Do you know what is in your toothpaste?


The options of toothpaste currently available on the market today are endless: ranging from whitening, desensitizing, antiplaque, and multi beneficial. There is even toothpaste focusing on individuals who have dry mouth. White, healthy teeth have been desired in society since the archaic age, and continue to be a trend in today’s general population. The first toothbrush was invented in China in the early 1700’s, but the toothpaste tube was not invented until the late 1800’s. Until then, most used dentifrices supplied in jars that the entire family shared. Some saw this as a health hazard, and didn’t use toothpaste until the tube was actually invented.

The most common ingredients in toothpaste are abrasives (a substance used for cleaning), detergents, and fluorides. Other, less significant, components include humectants (helps reduce the loss of moisture), water, binders to avert separation, and flavours or sweeteners to give the dentifrices a likeable taste. Arguably, the most important reason why we use tooth paste is because of its fluoride.  Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and makes teeth less susceptible to decay. Different types of fluoride include stannous fluoride, sodium monofluorophosphate, sodium fluoride, and amine fluoride, each has a different intention, or purpose. The amount of fluoride needed to protect the teeth is very minimal so most of the toothpaste’s fluoride concentration is kept low in order it to be sold over the counter in the supermarket.

Expectations have climbed over the years for how many benefits can be squeezed in one small tube of dentifrice. It is not only expected to provide general mouth health and the prevention of tooth decay, but now it must fight gum disease, rid plaque, clear tartar, and have a whitening component. Producers also need to provide to certain groups of individuals, as in customers with tooth sensitivity, dry mouths, smokers, and those who want more natural products in their toothpaste. Anti-tartar products have high levels of pyrophosphates that are combined with sodium fluorides to reduce the buildup of tartar, but cannot take away the already hardened deposits on the tooth. Whitening toothpastes is very appealing with its claims of stain removal and teeth brightening, while being used frequently. However, ingredients in the whitening toothpastes have very short life span so it is questionable how much it will give the teeth a glistening and bright look. Actual whitening of the tooth requires bleach, which is more safely done in an office procedure or dental recommended gel. Anti-sensitivity toothpaste ingredients have remained the same since it was first created, containing strontium chloride, potassium nitrate, and sodium citrate. Anti sensitivity toothpaste seem to work well and it can be combined with other toothpaste ingredients, such as anti-tartar.
It is recommended that all children should use fluoridated toothpaste. Children 3 years or older should use no larger than a pea sized amount. Children 3 or younger can use the toothpaste as well, but no larger than the size of a grain of rice. Using fluoride toothpaste can prevent tooth decay and the side effect is minimal if its use is supervised to ensure correct amount and proper brushing techniques.

There is a wide assortment of toothpastes available on the market, and with each one comes a different proposition or promise. It is up to each individual and their needs to determine which toothpaste is most suitable for them. Talk to your dentist about what is best for one’s oral care needs.


Best of Both Worlds! – Who said you cannot have your chocolate and eat it too?!

Valentine’s Day practically is synonymous with the word chocolate, which represents a 21 billion dollar business in the US.  Nobody is immuned to the indulgence of the cocoa beans, but how can you prevent sending your beloved one down the path of tooth decay when you pamper them with a box of chocolate?

A US biotech company actually thought of solution!   Their research features a special formula of toothpaste using cocoa beans as the main ingredient.  The company pride themselves in their discovery of RennouTM, an extract from the cocoa beans which the company claims as a non toxic alternative to fluoride for strengthening your enamel and preventing tooth decay.

The science behind this new product is quite new and its caries prevention effect is questionable, nonetheless, the gimmick of brushing your kids teeth with chocolate can certainly instill their interests in brushing, even more than twice a day!!

All these natural products of course do come with a more hafty price tag – so on this coming Valentine’s Day,  would you like to spend $100 on a tube toothpaste or a real box of chocolate?

choco toothpaste 2

Why going to the dentist brings you good luck

Happy Chinese New Year!

Gung Hey Fatt Choy (in Cantonese)! or

Gong Xi Fa Cai (in Mandarin )!

There are many Chinese superstitions to start your Year of Monkey on the right foot. For examples, you should not cut your hair around Chinese New Year because the good luck will be severed off. The next one may be hard to follow if you are an active person: It is considered bad luck to wash your hair and have a shower during the first week of Chinese New Year (Well, you may have good luck but you may not be very popular amongst your friends, stinking skunk!)

Based on similar logic as above, I could not wrap my head around it when I found out that it is actually good luck to see a dentist during Chinese New Year! This rule may not apply to everybody. Nonetheless – if you were born in an animal year that is in conflict with the year of monkey, and your fortune predicts that you may have a medical operation (you may shed blood), you may be able to “trade in” your bigger operation with a smaller one at the dentist. Since you may bleed a little, because of gingivitis, when have your teeth cleaned, your predicted bad fortune is considered already “fulfilled” when you shed the little blood at the dentist and your destined, more involved medical operation or bleeding event can be avoided.

You may be rushing to the phone now to make your dental appointment or you may be rolling on the floor laughing about these superstitions….. one way or the other, we would like to wish good health and prosperity of the year of Monkey!

