  • Do not chew on pencils or pens.
  • Do not chew gum as it makes your jaw muscles more prone to clenching.
  • Try to relax your jaw muscles before your bedtime by dabbing a warm washcloth against your cheek just in front of your ear lobes.

A night guard is a really easy and economical way to control damage to your teeth caused due to grinding. It can also save you a lot of your future dental appointments.

Call our dental office in Coquitlam to book an appointment to see the dentist and get your night guard.

About dental extractions

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Does your tooth need to be pulled out? Here’s all you need to know about dental extractions.

Even though our permanent teeth are supposed to last a lifetime, there may be many situations when your tooth needs to be pulled out. The most commonly extracted teeth in the mouth are the third molars or the wisdom teeth.

A tooth which is damaged due to decay and cannot be treated by routine procedures may need to be removed. Sometimes if your teeth are very crowded in your mouth, your dentist may advice you to extract certain teeth to make room for other teeth to be aligned perfectly. If your tooth decay involves your nerve and it cannot be treated by root canal therapy and antibiotics, it may need to be removed. In certain head and neck radiations, or in case of chemotherapy, your immune system may be weakened and your tooth may need to be extracted.

Before you see your dentist for your extraction, you must let him/her know about your medical history, if you currently take any medications, or if you have any diseases. Based on your medical history and your health your dentist may advise you to take certain medications before your appointment. The tooth extraction procedure may be simple or complicated depending upon your tooth structure and the surrounding bone.

After your dental extraction, your dentist may place a few stitches which usually dissolve in the mouth after a few days. Make sure you follow all the instructions given to you in order to avoid infection at the site of the extraction.

  • Take all your medication as prescribed.
  • Apply an ice pack to the affected area from outside to keep down the swelling.
  • Avoid rinsing your mouth forcefully for the first 24 hours as that may disturb the blood clot in the extraction site.
  • Avoid having drinks with a straw for the first 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, rinse your mouth with a solution of warm water and ½ tsp salt.
  • Limit your diet intake to soft foods like soup, pudding, rice, yogurt etc on the day of the extraction.
  • Do not smoke as it can interfere with the process of healing.
  • It is normal to experience a little pain and bleeding for a few hours on the day of your extraction. However, if your bleeding persists for more than 4 hours, you must call your dentist or your oral surgeon.

Tooth extractions may sound to be a scary procedure but the experience of our dental team it would be a pleasant experience for you. If you need your tooth to be extracted, call our dental office in Coquitlam today.

Bad Breath?

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Today, bad breath is considered to be a turn off by almost 70% of teenagers. While bad breath may be due to a variety of causes, it may be transient. In most cases it develops as a result of poor oral health habits. It may also be a sign of other health issues that might need your attention. Foods which have strong odours such as garlic, onion etc. Brushing and flossing can help to temporarily mask up the odour but it usually does not go away completely unless these foods have passed through your body.

If you don’t floss and brush your teeth everyday, the food particles can remain in your mouth, promoting bacterial growth around your teeth. These bacteria attach to your gums, teeth and tongue causing bad breath. Using an antibacterial mouthwash may help to reduce the number of these bacteria. Smoking or chewing of tobacco products can also cause bad breath and may lead to staining of your teeth. Smoking can also irritate your gums.

Persistent bad breath or having a bad taste in your mouth may be a sign of an underlying gum disease or infection. If you use dentures or other poorly fitting dental appliances, it may also be the cause of bad breath as food particles may get stuck between the surfaces of your mouth and your appliance leading to accumulation of bacteria on these surfaces. Dry mouth can also be the cause of bad breath. Certain disease like diabetes, sinus infections, pneumonia may also cause bad breath.

Practice good oral hygiene habits to prevent bad breath. Chewing sugar-free gums can help to increase the flow of saliva and reduce the number of bacteria present in the mouth.

If you are suffering from persistent bad breath, call our Coquitlam dental clinic to see your dentist today and get rid of your bad breath troubles.

About Canker Sores

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We have all heard that canker sores can be very painful. Many of us have experienced it some time or the other in our lives but do you know what exactly a canker sore is? Here’s some interesting information about canker sores that you probably were not aware of.

Canker sores are tiny painful lesions that develop on the soft tissues in the mouth. They are not contagious and may resolve in a week or two. The exact cause of most of these is yet unknown to scientists but stress or tissue injury is known to be the triggering factor in most cases. Certain types of fruits and vegetables that are citrus in nature like lemons, oranges, strawberries and tomatoes can also act as a trigger or can aggravate the symptoms. Some complex cases may involve an underlying health condition like impaired immune system, nutritional deficiencies like Vitamin B-12, zinc, folic acid or iron deficiency. Canker sores should not be confused with cold sores as they are different. Cold sores are caused due to a virus and are contagious. Cold sores are typically seen outside the mouth around the lips and nose while canker sores appear inside the mouth.

A cancer sore may present as a sore in your mouth on the tongue or on soft tissues as a white or grey spot surrounded by reddish inflamed edge. A tingling or burning sensation may be experienced before the sore actually appears in the mouth.

