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Back to School Dental Checkup Cleaning Victoria BC

Back to School

It might seem unbelievable, but summer is almost at an end! Soon, children will be back in their classrooms ready to learn for the new school year. As for the parents, they have a million things on their mind.

Before your kids start school again, what are some things you need to check? Here is a handy list of five things you should do to get ready for the start of school.

  1. Buy School Supplies

This one is pretty obvious. Before your kids start school, they need to be stocked up on all their supplies! Thankfully, most stores are running specials this time of year, which means you can find school supplies galore for affordable prices. If you need some help figuring out what to buy, many schools send out a checklist for parents to consult. If your school does not, then you can check out one of the many helpful checklists online.

School supply needs will differ depending on your child’s age, but in general, you should make sure they have a backpack, lunch box, water bottle, binder, and plenty of notebooks and pencils.

  1. Get Everyone Back on Schedule

Summer can be a chaotic time. Whether your kids have been attending camps or group activities, they likely have had a bit more leeway now that school nights are a thing of the past. With all the excitement, it’s no wonder that bedtimes have been pushed back a bit, while wake-up times have also gotten later. With the sunset later than ever and tons of things to do, no kid wants to go to bed.

But with a few weeks to go before school starts, now is the perfect time to start adjusting everyone’s sleep schedule. You can begin by just pushing it back a bit or instituting a mandatory “quiet time” starting at eight or nine o’clock.

  1. Get Everyone Up-to-date on Medical Needs

Many schools require school physicals to participate in sports and annual vaccinations to attend class. The end of summer is the perfect time to schedule these appointments. Knock them all out at the end of the summer before the school year starts so that your kids are ready on their first day.

It’s also the perfect time to schedule their dental cleaning. Your children should visit the dentist twice a year. The end of the summer is the ideal time, while you’re getting all the other medical appointments out of the way.

This also gives us the chance to evaluate your children’s individual dental needs. If your kids are nearing the age where they might need braces, we can review their need and make a recommendation for an orthodontist before the school year gets underway.

There are many things to do to get ready for school, and it may seem overwhelming! But don’t worry — knock out the essentials to make sure your kids are ready for the first day of school. Then join all the other parents in breathing a sigh of relief.

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National Relaxation Day - How Does Stress Affect Your Teeth

National Relaxation Day

National Relaxation Day

Aug. 15 is National Relaxation Day, and it’s just in time! Even though summer is the holiday season, that doesn’t mean that adults get any time off. So, as the summer draws to a close, you might be feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation, so to say.

Life can be hectic, and often, you may be carrying stress in ways you don’t even realize. Stress can affect you physically, even if you’re not aware of it. In particular, it can affect your teeth, which, in turn, can affect your overall oral health.

How Does Stress Affect Your Teeth?

Stress affects your teeth in several ways. One of the most common ways is by increasing your risk of bruxism. This is the technical term for grinding or clenching your teeth. Although it is associated with sleep, bruxism can happen at any time, and you may not even realize that you are doing it. What is more, it is most commonly associated with emotional stress.

Bruxism isn’t only uncomfortable or even painful but can also have some serious effects on your teeth. Frequent grinding or clenching your teeth — which is often uncontrollable or subconscious — can wear away at your enamel, increasing your risk of breakage and decay. It can also cause jaw pain, poor sleep, loose teeth, and headaches.

We may recommend that you start wearing a nightguard if you grind your teeth in your sleep. If you suffer from daytime bruxism, you can also find custom-fitted mouth guards that are clear and discreet.

But bruxism isn’t the only way that stress can damage your teeth. A common side effect of stress is a decrease in saliva, leading to a dry mouth. This can be a serious problem for your oral health. Saliva is the first line of defence against harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.

When your mouth dries out, it creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and thrive. What is more, under chronic stress, people often neglect their oral care routine. This leads to poor dental health and can cause pain, decay, cavities, and even increase your risk of certain cancers.

What Are the Best Ways to Protect Your Teeth From Stress?

Ideally, people need to cut out their stress to help improve their oral health. But realistically, that is not always doable. The best way to protect your teeth from the effects of stress is to be diligent about your oral care and speak to us about your concerns. We may recommend you start using a mouth guard to help improve your oral health.

In the meantime, look for ways to manage your stress. This is important not just for your dental health, but also for your mental and physical health. This might mean practising relaxation exercises, seeing a counsellor, taking prescribed medication, or even just pursuing a relaxing hobby.

And of course, you should take the occasional day to relax — like National Relaxation Day.

