What to Expect in a First Visit?

The dental exam is critical to your ongoing oral health—and only your dentist can perform this.

The exam consists, in part, of the dentist looking inside your mouth. In the past, you may not have ever realized an exam was taking place. Perhaps you thought the dentist was checking the work the hygienist had just completed.

Not so. The dentist actually looks in your mouth for things that can affect your oral—and your overall—health. Many of these are things you can’t see on your own, but that a dentist is trained to detect. Here is some of what your dentist is looking for during a dental exam:

  • damaged, missing or decayed teeth
  • early signs of cavities
  • condition of your gums, such as periodontal pockets, inflammation or other signs of gum disease (which can lead to tooth and bone loss)
  • to see how previous dental work such as root canals, fillings and crowns are holding up
  • early signs of mouth or throat cancer, such as white lesions or blocked salivary glands
    other suspicious growths or cysts
  • position of your teeth (e.g., spacing, bite)
  • signs that you clench or grind your teeth (a treatable problem that can cause headache or sore jaw and can, if serious, lead to hearing loss and tooth loss)
  • signs of bleeding or inflammation on your tongue and on the roof or floor of your mouth
    the overall health and function of your temporomandibular joint (which joins the jaw to skull), checking for signs of disorders that can cause pain or tenderness
    the general condition of the bones in your face, jaw and around your mouth

The dental exam can catch problems early—before you see or feel them—when they are much easier and less expensive to treat.

As well as the visual inspection of your mouth, the exam includes:

a complete medical history so the dentist knows about any health conditions that may affect the success of dental treatments or procedures or that may be associated with oral health problems.

It may also include: an examination of your neck area, with the dentist feeling the glands and lymph nodes for possible signs of inflammation that could indicate general health problems and dental x-rays, if necessary. These can show such problems as cavities under existing fillings, fractures, impacted wisdom teeth, decay under your gum line and bone loss caused by gum disease.


Your dentist may explain what’s happening during the exam and give you a summary of the findings. If not, be sure to ask. As patient, you are a full partner in your oral health care.


The Canadian Dental Association recommends the assessment of infants, by a dentist, within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by one year of age. The goal is to have your child visit the dentist before there is a problem with his or her teeth. In most cases, a dental exam every six months will let your child’s dentist catch small problems early.

Here are 3 reasons to take your child for dental exams:
1)You can find out if the cleaning you do at home is working.
2)Your dentist can find problems right away and fix them.
3)Your child can learn that going to the dentist helps prevent problems.

Your dentist may want to take X-rays. X-rays show decay between the teeth. They will also show if teeth are coming in the way they should. Your child’s dentist may also talk to you about fluoride.

Once your child has permanent molars, your dentist may suggest sealing them to protect them from cavities. A sealant is a kind of plastic that is put on the chewing surface of the molars. The plastic seals the tooth and makes it less likely to trap food and germs.

When your child goes for a dental exam, your dentist can tell you if crooked or crowded teeth may cause problems. In many cases, crooked teeth straighten out as the child’s jaw grows and the rest of the teeth come in.

If they do not straighten out, your child may have a bite problem (also known as malocclusion). This can cause problems with eating and with teeth cleaning. It can also affect your child’s looks and make him or her feel out of place.

Your dentist can suggest ways to treat this, or refer your child to an orthodontist. An orthodontist is a dental specialist with 2 to 3 years of extra university training in this area.
The dentist says my child needs a filling in a baby tooth. Since the tooth is going to fall out, why bother?

Some primary (or baby) teeth will be in your child’s mouth until age 12. The tooth that needs to be fixed may be one of those.



Ask questions. It sounds simple enough, but sometimes we feel embarrassed to ask simple questions. There is no need to feel that way.

You will feel much better, and be able to make a better decision, if you understand the dental procedure that is recommended to you. If you don’t say anything, your dentist may think that you already understand.

