3 Ways to Help Kids Overcome the Fear of Going to the Dentist

People often equate fear with going to the dentist, no matter how old they are. It is important as a parent to try to prevent or at least minimize this fear as best as possible.  kids fear of the dentist

How can you do this?

  1. Talk positively about going to the dentist. Even if you aren’t speaking directly to your child about the dentist in a less than favorable way, they pick up on things. This also doesn’t mean that you should oversell it as if it is like going to the carnival. Less is more when it comes to details.If they see you are fearful, they will also be fearful…often before they even get to have the experience themselves. The key is to make them feel relaxed and comfortable, as if they are just going to a trip to the grocery store. No big deal.

  2. Stay away from using negative words like “pain” or “hurt”. Focus instead on using words that will make them feel like they are going to be healthier and stronger after their dental visit. The key is to keep the vocabulary positive and light.

  3. Get them excited that they will get a treat and/or toothbrush as a gift from the dentist. This will boost their confidence and make them look forward to future visits. That said, don’t promise them a treat after leaving the dentist office if they don’t cause a fuss and are on good behavior. This can actually work against you because it can actually make them wonder “What is going to happen at the dentist that my mom is thinking I may cause a fuss?!”

Looking for a kids dentist in Surrey who goes the extra mile to put your child at ease? Call us at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry! We do our best to give children a very positive and happy experience.






Summer Dental Tips – Take Care of Your Teeth!

Summer is such a busy type of year, which is great…however, when you’re extra active, it can be easier to neglect your regular dental routine. It’s so important to care for your teeth regardless because who needs to get a toothache or some other dental problem during the best time of the year?  summer dental tips surrey

  • Ideally, you should book an appointment with your dentist for a check-up and a cleaning before you depart on any vacations. That way, if anything is wrong, you can catch it before you run into further problems. Plus, you can’t beat having nice, clean teeth while you’re away!
  • Pack your toothbrush and a small toothpaste in your purse / bag so that you have easy access to it while you are on a roadtrip, or during a layover at an airport. You don’t want to let your teeth go hours and hours without a good brushing. Not to mention, they will just feel more comfortable and your breath will be more fresh. If you are unable to brush somewhere, be sure to have some dental floss on you as well – perfect for in between meals.
  • Try to make water your priority drink. Not only is it essential for hydration in the warmer weather, it is easy on your teeth! Avoid sugary drinks as much as possible.
  • People usually consume more alcohol than usual in July and August, but try not to over-indulge. You definitely want to steer clear of cocktails that are loaded with sugar or lots of fizz. Drink as healthy as possible and drink responsibly!
  • Your lips act as a shield to protect your teeth, so be sure to also protect your lips by using a lip balm with SPF in it.
  • If you have spare retainers or dentures, bring them. You’ll never know if you run into a problem and need an “emergency” pair. It’s not exactly easy to get these while you are travelling.
  • Use a mouthguard for outdoor sporting activities and swimming. You can never be too cautious. It’s much better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to your teeth.
  • Look into getting travel insurance that includes emergency dental coverage. This is worth it just for the peace of mind.

The staff at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry in Surrey wishes everyone a safe and happy summer! We hope to see you for your pre-vacation dental appointment soon! Call us now: 604-593-8201.

20 Fun Facts About Teeth & Oral Health

Did you know…?

  • The average person spends 38.5 days brushing their teeth during their lifetime.
  • Your smile is the first thing that 47% of people will notice about you.
  • The most popular color of toothbrush is blue.   fun facts about teeth
  • Whiter teeth can lead to greater success in work and dating.
  • Tooth decay is the second most common disease in the world (after the common cold).
  • If you drink 3+ glasses of pop each day, you have 62% more chance of getting cavities and possibly even lose your teeth.
  • 50% of adults in North America had no teeth left 100 years ago.
  • The hardest substance in the entire body is enamel.
  • Teeth are as unique as fingerprints – no two people in the world have the same set of teeth.
  • Flossing cleans 35% to 40% more of your teeth. That’s how important it is to floss every day!
  • Right-handed people tend to chew more on the right side…and vice versa for the left.
  • The animal that only has bottom teeth is the giraffe – no teeth on top!
  • Few people brush for a full 2 minutes – and are instead brushing from 45 to 70 seconds on average. (Set a timer to ensure you are brushing for the full 2 minutes!)
  • Diseases like diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis are linked to oral health.
  • There are more than 300 types of bacteria in plaque.
  • One third of your teeth are hidden by your gums.
  • A snail can have over 25,000 teeth!
  • Elephants grind their molars and grow new ones up to 6 times in their lifetime.
  • The blue whale has no teeth.
  • More than ever, adults are getting orthodontic treatment – it’s not just kids anymore!

Looking for a dentist in Surrey? Call us today and book an appointment!



Do’s & Don’ts After Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

It’s important to be well informed about how to take care of your mouth after getting your wisdom teeth removed. The better you know how to take care of your mouth, the sooner you will recover.

