Welcome to our very own blog!

Canton Valley Dental has just launched our very own Blog.  We want this to be something that will be easy and fun for you to read.  It might only take a minute to read, but we are hoping that you might learn some good tidbits of dental information as you go along.  


Our goal is to help you and your family become more excited or interested in your dental health.  I know that isn't as exciting as trip to Disney World, but it sure is important.  Hopefully these tips will help you along the way.  As always, we welcome your comments or questions.


Thanks for reading!


Before or after? The best time to floss

Before or After?  The best time to floss…



This question recently has been circling Newspapers, the TODAY show, Internet blogs…so what is the answer??


Flossing is the #1 thing patients say they forget to do when it comes to their daily oral hygiene plan.  And that is unfortunate because it happens to be one of the most important things.  So why is flossing so important?  The main role of floss is to remove foods trapped between the teeth.  Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between those tight spaces where plaque can build up.  If plaque isn’t removed, it can harden into tartar causing the gum tissue to become swollen or bleed.  Flossing helps reduce the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay.  When picking the best floss for you, you can choose between waxed or unwaxed and it’s all personal preference, just always look for the ADA seal.  Choose which floss is most comfortable for you.  It’s really not what type of floss you use, but how and when you use it. 


Picking the preferred type of floss will make you more likely to actually do it!  It’s recommended to brush twice a day and floss once a day in the evening before bedtime so the mouth is clean while sleeping.  To floss efficiently, you need to break off and wrap about 18 to 20 inches of floss around your middle fingers, winding each end of the floss into your middle finger of each hand leaving a few inches of floss to clean your teeth with.


SO, the big questions… Should I brush or floss first?

Bottom line, either way is acceptable as long as you do a thorough job.  However it is recommended to floss first and get the unpleasant task out of the way to avoid the temptation to not do it since your mouth already feels clean and you are feeling tired.   Cleaning between your teeth is essential to your daily oral hygiene routine. 

Stressed? Silent signals in your mouth…


It’s normal to stress out Sunday night preparing for the workweek, but if you are under chronic stress, then you may have subtle signs that you need to be aware of — especially in your mouth!  Of the top 10 silent signals, 3 are related to your mouth, so pay attention…


1. An achy mouth

Ever wake up with a sore jaw?  This can be a sign of teeth grinding, which usually occurs overnight and can be related to stress.  Grinding your teeth can damage your teeth, so it’s important to visit your dentist and inquire about a mouth guard.  A mouth guard helps 70% of people reduce or stop grinding altogether.  Other tips to help stop teeth grinding include avoiding foods and drinks that contain caffeine & alcohol before bed.  To help reduce stress and anxiety, try a massage or exercise (yoga) to relax your muscles.  For children, try to decrease their stress level before bed and make sure they are drinking plenty of water because dehydration may be linked to teeth grinding.


2. Bleeding gums

Stress is never a good thing, especially when it increases your odds of periodontal disease.  According to Prevent magazine, “Chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol may impair the immune system and allow bacteria to invade the gums, say researchers.”  Long hours at work lead to eating dinner at your desk, which makes brushing your teeth inconvenient.  Keep a toothbrush on hand and always floss to avoid bacteria getting stuck between your teeth and gums.  "Protect your mouth by exercising and sleeping more, which will help lower stress," says Preston Miller, DDS, past president of the American Academy of Periodontology.


3. Sweet Tooth

It’s easy to blame chocolate cravings on hormones, but it’s most likely stress triggering that desire for sweets.  It’s human nature to turn to sweets during stressful times, however sugar collecting in your teeth and gums can cause tooth decay and cavities.  Getting exercise, 8 hours of sleep, 3 full meals with fiber, protein and vegetables can help prevent a sugar binge.  Satisfy that craving in a healthy way with these recipes.



The other 7 silent signals of stress are: weekend headaches, painful menstrual cramps, odd dreams, out of nowhere acne, itchy skin, worse than usual allergies and bellyaches.  One of the best ways to fight the negative effects of stress is to identify and remove the source of stress.  Need some stress solutions?  Work on deep breathing (exhale), meditate before bed, work in the garden, exercise, put your phone down, laugh, use aromatherapy, music, chew gum and hug it out.   If you are feeling any of these stress signals in your mouth, call Canton Valley Dental and schedule and appointment.   