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National Refreshment Day

The fourth Thursday in July is National Refreshment Day. This holiday might not have been around for a long time, but it is the perfect day to celebrate during the dog days of summer. Launched in 2015 by Traveler Beer Company, it’s a day to slow down, cool down, and throw down a couple of ice-cold beers.

Of course, while beer — as well as other alcoholic drinks — are tasty, they can also seriously damage your teeth. Here are a few ways you can protect your pearly whites if you decide to imbibe on this little-known holiday.

Stay hydrated.

The first thing you might think of when considering alcohol and oral health is sugar. And it’s true — alcohol does tend to have high sugar content, making it a potentially damaging drink for your enamel and gums. But there is a second, equally concerning aspect to how alcohol affects your oral health. It causes dehydration, which decreases the amount of saliva you produce. Since saliva is your mouth’s first defense against bacteria, a lack of it means that you are more likely to develop cavities and other oral problems.

Thankfully, the best way to minimize this damage is simply to stay hydrated. For every alcoholic drink you have, you should also have an eight-ounce glass of water — that’s just water, no ice.

Choose dry drinks over sweet ones.

This one might seem pretty self-explanatory, but it bears repeating. Alcohol contains a lot of sugar. Well, to be more accurate, wine and liquor contain sugar, although light beer contains less than half a gram of sugar, and regular beer contains none at all. But other types of alcohol can be extremely hard on your teeth due to their sugar content.

Wine is a big culprit. Not only is it much higher in sugar than beer, but red wines tend to stain the enamel, leaving your teeth discoloured. While regular dry wines have lower sugar content, dessert wines like sweet reds can have as much as eight grams of sugar per serving. For this reason, it may be better to choose a drier option.

Use whitening toothpaste.

If you like darker alcoholic drinks like dark beers and red wines, you may find that they tend to stain your enamel. The good news is that that doesn’t necessarily mean your teeth will be noticeably purple after a night of drinking. The bad news is that it does mean long-term effects like discolouration and a dull appearance.

If you plan on drinking a dark-coloured alcoholic drink, consider switching to a whitening toothpaste that will remove stains from your enamel. In the meantime, you may want to consider switching to a different drink or cutting back on how often you drink. After all, cutting back on alcohol improves the health of many different parts of your body, not only the mouth!

As long as you take care of your teeth, there’s no harm in an occasional drink. This Thursday, crack open a cold drink and enjoy! 🍻

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Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day

The third Saturday in July is Toss Away The “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day. If you’ve never heard of this unusual holiday, it’s all about moving forward.

On Toss Away The “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day, everyone is encouraged to write down all the things in their life that are holding them back. On this day, step away from past worries and regrets and focus entirely on the present.

Summer may seem like an odd time to be making resolutions like this, but it’s actually the perfect time of the year. Things are slower and quieter. This hot-weather lull is the ideal time to reflect on the things that are keeping you from fully appreciating the present.

So, what are some things that you can let go of on this Toss Away The “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day?

1. Paths not taken

It is easy to play back past decisions and wonder if things could have been better. But just remember that the choices you made in the past made you who you are today! So today, toss away all the thoughts of “I could have had a better job” or “I should have moved to a different home” and focus on new choices going forward. After all, no one can change the past!

2. Things you failed to achieve

There are few things that sting more than dreams you tried to achieve and just simply fell short of. Whether it was a failed exam, a flubbed interview, or a broken relationship, those failures leave a mark, making it difficult to move past them. But it is important to remember that no one is defined by their failures. Encourage yourself to remember your triumphs as well, maybe by writing them down after you toss your failures in the trash.

3. Not being good enough

There are so many reasons that we beat ourselves up. Whether we don’t feel like we’ve reached our full potential or we’re frustrated with the same failures again and again, it is all too easy to give ourselves more blame than we deserve. On this Toss Away The “Could Haves” and “Should Haves”, resolve not to define yourself by your past failures or by criteria you measure yourself by. Instead, set realistic goals for yourself and resolve to try your best. None of us can do any better than that!

What’s Next?

So, what should you do after you toss away your “could haves” and “should haves”?

Follow it up with a couple of resolutions about how things will be, going forward. Maybe this is the time to challenge yourself to try something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet dared to. Or maybe you want to make simple daily resolutions — something as simple as improving your dental care or scheduling an annual checkup.

No matter how big or small your goals are, they should be about looking forward. That’s what this day is all about!

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International Kissing Day

It’s International Kissing Day, and that means — well, it means that you should go give your loved ones a kiss. At Victoria Dental, we know that kissing is one of many things that can affect the health of your mouth. But don’t worry, we won’t regale you with any icky details about bacteria. Instead, here are five interesting facts about your mouth.

