What is the Importance of Dental Exams and Cleanings?

Are dental exams and cleanings really important? Actually, they're more than "important." They're a necessary part of oral hygiene.

For one thing, dentists are the only ones who are qualified to evaluate your dental health. You, for instance, do not have the training to diagnose or treat dental problems. This must be done by scheduling regular dental exams.

Besides that, only dentists have the specialized tools to remove tartar buildup or fill your cavities. Optimum dental health isn't even possible unless you don't go in for your dental check every 6 months.

In short, dental check-ups are not optional. Read on to learn more about the importance of scheduling dental exams.

Early Detection/Treatment of Dental Problems

Have you ever had a toothache that hurts so bad you can't even eat? Hopefully, you never will. But the only way to prevent this from happening is to go in for your dental check every 6 months.

You see, unless you sustain a mouth injury, extreme tooth pain is exclusively a sign of advanced dental problems. Problems that cause this type of pain take a long time to develop, longer than 6 months, anyway.

Thus, if you see your dentist every 6 months, he/she can detect such problems early on. Then, the problems are treated before they cause you unbearable pain.

Prevention of Dental Problems

If you brush and floss very well, and aren't experiencing any symptoms, you may think that you don't need to visit the dentist. However, as just mentioned, you shouldn't wait until symptoms arise to see your dentist.

Besides that, dentists don't just fix dental problems. They also used specialized cleaning methods to prevent dental problems.

The truth is that a perfect brushing and flossing routine is still insufficient for cleaning your teeth. In spite of these efforts, some plaque remains. Over time, this plaque hardens into tartar, which causes a number of dental conditions when left unchecked. Only a dentist can properly remove this tartar and prevent these problems.

Cavities Aren't the Only Concern

Cavities are hardly the only dental problem there is to worry about. You can also get oral infections that cause painful and dangerous symptoms.

Plus, there's gum disease to watch out for. This can make your gums bleed and swell and cause continuous bad breath.

You could have a bite misalignment issue that causes jaw pain. Or you might have a loose filling that needs fixing or a cracked tooth that needs to be capped.

The point is, there are many, many oral health concerns that you simply aren't aware of. But all of these issues and more will be addressed at your regular dental check.

Schedule Dental Exams and Cleanings Every 6 Months

Answer honestly. Do you see your dentist every 6 months for dental exams and cleanings? If not, you need to get back into the habit.

Contact Cypress Dental to schedule your dental check in Vancouver. Or, simply reach out to us with any questions you have.

Top Tips and Tricks to Prepare Your Child for their Dental Visit

Top Tips and Tricks to Prepare Your Child for their Dental Visit.

Every parent wants the best for their child, including great oral health. Taking children to the dentist at an early age is crucial to help keep their teeth and gums healthy. But for the little ones, their first trip the dentist can be a little scary, filled with unfamiliar sounds, objects, and people. To help ease their anxieties, here are some ways you can help your kids prepare for their appointment.

Start Young

The sooner your child visits the dentist, the better. Believe it or not, parents should be taking their kids to the dentist as early as age 1 or when their first tooth comes in. Regular dental visits, while your kids are young, will not only benefit their oral health but also help children familiarize themselves with the dental process, helping them to reduce fear and boost confidence. Regular check ups also allows issues to be identified early, which may make treatment easier and more comfortable.

Take A Tour Of The Office.

Okay, taking a trip to the dentist is not like spending the day at Disneyland, but it sure can come in handy when preparing kids for their dental visit. A short visit to the clinic before their actual appointment provides a great opportunity for your children to meet the dentist and staff, as well as get a feel for the new surroundings.

Get Your Kids Interested

Getting kids interested about their dental appointment is a great way to help lower anxiety. You can help them learn and get excited about their appointment with a wide variety of toys, pictures, books, videos, and apps. Playing pretend dentist with your child will also help them prepare for a real dental visit—all you need is a chair, a toothbrush, a mirror, a bib, and a little imagination. The key is helping your child get a better sense of what to expect.

Stay Positive

It helps to keep a happy and cheerful attitude when talking about the dentist. Everything you say can and does have an impact on your child. Be sure to treat the visit as something positive, simple, and routine. Kids look to you for support and guidance, so you’ll want to communicate safe and comforting words like “Strong”, “Clean” and “Healthy” and stay away from words like “Painful”, “Hurts”, “Shots” when discussing about their upcoming visit. This will help them have a better attitude towards the dentist and their visit. Feel free to bring along their favourite toy or blanket to comfort and support them. If you would like to book your child’s first dental appointment today, feel free to contact Cypress Dental at 604-336-9360.

replace missing tooth

I have a tooth that is missing. What are my options for replacing my tooth?



