Sep 12

Zdeno Chara has the right attitude when it comes to Mouth Guards!

Because we don’t want you to lose, especially when it comes to your teeth!


Jun 12

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month. It’s A No Brainer!


Brain Injury and Oral Health

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. TBI can occur as a result of  impact to the head with an object or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. Brain injury can be mild, moderate, or severe.

A concussion is also classified as a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. It can happen to anyone! So protect yourself and take the proper precautions.

Football Player

Concussions are common, particularly if you play a contact sport, such as football or hockey. But every concussion injures your brain to some extent. To heal properly this injury needs time and rest. Most concussive traumatic brain injuries are mild, and people usually recover fully, sometimes people don’t even realize that they had a concussion if loss of consciousness doesn’t occur.

Signs & Symptoms of a Concussion

Signs and symptoms of a concussion may not be immediately apparent and can be delayed for several hours or even days. They can also be very subtle, but may persist for days, weeks or longer!

Most common symptom after a concussion are headaches and possible memory loss or confusion.

Signs and Symptoms may include:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed responsiveness
  • Amnesia
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Fatigue

Always see a doctor within 1-2 days after injury. Do not return to any sport or strenuous activity while any of the symptoms persist.

There has always been the debate of whether a mouthguard will help prevent a concussion.


Regulations have changed just this year in hockey, no longer requiring the use of a mouthguard. I personally think that is ridiculous. The more protection one can take against injury, the better. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! An independent dental hygienist or dentist can make a professional custom fit mouthguard, that offers superior protection. They fit better, it is easier to breath and speak with them in, and players are more compliant to wear them!

Here is a great link to a current article that studied  custom made mouthguards vrs. store bought

The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association has lots of supportive information on the importance of mouthguards. Check out the following link.



Moderate or Severe Brain Injury

Depending on the severity of the brain injury a person with a moderate or severe injury may have difficulty with adhering to their daily home care routine, and special oral hygiene care may be required from a caregiver. These caregivers  ensure their loved ones receive proper oral care  which is important for their comfort, general health and quality of life.

Bacteria from oral infections can enter the blood stream or airways and travel to other parts of the body, increasing the risk for other health problems such as stroke, heart disease, and respiratory disorders such as pneumonia and lung disease. So maintaining good oral health for the patient with a brain injury is important.

The person may be able to brush their teeth on their own and should be encouraged. An electric toothbrush may be easier for the patient or caregiver but can be too stimulating for some individuals and may not be tolerated.


Tips For The Caregiver

Make sure to communicate what you are doing in a gentle tone of voice to reduce any anxiety.  Tell the person what is going to be done and how it will feel and then show them. Routine alleviates stress too, so try and use the same technique at the same time and place.


  • Brush teeth 2x day using a soft bristle toothbrush, an electric toothbrush maybe easier, if tolerated. Make sure to clean at the gum line (base of teeth) a common area where plaque is missed.
  • Use a pea sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste, make sure they don’t swallow it.
  • Clean in between the teeth daily. Flossing may be difficult so try using a proxabrush (small interdental brush), or  floss wand with a longer handle.
  • If experiencing a dry mouth avoid sugar gum or mints, try xylitol mints or gum instead. There is also special products for dry mouth such as mouth wash and toothpaste etc.


Dental visits at an office can also be a challenge.  Arrange for a professional dental hygiene assessment and cleaning from a mobile dental hygienist. This will make it easier for the person with the brain injury since they are in a familiar and comfortable environment.

May 08

The War on Biofilm a.k.a. bacterial plaque!!

photo (7)

Flossing!!!! I know the majority of us dread doing it. Like anything it takes effort and time. But it is important for the health of our mouths. The reason why we floss is to remove bacterial plaque, or to disrupt and reduce the microbes that make up this biofilm.  Dental biofilm is made up of populated colonies of microbes, consisting of more than 500 species. YUM!!!! It is the cause for gum disease and cavities that can lead to serious health problems.

Why hygienists tell you to floss daily, is because  these microbes are resilient- recolonizing in less than 24 hours after mechanical disruption (brushing and flossing).



This is my 7 yr old Morgan showing us how difficult it is for this age group to floss properly. Floss picks are a great way for them to floss on their own.

If you are not a flosser. There are other great tools that are effective. And to be effective, would be a tool that is used consistently! Many of my patients do not floss. So to encourage them to floss is not always the answer. We work together to find a tool that they are willing to use, and hopefully incorporate it into their daily hygiene routine.

One tool which I recommend a lot is the waterpik water flosser. It is an initial investment but one that is worth it. Most find it easier to use than floss and love it. Earlier this week, I had a patient in for her first cleaning at 51 years old! And to my surprise, other than the light to moderate calculus build up, her mouth was in great health. The reason why? Because of her excellent home care and daily use of her waterpik. I don’t recommend anyone to use a waterpik and avoid their dental cleanings, but it is a great tool for those who find flossing a challenge.



My other daughter Olivia… being silly!


So ask your dental hygienist what other dental aids there are to fight your biofilm!

Leilani Borne, RDH

Apr 08

Ministerial Message – National Dental Hygienists Week – April 6-12, 2014

Ministerial Message – National Dental Hygienists Week – April 6-12, 2014.


