5 Ways to Save Money on Dental Care

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Dental work can add up quickly and seem very daunting. If you are savvy about your dental needs, you can save money over time. You can save money many ways including prevention, all the way to maximizing your work benefits. Keep reading to learn how.

Prevention Makes Perfect

As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure”. This is also true for dentistry. If you think of the higher-end procedures such as root canal therapy, crowns, bridges, dentures and even gum surgery, they have one thing in common: In most cases, the treatment could have been avoided by prevention. Taking proper care of your teeth at home using dentist recommended tooth paste, a good toothbrush, and a mouth rinse can keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean. This, along with a regular check up and professional cleaning, will greatly reduce the instance of preventable oral diseases.

Don’t Put off Small Concerns

If you have a small ache or sensitivity, it is best to get this looked at with no delay. These small aches and pains are your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t completely normal. Acting quickly can be the difference between needing a filling, or a root canal and crown. Even if the discomfort you feel turns out to be nothing, the cost of an exam and x-ray is way less in the long run than waiting for a dire emergency to occur.

Prioritize Your Treatment Plan

At your next check up, if you don’t make it into the ‘Cavity Free Club’ and you require dental treatment all is not lost. When your dentist is going over treatment for you, make sure you have a clear idea of which treatment is most urgent. It will be more cost effective to get work done right away if the condition is expected to deteriorate. Although not ideal, if you are low on funds, you can ask your dentist if anything can be done short-term to tide you over until you can finish the treatment properly.

Maximize Your Insurance Plan

If you have a dental plan through your employer, you are paying for that plan. Every year that you pay for your dental plan but neglect to use your plan, you are throwing away hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars, as these annual maximums do not carry over. If you have an outstanding treatment plan, ask your receptionist how you can plan your treatment for the most coverage. Lower priority treatment can be saved until next year. Alternately, if you know that you need more than one crown for instance, you can plan which one(s) to get in each year. Make sure to save some benefit for your regular cleanings!

Quality is Key
It may be tempting to cut corners with dental work by going overseas or even merely price shopping. If you are given an estimate that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you pay rock bottom prices for dental work and the quality of work suffers, you may end up having to pay for the procedure again. Just keep in mind that you get what you pay for.

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


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The holidays are all about kicking back, spending time with friends and family, and enjoying a great meal. Between football games and classic movies, family members bustle around the kitchen preparing all kinds of goodies. But what is that Thanksgiving meal doing to your smile? Follow the advice of your upper Arlington dentist to prevent holiday-related dental problems.

Thanksgiving: Great for Families, Bad for Teeth

Don’t let your Thanksgiving dinner hurt your smile. Here are some of the biggest Thanksgiving day offenders.

Hard Foods

Harder foods, such as bones, toasted breads, and nuts are notorious for causing dental damage. Avoid hard foods like baguettes, burned items, or hard candies—even if you are only trying to partake to be polite. Hard foods can damage fillings or dental work, or even cause dental fractures that could leave you sidelined with a serious dental injury.

Starchy Foods

Believe it or not, starchy foods like pies, rolls, and stuffing can be just as damaging as other dental villains. Because the oral bacteria that live in your mouth feed off of simple starches, eating starchy foods throughout the day will cause your teeth to accumulate more plaque and tartar than they would normally.

Heavily Pigmented Foods

Most people don’t realize it, but the things that you eat stick around in more ways than one. When you eat heavily pigmented foods, the dye in these foods can leach through and stain your teeth’s underlying dentin. If you are interested in keeping your teeth bright white, try to avoid pigmented foods like red wine, cranberry sauce, and brown gravy.

Seconds, Thirds, and Fourths…

Research has shown that acid continues to attack your teeth for up to twenty minutes after you eat, which is why enjoying seconds, thirds, and fourths could cause a day-long acid bath. To keep oral decay in check, try to limit your Thanksgiving eating to mealtime, and avoid the extra snacking.

