Do you wake up and head to the closest coffee shop for a quick fix of coffee? Does it affect your day if you don’t have your caffeinated beverage? You are not alone. Canadians everywhere love to have their Tim Hortons in the morning, and sometimes throughout the day. The problem is many of those beverages are terrible for your smile due to the amount of sugar. And for many, it can be a shocking discovery to find out just how much sugar is involved in their daily. For some, it’s comparable to eating a candy bar.
A Tim Hortons double-double has four teaspoons of sugar in it and another teaspoon of sugar from the cream, similar to a 50 g Caramilk bar.
Both the Iced Capp and the Iced Capp Light have 39 grams of sugar in their medium sizes — almost 10 teaspoons.
McCafe’s Vanilla Chai Iced Frappe has a whopping 19 teaspoons — or 79 grams — of sugar.
One medium Mango Pineapple Real Fruit Smoothie has about 14 teaspoons, or 57 g, of sugar, because it is made from concentrates and purees, not real fruit.
Many believe drinking matcha tea is a healthy choice, but Starbucks grande matcha tea latte has 6 teaspoons or sugar.
The grande caramel Frappuccino is more like a desert with its 13 teaspoons of sugar.
Because these drinks have become a daily favorite, and are so sugary sweet, they can really do some damage to our smiles, it is important to look after your teeth afterwards. Rinsing your mouth with water after drinking coffee if a toothbrush isn’t handy is a great rule of thumb. The longer sugar remains on your teeth, the easier it is for bacteria to do some damage.
We all can admit that a telltale sign of old age is wrinkles. It’s a fact of life and there is nothing we can do to reverse time. They appear in various areas on our face – one such area is the corners of our mouth. There is a muscle that attaches the corners of our mouth to the border of the lower jaw that motivates facial expression. Specifically, it allows us to frown. And if we frown a lot, we are likely to over-develop this muscle. The consequence is “jowl lines”, wrinkles from the corners of the mouth to the bottom of the lower jaw.
Unfortunately, jowl lines don’t mean you’re a grumpy person. You can get jowl lines just from unconsciously clenching and grinding your teeth, especially during sleep, but even during the awake hours. This unconscious habit is called bruxism. Your dentist can, with some confidence, diagnose you as having bruxism if you have obvious signs of excessive wear on your teeth that cannot be attributed to what you eat and chew. If you are told you have bruxism, don’t fight it. Excessive wear of your teeth is forensic evidence you are unconsciously doing it during the daytime, or you are doing it while you are in certain stages of sleep.
So, what do you do with this newfound habit? Well, your dentist can make you a custom, calibrated oral appliance that gives you an ideal bite. This ideal bite will lessen the tendency to clench and grind. The bite appliances are not obtrusive nor obviously visible, especially if your dentist makes it to fit over your lower teeth. To repair developed jowl lines, ask your dentist about botox injections or dermal fillers at your next checkup.
We all try to do our best to keep our smile as healthy as we possibly can, but we aren’t always the most regimented of soldiers. And because of those slip-ups, we develop dental issues. The problem is, we aren’t capable of diagnosing these types of issues – that is for the dental professional and why we need to keep our dental appointments. Because the longer we delay getting treatment, the worse the condition gets. The following are the most common dental issues Canadians currently have and how to prevent them from happening:
Oral cancer. According to the Canadian Dental Association, 5,400 Canadians and 1,500 will die from the affliction. Those are some scary odds. Because oral cancer can develop in the gums, lips, cheeks, tongue, and roof & floor of the mouth, it can spread to the jaw and lymph nodes. Because regular use of smoking and alcohol is a common cause, minimizing these bad habits will help, especially when you get regular checkups.
Gum disease. Another very common dental issue is gum disease, something that affects 7 of every 10 Canadians within their lifetime. Gum disease generally develops from poor dental hygiene practices. When you ignore your smile, you develop plaque which is where gingivitis occurs, and eventually leading to tooth loss. Avoid this by brushing twice a day for two minutes, flossing and keeping your dental cleaning visits.
Tooth decay. When it comes to the little ones, cavities are the most common dental issue. Bacteria is formed and its acid eats away at your teeth, making the holes we know as cavities. Poor dental hygiene, and copious amounts of sweets and carbohydrates are the main cause of this malady, so make sure to look after your smile.
