October and Fall

by Kim D.


It’s hard for me to determine which feels most like the true beginning of the year-January or September.  Anyone agree?  As the lazy summer days are winding down and kids are ready to hit the books again, I always feel a new surge of momentum going forward into the fall. There is a renewed enthusiasm for plans and goal development that got lost in the fray of the “go go go” summer months.

In autumn we get the best of both worlds-beautiful warm days and cool nights which bring relief to the air conditioning unit and hydro bill!   Football players prepare to dominate the field as husbands prepare to dominate the couch, and the smells of fall bring to mind:  Turkey and stuffing, pumpkin pie, and all kinds of chili’s, soups and stews.

There’s still a lot to do outdoors before the snow flies and hibernation begins.  You don’t need to look too far to find some entertainment.  Right here in in and around our City of Hamilton we can enjoy Oktoberfest at the German club, or inKitchener, Hamilton Music and Film Festival, Art Crawl Tour , Steel City Jazz festival, Apple-Lee Fun Weekends, Autumn Sundays and Thanksgiving. These  are held in October -see Tourism Hamilton for more.

Usually accompanying these celebrations is a good cold beer.  Believe it or not, light to moderate beer drinking can actually have beneficial effects!  Beer contains silicon and calcium, reinforcing bones, teeth, breze-1611750__180nails and hair.  Beer has antibacterial properties, assisting in controlling the number of harmful bacteria present in the mouth.  Tannins are “good acids” found in beer, which have similar properties to fluoride, reducing the ability of bacteria to stick to teeth.

Beer also aids in gastric acid production, promoting proper digestion, can help to decrease bad cholesterol, and increase good cholesterol.  Even if you prefer darker ales that can stain your teeth, it’s easy enough for your Dental Hygienist to brighten your smile with a 20 minute Spadent Whitening session.

So cheers to the benefits of beer, as we enjoy the fleeting warm days we have left this year and what our increasingly more vibrant city has to offer.



As the post summer real world whirlwind of life swirls about you, are you ready and organized?yes-1015483__180

Pilots use checklists, as do many others. So here’s one to help you                get your health related concerns organized.

Dentally related:

  • Preventive Checkups, cancer screenings and cleanings for the family
  • Regular periodontal maintenance appointments
  • Athletic mouth guards for sports –new or condition evaluation of old ones
  • Annual condition review of bruxism mouth guard
  • Fissure sealants for the children as teeth grow into the mouth
  • Fluoride treatments for the children
  • Orthodontics appointments
  • Annual condition review of oral sleep apnea appliance
  • Annual denture checkup and oral examination for cancer and other diseases
  • Updated any changes to your dental insurance coverage with your dental home

Medically related:

  • Annual physical and blood work if appropriate
  • Vaccinations –age appropriate and seasonal e.g. influenza
  • Travel vaccinations if going to disease prevalent areas (includes some of the sunny vacation spots)
  • Cancer screenings for men and women
  • Ongoing care and tests for chronic diseases e.g. diabetes

You may also have regular care from allied health care providers such as massage therapists and chiropractors to name a few. Are those organized?

We could belabour the list, but You know what you have to do.                         yes-238375__180  Hopefully this makes it a easier to navigate your through                                     the whirlwind.

Remember Oral wellness, Whole health starts now.





The ubiquitouszeitgeist-378779__180 back-to-school advertisings are popping up with disturbing regularity. Night skies in August are filled with the Perseid celestial display. Days are getting shorter and the advent of Labour Day is near. Tax freedom day has past [and getting later and later every year]. Thanksgiving and Halloween are just around the corner; and at the date of writing, there are 135 days until Christmas.

These are some of the portents of the recurring cycles on the macro scale we live by – knowingly or not. On the micro scale, we have body cycles that regulate our rest and activity, metabolism and even our daily alertness. [Roughly every 90 minutes we have conscious downtime for a brief period.]

Have you ever wondered about the relationship of cycles to your health?

There are many health screening cycles. Some represent milestone achievements in our lives, while some are strictly lifestyle related. Some are gender specific – breast and cervical cancer screening and some are not – colorectal cancer screening and vaccination schedules to name a few.

Our mouths have similar cycles. Decay, cavities have a sine wave of peaks and valleys throughout our lives. This means there are periods of greater risk for decay like childhood and old age.

Gum disease may have periods of activity and quiescence. This is definitely related to our general state of health, stress levels, gender and lifestyle activities.

Oral cancer screening should be an annual activity, if not more frequently, depending on lifestyle – smoking, alcohol use and sexual activity.

