The Best Way to Sleep if You Suffer from TMD

TMD stands for Temporomandibular Disorders, which refers to problems with jaw movement, as well as pain in and around the jaw joints. Sounds painful, right?!

As you know, sleep is so important for the body to re-energize and repair itself. In addition to making you feel more rested and refreshed, proper sleep is key for lowing the risk of health issues too.

Negative effects of not getting enough sleep:  TMD and sleep

  • Increased pain for those who suffer from chronic illnesses
  • Changes in mood (and not in a good way)
  • Elevated stress hormones
  • Increased risk of obesity
  • May raise the risk of Alzheimer’s and other diseases

When suffering from TMD, people often have more difficulty falling asleep…as well as often struggle to get good quality sleep. Something such as being more cognizant of your sleeping position can help a lot.

If you are sleeping in a position that causes strain on your face, jaw, neck, head, or shoulders, this can make your TMD pain worse. People often clench their jaw and grind their teeth when sleeping, which doesn’t help matters either. This is obviously harder to monitor because you can’t control what you do in your sleep.

A good indication that your TMD may be aggravated from the way you are sleeping is if you wake up with pain or a headache.

So what is the best sleeping position if you suffer from TMD or orofacial pain?

The answer is lying on your back! This is because:

  • Your head, neck, and shoulders will be properly supported
  • You won’t have extra pressure on your jaw
  • Your body will be kept in alignment, with your neck, head, and spine in a neutral position
  • There will be less chance of grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw

You may have to get into the habit of sleeping on your back, but it can be well worth the effort to relieve your TMD. A small pillow places under your knees or under the arch of your spine can help and make you more comfortable. You may also want to explore reclining beds.

Call us to book an appointment if you are experiencing signs of TMD in Surrey.  We will get to the root of the problem!



How to Control Tartar Buildup on Your Teeth

Before we get into how you can control tartar buildup on your teeth, let’s get clear on what tartar is…

Bacteria in your mouth mixes with proteins and by-products of food to form a sticky film…also known as plaque. Plaque coats your teeth, weasels it’s way under your gumline, and sticks to dental work. And as you know, the result of that, is often nasty cavities and gum disease.

When plaque stays on your teeth too long, it hardens into tartar (also known as calculus). Tartar forms above and below the gumline…and is quite porous and rough. Too much tartar can lead to receding gums and gum disease.

tartar buildup on teeth

It can actually make it more difficult to brush and floss. Plus, you cannot brush away tartar. It has to be removed by your dentist with special tools and care, as to not cause further damage to your mouth.

Here are the Best Ways to Control Tartar:

  • Good dental hygiene – brush twice a day for 2 minutes at a time.
  • When you brush, ensure that you cover all surfaces of your teeth – don’t miss your back molars.
  • Floss daily and thoroughly. Be sure to get all of the hard to reach areas.
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash to help kill bacteria that cause plaque.
  • Use an electric toothbrush vs. a manual one.
  • Buy toothpaste with “tartar control” and fluoride to help protect your enamel.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Drink a lot of water (the recommended 8 glasses per day is ideal).
  • Stop smoking. It’s known that smokers are more likely to have tartar buildup. (Just one more reason to quit that bad habit!)
  • Visit your dentist every 6 months for a professional cleaning and checkup.

Located in Surrey? We would love to have you and your family at our dental clinic. Call us to book an appointment today: 604-593-8201





11 Important Things Often Overlooked That You Can Donate to People in Need

When you give to people in need, it’s not just about making a donation. It’s about making a difference. Plus, it feels great and can help make you feel more appreciative for what you have, when you think about how much others lack.

donations love

When people think of making donations, they often think of non-perishable food items or giving away old clothes, but there are so many other key things to take note of, such as:

Dental Supplies – Can you imagine not being able to afford supplies for proper oral hygiene? Not to mention, be unable donate dental suppliesto  afford professional dental care. By donating dental supplies, you can help people keep their teeth as healthy as possible, as well as prevent any issues from arising. Think toothbrushes for all ages (manual and battery operated), dental floss, and toothpaste.

