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Can Kissing Cause Cavities? Really?

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Our mouths are home to many microscopic organisms. Most of them are harmless, and some are even beneficial, but some cause tooth decay and gum disease. The worst are streptococcus mutans and porphyromonas gingivalis.

Kissing comes with risks. You might fall in love, catch a cold, or be grossed out by bad breath. But did you know that kissing someone with poor oral hygiene could increase your risk for cavities?

On average, an individual will have between 34 and 72 different types of oral bacteria. Once we get a strain of bacteria in our mouths, it probably isn’t going away. The trouble is that each person has different bacteria, so kissing or even sharing drinks with someone could introduce new strains of bacteria to our mouths.

Young children don’t have as many types of oral bacteria as adults yet, and their immune systems aren’t used to dealing with them. Too many kisses from Mom and Dad can leave them more vulnerable to developing cavities.

The best way to avoid sharing your oral bacteria with your child is to keep those kisses to the cheek, don’t share your spoon or fork with them, and make sure they always have their own drink instead of giving them sips from yours.

Lower Your Risk of Infecting Someone Else

While you can’t necessarily control your partner’s oral health, you can definitely control your own.

  • Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day
  • Floss at least once every single day
  • Don’t use tobacco
  • Scrub your tongue

Dr. Rob Andrew says “That is why it is important that moms and dads of new babies have their teeth cleaned before baby is born because the baby will get the strains of bacteria that the parents have”.

Follow these tips and you’re sure to please your partner not only because your kisses will be fresh, but also because you’re not infecting them with cavity-causing bacteria. Now that’s love!

Make your appointment today with Dr. Rob Andrew and Urban Smiles Family Dental. 780.989.6030

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Smiling is actually so good for you.

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Smiling is the way people express happiness and share the joy with others. While people know that a smile makes them feel good, they may not realize that smiling offers real health benefits.

Smiling Strengthens the Immune System

It is thought that when you smile, immune function improves because you are more relaxed, thanks to the release of certain neurotransmitters. While depression weakens the immune system, happiness boosts the body’s resistance.

Smiling Boosts Heart Health

Lower blood pressure and a lower heart rate are both benefits people can experience when they smile.

One of the best reasons to smile might be that it could make you live longer. In a 2010 study, it was found that genuine, intense smiling is linked to longer life expectancy.

While there’s more research to be done, there is some evidence to suggest maintaining a positive mood could contribute to living a longer and healthier life. Thus indicating happiness could extend life for many years.

Smiling makes people appear younger, according to researchers. Study participants underestimated the ages of people who smiled or weren’t smiling when shown photos.

In addition, 63 percent of people believe smiling in photographs improves an individual’s appearance.

Feeling down? Try putting a smile on next time. It’s likely your mood will improve. Smiles physically activate pathways in the brain that influence your emotional state. So just by smiling, you can trick your mind into feeling happy — regardless of whether it’s real or not. Sounds crazy but try it.

Make your appointment today with Dr. Rob Andrew and Urban Smiles Family Dental. 780.989.6030

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What are Dental Implants?

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Dental implants are used to replace tooth roots. Thus, dental implant surgery is a procedure that uses metal, screw-like posts to replace old, damaged, or missing teeth with new artificial teeth that look surprisingly real, and can function exactly like real teeth. It’s pretty impressive! “Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth,” writes WebMD.

Why Replace Missing Teeth surrounding the space left by a missing tooth may begin to move out of place and cause misalignment issues. The jaw bone around the area may also begin to deteriorate, resulting in facial collapse or negatively impacting your ability to speak and chew.

Dental implants are favored over bridges and dentures as they are seen as a permanent and aesthetic solution to the problem of missing teeth. Plus they are strong and durable and fit in well with a busy lifestyle. The term ‘restoration’ is used to refer to a false tooth. This tooth is then attached to the implant and looks and behaves in the same way as a natural tooth.

Dental implant surgery is a straight forward and safe procedure. Implanting a titanium post into the jawline may sound intimidating, but it comes down to your provider.

Rest assured that Dr. Rob has performed countless successful dental implants. 

The procedure has a high success rate, and almost anyone in good health makes a great candidate for implants. 

“Smiling is definitely one of the best beauty remedies. If you have a good sense of humor and a good approach to life, that’s beautiful.”

Make your appointment today with Dr. Rob Andrew and Urban Smiles Family Dental. 780.989.6030

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How Smoking and Vaping Affects Your Teeth

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Everyone knows smoking causes lung cancer. Smoking can also cause bad breath and chronic gum problems, which can eventually lead to tooth loss. Tobacco use affects the teeth’ bone attachment and soft tissue and interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells.

