Category Archives for "Did you Know?"

Could These Common Diseases Be Contributing to Tooth Decay?

No part of the body functions truly independently, and your teeth are no exception. Your mouth is a window to the rest of your body and will often show warning signs if there is something bigger going on. If you’ve ever wondered why we ask so many questions about your medical history and lifestyle, it is because we are trying to understand the entire picture, along with what your mouth and oral health are telling us. There are many more things that can contribute to tooth decay rather than just poor oral hygiene. In fact, common diseases such as diabetes, autoimmune conditions, and eating disorders are examples of some systemic disease that do in fact impact the health of our teeth. As your Mississauga family dentist, we feel that it is important for you to be educated on the oral-systemic links in order to achieve optimal oral health. Common systemic conditions are:

  1. Diabetes
    Diabetes is perhaps the most significant cause and effect relationship with tooth decay. Whether you have type I or type II diabetes, your body’s blood sugar level is elevated because of lowered insulin levels. This impacts many parts of your body and the mouth as well. One of the most common symptoms of diabetes is dry mouth. Beyond making your mouth feel more comfortable, saliva acts as your mouth’s natural cleansing system, and protects your teeth against the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Lack of salivary flow makes your teeth more vulnerable and more prone to developing cavities.

    As the tooth decay continues to build up, the risk for gum disease also increases due to the continual buildup of bacteria in your mouth. In fact, about a quarter of all people diagnosed with diabetes also develop gum disease. To further complicate this situation, gum disease can cause blood sugar levels to rise, which can in turn, increase the severity of the diabetes. It is a vicious cycle that needs to be addressed as soon as symptoms begin to develop.

  2. Autoimmune Conditions
    Autoimmune conditions are a family of diseases that involve the body attacking parts of itself. This can include everything from major organ systems such as kidneys, to smaller systems such as salivary glands. Many of these diseases have an impact on the mouth, but the one that is most directly tied to oral health is Sjögeren’s syndrome. Sjögeren’s syndrome reduces the amount of saliva the mouth produces, which has the same effects we described earlier with diabetes. With extreme cases, patients may not even produce saliva at all.

    People with Sjögeren’s are advised to make more frequent visits to the dentist in order to monitor and keep watch of any tooth decay as a result from the decreased saliva flow. There are also several over the counter products that can be used in order to manage the symptoms and increase salivary flow. Products including xylitol – a natural saliva stimulant – will be quite beneficial to those experiencing dry mouth.

  3. Anorexia and Bulimia
    Both anorexia and bulimia are severe eating disorders in which a person has an extreme fear of becoming overweight, and either eat less or regurgitate food as a result. Both conditions have implications on the teeth because the body is not receiving the proper amount of minerals, vitamins, proteins and other nutrients that are needed in maintaining good oral health and preventing tooth decay. A person who is bulimic may binge eat and then vomit, which allows the acid that is breaking down the food to eat away at the tooth enamel. Overtime, the acid will weaken the tooth structure, making it more prone to getting cavities.

Avoid Tooth Decay with Total Body Care

These are just a few of the more common diseases that contribute to tooth decay. The connection between your mouth and body are not always apparent, which is why it is important to share your medical history with your dentist. Our team at Credit River Dental Centre will work with you in order to develop a treatment plan that integrates your mouth with the rest of your body for a full-body approach. To learn more speak to your dental team at Credit River Dental Centre or book your appointment today at (905) 278-4297 and take control of your oral health!

Want Whiter Teeth Without Bleaching?

