What’s the Difference Between an Orthodontist and a Dentist?

Orthodontists and dentists do share some similarities, although they are different professions. They both help patients achieve beautiful and healthy smiles but do this differently. Dentists cover a wide range of oral health issues like cavities, gum disease or missing teeth, while orthodontists focus solely on tooth and jaw alignment. Orthodontists are dentists who continued their training in an accredited university for an additional three years and specialize in orthodontics. They are qualified to provide treatment options that can help straighten a patient’s teeth. Often, dentists and orthodontists work together to provide patients with the best possible results when it comes to the appearance and health of their teeth.

There are a few key differences between orthodontists and dentists and the following information will clarify these aspects:


Dentists must complete a general dental degree and are in charge of your overall dental health. They can provide a number of different services, including dental cleanings and tooth repair but do not deal with braces or aligners. If a patient needs orthodontic treatment, their dentist will refer them to an orthodontist.

Dentistry is more of a broad medical specialty that deals with the teeth, gums, nerves and jaw. Dentists encourage good oral hygiene and provide services that can help with tooth decay, root canals, gum disease, crowns, bridges, veneers and teeth whitening.


Orthodontists must complete a dental degree followed by a three year specialist degree. They are experts in facial growth and dental development and are specialists in tooth and jaw alignment. They can provide a number of different treatments, including retainers, clear aligners and traditional braces. They will help you pick the option that is most suitable for you by providing their professional opinion.

Orthodontics is a specialty branch within dentistry that focuses on the straightening of teeth and the correction of bites and occlusions. They specialize in the alignment of teeth and provide services that can help with crowded teeth, overbites, underbites and, of course, misaligned teeth. Most people who require orthodontic services have crooked teeth but orthodontists can do more than just help with this and can assist with overcrowded teeth, crossbite and spaces between teeth. They can also help with the treatment of temporomandibular disorders and any additional problems with the patient’s jaw.

Both orthodontists and dentists help patients improve their oral health. While they focus on different aspects, the goal is to keep your teeth healthy. All orthodontists are dentists; however, not all dentists are licensed orthodontists, so make sure you clarify this information before asking a general dentist to complete orthodontic work.

Vancity Dental in BC can help with all of your dental needs. Whether you are interested in Invisalign or want teeth whitening, our dental office can help, so if you are in the Vancouver area and are looking for a reputable dentist, give our office a call today!

Help! My Gums Hurt When I Floss!

Flossing is an important part of any teeth cleaning routine; it gets at the more stubborn residue or substances that brushing can’t get to and keeps your gums healthy. Naturally, flossing can leave you some discomfort and there’s even some bleeding to be expected (especially if you haven’t flossed in a while), but if the pain starts to become unbearable, then there are some things you can do to help.

Gentleness is Key

Over-aggressive flossing is one of the key reasons for gum bleeding and soreness; your gums are a sensitive part of your mouth, so being too rough with them naturally leads to consequences. Take it slow, be patient, and be consistent. If you do, you’ll be able to “train” and condition your gums and lessen the occurrences of bleeding and pain over time.

Different Tools

There are a variety of alternative tools for flossing that can also help reduce pain and bleeding. One is a water floss machine, more commonly known as a water pick. This works by basically shooting water in between your teeth and parts of your mouth to help dislodge food and plaque; it’s a common tool of dentists and come with a variety of different attachments to help you get at those harder to see and reach areas.

Non-abrasive floss is another alternative. These floss types are coated in a soft and gentle material that lessens gum irritation and can help ease your gums into better oral hygiene habits.

Interdental brushes act like tiny toothbrushes between your teeth and are easier to use than traditional floss while being just as effective; they’re one of the best options if you have braces.

Soft-picks are another good choice; a combination of an interdental brush and a dental pick, they’re disposable plastic picks with rubber bristles and soft tips that do minimal damage to gum tissue. They can help mitigate a majority of the bleeding and pain associated with flossing.

Located in downtown Vancouver, Vancity Dental is dedicated to making you look forward to dental visits. With two experienced dentists, highly qualified dental staff, and a modern, well-equipped clinic, we’re focused on providing you a personal and friendly experience. We offer a variety of dental services from teeth whitening to Invisalign teeth straightening techniques; we even offer cosmetic and Botox services! Our affordable services and painless dentistry will leave you feeling great while preventing a dent to your wallet. Book an appointment now at vancity.dental or call 604-687-1137 to give yourself that smile you’ve always dreamed of.

