Why a Water Flosser Might be a Good Idea

Kelowna should I use waterpik?

Water flossers have been around for more than fifty years. During that time there have been at least that many studies on their effectiveness. At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we present what is known about water flossers, and whether they’re any better than ordinary string floss in preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues.

First of all, the main benefit of standard dental floss – string floss – is that it passes easily between the teeth to remove food debris and plaque. It is easy to use, inexpensive, readily available, and a very efficient way of removing plaque.

On the down side, some people find it hard to reach certain areas of the mouth with string floss, like way in back. It can cause minor bleeding, and gum sensitivity. People with agility issues may find it hard to use.

Water flossing

Water flossers use pulsing water to clean between teeth and along the gum line. A special machine directs a jet spray that can be very effective. They too are easy to use, and in addition to cleaning your teeth can also massage the gums.

They’re also great for people with braces and other dental work. The stream of pulsing water makes it easy to get those areas that are harder to reach with string floss. They are also an excellent solution for people with agility issues.

On the other hand, water flossers can be expensive. You need to find a place to store them when not in use. And they require electricity.

The Bottom Line

It isn’t necessarily an either/or situation. The best dental health routine at home may well be to floss, brush, and water floss (not necessarily in that order). The sequence in which these are done comes down to your personal preference. To put it another way: whatever works!

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we think the most important thing, by far, is that you establish a dental health routine that you practice every day. We also like to see you for a cleaning and checkup in our office every six months. We offer preventative dentistry and smile design. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

778-769-2754

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7

 

ArticleID 7376

9 Tips For Preventing Gum Recession

prevent gum disease Kelowna

Unfortunately, gum disease is very common. It is also a treatable condition at  Choose Your Smile in Kelowna.

There are simple and very effective ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you keep them healthy, you will only need to visit us for cleanings and checkups.

  1. Brush for two to three minutes, at least twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste. Be sure to brush along the gumline. Brush away the particles of food. Don’t brush too hard, but be thorough.
  2. Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. It loosens the debris that always gets wedged in, along with any plaque that is building up.
  3. Although not a substitute for brushing and flossing, using a mouth rinse can halt plaque accumulation and keep your enamel strong. Remember that fluoride mouth rinses are not the same as mouthwashes. Mouthwashes have alcohol and are designed to freshen breath. (But they can exacerbate dry mouth which can cause other problems.)
  4. Eat a healthy diet. Starchy and sugary foods increase plaque. A sensible diet provides the nutrients needed (Vitamins A and C, in particular) to keep teeth and gums healthy.
  5. Skip cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which may lead to oral cancer. That includes E-cigs and vapors.
  6. Be aware that certain medications can also threaten a healthy mouth. These include oral contraceptives, antidepressants and heart medicines. If your medications are affecting your dental health, let us know.
  7. Exercise preventive care and schedule regular checkups — the best way to detect early signs of gum disease and make a plan to reverse it.
  8. Talk to us about dental issues such as old, broken fillings or crowded teeth.
  9. If you grind your teeth, ask us about ways to guard them.

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we want the best possible dental health for each of our patients. Our services include gum treatment and restorative dentistry. Call for an appointment today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

778-769-2754

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7

 

ArticleID 8129

Call Them What You Will, Just Keep Them Healthy

Kelowna Top Cosmetic dentist

Chompers. Pearly Whites. Dents. Gnashers. Grill. While you can switch up what you call them, the team at Choose Your Smile in Kelowna reminds you that you should never switch up a well-established dental health routine.

Brushing and flossing your teeth every day will pay off throughout your life. You’ll greatly reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, not to mention bad breath (something others will also appreciate).

You’re also giving your general health a big boost. Research has shown there is a connection between the health of your teeth and your overall physical health. In short, a healthy mouth can help you maintain a healthy body.

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we encourage and promote preventative dentistry in all our patients. Services also include smile design. Call us today to schedule your next cleaning and checkup.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

778-769-2754

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7

 

ArticleID 4556

Dental Floss: Which Type is Best?

Along with brushing, flossing is the most important thing you can do for healthy teeth and gums. There’s a variety of floss types to choose from. Which one is best for you? It depends. At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we’re using this space to summarize what’s available, and what might influence your choice of dental floss.

The reason that flossing is so important is that it removes plaque and food debris from between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach. Left on the teeth, plaque hardens into floss and contributes to tooth decay. Some dental health authorities go so far as to call flossing the most important thing you can do to fight plaque.

What Kind Is Best?

When it comes to what dental floss to use, there is a lot to choose from. Flavoured or unflavoured? Waxed or unwaxed? Wide or thin?

No single type of floss is right for everyone. You might even benefit from having more than one kind in your medicine chest. With a little trial and error, you can narrow down your choices to find what works best for you.

