Welcome to the website of Waterdown Dental

On behalf of the entire team we would like to extend a warm welcome to our practice website. Everyone at the practice is committed to providing you with the very best in dental healthcare. Our staff each bring a level of commitment and years of experience to the practice and have all attained high standards of professional qualification. Our primary goal is to provide excellence in all facets of dentistry and to carry it out in a gentle and caring way using the latest techniques.

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March is Nutrition Month!

We’ve made it to March! Spring is around the corner and that means no more hibernation. This month around the office we’ll be focusing on nutrition and what it means for our oral health. The saying goes “you are what you eat” right? Well that rings true with the dentistry part at least and we’re going to dive into how.
It’s fairly common knowledge that sugar is not good for your teeth and can cause cavities but did you know that complex carbohydrates turn into sugar in your mouth as you’re chewing? This sugar is called amylase and when mixed with your saliva create sticky plaque forming bacteria that sits on your teeth. So even that sprouted 7 grain bread that you think is healthy, that same sugar forming amylase is still hard at work. Now we’re not suggesting you don’t eat that artisanal bread but what we are saying is that be aware! Rinse with some water after eating. Brushing 3 times a day seems like a great idea but it’s not always the most convenient. So rinsing with water can be fairly effective.
Next up, ACID! This is turning into a bit of a chemistry lesson I know but have you ever thought you were doing your body good by drinking a gallon of orange juice in week. Well, as great as all that vitamin C is the acidic content is off the charts and is not doing your teeth much good. Try alternative sources for getting your recommended intake of Vitamin C. Broccoli and Kale anyone? Usually you can achieve a good intake of vitamins by eating a simple salad and reducing your acid and sugar intake. We’re not even going to mention soft drinks. Let’s not get into why we all already know that stuff is off limits when it comes to a healthy diet. We will however say that we too like bubbley water. Adding some frozen strawberries or fresh cucumber and mint is an awesome alternative to soft drinks and you can’t feel bad about the kids drinking it either.
Speaking of drinking water, DRINK WATER! This is our not so subtle public service announcement to drink your WATER! We are all guilty of drinking way too much coffee and forgetting all about our friend water. Even the mineral content of water can help fortify your teeth and some cities have fluoridated water so you can tick that box too for cavity prevention. But water is a great way to neutralize an acid attack in your mouth as well as help with saliva production. Saliva production is also very helpful for preventing cavities. People who have a drier mouth also tend to be more cavity prone.
Lastly friends, munch on those cruciferous fruits and veggies as a quick snack. Not only will your body love all that fiber to compliment the water you’re now drinking but apples, celery and broccoli give you that mid-afternoon tooth scrub! Nature’s toothbrush. Having them prepped and sitting in lovely glass jars in your fridge at home or at the office will help you curb your junk food craving and the pretty display will make you want to grab them first.
Convenience is key. Keep it simple. Make it pretty. Have it within arm’s reach and ready to go. These will help with you developing healthier eating habits. So happy nutrition month everyone! Leave a comment and let us know your tips and recommendations for healthy eating.   

 It’s that cold and flu time of year and we often have lots of patients who try to still make it in to their dental appointment. We appreciate your dedication and you’re willingness to suffer through that stuffy nose to stay on track with your oral health goals. Let me be the one to give you a free pass! If you are not feeling well, even with a cold, we are asking you to reschedule your appointment. With the recent development of the Coronavirus we are acting with extra caution. This virus is still very new to our health care system and we are trying to prevent the spread of anything unknown to us not to mention we do have patients that are already immune compromised. So if you have recently come down with a cold, flu, fever or have a rash of any type we kindly ask you to reschedule at a later date. Now, I can’t speak for everyone but I’m going to assume your doctor, hair dresser, and work place will feel the same way.  Leave your germs at home please! We love seeing you but not that much ;)

So it’s January and it’s the time of year we resolute our lives, get our ducks in a row and take control of those pesky tasks we’ve been procrastinating since last year. We’ve got that 2020 vision in here and that’s why we’re refocusing on, YOU! Yes that’s right, our resolution is you! We want to do more for our patients in every way we can. Starting with helping you take advantage of something you pay into every month of the year, your health care benefits.

