Is Your Child’s Nail-biting Affecting Her Teeth?

Nail biting child on white background

Did you know that around 30% of kids between the ages of seven and 10 bite their nails? Yes, it’s true! Your child is not the only one who has this annoying and harmful habit. But whether your little one is doing this consciously or subconsciously, you should address it immediately because of the oral health and overall health consequences that you might not know about.

Here are some little-known risks that are associated with nail-biting:

Exposure to Disease-Causing Bacteria

You might not know it but your nails are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, including pathogenic ones like E. coli and Salmonella. When your little one bites his or her nails, those bacteria are transferred into your child’s mouth and they eventually spread to the rest of the body, leading to infections.

Susceptibility to Paronychia

Paronychia is a skin infection that occurs around the nails. When children chew their nails, bacteria and yeast, as well as other microorganisms, can find their way in through abrasions or tears. This may lead to redness, swelling, and even pus around the nail. This is a painful condition that may even require surgical draining.

Dental Problems

Nail biting can also affect dental occlusion or how the upper and lower teeth come together when the mouth is closed. Your child’s teeth may shift out of their proper position, get misshapen, and even wear down prematurely.

Nail-biting often starts in childhood and pea in adolescence. It usually declines with age. But that does not mean you just have to wait for your child to grow out of it.  Here are some things that you can try to help your child quit biting his or her nails:

  • Keep your child’s nails trimmed short
  • If your child will let you, make him or her wear gloves or mittens at home
  • If your child bites her nails because of boredom, you can engage her in activities that will keep her hands busy like knitting, colouring, painting, and more

It is important that as soon as your child is old enough to understand that you tell her the risks that go with nail-biting. More often than not, kids stop when they get an understanding that nail-biting is not as harmless a habit as they though it to be.

Is Your Pregnancy Affecting Your Oral Health?

Pretty young Hispanic pregnant woman holding a toothbrush and taking care of her teeth during pregnancy

When you are pregnant, you worry about everything – your child’s health, your health, your weight, your skin, and many other things. The last thing you probably think of is your oral health. Well, you should know that you should never neglect your gums and teeth during your pregnancy.

There are special oral health concerns that pregnant women should watch out for. Read on to find out about them and what you can do to avoid or address them.

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Many pregnant women changes in their gums – they look redder, swollen, tender, and sometimes they even bleed. They can start at around the second month and peak at the eighth month. Pregnancy gingivitis usually tapers off after the child is born.

While thy symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis are similar to those of gingivitis, the causes are different. Some of the factors include increased levels of hormones and your immune system working differently. To minimize or avoid pregnancy gingivitis, you should always practice good oral hygiene. You should also have professional cleaning done by your dentist.

Tooth Erosion

Pregnant women, especially those who suffer from severe morning sickness, are more prone to tooth erosion. If you frequently vomit, you should contact Pickering Square Dental at once to get more information on how you can prevent enamel erosion.

If there’s one thing you should remember, it is to not brush right away after you vomit because the acid in your mouth will only erode your teeth further while you’re brushing. It’s better to swish with a mixture of baking soda and water to reduce the acid level in your mouth.

Pregnancy Granuloma

It is a growth on the gums that 2% to 10% of pregnant women get usually around the second trimester. Pregnancy granulomas are red nodules that are usually found near the upper gum line. They may cause discomfort but they are not really dangerous.

The cause of pregnancy granulomas is still unknown, but poor oral hygiene is a suspected factor, as well as hormones, malformed blood vessels, trauma, and viruses. Women who get these growths often have pregnancy gingivitis, too.

Eating a well-balanced diet rich in calcium, protein, and vitamins A, C, and D is important if you want to achieve good oral health while you’re pregnant. Of course, you should not neglect your oral hygiene routine and make sure that you go to your dental appointments!

For any dental emergencies, or if you want to know which dental procedures are safe for you during your pregnancy, reach out to Pickering Square Dental! We’ll be more than happy to answer your questions!

What You Need to Know Before You Get a Filling

Close up of dentist hand drilling the teeth and spraying the water

Did you know that whenever you chew food, your back molars exert a force of about 70 pounds a square inch? Think about that next time you eat dinner! Now if some of your teeth have filings, just imagine what it goes through every single day. No wonder they eventually crack!

Fillings allow you to keep a tooth that would otherwise have been destroyed by cavities. Your dentist clears the part with bacteria and uses a drill to shape the tooth, ensuring that there is no decay left. Then your tooth is filled with a specialized material to protect the exposed soft, inner part of your tooth from infection.