Here are some tips when asking questions. Ask:

  • If you can see any pictures of the procedure or what it looks like when it is done;
  • How many times your dentist has done this procedure in the past;
  • How much it will cost;
  • How long it will take;
  • If it will need to be redone in the future;
  • If there are alternatives to the procedure and if so, what are the pros and cons of each option.
  • The final decision about how and when to proceed with any treatment is yours. To help you understand what is involved in the treatment, your dentist may give you some printed material to read.

If you have already left the dental office without asking questions, call back later. Be careful about getting information from unknown sources, including sources on the Internet. Some of this information may not be reliable. After all your questions have been answered, if you are still uncertain, you may wish to get a second opinion from another dentist. Often, a second opinion will give you confidence that your dentist has planned the right treatment for you.

Here at Mellow Dental , we take pride in doing a very thorough detailed examination that is scheduled for an hour and are ready to answer all your questions /concerns

Serving the Tricities/ Pitt meadows and Maple Ridge areas.


Flossing Techniques – Flossing Teeth Effectively

Good oral hygiene is important for your overall health.

Here are some ideas to maintain your health:

1) Floss Daily
Every time you visit the dentist for a checkup, there’s one question you’re almost certain to hear: “Have you been flossing regularly?” For a lot of patients, the answer isn’t always yes. Many people make a point of brushing their teeth twice a day, as the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends, but fewer people follow the recommendation to floss at least once a day [source: ADA].

What many of these non-flossers don’t realize is that this step plays an important role in dental health. Unlike a toothbrush, which cleans the tops and outer surfaces of the teeth and gums, floss is an interdental cleaner– it’s designed specifically to clean the tight spaces between the teeth and the gap between the base of the teeth and the gums. These are places that a toothbrush can’t reach. And while antimicrobial mouthwash can kill the bacteria that form plaque, it can’t remove the stubborn tartar and bits of food that can lodge in these places [source: ADA].

How to FLOSS
1. Pull 18 to 24 inches of dental floss from the floss dispenser.
2. Wrap the ends of the floss around your index and middle fingers.
3. Hold the floss tightly around each tooth in a C shape; move the floss back and forth in a push-pull motion and up and down against the side of each tooth.
Flossing Techniques – Flossing Teeth Effectively – Colgate

2) Brush Twice daily
It is really important to brush morning and night. Use a soft brush or an electric brush and the right technique to prevent damage to your teeth. It is recommended to brush in circular motions, so as to avoid tooth brush abrasion which means that the enamel gets abraded with faulty tooth brushing and teeth get sensitive. Sometimes, the abrasion can be so severe that they have to be filled with a filling material.

3) Clean the tongue
The tongue harbors bacteria and food particles trapped under a thin layer of mucus. Remove this odor-causing buildup by using a small dab of toothpaste and carefully brushing the top of the tongue. Start by reaching to the back of the tongue, and then work forward toward the opening of the mouth. Brush the entire top surface of the tongue using gentle pressure, and finish by rinsing with water

Using a Tongue Scraper

For a more thorough cleaning, use a tongue scraper. This tool is usually made of soft, flexible plastic and gently peels the thin mucus-based layer of debris from the tongue. Rinse the scraper under warm water after each swipe of the tongue.

If your tongue feels sore or begins to bleed, you are using the tongue scraper with too much force. Work slowly and with light pressure. Concentrate on the center of the tongue where the bulk of odor-causing bacteria lies.

How Often to Clean Your Tongue

Each time you brush and floss your teeth, finish your dental care routine with a tongue cleaning. At a minimum, clean your tongue once in the morning and once in the evening before bedtime. If you have dry mouth or notice a foul taste in your mouth midday, try cleaning your tongue to remedy the situation.
A mouthwash rinse used after cleaning your tongue moisturizes the mouth and kills additional bacteria. Remember, maintaining fresh breath goes beyond routine tooth brushing. Getting into the habit of giving your tongue adequate attention will help keep your breath neutral and fresh.

Here at Mellow Dental serving the Tri-cities, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, we take your overall health very seriously and our Hygienist educates all patients on how to maintain your oral hygiene well!