Many of you have dental benefits but don’t know what type of coverage you have or what you’re entitled to. It’s vital to check into your coverage in January so that you can begin using your coverage straight away. Your insurance provider will only give you your information they will not tell your health care provider a thing. They are doing a better job however of making your information more accessible to you by providing apps and having online dashboards so that you can navigate your coverage more easily. We can also assist you in translating your coverage as well. We have dedicated personnel to do just that; explain your treatment to you in plain language and help to liaison with your insurance provider.

The key to all of this is using your insurance. So many of our patients forget they have specific benefits and therefore don’t think to use it until the end of the year. But moving forward with your New Year’s resolution to take better care of yourself, let us help you out in the smile department. Let’s get your oral health at its best yet and get your insurance benefits working better for you!

We're really focused around here at the office this time of year. Everyone has the holiday spirit and we're a merry bunch. The carols are playing the tree is about to be put up and our elf on the shelf is making her annual appearence. This is a time of year for reflection and a time to count our blessings. But why does this only come to mind during this time of year? 

Moving into 2020 we have decided to practice having daily gratitude in the work place. We have the most wonderful team of hard working individuals and now is the time to showcase just that. We are starting with one another byhelping eachother achieve our work goals. We are setting goals in the office for the new year. We are committed to helping eachother achieve those goals so that each person gets to feel a continuous sense of accomplishment and we all develope communal responsibility. Too offen we forget that our cooworkers have their own responsibities and we are only focused on our own individual agendas. It's time to appreciate all that each person brings to the table. We are smart, dymanic and strong but we can be even better when we begin to recognize and appreciate the diversity we eash possess.bust the box to get there.

2019 has been great but 2020 is going to be epic! We are committed to being better people for our patients, coworkers, family and friends and it starts by looking at all that we have not  what we do not. 

The beauty and anatomy of a tooth, it’s more complicated than one would think. Much like the rest of our body a tooth is made of its own life cycle and system. We often hear that a patient doesn’t think they have a cavity because the tooth doesn’t hurt. Well believe me, if your tooth is hurting because of a cavity the chances are that the decay has reached the nerve of the tooth and now needs more than a simple filling. It’s occurred to me that if people don’t know how a tooth is structured then they won’t understand what I mean! So I figured, let’s dive in there!
 A tooth is made up mainly as three separate parts. The first is the enamel. The enamel is the white outer layer of tooth that protects the tooth from the outside world. Enamel is the hardest surface in the body even harder than bone! The second layer is called dentin. Dentin is softer and has microscopic tubes that help carry the nutrients to the tooth. It’s yellowish in colour and if the enamel is worn down from things like acidic foods or grinding this is where teeth can become sensitive. Dentin also takes on decay faster because it is softer and bacteria can eat through it quicker. The third and final layer of your tooth is the nerve canal. This is where blood enters your tooth to keep it alive. This is the area dentists clean out when they do a root canal. They remove the blood vessels and nerves so that the infected tooth is clean and free from decay that has reached into the nerve.
There are more factors of course that can lead to tooth decay, sensitivity and root canals however this is just so you can visualize how a tooth is made up. A tooth is beautiful thing and we need to give credit where credits deserved.    

It’s that spooky time of year again! We’re over here still advising our patients to steer clear of all that sugar and to brush and floss twice a day. But, let’s get real for a minute, it’s HALLOWEEN! It’s supposed to be fun and tasty right? Well, we’ve decided to help with some great treat ideas that will keep your tick-or-treaters smiling so no one plays any tricks on you!

Not only are these ideas better for your teeth and tummy but they can also be a greener choice for the environment because we can skip those pesky plastic wrappers! That’s what I call a WIN! Here are our Top 5 Halloween treats!

5. Sugar-Free lollipops and gum wrapped in waxed paper instead of plastic

4. Small toys- erasers, pencils, crayons, bouncy balls, hockey cards etc.

3. Playdoh/Slime (try glow in the dark!)

2. Canned sparking water (Bubly water is our favourite)

1. Little oranges (Cuties) with hand drawn jack-o-lanterns faces on them.
Do you have any more ideas? Comment below and tell us what you plan on handing out this Halloween!

