Dental Health & Wellness Blog

Welcome to the Blog of Ferguson Family Dental. Check back on a regular basis to stay in touch and receive news and tips on your dental health

Why do I keep getting Cavities?

September 17, 2019 | Posted Prevention

 Do you find you or child hearing the news that you have yet another cavity? You’ve been brushing twice a day, you even stepped up your flossing game, so what is the deal? Chances are it could be your diet. Most people have some idea that sugar is related to cavities. "If you eat too much candy you'll rot your teeth!" we were always told. So what about the people, your wife or brother, that can eat as much as they want and brag about how they rarely brush and  floss and yet they NEVER have cavties! What’s the deal? Here is the breakdown, strep mutans (sounds scary right?!) is one of the leading bacteria in our mouth that contributes to cavity formation. Our mouth is full of a whole flora of different bacteria, but some have a higher count in the cavitiy forming kind than others. So what do these bugs have to do with sugar? Strep mutans and other cavity causing bacteria use carbohydrates to feed on as an energy source, the by product is ACID. This acid, when exposed to teeth frequently, weakens the outer enamel layer, eventually creating a hole, aka a cavity.
    Most of us think of sugar in the candy form is bad for your teeth, but heres the thing, its CARBOHYDRATES, that means your favourite chips or the tasty Goldfish snacks your kids loves, granola bars etc, they all get stuck in the grooves and pits of our teeth while we eat. Combine that with a high frequency exposure, i.e multiple times throughout the day, snacking in between meals, sipping on coffee or soda throughout the day, juice in the morning, WHAM that’s a lot of exposure!

So what is one to do?
1. Don’t freak out, there is a way to counter act this!

2. See your dental professional, We are here to help you! We don’t want you getting cavities anymore than you do, our goal is PREVENTION.  When we educate you on brushing and flossing and ask you to swap out 1 sugary drink a day for water it’s for a good reason, the health of your teeth and your mouth. Take a look at your daily diet, how much water are you drinking, do you snack frequently between meals? What are those snacks and what are those drinks? By having the awareness of what we are consuming, that is the first step in the battle.

3. Do you have cavities that are untreated? You know the one that was recommended to be fixed 6 months ago but you haven’t gotten around to see the dentist yet? Guess what, active cavities to, contribute and lead to risk of developing larger and new cavities on adjacent teeth. Our saliva is always spreading bacteria around, remember that bacteria Strep Mutans, well it is feeding off carbs in your diet and creating acid, and if you have a cavity that is yet to be fixed, that bacteria is having a big party in your mouth, on your teeth! Get your cavities fixed and talk to your dental professional on ways you can alter your diet and brushing habits to have create a healthier oral environment.

7 Easy tips to reduce your risk of decay right now:
1. Swap out 1 sugary beverage a day for water
2. Rinse with water after snacking when brushing isn’t an option
3. Introduce baking soda rinses into your nightly routine. Baking soda is HIGH on the pH scale, remember that acid? If we alter our pH balance in our mouth to be more alkaline, the acidity has a diminished effect. Science 101.
4. Don’t skip brushing at night! We get it, the day is long and it may be the last thing you want to do at the end of the day, but skipping at night is the worst! At night our salivary flow decreases, during the day we are talking, eating, drinking, chewing etc. and the flow is higher and bathing our teeth. At night that all stops, so whatever you have had throughout the day, it is sitting there like a big BUFFET for bacteria. Its gross we know, that’s WHY YOU SHOULDN'T SKIP AT NIGHT!
5. Try to keep in between meal snacking to under 20 minutes - no grazing throughout the day. Remember that acid, it has a 20 min window to do its work, if we keep feeding the machine, that window of enamel breaking acid time is extended and more damage is done.
6. Do you love candy? Can you swap it out for chocolate? The chewy stickiness of candy makes things even more complicated because it gets stuck in our grooves and pits of teeth, not to mention no one has ever broken on a tooth on a hard candy- SAID NO DENTIST EVER! We see it all the time, broke a tooth, cracked a filling eating smarties etc. But chocolate can melt, which means it doesn’t stay stuck in our molars, and bonus if you enjoy dark chocolate for its antioxidant benefits.
7. You can still enjoy your favourite snacks and treats, but rinse with water afterwards, or even better, brush and floss. As in all things MODERATION IS KEY!

