April is National Oral Health Month

It’s time to be informed about your oral health! April is our national oral health month to create awareness for Canadians to address their mouths as part of their overall healthy lifestyle.

The Canadian Dental Association shares this article on oral health:

Although the mouth is part of the body, we often think of it as something separate. We often ignore bleeding or tender gums, while an irritation or pain elsewhere in the body would mean a trip to the doctor.

Poor oral health can affect a person’s quality of life. Oral pain, missing teeth or oral infections can influence the way a person speaks, eats and socializes. These oral health problems can reduce a person’s quality of life by affecting their physical, mental and social well-being.

The reality is that oral health problems could be a sign of something serious such as oral cancer. Every year approximately 3,200 Canadians are diagnosed with oral cancer and 1,050 deaths from oral cancer occur. This devastating disease has a low survival rate because it is often diagnosed very late. With early detection the survival rate of oral cancer can be greatly improved. This means going to your dentist for regular dental exams. Your dentist has the training and experience to detect oral cancer early.

Everything that happens in your mouth affects your whole body, which is why it is so important to visit your dentist regularly. Only your dentist has the training, skills and expertise to properly address all your oral health care needs. Regular dental exams help prevent small problems from getting worse.

As part of a healthy lifestyle and to help reduce the risk of oral disease, follow CDA’s 5 steps to good oral health.


Improve your Oral Health in 2015 shares how to improve your oral health in 2015:

The start of a new year is a perfect time to set new personal and professional goals.  While many of us focus on self-improvement after the holidays, dental hygienists remind Canadians not to overlook oral health when making choices about improving overall physical and mental wellness.

“Resolving to make oral health a priority in your daily life is an investment in your future,” says Mandy Hayre, president of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA). “Research suggests that periodontal disease, which can result from unchecked plaque on the teeth, is a risk factor for serious life-threatening illnesses such as diabetes, lung and heart disease, and stroke,” she explains, noting that Canadians young and old can set oral health goals and develop new habits in 2015.  Here are some helpful dental hygiene tips for all ages:

Infants and Toddlers up to age 3: 

Wipe your baby’s mouth and gums with a clean, wet cloth after feeding. Teach toddlers to hold a toothbrush, but brush for them twice a day using water (no toothpaste is necessary) once their first teeth appear.

Children ages 3 – 6: 

Help your children to brush their teeth twice a day, using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.  Show them how to brush every tooth surface and their tongue, and make sure that they spit out the toothpaste when they are done.

Children ages 6 – 13: 

Encourage children to clean between their teeth once a day, in addition to brushing twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste.  Help them to make healthy food choices, avoiding sweets and sugars. Have them fitted for a sports mouthguard to be worn during athletic activity.

Teenagers and Adults: 

Brush teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.  Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash and clean in between the teeth at least once a day.  Eliminate tobacco use and eat nutritious foods that are low in sugar. Remember to wear a sports mouthguard during active play.


Brush natural teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and clean in between the teeth at least once a day.  Clean and soak dentures (full or partial) daily.  Brush and massage the gums, either with a soft toothbrush or with a warm, damp cloth.

And of course, everyone from the age of one should visit a dental professional regularly to ensure optimum oral health.  Make a commitment to good oral health care in 2015 and you’ll enjoy the benefits for a lifetime!

Serving the profession since 1963, CDHA is the collective national voice of more than 26,800 registered dental hygienists working in Canada, directly representing 17,000 individual members including dental hygienists and students. Dental hygiene is the 6th largest registered health profession in Canada with professionals working in a variety of settings, including independent practice, with people of all ages, addressing issues related to oral health.


Your Oral Health & the Holidays shares how to take care of your oral health this holiday season!

The holidays are a time for joy and celebration. But in the rush to buy your gifts and make dinner plans, there may be something you’re overlooking – your oral health.