April 7, 2014

April is Oral Health Month — an opportunity to remind Canadians about the importance of good oral care and its impact on our overall health. During this month, from April 6 – 12, we also celebrate a group of professionals dedicated to supporting the oral health of Canadians: dental hygienists.

Good oral health is a fundamental part of an overall healthy lifestyle and well-being. For more than a century, dental hygienists have been providing oral health care and prevention services through public health programs. Dental hygienists practise in various settings — including prenatal classes, schools, dentist offices, independent hygiene offices, community health clinics and long-term care centres — allowing them to treat dental issues and promote good oral health practices among Canadians of all ages. Regular visits to your dental hygienist can help you follow good oral hygiene practices and decrease your risk of dental issues.

This week, dental hygienists across the country will find creative ways to celebrate National Dental Hygienists Week in their communities through events, classroom presentations, displays, tours of dental offices, contests and much more.

As Minister of Health, I encourage you to protect your teeth and gums — and your overall health — by learning more about good oral healthExternal Link practices. For more information about National Dental Hygienists Week and on dental hygienists in Canada, please visit the Canadian Dental Hygienists AssociationExternal Link website.


The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

Mar 08

Crest toothpaste embeds plastic in our gums – DentalBuzz

This is an article from

This is polyethylene: bottlesandbags

Did you know that polyethylene is the most common plastic in the world? It is used primarily for containers and packaging, such as these bottles and plastic grocery bags, and has been a concern for the environment because polyethylene lasts practically forever and isn’t biodegradable. It only breaks down into smaller and smaller particles until you can’t see it anymore. That’s why a couple of states are trying to ban it in body scrubs and dental products.

This is also polyethylene:PeasizedTPaste

Well, not all of it. Most of it is toothpaste. But do you see those blue specks? That’s plastic. This is the suggested pea-sized amount that you should use when you brush your teeth. Yes, there is plastic in this toothpaste.

Want to see how many pieces of plastic are in this exact sample?PasteSmear-300x104

Not that I’m counting the bits but that seriously looks like A LOT of plastic… err…high density polyethylene. That’s what plastic trash cans are made from! If you throw away the box like most people do, the ingredients aren’t actually listed on the tube (sneaky, sneaky, Procter & Gamble!) However, I was able to track down the box here at this link. We’re not talking about polyethylene glycol, which is soluble in water. This stuff won’t dissolve in water, or even acetone or alcohol for that matter. How do I know it won’t dissolve? Because I put on my little scientist hat and tested it.

Like many of you, we often let our daughter pick out her own toothpaste at the store. She liked the tween vibe of this particular product so much that she chose it twice, but eventually the squeezed-out tubes ended up in the back of her toothpaste drawer.


When I first got wind that plastic was in some toothpastes, it was kind of exciting to realize that we had some on hand! And a bit concerning, because, after all, this is in my own home, used by my own child. Able to confirm that, sure enough, there was polyethylene in this toothpaste, I squirted out a pea-sized sample, mixed it up with some water, strained out the undissolved particles and let them dry on a paper towel. Oh, and I used a hair dryer to speed things up because I’m impatient. Then I shook approximately half of the sample into each of two pyrex bowls and added some household solvents:


They didn’t dissolve in the acetone, (nail polish remover) or in the alcohol either. I even left the samples in the solutions overnight, then re-hydrated them. No change in the particles.



So it has been established here that polyethylene will not dissolve in the mouth, or even in household products. It is an inert substance, which means that it doesn’t change at all. You know, that’s pretty good in some ways, because at least it’s probably not morphing into big blobs of plastic evil cancer bait.

Here’s where the story gets scary, though.

You see, I’m not just a concerned mom. I’m also a dental hygienist. And I’m seeing these same bits of blue plastic stuck in my patients’ mouths almost every day.

Around our teeth we have these little channels in our gums, sort of like the cuticles around our fingernails. The gum channel is called a sulcus, and it’s where diseases like gingivitis get their start. A healthy sulcus is no deeper than about 3 millimeters, so when you have hundreds of pieces of plastic being scrubbed into your gums each day that are even smaller than a millimeter, many of them are getting trapped.

The thing about a sulcus is that it’s vulnerable. Your dental hygienist spends most of their time cleaning every sulcus in your mouth, because if the band of tissue around your tooth isn’t healthy, then you’re not healthy. You can start to see why having bits of plastic in your sulcus may be a real problem, sort of like when popcorn hulls find their way into these same areas. Ouch, right?

Like I said, I’ve been seeing these blue particles flush out of patients’ gums for several months now. So has the co-hygienist in our office. So have many dental hygienists throughout the United States and Canada who have consulted with each other and realized that we have a major concern on our hands.

This is what an actual polyethylene speck looks like when it’s embedded within the sulcus, under the gumline:


I am not saying that polyethylene is causing gum problems. I’d be jumping too soon to that conclusion without scientific proof.  But what I am saying definitively is that plastic is in your toothpaste, and that some of it is left behind even after you’re finished brushing and rinsing with it.