Hopefully this is practical information and a few things can be easy to implement into your lifestyle. Tried all this and still no help? See us, you may require additional cavity fighting toothpaste and mouth rinses that are prescribed for high risk cases. Remember what we do now effects how we smile, eat, chew laugh and enjoy life later. We want you to keep your teeth as long as you need them!

End of the Year Already?!

November 12, 2018 | Posted Holiday Health


It is hard to believe that we are almost to that "time of year again". 2018 has been a great year thanks to your continued support.  As it comes to an end, so may your dental benefits for this year. This is a reminder to reserve time for your dental hygiene care and any uncompleted dental treatment that is yet to be scheduled. 

While treatment is never dictated by insurance at our office, if you have any outstanding treatment that remains to be completed, it may be in your best interest to utilize your insurance benefits prior to the end of the year. We do our best to provide comprehensive quality care, and want what is best for your health and wellness needs. 

As the holidays approach, we recommend reserving time as soon as possible as the end of the year is a busy season for all.  At Ferguson Family Dental Care, we are committed to the prevention of dental decay and disease. Regular oral health exams and hygiene care are essential in that effort to make your smile shine through the seasons.


Caring for you and your Smile


It's that time of year again! Summer has come and gone in the blink of an eye. Your children are ready to take on the new school year, but are their smiles ready? 

Have the kids been in recently for their dental exams and hygiene care? Let's keep this healthy gum and teeth train rolling, by packing dental friendly snacks! Unsure what to pack? 

Here are some dental friendly snack ideas (allergies permitting):

  • Hummus and Pita Bread
  • Cheese cubes or slices
  • Low fat yogurt with berries
  • Crunchy veggies and dip
  • Sliced fruit such as watermelon or apples

Don't forget to promote lots of water! Even one cup of juice can contain more sugar than our recommended daily intake. Enhance the flavour of water with fresh fruit slices, or herbs. Try keeping a spare toothbrush and paste in school lockers or lunch bags. Rinsing in between meals with water also help disrupt the baceteria that develops while eating, if your children do not have access to brush at school. 

For any questions or help with your child’s dental needs between check-ups, don’t hesitate to call us at 705-734-2242


Ferguson Family Dental Care


Summer is a great time for you to get your child’s dental work out of the way. For parents with older children, the first order of business usually turns to braces with the arrival of permanent teeth.  Have you been wondering whether braces might be in your child’s future?

Here are some early signs your child will likely need some form of orthodontic care:

  • Over-crowded or misaligned teeth

  • “Noisy” jaw joints

  • An overbite or underbite

  • Jaws that seem out of proportion to your child’s face

  • Difficulty chewing

If you spot any of these tell-tale symptoms, call us to discuss reserving time for a one on one consultation. Even if baby teeth are still present, earlier treatments to a growing jaw can help ensure long-term success. 

Marnie is our lead Orthodontic Hygienist and loves seeing the improvement each month in our patients smiles. She works alongside Dr. Ryan to treatment plan the right type of treatment for your child. 

As always, if you have any questions, please call us at 705-734-2242 and schedule a one on one consult to see if your child is ready for braces.



Comprehensive Dental Exam

May 08, 2018 | Posted Health

Did you know a dental cleaning, is only part of the equation when it comes to your overall health?


We consider, the mouth to be the gateway to the rest of the body because many other illnesses first represent themselves as changes within the mouth. As a result, a comprehensive oral dental exam is recommended every 3- 5 years to re-evaluate your dental health and over all health.


It is also recommended if you have had a substantial change in your health history since your last regular visit, or if you have not been to your regular dentist in more than three years.


During an examination, your dentist and hygienist will perform a visual examination, as well as a more detailed dental examination using x-rays such as bitewings, 360 Panorex, and sometimes an intra-oral camera to detect:

  • New cavities
  • Weaknesses in already installed crowns, fillings, and bridgework
  • Gum or bone recession
  • Teeth deterioration due to abnormal bite, bruxism, or TMJ

Your hygienist and dentist will also perform a visual and digital examination of all the hard and soft tissues of your head and neck, including lymph nodes. Think of it like a physical for your head and neck, lips, cheeks, and gums. It's not just about your teeth!


