Is Your Dentin Getting in the Way of 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 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.



Does Your Child Suck Their Thumb? You Need to Read This!

We all know that babies (and even toddlers) naturally suck their thumbs or use pacifiers and other objects to maintain a calmness, happiness, to help themselves fall asleep…or just out of general curiosity.

The problem with this, however, is that it can become a problem once their permanent teeth come in. It can interfere with the growth of their mouths, including changes in the roof of their mouths. It can also lead to misalignment. For aggressive thumbsuckers, it can even create problems with their baby teeth.  dangers of thumbsucking

It can also lead to sore thumbs. In severe cases, they could even crack and bleed or get infected…so then it becomes a health issue too. Not to mention, babies hands are often covered in germs.

So the obvious question then is: How Can I Help My Child Stop this Habit?

  • Get to the root of the problem. Find out why they may be seeking the comfort of thumbsucking – it is often when they are insecure or need comfort.
    For example: maybe it is too dark in their room at night and you could purchase a special kid-friendly lighting contraption that lights up the walls and ceiling or a fun night light to make it less daunting and distract them until they fall asleep.
  • Instead of just automatically giving them a pacifier or allowing them to suck their thumb, try rocking, massaging, or playing with them.
  • Give them activities to keep both hands busy.
  • Boost your child’s confidence by praising them for not thumbsucking.
  • For children who are old enough, ask your dentist to explain to them the importance of not thumbsucking so that they understand it is more than just their parents telling them “Don’t do that!”. It’s important to educate them as to WHY they should not do that.
  • Show your child YouTube videos about thumbsucking. As with the dentist talking to them, often it just takes someone youtube
    other than mom or dad to motivate them to stop.
  • Don’t confront them in a negative way – that will just cause them more anxiety. It is better to just nicely ask them “Do you realize you are sucking your thumb now?” Getting them in the habit of being more self-aware can work wonders.
  • Find an alternate item that they can focus on such as a stuffed animal or a blanket. 
When concerned or in doubt, ask your  stuffed animaldentist! They’re always there to be of help!

    Looking for a family dentist in the Surrey area? Call us to book an appointment at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry today!


Let’s Close Off February By Acknowledging That It’s National Children’s Dental Health Month

Did you know that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month? We collected some of our best blog posts from the past that are really important to keep top of mind when it comes to oral health – even starting from pregnancy!

Pregnancy and Oral Health  february national children's dental health month

Common Questions About Baby Teeth

7 Tips for Soothing Your Teething Baby 

5 Tips to Make Brushing Fun for Kids

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

Tips for Maintaining Teeth from Infants to Adults

Dental Sealants – It’s Better to Be Proactive than Reactive

The Parental Role of the Tooth Fairy

So do yourself a favor and do your kids a favor and give these a gander. If your kids are old enough, it’s great to read some together too! The more education you can have, the fewer dental challenges and expenses you will have down the road.

Looking for a family dentist in Surrey? We are accepting new patients. Healthy and happy smiles are our specialty!

Interesting Facts About The History of the Toothbrush

There are many things that we use and kind of just take for granted and/or don’t know the history of.  The toothbrush is one of them…

history of the toothbrushDid you know that the toothbrush is over 5000 years old?

Ancient civilizations used to thin twigs with frayed ends to dislodge food from between their teeth, kind of like today’s version of the toothpick. They called them “chew sticks”.

Later on, they started to use wood, ivory, bone, and bristles of animals such as boars and hogs.

Did you know that the first mass-produced toothbrush was invented in prison?

Well, it’s common knowledge that inmates have nothing but time on their hands, so this really isn’t too surprising to hear, but nonetheless, interesting.

Back in 1770, a gentleman by the name of William Addis from England was put in jail for starting a riot. His fellow prisoners at the time used a rag covered in salt or soot to clean their teeth.

Having an entrepreneurial mindset, he saved an animal bone from dinner and then got a guard to give him bristles. He made tiny holes in the bone and inserted the bristles, then ensured they would stay in place by sealing the holes with glue. Pretty brilliant!

When he finally got released from jail, he improved his original invention and started a company to make toothbrushes.

The modern bristled toothbrush made of nylon that you would find in stores today was invented in 1938. Many people found these too hard, but by the 1950s, softer nylon bristles were being made.

See…you really do learn something new everyday!

