Heritage House Dental once again proudly participated in the Dress for the Cause campaign to help raise awareness for Breast Cancer Research. We all have women in our lives that we love; a mother, a sister, a daughter, a niece, a friend… the list goes on. Fighting cancer is everyone’s fight and every dollar raised means new research and one step closer to a cure!
We dressed in pink to support all the women in our lives we love. Thank you to everyone who made a donation to this great cause. We appreciate all the support in raising awareness and funds for Breast Cancer Research and we are looking forward to participating again in 2020!
When counselling my patients about tooth decay, tooth sensitivity, and gum disease, the topic of diet inevitably comes up. The new Canada Food Guide was released in early 2019, after much rigorous research by scientists and review by Health Canada, to guide Canadians when it comes to food and drink choices. The new Food Guide places much emphasis on reducing risk factors for leading diseases in Canada, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. As a dentist, I am very pleased to see that the Food Guide offers guidance for achieving better oral health as well, because many key changes made in updating the Food Guide overlap with advice for prevention of oral diseases.
Here are some notable changes:
Increased emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and plant-based proteins.
Decreased emphasis on meats and higher-fat dairy products.
Push to replace sugary drinks with water and to avoid exposure of teeth to sugar.
Caution on dried fruit, as it is sticky and increases your risk of cavities.
Categorizing 100% fruit juice as a “sugary drink” that is associated with tooth decay, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, instead of the previous recommendation of fruit juice as an equivalent to a serving of fruit.
Emphasis on vegetables and fruit as health snacks—choose frozen fruit for added convenience.
I am also glad to see that some of the changes made can reduce specifically tooth erosion by acid wear, an importance cause of tooth sensitivity. Acidic drinks and foods, especially when consumed multiple times a day, may cause dental erosion over time. These include not only the obvious culprits such as vinegar and lemon juice, but also colas, wine, and fruit juices in general. An important factor is also frequency. Acidic foods consumed three or more times a day is linked to 13 to 14 times the chance of having tooth erosion, compared to once a day or less. In addition, the risk of acidic foods and drinks eroding your teeth is almost halved when they are consumed with meals, as opposed to between meals. In other words, not only does the choice of food and drink matter to your dental health, so does the timing and frequency of consumption.
Finally, in terms of gum disease, the emphasis on fruits and vegetables ensures adequate intake of vitamin C, which has been linked with better healing following dental scaling in patients with gum disease. It is equally important to note that although the new Canada Food Guide reduced the emphasis on dairy products, dairy remains one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential to bone and teeth health, and helps the body absorb calcium from what you eat. Some studies have even shown that inadequate vitamin D is linked with higher risk of gingivitis, gum disease, and loss of bone supporting the teeth.
The new Canada Food Guide is certainly a valuable update that is the culmination of the hard work of numerous scientists. It is an essential tool for maintaining both general health and oral health. So, next time you shop for groceries, be sure to keep in mind this information to help achieve a healthier body and stronger teeth!
Dr. Yolanda Li
Beaudette JR, Zamatta CAR, Ward WE. 2019. The new Canada food guide: Considerations for periodontal health. Oral Health. 109(10): 60-63.
Canada’s Food Guide. 2019. Health Canada. [accessed 2019 October 28] https://foodguide.canada.ca/en/.
New Canada Food Guide connects oral health and general health. CDA Essentials. 2019. 6(2): 16-17.
O’Toole S. 2019. Helping patients with erosive tooth wear change dietary habits. CDA
Essentials. 6(2): 27-30.
For the first time this year our Dental Dream Team joined an army of 5000+ SickKids supporters rallying together at the new fundraising event for SickKids, GetLoud.
GetLoud is a fundraiser working towards unleashing the full potential of SickKids, including smashing the limits of an old building, the limits on generating new knowledge and translating it to treatment, and the limits on delivering seamless health care to every child. Collectively this event raised $2.2 million that will go towards helping build a new SickKids!!
