A toothless smile: Our favourite NHL grins

It seems like yesterday that the upstart Maple Leafs shocked the hockey world with their gutsy playoff performance. Since then, we’ve been tapping our feet like Sonic the Hedgehog (shout out to Bob McCown) for the puck to drop on the ’17–’18 season. But before we get into the full swing of things (and because we’re a dental clinic), we thought we’d examine the toothless smile – the mugs that only happen on the ice.

Gordie Howe – our favorite toothless smile

When you play hockey at the highest level for parts of five decades, you’re bound to lose a few chicklets. This pic makes us laugh for a few reasons, but mostly it’s Mr. Hockey’s silver hair. The missing teeth kinda seem to fit, don’t they?

Dustin Brown

We’re told that when you win the Stanley Cup, every lost tooth is forgotten and all the pain’s worth it. We should hope so for Mr. Brown’s sake ‘cause he clearly has very few left. Although, his name will forever be engraved on sports’ most iconic trophy. And he can always come in for a set of implants.

Ken Daneyko

Here’s a guy who looks like he amassed 2,812 penalty minutes over 28 years in professional hockey. With 175 playoff games under his belt and three Stanley Cups to his name, you know he blocked a shot or ten with his face.

Keith Tkachuk

He’s the only American-born player on our list and among the best American-born players ever. He was hit so hard in his last playoff series that his three front teeth quite literally fell out of his mouth (true story). But when your number’s retired, you don’t notice.

Sean Couturier

Rounding out our top five is the youngest player on our list. Check out that five-hole in the middle of his face. And he’s only 24 years old. Keep on doing your thing, Sean. We’re proud of ya!

Top 6 new condos at Yonge and Eglinton

As a dental practice at Yonge and Eglinton, we’re always paying attention to the new condos developments in the area. Beyond the population boom in Toronto’s #1-ranked neighbourhood according to Toronto Life magazine, we love how unique these new condos at Yonge and Eglinton are, and the kinds of people they’re attracting to the area. And while our corner of the world’s pricier than others, the new buildings and neighbourhood amenities MORE than make up for it.

Art Shoppe Condos

The Art Shoppe and Yonge and Soudan used to be a neighbourhood staple for furniture. But now that people are furnishing their homes online, a showroom of that size has outlived its usefulness. So it’s being replaced with 650 residential suites, 33,000 sq. ft. of amenities, including a Freed rooftop pool, Karl-Lagerfeld-designed lobbies and 80,000 sq. ft. of retail.

1 Eglinton East

This 68-storey condominium will become the tallest condominium at Yonge & Eglinton. It’ll be a mixed-use building (office and residential), but the best part is going to be direct access to the TTC — both the subway and the new crosstown LRT. If going outside in the winter isn’t your thing, this is your place.

150 Redpath

King West style comes north in this gorgeously conceived development by the famous Freed group  they’re the ones who built most of bottle service alley on King between Spadina and Bathurst. The plan is a 24-hour in-building diner that will deliver to your unit, or even to the rooftop pool.

Whitehaus Condos

You may have noticed the giant hole in the ground across the road from our clinic where the strip plaza used to be. It’s about to be filled by one of the most highly anticipated builds in the city, much less the neighbourhood. The plan is high-end finishes, an entire floor of amenities and over 80,000 sq. ft. of retail.

E Condos

The best features of this build have to be the south-facing infinity pool on the 58th floor and breathtaking views of the city from the cantilevered red glass box. This one’s being built as we speak, and while completion date is still unknown, we can see direct TTC access.

But, of course, the best feature of the area is the local dental clinic. Book an appointment and you’ll see for yourself.

Becoming a dental hygienist in Canada

Forbes recently named dental hygienist as the #1 best job in health care, and since it’s becoming a more in-demand career in Canada, it’s worth a look.

What do dental hygienists do?

A lot more than just cleaning teeth. Dental hygienists educate patients, check for oral cancers, prevent cavities by placing sealants, administer fluoride treatments, examine your gums, and assess each patient’s overall healthcare. There’s definitely a lot of science and expertise involved, but all of it has a purpose and is related to helping patients achieve optimal oral health.

In Canada, there are three ways you can become a dental hygienist.

  1. A 2 to 3-year advanced diploma program offered at most colleges in Ontario. The good news? Ontario is pretty much the mecca in Canada for dental hygiene schooling, so you’re already in the right place.
  2. A bachelor of dental hygiene, which is offered at Dalhousie University and the University of British Columbia. These bachelor degrees also allow you to teach dental hygiene.
  3. A private college program for dental hygiene, which is a bit more expensive than the first two options.

