Cavity Culprits

In Today’s Parent January/February 2018 there was an article on cavities in children. Did you know that between 2010 and 2012 almost 30,000 children underwent day surgery to restore decayed teeth? The reason for the day surgery is that most children under the age of 5 cannot sit still in the dental chair for longer periods of time or because of their fear of the dentists. Some parents and professionals think it is easier to have all treatment done at once (while sedated) so that they do not traumatize the child from future dental treatment (like your regular cleanings and check-ups). While there are many factors to the development of childhood caries (like the level of fluoridation in the water, diet, and one’s socioeconomic status), the main cause is that you have the cavity-causing bacteria known as streptococcus mutans/strep mutans in your mouth. We are not born with these bacteria, it is normally passed onto us from a parent through sharing of utensils, food, or when parents may clean their child’s pacifier in their own mouth after it has fallen on the floor. It is best to be mindful and try to avoid doing all of the above. However, once the bacteria have been passed onto the child, please do your best to keep their teeth clean. Remember to brush twice a day, try to floss once a day (especially if their teeth are coming in close together), reduce sugar intake (if they are eating something chewy or sweet, we recommend rinsing with water afterwards). While brushing and flossing may be a difficult task (especially for younger kids) this should be non-negotiable as the outcome of not keep up with oral hygiene could be much worse than your daily fight to get them to do this. The Canadian Dental Association recommends bringing your child for their first visit at 1 year old (or when their teeth have started to erupt). Please contact us at Innovation Drive Dental at 905-264-0333. We would be happy to meet your little ones for their first HAPPY VISIT 😊

What’s Your Toothbrush Telling You? How Often Should You Change Your Toothbrush?

Does your toothbrush look like this?

Or this?

This toothbrush is telling you that it has done its job and it’s time to move on.  At Innovation Drive Dental in Woodbridge our patients come for their cleaning appointments every 3 months, 4 months, 6 months or some choose to come once a year. These cleaning frequencies are prescribed by Dr. Shulman and our amazing hygienists based on the amount of tarter buildup, bleeding caused by gum inflammation, and amount of bone loss you might have.  But, this frequency is not what is recommended when it comes to how often you should change your tooth brush. At Innovation Dental we give out soft toothbrushes at the end of each hygiene appointment (anything firmer than soft can cause tooth damage). Far too often we find patients wait until their next appointment to get a fresh toothbrush, but please note, these toothbrushes should be replaced approximately every 3 months.  Aggressive brushing and scrubbing will not only cause wear to your teeth which in turn can lead to tooth sensitivity, but it will also cause your toothbrush to splay earlier causing it to be less effective if you continue to use it. This goes for both a manual tooth brush and the brush heads for an electric toothbrush. If you have recently been sick, it is recommended to either replace or sterilize your toothbrush. Dipping your toothbrush head into a pot of boiling water for 10-20 seconds or placing your toothbrush in the dishwasher are good ways to sterilize.

You can read more about this at:

Dogs in the dental office… What do you think?

Therapy dogs soothe patients at Victoria dental clinic

Therapy dogs Gryphon and Rigby help calm patients down before they head to the dentist chair

By On The Island, CBC News Posted: Mar 26, 2015 6:00 AM PT Last Updated: Mar 26, 2015 6:00 AM PT

Gryphon and Rigby are therapy dogs at a Victoria dental clinic.

Gryphon and Rigby are therapy dogs at a Victoria dental clinic. (InHarmony Dental Care)

A Victoria dental clinic has come up with a way to calm jittery patients that is perhaps more gentle than knocking them out with a sedative.

Gryphon and Rigby, two old English sheepdog and poodle crossbreeds, sit with patients at InHarmony Dental Care to help calm them down before they head to the dentist chair.

“When we first opened our practice, our goal was to allow people a choice between white knuckling it and being unconscious,” said Kate Darrach-Cottick in an interview with On The Island.

“We figured there had to be something in between — that you could come in and have your needs met in such a way that you would leave in a better frame of mind than when you arrived.”

Darrach-Cottick says sheepdogs have the ability to differentiate between the energy emitted from a running herd of animals and their own. The idea is for Gryphon and Rigby to use that same ability to read people’s energies.

When an antsy patient comes in, Darrach-Cottick would tell the dogs to “go to work,” and they would then sit by the patient. The dogs’ silky soft coats and their calm demeanour help patients relax, Darrach-Cottick said.

“They may both put their heads on your lap and you would feel the weight of them,” she said. “They offer that sense of grounding.”


Electric Toothbrushes

Are electric toothbrushes better than your manual brushes? Likely yes! 90% of people do not use the proper techniques when brushing their teeth.

We don’t always hit every tooth or brush long enough. On average, you make about 300 strokes per minute using a manual brush. An electric toothbrush rotates 3000 to 7500 times a minute, and a sonic brush makes 30000 to 40000 strokes per minute.

A dentist in Minnesota states that electric toothbrushes can be very helpful for children, the elderly or anyone who has difficulty using their hands. They are always a good option if you are helping someone brush their teeth.

If you are interested in purchasing an electric toothbrush for you or your loved one, call us at 905-264-0333. We carry Philips Sonicare toothbrushes (and sell them at cost too 😉 )

Foods That Stain Your Teeth

  1. Tea: While tea may be a healthy drink. Dentists say it causes more staining than coffee (especially the basic black variety).

  2. Sauces: Deeply coloured sauces such as tomato, soy and curry sauce cause staining. Switch to white or light coloured sauces and brush and rinse shortly after eating.

  3. Sports Drinks: Sports and energy drinks cause your enamel to erode causing teeth to stain more easily. Water is the better option for hydrating while working out.

