Protecting your teeth

Protecting your teeth is important to you. You brush twice a day. You floss regularly. You go to the dentist. These are all good things. But are you avoiding activities that can damage your teeth? Here are five of the more common things people do that inadvertently damage teeth.

Your teeth are not a tool

You’ve probably used your teeth to twist open a bottle, tear open a packet or carry something when your hands are full. Yes, it makes things easier in the short term, but it can lead to chips, cracks and misalignments that really aren’t worth the immediate gains.

Avoid oral piercings

Yes, they’re trendy, but they can lead to infections, gum recession and even tooth loss. And depending on where you get your mouth piercings, food can get lodged in there and lead to bacteria buildup. If you feel the need to express yourself with a stud or hoop, it might be best to choose another location on your body.

Wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports

Mouthguard technology has evolved with time. Today they’re much more comfortable than they were previously. The pros use them, and you should too because getting smacked in the mouth on the field, floor or ice is common. And if you need dental surgery to fix the trauma, you might be sidelined for a long time.

Don’t chew on ice cubes

Yes it’s just frozen water, but every chomp down chips away at your tooth enamel. And if you happen to have a filling, chewing ice is among the best ways to compromise its integrity.

Protecting your teeth by wearing a night guard

If you clench and/or grind your teeth at night consider wearing a nightguard to minimize the damage this activity can have on your teeth and jaw.

And one simple do

Take the time to take care of your teeth. Be diligent about brushing and flossing. And make the time to visit the dentist twice a year.

March Break at Yonge and Eglinton

March Break is awesome for kids and hellish for parents – especially those with young children whom they have to entertain for a whole week.

Most parents take at least one day off during March Break if they can. Others will take the whole week off. Either way, when you have a day to spend with your kids, the city’s full of fun things to do. And if you find yourself near mid-town, and you want to take advantage of your proximity to Yonge and Eglinton to do a bit of shopping in the Yonge Eglinton Centre, here are a few ways you can justify dragging them along on your “you-time:”

Donuts at Uncle Betty’s (2590 Yonge Street)

Uncle Betty’s has become a neighbourhood staple. More specifically, their donuts have become staples. Unfortunately, their chocolate donuts are only available on the weekends, but their Cinnamon Sugar is so good that it doesn’t much matter. Once your kids get a taste of that scrumptious dough, they’ll do whatever you need them to do.

A March Break visit to Gamerama (2470 Yonge St)

These guys have been selling video games to kids at Yonge and Eglinton for over 25 years. They were around for Sonic, GoldenEye and Xbox Live. They know what’s what and they won’t steer your kids wrong. Leave there with a shiny new console and your kids will let you spend all the time you want in Sephora.

Toys R Us (2300 Yonge St)

No, it’s nothing fancy, but a toy store is a surefire winner. And with the movie theatre  and the Pickle Barrel down the hall, you can make a day of it. The kids’ menu at the Pickle Barrel is particularly yummy, and please (please, please) don’t leave without trying one of their signature shakes.

Of course, if the weather cooperates and you want some outdoor fun, you’ve got Eglinton Park on the west side of the strip and Greenwood Park on the east side. The former is great for picnics and frisbee. The latter is perfect for hikes and dog walks.

Have a fabulous March Break!

February is Children’s Dental Health Month.

In 1941, a one-day event in Cleveland, Ohio, to raise money for a children’s dentist office went viral. By 1949, February 8th became National Children’s Dental Health Day. Three decades later, in 1981, the American Dental Association extended the event to the entire month of February.

In honour of Children’s Dental Health Month, here are the top 8 tips for keeping kids’ mouths healthy and their smiles bright.

Promote children’s dental health with good oral hygiene – EARLY!

Get your kids into the habit of cleaning their teeth right from the get-go. After a bottle or nursing, clean your baby’s gums with a water-soaked gauze pad or damp wash cloth. This will help them get used to the ritual and make it easier when you switch to brushes.

