Starting Chemo? How Are Your Teeth?

cancer related tooth risks Kelowna

If you are scheduled for cancer treatment due to a recent diagnosis or relapse, oral health is probably not your first priority. However, the team at Choose Your Smile dentistry in Kelowna, we urge you to give some attention to your teeth to prevent or minimize common cancer-related dental complications.

According to research, cancer treatment often takes a heavy toll on dental health.

Common Complications of Chemotherapy and/or Radiation

  • Inflammation of the mucous membranes
  • Viral, bacterial, and fungal infections
  • Mouth dryness (increases risk of cavities)
  • Poor nutrition due to eating difficulties
  • Mouth pain
  • Oral bleeding
  • Lifelong risk of tooth decay
  • Loss of elasticity of masticatory muscles (may make opening mouth difficult)
  • Bone recession due to decreased blood flow
  • Tooth loss

We extend to our dental patients battling cancer our sincere hopes for your successful treatment.

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we wants to help you maintain oral health before, during, and after your cancer treatment. We offer comprehensive preventative and restorative dental services including general and cosmetic dentistry.

“Oral Complications of Cancer Treatment: What the Dental Team Can Do,” National Institutes of Health, http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/CancerTreatment/OralComplicationsCancerOral.htm, accessed on May 27, 2014

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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

 

ArticleID 6495

Think You Know How To Brush? Think Again.

Kelowna tooth brushing tips

You’ve been doing it since you were five. You switch to auto pilot morning and night and go through it. But the team at Choose Your Smile dentistry in Kelowna asks: are you doing it right?

Actually, a lot of people make mistakes when they brush their teeth. You may need to tweak your routine to better sustain your oral health and guard your smile from cavities and gum disease.

Here are useful tooth brushing tips:

1. Take your time.
You probably want to get it over with and go to bed. But brushing your teeth takes time and attention. Time yourself the next time you brush—you might be surprised at how swiftly you finish. The process should take at least two to three minutes. It can also be useful to take a different route around your mouth every few days. By adjusting your routine, you approach areas from a different, and possibly, better angle.

2. Don’t forget to floss.
No matter how agile you can be with your brush, it’s difficult to clear away the plaque from all those narrow gaps between your teeth. That is where bacteria can easily propagate and start the decay process.

3. Use the right toothbrush.
It is ironic that some people impair their enamel or gums because they brush too vigorously with a hard brush. We counsel patients to only use a soft brush. If you’ve had gum grafts, you may want to use an extra soft brush.

4. Don’t keep your tooth brush near the toilet.
This is horrible to think about, but each time the toilet is flushed, bacteria is sent far into the air—even if you close the lid. Keep your toothbrush in a clean place and allow it to air dry.

5. Use fluoride toothpaste.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you may be surprised that some oral care products don’t contain fluoride. And you may think fluoride is only for children. Not true. Your enamel is consistently under assault from acidic foods and drinks and fluoride helps it remineralize.

So there you have it, five tips for improving your dental health regimen! Here’s one more: see us at Choose Your Smile in Kelowna every six months for a cleaning and checkup. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call our office today to schedule your next appointment.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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

 

ArticleID 7193

An Air-dried Toothbrush Is A Healthy Toothbrush

An Air-dried Toothbrush Is A Healthy Toothbrush Kelowna

In this blog post from Choose Your Smile dentistry in Kelowna, we will highlight some of the simple things you can do with your toothbrush to keep your mouth as clean and healthy as possible.

One of the most important habits you can form is to always allow your toothbrush to completely air dry between uses. The best way to let the toothbrush air dry is by placing it in a toothbrush holder on the counter with the bristles pointing up. This method of storage is much better than sticking it away in a drawer since it will take longer to dry in there.

Also, make sure your toothbrush is dry before you seal it away in a travel container.

A good strategy for making sure your toothbrush has ample time to dry is to buy two of them. Alternate between the two, so each has time to fully dry out between uses.

Also, replace your toothbrush (or toothbrushes) every 3-4 months, or sooner if you’ve had a cold!

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we want each of our patients to have the best dental health possible. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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

 

ArticleID 3990

The Gift Of Oral Health

The Gift Of Oral Health In Kelowna

Many of our patients at Choose Your Smile in Kelowna wonder why, with all the advances in dentistry, we still send you home with a complimentary toothbrush and roll of floss.

It’s true, they do seem a little old-fashioned in our high-tech world, but don’t let that fool you. These tools are your best friends to prevent cavities, plaque build-up, and gum disease!

When done properly and consistently, brushing and flossing are an essential part of everyday oral hygiene.