If you or your children are involved in athletics, then an annual reevaluation of your athletic mouthguard should be part of your preventive cycle. No one wants concussions or fractured teeth.

Similarly, dentures and partial denture [like your car] need annual inspection and maintenance; implant supported dentures, crowns and bridges particularly need regular follow-up.  Implants may look like teeth and work like teeth, but they aren’t teeth.

Cycles rule us – some natural, some human inspired without which we would not be able to pass through life. Part of navigating our complex modern existence is the necessity of recognizing them and following through with those over which we have control.


Canada Day 2016

canada-day-614290__180 by Kathleen S.

We’re 149 this year!

It’s the perfect day to celebrate with fireworks and flag waving.

Let’s be proud that we live in this blessed and bountiful country.

We Canadians are known for friendliness, politeness and equanimity. But, our relatively young Nation has also made noteworthy contributions throughout our history.  To name a very few:

  • The first practical electron microscope was developed by Canadian-born physicist James Hillier with his advisor physicist Eli F. Burton and fellow graduate Albert Prebus at the University of Toronto in 1937 (Los Angeles Times)
  • Helmut Lucas created the mechanical prosthetic hand in 1971. A major improvement in prosthetics, helping the physically disabled live normally (Weebly)
  • Nobel Prize winner Sir Frederick Grant Banting discovered insulin as a treatment therapy for diabetes mellitus in the 1920’s (Historica Canada)
  • In November 13, 1981 the Canadarm launched in space which is Canada’s greatest technological contribution (Canada Space Agency)
  • The Royal Canadian Dental Corps provided dental treatment since the Boer War from 1899-1902. Ever since, the Dental Corps assisted in World War I and World War II, the Korean War, the Gulf War, and War in Afghanistan.  RCDC also assisted in disaster stricken countries like Haiti in the recent years (Canadian Dental Association)

There are other great inventions and inventors in our midst both in the past and now.  Our contributions have shaped improvements in healthcare, technology and overall life.

So this Canada Day let the maple syrup flow, let us celebrate!

Wilderness Dentistry


Summer beckocairn-1286256_960_720ns! Campers, hikers and woodsmen [woods people?] cease hibernating and venture out into the back country.

Prudence recommends that anyone intending to spend any length of time removed from civilization has taken an appropriate first aid course and carries a purpose designed first aid kit. The Scout motto, “Be prepared!” extends to dealing with the expected and especially the unexpected.

Generally we tend to forget about our health needs during wilderness forays. The most neglected need is our oral health.The following briefly reviews possible oral emergencies that may be encountered. A list of resources ranging from the health professional level to the outdoor lay enthusiast is suggested from expert and reputable organizations.

As in most emergencies, the main culprits are:

  1. Trauma,
  2. Infection,
  3. Bleeding, and
  4. Pain.

Depending on the emergency, your actions may range from immediate evacuation to seeing your dentist as soon after getting home as possible.

Trauma includes jaw and joint injury, fractured teeth and soft tissue injuries.   Broken jaws are serious injuries requiring stabilization and immediate evacuation to professional care. Dislocated lower jaws may be reduced and treated symptomatically until one can get to their dentist or an ER.

Fractured teeth come in several varieties – uncomplicated crown fractures [the part that you can see in the mouth], and complicated crown fractures in which the pulp [nerve] is exposed, crown-root fractures, and root fractures.

Uncomplicated fractures need dental care, but are not acute emergencies requiring immediate evacuation. Complicated crown fractures need cleaning and coverage to protect the nerve. Get dental care as soon as practicable. Crown –root fractures and root fractures must be stabilized. Seeing a dentist quickly is recommended.

If a tooth is extruded, or moved out of position, reposition it and see your dentists as more complicated treatment will be needed. Should the tooth be knocked out, gently clean the root with water or saline – do not handle the root or scrape it clean- and replace it in the socket. Further dental care will be needed.

Infection, dentally speaking, ranges from a cavity (decay is a bacterial infection) to full blown cellulitis where the tissues are swollen, very painful and depending on the location, life threatening.

Cavities that are aching may be filled with temporary filling materials that you can find in some drugstores or even wax and should be attended to after the trip. Abscessed teeth will need more care than is possible in the field, whereas cellulitis requires evacuation if you are not equipped to treat it appropriately in the field.

All of the foregoing usually have pain associated which may range in severity from over the counter medications to prescription pain medications and antibiotics for relief.

To  prepare for a longer wilderness outing, a preventive visit to your dentist is highly recommended. This is especially true the further from civilization that you are planing to venture. An ounce of prevention and all of that…

Further backcountry or wilderness medical/first aid information and courses may be found at the following sites:

Wilderness Medical Society

Outward Boundsport-310484_960_720

National Outdoor Leadership School

Wilderness Medical Associates

St. John Ambulance

Like  Scouts, enjoy the wilderness;
… Be prepared!


