The Right Dental Home Care

Since plaque can hide beyond the reach of home care methods, the following tips for maintaining excellent oral care are not intended to replace regular visits to our Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group dental hygienists.  However, in combination with professional dental cleanings at our Nanaimo dental office, the following methods will help your family maintain the dental health you’re aiming for.


Proper brushing technique is essential as improper brushing can lead to gum damage, such as receding gums. Proper brushing takes at least two minutes but most people do not brush nearly that long. At Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group we teach that to properly brush your teeth, use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to the gum line, hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration.

Tilt the brush at a 45° angle against the gum line and sweep or roll the brush away from the gum line.  Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes.

The dental professionals at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group promote a soft-bristled brush for removing plaque from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also preferable since they can better reach all areas of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back teeth. An electric toothbrush is a good alternative as it provides more back-and-forth movements than hand-held brushes. It can do a better job of cleaning teeth, particularly for children or those who have difficulty brushing.

Specific types of toothpaste can be purchased to help deal with a variety of conditions including cavities, gingivitis, tartar, stained teeth and tooth sensitivity. Ask your Nanaimo dentist or dental hygienist which toothpaste is right for you.

You should replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear, or every three months, whichever comes first. It is also very important to change toothbrushes after you’ve had a cold since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to re-infection.


You may find that your gums are tender or bleed when you floss your teeth.  Tenderness and bleeding are usually due to gum inflammation.  Gum inflammation is likely to occur if you haven’t flossed on a regular basis.  As you begin to floss daily, the healing process will take place and tenderness or bleeding of gums should begin to lessen.  If after a week or two of regular flossing your gums are still as tender, it’s a good idea to book an appointment with Dr. Mahara at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group to have your situation assessed.

Gently work the dental floss between your teeth past the contact point, careful not to hurt your gums. Work the dental floss up and down the side of each tooth by pulling the dental floss snugly up against the side of one of the two teeth. This will force the floss to slide down the tooth, and allow it to clean a maximum amount of the tooth’s surface.

Once you have finished cleaning the side of this first tooth, bring the floss back above the gum line and pull it snugly against the side of the other tooth and repeat this action.  Although using this method may seem slow at first, once you’ve mastered this technique you will be able to do this quickly.

As a note, don’t forget to floss the back side of the last teeth in your mouth and any teeth that have spaces where teeth have been removed. Always keep the pressure of the dental floss against the tooth’s surface, especially on these teeth, so as not to injure the gums.

Finally, it’s advisable to rinse your mouth out after you floss to expel any particles that you loosened during flossing.

Oral Irrigation

An oral irrigator is a home care device that uses a stream of pulsating water to remove plaque and food debris between teeth and below the gum line and improve gum health.  Oral irrigators have been shown to disrupt plaque and bacteria 3 – 4 millimetres below the gum line.

Check with our Nanaimo dental hygienist or dentists to see if an oral irrigator would be recommended for you to improve your dental home care practices.

Tongue Cleaning

Regular tongue cleaning can help alleviate bad breath problems since bacteria on the tongue can be a major cause of bad breath.  In fact, tongue cleaning is one the most critical steps you can take on a daily basis to improve the freshness of your breath!  Keep in mind, however, that tongue cleaning alone does not alleviate bad breath –it’s just one component of a healthy mouth.

First of all, to clean your tongue you don’t need an expensive tool.  All you need is a fairly rigid instrument that lays flat on your tongue and covers the largest amount of surface possible.
Only press as hard on the tongue cleaning tool as necessary to keep the tool flush on the surface of your tongue.  Pressing any harder will not remove any more of the white film on the tongue.  In fact, the surface material you are removing is not the bacteria itself, but the food source for the bacteria.

Begin at the base of the tongue and make slow strokes from back to front until all of the surface areas are covered.  You can use a small bead of toothpaste on the tongue cleaner, preferably one that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulphate because this ingredient dries out the mouth.

Foods for excellent oral health

In general, foods that help muscles and bones also help teeth and gums. Some foods may protect against cavities, like green tea for example, which contains antioxidants as well as fluoride.
Milk and cheese are low-acidity foods which are also low in sugar.  They are also rich in calcium and phosphate, which are thought by dental experts to encourage the re-mineralization process which helps keep teeth healthy and strong.

