The How of Habits

We are what we repeatedly do. “_Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit_”. – Aristotle

pinkyHabits happen. Good or bad we get the habit of a thought, an exercise or an experience and we tend to repeat that experience. Whether it’s falling asleep without brushing our teeth, doing yoga every morning or looking at your phone the moment you wake up, habits happen through repeat performance. The question is, are you happy with your habits? And if not what do you do about it?

First: identify a few habits you appreciate and a couple you’d like to change. Be really specific. Give yourself true appreciation for the fact that you do drink 8 glasses of water a day or have successfully given up cigarettes. These things are still struggles for other people. Since you’ve got them done they kind of feel like no big deal. However when you’re facing a challenge to change or create a habit it’s good to remember your previous successes and glow in that success. Stand tall and take a proud credit for what you have accomplished.

Once you remember how good you are at changing a habit, be specific regarding which habits you’re ready to change. Be honest with yourself. If it is quitting smoking, that is a big one. Maybe it’s the only habit you’re going to change for a while. Maybe add something easy to give yourself an easy A might be a great encouragement. Whichever you decide to do, write it down with clear steps.

Your steps could be as simple as leaving the floss beside your toothbrush so you remember to use it every night, putting all your dental products on a nice tray by the sink, making a point of going to the sink the minute your pyjamas are on. Writing down your plan can help to solidify it. Change takes change. So if you want this January to be different, you have to do something differently.

Now you’ve written it down, how do you be accountable? You can use an external force like a personal trainer or friend who’s willing to positively cheer you on. You need to make certain whoever is your friendly “bully” that they won’t take no for an answer and that they’ll believe in you. Also that their cheering style works for you. No one actually wants to be annoying, so work with your “bully”. can simply commit to your hygienist this year to floss more and come in for your 6 month check up and cleaning. Be accountable to them since they can tell if you have been flossing just by looking at your gums.

Instead of trying to change everything at once, make small changes you could really stick with!

A technique we really like is Jerry Seinfeld’s “Don’t Break the Chain”. It’s so simple. Get a calendar. Pick a habit. Mark an X on the calendar everyday you complete the habit. As you collect X’s on the calendar, you’re building a longer and longer chain of habit building success. If you miss a day, that’s ok. Just restart the chain. Don’t wait for Monday or next month or sunshine. The next X just restarts the chain. Jerry used this habit to encourage himself to write comedy everyday… AND he was pretty successful.

There’s quite a debate regarding how long it takes to create a habit. We suggest being clear with your goals and use one of the techniques above. Also make it as enjoyable as possible. It’s something you plan to do for life so do what you can to make it easy on yourself.

Oh and don’t forget to floss.

To Gargle or Not to Gargle

Is your mouth kissable or should you take out the mouthwash? It feels great and is a lovely finisher to your evening bathroom ritual, but do you need it?

According to Heidi, one of our best hygienists, the big thing to remember is that mouthwash will not remove plaque. It might feel great, but only “the use of a toothbrush and floss will remove and disrupt bacterial plaque”. So it’s not the way to avoid brushing and flossing.

However mouthwash with fluoride can be helpful in protecting teeth from cavities. Truth be told, if your toothpaste has fluoride you can skip the extra step of mouthwash.

If you do choose to use mouthwash it can be helpful to kill bacteria in your mouth when you are sick and as a quick disinfectant if your toothbrush has dropped on a dirty surface.

Mouthwash is also helpful if you suffer from canker sores. Although mouthwash won’t heal your sore, it will kill the bacteria and give you some relief. However the alcohol in your mouth wash might irritate your canker sore and be quite painful.

When shopping for mouthwash, make sure to pick one without alcohol if it is for a child or someone who has a substance abuse problem.

Probably the biggest problem with mouthwash is that it can mask bad breath. How can that be bad you ask? Isn’t that what we want? Well if you mask the problem and don’t fix it, the gum disease that might be causing the bad breath might just be getting far worse. And then bad breath is the least of your worries.

