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302-1001 Cloverdale Ave. Victoria BC, V8X 4C9

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All Posts in Category: Health

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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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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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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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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National Wine Day

National Wine Day

Wine lovers can rejoice: May 25 is National Wine Day. There are not many things as enjoyable as relaxing with a glass of wine at the end of a long day. But when it comes to taking care of your teeth, alcohol can cause some real damage.

Alcohol can affect not just your teeth but also your gums. This doesn’t mean it should be totally off the menu at all times! It simply means that if you decide to imbibe, you should take a few extra precautions to keep your mouth safe and healthy.

How Does Alcohol Damage Your Teeth?

You may think that alcohol hurts your teeth and gums because it is high in sugar. While that is true, it is not the only issue. Alcohol causes dehydration, which leads to a reduction of saliva. A dry mouth is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that can cause gum disease and tooth decay.

Excessive drinking raises your risk of gum bleeding, an early indication of gum disease, even if you don’t already have periodontitis. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean you will develop gum disease. But it certainly is a warning sign and one that you shouldn’t take lightly.

A big problem with dark alcohol like red wine is that it can cause staining on your enamel. This is not a health problem, but it is a cosmetic one. However, many types of alcohol do eat away at your enamel because of high sugar or acid content.

How Should You Protect Your Teeth From Alcohol Damage?

There are a few ways to protect your teeth from alcohol damage. However, the reality is that they are fairly straightforward. If you are concerned about damage to your teeth from alcohol, consider limiting how much and how often you drink.

Aside from avoiding alcohol, the best way to protect your teeth is to establish a solid oral hygiene routine. This means brushing twice a day for at least two minutes. Make small circles with your toothbrush, making sure to brush away from your gumline.

Floss at least once a day before brushing. This ensures that you loosen bacteria and food particles from between your teeth. Since between your teeth is a prime place for cavities to form, it is vital to clean those spaces regularly. Of course, you should also use a fluoride-based toothpaste and follow up with mouthwash.

If you are concerned about staining from alcohol, there are also treatments you can find, but tread carefully. Some tooth-whitening products can cause tooth sensitivity. If you want to remove stains from alcohol (or other foods), the best thing to do is ask your doctor about professional whitening procedures.

Of course, you should also schedule regular dentist’s appointments every six months. These will include a cleaning and inspecting for cavities, decay, or gum disease. You can also ask your dentist about the best way to protect your teeth from alcohol. If you are taking care of your teeth in general, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy a glass of wine on National Wine Day!

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National Bike Week

It’s National Bike Week, and that means it’s time to hit the streets (or the bike trail, if you prefer). At Victoria Dental, we’re also thinking about the implications of this week. Believe it or not, there is actually evidence to suggest that exercise has an effect on your dental and oral health.

Exercise and dental care might be the last two subjects you associate, but it’s true. Like many other aspects of health, taking care of your body and taking care of your teeth go hand in hand.

Lower Risk of Gum Disease

A study by the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey came to a fascinating conclusion: people who exercise at least five times a week significantly cut back on their risk of developing gum disease. This is important since gum disease can lead to a huge number of other health problems. Untreated, it can lead to gingivitis, swelling and irritation, and pain. Severely advanced cases can even result in loss of teeth, cancer, heart disease, or stroke.

This is good news for athletes. A moderate workout (such as a bike ride) five days a week can lessen your risk of these health problems. Alternatively, a high-intensity workout three days a week has the same effect.

The Link Between BMI and Your Mouth

But that’s not the only effect that exercise has on your oral health. There is also evidence to show that your body mass index or BMI also impacts your teeth for better or for worse. Obesity gives rise to a host of health issues, including hypertension and diabetes. These, in turn, are known for their effect on the health of your teeth and gums.

Studies show that people with a normal BMI — especially those who exercise regularly and follow a proper diet — have a 40 percent reduced risk of developing periodontitis.

How to Protect Your Mouth While You Exercise

It’s great to exercise regularly. But there are also some ways that athletes’ oral health can suffer. This isn’t because of the exercise itself but rather because of habits connected with exercise. To protect your teeth while getting your workout in, there are a few simple steps you should follow.

Firstly, be mindful of the way you breathe while you work out. It can be tempting to try to breathe through your mouth as your heart rate accelerates, but this spells disaster for your teeth. Mouth breathing leads to a loss of saliva and a drier mouth. This is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which results in tooth decay. Make sure to breathe through your nose and hydrate as much as possible.

You should also be cautious about drinking sports drinks like Gatorade. These may be a good choice to hydrate and replenish electrolytes, but they’re also extremely high in sugar. Try to find a balance between getting the nutrients you need and protecting your teeth from sugary drinks. Some sugar is important after working out, but it is possible to overdo it.