Fruits such as apples, strawberries and kiwis contain Vitamin C. Without this present, gum cells can break down, making gums tender and susceptible to disease.
Vitamin A, found in pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes and broccoli, is necessary for the formation of tooth enamel. Crunchy vegetables are also good for oral health as they assist in cleaning your gums.
Sesame seeds reduce plaque and help build tooth enamel and are also very high in calcium.
Since saliva aids in stabilizing the pH level of the mouth to neutral, foods high in fibre may also help to increase the flow of saliva. Celery, for example, protects teeth by producing saliva and by massaging the teeth and gums.

Sugar-free chewing gum stimulates saliva production and helps to clean the surface of the teeth. Last, but not least, for a healthy mouth drink lots of water! Pure water cleans the mouth and produces saliva that deposits essential minerals into the teeth.

Foods that cause oral health problems

Sugars are commonly associated with dental cavities and sugars from fruit and fruit juices, such as glucose and fructose are equally to blame for causing cavities. The amount of sugar consumed at any one time is less important than how often food and drinks that contain sugar are consumed.

The more frequently sugars are consumed, the greater the time during which the tooth is exposed to low pH levels. A suggestion to work with this knowledge is to limit sugar-containing foods and drinks to certain times of the day, such as meal times.

It’s not only sugars in foods and drinks that cause poor dental health conditions, acids contained in fruit juice, vinegar and soft drinks lower the pH level of the mouth as well. Drinking orange juice or cola throughout the day, therefore, raises the risk of dental cavities significantly.
Another factor which affects the risk of developing cavities is the stickiness of foods. Some foods or sweets may stick to the teeth and so reduce the pH in the mouth for an extended time, particularly if they are sugary.
In combination with professional dental cleanings at our Nanaimo dental office, we hope the above tips will serve your family well in maintaining the dental health you desire.

Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is proud to serve your complete dental health needs in Nanaimo.  Our Nanaimo dentists believe in continuous learning to bring you the latest technology in dental medicine and our team of dental professionals aspire to the highest level of patient care.  At each visit to our office, we treat you with the respect, honesty and dignity that you deserve.

When you have a family to care for, high on your list of priorities is finding the right family dental provider.  A great family dentist family dental nanaimocan treat your whole family and make it convenient for you and your family to come in for regular dental check-ups and any treatments that may be needed.

A family dentist will coordinate all of your family’s dental care and refer you out to dental specialists whenever needed. Given how important your family dentist is to you and your family, here are some things to look for when choosing a family dentist.

  • Education and Professional Development:

You have the right to ask a prospective family dentist a few questions about their credentials before establishing a relationship with her.  Ask where they graduated from dental school and when, and ask about ongoing professional development.

All dentists are required to do a certain amount of professional development each year, but some dentists go well beyond the requirements.  This is a good sign that your dentist is passionate about dentistry and means that you will be benefiting from the latest news and advances in dentistry.

You can also ask about the dental clinic’s equipment.  Has the clinic invested in modern dental equipment such as digital x-rays and other equipment that can make your visits to the dental clinic more comfortable and safe?

  • Experience:

Your prospective dentist’s experience can also be a factor in your choice, but more years of experience is not necessarily better.  Ask your dentist about years of experience, but also ask for testimonials or reviews from patients.

You can also ask the dentist which treatments they provide most often, which they enjoy and which treatments they prefer to refer out to other dentists or dental specialists.  A good dental care provider will put your care above trying to handle all types of treatment under one roof.

Even though a dentist may have been around for several years, it’s still a good idea to do a quick check online for any complaints or news articles about the dentist.

  • Services provided:

It’s very convenient for your family to have one dentist coordinate all of your family’s dental care needs – even though at times your dentist will refer you out for specialized treatment. If you place your trust in your family dentist it will save you time and energy and all your dental records will be kept in a single dental office.

  • The environment of the dental clinic:

When it comes to dental care, you should look for a clinic which is pleasant and gives you a positive feeling about being there. The environment of the clinic and the approach of the dental support team is important, especially for children visiting the dentist for the first time. Once children feel comfortable and secure going to the dentist, it will make it easier for the whole family to get the regular dental care needed.

  • The dentist:

Your choice of a family dentist also depends on the personality of the dentist. You and your family should feel that the dentist is patient and listens to your concerns. You should also look for strong communication from your dentist, explaining your treatment options in a simple way and not pressuring you to make decisions.

Contact Us

If you are looking for a family dentist in Nanaimo, get started by contacting Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group to book an appointment.  We strive to meet the needs of families and look forward to taking care of you and your family.  Read more about the Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group team.



dental bridgeIf you are missing a tooth or several teeth, dental bridges are a very natural-looking way to replace them. Dental bridges not only help restore the function of your missing teeth but have several advantages that may make them the right treatment option for you.

Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group in Nanaimo, BC welcomes you to read more about dental bridges and contact us for an appointment to discuss whether or not a dental bridge might be the solution you are looking for.

Restore your smile

Missing teeth often affect the appearance of your smile – unless they are at the back of your mouth.  Dental bridges fill in the teeth and look as natural as your surrounding teeth.

Maintain facial shape

Your face and jawbone can change shape if you are missing one or several teeth. Your jaw bone needs the pressure from the teeth chewing to stimulate it to regenerate.  Without the teeth there, the jawbone recedes.  Replacing lost teeth will help maintain facial shape and minimize changes to your face and jaw.

Prevent chewing problems

TMD is caused when your teeth are not meeting properly and the bite becomes imbalanced.  This leads to a host of symptoms including headaches, earaches, jaw pain and even neck and shoulder pain.   Since missing teeth cause you to favour chewing on one side consistently, this behaviour could lead to bite issues and more serious jaw joint issues such as TMD.

Allow you to speak properly

Teeth are important to proper pronunciation in speech. Missing teeth can quickly affect the way you talk. A dental bridge provides the same function as a natural tooth and immediately allows normal speech ability to return.

Prevent teeth from shifting

When a tooth is missing, the teeth around the space tend to shift, tilt, or drift into that space. Once teeth have shifted, it is not easy to shift them back.  A dental bridge holds the space of the missing tooth and prevents undesired changes to the neighbouring teeth.

Advantages of dental bridges compared to implants

Dental implants have become a popular alternative to dental bridges and may indeed be a good choice for you.  Since we’re on the topic of advantages of dental bridges, however, the following are a couple of the significant advantages.

  • Bridges are much less expensive than implants, especially if multiple teeth need to be replaced.
  • If your bone has recessed at the site of the missing tooth, implants may require bone grafting

Please contact us to consult one of our Nanaimo dentists if you would like to find out which treatment option would be best to replace your missing teeth.  We look forward to meeting you at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group soon!

Children are fortunate to be growing up at a time when dental education and access to a dental professional are at a children's dental downtown nanaimohigh point.  We know that it is possible for kids to grow up never knowing what a cavity and filling feels like –and it all starts with strong oral health habits!

The keys to your child’s oral health

Essentially, if your child can develop the following habits, he or she will be on their way toward a lifetime of dental health:

  • Brush teeth effectively twice per day
  • Floss teeth effectively every day
  • Visit the dentist at the intervals suggested by our downtown Nanaimo dental group for hygiene appointments and check-ups

It seems so simple, but we know that parents need help keeping their children on track.  Here are some of the ways that Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group can help!

Dental Education

It’s important to help your children develop early dental habits that can last a lifetime as your child grows. Regular visits to the dentist and dental hygienist will encourage proper dental home care and teach your child how diet and cavities are related.

Fix problems when they are small

Many dental problems can be corrected if caught early.  This includes crowded teeth and irregular bites due to narrow jaws or underdeveloped lower jaws.

Children between the ages of 7 may be prescribed dental appliances to correct these types of problems.

Our dentists enjoy working with children

Although it may be recommended that your child see a pediatric specialized dentist for more complex treatments, we can handle most of your child’s dental needs in our clinic.  Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group offers the following children’s dental services:

Dental hygiene and preventative treatments

Dental education on brushing and flossing for infants to children

Assessing the need for orthodontics for children and teens

Sports mouthguards for children and teens

Emergency care for kids

Keeping it fun!

We try to make your child’s visit to the dentist as fun and enjoyable as possible –and your children will learn that there really is no need to fear the dentist.  Your children can enjoy games and tv in our reception area and treatment rooms.   As a parent, you can help by speaking positively and having fun with a trip to the dentist.  Tell young children that the dentist is going to count their teeth and watch your children respond!

Rewarding good oral health

We enjoy giving a small toy to kids after their visit to the dentist. Encourage your child to ask for a toy after their visit.  More importantly, however, make sure that your child gets lots of positive feedback.

Contact Us

Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group strives to have every child we treat grow up with the proper dental habits needed to maintain good oral health and prevent disease.  Please contact us to book an appointment for your child or for all your family’s dental needs today!

composite versus amalgam dental fillings nanalmoSilver or amalgam fillings have been used by dentists to fill cavities for over 100 years.  They are strong and long lasting, but they do have significant downside when compared to the newer dental development of composite, or tooth coloured fillings offered by Dr. Mahara at his Downtown dental clinic in Nanaimo, BC.