It’s currently the first week back to school. Back to routine and back to things like packing lunches, eating breakfast and getting out the door on time. Many of us parents get a little anxiety this time of year but fear not. We have a few tips so that your child’s oral health care doesn’t get skipped during these hectic times.

Make a morning to do chore list for you kids. Start them young, they’ll feel like they’re accomplishing something from the start of the day. Make it a habit. It takes 60 days for a habit to form and in young children even less time so stay consistent. Keep it simple. Stars and check marks work (don’t reinvent the wheel). Create an easy to follow chore chart for their daily routine and as they get older add things to the list. Get them involved by adding stickers and fun colours! Start with making their beds, getting dressed and brushing their teeth. If they’re younger than 8 we recommend you assist them. Brushing in the morning is extremely important to remove that night time plaque. Remember, as a rule of thumb, plaque goes from the soft sticky yellowish film to hard calculus in less than 24 hours. It’s best to brush and floss twice a day. We also recommend a small, very soft toothbrush head so you can get into those tinier mouths. We also suggest a power tooth brush for your older (more lazy) children. May I suggest that one will make more friends with fresher breath? It definitely is a motivator for my older son… We also recommend a tooth paste with fluoride if they can spit it all out. Topical fluoride application is vital for cavity prevention in small people.

Often, after summer vacation we see a many children in our practice with more cavities than normal. It’s usually due to them getting into those delicious camp fire marshmallows followed up by some pop or a slushy at the fair. Hey, we love summer treats as much as the next person but, after a few months of bingeing on junk combined with routine on hiatus, it’s time to get back on track. It’s time to schedule your dental check-ups and time to put some new batteries in that power tooth brush.

We’ve all felt that “ZING!” No not that “ZING!” from falling in love, I’m talking tooth sensitivity! That first bite of ice cream or sip of hot coffee in the morning or maybe even from breathing in cold air from outside, we have all felt tooth sensitivity at some point in our lives. There are a few leading causes of what makes us grip our cheeks when we’re hit by that sharp pain. Let’s dive in and maybe we can get to the bottom of what’s zinging you!
I’d say one of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity may actually be  a build-up of plaque around the gum line.   When bacteria gather and sit on gum tissue, your gums become very unhappy. Most of the time we avoid brushing the areas that are painful when in fact it is our body’s crazy way of pointing out the problem with a big flashing arrow saying “BRUSH HERE!” Using a soft bristled brush, some sensitivity toothpaste like Sensodyne and good old fashion floss you may actually get rid of your sensitivity problem in a short period of time.
Gum recession is also another common factor for sensitivity. This may require a little assistance on our part. Once you’ve been seen by one of our lovely hygienists they will determine if you have gum recession and between them and Dr. Tam or Dr. Tyler they will make some recommendations. Occasionally, they will suggest some gentle tissue build up surgery called Alloderm or they may refer you over to the gum specialist in more severe cases.
Have you been stressed out lately? Do you grind your teeth in your sleep or find yourself clenching your jaw on your drive home from work? These will also contribute to sensitive teeth.  To treat acute attacks of pain from grinding you can take an anti-inflammatory. In other cases we can outfit you with a nightguard to absorb the forces you are putting on your teeth. In more severe cases, when you’ve ground teeth down too far, the Doctor can actually put a filling over top to cover up the nervy parts of your teeth.
So next time your teeth are a little more “Zingy” than normal just remember, it’s not love,  it’s time to give us a call so we can take care of your sensitive issues!   

Fear and Anxiety at the Dentist
I have worked in dentistry for almost 15 years now and I can honestly say I have only met a small handful of people who actually like going to the dentist. Fear and anxiety are two of the biggest reasons people don’t come to the dentist.  What generally brings people in is the fear of having cavities or worse, a dreaded root canal! Some only come when they are in pain and others manifest the problems in their mind to make them way worse than the actual problem is physically. I’m going to let you in on a few little secrets and hopefully this will help you the next time you pick up the phone to make an appointment.