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Caring for Your Smile While Wearing Invisalign

Invisalign is growing in popularity because it is a great alternative to traditional braces and provides patients with excellent results. Invisalign can help you achieve a better smile by straightening your teeth and increasing your confidence.


In order to achieve the perfect smile, you must care for your teeth while wearing Invisalign so that there are no problems once the treatment is complete. The last thing you want to deal with is tooth decay, so you need to clean your teeth regularly and thoroughly to prevent this from happening. Waiting for straighter teeth is exciting but caring for your teeth is extremely important so that you can enjoy the results and show off your new smile.

The following tips will help you care for your teeth properly while wearing Invisalign:

Remove your trays

One of the biggest differences between Invisalign and traditional braces is that Invisalign braces are removable, whereas regular braces are not. While it’s important to remove the trays only when necessary, removing them while eating is a must. This will ensure food does not get stuck, which can lead to problems. You should also remove your trays while you’re cleaning your teeth so that you can have access to every tooth and area inside your mouth. This can allow for a thorough cleaning because you’ll be able to get into all the hard-to-reach areas.

Brush your teeth normally

This is extremely important and you must continue brushing your teeth as you normally would. This means doing it twice a day using a soft-bristle toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste to brush all of the surfaces of your teeth. Ideally, this should be done after every meal but if that is unrealistic, try drinking water every time you are done eating because this will help get rid of extra food on your teeth. Allowing carbohydrates to remain on your teeth may lead to tooth decay.

Don’t forget to floss

Flossing is equally as important as brushing, so you can’t forget to complete this step. Traditional braces can make this task difficult but Invisalign makes it a lot easier to do thanks to its removable design. Flossing can be easy to do and you will more than likely be able to remove all of the bits and pieces of food that are stuck in between your teeth.

Make sure you clean your trays

This is a very important step because it can prevent bacteria from accumulating on your trays while keeping your teeth free from excess foods as well. You can place the trays in a tub with cleaning crystals for 15-minutes at a time, which should leave your trays clean or you can ask your dentist for other cleaning methods.


If you are interested in Invisalign, Vancity Dental can provide you with more information. Our dental office can help you achieve the perfect smile, so whether you want teeth whitening treatments or are looking for reputable dentists in the Vancouver area, we can help! For the best dentists in all of BC, contact us today!

How To Choose The Right Toothpaste For You

It’s no secret that there are a variety of toothbrush types and designs available. However, did you know that there are also different types of toothpaste to choose from as well? Different toothpaste types are better suited for the needs of certain individuals often, depending on their oral health condition or age. It can be confusing to navigate and decide which toothpaste is right for you. Toothpaste comes available in gels, paste and powdered forms.

Below, we have created a comprehensive guide on the most commonly used types of toothpaste as well as their ingredients and benefits to help you select which type is right for your teeth.

CDA Approved Toothpaste

Regardless of the type of toothpaste you choose, you should always opt for one that is verified by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA). CDA approved toothpastes will have the CDA Seal of Approval on it or can easily be listed on the website. The approval program ensures the toothpaste is of high-quality and can improve oral health.

1. Fortified With Fluoride

When selecting a toothpaste, it’s in the best interest of your teeth to find one that is fortified with fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral found in soil and water. It plays an important role in maintaining optimal oral health because of its ability to protect the teeth from tooth decay and bacteria. It can also effectively reduce tooth sensitivity caused by worn tooth enamel.

2. Whitening Toothpaste

If you’re interested in buying a whitening toothpaste, it’s important to be aware of how this type of toothpaste can soften the teeth enamel and increase tooth sensitivity. If your teeth and gums are already highly sensitive, ensure you discuss this with your dentist before you use whitening toothpaste or any whitening products. In general, whitening toothpastes are not as effective as in-office dental professional whitening treatments, however, they are an affordable alternative for patients that want some sense of teeth whitening.

3. Charcoal Toothpaste

Activated charcoal toothpastes are becoming increasingly popular all over the world. However, it’s important to note that there has not been a significant amount of research regarding the long-term effects of this toothpaste. If you’re considering switching to charcoal toothpaste, be aware that some of the brands may not carry fluoride. The toothpaste can whiten teeth, but may only remove stains from the surface and wear down the tooth enamel over time.

