Are you a Family Dentist?
Yes, we provide dental care for patients of all ages. Our dentists and dental hygienists provide a wide range of services including dental cleanings, fillings, TMJ treatment, crowns, bridges, dentures and whitening.
Why do my teeth look yellow?
Teeth naturally change colour as we age however, certain foods and liquids can add to colour changes. Smoking and poor dental hygiene can also lead to darker, more yellow-looking teeth.

Stains and yellowing can be caused by the following:

  • Foods (blueberries, curry, soy sauce) and drinks (coffee, tea, cola, red wine, dark beer)
  • Tobacco smoking or chewing
  • Poor dental hygiene

We can brighten any smile, though, with our tray whitening system, quickly and safely in the privacy and comfort of your own home.

Is tooth whitening harmful to my teeth?
Tooth whitening is not harmful to the teeth in any way. It simply removes stains from the teeth that may be caused by coffee, teas, tobacco, food and tartar. A very small percentage of patients report sensitivity after bleaching, which is usually reversible.
How long does teeth whitening usually last?
The length of time your whitening will last will depend on your habits and how quickly you notice the recurrence of stains or yellowing. Many patients re-do their whitening as infrequently as once per year or more.
What do I do if my tooth is loose or knocked out?
Call our office as soon as possible, even on weekends or in the evening. If the tooth is still attached, even a bit, do not remove it, hold it in place until our dentist can take a look. If the tooth is not attached but is still in the socket, hold it in place. If it is completely out of the mouth and in one piece, keep it moist in milk. If milk is not available, place the tooth in room-temperature water. Do not scrub or clean the tooth and handle it as little as possible. The likelihood of successful re-implantation decreases the longer the tooth is out of the socket and the more it is handled.
How often should radiographs be taken?
Radiographs, often called x-rays, are taken on a semi-routine basis dependant on your health, an examination of your mouth and the treatment you require or are requesting. For new patients, we need to start with baseline x-rays to take a deeper look at the hidden areas of your mouth and to give us an idea of how things in your mouth are changing over time. If you have had x-rays at another dental office, we can generally acquire copies with your permission. Children may need x-rays more often than adults as their teeth and jaws are still developing.
What can I do about bad breath?
Bad breath, or halitosis, has many causes. Often times, people are unaware that they have a problem with bad breath. Bad breath caused by food such as onions or garlic is caused when by-products of the foods enter the bloodstream and head to the lungs where it is expelled when you breath. The odour will continue until it has cleared the lungs, usually within a day. Food particles that are left on teeth can decay, causing bad odour which are easily controlled with brushing and flossing. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, can also cause bad breath. A discussion with your dentist will uncover the cause of, and methods to deal with low saliva flow. Tobacco products also cause bad breath. If none of these are causing the bad breath, it may become prudent to consult a physician as bad breath from an undetermined source can be a sign of a medical disorder.
What is tooth decay or dental carries?
Tooth decay, or dental caries, is caused by a bacterial process that damages the tooth’s enamel, dentin and cementum, breaking these hard tissues down until they become cavities, or holes in the tooth. Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacilli are the bacteria generally involved in dental caries. Left untreated, this disease process can break the tooth down to the point where the patient will start experiencing pain, infection and eventually tooth loss when enough of the tooth is decayed that it can no longer be fixed. There are a number of methods used to detect dental caries before the cavities become too large. In particular, x-rays help your dentist see the spaces between the teeth where food has become trapped and more likely to cause a cavity. Filling cavities and repairing severely broken down teeth can be accomplished in numerous ways which can be discussed based on the extent of damage. Ideally, through brushing, flossing, regular preventive hygiene visits with the hygienist and detection of cavities when they are very small, teeth can be preserved long-term.
When should a child come in for their first dental appointment?
The BC Dental Association recommends children been seen by a dentist when their first tooth erupts. At this age, the visit will be focused on normalizing the experience of attending the dental office and checking to ensure tooth are coming in properly without obvious health issues.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums and bones which support teeth. Periodontal disease is primarily caused by a buildup of plaque. Regular and comprehensive home-care along with preventive care with a dental hygienist is the best way to prevent developing periodontal disease. Gingivitis, characterised by red, swollen gums, is an early stage of periodontal disease which is more easily treated with comprehensive care with a dental hygienist. Un-treated gingivitis generally progresses to periodontal disease which is often only treatable through surgery.
What are my options to fix my smile?
There are many options available to change the shape of teeth, make teeth look longer, close spaces between teeth or repair chipped or cracked teeth including, bonding, crowns, veneers, and recontouring.

Dental bonding involves applying a durable tooth-coloured resin to the tooth and bonding it with a special light. This process can give a very natural appearance in one visit with minimal preparation required.

Dental crowns cover the entire tooth and can be made from porcelain, gold and other materials. Crowns required a more aggressive preparation but are extremely durable and protect a broken-down tooth from further damage. Crowns can often be done in one visit with our in-house CEREC machine.

Veneers, also know as porcelain veneers or laminates, are very thin, custom-made shells of porcelain or other tooth-coloured material that are designed to cover the front surface of teeth. They are bonded to the front of the teeth and are generally used for cosmetic purposes only.

Recontouring or reshaping of the teeth requires removing small amounts of enamel to change the tooth’s length or shape. This is a minimally invasive procedure.

I have a space between my two front teeth. Can that be fixed?
A diastema, or space between the teeth, is often easily corrected with dental bonding. In some cases, porcelain veneers are a better option to achieve the desired look.
Why should I floss and brush my teeth?
Brushing and flossing help remove the bacteria that cause dental caries and periodontal disease. This bacteria is contained within plaque, a layer of food debris, bacteria and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums. If this film is not removed, it converts into calculus which eventually leads to cavities and gum disease.
How often should I floss my teeth?
Flossing daily will keep the buildup of plaque under control, in particular in the areas that toothbrushes don’t reach: between the teeth and under the gums.
How often should I brush my teeth?
Brushing at least twice per day, in particular before going to bed, helps remove the layer of plaque that contributes to dental decay and gum disease. Brushing should be done at a 45 degree angle using gentle circular motions. Don’t forget your tongue!

Electric toothbrushes are also a good option. Place the bristles on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.

Here at Smiles by Design we sell Oral B electric brushes and attachments.

When should I throw away my toothbrush?

Replacing your toothbrush frequently helps reduce the transmission of bacteria which cause colds, flu, bronchitis, and upset stomach, not to mention cavities and gum disease. If you or anyone in your family gets sick, replace your toothbrush three times. Use a new one when you become ill, another when you begin to feel better, and a third after recovery.