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3 Ways to Spring Clean Your Dental Routine

Spring has sprung at last, and you are probably starting to think about spring cleaning your house. But did you know that you should also be “spring cleaning” your teeth? Now that winter is over, it’s time to be more productive and make some changes. That means it’s the perfect time to start up a new dental routine or improve your old one.

So, what should you be doing to freshen things up for spring?

Replace Your Toothbrush

Experts say that you should replace your toothbrush every three to six months. This is especially true if you have been sick. During the winter, you probably caught a cold or respiratory virus, so spring is the right time to toss that germy toothbrush. There are more reasons than one to do so, though. As bacteria accumulates on the brush and the bristles get bent, your toothbrush cleans less effectively. And you want to make sure your oral hygiene is top-notch.

While you are preparing to get a new toothbrush anyway, this might get the perfect time to think about buying an electric toothbrush. These drastically improve the efficiency of your brushing routine. In fact, some estimates say that if the average person brushes their teeth at a rate of 100 brushstrokes per minute, electric toothbrushes do about 300 times as much.

Evaluate Your Toothpaste

Are you using the right kind of toothpaste? It’s important to be sure. Many kinds of toothpaste that are advertised as ‘whitening’ won’t really fix your problem, but rather just lift a few surface stains. You need toothpaste that will really keep your teeth looking great while also fighting bacteria on your gumline.

Above all, make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride, the cavity-fighting compound that keeps teeth healthy and looking great. It’s one of the best ways to fight tooth decay. As for your other toothpaste needs, you can choose whether you’d like a whitening toothpaste, cavity protection, or toothpaste for sensitive teeth. But fluoride is non-negotiable when it comes to oral health.

Double-check Your Brushing Routine

It’s not just about the right toothbrush and toothpaste. The way you brush your teeth also makes an enormous difference in the state of your oral hygiene. Make sure you are brushing twice a day and flossing at least once — preferably in the evening, to remove all the food particles of the day before sleep.

But what’s the best way to actually brush your teeth?

First, make sure you’re brushing for at least two minutes. You can go longer if you would like! Brush in small circles, moving the toothbrush along your gumline to remove any stubborn bacteria. Of course, you should also brush your tongue, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth as well, as a lot of bacteria accumulate there too.

Spring is also the perfect time to schedule your regular dental cleaning. When the seasons change, it’s time to stop in to Victoria Dental to make sure your teeth are ready for summer!

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4 Fun Easter Activities That Don’t Involve Sweets

4 Fun Easter Activities – That Don’t Involve Sweets

Easter is right around the corner, and there are many fun activities on the horizon. But if you have children, you might be dreading the inevitable barrage of candy that they will get during Easter activities. It’s true that many Easter celebrations can be hard on your teeth, but the good news is that finding alternatives to sweets doesn’t have to be boring. You can still have lots of fun without hurting your teeth. Here are four fun Easter activities that will provide tons of fun without putting your oral health at risk!

  1. Potato Sack Race

At your next Easter get-together, organize a potato sack race for all the kids (or adults) to enjoy. Let them hop along to the finish line, just like the Easter bunny himself. If you want to add a little bit of extra fun, you can provide bunny ears for everyone to wear while they take part in the race. You can even add a personal touch by customizing the sacks with fun springtime colours or whatever else you would like. It may not involve sweets, but it is still a lot of fun that every child at your event will enjoy.

  1. Cascarones

Cascarones are a fun Easter tradition from Mexico. These are an alternative to Easter eggs, making them a great, colourful egg tradition that is not filled with jelly beans, M&Ms, and other cavity-making sweets. But they are not just pretty eggs — they’re also a sneaky Easter game. These colourful eggs are hollowed out and then filled with confetti. What’s the point of this all? To surprise your friends and family when they’re not expecting it and crack the eggs on their head, showering them in colourful confetti. It’s all the fun without any of the sugar.