A recent study shows there really isn’t much difference, if any, in the effectiveness of the different types of dental floss. Here are some things to consider:

  • Waxed floss fits more easily into tight spaces
  • Unwaxed floss tends to squeak against clean teeth, an indicator that plaque is gone
  • Wider dental tape may work better in gaps between teeth, and on bridgework

One word of caution: we recommend traditional string floss that you can pull out in a long strand, as opposed to a flossing pick. Those little picks are popular, but they only have a tight strand of less than an inch of floss. That makes it all but impossible to wrap any floss around your teeth – and flossing is far more effective when you do that. The little picks are fine for a purse or backpack, when you’re on the go. Just be sure to use regular floss as part of your dental hygiene routine before bedtime.

Whatever your preference may be, the important thing is to floss at least once each day.

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna we also like to see you for a checkup every six months. Our services include general and restorative dentistry. Schedule your next appointment today!

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

778-769-2754

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7


Is The Humble Toothbrush Obsolete?

electric vs manual toothbrushes V1Y 8B7

Many tools for everyday living have become obsolete. Online search has replaced the paper phone book. Telephone answering machines have gone the way of manual typewriters. But we still rely on the old-school manual toothbrush, and at Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we assure you that’s a good thing.

“Wait a minute,” you might say, “isn’t an electric toothbrush better than a manual toothbrush?”

Actually, this is a matter of preference. all toothbrushes, used properly, are effective at removing food debris and plaque to keep your smile free of cavities.

When choosing which type of toothbrush to use, look at cost and convenience. Some people contend that while electric toothbrushes are more pricey, you’ll save on dental bills. But there is nothing definitive to back this up.

Manual toothbrushes are easy to find, whereas not all drugstores sell all models of electric toothbrushes. It is frustrating to spend over a hundred dollars for a top-of-the-line electric toothbrush and then not be able to find a replacement head when required. People who travel may discover that a smaller, manual toothbrush is easier to pack.

We must note that electric toothbrushes can be advantageous for anyone with arthrtitis or another agility issue.

In most instances, though, old school is just fine.

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, your dental health is important! Services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

778-769-2754

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7

 

ArticleID 7305

Gently Now (Protect Your Gums When You Brush)

cosmetic dentistry Kelowna

This message from Choose Your Smile in Kelowna is about clean, healthy teeth. Everyone wants nice pearly whites, so naturally we should brush more often, right? You would  think so. The only trouble with that is some people brush too aggressively, leading to gums receding or pulling away from teeth.

Gum recession is when your gum line exposes more of your teeth, or in severe cases, your tooth root. It creates a pocket of space between your teeth and gum line.  Decay-causing bacteria can grow and fester in that pocket. This leads to serious issues down the line. Even tooth loss.

Longer or Harder?

A common misconception we hear occasionally is that to brighten your teeth, you should scrub them really hard.

The best way to get pearly whites (and prevent decay) is to brush longer, not harder. Gently brush your teeth until they’re squeaky clean. Run your tongue over them. Doesn’t that feel great?

When you are finished brushing, it’s time to floss. Be sure to get the floss down into the pocket between the gum and teeth.

Why?

Brushing longer is the key, not brushing harder. When you brush your teeth swiftly, you may not be getting all the fragments of food off. You don’t want the particles of food to turn into plaque.

If you truly desire whiter teeth, be sure you brush your teeth in a slow, circular motion for as close to five minutes as you can. Methodically go over each tooth on every surface. Plus your tongue. If five minutes is impossible, make sure you brush for at least two minutes. Set a timer on your phone. Play your favorite two-minute song.

Use a whitening toothpaste with fluoride. That way, you get all the recent gunk off and your teeth get a little bit whiter each time you brush. And the fluoride helps your teeth remineralize after eating or drinking enamel-weakening acidic foods and beverages.

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna we want all our patients to have healthy teeth and gums. That means brushing properly, and seeing us for a checkup twice a year. We offer a wide range of general dentistry services, and are committed to addressing the dental concerns of all our patients. Schedule an appointment today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

778-769-2754

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7

 

ArticleID 8128

Dental Health And You

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we emphasize the importance of good dental health to each one of our patients, every time one of them sits down for a checkup. We stick to the basics: brush and floss twice a day, and see the dentist for a checkup twice a year. But there’s more to it than that.

At every checkup, we examine your for any signs of gum disease. In its mildest form, gum disease is known as gingivitis and is easily treated. Stepping up your dental care routine at home is often enough to do the trick.

In its more severe form, gum disease is called periodontal disease, and it’s one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Half of all adults over the age of thirty have periodontal disease. That’s nearly sixty-five million people! It can be still be brought under control, but it takes more aggressive treatment.

Good dental health means you probably don’t have much of a problem with bad breath. Of course, most of us have yukky breath when we first wake up in the morning. But brush your teeth after breakfast and you should be good to go. In most cases of chronic bad breath – about eighty-five percent of them – poor dental health is to blame.

Every dental checkup includes a screening for oral cancer. Thousands of people will get a form of oral cancer this year. Of those, nearly eleven thousand cases will be terminal.

As with any cancer, the earlier the detection and diagnosis, the better the chances of beating it. That fact alone should be enough to get most people in to see us every six months.