Here are 5 makeup tips that can make your teeth look whiter

  1. Lipstick Shade
    With lipsticks, the key is to look for those with bluer undertones as opposed to yellow. Slightly purple tones will help teeth appear somewhat whiter than those that lean yellow or orange. How does it work? If we look at the colour wheel, blue and orange/yellow sit across from each other, so blue tones tend to cancel out orange or yellow tones when placed side by side together, and vice versa. Therefore, lipsticks with a blue base will help cancel out any orange or yellow tones on your teeth.
    Red lipstick usually lean one of blue, pink, or orange. Blue tones will provide the greatest whitening effect, pink tones will be relatively neutral, and orange tones will provide a slightly yellowing effect. Unfortunately, darker shades in general will make teeth appear slightly yellower.
  2. Bronzer
    As far as having an influence on the appearance of your teeth, your bronzer can either lead to your ultimate downfall or make you a star. Avoid going too orange but rather use a subtle taupe-toned bronzer in order to lift your teeth an entire shade brighter.
  3. Eye Makeup
    Similar to the way your teeth will look whiter if you use a lipstick with cool or blue undertones, wearing cooler eyeshadows will help to deflect any yellow tones. Wear purple, blue and silver eyeshadows through the winter months in orderto brighten your smile, whereas in the spring try green and turquoise lids.
  4. Contour the curves of your mouth
    Your lips can appear fuller by accentuating the shape of your mouth and, combine that with a berry-toned lipstick in order to kick up the shine in your teeth. Trace around the edge of your lip line with a highlighting pencil while putting some extra emphasis on the curve of your cupid's bow.
  5. Lip Gloss
    Similar in the way cooler hues in lipsticks can help to enhance the appearance of your pearly whites, the flecks of shimmer or glitter in your lip gloss follow a similar colour rule. Toss away any glosses that contain gold or bronze-toned glitter, and choose one with a silver shimmer instead in order to offer a sparkly smile.
    And of course if you would like to whiten your teeth the more traditional way then please do not hesitate to contact us at the Credit River Dental Centre in beautiful Port Credit, Mississauga.

www.creditriverdental.com
905.278.4297
dentistry@creditriverdental.com



Vaping and Your Oral Health: What You May Not Know!

Most people are now likely aware of the negative effects of smoking cigarettes to their overall and oral health, however what is less known are the effects that vaping has on your oral health. Although this is a healthier alternative to smoking, there are still some negative side effects that we believe everyone should be aware of.

First off, what exactly is vaping? Vaping is the process of consuming nicotine or other substances through a vaporizer or an electronic cigarette. Vaping allows you to consume nicotine at controlled levels without actually smoking cigarettes and is often used as an aid to quit smoking. These battery powered devices heat liquid (also known as e-juice) to produce a fog-like vapor. The number of people in Canada who use vaporizers/e-cigarettes has tripled over the last four years and its popularity continues to grow as the years progress.

Vaping became a much more effective and safer alternative in comparison to smoking cigarettes. Although vape oil/e-juice does not contain any tobacco – which is the main ingredient in cigarettes – it may contain nicotine, which can pose a variety of significant health risks on its own. Although there are options of using nicotine-free oils, the majority of people using vaporizers do prefer adding nicotine to their oils.

As this new trend becomes more prominent in our society, we, at Credit River Dental Centre, want everyone who currently vapes or is considering vaping to understand and educate themselves about the potential consequences behind it.

Here are five ways vaping can affect your oral health :

  1. Increased Risk of Tooth decay
    • Regardless of if there is nicotine or not, vaping tends to dry out the mouth. Salivary flow is crucial to maintaining good oral health because it protects us by breaking down food particles and allows the good bacteria to work in our mouths.
  2. Bad Breath
    • Since nicotine compromises your body’s ability to produce saliva – your mouth’s self-cleansing agent – you are more likely to have excess build up of bacteria in your mouth, which can lead to bad breath.
  3. Bruxism/Tooth Grinding
    • Nicotine stimulates your muscles, which can make you feel restless or agitated, triggering bruxism. Teeth grinding causes wear to the enamel, which can eventually lead to exposed dentin and increased temperature sensitivity.
  4. Periodontal Disease
    • Nicotine consumption can lead to gum disease because it causes the blood vessels to shrink. This compromises the blood flow and negatively impacts our immune cell function. Due to less blood flow and a weakened immune defense response, the risk of gum disease becomes much more significant.

  5. Gum Recession
    • Vaping and smoking can both cause damage to tissue cells in your mouth. Due to the lack of blood flow to the gums, your gums are unable of receiving the nutrients and oxygen that it needs. This can cause the gums to recede and also cause pockets to form in between your gums and your teeth.

