Summer is Upon Us! Brush Up on these Summer Dental Tips!

Summer…most people’s favorite time of year! You may be more in “vacation-mode”, but there is never a time for your teeth to be, even if you are out in the wilderness on a camping adventure.

Always keep these summer dental tips top of mind for you and your family: summer dental tips

  • Most people do not drink enough water, even though we are well aware that we need to drink plenty of it! It is especially important when you are out in the heat. When it comes to your teeth, water helps wash out the plaque-causing bacteria. It helps prevent bad breath too! DRINK WATER! STAY HYDRATED!
  • Choose water over beverages that are drowning in sugar such as energy drinks, juices, and sodas. If you are going to drink juice, it’s a great idea to dilute it. Rinse with water after drinking anything acidic to protect your enamel.
  • With summer comes more ice. Don’t chew on it! That risks damaging your teeth and wearing down your irreplaceable enamel.
  • Brush and floss no matter where you are or what time of day it is. Even if you are out in the forest, or if you are traveling until the wee hours of the night, brush your teeth before you hit the sack. Buy a bag of individual dental flossers at your local drugstore or grocery store to take with you, as they are super convenient and easy to use. Something stuck in your teeth? Use a flosser instead of a toothpick. Safer for your mouth and more effective!
  • Keep your toothbrush dry. A wet toothbrush = harbouring grounds for bacteria. Need we say more?!

These dental tips seem simple enough, but somehow they are so easy to forget in the moment.

Wishing you all a safe, healthy, and amazing summer!

The Staff at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry – Dental Clinic in Surrey, BC

Everything You Need to Know About Cold Sores

For those of you who are fortunate enough to not have cold sores, chances are good you have seen one on someone else, as they are quite common. If you aren’t exactly sure what they are or what causes them, we can fill you in! what are cold sores

A cold sore is also known as a “fever blister”. Sounds painful, right? They are found on or near the mouth, caused by infection with the herpes simplex virus.

When people hear the word “herpes”, they usually think “sexually transmitted disease”. Cold sores are caused from virus type HSV-1, while genital herpes is caused by HSV-2. That said, HSV-1 can also cause genital sores and blisters.

It’s quite shocking, but according to the World Health Organization, 3.7 billion people under age 50 have herpes simplex virus type 1. That’s 67 percent of the global population in that age bracket! Although they can be embarrassing, and take a ding out of your self-confidence, just remember that you are not alone.

So, it goes without saying that they are highly contagious and remain in this state until they are completely healed. You risk transferring it even if someone else touches a surface that you have touched if your hands were not clean.

How Can You Minimize the Risk of Spreading Your Cold Sore Virus to Others?

  • Always wash your hands with soap and avoid touching the sores (unless you are applying cream – which of course you would wash your hands after)
  • Don’t share creams, cosmetics, other toiletry items, cutlery, straws, glasses, and the like
  • Avoid kissing and oral sex until sores are completely healed
  • Be extra careful when you are near newborn babies, pregnant women, or anyone with a fragile immune system
  • Use SPF to help prevent cold sores that may be triggered by the sun

It is also extremely important to note that you could also transfer this virus to your eyes. Just another reason why it is crucial to always have clean hands…especially if you have contact lenses.

How do you know that one may be coming on?

You may feel a tingling, burning or itching sensation.

How long do cold sores last?

In most cases, they clear up within 7 to 10 days.

Is there a way to speed up the healing process?

You will be able to find anti-viral creams at your local drugstore without a prescription that may help with healing. They should, however, be applied as soon as you feel a cold sore coming on to be most effective.

Should I reschedule my dental visit if I have an active cold sore?

To be extra precautious so that the virus doesn’t spread to other parts of your face or to a member of the dental team, it is in everyone’s best interest for you to reschedule your dental visit. Just be sure to let your dental clinic know as soon as you feel the cold sore coming on and not last minute, just before your appointment.

What about work and school?

You can still attend work and school when you have a cold sore. Remember, they are nothing to be ashamed of. You didn’t go out of your way to contract one.

Looking for a dental clinic in the Surrey area? We would love to have you and your family as new patients at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry! Give us a call to book an appointment today!

The Truth About Veneers

Considering veneers? This post is for YOU! porcelain veneers surrey bc

Veneers are permanent, thin shells (mostly made of porcelain) that adhere to the surface of your teeth. And because they are permanent, it is that much more important to be well informed before you take the plunge and get them. Not only that, but they are a big investment as well.

People often think they are only for aesthetic purposes, giving people that “celebrity-looking” smile. However, they are also a good solution for chipped, misaligned, broken, and damaged teeth.

You may have also heard that the procedure is very painful, but you will be administered a local anaesthetic. Yes, you may experience some soreness the next day, as with any type of procedure, but it can usually be eased with over-the-counter medication. Plus, it is only short-term.

Your teeth may need to be slightly reshaped before the procedure, but if you have heard they need to be severely filed down, please note that is an exaggeration. Your dentist is not going to want to cause unnecessary damage to your enamel.