Smoking also results in tooth discoloration and a dulled sense of taste and smell.

  • 20 percent of smokers have poor dental health, four times the rate of people who have never smoked.
  • Smokers are less likely to have gone to the dentist in the past five years than non-smokers.
  • More than a third of smokers have at least three dental health issues.

Smokeless tobacco products pose the same risk of mouth cancer and other oral-related problems. These products contain at least 28 chemicals shown to increase the risk of oral cancer and cancer of the throat and esophagus. By chewing tobacco, nicotine levels are higher, while snuffing delivers more nicotine than over 60 cigarettes.

Other additions like sugar, sand, and grit to smokeless tobacco products aggravate the dental problems that may be experienced via snuffing and chewing.

Initially, it was thought and assumed that since e-cigarettes are designed to release a smokeless vapor, they would be a much better alternative. Vaping may be better for non-smokers as it does not produce secondhand smoke that can be harmful. However, when the teeth and gums come into contact with nicotine, it can restrict the number of nutrients being transported to the soft tissues as a result of reduced blood flow.

Vaping can also cause gums to recede from the root of the tooth, which can pave way for a whole set of issues. Infections, rates of decays and a host of other dental issues can be accelerated the more one vapes. When it is carried on for long enough, it can even lead to the loss of teeth in extreme situations. Patients should visit the dentist for a check-up if they start to notice:

  • Extreme halitosis or the presence of constant bad breath
  • Redness, irritation or bleeding of the gums
  • Tender and swollen gums
  • Shaky teeth or a sudden loss of teeth
  • Receded gum tissue

Replacing the smoke on your face with a smile today will replace illness in your life with happiness tomorrow.” – Anonymous

“Smoking and vaping leads to dry mouth, plaque accumulation, gum inflammation, teeth stains and bad breath to name a few. Smoking can further lead to oral cancer”.

 – Dr. Rob Andrew

Visit Urban Smiles Family Dental and lets keep smiling.

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Brushing Your Tongue

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Your tongue is covered with bacteria, coffee turns it brown, red wine turns it red. In some smokers, the tongue can develop a condition known as black hairy tongue, due to a growth that may grow as a result of tobacco use. The condition causes the tongue to become yellow, green, black, or brown, and give the appearance of being hairy. The truth is, your tongue is just as much of a target for bacteria as your teeth are, even if it is not at risk for developing cavities itself.

Bacteria will accumulate greatly in the areas of the tongue between the taste buds and other tongue structures, It’s not smooth. There are crevices and elevations all over the tongue, and the bacteria will hide in these areas unless it is removed.”

Even if you’re an oral hygiene superl-star who brushes your teeth twice to three times a day, flosses regularly and dutifully visit’s your dentist every six months, you may still be missing one step that could help keep your mouth fresh and healthy.

Your tongue houses the most bacteria in your mouth. Even though brushing your teeth or rinsing with a mouthwash will eliminate a good portion of the bacteria, whatever is found on the tongue will deposit itself once again on your teeth, hence the importance of brushing your tongue thoroughly. Brushing your tongue can also help with breath issues.

You should brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth by going back and forth and side to side with your toothbrush and then rinsing thoroughly. If brushing your tongue makes you gag, think about investing in a tongue scraper instead.

Here’s how to clean your tongue with a toothbrush:

  • Choose a soft-bristle toothbrushes
  • Stick out your tongue as far as it will reach.
  • Position your toothbrush at the back of the tongue.
  • Brush lightly forward and backward along your tongue.
  • Spit out saliva that appears during the brushing and rinse out the toothbrush with warm water.
  • Clean your tongue as often as you brush your teeth.

“Tongue scraping is one of the most overlooked oral health practices. Regular scraping of the tongue removes bacteria that contributes to gum disease, cavities and bad breath”. Dr. Rob Andrew Urban Smiles Family Dental

Visit Urban Smiles Family Dental and lets keep smiling.

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Snoring causes big problems with relationships and marriages.

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Snoring is taxing enough on its own. It is known for its bleak effects on a person’s health, sleep quality, and mood. When snorers share a bed with someone else, they end up sharing the load with their partner as well. When the snores are loud enough, a great relationship could turn into a living nightmares in the snap of a finger.

Approximately 18 percent have said that snoring is the cause of regular arguments in their relationship, while 30 percent sleep in a separate room from their partner because of it. Snoring may not seem like a big deal in the beginning, but it is clearly more of a major problem maker than most people think.