4. Sensitive Toothpaste

Sensitive teeth can be caused by a variety of factors from worn enamel, gum disease, chipped or decayed teeth. The teeth become extremely reactionary and sensitive to hot, cold, acidic or sweet foods that irritate the nerves. Sensitive toothpaste is often high in fluoride to prevent decay and reduce the pain and irritation from sensitivity. Depending on your level of teeth sensitivity, ensure you discuss this with your dentist and see what brand of toothpaste they advise.

Vancity Dental is the Vancouver dental office for comprehensive, professional dental services. We are committed to providing high-quality general, restorative and cosmetic dental services for our clients. Schedule your appointment with us today at https://vancity.dental/services/.

Dental Care For Seniors

Dental care should never be neglected, no matter your age. While many people associate tooth loss with ageing, many seniors now more than ever are keeping their natural teeth longer and that is partially due to practicing good oral health. Good oral habits can go a long way regardless if you have natural teeth, dental implants or dentures. Below we list some reasons why dental care is so important for seniors.

Oral Care And Your Overall health

Researchers have found a link between a number of diseases that can impact seniors’ health. Undiagnosed periodontal disease can increase the likelihood of developing heart problems such as heart disease, respiratory disorder and even stroke.

What Are The Symptoms Of Periodontal Disease? 

  • Itching, swollen and bleeding gums 
  • Loose teeth 
  • Shifted teeth 
  • Bad breath 
  • Receding Gums 
  • Dry Mouth 

Dry Mouth And Senior Citizens

Dry mouth is not only a symptom of periodontal disease, but it’s also an uncomfortable condition that is popular among senior citizens. It can be caused by medications or health treatments like radiation therapy that is usually undergone by cancer patients.

Sensitivity And Senior Citizens

As we age, so do our teeth and they may become more sensitive over time. Gums naturally recede over time, and ex[pse the parts of your teeth that are not protected by enamel. If you are experiencing sensitive teeth, you should try using an antigenicity toothpaste. If the sensitivity persists you should schedule a visit with your dentist because sensitive teeth could be a sign of bigger issues, such as cavities or cracked/fractured teeth.

Maintaining Good Oral Health Is About Prevention

The key components of maintaining good oral health are regular teeth maintenance (i.e. regularly visiting the dentist, and regular brushing and flossing). 

For extra protection, we suggest the following:

  • Get an antimicrobial mouthwash, which will help prevent and fight off periodontal disease.
  • Get a water flosser or one-handle flosser to help you remove food or debris stuck in between your teeth. 
  • Get a powered wide handle toothbrush that will allow you to brush at the suggested 45-degree angle.
  • Clean your dentures regularly (twice a day) with warm water and brush them with denture paste.
  • Make sure that you are replacing your dentures every six to seven years.
  • Track any changes in your mouth and make sure to bring up any areas of concern with your dentist.


For all of your oral health needs, look no further than Vancity dental. Our team of highly qualified dentists aim to help you get your oral care on track. Despite the current state of your oral health, we can help diagnose your concerns, and help you determine the best course of action. Contact us today!

4 Tips for Winter Oral Care

Caring for Sensitive Teeth

When eating ice cream, popsicles, or drinking cold beverages, you may find that your teeth experience sharp and aching discomfort. If that’s the case, try not to suck in cold air when you’re outside in the cold. You can also use a specially formulated toothpaste (specific for sensitive teeth) or rinse out your mouth with saltwater. Using a softly bristled toothbrush helps with avoiding any agitation to your gums. You also want to avoid highly acidic foods. If you find yourself grinding your teeth at night or in general, consider getting a mouthguard.

Cold Sores

There are several reasons that cause cold sores. Cold weather, a weak immune system, stress, and fatigue are just a few things that may signal you have a cold sore. If you feel like one is starting to formulate on your mouth, do whatever you can to keep your hands away from your mouth. Generally speaking, bacteria are literally everywhere. No matter how many times a day you wash your hands or take a shower, we are all constantly in contact with bacteria. The last thing you want is to make the cold sore worse by touching it. Make sure you put a lip ointment or topical treatment to stop it from getting worse.

Chapped Lips

This is one of the most common ailments people deal with during the winter. There are several different remedies for chapped lips, including staying hydrated, using a humidifier, moisturizing, etc. The best option is to invest in a lip balm that contains SPF+ in order to ensure they’re protected. It’s also important to remember that your body moisturizes from the inside out. With that being said, make sure you’re staying hydrated and drinking anywhere between three to four litres of water a day.