Brush gently

Get your kids excited about brushing by making it comfortable for them. The harder you push, the more uncomfortable it becomes  and there’s no evidence that brushing harder makes a difference.

Stress technique

At three years old, start teaching your kids to brush their own teeth. But you should always follow up their brushing by brushing their teeth again. And stress proper technique like getting to the back teeth and brushing the tongue. By age six, your child should be able to brush their teeth on their own. At that point you can teach them flossing. They should be able to floss independently by age nine.

Do a fluoride check

Most tap water is infused with fluoride, which is good for teeth. If your water supply isn’t, think about fluoride supplements for your child.

Don’t let your child go to sleep after drinking anything but water

Long-term exposure to the sugars in milk or juice dramatically increases the potential for decay.

Avoid sugar

Saliva takes a minimum of 30 minutes to neutralize the acids caused by sugary foods. Steady sugary snacks lead to an ever-present level of acid in your kids’ mouths, increasing the chances for tooth decay.

Childproof your home to avoid dental accidents

Research has shown that most dental injuries in children under 7 are related to banging into furniture.

Get your kids to the dentist

Find a dentist  you like and establish a long-term relationship.

Winterlicious at Yonge and Eglinton

Winterlicious is one of Toronto’s yearly cold-weather food festivals. Restaurants around town create special prix-fixe menus for the event, giving us all a reason to venture out into the cold and try something new.

It just wrapped up earlier this month, so here are four restaurants we had a chance to try during the event and what we learned.

North 44 (2537 Yonge St)

We learned that, despite the foray into celebrity chef land, Mark McEwan still has the magic touch. With all the new fine-dining spots at Yonge and Eglinton, it’s easy to forget this original high-class spot. We had a parsley crusted duck confit and the most exquisite rainbow beet salad.

Five Doors North (2088 Yonge St)

We learned that venturing south of Eglinton definitely has its advantages. The short ribs were ridiculous, but the flourless chocolate cake was the show-stopper.  While they may have moved locations, they are still making some of the best food Yonge and Eglinton has to offer.  Little known fact: Five Doors North was named for being five doors north of Gio’s, the restaurant with the big paper mache nose on its awning.

Prohibition (40 Eglinton Ave East)

We learned that a gastropub can be more gastro than pub. Prohibition was one of the Winterlicious locations with a lunch menu and it didn’t disappoint. We had “T.O.’s Best Truffle Mac & Cheese” – and it was!

Tabülè (2009 Yonge St)

We learned that healthy eating can be all kinds of delicious with the right spices. In this case, that spice came on a Kefta Kabob and a Halum salad with a magnificent pomegranate dressing.  One of the true gems of our neighborhood.

Missed Winterlicious? Summerlicious is just around the corner

Mark your calendar for July 6 – 22 and prepare to head to Yonge and Eglinton!

Valentine’s Day blog: Can a kiss spread gum disease?

You look deep into your lover’s eyes. Magic. Then, as you lean in for a kiss, you notice they have unhealthy gums. Should you pull back or keep going?

Here are the facts:

According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, cavities could be passed between romantic partners.

The act of kissing can transfer over 80 million bacteria from one mouth to another, and yes, some of those transferred bacteria can cause gum disease. Exposing yourself to these bacteria will put you at a higher risk for developing gum disease.

However, you can’t get gum disease from someone else like you’d get the flu or other communicable diseases/infections. If you maintain good oral health, you can create an inhospitable environment for bad bacteria to flourish and preventing the progression of disease.

In addition, a deep, passionate kiss also introduces additional agents into your mouth, which helps to further wash bacteria off your teeth and help break down plaque.

A few other health benefits of a kiss:

  • Kissing exercises the face muscles, which can prevent wrinkling.
  • Kissing doubles your metabolic rate, which is equal to jogging on the treadmill.
  • A Kiss quells anxiety and heightens the experience of being in the moment.

So, yes, you should keep going in for that kiss.

