Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program

As you may have heard, the Ontario Government has announced a Seniors’ Dental care program for low income seniors. To take advantage of the program you must be over 65 years of age and meet the income requirements:
an annual net income of $19,300 or less for a single senior,
a combined annual net income of $32,300 or less for a couple.

To participate in the program you must apply and participation has to be renewed annually.

If you are accepted into the program, you can access dental services through:
Public Health Units
partner Community Health Centres
partner Aboriginal Health Access Centres.

Access to the full range of dental services will vary across the province. The program will continue to expand in the coming year.

To apply go to:

or contact your local Public Health Unit for an application.


It’s that time of year again where kids gather with their handmade or store-bought costumes. Neighbors are scrambling for last minute treats to be given away. Every street will be busy with little pumpkins and witches with broomsticks this Halloween.

We will give you some safety tips so that you can all enjoy the tricks and the treats that accompany one of our most-anticipated festivals.

  1. According to Safe Kids Canada, children under the age of 9 are not developmentally capable of crossing streets safely on their own? If your little one falls in this age group, be sure that they go out with someone you trust or a responsible older child.
  2. Teach your child to stop at the curb, look left, right and left again, and to listen for oncoming traffic. This vital skill is especially important when children are distracted and excited. Halloween face masks may impede their ability to see and hear traffic. Never rely on traffic signals alone – use your eyes and ears to make sure it’s safe to cross.
  3. Stay on the sidewalk or path when walking from house to house and if there is no sidewalk, walk beside the road, facing traffic so drivers can see you. From a very young age, children can be taught that roads are for cars and sidewalks are for kids. If your community has no sidewalks, walking beside the road at night can be very dangerous – adult accompaniment, reflective clothing or tape on the clothes and flashlights are a must, regardless of the child’s age.
  4. Maybe you should consider face paint instead of mask. You may need a little extra time to get ready, but masks can be a visual impairment. Bright colors will make your child more visible so, be sure to incorporate those into the costume or face paint. If the clothes need to be dark, add some reflector tape at various points around the back and sides of the costume.
  5. Set rules around candy consumption: Do not eat while you’re out trick or treating. First, it’s difficult to inspect the candy properly in the dark and also, you don’t need your children hyped up on sugar on a night that has already got them excited!

The preceding is a small overview for health and safety while having fun. If you want a more complete tip sheet see Caring for Kids, or the Red Cross and Health-Canada.

Halloween is a great time to spend with the kids and to enjoy the treats. Be safe and happy trick or treating!


Toothpaste: How can we use thee, let us count the ways…



Toothpaste doesn’t get the credit that it deserves.  People generally use toothpaste to clean their teeth and as such, it is a highly engineered task specific oriented product.

The ingredients for all tooth paste contain three main ones: abrasives, fluoride, and detergents along with 20%–42% water. Specialized toothpastes also contain a variety of task specific components e.g. sensitivity or whitening. But, toothpaste can do so much more than being a mere dentifrice.

Here are some amazing tips on different uses for your toothpaste:

Polish your silverware.

 Shine up your silverware and use it for your next family gathering.  Just rub some toothpaste on each piece with soft cloth and your silverware will look like brand new again.

Clean your shoes.

Use toothpaste to get rid of stuck on dirt and get back the new look of your shoes.

Remove dye and ink stains.

Rub toothpaste on stains, let it dry and wash the item after.

Clean your headlights.

Instead of spending money on a car detailing kits, give your headlights a shine with toothpaste. You can even use the toothbrush to get into those tight corners!

Remove nail polish.

If you don’t have nail polish remover, put some toothpaste on your nails to remove the polish. Not only you will remove the polish, your fingers will smell great after.

Lifting water stains.

If your wooden table has water stains or marks, just rub the toothpaste on the stains. It will get rid of water stains and restore your table. Use a toothpaste paste that is not abrasive.

Soothe mosquito bites.

Rub some toothpaste on the bitten area and you will feel instant relief.

Clean your iron.

If your iron is leaving residue on your clothes, turn it off and let it cool down. Rub some toothpaste along the surface, wipe it off and continue ironing your clothes without streaks.

Freshen up your thermos.

