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how to brush your teeth

How to Brush Your Teeth Better, Starting Today

Even if you have a great visit to the dentist, you may hear that you’re not brushing ‘properly’, that you should switch to a softer brush, consider going electric. In short, when it comes to teeth brushing, you may be doing it wrong.

According to the Canadian Dental Association, which covers the basics of proper brushing on their website, we should be brushing our teeth for two to three minutes, at least twice a day; yet, a recent Statistics Canada survey found that fewer than three in four Canadians brush that often. Plus, the sheer amount of choice available these days when it comes to toothbrushes can be challenging to navigate — for starters: manual or electric, bamboo or plastic handles, microfine or firm bristles, and nylon or silicone heads (and that’s before adding in optional accessories such as dental floss, water flossers, and tongue scrapers).

To help us improve our daily teeth-brushing routine, avoid common dental pitfalls, and navigate the crowded oral-care tools landscape, we reached out to dentist Dr. Andrea Gelinas of Gelinas Dental Studio and Toronto-area periodontist Dr. Dara Lee for their top tips and must-haves. Here are their teeth-brushing dos and don’ts, tips for using the newest tools properly, and expert product recommendations.

There’s no single perfect toothbrush for everyone

“I think it’s about finding the right thing for you. Because not everyone is going to like every product,” says Dr. Gelinas. For example, you may prefer a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush over a plastic one because of environmental concerns, or look for an ultra-fine brush if you have gingivitis or gum recession — but those same models might not be relevant for someone else.

For Dr. Lee, both electric and manual toothbrushes are good options “provided they are used properly,” and replaced on a regular basis when the bristles are worn out. Electric toothbrushes can reach hard-to-access areas and can be simpler to use, says Dr. Lee, whereas with manual toothbrushes you’ll have better control over pressure but need to focus more on technique. “[An electric brush] is already oscillating to clean away the plaque in the area…you just have to hold it there and let it do a lot of the work for you, and then move on to the next tooth,” says Dr. Lee.

Adjust your brushing style to your tool or device

Both Dr. Gelinas and Dr. Lee emphasize that proper brushing techniques for electronic toothbrushes differ than those for manual ones. “Where people use [electric toothbrushes] incorrectly is when they move it around too much like they used to with their manual toothbrush, and then you can risk putting excess pressure and causing gum recession,” says Dr. Lee.

“The electric brushes with those small oscillating heads, they oscillate at anywhere between 45,000 and 65,000 times a minute, so you actually don’t need to move them,” says Dr. Gelinas. “At that speed…you should be moving [the head] from tooth to tooth, but you don’t necessarily need to do any movement while you’re on the tooth.”

When using a manual toothbrush, Dr Gelinas recommends holding your brush at a 45-degree angle instead of perpendicular to your tooth, “Hold that at 45 degrees down toward the gum. This way, some of the bristles are going a little bit underneath the gum line, and you can either go back and forth or in a bit of a circular motion.”

Brush your gums

According to Dr. Lee, a common mistake that people make is forgetting to focus on their gums, too, when they are brushing their teeth, “This can leave plaque along the gum line which can then buildup and cause gum disease.”

Be gentle

“As a periodontist, I see a lot of patients or referrals for patients with gum recession which is often caused by brushing too hard — either with a hard toothbrush or improper brushing technique where they’re scrubbing their teeth horizontally,” says Dr. Lee. “This can cause the gums to recede and the roots to become exposed.”

Dr. Gelinas suggests avoiding medium and firm bristles on toothbrushes, which can be abrasive, and also cautions against brushing too hard — both can contribute to gum recession. But you don’t have to get an extra soft or Microfine brush unless you have a specific need for them. “Those extra, extra soft bristle brushes are perfect for patients [with generalized gum recession]. If you’re someone that doesn’t have any recession and things are generally healthy, and you were to use a brush like that, you’re probably not going to feel like things are as clean and fresh as we want them to be,” says Dr. Gelinas.

