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How To Get Into The Habit Of Flossing

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Most people understand the benefits of flossing and know they SHOULD be doing it more often. So what stands in people’s way? I think one of the biggest reasons people don’t floss is because it just never became part of their daily routine the way tooth-brushing did. They’ve never gotten into the habit. So how can we change this? How do we turn something into a habit?

I’m not a behavioural expert; so of course, I had to Google it. What I discovered is the 3 R’s of Habit Change  – a simple 3-step framework for changing or creating new habits. Hey, it can’t hurt to try (plus, I’m a sucker for a good acronym).

The 3 R’s are as follows:

  • Reminder (a trigger)
  • Routine (a behaviour)
  • Reward (a benefit)

So how can we apply this method to flossing?

Reminder: Try sticking a post-it note to your bathroom mirror as a reminder. Or, try placing floss right next to your toothbrush so you can see it every time you brush. You can also make things easier by having floss stashed in multiple places, like your desk, your purse, your car, your gym bag, etc. Seeing it in all these places will not only serve as a visual cue, but the convenience of having it right there will make it more likely that you’ll use it.

Routine: Once you’re reminded to floss, DO IT! Once you start flossing on a regular basis, it will naturally evolve into a habit. And who knows, you might even start to LIKE flossing and how it makes your teeth and gums feel.

Reward: This is the tricky part. While there’s no doubt flossing has rewards, they’re not always immediate or obvious. Over time, you might notice changes: your gums will bleed less; they’ll be pink and healthy, and your breath will be fresher. You might even get fewer cavities between your teeth! However, those things take time. The article recommended simply telling yourself “good job” or saying “success” once you’ve achieved your goal. They even had the example “floss one tooth, “Victory!’”. It’s pretty silly, but I think the important thing is that we give ourselves credit. Self-acknowledgment is still acknowledgement, and different things motivate different people. Try using whatever rewards you can think of for yourself.

Start small and work your way up. Even if you go from flossing once a year to once a week, it’s a “Success!”. Hope this helps 🙂

Dr. Jaimee Buchkowsky

How To Rock Your Resolutions:  Seven Secrets to Success

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At ThirtyTwo Dental we not only care about the oral health of our patients, we care about their overall health. This month we have feature blogger Anna Morris chatting about how to set fitness goals after this year’s holiday cheer.

Anna Morris holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and has 10 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Anna is a Pre and Post Natal Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist (in training), and an Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA) bikini competitor. Anna is also a personal trainer and group instructor at Body By Bennett in Edmonton, AB.

Today I want to talk about something scarier than a root canal – New Year’s resolutions!  If you are like the majority of the population, you probably have a healthy dread of this term. We all tend to overindulge during the holidays, so when January rolls around we abruptly awaken from our wine and gravy-induced coma with a pesky, nagging feeling.

So now it’s time for a total health overhaul, but where should we start?

Well, what if I told you that New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be overwhelming? After working with hundreds of clients to achieve their health and fitness goals, I’ve come up with some tried-and-true tips for goal setting success. Today, I am sharing them with you:


1.    Ditch The Guilt

First and foremost, don’t start towards your positive goal from a negative place. It’s counterproductive to waste time on destructive self-talk. Instead, begin by asking yourself why you are feeling guilty:

Did you eat too much over the holidays? Okay.

Haven’t seen the inside of a gym since high school? Fine.

Ten pounds heavier than you want to be? No worries.

It doesn’t matter where you are starting from, it only matters that you are starting. There are many people that never even get that far, so be proud! If you can accept and appreciate where you are now, you can enjoy the rest of your journey towards where you’d like to be.


2.    Never Mind The Naysayers

Be prepared for people who question your decision to change.  This might be your partner, close friends, or even your family.  Often, people don’t understand this change, which may leave them feeling jealous or left out. Begin by trying to explain why this journey is important to you and how much you’d love their support. Always remember that your health is yours alone and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Just keep doing your thing. And hey, eventually these people will probably be congratulating you.