Looking for a personable and highly professional dental clinic in Surrey? Call us at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry. We would love to welcome you and your family as a new patient!

Don’t Use Your Teeth As Tools

Chances are high that you or someone you know has used their teeth as tools before.

For example:

  • Ripping open packages  don't use teeth as tools
  • Tearing tape
  • Opening a bottle of beer
  • Taking tags off of new clothes
  • Holding things between your teeth such as nails when hanging something, pens, other random things when your hands aren’t free
  • Tearing open bags of chips

The list goes on…

It may seem totally harmless, but the extra pressure can actually cause a lot of damage, such as cracks, chips, harm to enamel, and in extreme cases, even loss of a tooth. It can even cause your teeth to shift, especially if you are currently using Invisalign where your teeth are already moving.

Can you imagine having to end up getting a dental implant just because you didn’t take a minute to grab a pair of scissors or a knife? And consider the expense that goes along with that…for something that could have been very easily prevented. Or you may have to get bonding or porcelain veneers.

Save yourself the trouble and use your teeth for what they were designed for – chewing your food and to helping you speak.

You only have one set of adult teeth to last you a lifetime – take care of them and don’t fall into any bad habits.

Need a family or cosmetic dentist in Surrey? Give us a call today at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry!

Has Activated Charcoal Toothpaste Peaked Your Interest?

If you are active on Instagram and Facebook, chances are very high that you have come face to face with an ad for activated charcoal toothpaste, as it is being pegged as one of the latest trends to whiten your teeth. (Although it’s not a new invention – back in ancient Roman times, people used charcoal in powdered form as an ingredient in their toothpaste.) Not to mention, it seems so much easier and less time intensive than other options. And because it seems so easy – because it’s literally just brushing like with regular toothpaste – it makes people wonder if it really works.

activated charcoal toothpaste

Tons of people swear by it, including social media influencers and bloggers. That said, there are dentists who have concerns about the risks that may be associated with use of it. There is thought that if you use charcoal toothpaste on a long-term basis, it may be too abrasive and possibly wear away at your tooth enamel. (And we know that once tooth enamel wears away, it’s gone for good, so it is something that you need to take seriously.)

When tooth enamel breaks down, the dentin (the layer beneath your enamel) then becomes more visible. Why is this a problem? It’s an issue because dentin has a yellowish tinge, so it can then make your teeth look more yellow or stained…which is the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve.

When it comes to teeth whitening, it is better to be safe than sorry and get a product straight from your dentist’s office, or make an appointment for a professional whitening in the clinic.

Looking for professional teeth whitening in Surrey? Come see us at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry! Call us to book your appointment today: 604-593-8201

Healthy Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Your Loved Ones

Did you begin your holiday shopping yet? With Christmas just a little over a month away, you better get started soon!

Sure, everyone likes chocolates and other goodies in their stockings, but how about including some fun and quality dental products? Everyone needs these after all, so if you give these as gifts, they would be saving on their next trip to the drugstore or grocery store too!

Plus, giving products that can contribute positively to their health will make you feel good too!

Here’s Some Stocking Stuffer Ideas:

  • Electric toothbrushes – battery operated ones decorated with cartoon characters for kids or more high-end ones like Oral B, Pursonic, or Sonicare for teens of adults
  • Replacement heads for electronic toothbrushes     healthy stocking stuffers
  • Waterpik – more effective than dental floss to reduce plaque & gum disease
  • Glittery and fun toothpastes for kids
  • Good quality toothpaste for adults
  • Easy teeth flossers…mint flavoured of course!
  • A timer to help people track that they are brushing for at least 2 minutes
  • Mouthwash
  • Nice toothbrush holder for the bathroom counter at home or a portable one for vacation
  • Sugar free gum to chew after meals

Happy Shopping!

P.S. Do you or your children need a good teeth cleaning before the holidays at a dental clinic in Surrey? Or maybe you want to pre-book one for the New Year after you have over-indulged? Call us today: 604-592-8201.




Love Cheese? Love Your Teeth? Here’s What You Need to Know!

It’s rare to find someone who doesn’t like to indulge in a little cheese here and there. Cheese is a great addition to so many foods, and with the huge variety of different cheeses available, it’s hard to ever get tired of it.

Oh and the best news of all – cheese is actually good for your teeth! Studies show that it may actually help prevent cavities from forming.