IMPLANTS are considered the gold standard for replacing teeth. An implant is a titanium screw that is placed into the jaw. While it sounds scary, most patients are surprised how easy the appointment and healing is for them. An implant acts as an individual tooth and will stimulate the bone to keep bone loss from happening.  After a few months, the implant screw will have integrated into the bone and a prosthetic tooth can be made to fit onto the screw. As its own single tooth, it will feel and look more natural and is easier to floss and maintain compared to some of the other options for replacing teeth.

Dental implant supported bridge

Implant Supported Bridge

AN IMPLANT SUPPORTED BRIDGE is another implant treatment that can be used when there is more then one missing tooth. A bridge is like a crown but instead of a single prosthetic tooth, it has multiple prosthetic teeth fused together (this means you cannot floss between the teeth in the bridge). Each end of the bridge will be supported by an implant, and because implants are very strong you can replace more missing teeth than with a tooth-supported bridge (as mentioned below).

Tooth supported bridge

Tooth Supported Bridge

TOOTH SUPPORTED BRIDGE is made by preparing the neighboring teeth on either side of the missing space to be fitted for dental crowns. When the lab creates the bridge they place a few prosthetic teeth in the missing space so that it appears there is no missing tooth. While bridges are esthetically pleasing and good for restoring function, the downfall is that they can be difficult to clean. The bridge is one piece spanning three or more teeth so you cannot floss between them and will need to use a Waterpik or floss threader to guide your floss underneath the bridge so you can keep it clean. Good maintenance and oral hygiene is key to longevity of the bridge. Any decay on the supporting teeth will compromise the bridge and will require the whole bridge to be replaced.

Implant Supported Bridge

FLIPPER: You can have a one tooth denture made more commonly known as a flipper to replace a single tooth. This is usually a short-term fix and used mostly for temporary esthetic reasons such as replacing front teeth while deciding on the best course of treatment. They are quick to make and not that expensive which makes them good temporary solutions. However, flippers are small and are easy to lose, and they are not always the most comfortable options because they will rest on the gums and surrounding teeth.

A Removable Partial Denture

A REMOVABLE PARTIAL DENTURE is a custom made resin or metal base that has prosthetic teeth to replace multiple missing teeth. The removable partial denture is designed around your remaining teeth and soft tissue which is why a thorough dental examination is important to determine whether any dental work is required before getting fitted for your denture. The denture gives the appearance of a full smile and prevents the remaining teeth from shifting into any gaps left by the missing teeth. This is a less invasive procedure that does not require surgery and typically has a lower cost than bridges/implants. If additional teeth are required in the future the denture can easily be modified. They require an adjustment period as they can be uncomfortable at first, but most patients have no issues adapting. Dentures will need to be adjusted or remade over time due to the remodeling of bone levels causing the denture to become loose.

Do Nothing

Your last option is to DO NOTHING. If you are comfortable with doing nothing that is a choice as well. However, there are some things you should know about leaving the area alone. When you have missing teeth over time you will experience bone loss in that area. This can cause the face to look sunken or lose definition depending on where the missing tooth is. As well the neighboring teeth may tip towards the empty space. You could also experience some alterations in your speech and chewing function. Many people find they have a loss of confidence if they have teeth missing because your smile is the first thing people see when you meet them.

If you are interested in discussing any of these options for restoring your missing tooth, you can give us a call. Dr. Samantha Chien will be happy to go over all your options with you and help you make an informed choice about what treatment is best for you. Call Cypress Dental today at 604-366-9360, or click here to request an appointment online.

Cypress Dental straight teeth

There’s more to straight teeth than a perfect smile

Have you ever considered getting braces, clear aligners/Invisalign, or orthodontic treatment? There are more than just esthetic benefits to having straight teeth. There are many health benefits as well:

Better Oral Care:

When your teeth are aligned properly it is much easier to keep them clean. Crowding can make it more difficult to get your toothbrush and floss around your teeth to remove plaque because the teeth may be hiding behind each other or the contacts may be very tight from the crowding.  You may notice your dentist informing you that you have cavities forming between the teeth even though you brush and floss every day. With crooked teeth, it is much more difficult to maintain good oral hygiene even if you have good oral habits.

Improving Your Bite:

Orthodontics can also be used to properly align and balance your bite. The bite is a term to describe the way your upper and lower teeth fit together. If you have gaps in your bite from missing teeth or poorly aligned teeth it can start to affect the way you chew and digest food. Over time you may notice your jaw beginning to hurt or become sore after eating. This is because a poorly aligned bite will make your jaw work harder to chew. This can lead to temporomandibular (jaw) problems and can cause jaw-related headaches. An unbalanced bite will also lead to some teeth to having more pressure during chewing or clenching, which can lead to tooth soreness crack lines or even tooth fractures.