Here are some things you need to know about fillings:

Fillings Need to be Replaced Eventually

Like we mentioned above, your fillings go through so much when you eat.  If you’re also grinding your teeth when you’re sleeping, you’re exerting even more force and subjecting your filings to even more stress.  Fillings generally last anywhere between seven and 15 years, depending on the material used and how well you take care of your oral health.

Cracks and Damages in Your Filling Require Immediate Attention

Even if they seem microscopic, cracks in your fillings can let bacteria and germs in. Once this happens, it is impossible to remove the bacteria even by thorough brushing and flossing. So if you think your filling is cracked or even just loose, contact Pickering Square Dental immediately to schedule an appointment.

Fillings are Not a “Seal” for Your Teeth

Your fillings, even if they’re the most sophisticated ones, are just fillings. Having them does not mean you can slack off with your oral hygiene. It’s very important that you brush your teeth correctly because even with the fillings, they are still susceptible to decay.

The best way for you to avoid fillings is to make sure you have a good dental hygiene routine established. It is also important that you go to your dentist so you can prevent problems from progressing. Give Platinum Square Dental to schedule an appointment! We’ll help take care of your teeth so you won’t need fillings!

Tooth Whitening – How Safe is It?

Teeth After and Before Whitening high quality studio shot

Most people want to have whiter teeth and it’s perfectly understandable.  Many of us have teeth that are more faint yellow instead of pearly white. It can be caused by various factors, including age, tobacco usage, eating and drinking habits, and more. Sometimes even those people who do take extra care of their teeth still get frustrated because their teeth are not as white as they used to be.

It is therefore not surprising that many are interested in teeth whitening, hoping that they can achieve their dream pearly whites. Of course, these people have a few questions about it, including:

  • Is teeth whitening covered by insurance?
  • Is the effect of teeth whitening permanent?
  • Is teeth whitening safe?

If you are wondering about teeth whitening too, then you have come to the right place. Pickering Square Dental frequently get these questions from our patients! So read on and find out all you wanted to know about teeth whitening.

Years back, only celebrities like movie stars, athletes, and musicians have access to teeth whitening. But that is not the case anymore. Due to technological advancements, teeth whitening is now available to everybody and it’s much less expensive than what you probably believe.

There are a lot of reasons for you to whiten your teeth, including:

  • Wanting to look younger. Compared to other cosmetic procedures like Botox or facelift, whitening your teeth is a much cheaper option but can also make you look a lot younger
  • Wanting to gain confidence with a brighter smile. Let’s admit it. Whiter teeth do make you feel better about yourself.
  • Removing embarrassing spots. As you age, there may be some discoloration of your teeth that you want to address. Teeth whitening can help with that and let you get a more uniform smile.

Some say that all the reasons for teeth whitening are connected to vanity. Well, it may be, but if you feel better about your appearance, and it makes you more confident in facing the world – get a better job, start a business, meet new people – don’t you think it’s a worthy procedure?

Different Ways to Whiten Your Teeth

At the Dentist’s Office

Pickering Square Dental can help whiten your teeth. We use a safe peroxide power bleaching gel that can provide you with brighter and whiter teeth in an hour or less in the dental chair! Because it is chemically activated, it works as soon as it is placed on your teeth.

Of course, it is administered safely. We protect your gums to make sure that they are not damaged by teeth whitener. You can expect your teeth to be one to two shades lighter after, which is typical for patients who are jump-starting their bleaching process. If you want longer lasting results, you may follow up with at-home bleaching using custom trays.

Whitening Kits from Your Dentist

Your dentist can also provide you with whitening kits that you can administer at home. The whitening gel will be delivered using a custom tray which you will wear anywhere between 30 minutes to overnight. This whitening method is also safe as long as you carefully follow the directions. Do not leave the trays in longer than the recommended time.

Over-the-Counter Whiteners

The cheapest option you’ll find for teeth-whitening can be found at drug stores or groceries. Over-the-counter whiteners are usually in the form of strips or paint-on applicators. They are less potent than what you’ll get from your dentist and you may also get inconsistent results as they are not made nor administered by a dental professional.

Teeth-whitening is often not covered by insurance as it is considered a cosmetic procedure. Insurance companies usually cover medically necessary treatments and procedures.

Is teeth-whitening harmful to your health?