Taking Care Of Your Cavities

It’s easy to get lost in the sweets that are offered to you during the winter/holiday season. It’s one of the things everyone looks forward to. But be careful! Too much of these sweet treats can result in a trip to the dentist that isn’t so pleasant. The best thing you can do is ensure you brush two to three times a day, floss after every meal. Drinking water will help you rinse away the particles and keep you hydrated, so why not knock to birds out with one stone. Certain foods can help improve the calcium levels of your teeth, including cheese, vegetables, and fruits.

Related: Should You Consider Cosmetic Dentistry?

Advantages Of Single-Tooth Dental Implants

Unfortunately, losing one or two adult teeth is a common, unfavourable part of ageing. This is a frustrating occurrence and can extend beyond being just a cosmetic issue to a painful, daunting oral health issue. Failing to have the missing tooth replaced can cause further damage. That is why many choose to have a single-tooth dental implant procedure to replace the missing tooth to restore their smile, confidence and oral health.

If you have lost a tooth or need to have one extracted, it is important to understand how and why a single-tooth dental implant is a viable solution for you.

Single-Tooth Dental Implants Explained

Dental implants are an effective, long-term solution for missing or extracted teeth. The dental treatment involves the use of a titanium rod that is fastened into the jaw in the remaining hole from the extracted or missing tooth. Joined to the top of the titanium rod is a “saddle” for a crown. The crowns are custom-fitted and applied to the area perfectly and the colour of the implant successfully matches the shade of the rest of your natural teeth. Single-tooth dental implants are so popular and successful because it is a quick procedure that can be completed in one dental appointment.

Advantages of Single-Tooth Dental Implants

Single-tooth dental implants and dental implants, in general, offer several benefits compared to other teeth replacement treatments. Here are a few of the advantages of this dental implant procedure:

  • Improved Speech: When you lose a few teeth or have dentures that do not fit your mouth properly, you may find yourself slurring your words or mumbling. Dental implants will not slip in your mouth to cause you to slur as the implant is anchored in.
  • Improved comfort: Having a hole in your mouth can make the area susceptible to bacteria and foods, which can build-up inside and cause an infection. The single-tooth implant is secured into the area which eliminates your discomfort and prevents the disease from developing.
  • Easier eating: It can be difficult to chew properly and comfortably with missing teeth and irritate the hole where the tooth used to be. Chewing can be extremely difficult and uncomfortable, but with the dental implant that functions exactly like the rest of your teeth, you can enjoy eating your favourite foods without a problem.
  • Convenience: Removable dentures are an annoyance because they are removable! Anchored down, durable dental implants stay secured so you do not have to worry about them falling out when you are eating or speaking. You also do not have to be worried about the messy adhesives that dentures require to keep them secured.


Vancity Dental is a comprehensive dentist clinic in Vancouver, BC, committed to providing our patients with full-service dental care. From general, restorative, cosmetic and emergency dental care, our dental clinic covers it all! Our team of dental professionals is committed to enhancing your smile, improving your oral health and helping you achieve optimal dental health every day! Book your appointment with us today.

Related: What are Invisalign Attachments?

How to Insert and Remove Your Invisalign

If you’re having trouble inserting and removing your aligners, you’re not alone and it’s actually quite common for patients to have difficulty putting them in and also taking them out. The right information will help make both tasks a breeze so keep these tips in mind so that you know exactly what to do!

When it comes to inserting your aligners, the first thing you need to know is that you have to start with your front teeth first and then work your way towards the back. Only when the tray is covering your teeth fully and properly should you proceed by using your thumbs to seat them firmly in place. If after doing this you still feel as though it’s not perfectly seated do not try to bite it into place regardless of how tempting or easy it may seem because this will cause your aligners to break or bend, both of which you definitely want to avoid. Instead of biting, use a soft chewing device, known as chewies, to help you seat them properly. 

It’s also very important to remember not to force anything because this too will result in damage. If you feel as if your aligner feels strange or just doesn’t fit right, it’s possible that it may have folded which is common. If you see that this is the case, simply remove it and unfold the area so that it’s facing outwards and try again. Unfold it gently and this should do the trick.

When it comes to the removal of your aligners you must do the opposite; start at the back and work your way forward. The trick is to flick the tray downwards using your finger which will release it making it a lot easier to get a hold of. You must do this on both sides of your mouth and if you feel that the tray has been released you’ll then be able to grab both sides and pull it down and forward over each of your teeth. Doing it gently is the key so that it’s done correctly and applying unnecessary force is never the answer as it can result in a torn aligner or possibly even break off any attachments you may have on your teeth.

