Pet’s Dental Health Month

It should be no surprise that February is Pet Dental Health Month. After all, it has the Groundhog prognosticating about seasons and climate.

Groundhogs hibernate and likely have morning breath when they stick their heads out of their dens looking for shadows and such.

Does your pet’s breathe smell badly? Is your pet chewing slowly; do you see blood on their toys, or maybe they have lost some teeth? They could be symptoms of serious dental and general health problems. Remember that pets are prone to the same diseases we are – so like us, diseases in the mouth cause or make diseases of the body worse.

Good dental hygiene at home and preventative dental care at your vet can help keep your pet healthy, and save you money in the long run.

Some thoughts:

Brush your pet’s teeth

Ok. If you find flossing your own teeth a challenge, this may be akin to bronco busting at the rodeo, especially with a cat. But with patience, practice and some treats, it could become a bonding experience with your pet. Ask your vet how to do this.

Dental toys, treats and food

Dental toys, treats and food may not be effective as tooth brushing, but it will help in maintaining your pet’s teeth and gums healthy.

Regular Veterinarian visits

Just as you should be having regular dental visits, your pet needs scheduled dental cleaning at your vet’s office. Keeping regular veterinary appointments will ensure your pet’s health.

Dental health for your pets, like you and your family, should be a daily ritual.

Remember Oral Wellness, Whole Health!

 

 

 

 

Resolutions

How many of Your New Year’s resolutions  have already lapsed, or been missed, forgotten or just plain ignored thinking you’ll start tomorrow…?

Stressed or depressed by this yet? So, maybe this year to stay healthy go without resolutions and stick to the things your mama likely told you.

Eat healthy. Eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to be complicated. A book like “What to Eat When: A Strategic Plan to Improve Your Health and Life through Food” by Roizen et.al. may be a good start.  Replace processed food with real food whenever is possible. Eating food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it can make a huge difference to the way you think, look and feel.

Exercise. Exercise helps control your weight, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers; it strengthens your bones and improves your mental health and mood. Even short walks with friends can improve your mood and health.

Rest. In our wired 24/7 world we are all sleep deprived and risking our well being. Learning to rest –meditation; self-hypnosis, disconnecting regularly, etc. is crucial to maintaining our sanity and physical health.

Me time in the out of doors. In Japan they call it forest therapy. Returning to nature to recharge and rejuvenate is the same as disconnecting from our wired world by taking the time to return to our roots…literally. We developed in the natural world and should reconnect whenever possible.

Preventive maintenance visits to your doctor and dentist is a very important thing to do if you want to stay healthy and have beautiful smile.

Stay Happy and Healthy !

 

Season’s Greetings! Merry Christmas! Happy Holidaaaays…

What if it isn’t Happy or Merry?  What if this is one of the most stressful, if not the most stressful period of the year?

If you are feeling anxious, lonely or overwhelmed; you have mental health concerns or are grieving, what do you do at this time of year?  Here are some suggestions to help get you through. If you are having serious difficulty coping, please seek professional care or at least talk to a trusted confident.

 Get enough sleep: Make an effort to keep to a sleep routine. Rest is important to counter stress.

Exercise: Exercise outside, where the sunlight will help improve your mood and focus. Physical activity is a significant counter balance to the stress hormones and chemicals in our bodies.

Make time for yourself:  Holiday vacations could be a huge hassle. Figure out ways to have fun and enjoy your holidays by doing things that are significant and meaningful to you.

Holidays are supposed to be a time of peace, love and joy. Figure out what YOU need to do to keep holiday spirit rather than be a casualty of it.

If you still feel anxious and depressed, here are some links that you can visit for helpful information:

https://www.anxietycanada.com/sites/default/files/SleepHygiene.pdf

https://www.stjoes.ca/health-services/mental-health-addiction-services/mental-health-services/anxiety-treatment-and-research-clinic-atrc

https://www.hamiltondoctors.ca/anxiety-disorders/

https://www.hamiltonfht.ca/en/managing-my-health/Anxiety.aspx

We wish you and yours the Best of the Season, Happy Holidays and a Joyous Prosperous New Year!