Due to the multiple effects of vaping to your oral health, you may be wondering what you can do in order to reduce the risks and damage caused by regular vape use. In order to prevent these effects, you must aim to maintain exceptional oral hygiene practices. You should be brushing your teeth at least two to three times daily, flossing daily, brushing your tongue and using an antibacterial mouth rinse to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth. Increasing your water intake and frequent rinsing can also aid in avoiding dry mouth. Due to the effects of nicotine, switching to lower nicotine or no nicotine e-liquids will also be helpful in reducing the effects. We also recommend scheduling regular hygiene appointments in order for us to monitor your oral health status and prevent progression of gum disease.

As your Mississauga Dentist, your oral health is our top priority. Our goal is to ensure that we are able to provide you with the information needed in order to educate you on achieving your optimal oral health. If you have any further questions, you can contact our team at Credit River Dental Centre at 905-278-4297.

Celebrate Your Smile This April!

April is Oral Health Month and an important part of this celebration is National Dental Hygiene Week, which takes place from April 6th to 13th. Here at Credit River Dental Centre, we recognize our hygienists as an integral part of our team, as they ensure our patients and their smiles are greatly taken are of! National Dental Hygiene Week also reminds us to focus on the importance of our oral health and emphasizes the goal of dental hygienists in terms of achieving “oral health for total health” for everyone.

The primary role of dental hygienists is oral disease prevention, in order to improve and maintain patients’ overall physical and mental well-being. As one of your primary health care providers, dental hygienists are valuable partners in terms of prevention and play an important role in everyone’s life. Our oral health is deeply connected to our general health, and the conditions within our mouths can signal more serious issues within our bodies. Dental hygienists can work collaboratively with you in order to develop oral self-care routines, and offer treatment recommendations and disease preventing strategies in order to benefit you and your oral health. Whether it be through introducing toddlers to their first dental visit or providing care to adults with periodontal disease, dental hygienists want to ensure that you have a healthy smile for life. 

Oral Health Month and National Dental Hygienists Week gives everyone a perfect opportunity to create new oral health goals in order to improve one’s oral condition. The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association have formulated a chart with some oral health tips that can help to set you up for success and allow you to achieve your greatest smile! If you have any further questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us and ask your dental hygienist about what she/he can do to help you improve your overall oral health!

Benzocaine…Not for Teething Pain!

As your Mississauga dental office, informing our patients and the community about potential dental concerns is our utmost priority. As parents it’s always heartbreaking to hear your children crying especially when they are in discomfort and we feel helpless to relieve that pain. This can be true of pain in the mouth whether it’s coming from an emerging tooth or a canker sore. In the past few years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning parents against using products that contain benzocaine for treating teething discomfort. In fact, they are now taking action to get the products off store shelves because they are linked to a rare but potentially dangerous illness.

According to a May 23, 2018 press release, "OTC oral health products containing the pain reliever benzocaine for the temporary relief of sore gums due to teething in infants or children should no longer be marketed and [the FDA] is asking companies to stop selling these products for such use. If companies do not comply, the FDA will initiate a regulatory action to remove these products from the market."

Benzocaine is a topical anesthetic (pain reliever), and is the active ingredient found in a number products used to treat mouth pain including Anbesol, Cepacol, Hurricaine, Orajel and Topex. It's also available as a generic medication or a store brand, and may come in the form of a gel, spray, ointment or lozenge. Regardless of the name or the form, however, it's unsafe for babies and young children to use.

Benzocaine has been linked with a disease called methemoglobinemia - an uncommon but serious and potentially fatal condition. This illness occurs when the blood contains high levels of methemoglobin, a hemoglobin-like protein. Because methemoglobin carries less oxygen to body tissues than hemoglobin, an excess of this substance can cause shortness of breath, fatigue and dizziness - and in more severe cases, seizures, coma and death.

So what options do parents have to ease discomfort that may be caused by teething? According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, there are a number of simple things that may help.

