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River Rock Dental Hygiene's Blog

By Chantal Duhaime 20 Apr, 2017
I have finally decided to take the plunge and add a blog to my site. I always wanted an easy way to share information with visitors and I’m super excited to start this journey. In our blog you will find information about your teeth (and how to keep them!), eating healthy and any other tips and tricks I think might be helpful to our community. Keep coming back to my site and check for updates right here on the blog.

River Rock Dental Hygiene's Blog

By Chantal Duhaime 04 Jul, 2017
We all know that smoking is bad for you. It is drilled into our heads from the time we are children. But in the end, 15% of the Canadian population admits to smoking tobacco. Beside the negative effects smoking has on overall health, are you aware of the consequences in your mouth? 

For starters, smoking is a significant factor in gum disease. Smokers have an increased amount of tarter buildup, greater bone loss, deeper periodontal pockets and more tooth loss than nonsmokers. Gum disease tends to start earlier in smokers, progresses quicker, is harder to fight and is more likely to reoccur. 

Gum disease can be harder to spot in smokers. Smoking tends to mask the signs that are usually evident (the most notable being bleeding gums) because the tissues are more dense and fibrotic due to lack of blood flow and circulation. Your Dental Hygienist will probe the naturally occurring pockets around the teeth regularly to determine the depth of gum disease present and make the appropriate referrals or monitor any changes. 

Smoking will also cause tooth discolouration such as yellowing or staining caused by the chemicals in the tobacco. Bad breath is often associated with smokers and is caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria which can cling to the gums and tongue.

Cigarettes are not the only form of tobacco use that can effect the oral cavity. Chewing tobacco, loose leaf tobacco and pipe smoking will also have serious health effects.

All forms of tobacco are associated with oral cancer.

Oral cancer is the most severe oral health implication of prolonged tobacco use. In the early stages most cancers show no symptoms. They can be difficult to diagnose even with routine exams and oral cancer screenings performed by your Dental Hygienist at each visit. Oral cancer most commonly starts on the lips, tongue or floor of the mouth and typically appears as a traumatic or infective lesion that does not show any signs of healing after a two week period. If you haven't been to your Dental Hygienist in a while, now would be a good time to book an appointment to get checked!

All of that being said, we know that quiting smoking is no easy task. Take it one day at a time. Rely on your doctor, family and friends as your network of support. There are also resources available to you by phone (1-8777-513-5333) or online at www.smokershelpline.ca . If you have more questions feel free to ask your dental health care team at your next continuing care appointment!



By Chantal Duhaime 01 Jun, 2017
Dry mouth, or xerostomia (pronounced zero-sto-me-ah) is a common condition that affects many people on a daily basis. The degree of dryness can vary and can include symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, chewing, digesting food, altered taste (or a metallic taste), halitosis (bad breath), constant thirst and small cuts in the mouth or on the lips that lead can to infection and pain. Many things can cause dry mouth, but the most commonly reported cause is medication induced xerostomia.

There are over 500 medications that may cause dry mouth! People who take more than one medication are at even greater risk. Some of these medications are common, such as anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, anti-hypertensives (blood pressure meds), antihistamines, muscle relaxants... and the list goes on... 

By Chantal Duhaime 23 May, 2017
The most common question I receive about why I opened my clinic is,

"Why would someone go to an Independent Dental Hygiene Clinic instead of a general dentist?" 

The answer I give varies because there is no straight answer. Seeking care at an Independent clinic like River Rock Dental Hygiene has many benefits and is a personal choice. I want to outline a few of those reasons and help to answer any questions you might have!

Let's start with the basics. 

What is a Registered Dental Hygienist? 

A Registered Dental Hygienist has many roles in the dental community, from scaling of teeth to applying fluoride, polishing teeth, desensitizing and placing pit and fissure sealants,educating patients on oral hygiene instruction, smoking cessation, dietary recommendations and their overall health. Your Dental Hygienist is the front line of care and can provide intra and extra oral assessments, periodontal assessments and oral cancer screenings (which are performed at each visit). Your Dental Hygienist is always evaluating your oral health and providing recommendations for areas of improvement and monitoring your progress in an attempt to achieve overall health. They work collaboratively with you and your other health care providers to ensure you are receiving proper care. 

Dental Hygienists receive post secondary education in microbiology, infection control, anatomy and physiology, nutrition and health, health promotion and disease prevention and so much more. They are licensed and regulated by their governing body, The College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario (CDHO) .  

What is an Independent Practice? 

Since 2007, Registered Dental Hygienists have been able to practice independently from dentists. This means that they can open and run clinics that provide only dental hygiene services.

The services that a Registered Dental Hygienist can provide in an independent clinic are the same services they can provide in a dental office. 

Why Choose an Independent Clinic? 

You have the right to choose your Dental Hygienist and Dentist separately. You are not limited to the dental staff at your dentist office to provide your oral health care. You may choose any Registered Dental Hygienist to do your teeth cleaning just the same as you may choose a specific dentist to fill your cavities. 

Independent Dental Hygiene offices follow a suggested fee guide set out by the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association ( CDHA )  which is typically 10%-30% less than the fee guide cost of a general dentists office . That's right, you can have the same oral health care services done for a fraction of the price. 

You can use your dental benefits at an Independent Dental Hygiene clinic! The process is the same as your dentists office. The claims are submitted electronically or by mail. Most insurance providers accept Independent Dental Hygienist codes.

No drills + No Needles = No anxiety. 

Many people suffer from dental anxiety due to past experiences in a dentist office. In Ontario, Independent Dental Hygiene clinics do not drill teeth or provide anesthetic by injection. This helps to limit the anxiety a patient my suffer which would prevent them from seeking our services. Our practice is designed to be relaxing and welcoming and we strive to provide quality and customized service. 

Since Registered Dental Hygienists are now able to practice independently, clinics are popping up all over. This is making important and affordable oral health care more conveniently located. This allows everyone access to the healthcare that they deserve. 

If you have been putting off going to the dentist for any of the above reasons, an Independent Dental Hygiene clinic may be the right choice for you! We are happy to answer any other questions that you may have about why you should choose independent practice. Or better yet, visit our office to see the difference for yourself!


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