A Comprehensive Dental Exam, or COE, is designed to set a baseline of your health and to catch any early signs of serious illness that may be otherwise undetected. Often people see their dentist more frequently then they would their family doctor. Our team is highly trained and will be on the lookout for the following illnesses which can be detected during a comprehensive oral evaluation:

  • Diabetes
  • Leukemia
  • High Blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Oral cancer
  • Immune abnormalities
  • Sinus problems

A comprehensive oral evaluation is a valuable part of your preventative health plan, and your Barrie dentist and hygienist are a great ally in keeping an eye out for undiagnosed illnesses. Have you had your COE? Call us today to reserve time with our team!

One of the number one questions we get asked is "How can I make my teeth whiter?" Everyone is looking for that dazziling smile, yet many people are hesitant to start any type of whitening session. With many options available, it can be confusing. Want to know if whitening is right for you? Your Barrie Dentist and Hygienist can help you!


Are you a candidate for whitening?

Most people with healthy teeth can benefit from having their teeth professionally whitened. However not everyone is a great candidate for the treatment. Existing dental restorations like crowns, veneers, bridges and tooth coloured fillings will not whiten with treatment. We recommened whitening for at least 2 weeks prior to any type of restorative work. If you are pregnant or lactating or under the age of 16, you should not whiten. If you have generalized cold sensitivity or moderate gum recession, or have allergies to certain materials, whitening may not be best for you. Talk with your Barrie dentist and hygienist to discuss if whitening is right for you.

Types of Whitening Treatment:

When it comes to getting your pearly teeth extra white, check out these available options:

Professional In Office Whitening: 
Your dental hygienist applies a professional whitening solution to your teeth that is light activated. This effective and safe treatment can be completed during a lunch break and you can expect to see results for up to a year. Results vary but you can go up to 8 shades lighter! You will also have custom made whitening trays to do touch ups if necessary.

At Home Whitening:
This can be done in the comfort of your home with custom made trays and professional whitening gel from your Barrie Dentist and Hygienist. The trays are worn 1-2 times a day up to 45 minutes at at a time over a span of 2 weeks.

Alternatively there are also whitening kits available over the counter. Similar results to professional treatment can be achieved, however it may take longer to reach your desired shade, and is dependent on how consist you are with the treatment.

Whatever you decide, we are sure you will love the results and we can help you come to the right decision! Looking to add some extra sparkle? Call Ferguson Family Dental Care today, we would love to help you reach your perfect smile!



  Halloween is sneeking up on us and before you know it,there will be an abundous of sticky, chewy, and delicious candy in our goblin hands. With extra treats around, our teeth are at risk for decayBacteria in our mouths eat the sugars creating an acid, which attacks our enamel. The weaken enamel gets softened, leading to a cavity. The the more exposure the tooth has to acid and sugar, the worse it gets! This year, let the Halloween Haunts be the only thing that scares you, not the fear rotting teeth. With these tips, you can help keep you and your little monster's teeth healthy and happy!
1. Use a small treat bag:
Avoid waste and over indulgence by using a smaller bag to start with.

2. Sort candy and give away extras:
Make sure to sort candy to make sure it is safe for consumation. Give candy away or donate to groups like Operation Shoe Box or to local food banks or nursing homes. This spreads the fun of Halloween to those that may not get to indulge in a special treat every 
once in a while.

3. Set up rules and expecations for how much candy is allowed:
Remember the more sugar exposure the increase risk of decay. Discuss and set up rules for how much candy is allowed and when. Suggestion: 2 small pieces after dinner.

4.Don't skimp on brushing and flossing:
Be extra diligent with brushing twice a day for 2 minutes, followed by flossing at night. Kids ages 7 and under still need guidance with brushing to make sure they are reaching all their teeth. Set a good example for your kids and make it a fun routine at the end of the night. Try playing a favorite song and brushing together until its over-most songs are usually 2 minutes!

5. Drink more water:
With the increase in candy consumption, try drinking and rinsing with water-when brushing is not an option. Swap soda or juice for a glass of water instead throughout the day.
6. Come up with some creative ideas with your family to use candy in a new way:
Try building a 
house out of candy and glue, practice addition and subtraction with candy pieces, or make a craft out of candy wrappers! Whatever it is, have fun and make it a family project.

Along with these tips, come visit us to ensure your teeth are healthy and learn more ways to keep your smile for life. Don't forget to check out our facebook page on Halloween to see pictures of our team in their costumes; they're sure to make you laugh! 

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!