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Three Tips for the Perfect School Photo Smile

School picture day is here, and you want your child to look their best. You’ve got a perfect outfit and hairstyle picked out, but no school photo look is complete without a stunning smile! Worried that teeth whitening will take weeks that you don’t have? Never fear! There are many things you can do just a day before picture day that can make a big difference in your child’s smile.

The Morning Brush

On the morning of the big day, ensure that your child has given his or her teeth a thorough brushing. Bacteria can build up throughout the night and cause the formation of new plaques, which detract from the smile. Giving teeth a final scrub will give them a shiny new polish, which is great for the photo that is about to be taken. Make sure that no bits of breakfast are left hanging! Consider doing a quick floss after the morning brush to catch any stray cereal particles that were looking to make an appearance.

Dress for Success

Teeth naturally have subtle colour undertones other than white, so it’s important to understand this and use it to your advantage by dress accordingly. For example, the colour of your child’s clothing can make a huge impact on the perceived colour of your teeth. On picture day, opt for cooler and darker colours like blue and purple in order to allow the whiteness of teeth to really stand out. Warmer colours like yellow and orange can bring out the yellowness in teeth and cause them to appear more discoloured than they actually are.

Last Minute Preparations

It’s never too late to improve a smile! After you’ve got your outfit picked out and teeth brushed, ensure that your child doesn’t accidentally ruin their hard work. Stay away from any coloured drinks such as fruit juice, as these can leave small but noticeable stains on teeth. Try and avoid eating sticky foods for the same reason. Opt for water or crunchy foods if your child is dying to have a snack.

It doesn’t matter if this is your child’s first photo day of many or their graduation picture — a confident smile makes a big difference! Centennial Smiles Dental loves to see smiling faces, and is here to help make that happen! Give us a call at (587) 317‑7959 today.

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Get Your Smile Ready for Back to School Photos

It’s that time of year again! Back to school sales and merchandise are present everywhere you look. With all the commotion involved in prepping for the new school year, it can be hard to keep track of everything that needs to be done. If your child is entering an important grade this fall, you’ll want to be able to commemorate the moment with a perfect school photo. What does a perfect school photo start with? A brilliant smile, of course!

Teeth Whitening

Plan on flashing those pearly whites for the camera? Make sure your teeth are living up to the name! There are many commercial and professional options available out there when it comes to tooth whitening. Most products will provide more noticeable results if you are able to use them for longer. Therefore, it is in your best interest to start as early as possible if you’re thinking about tooth whitening. Speaking with your dentist is an excellent place to start, as they may be able to recommend specific products or procedures.

Orthodontics

No, we aren’t talking about braces! Traditional orthodontic treatments involve a substantial time investment and aren’t feasible for the current time frame. However, you may want to look into something like Invisalign, a relatively new method of orthodontic treatment that avoids the use of metal brackets and wires. Invisalign can be worn and taken off discreetly and often aren’t even visible at all. A perfect way to begin your journey to straighter teeth without sacrificing your back to school photos.

Professional Cleaning

If it’s been awhile since your last visit to the dentist, now is the time to do something about it. Dental plaque is a film of bacteria that grows and coats the surface of teeth. Although plaque can be brushed off with regular brushing, it can sometimes harden into tartar, which is something that only a dentist is able to remove. Tartar buildup can detract heavily from the overall appearance of teeth. Head over to your dentist’s office for a quick cleaning and checkup before photo day to ensure that your smile is as bright as can be!

School photos are a standard part of the back-to-school process, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take them seriously! Centennial Smiles Dental wishes all students good luck in the new school year. Don’t forget to smile for the camera!

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Skip the Pop This Fall

With fall and school right around the corner, many students may be increasing their consumption of sugary drinks. It can become difficult to keep an eye on consumption while your child is at school. This fall, encourage your children to stay away from pop and look to other beverage options instead.

Say No to Pop

Recent research has made it abundantly clear that pop and soft drinks have drastic adverse effects on those who drink them. The high sugar content is delivered in a sticky liquid medium, allowing it to easily coat tooth surfaces and gumlines. This ample supply of sugar acts as an irresistible feast for the “bad” bacteria in the oral cavity, which quickly begin multiplying  out of control. A sudden increase in their populations causes the healthy bacteria to die off, worsening the problem. Before you know it, you’ve got cavities left and right and are at a high risk for gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Is it Something Wrong With Pop?

If pop did not have a high sugar content, drinking it would be much less of a concern. At the end of the day, the sugar present in fizzy drinks is what makes them both so appealing and damaging at the same time. It’s important to keep this in mind, as it is easy to lose sight of why we keep suggesting you lower your soda intake!

What Are My Options?