Spring Cleaning isn't just for your house!

It’s Spring time, which for many means it’s time to do a deep-cleaning of their house.  Just like a car needs regular oil changes in order to run properly, regular checkups and cleanings help prevent bigger problems down the road (like a root canal!).  So when you are busying dusting, cleaning curtains and organizing your cabinets, don’t forget to check your bathroom counter.  Here are 5 ways you can spring clean your teeth:


  1. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months!  The bristles wear down over time and become less effective when reaching tough spots in your mouth that need to be cleaned.  Also, consider an electronic toothbrush- you get more than 30,000 strokes per minute compared to 100 with a manual toothbrush!
  2. Schedule a checkup with you dentist.  Just like your house, they also need a deep cleaning.  Your dentist will take a close look at your mouth to ensure you don’t have any undetected problems.  They will also screen for possible develop signs of periodontal disease, oral cancer, TMJ and early decay.
  3.  Replenish your floss supply and stay hydrated- you should be flossing everyday before bed because during sleep less saliva is produced to naturally clean teeth and gums.  Water will also not only help keep your teeth stay healthy and clean, but prevent bacteria from staying on your teeth.
  4. Consider a whitening treatment.  Whether your teeth are just a little discolored or have suffered from years of food and/or tobacco product stains, you can rejuvenate your smile with a whitening procedure at Canton Valley Dental.  Spring couldn’t be a more perfect time for a whiter and more beautiful smile.


Overall, it’s important that patients realize their dentist isn’t like a maid, coming by every week to tidy up their oral house. YOU are ultimately responsible for the long-term health of your mouth, teeth, and gums. Practice these proper daily oral hygiene techniques to improve your smile!

Did the Tooth Fairy hit the jackpot?




Loose tooth, loose change?  Not today.  New reports are out and it seems we may be experiencing Tooth Fairy inflation.  Along with the expensive rent & pricey burgers, New York City just took the lead on the average payout per tooth at $13.25!  The days of finding a quarter under your pillow are long gone!  Clearly, the Tooth Fairy has learned how to work the Stock Market, but not every city is paying that much.  The average kid is banking $3.70 per tooth, a 23% pay raise from last year.  Not quite sure what they did to deserve that raise.  Last year alone, The Tooth Fairy left $225 million under kid’s pillows nationwide according to CNBC.  The American Dental Association reports most kids have a full set of 20 baby teeth by the time they are 3 years old, so if saving for college didn’t stress you out, every time they lose a tooth might.  So how do you break this new “tradition”?  Kids love anything “different”, so leave a 1-dollar bill in a small box with glitter and the magic of the bill will be more important than how much money they collected.  Here’s another idea...teach them valuable lessons while they are young.  Leave a $20 bill under the pillow and a note saying that it has to go to your college fund, but the tooth fairy will be back with $5 to spend how you want if you brush and floss your teeth 2x a day for a month.  This is a great way to teach your kids the power of saving money for education and importance of taking care of your teeth!  Let’s be honest, with today’s social media craze, it’s too bad the parents can’t just send a text of a $20 bill. 

February is National Children's Health Month


During the month of February, the ADA sponsors National Children’s Dental Health to bring awareness to the importance of oral health.   It is crucial to develop healthy habits and to schedule regular dental visits at an early age.  Tooth decay is highly preventable, yet it is the second most common health condition second to the common cold.  According to the ADA, “Among children between the ages of  2 and 11, more than 40% have had a cavity in their primary teeth, while two-thirds of teens have had at least one cavity in their permanent teeth.  Although overall rates of tooth decay have declined over the last ten years, rates have increased among preschool children.”  To ensure that children maintain good dental health care habits, dental education must begin at an early age.   