Would you enjoy being a dental hygienist?

  • If you’re into healthcare but want to avoid shift-work, dental hygienists have stellar working hours and the option to work part-time.
  • It’s a great job for individuals with strong people skills! If you like chatting and working closely with people, it’s a good fit.
  • Dental hygienists spend much of their day standing, leaning and working with their hands. If you are comfortable with a more physical career, then it’s a great choice for you.

To find out more about a career in dental hygiene check The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association website.

Exercise and your teeth

This September 28th, we’re celebrating the Canadian hero Terry Fox and his dedication to a world without cancer. Every year, millions of students join in on the Terry Fox Run to exercise and raise money for cancer research in his name, making it one of the largest fundraising events in Canadian history! But did you know that besides getting kids active and raising money for an amazing cause, the run is actually great for your teeth?

Studies show that those who exercise regularly are 54% less likely to develop gum disease! What’s more, people who have a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) are at a higher risk for hypertension and diabetes, which cause oral health issues at a quicker rate. So, maintaining normal weight with proper diet and exercise can do so much more than keep you fitting into your favourite jeans.

For all its positives, exercising can cause some dental issues if you aren’t prepared with the facts. Here are some things to watch out for if you’re out on the run this year. We’ve also included how you can avoid any negatives so that you can reap all of the benefits of your workout!

Exercise Without Sports Drinks

Getting enough electrolytes when exercising is important. However, these drinks are laden with sugar and harmful acids that cause cavities and significant tooth decay. Good old water followed up with a healthy post-workout snack like apples and peanut butter or some dried fruit and nuts should do the trick just fine!

Bad news, mouth-breathers!

During intense exercise sessions, the natural reaction is to breathe heavier and through our mouths. This causes our mouths to dry out. And since our saliva acts like a rinsing and protecting agent for our teeth, bacteria is able to thrive and do damage in its absence. Try reminding yourself to breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth during exercise.

If you’re doing the run this year and raising money for cancer research, we commend you and support you. And remember the more you move, the better you and your mouth will feel.

Start September with a smile by developing good dental habits

The late nights, cool treats and a more relaxed schedule make summer the best season of the year! But, it can take a toll on your teeth if you develop some bad dental habits. Studies indicate that your smile is the first thing people notice about you. And as the kids head back to school and you get back into the grind of a regular schedule, setting the bar for good oral health and first impressions begins now.

Three dental habits to start out the year in good health:

  1. Get your dental checkup in now: If you don’t remember the last time you had a cleaning, now might be the best time to come back to the dentist. Plus, it’s a good idea to get it in before things get a lot busier with work summer-hours coming to a close and after-school responsibilities gearing up (for those who have children).
  2. Set a daily routine: Making sure you get back into a regular schedule of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day is vital to oral health. Waking up with enough time to make brushing a bonding ritual for you and your family every morning will help keep sleepy little ones (and you) accountable for brushing.
  3. Make good nutrition a top priority: Proper nutrition is vital to good overall health, especially oral health. Taking the time to plan out healthy and easy grab-and-go lunches and snacks goes a long way in avoiding the afternoon vending-machine crash. Try logging onto Pinterest to find easy and tasty recipes that will take your lunch-packing game to the next level.

Between buying back to school supplies and getting that last bucket-list camping trip in, September creeps up on us very quickly. So, call to book an appointment, we’re happy to get you back on track for a great year of healthy smiles and happy mouths!

Teeth friendly school lunches that kids love

The hardest thing about packing teeth friendly school lunches is worrying about what ends up back at home at the end of the day. Making sure your kids are getting all the nutrients they need isn’t always easy. The good news? There are easy ways to prepare these.

We put together the do’s and don’ts of healthy school lunch etiquette, including some meal options that will have your kids excited for lunch, fueled all day and won’t end up in the trash.

What to pack in teeth friendly school lunches:

  1. Cheese: With bone and teeth strengthening calcium and a dose of protein, cheese is the perfect lunch snack. To mix things up, try cubing or cutting Swiss and Cheddar into fun shapes for a snack kids will love.
  2. Whole Grains: Studies show that those who eat a higher-fiber diet are at a lower risk for bone loss, gum disease and receding gums. Put things like 100% whole wheat bread, oatmeal and brown rice into lunches and replacing white tortillas with whole grain or whole-wheat versions are an easy swap that can go a long way.
  3. Fruits & Veggies: Carrots, peppers, cucumber and broccoli have all the nutrients your little one needs to grow healthy teeth. To entice picky eaters, including dips like hummus, tzatziki, and homemade Greek yogurt offer needed protein without any of the sugar that salad dressings tend to have. In the fruit department, limit things that are high in sugar like grapes and instead opt for the more filling and potassium-rich banana.