Happy Valentine’s Day
Love, Yonge Eglinton Dental

Staying warm this winter at Yonge and Eglinton

Staying warm this winter is a must. As much as Yonge and Eglinton is one of the hottest areas in Toronto (we were recently ranked as the #1 neighbourhood by Toronto Life Magazine), it’s not enough to save us from the bitterness of February 2018.

So like everyone else in this city, we go looking for indoor fun.

Fortunately for us, the area we’re in has plenty of options for staying warm in the winter. Here are some of our favourites:

Staying warm at The Yonge Eglinton Centre

Yes, it’s a shopping mall, but it’s a newly renovated shopping mall complete with a movie theatre, a Pickle Barrel and plenty of browse-worthy stores with working heaters.

Staying warm at Absolute Comedy

Warm your body and your spirit with genuine belly laughs and a few drinks. The spotlight goes on every night of the week.

Staying warm at The Keg

You want hearty meals to get you through winter, and nobody does it better than The Keg. Save the Surf & Turf for summer. Go with the big steak, the garlic mash and the piping hot veg. And double up on the delicious bread – nothing wrong with a few extra pounds around your waist to keep you warm.

Staying warm at Footprints Music

If one of your 2018 resolutions is to try something new, then may we suggest picking up a new instrument. And this is the perfect time to stay indoors and practice, practice, practice. Footprints has great teachers and offers instruction in strings, percussion, piano and voice.

And, of course, staying warm at Yonge Eglinton Dental

A cleaning can take less than 30 minutes, and that’s 30 minutes you don’t have to be outside freezing your patooties off. Our staff is warm and inviting. Our dentists and hygienists are thorough, and you’ll leave feeling great. If you haven’t booked your appointment yet, this is your time.

Give us a call and let’s get you out of the cold.

Links between seasonal affective disorder and oral health

According to the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario, 15% of Canadians experience winter blues and 2 to 6% have seasonal affective disorder. That’s between 800,000 and 2.4 million people with some form of acute depression right now.

The significance of this condition can’t be overstated, nor can the effects it can have on every part of your life and body  including your teeth.

Depression often leads to apathy, which leads to a breakdown of routine. As a result, oral hygiene is neglected, so twice-a-day brushing becomes a few times a week. This can be more of a problem if you’re on medication for your seasonal affective disorder, as some anti-depressants cause xerostomia (dry mouth) leading to increased plaque buildup and an increased risk for cavities.

The stress associated with the depression caused by seasonal affective disorder also increases the level of cortisol circulating through your body. From an oral perspective, this is a double-whammy. On the one hand, cortisol causes bone loss which can impact the bones supporting the oral cavity. It also can change the bacteria ratios in your mouth (what we call the oral flora) to change and possibly increase the risk of developing certain conditions.

And then, of course, there are the bad habits many people adopt during periods of depression – most notably smoking. Besides the obvious risks to your life, smoking is terrible for your teeth, and not just how they look.

Do sufferer from seasonal affective disorder?

If you are, remember two things: You’re not alone; and make an appointment to see your dentist for a cleaning during the winter. A professional polish will go a long way to getting you through your Seasonal Affective Disorder and onto spring. And getting out of the house amongst nice people is a good thing. We smile a lot here, so hopefully some of it rubs off.

Tooth sensitivity in winter. It’s real.

Here in Toronto, Old Man Winter is particularly angry this year. And after a few years of relatively mild temperatures, many of us around here forgot what the frigidity can do to us – especially so to our teeth. If you are feeling increased tooth sensitivity in the cold air, there may be a few reasons for that.


The cold air outside causes teeth to contract in size, then the warm air inside you mouth causes them to expand again. The dentin (the second layer of the tooth) expands and contracts faster than the top layer of enamel. The stress it causes can lead to micro cracking. You can’t see the cracks, but you may feel them in terms of increased tooth sensitivity.

Clenching can cause tooth sensitivity

When you picture yourself freezing your face off out there, you can probably see your jaw clenched and your teeth chattering together. That extra stress on your teeth, gums and jaw can lead to temporary mouth pain and tooth sensitivity. Over a sustained cold snap your teeth might be overly sensitive on a more regular basis, but nothing a warm front can’t solve.

