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.

What Does Your Lifestyle Do to Your Teeth?

picture of beautiful woman pointing to teeth

Poor oral health can affect your entire body. Yes, it’s true. It just won’t affect your teeth and gums but it may even lead to issues like diabetes, heart disease, and more. Alarming, eh? The good thing here is that there are actually things that you can do to reduce your risk and improve your oral health.

A healthy lifestyle can make a huge difference! You might not know it, but most of your habits affect your oral health in various ways.

Diet High in Sugar

Having a diet that is high in sugar affects your teeth no matter how diligently you brush them. The more sugar you eat, the more you are feeding the bacteria that contribute to tooth decay. Aside from tooth decay, sugary foods can also cause gum issues.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Drinking alcohol can dehydrate the mouth. When this happens, saliva can’t flush away bacteria that enter the mouth. Excessive drinking may also keep a person from maintaining a really good oral hygiene routine.


Everybody knows that smoking can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and sometimes even oral cancer. If you stop smoking, you’re minimizing your risk of getting throat and tongue cancers.


There are some medications that contain ingredients that can affect oral health. Some of them can cause dry mouth. Others result in staining. If you are taking new medications, make sure you let your dentist know so you can be offered solutions to any possible side effects that are related to your oral health.

A healthy body results in a healthy mouth, just as a healthy mouth contributes to your overall health. So if you want to enjoy both, make sure that you try your very best to have a healthy lifestyle and never neglect your teeth and gums! Eat a healthy diet and avoid harmful habits like drinking and smoking. Lastly, establish a good oral hygiene routine and visit Pickering Square Dental so we can check your oral health and help you prevent problems in the future!

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!

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?

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.



The Importance of Preventative Gum Maintenance

Anyone who has had to endure periodontal surgery will tell you that taking care of your gums is a crucial part of your dental care.   Whether you want to end the bleeding you experience while brushing, or never ever want to experience it, there are steps that can be taken to keep your gums healthy.   Here are some of the keys to preventative gum maintenance:


There are numerous systematic health conditions related to gum disease such as heart disease, diabetes as well as a multitude of other medical conditions and risks.  This only re-emphasizes the importance of maintaining a regular hygiene programme and healthy teeth and gums.


Brushing two to three times a day is recommended to everyone for a reason.  It prevents plaque buildup which in turn prevents gum disease.  Timing is hugely beneficial too with the most ideal times typically being; after breakfast/prior to leaving for the day, after meals and sugary snacks and, before bed.  Be sure to watch what kind of brush you use – you’ll want soft bristles as anything harder can cause damage such as gum recession and enamel erosion.


Other than brushing, nothing is more crucial to gum care than cleaning between your teeth.  Whether using old fashioned floss, floss picks, or new interdental brushes, making sure you are clear of plaque buildup and harmful bacteria will do a great deal to alleviate the risks for and symptoms of gingivitis.


Therapeutic, not cosmetic, mouthwash can be a boon to gum health as well, providing another weapon in the war on gum disease.


Be sure to watch the amount of sugar consumed as it can feed the bacteria that cause gum disease.  Stay away from added sugars, and make sure to ingest enough calcium to keep up your protection against dental issues and jaw deterioration.  Remember to brush when possible after enjoying sugary treats and beverages.

Regular Dental Visits

Gum conditions are often painless and without symptoms when they begin.  It’s important, therefore, to regularly see your dentist so they can assess any issues you might have.  Have regular checkups every six months or more often if you’re at greater risk of oral diseases.

Follow these guidelines of preventative gum maintenance and you should be able to stave off any problems.  If you are showing signs of gum disease or need to see a professional to get a checkup, contact our team today, and we’ll help you get your gums back on the right track.

Are All Mouthwashes Equal?

Mouthwash is an important part of a rigorous dental health regimen, and has been around in one type or another for thousands of years, though it’s only entered common use since the 1960s.  An anti-septic mouth rinse, mouthwash has been shown to be useful in aiding in the prevention of the buildup of plaque and lowering the associated risk of gingivitis and decay, as well as for fighting bad breath.   There are numerous brands and types of mouthwash available on the market today, but are they all worthy tools in preventing dental issues?

The short answer is: no.  The longer answer is that there are two types of mouthwash, cosmetic and therapeutic.  Cosmetic mouthwash is mainly associated with keeping the teeth free of debris and keeping breath smelling nice.  Therapeutic mouthwash on the other hand is anti-bacterial in nature, making it effective against plaque, gingivitis, cavities, and bad breath.  Obviously, therapeutic mouthwash is far more preferable, and on top of that, it’s easy to spot – just look for a recommendation from the Canadian Dental Association.

Beyond that simple division there are other things worth considering.  Alcohol is a primary ingredient in many mouthwashes but can cause dry mouth, which paradoxically can irritate oral issues and cause bad breath.  Alcohol-free mouthwashes are available as well, but many of those ingredients have side effects too.  Some oils may have an unpleasant taste, and others with Chlorhexidine should only be used for a short time frame as they can brown teeth or change your sense of taste.

Mouthwash has its pros and cons, but on the whole it’s usually worth using as part of your at-home dental care routine, provided you stick with the therapeutic varieties.   It’s also critical to remember, that no matter how good your mouthwash is, it is never a replacement for brushing and flossing.  If you have any dental issues that mouthwash isn’t helping with, please contact us today, and we’ll do what we can to help.