Once again, Canton Valley Dental participatde in Give Kids a Smile Day, an event that helps promote dental awareness within children.   The staff  reached out to the community and volunteered their time and offer dental services to underprivileged children.   Children received free dental services ranging from cleanings, x-rays, fluoride treatments, sealants, fillings and extractions.  This was a single-day event that benefited more than 450,000 children around the country.   

Whiten your smile

Whiten your smile it'll all be worthwhile



Overtime, our teeth darken because of genetics, food and drink (especially red wine, coffee and tea) tobacco use and other factors. If your smile has lost some of its luster over time, teeth whitening treatment at Canton Valley Dental can help you achieve a bright smile again.

The ADA advises patients to talk to your dentist before whitening your teeth and doing an examination to see if whitening is for you.  This is especially important for dark stains or multiples crowns and/or fillings.  Once you have agreed on a tooth whitening program, your dentist can help guide you through the at home process.   Here are the top 5 reasons why to whiten.


1. Economical- you will feel more confident- when you look good, you feel good.  This is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get a quick confidence boost.


2.  Your smile will look healthy.  When your smile is bright, it communicates a healthy well-being.


3.  It’s effective.  Your bright smile will stand out and people will notice it immediately.


4.  It will make you more sociable.  If you aren’t satisfied with your smile, it’s hard to lead a conversation with confidence.


5.  Easy to maintain- the procedure is simple and can be done in the comfort of your own home.


In honor of January White Sales, Canton Valley Dental is offering a professional whitening treatment at a reduced rate of $250 (35% off) for the entire month.

Be prepared for Dental Emergencies



Be prepared for Dental Emergencies


No one plans for it, but sometimes it just happens.  Accidents happen, so knowing what to do can be the difference in losing or saving a tooth.  When a dental emergency occurs, it’s essential to get prompt treatment right away.  According to the ADA, here are the best tips.

  • For a knocked-out permanent or adult tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, or in milk. Call Canton Valley Dental immediately.
  • For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down.
  • If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress.
  • For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth.
  • For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with sharp or pointed instruments.
  • If you lose a filling, put a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity and call CVD.
  • If you lose a crown, make an apt and go to dentist ASAP, but if you can’t you can apply a cotton swab with clove oil to the sensitive area.


Some tips to avoid accidents…

  • Wear a mouth guard when participating in sports
  • Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy which can all crack a tooth
  • Never use your teeth to cut things.


No matter what the dental emergency is, it’s important to call Canton Valley Dental or an emergency room as soon as possible.


Don’t make Halloween a “TERROR” for your teeth



Halloween is around the corner and many kids will venture out to “trick or treat” this year. While Halloween is fun, it also presents some safety challenges with the mouth.  Candy causes cavities and they are the number one chronic disease in children.  It’s almost inevitable to avoid that night, so at the least, we can try to make good decisions by knowing the best and worst options.  Here is a list of the best and worst…


  1. Sour and Sticky Candy- Remember the show, “Press your luck? Well this is a double whammy. The acid in the sour + sticky staying power = extra visits to the dentist.
  2. Lollipops/Hard Candy- kids are smart and chose this type of candy because they last a long time, which means their teeth are bathing in sugar…not the kind of bath we want.


  1. Chocolate- it melts quickly and dark chocolate has antioxidants that are good for the heart.  Avoid chocolate with sticky fillings.
  2. Sugar free gum- it leaves no sticky residue and is sweetened with xylitol- a natural sugar that acts against bacteria and prevents tooth decay.

Here are a few tips…

  1. Try to delay eating candy till you get home and if they can’t, have them drink water afterwards
  2. Avoid eating sticky candy and keep the candy in reserve
  3. Brush or chew gum afterwards and check your child’s mouth after brushing to see if there are any visible signs of candy stuck in the grooves. 
  4. Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash and floss!
  5. Help your child separate their candy (good vs bad) and donate or store away the “bad” candy


Overall, it’s just important to enjoy this fun holiday.  No need to deprive your child or be the Halloween fun assassin, just remember moderation!  Make rules before they go out trick or treating and brush a little longer that night!  Maybe think outside the wrapper and hand out something other than candy this Halloween to avoid having leftover candy in the house.  Examples- popcorn, coins, toys, gum, pretzels, etc.  Remember, when kids eat candy, the candy also eats their teeth!