Be Proactive With Dental Care

To keep your teeth clean and tidy during Thanksgiving, pack a toothbrush and dental floss so that you can brush and floss after dinner. If you decide to snack between meals, swish your mouth with water to dilute bacterial acids and to wash away food particles. As always, if you encounter any dental problems during the holidays, contact our Coquitlam dental office Glen Dental Centre at 604-552-2241 to schedule your complimentary consultation today.

What is Root Canal Therapy & Why is it Necessary?

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A lot of people hear the word ‘Root Canal’ and cringe without knowing exactly what it is and why it can be necessary. What exactly is root canal therapy, and why does one teeth need it when another tooth does not?

Root canal therapy is a treatment performed on a tooth that would otherwise require extraction. It is needed when the pulp (blood supply and nerve) of the tooth becomes infected or starts to die. The infection can be the result of advanced decay, or from trauma. When a tooth is affected by either of these scenarios, it can create an abscess when the tooth’s nerve starts to die. This is caused by any bacteria in your blood stream getting to this dying nerve tissue and feeding on it. Once this happens, the bacteria quickly multiply, and can ooze out of the tip of the root between the tooth and the jawbone causing the beginning of an abscess. The immune system will send defensive white blood cells in to fight the infection, but they are not able to get to the bottom of the problem, which is the tooth itself.

If your body has trouble fighting the bacteria, and the abscess continues to expand, this will create increasing pressure in the tooth. This is called an acute abscess and it is very painful. At this point, the dentist has two options. Either extract the tooth, removing the offending material from the body: no decaying, infected tooth means no infection in the body. The other option is root canal therapy: the tooth is opened up, the infected pulp is removed from the tooth and the tooth is sterilized. After sterilization a filling material is placed to seal off the tooth preventing further bacteria from invading the tooth and causing infection.

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

5 Tips for a Cleaner, Healthier Mouth

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If you love that ‘Fresh-from-the-Dentist’ feeling after a professional cleaning you are in the right place. As you may have noticed, after you have had your teeth cleaned, or brushed your own teeth they feel really smooth. Unfortunately this feeling doesn’t last. If you run your tongue over your teeth and they feel ‘fuzzy’, what you’re feeling is the build-up of bacteria called plaque. If left unchecked, the plaque can harden and be almost impossible to remove without a visit to your dental office. Below are some tips on how to control and prevent plaque build-up for a cleaner, fresher feeling mouth.

Brush Daily – Once a day is better than not at all, but it is recommended to brush your teeth 2-3 times per day. Using a toothbrush recommended by your hygienist or Dentist along with a fluoride toothpaste is the best way to prevent plaque from forming in the first place. Make sure to take your time (up to 2 minutes) and thoroughly brush all surfaces of your teeth, gums, tongue as well as the inside of your cheeks.

Floss, Floss, Floss! – I’m sure your hygienist has stressed the importance of flossing everyday…and they are right! Flossing may not be number one on your list of fun activities, but it is absolutely crucial to your oral health. Your toothbrush can’t get to the food that gets trapped between your teeth. Imagine leaving that trapped food for days and how much bacteria that can create in your mouth! Be sure to floss between your teeth at least once a day. If you have difficulty flossing in a particular area of your mouth, ask your dentist or hygienist about other tools and techniques at your next cleaning appointment. See below for a link to a ‘How to Floss’ guide.

Rinse Your Mouth – Mouth rinse and mouthwash are two different things. A mouthwash is a substance used solely to freshen the breath with no regard for killing bacteria. A mouth rinse with antiseptic properties will help reduce the amount of bacteria that make your mouth home. This will help reduce place from building up.

No more sticky, sugary foods – These foods are the hardest to remove from the surface of your teeth. This includes, candy, dried fruit and starchy foods. If this substance is not removed from your teeth right away, the plaque will feast on it, causing tooth decay.

Regular Dental Visits – Going to a dental health professional who will get to know your teeth and habits over time is the best way to keep your mouth clean, healthy and happy. They will be able to detect small changes and will greatly reduce the instance of preventable diseases such as periodontal disease, and gum disease. Also, depending on your needs, it may be recommended for you to be on a three to four month cleaning schedule.

