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!



Remembrance Day



 Mindig igy volt e világi élet,                                                  Worldly life has always been thus,           
  Egyszer fázott, másszor lánggal égett;                               Once cold; aflame the next… *      

                                                                                                                  Vörösmarty Mihály “The Old Gypsy” 1854
The Great War started 101 years past; The Second World War 76 years ago.

We have been bereft of peace for more than a century. Rarely, in human history, has there been global calm of significance.

The First War was the war to end all wars, yet….the World is aflame, as the poem’s couplet laments.

Thus, we Remember.

We Remember that our relative oasis of tranquility was hard won, dearly bought and is not without substantial cost to maintain.

Remembrance is not a choice. It is an obligation. It is a responsibility.  It is the least that we can offer.

Remembrance engenders contemplation. Contemplation should compel us to evolve beyond stoking the flames of conflict and chaos  . Perhaps we may yet have a life in a temperate world.

Lest we forget.


                                                                                                            * Author’s translation


October Festivities

by Kathleen S.

October is the month of harvest and thanksgiving where foliage turns into coulours of orange, yellow, and red.  It is a month of bounty and rightfully ought to be celebrated.  Around the world, this month is significant for festivities.  Some of the most popular ones are Oktoberfest, Diwali, and of course, Thanksgiving.  Being a melting pot of various cultures, we get to witness and participate these such events.

beer2       Oktoberfest traditionally takes place in Munich, Germany.  It is originally celebrated to            commemorate Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen’s marriage.          The festival runs from late September to early October.  It is considered as one of the most famous and the largest fair in the world.  Participants of the event consume huge amounts of food, a variety of meats, bread and potatoes.  What is Oktoberfest without beer?  The preferred beer to be served at the event is the amber-red lager but more recently they also serve pale lager.


Another major event that happens within this month is Diwali.  Also known as   festival of lights, it is one of major festivals in Indian culture.  It falls between     mid – October to mid- November, millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains celebrate  this festival.

Diwali falls on the Hindu New Year that celebrates the triumph of good       over evil and light over darkness.  Hindus around the world light candles,           sparklers and set off huge fireworks displays.  They decorate their houses with colourful artworks, and     patterns on the floor using coloured powder or rice.  Traditionally families exchange gifts and enjoy           Indian sweets in a range of colours and flavour.MB900384740

Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October. Families gather around the table where stuffing and turkey dinner is served then finished with Mom’s or Grandma’s fresh baked pumpkin pie.  It is the time to spend with loved ones and be thankful for what the year has offered.  We don’t count the calories on this day, but count our blessings and are thankful for them.

However one celebrates this month, scrumptious food is always involved.  Keep in mind your oral health.  Whether you’ll be consuming beer [drink responsibly] or gorging on apple pies, starch and sugar can get trapped between teeth. A good swish of water after meals will help cleanse the mouth.  And before bedtime, continue with your regular oral hygiene regime.

This season is humbling.  We get to share what we have with loved ones, no matter how one celebrates it.


Fall Fairs, Harvest, and Thanksgiving

By Kimberly D.

It’s sad to see the summer go. 1024px-Fagus_sylvatica_Purpurea_JPG4a

Time to close the pool….

Earlier bedtimes, with the kids protesting, “but the sun ‘s still up!”

Packing multiple lunches the night before is not a task I missed,but….

One item I like to include is a piece of good cheese.  After nutrition breaks kids can’t brush while at school. Mouth bacteria produce harmful acids following a meal that cause cavities.  A piece of good real cheese eaten with a meal helps to neutralize acid in the mouth.

We are enjoying an Indian Summer. A new decoration of gold and crimson leaves line the streets.  You really don’t have to travel too far to find a delightful fall fair or festival to entertain you most weekends.

I love a Pogo Dog at the fair, fresh pumpkin pie, and I’m sure kids are already dreaming of their Halloween loot as the night looms right around the corner.  Stores are already filling up with quite a variety of costumes.

In the excitement of the season remember to limit snacking between meals.  Even those with the most excellent home care habits can end up with tooth decay from frequent snacking.  Remember the acid producing mouth bacteria – not allowing the mouth time for the acid to balance back to neutral means a constant acid attack on teeth in spite of perfect brushing and flossing.