Sinus pressure can cause tooth sensitivity as well

Sinus issues are the worst. The extra mucus your nose produces in the winter thickens in the sinus cavity and causes pressure. With your sinuses so close to your mouth, that pressure can be felt in the teeth. In fact, teeth sensitivity in the winter can be a pre-cursor to a sinus infection.

So how do you combat winter tooth sensitivity?

Simple. Go to Florida for the season.

But if you can’t, try this:

Your child has a chipped tooth. Now what?

They say a dirty child is a happy child. The same is true for a child with a chipped tooth, because most of the time, it happens when they’re climbing, sliding, running, jumping or spinning in a circle until they fall down.

Remember that these baby teeth are just that  baby teeth. They’ll eventually fall out and be replaced with a new set of adult teeth. But if they chip their teeth you should still book an appointment to have the tooth assessed. If it’s a minor chip, sometimes all we have to do is smooth it out so it doesn’t cut their lip or ruin family photos. If the chip’s more significant, we might fill the tooth in or provide additional treatment.

Eating with a chipped tooth

Children are picky eaters at the best of times, so if a chipped tooth is keeping your child from eating, it should be addressed. After the trauma, their mouth will be tender the first day or so. During this time, maybe don’t worry about pushing them to eat corn on the cob or anything like that. But if any pain persists, it’s possible that the tooth is chipped worse than it may seem. A chip could be a crack that extends all the way up to the root which will need to be addressed.

Speaking with a chipped tooth

Depending on which tooth is chipped and how severe the chip is, the result could be a change in the way your child speaks. This is a problem because you want your child speaking as much as possible and developing their oral language abilities— and that’s harder to do when a chip is impeding pronunciation. It can lead to a loss of confidence, which may stunt development. Best to check in with your child’s teacher. If he or she notices changes in participation or that your child is quieter than usual after a chipping incident, make an appointment and let’s get that chip fixed.

Chips happen

For children a chipped tooth is a badge of honour. It means they are active and having fun. And that’s really all you can ask for.

Why do we floss our teeth? This is why.

Why do we floss our teeth? Well if you don’t floss your teeth, a good brushing will only get them 65% clean, which means 35% of your tooth surface isn’t being cleaned at all. Would you only clean 65% of your house or car and consider it done? Would you put in 65% effort into your job and consider it a successful workday? So why not take the 100 seconds (yes, that’s all it takes) to floss properly? It’s less than two minutes a day.

There are many other reasons to floss, but we thought that this simple statistic was pretty convincing. This got our collective minds racing to find a few more interesting tooth and mouth-related numbers our readers might enjoy. We found a lot, but these were our top 10:

Other stats not related to the question of Why do we floss our teeth?

10. You’ll produce over 23,500 litres of saliva over your lifetime – enough to fill two regular-sized swimming pools.

9. 83% of people say their teeth are more important to their appearance than hair and eyes.

8. North Americans spend more that $2.3 billion annually on dental products (toothpaste, floss, brushes, mouthwash). This includes over 4.8 million km of dental floss.

7. 100 years ago, 50% of North Americans had none of their own teeth. Today, less than 10% of 65+ people are missing one tooth.

6. People who drink three or more sugary drinks a day have 62% more dental decay.

5. The Tooth Fairly paid out over $300 million to North American kids in 2016.

4. 59% of North Americans would rather sit in a dentist’s chair than sit next to someone talking loudly on a cell phone.

3. A sneeze flies out of your mouth at 965 km/h.

2. In 1986, the U.S. National Spelling Bee champion won by correctly spelling “odontalgia,” which means toothache.

And the best fact we found…

1. The average child laughs around 400 times a day.

Keep that last one in mind when you’ve had a bad day. Remember that you’ve had good days before. You know how to have them. So as you floss your teeth before bed, remember that tomorrow’s a brand new day to shine.