Buzz into Zaaz Eatery & Play to eat, drink, play, party, and connect!

Welcome to a thrilling collaboration that brings together the world of dental care and family entertainment – Horizon Dental and Zaaz Eatery & Play! In this blog post, we’ll explore the exciting partnership between Horizon Dental and Zaaz, where dental health meets imaginative play, delicious meals, and unforgettable celebrations.

Zaaz Eatery & Play is a captivating 10,000 square foot imaginative Play Village and restaurant that takes people of any age on an engaging journey through our local community. With over 20 different facades representing beloved local Kamloops businesses, children can explore, learn through play, and have fun in a world of make-believe. Za Village is fully inclusive, welcoming, and accessible for everyone.

Our commitment to inclusivity extends to our full-service Eatery, offering a 24-seat, celiac-friendly restaurant and coffee bar with handmade treats, snacks, and meals. You can’t even tell that everything is Gluten Free! 

Looking to host a special celebration? Our party room, custom catering and decor, and off-site rentals will take care of all your party needs in one place. Custom events that Reach for the Sky are our specialty!

But the excitement doesn’t stop there! We also offer a meal prep program with ever-changing weekly menus, ensuring convenience and variety for your daily fueling needs.

Zaaz Eatery & Play is your one-stop destination for a complete day of family fun. Come and discover a place where imagination knows no bounds, delicious meals await, and celebrations are unforgettable.

In closing, Horizon Dental is proud to be part of this exhilarating collaboration with Zaaz Eatery & Play, where dental care seamlessly merges with a world of imaginative play, delightful meals, and joyous celebrations. Our shared commitment to inclusivity, community engagement, and creating unforgettable experiences makes this partnership truly special.



425 Mount Paul Way             
Kamloops, BC V2H 1A7                                       

Welcome Back!

Oral healthcare is transitioning to Phase 2 along with the rest of BC. Our team has always maintained a high standard of infection control, but have now modified our procedures to incorporate physical distancing, remote check-ins, and enhanced disinfection and personal protective equipment.

You will see several changes to our office to ensure your safety. First, you will be contacted prior to your appointment via phone, text or email and asked a set of health-related questions. It is required that we complete this Wellness Questionnaire no less than 72 hours prior to your appointment. We will have to cancel your appointment if we are unable to complete this step as we may require time to follow-up with anyone exhibiting flu-like symptoms or has a risk factor for COVID-19. If you are concerned about your health, use this BC COVID-19 Assessment Tool.

Below is a list of some of the enhanced precautions we have taken to protect you in addition to extensive team training on infection control and patient management procedures.

  1. Personalized arrival procedures to reduce wait times in the lobby – please text or call us when you arrive and wait outside until we are ready to complete your Arrival Screening.

  2. Maintain distancing in the reception area for essential caregivers if they cannot wait in a vehicle or outside the clinic.

  3. Removed magazines and items that can harbor or transfer germs of any kind.

  4. Hand sanitizers are positioned throughout the clinic for your use.

  5. Installed sneeze guards at all reception areas.

  6. Require our patients to be performing hand sanitizing before and after all appointments.

  7. Introduce an oral pre-rinse for all patients to reduce exposure to germs.

  8. Daily monitoring of team members for signs and symptoms of illness.

  9. Recording the temperature of every patient and team member upon entering the office.

  10. Payment arrangements in advance to avoid delay and allow contactless exit from the appointment.

  11. Enhanced operatory disinfection procedures with HOCl fogging.

  12. Enhanced disinfection of “commonly touch items” such as computers, doorknobs, etc.

  13. Our HVAC system was recently serviced and meets above expectations for air filtration.

  14. New personal protection equipment like face shields and gowns to provide barriers against the smallest of germs.

  15. Introduced protocols and new equipment to reduce or eliminate airborne aerosols during all dental procedures, including the Nu-Bird HV System for our dental hygienists.

  16. Disinfection of all outside mail and packages that enter the building.

  17. Providing tele-dentistry services for follow up lab reports or communication that can be done online or through video education.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we are taking to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice!

To find more information about COVID-19, how to protect yourself, your family and your community and what to do if you suspect you have the virus, visit the BC Center for Disease Control.

And further details regarding the guidelines for all Oral Health Care Providers in BC can be viewed at the College of Dental Surgeons of BC (CDSBC).

Can Cold and Flu Remedies Hurt My Teeth?