When we begin to develop jaw pain, it can be cause for worry. After all, this is our jawbone – it helps us speak, chew and loads of other essential daily activities. If something is wrong with it and it goes untreated, it can cause issues down the road.
If you find that your jaw is slipping out of joint, you may be developing TMJ disorder. For some patients, the jaw can slip back into place; for others, it needs to be manually popped back into place by a physician. Eventually, this will begin to wear down the tendon, muscles and cartilage. In order to get a proper diagnosis, you will need to get a professional evaluation. This will likely include a CT scan and/or an MRI.
If it is diagnosed that you have developed some form of TMJ disorder, the treatment will depend on the progression that has already taken place. For the milder conditions, prescriptions are given for inflammation and pain. And because TMJ can be caused by stress, exercise and meditation can also help aid in the alleviation of pain. Night guards and hot or cold therapy are also some DIY options that can also help. Botox injection can be used to
relieve pain caused by TMD by relaxing the muscles.
If you appear to have a more acute condition, you may need to have some surgery. TMJ arthroscopy or arthrocentesis is a minimally invasive procedure that can be done as outpatient surgery. The recovery time for this procedure is about a week. A total joint replacement may also be the ultimate treatment. It will require a hospital stay and recovery is close to six weeks. So, if you are beginning to feel some jaw pain, be sure to get it checked as soon as possible.
When becoming a new parent, there are loads of resources available to help guide you through every step of the way. But one area that tends to be overlooked, by even the most attentive parent, is dental care. If the baby doesn’t have teeth, why would this even be a concern, right? Wrong. Just because your tiny human doesn’t have teeth, doesn’t mean their mouth should be ignored. The more pristine the conditions are when teeth do decide to make their appearance, the healthier they will be.
In order to stay on top of your baby’s future smile, here are some tips to keep in mind as their teeth prepare to come in:
Baby bottle tooth decay occurs when sweet liquids, like juices or formula, linger around in your child’s mouth. When you put your child down for a nap with a bottle of formula, or dip a pacifier in some sugary syrup, bad bacteria indulge in the sugars they crave. This causes teeth to decay and become more prone to infection as they continue to come in. Water is a better option during sleeping hours.
But they’re going to fall out – does it matter if they fall out prematurely? Losing teeth too early can cause issues with speaking, eating or other dental issues going forward. We need to look after all of our teeth, regardless of when they show up.
As for a dental routine – if your child doesn’t have teeth yet, make sure to wipe down their gums with a cloth after they eat or drink anything. As teeth begin to come in, brush them without toothpaste. As they continue to grow, make their first dental appointment. You dentist will be able to offer any recommendations you will need going forward.
When it comes to sleeping, we all know that it is important to make sure a solid night’s sleep each and every night. Unfortunately, many of us suffer from some sort of sleep issue. And for many, that sleep issue is sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when tissue in the back of the throat collapses, blocking the airway and reducing the amount of oxygen delivered to major organs, like your heart and brain. In severe cases, it will necessitate a CPAP machine while you sleep; for others, it can be aided through the use of essential oils. Here is a crash course in what you need to know about these various essential oils and the ways you can utilize them as you sleep:
Rubbing the oil into your chest, neck, beneath your nostrils and the heels of the feet
Diluting the oil in a glass of water as a gargle mixture or a spray
Using a diffuser near your bed — a diffuser this a great solution as oils can be inhaled over longer periods of time.
Valerian root. An herb used for calming and sedating properties, valerian is shown to be useful for insomnia and chronic sleep disorders.
Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is secreted from the brain’s pineal gland. The gland regulates a person’s biological clock, particularly day and night cycles.
Kampo extract. Kampo is a concoction consisting of five medicinal herbs: Pinella, Hoelen, Magnolia bark, Perilla, and Ginger.
Vervain. Vervain is oftentimes used to relieve anxiety and depression. It has been shown to improve mild sleep apnea symptoms.
Are you a fan of drinking tea? Is it the one hot beverage you go to when you want to warm up your bones? You aren’t alone. Every second, people around the world consume 25,000 cups of tea. That’s 2.16 billion cups of tea each day! Tea is loved so much that the United Nations declared May 21stInternational Tea Day to celebrate the importance of tea in our lives in order to promote its production and consumption.
You may not be aware, but tea is not only helping solve issues of poverty and hunger around the world. There are millions of families in developing countries that base their entire livelihood on producing tea for all of us around the world. And because tea is a way to stave off hunger, it is consumed by many remote, disadvantaged countries. Tea is not only fantastic with its health benefits, like preventing tooth loss, but is also a cornerstone to many cultures.