3.    Make It Realistically Challenging

Your chance of success is much greater if you set smaller, more achievable short-term goals. After you reach the more immediate objectives, work your way up to a long-term one. For instance, if you have a 20-pound weight loss target, don’t expect to achieve that in two weeks. You can, however, set a healthy weight loss goal of one to two pounds per week (until you reach 20 pounds!). The great part about gradual progression is that it is not only easier on your body and mind, but it is more likely to leave you with lasting results.


4.    Shout It From The Rooftops

Want to ensure better success? Communicate to yourself and others about what you plan to do. For accountability, write your goals down. For even more, tell someone. Better yet, tell everyone! This is exciting, so get excited!


5.    Scary Is Good

Let’s face it, making a lifestyle change can be terrifying. But anything worthwhile is scary, right? Graduating from school. Embarking on a new career. Getting married. Moving to a new city. Becoming a parent.

So when you’re scared, ask yourself, what is the worst-case scenario if a) you fail to meet your goal or b) you succeed? It might surprise you that many of us are just as scared of success as we are of failure. And ironically, sometimes understanding our fears a little better can help to ease them. Take some time to address these head on, then pull-up your socks, get brave, and get to work.


6.    Failure Is Not An Option. It’s A Necessity.

Yes, you read that correctly. If you’re working towards a big goal, you will fail along the way. This is a normal part of the process. Don’t freak out. Make failure part of your plan for success, and that way it cannot stop you.

For instance, if you are following a healthy meal plan, try including preemptive cheats. These are pre-planned “not-so-healthy” meals or snacks that you have already scheduled, planned, and accounted for. This way you can enjoy them and continue on your path without getting derailed.


7.    Ask For Help

You don’t have to do everything by yourself. Sometimes you need help, even if it’s just a ride to the gym, daycare for your kid, recipe ideas, or a workout buddy. Don’t assume that no one wants to help you – ask them! You’ll be surprised how generous people can be if you simply allow it.

Reaching your goals is not rocket science, and it’s not magic. The secret to success is consistent hard work over time, a bit of good planning and bravery, and a little help from your friends.

Cheers to a happy and healthy 2016!

Anna Morris

The Benefits Of Botox In Edmonton

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Did you know that dentists in Edmonton, Alberta are now eligible for a certification in administering Botox? This might strike you as being strange, however, when you understand the full scope of what Botox has to offer, Botox in dental offices actually makes a LOT of sense.

First of all, there’s more to Botox than most people know. When people think Botox, they think of it as a way to fill fine lines and wrinkles – a way of looking younger. While this is true, and while the cosmetic application of Botox is what it’s best known for, it has medical applications that can actually improve people’s health and well-being too.

Secondly, when it comes to giving injections, particularly in the head and neck region, who better to do it than dentists? Dentists should be the most practiced doctors out there, plus, they have an intimate knowledge of important head and neck anatomy, so they know precisely how to target specific muscles.

More and more people in the dental industry, including general dentists, oral surgeons, and orthodontists, are administering Botox to their patients to help relieve muscle tension in the head and neck region. Botox is a neuromodulator, and acts by blocking signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscles are unable to contract, and therefore relax and soften. This has been an effective treatment for people who severely clench/grind their teeth or have TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction). It can even be used to treat people who suffer from migraines.

So whether you’re suffering from a sore jaw or crow’s feet around your eyes, Botox can help with both. We are slowly introducing this service into our downtown Edmonton practice, so if you have any questions or interest in Botox, we’d be more than happy to chat with you!

Dr. Jaimee Buchkowsky

Why I’m A Smile Enthusiast

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Romand McDonald House

I’ve always been a big fan of smiles. Every day I help make smiles healthier, straighter, and whiter, but one of my most favourite things about smiles is happiness that makes them exist in the first place.