My husband celebrates the football season; I complain as this signal is the end of Husband Season! It’s a given that Thanksgiving Dinner is hosted at my house.   I love the smell of that turkey in the oven, and more than that, I love the deliberate remembrance of being thankful for all the blessings in our lives.  We should get into the habit of carrying that around with us all year long.  Just turn on the news to remind yourself how lucky we are to be in Canada.

So enjoy the rest of the warm days and cool nights.

Have another piece of pie (with cheese), and may God keep our land glorious and free.

Dental Emergencies

by Kathleen

Warm weather is upon us.  This means majority of us will spend summer outdoors.  Especially the kids being out of school, parents are busy keeping the young ones occupied with activities.

No matter what kind of activity one will enjoy this season, safety is always priority.  Accidents happen and the following are some tips on how to handle dental emergencies:

Soft Tissue Injury

This includes cuts or lacerations on the gums, lips, tongue and cheek.  The mouth should be rinsed with warm water.  In the event that bleeding is present put gauze on the area and keep pressure.  This should minimize bleeding.  However the patient may be taken to the hospital emergency or dentist to get necessary treatment.

Fractured Tooth

In the event of a fractured tooth, rinse the mouth with warm water.  Apply a cold compress on the area and take ibuprofen for pain.  Call your dentist to get the tooth seen as soon as possible.

A minor chip of the enamel surface of the tooth may be smoothed by your dentist as the only treatment. If it is an aesthetic concern, it may need more definitive care.

Moderate fractures involve enamel, dentin and pulpal trauma. The pulp may or may not be exposed. Without a pulp exposure, a filling may be all that is necessary.  However, traumatized pulp may need more involved care in the future (root canal therapy and a crown) depending on the ability of the pulp to recover.

When the tooth is severely traumatized- fractured root and supporting bone, it is a severe fracture. The tooth in all likelihood can’t be saved and more involved care over a longer period of time may be needed.

Loosened Tooth

If the tooth is pushed out of position, apply gentle finger pressure (never use force!) to put it back into place.  Close down to keep the tooth in place then call your dentist for an emergency appointment.

Knocked Out Tooth

In this situation, call your dentist for an emergency appointment.  It is best to see your dentist within the hour of when the tooth is knocked out.  It will have the best chance of reattachment to its socket.  In the meantime, the knocked out tooth should be kept moist.  Handle the tooth by the crown part, removing any debris with cool water (never scrub the tooth).  Once the tooth is clean, you can place it inside the mouth between the gum and the cheek.  Or you can wrap the tooth in clean gauze and immerse it in milk.

Most of these injuries can be avoided by wearing a sports mouth guard custom made to your teeth.  If you can’t get a custom made one, then at minimum a store bought off the shelf boill and bite one is better than not having one.  It is highly recommended during recreational activities (any kind of sports, biking, etc).

While we’re on the subject of being careful, be careful with what you eat and put in your mouth. Listen to Mom! Keep the things she always told you to keep out of your mouth- pens, pencils, bobby pins, fork tines and the like that can also minimize the risk of dental trauma.

Enjoy the summer and remember Oral wellness, whole health!


North American diet equals sugar, more sugar and hidden sugar!

Limiting sugar intake can lower the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and tooth decay.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the recommended sugar intake for Canadians is about 5% of the average 2,000 calorie daily diet.  This equals to about 6 teaspoons per day.  With pre-packaged foods and pop vending machines readily available, this can be tricky!

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Dental Health Month

We commemorate the meaningful by designating days, weeks or months of the calendar to their honour. April is Dental Health Month in Ontario.

Underlying the concept of Dental Health is the fact that one remains healthy in general. The mouth is attached to and affects the rest of the body. Complete health can’t forget the oral cavity.

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Culture and health

multiple hands holding globe by monisha pushparaj by Kathleen S.

Cultural traditions and the unique beliefs of a society play a role in one’s health.  You can’t help belonging to the culture around you. Whether overtly or subtly you will soak up the world view of the culture you inhabit.

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