Is Oil Pulling Good for You? Your Airdrie Dentist Explains

oil pulling

You may have heard about the latest trend in DIY dental hygiene, something called oil pulling. It may be new to you, but it’s actually a very old folk remedy that involves swishing edible oil in your mouth. Adherents claim that oil pulling whitens teeth, promotes good dental hygiene, and even improves one’s overall health.

Is oil pulling good for you? Your Airdrie dentist has the real story.

What is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is a simple process that involves swishing your mouth with a tablespoon of organic oil for five to twenty minutes a day. Followers of this technique suggest using coconut, sesame, sunflower, or other edible oils. You should perform this routine every morning before breakfast, on an empty stomach. At the end of the process, the oil thins and becomes a milky white. You can then spit it out of your mouth and rinse with warm saline water. Normal brushing is then encouraged.

Benefits of Oil Pulling

The oil pulling technique is a holistic approach that originated in ancient India more than 3,000 years ago as part of a healing practice. It’s still practiced throughout India and southern Asia.  

The herbal oil used in oil pulling is believed to pull toxins from the mouth, thus the name. Proponents claim that oil pulling not only detoxes and cleans the mouth, but also reduces plaque, cures bad breath, whitens teeth, and reduces inflammation that can lead to gum disease and other undesirable conditions.

Not surprisingly, oil pulling is popular among supporters of natural remedies and alternative medicine. Moreover, while definitive statistics are hard to come by, there have been some studies that appear to confirm these health benefits.

Critics of oil pulling claim that similar benefits can come from swishing with mouthwash or even plain water for the same length of time. The point is to increase saliva to dilute the concentration of plaque so that it doesn’t stick to your teeth.

There are also some notable adverse effects of oil pulling. Many people who practice oil pulling complain of dry mouth, increased thirst, sore mouth muscles, and a loss of taste sensation. For these reasons – and the lack of definitive research on the subject – the American Dental Association does not recommend oil pulling as a regular practice. The Canadian Dental Association does not have an official position on the practice.

Oil Pulling Shouldn’t Replace Regular Cleanings and Checkups

Even if oil pulling has some beneficial effects, it should not replace traditional dental hygiene. The ADA recommends brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste for a full two minutes twice a day, as well as flossing. You need to use some amount of pressure to fully remove plaque from your teeth, which you get from brushing and flossing.

Also, you need to maintain a routine of dental checkups. You should see your Airdrie dentist, Dr. Jennifer Buchanan, twice a year to examine and clean your teeth. That’s the key to good dental hygiene and a whiter smile!

Talk to Your Airdrie Dentist About Oil Pulling

If you have questions about oil pulling or other dental hygiene matters, call or visit the expert staff at You First Dental. We’ll help you decide if oil pulling is right for you.

Your Complete Guide to Choosing a New Dentist in Airdrie

Your Complete Guide to Choosing a New Dentist in Airdrie

How to Find a New Dentist in Airdrie ABWhen most of us think of healthcare, we tend to think about the care of our brain, lungs, digestion, and cardiovascular system. But our oral health is just as important a piece of our healthcare. So when it’s time to find a new dentist here in Airdrie, it’s important to choose carefully.

Here’s our guide to finding the best dentist – one who will fit all of your oral healthcare needs!

Choosing a New Dentist:

The Ultimate Guide to Making the Right Choice 

There are a lot of reasons why you might need a new dentist. Maybe you’ve moved to a new area, or your lifelong dentist is retiring.

Whatever the case, you have an important decision to make.

Here are some tips to help you find a new dentist in Airdrie who will cover your needs the best.

Location, Location, Location

Probably one of the most important factors to consider is location. You want to choose a dentist who is near to your home or office. Why is this so important?

The first reason is convenience. There’s nothing worse than having to take time out of your day simply because you have to drive a far distance to an appointment.

Another reason is that it’s might be too easy to back out of appointments – or avoid scheduling them altogether – if the office is far away.

Keep it easy for yourself to make your dental health a priority. Don’t let something like distance get in the way of that. Do your best to find a great dentist nearby.

Are They Really the Best Dentist in Airdrie?

Before making a decision, contact the office and ask if they offer free consultations. If so, schedule one so that you can tour the office and meet the dentist and their staff. While there, ask the some questions like:

  • What are their professional qualifications? Where did they go to school? What kind of credentials do they have?
  • Do they invest in continuing education so as to stay up to date on the latest procedures, products, and tools?
  • What’s their approach to dental care? Do they focus mainly on restorative procedures, or do they focus heavily on prevention as well?
  • Do you feel comfortable with them? Are they easy to talk to? Do they listen attentively to your concerns or downplay them? Do you feel at ease when chatting with the dentist?
  • Can this dentist take care of your specific dental needs, especially if you have any special considerations?