Here is a list of tips to help you through your wisdom teeth journey:

  • Start taking painkillers immediately after your procedure. You may feel like you don’t need any if the freezing is still in, but you will. It’s better to be proactive than wait until you are in a lot of pain. Your dentist or dental surgeon will tell you what to take or you may be provided with a prescription.
  • Take antibiotics as directed, and be sure to finish the whole prescription.  do's don't wisdom teeth removal
  • Take it easy! All you should be doing is resting. Everything else in your life can wait. You need to put yourself first!
  • When sleeping, keep your head propped up with pillows.
  • Don’t exercise for at least 24 hours. (You likely won’t feel like exercising anyways.)
  • No heavy lifting for 2 to 3 days. Ask someone else to help you if you need something moved.
  • Control bleeding as per the instructions from your dentist or dental surgeon. If you are unsure of anything, call them! They are there to help you get through this.
  • Don’t rinse your mouth for 24 hours. After 24 hours have passed, you should rinse your mouth very gently four times a day with warm salt water. This will help remove pieces of food and keep your mouth clean.
  • Refrain from spitting out with any type of force. Again, always think “gentle”.
  • Be extra careful when brushing near where your tooth was removed. You want to ensure you don’t disturb the blood clot. Instead, wipe the area with a fresh, wet gauze pad.
  • Keep your fingers away from where the tooth was extracted. You need to keep this area as clean as possible.
  • Liquids and soft foods are your friends for the first couple of days. Think milkshakes, soup, yogurt, mashed potatoes.
  • Stay away from anything spicy, hot, carbonated, or alcoholic for 3 to 4 days, as this can really irritate the area.
  • Don’t suck anything through a straw – the pressure could end up dislodging the blood clot.
  • If you smoke, try your best not to…AT LEAST for the first 24 hours, but ideally for several days. Again, this can dislodge the blood clot and interrupt the healing process. (Maybe this is even the ideal time to quit completely! Read more: Top Reasons to Quit Smoking for Oral Health.)
  • Apply ice packs as per the instructions given by your dentist or surgeon to keep swelling at bay.
  • Gently stretch your mouth (without over-exerting it) from time to time so that it doesn’t get stiff.

If you have any questions, concerns, or require any clarification, call your dental office without hesitation.

Need wisdom teeth removal in Surrey? Give us a call at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry: 604-593-8201.

Do You Know the History of Toothpaste & Oral Hygiene?

Can you believe that brushing teeth only became popular during World War II? Back in the day, people didn’t have the opportunity to take care of their teeth like we do today.

As people aged, their teeth would rot, become super painful, and would eventually need to be pulled out. Ouch! There was no such   did you knowthing as 6-month dental checkups or cleanings. There was no way of detecting or filling cavities. And…there definitely was no such thing as dental implants or dentures!

People used to use things like charcoal, chalk, lemon juice, ashes, and even with a mixture of honey and tobacco to clean their teeth! Just reading that is enough to make you squirm…and practically makes you want to go and brush your teeth immediately!

Today, we are so fortunate to have the means and technology to have clean and healthy teeth. Let this be your motivation to not take it for granted!

Looking for a family dentist or cosmetic dentist in Surrey? Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry is the answer! Give us a call now: 604-593-8201.


Why Your Teeth Can Hurt When You Have a Cold

No one likes dealing with a pesky cold or flu…but what can make these illnesses even more bothersome is when your teeth start to hurt too. It’s unfortunately very common to have this type of painful pressure on your teeth, in addition to the regular symptoms like nasal congestion, achy joints, sinus pressure, fever, and sore throat.

Why does this happen?

Upper molars and premolars and their nerves are close to your upper sinus. When your sinus is infected / inflamed from being sick, your upper teeth are affected, which makes them hurt.

Where does it hurt?  why teeth hurt when have a cold

Most often, the pain is found where your teeth meet your gums or in the upper part of your teeth. It’s a dull ache vs. a throbbing ache, but can feel very uncomfortable and is definitely not a welcome addition when you are already feeling terrible.

Is there a way I can prevent this from happening?

Unfortunately, there isn’t really anything that can be done to prevent this type of pain. It’s the sort of thing you just have to deal with until you feel better. It is a good idea, however, to stay away from drinking anything that is too hot or too cold due to teeth being extra sensitive at this time.

The best thing you can do for yourself is drink lots of fluids, get plenty of rest, take over-the-counter medication as recommended by your doctor, and simply just wait it out. Eating healthy foods and good oral hygiene is key as well.

Looking for a family, cosmetic, or kids dentist in SurreyContact us to book an appointment today!


Choose Your Chocolate Wisely at Easter

When we think of Easter, two things often come to mind – the Easter Bunny and chocolate. Who doesn’t like to indulge in a little chocolate after all?!

It’s fine to enjoy some treats, but it is always a good idea to spend a bit more to get higher quality chocolate that will be better for your health AND your teeth!