  • Give young children a clean rubber or silicone teething ring that has been chilled in the refrigerator (not frozen), or a cold, wet washcloth to chew on. A chilled pacifier may also be helpful - but be sure anything you put in baby's mouth is free of potentially harmful substances like lead paint.
  • Try gently massaging the gums with a clean finger - this can counteract the pressure of an emerging tooth and help soothe the irritation.
  • If pain persists, ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, in a dosage that's appropriate for your child. However, do not give your child alcohol in any form!

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding the discomfort your child may be experiencing while teething don’t hesitate to call your Mississauga Dentist at Credit River Dental Centre!

The Mouth is the Source to Your Body

You get to your dental appointment a few minutes early and just when you’re about to sit down, you’re asked by your friendly dental patient coordinator to fill out what looks like a 10 page booklet of questions about your previous dental history and medical history. As you flip through the pages, you wonder to yourself-wow, why is your dental professional asking so many questions?

After a few minutes or so upon completing your so called medical/dental history booklet, you’re then brought into the room. Yes, the room where your comprehensive oral examination will take place. As you sit patiently looking up at the television screen, the dentist comes in to greet you and explains what will happen within the next hour of your examination and what we hope to achieve as we gather all of this information about you.

“So let’s start by taking your blood pressure,” he begins. At this moment, like most, you start to question why, as your blood pressure is suddenly recorded a little higher than what’s considered normal. Your arm’s quite a distance from your teeth. What does this have to do with my mouth? The flood gate of questions begins.

Your dental professional then asks you, “Do you know what your blood pressure normally is?” “When was the last time you had a physical?” or “Any family history of heart disease?” You start getting a little concerned and answer as best you can. So yes, why do we take blood pressure, need your medical history and ask the questions that we do? Knowing information such as this is important in understanding how your body will react to treatments that may be done. It helps your dental professional to understand if there are any underlying conditions that may also affect the outcome of treatment and also if there is a potential for any condition or medication to contra-indicate it.

Have you ever heard the term “Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure?” We take this very seriously in our practice. This is often where dentistry and medicine are different.

After we collect the necessary baseline information, your dentist will then design a customized treatment plan for you. This will entail the frequency of hygiene appointments which is based on your periodontal evaluation and current medical condition, restore any decayed teeth and discuss preventative measures to be taken for this, and also an evaluation of any potential risks for conditions such as sleep apnea, teeth grinding (bruxism), oral cancer, etc.

Dentistry is very focused on prevention. How many times does your medical doctor ask you when you last visited your dentist? Or better yet, how often do you visit your dental professional? Does the head, neck and mouth magically not connect to the rest of the body? Or are they just not informed about the importance of Oral Health to the overall health of the body?

Lately, more attention has been paid to the Oral-Systemic Link.

When inflammation exists in the mouth, experts have equated this to having a wound the size of your hand.

If you had a wound the size of your hand, would you not have it treated or be just a tad bit concerned? Inflammation is inflammation regardless of where it is in our bodies and it is important that both medical and dental professionals recognize this. What’s unfortunate about periodontal disease is that damage can progress without any pain and oftentimes when discomfort occurs, it is beyond repair.

Dentistry has changed over the years. Prevention is key in maintaining balance not only in our bodies but in our mouths as well. You could very well take care of your body; feed it healthy food, exercise, take supplements, and more but if your oral care is not up to par and there is a presence of even the slightest bleeding upon flossing or brushing, this is a clean indication that inflammation may be present. A cleaning isn’t just a cleaning when you see your dental hygienist regularly. It entails so much more but the most important part of your hygiene appointment is reducing the amount of bacterial contamination in the mouth which will reduce the inflammation.

To learn more speak to your dental team at Credit River Dental Centre or book your appointment today at (905) 278-4297 and take control of your oral health!

Tooth or False? 5 Fun Facts You May Not Know!

Being your top choice Mississauga dental team, we love to share important information and advice when it comes to great oral health. Dental health is a serious matter to ensure proper oral health, but who said it can’t be fun? Check out some of these fun facts that will make you smile!