  1. Painting Ukrainian Easter Eggs

This Easter tradition is a great way to teach your children about other cultures around the world. This is a fun activity that is unlike any other experience of dying Easter eggs. First, use hot wax to drip designs on the eggs and a special stick to write words or move the wax around in patterns. Then dip the egg into regular Easter egg dye. You will be amazed to see the hidden patterns that emerge! It is also a fun opportunity to learn some words in Ukrainian, like “pysanky” (Easter eggs) and “kistka” (special pen tool).

  1. Alternative Easter Egg Hunts 

Easter eggs don’t have to be filled with candy! You can still put on fun, sugar-free Easter egg hunts with eggs full of fun toys, games, or scavenger hunt clues. Small egg hunters will have a blast looking for treasures… even if they aren’t sweet ones. There are many ideas online if you get stumped. Don’t hesitate to plan an all-out Easter bash even if you don’t want to provide candy. There are lots of fun options you can use to make the day fun and special.

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Spring Cleaning

There are many things happening this week as we approach the end of March. Already, Winter is over, and Spring is in the air and there are plenty of things to celebrate!

March 30 is National Doctors’ Day. On this day, communities come together to recognize the contributions of doctors across all specialties. The first National Doctors’ Day was celebrated in Georgia in 1933. On that day, Eudora Brown Almond, the wife of a physician, decided to take a day to thank the doctors in her community.

She sent cards to all the doctors that she knew. But she also wanted to thank the physicians that had passed away. She knew that they had helped her community too, even if people didn’t remember them. So, she put flowers out on the grave of every late doctor. The flowers she chose, red carnations, are used in celebrations of National Doctors’ Day to this day.

But there was one more important thing about that first National Doctors’ Day celebration. Eudora chose March 30 for a very particular reason: March 30, 1842, was the first documented use of ether anaesthetic during surgery, used by Dr. Crawford W. Long.

Technology and our understanding of the human body and mind have made incredible advancements since then and we're learning more every year. Our resident dentist, Dr. Rocky has over 30 years experience practising dentistry and every year our entire team attends conferences and training to make sure we're all up-to-date with the most current information and techniques. So you can feel confident knowing you are always receiving the best dental care possible.

But that’s not all that’s going on during the last week of March. In fact, the whole week is dedicated to something that’s perfect for this time of year: cleaning. That’s right, the last week of March is National Spring Cleaning Week.

National Spring Cleaning Week is the perfect time to wash away all the things that have gone under your radar during the long, cold months of winter. This is the time to open your windows, air your house out, and get rid of that cold-weather buildup.

Spring cleaning means something different for everyone. Regardless, this is the time to tackle all those chores that you’ve been putting off for months. Whether that means giving your floors a deep clean, scrubbing out your tub, or tackling the old storage pile in your attic, spring is the time to get things clean and ready for the warm months once again.

Some people use this week as the time to organize things into donation boxes. After all, you’re probably rotating your winter clothes out for your summer ones. Why not add a box of clothes you no longer want to run down to your local donation centre?

Spring is the perfect time for cleaning more than just your home. It’s also a good time to schedule your next dental cleaning. Victoria Dental Group is ready to help you clean up your summer smile. There’s no better time to spruce up your life inside and out, than National Cleaning Week!

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International Day of Happiness

International Day of Happiness

March 20 is the International Day of Happiness, and this year, the day comes with a special theme. That theme is “Happier Together.” Today, people are encouraged to reach out to one another and remember that we are all happier and stronger when we’re together.

So, this year, the International Day of Happiness is a day to focus on the things that we share. Whatever your race, creed, or nationality, we all share in humanity — and that’s a reason to be happy!

The International Day of Happiness is sponsored by the United Nations. The goal of the day is to remember that progress throughout the world is about making people happier and improving the quality of their lives. And no matter where we come from, that’s something we can all agree on.