Mother’s Day 2016 by Kathleen S.

“What do I give Mom?”teddy-1338893__180

Every year, we ask the question. With spring finally being here, flower varieties are blooming in radiant colours and delightful scents; so we automatically think of them as the quintessential gift. Typically Mom will get a bouquet and a card. How about stepping out of your comfort zone and give her what she really wants? Doesn’t she deserve more?

Keeping up with our health in today’s day and age can be hard at best. We usually put health on the back burner. Parents are working during the day, and then at home. Kids are the first priority. Mothers’ schedules are always busy even on their “days off.” A day in the spa with the full package: massage, facial, mani and pedi would be much appreciated “me time”. She’ll feel refreshed and be a rejuvenated Mom.

Give her self esteem a boost with a new haircut and style from the salon. A new outfit to go along with her new ‘do’ will give her more self confidence. Whitening sessions will give Mom the gift of a radiant smile. [Our SpaDent works fast with less sensitivity and is affordable.] A whiter smile can make her feel younger and more vibrant.

Moms appreciate the time they have with their children. Carve out time from your busy work schedule to spend time with family. Why not ask Mom to go for a walk or jog in the park followed by a family picnic afterwards. Attending a cooking class together can also be a rewarding way to spend time with her. Or, you can just spend a good chunk of the day doing what she loves – did you ask her what that would be? Mom will cherish your effort of putting time aside for her for the day.

We love our Moms. They brought us into this world. Moms take the time to care for us no matter what our age. They sacrifice and put up with a lot. Give something special in return. It need not be something expensive or material. Time and consideration devoted to Mom will make it a day that Mom will always remember.

April Dental Health Month 2016


April has been designated as Oral Health Month amongst other worthy causes.

Much has been written about oral health in the past. So I do not wish to cover the same territory much better covered by others. The odds are you have heard it and seen it. Equally, like much that we are exposed to in our daily lives, you have not given it much thought. It’s only reasonable in our information overloaded society to be selective. Usually something only enters our awareness when we have a need.

Rather, I wish to address oral health and by extension general well being, by considering an infrequently mentioned component – that of volition. We will all have to address this need.

What do I mean? Preventive dental care whether at home and by keeping regular ongoing care appointments, require you to be volitionally involved. You must appreciate the value of the activity and be a fully active participant.

As kids, our parents usually act as our ‘volitional’ partners until such time as we can brush and floss our own teeth, remember to wear our athletic mouth guards,  make and keep regular preventive appointments. At some point when maturity sets in, we rightfully assume our role in looking after ourselves. [Ever notice that as an adult you speak, especially to your own kids, and your parent’s voices come out?]

What happens when we can’t? Unfortunately, mental and physical disease, not to mention the inevitable consequences of aging may prevent our volitional involvement in our own care and well being. Then, to quote Stella, from a Street Car Named Desire, “I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers” will be our reality.

Caregivers, whether family or professional, will only be able to nominally help us based on circumstances, skills and resources.  Thus, our futures in general and in specific dentally, are less than stellar as we depend on others for our care.

So, think about the issue before it’s imperative or at least, as senescence beings its relentless march to overtake you. Have a plan. Discuss it with trusted family and friends. Make arrangements as needed. Be ready!

Remember Oral wellness, Whole health.


Hypnosis in Dentistry by Michael Wong

Vancouver convention Centre east

Vancouver convention Centre East

Doctor Filo has returned from the Gate Way of the American West, St Louis, and The Pacific Dental Conference in Vancouver where he shared his expertise  of dental hypnosis at the respective conferences.

When he told me that was the topic of his presentation I thought to myself, “what’s the difference between self- hypnosis and regular hypnosis?” I recalled a time when my friends and I went to watch a stage hypnotist while we were in college.  “Was that self hypnosis?” I wondered?  So I decided to ask doctor Filo what the concept of self- hypnosis was.  He was very happy to explain this to me and he gave me a book to read that further explained what the benefits of self hypnosis are and why therapists teach self- hypnosis.

Self -hypnosis can be best described as a pleasant self induced day dreaming or meditative state, elicited by an induction cue or process that is taught to them. Self- hypnosis is most effective when the subject practices what they are taught over time, just like learning to ride a bike. The real power belongs to the patient because they are able to control their state whenever they need it. This is why clinicians teach self -hypnosis to patients.