But it doesn’t matter if you love your tea hot or iced, if you’re a superfan, you know that it begins to stain your teeth after some time. This is why it is very important to keep up with your daily dental hygiene. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day, floss and rinse to ensure that your stains stay away for as long as possible. At your regular checkups, you can mention any whitening treatments you would like to brighten your smile. So, enjoy your cup of tea. Not only will it heal your body and soothe your soul, but it is also helping your fellow man.
Every year on April 14th, the world gets together to share a good laugh. Created in 1997 by Izzy Gesell, International Moment of Laughter Day was put into place to remind people that laughter is the best medicine. He said, “Laughter comes right after breathing as just about the healthiest thing you can do. It relieves stress, instills optimism, raises self-confidence, defuses resistance to change, and enhances all your relationships.”
To celebrate this incredibly positive day, we present you with a quick checklist of rules to keeping your smile bright and shiny enough to show off:
Brush twice a day for at least two minutes each session
Floss at least once a day
Rinse with fluoride mouthwash to loosen stuck debris
Limit daily snacks, and opt for healthier ones that those full of sugar
Visit the dentist every 3-6 months for regular checkups and cleanings
When brushing your teeth, time alone isn’t the only factor – you need to make sure that every surface is brushed and cleaned as thoroughly as possible for optimum dental health. And brush all of your teeth, not just the ones people can see. Use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to your gums, back teeth and all areas around dental work to give yourself the best cleaning.
Flossing is one of those things everyone pretends they do, but rarely do. When it comes to flossing, follow the following technique:
Start with about 18 inches of floss, hold it between your thumbs and index fingers, then gently slide it in between the gaps of your teeth. Slowly move the floss back-and-forth to bring it away from your teeth without causing any harm. Your dental appointments are going to be a breeze!
When we think about dental procedures, we generally think about teeth and gums, but there are a few lesser-known bits that can require necessary dental attention. One of these is the frenulum. Frenulum is a thin connective tissue that connects one surface to another inside the mouth. We have three types – lingual frenulum connects our tongue to the bottom of our mouth, labial frenulum connects attaches the lips to the gums (top and bottom at our front teeth) and buccal frena attaches our gums to the sides of our cheeks. In fact, you can see your frenum if you look in a mirror. Lift your tongue to see your lingual frenulum, pull your upper or lower lip to expose your labial frenulum. That’s your frenulum!
Now, this will only really become a problem if the frenulum is elongated and here’s why. As an infant, having an elongated lingual frenum may cause issues feeding, because babies need their tongues to suckle milk. If left untreated, it will cause speech issues as they become a toddler and begun to speak. And if it’s the labial frena that is elongated, it may cause orthodontic issues because it could cause gaps as permanent teeth start to come in. Many times, the issue can be remedied with braces.
Thankfully, there are plenty of natural, non-invasive options to try first. But if that doesn’t help, there is a simple procedure that can remedy any abnormal frenulum issues – a frenectomy. So simple you are in and out within fifteen minutes. Even recovery time is minimal – if you keep it clean and follow aftercare instructions, you’ll be back to normal within two weeks.
Now that we are full swing in the new year, it is time to take a moment to think about improving the health of you and your family. After all, we are trying to make our children as comfortable as possible during this time, so we may become a bit lax when it comes to our dental health. And let’s face it, you aren’t the biggest fan of visiting the dentist, so you may not enforce appointments while they still have their baby teeth. But the best time to start taking care of your child’s teeth is the moment that your child is born. Because even without teeth, bacteria can build up and cause damage as teeth begin to develop. So, let’s talk dental health tips for your tiny humans:
Before the first tooth breaks, wipe your baby’s gums with a soft damp cloth after every feeding. Once they begin to come in, it’s time to start brushing twice a day. Use a soft children’s toothbrush and minimal to non-fluoride toothpaste until they reach preschool-age, when the amount of toothpaste increases to the size of a pea.
Good habits start at home, so why not make this a family affair? We all need to take care of our teeth if we want to keep them – start by teaching your family good dental hygiene habits. Everyone needs to be involved get the habit to stick.
When it comes to dental visits, parents should take their children in for an appointment as soon as their first tooth pops out, but no longer than the child’s first birthday. Your dentist will look for any early signs and symptoms of problems.