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

Check Ups Twice a Year: Do I really need to go that often?

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In short, yes. Most people don’t take into account the importance of preventive care. If you’re lucky, you haven’t had a lot of dental issues in your younger years. This may make you feel like visiting your dentist twice a year is a waste of time. Of course, you could go less often, but let’s look at why this isn’t a good idea.

Time Spent Now = More Time (& Money) in Your Pocket

If you go for your check up twice as year as recommended, especially if your dental insurance pays for part of it anyway, you will really be doing yourself a favor. Preventing problems before they arise will definitely pay off as opposed to waiting for pain or something serious to arise. Things that can be prevented with regular check ups and cleaning are: Periodontal Disease, Tooth Decay, and Gum disease.

Periodontal Disease – The warm wet environment of your mouth is a great place for bacteria to form and thrive. These bacteria create a sticky film that coats your teeth. If left unchecked, it can harden into tartar and calculus, and even embed itself under the gum tissue. It is very important to have this build up removed regularly. This build up doesn’t cause pain until catastrophic damage is already done and can even cause tooth and bone loss.

Tooth Decay – If you see your dentist regularly, they can often find cavities when they are small and can be dealt with easily and sometimes without freezing. A big cavity can become a compound problem. A large cavity can spread to the pulp in the tooth causing pain and swelling and in some cases tooth loss. The last thing your mouth needs is to lose a tooth. A missing tooth in an arch can put more pressure on the existing teeth, and can compromise digestion if food cannot be broken down in the mouth properly.

Gum Disease – Your mouth and your heart are not related, right? In actuality, there is a strong connection between gum disease and heart disease. Build up on the teeth produces copious amounts of bacteria (in the billions) that can end up in the blood stream. Even though bacteria normally exist in the mouth, gum disease increases the bacteria to an unsafe level. At this point, the bacteria can travel through the bloodstream and end up adhering to the walls of the heart and other blood vessels.

So while you might not be able to see or feel any issues with your teeth or gums when you skip your check up, you do run the risk of allowing some very serious problems developing. At our clinic, we can always find time for your next dental check up. If it has been 6 months or more since your last dental visit, don’t hesitate to call and book your appointment today!

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

Importance of Regular Check Ups & X-rays

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Why Have a Regular Check up?

The key to dental health is prevention, and the best way to prevent dental emergencies is with regular check ups including dental x-rays. The frequency with which you need to go for your check up depends on your individual needs. Typically, it is recommended to visit your dentist for your check up and professional cleaning twice a year. Your dentist may suggest a more or less frequent regime depending on how well you care for your own teeth and gums, any existing concerns that need to be monitored, or how fast tartar tends to build up on your teeth.

The following are factors that help the dentist determine how often you should have your teeth and mouth examined.– Frequency of flossing – It is recommended to floss between your teeth at least once per day.
– Frequency of brushing – It is recommended to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride. Make sure to follow any tips and techniques shown to you by your dentist and hygienist.
– Healthy Eating – Eating a moderately well-balanced diet that is low on sweet sticky foods is very important in preventing cavities and tartar build up.
– Are you a smoker? – Smoking daily can cause discoloration, as well as increase plaque and tartar and even increase the risk of gum disease, tooth and bone loss.
– Previous cavity or gum disease history – If you are cavity prone, it is important to visit your dentist more often to catch any cavities at their earliest stages. Sometimes a cavity that is in its early stages (decalcification) can be monitored and even reversed with good home care and in office fluoride treatments and changes to your diet.
– How is your overall health? – Your entire body is all connected where your health is concerned. Heart disease can be affected by poor oral health. Alternately, loose teeth can be a sign of osteoporosis. If you are not going to your physician or dentist regularly, you may be missing the whole picture.

X-rays at Every Dental Visit? Is This Necessary?

