Dental Health: Not To Be Taken For Granted

5 Easy Ways to Reduce the Damage Sugar Does to Your Teeth

Posted by on 6:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Easy Ways to Reduce the Damage Sugar Does to Your Teeth

Everybody knows that sugar isn’t great for teeth. Though delicious, sugar combines with the bacteria in your mouth to create acids, which then start to eat away at tooth enamel, stripping it of its minerals and eventually causing decay. Of course, few people are willing to commit to eliminating sugar from their diets altogether, but there are a number of steps you can take, beyond brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly, that will reduce the amount of damage that sugar can do to your teeth. Here are just five. 1. Chew Gum When it comes to fighting back against the damage caused by sugar, your teeth have one strong natural defence: saliva. The saliva in your mouth contains several important minerals, including calcium and phosphate, that help enamel to replace the minerals it loses during an acid attack. Chewing some gum after you enjoy a sugary drink or meal will promote saliva production. Just make sure it’s sugar-free gum! 2. Drink a Glass of Fluorinated Water You’ll probably know that toothpaste usually contains fluoride. Like saliva, fluoride is an important substance for keeping your teeth healthy, so it is often added to public drinking water in order to improve the population’s oral health. Most of Australia now enjoys access to fluorinated water from their taps, but you can always pick some up at the shops if your area isn’t covered. 3. Limit Snacking The amount of sugar you consume each day is important, but equally important is the number of times you consume it. After your teeth come into contact with sugar, the resulting acid attack lasts around 20 minutes. If you eat another sugary treat 20 minutes after the first one, the process starts all over again. If you’re going to have sugary drinks or foods, try to consume them with your main meals of the day in order to reduce the number of these acid-attack periods. 4. Don’t Eat or Drink Anything with Sugar Before Sleeping Ideally, you want to brush your teeth before bed, having nothing to eat or drink, besides water, between putting down the toothbrush and hitting the hay. However, it is especially important not to slip in any sugary snacks. When you sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced, so teeth will be less able to repair themselves after the acid attack caused by your sugary pre-bed treat. 5. Use a Straw for Sugary Drinks Popular soft drinks often contain a significant amount of sugar, so they are one of the worst dental offenders. If you still want to keep drinking them, try using a straw whenever possible instead of drinking directly from the can, bottle, or glass. This will limit the amount of contact that the drink and its sugars have with your...

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Why You Should Consider Laser Dentistry for Your Child

Posted by on 3:54 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why You Should Consider Laser Dentistry for Your Child

Few things can cause a parent more anxiety than imagining how distressed their child will be during a visit to a dentist. Luckily, laser dentistry can offer a way to avoid many of the reasons that make children apprehensive about visiting a dentist. This article discusses some of the ways through which laser dentistry can be good for your child. Reduction of Dental Visits Oftentimes, one has to make several visits to a dentist in order to complete different dental treatments. For instance, your child may need to be taken to the dentist in order to have a tooth filled. That same child may need to make another visit in order to have canker sores treated. The use of laser beams helps to have different dental treatments conducted in one visit. This is because each treatment is quick and painless. For instance, no drill is used and that saves the child from being terrified as the drill is humming. The laser quickly cuts through the tooth so that fillings can be placed before another procedure, such as treating a tongue-tie, can begin. Minimal Use of Drugs Many conventional dental treatments require the cosmetic dentist to administer drugs, such as anaesthetics, in order to numb the site of the dental procedure. Some children may have allergic responses to some of those drugs. You can have peace of mind that the use of laser dentistry will save your child from the risk of suffering from the after-effects of the drugs that are administered during dental treatments in which lasers are not used. Less Likelihood of Disrupting Orthodontic Treatment Some children who have braces develop excess gum tissue that covers sections of their teeth. This condition is called hyperplasia. The overhanging gum tissue can form a cavity into which food particles and bacteria can be trapped. This can make your child to be prone to developing gum disease. Some dentists may remove the braces in order to deal with the hyperplasia first. This can disrupt the process of moving the teeth of your child to a better position. Laser dentistry allows the cosmetic dentist to re-contour the excess gum tissue without having to remove the braces. This can keep your child on schedule with the repositioning of his or her teeth. Laser dentistry is relatively new in the dental field. You should therefore talk to your family dentist so that you confirm whether he or she offers this form of treatment. Discuss how your child can benefit from laser dentistry in case that child has a dental condition for which laser treatment can be...