While you may experience short-term sensitivity, teeth-whitening is not damaging to your natural teeth nor will it damage your restorations like bridges, crowns, veneers, fillings, and more. However, they will remain the same colour.

Teeth-whitening is worth the investment, especially if you are feeling self-conscious about discoloured teeth or you believe the procedure will give you more confidence to achieve more in life.

Should you decide to go ahead and try teeth-whitening, you can contact Pickering Square Dental so we can schedule an appointment with you!

Bad Breath and Wisdom Teeth – Is There a Connection?

Yawning tired woman isolate on white background

Wisdom teeth are thus called because they are normally the last ones to appear and at a relatively late age.

In some instances, wisdom teeth or third molars don’t fully come out of the gums. In such cases, they are called impacted wisdom teeth. These impacted teeth may cause infection due to bacterial growth and even bad breath. This can be addressed by taking antibiotics and cleaning and treating the surrounding gums.

You might need to have your wisdom teeth extracted. This way, you can prevent problems in the future. Remember that if they are not removed, wisdom teeth can cause decay, bone and gum infection, and bone loss.

Why are wisdom teeth full of bacteria?

Misaligned or impacted wisdom teeth are a little difficult to clean and they’re the perfect host to food particles and bacteria. Since bacteria thrive in warm and damp environment, impacted wisdom tooth can cause infections, cysts, and decay. As you can expect, all these can result to bad breath and an even off taste in the mouth.

If your wisdom tooth is submerged and causing bacterial profusion, the tiny air pocket between the tip of the tooth and the gum can be where bad breath is coming from. The sensitive gums surrounding the impacted wisdom tooth get infected easily and the bacteria in the wound can release sulphur compounds with foul odour.

Will the Wisdom Tooth Infection Get Better on Its Own?

You can’t expect an infection to get better without proper treatment.  Some signs of wisdom tooth or gum infection include an awful taste in the mouth, pain, tenderness or swelling, inflammation, bleeding, and bad breath that doesn’t go away. Visit Pickering Square Dental to find out if your wisdom tooth infection needs immediate attention.

Extraction is Necessary

Because impacted teeth are a potential cause of various problems, they have to be extracted. Extractions may be done one tooth per visit or multiple teeth can be extracted simultaneously.

Bad Breath May Be Caused by the Extraction

Wisdom tooth removal does not instantly stop bad breath. When your wisdom tooth is extracted, a blood clot is formed in the empty socket and when removed, it leads to a “dry socket”. Bacteria can get in there, lead to an infection, and bad breath.

Antibiotics and medicated creams may be prescribed by the dentist to clean the socket and aid in the healing process. Expect for the dry socket to take a few weeks to fully heal. Bad breath may seem persistent for some time after your wisdom tooth extraction, but with proper oral care, it should be gone soon. However, if you notice that it persists too long, you should take a trip to the dentist so it can be checked.

Whether it is caused by a wisdom tooth or not, bad breath is never a good sign. Schedule an appointment with us at Pickering Square Dental so we can assess the situation and help you bring your fresh breath back.

Cosmetic Dentistry 101

Beautiful smile and white teeth of a young woman. Matching the shades of the implants or the process of teeth whitening.

With all the TV shows about makeovers, you probably have heard of cosmetic dentistry. And if you are interested in improving your teeth, then you are in the right place. In this post, we are going to talk about everything that you want to know about cosmetic dentistry.

Basically, cosmetic dentistry is the term we use in the industry to describe procedures that can improve the look of teeth but not necessarily make them healthier. So they are not necessary, but they do offer various benefits including boosting a patient’s confidence, reducing teeth grinding, and making cleaning much easier.

What is the Difference between General Dentistry and Cosmetic Dentistry?

We use the term collectively to refer to common procedures like extractions, cleanings, root canals, and fillings which are all available at Pickering Square Dental. These procedures are performed often because they are needed to address dental problems or to keep one’s teeth and gums healthy.  Cosmetic procedures, like we have mentioned are options for patients who want a better looking smile.

How Cosmetic Procedures Have Improved

We have seen improvements in the field of cosmetic dentistry that have resulted in quicker, more effective, and sometimes even pain-free procedures. For example, laser teeth whitening and gum treatments do not require anaesthetic because they are painless. There are also more complicated procedures like implants where we use state-of-the-art lasers to make accurate incisions and the patient is sedated. All the improvements take us one step closer to achieving the perfect smile without pain and anxiety!