  1. Tooth enamel is the second strongest compound in the world after diamonds! This makes it the strongest substance in your entire body. Tooth enamel consists of mainly calcium and phosphate mineral crystals, which makes it stronger than even your bones. It is made up of 96% minerals and makes it one of the only few parts of your body that can’t fix itself, therefore maintaining healthy oral care is crucial to keep your all natural diamond smile nice and strong!

  2. On average, a person produces about 2 to 4 pints of saliva a day. That equates to approximately 25,000 quarts in a lifetime! Saliva keeps your mouth hydrated, prevents bacteria from reproducing and causing cavities and bad breath. Saliva also contains a chemical called opiorphin that is six times more potent than morphine! According to a team of French researchers from Pasteur Institute in Paris, France , a study that included isolating opiorphin and injecting them into rats found that the chemical was so effective that the rats needed six times the amount of morphine to render the same effects! Unfortunately not everyone has an adequate amount of saliva and if you don’t it can be detrimental to your oral health. If you have any concerns about your saliva production speak with your dental professional at your next dental visit.

  3. The jaw consists of the most powerful muscle in the body based on weight called the masseter. In conjunction to all the jaw muscles working together, the jaw can actually close the teeth with a brute force up to 55 pounds on the incisors or up to 200 pounds on the molars! Talk about a powerhouse mouth! We also know that with great power, comes great responsibility! If you know or suspect you grind your teeth, bringing it up at your next visit would be a good idea as a night guard may be advised. Teeth grinders often have stronger jaw muscles, so you want to make sure you still protect those pearly whites! When grinding or bruxism is a concern, your dental profession can help prevent further trauma or possibly damage to your teeth. Make sure to mention this at your next dental visit.

  4. Patients who are expectant mothers have a high risk of delivering premature and low birth weight babies if there is a presence of Periodontal Disease. With the rise of hormones, morning sickness, and diet choices during pregnancy, your oral health is more susceptible to infection, disease and inflammation if proper oral hygiene care isn’t practiced. Be sure to let us know prior to treatment if you are pregnant so we can assure both you and baby are safe!

  5. Scheduling regular dental hygiene appointments can help prevent heart attacks! We all know that keeping your teeth and gums clean helps steer clear of cavities and gum disease, so it’s important to have your hygiene treatments done regularly to help avoid exacerbating conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. When was your last hygiene appointment? As your Mississauga Dental Team we strive to ensure that your optimal oral health is our primary goal.

Call us today at (905) 278-4297 and we’d be more than happy to book an appointment for you!

Carbonated Water…What you should know.

When we drink acidic drinks, like sodas, fruit juices, or (mildly) acidic bubbly waters, the minerals in our teeth dissolve in a process called demineralization. Saliva pH is between approximately 5.5-6.5, depending on the phosphate and calcium ions in your body. The more ions in your spit, the lower the critical pH, or in other words, the more acid your teeth can withstand before demineralizing. The pH of most bubbly waters might be below the critical pH for most mouths, but the claims that these waters are ‘extremely acidic’ are completely false. The pH of Gatorade is about 3, of orange juice is about 3-4 and of Coke is 2.4. If the pH to stay above is ~6 (tap water is ~7), then drinking your daily Perrier warm, or even better warm and flat would be best. That is not how most people enjoy their Perrier however so the best thing to do is to rinse your mouth afterwards with some tap water.

While sparkling water is far better for your teeth than sugary drinks, be sure to drink plenty of regular, fluoridated water as well. Water with fluoride naturally helps fight cavities and helps to wash away cavity-causing bacteria. It also helps to keep your mouth from becoming dry which can also increase the risk of cavities.

Not all sparkling waters are created equally, however. Citrus-flavored waters often have higher acid levels that can increase the risk of damage to your enamel. Plan to enjoy these in one sitting or with your meals. This way, you aren’t sipping it throughout the day and exposing your teeth over and over again to the slightly higher level of acid it contains.