Finally, when it comes to dental health, your toothbrush and dental floss are your best friends. Brush and floss at least twice a day. When you brush, you remove the plaque that builds up on your teeth and causes cavities. Flossing gets out the gunk that builds up between the teeth.

And there you have it: a more detailed discussion on the importance of dental health, and seeing us twice a year at Choose Your Smile in Kelowna. In addition to checkups, our services include general dentistry, and dental aesthetics. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

778-769-2754

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7


Are You Getting Your Dose Of D?

pediatric dentist

Most of us know that vitamin D is important for healthy teeth and bones, yet many still  fail to get enough. This post from Choose Your Smile in Kelowna is a friendly reminder to our patients about the importance of vitamin D.

Here is a sampling of vitamin D findings from around the web:

“Several recent reports demonstrate a significant association between periodontal health and the intake of vitamin D.” 1

“Researchers who took a second look at a series of clinical trials conducted on 2,000 children in several countries between the 1920s and 1980s determined vitamin D — which we often garner from sunlight — was associated with around a 50 percent reduction in the incidence of tooth decay.”2

“Inadequate vitamin D levels in pregnant women may be associated with dental caries in their children during the first year of life.”3

“The sun is an excellent source of vitamin D, but it is hard to quantify how much vitamin D you get from time in the sun and the risk of skin cancer may outweigh the benefits. Food first, says Baylor College of Medicine dietitian Keli Hawthorne. “Supplements can fill in the gaps but it is always better to try to meet your nutritional needs with foods that contain fiber, phytonutrients, and so much more,” Unless you enjoy a diet that includes fatty fish or fish liver oils, it may be hard to get enough vitamin D naturally without eating fortified foods or taking a supplement. “The major dietary source of vitamin D comes from fortified diary, along with some yogurts and cereals,” Hawthorne says. Mushrooms, eggs, cheese, and beef liver contain small amounts.” 4

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we encourage all of our patients to eat a healthy diet complete with all vital nutrients. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment with us today!

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

778-769-2754

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7

1 SH Stein, DA Tipton, “Vitamin D and its impact on oral health–an update., Spring 2011, PubMed.gov NIH,” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21748977, accessed on June 23, 2014
2 1University of Washington, “Vitamin D linked to lower rates of tooth decay,” ScienceDaily, November 27, 2012, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127130321.htm, accessed on June 23, 2014
3 “Maternal Vitamin D Levels and Early Childhood Caries May be Linked, Researchers Find,”Journal of the American Dental Association, June 1, 2014, http://jada.info/content/145/6/526.3.full, accessed on June 23, 2014
4 “Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?,” WebMD, 2011, http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/are-you-getting-enough-vitamin-d?page=2, accessed on June 23, 2014

ArticleID 6536

Been A While Since You Had Your Teeth Cleaned?

Kelowna Tooth WhiteningAt Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we are committed to providing each of our patients with outstanding dental care in our technologically-advanced office.

To maintain your dental health, you should see us for a cleaning and checkup every six months. Even those patients who brush and floss twice a day are going to benefit from a professional teeth cleaning twice a year. The simple fact is that your toothbrush can’t do it all, even with the help of dental floss and water flossing. That’s because plaque is extremely sticky, and no daily routine will get to all of those hard-to reach places where plaque hides and, before long, hardens into tartar.

A professional teeth cleaning includes a close inspection of the teeth and gums for any signs of decay or disease. The peace of mind you’ll have from a clean bill of health is, by itself, worth the time it takes in our office.

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we want you to have the best possible dental health. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning with us today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

778-769-2754

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7

 

ArticleID 1467

5 Reasons To Schedule A Dental Cleaning Today

professional dental cleaning Kelowna

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we recommend seeing us for a dentist appointment twice a year. Each checkup begins with a cleaning, an essential part of maintaining your dental health.

With twice-a-year teeth cleanings, you will:

1. Protect Your Gums

It’s not only acute tooth decay that can damage a tooth until it is beyond saving. Gum disease that leads to bone loss is just as dangerous. Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque that creates pockets of infection between the gums and tooth roots. This leads to periodontitis, gum recession, and eventual bone loss. A professional cleaning eliminates the plaque before it can cause the gums to recede.

2. Prevent Cavities

Even if you brush and floss your teeth morning and night, plaque can accumulate. We have many patients who are dutiful brushers but are surprised when our hygienist finds plaque on their teeth.

3. Check for Oral Cancer

The Oral Cancer Foundation relates this sobering news: oral cancer claims one life approximately every hour—that’s 48,250 deaths a year.

4. Oral Health and Overall Health Go Hand in Hand

Your mouth is not separate from the rest of the body, but many people treat it that way. Some get regular preventative services for physical conditions but miss their teeth. Did you know there is compelling evidence to suggest that the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes increases with poor oral health?

5. It May Be Free

Many dental insurance plans cover biannual dental cleanings. Even if you don’t have dental insurance, cleanings are one of the most affordable ways to preserve prime oral health.

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we want the best possible dental health for each of our patients. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

778-769-2754

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

301-1890 Cooper Rd
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 8B7

 

ArticleID 7276