5 Surprising Benefits of Regular Dental Cleanings

We all know that having a routine dental cleaning can remove stains from your teeth and prevent bad breath. That’s why many people think it’s okay to skip their trip to the dentist.

Little do they know that having a regular dental cleaning is essential for keeping your smile and body healthy.

The benefits of dental cleanings are surprising and can have a positive impact on your overall health:

1. Reduced Risk of Heart Attacks and Stroke

Shocking, right?

There’s actually a connection between gum disease and cardiovascular problems. Infrequent dental cleanings lead to gum disease, which can possibly cause inflammation in the heart.

A large study shows that those who had their teeth cleaned regularly were 24% less likely to have a heart attack than those who didn’t. In addition, their likelihood of having a stroke fell 13%.

2. Save Money

You might think that having frequent dental cleanings is more expensive than not. However, these teeth cleanings save you money in the long run.

Going for a long period of time without seeing the dentist causes more problems with your teeth and leads to expensive dental procedures in the future. Regular teeth cleanings prevent cavities, tooth decay, and tooth loss, allowing you to avoid the expense of root canals and dental implants.

3. Give Birth to a Healthy Baby

It’s very important to take care of your teeth when you’re pregnant. Pregnant mothers are more susceptible to gingivitis due to higher hormone levels.

Expectant mothers who don’t have their teeth cleaned are at slightly higher risk of having a preterm birth and a baby with a low birth weight.

Gum disease can also impede your fertility. This can make it longer to become pregnant if you’re trying to conceive.

4. Lowered Risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

If you’re younger, you may not be thinking about the possibility of getting Alzheimer’s or dementia. But when your teeth aren’t clean, you can be at a higher risk of developing these diseases.

Bacteria in the mouth caused by infrequent cleanings can travel to the bloodstream. Eventually, it can end up in the brain and cause tissue degeneration related to Alzheimer’s.

When you receive frequent dental cleanings, you are safeguarding yourself against a buildup of bacteria that can damage your health in the future.

5. Control and Prevent Diabetes

The importance of dental cleanings even applies to those with diabetes. Diabetics are more likely to develop gum disease due to uncontrolled blood sugar levels. In turn, fighting a gum infection can lead to difficulty in controlling blood sugar levels and worsening of diabetic symptoms.

Getting a regular teeth cleaning can help diabetics manage their symptoms while preventing any further complications.

Dental Cleanings Keep You Healthy

In order to live a healthy life, it’s important to see your dentist and have routine dental cleaning. The benefits of teeth cleaning outweigh any hangups you may have about going to the dentist.

At Pickering Dental, we are passionate about giving you your best smile. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

5 New Year’s Resolutions to Commit to for Better Oral Health

Closeup of young man flossing his teeth. Cleaning teeth with dental floss

Everyone comes up with New Year’s resolutions, but whether or not you follow through depends on you alone. While it is indeed difficult to instantly change once the New Year sets in, it is something worth working hard for, especially when it has something to do with your health.

If you are like us who are looking for better ways to care for our teeth and gums, here are some resolutions that might make things easier for you:

Floss, Please!
Yes, brushing your teeth twice a day can help keep fresher breath. While that is important, you should also take note that no matter how hard you brush, it just isn’t enough to avoid the buildup of plaque in between your teeth, it also can’t remove food remnants completely. Flossing can help you with that. If you haven’t been diligent about flossing, then it should definitely be included in your New Year’s resolutions.

Reduce Your Sugar Intake
A study that was published in BMC Public Health in 2014- states that there is a direct link between a person’s sugar consumption and tooth decay. The logic is quite simple. If you cut back on sugar, you also reduce the risk for tooth decay.

Opt For Mouth-Healthy Snacks
To optimize the benefits of your diet on your teeth, resolve to eat more mouth-healthy foods on a daily basis. You can do this, as you cut back on sugar. Dairy products, as we know are high in calcium and work great for your teeth. Fibrous foods also scrub away plaque and other food remnants.