BruxismBruxism is also known as grinding and/or clenching of your teeth. It’s a very common condition that affects approximately 30 million to 40 million children and adults in the U.S.

Signs & Symptoms

If you notice any of the following symptoms, you may be experiencing bruxism:

  • Rhythmic contractions of the jaw muscles
  • A grinding sound at night
  • Jaw muscles that are tight or painful
  • Long-lasting pain in the face
  • Swelling (occasionally) on the side of your lower jaw caused by clenching

If you experience one of the following, it may be time to visit your dentist to talk about a mouth guard for teeth grinding.

You Chip a Tooth

Not only will a chipped tooth require dental care for repair, but it can also be a sign that your teeth grinding has become more serious. As you touch your teeth together and grind back and forth, you can put alot of pressure on the enamel — in your sleep, no less — that you could actually damage your teeth. This can be expensive to fix and can even lead to cavities, so it’s best to talk to your dentist about a mouth guard before you chip more teeth.

You Have Chronic Grinding

Some people grind periodically because of temporary issues, such as stress at work. If your bruxism is chronic, meaning you grind most nights, it’s probably best to see your dentist about a mouth guard for teeth grinding. While it won’t stop the actual clenching of your jaw, a mouth guard can minimize the negative effects on your teeth if you’re grinding every night.

You Wake Up with a Headache

Do you feel as though you have a raging headache every morning? It could be the result of nightly grinding. A mouth guard won’t stop you from grinding altogether, but it may help. Talk to your dentist about what options are available to you. Your dentist can suggest other ways to minimize teeth grinding.

You Have Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) occurs when the muscles around the jaw become inflamed, which sometimes happens as the result of clenching the teeth together and grinding against the teeth. If your dentist diagnoses you with this disorder, ask about a mouth guard. A mouth guard will prevent your teeth from clenching and grinding, thus reducing some of the pain associated with TMJD.

You Take Antidepressants

If you regularly take antidepressants, talk to your dentist about a mouth guard. A study published in a 2012 issue of Clinics found that paroxetine, the main ingredient in some antidepressants, can cause nighttime teeth grinding. If you take certain medicines, such as Paxil, you may need to protect your teeth against those side effects. You can also talk to your doctor about adjusting your dosage or switching to another antidepressant if grinding becomes a problem.

Teeth grinding is a common issue, but you shouldn’t have to suffer. By making an appointment with your dentist, you can set up a time to talk about mouth guards and other ways to cope with and cure the behavior.

Here at Mellow Family Dental Care serving the Tri Cities, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge and Mission, we help diagnose and treat bruxism.

Contact us today!

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Tooth Sensitivity

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is a common name for dentin hypersensitivity or root sensitivity. If hot, cold, sweet or very acidic foods and drinks, or breathing in cold air, makes your teeth or a tooth sensitive or painful then you have sensitive teeth.

Is Tooth Sensitivity Common?

Tooth sensitivity is very common and it has been estimated that approximately half the population experiences tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity can come and go over time.

Why does Tooth Sensitivity (Dentin Hypersensitivity) Happen?

Tooth sensitivity is usually caused by dentin on root areas exposed due to receded gums or periodontal disease. Receded gums are very common and up to four fifths of people have gum recession by the time they are 65.

When the root of a tooth becomes exposed it does not have a layer of enamel like the crowns of your teeth. Instead the roots have a very soft covering called cementum, which once lost leaves the dentin of the root exposed.  Overzealous brushing or using a very abrasive toothpaste can also cause abrasion of the tooth’s enamel surface and expose dentin. A very acidic diet – for example a diet with a lot of citrus food, pickles or soda pop — can cause tooth erosion and dissolve the tooth surface, exposing the dentin. Bulimia and GERD can also result in dental erosion and sensitivity due to acid in the mouth.

