A couple of articles are added each month with many more articles provided in the CAS's Maple Leaf Times (eMLT) magazine. To receive your eMLT magazine sent directly to your inbox (8 issues per year), become a member of the Canadian Association of Singapore. Visit the CAS website to register -- www.canadians.org.sg

Monday, May 1, 2023

CANADA TRAVEL TIME: Sunshine Meadows Hike, Banff National Park

By Karen McDowell

If you haven’t booked up your summer already, treat yourself to a magical day of wildflowers and mountain hiking at Sunshine Meadows in Banff National Park. The spectacular peak alpine flowering season in Banff is from mid-July to mid-August. 

From the lookout at Standish Viewing Deck, a carpet of wildflowers greets you in every direction with a network of trails weaving through the Meadows. The trail options may seem overwhelming at first, but the Park Ranger at Standish was helpful in recommending trails to match our time and energy. Choose anything from short and sweet to longer and more rigorous loops. You can even straddle the Great Divide - with one foot in the province of Alberta and another in British Columbia! If you are feeling up for big adventures, you can use Sunshine Meadows as the launching pad for bigger day hikes like Citadel Pass and Healy Pass (18km+) that allow you to wander for miles through alpine bliss. 

We chose the popular lake walk as we heard those had the best wildflower views. Our loop took us about 3 hours, including frequent stops for photos! It was fun to walk the same trails we’ve skied so many times in the winter.

My sister and I brought along my teenagers who enjoyed the adventure with minimal complaint. Lots of Instagram-worthy photo ops helped! We did see many other families with small children as well as older hikers with walking sticks. Check the website for accessibility if you have concerns. 

If you want to stay overnight on the mountain to enjoy the views for longer, stay at Sunshine Mountain Lodge at the base of Standish chair lift - the ONLY high-alpine hotel in beautiful Banff National Park. The luxurious rooms, fine dining, and hot tub with spectacular mountain views will ease your sore muscles and energize you for another gorgeous day of mountain walking. We have stayed here before during ski season and loved it. 


Do you have a little-known place, activity or event in Canada you’d like to share with CAS members? Send an article of no more then 250 words and a couple of photos to info@canadians.org.sg

ASK THE DENTIST: Are sugar-free drinks safe for teeth?

As more people adopt a healthy lifestyle, healthier food and beverage options such as sugar-free drinks are becoming more popular. While consuming diet or less sugary drinks is a healthier choice and poses a lower risk of tooth decay, it does not remove the risk entirely. Like sugary drinks, many sugar-free drinks are also high in citric acid and phosphoric acid, which can wear down the teeth's protective enamel and form cavities.

In the early stages of tooth erosion, the protective layers of tooth enamel are stripped away. As it progresses, it can expose the softer dentine or pulp of the tooth. Teeth with weaker enamel may become more sensitive to temperature and susceptible to cracks and stains. That said, every individual's susceptibility to tooth decay and enamel loss varies according to their dental hygiene habits, lifestyle and diet.

If you enjoy sugar-free or sugary drinks, the best time to have them is with your meals. Continuous sipping throughout the day will cause more damage to your enamel as acid is constantly re-exposed. With that, your saliva does not have enough time to neutralize your mouth's pH. Wait about 30 minutes to an hour before brushing your teeth. Alternatively, while waiting, you may gargle your mouth with water first to wash out the remaining acid.

Other ways you can adapt to protect your teeth by:

  • Using a straw to minimize contact with damaging acids and sugars

  • Having dairy and other calcium-rich food to help neutralize acids

  • Avoid acidic and sugary drinks before bed

  • Consuming acidic and sugary beverages in moderation

  • Maintaining good dental hygiene habits

Besides taking diligent care of your oral hygiene, remember to visit your dentist or dental specialist for regular checkups to ensure healthy teeth.


Dr Steven Soo is a Dental Specialist in Prosthodontics with Specialist Dental Group®. He was formerly a Clinical Lecturer at the Eastman Dental Institute and Clinical Teacher at the GKT Dental Institute, both of which are affiliated with the University of London. Dr Soo has a special interest in prosthetic and implant restorative dentistry.
www.specialistdentalgroup.com | (65) 6733 7883

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Finn M. organises ‘Wear It Purple Day’ at Canadian International School (CIS)

Finn M., joined the international movement of ‘Wear it Purple Day’ to raise awareness for the LGBTQ community at CIS.

