November 30th, 2022
The human heart truly appreciates it when we eat healthy foods, don’t smoke, and exercise regularly. But there’s something else that can improve your heart’s longevity and you may not know about: keeping your teeth and gums in tip-top shape.
Bacteria responsible for periodontal disease have been found in the heart area of subjects who suffer from artery inflammation, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Physicians and dentists, like Drs. Sue Chincholi, Sari Novack, Melanie Little, Hayley Starkman, Ron Ho, and Jacob Swiderski, think that it is not difficult for oral bacteria to enter the bloodstream through diseased, bleeding gums, and abscesses that reach from the gums into veins and capillaries that carry blood to and from the heart.
In addition to practicing good oral hygiene and visiting Mint Dentistry every six months, here are ten other ways you can make your heart love you for the rest of your life:
- Avoid eating foods that contain saturated fat (fatty meats, processed meats, pastries, butter).
- Craving a crunchy snack? Grab a handful of tree nuts: pecans, almonds, walnuts. They’re rich in monounsaturated fats (the “good” kind of fat) as well as vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium.
- Eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast nourishes your heart with a soluble fiber called beta-glucan that can reduce cholesterol and help prevent atherosclerosis.
- Think “fish” the next time you shop for groceries, especially sardines, salmon, fresh tuna, and mackerel. These fish provide omega-3 fatty acids that lower triglycerides and blood pressure, and may help prevent blood clots from forming.
- Opt for whole grains over processed white breads and cereals.
- Put that remote control (or computer mouse) down right now and get moving! Walk, swim, ride a bike, plant flowers; your heart likes to pump, so make it pump.
- Refresh your brain and improve your heart health with at least eight hours of sleep every night.
- De-stress your life as much as possible: relax, stay optimistic, and don’t sweat the petty stuff!
- Watch your weight and get regular health examinations, especially if you have a family history of heart disease.
- And don’t forget to brush, floss, and rinse twice a day!
November 23rd, 2022
When it comes to dental hygiene, “going green” is not the first phrase that comes to mind. But if you are brushing properly, you are also replacing your toothbrush every three to four months as the bristles become frayed and wear down. Sure, that’s a tiny amount of plastic from each of us going to our landfills, yet it adds up to millions of brushes a year nationally. If you are concerned about reducing your carbon footprint while reducing your risk of cavities, there are several new toothbrushes designed to make brushing more eco-friendly.
Some brushes claim to be completely compostable. These models generally have heads fitted with boar bristles and handles manufactured from sustainable woods or bamboo. Boar bristles aren’t for everyone. Some users complain of the taste of the bristles, and boar bristles might be harsher than the soft bristles we recommend to protect both enamel and gums. There is also some concern about bacteria growth on organic bristles.
Earth-friendly Handles and Bristles
If you prefer the consistency and texture of regular synthetic bristles, you can still opt for a brush with a handle of sustainable wood or bamboo. You can also select PBA-free bristles, bristles made primarily of castor oil, or bristles that use natural ingredients in combination with synthetics.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
If these exotic brushes aren’t for you, there are more conventional choices that will save energy and cut down on waste.
- Reduce the amount of electricity you use for your electric toothbrush with a model that requires less charging time.
- Reuse your toothbrush by buying one with a handle made of metal, natural materials or plastic and replace the detachable head every three months.
- Recycled plastics can be found in the handles of some toothbrushes, and many brushes come in recyclable packaging. Every bit helps!
If you decide to use one of these green products, remember that your dental health is still the primary goal. Be sure the bristles of your brush are soft enough to protect your gums and enamel and can reach all the places you need to brush. The handle should be easy to grip and the head should be a comfortable fit for your mouth. It’s always best to choose products with a seal of acceptance from your local dental association, or talk to us about greener alternatives during your next visit to our Toronto office. Luckily, there are several workable options to protect the health of your family's teeth while still being mindful of the health of our planet.
November 16th, 2022
The choice to get dentures is a permanent decision so there are several important factors you should take into consideration. Many people have teeth that are not able to be repaired due to a variety of reasons, but for those who have the option and the money to repair their natural teeth they need to consider every choice they may have.
You have a choice!
Yes, it’s true! We do have a choice about whether we will have to have dentures in the future. Many people don’t realize that just by taking certain precautions they can actually prevent any serious issues from arising. For example, it’s very easy to reschedule that dental cleaning. However, it’s very important that you keep every appointment because Drs. Sue Chincholi, Sari Novack, Melanie Little, Hayley Starkman, Ron Ho, and Jacob Swiderski will be able to catch small problems before you even realize you have them. Also, if there are any signs of gum disease you will know early enough to stop any further damage. One of the main reasons that many people end up needing dentures is because of either gum disease or because severe cavities have cause too many teeth to be extracted.
If you notice any of the following you should make an appointment at our Toronto office right away:
- Teeth are moving further apart
- Soreness or tenderness of the gums
- Trouble eating hard food
- You have already lost several teeth
The key to avoiding dentures is prevention. Avoiding dentures is not impossible and can be as simple as staying on top of your oral hygiene. However, if you are currently experiencing any dental issues you should see Drs. Sue Chincholi, Sari Novack, Melanie Little, Hayley Starkman, Ron Ho, and Jacob Swiderski now, because a small problem can quickly escalate into a very large and expensive dental procedure.
November 9th, 2022
It's a habit many people have and not only can it be annoying to the people around you, it can be detrimental to your dental health. Chewing ice is so common that it even has its own name, pagophagia. We're not talking about a slushy or shaved ice (although those artificially sugary treats should be avoided too!) but more like the hunks of ice rattling around in the bottom of your glass.
Ice chewing can be a sign of emotional problems like stress or obsessive-compulsive disorder, but it can also be a marker for iron deficiency anemia and other physical problems. Then again, some people just like to have something to chew on. For whatever reason you find yourself chewing on it, it's a habit you need to break.
Chewing on ice can cause:
- Chipped and cracked teeth
- Damaged enamel
- Sore jaw muscles
- Damage to dental work such as crowns, fillings, or other appliances
If chewing on ice is becoming a problem in your life, don’t hesitate to speak with Drs. Sue Chincholi, Sari Novack, Melanie Little, Hayley Starkman, Ron Ho, and Jacob Swiderski about it. But if you find yourself still wanting to chew on something, here are a few alternatives to ice:
- Baby carrots
- Celery sticks
- Sugar-free (xylitol) gum
We know you need to chill sometimes, but chomping down your entire glass of ice is not the way to do it. If you have any other questions on the topic, feel free to talk with a member of our Toronto team. It may be beneficial in solving the issue and helping to remediate any damage to your teeth.