Overall Toothbrush Confidential believes that although mouthwash isn’t inherently wrong, it does not take the place of a good oral health regime. So we suggest you brush twice a day, floss once a day and gargle when you’re inspired. Enjoy your time with your kids and don’t forget to treat yourself too!

Sedation and Family Dentistry

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to never dread the dentist again? That’s only one of the many benefits of Vancouver sedation dentistry at Willow Dental Care Vancouver. And if it’s been awhile since your last dental visit, Dr. Diann Plavsic and Dr. Martin Loverin can correct any resulting damage or decay, usually in just one or two visits.

Whether you need a cavity filled, dentures fitted, treatment for sore gums – or even cosmetic procedures to whiten your teeth or fix a chipped tooth – you’ll float through it all. Ask us about conscious sedation to help relieve the stress of some cosmetic dentistry procedures. We also provide cosmetic dentistry and teeth whitening.

If you are struggling with a dental phobia, why wait another moment? Call our office at (604) 873-9794 or complete our simple online form to schedule a consultation. We’re dedicated to providing you with affordable, top-quality dental care.

IV (Intravenous) Conscious Sedation

IV conscious sedation is performed by administering a strong sedative using an IV so you’ll feel completely relaxed and calm throughout the procedure—and quite often you will not recall anything about the process after completion. This type of sedation brings you into a “twilight” condition where you can still respond to questions and suggestions — for example, you will be able to verbally tell the dentist whether or not you are feeling pain or you can turn your head slightly if the dentist needs you to and you will be completely relaxed during the process. If you choose IV conscious sedation, you will have to make arrangements for a ride home afterwards, and you will need to go lightly on activities for about 24 hours after the anaesthetic is completely gone from your system.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation is performed using an oral sedative that you take before your appointment. This will relax you while you are in the waiting room. Nitrous oxide commonly known as laughing gas may be used as well to boost the oral sedative’s sedation effects. You will feel comfortable throughout the process and we will keep close watch on your vital signs to make adjustments when necessary.

General Anaesthesia

We realize some people are very anxious to the point of being terrified about seeing a dentist. If this is you—or if a lot of dental work needs to be done at one time—we can offer sedation “sleep dentistry” which is done with general anaesthesia.

Depending on your specific needs, Willow Dental will interview you to discuss all 3 methods so you can make the best choice in sedation dentistry.

Receding Gums 101: Learn all about Receding Gums

One question usually posed to our oral health care professionals at Willow Dental Care Langley, your Langley dentist is : “what are receding gums?”. In straightforward terms, receding gums are a result of gum disease– giving your gums a “receding” appearance.

Generally, gum disease plays the biggest role in receding gums. Simply put, bacteria that enters the dental cavity as a result of gum disease starts to develop plaque. Plaque build-up could trigger swelling of the gums – this swelling results in the erosion of your gums, giving them a sunken, recessed look.

What are the best ways to avoid receding gums?

Thankfully, gum disease is very easy to pinpoint. If you believe that your gum line is receding, then please make an appointment at your Langley dentist, Willow Dental Care Langley to confirm the diagnosis and begin proper treatment. Sensitive teeth, specifically sensitivity to hot and cold, are one more indicator of gum recession – the sensitive roots of the teeth come to be exposed and that’s why you may feel discomfort.

In the initial stage of gum recession, the gums are pink and appear scalloped around the edges. Afterwards, your gums turn a bright pink or red, soften and start to bleed. You can really see the gums receding away from the teeth as days go by. The teeth also loosen and liquid starts to collect in the area between gums and teeth. The final phase of receding gums is when the roots become visible. This is extremely unpleasant and causes severe bleeding along with tooth sensitivity.

Is there therapy for receding gums?