Shop around for the electric toothbrush features that are important for you

There are countless electric toothbrush manufacturers and models on the market, and they all offer slightly different features and benefits. According to Dr. Lee, Oral B and Sonicare are the most common brands in this category. “Both are good; I would suggest looking for one that includes a pressure sensor so that it will let you know if you are pushing too hard,” says Dr. Lee, adding that some brands also offer different brush heads for various requirements — for example, a specially-designed head for individuals with braces or one with softer bristles for sensitive gums.

Dr. Gelinas prefers the Quip electric toothbrush (for its subscription concept, sleek look and “more gentle movement”) and recommends keeping things simple when it comes to other electric options. “If you’ve got the toothbrush that’s got a million different gadgets and attachments and this and that…it’s just not necessary. At some point you have to draw the line,” says Dr. Gelinas. She does like that many electric toothbrushes have built-in timers, which can help ensure that you’re brushing long enough.

With regards to the new crop of electric toothbrushes with silicone bristles, such as the ones from Foreo, Dr. Gelinas notes that current research shows that plaque removal is the same between nylon bristles (the standard material) and silicone, making the latter a good option to consider. “The fact that they’re really soft [and less abrasive] is a huge bonus,” says Dr. Gelinas.

Consider a water flosser, maybe a tongue scraper too

Also a good adjunct to include would be water flossers like the one from Waterpik. Flossing should always be done in addition to brushing. But a water flosser is especially helpful for those who have difficulty flossing harder to reach areas, so that you’re still cleaning between the teeth where the toothbrush doesn’t reach.

“You already should be making sure, at minimum, that you’re brushing and flossing and using a tongue scraper — it’s so easy and takes seconds,” says Dr. Gelinas. “Everyone forgets about this massive piece of surface area that’s in your mouth that just harbours a ton of bacteria.” A tongue scraper can also help improve bad breath, according to Dr. Gelinas.


Article originally appeared at:

Author: Truc Nguyen

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Social Distancing

Masks, Social Distancing and Hand Hygiene

August is coming to an end and at Soho Dental, we have had another exciting month doing what we love to do!

Once again, a sincere thank you for everyone’s compliance to our safety protocols when coming in for your dental visit. Masks, social distancing and hand hygiene are the cornerstones to keeping everyone safe.

Aside from the visible safety measures that we have established, I wanted to bring awareness to some additional ones that are less obvious.

Every treatment room has a medical grade HEPA filtration unit to circulate the air and filter out contaminants multiple times per hour. These are running all the time during clinic hours.

All treatment rooms, common areas and furniture get fogged daily with a Health Canada approved disinfectant that sanitizes difficult to access surfaces.

These are just additional measures that may have benefit. Ultimately, the most important safety measures that we can all carry out during our daily activities in all environments are to wear a mask in indoor spaces, to maintain social distance and to sanitize our hands. Thank you so much for doing your part when you come to see us!

We are now booking appointments for cleanings and all other dental care for the upcoming months. Please feel free to email us to book your appointment. Most importantly, if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to address your concerns and to keep us all safe!


Dr Haji and the team at Soho Dental

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Video – External Resorption

Dr. Feisel Haji works with a patient suffering from External Resorption at Soho Dental in Toronto, Canada.

External resorption is often caused by injuries to the mouth and teeth that cause swelling and loss of bone and tissue on and around a tooth. Such injuries may occur from prolonged use of orthodontic appliances such as braces, or from tooth grinding or tooth bleaching.

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This is when Dentists will Re-open in Ontario and what to expect

When will dentists reopen in Ontario is a question many are wondering as the lockdown continues in the province.

Dental offices are already opening up in Canada’s western provinces, but in Ontario, they’ll remain closed for the foreseeable future, so better keep flossing.

The Provincial government has yet to make an announcement on when dentists will be allowed to offer their regular services once more.

Amidst PPE shortage concerns, dental offices have already reopened in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, with British Columbia to follow suit mid-May.

Meanwhile dentists in Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia await news from health officials as to when they can start offering non-emergency services, which include the following:

  • cosmetic dental procedures, including teeth whitening
  • routine dental cleanings and preventive therapies
  • recall examinations and routine radiographs
  • orthodontic procedures other than those to address acute issues (e.g. pain, infection, trauma)
  • extraction of asymptomatic teeth
  • restorative dentistry, including treatment of asymptomatic carious lesions
  • But that doesn’t mean you can’t currently get any of these non-essential treatments already — you’d just be putting yourself and others at risk.