Veneers are completely customized based on your teeth and the look you want. You probably have noticed that some people’s teeth seem “too white” – this is likely because they have veneers. The golden rule is to not have your teeth whiter than the whites of your eyes, so that they do not appear fake or unnatural looking.

Lastly, you still have to follow your regular dental hygiene routine, of course. This will keep your veneers clean, free of debris, and help prevent them from discoloring.

Looking for porcelain veneers in Surrey? Call us at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry: 604-593-8201.

 

How Much Do You Know About Canker Sores?

When it comes to your mouth, no one wants to think of sores, but it is good to always be aware if you feel something abnormal.

So let’s start with…

What are canker sores?

  • Canker sores are shallow sores shaped like craters (ulcers) on the inside of your lip or cheek, or on your tongue.
  • They have a red border with a white or yellowish center.
  • They have the potential of being quite painful, and may even make it hard for you to eat or talk. Ouch!
  • You can develop more than one canker sore at a time.
  • Canker sores are fortunately not spread to other people.
  • Odds are higher for young adults and women to get them, but anyone can get canker sores.
  • Some people may be more prone than others, finding that they get them on a more regular basis.
  • Genetics seem to play a role in whether or not you will get them.
  • Most will not leave a scar – this is why it is even more important to not pick at them.

What are the symptoms of canker sores?

  • You will likely feel a tingling or burning feeling.
  • They may be painful and/or swollen.

How long do canker sores last?

It depends on the canker sore. Sores that are mild may heal in one to three weeks. Sores that are more serious sores may take up to six weeks! They will hurt, on average, for seven to ten days.

Most of the time, it is not known exactly why someone gets a canker sore, but here are some possible explanations:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Allergies
  • Stress
  • Biting your mouth / lip. how to treat canker sores
  • Irritation from wire braces
  • Lack of vitamins and minerals
  • Acidic food and drink

How do you treat canker sores?

  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Rinse with salt water.
  • Avoid coffee, acidic, spicy, salty, and citrus foods.
  • Eat soft and bland foods.
  • Avoid touching the sore with your toothbrush bristles.
  • Use over-the-counter products such as Oragel or Anbesol.
  • Take pain relievers such as Advil or Aleve.
  • Ask your pharmacist what would be most suitable for children.

It is always a good idea to visit your dentist if you feel something out of the ordinary in your mouth. They will be able to do a physical checkup and diagnose the problem. It is best to never just “assume” it is a canker sore, when it could be something more serious.

Looking for a family dental clinic in the Surrey area? We would love to have you at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry! Give us a call to book an appointment today!

 

Buyer Beware: At-Home Teeth Straightening Kits

If you spend a lot of time on social media or watching TV, you have likely come across an ad for a product that enables you to straighten your teeth…all in the comfort of your own home!

It’s cheap and convenient! What could go wrong, right? don't buy at home teeth straightening kits

A LOT can go wrong.

When your teeth are straightening, you are moving bones. You need proper x-rays, equipment, and a professional dentist or orthodontist with years of training. It takes a lot more than just doing a quick mold of your teeth in the comfort of your kitchen. Not to mention, if your teeth are really crooked, you may not even be a candidate for aligners. You may need traditional wire braces.

Alignment issues need to be addressed, as well as various other oral health concerns. You need ongoing checkups to ensure your teeth are shifting into the correct positioning. Things may have to be changed along the way if your teeth are moving slower or faster than anticipated.

Plus, who are you going to talk to if something doesn’t feel right? Someone working in a call center across the country?

People have actually ended up with their teeth worse than before they started the at-home treatment. It’s scary and it’s just too risky!

You really do get what you pay for.

If you are located in Surrey, BC and are interested in Invisalign (the SAFE teeth straightening procedure that you get through your dentist or orthodontist), we would love to have you at our clinic for a consultation. Call us to book an appointment today: 604-593-8201.

 

 

 

Dental Bacteria & Your Partner’s Toothbrush

It is a disgusting thought for most, but there are surprisingly couples out there who will occasionally use their partner’s
toothbrush. While we absolutely using partners toothbrushdo not recommend this from a hygiene perspective, it is important for you to know why.

Did you know that the human mouth is home to 19,000 to 26,000 different strains of bacteria? They live together in a biofilm – your plaque. These bacteria can then, of course, lead to tooth decay. The highest amount of bacteria exists on your toothbrush right you brush, but even after 24 hours, there will still be bacteria present. Are you grossed out enough yet?

When you are using someone else’s toothbrush, their bacteria then makes their way into your mouth because it sticks to their toothbrush. It can also be transferred by sharing water bottles, on lip gloss, and when you kiss.

So although you can’t take on their tooth decay (if they have any), the more bacteria that they have on their brush, the higher the chances of you having dental issues. No one needs more bacteria than necessary after all, right?!

Moral of the story: stick to your own toothbrush and practice good oral hygiene, for the benefit of both you and your partner.

Looking for a dentist in Surrey? Give us a call at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry at 604-593-8201.