Tooth Sensitivity

It is important to tell your dentist or hygienist if you have any sensitive teeth, so that he or she can examine your mouth, see if the problem is tooth sensitivity (dentin hypersensitivity) and help you choose the best treatment. When teeth are sensitive it can be painful to brush them and if you brush poorly because of pain then there is more risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Pain after hot, cold, sweet or acidic food and drinks can also be a sign of decay with a cavity or hole in the tooth, or a sign of a broken tooth, and if this is the case your dentist will treat you with a filling or other treatment.

What Makes Exposed Dentin Painful?

Dentin contains thousands of tiny channels that are only visible with a microscope. These channels run from the surface, through the dentin to the nerve center of the tooth — the pulp. The channels contain fluid and after eating or drinking hot or cold foods, the fluid in these tiny channels moves and irritates the nerves in the tooth, causing pain.

Tooth Pulp

Can I Prevent Tooth Sensitivity?

You can reduce your chances of getting tooth sensitivity by keeping your mouth as healthy as possible with good oral hygiene to help prevent receding gums and periodontal disease. Brushing and flossing properly as recommended by your dentist or hygienist and using a low abrasion toothpaste can help reduce the chance that you will have tooth sensitivity. A diet that is not acidic also helps prevent tooth sensitivity. Ignoring your sensitive teeth can lead to other oral health problems, especially if the pain causes you to brush poorly making you vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease.

What Can I Do if I Have Sensitive Teeth?

First tell your dentist or hygienist. He or she can help you and see what the best treatment is. It is also important to tell your dentist or hygienist in case the cause is not dentin (root) hypersensitivity and the tooth is sensitive due to a more serious problem.

To treat tooth sensitivity, your dentist or hygienist may recommend that you use a low abrasion toothpaste specially made for sensitive teeth — a desensitizing toothpaste. These toothpastes make the teeth less sensitive if you brush with them twice a day and also contain fluoride to help protect your teeth against decay. Alternatively, your dentist may prescribe a brush-on fluoride gel or a fluoride rinse, or a high fluoride level toothpaste that is specially formulated to make your teeth less sensitive and provides extra protection against decay.  These treatments happen at home when you are brushing your teeth and are inexpensive. Other treatments for sensitive teeth that your dentist or hygienist can provide in the dental office are also available. These include treatments that are painted onto the teeth &— such as fluoride varnishes and plastic resins, fillings if a lot of tooth area has been lost, and lasers.

You should ask your dentist or hygienist about the best way to treat your sensitivity.

Here at Mellow Family Dental Care serving Pitt Meadows, Tri Cities and Maple Ridge, we can help suggest the best Treatment options to relieve Tooth Sensitivity.

Article source: http://www.colgate.ca/en/ca/oc/oral-health/conditions/tooth-sensitivity/article/what-is-tooth-sensitivity


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Periodontal Disease
The Oral-Systemic link:

It’s time to bridge the gap between dentistry and medicine.

Periodontal Disease Oral Bacteria - Mellow Family Dental Care

“The oral bacteria that is bad for the gums is the same bad bacteria that will cause heart attacks or strokes.”

Oral bacteria entering the blood stream can contribute to cardiovascular disease, dementia, preterm labor, pancreatic cancer, diabetes, and more.

Science shows that bacteria in the oral cavity are significant contributors to heart disease. They may often trigger an event such as a heart attack. There is strong evidence of a link between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Links between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy effects as well as Alzheimer’s disease are also suspected, but not proven.

Blood markers of inflammation profoundly drop and arterial disease objectively improve in patients whose only risk factor changed was to improve oral hygiene!

“Periodontal disease is a medical condition of the mouth that physicians cannot treat.”

What can dental professionals do?

I believe every dental patient record should include the contact information for the patient’s primary care physician. For patients who do not have a regular physician, be prepared to provide a list of physicians who clearly understand the oral-systemic link.

In the event that a patient presents grade I periodontal disease, check their records for personal or family history of medical conditions. Explain that periodontal disease can contribute to the development of systemic diseases, and make many existing conditions more difficult to treat.