Brushing, which should be done at least twice a day, can be done capably with any type of toothbrush. There is no need to pay a bundle for a fancy electric toothbrush. Just brush your teeth in small, circular motions for 2-3 minutes making sure to reach all the surfaces.

Flossing should be done once a day and is critical for reaching the areas where a toothbrush cannot. Some patients wonder whether it’s better to floss before or after brushing. You can make a case for one or the other, but we think the most important thing is that you do both.

At Choose Your Smile dentistry in Kelowna, we offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment with us today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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

 

ArticleID 3804

Fun Floss Facts

V1Y 8B7 after hours dental

You probably believe the most important thing about flossing is to do it every day. Guess what? We agree! However, many people find that trying out a few different types of floss helps them to establish the habit and get the flossing comfort they desire. And the team at Choose Your Smile dentistry in Kelowna agrees with that, too.

Let’s discuss some of the most common types of dental floss.

  • Basic floss is either a monofilament floss, which is frequently made of some kind of rubber or plastic, or multifilament, which is made of nylon or silk. Nylon floss is less pricey, more common and is sold waxed or unwaxed.
  • Monofilament floss will not rip or tear, and because of this, many people find that it pulls in between the teeth easier. This type of floss is generally referred to as “glide” floss.

Both monofilament floss and multifilament floss are sold in differing thicknesses. It is beneficial to find the size that works best for you. Since you should not have to snap the floss between your teeth, find the thickness that allows you to gently floss.

  • Dental tape is nylon floss in the shape of a wide, flat ribbon. Many Choose Your Smile patients find that dental tape is the easiest floss to get between their teeth.

For those of you with braces or appliances, there are also flosses designed to be used with these devices. Make sure to ask about flossing. You don’t want to break this important habit just because you’re having your teeth aligned!

At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we encourage regular brushing and flossing, as well as six-month dental checkups. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Give us a call today to schedule your next appointment.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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

 

ArticleID 5273

Keep Holidays Healthy For Your Teeth!

Kelowna dental financing

Who doesn’t love the holidays? For the team at Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, it’s probably our favorite time of year! They’re a time to take a break from your regular routine and spend time with friends and family.

If you’re not careful, though, holiday celebrations can take a toll on your dental health. They ordinarily involve delicious food, drinks, and sweets that can put you at risk for tooth decay and other issues.

As you navigate the holiday dessert tables, settle upon something special that you don’t usually see during the rest of the year. This will help you to stay satisfied without overdoing the sugary stuff. Also, it’s helpful to have a glass of water with your dessert so you can take a drink after you finish and rinse some of the sugars from your teeth to protect your enamel.

Steer clear of hard candy that stays in your mouth for a long time, and be careful of extra-sticky candy that binds to your teeth. (Especially if you have a dental bridge, veneers, or braces!)

Don’t overlook your dental health routine when your schedule is busier than normal. Regardless of the season, it’s vital to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once per day (ideally, at night before going to bed).

The team at Choose Your Smile in Kelowna wishes Happy Holidays to everyone! We provide general and cosmetic dentistry.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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

 

ArticleID 5419

Save Your Breath

bad breath treatments Kelowna

This post from Choose Your Smile dentistry in Kelowna focuses on a problem that many people experience – bad breath.

Bad breath, or halitosis, has several causes. The most frequent cause is poor oral hygiene. Often, halitosis arises midday arising from not brushing teeth between meals. Small food parts on the teeth, gums, and tongue grow bacteria. The wastes of the bacteria and decay of the food create a sulfur compound, which emits the unpleasant odor. Food particles, bacteria, and sulfuric gas all need to be removed to eliminate bad breath caused by poor oral hygiene.

While poor oral hygiene is the most frequent cause of halitosis, many factors can contribute to or worsen the issue. The best remedy is regular, thorough brushing and flossing, but other actions might also be needed depending on the cause(s).

For example, a salivary gland issue or certain medications can cause dry mouth. Saliva moistens the teeth and gums, clearing away odiferous dead cells. Saliva also neutralizes the ever-present acids on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. Limiting caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum, using OTC saliva substitutes, and using a humidifier can add moisture to the mouth.