What to avoid in teeth friendly school lunches:

  1. Processed foods: Foods like snack packs and milk products are stripped of valuable nutrients and fibre during processing and replaced with sugar and refined flour which coats the teeth and causes cavities. Instead, pack your own Greek-yogurt cups with fresh fruit and granola, or get creative with your own 100% whole wheat mini-pizza snack packs your kids will love.
  2. Packaged treats: Cookies, crackers, chips etc. are all packed full of preservatives and additives, not to mention high sugar and sodium content. For a tasty alternative, try these delicious three-ingredient oatmeal cookies that contain just bananas, oats and chocolate chips. And for something savoury, pre-pop some natural popcorn at home and dust with parmesan or top with butter.
  3. Sugary drinks: Parents know, once you open the door to juice and pop, it never really closes for kids. The problem is most juice, even the 100% pure kind, are loaded with harmful sugars that erode enamel and cause cavities. Instead, pack water to hydrate active little minds and bodies. And if your kids really can’t stand plain water, try adding mint leaves, watermelon, berries or cucumber at home for a flavourful kick.

Once you find options both you and your little ones love, get them involved in prepping and packing their favourite school lunches. Making your kids a part of the meal experience encourages responsibility, healthy eating and sets them up for a lifetime of good oral health decisions.

Don’t miss some of the city’s best patios this summer

The best things about summer in Toronto? Patios, Blue Jays games, patios, park weekends, and did we mention patios?

Since the season is almost over, it’s time to get in those last few rays of afternoon sunshine so you have something to dream about come fall. Our Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood is a great place to do that…while you still can.

Patios at Yonge and Eglinton

Granite Brewery & Restaurant
The first thing you’ll notice about this neighbourhood fav is its front patio. But the real insiders know to grab a table on the uber-lush, private backyard patio. Sample flights of craft beer or sip cocktails while you catch up at this hidden gem. And if you accidentally indulge too much, the Drunken Macaroni & Cheese will do you right!

La Vecchia Ristorante
This is your next go-to spot for romantic date nights. The menu is full of fine, authentic Italian dishes that taste just like Nona used to make. Besides flavourful pastas and seafood dishes, it also has an ambience that is raved about on Yelp almost as much as its food is. Take your special somebody (and all the credit) for a surprise date night. It may just be your best idea yet.

Boom Breakfast & Co.
Fresh-squeezed juices, smoothies, pancakes, brunch burgers and everything in between. Anything you choose is especially easy to love on a cute patio like this. And for those who may have spent a little too long on another patio last night, go for some hair of the dog with house cocktails like their Unstable Caesar with gin.

Sip Wine Bar
Specializing in Neopolitan pizzas, this is an ideal place for sharing. Boasting a stellar wine list, it’s a great place to start the evening with friends. Plan to end up ordering the raved-about spicy Diavola pizza before you call the night quits.

Enjoy the sun, the stars and the Yonge and Eglinton scenery.

Preventing sugar related summer tooth decay

The average person consumes about 130 pounds of sugar per year. Yes, Halloween and Christmas make up a big chunk of this, but summer’s not far behind: think about all those backyard s’mores, ice cream truck visits and patio sangrias.

How exactly does sugar harm your teeth?

The plaque and bacteria that forms naturally on our teeth feeds on sugar to create acids. These acids form in about twenty seconds and neutralize in around 30 minutes, damaging tooth enamel. This means that eating sugary foods too often creates an acidic environment in your mouth, leading to decay.

While frequency plays an important part, the type of sugar and the form it takes can significantly impact cavity formation. Sugary liquids, like pop or juice, get into every nook and cranny, making it hard to brush out all that carbonated deliciousness. Also eating sticky sugar-laden foods like toffee can leave more concentrated amounts of sugar residue on our teeth.

Still can’t resist that strawberry funnel cake? Here’s how to avoid the damage from sugar related tooth decay:

  1. Rinse your mouth after eating sugary substances to help dilute the damaging acids
  2. Try not to sip or snack on sugary substances throughout the day. Remember: the less time your teeth are in contact with sugar, the better.
  3. Avoid sugar right before bed
  4. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  5. Floss at least once a day
  6. Avoid sugary drinks or use a straw to limit sugar to tooth contact
  7. Try to drink half your weight in ounces of water each day, it will help flush your mouth of harmful cavity-causing bacteria, plus it’s good for your whole body!