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What to Get Your Mother For Mother’s Day (That Isn’t Candy)

Spring might be a festive season, but it’s not exactly a good time for teeth. If you are looking ahead, you know that Mother’s Day is coming up. Your mother has done everything for you, so you can’t forget her! Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to give her something unhealthy. Traditional Mother’s Day gifts might include flowers, cards, and chocolates, but let’s face it, you can do better!

Studies show that more and more, people are turning to gifts that have practical purposes or are meaningful. So what are the best gifts for Mother’s Day that are thoughtful, unique, and won’t wreck Mom’s teeth?


  1. An Experience for the Two of You to Share

Let’s face it: Your mom always wants to spend more time with you, and your life probably gets far too busy to make that happen as often as she’d like. Why not think of her favourite hobbies and book a time for you to enjoy them together? Maybe your mother loves to paint and would enjoy a paint-and-sip class with you. Or maybe she’s a fan of salsa dancing and would love to spend an evening at a local ballroom. Whatever her interests, taking the time to enjoy them with her will earn you the title of Favourite Child.

  1. A Gift with Meaning 

Anyone can buy an expensive gift, but mothers would rather have a homemade gift that comes from the heart. This is an especially great choice if you are running low on cash. There is no need to spend a lot of money; just remind her of a fond memory! Whether that means a framed photo of the family at a special event or a collage of postcards from all the trips you’ve taken together, be creative. Making a gift from the heart will mean so much to your mom. If you think you’re too old to be making collages for your mother, ask her what she thinks of the idea. We bet you’ll see some waterworks.

  1. A Gift That Helps Her Relax

Show your appreciation for all the hard work that your mother does by treating her to some TLC. Whether this means a day at the spa, a massage, or a special bubble bath mix, there are tons of options for helping your mother kick back and take a break. Let her know that you are grateful for all those late nights, homework assignments, and home-cooked dinners by helping her get off her feet.

If you want a gift that keeps on giving, consider signing her up for a self-care subscription. There are companies that will deliver monthly packages right to your door, filled with lotions, bath bombs, and other self-care products. No one works as hard as a mom – and that’s why no one should relax as hard as a mom.


This Mother’s Day, you don’t need to rely on kitschy cards or unhealthy sweets. Show your mother that you care with a more personal gift!

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National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

The end of the month is approaching, and that means that it is almost National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. As many of our patient's know, our team are all animal lovers and our office is pet friendly, so this is a day that is dear to us.

If you haven't met our Director of Greetings (D.o.G.), Sadie, feel free to drop by our office anytime to say hello!

Speaking of pets, if you have a beloved dog, cat or other furry friend in your home, you know that it’s just as important to take care of their teeth as it is to take care of your own. Making sure your pets have healthy teeth is vital to their overall health. This is the perfect week to review what you do to keep your pets’ teeth healthy and strong.

So, what do you need to do to improve your dog’s or cat’s oral hygiene?

Oral Hygiene for Dogs

When you look at your dog’s mouth, there are a few things you should look for to make sure your pooch is healthy. You should be able to see if your dog has any inflammation in his or her mouth. A healthy mouth for a dog means that all teeth are intact, not broken or cracked. Gums should be pink (or black in some breeds) and there should not be any signs of bleeding or redness. Your pup’s tongue should be moist and pink without any cuts, sores, or mottled spots. You should always call your veterinarian if you notice any lumps, cuts, inflammation, or gums that are pale or bleeding.

Of course, just checking your dog’s teeth isn’t enough to keep them healthy. You should also be giving them regular cleanings to help avoid dangerous plaque buildup and other problems. Ideally, you should be brushing your dog’s teeth every day, but if that is too overwhelming for either of you, three days a week can make a huge difference.

You can find special toothbrushes for dogs and even toothpaste that helps keep their mouths healthy. Of course, you should never use human toothpaste to brush a dog’s teeth, as it can make them extremely ill.

Oral Hygiene for Cats

Regular dental care is also important for your feline friends. But it’s no secret that cats aren’t exactly fans of being touched on their face or their mouth. The best way to tackle this issue is to start small. Give your cat dental treats and washes formulated for cats. When you think he or she is ready, you can start gently introducing them to the idea of actually brushing their teeth. You can also find special dental treats that are fortified with special enzymes. These enzymes help kill harmful bacteria in your cat’s mouth. If you are ever in doubt, just ask your veterinarian.

Of course, while at-home care is important, your pet also needs to get a professional cleaning once every few years. This takes place at your regular veterinary office under sedation. It might not be fun, but it’s the best way to make sure your furry friend is safe and healthy.

You might not always remember that pets need dental care just like humans do. What better time to remember then during National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day? While you’re picking up your new friend, pick up a toothbrush for them too! #woof

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