How can cheese help your teeth?  cheese teeth tips

Naturally, our mouths have a slightly acidic pH. When we eat or drink anything that lowers our pH even more, it can negatively affect our tooth enamel. Cheese can actually heighten your pH for half an hour after eating. This is how your teeth become more protected.

In what other ways can cheese help?

For starters, it stimulates saliva. Saliva helps keep the acidity low in your mouth and helps cleanse your teeth. Cheese is also high in a chemical called casein phosphate that lowers the acidity in your mouth. The casein phosphate makes your teeth more resistant to decay. Lastly, cheese actually forms a film around your teeth, protecting them from acid.

Now before you get too carried away and go buy a huge surplus of cheese at the grocery store, you need to make note of a few things:

Processed cheese is not good for your teeth (or for your body for that matter). It is imperative that you stick to real cheese. Also, full-fat or low-fat cheeses both make the cut – they will both benefit your teeth in the same way. Oh, and we don’t want you gaining a bunch of weight now from this good news – all you need is a slice…no need to go overboard.

Cheese will best protect your teeth if you eat it during your meal…and save a bite for the end of your meal.

Need some guidance as to which cheeses may be the best for you to buy? Try these:

  • Aged cheese such as cheddar or Monterey jack
  • Blue cheese such as roquefort and gorgonzola
  • Soft, ripened cheese such as camembert and brie

It is important to note that for ultimate health, you need to ensure that your overall diet is working for you best interests. You don’t want to be eating a bunch of sugary foods and just think that cheese will protect you. You still need to focus on consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables and lean proteins.

Looking for a dentist in Surrey to keep those teeth of yours in top condition? Call us to book an appointment now: 604-593-8201. 




7 Great Reasons to Smile

It goes without saying that a smile is the best accessory that you can wear…especially if you take care of your teeth!

Aside from that, we have even more great benefits a nice smile can bring to your life…

benefits of smiling

It’s HEALTHY to smile. It actually boosts your immune system! Smiling   helps your body relax and this lets the immune system react more quickly and effectively against invaders. Pretty fascinating stuff!

It makes you FEEL GOOD and brings out the HAPPY VIBES! It directly affects certain brain activities that are associated with happiness.

It BUILDS TRUST! People feel more comfortable around someone who is smiling because they come across as warmer, friendlier, and more trustworthy. That is why smiling is so important to be successful in business too! Oh, and make sure you smile at your job interviews.

Which leads us to the next one….  

It AFFECTS RESULTS and creates an environment where people can really succeed as an individual and also as part of a team.

It POSITIVELY IMPACTS SALES because it makes you more enthusiastic for a product and instills positive feelings in a buyer.

It CONVEYS EMOTION by building a strong emotional connection and bond with other people.

It ACTS AS A MAGNET because it draws people in with warmth and helps connect people…sometimes instantly, which can be especially beneficial in dating! (No one wants to date the grumpy person in the room, after all.) Plus, one smile can create another smile, and another smile…kind of like a ripple effect. It is really hard not to automatically smile if someone smiles at you.

So, smile at yourself in the mirror, and remember to bring that smile out into the world with you too. It will not only make you feel great, but it will make everyone around you feel better too!

Need to improve your smile so that you feel more confident? We offer cosmetic dentistry in Surrey! Contact us today to book an appointment: 604-593-8201.

The Parental Role of “Tooth Fairy”

If you are a new parent, you have also automatically taken on the role of “Tooth Fairy”. A baby tooth falls out, your child places the tooth under their pillow, and in the morning, they look forward to finding a nice little cash surprise!

This is repeated, of course, until the child has lost all of their baby teeth.  tooth fairy

So, how much are you supposed to give your child in exchange for their tooth? Well, to your luck, there is actually an online calculator for this. Someone always thinks of everything!

CLICK HERE to find out what the going rate is for a tooth in Canada. Too cute!

This is also a great way to start the conversation of money and saving with your child. Encourage them to save their new-found money and put it in their piggy bank. With about 20 baby teeth, a child can accumulate a nice chunk of change.

Oh…and it’s important to be in the know as to the status of your child’s teeth. You wouldn’t want them placing a tooth under their pillow without you knowing, or you could have A LOT of explaining to do…

 Need a caring dentist for your family in Surrey / Delta? CALL US at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry and book an appointment today: 604-593-8201.