This isn’t to say that one pop spells disaster for your teeth. Like anything, moderation remains key, and also keep in mind that simple sugars are a necessary and vital source of energy for the body. However, the best way to eliminate the risk entirely is by choosing alternative drinks over the fizzy ones.  Fruit juices, for example, are an excellent choice that still provides a satisfyingly sweet taste for those looking to satiate their sugar tooth. Making your own ice tea or lemonade is another good alternative, as it lets you control how much sugar you’re adding in. If you’re looking for something carbonated, you may want to look into creating your very own sodas. Again, the advantage here is a higher level of control over what goes in. Finally, you always have the option of a cool and refreshing glass of ice water! Think about what it is about drinking pop that makes it so attractive, and use those factors to guide your thinking when looking at choosing an alternative.

Centennial Smiles Dental is here to make sure that you go home cavity-free! Feel free to book an appointment with us at (587) 317‑7959 today, or visit us at http://centennialsmiles.ca/.

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How Do Implants Work?

Dental implants are a relatively common treatment for missing or decaying teeth. They are often necessary in preventing further damage to neighboring teeth or oral health. How do dental implants work, and why are they beneficial?

Dental Implants 101

A dental implant consists of a crown, an abutment, and the actual implant. The crown is the uppermost visible part that acts as your new replacement tooth. It’s made to look and function as though it were a natural tooth while protecting the rest of the implant. The abutment is the connective piece holding the crown to the base of the implant, a metal post that rests securely where the tooth root normally is. This post is embedded into the jawbone, where it is able to fuse and serve as a strong anchor for your replacement tooth.

Why Would I Need a Dental Implant?

Implants are used to treat missing teeth, which can be due to many different reasons. Leaving rotten or decaying teeth inside the oral cavity can lead to complications down the line, so it is often best to remove them and replace them with an implant. Teeth that have been knocked out or otherwise forcibly removed can also be replaced. Finally, dental implants may be a suitable option for those who have jawbone growth issues, where teeth are becoming too crowded or too spaced. Talking with your dentist is the best way to find out if a dental implant is right for you.

What Does the Process Look Like?

Getting a dental implant starts with x-rays at your dentist’s office. This will reveal whether or not an implant is the best option for you. Once this has been decided, surgery often takes place in multiple stages. The base of the implant is inserted first and the gum line is stitched back together to allow it to fuse with the bone. This process can take several months. Afterwards, the abutment and crown are added. It may take a few appointments to ensure that the crown is a proper fit, but the worst is over at this point.

Dental implants may sound scary, but it’s important to remember that their purpose is to make life more enjoyable. Your dentist will be able to best decide whether or not an implant is right for you. Centennial Smiles Dental is more than happy to address any inquiries you may have. Call us at (587) 317‑7959 today!

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Top 5 Dentist Approved Summer Eats

Summer is in high swing, bringing with it heat, sunlight, and the desire for cool summer treats! With a multitude of sweet treats out there, it can get tricky to sift through them to find what satisfies both your sweet tooth and your dentist. Luckily for you, we’re here to show you how you can develop a great smile over the summer months without sacrificing those sweet treats.

Watermelon

Watermelon is an excellent go-to treat all around. It’s packed full of vitamins and nutrients that are beneficial to maintaining healthy teeth, and has few detriments. Also, it’s downright delicious!

Cheese

While not exactly sweet, we had to include cheese on this list due to its high content of calcium and phosphorus, both of which are great for building tooth enamel by helping to replenish lost minerals. Chewing cheese also stimulates the production of enzymes in your saliva that help kill bacteria for even better tooth protection. All the more reason to smile and say cheese!

Gum

Chewing gum is another great way to generate more saliva to help counteract bad bacteria that eat away at tooth enamel. Look for gum with no colouring and a low sugar content for the best effects.

Crunchy Fruits

Chips aren’t the only crunchy foods available out there! Try to serve fruit or vegetable platters that include foods like apples or carrots that have a satisfying crunch. Again, the chewing required to enjoy them helps stimulate saliva production. Also, they’re full of excellent vitamins and nutrients.

Ice Cream

What? Ice cream? You heard us, but take it with a grain of salt. Ice cream has plenty of sugar that makes it a bad candidate for keeping your teeth healthy. However, it is better than other sticky candy, which can hang around and eat away at your enamel. If you enjoy ice cream in moderation and ensure that you keep up with brushing, there’s no problem!

Summer is short in Alberta, so go out and make the most of it! Centennial Smiles Dental is more than happy to talk about other healthy food choices. Reach us at (587) 317‑7959.

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Is Your Smile Ready for Your Wedding?

Your wedding is one of the most momentous events of your life. As such, you’ll want to make certain that everything goes exactly as planned, and that the execution is perfect. Where does this all start? With a perfect wedding smile!