Although there is no cure for canker sores, they can be very painful and may cause difficulty in eating. If the sores are larger in size or persistent, your dentist may prescribe you an antibacterial mouth rinse or a steroid containing ointment to resolve the ulcer. They can be prevented by taking measures like avoiding certain citrus fruits which can irritate your oral tissues, brushing using a soft brush and flossing daily.

Canker sores may be harmless however, you must consult your dentist if you experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Large, frequent sores that do not heal.
  • Recurring, multiple sores in which new lesions develop before the old ones are completely healed.
  • Sores which are persistent for more than two weeks.
  • Painful sores which cannot be controlled by self care measures.
  • When you experience extreme difficulty in eating or drinking.
  • If you have fever along with canker sores.

If you are your family member suffer from these sores, do visit our dental office in Coquitlam and we will make sure that we can help you prevent these.

The Tooth Fairy Concept

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The tooth fairy is a popular tale of childhood, the same way we affectionately recollect Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny, we think back on the Tooth Fairy with sweet memories. Unlike other mythological heroes and characters, the Tooth Fairy exists globally in almost all cultures and religions.

Here’s an insight into the concept of tooth fairy.  The Tooth Fairy as we probably are aware it is a moderately late creation, as are some myths, developed after some time. There are conventions, legends and myths going back centuries about losing your baby teeth. In different cultures, the concept of the tooth fairy has involved beavers, cats, dog or even squirrels. Some of the common beliefs or customs involve:

o   Throwing the tooth into the sun

o   Throwing the tooth in fire.

o   Throwing the tooth backwards between the legs.

o   Throwing the tooth onto or over the roof of a house.

o   Thrown in a mouse trap.

o   Burying the tooth

o   Hiding the tooth from animals.

o   Putting the tooth on a wall or on a tree.

Eventually, the reason the tooth fairy legend keeps on developing and gives a level of comfort to kids. As you develop, your body experiences numerous changes, yet ostensibly the first and most traumatic for kids is losing their teeth. The tooth fairy offer comfort and make tooth loss a pleasing experience.

 Today dentists utilize the tooth fairy to motivate dental health, even motivating parent to support the idea that the child with a clean mouth gets more rewards. This motivation from parents makes it a lot easier for dental professionals and parents to get the kids’ dental work done.

Our dental team at Coquitlam believes that children should be taught the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. Your Coquitlam dentist recommends that you get your children to see a dentist early in their childhood to get them accustomed to regular dental visits.

If you would like to schedule your child’s dental visit, you can call our Glen Dental Centre in Coquitlam at 604.552.2241

Practice Good Dental Hygiene: Tips for Kids

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We need help from parents and caregivers to continue the good habits our dentists recommend. Here are a few good dental hygiene tips for kids and easy ways you can help us help them:

Watch Those Drinks

While fruit juices and sports drinks can be a healthy alternative to soda and other artificial drinks, drinking too much can end up doing more harm than good in the long run.

The sugar in these drinks can quickly eat away the enamel on your child’s teeth, especially if he or she is consuming them all day long from a sippy cup or a refillable bottle. These drinks taste good and might be one of the only sources of sugar your kids have so weeding them out will not be easy, but it’s the best thing for their teeth in the long run.

Begin the balancing process by moving toward a 50/50 juice or sports drink to water ratio. The water will help wash out some of the sugar left over from the other drinks and help move your child’s palate away from sweet tastes. And, drinking more water is a great thing for all of us!

Lead by Example

When it comes to brushing and caring for your teeth, your children take more cues from you than you might think. This is one area where you really do need to practice what you preach.

Make brushing and flossing a family activity each morning and evening, or maybe only in the evening if your mornings are hectic. Either way, this will allow you to make sure that your child isn’t cutting corners and allow him or her to see that you are doing the same thing.

Brushing should last for at least two minutes and cover all surfaces of the teeth and tongue. Flossing should include every tooth every time, no matter how tempting it is to cut corners.

Remember that if your child is under age 2, then you should be brushing and flossing for them.

Again, this is an opportunity for you to establish a routine that your child will continue when it’s time for them to brush and floss on their own.

You can even make a game out of brushing and flossing each day. Create a chart to track progress and reward good behavior along the way. Eventually, the habits will become so routine that the rewards are no longer needed as an incentive.

Don’t Skip Dentist Visits

If you have anxiety about going to the dentist, you may be passing down those fears to your children without realizing it. Starting dental appointments as soon as the first teeth appear (around age 1) will help establish going to the dentist as a positive experience, rather than one that’s plagued with fear about cavities or other problems.

The more your child sees a dentist, the more we’ll be able to help reinforce the dental hygiene maintenance you are doing at home. We can catch problem areas before they become serious and create a plan for addressing them.

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

Fun Facts About Smiling and Laughing

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Here are a just a few fun facts about smiling and laughing and why it’s so great to smile:

Improved Mood, Increased Relaxation

When you are in a bad mood, the last thing you feel like doing is smiling or laughing. But did you know that faking it can help improve your mood? Just the act of curling your lips into a smile or letting out a small giggle is enough to trigger your brain into feeling happier.

