The toothpaste aisle: a seemingly endless lane of flashy boxes with a mouthful of obscure ingredients listed on the back of the package. Selecting one can be an overwhelming task, but a little help from a knowledgeable dental health care provider can make the decision easier. We can help make sense of the contents of toothpaste, and ensure that you choose one that is tailored to your individualized oral health care needs and desired outcomes.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that strengthens the enamel of teeth, making them more resistant to demineralization caused by cavity-forming bacteria and acidic diets. Look under medicinal (active) ingredients for fluoride compounds including sodium fluoride, stannous fluoride or sodium monofluorophosphate. Fluoride concentrations in toothpastes are higher and more effective than the minimal concentrations found in fluoridated city water, so toothpaste as a source of fluoride is important for those living in old Milton, whose water supply currently remains non-fluoridated. It is also a crucial source for children, who are more prone to developing cavities than adults. With that being said, it is important to understand that higher concentrations of fluoride are permitted in toothpaste because it is not intended to be ingested. Children under the age of 3 should use non-fluoridated toothpastes. Children and adults who have trouble spitting adequately should opt for a “low-fluoride” paste containing <600 ppm of fluoride.
Tooth sensitivity is highly prevalent, and is the most frequent oral condition for which I make toothpaste recommendations in practice. These toothpastes produce their effects either by blocking the exposed canals of the tooth that contain the pain receptors (e.g. Sensodyne or Colgate), or by blocking the pain receptors themselves (Crest). There are a number of underlying dental problems that could be the root cause of dental sensitivity or pain — speak with your dental provider about the best treatment approach for your specific oral condition. Should your dental care provider recommend toothpaste to tackle your sensitivity, it is important to note that long-lasting relief is dependent on routine twice-daily use of the toothpaste.
There is an extensive selection of “natural” toothpastes available on the market today, making it difficult to comment on the group as a whole. Generally speaking, these toothpastes have substituted synthetic inactive ingredients, such as preservatives and artificial flavoring, with organic alternatives. Many of these natural options have also eliminated compounds, such as fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate — a common synthetic detergent that is often under scrutiny for its role in canker sores and oral ulcers. Despite the perks of organic toothpastes, it is important to be aware that many do not contain the active (medicinal) ingredients that have been clinically proven to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Don’t hesitate to approach your dental provider with any questions you may have prior to your next venture down the toothpaste aisle!
Maintaining the romance and securing the longevity of your relationship does not require expensive dinners out or romantic trips away. In fact, one of the strongest predictors of connection and relationship stability is the very mundane day-to-day moments where couples turn towards, rather than away from each other. This includes moments where your partner asks for help finding their keys, makes a comment about something they’ve noticed, complains about their work day, or asks you to put down your phone. How you choose to respond to such bids for your attention is crucial to the success of your relationship. Consistently turning towards each other builds a sense of trust, togetherness, and connection, which serves as a buffer when you face challenges in life and in your relationship.
Reach Out. It is important to take the time and effort to turn towards your partner on a regular and consistent basis. It is important to tell your partner about your day-to-day activities, share your opinions, and generally share your thoughts when you are together. Turning towards and reaching out can also include physical touch, humor or teasing, invitations to engage in an activity, and requests for help or support. For example, ask your partner to go with you when you walk the dog, to help you with a new life goal, or share a funny situation that you witnessed. It is also helpful to build in routines where you can turn towards each other, such as a check-in phone call before you drive home from work, eating meals together, or cuddling each night before bed.
Respond to Reaching. When your partner makes a comment or request of you, take the time to acknowledge and then respond. You don’t need to have a long poetic conversation, but you do need to acknowledge your partners bid for your attention and respond. When the opportunity presents itself, be helpful; this will increase your sense of working as a team. Research suggests that couples who remain together respond to each other’s bids for attention approximately 86% of the time.
Don’t Take It Personally. We all vary in our need for time alone with our thoughts and feelings. It is important to accept your partner’s needs for solitude, and view this as a need rather than a rejection of you. Acknowledge the ways in which your partner does turn towards you, even if it is not in your preferred format (e.g. your partner may prefer humor or touch, rather than conversation, while you prefer conversation and the sharing of ideas and plans).