Do not postpone and schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional at Willow Dental Care Langley, your Langley dentist, for appropriate diagnosis and therapy. There is no single treatment for receding gums; treatment usually focused on gum disease as treating gum disease will typically treat receding gums. However, you may opt for gingival flap surgery, tissue graft, bone graft and aesthetic dentistry to save your teeth as well as restore the appearance of your gums and teeth.

The best and most appropriate treatment for receding gums is to recognize the value of a proper oral health care routine to protect against and curb gum recession.


Why is Flossing Important?

“Why should I floss?” is a common question asked by patients at our Langley dental clinic.

In reality, flossing is one of the most necessary steps in any excellent dental health and wellness routine. Floss aids in removing any meals particles trapped between the teeth as well as reduces your chances of plaque buildup.

It is important to carry out flossing as part of your dental health routine; brushing alone can’t give you a 100% clean. Flossing makes sure that there is no buildup of plaque on the teeth. Plaque build-up can lead to gum illness, gingivitis or periodontitis.

Floss can be flavored or unflavoured, waxed or unwaxed. Talk to a hygienist at Willow Dental Care Langley, your Langley dentist, if you’re not sure which dental floss is ideal for you. If you are not sure of the right way to utilize floss or if you are not sure why you should floss at all, contact your Langley dentist, Willow Dental Care Langley or come for a flossing consultation.

Here are a couple of flossing starter strategies:

1. Floss should be held taut and weaved between each tooth as well as under the gums to make sure that all bits of food and plaque are taken out.

2. It is important to get floss that’s the right thickness. Floss that’s too thick or too thin won’t be as effective.

3. Use floss every day, ideally prior to going to bed, as a way to keep gum disease, bad breath and tooth cavities at bay.

4. If you’re a meat eater, floss after each meal if possible to get rid of the fibres that could get stuck between your teeth and cause cavities and tooth decay.

Contact your Langley dentist, Willow Dental Care Langley, to learn if you’re flossing correctly or if you require more tips on how to floss properly. The video beloe, courtesy of Colgate, shows you the ways to floss properly. Enjoy!

Why Dental Extractions are Necessary

Dental extractions (removing teeth) may be a necessary procedure to prevent tooth misalignment in the case of wisdom teeth or to maintain the health of your other teeth and gums. Extractions nowadays are relatively quick and painless, so if you suspect you have a tooth that might require removal, contact your Langley dentist, Willow Dental Care Langley, today to book an appointment.

If it isn’t practical or possible to repair a tooth, our team of dental experts at Willow Dental Care Langley, your Langley dentist, may be required to do a dental extraction. Teeth that are extremely damaged by cavities or extensively chipped/broken will generally be extracted if root canal therapy isn’t a viable option.

Dental extractions are a must for a tooth that’s suffering from advanced periodontitis or gum disease because the chances of the tooth infecting surrounding tissues are high.

Wisdom teeth that are impacted (i.e. won’t be able to develop normally) or that simply don’t have room to grow are generally extracted.

If you are nervous or anxious about dental extractions, our dental clinic offers sedation dentistry for a dental appointment. To learn more about sedation dentistry, contact our dental clinic for more information.

Please contact Willow Dental Care Langley, your Langley dentist, if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment.

What to Do after a Tooth Extraction

After a tooth extraction (removal) has been completed by one of our dental health professionals at your Langley dentist, Willow Dental Care Langley, it’s important to take proper care of the site to prevent infection, control bleeding and allow the gum tissue to heal well enough that it can accept a denture or dental implant.

What to do after a tooth or wisdom tooth extraction

1. You may experience soreness after a tooth extraction – over-the-counter painkillers can help with the pain or you may request prescription painkillers from your Langley dentist at Willow Dental Care Langley if you find the pain to be too much.

2. Cold compresses will also help keep the pain and swelling down after a tooth extraction.

3. It’s very important that you don’t touch the extraction site, chew heavily around the area or smoke at all. It is recommended that you drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated. Simply follow these simple steps to ensure proper healing and a happy, healthy smile.

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