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Situations That Constitute Dental Emergencies

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It is not uncommon to find some people ignoring oral pain. This could be because they are under the assumption that it will eventually go away on its own, or maybe they are simply anxious about paying a visit to the dentist. Although there may be some situations where you may not have to seek medical attention, such as a burnt palate from hot food or beverages, there are other situations that need to be treated as dental emergencies. The following are some of the situations that would constitute a dental emergency and you should seek immediate care from a dental professional. A chipped or cracked tooth Although teeth are innately strong, this does not make them immune to chips and fractures. You can develop a chip or a crack in your tooth for a variety of reasons ranging from excessive force when biting down, a developing cavity or high impact to your mouth. Some tooth chips or cracks may not be painful from the get-go and this is why you will find some individuals overlooking dental care. However, if the pulp in your tooth starts being exposed over time, it could lead to an array of dental problems such as bacterial infections. It is in your best interests to seek emergency dental care so that the dentist can determine whether measures should be taken to restore the tooth. A knocked out tooth A misconception that some people have about teeth that have been dislodged or knocked completely out is that they are not salvageable. The fact is the success rate of re-implanting your tooth will depend on how fast you seek emergency dental care. If the dentist can assess the tooth immediately, the nerves in your gums may still be alive and the tooth can be saved. In the event that the nerve endings have already died, then the dentist can seek alternative restorative measures such as dental implants or dental bridges. It should be noted that neglecting a knocked out tooth can lead to undue complications such as interference with your bite, speech problems and more. A missing crown or filling Some individuals may not take a missing crown or a filling as a dental emergency, especially if they are not in any severe pain. However, these crowns and fillings function to protect the tooth they were installed on. Staying without a filling could lead into the development of a new cavity in the affected tooth. A missing crown, on the other hand, could cause further wear and tear on the affected tooth. In both cases, the lack of the protective cover will make your tooth prone to premature deterioration and could also accelerate the sensitivity of the tooth. It would be prudent to seek emergency dental care to have these devices...

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Factors to Consider Before Undertaking a Career in Dentistry

Posted by on 6:17 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Factors to Consider Before Undertaking a Career in Dentistry

Many school leavers interested in the medical field are torn on what career choices to pursue due to the numerous disciplines available in the sector. Dentistry provides a fulfilling and highly rewarding choice for individuals who choose to pursue this path. However, before taking the plunge into dentistry one should consider the following vital factors: Flexibility: Like any other medical profession, dentistry requires one to be very flexible when it comes to working hours due to the sensitive nature of the job. Potential candidates for dental school should critically evaluate themselves to ascertain if they fit the bill for being dentist concerning working hours. As such, one should be ready to work long or odd hour’s dependent on duty. If an individual is comfortable with the unpredictable schedule, then they are on the right path when it comes to a career in dentistry. Creativity and Passion: Unlike a majority of medical disciplines, dentistry requires considerable creativity since the medical professional deals with a critical feature concerning personal looks. Being creative is a big plus for any aspiring dentist due to the unique challenges that they might come across during their work. Ideally, the dentist should be able to envision the final product, which requires artistic intuition. If a potential dentistry candidate has the following quality, then he or she is right on track. Notably, this is not taught in dental school, but has more to do with personality than training. Additionally, one needs a lot of passion for continued commitment. Satisfaction: Even though money is a major factor for most individuals, it should not be the primary driver for a career in dentistry. Fortunately, monetary incentives in the profession are more than rewarding due to the technical nature of the job. Personal satisfaction should be the force behind the desire to be a dentist since most dental practitioners derives their contentment when they put a smile on the face of a patient. Strenuousness: Many people are oblivious of the fact that dentistry is very demanding physically. Notably, dentists work on a small area for a long time coupled with an intense focus to avoid mistakes is bound to take a toll on the physical well being of a practitioner. Individuals interested in this particular field should be ready to endure physical stress in the course of their work. However, if one does not mind the exertions, then a career in dentistry will suit their...