Here some of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures:

Whitening Treatments

There are a number of forms of whitening treatments that include bleaching and laser treatments. The most advanced ones can make your teeth up to 16 shades lighter!


These are porcelain shells that are securely bonded to the front of the tooth or teeth. They are often used when a tooth or a few teeth are discoloured or sometimes as an alternative to orthodontics. Over time, veneers have improved so much that they can match your real teeth so that no one can even tell you’re wearing veneers! The procedure requires that a part of the tooth be shaved. If you are considering getting veneers, know that they will eventually need repair or replacement because porcelain wears away.


Traditional braces and Invisalign are available to those who want to straighten their teeth. Depending on what you need, we can recommend the best approach for you when you come for a consultation.

Bridges and Crowns

Large gaps or missing teeth can be improved by bridges. They are a more affordable and much less invasive procedure than implants or orthodontics. Crowns can cover and repair cracked or chipped teeth and restore their normal shape.


Dental implants are used to replace decayed or damaged teeth. Advancements in dental implants have resulted in products that can closely match the rest of a patient’s teeth so they’ll blend naturally.

Cosmetic dentistry and all the other procedures we offer at Pickering Square Dental can help give you the smile you have always dreamed of. Visit us for a thorough check up and you can tell us what you want. We’ll discuss your best options so you can achieve the perfect smile.

Why You Shouldn’t Miss an Appointment with Your Dentist

Image of smiling patient looking at camera at the dentist?s

It is highly recommended for everyone to make dental appointments at least every six months. However, some people go as long as three years or more without visiting their dentist!

This is alarming. Why do Canadians skip their dental appointments? There may be a number of reasons, including busy schedules, forgetfulness, dental anxiety, and more. However, the more important question that you should be asking is “Why shouldn’t I miss my dental appointment?”  Well, let us enumerate the reasons.

Missing an Appointment Turns Minor Issues into Major Problems

When you visit your dentist on a regular basis, any potential problem will be caught in the early stages and they will be treated easily. For instance, let’s take gum disease which has three stages – gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. If caught early, gingivitis can be addressed by a thorough dental cleaning. However, if you skip your appointment, it could progress to periodontitis and may require your teeth to be extracted or a surgery to be performed. You can avoid the hassle and costly treatment if you go to your dentist when you are supposed to go.

Thorough Cleaning

Daily brushing and flossing is important, but that’s not all you need to achieve the best oral health possible. After all, oral care that you do at home may be really good, but it is still limited. For instance, there are hard to reach areas in your mouth and there may be hardened plaque that has turned into tartar. As you know, tartar cannot be removed by simply brushing or flossing. A visit to Pickering Square Dental at least once every six months can ensure that all plaque and tartar is removed from your teeth.

Regular Screening for Oral Cancer

Just like you would go to a doctor to have general check-ups and make sure that everything is well, you should visit your dentist so you can be screened for potential problems. Among the many health concerns that can be detected during a dental check-up is oral cancer. At its later stages, this type of cancer is nearly impossible to treat and highly deadly. The key, therefore, is early detection. Oral cancer screening is undeniably one good reason to keep your dental appointments.

The best way to be sure that you have the best oral health possible is to do your part in keeping it that way. That means building an efficient oral care routine at home and making it to your dental appointments. Prioritize your oral health and you’ll have a greater chance of preventing any dental problems and keeping a truly beautiful smile. Contact Pickering Square Dental now and schedule your next appointment with us!

Toronto Maple Leafs’ Trusted Dentists

Picture of 4 ice hockey players without any signs or specific teams.

Who doesn’t know and love the Toronto Maple Leafs? As Canadians, we all feel very proud and excited when we see them play. Most adults enjoy watching all their games. Children look up to them and aspire to be a part of the legendary team one day. Indeed, we all think that the amazing players are just a cut above the rest.

But just like everyone else, athletes need to have their teeth taken care of. When it comes to their oral health, the Toronto Maple Leafs only trusts Dr. Marvin Lean and his partner from Pickering Square Dental.  Since 2005, Dr. Marvin Lean and his partner have been the team’s official dentists.

For more than 12 years, Dr. Marvin Lean and his partner have been a part of Toronto Maple Leafs’ training camp, providing all the hockey players with thorough dental assessments. Additionally, they also customize protective mouth guards for every hockey player so their teeth won’t be damaged when they are out on the ice.