There are many benefits’ to self -hypnosis such as

  • A refocusing tool to calm the body and mind,
  • Relaxation ,
  • Coping with difficult situations ,
  • Self – development,
  • portable and can be used at any time without the need for equipment,
  • Helps relieve nervousness and anxiety,
  • Is a perpetual, accessible life skill.

If you have any questions or would like more information contactus@dentistry870.ca  or call (905) 667 – 8707.

Valentine’s 2016

Brethren!   Valentine’s Day is upon us …. again!

Did you remember?

Have you given it the appropriate solemnity we are told it deserves?

Has it taken you by surprise like Christmas shopping?

Are you confused by the kind of card you should get?

Do you confuse roses for dandelions or burdock?

Is shiny, sparkly bling not in your cosmic perspective?

If yes, then what’s the fall back for your continued bliss?

Why chocolates of course!

Let’s look at chocolate for a knowledge based rationale when you explain to your honey why this was your choice for commemorating Cupid’s day.

Let’s start where it counts on the health front. Kerri-Ann Jennings, a registered dietitian and the associate editor of nutrition for EatingWell magazine, states that “dark chocolate has much to recommend it (in moderation — remember, it’s still high in fat and sugar, which can add a lot of unwanted calories if eaten with abandon). That’s because chocolate has lots of antioxidants, just like green tea. Chocolate eating has also been linked to low blood pressure and increased insulin sensitivity. ”

Wikipedia offers the following positive and reassuring facts.  Acne was considered to be caused by chocolate but this is not supported by scientific studies. Chocolate also has a low glycemic index. High glycemic index foods along with other potential dietary sources are the causes for acne. Addiction is a serious problem. Self described chocoholics passionately crave it. They are not truly addicted by definition. Sadly, there are no rigorous studies that give credence to the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate. This, however, does not change the myth.  Maybe it shouldn’t.  Chocolate contains caffeine, like coffee and tea which is a mild stimulant, a characteristic also attributed to theobromine that is also found in it. Chocolate’s relationship to body weight is unclear. Excessive consumption of dark chocolate can lead to high caloric intake and weight gain.

Turning to the mouth and teeth [as a dentist I feel obligated], the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry quotes a British study by Levine that, “there is evidence that foods containing milk casein, calcium, phosphorus, and cocoa, all of which are found in chocolate milk, may be less likely to contribute to dental caries [cavities] than sucrose alone or other snack foods.”

The evidence to date indicates that, when consumed in moderation, flavoured milk, including chocolate milk, has a low cariogenic potential.

Another interesting study found that a naturally occurring cacao extract, Rennou™, actually works better than fluoride to restore and repair enamel, and occludes dentinal tubules, ultimately eliminating dental hypersensitivity in just seven days.

So, without belabouring the obvious value of chocolate, this cursory survey of chocolate’s many benefits may just get you out of the dog house this February 14th!


De-stressing Christmas







By Kathleen S.

The Christmas Spirit is in the air!  Everybody is busy with preparations for the big day.  It can get a bit stressful, so here are some tips to help relieve the   Christmas chaos.

  • Make Use of Your Calendar

List on your calendar when to buy presents and when to put up Christmas decorations.  Jot down parties that you have to attend with the details for each.  This is especially helpful when you are the host of the party.  Put a ‘due date’ in your calendar to aim for when to prepare your home, get the groceries and other supplies.

  • Christmas Budget

Set a Christmas Budget.  Compare what you plan to spend this year to the amount you spent last year.  Decide what you want to cut back or splurge on.  Having said this, you should start saving at least half a year or more in advance.  Remember to stick to your budget!

  • Make a Gift List

Make lists, charts, tables, etc.  If you have plenty of gift recipients on your list, a chart of names and the item you intend to buy is very useful.  You can keep track of the items and check it off as you go.  This way, you can monitor your budget.  Also, wrap gifts as you buy them so it’s not too overwhelming for you to wrap everything all at once.

  • Plan Out Your Christmas Dinner

Plan a simple menu or even host a potluck dinner to ease the load in the kitchen.  If you’re having family and friends over, keep in touch on what they plan to bring.  Perhaps appoint others to bring the appetizers and dessert, while leaving the main dish for you.  Make sure to visit the grocery store beforehand because there’s nothing worse than running out of stock items.

To make your holiday run smoothly, keep things simple, therefore manageable.  It does not have to be perfect. The Spirit of Christmas is about family and close friends celebrating together.

From all of us here at Dentistry 870 have a Merry Christmas, Boldog Karácsony, Joyeux Noel, Maligayang Pasko, Feliz Navidad!


Sources: www.christmas.com; www.thefrugalhomemaker.com