Toilet Paper – Usually the first thing to fly off of the shelves at donation centers. Everyone needs it several times a day, after all.

donate toilet paper

First-aid Items – Everyone should have items on hand to nurse injuries such as bandages, medicated wipes, gauze, ointments, Tylenol.

Diapers – People often think to donate used baby clothes, but it is way less common for people to donate diapers. Think baby wipes and baby powder too. Adult diapers are needed as well.

Personal Hygiene Products – Think non-allergenic and unscented soaps and deodorants, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and razors. If you travel often, it is a great idea to take the complimentary bottles that they leave in the bathroom and donate those!

donate shampoo surrey

Socks and Underwear – These should technically be donated as “new” items. Keep your eyes open for sales or visit discounted stores so your money can go further.

Blankets – Everyone needs blankets…especially homeless people. Keep this top of mind when the temperatures drop. donate blanket surrey

Spices – If people can barely afford to eat, spices are not their first priority, so they are welcomed. Imagine not being able to season your meat or side dishes? Think salt, pepper, seasoning salt, cinnamon, garlic salt / powder, basil, ground ginger, cayenne pepper, paprika, and the like.

Old Cell Phones – If people don’t have a phone, period…they won’t be picky as to which brand or model it is, as long as it works. donate old cell phones surrey

School Supplies – Parents have so much pressure when it comes to child-related expenses…and we know how many of those pop up. Help them out by buying notebooks, pens, pencils, felt markers, pencil crayons, scissors, backpacks, lunchboxes, calculators, binders, and the like. And remember, supplies are needed throughout the year…not just at the beginning of the school year.

Bikes – These can help people who don’t have cars or bus passes to get from point A to B.

Donate today and make a positive change in someone’s life.

Looking for a dentist in Surrey? Call us to book an appointment for family and cosmetic dental care today: 604-593-8201.


Ways to Prevent Sleep Apnea

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which your breathing repeatedly stops and starts. When they stop breathing, it can make them almost feel like they are choking and startle themselves out of sleep. People who snore loudly or still feel tired after a full night’s sleep may be suffering from sleep apnea. These problems can also lead to other health issues like heart disease and obesity.

There are 3 types of sleep apnea:  prevent sleep apnea

(1) Central sleep apnea – when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing

(2) Obstructive sleep apnea – when your throat muscles relax

(3) Complex sleep apnea – when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea

So, it goes without saying that if you have sleep apnea, you definitely want to take steps to put a stop to it and improve your quality of life and overall wellness. You don’t have to suffer with this problem for the rest of your life. It is treatable.

How can a dentist help with sleep apnea?

Your dentist may be able to provide you with a customized comfortable and compact oral appliance to wear while you are sleeping. These appliances look similar to mouthguards or retainers. They work by holding your jaw in a comfortable position to keep your air passages clear which helps to facilitate easy breathing.

If you are concerned that you may have sleep apnea, visit your doctor for an official diagnosis, then call your dental office to see if they can help.

Other things you can do to help prevent sleep apnea:

  • Stop smoking, as it causes inflammation and fluid retention in your throat and upper airway.
  • Avoid sedatives, sleeping pills, and alcohol, as they will relax the muscles in the throat that interfere with breathing.
  • Get a lot of exercise and maintain a healthy weight.

Are you looking for a dentist in Surrey? We would love to have you as a patient at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry! Call us to book an appointment today: 604-593-8201.



Ways to Decrease Your Morning Breath Situation

Most people would agree that bad breath is one of the biggest turn offs and one of the worst ways to make a first impression. In many cases, bad breath is due to poor oral hygiene. Morning breath, however, is a bit more out of your control. You could brush and floss before bed, and still wake up with a bitter or sour-like taste in your mouth. That said, there are things you can do to get this embarrassing issue more under control.

ways to prevent morning breath

Prevent Mouth Breathing

Sleeping on your side or stomach may be all that you need to stop from mouth breathing at night that causes dry mouth. When your mouth is more dry, you have less saliva…and you actually need saliva to kill bacteria because bacteria thrive in a dry environment.