Is there a space between your teeth? Do you have teeth crowding in one spot? Are you unhappy with the alignment of your teeth?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions you have probably already thought about receiving orthodontic treatment. Now I ask you, do you have pain in your jaw? Do your top teeth close behind your bottom teeth? Is there a space between your top teeth and bottom teeth when you bite down? If you answered yes to any of these questions, these may also indicate you may benefit from orthodontic treatment.
When Does Orthodontic Treatment Begin?
Orthodontic treatment may begin as early as four or five years old, or can even begin well into adulthood. Generally early intervention is ideal as a young patient is still growing, which makes it easier to correct minor issues and may prevent more extensive orthodontic procedures later in life. On average, treatment begins between nine and 12 years of age.
Why Is Orthodontic Treatment Required?
There are many different reasons orthodontic intervention may be required; some for clinical reasons and some more for aesthetic reasons.
Orthodontic treatment may be used to close gaps between teeth, to align tips of the teeth, or to straighten crooked or rotated teeth. It is also used to treat an improper bite such as open bite, under bite, or crossbite.
Orthodontic treatment is not only to correct your smile, but to also correct your oral health. An improper bite may lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. TMJ may make it harder to chew and in the case of crooked and crowded teeth, oral hygiene may become an issue making it harder to clean the area properly leading to tooth decay and other oral health issues. Orthodontic treatment is designed to make your teeth function properly and to make your smile more aesthetically pleasing.
What Appliances Are Used in Orthodontics?
Orthodontic treatment may involve the use of different appliances that are either fixed or removable to help correct improper bite, expand the top dental arch, and improve profile. Traditional metal bracketing may be used and, in some cases, the use of clear aligners may be another option.
Where to Begin?
The first step is to see if you would benefit from any form of orthodontic treatment by booking an orthodontic consultation. During the consultation, the dentist or orthodontist will do a thorough assessment by taking measurements, checking for any discrepancies or abnormalities in your bite, determine if there is any issue with the position of the teeth such as crowding, spacing, or blocked teeth – x-rays are sometimes taken at this time. After this consultation, the dentist or orthodontist should be able to give you a general idea as to what is to be expected, both treatment wise and cost wise.
Summer camp at Heritage House Dental was a blast this year! For several days throughout July and August we had the pleasure of hosting Summer Camp at the Dentist for dozens of future “Tooth Heroes”!
During these camps our little friends learned all about brushing, flossing, and how to properly free all the Sugar Bugz to their Secret-Under-Sink-World. They even made their own Sugar Bugz, played games, and had the opportunity to explore an actual op!
Thank you to everyone who participated in our camps this summer, they would not have been a success without our Tooth Detectives, Junior Helpers, and our Librarians from Courtneypark Library! A special thank you to all of our littler campers and their parents who joined us as well. We look forward to seeing each and every one of you graduate to become an official Tooth Hero and attend our upcoming events!
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Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in our body. In fact, it is even stronger than bone! Despite this, there are several everyday lifestyle habits that can unknowingly harm and destroy this white outer shield of our teeth. Consequently, teeth can become painful, damaged and sensitive, which may lead to time-consuming and expensive interventions by your dental team. The following are several common habits that may cause more harm than good:
Over-consumption of Acidic Foods and Drinks
Aspects of our diet can have long-lasting adverse effects on our enamel. Citrus fruits and juices, carbonated water, soft drinks, vinegar, and alcohol can, over time, wear away the surface of our teeth. This acidic erosion causes enamel to become thin, yellow-ish in colour, and may ultimately lead to temperature sensitivity and pain.
Grinding and Clenching Teeth
Juggling our daily responsibilities may cause some people to involuntarily release stress through habitual bruxism (teeth-grinding) and/or jaw clenching. Often times, these habits occur subconsciously during the night-time and may reveal themselves through symptoms of jaw and ear pain, facial muscle tenderness, tension headaches, and ‘sore teeth’. Your dentist may also see irreversible signs of wear to your teeth and gums, which can impact the function and aesthetics of your mouth and smile.