Although sparkling water doesn't contain sugar, it is carbonated. It's the carbonation of sparkling water that has some people worried. A few studies have been performed in order to examine the acidity of various drinks, including sparkling water. One, published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, measured the pH of nearly 400 beverages. The drinks included a mix of sweetened sodas, sports drinks, juices, teas and sparkling waters. It was found that while a majority of sports drinks were rated as "extremely erosive,", certain sparkling waters ranked as "minimally erosive."

Ada McVean at McGill University conducted a similar study testing the pH of nine different brands of sparkling water. She tested the drinks at refrigerator temperature and room temperature, as well as in carbonated form and decarbonated form. In all of her tests, the waters had a pH above 4.0 meaning “minimally erosive”. The pH went up when the waters were at room temperature and when they were decarbonated, suggesting that sparkling water is more erosive in the form in which you're most likely to drink it (cold and bubbly).

So, is sparkling water bad for your teeth? 

The short story here is that sparkling water is much less erosive than many other beverages. To keep your teeth as healthy as possible, the American Dental Association recommends swapping sugary beverages for sparkling water, but not replacing regular, fluoridated water with sparkling water. Skip the Pepsi and quench the craving with some S. Pellegrino, your teeth will thank you, and your blood sugar will too.

New Year, New Oral Health Goals

The New Year is a great time for people to take charge and think about creating goals on how to improve their overall health. We all strive to see a better version of ourselves as each year begins - whether it be through making healthier diet choices, getting more exercise, or by practicing overall healthier habits. As we are a few weeks into the New Year, we may want to also consider creating oral health goals as a part of contributing to our overall health as well. As your Mississauga Dentist, we have formulated five goals to help you to achieve a healthier smile for this New Year!

  1. Develop the habit of flossing
    We understand that flossing can seem tedious and a bit time consuming, however it plays an essential role in keeping our gums healthy. Did you know that you miss 35% of tooth surfaces in your mouth when you don’t floss? Unfortunately, tooth brushing alone cannot get into those hard to reach surfaces, which is why brushing and flossing come hand in hand. Having bacteria and food debris left over can cause build up in between your teeth and can lead to further negative effects on your mouth such as getting cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease.
  2. Invest on your toothbrush
    It is very easy to lose track of how long we’ve had our toothbrush or toothbrush heads on for. Overtime, the bristles of our toothbrush wear down, causing them to be less effective and actually can cause more damage to our teeth and gums. It is important that we replace our toothbrush or toothbrush heads every three months.
    Another thing to also consider is investing on an electric toothbrush, which is the most effective tool for plaque removal. Electric toothbrushes have multiple benefits in comparison to manual toothbrushes. For more information on the benefits of electric toothbrushes, you can check out of one of our previous blog posts, “Give the Gift of Oral Health
  3. Visit you dentist regularly
    At Credit River Dental Centre, our main goal is to guide and help you in achieving your optimal oral health. More frequent dental appointments allow the dentist and hygienist to monitor the health of your mouth to help keep you on track. Regular dental hygiene visits are highly recommended in order to help you prevent gum disease and reduce the risk for tooth decay.
  4. Quit smoking
    This is a great goal that will not only impact your oral health, but will also help to improve your overall health. Smoking affects your dental health in many ways; it can put you at a greater risk for developing gum disease, tooth decay and oral cancer. Smoking can also cause our teeth to develop more tartar buildup, discoloration and staining. Fortunately, there are many aids that are out there in order to help you to break this habit such as the patch, medication, online resources and support groups.
  5. Eating healthier
    Eating well is on most people’s New Years Resolutions list, however may not be on there specifically just to improve their oral health. Fruits and vegetables are actually great for your teeth. Crisp and crunchy fruits in vegetables help to naturally remove the plaque off your teeth. Other fruits such as oranges and bananas contain supportive vitamins and antioxidants to help prevent gum disease. It is also important for us to try and avoid foods that are high in sugar or are acidic since they can cause damage to our teeth and can result in cavities. This does not mean eating sweets should be completely avoided, however we must always make sure we are eating them in moderation and making sure that we are rinsing our mouths with water after and brushing every night to ensure the sugars don’t stay on our teeth.
    Improving your oral health and overall health go hand in hand. We, at Credit River Dental Centre, wish that you all have an amazing New Year and hope that these goals can help give you some inspiration and motivation for the New Year.