Finally Kick the Habit!
You may have been planning this for a while now. Have the willingness to finally do it. Get rid of all trigger products from your home and office. Ask for help from your friends and family. Remember that smoking is linked to an array of health issues.

Visit Your Dentist As Soon As Possible
If you have skipped a few dentist appointments in the past few weeks, you probably feel too guilty by now to feel comfortable visiting him or her again, but that should not be the case. Make it a point to show up to your appointments, even if you feel everything is fine with your teeth.

These are just five really simple resolutions that will benefit your teeth now and in the long run. Can you add more to the list? What are your New Year’s oral resolutions?

Best Oral Practices You Need to Start Doing Now

When people tell you that you have nice teeth, defiantly do not start taking your teeth for granted. Achieving healthy teeth means you will be taking care of your teeth for the rest of your life. It is essential to take care of your teeth on a regular daily basis. Here are some tips that will help you take care of your teeth the proper way:


Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth.

The recommended times of brushing your teeth is at least twice a day. However, many of us continue to neglect brushing our teeth at night – before going to bed. Brushing our teeth at this time gets rid of the germs and plaque that have accumulated all throughout the day and will literally sit in our mouth hard at work while you sleep!


Brush and floss properly.

The way you brush and floss your teeth plays an important role in maintaining good oral health practices. In fact, brushing your teeth poorly is almost as bad as not brushing at all. When you are brushing your teeth, make sure you take time to move your toothbrush in gentle, circular motions – this removes the plaque. Remember that failure to remove plaque can lead to its hardening and build-up. When it builds up, it might lead to gingivitis. Flossing is best done before brushing your teeth. Flossing is not just getting rid of food that gets stuck in between the teeth. It’s also a way to stimulate the gums, help lower inflammation in the area, and reduce plaque.  Learning, practicing, regular and routine brushing and flossing techniques for life will aid in all sorts of dental concerns.


Don’t forget to take care of your tongue and cheeks.

Plaque does not just build up on the teeth; it also does on the tongue and even your cheeks. This does not just lead to bad breath, but it might also lead to other oral health problems. Make it a habit that after brushing your teeth, you gently brush your tongue and cheeks (inside your mouth), too. Make sure that you do not leave any toothpaste residue in your mouth. If you find this uncomfortable, you can use a ‘tongue scraper’ to avoid from gagging when you clean your tongue.


Use fluoride-filled toothpaste.

When it comes to choosing which toothpaste to use, make sure that it contains fluoride. Fluoride is a leading defense against tooth decay. It fights off germs that can lead to tooth decay, and it also provides a protective barrier for your teeth.


Hydrate throughout the day.

Water is still the best beverage for our overall health – this includes your oral health. It is recommended to drink water after each meal as this helps wash out some of the negative effects of acidic and sticky foods and beverages in between brushing and flossing.


Limit sugary and acidic foods and beverages.

Sugar converts into acid in the mouth, and this causes erosion of teeth enamel. These acids are what actually lead to cavities. Acidic fruits, coffee and tea can also wear down tooth enamel. You don’t have to avoid all these foods and drinks, but you just have to take the necessary precautions needed to lessen their damaging effects on the teeth.

The Importance of Brushing and Flossing

Ever since we were young, we have always taught how important brushing and flossing our teeth are. Despite the many reminders, we still, at times, forget to maintain a proper healthy oral routine. Here are a few reminders on the importance of these two acts:

Brushing Our Teeth
Plaque is a colourless film of bacteria that coats your teeth if you do not brush them properly and on a regular basis. Plaque contributes to tooth decay and gum diseases. Brushing the teeth stops plaque from building up. When you brush your teeth, you are also helping your mouth smell fresh and clean. It is never enough to just chew gum and it definitely does not kill any bacteria. People who do not brush their teeth on a regular basis are more prone to having tooth loss and other dental problems.