 

Top 3 Reasons Why Expecting Mothers May Experience Sensitive Teeth

It goes without saying that a woman’s body changes a lot during pregnancy, but did you know that one of those changes could be sensitive teeth?

sensitive teeth pregnancy

Here are the top 3 reasons why expecting mothers may experience sensitive teeth:

Increased Blood Flow

Your body has to work extra hard when you are pregnant to support both you and your baby, which results in increased blood flow in your body. This extra blood flow can lead to swollen and sensitive gums that may become tender to the touch. You may discover that you react to very hot or cold foods, even if you don’t normally suffer from sensitive teeth issues.

Gum Disease

Pregnancy means more susceptibility to gum disease – bleeding, sore, and infected gums. This can also unfortunately be a factor in pre-term labour.

Hormones

Your hormones are all over the place when you are pregnant, and this can surprisingly affect how your body responds to bacteria. This can unfortunately put you at risk for periodontal infection and sore teeth and gums.

It goes without saying how crucial it is to maintain top notch oral health when you are pregnant because you need to protect both you and your baby. If you have any signs of anything feeling abnormal or uncomfortable, book an appointment with your dentist without delay.

Looking for a dentist in Surrey, BC? Give us a call at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry today at 604-593-8201.

Signs Your Tooth Enamel May Be Eroding

Your tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, containing 96% minerals. It cannot be regenerated once it is lost, which is why it is crucial that you do your best to protect it. When it wears away, your teeth become more vulnerable to cavities, chips, and cracks.

tooth erosion surrey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the top signs that your enamel may be eroding:

Your Teeth are Yellowing

  • Dentin (a dense, hard, and bony tissue) is found under your enamel and has a natural yellowish colour. That said, if your teeth are appearing more yellow, it may be because you have less enamel and the dentin is then able to show through more easily.

You Have Dents on Your Teeth

  • Referred to as “cupping”, you may start to notice indentations on your teeth.

Your Teeth are Sensitive

  • If your teeth are extra sensitive to very cold or very hot or if you feel a quick jolt of pain when you eat very sugary foods.

You Notice Cracks or Chips in Your Teeth

  • Are you noticing tiny cracks or chips in your teeth? Weaker teeth means your teeth are becoming less defensive against biting and chewing.

If you notice any of these signs, please see your dentist as soon as possible so that you can prevent the erosion from worsening.

Looking for a family-friendly, cosmetic, or emergency dentistry in Surrey? Call us today at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry: 604-593-8201

 

Is Sparkling Water Good for Your Teeth?

Water is clearly (pun intended) the best thing to drink for when it comes to your body and your teeth. But if you have ever wondered how sparkling water compares, this post is for YOU!

Anything with “sparkling” in the label means that it is carbonated, and all carbonated drinks have a higher acid level. That is why there is concern that sparkling water could weaken your tooth enamel. However, studies have been done comparing regular water with sparkling water, and they have concluded that even though the sparkling water is slightly more acidic, it’s safe for your teeth. sparkling water teeth

Please note that the same cannot be said for FLAVORED sparkling water. If the sparkling water is citrus-flavoured for example, it will have higher levels of acid. More acid = more chance of harming your tooth enamel. Your tooth enamel is the hard outer shell of your teeth that does not rebuild itself. Once it’s gone, it’s gone, which is why it is so important to protect it.

If you are going to consume flavored sparkling water, it is best to combine it with a meal. It’s not the type of thing that you want to be sipping on throughout the day and definitely not the type of thing that you want to keep on your bedside table at night.

At the end of the day, there is absolutely nothing better for your teeth than regular water, so it’s wise to make that your top choice!

For family, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry in Surrey, BC, come to Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry! Call us to book an appointment today: 604-593-8201.

 

 

 

Don’t Procrastinate When it Comes to Your Oral Health

Have you ever been in a position where you feel like something is off with your body, but then you spend a little too much time on Google self-diagnosing to the point where you are scared to get checked out? Well, that is pretty much the worst thing you can do. You NEED to make yourself a priority and put yourself first, especially if you feel like something is off to prevent it from getting worse.

And this isn’t only when it comes to going to the doctor. It includes your oral health too! Many people are actually surprised to know that your oral health can negatively affect the rest of your body too.

If you have any of these issues, please book an appointment to see your dentist asap:

  • Any type of oral pain, sores, or spots urgent dental issues
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Chronic bad breath, which is also affecting your mental well-being (confidence and self-esteem)
  • Bleeding or puffy gums after you brush or floss
  • Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth
  • If you feel like something is off with your filling, dental implants, or crowns
  • If your dentures are uncomfortable or not fitting properly
  • If your jaw pops or hurts when chewing, opening, and closing

Please note, it is also important to have a close relationship with your dental clinic if any of the following apply to you:

  • If you smoke or use chewing tobacco – you are at more risk for oral cancer
  • If you are undergoing medical treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation
  • If you suffer from diabetes, an eating disorder, heart disease, or if you are HIV positive
  • If you are pregnant – don’t shy away from the dentist during these nine months

And regardless if you have any of the above issues or not, everyone must see their dentist every six months for a regular cleaning and checkup to keep things in check and prevent problems from developing.

If you are located in Surrey, we would love to have you as a patient at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry. Call us to book an appointment for you or your whole family today: 604-593-8201.