Oral Hygiene Technique
Surprisingly, our oral health routine may also be impacting the health of our teeth. Chronically brushing too aggressively (especially with a hard-bristled toothbrush) can irritate our gums, contributing to gum recession and the potential for sensitivity and cavities on the newly exposed portion of our teeth. In addition, our gums (gingiva) can also be harmed by excessively forceful flossing and the improper use of wooden toothpicks.
Using our Teeth as Tools
It may seem convenient or harmless to use our teeth to rip a clothing tag, break open a sunflower seed shell, crunch on ice cubes, bite off a hangnail, or even open a bottle cap, but in reality, these bad habits can lead to numerous consequences. From small chips to large cracks, broken fillings to jaw dysfunction, your dentist has seen the negative effects these seemingly innocent habits can have on your mouth and your wallet.
Snacking and Sugar/Carbohydrate Consumption
Constant grazing or sipping throughout the day allows cavity-causing bacteria to feast on the sugars and residual food on our teeth, causing them to produce acid that attacks the enamel. Essentially, by not giving our saliva time to neutralize these ‘acid attacks’, the risk of cavity formation and sensitivity increases significantly.
Helpful Reminders and Solutions
If you are consuming acidic or sugary foods and drinks throughout the day, try drinking a glass of water afterwards, brushing your teeth 20 minutes after their consumption, drinking through a straw, and reducing the frequency of snacking.
See your dentist if you are experiencing jaw pain or believe you are grinding or clenching. Lifestyle modifications, nightguards, and referrals to other health care professionals, such as physiotherapists, may help to alleviate and eliminate symptoms, and prevent long-term consequences.
Speak with your hygienist regarding proper brushing and flossing techniques. Always use a soft (or extra-soft) toothbrush, try to avoid abrasive toothpastes, and think of ‘massaging’ the teeth and gums versus ‘scrubbing’.
Break those bad habits such as nail biting, and using teeth as nutcrackers and bottle openers.
Make dental/hygiene appointments and choosing a healthy diet part of your regular routine to optimize your oral health and maintain that beautiful smile!
Congratulations to the Raptors for making Canadian history! We had a blast cheering on our Toronto Raptors during the playoffs, there is so much Canadian pride here at Heritage House Dental! Here are a few of our favourite moments from our two weeks of NBA Finals team spirit!
This will be our first year participating in the Annual Heartland Summer Sidewalk Sale! If you need a break from back to school shopping, be sure to bring the kids and head into Heritage House Dental for a FREE introduction to our Sugar Bugz Be Gone Program!!
The Heartland Summer Sidewalk Sale will take place from Thursday August 22 – Friday August 30.
The Dental Dream Team was proud to participate in the 2019 Manulife Ride for Heart. We have been riding every year since 2014 in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. This year we thought we would switch it up a bit and tried the 5km walk, and what a beautiful walk it was! It was lovely to see a few patients during our walk down the Gardiner Expressway. All together we had 19 walkers and are proud to announce we raised $2,225 towards life-saving heart disease and stroke research! As always, we sincerely thank you for your support and generous donations!
Heritage House Dental is proud to participate in the community, every year we host Half Day Camps throughout the year, especially around March Break and Summer Vacation. These camps are free, fun, educational, and a great opportunity to introduce your little one to a dental office! During the camps kids will enjoy:
Fun and interactive presentation by a Registered Dental Hygienist
Crafts and games to help your child learn how to maintain a healthy smile for life while having fun
Introduction to our Sugar Bugz Be Gone program with an invitation to become a Tooth Hero
Goody bag to take home with educational materials on dental health to further their learning experience
Our Summer Camps are set for the following dates:
Tuesday July 9th, 2019
Tuesday July 16th, 2019
Tuesday July 23rd, 2019
Tuesday August 6th, 2019
Tuesday August 13th, 2019
View the video below to see all the fun we’ve had in previous years.
Our summer camps are very popular and dates are filling in fast… call now to register at 905-814-1600!