Eliminate Obstacles. One of the biggest obstacles in your partner’s bid for attention is distraction. When we are task oriented (e.g. trying to make dinner before getting the kids to their after-school activities) or unwinding (e.g. during screen time), it can be difficult to allow the interruption of your partner’s bid for your attention. It is important to always turn towards your partner, even if only for a brief time. If you are task oriented, invite your partner to join you; if you are unwinding, consider putting down the activity and talking about what you were doing or thinking. It is also wise to consider limiting your own, and not just your kids, screen time, to allow greater opportunity for connection. A second obstacle for missing your partner’s bids is emotionality. When bids for attention are emotional, intense, or critical, it can be hard to respond without getting critical or defensive in response. In this situation, try to respond to your partner’s bid, not their delivery, and when expressing your own bids, try softening your initial request.
For more information on effective strategies to enhance your relationship refer to The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by Dr. John Gottman. Couples completing each of the activities in this book show improvements in their marriage that are sustained for more than one year after they have completed the book. Turning towards one another is one of the behaviors Dr. Gottman and his colleagues found when watching couples interact for a single weekend, that predicted their remaining together years later.
I always feel this way when I sit down to share a family’s story. I often feel unworthy of writing it, and I never feel like I can do it justice or make the family proud. Something about this story is different, though. I’ve never felt like this before. It’s an ultra-sensitive story, and there are so many layers. I really want to capture the beauty and the pain this family is experiencing, and I hope I can bring it to life the way I see it in my heart. I first read their story on social media— a story of a man who had been given six months to live, and his dying wish was to marry the love of his life in the presence of their family and in comfort of their living room, so that he “wouldn’t die not belonging to someone”. I instantly wanted to share their story with my readers.
I was welcomed into their home by the delightful smell of fresh baked blueberry cake. Jeanne wouldn’t take no for an answer, and I am really glad she didn’t; it was delicious! Over the next couple of hours, I spent some time getting to know this special couple. Rick sat back in his easy chair with a view of the yard through the patio door, and held his Rosary. I sat comfortably, and enjoyed the blueberry cake while Jeanne and Rick helped me understand their story.
Before meeting Rick, Jeanne’s family was no stranger to loss. Bob, the man Jeanne was married to for 20 years, was taken from them suddenly, when he passed away as a result of brain stem stroke. Her twin sons, Michael and Matthew were 26 years old, and her daughter Calley, 17, when their father died, suddenly in 2004 at the age of 55. The death of their father was difficult, to say the least; they were robbed of the chance to say goodbye. For several years after Bob’s death, Jeanne was alone. However, once the kids were off living their own lives, she longed for something she knew was missing. She had lots of friends, and was very social, but she admits “I was lost and I needed a purpose.” She did the unthinkable, at the time, and she went online in hopes of finding companionship. Before long, on a hot summer’s day, she agreed to meet a gentleman named Rick at a coffee shop in the hopes of getting to know him a little better.
Before meeting Jeanne that day in the coffee shop, Rick had led a difficult life. His childhood was dysfunctional, and he had endured years of mental and emotional abuse. Rick fell into the same lifestyle as an adult. As an alcoholic, he made a conscious decision to never have a family. This was his way of ensuring that the cycle stopped with him. He refused to subject children of his own to the same life he endured growing up. “I wasn’t a good human most of my life because I drank” he admits. By the grace of God, Rick started attending AA meetings in 1987, and has been sober since.
Together for 10 years now, Jeanne and Rick had many plans for their retirement. Jeanne’s kids have children of their own, now. Rick retired early from Canada Post, and has been driving a school bus part-time for the last five years, and Jeanne retired from the ministry of education. They were grateful that Jeanne’s sons and daughter lived close by, so that they could enjoy their grandchildren and watch them grow. The couple had recently made plans to take the entire family to Disney World. It was going to be a trip of a lifetime; everyone was going, all three children and their five grandchildren. Everyone was excited, but no one has mentioned the trip since, Rick’s diagnosis.