Confidence in oneself is shown to increase success in your life. Being unhappy with your smile or always trying to hide it can affect your self-esteem. Having a smile that you are happy to show off can help with social anxiety, better productivity, and overall happiness.

If you are interested in orthodontic treatment or want to know if it would be a good option for you, come see us at Cypress Dental. We offer treatments with both clear aligners and braces for kids and adults. To learn more about the different options available, visit our Orthodontics page or click here to visit our smile gallery.

What causes tooth staining and discoloration?

Have you ever had tooth staining or discoloration that you couldn’t remove with your toothbrush and floss? Do you notice your teeth get visibly whiter after a complete dental cleaning by a dental professional? It’s very likely that you are experiencing some staining on your teeth. Tooth discoloration and stains can happen for a variety of reasons. Some reasons are completely out of your control, but often it can be reversed or prevented by changing your eating or social habits.

The three main categories of staining as identified by dental professionals are as follows:

Extrinsic Teeth Stains:

These types of stains occur when there is a build-up of stain particles on your enamel (the outermost layer of your teeth). Common causes of extrinsic stains include tobacco use (smoking or chewing), and/or regular consumption of coffee, tea, wine, or cola. Additionally, you will have to be mindful of consuming darkly colored foods including pasta sauce, chocolate, soy sauce, and curry. The good news is extrinsic stains can easily be removed at your dental cleaning in conjunction with brushing with a whitening toothpaste regularly at home.

Intrinsic Teeth Stains:

These types of stains affect the dentin (the inner layer of your tooth) and often results in the affected tooth/teeth to look yellow, brown, grey, or orange. Some common causes include excessive fluoride ingestion during childhood development, acid erosion, trauma, or certain medical treatments and medications. Intrinsic staining cannot be removed! But there are cosmetic options available to lighten or mask the stain. These include professional whitening, crowns, or veneers. A visit with Dr. Chien can determine the best treatment option for you as it depends on the darkness of your stain.

Age-related Teeth Stains:

These types of stains result from a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic stains. Dentin (the inner layer of your tooth) is naturally a yellow color, and as you age, your enamel (the outermost layer of your tooth) will wear away to allow the yellow of your dentin to show through. This process in combination with any extrinsic stains is the result of the darkening of your tooth color as we age.

It is important to know what type of staining you have so that you can effectively remove or mask the staining. A visit to Cypress Dental can determine the main causes of your discoloration, and a treatment plan for removal or cover-up will be customized specifically to your needs.

When should you see a dentist regarding staining?

  • When staining is localized to a single tooth, this may be a result of a cavity or can be due to a previous injury or trauma to the tooth.
  • When you notice a change in the color of your teeth, and regular brushing in conjunction with a whitening product is not working
  • If the staining appears to be deeper than the outer layer of the tooth

Regular visits with Dr. Samantha Chien will keep your teeth and gums looking healthy. Issues with your teeth are usually caught early on at routine exams, this allows for treatment to be completed early and preventing the issue from becoming bigger or more complicated.

The good news is extrinsic stains can easily be removed at your dental cleaning in conjunction with brushing with a whitening toothpaste regularly at home. See some of our cases where all the patient needed was a good polish.

Dental Checkup

Yes! You Need a Regular Dental Checkup and Here’s Why

When was the last time you visited the dentist? If you've been putting it off for too long, you may want to reconsider. Healthy teeth aren't just good for your mouth, they're good for the rest of your body...and your mental wellbeing.

Here are some benefits of having regular dental checkups and why you don't want to skip it.

1. Your Regular Checkup Could Save Your Life 

Oral cancer is a serious disease that can be life-threatening if not detected soon enough. Without knowing the signs and symptoms, oral cancer can progress without you knowing you were ever at risk. For successful treatment, early detection is a critical factor. Your dentist is trained to identify the signs, make a diagnosis and may even start treatment in the early stages.

2. A Healthy Mouth Can Protect Your Overall Health 

Many people think that oral health is just about keeping your mouth healthy. However, everything is connected and research suggest that poor dental hygiene can lead to systemic diseases in the rest of your body. Periodontitis causes chronic low-grade inflammation and studies have shown that there is a significant amount of patients with periodontitis that also present with other systemic inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. If you are pregnant, the oral bacteria that causes periodontitis can also penetrate into the bloodstream and potentially lead to premature labor and low-birth-weight babies.