Take Center Stage

Yes, your wedding dress or suit is going to be a large attention magnet along with your choice of shoes and jewellery. However, your smile is the one other thing that everyone will see just as well, so make sure that it takes center stage! Having a great smile is something that will make your wedding day that much more special, and it’ll be great for the photo albums as well.

What are my Options?

Centennial Smiles Dental has options for correcting tooth misalignments, uneven bites, or spaces and missing teeth. These procedures usually take time, so it’s a good  idea to start looking into them early. If you’re pressed for time, be sure to contact us so we can help you decide the best course of action. Other cosmetic enhancements, such as tooth whitening or tooth reshaping, are much easier to do with a shorter amount of time. Alternatively, you can look around your local cosmetics store for whitening strips or other similar products. These may work in a cinch, but we still recommend you go speak with your dentist to determine the best way to achieve the most effective whitening.

Tips for the Big Day

In the days leading up to the big event, stay away from foods that can stain your teeth. This includes anything with a lot of colouring, such as coffee. On the morning of, ensure that you give your teeth a thorough scrub. The last thing you want is a stray piece of last night’s dinner showing up unannounced! Finally, keep your head up high and show everyone that fantastic smile you’ve been working on. This day is about celebrating you, so make the most of it!

Have any more questions or concerns? Don’t hesitate to contact Centennial Smiles Dental at (587) 317‑7959 today!

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Should You Brush Your Teeth After Lunch?

It is common practice for most people to brush their teeth in the morning and before bedtime. This time-honoured routine has been passed from parent to child successfully for many generations. However, not many of us give our teeth the same amount of attention after lunch. Why might this be, and what are some potential benefits to adding a third brush into your day?

Time is of the Essence

Of the three meals, lunch is the most likely to take place somewhere far from the comfort of your own toothbrush. Therefore, for many people, there is simply not enough time available to rush off to the bathroom for a thorough scrub. Part of the reason why we are so adamant about brushing in the morning and at night is because that action has become so well incorporated into our daily lives. If you’re working a job that doesn’t allow for a consistent lunch hour everyday, it can be hard to follow a well established brushing regime, making it that much more difficult to stick to daily brushing. That being said, are the benefits to brushing after lunch enticing enough to warrant this change of ritual?

Brushing Right After Eating

If your midday meal consisted of foods high in refined carbohydrates and sugars, there will be a large increase in the number of bacteria inhabiting your oral cavity come mid-afternoon. Simple sugars and carbs are favourites of your local resident bacteria, and they will leap at any and all available sources. In this case, brushing after lunch can indeed make a positive impact by reducing the amount of free meals you’re offering your little hitchhikers, and therefore keeping their numbers under control.

On the other hand, if your lunch included something highly acidic, such as orange juice, it may be best to hold off on brushing. Acidic foods and beverages can cause your enamel to weaken temporarily, and brushing before your body can repair it may cause further damage to it in its already weakened state. Try instead to give your mouth a good rinse with water, or munching down on something that isn’t acidic after you’ve enjoyed your fruit juice to help wash away any remaining traces of the acid.

So what’s the verdict? Whether or not you should brush your teeth after lunch depends somewhat on what you had to eat, but mostly comes down to personal preference and the amount of time you have available. Either way, you’ll be able to reap all the benefits of a lunchtime scrub as long as you’re consistent with morning and evening brushes. For best results, use a fluoride-enriched toothpaste and follow up brushing with a thorough flossing and a quick swish of mouthwash! Centennial Smiles Dental is always happy to address any concerns you may have. Reach us at (587) 317‑7959 today!

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Helping to Build Your Child’s Flossing Habit

By now, most of us understand and can appreciate the need for daily brushing. We were taught to treat it as a daily ritual, and have since passed this tradition on to our kids. However, although brushing has become very well established, many Canadians continue to skip flossing, which can be just as beneficial as brushing. Because of this, we often aren’t teaching our children the proper flossing habits either, which can have adverse effects on their young teeth.

Why Even Bother?

The benefits to flossing are numerous. Unlike a toothbrush, which cleans the surfaces of teeth, floss is able to get at those hard to reach places between teeth that a brush would skip over. These small spaces are bacteria’s favourite places to call home, and the resulting tartar buildup can be hard to get rid of. Often flossing is the only way that these areas are cleaned at all. Floss also helps rid food debris from your gumline. If left to fester, small particles of food can cause an infection in the gums, leading to gingivitis or more serious periodontal disease. Realize that flossing is a critical aspect of maintaining a healthy smile, and stop putting it off!