According to the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO), there are many dentists still offering non-emergency treatments, despite warnings from health officials and the RCDSO.

“The College sought legal advice and confirmed that we do not have the legal authority to close dental offices… we are limited to “strongly recommending” that all dental offices close.”

With the novel virus predominantly being spread through respiratory droplets, those in the dentistry practice and anyone seeking their care are particularly at risk of infection.

Currently, dentists in Ontario should only be offering emergency services, which are for the following:

  • Trauma, such as an injury to the mouth and face
  • Severe infection, such as an abscess or swelling, especially if compromising the patient’s airway
  • Bleeding that continues for a long time
  • Dental pain that can’t be managed by over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol or Advil
  • The RCDSO has compiled a list of dental practices offering emergency services across Ontario.

Like all other retailers, services, and businesses when they reopen in Ontario, dentists and healthcare workers will continue to uphold the same precautionary measures like wearing PPE like gloves, protective eyewear and clothing, masks, and wash their hands accordingly.

In the meantime, make sure to call your dentist so they can arrange a passive screening, and don’t try to schedule a teeth whitening session just yet.

Article originally appeared at:

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Zeiss Extaro 600

Dr. Haji Explains His First Impressions of the Zeiss Extaro 300

Dr. Feisel Haji of Soho Dental in Downtown Toronto, Ontario – explains not only his first impressions of working with the incredible Zeiss Extaro 300 Digital Dental Operating Microscope, but also explains some of its most amazing features and benefits for both Dentist and patient.

Watch the whole video here:

Article originally appeared at:

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Zeiss Extaro 300

Restoring a Cavity Using the Zeiss Extaro 300 Dental Microscope

Restoring a Cavity in Between the Teeth Using Augmented Vision and the Zeiss Extaro 300 Electronic Digital Microscope at Soho Dental in Toronto. A true wonder of technology!

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Replacing a Crown with the Zeiss Extaro 300 Dental Microscope

The wonders that this Zeiss Extaro 300 Electronic Microscope can accomplish never cease to amaze us at Soho Dental in Toronto, incredible resolution and accuracy make our work not only fun, but also more accurate, and even easier! Stop by Soho Dental Toronto and check out this amazing piece of technology!

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zeiss Extaro 300

Replacing a Defective Crown with the Zeiss Extaro 300 Electronic Microscope at Soho Dental Toronto

The wonders this Electronic Microscope can accomplish never cease to amaze us at Soho Dental, incredible resolution and accuracy make our work not only fun but more accurate and even easier! Stop by Soho and check out this amazing piece of technology!

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Veneers and Composite Bonding

Sometimes very conservative treatment can reap significant changes. In the before picture our patient had two composite veneers (bonding) placed on the lateral incisors during youth. The bonding had changed colour and our patient was ready to improve her overall smile.

I replaced the composite veneers with porcelain to ensure a better colour match between the veneered teeth and its neighbours. I also lengthened the teeth slightly with the veneers to make them more in proportion to the two central incisors.

The bonding on the left central incisors was beginning to show its age. This was simply replaced with new bonding but in doing so I evened out the edges of the two central incisors.

The treatment was simple but the resulting change is quite noticeable. We made a pretty smile just a little bit prettier!

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restoring smiles award

Dr. Haji Wins “Restoring Smiles” Award

Thank you to Restoring Smiles and Dr. Tina Meisami ⁣

I was quite taken by surprise to receive an award for my work with Restoring Smiles. It has been an honour and privilege to be a part of an amazing team of dentists and volunteers who want to give back. ⁣

Restoring Smiles provides free dental services to women who have survived domestic violence. Patients self-identify as survivors of domestic abuse, and all are currently living in shelters or supportive housing.⁣

Restoring Smiles’ goal is to eliminate pain, restore function and proper speech, and to some degree, alleviate the emotional trauma that arises as a result of domestic violence. The group provides dental treatment as a concrete and real way to help end our patients’ experience with domestic violence and to support her recovery process.⁣

Please visit their website for more information about the organization and ways to help.

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