Choose dark chocolate that has a cocoa percentage of 70% and above. Benefits of dark chocolate include:  dark chocolate easter bunny

  • Less sugar
  • Cocoa butter can help prevent plaque from sticking to teeth
  • Higher in antioxidants
  • Higher level of tannins, which also can help prevent buildup of plaque

Cheap chocolate is oozing with sugar, not to mention if often full of wax which enables it to maintain it’s shape. The wax also prevents it from melting. While milk chocolate and white chocolate can taste good, they also have a much higher amount of sugar.

So choose wisely and be sure to brush thoroughly after treating yourself.

Happy Easter from all of us at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry! Book an appointment to get your teeth professionally cleaned after the long weekend: 604-593-8201.



Diabetes and Your Mouth

If not well managed, diabetes can cause serious harm to various parts of your body such as the eyes, kidneys, heart, and nerves. What people don’t usually realize, is that it can cause problems in your mouth as well – yet another reason why good oral hygiene is so important.

What can happen to my mouth if I have diabetes?  diabetes and your mouth

  • GUM DISEASE – Diabetes can put you more at risk for gum disease. When you have gum disease, chewing can become painful and even lead to loss of teeth because the gum and bone can become damaged.
  • DRY MOUTH – Dry mouth (which is a common symptom of diabetes) can cause soreness, infections, ulcers, and tooth decay. A dry mouth quickly becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, which can then lead to an infection. An infection can then lead to increased blood glucose levels, while your body tries to fight it off.
  • THRUSH – You may also become susceptible to thrush, which is a fungal infection that causes white patches in your mouth that become very painful.

What can I do to help prevent these problems from occurring?

In addition to regular cleanings, checkups, and of course flossing and brushing twice a day, it is critical to have a good handle on your blood glucose. Your doctor will advise you as to how often you should check your blood sugar level. The frequency of testing depends whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, as well as your treatment plan.

Smoking is not good for your body in any way – but it can be even more detrimental to those with diabetes, so make it your goal to quit as soon as possible.

Take charge of your health and take the necessary preventative measures. Your future self will thank you for it!

Looking for a family dentist in Surrey? Call us at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry to book an appointment today: 604-593-8201.





Spring Cleaning Isn’t Just for Your Home!

Can you believe that winter is finally over and spring is now upon us? It’s such an exciting time of year, full of new beginnings and positive energy. We all know that it is also the ideal season to clean your home too. As they say – out with the old, in with the new. This gives us the feeling of a “fresh start”.

That said, spring cleaning isn’t just for your home. When is the last time you had your teeth professionally cleaned by a dental
spring clean teeth surreyhygienist?

Time goes by so quickly, that we often don’t even realize how much time has passed in between dental cleanings. Ideally, you should be getting a checkup and a cleaning every six months. This is very important in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums, as well as to spot any issues before they get out of control and turn into something more serious.

Even if you do a great job of brushing and flossing your teeth at home, you still need a professional teeth cleaning to remove stains, as well as built-up plaque and tartar.

We recommend that you call your dental office to find out when your last appointment was. It is also a great idea to always keep track of when you should visit your dentist next on a calendar.

If you are looking for an excellent family, cosmetic, and emergency dentist in Surrey, please give us a call at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry today: 604-593-8201.

Is It Okay to Use Toothpicks?

So, you go out for dinner, or out to the movies…and you end up with a little piece of pesky food stuck between your teeth. Naturally, you look for a toothpick, but is this a good idea?  toothpicks good or bad for teeth

Well, as you know, toothpicks have been used for years and years. They are actually one of the oldest dental hygiene tools – dating back to 3500 BC. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should be relying on them. Sure, they can be helpful here and there, but you have to be careful because they have the potential to poke and prod at your gums and teeth in ways they shouldn’t. This poking and prodding in the same area can lead to irritation and sensitivity of that, and you may even develop a sore spot.

So, what do you do when you are out on the town and you find yourself in a pickle with something stuck between your teeth? You carry dental floss with you! Have some handy in your car or purse. Oh, and men – you probably have room for a few easy-flossers in your wallet.

Dental floss is much safer and effective than resorting to a toothpick. Plus, if you have mint-flavored floss, it can feel somewhat more refreshing after dislodging the food particles.

Please also note, if you seem to have way more incidents than the average person with getting food stuck in your teeth, that could be the sign of a more serious dental problem, such as:

  • Shifting teeth
  • A hole in your tooth
  • Poor fillings

When your dentist examines your teeth, they will be able to spot any irregularities. If something is really bothering you, be sure to communicate this with them, so it doesn’t go unnoticed. Even if there isn’t a serious problem, it is always better to be safe than sorry, so don’t be shy to speak up.

Remember, a healthy mouth = a happy you!

Looking for a great dentist in Surrey & area? Call us at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry to book an appointment for preventative, kids, restorative, or cosmetic dental services today: 604-593-8201.