That sounds like something that’s too good to be true, but studies show that it does in fact happen. Try it the next time you are feeling angry or sad and see what happens. It might feel weird at first, but it could turn into a long-term coping strategy for when those feelings arise.

Those effects are even further amplified when you turn that smile into a full-blown laugh. Laughing stimulates circulation and helps your muscles relax. Those positive effects are felt for up to 45 minutes after the laugh ends.

You Become More Approachable

Not only will you help yourself feel better when you smile and laugh, but you’ll also give the signal to others that you’re a good person to be around. You probably don’t want to be around other people when they are in a bad mood, so why would you expect anyone to want to be around you when you are in a bad mood?

The more you can engage and interact with others, the happier you’ll be. It’s a cycle that’s worth getting into. Smiles and laughter are contagious — whenever you see someone else doing it, you can’t help but do the same. You can thank your mirror neurons for that. Whenever we see someone doing certain behaviors, we feel inclined to do the same.

Sharing a laugh with others also helps you deepen your bond with them and makes you more likely to share information and have a healthy long-term relationship.

You Are More Productive

Work might not be a place that makes you smile or laugh, but the more you can do those things, the more productive you will be. When you smile and laugh, your mood improves and you’ll be able to better focus on the task at hand.

Once the job is done, you’ll have more time to focus on the things in your life that matter outside of work and set your sights on the things that make you truly happy.

Again, this is a positive cycle to enter into. The more productive you are, the happier you’ll be and vice versa. This is something everyone can try, even if it means starting with a fake smile, no matter what you do for a living.

Physical Health Benefits

Beyond mental health, smiling and laughing can also help your physical state of being. Laughing works your abdominal muscles and releases endorphins that can alleviate pain and boost your immune system.

Studies have even found that smiling and laughing can help decrease your risk for heart disease because they literally protect the heart and prevent the buildup of fat and cholesterol. These actions can also lower your blood pressure and keep it that way for up to 24 hours.

The Best Perk of All…

Putting all of the scientific research aside, the best reason to do more smiling and laughing is that it makes you feel good. We should all strive to spend time doing things that make us feel that way, and that begins with smiling and laughing.

Whether your teeth look the way you want them to or not, everyone can benefit from a happier life. Don’t let the state of your teeth get in the way of that.

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

Dentures vs Implants: Pros and Cons

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Dentures vs Implants: When you are missing one, some, or all of your teeth, these are two main options that dentists typically recommend. Each of these treatments has its own list of pros and cons that may make it a better option for your situation. Your dentist can make a recommendation, but the decision is ultimately yours. Consider these dentures vs implants: pros and cons to make an informed decision that will benefit your long-term health.

Dentures vs Implants: Pros and Cons

All About Dentures

For many decades, dentures were the only option for replacing missing teeth. You probably know at least one person in your life who has had a set of removable teeth, often a parent or grandparent.

Dentures are molded to fit your mouth and are held in place by an adhesive. They are typically removed each day before bedtime and soaked overnight for cleaning. No matter how good dentures are, they are never going to feel 100 percent like your real teeth.

However, some people enjoy the flexibility of taking their teeth in and out as needed. Be aware, though, that the longer your dentures are out of your mouth, the weaker your jaw becomes without the pressure of teeth to support.

You might be a good candidate for dentures if your jaw is too weak to support more dental implants. However, be aware that even the best denture adhesive does not work all the time and your dentures might fall out from time to time.

Like many things, there’s  a range of options when it comes to choosing dentures. Quality should be a top concern as you want braces to look great, feel good, and last as long as possible. Dentures will be essential for daily activities like eating and smiling, and it’s not a place to cut corners.

A set of dentures will last around five years, so most people will need to replace at least one set over the course of their time wearing them.

All About Implants

Implants consist of a titanium post covered by a crown or denture (called overdentures). Implants actually look and feel like real teeth! The implant post integrates with your jawbone and mimics the roots of your natural teeth, which is much better for your jawbone than traditional dentures.

When implants and dentures are used together they are called overdentures. Overdentures utilize the latest in dental technology to make dentures feel as close to natural teeth as possible because they clip on to your implants.

While traditional dentures are held in place using temporary adhesives which often results in slipping, overdentures never slip or slide since they are affixed to a permanent implant. Implants, by themselves or when used with dentures, make chewing, talking, and other activities easier and more comfortable than traditional dentures.

Dental implants should last a lifetime. In fact, some dental offices, like all of our offices in the Chicagoland area, provide a lifetime warranty on the implant. However, the crown often needs to be replace which makes implants a much more permanent solution than dentures.

Overall, implants are more expensive than dentures but it will last longer and create a more natural feeling in your mouth.

Which is Right for You?

When choosing between implants and dentures, you will need to consider factors like your lifestyle, your budget, and your health. It’s important to decide what you are willing to compromise and what you are not because you might not find a solution that perfectly meets all three needs. The good news is that most dental offices offer free consultations to thoroughly discuss your options with you, and help you weigh the pros and cons.

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

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