In fact, in 2011 the United Nations General Assembly declared that happiness is a fundamental goal for all people. They also declared a need for an economic growth that is more inclusive, equitable, and balanced, and will promote the happiness and well-being of everyone in the world. The first observation of the International Day of Happiness took place on March 20, 2013.

Each year has had a different focus. In 2015, the theme was “relationships,” encouraging people to cultivate their relationships and foster happier relationships. It also encouraged people to take the initiative of reaching out to others. It reminded them of the importance of establishing relationships and friendships with the lonely, the outcast, and those who had no one else to rely on.

There are so many ways to increase people’s happiness. The International Day of Happiness is all about encouraging people to find ways to increase happiness in their homes and communities. Not only for themselves but for others as well. Some of that involves knowing what humans need to be happy, like society, common ground, support, and more.

So, this year, make it your resolution to reach out to someone and start — or repair — a happy relationship. Perhaps you’ve had a conflict with someone. Or maybe you’ve just spotted someone who could do with some help. Maybe you’ve even thought of a way that you can do a kind gesture for your whole community.

March 20th is the perfect day to volunteer at a soup kitchen or take part in a trash pickup. If you prefer something quieter, you can even invite a neighbour over for a home-cooked meal. There are many ways of making this year’s International Day of Happiness all about the theme “Happier Together.”

At Victoria Dental Group, we have another thought on our mind for International Day of Happiness — your smile! It’s important to take care of your smile by visiting the dentist for a cleaning ideally twice a year. When your teeth are healthy and cared for, your smile will look great on International Day of Happiness and all throughout the year.

The way you celebrate International Day of Happiness is up to you. No matter what gesture of kindness and unity you decide to do on March 20, make sure your smile is ready for the day. After all, the proof of being “Happier Together” is in your own smile.

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How Oral Health Affects Brain Health

How Oral Health Affects Brain Health

You might not think of your teeth as affecting your overall health. You probably especially don’t connect the state of your teeth with your brain. But the plain truth is that your oral health absolutely does affect your brain health. The way you take care of your teeth can affect how your brain functions. That’s even more reason to make sure you’re brushing and flossing, as well as going to the dentist for regular cleanings.

So, what are the ways that your oral health affects your brain health?

Believe it or not, there’s medical evidence to suggest that the way you take care of your teeth may affect whether you get Alzheimer’s disease. Preliminary studies have shown that there is a link between gum disease and the amount of brain decline in the early progression of Alzheimer’s. Research is still being conducted, but the current theory is that those with gum disease have higher levels of bacteria in their bloodstream (absorbed through the unhealthy gums). Their brain is continuously exposed to these bacteria, accelerating deterioration.

And it’s not just Alzheimer’s disease. It’s any type of cognitive disease that affects memory and cell deterioration. It’s a compelling reason to make sure you avoid gum disease at all costs!

Losing teeth due to inadequate oral hygiene also has effects on the neuroplasticity of the brain. Adults who have lost several teeth have higher rates of anxiety and depression and often experience emotional fluctuations and other emotional issues. The way the brain processes emotions and experiences changes as a result of tooth loss. It seems like an amazing claim, and the fact is, science hasn’t yet discovered conclusively how this works exactly. But research does show that tooth loss and gum disease can influence the way the brain functions in regard to emotion and memory.

All of this is a particularly timely subject. Brain Awareness Week, an international effort focused on the ongoing research in brain disease and function, occurs every year in mid-March. Oral health would be a great subject for this year’s conferences. There is certainly a need for more research to establish stronger, more defined links between tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease, and brain function.

Brain Awareness Week began in the mid-90s as an effort in the United States to discuss current scientific neurological research. A quarter of a century later, the event has spread to all corners of the globe. Conferences and other events will happen all over the world as people come together to discuss important topics. But it’s not just for experts: Brain Awareness Week events can also include school children, government officials, seniors, businesses, and many more.