  1. YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY PERSON WHO HATES COMING! (Glad we got that one out of the way.)
  2. Dentistry in 2019 is much more gentle and preventative than it was even 20 years ago.
  3. We have medications and other ways of taking the edge off when you need it.
  4. Communication, this is probably the biggest one! We need to know how you feel so we can help you! Telling us what makes you fearful is the best way we can help build a trusting relationship with you. We dental professionals have the insight and knowledge to be able educate you on what to expect and no we don’t lie.
At the end of the day making someone smile and feel comfortable in the dental chair is our goal. We know it’s not always rainbows and sunshine but it doesn’t have to ruin your entire day before your 4 o’clock appointment either.
I hope that helps, and if you want to talk about it, we’re here for you!

Spring, spring, spring!
Is it just me or am I the only one who loves spring cleaning? I go through closets, cupboards, and get down and dirty scrubbing grout, and sucking up dust bunnies from the winter. Spring is the time for a fresh start, fresh air, and fresh breath? Yes I said it, fresh breath. You didn’t think I would be talking about only cleaning my house did you? This is a dental blog you know :)

Many people take this time of year to get all caught up on appointments and self-care. It’s that feeling of rejuvenation and fresh starts that’s in the air.

I just treated myself today by having my own hygiene visit and let me tell you, it was glorious! My teeth feel like smooth glass and my gums feel all tingly and happy. Yes, yes, I know most of you reading this probably think I’ve lost my marbles but I promise you that that’s what regular dental visits should feel like. A spa day for your mouth!

Don’t take my word for it, come by and have a cleaning by one of our fabulous hygienists! You can check if off your spring cleaning checklist.

Hey there!

It’s been a while. We’re so glad to be back in the office and in full swing. I love coming to work. YES, I said it, I LOVE coming to work! There is always a challenge, familiar faces, new faces, something exciting in the works and yet some things (the wonderful things) never change. Which lead me to our topic of discussion…Why did you choose us to be your dentist?  Did your parents come here? Did you google a dentist? Or was it the office closest to your home or work?

It’s quite a personal endeavor if you think about it? You have someone you barely know sitting 6 inches from your face with sharp instruments doing only who knows what in there, talking some fancy jargon that may as well be a foreign language.  So what keeps you going back? Do you get a good chuckle while you’re there? I know it’s highest priority for us that each and every patient we treat is greeted, treated and dismissed feeling like they are important, valued and that they are heard.

 I often hear people say that they weren’t given a choice in their dental treatment.  To us, that is a corner stone for developing trust with you. Trust is something we never take for granted and is easily broken. We always give our patients informed choices when it comes to their health. We give you all the options and allow you to make the best choice for you!
We also know that people associate the dentist with pain. We do our very best to keep you as comfortable as possible.  Us dental pros know a trick or two to take your mind off things, crack some jokes or get crazy and bust out the laughing gas.

In any event we are here to make the worst more bearable and the decisions less complicated. We’re straight shooters, what you see is what you get. If you think this is the kind of place you want to come please stop by and check us out. Your friends and family are always welcome too. Want to meet us first and take a tour? We're happy to show you around. Come on by to see if we’re a good fit for what you are looking for!
Leave a comment below to tell us why you decided to be our patient!

Hey Everyone!

Well as usual with this time of year we've all been so crazy busy with work and preparations for the holiday season. Am I right that it always seems to speed pass us all in such a hurry with present wrapping, shopping, baking and list is endless! What I feel like we sometimes miss is how much we rely on one another to make all our Christmas lists worthwhile. What do I mean you ask?

We plan and get our hustle on for people we love and care about during the holidays. We make ourselves crazy out of love and appreciation for others. I have to point out the obvious that in our office there is so much of that going on. All of us have spent hours working on the Santa Claus Parade float, tree hunting, setting up our Christmas elf Ruby, decorating to make the office feel festive and finding ways to help out in the community.  It is such a beautiful thing to be a part of. We have created a work family that you would be hard pressed to find more caring people to work with. I know I'm getting a little sappy but in all honesty it's hard not to notice the laughter, hugs, and words of encouragement when you walk through the doors here. Not many people get to experience this in their day to day lives like we do here and you know what? We are grateful. Grateful for each other and grateful for each and every one of our patients. Personally, this is home away from home and I'm so proud to be a part of it all. 