The frequency of dental x-rays you require is dependent on your specific oral health. For instance, a healthy adult patient who has good home care and regular check ups but hasn’t had a cavity in years does not need x-rays at every appointment. On the other hand, a patient who has previously had cavities, or has conditions that are being monitored may need x-rays more regularly. These x-rays are an important to tool to diagnose, and track the progress or degeneration of cavities, gum disease or bone loss and so on.

If at any time you are unsure why an x-ray is being taken, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist or the Dental Assistant. With today’s technology, dental x-rays convey very small amounts of radiation. Dental x-rays are an important tool for the diagnosis and prevention of oral diseases, as your dentist can only see part of the picture by examining the outside surfaces of your teeth and gums.

SoS! How to Handle a Dental Emergency

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The term dental emergency is used to describe an issue with the teeth or gums that requires urgent care by a dental professional.  One common signifier of a dental emergency is pain, swelling or both. Pain can be coming from a specific tooth and surrounding tissue, or the pain could be general and hard to pinpoint. A dental emergency can also occur without the presence of pain or swelling. There are many different dental emergencies, some of which can range from an infection to a fractured tooth or filling. Below are some specific examples of dental emergencies with tips on how to handle them.


If you have a tooth ache call your family dentist and explain your symptoms and ask to be seen as soon as possible. While you are waiting for an appointment, take an over the counter pain medication that you are familiar with. Take orally with water, but do not apply the medication directly to the offending tooth. You may also apply an ice pack against your cheek or mouth against the aching tooth. It is important to avoid applying a hot water bottle or other sources of heat, as this will make the tooth ache worse instead of better.

Broken or Chipped Tooth

Broken teeth can create a very dramatic scene in the mouth, but rest assured they can almost always be saved. If you break a tooth, call your dentist and relay the information. The size and severity of the chipped/cracked or broken tooth will determine how it needs to be fixed. If small, the chip can be restored with a silver or tooth-coloured filling. Larger cracks or chips may require root canal therapy followed by a larger restoration made at a laboratory called a crown.

Accidental Loss of Adult Tooth

If a permanent tooth is knocked out, there is a chance that if you act quickly your dentist can put it back. If the tooth is put back in its socket within 10 minutes of coming out, it may take root again. This chance is greatly reduced after 2 hours have passed.

If a permanent tooth gets knocked out but otherwise appears clean, place it back in its socket. If this is not the case, or if the tooth is in danger of being swallowed, put it in a container of cold milk instead. Next, go to your family dentist or the nearest dentist immediately. If this can be done within the crucial 10 minutes, your tooth may be saved.

Bitten Lip or Tongue

If there is bleeding, apply pressure to the area. This should be done with a clean cloth or sterile gauze. If there is swelling, apply an ice pack. If the bleeding persists, visit the emergency room of the nearest hospital.

Foreign Object Stuck Between Teeth

If you have something stuck between your teeth, carefully try to remove it with dental floss. Be careful not to injure the gum tissue. Never use a sharp object to pry the foreign material away, as this may damage your teeth or gums. If you can’t get the offending matter from between your teeth using floss, it is advised that you see your dentist.

Lost Filling

If you lose a filling, you can temporarily fill the cavity with a pre-chewed piece of sugarless gum. This is only to protect the area from food impaction and exposure until you can see your dentist. Remember to get to your dentist as soon as possible.

Back to School: Nutrition Tips for a Healthy Mouth

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Nutrition Tips for a Healthy MouthGreen apple on white background (isolated).

Did you know that what you eat is just as important as brushing and flossing regularly to prevent cavities, and maintain good dental health? Depending on what you eat, you could be helping or hurting your teeth.

We all know that sugar causes cavities, but why? Simply put the bacteria in the mouth feasts on sugars and carbohydrates and converts them into an acid. Left unchecked, this acid will wear on the teeth, starting the decay process. The more meals and snacks you eat the more acid your teeth are exposed to.

As kids go back to school, a lot of snacks are pre-packaged for ease. Unfortunately, many pre-packaged foods and drinks are full of sugar and carbohydrates: potato chips, juice, bread and soda are just a few examples.