Something that patients may not know about me is that I served on the Edmonton Ronald McDonald House Board and was President from 2002-2004. The Ronald McDonald House helps sick children and their families by providing affordable housing that helps to reduce the stress of what they are going through. The mentorship that these families then provide to each other in a comfortable, warm, and caring atmosphere helps them all relax together and enjoy quality time with their sick kids. I witnessed smiles during my time here that were truly incredible, and helping families find happiness during the most difficult time of their lives is something I never want to stop doing.

There are many things that I’ve learned throughout the years that have taught me what true success looks like. When I look back on my life and who I have grown to become, I see service and contribution as two of my most important teachers.

To elaborate, I’d like to share a story from my experience on the board:

The Edmonton Ronald McDonald House needed to expand. As President, I was given a budget to negotiate the purchase of a residence next door. I met the owner and invited him for a visit. At the end of the tour, I told him that we needed to expand. Rather than asking how much he wanted, however, I asked whether he would consider donating the residence… and the answer was YES!

This generosity is a catalyst that inspires everyone to do more. Volunteering is an experience that money can’t buy, and this spirit is so important at all levels of a community.

On Sunday, the ThirtyTwo Dental team will be visiting the Edmonton Ronald McDonald House to prepare a meal for the families staying there and hopefully spread some smiles along the way. This organization will always have a special place in my heart, and I am looking forward to sharing just how special it is with the rest of the team.

For more information or to get involved too, visit

– Dr. Bill Sharun

How Dental Implants Work

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Dental Implants Edmonton

One of the worst things I have to tell a patient is, “we’re going to have to pull that tooth”. It’s heartbreaking to have to tell someone that they’re going to lose a tooth, no matter what the reason is. And, it can be very traumatizing for the patient. I’m happy, however, to say that with the advancements of dental implants, losing a tooth is not what it once was.

First, let me give a brief explanation of how dental implants work. A dental implant, for lack of a better image, looks like a screw. It is inserted into the area of bone where the root of the tooth used to be. That bone heals and integrates itself around the implant, making it very stable. Once everything is fully integrated, that implant is ready to be crowned. An impression is taken, and a custom crown is made to fit over that implant. If planned and executed properly, the results of an implant can very closely mimic the form and function of a natural tooth. (Here is a little video to further illustrate the process:

I know that this might sound like a scary procedure for some, but let me assure you that I’ve never heard a patient describe it as being a painful experience. In fact, most patients are amazed at how simple the procedure is. Financially they are an investment, but dental implants have an extremely high success rate (>90%). As long as they are taken care of properly, it is unlikely to have problems down the road. Speaking of which, taking care of an implant is basically the same as taking care of your teeth. All they require is regular brushing and flossing, and scaling from your dental hygienist.

Also, what people may not know is that you can do more than just replace a single tooth with an implant. You can replace long spans of missing teeth with implant-supported bridges. You can even use implants to anchor and support dentures! This means no more loose dentures that fall out when you talk or sneeze and no more annoying denture adhesives. Dental implants have been a complete game changer in how dentistry is done nowadays.

So while saying goodbye to a tooth is never an easy thing, hopefully patients can take comfort in knowing that there is a fantastic alternative out there to give them back their smiles. Give us a call at 780-428-2331 or book an appointment online now to discuss your dental implant needs.

Dr. Jaimee Buchkowsky

Oral Piercings: Fashion Statement or Harmful Trend?

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Tongue-PiercingsOral piercings have been around for years. It’s a trend that is still very popular, particularly among young adults. One study reported that close to one fifth of young adults has had at least one type of piercing in or around their mouth. People get oral piercings for a variety of reasons, but shockingly, most of them are unaware of the dangers associated with mouth piercings.

The tongue, lips and cheek are the most common sites for oral piercings. Several studies have been conducted to examine the harmful side of oral piercings. One study showed that 87.83% of piercings had some form of early complication. The most prevalent complications were swelling and bleeding at the piercing sites, followed by dental defects, such as fractured/chipped teeth and receding gums. The prevalence of dental defects is greater for tongue piercings than for lip piercings, and the incidence of gingival recession appears similar for both tongue and lip piercings. Other studies have shown that oral piercings can lead to an increased concentration of periodontal pathogenic bacteria at the pierced site, leading to increased periodontal disease. They have also been linked to an increased incidence of Candida Albicans (a fungus, yikes!) colonization.