No one can sleep next to someone who regularly sounds like a wounded warthog while sleeping. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be a lost cause. Take better care of your relationship by treating the root of your relationship woes and figuring out ways to treat snoring.

Many people don’t know that snoring is the number one sign of an actual sleep disorder called sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious and common condition that causes an individual to temporarily pause breathing multiple times throughout the night.

7 Million Adults in Canada have Sleep or Wakefulness Disorder

Urban Smiles is Proud to Announce that we have Nightlase Treatment

“NightLase is an easy walk-in walk-out procedure that reduces the effects of sleep apnea and decreases the amplitude of snoring by means of a gentle, laser-induced tightening effect caused by the contraction of collagen in the oral mucosa tissue”. Dr. Rob Andrew Urban Smiles Family Dental

Visit Urban Smiles Family Dental and lets keep smiling.

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The plaque bacteria use sugar to produce acid that attack your enamel and over time that causes tooth decay.

-Dr. Rob Andrew Urban Smiles Family Dental

We all know that eating too much sugar isn’t good for your health in general, but do you know how eating too much sugar affects your teeth?

It is not the sugar alone that causes tooth decay, but rather the process that happens after you eat the sugar. The mouth is full of hundreds of bacteria, many of which are beneficial to the oral ecosystem. However, certain harmful oral bacteria actually feed on the sugars you eat to create acids that destroy the tooth enamel, which is the shiny, protective outer layer of the tooth. Cavities are a bacterial infection created by acids, that cause your teeth to experience a hole in them. Without treatment, cavities can progress past the enamel and into the deeper layers of the tooth, causing pain and possible tooth loss.

Decrease the Effects of Sugar on Your Teeth

While it may be impossible to cut all sugar from your diet, taming your sweet tooth and following a few tips will help decrease the damage to your teeth.

  • Limit your consumption of sugar, including soft drinks and energy drinks.
  • Drink water to rinse your mouth while eating.
  • Brush teeth after eating sugary foods.
  • Don’t eat sticky, sugary foods such as candy.
  • Cut down on carbohydrates since they turn into sugar in your mouth.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste which helps build up your enamel.
  • Floss regularly to remove plaque and reduce the bacteria between teeth.


Schedule regular dental checkups and cleaning appointments for your family; this way, any signs of tooth decay can be taken care of early.

There is no denying that people love their sugar. In fact, Canadians eat an astounding 88 pounds of sugar per year, that produces an enormous potential for tooth decay. Make the necessary changes in diet and dental hygiene now, so the effects of sugar on teeth don’t come when your family is preoccupied with bigger life events.

Visit Urban Smiles Family Dental and lets keep smiling.

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Brushing Too Hard is Not Good!

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“Brushing your teeth too hard can lead to oral health problems and put your mouth at risk for tooth abrasion, tooth sensitivity, and gum recession”. Dr. Rob Andrew Urban Smiles

We recommend that you brush for two full minutes — 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth — twice a day. Use the timer on your phone or choose an electric toothbrush that alerts you every 30 seconds. 

Proper Brushing Technique

If your toothbrush bristles become frayed very quickly, or your gums are often sore after your brush, there is a good chance that you are applying too much pressure. Here are some tips to help you properly clean your teeth:

  • Make sure you are using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle against your teeth and use short, tooth-wide strokes.
  • You should feel the bristles against your gums, but you should never “smash” them down.
  • Holding your toothbrush in your non-dominant hand may help you to lighten up on the amount of pressure you apply.
  • If you use an electric toothbrush, you do not have to press it hard against your teeth; just make sure it makes contact with them.
  • The next time you visit us, ask Dr. Rob or one of the dental hygienists for tips on how you can improve your at-home oral hygiene routine. They will be happy to give you some advice.

Your toothbrush is one of your best friends in your efforts to maintain great oral health… but only if you use it the right way.

Below are some fun facts about teeth we thought you’d enjoy learning about.

  • Teeth start to form even before you are born—milk teeth or baby teeth start to form when the baby is in the womb, but they come through when the child is between 6-12 months old.
  • Humans have only two sets of teeth in their entire lifetime—baby teeth and permanent teeth. Once you have your permanent teeth, make sure you take good care of them.
  • No two people have the same set of teeth—your teeth are as unique as your fingerprint, so be proud of your unique set of teeth.
  • Your mouth produces over 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime—that’s enough to fill two swimming pools. Saliva has many uses, including assisting you with your digestion and protects your teeth from bacteria in your mouth.
  • An average person spends 38.5 days brushing their teeth over their lifetime.