Do you want plastic in your toothpaste? So far the only mention of polyethylene on the Official Crest website at this link is that it is added to your paste for color, not as an aid in helping to clean your teeth or to disperse important anti-plaque or anti-cavity ingredients.

Polyethylene plastic is in your toothpaste for decorative purposes only.

This is unacceptable not only to me, but to many, many hygienists nationwide. We are informing our patients. We are doing research separately and comparing notes. And until Procter & Gamble gives us a better reason as to why there is plastic in your toothpaste, we would like you to consider discontinuing the use of these products.

Here are some of the brands (click each to see their ingredient list and labeling) that we currently are aware of which contain polyethylene:


What you can do

At this point, it’s probably best if you leave your flaming torches back in the barn. We’re not going after witches or Frankenstein here; you’re using your power as a consumer to send a message that you do NOT want plastic in your toothpaste. Heck, you might even be worrying about what may happen if you or your children swallow some of it.

1. If you’ve already purchased one of these toothpastes you can take it back to the retailer where you bought it, make sure that the manufacturer knows why you’re returning it, and ask for a refund.

2. Lodge a Crest consumer complaint at (800) 959-6586 and report an adverse health effect, namely, that you’re concerned that plastic pieces may be getting trapped in your mouth.

3. Click here to send an email to Procter & Gamble, the makers of Crest.

4. Share this! Let your friends and family know that you are also concerned about the plastic in their toothpaste by clicking on your favorite social media link below and getting the word out.

Response to criticism

Procter & Gamble’s current party line? “We will discontinue our use of PE micro plastic beads in skin exfoliating personal care products and toothpastes as soon as alternatives are qualified.”

And your response then may be, “I will discontinue MY use of Crest toothpaste until there are no more decorative microplastics entering my mouth.”

References and acknowledgements

Plastic Trades Industry:
US National Library of Medicine:

And a HUGE thank you goes out to my friend and colleague Erika B. Feltham, RDH for bringing this problem to our attention and for her extensive research. Erika is dedicated to providing the best possible care for her patients. She has been active inthe dental profession for over 30 years, is a recipient of the 2008 American Dental Hygiene Association/Johnson and Johnson Hygiene Hero Award, the 2010 RDH Sunstar Americas (GUM Dental)Award of Distinction, lectures extensively about the harmful effects of sour candies, energy and sports drinks, and along with her San Diego component, she is responsible for presenting the resolution on sour candy labeling at the 2009 CDHA House of Delegates.

via DentalBuzz – a jolt of current.

Feb 26

A Message from the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

To the hundreds who volunteered at more than 95 clinics across the country (up from 75 last year) during this year’s Gift From the Heart event on Saturday, February 8, organizer Bev Woods and CDHA extend their heartfelt appreciation for another successful day. Because of your passion to help those in our communities who lack basic oral health care, hundreds of people from coast to coast now have a healthy smile. We look forward to working with you again next year on Saturday, February 14, 2015.

Feb 24

Meeting new faces at the Autism Spectrum Disorders Family Social Group

Here are some cute photo’s taken at a presentation I put on for the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders)Family Social Group yesterday. It was fun meeting such wonderful and unique personalities! They were happy to have a seat in my chair and check out my dental unit. I am looking forward to providing them with my services in their homes, an environment that they are familiar and comfortable with!


What a great smile!





This little cutie loved the chair..and didn’t want to get out 🙂


Polishing some really big teeth!






A great listener!


Feb 13

Gift From The Heart 2014 an AMAZING day!



February 8th 2014 was a great day for Pearly Whites Mobile. I met so many wonderful people and had an opportunity to give back to my community. I want to thank Bev Woods the Founder of this event, for without her it wouldn’t be possible to provide free dental hygiene care on this day. I hope that this is the first year of many!


amazing assistant



I would also like to acknowledge and thank my wonderful volunteers, two lovely dental assistants who made the day flow smoothly, Deanna Haeck and Tanya Heapes. A big thank you to my photographer Dan Jenner from Bent Maple Co. the photo’s are beautiful.









I was able to treat 7 clients and wish I could have seen more. MyFm was wonderful with helping me promote the event, which was a true success. Hopefully next year we will have a few more hygienists on board so that we can reach more people on this one day!

Remember February is heart health month, take the time to keep yours healthy.

Keep Smiling 🙂


Your Independent Dental Hygienist

Feb 05

Gift From The Heart

Pearly Whites Mobile Dental Hygiene Services is excited to be a participant in The Gift From the Heart this Saturday February 8th 2014. We will be treating clients who cannot truly afford dental care from 9am – 3pm, providing them with free dental hygiene services. Unfortunately due to the overwhelming number of inquires our day is full. But we look forward to participate again next year.  We will keep you updated with photo’s from the event. Listen to MyFm 104.9 tomorrow morning to hear our interview.


Jan 28

Come check out our booth at The Bridal Event 2014

The Bridal Event 2014 this Sunday February the 2nd 1:30 pm – 3:30pm at The Germania Hall in Pembroke

Stop by our booth and check out our whitening specials for the bride and her bridal party. An easy way to add some sparkle on that special day! The poster below is from last year. Still free entry and great prizes to be won.


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