1. Enamel

Enamel is the hardest substance in your entire body. This is the outermost layer of your teeth — the layer that you see when you talk, laugh, or smile. But even though it is incredibly hard, enamel can still be damaged by unhealthy eating or oral hygiene practices, like chewing on ice or neglecting to brush your teeth every day.

2. Taste Buds

The average person has 10,000 taste buds, the tiny buds on your tongue that help you sense and process flavour in food and other substances. However, you will have much more than 10,000 taste buds over the course of your life. Your body completely replaces them every two weeks. Taste buds also don’t work alone — they need saliva to help them taste food.

3. Saliva

Saliva might seem disgusting to you, but it is actually a highly complex part of the mouth and plays a significant role there. Not only is it instrumental in tasting food, but it also is a vital part of helping prevent tooth decay. Saliva helps wash away harmful bacteria so that it doesn’t sit on your enamel all day and eat away at it.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s free of its own bacteria. In fact, one millimetre holds roughly 100 million individual bacteria. Just think about that the next time you swallow. On top of that, the average person produces between one and two litres of saliva every single day.

4. Teeth

You may not believe it, but teeth are highly unique. Your teeth and your tongue print are as unique to you as your fingerprints are. Archaeologists can tell an enormous amount of information about the people whose teeth they find. This includes everything from their diet during their life to their age when they died, and sometimes even their cause of death.

Your teeth are actually living bones, and they still have the capacity to grow and shift during your lifetime. However, they are no longer likely to develop significantly after you reach adulthood.

5. Tongue

The tongue is a unique part of your mouth for a number of reasons. It is the only muscle in the body that is not attached to your bones in any way. Instead, it is attached to your throat by a slim layer of tissue. But, size being relative, it is the strongest muscle in your body. It might be more fitting to say groups of muscles because the tongue is actually made up of muscle sections designed to help you speak, eat, and push food around in your mouth and towards your throat.

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Compliment Your Mirror

July 3 is Compliment Your Mirror Day, a holiday that most people probably don’t know about. It’s a day for people to practice self-acceptance and self-esteem by speaking directly to their reflection and reminding themselves of their own self-worth!

Looking in the mirror can be difficult for many people: About 64 percent of people say they’re not happy with the way that they look. And while practicing self-acceptance is important, it’s also important to take care of yourself.

One of the top things that many people feel uncomfortable about is their smile. Crooked teeth and enamel stains may have you feeling self-conscious.

The good news is, there are options for you to correct the way your teeth look. Many people report an increase in their self-esteem after simply just having their teeth whitened. There are also many additional benefits to whitening:

1. Improved Oral Health

One indirect result of having your teeth whitened is improved oral hygiene. Many people tend to take better care of their teeth and mouth after their whitening treatments. This means that you won’t just feel and look better; you’ll also avoid cavities and damage to your enamel as well as gum disease. Additionally, you’ll cut back on your risk of diseases like periodontitis and oral cancer.

2. Easy Maintenance

Believe it or not, it’s actually very easy to keep your teeth looking great once you undergo whitening treatments. After your initial treatment, you can “refresh” your whitening job at home with homecare whitening kits. These usually take about 30 minutes once every few weeks.

In addition to regular “touch-ups” you can make a habit of using whitening toothpaste and mouthwash. Whitening toothpaste usually uses baking soda to gently remove food and drink stains from your enamel.

Another easy way to keep your teeth looking clean and white is to curb your intake of food and drink that stains enamel, such as coffee, tea, and red wine. You can have these in moderation, but the more you have, the more you risk staining your pearly whites. Tobacco products can also stain your teeth as well as increase your risk of oral cancer, so they’re better avoided.

3. A Better Look Without Damage

Whitening teeth through a chemical tooth whitening process is much less damaging than other treatments intended to brighten your smile, such as veneers. Putting veneers on requires your dentist to “etch” your teeth first to allow the veneers to properly bond to your tooth. This means that you lose tooth structure. Chemical whitening, on the other hand, is a simple way to remove surface stains from enamel without destroying the structure of your teeth, which can cause pain and deterioration.

What’s more, studies have shown that brighter, whiter smiles are one of the best ways to appear more youthful. So, if you’re concerned about showing your age, before you get cosmetic surgery or spend a bundle on anti-aging serums, consider whitening your teeth.

And above all, remember to be kind to yourself on Compliment Your Mirror Day!

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National Toothbrush Day

National Toothbrush Day is here, and it’s time to celebrate! Well, maybe you’re not celebrating this holiday with a party or gifts, but there’s no reason not to observe it.