Tips for Treats

Halloween is all about tricks and treats. The trick for parents is how to keep their kids healthy and safe. Considerations should include the type of costume, treat collecting route, and of course the weather. For kids Halloween means bags of free goodies. For parents it present challenges when it comes to the collected hoard of treats. Do I give them a little at the time, or do I let them indulge until they make themselves feel sick? That choice is yours to make, but it is important to have a plan.

Since we see the ravages of sweets, here are a few tips to consider so that the treats have less of an impact on your kids’ teeth:
Let the kids have their treats with meals or shortly after mealtime. This
allows saliva to wash away some of the harmful acids produced by treat fed
bacteria. Saliva changes at mealtime to provide a buffering effect against
acids which cause decay.

Choose the type of treat carefully. Avoid hard candy and suckers that stay
in the mouth a long time. Sticky candies like gummy bears and toffee get
stuck in the teeth and take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing
the risk of tooth decay. Sour candies are acidic. The acid causes erosion,
thinning the enamel of the teeth; this also makes them more prone to decay
and sensitivity.

Drink more water.

Help your children with brushing twice a day and flossing if they can’t do
this by themselves. If it is impossible to brush and floss after sweets,
chew a piece of sugar – free gum to stimulate saliva flow and neutralize the
acid produced by bacteria.

You and your child can come up with a plan on the number of treats they keep
and what to do with the rest.

For those of you giving out treats, you may want to consider healthier
alternatives. How about dollar store stickers or pencils? Another option
that is better than sticky candy is chips or pretzels or Doritos. Do check
the labels to avoid the worry of nut allergies!

If teeth should suffer, see your dentist don’t wait for their regular 6
monthly dental visit.

Happy Trick or Treating! 

September is Healthy Aging Month!

September is a perfect time to celebrate Healthy Aging Month since it is the time after summer when many people think about starting new tasks. Drawing on the “back to school” urge embedded in everyone from childhood, the month’s observance activities are designed to encourage people to rejuvenate and get going on positive measures that can impact physical, social, financial and mental wellness.

Are you a vibrant, active 45-plus who is taking charge of your life, following your passion, and who is happily looking forward to what’s next in life?

To get you started improving yourself, here are some ideas; maybe you will find some that will help you to think outside the box:

Do not act your age or at least what you think how your age should act. Picture yourself at the best year of your life and be it!

Stay positive in your conversations and actions every day.

Drop negativity! If you have negative friends who always complain, stay away from them. Surround yourself with happy, positive people.

Get annual check-ups done. Use this month to set up your annual physical check-up.

How is your smile? Research shows people who smile more often are happier. Your teeth are just as important to your health as the rest of your body. It is the first thing that people notice, and good oral health is a gateway to your overall well being. Oral Wellness, Whole Health! Go to your dentist on a regular basis and consider smile rejuvenation. Whitening your teeth is a good place to start.

Lonely? Stop complaining and do something about it. Pick up the phone and make a call to: volunteer your time, take a class or invite someone for lunch, dinner or coffee.

Walk 10 000 steps a day. Start walking not only for your health, but to see neighbors. Have a dog? It’s amazing how the dog can be a conversation starter. Make a goal to walk 10 000 steps a day, even 15 000 if you want to lose some weight. You can do it!

Remember Age is a state of Mind, not a number.

 

 

It’s Time for Back- to School Dental Checkups!

Summer is almost over; the new school year is creeping ever closer. That means back-to-school shopping, appointments and scheduling your kid’s activities – Mom, did you remember signing up as a taxi driver? Dental checkups should be one of the appointments.

The number one health problem that keeps children from attending school is dental disease. In order to prevent dental issues that could contribute to missing school to see their dentist, ensure that your child has regular dental checkups. This is the key to catch bigger problems down the road. Their growth and development can be monitored, as well as age appropriate preventive measures such as fissure sealants can be initiated. Developing orthodontic concerns can also be addressed early – possibly saving a few dollars in the long run.

Will your child be participating in sports that require a mouthguard? Off the shelf boil and bite are ok in a pinch, but custom made athletic mouthguards are superior. It takes about a week to make one so book early. You wouldn’t want to miss a practice.

Now is the best time to visit dentist while there is no school to miss.
Ensure your child’s teeth sparkle on their first day back to school.
Schedule appointment for your child’s back-to-school checkup call
(905) 667 – 8707 or
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Oral wellness, whole health!