If you think you need a mid-summer cleaning or check up, stop by for a visit, we are always happy to help.

How to care for aging teeth into the golden years and beyond

As you begin aging, taking care of yourself and your health becomes so much more important. But you should also consider how you are taking care of your aging teeth. Over time, wear and tear can take a toll on teeth.

The enamel on your teeth is the hardest substance in your body –  harder than your bones. Because the set you have now is for the rest of your life, it’s important to limit any damage to keep your smile looking picture perfect.

So what can you do to protect your aging teeth?

  • Cut down on wear and tear and avoid chewing hard foods like ice. It can chip your enamel or even fracture your teeth. If you have a habit of grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist about avoiding any damage this may cause.
  • Keep gums healthy and avoid plaque build-up and gum disease with proper brushing and flossing. That means brushing twice a day and flossing every single day.
  • Attend to any issue relating to a dry mouth. As you get older, your mouth gets drier and medications can worsen this. If you find this happening to you, drink more water and talk to your dentist about products that can assist with this.
  • Limiting things like lemon and citrus fruits, excess sugar, pop and juice, and starchy foods is a good idea.
  • Brush and floss gently and take care of sensitive teeth. If sensitivity is an issue, we can recommend a toothpaste or in-office treatment to help make every sip of tea or spoonful of ice cream more comfortable.
  • Be kind to your teeth and mouth. Look out for sores, red or white patches or changes to your oral cavity.
  • Stop smoking and limit alcohol consumption.
  • Most importantly, make sure you keep on top of regular check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist can see anything you might be overlooking in the oral health department.

Good continuous oral hygiene is the biggest part of making sure your smile ages beautifully. Call and book your next appointment and let us help you keep your smile in tip-top shape.

Asian Eats and Oral Health

If you’ve been to a dentist, you know that sugary foods are something you should limit. But what foods are good for your teeth? More importantly, where can you get good-for-your-mouth Asian eats in the Yonge and Eglinton area?

Here’s what we’ve found so far:

Asian Eats: Little Sister

Making the “Best of Toronto” list on BlogTO, Little Sister is a delicious place to get Indonesian-Dutch cuisine. A simple but flavourful choice are the shrimp lettuce wraps. Perfectly cooked prawns come nestled in bib lettuce with sambal chilli sauce for a touch of heat, pickled cucumbers and crunchy shallots.

While leafy greens like lettuce have high water content, which promotes continual saliva production and cleanses the mouth, shallots are known to destroy harmful bacteria. They’re also a good source of antioxidants, which can prevent plaque from forming on teeth. Located on the stretch of Yonge between Davisville and Eglinton, this place is a must-visit if you’re in the neighbourhood.

Asian Eats: Lime

Pan-Asian with a twist, lime serves up some mean fresh soft rolls perfect for sharing. Shredded carrots, leaf lettuce, red pepper, cucumber and fresh herbs in rice paper are served with your choice of mango, chicken and shrimp or avocado and crab filling.

Minerals found in carrots kill bacteria that cause tooth damage, as well as acting as a natural abrasive to stimulate gums and eliminate plaque.

Plus, foods that contain a lot of vitamin C, like mangos, prevent collagen from breaking down, which helps keep gums strong and less susceptible to periodontal disease. With the leaf lettuce along for the ride, it’s a fresh way to keep your mouth in good health. Check it out just around the corner from our office at Eglinton and Redpath Ave.

Asian Eats: Green Papaya

An authentic Thai and Vietnamese restaurant just north of our office across from Best Buy, green papaya is an elegant place to sit down for a casual meal. For a tasty hit of vitamin C, fresh mango salad is a great choice here. With raw red onion slivers containing sulphur compounds that kill dangerous bacteria that harm teeth, this dish does double duty when it comes to your oral health.

Another tasty option is the chicken satay. These skewered delights are topped with fresh peanut paste and sesame seeds. Peanuts are full of teeth-healthy micronutrients like phosphorous, magnesium and calcium. Sesame seeds are also packed with tooth-strengthening calcium that helps repair enamel damage. Plus these little babies are shown to scrape plaque and clean teeth as you chew.

Next time you’re in for an appointment, let us know if you took any of our suggestions. By then we’ll have a few more.