Some events feature tours of neuroscience laboratories or museums for school trips. Others include lectures on neuroscience or public awareness campaigns on related topics. Perhaps a good awareness campaign this year would be on the importance of using good oral care, including brushing, flossing, and going to regular dental check-ups to keep your mouth in top shape.

How Oral Health Affects Brain Health
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How to Brush Your Teeth for Cavity Prevention - National Dentist’s Day

How to Brush Your Teeth for Maximum Cavity Protection

You might not think there’s a right or wrong way to brush your teeth, but there is! Brushing properly can keep your teeth and gums healthy and help you avoid cavities. If you already have some minor cavities, adjusting your brushing technique could even slow the spread of the decay. That means you will need less dental work and have fewer health problems in the long run.

So, what exactly is the best way to brush your teeth to avoid getting those nasty cavities?

1. Use toothpaste with fluoride.

There are plenty of kinds of toothpaste nowadays that try to market themselves as healthier or more natural because they don’t contain fluoride. However, fluoride is a pro at battling tooth decay and is important for keeping your teeth healthy and strong. There are dozens of options for fluoride toothpaste that will help strengthen your enamel and stop decay in its tracks.

2. Use a circular motion to brush.

That’s right, there is actually a best motion with which to brush your teeth, and it’s not just side to side. Instead, move the head of your toothbrush in small circles. You should also brush away from the top of your gums to loosen food particles and bacteria that are lodged along the gum line.

3. Brush for at least two minutes.

You heard that right: Two minutes is the proper amount of time to brush your teeth. It may seem like a long time, but it’s essential to give your whole mouth a good brush to make sure your teeth and gums are really clean. You can set a timer if it helps you or try singing a song for each section of your mouth. There are also toothbrushes that are equipped with timers that vibrate or light up when your time is up. Many of them are made for children, but there’s no reason why you can’t use them, too!

4. Remember that your teeth aren’t the only things that need attention.

When cleaning your mouth, it’s important to remember that your teeth are only one part of the process. It’s also a good idea to clean your tongue, cheeks, gums, and the roof of your mouth. Some parts of your mouth can be sensitive, so remember to go easy: brush in small, gentle circles. This will not only reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth, but also freshen your breath.

5. Finish with a refreshing mouthwash.

If you don’t like mouthwash, you can always use plain water, but you should wash your mouth in some manner after brushing your teeth. This helps kill more bacteria and flush germs out of your mouth. Just swish a small amount around your mouth for 30 seconds, making sure to get your cheeks and all sides of your teeth. Then, spit it out and enjoy your fresh breath – and your lowered risk of tooth decay!

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National Tooth Fairy Day

Interview With the Tooth Fairy

Victoria Dental Group: It’s National Tooth Fairy Day, and for us, that means that we’re sitting down with the one and only Tooth Fairy herself! Tooth Fairy, welcome and Happy You Day!

Tooth Fairy: Thank you so much. I’m so happy to be here.

Victoria Dental Group: So, Tooth Fairy, why don’t you tell us a little bit about the day and what it all means?

Tooth Fairy: Well, everyone knows what I do. Whenever a child loses a baby tooth, they hide it under their pillow. Then it’s my job to sneak in, collect the tooth, and put a reward in its place. It’s a fair trade, right?

Victoria Dental Group: Sounds like it to us. So, how exactly do you decide what to leave behind?

Tooth Fairy: Well, it’ll take far too long to explain my system, but let’s see if I can summarize. To make a long story short, we have a very specific conversion formula at Tooth Fairy Headquarters. The healthier the tooth, the more it’s worth! That’s why it’s so important to brush regularly, floss, and avoid foods that damage your enamel.

Victoria Dental Group: What does your ideal tooth look like?

Tooth Fairy: It’s a tooth that gets brushed twice a day, flossed at least once a day, and isn’t exposed to a lot of foods and drinks like caramel, juice, pop, and so on. Oh, and it’s a tooth that also grew in healthy gums. It’s important not to forget to brush those too.

Victoria Dental Group: How long should you brush your teeth?