Dentists should present the problem through the lens of it being a medical disease. This helps patients understand the health of their mouth can have an impact on the risk of some devastating diseases. Patients may be more compliant with your hygienist’s home hygiene recommendations.

“Periodontal disease is an infection that can spread to other parts of your body and contribute to many diseases.”

Here at Mellow Family Dental Care, serving Pitt Meadows, Maple ridge and the Tri Cities, we take this very seriously and is the foundation for patient care.

Dental Health and Pregnancy

Why is dental health during
pregnancy important?

While many of us are pregnant we often forget that our oral health can directly effect the development of your baby- It is important to maintain good oral habits and ensure that any dental concerns or disease is treated in a timely manner.  Mellow Family Dental Care often works with many pregnant women and their family physicians throughout their pregnancies to ensure safe and effective treatment is delivered when required.

Here is some information provided by HealthLinkBC regarding dental health and pregnancy :

It is important to take care of your dental health during pregnancy for the following reasons:

  • Taking good care of yourself and your dental health during pregnancy supports the development and dental health of your baby. Your baby’s mouth and teeth begin to form during the first few weeks of pregnancy.
  •  Hormonal changes occur during pregnancy that can affect your gums. Bacteria along your gum line can cause your gums to become swollen and inflamed.
  •  Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in your mouth and may be passed to your child through saliva.
  •  Research shows there may be a link between oral disease and other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease or pre-term and lowbirth-weight babies. How can I keep my teeth and gums healthy? Your teeth can be affected by what you eat, how often you eat, and how long the food stays in your mouth or on your teeth.

To keep your teeth and gums healthy:

  •  Brush your teeth at least twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Clean carefully along the gum line.
  •  Floss your teeth every day.
  • When you are thirsty drink water between meals. Rinse your mouth with water after snacks.
  • Eat healthy foods and limit foods that are sweet or stick to your teeth.
  • Do not smoke or drink alcohol during pregnancy.

A few Important things to remember:

Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy can leave stomach acids in your mouth. Do not brush your teeth for 30 minutes after vomiting. The stomach acid combined with brushing may erode your tooth enamel. Rinse your mouth with water, or use a fluoride mouth rinse to freshen your mouth and protect your teeth.

Should I see a dentist while I am pregnant?

Regular dental cleanings and check-ups are safe at any time during pregnancy. Tell your dentist or dental hygienist that you are pregnant. If you have healthy teeth, you will have less tooth decay or bacteria and lower the risk of passing the bacteria to your baby. Any pain, swelling or infection in your mouth should be treated right away. This can affect your health and your baby’s health.

Are x-rays, local anesthetics and medications safe?

Dental x-rays and local anesthetics for dental treatment can be safely provided during pregnancy. If x-rays are required, the lead apron used at the dental office will shield you and your baby. Some medications may not be safe to use during pregnancy. If you need emergency dental care, certain drugs may be required. Check with your pharmacist, dentist and/or health care provider to see whether a medication is safe during pregnancy.


Sources: http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfiles/pdf/hfile38b.pdf

How long has it been since your last visit to a dentist?

dentalHere at the office we do our best to contact our patients and book their dental check- ups and cleanings as soon as they are due back. It is important to come to the dentist regularly in order to deal with small problems before they become something larger that may require more visits and possibly more money out of your pocket! Regular Cleanings and check-ups help ensure great dental health as well as a beautiful smile. It is important to let the office know of any changes to your Insurance, Address or telephone number changes!



Back to School Specials!

All new patients ( Adult and Children) may choose from a FREE Electric toothbrush, Sports guard, or other specials when they come in for Exam, X-rays and Dental cleaning.


We are also happy to announce new office hours starting September 2014

Monday- Open- 9:00am-6:30 pm

Tuesday- Open – 9:00am-6:30pm

Wednesday- Open- 9:00am-6:30pm

Thursday- Open- 9:00am-5:00pm

Friday- Open 9:00am-5:00pm

Saturday- Open 9:00am-4:00pm * alternating

Sunday- Closed