"Do it Well… and Do it Once." – a personal motto of Dr. Sam Siew, B.D.Sc.

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Burnaby, BC V5H 1Y8

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Maintaining A Healthy Smile For Life

Many common dental problems can be prevented with a consistent oral hygiene routine. Most people are aware of the importance of brushing and flossing regularly, many don’t floss between their teeth and sometimes neglect to schedule regular dental check­ups. A few small changes in your daily routine can make a big difference in the long term. Scheduling visits with your family dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning ensures that any plaque or tartar buildup is removed, and that any potential problems will be spotted in their earliest stages.

Your dental team can remove any build­up on your teeth and treat any gum disease that has already appeared. But daily dental care is up to you, and your main defences are your toothbrush, toothpaste and interdental cleaning (cleaning between your teeth).

When you eat foods containing sugars and starches, the bacteria in plaque produce acids, which attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth. After constant acid attack, the tooth enamel breaks down forming a hole or cavity. That’s why it’s so important to thoroughly brush your teeth, especially before bed, when plaque and acid have all night to sit on your teeth.

Most people roll their eyes at least a little when reminded of the importance of flossing. Of course, it’s one of those tedious little things­ but it can prevent big problems in the long run. Nowadays, there are alternatives to regular old string floss. Oral irrigators, electric flossers, and floss picks may be more convenient or easier to use for some people. Whichever method youM choose, just remember to be consistent with it (once a day at least) and be gentle with yourself; don’t saw at your teeth with the floss in an effort to get done quicker. Gently wrap the floss around both sides of each tooth.

Your entire oral hygiene routine should take around 5­10 minutes. Think of this as a little me-time; it’s an investment in your oral and overall health. They say it takes about 21 days to develop a new habit. So go easy on yourself if establishing this new routine takes some time to adjust to. Overtime, regular brushing and flossing will become a habit that you won’t have to think about so much. Your teeth and your wallet will thank you for it!

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