In late summer of 2017, Rick had been complaining of pain in his stomach and back, and had been finding himself unusually tired. After running a few medical tests, he was told that his white blood cell count was high, but that there was no other reason for concern. On September 8th, 2017— which happens to be Jeanne’s birthday— after further testing and a visit with Oncology at Credit Valley Hospital, Rick was given the devastating news of the massive tumour in his esophagus. It was inoperable and over a course of weeks, three separate doctors confirmed that there was nothing that could be done. Jeanne jokes that she’s sure this was Rick’s way of getting out of buying her a birthday present. Rick was given six months to live. As expected, the emotions varied for the family over the coming weeks. Rick remembers crying during one of his appointments with his palliative care doctor. The doctor asked him why he was crying. Rick looked at him and said, “because I am dying with cancer, of course.” The doctor looked at him and said “Rick, you are not dying with cancer, you are living with cancer.” Rick says this is when he realized that he did have a choice; he could die with cancer or learn to live with cancer.
Although the feelings of bitterness were difficult to ignore, Rick reached deep within himself and his spiritual native Cree roots and decided that he was going to live his last days being grateful and living his life to the fullest. It’s often said that if you are dying, you should do all the things you have been wanting to do. “This is such an unrealistic expectation,” Jeanne says “It’s not a romantic time! Your days are a filled with pain medication and nurses!” This is not the idea that Rick has in mind though, when he thinks of living his last days to the fullest; instead, he is focusing on leaving no words unsaid and no love unshown.
Jeanne’s children and grandchildren are the closest Rick has ever had to a family. Ironically, the man who swore he never wanted or needed family is hugely grateful for the family that has been given to him in his last days. Michael and Matthew were a little more welcoming of Rick than Calley was at first. Understandably, there was some friction between the two, and she wasn’t fully accepting of him right away. Rick tells me, “I never wanted to replace their father. If anything I make a point of acknowledging Bob, especially around our grandchildren.”
Jeanne recalls the day that Calley saw Rick in a different light. Their son, Michael’s six year old twins had stayed for their usual weekend sleepover. The following morning, Calley happened to drop in, and overheard the twins saying good morning to a photo of Papa Bob. Calley later asked Jeanne how it was that the kids knew who her dad was. She was surprised to hear that Rick often spoke of Bob to the grandchildren, and told them that he was their grandfather way before they were born. Later that day, Calley texted Rick to thank him.
As I sat there, in their well kept, cozy family room, I was distracted by the many sticky notes that were all over the walls, furniture, and even the fireplace. Upon taking a closer look, I realized that they were in a child’s handwriting. Rick and Jeanne’s eyes gleamed with pride while they explained to me that Michael’s twin boys are very concerned for Papa Rick. They worry he would become so ill that he would not know where anything was. They created dozens of sticky notes to label objects all over the house. The speakers, the picture frames on the walls, the toys, the fireplace, even a hello and goodbye note at the front door.
Jeanne has seen her family grow so much closer in the months after Rick’s diagnosis— they are closer than they have ever been. There have been instances that have brought Rick closer to the family he never imagined he would have. This past Christmas, the family had planned to celebrate at Michael’s place. As the hours approached, Rick just wasn’t feeling well enough to leave the house. Jeanne almost cancelled Christmas altogether; Michael wouldn’t hear of it! The family took everything over to Jeanne’s, and they enjoyed Christmas huddled around Rick’s bed. The love and support Jeanne’s children have for Rick is more than he ever thought he deserved. “I have grown to love her children and their children like my own.”
One afternoon, after Jeanne and Rick were on their way home from a swimming lesson with Michael’s sons, one of them asked Rick, “Papa, are you still dying?” When Rick confirmed that he was in fact still dying, his grandson answered, “I love you Papa, but I know why people have to go to heaven. It’s so that we can make more room for babies.” Their grandchild also asked “Grandpa, will you make sure to call me everyday when you get to heaven, cuz I’ll miss you”?” Rick marvels at how well Michael, Matthew, and Calley are raising their children, and he makes a point of telling them often what great parents they are; “I want them to know that they are doing a great job.”