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Hydrogen Peroxide Whitening Toothpaste: Common Questions

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If you are looking to improve the look of your smile but you can’t afford the cost of professional whitening treatments, you might be thinking about investing in a tube of hydrogen peroxide toothpaste as an alternative. You may have some questions about how this type of toothpaste works and its safety. Below is a brief guide to hydrogen peroxide toothpaste. How does hydrogen peroxide whitening toothpaste work? Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent which is found in a wide range of everyday products such as anti-acne cream and hair colouring products. It is also added to toothpaste. When you apply the hydrogen peroxide to your teeth, any stains on the enamel are bleached. This creates a nice white smile. What are the benefits of using hydrogen peroxide whitening toothpaste? Day in and day out, you consume a range of food and drink which can cause staining. While standard toothpaste will help to remove some of these stains, the more stubborn stains can become ingrained, ruining your smile. Hydrogen peroxide whitening toothpaste is capable of lifting these ingrained stains. Another benefit of using a toothpaste which contains hydrogen peroxide is that unlike other solutions such as using bleaching strips or a whitening pen, hydrogen peroxide whitening toothpaste will also clean your teeth. This means that as well as reducing levels of plaque, which can lead to increased levels of staining on your teeth, it also reduces the amount of tooth decay and the number of cavities. Professional teeth whitening treatment can be an expensive affair and can require multiple visits to a cosmetic dentist. By using hydrogen peroxide toothpaste as part of your daily dental hygiene routine, you can avoid having to spend the money and time on professional cosmetic dental treatment. Is hydrogen peroxide toothpaste safe? Provided that you follow the guidance from the manufacturer, which should be printed on the packaging or box which the toothpaste was supplied in, hydrogen peroxide toothpaste is a highly safe way for adults to whiten their teeth. The only thing you may notice when you begin to use whitening toothpaste is that your teeth feel a little more sensitive to hot or cold food and drink. You should never allow a child to use whitening toothpaste, as the bleaching product could damage their teeth and gums. If you have any questions or concerns about whitening toothpaste, you should contact your dentist...

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3 Reasons to Visit the Dentist Between Checkups

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Most people are good at visiting their dentist for regular checkups and will only go to the dentist at other times if they have lost a tooth, are in significant pain or something else they deem more serious. However, there are some other reasons that should prompt you to make an appointment with your dentist between regular checkups for yourself or a family member — reasons that you would perhaps not otherwise worry about. Read on for some of the reasons that inspire a dental visit between checkups. You have a small mouth ulcer that won’t heal While ulcers in the mouth are not uncommon, if you have one that is not healing then you need to go to your dentist and have it checked out. Mouth ulcers that don’t heal on their own can be a sign of oral cancer. If your dentist thinks there is a cause for concern, a biopsy will be taken of your ulcer so further investigation can be carried out. Also, your dentist will be able to see if there are other signs of cancer in areas of your mouth that you may not be able to examine as easily, such as on the roof of your mouth, under your tongue, around your cheeks etc.  You’ve developed bad breath If you’ve noticed your breath has become a little unpleasant lately, it may be worth getting your dentist to check things out. Dentists are trained to identify bad breath as fruity or fishy, and both of these smells can mean various things. Fruity breath can be indicative of Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a potentially life-threatening affliction related to diabetes, while fishy breath could be a sign of something as serious as liver failure. Of course, it could also be something a lot more innocent, but it’s worth going to get it checked out, just in case. Your gums are bleeding If any other part of your body started bleeding, you’d no doubt rush off to the doctor. However, a lot of people discount bleeding gums and think it’s no big deal, perhaps not realising that bleeding gums are a common symptom of periodontal (gum) disease. A lot of the time, periodontal disease is quite mild, but in more serious cases it can lead to major damage to the bone and soft tissue that support the teeth. In the most extreme cases, you could end up losing some of your teeth. For more information, talk to a...