Whenever there are home games at the Air Canada Center, Dr. Lean and his partner are also the official dentists that are on staff, ready to provide all the players (including those from the visiting team) with the dental assistance they need in case there is any emergency.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are the best and for their dental care, they depend on the best dentists, too. If our beloved hockey team trusts Dr. Lean and his partner to make sure that they have the best oral health possible, there’s no reason you shouldn’t! So whether you are looking for a new dentist for yourself or your child, don’t look elsewhere! Pickering Square Dental is the best place for you and your family to go when you’re in need of superior dental care.

You’ll find that a visit to the dentist doesn’t have to be traumatic! In fact, you’ll be really comfortable in our office while your teeth are getting the best care. There is a reason patients have been loyal to Pickering Square Dental for more than 25 years now! To find out more about all our services that we offer to patients of all ages, check out You can also schedule an appointment with us by calling 905-420-1777!

Answering Common Dental Implant Questions

woman take tooth implant false tooth on green background

Today, no other treatment can match the promise of dental implants when it comes to tooth replacement. If you are considering getting implants, there are probably a lot of questions on your mind that you want to be answered – What does it feel like to wear implants? How long do implants last?

Because we want you to know as much as you can about implants, we listed down some of the most questions our patients ask us, and our answers to those questions.

What are implants made of?

Implants are made of medically pure titanium alloy or titanium. This material is the same one that has been used in hip implants for years. It is not known to result in any type of rejection.

Should I be worried about complications and infections?

During the surgery, we do everything to keep a completely sterile field to minimize any potential post-operative infection. As a precautionary measure, appropriate antibiotics may be prescribed. Of course, once the implants are engaged in your prosthesis, you should ensure that you’ll maintain a good oral hygiene.

What do I need to do to receive dental implants?

The first thing you need to do is to schedule a consultation with us. We will do a thorough check-up and set up the perfect care plan for you. We will also give you instructions regarding the procedure, including the visits you need to make.

How long will the dental implants last?

In general, dental implants can last you forever. There won’t be any need for a replacement or repair. Just remember to follow our suggestions on how you should care for your oral health.

Will it be too obvious that I’m wearing dental implants?

Unless, you tell them, no one will know that you are wearing implants! They’re not noticeable at all!

Will the implants be uncomfortable? Will they feel like my real teeth in time?

Dental implants are comfortable. In truth, after a short period of adjustment, you will actually forget that you’re wearing them at all! Because an implant will replace your tooth’s entirety (and a restoration will replace the tooth crown), you get to enjoy the same stability that you got from your natural tooth. You need not worry about anything because all your activities like speaking, eating, and of course smiling, will all return to normal quickly.

Get all your questions answered and gain all the information you need to consider dental implants through a consultation with our practice. Contact Pickering Square Dental today!

Non-Dental Medical Issues Your Dentist Might Find

Dentist and patient

As you know, dentists can easily diagnose oral health problems like cavities and gum disease. What you may not know is that they can also discover issues that are non-dental!

Here are five non-dental issues that your dentist can detect during a check-up:


This is a condition in which your body doesn’t have sufficient red blood cells circulating. Some signs of anemia include pale lining of the mouth, smooth tongue without the usual bumpy texture. Your Pickering Square Dental dentist may recognize these signs and let you know about it.


Dentists can easily recognize the early signs of diabetes like dry mouth, loose teeth, and receding, dry, or bleeding gums. Diabetes can make your immune system weak and cause oral wounds and infections to take much longer to heal.


Anybody can experience osteoporosis. Dentists can spot some of the warning signs of osteoporosis, including a receding gum line and loose teeth. These are signs that the bone supporting your teeth is changing. Going to a dentist on a regular basis makes it easier for your dentist to detect these signs.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is among the most common cancers diagnosed every year. Often, dentists are the ones who discover the early signs of this disease. Some of those signs include red or white lesions in the mouth. There are a number of factors that increase one’s risk of oral cancer, including smoking, heavy drinking, and the presence of HPV. If you want to be checked for oral cancer, you can visit Pickering Square Dental and we can do an oral cancer screening for you.


Some of the most common signs of HIV can manifest inside the mouth. These include lesions, warts, and spots on the tongue that can be brown, purple, red, or white, and other oral infections.

See, the dentist’s ability to detect signs of various diseases is one more reason for you to keep all your dental appointments. Aside from the dental care you’ll receive, going for a regular checkup could be the difference between catching the signs of a disease before it progresses and finding out too late. Visit Pickering Square Dental to get the best oral health care and a thorough checkup!