Looking out at the yard from his chair, Rick tells me about the the days after his diagnosis. “I sat here and looked out at the yard and I was angry. I couldn’t help but think that I would never see the kids playing out there again.” Jeanne says, “as time passes, I find his mindset has changed. He is more grateful, and instead looks out, with a smile and says things like, ‘remember when I sat on the rock by the pool and had that conversation with our grandchild about bugs?’ Rick has committed to practicing gratitude and a positive attitude at all costs. He has resolved to make things right with as many people in his life as possible, while he is still on this earth.”
In the recent weeks leading up to my visit with Rick and Jeanne, they had hosted many get togethers in their home. Rick insisted on hosting 30 of his friends and coworkers from First Student Bus Company, where Rick was a driver for five years, and then a trainer for the last two years before retiring. He loved that job. He took the opportunity to tell each and every one of his co-workers the impact they had on him. He thanked them for being in his life.
They will also be hosting a get together with 35 of Rick’s nieces and nephews, and their families— many with whom he had lost touch with. Jeanne cooks up a storm and stresses over there being enough food, “I am, after all, Macedonian/Greek” she laughs.
Rick’s demeanor is calm, pensive and gracious. He puts great emphasis on gratitude and love.
He shows me the many letters and pages of journaling he has been writing daily. Letters to loved ones, letters to Jeanne. So many letters to Jeanne. Jeanne has set him up on Facebook to keep in touch with his bus company friends, and his nieces and nephews, and he now sends messages every morning and night to everyone, reminding them how precious life is. He loves that he feels connected to everyone now. He recently received a heartfelt message from a woman who suffers from severe depression, and that she was so moved by his courage and his inspiration to reach out to people and teach them to appreciate all the small gifts in life. She thanked him graciously for his inspirationally brave outlook.
I spent the afternoon with a man who was living his last days on this earth. I wanted to learn his lessons. I wanted to learn Jeanne’s lessons. I hesitated a little, almost as if I was not ready to learn, when I asked, “what is the greatest lesson you have learned, and what is the loudest message you would like to spread before you go?”
I held my breath, and Rick sighed. “Never leave this world with things unsaid.”
Rick and Jeanne were married in the comfort of their family room surrounded by Michael, his wife Sally, and their twins, Matthew, his wife Hang and their two year old, and Calley and her husband Darryl and their children. The doctors have given him six months—maybe it will be longer. In the meantime, Rick is grateful for the ten years he was given with his family, and he finds comfort in knowing he belongs to someone.
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and audiologists (Auds) are highly trained professionals who can help people make their lives richer, and more productive and enjoyable through improved communication skills. We identify, assess, and rehabilitate children and adults with communication disorders, as well as hearing loss. We counsel clients and families, and provide referrals to other professionals. We are committed to ongoing research and public education, and are regulated through the Health Professions Act.
Many of us take our hearing and ability to speak for granted. In fact, one in 10 Canadians have a speech, language, or hearing disorder that present daily challenges. To determine whether you or your family member should be seen by a speech-language pathologist or audiologist consider the following checklists:
Speech, Language, and Literacy
• Does your child or someone you know say sounds incorrectly?
• Does your child have difficulty with reading and literacy skills?
• Does your child have limited verbal skills to communicate needs and wants?
• Does your child stutter?
• Do you or someone you know have difficulty following directions or remembering details and instructions given?
• Do you know someone who has had a stroke and struggles with having conversations?
Hearing and Listening
• Do you hear words but not understand what is being said?
• Do people seem to mumble?
• Do others complain you turn up the TV or radio too loudly?
• Do you find it difficult to hear in noisy environments?
• Do your family members complain that you are not hearing them?
• Do you have difficulty focusing on one person’s voice while there are other noises around you? (i.e. restaurant noise, music in the background)
Speech-language pathologists and audiologists work daily with Canadians of all ages to help them deal with many different types of communication disorders. Whether working with an individual with autism, a person recovering from a stroke, or someone discovering they have hearing loss, they strive to help improve the quality of life and health of the people they serve.