Did you know that it is recommended for you to change your toothbrush every three months? Or, if it’s frayed, you should replace it even sooner. You should also get a new toothbrush if you have recently been sick, especially if you had an norovirus or a similar illness.

So what should you look for in a toothbrush?

Soft Bristles

You might think that harder bristles are tougher when it comes to scrubbing bacteria off your teeth, but the opposite is actually true. Soft bristles are gentle on your gums and more effective at removing plaque, debris, and bacteria from your enamel. Soft bristles can also reach more effectively into the spaces between your teeth and along your gum line.

Harder bristles are uncomfortable for many people. What is more, they have the potential to cause gum bleeding, which is one way to get an infection if bacteria from your mouth reach your bloodstream. Hard bristles can also cause the gum line to recede, which can increase the sensitivity of your teeth and cause pain when you eat or drink.

Smaller Head

With toothbrushes, bigger isn’t necessarily better. You want a smaller head that you can easily maneuver around your mouth. A larger toothbrush can make it difficult to reach your back molars or other parts of your mouth, so it doesn’t usually clean your teeth as effectively.

As for the shape of the head and the grip of the toothbrush, those are up to you. The main point is to have soft, pliable bristles and a small head that cleans every part of your mouth.

What About Electric Toothbrushes?

You may have heard that electric toothbrushes clean your teeth more effectively, but this isn’t necessarily the case. However, they can be helpful for anyone who needs help brushing their teeth or who have a limited range of motion in their hands. People who have arthritis or who are wearing a wrist cast or brace may find electric toothbrushes helpful to increase the range of their brushing. Similarly, if you have extremely crooked or unusually spaced or crowded teeth, you may find that an electric toothbrush is more effective for you.

Another benefit of an electric toothbrush is that it may motivate you to brush your teeth more regularly and effectively. Some electric toothbrushes are equipped with timers to ensure you brush for the recommended two minutes. Some people find this a highly effective way to improve their oral hygiene. If this will help you, an electric toothbrush may be a good investment for you. If not, you may as well save the money as they can get expensive.

Finding a proper toothbrush doesn’t have to be hard. Focus on the basics and keep it simple if you like. Soft bristles and the proper size head will help your teeth shine.

Dentist's Tip:

If you haven't changed your toothbrush in a while, chances are you haven't had your teeth cleaned recently either. Schedule your next cleaning appointment today and we'll send you home with a brand new toothbrush too!

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Father’s Day

Father’s Day is here, which means that it is time to start thinking of the ways you can thank your dad for all the things he’s given you. Of course, there is one thing that he may have contributed that you haven’t thought of: your teeth!

Scientists have different opinions on the extent that genetics affect our dental health. You cannot simply blame poor oral health on your parents. But what we do know is that there are some dental issues that run in families. Familiarizing yourself with your family’s dental history is a good way to know what you might be able to expect from your own teeth, especially as you age. So, what can you attribute to genetics, and what is unique to you?

Tooth Spacing

If you had braces to correct crooked teeth, chances are your parents and siblings did too. Your genes are the big determiner of the size of your jaw. This, of course, contributes to the spacing and orientation of your teeth. Thankfully, orthodontic and dental care has made rapid progressions in recent decades, so you probably had a much more pleasant treatment than your father did. And don’t worry — if you have children, they will probably have an even easier one than you.

Wisdom Teeth

The orientation and timeline of your wisdom teeth are also affected, at least in part, by your genes. Not everyone even has wisdom teeth. Those lucky few may well have avoided wisdom tooth extraction because of their parents. But studies show that the way your wisdom teeth come in, how many you have, and even when they erupt (or if they erupt at all) may be determined by your family history. Anyone who has had their wisdom teeth removed knows that it isn’t much fun. If you were lucky enough to avoid it, thank Mom and Dad.

Oral Cancer

If you have oral cancer in your family, don’t feel panicked. Genetics does play a role in your risk of mouth cancer but only a small one. Lifestyle is a much bigger contributor. If you are worried about your chances of developing oral cancer, there are a few things you can do.

First, avoid tobacco products and excessive alcohol consumption. Tobacco is one of the best ways to increase your risk of developing mouth or throat cancer. Secondly, be diligent about brushing and flossing your teeth, and report any abnormal findings to your dentist. Thirdly, schedule regular cleanings. Every six to 12 months is how often you need a dental cleaning. This is the best way to keep your mouth clean and healthy and address any problems in their early stages.

What Isn’t the Result of Genetics?

While some conditions are inherited from your parents, others are simply the result of lifestyle. Tooth decay, enamel damage, and stains are mostly due to smoking, alcohol, and diet choices. As for the things that are genetic, if you have great teeth, add that to the list of things to thank your father for this Father’s Day.