While there is mercury present in the silver filling material, called amalgam, in the past century there has been no evidence showing that silver fillings are harmful to patients.  The main arguments against the use of silver fillings are about the way silver fillings wear over time and the esthetics of obtrusive metal fillings.

Depending on where the tooth to be filled is located in the mouth, the appearance of a silver filling may have more impact on your decision to go with composite.  Having a dental filling anywhere in the smile line makes a silver filling much less attractive than a more natural-looking composite filling.  Composite fillings can be made to match the tooth colour of surrounding teeth and are virtually invisible to an observer.

In regard to how silver fillings wear over time, like most metals, silver fillings will eventually corrode and even leak causing decay to occur underneath the fillings. There is also a slow expansion that amalgam undergoes which can fracture the tooth next to the filling and cause the need for a much larger filling, a crown or even extraction of the tooth if the fracture is deep enough.

The Top 4 Advantages of Composite Fillings

  1. Composite fillings are primarily a resin which has been “filled” with other inorganic materials.   This compound makes a composite filling more resistant to wear, color adjustable, and easier to polish.
  2. The advantages of choosing a composite filling include a more natural appearance.  Dentists can match the filling compound to the shade and colour of your enamel, allowing the filling to blend into your teeth. Your teeth are white—why shouldn’t your fillings be as well?
  3. Composite fillings often strengthen the filled tooth, and bonding the filling to the tooth creates a better seal. Improved bondage of the filling to the tooth provides better structural support and restores the strength of the tooth. This also allows the material to repair cracked and damaged teeth.
  4. A smaller hole is necessary to place a composite filling, allowing for more healthy tooth matter to be saved.  Composite fillings can often be made smaller than a comparable silver filling as silver fillings that are too small are prone to breaking or falling out.

We welcome you to read more about composite fillings at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group on our website and to contact us to book an appointment.  We look forward to meeting you soon!

If you’re among the 75% of the population who suffer from some degree of dental anxiety, here’s how to beat it! sedation dentistry nanaimoSedation dentistry is a solution that has helped thousands of patients with mild to extreme dental anxiety in a safe and effective way.

What is sedation dentistry and how does it work?

Quite simply, sedation dentistry helps you manage your dental fears and allow you to get on track and stay on track with the dental treatments you need to enjoy long-lasting dental health.

Sedation Dentistry involves the use of sedatives to help you attain a relaxed, easy and calm state before and during your dental visit. At our downtown Nanaimo dental clinic, we offer oral sedation.  The strength of sedatives will be prescribed to suit you and can range from mild to moderate in their effect.

Oral Sedation Dentistry

Oral sedatives are taken as pills, which our dentists prescribe to the patient in the consultation visit leading up to the treatment.  Oral sedation patients feel relaxed and remember little of the treatment, but still maintain consciousness during the treatment.

Considerations for Sedation Dentistry Treatment?

Our experienced dentists will help you decide if sedation is right for you.  One important consideration will be any medications and supplements you are taking.  It’s very important that all medications and supplements are disclosed – so bring a list to the consultation to be sure not to miss any.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Sedation dentistry is considered to be very safe.  As in any medical procedure, dentists are trained to administer sedation and have several measures in place to ensure the safety of sedation dentistry patients.

Getting ready for your sedation dentistry visit

When having a sedation treatment you will need to be accompanied by a friend or family member both to and from the appointment. After the appointment, your friend or family member should stay with you until the effects of the sedatives have completely worn off.

For all of your sedation dentistry questions and for all of your family’s dental needs Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is here for you!  We welcome you to book an appointment today.

digital xray nanaimo dentalWe invest in technology to provide you with more environmental, comfortable and convenient dental imaging with digital x-rays.

Digital radiography gives our dentists superior technology in capturing and viewing x-rays, while providing you with a more comfortable experience. Here are four benefits that digital x-rays have over the traditional film method:

Immediately review the images on-screen

The digital x-ray procedure is similar to the traditional method you may be familiar with—you remain in the chair and wear a protective radiation blanket—but instead of using film, we place a small sensor in your mouth that instantly sends  the x-ray images to a computer monitor.

Within minutes, you will be reviewing the images with your dentist. In emergency situations, eliminating this waiting time is a great benefit for patients in pain.

Just like traditional imaging, problems such as cavities, bone loss, tooth decay, gum disease, and others will be revealed with digital imaging. The sensors can be re-positioned to capture as many images as necessary to efficiently view the x-rays.