Every patient is unique but we all have difficult or crowded areas in our mouths and gently rocking or wiggling the tray to remove it from these challenging areas will help. Another thing you should keep in mind is that a dry mouth makes the removal process a lot easier so do your best not to drink something right before you remove your aligners as this will make things more challenging.

Vancity Dental is an experienced and reputable dental clinic in Vancouver, BC who can help answer all of your Invisalign and teeth whitening inquiries. For a dentist, you can trust contact us today!

Related: What are Invisalign Attachments?

What are Invisalign Attachments?

Invisalign is a very popular way of straightening teeth because it’s done in a manner that’s barely noticeable to anyone but the patient. It is a highly effective treatment that produces very successful results and gives patients the beautiful smile they’ve always wanted. They are comfortable and a great way of achieving the perfect smile and while the clear aligners normally do the trick, some patients will need Invisalign attachments in addition to the aligners to get the best results possible. 

Aligners can treat several different orthodontic conditions like spacing, overbites and even cross bites and each set is designed to move your teeth closer to their desired position. Some patients require attachments to help the aligners and together the two will produce perfect results. 

The attachments can help treat even more conditions and the best part is that there is no drilling or painful shots. The attachment consists of a small dot of bonding material that is placed on specific teeth and vary in size depending on their purpose. They will be placed in precise positions, are tooth coloured and are located on the front portion of the teeth. Their purpose is to enable the patient’s aligners to grip their teeth smoothly and act like tiny handles that the aligner can target and push on during the treatment. You don’t have to worry about the attachments being bonded to your teeth because they can easily be removed by polishing once the treatment is complete and the process is painless. 

Attachments may also include buttons and elastics to help you achieve the best results. The buttons act as brackets that are essentially anchors for the elastics. Buttons are small and can be plastic or metal and these attachments will not affect the way your aligner fits over your teeth in any way. 

If Invisalign is a treatment you’re interested in, contact Vancity Dental in BC today to schedule an appointment. They will discuss the details to see if this is the right option for you and the experienced dentists will help you achieve a beautiful smile you’ll be proud to show off. If you want a dentist you can trust and staff that can take care of all of your dental needs, whether it’s teeth whitening or root canals, they can help. If you’re in the Vancouver area, book an appointment with Vancity Dental and you’ll be in good hands.

Related: Invisalign Vs Traditional Braces.

Taking Care of Your Teeth as You Age

Taking care of your teeth is important at any age, but it becomes even more important as you start to get older because of the different factors that can lead to additional oral health problems. Many of these factors may not have been an issue before, but the older you get, the more responsibilities you will have in regards to dental health. Taking care of your gums and teeth must be a priority so that you avoid deterioration and pain, which can occur as you age. 

Teeth are naturally strong, but over time, your oral health will decline for a number of reasons, including grinding, gnawing and crunching. Acidic foods, lack of fluoride and tobacco use will also contribute to the decline of your teeth. The reality is that the older you get, the more wear and tear your teeth will experience. 

Cavities must be addressed immediately because those over the age of 65 are very susceptible to them because of the natural weakening of the enamel. While you can’t slow down this process you can help by brushing and flossing regularly and taking advantage of fluoride found in toothpaste and mouthwash. 

For many seniors, medications become a part of their routine because as you age, you will face more health problems. While medication helps, it also impacts your oral health because it causes dry mouth, which is a common side effect. Lack of saliva will cause your mouth to feel uncomfortable, lead to bad breath, cause difficulty swallowing and increase the risk for tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. Drinking more water is important and will help with these issues. 

As you age, it’s also common to experience reduced nerve sensitivity, making it more difficult to detect pain or discomfort. This means that a problem may become a lot worse before you are able to notice it and this is never good when it comes to oral health because early detection is crucial and can make a big difference. For this reason, regular checkups are extremely important so that your dentist can monitor your mouth and detect any problems you may not notice right away. This will also allow them to fix it before it gets worse. 

Brushing and flossing twice a day should be a mandatory part of your daily routine and as much as it helps to do this at home, professional cleaning by a reputable dentist will make a world of difference. Dentists can complete deep cleanings that you would not be able to do on your own and their knowledge allows them to detect problems early on. 

Vancity Dental is a wonderful dental clinic in Vancouver, BC, that can help keep your mouth and teeth healthy. They can also help with teeth whitening and offer Invisalign, so for all of your oral health needs, contact Vancity Dental today!

Related: Signs a Toothache is more than just a Toothache.