Finding Your Motivation

As your Mississauga dental team, we strive to provide the right care and motivation so that you are always in a state of optimal oral health. Top notch oral health is a team effort. We stand alongside each other to support and motivate the right type of care in office and at home, but motivation starts with you!

Humans by nature are social beings. In a world filled with social media, smart phones, the internet, television and the radio, it is hard not to find a way to communicate even with a stranger 1000 miles away. Everything is a tap of a screen away, and it’s only continuing to evolve in our technological world.

But with such an upkeep of sociality, how we do identify our own contentment? When Abraham Maslow created the Theory of Human Motivation in 1943, he stated there were five levels of motivation or needs that humans attempt to satisfy. These needs in order are Survival, Safety, Social, Esteem, and Fulfilment.

So how we do satisfy these needs? Survival is our most basic and most important need. This is a need all species strive for. We are in a constant state of survival whether it’s day to day living, or surviving an accident, or even raising three small children on your own on minimum wage. From the moment of conception, we are constantly in this state.

Safety is something we are taught at a very young age and progressively try to master and apply to everything we do. We were told to always look both ways before crossing, or having your seatbelt on when you’re driving.

The three next levels in the Theory of Human Motivation are interesting in that they seem to intertwine the most. Social, Esteem, and Fulfilment- how can being social affect your esteem and in turn, how does it affect your fulfilment? Does this mean in order to have great esteem and feel fulfilled; you have to be a social bird?

In order to understand this, we need to understand that not everyone is the same. One person’s social standpoint can be the complete opposite of someone else. Environment can also greatly influence this. Whether it’s because you grew up in a small town or even recess in the playground of a schoolyard can affect your social needs.

Being social has different definitions amongst different people. Just because one does not open to everyone doesn’t mean they are any less than anyone else. Today’s society has almost dictated that everyone has to share every living moment and that each of those moments have to be extraordinary in order to achieve a mass liking. Social media outlets have become stomping grounds for what is perceived as beauty, therefore increasing the strain on both men and women of what you should and should not look like. This has also broadened the spectrum of online bullying. News outlets reporting children as young as nine years old committing suicide because of bullying is the extent of how social skills can greatly affect not only yourself but others. As great as we’ve come along technologically, it comes with backlash that we as a society still need to work on.

What we can assume is that everyone wants good self esteem. Whether it’s being rewarded for an outstanding job or even accomplishing a goal you had for yourself. Positive feedback, self realization, love, success, these all affect your esteem. That feeling of content and confidence is a need most people strive for. Who wants to feel down about themselves and dwell in negativity?

We then get to the fifth motivation as per Maslow, fulfilment. As humans, we strive to achieve fulfilment in almost all aspects of our lives. Some may find fulfilment in buying a car, a house, or having a child. Some may perceive fulfilment as having a substantial retirement fund. It is achieving what we set out to obtain and it can be something physical or emotional.

So how can we use Abraham Maslow’s Theory of Human Motivation? In short, there is no one way to do so. Yes, we are all just trying to survive and do so safely. But, embrace your social needs in the way only you can achieve and by no one else’s standards but your own. Feed your esteem with positivity that shines from what you do and bring to this world. Fulfill your dreams and aspirations based on no one’s expectations but yours. Embrace your individuality in a world dominated by social dictations. Find motivation in yourself!

These motivational drives can not only help your wellbeing, but that includes dental health. Dental health can be applied to all five motivations. We need healthy gums and teeth to eat, hence survival. Making sure oral health is optimal provides safety as it is a part of your overall health. We socialize with our mouths; it is the main focal point of conversation. A healthy, beautiful smile also ties into self esteem. Imagine how amazing you feel smiling knowing you look amazing inside and out! And lastly, fulfillment; knowing you are taking the responsibility of great oral health means you are taking care of yourself and leading a healthy lifestyle. Now that’s fulfilling!

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