Cold and flu season is back in Kamloops. Earlier this year, I wrote about how these illnesses can directly impact your oral health. And thankfully, there are a number of remedies to help get you through those sleepless nights of coughing and long workdays with a stuffy head or runny nose. But did you know some of the solutions meant to help you through the cold and flu can actually damage your teeth? Read on to find out how to use these tools effectively while protecting your teeth.

Nasal Decongestants

Decongestants help battle a runny nose by drying out the tissues, but overuse during cold and flu season can also cause dry mouth. This reduced saliva flow promotes bacteria growth in the mouth, ultimately increasing your risk of gingivitis and tooth decay.

To combat dry mouth, make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Humidifiers are also crucial, especially in a dry climate like Kamloops. They add moisture to the air and help soothe dry tissues.

Sore Throats and Lozenges

Haven’t we all fallen asleep with a sore throat lozenge in our mouth during cold and flu season? They are designed to dissolve slowly, which I’ve found dulls the pain so I can sleep. However, watch out for lozenges with sugar as prolonged contact with the teeth will lead to cavities. Look for brands that are sugar-free or sweetened with xylitol. If you do use sugary products, make sure you brush your teeth often. Last thing you want is to finally get over being sick, only to visit your dentist and discover you need fillings.

Cough Syrup

Cough syrup is always a staple in my battle against cold and flu symptoms. However, these medicines often contain sugar to help mask the awful taste. These sticky liquids will leave a coating on your teeth that can cause tooth decay. Also, watch for medicines containing alcohol, which will reduce saliva flow and make it harder to clean the teeth.

When possible, try pills or gel-caps instead of liquids. Children often struggle with pills, so give them the medicine before a meal so that the increased saliva flow caused by eating will help wash away the sugar coating.

Hot Tea & Orange Juice

I drink tea religiously during any cold and flu to help soothe my throat. But be careful, tea is erosive and will soften the hard enamel layer, leaving you more prone to decay and tooth-wear.

My grandma always said enough Vitamin C would cure any cold. And it definitely helps boost the immune system during cold and flu season. However, citric fruits and beverages are acidic and will also soften enamel.

The best plan is to have these drinks during mealtimes and use a straw, reduce any sweeteners in your tea, and drink water throughout the day. Also, it’s important to brush thoroughly, but wait 30 minutes so that the enamel has a chance to harden again.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Although you might not feel up to it during cold and flu season, stick with your regular brushing and flossing routine. I guarantee you will recover faster and protect your teeth. And don’t forget to change your toothbrush once you’re feeling better as the viruses and bacteria may linger.


Our team at Horizon Dental would be happy to help you achieve optimal oral health and we are happily accepting new patients. If you’re looking for a dentist in Kamloops, we are happily accepting new patients! You can contact us by clicking here!

Canada’s New Food Guide and Oral Health

April is National Oral Health Month and I felt it was a great opportunity to celebrate Canada’s new Food Guide, the first re-write since 2007! The foods we choose to eat and how often we eat them have a profound impact on our overall health. Nutrient-rich foods support good oral health and help fight infection and disease. We all know that sugar-filled pop and processed foods contribute to cavities and gum disease but it can be hard to know what to eat! That’s why I’ve read through Canada’s Food Guide and have some suggestions to help you create a balanced diet.

Healthy Eating Recommendations

Health Canada has some excellent online resources with tips and recipes based on the new Food Guide. They also emphasize that healthy eating is more than just the food we eat! I recommend practicing mindful eating, cook at home whenever possible, eat meals with friends and family, and don’t forget to enjoy your food. Taking the time to plan a meal and involving others in preparing and eating is a great way to connect with people. It’s also important to eat a variety of foods each day! One of the biggest changes to the new Food Guide is to choose protein foods that are plant-based. The idea is to avoid saturated fats found in animal products. Medical News Today lists the best plant-based proteins as: tofu, edamame beans, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, almonds, quinoa, and dark leafy green vegetables among others. I’m also very pleased to see how the Food Guide emphasizes replacing juice and other sugary drinks with water, as we know that these drinks can cause cavities. But don’t forget your about calcium! Dairy products no longer have their own group in the new Food Guide and have been included in the “protein” section. Calcium is essential for the development of bones and teeth but is not easily absorbed from plant-based proteins like tofu or beans. So, don’t forget to add sources of calcium and vitamin D to your day, either from supplements or milk products like cheese and yogurt!