You may be busy (and feel a tad overwhelmed) and this may cause you to neglect your oral-health routine. When people are stressed, they sometimes make poor lifestyle choices – smoking, drinking too much alcohol and eating more sugary foods – which increases the risk of serious issues including oral cancer, gum disease or tooth decay.

Here are some tips to prevent your oral health from suffering this holiday season.


Stress can have quite an impact on your oral (and overall) health. Stress can lead to bruxism (teeth grinding) and may lower your immunity to infections, such as gum disease, and colds and influenza. Try to manage and reduce stress in your life by eating well, getting plenty of sleep and exercising. If you don’t have time to exercise, a 30-minute walk every day is a good start.

Schedule dental examinations.

Get a dental exam before the holidays to make sure there are no current problems with your oral health. A cavity left untreated can become painful and can dampen any holiday spirit.

Maintain your oral health routine, even during holidays.

Brush at least twice a day and floss daily, and schedule and keep regular appointments with your dentist. Having good oral health habits throughout the year can see you through occasional indulgences. If you clench or grind your teeth, ask your dentist about getting a custom-fitted nightguard to protect your teeth while you sleep.

Be prepared for dental emergencies.

From a chipped tooth to a lost filling, a dental emergency can hamper any celebration. Talk with your dentist about his or her availability after hours and during the holidays. Your dentist may be able to provide you with an alternate phone number or the location of an emergency dental clinic in your area. Have this information readily available – post it on your refrigerator or by your phone. If a dental emergency does occur, call your dentist or alternative dental contact immediately. Explain your symptoms and ask to be seen as soon as possible.

Avoid activities that could injure your teeth and gums.

Don’t chew ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth; chew hard foods, such as nuts, slowly; and avoid using your teeth as scissors on tape, packaging or ribbon.

Eat a balanced diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

A balanced and diverse menu provides many nutrients to strengthen your teeth and gums, making them less susceptible to disease, including tooth decay. Greens and winter vegetables are great sources of vitamins A and C. Candies and other sugary treats are a big part of the holidays but enjoy them in moderation.

Chew on sugarless gum or snack on cheese.

This can stimulate saliva flow which will also help rinse your teeth of sugar and acids.

Avoid alcohol or limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

Moderation is key – when you drink, your mouth is exposed to increased levels of sugars and acids found in alcohol. This can be damaging to your teeth, especially if your alcohol consumption is heavy. Drinking water after an alcoholic drink will not only help rinse out the sugars and acids, it will help you avoid becoming dehydrated.

The holidays are a time to eat, drink and be merry and with enough preparation (and self-preservation), you can celebrate them with a smile.


Your Health

Your Health:

The state of your overall health is directly linked to the state of your oral hygiene.

Many diseases affecting your health are linked to dental infections. These could be larger infections such as dental abscesses, advanced periodontal disease, or smaller, often chronic problems like gum disease, plaque-induced inflammation and gingivitis. These diseases are the direct or indirect result of the microorganisms that cause infections in the oral cavity.

Poor oral health is linked to:

  • Tonsillitis
  • Cardio-vascular disease
  • Diseases of the lung
  • Diabetes Mellitis
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Neurological diseases
  • Gastric cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Spirochetes bacteria that can lead to Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Pick’s Disease (FTD, Frontotemporal dementia), Alzheimer’s and ALS

The best way to maintain your oral hygiene is to brush and floss regularly, and to maintain a consistent hygiene schedule with your dentist and hygienist.

The Canadian Dental Association provides more great resources on caring for your oral health and hygiene. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your oral health and hygiene.



Welcome to Dr. Perry Kopec’s Blog!

The Kopec Dental blog shares news, office announcements, and helpful tips for your oral health.

We also recommend the resources provided by the Canadian Dental Association. The CDA offers great information on caring for your oral health – from choosing your dentist, understanding your appointment, and teaching your children how to do the same.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your oral health, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please also let us know if there is something you would like to see on our blog. We want this information to serve you and your oral health needs!