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From Your Hygienist at Smile City Square Dental
Written by Dr. Kelvin Mah   

image of Jessica smilingOur mission at Smile City Square Dental is to “enrich lives, one smile at a time”. In my view the only way to achieve this level of sustained excellence is by having great people at every position. So who are these "great people"? They’re the people who strive to add something special to everything they do. They embrace the opportunity to make a positive difference -- not just once in a while, but many times a day. It's in this light that I’d like to introduce you to Jessica, one of the amazing Dental Hygienists at Smile City Square Dental, and a certified “great person”!

While there are many qualities that make Jessica great – not the least of which are her exceptional skills and depth of knowledge – a characteristic that really sets her apart is how she invests quality time every day to answer questions from current and prospective patients in our office, over the phone, and via Facebook. She believes that there’s no such thing as a bad question and looks forward to every interaction because it’s a chance to make a difference. As such, I have asked our resident expert to weigh in on the questions she receives often. Here are Jessica's top three most frequently asked questions.

Q: I often have a bad taste in my mouth and sometimes notice that I have bad breath as well. Plus, my gums bleed easily, and look red and shiny. What is happening and what can I do about it?

A: These symptoms are often the first signs of gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums. It’s likely caused by plaque buildup along the gum line, but it can also be due to smoking, a weakened immune system and diseases such as diabetes. Gingivitis is very common. Sixteen million Canadians – or one out of every two people – have it to some degree. The great news is that it’s often reversible. Start by ensuring that you brush your teeth twice a day with an electric toothbrush (recommended) or a manual soft toothbrush. Also remember to floss daily and rinse with an anti-plaque mouthwash. It also helps to gently scrape the tongue once a day and be sure to visit your dentist and dental hygienist for regular cleaning and checkups.

Q: I try to adhere to a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a good diet. I’ve recently heard that oral health can impact my overall health. Is this true?

A: In a word, yes! Poor oral hygiene or infrequent dental cleanings can lead to periodontal disease (a.k.a. gum disease). The first signs of periodontal disease include bleeding, swelling, discoloration (red or purple) of the gums, tenderness or pain, and persistent bad breath or bad taste. You’re also at greater risk of developing periodontal disease if you have diabetes. If you notice any of these symptoms, then it’s wise to visit your dentist right away. What may seem minor to you may in fact be early warning signs that you definitely want to heed. For example, periodontal disease can increase your risk of developing heart disease by 19%. If you’re pregnant, it can also put you at risk for a Pre Term Low Birth Weight (PTLBW) delivery.

Q: I’ve tried over-the-counter whitening products, but haven't been very happy with the results. Is there something else I can try that will give me a whiter smile?

A: These days there are many solutions that will not just give you a brighter and whiter smile, but will make that happen more quickly and comfortably than you imagine. Many dental practices (including ours) provide both in-office and take home whitening solutions. Plus, when you work with your dentist to choose the right product and method, a customized program can be set up to achieve the optimal level of whitening that is right for your unique, beautiful smile.

Do you have a question for Jessica about your dental health or wellness? Are you curious about smile makeovers or any other treatment? Ask Jessica via our Facebook page at We'd love to hear from you.

Dr. Kelvin Mah -

Dr Kelvin P Mah is driven to "enrich lives, one smile at a time." He believes in helping people – not merely treating problems – and takes a dedicated, personal interest in the health, wellness and happiness of each individual patient. His award-winning Smile City Square Dental practice reflects an organic and zen-like atmosphere of warmth and relaxation. He is also a graduate of UBC's prestigious Dental School and is an instructor with the Frontier Institute, which offers postgraduate programs in advanced cosmetic dentistry. Learn more about Dr Mah and discover the transformative possibilities of modern artisan dentistry at, and visit Smile City Square Dental on Facebook at


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