Bruxism & Stress Management Help


Stress!

Stress is harmful.
You know this….it’s getting worse day by day. You are not immune. So what are you going to do?

Dentally it may be experienced as grinding or clenching, known as bruxing or bruxism. When stressed you may grind and clench during the day or the night. It is detrimental to your teeth. Not only can this lead to painful teeth and tooth wear – which is both unaesthetic and disfiguring, but it has been linked to TMD, that is, temporomandibular disorders or as it’s known colloquially as TMJ.

The exact cause is usually unknown and may be difficult to diagnose. For some it is related to sleep disorders including the potentially very harmful sleep apnea. For others it may be related to more complex medical issues.
Stress may alone be the cause or it may set off bruxing in cycles related to the amount of stress being experienced.

Stress, especially if it is chronic, can be as damaging to our whole health as bruxing is to our teeth.

A stress management program consists of many components, possibly including a team of health care professionals to help you and as such there is no magic pill to make it better. Mediation and self-hypnosis can be foundation stones along with good nutrition, exercise and adequate sleep.

If you are stress bruxer; if you have no other underlying causes for bruxing, would you like to learn self-hypnosis for managing your stress? We offer training to members of our dental family and non-patients alike. Contact us for an appointment:

contactus@dentistry870.ca or call 905 667 8707.

Further information on Hypnosis:
www.asch.net
http://csch-od.ca/

Mother’s Day

 

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and that means it’s time to find the perfect gift to show mom how much we care. Unfortunately, this task is no easy feat and we often end up resorting to the time-honored homemade cards or chore booklets. While most moms will appreciate any gift and enjoy the thought behind it, we need to challenge ourselves to find the perfect gift for mom this year. After all, she has been there to wipe our tears, offer band aids when needed, give hugs on days we were down, taught us to tie or shoes, made sure we had food and clean clothes, and the list goes on and on. So, it’s no secret that our moms deserve to be spoiled every now and then- even if it is only one day a year.

So let’s take a moment to think about how we can make mom feel special, let’s put her on the top of the list today and treat her to something she may not do for herself. Maybe we can give her a gift that she deserves, that is, time for her only! Why not buy her a gift certificate for a massage and spa experience; take her out for dinner so that she doesn’t have to cook, or you can set up an appointment for teeth whitening to make her smile brighter.

Here’s to all of the moms out there. May we humbly say that you’re simply the BEST MOM EVER! Thank you all for everything you do every day.

Palliative Care and Oral Health

Oral health care is an integral part of healthcare and well-being.  Rarely talked about, it is also a component of palliative care. This is not surprising as oral care tends to be forgotten about in spite of research showing its relevance to general health. As we say, “Oral wellness, Whole health”.

This is also not surprising as palliative care deals with end of life issues which causes us to focus on more profound things –regardless whether we are the patient, a family member or a caregiver.

The World Health Organization defines palliative care as:

…an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual. Palliative care:

  • provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms;
  • affirms life and regards dying as a normal process;
  • intends neither to hasten or postpone death;
  • integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care;
  • offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death;
  • offers a support system to help the family cope during the patients illness and in their own bereavement;
  • uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated;
  • will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness; is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications.

Good mouth care in our final days and weeks is about quality of life.  Up to the last moment, we want to be able to communicate with those around us, socialise, feel comfortable, and enjoy whatever food and drink may suit us. This is about our dignity and self-esteem, whether it is in a hospice, hospital or in our own homes.

The aim is to have comfort by ensuring oral cleaning- with toothbrush, toothette, or gauze. Saliva substitutes where there is a dry mouth caused by treatments, medications or age. Making sure dentures fit as well as possible to prevent ulcers and that they are cleaned regularly on a daily basis. Sharp, broken, loose teeth should be attended to by a dentist, as should active oral infections.

These links offer rationales and some detailed care instructions.

www.hospice.org.nz

https://www.cda-adc.ca/jcda/vol-72/issue-5/413.pdf

 Scottish Palliative Care Guidelines – Mouth Care

 Review Date: 31/05/2017

www.Virtualhospice.ca

If you have a loved one in palliation, these minimal interventions should offer a modicum of comfort without being too  demanding  at difficult time making it as normal and comfortable as possible.