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Work In An Office? Cake Culture May Be Ruining Your Teeth!

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As someone who works in an office with a bunch of friendly other co-workers, you no doubt enjoy going into work each day. However, how do you feel about the idea that this wonderful working environment may be having a negative impact on your dental health? From birthday get-togethers to constant meetings, the extra sugar you consume in this ‘cake culture’ could be slowly rotting your teeth. Birthday Celebrations When an office worker has a birthday, it is often a tradition to bring a sweet treat or two into the office to put on the lunchroom table. The problem is, if you work in an office with a large number of employees, you could be eating a slice of cake more than once a week. Take the standard carrot cake which is always a hit with your co-workers. Did you know it contains on average 3 teapsoons of sugar per medium slice? Bearing in mind that very few office workers engage in the proper dental hygiene of brushing their teeth after snacks or lunch, this sugar sits in the mouth until the nightime brushing occurs. In the interim, however, the sugar will feed the bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria will then produce plaque that erodes the enamel on your teeth. As an alternative, provide healthier platters of fresh fruit and vegetable sticks when it is your turn to host the birthday morning tea. You may not be the most popular person in the office, but those who are concerned about their teeth will thank you. Meetings Whether you regularly attend meetings with clients or you have in-house meetings to go to, the temptation to graze on the sweet treats sitting on the table is often hard to resist. Once again, however, the muffins, danishes and cookies on display all contain varying amounts of sugar that you are not washing away before you get home. If you know in advance you are going to have a hard time resisting the cakes available, consider taking a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss to work. By doing so, you can at least clean your teeth after eating to reduce the amount of sugar sitting in your mouth during office hours. The other important part of dental hygiene when you work in an office is semi-annual dental checkups. Since you are exposed to so much sugar on a daily basis, visiting your dentist is key if you want to make sure you don’t end up with a mouth full of cavities. Early dentist detection can reduce the chance of losing teeth in the long...

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How to Tell If Your Teenager Has Tooth Decay

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While younger kids may have no problems allowing their parents to check their teeth, you may not find it as easy to monitor oral hygiene when kids turn into teenagers. At this age, kids are capable of brushing their own teeth; they are also likely to take any oral hygiene interference from parents as an insult. This can pose problems if you think that your teenager is a bit slack when it comes to cleaning their teeth. Plus, as your teen becomes more independent, you may have less control over their diet, and your child may have more access to snacks and sugary drinks that might cause tooth decay. Given that your teenager isn’t likely to let you look in their mouth to check for problems, you may need to use some parental savvy to spot potential issues. How Do Your Child’s Teeth Look? While many teenagers may give up talking to their parents, you may still be able to catch a look at their teeth from time to time. Look out for signs of decay such as white, grey or even black spots on the teeth. Red and swollen looking gum mays also be a problem. How Does Your Child’s Breath Smell? If you get the chance to get up close and personal to your teenager, you may be able to check how their breath smells. Tooth decay often comes hand in hand with bad breath. If your child’s breath smells bad over a few days and you can’t see an obvious reason why their breath smells bad (such as food they may have eaten recently), then they may be developing dental problems. Does Your Child Show Signs of Pain? Teenagers may get the odd twinge in a tooth and not tell you about it. Many kids prefer to avoid discussing this kind of thing with their parents on the basis that the pain may go away if they ignore it. However, you may be able to spot if your child has a toothache by keeping an eye on how and what they eat. For example, kids may stop eating sugary things if they have decay problems as sugar makes the pain worse. Wincing when eating something cold (like ice cream) or hard (like an apple) may also be a pointer that there is a problem. If you think that your child may have decay problems, you’re going to need to raise the issue to see if they’ll front up and discuss any problems with you. Talking to them about things you’ve noticed may make your child more likely to open up; if it doesn’t, you may want to make an appointment for your teen to have a check-up with your paediatric...

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When Should You Visit Your Dentist for Quick Denture Repairs Rather Than Wait?