Thermoses can get gross pretty fast. To get rid of that stinky smell, add some toothpaste and fill with water. Shake it, and then wash as normal. Your thermos will smell fresh and clean again.

Remove food odors.

If your hands smell of onion or fish after cooking, just dub some toothpaste on your hands, rub for few second and rinse well. Not only you will get rid of the smell, but your nails will look brighter.

Clean piano keys.

Old vintage piano keys are made from ivory (teeth) so toothpaste is the perfect solution to clean away the dirt. New piano keys are made of plastic but toothpaste cleans them equally well.

Defog bathroom mirrors.

Use a little toothpaste on wet cloth to wipe mirrors. Allow it to dry and wipe with a dry cloth.

Clean a curling iron or hair straightener.

Curling irons and hair straighteners tend to build up a gummy coating from hair products. Toothpaste will remove all that without damaging your appliance. Put some of toothpaste on a dry cloth and wipe away the buildup.

Remove crayon marks from walls.

If you have a budding Picasso in your house who likes to use walls as a canvas, here is a good tip on how to clean those walls afterwards. Apply a bit of toothpaste on a damp sponge and clean the marked areas. Finish by wiping down with a damp cloth and allow the area to dry.

As with all products being used for off label applications always do a test on the materials to see if there is going to be a problem. We offer this list for information only and do not recommend any of the applications. We do however, recommend toothpaste as a dentifrice as part of your daily wellness regimen.



ISDAM- International Society for Dental Anxiety Management

ISDAM Congress Glasgow 2019 Sponsors

ISDAM Congress Glasgow 2019August 22 and 23rd the ISDAM had its first formal congress in Glasgow Scotland. Not only was it truly informative and covered a broad spectrum of current management techniques, but also those being developing for the future.

I had the pleasure and distinction of being one of the presenters at the Congress – my areas of concern were lasers in dentistry and hypnosis.

On Saturday I supervised a hands-on laser workshop for 14 delegates of mixed dental backgrounds i.e. dental specialists, dentists, therapists, hygienists and assistants. The aim was to help those with an existing laser to use it better and for those who would like one to understand its value in practice. Lasers are ideal instruments for the dentally fearful, anxious, and phobic.  It is wonderful for those that fear needles and drills and for those with complex medical concerns that may make the use of anesthetic and other medications a concern.

At the congress interesting facts were also gleaned, for instance cannabidiol (the non-high causing chemical component of cannabis) is classified as a food or nutritional product and as such unregulated in the UK. Research is showing that it has many medical applications. Time and research will tell how broad an application it will have. As all things, it is not a miracle cure for everything, but used in a well considered manner, it may have many good uses as the primary treatment or as an adjunct in a care plan.

Also present at the congress were representatives of the web site Dental Fear Central. The page is based in the UK which seems to have a higher percentage of resources for dental fear, anxiety and phobia. This however does not imply that they have more phobics than anywhere else; rather they seem to have created the most lay person resources. These sites are particularly good for the do-it-yourself-er as they are resource rich.

If you need more information for yourself or someone else, check out ISDAM, Dental Fear Central or contact us.

Remember Oral Wellness, Whole Health!



Summer’s here. That means outdoor activities. When exercising and participating in sports a warm up is a good idea, so it is with outdoor summer activities if we want to avoid injury or worse. Forbes magazine concluded that more injuries occur during summer and especially with mundane activities. Stats Canada found that the most injury prone group was between 20-64 years of age and you guessed it they were also males. Other agencies and groups offer similar findings – it appears that during summer activities we abandon our common sense and caution. Maybe it’s the sunlight and warmth after shivering in the dark for so long each year. Anyway, being prepared is the key to prevention.

The following links offer advice, tips and further resources to safely enjoy summer after our  winters hibernation.


General summer outdoor safety tips

Canadian boating safety and requirements



Staying safe camping and hiking

Ontario Parks

Family camping tips


Gear Checklists for camping

Checklist for learning to camp




Oral Wellness, Whole Health…you don’t want dental problems during your summer activities. Enjoy the sun!



Travel, Technology and Healthcare

Recently I had the privilege of speaking at the Hypnosis: New Generation conference in Budapest. We took some extra time and went to Vienna for a few days. Unfortunately one of our party became seriously ill requiring medical attention. This is when the challenges of travel in a foreign country become daunting.