Most Common Causes of Bad Breath:

Poor oral hygiene
Inability to brush between meals
Gum disease or tooth decay
Smoking
Braces
An infected root canal
Diabetes
Kidney failure
Liver problems
Infection
Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
Dieting
Age
Crooked teeth
Ear, nose, throat issues
Tonsil issues
Constant breathing through the mouth
Specific foods: garlic, onions, horseradish, etc.
Some prescription medications
Ill-fitting dentures

To Minimize or Prevent Bad Breath:

Go to the dentist twice a year for professional dental cleanings
Brush teeth, tongue, gums, and roof of the mouth
Use a tongue spray or scraper
Use antimicrobial mouth rinse
Chew sugarless gum
Brush and floss after each meal
Drink plenty of water (A dry mouth is conducive to bacteria growth)
Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months
Have a toothbrush and floss available when you are out
Talk to your doctor or dentist if bad breath continues despite proper oral hygiene

Remember, the very best defense to bad breath is a good dental care routine – brushing, flossing, and regular visits with the dentist.
At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we provide skilled dental care with general and cosmetic dentistry. Make an appointment with us today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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

 

ArticleID 7100

Is It Growing In Your Mouth?

Kelowna Dental Implants

Plaque can appear in any mouth – even yours – no matter how meticulous you try to be with daily brushing and flossing. Because of that, it is essential to visit the Choose Your Smile dentist in Kelowna twice a year, for regular cleanings and checkups.

If your teeth have deep grooves, watch out. If you have a receding gum line, watch out. If you have a sweet tooth, watch out.

The plaque process goes something like this:

Bacteria naturally occurs in the mouth, and always will. Bacteria will try to colonize on the smooth surfaces of your teeth. At first, it will be soft enough to be removed with a fingernail. After 48 hours, it will start to harden. Give it 10 days and it will become that substance most difficult to remove, tartar. (See picture.)

This bacteria will feed on sugars and produce acid that eats away the tissues of the tooth and lead to cavities. Cavities originate on the surface and spread on and through the tooth. The best way to deal with plaque is to have a consistent removal process – that is, daily brushing and flossing after eating and even sleeping.

Given enough time, plaque and tartar can lead to gum disease. If you’re seeing us twice a year we’ll catch it in its early stages, when treatment is easiest. But regular brushing and flossing is usually enough to head it off entirely. At Choose Your Smile in Kelowna we also offer general dentistry. Make an appointment with us today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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

 

ArticleID 5603

Help For Nervous Patients

Sedation Dentistry in KelownaConsider the following scenario: You are stretched out in a chair at the dentist’s office when a bright overhead light turns on, and you see latex-gloved hands moving toward your open mouth. Your heart begins to race and your palms are sweaty. If so, you may be a good candidate for sedation dentistry from Choose Your Smile in Kelowna.

Sedation dentistry benefits nervous dental patients every day. Moderate sedation aids in all types of dental care such as root canals, dental implants, and wisdom teeth removal.

If you are planning to undergo extensive restorative or cosmetic dental work, sedation may permit the dentist to perform multiple procedures in a single visit while you remain calm.

At Choose Your Smile, we offer two options: oral conscious sedation, which involves taking a sedative, and IV sedation, administered intravenously. Both are effective; you’ll need a ride home afterward.

If you’re coping with dental anxiety, sedation dentistry from Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, sedation dentistry allows you to get the work you need to maintain your dental health. We also provide general dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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

 

ArticleID 946

Are All Carbs Created Equal?

Diet Changes For Healthier Teeth In Kelowna

Did you know that making small changes to your diet can improve your dental health? It’s true! And at Choose Your Smile in Kelowna, we are working to improve the dental health of each of our patients on a daily basis.

Most people are aware that the sugar found in candy, cookies, juices and sodas can harm your teeth, but some people don’t realize that all carbohydrates can cause cavities. A handful of pretzels or a piece of pumpernickel bread can have the same effect on your teeth as a fudge brownie.

All carbohydrates break down into simple sugars, which are converted into plaque, which can then cause cavities and, left unchecked, gum disease. It’s quite a domino effect.

Carbs are naturally sticky and adhere to your teeth. Eating carbs with meals is healthier than eating them as snacks because more saliva is generated at mealtime. Saliva helps prevent food particles from sticking to teeth.

At Choose Your Smile, we continue to see tooth damage caused by sodas and sports drinks. If you choose to drink them, sip them through a straw. By limiting the contact of these drinks on your teeth, you will help preserve your enamel.

Another important way people can improve their oral health is to get plenty of calcium: 800mg a day for men, and 1,000mg for women under 50. Calcium helps strengthen your jaw and secure your teeth firmly in the jaw bone.

Diet alone will not prevent cavities and harmful gum disease for dental patients, but wise eating supports healthy teeth and gums.

Choose Your Smile in Kelowna offers a full menu of general and cosmetic dentistry. Call our office today to schedule an appointment.

Contact Choose Your Smile – Dr. Stephen Malfair:

250-860-8900

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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

 

ArticleID 3451