Your regular dental checkup will help identify any oral issues you have looming that could spread and affect your overall health and wellbeing.

3. Checkups Help Identify Potential Problems...Before They Get Worse

During your dental checkup, your dentist will perform a thorough examination and check for problems like cavities. Catching these issues in their earlier stages, like tooth decay, will prove easier to treat and prevent you from having spontaneous pain or infection one day.

Having regular checkups can also help prevent gum disease, one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss. Check out our other blog post that goes into more detail about this!

4. Your Dentist Will Clean Your Teeth Better Than You Do

Yes, that's right. If you are committed to frequently brushing and flossing, keep up the good work! But even if you floss daily and brush after every meal, no one can clean your teeth like your dentist or dental hygienist. No matter how diligent you are with your oral care, there will still be areas that are missed between teeth and under the gum line.

In a professional cleaning, we use powered instruments and ultrasonic vibration to remove tartar. Hand instruments remove the calculus from enamel and the root surface. A regular dental cleaning will prevent plaque buildup that can ultimately lead to cavities or gum disease.

5. Healthy Teeth Boost Your Self Confidence

One of the results of a great smile is greater self-confidence. By keeping on top of your oral health, you'll prevent unattractive tooth issues like plaque buildup and stains. A cleaner mouth will also help keep bad breath/halitosis at bay, so you can be confident every time you open your mouth.

See your dentist regularly for checkups and to make sure your mouth is healthy, and you'll have something to smile about.

Have You Booked Your Dental Checkup Yet? 

These are just a few reasons your dental checkup is a critical part of your healthcare routine. In between checkups you should do your part with regular brushing, flossing, and use of mouthwash. So don't skip your regular visit to the dentist, your dental health is a critical part of maintaining your overall health and wellbeing and promoting a smile you're happy to show off!

Cypress Dental is here for your dental needs. Book your visit or have an online virtual consultation with us today so we can help you be on your way to a healthier mouth.

What constitutes a dental emergency during COVID-19?

During this COVID-19 outbreak, CDSBC has mandated all dental offices to only treat dental emergencies and that all non-essential and elective dental treatment should be postponed. We are adapting to this situation by limiting the types of care provided, practicing social distancing, and reducing rate of transmission. Everyone needs to do their part to flatten the curve and prevent medical facilities from being overwhelmed.

Dr. Samantha Chien will perform a risk assessment of your specific situation and will use her professional judgement and clinical expertise to determine whether you are in need of emergency care. Our main priority is the safety of our patients and staff during this time of uncertainty and in doing so we are focusing our time and resources on dental emergencies and urgent care as outlined below:

DENTAL EMERGENGIES are potentially life threatening and require immediate treatment. This includes:

  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Uncontrolled pain
  • Uncontrolled infection
  • Cellulitis – soft tissue bacterial infection that first appears as a red, swollen area that feels hot and tender to the touch. The infection can spread quickly if not treated immediately
  • Intra-oral or extra-oral swelling that potentially compromise the patient’s airway
  • Trauma involving facial bones, potentially compromising the patient’s airway

URGENT DENTAL CARE focuses on the management of conditions that require immediate attention to relieve severe pain and/or risk of infection and to alleviate the burden on hospital emergency departments. Some examples include:

  • Severe dental pain
  • Swelling of the gums around a tooth that is partially erupted (commonly seen in wisdom teeth)
  • Dry socket: a post operative complication that occurs a few days after tooth extraction. Signs include bad odor, unpleasant taste, severe pain getting worse or radiating, and/or empty space at extraction site.
  • Abscess, or localized bacterial infection resulting in localized pain and swelling
  • Tooth fracture resulting in pain or causing soft tissue trauma
  • Dental Trauma with avulsion (completed displacement of the tooth out of its socket)
  • Dental trauma with luxation (dislodgment of the tooth from its normal angulation)
  • Dental treatment required prior to critical medical procedures
  • Final crown/bridge cementation, if the temporary restoration is lost, broken, or causing gingival irritation
  • Extensive decay or defective restoration causing pain
  • Suture removal
  • Snipping or adjustment of an orthodontic wire or appliance poking or ulcerating soft tissue

If you are having a dental emergency, email us at info@cypressdental.ca, or leave us a message at 604-336-9360 and we will contact you to see which steps should be taken next.

You may not like flossing, but your teeth need it!

Brushing your teeth daily is important for your oral health but you can’t forget about flossing. Although it seems tiresome and time-consuming, brushing your teeth only removes the food and plaque from visible surfaces. Adding flossing to your routine will allow you to clean areas the toothbrush can’t reach.