Healthcare here at home is increasingly technology dependent from diagnostics to on-line accessible health records. There are certain downsides to this, but the upsides are equal to or outweigh them. For dinosaurs and Luddites like me, the value will become apparent.

Thankfully we are in the digital age. Not only is my smart phone well equipped with apps, but my laptop was also at hand.  Our Viennese residence had WiFi as one of its features enabling us to find a service that guided us to an English speaking physician. The Austrian system, not unlike our own, has the general physician act as the gate keeper. Once a preliminary differential diagnosis (the most likely possible problems leading to the apparent symptoms) was determined, he called the most appropriate hospital emergency room (Kankenhaus der Barmherzigen Brüder) to arrange follow up imaging and care, and gave us documents in German to speed the process. The staff at the hospital had knowledge of English from the rudimentary to superb making communication possible at a stressful time.

All of this searching, phone calls and directions took place on- line with a mobile phone and the laptop computer. Not only did this capability allow us to translate web pages into English, but it gave explanations of ‘how to’ in an alien health care system. Navigation was also enhanced by the Google Maps allowing us to easily find locations.

When travelling, I highly recommend that  you minimally carry a smart phone;  a tablet or a laptop gives you more capabilities along with the phone.  If nothing else, scout out the health care system before leaving for your trip. Never leave the country without good travel insurance, and consider belonging to groups like IAMAT (International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers) for assistance when necessary.

Also, never forget your toothbrush and floss! Floss has many uses beyond keeping your pearly whites gleaming.

Remember Oral Wellness, Whole Health!
















Victoria Day – Victorian Dentistry

Victoria Day, 24- weekend is the second most notable event next to Mother’s Day celebrated  in May. So in the interest of the Queen’s birthday, we thought it would be interesting to compare Victorian dentistry to today.

Victoria reigned from 1837 – 1901. Not too many people like to visit the dentist, but back then it was more like no one wanted to see the dentist… and the reasons were well founded. Generally the only treatment you could get were extractions and then usually by blacksmiths, barbers, or questionably trained “dentists”.

The battle of Waterloo was fought 4 years before Victoria was born 

and lends its name to Waterloo teeth, that is, dentures made from the teeth of the fallen soldiers during the battle. Other dentures might have had some form of ivory teeth and interesting solutions to keep them in the mouth.  Did I mention that extractions were without any form of anesthesia?

Speaking of anesthesia did you know that we tooth drawers were involved in its development? In 1884 cocaine in solution was used as a local anesthetic. The infamous Canadian born Painless Parker used a mix of whiskey and cocaine for his so called painless extractions.

In 1844 Horace Wells used nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for extractions and in 1846 William Morton superseded it with ether anesthesia. Since then dentistry has evolved various chemical anesthetics, electronic anesthesia, computer controlled injections and if lasers are being used, the need for anesthetic may not be necessary at all!

It should be apparent that these extractions led to a great deal of suffering, injury and illness. This changed only when dentistry was brought under legislative control. In Ontario this occurred in 1868, while in Britain it was in 1878.

Dental education was being formalized and one of the first schools was the Maryland School of Dentistry in Baltimore, Maryland founded in 1840. Dentistry has made an effort to evolve to the state that it is today.

Dentists in Victoria’s time didn’t have a specific office; work was done at their homes if they were not itinerant. Dentists were very expensive and only the wealthy could afford to pay. Today dental insurance minimizes that pain.

Instruments were re-used instead of replaced after every visit and infection control was primitive in comparison. Drills were powered manually with foot pedals that the dentist had to pump hard to generate power. Today the high speed drill has even been replaced by the all tissue laser in some venues.

Preventative dentistry as we know it today didn’t exist in Victorian times – William Addis in 1780 Britain is responsible for their first mass produced tooth brush. Now the electric and ultrasonic brush with associated ‘apps’ is available to one and all. Coupled with the variety of tooth pastes available today, the average Victorian would be gob smacked.