HearSay offers free speech and hearing screenings each month in order to provide information and answer questions or concerns you may have regarding speech, language, reading, and hearing. To book an appointment call our office at (905) 875-3345.
One of the most important things we can do as a parent is to help our kids understand that failure and mistakes can help them improve and grow! Teaching our kids to develop a “growth mindset” can drastically change how our children think and learn. Ultimately, it will help them persevere through challenges in order to succeed.
What is a “Growth Mindset”?
According to Carol Dewck, a growth mindset is the belief that the most basic abilities can be developed through effort, dedication, and hard work. This is very different than a “fixed mindset” where the belief is that basic qualities, like intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. Growth mindsets can instill the basic belief in a child that they have the ability to learn, regardless of natural talent, or intelligence. The good news is that a growth mindset can be taught!
Here are three ways to encourage a growth mindset in your kids:
Teach your kids about the differences between a fixed mindset and growth mindset. Teach your kids how to recognize each type of mindset through using specific examples. Take examples of phrases like “I’m not good at this”, “this is too hard”, or “that doesn’t work”, and then teach them how to transform those phrases into a growth mindset way of thinking: “what am I missing?”, “this may take some time”, or “I’ll have to figure out a different way to tackle this problem”. You can also use a great book like Making a Splash by Carol Rieley to teach your kids how effort and persistence are crucial to achieving success.
Help your children to recognize their own inner positive and negative self-talk. Help your kids become aware that they have an ‘inner voice’, and that this inner voice speaks to them in positive and negative ways. Once children become more aware of how they speak to themselves, it allows kids to be able to challenge their own negative self-talk, and replace it with something more positive.
ALWAYS recognize effort over success. Your child cannot ultimately control whether they are successful, but they CAN control the amount of effort they put into something. Over time, your child will come to believe that success is due to effort and hard work, instead of talent alone.
As parents, it’s our job to model a growth mindset for our kids. Our children are very perceptive, and learn quickly through how we react to challenging situations. Let your children know when things are hard for you, and let them hear you say positive phrases about persevering out loud. Eventually you may notice that your kids will start to repeat what you are showing them!
It’s easy to get mesmerized by the marble countertops, beautiful bay windows, and elegantly staged furniture on a home tour, but it’s important to stay focused. When you’re taking a first look at a house, pay attention to the less exciting details, such as signs of water damage and creaky floors.
Another tip: it’s perfectly okay to whip out your measuring tape (I always have one handy for when I am showing my clients a home), open and close the cupboards, and turn on the taps.
Here are the 7 things you should look for to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
Scan the age and condition of the major appliances. Do they look outdated? Is there rusting? Are they working properly? While it’s difficult to know how much longer an appliance will last, taking a closer look during the tour will inform you of what repairs may be required in the future.
Check the availability of natural lighting in every room. You may need to visit the house at different times of the day to see how morning and afternoon sun enters the home.
Count the number of sockets in each room. Are there enough for all your needs? Are they placed in an area that’s ideal for how you want to arrange the room?
Staged furniture can be deceptive, tricking you into thinking that your existing furniture will fit right in. Measure the rooms to make sure there is enough space for all your furnishings.
Grout and caulking
If the grout and caulking in-between the tiles are loose and crumbling, it could mean that water is seeping through the walls or underneath the floor.
Cracks, creaking, and springy areas on the floor could be a sign of serious foundation problems that will need to be repaired in the future.
Repairing damages caused by water can be expensive, so it’s worth taking the time to spot signs of water leaks. A home inspector will examine them more carefully, but you can also keep an eye out for spot stains, bulges on ceilings and walls, and discoloured paint.
My approach to helping my clients in achieving their real estate goals is simple. The first step is to educate them about the home buying process so that when the right home comes along they are equipped to make the right decision which stems from an informed one.