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If you know that your dentures are starting to slide and slip a bit, it’s time to get them refitted. However, this can often wait until it’s convenient for your schedule, and you may need to simply live with the inconvenience of dentures that are slightly out of place. There are other times when it’s good to have your dentures checked by your dentist as soon as possible rather than waiting, and this isn’t just when they’ve broken in two. Note when you should schedule an appointment for quick denture repairs and why this is so important. 1. When your gums are very irritated You might notice some discomfort when you first start wearing dentures, but if your gums become very irritated and especially if they hurt and bleed, you want to see your dentist as soon as possible. This often means that your dentures need to be refitted, and you may have developed an allergy to a certain denture paste or powder and need a recommendation as to something different. If you continue to wear dentures with very irritated gums, this can only make the problem worse, and you might see them actually bleed; you may even stop wearing your dentures, and this can mean not eating properly, so it’s best to see your dentist right away instead. 2. When they have cracked Cracked dentures may still be intact, and you may think you can keep wearing them for some time. However, a crack means that the strength and durability of the dentures are now compromised. You might bite down on something or just bump the dentures against a counter while cleaning them, and the crack can become an entire break. This can mean a more expensive repair and not having your dentures to wear until you can get them repaired. When you notice a crack, make an appointment as soon as possible and handle the dentures with care in the meantime. 3. When they are rubbing against surrounding teeth or cheeks If you have partial dentures, they should fit snugly between teeth without actually rubbing up against them. When this happens, you need the dentures to be refitted so that they don’t cause erosion of the tooth enamel. If the dentures are rubbing against your cheeks or the roof of your mouth or are getting in the way of your tongue, you also need them refitted as soon as possible. This will reduce the risk of causing injury or irritation to the inside of your...

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Is Your Dry Mouth Affecting the Fit of Your Dentures?

Posted by on 7:22 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is Your Dry Mouth Affecting the Fit of Your Dentures?

There are various reasons why your dentures may start to feel looser than they used to. For example, the shape of your mouth changes over time, and you may find that the false teeth that fitted snugly when you got them no longer fit that well after a few years. However, in some cases, you may have an oral health problem that makes your dentures feel loose even though they actually still fit the shape of your mouth well. Dentures can’t necessarily fit snugly in your mouth without some help from your saliva. The saliva that you naturally have in your mouth sits between your dentures and your soft tissues, creating a suction effect to help anchor your dentures into their correct position. If you have dry mouth syndrome, your mouth can’t create the amount of saliva it needs, and your denture fit may suffer. How can you tell if your loose dentures are down to a dry mouth? When Do Your Dentures Feel Loose? If your dentures no longer fit the shape of your gums and mouth, you’ll typically find that they feel loose all of the time. If your denture fit is affected by a lack of saliva, your teeth may feel like they fit at some times but don’t fit so well at others. For example, if your dentures feel more snug after a meal but feel like they get looser between meals, your mouth may not be producing enough saliva. When you eat, chewing puts more saliva in the mouth. This increase in saliva may make your dentures fit better for a while until your saliva flow dries up, at which point your denture fit may not be so effective. Do You Have Other Dry Mouth Symptoms? If you have dry mouth syndrome, you’re likely to have more symptoms than just a bad denture fit. For example, your mouth may feel permanently dry and the saliva you do manage to produce may feel thicker than usual. You may also have other oral problems, such as bad breath, cracked lips and sores. How to Manage a Dry Mouth to Get a Better Denture Fit If you feel that your dentures have lost some of their snugness because of your dry mouth, you can try some home fixes to get more saliva flowing. For example, you may find the following tips useful: Avoid food, drinks and oral habits that dry out your mouth. For example, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks may have a drying effect; smoking also reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth. Try to get into the habit of sipping small amounts of water regularly through the day to rehydrate your mouth. Eat moist or wetter foods to get more liquids flowing in your mouth. Suck sugar-free mints or sweets to get your saliva flowing. If you can manage to eat gum with your dentures, sugar-free gum is also a good saliva booster. If you can’t sort out your dry mouth yourself, it’s worth talking to your dentist or visiting a denture clinic. Your dentist may be able to recommend products that you can use to artificially create saliva in your mouth....

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