So… how are your teeth? Are you brushing and flossing properly? Are you up to date on your check-ups at your dental home?                            Remember Oral Wellness, Whole health

Hypnosis: A Life Skill

Recently, I returned from the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis in San Antonio where I had the pleasure of presenting to a multidisciplinary group. Most folks have one of several possible responses to clinical hypnosis – disbelief, skepticism, bemusement (as in they had an experience in Vegas or a frat party) or curiosity. Most are unaware of its full potential and scope of applications across many fields.

Hypnosis or more correctly self-hypnosis (as clinicians consider all hypnosis to be self-hypnosis) is a life skill that can make the vicissitudes of daily life manageable. There are uses in medicine, dentistry, mental health, human potentials development, education and entertainment.  The applications for daily living, once mastered, are limited only by one’s imagination.

So what is hypnosis?

Dr. Peter Sacco defines it as,” tunnel vision for greater awareness”. My view is that it is a shift in mind set from the usual allowing change to take place. Other more complicated definitions exist, but there is not enough space to discuss them.  Hypnosis is a natural process that we experience several times a day  whether we are aware of it or not. Being aware and consciously using it opens up a world of possibilities. When all is said, hypnosis is the ultimate in self-control!

This link connects to a video of Dr. Elisabeth Marie Faymonville, an anesthetist, who has pioneered hypnosedation, which is a combination of hypnosis and local anesthetics for surgery. The results speak for themselves. Easy to use, less complications, faster recovery and cost effective to use which are all concerns in today’s health care environments regardless of where you are in the world.

I’m interested, how do I learn?

Many health care practitioners offer hypnosis as part of their care. Generally an organic web search with local search parameters will generate a list for you to investigate. If you are unsuccessful, look for clinical associations e.g. the Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis –Ontario Division, or the American Association of Clinical Hypnosis. They have lists of clinicians that are taking patients or clients and the services they offer.

If this does not result in finding an appropriate clinician, then ask your health care providers. You may have noted that I emphasize clinicians and health care providers for a simple reason- if one does not treat something without hypnosis, one should not treat it with hypnosis.

Should you still not be successful with your search, see our web site for information. We also offer an affordable stress management program utilizing self-hypnosis for bruxers, that is, grinders and clenchers because stress has a negative impact on our overall health including gum disease.

Self –hypnosis a life skill worth learning!


Alcohol & Your Mouth

March is known for many things – the Ides, the spring Equinox, but the most remarkable is St. Patrick’s Day. And St. Patrick’s Day is known for its green beer!

A little tipple may be good for you, but what about a lot? The usual risks of cognitive impairment, addiction, and cirrhosis are fairly well known, as are the societal costs of alcoholism. However, as in most things, the negative impact on the mouth is lesser known.

Chronic alcohol users have more cavities, missing and filled teeth. They also have more root canal treated teeth. Alcohol being acidic also increases the erosion of the teeth. Erosion wears away the enamel that can lead to several problems – some of them quite costly.

Periodontitis, that is, gum disease is also more prevalent. This means foul breathe, loose teeth, tooth supporting bone loss with eventual loss of teeth. Gum disease has been linked to general illnesses ranging from heart disease to cognitive decline.

Chronic alcohol users have more frequent oral lesions than their counterpart occasional tipplers.  The lesions tend to be precursors to cancers and other significant diseases. One of the less than pleasant symptoms usually experienced first thing in the morning is known as abstinence or withdrawal syndrome also known as the toothbrush heaves.

So the ideal thing is to reduce your risk. Yes, much easier to say than to do. However it’s all about moderation, the golden mean, or what your mother always told you.

Limit your amount of alcohol consumption.

Brush and Floss daily: Brush at least twice a day especially before bed because that is when we have a reduction in saliva production. Saliva is protective and restorative in nature, but if we have been eating and drinking all day (feeding the biofilm bacteria in our mouths) the decreased saliva flow permits the bacteria to do their worst over night.

Use a good fluoride toothpaste or one that is specifically formulated for erosion.

Keep your dental appointments: Regular dental appointments can help you avoid gum disease, bone loss and decay. Serious diseases can be spotted early preventing suffering and hardship.

If you suspect that you may have a problem or an addiction to alcohol. We encourage you to seek counseling.

Oral Wellness, Whole health is a conscious choice like a healthy relationship with alcohol.


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!