Practice Thorough Brushing & Flossing

Make sure you are brushing and flossing thoroughly and for a full two minutes. People often just do a quick 30 second drive-by in their mouths and think that’s adequate. It’s not. Did you know that bacteria feed off of the teeny bits of food in your mouth and the pieces that get stuck between your teeth? Volatile sulphur compounds are then released through anaerobic respiration…hence the terrible smell.

If you keep up with a good morning and evening routine, you’re going to notice a positive difference with a good old-fashioned teeth brushing…as long as you put the time and effort in to do a good job.

Scrape Your Tongue

A tongue scraper will only set you back a few dollars financially and it will be a win for your mouth. Food particles can get easily lodged on your tongue (even if you can’t see anything when you look in the mirror).

tongue scraping bad breath

Use Alcohol-free Mouthwash

Many mouthwashes have alcohol, so ironically they can dry out your mouth and perpetuate the problem. To increase your odds of having good breath, you need a moist mouth…so drink lots of water and use an alcohol-free mouthwash or rinse.

Eat Foods that Stimulate Saliva

Your mouth stimulates saliva whenever you eat, but ideally, you want to focus on crunchy veggies and fruit. They will help keep the surface of your teeth clean too!

There is definitely something to say for the “eat an apple a day” analogy!

More questions about bad breath or morning breath in particular? Ask your dentist.

If you are looking for a dentist in Surrey, we would love to have you as a patient at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry. Give us a call: 604-593-8201 and book an appointment for you and your family today!






Oral Health Risks with Tongue Piercings

When people think of tongue piercings, they usually just think of how they will look aesthetically…and that they will look cool. No one really thinks of how they could negatively affect your oral health.

oral health risks tongue piercings

For starters, it can take a couple of months for a tongue piercing to heal. During this time, it is so important that you clean your tongue thoroughly, as well as clean the hole with antiseptic to help prevent infection after each time you eat or smoke. If you do not keep things clean, the bacteria in your mouth can lead to swelling and infection. Your mouth is a moist environment, so bacteria multiplies at a rapid pace. If your tongue was to swell, there is also a risk that it could end up blocking your airway.

You also need to be aware that there is a risk of chipping or breaking of the teeth…which would have to be repaired with crowns or fillings. This could be due to biting down on the jewellery or having it rub continuously against your teeth. You could also end up having issues with sensitive teeth because of this.

There is also a chance you could experience nerve damage from the piercing, which in most cases would be temporary, but there is a risk of it being permanent. Injured nerves can also affect your taste, as well as how you move your mouth.

What are the main things to do when having a tongue piercing?

  • Before you get the piercing, you want to ensure that you are not allergic to the metal.
  • Keep the jewellery clean, ensuring the cleaners are non-toxic, as well as rinse your mouth with antibacterial mouthwash.
  • Always remove the jewellery if participating in sports. When putting it back in place, always ensure it is tightly fastened so that you don’t accidentally swallow or choke on jewellery.
  • If you have even the slightest concern that an infection may be brewing, seek medical attention immediately, as things can escalate quickly.

It’s important to know the risks involved and to be sure you will not be bothered by the extra responsibility this will add to your daily life. Have other questions? Be sure to ask your dentist.

Looking for a dentist in the Surrey area? Give us a call at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry. We would love to have you and your family as new patients!

What is Demineralization of Tooth Enamel?

Have you heard of demineralization of your tooth enamel?

If you have weakened teeth and/or suffered from multiple cavities, this could be caused by demineralization. Demineralization of your tooth enamel is a superficial dissolving of the enamel (the glassy outer shell part of your teeth). It is also a sign of early tooth decay…often seen as white spots. It can be caused from too much exposure to acidic food and drink.

As you know, once enamel is gone, it cannot be regenerated…so, the key is to be proactive and try to avoid demineralization completely. You can do this by:

  • Avoiding sugary food and drinks as much as possible
  • Avoid acidic food and drink as much as possible
  • Not brushing too hard…and use a soft bristled toothbrush
  • Getting fluoride treatments at your dental clinic to promote remineralization
  • Using toothpaste with fluoride
  • Practice excellent oral hygiene
demineralization of teeth enamel







The moral of the story: see your dentist for a checkup every 6 months…or whenever something doesn’t feel right. Good health starts from within, so take extra good care of your teeth. You only get one set, after all!