Tooth Fairy: You should brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day.

Victoria Dental Group: Some people tell us that two minutes is too long. Do you have any advice we can pass on to our patients?

Tooth Fairy: It might seem like a long time, but it’s very important. Brushing for two minutes makes sure that you get all the harmful plaque off your teeth. You should brush in small circles and make sure to get along your gumline. Of course, you should also check in with your dentist regularly to get an even more thorough cleaning than you can give yourself at home. Honestly, seeing teeth that are treated like that? Those are the real moneymakers when it comes to tooth-fairying.

Victoria Dental Group: What about foods and drinks? How do those affect your teeth?

Tooth Fairy: Foods and beverages can affect your teeth in ways you might not even realize. Even chewing on ice can risk chipping a tooth, which is incredibly painful. Hard candies, citrus, caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea, and anything that sticks to your teeth — even healthy foods like dried fruit — can cause decay because they sit on your enamel for a long time. So, take care of your teeth by choosing healthier foods.

Victoria Dental Group: Finally, we have to ask: what do you do with all those teeth?

Tooth Fairy: Sorry, pal. Now you’re verging on Top Secret Tooth Fairy information!

Victoria Dental Group: Haha, ok! Thanks for joining us, and Happy National Tooth Fairy Day!

Bonus!

Use these free resources for Tooth Fairy day to delight your child the next time they lose a tooth:

Free Printable Tooth Fairy Certificate:

National Tooth Fairy Day Free Printable Tooth Certificate

Courtesy of: momdot.com

Free Printable Tooth Fairy Letter Templates:

 

Free Printable Tooth Fairy Letter Template

Courtesy: toothfairyletter.net

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4 Tips to Prep Your Kids for a Trip to the Dentist

No child likes a stranger poking around in his or her mouth (and neither do most adults, for that matter). But while your son or daughter’s first jaunt into the dentist’s chair might be a bit uncomfortable, there is absolutely no reason that it has to be traumatic.

Children can develop a healthy attitude toward dental care and oral hygiene with a bit of guidance from mom or dad. Prep your kids for a smooth and happy visit to a dentist with these four simple tricks.

1. The earlier, the better.

The earlier you can acclimate your child to regular trips to the dentist, the better. The Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child should be taken to the dentist when his or her first set of teeth starts to come in, typically around 1 year of age.

2. Talk to your child beforehand.

Before you head to the dentist’s office, make sure to have a conversation with your child. Clearly explain what is going to happen and why it is necessary. It is also a good idea to go over the basics of dental hygiene and practicing brushing your teeth together. Explain that the dentist helps to prevent cavities and keep smiles looking beautiful. With that being said, don’t explain things in too much detail. Doing so will only raise more questions, and adding more information could just generate unnecessary anxiety.

3. Watch what you say.

Avoid using words like “hurt,” “pain,” or “shot.” And most definitely avoid telling any of your dentist “war stories.” Steer clear of filling kids in on the gory details of fillings, cavities, etc. This will also generate anxiety and cause your child to become afraid.

Instead, keep things positive. Use words and phrases like “clean,” “strong,” and “healthy teeth.”

Should any kind of issue or problem arise, let the professionals introduce their own vocabulary to children to guide them through difficult or potentially painful situations.

4. Be prepared for some fussing.

It is natural for a child to cry or fuss a bit. Remember, this is anything out of the ordinary, and the staff is well equipped to deal with this kind of thing. Most experts recommend not using any kind of bribery to coerce good behaviour, as doing so can only exacerbate apprehension. Instead, once the visit is over, praise the child for his or her bravery and cooperation.

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TV Shows and Books to Help Prep Your Kids for the Dentist

Most kids understandably have a bit of anxiety about a stranger poking and prodding around in their mouth. However, regular visits to the dentist are absolutely crucial to overall oral health and hygiene, especially in childhood, so it is important that moms and dads help to alleviate this anxiety.