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51 Million school hours lost each year due to dental related illness



Summer has come to an end…back to school!  New outfit, check.  School supplies, check.  Visit to the Dentist, checkup. It’s the time of year where you schedule gets busy and get busy quickly.  According to the American Dental Association, a dental examination is as important as immunizations and should be part of regular back to school preparations.  Not only will your dentist check your teeth, but also check for any problems.  If there are any issues, a dentist can usually quickly fix them and prevent your child from missing school due to dental related illness, which is one of the top reasons kids miss school!  Other than visiting the dentist, it is crucial parents teach their children good dental hygiene habits.  Education begins at home.  Here is how to get an A+.  Start off the school year with a new toothbrush and make sure your son/daughter is brushing for a full 2 minutes.  Change the toothbrush every time report cards come out.  Pick toothpaste that your child enjoys and stress the importance of flossing.  If your child resists flossing, try floss picks with bright colors and different flavors to make it more appealing.  If you son or daughter has braces, make sure he/her is brushing after every meal and a floss threader to clean between braces and under the wires.

Pack healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, cheese, yogurt and vegetables.  Avoid juice boxes, soda, and sticky or chewy foods because they can erode tooth enamel and remind your child to rinse at the water fountain after lunch.  Encourage your son/daughter to wear mouth guards during sports to protect their teeth from potential accidents.  Wearing a mouth guard not only protects their teeth, but also injuries to their lips, face and jaw.  Back to school means back to basics- send your child to school with a smile!


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The key to fresh breath




Have a good routine for brushing your teeth and keeping up on your oral hygiene?  Sometimes it’s not enough…


Halitosis (aka have a tic-tac) is not only embarrassing, but can indicate some unhealthy lifestyle habits.  As the weather gets warmer, dehydration becomes more frequent and without saliva, you can’t wash away the bacteria and food.  Here are some tips to give you a breath of fresh air.


So what causes bad breath in the first place?  The obvious- not brushing and flossing daily, smoking, garlic, onions, soda, coffee, etc.  Know which foods linger; onions, garlic and coffee can be detected up to 72 hours after digestion, so if you have a job interview or date coming up, think twice about ordering the shrimp scampi.  Some foods that are good to eat before you pucker up: Yogurt, parsley, foods high in vitamin C, cinnamon, gum.  Get a professional cleaning at least two times a year to help remove plaque that contains bacteria because no matter how much you brush or floss, only a professional cleaning can remove the plaque.  Speaking of brushing… be diligent about your routine.  Brush 2-3 times a day for at least 2 minutes and remember to gently scrape down your tongue- a bacteria magnet!  Now that you’ve committed to dedicating a full 2 minutes to brushing, time to reel out of the floss.  Maybe it’s not quite as fun as reeling a fishing rod, but it’s just as important as brushing because it gets where the toothbrush can’t reach.   Give yourself a swish of mouthwash after as a nice finishing touch, but remember that it’s only a temporary fix for fresh breath.  Chew gum to stimulate the flow of saliva, which can help wash away food particles and bacteria, but stick with a gum that contains xylitol, a sugar-free ingredient that inhibits the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.   Drink lots of water- you should be doing this anyhow during the summer for overall better health…which brings me to my next “captain obvious topics”- Quit smoking
.  In addition to the 100 general health reasons to quit, tobacco leaves chemicals in your mouth that lead to bad breath.  Oh and did I mention an increased chance of getting gum disease and oral cancer.  No matter how much you brush, gargle mouthwash, floss, get professional cleanings, smokers are left with bad breath.   No one wants to date a chimney.  Lastly, if you are practicing good dental habits, not smoking and avoiding particular foods, common health conditions could cause bad breath; sinus infections, post nasal drip, gastrointestinal reflux disease and some kidney and liver diseases.   If you expect to continue smoking, avoid flossing and indulge on garlicky pasta meals nightly, then kiss your chances of fresh breath away!










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