Connecting Oral Health to Overall Health

Not only is good oral health critical for healthy teeth and gums, it also lowers your risk of bigger diseases. Diabetes is a disease that affects your entire body, and modifying your diet is often a key step in managing blood sugar. Oral inflammation can also play a role in clogged arteries and blood clots. The Heart and Stroke Foundation reports that 80% of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented through lifestyle changes, including following Canada’s Food Guide! Our team at Horizon Dental is dedicated to helping people achieve optimal oral health. We are excited to be accepting new patients,You can contact us by clicking here!

Speaking Out About Oral Cancer

April is Oral Cancer Month! This post is the first in a series talking about oral cancer - what you need to know and why it's important to be screened by a dentist.

One thing I know for certain about oral cancer is that I will know it when I smell it. Cancer, especially in the mouth, has a truly distinct odour that is so much more than even the worst case of bad breath. For this valuable skill, knowing when to follow my nose, I’ll always be grateful for the time I spent as a resident in the Foothills Hospital in Calgary in 2013. Most of my patients were recently diagnosed with head and neck cancer, and it was my job to screen them for tooth and gum disease before starting any radiation or chemotherapy. We saved a lot of lives in that hospital, but it would have made such a difference if the cancer could have been prevented in the first place.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. To do my part, this article will cover what you need to know about cancer of the head and neck. Also, I am planning to be at the Hamlets in Westsyde in April performing free oral cancer screenings – TBD, see more details on our Facebook page @HorizonDentalKamloops!

What to Watch Out For

At first, oral cancer is usually painless and asymptomatic, so screening by a dental professional is important in making an early diagnosis.

Early Signs & Symptoms

  • White or dark red patches in your mouth, on lips or tongue
  • Lumps or changes in the texture of mouth tissues
  • Bleeding or numbness
  • Sores/ulcers that do not heal

Late Signs & Symptoms

  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Changes in taste or tongue sensation
  • Hoarse voice
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Difficulty moving tongue or jaw

Risk Factors

The biggest risk factors for developing oral cancer are tobacco and heavy alcohol consumption.
The chemicals cause chronic irritation and have been shown to damage DNA, allowing cells to become cancerous.

In recent decades, the human papilloma virus (HPV) has been linked to more and more cancer diagnoses, especially the silent ones. This virus typically infects tissues in throat, causing cancers that can’t been seen until late symptoms, such as neck swelling and a hoarse voice, show up. 75% of Canadians will have an HPV infection in their lifetimes. It is also the number one cause of cervical cancer for women, which pushed for the development of two vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix.  Thankfully, there is now a program in BC that offers the Gardasil vaccine to both girls and boys ages 9 to 26 in an effort to combat the rise in HPV-related cancers.

Other risk factors include a poor diet low in antioxidants, a positive family history of cancer, and chronic sun exposure.  Males are also more likely to develop head and neck cancer than females.


At Horizon Dental, all new patients get an oral cancer screening during their first exam. This starts outside the mouth, by checking the lymph nodes in the neck and below the jaw, and feeling the jawbones and joints. Inside the mouth, I will use my fingers to gently pull on the lips and cheeks to see into each corner and feel around for any lumps or bumps. I also look at the palate and tonsils, feel under the tongue, and lightly pull on the tongue itself to see the sides and feel the muscles. We also take several photos of the mouth and head, which can help me compare to any future changes.

If I have any concerns, the first step is to biopsy – remove a sample of the tissue and send it to the pathologist for investigation. I was trained by the best in Calgary, so the biopsies I perform are very small (typically under 1 cm) and absolutely pain-free, so it’s worth the effort to rule out a cancer. Also, I will take an x-ray of the area to ensure there are no changes to the teeth or bone structure that might give a clue as to what’s going on.

Unfortunately, some things can’t be biopsied so easily. So if I find a patient with a swollen lymph node, or any of the later signs of cancer, it’s an immediate referral to a family doctor or nurse practitioner to get checked out.


  • Tobacco and alcohol are the biggest risk factors for oral cancer
  • HPV infection can be prevented with a vaccine, which can in turn prevent oral cancer
  • A biopsy is the best way to rule out oral cancer
  • Prevention is key so it’s critical that your dentist perform regular oral cancer screenings

For more information or to book an appointment, please call 778-765-3928

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