Don’t Forget the Dental Team and Practice Office

The dental team is a big part of your dental experience. Consider these questions once you meet the team:

  • How does the receptionist treat you over the phone?
  • Does the team seem helpful, compassionate? Are they open to answering your questions?
  • What services do they offer?
  • How does the office/clinic look? Is it clean and organized? Check out the waiting room, as well as the individual operatories, to get an idea of how clean and how well the office runs.
  • Is the office open convenient hours for appointments – for you?
  • Will they work with your insurance company? Can they answer your financial questions?
  • How much financial information will you receive prior to treatment?
  • Do they offer payment options if you’re a cash-only patient? Is there a financing option?
  • Do they offer emergency visits?
  • What is their office policy regarding missed appointments or cancelling on short notice?

One of the Most Important Things to Consider: Their Reputation

If you really want to find the best dentist in Airdrie, ask around.

Get recommendations from your current dentist, your friends/family members, or your physician.

You can even check out online resources, like Facebook, Google, and Yelp, as well as professional directories such as the one on Alberta Dental Association & College – here.

These sources can provide valuable insight into whether a dentist is exceptional or mediocre.

Put Your Oral Healthcare in the Hands of the Best Dentist in Airdrie

You deserve the very best. Therefore, make it your determination to put your healthcare in the hands of someone who truly deserves your business.

A high-quality dentist will be up-to-date on the latest dental tools, techniques, and technology. They’ll be professional yet kind and compassionate, addressing your questions, concerns, and even your fears.

Your teeth and gums are just as important as every other system and organ in your body. Make sure you put your oral healthcare into the hands of someone who will provide you with the exceptional care you need and deserve.

If you are looking for a new dentist here in Airdrie AB, come in and meet the dentist and team here at You First Dental – where everyone that walks through our doors is equally important to us!

Schedule a free visit today – make an appointment.

Dentistry versus Medicine: 5 Reasons why they are different

Dentistry versus Medicine: 5 Reasons why they are different

It doesn’t make sense to a lot of people. I can’t tell you how many times patients have come into my office in Airdrie, stumped by this revelation.

My financial coordinator asks the patient if they have insurance, the patient nods that they do, and then promptly pulls out a medical insurance card.

I get it – the teeth, your oral health – it’s all part of the body. Why isn’t dentistry considered part of medicine and, therefore, covered under medical insurance?

5 Reasons why dentistry and medicine don’t fall under the same category

Why there’s a separation between these two forms of healthcare is a mystery to many. To add a bit of clarity, here are five reasons for the distinction.

1. Dentistry is a specialty

A general physician oversees the health of the whole body. If there is an issue with a certain part of it that needs some “expertise,” the doctor will refer their patient to a specialist. Some medical specialties include:

  • Eye doctors
  • Neurologists
  • Ear, Nose, and Throat doctors
  • Chiropractors
  • Gastroenterologists
  • Gynecologists
  • Proctologists
  • Podiatrists
  • Dentists

Doctors within a specialty train specifically for that area of medicine. 

2. Dentists take care of something general physicians don’t have time for

It seems logical that a human being is a whole person. Therefore, a symptom in one area of the body might link to an issue in another part of the body.

Unfortunately, there simply isn’t enough time for one person to learn about all the intricacies of the human body. They’d be in college their entire life. As it is, those in dentistry and medicine already spend years in college training for their particular healthcare field.

There also isn’t enough time in the day for a general physician to take care of all of their patients’ needs, including oral health.

That’s why dentists are important. We focus on treating periodontal disease and dental caries, while the doctor focuses on heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and treating infections.

3. Aesthetics is a large part of dentistry

When most people visit their doctor, they’re going in to treat a condition that is making life difficult for them. They’re sick – they need someone to help them heal.

In dentistry, while we get people coming in for toothaches, dental caries, and periodontal disease, we also get a lot of people who come in for cosmetic purposes.

Aesthetics is a very important part of dentistry. When patients have a beautiful, healthy, bright smile it may help them feel good about themselves. 

In my practice for instance, I gladly provide patients with aesthetic procedures, while promoting oral health and treating oral diseases.

4. The education is different for a doctor and dentist

A doctor goes to school for many years. They go to a university, then medical school, then focus on a specialty (if they want), then have to go through an internship. The length of time that they’re in training can be well over a decade.

General dentists go to university, then four years of dental school. The whole process is about eight years. However, if they decide to focus on a particular field of dentistry – periodontics, endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery – then they will receive even more training.

Again, the important thing to keep in mind is that the type of training received is very different. Of course, there will be some overlapping at times.

5. People don’t always view dentistry as important as general medicine

This is the part that I find difficult to swallow. I’m not just talking about patients, either. People in general – in the healthcare field, patients, insurance companies – tend to think of dentistry as a low priority.

This has resulted in many patients only going to the dentist when they’re in pain, or not going at all. Some people have become seriously ill because they didn’t take care of a tooth or gum infection.

And insurance companies don’t always help with this either. Having to spend money to get dental coverage is something that not everyone can afford to do. It might be more feasible if medical insurance covered dental procedures.

Why you need to see your dentist and doctor for regular visits

Though they are separate, it’s important to take both your physical and oral health very seriously. This means taking the time to visit your doctor and your dentist regularly.

Like I said before, we are one body. Something that affects one part of our body may very well impact another part.