Check out these iconic characters from beloved TV series and books that can help to prepare your child for the dentist:

“Dora the Explorer”

Luckily for parents of “Dora the Explorer” fans, there is an entire episode of this series dedicated to the dentist. Dora visits the dentist and has an excellent experience, learning tons of useful things she never new about her teeth. It is a great way to not only alleviate a child’s dentist anxiety but to actually get him or her excited about an upcoming cleaning.

“Sesame Street”

This highly educational kids’ series actually has a whole online tool kit that can help parents to prepare kids for a visit to the dentist. The toolkit, called “Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me,” comes complete with videos featuring the “Sesame Street” characters, helpful articles, fun songs, and much more.

“Berenstain Bears”

This iconic children’s book series boasts a special book dedicated to the dentist. Brother Bear and Sister Bear must pay a visit to the dentist for tooth removal. While they are initially pretty scared, they end up having a great experience and look forward to their next visit. It is a great pre-dentist bedtime read.

“SpongeBob SquarePants”

Most kids will instantly recognize this iconic yellow sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea. While there isn’t a “SpongeBob Squarepants” episode dedicated to the dentist, there is a SpongeBob book that addresses the topic, in which SpongeBob heads off for his six-month annual checkup (even sponges need to practice good oral hygiene).

“Dr. Rabbit and the Tooth Kingdom”

Colgate has put out a whole video series chronicling the adventures of Dr. Rabbit and Dr. Brushwell, featuring characters who transform into Super Dentists and Tooth Defenders in order to protect Tooth City from Placulus and his evil plaque monsters. These 10 mini-episodes are guaranteed to get kids excited about fighting plaque and visiting the dentist.

Other honourable mentions:

Arthur

Dudley Visits The Dentist

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5 Things You Never Knew About Your Teeth

You probably already know that you need your teeth to talk and eat. But did you know these five surprising facts about your teeth?

1. They’re totally unique.

Your teeth are kind of like an oral fingerprint. They are completely unique - your dental records can even be used to identify you. Thanks to different patterns of wear and identifying marks, no two people have the same set of teeth.

2. Brushing is important — very important.

OK, so you probably already knew this one. But the next time you are thinking about skipping a brushing session, think about this:

There are more than 300 different species of bacteria living in your plaque (we’re guessing you probably didn’t know that!).

Remember, dentists recommend that you brush your teeth 2 to 3 times per day for approximately 2-3 minutes for optimal oral health and hygiene. The average person only brushes for approximately 48 seconds on a given day, so chances are you probably need to up your brushing time. One effective way to ensure you're brushing long enough is to invest in an electric toothbrush with a timer.

3. They need saliva — and lots of it.

The average person produces a staggering 100,000 gallons of saliva in his or her lifetime. Saliva is good, as it helps to keep teeth clean and healthy. Saliva production tends to slow as individuals age, which makes older people more prone to dental disease. And while you can’t do anything about decreased saliva production, you can practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist, to mitigate the risk of dental disease and tooth decay.

4. Sour things are bad for oral health.

You’ve probably heard that sugar can do a lot of damage to your teeth. But did you know that sour things are just as much of an enemy? You see, low-pH foods tend to be highly acidic, and acid damages your teeth. Try to avoid overindulging in low-pH foods, such as soft drinks and fruit juices. And those ultra-sour, ultra-sticky candies, like Warheads? They’re your teeth’s worst nightmare!

5. They’re extremely hard.

Did you know that the hardest substance in your entire body is the enamel of your teeth? This part of the tooth, which comprises its visible part, is actually even harder than your bones. Tooth enamel contains an incredibly high percentage of minerals, including hydroxyapatite, a type of crystalline calcium phosphate.

Although your enamel might be hard, it is, perhaps paradoxically, somewhat easy to break. Believe it or not, ice, popcorn, and tongue piercings can all actually chip your enamel. So think twice before you chomp down on that popcorn kernel!

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