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A time to be thankful, celebrate and reflect; Happy Thanksgiving to all!

IMG_0217Hello everyone!

This fall has been jam packed with lots to celebrate! In particular the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association celebrated their 50 year anniversary, and I wanted to make a special mention of this as it is a huge landmark for our profession here in Canada. The festivities took place in Toronto, Ontario this year over a three day conference. Really wanted to be there, but was signed up for a half marathon run  that weekend in Calgary. The run went very well, no medical mishaps and it was a grace to run with some very close family and friends:)

Very thankful to all who have supported the clinic this last year, we have truly grown so much this year and  have been busy throughout.  Many many thank you’s to all who believe in what the clinic has to offer, and letting us be a part of your healthy mouths, and healthy lives. So much to be thankful for !!

Wishing everyone a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving Long Weekend with your family and friends.

Happy National Dental Hygiene Week 2013!

Just wanted to share with everyone the well wishes that Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent to the Canadian Dental Hygienist’s Association while celebrating National Dental Hygiene Week! Congratulations to 50 years of CDHA and CRDHA as well!!!

Meditation techniques to help those fearing their dental appointments

Hello all, just the other week I had a very very nervous patient in my chair who told me at the end of her appointment that she was meditating all throughout to get her through the hour!  It was quite a coincidence that she was in my chair, because the week prior I had a colleague mention about one of her patient’s praying the rosary during their dental hygiene appointment as a form of coping with fear!  For my patient, her meditation worked extremely well, and she even mustered up the courage to book back for the rest of her inital periodontal therapy and restorative care.

My particular patient had a background as a spiritual advisor. She explained that meditating involved three things for herself; the breathing, the focus on specific words or mantras (a prayer),  and trying to block out any thoughts or ideas past the specific mantras and words. It was a breath of fresh air, no pun intended,  to see a form of calming jittery nerve and phobias by ways other than 1 .nitrous oxide  2.  ativan 3. or any other sedative. I was very proud of this patient as it took her 4 years to get back into the dental chair. Meditation is a great holistic way to help deal with ones fears, whether they be in the dental chair, an exam to be written, or dealing with a new black diamond ski run!

At Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Dentistry and School of Dental Hygiene, a program was launched in 2008 to help students learn the benefits of meditation in their every day personal and work lives, called the Mindfulness Awareness Training Program. What a great idea, this would have been helpful for sure at my program!

For those who woud like to learn more about meditation techniques, check out the Mayo Clinic’s guide on relaxation techniques for stress busting. It could help you or a friend or family member at the next visit to the dental office!







Summer almost at an end!


Wow, what an amazing summer this has been. I have been living in Calgary for 10 years now and this is the hottest summer yet! What a treat!

Another  big treat at our house this summer was the blossoming of the peony plant we placed in our garden; it had been three long years since its introduction to our garden and not a single bloom! This year though, it happened, it bloomed! The third week in July, just as we began our summer holidays, the peony bloomed 3 flowers that lasted about a week. The peony flower is  my all time favourite flower. If I had room, I would plant 10 or so different kinds of peony in my yard!

I know, it might sound pretty boring and all, watching and waiting for a plant to flower but it was well worth the wait!  We are peony hooked. Happy Labour Day Long weekend everyone, and keep thinking summer….aaaah!

Summer Holidays with Dark Chocolate Sorbet!

Hello all! It has been a while, figured it was time for a little break and am now back from summer vacation!

I am on an OCD kick to try and find the perfect recipe for chocolate sorbet and I mean the really dark chocolate noir stuff! On a trip to Osooyoos we found a cafe and gelato place called Medici’s and stopped by. Oddly enough I did not order anything but my chocoholic husband did! The CHOCOLATE sorbetto was WOW as I stole a morsel scoop from my hubby! So the next day we went back, and it was closed. Poo. So we tried a third time on our way back home. They had run out! Who runs out at 11 am in the morning? Poo again.

It has not been even 12 hours since we got home and I have started the quest of making this stuff! So far it is looking good, I will let you know how it works out!


Okay so that first batch was not so hot! But it looked good. I had a recipe that actually asked to boil the mixture till it reached 96 degrees celcius. Botched batch.

My second batch was not boiled, but rather just slightly bubbling on the sides! Heaven! It was wonderful. Dave was on a caffeine high for the remainder of the day. Did I mention the health benefits of a good piece of dark chocolate?





Since getting back from Osooyoos I have also made a rhubarb strawberry sorbet and am now in the midst of

putting together some peach yoghurt ice cream with some really ripe peaches.










I am getting the hang of this cold dessert making thing!


How to keep your toothbrush clean!

I just finished reading an article that I felt I should share with others.

It has to do with the fact that yes, your toothbrush also needs to be kept clean! There are some basic rules such as throwing away your brush or brush head every 3 months or when you have been sick. But here are more helpful suggestions to decrease contamination of your “brosse de dents” whilst in the bathroom.

I know, so many things to think about to maintain that healthy smile, but enjoy the read.

Do bumblebee’s sleep?

Why yes they do!

This weekend we found one snoring away in our ornamental crab tree. Apparently the male bumblebees love to gorge themselves all day long and night, chase after the queen bees and then find a great buttercup like flower to catch some zzz’s. Sounds like a busy life. When we found this one, my first thought was that it was dead, and  to see if it was in fact, touch it. Not a very good idea, I know, so would rethink that action. D and I decided to complete our walk with Barkley and when we came back the bumblebee was gone!