Okay, here’s the situation: you think you could benefit from talking to a therapist. Perhaps you’re going through a stressful time at work or home, are experiencing relationship distress, are grieving a loss, are struggling with your mental health, are interested in personal growth, or have a child for whom you’re seeking services. But you feel overwhelmed at the thought of trying to find someone you’ll feel comfortable opening up to, and perhaps you already know that one of the keys to beneficial therapy is the quality of the therapist-client rapport. So how do you find a therapist who’s right for you? Here are a few suggestions to make the task less daunting.
Get to know the field. First, you’ll want to decide what types of therapists to consider. In Ontario, there are several regulated healthcare professionals who conduct psychotherapy (my article in a previous edition of Family Matters, referenced below, defines these various professions). One key factor that may contribute to your decision is the credentials required by any extended insurance coverage you may have. Next, while most therapists don’t require formal referrals, you can seek suggestions from trusted sources, such as your family doctor, friends, or family who’ve seen a therapist or are in a related profession, and the websites of regulatory bodies (e.g., www.cpo.on.ca, www.crpo.ca). If you get informal referrals from others, ask the referring person why they think the suggested therapist would be good for you. Also keep in mind the location(s) to which you’re willing to travel for your sessions.
Educate yourself and create a shortlist. From your list of options, create a shortlist of those who are most highly recommended or to whom you seem most drawn. To help, you’ll want to consider styles of therapy, areas of expertise, and therapist characteristics that may be important to you (such as gender, ethnicity, or religion). Styles or “modalities” of therapy refer to the general approaches a therapist takes when working with clients. Some modalities are better suited to some issues, and some styles may be a better fit for your personality than others. Read up on the various modalities, and get a sense of which approach may be best for your personal characteristics and for the reason why you’re seeking therapy. Most people also take into account at least some therapist characteristics, particularly gender. However, I’d encourage you to also be open to potential therapists outside of some of the demographic qualities with which you are most comfortable, as sometimes working with a therapist slightly outside of your usual comfort zone facilitates a reparative experience. Remember that you’re not looking for a friend (who is usually chosen based on shared characteristics and interests), you’re looking for someone with the training and expertise to help you in a less-biased and more one-directional way.
Go on a first date. Once you’ve got your shortlist, pick the therapist you think may be the best fit and set up a “first date.” (Some therapists may be available for a brief phone consultation, but meeting face-to-face is the best way to really determine the fit.) The first session might be framed by the therapist as a chance for them to get to know you and your reasons for seeking therapy, but it is also an opportunity for you to get to know them as well; you can ask questions about their training, experience, and approach, as well as get a general sense of their interpersonal style. You may be slightly distracted by your own nervousness, so regularly remind yourself that you’re learning about your therapist too, so that you can make a good decision for your own mental health needs.
Make a collaborative decision. Near the end of your initial session, discuss together how the match feels. While this is often largely left up to you as the client, your potential therapist may also provide their opinion of whether or not they think they are the best person for you to work with on your presenting struggles (i.e., you may present with something outside the realm of their competency for which they may suggest another provider with more experience). Courage to engage in such a discussion with honesty and openness will help immensely in finding your best therapist fit. And while the term “dating around” seems to slightly misrepresent the process, remember that it’s not unusual to meet with more than one therapist before finding “the one.”
Let’s face it. Who wants to talk about difficult topics, especially when we know the other person is going to get upset. As human beings, we are more likely to avoid things that require effort, that we are not very interested in, or that give rise to negative emotions. The reality is that disagreeing with someone or asking about a sensitive topic is not easy to do.
Children pick up from parents, teachers, and peers what is okay and what is not okay to talk about in a family or classroom. Some of these ‘rules’ are important (you might want to talk to a close friend about something really personal, and not necessarily in front of a group of people you don’t know). Learning the ‘norms’ is part of growing up and doing what works; that is, knowing your audience. Another thing that children pick up on is which emotions are okay to talk about. Many of us like to be around happy people. We want to hear about the fun people had or the funny joke they heard. However, emotions like sadness, anger, and fear — though unpleasant experiences — are also important and contribute to our well-being. They let us know that something might be wrong, and propel us to seek support or to problem-solve a situation.