State-of-the-art viewing technology

Capturing digital images also allows the dentist to view your x-rays with more tools. The ability to use colour contrasting can highlight certain areas that may have gone unnoticed with the traditional film method.

Rather than retaking x-rays that are unclear, dentists are now able to zoom-in and enhance any area of the image in high-definition to produce a clear picture. Patients are also able to view the x-rays, giving us the opportunity to share and demonstrate how your teeth are doing.

Simple referring with digital files

In case we need to refer your case to another dentist or specialist, we are able to quickly send your x-ray electronically to greatly reduce the waiting period. Since we store x-rays on your digital file, we can also correspond with your previous dental offices with ease.

Storing images digitally allows us to compare current and future x-rays to determine treatment success or to discover deterioration that may require additional treatment.

The safer, environmentally-friendly method

While traditional film x-rays are proven to not emit a harmful amount of radiation, digital imaging reduces that amount approximately by an additional 80%. The electronic sensors we use require much less radiation to be effective as they are more sensitive than film.

In addition to the time saved by producing a digital image, the environment is spared of the harmful chemicals needed to develop an x-ray from film.

Please contact us today or read more about digital x-ray technology on our website. We look forward to sharing our new equipment with you on your next visit to Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group!

Have you ever stopped to wonder how your dental hygienist manages to make your teeth feel so clean?  In this postdental bridge nanaimo dentist, we’ll explore this and all the other important checks that happen at each dental hygiene visit.

We hope that this will inspire you not only to appreciate your dental hygienist more but to learn more and ask plenty of questions of your hygienist. One of our values at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is your education.  With knowledge comes the power to make your healthy teeth and smile last – so if you have a question, write it down and feel free to ask away at your next appointment!

Why come for a professional teeth cleaning?
The short answer is because you want to have healthy teeth that last into old age.  Going a bit deeper, you have to understand that plaque builds up 24/7 and that brushing and flossing only interrupt the build-up of tarter and calculus.  Furthermore, dental hygienists clean below the gum line where you can’t reach with brushing or flossing.  You can say that your dental hygiene appointments level the playing field with plaque so you can keep up.

What can you do to prepare for a hygiene visit?
If you often feel pain or discomfort during a dental cleaning, take some ibuprofen just before the appointment.  For more intense discomfort, we can also use dental freezing –just let us know.

Please be on time as there is plenty to be covered in your 1-hour appointment.

Come regularly.  Depending on your situation you may be advised to come every 3 – 4 months, every 6 months or yearly.  Since our goal for you is to get you into a maintenance phase, we won’t advise you to come more than necessary.  Coming regularly means your dental hygienist can cover the full cleaning procedure in one hour – and it also means you head off dental problems before they begin.

What is your hygienist doing at the appointment?
Most obviously, your hygienist will be cleaning your teeth!  This is done both above the gum line (scaling) and below the gum line (root planing) using a traditional hand scaler combined with modern ultrasonic scaling inserts that use vibrations to remove deposits.  Calculus or hardened plaque buildup cannot be removed by brushing and flossing at home, so removing this answers the question of why your teeth feel so spacious after a dental hygienist cleaning.

In addition to this amazing cleaning your dental hygienist is busy heading off more serious dental problems through:

  • a periodontal assessment: including probing the depths around the tooth for signs of loss in the bone supporting the teeth in the mouth;
  • checking for gum recession, which measures how much attached gum is present and exposed root surface;
  • checking mobility of the teeth;
  • checking for the presence of gingivitis;
  • polishing: to remove any surface stain, and delay the plaque from forming as quickly and as a bonus, some polishing pastes have ingredients that help the tooth take in fluoride better and therefore strengthen the teeth;
  • fluoride treatment (optional) helps prevent further cavities from forming and hardening areas that are weaker;
  • an  extra-oral exam is done at least once a year to check the head, neck and jaw areas for confirmation of health;
  • An intra-oral exam to check the gum tissues, tongue and lips for confirmation of health;
  • x-rays are done if due for them -these are important for preventative measures

You’ll also have an exam done by your dentist as well as get a chance to ask any questions you might have. As you can see there is a lot going on at your dental hygienist visit.

Now that you know, you can maximize the health of your family’s teeth and maximize the benefit of your dental hygiene visits. Please follow this link to find out the top 4 dental hygienist tips for home dental care, as well as what to expect at your dental hygienist visit.

Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is proud to serve your complete dental health needs in Nanaimo.  Our Nanaimo dentists and dental hygienists believe in continuous learning to bring you the latest technology in dental medicine and our team of dental professionals aspire to the highest level of patient care.  At each visit to our office, we treat you with the respect, honesty and dignity that you deserve.

A child having a cavity or two in their baby teeth can seem insignificant.  Those teeth will fall out after all.  Thedental health education nanaimo habit however, of taking care of our teeth is often learned or not learned in childhood.  With poor dental health habits, cavities in baby teeth, later in life become cavities in permanent teeth and then possibly lost teeth, root canals or a host of other dental problems.  

To bring the importance of developing proper habits to children, Dr. Mahara, a Nanaimo dentist is taking dental health education to the schools.  “The best dental treatment,” he says, “is prevention” – learning about brushing and flossing and eating right.  

“Kids learn best when they are interested, engaged and having fun,” says Dr. Mahara of Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group.  This is what the “catch a smile” program is all about.

Realizing the importance of kids learning about dental health in a relaxed and positive environment, Dr. Mahara decided to take the learning to the kids in school.  The “Catch A Smile Dental Program” was originally designed and piloted by the Rotary Club of Kihei Sunrise–Maui, Hawaii in 2012. Donna Allen, a long-serving Rotary member, liked the idea and partnered with Dr. Mahara to bring it to Nanaimo.

The concept was adopted and funded by the Rotary Club of Nanaimo – Daybreak for implementation in kindergarten classes in eight schools in the Nanaimo – Ladysmith School District 68 in 2015 and is going strong into 2019.

“We play games, sing a song and have a laugh with Mr. Chewy, a big blue stuffy dragon with big teeth. Mr. Chewy happily squirts water which makes kids laugh and giggle.”

To add to the show, a fellow Rotarian and a couple of Vancouver Island University dental assisting students, who dress up like tooth fairies, come along to help out Dr. Mahara. 

The kids also get to play a food game with Mr. Chewy. All kids are randomly given pictures of different foods. They are asked to identify foods that are healthy or unhealthy for our bodies and teeth. Then they learn to sing a brushing song while practicing good brushing techniques.

Currently, schools are contacted individually. We’d like to reach to as many schools as we can.  School principals can feel free to reach out to us to arrange this program for their schools.

Dr. Mahara also hopes that parents can get involved at home and participate with the kids. And, if teachers continue the singing and pretend brushing in the class routine, it will create a habit.

Are you a dentist or an educator? We would be happy to tell you more about bringing this program to your community.  Contact Us.



We’ve all heard that poor oral hygiene leads to cavities, bad breath and can lead to more serious conditions like dental cleaning denal hygiene gum disease.  Since the body is interconnected, poor oral health has even been scientifically linked to other health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

What is the role of dental cleanings in maintaining oral hygiene and how often should we have them?

Here’s a scenario:
Your dental hygienist seems troubled that you haven’t been in for a dental cleaning for over 2 years and your dentist is emphasizing how important it is for you to come in at least every 6 months for a dental cleaning.  You brush your teeth and floss every day and since your dental insurance only covers you for cleanings every year, you secretly wonder if the dentist just wants you to come in often so they can stay in business.

It seems rational that if you brush and floss daily you’re doing everything necessary towards excellent oral health, but there is a technical problem with this reasoning.  The problem is that plaque and bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease can be out of reach of your tooth brush and floss. This is especially true if you have deep pockets in the gum line between your teeth.  Normal pockets are 2 – 3 millimetres deep, whereas 4 – 5 millimetre pockets are considered deep and unreachable by home dental care measures.

The fact that your dental insurance provider only provides for cleanings once per year is a poor indicator of how often you really require a cleaning.  After all, how often has your dental insurance provider looked in your mouth lately?   And if you become one of the many adults who lose teeth due to gum disease, blaming your insurance carrier won’t change the grim fact.

So how often do you need a dental cleaning?

In truth it depends on your current oral health.  If you haven’t been in for a professional cleaning for awhile, it would be wise to book an appointment to have one done and ask your dentist and hygienist what your dental hygiene needs are.  Following your dentist’s advice might take more effort now, but will save you tremendously in the long term.

Find out more what you can do today to create and maintain excellent oral hygiene. Contact us to book an appointment.

Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is proud to serve your complete dental health needs in Nanaimo.  Our Nanaimo dentists believe in continuous learning to bring you the latest technology in dental medicine, and our team of dental professionals aspire to the highest level of patient care.  At each visit to our office, we treat you with the respect, honesty and dignity that you deserve.