Proper Way of Brushing the Teeth
When brushing the teeth, make sure that you brush all the surfaces of your teeth – in total, it should take you no less than about two minutes. It is a must to brush the inner and outer tooth surfaces, as well as the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Children should be supervised when brushing their teeth until they are at least seven years old. It is important to spit out any excess toothpaste after brushing. Using a mouthwash that contains fluoride can be an aid in preventing tooth decay, but do not use it immediately after brushing your teeth. Doing so, washes away the concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste left on your teeth.

Flossing the Teeth
Flossing is an act that is often neglected but is a vital part in maintaining proper dental health. By flossing daily, you can remove plaque that is stuck between your teeth. This is an area that cannot be reached by your toothbrush. Unless the plaque is removed from this area, it can contribute to the build-up of tartar, cavities and other dental concerns. Flossing is also one of the things that most people do not enjoy doing. It’s something that is so easy to do, yet equally easy to neglect and put-off. Just like toothbrushes, dental flosses come in different sizes, types and flavours and worth finding one that each family member likes.

Proper Way of Flossing the Teeth
Flossing is not just for dislodging the food wedged between your teeth and plaque. It helps in reducing bad breath and gum diseases by removing plaque that forms along and under the gum line. The best time to floss is before brushing the teeth. Take 12-18 inches (30-45cm) of floss and grasp it so you have a couple of inches between your hands. Slip the floss between the teeth and into the areas between your teeth and gums – as far as it will go without forcing it. Floss with 8-10 strokes, up and down between each tooth, to dislodge plaque and food.

Maintain a healthy oral routine now in order to avoid more complex dental conditions and issues in the future!

Are You Taking Care of Your Tongue?

You might be conscious when it comes to your teeth and gums and the routine for brushing and flossing, but is it the same with your tongue? Our tongue is a pretty awesome part of our mouth. It not only helps us chew our food, speakclearly, but it also plays an important role in our dental and overall health. If we fail to take care of our tongue, it can create some serious dental concerns. Read on to know more about the tongue.


A Little Background

Our tongue is home to over 10,000 taste buds and it is often the most exposed area to most bacteria and acid. Each tiny taste bud and all the other bumps (papillae) and dips we can feel and see on the tongue’s surface make a great place for both bacteria and acid to hide.


Why It Should Be Taken Care Of

The tongue is in constant contact with our teeth. If the tongue is not clean or worse, teeming with bacteria, all of the bacteria will be transferred right onto your teeth. When this happens, the chance for tooth decay greatly increases. If you have a clean tongue, it also leads to better-tasting meals. It is true that bad breath can be caused by many different things, but cleaning your tongue is one great way to help keep your breath smelling fresh. Remember that trapped germs on the tongue can lead to bad breath and it can also affect your sense of taste. Overgrowth of bacteria can turn your tongue white, yellow or even black.


How to Take Care of It

Each time you brush your teeth, spare a few extra seconds for brushing your tongue. Simply stick out your tongue and gently scrub it with your toothbrush. Try to reach right to the back of your tongue. If this triggers your gag reflex, don’t give up… the trick is to keep trying. Eventually, your gag reflex will ease up. If you really find it difficult and uncomfortable to brush your tongue, you are not alone. Many people will say this is true for them. An alternative cleaning solution would be with the help of a tongue scraper. This tool gently removes bacteria from the surface of the tongue and it is easier to use for those people who have sensitive gag reflexes. It even comes in various shapes and sizes. Make it a habit to clean your tongue thoroughly.


Special Cases

If a tongue has been neglected for a long time, it may be coated and crusty. Sometimes this is seen in people who have problems with physical dexterity or those who rely on others for their oral care, or are mouth breathers. People that   take certain medications that dry the mouth are more likely to have a coated tongue. If your tongue is too dry when you try to scrape it, you might be damaging the tissue. Try brushing instead after cleaning your teeth – this way, the mouth is still moist.


If you have any concerns with your tongue, gums and teeth, have your mouth checked to avoid more complex problems. Contact Dr. Marvin Lean and his team to book an appointment.