Sometimes we believe that the goal is not to have those negative emotions either because of what we have learned growing up, or from what the media today is giving us. Who posts pictures of difficult moments on Facebook? Everyone seems to be having a good time! We don’t want to feel sad, angry, or scared, and don’t want others to feel that way either. As adults, we might avoid interactions where one of those emotions comes up. But, by avoiding such conversations, we are teaching children that those emotions are not acceptable — that somehow, they are wrong — and that only thinking positive and feeling happy is acceptable. If a child learns this, they are less likely to seek support when they are feeling upset. They will try to handle it on their own, and if the emotion is too overwhelming, mental health problems can arise.
So, let’s open the conversation about all emotions. As caregivers, it’s important to be aware of what is easy for us to talk about, and what isn’t; which emotions we understand better, and which we need help to process. Let’s pay attention to what we are modeling in schools and families so we can contribute to healthy child development. Let’s notice the positive, and talk about the happy times, but also not avoid talking about the hard times.
Many people wonder what the real differences are between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.
Cleaning, in general, is an action which removes the surface dirt, leaving surfaces looking clean and shiny. Remember that products such as a general purpose cleaner will wash away bacteria and germs, but they don’t actually kill them or inhibit their growth; for that, you need to look into disinfecting and sanitizing. Disinfectants and sanitizers only work on surfaces that have already been cleared of any larger particles. Sanitizing ensures that the surface will be considered hygienic as per the Local Public Health official guidelines. To go beyond those standards and to kill nearly all the germs and bacteria requires disinfecting.
To be labeled a sanitizer, a product must reduce microorganisms on a surface by 99.9% within 30 seconds. Disinfectants, on the other hand, must reduce the levels of pathogens by 99.999% within five to ten minutes. This may not seem like a huge difference, but most high contact surfaces contain millions of pathogens. Infection Prevention for Dummies likes to use this example: “On any given day, there are 102,465 commercial flights in the world. If 99.9 % of them landed safely then 1,025 airplanes would crash killing all on board. If 99.999 % landed safely then only 10 would crash every day.”
You should be wary of diluting disinfectants, since with enough water, it may simply turn in to a general purpose cleaner. Read the label.
All disinfectants will have their “kill claims” clearly labeled, along with the amount of time required for the product to be truly effective. Keep in mind that all disinfectants will have a DIN number, registering it as a disinfectant. As an example, the primary purpose of laundry bleach is to whiten clothing and as such, has no DIN number on it and will not kill any bacteria.
The recently identified “superbug” is the byproduct of that final 0.001% of bacteria which survives the disinfection, and now gets to feast on the corpses of his less successful relatives. You can cut down on the likelihood of this happening by alternating your sanitizers. Start with a bleach, then a Pine Sol or Lysol, followed by an isopropyl alcohol, and ending the cycle with an activated hydrogen peroxide product.
Thinking that one can spray a disinfectant on a dirty surface and simply wipe it up moments later will unfortunately accomplish very little. Please read the instructions.
If you have been following this publication and my messages throughout the years, then you know I am not a big fan of winter. It’s been a long one for us and I have had a countdown app going since just after Christmas. As I write this, there are twenty-two days left ‘till spring! I have been buying fresh tulips every week since Christmas and displaying them where I can see them. It has kept me focused on the positive!
Other than waiting for winter, our family did not have a super eventful few months, it was business as usual. However, I myself, have been kept busy with some projects on the go. I have partnered up with Sam Kassam-Macfie of Famiizuu, to bring The Mom Show to life! The Mom Show is an event which will feature vendors with services and products that all moms need and want. We have so many vendors lined up from all over GTA and tons of cool surprises in store for the attendees. I am having too much fun organizing this with Sam! Dads, you are also welcome. You are sure to find the perfect last minute Mother’s Day gift! Moms, grab your sister, your girlfriend, your mom, jump in the car and come spend the day with us, getting pampered, shopping, get your picture taken, and don’t worry we won’t post you on social media with all your shopping bags in hand! I can’t wait to see you all in the SPRING!!!