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Higher Education Day

Have you ever really thought about what it takes to become a dentist? It’s a good thing to know! After all, when you sit down in a dentist’s chair, you’re trusting them with your oral health and hygiene. And that, in turn, can affect the health of many parts of your body, including your brain and heart.

So, what really goes into becoming someone who can make your teeth sparkle?

Even if you don’t know all the ins and outs of what it takes to become a dentist, you probably know at least one thing: there’s a lot of school involved.

School, School, and More School

The first stepping-stone to becoming a dentist is completing your bachelor’s degree. This can technically be in any major. However, most people who are now going into dentistry choose a science major. This might be chemistry, biology, or other kind of science. This is all in preparation to eventually go to dental school and of course, earn a doctorate.

After students obtain their bachelor’s degree, there is — you guessed it — more school. When four years of undergraduate are complete, students go on to four years of dental school. This includes roughly 100 hours of observation in a professional dentist’s office. Some universities even require longer hours! In short, there is a lot of both practical and theoretical knowledge being learned.

Many dental students are encouraged to take part in hobbies that develop the dexterity and agility of both their hands. This might include drawing, knitting, calligraphy, piano, or embroidery. This makes sense since dentists are required to perform delicate, complicated surgical procedures with a variety of tools. Next time you are in the dentist’s chair, ask how they managed to get so good at their craft. You may even find that you share a hobby!

And Lots of Tests

Everyone who becomes a dentist has to pass a Dental Aptitude Test before they can get into dental school. Once they get into dental school, they will graduate with their DDS (Doctorate of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctorate of Medical Dentistry). These are equal to one another and just indicate a difference in specialties.

Of course, your dentist might have even more schooling under their belt! There are other specialties in the field of dental work, including endodontics, oral surgery, orthodontics, and prosthodontics.

Why Do People Choose to Become Dentists?

There are a lot of reasons why people decide to study dentistry! Dentists get to enjoy a good salary, of course, but there are many more benefits than that. Many dentists enjoy being able to help people in ways that actually permanently impact their lives. The importance of dental health can’t be exaggerated. The state of your teeth can affect not just your oral health, but all the systems of your body. What is more, your teeth can have a strong tie to your self-esteem. People feel physically and emotionally more comfortable when their teeth look great. And dentists get to help them achieve that!


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Senior Health and Fitness Day

The month of May is coming to a close, and it is almost time for National Senior Health and Fitness Day! This holiday takes place on the last Wednesday in the month of May. In 2019, that is May 29.

It is incredibly important to stay active as you get older. In fact, you probably know that you will have to pay a lot more attention to most things as you age: your diet, your daily activity, your exercise routine, and more. But how you take care of your teeth also changes. As you move into your golden years, make sure you follow these steps for keeping your teeth healthy and strong.

  1. Be consistent with your dental care.

For some people, taking care of their teeth as they get older is not all that different from any other time of their life! They may need to switch to an electric toothbrush or a toothbrush with softer bristles. Older people sometimes have problems with gum disease or more active tooth decay, so brushing can be painful.

  1. Ask your dentist about a night guard.

Life is hard on your teeth. Unfortunately, being older means you have decades of wear behind you. That means your teeth may be prone to breaking or chipping. This can be incredibly painful and cause a host of other dental problems, such as infection. To keep your teeth safe, avoid chewing ice or anything that is extremely hard. If you are prone to grinding your teeth at night, ask your dentist if you should start using a mouth guard.

  1. Increase your water intake.

Many people experience a reduction in saliva as they get older. This is often a result of medication. While it is an annoying side effect, it can actually have serious consequences. Dry mouths are more prone to harboring bacteria that cause tooth decay. The best way to fight this is by drinking more water on a daily basis.

If you can, drink tap water over bottled water. Most cities provide fluoridated water to their residents. Fluoride is an important part of keeping your teeth healthy and strong.

  1. Be gentle on sensitive teeth.

As you get older, it is likely that you will have to make some diet changes to protect your teeth. Teeth get more sensitive with age. This means it may be a good idea to reduce your sugar intake – this includes limiting sweet drinks like pop and juice. You may even find that drinking very hot or cold drinks hurts your teeth. If you have pain, experiment with cutting certain things out of your diet.

  1. Watch for signs of disease.

As you get older, you are more likely to develop gum disease or some kinds of oral cancers. This does not mean you are likely to get a disease, so there is no need to panic. Regularly check your mouth for any unexplained bleeding, discoloration, pain, or lumps. If you bleed when brushing or flossing your teeth, make sure to mention it to your dentist.

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