Tuesday, January 30, 2018

4 Tips for Caring for Your Child's Teeth

Little hands don’t always like to brush little teeth. Dr. Ian Gray and staff happily provide you with tips on how to care for your young one’s teeth—even if they don’t want to. 

Start early
As with any good habit, instilling it early and with consistency is the best way to be sure that your child practices good oral hygiene. Teaching them when to brush, how long to brush and how much toothpaste to use, is very important. They may not be wise enough to know what this will do for their overall health in the long run, but you are, and if they see that this is something that mommy and daddy not only approve of, but celebrate, little minds will associate brushing their teeth with a positive outcome. 

Make it a routine
One way to be sure that they don’t see it as a cumbersome chore is to make it fun. Have them brush until you count to a certain number or finish their favorite song or nursery rhyme. Reward them for a job well done. Similar to the famous “potty chart,” you can give them a star for each time they brush their teeth. Let the sticker - itself be a reward or perhaps take them to get a new toy when they’ve filled up their chart. Your Newmarket family dentist wants your child to develop good habits from the start so they’ll always have a beautiful smile. 

Stave off a sweet tooth

It’s well-known that sugar and tooth decay are partners in crime, so be sure your child is eating a balanced diet of fruits, veggies, grains and proteins, limiting the amount of starches and sugars they eat. When sugar remains in the mouth, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. And while they may just be their baby teeth, those little guys are the foundation for adult teeth and proper care for baby teeth is absolutely essential. 

Stop on by
Just as you should see your dentist every six months, so should your children. From the time they cut their first tooth, on, you should be bringing your child into Dr. Ian Gray twice a year, unless we request more frequent visits. 

Caring for your child’s chompers is just as important as caring for your own. Be sure they get a good, healthy start to regular oral care by visiting your Newmarket dental office, Dr. Ian Gray, today.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Cavity Prevention Snack Ideas

If you have been trying to limit or decrease your sugar intake by eating only natural sugars, like those found in fruits and vegetables; but your mouth still waters whenever you're forced to wait in line and stare at the candy selection by the check-out counter...
What do you do?
We have five different snack ideas that are not only tasty, but help prevent cavities too!
  1. Seeds/Nuts (especially on top of yogurt or salads)
    • Rich in both calcium and/or phosphorous, yet low in sugar
    • Helps to rebuild and protect tooth enamel
    • Try snacking on nuts like: almonds, walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts
    • For those with nut allergies: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds
  2. Kale chips
    • High in calcium to strengthen teeth
    • Contains folate: a B vitamin that helps promote a healthy mouth, both inside and out
    • Other leafy greens include: broccoli, spinach, collard greens, bok choy, okra
  3. Celery with hummus, or with peanut butter topped with raisins
    • Chewing this firm vegetable promotes more saliva; saliva neutralizes cavity causing bacteria
    • Abrasive substance that naturally cleans teeth of plaque and other food particles
    • Also try other crunchy veggies like: carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower
  4. Apples (raw or dried apples)
    • Contains many beneficial nutrients and vitamins; apples are high in fiber and water
    • Similar characteristics to celery (abrasive and crunchy), and a good alternative if you can't brush and/or floss right after meals
    • Leaving cut apple slices out overnight removes most of the water, but you won't have to worry about any preservatives or added sugar
  5. Frozen grapes
    • Rich in antioxidants to fight bacterial growth
    • Low levels of starch prevent bacterial infections (less acidic environment)
    • A good source of vitamin C: a vitamin essential for protecting teeth and gum cells

Evidently, the most ideal foods contain high levels of vitamins, calcium and/or phosphorus. All of these nutrients strengthen your teeth, reduce the potential for tooth decay, and fight against cavity-causing bacteria. Although these snacks help to prevent and minimize cavities, they do not eliminate them; to further avoid cavities, it is crucial to continue practicing good oral hygiene.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Russian Mushroom and Potato Soup


Nothing beats the comfort of a warm and filling bowl of soup on a cold, snowy day. Here's a simple and delicious comfort soup recipe for you and your family to enjoy.

Prep Time: 20 mins

Total Cooking Time: 40 mins


  • 5 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. dried dill weed
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Fresh dill weed, for garnish (optional)


  1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Mix in leeks and carrots, and cook 5 minutes. Pour in broth. Season with dill, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Mix in potatoes, cover, and cook 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender but firm. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  2. Melt the remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the mushrooms 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Stir into the soup.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the half-and-half and flour until smooth. Stir into the soup to thicken. Garnish each bowl of soup with fresh dill to serve.

Recipe courtesy: All Recipes

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Smoking and Oral Health

How Smoking Affects Your Teeth
The effects of smoking have been the focus of health campaigns for many years now. Campaigns often focus on lung and heart problems linked to smoking.
While the effects of tobacco on your lungs and heart may be out-of-sight, out-of-mind, the effects on your oral health are left on display each time you flash a smile. Smoking contributes towards many dental problems including, but not limited to the following:
  • Smoking increases the risk of oral cancer, which can progresses rapidly and can be deadly if not diagnosed and treated early.
  • Smoking also increases the risk of gum disease, one of the leading causes of adult tooth decay and loss.
  • Smoking tends to delay healing after oral surgery.
  • Smoking damages gum tissue, causing receding gums, temperature sensitivity and eventual tooth loss.
  • Smoking can cause bad breath.
  • Smoking affects the senses of taste and smell.
Even if you're not inhaling, you are still at risk of developing many of these issues. While smoke is detrimental to your lungs, your oral health is more vulnerable to the toxins in cigarettes and cigars as they increase the risk of oral cancer and gum disease. Even 'smokeless' tobaccos contain these toxins.
The only way of protecting your tooth and gums is quitting smoking all together.
Here are a few tips to help with your quitting process:
  • Exercise
    Gaining weight is inevitable when you quit smoking. According to the smoking cessation program at Ottawa Heart Institute, a smoker's metabolism is 2-3% faster than a non-smoker. In order to combat the weight gain, going for a walk, joining the gym, or starting any other physical activity that you may enjoy will help bridge the gap and provide countless other positive benefits.
  • Eat healthy food and snacks
    Eating lots of fresh food, vegetables, and whole grain foods help with keeping you full and energized to last through the day. Not only that, these foods also add to a healthy living lifestyle.
  • Ask your loved ones for support
    Tell your friends, family, and people you're close with that you're trying to quit smoking. This builds a support system that may help you every time you are tempted to light a smoke.
  • Reward yourself
    One of the reasons people smoke is because it helps them relax. Once you quit smoking, you can use money saved to reward yourself and relax by getting a monthly massage, starting a new hobby, or going to a show.
  • Drink plenty of water
    Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water per day to flush the nicotine out of your system. Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine, especially in the first few weeks of quitting because these trigger the need to light a smoke and make you more nervous and anxious.
  • Try Again
    Quitting smoking is not easy. There may be times when you relapse. And that's okay. Recognize the road to quitting smoking is a long and bumpy one. A University of Toronto research study suggests it may take a smoker 30 attempts or more to go a full year without any cigarettes. Don't feel discouraged. Instead, think of what pushed you to light that cigarette and work on those reasons.

If you need more help or suggestions with quitting or want to assess the consequences on your oral health, contact us today.