To cut down the acidic environment in your mouth, and keep a healthy smile, here are some food and snack tips:

– Stick to foods that dissolve quickly. The more solid and sticky a food is, the harder it is for your saliva to wash it away. This causes longer exposure to your teeth and a greater risk of creating decay.
– Drink plenty of water. Juices, sodas and even milk contain sugar. Water does not harm teeth, and helps wash away food particles that may otherwise cling to teeth.
– Fruits & Vegetables- “An apple a day keeps the Doctor away,” Right? Try sending your child to school with fruits and veggies with high water content (think grapes instead of raisins) instead of carbohydrates. The water in these fruits and veggies will dilute the effects of the sugar they contain. Try apples, pears, melon, celery or cucumber.
– Cheese, lean chicken and nuts are another good snack option for a healthy mouth. These foods contain calcium and phosphorous, which are thought to remineralize and strengthen tooth enamel.
– If a sugary snack is unavoidable, make sure to have it with a meal instead of on its own. There will be more saliva available to wash away the remains of the sugar. Combine this with a beverage for added protection.

If you are looking for a dentist to educate you about your dental needs, call us at Glen Dental Centre in Coquitlam (604) 552-2241.

Back To School Dental Tips

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Dental Tips for Back to School

Is your child ready to go back to school from head-to-toe? If they have not had a recent dental exam, the answer may be ‘No’.  Ensuring your child or teen’s oral health is up to date will ensure that a minimum amount of class time is missed due to dental appointments. Call us to see what we can do to help your child or teen prepare their teeth for back to school!

Regular Dental Check-ups

It is recommended to visit our practice twice a year for your dental check up and cleaning. These assessments are opportunities for your dentist to examine your child’s teeth and mouth. Coupled with a professional cleaning, the examination is a chance to prevent any dental problems from occurring. If any treatment is needed, it can be taken care of in its early stages, with minimal school time missed. Starting this ritual with your children will get them used to the routine of regular exams and cleanings, setting them up for a good habit as they reach adulthood. Having their exam before returning to school will give you peace of mind, as you will know that your child’s teeth are ready for the school year ahead.

Think “Dental Supplies,” When Shopping for Back to School

If your child’s tooth brush is worn out, or has seen better days, it is a good idea to replace it. Having a new tooth brush in their favorite color can encourage your child to brush more regularly. When picking a tooth paste for your child, make sure it is a flavor that they like. Some kids are put-off from brushing by strong minty flavors. Include your child in the decision making process, and they will start to feel a sense ownership of their oral hygiene. Flossing can be a challenge to encourage daily, so try using floss picks, or a floss in a fun flavor or color.

Have a Brushing & Flossing Schedule

Today, families are busier than ever with school, sports and other activities. If you know your schedule ahead of time, you will have an idea of when you will be home or away. Plan out your child’s brushing schedule. If they don’t have time to brush after every meal throughout the day, have your child rinse out his or her mouth at the water fountain while at school. As the schedule gets busier, flossing habits can fall by the wayside. Make sure your child devotes some time to flossing once daily, and reward them for their effort if it is needed. Also, consider packing snacks low in sugar to avoid the residue that will eat away at your child’s teeth during the day. Sending your child to school with a refillable water bottle will also cut down on the need for sugary impulse purchases such as a soft drink.

Retainers & Mouth guards

If your child or teen has recently had their orthodontic braces removed, they should have a retainer to maintain their new position. Make sure your child is complying with the instructions given to them by their Orthodontist or Dentist, to prevent a relapse.
When playing sports, safety and injury prevention is important. A common sports injury is an injury to the mouth or teeth. Ask your Dentist if your child or teen should be wearing a mouth guard during games and practice. Our practice can have a custom-fitted mouth guard made for that extra protection.

Preparing your child’s dental health for the school year will ensure a worry-free parent and confident, smiling student. If you are looking for a dentist to educate you about your dental needs, call us at Glen Dental Centre in Coquitlam (604) 552-2241.

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.

If you are looking for a dentist to educate you about your dental needs, call us at Glen Dental Centre in Coquitlam (604) 552-2241.

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