Dentist brings good luck Chinese New Year

10 facts parents should know about their children’s oral health

The Children’s Oral Care Centre listens to your vote on facebook, we would like to present you ……

10 facts parents should know about their children’s oral health

  1. First check up by First Birthday – The Canadian Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that every child visit the dentist by the child’s first birthday. Research has shown that children who waited past their first birthday and did not see a dentist until age two or three “were more likely to have subsequent preventive, restorative and emergency visits. A child should be seen by a pediatric dentist, no matter how young that child is, No child is too young for good dental health. weeone
  2. Good mother’s oral health equals good baby’s oral health – Babies can “catch” cavities from their caregivers, the most likely source being their mothers. Cavity-causing bacteria known as Streptococcus mutans can be passed on from mothers to infants even before teeth
  3. Yes to Water, No to Milk – Baby should be sleeping with a bottle of water, not a bottle of sugary liquids such as milk, formula or fruit juice. Bacteria is good at converting sugar to acids which decay teeth, especially during sleep when saliva flow is the lowest.baby_bottle
  4. Sugars are sugars – Whether natural or processed, cavity-causing bacteria like it just as much and can use it to make cavities. Watch for hidden sugars in natural and processed foods. Munching on blueberries for 2 hours is worse for your teeth than gobbling up a chocolate bar in less than 5 minutes. Before you switch to an all chocolate diet, please remember, it is the high frequency eating / snacking / gracing which increases cavities, not the type of food.Hidden-sugar
  5. The more the merrier? No! – Brushing your child’s teeth with the right amount of fluoride helps prevent cavities. Careful supervision is encouraged and don’t let them swallow the toothpaste. For children under 2-years-old, use a smear of fluoridated toothpaste. For those 2 to 5-years-old, a small pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste on the brush is recommended.pea-sized-tooth-paste
  6. Goodbye Soother – Sucking on a thumb, finger, or pacifier is normal for infants and young children; most children stop on their own. If a child does not stop by herself, the habit should be discouraged after age three. soother
  7. 5 minutes makes a big difference – A knocked out adult tooth can only survive outside the bone socket for less than 10 minutes. If your children knock out an adult tooth, find the tooth, hold the tooth by the crown, rinse it and try to insert the tooth back to where it belongs. It gives the tooth best chance to survive.Avulsion-lg
  8. I can do it myself – Children can brush their own teeth when they can tie their own shoes. Both tasks require about the same manual dexterity. Until then, help your child brush after breakfast and before bed.tyingshoelaces476x290
  9. Soften the impact – A mouthguard not only protects the teeth but may reduce the force that can cause concussions, neck injuries and jaw fractures. Children should wear a mouth protector whenever she is in an activity with a risk of falls, collisions or contact with hard surfaces or equipment. This includes sports such as football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, wrestling and gymnastics, as well as leisure activities such as skateboarding, skating and bicycling.mouthguards_img
  10. Why does my gum bleed? Gum disease (also called periodontal disease or gingivitis) occurs more often as children get older, especially when they reach puberty and they undergo hormonal changes. It affects six out of ten teenagers. To prevent red, swollen gums, bleeding gums and bad breath, brush and floss and have regular dental visits.
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Our Continuing Education Opportunity – Pacific Dental Conference 2015

Pacific Dental Conference has come to its 15th anniversary. It has grown from a local dental study club to an international renowned conference; which not only attracts dentists  and their teams from all over BC, but also appeals to dental professionals in neighbouring provinces and the US. Our team at the Children’s Oral Care Centre catches this exceptional continuing education opportunity every year to upgrade ourselves on the latest cutting edge techniques, emerging technologies and services.


Annual dental conference in BC over 300 exhibitors.
Digital Dentistry

These are some of the interesting ideas from this year conference:

“The lecture showcased how medical conditions, such as diabetes and other diseases, affect the oral cavity. It was interesting as the lecture showed us a complete different angle for examining the oral cavity. A thorough oral examination reveals not only one’s dental health, but also provides first clues for the presence of systemic diseases in that person.

“We found a new flossing aid. A group of moms came up with a gadget that helps those who have a hard time holding the floss string or those who just have fingers that are too big to fit in their or their child’s mouth. Unlike a floss stick or holder which are one handle, this instrument contains two handles which are connected with a changeable floss insert, so that you can have fresh floss each time you floss. It is also decorated with cute cartoon characters also makes flossing fun!”

“We loved the take home info and clinical skills we learned in the pathology courses. We now know that clinicians can take pictures of oral lesions in 3-D. The 3-D images have certainly given us a new dimension of appreciating the depth and monitoring the details of some of the common and not so common soft tissues conditions in the mouth.”

BCDA Tooth Fairy Gala
BCDA Tooth Fairy Gala

“The highlight of the conference was definitely attending the BCDA fundraising Toothfairy Gala. This year gala paid special tribute to the Royal Canadian Dental Corp in celebrating its 100 years of dental services in Canadian military. In addition to an award ceremony which honoured accomplishments of dentists throughout the province, the silent and live cake auctions has fund raised much need resources for BCDA Save a Smile program, which provide funds for low income family whose children are in urgent need for dental care.”

Dr. Phoebe Tsang and Dr. Samson Ng meet the tooth fairy
Dr. Lobb and Dr. Leung - Great MC for the Tooth Fairy Gala
Dr. Lobb and Dr. Leung – Great MC for the Tooth Fairy Gala
Royal Canadian Dental Corps celebrating 100 years of services
Royal Canadian Dental Corps celebrating 100 years of services