If you are looking for a dentist in Surrey, we would love to have you as a new patient at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry! Give us a call to book an appointment for you and your family today!

Do You Know How Your Dentin Affects Your Teeth Whitening?

You may have heard the term “dentin” before, but do you know what it is? Well, your teeth are made of four components:

(1)   Enamel – the protective surface of the tooth

(2)   Pulp – is made up of items such as large nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels – allows the body to supply it with blood

(3)   Cementum – the root of the tooth  dentin and teeth whitening

AND of course….

(4)   Dentin

What is Dentin Made Of?

Dentin is calcified bodily tissue that is protected by the enamel. It is made up of 10% water, 20% organic material and 70% hydroxylapatite.

It is a bone-like structure, but softer than actual bone. Teeth are made up of 3 layers of dentin: primary (outer layer), secondary (middle layer), and tertiary dentin (inner layer).

I heard that my teeth may not be able to reach my desired level of super whiteness because of my dentin. Is this true?

If your dentin is a deep shade of yellow, this is unfortunately true because dentin cannot be whitened. The yellow will still show through your enamel. This is why some people will only be able to get to a certain level of whiteness.

Don’t get discouraged though – it is quite likely that your smile can still be improved from it’s current shade…especially if your teeth are stained from things like coffee, red wine, and/or cigarettes.

Book a consultation with your dentist and they will happily answer all of your questions.

Looking for teeth whitening in Surrey? Call us today at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry: 604-593-8201.



Do You Suffer from Daytime Bruxism?

When we think of bruxism, we usually think of teeth grinding while sleeping…but there is actually daytime bruxism as well.

Daytime bruxism is also often related to stress, whereby people clench their teeth instead of letting their mouth relax. Most people at some point do this, depending on what is going on in their life at the moment. That said, it becomes a problem when it turns into a chronic (ongoing) issue, causing damage and pain.

Clenching your teeth can lead to things like:  teeth clenching

  • Tension headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • The loss of enamel
  • Tooth cracking / breaking

The one benefit of having daytime bruxism as opposed to nocturnal bruxism, is that you are more aware it is happening, so it is then easier to diagnose. Self-awareness also makes it easier to catch yourself doing this and then begin to train yourself not to.

You can’t wear a regular mouthguard to help in this situation because those are too bulky and can affect your speech. There are, however, ultra-thin and more discreet daytime mouthguards available that can help protect your jaw, teeth, and prevent damage to your enamel.

It is also important to focus on getting a handle on your stress – not just for your clenching issue, but for your overall health as well. Talk to your doctor about what your options are in terms of stress management. Treating the cause vs. the symptoms is key.

More questions about teeth clenching? Contact our Surrey dentist at 604-593-8201.

Did You Know that April is National Facial Protection Month?

In honor of April being National Facial Protection Month, we want to remind all athletes of the importance of wearing mouthguards to protect their teeth and mouth. This applies to both recreational and competitive sports…during both games and practices. You never know when an accident may happen after all, so it is best to always be prepared.

mouthguards surrey

A good mouthguard will act as a barrier against any potential hits to the face to prevent chipped or broken teeth and various injuries to your tongue, lips, face, and jaw.

Your mouthguard should fit well, be durable, and not hinder speaking or breathing. There are three different types of mouthguards:

  • Ready-made / stock mouthguards (from sporting goods stores)
  • Mouth-formed “boil and bite” mouthguards (from sporting goods stores)
  • Custom-made mouthguards (from your dentist)

Custom-made mouthguards are obviously ideal, as they will be more comfortable and be a better fit, however, any mouthguard is better than no mouthguard.

If you participate in any of the following, you should definitely be using a mouthguard: basketball, boxing, martial arts, football, rugby, hockey (ice, field, roller), gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, handball, baseball, softball, lacrosse, racquetball, tennis, squash, track and field, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, surfing, water polo, wrestling, and weightlifting.

Looking for a dentist in Surrey to make you a custom mouthguard? Call us at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry today!