If you’re still not sold on starting to floss more often here are some pros and cons to it

Helps reduce cavities (Fig 1.) Annoying
Reduces bad breath Gross (for the first week)
Reduces your chances of gum disease Some bleeding (for the first week)

To keep it simple would you like to spend $5 or less on flossing to avoid having cavities, bad breath (halitosis) and gum disease or spend $132 or more on a cavity you could’ve prevented?

Teeth Flossing
Fig 1. Interproximal decay seen at almost every tooth contact.
There are so many types of flosses out there and it may seem overwhelming but when you come in for your next cleaning or appointment be sure to ask Dr. Samantha Chien and she can recommend the best one for you and our team is always ready to show you how to floss properly.

If you want some tips on flossing correctly continue reading below…

  1. Floss must be held taut and guided between each tooth and also under the gums to ensure that all food particles and plaque are removed. Hug the tooth with floss in a C-shape to mechanically rub the side of the tooth. However, be sure the floss doesn’t scrape too much on the gums or it could cause gum bleeding. It is possible for periodontal disease to only affect isolated areas of the mouth so it is important to have proper flossing technique to ensure that the infectious bacteria are not transmitted from one gingival pocket to the other.
  2. It is important to buy dental floss that’s the right thickness. Floss that’s too thick or thin won’t give you the best cleaning. It is normal to see bleeding if you have not been flossing regularly. It should stop after a week of regular flossing. Regular bleeding with flossing and brushing could mean something bigger and you should let your dentist know.
  3. Use dental floss every day BEFORE brushing, preferably before bedtime.

Most people have not given much thought to the proper order. But in 2017, researchers found that the amount of plaque between the teeth and in the mouth overall was significantly reduced when participants used the floss-brush approach. Also flossing first allows more plaque to be removed in between teeth and then the fluoride in toothpaste could get into the right places. The study also showed that fluoride, a natural mineral that’s proven to be effective in preventing tooth decay and the development of cavities, remained in the mouth at higher levels with the floss-brush approach.

If you are asking this question, it means you’re probably doing both and that what matters most! So whether you choose the brush-floss or floss-brush approach, we recommend that you stick with whatever works for you! But now you understand that beginning with flossing may be marginally better for you long term dental health.

Did you know gum disease is contagious?

Is brushing your teeth painful? Do you find yourself spitting out blood into the sink along with your toothpaste?

Nearly half of all Canadians experience this at some point during their lives.

If you have swollen gums that tend to bleed, then you are likely struggling with periodontal or gum disease. Continue reading to learn how to properly care for your gums and why you should take care of the problem as soon as possible!


Swollen, bloody gums are the product of inflammation, which is an early stage of periodontal or gum disease.

Gum disease is usually caused by poor oral hygiene habits: failing to brush regularly and thoroughly or skipping flossing altogether.

When you do not brush well, the plaque left behind builds up and begins to harden onto your tooth surface. This build up of bacteria will start out causing a mild form of inflammation called gingivitis. If left untreated for a long time, your gums can become very swollen, red, and sensitive, which is the sign of further deterioration. The gingivitis can progress and become periodontitis which causes destruction of the bone surrounding that tooth. This will eventually lead to the tooth becoming wiggly and ultimately may result in tooth loss.

 3 things you can do to prevent or help improve your swollen gums

  1. Schedule an appointment with your dentist for a professional cleaning. Hygienist have gone to school in order to provide a range of personalized care for oral disease prevention.
  2. Brush and floss gently to avoid further irritation. You shouldn’t stop brushing because your gums hurt: it will only cause the plaque to build up more and cause bacteria to grow.
  1. Rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution. It will soothe the tissues and get rid of bacteria in your mouth. Stay away from strong mouthwashes that have alcohol in it. They are most likely going to bother your gums.

Why Deep Cleaning is so Important for Gum Disease

Once you reach the point where your gums are inflamed and sensitive, there’s not much you can do at home to fix it.

For mild cases of gingivitis, a professional dental cleaning can reverse the effects. When you come into our office, we will remove all traces of plaque and calculus build up from your teeth to give your gums relief and allow them to heal.

If your gingivitis has progressed into full-blown periodontal disease, you will need a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing). The deep clean removes the bacteria and plaque that has built up below your gumline.

Once your teeth have been professionally cleaned, you can then supplement those cleanings by brushing and flossing at home according to your dentist’s instructions.

Remember, professional cleanings by your dentist go a long way to keeping your gums and mouth healthy.

Are your gums sore when you brush your teeth? Well then, it’s time to visit the dentist!

Schedule your next appointment on our online booking form or by calling us 604-336-9360