Severe, even life-threatening, complications can also arise from oral piercings such as:

  • Hemorrhage
  • Nerve damage
  • Infection and swelling that can lead to airway obstruction
  • Infectious diseases (e.g. HIV, hepatitis, tetanus)
  • Ludwig’s angina
  • Cerebral abscess
  • Endocarditis

While getting oral piercings can be fashionable and a way of showing individuality, people must use caution when getting them. Ensure the place you go to get the piercing is a reputable shop. Proper sterilization and infection control are paramount when choosing a piercer. Also, pay attention to the site you choose to get pierced; some areas are more prone to recession or chipping/cracking teeth. And if you do decide to get one, try not to play with the piercing – many people who have oral piercings report that playing with the piercing caused dental defects. Bottom line is DO YOUR HOMEWORK and ensure you are informed of the potential local and systemic risks of the piercing.

The Problem I Have With Whitening Toothpaste…

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Whitening Toothpaste

More and more, people are chasing after that bright white Hollywood smile. It’s no wonder. Pick your favourite celebrity, or any celebrity these days, and chances are they have a sparkling white smile. We are constantly being bombarded with ads featuring 3D or Optic or Iceberg or Fill-in-the-adjective White! And I get it – we all want to feel confident about our smiles. We want them to look their best. Consequently, more people are searching for a cheap and easy option for achieving this. The most obvious choice people are turning to is whitening toothpaste, and there are heaps of them on the market these days to choose from.

Whitening toothpastes are designed to remove surface stains from your teeth on a daily basis. How? They use abrasive particles to scrub and clean the surface of your enamel, getting rid of the stain while brushing. Sounds innocent enough, right? Wrong. (Bet you didn’t see that one coming) If only it were that simple.

First, I should mention that the efficacy of whitening toothpastes has been met with mixed reviews. While I believe products should do what they claim to do, that is not the main problem I have with these products. I don’t actually even want to discuss if they do in fact whiten your teeth.

My biggest issue is that they may be causing more harm to teeth and gums than people realize. Because they are more abrasive than regular toothpastes, over time, they can actually wear down and cause damage to the enamel, which is the hard, protective outer layer of your tooth. This can dramatically increase tooth sensitivity and even the potential of getting cavities. And thin enamel, ironically, can even make the teeth look darker or yellower. The abrasiveness of whitening toothpaste can also increase gum recession. What people may not realize is that once the damage to the enamel is done, there is nothing you can do to easily fix it.

Not all toothpastes are created equal; some are less abrasive than others. If you are concerned about the colour of your teeth, you would be better off to use a lower abrasion toothpaste along with special whitening products. That way, you can get the white teeth you want without potentially irreversibly damaging your teeth in the process.

If you have a question regarding your current toothpaste, ask you dental professional to shed some light on which products are best suited for you.

Dr. Jaimee Buchkowsky

New and Improved Website

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To stay current and to make things easier for our patients, we have made some changes to our website! If you’ve visited our website before, the first thing you’ll notice is that the overall look has changed. Visually, the layout is very simple and clean, making it easier to navigate and read. Previously, you may have had issues viewing our page from your mobile devices. Now, we have a sleek new responsive website that will be easy to view on any of your devices, including your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Yay!

We’ve also made some changes to our online booking. To better serve you, we now ask you for your preferred time for appointment, what the nature of your appointment is (check-up, cleaning, filling, etc.), and the best time to reach you. This way, we can better find times in our schedule that work for you. You can still call us to book an appointment if you’d prefer, and we strongly encourage calling if it’s an emergency, as in that case we’ll try to see you ASAP.

As before, on our website you’ll find our comprehensive list of services we provide with explanations for each. There’s our bio page where you can “meet” and learn about each member of the ThirtyTwo team. You’ll also find our community involvement page, which touches on Homeless Connect and the KIA trips our team has taken part in, and our Q&A page. You can see pictures of our office and even take a virtual tour. And you can, of course, find all of our contact information there as well.