The bumblebee unlike the honey bee, has only enough energy to carry on its activities for that day. It needs it’s “morning breakfast  and jolt of coffee” or in this case nectar to restore energies to its body and fly from its flowery bed.  They say bees are some of the hardest, diligent workers on the planet. Bees work hard, play hard and rest completely! The reward (maybe not for our teeth)? Honey.

Spring has sprung in Calgary!

Although I don’t think it was a honey bee, here is Zee Avi singing about one anyway.

Cooking a gluten free dinner menu can be challenging


Hello all! Hope everyone had a great May Long Weekend! We sure did, relaxing with family and doing nothing but visiting and eating.

On Saturday evening we had 10 family members over for supper and decided that all of the meal would be gluten free, as we had one guest who has Celiac’s disease. I was up for the challenge and figured this was going to be a piece of cake! Boy was I in for a surprise. Gluten is in almost EVERYTHING you can imagine. Straight down to drinks, sauces, broths, and desserts. We had to check all our ingredients as anything processed will use gluten as its binder. WOW.

Our guest was gracious enough to provide the dessert for the evening, a Lemon Meringue pie, gluten free of course. It was delicious!

We also had a gluten free spinach and artichoke dip; yes binder can also be in the cream cheese, yikes. This was very very tasty, even though it was also dairy free (dairy product allergies as well by some).  This was served with gluten free crackers of all sorts, which were lots of fun to buy.

There was a gluten free soup as well; cream of curried cauliflower. If you have not tried this it is one of my most favourite soups. The first batch I made had Campbell’s chicken and vegetable broth which I found out had gluten. So I started another batch, but substituted with just plain water, which believe it or not tasted somewhat good (sorry J).

We had a standing rib roast done on the rotisserie and I was concerned that there may be some hidden gluten in the spices. But all was OK!

The big question mark to the meal, was how the gluten free flour was going to do when cooking yorkshire pudding. In a nutshell, it did not turn out as well as it could have. I decided that after looking at a few recipes with and without Xantham powder, that I would forgo. I was wrong to omit, as it was the “binder” part of the recipe, oops! Next time:)

This month is Celiac’s Disease  Awareness month and for anyone who has to make the lifestyle changes to deal with the repercussions of this disease, kudos to you folks, a job well done! I found out in just one meal, how difficult it must be to plan meals in general, around travel, or just in general when you are not at your house.

As you can see in the picture, I could not resist having at least one glutenized menu item: a strawberry rhubarb pie. IT was also yummy, but not eaten by my gluten free guest. We had it made not at the house, but rather picked up from the Log Barn in town here. PS a good gluten free, reduced sugar content drink for your guest is DRY SODA; the rhubarb and juniper berry are the best. R

Good dental habits begin at an early age

Help older kids brush up on oral health

(NC)— Did you know that an estimated 57% of kids aged 6 to 11 years-old  have cavities? That number increases to 59% for teens, but with good oral care, specialists tell us that all children can grow up cavity-free. The habits you help them develop now will last a lifetime, so take a look at these helpful tips:

12-24 Months: Begin regular dental visits by age one. Teach a toddler about dental hygiene when the first teeth come through. Children should get used to holding a toothbrush and should watch others as they brush. Let them practice brushing, but continue brushing their teeth for them. Begin flossing when most of the baby teeth are in.

2-5 Years: Teach young children to use no more than a pea-size amount of toothpaste and make sure they do not eat it. Continue to brush and floss their teeth for them. Avoid sugary sweet treats.

6 + Years: Encourage children to begin flossing. Your dental hygienist will demonstrate proper technique. Continue to supervise brushing and flossing. The surface of your child’s permanent molars may be sealed with a light coating to prevent cavities in the deep fissure and grooves of the teeth. Keep a record of any accidents or falls that could affect the placement or condition of permanent teeth.

More information about oral care is available online at

How to care for your child’s teeth

Healthy smiles for babies and toddlers

baby toddler dental health pic

(NC)—We don’t usually associate cavities or gum disease with infants but in fact, oral diseases begin very early. For example, early childhood caries (cavities) is a form of severe tooth decay in the primary (baby) teeth of children from birth to age 3, and it affects more than 10 per cent of preschool-aged children in Canada. Baby’s first teeth are crucial to healthy adult teeth, and early childhood cavities can lead to much bigger oral health issues later in life.

Reduce the risk and follow these simple care tips with your little one:

• Be a good role model. Keep your own teeth and gums healthy.

• Wipe baby’s mouth and gums with a clean, wet cloth or piece of gauze after feeding.

• Gently clean newly erupted teeth with a small, soft toothbrush.

• Avoid fruit punches and other sweetened drinks in baby bottles, especially before bed.

• Reduce the frequency of nighttime feedings.

• Use only pacifiers with an orthodontic design, and don’t dip it in sugary substances.

•  Avoid transfer of your saliva onto items used by baby, including bottles, cups, pacifiers. Bacteria spreads.

• Rinse baby’s mouth with clear water immediately after any liquid medication is given.

• Check for early warning signs by lifting up baby’s top lip. White, chalky teeth or brown or black stained teeth indicate a problem. Contact your dental professional immediately.

• Gradually introduce fresh fruits and vegetables to the diet. These foods, which require chewing, stimulate saliva flow and help to neutralize acids.

• Begin regular dental visits by age one.

More tips and information about oral health care is available online at