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Thumb Sucking

AUTHOR Sharise

Thumb sucking is very common with kids. It is a habit that is developed at a young age, sometimes starting while still in the womb. It allows children to soothe themselves or can act as something to do when they are bored.  Many children stop sucking their thumb between the ages of 2-4, but intervention is recommended once permanent teeth start to develop. At this point, thumb sucking could start to affect the development of the palate and the growing pattern of your child’s adult teeth.

How to encourage your child to stop sucking their thumb?

  • Don’t mention it. This tends to work if your child sucks their thumb for attention. Ignoring their habit is enough to deter them from continuing it.
  • Positive reinforcement. Use praise and rewards to encourage your child to stop sucking their thumb. A calendar with stickers is a great idea. Place stickers on the calendar for each day that they did not suck their thumb.
  • Identify triggers. Does your child suck their thumb when they are stressed? If so, find out the triggers and try to resolve those issues. Maybe a hug, blanket or stuffed animal will ease them and replace thumb sucking.
  • Gentle reminders. Do not scold, criticize or ridicule your child when they are sucking their thumb. Instead, try creating a subtle signal to bring your child’s attention

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Your Pets Dental Health

AUTHOR Sharise

Today is Hug Your Cat day, so I figured… why not write a blog about proper hygiene for your pets? Here is some information on how to improve your pets dental health, whether they are a cat or a dog.

  1. Breath Test: While many of our pets do not have the best smelling breath, we should be concerned if their breath is offensive. Foul smelling breath could be signs of digestion issues or gum disease. If your furry friend has a loss of appetite, vomiting, frequent urination, you should definitely be taking them to the vet.
  2. Lip Service: Once a week lift your pets lips. Their gum tissues should be hard and pink, not red/white. Also make sure there are no fractured teeth and be on a lookout for brown tarter build up, their teeth should be sparkly and white just like yours.
  3. Signs of oral disease: Bad breath, excessive drooling, inflamed gums, ulcers/tumors/cysts on the gum tissue or under the tongue, loose teeth,  difficulty eating, pus, a red line along the gum tissue or excessive pawing of their mouth. These signs may show that your pet may have problem in their mouth or a gastro-intestinal related problem.
  4. Tooth decay: Bacteria and plaque forming foods can start to harden on your pets teeth and create tartar build-up which if left on teeth can cause gingivitis and tooth decay.

For more tips

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Flossing Matters

AUTHOR Sharise

As much as no one likes flossing, we can all agree that bad breath is worse! Many people avoid flossing because it takes some time and practice to get it right, therefore, they give up. Flossing has many benefits to your oral health such as preventing bad breath and potential cavities. Bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease can be caused by trapped food particles and bacteria in hard to reach areas which can easily be removed with some dental floss. To get into the flossing habit, floss at the same time everyday, keep your floss in a visible place next to your sink, or write it down on your daily ‘to do’ list. While flossing is recommended twice a day, flossing at least once a day is sufficient. It is preferred that you floss at night to remove all food particles and bacteria that has built up throughout the day. Daily flossing will not only improve your overall oral health but help to beat bad breath. Once you commit to this daily habit your teeth will feel cleaner and you’ll smile!

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Dogs in the dental office… What do you think?

AUTHOR Sharise

Therapy dogs soothe patients at Victoria dental clinic
Therapy dogs Gryphon and Rigby help calm patients down before they head to the dentist chair

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

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Electric Toothbrushes

AUTHOR Sharise

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)

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Foods That Stain Your Teeth

AUTHOR Sharise

  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.

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