Be a Good Role Model

Parents are their children’s first and best role model. If your child sees that you are making daily flossing an important part of your life, they will be much more inclined to do the same. Ensure that you’re sending a clear message to your kids about the importance of flossing by doing it yourself!

Stay Consistent

The best way to get your kids to pick up flossing is to incorporate it into our daily brushing rituals. For younger children, this may mean actually flossing for them to get them accustomed to the feeling. Once they are older and able to floss for themselves, the routine will already have been well established and will seem like a natural part of bedtime. Set aside some time each night as designated oral hygiene time, and make sure that flossing is being included!

Our children’s oral hygiene starts with parents. Make sure that you are being a good role model and taking care of your own teeth. Finally, bring your little ones with you when you visit us at the dentist’s office. Centennial Smiles Dental is always happy to see new smiling faces, whatever the size! Feel free to reach us at (587) 317‑7959 anytime.

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Why Preventive Dentistry is Better Than Fixing Problems

We often hear of new techniques and procedures in dentistry that offer effective treatment methods. This is, of course, positive and encouraging news, but it can be easy to get caught up in all the different ways we can fix our problems. Instead, it can be a much better idea to take a step back and look at how we can prevent such dental problems from occurring in the first place.

Stop Problems Before They Start

The easiest problem to solve is the one that doesn’t happen at all. Preventive dentistry is all about looking at how we can take better care of our teeth so issues don’t arise to begin with. This can take many forms, from proper oral hygiene habits that can be followed at home to regular checkups at the dentist’s office. It all starts with a well established daily brushing routine. The best thing you can do for your teeth is ensure that you’re brushing twice daily using a toothpaste enriched with fluoride. Coupled with regular flossing and mouthwash usage, this can go a long ways towards maintaining your oral health. If you’ve been slacking off on the brushing or flossing, now is the time to get back on track!

You Are What You Eat

Our choice of diet makes a huge difference in our oral hygiene. If you’re constantly exposing your tooth enamel to sugary foods and highly acidic drinks, it’ll wear much faster and you’ll be that much more likely to get severe problems. Instead, aim to limit your intake of such foods and opt for those nutritious options that your parents always begged you to eat. Lastly, don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout. This allows you to give your mouth a good rinse while also helping you stay hydrated.

Visit the Dentist

We aren’t here to scare and chastise you for poor oral health habits! We’re here to help guide you towards fixing those poor habits and turning them into better ones. Regular dental checkups allow us to catch any potential problems before they really have a chance to take off and do serious damage. If it’s been awhile since you last said hi to your dentist, make an appointment sooner rather than later! We promise we will make your visit as hassle free as possible, and health insurance is usually able to cover most costs.

Stopping dental issues in their tracks is best handled on a day to day basis, and starts right at home. Ensure that your daily hygiene routines are well established, and check in with your dentist every now and then just to be sure everything is in working order. Centennial Smiles Dental  is always happy to see new smiling faces. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (587) 317‑7959 today!

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How Is Watermelon Good for Your Kids’ Teeth?

With summer upon us once again, many people will be on the lookout for a cool and refreshing treat to enjoy during those long hot days. Well, look no further! Watermelon is an excellent choice of summer fruit, packed with nutrients and vitamins that benefit your teeth while also being generally delicious!

Juicy and Good for You Too!

Why, out of all those summer fruits, did we pick watermelon as our go-to snack? Other than being cool, refreshing, and delicious, watermelon contains all sorts of goodies that help contribute to better oral health in a variety of ways. First off, it’s rich in fibre, which acts as a sort of natural toothbrush and can give your teeth a good scrubbing while you chew. This helps prevent the buildup of dental plaques and lowers the risk of tooth decay while also cleaning away food debris and other particles. And because of the high water content, watermelon stimulates the production of more saliva, which contains enzymes to breakdown bacteria while also repairing damaged tooth enamel. Watermelon is also high in vitamin C which, among many other benefits, helps prevent gum disease and bleeding gum lines while also inhibiting plaque buildup on your teeth.

It’s Not a Miracle Food!

Eating healthy and making good choices for oral health go a long ways in stopping the progression of problems such as gum disease and enamel wear down. However, watermelon alone is not enough! Ensure that you take your kids in for regular dental checkups. Sometimes things can go wrong that aren’t immediately noticeable. In these cases, only your oral health care professional will be able to detect the problem and notify you what the best course of action is. Furthermore, getting your kids used to regular dental visits can help them understand that they are a part of daily life, rather than something to be feared. A child that has had nothing but positive experiences at the dentist while they’re young are much more likely to continue their visits when they’re older. Now that’s something that everyone here at Centennial Smiles likes to smile about! Not yet convinced? There’s only one way to find out how right we are: head down to your local supermarket and pick up a watermelon. You’ll thank us later!

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