More studies prove this to be the case. Most recently, researchers have pointed to definite links between periodontal disease and heart disease. And I’m sure that, in the future, researchers will find even more correlations between oral health and other diseases of the body.

That’s why, in an attempt to promote good overall health, it is important to see your doctor and dentist regularly.

Come visit You First Dental in Airdrie for all your dental needs

To take optimal care of your oral health requires that you see a dentist at least annually for an examination and twice a year for cleanings.

Dentistry, though different from medicine, plays an important role in your overall health. With regular cleanings and exams, we’ll help prevent periodontal disease and dental caries. And it’s possible that we could prevent serious health conditions, too.

I hope that you will look at dentistry as an investment in your general health – because that’s exactly what it is. Plus, with a beautiful, healthy smile, you’ll look and feel great!

If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a dentist, please call my office in Airdrie to schedule an appointment. We’ll provide you with individualized care in a caring environment.

Tooth Infection & Heart disease: Is there a link?

Tooth Infection & Heart disease: Is there a link?


For the past few years, researchers have explained the link between gum disease and heart disease. But what about a tooth infection and heart disease – is there a link there as well?

New studies show that there is a definite connection between oral infections and heart disease.

What does this mean for you?

The tooth infection – heart disease correlation: What the studies show

While most of the common risk factors for heart problems are well known (obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol), most people aren’t aware of what role their dental health can play.

New research shows that there is a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, as well as a correlation between heart disease and a tooth infection. The Journal of Dental Research released information which shows that people who have a tooth infection are almost three times as likely to be at risk for heart disease. Deaths from cardiovascular disease contribute to 30% of deaths annually. It is a leader among the causes of death among both men and women in the U.S.

In an article on, writer Honor Whiteman points to a recent study done by the University of Helsinki in Finland. The study found that there is a link between cardiovascular problems and tooth infections, called apical periodontitis. In fact, patients with apical periodontitis are at greater risk for ACS (acute coronary syndrome). ACS encompasses many conditions in which blood cannot flow to the coronary arteries.

In addition to heart disease, oral issues can contribute to diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and even pregnancy complications. These are just a few of the reasons why oral healthcare and regular dental visits are important.

Two types of oral infections we want patients to be aware of

There are two types of oral infections that could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease: a tooth infection and a gum infection.

1. An infection from dental decay

Apical periodontitis is an abscess on the very tip of the root of a tooth. The cause of the infection is decay and bacteria. The bacteria in the mouth attack sugars in the foods we eat. In the process, an acid develops, which disintegrates the surfaces of the tooth. It decalcifies the enamel, then progressively bores all the way through the enamel and dentin (the second layer of the tooth), and into the pulp.

The nerve of the tooth is in the pulp chambers, which run down the middle of the root of the tooth. When decay and bacteria get into the nerve, it causes an infection and inflammation. The result is a painful abscess.

It is important to note that most people don’t experience a painful abscess until the apical periodontitis is at an advanced state. This means that the patient can have a latent infection and not realize it. The studies conducted at the University of Helsinki show that while in this latent phase, there is still an increased risk that a person can develop a heart condition.

2. A gum (or periodontal) infection and gum disease

Gum disease and gum infections can also be a contributing factor for heart disease. There are four levels of gum disease: gingivitis; and early, moderate, and severe gum disease.

Gingivitis is not a minor condition, though some people see it that way. While it is the mildest form of gum disease, this doesn’t mean that patients should take it lightly. Gingivitis can quickly and easily progress. Thankfully, the first stage of gum disease is reversible, whereas the others cannot be.

Gum disease occurs when bacteria ends up under the gums via plaque and calculus (tartar). Plaque is the white, sticky substance on teeth that we remove as we brush our teeth. However, if the plaque is not removed well, or even at all, it can harden and become calculus.

When plaque and calculus are under the gum line, the gum tissue becomes inflamed and irritated. Patients who have gum disease typically experience gum sensitivity, tenderness, and bleeding. Imagine a sliver in your finger that feels uncomfortable until it’s removed. If it’s not removed, eventually an infection can develop. It is similar with gum disease. 

As periodontal disease progresses, the gums can recede from the teeth, as does the bone. The end result is loose teeth that will likely need an extraction.

Swift action is necessary for a patient who presents with gum disease and/or a gum infection. The patient must seek treatment right away. Not only is the patient at risk for tooth loss, the inflammation and bacteria associated with the gum disease could eventually damage the heart muscle.

Team up with You First Dental in Airdrie to combat decay & disease

More people now realize that their overall health is often dependent on their dental health. Those who take care of their teeth and gums add to the list of things they do each day to keep their bodies healthy and strong. 

At You First Dental, we do all we can to help our patients live healthy lives. We provide our patients with quality, up-to-date, and innovative dental treatment. Our comprehensive treatments and services can relieve patients’ pain, improve the appearance of their teeth and smile, and help them keep as many teeth as possible.

We encourage all of our patients to come in for regular examinations and dental cleanings. When we work together, our patients not only take steps to improve their smile, they take one more step to help reduce the risk of pain and heart disease caused by a tooth infection. 

At You First Dental, we’re committed to you. We put your dental needs first. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to being of service!