Finn M., grade 10 student representative and leader of the Gender and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) at CIS. Finn, together with other students joined the international movement of ‘Wear it Purple Day’. Find out more about this day, as well as how Finn hopes this event will raise awareness for the LGBTQ community at CIS.

Q: What is Wear It Purple day?

Finn: Originally founded in Australia, Wear It Purple day aims to raise awareness for and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community bringing everyone together. I feel that this day is particularly important for queer youth as it provides a safe and empowering environment for us to unite, collaborate and feel proud of our identities.

Q: What is the key message behind/purpose of this day?

Finn: This is a day for all to have fun and celebrate who they are no matter their gender identity or sexuality. We decided to organise this event at CIS to raise money for Oogachaga, a foundation that provides counselling for queer youth as well as many other programmes to help Singapore’s LGBTQ community. I think counselling is an important opportunity for youth because it helps us to understand the emotions we experience and how we can cope with difficult situations.

Q: Can you tell me more about the different activities you have planned and the purpose behind each activity?

Finn: During SMART period, students will be able to participate in a range of different activities designed to bring people together to collaborate and celebrate as we join the international movement of ‘Wear it Purple Day’. These include face painting and bracelet making to show off pride, as well as a photobooth to pose with friends and come together to enjoy karaoke and dancing. Our activities are designed to bring fun and spirit to the school. We will have music playing from many queer artists as well as different games in the art pod.

Q: What do you hope Wear It Purple day will achieve for the CIS community?

Finn: I really hope this day generates awareness for the LGBTQ community so that even one person will stop and think before they make an ignorant comment. I want the queer community here to be proud of their identity and have a place where they can be themselves. So often our identities are something to be hidden or ashamed of and I want us to be ourselves and celebrate together as a community without having to hide.

Q: If given the opportunity, what other events or initiatives would you like to bring to CIS?

Finn: At the moment I lead the GSA (gender and sexualities alliance) – a student club that meets every week to talk, educate and hang out in a place that is queer friendly. We are planning many ways to have more queer inclusion at the school from painting a mural to having pride flags displayed in the classroom. I believe that there are so many things we could do at school to not just accept the queer community but embrace and be proud of us.

Learn more about CIS and see classes in action at their open houses.

Ask the Dentist: What do I do if my dental implants fail?

Dental implant treatment is generally a safe and successful procedure designed to last your lifetime with proper care. It consists of three parts, namely:

  1. A titanium implant body inserted into the bone

  2. An attachment called an abutment

  3. A crown that is attached to the abutment and aligned with your remaining teeth

Reasons for dental implant failure

Though a failing dental implant is unusual, some conditions or complications may affect the healing process. They include gum disease, teeth grinding, and other risk factors such as smoking, medications consumed, and osteoporosis. Other medical conditions, such as cancer treatment and/or radiation, may also affect the bones’ healing ability.

Signs and symptoms

Signs of a failing implant include it being wobbly when chewing or talking, pain, swelling or infection. If there are any signs of failure, your dental specialist or dentist will take an x-ray to examine the implant and its surrounding bones.


Your dental specialist or dentist can easily remove the failed dental implant under local anesthesia. If bone loss is present, a bone graft may be required to improve the site for replacing the implant. This process may take a few months as the area has to heal before inserting a new implant. When in recovery, your dental specialist or dentist will discuss ways to reduce risks that may have caused the implant to fail. Following the recovery instructions and care for your implants is crucial.

Always inform your dental specialist or dentist of any health or medical history changes. Maintaining good oral hygiene and routine dental check-ups is also the key to successful dental implants.

If you notice any abnormality with your dental implants, seek your dental specialist or dentist immediately for a consultation.

Dr Tan Kian Meng is a Dental Specialist in Prosthodontics with Specialist Dental Group®. He is also a Clinical Lecturer at the National University of Singapore and Diplomate with the American Board of Prosthodontics. He was formerly a Consultant at Singapore’s Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and Fellow of Maxillofacial Prosthetics and Oncologic Dentistry Fellowship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr Tan has special interest in prosthetic and implant restorative dentistry.