We hope you find some comfort in knowing that you have chosen a dental office that cares for one another just as much as they care for their patients. We hope you take the time to notice just how special a bond we all share and we hope you feel like you're a part of something truly wonderful!

Merry Christmas friends and family! And Thank You as Always!

 We all come to the dentist every 6 months for our regular dental check-ups, am I right? Maybe you never have a cavity or maybe you always end up with more than you bargained for. But, a Complete Oral Exam does so much more than checking for cavities! It's an opportunity for you and us to have a thorough discussion with you about your oral health and your overall health. The doctors will map out your mouth and check for things we "normally" don't get the opportunity to see. We look at bone levels and check how well supported your teeth are within your jaw; we do a more advanced oral cancer screen with ultraviolet light. We also get the chance to discuss with you your goals for your mouth. Maybe you've always dreamed of having veneers or fixing the gap in between your front teeth or maybe it's time to chat about your wisdom teeth or the replacement of a missing tooth? Whatever the case may be, we like to sit down with each of our patients once every 5 years or once our younger patients become adults at 18 years of age. This appointment typically takes an hour and by the end of it you and the doctor will have a very good idea of the direction you would like to head with your oral health. We will also will be putting you on a program based on your ongoing needs, our White Smile program or our Healthy Gums program. If you would like more information on either one of our programs please give us a call!

Have you had your complete exam recently? 

Sore jaw or sore teeth? Do you know the difference between a toothache and TMJ symptoms? We have your guide to help you deal with jaw soreness. 

First of all how do you know it's not a toothache? Well, does one tooth hurt or do a few teeth hurt? Are your teeth sensitive sensitive to cold or hot or sweet? Do you experience severe pain or headaches at certian times of the day or night? Chances are that if more than one tooth hurts, you have cold sensitivity and you get jaw spasims day or night you have what the dental world calls "TMD" or Temporal Mandibular Disorder.  And yes, it's more common than you think, yes there are things you can do about it and most of the time you can get some relief with a few simple remedies and a little help from us!

You will need to book a short appointment so that we can determine if you do infact have TMD. At that time we may prescribe you a nightguard and some anti-inflammatories. If pain killers aren't your thing, you could opt for a intra oral massage from your RMT. These are GREAT! They not only feel good but it stimulates blood flow to the area and provides some pain relief at the same time. Along with your RMT you can add hot and cold compresses for 15 minute intervals. 

While you are in peak spasim you may want to try eating a softer diet, restrict the amount of talking you are doing throughout the day and stay away from thing like gum and chewy foods. They will give your jaw an unwanted work out. Think of it like a sprained wrist. You wouldn't play raquet ball with a sprain would you? Your jaw needs a chance to recover so less use will help reduce the pain.

We all love a pearly white healthy smile, am I right?
We have all tried those drugstore brands of toothpastes, strips and paint ons and have even have gone as far as brushing with baking soda and lemon! STOP what you are doing! We have the in's and out's of all things whitening up in here. 

First of all, some of those products do work on a temporary basis , and some casue more harm than good. Strips and toothpastes can work for superficial stains but things like baking soda and lemon can cause a lot of tooth sensitivity and can actually pit your enamel where your teeth with then take up even more stain!

Where do we come in you ask? Well, we carry a variety of whitening products that guarantee a better result than some of the hocus pocus products out there. We have something for every budget, timeline and every stain level; we can even whiten you tetracyclin staining! 

Come by and visit us for all your whitening needs and you will love your smile just in time for that upcoming wedding, birthday, or holiday!


Hey all our dental family and friends!

We have finally decided to start an office blog, hooray! we are very excited to be bringing you bi-weekly posts on what's happening in the dental market place, what we are doing in the community and tips and tricks for your enitre systemic health (not just the toothy stuff). Look forward to hearing from all our team members including me, Bri! 

I have been working with Dr. Tam for the last 10 years and now is my opportunity to give all of you the inside scoop into our office and all things in the dental world and more. If you have any topics you'd like us to cover please feel free to comment below! We look forward to sharing with all of you!

Thanks for reading,