Visit Urban Smiles Family Dental and lets keep smiling.

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Dr. Rob’s Great Christmas Gift Idea

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It may look as if you’re giving the gift of an electric toothbrush, but what you’re really giving is the gift of…better oral health according to Dr. Rob Andrew and he highly recommends the Oral B electric toothbrush and the Philips Sonicare. Making the perfect Christmas gift this year.   

The Oral B Pro 1000

  • Clinically proven superior 3D cleaning oscillates and pulsates to break up and remove up to 300 percentage more plaque along the gum line than a regular manual toothbrush
  • The pressure sensor stops the pulsation movement if you brush too hard and the in handle timer helps you brush for a dentist recommended 2 minutes
  • 1 Mode, Daily Clean, rotates to break up and sweep away plaque
  • Included in pack: 1 Oral B Professional Handle, 1 CrossAction Brush head and 1 charger
  • Compatible with the following replacement toothbrush heads: CrossAction, 3D White, Sensitive Clean, Precision Clean, FlossAction, Deep Sweep, Ortho and Dual Clean. Does not fit iO brush heads
  • Packaging may vary, Refill color may vary
  • In-handle timer pulses every 30 seconds to let you know when to switch areas of the mouth

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Smart 9750 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush 

  • Philips Sonicare best ever toothbrush for the most exceptional clean and complete care
  • Removes up to 10X more plaque and improves gum health up to 7X in just 2 weeks (in gum health mode vs. A manual toothbrush)
  • Removes up to 100% more stains in just 3 days (in white+ mode vs. A manual toothbrush)
  • 4 different smart brush head types automatically pair with the appropriate brushing mode and smart sensors provide real time feedback
  • 5 modes: clean, white+, deep clean+, gum health, TongueCare & 3 intensity levels

Not many people realize how good oral health is a gift in itself. Straight, shiny, white teeth exude confidence, health, and beauty. Not only do the appearance and health of your smile make you feel better, but it makes other people happier, too. Achieving and maintaining this gift challenges some people. Soon, their once beautiful smile is plagued with plaque and cavities. The most common reason being bad dental habits and routines.

With an electric toothbrush, maintaining your oral health becomes easier than ever before. Electric toothbrushes can remove more plaque, stimulate the gums, and remove bacteria from those hard-to-reach places.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

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Oral Hygiene is a Must

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Good oral hygiene is necessary to keep teeth and gums healthy. It involves habits such as brushing twice a day and having regular dental checkups.

Your own everyday habits are crucial to your overall oral health. Still, even the most dutiful brushers and flossers need to see a dentist regularly. At minimum, you should see your dentist for cleanings and checkups twice a year. Not only can a dentist remove calculus and look for cavities, but they will also be able to spot potential issues and offer treatment solutions.

It’s no secret that the general recommendation is to brush at least twice a day. Still, many of us continue to neglect brushing our teeth at night. But brushing before bed gets rid of the germs and plaque that accumulate throughout the day.

The way you brush is equally important — in fact, doing a poor job of brushing your teeth is almost as bad as not brushing at all. Take your time, moving the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions to remove plaque. Unremoved plaque can harden, leading to calculus buildup and gingivitis and early gum disease.

Treat flossing as important as brushing

Many who brush regularly neglect to floss. Flossing is not just for getting little pieces of food or broccoli that may be getting stuck in between your teeth, as It’s really a way to stimulate the gums, reduce plaque, and help lower inflammation in the area.

Flossing once a day is usually enough to reap these benefits.

Don’t neglect your tongue. Plaque can also build up on your tongue. Not only can this lead to bad mouth odor, but it can lead to other oral health problems. Gently brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth.

We shouldn’t have to say this but smoking harms the body’s immune system, which makes it difficult for the body to heal tissues, including those in the mouth. People who smoke may experience slow healing after a dental procedures. Smoking also affects the appearance of the mouth, leading to yellowing of the teeth and tongue, and it can give breath a bad odor.

Water continues to be the best beverage for your overall health — including oral health. Also, as a rule of thumb, we recommend drinking water after every meal. This can help wash out some of the negative effects of sticky and acidic foods and beverages in between brushes.

Ultimately, sugar converts into acid in the mouth, which can then erode the enamel of your teeth. These acids are what lead to cavities. Acidic fruits, teas, and coffee can also wear down tooth enamel. While you don’t necessarily have to avoid such foods altogether, it doesn’t hurt to be mindful.

Visit Urban Smiles Family Dental and lets keep smiling.

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