Not only can you access our blog from the website, but there are also links to our Facebook and Google pages, where you can follow us, read, or even write your own reviews (hint hint, wink wink).

Happy surfing!

Dr. Jaimee Buchkowsky

Introducing OraVerse®

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When new dental products come onto the market, dentists are usually the only ones who get really excited about them. However, this new product might get our patients more excited than us!

Show of hands: Who enjoys the feeling of being frozen? Let’s be honest, being frozen is the worst. You can’t eat. You can’t speak without slurring. You drool. It’s embarrassing, and there’s always the potential of biting your lip or tongue, causing injury. Or what about the important work presentation you have at 1:00 p.m., and you’re just hoping your freezing has come out by then. Most people can’t wait for their dental freezing to come out. So what if I told you we could shorten the time by half! OraVerse® claims to do just that.

OraVerse® is an anaesthesia reversal drug that has actually been used in the U.S. for a number of years, and is now slowly making its way up to Canada. It is administered the same way anaesthetic is. Once your dental procedure is complete, your dentist injects the reversal agent into the same area where the anaesthetic was placed (the good news is that you shouldn’t feel this injection, since you should still be frozen in that area). Clinical trials have shown that patients who received OraVerse® regained normal sensation and function twice as fast (or even faster) as those without it. There are very few possible side effects – the most common negative side effect was having a bit more soreness around the injection site due to the additional injection. Patients should know that no dental plan will cover this procedure, so there is a small fee that patients would have to pay for themselves, but there’s no question that some things are just worth it!

So my question is “Does this sound like something you’d be interested in?”

Dr. Jaimee Buchkowsky

What on Earth is Gum Disease?

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Gum Disease

A lot people wonder, “Why do I need to get my teeth cleaned? Is it really that important?” The short answer is YES! Getting your teeth cleaned on a regular basis is important, not only for your oral health, but your overall health as well.

So what exactly is gum disease?

It is an infection of your gums and supporting tissues that evolves over time. Gum disease includes two stages: a reversible stage and an irreversible stage.

The initial phase of gum disease is called gingivitis and is reversible. Gingivitis is identified by bleeding gums and tender, red, swollen gums. Gingivitis generally develops when plaque and tartar sit on the teeth and infect the gums. A professional cleaning and daily brushing and flossing can reverse the effects of gingivitis, leaving you with a healthy mouth. Brushing and flossing can remove soft plaque, but scaling is needed to remove hard tartar from the teeth.

The second stage of gum disease is called periodontal disease, which is irreversible. Periodontal disease is classified as Early, Moderate or Advanced. The signs of periodontal disease are bone loss, moving teeth, exposed roots, and possible tooth loss. The second stage of gum disease develops when the first stage – the reversible stage – is left untreated. The infection, that started in the gums, spreads into the supporting tissue and bone around the teeth, leading to loss of bony support. Once the process of bone loss starts, you cannot grow the bone back. Moreover, the progression of bone loss can continue if left untreated.

This is where the importance of dental cleanings comes in. With the help of frequent, regular dental hygiene visits, and excellent home care, you can stop the infection and prevent further bone loss. “But I don’t have bone loss,” you may say. “Why do I need to get another cleaning?” Regular dental hygiene care is a preventative therapy to ensure patients do not develop periodontal disease. The best and most effective treatment of gum disease is PREVENTION. If we can prevent a patient from losing bony support, we can ensure they will not develop periodontal disease. The reason why the second stage of gum disease is considered irreversible is because once you develop periodontal disease, you have it for life. The damage from the infection to your bone cannot be reversed. The only thing we can do is prevent further damage with regular hygiene visits, which includes scaling and root planing. This is why prevention is key to treating gum disease. So be sure to come in every 6-12 months and see your hygienist! I’m sure you’ll have a new appreciation for why she asks about brushing and flossing every time!

Dental Hygienist Alia