  4. Wine: Wine is acidic and causes staining of the teeth. While most people see only red wine as the culprit, white wine (which happens to be even more acidic than red) can cause staining as well.

  5. Fruits and Berries: Blueberries, blackberries and cherries, oh my! These berries and a list of other vibrant coloured fruits can cause teeth to stain, so can juices and pies made from them.

  6. Soda and other carbonated drinks: Looking for a reason to cut back? Thanks to acids and dyes, these drinks — even light-colored ones — can lead to serious stains. Plus, the chemicals that add flavor can also eat away your enamel.

  7. Candy and Sweets: If your candy is causing your tongue to change colour, it could do the same to your teeth.

We Raised $362 For The Heart & Stroke Foundation

Thank you to all of our patients who so kindly donated to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. With your help (and Madeline’s DELICIOUS heart cookies) we were able to raise $181.00. The doctor’s matched that amount so all in all we raised $362.00!!! We could not have done it without you!

4 Secrets To A Younger Smile

You do everything possible to protect your skin, face, body and hair from succumbing to the effects of aging. So, why should your smile be any different? Preserve your smile and keep it looking young with the following recommendations:

  • Limit tooth fractures: Especially during or after menopause, when the teeth are more susceptible to fractures.
  • Stay on top of visits to your dentist: Professional cleanings remove calculus that has formed on your teeth. If left on for too long, calculus can cause bone loss, gum inflammation and gum recession.
  • Steer clear of metal fillings: Composite resin is preferred over the old silver or mercury fillings because it reinforces the tooth and limits cracking.
  • Replace restorations when necessary: If your restorations are old or have experienced major wear, they may need to be replaced. Bacteria are attracted to imperfections at the junction of the tooth and restoration.

Found on

February is Heart and Stroke Month

February is Heart and Stroke month. Know the signs of a stroke.

FACE… Is it drooping?

ARMS… Can you raise both?

SPEECH… Is it slurred or jumbled?

TIME… To call 9-1-1 right away

How do Jaws become Misaligned?

Various factors can cause jaws to shift, putting strain on the surrounding muscles in our mouths.  Some of the causes of jaw misalignment are tooth loss, mouth breathing, whiplash, genetics, arthritis or even a slight blow to the head.

People are not aware that unconscious habits such as jutting their chins forward, clenching their teeth when they are angry or even biting down on a pencil or pen can put additional strain on the teeth and jaws.  This can cause premature wear and tear on the teeth as they are not designed for this destructive habit.

Jaw problems can also occur in children due to poor oral habits. The most common cause is thumb sucking in children beyond four years of age.  Thumb sucking can push their growing teeth out of position by molding their upper palate with their thumb or fingers.  This creates narrow arches and cross bites. Fortunately, this is a habit that many children leave behind when their permanent teeth come in.

With a narrow upper arch in both children and adults the tongue positions itself on the floor of the mouth so when they swallow they push their tongue against the teeth that do not meet in order to create a closed space.  The tongue is one our most powerful muscles and the sheer strength of its thrusts when swallowing can prevent children/adult from developing or having a normal bite.

Be mindful and develop good habits by:

  • Be more conscious of your mouth position
  • Your tongue should rest lightly at the junction of the upper teeth and gum tissue and the lips should rest lightly together
  • The head should also be in a upright, balanced and in a relaxed position

“Remember, lips together, teeth apart, tongue in place”.

To help you be more aware of the tension in your jaws or face your can do a “facial scan”.

Close your eyes and ask yourself these questions:

  • Are my face muscles tense or relaxed?
  • Are my teeth touching together lightly or tightly?
  • Are my jaws hanging loosely with lips together and teeth apart?
  • Where is my tongue sitting? Is it sitting at the floor of my mouth?
  • Are my cheeks pulled into the sides where my teeth connect? Or, do I chew my cheeks as an unconscious habit?  (often this will create a white horizontal line on the inside of the cheek)

By understanding and being more aware of your oral habits you can take ownership of your mouth and your dental health.

Nutritional Deficiencies Your Dentist Can Detect

The average person visits their dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and check-up, and these are appointments you don’t want to miss as we not know there is a connection between your oral health and your overall health.  Inflammation in the mouth and inflammation in the body are correlated.  When this goes unchecked, this inflammation can show up in the form as heart disease, stroke, and other chronic inflammatory diseases.

Your mouth is a window to your overall health. Nutrition plays a critical role. Very often, when something flares up, loosens, or looks different in your mouth, it is your body’s way of asking for some type of nutrient it doesn’t have enough of.

  • Calcium: loose teeth, premature tooth loss, softening of teeth, bleeding gums.
  • Magnesium: inflamed gum tissue.
  • Vitamin B2:  Shiny red lips, sore tongue.
  • Vitamin B3: Red and/or swollen tip of tongue with dry smooth edges, general mouth pain.
  • Vitamin B6: Sore burning mouth, smooth tongue.
  • Vitamin B12: Bad breath, bright red tongue with fissures, loss of taste, dry mouth, numbness and bleeding.
  • ***Sores at the edge of the mouth may mean you are lacking in Vitamin B2, B3, B6 and B12***
  • Lack of Vitamin C or A: Bleeding gums, lowered immune response, infections in the mouth (ie. Yeast), impaired taste.
  • Vitamin D: Softening of teeth, increased bleeding, and yeast infections
  • Zinc: Loss of sensation in the tongue, loss of taste, dry mouth and susceptibility to gum disease.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet will make you feel better, increase your energy level, is good for your dental health and will make you smile more often!

Contact our office at 905-264-0333 to schedule you appointment in the New Year! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!