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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!







Celebrating National Dental Hygiene Week 2012!

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
St. Francis of Assisi


This year I was able to get out and celebrate National Dental Hygiene Week within the community of Kensington. I had the pleasure of visiting with 4 different West Hillhurst Preschool Classes and boy was it fun! Teeth were counted in English and en francais; we learnt how to brush teeth and gums using Doogan Dog as a trusty but sneezy model,: kids listened with wide eyes and open ears during story time and explanations about what sugar bugs did in their mouth! What an attentive, and happy go lucky audience.

Dental Hygiene Week is a time when Canada recognizes the initiatives of this profession and how it impacts Canadians. It is both a good time and bad time to be a hygienist in 2012; good because of the changes made to the Health Professions Act that gave Canadians more direct access to dental hygiene care and bad because of economic changes that affected  the landscape of once plentiful jobs for us hygienists.

If there is one thing that has not changed, it is the constant need for access to preventive oral health care in this country. I would like to personally thank every hygienist I know who has been instrumental in spearheading these legislative changes that would affect how healthy Canadians mouths could be.  You pioneers and trailblazers are amazing individuals! This is a great time to be a hygienist and it is only going to get better. Lots of faith, hope, and love.



Can Tea Help Prevent Cavities?

Image from the Fairmont Hotel Banff Springs on Highnoon Tea

This weekend I had my first experience of High Noon Tea! And I must say, where have I been all this time?

The dainty tea sandwiches; the scones with clotted cream, preserves and butter; the petit fours, all placed strategically on a tiered tower that you almost don’t want to eat because it looks so exquisite. And of course, the highlight, The Tea! If you have never had High Noon Tea I insist you try the one at the Banff Springs Hotel in Banff. The view in Rundle Lounge  where High Noon Tea is served is glorious on a sunny day with a bosom friend. Thanks very much A for introducing me!

Ah, but such a rich diet of fermentable carbohydrates will be a feast for those pesky streptococcus mutans who desperately want to lace your teeth with a bath of acid. In a nutshell bacteria metabolize sugars found in your diet and poop out acids that cause tooth decay!

But do not fret, there is tea to save the day! Yes it’s known to have anticariogenic properties; it helps to reduce the risk of cavities! Righto!

Apparently the polyphenols and catechins present in tea help to decrease biofilm from forming. Hence tea, has the potential to be an antibacterial. But what tea to choose; fermented or non fermented; black tea or green tea; Kyoto cherry blossom tea or Iranian green tea? There is an in vitro study from Spring 2011 that can be found on Pubmed that explains all of this in great detail for those with inquiring minds. In general, there is evidence showing tea as cavity fighter, but it seems there needs to be more studies completed to identify which types of tea leaves give the most therapeutic effects.

For the record, I chose the Kyoto cherry blossom green tea. Divine.


A New Whitening Pen

yvr view

So just last weekend I came home with a bag of goodies from the Pacific Dental Conference in Vancouver. One of the things that came out of my goodie bag was a Lifesmile Whitening Pen that is 15% carbide peroxide and promises to be very convenient and safe to use for a two week period of time for only TWO minutes in total a day! So day one was yesterday, and it turned out to be so easy to apply; it was like using whiteout on ink but for my teeth! It had a mild taste, and I was careful not to swallow any of the mixture, as I did begin to salivate very quickly upon usage. So next time I think i will do one arch at a time:)  so the mixture stays in place, that’s right on my  pearly whites!

life smile pen in uselifesmile whitening pen

This pen is very easy to use and even sounds like a pen, you have to “click” it to dispense the solution out of its spongy applicator tip. This spongy end clears the smear layer or pellicle layer on the tooth so that you have carbamide peroxide adhere to the tooth enamel as directly as possible. This is apparently different to other pens which merely just paint the gel on and do not swipe and clean the tooth prior to peroxide contact. It’s use is for those who have minimal stain, have whitened in office and would like a rapid and safe method to keep up the results of their whitening after the fact.

ePay now available for White Summit patients

In an effort to serve our patients better, we’ve implemented a new online payment system we’ve called ePay. ePay allows clients to settle accounts at any time of day, at their own convenience.

ePay allows clients to settle accounts at any time of day…

Paypal, the service powering ePay, claims over 100 million users worldwide, and enables registered users to make transactions via Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and personal bank accounts. Non-registered Paypal users are also able to use ePay with most of the same options, excluding personal bank accounts.

In order to use ePay, you’ll need to know your White Summit Dental Hygiene Account number. This number is on the top right hand corner of your statement. If you have any questions about ePay or your account at White Summit, please contact us.

Thanks again to all our patients. We hope this helps interacting with us more convenient!

eClaims now at White Summit Dental Hygiene

For clients who have dental insurance, most are interested in how quickly they’ll receive reimbursements from their insurance carrier. Some insurance providers, such as Great West Life, have made this process easier by creating a website where their clients can submit their own claims thereby accelerating this process.

At White Summit Dental Hygiene we’re interested in helping our clients submit claims in a timely manner. Most claims today are printed, signed by all parties and are then mailed to the insurance carrier. We tend to take care of the mailing as part of our customer service to our clients.

Recently, however there have been developments in the area of eclaims for dental hygiene practices! The Canadian Dental Hygienist Association, has developed CDHA-ACHDnet, an electronic network capable of submitting claims to insurance carriers. White Summit Dental Hygiene has enrolled in this program and have started submitting claims directly to providers. Today, the providers on the network is limited to:

  • Alberta Dental Services Corporation
  • GreenShield
  • Quikcard
If you have coverage at the above providers, we can submit eclaims directly for you today! If you have a carrier other than the ones listed above, but would like eclaims service with them, feel free to contact your provider and ask them to start supporting CDHA-ACHDnet.

Xylitol: Sugar that is a Cavity Fighter!

Can you imagine a naturally occurring sugar found in plums, strawberries, raspberries and birch trees that can help reduce tooth decay? Well xylitol is exactly that!
How xylitol works as an anticariogenic is a twofold process:

1. By not producing acid harmful to enamel:

Xylitol passes through the cell wall of cavity forming bacteria (streptococcus mutans) but is not metabolized by the bacteria into an acid like a glucose or sucrose sugar would.

2. By decreasing the amount of bacteria being created:

Because of less acid and metabolic waste around the teeth, the bacteria have less chance to stick to each other and the teeth. This is the beginning of biofilm breakdown. Bacteria are unable to communicate to each other effectively without acid and metabolic waste, which then decreases the reproduction of more bacteria in the mouth.
Xylitol can be found added in chewing gum, mouthrinses, toothpastes and even lollipops! Just make sure to not give xylitol to dogs, because just like chocolate it is poisonous for your furry four-legged friends to eat!

Brush smart,